Why Copenhagen Will Achieve Nothing

Guest post by Willis Eschenbach

The upcoming Copenhagen climate summit, officially and ponderously named “COP15 United Nations Climate Change Conference Copenhagen 2009″, is aimed at reducing the emissions of the developed world. The main players, of course, are the US and Western Europe. There is a widespread perception that if the US and Western Europe could only get our CO2 emissions under control, the problem would be solved. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To see the gaping hole in this idea, it is only necessary to look at the historical record of carbon emissions. Here is that graph:

Carbon_emissions_trends

While in 1970 the US and Western Europe combined to contribute about half of all CO2 emissions, at present this is far from true. In the past 35 years, the combined emissions of the US and Western Europe have risen only slightly. Globally, however, CO2 emissions have risen steeply, with no end in sight.

So it doesn’t matter if Europe signs on to a new Kyoto. It doesn’t matter if the US adopts Cap and Trade. Both of them together will make no significant difference. Even if both areas could roll their CO2 emissions back to 1970 levels, it would not affect the situation in the slightest.

These are meaningless attempts to hold back a rising tide of emissions. Me, I don’t think rising CO2 levels are a problem. But if you think it will be a problem, then you should definitely concentrate on adaptation strategies .. because mitigation simply isn’t going to work.

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153 thoughts on “Why Copenhagen Will Achieve Nothing

  1. Oh but you forgot Australia… our PM is determined to push through legislation on the “Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme” and we emit around 1.5% of the world’s Co2… There, you see?

    Once again the Aussies come to the rescue…

  2. You don’t have to be a climate scientist.
    Common sense is sufficient to see how bizarre things can turn out, once they have reached religion status, in the worst sense.

    Thanks for this piece … and yes, WUWT is my science blog favorite.

  3. A bit off-topic, but I honestly don’t get the units. Is a “tonne” of carbon a mass of CO2 gas? Does it relate to standard cubic feet or normative liters?

  4. How long is it going to take before people understand that the real objective is neither the Climate or CO2 emission reductions but an international power grab, taxation, resources and population control.

    In Copenhagen is nobody will be present who believes we have a climate problem.

  5. the size of the total US emissions just equals the global increase between 2000-2005.

    ruining the US and european economies makes abolutely no sense.

    it would be hard to detect in a CO2 chart and undetectable in a temperature graph, even if the agw scam would be true.

  6. Skeptic Tank (19:32:47) : “A bit off-topic, but I honestly don’t get the units. Is a “tonne” of carbon a mass of CO2 gas? Does it relate to standard cubic feet or normative liters?”

    From Wikipedia, a “tonne” is a measure of mass equal to 1,000 kilograms or approximately a cubic meter of water. To get “tonnes of carbon” emitted, I assume they estimate the mass of carbon dioxide emitted, but count only the mass of the carbon in the emitted gas, ignoring the oxygen.

    Nostalgia: As a kid first learning about chemistry I was confused by the concept of mass with regard to gasses (how can something so ephemeral have mass?), until my teacher asked which had more mass, a kilogram of ice, a kilogram of water, or a kilogram of water vapor. Nowadays I still visualize “tonnes of carbon dioxide” as dry ice, and “tonnes of carbon equivalent” as a pile of coal. :-)

  7. How can the US circa 1970 (pop. 200 m) be producing similar levels of C to todays US (pop. 300m)?

    According to the graph the US, Euro and China (same as US) combined account for 4 Gtonne, where is the other 4 Gtonne coming from? considering Africa produces 3.5% of US output.

  8. Ron de Haan is correct, to prove it how many deligates at Copenhagen will be asking people to boycott Chinese and Indian goods and services, the answer is only the ones who believe in CO2 driven AGW, read Rons comment for the answer.

  9. 4 billion, the reason we are not emitting that much more now that in 1970 is energy effiencies have improved over that time, so even though there are more people, they use less energy per person, some sources would for that increase in effiency for example, more use of flourescent (sp) over incandenscent, and more efficient flourescents at that, better mileage vehicles, more effiecient power plants, ect.. bascially, the more we prosper.

    p.s. forgive my spelling been a long day, not thinking clearly now.

  10. Don’t expect logic; don’t expect science; don’t expect common sense. Expect this: “38. The scheme for the new institutional arrangement under the Convention will be based on three basic pillars:government; facilitative mechanism; and financial mechanism, and the basic organization of which will include the following: (a) The government will be ruled by the COP with the support of a new subsidiary body on adaptation, and of an Executive Board responsible for the management of the new funds and the related facilitative processes and bodies.

    For “related facilitative bodies,” read: UN armed force.

  11. I continue to be more optomistic as time goes by; that the dogmatic and intolerant religion AGW has become will indeed in the end finally be overcome by the rising tide of objective science and factual data (facts are still stubbon things).

    The danger is that AGW ”believers” in Congress and the White House will by a final desperate effort manage to buy off enough wavering MOCs to slip something close to the Waxman-Markey ”Cap and Tax” travesty thru in the dead of a dark night.
    OTOH, if passage can delayed for just a few more months; and given the wake-up call for Blue Dog (D)s provided by the races for Gov in VA and NJ; the further we get into the 2010 election year the safer we will be.

    Right now if I had to bet, I would say that Waxman-Markey (at least in anything like its original form) is sinking fast. Oh, Congress might end up passing something later on in 2010. But if we get into the thick of the 2010 primary election season, whatever can be passed then will (I sure hope) be a VERY pale shadow of the original Waxman-Markey idiocy.

    And it’s clear things are starting to look up for objective science around the world too: Hopefully our saner friends Down Under will manage to sidetrack their PM’s version of Waxman-Markey, before Australia jumps off the AGW cliff.

  12. and look at what they are doing now.
    UNICEF and the NZ youth delegation attending the Children’s Climate Forum in Copenhagen need your help to fundraise $5,000 to send a Kiribati youth delegation to this important event.

  13. Indeed which weighs more a ton of feathers or a ton of lead?

    I think I learned that at about age five.

    I found the idea that plants grow by turning CO2 gas into a solid, themselves as it were, much more puzzling because I sort of thought it was the land they were taking up. Age 7 or so I think.

    And I am still amazed to hear people, and well educated people too, cling to the fallacy that the earth, its oceans and its atmosphere are in some kind of static and ideal equilibrium.

    So that if you put some kind of supposedly non natural pollutant into the atmosphere or the ocean you will permanently disturb this perfect balance: and endanger us all which naturally must be a Bad Thing.

    Nothing could be further from the truth yet it is this very infantile fallacy on which so much of so called Green ideology depends. From ideas that vast amounts of CO2 from burning fossil fuel will persist in the atmosphere for a thousand years, it won’t, [ bar, for pedants only, perhaps one molecule, but how do you tell it from another one?] to the concept that there is such a thing as a healthy planet.

    Really? a healthy planet? and how do you know what makes for a healthly planet? have you asked the patient? Remember having a healthy planet is very popular these days. But who is the doctor around here? I mean most of the planets in the solar system look pretty healthy to me, but do you think Mars is looking a little bit peaky at the moment? or maybe Saturn could do with a bit more time in the sunshine.

    Must get the Tarot cards out and chart their stars. For a smallish largish fee of course.

    You couldn’t make it up, you really couldn’t. Oh they just did.

    Kindest Regards

  14. ” 4 billion (20:12:10) :

    How can the US circa 1970 (pop. 200 m) be producing similar levels of C to todays US (pop. 300m)?

    According to the graph the US, Euro and China (same as US) combined account for 4 Gtonne, where is the other 4 Gtonne coming from? considering Africa produces 3.5% of US output.

    IMHO-
    The US emissions have remained static despite increased population due to increased energy use efficiencies since 1970.

    Euro as quoted above only means the EU. The rest of the emissions must come from the rest of the world- non EU european countries Russua etc, the rest of Asia and the oil rich Middle East.

  15. For all those who missed out on the message from Lord Monckton why CO2 emission reduction will not work:

    “Global CO2 emissions at present are 30 billion tons/year (EIA), causing atmospheric concentration to rise by 2 ppmv/year (NOAA). So 15 billion tons emitted will increase atmospheric concentration by 1 ppmv/year. The UN (IPCC, 2007; see also BERN climate model), on scenario A2, which comes closest to the pattern of actual emissions today, says its central estimate of CO2 concentration in 2100 will be 836 ppmv. So the UN thinks we’ll add (836-368) = 468 ppmv to the atmosphere during the 21st century. Multiply that by 15 billion tons/ppmv and the UN is implicitly projecting that, in the absence of any mitigation, the world will emit (468 x 15 bn) = 7 trillion tons CO2 this century. It also projects (IPCC, 2007) that this extra CO2 will raise global temperature by around 7° F. So we need to forego 1 trillion tons of CO2 emission per 1° F warming forestalled. Divide 1 trillion by 30 billion and one concludes that we’d have to close down the entire world carbon economy for 33 years just to forestall a single Fahrenheit degree of warming. Since the UN has exaggerated the warming effect of CO2 sixfold (Lindzen & Choi, 2009), make that 200 years. Therefore, there’s no point in mitigation because the cost is extravagantly disproportionate to the benefit.”

    The effort equals the emptying of the Pacific Ocean with a tea spoon.

    It won’t influence our climate in any form whatsoever.
    Global Warming is a NON ITEM, a NON EXISTING PROBLEM.
    Those who state otherwise are criminals, idiots or politicians with an agenda.

    The presentation of the figures based on the Mockton calculation tells you how pathetic those people are who tell you to switch your light bulbs, turn down the themostat of your heating system by one degree, organize a warm sweater day, tell you to buy a “green” car, use “green” energy, windmills, solar energy, bio fuels and sequester CO2 and store under ground.

    What’s more serious, it tells you how stupid our politicians are who claim they are going to control the temperature of the planet by 2 degree Fahrenheit!

    As the Communists stated during the cold war;
    “The Capitalist West will sell us the rope we are going to hang them with”.

    Well, the AGW Hoax will be that rope if we sign up to Copenhagen.

    Read about some more references and arguments at this response from Climate Depot at allegations from PM Kevin Rudd who stated that skeptics are too dangerous to ignore and that we are holding the world to ransom.

    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/3689/Australian-PM-warns-skeptics-are-too-dangerous-to-ignore-and-are-holding-the-world-to-ransom–Climate-Depot-Responds

  16. Why Copenhagen will achieve nothing:

    Folks, it’s like getting offered 10% of the stock in a fake business.
    10% of nothing is still nothing.

    You cannot solve a problem that does not exist.
    You can, however, become a victim by accepting the transaction at face value.
    If you knew your oil & filter had just been changed, would you let an eyeball-dodging salesman fast-talk you into changing your whole car to match the new oil & filter?
    Doesn’t make any sense to me, either.
    Copenhagen… where the Ghost of Climates Past meet Dr. FrankenGreen Scrooge.

  17. Skeptic Tank (19:32:47), you ask a good question:

    A bit off-topic, but I honestly don’t get the units. Is a “tonne” of carbon a mass of CO2 gas? Does it relate to standard cubic feet or normative liters?

    Emissions are usually measured in tonnes (metric) of carbon. Since carbon has a molecular weight of 12 and oxygen is 16, CO2 has a molecular weight of 12 + 16 + 16, or 44.

    So to convert tonnes of carbon into tonnes of CO2, multiply by 44/12, and by 12/44 if you convert the other way. So when Lord Monckton is quoted above as saying

    Global CO2 emissions at present are 30 billion tons/year (EIA)

    we multiply this by 12/44 to get between 8 and 9 gigatonnes of carbon emitted, as shown in my graph.

    Thanks,

    w.

  18. Here in the U.S. the majority party of the elected government and the President are still believers. They and their appointees will attempt to enforce climate change based control over the people. They will not stop until they are no longer in office.

  19. Jimmy Hansen (21:31:43) :

    i agree with you.

    we have angela merkel here in germany who is exactly on the same track, but she may be excused by having a couple fanatic pseudo scientists as advisors, and has never practized such rude way of demonizing opponents. That is just a catastrophy for the British culture, that has been so successful through discussion, balancing reasons and sticking to facts.

  20. Hey Manfred, You think Angela can be excused because she has a couple of fanatic pseudo scientists advising her, what about Obama’s advisors, Hansen, Gore, Chu, Jackson; they’re not exactly the sharpest crayons in the box.

  21. Just saw Barbara Boxer forced the cap and trade bill out of committee (AGWers putting lots of spin on that) but that the bill is dead anyway.

    Will check Mon for more info, will be off the grid til Monday.

    Cheers!

  22. i haven’t heard anything similar from obama yet disuniting his country .

    rudd (like brown or gore) appears to be motivated by base motives in running his country and staying at power.

  23. Why Copenhagen SHOULD not achieve anything:

    Article by David Warren:
    “Energy reality is that the sun’s work over the ages has produced energy sources (oil, gas, and coal) that far exceed the dilute energy from the sun.
    The stock beats the flow–by a country mile”.

    Will technology solve our energy problems? This seemingly fatuous question is actually stupider than first appears. For we already have the technology to power anything within reason, with minimal if any environmental fallout.

    Yet under the inspiration of the Green Zeitgeist, I cannot go into a magazine shop without finding some science-lite cover story on new prospects for harnessing solar, thermal, wind, tidal, or whatever “renewable” forces. There is an immense credulous audience out there, willing to be entertained by such nonsense.
    No one with a grasp of high school physics should take any of these schemes seriously. In each case, we are looking at a crank idea from the hippie era, which has not since been significantly improved, because it can’t be.

    All are basically bureaucratic arrangements: the idea being to live by taxing wealth produced elsewhere, in this case the kinetic energy in wind and water, or the radiant light and heat from the sun. Hydro was the original big government idea: to install the equivalent of a massive toll booth right across a river, flood everything behind it and starve everything in front. Conservationists going back a century were right to apprehend that the “renewable” paradigm is crazy.

    To my mind, as well, the great Hoover dam, built on a scale to choke the Colorado River, was a monument to hubris. On Saturday I mentioned the Aswan dam, that choked the mighty Nile. The Three Gorges in China, the string of hydro dams straddling the geological faults along the Indian face of the Himalayas — unspeakably destructive to the productivity of the lands both before and behind them — are catastrophes patiently waiting for their earthquakes.

    And likewise, the scale of desecration that is required for a landscape to supply the kind of power a large hydro dam provides, by alternative “taxation” schemes. Hundreds upon hundreds of gigantic propeller windmills, at each of many dispersed locations. Or, countless miles of coastline impounded to exploit the tides. Or, millions of acres of monotonous solar panels, that work only when the sun is shining.

    Moreover, we can know that the environmentalists who demand these things will turn on them as soon as they are built. They are, as all utopians, not people who can be satisfied, and it makes sense to frustrate their ambitions decisively — before, rather than after, their tyranny has been consolidated.

    Those who grasp basic physics will know that there will be no serious improvements in the efficiency of any of these “renewable resources.” The sun may be a superbly powerful ball of energy, but its radiation diminishes as the square of distance, and by the time it reaches earth is not intense. Wind is diffuse; water runs slowly.

    A candid look at nature reveals that creatures live by finding and burning fuels, as food. We should trust nature to have found the inevitable solutions. Hence, by analogy, fossil fuels. They may not hold out perpetually, but the known reserves continue to grow faster than we can burn them. The engines we’ve designed are vastly less efficient than the engines of nature; but vastly more efficient and practicable than anything that “renews.”

    And what do we mean by “renewable” anyway, in a universe as abundant as this one? Nature burns fuels far more efficiently, and could do so more efficiently still, were she not calibrated instead to produce so many useful by-products, that get used without exception.

    One-billionth of the potential power in a litre of gasoline is released by the way we burn it, and the same can be said for coal and wood. This is a very poor show!

    Some idea of what is possible when we employ more brains comes from comparing nuclear power, where the energy released in splitting a uranium atom is several million times greater than that from merely breaking the carbon-hydrogen bond.

    As the journalist William Tucker and many others have repeatedly explained, instead of hundred-car trainloads arriving daily to feed the flames of a large coal-fired generator, we have a single truckload of fuel rods arriving about every third month. And while the waste product may frighten the incurably neurotic, it is small and easily contained. In nuclear reactors, the energy required to power a city the size of Ottawa, for a year, comes from the transformation of less than one ounce of matter.

    Not that I would wish to put coal-miners out of their jobs. For as Baudelaire said of Ingres and Delacroix, “Let us love them both.” I love a coal fire, and there are all kinds of wonderful by-products of coal production.

    Nor have I the slightest objection to sheeting the sails of my imagined yacht to the pleasure of Aeolus, but the idea of powering cities with rank after rank of these malicious bird-killing propellers is too droolingly idiotic. Let us tilt against them with the power of a million Don Quixotes!

    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Energy+spare/2181539/story.html

  24. tricky stuff modifying weather !!

    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2009/11/05/2003457662

    Chinese scientists in hot water over icy weather

    AFP , BEIJING
    Thursday, Nov 05, 2009, Page 5

    Two people make a snowman at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven Park on Sunday. Not everyone was amused by the snowfall.
    PHOTO: REUTERS

    China’s Weather Modification Office has been pilloried for inducing a recent heavy snow fall that jammed traffic, delayed air travel and left city residents shivering, state media said yesterday.

    Sunday’s snowfall dropped more than 16 million tonnes of snow on the Chinese capital, blanketing a city where winter heating services have yet to be switched on and leading to howls of public protest, the China Daily reported.

  25. Luboš Motl (23:23:14), you say:

    I completely agree with this concise argument by Willis.

    Luboš, many thanks, that means a lot. For those who don’t know of him, Luboš is a Czech physicist with a very interesting blog that covers a variety of climate and other issues.

    w

  26. It’ll certainly keep a few thousand delegates supremely well fed for a week or so, a tremendous achievement.

  27. Manfred (23:25:34) :

    I think you miss the point that Rudd is setting himself up for the next step up to the world stage… Australia is not big enough. I swear Murdoch has been reading the blogs because he came out and said the same thing today (which I have been saying for the last month – though I see no accreditation from the ole boy):

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/newshome/6444396/rudd-too-sensitive-says-media-magnate/

    Murdoch said (about Rudd):
    “He’s different in that he’s more ambitious to lead the world than to lead Australia,” he told Sky News, but quickly added that the comment may be a “little unfair” though “there’s some truth in it”.

    No I don’t think it is unfair, but I guess this is Murdoch’s way of firing a shot and taking a bet each way by mollifying it somewhat. Ban Ki Moon already said a couple of times that Rudd had an important role to play…

    BTW for a powerful graphical tool which includes global CO2 emissions and many other stats have a play with:

    http://www.gapminder.org/

    There are some great videos on applications of Gapminder as well – for instance at TED:

    Now that’s stats made sexy!

    I think someone with the time and insight could give some great presentations on the CO2 emissions stats and economic development and provide insights in this debate.

  28. The chart is very interesting, but it shows only man-made CO2, which is but around 3% of the total. If one plots all CO2 the changes don’t even get off the X-axis.

  29. Can we honestly and factually claim that the “emissions” quoted in the title are FROM man-released energy production (which includes cement plants, transportation, power production, coke and steel, heating, etc, etc….)

    Or are there ecotheist-added “fudge factors” such as
    “trees we claimed are cut down” and
    “CO2 increases we don’t the source of but they must be man-caused releases” and
    “we have cut down all the forests everywhere so the lack of trees anywhere” is a man-caused emissions increase?

  30. Aussie PM KRudd is unfortunately acting like a small politician with a big ego who is getting frustrated that the general public are starting to wake up to his real motive – glory, power and $$$.

  31. The scandal here is the fact that a US with a population of 300 million is using about twice as much Co2 as Europe with a population of 500 million (and that’s just the European Union countries).

    I am an AGW sceptic so I am not too bothered about the growth in Co2.

    However I do hate waste and I am appalled at the MASSIVE energy inefficiencies of the US. And don’t blame it on quality of life. I live in France and the quality of life is higher than in the US due to the excellent health service and the lower disparity in incomes and I know this first hand because I lived and worked in Colorado for a time.

    It would be good if you yanks did something about cutting your energy use. It’s a national disgrace.

  32. We all know copenhagen is a politics fest. .A good way to justify tax increases and look like they’re doing something.

  33. Phil K (01:29:40), thank you for the question. You say:

    I’m having trouble verifying the graph. the web link doesn’t show the graph http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/overview_2006.html,

    and the following link doesn’t match the blue line

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/usa.html

    Anyone help me out?

    The web link is the source of the data, not of the graph, which I made myself.

    The “following link” you mention shows the US emissions from 1800 to 2006. My graph shows only 1970 to 2006, which of course is different.

  34. RACookPE1978 (01:41:09), you ask”

    Can we honestly and factually claim that the “emissions” quoted in the title are FROM man-released energy production (which includes cement plants, transportation, power production, coke and steel, heating, etc, etc….)

    Or are there ecotheist-added “fudge factors” such as
    “trees we claimed are cut down” and
    “CO2 increases we don’t the source of but they must be man-caused releases” and
    “we have cut down all the forests everywhere so the lack of trees anywhere” is a man-caused emissions increase?

    Questions of this type are best addressed by going to the data source shown on the graph.

    In this case, the following items are included in the accounting:

    Gas Fuels, Liquid Fuels, Solid Fuels, Gas Flaring, Cement Production, Bunker Fuels

    There are no other “fudge factors” in the totals.

    w.

  35. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this whole thread is based on non-existent trends of first world carbon emissions that are irrelvant to the cause of climate change anyway?

  36. “Read about some more references and arguments at this response from Climate Depot at allegations from PM Kevin Rudd who stated that skeptics are too dangerous to ignore and that we are holding the world to ransom.
    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/3689/Australian-PM-warns-skeptics-are-too-dangerous-to-ignore-and-are-holding-the-world-to-ransom–Climate-Depot-Responds

    …Yes, I love the bit about “Rudd Claim: Skeptics “are a political attempt to subvert what is now a longstanding scientific consensus…” Seeing as I am in possession of a 49-page document from the IPCC which is the summary of their own scientific study which they commissioned to discover the true effects of releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It concluded that there was no measurable alteration in climate due to man-made carbon dioxide, and that carbon dioxide is a poor greenhouse gas, if it can be described as such at all. The IPCC got that report in 1999, so they have had proved to them with absolute clarity that man-made carbon dioxide does not alter the Earth’s climate, and they have known this for at least ten years.

  37. Fredrick (01:54:55)

    Quote; I live in France and the quality of life is higher than the US .
    Now that is quite a statement coming from someone that lives in Franceastan, have you visited the suburbs of one of your cities lately???????

  38. It does not matter, the politics has been settled. Reality for Obama, and Rudd; 1 term wonders if they agree (Obama won’t, that much is clear. Rudd is clueless, his wife wears the pants and Penny Wong is “maliable”) anything in Copenhagen.

  39. The UN warned back in 1989 that we could reach the “tipping point” in 10 years.

    “According to July 5, 1989, article in the Miami Herald, the then-director of the New York office of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Noel Brown, warned of a “10-year window of opportunity to solve” global warming. According to the 1989 article, “A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ‘eco-refugees,’ threatening political chaos.”

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=37AE6E96-802A-23AD-4C8A-EDF6D8150789

    If the UN chap is correct then there would seem to me that Copenhagen meeting is pointless. If he is wrong then why should anybody believe any predictions made by the UN?

    Have you noticed how ‘tipping points’ come and go, come and go?

  40. Ron de Haan (23:33:57) :

    From that article by Article by David Warren:

    No one with a grasp of high school physics should take any of these schemes seriously. In each case, we are looking at a crank idea from the hippie era, which has not since been significantly improved, because it can’t be.

    Maybe he hasn’t realized it yet, but those activist hippies from the sixties and seventies are now in power. The silent majority let them in by vote.

  41. But living in France is not the be all of life is it? Viewed from the other side of the Channel the thought of living amongst garlic chewing, cheese eating surrender monkeys doesn’t appeal to me. : )

    Having also lived in the USA
    and enjoyed their extraordinary generosity I am sure they will become more efficient as Barack Obama’s clowns raise the price of energy, based on idiotic concepts, rather than accept actual scientific records and encourage Nuclear Power and enlarge oil/gas production using the massive deposits available.

    Expecting a snip or two…….

  42. OT, but here in Australia we have the luxury of the MSM screening films like;

    Inedendence Day (Nothing to do with AGW, but a good scare)
    Deep Impact (Nothing to do with AGW, but a good scare, although we have more to “worry” about that sort of event than all of the CO2 induced AGW rubbish)
    Category 7 (Big wind, nothing to do with AGW, but a good scare)

    Adverts for “2012 The End of the World”. NO!!!! December 21st 2012 is just the end of the Myan calandar FFS.

    Building up for the Crapenhagen tug-fest!

  43. From the SeekingAlpha site:
    “I read a report about a development that has received mysteriously little attention: according to numbers from the Energy Information Agency, greenhouse gas emissions fell sharply in 2008 (by more than 2 ½ %), are falling even more in 2009 (about 6%), and in the next few years are almost certain to remain easily below the levels of 2005. (See the chart below.)”

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/171740-greenhouse-gas-emissions-are-down-in-the-recession-is-green-gdp-up

    “[US] Carbon Dioxide Emissions

    Projected carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels fall by 5.9 percent in 2009. Coal leads the drop in 2009 CO2 emissions, falling by 10.1 percent. Changes in energy consumption in the industrial sector, a result of the weak economy, and changes in electricity generation sources are the primary factors for the decline in CO2 emissions (U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Growth Chart). The projected recovery in the economy contributes to an expected 1.1-percent increase in CO2 emissions in 2010.

    “A convergence of several factors has contributed to the projected decline in CO2 emissions in 2009 (see STEO Supplement: Understanding the Decline in CO2 Emissions in 2009). EIA estimates that the combined effects of the decline in consumption of coal and natural gas in the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors, the substitution of natural gas for coal in the electric power sector, and the forecast increase in non-CO2 emitting electricity generation (hydroelectric, nuclear, wind, solar, wood and wood waste) reduce CO2 emissions by 242 million metric tons, or 70 percent of the total projected 2009 decline. The projected reduction in petroleum consumption accounts for the remaining 30 percent of the decline in CO2 emissions. CO2 emissions from petroleum are expected to fall by 102 million metric tons in 2009, with over two-thirds of the decline attributable to economy-related reductions in consumption of jet fuel and distillate fuel oil, including both diesel fuel and home heating oil. Reduced petroleum demand in industry also contribute to the overall reduction in petroleum use.”

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/contents.html#Carbon%20Dioxide%20Emissions

  44. There are two crazy things about the AGW hysteria: 1) The unfounded assumption that several degrees F. of global warming would automatically be a bad thing, when history suggests just the opposite (civilization flourishes when the climate warms), and 2) the AGW fixes being offered is technically unserious in that there are no unequivocal reasons to think it would work. Just to give one example of what an AGW solution that was technically serious solution would look like — giant orbiting sunscreens continuously shading the earth’s surface could be built in orbit, reflecting away sunlight that would otherwise reach the earth. This is bound to cool things down, no matter how bad our understanding is of how the earth’s climate works; it is based on obvious physical principles; and it can be easily reversed if something starts to go wrong. As a bonus, if another ice age begins — and I understand another one is due, geologically speaking — the space sunshades can be re-oriented and repositioned to divert extra sunlight toward the earth rather than away from it. This is bound to heat things up, no matter how bad our understanding of ice ages and how they occur turns out to be. If we were serious about taking control of earth’s climate — which, as already pointed out, we obviously are not — this is the way to start thinking about the issue. All other technical fixes, such as limiting CO2 emissions, adding iron to the ocean, adding aerosols to the stratosphere, and on and on, are based on some group’s theory about what ought to happen if these changes are made, with no guarantees. Unserious proposals of this sort are really just grabs for government funding by various groups of engineering and research elites …

  45. Frederick (01:54:55), you raise an interesting point:

    The scandal here is the fact that a US with a population of 300 million is using about twice as much Co2 as Europe with a population of 500 million (and that’s just the European Union countries).

    I am an AGW sceptic so I am not too bothered about the growth in Co2.

    However I do hate waste and I am appalled at the MASSIVE energy inefficiencies of the US. And don’t blame it on quality of life. I live in France and the quality of life is higher than in the US due to the excellent health service and the lower disparity in incomes and I know this first hand because I lived and worked in Colorado for a time.

    It would be good if you yanks did something about cutting your energy use. It’s a national disgrace.

    The measure of “efficiency” in this case is usually called “energy intensity”. It is the amount of energy necessary to produce one unit of GDP. Before you start castigating the US, it is worthwhile to look at the actual figures. There is an Excel table of these here from the EIA.

    The energy intensity of the US is about 9.3 MJ/$. This means that in the US, it takes about 9.3 megajoules of energy to produce one dollar of GDP. The smaller the number, the less energy needed to produce a dollar’s worth of goods, the better the efficiency.

    How does the US compare to European countries? Here’s the energy intensity figures:

    Iceland, 18.2
    Bulgaria, 14.4
    Former Serbia and Montenegro, 12.6
    Albania, 12.4
    Macedonia, 11.6
    Slovakia, 10.3
    Norway, 10.0
    Czech Republic, 9.7
    Finland, 9.6
    Belgium, 9.5
    United States, 9.3
    Romania, 9.0
    Sweden, 8.5
    Netherlands, 8.4
    Poland, 8.4
    Croatia, 7.9
    Slovenia, 7.9
    Bosnia and Herzegovina, 7.7
    Malta, 7.7
    Hungary, 7.7
    Cyprus, 7.4
    Luxembourg, 7.2
    France, 7.0
    Germany, 6.8
    Spain, 6.6
    Austria, 6.5
    Turkey, 6.0
    Greece, 6.0
    Portugal, 6.0
    Italy, 5.9
    Denmark, 5.6
    United Kingdom, 5.5
    Switzerland, 5.4
    Ireland, 4.9

    So the US is about twice as energy efficient as Iceland, more efficient than Norway, Finland, or Belgium, and slightly less efficient than Sweden and the Netherlands.

    France does better than the US, it is true … but then Greece and Italy and Germany are more energy efficient than France, and the UK and Switzerland do better than Greece and Italy and Germany.

    So I fear your claim that the US energy efficiency is a “national disgrace” compared to the energy efficiency of European countries is simply not borne out by the facts. Heck, by Irish standards, we’re all wastrels …

    w.

  46. The whole thing is the latest front for scams involving the loot and pillage of Africa and SE Asia.

    Billions in ‘aid’ for climate change, and no doubt status quo for corporations looking for franchises.

    When are people going to just reject this farce for what it is?

  47. “Willis Eschenbach (03:21:35) :

    Frederick (01:54:55), you raise an interesting point:

    The scandal here is the fact that a US with a population of 300 million is using about twice as much Co2 as Europe with a population of 500 million (and that’s just the European Union countries).

    I am an AGW sceptic so I am not too bothered about the growth in Co2.

    However I do hate waste and I am appalled at the MASSIVE energy inefficiencies of the US. And don’t blame it on quality of life. I live in France and the quality of life is higher than in the US due to the excellent health service and the lower disparity in incomes and I know this first hand because I lived and worked in Colorado for a time.

    It would be good if you yanks did something about cutting your energy use. It’s a national disgrace.

    The measure of “efficiency” in this case is usually called “energy intensity”. It is the amount of energy necessary to produce one unit of GDP. Before you start castigating the US, it is worthwhile to look at the actual figures. There is an Excel table of these here from the EIA.

    The energy intensity of the US is about 9.3 MJ/$. This means that in the US, it takes about 9.3 megajoules of energy to produce one dollar of GDP. The smaller the number, the less energy needed to produce a dollar’s worth of goods, the better the efficiency.

    How does the US compare to European countries? Here’s the energy intensity figures:

    Iceland, 18.2
    Bulgaria, 14.4
    Former Serbia and Montenegro, 12.6
    Albania, 12.4
    Macedonia, 11.6
    Slovakia, 10.3
    Norway, 10.0
    Czech Republic, 9.7
    Finland, 9.6
    Belgium, 9.5
    United States, 9.3
    Romania, 9.0
    Sweden, 8.5
    Netherlands, 8.4
    Poland, 8.4
    Croatia, 7.9
    Slovenia, 7.9
    Bosnia and Herzegovina, 7.7
    Malta, 7.7
    Hungary, 7.7
    Cyprus, 7.4
    Luxembourg, 7.2
    France, 7.0
    Germany, 6.8
    Spain, 6.6
    Austria, 6.5
    Turkey, 6.0
    Greece, 6.0
    Portugal, 6.0
    Italy, 5.9
    Denmark, 5.6
    United Kingdom, 5.5
    Switzerland, 5.4
    Ireland, 4.9

    So the US is about twice as energy efficient as Iceland, more efficient than Norway, Finland, or Belgium, and slightly less efficient than Sweden and the Netherlands.

    France does better than the US, it is true … but then Greece and Italy and Germany are more energy efficient than France, and the UK and Switzerland do better than Greece and Italy and Germany.

    So I fear your claim that the US energy efficiency is a “national disgrace” compared to the energy efficiency of European countries is simply not borne out by the facts. Heck, by Irish standards, we’re all wastrels …

    w.”

    Stats = BS my friend. Homes in the UK are better insulated, therefore more “efficient” consumers of energy. Trouble is, energy costs in the US and the UK are not compareable (Meaning it’s cheaper in the US, and if you paid UK prices..well, there’d be French style riots in the US. Basically, you have no idea yet about energy costs).

  48. And in the name of cutting emissions, we close factories in the West, ship them out to China, where they then put out ten times as much pollution.

    That, is about as nonsensical as it gets.

    .

  49. “janama (03:37:32) :

    If Copenhagen won’t achieve anything – the why not cancel it and save the CO2 output.”

    Because it’s symbolic (And they don’t acer for their C02 output, we’ll pay for that).

  50. Willis Eschenbach (03:21:35) :

    I assume your table is different from a table that would show CO2 produced as a consequence of personal consumpsion by country eg in your table the UK is low but how does it look after factoring in the stuff we import from China. UK GDP is a lot of financial sevices so relatively low industrial production, House prices in the UK are in GDP as I understand it. Someone must have an absolute per capita measure that reflects CO2 effective footprint per capita. On an individual and country basis I bet it tells a much different story. Albeit a story that would still show how messing with with trade would screw up poorer countries’s GDP as they so depend on the consumpsion of others.

  51. “Manfred (23:25:34) :
    i haven’t heard anything similar from obama yet disuniting his country .”

    Read his MIT speech of a week or so ago. It was chilling.

    As usual, Rudd is just a pale imitation.

  52. Humankind’s destiny is to burn all available fossil fuels. Enjoy it while it lasts. We live in wonderful times. I just hope I live long enough not to have to go back to coal furnaces. Dealing with clinkers is no fun.

  53. Now Copenhagen is turning into an ‘enabling’ meeing, and the legally-binding stage is rescheduled for later …

    For those who watch the way the EU works, this is no idle threat.

    But what is really scary is the exposure of the fundamentalist mind-set of a thwarted AGWist:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2009/nov/06/religion-atheism

    And, if you have the patience to get through the book-puffery, check out Gore’s suggestion that that ‘civil disobedience'; (aka Anarchy; aka Civil War) is justifiable ….

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/07/al-gore-interview-climate-change

  54. “… Children’s Climate Forum in Copenhagen”

    Will these poor kids at least get the UK judge ordered comments where Al Gore is lying? MIs-use of minors in my eyes.

  55. Gene Zeien (19:38:49) :

    Per capita carbon for the USA

    Thanks, that’s really interesting, I had no idea the per capita output has been so flat. I suspect it shows a lot of efficiency gains in home insulation, furnaces, and vehicles. Our station wagons in the 1960s got about 12 mpg. My Saturn SL2 gets over 30 and has 3X the miles the old cars got.

    Of course, with a family size of 3 instead of 5, I don’t need a station wagon!

    Raw data, btw, appears to be at http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp030/region.1751_2006.ems
    Also, try http://mercdev3.ornl.gov/cdiac/send/xsltText2?fileURL=http://cdiac.ornl.gov:8080/xml/cdp/metadata/Tom_Boden/Global_Regional_National_CO2_Emissions.xml&full_datasource=Carbon%20Dioxide%20Information%20Analysis%20Center&full_queryString=%20text%20:%20capita%20AND%20cdiacVariable:year&ds_id=Created%2020050809%20161320%20by%20160.91.18.40

  56. Thank you all who replied to my question. Willis Eschenbach’s explanation is quite comprehensive.

    It seems to me some people mix apples and oranges when talking units of carbon (solid mass measured in metric tonnes) and CO2 (a volume or mass of gas typically measured in standard cubic feet or normal liters).

  57. janama (03:37:32) :

    “If Copenhagen won’t achieve anything – the why not cancel it and save the CO2 output.”

    Because Copenhagen is a very nice place to go on an all expenses paid jolly thank you very much.

    It can get very cold in Copenhagen in December…

  58. Always nice to have a graph to visualize things. The US emissions are worth a closer look.

    Can anyone pick out when Clinton/Gore ruled?

    Merely a coincidence of course, why I bet you could find plenty of data that doesn’t correlate at all, like, like, um, global temperature maybe…er, uh, never mind.

    :)

  59. The CO2 myth has only ever been one of a range of sociological levers used to nudge our huge backsides towards global utopia.
    The Aussie Greens are there already and have rolled up the Southern Cross in favor of big brother.

    http://greens.org.au/node/776

  60. Andrew Chantrill (01:04:15) :

    “The chart is very interesting, but it shows only man-made CO2, which is but around 3% of the total.”

    That’s a fact that is completely overlooked by the climate alarmist crowd. The UN/IPCC shows human CO2 emissions vs the planet’s natural CO2 emissions: click

    For every 34.3 molecules of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere from all sources, human activity contributes only one of those molecules. All the rest are natural CO2 emissions.

    In addition, the annual year-over-year variability in the planet’s natural CO2 emissions is greater than the tiny human component, so claiming that the one human produced CO2 molecule out of 34 will cause runaway global warming and climate catastrophe is simply a baseless scare tactic.

  61. We could potentially stabilize CO2 levels if we cut our Carbon emissions to 3 or 4 GTs per year (assuming oceans and plants would continue to absorb about half the amount we are emitting right now).

    But that would take converting the entire electricity industry to zero-emission or sequestration (and then more than that yet).

    The 50,000 power plants that exist world-wide now would have to be converted to zero-emission versions and then we couldn’t build any new ones that were not zero-emission. That would take technology that we don’t have yet (but can probably develop) and it would take trillions of dollars in investment.

    Forget CFL lightbulbs and turning off your lights. We can’t use any electricity at all or it all has to be zero-emission. And then, we have to stop using cement and minimize travel and the transportation of goods.

    So all that sounds like too much change to put into a law or a treaty when we have no idea how to do it.

  62. Brian Johnson UK – “…But living in France is not the be all of life is it? Viewed from the other side of the Channel the thought of living amongst garlic chewing, cheese eating surrender monkeys doesn’t appeal to me…”

    Well I enjoy it, Brian! It beats living in the UK hands down, that’s why we came.
    Even taking into consideration the short-@rsed nutter we have in charge!!

    Comfortable enough, here, with a wood burner going, also a wood-fired kitchen range with oil-fired CH as an expensive back-up! The French give us a tax refund for installing “renewable” heating and cooking equipment, then take it away again in other taxes because of the “particulates” we release during our wood burning. You can’t win. Mankind has been burning wood to keep warm (and anything else that will burn) ever since he ceased to be an ape. Can’t stop now, we want to be warm.

    There should be revolution in the air, but I suspect all this Copenhagen cr@p will just wash over the sheeple until they wake up one day in a freezing cave, and wonder…

  63. Frederick writes:
    “However I do hate waste and I am appalled at the MASSIVE energy inefficiencies of the US. And don’t blame it on quality of life. I live in France and the quality of life is higher than in the US due to the excellent health service and the lower disparity in incomes and I know this first hand because I lived and worked in Colorado for a time.”

    Ah, your socialist control tendencies are showing. You define quality of life in terms of government control of health care and egalitarian evaluation of income distribution. Very socialist measures indeed. I contend my quality of life in the US is far higher because quality of life include: freedom to make my own choices, freedom to travel where and when I can afford (using energy to get there and back), freedom to live some distance from my work rather than being crammed in high density population areas (using energy to get there and back), freedom to live in a larger apartment than average and having more space to enjoy (using more ebergy to heat and cool it), freedom (for a couple more years only unfortunately) to use warm incandescent lighting rather than cold, mercury-laden flourescents, freedom to drive a car that was heavy and solid enough to have saved my life and that of my family when it struck a guardrail head on at highway speeds due to the driver making a simple mistake reacting to a horn (using more energy than a ‘green-friendly’ car would have in which all three of us would have been killed), and the list can go on and on…

    And the supply/demand based approach to assessing the question: if quality of life in the US is not as good as elsewhere, people wouldn’t still be flocking here from all over the world both legally and illegally.

    I’ll take the freedom based quality of life here anytime, and will fight and die if necessary to preserve it, as will many other millions of Americans if the rest of the world ever tries to take it away, treaty or no treaty.

  64. You should retitle this “Why Copenhagen Will Achieve Nothing POSITIVE”. What it could potentially accomplish is the further destruction of the U.S. and world economy if it results in carbon emission restrictions with any teeth.

  65. That graph only goes up to 2006. With all the coal fired plants China has built in the past few years, I wonder how that graph would look if it included data up to 2008. — John M Reynolds

  66. Rhys Jaggar (03:24:41) :

    “The whole thing is the latest front for scams involving the loot and pillage of Africa and SE Asia.

    Billions in ‘aid’ for climate change, and no doubt status quo for corporations looking for franchises.

    When are people going to just reject this farce for what it is?”

    they will reject it all right.

    The moment they get the correct information and the moment they are confronted with the rationing.

    In the Netherlands (like the Danes one of the most indoctrinated people in Europe) a Regional TV Station organized a public discussion about the application of outdoor heaters which are run by natural gas.
    A politician were drummed up together with an apparatchik from the Environmental Organization “Nature and Environment”. Both agreed the CO2 problem was real and measures had to be taken.
    In the end the public was offered the option to ban or tolerate the outdoor heaters.
    Well 20% voted in against and 80% voted in favor of the outdoor heaters.
    After 20 years of pushing the “Green Bandwagon” people don’t take it seriously.

    We must bring out the right information.

    What to think about a very short listing of the most important parameters about our climate that people can check for themselves?

  67. Actually, it appears that the US and Europe still combine to account for about half of all emissions. It looks like the US and Europe combined add up to about 4, while the global figure is just over 8. This does not take away from the overall point, however, because the rest of the world is on a very steep trajectory. In fact, if a line were drawn showing the rest of the world without the US and Europe included, it would look even steeper than the red line on the graph. I would like to see a graph showing it that way.

  68. If the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, growth graph were overlayed on the U.S.
    carbon line, one would see that our economy is halving the carbon per dollar
    output in a 25 year time frame.

    This is the value baseline that Copenhagen must beat. The economy isn’t static, and certainly not evil.

  69. As TA says considering CO2 ‘ the rest of the world is on a very steep trajectory’. That is energy use is rapidly increasing outside of Europe and USA.

    It is the economic developement and increase in wealth that results from energy use that the West wants to limit and control.

  70. I have question for you smart folks. The annual rise of CO2 of about 2 ppm amounts to how many tons per year? I’ve always wondered how that figure compares to anthropogenic CO2 output.

  71. Kate (02:29:10) :

    Kate, do you have a copy or a download for the report you refer to?
    Thanks in advance.

  72. And in the name of cutting emissions, we close factories in the West, ship them out to China, where they then put out ten times as much pollution.

    That, is about as nonsesical as it gets.

    .

  73. Bill Illis (06:12:55) :
    According to the MoncKton calculation based on IPCC 2007 worst scenario we would need to shut down our entire industry for 33 years
    30 BILLION TONS OF CO2 PER YEAR is the equivilent of 2 ppmv/year = 33 x 2 ppm = 66 ppm of reduction in CO2 which in this scenario would represent 1 degree Fahrenheit

    However, according to Lindzen & Choi, 2009, the IPCC scenario is exaggerated by a factor 6 which means we would need almost 200 years (6 x 33) = 198 years or
    396 ppm to reduce the temp by 1 degree Fahrenheit.

    We all know that our current level of CO2 (388 ppmv) can’t go much lower because otherwise there is no plant life possible (200 ppmv is critical fo plant life)

    This also proves that most of the Human Induced CO2 is absorbed by natural sinks.

    Therefore the entire theory is BOGUS.

  74. You could also add the fact that when the US and Europe’s emissions are subtracted from the world total this Rest-of-World amount equals the world total of around 1987. Plus, the five year average annual increase of emissions in 1987 would only be half the rate of increase as the Rest-of-World’s today. Therefore, even if the US and Europe ceased to exist (sob!), in about 10 years annual emissions would be about what they are today.

  75. As it happens, as I will be 74 by the end of this year, I actually lived under the circumstances the eco-whackos and warmmongers want all of us to live with. I lived on a farm in Iowa before the Rural Electrification Administration brought power lines into our area.

    Outhouse. Hand pumped water. The kitchen the only warm room in the farmhouse in winter, heated by the same wood stove food was cooked on. High temperatures and humidity in summer, without letup, day and night. Bath once a week with warm water heated on a wood stove. All bathing in turn with the same water. Kerosene lamps for light. Cooling water by wrapping a wet burlap bag around a gallon jug of water and hanging the jug from a tree branch, and hope for a breeze. No refrigerators of course, put meat or other perishables in sort of water-tight containers under water in the hand dug well. Kitchen still the warmest room . . . hell in summer as the wood stove had to be kept burning to cook food on.

    Then came REA, and it was soon another world. Running water, and heated when needed. Just turn on a tap. Septic tank and a flush toilet. An actual bathtub, with hot and cold water as needed. Clean water not having been used by others for bathing. Lighting at the flick of a switch. A real refrigerator, even ice for drinks in the summer. An electric range, quick on and off at the turn of a dial. No bucket of water with a broom in it next to the wood burning range to adjust the temperature of the oven when bread had to be baked. And wonder of wonders, even an electric fan to help keep cool in summer.

    Yes, I do indeed know how to live under those circumstances. Of course with today’s environmental regulations, the wood stove would be outlawed, makes smoke after all. Lots of luck for all of you younger folks.

    What a world of madness it has become. How to commit national suicide quickly and easily.

    Perhaps it would be best to invest in down comforters and feather beds. And shot and shell to prevent theft of the down comforters and feather beds.

    Now some of you may think that I was too young then to still remember those days. Well, when it is 2:00 AM in winter, with a foot or snow to trudge through to get to the outhouse, and the temperature outside is hovering around 5 degrees below zero, and you have to take a crap and the chamber pot is already full, it tends to make a lasting impression on a child. The bricks heated on the stove and wrapped in flannel were sure nice to have in bed with you. Didn’t last the night of course, but at least at first a bit of warmth.

  76. Actually, the more I think about it, I think this graph is quite misleading. The purpose as I see it is to compare CO2 emissions of the technologically and economically advanced world vs. the less advanced world. It seems all these global warming meetings are asking for the more advanced world to make the changes.

    To fairly show the contrast, then, there would need to be one line for the technologically and economically advanced world combined (US, Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and maybe some a few other small ones) and another line for the less advanced world combined (China, India, Africa, S. America, et al.) This would show which portion of the global emissions would be dealt with and which portion would be left out.

    This graph would look very different from the one shown in the article, and I think it would be more fair.

  77. son of mulder (04:28:29), you raise an interesting issue:

    I assume your table is different from a table that would show CO2 produced as a consequence of personal consumpsion by country eg in your table the UK is low but how does it look after factoring in the stuff we import from China. UK GDP is a lot of financial sevices so relatively low industrial production, House prices in the UK are in GDP as I understand it. Someone must have an absolute per capita measure that reflects CO2 effective footprint per capita. On an individual and country basis I bet it tells a much different story. Albeit a story that would still show how messing with with trade would screw up poorer countries’s GDP as they so depend on the consumpsion of others.

    Unlike the chart at the top of this thread, the table has nothing to do with CO2. It measures “energy intensity”, which is the amount of energy used to produce a dollar’s worth of goods.

    There are measures of CO2 production per capita such as you request. However, this thread is not about that.

    It is about how constraining the CO2 production of Western Europe and the US (Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Denmark, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States) will make no difference to the global CO2 levels.

  78. ” Ron de Haan (08:54:27) :

    Kate, do you have a copy or a download for the report you refer to?
    Thanks in advance.”

    …No web link, sorry. Only a Word document which is full of mathematical data and references which even I struggle to understand. Their conclusion, however, is very understandable, and it’s one reason to be incensed at the hijacking of the West’s democratic process by pressure groups like Greenpeace. Their alibi -to be “saving the planet”- is the Biggest Lie in the World.

  79. “Carbon footprint” – a stupid concept

    The origins of the notion of a “carbon footprint” can be traced to racism.

    Virtually every time I turn the TV on, I am told to turn it off by a Government advert. In the name of “Act on CO2″, we are supposed to turn off all appliances, lower our thermostats, and generally obsess about our “carbon footprint”. This concept has entered popular discourse without substantial debate, so it is this I seek to redress, with a little help from a brilliant new book called “Energise” by Woudhuysen and Kaplinsky.

    Hundreds of websites and newspaper supplements badger us to calculate and reduce our “carbon footprint”. Added to the phenomenon of recycling, which in many areas carries penalties for those who do not recycle, and we have a kind of 21st century ritual where people find meaning and absolution in sorting out their rubbish and using less energy. But like all rituals promoted by the authorities, it encourages slavishness and conformity.

    And with regard to nuclear energy, don’t worry about the problem of radioactive waste: recent scientific experiments have found ways to deradiate the waste, so it can be reused.

    What we currently live under is the alternative to a rational energy policy – instead of Governments leading the way in cleaning up energy, they moralise to individuals to cut their “carbon footprint”. Unfortunately this beckons further state intervention into our private lives. The recent development of “Smart” meters which the Government wants in every home will monitor all our energy consumption. Given the Government’s notorious authoritarian bent, pretty soon such meters will be used as devices to spy on citizens and punish those who use too much energy and do not conform to the ritual of cutting the “carbon footprint”. School children are also now routinely encouraged to spy on their parents to see if they’re turning off all the lights at night – this encourages an Orwellian situation where parents become afraid of their kids in case they grass them up.

    The concept of the carbon footprint is a logically flawed concept for four reasons:

    Firstly, it seeks to compare all human activities and find a common denominator in the shape of their so-called “greenhouse gas” emissions. But this approach doesn’t look at the human worth of a human activity – it only looks at its impact on the environment. This is a lousy anti-human approach to ethics. As Woudhuysen and Kaplinsky argue, “the carbon footprint idea strips each individual and social activity of its merits and dissolves all goals into one: add up your carbon impact and reduce it. In this scheme, the value of regularly visiting your ailing grandmother by car is of course not comparable with the value of flying an artificial heart to save someone’s life. Such things can never be quantified…The question is not what their activity adds to the world in human terms, only the resources it takes away.” Instead a decent approach to ethics would examine the worth of human activities on their own terms, not abstract from what is worthwhile to find a common negative, and then say that is the problem.

    Secondly, the concept of a “carbon footprint” is a misnomer because “greenhouse gases” go up into the sky and then fall to Earth where they are absorbed into the biosphere and the sea – they are not trodden in the soil by feet. The related idea of the carrying capacity of the land was first used by colonial authorities in Northern Rhodesia to speculate about and warn against future population growth among black Africans – a particular concern among white settlers. So the origins of the notion of a “carbon footprint” can be traced to racism.

    Thirdly, the concept is moralism dressed up as science. It wears pseudo-scientific clothes in its mathematical adding up of different activities – but the whole idea that consumption of energy is a problem derives from morality and ideology, not an objective study of the world.

    Fourthly, the campaign to reduce everyone’s “carbon footprint” is actually a stupid way to deal with the problems presented by climate change. In impoverished areas like Bangladesh, where there are threats of increased flooding, what is needed is more development, not less. This means increasing our “carbon footprint”, not reducing it. And with regard to energy, a rational energy supply should replace moralising. There’s also the possibility of different types of geo-engineering to combat the effects of destructive weather patterns.

    Whatever solution is preferred, it is better than the campaign to cut the “carbon footprint” which won’t do much to save the environment – turning your thermostat down or driving a Toyota Prius won’t actually do much for the planet.

  80. TA (10:05:59), thanks for taking this idea further:

    Actually, the more I think about it, I think this graph is quite misleading. The purpose as I see it is to compare CO2 emissions of the technologically and economically advanced world vs. the less advanced world. It seems all these global warming meetings are asking for the more advanced world to make the changes.

    To fairly show the contrast, then, there would need to be one line for the technologically and economically advanced world combined (US, Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and maybe some a few other small ones) and another line for the less advanced world combined (China, India, Africa, S. America, et al.) This would show which portion of the global emissions would be dealt with and which portion would be left out.

    This graph would look very different from the one shown in the article, and I think it would be more fair.

    Actually, adding in Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand makes little difference. In the graph above, the US and Western Europe are 28% of the global emissions. This is a bit less than a third of the total.

    Adding in Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand brings it up to 37%, or a little more than a third of the total.

    The main point, however, is not the total amount. It is that the increases in CO2 are not occurring in the developed world. They are happening in the developing world.

    And anyone who thinks that:

    a) the developing world will sign on to binding reductions, and that if they do

    b) signing on for complex restrictions to reduce CO2 will make any difference in countries where the simplest restrictions are routinely ignored

    is simply not following the story.

    The EU tried it with Kyoto and failed miserably … and people seriously think that Bangladesh and Borneo and the Congo will succeed? Seriously?

    I have posted up the graph including those countries here.

  81. TA,

    In your comment at (07:57:32) you deduce that US + EU emissions combine to appx 4 gigatonnes of carbon. You are misreading the graph, as the green line represents the combined US and EU emissions at appx 2.3 gigatonnes for the most recent data. 2.3 divided by 8.2 is about 28%.

  82. Willis Eschenbach (11:37:12) :

    “Unlike the chart at the top of this thread, the table has nothing to do with CO2. It measures “energy intensity”, which is the amount of energy used to produce a dollar’s worth of goods.”

    I took the liberty of using CO2 as a proxy for energy… not unreasonable given the global importance of fossil fuels. But in your comments you equate “energy intensity” with efficiency. It’s no such thing as it’s so influenced by say the type of economy eg service oriented vs industrial. Otherwise the ultimate efficient society would consist of bankers, management consultants and lawyers wearing wooly hats to keep warm, although the UK for one seems to be going that way.

    I have no disagreement with your main article at all.

  83. Son of Muldur, you advance an interesting argument, viz:

    I took the liberty of using CO2 as a proxy for energy… not unreasonable given the global importance of fossil fuels. But in your comments you equate “energy intensity” with efficiency. It’s no such thing as it’s so influenced by say the type of economy eg service oriented vs industrial. Otherwise the ultimate efficient society would consist of bankers, management consultants and lawyers wearing wooly hats to keep warm, although the UK for one seems to be going that way.

    Again, I would encourage people to check the numbers before making claims. Modern western economies do not differ a whole lot in the makeup of their GDP, with services making up around three quarters of most western industrialized countries’ GDP. Here are the sectoral breakdowns of the GDP of some countries from the top to the bottom of the energy intensity list I showed above (data from the CIA Factbook):

    Country, Agriculture, Industry, Services
    Iceland, 8.4, 15.6, 76
    Norway, 4, 22, 74
    US, 1, 20, 79
    France, 2, 21, 72
    UK, 1, 26, 73

    Note that the service sector of all of the countries are within a few percent of three quarters of the economy.

    So, obviously, there is no correlation between the size of the service sector and the energy efficiency of a country. The UK has one of the smaller service sectors, and yet it has one of the lowest energy intensities … go figure.

  84. Small error, makes no difference, the service sector for France should have been 77%, not 72%. My bad.

  85. Fred H. Haynie (16:36:55), you and several others have proposed adding natural emissions to the graph, viz:

    Add a line for natural emissions and plot proposed anthropogenic cuts and see how little of the total percentage wise is possibly achieved.

    Let me see if I can explain why I didn’t add natural emissions to the graph.

    The atmosphere is only a temporarily residence place for CO2. It can be compared with a bathtub with an open drain being being constantly filled by a hose. Suppose we start with an empty bathtub, and toss a hose into it labelled “natural water” and start filling.

    At first, the water in the tub starts rising. But after a while, the rise starts slowing. The additional water in the tub adds to the pressure, and the water starts going through the drain faster and faster.

    At some point, the tub will reach an equilibrium, where the water flowing out exactly matches the water being added to the tub. This is an analogue of the so-called “pre-industrial” situation of the atmosphere. The CO2 level is at an equilibrium.

    Now, let’s throw another hose labelled “anthropogenic water” into the tub. The level will rise until a new equilibrium is reached. Now, there are some important things to learn from this analogue of the atmosphere.

    1) If we shut off the anthropogenic emissions hose, eventually the tub will return to the “pre-industrial” line.

    2) If the amount of “anthropogenic water” can be held constant, the water level will not continue to rise, but will reach a new equilibrium level and stop rising. This is often misunderstood.

    3) The rises and falls in the tub level from changing the amount of “anthropological water” being added can be modelled mathematically as an “exponential rise” or an “exponential decay”. What this means is that initially the water level will change a lot, and as time passes, the change in the water level will slow and eventually stop at a new equilibrium.

    4) Most importantly for this issue, the timing and the amount of the rise from, and the return to, the pre-industrial water level do not depend on the amount of “natural water” being added. They are solely an exponential function of the amount of “anthropogenic water” being added.

    The same is true for the atmosphere. As long as the natural sources of CO2 do not vary significantly (and as far as we know they are not doing that), how far atmospheric CO2 will rise, and what the eventual equilibrium level will be, have nothing to do with the natural emissions of CO2.

    Which is why I did not include the natural emissions of CO2 in my graph above. Yes, natural emissions are quite large (about 220 gigatonnes of C vs 9 GT C for anthropogenic emissions), but they are essentially a constant in the equation and do not affect the final result.

  86. 4 billion (20:12:10) :
    How can the US circa 1970 (pop. 200 m) be producing similar levels of C to todays US (pop. 300m)?

    Improved economic efficiency (capitalism is stellar at cost cutting, and energy costs…) along with the movement from the 1970 Chevy Impala Big Block V8 I used to drive at dismal mpg to the Honda my daughter now drives at a similar age. Oh, and I’m in a Mercedes Diesel that gets about twice the MPG of the old barge…

    It’s called “free market forces” and they are a marvelous thing.

    According to the graph the US, Euro and China (same as US) combined account for 4 Gtonne, where is the other 4 Gtonne coming from?

    Oh, little places, like: Russia, Non-EU Europe, North Africa, some of the heaviest oil consumers per capita in the world – The Middle East (counted as part of Asia in many statistics), India (growing almost as fast as China), Australia / New Zealand / Oceana – those ocean cruses jet vacations and hotels all take juice…, Brazil is growing like a weed and both finding and selling or consuming billions of barrels of oil just off shore in really deep water, then there is the rest of South America … Oh, and don’t forget Canada – it takes a lot to stay warm up there and much natural gas is burned to cook oil out of tar sands. And did I mention Mexico? WIth Pemex subsidy for gasoline prices they have had little incentive to be efficient; kind of like Iran where 25 cent gasoline is reputed to be available…

    You see, there is much more to the world than the U.S.A. and because, at least until recently, we were a capitalist system, we had rather stellar leaps forward in energy efficiency of use. Now that we’re a Lange Type Socialist system, you can expect us to become more like China and Russia with increasing energy waste…

    Frederick (01:54:55) : The scandal here is the fact that a US with a population of 300 million is using about twice as much Co2 as Europe with a population of 500 million (and that’s just the European Union countries).

    And is that the Europe that includes France with an extraordinarily high usage of Nuclear power? Kind of comparing CO2 apples to radioactive oranges, isn’t it? It is important when making comparisons to assure the ruler is a consistent one…

    There is no scandal here at all. We produced more goods.

    (At least during the interval of past statistics; with China burning up the place, future statistics will reflect that new reality … and the 10%++ unemployment here).

    So we refine thousands of tonnes of Diesel that are shipped to the EU. We get ‘credited’ with the refinery emissions (10% of the tonnes, I’d guess) while you get the fuel. We take thousands of tonnes of natural gas and turn it into resins, plastics, fertilizers. The emissions count to us, the products ship to to Europe. Millions of tons of those fertilizers go on our crop land. The food goes to Europe…

    Now I’d be just as happy as the next guy to stop shipping our food, our fuels, and our products to Europe. Would you be as happy not to have them? You would be doing it “for the planet:” and it would let the mean old nasty USA cut it’s “emissions per capita”. (We already have one of the lowest emissions per unit of productivity on the planet, we just don’t use many ‘per capitas’ in our production either…)

    However I do hate waste and I am appalled at the MASSIVE energy inefficiencies of the US.

    A common, but misplaced, belief. Look at emissions per unit of productivity or GDP. We just make (or, now, made) a lot of stuff for the rest of the world. Steel, for example, uses coke that is straight carbon. We get the millions of tons of “co2 credit” you get the steel… And no, nobody can use less tons of coke per ton of steel than we do. We just have a lot of coal, ore, and efficient furnaces; so we make (er, made… have to get use to this ‘new socialist economy’…) lots of steel for the world.

    I live in France and the quality of life is higher than in the US due to the excellent health service and the lower disparity in incomes and I know this first hand because I lived and worked in Colorado for a time.

    Regional variations are more important that country by country variations. Palo Alto has a stellar quality of life. East Palo Alto across the freeway is just above slum quality… No CO2 disparity. And I’m sure there are some places in “North Africa of Europe” that are none too perfect. I seem to remember seeing the “nightly torching of the cars” for several weeks not too long ago…

    It would be good if you yanks did something about cutting your energy use. It’s a national disgrace.

    No disgrace at all. But if you insist, I’m sure we can keep our corn, wheat, soybeans, beef, Diesel fuel, plastics, California wine and nuts, and steel here, or make a lot less of them. I’m sure you don’t need any of them at all. Or any Maine Lobster either.

    (And before you agree to such a deal, check out the tonnage of Diesel sent to France from the USA… And check out the net imports of food to Europe… Europe dies without net imports of food and fuel…)

    BTW, We’ll be “fixing” that medical system Real Soon Now; then all the Canadians, Mexican, and European refugees from Socialized Medicine trying to get needed medical care, that the Commissar has denied at home, can all stop coming over here for treatment in our “broken” system. It will be all fixed up nice, just like the one’s they are avoiding… (And “I know this first hand because I ” worked in London for a while and got to experience “socialized medicine” that was incredibly clueless… Oh, and they killed my Uncle on the operating table via “modest competence” when he would have easily survived in the USA…)

    Might I suggest that when speaking of “waste” and “quality of life” you need a slightly wider view of things… and a non-rubber ruler.

  87. Would somebody please expalin if possible in simple non scientific way what the following means?

    Thank you in advance.

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=4317

    “the saturation of the 14.77 micron band of the Earth’s thermal radiation by CO2, makes further ‘CO2 emissions caused global warming’ a physical impossibility.”

  88. “No one with a grasp of high school physics should take any of these schemes seriously. ”
    That’s a big part of the problem. Given the school systems prevalent in too much of the US, how many of our kids have an adequate grasp of high school physics? Far too few!

  89. James Allison (17:22:48), you ask:

    Would somebody please expalin if possible in simple non scientific way what the following means?

    Thank you in advance.

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=4317

    “the saturation of the 14.77 micron band of the Earth’s thermal radiation by CO2, makes further ‘CO2 emissions caused global warming’ a physical impossibility.”

    Here’s an example, no real facts involved. Let’s say that carbon when added to glass makes it blacker, less transparent. And let’s say that when the glass gets to 37% carbon, no light at all gets through it.

    At that point, the glass could be said to be “saturated” with carbon. And since no light is getting through, increasing the amount of carbon to 50% will make no difference. You can’t go below 0% transmission.

    Whether this is true or not is an open question. The problem is that although the lower levels of the atmosphere may be saturated (in that no radiation in the 14.77 micron band can get through the lower levels), this is not true of the upper levels. At the upper levels there is less gas of any kind, so the upper levels are not saturated. So the atmosphere is not like glass, saturated through and through.

    This makes a difference because one of the things affecting the strength of the greenhouse effect is how many times radiation headed upwards is absorbed and re-radiated on its way to space. So despite the fact that the lower level may be totally saturated, increased concentration increases the number of times the radiation is absorbed and re-radiated. As a result, increasing CO2 can still change the strength of the greenhouse effect, even though (as the article says) the 14.77.

    Hope this helps,

    w.

  90. Willis Eschenbach (03:21:35) : The measure of “efficiency” in this case is usually called “energy intensity”. It is the amount of energy necessary to produce one unit of GDP. Before you start castigating the US, it is worthwhile to look at the actual figures. There is an Excel table of these here from the EIA.

    A very useful set of numbers, but this is per dollar. When you look at per “unit of production” the USA does even better (though I have no chart to hand, being in ‘computer guy’ mode at the moment, not ‘economist mode’…).

    Basically, the USA makes a lot of stuff that makes a lot of CO2 but does not sell for many dollars. Take steel, for example. Things that take lots of space and land, lots of coking coal, and not a lot else. And sells for only a little more than dirt per ton when done… (more if ‘specialty steels’ which is where we are headed to to Brazil and China…). Or Aluminum. Hideous levels of energy per unit (and a ton is a lot of aluminum) and yet not much money made (which is why it’s used for things like beer cans and aluminum foil that are often disposable). Or look at the tons of CO2 per unit of fertilizer (much made from natural gas) and the price per ton of wheat produced.

    Now compare that with the dollars for a Mercedes Benz, BMW, French Wines, British drugs…

    So while your figures are important, they also have a ‘currency value per unit’ aspect that masks the variation in TYPE of industry that thrive in each place.

    We, the USA, score even higher when you look at energy consumption per unit of product, not just unit of currency, and break it out by type of product…

    Basically, comparing a Chinese Steel Mill to a Swiss Bank on “CO2 per $” is not the best comparison of energy efficiency. Comparison of a French Bank to a US Bank, or comparison of a French Farm to a US Farm is the better comparison. And even comparison of a Chinese Steel Mill to a US Steel Mill shows us more efficient. But due to extraordinarily low costs for land, labor, facilities, and taxes in China, steel production will move there. And world CO2 per ton of steel will get worse, not better.

    FWIW, this is one of the “trickier bits” of Economics to measure. There are a large number of moving parts, statistics are poor, and many of the rulers are rubber rulers. It’s very easy to get it wrong; thus all the folks who get excited and claim the USA is inefficient when we are among the most efficient on the planet and invented most of the process improvements that boost efficiency world wide. (While a German ship Diesel is the most efficient engine in the world at about 54%, the GE turbine that powers many of the worlds planes, electric generation plants, and even some ships of the world comes in at near 52% – hard to beat and a lot cheaper than that giant ship Diesel… when used in ‘combined cycle’ and ‘combined heat and power’ it can rise to even higher total efficiencies… )

    So what does all this have to do with Copenhagen?

    IMHO, it is simply that the “powers that be” don’t like the USA being an efficient competitor that keeps upsetting their plans and designs and would like to find a way to “level the playing field”; by hobbling the USA. But since we’ve now done a spectacular job of that already with the things that were done to our financial system over the last 2 decades, they risk killing the goose that gives those golden eggs… With any luck, they will realize this in time to prevent the underlings (who they’ve not got worked up to fever pitch) succeeding “too well”…

    Of course, if they do, they can always buy their steel, food, and petrochemicals from China. (Which, BTW, will be made with US coal… China has been signing deals with US coal miners, like BTU Peabody, to lock in coal sales for years to come. Peabody is predicting increased profits for decades based on growth of total shipments of coal largely from Chinese purchases that they are booking now… Think about it…)

    So I expect the USA to succeed greatly at reducing our CO2 (per $, or per capita, or per unit of production, or..) AND we will reduce our coal burning. You don’t use much coal when you are unemployed and the factory is shut.

    But we will be mining more coal than ever and more total CO2 will be produced in the world (it will just come from Chinese soil and with a carbon indulgence from Copenhagen et. al.). And it is not more efficient to ship coal to China for use rather than using it here in plants with EPA certified scrubbing…

    The only parts I “don’t get” are the “whose driving this bus?” and the “how are they pocketing enough money off this to make it worth while?” We can see the kings and princes; but we can’t see the King Makers. Nor their shell company shell games…

    So when watching the show in Copenhagen, ask if you can see where the the strings go and where the puppet master is standing…

  91. Kate (12:24:23) :

    ” Ron de Haan (08:54:27) :

    Kate, do you have a copy or a download for the report you refer to?
    Thanks in advance.”

    “…No web link, sorry. Only a Word document which is full of mathematical data and references which even I struggle to understand. Their conclusion, however, is very understandable, and it’s one reason to be incensed at the hijacking of the West’s democratic process by pressure groups like Greenpeace. Their alibi -to be “saving the planet”- is the Biggest Lie in the World.”

    Kate, can you send it by e-mail?

  92. Patrick Davis (04:07:41) :
    Stats = BS my friend. Homes in the UK are better insulated, therefore more “efficient” consumers of energy. Trouble is, energy costs in the US and the UK are not compareable (Meaning it’s cheaper in the US, and if you paid UK prices..well, there’d be French style riots in the US. Basically, you have no idea yet about energy costs).

    Um, pardon my saying this, but you are making a broken gross generalization here that just doesn’t stand up.

    Is your UK cost below zero? Is your heating efficiency above 100%?

    My present cost is zero and my present efficiency is 100%. (Though next month may change, we’ll see.)

    The UK is largely one climate zone (cold and dank most of the time). The USA spans a continent from Death Valley to colder than Sweden. Where in the USA matters a great deal!

    As I type this I’m in a home with a window wide open (and often the door). It will be that way much of the winter. And the summer.

    Yes, your English home is “better insulated”. But I have no need for insulation. The “heat” is set at 72 F and has not come on all day (door open and all) and will likely stay silent all night. Welcome to California…

    (A friend in L.A. had an apartment that had NO heater. Didn’t need one. They just didn’t bother installing a device that would never be used. And San Diego is “room temperature +/- 5 F” more or less year round.)

    Now go to “Little Sweden” Minnesota in the frozen north central USA and you find homes that are super-insulated to a such a degree that they have to provide explicit air feed into the space to prevent illnesses. R values that make your English home look like a leaky shack. ( I remember 2 examples of R 45 and R60, and talk of an R120; where my home is more like R 12 and common is R19 – R24)

    So which USA you look at matters. And, BTW, my “heating bill” per year is so low I don’t even know what it is. I spend more on hot water for showers. The guy in the super-insulated house runs a few hundred a month. Frozen North does that… And my summer A/C bill is nothing. We don’t use it.

    So exactly how much does it matter that my windows are single pane? They are standing open anyway(!). (The one in the bath is left permanently open, the one in the living room we close on “cold” nights… sometimes…)

    BTW, Niggling Point: You used “costs” and ought to have used “prices”. The costs to produce and deliver are not much different in both places. The after tax prices are much higher in the UK. But Saudi Oil has about the same cost to deliver to both shores… as does USA Coal. (Virginia to ship to Newcastle is about the same cost per ton as Virginia to train to Nevada…)

    So the fact that you are taxed to death matters to my costs how?
    So the fact that you are taxed to death matters to my climate how?
    So the fact that you are taxed to death means what about efficiency?

    So I ought to be taxed to death, why again? Envy?

    FWIW, one of my dozen or so English Aunts, on visiting, was a bit agast at the ‘thin walls’, lousy insulation, and truly astounded at the windows left wide open. Then I pointed out that the heater had the pilot light turned off several months prior and I might need to figure out how to light it again in a few more…

    I made her a cup of tea and we discussed “English Liquid Sunshine” for a while. (Last time I saw my umbrella was about, oh, last February? I donno… it’s around here somewhere. We had a couple of days rain a week ago and I almost found it then. Then the sun came back. Maybe I’ll look for it next month… 8-) And my shoes. I saw them a few days ago…

    Beware of rubber rulers and beware of applying your standards to foreign lands…

  93. ” Ron de Haan (08:54:27) :

    Kate, can you send it by e-mail?

    Yes. You’ll need a disposable address to publish.

  94. “E.M.Smith (19:58:25) :”

    I do not believe my response was laden with energy price (Yes, the price to the end consumer not the cost to generate it) envy. House contrustion and insulation is vastly different (One reason why “English” style construction didn’t work too well for early northern Australian settlers) in both contries (Well, we’ve been doing it a few hundred years longer than the USA ;-)). And yes, we’re (They’re, I don’t live there any more) massively taxed for energy making the price higher. You have only to look at the price of gasoline, it’s mostly tax in the UK/Europe. So if you in the USA had to pay a similar price as they do in Europe, you would be rioting. I am not sure how long any politician would last in power if fuel/energy price was similar to that in Europe. Some form of carbon tax may change all that however.

    Europe, especially the UK, is finished. We (They) have long since had their powers to defend themselves from the state legislated into oblivion. The US stands well ahead in that regard.

  95. Alarmists start fighting each other

    Some environmentalists are more equal than others.

    This is from today’s Sunday Express

    ENVIRONMENTAL LOBBY GROUP ACCUSED OF ‘ECO-SNOBBERY’

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/138896/Environmental-lobby-group-accused-of-eco-snobbery-

    By Ted Jeory, Whitehall Editor

    A LEADING environmental lobby group was accused last night of “eco-snobbery” and “rank hypocrisy” after it refused to let an airport operator join its carbon reduction campaign. The group, 10:10, which encourages homes and businesses to cut emissions by 10 per cent by 2010, blocked a membership application by Manchester Airport bosses who had pledged to meet the group’s targets.

    The operator, which also runs East Midlands, Humberside and Bournemouth Airports, said it wanted to sign up to the campaign to demonstrate its greener credentials. However, within days of the request, it was told politely thanks, but no thanks.

    In an email, activist Duncan Clark, a journalist at a left-wing newspaper that backs the campaign, said: “We’ve taken the view that airports won’t be able to participate in 10:10. We don’t think it’s in the spirit of a campaign that directly encourages everyone to take fewer flights to have airports involved. We also need to be careful not to open ourselves up to criticism of greenwash from the wider environment movement. In particular, we’re concerned that allowing airports to sign up would give the impression that the aviation sector as a whole was making great strides on short-term emissions reductions, when in fact the airports represent only a tiny proportion of the emissions of that sector.”

    Although 10:10 works with power generator EDF on the campaign, he added: “We feel that allowing airports to participate would be the equivalent of letting power station operators sign up for their office emissions without a parallel commitment on their far more substantial generation emissions.”

    Manchester Airport said it was “disappointed”, allowing aviation lobby group FlyingMatters to go more on the attack. It branded the campaigners “eco-snobs” and their response as “the eco equivalent of political correctness gone mad”. Its chairman Brian Wilson said: “If the 10:10 campaign were serious about making a difference it wouldn’t matter where the emission cuts came from, so long as they were made.”

    He also pointed out that that 10:10’s leader, Franny Armstrong, the filmmaker whom London Mayor Boris Johnson saved from a mugging last week, flew to New York in September for the premiere of her film the Age of Stupid.

    Mr Wilson added: “The response smacks of snobbery and rank hypocrisy.”

    The campaign was launched at the Tate Modern gallery in London in September and has attracted the support of celebrities including Delia Smith, author Ian McEwan, actor Colin Firth and DJ Sara Cox, and a host of companies such as Tottenham Hotspur football club and EDF.

    FlyingMatters’ new director Eugenie Harvey said: “Manchester Airport has ambitious expansion plans that will encourage people to fly more—it would have been incongruous of us to allow them to join. As for EDF, they have not signed up, we just work with them as a delivery partner. We wouldn’t let them sign up.”

    Asked whether any of her group would be travelling to next month’s climate summit in Copenhagen, she said: “Yes, absolutely—but we’re going by sea and land, not flying.”

  96. LarryOldtimer (10:04:55) :
    As it happens, as I will be 74 by the end of this year, I actually lived under the circumstances the eco-whackos and warmmongers want all of us to live with. I lived on a farm in Iowa before the Rural Electrification Administration brought power lines into our area.

    Dad was born in Iowa on a farm near the turn of the century. Somewhere near Boone or Davenport. He had similar stories.

    That one of his parents was Amish added it’s own element… If you wanted to eat something, you started with growing it… Bacon was about a 1 year process. If you wanted a shirt, you made it (though they did buy cloth, being more modern than some…). Fish? Start walking to the river…

    His Dad had a small Smithy in the barn (that being the family tradition, and thus my name). If you wanted a screwdriver or hammer, you made it. An axe handle? Start whittling… Butter was started after you milked the cow at 5 am or so… you might have some by dinner time. (And yes, I’ve hand milked a cow. Didn’t grow up on a farm, but Dad had 5 acres of toy farm out of town – about 2 miles away… small town – and my Uncle had a farm we’d visit a lot).

    I helped him put decent electric wiring in our home when I was about 8 or 9. We had ONE bulb on a wire from the ceiling in each room and ONE outlet on the wall in SOME rooms. Bare wire “nob and tube” distribution in the attic. And a lot of the time we didn’t use it… That’s the stuff we replaced.

    I still remember the amazement everyone had at the amount of light you got from the 2 bulbs in a real fixture. And a switch on the wall where you entered the room… what extravagance! No more crossing to the center in the dark to turn on the light.

    We also took an “outbuilding” apart. It had started life as a carriage barn but was turned into a garage of sorts. One of my jobs was to recover all the nails and straighten them out for re-use. We then put in a cement floor and put the building back together reusing everything possible. After all, it is much easier to straighten a nail than to make new ones. (Yes, I was taught how to make a nail. You do them first. Then you learn how to make screwdrivers, then files, then pliers, then …) Our garage had been made with square nails. It is still an odd cherished connection to some other Smith who had hand made them when the “garage” was first built about 1890. Some 60 years later I got to “remake them” for reuse. And they are still in use today…

    I also got to help hand dig a well in the yard (for the garden).

    As a kid, my room was an unheated space that got down to 20 F in winter some times. (Different part of California from where I life now. North, Inland, and frozen in winter… guess why I moved…)

    Oh, and while we didn’t have a wood stove, some farmer friends outside town did. I’ve cooked on ‘em… Beastly hot in summer when it’s “110 in the shade and there ain’t no shade!” (We got a wall mount AC when I was about 12? in a place that hit 100+F regularly in summer and sometimes 115+F)

    And you are absolutely right.

    Those who have lived that way “have clue”; those who have not see it in the greeting cards and find it quaint.

    Well, 3 comforters, a “sleeping cap” and shivering all night is not quaint… And the sheer magic of the incandescent bulb is something to marvel at. (I have semi-nostalgic memories of warming my hands over the one in my room so as to avoid going down the outside stairs in the colder outdoors to get into the main room that was the only room with a heater… )

    I still have 1/2 dozen shirts my mother made, by hand, for me. I learned to sew from her and helped put on the buttons. Old worn out clothes got turned into rags for cleaning. Forget paper towels..

    Then, the very concept of ‘leisure time’ was alien.

    I can guarantee you one thing for certain: The folks advocating for a drastic reduction in fuel usage have no idea what it is like to live without it.

    I didn’t have it nearly as “rough” as my Dad did (or my Mom, who grew up in a poor part of England and had stories of the one lump of coal they could sometimes get for the stove… and everyone crowded up to the stove during the too short time it was lit…); they made sure I understood what it was like then.

    That I can now have whatever temperature I want whenever I want it and whatever lighting I want whenever I want it AND a magic box full of food kept perfectly cold or frozen all the time and made perfectly hot whenever I want it (in another magic box) is a degree of wealth and comfort they only dreamed of as youths.

    And it is not something I will give up in response to some loon who has no idea what the alternative is like… My parents worked too long and too hard to make this world for me. Nobody, and I do mean nobody, will infringe on that gift.

  97. Kate:

    “Now they’re going on about aerosols and particulates in the atmosphere.”

    AKA: Moving the goal posts again.

    CO2 was the original scare, but people are beginning to see that CO2 is beneficial, not harmful. But since money and government growth are the real motivations behind the trumped-up AGW claim, a new crisis must be discovered that will justify the $Trillions that the UN is salivating over. Ravenous hyenas don’t willingly go on a diet.

    But China will strongly resist any mitigation. One third of all atmospheric pollution on the U.S. west coast comes straight from mainland China, and China is not going to take the steps necessary to mitigate its rampant pollution, as most profitable Chinese companies are partly or wholly owned by government officials. In the U.S. and the West, pollution control comes before profits. In China, nothing comes before money.

    So the blame will, as always, be directed at the essentially pollution-free West, while the BRIC countries continue to grossly pollute the planet we all share.

  98. By the way I am a Brit and I am certainly not a socialist.

    I like living in France. I loved it when I lived and worked in the US and I have cousins there who I visit as often as I can. Both countries have their pros and cons and I could go on about the problems with France but that is OT. Unlike the US it does not output a lot of carbon due to its reliance on nuclear and its lower energy consumption. This puts it in a rather unique position within Europe. Anyway, I digress because my point was not about France but about the US.

    I realise that energy usage is becoming more efficient. But the point is that for most people, more efficient means cheaper which means that we tend to consume more. As a result, we may have more fuel efficient cars, but now we have two instead of one. We have more efficient heating systems, but rather than use less we build bigger houses which then need more energy to heat, and rather than wear a sweater, we turn up the thermostat. Instead of living more centrally, we build bigger houses in the rural suburbs meaning that we have to drive further to work rather than take public transport.

    At the end of the day it comes down to cost and the question is whether the cost of energy in the US is “fair” since after all, this is a finite GLOBAL resource which everyone should be able to enjoy and for one country to squander it just because they ignore the true cost does not seem morally right to me.

    Just because the market determines a price does not mean that the price is correct. There are external “costs” associated with energy which are not factored into the price. Such costs include the wars which the US has to fight to ensure a flow of oil from the middle east (both Gulf War I and 2 had a lot to do with oil safety and protecting Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from Saddam), the costs of pollution (diesel particulates, acid rain, …), and maybe there should also be a moral cost – a long term insurance cost to soften the blow to those people who in one or two hundred years will not have the luxury of the cheap energy that the US has today. Never again will we probably have some much concentrated energy in such an easily transportable form as the coal, oil and gas we enjoy today.

    I hope I am proved wrong, but unless fission becomes more widely used and fusion is made viable, it’s hard to foresee what will close the coming energy gap. And if there is going to be an energy gap, maybe we should start being more careful with our usage now so that we can delay it and lessen the impact.

    In Europe we are taxed more highly than in the US. Right now I pay about 1 euro for a litre of diesel – equivalent to 3.8 euros per gallon – equivalent to about 4.75 dollars (higher than last year due to the fall in the value of the dollar). While I would like to pay less, I do not consider 1 euro a litre to be excessive. I don’t think it stops me from doing stuff I would not do. Instead it does make me think from time to time about combining what could have been two trips into one, or organising what I am doing with my wife so that we take one car instead of both out. We make these sorts of calculations all the time about other things, why should fuel be so cheap we don’t have to think about it ?

    You may call it envy, but I am not envious. At 1 euro a litre for diesel I am not taxed to death. I just hate to see waste and that’s what I see when I look at the graph at the top of this page. And then I get angry because I realise that gas is a very precious and finite resource that we should husband rather than squander.

    When I go to the US and see all of the large SUVs and high powered pickup trucks that are just used to ferry the kids to school and for mom to go to the store and then to the gym, I think what a waste of energy pushing that 2 ton vehicle around. Maybe mum should walk the kids to school or take them on bikes and then she wouldn’t need to join a gym. Maybe a VW Golf would get her to the supermarket. Maybe there are those who think “I love the US of A for allowing that person the choice to guzzle huge amounts of gas cheaply”. I don’t. Freedom of speech, yes, freedom of movement yes, freedom of choice to burn gas, yes, but only at the right price!

    So though I am highly sceptical about global warming, I am in favour of higher taxes on fuel consumption. It could give the US more energy independence and encourage the growth of alternatives. My only gripe with Obama is that a cap and trade system is not transparent, will need to be brokered and this will add transaction costs, and is so loaded up with conflicts of interest and potential abuses that a flat tax on gas would be much better. And I don’t see why the money collected cannot be simply given back in the form of a cut in federal taxes.

  99. I’ve been reading through here for my Sunday morning coffee. EM Smith 17:20 — Well done.

    I get very tired of the rote, “…the US has 5% of the world’s population and uses 25% of the energy.” My answer is we make 25% of the worlds stuff.

  100. Willis Eschenbach:
    “So the US is about twice as energy efficient as Iceland, more efficient than Norway, Finland, or Belgium, and slightly less efficient than Sweden and the Netherlands.

    France does better than the US, it is true … but then Greece and Italy and Germany are more energy efficient than France, and the UK and Switzerland do better than Greece and Italy and Germany.

    So I fear your claim that the US energy efficiency is a “national disgrace” compared to the energy efficiency of European countries is simply not borne out by the facts. Heck, by Irish standards, we’re all wastrels …”

    By this logic, Alaska is as energy-efficient as New Mexico if they have the same energy consumption per GDP.

  101. What this is saying is the USA is pretty good (I am not a yank BTW) given it limited hydro distribution compared with Switzerland or Austriam France is mainly atomic or hydro and wind power is a crock. Maybe what we should all be doing is educating our peers and informing our politicians that supporters of the carbon scam will have no political career left when the house of cards collapses. Other ways to defeat this take over are welcome !

  102. To the Europeans: why should the government tell me or anyone else how much we should drive, or what kind of car we should drive? My choice is an Escape SUV with 29 mpg. It can haul a fair amount of stuff including my small trailer and wood splitter. I don’t want a higher gas tax to “convince” me to give up that flexibility. I have had less efficient trucks with 4WD before, but I gave up that extra utility for the few days a year that I have no choice but to drive on snowy roads. Plus I have less acreage where I don’t need to drive off road.

    On the other hand, I know a woman who drives a Hummer, usually empty except for her, and insists that it is safer. It is not safer, the majority of accidents in my area are single car and a Hummer has no better safety than another car (against a tree) and may be worse if it rolls. I look around and sometimes think that gas should perhaps be priced higher. But lots of people around where I live spend a lot on fuel since we are 60-70 miles from the good paying jobs. It is not my call to ask them to pay more for gas, it is their responsibility. If they shirk that responsibility then it needs to be instilled better, not enforced by taxation.

    As for wars and foreign policy, I think it is a separate issue to be decided in a broader context. There are certainly good arguments to be made about getting international agreement before going to war including the reasons which would not include “war for oil”. But as long as there are despots and irrational crowds that want to scapegoat or persecute people on some or other basis, there will be wars. It can’t be wished away.

  103. Dear friends, let’s not let this devolve into a “Europe vs. US” flamewar. The issue is whether the rising CO2 levels can be solved by Copenhagen or Kyoto type measures. I hold that they cannot, for the reasons I state in the original post.

    This is not a call to not comment, merely a request that people don’t use this thread to discuss the safety of Hummers, wars, or foreign policy.

    Thanks to all,

    w.

  104. In a stunning announcement, fresh research in the journal Science has invalidated all the computer models used by the UN IPCC and relied on by uppity bloggers.

    Essentially, say researchers, “we got it wrong”.
    Al Gore gave a hint of the backdown on CO2 earlier this week, but now the full research has just been published, and Doug Hoffman summarises it:

    http://ilovecarbondioxide.com/2009/11/science-journal-admits-science-not.html

    So, are our politicians pulling the handbrake now on Copenhagen?

  105. E.M.Smith (03:27:14) :

    Your autobiography, very succinctly telling me your personal history that I did want to know during my frequent visits to this blog, well reminds me of my childhood more than 50 years ago. My father was a small-hold farmer in a rural part of Japan, which was economically far behind of USA then, and I also vaguely remember the day when a light bulb suddenly came to my family. All of the energy source for kitchen and bath was woods then, and the water for bath had to be poured in with a bucket, which was carried many many times from a self-dug well in the garden. However, the village life was self-sufficient and farn from being unhappy.

  106. Willis:

    I agree the message of your graph: i.e. reducing CO2 emissions from developed countries cannot significantly alter the growth of anthropogenic CO2 missions. That message is important information for all who consider negotiations pertinent to the proposed Copenhagen Treaty.

    However, that message has nothing to do with the reasons (both real and imagined) for the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. And discussion of those reasons is a side-track from the important message of your graph. In my opinion, such discussion should occur at another place than this thread.

    Study of the carbon cycle is a useful scientific endeavour. It is science that is not settled, but it has little or no relevance to the important message of your graph. I give a brief explanation of this below.

    At (17:19:35) you provide the ‘bathtub’ model of the carbon cycle which is widely used (e.g. by the IPCC) but is very flawed and, therefore, is misleading. It assumes constant input of ‘natural’ flows to the tub and constant ‘natural’ drains from the tub. Both assumptions are known to be false. For example, small changes in temperature alter both the ‘natural’ emission and sequestration of CO2 from the ocean to the air.

    The argument for a stable pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 concentration is provided by ice-core data but is denied by stomata data.

    Large variations of both the ‘natural’ emission and the ‘natural’ sequestration are also very probable and for a variety of reasons. For example, very small changes to ocean surface layer pH (e.g. by small variation of sulphur output from undersea volcanism) would cause large changes to the emissions and sequestrations. A reduction of ocean alkalinity of only 0.1 pH would account for all the observed change to atmospheric CO2 concentration since “pre-industrial” times. And there is no possibility of measuring such a small change in average ocean pH.

    The ‘bathtub’model requires 5-year smoothing of data to make it fit with observations. Several other models of the carbon cycle fit with observations but do require any fudge-factor such as 5-year smoothing
    (ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005)).

    I hope these points demonstrate that discussion of the carbon cycle has value but is a side-track from the important message of your graph and, therefore, such discussion should occur at another place than this thread.

    Richard

  107. @Willis

    Very interesting figures regarding GDP/MJ. I agree with you that saying US energy consumption is a disgrace compared to Europe is a little bit over the top (although I am almost french (Belgian), enjoy garlic and cheese and would probably surrender rather than die :p).

    Comparing quality of life is a very difficult exercise, and I think that it is where chauvinism is going crazy, killing any possible objectivity. My own view is that there is some opportunities for more efficiency without decreasing quality of life (US cars are not something that makes me dream for example ;-) ), but there is also energy uses that really increase your quality of life and are tagged as “waste” because of european endocrination. Airco/heating budgets for example are highly dependent on where you live, and the size and type of your house. If you have to pay a lot for each square meter (forcing you to build a small house -often near your neighbor), live in a temperate oceanic climate and not into any outdoor activities, it is very easy to tell you fellow american that it’s large ranch and collection of buggies and pick-up are waste. However, it represent a lifestyle and is not waste, because economies would imply changes in your way of life and, for those enjoying it, a large reduction in quality of life.

    Now for your GDP figures, I think that those are heavily skewed: first there is a large dependence on location, especially latitude: heating budget is clearly different and could be overcome only if you build your house in a very special way…
    But mostly, I think it reflect countries where GDP is linked to “virtual” economy, financial services and banking mostly. It is (well, it was, before the crash) quite easy to generate large GDP without any industrial production, hence not not a lot of energy (In my humble opinion, it was generating GDP from nothing, i.e. a scam of national proportion and the crash was inevitable, if not deserved, but I may be just me that do not have much sympathy for financial sevices ;-) ).
    If you exclude those king of “goods” from your GDP, I think that the spectrum across countries in term of energy efficiency will be much smaller…

  108. “E.M.Smith (03:27:14) :

    I can guarantee you one thing for certain: The folks advocating for a drastic reduction in fuel usage have no idea what it is like to live without it.”

    Very true. Have you been to Ethiopia? And following..

    “I didn’t have it nearly as “rough” as my Dad did (or my Mom, who grew up in a poor part of England and had stories of the one lump of coal they could sometimes get for the stove… and everyone crowded up to the stove during the too short time it was lit…); they made sure I understood what it was like then. ”

    Me too, but maybe a bit later in my case. Added to that, in my time, was the winter of discontent, and power strikes. Power strikes not because there was a problem with power generation, but because those that controlled that “market” turned off the power at will in the ’70’s because power “workers” wanted more money, and held the rest of the country to randsom. Thatcher “fixed’ that, and now we have Hadley CRU and the IPCC.

  109. All this discussion of CO2 emission is enlightening. I did know that the US was essentially flat in producing CO2 over the last 40 years. And the questions as to whether these graphs are genuine emissions or include phony warmist fudge-factoring is also valid, but something I had not previously considered.

    Much of the decline since 1970 is the completion and operation of 100 or so nuclear power stations since then, the tripling of auto mileage, as well as improved technology in virtually all other areas.

    I did know that if the Gore bull’s company said they planted a tree, and filed the correct paperwork, that counted as carbon absorption. But if a mighty oak dropped an acorn and a sapling sprouted, who was there to file the appropriate governmental form, so it does not count. In all this discussion, the natural growth of our forests count for naught.

    But this emissions discussion only addressees half the problem. What about Carbon absorption? If you look at that, you will find that the US and Canada absorb far more CO2 than they emit, both man made AND naturally.

    North America is NET carbon sink. You ask how can this be? Where is the evidence? Do you mean that North Americans have solved all their Carbon emissions problems and have no more to do, even by the quixotic demands of the fiercest Warmest Druid? Yes I do.

    The evidence is a series of experiments and measurements conducted at Princeton University in 1999-2000 and then completely ignored and neglected, as it ran counter to the Warmist eco-orthodoxy.

    North America is largely empty, and vast tracts are undeveloped, and devoted to wilderness and forests, prairie, rangeland and farmland that absorb vast quantities of Carbon. Actually much more carbon absorption than North America produces in CO2 emissions. The whole of North America still produces some 25+% of the World’s goods and GDP that from a much proportionately smaller population; and still is a net CO2 non-emitter.

    Did you know that the USA has more land set-aside as parkland and natural wilderness than all the area of the the original Thirteen States of the Union? That’s correct. Prove it for yourself. The data is there. More land is set-aside then the land area of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. (including lots on those States). Now our forefathers were hardly being just altruistic. This vast land set aside was not done just for Carbon fixing. The scenic vistas, of Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, National Seashore, ANWAR, Everglades and other parks are but a portion of the national forests prairies and wilderness set-aside for wild animals, that also serve a second purpose as CO2 absorbers, as well a mental regenerators for our citizens and habitat for our wildlife. And it is costly; and represent a self-inflicted, but accepted, forgone income to our citizens.

    What do you estimate the commercial value would be of Central Park in Manhattan were it to be devoted to land for use as skyscrapers? The same can be said for Grants’ park in Chicago and in lots of other places including the local children’s playground. So a lot of the preserved land is very valuable. Not all the parkland is far away and useless land in ANWAR in Alaska or the Rocky mountains for Glacier national park

    At the latitudes of the USA and Canada, most of the prevailing winds blow West to East and our weather fronts usually migrate in that fashion. The Princeton studies showed that the prevailing winds in from for the Pacific carry more CO2 in them than the the winds exiting out over the Atlantic, and record both the pickup of CO2 in our densely populated manufacturing areas and cities; and the decline by absorption over our undeveloped areas. Despite the conventional wisdom, the continent and through its thoughtful and self-sacrificing citizens, absorbs all that Pacific inbound CO2, plus all that we generate, and more besides. In fact, more than the Amazon rain forest absorbs.

    http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/~gruber/teaching/papers_to_read/fan_sci_99_comments.pdf

    http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/publications/pns2002.pdf

    Where does North America send send its Bill for cleansing the atmosphere? If the UN wants to spend tens of Trillions of dollars, I think we North Americans should receive our stipend for our prudent land set-asides and forgone income, as a tax-free CO2 stipend.

    Please make my million dollar annual cheque out and send it to my home of record, semi-annually, S’il vous Plait.

  110. richardscourtney (01:38:54) wrote:

    At (17:19:35) you provide the ‘bathtub’ model of the carbon cycle which is widely used (e.g. by the IPCC) but is very flawed and, therefore, is misleading. It assumes constant input of ‘natural’ flows to the tub and constant ‘natural’ drains from the tub. Both assumptions are known to be false. For example, small changes in temperature alter both the ‘natural’ emission and sequestration of CO2 from the ocean to the air

    As we have a long standing – and not resolved – discussion on this topic, we still disagree with Richard… Here a short (?) reply, as it should need a whole new thread.

    In my opinion, it is quite simple: humans add about 8 GtC/year as CO2. The measured increase in the atmosphere is about 4 GtC/year. That means that about halve of the increase is going somewhere else (in quantity, not in individual molecules!). Anyway it means that nature as a whole, measured over a year, is a net sink for CO2, not a source. Like in the example of the bathtube, it doesn’t matter if the natural CO2 inputs to and sinks out the atmosphere are equal to, or 10 or 1,000 times the human input: it is only the difference beween the inputs and outputs over a full seasonal cycle which matters. And the year by year difference in natural flows is negative, at least over the past 50 years. See:

    Thus the net addition of CO2 (as mass) by nature to the increase is nada, zero, nothing. That doesn’t mean that not huge amounts of CO2 are exchanged due to temperature changes (seasonal, year-by-year, MWP-LIA-CWP, glacials – interglacials), but the changes are rather limited: about 8 ppmv/°C for glacial/interglacial transitions and the MWP-LIA-CWP temperature swing, about 5 ppmv/°C for global seasonal average swings and about 4 ppmv/°C for year-by-year (sea surface) temperature varibility.
    Anyway, the about 1°C increase in temperature since the LIA is only good for maximum 8 ppmv increase of the about 100 ppmv increase measured in ice cores, stomata data and direct atmospheric measurements…

    There is little doubt that humans are responsible for the increase in CO2 of the past few centuries. All alternative explanations fail one or more observations. See a comprehensive list of arguments at:

    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html

    But if and how much effect the human induced increase in CO2 has on temperature/climate, that is a complete separate question.

  111. Soem addition to the GDP figures:

    While these figures show how much energy is used for each country, there are indeed huge differences in how this is generated: Norway and Iceland have near 100% hydro (and geo) power, thus (near) zero CO2 emissions for their power production. Because of the low(er) costs of this power, a lot of aluminium and other power intensive works are situated there for that reason. And indeed in general with very low added value for the bulk they make.

    The same for the chemical industry: while rather energy intensive (in mass, not per kg!), the GDP is measured in fractions of an eurocent. That makes that there is a huge discrepancy between low energy costs and high GDP for the services sector and opposite for industry… And that also skewes the result for countries with a lot of chemical industry (like Belgium) and near no hydropower.

    Thus to make a fair balance, one need to see the real energy use + CO2 emissions per sector (industry, agriculture, transport, services, households), and compare the energy needs to the regional climate and the intrinsic (manufacturing) energy + CO2 content in imported and exported goods, as it should be more fair to attribute that to the users than to the producers.

    But anyway, any reduction of CO2 emissions in the Western world will have the opposite effect, if as result of the measures the industry moves to developing countries…

  112. Putting together the bath-tub analogy and the concept that the earth is a CO2 sink, absorbing half the antropogenic CO2, is it not possible that some (Gaia?) force is increasing the aperture of the bath plug-hole to maintain a funamental equilibrium in atmospheric CO2 levels?

  113. In order to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by the year 2050 (“80 by 50″), the per capita emssion rate would have to be reduced from the current 1.25 tons per year to 0.12 tons per year (assuming a linear population growth over the next 40 years),

    Per capita CO2 emissions have not been 0.12 tons per year since the 1860’s.

    Since most of the recent growth in CO2 emissions is coming from the developing world; which will not subject itself to “80 by 50″… Any effort on the part of the developed world to achieve “80 by 50″ would be pointless.

  114. Keith Flanders (07:49:23) :

    Indeed, if we should stop all emissions, the CO2 levels would go back to the initial (temperature dependent) equilibrium. And if we should maintain the emissions to a fixed level, we would see a new equilibrium emerge, where input and outputs in/out the atmosphere are again in equilibrium. These are the principles of all types of dynamic (chemical, physical) equilibria: the balance of a chemical or physical equilibrium shifts to counter a disturbance.

    But as humans put more and more CO2 in the atmosphere (increasing year by year), about twice of what is absorbed by nature, the balance shifts to higher CO2 concentrations and we don’t see an new equilibrium yet. If we should reduce all CO2 emissions to 50% of current, that is 2 ppmv (~4 GtC) per year, we should see a new equilibrium at current CO2 levels. If we stop all CO2 emissions today, the CO2 level would sink rapidely at a rate of about 50% per 40 years, much faster than the IPCC model predictions, see Peter Dietze’s essay at the late John Daly’s web site:

    http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm

  115. Dear Mr. Engelbeen,

    You base you entire assessment on historical views of what ice cores tell us. But the foremost authority of ice cores and a chairman on the IPCC ice core group until he resigned, disagrees. You see, Ice is a solvent of CO2 and under increasing pressure, as in compacted ice, it becomes an even better solvent, and then stabilizes, at some lower level.

    Dr. Zbigniew Jawrowski says all the analysis of ice core air bubble atmospheres for CO2 content, unless corrected for this CO2 hydrate formation problem, produce CO2 atmospheric measurements far too low like 270-290 ppm. Scientist Georg Beck went back and looked at 18th and 19th century scientific measurements of the composition of the atmosphere, then. In contrast to the ice cores that show a uniform 280 ppm, since defined as “Natural” and Pre-industrial levels, the measurements by scientists of the 1800s and 1900s, show CO2 varying periodically with a high of 450 ppm (today it is 388 ppm) in response to the Volcano eruptions at Tambora and Krakatoa, half a century apart. The average seems to be about 345 ppm, but the Sigma includes 200 and 380 ppm. Note few if any ice cores are corrected for this hydrate formation as Dr. Zaborowski maintains is necessary, and thus produce the stabilized but depleted figure of 280 ppm.

    In this case, the scientific laboratory records of over 93,000 measurements are discarded in favor of reading the equivalents of tea leaves, animal entrails, and ice core proxies. It is not as if the various teams of 18th and 19th century scientists were fools or incompetants, either. Four Nobel prize winners in chemistry have had their work discredited and ignored, in favor of ice core proxie phenomenology.

    Of such ” Science” is the AGW constructed. Hoax and myth piled on hoax and myth.

    Embarrasing for the modern CO2 measurements, the Scientists of the 18th and 19th centuries identified and annual variation that was unrecognized by our Moana Loa experts. This variation is recorded in Moana Loa records, and of a minor percentage change, but long went unrecognized. It speaks volumes for the accuracy and veracity of the18th and 19th century measurements.

  116. Stas Peterson (11:08:32) :

    Dear Mr. Peterson, I know the objections of Dr. Jawarowski against ice core measurements, formulated in 1992. But most of these objections were carefully examined and answered in 1996 by the work of Etheridge e.a. on three ice cores at Law Dome. Ice is not a solvent of CO2 at all. There is some liquid water at the surface of the ice in the bubbles until about -30°C (which excludes e.g. the Vostok ice core at -40°C), but no migration over the past 800,000 years of ice cores. Clathrates formed under pressure are decomposed under (up to a year) relaxation of the ice cores and measurements are done under vacuum over a cold trap (at -70°C), effectively separating any water and CO2.

    As the Law Dome snow precipitation is extremely high (1.5 m ice equivalent per year) both firn and ice core measurements down to bubble closing depth could be performed: no difference in CO2 levels between the ice core bubbles and direct gas measurements of the still open air bubbles in the firn. And an overlap of about 20 years with the South Pole CO2 atmospheric measurements.

    A direct question: Jaworowski says that CO2 escapes through (micro)cracks in the ice, but how can one find 180-280 ppmv in the bubbles when the outside air contains 380 ppmv? Kind of reverse osmosis?

    Another point: Jaworowski doesn’t seem to understand the difference between the age of the ice layers and the age of the gas bubbles in the ice. As gas migration still occurs until the density of the ice is above a certain level, the ice is already 40-600 years old at that depth (depending of precipitation levels). But he compares the ice age, not the gas age of ice core CO2 levels with the outside Mauna Loa figures, to accuse the scientist of “arbitrarely” removing 80 years difference to match the ice core with Mauna Loa records.
    More objections against what Jaworowski says, here:

    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/jaworowski.html

    Then the historical measurements of Ernst Beck. To my regret his enormous work has one big problem: wrong places. One can find the same (with a seasonal amplitude and a N-S lag) CO2 levels in 95% of the atmosphere over all oceans, high in the mountains, in deserts, but not in the first few hundred meters over land near vegetation, factories or traffic. Of the 93,000 historical measurements, over 90,000 are worthless as taken in the middle of towns, near forests, for agricultural purposes (rice and soy fields), etc… These give enormous diurnal and day by day variations, without any resemblence to “background” or “global” CO2 levels of that time. Measurements done over the oceans or coastal areas with wind from the oceans or mountains (Ben Nevis) show much lower CO2 levels and include the ice core values.

    Think about the following: when the much more precise and accurate Mauna Loa and South Pole measurements started, followed by tens of other places on earth and regular measurements in the higher atmosphere, the large variations in CO2 levels (including the Pinatubo eruption) ended suddenly. So what caused the large variations (sometimes within minutes at the same place!) found in historical measurements?

    More about Beck’s historical data at:

    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

    One may have a lot of critique on certain methods and proxies used by some “climate scientists”, but ice cores and direct measurements are not proxies and subject to rigorous calibration and testing. I only could wish that e.g. temperature measurements were at the same level of quality control.

  117. Friends:

    A discussion of the carbon cycle had started and I tried to stop it. However, it seems I put parafin on the fire.

    I again write in attempt to keep attention focussed on the very important point that is clearly depicted by Willis Eschenbach’s graph.

    The very important point is that
    ANY ATTEMPT AT EMISSIONS REDUCTION BY DEVELOPED COUNTRIES IS POINTLESS
    because total emissions will continue to increase even if all the developed countries were removed from existence and, therefore, their emissions were reduced to zero.

    Yes, the carbon cycle is important.
    Yes, Ferdinand and I have had scientific disagreement about the carbon cycle for several years.
    Yes, as Keith Flanders says, the problem with the ‘bathtub’ analogy is that it makes the improbable assumption that the ‘plughole’ (and the natural flow into the tub) has fixed size that does not vary.

    All of these matters deserve investigation and debate. But, in the context of this thread, they are a distraction.

    In practical terms for negotiations at Copenhagen, it matters not all if, for example, I or Ferdinand is right. And, in that context, it matters not at all if the AGW-hypothesisis right or wrong.

    The only thing the negotiators need to know is that something other than emissions reductions needs to be decided. And somehow we need to tell them that.

    So, can anybody suggest a way we can tell them such that they understand and accept it before it is too late?

    Richard

  118. Richard:- perhaps you are too kind, I do not believe for one second that many of the delegates would disagree with you, if you could read their mind. It is not a mistake they want to assasinate the economy of the western world, it is the plan and Obama is a main player, perhaps there are some here who get it too and find it constructive to their goals to throw in contentious and juicy red herrings to hobble your ambition of putting this wrong right?

  119. richardscourtney (16:44:56), thanks for your most trenchant comment, viz:

    Friends:

    A discussion of the carbon cycle had started and I tried to stop it. However, it seems I put parafin on the fire.

    I again write in attempt to keep attention focussed on the very important point that is clearly depicted by Willis Eschenbach’s graph.

    The very important point is that

    ANY ATTEMPT AT EMISSIONS REDUCTION BY DEVELOPED COUNTRIES IS POINTLESS

    because total emissions will continue to increase even if all the developed countries were removed from existence and, therefore, their emissions were reduced to zero.

    To highlight this, I have calculated the average annual increase over the period. For the entire globe, the emissions have increased on average by about 120,000,000 tonnes of carbon per year.

    Without the US and Western Europe, emissions have increased on average by about 103,000,000 tonnes of carbon per year. This, of course, is a huge annual increase, and it shows no sign of stopping.

    So Richard is quite correct. Even if there were no emissions at all from the US and Western Europe, not even one kilo of carbon, the global total would still be skyrocketing at over a hundred million tons of increased carbon emissions per year.

    And since the graph clearly shows that the EU with Kyoto has not done any better at holding down emission growth than the US without Kyoto, the idea that Congo and Cambodia and Cameroon and Costa Rica and China and all the rest will be able to hold down their emissions is clearly a pipe dream.

    As I said above … if you think CO2 is a problem, you should put money into ameliorating your fancied consequences, because a significant reduction in CO2 is not going to happen, no matter what comes out of Copenhagen.

  120. Willis Eschenbach (20:34:22) :

    […]

    As I said above … if you think CO2 is a problem, you should put money into ameliorating your fancied consequences, because a significant reduction in CO2 is not going to happen, no matter what comes out of Copenhagen.

    The only thing that might come out of Copenhagen is the USA and other capitalist democracies of the world getting stuck with the bill for the failed efforts to reduce global CO2 emissions.

  121. Ferdinand Engelbeen

    You now seem to concur that the “plughole” is variable, but restricted to 50% of the human emissions. Having now read Peter Dietze’s excellent essay I suggest that the variability is 100% of the human emissions, subject to a time delay of 38 years. This is supported by the graph atop this thread which shows the total human emissions in 1971 to be half what they are now. Nature doesn’t divide by two but it does take its time.
    If we can tell whoever turns up at Copenhagen that, even if releasing CO2 is harmful in some way, its effects are finite and restricted to 38 years’ worth of emissions, they can put a proper perspective on the subject without admitting that were wrong in the first place!
    I hope I have now created a two-ply thread to richardscourtney’s satisfaction!

  122. Keith Flaners:

    You say;
    ” I have now created a two-ply thread to richardscourtney’s satisfaction!”

    Sorry, but I now (yes, now) leaving for overseas so I will be unable to participate until I return.

    I write this so it is clear that I am not avoiding the debate.

    Richard

  123. Francis said :The scandal here is the fact that a US with a population of 300 million is using about twice as much Co2 as Europe with a population of 500 million (and that’s just the European Union countries).

    The US is also 17.5 times larger in land mass than France. How do you compare the energy that citizens MUST expend when they live 2 hours from a major shopping center. Also, in northern parts of the US, winter is long and really, really cold. Like -40 celsius (which I’m sure you must know if you did live in Colorado for awhile) for 6-8 months of the year. Hard to keep energy consumption down when you are trying to survive. You absolutely cannot compare energy use of large geographical countries to Europe where everything is small and squished together. You also cannot compare countries that are in the far north with countries around the equator.

    Greenhouses add CO2 into their greenhouses because CO2 is a plant NUTRIENT. If CO2 levels actually rose significantly (in terms of atmospheric levels) the plant life would respond in a significant manner. Supporters of the climate change mantra base their scientific findings on many assumptions – none of which are concrete. It is the utmost of human arrogance to suppose that we could have that much influence on mother nature. The earth is an amazing thing and climatology has the least facts and the most assumptions of any science I’ve ever seen. The truth is that scientists do not understand climate yet. They aren’t even close. There are so many variables to do with climate that it is utterly unpredictable.

  124. “I live in France and the quality of life is higher than in the US due to the excellent health service and the lower disparity in incomes”

    So, the quality of life is higher because incomes are more equal? Not sure about your claim about health care, but I think it rests on the same canard.

    If everybody is poorer, does that make the quality of life higher? If everybody gets the same mediocre health care, does that make quality of life higher? Is the feeling of envy so intolerable that making an entire country poorer is required to treat it? Is crime lower in France where income is so equal? Is your car safe from being burned now? Have you ever had to squat over a hole in the floor as a “toilet” in the US the way you might in downtown Paris? I readily admit that the food is better their, in the main.

    Any body wonders about how efficient the US has become in energy only has to remember back to the Carter administration. I remember when it was a big deal for houses to get insulated. I remember scratching images in the ice that formed on the *inside* of the bedroom window, and nobody had ever heard of a four cylinder engine, except in a joke, or on the Jack Benny show.

  125. Keith Flanders (06:39:06) :

    One need to make a distinction between what happens with an addition of extra CO2 above a (dynamic) equilibrium and the (natural) variability around an equilibrium.

    The first is a matter of differential pressure between CO2 in the atmosphere and the oceans (the main sink) and vegetation (the second sink). As CO2 increases in the atmosphere, the upwelling of CO2 from the deep oceans (mainly in the equatorial Pacific) is somewhat reduced (the partial CO2 pressure difference is reduced), while at the poles the pressure difference towards more absorption is increased. If we stop all emissions today, the pressure difference (and thus the uptake of CO2 by the oceans) will drop at a rate of 50% in 38 years, thus 25% after 76 years, 12.5% after 114 years,…

    But as the emissions are increasing more or less exponential, the partial pressure difference between atmosphere and oceans increases further and in average about halve of the increasing emissions are absorbed by the oceans (and vegetation). That was the case over about the whole past century until now, see:

    A good explanation of the CO2 partial pressure difference between oceans and atmosphere is here:

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml

    The second is mainly a matter of temperature (and precipitation): warmer oceans absorb less CO2, but warmer (and wetter) weather gives more vegetation growth. In this case, the oceans have the highest influence over a year and longer. The temperature influence is practically independent of the increase in CO2, but is the cause of most of the variability around the trend. See:

    The CO2 curve with sufficient resolution is rather short, but it looks like that natural variability is about +/- 1 ppmv around the trend which is currently at around 2 ppmv/year. It doesn’t look that the natural variability changed much over the past 60 years, with only a few extremes like the 1992 Pinatubo eruption (cooler ocean surface, more absorption, less increase in the atmosphere) and the very warm 1998 El Niño.

    Thus all together: the 38 half life time is only for the extra CO2 above the (old) equilibrium, while the about 50% variability around the trend (the variable “plughole”) is compared to the current emissions, but as these are steadily increasing, the ratio between natural variability (the “noise” in the system) and the emissions/increase (the “signal”) in the atmosphere will dwindle further.

    But this discussion indeed is OT, as in any case the contribution of the European/US countries in the CO2 emissions increase is negligible and any reduction of CO2 in these countries wil have a futile effect on the increase…

  126. I’m still waiting for some eager young Kyoto or Copenhagen disciple to explain how moving production from the clean factories here to dirty factories in China will decrease real pollution and C02 emissions.
    Chinese industry pollutes more per unit of production, and they have said they will not be making any concessions in the New Copenhagen treaty.
    So cost to industry here will go up, but it won’t go up in China.
    So more production moves from the clean plants here to the dirty plants there.
    Ergo, more pollution, not less.
    And we would be shipping more raw materials there and more finished products back, so even more pollution will result.
    It wouldn’t be the first time the environmental movement made things worse instead of better.

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