“Without energy, life is brutal and short”

Yesterday I had the honor of co-presenting a seminar with Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama, Huntsville, when he visited Chico State University. He had relatives to visit in town but had asked to be able to make a rebuttal presentation is response to Dr. Ben Santer’s presentation a couple of weeks ago which I had attended and written about here.

Dr. James Pushnik, moderator for the Santer event at CSUC, graciously allowed Dr. Christy and myself to make a rebuttal presentation yesterday and I thank him sincerely for the opportunity. Dr. Christy ended his essay with the title of this post saying “Don’t demonize energy, because without energy, life is brutal and short”. Dr. Christy writes this from his firsthand experiences in Africa, where he watched the native people just trying to survive and where wood carried for miles was the energy source for their society. I thought those were good words to consider, especially since we have activist maniacs like weepy Bill McKibben out to demonize energy on a daily basis. McKibben and his followers, not possessing the intelligence to fully understand what they are doing, think “they won“.

Bottom line: that tar sands oil is going to be burned somewhere, in other countries willing to buy it. Stopping a pipeline has no effect on Canada’s export of the oil, only on American jobs, but McKibben and his 350.org is cluelessly ecstatic over this. I like how he’s brainwashed these poor souls into thinking they have to cut back.

Along the same lines and coincidentally about the same time as all this was happening, I was asked by WUWT reader Paul Homewood if I’d be interested in carrying this essay from his blog “Not a lot of people know that” about how difficult life was during the time of the little ice age.

Today, I’m thankful for two things: 1) Our freedom, secured by veterans we honor today and 2) Our wonderful energy infrastructure, without which, I couldn’t bring you this essay and Bill McKibben would be chopping wood in Vermont just to keep warm.

Here’s Paul’s essay on life in the Little Ice Age in England:

image_thumb1In Part I we started to review the book “The Little Ice Age” by Brian Fagan, a Professor of Archaeology. If you have missed it, you can catch up with Part I here.

Everything that follows is based on the book.

==============================================================

Storms and Floods

imageDrawing by Hans Moser in 1570 of Scheldt flood

It was not only the cold that was a problem during the Little Ice Age.Throughout Europe, the years 1560-1600 were cooler and stormier, with late wine harvests and considerably stronger winds than those of the 20th Century. Storm activity increased by 85% in the second half of the 16th Century and the incidence of severe storms rose by 400%.

Perhaps the most infamous of these storms was the All Saints Flood in November 1570, which worked its way northeast up the North Sea.The storm brought enormous sea surges ashore in the Low Countries, flooding most of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Dordrecht and other cities and drowning at least 100,000 people. In the River Ems further north in Germany, sea levels rose an incredible four and a half meters above normal.

In 1607 another storm caused even greater floods in the Bristol Channel with flood waters rising 8 meters above sea level miles inland.

Later in the 17th Century, great storms blew millions of tonnes of formerly stable dunes across the Brecklands of Norfolk and Suffolk, burying valuable farm land under meters of sand. This area has never recovered and is heathland. A similar event occurred in Scotland in 1694. The 1400 hectare Culbin Estate had been a prosperous farm complex next to the Moray Firth until it was hit by another huge storm which blew so much sand over it that the farm buildings themselves disappeared. A rich estate had become a desert overnight and the owner, the local Laird, died pauper three years later.

The Great Storm of 1703  is recognized as the most powerful storm ever recorded in England and caused immense damage there as well as across the North Sea in Holland and Denmark.

 Cold, Snow and Ice

imageBetween 1680 and 1730, the coldest cycle of the Little Ice Age, temperatures plummeted and the growing season in England was about five weeks shorter than now. The winter of 1683/4 was so cold that the ground froze to a depth of more than a meter in parts of south west England and belts of ice appeared off the  Channel coast of England and northern France. The ice lay up to 30 miles offshore along the Dutch coast and many harbours were so choked with ice that shipping halted throughout the North Sea.

Another exceptional winter was that of 1708/9. Deep snow fell in England and lasted for weeks while further East people walked from Denmark to Sweden on the ice as shipping was again halted in the North Sea. Hard frosts killed thousands of trees in France, where Provence lost most of its orange trees and vineyards were abandoned in northern France, not to be recultivated until the 20th Century. In 1716 the Thames froze so deep that a spring tide raised the ice fair on the river by 4 meters! The summer of 1725 in London was the coldest in the known temperature record and described as “more like winter than summer”.

After a warm interlude after 1730, when eight winters were as mild as the 20th Century, the cold returned. The temperature of the early 1740’s was the lowest in the Central England Temperature record for the entire period from 1659. Even in France thousands died of the cold and when the thaw came “great floods did prodigious mischief”.

Although temperatures started to gradually increase in the mid 19th Century, another cold snap in 1879 brought weather that rivalled the 1690’s. After a below freezing winter, England experienced a cold spring and one of the wettest and coldest summers on record. In some parts of East Anglia, the harvest was still being brought in after Christmas. The late 1870’s were equally cold in China and India , where up to 18 million died from famines caused by cold, drought and monsoon failure.

The cold snap persisted into the 1880’s and 1890’s when large ice floes formed on the Thames.

Fishing and Sea Conditions

 During the 17th Century conditions around Iceland became exceptionally severe. Sea ice often blocked the Denmark Strait throughout the summer. In 1695, ice surrounded the entire coast of Iceland for much of the year, halting all ship traffic. The inshore cod fishery failed completely, partly because the fish may have moved offshore into slightly warmer water. On several occasions between 1695 and 1728, inhabitants of the Orkney Islands were startled to see an Inuit in his kayak paddling off their coasts. These solitary hunters must have spent weeks marooned on large ice floes. As late as 1756, sea ice surrounded much of Iceland for as many as thirty weeks a year.

The cod fishery off the Faeroe Islands failed completely as the sea surface temperature became 5C cooler than today, while enormous herring shoals deserted Norwegian waters for warmer seas further south.

Famine

imageAs climatic conditions deteriorated, a lethal mix of misfortunes descended on a growing European population. Crops failed and cattle perished by diseases caused by abnormal weather. Famine followed famine bringing epidemics in their train, bread riots and general disorder. Witchcraft accusations soared, as people accused their neighbours of fabricating bad weather.

Farming was just as difficult  in the fledgling European colonies of North America where there were several severe drought cycles between 1560 and 1612 along the Carolina and Virginia coasts.

From 1687 to 1692, cold winters and cool summers led to a series of bad harvests. Alpine villagers lived on bread made from ground nutshells, whilst in France, wine harvests were delayed till as late as November. Widespread blight damaged many crops, bringing one of the worst famines in Europe since 1315. Finland lost perhaps as much as a third of its population to famine and disease in 1696-7.

Things did not improve. 1739 brought more problems, ruining grain and wine harvests over much of western Europe, while winter grain yields were well down because the ground was too hard to plough for weeks.

By 1815, Europe was struggling with yet another cold spell, when the Tambora eruption made matters a whole lot worse. The following year was described as “ The year without a summer”. In France the grain harvest was half its normal level and  southern Germany suffered a complete harvest failure. In Switzerland grain and potato prices tripled, and 30000 were breadless, without work and resorted to eating “sorrel,moss and cats”.

Inevitably such suffering brought with it social unrest, pillaging, rioting and criminal violence. The famine encouraged many to emigrate to America, although in Saint John’s, Newfoundland, 900 were sent back to Europe because there was so little food in town.

The crisis of 1816/7 was the last truly extensive food dearth in the Western world and its effects ranged from the Ottoman Empire, to parts of North Africa, large areas of Switzerland and Italy, western Europe and even New England and Canada. Other parts of the world were also badly affected such as China. Death tolls are hard to calculate but 65000 may have perished in Ireland, while in Switzerland the death rate could have doubled. The death toll would have been much worse in England and France but for the availability of and ability to efficiently distribute reserve stocks of food.

For anyone who wishes to explore this period further, Brian Fagan’s book is available here.

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149 thoughts on ““Without energy, life is brutal and short”

  1. I think it was Thomans Hobbs in his “Leviathan” who described life in a State of Nature as nasty, brutish and short.

  2. A long time ago when my daughter was taking Karate lessons, I’d drop her off and go to the Concord NH library. I came across this book and read nearly the whole thing before lessons ended. So I bought a copy from Amazon and so I could keep it after finishing it.

    Highly recommended, though Fagan was/is/may still be a bit of a warmist. However, he’s more interested in sharing the history than climbing on any bandwagons.

    The book also has a good chapter on the history of the vikings on Greenland and of the inexorable cooling that ended the centuries-old colony.

    One striking thing is how precisely Fagan dates some climate shifts. If people wait for a full 30 year “climate period” before declaring a catastrophe, there may be no one left to cover it. Sudden shifts are not just for the Greenland interior!

    I haven’t read Fagan’s later books – comments and comparisons would be appreciated.

  3. Outstanding! Paul, even though you’re an import, I’ll proudly call you a homey! :-) Of course, it should be stated, this life described above is what the climate disruption whackjobs desire for the population of this planet.

    Anthony, I share in your gratitude, and offer a “your welcome.” :-)

  4. Anthony, I think you need to temper your language with regards people who have different views than you. There is no point in demonizing Bill McKibbon or anyone else for that matter. McKibbon is not against “energy” as you contend. He is against the extraordinarily dirty (in terms of carbon content”) oil which derives from the Alberta tar sands. From his point of view, burning this fuel would produce far too much CO2 and would jeopardize our collective need to survive. YOu can disagree with him without be so nasty.

    Incidentally, however, I don’t think he is against “energy”, nor do I think he would want to go back to wood chopping in his beloved Vermont forest. He is an advocate of developing alternative energy sources and weaning off of the carbon-based fuels which create the warming conditions that threaten all life.

  5. There are plenty of markets for Canadian oil. If the Americans don’t want it, they can freeze in the dark.

  6. Read that book a few years ago. I highly recommend it for anyone with an interest in climate and history.

  7. It is a certainty that there will be a repeat of this or worse sometime in the near future (100 years? ). People today have no concept of the kind of hardship this would bring to them personally. Great nations would fall, religions and cultures would be radically altered. Billions would die.

  8. So, the historical record is that colder climate brings more severe storms to temperate regions, I’ll bet warmer climate might (might not) bring on more severe tropical weather. Over all, I can imagine that warmer is better–I’ve lived in the temperate regions most of my life.

  9. In the early morning of January 30 1658 the whole swedish army under king Charles X Gustav marched over the ice from Jutland to Funen island in order to make Denmark to surrender. They fought their way across the island and from February 6 to 12 they also crossed the ice unto Zealand with the danish capital Copenhagen. Up to 10 000 men and horses crossed the ice in those days.

    More can be read here:

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

    /Carl

  10. Anyone in the know could you teach me how many research papers have so far discussed positively on the existence of LIA?
    And in addition, on the existence of MWP?
    Thanks in advance.

  11. Anthony and Dr Christy.
    Of late I have become proud to be Canadian, Why? Because the Looney left are loosing the grip on the future of Canada. I am a Skeptic and a supporter of the Oil Sands. I am only mildly disappointed that the Pipeline didn’t go ahead thanks to Obama.

    The good news is:

    Now what will happen in Alberta and western Canada is the large oil refineries will now build the Crude oil processing plants here in Canada, it was always plan B in the event of no pipeline! What it means is the properties leases that they have been holding will now be built on by Oil Company’s produce 100s of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars for the Canadian economy. The processed oil will still be trucked and shipped by rail to the USA. The good news is we will require a 100 000 + skilled workers and mechanical equipment for the processing plants plus trucks and trains from all over especially the US. Warren Buffet and the smart money men knew this and has been hedging their bets with North / South railroad purchases and rights. There’s a ton of money to be made with or without the pipeline just more of it will stay in Canada thanks to Mr shoot your self in the foot Obama!

  12. African ‘natives?’ With bones in their noses? Are Europeans ‘natives?’ Canadians? Japanese?

    Africans are Nigerians and Kenyans or Liberians. Not natives. This isn’t a Tarzan movie.

  13. Let’s spend one winter without fossils fuels.

    No truck transport, no car transport, no natural gas heating, no coal-produced electricity. Exactly how many millions of people would die in the first month.

    Besides not enough local food to feed all these people in the winter, how many trees do you think would have to be cut down for fire-wood (which would still release CO2 anyway). All the trees within 20 miles of the cities would be gone in the first few weeks. All other forests within horse-drawn range would be gone in the next few weeks. Are there even enough horses left to make a dent in the needs.

    We could use wind or solar instead they say. You mean in the winter when there is much less wind and much less sunshine? There wouldn’t be enough energy for even one lightbulb per person.

    We would all have to move back to tropics to stop using fossil fuels.

    And then there would still not be enough food and enough forests to cook the lack of food. What would our clothes be made from. Without fossils fuels, the world population would go back to 10 million in less than a decade. The numbers of animals killed in the scenario would be uncountable. That would a fun old green time, wouldn’t it.

  14. stopping a pipeline has no effect on Canada’s export of the oil, only on Amercian jobs

    Actually it doesn’t do much of anything at all. A single train with tanker cars can carry 70,000 barrels of oil. The keystone XL pipeline was going to carry 510,000 barrels of oil, or about 7-8 trainloads.

    The oil will still come…but by rail instead of pipeline. The trains will emit more Co2 then the pipeline will. Instead or jobs on the pipeline people will get jobs with the railroad.

    Platts(Good source for energy industry news) had an article a few months ago about shipping oil by rail…costs maybe $2-$3 per barrel more then by pipeline

    http://www.platts.com/weblog/oilblog/2011/07/28/rail_makes.html

    An extra $2/barrel adds 5 cents/gallon at the pump.

    If Mc Kibben thinks that stopping the pipeline is a ‘victory’ for his cause I’m not sure what he would consider a defeat.

  15. With regard to the tar sands you connect:

    I’d like to have been in Washington and captured a microphone to thank the protesters on behalf of Western Canadians. If the pipeline to the US is stopped, the Canadian version will be built. More pipeline construction dollars to Canada, less pipeline construction fees as write-offs. China or Japan, now being purchasers of note, will bring price competitiveness into the Canadian condition, now a US monopoly. Forecast: higher prices for oil to the US as China asks for more. Also, since the pipeline to China will limit production, if Canadians build more refining, the refined product can be shipped via existing pipelines as conventional supplies decline. More volume, higher price … to Americans.

    American protesters are lucky they are middle-class or upper class celebrities. They will be able to afford the higher energy costs (while focusing their anger on China and India for “destroying the world” once American neighbours take their business elsewhere). This is such a win-win situation, as long as you like more CO2 in the air and less Americans working.

  16. When we go back to some sort of little or big ice age, the AGW believers will be the first one to beg for heat and food… good thing there are plenty of coal that will help humanity pull through.

  17. Mark S;
    de facto, yes. Because they moan on about warming (which has only ever caused booms in human and all other species) and excoriate CO2 production, which is the main resource which “broke the back” of break-back labour as the engine of the economy.

  18. The choice is where will the gulf coast refineries get this type of oil (they need heavy oil) contracts with venezula end and Saudi Arabia has new supply. On vetrans day president o says let’s buy 1,500,000,000$ per year from Saudi in stead of Canada . That way we can keep several carrier groups busy. The Saudi project is the nambia project

  19. “…activist maniacs like weepy Bill McKibben…”

    Your ad hominem attacks are desperately immature. Talking of “not possessing the intelligence to fully understand”, I think if you try very hard you might realise that “demonizing energy” is not even remotely the aim of anyone who you are talking about.

  20. Cannot recommend more highly – for giving one an appreciation for the ‘beneficial effects’ of a warm climate – the History Channel’s “How the Earth Was Made”.
    From their blurb:
    ” Its 4.5 billion year epic, a story of unimaginable timescales, earth-shattering forces, incredible life forms, radical climates and mass extinctions. Discover how the continents were formed, canyons were carved, and why the world’s animals live where they do.”
    I was amazed that when the topic of global warming finally reared its head – that the narrator remarked that the next ice age will not be dissuaded and we will inevitably be under ice sheets – yet again.

  21. This Albertan is not so secretly glad that McKibben and 350.org have ‘won’. It basically means that we don’t have to worry about something untoward occurring to the Keystone pipeline…and the flow of ‘dirty tar’ will simply go elsewhere anyway. I don’t mean to wish energy hardship on our good neighbours to the south, but if the pipeline gets built under circumstances of possible eco-terrorism, I’d sooner not see it built. McKibben et al’s fantasy that they are punishing Canada for oil sands development is just that: a fantasy.

  22. “McKibben and his followers, not possessing the intelligence to fully understand what they are doing, think “they won“. Bottom line: that tar sands oil is going to be burned somewhere, in other countries willing to buy it. Stopping a pipeline has no effect on Canada’s export of the oil, only on Amercian jobs, but McKibben and his 350.org is cluelessly ecstatic over this.”
    The current administration punts the ball in a fourth and twenty scenario….this act is about the 2012 election. The unions have no where else to go. The greens are a less stable base, one sorely needed for reelection .
    20,000 jobs is just the beginning of the equation, Some Nebraska Mcdonald’s employees are earning $15.00 an hour. A livable wage.
    Imo this is a brutal slap to the face of one of our greatest allies. One who welcomes us freely to their beautiful lands. In the meantime we will continue to fund people who hate us to their very core…..WTF?/ end rant

  23. Really Mr. Watts? McKibbon “lacks the intelligence” to understand what he’s doing?! And we poor souls interested in his views are “brainwashed”? I try hard to read both sides of the climate equation (since I teach both sides of the equation), but that over-the-top rhetoric just causes me to tune out.

  24. The people promoting the use of thorium-cycle nuclear power (primarily Kirk Sorensen) have been pointing this out. The *second* six minutes of the 2 hr You Tube video entitled “LFTR in 5 Minutes – THORIUM REMIX 2011,” Sorensen tells various Green Earth people how impractical and environmentally disruptive wind and solar power would be as a primary power source. “Thin gruel of a diet of energy.” The overall video is a 2 hr compendium of earlier videos with a five-minute lead-in summary. I have posted that video with one other here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/27/peak-oil-now-for-the-downslope/#comment-791093

    I am not qualified to say if this is a viable project or just another way for governments to waste money; the concept, however, does sound very interesting and potentially practical, primarily because of the great abundance of thorium and the fact that the proposed process supposedly consumes almost all of its dangerous transuranic nuclear waste.

  25. MarkB says:

    “African ‘natives?’ With bones in their noses? Are Europeans ‘natives?’ Canadians? Japanese?”

    I agree wholeheartedly. Africans use up-to-date technology, and they don’t have bones in their noses.

  26. Devastating floods have occurred along the North Sea coast throughout recorded history, with thousands or tens of thousands dead about once or twice a century. There is no notable correlation with MWP or LIA that I’m aware of.

    Along the German North Sea cost, the highest flood levels ever recorded occurred in 1976 (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturmflut — page in German, but see table at bottom of page). Number of people killed: 0 (the storm killed several dozen people in-land but none due to flooding). The coastline fortifications that run continuously from the Netherlands to Denmark are excellent – a great example of proper adaptation to the variations of climate, so much so that big floods hardly make the news nowadays. These Euro-socialists know what they are doing – at least occasionally. If the US government were half as well-run as these countries, Katrina would have caused a lot less damage.

  27. Bill Illis says:
    November 11, 2011 at 4:01 pm
    Let’s spend one winter without fossils fuels…..
    All the trees within 20 miles of the cities would be gone in the first few weeks. All other forests within horse-drawn range would be gone in the next few weeks.

    Which is exaclty how the literature describes the cold periods that many perished in.
    The crops failed, the woods were stripped, and then came the famine and intense cold followed by plagues. Transportation ground to a halt in the deep snows and ice. Life wasn’t much better in the previously warmer climes, like Italy and Greece, where they perished from starvation, thirst and disease.

  28. Of course Warmists have amply demonstrated that they don’t themselves intend to do with less. That is for others with less intellectual capacity. You see it will be necessary for the elite to maintain a degree of autonomy from the masses in order to implement plans fully. There may be a bit of discomfort, but sometimes corrective action requires a firm hand.

  29. Smokey says:
    November 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm
    Man that is just wrong on so many levels. That and I wasted precious beer, through my nose.

  30. tokyoboy says:
    November 11, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    There is but little need for research papers on how bad things got in colder times, or how good they were in warmer times. None is needed. History isn’t science, it’s what people wrote about in the times they lived in. All you have to do is read it.

  31. My experience is that folks who have negative views about the oil sands are utterly uninformed about the oil sands.

    The Norwegians fly in folks to their oil sands operation so they can actually learn the truth.

    http://www.financialpost.com/news/Seeing+smelling+sands+believing/5672427/story.html

    Alberta’s oil sands account for less than one tenth of one per cent of global GHG emissions. So much for the lie of them being “extraordinarily dirty”.

    http://www.oilsands.alberta.ca/

    This link includes a video on the reclamation work.

    http://www.oilsands.alberta.ca/reclamation.html

    http://environment.alberta.ca/apps/osip/

    Anthony, I would like to see the pejorative term “Tar Sands” treated the same way “Denier” is here.

    “Historically, oil sand was incorrectly referred to as tar sand due to the now outdated and largely ineffective practice of using it for roofing and paving tar (oil sand will not harden suitably for these purposes). Though they appear to be visibly similar, tar and oil sands are different; while oil sand is a naturally occurring petrochemical, tar is a synthetically produced substance that is largely the last waste product of the destructive degradation of hydrocarbons. Furthermore, their uses are completely different; oil sand can be refined to make oil and ultimately fuel, while tar cannot and has historically been used to seal wood and rope against moisture.”

    http://www.energy.alberta.ca/OilSands/793.asp

  32. Anthony, you didn’t mention how the seminar you gave with John Christy was received.

    How did it go? Jeers? Cheers? Were there any questions? Buttonholed afterwards? Did anyone think to ask how you and Christy could have such (presumably) different perspectives than Santer, when the climate data set is the same for all of you? What happened? It’s gotta be a good story! :-)

  33. LOL, you folks STILL haven’t figured out Obama!

    According to my reading of various articles, he didn’t “cancel” the pipeline, he “delayed” the final decision until 2013. In other words, just over a year from now, and right after the presidential election. He gets to satisfy his voter base now, and then do what he was going to do anyway the next month. Provided he wins the election of course.

  34. Typo?
    Between 1680 and 1730, the coldest cycle of the Little Ice Age, temperatures plummeted and the growing season in England was about five weeks shorter then (than?) now.

  35. Today, “without energy, life is brutal and short” when fuel is cut off from industrialized country.
    See North Korea: Linking Fuel to Famine
    The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990/91 dried up subsidized fuel aid which precipitated the severe famine in North Korea compounded by weather. About 1 million died from the famine (somewhere between 500,000 and 4 million). Williams et al. write:

    The disastrous decline of the DPRK’s industrial economy in the 1990s—GNP reduced by half, infrastructure in a state of near-collapse—while rooted in longterm
    economic and policy failures, has its immediate cause in a drastic, ongoing energy crisis.
    Since the end of the Cold War, . . .petroleum products, coal, and electricity all reduced by more than 50 percent since 1990. . . .The energy crisis is a result of the loss of subsidized Soviet oil imports, failure to maintain and modernize energy infrastructure, the impacts of natural disasters, and inefficiency in energy production and end use. . . .North Korean grain production fell from 8 million tons in 1990 to 2.5 million tons in 1996.

    Fuel and Famine: Rural Energy Crisis in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea James H. Williams, David Von Hippel, and Peter Hayes, Policy Paper #46 March 2000
    See also: Eating fossil fuels: oil, food and the coming crisis in agriculture By Dale Allen Pfeiffer

    Warning: Available Net Exports of crude oil (after China & India’s imports) peaked in 2005, and have declined 13% since then. Oil importing countries are now facing a rapid decline in available oil exports, until massive efforts are made to provide alternatives on a war time footing.

  36. Smokey says:
    November 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly. Africans use up-to-date technology, and they don’t have bones in their noses.

    Hmm. This post needs a graphic image up at the top. The only way this could be improved is with a smilely face on the disk. Hey – I have an iPod like that!

  37. Buzz B says:
    November 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm
    Really Mr. Watts? McKibbon “lacks the intelligence” to understand what he’s doing?! And we poor souls interested in his views are “brainwashed”? I try hard to read both sides of the climate equation (since I teach both sides of the equation), but that over-the-top rhetoric just causes me to tune out.

    LOL @ Buzz

    If you are “tuning out”, then that’s more confirmation that Anthony Watts is on the right track.

    +1 to Watts.

  38. Hobbes, the full quote: if people “live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war, and such a war is of every man against every man” ……. there will be “continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”. Thomas Hobbes of Malmsbury, 1588-1679, lived through some of the extreme weather described above

  39. Buzz B says:
    November 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Really Mr. Watts? McKibben “lacks the intelligence” to understand what he’s doing?! And we poor souls interested in his views are “brainwashed”?
    ========================================================
    How about ” McKibben “lacks the intelligence” to understand what he’s doing?” Would that be more palatable? The fact is, McKibben is a loon and he does indeed lack the intellectual capacity to see what he wishes on himself and the rest of the world. Note his abject hypocrisy. Does he ride a bike to the Occupy demonstrations? How is his home powered? Are his solutions reasonable or practical or even doable? No, they are not.

    Many of us skeptics, well before the recession occurred warned that it would because of these policies pursued by McKibben and his ilk and embraced by the lunatics much of the Western civilization seemed so hell bent on electing. We could go into detail as to why but time and space don’t allow for this. The loons were told, they either didn’t care or lacked the capacity to understand, but Anthony is being generous when he states “lacks the intelligence” because if people like McKibben possessed the intelligence, then that means they are indeed the misanthropists that I believe they are. I believe they delight in the suffering they cause. I believe they delight in the deaths they cause. I believe they take great pride in knowing they’ve kept third world nations from advancing and decreasing available food supply. But that just me. Perhaps they really are that stupid and don’t understand how burning people out of their homes, or while they’re in their homes in order to plant some trees is more disgusting that what goes on in a Penn St. locker room.

  40. Mark ro says:
    November 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm
    The current administration punts the ball in a fourth and twenty scenario….this act is about the 2012 election. The unions have no where else to go. The greens are a less stable base, one sorely needed for reelection .
    davidmhoffer says:
    November 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm
    “LOL, you folks STILL haven’t figured out Obama!”
    And I thought I had a 100 yard punt return:(

  41. I would rather be warm anyday. I heat partly with wood mostly for the exercise but also for the savings. This was a good read. I enjoyed the byplay in coments. Obama should have shown some real thought and authorized the pipeline. This other may well cost him the election, people will remember.

    Bill Derryberry

  42. Defenders of McKibben and other anti-fossil fuel fanatics. To date, no one has come up with viable economic alternatives to coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. Wind and solar are so woefully inadequate they are not worth spending money on. Therefore, any competent, reasoning individual would conclude McKibben, and people like him, who fight against developing new sources of fossil fuels and pipelines to transport them, are maniacs too stupid to realize how much harm they are doing. And I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. Because I don’t think they practice what they preach.

  43. rbateman says: November 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm
    “There is but little need for research papers on how bad things got in colder times, or how good they were in warmer times. None is needed. History isn’t science, it’s what people wrote about in the times they lived in. All you have to do is read it.”

    Thanks but I know it, rbateman. I have read many books and articles on MWP and LIA.
    I just wanted to strengthen my discussion in a book manuscript to be finished in three weeks.

  44. Mark S says:
    November 11, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    John Christy said: “Don’t demonize energy, because without energy, life is brutal and short.”

    “Because it’s a well-know fact that most climate scientists (i) hate energy (ii) would have us return to caves.”

    No, climate scientists DON’T hate energy when the energy is used to : (a) warm their living quarters in Antarctica, (b) power the compute servers which run their GCMs, (c) fly them to their latest junket/conference in Bali or Cancun, ad infinitum.

    By the way, a message to all CAGW climate scientists and followers of the CAGW cult (and you know who you are):

    PLEASE STOP USING ALL FOSSIL FUELS TODAY. RIGHT NOW.

    Using any form of fossil fuel energy would be evidence of your hypocrisy, and you wouldn’t want that would you? Please seek alternatives and use them exclusively. And please take yourself and your research facilities off the grid. Thank you for your cooperation.

  45. A simple solution for all the anti-energy communities that ban fracking or oil pipelines. NO CHEAP ENERGY FOR YOU. You will have to use only non-carbon based energy at whatever non-subsidized price you can find on the market. California’s economy will simply implode.

  46. I grew up on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain. As a young man I read Samuel de Champlain’s journal and found this entry about the discovery of the lake to be very interesting:

    July 1609
    “… Continuing our course over this lake on the western side, I noticed, while observing the country, some very high mountains on the eastern side, on top of which there was snow. ”

    The mountains on the eastern side (Vermont) extend only to about ~4000ft and are snow free by the first week in June today.

  47. There have been some good points made in this thread, but you are all missing some critical parts to this story. First, it’s no surprise that Nebraska is opposed to Keystone, even though it already has about 6,000 km of existing pipeline running through Oglala already. Nebraska is up to its eyebrows in ethanol subsidies. The more oil there is supplying Texas refineries, the less need there is for burning food for fuel.

    Second, some of the American backers of TransCanada Pipeline’s Keystone project are large financial supporters of the Republican Party. Canning Keystone is one good way to put a spoke in their wheels, ie. the Koch brothers.

    Now there has been some talk about Canada building its Gateway pipeline to Kitimat and supplying oil directly to Asia. Here again however, you Yanks are trying to close all the doors. Tides Foundation has already bought Vancouver Mayor Glenn Robertson, and it’s shoveling money like mad into Western Canadian ENGOs and aboriginal groups such as the Dene alliance.

    If I didn’t know much better, this looks an awful lot like the US creating an economic blockade of Canadian oil exports. Why do I suspect this? The US has been conducting economic warfare against Canada over forest products, softwood lumber, for about 30 years, mostly driven by Montana Senator Max Baucus and the US domestic wood industry. This year, China displaced the US as Canada’s largest customer for wood, and they’re paying $20 more than US prices. Canadian oil sold in Asia will sell for much higher prices than available in the US.

    So any reasonably intelligent and machiavellian US strategist would want to make sure that Canada doesn’t have any alternatives for marketing ‘key strategic resources’. The fact that such a strategy only infuriates the best and closest ally of the United States is a mere irrelevancy.

    Make no mistake, many thinking Canadians regard Obama’s actions as thoroughly hostile, compelling as it does billions of dollars in losses on TransCanada Pipelines. The problem in this day and age is there’s no real compensation for government malice, particularly when it’s a foreign government.

  48. Mark S said Because it’s a well-know fact that most climate scientists (i) hate energy (ii) would have us return to caves.

    There is more truth in that than you know. I did a research paper in the mid `90’s and discovered that the leaders of the environmental movement who are now whipping the horses of the CAGW band wagon felt “Mankind is a cancer on the face of the Earth,” and “The optimum population of the planet is 200 million.”

  49. McKibbin’s victory is hollow.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/keystone-delay-unlikely-to-stall-big-oil-companies/2011/11/11/gIQAKzPiDN_story.html

    The oil companies aren’t going to miss a beat. They are putting bigger pumps on existing pipelines which can increase throughput enough to keep up with increasing output from the tar sands for many years. They have time on their side. They’ll just get the permit when there’s a more cooperative administration in Washington and make some appropriate campaign contributions to move that along in the right direction.

    Actually, as a victim of eminent domain myself just last month (an above-ground water pipeline crossing my property where I was forced against my will to grant an easement) I’m glad to see this public land-grab get beat down at least temporarily if there other options. It sounds to me as if the oil companies already had other options they were just going for a less expensive option.

    Politically this is probably a poor move for Obama. A lot of out-of-work blue collar types get good jobs on big pipeline projects. They were expecting the work. Now they got the rug pulled out from under them and the oil is still going to get to Texas so the greenies lose too. The ONLY winners are the people whose private property didn’t get taken by eminent domain. This should not be allowed in this case. Private property should NEVER be taken by eminent domain and turned over to a private corporation. That’s unconstitutional and until a few years ago after one of worst SCOTUS decisions I’ve ever seen it WAS unconstitutional. I was livid over that decision. I think we ought to amend the constitution so that USSC justices can be more easily removed. They’re as out of control as congress.

  50. Brutish, dirty, shallow thinkers, useful fools. Sounds like an accurate description of the “Occupy 99ers”.
    Plentiful energy is the foundation of civilizations. Fuel or slaves, chose the one that you want. The Obamanation just stopped 20,000 shovel ready jobs and billions in new tax revenue for local and federal coffers and insured continued requirement for middle eastern oil.
    When a bureaucrat or political postpones a needed decision it means that they have decided against you but wants to tell you later when it is to late for you to change the outcome.
    China needs that oil and the Arabs need the dollars. Guess who is working for whom. pg

  51. If you think the LIA was bad, try running the same model – this time with a population of 7 billion!

    UNSPEAKABLE! – GK

  52. “So any reasonably intelligent and machiavellian US strategist would want to make sure that Canada doesn’t have any alternatives for marketing ‘key strategic resources’. The fact that such a strategy only infuriates the best and closest ally of the United States is a mere irrelevancy.”

    Let me get this straight. Canada would sell resources critical to the defense of the North American continent to Red China if the U.S. can’t take it off your hands fast enough.

    With friends like you who needs enemies?

  53. Colin says:
    November 11, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    There have been some good points made in this thread, but you are all missing some critical parts to this story………..
    =====================================================
    Colin, I understand where you’re coming from, but it isn’t entirely correct. First and foremost, I know you fellows in Canada have a lot of trees, but so do we. (Us in the U.S.) So, you exporting lumber to China more than you exporting to the U.S. makes sense, but that’s only because we have enough lumber to supply ourselves. Recently, our government attempted to put a fee on our Christmas trees, upon my inspection, I found where we actually import “Christmas trees” from Canada! OMG!! I’d love to have your oil. I wish we had the wherewithal to drill our own and not need yours. But trees and lumber? I do wish our closest friends all the best, but we don’t need your wood. We’ve plenty ourselves. Us buying your lumber would make as much sense as you buying ours.

    I would state, you are entirely correct about the ethanol. You’ll have to give me some time on this one. Seems the farmers like the concept. All I’ve got to do is convince them that their gain is our loss and try to convince them that it is in their best interests to stop this madness. It’s a hard sell. Fortunately, all that needs to happen is the end of the subsidies. Then, it won’t be worth their while…… if we finish the pipeline, it will happen. We’re looking at 2014.

    No, there is no compensation for foreign government malice…….. welcome to our world. Please understand, we had to suffer through some pretty hostile Canadian governments…..we always knew much of the Canadian populace didn’t hold the same malice. A bit of return, in kind, isn’t beyond the realm, I believe. Yes, Obama seems to have a disdain for our Western society. This, too, will pass.

    James

  54. Dave Springer says:
    November 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    ……….I think we ought to amend the constitution so that USSC justices can be more easily removed. They’re as out of control as congress.
    ======================================================
    Perhaps, but I believe we should move to ensure that, “Private property should NEVER be taken by eminent domain and turned over to a private corporation.”

    I wholeheartedly agree that this should never happen. And, I think it would pass the states test. Now, all we have to do is find a politician or two that hasn’t been bought to sponsor such an idea. Those people that forced you to sell, they should be publicly horse-whipped. I fully believe there is a special place in hell for such people.

  55. Buzz B says:
    November 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    “Really Mr. Watts? McKibbon “lacks the intelligence” to understand what he’s doing?! And we poor souls interested in his views are “brainwashed”? I try hard to read both sides of the climate equation (since I teach both sides of the equation), but that over-the-top rhetoric just causes me to tune out.”

    One side’s teachin’ and the other side’s preachin’.

    Pray with me, brother!

    Al Gore is my shepherd. I shall not consume.
    He maketh me lie down in green pastures filled with wind turbines.
    He leadeth me beside waters polluted by his zinc mine.
    He selleth my soul for carbon offsets.
    He leadeth me in the path of bankruptcy so his green investments may profit.

    Yea, though I drive through the Valley of the Shadow of Interstate 5, I will fear no evil.
    For Al Gore art with me.
    His hockey stick and 20 room mansion with compact fluorescent lighting, they comfort me.
    He preparest a table on his private jet in the presence of mine Hollywood elite.
    He annointest my head with oil subsidized biofuel.
    My wallet runneth short.

    Surely the moonbats and #occupiers shall follow me all the days of my life,
    and I will dwell in the House of the Carbon Neutral forever.

    Amen.

  56. James Sexton says:
    November 11, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    “Those people that forced you to sell, they should be publicly horse-whipped. I fully believe there is a special place in hell for such people.”

    Thanks for the support but in my case it’s a municipal water utility that got the easement not a private corporation. That’s more legit but it still amounted to a legal theft. It was a city in another county that got the public benefit. And the public need was questionable since this just gives them a source of marginally less expensive water in case of extreme drought when their usual supply dries up. They could have paid more to get the water they needed through existing emergency supply contracts and existing pipelines. In other words a strip of my land (and 10 of my neighbors) got condemned so the residents of a town in another county can have lower water bills. There was never any danger they wouldn’t have adequate affordable water for drinking and sanitation. The compensation wasn’t anywhere near the value I placed on the loss of my use of the property. If they’d offered 10 times the amount on the open market I don’t think I’d have sold. I probably would have caved for 20 times the offer. The problem was it would have cost us 10 times the offer to fight it and there would still be a good chance we’d lose. The lawyers for the city knew exactly what they were doing so we had little choice but to bend over and get f**ked.

    What was happening to the people in the Keystone path is a thousand times worse because that land is being taken and given over to private oil companies. That’s not right but that’s exactly what the 2005 SCOTUS decision made possible.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2005-06-24/justice/scotus.property_1_eminent-domain-tax-revenue-susette-kelo?_s=PM:LAW

  57. Dave Springer, that’s great! However, regarding the Mini Ice Age. Actually the planet started to cool after the medieval warm period. One of my units involved comparing technology and communication methods observed during human evolution and climate from 2 million years ago to modern day. The Mini Ice Age was very bad for most Northern Hemisphere countries. The wine industry was effected but wait for it, the first printing presses were converted wine presses. So I suspect, although we were deprived of our grog, we learned to communicate and pass on wisdom to the masses by reading books.

    Another factor too. After you American’s gained your independence, you no longer accepted convicts from UK. People were desperate in UK, there was a generation of petty thieves developing, and the few police (Bow Street Runners) they had then, didn’t dare enter some parts of London. The enclosure of common lands displaced people from rural areas into the growing industrial towns. The dreaded Black Satanic Mills? They had only hulks to keep convicts in, so they decided to ship them to Australia instead. Well it was warmer here in 1788. There is no evidence for this period of any glaciers in Australia other than in Tasmania and in the Alps during the glacial maximum. But they still had problems growing things here because of droughts and they nearly starved during the first years of settlement. So we are right, we have more to fear from ice than of fire. The next mini ice age is beginning, it will take a while to set in, but seismic
    activity, volcanic eruptions, violent storms are to be accepted. Before the last ice age ended say about 10,000 years ago, although joined to mainland Asia, Japan was not habitable because of seismic and volcanic activity. And it is becoming increasingly volatile isn’t it?

  58. You may think I jest, you carbon sinners, about the church of the environment. I kid you not.

    http://www.economist.com/node/7252897

    Carbon offsets
    Sins of emission
    The idea of offsetting carbon emissions is sound in theory, if not yet in practice

    Aug 3rd 2006 | from the print edition

    THE sale of indulgences by the Catholic church in the early 16th century, whereby people could, in effect, purchase forgiveness of past sins by handing over enough money, was condemned by Martin Luther and other reformers. Today, some environmentalists are denouncing the “offsetting” of carbon emissions in similar terms. A company that wants to declare itself “carbon neutral” calculates how many tonnes of carbon it emits, and then offsets the emissions by paying someone else not to emit that amount of carbon on its behalf. Just as Luther criticised indulgences, critics of offsetting argue that the ability to buy retrospective forgiveness for sins of emission is no substitute for not sinning in the first place.

    Not only does the Grand Exalted Mystic Poobah of the Church of Carbon Sin (Al Gore) excuse his obscenely extravagent lifestyle through the purchase of carbon indugences credits, he’s a large shareholder in the company which sells him the indulgences credits. This is sort of like the Pope hearing his own confession and forgiving himself. Or something equally bizarre.

  59. The reality, is that one barrel of oil is 100,000 man hours of work. Delete the oil, and none of that work gets done.

    Your only other option, to ensure the work is done and civilisation continues (people are fed and housed), is to reinstate slavery. In the absence of oil and oil powered machines, that is how the Roman’s powered their great civilisation.

    Is that what the Greens want?

    .

  60. bushbunny says:
    November 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    “Dave Springer, that’s great!”

    Of course it is. Everything I write is great.

    Which particular great thing are you referring to?

  61. Dave Springer says:
    November 11, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    James Sexton says:
    November 11, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    “Those people that forced you to sell, they should be publicly horse-whipped. I fully believe there is a special place in hell for such people.”

    Thanks for the support but in my case it’s a municipal water….
    ===============================================================
    Yes, well, I was quoting you, but I see the confusion. I wasn’t aware that Keystone was having this sort of difficulty. No, it isn’t right. The owners should get paid for their land…… I’m sure they can find people that are willing to sell or lease. We’ve people leasing lands to windmills and gas wells alike in the area I live. This case should be no different. In fact, the land up there is all but useless. Still, I’d stand with them if they don’t wish to lose their land to a private entity. That isn’t what this nation is about.

  62. bushbunny says:
    November 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    “They had only hulks to keep convicts in, so they decided to ship them to Australia instead.”

    Yes, I’m aware of that. I travelled to Australia once. At customs they were asking me the usual questions about how much money I was carrying, did I have any fresh fruit or vegetables, and that sort of thing. Then the customs agent asked “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”. I replied, “No, I haven’t. Is it still a requirement?”

    Hahaha – I kid you guys. Australia is a loyal ally we can always count on through thick and thin. No lack of respect for you here in the states. Your current goverment is a bit bonkers but hey, that’s just one more thing we have in common! It’s like a flu virus that’s going around.

  63. Dave Springer said:
    November 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm
    Let me get this straight. Canada would sell resources critical to the defense of the North American continent to Red China…
    ————————————————————-
    The US should invade Canada, eh.

  64. Sorry to spoil the party, but:

    In 1607 another storm caused even greater floods in the Bristol Channel with flood waters rising 8 meters above sea level miles inland.

    is not now thought to be a weather phenomenon, but rather a tsunami caused by some geological event.

    See this for a discussion:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Channel_floods,_1607

    There was a fairly recent UK television program that examined this catastophe in some depth, although I can’t find a reference to give a link here – there is a link to a BBC web page with some audio & video in that Wikipedia page above.

  65. Dave Springer @ 11.15 pm on Nov 11th.

    Of course I was referring initially to your prayer to Al Gore, but reading further posts I have to agree with you – you are very perceptive in my mind.

  66. RE: Dave Springer: (November 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm)
    “Let me get this straight. Canada would sell resources critical to the defense of the North American continent to Red China if the U.S. can’t take it off your hands fast enough.”

    Former Canadian CIBC chief economist Jeff Rubin and author of the book, “Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller,” (which I have not read) said as much in a recent article in the Globe and Daily Mail. He has been predicting seven dollar a gallon gasoline prices by 2012 unless the recession continues. He appears to be making a living by writing and speaking about the consequences of declining petroleum availability.

    This is presented only as a heads-up example of what is being said abroad.

    THE GLOBE AND DAILY MAIL
    Economy Lab
    China, not U.S., will be tar sands’ market
    Globe and Mail Update
    Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 6:15 AM EDT

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/commentary/jeff-rubins-smaller-world/china-not-us-will-be-tar-sands-market/article1572674/

  67. Mark and two Cats says:
    November 11, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    The US should invade Canada, eh.
    —————————————————
    It might be a case of third time lucky. The US does not have a good record in this regard.

  68. Chris B – thanks for spotting typo – fixed now.

    Mike Edwards – Re the Bristol Channel Floods – the jury seems to be out on that one. It could have been a tsunami, but there were also floods around the coast in Norfolk which would suggest otherwise. I guess we will never know!!

    Michael Palmer – I am not aware of any studies of North Sea floods which might show correlation with LIA or MWP. However according to Brian Fagan there was a ” notable increase in storminess and wind strengths in the English Channel and North Sea” in the 14thC and in the 16thC ” the incidence of severe storms rose by 400%”

  69. jack morrow says:
    November 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    It can Happen again.

    Brilliant. And allow me to add for everyone’s information that the Pope is Catholic.

  70. Who is demonizing energy? The need for it is obvious to all and denied by no one.

    The questions surround one particular type of energy — that derived from the burning of fossil fuels.

    We are in a jam, there’s no doubt about it. We are dependent on the burning of fossil fuels, and the transition to new sources of energy is going to be difficult.

    But we have to make the transition, for two reasons: 1) There’s only so much fossil fuel. The question is when, not whether, we will run out of it, and 2) The evidence that the burning of fossil fuels is altering the climate is massive and redundant, the efforts of web sites like this to deny this fact notwithstanding.

    We can talk about Little Ice Ages and Medieval Warm periods all we want — these phases of climate history confirm only what no one denies: the climate is variable. It is variable because it is sensitive to a variety of forcings. Dumping billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year, year after year, is a powerful forcing, whose current effects are what was predicted: warmer nights; rising temperatures, especially at high northern latitudes; rising temperatures in the troposphere and lowering temperatures in the stratosphere; an increase in the total amount of energy released by tropical storms, and so on.

    Alternative explanations have a desperate “throw anything you can at them” quality: it’s not CO2, it’s ocean currents, or cosmic rays, or the chaotic nature of weather, or who knows what. Tune in next week: there will be another “great discovery” that “puts the final nail in the coffin of the AGW theory”.

    Indeed.

  71. From the enviro-loon himself:
    “Imagine we live on a planet. Not our cozy, taken-for-granted earth, but a planet, a real one, with darkpoles and belching volcanoes and a heaving, corrosive sea, raked by winds, strafed by storms, scorched by heat. An inhospitable place. It’s a different place. A different planet. It needs a new name: EAARTH”
    If ever one needs a reminder of just how dangerously unhinged those on the environmental left are, Bill Mckibben is a good example. The scary thing is that we do live in a changed world; a world where seriously delusional and mentally unstable people like him are actually listened to instead of medicated or even straitjacketed. The idea alone that 350 ppm is the “upper limit safe” level for C02 is bizarrely insane, yet there are plenty who go along with it. By contrast, he and his foam-at-the-mouth ilk make the folks with the UNIPCC look reasonable, perhaps even dangerously so.
    Yes, humanity has indeed plunged itself into a strange, new world in the past few decades. It’s an upside-down world, where a fiction has become truth, and where an entirely beneficial gas has become a pariah, and by extension, mankind himself by virtue of producing a small percentage of it. It’s a world where an ideology has triumphed over science, and where those struggling to bring science back are reviled and attacked viciously. Although a temporary world it probably should have a name; I’m calling it “Water (melon) World” for now.

  72. James Sexton: “I do wish our closest friends all the best, but we don’t need your wood. We’ve plenty ourselves.”

    You need to do a lot more research before you plunge into this one, James. It all has to do with US complaints over stumpage rates. Fact is that Canadian timber is a lot cheaper to supply into the US that your domestic production, so there have been repeated attempts to block it. You also need to understand that huge amounts of US timberland have been taken out of the industry over the last 30 years thanks to things like owls and other wildlife. It doesn’t matter that the US has lost every single trade dispute over softwood lumber before the WTO; thanks to a congressional lobby, the Commerce Department just starts another round of protectionism about every five years. What this demonstrates is that where powerful local political interests are involved, the US is pretty much faithless as a trade partner. This was shown again about six years ago with the tariffs against Canadian steel.

    Dave Springer: “With friends like you who needs enemies?”

    I’m so glad you agree with Obama’s strategy of sitting in the pockets of the Saudis and Hugo Chavez. In case you hadn’t noticed, Canada’s FIRST choice was to expand shipping capacity to Texas, not to the Pacific. YOU lot turned it down, not us.

    Next time, think before you open your yap.

  73. Message: Cold Still Kills!
    1.7 million livestock die in Mongolia freeze
    “Temps as low as minus 58 F raise fears that toll could reach 4 million ” AP 2/2/2010

    Aid groups have described piles of dead animals and warned of Mongolian herdsmen fleeing to cities as the United Nations says a harsh winter has killed 1.7 million livestock vital to the largely rural country.

    The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said in a statement Tuesday that up to 4 million livestock could be dead by spring if conditions that include temperatures as low as minus 58 Fahrenheit continue.

    Natural temperature variations causing extreme cold waves or another “Little Ice Age” are far more deadly than the projected mild anthropogenic warming. Using abundant fossil fuels now keep away tens of millions of deaths from cold.

  74. Jesse Fell says:
    November 12, 2011 at 4:31 am

    The evidence that the burning of fossil fuels is altering the climate is massive and redundant, the efforts of web sites like this to deny this fact notwithstanding.
    Actually no, the “evidence” linking manmade C02 to climate change is very weak, and is dependent on C02-based models. I guess you could call making the same false claims over and over “redundant”. It’s really more to do with the fact that the more times people hear a lie, the more likely they are to believe it.
    You are certainly not the first climate troll to come in with the claim of “massive evidence” of manmade climate change. Yet, inevitably, when asked to produce said “evidence”, none is ever given.
    Oh, and nice attempt at reversing the null hypothesis, aka “pulling a Trenberth”.

  75. tokyoboy,

    Anyone in the know could you teach me how many research papers have so far discussed positively on the existence of LIA?
    And in addition, on the existence of MWP?

    There are many. The simplest way for you to get as many as possible is to use some smart search terms in google scholar.

    Eg,

    little ice age

    or

    little ice age global

    and

    medieval warm period

    or

    medieval climate anomaly

    There is also a good site for paper lists on topics under the general heading of climate change. Eg,

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/papers-on-reconstructions-of-modern-temperatures/ (‘modern’ = last 600 to 2000 years)

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/09/08/papers-on-the-mwp-as-global-event/

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/papers-on-temperature-reconstructions-from-boreholes/

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/papers-on-stalagmite-reconstructions/

    Happy hunting!

  76. Hmmm!

    Oil=energy=warmth
    Oil=chemicals=fertiliser
    But
    How does Oil/Gas/Coal = flood prevention/wind calming/drought prevention?
    How does fossil fuel warm/cool millions of acres?
    How does fossil fuel stop crops being flattened by storms (and storm deaths)?
    How does fossil fuel allow solar radiation through volcanic dust?

    Perhaps fossil fuel helps out because it allows those with it to get in their war vehicles and travel south to steal the natives crops?

    Is it better being warm and starved and dead, or cold and starved and dead

    some really good weather related stuff here:

    http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/climate/wxevents.htm

    p.s.I do not kow of any scientist in his right mind (and not joking) who would recommend a back to the cave approach to energy (for a start there are not enough caves). Even Hansen sees nuclear (in particular fast breeder reactors) as perhaps the only option.

  77. RE: Jesse Fell: (November 12, 2011 at 4:31 am)
    “… But we have to make the transition, for two reasons: 1) There’s only so much fossil fuel. The question is when, not whether, we will run out of it, …”

    True…

    “… 2) The evidence that the burning of fossil fuels is altering the climate is massive and redundant, the efforts of web sites like this to deny this fact notwithstanding.”

    False. To date, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has increased from the nominal pre-industrial level of 280 PPM to a little over 396 PPM–a square root of two ratio. As the CO2 greenhouse effect applies only over a narrow band of wavelengths around 15 microns, the effect of each new cohort of added CO2 in the atmosphere is largely masked by that already present. According to the MODTRAN web utility provided by the University of Chicago, one must double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to get a one degree C *raw* increase in temperature. So far, the CO2 level has only gone up enough for a half-degree C increase.

    Some have blamed all the temperature rise in the last century on the CO2 increase as a result of regenerative feedback. Others have said this feedback should be degenerative from increasing clouds that reflect and diffuse solar radiation. For the past ten years average Earth temperatures have leveled out while the CO2 level continues to increase.

    Based on estimates of the remaining petroleum and coal, I suspect that man lacks the resources to inject truly dangerous amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Below is an image that shows the minimal difference in energy leaving the earth 20 km up when the CO2 concentration is doubled from 300 PPM to 600 PPM. Note that the green 300 PPM curve can only be seen rising above the blue 600 PPM CO2 curve in a few places on the fringes of the general CO2 hole.

  78. Dave Springer said:
    November 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm
    Let me get this straight. Canada would sell resources critical to the defense of the North American continent to Red China…
    ————————————————————-
    I think you have it backwards. McKibben seeks to deny the US a resource critical to the defense of North America and Obama is afraid to protect the US economic and defense interests in this matter during an election year, because it will cost him environmental votes.

    It isn’t Canada that is selling you out.

  79. Jesse Fell says:
    November 12, 2011 at 4:31 am

    “The evidence that the burning of fossil fuels is altering the climate is massive and redundant”

    You will be able to cite some then…..

    By ‘some’ I mean one piece of said evidence. It would get ALL our attention.

  80. What I found interesting was the powerful storms.

    The power of a storm is directly proportional to the temperature difference not the temperature.

    Anyone that has sat in a sailboat on the ocean when it was 100 ° F going nowhere realizes that winds are caused by temperature difference not the temperature. I have sailed out into the Atlantic and sat there all day, but since it was sunny I know there would be a going home wind when the sun began to set and the land cooled faster than the water.

    Anyone who has stood on a windy street corner when it was -10 ° realizes that the power of a storm is directly proportional to the temperature difference not the temperature.

    Those who predict stronger storms because of global warming are ignorant about storms and history. CO2 is supposed to cause a blanketing effect which should even temperatures out and reduce the power of storms but that doesn’t sell the mousemilk.

  81. Jesse Fell says:
    November 12, 2011 at 4:31 am
    We are dependent on the burning of fossil fuels, and the transition to new sources of energy is going to be difficult.

    Not if the market is allowed to deal with the problem. The US has coal and gas supplies for 200 years of use. Does anyone seriously suggest that no new discoveries will be made in that time?

    The problem is FEAR. People are afraid of CO2 because it has been demonized. They believe it will kill them. This is allowing other people to take their money to save them. Organized religion has used this approach for years to fleece money from people to “save” them. The environmental movement is the new organized religion. Saving people one dollar at a time.

  82. Jesse Fell, have you accounted for urban heat island effect in the warmer night measurements? It is usually not subtracted out. UHIE is adjusted for using average temperatures (average of high and low temps) That adjustment would have to be applied to nighttime temperatures. Have you sorted out how much high latitude warming is from feedback and how much from CO2 itself? Have you looked at how much stratospheric cooling is due to solar factors, specifically low ultraviolet in the recent solar minimum? Those are a lot more significant that the GHG effect.

    Do not read desperation into alternative explanations. Those require a holistic evaluation, ocean/atmosphere cycles, solar spectrum, GCMs, weather, etc have all had some effect on weather and in some cases tropospheric temperature. Each one alone does not have the strength to cause a long term tropospheric temperature rise (or fall) and some don’t affect tropospheric temperature at all, but do affect weather which controls temperature through feedback. My conclusion is CO2 has a small long term effect, but the hypothesized water vapor feedback is not controlled by CO2 but by the weather which is primarily controlled by natural factors. When it comes to weather, CO2 is not a “powerful forcing”, it is negligible.

  83. Dave Springer says:
    November 11, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Hahaha – I kid you guys. Australia is a loyal ally we can always count on through thick and thin. No lack of respect for you here in the states.

    I see. So it is just the Canadians we should regard as poor friends then…?

    Let me get this straight. Canada would sell resources critical to the defense of the North American continent to Red China if the U.S. can’t take it off your hands fast enough.

    With friends like you who needs enemies?

    Is there something going on in your life? From someone who enjoys your past posts, you seem to be bitter and unstable lately? Hope whatever it is, it will be soon resolved, and you will be back to your old astute personality soon. GK

  84. jack morrow says:
    November 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm
    It can Happen again.

    Unfortunately, it will happen again. But it will be several orders of magnitude worse. What would be the effect of the northern hemisphere grow line dropping to say 50N? Billions starving – it will make the Irish potato famine look like missing breakfast. Add to that the insistence on destruction of reliable high volume nuclear power generation in favor of ‘green’ energy generation that will not cope in extreme weather so the power will fail. Over vast areas of the northern hemisphere…

    Cold – Dark – Starving

    I am relatively lucky – I live south of 30N; I know how to hunt, what plants to eat, how to grow plants; how to cook what I have hunted and grown; and, how to store what I cannot eat immediately.

    How many of the urban dwellers today know any of these things?

    Yet the people in towns are the majority.

    And well paid climate ‘scientists’ spread scare stories about +2DegC?

  85. Dave Springer;
    Let me get this straight. Canada would sell resources critical to the defense of the North American continent to Red China if the U.S. can’t take it off your hands fast enough.
    With friends like you who needs enemies?>>>

    Let me get this straight. Its OK for the U.S. to borrow trillions of dollars from Red China, use them to buy oil from middle east sheiks, while at the same time refusing to buy oil from Canada and also trying to prevent us from selling it to someone else…

    With friends like you, who needs enemies?

    BTW super intellect Springer, if there’s no means to get the oil from the Canadian tar sands to the American war machine in a timely fashion, how exactly would it be used in the event that defense of the North American continent was required? Does the United States have some magic transport mechanism where they can just snap their fingers and POOF! a pipeline appears by magic straight to a refinery that instantly turns it into fuel?

  86. Michael Palmer says:
    November 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm
    Devastating floods have occurred along the North Sea coast throughout recorded history, with thousands or tens of thousands dead about once or twice a century. There is no notable correlation with MWP or LIA that I’m aware of.

    Along the German North Sea cost, the highest flood levels ever recorded occurred in 1976 (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturmflut — page in German, but see table at bottom of page). Number of people killed: 0 (the storm killed several dozen people in-land but none due to flooding). The coastline fortifications that run continuously from the Netherlands to Denmark are excellent – a great example of proper adaptation to the variations of climate, so much so that big floods hardly make the news nowadays. These Euro-socialists know what they are doing – at least occasionally. If the US government were half as well-run as these countries, Katrina would have caused a lot less damage.

    Perhaps you should learn a little about the US Constitution. The defense of the Louisiana coastline and the levees around New Orleans (and for that matter all the evacuation plans) were the responsibility of the State of Louisiana and not of the Federal Government.

    Another few points about Katrina – the storm front caused floods up to 30 miles inland along a line from New Orleans to the Florida Panhandle. In UK terms that is further than from Plymouth to Folkestone with floods inland as far North as Launceston, Gatwick and on to Canterbury. Major towns like Biloxi Mississippi larger than Eastbourne were almost completely razed by the storm surge. Just a 2 or 3 inches of rain in a day and we see the Euro-socialist paradises all flooding – Katrina dropped 10 – 15 inches of rain at the rate of an inch an hour or more. You are displaying your ignorance if you think that a flood caused by a southbound polar low in the North Sea at a high tide bears any resemblance to a hurricane like Katrina.

  87. Spector,

    The usual estimate of the effect of doubling the amount of atmospheric CO2 is that it would raise the average surface temperature of the Earth by 2.1C. That estimate does not take into account the various feedback effects of such a doubling.

    The most significant feedback effect would be an increase in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. Warmer air holds more water vapor, and water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas. More water vapor, then, means rising temperatures. This creates the possibility of a run-away feedback cycle of warming.

    Of course, we cannot predict when such a run-away cycle would begin, how fast it would raise temperatures, or how rising temperatures would affect climate. Most entries to this site are reassured by the fact of uncertainty — it might not be all the bad; probably won’t be.

    But uncertainty cuts both ways: things might turn out worse than anticipated. The Earth’s glaciers — 90 percent of them — are not only shrinking, but shrinking more quickly than predicted. The glaciers and ice cover in the high northern latitudes are melting more quickly than predicted. And, according to Kerry Emmanuel of MIT, the amount of energy released by tropical storms each year has increased by roughly 60% since the 1970s; the record-breaking year for tropical storms that gave us Katrina was also a year of record-breaking surface sea temperatures; this increase is more than some models predicted.

    An aside: “Warmists” are thought to be “liberal”, but I would argue that in this matter, they are the true conservatives. They want the human race to be more cautious in its use of the Earth’s resources. They remind us that the Earth is the only planet that we have to live on. The solar system can never be the stage for a mad-hatter’s tea party, at which we foul one planet and move on to a clean one.

  88. There is a study here that suggests much greater flood activity during the LIA.

    The last thousand years of the record revealed “a period of little flood activity around the Medieval period (AD 1000-1400),” which was followed by a period of extensive flood activity that was associated with the “post-Medieval climate deterioration characterized by lower air temperature, thicker and more long-lasting snow cover, and more frequent storms associated with the ‘Little Ice Age’.” This particular study suggests that the post-Little Ice Age warming the earth has experienced for the past century or two—and which could well continue for some time to come—should be leading this portion of the planet into a period of less-extensive floods.

    http://theclimatetruth.org/science/observations-extreme-weather/floods/

  89. Jay Davis asserts that no one has come up with an alternative to fossil fuel based production of energy. You are wrong Jay, and I would suggest you read Jeremy Rifkin’s latest book (try Amazon) and notice what is happening in Europe and cities like Rome and San Antonio. We are hitting the wall with regards to the availability of cheap oil and the necessity of switching to newer forms of energy production are apparent, even obvious. Rifkin describes this transformation as the Third Industrial Revolution. The decision to change will either result from freely made choices, or, if we delay too long, we will find our choices diminishing and becoming prohibitively expensive. (read the Stern report for an elaboration of this economic circumstance)

  90. I thought the bit about the ground freezing to a metre deep was interesting.

    I wonder how vulnerable UK and USA mains water pipes are in that case, should we see some prolonged cold spells as this minimum deepens.

    Landscheidt and Abdussamatov were / are both of the opinion that it will match the Maunder minimum.

    Also, co2 acolytes never seem to do full accounting, the US will get it’s oil either by pipeline or by railway and ship. I would have thought that if one had concerns about co2 then a pipeline would produce far less co2 in the energy needed to power the pumps, than a fleet of supertankers, which use a considerable amount of “dirty” oil.

  91. Richard of NZ said:
    November 12, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Mark and two Cats saids:
    November 11, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    The US should invade Canada, eh.
    —————————————————
    It might be a case of third time lucky. The US does not have a good record in this regard.
    ————————————————
    Outsource it to the Chinese ;)

  92. Jesse Fell;
    The usual estimate of the effect of doubling the amount of atmospheric CO2 is that it would raise the average surface temperature of the Earth by 2.1C. That estimate does not take into account the various feedback effects of such a doubling.>>>

    BS. IPCC AR4 and even raging warmist researchers since then estimate the direct effects at about 1 degree. They then estimate positive feedbacks in addition to that.

    Jesse Fell;
    More water vapor, then, means rising temperatures. This creates the possibility of a run-away feedback cycle of warming.>>>

    BS. Even the IPCC zealots have abandoned the notion because it is physically impossible, and the geological record is clear that the very conditions that in theory (flawed theory) would have resulted in this condition have existed many times in the past without the supposed “tipping point” appearing.

    Jesse Fell;
    according to Kerry Emmanuel of MIT, the amount of energy released by tropical storms each year has increased by roughly 60% since the 1970s; >>>

    BS. You’ll find multiple articles on this site showing that the records kept by major storm intensity databases quite clearly show that cyclone intensity and total cyclone energy have been decreasing for decades.

    Jesse Fell;
    this increase is more than some models predicted.>>>

    BS. Which models? Of the 23 models cited by the IPCC, which one predicted less warming than we’ve seen? Which one predicted that we would see no significant warming from 1995 to 2010?

    Jesse Fell;
    They want the human race to be more cautious in its use of the Earth’s resources.>>>

    BS. Be they liberal or conservative, the “medicine” suggested by the raging warmists would kill people by the billions. They live in a fantasy world where everything that the human race has done to improve our lives on this planet is evil, and the cure is to inflict upon the human race the greatest evil ever perpetrated for our own “good”.

    If they were sincerely interested in what was good for the human race, they wouldn’t, like you have in your comment above, make up their own facts and make entirely misleading arguments in support of their position.

  93. Jesse Fell says:
    November 12, 2011 at 11:35 am

    The most significant feedback effect would be an increase in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. Warmer air holds more water vapor, and water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas. More water vapor, then, means rising temperatures. This creates the possibility of a run-away feedback cycle of warming.

    Please provide evidence that CO2 induced water vapor has caused run-away warming on this planet. Ever.

    Hugh Pepper says:
    November 12, 2011 at 11:55 am

    …we will find our choices diminishing and becoming prohibitively expensive…

    All alternative sources are prohibitively expensive NOW. Are you saying windmills will be even more expensive in the future?? Or is it solar panels which will become even more prohibitively expensive in the future? Or perhaps it is the actions of fear mongering warmist, who will be making all things prohibitively expensive?? GK

  94. Several people here have been whinging about “losing” one’s property by way of eminent domain proceedings in order to construct gas or oil pipelines. In practice, such a loss is largely imaginary, because oil and gas pipelines are buried under several meters of soil, and the only ongoing loss of use that landowners straddling a pipeline right of way normally endure is the ability to construct anything that involves deep ground disturbance, such as a well, or building foundation.

    Here in Alberta, we have many, many pipelines crossing private land, and the landowners can and do farm the R.O.W. with implements, and graze cattle on them. It becomes easy, in fact, to forget that the pipeline is even there, and for that reason pipeline operators hire aircraft to patrol their rights of way, looking for leaks, or any unreported encroachments.

    I would far sooner have a 60″ pipeline pass through my land than a railway spur, a highway, or a 40 kV electrical distribution line.

  95. Build a refinery in Canada?? Not likely unless we import a ton of foreign trained workers or train operators during construction. 100,000 more jobs is a problem as we are already short tens of thousands of workers. We have 800 oil rigs left in the province (The other 1000 or so are busy drilling gas in north eastern British Columbian and in the Bakken field in southern Saskatchewan. We only have enough trained rig workers to run 500 rigs so 800 will be sitting idle due to lack of workers. Same in the pipeline industry. Tons of big inch (40 to 42 inch) pipelines are being built in BC and Alberta to get the gas out to petrochemical plants – but they too are short of welders, x-ray technicians and environmental monitoring staff. So building a refinery in Canada may be an option but we would have to find workers that just don’t exist right now. Heck, even Tim Hortons, MacDonalds and WalMart have worker shortages.

    Anyone with petrochemical industry experience might want to check the Alberta employment advertisements.

  96. I happen to have been reading Brian Fagan’s book the past few weeks and it makes most interesting reading on the general topic of the Little Ice Age. Certainly, energy is good, and so is warmth…both in the right amounts and at the right intensities.

    But a few general thoughts about the Little Ice Age, solar influences, ocean cycles, and our current period of potential anthropogenic warming:

    1) Certainly solar influences played a huge role in driving past climate cycles, and even scientists such as Mann, Jones, et. al. readily admit as much, and even have done research on the topic of the connection between solar variations and the Little Ice Age.

    See: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/294/5549/2149.short

    And of course there are many studies linking both atmospheric and ocean changes to solar forcing, such as this interesting one

    http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/33/1/73

    What of course has changed, and changed greatly since the last Maunder or Dalton type solar downturn is the composition of the atmosphere. In essence, Earth 2011 does not equal Earth 1650, or even Earth 1800. If we accept the fact that the sun influences the climate through multiple means (magnetic and all frequencies and ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum), and if you also accept the general physics behind greenhouse gas electromagnetic absorption and emission, then the next few years will prove most interesting, for we seem to have forcings on the climate that are potentially moving in opposite directions for a period of time. To wit:

    Forcings causing cooling over the next few years (some may be related):
    1) Quiet sun
    2) Extended Periods of La Nina
    3) Human and volcanic aerosols
    4) Other cool phases of various ocean cycles.

    Forcings causing warming over the next few years:
    5) Highest level of greenhouse gases in at least 800,000 years.

    So back in the so-called “Little Ice Age”, it appears we had various periods when 1 through 4 were all in play at the same time, and of course, number 5 was in fact quite the opposite, as we had some of the lowest CO2 levels of the entire Holocene. In fact, after the Holocene optimum, CO2 levels were slowly trending downward, until, not coincidentally, the beginning of the industrial revolution when CO2 levels began the fastest spike upward seen in at least the past 800,000 years.

    So essentially, during the past decade, for the most part, we’ve seen the 4 primary forcings leading to climate cooling all in play at various times (and sometimes, all at the same time, i.e. 2008 and 2009), while CO2 has steadily kept growing in the atmosphere (along with of course the more minor greenhouse gases). Certainly global temperatures have been flat over this period, with the exception being 2010 in which we saw the ENSO cycle switch to a short but modest El Nino, releasing heat to the atmosphere and testing global temperatures records once more.

    One could make a reasonable argument that without the balancing effect of the additional CO2 that we presently have over the period of the Dalton Minimum (1790 to 1830) we might indeed be seeing even more cooling than we currently are with the quiet sun that we have. In this regard, Europe might well be glad for the additional CO2, at least over the short-term. Once however, the pendulum swings back and we see a few of the previously cooling forcings, head into a more warming phase, we might once more be seeing global temperature records being set. I would suspect, for example, that we will see another modest El Nino approximately coincidental to the Solar Cycle 24 max in 2013 or so, and these two additional forcings, combined with the continued high greenhouse gas levels could well break the flattened trend in global temps, pushing things warmer.

  97. Your title is profoundly ironic, although I’m sure you won’t agree. I would rephrase the title as follows: “With continued use of fossil fuel energy, life will continue to be nasty, brutal and for many, short”.

    Humankind is now facing its biggest challenge, namely, finding a way to live comfortably and safely without burning massive amounts of fossil fuels; findinig ways to produce enough food to feed our rapidly growing population; and find ways to accomplish this with increasingly scarce amounts of fresh water and depleting soils. Our children have their work cut out for them, and their task will become increasingly difficult (and expensive) the longer we fail to act.

  98. Hugh Pepper says:
    November 12, 2011 at 11:55 am
    Jay Davis asserts that no one has come up with an alternative to fossil fuel based production of energy. You are wrong Jay, and I would suggest you read Jeremy Rifkin’s latest book (try Amazon) and notice what is happening in Europe and cities like Rome and San Antonio. We are hitting the wall with regards to the availability of cheap oil and the necessity of switching to newer forms of energy production are apparent, even obvious. Rifkin describes this transformation as the Third Industrial Revolution. The decision to change will either result from freely made choices, or, if we delay too long, we will find our choices diminishing and becoming prohibitively expensive. (read the Stern report for an elaboration of this economic circumstance)
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Sorry to burst your bubble mate, but with all the natural gas, we have a long time before we run out of fossil fuels. Why has the price dropped from $8 to less than $4? Oversupply.

    http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca/NaturalGas/1316.asp

  99. Hugh Pepper says:
    November 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm
    “Anthony, I think you need to temper your language with regards people who have different views than you. There is no point in demonizing Bill McKibbon or anyone else for that matter. McKibbon is not against “energy” as you contend. He is against the extraordinarily dirty (in terms of carbon content”) oil which derives from the Alberta tar sands. From his point of view, burning this fuel would produce far too much CO2 and would jeopardize our collective need to survive. YOu can disagree with him without be so nasty. ”

    Hugh, it is you who owes an apology to Anthony for your lack of knowledge as to how the Alberta Oil sands are processed and how carbon based fuels has changed our lives. Also carbon is not dirty except in some minds, and if you read the article it would be clear as to how energy, largly carbon based, has advanced civilization in an incredible way. Do you have a clue as to how “man” survived” in the winter in cold climates prior to the use of natural gas, oil or coal to heat their homes?

    The oils sands are under attack mostly because they are a threat to your statement below:
    “We are hitting the wall with regards to the availability of cheap oil and the necessity of switching to newer forms of energy production are apparent, even obvious.”
    It is tough to be exposed by the potential of oil sands and admit that your comment is a total fabrication . It appears that you will believe everything that Nancy Policy and Al Gore utters.

    Then there is the comment on alternative energy:
    ” I would suggest you read Jeremy Rifkin’s latest book (try Amazon) and notice what is happening in Europe ”
    Are you aware of the economic crisis in Europe which is on part due to a belief that their economy can be run on alternative fuels. You should especially check out Spain and their experience with clean energy that has put them on the verge of bankruptcy. Or have you read how the average bloke in UK is struggling to keep warm in the winter?

    Also check out the latest National Academies report on biofuels which paints an “ugly” picture as to the viability of Biofuels without massive subsidies.

    http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13105

    Finally as one who worked on the second major oil sands project over 30 years ago, I am amused at the misinformation (or intentional lies?) spread by the anti oil sands folks.
    To expensive?; that project, 30 years ago, was built when oil was $12/bbl; and if private capital is invested today it will probably pay out unless a foolish government (like our current Administration) changes the rules.
    Too heavy/dirty?: The plant I worked on used existing refining technology (cokers) to upgrade the product, Sulphur extraction to clean the product, and lots of hydrogen to produce a lighter synthetic crude for subsequent processing in a conventional refinery. The crude is cleaner than the heavy, sulphur laden crude the refineries now imported from Venezuela that the Canadien oil sands will replace.
    I would rather import our oil from our good friends in Canada than from an unfriendly, OPEC nation that has recently threatened to cut us off.
    Killing the pipeline is a horrible government energy policy while also killing jobs, and risking energy security.

  100. Erik (sceptic),

    Actually, the possibility of an urban heat island effect was recognized decades ago and has been taken into account by the major compilers of temperature data, including NASA and NOAA.

    For example, in 2001 NASA eliminated roughly 80% of the temperature recording stations from it data source, because of the possibility of an urban heat island bias at those stations. The stations that they removed even included many located in places that would strike most people as rural; this was because satellite photographs taken at night showed that these places, although rural, were brightly lit at night — hence, possibly affected by urban heat island bias.

    The followers of this web site, alert as they are to possible flaws in sampling technique, were not the first to recognize this problem!

  101. G. Karst wrote: Please provide evidence that CO2 induced water vapor has caused run-away warming on this planet.

    I didn’t say that it had. I said that it might.

  102. Jesse Fell says:
    November 12, 2011 at 11:35 am

    The most significant feedback effect would be an increase in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. Warmer air holds more water vapor, and water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas. More water vapor, then, means rising temperatures. This creates the possibility of a run-away feedback cycle of warming.

    The Water Cycle takes away heat from Sun-warmed Earth and releases it as water vapour, lighter than air, rises into colder levels and condenses out into rain. The Earth with our fluid gaseous atmosphere but without the Water Cycle would be around 67°C, think deserts. In other words, rising temperatures will just make the Water Cycle work harder.

    The models you appear to believe are based on reality, have for some unaccountable reason forgotten to put in the bog standard physics real and well-known effect of the greenhouse gas water vapour – cooling the Earth. Any explanation as to why?

  103. To Carcracking: Apologies are never need for an expression of anything, unless the language used is derogatory. You claim I have a lack of knowledge regarding the oil sands, and I ask, “How would you know this”? Aren’t you being presumptuous?

    There is no doubt that carbon based fuels have enabled huge growth and the development of industrial societies, especially here in the northern hemisphere. But we are moving into another era now, where the use of these fuels is either too expensive, or too damaging to the atmospheric chemistry, which enables all life-supporting ecosystems to survive. Alternatives have to be found and implemented.

  104. R. Gates;
    until, not coincidentally, the beginning of the industrial revolution when CO2 levels began the fastest spike upward seen in at least the past 800,000 years.>>>

    Despite which there has been no noticeable change in the general warming trend since the LIA, in opposition to everything the warmists have been telling us for decades. Now that the dominant natural cycles have flattened out, suddenly you want to claim that the increased warming from CO2 is being “masked” by the natural cycles. Try “dominated” my friend, the CO2 is just a bit of noise that you have to come up with ridiculous excuses to explain the absence of any measurable effects.

    Fastest spike in 800,000 years and…. nothing.

  105. Hugh Pepper says: November 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm
    “He is against the extraordinarily dirty (in terms of carbon content”) oil ”

    Hugh Pepper, as a carbon based human I am telling you carbon is not dirty or pollution. Please temper your language and do not insult me as well as any other carbon life form on this planet.
    “the carbon-based fuels which create the warming conditions that threaten all life.”
    Further I need to inform you that we all consume some sort of carbon-based fuels and about 10% of human CO2 exhaust come from breathing. Where do you take the “warming conditions that threaten all life from”? Hugh are you sure you believe what you write? And if so what and how do you believe this Thermaggedon is going to happen? How on Earth is warming ending all life forms?

  106. Henry Galt,

    When I wrote that the evidence in support of the AGW theory is “massive and redundant”, I was referring to the fact that virtually no scientific papers published in the major peer-related journals have successfully challenged the thesis that the burning of fossil fuels is raising the Earth’s temperature, and that the rise in temperature is having an effect on climate. The latter is the more problematic, of course. It is more difficult to find out why temperature is rising than it is to predict the effect of a given rise in temperature on the Earth’s climate.

    It’s worth noting that the discovery of the “greenhouse effect” is not recent, but can be attributed to Jean-Baptiste Fourier in a paper published in 1824). His findings were extended and clarified by John Tyndall, in a paper published in 1861. In 1896, Svante Arrhenius, published a paper “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air on the Temperature on the Ground”, that is generally considered the foundation of modern climate science.

    It is true that these scientists did not have at their disposal most of the scientific instruments that today are considered essential. But their work has been around a long time, and has been found to be accurate in its essentials.

    It’s also worth noting that none of these three scientists were hunters of grant money. One advantages of not being able to use scientific instruments and computers is not needing to buy them.

    At any rate, to get a good idea of the breadth and depth of the scientific research behind the AGW thesis, take a look at “The Warming Papers: The Scientific Foundation for the Climate Change Forecast” (Archer and Pieerehumbert, eds.) — a fascinating anthology of the classic papers on climate change, beginning with Fourier’s.

  107. Jesse Fell;
    I was referring to the fact that virtually no scientific papers published in the major peer-related journals have successfully challenged the thesis that the burning of fossil fuels is raising the Earth’s temperature>>>

    You’ve already discredited yourself by claiming a direct forcing from CO2 that is double what is actually claimed in the scientific research. Now you want to add some half truths to your argument?

    The fact of the matter is that while the direct effects of increased CO2 are reasonably well understood, the science published in both major and minor journals in regard to the feedbacks is increasingly showing that the large positive feedback estimates are out of whack with reality, but that they may even be negative. Your desperation to confuse the issue with incorrect science and blatant half truths speaks to your agenda which appears to have nothing to do with the actual science.

  108. Jesse Fell says:
    November 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    At any rate, to get a good idea of the breadth and depth of the scientific research behind the AGW thesis, take a look at “The Warming Papers: The Scientific Foundation for the Climate Change Forecast” (Archer and Pieerehumbert, eds.) — a fascinating anthology of the classic papers on climate change, beginning with Fourier’s.

    Does it include this paper from Arrhenius?:

    Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 13, 2009 at 10:59 am
    “In 1906 Arrhenius – who had by then come across the fundamental equation of radiative transfer, which greatly simplified his calculations and improved their accuracy – recalculated the effect of doubling CO2 on temperature and, in Vol. 1, no. 2 of the Journal of the Royal Nobel Institute, published his conclusion that a doubling of CO2 concentration would increase global temperatures by about 1.6 Celsius degrees (<3 Fahrenheit degrees)."

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/13/6995/#comment-114336

  109. tokyoboy,

    if by ‘research papers’ you mean studies that have undergone peer-review and published in listed scientific journals – handle the Poptech list with care. Many of them are not research articles but opinion pieces. A good number are not peer-reviewed. Check them against google scholar.

    There are 900 papers in that list and a tiny proportion satisfy your query. If you want to save time, search the page there [cntrl + F] for papers by authors Loehle and McIntyre. Some of these papers have passed peer-review and are also discoverable through google scholar – assuming this is the standard of work you are looking for.

  110. Jesse Fell @ here.

    The usual estimate of the effect of doubling the amount of atmospheric CO2 is that it would raise the average surface temperature of the Earth by 2.1C. That estimate does not take into account the various feedback effects of such a doubling.

    Actually, 2.1C from CO2 doubling is the transient climate response, which does include feedback processes. Doubling of CO2 without feedbacks is 1C.

    TCR is the magnitude of change at the time of CO2 doubling, as opposed to the more commonly seen Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (~3C/doubling), which includes longer-term feedbacks, particularly oceanic thermal lag. ECS is the response about 30 – 40 years after CO2 has doubled, to allow for committed feedback processes. There are putative longer-term feedbacks (like ice/albedo), but they don’t get rolled into ECS at present.

  111. Jesse,

    the mainstream view on feedbacks precludes the notion of a runaway greenhouse effect from burning fossil fuels. Hansen iterated a highly theoretical possibility, but generally this idea is considered as good as impossible. The mainstream view theorises about abrupt changes and ‘tipping points’, but not a Venus-like runaway effect.

  112. RE:Jesse Fell: (November 12, 2011 at 11:35 am)
    “The most significant feedback effect would be an increase in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. Warmer air holds more water vapor, and water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas. More water vapor, then, means rising temperatures. This creates the possibility of a run-away feedback cycle of warming.”

    If you look at the referenced plot in my article showing Radiative Forcing of the Troposphere, you will see a narrow CO2 hole around 667 kayzers (cycles per centimeter, CM-1) and a minimal ozone hole around 1111 kayzers. There are no H2O holes. It would appear that H2O may be a leaky greenhouse gas.

    If CO2 emits a photon, that photon is most likely to be a prime candidate for being absorbed by another CO2 molecule. The same is true for H2O except this is a sticky polar molecule, which wants to be a solid or liquid at normal atmospheric temperatures. It would seem likely that colliding H2O molecules are always trying to lock on to each other and the strong electrical forces involved could promote the generation of unusual photons, which would be unlikely to be absorbed by other H2O molecules.

    Note that the water content of the atmosphere drops to near zero at the top of the Troposphere and the H2O absorption bands are wide open to outer space.

  113. Famine followed famine bringing epidemics in their train, bread riots and general disorder. Witchcraft accusations soared, as people accused their neighbours of fabricating bad weather.

    How long have humans believed that they can control the weather? Is this penchant for belief in weather control and underlying aspect of the AGW notion.

  114. Graeme;
    How long have humans believed that they can control the weather?>>>

    I think the question is how long have some human beings been successfull in convincing their entire tribe that the weather can be controlled (by them). I think it depends on the specific tribe involved and their proximity to volcanoes.

  115. Hugh Pepper says:
    November 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm
    Your title is profoundly ironic, although I’m sure you won’t agree. I would rephrase the title as follows: “With continued use of fossil fuel energy, life will continue to be nasty, brutal and for many, short”.

    How come? The title as it stands is a statement of history, it’s access to cheap energy on tap which has fuelled better living conditions for all of us who had it available, and without which we wouldn’t have the great many advances in all fields as the pool of our knowledge has grown to be an ocean through education for all and not just for the few able to afford time for it, who used people as energy to better their own conditions and living standards.

    Humankind is now facing its biggest challenge, namely, finding a way to live comfortably and safely without burning massive amounts of fossil fuels;

    Humankind is now facing its biggest challenge, namely, finding a way to continue to live comfortably and safely when those who are bent on reducing us to energy poverty again have been so successful in making us believe that the source of our comfort and safety is demonic, and all without a shred of scientific proof.

    findinig ways to produce enough food to feed our rapidly growing population; and find ways to accomplish this with increasingly scarce amounts of fresh water and depleting soils.

    We have found lots and lots of ways, through the talents of the many now globally brought into the think tank which used to be reserved for those who could afford the leisure time to ponder such things. By demonising without cause the still abundant cheap energy available for the masses these ways can’t be developed, or, they will be developed on a small scale to benefit the elite who can afford energy priced out of reach or rationed for the rest. For example, hot houses, heated greenhouses, were available only for the very rich who had readily available fuel energy and people energy to maintain them productively, now look of the spread of them in the developed countries in personal use and on massive farming scales.

    Our children have their work cut out for them, and their task will become increasingly difficult (and expensive) the longer we fail to act.

    ..the longer we fail to act to curb those who want to reduce them to serfdom and slavery to reserve plenty and leisure and creative enjoyment of life for themselves alone.

  116. Barry,

    You are right — no one is predicting that anything like what happened on Venus will happen here. But a lot of scientists are concerned about what a water vapor feedback could do to enhance the warming effect of atmospheric CO2, even though it falls far short of a Venus-like runaway.

  117. Myrrh,

    Yes, “The Warming Papers” includes the 1906 paper by Arrhenius.

    Barry, If the 2.1C/3.78F increase in temperature from a doubling of CO2 takes into account the various feedbacks, still, this is the increase that the human race will have to live with.

    And this would be the globally averaged increase. The southern hemisphere would likely experience less of an increase, while the high northern latitudes would experience more. The latter is one of the possibilities that turns us “warmists” into “alarmists”. The loss of arctic ice — which is happening before our eyes — will greatly reduce the Earth’s total albedo, which will in turn enhance the warming effect of the greenhouse gases.

    We’ll never be like Venus, where the atmosphere is 95% CO2. But the evidence is accumulating that small increases in temperature lead to changes in climate that are harmful to the human race.

    (I wish I didn’t know anything about the real Venus. Reading “Perelandra” will never be the same.)

  118. R. Gates says: November 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Forcings Factors causing likely to cause cooling over the next few years:
    1) Quiet sun, linked to 2) Extended Periods of La Nina and other cool phases of various ocean cycles.

    Forcings Factors causing warming likely to bias the thermometer records over the next few years:
    3) Continuing growth of UHI-linked effects
    4) Factors introducing direct bias in thermometer records

    Factors likely to have minimal effect:
    5) Highest level of greenhouse gases in at least 800,000 years according to questionable ice-core proxy data record spliced onto current direct record.

    There, corrected.

    Key information re the Ice Hockey Stick “record” of past CO2 levels: Slide 38 of my presentation shows how the rising levels of CO2, methane and N2O in the ice core records indicate their relative SOLUBILITIES, not their actual past levels. The apparent increase in recent levels can thus be clearly seen here NOT to correspond to any Industrial Revolution “increases” of these gases.

  119. Jesse Fell says: November 13, 2011 at 1:37 am

    …anything like what happened on Venus…

    Jesse, there’s no proof I’ve found convincing that anything ever DID happen on Venus. There is evidence that Venus’ high temperature is simply a product of its far denser, deeper atmosphere (Harry Dale Hoffman’s figures); that Venus herself is emitting internal heat; that the science around Venus has had its books cooked in a way awfully parallel to what we’ve seen in Climate Science; and finally, that Hansen himself moved from astrophysics to climate just after Venus had been declared guilty of runaway global warming, using corrupted science.

  120. Lucy Skywalker says:
    November 13, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Key information re the Ice Hockey Stick “record” of past CO2 levels: Slide 38 of my presentation shows how the rising levels of CO2, methane and N2O in the ice core records indicate their relative SOLUBILITIES, not their actual past levels. The apparent increase in recent levels can thus be clearly seen here NOT to correspond to any Industrial Revolution “increases” of these gases.
    _____
    Seriously? Wow. If you’re right, it would mean a Nobel prize. Why didn’t CO2 levels increase so much during the previously warm Holocene Optimum, or even during the Roman warm period or MWP, when temperatures hit similar (or greater) levels?

    Sadly for your Nobel prize bid, you are completely mistaken. The spike in CO2 levels that began at the start of the industrial revolution, and then rapidly accelerated in the past century are most certainly do to the human burning of fossil fuels. And furthermore, the spike from roughly 280 ppm to the nearly 400 ppm is extraordinary in the climate record over the past 800,000 years, and is absolutely due to human activities.

    The core of the debate among the reasonably educated warmists and skeptics is about the sensitivity of the climate to this spike, which of course, continues to spike upward, and the heart of the sensitivity question is about the role of feedbacks, both positive and negative, as the basic physics of CO2’s “greenhouse” behavior by itself and is well understood and has been for at least a century. By itself, without considering feedbacks of any type, from the logarithmic nature of the response, we’d expect roughly 1C of warming for a doubling of CO2 from 280 to 560. However, we know there are feedbacks, both positive and negative, and so the real debate is about these feedbacks.

    Based on past climate data from the mid-Pliocene (the last time CO2 was at the levels we’re now approaching), around 3C of warming is a good approximate estimate of what we can expect from a doubling of CO2 to 560 ppm, once all fast and slow feedbacks have been considered.

  121. Ian W says:
    November 12, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Michael Palmer says:
    (M.P.) If the US government were half as well-run as these countries, Katrina would have caused a lot less damage.

    (I.W.) Perhaps you should learn a little about the US Constitution. The defense of the Louisiana coastline and the levees around New Orleans (and for that matter all the evacuation plans) were the responsibility of the State of Louisiana and not of the Federal Government.

    Reply: Nice nitpick. Let’s say then if the U.S., as a country, were half as well-run then. Happy?

    (I.W.) Another few points about Katrina – the storm front caused floods up to 30 miles inland along a line from New Orleans to the Florida Panhandle. … You are displaying your ignorance if you think that a flood caused by a southbound polar low in the North Sea at a high tide bears any resemblance to a hurricane like Katrina.

    Reply: Hamburg is about the same distance in-land. In 1962, some 350 people drowned there due to some teeny, weeny North Sea storm surge. My father was then a student there and helped collect the bodies. And this was not because there were no coastal defenses at the time – to the contrary, the construction and maintenance of dykes has always been taken very seriously along the North Sea coast, to the point that in centuries past land owners who neglected it along their stretch were expropriated, and their land handed over to anyone who would assume the dyke maintenance duties. However, only with the construction technology of the 20th century and with the muscle of the central governments was the problem really solved.

    I grew up in Northern Germany – between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea – and now live in Canada, but I also lived in Texas for a year and visited Louisiana; that was before Katrina. I was truly surprised to see how in many places how little there was in the way of coastal defences. I noticed the same along the Atlantic coast in Canada.

  122. Gates says:

    “The spike in CO2 levels that began at the start of the industrial revolution, and then rapidly accelerated in the past century are most certainly do [sic] to the human burning of fossil fuels.”

    Gates, you constantly avoid responding to my challenge to falsify this testable hypothesis:

    At current and projected levels, CO2 is harmless and beneficial.

    Give it your best shot, using the scientific method. Provide testable evidence specifically showing that human-emitted CO2 has caused verifiable global harm directly attributable to anthropogenic CO2 emissions. If you can provide any such evidence, you will be the very first to be able to do so, and you will be on track for a [now worthless] Nobel Prize.

    Put up or shut up.

  123. R. Gates;
    Based on past climate data from the mid-Pliocene (the last time CO2 was at the levels we’re now approaching), around 3C of warming is a good approximate estimate of what we can expect from a doubling of CO2 to 560 ppm, once all fast and slow feedbacks have been considered.>>>

    During that time period the Isthmus of Panama was open reuslting in higher temperatures globally due to the amount of warm water that could flow through that channel. As the Isthmus gradually closed, arctic currents became more dominant and a cooling cycle set in that evolved into another ice age. You shoot your mouth off about factors that mask warming, and then claim as evidence of what the CO2 sensitivity should be from a time period with huge factors at play that were the dominant forces behind higher temperatures, you just forgot to mention them.

    The fact is that you’ve been unable to make your case without resorting to misleading and misrepresentative data. Are you a fool who repeats the claims of others without bothering to check them yourself? Or do you take the rest of us for fools who will blindly accept your drivel without checking the facts for ourselves?

    BTW – you have yet to back up your claim that the models always predicted periods of warming by telling us exactly which of the 23 models cited by the IPCC shows this. You’ve also been asked to produce a quote of a single sentence from IPCC AR4 that said this was so. You have also failed to admit that Al Gore’s experiment as illustrated could not produce the results as illustrated, despite your willingness to put a wager on the matter prior to Anthony demonstrating quite conclusively that you were hopelessly wrong. Nor have you responded to my point to you that your suggestion to remove the globes from the experiment would have made the demonstration of the greenhouse effect physically impossible, demonstrating your lack of understanding of the science involved rather nicely.

    There’s no Nobel Prize for fiction R. Gates, nor one for hucksterism, so stop trying to win one.

  124. Jesse Fell says: November 13, 2011 at 1:55 am
    [...] The loss of arctic ice — which is happening before our eyes — will greatly reduce the Earth’s total albedo, which will in turn enhance the warming effect of the greenhouse gases.

    Not relevant, angle of incidence is too low for solar heating of Arctic waters. The Arctic is a heat dump, transferred from the tropics, heat goes to the Arctic, then to outer space, cooling earth. Open water equals excessive heat loss. Kind of like a thermostat, or better, a disconnecting clutch on any “runaway” warming.

  125. Jesse Fell says:
    November 13, 2011 at 1:55 am
    Myrrh,

    Yes, “The Warming Papers” includes the 1906 paper by Arrhenius.

    I don’t see it.

    http://www.worldcat.org/title/warming-papers-the-scientific-foundation-for-the-climate-change-forecast/oclc/567008043?lang=fr
    Type d’ouvrage : Ressource Internet
    Format : Livre, Ressource Internet
    Tous les auteurs / collaborateurs : David Archer; Raymond T Pierrehumbert
    Trouver plus d’informations sur : David Archer Raymond T Pierrehumbert
    ISBN : 9781405196161 1405196165 9781405196178 1405196173
    Numéro OCLC : 567008043
    Description : vii, 419 p. : ill., maps ; 29 cm.
    Contenu :

    Part 1. Climate Physics —
    The Greenhouse Effect —
    On the Temperatures of the Terrestrial Sphere and Interplanetary Space / Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1824) —
    Wagging the Dog —
    On the Absorption and Radiation of Heat by Gases and Vapours, and on the Physical Connexion of Radiation, Absorption, and Conduction / John Tyndall (1861) —
    By the Light of the Silvery Moon —
    On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature on the Ground / Svante Arrhenius (1896) —
    Radiative Transfer —
    The Influence of the 15[mu] Carbon-dioxide Band on the Atmospheric Infra-red Cooling Rate / G. N. Plaas (1956) —
    The Balance of Energy —
    Thermal Equilibrium of the Atmosphere with a Given Distribution of Relative Humidity / Syukuro Manabe and Richard T. Wetherald (1967) —
    ..

    Résumé :
    The Warming Papers is a compendium of the classic scientific papers that constitute the foundation of the global warming forecast. The paper trail spans over 175 years, ranging from Fourier and Arrhenius in the 19th Century to Manabe and Hansen in modern times.

    So, not actually included as distinct entity in its own right, but somewhere discussed? What does it say about it?

    There was a lot of work done between Arrhenius’ 1906 paper which corrected his earlier and now defunct 1896 paper on the subject and 1956 when the “paper trail” resumes, wasn’t there?

    Ah, here: http://greenhouse.geologist-1011.net/ , it says Arrhenius was refuted in 1909 by Woods, don’t see that in the list of contents either.

    “The general idea as expressed in contemporary literature, though seemingly chaotic in its diversity of emphasis, shows little change since its original proposition by Svante Arrhenius in 1896, and subsequent refutation by Robert Wood in 1909.”

    And, Arrhenius misunderstood Fourier:

    “The “Greenhouse Effect” was originally defined around the hypothesis that visible light penetrating the atmosphere is converted to heat on absorption and emitted as infrared, which is subsequently trapped by the opacity of the atmosphere to infrared. In Arrhenius (1896, p. 237) we read:

    “Fourier maintained that the atmosphere acts like the glass of a hothouse, because it lets through the light rays of the sun but retains the dark rays from the ground.”

    In fact, Fourier doesn’t even mention hothouses or greenhouses, and actually stated that in order for the atmosphere to be anything like the glass of a hotbox, such as the experimental aparatus of de Saussure (1779), the air would have to solidify while conserving its optical properties (Fourier, 1827, p. 586; Fourier, 1824, translated by Burgess, 1837, pp. 11-12).

    In spite of Arrhenius’ misunderstanding of Fourier, the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (11th Edition) reflects his initial opening description of the “Greenhouse Effect”:

    Greenhouse Effect noun the trapping of the sun’s warmth in the planet’s lower atmosphere, due to the greater transparency of the atmosphere to visible radiation from the sun than to infrared radiation emitted from the planet’s surface.

    And that is still the base on which we get AGWScience claiming what it does. So, is this covered in The Warming Papers? That the “greenhouse” of Arrhenius and AGW comes from taking what Fourier said the atmosphere wasn’t?

    As analysed further on the link I’ve given above: The Shattered Greenhouse: How Simple Physics Demolishes the “Greenhouse Effect”. Timothy Casey B.Sc. (Hons.) Consulting Geologist:

    “2.0 How the “Greenhouse Effect” Is Built upon Arrhenius’ Legacy of Error: Misattribution, Misunderstanding, and Energy Creation
    Arrhenius’ first error was to assume that greenhouses and hotboxes work as a radiation trap. Fourier explained quite clearly that such structures simply prevent the replenishment of the air inside, allowing it to reach much higher temperatures than are possible in circulating air (Fourier, 1824, translated by Burgess, 1837, p. 12; Fourier, 1827, p. 586). Yet, as we have seen in the previous quotation of Arrhenius, this fundamental misunderstanding of greenhouses is attributed by Arrhenius to Fourier.

    2.1 Misattribution versus What Fourier Really Found
    Contrary to what Arrhenius (1896, 1906b) and many popular authors may claim (Weart, 2003; Flannery, 2005; Archer, 2009), Fourier did not consider the atmosphere to be anything like glass. In fact, Fourier (1827, p. 587) rejected the comparison by stipulating the impossible condition that in order for the atmosphere to even remotely resemble the workings of a hotbox or greenhouse, layers of the air would have to solidify without affecting the air’s optical properties. What Fourier (1824, translated by Burgess, 1837, p. 12) actually wrote stands in stark contrast to Arrhenius’ claims about Fourier’s ideas:

    “In short, if all the strata of air of which the atmosphere is formed, preserved their density with their transparency, and lost only the mobility which is peculiar to them, this mass of air, thus become solid, on being exposed to the rays of the sun, would produce an effect the same in kind with that we have just described. The heat, coming in the state of light to the solid earth, would lose all at once, and almost entirely, its power of passing through transparent solids: it would accumulate in the lower strata of the atmosphere, which would thus acquire very high temperatures. We should observe at the same time a diminution of the degree of acquired heat, as we go from the surface of the earth.”

    A statement to the same effect can be found in Fourier (1827, p. 586). This demonstrates the sheer dissonance between these statements and what proponents of the “Greenhouse Effect” claim that Fourier says in their support. Moreover, I am not the first author to have discovered this fact by reading Fourier for myself (e.g. Fleming, 1999; Gerlich & Tscheuschner, 2007 and 2009). Furthermore, in his conclusion, the optical effect of air on heat is dropped by Fourier (1824, translated by Burgess, 1837, pp. 17-18) and Fourier (1827, pp. 597-598) which both state:

    etc.”

    Well, you can read the rest of the page yourself, but what this shows is that Arrhenius didn’t know what he was talking about, and that those subsequently following his concept of the greenhouse atmosphere because he failed to understand Fourier, have built their work on a fictional atmosphere, one which Fourier said didn’t of course exist.

    Appears to me then, this “paper trail” of The Warming Papers is not covering the actual science history of the subject.

    However, this page has contributed to the paper trail of I’ve been collecting of the history about these ideas. I’ve already concluded from arguments about ‘the AGW greenhouse’, that the world AGW science describes doesn’t actually exist, but is a science fiction world, molecules without volume and weight in an atmosphere of empty space, etc., so now I know why there’s no convection in the AGWScience Fiction world, it goes right back to the beginning with Arrhenius getting Fourier wrong.

    So, “The Warming Papers is a compendium of the classic scientific papers that constitute the foundation of the global warming forecast.”,

    which is all based on the fictional science foundation from Arrhenius, about an imaginary atmosphere with its own version of physical properties and processes and not on our real world with its consolidated body of knowledge as understood in tried and tested traditional physics.

    No wonder you can’t understand our engineers and other applied scientists.

  126. R. Gates says:
    November 13, 2011 at 5:22 am

    And furthermore, the spike from roughly 280 ppm to the nearly 400 ppm is extraordinary in the climate record over the past 800,000 years, and is absolutely due to human activities.

    CO2 is not climate – no more than the crow that just flew by my window is climate. If CO2 were climate, the planet would have cooked a long time ago, repeatably. Unless you can show how CO2 has been the climate driver in the past, it is time to search for some other element that does dominate and correlate with climate change. Or does such inquiry severely encroach on your ideological beliefs to the point of collapse. GK

  127. davidmhoffer,

    Your simplification of the global effects of the closure of the Isthmus of Panama is revealing for it’s cherry-picking. It hardly was “the cause” of an ice age. There is no doubt that the closure of the Isthmus of Panama altered ocean circulation patterns, but it was far from the only geological change going on around the planet, both above and below sea level. You also fail to mention Milankovitch cycles, which of course, set the true pulse for periods of glaciation and ice ages. Of course no two periods of Earth’s history will ever be exactly alike (Earth 2011 does not equal Earth 1650 or Earth 3.3 MYA), but the mid-Pliocene warm period remains as the most likely closest analogue of the the Earth at 400 ppm of CO2 and greater.

    But of course, this was not the focus of my response to Lucy, as she was stating that the current spike in CO2 levels was not due to human industrial activity (mainly the burning of fossil fuels), which is nonsense.

    For those who want a pretty good summation of some of the current thinking about the complicated and interrelated effects of the closure of the Isthmus of Panama, I would suggest:

    http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12321&tid=282&cid=2508

    For those who want a good look at the latest research into the mid-Pliocene period and its potential relationship to a higher CO2 climate in Earth’s near future, I would suggest:

    http://geology.er.usgs.gov/eespteam/prism/

  128. R. Gates;
    but it was far from the only geological change going on around the planet, both above and below sea level. You also fail to mention Milankovitch cycles, which of course, set the true pulse for periods of glaciation and ice ages. Of course no two periods of Earth’s history will ever be exactly alike >>>

    And hence, by the evidence you yourself proclaim, estimating the sensitivity to CO2 by comparing that period to this period is impossible, and your claim to the contrary debunked by none other than yourself.

    R. Gates;
    But of course, this was not the focus of my response to Lucy, as she was stating that the current spike in CO2 levels was not due to human industrial activity >>>

    Perhaps you need to be reminded of what it is you said. Since you can neither, evidently, recall what you said, or be bothered to review your own discourse, I will quote directy from your previous comment in which you said:

    “Based on past climate data from the mid-Pliocene (the last time CO2 was at the levels we’re now approaching), around 3C of warming is a good approximate estimate of what we can expect from a doubling of CO2 to 560 ppm, once all fast and slow feedbacks have been considered.”

    So, just to review, you boldly stated what the sensitivity to CO2 doubling was based on the mid-Pliocene, then showed how the mid-Pliocene and current climate could not possibly be directly compared, and then tried to claim that your comments weren’t meant to address sensitivity in the first place.

    Don’t forget the rest of my questions in my previous comment. Until you either admit your folly, or provide a credible answer, I’m just going to keep repeating them. I’ll be adding this little gem to the list of course since I doubt you have what it takes to refute the fact that you refuted yourself and then tried to claim you didn’t say what you said.

  129. Dave Springer? May I have permission to shamelessly steal your supplication to Algore:The Goreacle? I will most certainly give all credit to you, and I will get it into as many minds as possible. I most humbly beseech you to grant me this boon, Oh Great One!!!

  130. Steve Keohane says:
    November 13, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Jesse Fell says: November 13, 2011 at 1:55 am
    [...] The loss of arctic ice — which is happening before our eyes — will greatly reduce the Earth’s total albedo, which will in turn enhance the warming effect of the greenhouse gases.

    Not relevant, angle of incidence is too low for solar heating of Arctic waters. The Arctic is a heat dump, transferred from the tropics, heat goes to the Arctic, then to outer space, cooling earth. Open water equals excessive heat loss. Kind of like a thermostat, or better, a disconnecting clutch on any “runaway” warming.
    _____

    While I agree there will likely not be a “runaway” warming from current and projected CO2 levels and related feedbacks, I would strongly disagree that the angle of incidence is “too low” for a direct heating of Arctic waters, and this is one of the polar amplification effects as higher levels of CO2, and one reason that the north pole in particular is shown to warm faster than the rest of the planet as a whole as CO2 levels rise. Of course, I would assume you’d be talking about during the summer months when lower sea ice levels certainly allow more direct heating of the Arctic waters during these months, and we find a direct correlation between lower sea ice levels and anomalously warm waters in those same areas, caused by the direct heating of those same waters by the sun.

  131. davidmhoffer said:

    “I’ll be adding this little gem to the list of course since I doubt you have what it takes to refute the fact that you refuted yourself and then tried to claim you didn’t say what you said.”
    ___
    I’m sure in your little world of fantasy your lists actually mean something. It is not my responsibility to continually explain the nuances of difference to you, but in davidmhofferland, there is apparently no such shades of grey, but all is black and white. A pity…

  132. R. Gates;
    I’m sure in your little world of fantasy your lists actually mean something. It is not my responsibility to continually explain the nuances of difference to you, but in davidmhofferland, there is apparently no such shades of grey, but all is black and white. A pity…>>>

    Yes, it is a pity that you do not take responsibility for, or even admit to, the claims you make. You just keep spouting off like you actually know something when everything you post just makes you look silly. If I am the one in fantasy land, why do you not diorectly answer the questions put to you about your claims?

    1. You agreed to a bet with me that if Al Gore’s on air “experiment” were repeated as illustrated, it would not show the results as illustrated. True or False?
    2. You suggested that the experiment be carried out but with the globes removed from the jars as they were superflous. I pointed out to you that with nothing in the jars to absorb SW and re-radiate it as LW, demonstration of the “greenhouse effect” that the experiment was supposed to demonstrate was impossible and showed that you didn’t understand the science inviolved in the first place. True of False?
    3. You claimed that the “models” have always told us to expect extended periods with no warming. I asked you to specify which of the 23 models cites in IPCC AR4 showed this. I asked you to produce a single sentence from IPCC AR4 that suggested this. I asked you to produce a single quote by a mjor warmist researcher that was made prior to the current warming hiatus which has been in place for close to 15 years. To date, you have not been able to back your claim up with any such evidence. True or False?
    4. You claimed that by comparing the mid-Pliocene with current conditions we could calculate a sensitivity to CO2 doubling of 3 degrees C. Then you said the two periods were not comparable. Then you said that wasn’t what you were claiming. True or False?

    Really R. Gates, you represent the very essence of the problem with the climate debate. You feel free to make up your own facts, your own history, change what you said, claim you said something else, and when confronted with the facts, you change the subject or give excuses to avoid answering. Ther is something pitifull about it all right R. Gates. It is a pity that sycophants like you get away with spouting grabage to justify actions by government that tax honest hard working people for no reason, raise living costs putting the poor at risk, keeping developing nations from developing, and the “researchers” that you support rolling in dough to study something that isn’t a problem, never was, and never will be. That you have to resort to the tactics that you do to support their position tells us how weak that position is, and that your purported knowledge is nothing but the product of fantasyland. But not my fantasyland sir, yours, and one that I suspect you know very well is one of your own making.

  133. Jay Davis says:
    November 11, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Defenders of McKibben and other anti-fossil fuel fanatics. To date, no one has come up with viable economic alternatives to coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. Wind and solar are so woefully inadequate they are not worth spending money on. Therefore, any competent, reasoning individual would conclude McKibben, and people like him, who fight against developing new sources of fossil fuels and pipelines to transport them, are maniacs too stupid to realize how much harm they are doing. And I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. Because I don’t think they practice what they preach.
    _____________________________________
    I would love to send them for a year or two into the hinterlands of Maine or even West Virgina where people still use outhouses, wood burning stoves and plow with mules because a tractor would roll over and kill you.

    And yes I have been in that back country. Had three friends disappear never to be seen again too.

  134. G. Karst says:
    November 11, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    If you think the LIA was bad, try running the same model – this time with a population of 7 billion!

    UNSPEAKABLE! – GK
    ___________________________________
    Why the heck do you think the Wealthy are snapping up farmland all over the world while governments are passing regulations to wipe out independent farmers???

    Of interest is the fact that a year and a half ago “Global Cooling” was on the agenda at the June 2010 Bilderberg Conference. Now the Land Grabs in Africa, South American and even in the USA are making news. Do they know something we don’t????

    From our buddy James Delingpole: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100055500/global-cooling-and-the-new-world-order/

    Land Grab References:

    http://viacampesina.org/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1097:open-letter-to-ifc-pending-approval-of-the-project-calyxagro-proj-ref-29137

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-10/being-like-soros-in-buying-farm-land-lets-investors-reap-16-annual-gains.html

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/african-land-grab-acres-bottle-scotch

  135. Dave Springer said:
    November 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm
    Let me get this straight. Canada would sell resources critical to the defense of the North American continent to Red China…
    ————————————————————-
    Mark and two Cats says:
    November 11, 2011 at 11:28 pm
    The US should invade Canada, eh.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I have a better idea guys. Lets pack up all out lefty Politicians and University Profs and ship them one way to China. That is what you guys did with Maurice Strong after all.

    We can toss in those from Australia too. I am sure China has a forced labor camp where they could be useful….

  136. I have a great idea. ALL those in favor of no oil pipeline, no coal etc. must surrender their drivers license and may not apply for another for the rest of their lives. Foot or public GROUND transportation only.

    This includes the likes of Al Gore and Waxman and Pelosi and Reid….

  137. R. Gates says: November 13, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Lucy Skywalker says: November 13, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Key information re the Ice Hockey Stick “record” of past CO2 levels: Slide 38 of my presentation shows how the rising levels of CO2, methane and N2O in the ice core records indicate their relative SOLUBILITIES, not their actual past levels. The apparent increase in recent levels can thus be clearly seen here NOT to correspond to any Industrial Revolution “increases” of these gases.

    _____
    Seriously? Wow. If you’re right, it would mean a Nobel prize. Why didn’t CO2 levels increase so much during the previously warm Holocene Optimum, or even during the Roman warm period or MWP, when temperatures hit similar (or greater) levels?

    R. Gates says: November 13, 2011 at 10:10 am

    …this was not the focus of my response to Lucy, as she was stating that the current spike in CO2 levels was not due to human industrial activity (mainly the burning of fossil fuels), which is nonsense.

    You have misquoted me and missed my point. I was not referring to MLO and today’s situation, which is another issue. I was referring to the infamous splicing of ice core records with MLO, and what the ice core record is actually saying. As you might have deduced from my page, which it looks like you did not visit.

    My delight in the comparison of the curves for CO2, CH4 and N2O arises from the fact that this material originated in a warmists’ paper but they had not observed their own data closely enough to see the true implication of their graphs.

    Yes I think this matter does deserve a Nobel prize but that should go to Jaworowski and Segalstad. Fine chance though, in the present corrupt circs.

  138. Ralph says:
    November 11, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    The reality, is that one barrel of oil is 100,000 man hours of work. Delete the oil, and none of that work gets done.

    Your only other option, to ensure the work is done and civilisation continues (people are fed and housed), is to reinstate slavery. In the absence of oil and oil powered machines, that is how the Roman’s powered their great civilisation.

    Is that what the Greens want?
    ________________________________________________
    That is what the United Nations wants.

    Do not forget that Saudi Arabia outlawed slavery in 1962 along with other third world countries. Just because it has been made illegal does not mean Slavery is still alive and well. It is estimated there are between 12 and 27 million slaves today, more than at any other time in history.
    Slavery alive and well in the US: http://www.usatoday.com/money/books/2007-09-16-nobodies_N.htm

    United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat I), held May 31 – June 11, 1976. Agenda Item 10 Preamble

    “Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole. Public control of land use is therefore indispensable….”

    Dave S. This is the basis for that blasted Supreme Court ruling that industry can use Eminent Domain ” if land is used in the interests of society as a whole” The UN policy recommendations following this Preamble were endorsed by the participating nations, including the United States. The EPA is based on that endorsement as are the “World Heritage Sites” and now the “Food Safety Modernization Act.” That Act SPECIFICALLY turns control of our farmland and farmers over to the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, who have been working together to come up with “Good Farming Practices” and “Good Agricultural Practices” over the last decade.

    You do not have to be called a slave to BE a slave.
    “2009 the Year of the Slave” http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/yearoftheslave.html

  139. As I’ve often said, warmer doesn’t bother me, colder scares the “heck” out of me.

    New York City dealing with an ocean a few inches higher is nothing compared to dealing with an ice sheet a mile thick.

  140. Gail Combs says:
    November 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I have a great idea. ALL those in favor of no oil pipeline, no coal etc. must surrender their drivers license and may not apply for another for the rest of their lives. Foot or public GROUND transportation only.

    This includes the likes of Al Gore and Waxman and Pelosi and Reid….

    It would also simultaneously solve the intractable, growing traffic problem. Everybody is happy. GK

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