Dr. Roy Spencer on Fox’s John Stossel show

I’ve been waiting for this video to show up, Dr. Spencer advises me it is now available.

Well worth watching, video below:

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70 Responses to Dr. Roy Spencer on Fox’s John Stossel show

  1. Andrew says:

    Two studs…both with integrity.

  2. TheGoodLocust says:

    It was a good interview. I highly recommend John Stossel’s program – it comes on Thursday’s night on the Fox Business channel.

  3. Brian H says:

    Too lukey, of course. “We’re not sure warming would be harmful.” Considering that all recorded history suggests it would be beneficial, Spencer is just caving to the wrong Null.

  4. Hoser says:

    Anyone with a blog should link that video. Send the link to your friends via email. That’s a great starter for informing the public. Polls show people are sick of climate hysteria. Now they need good information like this video to feel comfortable taking a skeptical position and holding it.

  5. wsbriggs says:

    +1
    I agree wholeheartedly. Other than Ron Paul, John Stossel has about as clear a message about freedom as you could hope for.

  6. kbray in california says:

    Excellent.

  7. Joachim Seifert says:

    Good video…concise…to the point….we need more of it…..
    But Roy, him confessing to be lukewarm on CO2….well he could do
    better:
    Why side with Warmists/Alarmists, who stand like a donkey in front of
    the climate clock, do not understand the clock’s mechanism and
    tout that rear -end donkey emissions are the “driver” of the clock’s
    mechanism…?? We know more than this by now…….
    JS

  8. orkneylad says:

    Dr Roy Spencer, you are a hero Sir.

  9. Steven Hales says:

    We are already decarbonizing by fuel switching from carbon rich coal to carbon poor CH4. The UK did it we have been doing it and are doing it big time since the cost of CH4 is so much cheaper than CH4 in the UK and the rest of world. Hmmm, why is that? Hydraulic fracturing. Pretty amazing isn’t it.

    And when the new CAFE standards kick in our consumption of gasoline will remain flat and possibly decline slightly just as it did between 1978 and 1992 when CAFE standards kicked in and the fleet turned over. Pretty remarkable, isn’t it?

  10. Pretty good overall. It is difficult to answer questions orally in real time and get all your words just right, even if you have an idea of the questions that are coming. I think Dr. Spencer probably would like to clarify his statement that the red portions of the fine particular matter occur “where virtually no-one lives.” I think he may have been thinking about the US/EPA when he said it but it wasn’t clear. Obviously millions of people live in the red areas on the map outside of the US.

    Brian H., I think Dr. Spencer was fair in his response about warming not being harmful. He went on to say that it might even be beneficial and that this should be something scientists should be willing to consider.

    —-

    BTW, watts with this site now forcing a WordPress login (and losing the comment you just typed) if you happen to have a WordPress account? Pretty annoying recent change.

    [Reply: Your previous comment was posted -- now deleted and replaced with this one, which you fortunately saved. I agree that WordPress still has some issues to resolve. WUWT has nothing to do with the login problems. ~dbs, mod.]

  11. Russ says:

    Reblogged this on Is it 2012 in Nevada County Yet? and commented:
    I have high regard for Dr Spencer and his data satellite collection tools. It is hard to argue with the data.

  12. Billy says:

    Two big problems with this interview;
    1. Lefties consider Fox to be the voice of Satan.
    2. For Greens, the elimination of the private sector industry is a desirable goal.

  13. Dr. Dave says:

    If you have read his books it’s plainly obvious that Dr. Spencer is NOT a lukewarmer. He is, in fact, exactly correct. Probably no one on the planet understands cloud feedbacks better than Dr. Spencer. Dr. Roy explains and describes the greenhouse effect perhaps better than anyone else (more’s the pity he doesn’t teach). I think anyone with a basic understanding of the AGW issue would agree that theoretically additional CO2 in the atmosphere could result in some degree of warming. As Dr. Spencer alluded to, the likelihood of anyone being able to tease an anthropogenic signal out of the noise of natural variability is slim to none. Further, just reference the work of Dr. Craig Idso regarding CO2 enrichment of the atmospheric CO2 and its effect on plant growth. Then just look at recorded history – warm good, cold bad.

    I LOVE Stossel and DVR his show every week and I have the greatest respect and admiration for Dr. Roy Spencer.

  14. pesadia says:

    I found this short video to be full of something that I am not used to hearing. Now what is it called. Er er, give me a minute. Yes I remember now, it’s called COMMON SENSE.
    Bit of a shock to the system but I could get used to it.

  15. MindBuilder says:

    My respect for Roy Spencer and Stossel dropped a lot when Spencer said that stopping CO2 emissions would shut down nearly the entire economy. The economy could function just fine on nuclear or even solar, and electric and hydrogen vehicles. We would probably only be something like 10% poorer. Not nice, but not terrible.

  16. MindBuilder says:

    I meant to say cutting back CO2 emissions to low levels would not be too big a problem, not stopping them completely. Nobody serious is really advocating stopping CO2 emissions completely. We would have to stop breathing to stop emissions completely. Or I suppose we could just capture our breath and sequester it :)

  17. JEM says:

    Mindbuilder – don’t know what study you are referencing but not even the uber greenies agree with you. In fact that is the aspect they like the best – enforced poverty on most everyone while they get the gas to deal with the serious problems – to take care of us.

  18. TheGoodLocust says:

    @Mindbuilder The nitrate fertilizers we use feed billions. They are made from natural gas. We can’t simply exist on nuclear energy since mass starvation would result from taking away their fertilizers.

  19. Kasuha says:

    Pity there was so little space to get into the matter. Three topics, six minutes, barely enough just to touch each, no time to go into explanations and controversies. Also the narrator appears to be making fool of himself a bit which does not go well together with the topic to me (but I don’t know the show, maybe it’s normal there).
    Let’s wish more comes soon.

  20. Jeff D says:

    To hear the words from a scientist that it has cooled for the last 10 or so years in the MSM was nice to here for a change. Wish the few other words we all know could have followed for impact ” (while CO2 has continued to rise) “.

    Thanks for having a pair DR. Roy.

  21. More Soylent Green! says:

    MindBuilder says:
    March 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm
    My respect for Roy Spencer and Stossel dropped a lot when Spencer said that stopping CO2 emissions would shut down nearly the entire economy. The economy could function just fine on nuclear or even solar, and electric and hydrogen vehicles. We would probably only be something like 10% poorer. Not nice, but not terrible.

    Well, I guess you don’t understand economics very well, do you? Nor do you seem to understand that electrical vehicles are more expensive and less practical than the conventional vehicles they would replace. As for hydrogen — why do you think we don’t have millions of hydrogen vehicles on the road now, because of some big oil conspiracy?

    And just try to build more nuclear plants. It will be years before you get past the lawsuits, if you ever do.

    In short, everything you advocate would be tremendously expensive and impractical.

  22. RobRoy says:

    He’s preaching to the choir on Fox. But every little bit helps.

  23. Gail Combs says:

    MindBuilder says:
    March 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    My respect for Roy Spencer and Stossel dropped a lot when Spencer said that stopping CO2 emissions would shut down nearly the entire economy. The economy could function just fine on nuclear or even solar, and electric and hydrogen vehicles. We would probably only be something like 10% poorer. Not nice, but not terrible.
    ____________________________________
    Spenser was correct. If you stopping CO2 emissions TODAY, it would shut down the US economy period.

    Nuclear energy provides 19.2 percent of the United States’ electricity. Fossil fuels meet around 84 percent of U.S. energy demand.

    The industrial sector uses 30 percent of the nation’s energy. It breaks out as:
    1,379,981 Residential (37%)
    1,335,981 Commercial (stores) (35.8%)
    1,009,300 Industrial (27%)
    7,700 Transportation (0.2%)

    So you could run emergency and vital functions only plus less than half of the residential. No commercial, no industrial and no transportation.

    What everyone seems to forget is smelting ores and fabricating takes a heck of a lot of energy and your windmills and solar panels and biofuels are not the Energy savers everyone seems to think they are.

  24. Thomas (Germany) says:

    Maybe you should think a bit more about the shutting down of the economy, Mind Builder(@March 26.2012/1:33pm). While energy production in nuclear and solar power plants does not cause co2 emissions, the production of steel, silicon wavers, glass, copper pipes, etc. does. No power plants / solar panels can be built without CO2 emissions. So if you want to reduce CO2 emissions to zero (or half them), you will inevitably shut down the economy to some degree or completely.

    Dr. Spencer is right, and my respect for him is great.

  25. Steven Mosher says:

    Ha,

    Lukewarmer. Finally, man its taken close to 4 years to get the word in the MSM.

    Lukewarmer: free the data, free the code, open the debate !

  26. Kasuha says:

    MindBuilder says:
    My respect for Roy Spencer and Stossel dropped a lot when Spencer said that stopping CO2 emissions would shut down nearly the entire economy.
    _________________

    I too don’t like that statement too much but let’s be realists – solar is economically inferior, the only thing that we could theoretically use to replace coal with is nuclear. But common people were taught to fear nuclear energy, there’s no way they’d let that happen any soon. Also the scale of the change would be enormous, there’d be shortage of raw materials, technology, poeple, everything. This shortage would also proportionally increase cost of that energy which would be yet again surpassed by fossil. Nuclear reactors require skilled crew, deploying nuclear reactors to underdeveloped countries with unskilled crew would lead to risk of more Chernobyl-scale accidents, which we really don’t want to happen. Just the increase of number, even with skilled employees would inevitable lead to increased number of accidents, some of which would necessarily be serious. People would need to get used to the fact that nuclear energy may kill people too exactly as how other kinds of energy do without any publicity. And I’m not mentioning risk of certain regimes trying to exploit fissionable materials for not-so-peaceful purposes. And of course poor countries would be hardly able to afford buying nuclear reactors, they are happy they can finance cheap coal plants to get their economy started.

    In the long run I am sure fossil fuels will be replaced. We’ll just run out of them eventually and we’ll have no other choice. Until then, if there was significant public opinion change, then developed countries could start slow transfer from coal to nuclear. But I don’t see anything even remotely as fast as how certain green people are imagining our transfer to renewables.

  27. Billy says:

    Mindbender- Oh my, There is no need to worry about fertiliser. All plants emit co2 at night thru respiration. Agriculture would out. Beasts of burden also emit co2 and methane.
    Mining and smelting, petrochemicals, cement, pulp & paper and all other primary materials would also be out. I don’t know of any EV or hydrogen systems built with straw, twigs and dung.

  28. Mariwarcwm says:

    It was good to see Dr Spencer, having read so much about him. Nice looking chap, and clever and charming as well. What a hero.

  29. Andrew says:

    Lukewarmer huh…

    Is that like a Deanwormer?

    Btw, back when I was in school… Environmental Sciences 201 was the easiest and largest class on campus.

  30. Graphite says:

    climatereflections says:
    March 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm
    ‘I think Dr. Spencer probably would like to clarify his statement that the red portions of the fine particular matter occur “where virtually no-one lives.” I think he may have been thinking about the US/EPA when he said it but it wasn’t clear. Obviously millions of people live in the red areas on the map outside of the US.’

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Don’t agree. I’m sure he was taking a world view with his comments. The largest section of the red swathe covered the desert areas of northern Africa and continued across the most arid areas of Asia . . . the sort of places you’d need to make sure you had a packed lunch and extra water when you’re planning a picnic.

    I see New Zealand had fallen off his map . . . but that’s of no particulate concern.

  31. Gail Combs says:

    MindBuilder says:
    March 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I meant to say cutting back CO2 emissions to low levels would not be too big a problem, not stopping them completely. Nobody serious is really advocating stopping CO2 emissions completely.
    ___________________________________
    The EU wants an 80% reduction I consider that darn serious. For the USA we would be looking at 1/2 the carbon based energy as used in the year 1800. That puts us back pretty darn close to stone age because 1790 to 1800 was when about 70 to 90% of the population was on farms and almost all “industry” was home based.

    The EU has committed itself to a 20% reduction by 2020 and to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. (Poland vetoed)

    Here is the details:
    The average for the USA is 335.9 million BTUs per person. (Total population: 246,081,000)

    In 1949, U.S. energy use per person stood at 215 million Btu. Still way too high.

    The U.S. in 1800 had a per-capita energy consumption of about 90 million Btu. (Total population: 5,308,483)

    If the USA reduces its energy consumption by 80% it equals 45.18 million Btu. per person.
    Given the increase in technology, nuclear and hydro power lets use the 1800 consumption level of about 90 million Btu. per person.
    What does that mean?
    The site http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blfarm4.htm helps us figure that out.
    Farmers made up about 90% of labor force  in 1790 and 69% of labor force in 1800. (Only 2.6% in 1990.)

    In 1830 it took about 250-300 labor-hours to produce 100 bushels of wheat from 5 acres, with a walking plow, brush harrow, hand broadcast of seed, sickle, and flail . (1987 – 2-3/4 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels but that takes lots of carbon based fuel.)

    1810 ->30 saw the transfer of “manufacturing” from the farm and home to the shop and factory. It wasn’t until the 1840′s that we saw factory-made farm machinery, labor saving devices and chemical fertilizers becoming common. It was in the 1860′s that kerosene lamps became popular. (instead of whale oil) Also up until the 1850′s dung and wood were the major source of energy. Link

    In other words for the USA to use HALF the energy per person that was used in 1800 we must abandon ALL factories and 70% to 90% of the population must return to subsistence farming using animal/human labor. Also remember in 1800 there was only 2% of the current population in the USA. Solar and Wind just are not going to produce enough power to keep us in anything but running water, a few lights and if we are lucky a refrigerator and heat in the winter. FACTORIES use a huge amount of power and that is why cotton mills and other primitive factories were built on rivers.

    Anyone who tries to tell you differently is talking baffle gab. At present less than 9% of the US labor force is in manufacturing. The USA got rid of most of its really energy intense industry like smelting the ores to make machines and the USA shipped most of the rest of its factories to China, Mexico, Brazil and India.

    Nuclear (Thorium) is the only decent exit from dependence on CO2 based energy but that is still decades away. The Taxpayer Funds and human energy diverted towards solar and wind instead of thorium is a real crime.

    The 1954 Aircraft Reactor Experiment: http://energyfromthorium.com/history.html

    Possible Thorium fueled car: http://www.txchnologist.com/2011/the-thorium-laser-the-completely-plausible-idea-for-nuclear-cars

  32. Gail Combs says:

    Kasuha says:
    March 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    ….. Nuclear reactors require skilled crew, deploying nuclear reactors to underdeveloped countries with unskilled crew would lead to risk of more Chernobyl-scale accidents, which we really don’t want to happen. Just the increase of number, even with skilled employees would inevitable lead to increased number of accidents, some of which would necessarily be serious….
    ____________________________
    That is correct only for conventional Nuclear which is why I want to see the research $$$ go into thorium.

    SSTAR Thorium Reactor
    Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, and Argonne national laboratories are designing a self-contained nuclear reactor with tamper-resistant features. Called SSTAR (small, sealed, transportable, autonomous reactor), this next-generation reactor will produce 10 to 100 megawatts electric and can be safely transported on ship or by a heavy-haul transport truck….

    They ever get these things passed DOE and I am going to be banging on the doors of our local Energy co-op to get them to buy one. Heck they can bury it on my farm, we already have the heavy duty electrical lines on an easement on the place…

    Frequently Asked Questions about Thorium: http://energyfromthorium.com/faq/

  33. timebandit says:

    “I see New Zealand had fallen off his map . . . but that’s of no particulate concern.”
    Thats because theres not many of us here… except the sheep and cows …

  34. timebandit says:

    and a few green ‘sheeple’ …

  35. frozenohio says:

    Love those guys – exposing the truth and watching the warmist/alarmists freak out.

  36. Billy says:
    March 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm
    All plants emit co2 at night thru respiration.
    —————
    Billy, plants emit o2, not co2, at night. this mistake is so elementary I wonder if you were distracted, having a brain fade, or a ‘senior’s moment ? plants grow by taking the c of co2 and emitting the remaining o2.

  37. Nick in Vancouver says:

    Mindbuilder do you live in the US or the Netherlands? One country is small, has a large public transport infrastucture and has densly populated cities that are very close to each other, the other country does not. One country has the highest density of wind energy generation in the world but must import energy from nuclear and hydro rich neighbours as the wind doesn’t blow “just right” often enough. The other country still generates more than half its electricity from coal fired power plants, has a huge fleet of diesel powered tractor- trailers and locos to distribute its food, raw materials, parmaceuticals, chemicals and other manufactured goods over vast distances and the other does not. One country is energy rich in fossil fuels with 150 years of natural gas, 250 years and counting of coal and who knows how much shale crude (at current extraction rates) the other does not. One country does not need to and realistically cannot stop using fossil fuels until an energy dense, storable, substitute is developed – (hydrogen is neither and probably will continue to be neither for a long time). The other country will pay a fortune to its neighbours ,for electricity, to de-carbon(dioxide)ise and still make no difference to growing world wide anthropogenic CO2 emissions. My guess is that the other will not.

  38. Alan Wilkinson says:

    Mindbender: no trucks, no tractors, no ships = no food for most people.

    Good luck on living without fossil fuel.

  39. Nick in Vancouver says:

    Sorry Mindbender that should have been Denmark not the Netherlands – ouch- geography fail, it pays to proof read eh?

  40. Frank Kotler says:

    William Martin says:
    March 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Billy says:
    March 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm
    All plants emit co2 at night thru respiration.
    —————
    Billy, plants emit o2, not co2, at night. this mistake is so elementary I wonder if you were distracted, having a brain fade, or a ‘senior’s moment ? plants grow by taking the c of co2 and emitting the remaining o2.
    ——————————————
    Not at night, they don’t. Billy’s got it right.

  41. JimJ says:

    “That is correct only for conventional Nuclear which is why I want to see the research $$$ go into thorium”:
    Focus fusion and the Polywell project look promising as well but absolutly no money going into them. Noble Savage anyone?

    Jim

  42. arnoarrak says:

    Roy produces valuable satellite temperature measurements. Unfortunately he does not understand his own data. He is the third climate scientist who has recently produced important observations who do not understand what is contained in their own data. If he had read my book “What Warming?” (which I have told him about) he would know that satellite data rule out greenhouse warming completely. He would also know that the cooling he labels Pinatubo cooling on his web site is not Pinatubo cooling but a common garden variety La Nina cooling. The other two guys who do not understand their own data are Darrell Kaufman and Robert Spielhagen. Kaufman discovered that Arctic warming had a sudden beginning at the turn of the 20th century but still calls it greenhouse warming. That is impossible according to the laws of physics because there was no concurrent increase of carbon dioxide. Spielhagen discovered that warm water carried into the Arctic by currents from the Atlantic Ocean was warmer than anything reaching the Arctic within the last two thousand years. Again he thinks it is greenhouse effect juiced up by Arctic amplification as described by Screen and Simmonds. And those two guys think Arctic warming is caused by loss of sea ice cover. The simple truth is, warm water, not anything related to the greenhouse effect, is warming the Arctic (E&E 22(8):1069-1083, 2011).

  43. Gail Combs says:

    William Martin says:
    March 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Billy says:
    March 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm
    All plants emit co2 at night thru respiration.
    —————
    Billy, plants emit o2, not co2, at night. this mistake is so elementary I wonder if you were distracted, having a brain fade, or a ‘senior’s moment ? plants grow by taking the c of co2 and emitting the remaining o2.
    _______________________________________
    Sorry plants take in CO2 during the day to produce sugars starches and other carbohydrates. To continue living they burn some of those sugars and starches at night emiting CO2. http://www.scienceline.ucsb.edu/search/DB/show_question.php?key=1331242946&task=category&method=&form_keywords=&form_category=biology-plant&start=

  44. MikeH says:

    I wonder if someone at FOX was having a little fun with the captions at the bottom of the screen during the interview? At 5:50, they put up the line :
    “Spencer: A Little Pollution Saves Lives”

    I really don’t think that is what Dr. Spencer is trying to point out. I wonder if they are using the EPA classification of CO2 as a pollutant, even though it’s plant food.

  45. James Ard says:

    Born in Oak Ridge to a grant chasing fusion researcher (Elmo Bumpy Torus), I can say I have never heard of Thorium in all the days of parents arguing DOE crap. If it was a competitor to the Tokamak reactors, I’d think they’d have talked about it. Unfortunately, dad retired with little hope for fusion.

  46. Dreadnought says:

    Excellent stuff!

  47. Gail Combs says:

    JimJ says:
    March 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    “That is correct only for conventional Nuclear which is why I want to see the research $$$ go into thorium”:
    Focus fusion and the Polywell project look promising as well but absolutly no money going into them. Noble Savage anyone?
    ________________________________________
    More like the modern Neo-Feudal age, where the “Great Unwashed” live in grinding pre-industrial serfdom and the techno-elites (read regulating class) live in the 21st century.

  48. TomT says:

    Mind Bender said ” My respect for Roy Spencer and Stossel dropped a lot when Spencer said that stopping CO2 emissions would shut down nearly the entire economy. The economy could function just fine on nuclear or even solar, and electric and hydrogen vehicles. We would probably only be something like 10% poorer. Not nice, but not terrible.”
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    You have to be kidding, where are the cars, planes, trains, and ships that run on nuclear, solar and hydrogen? OK so there are some nuclear powered ships, but that’s about it.

  49. JimJ says:

    18th century Torys had a similar agenda. Benevolent ruling class and a well taken care of surfdom. Could this be the underlying “cause” of some activists?

    Jim

  50. jaypan says:

    arnoarrak says:
    March 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Excellent article in E&E. Together with other sources it makes me very suspicious, not about GHE itself (don’t care) but what influence it really has. And this is what we shoud care about.

  51. Steven Hill says:

    Sod houses and bicycles for all Americans. Asia? they will do whatever they want. LOL

  52. benfrommo says:

    TomT says:
    March 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    You have to be kidding, where are the cars, planes, trains, and ships that run on nuclear, solar and hydrogen? OK so there are some nuclear powered ships, but that’s about it.

    —————————————————————————————————–

    I think he was referencing the fact that we could run our ships on wind, the cars on hydrogen and electric ( and yes I realize that its a pipe-dream there too.) and the trains on electric.

    All pipe-dreams or stuff that is not feasible in the modern age. Perhaps I am wrong? But people who truly think that society can not function without emitting CO2 seriously have no understanding of what it takes society to function, and we are just talking about basics, we aren’t even going into manufacturing or the making of stuff such as basics like plastics, magnets etc that are required among other things to make the wind turbines and other things that the greens think are required for society.

    When push comes to shove, its the fossil fuels that fuel green pipe dreams and they have no clue whatsoever. They pick up their organic food at the grocery store and drive their hybrid or electric car if they are rich enough and think they are better then everyone else. And they expect the rest of the world to also sacrifice when in fact they are not sacrificing anything.

    True sacrifice would entail giving up everything and living like we did as a hunter/gatherer species because only then could we live as a society that emits no CO2 through technology. They really do not see the truth of the matter and go on living delusions…

    No, actually curtailing emissions harms the economy unless you embrace an economically sound plan. There are plans available to that, but none are feasible without greens getting over their fear of nuclear power and since that will never happen, there are no options. So back to the drawing board that any ideas to reduce emissions are really just going to reduce the economy of whatever nation does it. And more then likely it will have zero impact globally since the increased regulations will just cause the manufacturing and heavy polluting industries to move to another country that does not have those regulations. So score zero for actual progress on that one.

  53. Ed, "Mr." Jones says:

    Unknown commenter says:

    ‘ . . . . problem(s) with this interview;
    “1. Lefties consider Fox to be the voice of Satan.”

    You Sir, Have Been Hoodwinked! Lefties consider God to be the voice of Satan (if there was a Satan).

    The Superman Comics’ ‘Bizzaro’ story line was Prophetic.

  54. George E. Smith says:

    I don’t know if I’m the only one with this problem, but when I watch that video, I get it in two second bursts, interspersed with 30 second wait periods. Barely enough time for Obama to switch from one of his stereo teleprompters to the other. A total waste of time.

  55. George E. Smith says:

    “”””” MindBuilder says:

    March 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    My respect for Roy Spencer and Stossel dropped a lot when Spencer said that stopping CO2 emissions would shut down nearly the entire economy. The economy could function just fine on nuclear or even solar, and electric and hydrogen vehicles. We would probably only be something like 10% poorer. Not nice, but not terrible. “””””

    Given that the long term profitability of all economies operating under capitalism has been about 2.5% per year since the dawn of the Industrial age (from a Stanford Economics Professor), then if we were 10% poorer, we would be in steep decline. How long it would take to get the survivors back to spending every waking minute clambering around in fig trees for sustenance; which is where we came from with the aid of stored chemical energy (fire); is anybody’s guess.

    I nominate MindBuilder to try that out for say two years, to show us how its done.

  56. Gail Combs says:

    James Ard says:
    March 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Born in Oak Ridge to a grant chasing fusion researcher (Elmo Bumpy Torus), I can say I have never heard of Thorium in all the days of parents arguing DOE crap. If it was a competitor to the Tokamak reactors, I’d think they’d have talked about it. Unfortunately, dad retired with little hope for fusion.
    _____________________________
    The US government is notorious for keeping the right hand from knowing what the left hand was doing. I know several people including my husband, brother and father who worked on parts of the US space mission and never knew it until a long time later.

  57. Keith Minto says:

    George E. Smith says:
    March 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I don’t know if I’m the only one with this problem, but when I watch that video, I get it in two second bursts, interspersed with 30 second wait periods.

    My Firefox 11 handled it OK, George, is your download speed adequate?

  58. Michael Larkin says:

    ==================================
    William Martin says:
    March 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Billy says:
    March 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm
    All plants emit co2 at night thru respiration.
    —————
    Billy, plants emit o2, not co2, at night. this mistake is so elementary I wonder if you were distracted, having a brain fade, or a ‘senior’s moment ? plants grow by taking the c of co2 and emitting the remaining o2.
    ====================================

    William, plants respire all the time, which means that, like animals, they take in O2 and emit CO2 all the time. If they didn’t, they would die just as animals would do were they to stop breathing (although, of course, plants don’t “breathe” using the same mechanism as animals). Their cells need oxygen in order to metabolise, just as do those of animals.

    It’s just that during the day, when there is light, photosynthesis is also occurring, which does the opposite to respiration – takes in CO2 and emits O2. On balance, during the day, more O2 is produced. But at night, on balance, more CO2 is produced because photosynthesis has to stop for lack of light. In dim light, there may be a balance between respiration and photosynthesis so that there is net production of neither O2 nor CO2.

    I learnt this way back (1966) when I did British O-level biology at school. A nice summary is here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks3bitesize/science/organisms_behaviour_health/food_chains/revise4.shtml

  59. Gail Combs says:

    JimJ says:
    March 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    18th century Torys had a similar agenda. Benevolent ruling class and a well taken care of surfdom. Could this be the underlying “cause” of some activists?
    __________________________________
    I already directed you to Bill Clinton’s mentor Carroll Quigley. Quigley mentions a key player Ceil Rhodes (5 July 1853 – 26 March 1902) who left his fortune to Lord Rothschild. This is where Bill Clinton’s Rhodes Scholarship came from.

    The Webbs along with George Bernard Shaw formed the Fabian Society. (January 1884) The Webbs also started the London School of Economics where many of today’s leaders in business, finance and politics are educated. Shaw was a bit of a blabber mouth so you can get a good idea of what their “philosophy” is. Tony Blair is a member (ex-chair?) and a Fabian Society pamphlet “From Dictatorship to Democracy.” was seen often by journalists during the “Arab Spring”

    For lots more just research combinations of Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Pascal Lamy (WTO Director) the London School of Economics, and “the Third Way” toss in “Global Governance for good measure.

    This is a bit more in the “Tin foil hat” category but can give you other names, ideas to follow.

    http://modernhistoryproject.org/mhp?Article=NoneDare&C=4

    And even further out: http://centurean2.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/fabian-society-literally-control-the-european-union-plus-the-british-government/

  60. Gail Combs says:

    CORRECTION:
    Ceil Rhodes (5 July 1853 – 26 March 1902) who left his fortune to Lord Rothschild….
    Sorry that is incorrect Rothschild was left in charge of the fortune and directed to set up the Rhodes Scholarships.

  61. Kasuha says:

    Gail Combs says:
    March 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm
    That is correct only for conventional Nuclear which is why I want to see the research $$$ go into thorium.
    _______________________

    Yes I’d also like thorium research to gain higher priority but that technology is far from finished yet. And even when finished don’t imagine there will be no accidents. And – despite what some people say – thorium technology can be (ab)used for military/terroristic purposes. So it’s not an universal remedy.

  62. Rhys Jaggar says:

    Give both men a pay rise!

  63. where to begin ?
    I thank commenters for pointing out the error in my thinking,
    but…
    plants are recognised to convert co2 to o2. it seems a mistake to be describing plants as co2 emitters.
    to be truthful, I didn’t check the context of the statement.
    nevertheless, I suspect co2 emissions to be 5 – 10 % of o2 emissions.
    I’ll return to this later and consult the relevant links.
    cheers.

  64. Michael Larkin says:

    =========================================
    William Martin says:
    March 27, 2012 at 1:27 am

    where to begin ?
    I thank commenters for pointing out the error in my thinking,
    but…
    plants are recognised to convert co2 to o2. it seems a mistake to be describing plants as co2 emitters.
    ==========================================

    William, before prokaryotic cells with photosynthetic ability evolved, the earth’s atmosphere did not contain oxygen (simple organisms at that time were anaerobes or chemosynthesisers, not photosynthesisers). In time, photosynthesis steadily increased the amount of O2 in the atmosphere, which is why today, oxygen is a major component of it. So there is no doubt that plants have been responsible for the present-day oxygen component of our atmosphere. Nonetheless, they still respire, even if overall there is an oxygen surplus.

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geological_history_of_oxygen
    and: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Oxygenation_Event

  65. Galane says:

    Regarding Spencer’s comment about where virtually nobody lives, there’s India with over a billion people.

    Of course even India is only densely populated in a few large urban areas. If the population was evenly spread out the country would be quite roomy. Earth’s current human population could comfortably fit within the borders of Texas with more space per person than an average American home. India appears to be significantly larger than Texas.

    India’s pollution problem comes from many decades of having no pollution control measures at all. 2-stroke engine vehicles still swarm city streets, power plants have no exhaust scrubbers and most of the rural population still cooks over cow poop fueled fires.

    China has similar problems due to much of its electricity being produced by very dirty coal fired power plants. They literally build them quick and dirty to keep up with fast rising demand from loosening economic restrictions and rural electrification that have allowed the Chinese people to be able to afford and use all kinds of electricity using appliances and gadgets.

    If China and India would make even half the cleanup effort the USA has made in the past 50 years, that would have a significant effect on global pollution. Much of North America is getting Indian and Chinese soot, those fine particulates Spencer talked about. No amount of cleanup effort in the USA can do anything about foreign pollution blowin’ in the wind.

    We’re as clean as we can get until coal and oil fired power plants get replaced with the latest in nuclear power technology which emits zero atmospheric pollution and with fuel reprocessing has very minimal solid waste to dispose of. Natural gas (methane) is so clean burning because it’s simply carbon and hydrogen. Burning it cracks the molecule, combining the carbon with oxygen to make carbon dioxide and the hydrogen with oxygen to make water. Other products of combustion can result from reactions amongst atmospheric oxygen, nitrogen and other elements not present in the fuel.

    Yet the gross polluting countries of the world keep demanding the cleanest countries are the big polluters and have to “clean up” before they should even have to think about starting.

  66. thanks for your reply Michael,
    I’ve raced around a few websites, including those recommended.
    In fact I studied the ‘web of life’ text books at senior school during 1972 and 1973, with a brilliant teacher. if I see her again I’ll tell her she misinformed me, although the understanding of photosynthesis has undoubtedly increased since then, and she was reiterating current understandings.
    some mute points,
    ‘plants produce approximately ten times more oxygen during the day that what they consume at night.’
    http://www.scienceline.ucsb.edu/search/DB/show_question.php?key=1331242946&task=category&method=&form_keywords=&form_category=biology-plant&start=

    ‘Many photosynthetic organisms have adaptations that concentrate or store carbon dioxide. This helps reduce a wasteful process called photorespiration that can consume part of the sugar produced during photosynthesis.’
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis

    the ‘great oxygenation event’ was interesting in that a ‘tipping point’ was reached, there was a consequent cascade of mineralisation and, hypothetically, produced conditions for an ice age to occur.
    cheers.

  67. Steve Lohr says:

    William Martin Says:
    “Billy, plants emit o2, not co2, at night. this mistake is so elementary I wonder if you were distracted, having a brain fade, or a ‘senior’s moment ? plants grow by taking the c of co2 and emitting the remaining o2″.
    Billy does have it right. If you want proof; it is an interesting phenomenon that usually happens in the fall in shallow lakes when a heavy bloom of algae can actually use up all the oxygen over night and kill the fish.

  68. Michael Larkin says:

    Steve, though you’re right, toxic algal bloom isn’t so much because a large mass of algae respire all the available dissolved oxygen. It’s more because they don’t live long, and when they die in large numbers, they decay, the process of which uses up available dissolved oxygen.

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algal_bloom

  69. Steve Lohr says:

    Michael Larkin,

    I haven’t looked at the wikipedia article but i will. My remark was based on my own observations related to several small lakes near where I used to work. The fish kills I observed were not from what I would call toxicity but apparent anoxia. It happened more than once and in more than one lake. The issue was an apparent loss of oxygen as the length of day grew shorter in the fall and finally reached a point where the dissolved oxygen was insufficient. I made this conclusion because the fish began to gulp at the surface as would be the case if they were in a bucket of water too long. For sure the algae in the water used oxygen overnight. It also seemed that the problem began overnight and diminished through the day. Perhaps this was a toxic bloom as you described but it seemed more like simple shortage of oxygen instead of a massive amount of dead algae. Don’t know for sure. It may be it was more complex than I thought.

  70. Alan Watt says:

    benfrommo says:
    March 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    True sacrifice would entail giving up everything and living like we did as a hunter/gatherer species because only then could we live as a society that emits no CO2 through technology. They really do not see the truth of the matter and go on living delusions…

    Yes and there have been a couple of made-for-TV experiments of people living in authentic 18th and 19th century environments. Most can’t hack it; life was much harder then.

    So this gives me an idea for a real “Climate Reality” project. Pick a date when the C02 level was at a “sustainable” level. Find or create an authentic total environment from that period, which would include industry, agriculture, housing, sanitation, etc., (may want to make a few exceptions for safety and public health). Gather all the eco-champions demanding CO2 reductions together and put them in that environment for 6 months to show all the rest of us how wonderful life would be. No pre-packaged food; grow or herd it and prepare it yourself. No computers; writing must be done with period pen&ink (and paper is expensive; none to waste for idle chatter). No TV; if you want entertainment, put on a play or learn to play an instrument (but only after all your chores are done).

    All of this captured 7×24 by continuous sound&video recording in all public spaces. Sort of like the “Truman Show”.

    This would solve a couple of problems fairly quickly: the general public would lose any soft-focus idealized view of what life was like in simpler times, and the population of eco-champions would plummet dramatically, thus easing overpopulation pressures.

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