Burt Rutan: engineer, aviation/space pioneer, and now, active climate skeptic

Burt_Rutan_large

Burt Rutan - aviation pioneer, engineer, test pilot, climate skeptic. Note the car.

Recently after some conversations with a former chemical engineer who provided me with some insight, I’ve come to the conclusion that many engineers have difficulty with many of the premises of AGW theory because in their “this has to work or people die” world of exacting standards, the AGW argument doesn’t hold up well by their standards of performance.

Today I was surprised to learn that one of the foremost and world famous engineers on the planet, Burt Rutan, has become an active climate skeptic. You may be familiar with some of Rutan’s work through his company, Scaled Composites:
Click here to learn about X-Prize flight #1Click here to learn about X-prize flight 2

Thanks to WUWT reader Dale Knutsen, I was provided a PowerPoint file recently by email presented by Mr. Rutan at the Oshkosh fly-in convention on  July 29th, 2009 and again on August 1st, 2009. It has also now been posted online by an associate of Mr. Rutan’s.

There were a number of familiar things in the PowerPoint, including data plots from one of the USHCN stations I personally surveyed and highlighted, Santa Rosa, NM. Rutan had an interest in it because of the GISS adjustment to the data. For him, the whole argument is about the data. He says about his presentation in slide #3:

Not a Climatologist’s study; more from the view of a flight test guy who has spent a lifetime in data analysis/interpretation.

In the notes of his PowerPoint on slide #3,  Rutan tells us why he thinks this way(emphasis mine):

My study is NOT as a climatologist, but from a completely different prospective in which I am an expert.
Complex data from disparate sources can be processed and presented in very different ways, and to “prove” many different theories.

For decades, as a professional experimental test engineer, I have analyzed experimental data and watched others massage and present data.  I became a cynic; My conclusion – “if someone is aggressively selling a technical product who’s merits are dependant on complex experimental data, he is likely lying”.  That is true whether the product is an airplane or a Carbon Credit.

Now since I’m sure people like foaming Joe Romm will immediately come out to label Mr. Rutan as a denier/delayer/generally bad person, one must be careful to note that Mr. Rutan is not your average denier/delayer. He’s “green”. Oh horrors, a “green denier”! Where have we seen that before?

From his PowerPoint, here’s his house, note the energy efficient earth walled design.

Rutans_home

In his PowerPoint notes he says about his green interests:

My house was Nov 89 Pop Science Cover story; “World’s Most Efficient House”.  Its big advantage is in the desert summer.  It is all-electric and it uses more energy in the relatively mild winters than in the harsh summers – just the opposite of my neighbors.

The property has provisions for converting to self-sustaining (house and plug-in hybrid car) via adding wind generator and solar panels when it becomes cost effective to do so.

Testing Solar Water Heat in the 70s at RAF; the Rutan Aircraft Factory was converted to solar-heated water in the 70s, when others were only focused on gasoline costs.

My all electric EV-1 was best car I ever owned.  Primary car for 7 years, all-electric with an 85 mile range.  I was very sad (just like the guy shown) when the leased cars were recalled and crushed by General Motors.  I will buy a real hybrid when one becomes available (plug-in with elect-range>60 miles). The Prius “hybrid” is not a hybrid, since it is fueled only by gasoline.  A Plug-in Hybrid can be fueled with both gas and electricity.  You might even see a ‘plug-in hybrid airplane’ in my future.

And he notes in the slide:
Interest is technology, not tree-hugging

Well that right there is reason enough to put all sorts or nasty labels on the man. Welcome to the club Burt, we are proud to have you!

Rutan’s closing observations slide is interesting:

Rutan_observations

Slide #32 from Burt Rutan's presentation

And, in his notes he makes this mention:

Is the debate over? – The loudest Alarmist says the debate is over.  However, “It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry”.

I think by the “loudest alarmist” he means Al Gore.

And his final slide:

Rutan_recommendations

Slide #33 from Burt Rutan's presentation

Rutan’s PowerPoint file is posted at:
http://rps3.com/Pages/Burt_Rutan_on_Climate_Change.htm

For those that don’t have PowerPoint, I’ve converted it to a PDF file for easy and immediate reading online which you can download here.

I wonder if in conversations with his biggest client, Virgin’s Richard Branson, he ever mentions Gore and their joint project? I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.

Is the debate over? – The loudest Alarmist says the debate is over.  However, “It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry”.
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347 Responses to Burt Rutan: engineer, aviation/space pioneer, and now, active climate skeptic

  1. MattB says:

    My conclusion – “if someone is aggressively selling a technical product who’s merits are dependant on complex experimental data, he is likely lying”.
    Now that is a quote of the week

  2. cba says:

    Better to be like-minded with Burt Rutan than with a hundred thousand gavin schmidts, james hansens, and michael manns

  3. MattN says:

    “many engineers have difficulty with many of the premises of AGW theory because in their “this has to work or people die” world of exacting standards, the AGW argument doesn’t hold up well by their standards of performance.”

    I am an Engineer, and I could not have said it better….

  4. Allen63 says:

    I agree with his points. Though he towers above me, apparently our experiences have been similar in dealing with other engineers and scientists — both the good and not so good.

  5. Douglas DC says:

    MattB (17:37:45) :

    My conclusion – “if someone is aggressively selling a technical product who’s merits are dependant on complex experimental data, he is likely lying”.
    Now that is a quote of the week
    Amen.Snake oil, anyone?

  6. Tim McHenry says:

    Ahh, It’s good to see another saying that warmth is GOOD. How can this point be lost on the AGWers?? Just think of the arable land available in Canada and Russia. Just think of the extended growing seasons. All for the cheap price of a little beach erosion. How did we ever let them paint that as a bad thing?

  7. Ron de Haan says:

    I am a great admirer of Burt Rutan who caused a revolution in the experimental aircraft scenery with his great “canard” designs (I fly a canard myself), his record non stop flight around the world, his space project and numerous aircraft (and other) designs.

    Hopefully he will communicate his “climate opinion” to his customer, Billionaire Richard Branson who has completely lost it and joined the camp of Al Gore last year.

    Burt Rutan’s opinion is a “heavy one” and much apriciated, at least by me.

    Thanks for posting this.

  8. Rocket Man says:

    Rutan has essentially the same view on AGW I do. Not surprising as we both work in the Aerospace field and have both done a lot of testing in out time (I have even done some work for him in the past). Bottom line is that a lot of the data used to justify AGW, especially the surface temperature data, is scientifically meaningless.

    There are issues with how the data is collected, with the instruments used, how the instruments are sited, how the data is recorded, how the data is adjusted, etc, etc, etc. The raw surface temperature data and the “adjusted data” would be thrown in the garbage if anybody, for whatever reason, needed that type of data to design a flight vehicle (airplane or rocket), and real data, using scientifically rigorous collection methods, would be collected instead.

    I simply cannot understand why anybody who understands the scientific method can take the surface temperature reconstructions of global temperatures seriously. Satellite data is better, but even that has its own instrumentation issues and coverage issues. It is a shame is that with all the billions of dollars that have been spent on AGW research carbon taxes, we still do not have a good idea what the temperature of the earth actually is.

  9. timetochooseagain says:

    SSO is what inspired me to get into aerospace engineering! This guy is my hero, no doubt about it. Freakin’ awesome. Quite frankly, freakin’ awesome.

  10. Kevin Kilty says:

    OK, Burt deserves all of the accolades, and it is nice to have a fellow with his reputation on one’s side. However, how do we leverage people like him, and ourselves to prevent the self inflicted wounds that are practically scheduled for us? How do we stop this train-wreck?

  11. Douglas DC says:

    Branson’s only on board the AGW gravy train to cater to the Hollywood crowd and the elites that will be his customers.

  12. Retired BChe says:

    I am another engineer who has spent a career evaluating data, and agree completely with Rutan.

  13. Patrick Davis says:

    Great post/article. I have been wondering these last few months since discovering this site, are there enough people aware of this site and the articles/posts, in particluar, about Co2? I mean, here in Australia, we are continually bombarded with pollitically bisased BS on climate change and Co2. KRudd747 and Penny w(R)ong are so commited to “establishing” their ETS they will do alomst anything before Copenhagen to pass the legislation. I also note the PM, Ms w(R)ong and many other “green” groups are claiming the ETS is required to “protect” jobs!!! So they need ETS subsidies to maintain these companies?! Yeah, OK, I get it!

    There was another guy interviewed last night on TV, cliaming that 100 jobs at *his* solar mfg plant would be at risk if the renewable energies side of the bill(s) were not passed. Of course this person would not be selfinterest in this bill would he? He want me to pay him to employ people making solar panels which I, and *most* people in Sydney (Because they rent) can’t use.

    It sickens me to see so many people just waiting to get their snouts in the gravy train trough that is an ETS.

  14. LloydG says:

    Burt Rutan is someone I’ve always admired and respected for his innovative and entrepeneurial spirit. I am delighted to see his common sense and reasoned approach to the “Climate Change v2″ (Global warming being v1) is in accord with my own beliefs on the issue.
    The greatest immediate risk, by far, is sweeping legislation that will cripple the worlds productive efforts, through energy starvation, based on grieviously faulty theories and models.
    I also agree strikes by NEO’s is the bigger long term risk to our planet we should focus on. Think Alvarez Event and K/T boundary extinction.
    I sense the fracture/collapse of the biggest fraud in history.
    Great post! Lloyd Graves

  15. Curiousgeorge says:

    Good for Burt! I’m sure this will generate a considerable amount of wild handwaving and proclamations of disaster by the usual supects.

    You might also be interested in this blog about next weeks rallies against the climate change legislation. http://blogs.chron.com/newswatchenergy/archives/2009/08/next_weeks_ener_1.html

  16. David Ball says:

    People need to hear both sides of this debate and be allowed to make up their own minds. Rutan has clearly done his “due diligence” and studied this subject very thoroughly (case in point; his home). Gore would have been smarter to not say “the debate is over”. Do NOT tell me what to think for I am capable of making up my own mind, thank you very much. Great post, Anthony and moderators !! Burt Rutan, if you happen to read this, you are one the sharpest minds on the planet and courageous enough to take a stand, despite the personal harm that often comes with skepticism.

  17. Curiousgeorge says:

    PS: Be sure to read the memo linked to at the Houston Chronicle blog post I mentioned. It’s very, very interesting!

  18. CaryB says:

    Steve McIntyre said the same thing a few years ago. Since his expertise was in mining, his template for good research was an mining engineering report. He opined that no one comes close to this standard in climate science.

  19. Methow Ken says:

    Burt Rutan: An American hero; wish we had more like him.

    SIDEBAR: I still remember being down at their base in the Mojave Desert something like 30 years ago; and getting a ride in their LongEasy homebuilt aircraft. One of the most fun plane rides I ever had.

    BTW: Do not underestimate the importance of Burt Rutan signing on to oppose the dark side of AGW: His world-wide reputation as an engineer, innovator, and all-around sharp guy is beyond reproach. . . . Oh, the AGW fanatics will probably try, but efforts to trash Burt Rutan ain’t gonna sell outside of their own little closed-loop, politically-correct world.

    Time for a little adult supervision from real scientists and engineers, sez me.

  20. Eric Anderson says:

    Congratulations and kudos to Burt Rutan. I’ve followed his space-related work for several years and am glad to see he is taking a careful and measured approach to this issue. Keep up the good work!

  21. kris says:

    I used to work at Scaled Composites, and honestly this is surprising to me.

  22. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Hmm. Nice house and a nice lifestyle. To live like this, you need to be a) rich and b) to have a real concern for the environment. Al Gore is rich…

  23. the_Butcher says:

    I guess he ain’t getting much sunlight for his ‘weird’ House and has started to becoming a Sceptic…

  24. Methow Ken says:

    Hopefully the moderator(s) will tolerate 2 closely-spaced posts by the writer for this special case:

    I just finished downloading and reviewing all of Burt Rutan’s slides.
    Versions of quite a few of them have of course appeared in various other good presentations. But Burt has done an especially outstanding job of putting this fairly long slide show together; the result of which is IMO one of the best logical and cohesive presentations on this subject that I have seen anywhere (and I have looked at many).

    Every member of Congress should be required to study these slides.
    Too bad not many likely will. . . . . [sigh]
    Even so:
    These slides are important; thanks much to WUWT for greatly assisting in their wide dissemination.

    IMO it is not too far-fetched to say that civilization is again threatened by a modern equivalent of the barbarian hoardes; that finally overcame ancient Imperial Rome. Never forget that the so-called barbarians finally won no so much because of what THEY did, but because of what Rome did NOT do. Let’s hope sanity prevails before we repeat clear but unlearned lessons of history. . . .

  25. Mr Lynn says:

    Please let us know when the video is available.

    Anyone know how to print the notes with the slides? All I can print are the slides.

    /Mr Lynn

  26. Mr Lynn says:

    Mr. Rutan may be the most prominent public figure to speak out against the AGW movement. And of course his technical credentials are impeccable.

    If any of you have contacts in the media, this is the time to make them aware of the huge fabric of lies that the Alarmists have promulgated, and Burt Rutan’s presentation is the ideal vehicle.

    Just make sure you include the notes, which explain and explicate the slides.

    /Mr Lynn

  27. John A says:

    My impression is that the only people who can afford the green lifestyle are the very wealthy, like Burt Rutan. And good luck to him.

  28. hotrod says:

    When engineers screw up people get killed or maimed.
    When climatologists screw up they adjust the data and issue another dire press release.

    Way to go Burt, you have reinforced my substantial respect for you as an engineer and original thinker.

    Larry

  29. Dan Evens says:

    Re: A product that depends on complex experiments. The time it worksk ok is when there has been a long interplay between theory and experiment. The theory predicts a test. The test is done and matches the theory or does not. The theory is expanded, improved and the cycle redone. And until the cycle is able to go through several cycles of correctly predicting tests, with a wide variety of conditions, then things should be considered as provisional.

    That’s how a mature industry works. Planes fly because there have been many decades of theory matching experiment, and all up and down from thermo-hydro-dynamics, materials science, electronics, traffic control, human performance, and so on and so forth.

    I’ll take climate science seriously when they can usefully and accurately predict something.

  30. Bobn says:

    but look at the pdf, many of the graphs/data he cites are flawed in themselves. For example the first one cites the flawed argument that human emissions of co2 are only about 3% of total co2 emissions.

  31. F. Ross says:

    I have always admired Mr. Rutan for his aeronautical engineering and inventive skills. One of his plane designs – a canard pusher plane [don't remember the exact model] – flies out of the local airport and, when possible, I stop to watch it land/take off.

    Based on the above post, Mr. Rutan rises even higher in the pantheon of critical thinkers on AGW.

    Nice house too!

  32. henrychance says:

    My conclusion – “if someone is aggressively selling a technical product who’s merits are dependant on complex experimental data, he is likely lying”.
    Now that is a quote of the week

    The Rutan starship was a flop.
    Rutan is a creative artist. he is not good for successful manufacturing.

    Aviation has a lot of people that understand the weather. Algore is decades behind aviation.

  33. John Laidlaw says:

    Bobn (20:22:18) :

    but look at the pdf, many of the graphs/data he cites are flawed in themselves. For example the first one cites the flawed argument that human emissions of co2 are only about 3% of total co2 emissions.

    Care to be a little more specific please?

    “henrychance (20:34:00)

    The Rutan starship was a flop”

    Surely you don’t mean the Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne? Last I heard, that did exactly what it was intended to do…

  34. oakgeo says:

    Rutan will be summarily ignored by the CAGWers. Or they’ll categorize engineers in the same vein as geologists, i.e. too trapped in their own expertise to fully appreciate the breadth of climate science. Or Rutan will be vilified as an insidious capitalist. Whatever, the CAGW faithful will dismiss him as just being wrong, without ever addressing the salient points he makes.

    I guess I’m just pessimistic.

  35. D. King says:

    Makes me proud to be an American.

  36. Roger Sowell says:

    I fully support the argument that engineers either get it right, or people die. The Chemical Safety Board has a good summary of what happens when engineers get it wrong. http://www.csb.gov/

    Burt Rutan is, as others above have noted, one of the most famous of technical men to weigh in on the skeptic side. There are many others, perhaps not so famous world-wide, who also know that CO2 cannot be a cause of climate change. Dr. Pierre Latour, PhD chemical engineer, recently wrote on this. Dr. Latour designed some of the control systems for the Apollo spacecraft. They worked, or people would have died.

    Another commenter above asked what can we do to spread the word. I was asked this same question on my blog, and I re-post my response here:

    “I see several avenues to pursue to make a difference. First, and most effective, is to use the legal system to repeal or soften the existing laws. Many environmental cases have been decided in the courts.

    Next, is to rally huge numbers of voters to voice their opinion to legislators. Written letters, emails, faxes, phone calls, peaceful demonstrations, and personal visits to the offices of elected officials can be very effective when great numbers of people participate.

    Next is to publicize the laws and their ill effects on people. A blog such as this is one example. Other media can also be used; the more the better.

    Ultimately, as long as California is the only, or one of just a few, states with unfounded climate change laws, people will vote with their feet and leave the state for a friendlier location. This option disappears when a national law exists. We already see that California’s population is changing due to businesses leaving the state, and people migrating to other states. No longer is California the golden state that attracts people from the other 49 states due to better opportunities.

    Even with a national law, businesses will move offices and manufacturing to more friendly countries, as happened during the 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s when off-shoring became a buzzword.

    A simple check on the price of one-way rental trucks verifies that more people are leaving than entering the state. One can go online, and obtain a rental price for a one-way trip on a moving van from Los Angeles to Dallas (or another non-California city). Then check the same moving trip for the other direction.

    Another way I try to make a difference is by making speeches to various audiences around the country. These speeches are enthusiastically received. I find that most people suspect they are being conned by the media and government, and what I show and tell them confirms what they suspected.

    One can also make note of valid science and reports and send links to friends and colleagues via email and popular networking sites. I do this regularly. In fact, here is a link that discredits three of AGW’s most sacred cows: Ocean Level Rising, Ocean Temperatures Rising, and Polar Ice Decreasing. The link is

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/30/roger-pielke-senior-on-real-climate-claims-bubkes/

    Finally, the words of President Abraham Lincoln are appropriate: “The best way to repeal a bad law is to enforce it strictly.” With climate change laws, the harm to businesses and hardships on people will be visible.

    I certainly hope we can repeal or soften these laws before the harm and hardships become too great. “

    http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/ab-32-hypocrisy-vs-health-and-poverty.html

  37. MartinGAtkins says:

    Bobn (20:22:18) :

    but look at the pdf, many of the graphs/data he cites are flawed in themselves. For example the first one cites the flawed argument that human emissions of co2 are only about 3% of total co2 emissions.

    If you are going to make statements like this, then you need to cite the source of your assertion.

  38. BJL says:

    Now in addition to his long lists of accomplishments add, Patriot.

  39. Gordon Ford says:

    Mr. Rutan is spot on. As a Geological Engineer I’ve sold mineral exploration projects based on a few facts and lots of arm waving to others who examined the facts and liked my arm waving. Most of these projects failed, as expected. As those projects that didn’t fail in the early stages moved forward large data bases were built from acquired facts. If all went well these facts (survey data, geological data from surface sampling and diamond and other drilling, metallurgical test results etc. were assembled into a document called a “feasibility study”. In the normal course of events this document would be torn apart by teams of geologists, metallurgists, mining engineers and accountants hired by banks and major investors. If no significant interpretaton errors were found, and comodity prices didn’t tumble, hundreds of millions were invested and the property put into production. About 50 % of new mines never returned a profit, often because product prices fell or production costs went through the roof. The other 50% are the ones you want in your retirement portfolio. Throughout the whole process the basic data from day one was preserved on it’s origional form. Post mortums are interesing.
    Today when dealing with climate change we have inadequate data (some of which appears to be only available in “adjusted” form) and much arm waving.
    We have prophets pontificating that the ‘science is settled ” while others protest “we don’t yet know what questions to ask”. Our political leaders by and large see this as an opportunity to tax and control.
    And daily nature shreds the most rock solid theories.
    Mr. Rutan is spot on, we know enough about the worlds climate to know that we are short of adequate, quality data on which to make major decisions.

  40. Gene Nemetz says:

    I still haven’t seen anyone of the caliber of Burt Rutan go to the alarmists side in years. They are all coming the ‘skeptic’, ‘denier’ direction.

    —————

    I saw a good documentary about is outer space plane that cork screws back into earths atmosphere. It was interesting.

  41. Gene Nemetz says:

    “….destroy US global competitiveness through Cap and Trade taxes.”

    America should be concerned about this. We are falling behind China. And now China has said they aren’t going to do anything about carbon emissions until 2050. We will fall behind even faster with Cap and Trade. We can’t afford the luxury of Yuppie self loathing.

    “China’s emissions will not continue to rise beyond 2050,”

    Mr Su restated Beijing’s view that, as China still needs to grow its economy to help its 1bn-plus population to escape poverty, it is too early to discuss emissions caps.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a702b982-8933-11de-b50f-00144feabdc0.html

  42. MrCPhysics says:

    “Curiousgeorge (19:23:54) :
    PS: Be sure to read the memo linked to at the Houston Chronicle blog post I mentioned. It’s very, very interesting!”

    The last thing the skeptic community needs right now (or ever) is rallies funded by the API or a conservative think tank. First of all, rallies accomplish very little, especially when the media is bound to report the rally with a pro-AGW slant. Secondly, we don’t want the American public to view the debate about global warming as Government versus Industry Lobbyists, since the Lobbyists may be the only group the public holds in lower regard than politicians. Why try to bully public opinion when the scientific truth is on your side?

    Right now, the public debate is way too political anyway, and many otherwise intelligent people are turned away from the skeptical side because they perceive it as being an unscientific, politically conservative position. They’re wrong, of course, but political or industry “rallies” to the cause make it harder to convert people with the evidence, not easier.

  43. Patrick Davis says:

    “Roger Sowell (21:03:16) : ”

    Thankyou Roger. I believe the situation regarding accessing law makers, legislators, ministers etc here in Australia is that, to me at least, appears to be “out-of-bounds” to the masses. We go to the polls every three years or so (I wasn’t able to vote in Australia because 1, I was a temporary resident the last election. I now can vote. 2, I believe not one single politician has earnt my vote), and then those elected, get free reign. I never see genuine public involvment in Govn’t policy making, no public consultation espectially with new taxes being dreamed up (Well actually it’s not new, initially, as far as i can tell, here in Australia, it’s be a form of GST creep. GST will grow to 12.5% from 10%, and grow to possibly 17% as soon as 2015. I understand most Aussies are not aware of this aspect of the ETS bill) and considering the “science is settled” the elected Gummint just does what it wants.

    I see a lot of apathy here in Australia (Although registering to vote is compulsory here in Aus), and similarly in New Zealand when I lived there, with regards to politics, Gummint and policy makers. I find Aussies and NZer’s too trusting of their elected (And in NZ many are not thanks to a form of proportional represntation called MMP) representitives to “do the job”. Well, they certainly do, at our expense.

    I have tried, e-mails, but I get no response. There is an advert on TV here which shows black balloons of Co2 pollution popping out from every energy consuming device and, magically, floating up in to the air. I wrote to the authorising official to point out the blatant misinformation. I received no reply.

    Australians, and NZers too, pay more attention to sports, and when sports personalities “endorse” AGW you know you’re on the losing side.

  44. Gene Nemetz says:

    The documentary I mentioned; it’s from Discovery Channel. Title : “Black Sky: The Race for Space”

    12 parts in YouTube

  45. Denny says:

    Another great Post Anthony! Burt coming out and speaking His views is showing more and more Scientists that are Realists and speaking their Minds…Look at the Eighty Scientists that went against their Editor in the APS, American Physic’s Society! The oldest in America, amoung one of them…Now people like these need to go to Washington and denounce this Cap & Trade Bill as with the American People!

    http://climaterealists.com/?id=3867

  46. Robert Bateman says:

    How do you stop this?
    You have to stop the 3 Marketeers: Pelosi, Waxman & Gore (for the US).
    And that is political. Write thier opposition and express your deepest gratitude for oppsosing this crass stupidity. If you belong to the Party that is trying to shove this through, dump them.
    It’s you or them. Some in history have sought to rule the world. They intend to own it, and they are willing to pay any price, your future included.

  47. Robert Bateman says:

    Gene Nemetz (22:10:54) :

    Absolutely. Another unbearable price tag of thier leglislation.

  48. Hank Hancock says:

    Like other engineers commenting on this topic, I too have concluded that the case for global warming (er, um, climate change), has been built on the framework of circular citations and poorly QC’d, disparate, and too often cooked data. My training as an engineer compels me to demand solid evidence over emotional hype if I am to be convinced of anything. The solid evidence of AGW is lacking and the emotional hype is in much abundance. Alas, I remain a skeptic.

    I’m glad to see a respected engineer such as Rutan challenge so-called concensus by underscoring the logical disconnects of the AGW hypothesis. He will be labeled as “out of his field” and scorned by AGW believers but he is too respected by most to be summarily dismissed.

    I’ve been e-mailing national news outlets with links to this story on WUWT. I hope others will do so too.

  49. observer says:

    The first half of the twentieth century saw an unparalleled explosion in knowledge and scientific progress that lifted our standard of living to where it is today. As a token of their appreciation the people have chosen to take this remarkable leap forward for granted and adopt a mindset embracing weak and unproven science that would never have led to the technological advances enjoyed (and taken for granted) today. It is no wonder that true scientists in the area of physics, chemistry engineering and other rigorous, disciplined fields of study are moved to voice their concerns about this mindless acceptance of agw garbage. The only thing is, will anyone bother to pay attention?

  50. RunFromMadness says:

    Asteroid strikes, communists and theocrats. Those are threats, not global warmthingy.

  51. Justin Sane says:

    Not being an American, I suggest that the American readers here send the pdf to all the members of congress and all the senators of the senate. Canadians, Australians, Brits etc. should also do the same with their respective governments.

    On a side note, my understanding of AGW is higher lows at night, not generally higher highs during the day, and even at that more pronounced during the winter. Surely this a GOOD thing, increase in growing seasons, fewer people dying in the winter, no more A/C use in summer and maybe less furnace use in winter — both of which naturally lead to a reduction in CO2 as a by-product yada, yada, yada

  52. Brian Johnson uk says:

    Starship was a Rutan design for Beechcraft. Twin turbine canard. Carbon fibre. Beech aimed at a market that wasn’t there and the Starship was withdrawn because Beech did not want to offer support. Rutan was not involved.

    Dr S. Fred Singer quotes Man Made CO2 contribution as around 0.117%

  53. stumpy says:

    As an engineer and a modeller I fully agree and hate having to pay lip service to govt reports based on guess work contrary to observation.

    I would say nearly every engineer I work with are skeptics with the best and brightest and most experianced engineers being the strongest skeptics, they can smell BS a mile off.

    We have companys constantly offering us their “incredible” products and support their claims with obscure science and us engineers have quickly learnt to pull these claims apart in a second. Those that cant dont make very good engineers!

    I especially know how misleading models can be!

  54. D. King says:

    Well, it looks as though the outcome is predetermined.
    China, India, Brazil ect. will all comply (lie their asses off),
    so dipstick can come home and declare consensus on CO2
    cuts. Just how stupid do these morons think we are?

  55. Hans Verbeek says:

    Rutan’s argument about complex experimental data being abused to sell an idea can also apply on the “estimated reserves” of coal and oil.
    Apparantly he doesn’t realize that a finite space (Earth) can only hold finite amounts of coal and oil. (we will run out someday)

    The cheaper alternatives he mentions are probably more expensive than the fossil fuels we used in the past decades.
    And uhh …. planes don’t fly on coal, Bart.

  56. Capn Jack Walker says:

    Thanks Anthony and thanks Burt Rutan.

  57. Chris says:

    Patrick Davis (22:16:16)

    The GST in Australia will not change it’s rate. It cannot change without every single state government AND both federal houses of parliament agreeing to the change.

    Some economists have concluded that the ETS legislation would, if passed, effectively raise the GST rate, based on how much more Australians would pay for goods and services.

  58. E.M.Smith says:

    While I mostly did management of engineering projects, I’m still a decent hack / programmer. And it’s the same ethos. Get it right, or things break. His visibility will be worth a great deal.

    FWIW, I did a little table / chart of the March of the Thermometers to the South:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/thermometer-years-by-latitude-warm-globe/

    I can see no reasonable way to avoid the conclusion that the “warming” of the temperature record is because we put a pot load of thermometers closer to the equator and in the Southern Hemisphere.

    And as a programmer, I can only say it would take one heck of a high “Q” filter to filter out that bias, and GIStemp is not up to the task. I would like to think that Burt would agree…

  59. John Wright says:

    Jimmy Haigh (19:47:39) :
    “Hmm. Nice house and a nice lifestyle. To live like this, you need to be a) rich and b) to have a real concern for the environment. Al Gore is rich…”

    Well it’s just an improved mud hut, is it not? You don’t need to be as rich Gore to follow Burt’s example (and I’m sure his house cost a lot less to build than Al’s mansion, and certainly a lot less in upkeep. We have friends in parts of France who live in old earth-walled houses. Obviously outside conditions don’t compare with the Nevada desert, but I can say that generally, they are cheap to keep warm in the Winter and naturally cool in the Summer – no need at all for air-conditioning. The same is true of houses with thick walls and good thermal insulation.

    Thanks, Anthony for putting us on to this. I had already heard of and been impressed by Burt Rutan’s heroic global flight and space projects; Glad to hear he’s an AGW sceptic; the least I can say is he’s a good man to have as an ally.

  60. tallbloke says:

    Engineers are generally taken for granted and their power of insight disregarded by the lawyers and accountants we allow to rule us. The centuries old snobbery against the ‘dirty handed mechanic’ is still with us, even in the land of the free.

    The economy is underpinned by engineers. They are the true wealth creators. The money jugglers merely redistribute it, into their own pockets.

    When will we finally see through the confidence trick and gain the mettle to throw out the corrupt?

  61. Robert Wood says:

    I like his emphasis on data manipulation and mis-represntation.

  62. Steve McIntyre keeps on about “engineering quality” in the science needed for global policy, and he is right. As a non-trained engineer but with a mind for detail of evidence (“the devil is in the details”) I KNOW he’s right – but I recognize that I hear those words with their emotional and spiritual power, but slightly lacking in exactitude. Many will be like me. They will KNOW we need “engineering quality”. What would be good would be to assemble a protocol that defines “engineering quality” in the context of the present situation in Climate Science. Defines it in a way that is rigorous enough for the noisiest and most “scientific” denier-debunker but is understandable by the lady in the street.

  63. Steve Schapel says:

    D King,

    A bizarre video, eh? And one thing that’s always surprising is how often people still refer (without correction) to Gore as Vice-President.

  64. Robert Wood says:

    The web page pointed to by curiousgeorge is a typical piece of black propaganda. There are the usual accusations of “big oil/big coal” paying oh, millions, to stop Cap and Tax, ETS, or whatever windmill is named.

    It is those in the pay of Big Government and Big Green, pushing for these nefarious get rich schemes, that are the Astroturfers.

  65. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ MrCPhysics (22:13:40) : That may be true. Depends on how it’s handled. It is interesting tho, yes? It illustrates just how politicized the entire subject is, and ignoring the politics of it won’t make the controversy go away. Whether it aggravates the situation or not, or is helpful or harmful to the skeptic view remains to be seen.

    There have been plenty of attempts to get thru to the policy makers, using rational arguments and scientific studies that debunk AGW, that so far have failed miserably. We complain that they are being hoodwinked by cooked data, yet expect them to understand opposing data? Perhaps it’s time to employ different tactics.

  66. Paul Vaughan says:

    “if someone is aggressively selling a technical product who’s merits are dependent on complex experimental data, he is likely lying”

    Interesting. The group of statisticians I used to work with might not like that comment…

    I recall a statistical computing expert responding to a question about diagnostic-output from a computationally-intensive MCMC algorithm – his answer: “No one really understands what it means …or how to make any sense of it — but we just go with it anyway.”

    When it gets to the point where people don’t even know what their fancy algorithms are doing…? …Can’t we admit we might have a problem?

    Worthwhile results are robust across methodologies, but in the computationally-intensive fields, people are derided if they are not presenting cute, new, fashionable tools that their colleagues don’t generally have time to fully understand. (If it can’t even be readily understood within the field, that’s insurance for the discipline.)


    “Oh horrors, a “green denier”!”

    There are getting to be a LOT of green non-alarmists. I am a parks & wilderness advocate who has used only 8 tanks of gas in a small car during the past 2 years. My former jobs include: park supervisor, acid-rain/soils researcher, rare plant conservation botanist (for a nature trust). I got banned at Tamino’s [alarmist blog] for being honest. A lot of alarmists are not interested in working hard to understand REAL nature. The nature I know will never be as simple as an alarmist computer fantasy.


    Funding for asteroid safety – a noble path – prudent, sensible.

    …but don’t cut climate research funding – just redirect it to sensible people who are intent on understanding the complexity of nature.

  67. Patrick Davis says:

    “Chris (00:46:05) :

    Patrick Davis (22:16:16)

    The GST in Australia will not change it’s rate. It cannot change without every single state government AND both federal houses of parliament agreeing to the change.

    Some economists have concluded that the ETS legislation would, if passed, effectively raise the GST rate, based on how much more Australians would pay for goods and services.”

    Have a read here…it is a little alarmist…but I’ve seen politicians pass laws before without following proper “procedure” for instance Thatcher Thatcher the Milk Snatcher passed many draconian employment laws during the Falklands War while everyone else, including the media, were focused on the war. Why would Australian politicians be any better? Of course, they aren’t, and if it suits them, they will pass any law or adjust any existing law as they see fit (Gilt edge pension fund, voted on in secret). KRudd747 and Ms P. w(R)ong need something to “boast” with at Copenhagen. He’s definitely not going to be around a second term.

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,20797,25912087-3122,00.html

  68. jeroen says:

    ‘The Prius “hybrid” is not a hybrid, since it is fueled only by gasoline. ‘

    I watched a Top Gear episode I believe one from 2004. They said you could drive 1 on 24 Thats in km and liters. But he only managed 1 on 16. An old diesel drives 1on 20 easely. So every celeberty with a hybrid is just a fake green person.

  69. Michael Oxenham says:

    Heaven and Earth – The Missing Science by Ian Plimer is an essential read for anyone who needs to learn about the Earth’s history and climate. His political comments are good value as well and up to date (2009)

  70. BarryW says:

    There have been other major names such as Freeman Dyson who are considered in the skeptic/denier camp.

    Steve Schapel (01:49:43) :

    It’s common for the highest title someone held to be used after they have left office as an honorific. Hence Mike Huckabee is often called Governor or Clinton, President.

  71. Alexej Buergin says:

    ” Ron de Haan (18:16:13) :
    I am a great admirer of Burt Rutan who caused a revolution in the experimental aircraft scenery with his great “canard” designs (I fly a canard myself), his record non stop flight around the world, his space project and numerous aircraft (and other) designs.”

    That was his brother Dick Rutan doing the flying, together with girlfriend (at least at departure) Jeana Yeager (no relation to Chuck).

  72. Chris Wright says:

    Bobn (20:22:18) :

    “but look at the pdf, many of the graphs/data he cites are flawed in themselves. For example the first one cites the flawed argument that human emissions of co2 are only about 3% of total co2 emissions.”
    .
    After a quick look at the slides, that one jumped out at me. It does seem to be completely wrong – or possibly Rutan believes that the 20th century CO2 increase was primarily natural. However, it could have been an honest mistake. By far the biggest emitter of CO2 is nature. I don’t recall the actual figure, but it could be that in any given year mankind only emits 3.4% of the total emission. Of course, in that context it was completely wrong. As I said, it could be an innocent mistake. Unfortunately many people will seize on that mistake and use it to discredit the whole argument, although it is of very small significance. The real argument is about what the effects of the CO2 increase are likely to be, not about its cause.
    You say:”many of the graphs/data he cites are flawed in themselves….” but you only give this example, which I think may be a small slip up. So, please, could you list the other slides that you think are wrong?
    …………………………………………………………………………………………
    Like most people here, I was extremely impressed by Burt Rutan’s presentation. It’s great that such a high profile person has come to this conclusion. I particularly like the ‘Show me the data’ slides. I’ve searched for such data and have found some. In every case there’s no correlation with AGW alarmism, just as these slides confirm.
    Actually, I do get a bit angry about this. It’s one thing to say we’re all doomed by 2050 unless we mend our ways. Most people realise that doom-mongers are pretty well always wrong (otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting at my desk and writing this) and they will take account of this.
    But it’s another thing to state or imply that already climate change is causing catastrophes and already killing hundreds of thousand. Unlike the doom-mongering, this is a lie, pure and simple. Thanks to people like Burt Rutan for trying to rescue the truth.
    If you read or hear people saying that climate change is already a disaster there’s a very simple response, as Rutan has pointed out: just say ‘Show me the data’.
    .
    As another poster pointed out, Rutan is working closely with Richard Branson, who is a true believer. I suspect people like Branson are believers primarily because, due to the biased and one-sided media coverage, they simply have no idea that there is a reasoned opposition to AGW. I hope that Rutan and Branson discuss climate change. After Branson has heard the other side of the story, maybe we could have another high profile supporter!
    .
    I hope Rutan doesn’t try to keep this quiet. Perhaps he should write a letter to Obama. It is extraordinarily important that the most powerful man in the world should hear the other side of the story, and if it’s coming from Burt Rutan it will have a greater impact.
    .
    Hearing about Burt Rutan has made my day. Thanks to WUWT for bringing this welcome news!
    Chris

  73. RW says:

    E.M. Smith

    “I can see no reasonable way to avoid the conclusion that the “warming” of the temperature record is because we put a pot load of thermometers closer to the equator and in the Southern Hemisphere.”

    Did you know that the equator and the southern hemisphere show the least warming? The northern hemisphere at high latitudes is warming much faster than either. So, how does a warming signal come from a part of the world that isn’t warming very much?

  74. Mark UK says:

    Well, I am en engineer and the level of ignorance, arrogance and complete lack of understanding of the substance of climate science shown by most commenters here is depressing.

    There is no excuse for being this ignorant on the subject when the information is readily available. Comments here put the entire species of engineers to shame.

    [Reply: Any citations? Or are you just trolling? ~dbstealey, mod.]

  75. Alexej Buergin says:

    ” Hans Verbeek (00:27:38) :
    And uhh …. planes don’t fly on coal, Bart.”

    Of course they do, Hans. Needs some treatment first, though.

  76. dorlomin says:

    “Oil\ coal are called ‘non renewable’ bbut every decade shows an estimated increase in reserves.”

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_qvha0CSgc90/SVqaog6mHjI/AAAAAAAAABU/Hu8CMcUN5hI/s1600/growing_gap_oil-discovery-vs-production.png

    These figures include the doubling of reserves by OPEC in the 80s to boost quota share (they were backdated)
    Every decade since the 80s we have consumed more oil than we produce.

    No mention in this article whether Rutan is a ‘its not warmingist’ a “its warming but its the sun” a “its warming but its the PDO” or a ‘svensmarkian’.

    *Shrugs*. Bit weak really.

  77. dorlomin says:

    Methow Ken (19:29:18) :

    Time for a little adult supervision from real scientists and engineers, sez me.
    ————————————————–
    Real scientists….. you mean people you agree with. Relevant qualifications are pretty meaningless to the kind of ‘skeptic’ found round here.

  78. RW says:

    Burt Rutan’s ‘observations’ are quite fatuous.

    – Of course humans can code a computer model to predict global temperatures, and we’ve been doing so for three decades. The models have been pretty accurate.

    – The effect of human greenhouse gas emissions on global temperatures is obvious.

    – Statements that “warm is good, not bad!” amuse me. It’s like saying “food is good, not bad!” – that is, basically it’s meaningless.

    – Statements that “CO2 is not a pollutant” also amuse me, particularly when they make use of patronising bold face. The easy response is to invite the claimant to spend just a few minutes in a room filled with pure CO2.

    – if he believes ever-rising claims of reserve size, I’ve got a bridge he might like to buy. If he believes there will be a ‘gradual switch’ then he doesn’t understand maths. When use of a finite resource is exponentially increasing, there will be nothing gradual when the end comes.

    And yet simultaneously he almost gets the point. He just about acknowledges that current global temperatures are unusual in the context of the last several centuries. He offers no explanation of why he thinks that is, or why the simple, well-established radiative properties of CO2 should somehow not be working.

  79. Roger Carr says:

    Patrick Davis (18:58:19) : “I have been wondering these last few months since discovering this site, are there enough people aware of this site … here in Australia…”

    WUWT? has a fair sprinkling of Australian contributors, Patrick, and many blogs and websites in Australia (including the high hit number Andrew Bolt blog) refer to and quote it. Additionally, Anthony links to Australian content. Based on that I would venture many if not most Australians interested in manmade global warming, aka climate change, are aware… but that all interested must continue to promote WUWT? as widely as possible.

  80. Ron de Haan says:

    henrychance (20:34:00) :

    My conclusion – “if someone is aggressively selling a technical product who’s merits are dependant on complex experimental data, he is likely lying”.
    Now that is a quote of the week

    The Rutan starship was a flop.
    Rutan is a creative artist. he is not good for successful manufacturing.

    Aviation has a lot of people that understand the weather. Algore is decades behind aviation.

    henrychance
    “The Rutan starship was a flop.
    Rutan is a creative artist. he is not good for successful manufacturing”.

    I don’t agree with your assessment.
    The Rutan Starship in the end was a little to heavy and to expensive, but still a marvelous airplane.
    This was caused mainly because of new FAA regulations which were introduced after the prototype was build.

    Most manufacturers score at least one in three projects to come up with a single commercially successful product and these companies have big (military budgets) and huge grants available to pay for it.

    You mention me one single aircraft designer with a comparable success rate and design volume like Burt Rutan, operating without any Government support.
    There is none.

    Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composite designs aircraft including the entire mass manufacturing tooling and process.

    This makes him an extremely successful “manufacturer”.

    He has not only revolutionized the entire concept of prototyping and construction, but also the way the risky business of aircraft manufacturing is performed.

    He enables companies who do not have the resources for design and research to produce state of the art aircraft products, thus reducing the overall business risks, the amount of capital that is needed making the industry more competitive and dynamic.

    Without him we would still be flying “Blech Bomber” with struts, limited speed and range.

    I think about this a lot, especially when I encounter a Cessna flying at top speed and I am able to circle it with an aircraft that uses half the fuel, cruises at twice the speed carrying a comparable pay load.

  81. Rhys Jaggar says:

    Well

    The Australians have just thrown out Cap ‘N Trade legislation, so there’s hope yet.

    It will take a politician of rare courage to achieve this, however in the UK and US, since they are all totally in thrall to it all.

  82. John Stover says:

    I read his slide presentation with interest. Certainly well documented from a wide variety of sources. I especially liked this item from his slide number four where he discusses bias in the interpretation of data:

    “7. Global Governance foreigners (UN and America’s other global adversaries).”

    Any American who equates the UN to America’s global adversaries is demonstratably a very cogent observer of the scene. Wonder how he felt about the “Oil for Food” scheme in Iraq that so handsomely rewarded Kofi Anan’s son?

    Cheers,

    John

  83. Mike (retired pilot) McMillan says:

    Little guys doing their own thing and coming up with great achievements are kinda rare these days. Rutan joins the likes of Edison, Lindbergh, and Jobs.

  84. bluegrue says:

    I’m disappointed with this talk. Just a few examples.

    Slide #10: Rutan uses the Beck graph to accuse climate scientists of cherry-picking data with regard to CO2 background level measurements, where Beck’s data points do include non-background measurements of CO2. Note also that Beck’s data implies CO2 mixing ratio swings of the order of 100ppm within years, way larger than the seasonal variability of about 6ppm (peak to peak) measured today.

    Slide #12: He uses as an example of “No intended deception here” a Monckton plot that puts Cuffey & Clow’s central Greenland temperature reconstruction into the Antarctic and has its last data point 95 years ago (if not 150 years, depending on the definition of “before present” (1950?) used) but proudly points to “300 years of warming”.

    Slide #15: In order to diss Jim Hansen Rutan shows not the surface temperature of GISS or HadCRU, but chooses lower troposphere UAH instead, cut off in May 2008, the absolute monthly minimum since February 2000, and hiding the last 1 year of data where UAH has risen again. This in a July 2009 talk, where he accuses others of deceiving the public. I guess the 0.16°C/decade slope does not bother him.

    Slide #16 & #18: Rutan uses the 1990 IPCC schematic adaption of Lamb’s Central England temperature estimate to prove a global medieval warm period and to accuse scientists of data manipulation.

    Seeing how after #20 Rutan starts to recite Monckton’s artful graphs (Lucia’s take) I gave up on the rest of the talk.

  85. An Inquirer says:

    Hans Verbeek (00:27:38) :

    RE: “. . . a finite space (Earth) can only hold finite amounts of coal and oil. (we will run out someday)”

    Your posting does not demonstrate an understanding of the physics and economics of coal and oil. We will run out of economically-feasible coal and oil, but to simply say that “we will run out someday” is to ignore key fundamentals. As a limited resource gets strained, a substitute will be developed — such as Rockefeller developed below-ground oil to substitute for resource-constrained whale oil. As technology improves, more and more coal and oil resources become economically viable. Yes, eventually, subsitutes will be cheaper; whether that will be 50 years from now or 150 years from now, I do not know. But I do know that shifting our industries overseas is bad for our economy and bad for the environment.

  86. Peter S says:

    “It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry”

    Wonderful Thomas Paine quote – perfect response to this issue.

  87. Charlie says:

    “many engineers have difficulty with many of the premises of AGW theory because in their “this has to work or people die” world of exacting standards, the AGW argument doesn’t hold up well by their standards of performance.”

    I’ve noticed that engineers tend to be conservatives politically while university professors tend to be liberals. My contention that the underlying root cause of this is similar to your quote above. Engineers are used to having to deal with the real world and living with real world constraints. What one “desires” or “feels” doesn’t count compared to what is real. With many liberals on the other hand, the feelings or intentions behind something are more important that the actual results (and unintended side effiects).

    Per the liberal mentality, Cap and Trade feels good.
    Per the engineering mentality, Cap and Trade makes no sense.

  88. Roger Sowell says:

    RW (05:00:42) :

    In all seriousness, RW, it would benefit you to reconsider your views. The CO2-temperature curve you cite shows conclusively that CO2 is not related in any way to temperature. I show that same curve when I make formal presentations on Global Warming’s legal aspects, and I have yet to have a single person disagree – and my audiences are engineers.

    Peak oil is a myth, as clearly demonstrated on my blog.

    Wander over to sowellslawblog.blogspot.com, also energyguysmusings.blogspot.com, and do a search for “peak oil.”

    Then do a search for “Latour.”

  89. Kevin Kilty says:

    D. King’s proposal of letting the strict enforcement of laws, a la Lincoln’s suggestion, lead to repeal of nuttiness is a poor tactic because Cap and Trade will lead to a lot of damage, first, and who knows how difficult it’ll be to repeal the laws, second. Better to head this off early. But how?

    Waxman, Pelosi, and Gore may be the “three marketeers” at present in all this, but they hardly represent the mass of the opposition (comments about Gore’s profile aside).

    Everyone on this site is starry-eyed and gushing for the past two days because Burt Rutan has openly joined your side. Well, I think that’s fine, but look at what the other side has: a confused general public who think science is about “facts” rather than data or method, a compliant, duplicitious media, opportunistic politicians who are also confused, duplicitious and ascientific, scientific journals, opportunistic businessmen, foaming at the mouth activists, and worst of all, most celebrities. In other words the other side has star-power. We’ve none. I’ll bet half the people posting on this site wear pocket-protectors and horn-rimmed glasses!

    The Australians have set their government’s plans back, but that is about all–a delay. The U.S. health-care legislation has run into headwinds because it scares people directly. Maybe Cap and Trade will scare a few politicians sufficiently to defeat it, but mixing oil companies into the fray is probably not good because they are so easy to villify (even otherwise sensible people believe the craziest conspiracies about oil and mining companies). And finally, Rutan himself gets into off-topic issues like the 3% of CO2 emissions claim. It is true, but really not pertinent, and so easily parodied and deflected.

    Maybe I am just pessimistic today, but I see the best case as some sort of compromise on Cap and Trade that does damage, but leaves the gods unplacated, and the next unusually hot summer or bad hurricane season, or appearance of a comet, or whatever, reignites this trouble and finds us defending a narrower strip of land.

    I’ve been watching the global warming scare grow remarkably over the past four years or so. It’s like watching a hurricane pass over extremely warm water.

  90. Douglas DC says:

    Brian Johnson uk (23:58:42) :

    “Starship was a Rutan design for Beechcraft. Twin turbine canard. Carbon fibre. Beech aimed at a market that wasn’t there and the Starship was withdrawn because Beech did not want to offer support. Rutan was not involved”
    One of the unexpected problems was the good’ol FAA that freaked when such an innovative design was put out there.As it wasn’t anything they had seen before.So, they started to ‘improve’ it with caution.Development costs,and other Govn’t red tape was
    a big factor in the Starship’ s demise.

  91. Roger Sowell says:

    bluegrue (06:20:44) :

    Engineers know that CO2 cannot have anything to do with climate change. I make two points below, and these are the basis for the engineers’ certainty that the “A” in AGW is a non-entity. All the rest is arm-waving and shouting.

    As Dr. Pierre Latour wrote, if you cannot measure it, you cannot control it. Measuring a global temperature is meaningless, over a time range that is long enough to be useful in the climate change debate.

    Second, even assuming one could properly and accurately measure global temperature, if the proposed control system does not have a consistent response, the manipulated variable (CO2) is not a candidate to regulate the controlled variable (global temperature).

    “CO2 in the atmosphere is not the way to control global temperature. What one can also see from the CO2 estimations and temperature estimations throughout history is that CO2 remained relatively stable, while global temperatures went up during the Roman Warming, the Medieval Warming, and decreased dramatically during the Little Ice Age. More recently, while CO2 perhaps was fairly constant or even rising a bit due to industrial activity, the globe warmed from 1900 to 1940, then cooled from 1940 to 1970. Clearly, CO2 is not a good control variable because it does not seem to matter what the CO2 level is, as temperatures go up, and go down.” — from:

    http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/chemical-engineer-takes-on-global.html

  92. Gene Nemetz says:

    This news about Burt Rutan looks even better this morning than it did last night—and it looked good last night!

  93. Stoic says:

    Hans Verbeek (00:27:38) : “And uhh …. planes don’t fly on coal, Bart.”

    I think you will find, Hans, that the Luftwaffe ran at least partially on fuel made from coal during WW2.

    Mark UK (04:40:02) :

    “Well, I am en engineer and the level of ignorance, arrogance and complete lack of understanding of the substance of climate science shown by most commenters here is depressing.

    There is no excuse for being this ignorant on the subject when the information is readily available. Comments here put the entire species of engineers to shame.”

    Mark, it would help if you would clarify your position. What and where is the objective information that is readily available for commenters here (most of whom I would guess are not engineers) to persuade any sceptics to become true believers?

    Regards

    Stoic

  94. J. Bob says:

    Old rule of thumbs we had were:
    “The more complicated the analysis, the more suspicious to be” or
    “Suspicion should be, at least, proportional to complexity”

    Great post. Glen Beck may be weird at times, but he gives a non-conformist view, which in these times, is a good thing.

  95. Charlie says:

    Roger Sowell (07:40:49) : “Engineers know that CO2 cannot have anything to do with climate change. I make two points below, and these are the basis for the engineers’ certainty that the “A” in AGW is a non-entity.”

    A good engineer distinguishes between “certainty that the ‘A’ in AGW is a non-entity” and “there is no certainty that the A in AGW exists”.

    Or as it has been put more elegantly “Absence of proof is not proof of absence”

  96. JER0ME says:

    @RW (05:00:42)
    Few posts make me want to yell out, but that one does.

    “- Of course humans can code a computer model to predict global temperatures, and we’ve been doing so for three decades. The models have been pretty accurate.”

    No they have not. Not even close. They have been retrofitted to account for all sorts of anomolies we do not pretend (unless we are arrogant beyond belief) to understand. Still they fail to predict. That is not accurate.

    “– The effect of human greenhouse gas emissions on global temperatures is obvious.”

    No it is not. What is this ‘obvious’ effect that transcends natural (and therefore chaotic) variability? How can it definitely be attributed to CO2? Has it ever been, irrefutably?

    “– Statements that “warm is good, not bad!” amuse me. It’s like saying “food is good, not bad!” – that is, basically it’s meaningless.”

    Warm periods in our civilisation have been definitely beneficial. Cold periods have been definitely detrimental. What amuses you about thousands of people dying from cold (as they do every year), exactly?

    “– Statements that “CO2 is not a pollutant” also amuse me, particularly when they make use of patronising bold face. The easy response is to invite the claimant to spend just a few minutes in a room filled with pure CO2.”

    We are talking about 0.038% of the air – that is 0.00038 as a decimal. That is not ‘full’. Even the most dire scenario gives us less than 1% CO2 in total. That is with ALL (note patronising capitals) fossile fuels burnt. 1% CO2 I will happily breathe, any day (and have, as I used to work in a brewery, where CO2 is a natural by-product of fermentation).

    “And yet simultaneously he almost gets the point. He just about acknowledges that current global temperatures are unusual in the context of the last several centuries. He offers no explanation of why he thinks that is, or why the simple, well-established radiative properties of CO2 should somehow not be working.”

    Because climate is constantly changing. The only constant about climate is change. We are recovering from a bad cold period, very slowly if at all right now (less than 0.01C a year). Good thing, too.

  97. D. King says:

    RW (05:00:42) :
    – Statements that “CO2 is not a pollutant” also amuse me, particularly when they make use of patronising bold face. The easy response is to invite the claimant to spend just a few minutes in a room filled with pure CO2.

    Let me see if I follow; lack of O2 in a room means CO2 is a pollutant.
    Conclusion: She’s a Witch!

  98. TG says:

    A US Senator from Michigan recently said she could “feel” global warming when flying(!). Here we have this world renowned engineer saying that the global warming crowd is daft. Let’s see, who do we believe? A Senator who has a feeling in her fanny when she flies, or this engineer? Umm…..I go with the engineer. I also am an engineer. Global Warming is the biggest hoax in the history of man. Our society is so “sleepy” right now that it might succeed. How do we combat it? We have to be loud. Yes, we might face ridicle by some pea-size brainiacs we work with, but be loud we must. Stand up for yourself and be confident standing by your convictions. Make sure you tell people that there is not a “consensus of scientists” on global warming, and the science is not “concluded.”

  99. JER0ME says:

    @ D. King (08:00:50)

    “we found a witch, can we stop people making it?”

    “How do you know it’s a witch?”

    “It looks like one!”

    “Bring it forward!”

    CO2: “I’m not a witch!”

    “But you are dressed like one.”

    CO2 “They dressed me up like one. And this isn’t my effect, it’s a false one.”

    “Well?”

    “Well, we did do the effect…”

    “The effect?”

    “and the positive forcing. But it is a witch!”

    … I could go on, but it’s past my bedtime here in Oz….

  100. Retired Engineer says:

    dorlomin (04:50:44) :

    “Every decade since the 80s we have consumed more oil than we produce.”

    Since we don’t have a huge tank full of oil to make up the difference, I suspect your statement does not read exactly as you intended.

    Rutan builds things that work. One design flew around the world on a single tank of gas. Another made it into space. They weren’t intended as commercial products. He accomplished what he set out to do. That’s what computer models are for. Design it, build it, test it. Make it work.

    GCM’s predict things that haven’t happened. Why trust them?

    That’s the difference between real world Engineers and ivory towered Academics. Our designs have to work. Otherwise companies fail and worst case, people die. (Managers take a dim view of this) In academia, you adjust the data, apply for another grant and go on your merry way. Worst case, you blame it all on the engineers. (been there)

    Eventually we will have alternates to fossil fuel. Academics may talk about it. Engineers like Rutan will make it happen.

  101. JER0ME says:

    “That’s the difference between real world Engineers and ivory towered Academics. Our designs have to work. Otherwise companies fail and worst case, people die. (Managers take a dim view of this) In academia, you adjust the data, apply for another grant and go on your merry way. Worst case, you blame it all on the engineers. (been there)

    Eventually we will have alternates to fossil fuel. Academics may talk about it. Engineers like Rutan will make it happen.”

    Thank you.

  102. Nogw says:

    RW (05:00:42) : Stop exhaling CO2…if you can!

  103. David Segesta says:

    Burt Rutan is an engineering genius. I’ve been a fan of his for many years, and more so now!

  104. Alexej Buergin says:

    “RW:– Statements that “CO2 is not a pollutant” also amuse me, particularly when they make use of patronising bold face. The easy response is to invite the claimant to spend just a few minutes in a room filled with pure CO2.”

    I would hate to be in a room full of N2, although 76% of the air consists of it. I would not want 100% O2 (23% of air) either, remembering Gus Grissom. So your response is easy because it is dumb.

  105. bluegrue says:

    Roger Sowell (07:40:49)

    Which engineer will treat a machine entirely as a black box, if even just partial reconstructions of sketches and blueprints are available? We have a combination of solar, aerosols, land use and change thereof and GHGs forcing, accompanied by orbital forcing and continental drift over longer time scales, plus a few feedbacks like biological systems. Who would assume, that temperature is tied only to CO2? Nice straw man, if a bit old.

    BTW, any comments on the issues I raised with Rutan’s talk or is your reply just a “engineers know better” claim of authority?

  106. Ron de Haan says:

    RW (05:00:42) :

    “Burt Rutan’s ‘observations’ are quite fatuous.

    – Of course humans can code a computer model to predict global temperatures, and we’ve been doing so for three decades. The models have been pretty accurate.

    – The effect of human greenhouse gas emissions on global temperatures is obvious.

    – Statements that “warm is good, not bad!” amuse me. It’s like saying “food is good, not bad!” – that is, basically it’s meaningless.

    – Statements that “CO2 is not a pollutant” also amuse me, particularly when they make use of patronising bold face. The easy response is to invite the claimant to spend just a few minutes in a room filled with pure CO2.

    – if he believes ever-rising claims of reserve size, I’ve got a bridge he might like to buy. If he believes there will be a ‘gradual switch’ then he doesn’t understand maths. When use of a finite resource is exponentially increasing, there will be nothing gradual when the end comes.

    And yet simultaneously he almost gets the point. He just about acknowledges that current global temperatures are unusual in the context of the last several centuries. He offers no explanation of why he thinks that is, or why the simple, well-established radiative properties of CO2 should somehow not be working”.

    RW,

    Please come up with some serious arguments and skip the BS you have written down.
    You show all the symptoms of an AGW extremist.

  107. Roger Sowell says:

    @ Charlie (07:54:54) :

    “A good engineer distinguishes between “certainty that the ‘A’ in AGW is a non-entity” and “there is no certainty that the A in AGW exists”.”

    Yup. That is why engineers have the certainty. Fundamentals of process control are inviolable. For atmospheric CO2 to be the driving force behind the gradual climate warming since 1850, the Little Ice Age, would violate fundamentals of process control. That is why my engineering audiences never, not once, have disagreed with the point that CO2 has nothing to do with global temperature.

    We build sophisticated refineries and chemical plants and power plants and other processes to make modern life possible. Process control systems are key to making these things work, and work safely, and work efficiently. There is a reason that many (perhaps most) of the process explosions occur when control systems are disabled. When engineers get it wrong, people die and equipment gets broken.

    Millions upon millions of process control loops operate every day, and have done so for many thousands of years. Some are automatic, but many are in manual control mode. An example of manual control is heating a pot of water over a fire. To heat the water faster (without making the fire bigger), one places the pot closer to the fire. To heat the water more slowly (as in simmering a soup or stew), one places the pot farther from the fire. That is a simple yet fundamental control system. The manipulated variable is distance from the pot to the fire. The controlled variable is rate of heating of the water in the pot.

    The key is that placing the pot closer to the fire increases the rate of heating, every time. Farther from the fire decreases the rate of heating, every time. In addition, for a constant fire, the rate of heating will be the same for a given distance, every time. (for the purists out there, I am simplifying by omitting ambient air temperature and wind effects, and postulating a constant fire or rate of heat from the heat source).

    CO2 exhibits none of those characteristics for controlling global temperature.

    There may be other variables responsible for the gradual global warming, such as aerosols, atmospheric fine dust, clouds, Milankovic cycles, sunspots, and others. Some may be subject to man’s control, others clearly are not and never will be. But whatever it is, we know with absolute certainty that it is not CO2.

  108. doug01 says:

    A commenter above mentioned that he thought Fred Dyson had been cited as being among those who doubt AGW. Perhaps he did. If we are referring to the creator of the bagless vacuum cleaner and other appliances; that Dyson is an engineer of sorts (industrial designer in effect), but I wonder if the comment did not in fact refer to another Dyson; Freeman Dyson (I don’t know if they are related in anything other than surname). If one wished to familiarize oneself with a remarkable refutation from someone who is widely recognized as one of the most perceptive of modern polymaths, Freeman Dyson’s recent interviews and articles on this subject would be the ones to use.They have casued some controversy.
    Dyson, by the way, chooses to call himself a “heretic” which is a noble descriptive in the way he uses it, and in stark contrast to the “orthodoxy” or the environmental religion that has assumed the position of leadership in the forum (with a little help, of course, from the media monkeys who seek only increased viewership and the resulting profits). Dyson is very much in favor or a world where nature is valued, cherished and protected and draws attention to a number of what he considers greater threats (cosmic impacts including)…so it’s not as if he doesn’t believe, but that he believes differently, and that extends evidently to the inclusion of Cap and Trade as the ONLY acceptible means by which we can address it. Dyson is in favor of reducing CO2 by using genetically designed ‘trees’ and no-till farming, etc..
    Anyhow, wonderful to see Rutan’s perspective and I hope it can extend its well reasoned view to those beyond the choir of engineers and people like me who would love to see a clean and environmentally benevolent world, including polar bears,and suggest we do something that will help such as fusion research or space based solar energy. Increasing the complex beaurocracy at incredible cost with little to show for it, does no body I know any good.

  109. Roger Sowell says:

    bluegrue, I invite you to read my 08:52:16 response.

    My goal at this time is to stop the madness and certain destruction that will result from Carbon reduction laws. As far as I know, CO2 is the target of those laws, and not aerosols, etc.

    Pointing out the absurdity of controlling the globe’s climate by reducing CO2, and having the engineers in agreement will go a long way toward stopping the madness.

    You refer to a strawman, yet that is in error. It is not straw, but iron-clad substance in the various global warming laws such as AB 32 in California. Other states have similar laws, and federal legislation is in the works.

    This is not a game. It has become deadly serious, with enormous consequences for survival and quality of life for the survivors. To achieve CO2 reductions on the scale required by Obama and California’s AB 32 is to reduce fossil fuel use by 93 percent by 2050, compared to the business as usual case. The increase in cost of fundamental utilities, transportation, and goods and services will cripple the economy and put millions out of work.

    For the AGW crowd to hold on to the proven falsity that CO2 reduction will prevent global warming is the problem. Engineers solve problems.

  110. Alexej Buergin says:

    “RW: And yet simultaneously he almost gets the point. He just about acknowledges that current global temperatures are unusual in the context of the last several centuries. He offers no explanation of why he thinks that is, or why the simple, well-established radiative properties of CO2 should somehow not be working.”

    Current temperatures are NOT UNUSUAL at all. It was quite a bit warmer during the Medieval Warming (or Greenland would not have been green) and it was colder during the Little Ice Age (or else the glaciers would not be retreating). And nothing indicates that CO2 had anything to do with it; there is no correlation.

  111. JamesG says:

    Most people are missing the fact that Rutan is 100% behind any effort to green up our energy supply regardless of global warming. Many (and I’d like to think most) engineers would agree with that position. And unlike the wannabe planet-savers he doesn’t wait for government to mandate a tax or start a trading scheme/scam, he just goes ahead and does his best with the funds available. If more of those angst-ridden doom-mongers would just go out and buy green products instead of waiting for tipping points, carbon limits, hurricane counts or continuously repeating “we need to do something” then progress would be possible and skeptical engineers like Burt (and me) would be only too happy to take on the challenges of improving the technologies.

    But it’s blindingly clear that Cap and Trade is wrong wherever you stand on AGW (well except for Goldman Sachs and their ilk). A small carbon tax is much more preferable and it’s even sensible. And all of it should go towards renewable energy research. Even Exxon agrees with that approach. For a tiny proportion of what we spend on military escapades, government bureaucracy or banking bailouts we could fund a lot of viable alternative energy projects. If you seek common ground rather than conflict then there is where it lies.

  112. Government Peon says:

    “RW (05:00:42) :

    Burt Rutan’s ‘observations’ are quite fatuous.
    ….
    – Statements that “CO2 is not a pollutant” also amuse me, particularly when they make use of patronising bold face. The easy response is to invite the claimant to spend just a few minutes in a room filled with pure CO2.”

    The same could be said of any other gas besides oxygen (nitrogen, helium, argon) or a variety of other substances (sand, coffee, molasses, dihydrogen monoxide) which displace oxygen and don’t support normal mammalian respiration. Should all of these substances be labeled as pollutants also?

  113. RW says:

    Jerome:

    “They have been retrofitted to account for all sorts of anomolies we do not pretend (unless we are arrogant beyond belief) to understand. Still they fail to predict. That is not accurate.”

    Did you follow the link I gave? Model predictions have been pretty accurate. Merely to say otherwise, without offering any supporting evidence, is pure denialism.

    “What is this ‘obvious’ effect that transcends natural (and therefore chaotic) variability? How can it definitely be attributed to CO2? Has it ever been, irrefutably?”

    Did you look at the link I gave? It seems unbelievable that you might be unable to see the obvious correlation between CO2 going up and temperatures also going up. How can it be attributed to CO2? Well I think you may need to go all the way back to Tyndall for the answer to that one.

    “Warm periods in our civilisation have been definitely beneficial. Cold periods have been definitely detrimental.”

    Yes, it’s easy to say, isn’t it? Strange that you provide no examples. Ever wondered why countries at 60N are far, far more prosperous than those at the equator? How does that observation fit your “warm is good” theory?

    “We are talking about 0.038% of the air – that is 0.00038 as a decimal. That is not ‘full’. Even the most dire scenario gives us less than 1% CO2 in total.”

    Do you understand the meaning of the word ‘pollutant’?

    “The only constant about climate is change. We are recovering from a bad cold period, very slowly if at all right now (less than 0.01C a year). Good thing, too.”

    Unfortunately you seem not to have the first clue about climate science. The climate never ‘recovers’. If it is getting warmer, it’s because something is acting to make it so. 0.01°C = rapid climate change, and in fact the rate over the last thirty years has averaged double that.

    Alexej Buergin:

    “Current temperatures are NOT UNUSUAL at all. It was quite a bit warmer during the Medieval Warming”

    Strange that you don’t cite your data.

    “(or Greenland would not have been green)”

    Ever read the Saga of the Greenlanders? To say what you have just said requires appalling ignorance of history.

    “And nothing indicates that CO2 had anything to do with it; there is no correlation.”

    There is a strong correlation; basic physics indicates why. To say there is no correlation is, once again, pure denialism – like saying there is no blue colour in the sky.

  114. hotrod says:

    Eventually we will have alternates to fossil fuel. Academics may talk about it. Engineers like Rutan will make it happen.

    We already to have alternatives, synthetic oil and fuel from biomass are currently sufficiently mature processes to be competitive with fossil fuels at approximately $70-$90/bbl crude prices. They have been incrementally improving in efficiency for decades.

    Germany augmented its oil reserves with synthetic oil during WWII significantly mitigating the effects of Allied bombing efforts against their energy infrastructure.
    South Africa also successfully used synthetic oil technology to help sustain their economy . Sasol commercialized the technology in 1955. They are currently producing about 28% of South Africas fuel needs using their Fischer-Tropsch method of converting coal to liquid fuel and chemicals.

    The same technology can be applied to any carbon based feed stock, as is demonstrated by the thermal-depolymerization process used by Changing World Technologies in 1996. The feed stock (any carbon containing material can be used) is heated to 250 deg C, and 600 psi for 15 minutes, then flash depressurized to boil off excess water. The resulting slurry consists of crude hydrocarbons and minerals. The minerals are extracted then the slurry is passed through a second stage where it is heated to 500 deg C. to finish the process. Approximately 15 to 20% of feedstock energy is used to provide energy for the plant. The rest is available as fuel energy in the output stream, which is distilled just like light crude oil. Final cost of production in 2005 was $80/bbl, or about $1.90/gallon.

    There is not now, nor will there be a true shortage of liquid fuels. Shortages only exist due to artificial limits in production by current fossil fuel sources and physical limits to storage, and transport in the world crude oil market. Liquide fuels can be manufactured in unlimited quantities (only subject to feed stock supplies) with current technology. The only thing that will happen is a gradual transition from todays fossil fuel stocks harvested from the earth, to synthetic manufactured fuel stocks produced from biomass and trash as economics change and industries and political jurisdictions make the commitment to use the technology that already exists.

    A great deal of R&D is under way in this area and there have been a steady stream of process breakthroughs coming out for years to improve efficiencies and broaden feed stock options for synthetic fuel production.

    Larry

  115. jmbnf says:

    In response to those of the mindset of Hans Verbeek who stated:

    “Apparently he doesn’t realize that a finite space (Earth) can only hold finite amounts of coal and oil. (we will run out someday)… And uhh …. planes don’t fly on coal, Bart!”.

    Burt’s point is that there has always been scarcity fear mongers like science advisor, John Holdren . No one debates whether the earth (or even the Milky Way) is finite. Science knew this since they discovered the earth was round. However, the environmental advocates need to understand that we can extract/convert fuels like oil from many carbon based forms such as deep ocean, tar sands, shale oil, algae, corn, and even coal using the Fischer-Tropsch process: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer%E2%80%93Tropsch_process.

    The above processes all involve varying degrees of viability and environmental consequences not to mention a cost per barrel needed to justify them economically. A pie in the sky guess as to how much oil there is in known and accessible oil from shale tarsands and coal is in the vicinity of hundreds of years of supply in North America, and bio-fuels from renewable resources can go longer than that. So don’t Panic, real scientist and engineers have time to work on the problem.

    And Hans, Planes CAN fly on coal: http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS228002+05-Aug-2009+BW20090805

  116. TG says:

    “RW: And yet simultaneously he almost gets the point. He just about acknowledges that current global temperatures are unusual in the context of the last several centuries. He offers no explanation of why he thinks that is, or why the simple, well-established radiative properties of CO2 should somehow not be working.”

    Temperature (measurements) over the last several centuries? Let’s examine that point from a scientific view. Just HOW were these measurements made (if at all?)? Let’s go back just a hundred years. The high end temperature measuring devices were not even close in sophistication and accuracy as they are today. Nor were they readily available. The calibration of them out in the field was extremely rare or non-existant. And, who is to vouch for the accuracy of the people taking the measurements? In short, the devices in 1909 were not as accurate as today’s instruments, and the lack of planned calibration would, in today’s scientific world, would throw all of the observations out the window. What about devices in 1809, 1709, 1609? How on earth does one determine what the temperature variations were in the “last several centuries?” Guess?–oh, I’m sorry, the word is estimate. In 1609 Europeans were still determining the extent of land on planet earth. They weren’t concerned at all with taking accurate temperature readings from all points on the globe. Anyone how can say with “certainty” what global temperatures were hundreds of years ago is daft.

  117. goodspkr says:

    A man goes into a store to buy a suit. The salesman is trying to get rid of one suit that is a complete mess. The man tries on that suit and first notices that the right sleeve is about two inches longer than his left sleeve. The sales man says, no problem, just dip your right shoulder down and so your arm will reach the end of the sleeve. He then notices the back of the suit is longer than the front. Again the salesman says, “just stick you butt out in the back. Finally he sees the pants are about two inches too long. Again the salesman says just bend you knees and walk like that.

    The salesman give the customer a terrific price so the mans buys it and walks out of the store wearing the suit. Two older ladies notice him walking out, when the first one says, “That poor man. He so deformed.” The second woman says, “Yes, but do you notice how nice his suit fits?”

    Watch alarmist try to explain why there is not hot spot (use wind speed rather than thermometers to measure that), or why there’s been no heating in the ocean since Argo was launched (the alarmist who first noted this finally realized the error when he said the equipment must be malfunctioning or you have to believe the ocean has stopped warming), or why June 2009 according the Hansen was the second warmest June in 130 years while UAB satellite data shows it was the 15th hottest in the last 30 years, is like watching the guy in the suit. “That poor theory, it’s so deformed.” “Yes but look how nice the data fits when we massage it.”

  118. Eric Anderson says:

    dorlomin wrote:

    “No mention in this article whether Rutan is a ‘its not warmingist’ a “its warming but its the sun” a “its warming but its the PDO” or a ’svensmarkian’.”

    Why should he have to? There are still plenty of open questions and, frankly, it is probably best to remain somewhat open right now. The key thing is realizing that the AGW story has serious holes at nearly every point in the whole process (initial theory, data collection, analysis, reporting, policy, proposed solution). Recognizing this does not require that you also have your own theory to propose.

  119. Curiousgeorge says:

    Better man up folks. Get yer battle rattle on. CNN and Newsweek (among others ) have already started pumping the Copenhagen conference, and it will just get more and more strident the closer it gets. I know those two outlets are not highly thought of among skeptics, but they do have a pretty big following. Better be paying attention and doing something constructive to derail this besides posting on blogs. This is going to be one hell of a fight. It will make the Health Reform business look like nap time in the day care center.

  120. Roger Sowell says:

    TG (10:14:20) : Well-said, and that is precisely the point Dr. Latour made in his article published in Hydrocarbon Processing in January 2009.

    In control parlance, If you cannot measure it, you cannot control it.

  121. George E. Smith says:

    Well Government Peon. how would you like to spend a few minutes in a room filled with nothing but pure Oxygen (O2).

    As any scuba diver can tell you; that would simply not be a good idea; you would be poisoned just as surely as if the room was filled with CO2.

    Perhaps you can enlighten us as to what specific polluting reaction comes from CO2 in the atmosphere; at present levels of 385 ppm, which the AGW alarmists assure us is much too high.

    Consider the following two situations. Situation (1) takes place in an arid tropical desert that might be 120 deg F during the day; but drops to 40-50 deg F overnight; and yields spectacular clear views of the milky way and the rest of the seldom seen ni9ght sky.
    Situation (2) perhaps takes place in the Florida Keys with a day time temperature that might only be 90 deg F but with high humidity that stifles; and at night the temperature remains at 75 deg F still with excessive humidity; and the night sky may be impeded by high wispy cirrus clouds that hide those desert stars.

    Now both of those scenarios happen to contain the exact same amount of atmospheric CO2; your universal pollutant for which you are willing to destroy the economies of the entire developes world.

    So how come in situation one; your pollutant failed miserably to perform its AGW mandated task of heating the globe; even though it started with a 30 deg F advatage over the balmy Florida Keys.

    Seems to me that it is H2O that is the dangerous pollutant that is cooking the planet; not the CO2.

    Do you know that the old time treatment for a drowning victim in polynesia, was to hang them by their heels over a fire smothered with green banana or coconut leaves to create thick white smoke. Evidently the increased CO2 pollution level in that white smoke was all that it took to trigger the breathing response in the nearly drowned victim. Try it yourself; take a breath and hold your breath for five minutes (if you can), and see how long you can resist the CO2 “pollution”.

    George

  122. evanmjones says:

    RW: CO2 correlation is not great. Oceanic/atmospheric oscillations have a much stronger correlation.

    It is indeed plausible that CO2 has an underlying fingerprint and has contributed to a slow, steady rise. But the proximate ups and downs seem to match AMO/PDO (etc.) better.

    The question centers somewhat less on the direct effects of CO2 than on the proposed positive feedback effect which is projected to be several times greater than the direct effect.

    If positive feedback theory is not valid, then there is no emergency, and we can study/deal with CO2 effects carefully and without undue overhaste.

    Stipulating that the PDO is in negative phase, it will be interesting to see how far temperatures decline. That will be an important part of the observation.

  123. George E. Smith says:

    Perhaps my note to Government Peon was meant for RW

  124. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem “””

    From that compendium of all knowledge; Wikipedia.

    CO2 is a part of the environment; ergo not a contaminant.

    CO2 isn’t causing instability.

    CO2 isn’t causing disorder.

    CO2 isn’t causing harm or discomfort to the environment.

    Therefore CO2 is not a pollutant.

    Human beings do all of those above things; therefore human beings are a pollutant; and must be eliminated.

  125. Gary Hladik says:

    Roger Sowell, thanks for the process control view of carbon dioxide as a climate regulator.

    RW, thanks for the laughs.

  126. George E. Smith says:

    Burt Rutan is evidently somewhat wealthy. He evidently got that way; by having other people pay him for what he knows how to do. Ergo, he must be quite smart; but that is not assured; because people pay lots of money to see Hollywood idiots perform like circus animals; and most of them are dumber than a box of rocks.

    Rutan came up with an aeroplane; a one off special; that he predicted using compuetr models and other engineering skills, would fly around the world non stop without refuelling.

    When they tried the experiment to see if he knew what the hell he was talking about, it worked first time, and without any subsequent readjustment of the data.

    I’d believe him long before I would believe Dr James Hansen; who now has more than 10 years running on his wild eyed predictions to the US Congress; and after 105 of his predictive time scale he isn’t anywhere near 10% of the way towards his goal. So much for the idea of a linear trend.

    No I’m with the Japanese; Climatology is akin to ancient astrology; and as for historical measurments from the past; rember the believable past only goes back to 1979/80 time frame, when polar orbit satellites and ARGO buoys began life.

  127. wattsupwiththat says:

    RW is just another internet coward acting as foil. Burt Rutan is the real deal and unlike RW has the courage to put his name to what he believes.

    Ignore him/her/it. Waste of bandwidth. – Anthony

  128. Smokey says:

    In response to: “We are talking about 0.038% of the air – that is 0.00038 as a decimal. That is not ‘full’. Even the most dire scenario gives us less than 1% CO2 in total.”…

    RW replies with this non-sequitor:

    Do you understand the meaning of the word ‘pollutant’?

    It is crystal clear that RW fails to understand the entire issue. CO2 is no more a pollutant than H2O. Both are beneficial and necessary for life.

    This is the wrong site to post a fatuous analogy that assumes CO2 is a pollutant because a person would suffocate in a 100% CO2 atmosphere. They would also suffocate in a room filled with 100% H2O.

    Just to keep the amount of atmospheric CO2 in perspective, look at the Roy Spencer graph: click. Look close or you’ll miss it.

    It never ceases to astonish me that people actually believe that an increase in a *very* minor trace gas, from 4 parts in ten thousand, to 5 parts in ten thousand, will cause runaway global warming and climate catastrophe. But that is exactly what alarmists believe, even though they back and fill with new obfuscation like “climate change.”

    CO2 is entirely beneficial. It does not run the climate. More CO2 is better. The climate naturally fluctuates without any necessity for explaining it by adding an extraneous and unnecessary entity like CO2:

    “Never increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.”
    — William of Ockham [1285-1349]

    Very similar to the KISS principle.

    Natural variability fully explains the climate, which is well within its historical parameters. Adding a new entity like CO2 only muddies the waters and promotes confusion.

  129. Hoystory says:

    If only the world had more Cal Poly SLO grads!

    Rutan class of ’65.

    Says me — class of ’94.

  130. Bruce Cobb says:

    JamesG (09:19:19) :
    Most people are missing the fact that Rutan is 100% behind any effort to green up our energy supply regardless of global warming. Many (and I’d like to think most) engineers would agree with that position.
    That all depends on what your definition of “green” is, doesn’t it? Does Rutan in fact make the claim that he’s “green”? And where, or where does he claim to be “100% behind the effort to green up our energy supply” (whatever the heck that means)?
    How about instead of an ill-defined, nebulous “green energy” we instead support “smart energy”? Energy which is more expensive can almost never be smart, which is why Rutan will be “adding wind generator and solar panels when it becomes cost effective to do so “.
    Carbon taxes, whether small or large are not smart either, since raising energy costs can only hurt our already-suffering economy, and because punishing carbon makes no sense.

  131. bluegrue says:

    Roger Sowell (09:03:17) :

    To achieve CO2 reductions on the scale required by Obama and California’s AB 32 is to reduce fossil fuel use by 93 percent by 2050, compared to the business as usual case.

    Nitpick session: It’s not AB 32 (which only fixes reduction goals up to 2020 and leaves further goals up to the Governor and the Legislature in section 38551c) but Executive Order S-3-05 and more importantly it’s 83% of 2010 emission levels (or more precisely 80% of 1990 levels) by 2050, still a large chunk but not your 93%. You seem to posit that because this task is too daunting climate science must be wrong. I’m just asking, because apart from bold assertions you evade the science and go for the politics in all your arguments.

    I’ve read your reply at (08:52:16) asserting that anthropogenic CO2 emissions causing AGW “violates fundamentals of process control”. How so? Have you figured in delayed response? Have you figured in other drivers of climate? How about fundamentals of physics? Why would increasing the global average CO2 mixing ratio by 30% (as we have done already) and more not raise global mean temperature and change climate in the process? After all CO2 is an IR absorber in windows not saturated by H2O. Are you contesting the magnitude of the influence of CO2 or the greenhouse effect in its entirety? So, in your own words, how does AGW violate process control?

  132. Tenuc says:

    Good presentaton from a very influential scientist. Another nail in the AGW coffin, I think.

    Let’s hope Mr Rutan gets lots of publicity for his insight.

  133. Tom B says:

    Burt Ruatan, his lifelong achievements and especially his successful pursuit of the X Prize has always been an inspiration to me.

    Hans Verbeek (00:27:38) :

    Rutan’s argument about complex experimental data being abused to sell an idea can also apply on the “estimated reserves” of coal and oil.
    Apparantly he doesn’t realize that a finite space (Earth) can only hold finite amounts of coal and oil. (we will run out someday)

    The cheaper alternatives he mentions are probably more expensive than the fossil fuels we used in the past decades.
    And uhh …. planes don’t fly on coal, Bart.

    The Russian theory of abiotic creation of oil has not, to my knowledge, been disproven. Planes may not fly on coal, but oil can be created from coal (http://thefraserdomain.typepad.com/energy/2005/07/about_coal_liqu.html). Planes and rockets can fly on methane (as evidenced by John Carmack’s Armadillo Aerospace, one of Ruatan’s competitors for the next X Prize – http://www.armadilloaerospace.com/n.x/Armadillo/Home), and we’re not running out of that

  134. John F. Hultquist says:

    T. Boone Pickens and Ted Turner ought to be introduced to Burt Rutan. When these two smart rich guys are so far off-base on “devastating climate changes” it is hard to believe anything else they write.

    See the following for the opinion piece that caused me to write the above statement:
    Commentary.
    New Priorities For Our Energy Future
    By T. Boone Pickens and Ted Turner
    Our natural gas reserves contain more energy than Saudi Arabia’s oil.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203863204574348432504983734.html

    In the 5th paragraph, the write:

    “ Climate security: Likewise, the clock is ticking on potentially devastating climate changes. We already are witnessing the disintegration of polar ice, melting glaciers, rising sea levels and altered weather patterns. But if we act now, we can prevent catastrophic human and economic impacts.”

  135. RunFromMadness says:

    Statements that “CO2 is not a pollutant” also amuse me, particularly when they make use of patronising bold face. The easy response is to invite the claimant to spend just a few minutes in a room filled with pure CO2.

    Surely quote of the week for pure stupidity!

  136. Dave Andrews says:

    RW,

    “Strange that you don’t cite your data.”

    And where did you cite any data in your posts?

  137. DaveE says:

    RW (05:00:42) :

    – Statements that “CO2 is not a pollutant” also amuse me, particularly when they make use of patronising bold face. The easy response is to invite the claimant to spend just a few minutes in a room filled with pure CO2.

    I invite you to spend an hour in a room filled with ANY gas, (including O2)!

    By your reasoning, as O2 in excess is poisonous, it is a pollutant & must be removed from the atmosphere at all costs!

    DaveE.

  138. RW says:

    evanmjones:

    “CO2 correlation is not great”

    This is pure denial. Just look!.

  139. _Jim says:


    wattsupwiththat (11:58:54) :

    RW is just another internet coward acting as foil.

    Hmmm … I recognize that particular ‘callsign’ from another site; I think the dude just enjoys playing a professional contrarian … it’s just ‘theater’ anyway isn’t, RW?
    .
    .

  140. John F. Hultquist says:

    RW (09:49:31) :
    You wrote: “. . . like saying there is no blue colour in the sky.”

    As with all else you have written, this too indicates you need to do much background reading in science and the physical systems of Earth. That blue colour is in your head, not in the sky. Likewise, all that CAGW caused by CO2 is in your head, not in the atmosphere. The good news is this can be fixed, if you try.

  141. George E. Smith says:

    “”” John F. Hultquist (13:00:46) :

    T. Boone Pickens and Ted Turner ought to be introduced to Burt Rutan. When these two smart rich guys are so far off-base on “devastating climate changes” it is hard to believe anything else they write. “””

    Well ole’ TBoone is a bit of a snake oil salesman. He tried to get the gummint buy some big wind mills for him, and a lot of other get rich quick suckers too. Now he’s given up on the wind; and his favorite energy du jour is now Propane. Seems to me that Propane is still “fossil fuel” and will cause just as much catastrophic man made climate change global warming CO2 as any other fossil fuel; but evidently TBoone has cornered a pile of it.

    And as for Ted Turner; didn’t he marry Jane “China syndrome” Fonda; that should give you some idea of just how smart ole’ Ted is. Ted got pissed off at Dennis Connor, because Dennis got serious about Americas Cup yacht racing, and took it out of the hands of the Ted Turner playboys, and turned it into an international phenomenon.

    Amazing how the warmists are ready to Jump on Burt Rutan because he is not a “Climatologist”. That’s like all the lawyers who say Americans should read the Constitution of the USA, because they aren’t lawyers, and they are incompetent to understand what it says. Trouble is, the Constitution is written in English, and not that mediaeval Roman mumbo jumbo that lawyers talk; so anyone with an 8th grade education in English (outside California of course) can read what it says and understand it.

    Seems like most “climate scientists” are NOT physicists; but statisticians; and they seem to average their way to some trend line even in quite random numbers, in the search for information where none actually resides.

    I’ll believe Burt Rutan, long before I would believe Al Gore.

  142. Roger Sowell says:

    bluegrue: no time now for full response, but will do so in about 6 hours.

    Basically, 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 is 93 percent below business as usual. It depends on the population growth rate and economic growth rate one uses to extrapolate energy consumption in 2050. Not made up figures, and yes, I can and will discuss the science. Be happy to. Just remember that certain fundamentals are inviolable. Process control is one of them. Whatever mechanism scientists postulate as changing the climate, there must be conformance with process control fundamentals. All else is smoke and mirrors.

  143. F. Ross says:

    RW (05:00:42) :

    You should lay off the [AGW] Kool-Aid; you’ve had way too much!

  144. Curiousgeorge says:

    RunFromMadness (13:02:52) : I agree. But it would be cheaper and easier for Mr. RW to just suck on the business end of a fire extinguisher for a few seconds. What planet do people like this call home? Can’t be Terra. :D

  145. Government Peon says:

    George E. Smith and Smokey,

    Please re-read my earlier post – I am with you in pointing out the logical fallacies of RW’s flawed arguments.

    I use a handle because AGW is accepted as holy writ by the higher ups in my local government office. Being publicly identified with something counter to the position of my department isn’t the best professional move. I figure I can do more good in the long run by staying employed, injecting some logic and common sense, and generally doing what I can to make sure that that the inmates don’t take over the asylum.

    I’m agreeing with Anthony that RW isn’t worth another single keystroke. Signing off…

  146. Richard S Courtney says:

    CuriousGeorge:

    You say:
    “There have been plenty of attempts to get thru to the policy makers, using rational arguments and scientific studies that debunk AGW, that so far have failed miserably. We complain that they are being hoodwinked by cooked data, yet expect them to understand opposing data? Perhaps it’s time to employ different tactics.”

    I wholeheartedly agree. And Rutan, being an engineer, may like the “different tactics” I am suggesting.

    Th JunkScience.com blog asked me to summarise my views on the alternative I have been suggesting for some years, and I understand that tomorrow morning they are likely to post the contribution I have submitted in response and that I copy below.

    Richard

    STOPPING CLIMATE CHANGE

    There is need for a new policy on climate change to replace the rush to reduce emissions. The attempts at emissions reduction have failed but there is a ‘Climate Change Policy’ that would work.

    Climate change is a serious problem. All governments need to address it, and most do.

    In the Bronze Age Joseph (with the Technicolour Dreamcoat) told Pharaoh that climate has always changed everywhere and always will. He told Pharaoh to prepare for bad times when in good times, and all sensible governments have adopted that policy since.

    But now it is feared that emissions from industry could cause additional climate change by warming the globe. This threatens more sea level rise, droughts, floods, heat waves and much else. So, governments have attempted to reduce the emissions of the warming gases, notably carbon dioxide.

    The UN established the Kyoto Protocol which limits the emissions from developed countries until year 2012. But the Kyoto Protocol failed. It has had no detectable effect on the emissions which continue to rise. Now the pressure is on to get a successor to that Protocol for after 2012, and negotiations are being held around the world to decide the new treaty at a conference in Copenhagen in December.

    But the negotiations have stalled. All industrial activity releases the emissions. Developing countries say they will not limit their emissions, and industrialised countries have problems reducing theirs. China releases more of the emissions than any other country, is industrialising, and says it is entitled to the same emissions per head of population as the US. So, China says it intends to increase its emissions more than four fold. India says the same. The US is having problems adopting a ‘Cap & Trade’ policy that would harm American industries and force industries from America to China. The EU adopted a ‘Cap & Trade’ policy that collapsed and has not affected the EU’s rising emissions. The Australian Parliament has recently rejected a similar policy.

    Politicians have been responding to the failure of the Kyoto Protocol by showing they are ‘doing something’. They have adopted pointless and expensive impositions on energy industries, energy supplies and transportation. And the public is paying the large costs of this in their energy bills.

    The Copenhagen Conference will provide a decision because it has to, but that decision will have no more effect than the Kyoto Protocol. And this will put more pressure on the politicians to be seen to be ‘doing something’ with further cost and harm to peoples and to industry.

    There is as yet no clear evidence that the additional climate change is happening. But environmental groups are pressing the politicians to act “before it is too late”. And politicians are responding because of the fear of dire consequences from the additional climate change.

    Politicians have decided how much additional climate change is acceptable, because they have decided that global temperature must not be allowed to rise to 2 degrees Celsius higher than it was at the start of the last century. But they need a method to overcome the urgency which is forcing them to do things and to agree things which do not work.

    There is an available solution to the problem. The urgency is because of fear that the effects of the emissions may be irreversible. However, the additional climate change can be reversed, quickly, simply and cheaply. This provides a complete solution to the problems.

    There is no need for the Copenhagen Conference to reach a forced, inadequate, and premature agreement on emissions. The Conference needs to decide funding to perfect the methods to reverse the additional climate change if and when that becomes necessary. This decision would give politicians decades of time to conduct their negotiations about what to do to limit the emissions. So, the politicians can agree actions that work instead of adopting things everybody knows do not work.

    The solution addresses the cause of the fear of the additional climate change. Every sunbather has noticed it cools when a cloud covers the Sun, and this is because clouds reflect sunlight to cause negative radiative forcing. The fear of the additional climate change is based on an assumption that global temperature is determined by net radiative forcing, and the emissions induce additional positive radiative forcing.

    The forcing can be altered in many ways. An increase to cloud cover of a single percent would more than compensate for the warming from a doubling of carbon dioxide in the air. There are several ways to increase cloud cover, for example small amounts of sulphates, dust, salt or water released from scheduled aircraft would trigger additional cloud formation. And the carbon dioxide in the air is very unlikely to increase so much that it doubles.

    And there are many other ways to reflect sunlight so it is not absorbed by the ground. Crops could be chosen for reflectivity, roofs could be covered with reflective materials, and tethered balloons could be covered in reflective material.

    Each of these options would be very much cheaper than constraining the emissions by 20 per cent for a single year. So, any delay to implementation of emission constraints by use of these options would save a lot of money.

    Global temperature has not again reached the high it did in 1998 and has been stable since. But it could start to rise again. If it does then use of one or more of these options could be adopted when global temperature nears 2 degrees Celsius higher than it was at the start of the last century. This would be a cheap and effective counter measure while the needed emission constraints are imposed. Indeed, it would be much cheaper than the emission constraints. It could be started and stopped rapidly, and its effect would be instantaneous (as sunbathers have noticed when a cloud passes in front of the Sun).

    Until then there would be no need for expensive ‘seen to be doing something’ actions such as capturing and storing carbon dioxide. Energy and financial policies would not need to be distorted, and developing countries could be allowed to develop unhindered.

    Indeed, there would be no need to deploy the counter measures unless and until global temperature rises to near the trigger of 2 degrees C rise.

    The various methods for reflecting sunlight need to be developed and perfected. They each have potential benefits and problems which need to be assessed. But if the problems are detectable they need not be significant. For example, the additional cloud cover could be induced over oceans distant from land. This requires much research.

    Politicians know they need to be seen to be ‘doing something’ and they would be seen to be doing something worthwhile. Each counter measure experiment and demonstration provides opportunity for media coverage.

  147. Darell C. Phillips says:

    Well, Mr. Rutan has some competition on using canards methinks. Mr. Gore and Mr. Hansen’s canards are not aviation components, however.

    And as a comment on RunFromMadness (13:02:52) :

    Using your argument, H2O (or ANYTHING, including oxygen or even a pure vacuum) filling that room of yours could then be classified as a “pollutant.” In following the spirit of your own comment, I hereby submit your two sentences as QOTW…

  148. Henry Galt says:

    RunFromMadness (13:02:52) :

    Spend a few minutes in a room “filled” with pure anything. Please.

    When you watch your children grow you are watching CO2 in action.

    The amounts of CO2 the flaura and fauna of our fair planet have been exposed to for geological time periods are not dangerous and not anything to get hysterical about.

    Hunter-killer and attack nuclear submarines are “allowed” to attain up to 11,000 ppmv of CO2 for entire sorties (lasting for months). Some of the crew get a little nauseous at higher levels so there is this sensible cutoff.

    Any guesses how much “stuff” we would have to burn to reach such levels?

  149. Mr Green Genes says:

    Patrick Davis (03:08:11) :

    … I’ve seen politicians pass laws before without following proper “procedure” for instance Thatcher Thatcher the Milk Snatcher passed many draconian employment laws during the Falklands War while everyone else, including the media, were focused on the war.

    Eh????? You need to provide the evidence of when and how Mrs Thatcher’s government managed to do that. I was wide awake and taking a good deal of notice of what was going on at that time. The Falklands conflict lasted for less than 3 months which simply isn’t time to pass any significant law in the UK if the opposition declines to co-operate. The Labour opposition at the time was totally opposed to any changes to employment legislation.

    Even Blair, with a majority of over 150 had to follow the ‘rules’.

    By the way, for anyone mentioning Richard Branson getting close to Al Gore, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a true believer. I’ve worked for a Branson company and I can assure you that he believes in one thing and one thing only; Richard Branson. He’s one of the world’s most successful self-publicists and has just spotted another way to help promote himself. He’s quite a nice guy really.

  150. CaptainPlanet says:

    “Statements that “CO2 is not a pollutant” also amuse me, particularly when they make use of patronising bold face. The easy response is to invite the claimant to spend just a few minutes in a room filled with pure CO2.

    Surely quote of the week for pure stupidity!”

    By that logic if someone spent a few minutes in a room filled with pure H2O they might think water is a pollutant too

    /palm
    /face

  151. CaptainPlanet says:

    “But if we act now, we can prevent catastrophic human and economic impacts”

    I know this is OT – well maybe not completely when you think about Mr. Rutan’s statements regarding “[trying to sell you something using complex data]” – but was anyone else waiting for him to throw in some OxyClean and Mighty Putty if we call within the next 30 seconds?

  152. Darell C. Phillips says:

    Just to be sure of context, I was in agreement with RunFromMadness
    re: RW (05:00:42) :

  153. DaveE says:

    Retired Engineer (08:12:58) :

    In academia, you adjust the data, apply for another grant and go on your merry way. Worst case, you blame it all on the engineers. (been there)

    Me too :-(

    DaveE.

  154. Mark T says:

    Water intoxication is a potentially fatal condition resulting from drinking too much water. Does that make water a pollutant, too? Man, it’s hard to keep up with the kooks these days. Have they outlawed breathing yet?

    Mark

  155. Jack Hughes says:

    Way to go, dude !

  156. Joseph Murphy says:

    Great post Anthony. It is nice to read blog comments that are not censored. Some of the best comments are those in response to differing view points.

    There are two things I wanted to respond to. I don’t have time to find a quotes but it is not really necessary anyways.

    -That even big oil (EXXO) supports XYZ enviro legislation so XYZ must be in the right direction.

    *If the CEO or any other director or officer of a publicly traded company made a decision or took a public stance that was not 100% based on improving the company’s financial strength they would not have a job the next day.

    -That we should contact our politicians and let them know our opinions.

    *Politicians don’t care about your opinion besides in the voting booth. I don’t mean this in a negative way what so ever. A politician’s job is to get elected and stay elected… that’s it. They listen to who is paying them and the only thing that will get their attention from you is “I will vote for whom ever runs against you if you vote for XYZ.”

  157. Bob says:

    HERETIC!!!

  158. bluegrue says:

    Roger Sowell (13:50:48) :

    bluegrue: no time now for full response, but will do so in about 6 hours.

    Basically, 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 is 93 percent below business as usual.

    Sorry, I was calculating as percent of current emissions using Arthur Rosenfeld’s numbers, I missed the business-as-usual of 2050 bit. My mistake. So, according to Rosenfeld’s numbers California needs to cut to 89% of the projected 2050 BAU emissions. Whether 89% or 93%, it’s substantial. If you agree we could drop this point as settled.

    Process control is one of them. Whatever mechanism scientists postulate as changing the climate, there must be conformance with process control fundamentals.

    That’s the bit I’m much more interested in.

  159. evanmjones says:

    RW: If you follow the temperature trend from 1900 to present and match CO2 with temperature you get a different picture.

    You get a very good correlation for PDO/AMO, which is strengthened by the up-down oscillation matching. But for CO2, it is relatively flat until post WWII, which means the big warming phase from 1915+ to 1945+ (as big a slope as 1975+ to 2000+) occurred without much increase in CO2.

    We then have a cooling from 1950 to 1979 coinciding with a serious CO2 increase. This was followed by the 1979 – 1998 warming. Then a decreasing trend from 1998 – present. All of this occurred with CO2 on a steady rise.

    Therefore, during the time of steep CO2 rise, we have four decades of mild cooling and two decades of moderate warming (with a small net warming), roughly equal to the rise from 1900 – 1950. Not a very good CO2 correlation.

    I said CO2 may well have an imprint, a direct effect (which you ignore when you accuse me of “pure denialism”). But it does not coincide well with the large up-down oscillations of the last century. And it certainly does not demonstrate positive feedback. And if there is no positive feedback, there is no emergency.

    By the way, for 1900 – present, Joe D’Aleo shows a 0.83 correlation between PDO/AMO index and temperatures and a 0.44 correlation between CO2 and temperatures.

  160. evanmjones says:

    Have they outlawed breathing yet?

    Just yours.

  161. DaveE says:

    Richard S Courtney (13:58:47) :

    I like the ‘Barrage balloon’ solution! It could be deployed over major cities & reduce UHI at the same time ;-)

    DaveE.

  162. Gene Nemetz says:

    CaptainPlanet (14:27:00) : some OxyClean

    Not that this is on topic…. but OxyClean works

  163. RoyFOMR says:

    RW claims that CO2 is a pollutant.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is, ” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty. “which is to be master—that’s all.”

    The US Supreme Court has ruled that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a pollutant ergo it is!
    End of story, end of the Scientific Method. Welcome to Wonderland!

    [REPLY - That's not Wonderland. That's Looking Glass Garden! ~ Evan]

  164. Gene Nemetz says:

    Why are so many feeding trolls here?

  165. Jeremy says:

    Thank you for posting this. It is an inspiration to all of us Engineers out there who watched moon landings as kids and took the toughest courses and studied hard only to graduate in the mid 80’s to find that the sun had set on the glory days of NASA moon missions and big blue sky child hood dreams. Many of us found a cynical world that had left us and our big dreams far far behind: Aerospace programs and Nuclear programs and big R&D jobs in high tech industry were vanishing on scale never seen before. Large projects became the whipping boy of derision as irrelevant big wastes of money – after all, social scientists and accountants asked what did landing on the moon achieve for the average man – nothing we were told – what a waste of taxes! Computer scientists, business schools and Ecologists was what the world really needed – there was no need for outdated traditional engineers like Burt Rutan.

    Thirty years on. I have watched how science has almost been completely subverted to the eco-gravy train fascist philosophy. Countless study after study confirmed that everything Engineers have ever done has been NEGATIVE for Gaia – industry, polution etc. Countless documentaries taught our very own children to hate us (documentaires usually conducted on Carribbean islands and filmed by artists and commentated upon by fake scientists like David Suzuki, who prognosticate on science that they no nothing about with an air of absolute convition). Of course, it was only a matter of time before the fascists “proved” that the very air we breathe out and the output of almost every industrial activity, “CO2″ was THE guilty party.

    Most Engineers of my generation have learned to not mention what they build, what they manufacture, what they design or what they do – lest one is attacked and villified. And above all, don’t dare point out that the energy and products sourced from fossil fuels has been the greatest boon in the history of mankind, on par with the discovery of farming, fire or the wheel! No we must not dare to offend, instead we must behave deeply humbled and ashamed of everything we have done and do.

    Good on Burt Rutan for calling a spade a spade!

  166. wattsupwiththat (11:58:54) : RW is just another internet coward acting as foil. Burt Rutan is the real deal and unlike RW has the courage to put his name to what he believes. Ignore him/her/it. Waste of bandwidth. – Anthony

    Anthony, I am 200% in support of you and I think you (and others here) have the patience of a saint, when I survey the hundreds of hours you have all spent courteously arguing the case, and insisting on civility, with a thousand other RW’s. Though I too care passionately, I know I could not do what you do. I have to take time out so I don’t get hopping mad. Without quiet sanity, all efforts are wasted.

    Nevertheless, there is an important issue here that I think you miss. I can explain it better by referring to Plimer, whose book is excellent, a good read, and a mine of information for skeptics. But it’s been shot down by quite a number of professors on many counts. Last night I collected a decent cross-section of these debunks, because now, many intelligent people “know” that Plimer’s been shot down by highly-qualified academics. They may not know who to believe, other than trusting the Science they’ve always believed they could trust. I maintain that skeptics need to have answers at our fingertips, linked to the best sources, to all the standard debunks. Otherwise we still remain two sides, polarized. RW asked Jerome, IMO quite reasonably from his POV, had Jerome actually looked at RW’s references? I did look. It’s just as easy to debunk RW’s refs as to give some other classic skeptic argument – but, it seems to me that debunking his refs is rather more likely to make RW stop in his tracks – and by extension, millions more – and think again. Ref 1 stopped at 2000 – missing the recent cooling that no model predicted. From CA, we now know that Rahmstorf (ref 2) widened the range of the model predictions post facto so that they cover the downtick (otherwise the records would no longer be “compatible” with the prediction). And since the Ugly Sister has cut his toes off this year to fit Cinderella’s Shoe, he has no more toes to cut off next year.

    Smokey has a cache of such info at his/her fingertips. But not always impeccable. You have a lot. Monckton has a lot – but with his isolation, it’s easier to dismiss him. I know a lot now but don’t have the refs at my fingertips. IMHO, this is what I think we need a skeptics wiki for. A resource for effortlessly debunking the standard debunks of the standard debunkers like RC, Deltoid, Coby Beck, Michael Tobis, Monbiot, Grumbine Science etc – a group effort by skeptics, and an excellent exercise to keep folk interested and busy, producing something of quality that can be used. I don’t have the resources to manage it, otherwise I would. However, it could start really simple, with an FAQ picking up some of the commonest AGW beliefs and references.

    That’s IMHO of course.

  167. Gene Nemetz says:

    I see the trolls come out more for people like Burt Rutan. They stir when they are scared.

    What would happen if Antonino Zichichi was featured in a post? Or, maybe the trolls wouldn’t know his name so they wouldn’t know they are supposed to come out from under the bridge.

  168. Craig W says:

    Excellent!
    As for the “EV” … hey I’d love to own a vehicle that doesn’t require weekly or bi-weekly visits to the filling station.

  169. RoyFOMR says:

    [REPLY - That's not Wonderland. That's Looking Glass Garden! ~ Evan]

    I’d read it as Cooking Gas, Pardon?

  170. RoyFOMR says:

    Oops Evans,
    I should have said –
    Cooking Gas, Graundian!

  171. RoyFOMR says:

    and on reflection- you’re right!

  172. Richard S Courtney says:

    DaveE:

    Thankyou for your interest. But please note that the purpose of the proposed policy is to provide the politicians with a way out. The purpose is not climate control.

    At present AGW-alarmists are lobbying the politicians to do something. Climate realists have adopted the position of asking the politicians to do nothing, and agreeing to that request may make scientific sense but it is not a viable political response to the lobbying. The politicians need to be seen to be responding to the lobbying by doing something and, therefore, they are doing harmful and pointless things.

    The possibility of using climate change counter measures if and when needed allows politicians to be seen to be doing something without imposing harmful Cap&Trade, ETS, CCS, etc.

    If global temperature does not rise to the ‘2 deg.C trigger’ (and I am confident that it will not) then the counter measures would not be used. And until that time negotiations can continue about what emissions reductions may be needed and how they will be imposed.

    The negotiations could continue indefinitely (which many negotiators would like) or until the time when the ‘2 deg.C trigger’ is reached (everybody agrees that will not be reached for decades to come if ever). And the AGW-scare can fade away as has its predecessors (few remember ‘acid rain’ unless reminded of it).

    The negotiators will continue their junkets in Bali, Copenhagen, etc. at our expense when AGW is gone because they will find another excuse for the junkets. The problem is that at present they need to make decisions. The proposed policy removes the urgent need for them to make decisions and allows them to keep talking instead. And it enables them to be seen to be doing something because they would be providing the climate control research which would have media impact with each experiment and trial.

    Richard

  173. E.M.Smith says:

    RW (04:23:50) :
    E.M. Smith “I can see no reasonable way to avoid the conclusion that the “warming” of the temperature record is because we put a pot load of thermometers closer to the equator and in the Southern Hemisphere.”

    Did you know that the equator and the southern hemisphere show the least warming? The northern hemisphere at high latitudes is warming much faster than either. So, how does a warming signal come from a part of the world that isn’t warming very much?

    The short answer is “by putting more thermometers there”. You see, the S.H. can’t “warm much” since there is little record for it to warm against. But it CAN put more “winter degree days” into the present record. The longer form is:

    Notice that I said “temperature record”. I’m talking about the body of data, not a patch of dirt. You are talking about a patch of dirt. But if you want to talk dirt, I can do that too.

    First up, how do you know how much the southern hemisphere has warmed since, oh, 1860? I’ll give you a hint: Take a look at the link I gave you, I’ve added percentiles now. We had exactly ONE PERCENT of world thermometer records from south of the equatorial band in 1860. Yup. 1%

    So, you gonna smear 1% of records over 1/2 the planet? And that will mean what again? (Oh, btw, that 1% was in the S. Temperate band only. NONE were in the Southern Cold band…)

    But that’s outside the GIStemp baseline, surely it gets much better!?

    OK, 1879 decade ending (i.e. as we enter the first records kept by GIStemp) we have dramatically risen all the way to 5.5%. I can hear the whoops of joy now “MORE THAN 5 TIMES THE THERMOMETERS!!!” Yeah, all 29 of them. For almost 1/2 the planet. Wonder where they were… Probably not a lot of them in the center of the Sahara, the Amazon, the Congo, The Outback. Probably a lot more in port cities near the ocean…

    But what the heck, I’ll gladly agree with you that the Southern Hemisphere isn’t warming and can not warm the planet. (You clearly have no idea how much it makes me happy to agree with you on that point…) So all the freight must be carried by the Northern Hemisphere thermometer record (for purposes of this discussion only…)

    Lets take a look at that northern hemisphere you claim is getting so hot so fast..

    We have a dramatic rise in number of thermometers from ONE in 1701, to about 7000 at peak, then back to the circa 2000 range, but with a dramatic percentage of them moving from the “cold band” to the temperate band. (From 100% in the cold band at peak, dropping to 8.7% at bottom in the cold band, now 10.3%. The Temperate band changed from ZERO in 1701 to 69.6% at peak, faded to “only” 57.4% now as more thermometers took off for the Tropics…)

    You can find the numbers posted here:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/thermometer-years-by-latitude-warm-globe/

    So I’m not at all surprised you would find “warming” in the N. Hemisphere thermometer record. They were moving from Siberia to Italy… in Latitude.

    But what happens when we pick a stable set of thermometers? What if we don’t let the thermometers run around so much? Well, picking the Top 10% of stable thermometers, those with a life span of over about 103 years – that incidentally leaves out most of the Southern Hemisphere, we find no warming of the record.

    No,these are not gridded,boxed, zoned, or otherwise molested. Just a nice stable cohort of thermometers measuring the same places for decade after decade as the centuries roll by. Not much need to grid, box, homogenize, zonalize, or any other -ize a clean stable record of what really happened. No need to patch and fill, stretch and blend, spice, dice, or re-imagine the data. Just look at it.

    And it clearly says that the record did not warm. And that record, being by far the Northern hemisphere (last stop to add a 103 year old thermometer was in 1906)… I’ll use the 1909 data, just to be conservative: In that year, ALL S.H. thermometers (even adding in the WHOLE equator band to 10 N) were less than 10% of the record. So we can say with certainty that there were not a whole lot of those S. Hemisphere thermometers in the record to survive unchanged the next 100 years.

    So what do those stable, (more than 90%+ N. H.) thermometers say about the change of the average of their temperatures? They say nothing has changed much.

    Remarkably devoid of trend. Within a few tenths C decade to decade in all months columns and in the average for each year. If you told me that the average thermometer reading for a given month for the planet would not change by more than a couple of 1/10 C over 150 years I would not have believed it possible.

    You can find more of the text, along with the table of actual numbers at:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/gistemp-quartiles-of-age-bolus-of-heat/

    Source code is freely available so you can “do this at home” under other postings at the site. If you care that much, you can visit the “gistemp” tab at the top of the site.

    Realize that none of this depends on GIStemp. It is looking at the GHCN data directly.

    I’ve also “run the numbers” through GIStemp up to the zonalizing steps. Through all the temperature steps (where things are still kept as temperatures for locations) GIStemp acts as an amplifier, not a filter. The impact of thermometer change increases in the product,not decreases.

    The gridding, zoning, anomalizing et. al. steps are next on my shopping list, but I can tell you already that since there is NO warming in a stable set of thermometers: any effect from grids, zones, etc. can only be to fabricate a warming in a place that does not have one.

    (FWIW, this change in thermometers by latitude work comes directly from my making a baseline for the purpose of testing the GIStemp grids, zones, boxes, etc. on the data and on the record. To have a “benchmark” to be able to say EXACTLY how much the last couple of GIStemp steps can undo – or amplify – the impact. No, don’t have it done yet. Maybe by next week. But right now it’s very clear that it needs to overpower a 10:1 power factor in the raw data plus some for it’s early amplification.)

    You see, GIStemp likes to be seen as a filter, but what I’ve seen and demonstrated so far (by running it on real data) is that it’s an amplifier. Even if the grid, zone, etc. steps do dampen the signal some at this point, it first must remove the amplification it has already added into a trend that is already strongly (as in 10 to 1 strongly) skewed by The March Of The Thermometers. That takes a filter with one heck of a high “Q”, and GIStemp just doesn’t have the bones to cut it.

    And that stable set of benchmark thermometer records confirms that assertion on my part.

    Now, you can assert that GIStemp is a perfect filter. And you can assert that the zones, boxes, grids et. al. will exactly undo the mess that’s being fed to it (shown, not asserted, DEMONSTRATED above), but “I don’t think so Tim!”

    And in the end, the result of the characterization of the final steps will be a public suite of data, source code, and analysis. Not opinion.

    So I’d suggest being cautious about what opinions you espouse, you will find the facts in your face soon enough. Rather like all the other facts above. You see, it’s all about the data, and just letting them speak.

    If you torture the data enough, they will tell you what you want to hear. I believe in respecting the data and asking them politely what they have to say. So torture all you want with grids, boxes, zones, homoginization, …
    but those simple stable thermometers will still be there, softly speaking, saying that things are more like they have always been than you imagine. Or re-imagine…

    But how can a STABEL S.H. that IS NOT WARMING (that you have said is so, and that I 100% agree with) warm the world? Here, you work it out:

    S is south, N is north. T is Temperate. W is warm, C is cold, EQ is equator.

    The March of the Thermometers, in big bites:

    Just to put a bit of a finer point on it, if, excluding the poles due to very poor coverage, we add up the “warm areas” of SW, EQ, NW and add up the cold areas (SC, ST, NT, NC) we get the following, by 1/2 century steps:

    YEAR Warm Cold
    1839 2.8 97.2
    1889 8.3 91.5
    1939 15.5 83.8
    1989 25.4 73.2

  174. Bob Meyer says:

    Unless you are an engineer or scientist the odds are (unfortunately) that you have never heard of Burt Rutan.

    I went to watch SpaceShipOne’s first flight into space back in 2004. Almost everyone there was an engineer or worked in aerospace (a few Trekkies, maybe).

    It says something about a society where everyone knows what pop stars are in rehab but almost no one knows the name of the man who is probably the greatest living aeronautical engineer and possibly the greatest one of all time.

    In any event, there is another reason to admire Rutan: He’s got guts as well as brains. He’s too smart not to know what happens to “deniers”.

  175. E.M.Smith says:

    Alexej Buergin (04:47:26) :
    ” Hans Verbeek (00:27:38) :
    And uhh …. planes don’t fly on coal, Bart.”

    Of course they do, Hans. Needs some treatment first, though.

    Yup. If you tank up your Jet in South Africa, you will get jet fuel from SASOL, who make it from coal… And

    The U.S.A.F. has begun qualifications for the entire fleet to run on synthetic fuel produced from your choice of coal, trash, or anything else with lots of carbon in it. Test batches of fuel provided by Syntroleum IIRC (though it might be Rentech – I own bits of both of them for entertainment and sometimes get their press releases crossed…)

    So right NOW there are both commercial and USAF jets flying on coal. Just like the German airforce flew on coal derived fuels via F.T. processing in WWII.

    It’s really a pretty easy process, well understood, and not too expensive.

  176. E.M.Smith says:

    Hans Verbeek (00:27:38) : Apparantly he doesn’t realize that a finite space (Earth) can only hold finite amounts of coal and oil. (we will run out someday)

    Apparently the old “running out” canard is raising it’s beak again too ;-) OK, time to dust this one off again:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/there-is-no-energy-shortage/

    There is a matching “not running out of stuff” link too:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/there-is-no-shortage-of-stuff/

    Yes, we run out of coal in a few hundred years. We can also make motor fuels of all sorts from garbage, trees, pond scum, … and we have a functionally infinite supply of Uranium:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/ulum-ultra-large-uranium-miner-ship/

    So can we PLEEEASE let go of the notion that we’re gonna “run out’? It just does not happen. STUFF does not leave the planet and we have an unlimited quantity of energy to rearrange the STUFF into other STUFF as we see fit.

    The whole ‘running out’ fantasy is brought to you by the same Club of Rome jokers who love to promote AGW and they are just hopelessly wrong and clueless (I prefer to apply Hanlon’s razor here – the alternative is not something I’d want to contemplate… )

  177. CaptainPlanet says:

    Gene Nemetz (15:33:23) :

    Still OT… but agreed! :)

    I just poured out a little of my 40oz for my homie Billy. My wife and I are still sad that there aren’t going to be any more Pitchmen episodes – not sure why but we got hooked on it… fascinating!

    Back OT, kinda-sorta, imagine Billy Mays giving Burt’s presentation or, heaven forbid, going to the Dark Side and giving Al Gore’s presentation… either way maybe it’s for the best that his powers can no longer be used for good *or* evil

  178. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ Richard S Courtney (13:58:47) : Not bad. I noticed a couple minor grammatical omissions, but you made a good points. Have you considered submitting this for publication to a mainstream outlet?

    Part of the problem, as I see it, is that both sides of this issue essentially “preach to the choir” (there are a few exceptions, of course ). To be effective an argument must be presented to the target audience – those whose behavior or attitude you wish to change – and in a manner, venue, and format that they will be inclined to absorb. It does no good, for example, for me to lecture someone on their failure to appreciate my viewpoint; which is what I see a lot of lately from both sides. As the Captain (movie Cool Hand Luke ) said: “What we have here, is a failure to communicate.” His point was that “Communication” requires a communicator and a communicatee and takes many forms. As both the Captain & Luke discovered.

    Not being critical, just offering some suggestions that may yield a greater degree of success.

  179. DaveE says:

    Richard S Courtney (16:25:17) :

    I did wink ;-)

    DaveE.

  180. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and I ought to add that the not running out and the re-arranging some stuff into other stuff we want AND the unlimited energy are all brought to you courtesy of Engineers like Burt Rutan.

    If you ever get a chance to even kiss the feet of such a person, even that is not enough. You owe them everything that keeps you alive and comfortable today.

  181. paulhan says:

    Burt Rutan is one of my all time heroes, up there with Richard Feynman. I wish he were alive today. he would have poked so many holes into the AGW theory, you couldn’t even use it as a sieve.
    Anyway, I posted it to reddit. Not surprisingly, it was deleted from the environment sub-reddit (This is the second time this has happened to me), but it’s holding it’s own in the science sub-reddit.
    It’s nice when someone of Mr Rutan’s stature uses the IPCC’s own data to demolish their own hypothesis

  182. E.M.Smith says:

    Chris Wright (04:23:24) :
    Bobn (20:22:18) :“but look at the pdf, many of the graphs/data he cites are flawed in themselves. For example the first one cites the flawed argument that human emissions of co2 are only about 3% of total co2 emissions.”
    .
    After a quick look at the slides, that one jumped out at me. It does seem to be completely wrong – or possibly Rutan believes that the 20th century CO2 increase was primarily natural. However, it could have been an honest mistake.

    Before you jump all over this, take a look at this chart. It’s cute, and it’s from NASA, so it must be right 8-)

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon_cycle-cute_diagram.jpeg

    It shows the human C component as 5.5 out of (what looks to me, rapidly adding in my head the big numbers) about 210 (from the land plants, soils, and sea alone) so the percentage looks close to me… (The units are GIGA tons of C).

    If you are basing your “worry” over some projection based on C12 / C13 ratios, well, that approach “has issues”:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/the-trouble-with-c12-c13-ratios/

  183. Richard M says:

    E.M.Smith (16:29:44),

    Great response. Since I have been following your exploits with GIStemp so I LOL at RW’s silly assertion. His reply was a remarkable example of cognitive dissonance. He had no idea what you were stating yet his belief is so strong in CAGW that he threw out an uninformed response immediately. I doubt he will enjoy the embarrassment.

    Keep up the good work.

  184. evanmjones says:

    and on reflection

    Woof.

  185. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    I might point out that many engineers have problems with the evidence for evolution, also. Just because you are a good engineer does not mean that you know or understand the evidence for a given scientific theory, especially if it is one outside of your area of expertise.

  186. Richard M says:

    Rattus Norvegicus (17:37:31):,

    Once you look at climate science you will quickly understand that NOBODY understands everything that would be needed to deal with the complexities. There are just too many overlapping fields. OTOH, many of the aspects of climate are not difficult for any educated person to understand. Just how hard is it to read a thermometer ;)

  187. evanmjones says:

    OTOH, no one can tell me what the progenitor of man is past Homo Ergaster.

    Homo Erectus turns out to be a separate line (and, of course, Neanderthal). And now we are told that Homo Habilis might well be a dead end.

    So where did we come from? Somewhere, that’s for sure. But we are very uncertain as to which line. Ergaster seems to be the only direct connection we can identify. And that’s just of last scan. The scholarship may have changed since then.

  188. Damian M (Climate scientist) says:

    I think Rutan should probably stick to planes, with naive comment like “warm period are good, not bad, it would be beneficial to have more warming than present”
    This is a common catch cry in the denier movement it ignore the basic physics of what happens to ice in a warmer world and the flow on effect of what that does to sea level.

    Or this “warm periods have been brief and they are not the ‘normal’ planet state.”
    Rutan appears to have done no research on what he is talking about except for the recent glacial cycle (2.5 million years) the planet has actually been warmer for most of it’s history but with little ice and much higher sea levels.

    His comment about oil reserves ignores the fact that they have fallen, and the source for this is not greenies or alarmists but BP
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a6.7NWiQ5wGw
    they have even attached a figure “The world has enough reserves for 42 years at current production rates” The likelihood of current demand staying the same is slim as throughout the history of our use of oil demand has only ever grown.

  189. E.M.Smith says:

    RW (05:00:42) : – Of course humans can code a computer model to predict global temperatures, and we’ve been doing so for three decades. The models have been pretty accurate.

    Since the models are predicting a fantasy that they are modeled upon, that would not surprise me. The only problem is that the real temperatures are not the same as what GIStemp et.al. say they are. (Covered earlier under The March of the Thermometers).

    And yes, I do computer stuff professionally. Ran a super computer site doing computer modeling of plastic flow (even donated time to a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford trying to model clouds). I “know a little bit about this”… including having read all of GIStemp code and porting it to a machine running just a few feet from me as I type this…

    – The effect of human greenhouse gas emissions on global temperatures is obvious.

    SImple. Obvious. And wrong. The classic trilogy…

    – Statements that “warm is good, not bad!” amuse me. It’s like saying “food is good, not bad!” – that is, basically it’s meaningless.

    Glad it amuses you. Go to the center of the Greenland ice sheet, sans food, and see if you are still amused.

    It is not meaningless, it is a statement of fact. Plants in general, and food plants in particular, need a certain number of “degree days” to mature and make food. To cool? Even by a bit? No food. Too warm, even by a lot? A whole lot more food a whole lot sooner.

    (If you want to argue this point, lets do it elsewhere. But first compare the food production from California and Arizona to that of Alaska and The Northwest Territories…)

    – Statements that “CO2 is not a pollutant” also amuse me, particularly when they make use of patronising bold face. The easy response is to invite the claimant to spend just a few minutes in a room filled with pure CO2.

    Well, I’ll happily do that (as long as it’s less than 2.8 minutes) as long as you will spend the same time in a room full of Nitrogen. (Yes, my record for breath holding is 2.5 minutes+ figure I can pant straight CO2 for a few seconds getting the O2 going…)

    Your “troll” piece is pointless. The “poison is in the dose”. With too much SUGAR, SALT, or even WATER you WILL DIE!!!! (Needed to get those patronizing all caps bold in somewhere…) But too little you die as well. Both hypo and hyper natremia are lethal. It means nothing to say something like your example.

    What matters is the limits to the dose. For CO2, it is beneficial to life, especially to plants, up to about 2000 to 3000 ppm. Drop too low (below about 200 ppm) and plants die. They certainly grow much more slowly for each step below 2000 ppm (indicting the evolved for higher levels than are in the air now and are struggling to adjust). YOU will die if the CO2 level at the lung tissue surface drops too low. Upper bound is somewhere over 10,000 ppm.

    So with present levels about 3xx and the lower bound 2xx with the upper bound 2xxx to 10xxx I’d vote for more, not less, as the prudent thing to do. Besides, we get more food production (about 20% to 40% more) up to that level. Chose to use it for more people, healthier people, or just a lower “footprint” on the land from farming. It’s “all good”. Drop from 350 or so to 220 or so and you need to cut down 15% to 20% of wild lands to make up the loss of food. Your good with that?

    – if he believes ever-rising claims of reserve size, I’ve got a bridge he might like to buy.

    You clearly have a poor understanding of how reserves are calculated. They HAVE been ever-rising. Once you have about 20 to 30 years worth “in the can” you stop looking. There is no reason to spend the money (and risk confiscation by nutty governments, and risk market collapse from “glut”).

    If he believes there will be a ‘gradual switch’ then he doesn’t understand maths. When use of a finite resource is exponentially increasing, there will be nothing gradual when the end comes.

    Ok, your a Brit. Got it. Small place, close quarters, running out paranoia.

    Well, did you notice when the “exponentially increasing” fish consumption hit “peak fish”? No? Maybe that’s because we added aquaculture when we “hit the wall” (now about 20% and rising). How about “peak whale oil”? It was a big deal in the 1960’s. Oh, that Jojoba thing… “Peak Cotton”? (Rayon). Peak Silk (Nylon). Peak Coal (Oil – a big deal back in the 1800’s) See:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/12/jevons-paradox-coal-oil-conservation/

    I could go on, but I won’t. The entire history of economic advance and engineering accomplishment is based on the very fact of finding ever more resources that can be used in ever more ways and substitution for ever more expensive rare things to be replaced with ever more inexpensive common things.

    Heck, want Star Saphire? Ruby? Emerald? I’ve got a big chunk laying around here somewhere. It used to be a laser. We can now MAKE all we want. At one time it was a “kings ransom” and know it’s just a chunk of fancy glass. We’ve even got diamonds so cheap and so good that folks need highly specialized equipment to tell which are man made and keep up the scarcity fantasy.

    Get a grip, please. Engineering is the art and science of turning nothing into wealth. There is plenty of planet for everyone to live a very wealthy life style AND save the best bits in pristine shape. Take a look at Earthships and Rutan’s home. Heck, everyone on the planet could live a beach front condo in North America and leave the rest of the planet absolutely empty.

    So just look at how to make a great place for everyone and start building it. Works much better than the doom and gloom thing…

    (If the N.America Condo thing doesn’t work for you, consider that the entire planet could live in six cities the size of England at a level of density that of London leaving the rest of the place empty. We CHOOSE to spread out, but we don’t need to…)

  190. Stuart Nachman says:

    Are the trolls aware that most greenhouses consider 1000 ppm CO2 as ideal and that the Navy considers 8000 ppm acceptable on submarines?

  191. Matt says:

    “– Statements that “CO2 is not a pollutant” also amuse me, particularly when they make use of patronising bold face. The easy response is to invite the claimant to spend just a few minutes in a room filled with pure CO2.”

    What a rediculous statement!

    By this argument water is a polutant. What would we do in a room full of water.
    Also by this argument pure oxygen is a polutant. In fact anything is a polutant by this argument.

    The real question should be if we remove CO2 and try to grow plants how would they fare?

  192. John Michalski says:

    E.M.Smith (16:29:44),

    I have been following your GIStemp series on your blog. I’ve watched all day waiting for your response to:

    >RW (04:23:50) :

    >E.M. Smith

    >“I can see no reasonable way to avoid the conclusion that the “warming” of >the temperature record is because we put a pot load of thermometers closer >to the equator and in the Southern Hemisphere.”

    >Did you know that the equator and the southern hemisphere show the least >warming? The northern hemisphere at high latitudes is warming much >faster than either. So, how does a warming signal come from a part of the >world that isn’t warming very much?

    Great Post. It was worth the wait. Keep up the good work.

  193. Electrical Engineer says:

    Exactly correct in your premise about engineers…I’m a skeptic but read both sides to try to ascertain reality. In my experience as an EE, and also trained in fluid dynamics / heat transfer, it is baffling to understand how meaningful conclusions can be drawn from climate models and the climate data thusfar presented in the literature. While modeling has grown exponentially in accuracy, the complexity of the various processes is paramaterized due to incomplete definition of the exact mechanisms at work. That’s ok — but one has to recognize the limitation — which is that there is a high degree of uncertainty associated w/ the inability to accurately model a process. Further, from what i read on the data side — there leaves much to be desired in terms of data accuracy. Calibration of instrumentation and analysis to compensate for changes in ambient environmental biases over time are amateurish mistakes that seem to get hand-waved. The theory of AGW could very well be true – or more likely partially correct – but going off half-cocked w/ expensive propositions that won’t solve a real problem is insanity. I leave you with this quote from a renowned journalist of the previous generation, describing what he observed of a lot of government activity:

    “The chief cause of problems is solutions”

    – Eric Sevareid

  194. Roger Sowell says:

    Damian M., re peak oil.

    Please, you must understand that oil reserves are a function of oil price. The higher the price, the more oil is “discovered.” It has always been thus. And always will be.

    Note that after OPEC increased the price of oil in the 1970’s and early 80’s by a factor of roughly 4, oil was “discovered” (drilled for and produced, actually) in many places around the world, including the North Sea and Alaskan North Slope.

    OPEC learned a good lesson from that, which any first year economics student could have taught them: high prices attract competition. Note that OPEC has not raised prices dramatically since then…instead, they have worked diligently to maintain prices as low as possible consistent with meeting their cash flow needs.

    Now, with oil at $70 or so, alternatives are attractive that would never have been attractive with oil at $20 per barrel. But, OPEC needs oil priced at $70 or thereabouts to meet their cash flow needs. My link below discusses this under the Grand Game.

    There is no oil shortage. Never has been, and never will be. You might ask just how can I be so certain, what credentials do I bring to this argument? Not much, by some people’s reckoning, just have worked with or for oil and chemical companies for 30-plus years, come from a family in the oil and gas business since 1949, and now provide legal advice for those in the industry. Here’s a hint: the major oil companies would not be investing billions in drilling for oil if they thought it was all gone, with no more to find, and therefore their drilling has a zero chance of producing any more oil. They are not in the business of drilling dry holes. Oh, and one of my classmates in undergrad was a guy named Rex Tillerson. Yup, that guy; currently Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil. Rex is on record many times (and I agree with him on this) that the only obstacle to more oil is lack of access to known oil deposits.

    For my views on peak oil (as mythical as unicorns) and the Grand Game (energy for our future), see this site:

    http://energyguysmusings.blogspot.com/2009/07/peak-oil-and-unicorns-both-mythical.html

  195. Pamela Gray says:

    Measurements of CO2 from an engineering standpoint would prompt an engineer to determine where CO2 is being siphoned off. To illustrate: We can pour oil into a car’s well-tuned engine, if it is a closed system, and the engine will run fine with little oil used. One needs to clean it, but one does not need to keep putting more oil into the engine until it is time to replace the oil. On the other hand, if there is a leak (or multiple leaks) in this system, one will need to put more and more oil into the engine until the mechanic finds the leaks. The oil is still there and can be accounted for, it just leaked onto the ground.

    The case can be made that at Mauna Loa, a local source sensor, the measurement of CO2 appears to be increasing (more going in than going out). But the increase seems more likely to be an artifact of some kind. Very few things in nature are this regular. It will be interesting to continue to monitor CO2 in the troposphere (AIMS) through different complete oceanic flips (and probably several).

    But that leads me to a question. Are there anomaly charts of CO2 for each of these sensor locations?

  196. cba says:

    Damian M (Climate scientist) (17:53:59) :
    “This is a common catch cry in the denier movement it ignore the basic physics of what happens to ice in a warmer world and the flow on effect of what that does to sea level.

    So much for your ‘scientific’ credentials. Maybe you should stick to hyping scientology. Of course I do wonder about what basic physics you are referring to there. Are you trying to say that warming water that is somewhat below 4 degrees C will cause it to expand? There’s basic physics involved in that – although that’s actually not what happens.

    “His comment about oil reserves ignores the fact that they have fallen, and the source for this is not greenies or alarmists but BP

    So much for your understanding of economics too. Just how much oil exploration do you think is going to happen when little to none of it will be developed in the next 30 years? Can you really think that a company is going to spend large amounts of money finding and establishing reserves that will not be needed or used in the next few decades? Especially considering too the potential risk factor of anticarbon hysteria.

  197. Richard M says:

    I suspect Damian M (Climate scientist) is young. As I indicated previously I think our education system is responsible for an ever increasing lack of critical thinking skills. Instead, younger scientists are taught to use references, so they tend to believe way too much of what they read.

    This was clearly evident in his post. Hopefully, this experience will jolt him … although I doubt it.

  198. Nick B (all around jerk) says:

    Damian,
    As a scientist I’m sure you’ve used physics to make life or death design decisions right?

  199. Jeremy says:

    Currently you can find the slides here

    http://www.bobscherer.com/Pages/Burt_Rutan_on_Climate_Change.htm

    I expect he is frustrated to see all these wasted Government funds going to fraudulent scientists and policy makers and their pretense to objectively study Global Warming (usually involving field trips to nice Carribbean Islands to study sea levels no doubt). Frankly the whole Global Warming thing is utterly disgraceful.

    One of the slides has a nice list of other big “scares” that proved false or exaggerated – like the Ozone hole nonsense. And like DDT.

    He even points out that the real threat to mankind is a very large asteroid. Of course, this is a very low probability to occur any time soon but almost certainly it is inevitable that one day BOOM and the whole evolutionary clock gets a complete reboot (unless we do something about it).

  200. Jimmy Haigh says:

    RW (05:00:42) :

    “The easy response is to invite the claimant to spend just a few minutes in a room filled with pure CO2.”

    This isn’t a rational response: it’s just plain stupidity. It’s on a par with the guy who suggested that someone should spend some time in a room with 300ppm Sarin gas in the atmosphere as an analogy for 300ppm CO2 being dangerous.

  201. cba says:

    well, unfortunately asteroids and comets are not so cut and dried in the ability to defend against them. While there’s nothing we’re going to be able to do in the immediate future if it turns out that Betelgeuse is going to go supernova with a major gamma ray burst that has a half angle of 20 degrees or greater. That could create one heck of a problem here.

    Clearly, some impactors might be discovered early enough so that some effort to deflect them could be done. Unfortunately, there are definite exceptions to this possibility. First is the discovery of an impactor with too little time – say less than a decade before impact. The second is the failure to discover the impactor prior to impact. A great example is the blotch near Jupiter’s pole which was evidently caused by something probably around the size of those Schoemaker Levy fragments that struck Jupiter around 10 or 15 years ago. Our first knowledge of it was shortly after the object struck Jupiter and left a splotch on the cloud tops about the size of the Pacific ocean. Those comet fragments were discovered about 2 years before they struck Jupiter. However, if they, or even just one of them had been headed towards Earth, nothing could have been done to deflect or stop it. Regardless of what we do to document potential Earth impactors, there’s always the possibility that one may come from the opposite side of the solar system – “out of the sun” – and hitting Earth prior to even our discovery of the object. However, being able to deal with even a few (if not most) of the incidents might delay the next catastrophic event by millions of years and serious but less than extinction level events perhaps by thousands of years.

    As for Betelgeuse – it’s a few hundred light years away – too far to damage the Earth’s ecology by a mere supernova. It’s massive enough to undergo a core collapse supernova. It’s in the red giant phase – at the end of its life span. Massive stars like that appear to have life spans of around 10 million years – less than 1/6 th of the time frame since the dinosaurs were apparently croaked off by a large asteroid. Betelgeuse is close enough and large enough for images of the actual surface – which suggests we’re looking at one of its poles which appears be around 20 degrees off axis from our direction. Gamma ray bursts appear to be highly directional, with estimates of half angles that range from around 3 degrees to 23 degrees. The only good news at present is that the star is not roiling and broiling in such termoil that might suggest it’s going to blow soon – sometime in the next few thousand years. If all the ‘ifs’ pan out wrong for us, it’s possibly close enough to generate a serious ecological disaster – not all that different in severity from what the warmer loons are dellusional over now.

  202. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Roger Sowell (09:03:17) :

    “Engineers solve problems.”

    One of my favourite sayings is: “Those, who can, do. Those, who can’t, teach”.

  203. E.M.Smith says:

    Retired Engineer (08:12:58) : Eventually we will have alternates to fossil fuel. Academics may talk about it. Engineers like Rutan will make it happen.

    You need to fix the tense. “already have made it happen”. From WWII on.

    At present, the FT and related synthetic fuels are cost competitive when oil is over about $60 / bbl (depends a bit on “in which country”). Synthetic oils from waste coal tailings, at about $40 / bbl (depends on local waste disposal laws and fees), from trash at about $50 / bbl and from “tar sands” in Canada anywhere from $25 /bbl to $50 / bbl depending on which deposit you look at and method used. Oh, and Gas to Liquids at anywhere from $25/bbl to $80/bbl depending on which gas and country (and pipelines…) Oil shales are more in the $80 – $100 / bbl plus range so are “next century” fuels for now. Have to get through a lot of tar sands and coal first.

    Publicly traded companies doing this on a developmental basis include SYMX Synthesis Energy Company, SYNM Syntroleum, RTK Rentech and a few others. Most notable for the “trash to liquids” “green” approach.

    Companies doing it IN PRODUCTION TODAY include SSL Sasol or South African Synthetic Oil Company (who has been doing it in “country sized” quantities since the ’70s), CVX Chevron Texaco, BP British Petroleum (or Beyond Petroleum in their news spin), XOM Exxon Mobil, RDS Royal Dutch Shell, COP Connoco Philips, MRO Marathon Oil, and a half dozen others. Oh, and DD Dupont or DOW Dow Chemical are working with BP on a rollout of a biomass to butanol fuel (drop in replacement for unleaded gasoline) demo factory (I forget which one, I think it’s DOW?). Honorable mention goes to EMN Eastman Chemical who make their chemicals from coal, having never joined the rush FROM coal to oil dozens of years ago…

    Now, some of the things I’ve listed are still “fossil fuels” in that they take coal or natural gas and make “petro” chemicals and motor fuels; but generally the same processes can take any carbon rich stuff, including trash and trees or even pond scum. It’s just a question of relative prices.

    Note that NONE of the things I’ve listed make fuel that would cost over $4 / gallon US. Most are in the $3 and many in the $2 / gallon range. (That’s wholesale before taxes are ladled on).

    It just cracks me up when people talk about “someday” we’ll “develop” an alternative to oil (I know, you said fossil fuels, not oil, but what cracks me up is the ‘alternative to oil’ folks) when I’m running it in my car today. (BioDiesel for me… made from waste food oils) and Chevron and several others are selling gasoline, kerosene and Diesel from tar sands.

    The basic technologies were developed between the 1930s and 1980s with ongoing work in cost reductions (plus some enhanced methods and newer catalysts and…) since then.

    Oh, and this ignores all the “grow your fuels” folks. GGRN Global Green Solutions, OOIL Origin Oil, etc. More speculative, but the “Algae to fuel” folks are shooting for about $25 / bbl equivalent cost. PSUD Petrosun is an “odd duck” in that they do oil field support work AND are building out Algae ponds to make fuel in production now.

    There’s more, but I think you get the point. LOTS of Engineers have solved LOTS of problems and given us LOTS of choices for our energy future. Some are production today, some a bit too costly, some just needing more “shovel time” to hit “prime time”… (SYMX, SSL, and RTK or SYNM I forget which one have contracts with China to make LOTS of synfuels plants. IIRC SSL was $billion scale and SYMX was negotiation for near that scale. Someone has clue, even if the USA has lost theirs…

    So, run out of fuel? No Worries! Not going to happen.

    Ever.

    Yes. Ever. Really. I meant that. What, you want to know why?…

    OK, in the ’70s some crafty folks at VW figured out how to make methanol motor fuel from coal, or any other carbon rich feed stock, using Nuclear Process Heat (about 75% of the energy in the fuel comes from the nuke) at about 75 CENTS / gallon of gasoline equivalent. Call it about $2.25 in todays money (more or less). Since we have a functionally infinite supply of Uranium, and trash is carbon rich…

    And all this ignores all the nifty work with DME (dimethylether) and a host of other neat fuels “good to go”. The fact is that we’re up to our eyeballs in fuel choices that have already been developed. Just waiting for oil prices to get out of glut and stabilize at a stable and reliable $50 / bbl or better for more than 5 years. (i.e. that brief $35 we hit a couple of months back, bad juju..) The only real problem we have with oil is too much of it still slopping around the planet at too low a price when we hit moments of glut.

  204. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Richard M (17:20:57) : and others commenting on E.M.Smith (16:29:44),

    “Keep up the good work.”

    I agree. You are doing some very good work there, E.M.!

    And enjoy your single malt! I’m Scottish myself and have quite a nice collection of single malts… I had a tipple of my home town malt last night: The Aberfeldy 21 year old. It is becoming a popular ‘airport duty free’ item and I bought mine in Kuala Lumpur Airport last year.

  205. Rob Ryan says:

    It’s hard to know where to start with the foolishness on this post and its comments. Should it be Roger Sowell who says “there’s no oil shortage, never has been, never will be” and supports the argument by pointing out that oil companies are spending billions to find oil? No, too easy.

    How about Burt Rutan, a man whom I hugely admire for his creativity, innovation, and courage? A user of computational fluid dynamics in his day to day life who says “man … cannot code a computer model to predict future temperatures.” Man can code a computer model to predict the airflow from dead calm to hypersonic over an airfoil. He can code a computer model to predict combustion dynamics in a cylinder. Mr. Rutan’s credentials (much like Anthony Watts’) to comment on the validity of geophysics is exactly equivalent to my credentials to comment on air and spacecraft design. That is, we’re both smart guys (he’s no doubt smarter, but not in any way that helps), nothing more.

  206. Sparkey says:

    “His comment about oil reserves ignores the fact that they have fallen, and the source for this is not greenies or alarmists but BP…”

    I remember back in the 70’s (at the height of the energy shortage that allowed Carter to foist the Dept. of Energy on us) the CEO of BP announcing that the planet would run out of oil in less than 50 years. Forty years later we’re still 50 years away from oil deprivation.

  207. bill says:

    Jeremy (19:40:33) :
    One of the slides has a nice list of other big “scares” that proved false or exaggerated – like the Ozone hole nonsense. And like DDT.

    DDT is a persistent poison – it does not quickly break down to safe compounds.

    Mosquitoes breed rapidly and DDT resistant strains were developing. To continue to spray DDT to eradicate the non resistant mosquitoes would be pointless. Why poison the world eradicating fewer and fewer mosquitoes

    From 1952:
    http://www.ajtmh.org/cgi/content/abstract/1/3/389
    http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/control_prevention/vector_control.htm
    Resistance to DDT and dieldrin and concern over their environmental impact led to the introduction of other, more expensive insecticides. As the eradication campaign wore on, the responsibility for maintaining it was shifted to endemic countries that were not able to shoulder the financial burden. The campaign collapsed and in many areas, malaria soon returned to pre-campaign levels

    an interesting bit:
    http://www.gladwell.com/2001/2001_07_02_a_ddt.htm
    DDT killed some and not other bugs leading to bed bugs ! etc.
    In Malaysian villages, the roofs of the houses were a thatch of palm fronds called atap. They were expensive to construct, and usually lasted five years. But within two years of DDT spraying the roofs started to fall down. As it happened, the atap is eaten by caterpillar larvae, which in turn are normally kept in check by parasitic wasps. But the DDT repelled the wasps, leaving the larvae free to devour the atap.
    In Greece, in the late nineteen-forties, for example, a malariologist noticed Anopheles sacharovi mosquitoes flying around a room that had been sprayed with DDT. In time, resistance began to emerge in areas where spraying was heaviest. To the malaria warriors, it was a shock. “Why should they have known?” Janet Hemingway, an expert in DDT resistance at the University of Wales in Cardiff, says. “It was the first synthetic insecticide. They just assumed that it would keep on working, and that the insects couldn’t do much about it.”

    DDT was abandoned not because of greenies but because
    it was becoming ineffective
    It was killing other beneficial bugs.
    the money dried up
    It was being improperly applied.

  208. Rob Ryan says:

    To Sparkey, et al:

    It’s off topic for this post but yes, there’s lots of oil left. About half, to the best estimates of those who search for it for a living. There are two problems:
    1. The second half is dramatically more difficult to get to than the first.
    2. Exponential growth in the consumption of a finite reserve means that, basically, we’ll use as much oil in the next 30 years as we have in all previous history if rates of growth in consumption continue.
    The good thing is, those rates won’t continue. Oh wait, is that a good thing??

  209. Jimmy Haigh says:

    About oil reserves. It’s in oil companies’ interests to keep the oil price as high as possible. Saying that it is going to run out is a good way of doing this as any.

    When the UK North Sea came on production around 1970 they all said it would run out by 2000. This got them very favourable tax and licencing deals with Labour the government of the day.

  210. Rob Ryan says:

    @ Jimmy Haigh

    North Sea production peaked in 1999.

  211. E.M.Smith says:

    RW (09:49:31) : Yes, it’s easy to say, isn’t it? Strange that you provide no examples. Ever wondered why countries at 60N are far, far more prosperous than those at the equator? How does that observation fit your “warm is good” theory?

    OK, Medieval Optimum, Roman Optimum, Neolithic Subpluvial, (all the Saharan Subpluvials for that matter), Bollinger Allerod interstadial, and the modern optimum; just for starters.

    On the cold is bad side we have:

    The iron age cold period. The Dark Ages. The Little Ice Age. Migration Era Pessimum and the various Bond Events that correlate with several “pessiums”.

    Warm is good, cold is bad. 15,000 years plus of history and archaeology say so.

    BTW, have you looked at Brazil lately? Hot as a pistol, growing like a weed, prosperous modern democracy. Gotta love it. What, it’s on the Equator? Who knew… How about Australia. One of the best, most stable economies on the planet and doing fine, thank you very much (modulo a certain number of brain dead political hacks we all seem to accumulate). No where near 60N, more like 30S. Or maybe that little backwater called the U.S.A. most of it but Alaska south of Latitude 45 or so on down to 20N (yes, Hawaii counts too …) And those little nowhere places of Japan and China at 35N to 45N or so. Both with thousands of year old cultures and one with lots of present wealth, the other recovering from communism but with historical great wealth and a stellar future. Then there is The Muslim World, most all of it south of about 40N. Not like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Emirates have any prosperity or most of the worlds money…

    Do you even bother to think before you hit enter? Heck, even most of Europe is south of 60N (and a lot of it is only a decent place to live thanks to the accident of the Gulf Stream…). And need I remind you that Europe almost evaporated in a stew of intense poverty as the rich Muslim world invaded all the way to Austria on one side and France on the other? (During a cold period, BTW…)

    Sheesh. Go read a book on history, please. After that, some economics. Then a bit of geology and some geography wouldn’t hurt either. If you get through that, add some archeology and a bit of ancient cultures studies (the Indus Valley Culture, Hittites, Persian Empire, and a bit of Egyptology and maybe even some of the Nubian history would also help you come to understand that the world does not begin with Europe and the 45N latitude.) THEN you can take on the question of why (not if, why) it is that Warm IS Good.

  212. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Rob Ryan (21:24:15) :

    “North Sea production peaked in 1999.”

    Is that UK, Norway or total? Anyway it didn’t run out.

  213. Mark T says:

    So what, the cheerleader in charge is not only arguing that CO2 is a pollutant, but colder is better than warmer? No wonder rational science is struggling, it’s up against lunacy.

    Mark

  214. Jimmy Haigh says:

    I have now had time to look at the slides with all the notes. It’s a pretty good presentation. No wonder the alarmists are worried – they are being rumbled and the momentum against them is increasing.

    I also think Branson could be ‘educated’.

  215. E.M.Smith says:

    Hoystory (12:08:32) : If only the world had more Cal Poly SLO grads!
    Rutan class of ‘65. Says me — class of ‘94.

    Golly… My niece is summa cum laude class of 2009. Go SLO!

    Most rigorous engineering school I know. Great programming talent.

    Should’a known Rutan would be an alumni.. If fits his style. Elegant, lateral thinking. Great rigor in the details and math. No excuses for error allowed. Complete mastery of the subject matter.

  216. Roger Sowell says:

    Rob Ryan,

    So, my point is easy, huh? Go look at this site,

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/fsheets/real_prices.html

    and ponder the little red line. Note that it descends for decades, since 1919. Then remember that every decade, peak oil was thrown about as happening next year…when clearly it did not. Even with gas guzzler cars, and long economic expansions with multiple cars per family, the real price of gasoline decreased. The only time the price increased shortages (1980 era) and speculators (2008 era).

    Note also that technology for finding oil makes finding the oil cheaper and cheaper. Note also that, as E.M. Smith pointed out above, there are serious alternatives for petroleum at many price points. Even with OPEC striving mightily to maintain their monopoly, by keeping prices as low as they can, we are not running out of oil. Then note that the Bakken field was recently discovered…plus another oil field of roughly the same size just below that one…then ponder that most of the earth’s surface has not been drilled to substantial depths…

    Then note that the U.S.A. has mandated very high miles per gallon for vehicles in the very near future, and that gasoline sales are declining.

    Then come back and tell us that we are running out of oil. But bring some facts this time.

    I’ll put my money on Rex and the boys at ExxonMobil. They don’t spend billions expecting to find a dry hole.

  217. evanmjones says:

    As I have said many times . . .

    Peak Oil: Peek and ye shall find.

  218. E.M.Smith says:

    bluegrue (12:41:33) : You seem to posit that because this task is too daunting climate science must be wrong. I’m just asking, because apart from bold assertions you evade the science and go for the politics in all your arguments.

    I don’t see it as “going for the politics” so much as pointing out that the “cure” being mandated for this minor headache (giving the benefit of the doubt to AGW for this argument only) is economic decapitation… Something of an important point to consider…

    I live in California. I’m watching the State die.

    I was born here and know what it was, and what it could be again. The blatant stupidity of this law (whatever numbers apply) at a time when we are so far up the brown creek without a paddle is just astounding. To watch the rest of my country want to embrace the same idiocy, with us as an existence proof of the insanity of it; well, it just is beyond belief.

    We’re somewhere between $20 BILLION and $40 BILLION in the hole (depending on which smoke and mirrors you believe), as a State, for this year. We have had a massive exodus of working people, jobs and factories for the last decade (long before the latest recession) and it is not getting better. And now they want to put this choke hold on us too?

    Economic beatings will continue until business morale improves!

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/csd-california-socialism-disorder/

    About a decade ago I was told that any presentations we made to a local venture capitalist (a large Name) MUST have our China strategy in it. How were we going to outsource or relocate to China (or equivalent). That this was being required for ALL “pitches” made to them.

    I knew then that it was just a matter of time. One by one, then dozens by dozens I watched companies close up and move out (some went under or merged). But unlike the prior 3 decades when new businesses popped up to replace them, funded by venture capital: I saw more IPO’s in China. More China news. And more empty buildings sitting for years with For Rent signs in the windows.

    Now add to that:

    1) No electricity supply growth.
    2) Massive price increases for electricity.
    3) Massive reductions in fuel availability with hugh price hikes for any shipping of product out or raw materials in.
    4) Escalating labor costs (hey, the folks will need more money to cover their fuel and electricity bills.
    5) Non-functional transportation systems (how will they work with little to no fuel and rising labor costs?) BTW, BART just announced a fair hike, since ridership was down. Typical left solution. Attract more people with more pain…
    6) Massive government intervention (must make sure you are not cheating and using any non-approved materials or fuels…).
    7) Basic commodities and products needed for manufacture banned.
    8) Really Big tax burden to pay for all the government intrusion you didn’t want in the first place AND to pay for their GreenDoggle projects and their excessive fuel costs.

    Now, you must decide where to put your business. In California with the above Big 8 (and a whole gaggle of smaller issues) or in Nevada without those problems?…

    So, in recent news, the State of California announced they were sending a blue ribbon commission to Nevada to find out why so many folks and businesses were leaving California and moving to Nevada. Yup. They really did that…

    My neighbors have bought land in S. America and are leaving “soon”.
    I have the OK from my spouse that in 1.5 years when kids are done with college, we can leave (if it’s not collapsed before then).
    My mechanic is talking, seriously, about how to relocate to Brazil.

    Get the picture? Folks with business and degrees leaving. Folks with MediCal, Welfare, and State checks staying. What happens when these two lines cross? Oh Wait! We already had that, $40 Billion Hole.

    But the good news it that I recently did an 8 AM prime commute hours run down the freeway at 65 MPH! A time and place that 5 years ago was jammed solid with folks going to work. Don’t know where they all went, but man it’s nice having no body going to work in the morning! Just need to get some “stimulus money” to keep the roads fixed (since the gas tax is drying up…)

    BTW, I’ve talked with my Son (who graduates UC next year) about where he will relocate to. No idea yet, but staying in California was not discussed…

    Will the last one out the door turn off the lights? Oh wait, their already out…

  219. E.M.Smith says:

    Government Peon (13:57:55) : I’m agreeing with Anthony that RW isn’t worth another single keystroke. Signing off…

    NOW you tell me! (I know, read ALL, then post…)

    (Inspecting stubs of fingers… pondering if I could have gotten GIStemp STEP2 and STEP3 benchmarked and profiled instead… deciding mocha cures a lot… yea, that’s it… time to get the mini-espresso machine out… THEN hit GIStemp STEP2 and STEP3 Profile of Fiction task… 8-) Who needs sleep!

  220. Roger Sowell says:

    E.M.Smith,

    Bullseye, with both barrels.

    As the old song says, The Times, They are a Changin.

  221. Richard S Courtney says:

    Curiousgeorge:

    Thankyou for your advise and attempted help.

    You say:
    “To be effective an argument must be presented to the target audience – those whose behavior or attitude you wish to change – and in a manner, venue, and format that they will be inclined to absorb. It does no good, for example, for me to lecture someone on their failure to appreciate my viewpoint; which is what I see a lot of lately from both sides.”

    I very strongly agree.

    JunkScience intends to circulate the matter to journal Editors.

    But if one cannot get one’s own side on-board then there is no hope with the opposition.

    I have been plugging this for years but it has been ignored until recently. I think there are two reasons for the recent interest. Copenhagen is imminent, and the recent success in Australia has demonstratd that direct involvement in the political process can benefit the climate realist cause.

    However, only a few hours ago I obtained an email from aclimate realist that said:
    “I would think many alarmists would be negative to climate control qua
    geo engineering.
    Besides, isn’t it tantamont to admitting the AGW or something akin to
    it is “real” or authentic? (“If and when …”)
    Bunk is bunk, and encouagement to consider “doing something” to
    prevent the consequences of bunk to me is pointless.
    But I do understand your point as something akin to “buying time ’till
    the public forgets” –
    … I’m lukewarm. If there are no ghosts, we shouldn’t invent
    measures to “counteract” them.”

    I replied saying:
    “There may be no ghosts but there are dragons; i.e. C&T, CCS, windfarms, etc.
    You may be “lukewarm” but you will get burned like the rest of us when the dragons breath on you. You can say “there are are no ghosts” as I do, but I want to slay the dragons, too. People will forget their fear of the ghosts given time.”

    Richard

  222. E.M.Smith says:

    Gene Nemetz (15:37:15) :
    Why are so many feeding trolls here?

    The Obesity Epidemic …

    And hoping for an infarction…

  223. Matt says:

    To Jimmy Haigh (20:11:24)

    Does it make you good to insult the entire teaching profession!!

    Do you have some uresolved anxiety issues from school that you need to make such insulting comments.

    There are plenty on my teahcers who i have had who can do!!

  224. Richard S Courtney says:

    Damian M (Climate scientist) :
    You say:
    “I think Rutan should probably stick to planes, with naive comment like “warm period are good, not bad, it would be beneficial to have more warming than present””

    Pot and kettle? In the same post you say:

    “His comment about oil reserves ignores the fact that they have fallen, and the source for this is not greenies or alarmists but BP
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a6.7NWiQ5wGw
    they have even attached a figure “The world has enough reserves for 42 years at current production rates” The likelihood of current demand staying the same is slim as throughout the history of our use of oil demand has only ever grown.”

    But oil reserves were about 40 years throughout the twentieth century while oil demand grew. They are still about 40 years, and they always will be.

    No resource exhausts. Humans did not run out of flint, antler bone, bronze or iron.

    The cost of a resource increases as the scarcity of the resource increases. And the increased cost has two effects; viz.
    1. people look for additional sources of the resource because more expensive sources become cost effective
    and
    2. people look for alternatives to the resource.

    Thus, sources of any resource are maintained or increased. Why look for additional sources when there is a plentiful supply available? The available reserve of crude oil was about 40 years supply throughout the twentieth century. It still is about 40 years supply because there is no point in looking for more when there is known to be 40 years supply available.

    But ‘low fruit are picked first’. The amount of available resource may remain or increase but the cost of obtaining the resource increases with time. This increasing cost encourages search for alternatives. And the found alternatives often turn out to have advantages (e.g. iron had advantages over bronze but was more difficult and more costly to obtain).

    However, you say you are a “Climate scientist” who believes in AGW and, of course, that gives no confidence that you know what you are talking about.

    Richard

  225. E.M.Smith says:

    Richard M (17:20:57) : Keep up the good work.

    Jimmy Haigh (20:45:08) : I agree. You are doing some very good work there, E.M.!

    And enjoy your single malt! … The Aberfeldy 21 year old.

    I’ll look some up and tipple in your honor, sir! I’ve a bit of a bottle of something I can’t pronounced fetched back here for me by a native Scotsman some 15 years ago that was made in the year of my birth (now over 55 years gone, not saying exactly how many over ;-). About every 2 to 4 years I allow myself a weee dram… Cost more than I care to think about, and worth more than gold to me now. That’s what I’ll be pouring a full jigger of, should the day come to celebrate!

    John Michalski (18:20:02) : I have been following your GIStemp series on your blog. I’ve watched all day waiting for your response to:

    To all, thank you for your kind words. Glad it was worth the wait…

    Had to get the percentages enhancements in, then had to spend some time in the zones code. Then… Finally got a break and visited here… The result, you’ve seen. 8-)

    My, but it is satisfying to put the actual numbers in front of folks. When the data whisper in your ear that they know the truth, would you help them speak up just a wee bit, well, the feeling is wonderful.

    Great Post. It was worth the wait. Keep up the good work.

    When the truth is on your side, and the facts in your hip pocket, and their code running on your box: Then you are inside their house and turning on some very bright lights. Their “baffle ‘em with BS” (as one wag puts it: Bad Science) then can not work. “They” can claim that GIStemp zones will do something, I can tell them exactly what line of code does which thing and were the integer divide truncates or the float rounds…

    Roger Sowell (23:31:41) :
    E.M.Smith,
    Bullseye, with both barrels.

    Thank you! I do have a very nice old double 12 ga I’m fond of… deep red wood finish… Some day I’d like to collect an English Drilling double bbl rifle in one of the obsolete large bore calibre Africa guns. Not too keen on the modern over / under stuff. (Yeah, I know it’s better. Doesn’t make it right though…)

    As the “old hands” here know, I’ve been shoving my brains through the GIStemp code for quite a while now (seems like years, but I’m sure it’s less than one… hope it’s less than one…). Finally reached the “payoff” stage.

    When you hit “pay” it’s all worth while. The speculation ends. The pointless dead ends end. The “what if” and “maybe this” and “why bother” and “will it ever be worth it” all evaporate. It’s replaced by “I Know“; and that feels pretty darned good.

    I’m at that point now with GHCN and GIStemp.

    I know the original data, and what’s wrong with it.
    I know what they try to do, and what they actually do.
    I know where the big problem is (in the march of the thermometers).
    I know that they can not fix the holes in the data the way they claim to fix them. It’s just “a bridge too far”. (How do you interpolate a zero thermometer Southern Warm band in the baseline?…)

    And I’ve shown you the evidence (dare I say it: the Proof) that this is a major problem and can not be wished away. (And GIStemp is no longer a “black box” of obfuscation. It’s now a well illuminated bit of code that is laying on my morgue table being dissected… with Ducky telling it not to worry…)

    All that remains is a mechanical process of documenting the flow through the remainder of the code; the actual changes to the benchmarks and magnitudes along the way in the “anomaly” stages; showing that the original skew to the data flow through as the AGW “signal”; and making the code free for all to duplicate. And documenting any odd “little issues” in the code along the way. Things like characterizing the “tuning” of reference station distances – just what DOES 1 km vs 1000 km vs 1500 km do to the results?

    Oh, and learning how to do graphics on the internet 8-}

    Ought to be done in a couple of more months…

    And as soon as I know something, you will know it too. If I learn anything interesting, it goes up same day or next day. This is as close to Real Time Science as you can get.

    So we learn things together. Things like STEP0 has a dodgy F to C convert and warms the data by about 1/1000 C. An issue, but a little one. But that The March of the Thermometers has a huge impact and carries all the warming signal. And that the stable set of long lived records have no warming… And that the warming happens only in the winter months of the data, not in the summer months.

    And once you have 27% of the data showing NO warming in any months, then it isn’t “Global” since the spacial domain is now no longer showing consistent warming.

    And once you have 1/2 or so of the data showing warming only in the winter months, with summers steady at 20C over 150 years; then it isn’t CO2, since no AGW theory lets CO2 take summers off. The temporal domain of the data are now inhomogeneous with respect to rise, and CO2 requires a monotonic increase in temperatures that does not happen.

    And there can be no “tipping point” since the winters data rises, but the summers do not. The exact opposite of the behaviour with a positive coefficient of a tipping point. Hotter months just top out at 20C average and halt. “Tipping” would require broader ranges and more spikey rises (only falling back as external events prevented the runaway This Time…)

    And if it isn’t Global, and it isn’t CO2, then exactly WHY do we need to do anything about CO2?

    And that’s a very nice thing to have learned together.

    But more, it isn’t opinion. It isn’t about what I think or believe. It’s all in the data for anyone to see and anyone to explore. Basically, it isn’t about me. I’m just here to hand out flashlights and maps of the cave… Anyone can repeat what I’ve demonstrated and Anyone can do what they want with it.

    One can only hope that someone will slide the data, and the code, and a little note about the need for real clothing in public under the noses of some folks in danger of being ridiculed for the rest of their carriers… because this is not going to just lay quietly and be ignored. It’s just too easy to see the truth that the data want to speak …

  226. NS says:

    Amen to that Burt – as a (bad) computer engineer and a (average) poker player I know bs when I see it too…

  227. E.M.Smith says:

    Sparkey (20:51:02) : I remember back in the 70’s (at the height of the energy shortage that allowed Carter to foist the Dept. of Energy on us) the CEO of BP announcing that the planet would run out of oil in less than 50 years. Forty years later we’re still 50 years away from oil deprivation.

    Somewhere in my stored book boxes I have an old Oil Geology text from circa 1919 IIRC. I kept it for the simple reason that it predicted exactly when (then) known reserves would run out… in 50 years. I found it in some books the Engineering library was dumping in the ’70s right when BP was saying we would run out in 50 years… The irony struck me.

    That seems to be the number where no body keeps looking for new oil and where everyone is comfortable that they have enough reserves “in the can” for their career…

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a prediction. I predict that in 20 years we will have … 50 years of oil reserves.

  228. E.M.Smith says:

    Rob Ryan (21:13:40) : It’s off topic for this post but yes, there’s lots of oil left. About half, to the best estimates of those who search for it for a living. There are two problems:
    1. The second half is dramatically more difficult to get to than the first.

    And our technology is dramatically more productive than it was when Drake drilled his first well…

    So yes, we have about 1/2 the oil in the ground and know how to get about 1/2 of that up relatively well. THEN you get into the oil in things like tar sands and shales that make up more than all the other oil the planet has ever had…

    Oh, and you do know about the giant field found be Petrobras off the coast of Brazil in deeper water than theory said was possible? And you do know that Standard Oil hit a bit well in deeper water in the Gulf of Mexico than theory said was possible? This now opens a whole new “shell” of depth for exploration, since before we just assumed there could not possibly be oil at those depths…

    And consider how much oil exploration has been done in the coastal waters of the US Pacific ocean and the Arctic ocean. (You do know about the Alaska Naval Oil Reserve, yes?) How about the Atlantic ocean off Boston?… None for decades, you say? Almost the entire length of time that electronic oil survey methods have existed? Hmm…

    The 1/2 in the ground is based on old estimates. As we find more, the 1/2 point keeps moving…

    2. Exponential growth in the consumption of a finite reserve means that, basically, we’ll use as much oil in the next 30 years as we have in all previous history if rates of growth in consumption continue.

    Oh dear, the old Club of Rome Exponential Growth curve dusted off again from the 1970s Meadows et. al. Limits to Growth…

    Real growth curves are S shaped, not exponentials.
    Real growth does not continue into a wall at hight speed, but “tops out” and switches to alternatives or finds a way to gently ramp down.
    And real world economics has folks automagically shifting (called resource substitution) via price signals in a fairly smooth manner in most markets.

    (Don’t believe that last one? Well, my family has 4 cars in play. 2 are Diesels. We slide back and forth between gasoline, mineral Diesel, and my car often gets bioDiesel. We’re always doing a 3 way fuel price optimize and smoothly transition between the fuels from one week to the next.

    I bought an electric lawn more a couple of years back when they finally got cheap enough. Another smooth transition.

    It’s called a market. And they work.

  229. E.M.Smith says:

    Jimmy Haigh (21:15:12) : When the UK North Sea came on production around 1970 they all said it would run out by 2000.
    Rob Ryan (21:24:15) :
    @ Jimmy Haigh

    North Sea production peaked in 1999.

    Prediction was “run out” as in all gone dry hole, counter argument is “peaked” as in massively producing at the highest rate they had ever seen.

    As a counter argument, it seems a bit weak to me…

    Usually when you run out of something you do not set records for production of if.

  230. NS says:

    bluegrue (06:20:44) :

    I am always interested to discuss with a reasonable warmer.

    Can you explain what this means? “….. the global average CO2 mixing ratio by 30% (as we have done already) …”
    What is this ” global average CO2 mixing ratio ” ?

    Monckton’s artful graphs (Lucia’s take) – I read this. It seems that Lucia’s argument is simply about the semantics of which IPCC report is used and the corresponding effect on the slope of the graph used. This is classic (AGW) diversionary tactic that ignores the substance of the issue. Do you challenge the substance?

    Do you deny this is a false comparison? “….Are you contesting the magnitude of the influence of CO2 or the greenhouse effect in its entirety?….”
    Everyone knows CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It is the feedback process that is contested. You should know that.

  231. Chris Wright says:

    E.M.Smith (17:19:21) :

    Many thanks, that NASA diagram sums it up nicely. So human emissions are roughly 2.6% of natural emissions. So, by the logic of some believers, nature is by far the biggest polluter….
    .
    But I think my point still stands. It’s a case of apples and oranges. All the other figures refer to amounts of carbon dioxide. But this figure (the small red dot) is a relative emission rate, which is quite different. I think that diagram should have made that clear.
    .
    But, having said that, Rutan’s point is very valid. The fact that human emissions are tiny compared to nature’s is quite extraordinary. It seems that a roughly 3% increase in emissions has caused a roughly 50% increase in the actual amount. It’s not what you would expect….

    ……………………………………………………………………………….
    About that comment about filling a room with 100% CO2: maybe WUWT should have cut it, on the grounds of sheer, unadulterated stupidity! But maybe not. It’s probably quite useful, as it gives all of us a demonstration of where this bizarre religion called AGW can lead otherwise sane people.
    Chris

  232. JamesG says:

    Bruce Cobb (12:31:16) :

    “That all depends on what your definition of “green” is, doesn’t it? Does Rutan in fact make the claim that he’s “green”? And where, or where does he claim to be “100% behind the effort to green up our energy supply” (whatever the heck that means)?
    Bruce, the man has a solar powered house and factory. How much greener can you get? And if you think our current energy supply is green – which very obviously means kind to the environment and renewable – then you have blinkers on. Anyone who doesn’t want to green up our supply is by definition an idiot. The cost is the only issue. Which leads us to your next objection:

    How about instead of an ill-defined, nebulous “green energy” we instead support “smart energy”? , which is why Rutan will be “adding wind generator and solar panels when it becomes cost effective to do so “.
    Exactly the same point i made! And the key thing that makes things cheaper is that people have to start buying it.

    “Energy which is more expensive can almost never be smart”
    This depends whether you are talking short or long term. The smart question is, does it have the potential to become cheaper or to save money long-term? Because when engineers improve things they always get cheaper. By your definition, no technological advance would ever have taken off because it was initially too expensive. Yet all it needs is for it to become trendy, then people buy it, then it becomes cheaper. Geothermal energy and solar panels are a prime example. If you can afford the initial outlay then they save money in the long term and in the future, as more people buy, they will be cheaper still. On that i suspect you agree. Yet what if it was possible to accelerate the process by smart policy. Would that not be smart energy policy? Every bit of home generated energy takes the load off the national grid. I suspect your real concern is with the replacement of power stations, not with home-generation. they are two entirely separate considerations though.

    “Carbon taxes, whether small or large are not smart either, since raising energy costs can only hurt our already-suffering economy, and because punishing carbon makes no sense.”
    A large tax would certainly hurt but a small tax wouldn’t. Notice that the effect of cheap gasoline was that everyone went out and bought utterly ridiculous (and often ugly) gas-guzzlers. This was a criminal waste of a scarce resource for mere fashion. So the lesson is that when our fuel is too cheap we just waste it. For that reason a small tax is good.

  233. Stefan says:

    “Man can code a computer model to predict the airflow from dead calm to hypersonic over an airfoil. He can code a computer model to predict combustion dynamics in a cylinder. Mr. Rutan’s credentials (much like Anthony Watts’) to comment on the validity of geophysics is exactly equivalent to my credentials to comment on air and spacecraft design.”

    um, even a dumb layman like myself can see the differece. Those airflow models can be checked in a wind tunnel and in real life.

    Show me a climate model that makes 50 year predictions that regularly come true and I will belive them, regardless of how they are coded.

    Climate science does not have a proven track record. Their predictions are indistinguishable from vague guesses. They have no proven track record, end of story.

  234. JamesG says:

    I agree about the resource arguments being false: we are running out of cheap oil, not expensive oil and we aren’t running out of coal for a long time. However, by 2050 there will be 9 billion people on the planet and they’ll all be clamoring for more and more energy – as is their right. So any smart energy policy has to consider renewables. Yet all this talk about cost and markets ignores a lot of technologies that wouldn’t have got anywhere without a public sector push prior to the private sector pull. The internet is a pretty good example. Would you be without it? How much money has it saved your business? Renewables just need the same small push until the private sector pulls in force. Then we’ll all save money.

  235. Bruce Cobb says:

    JamesG – Ah, so, Rutan is “green” because you say he is. He has obviously invested a lot of money into powering his home and factory with solar, but the question is, how long is the payback period, particularly given that solar panels typically have a life of about 25 years? Renewable energies like solar, wind and geothermal sound exciting, but the fact remains they are expensive. Trendy? Give me a break. They are for folks with money to play with, and with government subsidies it’s very often OUR money.
    There certainly will be technological advances coming which will hopefully provide us with energy which can compete with coal and oil. Let’s hope it is soon. But meanwhile, paying more for energy just because it is supposedly “green” is idiotic, economic suicide for the U.S., and particularly hurts the poor and middle class.
    Oh, and far as a “small tax” not hurting? They never do stay “small”, do they? We need a strong, vibrant economy, one which “raises all boats”, especially now. It is only with a vibrant economy that we can effectively deal with REAL issues of pollution, environmental degradation, and social issues.

  236. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Matt (23:58:01) :

    I didn’t make the quote up: someone else did and a long time ago.

    Of course I didn’t mean to insult the entire teaching profession at all – and I’m sure the author of the quote didn’t either. For the record, I thought that most of my teachers were pretty good.

    I googled the phrase and found this:

    http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/Those+who+can,+do%3B+those+who+can't,+teach

    Apparently it was George Bernard Shaw who came up with it. But it might be an old Chinese proverb…

  237. Jimmy Haigh says:

    More on BP regarding North Sea Oil. The boss of what was to become BP said, in about 1964, that he would drink all of the oil that they found in the North Sea!

    I rest my case…

  238. Douglas DC says:

    E.M.Smith (23:12:22) :-Oregon is California’s mini-Me…

  239. Dick Newell says:

    One of the best presentations that I have seen. One small point though.
    I think Rutan has it wrong on his slide 8 showing a 10 x 10 grid of greenhouse gas content. Is he not confusing annual CO2 contribution with accumulated CO2 content. If CO2 has gone from 280 to 380 ppm and that most of the increase is human, then almost one whole square should be red, shouldn’t it?

  240. Rob Ryan says:

    @ Stefan

    Such checking has been done. The GCM’s do a superb job on dramatically different time scales of “postdicting,” i.e., using known conditions as input and comparing output to known later conditions. They are not exact, just as the results of the combustion dynamics models are not exact. In fact, such uncertainty should elicit more caution, not less since the forcing is as likely to be worse as to be better than estimated. That is, if it’s predicted by known physical principles (note the distinction from “computer models”) that a doubling of CO2 will result in a 2.5 K increase in global mean temperature with a standard deviation of 2.5 K, then a 5 K increase is equally likely as no increase. Note that no application of known physical principles has led to a prediction of 0 K

    The strawman used by the posters here is “computer models.” Computer models are nothing more than the application of known physical principles to initial conditions with a machine that can do a lot of calculations in a hurry. They are no more mysterious or arcane than modeling the acceleration of an object of known mass under a known force by using a calculator, a slide rule, or a pencil and paper (or a computer) to say a=F/m.

    These arguments are reminiscent of the moronic young Earth creationists who say “show me a transitional form between species a and species b.” When shown one, say species a.5, they say “show me a transitional species between species a and a.5 and one between species a.5 and b.” When thinking people refuse to participate further in the charade, the creationists say “see, we told you.”

    As to peak oil, there are three points to be made:
    1. The infinite series (sum, i=1->infinity, 1/2^n) has a finite sum. It’s true that we can and will keep finding oil into the future, and that Exxon, et al, will continue to make money bringing it to us. But this will end.

    2. As we are forced to go further and further out into the ocean, etc. the economic AND ENERGETIC costs dictate that, at some point, it won’t be worth it. If it takes more than about 1.5*10^9 joules to recover a barrel of oil, no one will recover it since that’s all the energy that can be gotten (assuming a utilization efficiency of 25%) from that barrel.

    3. We are constrained by growth. The population grows and that vast proportion of the world that is subsisting on an average (per capita) rate of energy consumption of less than a kilowatt strives to live as we do, at a rate of 11 kilowatts. If you think that’s fine and we’ll all consume energy in this way, then I’m afraid that getting through your irrationality is hopeless.

  241. Rob Ryan says:

    Edit to the series above: it should be either both i’s or both n’s. It’s hard to type math in text.

  242. David Ball says:

    I haven’t the time right now, as I am off to work, but I will be back later today and tear apart Rob Ryan’s post that is being disingenuous on EVERY point he makes. The delusion that he is being rational and no one else is, is laughable. Rob, try posting on a current thread so that EVERYONE can see your posts, instead of skulking behind the scenes. Doesn’t look good. Gives the impression that you are being weasel-like. “Every lock that ain’t locked when no ones around, …” is a direct quote from Rob’s webpage. Nice.

  243. Mr Lynn says:

    Richard S Courtney (13:58:47) :
    Re: “STOPPING CLIMATE CHANGE”

    You’re buying into (or pretending to buy into) the speculation that “emissions from industry could cause additional climate change by warming the globe. This threatens more sea level rise, droughts, floods, heat waves and much else.” You’re also buying into the conclusion that it makes sense for governments “to reduce the emissions of the warming gases, notably carbon dioxide.”

    This speculation (‘could’ is not a prediction) is just baseless fear-mongering, and attempts to reduce carbon dioxide are foolhardy in the extreme. Warmer climates benefit humanity and life in general. So why should we bother to prevent warming? Cooling, now that’s a different matter!

    If the point of your article is just to deflect political attention away from CO2 and toward some other, more innocuous activity (like seeding clouds to block sunlight), the intention is understandable but misdirected. The political elites pushing AGW are not really interested in ‘climate change'; they’re interested in control and taxation.

    /Mr Lynn

  244. Mr Lynn says:

    E.M.Smith (16:57:37) :

    . . . So can we PLEEEASE let go of the notion that we’re gonna “run out’? It just does not happen. STUFF does not leave the planet and we have an unlimited quantity of energy to rearrange the STUFF into other STUFF as we see fit.

    The whole ‘running out’ fantasy is brought to you by the same Club of Rome jokers who love to promote AGW and they are just hopelessly wrong and clueless (I prefer to apply Hanlon’s razor here – the alternative is not something I’d want to contemplate… )

    Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

    In this case, unfortunately, I think we have to consider the alternative:

    “The real enemy then, is humanity itself.” – Club of Rome

    See here: http://www.green-agenda.com/

    /Mr Lynn

  245. Mr Lynn says:

    Jeremy (15:39:04) :

    . . . Most Engineers of my generation have learned to not mention what they build, what they manufacture, what they design or what they do – lest one is attacked and villified. And above all, don’t dare point out that the energy and products sourced from fossil fuels has been the greatest boon in the history of mankind, on par with the discovery of farming, fire or the wheel! No we must not dare to offend, instead we must behave deeply humbled and ashamed of everything we have done and do.

    What a sad and shocking state of affairs! Can it be that in the space of only a few decades the United States of America, the country of Thomas Edison and a host of others, has turned its back on the creative genius that propelled us to prosperity and world leadership? If anyone, in addition to our soldiers, should be celebrated, it should be our engineers and their ‘can do’ spirit.

    Rather than fleeing the country, as EM Smith’s friends (and EM himself?) intend to do, we should be asking: “What can we do to turn this around, and get this country back on the track to greatness once again?”

    /Mr Lynn

  246. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Matt (23:58:01) :

    To Jimmy Haigh (20:11:24)

    “There are plenty on my teahcers who i have had who can do!!”

    Of course I could have said that maybe your spelling teacher couldn’t!

  247. Henry Galt says:

    Jimmy Haigh (06:44:40) :

    “More on BP regarding North Sea Oil. The boss of what was to become BP said, in about 1964, that he would drink all of the oil that they found in the North Sea!

    I rest my case…”

    Any talk of peak oil is political. Nothing more.
    The rich get richer and the poor stay poor.

    I have worked in nearly every oil refinery in the UK (left the game years ago) and have friends in various areas of the business who hardly ever talk to me about it in depth it now as I have moved on to more interesting other things but…

    One close friend (considered by the best in the industry to be the best ever fast assayer of crude) I bumped into in his local recently had this to tell me – “I am snowed under and jet-lagged trying to get around all the sites they want me to evaluate.” He is not the only person in his field.

    I then reminded him of something he said a few decades ago that made me laugh and sigh then and which makes me sad and angry now – “We only ever find oil where we look for it.”

  248. RW says:

    I get nothing but pleasure from the open vitriol being directed at me, and Anthony’s encouragement of it. If all you can do is call me names, rather than talk science, do you think it makes me look bad, or do you think it makes you look bad?

    So, ignoring all the personal attacks and sticking to a couple of at least vaguely scientifically-grounded points:

    evanmjones:

    “RW: If you follow the temperature trend from 1900 to present and match CO2 with temperature you get a different picture.”

    No, you don’t. You see the same strong correlation.

    “You get a very good correlation for PDO/AMO, which is strengthened by the up-down oscillation matching. But for CO2, it is relatively flat until post WWII, which means the big warming phase from 1915+ to 1945+ (as big a slope as 1975+ to 2000+) occurred without much increase in CO2.”

    CO2 was not relatively flat until post WWII. Look at the data! From its pre-industrial 280ppm, CO2 increased to 310ppm.

    “We then have a cooling from 1950 to 1979 coinciding with a serious CO2 increase. This was followed by the 1979 – 1998 warming. Then a decreasing trend from 1998 – present. All of this occurred with CO2 on a steady rise.”

    There is “no decreasing trend from 1998″ – only by ignoring statistics can you think so. The last decade has in fact been the warmest in the instrumental record.

    “Therefore, during the time of steep CO2 rise, we have four decades of mild cooling and two decades of moderate warming (with a small net warming), roughly equal to the rise from 1900 – 1950. Not a very good CO2 correlation.”

    Now seriously. Did you look at the data? Does it seem foolish to explain verbosely how bad the correlation is, when even the most cursory glance at the actual data shows the strong correlation?

    “By the way, for 1900 – present, Joe D’Aleo shows a 0.83 correlation between PDO/AMO index and temperatures and a 0.44 correlation between CO2 and temperatures.”

    Joe D’Aleo smoothed the data, thus artificially inflating the correlation, and the temperature data used was for the US only. Thus, the claim is meaningless.

    Lucy Skywalker: “Ref 1 stopped at 2000 – missing the recent cooling that no model predicted”

    Replace ‘missing the recent cooling that no model predicted” with “missing the warmest decade on record” and your statement becomes accurate. How many sets of climate model outputs have you ever looked at, by the way?

    REPLY: I think you look bad no matter how you slice it. You attack a man (Rutan) who puts his name to his work and beliefs, yet hide in the shadows of net anonymity. Thus, you are a coward. If you want respect, come forward, take the same risks as Mr. Rutan, otherwise zip it.- Anthony

  249. Rob Ryan says:

    @ David Ball

    What the heck? This thread was created on 8/16, two days ago. I made my first post in it yesterday. I’m “skulking” like a “weasel?” You seriously have GOT to be kidding. It was a link from Morano’s “Climate Depot” site. You have time to hurl insults I see.

    “Every Lock That Ain’t Locked When No One’s Around” is a quote from the old Roger Miler tune “King of the Road.” Thanks for visiting.

    This thread started about Rutan and his contention that AGW is false. In my first post, yesterday AFTER GETTING HERE FROM A LINK ON MORANO’S SITE, I addressed his expertise on that subject, pointing out that he has every professional qualification to opine on it as any other smart dude who’s not in the field. Like me (though I repeat, he’s probably smarter).

  250. Pamela Gray says:

    Matt, you clearly suffer from a lack of having had a typing class. When I went to school, everybody had to take typing. You know. What your fingers do on a typewriter. The same typing technique is used for typing on a computer keyboard. Most kids these days don’t know that. With the advent of notebook computers on every desk, typing classes have disappeared, leaving many to struggle with index finger hunt and peck techniques. Yes, passing comments are given to typing technique and maybe a week out of the year to focus just on typing, but no one gets a semester grade on typing anymore. It is all rolled into computer class. Sad. Sad. Sad. It makes Matt look dumb.

  251. Pamela Gray says:

    RW, linear trend lines are the ultimate smoothing. If you don’t like Joe’s use of smoothing, why do you insist on using it by linking to linear trended graphs? Hell, I could get my grandmother’s sleep cycle over the years to correlate with temps if I trended it with a straight line.

  252. Tim Clark says:

    Rob Ryan (07:58:13) :

    That is, if it’s predicted by known physical principles (note the distinction from “computer models”) that a doubling of CO2 will result in a 2.5 K increase in global mean temperature with a standard deviation of 2.5 K, then a 5 K increase is equally likely as no increase. Note that no application of known physical principles has led to a prediction of 0 K.
    The strawman used by the posters here is “computer models.” Computer models are nothing more than the application of known physical principles to initial conditions with a machine that can do a lot of calculations in a hurry.

    Guide me to the experiment that determined the effect of increasing CO2 on temperature in an open environment subject to circulation and convection in the presence of other IR absorbing molecules at atsmospheric concentrations. Then produce empirical data illustrating a positive feedback to that effect. Until then, your “known physical properties” are not.

  253. Jimmy Haigh says:

    RW (09:01:07) :

    “I get nothing but pleasure from the open vitriol being directed at me, and Anthony’s encouragement of it. If all you can do is call me names, rather than talk science, do you think it makes me look bad, or do you think it makes you look bad?”

    Vitriol? Names? You call this vitriol? Here’s an experiment for you. Pretend to be a ‘skeptic’ and try posting on RC.

  254. George E. Smith says:

    “”” RW (09:01:07) :

    “We then have a cooling from 1950 to 1979 coinciding with a serious CO2 increase. This was followed by the 1979 – 1998 warming. Then a decreasing trend from 1998 – present. All of this occurred with CO2 on a steady rise.”

    There is “no decreasing trend from 1998″ – only by ignoring statistics can you think so. The last decade has in fact been the warmest in the instrumental record.

    Lucy Skywalker: “Ref 1 stopped at 2000 – missing the recent cooling that no model predicted”

    Replace ‘missing the recent cooling that no model predicted” with “missing the warmest decade on record” and your statement becomes accurate. How many sets of climate model outputs have you ever looked at, by the way? “””

    What is it RW, that you do not seem to understand about the concept of a “maximum” (or a minimum) in a function.

    It seems self evident (at least to me) that when a function has a “maximum”, that the values lying on either side of that maximum will be less than the maximum; and likewise when the function has a “minimum” then values of the function lying on either side of that minimum will be higher than the minimum.

    So when your refer to the recent decade (anomalies) as the highest decade in the instrumental record; you are merely stating the obvious, when the function clearly reached a maximum during that decade, and values have been declining since then.

    And as for the “warmest decade on record”; well that may be true for the period since about 1979/80 when the Argo buoys, and polar orbit satellites were depployed; but we know from Christy et al, that all of the global temperature information before that time is corrupted and in such a way as to be unrecoverable.

    So prior to the 1980s, we have only proxy guesstimates as to what global temperatures might actually have been.

    But just remember, when you have a maximum; expect to find high values clustered around that maximum, and vice versa for a minimum.

    And if you believe that the virtually monotonic (sans annual cycle) CO2 record as represented by the Mauna Loa data; is in any way correlated to the up and down temperature record over the 20th, and early 21st century; at least that obtainable from believable data; then you would believe that almost any two curves are correlated.

    And in any case correlation does not prove causation; and I don’t see any physical reason why one would expect to get any sort of surface warming from the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, that is anywhere near the amount of warming that appears to be caused by water vapor; nor do I see any mechanism by which CO2 effects can overcome the negative feedback cooling caused by clouds blocking sunlight from reaching the ground.

  255. CodeTech says:

    RW (09:01:07) :

    I get nothing but pleasure from the open vitriol being directed at me, and Anthony’s encouragement of it. If all you can do is call me names, rather than talk science, do you think it makes me look bad, or do you think it makes you look bad?

    Open vitriol?

    I would characterize what I see on this thread more as mild amusement, and I see a genuine attempt to correct your numerous misconceptions… but open vitriol? Hardly.

    But then, people like you seem to thrive on attention, even if it has to be fabricated.

    Personally, I’ve always been amused by people who cry “science”, then proceed to almost completely ignore all principles of “Science” in order to justify a belief.

  256. Roger Sowell says:

    bluegrue: if you are still reading this thread, what part of the process control fundamentals, as that relates to global temperature, do you want to discuss?

  257. Tim Clark says:

    RW (09:01:07) :
    “RW: If you follow the temperature trend from 1900 to present and match CO2 with temperature you get a different picture.”

    No, you don’t. You see the same strong correlation.

    You get no correlation, period!

    See:

    http://leif.org/research/CETandCO2.pdf

  258. Stefan says:

    Rob Ryan (07:58:13) :
    @ Stefan
    Such checking has been done. The GCM’s do a superb job on dramatically different time scales of “postdicting,” i.e., using known conditions as input and comparing output to known later conditions.

    Thank you for your reply. I’m afraid that I don’t equate “postdicting” with successful prediction. The point is to know whether the models are correct or if they contain systemic problems and errors. One basic criticism is that the climate is too chaotic to predict. The only way to show that the climate can be predicted is to predict it successfully. Hindcasts don’t count, especially on a computer where there are many variables and tunings available. Now the ususal objection I hear is that if we waited until we could know if a prediction 50 years out would turn out to be correct, then we would be caught out as it would be too late. Well, that is true, but it doesn’t get you out of the original problem, which is that the future is often unpredicable. Hindcasts are worthless, a simple fact that we all know to be true and that we store in common sense expressions like, “hindsight is 20/20″. Google hindsight and the first hit is Wikipedias entry on Hindsight Bias, the tendency to believe you could have predicted that thing that just happened.

    Models are based on physical principles, but they add a great deal more also. And we’re not even sure that the physical principles are themselves properly understood, clouds being the big obvious problem. I simply don’t understand how the IPCC can on the one hand say that clouds are one of the greatest uncertainties, whilst projecting scenarios 100 years out. Only an academic could find that sort of thing interesting. The rest of us know we have to deal with the existing world as it is in present day. The objection to computer models is not a straw man—-we all know they are calculations, but then you compare them to calculations of the acceleration of a mass, as if to say, climate is that simple. Well fine, show us the simple equation for the climate. But no, it is a chaotic system and so we have to try to model every interaction in the naive faith (and it is a faith) that the system will follow some vague trajectory, whilst on the other hand claiming that the system is highly sensitive and can swing through tipping points and sudden cataclysmic surprises. You can’t have it both ways. Either the climate is simple and stable enough to predict, or it is flaky and unpredictable. Most things are complex and that’s why real engineers test things to death in the real world. And the devil is in the details. If the design says you use one type of bolt and fixing, and you build it with a slightly different configuration that looks equally strong, people do die. That’s what happens. It has happened even with simple well known stuff, like a walkway in a hotel foyer. Even with such simple structural stuff, which could be modelled on a small computer compared to the computer power required to (vaguely) model the climate, mistakes are made, even when all involved are experienced professionals. But perhaps you’d compare the engineers who would sweat the details to those whom, as you put it,

    These arguments are reminiscent of the moronic young Earth creationists who say “show me a transitional form…

    Climate models prove nothing because the climate models themselves have not been proven. If I hear of an outfit making predictions, and 2, 5, 10 years later we find all their predictions coming true, I will sit up and take notice, and I will believe their predictions, and I don’t care if their method relies on three psychics in the back room smoking strange substances. If the predictions work they work. Computers and math sounds sciency, but science does not guarantee success—-some problems are just very very hard.

  259. JamesG says:

    Bruce Cobb
    You have a perception of costs that doesn’t bear up under examination. Perhaps it’s out of date. Costs are continually reducing you know.

    Geothermal isn’t really that expensive now and it lasts for a very long time. The payback is around 7 years on saved heating bills. Not too long. This company even says 3-5 years here:
    http://www.econar.com/faq.htm#cost
    It might be a good idea if all new homes had it by default. Such a widespread roll-out would reduce startup costs for everyone and could be stuck on the mortgage. On the other hand we could have low interest credit deals as we do for cars. Never mind cash for clunkers, how about cash for geo!

    Solar panels are expensive but nevertheless Walmart is buying them now:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/01/walmart_solar_panels/
    Why? Because they it will save money long term. And purchases like this will encourage others, which should create competition and hence reduce prices. Solar air heating has an even faster payback:
    http://solarwall.com/en/home.php

    The funny thing about those who say they can’t afford this or that is that they always seem to be able to buy a new car every year, losing thousands in depreciation just by driving it out of the showroom. Yes that’s because driving a new car is “trendy”, Just like an iphone is expensive but trendy and hence popular. So give ME a break! Our focus is wrong. We need to spend more on gadgets that reduce our home energy bills rather than spending so much on an item that just takes us from a to b but which has that all important snob value.

    Again though I suspect your objections are mainly about power plants, whereas I’m talking conservation of home energy. Europe by the way has had far higher gasoline taxes than the US for a very long time now. People adapted and car companies made very efficient, small Diesel engines.

    Rutan by the way is a living example that smarter thinking can allow something to be made for a heck of a lot less than people previously supposed. People like you would have talked yourself out of it beforehand.

  260. George Ellis says:

    RW – The first rule of statistics… correlation is not causality. If that were true, until Tony George took over the Indy 500, the winning speeds at the Indy 500 CAUSED the GDP to rise (and with better correlation). That is a weak argument, which is the whole point. CO2 is not the issue. If you really want a cause, join SOTS – Created at Wash U in 1982. Stamp Out the Sun because “any level of radiation is harmful” and now we know it causes global warming too. The 3rd strike is increasing the risk for skin cancer.

    SOTS was our splinter group in CORPSE (a sanctioned group). My roommates started Committee On Ridiculous Posters, Slogans, Etc. All the protesters gave us material for free. SOTS came from an anti-nuke protester. COPTAR was created from a creationist – Committe On PTolemaic Astronomy Revival – because we know that the sun orbits earth too.

  261. Rob Ryan says:

    @ Tim Clark

    Yet another strawman. Clearly, no one has made an atmosphere in the laboratory and experimented with the variables, though one at a time each pertinent process has been identified and its behavior examined and verified.

    No one has created the conditions in a star when its core has run out of fuel either, that does not mean that models (read “calculations of the effect of known physical principles” do not accurately predict the results of this eventuality.

    So what you are saying is “I don’t believe that Stefan’s Law, Wien’s Law, the laws of thermodynamics, the Navier Stokes equations, Boyle’s Law, Fourier’s Law of Conduction, etc., etc. are still valid when scaled up to the size of the ocean/atmosphere geophysical system.” I doubt you actually believe these things and if you do, I don’t see the point in discussing it. But if in fact you don’t believe them, I suggest you consider whether what you are saying implies the opposite of what you believe.

  262. Rob Ryan says:

    The more I think about this, the more disappointed I become in Burt Rutan who is, as I previously said, someone whom I greatly admire and respect. But he gives the “it’s not warming and if it is mankind isn’t causing it and if we are then it’s beneficial” argument. If one is truly convinced it’s not warming then the argument that man isn’t causing this non-existent warming is spurious. If it’s not warming and we didn’t do it then what sense does it make to argue that it’s good? This is an entirely incoherent train of thought and for the man who created the Vari Eze and the Long Eze and Defiant, etc. it’s quite surprising.

  263. Smokey says:

    Since 2002-03, the planet has been cooling. The global temperature is no different now than it was thirty years ago. Using a non-alarmist y-axis, we see a non-alarming temp graph.

    1. There is no “heat in the pipeline.” If anyone believes there is, specifically identify it with empirical, real world measurements; not with speculation, and certainly not with always-inaccurate computer models.

    2. The oceans are cooling. I have more graphs if you like.

    3. The planet itself is cooling; and it is well within the parameters of natural fluctuation. Nothing out of the ordinary is occurring. Nothing.

    4. The atmospheric CO2 concentration is steadily increasing [a very beneficial development for all life on Earth], while the planet is cooling. Alarmist explanations for this embarassing divergence begin to sound like they are describing crystal spheres within spheres in the firmament to explain planetary motion.

    5. Global ice extent is increasing. That is the reason why alarmists only point to the Arctic. However, look at the Arctic for the past 3 years [click in the image to expand]. Look closely. It is clear that even Arctic ice is increasing.

    The long-accepted theory of natural climate variability completely explains what is going on, without the necessity of adding an extraneous variable like an extremely minor trace gas; they might just as well replace CO2 with postal rates.

    Natural climate variability predicts exactly what has been happening for millenia: the climate fluctuates above and below its long term trend line on a multi-decadal time scale, going back to the LIA, and to the last great Ice Age before that. There is no reason to add a extra variable like CO2. By doing so, the alarmist contingent has fallen flat on its face.

  264. Vincent says:

    Rob Ryan,

    I think that what Tim Clark is saying is simply that there is still a lot of uncertainty about the behaviour of clouds and feedbacks in a complex climate system. If you know a way to use Stefans law or Wiens law to model cloud feedbacks then a nobel prize surely awaits!

  265. bluegrue says:

    E.M.Smith, NS, Roger Sowell

    I’m still reading but right now real life calls. Replies will have to wait until next week, I’m sorry for the inconvenience. See you then.

    Roger Sowell (10:57:06) :
    bluegrue: if you are still reading this thread, what part of the process control fundamentals, as that relates to global temperature, do you want to discuss?
    You claimed “For atmospheric CO2 to be the driving force behind the gradual climate warming since 1850, the Little Ice Age, would violate fundamentals of process control.” Which fundamentals would be violated and why?

  266. Roger Sowell says:

    Bluegrue:

    Let me answer by quoting Dr. Pierre Latour in his January 2009 Letters to Editor of Hydrocarbon Processing:

    “. . .[fundamental process control parameters of] measurable, observable, controllable, stable and robust characteristics of the dynamic, multivariable nonlinear atmospheric temperature control system under design by Kyoto Protocols. . . These mathematical concepts are part of the foundation of control systems engineering recorded in AIChE Journal, ACS I&EC Journal, IEEE Transactions, ASME Transactions and annual JACC conferences since 1960. They provide exact necessary and sufficient conditions for these characteristics for all linear systems and some nonlinear systems. . . All competent refinery control system engineers and thermostat closers should assure themselves these criteria are met before embarking on designing, implementing and closing feedback control systems. Not to mention assessing the possible performance, merit and value of such systems. . . The tenuous link between CO2 greenhouse effects and the Earth’s temperature indicates humanity has no effective manipulated variable to control temperature; the steady-state gain dT/dCO2 is almost zero. If so, the system is uncontrollable. Kyoto will fail no matter what the political consensus may be. . .”

    Essentially, Dr. Latour is saying that there is insufficient causal relationship between CO2 and global temperature for there to be any hope of controlling temperature by adjusting CO2.

    This is quite apparent by noting that, even though CO2 increases steadily over decades, global temperature at times decreases, at times remains fairly constant, and at times increases. Just as one cannot hope to control a vehicle’s speed if pressing the throttle sometimes slows the vehicle, sometimes has no effect, and sometimes increases the speed, so too with CO2 and the earth’s global temperature.

  267. Mike Lorrey says:

    Yeah, Branson’s marketing vids for SS2 rides are so zombified with the AGW kool-aid its embarassing.

  268. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    Richard M. (17:49:28):,

    Once you look at evolution you will quickly understand that NOBODY understands everything that would be needed to deal with the complexities. There are just too many overlapping fields. OTOH, many of the aspects of evolution are not difficult for any educated person to understand. Just how hard is it read the bible :)

    I just thought I would point out the silliness of such an argument. Just because we do not know everything, does not mean we know nothing. For both climate and evolution we know more than enough to say that the theory (for evolution) or the experimental result (for climate) is correct.

  269. Rob Ryan says:

    @ Vincent

    That probably is what Tim Clark is trying to say but, as I mentioned earlier, uncertainty should be more alarming, not less. If about half the results of calculating outcomes based on reasonable inputs and known physical principles (I won’t say models or computer models) resulted in no change or in cooling and half resulted in no change or in warming, it would be reasonable not to reject the null hypothesis. That’s not the case. Each result is warming, the difference being in the amount. Consequently, it’s reasonable to reject the null hypothesis.

    The greater the uncertainty based on clouds and other factors not fully understood, the larger the standard deviation and the farther up (and down) from the mean prediction the 49% upper and lower 2Z deviations are. Thinking as a “conservative,” this would motivate me to prudently elect to act to mitigate the threat.

  270. DaveE says:

    Rob Ryan (18:36:11) :

    The greater the uncertainty based on clouds and other factors not fully understood, the larger the standard deviation and the farther up (and down) from the mean prediction the 49% upper and lower 2Z deviations are. Thinking as a “conservative,” this would motivate me to prudently elect to act to mitigate the threat.

    Are you for real?

    Damn it, we can’t even explain the MWP Medieval Climate Anomaly!

    You know, that period of warming that didn’t exist but now we know it did, we still can’t explain it!

    Stupid games played with the lives of real people, mainly POOR people!

    The only uncertainty is whether we have any effect at all and if we don’t understand what caused previous warming, it is folly to assume it’s us causing any current warming! (See E.M.Smith at his chiefio site).

    DaveE.

  271. Mr Lynn says:

    Rattus Norvegicus (18:13:26) :
    . . . I just thought I would point out the silliness of such an argument. Just because we do not know everything, does not mean we know nothing. For both climate and evolution we know more than enough to say that the theory (for evolution) or the experimental result (for climate) is correct.

    What ‘experimental result is that’?

    The comparison between evolution and climate is specious. Evolution is a fact (evidenced by the fossil record), the mechanism explained by the theory of natural selection, well attested to by observation and experience

    Climate change is a fact, but the mechanism(s) are still speculative. The politically-motivated hypothesis that carbon dioxide (or even more narrowly human-generated carbon dioxide) is the controlling factor in climate change has not been demonstrated; instead it has been falsified by observation (lack of a predicted ‘hot spot’ signature, lack of warming for the past decade, weak correlation in both recent and geological history between temperature and CO2, etc.).

    /Mr Lynn

  272. Joel Shore says:

    Smokey says:

    The global temperature is no different now than it was thirty years ago.

    I could point out the utter silliness of comparing individual monthly anomalies. But instead, I will just ask a very direct question: Why did you choose to show a graph up to only June 2009 when we now have the July 2009 anomaly (besides the fact that it would totally undermine your point)?

  273. Smokey says:

    Joel Shore,

    And I will give a very direct answer: I posted what I had. If you have a newer graph, post it and I’ll add it to my graph folder. Why do I suspect that if the tables were turned, you’d say that a one month fluctuation is statistically meaningless?

    Better yet, take up Anthony’s invitation to post your own article, instead of always sniping from the sidelines. Do you good to face some real peer review, instead of the peer review petting you’re used to.

  274. evanmjones says:

    No, you don’t. You see the same strong correlation.

    Not on the ups and downs. PDO/AMO correlation is stronger.

    CO2 was not relatively flat until post WWII. Look at the data! From its pre-industrial 280ppm, CO2 increased to 310ppm.

    That is relatively flat. It is over 385 ppm now. But the warming for 1900 – 1950 is about equal to that of 1950 – 2000.

    There is “no decreasing trend from 1998″ – only by ignoring statistics can you think so. The last decade has in fact been the warmest in the instrumental record.

    The two statements are unrelated. There is a decreasing trend. It is also the hottest in the instrumental record. The buildup was quick from 1979 – 1998. It was fairly flat from that point until 2007. In the last two years there has been a considerable drop. That is what the instrumental record shows.

    Joe D’Aleo smoothed the data, thus artificially inflating the correlation, and the temperature data used was for the US only. Thus, the claim is meaningless.

    True but not meaningless. The AMO/PDO combination affects North America more than any other land mass.

    And in any case, even stipulating that CO2 is responsible for 100% of the increase (no recovery from LIA, no nothing), AND stipulating that FILNET et al. adjustments are correct, AND that station siting “doesn’t matter”, 0.7 to 0.8 C warming per century is complete chickenfeed. Only if positive feedback comes roaring into play is there a problem. And positive feedback seems to be a mistaken premise.

  275. evanmjones says:

    So prior to the 1980s, we have only proxy guesstimates as to what global temperatures might actually have been.

    Actually, in the US we have measurements. The average USHCN station warmed +0.14C.

    (After good old FILNET it is +0.59 . . . )

  276. Rob Ryan says:

    I had only had a chance to skim the comments to this post prior to this evening but, having read them more extensively, I’m amazed. This “I’m an engineer, we know best” mantra is surprising to me. My business partner is an engineer, we employ seven other engineers among other professionals. None would be as arrogant as those here who say “I’m an engineer, I know much better than those who make career of it how to understand climate, interpret climate data, and act on the results.”

    My degree is in mathematics, without dispute the most precise discipline. Definitions are exact, circularity is eliminated, theorems follow inexorably by logical deduction from explicit hypotheses. I’ve had many statistics courses as well. Therefore I also know how to interpret data and reason from facts. Were I to tell one of the engineers who works for me “I know better than you how your design should function” he’d listen, evaluate my input, then make a decision which I would respect because that is his field of expertise, his life’s work.

    In this thread, many of the posts from engineers exhibit the opposite attitude. People assume their expertise in their own field gives them special insight, superior to experts in the field of climatology. I wouldn’t want a mechanical engineer designing a foundation, nor a geotechnical engineer designing a turbine. I employ them both. And I wouldn’t want either of them removing my appendix or setting policy relating to CO2 and climate.

  277. David Ball says:

    Ok, had a long day, thanks for asking. Now Rob, having gone over this thread, I think I was correct in my initial assessment. “King of the Road” is a classic, but why would you use that particular line from the song unless it fits the devious nature of your personality? You have not responded to most of the posts directed at your statements. It is as if you never even saw them. I always watch past threads and have seen a lot of people like you come through here, do a lot of hand-waving, claim they are being insulted when it is they who are being condescending and arrogant (m.o. of a lot of alarmists cause we’re all stupid and you aren’t). The models all predicted WARMING (cause they were programmed to) and the real world is NOT. That is superb work , that is. The climate is no longer alarming people so now you guys are on about “peak oil’, and “ocean acidification”. What will it be after these hobgobblins have also been laid to rest? My guess is you’ve probably stopped reading by now. I am always flabbergasted by people who have long ago accepted Co2AGW, and are now 2 or 3 steps beyond, not realizing the foundation of their argument has rotted out beneath them. It is a horse of a pill to swallow. Come to the Canadian prairies and I’ll show you around some of the recent finds of oil. Big uns, too. The elephants in the room, so to speak. Did not realize Saskatchewan was so far out on the ocean as to make it’s oil inaccessible. 8^]. Just so you know, I am not alarmed. Let’s go back to the stone age, that will be good for the kids and grandma. Or can we use nuclear? Back to you Rob, ….

  278. Henry Galt says:

    Rob Ryan (21:27:00) :

    We wouldn’t want anyone spending tens of billions of dollars and coming up with… well, nothing much actually. Maybe this is what makes engineers think they should criticise and feel they could do a better job. Maybe it is the slightly bitter taste that started with the realization of the massive waste in the “industry” that has produced nothing to persuade them that there is anything to be alarmed about, let alone alter the fiscal dynamic of nations over.

    It purchases a large amount of hand waving and hot air but where, thus far, is the real world benefit? $80 billion here, $80 billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money. No wonder the spouted $trillions of yet to be extracted carbon taxes are not much questioned yet salivated over by the bankers that have funded and will benefit the most from this.

    Could you please name 5 climate scientists? Not physicists, meteorologists, astronomers, mathematicians, chemists, biologists, geologists, palaeo-anything, divinity students, etc., but indentured, credentialed and, more importantly, experienced climate scientists?

  279. Roger Sowell says:

    Rob Ryan, engineers are not arrogant, just right. We have fundamentals to fall back on, and those never, ever, ever let us down. As was written earlier, when engineers get it wrong, people die. We do not have the luxury of merely running computer models, we must build whatever it is we build, and see that it works safely, economically, and reliably.

    When climate scientists violate various fundamentals, that is when the engineers stand up and say that is wrong. We laugh a bit, too.

    I have worked all over the world as a practicing chemical engineer, in many cultures, languages, and economic systems, and the one constant was engineering fundamentals. They are never wrong.

    Most people have no idea what an engineer knows, or how he knows it (or she), but it is quite easy for engineers to point out the BS from arm-waving and graph-posting climate scientists.

    One other thing: the problem of scale-up. Somebody above mentioned that the climate models simply take well-known phenomena based on valid scientific facts and algorithms, then run the calculations in a large model. Then they believe the model has it right.

    Engineers laugh ourselves silly over that one.

    Engineers know that there is a world of trouble, difficulties, and pain between the laboratory experiment, the bench-scale demonstration system, a small commercial sized system (sometimes known as a pilot plant), and a large commercial sized system. Each increased step in size creates manifold problems, as is well-known throughout the various engineering disciplines. Something as simple as a stirred-tank batch reactor for polymerizing vinyl chloride monomer into poly-vinyl chloride created massive problems for many years. There were very few variables at play: mixing, temperature, catalyst, monomer, and water. Nothing at all like the complexity of a planetary climate system.

    For IPCC climate scientists to tell the world, with a straight face, that their models have it right when modeling, on a planetary(!) scale, the response to an increase in CO2 from 300 ppm to 600 ppm, is absolutely ludicrous. Ask any engineer who has ever had to scale up a working system from laboratory to commercial scale.

    That is not arrogance. That is experience. Hard-won, sad, often very expensive, and painful experience.

  280. Roger Sowell says:

    Rob Ryan, one other thing about your perception of the arrogance of engineers on this thread.

    Climate scientists are getting a taste of the scale-up problem, as each of their predictions falls flat on its face.

    It is a humbling experience to be an engineer and try so very hard to get it right, then see the next-larger size plant fail. I know, because I have been there. Fortunately, the fate of a planet was not riding on the engineers being correct on those projects. All I had riding on the outcome was just a few hundreds of millions of dollars, sometimes billions of dollars, some professional reputations, and a few thousand jobs.

    Not like the IPCC and various countries and states with climate change laws, or carbon regulation laws. Billions of people’s lives and living conditions, and equally billions of jobs are at stake.

    This is not a game. The engineers that I work with, and speak in front of, are quite dismayed and very unhappy with the arrogance of the climate scientists who so obviously are so wrong in so many areas.

    They say the seas are rising. No they’re not.

    The ice is melting. No, it is not.

    The planet is warming. Nothing out of the usual. We are between ice ages, after all.

    CO2 is the cause of the warming. No, it is not.

    The earth will stop warming if we just stop emitting CO2 and other greenhouse gases. No, it will not.

  281. D. King says:

    Rob Ryan (21:27:00)
    And I wouldn’t want either of them removing my appendix or setting policy relating to CO2 and climate.

    How about this guy, who is setting policy?

    http://tinyurl.com/o3ebd2

  282. oms says:

    Uh, aren’t a lot of climate scientists meteorologists, physicists, mathematicians, paleo-whatever, even engineers, etc. by training?

    Is that a problem?

  283. oms says:

    Roger Sowell (22:46:55) :
    Rob Ryan, engineers are not arrogant, just right. We have fundamentals to fall back on, and those never, ever, ever let us down.

    I would hazard the guess that good engineers are actually the ones who leave room for the possibility they might be wrong and devise skillful safeguards against it.

    Roger Sowell (23:10:27) :

    This is not a game. The engineers that I work with, and speak in front of, are quite dismayed and very unhappy with the arrogance of the climate scientists who so obviously are so wrong in so many areas.

    The most valuable thing engineers could be doing now is possibly to use their skill in identifying specific problem areas and potential costs of mistakes while forming alternatives. Hand waving or blanket assertions about outside areas where the particular engineer does not have expertise are unhelpful.

  284. ralph ellis says:

    >>>I guess he ain’t getting much sunlight for his ‘weird’
    >>>House and has started to becoming a Sceptic…

    Ha, ha, yes.

    A friend of mine did the same – fitted a huge solar heating panel but he was so confident of his Green credentials, he also disconnected the gas boiler. Bad move that – this is Britain, and the resulting lack of hot water for four years quadrupled his electricity bill and nearly cost him a divorce.

    Happily, he has seen the light, and reinstalled a gas boiler. ;-)

    .

  285. Stoic says:

    Rob Ryan (21:27:00) :

    Your degree is in mathematics. The celebrated intellectual Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of ‘The Black Swan’, is also a mathematician. There is a report in today’s Financial Times of a debate Taleb held yesterday with David Cameron, former PR executive and current leader of the UK Conservative Party, who has (or has plans for) a domestic wind turbine attached to his chimney-pot.

    Here is an extract of the FT’s report of the debate in which Taleb also warned of the dangers of group-think: “When Mr Taleb suggested that climate change was not necessarily man-made, Mr Cameron’s reply was curt: “You know that’s not what I think.”

    So it turns out that Nicholas Taleb too is an AGW sceptic. Slowly, slowly………….

    The full report may be found at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/78ec4a8c-8c25-11de-b14f-00144feabdc0.html

    Kind Regards

  286. oms says:

    D. King (23:54:35) :

    How about this guy, who is setting policy?
    http://tinyurl.com/o3ebd2

    It has been pointed out that policymakers in the U.S. are, by and large, neither trained scientists nor engineers, and that this might be a problem for us all.

  287. ralph ellis says:

    >>>Apparently the old “running out” canard is raising it’s
    >>>beak again too ;-) OK, time to dust this one off again:

    >>> http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/there-is-no-energy-shortage/

    >>>So can we PLEEEASE let go of the notion that we’re
    >>>gonna “run out’?

    I disagree – we will run out, and fairly soon.

    For a start I do not like that wonderfully symmetrical bell-curve fossil fuel supply graph. The extracted fields are all the largest and easiest fields to work, whereas the new fields are all small, complex geologically and expensive. The downslope will be much more rapid than the upslope.

    Secondly, we ARE running out in Britain. N Sea oil is on the decline and coal is more difficult to mine, despite the predictions that we have 300yrs of coal left. The great new coal production hope of Selby pit turned out to be so hopelessly fractured that the site was closed in 2004. Yes, there might be coal down there, but how much do you want to pay to extract it?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/2129050.stm

    And it does not matter if there is oodles of oil and gas elsewhere in the world. We are in Britain, and there is no point having all our oil in Arabia and gas in Russia. Neither location is politically reliable, and Arabia likes to manipulate oil-price spikes, while Russia loves turning its gas supply off in January.

    To all intents and purposes, oil and gas are virtually finished already for the West. We DO need to diversify energy supply, but quite obviously renewables are simply an annoying (and dangerous) distraction.

    Renewable Energy – Our Downfall
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=nuclear+downfall

    What we do need, is more nuclear production, be this fission, fast-breeder fission, or fusion.

  288. Fuelmaker says:

    The other engineers have done a fine job of explaining why it is so obvious to us that AGW is BS (bad science). This is our fundamental objection; that AGW, while certainly a potential concern, has failed as a useful scientific theory. We know about feedback and know that when models are “tuned” with arbitrary factors, that the knowledge isn’t there and we really don’t understand the system enough to even predict whether overall it is cooling or warming, much less how much.

    When an engineer is confronted with a problem, which is by definition a failure of the “model” we designed our system with, we swallow our pride and have to figure out why the part we thought would work has failed. Global climate models have failed.

    When I finally dug into the mechanism in the “models” and discovered they presumed amplification of the tiny, also modeled CO2 forcing, it was obvious that was the bad “part”, the source of the failure. It also revealed to me that the models were not physical at all, but just statistical exercises, doomed to spurious correlations. We know that the reality is the reverse; that clouds, water vapor, circulation and vegetation all act as negative feedbacks and damp the forcing. And that if the model leaves out cloud cover as a forcing instead of a feedback, it is useless.

    The global climate models have failed. If someone really cared enough about whether global temps were going up .1K or .2K, we could probably spend another billion on better satellites to really figure out the overall CO2 forcing by observing the very small changes in outgoing longwave radiation by season versus air temp and water vapor content. Of course the governments really know that the answer is so small to be irrelevant, so that will never get funding.

    It is obvious that ocean circulation drives dramatic changes in weather. Any working engineer that deals with heat can calculate off the top of his head how thick a water column has as much heat capacity as the air above it. Think about this a few seconds and then see how good your “intuition” is if you don’t have the knowledge to calculate the answer. I will reveal the truth at the end of my post. Moderator, please don’t let any of the ignorant waste our time asking about heat capacity or try to tell us the oceans can’t store heat. Frankly, if you don’t understand specific heat and heat transfer, you do not have the basic tools to evaluate the climate models.

    I suspect that we really are close to a breakthrough with Svensmark’s theory of cosmic ray seeding of clouds, but politicians haven’t figured out a way to tax them or subsidize them yet.

    Climate “scientists” are just pompous bureaucrats justifying the latest government tax scheme. Meteorologists that work for private services have customers that will not pay them unless they can forecast better than the government services.

    This is our fundamental objection. The forecasts have been worse than useless because they are wrong and yet we are expected to believe that they are really right and make decisions based on them.

    2.5 meters of water has the same heat capacity as the air above it at sea level within 10% under all barometric pressures, humidities, and saliniities that exist on earth. And we are expected to believe that with ocean depths over 2500 meters on average, 1000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere and 50 times as much CO2 content, that the oceans don’t have any long term effect on climate and can be ignored? Please.

  289. D. King says:

    oms (00:19:16) :
    The most valuable thing engineers could be doing now is possibly to use their skill in identifying specific problem areas and potential costs of mistakes while forming alternatives.

    Thanks! I was wandering aimlessly just waiting for someone to tell me,
    “The most valuable thing engineers could be doing…possibly”.
    Now I have purpose.

    P.S. Does your mom know you’re blogging?

  290. Bob Meyer says:

    oms (00:19:16) : said

    “The most valuable thing engineers could be doing now is possibly to use their skill in identifying specific problem areas and potential costs of mistakes while forming alternatives. Hand waving or blanket assertions about outside areas where the particular engineer does not have expertise are unhelpful.”

    I think that you are missing Roger Sowell’s point. There are principles that engineers adhere to in their testing and design work. Both experience and reason show that these principles are valid and can’t be flaunted with impunity. When climate scientists ignore these principles we don’t have to prove them wrong or offer alternatives. It is up to them to correct their methods.

    Some of these principles are obvious like “The data are the data”. You don’t go around “correcting” data because you don’t like what they look like. If you think that your instrument was wrong then you go test the instrument, you don’t just alter the data to make it fit some a priori idea of what the data “should” look like.

    If you have a computer model to make predictions then you test it in cases where you know the answer and you don’t calibrate the model using the data over the period that you intend to “predict”.

    When your model fails to predict what happens you don’t engage in special pleading or ad hoc hypothesising, you fix the model.

    When asked for your data by a critic, you provide it without question. If you think that your critic wants to destroy you then be prepared to defend your data and your methods of analysis. There is a correct answer and if you’re right then there’s nothing to worry about. If you’re wrong, then be grateful that someone caught your mistake before something terrible happened.

    I would pay big money just to watch somebody like Hansen be forced to defend his analyses in a typical engineering design review. You haven’t lived until you have faced ten or so people hired to find any potential problems in your work. These are not collegial lectures, they are adversarial proceedings that leave you wishing you had chosen a less stressful profession like, say, putting pins in hand grenades.

    So when we observe certain climate scientists repeatedly violating principles like these (and never being called on it) we don’t take them seriously.

    This engineers’ attitude isn’t arrogance. On the contrary it’s the result of having been humbled by nature on a regular basis. We fail far more often than we succeed, it’s just that we don’t try to sell our failures as successes. We can’t because as has been mentioned several times on this blog, when we screw up people can die.

  291. Chris Wright says:

    RW (09:01:07) :

    Several times you’ve given a link to a graph showing a linear relationship between temperature and CO2. But there is no indication of where the graph comes from or what measurements it’s based on. Is it a laboratory measurement or based on climate measurements or what? Or is it a fabrication? It’s unlikely to be based on climate measurements as the graphs of global temperature and CO2 look quite different.
    .
    The graph you cite covers a large range (about 50% change in CO2). The relationship between CO2 and AGW warming is in fact not linear, so this graph is just a bit suspicious. So, could you *please* provide proof of its source and information on precisely how the measurements were obtained. If you fail to do so I will assume, probably like most other people here, that it is a fabrication.
    Chris

  292. Patrick Davis says:

    “Roger Carr (05:03:10) :

    Patrick Davis (18:58:19) : “I have been wondering these last few months since discovering this site, are there enough people aware of this site … here in Australia…”

    WUWT? has a fair sprinkling of Australian contributors, Patrick, and many blogs and websites in Australia (including the high hit number Andrew Bolt blog) refer to and quote it. Additionally, Anthony links to Australian content. Based on that I would venture many if not most Australians interested in manmade global warming, aka climate change, are aware… but that all interested must continue to promote WUWT? as widely as possible.”

    I wasn’t aware of Andrew Bolts’ blog, but I will certainly have a gander one day, thanks! I constantly read posties comments here in Aus about Co2 being “pollution”, it really boggles my mind that so many, world wide too, accept all that is fed to them via Gummint and the media.

    Wherever possible, I send people here. There is a vast wealth of real information here which, if tested, would put Mann, Hansen, Gore to shame.

    I especially like posts by the “Smith” brothers (No offense), Roger Sowell and Smokey etc etc to name a few this instant.

    Thank you all, thank you Anthony.

  293. RW says:

    Roger Sowell

    “Rob Ryan, engineers are not arrogant, just right”

    Good one. Always nice to see some comedy.

    evanmjones:

    “Not on the ups and downs. PDO/AMO correlation is stronger.”

    What can I say? Your statement doesn’t really make sense, and it isn’t true. Get hold of CO2 data from Mauna Loa, and from Law Dome if you want to go back to 1900. Get hold of HadCRUT or GISTEMP temperature data. Plot T vs CO2, T vs. PDO, and T vs. AMO, calculate the correlation coefficient, and you’ll see that you were wrong.

    CO2 was not relatively flat until post WWII. Look at the data! From its pre-industrial 280ppm, CO2 increased to 310ppm.

    That is relatively flat. It is over 385 ppm now. But the warming for 1900 – 1950 is about equal to that of 1950 – 2000.”

    It’s very frustrating that you keep on flagrantly mis-describing the data. It’s ridiculous to call a 10 per cent rise “relatively flat”. log(310/280) = 0.102, log(385/310) = 0.217, so the climate forcing from the rise to 310ppm was about half of that from the subsequent rise.

    “There is a decreasing trend. It is also the hottest in the instrumental record. The buildup was quick from 1979 – 1998. It was fairly flat from that point until 2007. In the last two years there has been a considerable drop. That is what the instrumental record shows.”

    Again, you’re just describing what you want to see, and not what the data shows. There is no decreasing trend. If you want to prove otherwise, explain how you can make the error bars smaller than the magnitude of the trend you’re claiming, for any period of 10 years or less. As for the last two years, well, here’s trends for the last 24 months from Hadcrut, GISS, UAH, and RSS. Exactly which instrumental record shows you a considerable drop?

    “True but not meaningless. The AMO/PDO combination affects North America more than any other land mass.”

    A spuriously inflated correlation is always meaningless. When you spuriously correlate something with US temperatures, and then claim something about global warming based on that, do you think it somehow gets meaningful?

    Chris Wright:

    “Several times you’ve given a link to a graph showing a linear relationship between temperature and CO2. But there is no indication of where the graph comes from or what measurements it’s based on. Is it a laboratory measurement or based on climate measurements or what? Or is it a fabrication? It’s unlikely to be based on climate measurements as the graphs of global temperature and CO2 look quite different.”

    Chris, it’s advisable to be at least a tiny bit familiar with the data, especially if you’re going to accuse people of fabrication. Get hold of CO2 data from Mauna Loa, and from Law Dome if you want to go back to 1900. Get hold of HadCRUT or GISTEMP temperature data. Plot T vs CO2. Simple.

  294. Roger Sowell says:

    oms (00:19:16) :

    “The most valuable thing engineers could be doing now is possibly to use their skill in identifying specific problem areas and potential costs of mistakes while forming alternatives.”

    Some of us are actually doing what we can. I have a modest blog (two actually), with a small but growing following. I also speak to as many assemblies as I can, usually engineers, but other groups as well. Not everyone wants to be a public speaker, and that is more than fine. I also work to repeal AB 32 by informing and persuading legislators and policy makers that the climate warming science is wrong and no cause for alarm exists. I also comment on the warmists’ blogs from time to time. All of these are more fun than a person should be allowed to have.

  295. evanmjones says:

    RW: You completely ignore the big picture. Stipulating that CO2 increase is responsible for 100% of the 20th century warming, where is the danger without positive feedbacks? If the rate of warming this century is the same as last, stop the emergency, I want to get off.

    And are you saying that the trend has risen since 2007? Certainly not from January, which was the break point. (You start halfway down the drop.) I think you’d better look at the graphs again. You seem to be saying there has been a large increase in temperatures since 2007. There was a big drop in 2007 through early 2008 with an increasing trend since, which still averages out to a considerable cooling.

    As for your links, try 30 months instead of 24 for completely opposite results!

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/last:30/trend

    That’s for UAH, but it’s the same for GISS, HadCRUT and RSS.

    Same for 100-month results.

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/last:100/trend

    (One generally looks at trends from low points to high and vice-versa if one wants meaningful results.)

    Or to put it another way, are you warmer now than you were in Jan. 2007?

    You also seem to be saying the AMO and PDO are not meaningful to temperatures. Really? Are you saying CO2 is responsible for the rise from 1979 to 1998?

  296. evanmjones says:

    To be clear, my current position is that CO2 is partially responsible for the rise from 1900 to 2000. That is to say it has a minor effect. There are serious indications that feedback is more negative than positive. Therefore, no emergency. Therefore, further study before action.

    As for 1976 – 2001, do you think that at least six major oscillations (PDO, AMO, NAO, SO, AO, AAO) going from cold to warm one by one might have had an effect?

    If we want a better perspective, we must look at the lows-to-highs, highs-to-lows, lows-to-lows and highs-to-highs.

  297. Roger Sowell says:

    Bob Meyer (02:33:18) :

    This engineers’ attitude isn’t arrogance. On the contrary it’s the result of having been humbled by nature on a regular basis. We fail far more often than we succeed, it’s just that we don’t try to sell our failures as successes.”

    Very well put, Bob.

    I especially liked the part about engineering design review boards. Been there, on both sides of the table. Those reviews began with the fundamentals, and only if those are navigated successfully, moved on to the fine points. No need to waste everybody’s time if something fundamental is violated. Climate models fail the fundamentals. If only the politicians could be made to understand this.

  298. I’m a Mechanical Engineer, in my mid 50’s, and have designed/built big complex expensive things that could hurt people if we got it wrong. So I get what it means to be an engineer. I should add that I’m also a long time admirer of Mr. Rutan and his accomplishments.

    To my astonishment, I also just finished reading every blessed comment to this Rutan post.

    I haven’t studied global warming up close and personal. I have however read quite a bit about the broad consensus and related trend lines within the scientific world community who study climate change as their primary professional activity.

    I tend to hold to a line of reasoning that views trained scientists, on average, as being the most likely subset of humans to pursue the truth over all other considerations (such as profit, religious beliefs, personal philosophies, power, control etc). Said differently, most educated people would agree that scientists are the least likely group of people to be willfully misleading or unwilling to accept hard data/evidence and adjust working theories accordingly. Not that they aren’t a stubborn lot or subject to various human failings, just that science is fundamentally about discovering the truth; not adjusting the facts to fit a theory.

    After taking in the bulk of the above comments, and taking it all at face value, I would have to conclude that my view of science and scientists is woefully flawed and that my engineering brethren, who are neither trained in climatology nor work in this field, have it all figured out and that indeed, the climate scientists are instead a collective of twisted misleading nutbags unwittingly bent on the destruction of life as we know it including truth, justice and the American way.

    I’m reminded of a quote by Bertrand Russell who said….”The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” But then again, he was just a Nobel Prize winning philosopher, logician, mathematician ad nauseum so what did he know!

    Morten

  299. oms says:

    Bob Meyer (02:33:18) :

    I think that you are missing Roger Sowell’s point. There are principles that engineers adhere to in their testing and design work. Both experience and reason show that these principles are valid and can’t be flaunted with impunity.

    This almost HAS to be true in any field where there is accountability.

    When climate scientists ignore these principles we don’t have to prove them wrong or offer alternatives.

    This indeed is true, but it hasn’t stopped many posters from trying. If the prevailing climate science is wrong, then it’s wrong. Once someone thinks they have a better idea, then it’s a fair expectation that they prove their alternative is better.

    I would pay big money just to watch somebody like Hansen be forced to defend his analyses in a typical engineering design review.

    That’s fine by me. I’d love to see the current and previous U.S. presidents subjected to the same as well.

    This engineers’ attitude isn’t arrogance. On the contrary it’s the result of having been humbled by nature on a regular basis. We fail far more often than we succeed, it’s just that we don’t try to sell our failures as successes. We can’t because as has been mentioned several times on this blog, when we screw up people can die.

    Your approach is commendable, but somehow that wasn’t the tone I was getting from the OP. Apologies if I was indeed missing the point.

  300. Roger Sowell says:

    It appears to me from some of the comments above that there are those who doubt that scale-up is a problem. I offer the following for those to read and ponder. Then consider that the IPCC is attempting a scale up to the planetary level. There are numerous articles and books on the subject.


    Click

  301. RW says:

    evanmjones: you spent a long time arguing that there was no correlation between CO2 and temperature, although the slightest glance at the data shows an obvious correlation. Now that I’ve shown you that, you suddenly say that’s not even important and want to talk about the ‘bigger picture’. Funny, that!

    With your blow-by-blow description of the ups and downs of the temperature record over the last few years, you dance around the point without quite getting it: the ups and downs from month to month are weather, not climate. Climate is measured over decades, not months.

    “You also seem to be saying the AMO and PDO are not meaningful to temperatures. Really? Are you saying CO2 is responsible for the rise from 1979 to 1998?”

    The AMO and PDO indices have some correlation with global temperatures; they are related to measures of regional temperature, so it would be surprising if they didn’t. What you mean by “meaningful to temperatures” is not clear.

    As for CO2… it is certainly the dominant contributor to the ongoing warming trend that didn’t start in 1979 and didn’t end in 1998, yes. If you want to believe that it wasn’t, you need to come up with a) some reason why its IR absorption properties mysteriously stopped working, and b) some other cause of the warming.

  302. Roger Sowell says:

    RW, you could not be more wrong that CO2 is the cause of global temperature increases. You do not even have a correlation, let alone causation.

    To believe you, CO2 must have decreased just after the Medieval warming and during the little ice age, when global cooling occurred. Did it decrease?

    To believe you, CO2 must have increased substantially to warm the globe out of the little ice age. Did it?

    To believe you, CO2 must have decreased substantially since 1998 to create the recent cooling. Did it?

    To believe you, CO2 must have increased remarkably just before and during the Medieval warming. Did it?

    Please present your proof.

  303. oms says:

    RW (11:16:33) :

    As for CO2… it is certainly the dominant contributor to the ongoing warming trend that didn’t start in 1979 and didn’t end in 1998, yes.

    Not even the IPCC makes a claim that strong. Is there something you know that they don’t?

  304. evanmjones says:

    RW,

    it is certainly the dominant contributor to the ongoing warming trend that didn’t start in 1979 and didn’t end in 1998, yes.

    I do not concede the certainty. CO2 rise did not accelerate until post WWII (and measures prior to that are via proxy). From 1950 to the mid 1970s, for whatever reason, temperatures cooled. So you will have to define your statement above more precisely.

    Temperatures did increase from the mid ’70s to 1998. From then until the start of 2007, the trend is rather flat (the major oscillations being in warm phase). In 2007, the PDO went into cold phase and temperatures have dropped. That is a correlation. That is also the data.

    As for post 1998, either include both the 1998 El Nino and the 1999-2001 La Nina or exclude them both and start in 2001. (Starting anywhere in between 1998 and 2001 is cherrypicking.) By either measure there has been a downward trend to date.

    If you are implying, as you seem to be, that temperatures have increased since 1998 or 2001, you are simply not following the graphs.

    As I said before, adjusted (not raw) temperatures have increased by ~0.7C during the 20th century. Not even the IPCC says that this is all due to CO2 increase. This is no emergency, whatever.

    For the IPCC mainstream scenario to be correct, we would have to warm on the order of 0.4C per decade. (If the low-end IPCC scenario is correct, there is also no pressing emergency.)

    Therefore, you must show me that positive feedbacks will come into play that greatly accelerate this trend for it to be an emergency. You have not addressed this point (other than to castigate me for bringing it forward).

    If you want to believe that it wasn’t, you need to come up with a) some reason why its IR absorption properties mysteriously stopped working, and b) some other cause of the warming.

    Fair enough.

    a.) They haven’t, but the effects so far have been mild and there is the question of diminishing returns (not mysterious, but currently in dispute) and the IPCC version of the persistence of CO2 is currently sharply disputed. Then there’s that critically important positive feedback issue . . .

    b.) There has been some recovery from the Little Ice Age, which ended around the 1840s. The Loehle reconstructions indicate that we are not yet recovered to MWP levels. (Solar electromagnetic measurements are currently being disputed, so we can set that aside until it is clarified.)

  305. evanmjones says:

    As for climate from the mid 1970s to present, there has been some increase. But the “Big Six” oscillations were all in cool phase in 1975. When they turned warm (one by one until until 2001) temperatures increased at a bit over 0.3C per decade. From 2001 to 2007, they were in warm phase. In the last two years, PDO has turned cool. The others are either wavering or are still in warm phase. Temperatures are definitely down from that point (Jan. 2007).

    That is the story of the last 30 years of climate. The last century showed an (adjusted) increase of ~0.7C.

    Therefore the dominant reason for the rise since the mid 1970s is the oscillation factor. CO2 has probably had a small underlying effect, but would not seem to be the main factor.

  306. RW says:

    “RW, you could not be more wrong that CO2 is the cause of global temperature increases. You do not even have a correlation, let alone causation.”

    Look, are you actually unable to comprehend the data, or are you just hoping that if you say the same thing enough times, someone will believe you? There is a strong correlation between CO2 concentrations and global temperatures.

    “To believe you, CO2 must have decreased just after the Medieval warming and during the little ice age, when global cooling occurred. Did it decrease?

    To believe you, CO2 must have increased substantially to warm the globe out of the little ice age. Did it?

    To believe you, CO2 must have decreased substantially since 1998 to create the recent cooling. Did it?

    To believe you, CO2 must have increased remarkably just before and during the Medieval warming. Did it?”

    There has been no “recent cooling”. The last decade is the warmest in the instrumental record. CO2 is the dominant cause of the current rise in global temperatures. In what way does that have any bearing on the factors which caused previous climate changes?

    evanmjones:

    “I do not concede the certainty. CO2 rise did not accelerate until post WWII (and measures prior to that are via proxy). From 1950 to the mid 1970s, for whatever reason, temperatures cooled. So you will have to define your statement above more precisely.”

    CO2 began to rise in the mid-19th century, and your points have little relevance to the attribution of the current global warming to rising greenhouse gas concentrations.

    “Temperatures did increase from the mid ’70s to 1998. From then until the start of 2007, the trend is rather flat (the major oscillations being in warm phase). In 2007, the PDO went into cold phase and temperatures have dropped. That is a correlation. That is also the data.”

    Clearly you are not willing to understand that you cannot measure climate over 10 years. It’s measured over decades. All your talk about cooling over 2 years, or 10 years, is meaningless. As I showed you, all indices show rising temperatures over the last 24 months. That is anti-correlation with the PDO. You would prefer to consider the last 30 months – this is called ‘cherry-picking’.

    “As for post 1998, either include both the 1998 El Nino and the 1999-2001 La Nina or exclude them both and start in 2001. (Starting anywhere in between 1998 and 2001 is cherrypicking.) By either measure there has been a downward trend to date.”

    Again, you’re simply not willing to understand statistical significance. You cannot measure any trend – positive or negative – since 2001.

    “If you are implying, as you seem to be, that temperatures have increased since 1998 or 2001, you are simply not following the graphs.”

    The data from 1975-1998 shows a statistically significant warming trend. The data from 1975-2008 shows a statistically significant and larger warming trend. There is no evidence at all of any cooling trend. You are simply not understanding the data.

    “This is no emergency, whatever.”

    Ah, finally, an interesting point that hasn’t been debunked a billion times. This is something we could have a sensible discussion about.

    “For the IPCC mainstream scenario to be correct, we would have to warm on the order of 0.4C per decade.”

    “the IPCC version of the persistence of CO2 is currently sharply disputed.”

    Not by scientists.

    “There has been some recovery from the Little Ice Age, which ended around the 1840s. The Loehle reconstructions indicate that we are not yet recovered to MWP levels. (Solar electromagnetic measurements are currently being disputed, so we can set that aside until it is clarified.)”

    The word ‘recovery’ in the sense you are trying to use it means nothing. The climate never ‘recovers’. Didn’t I tell you that before? You seem to be trying to say that the warming was caused by warming.

    You seem to have given up trying to deny the existence of a correlation between CO2 and temperatures, which is good. As you now want to talk about feedback, I’ve got a question for you. When you look at the paleoclimate record, do you see a) smooth variation, or b) long periods of stability followed by sudden jumps? It is believed that ice ages are triggered by variations in the Earth’s orbital parameters. Do these parameters a) vary smoothly, or b) stay the same for long periods and then suddenly change?

  307. evanmjones says:

    I did not say there was no correlation between CO2 and temperatures, I merely said it was poor and that oscillations (certainly from 1979 to date) correlate far better. The far greater ups and downs seem to have little to do with CO2. If CO2 were a dominating factor, it would follow the major wiggles. It does not. Therefore it may well have a minor upward imprint, but does not call the tune.

    The 1979 – 1998 period was one of those sharp multi-oscillation. Since then, temps are clearly down, though not as far as the upswing. But that is because only one oscillation has gone cool and only just recently.

    I will go so far as to say that a 30-year period is, in this case, too short to fully judge. We need 50 or 60. What we have now is a cool point (1979) to a point where things have just begun to cool significantly (2009).

    We need to wait until the major oscillations have flipped back to cool (as in 1975) before we can isolate any non-oscillation related effects. Cool point to cool point. But we will have to wait another two decades for that.

    As I showed you, all indices show rising temperatures over the last 24 months. That is anti-correlation with the PDO. You would prefer to consider the last 30 months – this is called ‘cherry-picking’.

    However, you will note that my “cherrypicking” trend holds as far back as 100 months, whereas yours ceases abruptly after six months. Therefore your cherries are redder than mine.

    Not by scientists.

    By many scientists. (There was a peer-reviewed paper recently on just this subject mentioned on this blog. Using isotope ratios as evidence, just as those opposed to the position have.)

    No point in spitballing over the semantics of the word “recovery”. The question is whether it has been this warm before without increased CO2. It seems that it has been. Therefore, even stipulating that CO2 accounts for 100% of the warming (upwardly adjusted from the raw or even the TOBS data, and not accounting for station siting), it has been this warm before. And the Roman Warm period is said to have exceeded the MWP. And the Bronze Age Maximum warmer still.

    Therefore, even assuming CO2 has an effect, the extent of the effect is highly questionable and does not exceed natural parameters.

  308. evanmjones says:

    RW: BTW, I agree with you (and disagree with many here) that it is quite plausible for a 3% per year “contribution” to CO2 to drive up CO2 levels quite a lot over time. At this point there appears to be a 0.4% annual increase.

    I don’t think this rates an emergency response, however. As Churchill might have put it, we are approaching the end of the beginning of our understanding of climate. Long way to go to the end.

  309. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Bob Meyer (02:33:18) :

    “This engineers’ attitude isn’t arrogance. On the contrary it’s the result of having been humbled by nature on a regular basis. We fail far more often than we succeed, it’s just that we don’t try to sell our failures as successes.”

    I agree Bob – you speak with the voice of well earned experience; as both an individual engineer and for the whole profession. I reckon that we could all live without ‘climate scientists’ but we sure would struggle without engineers. And I speak as a non-engineer.

  310. Roger Sowell says:

    RW NO, THERE’S NOT

    There, do you feel better by shouting in bold?

    No presentation of a graph, undocumented, without source, such as you offered above, is persuasive. It is, however, a lame attempt by one who has no armament at his disposal. You warmists are always yammering on about how climate is a long-term effect; therefore, produce some well-documented values for CO2 and global temperature over several centuries, and we will talk. I wish I had you as a hostile witness in a court-room with a graph like the one you offer; that would just make my day.

  311. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Roger Sowell (20:28:33) :

    Hi Roger!

    To RW: “I wish I had you as a hostile witness in a court-room…”

    AGW just wouldn’t stand up in court. Is there any way that we could try it?

  312. MTS says:

    RW I have several questions. 1) What do you think of Al Gore’s year 2100 predictions compared to the IPCC’s predictions? 2) Do your models show constant proportional increase in temperature to the increase in ppm CO2 indefinitely or is there a diminishing return at some point? 3) When you say “not by scientists” can you elaborate on who you are talking about and where all this polling data on these “scientists” can be found? Thanks for your answers.

  313. Roger Sowell says:

    Jimmy Haigh (22:30:15) :

    “AGW just wouldn’t stand up in court. Is there any way that we could try it?”

    Jimmy, there are lots of ways, and I wrote about that here:

    http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/legal-challenges-to-global-warming.html

    Since I wrote this (March 2009), Tesoro has dropped their lawsuit.

  314. ralph ellis says:

    >>> RW
    >>>As I showed you, all indices show rising temperatures
    >>>over the last 24 months.

    Not when I last looked they did not.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2007/to:2009/plot/gistemp/from:2007/to:2009/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2007/to:2009/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2007/to:2009/trend

    Is that some sort of new-fangled AGW ‘inverted increase’?? Please explain.

    .

  315. RW says:

    evanmjones:

    “I did not say there was no correlation between CO2 and temperatures, I merely said it was poor and that oscillations (certainly from 1979 to date) correlate far better. The far greater ups and downs seem to have little to do with CO2. If CO2 were a dominating factor, it would follow the major wiggles. It does not. Therefore it may well have a minor upward imprint, but does not call the tune.”

    Well, I showed you the data already. I told you how you can replicate it yourself. I invited you to calculate correlations with oscillations. It seems you didn’t bother and instead you wish to stick to unfounded beliefs. If R² = 0.78, it would be mathematically inept to describe the correlation as ‘poor’. On what mathematical basis, if any, are you making your claims?

    “The 1979 – 1998 period was one of those sharp multi-oscillation. Since then, temps are clearly down, though not as far as the upswing. But that is because only one oscillation has gone cool and only just recently.”

    Temperatures cannot possibly be described as “clearly down” when the decade following 1998 has been warmer than the decade preceding it.

    “I will go so far as to say that a 30-year period is, in this case, too short to fully judge. We need 50 or 60. What we have now is a cool point (1979) to a point where things have just begun to cool significantly (2009).”

    Things have not “begun to cool significantly”. Once again you’re making statements that are completely contradictory to the observational data. We do have more than 100 years of instrumental data, you know.

    “However, you will note that my “cherrypicking” trend holds as far back as 100 months, whereas yours ceases abruptly after six months. Therefore your cherries are redder than mine.”

    I didn’t claim anything at all based on 24 months, other than using it as an example of how ridiculous it is to claim anything about climate based on less than 10 years of data. It seems you missed that point.

    “No point in spitballing over the semantics of the word “recovery”. The question is whether it has been this warm before without increased CO2. It seems that it has been. Therefore, even stipulating that CO2 accounts for 100% of the warming (upwardly adjusted from the raw or even the TOBS data, and not accounting for station siting), it has been this warm before. And the Roman Warm period is said to have exceeded the MWP. And the Bronze Age Maximum warmer still.”

    Once again, you switch your argument as soon as it comes under any scrutiny. How very tiresome. The attribution of the causes of previous climate changes is a separate problem to the attribution of the cause of this current climate change. Your point is what’s called a “straw man”.

    “Therefore, even assuming CO2 has an effect, the extent of the effect is highly questionable and does not exceed natural parameters.”

    This statement doesn’t make sense.

    You ignored my questions about paleoclimate. Why?

    Roger Sowell:

    “No presentation of a graph, undocumented, without source, such as you offered above, is persuasive.”

    I told you which data the graph was based on. The strong correlation is there, staring you in the face, and still you deny that it exists. This is irrational and it means that for you, this is about faith and not science.

    MTS:

    “RW I have several questions. 1) What do you think of Al Gore’s year 2100 predictions compared to the IPCC’s predictions? 2) Do your models show constant proportional increase in temperature to the increase in ppm CO2 indefinitely or is there a diminishing return at some point? 3) When you say “not by scientists” can you elaborate on who you are talking about and where all this polling data on these “scientists” can be found? Thanks for your answers.”

    1. What are Al Gore’s predictions?
    2. The forcing from CO2 is proportional to the logarithm of the fractional increase. The response of the climate to that forcing is likely to be highly non-linear but is extremely unlikely to be less than 2°C for a doubling of CO2.
    3. The long residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is well established. Perhaps you could clarify exactly who thinks it isn’t.

    ralph ellis:

    ” >>> RW
    >>>As I showed you, all indices show rising temperatures
    >>>over the last 24 months.

    Not when I last looked they did not.”

    You were not looking at the last 24 months. The point to take away is that short term variations tell us nothing about climate.

  316. evanmjones says:

    Well, I showed you the data already. I told you how you can replicate it yourself. I invited you to calculate correlations with oscillations. It seems you didn’t bother and instead you wish to stick to unfounded beliefs. If R² = 0.78, it would be mathematically inept to describe the correlation as ‘poor’. On what mathematical basis, if any, are you making your claims?

    Well, mainly on the fact that when the oscillations wiggle, the graphs wiggle. CO2 is a simple curve that does not conform with ups and downs. This indicates that it may have an underlying fingerprint, but does not closely correspond. Other factors such as “recovery” [sic] from the LIA, land use, black carbon/dirty snow, etc., also contribute.

    Your contention is that CO2 is the primary driver. I do not think you have even vaguely proven that.

    Temperatures cannot possibly be described as “clearly down” when the decade following 1998 has been warmer than the decade preceding it.

    Um. Yes, they can if the trend is down.

    Carter pointed out that inflation was worse under Reagan’s first four years than under his term. Well, when you took the average, this was quite correct.

    Reagan’s replay was, “If the Carter administration were a book, you’d have to read it back to front to get a happy ending.”

    Once again, you switch your argument as soon as it comes under any scrutiny. How very tiresome. The attribution of the causes of previous climate changes is a separate problem to the attribution of the cause of this current climate change. Your point is what’s called a “straw man”.

    Stuff and nonsense. And tiresome. Reversion to the norm is not what I would call a straw man. YMMV. There have been many recoveries from cool periods. None of them have been due to CO2. Therefore, CO2 cannot simply be isolated as a primary cause.

    This statement doesn’t make sense.

    Then I will explain. The current maximum does not exceed the three previous maximums. Therefore the current maximum, whatever its cause, is within the natural range. There may well be CO2 influence, but it also would not appear to be “primary”, as it did not bring about the previous maximums and does not follow the ups and downs.

    You ignored my questions about paleoclimate. Why?

    Not particularly relevant, as there is currently no such “jump”. Sure, things can change fast, and not just because of Milankovitch cycles. The Younger Dryas ended in about three years; no one is sure why. Milankovitch cycles are said to have effect through positive feedback. Very well and good. So we look for evidence of positive CO2 feedback. The result, so far, is for negative CO2 feedback. So positive feedbacks a la Milankovitch do not seem to apply in the case of CO2.

  317. RW says:

    I asked: On what mathematical basis, if any, are you making your claims?

    You replied: “Well, mainly on the fact that when the oscillations wiggle, the graphs wiggle. CO2 is a simple curve that does not conform with ups and downs. This indicates that it may have an underlying fingerprint, but does not closely correspond. Other factors such as “recovery” [sic] from the LIA, land use, black carbon/dirty snow, etc., also contribute.”

    That is not a mathematical basis. I ask again: On what mathematical basis, if any, are you making your claims? To be clearer – choose your data sets and calculate correlation coefficients between them. Tell us what they are. Do not waffle, please – just give us the numbers.

    Temperatures cannot possibly be described as “clearly down” when the decade following 1998 has been warmer than the decade preceding it.

    Um. Yes, they can if the trend is down.”

    There is no statistically significant trend in global temperatures over the last 10 years. For the nth time – climate is measured over decades, not years.

    “There have been many recoveries from cool periods.”

    There has never, ever, in the history of the Earth, been a ‘recovery’ from any climatic period, cold or hot, in the sense that you seem to mean it. If it gets colder, then unless whatever caused it to get cold changes, then it will stay cold.

    “None of them have been due to CO2. Therefore, CO2 cannot simply be isolated as a primary cause.”

    Non sequitur. Do you think that every climate change must have exactly the same attribution?

    “Then I will explain. The current maximum does not exceed the three previous maximums. Therefore the current maximum, whatever its cause, is within the natural range. There may well be CO2 influence, but it also would not appear to be “primary”, as it did not bring about the previous maximums and does not follow the ups and downs.”

    Non sequitur, as before. Think of it this way – if you get run over by a car tomorrow, your lifespan would certainly have fallen within the range of natural variability. Does that help us attribute the cause of your death?

    “Sure, things can change fast, and not just because of Milankovitch cycles. The Younger Dryas ended in about three years; no one is sure why. Milankovitch cycles are said to have effect through positive feedback. Very well and good. So we look for evidence of positive CO2 feedback. The result, so far, is for negative CO2 feedback. So positive feedbacks a la Milankovitch do not seem to apply in the case of CO2.”

    You have allowed yourself to be badly misled about feedbacks, it seems. Feedback cannot distinguish between forcings. The paleoclimate record demonstrates that positive feedbacks exist in the climate system. It is physically impossible for feedbacks to react to one forcing and not another.

  318. Smokey says:

    Well, knock me over with a feather. RW is wrong again.

    RW screams in bold: “There is a strong correlation between CO2 concentrations and global temperatures.”

    Um… no, there’s not.

    Notice in the chart the R^2 non-correlation of 0.07? There is no cause and effect between rising CO2 and temperature. None. 0.07 is way down in the noise.

    But mathematics is helpless against cognitive dissonance.

  319. evanmjones says:

    Well, the multidecadal cycles switched from cool to warm as follows:

    SO: 1977
    PDO: 1977
    IPO: 1978
    AAO: 1980
    AO: 1989
    AMO: 1996
    NAO: 2001

    In 2007, the PDO went to cool phase. (The AMO and possibly the AO seem to be headed that way.)

    So it is little wonder that the last decade has been relatively flat and warm. Since the PDO switched, it has cooled.

    CO2 also rose steadily. But it also rose steadily from 1950 to 1975 during a cooling trend.

    There is no statistically significant trend in global temperatures over the last 10 years. For the nth time – climate is measured over decades, not years.

    I do not think it irrelevant to break up the ~30-year trend and examine it in light of the multidecadal cycles. YMMV. 20 years up to high point in 1998, eleven years down. Ocean cycles warming to 2001, steady to 2007, down since then. CO2 up steadily throughout.

    There has never, ever, in the history of the Earth, been a ‘recovery’ from any climatic period, cold or hot, in the sense that you seem to mean it. If it gets colder, then unless whatever caused it to get cold changes, then it will stay cold.

    You are stuck on the word “recovery”. But yes, obviously unless there is some change in environment, there will be no change in climate.

    “None of them have been due to CO2. Therefore, CO2 cannot simply be isolated as a primary cause.”

    Non sequitur. Do you think that every climate change must have exactly the same attribution?

    No. But if one can show a valid hockey stick with only one change and one changing condition, the argument is strengthened. With continual ups and downs, the connection is weakened, especially if the current situation is less of an up or down.

    It is physically impossible for feedbacks to react to one forcing and not another.

    You mean possible? Typo? Or do I misunderstand?

    You have allowed yourself to be badly misled about feedbacks, it seems. Feedback cannot distinguish between forcings. The paleoclimate record demonstrates that positive feedbacks exist in the climate system.

    Sure they do. From a number of causes (continental drift, Milankovitch cycles + (possibly) Inclination). But not for CO2, which seems to be a tail, not the dog, and only varies by 100 ppm anyway. We have an over 100 ppm CO2 increase, but only a 0.7C increase in temperatures, and that 0.7C has questionable upward adjustments. Therefore, CO2 positive feedback does not appear to be at issue, at least not at this time.

    BTW, just so you know, I have been the one approving your latest series of posts (complete, unedited). So I am perfectly willing to discuss the matter. It is even possible that we agree on more than we appear to. Our main material difference seems to be that you say CO2 is the dominating factor, while I say it is a more minor fingerprint, and that we disagree on the breakdown of the last 30 years (you appear object to looking at it in chunks from highest to lowest points, while I think it relevant to do so).

  320. eric says:

    I read some of the adulatory posts on this page, and checked out Rutan’s presentation. It seems to me that there is no new revelation about the GHG theory in it. It is the same stuff I have been seeing warmed over repeatedly.
    In my opinion all of his arguments have been answered repeatedly, and he doesn’t deal with the rebuttals. This is not the mark of a great engineer.
    Some of the misleading slides he has shown have been mentioned by other posters.

  321. Smokey says:

    eric,

    I think if you put some real effort into it, you could be a little more vague.

  322. evanmjones says:

    Well, eric, you now how it is these days. Rebuttals, counterrebuttals, counter-counter rebuttals it’s all where you end . . . the debate is on, that’s for sure.

    It’s all antidisestablishmentarianism. The question is, who is to be the establishment?

    #B^1

  323. RW says:

    evanmjones:

    I’ve asked you twice but you have not told me what mathematical basis there is for your claims about correlations. Please would you tell me which data you are using, and what correlation coefficients you calculate for T v CO2, and T v other variable.

    “obviously unless there is some change in environment, there will be no change in climate.”

    I’m glad we agree on that.

    “No. But if one can show a valid hockey stick with only one change and one changing condition, the argument is strengthened. With continual ups and downs, the connection is weakened, especially if the current situation is less of an up or down.”

    I cannot make sense of this paragraph.

    “You mean possible? Typo? Or do I misunderstand?”

    No, it is physically impossible for feedbacks to react to one forcing and not another. For example, the ice-albedo feedback. Melting ice lowers albedo resulting in more heating and more melting of ice. It operates regardless of what initially triggered the melting. How could it be otherwise? You are saying, though, that feedbacks that operate for other forcings somehow do not work when CO2 is causing temperature increases.

    “you appear object to looking at it in chunks from highest to lowest points, while I think it relevant to do so”

    Any chunk of the temperature record less than 15 years or so long cannot tell us anything about climate. This is a non-negotiable fact – a simple matter of definition. Your continual talk about “trends” over 2, 5 or 10 years is mathematically meaningless – these “trends” are not statistically significant – and it’s also physically meaningless because climate is measured over decades, not months or years.

  324. oms says:

    RW (15:41:16) :

    No, it is physically impossible for feedbacks to react to one forcing and not another. For example, the ice-albedo feedback. Melting ice lowers albedo resulting in more heating and more melting of ice. It operates regardless of what initially triggered the melting. How could it be otherwise?

    One should be cautious with this sort of argument. For example, the ice albedo feedback might respond differently to melting caused by wind events +warm currents, for example, than to increased longwave trapping and/or a poleward shift of the general circulation.

    A better example might be changes in atmospheric particulate matter, which might increase reflectivity in some areas and increase absorptivity in others. The number you would get for a radiative forcing might be the same for several scenarios and yet the feedback from water vapor or ice melt might be quite different.

  325. evanmjones says:

    Let me be more plain.

    I do not dispute the fact that there has been some warming during the 20th century, though I heartily suspect it is about half of what is measured. That is to say the TOBS correction is more or less valid (though perhaps exaggerated), but the “neutral” (NOT) adjustments of FILNET are not valid. Unless, of course, it just happens that USHCN curators have an abject hatred of measuring temperatures on warm days.

    I also do not dispute the rise in CO2, though I question the IPCC version of persistence.

    Neither do I dispute that when you decouple the years the correlation strengthens.

    However, when you run it along date lines (unlike your graph) you get multidecadal rises and falls that correlate with the rises and falls of the multidecadal oceanic-atmospheric cycles, while the rise in CO2 is a simple curve. I do not dispute the numbers in your graph, I merely note the arrangement, which is not strictly chronological.

    I am sure I do not have to post the CO2 curve vs. temperatures arranged chronologically. We have all seen those until we are blue in the eyes. They are all over this site if you care to find them.

    Therefore I suspect CO2 leaves a fingerprint, but is not the dominant factor. Even the IPCC does not attribute all of the 20th century rise to CO2, but allows for such factors as land use and black carbon (both anthropogenic). Most scientists believe that low sunspot activity contributed to the LIA, and that an increase brought us out. I call that “recovery”, you can call it what you wish. It is pure semantics, and I don’t really care what the label is.

    Therefore I think that CO2 and other factors, some natural, some anthropogenic have had an upward pressure on temperatures since 1900, but the main run-ups during the ’20/’30s and the ’80s/90s are primarily due to the cycles and cannot be used to illustrate the effect of CO2 or the other underlying factors.

    I further assert that even if the adjusted temperature record is correct and CO2 has contributed 100% to the adjusted warming, we have no real emergency. You have agreed that this is something that is at least arguable.

    And yes, I believe in that positive feedbacks can occur and have occurred. But I do not believe that CO2 is creating an overall positive feedback. So far, evidence does not show much of an increase in ambient vapor or cirrus clouds, but rather an increase of low-level clouds which increases albedo and acts as a negative feedback. Spencer and others are currently fighting that one out.

    That’s really about it.

    As it is, this thread is about to fade off the queue and we are running in circles without saying anything new.

  326. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    Reading this thread has made me wary of the pronouncements of engineers. One self proclaimed engineer claimed that after looking into climate models (presumably GCMs, which is what most people mean when referring to “climate models”) he found them to be not physical, but statistical in nature. If PolitiFact had investigated this claim it would have rated “Pants on Fire”. GCMs are physical in nature, parametrizations for sub grid scale processes and all.

    Another poster (Sowell?) claims that the models suffer from a problem of trying to scale up (what?). This is silly on it’s face. GCMs (the G stands for general and the C stands for circulation) represent as best we can the distilled knowledge that we have about how the climate operates. While I see that there are gaps in our knowledge (dual ITCZ being one oddity) these are not due to scaling problems.

    Sowell at one point claims that the IPCC suffers from a scaling problem. This is about as silly a statement as I can see. The IPCC is a giant literature review which attempts to distill what is known about the climate system. What is meant by a “scaling problem” in this context makes no sense at all.

    evanjones makes repeated silly claims, most of them resting on the claim of “The Great Pacific Climatic Shift” of the mid 1970’s. This is a shift in general ENSO conditions from SOI + to SOI -. The problem with making this argument is that there have been many shifts from a predominantly La Nina regime to a predominantly El Nino regime in the historical record and none have resulted in the sort of warming the planet has seen in the last 35 years. At this point I will refer you to the book “El Nino, Storming Through History” which provides an excellent documentation of the raw data.

    For those of you who are not aware of such things, we are currently in an El Nino condition. The current dynamical models (which have performed better than the statistical models recently) predict a continuing strengthening of El Nino resulting in a moderate El Nino by early 2010. IANACS, nor do I play one on TV, but at this point I will make a naive prediction: 2010 will be the warmest or second warmest year on record. I base this on the steady warming trend which exists in the surface record which has been shown at Open Mind ad nauseum and the fact that an El Nino generally results in an injection of energy into the climate system.

    Finally, as an engineer myself, I see my job as applying well supported scientific results to products being set loose on the population. As such, I work several steps back from the cutting edge of science. I would hate to see researchers subject to the same standard as my work. If such was the case, science would probably ceases to exist.

  327. Chris Wright says:

    RW (06:26:08) :

    First of all, I apologise for using the word ‘fabrication’. I didn’t say that the graph was a fabrication, but I shouldn’t have used that word.
    .
    You have now given a link that discloses the source and methodology behind that graph, so that’s good. As you suggested, I have plotted the data and I get a similar result. I’ll come to that in a moment.
    .
    It seems there are two questions about this graph:
    1. Does the graph actually show a linear relationship between temperature and CO2?
    2. If the relationship is indeed linear, does it prove a causal relationship between the two?
    .
    I’ll start with the second question first. The graph was produced by a blogger named Robert Grumbine. There’s nothing wrong with science being done by bloggers, and Grumbine seems to know what he’s talking about.
    Grumbine concedes that the warming up to 1950 was natural, so the first half of the graph has nothing to do with CO2, and yet it looks similarly linear. A reasonable conclusion, therefore, is that linearity is no proof of a causal effect. This is hardly surprising, as many things, particularly over a restricted time period, tend to change in a linear fashion.
    .
    Hadley/CRU state that the warming up to about 1975 can be explained by natural forcings (this is part of their ‘two graph’ proof of AGW). If Hadley is correct, then the first three-quarters of that graph had nothing to do with CO2.
    .
    On a longer scale, Professor Akasufo makes a good case that the global temperature has been increasing in a roughly linear fashion since the end of the Little Ice Age.

    http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/pdf/two_natural_components_recent_climate_change.pdf

    If he is right, and all the warming was natural, then you would still see a roughly linear relationship between CO2 and temperature.
    .
    Grumbine states that if the two graphs are straight lines then the correlation is perfect. That may be technically correct, but it doesn’t make much sense, because straight lines don’t have any features. However, if the graph had lots of features (going up and down in different parts) and the features on both lines are virtually identical, then you could certainly say there is a high degree of correlation.
    .
    The problem with the CO2 curve is that it is nearly featureless. In contrast, the temperature curve is feature-rich. Now, if the CO2 had lots of features, sometimes going up and sometimes going down, and if the temperature curve had very similar features, then I would say that there was very high correlation. I would also be forced to conclude that there was a very strong causal relation between the two. Providing the data showed that the up and down temperature changes did not occur *before* the corresponding CO2 changes, then I would conclude that in all probability the temperature was being driven by the CO2. But this is hypothetical, as the CO2 is nearly featureless, and can almost be approximated by a simple straight line.
    .
    Fortunately nature has performed an experiment over the last half million years that has been captured by the ice cores. Particularly due to the ice ages and other climate changes, the CO2 record is extremely feature-rich. And so is the temperature record. The obvious correlation between the two is startling, as Gore makes clear in An Inconvenient Truth. Unfortunately for Gore, we now know that the temperature changes occur roughly 1000 years before the matching CO2 changes, so CO2 could not have been the driver. The CO2 was changing due to the slowly-changing ocean temperatures.
    .
    If, as seems to be the case, the ice cores show no evidence of CO2 driving the temperature, then the only reasonable hypothesis is that CO2 has a negligible effect on temperature. Of course, simple physics shows that a doubling of CO2 should lead to roughly a one degree rise, but climate is complex and full of negative and positive feedbacks. Clearly, in the long run negative feedback dominates, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion today. If so, then it’s quite possible that negative feedbacks reduce the basic greenhouse effect by a large amount, thus making CO2 an insignificant climate driver.
    .
    Of course, as one of Rutan’s slides demonstrate, over periods of tens and hundreds of millions of years there is essentially no correlation between CO2 and temperature. Also, during most of the Earth’s history when there was life, CO2 levels were on average far higher than they are today.
    .
    So, to summarise, I think an apparently linear relationship between CO2 and temperature is absolutely no proof of a causal relationship.
    .
    And now to the first question: does that graph actually demonstrate a linear relationship between CO2 and temperature? I was initially somewhat – shall we say – sceptical when I saw that graph. If you look at the two graphs of CO2 and temperature it’s obvious that they’re very different. All that you can say is that they both went up during the 20th century – but then, a lot of things went up.
    It’s curious that Grumbine doesn’t use filtered data, so that there is a large spread of noise. Possibly this band of noise gives a slightly misleading impression. Also he includes a straight trend line, which can have the effect of deceiving the eye into seeing a straight line when in fact it doesn’t exist. I wondered how it would look with filtered data and that’s one reason why I did actually plot the data. I used Mauna Loa and HADCRUT3. As Mauna Loa starts around 1958, that’s the period covered. Grumbine’s plot probably starts around 1900.
    Here’s my first plot, which uses unfiltered data.
    http://www.kline.demon.co.uk/AANoFiltering.jpg
    Blue is CO2, red is temperature,green is the ‘linear’ plot (temperature versus CO2), with CO2 on the horizontal scale.
    It looks similar to Grumbine’s. However, the flat portion corresponding to the last ten years is more prominent. Even with the noise you can see that it’s not all that linear.
    The other two plots are for one and four years rolling average:
    http://www.kline.demon.co.uk/AAOneYearFilter.jpg
    http://www.kline.demon.co.uk/AAFourYearFilter.jpg
    .
    You can see that, with filtering, the green curve is similar to the red temperature curve. This is not surprising. If the CO2 curve is close to a straight line then the red and green lines will be similar, as essentially the amount of CO2 is proportional to time.
    .
    So, if we apply a bit of filtering to clean it up, then the ‘linear’ curve looks essentially the same as the original temperature curve, which is highly non-linear. Indeed, maybe a third of the curve shows a negative relationship, with temperatures going down as CO2 goes up.
    .
    If you simply look at the curves of CO2 and temperature you can see a lack of correlation between the two. Most dramatically, although CO2 has steadily increased there has been no corresponding increase in temperature over the last ten years or so. The Grumbine graph, once it has been cleaned up to reduce the noise, simply confirms the lack of correlation.
    Chris

  328. RW says:

    evanmjones:

    “However, when you run it along date lines (unlike your graph) you get multidecadal rises and falls that correlate with the rises and falls of the multidecadal oceanic-atmospheric cycles, while the rise in CO2 is a simple curve. I do not dispute the numbers in your graph, I merely note the arrangement, which is not strictly chronological.”

    As you have still not given any numbers, I conclude that you are fully aware that your claims have no mathematical basis. If you think they do, just show us the numbers. If you refuse to quantify your assertions, it makes it pointless trying to have a scientific discussion with you.

    Your talk of ‘decoupling the years’ doesn’t make sense; you calculate a correlation between two variables by plotting one against the other, and a third variable like time is irrelevant. I’ve no idea what your educational background is but I can tell you that you are coming to erroneous conclusions because you are looking at the problem in a fundamentally incorrect way.

    As for whether we face an emergency, that is an inherently very interesting question which is well worth investigating. However, if you still deny, despite the data being right there in front of you, that there is a strong correlation between CO2 and temperature, and a weaker correlation between oscillation indexes and temperature, then you are not conversing within the domain of science and you might as well be typing in Mandarin.

  329. Roger Sowell says:

    Rattus Norvegicus (00:16:39) :

    Climate scientists who write and run GCMs are just about to learn what the engineers have known for many decades. Big models of big systems have have big failures, especially when the big systems have features that are not understood or are not represented in the big models.

    Sadly, if you are an engineer, it appears you do not understand what scale-up is and how important it is. One simply does not start by constructing the biggest facility first. Yet those who write GCMs ignore this.

    Ah well.

    Nature bats last.

  330. RW says:

    Chris Wright:

    “First of all, I apologise for using the word ‘fabrication’. I didn’t say that the graph was a fabrication, but I shouldn’t have used that word”

    You did, in fact, directly accuse me of fabricating the graph. But OK, I accept your apology.

    “It seems there are two questions about this graph:
    1. Does the graph actually show a linear relationship between temperature and CO2?
    2. If the relationship is indeed linear, does it prove a causal relationship between the two?”

    These are not the questions to be asked. There is no attempt to show a linear relation, and nor is one expected. The graph shows a strong correlation between CO2 levels and temperature – nothing more, nothing less.

    “I’ll start with the second question first. The graph was produced by a blogger named Robert Grumbine. There’s nothing wrong with science being done by bloggers, and Grumbine seems to know what he’s talking about.”

    Do you know who Robert Grumbine is?

    “Grumbine concedes that the warming up to 1950 was natural, so the first half of the graph has nothing to do with CO2, and yet it looks similarly linear.”

    In this one sentence, you misrepresent Grumbine and misunderstand his graph. His very simple study implies that before 1950, CO2 was a significant but not dominant contributor to climate change. His graph has CO2 concentrations on the x-axis, not time, so the whole of the graph has everything to do with CO2.

    “Hadley/CRU state that the warming up to about 1975 can be explained by natural forcings (this is part of their ‘two graph’ proof of AGW). If Hadley is correct, then the first three-quarters of that graph had nothing to do with CO2.”

    Again, you seem to be misrepresenting Hadley and misunderstanding the graph. Here’s a quote from a Hadley Centre Technical Note entitled “Estimation of natural and anthropogenic contributions to 20th Century Temperature Change”: We found that the effects of well-mixed greenhouse gases, other anthropogenic effects (largely the indirect effect of sulphate aerosols), and natural causes (solar irradiance changes and volcanic eruptions) could be detected in the record of surface temperature change during the entire 20th century. You seem to think that climate change is either 100% natural or 100% anthropogenic, with some sudden switch between the two. This is not the case.
    .
    “Grumbine states that if the two graphs are straight lines then the correlation is perfect. That may be technically correct, but it doesn’t make much sense, because straight lines don’t have any features.”

    It makes perfect sense and it’s a simple matter of mathematical definition.

    “However, if the graph had lots of features (going up and down in different parts) and the features on both lines are virtually identical, then you could certainly say there is a high degree of correlation.”

    True, and not in any way incompatible with the previous statement.

    “The problem with the CO2 curve is that it is nearly featureless. In contrast, the temperature curve is feature-rich.”

    This is not a “problem”. It’s an observation. To put it in the simplest of terms, CO2 is a driver of climate, not of weather. The climate is fairly monotonically warming. Weather continues as it always will.

    “Now, if the CO2 had lots of features, sometimes going up and sometimes going down, and if the temperature curve had very similar features, then I would say that there was very high correlation.”

    Like evanmjones, you seem to prefer words to mathematics. We have plotted T v CO2. We have fitted a line. We have calculated the statistics. The correlation is very high (R²=0.78). Nothing more to be said.

    “If, as seems to be the case, the ice cores show no evidence of CO2 driving the temperature, then the only reasonable hypothesis is that CO2 has a negligible effect on temperature.”

    A wildly erroneous conclusion. Just because something hasn’t been the primary cause of climate change doesn’t mean it can’t. There is no evidence that I know of that an opaque sphere has ever enclosed the Earth. Your logic would lead you to conclude that if humans were building such a sphere, then it wouldn’t affect the climate.

    “Clearly, in the long run negative feedback dominates, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion today.”

    Non sequitur.

    “If so, then it’s quite possible that negative feedbacks reduce the basic greenhouse effect by a large amount, thus making CO2 an insignificant climate driver.”

    Like evanmjones you seem to think that feedbacks operate selectively, depending on the dominant forcing. This is physically impossible.

    “Here’s my first plot, which uses unfiltered data.
    http://www.kline.demon.co.uk/AANoFiltering.jpg
    Blue is CO2, red is temperature,green is the ‘linear’ plot (temperature versus CO2), with CO2 on the horizontal scale.”

    It looks similar to Grumbine’s. However, the flat portion corresponding to the last ten years is more prominent. Even with the noise you can see that it’s not all that linear.
    The other two plots are for one and four years rolling average:
    http://www.kline.demon.co.uk/AAOneYearFilter.jpg
    http://www.kline.demon.co.uk/AAFourYearFilter.jpg

    None of these are what Grumbine used to produce his graph. He used annual averages. Nor have you fitted any lines or calculated any correlation coefficients.

    “So, if we apply a bit of filtering to clean it up, then the ‘linear’ curve looks essentially the same as the original temperature curve, which is highly non-linear. Indeed, maybe a third of the curve shows a negative relationship, with temperatures going down as CO2 goes up.”

    One does not “apply a bit of filtering to clean it up” without good reason.

    “If you simply look at the curves of CO2 and temperature you can see a lack of correlation between the two. Most dramatically, although CO2 has steadily increased there has been no corresponding increase in temperature over the last ten years or so. The Grumbine graph, once it has been cleaned up to reduce the noise, simply confirms the lack of correlation.”

    It’s truly amazing that you can look at two curves that clearly correlate, and a graph that shows and quantifies that correlation, and still see no correlation. This is pure denial. There is no good reason to take 12 month or 48 month moving averages but in fact, if you do, the correlation is strengthened. For monthly CO2 concentrations and temperature anomalies, I calculate R⊃2=0.64. For 12 month trailing averages of both, R⊃2 = 0.80, and for 48 month trailing averages, it’s 0.93. The Grumbine graph does not need “cleaning up to reduce the noise”, and if you do so you in fact artificially inflate the correlation, rather than (as you were attempting to) reducing it.

  331. wasddsa says:

    That makes sense to me too, Morten

  332. Chris Wright says:

    RW (08:25:53) :

    Okay, I’ll concede one point. Grumbine was actually quoting IPCC, that the forcing due to CO2 was significantly less prior to 1950. He didn’t say it was zero prior to 1950.
    .
    Unfortunately it looks like Hadley has removed their ‘proof’, probably for good reason. You may be familiar with it. They showed two graphs. The first was for purely natural forcing and it matched actual temperatures very well until about 1975, but after that the measured temperature went up much higher. The second graph included the effect of CO2 and matched perfectly, before and after 1975. This ‘proved’ that CO2 forcing was required to properly account for the total warming. But the whole point was that natural forcings accurately accounted for the warming until around 1975. I think I have some slides from Hadley that give an account of this, but I can’t dig them up right now.
    .
    It seems the fundamental argument is this: does that graph provide proof of cause and effect? I don’t think it does. If, as I said, both graphs had lots of features and they corresponded well, then, yes, that would be proof of cause and effect. But there are essentially no features that correspond, primarily because the CO2 has virtually no features. By contrast, graphs linking solar activity and temperature, for example, do have significant features that correspond well.
    .
    Suppose you have three graphs: one showing the ice core CO2/temperature, the second graph showing solar activity/temperature (e.g. Svensmark), and the third graph showing the 20th century CO2/temperature. Suppose you showed them to the proverbial man in the street and asked him to rank them in terms of cause and effect. I think his first choice would be the ice cores, as there are many features that match almost perfectly. His second choice would be solar activity/temperature, as there are significant features that match but not quite so perfectly. And his third choice – a distant third – would be the 20th century record. There’s no visible correlation except that they both go up.
    .
    It would be easy to make lots of similar graphs that show a similar relationship, but between variables that have no causal link e.g. the distance to a galaxy and the average salary of climate scientists. Both are increasing but there’s no causal link at all.
    .
    “One does not “apply a bit of filtering to clean it up” without good reason.”
    .
    Oh, come on, I would think the reason is obvious. Graphs in all sciences are often filtered to remove the noise so that the underlying trend is clearer. You could say it’s a bit like removing the weather to reveal the climate. Have you never used filtering of any kind on your own graphs?
    I used monthly data because that’s what I had. And monthly data has to be better because it has higher resolution.
    .
    “A wildly erroneous conclusion. Just because something hasn’t been the primary cause of climate change doesn’t mean it can’t.”
    (with respect to the ice cores).
    .
    Unfortunately we can’t do climate experiments, so all we have is the historical record. And probably the best records come from the ice cores.
    I’m sorry, but if you claim a certain value for the CO2 forcing and the ice cores don’t support that, then you’re wrong. The ice cores are a perfect test because, as I’ve said, they are feature rich and therefore provide plenty of opportunities to demonstrate any causal relationships. The features match almost perfectly, but with a thousand year delay due to the inertia of the oceans. If you can’t see a signal in the ice cores that confirm your assumed forcing then it probably doesn’t exist. Almost certainly temperatures would respond to CO2 very quickly, perhaps just a year or so, so you would expect to see a clear and almost instantaneous response. But, as far as I’m aware, there’s no sign of that.
    I prefer to base my beliefs on solid measurements and not on the output of computer models whose predictions are consistently wrong.
    Chris

  333. oms says:

    Roger Sowell (07:40:01) :

    Sadly, if you are an engineer, it appears you do not understand what scale-up is and how important it is. One simply does not start by constructing the biggest facility first. Yet those who write GCMs ignore this.

    Had you missed the models of smaller scale and/or more simplified circulation systems, e.g., small-scale process models, regional weather models, mesoscale models, etc., developed over the past several decades?

  334. alan falk says:

    if you want to see comments from just about all of the “Warmites” Gore has enlisted since his “inconvenient lies” movie, visit http://www.current.com and search for things like “global warming”.

    enjoy the abscence of logic and science in the “arguments” and “discussions.”

    it’s enough to make a grown engineer cry.

  335. Fuelmaker says:

    Rattus Norvegicus (00:16:39) :

    I am the engineer who characterized the GCM’s as statistical. Although they claim to be physical, the constants they use in presumed feedback were selected based on how well the models hindcast. This is there fatal flaw and why I don’t believe they have any predictive value. When you notice a correlation, you should then investigate the physical relationships to determine cause and effect; not just try different mathematical relationships and time lags.

    Do you realize that the “best” models (ones that hindcast best) assumed a huge positive feedback from clouds? They assumed that small increases in air temperature would reduce cloud cover. There are certainly ways to test this and they have all failed. If this were so, there would be markedly less cloud cover in the warmer areas of earth.

    Why does cloud cover vary? Maybe cosmic rays, maybe chaos. Either way, if you want to predict weather and climate better, we should research cloud dynamics. When I found out the GCM’s used all sorts of positive feedback fudge factors to exaggerate the climate sensitivity by a factor of five, like Burt Rutan, I knew it was BS.

    When they explain all the texture in the temperature record and there is a residual 1K climate sensitivity with a very high correlation, I might take them seriously. Of course once you explain everything but a linear trend, you might look to other roughly linear factors like land use change.

  336. Roger Sowell says:

    oms (16:08:25) :

    “Had you missed the models of smaller scale and/or more simplified circulation systems, e.g., small-scale process models, regional weather models, mesoscale models, etc., developed over the past several decades?”

    No, I had not missed that. Been following along for quite some time. And noticed along the way how wonderfully accurate the “small-scale process models” were; and am completely confident in the regional weather predictions from the “regional weather models” (they NEVER miss, do they?); and the infallibly accurate predictions from the other models, too. I thought of all that accuracy every time I shoveled 12 inches of “partly cloudy” from my driveway, and just laughed when I was drenched in rain on a “fair and sunny” day, predicted by those models. Oh, what? Not the same models? You mean CLIMATE models! Of course…the ones that failed to properly predict anything so far…like the recent run of cool temperatures in Los Angeles…the complete blanket of snow across Canada this past winter…snow in Buenos Aires…absence of record hurricanes…sea levels refusing to rise as predicted…ice growing and growing globally…THOSE models!

    Engineers don’t have the luxury to be wrong 99 percent of the time. We adhere to things like fundamentals.

    By the way, to all you climate scientists out there. We engineers (with the lawyers’ assistance for permits and such) are going to design and build the processes to combat your faked CO2 crisis – carbon capture and sequestration, cap and trade, renewable energy as replacement for fossil fuels, bio-fuels for transportation, and all the rest. And the economies in the world that are forced to do these things are going to crumble, with people unemployed, cold, and hungry. Liberal state governments, and federal governments, will increase tax rates to compensate for falling revenues as businesses fail. Tax-payers will soon revolt. The non-participating economies will continue to consume fossil fuels and grow their economies.

    And the engineers will be pointing straight at the climate scientists with their faked CO2 crisis, properly laying the blame entirely at your feet.

    This is not a game.

  337. oms says:

    Roger Sowell (21:12:51) :

    Been following along for quite some time. And noticed along the way how wonderfully accurate the “small-scale process models” were; and am completely confident in the regional weather predictions from the “regional weather models” (they NEVER miss, do they?); and the infallibly accurate predictions from the other models, too.

    Engineers don’t have the luxury to be wrong 99 percent of the time. We adhere to things like fundamentals.

    Any references to regional weather models or small scale process studies using DNS which are wrong 99% of the time? Are they all in the same category?

    Do you use models for engineering applications? Do you develop models at all?

    By the way, to all you climate scientists out there. We engineers (with the lawyers’ assistance for permits and such) are going to design and build the processes to combat your faked CO2 crisis – carbon capture and sequestration, cap and trade, renewable energy as replacement for fossil fuels, bio-fuels for transportation, and all the rest.

    Riiiight, I’m not a climate scientist, but I say Go For It.

  338. RW says:

    Chris Wright: you use monthly data because its higher resolution “has to be better”, but then you take moving averages to “remove the noise so that the underlying trend is clearer”? You’re just doing random things to the data with no meaningful justification. The funny thing is, you’re inflating the correlation between the two variables, when clearly what you hope to do is reduce it. You’ve written almost 2000 words describing Grumbine’s graph and your own, but you haven’t actually calculated a single number. The numbers of interest are what I gave – R² (a measure of how well two variables correlate) for T vs CO2 since 1958 is 0.64 for monthly data, 0.78 for annual, 0.80 for 12 month moving averages and 0.93 for 48 month moving averages. Your waffle is a laborious and confused attempt to deny the staggeringly obvious correlation that exists between global temperature and CO2 concentrations.

  339. Smokey says:

    Folks, CO2 and temperature do not correlate: click. Notice the R^2 non-correlation. Which stands to reason, because as beneficial carbon dioxide increases, the planet’s temperature doesn’t follow. Thus the CO2=AGW conjecture fails.

  340. RW says:

    Folks, despite the repeated efforts of many people, Smokey cannot get it into his head that climate cannot be measured over ten years, and thinks that the more times he posts exactly the same graph, the less wrong it gets. Smokey’s belief system crumbles under the slightest scrutiny, as you can see with this graph.

    REPLY: To be fair, you are pretty stubborn yourself on your own belief system. There’s plenty of stubbornness to go around. – A

  341. Smokey says:

    RW:

    Nice strawman there. Sorry that the AGW conjecture still fails. The question was about the non-correlation between CO2 and temperature, not about the definition of climate.

    [snip smooookey don't make me turn this board around! ~ charles the motherderator]

  342. RW says:

    Smokey – you fail, yet again.

    A – what’s stubbornness got to do with anything? Smokey is wrong – that is all. What do you think of his endless stream of graphs that show only a carefully picked small segment of the available data? Do you think they are worthwhile, or irrelevant?

    REPLY: I think looking at recent trends is instructive, the relevancy increases with time.

  343. Mark Miller says:

    Burt Rutan is someone I’ve admired. Spaceship One was such an accomplishment. As I read the presentation here I found that his values, and conclusions based on looking at the science, agreed with mine. I was surprised to see him say, though, that we will basically never run out of oil. That seems to be an “out there” assertion. I realize we’re finding new reserves, but were they not created millions of years ago? Of course processes continue which will create oil in the future, but unless I see data saying otherwise I think we’re using it up faster than it’s being created, which necessarily leads to a conclusion that we will run out one day in the far off future.

    Reading some of the alarmist literature, I’m struck by how speculative and/or how math-intensive it is, and how little is based on observations that have gone through rigorous scrutiny. It seems as though the “alarmist train” is being run by mathematicians and statisticians, not scientists. Mathematics and simplistic statistical analysis can create the illusion of absolute truth in the real world. I sometimes think that some math-minded people are knowingly pulling a con-game on the world at large, because so many people are mathematically illiterate and do not understand the nature of the relationship between math and science.

    I also notice that alarmists strangely avoid going to the heart of the matter. I’ve proposed two times to alarmists, “Why don’t we look at the tropospheric temperature record, where the greenhouse effect actually takes place?” They talk around it. They talk about the surface temperature record, and the CO2 record and say, “See how they correlate, and how the relationship fits well with the established formula for radiative forcing?”. Or they say, “Look at the stratosphere and how it’s cooling. That’s evidence of greenhouse warming.” I can see the rationale for that conclusion, but it’s not the end of the story. There’s a mystery that they do not want to acknowledge. If we look at the troposphere itself there’s a slight warming, but from what I’ve seen, even using a temperature data set that an alarmist referred to me, it’s less than .1 degrees C from the 1980s to recently, way less than the climate models say it should be.

    What I find with the alarmists is the same thing I’ve heard is true of people who believe in creationism: They demand an explanation, even if none that is rigorously rational exists. So they grasp for the one, no matter how flimsy, that agrees with their world view and seems to make the most sense at the moment. They use mathematics and statistics to reassure their belief, to give the imprimatur of “truth”. It’s all based on a belief that “We affect the world”. Yes we do, but to what extent is the question. To them our effect is as large as the world. The evidence says maybe the scope of the effect of industrialization on temperature is as large as the world, but the magnitude of the influence is so small that it could not lead to the catastrophe that alarmists predict.

  344. bluegrue says:

    Notice:
    going offline for some time to come, sorry about answers owed.

  345. Sean G. Dwyer says:

    Burt Rutan’s presentation on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the forum in Oshkosh was music to my ears. My epiphany on the subject came when I saw the documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle” on TV in Europe in 2007. I have been looking for this documentary to play on American TV ever since. The qualifications of the scientists that participated in it, and the cohesiveness of their data from widely different fields, clearly debunk both the claim of scientific consensus and manmade CO2 as the cause of climate change.
    You can view the documentary at the following link:
    “http://www.moviesfoundonline.com/great_global_warming_swindle.php”

  346. plusaf says:

    ref: RW, 21.08.2009… re: http://www.kline.demon.co.uk/AAFourYearFilter.jpg

    and the red line is very similar to the blue line, but shifted ten years to the right…

    interesting.

  347. plusaf says:

    sorry… red line is GREEN line shifted ten years to the right… look at the shape.
    [ok to edit previous post and delete this one.
    thanks!

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