Not Evil, Just Destructive

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Well, the Joe Romm saga continues. He’s been discussing the paper “Evidence for super-exponentially accelerating atmospheric carbon dioxide growth“.  After I pointed out the problems with the paper’s ludicrous claims about population, Joe pulled his whole goofy section repeating the paper’s population errors. He also talked to one of the authors, and they’re going to pull that section out of their paper. Joe didn’t mention WUWT when he modified his page, either. Typical.

Of course, that means that I’ve now got to read the rest of the paper. I threw up my hands before when I hit that nonsense about population, but since they’ve pulled it out of the paper, I’ve gotta continue. Ah, well, gotta take the bitter with the sweet. Can’t say I’m looking forward to reading that paper, though. I threw up my hands before, I hope that’s all I throw up. Wish me luck …

 

Figure 1. Do I really have to read the paper? Photo Source

OK, been there, read that. First, what is their basic thesis?

To understand their basic thesis, we have to get past their terminology. What does “super-exponentially accelerating” mean?

Well, it means that the growth rate is increasing. Why didn’t they say that? Hey, they’re climate scientists. Their motto seems to be “don’t educate, obfuscate”.

In any case, their main claim seems to be that the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 is increasing, and that the growth rate of the population is “just” exponential (stable growth). Their conclusion says:

4  Conclusion

We have analyzed the growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide and of what constitutes arguably its most important underlying driving variable, namely human population. Our empirical calibrations suggest that human population has decelerated from its previous super-exponential growth until 1960 to “just” an exponential growth. As for atmospheric CO2 content, we find that it is at least exponentially increasing and more probably exhibiting an accelerating growth rate, consistent with a FTS (finite-time singular) power law regime.

Well … no and yes. No, if the pre-1960 increasing population growth rates are “super-exponential”, then the decreasing population rates since then must be “sub-exponential”. It is not “just exponential”, that statement is not supported by the evidence.

And yes, the rate of atmospheric CO2 growth has been increasing. It’s gone from about 0.25% increase per year in the 1960s to about a 0.5% annual increase in the last decades, although it has been far from constant. Here’s that data:

 

Figure 2. Annual growth in atmospheric CO2. Data from Mauna Loa.

OK, so the population growth rate is decreasing, and the CO2 growth rate is increasing. That’s what’s so. But … so what?

Both Joe Romm and the authors of the paper seem to think that this is a Very Bad Thing™. Let’s stop a moment and consider what the numbers really mean. We know what the population numbers mean. But what does a “super-exponential acceleration” in CO2 growth mean in the real world?

Consider that at some point not long after 2050 the world population will stabilize. The population of a number of countries has already stabilized (or is dropping). Suppose (as seems quite possible) that atmospheric CO2 rates continue to rise after the population has stabilized. What would that mean, rising atmospheric CO2 growth rates at a time of stable population? What would be happening in the real world to cause that?

Simply put, it would mean that the growth rate of energy use per capita was increasing. Whoa, can’t have that, speeding up the rate at which people get more energy.

Remember, energy use per capita is another name for development. They are synonymous, as I discuss here. I show how this affects the Solomon Islands, a developing country, here.

So the slowing population growth, combined with increasing atmospheric CO2, means that we are winning the twin battles to stabilize population and to bring energy to the people of the planet.

Joe Romm and the authors of the paper think that’s a bad thing. They think the unknown distant future dangers of CO2 outweigh today’s desperate need for energy for the poor people of the planet … which means most of the people of the planet.

I hold the opposite view. I think that bringing energy to the poor now, today, is much more important than any imagined catastrophe that even the alarmists say will not occur for thirty to fifty years.

The claim is often made that the poor will be the hardest hit by warming. As someone who has never been poor, but often broke, I can assure you that’s nonsense. I’ve slept in the city streets with my pants and shirt stuffed full of newspapers, I don’t recommend it. Cold is the enemy of the poor, not warmth, that’s an ivory-tower fantasy.

In addition, the forecast changes from the IPCC talking heads are that the warming will be mostly in the extra-tropics, at night, in the winter. Although the academics may think that’s terrible, I doubt that the homeless folks in New York or London will complain about warmer winter nights …

The best way to protect the poor from the ravages of the climate is to make them middle-class, and that takes energy. The fact that we are depriving the world’s poor of energy now, in order to save them from a hypothesized and ill-supported possible calamity fifty years from now, is a monstrous aberration of basic justice that history will rightly condemn.

w.

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98 thoughts on “Not Evil, Just Destructive

  1. Willis,

    You are 100% correct. Why people oppose low-cost energy, I don’t know. Why can’t they let people develop as they want, without interference from eco-fascists? Despite all the evidence to the contrary, they still believe that more energy means more population, just like socialists still think more government control means more economic growth. Seriously, what drugs are they taking?

  2. The winners write the history books.

    The CAGW crowd are determined to be the winners. If they succeed the condemnation may take a very long time arriving.

  3. Watching the spinning going on over at CP is simply hilarious. He’s coaching the authors now, and they’ll post up a “fixed” paper, thanks in no small part to the peer review given here.

    Predictably, Joe will then declare the science “sound” and trash those evil “anti-science deniers” at WUWT once again, patting himself on the back for having helped to “improve” the supposed science in the paper.

    Meanwhile, the delusions continue in the CP Twilight Zone

  4. Romm and his ilk are mouthpieces of the elites. That’s a fairly conspiratorial stance to take, especially for me, but it’s true.

    You see, expensive energy means the elites win and the world descends (perhaps slowly, but definitely surely) into something like 15-16th century Europe. It means there will exist a ruling class that can afford energy to generate more wealth, and a serf class that cannot afford more energy to generate their own wealth and lives at the whim of the elites.

    Cheap energy means true economic freedom for all.

    If energy isn’t cheap, the worlds elite win and the free market truly dies.

  5. Reminds me of Malthus’ false claim that the world would face mass starvation because population was growing exponentially while food production could only grow linearly. We know he was proven right by history! LOL

  6. “What does “super-exponentially accelerating” mean?”

    It is one step below Super Duper Exponentially Accelerating.

  7. I’ll quote my liberal friend Tom Fuller. AGW policies are nothing more than a war on the poor.

  8. Has anyone bothered mentioning to those twits that during the last decade and a half – when population growth was “just exponential” and CO2 growth rate was “SuperCalifragilisticExponentialAlidocious” – global temp has been “dead flat”?

    Shouldn’t the accelerating rate of CO2 rate acceleration cause accelerating acceleration of temp acceleration? We ought to be well along the “worst case business as usual” scenarios’ “Super-Duper Hockey Stick of Death”, shouldnt we? Around 8C per century? Where are we again? 1.4C?

    And shouldnt we all be dog paddling in “Hyper Acidified” ocean water by now? What is the rate of sea level rise doing again? Declining?

    Its probably the additional weight of all of that CO2 that is causing earthquakes and tsunamis.

  9. Their basic assumption is that only humans emit CO2, that the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is directly related to only human population. Did they every heard of those huge carbon dioxide sources like volcano and all water bodies?

  10. Nah. I can’t be that charitable about people on the political left, Joseph Romm emphatically included.

    “You’re people, in short, who must be stupid, insane, or evil to continue arguing — in the face of indisputable facts and irrefutable logic — that others must be forced into a state of helplessness and victimized by individual criminals or the state.

    Stupid, insane, or evil.”

    -

  11. According to all serious population forecasts, world population is on its way to peak about mid century or shortly afterwards, and then start decreasing. This is consistent with the statistical relationship between demographic rates and variables such as per capita income, female education and others. Fertility rates are already way below replacement levels in developed countries, and rapidly approaching replacement levels in most of middle income (and a host of low income) countries. Only the very least-developed countries, especially in Africa, are still at high fertility levels though rapidly declining as well (there are a few exceptions or anomalies in the trend, due to specific circumstances, like the high fertility of Israel and the rich Gulf states, with high income and high fertility due to cultural and political reasons).
    Besides, the Medium Variant of the UN pop forecasts seems already overstated, and predicts a stabilization of fertility at 1.85 children per woman whereas experience shows it falling down to 1.2-1.5, then timidly regaining ground at very high income levels.

  12. Atmospheric CO2 content may have been increasing, but exponentially? The graph willis shows suggests otherwise. ‘Super-exponential’ it clearly isn’t.

    By the way Willis, exactly what is the point of this paper? Is their some data, observations or even models to go with their catastrophising?

  13. In addition, there is plenty of data that indicates that the population growth *decrease* as a function of energy availability (and thus, education, economic opportunity and the like). If one *really* believes people are the problem, energy helps. Attempting to constrain energy availability thus results in a higher future birth rate (and population equilibrium) relative to a more energy available path.

    Additionally, if the population alarmists are correct (arguendo), that population growth is *the* critical issue, it is irrational to restrict energy access.

  14. Well “just” exponential growth means the velocity is equal to the value (maybe tmes a cosntant); so I guess that the acceleration would be something else.

    Do these “climate scientists, understand that they are using “words” that have already been spoken for, and already have well understood meanings that they should not mess with.

    Oh I forgot; they also believe that the mean global Temperature increases linearly with the logarithm of the atmospheric CO2 abundance; and we have about a third of one CO2 doubling, of actual observed data to prove that that is the coreect relationship.

    I can make it fit exp-1/x^2 just as well.. Now there’s a function for you. It starts out at zero, with zero velocity, and zero acceleration, and zero rate of increas of acceleration. In fact every one of its derivatives is zero at x = 0; so how in the hell does it ever manage to get anywhere; but it does.

  15. Are there any night time minimum winter data available to be compared with maximums? Because this does not work in Arctic, where winter temperatures do not increase much more than summer temps

  16. The Malthusian trap was broken by fossil fuels. Otherwise, any growing society would eventually run out of “renewables” until the population collapsed. The key was decoupling land use and exhaustible local resources from human expansion.

  17. This is about politics, money and power.

    Joe, Soros and his political cabel have in their imaginations built fear in their heads of BIG OIL and pollution etc and the Koch bad guys. (I have met 2 of the bros and even their dad many decades ago)
    In psychology we have contrarians. What they think is good for the Kochs is what they push against. The Kochs are mere refiners and no longer producers. If paranoics think nuclear power is bad, they will start wars to be rid of evil nuclear.

    Romm is in a bind. Greenies love ethanol and green renewables. Koch just bought a few ethanol plants. Now how do you hate them when they do what you pushed for?

    Romm would experience torture in his head if Koch bought into solar and wind.

  18. and how long did they work on this paper?

    ….how many times did they check each other for spelling, math, etc

    and how many mistakes were easily found?

    This is the sorry state that science is in.

  19. Perhaps the CO2 is accelerating because temperatures have been higher recently, boiling off CO2 from the oceans. Perhaps the increasing CO2 levels do not come from industry, as claimed by AGW, but from Nature. CO2 is ‘accelerating’ and temperatures are now plateauing. Could we have a disconnect?

  20. Bravo Willis! Your final paragraph sums up the debate perfectly. Succinct and to the point! That is worth quoting again and again. Thank you.

  21. “…to bring energy to the people of the planet”, writes Willis. This is indeed a noble aim.

    The Warmistas have an antidevelopment agenda. Rather like the mantra in Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm – FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD – the wicked Hockey Team should go public with their mantra: POVERTY GOOD, ENERGY BAD. They won’t be content until we’re all living in mud huts.

  22. From what I’ve heard, the actual carbon policies that do exist or are being seriously discussed are exclusively rich nations choosing to make carbon emissions more expensive domestically.

    This makes energy-intensive industries more expensive in rich countries, which gives poor countries an easier entry into global markets.

    Effectively self-imposed rich country carbon taxes are an indirect subsidy for poor countries to increase their carbon emissions.

    Makes me wonder if carbon taxes wouldn’t actually be a great way to reduce global economic inequality, but completely ineffective at reducing global CO2 emissions. And probably very effective at increasing the real environmental problems that come along with industrialization in poor countries.

    The only way to reduce global CO2 emissions is to make lower carbon energy cheaper.

  23. So true colours time again , its not CO2 thats the problem, really its people? So back reading all the CAWG propaganda ,err science? and swapping the term people for CO2, the problem is population is rising and this is a deadly long term threat to the planet. Now that does sound like our Rabid Suzuki and all the useless idiots who worship with him. Thank you Willis once again demonstrating the mathematically challenged planet saviors, so the growth of hyperbole has increased exponentially as opposed to population, CO2 or evidence for CAWG.

  24. Boy man Romm is a job whacked out.

    This “super-exponentially accelerating” paper can be flushed, that’s all it’s good for.

  25. From the Climategate emails I see that peer review of climate science papers has been somewhat lacking in substance. Thanks to Willis, Anthony and others who provide us with a “sanity check” when they appear.

  26. Willis,
    After your first posting on this “paper” I thought that you’d left A.D. Husler, D. Sornette and J. Romm drilled, screwed, bored, reamed and counter-sunk.
    Now I see that the 4lb hammer has been brought into action!
    It’s nice to see the caustic truth poured onto the vile slime of lies.

  27. Juraj V. says:
    March 17, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Are there any night time minimum winter data available to be compared with maximums? Because this does not work in Arctic, where winter temperatures do not increase much more than summer temps

    Try here and here for examples of winter warming.

    The IPCC says:

    The warming in the last 30 years is widespread over the globe, and is greatest at higher northern latitudes. The greatest warming has occurred in the NH winter (DJF) and spring (MAM).

    w.

  28. Someone needs to put what you’re going to have to do to prevent “global warming” in terms someone will understand. Be green: pay lots of cash with no benefits(Reliable household electricity anyone?). Be smart: pay little and maintain simple benefits.

  29. Well, I’ve never heard of super exponential acceleration before, and it sure sounds scary. The graph of co2 looks more linear than super duper – I’m sure you can fit a straight line through it. If that’s what they mean by super exponential, what would linear be? A horizontal line?

    The whole idea is nonsense because they’ve just made up a term that doesn’t exist in mathematics, and made it mean just what they want it to mean. Of course, if there is such a thing in maths, I’ll have to eat my words.

  30. Willis,
    Something jarred me when I got to the end of your article. You state, and FWIW I agree, that cold is the enemy of the poor, not warmth.

    I recently saw an Oxfam poster which made me feel pretty uneasy. They say that people dieing from global warming is a long way off, about 5000 miles and have had the poster cleared (in the UK,by the ASA thanks to the IPCC and others of course).

    Still, if you ignore the people that the almost immeasurable warming we’ve experienced over the last 50 years (or even cooling if you take the, most recent variance) is saving then I suppose it could be acceptable, if disengenuous.

    Oxfam say that people are dieing because of AGW. The ASA agree. Is anyone aware of anyone anywhere who’s been harmed by AGW yet?

  31. Jaye Bass says:
    March 17, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    The Malthusian trap was broken by fossil fuels. Otherwise, any growing society would eventually run out of “renewables” until the population collapsed. The key was decoupling land use and exhaustible local resources from human expansion.

    No, no, and no. There never was a “Malthusian trap” to be broken. Malthus asserted, not showed but asserted, that population growth was geometric while food growth was only linear. In fact, both of those claims are generally false. It has nothing to do with fossil fuels.

    Think about Malthus’s claim for a minute. If it were true, human population couldn’t have gone from one million to two million, much less reached the current levels. The Egyptians could have never become a civilization, according to Malthus. They’d have run out of food.

    I discuss this nonsense here.

    w.

  32. AZ Bob says:
    March 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Bravo Willis! Your final paragraph sums up the debate perfectly. Succinct and to the point! That is worth quoting again and again. Thank you.

    Thanks, AZ Bob. I rewrote that paragraph several times, and put a lot of time and thought into those few words. I’m glad to see it is appreciated.

    w.

  33. “Super exponentially accelerating” What? Your graph of CO2 vs time looks linear. Oh, I get it, the exponent is one.

  34. You have shown the thesis of the paper in question to be flawed and it is clear that the language used by them to describe it is hyperbolic as well as mistaken.

    As the equally flawed Michael Tobis is quick to point out in other contexts, we don’t really care about emissions. Actually we don’t really care about energy consumption. Or at least we shouldn’t.

    The dwindling band of those concerned about global warming (which includes me, if not most readers here) are concerned about concentrations–with how much CO2 is in the atmosphere. How long does it stay there after emitted? Do the various sinks that sequester CO2 change operation over time, and what influences those sinks?

    I personally find it disturbing that in years when temperatures fall, CO2 concentrations keep rising. The ocean should suck up more CO2 when it cools. But that’s just me, and I don’t claim to understand everything about the natural sinks for carbon dioxide.

    If the poor are actually getting more access to cheap energy, that’s the best news I’ve heard today. It doesn’t stop me from being concerned about global warming, but their lives are important. To everyone but Joe Romm and his contemptible band of Rommulans.

  35. After super-exponential, where does he go? Supercalifragilisticexpialodocious perhaps?

  36. Ray says: March 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Actually global population is an extremely good predictor of Co2 in the atmosphere, the is a 99% correlation between CO2 and global population since 1800. (idso’s)

    Yes there is apopulation hockestick, yes there is a co2 hoceystick, nothere isn’t a temperature hocheystick.

  37. TRM says:
    March 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm
    “What does “super-exponentially accelerating” mean?”

    It is one step below Super Duper Exponentially Accelerating.
    ___________________________________________

    How many more steps to the “Infinite Improbability Drive” ?? One maybe ??

  38. Willis, from looking at your baby picture it looks like you dropped a surprise in your diaper after reading Romm’s paper further.

    I agree that your last paragraph puts it all in perspective. Yes, look to the future but make sure we get there.

  39. Steven Mosher says:
    March 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm
    I’ll quote my liberal friend Tom Fuller. AGW policies are nothing more than a war on the poor.
    ___________________________________________________
    Yep. In the fake-socialist, neomonarchist world, LESS Arctic ice is GOOD, and prayed for. More poor people also GOOD and, unfortunately for the poor, a more manageable and less quantifiable project.

  40. The extralinguistic exaggerations expounded by the execrable AGW extremists expand exponentially.

    The level of nonsense in AGW propaganda seems to be increasing (super) exponentially in proportion to the (super) exponential increase in the number of people who think AGW is complete B%^$£”*&S…

  41. “The best way to protect the poor from the ravages of the climate is to make them middle-class, and that takes energy.”… Willis Eschenbach.

    That’s a very pithy way to describe what I think is the optimal way of adapting to climate change. It also has the advantage of being applicable to the dangers of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, etc.

  42. stupidboy says:

    “The extralinguistic exaggerations expounded by the execrable AGW extremists expand exponentially.”

    Always avoid alliteration.☺

  43. I enjoyed this Willis, as I always do with your posts. I have to laugh at the idea that the answer to population growth is to keep people poor by denying them cheap energy…as anyone who comes from a farm family knows, poor people have more children. More children means more hands to work and more support for you when you become old. And poverty means more children die, of course, albeit unpredictably, so having auxillary back-up children is essential. My father’s family going back through the generations of farmers had formidable numbers of children…really quite frightening from my perspective, to think of being pregnant that many times…(and burying so many of them).

  44. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    “I rewrote that paragraph several times, and put a lot of time and thought into those few words.”
    =====================
    Thanks for taking the time, the effort shows.
    Great post.

  45. Super-exponential and exponential are characterizations of time complexity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_complexity.

    I will briefly explain. Let’s say you have an algorithm for solving a problem, then you may want to know how long it would take you to solve this algorithm. For example, when you are looking up a name in the phone book or a word in the dictionary, you can first open the phone book half way and look if the name comes before or after the page you are on. Then repeat this process with the half of the phone book remianing. The amoung of steps this will take is approx log_2(n) (log *base 2* of n), where n is the number of people in the phone book.

    This algorithm is called logarithmic, because as n approaches infinty the answer is approximately a logarithm of the variable(s). This is important because a computer can perform trillians of tasks in very quickly, meaning that some lengthy computations are only dependent on behavior of the function as it approaches infintiy.

    Huh?

    Let’s look at some examples.

    Which algorithm will take longer, the one that runs at n^3 or the one that runs at 1,000n^2+10,000n+80,000?

    Well for “small” numbers 1,000n^2+10,000n+80,000 will take longer, however for the numbers we care about n^3 takes much, much longer (What numbers do we care about? Well, if you’re trying to crack a nine-digit password of numbers and letters, by trying every compination, using the n^3 algorithm will take 2*10^42 actions (2 followed by 42 zeros), where as 1,000n^2+10,000n+80,000 will use only 1.6*10^31. That means n^3 will take 10 billion times as long!).

    Similarly, n^4 takes much, much longer than n^3, and n^5 takes much, much longer than n^4. So what about exponential and super exponential?

    Well, an exponential algorithm will be of the form a^n+O(n), where O(n) is some stuff that runs slower and so really doesn’t matter. Such an algorithm will run longer than any polynomial time one, and by a lot! Super exponential, naively, refers to anything that will run longer than an exponential algorithm. However, usually we reserve the prefixes super- and sub- to mean something that runs just a “little” longer (respectively, shorter). For example, subexponential means something that will run shorter than an exponential algorithm, but longer than any polynomial one (example, 2^(n^1/3)).

    What does this mean for population growth?

    Well, frankly, nothing. At least not at the scales we’re looking at. If we were looking at bacteria, some of which can have a new generation in a couple of minutes, then the difference between exponential and super-exponential might be important. However, if we were to just look at human growth over a couple decades the difference would be negligable. So small that the O(n) we talked about (the stuff that grows so slowly it doesn’t make a difference) would in fact make a difference.

    Conclusion: Well there is none. Except for the fact that I highly doubt that populations grew at an even enough rate for them to be sure it was a super-exponential pace during the 60’s. In addition, we did get to learn something kinda cool. so there’s that.

  46. “What does “super-exponentially accelerating” mean?”
    It means that Mary Poppins can fly with an umbrella.

  47. The pro-AGW researchers and their supporters are just simply, really bad at math.

    It shows up time and again. The number of peer-reviewed climate science papers that make no sense at all mathematically is astounding.

    They are out to push their belief and correct usage of the figures will simply, not get in the way.

    A mathematically-inclined person would simply, be forced to leave on their own or be forced out of this realm of science. All that is left is emotion-driven, non-mathematical thinkers. Climate models, which are supposed to solve mathematical physics-based equations, are re-tuned into emotional answers.

  48. Bulldust says:
    March 17, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Willis, you might get some mileage out of the graphing tool at Gapminder:

    Yes, I use it from time to time. Your log/log plot is interesting. Makes the point I made that energy use and GDP inextricably linked.

    w.

  49. Just to reinforce Bulldust on Gapminder.

    Now here is a mathematically-inclined person explaining reality in a way you have never seen so clearly explained before.

    Spend some (lots of) time at the website.

  50. Perhaps all sensible people are wrong, the warmistas do have a valid point: as society evolves to support more middle class people, that is those people with a sedentary lifestyle, and as more CO2 allows for the return of the megafora of eons past, we will all be easy prey for the return of Titanoboa: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanoboa

    I, for one, thank the alarmists who line their pockets in the desire to save us from historical monsters and ecosystems.

    /sarc off

    Perhaps my current comment is unduly influenced by my having recently watched Conan the Barbarian.

  51. Is “super-exponential” even possible? Doesn’t that really just mean that the exponent was increased?
    Adam @March 17, 2011 at 5:57 pm may have beaten me to this observation, but I can’t easily understand what he wrote.

    IanM

  52. In 1968 Paul Ehrlich celebrated the impending death by starvation of a projected 80% of Earth’s global human population. In 1974 his colleague John Holdren, lately Science Commissar for the clownster Smudge Administration, referred to fellow humans as “a mass of seething maggots.”

    Through the 1980s and ’90s, the Green Gang of AGW hysterics chortled over the imminent end of energy-intensive industrial/technological civilization in the West. Over the last decade, James Hansen has glowingly reviewed Keith Farnish’s warmist tracts “Time’s Up” and “A Matter of Scale,” advocating communo-fascist sabotage and violent subversion of global energy economies.

    This mindset is not nihilist but Thanatist, a Luddite sociopathic fantasy that “loves death more than life,” purposefully seeking the extreme-reactionary retreat of
    peace and progress wherever impoverished populations struggle to survive. No wonder militant Islam is these clacking mechanists’ vehicle of self-destructive choice.

    AGW catastrophists indeed are hyper-partisan, but Thanatist principle is all that matters. Let’s face it: Ehrlich, Holdren, Hansen, Farnish hate humanity on principle, and in practice wish fervently to see you dead.

  53. In the Dark Ages, when Europe made its first switch to dependence on artificial energy, via the intensive use of water power, laws were passed in France, England and elsewhere that required that all grain be milled by the water mills. It was illegal to used hand-powered querns to grind one’s own grain as one required it. These laws were passed to allow the mill owners, usually feudal aristocrats and the monasteries, to take a portion of the tenant farmers’ final milled product as their own – a payment for the use of the watermill that was called the ‘soke’. The payment was up to 10 % of the total flour milled for the miller and another 10% for the landlord’s ‘Right of Soke’.

    When the vertical windmill was invented in England in the late 12th century, the soke law was also applied to the new technology. The point of this is that the elites have always done their damnedest to control access to and use of energy, for their own continued profit and comfort.

    Royalty and the aristocracy claimed all the forests in this era, thus owing and controlling access to fuel, which became an urgent problem as deforestation changed Europe’s landscapes in the 12th-14th centuries. When coal became essential a a source of heating and cooking fuel in England, access to the coal was also limited by corporations that formed to exploit this. Queen Elizabeth I was the main shareholder in one such corporation. Nothing has changed…

  54. Willis Eschenbach (March 17 at 3:25pm)

    “The warming in the last 30 years is widespread over the globe, and is greatest at higher northern latitudes. The greatest warming has occurred in the NH winter (DJF) and spring (MAM).” Well I live in the NH and I see no such thing! How does the early onset of winter with below average(what’s an average anyways?) temperatures for most of the winter count as a warming. Simply noting the record lows and highs shows 1930 – 1955 to be way warmer on average than what we are experiencing now. To bad the claims are not panning out and are primarily full of hot air! Its even more amusing to see the local peoples confusion as to why it’s so cold. So they question the local climate guru at our local propaganda shop(University) and the first thing he says is, “Well, it’s winter for one thing!”. What a lame hoot!
    The only thing super-exponential is the rapid and precipitous decline in real science.

  55. Willis;
    Here’s another prediction based on best previous algorithms:

    In practical terms, it shows that population growth levels off to just about insignificant levels THIS DECADE. (Another version of that graph, that shows the even-more-accurate lower-edge-lowerband projection, has a peak in 2030, not 2040, btw.)

    Based on FAO numbers. Their datafile is here: http://esa.un.org/unpp/ .

  56. John Blake;
    My favourite Ehrlich-ism: “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”

  57. I love reading Willis’ commentaries. And this one sums up so well what is the philosophical difference between the climate alarmists and those that are searching for the truth. If we really want to help the poor of this world – really want to – we need to help raise their standard of living, and that centers around making energy affordable for them. Demonzing fossil fuels has the opposite impact, and its associated policies will make very little difference in the climate of 2100.

    My AGW-believing friends believe they’re position is best for the poor. I believe the opposite. It is a philosophical difference, which science could address if it were truly open, transparent and honest.

    Thanks, Anthony, for your role in bringing this issue to light in so many ways via your blog, and to Willis for his cerebral commentaries that enlighten us all.

  58. Correction to above: the levelling-off is actually most noticable in the next decade, though it is significant before 2020.

  59. The article at Climate Progress, and commentary, is truly sad.

    The only credit they give is the typical back-handed comment. “There’s also a dumb mathematical error in a footnote that is transparently at odds with the data (including the data in the study), which the anti-science crowd has naturally pounced on. It isn’t germane to the study’s main conclusions.”

    All of the other corrections – sorry, no credit for that, Anti-Science Crowd.

    Despite the correction, I noticed they did throw in their own anti-science zinger. “Sornette’s point on population was primarily that the very recent trend is not consistent with the rosier population projections — and we’re already well past the planet’s carry-capacity. Hard to argue with that last point.”

    What’s that? They’re predicting continued population growth well into mid-century while simultaneously stating that the planet is “already well past the planet’s carry-capacity?” Once the carry-capacity is achieved, then, by definition, population can’t increase for any sustained length of time. So if we’re already “well past”, how do they justify sustained growth for decades?

  60. It is little appreciated, Willis, that this statement in your conclusion is true: “The fact that we are depriving the world’s poor of energy now…” .

    This is not just a threat, it’s occurring. The “strategy” is mainly the withholding of support for cheap proven energy sources in favour of pie-in-the-sky renewables. It is accelerating, and will become blatant and drastic unless cut off very soon.

  61. I’ve come up with a much better title. Romm should tell his friends so they can cut and paste….and why do I get a sudden vision of these guys sitting around a low kidney shaped table in little chairs with paste in their hair and fingers awkwardly maneuvering round handled blunt scissors?

    Anyway, here is the title. Gosh I hope they like it.

    Super-Exponential Extremisitous Populatory Growth related to Ginormous Leaptuous Hotness.

  62. Rommian must be a definable thing by now, yes?

    I don’t know that I’d say nutrition is the thing re population growth, other than as a proxy. I’d incline toward infant mortality as the true proxy-less metric. The more likely you are to have children that survive to adulthood, the less children you have.

  63. geo says:
    March 17, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I don’t know that I’d say nutrition is the thing re population growth, other than as a proxy. I’d incline toward infant mortality as the true proxy-less metric. The more likely you are to have children that survive to adulthood, the less children you have.

    I was looking at it the other way round, geo. Rather than seeing if nutrition affected population growth, I was looking to see the conditions in which societies can and can’t feed themselves. As I said, very interesting results. The population can be growing and the country can maintain nutritional levels … but only if the rate of population growth is falling. If it is rising, then nutritional levels fall. I hadn’t expected that, which is the best kind of result.

    w.

  64. Willis,

    Your post is great. Thanks.

    Now I have some free time as the Fukushima Daiichi Site nuclear plants are essentially near stabilization. Phew.

    Several comments:

    First, an observation about your concluding statement, “The best way to protect the poor from the ravages of the climate is to make them middle-class, and that takes energy. “ Although in my view you are right in your concluding statement, I think the premises and context of your concluding statement should me more explicit. Rather than say “make them middle class”, shouldn’t you say allow them to be middle class by supporting the kind of science, philosophy of society and government that has been shown (by history) to successfully protect those who want to aspire to be middle class? When you said “make them middle class”, I had visions of authoritative government deciding again what is best of people instead of people deciding themselves . . . .

    Second, regarding the word ‘Evil’ in the title of this post and your previous related post, I do not think that evil actually does exist and that it cannot exist in an objective view of reality. Evil is not real in a rational view of the universe. Evil is a supernatural and/or religious concept and without a supernatural/religious context and premises the concept of evil is empty. So, a better title would have been something like “Not Ethically Challenged, Just Intellectually Inept”. NEC=>JII ;^)

    Third, regarding population versus wealth discussion, with a totally free market of ideas, means and actions then the relationship of demand ( of ,say, energy) and supply must be calculated by means of the value (bucks $) that people voluntarily participating in the market place on energy. If energy is a very high value consistently in the market, it will become cheaper through the free economic process. That process is, in order of appearance regarding energy: first we have free individuals; second we have then free markets; third we have voluntary valuation of need for energy where high value means economic resources dedicated to it over lesser values; fourth we have unrestricted competition and entrepreneurial innovation with the high value economic resources allocated; fifth finally cheap energy. That process is fast! Population increase in a free society is a demand increase. I am sure the economists in this thread will want to add to this ad infinitum.

    Fourth, Willis you know Romm is intellectually low hanging fruit. Right? So, I can only imagine it is just that you are having tremendous fun playing with an ideologically blinded pseudo-intellectual. You had your day of fun, now let’s get after more important tasks, like for instance, critically monitoring and universally exposing the AR5 gaming of science by the IPCC and insider AGW scientists/bureaucrats. OK?

    John

  65. juanslayton said on March 17, 2011 at 10:58 pm:

    Pamela Gray: Hotness

    Insufficiently erudite. Try thermality.

    Pamela Gray: Thermality

    Nah, “hotness” is better. “Smoking thermality” doesn’t work at all. Even my spellchecker doesn’t like “thermality.”

  66. He doesn’t like me to drive my car or fly, he doesnt want me to reproduce, he doesnt like the bubbles in my beer
    He’s not evil, he’s my wife

    /joke

    EO

  67. “The best way to protect the poor from the ravages of the climate is to make them middle-class, and that takes energy. The fact that we are depriving the world’s poor of energy now, in order to save them from a hypothesized and ill-supported possible calamity fifty years from now, is a monstrous aberration of basic justice that history will rightly condemn.

    w.”

    Abso-effen-lutely!

    I wonder if providing cheap energy to the developing countries, and thus allow their young to use computers and play with the various electronic toys such as Nintendo, X-box, etc – might help to get them less interested in guns and tribal or religious warfare …

  68. I think it was in the late 19th century that someone speculated that by 2000 London’s streets would be covered in meters of horse manure. They didn’t know that cars would replace horse carriages. Malthus did not know about the coming industrial revolution and so on….. By 2050 this whole talk of the worst case scenario of co2 output might just be a thing of the past. People may laugh saying that we weren’t to know about…….[insert innovation, invention, discovery]. The Romms of this world are way tooooooo pessemistic.

  69. Correction:

    “Malthus did not know about the coming agricultural revolution and so on….. “

  70. Ant respiration produces more CO2 than our use of fossil fuels so let’s get rid of the ants.
    (sarc)
    I suppose this rubbish paper will be peer reviewed and not found wanting.

  71. You have nailed it again, Willis. Romm and his colleagues cruelly mis-use the English language, way past the point of torture, in their attempts to construct alarmist nonsense.
    I understand how carefully you construct your writing, but your comment, despite its accuracy, about making people ‘middle class’ will not go down well with large numbers in the UK, where rational discussions using internationally accepted social classifications just do not work. The term ‘Midlle Class’ is used as an epithet by many university-educated people in the UK who use their own parents’ or grandparents’ working class origins as a badge of pride and identity; they stoutly maintain their own membership of the ‘working class’ against all comers.
    I first came across this in New Zealand when a Welsh scientist I worked with, a world-class botanist, an all-round good bloke, a wonderfully popular lecturer and an accomplished classical guitarist who grew up in a Welsh mining community, immediately became very angry when another Kiwi colleague innocently described the Welshman as ‘middle class’.
    “My father and his father’s father worked down the Pits all of their working lives; I am working bloody class and proud of it!”
    It is a commonplace here to see newspaper articles about ‘sharp-elbowed middle class parents stealing the education chances of working class children’ etc, which I find absurd. I once told a group of teaching colleagues here in London that it was ‘our mission as teachers to attempt to make all of our students middle class.’ they failed utterly to understand what I was attempting to say and I immediately became an object of suspucion and dislike. I had proclaimed myself to be one of the despised middle class!

  72. “It is one step below Super Duper Exponentially Accelerating.”

    I thought the next step was ludicrous acceleration.

  73. Fans of Warner Brothers animation of 50-60 years back will recall some cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny and Wile E. Coyote, in which Wile E. introduces himself with the name “Wile E. Coyote, Suuuperrr Genius!” Maybe that’s who postulated the formula for Suuperrr-Exponential?!

    George V.

  74. I suppose that Romm can blame his delusion of hyper-ultra-super-exponential acceleration on ermm Toyota Prius. ;-)

  75. Vince Causey says:

    March 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Well, I’ve never heard of super exponential acceleration before, and it sure sounds scary. The graph of co2 looks more linear than super duper – I’m sure you can fit a straight line through it. If that’s what they mean by super exponential, what would linear be? A horizontal line?

    The whole idea is nonsense because they’ve just made up a term that doesn’t exist in mathematics, and made it mean just what they want it to mean. Of course, if there is such a thing in maths, I’ll have to eat my words.
    ___________________________________________________________

    Well there’s Wictionary;

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/superexponential

    But the general term is called tetration;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetration

    Now, I’m not saying that CO2 is superexponential, or even exponential, although it might have been so in the past. This is a very important distinction, in the past vs now vs in the future.

    Their “theory” is based on endogenous growth theory, a relatively modern economic theory;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endogenous_growth_theory

    An economic theory thas does not account for, by any measure, the actual physics involved in the rather very complex carbon cycle.

    The paper is driven by a clear bias towards FTS, all assumptions are directed towards FTS, and all of their accepted bounds are driven by FTS. Yet all their FTS solutions lead to drastically different upper bounds, from 1988AD (the 1988AD solution, as I’ve mentioned previously, is where the human population goes to infinity, which it has not, not even close to that value, so right there we know that their “theory” is very suspect to begin with) to 3939AD. Thus, this is the art of curve fitting, absent widely accepted statistical tests for the significance of their results versus other methods of curve fitting (polynomial, for example).

    We would also have to ask the question, are all greenhouse gas emissions increasing now at whatever rates they were in the past? CH4 seems to be a prime example of a greenhouse gas that has not increased even linearity in the very recent past.

    We also have the fact that the authors used a 10-year Gaussian kernal filter applied to the Mauna Loa data set. As with any low pass filter there are end effects where the time series is discontinuous.

    So, in this case, it matters very much what the low pass filter produces at either end as this largely determines the extrapolated rates (which are then integrated, mind you) going either forwards or backwards (backwords, not so much, in this case, as these equations are constrained by a constant lower bound, and the fact that the lower bound of the remaining terms approaches zero asymptotically).

    There is also the issue of splicing the “ice drill cores” onto the Mauna Loa instrumental record, so for example, we know that gas age and ice age are different, that the ice cores act as a low pass filter of actual atmospheric CO2, that there is an inevitable “bump” in this spliced time series, right at the point where the two are joined, and we won’t know for quite some time yet, what the actual low pass frequency characteristics of the “ice drill cores” are, as we need significant overlap between these two metrics (a low pass instrumental record that closely matches (in slope or rate), the natural low pass characteristics of the “ice drill cores” data gathered to date (the new WAIS ice core might resolve some of these issues though, only time will tell).

    Finally, why does there CO2 analysis start at 1850AD? The “ice drill cores” show a clear increase in CO2 going back to at least 1750AD. Somehow, I don’t think that this inconvenient truth would fit very well with their, all too many, economic modelling assumptions (for example, delta drops from 0.73 (1958-2009 era, Figure 4), to 0.33 (1850-2009 era, Figure 10), delta is rather important to the authors, as it must be greater then zero (or one depending on their own ambigious definitions), and not indistinguisable from zero (as would need to be shown through actual statistical significance testing)).

    Now as to their delta, the authors use the Mauna Loa record, with intervals as large as 1958-2009, to as short as 2006-2009 (four years), using FTS, what we see is their deltas, what we don’t see is there corresponding values for alpha, c, and tc, as similar time series. I do wonder what those plots would look like. A delta of one (1) is exponential growth, which appears to be the limiting condition for longer and longer CO2 time series, as shown in Figure 5 of their draft publication. What must be remembered, is that a delta of less than one, converges to the anti-pole (zero, not infinity). Since we know, a priori, that the CO2 record is increasing with time, the evidence mind you, we know that, at best, their “theory” can only lead to exponential growth (delta = 1) as it’s lower bound.

    Also, their Figure 5 (all deltas > 1) is in direct conflict with their Figures 3 (delta = 0.65 < 1), 4 (delta = 0.73 < 1) and 10 (delta = 0.33 < 1). Obviously the authors need to clear up some nomenclature here as they use two different definitions for the same symbol delta.

    Also along these lines, the authors appear to be somewhat untrained in CO2 terminology, using the terms CO2 emissions and atmospheric CO2 as if they were one in the same.

    In essence, they have assumed (an ansatz, or educated guess, mind you) exponential growth (or higher), using monotonic curve fitting. The important word here being monotonic, as in either concave up or concave down, for either the exponential or FTS curve fitting, for the entire time domain of interest. We know that there are an infinite number of derivitives of e (or EXP) all equal to e, the curvature of the curvature of the curvature …, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. The FTS by definition has a singularity at tc, their regime change argument, which falls flat on it's face, given their own Figure 1.

    The exponential curve fit has one equation with three unknowns, the FTS curve fit has one equation and four unknowns, either way, you are left with curve fitting, by using the only obvious choice, minimizing the sum-of-squares, given that choice, as I've shown previously, other solutions (2nd order polynomial for the Mauna Loa data), produce lower sum-of-squares (~80% for either the FTS or exponential curve fitting).

    So if minimizing the sum-of-squares is the only test applied, other solutions exist (call them subexponential) that produce lower sum-of-squares curve fitting than either the exponential or FTS curve fitting.

    I think that I have, at least, equally proved that the Atmospheric CO2 record is subexponential and finite, which, a priori, is what we know that nature and the empirical records have shown us to date.

    Population is NOT unbounded and ever increasing, CO2 is NOT unbounded and ever increasing.

    In closing, if this Bad Paper, bad Paper, you made a mess, is ever published, the expectation is that all raw data and subsequent derivations are released into the public domain, as has, or should be, part of the very modern common scientific practice. If not, than this exercise is, just so much dust blowing in the wind.

  76. Alexander K says:
    March 18, 2011 at 5:27 am

    …they stoutly maintain their own membership of the ‘working class’ against all comers.

    Then it’s an issue of separation by a common language. In America we generally consider the middle class the working class. Or at least, ideally, anyone who is responsibly contributing to society is considered “middle class” and not “poor”. The wealthy class or “upper class” in America are those who (are fantasized to) work less and live off of their assets generating income. Though honestly I’ve seen quite a few of our upper class in Southern California and most of those I’ve known/seen do work just as hard as anyone else, they just make more for their efforts (money makes more money).

  77. At 5:27 AM on 18 March, Alexander K writes about Mr. Eschenbach‘s comment:

    …about making people ‘middle class’ will not go down well with large numbers in the UK, where rational discussions using internationally accepted social classifications just do not work. The term ‘Midlle Class’ is used as an epithet by many university-educated people in the UK who use their own parents’ or grandparents’ working class origins as a badge of pride and identity; they stoutly maintain their own membership of the ‘working class’ against all comers.

    I first came across this in New Zealand when a Welsh scientist I worked with, a world-class botanist, an all-round good bloke, a wonderfully popular lecturer and an accomplished classical guitarist who grew up in a Welsh mining community, immediately became very angry when another Kiwi colleague innocently described the Welshman as ‘middle class’.

    “My father and his father’s father worked down the Pits all of their working lives; I am working bloody class and proud of it!”

    It is a commonplace here to see newspaper articles about ‘sharp-elbowed middle class parents stealing the education chances of working class children’ etc, which I find absurd. I once told a group of teaching colleagues here in London that it was ‘our mission as teachers to attempt to make all of our students middle class.’ they failed utterly to understand what I was attempting to say and I immediately became an object of suspucion and dislike. I had proclaimed myself to be one of the despised middle class!


    There are plenty of cultural differences between folks in these United States and people in the Commonwealth countries, and this is a great example.

    American politicians and similar thieving liars have spent the past century and more peddling the idea that every average private citizen should expect a middle-class standard of living regardless of his or her real role in the economy.

    To be called “working class” in America is an insult. Thus we get people who are living from paycheck to paycheck in hourly-wage jobs, their mortgaged-to-the-hilt single-family homes teetering on the edge of foreclosure, unable to pay their absolutely horrible government-school-supporting real estate taxes, and who have no hope or expectation of ever bettering their condition, being called “middle class.”

    What really defines “middle class” anywhere? I’m of the impression that it’s a matter of entrepreneurial autonomy and responsibility. The proprietor of a “mom-and-pop” corner convenience store – who runs his own business, and supports his family from the profits he gets thereby – is “middle class.”

    The government thug employee who fills in an amount four times greater as “adjusted gross income” on his IRS Form 1040 is also supposed to be “middle class,” but that extremely well-paid malevolent jobholder does not make a single real budgetary or hire-and-fire decision at any time in the course of his employment.

    The corner store proprietor has to pay the overhead required to keep his business open, and must be present to serve his customers, or he makes no money. He works for no salary, has no hourly wage, is accorded no benefits he does not pay for directly. He can fail. Lots of such small businessmen fail every year.

    Same thing for the privately practicing certified public accountant, the lawyer, and the doctor. If you’re not there to provide your customers, your clients, your patients with the services for which they elect to pay, you don’t make any money.

    That’s the real definition of “middle class” in America. The pretense of “middle class” otherwise is a gaudy, hideous duplicity.

    Might could be that the above-mentioned Welsh botanist (“world-class” or not) is living in a state of delusion. If he’s initiating original research, submitting grant applications, making key decisions on equipment to be purchased, which personnel to hire, retain, and discharge….

    Well, like it or not, he’s performing management functions. That’s another criterion under which “middle class” status can be determined, right?

  78. The best way to protect the poor from the ravages of the climate is to make them middle-class,

    Outstanding quote! I will use it (with attribution – my names not Romm, Joe Romm) in future debates on the subject. Short and simple and directly to the point!

  79. Jeremy, the American take on class stratification, by your description, sounds pretty much the same as the Kiwi and Aussie versions. Us New World peoples are quite aware of class and see being middle class as a reasonably good and unremarkable thing, and being ‘upper class’ tends to be associated with ‘old money’ and so-called ‘good schools’ etc., but the English seem to be stuck in historic definitions which the individual has difficulty breaking free of and often has no wish to. Kiwis tend not to talk about their own politics and tend to be small-c conservative, whichever of the parties they vote for, but English politics are quite tribal and are very deeply felt. People who label themselves as working class seem to have a deep dislike of any person who is politically conservative and the feelings are reciprocated. As you say, peoples divided by a common language.

  80. “Supermicrodistilationliquichemicosis” and we all know what happened to Martian civilization because of runaway greenhouse warming.

    Don’t look at me that way. My sentence makes as much sense as this study.

  81. >> Viv Evans said :

    >> Abso-effen-lutely!

    that is known as a tmesis !

    my contribution to erudition

  82. What I don’t understand about skeptics is thier failure to understand that the average dolt in fly-over country (like me) can easily do a bit of research (contrary to thier enviormental views, Google remains an great resoucre). By visiting CIA Factbook, Wiki, and various UN site, one is amazed by all of this Malthusian clap-trap. The Alarmists no longer are guardians to information.

    The best way to figure future population growth is the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) metric. Unlike birthrates, the TFR actually does a statistical estimation of current birthrate trends of a given population samples and extrapolates those numbers out through the fertile years of a woman. The global TFR peaked at around 4.89 children per female in 1969-70. Global TFRs have been falling ever since. What has been helping the population growth these past 40 years is something demographers call demographic momentuem. In Japan, Europe, and North America (as well as the Third World) there was a huge population bulge between 1945-1965. This created a growth momentuem that is now beginning to lose steam To indicate how quickly TFRs have fallen, the US had a TFR of 3.6 in 1960; but 1980 it fell to 1.5 children per female; it recovered between 1980-2000 (2.1 by 2000) due mainly to a large influx of immigrants. Europe’s TFR fell from 3.0 1955 to today a TFR of 1.8. But native European TFRs are less than 1.5 (Spain, Greece, Italy, and Russia have a TFR today of 1.1 children per female). To maintain a stable population, a TFR of 2.1 is needed (not counting immigration). Japan has had a a TFR of 1.1 now for over a decade. China has had a TFR of 1.5 for almost 30 years. Mexico’s TFR fell from 5.8 in 1970 to 2.46 today. South America in general has had falling TFRs as well (generally below 2.5). Many Muslim nations are no better. All across North Africa, TFRs have fallen below 2.5. Egypt’s is less than 2.0 and Tunesia’s is below 1.9 . The largest Muslim nation, Indonesia, has a TFR of 1.8 .

    Longer longevity and the last of the Boomer momentum will mask our falling birthrates perhaps for a few more years. But it is safe to say that almost all G20 nations are getting older quicker. Outside of Africa (where AIDS and civil war are decimating native populations), almost every society has falling birthrates. Most have birthrates well below replacement levels (2.1). And quite a few have TFRs at the lowest of the low (1.1 or less, that is the native populations will be halving every generation). Aging populations use less energy. Less people leads to less economic activity. No society has ever gotten wealthier with aging, and shrinking populations.

    Globally, it appears the world economy peaked between 1983-2007. I seriously doubt we will be seeing those kinds of growth rates again (at least not in any of our lifetimes). Likewise, if the IPCC models are correct, we are currently seeing a peak in CO2 concentrations.

    Fifty years from now people will wonder how such smart societies fell for the Alarmist’s ideas so easily.

  83. But how much is in 1 ton of their co2 given the make up of c02 ??? This is the biggest scam of the century . Its impossible to measure all the co2 or know where it comes from , sounds like an oxygen tax to me andc02 has been much higher in the past but it was not hotter and it didn’t come from humans .

  84. Eco-fascists? A fascist is just a fascist, this mob is just the latest crop —modo-fascists if you like.

  85. well, you are half right. stable population and increasing CO2 are possible if the under developed world continues to march toward american living standards, which will require more energy per capita. its more appropriate to ask when living standards will stabilize.

  86. dwb says:
    March 22, 2011 at 7:10 am

    its more appropriate to ask when living standards will stabilize.

    That’s an easy one. Never. People always want to live better, and stability would be deadly boring. Won’t happen.

  87. Hector;
    The Low Variant of the UN pop. projection is the one with the unblemished record. Lower bound of. And that projects a peak at 2030-2040 of under 8bn.

    Mostly due to improving living standards. E.g., the 2005 goal of cutting poverty in half in 10 yrs. was reached in ½ the time, by 2010. Mostly due to industrialization in India and China.

    Good for them! Break the CO2 famine!

  88. Tucci78;
    I think the solution to the class labelling conundrum you document is that the users are referring to values, not wealth levels. The Welsh botanist was claiming working-class values, not income level.

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