White House science advisor Holdren’s climate slide show at Kavli

While Obama seems to be a non-starter on climate, John Holdren is out stumping for climate change issues. For those who wonder what we are up against, watching this slideshow is enlightening. Comments on specific slides welcome. – Anthony

Via Eurekalert -Public Release: 28-Sep-2010
John P. Holdren addresses climate change, stressing need for international cooperation
At the 2010 Kavli Prize Science Forum, John Holdren, science advisor to US President Barack Obama, detailed the need and efforts to mitigate “global climate disruption.” The complete presentation, as well as a transcript of the address, is available at http://www.kavlifoundation.org.

TRANSCRIPT AND SLIDES (CLICK IMAGE BELOW FOR POWERPOINT PRESENTATION)

Ministers, Ambassador White, Mr. Kavli, distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. My topic today, as is obvious from the screen, is climate change science and policy: what do we know, what should we do. And the secret bottom line is what is the Obama administration doing.

[SLIDE 1] I will get to that, but I want to make a few general observations first to put these remarks in context. I’ve given the broad focus of this symposium on international cooperation in science. President Obama was clear from the very outset — clear in his campaign, clear in his inaugural speech, clear on many, many occasions since – that he places a very high priority on science and technology, on the federal government’s stewardship of an investment in science and technology, of international cooperation in science and technology, and the reason he places such a high priority on these activities — and indeed on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education – is that he recognizes with crystal clarity the relevance of science and technology to the full array of great challenges that we face in the United States and indeed that most societies around the world face in common. Of the challenges of maintaining viable and growing economies; the challenge of delivering better health care outcomes to all citizens at affordable cost; the challenge of addressing the great problems at the intersection of energy and environment; above all, the challenge of climate change; the problems of maintaining peace and security in the world.

And the President recognizes as well, and this is particularly important I think in the context of the priorities of The Kavli Foundation – he recognizes the fundamental underpinnings that basic research provides the science and technology enterprise. That was particularly visible when the President spoke at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in 2009, the first annual meeting following his inauguration. He was the first president since John F. Kennedy to do that, and if you read that speech, which is still on the web I believe – both at the Academy web site and my friend Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, is in the front row – and it’s also on the White House web site – what you will find is although the president was clear about the practical applications of science and technology to our great challenges as I’ve mentioned, he probably spent two thirds of that talk talking about the importance of basic science; the importance of fundamental research in science and technology to our national well-being; and the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

And he has been emphatic as well – emphatic with me in our initial conversations, emphatic ever since about my responsibility and my office’s responsibility – for fomenting increased international cooperation in science and technology, including in basic research. At the first cabinet meeting, the President said to his full cabinet, “I’m willing to accept and to listen to any sort of bad news that you’ve got to bring me, except the bad news that you’re not cooperating.” He said, “the challenges we face are too big, and our resources are too limited, for us to be able to afford noncooperation,” and that holds internationally as well as domestically among our agencies, among the private sector, the public sector, the philanthropic sector – it holds among nations. We cannot solve the great problems of our time alone – any of us – as individual nations. We need to solve them together, and science and technology pursued together are going to be immensely important elements of those solutions.

John P. Holdren, science advisor to US President Barack Obama, presenting his keynote address at the 2010 Kavli Prize Science Forum. (Scanpix)John P. Holdren, science advisor to US President Barack Obama, presenting his keynote address at the 2010 Kavli Prize Science Forum. (Scanpix)

[SLIDE 2] My remarks today on climate change science and policy are in a sense an illustration of this wider phenomenon. I’m going to cover a lot of ground, I’m going to cover it quickly, I’m going to use a wordy PowerPoint because I’m happy then to make that available and anybody who finds the presentation too fast I’ll be happy to send them one and we’ll post it on the White House website as we usually do.

I’m going to cover the basic science fairly quickly – the essence of the challenge we face in the climate domain. Talk about five rather conspicuous myths propagated in large part by what the foreign minister has rightly called “the merchants of doubt,” talk about the risks and impacts we are likely to face going forward in the climate domain, and then turn in a little more depth to what we should do: the options available to us, what we need in the way of mitigation – how much, how soon; looking at the implications of our options for mitigation for the policy needs for bringing that mitigation about, and finally what the Obama administration is doing.

[SLIDE 3] I like to present the essence of the challenge this way: without energy there is no economy; without climate there is no environment; without economy and environment there is no material well being, there’s no civil society, there’s no personal or national security. And the problem is that the world is getting most of the energy its economies need in ways that are wrecking the climate its environment needs. That is the fundamental dilemma and the fundamental challenge we face.

[SLIDE 4] And here are the five myths I want to talk about.

The first one: a little global warming can’t hurt anything.

The second: the Earth has warmed since 1998 anyway.

The third: Any warming that has occurred has been natural.

The fourth: If there is any danger, it’s far in the future.

And the fifth: That the emails stolen from the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia and the mistakes that the IPCC made have shown that mainstream climate science is deeply flawed.

[SLIDE 5] So let me start with the proposition that global warming itself is a misnomer and indeed a dangerous misnomer. Global warming implies something that’s uniform across the planet; it’s mainly about temperature that’s gradual; and it is quite possibly benign. What could be wrong with a little bit of warming? What’s actually happening is none of these things. It’s highly nonuniform geographically. It’s not just about temperature, but as we’ll see in a moment about a whole panoply of variables that make out the climate. It is rapid compared to the capacities for adjustment, the capacities of ecosystems, and the capacity of social and economic systems to adjust, and it is going to be harmful for most places and most times. Some places for some time will get some benefits from climate change, but most places for most times and increasingly so going forward will suffer harm. We should therefore not be calling it global warming at all. It was indeed I think a strategic mistake to call it global warming. We should be calling it global climate disruption, even though that is a larger mouthful than global warming.

[SLIDE 6] Now let me turn to why average temperature is not in fact the whole story. We do use the average surface temperature of the Earth as a proxy for climatic conditions that are much more complicated, but we need to understand as a society that climate is the patterns of weather – meaning the averages, the extremes, the timing and the spatial distribution of not just hot and cold, but cloudy and clear, humid and dry, how much precipitation we get and what forms, when it melts, when it snow, how hard the wind blows – and again, when you’re talking about climate change, what it really means is disruption of the patterns. The global average temperature is just an index of the state of global climate in the same way that the temperature of your body is an index of the state of your body. When your body temperature goes up a mere two or three degrees Celsius – a mere two or three degrees Celsius – you know you’ve got a problem. It’s telling you something about the state of your body. And when the temperature of the planet goes up two or three degrees Celsius, that’s telling us we have a problem also in the same way. Small changes in that index correspond to big changes in climatic patterns.

” We cannot solve the great problems of our time alone – any of us – as individual nations. We need to solve them together, and science and technology pursued together are going to be immensely important elements of those solutions.”

[SLIDE 7] Can it hurt anything? Well again, I think most people are perhaps not sufficiently aware of the number of ways in which climate affects our well being. Climate governs and therefore climate disruption affects: the availability of water around the planet; the productivity of farms, forests and fisheries; the prevalence of oppressive heat and humidity; the formation and dispersation of air pollutants; the geography of disease – what vectors and pathogens can live in what abundance at what times of the year in what places; the damages we have to expect from storms, floods, droughts and wildfires; the property losses we have to expect from sea level rise; the amounts of money we have to spend on engineered environments; how much of our environment do we need air conditioned; what dykes, dams and so on do we need to build. And indeed the distribution and abundance of species – the ones we love, like polar bears; the ones we hate, like mosquitoes; and everything in between.

[SLIDE 8] And the fact is that the earth is getting hotter. This is the global average surface temperature land-and-ocean combined index with an arbitrary zero, and what you see there is that 2005 remains the hottest year on record –although 2010 may be on a course to surpass it; 2009 the second and so on through the list. The fifteen hottest years have all occurred since 1990.

[SLIDE 9] If you look at it in a different way, you see that the 1980s were the warmest decade on record at the time, but every year in the 1990s was warmer than the 1980s average and every year in the 2000s have been warmer than the 1990s average. The notion that the world has not been getting warmer is simply incorrect.

[SLIDE 10] The heating of course is not uniform geographically – I mentioned this before. This shows the surface temperature average over 2001 to 2005 versus the average for 1951 to 1980. The average temperature increase for the globe in this period was only half a degree Celsius, but you see looking at the scale that in the central continental regions and particularly in the far north and the Antarctic peninsula, the temperature increases were two to three times the global average, and we expect that to continue; it’s well understood for the most part why it happens.

[SLIDE 11] Other indicators of climate have been changing apace. This shows annual precipitation trends over the 20th century. Green places getting wetter, orange places getting drier, and the size of the circles indicating the percentage change over the century. On average the world gets wetter in a warmer world because more water evaporates. What goes up must come down, so it rains more. But that is highly nonuniform and again, some places that you can see get drier while some places get wetter. Another aspect of this phenomenon is that in a warmer, wetter world a larger proportion of the precipitation falls in extreme events.

[SLIDE 12] The ocean heat content has been growing, as would be expected under these circumstances. Coastal glaciers have been retreating. Lots of before and after pictures available on the web.

[SLIDE 13] This is a prominent glacier, a coastal glacier in Alaska. [19]41 to 2004.

[SLIDE 14] This is the Himalayas. The largest glacier on Mt. Everest’s northern slope. Practically gone over the period between 1968 at the top and 2007 at the bottom.

[SLIDE 15] Arctic sea ice is not only shrinking at its late summer minimum, which takes place later this month, but it’s also thinning. If you look at these figures – the 1981 to 2000 average, then 2007 which looked like the record low year in terms of extent, when you take thinning into account, 2008 had even less summer sea ice than in 2007; 2009 less still.

[SLIDE 16] Greenland and the Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass. When the sea ice disappears, sea level doesn’t change because that was floating ice. But these land ice masses have the potential to raise sea level when they lose mass and we now know that the Antarctic ice sheet as well as the Greenland ice sheet is losing mass. It was only relatively recently that we got the data to understand that Antarctica as well is losing mass.

[SLIDE 17] And so not surprisingly sea level is rising as a result not only of the loss of mountain glaciers and the great land ice sheets – losses from the great land ice sheets; but also thermal expansion of sea water because the ocean is getting warmer. And you see the red is tidal gages. Late in the last century we had the capacity to start to sense sea level from satellite observations. You can see the overlap of the red lines from the satellite observations. They’re in good agreement. And you can also see the satellite observations are right at the upper end of the range of IPCC projections.

[SLIDE 18] So do we have good reason to believe that humans are causing this primarily? Yes, we do. This is the IPCC’s assessment in the 2007 report. No part of this has been called into question by the way. The best estimates of the forcings – literally how hard we’re pushing on the climate over the period from 1750 to 2005, both human causes and the principle known natural caused changes in the amount of sunlight reaching the earth over this period – overwhelming the human causes are prevailing. The human causes are both positive and negative. Reflective particles and the cloud-forming effects of particles have an overall negative effect which masks part of the warming from the greenhouse gases and absorptive particles, but the warmth is winning over the cooling as has long been understood and expected. And if you compare the warming influence of the human-caused greenhouse gasses and the absorbing particles, it’s over this period about 30 times the warming influence of the estimated change in input from the Sun. If you look at the recent data where we have particularly good satellite measurements of what the Sun is doing, there is no increasing trend in the solar output to explain the rapid, recent increases in surface temperature of the Earth.

[SLIDE 19] We also know that the key greenhouse gas increases that generated these forcings were caused by human activities. We have a couple of ways of knowing that. Here are the plots for carbon dioxide and methane, the two most important anthropogenic greenhouse gases over a 10,000 year period on the big scale and over the last couple hundred years on the small scale. And you see on the long time scale, there’s this utterly sharp turn where, with the industrial revolution and the large-scale influences humans in other ways of the surface of the earth, you find this extraordinary rate of increase. But we also know that humans are responsible for the CO2 spike because carbon dioxide from fossil fuels lack carbon 14, and when you dilute the atmospheric carbon dioxide with fossil carbon dioxide you can actually see the signal of the declining fraction of carbon 14 in atmospheric CO2.

[SLIDE 20] This is one of the busier slides here but I think is also one of the more compelling. I call this the fingerprint; in some presentations, I call it the smoking gun. What one has in the top panel is a plot for the period of the thermometer record – roughly from 1880 onward – of our best estimates of the known forcings of greenhouse gasses, solar output, volcanoes. The blue line that goes periodically downward in spikes are the cooling effects of volcanic eruptions which inject reflecting particulars into the stratosphere that stay there for two or three years. The red line at the top is the greenhouse gasses. And what you see at the bottom is what happens when you feed a state of the art climate model of those forcings and say, given these forcings, what should the climate have done over the last 125 years, and you see the various runs and then the observations in blue. The match is very good. It’s not perfect. We would never expect it to be perfect because the climate is a noisy and in some respects chaotic system. But the fit is very good. It’s very hard to look at this diagram and conclude we don’t fundamentally understand what is being done to the climate and by whom.

[SLIDE 21] Furthermore, models match the observed changes in temperature separately on every continent. This was a relatively new result in the period between the third and the fourth assessment by the IPCC.

[SLIDE 22] Are we seeing harm now? This is an interesting slide from some of my colleagues in China at Tsinghua University where they have concluded that a 30-year trend in the weakening of the East Asia monsoon, which they attribute to global climate change, has meant less moisture flow from south to north in the atmosphere over China, which is producing increased flooding in the south and drought in the north, already having serious impacts in China.

[SLIDE 23] Wildfires. Wildfires in the western United States up about six-fold in the last 30 years. Similar trends in other fire-prone regions, including this summer of course in Russia among other areas.

[SLIDE 24] Pest outbreaks. This is a marvelous ecological story, where pine bark beetles, which got a longer breeding season courtesy of warming, could get four generations of beetles into a single season instead of three. That proved to be a tipping point for devastation of trees already weakened by heat and drought. A similar thing has happened with the spruce bug worm in Alaska where millions of hectares of spruce have been devastated.

[SLIDE 25] Melting permafrost; these of course are particularly evocative pictures, and this happens to be from the Norwegian Polar Institute which does wonderful research in the Arctic.

[SLIDE 26] Coastal erosion – this is the village of Shishmaref, in the far far north of Alaska, where the coastal erosion is not so much from rising sea level but the melting sea ice has reduced the protection from waves.

[SLIDE 27] And this kind of harm is widespread. We’re seeing variously in different places around the world more floods, more wildfires, more droughts, more heat waves, more pest outbreaks, more coral-bleaching events, increasing power of typhoons and hurricanes, expanded geographic range of tropical pathogens. All of these plausibly link to climate change by theory, by models and by observed fingerprints – namely the patterns matching what you would expect if climate change were the cause.

[SLIDE 28] And we do expect bigger impacts going forward. This again is from the fourth assessment of the intergovernmental panel on climate change – an immensely important international cooperative effort on characterizing, synthesizing and summarizing the science in this domain, not withstanding a modest number of mistakes which were bound to creep into any exercise of this magnitude. Looking at various trajectories going forward, history in black to the left, the European Union target of holding the global average surface temperature to less than or equal to 2 degrees C – the EU was the first to embrace that target; but as you’ll see, it’s now been embraced more widely. And you see under most of the trajectories we sail through that 2-degree target in the middle of this century. The gold curve at the bottom is what would happen if you could freeze the atmosphere instantaneously at its current composition. We have no way to do that, but it indicates the temperature continues to coast up for a while because largely the thermal inertia of the ocean – the ocean has a huge heat capacity and it takes the ocean decades to catch up to any change in the energy flux in the atmosphere.

[SLIDE 29] What do we expect in the future? We expect hotter summers. This is from the latest of a batch of National Academy, National Research Council studies of climate change that have come out in the last few months. This one is stabilization targets and this again – a wonderfully evocative picture – shows the percentage of summers that we expect to be warmer than the current 95th percentile in warm summers after two degrees Celsius of global average warming. The whole world is getting very substantially hotter.

[SLIDE 30] Heat waves. This again is a busy slide, but one worth understanding. This relates to the heat wave that occurred in southern and Western Europe in 2003, estimated to have caused something in the range of 35,000 premature deaths; also a significant drop in agricultural production. What you see in the left hand side of this diagram out to the early 2000’s is a combination of the observed temperatures – smooth, the black line; red, blue and green lines – simulations of the summer temperature in this part of Europe, using the UK Hadley Center’s model; and the yellow … is natural only. The red blue and green are natural plus human. And the spike at 2003 with an asterisk on top of it is that horrible heat wave in the summer of 2003. And then you have the same computer models projecting forward what is expected under a middle of the road scenario going forward; what some people call business as usual. And the stunning thing about this is, by 2050, the conditions of 2003 will be an average year, expected to happen roughly once in two years; and by 2060 or 2070, that will be an unusually cool summer in France, Spain, Italy, where that heat wave occurred.

“[B]y 2050, the conditions [that lead to the European heat wave] of 2003 will be an average year, expected to happen roughly once in two years; and by 2060 or 2070, that will be an unusually cool summer in France, Spain, Italy, where that heat wave occurred.”

[SLIDE 31] Wildfires. This is another stunning one from the new National Academy’s study on stabilization targets. These are the percentage increases in median annual area burned by wildfires in the western United States for a one degree C increase in global average temperature. Look at those percentages. 200%, 300%, 400% increases in expected area burned by wildfires in the western United States.

[SLIDE 32] We expect droughts to get worse. Some people find that paradoxical; that in a warmer, wetter world droughts could get worse. But it’s not hard to understand when you realize that more of the precipitation falls in extreme events. It’s uneven to start with. In extreme events, more of the precipitation runs off, the soil dries out sooner, there are longer gaps between precipitation events, and in some parts of the world we get greatly exacerbated droughts.

[SLIDE 33] Crop yields. Increasing evidence shows that crop yields are more sensitive to climatic conditions even than previously thought. At the bottom are global average surface temperature changes and then at the top are the changes expected to go with that at low latitudes and mid latitudes, and modeling again from the Academy’s study of the declines in crop yields expected under those circumstances.

[SLIDE 34] We are also decreasing the PH of the ocean, increasing the acidity of the ocean because some of the carbon dioxide we add to the atmosphere absorbed in the ocean forms weak carbonic acid. That is a problem potentially for organisms that make shells or skeletons out calcium carbonate including corals, and what you see here – 1870, 2003 and 2065 expected atmospheric concentrations and the associated condition as they effect the suitability of the water for supporting coral. And green is good, orange is bad, you see we’re on our way to making much of the ocean now supports coral reefs inhospitable to coral reefs by the middle of this century. Interestingly enough, coral reefs are the second largest habitat for biodiversity on the planet after the tropical forests. The tropical forests are also at risk. So, ironically, we are placing at risk both of the largest reservoirs of biodiversity.

[SLIDE 35] This one’s a little hard to read on the screen. The color’s faded out, but what it shows is that recent projects of sea level rise in this century are much larger than those produced by the last assessment of the IPCC, which left out – and explained it left out — dynamic processes of rapid disintegration and slippage of ice from the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets because they were not felt to be well understood enough to be modeled at that time. But the best current estimates are that you could see sea level rise in the range of a meter to 1.8 meters or so in this century depending on the scenario.

[SLIDE 36] Now the question: do recent disclosures about emails in the IPCC cast doubt on these conclusions? Well, the emails do show that climate scientists are human too, and they show that more efforts at openness and transparency are warranted. The IPCC’s missteps – and there were a few – show the need for increased rigor in adhering to the already strict review procedures, and there are improvements that have been suggested in the procedures in the newly released review of the interacademy panel. But the errors discovered so far are relatively few, and they are unimportant in terms of the fundamental understandings that I have been conveying here. And I kind of think it’s important to understand — some people imagine that the IPCC is the source of our understanding of climate –but in fact the IPCC is just one of the messengers. [SLIDE 37] A very sophisticated and high powered and organized messenger to be sure; but the sources of the global community of climate scientists and the peer-reviewed literature that they have produced over decades, and nothing in the email or the IPCC controversies rises to a level that would call into question the core understandings in that body of literature. Of course it is true – and again the foreign minister mentioned this – all science is contingent. There are always uncertainties. There are always need for refinement. And there’s always a chance that new observations and analyses will not just refine but overturn previous conclusions. That does happen from time to time.

[SLIDE 38] But those overturnings are unlikely when the body of data and analysis supporting the generally accepted conclusions is extensive and has been much reviewed, and that is certainly the case with climate science today, with the body of data and analysis that support our conclusions. Because of their relevance to policy choices in part, key findings from climate science have been subjected to unprecedentedly extensive peer review. And so it’s highly unlikely that new data or insights will alter those findings in a fundamental way. They’ll get altered in all kinds of ways but in a really fundamental way that says for example “humans are not the main cause of this,” that is exceedingly unlikely. And I suggest that policy makers should not bet the public’s welfare against such long odds. That is, they should not bet that the mainstream science view is wrong. That would be a bad bet.

[SLIDE 39] What should we do? We have only three options. Mitigation: steps to take to reduce the pace of the magnitude of changes in global climate that we’re causing. Adaptation: measures you take to reduce the adverse impacts from changes that do occur that you fail to prevent with mitigation. And the third option is suffering: suffering the adverse impacts that are not avoided by mitigation or adaptation.

[SLIDE 40] And concerning those, it’s important to understand: number one, we’re doing some of each already. We’re doing some mitigation, we’re doing some adaptation, we’re doing some suffering, as I’ve already shown. What’s up for grabs – what’s at stake – is the future mix of mitigation and adaptation and suffering. And minimizing the amount of suffering in that mix, which is certainly what we want to do, can only be achieved by doing a lot of mitigation and a lot of adaptation. That’s true, because mitigation alone won’t work because climate change is already happening and can’t be stopped quickly; can’t be stopped overnight no matter what we do. Adaptation alone won’t work because adaptation gets more costly, more difficult and less effective as the size of the climatic changes to which you’re trying to adjust get bigger. And therefore what we need is enough mitigation to avoid unmanageable climate change and enough adaptation to manage unavoidable climate change. That particular formulation is due to my German colleague John Schellenhover; we ended up using it as the subtitle of her report to the Secretary General of the United Nations on this topic just a few years ago, “Avoiding the Unmanageable, and Managing the Unavoidable” – a symmetric look at mitigation and adaptation.

[SLIDE 41] Lots of possibilities for mitigation: reducing the emissions from the energy sector, reducing deforestation, modifying agricultural practices. Some things we might do if we got desperate enough: scrub greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere technologically, geo-engineering to create cooling effects to offset greenhouse heating, [SLIDE 42] lots of adaptation policies, cropping patterns, heat drought and salt-resistant crops, strengthen public health and environmental engineering defenses against tropical disease, new water projects for flood control and drought management, dyke storm surge barriers, avoiding further development on flood plains in near sea level. [The] important point here is that many of these are win/win strategies. They make sense in any case. We should be strengthening public health and environmental engineering defenses against tropical diseases even if we weren’t worried about the climate change, we should be avoiding further development on flood plains at next to sea level just because of storm damage even in an unchanging climate.

[SLIDE 43] How much mitigation, how soon? Limiting the global average change in surface temperature from preindustrial times to less than or equal to 2 degrees C is now considered by many people – not by everybody but by many people – to be the most prudent target that is still attainable. You might like to do better, but it will be very hard to do better. Indeed it will be very hard to do this. The European Union embraced this target in 2002; the G-8 and G-20 embraced it in 2009. But just to have a 50% chance of staying below 2 degrees C, developed country emissions would need to keep no later than 20105 and decline rapidly after that, and developing country emissions would need to peak no later than 2025 and decline rapidly after that, and that is a huge challenge.

[SLIDE 44] Some of the relevant realities – carbon dioxide emissions are the biggest piece of the problem. Fifty percent roughly and growing as a share. Eighty-five percent of those CO2 emissions come from burning coal, oil and natural gas, which are providing more than 80% of the world’s energy; most of the rest coming from deforestation. Industrialized and developing countries are now, in total, about equal in CO2 emissions. The global energy system is immensely ponderous – about a 15- trillion dollar replacement cost if you tried to replace the full global energy system over night. The power plants, the oil refineries, the drilling rigs, transmission lines, would cost you 15 trillion dollars. The normal turnover time of that investment is about four decades. That means if you want the energy system in 2050 to look very different from what it looks like today, you better start changing it now. And deforestation isn’t easy to change either.

[SLIDE 45] There are, however, things we can do. This is a curve produced by the McKensey company, looking at a supply curve for the amount of abatement you would need by 2030 worldwide to beyond that trajectory that gives you a 50% chance of staying below a global temperature increase of 2 degree C. Below the line on the left are measures that actually make money under current circumstances; that is, the money you invest mostly in improved energy efficiency measures gets more than paid back by the savings in energy, and you get the carbon savings for free. As you move to the right, you find a variety of approaches – some in the energy domain, some in the land management domain – that have modest costs; and as you get very far to the right –all the way to where you need to be on this curve – you are doing some very expensive things. Carbon capture and sequestration in various kinds of plants, solar photovoltaics, and so on and so forth.

[SLIDE 46] Now here’s what this tells you about policy. We need in essence three kinds of policies to be on such a curve. On the left, you have a lot of things that people would be doing anyway if there weren’t barriers for them doing it: information barriers, tax barriers, financing barriers, perverse incentives of various kinds. So we need policies to remove the barriers to picking what we often call the low hanging fruit. Fruit tree metaphors are widely used in this domain. In the middle, where there’s a price that you have to pay to reduce the carbon emissions, you need an economic incentive to do that and the way you get that economic incentive is you put a price on carbon emissions that make it worthwhile to avoid them, or more worthwhile than it is under today’s circumstances wherein most places – most countries – there is not a significant price on carbon. So this is to motivate if you will reaching higher into the tree past low-hanging fruit. And on the right, we need research development and demonstration to lower the highest hanging fruit into reach. This is the research domain where we need to make these things cheaper because currently carbon prices are not likely to get high enough to motivate these things any time soon. …

[SLIDE 47] Very quickly, can we afford it? Actually, we can afford it. If we paid an average of 100 dollars a ton of carbon to avoid half the current emissions, that would be half a trillion dollars a year, which is less than 1 percent of current gross world product. If you use the McKensey cost curve for what we need to be doing in 2030 to be on that stabilization trajectory that gives you a 50% chance of staying below two degrees C, the net cost is only about a tenth of a trillion dollars a year. If you use current economic models, you see that stabilizing at that level probably means that two to three percent gross world product loss in 2030, about the same in 2100, the range is one to five percent that most of the models cluster at between two to three; that’s a lot of money in absolute terms. But if the world economy is still growing at three percent per year as most economists say it will be, then you’re talking about people waiting until 2031 to be as rich as they otherwise would have been in 2030. In round numbers that does not seem like too high a price to pay for a manageable climate change. And for comparison, the world now spends 2.5 percent of gross world product on defense, five percent in [the United States where] …we spend 2% on environmental protection already.

“We’re doing some mitigation, we’re doing some adaptation, we’re doing some suffering… What’s up for grabs – what’s at stake – is the future mix of mitigation and adaptation and suffering. And minimizing the amount of suffering in that mix, which is certainly what we want to do, can only be achieved by doing a lot of mitigation and a lot of adaptation.”

[SLIDE 48] So here’s what the Obama administration is doing. … We need to promote recognition that the problem is real, and that early action is preferable to waiting. And there are a number of reasons that you can read faster than I can say them that make it clear why that’s true. There are lots of peripheral benefits – in reduced oil dependence, in increased innovation, jobs and so on.

[SLIDE 49] What the Obama administration has done; it’s done a number of things. It’s put climate change leaders in a variety of key positions, made climate change a priority in initiatives in departments and agencies, revitalized the US Global Change Research Program and other interagency efforts, working with other major emitting countries, both industrialized and developing, to build technology cooperation and individual and joint climate policies consistent with avoiding the unmanageable, and is working with Congress – and this is the toughest part really – working with Congress to get comprehensive energy and climate legislation that will put us on a responsible emissions trajectory.

[SLIDE 50] Some key climate-related appointments. It’s absolutely remarkable when you look at the appointments across the major climate-relevant federal agencies, virtually everybody was already known before being appointed as someone deeply concerned about climate change and its solutions. The other nice thing about this team is we virtually all knew each other well before we ever came to office and are working together very well.

[SLIDE 51] Guidance to agencies. Executive order on federal leadership in environmental, energy and economic performance; integrated strategy toward sustainability; reduction of greenhouse emissions a priority; agency senior sustainability officers, sustainable building and acquisition policies, targets for greenhouse gas emissions. The president has announced that federal departments and agencies will aim to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2020.

[SLIDE 52] This is part of the memo from me and then Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orzag to all the departments and agencies just in late July; priorities for the 2012 budget – understanding, adapting to, and mitigating the impacts of global climate change. All federal agencies are instructed to make that a priority.

[SLIDE 53] Lots of different agency initiatives. Lots of different agencies doing important things, many of them listed there.

[SLIDE 54] Department of Interior restructuring to develop climate change response centers, EPA’s endangerment finding that carbon dioxide imperils health and welfare, setting the basis for regulating it.

[SLIDE 55] Interagency efforts; we have a Green Cabinet that encompasses something like 40% of the cabinet that meets regularly and meets with the president focused on green issues, largely climate change. The National Science and Technology Council has a committee on environment and natural resources being repurposed as the committee on environment and natural resources and sustainability. We have a climate change adaptation task force shared by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Council on Environmental Quality, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

[SLIDE 56] And the US Global Change Research Program (USGRP), to which I termed a big deal – 13 participating federal departments and agencies administered by the National Science and Technology Council, aim to understand, assess, predict and respond to – that includes mitigation and adaptation. And a number of priorities in the new USGCRP, [SLIDE 57] strengthening the science core, all of these elements of the science core in the focus.

[SLIDE 58] New emphases — adaptation research, integrating the human dimensions, bringing in more social science, economics, management, governance, behavior, equity issues, integrated assessment linking and engaging localities and sectors, providing information that local decision makers need, [SLIDE 59] climate services – again aimed at providing climate change information to the users, coordinating science adaptation and mitigation.

[SLIDE 60] Budget going up, nearly 2.6 billion dollars in the 2011 request for the USGCRP.

[SLIDE 61] New studies and assessments; a number of them. Adaptation, national assessment of climate change in all its dimensions, building on the Academy studies, the IPCC studies.

[SLIDE 62] International engagement; personal engagement of the President to salvage a respectable outcome from Copenhagen, climate change has been made a priority in the revitalized ministerial level commissions on science and technology cooperation. There’s six of those ministerial level; currently Brazil, China, India, Japan, Korea and Russia. Also a priority in the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission and its working groups; Department of Energy has been ramping up its cooperation on clean energy technology with China and many other partners.

[SLIDE 63] Last, legislation. The President has been emphatic that new US energy legislation should include climate science; above all should include a price on carbon emissions. Hasn’t happened. That climate component was reluctantly, and I should emphasize temporarily abandoned, because of insufficient support in the US Senate, but we will be back. We will try anew in the next Congress. And in the meantime, the EPA is moving ahead to control greenhouse gas emissions by regulation.

[SLIDE 64] Last slide. It is still the case, widespread rumors to the contrary not withstanding, that the American public supports and continues to support taking action on climate change. This is a poll from the Academy’s America’s Climate Choices, Volume 4 just released last month, and when you look at these figures, you see that, for example, 71% of the American public support somewhat or strongly regulating CO2; tax rebates for efficient cars and solar panels: 82%, international treaty: 61%; and so on through the list. The least popular one is increase the gas tax by 25%. People hate taxes, and with that – and with apologies for going on too long – I thank you for your attention.

About these ads

102 thoughts on “White House science advisor Holdren’s climate slide show at Kavli

  1. One wonders how an educated, honest person can reach the high position Holdren has & still display a lack of critical thought as evidenced by this speech

  2. Gobbledegook.
    I read to slide 30!
    Is the White House completely unaware of this man’s history?
    If so they are incompetent; if they are aware of his previous pronouncements and continue to be advised by him then they are stupid at best and at worst…. well that would be libellous.

  3. Looks like the science is now understood to be a washout, but the key component is on slide 47:

    0.5 trillion per year “much of it a transfer, not a “loss””

    Translation:

    “We need to set up the necessary governmental spending apparatus to interfere with sufficient aspects of the world’s activities to transfer 500 billion per year in ways that we will specify after we have passed the legislation. Get ready Goldman Sachs et al – here comes some more money, and can we all have jobs when we leave office?”

  4. “This is the IPCC’s assessment in the 2007 report. No part of this has been called into question by the way.”

    Is he joking?

  5. The presentation is what passes for good public policy in most government offices in America. These guys have had 20 years of the “Debate is Settled” monopoly and know they preaching to the choir. No one dares to contradict for fear of their position. This has not changed substantially since Climategate either.

  6. One wonders how an educated, honest person can reach the high position Holdren has & still display a lack of critical thought as evidenced by this speech

    You have just described a con man. The big difference is this guy is trying to sell something to the world. A con depends on the receiver of the pitch not having the critical thought process to poke holes in the argument. A con plays on a persons emotions and in this case it’s fear instead of greed.

  7. Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is going to have a field day with this.

    Was there a Q&A or did he bolt from the podium for the exit when he finished?

    [SLIDE 63] Last, legislation. The President has been emphatic that new US energy legislation should include climate science; above all should include a price on carbon emissions. Hasn’t happened. That climate component was reluctantly, and I should emphasize temporarily abandoned, because of insufficient support in the US Senate, but we will be back. We will try anew in the next Congress. And in the meantime, the EPA is moving ahead to control greenhouse gas emissions by regulation.

    God help us — the EPA — the litigation is going to cost taxpayers more than the national debt.

    [SLIDE 64] Last slide. It is still the case, widespread rumors to the contrary not withstanding, that the American public supports and continues to support taking action on climate change. This is a poll from the Academy’s America’s Climate Choices, Volume 4 just released last month, and when you look at these figures, you see that, for example, 71% of the American public support somewhat or strongly regulating CO2; tax rebates for efficient cars and solar panels: 82%, international treaty: 61%; and so on through the list. The least popular one is increase the gas tax by 25%. People hate taxes, and with that – and with apologies for going on too long – I thank you for your attention.

    “Poll: 70 percent of Americans reject cap-and-trade”

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/poll-70-percent-of-americans-reject-cap-and-trade-98033709.html

    Its probably much higher now.

    “When pollsters ask Americans to name the most important problem facing the country, fewer than 3 percent mention the environment. But when asked to name the most serious problem facing the planet if left unchecked, the environment and global warming rise to the top, according to a May 2010 study by Woods Institute Senior Fellow Jon Krosnick.”

    http://woods.stanford.edu/research/polls-underestimate.html

    LOL: its all in the way you design the questions.

  8. Reading through, and already, lots to say, but this one struck me.

    “When your body temperature goes up a mere two or three degrees Celsius – a mere two or three degrees Celsius – you know you’ve got a problem.”

    Thank goodness the earth is nothing like the human body……sophomoric drivel.

  9. Once upon a time there was a very nice polite planet. Its climate was never, ever naughty and it loved the happy, healthy people who lived on it.

    In the summer the days were filled with sunshine and at night it rained. Not too much, only enough to keep the plants healthy and provide clear fresh drinking water. It never rained when you had a BBQ or camped out. There wasn’t even a word for drought or flood.

    The autumn was just the right temperature to make the leaves turn brown and provide lots of scrummy food for the birdies, bunnies and squirrels. Wind, when it came, never blew too hard but was perfect for flying kites and turning windmills.

    But winter was the best. Just cold enough to help the hibernating creatures to sleep safe in their homes but not cold enough to give granny a heart attack or pneumonia. It always snowed on the weekend so the kiddies could build snowmen and sledge but it melted away by Monday so Mummies and Daddies could go to work safely.

  10. …”when you’re talking about climate change, what it really means is disruption of the patterns. The global average temperature is just an index….”

    Anthony, you can answer this better than me. Have meteorologists needed to change the way they predict the weather? If so, then the indexes have likely changed. If not, then they have likely not changed. (Indexes continuing and improving upon known factors notwithstanding.)

  11. I had a quick look through the slides up to slide 38 where it seems to turn into policy.

    The first point I would make is that the tone of the slides is very defensive. This is a major change. The presenter feels the need to defend the AGW hypothesis. This means many recent events have made an impact on the perceived validity of the hypothesis.

    Regarding technical matters, the following impressions:

    Slide 16 is titled …”Antartartic Ice losing mass” but the right hand graph is for the west antartic ice sheet. Is this cherry picking? I thought Antarctica was getting colder and accumulating ice?

    Slide 11 seems to show USA getting wetter and the caption says “most places getting wetter”. But slide 23 then says more wildfires. Surely more wildfires because more people? And more wildfires if its getting wetter?

    Slide 26 coastal erosion is…coastal erosion I am afraid. When the land is higher than the sea then the sea will erode it. Its called increase in entropy. Nothing to do with climate, more to do with uplift and plate tectonics.

    Slide 32 There will be worse droughts appears to contradict the real world evidence of slide 11 that “most places getting wetter”.

    Slide 33 declining crop yields…presumably because plants don’t like it (a) warmer (b) wetter and (c) more CO2? I guess the presenter has not spent much in tropical regions where plant growth is pretty rampant.

    Slide 34 is the old canard “ocean acidification” even though the oceans are actually alkaline. Sounds scary though.

    So a few thoughts, but most of the arguments presented are seem old, tired, empirical attribution and tautological.

  12. More ‘Ecoscience’ from John Holdren? He was for it before he was against it, ya know. Sad thing is, even if he doesn’t still hold those beliefs, he did. Where did they go? My guess would be into hiding until he is out of the public post.

  13. “the ones we love, like polar bears; the ones we hate, like mosquitoes; and everything in between.”………huh? We’re making value judgments on different species now? Very scientific!

  14. The “urgent need for multi-national action” is the same thing he’s been saying for 35 years since he co-founded this conspiracy with Margaret Mead.

    The “climate disruption” stuff is new and clever. Boiled down to basics, he’s taking weather and calling it climate. He’s taking local and temporary changes in wind, heat and precipitation, and calling it climate. The climatologists will no longer have to work up their grand false models from their piles of false data. Now they can just observe a hurricane here, a drought there, a flood over there, and call all of them signs of the Apocalypse.

  15. Holdren says,

    “Some key climate-related appointments. It’s absolutely remarkable when you look at the appointments across the major climate-relevant federal agencies, virtually everybody was already known before being appointed as someone deeply concerned about climate change and its solutions. The other nice thing about this team is we virtually all knew each other well before we ever came to office and are working together very well.”

    Yea, “…absolutely remarkable…”, whoa, what a surprise…NOT

  16. The fifteen hottest years have all occurred since 1990.……….evuh? Well, yes, if you use the well-known, self described climate change advocate‘s numbers, a la Jim Hansen. Or maybe the well-known, climate data obfuscatory, peer-review manipulators, e-mail conspirators, travesty whining, suicidal threatening, group of people, then sure, that’s probably a true statement.

  17. [SLIDE 9]………..weird that there is no history before 1880! I thought they may have had, if not climate, but at least temperature before then.

  18. Hopefully , the new congress Holdren hopes for will call him out on all of this . Not only is wrong . he is delusional about the economis involved .

  19. This presentation is only marginally better than Al Gore’s movie. It employs the same scare tactics, such as predicting a boiling Europe in only fifty years. It contains no real science. It continues to defend the Climategaters, even though everyone in the world agrees that Phil Jones was not up to the job of managing the data that many of their claims depend on. I think that his audiences must be seriously disappointed by the non-event that this presentation is.

  20. “This is the IPCC’s assessment in the 2007 report. No part of this has been called into question by the way.”

    Now we know what happened to Baghdad Bob.

  21. This is getting fun!

    [SLIDE 10] The heating of course is not uniform…….

    Not true! Any twit can see that it’s getting warmer where there are few or no thermometers! Poor devils in Mongolia are probably getting hot and don’t even know it yet…….oh, wait,…..we already told them. :-|

  22. I got to this part and had to stop reading:
    “President Obama was clear from the very outset — clear in his campaign, clear in his inaugural speech, clear on many, many occasions since – that he places a very high priority on science and technology, ”
    If the president made those claims why does he use the out put of Pseudo scientists rather than real scientists?
    Just appointing Holdren Science adviser was evidence of the lack of scientific understanding that the administration was going to follow.

  23. [SLIDE 11] “Green places getting wetter, orange places getting drier, and the size of the circles indicating the percentage change over the century. “

    Uhmm, any geologist or archeologist want to take that one?

  24. TinyCO2 says:
    September 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    “Once upon a time there was a very nice polite planet…”
    ___
    Ohhh, that sounds just so pretty pretty…I’ve heard of that planet and I want to go there some day in my dreams. In a galaxy far, far, away…
    sarc/off

    Hey, did I read him right that it takes decades for the oceans to catch up with the Earth’s energy flux!? Just popped into my mind…isn’t that backwards? I mean the oceans cover over 70% of the globe, right? They are (oceans) a primary driving factor for climate, right? Oh shoot…I’ll go back and re-read it, just being lazy.

  25. “What the Obama administration has done; it’s done a number of things.”
    Most importantly, showered the advocates with billions of taxpayer dollars to promote this nonsense.
    Oh, and turned the EPA loose on a scorched-industry mission.

  26. [SLIDE 12] The ocean heat content has been growing, as would be expected under these circumstances. Coastal glaciers have been retreating. Lots of before and after pictures available on the web.

    Sigh, coming out of an IA, I can only surmise, bares little meaning to this dolt. Glaciers are not, nor have they ever been, static!

  27. I’ll finish later, this is a ridiculous presentation. For an example, just go to slide 13. Oh the horrors!!! We should all prefer the 1941 state! We went from a state seemingly devoid of life to a state of ecological and biological abundance! Let’s be sure to starve mankind of energy, livelihood and life to prevent that from ever happening again!

  28. “And here are the five myths I want to talk about.

    The first one: a little global cooling can’t hurt anything.

    The second: the Earth hasn’t warmed since 1998 anyway. (And it’s a travesty)

    The third: Any warming that has occurred has been due to bad siting in primarily UHI heavy places.

    The fourth: If there is any danger, it’s from comic-book theories.

    And the fifth: That the emails moled out from the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia and the mistakes that the IPCC made have shown that mainstream climate science is deeply flawed….and politically hijacked. I refer you to Eisenhower’s famous speech.

    Ok, that’s it. Meeting adjourned. If you want to know what’s really happening, get off your duff and get outside for a change.

  29. John Holdren says: “[SLIDE 41] Lots of possibilities for mitigation: reducing the emissions from the energy sector, reducing deforestation, modifying agricultural practices. Some things we might do if we got desperate enough: scrub greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere technologically, geo-engineering to create cooling effects to offset greenhouse heating”

    I want to see John Holdren (or anyone else) quantifying (and costing) the amount of carbon that they predict will be “mitigated” in gigatons and compare that with the amount of carbon that is lying around and accessible. Until that is done I’m not interested in any of his ideas. I predict that any “mitigation” possible will be a minute fraction of one percent and is therefore negligible.

  30. What really amazes me is the temperature graph that supposedly validates the climate models in getting temperatures correct.. On page 20 he shows temps overlaid with the projections run using ‘state-of-the-art’ climate models.

    If you look at the raw data – show here at Steve Goddard’s blog…

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/thermometer-magic/

    …you’ll perhaps not be surprised that the correlation is not at all impressive.

    However, when you add the human ‘adjustments’ to get what is published and shown in the presentation, the temperatures overlay perfectly with the model predictions.

    Quite convenient.

  31. Holdren certainly throws in everything and the kitchen sink! As usual virtually everything is bad regarding everything we do. AND there is not one mention of water vapor and its role in the energy cycle. Not one mention of any climate cycles or natural cycles.

    Climate disruption can be applied to virtually every weather event as they all stand out as events from every day “weather”. It’s like nailing jello to a tree. So much hand waving, it’s nauseating.

  32. I live in the California Serria mountains, it is neither dryer nor hotter than in years past, but there is an enourmous amount of fuel and many more (myself included) people living and visiting here. Since 1990, logging has been severly curtailed throughout the west (clearing of timber is not even allowed in places where a fire has occured and those trees are instead allowed to rot) and the forest service has had a policy of putting out fires as soon as they can. There are, in fact a series of air bases in this state that can be on the site of any fire within 20 minutes, and I witnessed a fire near my place of business a few years ago where the airplane arrived and dropped (thank God) before the fire department even got there, and I live in a large town. My point is that California fires have likely increased in intensity over the years but are not due to “global warming”.
    I visited Calveras Big Trees park which is packed with small trees as well as the giant sequoias, and a ranger there had a collection of photographs of that exact area from the 1850s. There were very few small trees at that time, but instead large areas of grass between the big trees. Fires had kept the fuel load down but preserved the big trees. There is a horrible consequense of letting the fuel load build in these areas for when a wild fire takes hold it burns so intense and hot that is destroys everything. Every tree, large and small, leaving behind complete desolation.

  33. I don’t get it — on the one hand Holdren says we should not talk about GLOBAL temps. ( ie averages) as there are regional differences but then he is quite happy to trot out the ” fifteen hottest years have all occured since 1990″.
    I really should get by now –these guys have short memories ( can’t remember what they said 5 minutes ago ) and the facts don’t matter as long as the words sound “reasonable” for the twisted point they want to make.

  34. [SLIDE 56] And the US Global Change Research Program (USGRP), to which I termed a big deal – 13 participating federal departments and agencies administered by the National Science and Technology Council, aim to understand, assess, predict and respond to – that includes mitigation and adaptation. And a number of priorities in the new USGCRP, [SLIDE 57] strengthening the science core, all of these elements of the science core in the focus.

    [SLIDE 58] New emphases — adaptation research, integrating the human dimensions, bringing in more social science, economics, management, governance, behavior, equity issues, integrated assessment linking and engaging localities and sectors, providing information that local decision makers need, [SLIDE 59] climate services – again aimed at providing climate change information to the users, coordinating science adaptation and mitigation.

    [SLIDE 60] Budget going up, nearly 2.6 billion dollars in the 2011 request for the USGCRP.

    If you could count the number of contradictions in these slides…then kudos. Personally, this is just scary that apperantly a “climate” apparatus of the government is put higher then 13 “participating” federal departments and agencies. Does that mean this administration thinks climate is more important then those 13 agencies? Kind of scary…That and these slides to know that this man is over-seeing all of this.

  35. The White House is extremely aware of what Holdren is espousing. How this continues to get past the MSM is the only thing of any surprise whatsoever. Obama always comes across as mainstream in his talks, but he intentionally surrounds himself with the most extreme elements of his party (if you can even describe them that kindly). Holdren is definitely not surprising compared to his other czars..

  36. I’ve already cut my carbon footprint in half because I’m unemployed and no longer make unnecessary trips in my vehicle to anywhere for anything. If the greenies are truly interested in reducing CO2 emissions, they are invited to come to my house for a week to see how it’s done. Air conditioner off, lights off, same towel used for a minimum of three days before washing (same thing for clothes), hot cooked meals for special occasions only, and the list goes on.

    I’m gonna go cut my throat now because there is no future. The end is near.

  37. “the ones we love, like polar bears; the ones we hate, like mosquitoes; and everything in between.”
    Ok Mr. Holdren, go to Hudson’s bay or Point Barrow and give one a hug. Preferably a
    cub.”Hmm. where the Mother?”

  38. The comparison with the “big lie” told loudly and often by the far left and the far right is disturbing. The IPCC projections have been re-started to 2000, not 1988 (okay, let’s allow the models of today to be reset to 1988 conditions to see what happens), and the new IPCC AR4 ocean rise levels are knocked down to (?) 60 cm by 2100. Yet the old scare tactics – even better, the 2*C from today might give us 20+ METERS of ocean rise!!!!! – are still being trotted out. Really: say it often, and say it loud, and they shall believe.
    These days we see what our government “leaders” are up as they do it. Perhaps it was ever thus. I hope so. Otherwise we are truly under attack. (I suspect not: conspiracies do no sit well with me. They require too much intelligence and coordination between many, many individuals, all beyond the capacities of our governing sort).

  39. “[SLIDE 4] And here are the five myths I want to talk about.

    The first one: a little global warming can’t hurt anything.

    The second: the Earth has warmed since 1998 anyway.

    The third: Any warming that has occurred has been natural.

    The fourth: If there is any danger, it’s far in the future.

    And the fifth: That the emails stolen from the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia and the mistakes that the IPCC made have shown that mainstream climate science is deeply flawed.”

    (Slaps forehead)
    “Tell us it ain’t so, John. Please?”

  40. In related news, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin is the ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. He is talking about keeping that committee going post 2nd November in order to officially probe the state of climate science. I recommend that everyone offer Rep. Sensenebrenner help in coming out with a report saying that the warming effect of CO2 is minuscule and that we have entered a period of solar-driven warming. Holdren is already on the defensive. It is time to shoot the wounded and take the high moral ground.

  41. ‘ The fifteen most recent years on record have all occurred since 1990 ”

    Someone should ask this noted purveyor of science and progress, the President’s advisor, what his opinion of manned spaceflight is.
    Perhaps after a couple of cocktails.

  42. Way I read the slides (forced myself to do a quick scan), what Holdren is effectively trying to sell is this:
    ”CAGW: It’s even worse than CAGW acolytes have been claiming.”
    So of course they need even MORE money, authority, and control to ”solve” the problem. The fact that this guy holds the position he does is a travesty all by itself.

  43. “And please, my elite audience, as I am making predictions and prognostications about conditions 40 years or more hence, I would urge you to forget all the ppreceding predictions, including my own, that have fallen by the wayside unfulfilled. This time I mean it. ”
    John Holdren

  44. There’s a slide missing. This one here:

    which shows sunspot activity rising since 1750, which probably brought the Little Ice Age to a close, to a record high in 2000.

    But now the sun approaching record low activity again.

    Think any of his selected scientific priesthood is going to point that out and insist he add it?

  45. [Slide 16] West Antarctic ice sheet losing 200 Gigatonnes per year!!!!

    West Antarctic Ice Sheet volume: ~25,400,000 km^3

    Density of everyday ice: ~.92 g/cm^3 = 920 Megatonnes/km^3

    Mass of Ice Sheet: ~23 million Gigatonnes = 23000 Teratonnes = 23 Petatonnes

    23,000,000 Gtonnes – 200 Gtonnes = 22,999,800 Gtonnes.

    Yup. We’re doomed.

  46. James Sexton says:
    September 29, 2010 at 4:42 pm
    “[SLIDE 9]………..weird that there is no history before 1880! I thought they may have had, if not climate, but at least temperature before then.”

    Yeah… and why do you think they invented steamships? No wind back then, either ;o)

  47. A couple of appropriate quotes came to mind:

    “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.”
    Daniel Boorsti

    “To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or
    nothing about it.”
    Olin Miller

    “Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.”
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  48. And for comparison, the world now spends 2.5 percent of gross world product on defense, five percent in [the United States where] …we spend 2% on environmental protection already.

    “If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.”———-George Washington

    While it is true, that we are at war, most of us today live in peace in this country. More, …….

  49. Holdren and like company should just write scripts, hire George Lucas, make scary sci-fi movies and count the box office receipts. The difference between what he’s doing now, and what he should be doing is that, when you leave the movie, you can catch your breath, but when these types are done talking, all the air is sucked out of the room.

  50. There are two parts to this presentation: Fear and Response.

    In the Fear realm I note that the Director of NASA is a key player on this Team, meaning that Hansen is probably rewarded for cooking the GISS temperature record and certainly protected and maybe encouraged to keep getting arrested.

    In the Response realm I’d like to make two specific points:

    First

    ZT says:
    September 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm
    Looks like the science is now understood to be a washout, but the key component is on slide 47:

    0.5 trillion ($s) per year “much of it a transfer, not a “loss””

    Excellent observation. In California we have learned that when macro economics is employed to research the impact of California’s climate change program, the scholastic economists from Standford and other prestigious institutions on a special advisory committee, inform us that a “cost” is not a “loss” it is merely transfered to some other segment of the economy. Similarly we are informed that a “tax” is not a “cost” , because it too is transferred to some other part of the economy. Therefore in Macro-economists’ speak the costs incurred by paying carbon taxes are not losses, they are merely transferred to some other element of the economy. Take comfort, if you can. Incidentally, Micro-economics would yield a different result as the company that has to pay for the costs, shuts down and moves elseware. The dollars may stay in the economy, but the jobs are lost in the community.

    My second point involves slide 49.

    It uses the term “maximum co-benefits”. These are a code words. They have a very special meaning that can provide the ability to corrupt any cap and trade (C&T) program. In California, the Environmental Justice (EJ) community and the social service communities have used this concept of “co-benefit” or “co-pollutant” to attack a Cap and Trade program that allows more cost effective “offsets”, or projects off site that achieve the emission reduction goals of the C&T program at lowest marginal cost. As this argument unfolds, entities subject to the C&T rule should be required to achieve all emission reductions on-site, regardless of cost, in order to achieve “co-benefits”. In the alternative, should “offsets” be allowed, the community should be compensated for the loss of “co-benefits” through some form of a community benefit program funded by revenues from allowance auctions that takes $s out of the program and arbitrarily increase compliance costs.

    Please note, this is a current California issue and now, apparently, a US issue. There are massive program design implications in the use of those 2 innocuous words: “maximum co-benefits”. Notice his verbal comments on slide 49 ignored those words. But they are in the slide. The staff (Suttley?) believe that they are part of the Program, whether or not John Holdren knows it.

  51. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.——————Thomas Jefferson

  52. My fear is that period of post-elections that the US is about to face prior to next session. Right now, the dems control both houses and the presidency. They can pass anything they want, but wont push their agenda until after the elections, when many have already been voted out of office and have nothing to lose. The ones remaining have 2 years to come back to mainstream for the next election cycle. That means there will 2 months of unbridled pain heading our way in terms of policy and the GOP can do little or nothing to achieve gridlock in the passage of their agenda.

  53. This presentation has spurred me on to reduce my personal carbon consumption. I am no longer eating burnt toast!

  54. Slide 18:

    After claiming that there are no issues with the science in the 2007 IPCC assessment report that proves human influence on climate (both negative and positive) he ends:
    “If you look at the recent data where we have particularly good satellite measurements of what the Sun is doing, there is no increasing trend in the solar output to explain the rapid, recent increases in surface temperature of the Earth.”

    ——————–

    How recent and how rapid? These are just words. I think the message here and in all of the slides is garbled and confused. So average global temperatures don’t tell the whole story about global climate disruption, but somehow a recent fraction of a degree change counts as rapid change, when the slowly increasing temperature trend goes back (in another slide) to 1750! There is so much contradiction in these slides that I am not sure what message his eager disciples will take away from this, aside from having their previous clear convictions about the effects of global warming now muddied by eddies of discrepancies. They’ll continue to believe, and think their belief is now supported by ever more sophisticated and nuanced arguments.

    CAGW (or CACD) continues to be an amorphous blob that predicts every possible negative outcome and refuses to acknowledge any possibility of falsification.

  55. *blech!* Basically the same speech & powerpoint that he gave to the Grand Challenges Summit of the National Academy of Engineers, April 21, 2010:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/jph-chicago-04212010.pdf

    I did post this onto WUWT, and also onto RC! The RC Holdren-Groupies went nuts, it was the first time I ever posted something onto that blog and was actually praised for it!

    I met Holdren & have his business card, talk about nice! Presidential seal, embossed etc. I really doubt if a card that nice is made out of recycled stuff.

  56. [SLIDE 47] Very quickly, can we afford it? Actually, we can afford it. If we paid an average of 100 dollars a ton of carbon to avoid half the current emissions, that would be half a trillion dollars a year, which is less than 1 percent of current gross world product.

    This is totally absurd. He says that cutting fossil fuel use by one-half would only reduce GWP by 1%. Who can take this guy seriously.

    People like Holdren are increasingly isolated. Political support is evaporating and after November 2 it may disappear altogether. May God bless whoever released the CRU emails.

  57. If this were given to me by a student in my analytical writing class, these are the notes I would make:

    Your presentation was interesting, but not without its problems.

    Overall Comment:

    Remember that you are expected to be an “expert” of one sort or another, otherwise you have no right to lecture your audience in the first place. To that end, act like an expert. Be professional in your manner, and don’t descend into adolescent self-indulgences.

    Specifics:

    You begin by arguing for the name-change of a concept the existence of which is supposedly the subject under discussion. This is putting a cart very far ahead of the horse. It, at the end, you have proven that there is a serious problem with the Earth’s climate, then you can start worrying about what to call it.

    But you’ve got to get there, first.

    To start with, knock off with the whole government babble juice at the beginning. Nobody knows. Nobody cares. If you impress us by the end, then feel free to spin your public relations stuff. Sure, you’ve got to make some kind of nod to the fact that you are making your presentation as an official spokesperson of the government (in fact, to do otherwise would be unethical), but for crying out loud, that’s not what your audience is curious about.

    So: get to the point, already.

    And what is the point? Here’s how you define it:

    I like to present the essence of the challenge this way: without energy there is no economy; without climate there is no environment; without economy and environment there is no material well being, there’s no civil society, there’s no personal or national security. And the problem is that the world is getting most of the energy its economies need in ways that are wrecking the climate its environment needs. That is the fundamental dilemma and the fundamental challenge we face.

    Now first of all, saying that “without energy there is no economy” is about as useful as saying, “without energy there is no life.” Of course there is no economy without energy, but there’s nothing else without energy either. Presumably what you mean to say is that, “without adequate energy supplies, the present high-level economy cannot continue.” But that, of course, is an uncontested statement, so why bother with it? It’s like taking a stand in favour of gravity.

    The same is pretty much true of, “without climate there is no environment.” And so on. These are the kind of broad and meaningless statements typical to campaign speeches. They’re neither helping your main argument (which still hasn’t been broached), nor entertaining the audience. It’s just useless fill. Once it’s all been filtered out, you’re left with this as a thesis: “And the problem is that the world is getting most of the energy its economies need in ways that are wrecking the climate its environment needs. That is the fundamental dilemma and the fundamental challenge we face.”

    Or, in less garbled language: “Our present energy policies are destroying the Earth.”

    See how much more elegant and to-the-point that is? I’m not saying you can’t pad it out a bit, but don’t put your audience through a ribbon-cutting-ceremony speech before getting to the point.

    Of more concern, however, is the way in which you present your evidence.

    You say you will be going through the basic science “fairly quickly.” Doing so would deprive you of your strongest assets: the actual, hard-core proof of the effects of the climate changes that you seem convinced are readily available. But worse, after this brief nod, the basic science is never addressed again — “fairly quickly” or otherwise. Instead, you launch into the “five myths” you intend to disprove. This means that you never actually offer any proof for your statements.

    Nor do you display the slightest awareness of counter-arguments, other than the vague statements which you’ve labelled as “five myths.” If you don’t know the nature of the evidence against your position, then you’re abysmally ignorant and not worth listening to. And if you do know, but fail to address it, then you are insulting the intelligence of your audience. It doesn’t matter if the opposing evidence is weak, once it’s entered the public forum it must be dealt with. And the more you can show the weakness of this evidence, the stronger your own position becomes. For instance, if you were going to argue against the existence of alien UFOs, you’d best know something about the “Roswell incident” and Whitley Strieber’s “Communion.” In a similar way, if you’re going to talk about temperature rise over the past thirty years or so, you should have a good working knowledge of such issues as surface station accuracy, the role of solar activity, and a number of other criticisms.

    In other words, you’ve made it clear that you believe opposing views don’t have a leg to stand on — so show it!

    And last of all, drop the hyperbolic rhetoric. If you can make a fool of your opponent through evidence, as Jamie and Adam habitually do on Mythbusters, then go to town. But trying to make a fool of your opponent by dismissive and near-libelous terms such as “merchants of misinformation” is too amateur for words — especially since the market for merchandising has pretty much been cornered by those in the “green” camp.

    Rewrite this, make your point more succinct, and for goodness sake, put in some actual evidence. As it stands now, I would have to give you a C at best.

  58. Craig says:
    September 29, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    They’ve already started. A bill, that could have easily been stopped by Republican Congressmen just showing up and voting, passed. I always thought politicians were too power hungry to surrender national sovereignty. I was wrong.

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/27928

    ——-
    Just too much to comment on here. This presentation is nothing but condescending, over-simplistic, propaganda, but is good enough that the faithful will happily stand in line to pay their carbon taxes (until they’re broke, then they’ll whine about it).

  59. In slides 6 & 18 –
    Slide 6: Small changes in the index  big changes in the patterns

    Slide 18: The warming influence of anthropogenic GHG and absorbing particles is ~30x the warming influence of the estimated change in input from the Sun.

    – Holdren sets up a classic “straw man” argument. First small changes in temperature is morphed into BIG “climate disruption” by reference to “patterns” and slide after slide of scary events. His reference to the human body temperature is just plain silly!

    In #18 he lists some of the things that are thought to be known about forcings and puts them in contrast to “the estimated change in input from the Sun” over the same period of time.

    This ignores 99.9% of all the other possibilities for how the climate works.
    But, once these “facts” are established the rest of the information presented must follow – because /are you ready for this?/ — the science is settled.

    An audience member listening and watching this in real time would have to be highly informed to catch this brazen disregard of proper scientific reasoning. [brazen = marked by flagrant and insolent audacity; also shameless]

  60. Hmm, what a load of death by powerpoint sales pitch. Obviously feeding totally out of the AGW information trough.

    When one sees graphs dated as generated in 2010 yet whose data points seem to stop just past 2000 I smell a large rotten rat in the corner… Really need to see this sort of blinker mind set shown for what it is to all those who would be the target of such presentations. John Holdren should be ashamed.

  61. What!? No slides of children with machine guns fronted by the red circle with diagonal bar used to signify banned???

    I’m shocked.

  62. Whoops – my apologies – I have attributed the words of the master to the student.

    Quote by Paul Ehrlich, professor, Stanford University: “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”

  63. It won’t be too long before groups will be calling for Holdren’s resignation, as they are for Security Adviser Brennan.

  64. To be blunt I couldn’t get past slide 1.

    Read: “that he places a very high priority on science and technology, on the federal government’s stewardship of an investment in science and technology, of international cooperation in science and technology, and the reason he places such a high priority on these activities — and indeed on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education”

    And compare it to President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address: “Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

    It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system – ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.”

    We are only moving in the direction Governments want us to and they are using our own money to make it happen. They have chosen to subsidise wind and solar. They have chosen to forgo nuclear. They have chosen to push up energy prices. Free choice went out the window years ago.

  65. I live in South Australia and this is often described as “the driest state in the driest country”. Mr Holdren shows that Australia has increasing rainfall, which can only be a good thing for us parched Aussies.

    Should he achieve his aims of changing climate, global and/or regional, back to some nirvanaesque past condition, can we claim compensation from him and/or the US government for reducing our water supplies?

  66. “some places that you can see get drier while some places get wetter”

    His brown-and-green-circles map is 10 years old and conveniently distorts the facts about Africa’s Sahel region which stands out as getting much drier, but where the trend actually is towards less dry and greener conditions since the mid-eighties.

  67. Geez! There were two missing slides. You know, the ones which would have said “All of the following, and all of the preceding, are a bunch of BS.”

  68. This is the type of presentation mainstream media loves to shove in everyones face.
    Is it a wonder that “cap and trade” is still alive and kicking?
    Don’t be surprised to see “major reduction policies” and this tax get passed after the elections.

  69. So if they claim what’s actually happening is that global warming is “highly nonuniform”, how does CO2 do that? Is CO2 concentrated in certain areas, making a local greenhouse impact tantamount to this “global climate disruption” misnomer they’ve come up with?

    I say they’re confusing climate with weather and they’re using any slight perturbation from the average as evidence that CO2 is the controlling factor whereas there has always been natural variability we’ve called weather. Records for extreme weather (whether it be heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, tornadoes, hurricanes or whatever) are always being set—if they’ve got evidence that these extreme examples are increasing (without fudging, distorting, homogenizing or skewing the data), then let them display the results. Recent posts here on WUWT refute any such evidence that such phenomena are increasing or getting worse.

    So really, Holdren’s presentation switches from one of “global warming” to scare-mongering over individual weather events. He’s trying to somehow show blame CO2 for more extreme weather but I don’t see a convincing argument.

    Comments on a few slides:
    Slide 11: It states that most places are getting wetter, which is just the opposite of their catastrophic idea that the earth is supposedly getting dryer overall. (With this extra moisture I’d want the earth to be warmer, otherwise we’re going to see more snow and ice–things that don’t bode well for civilization.)

    Slide 50: The list of those “key climate-related appointments” reads like a list of Who’s Who of Marxist Anti-Capitalists. Their policy pronouncements would mean disaster for the American way of life.

    Slide 55: Establishing a “Green Cabinet” means putting a cadre of Marxists and anti-capitalists in control of agencies such as Energy, Agriculture, Transportation, HUD, Labor and the EPA. Sounds like they’ll control us regardless of the science.

    Finally, I didn’t see one mention of how we achieve their goals of diminished CO2 such as utilization of nuclear energy and not one iota on the benefits of CO2 for plant growth and corresponding increased foodstuff production. But they spent several slides (36 through 38) trying to dispel the notion that there’s any problems with the scientists or the science itself. I’d say they have failed on that one, apparently being unable to understand what the emails really said; Tarpon in the first post is right—“climate science” is a hoax.

  70. There is also a huge stored standing ammount of timber in BC because of our constant “fire protection” measures. Rapid response is quite the industry here. The trees have over matured thus leading to more pine beatles because they attack older trees. Big fires are coming, thats for sure but not from global warming, that is a myth.

  71. Frank Lee MeiDere says:
    September 29, 2010 at 9:12 pm
    ____

    I couldn’t agree more, outstanding analysis!

    I just dropped my son off at the bus stop for school and heard a news report on the radio that was sad, and angered me at the same time. I came back here and reading Frank’s post reminded me of what I had just heard:

    A mother with a 12 year old son lied and told him he had leukemia then shaved his head and started slipping him depressants in his food and drink to make him lethargic. When the effect was to her satisfaction she then proceeded to organize fund raisers. Her community rallied $8000.00 dollars to help with the sad plight of her son until an aunt smelled something rotten in Denmark and called authorities. According to the report her son was taken from her and she faces up to 14 years in prison…

    Some interesting parallels: the Mom (CAGW/Holdren) that have an intrinsic need to grow thier bank accounts. The Earth (Son) being made to appear ill through manipulation and propaganda. The dis-informed, mis-led public shelling out the cash. And the balanced, informed Aunt (WUWT) getting the truth out. Works for me…how ’bout you Mr. Holdren?

    Holdren’s presentation is a blatant attempt to further propagandize an issue for clearly political ends. Blatant due to the very issues Frank and Rocky Road bring to light above.

    The bad thing is that I think there is a snowflakes-chance-in-hell that any of these guys will see time behind bars.

  72. Graeme says:
    September 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm
    Whoops – my apologies – I have attributed the words of the master to the student.

    Quote by Paul Ehrlich, professor, Stanford University: “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
    ___

    Graeme,

    I consider Ehrlich’s comment a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’: Ehrlich and his ilk (Holdren, et al)ARE ‘idiot’ children AND have a ‘machine gun’…

  73. 64 slides and over 42 minutes in delivery? The phrase “death by PowerPoint” comes immediately to mind.

  74. It’s funny how John Holdren of today would label the John Holdren of 1973, promoting a “man-made ice age from aerosols” as a “myth monger.”

    Those ice-age projections of 1973 were made for 50-100 years out – with “near certainty.” Which John Holdren are we supposed to put faith in?

    Answer: Neither one. And I have a sense that the real John Holdren puts no faith in either one.

  75. This climate slide show is certainly on a par with another famous, Nobel-Prize winning slide show, and as equally based on science, and on truth. Kudos to Mr. Holdren. I see big things in your future. They seem surrounded by high fences and armed guards, but that part is still unclear.

  76. Kudos to Mr. Holdren. I see big things in your future. They seem surrounded by high fences and armed guards, but that part is still unclear.

    He’s watching you “recover” during your incarceration in “climate-change denial” camp.

  77. I vote that Christopher Monckton writes up a document that proverbially rips Holdren’s slides into pieces.

    Holdren is a fascistic intellectual weakling; fascistic because of his propagandistic big-government-dictatorial tendencies and decades long desire to de-industrialize the world economy and limit population; he’s a weakling because it is totally inconceivable that he would be part of a forum that actually required him answer questions from critics. He’s only meant to think big government thoughts and speak them into the White House echo chamber.

  78. The only thing missing from Holdren’s entertaining slide show was an explanation of the heating/cooling effect caused by Edward going global.

    There is a direct relationship between Edward’s career and the global warming “documented” by the “scientific institution” the bad person “stole” the emails from.

    I think it was Edward that did the hacking, to cover his tracks.

    LOL

  79. If it gets warmer in your neighborhood = “global climate disruption”. If it gets colder = “global climate disruption”.
    If there is a drought = “global climate disruption”. If there is a hurricane or tornado = “global climate disruption”.
    If there is a fire = “global climate disruption”. If there is a flood = “global climate disruption”.
    If there is ice = “global climate disruption”. If the ice melts = “global climate disruption”.

    In other words, the attibution of all natural events to global climate disruption becomes a concept with no negative examples. In my logic class (many moons ago) we learned that a premise that could not be contradicted gave you no information at all. That is the case here.

  80. Holder and his boss are merely puppets carrying out marching orders handed down by the bankers and multinationalcorporations that control this country and its financial system. These powers have effectively used their establishment mouthpieces — the “mainstream media” — to brainwash many well-meaning Americans into accepting a nefarious system of global controls, all justified in the name of “saving the planet” from the curse of mankind.

    From the outset, the prime drivers underlying the global warming movement have been two-fold: insatiable greed and a desire to control the masses. The growth of the movement was aided and abetted by propaganda spinmeisters posing as “objective” journalists, and the cause was given further credibility through the complicity of so-called scientists who were willing to manipulate science to attract hefty taxpayer-funded research grants.

    Thanks to the Internet and Web sites like this one, the sinister plans of this elite cabal of corporatists and financiers have been exposed, and the impoverishment of our nation through a system of industry-killing CO2 controls has been averted, at least temporarily.

  81. 71% of the American public support somewhat or strongly regulating CO2

    Whenever I hear quotes like this, I always wonder how the answer would change if people knew what it would cost them. I would like someone to run a survey asking people how much more they would be willing to personally pay in terms of utility bills and gasoline prices to combat “climate disruption”. Ask for a specific percentage increase they would consider acceptable. I bet you’ll get very small numbers (less than 10%). Numbers that are nowhere near the actual cost that would have to be imposed to change behavior enough to achieve 80% emissions reductions.

    I believe people only approve of the idea of regulating CO2 if they think it doesn’t cost them anything (OPM). Any survey that says the public favors regulating CO2 is totally meaningless because of this false implicit assumption.

  82. wow!
    Out of 64 slides to prove his case, only ONE SLIDE (slide #20) attempts to provide evidence that man is responsible for the heat he spends the other 63 slides showing exists! That evidence is a “garbage in garbage out” computer model.

    In other words, he devoted 1.5% of his presentation proving man is responsible!

    Proof. You’re doing it wrong.

  83. I actually watched this entire presentation from start to end; and I was already bored to tears before it even started.

    Holdren just yakked on and on; and I was waiting for the presentation to begin.

    So he just trotted out the party line as if absolutely nothing has happened since say the big El Nino of 1998.

    Shall I tell you the most illuminating part of the ENTIRE presentation. When Holdren put up a list of the scoundrels; headed by Steven Chu, and then admitted that ‘we all know each other’. Obama simply rounded up the pack of miscreants that have been spouting their venom since the 60s.

    The only sad part was that the recent sudden passing of Dr Stephen Schneider resulted in his not being included in Holdren’s list of ‘we all know each other’.

    Notice that Holdren is not the President’s chief advisor on Science; but on Science Policy.

    Well it was easy to see that Holdren could manipulate his captive audience as if they were puppets on a string.

    Sadly I couldn’t discern which release version of GISSTEMP it was that he started his slide show with.

    Not that it matters; because as I have said many times GISSTemp is simply a graph of GISSTemp, and nothing else.

    And yes I noticed Holdren’s deliberate shift on tactics.

    Hey! we don’t seem to be able to show that on average; nothing much untoward is happening; but something is happening (we can all agree on that).
    So the coming disaster is not in the averages; if it warms it MUST GET WETTER; well we have Frank Wentz et al to thank for pointing out that to us. But hey ! it’s going to get wetter where we don’t need rain of snow; and it is going to get drier where they don’t even know what water is.

    Earth to Holdren !! the Extremes of Temperature on earth on any perfectly normal Northern Hemisphere summer day, can go from a low near -90 deg C at places in Winter midnight like Vostok (high up too) to at least +60 deg C in the driest tropical desserts; and in some extreme cases surface Temperatures as high as +90 deg C have been measured on the ground.

    So come clean John; just how much more extreme than any of that are you expecting.

    Do you think planet earth cares if the extremes change to +/-100 deg C ? And of course we have due to a clever argument by Galileo Galilei, the result that somewhere on earth, in fact somewhere on ANY line or curve connecting those two extreme Temperature ends, one can find every possible Temperature value between those extremes.

    So yes John we know that the extremes are going to be uncomfortable; they already are; and they always have been; but they have always existed too.

    Have we ever had such a dangerous crew running the ship of State (here in the USA); not that the rest of the world will be insulated from what they do to us ?

  84. “[SLIDE 47] Very quickly, can we afford it? Actually, we can afford it. If we paid an average of 100 dollars a ton of carbon to avoid half the current emissions, that would be half a trillion dollars a year, which is less than 1 percent of current gross world product.”

    From the EU Carbon Market – “The carbon market’s total value for 2008 was estimated at €92 billion (US$125 billion), more than double the €40 billion it was worth in 2007. This results in a present weighted average, global carbon price of $26 (€19) per ton of CO2e.”

    $125 Bn x ($26x 4) = $125 x 100 = $500 Bn = $0.5 Trillion
    So the current volume of the EU Carbon Market at his inflated price alone accounts for his total cost?

  85. “A similar thing has happened with the spruce bug worm in Alaska where millions of hectares of spruce have been devastated.”

    Dear National Science Guy, it’s “budworm” not spruce bugworm!

    typo or ignorance pick your poison

  86. Holdren has latched on to every doomsday ‘End Times’ scenario that has existed in his career. The coming ice age in the 1970s. Or how about the population bomb, also in the 1970s? Remember that? The UN held conferences about a doomed overpopulated planet. It ultimately led to the forced sterilization of men in India. Couldn’t happen here? Paul Ehrlich predicted famines in the US if the population exceeded 280mil (it’s 300 today). And in a book he wrote he toyed with the consitutionality of putting a sterilant in public drinking water. Guess who was coauthor of that book? . . . John Holdren. It’s all right on Google. Check out Holdren’s resume. It’s scarey.

  87. Holdren on National climate-change legislation (slide 63)

    “President Obama was emphatic that new US energy legislation should include climate, above all a price on carbon emissions. The climate component was reluctantly & temporarily abandoned because of insufficient support in the US Senate.”

    And he expects it to have more support after the November elections? Delusional about both the environment AND american politics. A veritable renaissance-man of delusion.

  88. James Sexton says:
    September 29, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    “the ones we love, like polar bears; the ones we hate, like mosquitoes; and everything in between.”………huh? We’re making value judgments on different species now? Very scientific!

    —-

    Apparently Holdren would rather be bitten by a polar bear than a mosquito.

    This explains a lot: “my friend Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences.” Let’s publish a blacklist!

  89. And he expects it to have more support after the November elections? Delusional about both the environment AND american politics. A veritable renaissance-man of delusion.

    ***********

    Considering many dems are getting run out of office for good this term, what do they have to lose in passing this when they have the chance?

  90. I’m disappointed in reading the comments — hoped for something a bit more substantial than expressions of dismay or disgust. Please, anyone, refute Holdren by providing references to the peer reviewed lit, point by point showing where he has come off the rails. Otherwise it seems as though we’re just snarling because we don’t like the message. If we are to help Anthony on this, he needs real ammo.

  91. Slide 23
    The text is inconsistant with the graph. Holdren’s text states “wildfires in the western US have increased 6-fold” but the graph shows acres burned. His slide equates an increase in the number of wildfires to acres burned.

    The larger problem is that Holdren is showing increases in events and assuming they are an effect of increased temperature which is assumed (by Holdren and others) to be caused by an increase in atmospheric CO2 which is assumed to be caused primarily by human activity. Piling one logical fallacy on to another and stacking them 3 or 4 high does not prove anything except that Holdren believes that we are gullible.

  92. Here are some typos I noticed:

    [SLIDE 4] And here are the five myths I want to talk about.

    The first one: a little global warming can’t hurt anything.

    The second: the Earth has [not] warmed since 1998 anyway.
    …………………………
    [SLIDE 18] So do we have good reason to believe that humans are causing this primarily? Yes, we do. This is the IPCC’s assessment in the 2007 report. No part of this has been called into question by the way. The best estimates of the forcings – literally how hard we’re pushing on the climate over the period from 1750 to 2005, both human causes and the principle principal known natural caused changes …
    ………………………….
    [SLIDE 43] …. But just to have a 50% chance of staying below 2 degrees C, developed country emissions would need to keep [steady] no later than 20105 2015 and decline rapidly after that,

Comments are closed.