Jim and Bill’s excellent misadventure

Jim Hansen (left) Bill McKibben (right) Images from Wikimedia commons

This is a web formatted version of the PDF found here on Dr. James Hansen’s Columbia.edu web site. I don’t have much respect left for Dr. Hansen, particularly when he uses the word “deniers” nine times in this interview. The interview itself is like pal-review, since McKibben isn’t capable of being an unbiased interviewer/interviewee, and particularly since he co-authored a book with Hansen. Reading it, you can feel some of the anger these two guys have for people like you and I, riding just below the surface of the conversation. You can also get a hint of the panic they feel. I’m convinced McKibben is off the rails, especially with some of his recent performance art for Earth (or as he calls it Eaarth). However, I want to provide this here so that readers can get a window into the mindset of these men.

His [Hansen's] description of using “loaded dice” to make a point certainly doesn’t help get the message of “trust us” across.  And, he manages to talk about UHI (where people live!), without actually saying it. A communicator he isn’t. h/t to Luboš Motl. – Anthony

Conversation with Bill McKibben (by Dr. James Hansen)
21 December 2010

The paperback version of Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our last Chance to Save Humanity (copyright 2011 by James Hansen and Bill McKibben) is available at. http://www.stormsofmygrandchildren.com/ The paperback includes as an added section a conversation between Bill McKibben and me. Much of that Q&A is below. As was (and is) the case with the hardback and other formats of the book, all royalties go to the organization 350.org. As I mention in the book, 350.org has demonstrated the most effective and responsible leadership in the public struggle for climate justice.

Q&A with Bill McKibben, cofounder and global organizer, 350.org

Bill: Jim, more than a dozen nations have set new high-temperature records this year, and we’ve seen the all-time marks set for Asia (Pakistan at 129 degrees Fahrenheit) and Southeast Asia. Given that the global temperature has “only” gone up about a degree, can you explain how this kind of heat is possible?

Jim: Sure. What we see happening with new record temperatures, both warm and cold, is in good agreement with what we predicted in the 1980s when I testified to Congress about the expected effect of global warming. I used colored dice then to emphasize that global warming would cause the climate dice to be “loaded.” Record local daily high temperatures now occur more than twice as often as record daily cold temperatures. The predominance of new record highs over record lows will continue to increase over the next few decades, so the perceptive person should recognize that climate is changing.

Yes, global average warming is “only” about a degree, but that is actually a lot. During the last major ice age, when New York, Minneapolis, and Seattle were under an ice sheet a mile thick, global average temperature was about 5 degrees colder than it is now. The last time Earth was 2 degrees warmer so much ice melted that sea level was about twenty-five meters (eighty feet) higher than it is today.

We scientists create a communications problem by speaking about average global warming in degrees Celsius. Global warming in degrees Fahrenheit is almost twice as large (exact factor is 1.8) and warming is about twice as much over land (where people live!) than over ocean. Also certain regions and times experience bigger changes than others. (So far the United States has been lucky, with smaller average warming than most land areas. There is no reason to think that luck will continue.)

But remember that weather variability, which can be 10 to 20 degrees from day to day, will always be greater than average warming. And weather variability will become even greater in the future, as I explain in the book, if we don’t slow down greenhouse gas emissions. If we let warming continue to the point of rapid ice sheet collapse, all hell will break loose. That’s the reason for “Storms” in the book title.

Bill: What was the deal with “climategate”—the East Anglia e-mails and IPCC’s “Himalayan error”? Much of the public was left with impression that global warming may be a hoax!

Jim: There was a real hoax, for sure—perpetrated on the public by people who prefer business-as-usual, people who concocted a misinformation campaign. They want the public to think that the science is suspect. Doubt is all they need. Their tactics included swift-boating and character assassination, using e-mails stolen from scientists’ computers. They did an effective job. Now policy makers continue to sit on their hands, leaving fossil fuel subsidies in place, allowing fossil fuel companies to call the tune—and the devil with young people and nature.

Yes, the stolen e-mails exposed bad behavior by scientists, notably a reluctance of some scientists to give deniers the input data for global temperature analysis. That allowed global warming deniers to assert that global climate change was “cooked” data. But that assertion is nonsense. The NASA temperature analysis agrees well with the East Anglia results. And the NASA data are all publicly available, as is the computer program that carries out the analysis.

Look at it this way: If anybody could show that the global warming curve was wrong they would become famous, maybe win a Nobel Prize. All the measurement data are available. So why don’t the deniers produce a different result? They know that they cannot, so they resort to theft of e-mails, snipping private comments out of context, and character assassination.

IPCC’s “Himalayan error” was another hoax perpetrated on the public. The perpetrators, global warming deniers, did a brilliant job of playing the scientifically obtuse media like a fiddle. Here is how they did it.

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) produced a series of thick reports, several thousand pages long. Of course it is possible to identify minor flaws in it—it is inconceivable that some flaws would not exist within those thousands of pages. The task of the deniers was to find a minor flaw or flaws, and then work the media so as to make the public suspicious of the entire report. They did their dirty work masterfully, for weeks continually releasing tidbits about possible flaws or uncertainties in the report, dutifully reported by the media even though none of the tidbits altered conclusions about the significance of global warming.

The biggest flaw that global warming deniers could find in the IPCC reports was a statement that all Himalayan glaciers may disappear by 2035 if greenhouse gas emissions continued to increase. Actually, because of the great altitude and size of Himalayan glaciers, some of them almost surely will survive longer than twenty-five years. The estimate of 2035 for glacier demise was not even in the main IPCC report on the physical climate system, but rather in a less-scrutinized report discussing practical implications of global warming.

Here is the real-world situation: Glaciers are melting rapidly all around the world—in the Rockies, the Andes, the Alps, and the Himalayas. All glaciers in Glacier National Park in the United States will be gone in about twenty-five years if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase. We will need to rename it Glacierless National Park.

Observed rapid loss of glaciers confirms global warming—it is not a reason to question it! Glacier loss also shows the importance of global warming. During the dry season about half the water in rivers such as the Indus and Brahmaputra is provided by glacier melt. If the glaciers disappear there will be more spring snowmelt and greater floods, but a dangerous reduction of fresh water in dry seasons. Hundreds of millions of people depend on these rivers for fresh water.

Yet climate change deniers scored a coup by trumpeting that IPCC had made an error, turning scientific evidence on its head. Melting glaciers, properly a cause for concern, became a propaganda tool to befuddle the public. A capable media would have exposed the trick. Instead the media facilitated it, spreading “news” that the IPCC report was flawed.
IPCC scientists had done a good job of producing a comprehensive report. It is a rather thankless task, on top of their normal jobs, often requiring them to work sixty, eighty, or more hours per week, with no pay for overtime or for working on the IPCC report. Yet they were portrayed as incompetent or, worse, dishonest. Scientists do indeed have deficiencies—especially in communicating with the public and defending themselves against viscous attacks by professional swift-boaters.

The public, at some point, will realize they were hoodwinked by the deniers. The danger is that deniers may succeed in delaying actions to deal with energy and climate. Delay will enrich fossil fuel executives, but it is a great threat to young people and the planet.

Bill: You must be referring to the urgency created by climate tipping points. Is there new information about tipping points?
.
… several pages omitted here
.
Bill: Can we stop that process? Do we understand what is needed to stabilize the situation?
Jim: We can estimate what is needed pretty well. Stabilizing climate requires, to first order, that we restore Earth’s energy balance. If the planet once again radiates as much energy to space as it absorbs from the sun, there no longer will be a drive causing the planet to get warmer. Restoring planetary energy balance would not immediately stop sea level rise, but it should keep sea level rise small. Restoring energy balance also would prevent climate change from becoming a huge force for species extinction and ecosystem collapse.

We can accurately calculate how Earth’s energy balance will change if we reduce long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. We would need to reduce carbon dioxide by 35 to 40 ppm (parts per million) to increase Earth’s heat radiation to space by one half watt, if other long-lived gases stay the same as today. That reduction would make atmospheric carbon dioxide amount to about 350 ppm.

Bill: Is that how you came up with the policy goal of 350 ppm?
Jim: It is one of several reasons, as we explained in our 2008 “Target CO2” paper. For example, there is also ocean acidification. As atmospheric carbon dioxide increases the ocean becomes relatively more acidic. Ocean biologists conclude that for the sake of life in the ocean we need to aim for an atmospheric carbon dioxide amount no higher than 350 ppm.

But yes, Earth’s energy balance is indeed the criterion that provides the most fundamental constraint for what must be done to stabilize climate.

Bill: The 350.org team has met opposition from some climate activists who demand an even lower target for CO2, say 300 ppm or the preindustrial CO2 amount, 280 ppm. Would the preindustrial CO2 amount be a reasonable target?

Jim: All that we can say for sure now is that the target should be “less than 350 ppm.” And that is all that is needed for policy purposes. That target tells us that we must rapidly phase out coal emissions, leave unconventional fossil fuels in the ground, and not go after the last drops of oil and gas. In other words, we must move as quickly as possible to the post–fossil fuel era of clean energies.

Getting back to 350 ppm will be difficult and will take time. By the time we get back to 350 ppm, we will know a lot more and we will be able to be more specific about what “less than 350 ppm” means. By then we should be measuring Earth’s energy balance very accurately. We will know whether the planet is back in energy balance and we will be able to see whether climate is stabilizing.

The reason that we cannot specify now an exact eventual value for CO2 is because CO2 is only one of the human-made climate forcings. Humans have also increased the amount of methane and tropospheric ozone in the air—but these gases are short-lived, so if we reduce the sources of these gases the amount in the air will decrease. It is plausible to reduce the amounts of methane and tropospheric ozone and there are good reasons to do so because ozone in the lower atmosphere is harmful to human health and crops. Realistic ozone and methane reductions will alleviate somewhat the amount by which we must reduce CO2. On the other hand, we expect that humanity will have some success during the next few decades in reducing atmospheric aerosols (fine particles in the air). Atmospheric aerosols are a health hazard, but they have a cooling effect on climate. Reducing atmospheric aerosols will increase the amount by which we must reduce CO2. However, human-made aerosols will not return to the preindustrial amount in the foreseeable future, nor will the human-made increase of the planet’s surface albedo, which also has a cooling effect.

Therefore, it is foolish to demand that policy makers reduce CO2 to 280 ppm. Indeed, if, with a magic wand, we reduced CO2 from today’s 389 ppm to 280 ppm that change would increase Earth’s heat radiation to space by almost 2 watts (per square meter). The planet would rapidly move toward a colder climate, probably colder than the Little Ice Age. Whoever wielded the magic wand might receive a Middle Ages punishment, such as being drawn and quartered.

Bill: Speaking of punishments, you were arrested near Coal River Mountain in West Virginia for protesting against the leveling of mountaintops to extract coal. What was that about, and what is the status?

Jim: Still no trial date has been set. According to the law, I could get as much as one year in prison. I am beginning to think that the authorities do not want a trial.

I was drawn into the mountaintop-removal plight when I gave a talk at Virginia Tech. The students told me about nearby Coal River Mountain, which Massey Energy plans to decapitate to extract coal. Mountaintop removal is morally indefensible. It pollutes the water supply and spoils the environment forever, all for a small amount of coal. Windmills on Coal River Mountain could provide as much energy in about a century. But mountaintop removal will lower the peak about four hundred feet, making Coal River Mountain an ineffectual source of wind energy. Mountaintop removal provides only 7 percent of United States coal production, which is less than the amount that we export. So it cannot be argued that it is needed in order to keep the lights on—it is needed only to line the pockets of a few fat-cat coal executives.

I went to Coal River Mountain to help draw attention to both mountaintop removal and the bigger issue, the need to phase out coal and stabilize climate. I was arrested while standing by the side of the road in front of the Massey Energy offices, reading a statement that Massey should provide funding for a new elementary school, because they had built a huge sludge pond on the side of the mountain right above Marsh Fork elementary school. If that earthen dam breaks, the school could be buried. It seems that Massey is pretty cavalier with the lives of children as well as the lives of miners working for the company.

Despite the publicity, mountaintop removal continues. I am disappointed that the Obama administration has not simply banned mountaintop removal. They could justify that action on environmental grounds. The jobs and economic stimulus from energy alternatives—energy efficiency, renewable energy, and nuclear power—are superior to the kind of jobs and the dirty energy production that is provided by the coal industry. The number of coal jobs has dwindled. Shoving mountaintops into valleys with bulldozers does not require many people.

Bill: Does this indicate that civil disobedience is not useful for solving the climate problem?
Jim: I call it peaceful civil resistance. True, it has failed to achieve the actions needed to solve the climate problem—but every other approach has also failed. Civil resistance is a necessary part of the solution but, by itself, it is too weak as a tool for change.

Bill: Then what else is required?

Jim: The courts, the judiciary branch of government. The courts are less influenced by fossil fuel money than the legislative and executive branches. The situation is analogous to that of civil rights several decades ago. Nonviolent sit-ins drew attention to the immorality of discrimination and helped to get the courts involved. That opened the door to real progress because courts had the ability to order desegregation under the equal protection provision of the Constitution. Eventually lawmakers became involved. Civil resistance was important because it helped broaden public awareness, and high public interest in turn helps to induce judiciary involvement.

What has become crystal clear is that the executive and legislative branches of the government are not going to solve the climate problem on their own. A few years ago I thought that governments may not understand what the science is telling us, the urgency of the matter. But I learned in my interactions with governments in several nations that the governments are not ignorant of the climate problem, they are not unaware of the need to move on promptly to clean energies. Yet at most they set goals and take baby steps because they are under the strong influence of fossil fuel interests. There are too many people profiting from our addiction to fossil fuels—and they have a huge influence on our governments.

Look at what happened in Congress in 2010. The bills that Congress considered were grossly inadequate. The proposed emission reductions were much less than what the science calls for. Also the bills were full of loopholes and giveaways to the fossil fuel industry, guaranteeing continued reliance on fossil fuels. Nor did the president distinguish himself. The president did not make specific proposals or weigh in with the authority of his office. He should have spoken to the public and demanded that Congress take the actions that are needed for the public interest.

Congress and the president are thumbing their noses at young people. Their failure to act means that young people can look forward to climate deteriorating out of their control, a planet that is much more desolate than the one that we inherited from our parents. My grandchildren, the most recent born just four months ago, probably will be alive for most of this century—my parents lived for almost ninety years. My children and grandchildren will experience the effect of our emissions—they will pay for our profligacy.

The attitude of Congress and the president angers me. They think they can do, or not do, whatever they please. It is as if they have no obligations to young people. Their primary concern seems to be their re-election; how they can beat the other party, make the other party look bad. When the public throws out one party, the other one is little different—they also think they can do whatever they please.

Bill: You have argued that we need a third party, but the nature of our Constitution and the electoral system make it very difficult for a third party to succeed. We don’t have time to build a third party movement, do we?

Jim: Probably not. We must force the present government to do its job. Politicians are not free to do whatever they darned well please. They have obligations to young people.
Responsibility to future generations is a concept common to most cultures, as I discuss in the book. Native Americans refer to an obligation to “the seventh generation.” Thomas Jefferson wrote that “Earth belongs in usufruct to the living,” meaning that we have the right to use property belonging to future generations, but not the right to damage that property. Jefferson, a farmer, used the usufruct concept specifically with regard to the soil, which, he argued, we must not deplete. He did not explicitly discuss the atmosphere, which seemed so huge to the colonials that they never worried that humans might deplete the atmosphere’s ability to sustain our lives and livelihoods.

Obligations to young people, it seems to me, are already clear in the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This basic tenet leads directly to the right to equal protection of the laws.

The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution declares: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Over time the courts ruled that “any person” includes minorities and women, for example, and equal protection provided the principal basis for extension of civil rights to minorities.
Human-made climate change now raises a moral issue as momentous as any that the courts have considered in the past. Today’s adults are reaping the benefits of burning fossil fuels while leaving the consequences to be borne by young people and future generations. Are my grandchildren, and other young people, included in the category of “any person” and thus deserving equal protection of the laws? A positive answer, I believe, is obvious.

Bill: You are suggesting that we file suit against the government?

Jim: Precisely so. Begging Congress to be responsible does not work. Exhorting the president to be Churchillian does not work.

On the contrary, Congress has passed laws and the executive branch has defined and carried out policies that trample on the future of young people. Consider the subsidies of fossil fuels and the permission that is given to the fossil fuel industry to use the atmosphere as an open sewer without charge. We cannot let the government pretend that it does not realize the consequences of its actions.

A basis for suing the government is described by legal scholars such as Mary Wood at the University of Oregon. She shows that the Constitution implies a fiduciary responsibility of governments to protect the rights of the young and the unborn. She describes what she calls atmospheric trust litigation. Suits could and should be brought against not only the federal government but also state governments, and perhaps lower levels—and in other nations as well as the United States.

Courts ordered desegregation to achieve civil rights of minorities. Similarly, if a court finds that a government is failing in its obligations to young people, the court can require that government to submit plans for how it will reduce its emissions. Courts have authority to require governments to report back at intervals on the success of their actions and to define corrective actions if they fail to achieve specified reduction.

So we must define the emissions trajectory needed to avoid dangerous human-made climate change. In other words, how fast must emissions decline to avoid passing tipping points with disastrous consequences? I am working with Pushker Kharecha and Makiko Sato to define the required emissions scenario. Our paper will be titled “Sophie, Connor, Jake and Lauren versus Obama and the United States Congress.” Although we have not completed that task, it is clear that the requirement will be an annual emissions reduction of several percent per year.

Bill: Wow. Let’s say the court instructs the government to reduce emissions so as to yield a safe level of greenhouse gases, which would mean getting carbon dioxide back below 350 ppm. Is it practical to achieve such a scenario?

Jim: Absolutely. But it requires the government to be honest about what is needed. They cannot use tricks such as those in the House and Senate energy/climate bills. Science demands actual reductions in fossil fuel emissions, not phony offsets. An inadequate plan will be quickly exposed by emissions data—the amount of coal, oil, and gas being burned is well documented.

A court would not be expected to mandate how emission reductions are to be achieved. The legislative and executive branches are responsible for defining and implementing the laws. But the laws must yield “equal protection.” That requirement will force the government to face up to facts. The most fundamental energy fact is this: As long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, they will continue to be used.

Fossil fuels are cheapest only because of government policies. First, there are substantial direct and indirect subsidies of fossil fuels. Second, fossil fuel companies are not made to pay for the damage that fossil fuels do to human health. Instead, the public is forced to bear the costs of air and water pollution. Third, fossil fuel companies are not made to pay for the costs of damage to the environment and the well-being of future generations caused by climate change.

The government must face the fact that fossil fuel use will not decline rapidly unless a rising fee is added to fossil fuels, a fee that should be collected from fossil fuel companies at the source before the first sale. Such a carbon fee will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices for fossil fuels. Therefore it is important that 100 percent of the collected funds be distributed to the public, preferably as a monthly “green check,” although the funds could be used in part to reduce taxes. This “fee and green check” approach would leave about 60 percent of the public receiving more from the green check than they would pay in increased energy prices. The objective is to reward people who reduce their carbon footprint and to stimulate the development of clean energies.

Bill: There are people who say that, in principle, your idea for a fee and green check is the appropriate underlying policy. And if it were accompanied by energy efficiency standards, regulations that remove barriers to efficiency, and appropriate government investments in energy technologies, it would be possible to achieve rapid reduction of carbon emissions. But they say it is unrealistic because in practice Congress always builds in giveaways and favors to special interests, which make the legislation less effective than it should be.

Jim: Sure, that is the way it has worked. But solution of the energy/climate problem requires a different approach. For example, there could be a bipartisan commission that defines appropriate polices to achieve court-ordered emission reductions, with Congress agreeing to either accept or reject the proposed policies without the ability to add in special favors. The public, I believe, is getting really fed up with the government, with the role of special interests and congressional earmarks. If we cannot overcome the role of special interest money in Washington, then both our nation and the planet are in deep doo-doo. This is a crisis, but I believe it is one that we are capable of overcoming.

Bill: There are also a lot of people who say that it doesn’t matter what the United States does, because China now has the greatest emissions and its emissions are growing the fastest.

Jim: China is taking the right steps to move toward carbon-free energy. They are now number one in the world in production of clean energy technologies: solar power, wind power, and nuclear power. Also, China stands to suffer greatly from global climate change because China has several hundred million people living near sea level and the country is already experiencing large damaging regional climate disasters.

There is no doubt that China will want to move rapidly toward clean carbon-free energies. When the United States realizes that it must impose an internal fee on carbon emissions, it should not be difficult to get China to agree to do the same.

Also, it is important to recognize that the United States is responsible for three times more of the excess (human-made) carbon dioxide in the air today than any other nation, with China being second. The much greater responsibility for accumulated human-made emissions is true despite the fact that China’s population is three times greater than the United States’. So there is no reason to expect China to act first to reduce emissions.

However, there are advantages in beginning to act rapidly. China is investing heavily in clean energies, and it is likely that they will recognize the merits of imposing an internal carbon price to spur development and implementation of clean energies. The United States risks becoming second-class technologically and economically this century if it does not stop subsidizing dirty technologies and instead move toward progressive policies such as fee and green check, which will stimulate development of clean energies.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Climate News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

158 Responses to Jim and Bill’s excellent misadventure

  1. pkatt says:

    Ugh! Science with an agenda cannot be considered objective. JH is the poster child for that last statement.

  2. Jimbo says:

    Typo?

    “…have for people like you and I,…”
    “…have for people like you and me,…”

  3. Steeptown says:

    Is senility the next step beyond incurable cognitive dissonance? Jim sure has it bad.

  4. Richard Lawson says:

    I think Laurel and Hardy would be a better name for this double act!

  5. jaypan says:

    “Our last chance to save humanity” … that’s the language of scharlatanes, has ever been, will ever be.
    Suggest that scientists as soon as they turn to activists first quit their well-funded jobs.
    Otherwise, as we see over and over, they are shamelessly using their position to drive their own personal agenda.

  6. steveta_uk says:

    Couldn’t read the whole thing – Hansen’s weaselly explanations are just sick.

    Example, regarding the absurd IPCC prediction of Himalayan glaciers gone by 2035:

    “some of them almost surely will survive longer than twenty-five years”

    Some of them? SOME OF THEM???

    What a tosser (as we say in the UK)

  7. This irresponsible ideologue, who believes that anybody doubting his amateurish kitchen-talk is doing “dirty work for fat-cat coal executives,” actually has a doctor’s degree in science? What, then, a PhD in science worth these days?

  8. Jimbo says:

    “Look at it this way: If anybody could show that the global warming curve was wrong they would become famous, maybe win a Nobel Prize. “

    Get ready to fly to Scandinavia Mr. Watts, Piers Corbyn, Steve McIntyre, Richard S. Lindzen, Roy Spencer et. al. ;O)

    If the following happens they will blame it on Co2. It’s not below them.
    http://sc25.com/index.php?id=267

  9. Sandy says:

    “Record local daily high temperatures now occur more than twice as often as record daily cold temperatures”
    What a testable statistic!!

  10. Rainer Link says:

    @Alexander Feht
    “This irresponsible ideologue, who believes that anybody doubting his amateurish kitchen-talk is doing “dirty work for fat-cat coal executives,” actually has a doctor’s degree in science? What, then, a PhD in science worth these days?”

    I have a PhD in Physics, but I must agree, it seems to be worth nothing, especially in climatology, which still is a part of physics.
    It is a shame for physicists!

  11. R. de Haan says:

    “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

    “This winter is like the battle of Stalingrad in the ‘Climate war’,” says Piers. “It will be long and hard and the public will suffer until the failed pseudo-science of man-made climate change – which become like a religion – is defeated; and instead available proven solar-based advances in forecasting science are applied to reduce misery and save lives”.
    http://www.iceagenow.com/You_ain-t_seen_nothing_yet_says_astrophysicist_Biggest_blizzard_in_decades_for_NE_USA.htm

  12. Grumpy old Man says:

    “…We scientists create a communications problem by speaking about average global warming in degrees Celsius. Global warming in degrees Fahrenheit is almost twice as large …”
    WTF? Why not measure in Degrees Kelvin? 273 K sounds much more impressive than 0 C. Were these guys skipping class when the teacher showed that it took as much energy to raise the temperature of water from 0C to 100C as it does from 32F to 212F?

  13. Kev-in-UK says:

    Hansen must know he and his cronies are ‘stuffed’ – why else would anyone resort to such weak arguments?
    It’s been said a zillion times – if the AGW theory was SOOO good, and SOOO demonstrable – this would be a NON issue! It’s still the same – Show us the proof – or jump off the bandwagon!
    I am not a vindictive person, but I detest liars and manipulators (e.g. politicians!) and I used to ‘trust’ in science to be objective. It has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that current climate (and other) science has lost its objectivity and proper method. The likes of Hansen, Schimdt, Jones, Mann et al – have all contributed to the falsehoods and misrepresentations – perhaps in genuine error initially, but certainly continued to be complicit in order to forward their own causes. For this reason, were any of them hanging by their fingertips over the edge of a tall building – I confess I would want to stamp on their grubby little fingers – but I would probably just walk away. To my mind, these kind of folk have no morals and crave attention – I reckon if they see folk ‘walk away’ from them it will hurt them a lot more than actual direct pain!
    I still pray for a proper revolution……then throw them to the masses!

  14. Loodt Pretorius says:

    Assume you live in the real world.

    Assume you are the chairman of a big chain store with shops all over the place.

    Assume you want to show increased sales.

    In a good year you report the returns from all the stores.

    A bad year kicks in, and you report increased sales from all the stores that showed an increase in sales, by dropping the worst performers, say 25% of all the stores.

    Next year, still bad, you drop another 25% of the stores, and show the increase from the remaining 50%.

    You can go on and on like this until you only report the sales from a single store that had increased sales.

    Will you survive? Not in the real world.

    But in the climate change science mock-up and make-believe world, you can give interviews and your useful idiots followers with lap up your droolings!

  15. Rick Bradford says:

    I love the way they talk about ‘deniers’ doing things ‘masterfully’ as though there was some grand skeptic plan involved.

    Talk about seeing in your enemies the qualities you cannot admit in yourself — classic psychological projection.

  16. Richard Lawson says:

    The sycophantic interviewer interviews the sick interviewee.

    It could work equally well the other way round!

  17. Darren Parker says:

    I hope he gets the book thrown at him when his trial does eventually come around.

  18. Jarmo says:

    I loved the way Hansen presents the communication problem climate scientists have:

    “We scientists create a communications problem by speaking about average global warming in degrees Celsius. Global warming in degrees Fahrenheit is almost twice as large (exact factor is 1.8) and warming is about twice as much over land (where people live!) than over ocean.”

    So change global warming into degrees Fahrenheit and concentrate on warming over land. Then people will get it :)

  19. Baa Humbug says:

    I’m not a violent person, I really am not. But if I was to happen to be walking past James Hanson in the street………………..calm down, calm down, deep breaths.

  20. Alexander K says:

    This double diatribe is nasty, dishonest and with more holes in the so-called ‘science’ from whence they derive their so-called ‘facts’ than there are pot-holes in a London street. Back in the 1950s, my dad, who ran away from home to become a backcountry farmhand when he was 14 a couple of years before WWI, used to wonder aloud about the value of university qualifications when everyone would have one at some time in what he saw as the far-away future.
    Now we know!

  21. Anoneumouse says:

    copyright 2011 by James Hansen and Bill McKibben.

    Is that date right

  22. Horace says:

    C’mon, Anthony, “for people like you and I,”??

    for people like you and ME! Great website, but basic literacy should be respected.

    [we can't all learn to speak propper all the time yer know !!! ~ac]

  23. AndiC says:

    Jim: China is taking the right steps to move toward carbon-free energy. They are now number one in the world in production of clean energy technologies: solar power, wind power, and nuclear power. Also, China stands to suffer greatly from global climate change because China has several hundred million people living near sea level and the country is already experiencing large damaging regional climate disasters.

    So all those coal-fired stations coming online don’t count????

    steveta_uk says:
    December 24, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Had to agree, skipped quite a few bits on the sad journey through the rhetoric of a “scientist” not willing to engage in debate – the rage is just below the surface

  24. “We scientists create a communications problem by speaking about average global warming in degrees Celsius. Global warming in degrees Fahrenheit is almost twice as large (exact factor is 1.8)”

    Therefore twice as scary!!!

    Oh pleeeease! Does he think we are all stupid? Sorry – silly question. Not everyone in the world is stuck in the old units, quite a few of us have lived with degrees Celsius for years. If this is the standard of logic applied to his arguements then there is little hope.

  25. Blade says:

    Not sure if anybody else caught this. Hansen just handed us a wonderful cut’n’paste Christmas Present …

    Therefore, it is foolish to demand that policy makers reduce CO2 to 280 ppm. Indeed, if, with a magic wand, we reduced CO2 from today’s 389 ppm to 280 ppm that change would increase Earth’s heat radiation to space by almost 2 watts (per square meter). The planet would rapidly move toward a colder climate, probably colder than the Little Ice Age. Whoever wielded the magic wand might receive a Middle Ages punishment, such as being drawn and quartered. – James Hansen, 2010-12-21 in Conversation with Bill McKibben

    With very little effort from us citizen reporters, this paragraph can become the bane of all the Warmie sites! Let’s see if Gavin Schmidt, Joe Romm and Grant Foster have the guts to continually censor the words of their prophet! ;-) I suggest folks paste it as is without further comment as a reply in every thread that discusses reduction of CO2. Anybody with me?

    I for one, am fully prepared to endorse this position by James Hansen: that a reduction of atmospheric CO2 by 100 ppm could change the climate and make it “probably colder than the Little Ice Age”.

    P.S. Almost forgot, IBSMQTLIAA … In Before Steve Mosher questions the Little Ice Age again.

  26. johanna says:

    Bill: Can we stop that process? Do we understand what is needed to stabilize the situation?
    Jim: We can estimate what is needed pretty well. Stabilizing climate requires, to first order, that we restore Earth’s energy balance. If the planet once again radiates as much energy to space as it absorbs from the sun, there no longer will be a drive causing the planet to get warmer. Restoring planetary energy balance would not immediately stop sea level rise, but it should keep sea level rise small. Restoring energy balance also would prevent climate change from becoming a huge force for species extinction and ecosystem collapse.

    We can accurately calculate how Earth’s energy balance will change if we reduce long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. We would need to reduce carbon dioxide by 35 to 40 ppm (parts per million) to increase Earth’s heat radiation to space by one half watt, if other long-lived gases stay the same as today. That reduction would make atmospheric carbon dioxide amount to about 350 ppm.

    But mountaintop removal will lower the peak about four hundred feet, making Coal River Mountain an ineffectual source of wind energy. Mountaintop removal provides only 7 percent of United States coal production, which is less than the amount that we export. So it cannot be argued that it is needed in order to keep the lights on—it is needed only to line the pockets of a few fat-cat coal executives.”

    We need to ‘restore the Earth’s energy balance’? Not having a science degree, perhaps I am missing something here. Can anyone on WUWT explain what this means? What is the Earth’s ‘energy balance’ and how can we ‘restore’ it? Does it have something to do with crystals?

    And, if removing the top of a mountain of coal makes it less viable for windmills, I would love to hear how much verifiable energy is being foregone here. The coal produces, on demand. Unlike the windmills. And, whereas coal is only where it is, mountains, hills and windy spots abound around the Earth.

    I’ve just picked out a couple of absurd statement in a transcript full of them. If this is the guru, the AGW cult is in deep trouble.

  27. In fact, it is worse than that:

    “We scientists create a communications problem by speaking about average global warming in degrees Celsius. Global warming in degrees Fahrenheit is almost twice as large (exact factor is 1.8)”

    Global warming (if it existed) is exactly the same in degrees Fahrenheit or degrees Ceclius. The numbers used to quantify this “warming” may be larger in one set of units than the other but the “warming” is exactly the same.

    If I am driving at a velocity of 50 mph, I cannot arrive at my destination any sooner by changing my velocity to 80.5 kph. What absolute tosh!

  28. KPO says:

    “Fossil fuels are cheapest only because of government policies. First, there are substantial direct and indirect subsidies of fossil fuels. Second, fossil fuel companies are not made to pay for the damage that fossil fuels do to human health. Instead, the public is forced to bear the costs of air and water pollution. Third, fossil fuel companies are not made to pay for the costs of damage to the environment and the well-being of future generations caused by climate change.”
    Without arguing his points here, (new post?), about 30% of our fuel price here (RSA) is government tax. That is a massive amount into government coffers they will surly miss. So do the “clean” alternatives also include the governments cut, or will they waiver it for a better future “for the children”? The rolling costs of energy will achieve one thing though – we won’t be able to afford children, so no worries for their part.
    “There is no doubt that China will want to move rapidly toward clean carbon-free energies. When the United States realizes that it must impose an internal fee on carbon emissions, it should not be difficult to get China to agree to do the same.”
    A climate scientist, a fortune teller and salesman of the month.

  29. This “interview” was one of the most bizarre things that I’ve ever read. It reminds me of conversations I’ve had with members of the LaRouche cult. I talked to them because they were pushing for nuclear power but then gradually the conversation got into the role of the British monarchy as the cause of all US problems and it became clear we weren’t inhabiting the same reality tunnels.

    350.org is likely in favor of abortion as this will reduce the worlds population. If, through some fluke a majority of the justices in the SCOTUS have a brief period of insanity, it may be that constitutional rights will be granted to the unborn. Suddenly, abortion will be illegal as I can’t think of anything more inimical to the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Hansen can’t even get the science right and proceeds to propose changes to law where he is even more incompetent.

    As it stands, once someone gets a PhD they are assumed to have superior knowledge in a narrow subject area than the rest of the population indefinitely. In the US, medical knowledge is assumed to have a shelf life and all specialists are required to undergo recertification every 10 years. This is a non-trivial process as I discovered when I decided to renew my internal medicine board certification in case I decide to move to the US, but it made me very aware how many changes had happened in areas of medicine I don’t routinely deal with during the decade. Perhaps it’s time to bring a similar process into the academic world.

  30. Slabadang says:

    This to obvious sickos!

    Two Pseudoscience fanatics who totally lost contact with reality.The custodian of the world teperatur records is speaking!!!!! Why we cant trust ANYTHING claimed by thís Hansen is cristall selfevedently prooved here. Can someone pleas order two straight jackets? This fanatic religion has to be banned otherwise we gonna have a real disaster.

  31. Barry Woods says:

    he is surely aware of how many coal fired power stations China is building and is planning to build?

    To pretend otherwise ie china is doing it’s bit, must be considered a lie?

  32. Baa Humbug says:

    Loodt Pretorius says:
    December 24, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Assume you live in the real world.

    Assume you are the chairman of a big chain store with shops all over the place.

    Actually Loodt, you’d be amazed as to how accurate you are. What you claim does happen, is happening. I know, I was a part of it for over 10yrs.

    Early in our financial year, stores that we knew/thought would not perform for various reasons would be earmarked for closure. Any staff we wished to rescue would be transferred.
    Figures from the closed stores were excluded from analysis.

    No, this sort of fudging doesn’t last, but it sure provides bonuses in the short term.
    My outspokenness on this and other similar issues at a major seminar with our global leaders present was the demise of my tenure with the company.

    p.s. Chairman do not usually get involved in daily operational matters. The CEO and CFO are the “operators”.

  33. Peter Miller says:

    From the arch-manipulator of climate data this was more than just a little rich.

    No mention of embarrassing stuff like natural climate cycles, 2010’s El Nino or Hansen’s persistent purveying of unfounded scare stories.

    Anyhow, like most of those who read WUWT, I am proud to be labelled a ‘denier’, someone who passionately hates: i) the bad science of Hansen, Mann and the rest of the Team, ii) the falsifying/manipulation of raw data, iii) those who erase the evidence for, or refuse to accept, natural climate cycles, and iv) the grant culture, requiring increasingly outrageous scare staries to generate new/continued funding.

    I guess my problem is that I am a real scientist, a geologist, not a ‘climate scientist’ whose practices would not be tolerated in any of the real sciences.

  34. morgo says:

    I wonder how many $ he has been given in grants over the years he should give it all back

  35. Gordo says:

    The fact that people like this never mention global population, what is it now? 6.9 billion? shows that they are not in earnest. They are playing politics not doing science. Makes me glad I am an engineer.

  36. Squidly says:

    Rick Bradford says:
    December 24, 2010 at 2:06 am

    I love the way they talk about ‘deniers’ doing things ‘masterfully’ as though there was some grand skeptic plan involved.

    Talk about seeing in your enemies the qualities you cannot admit in yourself — classic psychological projection.

    And what kills me is, these people are saying, “look, trust us, we are smarter than everyone else and we know that we are all gonna die from global warming” … yeah, makes sense. They are the smart guys, but somehow the “deniers” are outsmarting us? … WTF? … How stupid does anyone really need to be to not see through this crap? This reminds me of carnies trying to get you to play the game one more time. There is no doubt in my mind anymore that this is a complete CON game and the players (Hansen, et al) all KNOW it. Somehow, its as if they still believe they are still fooling people. Like the carny that hasn’t figured out that the audience isn’t buying it.

  37. Squidly says:

    With people in the UK dying by the hundreds per day from COLD, one must wonder how long it is going to take before something drastic ends up happening to people like Hansen. At some point, there are people that are going to retaliate. It is what I feared a few years ago (and written here), and I am afraid it is exactly what we will see in the coming years. The sadness I feel now is that it will be justifiable.

  38. Ken Hall says:

    I do not want to be insulting and negative. However, since Dr Hansen predicted that Manhattan would be underwater by now I find it hard to take anything he says seriously. What is worse is the fact that he wants my relatives to freeze to death, so I have great difficulty reading anything he says anymore or in granting him any respect whatsoever.

  39. Mercy says:

    James Hansen wants a new holocaust and is actively encouraging violence against global warming skeptics.

    [snip]

  40. Juraj V. says:

    WORLD TEMPERATURE EXTREMES
    http://members.iinet.net.au/~jacob/worldtp.html

    ASIA, HIGHEST RECORDED TEMPERATURE:
    Tirat Tsvi, Israel 53.9 C (129.0 F) on the 21st June, 1942

  41. AusieDan says:

    Has anybody noticed that the CO2 theory is not advancing ,but is stuck in a rut and is decaying?

    Research into alternative theories of climate is advancing all the time.

    Why is that so?

  42. Viv Evans says:

    I was intrigued by this little snippet Hansen dropped:
    “A basis for suing the government is described by legal scholars such as Mary Wood at the University of Oregon. She shows that the Constitution implies a fiduciary responsibility of governments to protect the rights of the young and the unborn.”

    So shouldn’t therefore government prohibit abortions on demand?
    How is that going to play with the feminists and all the lefties who are pushing for a reduction in human populations?

    Btw – I find it sickening how he is using young people to push his ideology.
    Pied Piper is a very good label for him.

  43. reggieman says:

    Whilst this “interview” (publicity blurb more like) is obviously wrong in so many ways, the only people who will ever read it are those half a dozen true believers who buy the book anyway!

  44. Steve Allen says:

    “Indeed, if, with a magic wand, we reduced CO2 from today’s 389 ppm to 280 ppm that change would increase Earth’s heat radiation to space by almost 2 watts (per square meter). The planet would rapidly move toward a colder climate, probably colder than the Little Ice Age.”

    Is this an admission or slip-up by Little Jimmy; that if not for man-made-global warming, he really believes we would now be well into another crop-killing, cold climate, that would be still another “great threat to young people and the planet”?

  45. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    Anyone know the legal entity behind 350.org? Curious because it’s website doesn’t mention much regarding it’s finances or provide any information like annual reports. It does however solicit funding. I’d assumed it was a 501(c) entity but from searching, can’t find any registration or accounts filed.

  46. kwik says:

    “We scientists create a communications problem by speaking about average global warming in degrees Celsius. Global warming in degrees Fahrenheit is almost twice as large (exact factor is 1.8)”

    hehe, thats so funny! In fact, the man is absolutely correct! Just look at how its all over the world now that it was plus 14 degrees Celsius at Greenland. I suspect it was plus 14 degrees Farenheit. Which is actually minus 10 degrees Celcius. Now thats what I call BIAS!

    http://www.weathercity.com/gl/nuuk/

  47. Brian Johnson uk says:

    [snip] Come on NASA and remove this icon of politico/fantasy science. I see “NASA” but I think “Hansen” which is not how it should be. Appoint a true scientist not an abysmal imitation for one.

  48. A C Osborn says:

    Barry Woods says:
    December 24, 2010 at 3:14 am

    He is very very very very very GOOD at doing that, he has had years of practice.

  49. stephen richards says:

    Horace et al.

    Correct English is : You and I. Me and You. Sadly most english speakers no longer speak english but a dialect of it and more and more French people speak less and less French and more and more Franglais. It’s truely sad how education has been so corrupted by sucessive governments.

  50. Steve Allen says:

    “fee and green check”.

    derivative of fee = tax
    derivative of check = spend

    integral of fee = cap
    integral of check = trade

    Jimmy’s new lexicon is one step closer to the same old, same old. Thanx for being a bit more clear Jimmy.

  51. Garry says:

    After reading that I am just speechless.

    Hansen is insane, and probably McKibben too.

  52. H.R. says:

    “Jim: Still no trial date has been set. According to the law, I could get as much as one year in prison.”

    Please, dear Santa, please?

  53. Zorro says:

    Well, there you have it, a poisonous Xmas card to the world from two fanatics. Facepalm.

    And thank you very much but I don’t want “saving.” Keep your religion to yourselves!

  54. Alexander K says:

    I have just re-read this as I didn’t entirely believe what I was reading, first time around.
    I can just about hear the two of them scripting this thing;
    “Okay, I feed you this no-brainer line and you say…”
    They are working from their belief that only they ‘know the truth’ and the increasingly questioning, sceptical people out there are just plain stupid and in the pay of Big Oil, anyway.
    Their mode of thinking is similar to that of the most extreme religious bigots and just as arrogant and despicable.

  55. Robinson says:

    If I am driving at a velocity of 50 mph, I cannot arrive at my destination any sooner by changing my velocity to 80.5 kph. What absolute tosh!

    I detect a sense of humour failure….

  56. Philhippos says:

    This prompted me to have a look at the 350.org website where I first looked at ‘The 350.org Team’. All, except McKibben, look like the same bunch of juvenile hippies that we saw at Cancun voting to ban Dihydrogen Monoxide! Interesting, but not surprising, how the naive young go for this whilst the realists are mostly old enough to have the experience to question hype having seen it all before. As has been said in other contexts, most people grow out of juvenile idealism but a few remain juvenile for ever. Sadly, the media now seem to equate youth (yoof) with wisdom.

  57. Julian in Wales says:

    The problem is that people, like one of my brothers who reads the New Scientist, take Hansen and Gore seriously. Unless you step outside the main media publications, and look under the carpet, you are constantly bombarded with these messages that the CRU emails were not very serious, the Himalaya error was a tiny human error, the glaciers and the ice caps are melting, 2010 was the hottest year ever……it goes on and on. The message being put out is that to oppose these “truths” is to be part of a loony fringe.

    The situation is much better than even a year ago, and with the help of what I have learnt on this forum, I can often hold my own. But it always takes a lot of re-education and energy.

    We have a mountain to climb.

    By the way – Merry Christmas, and thank you for all your posts over the last year. This blog is very important.

  58. Jim Hansen:”If anybody could show that the global warming curve was wrong they would become famous, maybe win a Nobel Prize. All the measurement data are available. So why don’t the deniers produce a different result? ”

    Hmm… I have thought the same thought.. perhaps the problem is, that if such a graph was produced, would media´s etc pay attention? Would such a “sceptic” graph be listened to anywhere?

    In this writing http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/posts/the-perplexing-temperature-data-published-1974-84-and-recent-temperature-data-180.php
    I do make an approach to make alternative temperature graphs where i usehigh quality data from the pre-GW period 1974-84 combined with modern satellite data, NH estimate vs. hadcrut:
    FIg 71: http://hidethedecline.eu/media/PERPLEX/fig71.jpg

    I say “high quality data” because I in the writing show an impressing agreement between data sources of original temperature.

    And how about NCEP?

    Here some original land graphs and more:
    http://hidethedecline.eu/media/PERPLEX/fig51.jpg

    It appears that the NCEP graph is trended rather well in agreement with these data. In periods NCEP is between land and ocean data. Is not NCEP a candidate for a more adjustment free data set?

    BUT!

    I would like to take the challenge!!!

    Lets make an alternative global temperature graphs based on raw temperature data from around the world, whos in? :-)

    We need to pick the very very best rural sites from all over the world. In fact it has been shown that we can produce a global graph on rather few data sets if just these are spread out well.

    Here we see that just few datasets of Angel and Korshover makes an impressing agreement with the old Jones 81 data simply by spreading datasets systematically out over the globe.
    http://hidethedecline.eu/media/PERPLEX/fig9.jpg

    A & K vs Jones 81: http://hidethedecline.eu/media/PERPLEX/fig8.jpg

    K,R Frank

  59. Frank K. says:

    Hansen’s screed is such a target-rich document that it’s hard to know where to begin. However, these two gems stuck out at me…


    Bill: You are suggesting that we file suit against the government?

    Jim: Precisely so. Begging Congress to be responsible does not work. Exhorting the president to be Churchillian does not work.

    And who pays for these lawsuits? Oh yeah…


    The government must face the fact that fossil fuel use will not decline rapidly unless a rising fee is added to fossil fuels, a fee that should be collected from fossil fuel companies at the source before the first sale. Such a carbon fee will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices for fossil fuels. Therefore it is important that 100 percent of the collected funds be distributed to the public, preferably as a monthly “green check,” although the funds could be used in part to reduce taxes.

    So, like health care, the government (which he ironically rails against) is going to take our money and then decide who gets their “green check” based on you doing the “right thing”. I mean, why bother? Just nationalize everything and create an army of like-minded followers to enforce the rules at the point of a gun. History has shown that it’s much easier to control the people that way.

    Also, don’t think this kind of government taxation and control will stop at energy. Next will be controlling what you eat, what you drive, where you live, how much land and other possessions you have. One could construct arguments very similar to Hansen’s about why we need to regulate all of these things and more, supposedly in the name of future generations.

    I find it really hard to believe that this guy runs a government-funded group, receiving government money, all paid for by the U.S. tax payers.

    And, finally, to show everyone how much all his proposed energy taxation will affect Hansen’s own wallet, here is a public link to a search engine where you can find out how much federal employees make in base salary:

    Federal Employees Search

    As you will see, most all of our government-funded climate heroes will be little affected by these taxes. Please remember that the based salaries don’t include benefits or Climate Ca$h used for computers, travel, parties in Cancun and Bali, etc.

  60. RomanM says:

    To slightly correct one of “Jim”‘s statements:

    The perpetrators, global warming deniers propagandists, did a brilliant job of playing the scientifically obtuse media like a fiddle.

    It seems that he has some familiarity with the concept of manipulating a “scientifically obtuse” media.

  61. geoff says:

    Hansen says

    “All the measurement data are available. So why don’t the deniers produce a different result? ”

    can someone point me towards the data? raw?

  62. vukcevic says:

    WUWT was one of my favoured readings in the year gone by.
    To Anthony, mod-s and all contributors
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  63. A Lovell says:

    I forced myself to read the whole tedious, repetitive song to the choir.

    It no longer even makes me angry………just tired.

    AND I am getting sick and tired of the constant references to the ‘Chiiilldrunnn’

    I left a comment on ‘tips and note’ a while back suggesting we come up with a ‘law’ similar to Godwin’s law whenever someone invokes the ‘Chiiilldrunnn’

    ‘Hansen’s Law’ is a bit obvious, perhaps. Any ideas?

    (I speak as a devoted mother of three!)

  64. JohnQPublic@live.ca says:

    AGW = Lysenkoism

  65. RockyRoad says:

    Jim Hansen just fell off the table. There’s no other explanation than to say he’s completely lost it. His comments remind me of a deranged, mad scientist–against which the truth illuminates his stupidity with amazing clarity.

    Of course, others like him in the cult of global warming won’t admit this nor will they own up to the utterly laughable position this puts them in, but thinking people certainly will, and as the tide continues to change toward a realistic view of the climate, these poor dunderheads will be history’s laughing stock. Oh, wait… they already are.

  66. Mr Lynn says:

    Has this fellow Hansen ever been interviewed by someone who could put him on the spot scientifically?

    “Dr. Hansen, exactly what evidence do you have that anthropogenic global warming has occurred or is occurring?”

    “Dr. Hansen, are you aware that the cycles of post-industrial warming and cooling are entirely within the range of natural variation over the past thousand years?”

    And so on. How about a WUWT challenge? Offer Dr. Hansen the opportunity to defend his views when questioned by climate realist, like Anthony, or Roy Spencer, or Bob Carter, and promise to publish the exchange in full right here on WUWT.

    Of course, he might get the opportunity when the Republicans take control of the House in January, but he really needs to be grilled by someone who knows the science, as it were, cold.

    /Mr Lynn

  67. Brad says:

    James Hansen is not a scientist, and his advocacy removes credibility from NASA and the government generally. I really do not care who is right or wrong, but it is clear that he is not an effective judge and is undermining trust in science and government, science is supposed to be as removed as possible from human bias – please move Hansen to an advocacy role and put real scientists in charge again.

    And how about we move Cryosphere Today to a less political institution and department then the ATMOS at U of Illinios.

  68. tonyb says:

    According to Hansen 2010 IS officially the warmest year ever

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/12/nasa-2010-meteorological-year-wa.html

    Here is the anomaly data.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts.txt

    In the first referenced link Hansen says;

    “According to NASA climatologist and Goddard director James Hansen, the main driver for the increased warmth was the Arctic, where temperatures in Hudson Bay were “10˚C above normal” for November. That month, Hansen says, “sea ice was absent while normally that [body of water] is covered by sea ice.” Water devoid of ice absorbs much more solar radiation than water covered with ice, which reflects much of the radiation back toward space.”

    According to http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    “Ice extent was unusually low in both the Atlantic and Pacific sectors of the Arctic and in Hudson Bay. Typically by the end of November, nearly half of Hudson Bay has iced over. But on November 30, only 17% of the bay was covered by sea ice. Compared to the 1979 to 2000 average, the ice extent was 12.4% below average for the Arctic as a whole.”

    So low ice but not no ice.

    According to this-Hudson Bay ice always freezes around the same time.(its possible to click on earlier dates in next link to see the developing cold)

    http://churchillpolarbears.org/2010/11/report-from-churchill-november-24-2010/

    So Hansen was not being entirely factual in his comments. Im afraid Im too much of a sceptic on his notion of Global temperatures to bother to refute them at this stage other than to say that some of the highest records he cites come from recent datasets-not back to 1880.

    tonyb

  69. Dave in Canmore says:

    Wow! I used to think Hansen was wrong. Now I think he’s completely mental.

  70. Mr Lynn says:

    Moderator: Please correct “. . . for people like you and I” in Anthony’s introductory paragraph, pointed out by others above. This is no mere nit; it’s a grammatical error, and it gives free ammunition to opponents. /Mr Lynn

  71. Anton says:

    Grammar cop alert: “have for people like you and I” should be changed to “have for people like you and me.”

  72. rushmike says:

    One complaineth too much me thinks…

  73. 1DandyTroll says:

    In the prelude to the second world war the little socialist adolf and his “merry” party of national war mongers opened up for extremist views, and the more that they let those people voice their insanity, the more insane people they attracted, and the more they could allow themselves to “legally” become a bunch of depraved crazed sadists. After all “Every body did it.”

    How could they do what they did a lot of historians seem to battle with still, and it’s so simple a fact that if you allow for the crazy to gain prominent places, without question, without having to take responsibility, they will virulently gather the support of equally depraved minions.

    So, essentially, the longer the leech, the more free, unquestioned, reign they’re given the more “legal” their behavior seem to their minions.

    What’s really ironic is that the people who are most willing to follow the, by media, polished turds are the, by academia, educated minions, and yet they’re the most likely to end up in their own creation of Gulag or worse loose their heads once their hoopla hoop “utopia” has been created, simply because they’re, by their leader, seen, due to maybe that they have “proven” themselves, as the most dangerous bunch that has it in themselves to really want to climb the “company ladder”, probably due to the fact that they rarely see themselves as mere followers.

    I’m not saying Hansen et al are going to become a bunch of sadistic socialist hippies given the chance, but to use their reasoning: Why would I chance it?

  74. Vince Causey says:

    As James Delingpole recently noted, James Hansen is so extreme he makes Al Gore look like Christopher Monckton.

    Where does one begin tackling Hansen’s drivel? He attacks the lameness of congress in pursuing re-election as their only goal, but ignores the obvious consequences from the voters if his demands are met. He equates climate change to civil rights, and expects the courts to impose regulations in the same manner, despite the fact that segregation was a real and odious breach of the constitution whereas AGW is a fabrication. He then expects that the courts, having prohibited co2 emissions in accordance with the rights and liberties enshrined in the constitution, which will amount to reductions of ‘several percentage points per year,’ will not invoke a reaction from the American people.

    I hope that Hansen lives long enough to see the AGW exposed for the fraud it is. I hope I live long enough to witness his comeuppance.

  75. Bruce Hall says:

    A year or so ago, I did an analysis of statewide records… high and low… for the U.S. going back 13 decades. These extremes could be considered “climate boundaries” for the U.S.

    http://www.4shared.com/document/PhtjjYBG/US_Extreme_Temperatures_-_Exce.html [downloadable file]

    While some argue that the U.S. is just a small portion of global temperatures, it seem ingenuous to argue that the world is warming while the U.S. is not… as some have in response to the analysis. Besides, it is probably the best long-term recorded data available.

    This post link below demonstrates the lack of new extremes. Note that if an old record is tied, the record is then changed to the most recent date and the old record is deleted. This is a built-in bias for a warming trend.

    http://hallofrecord.blogspot.com/2009/11/critique-of-october-2009-ncar-study.html

    Recent health problems have prevented me from updating this material, but there is little that 2010 data could do to change the overall picture.

  76. Scott says:

    Anyone who uses the term ‘climate justice’ or ‘climate catastrophe’ is a complete and utter f*ck wit .

  77. wobble says:

    Well, Jim, the deniers that denied that your prediction about the West Side Highway being flooded were right.

    You see, the West Side Highway isn’t flooded so denying the accuracy of your prediction was correct. Denying the accuracy of your predictions are correct now, too.

    Here’s the score:
    Deniers 1
    Hansen 0

  78. I’m sorry, I’m not prone to profanities, and feel free to snip if you need to but I’ve just got to say it…What a ****head.

  79. ANH says:

    I couldn’t read more than part of this, it made me feel sick. Desperate liars like Hansen make me feel so sad for the morons who believe him.

  80. Pamela Gray says:

    Securing the rights of young people and the unborn; and I think I assume correctly he means all manner of his definition of their perceived rights, will be a development guaranteed to end our constitution in favor of communist rule. The man is red through and through. Women and parents will be subjugated into servitude. The government will sleep in our beds with us and eat at our table so to monitor our comings and goings all in order to worship children and the unborn. And with abortion illegal, even greater population (plus more misery) rise than we now have.

    According to Hansen, meet our new gods we must attend and worship.

  81. Graphite says:

    “We scientists create a communications problem by speaking about average global warming in degrees Celsius. Global warming in degrees Fahrenheit is almost twice as large (exact factor is 1.8)”

    Be realistic, it wasn’t expressed entirely accurately but the comment is justified. – He means that if you speak to most folks in the US about temp changes they will automatically assume ºF since that is how they ‘think temperature’ – my folks are the same. We middle aged and younger in the UK have been schooled in ºC since before I was at school so it is accurate for us. ºF in this case would be potentially making us think artificially high values. We must be accurate in our critique of these comments and not just blunder through shooting at anything and everything – or we become as bad as the ‘Global Warming Evangelists’ ! LOL

    I spoke to a friend the other day who thought I was crazy to spout 0.6 ºC over 100 years was the temp change that catastrophic alarmists were getting upset about! – She thought it was at least 2 or 3 ºC !!! – Just shows how the media coverage is giving ordinary people completely the wrong idea!

    Thanks for a great site and insightful articles Anthony! :D

  82. Curious Canuck says:

    Spoken like an allegedly realclimate real climate-criminal.

  83. Richard M says:

    I just had to laugh when Hansen used the term “climate disasters”. Talk about an oxymoron. Anyone who uses such a term is clearly not very competent. Thanks, James Hansen, for making it so obvious.

  84. John Silver says:

    “I don’t have much respect left for Dr. Hansen, particularly when he uses the word “deniers” nine times in this interview.”

    I am proud to be a denier.

  85. BFL says:

    @ Sandy says:
    “Record local daily high temperatures now occur more than twice as often as record daily cold temperatures” What a testable statistic!!

    Not if the numbers are cooked (re UHI, cold station dropping/poor siting, large area averaging, homogenizing).

  86. Gareth Phillips says:

    Meanwhile a homeless man in his mid 40s was found frozen to death this week in the Cathedral grounds in Bangor. Little mention of it in the news, however what did make the news was an agreement to set up a green climate fund as part of efforts to deliver 100 billion US dollars (£60 billion) a year by 2020 to poor countries to help them cope with the impacts of global warming.
    Where did all this go so badly wrong? After 2000 years there is still no room at the inn, while the empire spends billions on false idols.
    Don’t those with influence ever learn lessons?

  87. latitude says:

    “Look at it this way: If anybody could show that the global warming curve was wrong they would become famous, maybe win a Nobel Prize. “
    =======================================================
    That is the whole point.
    No one can do a “global warming curve”, not even Hansen…….

    At least, in a round about way, he says the “deniers” are smart and masterful….

  88. Jack Thompson says:

    To misquote Dr Johnson’s pronouncement about patriotism: to call people denialists is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  89. Ken Smith says:

    Thanks for making me aware of the interesting “interview,” Anthony.

    I am quite fascinated with the idea of taxing carbon at the level of production and distributing most of the proceeds to the population. Entirely aside from the fundamental philosophical issues of such large scale redistribution, I am curious about how such a plan would be worked out in practice.

    Wouldn’t any such scheme require a vast army of accountants (including carbon accountants) whose work would rely on complex (and potentially arbitrary) formulas, as well as data whose accuracy would be, to say the least, open to question?

    Wouldn’t the same faults that are so evident in the “science” that has been used to elevate our fear of carbon emissions also be found in any program implemented to tax carbon emissions?

  90. Curious Canuck says:

    For those who might question my above comment…. They’re a satirical play on Hansen’s own accusations against energy company CEOs (who he accuses of ‘crimes against humanity’) who he seems to attempt to counter by having himself arrested repeatedly.

    How this person holds onto his job, with the arrests, accusations against everyone really reflects the lack professional demands the USA places on the scientists they directly employ. If government can’t hold its own agencies to account professionally, what hope is there of having them hold educational institutions and other extra-governement grant recipients to account.

    With the media blitz against Bush over his time in office, ignoring this mutineer kind of left me with the impression during those years, on this issue, that George and friends were banana Republicans.

  91. ImranCan says:

    Anthony
    As interestingly bizarre as the article is, there is a fdanger of becoming like a tabloid newspaper by even reporting it. Given how far out to lunch these two luatics are, I might suggest a standard (or by exception only) way forward might be to just not be involved with this kind of nonsense. The best thing is just to ignore them.

    Immy

  92. LearDog says:

    This interview is completely unnerving to me. How does one effectively argue with someone like this (if one must)? Logic wouldn’t work here ….

  93. Colin from Mission B.C. says:

    “A basis for suing the government is described by legal scholars such as Mary Wood at the University of Oregon. She shows that the Constitution implies a fiduciary responsibility of governments to protect the rights of the young and the unborn.”

    Oh, how delicious would it be if CAGW supporters, almost entirely on the left of the political spectrum, pursued this course of action? Which would win out, so-called reproductive rights (a cherished foundational tenet of the left), or global warming legislation?

    Sorry to inject a controversial topic into the discussion. But, of many areas in this interview that jumped out at me, this particular quote practically jumped off the page when I read it.

  94. tallbloke says:

    I think this piece is quite revealing of just how far from reality Jim has strayed. His spin reveals that he is a propagandist first, scientist a long way second.

    Surely NASA realise that having this man in their employ reflects badly on them.

  95. Alan McIntire says:

    A couple of have already pointed out the “.. have for people like you and I,” glitch.

    Everyone gets the SINGULAR correct. To get the plural correct, just drop out the
    “you and”, and see if it sounds like correct English. “…have for people like I,”
    “.. have for people like me,” and the choice is obvious.

  96. Colin from Mission B.C. says:

    Ken Smith says:
    December 24, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Thanks for making me aware of the interesting “interview,” Anthony.

    I am quite fascinated with the idea of taxing carbon at the level of production and…am curious about how such a plan would be worked out in practice.

    Wouldn’t any such scheme require a vast army of accountants (including carbon accountants) whose work would rely on complex (and potentially arbitrary) formulas, as well as data whose accuracy would be, to say the least, open to question?

    —–

    Ken, you echo my own sentiments. The whole idea of cap and trade is nonsensical to me. The notion that CO2 emissions can be tracked with any degree of accuracy from individual industries or companies is, as you say, open to question.

    Then, the massive government bureaucracy involved (from accountants, auditors, enforcers, etc.) would impose a huge new expense on business regarding compliance. All based on highly fudgeable data. But, who knows, perhaps this is a feature and not a bug, for those proposing such cap and trade legislation.

  97. Steve Keohane says:

    I lost my respect for Hansen some time ago. People like him could not survive in private industry. These clowns eat too much of this: http://i37.tinypic.com/9lcvg6.jpg
    I just can’t picture Dr. Homer Hansen any other way than this:
    http://i43.tinypic.com/somq83.jpg

  98. Manitoba Ken says:

    I’m feeling a huge rant coming on, but the previous commenters have pretty much eviscerated them already, and it is Christmas Eve, so I’ll just say `what a couple of tools’.

  99. Roger Knights says:

    Vince Causey says:
    December 24, 2010 at 6:29 am

    I hope that Hansen lives long enough to see the AGW exposed for the fraud it is. I hope I live long enough to witness his comeuppance.

    The warm is turning.

  100. Roger Knights says:

    “Record local daily high temperatures now occur more than twice as often as record daily cold temperatures”

    Wait’ll next year.

  101. Bruce Cobb says:

    Jimmy “Death trains” Hansen really should consider the children and grandchildren – his own, that is, and the shameful legacy of his he will be leaving them. But, it’s too late for that, I suppose. He has built a career on the biggest, most destructive lie ever foisted upon mankind. His is a name which will be remembered in infamy.

  102. Cassandra King says:

    “The task of the deniers was to find a minor flaw or flaws, and then work the media so as to make the public suspicious of the entire report.”

    Consider this one sentence, they show a person unable to enter and entertain rational logical discourse with other people. If you are not a believer you are a denier, if you do not believe you become a formless mass with evil intent and motives.
    The IPCC report was flawed and badly put together with a slapdash rushed construction using quantity rather than quality to make their theories seem plausible yet Hanson cannot accept that these flaws can be used to undermine the entire report, the direct evidence means nothing to him.

    The replies that Hansen makes have nothing to do with science and scientific method, he grudgingly accepts some points of misconduct yet insists on raging at those who uncovered the flaws than those who created those flaws. If Hansen had read the reports then why did he not find any errors? He did not expect to find errors, his mental state would not allow him to read the material in a critical manner, he did not find the many errors because he is a believer. The report could have made the biggest blunders imaginable and the believers would not have noticed. This is conclusive proof that believers see what they want to see, it is a classic example of the ‘Emperors clothes’ fable.

    Only the rational sceptic, the ‘unbeliever/heretic’ with no emotional investment could notice the flaws and this is why the believer Hansen displays such bubbling anger and hatred. A person who holds an emotional belief system that is challenged by the rational evidence of a sceptic will always respond in certain ways, irrational anger and hatred and the attempt to attack those who disturb/endanger/destroy the belief system in question, the believer feels the impulse to defend the belief by attacking the non believer.

    The CAGW belief system and its followers are nothing new, their motives and reactions are well understood, their belief paradigm is certainly not in any way new and group beliefs have been infecting humanity since we were painting animals on the walls of French caves. The age old conflicts between believers and unbelievers has been raging since the dawn of time and regardless of how far humanity progresses I suspect that the ideological battles between the two groups will persist to our end.

    When I describe the CAGW believers as a cult I do so because their reactions to internal and external stresses mirrors any cult you care to think of, the believers act in the same irrational manner and those actions are identical to any cult yet examined.
    The thin veneer of rational respectability fabricated by the believers to hide the CAGW cult from rational eyes has begun to fail, we see behind the curtain if you will, what we see is not a little sad and pathetic really, Hansen fails to see what he has become because he has lost his objectivity, if he could see himself in an objective way I am sure he would be horrified at his actions and reactions, he is in essence a captive of the cult in every sense.

  103. Robert Thomson says:

    Colin from Mission B.C. says:
    December 24, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Ken Smith says:
    December 24, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Thanks for making me aware of the interesting “interview,” Anthony.

    I am quite fascinated with the idea of taxing carbon at the level of production and…am curious about how such a plan would be worked out in practice.

    Wouldn’t any such scheme require a vast army of accountants (including carbon accountants) whose work would rely on complex (and potentially arbitrary) formulas, as well as data whose accuracy would be, to say the least, open to question?
    —————————————————-
    Colin – unfortunately this is exactly what the UK minister for climate change (Hune) is intending to do with his green levy on power generated by coal fired power stations. There are many people in positions of power who have bought into the “consensus” peddled by Hanson et al – we have much work to do!

  104. Colin from Mission B.C. says:

    A Lovell says:
    December 24, 2010 at 5:34 am
    AND I am getting sick and tired of the constant references to the ‘Chiiilldrunnn’

    I left a comment on ‘tips and note’ a while back suggesting we come up with a ‘law’ similar to Godwin’s law whenever someone invokes the ‘Chiiilldrunnn’

    ‘Hansen’s Law’ is a bit obvious, perhaps. Any ideas?

    (I speak as a devoted mother of three!)

    ——-

    Love it! As a father of three, with a fourth soon to be joining the clan, I too tire of the think-of-the-children meme. It’s played. Oh, so played.

    I think Hansen’s Law is a fine choice! :)

  105. jae says:

    An undercurrent of exasperation and seething anger, indeed! They know they are rapidly losing the battle for public opinion, as the majority of the people in the world see the winters getting colder and hear unbelievably stupid ideas about how global warming is causing all “bad weather,” including even those cooler winters! Eventually, the naieve liberal politicians may even get the message. If you took away the ad-homs and disgusting angry unscientific words, like denier, these far-left environmentalists could not even speak.

  106. Retired Engineer says:

    Are we still paying this guy? Aren’t there rules for government (NASA) employees about political activities? Yes, he can spout any drivel he wants, but my taxes shouldn’t subsidize it. Cut the deficit now!

  107. Elizabeth says:

    I agree with a lot of what Dr. Hanson says about the corruption of the political system and the clear lack of ethics/social responsibility demonstrated by corporations. However, he must also acknowledge the business mind-set of the environmental movement. For each citizen such as himself who cares about the earth there is a corporation exploiting that concern to make a profit. For instance, environmental groups threatening lawsuits in CA to force caps on power plant emissions are simply trying to pave the way for a carbon cap-and-trade system that will make them rich. Sure, the fossil fuel industry has a lot of influence, but if we were being honest with ourselves we would not discriminate between this industry and the “green” industry.

  108. R. de Haan says:

    “There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.”—George Washington (1732-1799) 1st President of the United States of America

  109. grayman says:

    Jim and Bill, IMHO are the real DENIERS!!!!! To Anthony and family and staff and readers of WUWT Merry Cristmas and Happy New year

  110. David Ball says:

    MuaHaHaHaHaHa, (wringing hands) Gentleman, I am afraid that James Hansen has gleaned on to our coordinated efforts against him. Hopefully he is unaware of our climate conclave in Iqaluit, where we get together to plot our takeover of the world, and compare size of checks received from our fellows in Big Oil (Shhhhhh) . Very astute of him to see clearly that we are the cause of his problems and not ACTUAL DATA. I am, however, sad that we could not come up with an interview like this one. One of our team interviewing one of our team members, lobbing softball questions that reinforce our belief system. Brilliant!! Those of you booked for next years conference in Nunavut will be pleased that this will be one of our topics of discussion.

  111. David Ball says:

    I don’t actually have to put sarc/off after that last post, do I?

  112. latitude says:

    tallbloke says:
    December 24, 2010 at 7:37 am
    I think this piece is quite revealing of just how far from reality Jim has strayed. His spin reveals that he is a propagandist first, scientist a long way second.
    Surely NASA realise that having this man in their employ reflects badly on them.
    ======================================================
    NASA is 100% behind this, Hansen is just their salesman.
    His job is to bring in the money/grants/funding……………

  113. Grey Lensman says:

    The Americans have done a Hansen

    You and I

    or

    Me and you

    Merry Christmas to all

  114. janama says:

    An Urgent Call to Action:
    Scientists and Evangelicals Unite to Protect Creation
    January 17, 2007
    National Press Club, Washington, D.C.

    Our Shared Concern
    We agree that our home, the Earth, which comes to us as that inexpressibly beautiful and mysterious gift that
    sustains our very lives, is seriously imperiled by human behavior. The harm is seen throughout the natural
    world, including a cascading set of problems such as climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, and species
    extinctions, as well as the spread of human infectious diseases, and other accelerating threats to the health of
    people and the well-being of societies. Each particular problem could be enumerated, but here it is enough to say
    that we are gradually destroying the sustaining community of life on which all living things on Earth depend.
    The costs of this destruction are already manifesting themselves around the world in profound and painful ways.
    The cost to humanity is already significant and may soon become incalculable. Being irreversible, many of these
    changes would affect all generations to come.
    We believe that the protection of life on Earth is a profound moral imperative. It addresses without
    discrimination the interests of all humanity as well as the value of the non-human world. It requires a new moral
    awakening to a compelling demand, clearly articulated in Scripture and supported by science, that we must
    steward the natural world in order to preserve for ourselves and future generations a beautiful, rich, and
    healthful environment. For many of us, this is a religious obligation, rooted in our sense of gratitude for Creation
    and reverence for its Creator.
    One fundamental motivation that we share is concern for the poorest of the poor, well over a billion people, who
    have little chance to improve their lives in devastated and often war-ravaged environments. At the same time,
    the natural environments in which they live, and where so much of Earth’s biodiversity barely hangs on, cannot
    survive the press of destitute people without other resources and with nowhere else to go.
    We declare that every sector of our nation’s leadership—religious, scientific, business, political, and
    educational—must act now to work toward the fundamental change in values, lifestyles, and public policies
    required to address these worsening problems before it is too late. There is no excuse for further delays.
    Business as usual cannot continue yet one more day. We pledge to work together at every level to lead our
    nation toward a responsible care for creation, and we call with one voice to our scientific and evangelical
    colleagues, and to all others, to join us in these efforts.

    James Hansen put his signature to this article in 2007. It explains a lot about his belief systems.

  115. Dave Wendt says:

    Sandy says:
    December 24, 2010 at 1:36 am
    “Record local daily high temperatures now occur more than twice as often as record daily cold temperatures”
    What a testable statistic!!

    Hansen is partially correct, but consider this graph

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_b5jZxTCSlm0/Sv31ZY99ioI/AAAAAAAAD38/zHZkCLYg590/s1600-h/image017.png

    It’s from this old post, which provides a fairly good dissection of the ratio claim

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/16/hall-of-record-ratios/

    The post is more than a year old and given what has gone on in that time I suspect that, if the graph were updated, even the phony ratio claim would prove to be no longer applicable

  116. danj says:

    Anoneumouse says:
    December 24, 2010 at 2:37 am
    copyright 2011 by James Hansen and Bill McKibben.

    Is that date right
    ————————————————————-

    Yes, and they have already determined it to be the hottest year on record…

  117. danj says:

    Atomic Hairdryer says:
    December 24, 2010 at 4:27 am
    Anyone know the legal entity behind 350.org?
    ———————————————————–

    I would suspect that the major entity behind it is probably George Soros who is no doubt a mutual admiration partner of Hansen…

  118. Ralph says:

    Probably didn’t get as far as Steveta and was too irritated to read further as I found the dialogue a waste of time. It was like listening to a few desperate egos, who know a theory is wrong, but hoping beyond hope they can find something to support their mistake. They have taken it too personal.

    To those grammar police, “me” or “I” get over it. Live with a few highly intelligent teenagers for awhile. You will be glad to communicate at all and realize maintaining communication is more important than listening for an opportunity to suggest grammatical changes. Correcting grammar outside the school room is not a sign of intelligence and will not change the fact language is dynamic and changes with time.

  119. Can Dr. James “Thumbs On The Temperature Scale” Hansen answer one simple question regarding the GRIP2 ice core data: why do the CO2 increases come about 800 years AFTER the temperature increases?

  120. Louis says:

    “Indeed, if, with a magic wand, we reduced CO2 from today’s 389 ppm to 280 ppm that change would increase Earth’s heat radiation to space by almost 2 watts (per square meter). The planet would rapidly move toward a colder climate, probably colder than the Little Ice Age.” – James Hansen

    When they changed the term from Global Warming to Climate Change, they were admitting that they didn’t know if the earth was warming or cooling. They wanted to cover both bases. But don’t we need to determine which is happening before we attempt to combat it? If Hansen is right and we are heading toward another ice age, shouldn’t we be increasing CO2 to retain heat and prevent a global disaster? Assuming that reducing CO2 will solve the problem is foolish if you don’t know which direction the world’s temperature is headed.

  121. Doyle says:

    @David Ball; My check was short several million dollars this week, can you use our well coordinated fee-for-denying system to get this corrected by tomorrow? I have several mountaintops I need to get de-coaled before Christmas.

  122. Craig Stone says:

    Such an obvious disconnect from reality is a sure sign of a panic within the Ministry of Global Warming Propaganda. Pandora’s box has been opened in the form of Climategate and Wikileaks. The walls are crumbling, and they’re losing it, almost to the point of gibbering nonsense.

  123. Graham Dick says:

    “Global warming in degrees Fahrenheit is almost twice as large (exact factor is 1.8)”

    To be even more exact, the factor ranges from

    2.65 for 100 degF (= 37.78 degC) to
    -0.33 for -15 degF (= 5 degC)

    The ratio is infinitely large at 32 degF (= 0 degC)

    “The exact factor is 1.8″ for an infinitely high temperature.

  124. Graham Dick says:

    Correction
    -0.33 for -15 degF (= 5 degC) should read
    -0.33 for 5 degF (= -15 degC)

  125. sHx says:

    Bill: You are suggesting that we file suit against the government?

    Jim: Precisely so. Begging Congress to be responsible does not work. Exhorting the president to be Churchillian does not work.

    Let the record state that it is the CAGW cultists that seek to prove as fact judicially what they failed to prove scientifically.

  126. JPeden says:

    latitude says:
    December 24, 2010 at 9:11 am

    NASA is 100% behind this, Hansen is just their salesman.

    Not to mention that for some time Hansen has already been practicing NASA’s most anti-evolutionary divinely inspired prime directive, ~”to help make the Islamic nations feel better about their historic contributions to science, math, and engineering”, specifically by making the U.S. and NASA look dumber than dirt, which Global Justice also demands somewhere along the way to its own “destruction of creation” involving freedom and free people.

  127. Joel Shore says:

    Can Dr. James “Thumbs On The Temperature Scale” Hansen answer one simple question regarding the GRIP2 ice core data: why do the CO2 increases come about 800 years AFTER the temperature increases?

    You might want to read here: http://naturalscience.com/ns/articles/01-16/ns_jeh2.html . Hansen well-understands that the CO2 is neither the initiator of the warming nor even responsible for the majority of it. Comparison of the various forcings shows it to be responsible for about 1/3.

  128. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    Re danj says:

    I would suspect that the major entity behind it is probably George Soros who is no doubt a mutual admiration partner of Hansen…

    Looks like the donations page has been updated since I last checked making the relationship clearer, so 350.org is just a brand name of the “Sustainable Markets Foundation” who from what I’ve found so far look like they’re partly bankrolled by the Rockefeller Brothers fund with $100k donated in 2008. No filings after that time.

  129. brad says:

    These guys are so clearly lying and manipulating, kinda like a normal morning on Fox and Friends…where’s the hot babe acting dumber than she is?

  130. harrywr2 says:

    latitude says:
    December 24, 2010 at 9:11 am

    “NASA is 100% behind this, Hansen is just their salesman.
    His job is to bring in the money/grants/funding……………”

    Actually in the grand scheme of NASA, GISS is a trivial side show. GISS employs 61, including contractors. Hansen had a powerful friend in Al Gore.

  131. John David Galt says:

    Let’s turn the epithet around. We’re not “science deniers” — they’re corruption deniers.

  132. Richard G says:

    Jimbo and Billbob, sorry, that dog don’t hunt. Period.
    To Anthony, Enjoy a well deserved break and a great new year, Many Thanks.
    To all the mods, keep up the great work, and also Many Thanks.
    Merry Christmas.

  133. JRR Canada says:

    Cassandra King nails this insanity perfectly. That is how I see CAWG/Whatever too. Fools in govt positions frighten my hopes for the future, when the loonies hold power no abuse is too obscene. Each cycle of hysteria seems so familiar from a historical point of view. Here in Canada our politicians have sunk so low that no one in their right mind wants the job, so of course only those out of their minds run for office. My local Govt sure proves this, they want to bring in a “Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax” and have recently referred to run of the river hydro plant as, Hydro Kinetic Energy. Sometimes I feel that rational discussion is not possible, as you can’t cure stupid, no matter how you dress it up. So merry christmas all and thank god for WUWT.

  134. Gil Dewart says:

    Please, no more scary pictures of Jim and Bill — they freak out the kids.

  135. Mr Lynn says:

    alph says:
December 24, 2010 at 11:36 am

    . . . To those grammar police, “me” or “I” get over it. Live with a few highly intelligent teenagers for awhile. You will be glad to communicate at all and realize maintaining communication is more important than listening for an opportunity to suggest grammatical changes. Correcting grammar outside the school room is not a sign of intelligence and will not change the fact language is dynamic and changes with time.

    Nuts. We had three highly intelligent teenagers in the house. They are now adults, and none of them would say “for you and I,” much less write it in a article to be published (and yes, a weblog is a form of publication). It is true that language does change, and objective pronouns are widely misused by English speakers. But in every era there are standards for formal discourse, spoken or written, and if you sound like a rube, people will assume you are one—and your enemies will make fun of you.

    /Mr Lynn

  136. Pamela Gray says:

    The record highs and record lows should have 4 bars. Record high high, record low high, record high low, and record low low. Meaning the high for daytime record low, the high for daytime record high, the low for nighttime record low, and the low for nighttime record high. It should also be scrutinized for reduction of stations, length of record, urbanization/UHI affects, and closing of higher elevation records with migration of stations to lower elevations. His reference to that statistic, unless so scrutinized, is filled with error influences that have nothing to do with weather pattern variations.

    And here I don’t even have a Ph.D. and yet understand this very basic tenant of good versus bad data. It must be very easy these days to earn a Ph.D..

  137. Lance of BC says:

    JH is the GISS that stole christmas, hated all the CO2 in whoville.
    The GISS hated CO2! The whole heating season!
    Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
    It could be that his models wern’t quite tight.
    It could be, perhaps, the models were not right.
    But I think that his likely reason for doom.
    May have been that he adjusted two sizes too big of gloom.
    But,
    Whatever the reason,
    His model or his adjustments ,
    He stood there at NASA, hating the Whos,
    Staring down from his cave with a sour, GISS frown
    At the warm lighted windows below in their town.
    For he knew every Who down in Who-ville beneath
    Was busy now, creating more CO2.
    “And they’re heating their homes!” he snarled with a sneer.
    “Tomorrow is nih! It’s practically here!”
    Then he growled, with his GISS figures nervously bumming,
    “I MUST find a way to keep grants coming!”
    For, tomorrow, he knew…
    …All the Who girls and boys
    Would wake up bright and early. They’d live their lives!
    And then! Oh, the GW! Oh, the CC! CO2! CO2! CO2!
    That’s one thing he hated! The CO2!CO2! CO2!

    Then the Whos, young and old, would release.
    And they’d release! And they’d release!
    And they’d RELEASE! RELEASE!RELEASE!RELEASE!
    They would start on Who-living, and rear farting beasts
    Which was something the Grinch couldn’t stand in the least!

    And THEN
    They’d do something he liked least of all!
    Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
    Would stand close together, with CO2 seeping.
    They’d stand hand-in-hand. And the Whos would start breathing!

    They’d breath! And they’d breath!
    AND they’d BREATH!BREATH!BREATH!
    And the more the Grinch thought of the Whos breathing.
    The more the Grinch thought, “I must stop this whole thing!
    “Why for fourty -three years I’ve put up with it now!
    I MUST stop all this CO2 from coming!
    …But HOW?”

    Then he got an idea!
    An awful idea!
    THE GISS’E
    GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!

    “I know just what to do!” The GISS Laughed in his throat.
    And he made a quick adjustment and quote.
    And he chuckled, and clucked, “What a great GISS trick!
    “With this graph and adjustment, they’ll believe all my shtick!”

    “All I need is a reviewer…”
    The GISS looked around.
    But since honest reviewers are scarce, and no heat to be found.
    Did that stop the old GISS…?
    No! The GISS simply said,
    “If I can’t find a reviewer, I’ll make one instead!”
    So he called his dog McKibben. Then he took out some tired old yak.
    And he wrote a view with all the same crap.

    And his fib fooled the children. Then he patted their head
    And he spoke of the doom and gloom and the dread.
    And when little Anthony WUWto questioned his twaddle.
    HE went back to NASA and adjusted his model!

  138. Mr Lynn says:

    Lance of BC:

    Good job!

    Particularly appropriate rhyme at the end: ‘model’, and ‘twaddle’!

    /Mr Lynn

  139. Alan McIntire says:

    Hansen was talking about reducing CO2 to 350 ppm having a 1/2 watt effect, and
    reducing CO2 to 280 ppm having a 2 watt effect.
    The average flux at earth’s surface is 490 watts per square meter, 99.3 in latent heat- like evaporation and conduction, and 390.7 in sensible heat. Temperature is roughly proportional to the 4th root of the wattage flux. Current average temperature on earth is about 288 K.
    Reducing sensible wattage from 390.7 to 390.2 per square meter would theoretically reduce temperatures to 288 * (390.2/ 390.7)^0.25 = 287.908 K.

    What rational person would deliberately spend ANYTHING on a deliberate attempt to reduce temperatures by 0.092 K?

  140. old construction worker says:

    ‘KPO says:
    December 24, 2010 at 3:08 am
    “Fossil fuels are cheapest only because of government policies. First, there are substantial direct and indirect subsidies of fossil fuels. Second, fossil fuel companies are not made to pay for the damage that fossil fuels do to human health. ……..’

    Nice rant and rave. Now KPO, what does that has to do with the “CO2 dives the Climate” hypothesis?

  141. Joel Shore says:

    Alan MacIntire says:

    Reducing sensible wattage from 390.7 to 390.2 per square meter would theoretically reduce temperatures to 288 * (390.2/ 390.7)^0.25 = 287.908 K.

    First of all, the numbers quoted are top-of-the-atmosphere forcings, not forcings at the surface…So, the correct temperatures and radiative values to use are 255 K and 235 W/m^2, respectively…which raises your temperature change to about 0.135 K. However, the more important issue is that your calculation assumes there are no positive feedbacks. With an equilibrium climate sensitivity value of 3 K per CO2 doubling (and Hansen believes that the value is at least this…and perhaps up to double this once land ice sheet / albedo effects are taken into account, although I think most other scientists are more skeptical on that doubling part) , dropping from 390 ppm to 350 ppm corresponds to a temperature change of close to 0.5 K. Of course, the other issue is that the goal is to lower CO2 from 390ppm to 350ppm instead of raising it at the rate of about 2ppm per year (and accelerating).

  142. David L says:

    “Yes, global average warming is “only” about a degree, but that is actually a lot. During the last major ice age, when New York, Minneapolis, and Seattle were under an ice sheet a mile thick, global average temperature was about 5 degrees colder than it is now. The last time Earth was 2 degrees warmer so much ice melted that sea level was about twenty-five meters (eighty feet) higher than it is today.”

    Does it bother these people at all that they just admitted that the climate naturally has these huge swings in average temperature, all without industrial levels of CO2? This paragraph shows a 7C swing without invoking co2 at all!!!!!

  143. wallyj says:

    This comment,early in the interview,caught my bs radar,and raised the hackles on my neck. Mr. Hansen,and I quote,said this “Global warming in degrees Fahrenheit is almost twice as large “. WOW,just f’en WOW. It is almost like hearing Bart correcting Milhouse…Milhouse drools and says, “Gee,Bart ,you are so smart.”

  144. Lance of BC says:

    Mr Lynn says:
    Good job!

    Particularly appropriate rhyme at the end: ‘model’, and ‘twaddle’!

    /Mr Lynn

    I just realized that I’ve used the combination of the words twaddle and model in my last two posts, and both in rhyme! Hehe!
    I’ve just came up with my 2011 new years resolution, no more use of the word twaddle. ;)

  145. Joel Shore says:

    David L says:

    Does it bother these people at all that they just admitted that the climate naturally has these huge swings in average temperature, all without industrial levels of CO2? This paragraph shows a 7C swing without invoking co2 at all!!!!!

    No. Can you disprove arson by the fact that fires sometimes occur naturally? No. In fact, studying natural fires is what allows us to have a theory of fire that would tell us that if we found a big can of gasoline and freshly-burned matches then that may have something to do with the building burning down!

    Likewise, the glacial – interglacial oscillations allow us to estimate how sensitive the climate is to various radiative forcings, including the forcing we know we are producing by increasing the atmospheric levels of CO2. It is also worth noting that the glacial – interglacial oscillations do involve changes in CO2 although in this case, the warming or cooling itself triggers the changes in CO2 levels, which then serve to amplify the change in temperature (and also keep the two hemispheres in sync, since the other forcings are very unequal in the two hemispheres). [And, it is worth noting that the rate of change going from glacial to interglacial and vice versa was generally about 0.1 C per century or less, so it is a phenomenon on a different timescale than the current one. [There are some changes that occurred much more rapidly, such as the Younger Dryas ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas ), although these were likely more dramatic region changes than changes in the global temperature.]

  146. Alan McIntire says:

    In reply to Joel Shore- Yes, the forcing at the top of the atmospshere would be 1/2 watt, but the forcing at the bottom, where we experience the 390 watts, would also be 1/2 watt, or LESS since about 40 watts at the surface radiates directly to space- See sections 2.3 through 2.5 here:

    http://www.geo.utexas.edu/courses/387H/Lectures/chap2.pdf

    As to the positive feedback, yes there can be temporary positive feedbacks,
    like the melting glaciers at the end of the last ice age reducing earth’s albedo, leading to further warming. There must have been some negative feedbacks kicking in around 10,000 years ago, else Greenland and Antarctica would have melted also.
    Spencer has to be correct that clouds are a negative feedback in
    the long run, else we’d have had a runaway greenhouse long ago.

    For at least the last 600 million years the earth’s oceans have
    remained relatively ice free, while the sun’s luminosity has continued
    to increase at a rate of about 1% every 100 million years. Go back
    even further, and oceans and life have existed on this planet for at
    least 3 billion years, during which time the
    sun’s luminosity has increased about 25%.

    Graeme Stephens

    http://www.gewex.org/images/G.Stephens_Feb2010GNews.pdf

    and
    Hsien-Wang Ou

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0442%282001%29014%3C2976%3APBOTES%3E2.0.CO%3B2

    both agree with Spencer that over geological periods, cloud feedback
    must be negative

    Rossow is more “iffy”, but he does agree that beta < 1, implying a net
    negative feedback for clouds.

    https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/EarlyEarth07-d/Rossowetal82-CldWarmsEarlyEarth.pdf

    Positive feedback is the "Immaculate Conception" tenet of CAGWers. It must
    be true for CAGW to be true, but all geological records argue against it.

    – A. McIntire

  147. Joel Shore says:

    Alan McIntyre says:

    In reply to Joel Shore- Yes, the forcing at the top of the atmospshere would be 1/2 watt, but the forcing at the bottom, where we experience the 390 watts, would also be 1/2 watt, or LESS since about 40 watts at the surface radiates directly to space- See sections 2.3 through 2.5 here:

    There is a reason why climate scientists look at the radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere and that is, in short, because the earth can exchange heat with space only via radiation. The surface may be where we experience the atmosphere, but the surface energy budget is not primarily determined by its radiative balance…Convection and evaporation play a very important role. In fact, the temperature structure of the troposphere is largely set by these processes.

    Positive feedback is the “Immaculate Conception” tenet of CAGWers. It must
    be true for CAGW to be true, but all geological records argue against it.

    Strange that those who, you know, actually study and publish on paleoclimate think exactly the opposite http://www.sciencemag.org/content/306/5697/821.summary :

    Climate models and efforts to explain global temperature changes over the past century suggest that the average global temperature will rise by between 1.5º and 4.5ºC if the atmospheric CO2 concentration doubles. In their Perspective, Schrag and Alley look at records of past climate change, from the last ice age to millions of years ago, to determine whether this climate sensitivity is realistic. They conclude that the climate system is very sensitive to small perturbations and that the climate sensitivity may be even higher than suggested by models.

    Yes, if you go back far enough in time (hundreds of millions to billions of years), there are still things we don’t understand about past climates, but given that the forcings and temperatures are both much less certain and that there are important other factors that come into play on these timescales, it is rather foolish to suppose that negative cloud feedbacks are what save the day (and then to have trouble explaining, for example, the glacial-interglacial cycles for which estimates of temperatures and forcings are much more certain). More likely, it is biogeochemical feedbacks (e.g., the geochemical processes that remove of CO2 from the atmosphere speed up in warmer climates and slow down in cooler ones) that save the day…and these operate on timescales that are way too long to help out in our current predicament.

  148. old construction worker says:

    David L says:
    ‘December 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm
    “Yes, global average warming is “only” about a degree, but that is actually a lot. During the last major ice age, when New York, Minneapolis……’

    ‘Does it bother these people at all that they just admitted that the climate naturally has these huge swings in average temperature, all without industrial levels of CO2? This paragraph shows a 7C swing without invoking co2 at all!!!!!’

    But, but, but, but, buttttttttttttttt, this time it’s different!!!. LOL

  149. Mark Twang says:

    To all the grammar deniers here:

    When I read “for you and I”, I stop reading right there.

    For I, that kills my interest.

  150. Leo says:

    When Hansen speaks of “we scientists” he sets my teeth on edge.

    Hey Jim, you speak for a very small subset of physicists who fancy themselves as climate experts. Please stop inferring that the rest of us are on side with your reveries.

    Leo Morse, PhD, P.Eng

  151. Douglas Day says:

    I have read this blog going on 3-4 years now. I have always wanted to write, but never have. However, an article on Mckibben makes my blood boil. I live in his home state of VT and everyone treats him like he knows all until I remind them that he is an ENGLISH professor at Middlebury College. He is about as much a scientist as I am.
    BUT the people up here do not know about Climategate, or who Dr. Lindzen is. We had snow in October and my daughter was told – Duh, it’s global warming. I have two “friends” who tell me all these wild lies about weather/climate. “We never get frosts before Labor Day anymore.” (We had frost once before Labor Day in the last 70 years.) ” We don’t get as much snow now because of AGW. (The last 8 out of 10 years, we have finished the season above average for snow, including the 2nd and 4th most snow in 2001 and 2008.) Nobody looks at the record books!!! My “friend” also thinks everyone should drive smaller cars. ( He drives a Toyota super cab pick-up!)
    I have spoken personally to Dr. Ball and Dr. Lindzen. I also have done a ton of research on the subject. The CO2 theory is very weak, but the people up here don’t want to hear it. If it wasn’t for the great snow and ski area 40 minutes from my house, I would be out of here.
    The real “deniers” will NEVER give up their religion, especially here in VT. It seems like the rest of the US and the world is slowly waking up, thanks to great sites like this. I don’t hold much hope for the GREEN mountain state.

  152. Surfer Dave says:

    “If the glaciers disappear there will be more spring snowmelt and greater floods, but a dangerous reduction of fresh water in dry seasons. ”

    So, having admitted that they were wrong to say the Himalayas will not all melt away in 25 years, he stills says that when they are gone, it will be a big problem. But even in this he must be wrong, since surely for the glaciers to go, there must be also less snow falling during the winter and thus the snowmelt must be less and so we can expect fewer, not greater floods.

    Lack of critical thinking, just an agit-prop agenda for which all facts must be bent to fit and the smaller unit of measurement (degrees F) used to increase the scare factors.

    Horrible man.

  153. Alan McIntire says:

    Joel Shore says:
    December 25, 2010 at 9:20 am

    “There is a reason why climate scientists look at the radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere and that is, in short, because the earth can exchange heat with space only via radiation. The surface may be where we experience the atmosphere, but the surface energy budget is not primarily determined by its radiative balance…”

    Your computation of 0.135 K answers the question to, “What would the effect be if
    the sun’s flux increased by 1/2 watt from 235 watts/sq meter to 235.5 watts per square meter and the earth acted as a gray body/” That’s different than the
    question, ” What happens if the earth’s greenhouse blocked an additional 1/2 watt?”

    Suppose the earth’s surface radiates at 390.7 watts, and the atmosphere absorbs 311.4 watts. The system will have to reach equilibrium by radiating 235 watts to space.
    Earth’s surface will be in equilibrium, absorbing 235 watts from the sun and 155.7 from the atmosphere, and reradiating 390.7 watts.

    The atmosphere will be in equilibrium absorbing 311.4 watts from earth’s surface and
    radiating 155.7 watts back to earth’s surface and 155.7 to space.

    The flux to and from space will be in equilibrium, absorbing 235 watts from the sun and radiating (390.7-311.4) = 79.3 watts direct from earth’s surface and 155.7 from earth’s atmosphere to space.

    Now let the atmosphere absorb an additional 1/2 watt. When the system reaches
    equilibrium, the surface will warm to 390.95 watts, absorbing 235 watts from the
    sun and 155.95 from the atmosphere.

    The atmosphere will absorb 311.9 watts, radiating 155.95 to earth’s surface and 155.95 watts per square meter to space.

    The earth system will continue to absorb 235 watts from the sun and radiate 235 watts back out to space, 155.95 from earth’s atmosphere and 79,05 from earth’s surface. My prior computation based on an increase from 390.7 to 391.2 was implicitly assuming a 100% positive feedback, overestimating the actual increase.

    As to positive versus negative effects, note that there is a 490.7 watt per square meter average flux at earth’s surface now, 390.7 sensible, 100 latent. Start reducing temperature- as temperature decreases, the atmosphere will hold less water vapor- there will be fewer clouds. That reduction in clouds will act as a NEGATIVE feedback, increasing earth’s albedo. Your link assuming positive feedbacks over geological time is just plain wrong.

  154. Brian H says:

    A Lovell says:
    December 24, 2010 at 5:34 am
    I forced myself to read the whole tedious, repetitive song to the choir.
    It no longer even makes me angry………just tired.
    AND I am getting sick and tired of the constant references to the ‘Chiiilldrunnn’
    I left a comment on ‘tips and note’ a while back suggesting we come up with a ‘law’ similar to Godwin’s law whenever someone invokes the ‘Chiiilldrunnn’
    ‘Hansen’s Law’ is a bit obvious, perhaps. Any ideas?
    (I speak as a devoted mother of three!)

    As I commented when you made the original suggestion, “Lovell’s Law” has a real ring to it, and I strongly recommend it!

  155. Brian H says:

    P.S. to A. Lovell;
    Well done on the 3 children! Just for your encouragement and armamentarium, have a look at http://overpopulationisamyth.com/overpopulation-the-making-of-a-myth#FAQ1 .
    And they will grow up in an era of plentiful energy: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/1108/opinions-steve-forbes-fact-comment-energy-crisis-over.html

  156. George Lawson says:

    I’m sure most if not all of the AGW advocates of the world will be cringing at this ridiculous interview between two of their fellow travellers. Hanson in particular will go down in history as another crank of the many who. over the years, have forecast the end of the world. He has done a wonderful service towards promoting the sceptical viewpoint.

  157. Brian H says:

    If scientists have any self-respect, they will move Heaven and Earth to prevent jerkwads [this doesn’t help at all . . why race to the bottom instead of just saying what needs to be said} like Hansen, Schmidt, Jones, and Mann from ever again obtaining prominence and authority. It is, of course, Pournelle’s Iron Law (the rule-makers and writers promote themselves into the role of rule-enforcers) at work, cutting out the people who really know anything and care about the fundamental goals of their group or organization, but scientists may have suffered enough this time to fight hard to prevent repeats.

    But probably not.

  158. Joel Shore says:

    Alan MacIntyre:

    I have to admit that I have lost you on the 1st part of your post, but my calculation is the accepted one for computing…at least to a good approximation…the zeroth-order (no feedback) effect of a given change in radiative forcing.

    As to positive versus negative effects, note that there is a 490.7 watt per square meter average flux at earth’s surface now, 390.7 sensible, 100 latent. Start reducing temperature- as temperature decreases, the atmosphere will hold less water vapor- there will be fewer clouds. That reduction in clouds will act as a NEGATIVE feedback, increasing earth’s albedo. Your link assuming positive feedbacks over geological time is just plain wrong.

    (I assume that you meant to say “decreasing earth’s albedo” for the cooling case that you considered.)

    However, decreasing water vapor does not necessarily imply fewer clouds because as the atmosphere gets colder, both the amount of water vapor and the saturation pressure decrease…and, in fact, they are expected to decrease in a way that keeps the relative humidity on a global scale pretty close to constant. Thus, it is non-trivial to calculate how cloudiness changes in a warmer or cooler climate. An additional complication is that clouds have effects on both shortwave and longwave radiation and which effect is most important depends on the type of clouds. In general, low clouds cool the earth (block more shortwave radiation from the sun than longwave from the earth) but high clouds heat the earth.

    In fact, even skeptical scientists understand that the effects of clouds are not as simple as you claim. Lindzen’s proposed negative feedback dubbed the “iris effect” actually hypothesized that in a warming climate the amount of high clouds would DECREASE and that this would then cause a cooling effect that would counteract much of the warming.

Comments are closed.