Disputing The Skeptical Environmentalist

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(This IBD Editorial was sent to me by the authors)

By WILLIE SOON, ROBERT CARTER AND DAVID LEGATES

This is a response to “Why Can’t We Innovate Our Way To A Carbon-Free Energy Future?“, a “Perspective” by Bjorn Lomborg that ran in this space a week ago.

Bjorn Lomborg, author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” and “Cool It,” is right about the need to focus on critical health and economic priorities. But he is wrong about human carbon dioxide emissions causing what is now being called “global climate disruption.”

By demonizing the gas of life, in league with Al Gore and Bill Gates, Lomborg commits several serious scientific errors. As independent scientists, with broad training in mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology and geography, we know CO2 is not a pollutant, and the notion of “carbon-free” or “zero-carbon” energy is inherently harmful and anti-scientific.

If nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, helium or any other nontoxic gas is pumped into a chamber containing air and a growing plant, the response is barely measurable. By contrast, if more CO2 is added, the plant and its root system benefit enormously, displaying enhanced growth and more efficient use of available water and nutrients.

Far from having detrimental effects, carbon dioxide has decidedly beneficial impacts on plants, aquatic and terrestrial alike, and a new study connects enhanced plant productivity to greater bird species diversity in China. How, therefore, can anyone conclude that human carbon dioxide is a pollutant that must be eradicated?

These facts erect a formidable barrier for “zero-carbon” advocates. By insisting that no human CO2 should be emitted, they are promoting continued suboptimal growth of food plant species in the face of impending global food shortages — and poorer functioning and less diversity in the global ecosystem.

Zero-carbon activists respond to these facts by asserting that human CO2 emissions cause “dangerous global warming.” They are wrong about this, too.

If rising atmospheric CO2 levels drive global temperatures upward, as they insist, why is Earth not suffering from the dangerous “fever” that Al Gore predicted? Instead, after mild warming at the end of the twentieth century, global temperatures have leveled off for the past decade, amid steadily rising carbon dioxide levels.

Lomborg’s claim that we need to “cure” so-called “unchecked climate change” is thus fallacious and contradicted by reality. Reducing human CO2 emissions will likely have no measurable cooling effect on planetary temperatures.

His insistence that we prioritize expenditures is spot-on when applied to genuine environmental and societal problems. However, it is irrelevant when the problems are mythical — or devised to advance ideological agendas. Moreover, even if human impacts on the global climate can actually be measured at some future date, humans currently lack the scientific and engineering understanding and capability to deliberately “manage” Earth’s constantly changing climate for the better.

Most certain of all, atmospheric carbon dioxide is not the “climate control knob” that anti-hydrocarbon alarmists assert, and it is irresponsible for Lomborg to claim his socio-political agenda will provide a low-cost solution for the global warming “problem.”

The scientific reality is that even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been unable to demonstrate a cause-and-effect scientific connection between rising human CO2 emissions and dangerous warming.. To support global limits on CO2 emissions, in the absence of real-world data showing clear cause and effect, is scientific and policy incompetence on the highest order.

Imagine a drug company seeking FDA approval for a new drug, based on an analysis that says simply: “Our supercomputers say the drug is safe and effective. We have no clinical data to support this, but can think of no reason actual results would contradict what our computers predict. Moreover, failure to license the drug will be disastrous for patients suffering from the targeted disease.” Failing to demand actual dose-and-response studies, before licensing the drug, would be gross negligence on FDA’s part.

Between 2007 and 2009, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions dropped approximately 10%, to their lowest level since 1995, largely because of reduced energy consumption during the recession. Similar CO2 emission reductions occurred in Britain, Germany, France and Japan.

Have their climates gotten better or less dangerous? Are they now a better place, for having a lower intensity carbon energy diet? Have global temperatures been statistically unchanged since 1995 because, or in spite of, Chinese and Indian carbon dioxide emissions increasing far more than the aforementioned countries reduced theirs?

These are practical, not rhetorical questions. As far as we can see, the only direct effect of decreasing CO2 levels via expensive renewable energy programs has been to cost more American and European jobs than would otherwise have been the case during the global economic recession.

The central issue is not whether rising CO2 levels will cause a warmer planet. The fundamental concern is whether globally warmer temperatures are factually worse (or better) for human societies — and more (or less) damaging to the environment — than colder temperatures (like those experienced during the ice ages and Little Ice Age).

Bjorn Lomborg, Al Gore and Bill Gates need to consider the likelihood that, driven by changes in solar activity and ocean circulation, Earth will cool significantly over coming decades. Damaging the global economy with ineffectual carbon dioxide controls, in a futile quest to “stop global warming,” looks stupid now.

Viewed later, with hindsight, it will be judged outrageously irresponsible.

• Soon studies sun-climate connections at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

• Carter is an emeritus fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs and chief science advisor to the International Climate Science Coalition.

• Legates is a hydroclimatologist at the University of Delaware and serves as the state climatologist of Delaware.

This editorial appeared at Investors Business Daily – here

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154 Responses to Disputing The Skeptical Environmentalist

  1. Gordon Ford says:

    Spot on! We don’t need knee jerk reaction , we need careful consideration which so far has mostly been lacking in the climate debate.

  2. old44 says:

    WILLIE SOON, ROBERT CARTER AND DAVID LEGATES have understated the example case of “Our supercomputers say the drug is safe and effective.” by omitting the compulsion for everybody to take the drug as a preventative measure and failing to mention the program had been altered to give the desired result, and, when that failed, the manipulation of the raw data.

  3. John Shade says:

    Good stuff. This is an important paragraph from it, and captures the gross dereliction of duty on the part of governments such as that of the UK which has enacted financially and socially crippling legislation on the back of the say-so of an organisation, the IPCC, demonstrably in the hands of politically-motivated activists:

    ‘Imagine a drug company seeking FDA approval for a new drug, based on an analysis that says simply: “Our supercomputers say the drug is safe and effective. We have no clinical data to support this, but can think of no reason actual results would contradict what our computers predict. Moreover, failure to license the drug will be disastrous for patients suffering from the targeted disease.” Failing to demand actual dose-and-response studies, before licensing the drug, would be gross negligence on FDA’s part.’

    The fact that the exposure of the hockey-stick, a chart given iconic status by the IPCC, was down to volunteer sleuths is a testament to our remaining freedoms and to private enterprise, but it is also a testament to the failure of climate science, and of governments, to conduct due diligence over such an important item.

  4. John Kehr says:

    Explaining the science in a simple and easy to understand manner is the key to eventual victory. The less people understand about climate the easier it is to make them believe the misinformation.

    Arguning the benefits of higher CO2 (even if accurate) isn’t going to win the battle. Getting people to understand will. Keep it simple.

  5. pochas says:

    I have tremendous respect for Bjorn Lomborg no matter what he thinks after he’s done reading this. He has the courage to say what he thinks is true regardless of the politics of the environmental movement. I hope he can modify his view as he considers these facts.

  6. Roy says:

    Innovations to reduce the output of carbon need not be purely technical, they can also be managerial. There is a good example of this in Britain reported in today’s Daily Mail.

    Councils to stockpile bodies to cut the cost of cremations
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1325033/Councils-stockpile-bodies-cut-cost-cremations.html?ito=feeds-newsxml#ixzz13rIUbHyd

    Instead of burning the body immediately after the funeral service some local authorities are thinking of stockpiling the bodies so that they can all be burned in one go. The reason given is that will be much more efficient and it is obviously very important for crematoria to take action to cut their carbon footprints.

    You cannot get away from climate change even when you are dead! I’m sure all the Brits on this forum will be proud that we lead the world in this field!

    Perhaps the local authorities got the idea of stockpiling the bodies because it will soon be Guy Fawkes’ Night. On November 5th people all over Britain light bonfires and let off fireworks to commemorate the failure of the first great international terrorist plot. Guy Fawkes and a small group of Catholics managed to place a huge number of barrels of gunpowder in the cellars of Parliament and planned to blow up the whole building during the State Opening of Parliament by the King.

    The plot was discovered almost at the last moment. If it had succeeded it would have been far more devasting, in relative terms, than Al Qaeda’s 9/11 atrocity since the latter left the US government intact but the Gunpowder Plot would have wiped out the King, most of the aristocracy and members of parliament and the bishops. In other words almost the whole of the rulling class would have been wiped out in one go.

    How long will it be before somebody suggests closing down the crematoria completely and keeping all dead bodies until November 5th so that they can all be disposed of in one go every year?

  7. Retired Engineer says:

    “Common sense is far too uncommon.”

    Not sure who first said that (I found many sources) but it certainly applies. As does the Crazy Eddie theory concerning AGW. (From the Mote in God’s Eye). Alas, I doubt these three will get much coverage. Doom and Gloom sell more newspapers.

  8. GM says:

    LOL, I lived to see that – the lunatics calling another lunatic our for not being a lunatic enough….

    As independent scientists, with broad training in mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology and geography, we know CO2 is not a pollutant, and the notion of “carbon-free” or “zero-carbon” energy is inherently harmful and anti-scientific.

    What exactly is an “independent scientist” supposed to mean here? And what exactly is “broad training” supposed to mean? That you know a little bit of eahc without actually knowing any of them or what?

    If nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, helium or any other nontoxic gas is pumped into a chamber containing air and a growing plant, the response is barely measurable. By contrast, if more CO2 is added, the plant and its root system benefit enormously, displaying enhanced growth and more efficient use of available water and nutrients.

    Far from having detrimental effects, carbon dioxide has decidedly beneficial impacts on plants, aquatic and terrestrial alike, and a new study connects enhanced plant productivity to greater bird species diversity in China. How, therefore, can anyone conclude that human carbon dioxide is a pollutant that must be eradicated?

    These facts erect a formidable barrier for “zero-carbon” advocates. By insisting that no human CO2 should be emitted, they are promoting continued suboptimal growth of food plant species in the face of impending global food shortages — and poorer functioning and less diversity in the global ecosystem.

    News flash – if you were so concerned about plant growth, you should advocate for humans starting a massive program for decreasing the oxygen content in the atmosphere. Because oxygen happens to be a poison for plants and they would grow so much better without it screwing up 1/3 to a half of their photosynthesis efforts.

    I won’t even comment on the fact what is revealed about the intellect of the author by his inability to understand that the problem with CO2 is that by a long, unfortunately much longer than the ability to grasp such things that the average ignoramuses let loose on the pages of this blog possesses, it will end up harming plant growth in large areas of the globe by decreasing the water supply to plants….

    Imagine a drug company seeking FDA approval for a new drug, based on an analysis that says simply: “Our supercomputers say the drug is safe and effective. We have no clinical data to support this, but can think of no reason actual results would contradict what our computers predict. Moreover, failure to license the drug will be disastrous for patients suffering from the targeted disease.” Failing to demand actual dose-and-response studies, before licensing the drug, would be gross negligence on FDA’s part.

    AGW is an untested hypothesis, that’s correct. The problem is that it will be tested only once and when this happens it will be too late to do anything about it. We don’t happen to have another planet to play with, you know. Elementary rick management tells us that we should try to avoid climate change at all costs – the same people who whine about the uncertainty in climate science buy insurance policies against events that happen with probabilities of less than a percent.

  9. John F. Hultquist says:

    The government practices that follow from the approach advocated by these authors will not reward selected investors with a transfer of great amounts of tax payer money. So, while this is nicely reasoned and well written it is not apt to dissuade anyone with a financial interest in the CAGW movement. Likewise, this essay has to be rejected by those wishing to establish a political legacy based on a massive shift of the USA experiment from liberty to a controlled people.

  10. Juraj V. says:

    Human body consist of 75% carbon (without water). Carbon-free anything is nonsense. You can as well try to get rid of hydrogen.
    An once again, do not substitute carbon for carbon dioxide. It has so much common as chlorine gas with sodium chloride.

    Oh my, I have polluted my soup with chlorine!

  11. trbixler says:

    Thank you for the post. The politics of AGW has dominated the world for far to long. A dose of reality is long over due. But I expect that the MSM and the U.S. government will continue with the alarmist tripe.

  12. GM says:

    pochas says:
    October 30, 2010 at 9:05 am
    I have tremendous respect for Bjorn Lomborg no matter what he thinks after he’s done reading this. He has the courage to say what he thinks is true regardless of the politics of the environmental movement. I hope he can modify his view as he considers these facts.

    So do schizophrenics. And we lock them up so they don’t do any harm to the rest of us

    [REPLY - Who else do you propose to lock up "so they don't do any harm to the rest of us"? ~ Evan]

  13. GM says:

    And, as usual, the mods are playing the “I’m so offended that I’m not letting this through” game…

    [REPLY - Or maybe it was an act of kindness for your own good? I, however, being a liberal at heart, am cruel and ruthless enough to approve your posts. ~ Evan]

    REPLY: GM, your posts are going through, cut the crap. – Anthony

  14. rbateman says:

    There is no legitimate reason to tamper with a building block of life, other than for a means of absolute power & control.
    Both the action of targeting C02 and the results of that action are inherently dangerous to those societies thusly weakened.
    The struggle of nations did not end at the turn of the Century, nor will it be so easily dismissed by utopian notions of the misguided.

  15. JPeden says:

    Bjorn Lomborg, Al Gore and Bill Gates need to consider the likelihood that, driven by changes in solar activity and ocean circulation, Earth will cool significantly over coming decades. Damaging the global economy with ineffectual carbon dioxide controls, in a futile quest to “stop global warming,” looks stupid now.

    Viewed later, with hindsight, it will be judged outrageously irresponsible.

    “Precautionary Principle” that, Mr. and Ms. Environmental Protection Agency! The EPA is out of control, operates unscientifically, and needs to be abolished.

  16. Arno Arrak says:

    In his first two books Bjorn Lomborg did not deny the existence of warming, just urged moderation and common sense in reacting to it. He got pummeled heavily and even a book called “The Lomborg Deception” was written about him. Apparently he has seen the light, given up his protestant ways, and sworn his allegiance to the one and only true religion of global warming. Would be interesting to know how much Friel’s book did to bring him into the fold.

  17. GM says:

    [REPLY - Who else do you propose to lock up "so they don't do any harm to the rest of us"? ~ Evan]

    Everyone who is as detached from reality as Lomborg. It takes clinically insane people to produce the kind of nonsense the likes of Julian Simon and Lombrog have come up with.

    That kind of nonsense would be harmful if we had media, politicians and a general population that had at least some rudimentary critical thinking ability and scientific literacy. But we don’t so it provides a justification for our continued acceleration forward on the path to collective self-destruction.

    P.S. We also lock up people for crimes against humanity. Simon and Lomborg are firmly in that category.

    REPLY: You know, if you firmly believe these people are committing crimes against humanity, and should be jailed, at least have the courage and decency to PUT YOUR NAME TO YOUR WORDS. In a court of law, the accused has the right to face the accuser. I don’t see it any differently in a court of public opinion. Otherwise, your accusations are just worthless cowardly noise. – Anthony Watts

  18. GM says:

    [REPLY - Or maybe it was an act of kindness for your own good? I, however, being a liberal at heart, am cruel and ruthless enough to approve your posts. ~ Evan]

    You posted it, thank you. I just hate it when I have to ask for it

    [REPLY – You didn’t have to ask. As a matter of fact, it was stuck in the spam filter, from whence I retrieved it. A lot of posts start out there and they don’t get the “waiting for moderation” tag. So people may incorrectly assume their posts have been deleted. We do clear out the spam filter and approve the non-spam portion. You don’t have to “ask”. But there may be a slight delay. We run an open forum, here, and, if anything, err on the side of approval. Opposing views do not get such consideration at pro-AGW blogs such as RealClimate or Open [sic] Mind. ~ Evan]

  19. John Whitman says:

    In their editorial “Disputing The Skeptical Environmentalist” in Investors Business Daily we have Willie Soon, Robert Carter and David Legates saying:

    Most certain of all, atmospheric carbon dioxide is not the “climate control knob” that anti-hydrocarbon alarmists assert, and it is irresponsible for Lomborg to claim his socio-political agenda will provide a low-cost solution for the global warming “problem.”

    The scientific reality is that even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been unable to demonstrate a cause-and-effect scientific connection between rising human CO2 emissions and dangerous warming.. To support global limits on CO2 emissions, in the absence of real-world data showing clear cause and effect, is scientific and policy incompetence on the highest order.

    ————————–

    I congratulate the use of unambiguous statements about climate science by independent climate scientists. They look confident in supporting their professional views.

    I suggest they publically debate Bjorn Lomborg (***) on the topic who is wrong about human carbon dioxide emissions causing what is now being called “global climate disruption.”

    The billing could be The Battle of the Disparate Scientists: Political Scientist meets Physical Scientists in the Climate Science Arena

    ***Bjorn Lomborg: M.A. in political science, 1991; Ph.D. at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, 1994; currently Adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School 2005-present

    John

  20. David L says:

    “Imagine a drug company seeking FDA approval for a new drug, based on an analysis that says simply: “Our supercomputers say the drug is safe and effective. We have no clinical data to support this, but can think of no reason actual results would contradict what our computers predict. Moreover, failure to license the drug will be disastrous for patients suffering from the targeted disease.” Failing to demand actual dose-and-response studies, before licensing the drug, would be gross negligence on FDA’s part.”

    Excellent analogy!

  21. The IPCC has been unable to explain the cause and effect relationship between CO2 and temperature, because the GRIP2 ice core data shows the CO2 increases come about 800 years after the temperature increases.

    The CO2 warming scam is over!

  22. RockyRoad says:

    So GM says:

    News flash – if you were so concerned about plant growth, you should advocate for humans starting a massive program for decreasing the oxygen content in the atmosphere.

    GM…whoever/whatever you are… that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever read on WUWT–unless you’re a robot cheering for the takeover of the planet by eliminating the human species using the most inane yet transparent argument ever devised.

    You know… and I offer this advice seriously… you should send a letter to your alma mater (I suspect it was one of those liberal institutions of “higher learning”) and request a FULL REFUND of your tuition money because you were robbed! Your brainwashing is on full display and we’re all laughing.

    (I suspect you don’t get the connection between plant growth and what humans end up eating. I also suspect you don’t understand the carbon cycle–you know, the one where animals use oxygen and give out carbon dioxide, and where plants use carbon dioxide and give out oxygen–quite the amazing symbiotic relationship if you think about it.)

  23. Leo G says:

    Well GM, your schizophrena comment just outed you as a troll.
    Don’t feed the troll people.

  24. GM says:

    REPLY: You know, if you firmly believe these people are committing crimes against humanity, and should be jailed, at least have the courage and decency to PUT YOUR NAME TO YOUR WORDS. In a court of law, the accused has the right to face the accuser. I don’t see it any differently in a court of public opinion. Otherwise, your accusations are just worthless cowardly noise. – Anthony Watts

    I am not saying that they should be jailed – they should be laughed at and ignored as the village idiots they are. The problem is that because collectively we are even dumber than the village idiots they are, we listen to what they say and base our lives around it. Which is what allows their actions to rise to the level of crimes against humanity.

    It’s a similar situation to what would happen as if the president of the United States lets his 3-year old kid play with the nuclear codes and annihilating half of the globe as a result.

    REPLY:
    Thanks for clarifying this “P.S. We also lock up people for crimes against humanity. Simon and Lomborg are firmly in that category.”

    Yeah right, lock up-jailed no similarity….since you have no honor, we’ll take the same tact with you then. Troll bin for you. Some posts that aren’t rubbish and have substance might get through, but as of now, they all go to the penalty box where we’ll see them but decide if they have any merit…but you can get yourself out if you want to join us in the open. – Anthony

  25. Philip says:

    I think this article is unfair to Lomborg. He is NOT supporting carbon emission cuts or wind farms or any of the other crazy green agenda. Here is a paragraph from the Investors article:

    “So let’s forget about subsidizing inefficient technologies or making fossil fuels too expensive to use. Instead, let’s fund the basic research that will make green energy too cheap and easy to resist.”

    I understand when people criticise his acceptance of the IPCC position over warming – personally, I find a 0.5 K position far more credible. But isn’t it great that even taking the WG1 central estimate of 3 K as his starting point, he still ends up supporting many of the same policy conclusions as warming sceptics? I’d say his approach does far more damage to the alarmist cause than any amount of haggling over scientific details that don’t significantly affect the policy conclusions. And if we follow his suggestions and end up with a more diverse range of cheap energy sources, where is the problem in that?

  26. LarryOldtimer says:

    Whatever happened to physical experimentation?

    My automobile needs no CO2 to get rather hot in sunshine with its windows rolled up. In a greenhouse, CO2 is constantly being consumed by the plants. Either the air has to be changed constantly, or has to be enriched with more CO2.

    Get a greenhouse, plant some plants, and when they are going well, shut of circulation of air to the inside of the greenhouse. The plants will stop growing and die.

    Set up some small equivalents to greenhouses, with automatic temperature measuring devices that measure the temperatures in each at exactly the same time throughout the day. Modify the CO2 level in each before sunlight each day. Vary the CO2 levels randomly among the greenhouse equivalents before each day.

    This would show what “entrapment of heat” different levels of CO2 would cause, if any, and would put paid to all of the nonsense.

    Speculation, hypothesis, theory. All stand or fall before well designed physical experiments. Computers and high-sounding verbiage can’t cut it, and never will be able to do so.

    If whatever it is can’t be verified by physical experimentation, it is no more than hogwash. Scientific method demands replication.

  27. GM says:

    RockyRoad says:
    October 30, 2010 at 10:14 am
    …..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubisco#Enzymatic_activity

  28. huxley says:

    I question whether either side has the goods on whether the earth is heading towards warming or cooling, so tossing around an accusation like “outrageously irresponsible” strikes me as over much.

    What climate skeptics don’t seem to understand about Lomborg is that, although he titled himself The Skeptical Environmentalist, he meant he was skeptical of Paul Ehrlich, Lester Brown, the Greenpeacers et al.

    To support his points, Lomborg always resorts to mainstream statistics and projections from the UN and large government agencies, so it’s just his standard operating procedure that he accepts climate change — which is the mainstream opinion these says (though not necessarily the consensus) — but not the catastrophic narratives of climate change.

  29. Archonix says:

    GM says:
    October 30, 2010 at 10:21 am
    I am not saying that they should be jailed

    No, just locked up. Completely different thing, obviously.

  30. john ratcliffe says:

    What I have never understood about Climate Change/Global Warming (or whatever it’s being called this week) is that if the ‘science’ is ‘in’, and the ‘debate is over’, then what do they need more millions of Dollars/Pounds/Euros for more research to prove?

    john r

  31. John A says:

    It’s interesting that the attack was on Bjorn Lomborg’s conclusions and the reasoning to those conclusions. Not on Bjorn Lomborg.

  32. Martin Mason says:

    You don’t need to do anything with true believers except ask one thing. Prove the weak hypothesis that human emited CO2 is or will producing catastrophic global warming, any warming for that matter. I’m staggered that these guys stick their heads above the parapet now after the smack downs and humiliations that their movement has suffered recently. I’ve started to feel sorry for them

  33. chip says:

    “I won’t even comment on the fact what is revealed about the intellect of the author by his inability to understand that the problem with CO2 is that by a long, unfortunately much longer than the ability to grasp such things that the average ignoramuses let loose on the pages of this blog possesses, it will end up harming plant growth in large areas of the globe by decreasing the water supply to plants….”

    The explosion of plant growth that gives us our widespread deposits of coal today occurred during the Carboniferous period, when CO2 concentrations were up to 1500 parts per million, compared with 380 today.

    During the Jurassic period, when dinosaurs grew incredibly large thanks to the availability of plant and other food sources, the ppm was about 1800 ppm.

    This is what we insane people call facts.

  34. evanmjones says:

    I am not saying that they should be jailed – they should be laughed at and ignored as the village idiots they are.

    But surely that is cruelty of treatment. Whatever happened to good old fashioned liberal compassion?

    Besides, all Lomborg has done is adduce the consideration of cost-benefit to the debate. Surely one would have to be a village (or, more likely, urban) idiot to reject such considerations out of hand.

  35. Jimbo says:

    “If nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, helium or any other nontoxic gas is pumped into a chamber containing air and a growing plant, the response is barely measurable. By contrast, if more CO2 is added, the plant and its root system benefit enormously, displaying enhanced growth and more efficient use of available water and nutrients.”

    Just ask the Sahara.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090731-green-sahara.html
    http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/publications/trends_africa2008/desertification.pdf
    http://www.eoearth.org/article/Greening_of_the_Sahel

    1982 – 1999 biosphere changes
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/300/5625/1560

  36. GM should be aware that oxygen is not germain to the argument at hand, it is not a by product of human activity and as such cannot be mitigated by altering our behaviour. As for basic risk management, that does not mean taking every possible precaution regardless of cost, it means taking sensible and cost effective precautions that are proportionate. Yes people take out insurance, my house is insured against complete re-building if required but if the premiums were several times the value of the house I just wouldn’t bother.

  37. david says:

    If Lomborg is advocating “research only” to make alternative energy economically competitive, more power to him regardless of his CO2 views. The WILLIE SOON, ROBERT CARTER AND DAVID LEGATES post is good as it politely says:
    the hubris of climate scientist is quite amazing. Just as computers were suppose to cut down on the need to print, but instead made thousands of charts and all writing much easier to produce, which lead to much greater printer use, so computers and computer models take thousands of POORLY known and disparately created observations, and numerous POORLY understood physical processes, and arrive at CERTAIN prophecies of global disaster while demanding trillions of dollars NOW, which all sides admit will have NO EFFECT without China and India aboard, all the while ignoring the KNOWN benefits of increased CO2.

  38. John Whitman says:

    GM,

    We all know that often there are fundamental divergences between the views of the ‘settled/consensus science’ supporters and the views of more independent thinkers (a.k.a. skeptics). Your discussions with others here are a case in point. Emotions happen in the diverged situation on both sides. Our host understands and is very tolerant. I thank him occasionally for that rare tolerance, but probably not as much as I should.

    I think that as the reformation /renaissance of climate science continues progressing to replace the problematic climate science of the past >20 years, then the divergence will cease. : )

    Happy times these are for climate science.

    John

  39. Stu says:

    GM says:

    “Elementary risk management tells us that we should try to avoid climate change at all costs”

    At all costs, GM?

    Sounds very ‘elementary’ indeed.

  40. Bob Parker says:

    Do these people have it in their head that people made Co2 is bad and natural Co2 is not bad? Is there a difference I begin to wonder.

  41. Jimbo says:

    “Viewed later, with hindsight, it will be judged outrageously irresponsible.”

    If we do actually enter an extended cooling phase or even another Little Ice Age then I will insists on jail time for those found to have been “outrageously irresponsible.”

    Funds > research > follow up research required > funds > research >follow up…….

    Trenberth –
    “Scientists almost always have to massage their data, exercising judgment about what might be defective and best disregarded.”
    IEEE Spectrum October 2010

  42. Kev-in-UK says:

    slightly off topic, I guess but..
    Does anyone know of any recorded (e.g. video) debates (as in proper scientific discussion – not end of presentation or lecture questions) between fully qualified scientists on both sides of the AGW? For example, has anyone of any standing presented the actual ‘physics’ of global warming and then been ‘opposed’ in debate by another expert?
    in the context of this topic, I guess a full scientific debate about the ‘numbers’ and ‘efficacy’ of proposed CO2 reduction measures would be in order – has there been such a debate as per above?

  43. Paul Coppin says:

    GM: “I won’t even comment on the fact what is revealed about the intellect of the author by his inability to understand that the problem with CO2 is that by a long, unfortunately much longer than the ability to grasp such things that the average ignoramuses let loose on the pages of this blog possesses, it will end up harming plant growth in large areas of the globe by decreasing the water supply to plants….”

    Before you run your mouth about things you do not understand, why not spend some time reviewing the available online literature on CO2 enhancement in greenhouses – the commercial agriculture trades had this CO2 thing worked out long before Hansen could figure out which finger to use for red and which for blue in kindergarten.

    As for locking people away, that’s maybe a good idea – lets start with institutionalizing warmists like you, and jailing the frauds behind the IPCC and other AGW policies, starting with Al Gore.

  44. Katherine says:

    GM wrote:

    News flash – if you were so concerned about plant growth, you should advocate for humans starting a massive program for decreasing the oxygen content in the atmosphere. Because oxygen happens to be a poison for plants and they would grow so much better without it screwing up 1/3 to a half of their photosynthesis efforts.

    Well, I don’t support arbitrary population control measures. But when there’s population growth to—as you might say—decrease the oxygen content in the atmosphere, you have the Malthusians freaking out and projecting doom and gloom. Those guys apparently want more oxygen in the atmosphere to “poison” the plants. ;-)

  45. P Walker says:

    Could anyone tell me what GM means by “rick management” ? After all , he’s obviously too brilliant to make a typo . I’d ask him directly , but he’s currently in the troll bin . ( Thankyou for that , Anthony . )

  46. kwik says:

    Bjorn Lomborg ;
    His book, the original version of “The Sceptical Environmentalist” was the first time I got a hint that organisations like Greenpeace, WWF and so on isnt just sweet, innocent organisations. It made me more sceptical to all the claims from these organisations.

    Now I know that you really can’t trust anything these people say. You have to check for yourselves.

    Then I found the writings of Michael Chrichton. RIP.

    And then there was Climategate. And now I am here.

    I think Lomborg says what he says just to be accepted in certain circles. I don’t like that he behave like a politician. But, there you have it.

  47. Doug says:

    GM says: October 30, 2010 at 9:17 am
    AGW is an untested hypothesis, that’s correct. The problem is that it will be tested only once and when this happens it will be too late to do anything about it. We don’t happen to have another planet to play with, you know.
    ——————————————————————————————————–
    So GM – ‘’We’ have to take all steps to make sure that the unknown outcomes of untested hypotheses are prevented. Great stuff as usual, from your superior intellect.

    Elementary rick management tells us that we should try to avoid climate change at all costs
    —————————————————————————————
    This of course is a canard. An unproven notion to avoid unproven outcomes at ALL costs – come on GM.
    —————————————————————————————
    the same people who whine about the uncertainty in climate science buy insurance policies against events that happen with probabilities of less than a percent.
    ———————————————————————————-
    Well, if this is so, they are using their own money – what little freedom they have left ii would seem can be ‘wasted’ on things of their own choice – or is this to be controlled by the like of you GM as well?

    I suggest that you get a life GM
    Doug

  48. John Whitman says:

    chip says:
    October 30, 2010 at 10:45 am

    The explosion of plant growth that gives us our widespread deposits of coal today occurred during the Carboniferous period, when CO2 concentrations were up to 1500 parts per million, compared with 380 today.

    During the Jurassic period, when dinosaurs grew incredibly large thanks to the availability of plant and other food sources, the ppm was about 1800 ppm.

    —————————

    chip,

    I appreciated the info on the Carboniferous period. What went on during earths ancient history has occasionally crossed my mind these days. It is a useful sound bite to have in one’s pocket (or Blackberry) for dialogs on AGW-by-CO2.

    Thanks,
    John

  49. Kev-in-UK says:

    @Jimbo
    I agree – the dogmatic approach by the climate science ‘elite’ cannot go unpunished. Firstly, in the real analysis, it is tantamount to a crime against humanity if shown to be so deliberately promulgated (it’s no different to conspiracy to murder/defraud, etc). Secondly, the mere fact that these folk have destroyed the faith and trust of the general public in the scientists and the scientific method, and in particular the trust of other ‘true’ scientists – would warrant explusion from all and any scientific institution – permanently.
    Thirdly, if possible, any of their ill-gotton gains (called the ‘proceeds of crime’ over here) should be removed from their posession – the likes of Gore should have millions repossessed from his movie alone!
    I am not proposing a witchhunt against climate scientists – there is no harm with those who have diligently researched and perhaps come to the ‘wrong’ conclusion (which when you think about it is quite easy if you are basing your research on previous rubbish or manipulated data?) – but those who have essentially ‘forced’ the concensus need to be ‘outed’ and punished properly, with appropriate justice being served.

  50. kwinterkorn says:

    To GM

    Thank you for your humorous posts. Great caricature of the supercilious adolescent blowing smoke off the top of his head while posing as an intellectual.

    Of course, you know that O2 as well as CO2 is essential for plant physiology. During photosynthesis (ie while the sun shines) plants are generally net O2 producers as they convert CO2, H2O, and other sundry nutrients into carbohydates useable as energy sources (especially glucose, other sugars, and starches). However, all day and all night, plants also use O2, as do animals, to oxidize these carbohydrates, using the energy released to drive all manner of synthetic reactions that allow them to stay alive and grow.

    O2 and CO2 are both essential to plants, along with sunlight, water, and the many trace minerals found in good soil.

    KW

  51. Anthony Watts says:

    GM’s currently in the troll bin. He can get out if he does either of these:

    1. Comes clean with admission that locking up people is the same as “jailing”. He advocates “locking up” Lomborg for “crimes against humanity”

    or…

    2. Decides that honor is important and puts his own name to his words.

    His choice. But I’m not going to have people like him ranting about locking people up that don’t have integrity enough to stand behind their own words. He’s at Cal-Tech, using the publicly funded state college network, so one would hope there’s some integrity there.

  52. KPO says:

    GM says:
    “Elementary risk management tells us that we should try to avoid climate change at all costs”
    Maybe elementary risk management tells us, but reading a post over at climate etc by:
    cb | October 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm says:
    “Specifically, one will often hear from activists that “uncertainty is not your friend” as a rebuttal to proponents of inaction. They apply “risk management 101″ — i.e., symmetric probability of a large effect (pick your poison — cryospheric loss, transient or equilibrium temperature rises, etc)
    However, as someone experienced with a wide variety of applied risk management, I must say this is naive with regard to risk management “201″, if you will — that the shape of the distribution matters, not merely its location and scale. Specifically, if the 3rd moment is large, it could easily be that the upper bound from paleoclimatic considerations is much tighter than a lower bound from models with a variety of feedbacks and infelicities. In that sort of scenario, percentile points or VAR style risk analysis does not yield the same kind of decision surfaces as a naive symmetric (or even Gaussian) shape because the “upper limit” scales differently with the lower limit.”

    I have very little idea of what he/she is saying, I’ll bet neither do you, but one thing is certain, it is neither elementary, nor at all costs.

  53. SpringwaterKate says:

    Regarding GM: My bet is he won’t disclose his identity. Audacious enough to make inflammatory comments when hiding behind the mask of anonymity – but even he probably doesn’t feel like his comments have enough validity to stand behind them openly.

  54. Mike D. says:

    John Kehr October 30, 2010 at 8:51 am says:

    Explaining the science in a simple and easy to understand manner is the key to eventual victory. … Arguing the benefits of higher CO2 (even if accurate) isn’t going to win the battle. Getting people to understand will. Keep it simple.

    GM October 30, 2010 at 9:17 am says:

    … it will end up harming plant growth in large areas of the globe by decreasing the water supply to plants…

    Gentlemen and trolls,

    Explaining the science isn’t going to sway trolls like GM. He thinks the oceans are going to boil away into outer space and the Earth will dry up like a prune. That’s not rational, not even close to rational. Cogent explanations, with or without the math, don’t stick in such cases.

    The best we can do is attempt to soothe feverish brows with soporifics. It’s all going to be okay, GM. Trust me. Warmer is better. Really it is. You’ll like it. The plants and the animals will like it. Nothing to worry about. Now close your eyes and go to sleep and you’ll see… in the morning things will all be okay.

  55. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    Thank you Dr.s Soon, Carter and Legates for your post.
    One of my jobs after college was as a site data QC editor for a clinical trial. Your comparison was spot on and one of the reasons I disapprove of the use of models as “research”. I would also add that if a study using real patients averaged the vitals of other participants to get the data for a drop out (smoothing) or failed to report a morbid/fatal event (cherry picking) and got away with it, no drug would be safe.

    I also want to mention that my (animal) cell cultures grow much better in a CO2 incubator than a regular one. CO2 really is a life giving-gas.

    Thank you again.

  56. Dr T G Watkins says:

    Totally agree wit Carter, Soon and Legates. I have read Bjorn Lomberg’s books and enjoyed his analyses but he really needs to be educated with regard to AGW.
    An open public debate between scientists who follow the data and the others who believe in poorly programmed super computers is exactly what is needed.
    No prizes for guessing which side avoids such an event. As we know from the ‘disinvitation’ posts they are even afraid to share a platform with knowledgeable opponents.

  57. Doug says:

    RockyRoad says: October 30, 2010 at 10:14 am
    So GM says:
    News flash – if you were so concerned about plant growth, you should advocate for humans starting a massive program for decreasing the oxygen content in the atmosphere.
    GM…whoever/whatever you are… that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever read on WUWT–
    You know… and I offer this advice seriously… you should send a letter to your alma mater (I suspect it was one of those liberal institutions of “higher learning”) and request a FULL REFUND of your tuition money because you were robbed! Your brainwashing is on full display and we’re all laughing.
    —————————————————————————————RockyRoad You are right. The latest series of outbursts from poor old GM convinced me that he is seriously damaged. To begin with, I thought that he was just overcome by his own assessment of his intellectual prowess – but now – I think it’s really rather sad. He doesn’t process his thoughts very well.

    Doug

  58. Brian W says:

    GM

    Have you ever seen anybody starve to death? I have. Its one thing to see pictures of hungry kids but quite another to experience it with a friend. This woman was diagnosed with a strange condition that when she ate for some reason her stomach would not utilize the food she consumed. Eating solid food became impossible so she was switched to liquids. The doctor said there was no cure so she was literally consigned to a slow death by starvation. An iv was used to keep her hydrated and to help keep the sodium level constant. Over the ensuing weeks she just got thinner and thinner. On my last visit to see her she was very thin but was still able to talk(barely).
    It was hard to take even at this point. I was very busy for the next week and couldn’t get to see her, but finally after one week I went up to see her. The sight that greeted me I was completely unprepared for. She was now nothing but a skeleton with skin stretched over it. The absolute worst part is the eyes sink back into the skull. I was immediately traumatized. The emotions are indescribable. I made my way to the lobby and promptly broke down. This was the most emotionally jarring experience in my entire life, NOTHING else compares to it.
    YOU GM are an IDIOT who does not know what he/she is talking about. BRING ON THE CO2! More biomass for everyone!
    Anthony your spam filter is apparently working well!

  59. Billy Liar says:

    Ah – GM’s from California. Who’d have thought it?

  60. Nuke says:

    If I bought insurance against being trampled by a herd of elephants while watering my lawn, would that be good risk management?

  61. Curiousgeorge says:

    Momentum counts when pushing a pov or agenda. In the past year the AGW agenda has lost a great deal of that particularly valuable commodity, and judging from the activity in the political and financial sectors, is unlikely to regain it. I expect that if the political expectations for Nov 2 come to pass, that the fall out in the green industries will be spectacularly bad. I may have to crack open that bottle of champagne I’ve been saving. :)

  62. P Walker says:

    Anthony ,
    Perhaps you should leave him there . All he really does is insult the contributors , the mods and the commentators . At the very least , he could back up his attacks with references .

  63. JRR Canada says:

    2010 has been and will be a very good year, rest in peace AWG, AKA CC, AKA GCD, long live Biodiversity Disrupton it needs a global somewhere but it will be AKA by next July. X number of species go extinct every day? month? Year? pick your meme here ..
    From the same experts who cannot accurately tell us the number of species on planet. I saw a great quote , source forgotten, credibility is like virginity, you can only lose it once.

  64. Stephen Brown says:

    There’s a very interesting post over at James Delingpole’s blog which contains some graphics which put the question of CO2 into a more easily understood perspective.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100060540/happy-climate-fools-day/

    We in the UK have been committed to spending tax-payer’s money at the rate of £18 BILLION a year for the next FORTY years to pay for … What?

    “So let’s consider the following visualisation of 1000 (double stacked) 55 gallon drums {representing the atmosphere}. Remember the political slush-fund described above is for the UK only. There are over a billion people just in Europe and the US alone, and only 60 million in the UK. So what Co2 reduction does our £18 billion a year buy us in real terms? Out of 55,000 gallons the UK’s total contribution is arguably *drum roll* less than one gallon (about six and a half pints). In that context even an 80% cut is – quite literally – a drop in the ocean.”
    Quod erat demonstrandum.

  65. Christian Bultmann says:

    GM:
    If we look back in history when ever intellectuals had an agreement and there science was settled, disaster was shortly to follow.
    Amongst the wast knowledge and experience mankind has to offer intellectuals hold only a small portion of that knowledge.
    If we deny the knowledge of the average person or even the clinically insane been applied to an argument and only intellectuals with the limited knowledge get to determine where to lead society history only will repeat itself.

  66. Phillip Bratby says:

    There is no evidence that renewable energy schemes cause any reductions in CO2 emissions due to factors such as emissions caused during manufacture, construction, operation and decommissioning of the schemes. In particular, the need to back up wind farms with conventional fossil fuel power stations at all times results in increased CO2 emissions.

  67. Lady Life Grows says:

    Very good to see an article on the possble biological effects of climate change/meddling. Supposedly that is the point of the whole thing–who really cares whether arctic icebergs are melting unless this affects the narwhals and whales, the bears and the caribou and the Eskimos?

    CO2science.org has an article showing that too much winter ice in Hudson Bay can cause whale drowning, while Nature (of all rags!) recently published an article showing that Antarctic warming had increased biodiversity on a Southerly island and saved the macaroni penguin from extinction.

    I am also highly concerned about the stupidity of the brilliant. The smarter someone is, the more brain power he can bring to defend things s/he believes in. Recently, I have seen articles in peer-revied literature that were 5% science and data and 95% speculatin on how effects on a particular enzyme MIGHT make warmer temperatures bad for the species under study. Such stuff could not be published 30 years ago.

    Some skeptics think we are arrogant to imagine humans can affect the climate, but if we have not done so yet, we will soon be able to. The recent fascinating book “Super Freakonomics” includes a description of a method to bring about global cooling by a few 2-mile-high smokestacks to inject sufurous substances into the stratosphere. The technology sounds much simpler that that used to drill the Macondo well 2 miles below the gulf floor. I believe it would work, and best of all, it would be easily reversible.

    If it is done, the actual biological result would be famine and extinctions. If we learned a lesson, it could be worth it. But how many extinctions and deaths would it take to get through to GM, or James Hansen or Phil Jones, etc.? Remember–these people know how to funnel grants funding, fire journal editors, trash reputations, etc. if they do not like a scientist’s results.

    –Esther Cook

  68. Alexander K says:

    People such as GM appear to imagine that anything that may be a risk should be acted against. If that were true, all automobiles would have full roll cages, automatic fire extinguishing systems, drivers would be belted in to full harnesses and be forced to wear flameproof overalls, masks and skull caps under full-face crash helmets with safety goggles to protect vision. While this applies to most race cars, it would be ridiculous to apply all such measures to every automobile ‘just in case’. In the case of automobiles, the facts have been arrived at over a century of actual experience. GM and his cohort ignore long experience from plant breeders, etc, and persist with the sort of nonsense that belongs in the horse age – suggestions that the human body would self-combust if the tremendous speed of 30 MPH was attained, and similar ‘theories’ were promulgated then and eventually proved to be silly nonsense.
    GM and his cohort are irritants with nothing sensible to contribute; thank you, Anthony, for giving us respite from him.

  69. Steven Mosher says:

    C02 is a control knob. However, it operates with a long time lag with respect to temperature response. Apply an input forcing today and the temperature response, al beit small, will not appear for decades. It’s rather like steering an oil tanker. In fact, in the short term where other forcings have more immediate effect you can and will witness what appear to be response reversals. You turn the knob up, but the temperature goes down. But over the long run, if you turn the knob up the temperature will eventually go up. Also, increased C02 does make life better for plants. This is a short term response, unlike the temperature response. So, what we witness is the following: C02 is increased, we see a benefit to plant life, and we dont witness a concomitant increase in temperature. That response is decades in the future. And its so small that in the intervening years we can see evidence that makes us wonder if C02 warms the planet at all. But it does.

    The other complication here is the cost of turning the knob. Turning the C02 knob down has immediate costs. Draconian costs. Costs that spread to every aspect of life. Costs that will change life dramatically. That is why C02 cannot be controlled by any rational democratic political process. People won’t stand for it. The short term costs to turn the knob down are high. The short term benefits ? hardly any. The only benefit, if there is one, lies decades off. Will increasing C02 cause long term warming? Our best science says yes. Will decreasing C02 have no short term effects and massive short term costs? Our best science says yes. That means, of course, that the only political system that could impose and maintain such controls is a totalitarian one.

  70. Dave Springer says:

    Anthony,

    Please let GM continue posting at least until Wednesday. Methinks the angry young man will undergo metaphorical spontaneous human combustion when the California global warming bill and Nancy Pelosi are both put out to pasture on the same day. The spectacle will be most entertaining.

    REPLY: Yeah maybe you are right, people like him demonstrate just how seriously messed up the climate defenders are. OK We’ll let him post unfettered again, without the extra troll bin quarantine and examination. Of course he won’t admit to being wrong, or even admit that he called for jailing people. He’ll probably play the victim on some other blog saying “boohoo Watts banned me” when he isn’t banned, just given extra quarantine attention. People like him typically do that. In fact there’s a whole website dedicated to tracking such horrible dastardly deeds like this that I do. Gasp! Shock! Of course it’s run by another “anonymous coward”. Heh.

    Have it at GM, show your brilliance, write some commentary. – Anthony

  71. Bruce Cobb says:

    Lomborg says “let’s forget about subsidizing inefficient technologies or making fossil fuels too expensive to use. Instead, let’s fund the basic research that will make green energy too cheap and easy to resist.”
    That is the usual approach by Lefties; more government funding. And the “green energy too cheap and easy to resist” (which is nonsensical, but we know what he means) is just pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking. The entire concept of “green energy” is based on a lie, anyway. Any energy policy which is based on the fraudulent idea that we have to decrease our C02 emmissions is bound to be wrong. The emphasis has to be on energy which can be produced cheaply, and with relatively little real environmental cost.

  72. Dave Springer says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    “C02 is a control knob.”

    No, it isn’t.

  73. Smokey says:

    GM says:

    “AGW is an untested hypothesis, that’s correct.”

    That makes it a conjecture, no?

    As Karl Popper stated, testability is the specific criteria determining whether any hypothesis is scientific. If something is not testable it is simply an unscientific conjecture [an opinion]. A hypothesis is testable if it is falsifiable. If it is not testable it is not science.

    Therefore, anything that GM believes about “AGW” – including whether it exists – is an unscientific opinion. There is no testable evidence showing that human CO2 emissions have altered the planet’s climate. The only verifiable effect of the increase in CO2 is increased agricultural productivity. The planet’s current temperature range is unaffected, and is indistinguishable from past climate variability.

    The same criteria applies to any scientist trying to show the existence of AGW. They must demonstrate, though empirical, testable, verifiable measurements, that AGW exists. But they have all failed to show this. The IPCC presumes,
    a priori, that CO2 must be the cause of climate change, yet they have no more testable evidence of that conjecture than GM does. It is all hand-waving and opinion; it is certainly not science. That is why AGW promoters universally ignore the scientific method. In fact, the scientific method terrifies alarmists because it threatens their funding.

    The null hypothesis of the climate is natural variability, within past parameters. Since the planet’s climate is currently well within the same parameters that it has been in throughout the Holocene [it is actually much more benign now than during most of the Holocene], the climate null hypothesis – that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability – is testable, and remains unfalsified.

    In other words, natural variability explains 100% of what we observe. There is no need to add another entity such as CO2 to the explanation, because the increase in that beneficial trace gas makes no observable difference to the planet’s climate. It is an extraneous variable that has no measurable effect. The climate is well within its past parameters; nothing unusual is occurring.

    Occam’s Razor states that “one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.” A good example is the same mathematical conclusion reached by both Lorentz and Einstein: that objects gain mass as they approach the speed of light.

    But Lorentz believed the effect was due to changes in “the ether” – an extraneous entity that is unnecessary to explain the effect. Einstein, on the other hand, relied on Occam’s Razor – and rejected the ether as an explanation.

    Scientists no longer accept that Lorentz’ “ether” exists. But for a long time Lorentz had an extensive following. It was finally accepted that an “ether” is not necessary to explain relativity.

    Occam’s Razor applies to the presumed effect on the climate of the similarly extraneous entity CO2, which comprises a mere .00039 of the atmosphere. But there is no testable evidence showing that CO2 controls the climate. That is simply a conjecture. Climate models are built around the presumption that CO2 drives the climate. Modelers go through pretzel-like contortions trying to show that CO2 holds the climate reins. But after spending untold $billions, climate models are incapable of making accurate, repeatable, and validated predictions.

    The CO2=catastrophic AGW hypothesis is an unverifiable conjecture; a scientifically baseless opinion kept alive only through an enormous transfer of wealth. It is entirely outside of the scientific method, which is universally rejected by those promoting their agenda that CO2 is the primary cause of climate change.

    If the IPCC and its true believers had rigorously applied the scientific method and its corollary, Occam’s Razor to their methodology, the CO2=CAGW conjecture would have long since been relegated to the same pseudo-scientific trash heap along with Scientology, phrenology, astrology and other faith-based belief systems.

  74. BS Footprint says:

    Dang, forgot to close the blockquote in my comment above.
    Should have read:

    Anthony Watts said:
    REPLY: You know, if you firmly believe these people are committing crimes against humanity, and should be jailed, at least have the courage and decency to PUT YOUR NAME TO YOUR WORDS. In a court of law, the accused has the right to face the accuser.

    Ah, but you can see that courts of law won’t be necessary. The anointed, the believers, need do nothing more than make the accusation. It should be noted that courage on the part of the accuser isn’t required, either.

  75. Dave Springer says:

    CO2 is an engine block warmer not a control knob. The water cycle is the engine. CO2 just keeps it warm enough so the engine doesn’t get so cold you can’t start it. Once it’s started the engine keeps itself at the proper operating temperature. It’s all about the water cycle, Stevey. Write that down.

  76. John F. Hultquist says:

    LET’S STICK WITH A FAMILIAR EARTH!

    Folks make comments of this sort: . . . for a planet that is over 4.5 billion years old, 5, 25, nor 50 years are not significant lengths of time for evaluating natural variability.

    While I don’t disagree, in the context of Earth’s current warming/cooling trend I find this sort of reference to the full age of Earth to be irrelevant.
    That’s because the continents have only achieved their current shape and positions relatively recently when compared to deep-time. [For a discussion of deep time see here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time's_Arrow,_Time's_Cycle
    or search using the term.]

    The CAGW issues (CO2, polar extremes, arctic ice, ENSO, and so on) apply to our familiar Earth. In the sense of “deep time” our Earth today is only about 5 million years old, or less, or about 0.11 % of the total. While more distant past issues are interesting, I think they won’t teach us much about any current climatic changes. Read some of the following for background.

    View this popular set of maps: http://geology.com/pangea.htm

    Without getting into the argument of how it came to be, consider the Isthmus of Panama; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isthmus_of_Panama

    Before that land came to be there was a “Central American Seaway” between the now-Atlantic and the now-Pacific Oceans. See this site for an explanation, maps, and a discussion of why this is important:

    http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewArticle.do?id=2508

    Convergence of the of the Pacific, North American, and Caribbean tectonic plates was sufficiently well along by about 5 million years ago and the closure was likely in place about 3 million years ago.

    The title of the last linked-to paper is:

    How the Isthmus of Panama Put Ice in the Arctic:
    Drifting continents open and close gateways between oceans and shift Earth’s climate

    Here is a quote: “ The gradual shoaling of the Central American Seaway began to restrict the exchange of water between the Pacific and Atlantic, and their salinities diverged. . . . As a result of the Seaway closure, the Gulf Stream intensified. It transported more warm, salty water masses to high northern latitudes, where Arctic winds cooled them until they became dense enough to sink to the ocean floor.

    This is an informative report with nice graphics.

    Going back further introduces an even stranger Earth. During the late-Cretaceous Period a shallow sea carved North America into parts that changed shape as the area of the sea grew and regressed.
    See here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Interior_Seaway
    and here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretaceous

    The fossils of Iowa, near the center of those shallow seas, offer some insight as to how different Earth was in those ancient times:
    http://www.igsb.uiowa.edu/Browse/fossils/fossils.htm

    Maybe the current climate debate ought to be restricted to Earth of the fairly recent past, perhaps just the last 3 million years. Having 30 years or 3,000 years of records and historical accounts are still small fractions of the time for which our planet looked somewhat as it does today.

  77. John F. Hultquist says:

    Oops! My copy & paste missed this :

    John Whitman, Chips, others —

    I posted my previous comment awhile ago on Tips & Notes but your comments and a few of the others this week indicate it should get wider coverage:
    Ref: my comment at 1:22 pm

  78. John F. Hultquist says:

    Nuke says:
    October 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm
    If I bought insurance against being trampled by a herd of elephants while watering my lawn, would that be good risk management?

    That depends on where you live. For myself, I just wear a purple hat obtained at a garage sale for a quarter. It has never failed.

    It may be that living in Washington State east of the Cascade Crest has something to do with it.

  79. Kev-in-UK says:

    CO2 is no control knob! that is hyperbolic BS, in my humble opinion.
    If one wants to use a controlling analogy, at best CO2 would be one of many ‘control knobs’ – all of which will and do (even with our current limted knowledge) undertake multiple effects. perhaps the climate could be considered a little like the Enigma machine – the climate will spew out various responses depending on a the selection of cogs (and there are a LOT of cogs!) ?
    Referring to CO2 as a control knob is extremely simplistic and misrepresenting, especially when mentioned is isolation!

    re the mention of ‘decades’ before CO2 effects are felt – perhaps Mr Mosher would like to elaborate on this theory as clearly we have been pumping CO2 out for at least several decades at significant rate – where is the warming? what is the natural background warming? etc,etc.
    And with respect to an oil tanker – I suspect Mr Mosher has never operated a motor craft. As anyone who has will know full well – it is virtually impossible to stop a boat dead in the water on cue, simply using forward and reverse thrust. To much reverse thrust and the boat backs up – too much forward and you crash into the jetty and much fine tweaking and adjustment is required to get it ‘just right’. Now, in the context of the supertanker – and the analogy to the climate – the inertia of forward (or reverse) motion is simply massive – the only trouble is, that with a tanker we have only one source of power (the engine) and few sources of extrenal influence (maybe a bit of wind or tide) – in the climate stakes there are many many other much larger and largely unknown influences. Any of these influences could and most likely would ‘overcome’ any influence from our single ‘control’ factor (CO2)! In the sense of the ‘supertanker’ our CO2 reduction and control would be like strapping an electric outboard on the back!
    Whether we like it or not – Nature (and the earths biosphere/ecosphere/atmosphere and any other flipping sphere) is far far bigger and more intimately integrated than we could ever hope to understand with current knowledge!

  80. BS Footprint says:

    Curiousgeorge says:
    October 30, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Momentum counts when pushing a pov or agenda. In the past year the AGW agenda has lost a great deal of that particularly valuable commodity, and judging from the activity in the political and financial sectors, is unlikely to regain it. I expect that if the political expectations for Nov 2 come to pass, that the fall out in the green industries will be spectacularly bad. I may have to crack open that bottle of champagne I’ve been saving. :)

    An excellent way to release more trapped CO2 into the atmosphere! Bravo!

  81. Dave Springer says:

    @Mosher

    A cloud can reduce surface insolation by hundreds of watts in the column it covers. A doubling of CO2 can increase surface insolation by ten watts in the column it covers. A fractional change in average cloud cover of just 2% more or 2% less has the same effect as doubling or halving CO2. Simple experimental physics tells us that when you turn up the heat over a body of water that evaporation will increase. Evaporation carries heat away from the surface and deposits it high in the air away from where we live and breathe and in the process forms a cloud which reflects about 90% of the source of the heat straight back out into outer space. The water cycle is thus a self-governing heat engine which maintains a set operating temperature. Adding more CO2 when the water cycle is active does nothing as it just revs up the water cycle heat engine.

    In case of freezing cold shutting down the heat engine CO2 becomes critical in not letting the average surface temperature of the planet plunge to hundreds of degrees below zero as all the ice and snow reflects 90% of the sun’s energy.

    Evidently 280ppm CO2 isn’t enough to stop the earth from periodically entering an ice age and the Holocene interglacial is overdue for an ending. A reasonable person might wish to avoid the coming ice age for the sake of his descendents. Since we know from the indisputable evidence of the geologic column that life on earth blossoms green from pole to pole with ten times the atmospheric CO2 we have today we know at least two things: there is no such thing as a runaway greenhouse effect from CO2 (no positive feedback) and that a warmer world with high CO2 concentration is a greener world. We also know from the indisputable evidence of the geologic column that these warm high CO2 epics persisted unabated for tens and hundreds of millions of years with periodic catastrophic events (asteroid impacts, super volcanoes, and factors unknown) shutting down the water cycle and plunging the earth into an ice age.

    We’re in an ice age now that has persisted for several million years. The Holocene interglacial is like any of many other temporary respites from glaciers two miles thick covering everything north of Georgia. We also know that the Holocene is statistically old.

    What this means Steve is the climate is perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking a freezing icy abyss with a wind at its back forcing it closer and closer to going over the edge.

    The level of ignorance and/or stupidity it takes to advocate actions that will bring the end of the Holocene closer than it already is almost unfathomable in its depth.

    “The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.” ~Harlan Elison (confirmed by Steven Mosher)

  82. BS Footprint says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    The other complication here is the cost of turning the knob. Turning the C02 knob down has immediate costs. Draconian costs. Costs that spread to every aspect of life. Costs that will change life dramatically. That is why C02 cannot be controlled by any rational democratic political process. People won’t stand for it. The short term costs to turn the knob down are high. The short term benefits ? hardly any. The only benefit, if there is one, lies decades off. Will increasing C02 cause long term warming? Our best science says yes. Will decreasing C02 have no short term effects and massive short term costs? Our best science says yes. That means, of course, that the only political system that could impose and maintain such controls is a totalitarian one.

    Hm… this might offer some insight into the increasingly harsh tone of the debate of late.

    Perhaps the need for a totalitarian system of enforcement see by some as a necessary evil, the ‘breaking of a few eggs’ in order to serve up the we-saved-the-earth-from-man-made-catastrophe omelet? That would quiet dissent, wouldn’t it?

    /paranoia_off :D

  83. Steve B says:

    GM doesn’t seem to know anything about Risk Management or Insurance.

    Insurance companies charge a premium on a statistically known risk. e.g. 1 in 200 homes are destroyed and maybe 1 in 50 partly damaged then a premium is calcualted. Car insurance is far more expensive then home insurance since car accidents and theft is far more common.

    What is the risk with “supposed” climate change? Unknown since there are no fixed statistics. We have to take someones word that there will be a disaster. Maybe warming is good for the planet and we should be helping it along. GM lives in a world devoid of reality and we all know where people devoid of reality end up.

  84. rational debate says:

    re: Anthony Watts says: October 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Hi Anthony,
    For whatever its worth, I appreciate you giving GM (or anyone) clear reasonable options to get out of the troll bin as you have here, and that one of those options includes not having to provide their real name. All sorts of reasons for some to not want their name on blog posts – some of which are quite reasonable, some because they are just trolls. Anyhow, please don’t get me wrong – I have a high volume site (not climate related) and totally understand the necessity for setting some limits – but also abhor the sort of censorship that occurs at sites like realclimate. I’d just hate to see anyone have ammunition to make that sort of claim against WUWT.

    As a result, I REALLY appreciate that it seems whenever you folks do find it necessary to snip a post or ‘troll bin’ someone, its virtually always after they’ve had public warning including the ‘why’, and the posts leading up to the situation along with the moderator comments are left intact in the thread. Your “get out of jail free” card here with options to be reinstated is the icing on the cake.

    Thank you so much to all of your moderators, anyone who might be behind the scenes helping out, and, of course, to YOU Anthony! You, your efforts, and your open professionalism towards all is very much appreciated!!!

  85. John F. Hultquist says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm
    . . . response is decades in the future.

    Science fiction authors often write stories that cover long time frames. See, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_series

    Humor is best dealt with in the present.

    Write a story about, say when New York City’s biggest problem was the infrastructure, feeding of, congestion, and waste products of the horses used in the city. Perhaps a totalitarian mayor decrees that all the horses have to be replaced by donkeys for one year, then by goats for one year, and the trained cats that catch rats and mice in their spare time. After two years of cats even they have to be replaced by an as yet unknown vehicle that doesn’t produce fertilizer.

    Funny stuff.

  86. John Whitman says:

    John F. Hultquist says:
    October 30, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Ref: my comment at 1:22 pm

    ———————–

    John F. Hultquist,

    I can understand your view that with the arrangements of the earth land masses and the oceans can have significant effects on the heat transport processes of the Total Earth System. Thus ancient earth probably has different behavior in that regard compared to modern “familiar” earth.

    However, the CO2 effect on the atmospheric temp, as it is stated by the ‘settled/consensus science’ does not depend on those processes. So, comparing ancient earth and familiar earth regarding atmospheric CO2 levels is pertinent. Did the earth and life catastrophically end by CO2 in the ancient earth?

    If the CO2 effect on the atmospheric temp does vary with changes in the Total Earth System heat transport processes due to physical layout of land mass and oceans . . . . then we have a new topic, n’est pas?

    John

  87. Dave Andrews says:

    Seems to me Lomborg is being fairly consistent in his approach. He has always said he accepts that AGW exists but argued in his earlier books that there were other problems that merited attention and resources first. But this was always grounded in the belief that attending to these problems would be a more effective way of dealing with climate change in the long run.

    The latest book continues in the same vein ie, finding a better response to global warming and better economic approaches.

    Over the years Lomborg has been denigrated by AGWers/environmentalists for his approach. It is a shame that Soon et al can’t seem to see beyond the recent headlines about ‘Smart Solutions’

  88. David Socrates says:

    The excellent response from Willie Soon, Robert Carter and David Legates correctly and in a timely manner addresses a matter that Bjørn Lomborg decided some years ago to duck – the uniquely scientific question of whether or not man-made CO2 emissions cause significant global warming.

    However they do not address the main point of his article and nor do the blog responses here. So let me try.

    Lomborg makes the beguilingly straightforward suggestion that instead of introducing draconian legislation to cut carbon emissions, thereby crippling world economies, governments around the world should simply invest all their financial muscle in making green energy cheaper than fossil fuels – so that it becomes the preferred market option without any need for disruptive coercion. He uses the analogy that no government attempted to ban typewriters in order to encourage the development of efficient personal computers. As an example of what could be done, he suggests that we should be investing in increasing the efficiency of solar cells tenfold (yes, really!) – the factor of improvement required to make them competitive with fossil fuels.

    There are some very straightforward answers to Lomborg’s suggestion:

    First of all, government investment did not result in the development of the personal computer, thus rendering typewriters obsolete. On the contrary, the personal computer came about because of several innovative technology developments, including in particular the integrated circuit chip, and was driven almost entirely by a combination of market demand and private investment (think Intel, think Microsoft).

    Secondly, and more profoundly, the experience of the last half century, not only in Soviet Russia but in the Western democracies as well, shows that throwing taxpayers money at previously unsolved problems rarely achieves results. (If you are British or French, think Concorde.)

    Thirdly, and most profoundly of all, how has Lomborg the consummate statistician managed to miss all the work done, and capital invested, attempting to improve the efficiency of various forms of ‘sustainable’ energy over the past 20 to 30 years – so far with self-evidently lamentable results? Even wind power, a mature technology that comes nearest to competing with fossil fuels, is still a factor of 2 or 3 more expensive and only survives on massive worldwide government subsidies. (Oh and the wind doesn’t always blow when it’s most needed nor ever will.)

    My analysis is that Lomborg’s intellectual approach of avoiding confrontation over the scientific issue of CO2 in order to concentrate (generally very persuasively) on economic arguments is now becoming dangerously counterproductive. It plays straight into the hands of environmental extremists who, in the absence of any agreed way forward (no agreed science, no cost-efficient alternative technologies), can always press for governments to adopt coercive action anyway, citing their vacuous “precautionary principle”.

    Surely it’s far better to be intellectually honest as Soon, Carter and Legates have been all these years and, following the fiascos of Climategate and Copenhagen, confront head on this scientific non-problem for once and for all.

  89. rational debate says:

    re: Stop Global Dumbing Now says: October 30, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Hi SGDN,

    I’m not familiar with CO2 incubators for growing cell cultures (fascinating!). What CO2 level seems to be optimal or is typically used in them?

    To all re the FDA analogy – while I like it, I’m afraid that what ‘true believers’ will counter with is the example of smoking and cancer. We’ve got such a strong correlation even with confounding factors accounted for that its virtually certain at least some large segment of the population will get cancer if they smoke long enough. We don’t have, unfortunately, actual causality although we’re getting there – its just too complex a system. Heck, we don’t really even know exactly how aspirin works, last I knew. We know what it does, we’ve learned a lot in that regard, but the exact mechanism for each and every beneficial or harmful effect it has? Don’t think we’re there yet, although I may be out of date.

    For ‘true believers’ to try to pull on smoking, however, would be a poor analogy, because with ‘climate science’ the confounding factors (various natural systems) haven’t even begun to really be accounted for and removed from the equation. Unfortunately, trying to get into those sorts of aspects and details/complexities will likely just get tuned out, because its not nearly so attractive to the general public as the ‘simple’ initial analogy. Unfortunately I suspect that the smoking/cancer link is so well known and ubiquitous that far too many would fall for it, more so than the far better FDA drug analogy.

  90. Dave Springer says:

    @Anthony

    “Yeah maybe you are right, people like him demonstrate just how seriously messed up the climate defenders are. OK We’ll let him post unfettered again, without the extra troll bin quarantine and examination. Of course he won’t admit to being wrong, or even admit that he called for jailing people. He’ll probably play the victim on some other blog saying “boohoo Watts banned me” when he isn’t banned, just given extra quarantine attention. People like him typically do that. In fact there’s a whole website dedicated to tracking such horrible dastardly deeds like this that I do. Gasp! Shock! Of course it’s run by another “anonymous coward”. Heh.”

    That’s exactly right. There was a website dedicated to me as well during the years I was running a very popular intelligent design blog. But I was guilty as charged which doesn’t seem to be the case in your case. If the commentary was dominated by GM and anonymous ignorant CAGW cheerleaders like him you’d have no choice about weilding the bannination stick and you’d be trying to figure out ways to keep the members of the banned from returning with a different ID. Count your blessings. I remain astounded that the troll problem here is so small with so few measures to keep it under control.

  91. rational debate says:

    re: Nuke says: October 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    If I bought insurance against being trampled by a herd of elephants while watering my lawn, would that be good risk management?

    Maybe. If you lived in the bush in certain parts of Africa or India. :0)

    iirc, basic risk management (and all insurance) always includes a cost/benefit analysis that factors in the probability of the occurrence. For example, if one has an older car, its very rarely worth purchasing collision insurance – even aside from the monthly cost, the deductible alone can easily be more than the cost of replacing the car, even when its a good looking & running vehicle with a lot of years left in it.

    Besides which, if one tries to claim that ‘risk management’ means we have to ‘do something’ about the chance of global warming, then one would have to also advocate, just as strongly that we ‘do something’ just as much against the possibility of global cooling – and even the next ice age, which could easily start any minute.

  92. rational debate says:

    re:

    Stephen Brown says: October 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    There’s a very interesting post over at James Delingpole’s blog which contains some graphics which put the question of CO2 into a more easily understood perspective.

    Apologies for going off topic here – but along the lines of things being put into perspective…. I really hope someone can help with a link to a ‘put it in perspective’ article I ran across a little while back. It was a good article that put the supposed ice loss of the Antarctic (maybe Greenland too, not sure) into perspective along the lines of the article Steven’s linked to… Unfortunately I don’t recall the details, but it used some of the descriptions of the annual ice melt that are ‘scary’ (i.e., ‘more than the amount of water over Niagara falls each year, more than half the water in the Mississippi, etc.). Then it put things into perspective by using a number of examples of ways to describe the total ice volume involved and things along those lines. I think it even put the total ice volume into the same terms as the ‘scary huge amounts lost to melting’ versions to make the point.

    Anyhow, I thought I’d bookmarked it (maybe on another computer)…. if anyone could provide a link to good articles along these lines, I’d be most grateful.

  93. rational debate says:

    re:

    Stephen Brown says:
    October 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm
    …..spending tax-payer’s money at the rate of £18 BILLION….

    Becomes even more interesting (horrifying actually) when numbers like that are put into how many people could be treated for malaria for that amount, or starving people given food, etc. Not saying that I’m advocating that Britain ought to be supporting other countries that way, but those sorts of comparisons really seems to get the idea across of just what some of these incomprehensible numbers really mean…

  94. John Whitman says:

    Based on the somewhat diametrical views shown below, maybe we can get a debate going within this post. One with Steve Mosher and Bjorn Lomborg versus Willie Soon, Robert Carter and David Legates.

    Willie Soon, Robert Carter and David Legates in their in Investors Business Daily editorial says:

    Most certain of all, atmospheric carbon dioxide is not the “climate control knob” that anti-hydrocarbon alarmists assert, and it is irresponsible for Lomborg to claim his socio-political agenda will provide a low-cost solution for the global warming “problem.”

    ——————–

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    C02 is a control knob. However, it operates with a long time lag with respect to temperature response . . . [edit] . . .

    John

  95. Curiousgeorge says:

    This just in: GAO jumps into the GeoEngineering arena: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-903

    Summary

    Policymakers have raised questions about geoengineering–large-scale deliberate interventions in the earth’s climate system to diminish climate change or its impacts–and its role in a broader strategy of mitigating and adapting to climate change. Most geoengineering proposals fall into two categories: carbon dioxide removal (CDR), which would remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, and solar radiation management (SRM), which would offset temperature increases by reflecting sunlight back into space. GAO was asked to examine (1) the state of geoengineering science, (2) federal involvement in geoengineering, and (3) the views of experts and federal officials about the extent to which federal laws and international agreements apply to geoengineering, and any governance challenges. GAO examined relevant scientific and policy studies, relevant domestic laws and international agreements, analyzed agency data describing relevant research for fiscal years 2009 and 2010, and interviewed federal officials and selected recognized experts in the field.

  96. jev2000 says:

    GM said :News flash – if you were so concerned about plant growth, you should advocate for humans starting a massive program for decreasing the oxygen content in the atmosphere. Because oxygen happens to be a poison for plants and they would grow so much better without it screwing up 1/3 to a half of their photosynthesis efforts.

    Plants, like most living things, need O2 to live. They produce O2 as a by-product of the photosynthetic pathway while there is light falling on their photosynthetic cells. During this time, they take in CO2, make sugars, and release O2. Do not construe that to mean that they do not need O2 or that it is any more poisonous to them than it is to us. Plants take in O2 to fuel respiration and cell function, without O2, they die, just like we do.

  97. John Whitman says:

    REPLY: Yeah maybe you are right, people like him demonstrate just how seriously messed up the climate defenders are. OK We’ll let him post unfettered again, without the extra troll bin quarantine and examination. Of course he won’t admit to being wrong, or even admit that he called for jailing people. He’ll probably play the victim on some other blog saying “boohoo Watts banned me” when he isn’t banned, just given extra quarantine attention. People like him typically do that . . . [edit] . . . Anthony

    ——————–

    Anthony,

    The house you have built here is a fine place. A brew ha ha here or there with individual commenters who have demanding attitudes makes it a normal house. We can all learn much from watching those. Thank you.

    I find you are tolerant to a fault. This is a nice human place. Keep on please.

    John

  98. rational debate says:

    re: Steven Mosher says: October 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Steven, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that all you’ve said is correct. That the IPCC and AGW advocates are right about temperatures continuing to increase because of CO2.

    Hasn’t the Earth already warmed roughly the same amount that it’s predicted to warm within this century? Where is the castostrophy that would have warrented radical upheaval of our society, lifestyle, standards of living? Where is all of the biological damage from that increase?

    Taking it a step further – iirc, the temperature increases from about 1700 to 1800, long before man was emitting any significant amount of CO2, was about half of the temp increases we’ve seen so far – and the rate of increase roughly the same as the temp increases for the past century. What accounts for the pre-AGW from 1700 to 1800?

    Also, wasn’t the rate of temp increase rate, and approx magnitude from about 1900 to 1940 (also pre-significant-AGW emissions) about the same as the temp increases from about 1970 thru the 1990’s? What accounts for the pre-AGW increase, and if AGW is ‘the control knob’ why are the later temp increase not significantly larger/faster – and, of course, what caused those pre-AGW emission increases?

  99. rational debate says:

    re: Smokey says: October 30, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Well said!!

    Falsifiability is a HUGE issue for me wrt AGW ‘science’ and claims also.

    Falsifiability, and how it seems that each time a key tenet of the original AGW hypothesis is falsified, they simply discount it and move the goal posts, with the claims remaining the same.

  100. John F. Hultquist says:

    John Whitman says:
    October 30, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    I agree with you on the CO2 issue. It is when someone points to plant and animal artifacts from millions of years ago in the now-Arctic and suggest this shows it was warmer before, and so on, that I object. (That was on the biological productivity of the tundra post and elsewhere in previous weeks and months.) The issue is complicated enough without introducing facts that, while true, are unrelated.

    I do wonder, however, if very high levels of CO2 were possible with an old physical layout but are not now possible. Perhaps, human inputs are keeping Earth’s trace gas levels from drifting lower as a result of our current configuration. As someone wrote recently, most of the carbon is in carbonates not hydrocarbons.

  101. Mr Lynn says:

    Errata Dept.: Writes Anthony to GM: “Yeah right, lock up-jailed no similarity….since you have no honor, we’ll take the same tact with you then. Troll bin for you. . .”

    Should be ‘tack’, not ‘tact’. A typo, I assume. But a bit of a pun, since GM is clearly bereft of any ‘tact’ whatsoever.

    /Mr Lynn

  102. Mr Lynn says:

    Dave Springer says:
    October 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm
    @Mosher
    A cloud can reduce surface insolation by hundreds of watts in the column it covers. A doubling of CO2 can increase surface insolation by ten watts in the column it covers. A fractional change in average cloud cover of just 2% more or 2% less has the same effect as doubling or halving CO2. Simple experimental physics tells us that when you turn up the heat over a body of water that evaporation will increase. Evaporation carries heat away from the surface and deposits it high in the air away from where we live and breathe and in the process forms a cloud which reflects about 90% of the source of the heat straight back out into outer space. The water cycle is thus a self-governing heat engine which maintains a set operating temperature. Adding more CO2 when the water cycle is active does nothing as it just revs up the water cycle heat engine. . .

    A brilliant observation, assuming your numbers are correct, one which ties in very nicely with Willis Eschenbach’s thunderstorm-cooling hypothesis, too. Ought to be put on a poster on every academic and governmental bulletin board.

    The level of ignorance and/or stupidity it takes to advocate actions that will bring the end of the Holocene closer than it already is almost unfathomable in its depth.

    Indeed. However, it is unfortunately neither ignorance nor stupidity, but cupidity and malevolence on the part of the enviro-ideologues.

    Excellent post.

    /Mr Lynn

  103. Doug says:

    Smokey says: October 30, 2010 at 1:12 pm:

    “The CO2=catastrophic AGW hypothesis is an unverifiable conjecture; a scientifically baseless opinion kept alive only through an enormous transfer of wealth. It is entirely outside of the scientific method, which is universally rejected by those promoting their agenda that CO2 is the primary cause of climate change.

    “If the IPCC and its true believers had rigorously applied the scientific method and its corollary, Occam’s Razor to their methodology, the CO2=CAGW conjecture would have long since been relegated to the same pseudo-scientific trash heap along with Scientology, phrenology, astrology and other faith-based belief systems.”

    —————————————————————————————Smokey Thanks.
    Your whole post (above) and ending with these 2 paragraphs neatly sums up and clarifies this whole AGM nonsense. If, where it has taken the world so far, were not so tragic and damaging, it would be laughable but the world seems to be locked into this – rushing lemming like for the precipice.

    Doug

  104. Richard says:

    rational debate says:
    October 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    re: Stop Global Dumbing Now says: October 30, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Hi SGDN,

    I’m not familiar with CO2 incubators for growing cell cultures (fascinating!). What CO2 level seems to be optimal or is typically used in them?

    I am not familiar with tissue culture requirements, but in microbiology an increase in CO2 tension is generally used to enhance growth of aerobic bacteria. The CO2 tension is most easily increased by placing the culture plates in a vessel, putting a burning candle into the vessel and sealing it. The candle will continue burning until the O2 level will no longer sustain combustion whilst increasing CO2. This would suggest to me that the CO2 concentration would be around 10% (and the O2 would be reduced to 5%). These conditions make the culture of many bacteria considered to be strict aerophiles, such as N. meningititis B. pertussis or H. influenzae possible. Please note, these bacteria all require special media to be successfully isolated.

  105. Tenuc says:

    Interesting article . I would be surprised if in 50y time, the late 20th century will be renamed the modern era warm period (MEWP), and be cited as a time when the world prospered with ample food and a thriving biosphere.

    I also expect the current cabal of IPCC climate scientists will be derided for spending trillions without spotting the impending climate cooling. They will be seen as having been fooled by the deterministic chaos which drives our quasi-cyclic climate.

  106. JER0ME says:

    GM says:
    October 30, 2010 at 10:21 am

    The problem is that because collectively we are even dumber than the village idiots they are, we listen to what they say and base our lives around it. Which is what allows their actions to rise to the level of crimes against humanity.

    But fortunately we are not that dumb, so can avoid basing our lives around the meaningless sqwakings of AGW fear-mongerers. Such tripe as:

    News flash – if you were so concerned about plant growth, you should advocate for humans starting a massive program for decreasing the oxygen content in the atmosphere. Because oxygen happens to be a poison for plants and they would grow so much better without it screwing up 1/3 to a half of their photosynthesis efforts.

    Elementary botany would teach you that plants respire just as animals do in order to turn the carbohydrates built from CO2 into energy (just as animals do).

    Elementary rick [sic] management tells us that we should try to avoid climate change at all costs – the same people who whine about the uncertainty in climate science buy insurance policies against events that happen with probabilities of less than a percent.

    Well, elementary mathematics (on which insurance policies are built) will tell you it is extreme folly to spend $101 on insurance to mitigate a loss of value $100. The AGW scare is proposing much, much more wasteful ‘risk management’ than that.

    I won’t even comment on the fact what is revealed about the intellect of the author by his inability to understand that the problem with CO2 is that by a long, unfortunately much longer than the ability to grasp such things that the average ignoramuses let loose on the pages of this blog possesses, it will end up harming plant growth in large areas of the globe by decreasing the water supply to plants….

    I wont even comment on the poor structure of that … well, I hesitate to grace it with the description ‘sentence’. I’ll merely ask for some evidence (not models, you know, real evidence) of this fantasy.

    Oh, well, binned like the troll you are, so I don’t expect a reply, don’t worry.

  107. DesertYote says:

    GM
    October 30, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Thank you so much for your posts. They say that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. That is especially of claims that go against preconceptions. This blog is frequented by a rather skeptical community. Some of my claims are rather extraordinary and are often resisted. I need extraordinary evidence so I really appreciate you posting here and providing it.

  108. Paul Vaughan says:

    “The central issue is not whether rising CO2 levels will cause a warmer planet. The fundamental concern is whether globally warmer temperatures are factually worse (or better) for human societies — and more (or less) damaging to the environment — than colder temperatures (like those experienced during the ice ages and Little Ice Age).”

    Disagree as follows:

    The fundamental question is:
    Do we sufficiently understand natural terrestrial oscillations?

    (Perhaps the fundamental concern varies by individual.)

    Answer:
    No, clearly & simply.

  109. Rob R says:

    Steven Mosher

    Re “Totalitarian Government”

    And hence the desire of the AGW alarmists to move towards a global all-controlling Government.

  110. rational debate says:

    Richard says October 30, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I am not familiar with tissue culture requirements, but in microbiology an increase in CO2 tension is generally used to enhance growth of aerobic bacteria. …-snip-…This would suggest to me that the CO2 concentration would be around 10% (and the O2 would be reduced to 5%). These conditions make the culture of many bacteria considered to be strict aerophiles, such as N. meningititis B. pertussis or H. influenzae possible. Please note, these bacteria all require special media to be successfully isolated.

    Thank you Richard. I had no idea, and on the face it would seem counter-intuitive. Perhaps these conditions better approximates the surface in the host that has to be initially penetrated in order to infect, when considering mucus/fluid layers or something along those lines? Fascinating regardless!

  111. Louis Hissink says:

    CO2 is the control knob? Well I suppose if some bacteria in a petri dish were warmed up and experienced a sudden increase in numbers from that rising temperature, then the CO2 the bacteria emitted could be interpreted as having caused the rise in tempeature in the first place according to some.

    Myself, I prefer not to invert causality and instead conclude that the increased CO2 was due to a proliferation of life in the petri dish when subjected to a temperature rise.

    It seems inverting causality is part and parcel of post-normal science, but under no circumstances should it be dismissed as an “un-intended consequence”.

  112. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    rational debate says:
    October 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    “re: Stop Global Dumbing Now says: October 30, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Hi SGDN,

    I’m not familiar with CO2 incubators for growing cell cultures (fascinating!). What CO2 level seems to be optimal or is typically used in them?”

    Hi rational debate,
    CO2 incubators typically hold the CO2 at 5% (compared to .04% in the atmosphere according to Wiki) the relative humidity at 95% and the temperature at around 37 deg. C. My karyotyping cultures looked so much better when I used one, but they are expensive (controlling CO2 is) so I have to do without.

  113. Visitor From Venus says:

    And I quote;

    “Stephen Brown says:
    October 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm
    “There’s a very interesting post over at James Delingpole’s blog which contains some graphics which put the question of CO2 into a more easily understood perspective.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100060540/happy-climate-fools-day/

    So, who can spot the error in this argument?

  114. David Socrates says:

    Re. Steven Mosher says: October 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm
    “C02 is a control knob…”

    Steven,

    You say “C02 is a control knob…” etc.

    As far as I can see, your argument for action is that man-induced CO2 warming effects are real but that the reason we haven’t see them yet in the temperature record is because they won’t be coming along for decades, and that, because people are reluctant to pay the huge short term costs of mitigating CO2 emissions (and clearly in your view being too stupid or greedy to accept the reality of the adverse long term outcome), the only way to save the world from global warming disaster is to abolish democracy and sort it all out by totalitarian fiat.

    I think you have very little appreciation of the uncertainties involved in climate change predictions and theories. Nor do you appear to understand any of the details of the scientific arguments either for or against the man-made CO2 warming theory. I rather suspect that you are simply a “true believer” and nothing rational will shake you out of it.

    Nevertheless just before you think about abandoning democracy, there is just one experimental fact I think you should check out for yourself. The world annual average instrumental temperature record for the last 160 years is available online from the Hadley Centre website. Download the data, plot it out yourself using Excel and get Excel to superimpose the linear regression line and display the line’s equation. Much to your surprise, no doubt, this equation will have a distinctly un-alarming positive slope of 0.41degC per century.

    You will see that superimposed on this linear trend are cyclic ups and downs of approximately 70 year periodicity. From 1964 to 1998 we were on the upward 35 year swing of the latest cycle and the temperature rise was 0.83degC. That’s equivalent to a rise of about 2.4degC per century, quite close to the 3degC per century that alarmists had been predicting from theory, but quite atypical compared with the 160 year temperature trend of 0.41degC. Perhaps that dramatic and temporary upswing (now reversed since 1998 as we enter the 30 year downward part of the cycle) explains the irrational hysteria that has arisen over the past few years.

    In the light of this empirical data, I suggest that a sensible democratic approach would be to monitor the Hadley figures year by year until there is at least some sign of a significant upturn. And not take any precipitate action unless and until justified by the evidence.

  115. George Steiner says:

    There are two common forms of controls in process control. Feedback control and feed-forward control.

    In feedback control you have a value in mind you would like the measurement to reach. You keep comparing the actual value with the one you want to reach and make changes in what affects the actual value according to some algorithm. Then you keep doing it again and again till the actual value is equal to the desired value. This works quite well with processes that respond to change reasonably quickly.

    In feed-forward control, you keep affecting the actual value according to some model of how the what you are controlling behaves, because the process you are controlling responds very slowly.

    The climate is not suited to feedback control it is too slow to respond. To use feed forward control you have to have some model of the process.

    Even if we thought that controlling the climate was a good idea, we could not because we don’t have a model for feed forward control and feedback is useless.

  116. Edward Bancroft says:

    Lomberg covers the reference material very well and in his view there is CO2 induced GW, but not by much. He also makes the case for believing that some increase in global temperatures is beneficial, including the statistics that cold spells cause more premature deaths than heat waves. Therefore the greatest threat is that we should revert to a Little Ice Age climate.

    Much of the material crosses over with the sceptic tracts from authors like Plimer. If anything, Lomberg should be congratulated on creating an accessible well written text spanning a huge sweep of the middle ground.

    What seems to have upset the AGW supporters is that to them, there is only 100% acceptance of the AGW line. Anyone who says that they accept it, but then goes on to offer a practical alternative to the blanket CO2 bans, the huge tax penalties, and the big but useless gestures such as windmills, is seen as undercutting their whole cause. For them, AGW is not about finding a workable result, it is all about being seen to be the sole holders of the right to save the earth, to occupy the sunlit uplands of the environmentally righteous, and to launch massive eye-catching compulsorily funded campaigns.

  117. Christopher Hanley says:

    “…..AGW is an untested hypothesis, that’s correct. The problem is that it will be tested only once and when this happens it will be too late to do anything about it…” GM (1:12 pm).

    According to the IPCC (with labyrinthine logic), over 50% of the global mean temperature rise since c. 1950 has over 90% likely been due to human GHGs (CO2 mainly) — which is a neat way of avoiding having to address the off again (25 year), on again (20 year), off again (15 year) pattern of the warming supposedly in response to a monotonic rise in CO2 — the CO2 which is supposed to overwhelm all other factors.

    During that 60 years, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have risen from about 310 ppm to 390 ppm.

    AGW is not an untested hypothesis, I’m testing it now and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

    I reckon they’ve had long enough, every good thing must come to an end.
    I’ll be generous though, as their employers let’s give them one more year.
    If by then the temperature anomaly doesn’t look more like IPCC predictions, sorry “projections”..http://paulmacrae.com/links/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/ipcc-vs-real-temps-from-syun.png… and catastrophe does not look in prospect then that’s it, enough is enough — time to deal with the sackings.

    Let the ‘GM’s of this world be warned, it might be best now to look for an alternative field of endeavor.
    I won’t speculate on the success of possible future criminal or civil prosecutions for fraud, misappropriation of public funds, libel and slander etc. etc.

  118. rational debate says:

    re:

    Stop Global Dumbing Now says: October 30, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Hi rational debate,
    CO2 incubators typically hold the CO2 at 5% (compared to .04% in the atmosphere according to Wiki) the relative humidity at 95% and the temperature at around 37 deg. C. My karyotyping cultures looked so much better when I used one, but they are expensive (controlling CO2 is) so I have to do without.

    Thank you!! I wonder why that environment is so much more favorable for them? There’s got to be either an evolutionary advantage or holdover of some sort…is the reason known or being speculated or is it one of those things they just don’t have a clue about yet? Regardless, sorry you’re having to do without one. I hope you’re able to get one again soon.

  119. Douglas Field says:

    David Socrates says: October 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm Re. Steven Mosher says: October 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm
    “C02 is a control knob…”

    The world annual average instrumental temperature record for the last 160 years is available online from the Hadley Centre website. Download the data, plot it out yourself ….this equation will have a distinctly un-alarming positive slope of 0.41degC per century.
    You will see that superimposed on this linear trend are cyclic ups and downs of approximately 70 year periodicity…… Perhaps that dramatic and temporary upswing (now reversed since 1998 as we enter the 30 year downward part of the cycle) explains the irrational hysteria that has arisen over the past few years.
    In the light of this empirical data, I suggest that a sensible democratic approach would be to monitor the Hadley figures year by year until there is at least some sign of a significant upturn. And not take any precipitate action unless and until justified by the evidence.
    ————————————————————————————
    David Socrates agreed. But even so, there is no evidence so far as I can determine, that carbon di-oxide is the cause of this cyclical swing in global temperature. The Hadley Centre (or others) would not only need to show a substantial increase in global temperature but also show evidence of the cause before attempting any precipitate action.
    Douglas

  120. Roger Carr says:

    kwinterkorn says: (October 30, 2010 at 11:42 am) … Of course, you know that O2 as well as CO2 is essential for plant physiology. …

    A much appreciated comment (in it entirety), kwinterkom; thank you.

    p.s. This whole topic, from original essay on, is WUWT at its best.

  121. Roger Carr says:

    David Socrates says: (October 30, 2010 at 2:06 pm) …shows that throwing taxpayers money at previously unsolved problems rarely achieves results. (If you are British or French, think Concorde.)

    This is the second time in the past three days I have seen the Concorde dissed, David (the other was on Bishop Hill). To me, this is a bad example to use for your argument. That critter flew for nearly thirty years with (to my knowledge) a single prang; so even if it failed to reach an original goal it was still an exceptional achievement (even my Chevy Impala was tiring as it neared 30).

    First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years.

  122. David Socrates says:

    In reply to my comment about throwing taxpayers money at unsolved problems (October 30, 2010 at 2:06 pm), Roger Carr (October 31, 2010 at 12:25 am) romantizes about the white elephant that was Concorde, saying that it “flew for nearly thirty years … so even if it failed to reach an original goal it was still an exceptional achievement.”

    In my view that hardly justifies a taxpayer-funded and wholly written off capital investment of 1.154 billion pounds (2.080 billion dollars) at 1976 prices. At today’s prices this is equivalent to spending 9.710 billion pounds or 15.573 billion dollars.

    Also, over the 27 years that Concorde was in service it failed to make an overall operating profit.

    I realise that these numbers might seem peanuts compared with the estimated $100billion spent on climate change research (also with no obvious commensurate outcome for the taxpayer) but back in the late 1960s at a time when the UK was in economic crisis and political turmoil, spending so much taxpayers money on a government airplane was a positively obscene government confidence trick on the British taxpayer – just as the worldwide expenditure on climate science is a similar obscenity today.

  123. Nothing further from GM since beiing allowed out of the troll bin!
    either he/she/it couldn’t satisfy the criteria, or has gone running off with tail firmly between legs. No moral fibre I guess.

  124. kwik says:

    David Socrates says:
    October 31, 2010 at 3:00 am

    David, you are correct on that. Socialists never seems to get the fact that government intrution allways create a disturbance in the marked.

    Margaret Tatcher created a stir when she claimed the central commitee shouldnt waste their time deciding the price of eggs. They were caught (by her) sitting late at night discussing the price of eggs.

    Much better letting the marked fix that, and you can discuss foreign policy!

    And she was right, wasnt she? Adam Smiths good old “Invisible hand” can fix energy prices too. All by itself.

  125. kwik says:

    Correction to my last post; Which Central Commitee? The one in Moscow, of course.

    And now they want a Central, Central Commitee. In the UN. Bah!!!

    That doesnt take away the fact that the Concorde was a wonderful plane and technical achievement. But so was the Messerschmitt 262, the Messerschmitt 163 and the Arado 234. So what ? For what price?

  126. david says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Mr Mosher, an intresting comment, and I agree that the “Blackbeards of the world want to use CAGW as an excuse for their agenda whish is as always to “rule the world”.

    I have a question for you which is sincere. How does a process, the GHG CO2, which warms the atmosphere rapidy via redirecting outgoing IR photons back towards the oceans, thereby increasing water vapor and clouds, which then reduce SW radiation from entering the oceans where the residence time of heat is far longer then in the atmosphere, induce long term warming instead of what appears to be more logical, increase short term warming while decreasing long term warming via a reduction of acumulated energy into the oceans?
    Is not the “residence time” of all incoming radiative spectroms (TSI) the most important factor, and since our current understanding of many processes is quite limited, especially cloud fromation, how can we say we really know the mid term and long term consequences of increased CO2?

  127. david says:

    Re Mike D. says:
    October 30, 2010 at 11:57 am
    “It’s all going to be okay, GM. Trust me. Warmer is better. Really it is. You’ll like it. The plants and the animals will like it. Nothing to worry about. Now close your eyes and go to sleep and you’ll see… in the morning things will all be okay.”

    Thanks Mike, I also feel all better now, time to go to sleep. (-;
    BTW, I agree with you point. The benfits of CO2 and warmth should be promoted far more and I actually did feel better after reading your bedtime assurances to GM; because I realized that with China and India following their own path the world will get warmer, and greener, and more comfortable despite the growing pains and decadal periods of economic depression humanity must go through to learn how to get along with billions of brothers and sisters.

  128. david says:

    BTW, I did not read all the comments, but did anyone tell GM that O2 and CO2 are in a symbiotic relationship with each other over the 24 hour day and both work together for plant growth?

  129. david says:

    Regarding Anthony’s comment; “In fact there’s a whole website dedicated to tracking such horrible dastardly deeds like this that I do. Gasp! Shock! Of course it’s run by another “anonymous coward”. Heh.”

    What web site is this?

  130. david says:

    Dave Springer says:
    October 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm
    @Mosher
    … “The water cycle is thus a self-governing heat engine which maintains a set operating temperature. Adding more CO2 when the water cycle is active does nothing as it just revs up the water cycle heat engine.”

    This is where I also think Steve Mosher may be incorrect, and this is why I am starting to think that the residence time of all incoming CO2 is what needs the engineering level report Steve McIntyre has long asked for but never recieved.

  131. Robb876 says:

    So why did you ban GM for making a comment about locking someone up but then allow countless personal attacks against him without the same punishments?? That seems a bit odd… Also just prior to you banning him you stated how open this forum was in regards to opinions… Anyway… In regards to the meaningful posts here, why are the benefits of co2 to plant growth taken with so much importance? Sure plants will love a warmer earth with more co2 but the concern isn’t what will happen to the planet, it’s what will happen to humans on the planet. Co2 making plants grow dosent mitigate dry spells, rising oceans etc…

  132. Alan McIntire says:

    GM’s post that O2 is poisonous to plants is a fallacy that should be corrected. In fact, plants and animals both breathe in O2, and breathe out CO2. With no O2, both air breathing plants and animals die. The production of O2 from photosynthesis is not breathing, but an additional process of extracting energy from the sun. As David pointed out, O2 and CO2 at earth’s surface go over a diurnal cycle, with CO2 increasing at night, with both plants and animals breathing, but no photosynthesis going on, and
    decreasing over the course of the daytime, with plants’ production of O2 overwhelming the production of CO2 by both plants and animals.

  133. Douglas Field says:

    Robb876 says: October 31, 2010 at 6:36 am
    … Anyway… In regards to the meaningful posts here… the concern isn’t what will happen to the planet, it’s what will happen to humans on the planet. Co2 making plants grow dosent mitigate dry spells, rising oceans etc…
    ——————————————————————————

    Well Robb876 tell me what, in your opinion, does mitigate dry spells, rising oceans etc.?
    Douglas

  134. David Socrates says:

    Re. Douglas Field (October 30, 2010 at 9:08 pm), replying to my comments of October 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm, says: “David Socrates agreed. But even so, there is no evidence so far as I can determine, that carbon dioxide is the cause of this cyclical swing in global temperature. The Hadley Centre (or others) would not only need to show a substantial increase in global temperature but also show evidence of the cause before attempting any precipitate action.”

    Douglas, I hope that I never implied that the approximately 70 year up and down cyclic variation in the Hadley world temperature series data could possibly be due to man-made CO2. The general belief is that the oscillation is due to cyclic shifts in energy in the oceans and is entirely natural. Likewise the very gentle 0.41degC/century long term trend since records began in 1850 could not be due to man-made CO2 since it started at least 100 years before the comparatively rapid post-World War II increases in man-made CO2 took off.

    Since climate has always changed on annual, decadal, centennial and millenial timescales, it seems bizarre to suggest that any of the temperature excursions evidenced in the Hadley data are anything other than natural. Unless of course one has already decided on the truth of the CO2 warming theory and so is hell bent on reading unwarranted implications into the temperature data ‘tea leaves’.

  135. Richard M says:

    GM represents the combination of narcissism with youthful naivety. Being young and believing you understand everything is not uncommon. To some extent most of us here have experienced the same problem at some time in our pasts.

    The problem with narcissists is they have to try and shove what they believe is their superiority down everyones throat and cannot take ownership of their failures. When the AGW ship completely sinks GM will be running around blaming others. He will never see his own failings.

  136. rational debate says:

    bublhead says: October 31, 2010 at 8:16 am
    ….dismiss the work of all of those published climate scientists who have been coming to the same basic conclusions for decades now that give climate change deniers a bad name.
    If the study that is the basis of this discussion somehow challenges or disproves the IPCC conclusions, tell me how, don’t just sit back with a smirk on your face telling me that all those published climate scientists are involved in some sort of global conspiracy to distort science so that we can destroy the global economy or something….

    If you are so enlightened and not smirking over there, how about all the scientists and peer reviewed research that does not support AGW that you are apparently denying? I’ll take my own opinion based on a review of the state of the relevant science and their opinions over yours any day, and over the likes of those who were the most egregious in ClimateGate such as Mann, Jones, etc. who clearly are involved in advocacy and ‘post normal’ science rather than real science.

    Here is a non-comprehensive list that still contains over 800 peer reviewed published research papers that are skeptical of or outright ‘denying’ AGW or various related aspects of the AGW hypothesis. 800 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

    While you are there, how about reading Seven Eminent Physicists; Freeman Dyson, Ivar Giaever (Nobel Prize), Robert Laughlin (Nobel Prize), Edward Teller, Frederick Seitz, Robert Jastrow and William Nierenberg, all skeptical of “man-made” global warming (AGW) alarm. http://www.populartechnology.net/2010/07/eminent-physicists-skeptical-of-agw.html

    Be sure you watch the video at the bottom of Dyson, its fascinating.

    Then there are the large number of highly reputable scientists, including Nobel prize winners, who sent the open letter skeptical of AGW to the Secretary-General of United Nations: http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=4603

    Dear Secretary-General,

    Climate change science is in a period of ‘negative discovery’ – the more we learn about this exceptionally complex and rapidly evolving field the more we realize how little we know. Truly, the science is NOT settled.

    Therefore, there is no sound reason to impose expensive and restrictive public policy decisions on the peoples of the Earth without first providing convincing evidence that human activities are causing dangerous climate change beyond that resulting from natural causes. Before any precipitate action is taken, we must have solid observational data demonstrating that recent changes in climate differ substantially from changes observed in the past and are well in excess of normal variations caused by solar cycles, ocean currents, changes in the Earth’s orbital parameters and other natural phenomena.

    We the undersigned, being qualified in climate-related scientific disciplines, challenge the UNFCCC and supporters of the United Nations Climate Change Conference to produce convincing OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE for their claims of dangerous human-caused global warming and other changes in climate. Projections of possible future scenarios from unproven computer models of climate are not acceptable substitutes for real world data obtained through unbiased and rigorous scientific investigation….

    (continued online)

    Or the open letter to the US Government by over 700 scientists, also including Nobel prize winners; http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=10fe77b0-802a-23ad-4df1-fc38ed4f85e3

    ……The over 700 dissenting scientists are now more than 13 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. The 59 additional scientists hail from all over the world, including Japan, Italy, UK, Czech Republic, Canada, Netherlands, the U.S. and many are affiliated with prestigious institutions including, NASA, U.S. Navy, U.S. Defense Department, Energy Department, U.S. Air Force, the Philosophical Society of Washington (the oldest scientific society in Washington), Princeton University, Tulane University, American University, Oregon State University, U.S. Naval Academy and EPA…..

    Or the 31,000+ scientists, including over 9,000 PhD’s, who signed the petition project? petitionproject.org

    ….These scientists are instead convinced that the human-caused global warming hypothesis is without scientific validity and that government action on the basis of this hypothesis would unnecessarily and counter-productively damage both human prosperity and the natural environment of the Earth…..

    So, just who is it that’s really guilty of denying and dismissing a body of relevant science here? Look in the mirror, bubblehead.

  137. rational debate says:

    re: Robb876 says: October 31, 2010 at 6:36 am

    So why did you ban GM for making a comment about locking someone up but then allow countless personal attacks against him without the same punishments?? That seems a bit odd… Also just prior to you banning him you stated how open this forum was in regards to opinions…

    If you bother to read the related posts, you’ll see that GM wasn’t at any point ‘banned.’ He/she was merely put into a moderated status, where posts were held up. Why? Not because of expressing an opinion, or because of the comment about locking people up. It was because when challenged on the comment about locking people up, he/she proceded to claim that saying people should be locked up was somehow not the same as recommending they be jailed, in addition to all of the previous posts containing pretty nasty personal attacks of large segments of society (we’re all insane, dumber than village idiots, equivalent to 3 yr olds annihilating half the world with nukes, etc).

    To be allowed to post again, GM was then given very simple options; either admit being locked up is the same as being jailed, or providing his/her real name on further posts. Gee, what terrible and difficult options.

    It appears that GM didn’t have the decency to do either, or was oh-so sincerely interested as to have already left.

    Anyhow, the issue is pretty trivial, but your mischaracterization of it bothered me.

  138. Robb876 says:

    Douglas,

    In case you didnt understand, my point was that the benefits experienced by plant life don’t negate the potential harms that civilization could see… The whole argument of “its better for plants” dosent seem reasonable to me.. Anyway, mitigation of these threats include such things as reduction in use of fossil fuels, although I don’t think I really need to say that.

  139. don penman says:

    I don’t see how co2 could be a control knob the warming produced by adding co2 to the atmosphere decreases as more co2 is added to the atmosphere.Natural variation (everything else effecting temperature apart from co2)some say is cyclical around rising co2 but what if natural variation does not remain cyclical when co2 increases,what if the Earth has a temperature inertia also,then co2 is not going to keep on raising temperatures even to the extent that we are told that it will.We might have reached a global temperature co2 equilibrium in this decade and temperature will remain the same as we add more co2 to the atmosphere.Why do we have to accept that temperatures are always going to rise with increasing co2?

  140. Engchamp says:

    I am indebted to Doctors Willie Soon, Bob Carter and David Legates for simplifying the wrangling debate on CO2.
    My own view is that it is not CO2 or AGW that is contentious; rather it is an element of our society intent on dominating global affairs by utilising humankind’s fear of the unknown, thus creating a furore involving politics, propaganda, financial power and an ever-changing agenda of environmental disaster scenarios.

    “Damaging the global economy with ineffectual carbon dioxide controls, in a futile quest to “stop global warming,” looks stupid now.
    Viewed later, with hindsight, it will be judged outrageously irresponsible.”

    Outrageous? Irresponsible? I’ll say.

  141. Derek Reynolds says:

    It is good to debate the effects of CO2. Likewise it is good to understand more of how the Earth’s climate works in conjunction with the influences that the planet is subject to from beyond its atmospheres that result in a myriad of effects within its atmospheres and below its surfaces.

    What is not so often debated is why such importance is being placed upon these elements, how mankind may or may not affect them, and why. Are the minds of the peoples of the world not being diverted from the real issue – a cause for control? Fear, is the ultimate weapon for complete subservience, and if terrorist organisations do not make us cower and clamour protection, then those who seek to gain power beyond the imagination of many, will resort to means that are claimed to affect all – globally – atmospheric content, mankind’s effects upon it, and actions acclaimed to curb such effects.

    It should be clear to any scientist involved in climatology and atmospheric research, that the current policies adopted by international governments are first and foremost political in nature, and require scientific evidence to support the policies. And so those elements of science that support policy, are specifically chosen to strengthen the current policies while dissent is rejected. Such is the remit of the UN and its IPCC. To aid and abet these policies, NGO’s are involved to activate a voice for action. Public awareness is thus drawn to those actions that are claimed to be necessary to save us all from boiling/freezing/drowning/dying – at any cost, even if lives are at stake.

    However, if one wishes to create the most effective cover for a particular action, then the most effective way is to cloak it, in the opposite action. The clamour for so called sustainable energy/food production/renewables to enrich the quality of life and conserve the resources of the Earth, are but a cloak for the current day Malthusians to enable their goals – population control. An unpleasant subject and one that will doubtless be shouted down – but who by? Those with most to gain by its execution, and by those who wish it were not so.

    Look around, see the restrictions in place on new projects, new developments, and new hopes. Existing budgets are being cut back, and essential services are suffering. The legislative machine wishes the world to be one, only then will the controls be in place to deal with what is deemed necessary. The requirement is serfdom, freedom will not be allowed, numbers must be reduced. The great debate over anthropogenic atmospheric contributions is but a method of gaining more control through the highly complex ecological structures which draw people into lengthy detailed debate over the not unimportant minutae, but which distracts from the underlying reason for the existence of the debate in the first instance. The costs to mankind will be in deaths, from fuel and food poverty. The costs to nations economies will bring them crashing down and prey to a new global order.

    There are not just irresponsible people in control, there are dangerous ones.

  142. Bjorn Lomborg has me a little mystified. I enjoyed the book “Cool It” in which he makes no pretence of any scientific qualification but accepts some possibility that warming might happen and makes a lucid case that it can be contained by a change in trade restriction s and other economic means. In passing he quietly sinks Al Gore with a neat waterline shot- a diagram of the Antarctic showing the 94% that is cooling and the 6% that is warming with the caption ” Guess where Al Gore made his film”.
    He also prints a graph showing the Earth’s temperature 60+ million years ago when the CO2 level was 3000 ppm-how cooling followed for 20 milllion years until Drakes Passage opened enough to allow the circum polar current to refrigerate Antarctica. The ice ages followed in sync with the available (22-,44-or 100k) Milankovich cycles changing as it did 600k years ago at the whim of Chaos Theory. As the Vostok ice cores show CO2 changes followed the temp 6-800 years later. Clearly nothing to do with CO2 and a lot to do with water vapour. Simple stuff that a non-scientist can understand. Has he read his own Book? Old North Queensland Doctor

  143. anorak2 says:

    @Bruce Cobb:

    “Lomborg says “let’s forget about subsidizing inefficient technologies or making fossil fuels too expensive to use. Instead, let’s fund the basic research that will make green energy too cheap and easy to resist.” That is the usual approach by Lefties; more government funding.”

    Spending public money for public causes is really mainstream European thinking, nothing particularly leftie about it even though Lomborg is a leftie. His point is to spend public money wiseley, i.e. most bang for the buck, and that current wind/solar programmes aren’t.

    “And the “green energy too cheap and easy to resist” (which is nonsensical, but we know what he means) is just pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking.”

    His point is this: New technology doesn’t prevail by being forced on people, but because it has genuine advantages that people genuinely want to use. The current “green” technologies have no such advantages, they are less practical and more expensive than conventional ones, so they can’t win. Subsidizing them is a waste of money and resources.

    A new technology will only prevail if it’s MORE practical and cheaper than current technologies, and if it’s also “green” as a bonus, even better. We don’t have such a technology yet, but research may well invent one in the future. For his point it’s irrelevant if the research is financed publicly or privatley. There is no reason to believe public research programmes can’t come up with some wonderful stuff though, it has happened before.

  144. David Socrates says:

    anorak2 says (November 1, 2010 at 4:23 am): ” … it’s irrelevant if the [green energy] research is financed publicly or privately. There is no reason to believe public research programmes can’t come up with some wonderful stuff … it has happened before.”

    Oh has it? Where? When? Socialist countries throughout Eastern Europe failed to develop anything worthwhile during the Soviet/Maoist era except starvation. Even Western governments entirely failed to help industrial innovation. That’s why in the 1980’s all over the democratic world, previously publicly owned industries were privatised on a massive scale (not just in Britain by Mrs Thatcher’s government as some people suppose). It was a worldwise transformation from socialism to democratic and market-led freedom as the Soviet empire with all its pretentions crumbled to dust. In the past 30 years, standards of living for tens of millions of ordinary people have risen as a result. Ask the people of Eastern Europe whether they want to go back to ‘public enterprise and investment’.

    As least the old style socialism was largely built on incompetence and ignorance. The difference with the current worldwide governmental eco-fever investment/taxation swindle is that it is so obviously also based on scientific fraud.

  145. anorak2 says:

    @David Socrates:

    Oh has it? Where? When?

    The Apollo programme, Concorde, Airbus, TGV, ICE, nuclear power, the MP3 format.

    Socialist countries throughout Eastern Europe failed to develop anything worthwhile during the Soviet/Maoist era except starvation.

    Public funding is not equivalent with socialism. All the examples I quoted are from Western nations, including one of the most shining achievements the USA prides itself with.

    Even Western governments entirely failed to help industrial innovation.

    I think that is completely wrong.

    That’s why in the 1980′s all over the democratic world, previously publicly owned industries were privatised on a massive scale (not just in Britain by Mrs Thatcher’s government as some people suppose).

    Quite. And many of these experiments have meanwhile failed. The are already examples of re-nationalisations, I predict there’ll be more.

    It was a worldwise transformation from socialism to democratic and market-led freedom as the Soviet empire with all its pretentions crumbled to dust.

    Replacing one stubborn ideology with its equally stubborn twin brother isn’t really an improvement. Pragmatism rules. Let sectors that are best done privately be private, let those that achieve better results in the public hand remain public. I think that is the legacy learnt from the past 20ish years of ideological privatisation experiments in Western nations.

  146. anorak2 says:

    Expanding on my previous post: There is a widespread notion that greenies are somehow left wing or marxists in disguise, and their opposition is automatically “free market” oriented. I think that is a misconception. Yes it’s true that the early greens from the 1970s and 80s presented themselves as anarchists, socialists or any combination of the above. But that has completetly changed meanwhile, leading some to suspect the “leftie” image was just a marketing plot.

    The Green party here in Germany, when in government a couple of years ago, voted for the deepest cuts in the welfare system in the last 50 years. Their leading politicians advocate such cuts, not the slightest trace of any “socialist” rhetoric is left, certainly not in their politics. Later the current “conservative”, “market economy” government uses green rhetoric as an excuse for new taxes on airline tickets, on nuclear power thus hurting consumers, while giving tax breaks to high incomes and companies. The green, or “climate change” agenda is just another welcome excuse for their clientele politics they would follow anyway.

  147. Craig says:

    I’m very concerned about the FDA analogy. You dont want to give these bureaucrats any new ideas..

  148. peakbear says:

    Anthony Watts says: October 30, 2010 at 11:44 am
    “His choice. But I’m not going to have people like him ranting about locking people up that don’t have integrity enough to stand behind their own words. He’s at Cal-Tech, using the publicly funded state college network, so one would hope there’s some integrity there.”

    The thing is Anthony is that if there was ever a posting that someone felt needed an official complaint, just pinging the IP and port number over to the admin there and it would probably be pretty trivial to find out who posted it from a university domain. It’s not like people are anonymous on the internet if you really want their true identity and they’re not actively trying to conceal it. This is especially true locally if you can match a work and home address to a single username. I have to chase up this kind of thing occasionally with my work.

  149. Steve says:

    anorak2 ~ “Replacing one stubborn ideology with its equally stubborn twin brother isn’t really an improvement. Pragmatism rules. Let sectors that are best done privately be private, let those that achieve better results in the public hand remain public. I think that is the legacy learnt from the past 20ish years of ideological privatisation experiments in Western nations.”

    Well I agree that’s true, but that’s because it is essentially a truism – “For best results, let the better do what they are best at.” So not really pragmatic, since pragmatic statements provide solutions to questions. Which sector is “best done privately” or “best done publicly”? Who gets to decide what constitutes a “best” result?

    Here’s my pragmatic suggestion: The dividing line is “Will there be a profit, how much and how soon?”

    Governments do not need to make profits, they need to establish and enforce laws that maintain the value of the currency they issue. Governments have no business making profits (otherwise, your government has become a business, which is a bad place for your nation to go). Governments support the citizens of their nation in such a way that the nation as a whole can make profits.

    Private investors (the citizens), on the other hand, are all about profit. If enough individuals are convinced that a large enough profit will be received in a short enough term, a private business will be established that is fueled by that investment. If the investors were intelligent and well informed (and perhaps a little bit lucky), there will actually be a profit.

    Those are the extremes. In between you can have everything from non-profit businesses to open source programmers.

    Take the “environmental protection” sector. Without government involvement, where would the profit be? Would corporations pay people to: devise a checklist of ways their venture could harm the commons, inspect their property, assess fees based on the checklist, use those fees collected to mitigate the damage (when possible)? That’s a rhetorical question. In this sector, the ideal is for the government to take some profits from the citizens as a whole (taxes) in order to monitor a subset of citizens who may be harming the resources of the nation. No financial profit is expected from this monitoring – taxes make up for the costs of the venture that the assessed fees do not absorb. If this venture were to become privatized it would depend on government subsidies to survive.

    Take the “new energy sources” sector. Profit in the short term is a maybe, so instead of full government funding the government uses taxes to provide more investment fuel for a private sector that already exists (government grants). Businesses can compete for the grant, which comes with conditions. Ideally, the government involvement will allow this sector to result in a net profit for the nation sooner than would have been achieved by private investment alone.

    For the ideal results to be achieved consistently, the nation needs intelligent, informed citizens who can exert control over an intelligent, informed government. Without that, government funding of any sector is a crapshoot. Occasional success is not an accurate measure – even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

  150. Dacron Mather says:

    When will Willie Bob and Dave stage a live demonstration of the fatal flaw of Warmism on Fox TV by flooding the studio with a 50:50 mixture of oxygen and The Gas Of Life?

    We’ll all feel better when they do.

  151. George E. Smith says:

    I’ve seen serious research reports (no I can’t give references; google it up yourself) that studied the global food production system, and the effect of various changes; such as the various “green” revolutions, improved crops; better water conserving irrigation etc. Such studies have concluded, that 20% of the present total world food production cannot be explained without invoking the increase in atmospheric CO2 from its 280 ppm to about 380, which likely was the value when I read these articles.

    Other studies also show that total world food supply is directly proportional to total world energy input to the food system. That holds across the board from the most primitive of high labor agricultures to modern machine intensive farming. You throw in all the fuel for farm machinery; the energy of chemicals for fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides; you name it; even the energy in the powder for the bullets used by “Eskimos” to shoot seals, and the gas to chase them with snowmobiles. All of those energy enhancements increase the food output of every kind of society on earth.

    So if the USA doesn’t get real energy from somewhere; the world will suffer from food shortages eventually; and global cooling will just make that need for more energy input even worse.

    At least one such article appears in an old (very old) issue of Scientific American; it was a special issue on energy and food.

  152. Spurwing Plover says:

    Feel sorry for all those who rented or bought AL GORES junk science laden A INCONVENT TRUTH these people have been cheated by a lying huckster and con-man

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