New technology enables CO2 emissions tracking down to the level of individual buildings

I wonder what sort of reactions will occur when the CO2 police come knocking on individual doors saying “you need to turn off your heater, you are killing the planet”? A video follows.

From Arizona State University:

Study maps greenhouse gas emissions to building, street level for US cities

Project to help overcome barriers to an international climate change treaty

TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State University researchers have developed a new software system capable of estimating greenhouse gas emissions across entire urban landscapes, all the way down to roads and individual buildings. Until now, scientists quantified carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at a much broader level.

Arizona State University researchers have developed a new software system capable of estimating greenhouse gas emissions across entire urban landscapes, all the way down to roads and individual buildings. Until now, scientists quantified carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at a much broader level. Dubbed “Hestia” after the Greek goddess of the hearth and home, the system combines extensive public database “data-mining” with traffic simulation and building-by-building energy-consumption modeling. Its high-resolution maps clearly identify CO2 emission sources in a way that policy-makers can utilize and the public can understand. Hestia provides a complete, three-dimensional picture of where, when, and how carbon dioxide emissions are occurring. Credit: Kevin Gurney, Bedrich Benes, Michel Abdul-Massih, Suzanna Remec, Jim Hurst

Dubbed “Hestia” after the Greek goddess of the hearth and home, researchers presented the new system in an article published October 9 in Environmental Science and Technology. Hestia combines extensive public database “data-mining” with traffic simulation and building-by-building energy-consumption modeling. Its high-resolution maps clearly identify CO2 emission sources in a way that policy-makers can utilize and the public can understand.

“Cities have had little information with which to guide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – and you can’t reduce what you can’t measure,” said Kevin Gurney, an associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences, and senior scientist with the Global Institute of Sustainability. “With Hestia, we can provide cities with a complete, three-dimensional picture of where, when and how carbon dioxide emissions are occurring.”

The research team collected data from a wide variety of sources such as local air pollution reports, traffic counts, and tax assessor parcel information. The data is then combined within a modeling system for quantifying CO2 emissions at the level of individual buildings and street segments.

With Hestia, researchers from Arizona State University have a detailed understanding of where CO2 is being emitted from the urban landscape. This map shows where CO2 is emitted across the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, and combines data from sources including factories, automobiles on roadways, homes, and power plants. Credit: Bedrich Benes and Michel Abdul-Massih – CLICK TO ENLARGE

So far, scientists have applied Hestia to the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, and work is ongoing for the cities of Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona. They hope to ultimately map the CO2 emissions in all major cities across the United States, which accounts for nearly one-quarter of all global CO2 emissions. The Hestia research team believes this type of detailed emissions information can help determine what we as a society, can do locally and globally about climate change.

“As a community, we must take a leadership role in sustaining our relationship with the environment,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “This research, and its implications for global engagement regarding climate change, is an exciting step forward. Hestia gives us the next tool we need to help policy-makers create effective greenhouse gas legislation.”

“These results may also help overcome current barriers to the United States joining an international climate change treaty,” agreed Gurney, Hestia’s lead scientist. “Many countries are unwilling to sign a treaty when greenhouse gas emission reductions cannot be independently verified.”

Researchers at Arizona State University and Purdue University created a visualization of the Hestia system that shows the hourly, building-by-building dynamics of CO2 emissions in the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. Credit: Bedrich Benes and Michel Abdul-Massih – CLICK TO ELARGE

According to researchers, Hestia’s increased detail and accuracy will help cities, and possibly even other nations, identify where an investment in energy and greenhouse gas savings would have the greatest impact.

“Leading in sustainability is not easy; however, as Mayor, I am committed to doing so,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “Undoubtedly, Hestia will be a good tool to help us make more informed decisions as leaders in Phoenix and the Valley around issues of air quality, health and a sustainable future.”

Although climate change presents society with tough challenges, Gurney believes this new system enables concrete, positive steps towards mitigating the problem.

“Hestia offers practical information we can use to identify the most cost-effective ways to reduce emissions and track progress over time,” Gurney said. “Scientists have spent decades describing the seriousness of climate change. Now, we are offering practical information to help do something about it.”

###

Purdue Showalter Trust, Knauf Insulation, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology funded the three-year Hestia project, which involved researchers Bedrich Benes and Michael Abdul-Massih from Purdue’s University Department of Computer Graphics and Technology.

Note:

Hestia is part of a larger effort that combines information about emissions with ground and satellite-based measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. It is now part of the INFLUX experiment in Indianapolis and is expected to complement NASA’s planned December 2013 launch of the Orbital Carbon Observatory satellite, which will measure the concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.

ASU’s School of Life Sciences is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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144 Responses to New technology enables CO2 emissions tracking down to the level of individual buildings

  1. MarkW says:

    Big brother, here we come.

    And to think, it’s in service to a problem that never existed in the first place.

  2. wmsc says:

    Washington, DC and the UN building in NY would be interesting places to model, what with all the hot air they generate…

  3. MangoChutney says:

    wow, so they know how much CO2 I omit when I breathe and how much CH4 I emit when I fart.

    So what?

    If CO2 was the cause of cAGW, then this may be considered useful, otherwise it’s just another waste of money that could be better spent on really protecting the environment (from the greens tearing down forests to plant “fuel”)

  4. Art Horn says:

    Ah…just the tool the climate police are looking for. George Orwell would incorporate this into his updated book, 2012 if he were around. A danger to freedom of choice if I ever saw it.

  5. elmer says:

    They don’t seem to be measuring actual CO2 levels, just emissions. It’s my experience that CO2 levels actually drop dramatically during the daylight hours because of the photosynthesis effect.
    http://www.minnesotansforglobalwarming.com/m4gw/2012/09/the-photosynthesis-effect.html
    They should do another study showing the CO2 absorption by the surrounding vegetation and the corresponding Oxygen emissions.

  6. temp says:

    I’m confused… outside of simply shutting down CO2 producers. What exactly will this knowledge be used to improve?

    Or is this the game of hide the CO2 under the tree bit where they say, push industry parks farther from the city and plant trees next to them and claim they reduced CO2, all the while greatly increasing the commute time and cost of the private citizen and really overall increasing the amount of CO2.

  7. Billy Liar says:

    They may want to re-think the name for their project:

    http://www.hestia.com.au/

    Locally known as ‘Holds every sized t*t in Australia’

  8. saneromeo says:

    agenda 21 anyone?

  9. JJ says:

    “Cities have had little information with which to guide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – and you can’t reduce what you can’t measure,” said Kevin Gurney, an associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences, and senior scientist with the Global Institute of Sustainability.

    Hey dumb@$$ – you aren’t measuring anything.

    “These results may also help overcome current barriers to the United States joining an international climate change treaty,” agreed Gurney, Hestia’s lead scientist. “Many countries are unwilling to sign a treaty when greenhouse gas emission reductions cannot be independently verified.”

    You aren’t verifying anything, either – independently or otherwise.

    Are there any actual scientists left in this business?

  10. Franksw says:

    Is a new carbon emissions tax for buildings on it’s way?

  11. GlynnMhor says:

    What would be the point of all this investment in measuring CO2, except to provide a pretext for abusing high emitters with taxation of some sort?

  12. brad.tittle says:

    Looky, looky, another way of visualizing data that came out of the netherworld. We can’t very clearly just measure it, so bring in a @)#$)*@#( model and let it do the work for you. Don’t worry about making sure your results match reality…

  13. malanlewis says:

    Oh Bogg, yet another “modeling system!”

  14. joated says:

    Lets start with all those old fashioned town halls, courthouses, mayors’ mansions, antiquated schools, etc.

  15. jaycurrie says:

    Yikes…so based on “models” (all the way down) these guys have created groovy graphics showing that more activity occurs downtown during the day, there are two rush hours, more heat is used in winter.

    My eight year old, with three, coloured, crayons could pretty much replicate the insights afforded by this “simulation”.

  16. george e smith says:

    So how many msec does it take to move CO2; which is well known to be well mixed in the environment from the street onto my property ? You will have to identify just what carboniferous material in my house was the origin of some particular CO2 molecule that you have captured on my property. You did actually find the CO2 on my property didn’t you ?? No don’t give me any of that spectral signature crap; get some actual physical material.

  17. What are those office buildings, iron kilns ?

    it’s not “tracking downs”, it is just setting the blame, most buildings are not burning coal or oil … this is not about CO2 emissions but about energy consumption, which is something different

    how about emissions by plants during the night ??

  18. george e smith says:

    Say what were you doing on my property in the first place; making an illegal search and seizure ??

  19. FarRight says:

    I can see an episode of “Green Cops” coming . . .

    Bad boys bad boys
    Watcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do
    Watcha gonna do, with your CO2

  20. mwhite says:

    “estimating greenhouse gas emissions”

    ESTIMATING

  21. Brian Johnson uk says:

    Utterly, utterly useless piece of junk. Who on earth approved the Grant money? Almost as useful as a raindrop counter. Hestia, join the ranks of Fool’s Gold, Tulip Trading and Papal Indulgences.

    So depressing…………. :-(

  22. Resourceguy says:

    Sign zee papers of your CO2 crimes and we will let you see your family some day.

  23. aharris says:

    So, it looks like they cut out the pollution tracking bits of a Sim City game.

    They better keep their computer program out of my furnace in the winter. I’m cold-blooded and I need that heat. Thank you very much.

  24. D. Patterson says:

    College kids, CO2 detectors, fart detectors, and BS dispensors….what is the academic community coming to? Oh, that’s right…cow diapers.

  25. DP says:

    Great, now that we solved that non-existent problem why don’t we try it on somthing silly like crime.

  26. Neo says:

    “… developed a new software system capable of estimating greenhouse gas emissions …”

    “Software” “estimating” … this feels like yet another model

  27. more soylent green! says:

    MangoChutney says:
    October 9, 2012 at 11:02 am
    wow, so they know how much CO2 I omit when I breathe and how much CH4 I emit when I fart.

    So what?

    If CO2 was the cause of cAGW, then this may be considered useful, otherwise it’s just another waste of money that could be better spent on really protecting the environment (from the greens tearing down forests to plant “fuel”)

    No, they have an estimate created using a model. Presumably, the input will include your height, weight, BMI, daily activity level and what you had for lunch.

  28. golfnewsmag says:

    So, folks, are you saying either there is no global warming or there is, but it’s not a serious issue? There are some things as a society we have to tackle as a society; issues so pervasive individuals alone can not solve them. Global warming, whether you like it or not, seems to be one of them. I am not about to believe I am smarter that hundreds of the finest scientists in the world that say global warming exists, it is alarming and they give factual, physics to back it up.

  29. 2kevin says:

    Let’s fix that headline:

    “New technology enables dancing Angel tracking down to the level of a pin’s head.”

  30. DirkH says:

    1) Identify biggest CO2 emitter
    2) Regulate them out of existence.

    We don’t have the fancy software here in Germany. We just jack up the electricity rate. Works like a charm.

    First aluminum smelters closing. Who’s stupid enough to try to make Aluminum in Germany anyway.

  31. Kasuha says:

    Looks to me like they count emissions twice – once in the power plant when energy is generated, once when that energy is used to heat and operate buildings.

  32. dp says:

    They’re reading the power meters and estimating the CO2 needed to create that power. In the case of Arizona that is probably coming from the Colorado River dams and power plants.

    The original dp

  33. Paul Westhaver says:

    CREEPY…. I mean

    C-R-E-E-P-Y

    Next they will have plot of individuals exhaling… real time….

  34. What i get from the article is that instead of measuring the co2 they are going to get other data and model the co2. I guess that make sense in a alternative universe

  35. Toto says:

    “you can’t reduce what you can’t measure”
    You can tax what you can estimate, even if it can’t be measured.

    “Leading in sustainability is not easy”
    Sustainability is not sustainable.

  36. Mac the Knife says:

    ‘Hestia’ (or seomthing very much like it!) is the modeling platform that will be used by governments, from the national level down to city/county local levels, to assess and collect ‘CO2 emissions’ taxes. Bet on it.
    MtK

  37. fhhaynie says:

    They are missing the important half of a concentration plume model. where and how fast are those emissions sucked up by clouds, soil, vegetation, concrete, and bodies of water? A city plume quickly diffuses to “background levels” indicating most emissions never get very far. The idea that these sinks get saturated and raises the background level is the backbone of the AGW arguement. I don’t think so. The background level has risen and fallen for millions of years.

  38. Noticed they got a grant from NASA. Is NASA part of ICLEI now, monitoring greenhouse gas emissions? You are right, saneromeo, when you said, “agenda 21 anyone?”

  39. Curiousgeorge says:

    Maybe they can measure the CO2 emissions from my 12 gauge. Yeah, stick that probe in that big hole – see what’s in there ;)

  40. Jim G says:

    Better hope Barry Soetoro AKA Barack Hussein Obama does not win another term or the CO2 police will be knocking on your door.

  41. tallbloke says:

    “Ride your bicycle to work, and don’t breathe too hard while you do it”

  42. davidmhoffer says:

    City Planner; I have good news Mr Mayor, and bad news.

    Mr Mayor; Well, what’s the good newds?

    City Planner; We’ve met all our goals for reducing CO2 emissions in the city.

    Mr Mayor; That’s great!

    City Planner; Yup, once we shut down all the major highways, the airports, the factories, the warehouses, the trucking companies and the office towers, we met our goals and then some.

    Mr. Mayor; Fantastic! I knew the plan would work. We’ll be the greenest city in the nation.

    City Planner; There’s some bad news as well sir….

    Mr Mayor; Nothing can ruin my day now, get on with it, what’s the bad news?

    City Planner; Itz just the two of us now sir.

    Mr Mayor; Just the two of us?

    City Planner; Yes sir. Everyone else moved. Seems they prefer cities with jobs, goods and services, food on the store shelves, and things like that. Who knew? Anyway, like I said, itz just the two of us and I’m leaving too. So…. that leaves you to shut off the lights on your way out of town.

  43. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    Did I miss something? Where was it described how CO2 is actually measured? Just because you can calculate a number to 6 decimal places does not make in a measurement.

    The research team collected data from a wide variety of sources such as local air pollution reports, traffic counts, and tax assessor parcel information. The data is then combined within a modeling system for quantifying CO2 emissions at the level of individual buildings and street segments.

    I’m betting that “local air pollution reports” are themselves estimated to a significant degree.

    You know what would stop all this nonsense cold? Allow people who claim they suffered damages due to inaccurate CO2 attribution to qualify for class-action status lawsuits against the developers and sellers of these kind of decision support systems. The only way this garbage becomes reality is if the people pushing it are completely insulated from liability.

  44. MarkW says:

    golfnewsmag says:
    October 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    and they give factual, physics to back it up.

    That would be a first. When pray tell did they do this. To date they have nothing but highly flawed models to back up their belief system.

  45. Martin Clark says:

    Read the post, picked out ” … estimating greenhouse gas emissions across entire urban landscapes” “modeling system for quantifying CO2 emissions” … Then Gurney says ” .. you can’t reduce what you can’t measure …”. They aren’t actually intending to measure co2. The “data” is apparently coming from b****s**t devices, like the ones you plug in your mains, tells you wot your bigbadcarbonfootprint is. Extraordinary.
    Some of us have been using genuine co2 meters for years. One of the simplest ways of monitoring internal air quality, especially in confined construction workplaces where gas welding/soldering etc is taking place.
    1% dataloggers start at about $200. Maybe they would learn something if they installed a few in the airflow from natural landscape, eg parks, forestry etc?
    Diurnal logs will likely show an 8 – 15% increase in co2 concentration between sunset and sunrise.
    Then start adding directional anemometers …
    6am here, sun coming up, co2 starting to drop. Ooh – bit of a blip upwards. Breeze coming across from the take-away shop. Independent verification: family dog is looking in that direction and sniffing the air.

  46. A. Scott says:

    others have noted it – I’ll repeat they are ESTIMATING using a MODELwhat the emissions might be. This is not science – it is little more than cartoon animation. They have no idea the occupant loading for commercial buildings and thus cannot make any meaningful estimate of CO2 contribution.

    At the very best they can roughly approximate energy use based on square footage of the building. But this too is of marginal benefit at best, as they have no way of knowing the building’s construction, HVAC systems (age, quality, fuel source), or energy efficiency.

    You could do a probably better – or at least equal – job simply using Google Earth and writing a visualization based on building footprint and height.

  47. D Böehm says:

    golfnewsmag says:
    October 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm
    So, folks, are you saying either there is no global warming or there is, but it’s not a serious issue? There are some things as a society we have to tackle as a society; issues so pervasive individuals alone can not solve them. Global warming, whether you like it or not, seems to be one of them. I am not about to believe I am smarter that hundreds of the finest scientists in the world that say global warming exists, it is alarming and they give factual, physics to back it up.

    Of course there is global warming. The planet has been warming since the LIA.

    It is not a serious issue; global warming is entirely beneficial. And it cannot be ‘solved’ by humans. Further, there is no scientific evidence showing that CO2 causes global warming. It may. But the only empirical evidence available shows that global warming causes increased CO2.

    Finally, there are plenty of climatologists who think AGW is something we need not worry about. The planet has been considerably warmer during the current Holocene, with no ill effects. And we have been in a “Goldilocks” climate for the past century and a half: global temperatures have varied only about 0.8ºC. That is extremely stable. At times the planet has warmed and cooled by tens of degrees in a shorter time.

    Stick around here for a while, and you will find that you have been spoon-fed a lot of pseudo-scientific nonsense emitted by the climate alarmist crowd.

  48. David Ball says:

    golfnewsmag says:
    October 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm
    Stick around a while, check your preconceptions and emotions at the door, and actually LOOK at the “science” involved. It will be difficult at first, as you seem to have gone a along way down the road to global warming. That is ok. Many educated people have been exactly where you are now. Do not take someones word for it. Look for yourself. Ask questions here. You can do that on WUWT? and get reasonable answers and treatment. Invest some time in your opinions. When you find out that much of what you currently believe about man-made global warming is based on VERY tenuous “science”, you will wonder how you ever bought into it in the first place. The closer you look, the more cavernous holes there are. But don’t take my word for it.

  49. more soylent green! says:

    golfnewsmag says:
    October 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm
    So, folks, are you saying either there is no global warming or there is, but it’s not a serious issue? There are some things as a society we have to tackle as a society; issues so pervasive individuals alone can not solve them. Global warming, whether you like it or not, seems to be one of them. I am not about to believe I am smarter that hundreds of the finest scientists in the world that say global warming exists, it is alarming and they give factual, physics to back it up.

    There is no physical evidence to back up the claims that this is a serious issue. If they actually had facts to back it up, we wouldn’t need to be discussing this.

    The output of models is not data. That applies to this “study” and climate models. In fact, it’s universal. Computer programs do not output data. Models do not output data.

  50. Ric Werme says:

    Let me get this straight – they’re just using electricity and fuel usage to come up with these graphics? Is there any ground truth going on? Why not just create an energy tax and leave out the pretty pictures. Public humiliation? Sales pitch?

    Ground truth like with remote sensing at CO2 wavelengths. Satellites might not be able to see the cities, but arial sensors should. Perhaps they could contract with Google to add CO2 imagers to the next pass of Google streets. :-)

  51. H.R. says:

    If I have an all-electric home do my CO2 emissions show at my house on the map or as an increase in CO2 emissions at the nuclear generating station where my power comes from?

    Map that, Ralphie-baby!

  52. leftinbrooklyn says:

    They wasted their time and money on this? I was hoping they’d first perfect that ‘trap-a-ghost thingamajiggy device’ from Ghostbusters.

  53. Zeke says:

    It is an insufferable, foul scorn and calumny against Hestia.

  54. SandyInLimousin says:

    By 2019 every home in the UK will have a smart meter, it won’t be too long after that when the CO2 police will come knocking on peoples doors. All for your comfort and safety you understand.

    http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/tackling/smart_meters/smart_meters.aspx

  55. Johanus says:

    I see little utility in tracking us carbon breathers at the street level. I think it would be more interesting to track CO2 emissions from satellites, where CO2 emissions could be studied on a much larger scale.

    But I don’t think such CO2 imager satellites exist (correct me if I’m wrong). It’s strange because the NOAA GOES-14 satellite is well known for its abilty to track and make images of that “other GHG”, water vapor:
    http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/goeseastconuswv.html

    Looking at this imagery (GOES Channel 3, infrared 6-7 micron band) you can really see the so-called “Green House Effect (GHE)” in action, driven here exclusively by water vapor. Sunlight is absorbed by water vapor and re-emitted at various wavelengths, including 6-7 microns, a clear channel for water vapor emissions. This heat is radiated back into space and detected by the GOES Channel 3. Dark areas in the imagery are areas which are dry and expose the ground below. The whiter regions show the heat radiated from water vapor.

    But why no similar channel for watching CO2? There are two main bands 15 and 4 microns. The strongest is 15 microns but is shared with H2O, but 4 micron band is a “clear channel” for CO2, so should provide an informative heat map of CO2 sources and sinks.

    So,are there any satellites currently in orbit that provide such “CO2 vapor” imagery? I’ve searched and found none. Unless I’ve missed something, there is no equivalent “proof of GHE” for CO2. If there was I would think we would be flooded with images of the biggest emitters by the AGW/CAGW groups.

    Can anyone provide more information on why such satellite CO2 imagers don’t seem to exist?

  56. Lars P. says:

    ROFL. This guys do not need to measure, do not need data, they can model it. It is like real data but better. It always behaves and shows the numbers it should show.
    Generation SIM City playing as scientists: …and 12 times did the poles melt and we are now in the year 3075 and only about 400 million can barely survive…
    Meanwhile in the real world… Amazing what bureaucracy developed based on the CO2 scam. All these regulations, studies, research, data gathering, adjusting, publishing, taxing … for no real thing, could be scrapped in an instant and nothing would happen, except costs saved.

  57. Richdo says:

    temp says: October 9, 2012 at 11:06 am
    “I’m confused… outside of simply shutting down CO2 producers. What exactly will this knowledge be used to improve?”

    I suspect it will be used to improve tax revenue, which of course will mostly be used to fund the (insert city_name) Department of Climatology staffed by an army of green drones.

  58. George says:

    How much did this cost the taxpayers and for what reason was it even done? Is there any real justification for spending it on this? What are you going to do with the information, create a CO2 police?

  59. Mark and two Cats says:

    temp said:
    October 9, 2012 at 11:06 am
    I’m confused… outside of simply shutting down CO2 producers. What exactly will this knowledge be used to improve?
    ————————————
    It will be used to improve the government’s money extraction techniques.

  60. Mark and two Cats says:

    H.R. said:
    October 9, 2012 at 1:41 pm
    If I have an all-electric home do my CO2 emissions show at my house on the map or as an increase in CO2 emissions at the nuclear generating station where my power comes from?
    —————————
    Both. Mapped twice and taxed twice. It is CO-TWO after all…

  61. Do they model how the vegetation absorbs and emits CO2 at different times?
    Do the model how animals (dogs, cats, birds, rats, etc.) emit CO2. Maybe the cities should start a campaign to eliminate rats, roaches and other vermin so that they will not be producing CO2.
    If I had money to waste and put solar panels on my roof, would the model show that I cause less CO2 to be emitted. What if they were dirty, old, or unconnected? Could the model show appropriate levels of CO2 activity.

    Will the model show the effects of large wind turbine farms in slowing the dispersal of pollutants.

    Ed of Mesa, AZ using by WordPress account

  62. JJ says:

    golfnewsmag says:

    So, folks, are you saying either there is no global warming or there is, but it’s not a serious issue?

    Uh, right now we are saying that this modeling/visualization exercise is not what it is advertised to be. Try to keep up.

    There are some things as a society we have to tackle as a society; issues so pervasive individuals alone can not solve them.

    Like ferreting out perniciously bad science from public policy debates? When do you start?

    Global warming, whether you like it or not, seems to be one of them.

    Seems. Ain’t.

    I am not about to believe I am smarter that hundreds of …

    If you don’t believe that you are smart enough to judge their work as being wrong, then you should also believe that you aren’t smart enough to decide that it is correct, either.

    … the finest scientists in the world….

    LOL.

    … that say global warming exists, it is alarming and they give factual, physics to back it up.

    Only a few say things like that, and them that do, don’t back it up.

  63. Owen in GA says:

    Oh my, the libertarian in me is up in arms at this one. Any actions taken on the basis of such a model should send the charlatans that take said actions to prison for the rest of their lives for civil rights violations. There can be no unlawful search and seizure based on remote sensing in the US by the constitution. You can surveil the public roadways and public spaces all you want, but once your camera strays to private property you have committed what used to be a shooting offense in a rougher time in our history.

    Also as has been stated before, there is no there there. No data exists in the entire report as nothing is measured. Numbers are not data unless they represent an actual real world honest to goodness measurement of something. Interpolation of conditions in areas between actual measurements is likewise NOT data. The level of assumptions that go into stating that conditions 500 km north of the last reporting thermometer is the same as that at the location of that last thermometer is laughable. If there weren’t Billions (US or European definition are either applicable here) of dollars of economic losses tied up in this I’d be on the floor laughing my tail off at the foolishness of these charlatans.

    These are not hard scientists, these are political scientists pretending to be hard scientists to gain attention.

  64. Ian H says:

    A few years ago there were some rather excellent satellite based videos produced of global CO2 levels. Can anyone remember them? These were rather neat to watch.

    The global picture is dominated by the seasons (the temperature dependence of solubility of CO2 in the oceans) with highest CO2 occurring in the summer (a steady increase in the hemisphere during the season) and levels dropping rapidly with the onset of winter. Consequently you could observe a big annual shift in CO2 from northern to southern hemispheres. You could watch also watch plumes of high CO2 concentration swirling out of China and Indonesia and the equatorial forest belts and being absorbed over the oceans.

    The videos made it quite clear where the largest amounts of CO2 are generated. I’ll give you a hint. It isn’t in developed countries. In fact North America showed up as pretty much a CO2 sink as did Europe. The vast majority of the CO2 appears to come from seasonal burning of equatorial forests. China also seems to generate a lot.

    The videos got taken down. Was that because they were “off message”? Nobody looking at those videos would think there was a problem with CO2 produced from developed countries. Instead they pointed the finger mostly at forest burning mostly in undeveloped countries.

    So now we have these new satellite maps which avoid looking at unfortunate truths on the global scale. Instead we have a focus on CO2 production within a single cityscape. Much more useful for the cause.

  65. Stephen Wilde says:

    The real data s simply the energy used per building.

    The CO2 emission rate is a fiction and wholly unnecessary since they simply assume a given amount of CO2 emissions from units of energy consumed.

    The CO2 emissions actually occur at the power station providing the energy.

    What is the point of this study ?

  66. Ben Wilson says:

    As someone who earned a graduate degree in engineering from Arizona State some forty years ago. . . . . it’s sad to see such a waste of computer resources by my alma mater.

    I wonder what sort of wisdom will come out of this — prohibiting too many people from assembling in one location, such as a football stadium, because the concentration of CO2 in that area would be too high?

  67. _Jim says:

    Johanus says October 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    But why no similar channel for watching CO2? …

    So,are there any satellites currently in orbit that provide such “CO2 vapor” imagery? I’ve searched and found none.

    I think we had an in-flight-on-launch error on a CO2 research satellite several years back.

    It was “The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)”, a NASA satellite mission intended to provide global space-based observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).

    Wiki says: “The OCO launch failed because the Taurus-XL launcher payload fairing failed to separate. A payload fairing is a clamshell-shaped cover that encloses and protects a payload on the pad and during early flight. ”

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

    So …

    .

  68. Streetcred says:

    I smell a lawsuit if modelling of this nature is obliquely used to reduce the valuations of commercial buildings.

  69. mjpenny@juno.com says:

    I think they misnamed their computer model. It should have been named hysteria.

  70. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    How hard could it be. Shot down the power generator plants like stopping the “death trains”.
    Without electricity almost all CO2 producing will end. Only wood stoves and candle light might survive as long as the stocks are available. You could start stopping the supply to EPA offices, so they could lead the way.

  71. Sean says:

    Ah Big Nazi Brother, here we come. Remind me to buy ammo for my ancient rifle.

  72. garymount says:

    The point about greenhouse gas emissions reductions is CO2 created from fossil fuel usage. Unless you can separate CO2 generated from fossil fuel from CO2 created from say burning wood or ethanol, this exercise is pointless. Of course trying to reduce CO2 is a bad idea in itself, as more CO2 would actually be better for the planet.

  73. GeoLurking says:

    [at] Art Horn and other “Big Brother” comments…

    First, Art Horn:

    Ah…just the tool the climate police are looking for. George Orwell would incorporate this into his updated book, 2012 if he were around. A danger to freedom of choice if I ever saw it.

    It gets better:

    Allstate Corp.’s Allstate Blog points out in a new posting that obese Americans are hurting the fuel efficiency of vehicles.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-1009-heavy-drivers-20121009,0,7855134.story

  74. D. J. Hawkins says:

    DirkH says:
    October 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm
    1) Identify biggest CO2 emitter
    2) Regulate them out of existence…

    3) Freeze in the dark.

  75. David A. Evans says:

    D Böehm says:
    October 9, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Finally, there are plenty of climatologists who think AGW is something we need not worry about. The planet has been considerably warmer during the current Holocene, with no ill effects. And we have been in a “Goldilocks” climate for the past century and a half: global temperatures have varied only about 0.8ºC.

    This is the point…

    That’s a variation in temperature of about 0.25%! Of course the original poster to whom you were replying wouldn’t know that.

    Not that temperature is even a valid metric for global energy retention.

    DaveE.

  76. Richard M says:

    This type of program should be trivial. Simply input the energy consumed at a location, the source of that energy and the answer can be computed easily. Probably not more than a couple hundred lines of code. I’m sure all that wonderful graphics is completely useless since, to actually use the information, you’d want a nice report.

    Somebodies making a fortune off the naivety of the funders.

  77. Maus says:

    malanlewis: “Oh Bogg, yet another “modeling system!””

    But this time it’s Sim City.

  78. bikermailman says:

    CO2 police at my door? “Get off my lawn.” Then show them an empty chair. (Clint Eastwood fans will get both references.

    Sean, the ‘ancient’ rifles (pre-1962, CCR FFL kind) are the best! The WWI and WWII Americans and Russians made them well.

  79. RockyRoad says:

    Give the biggest emitters of CO2 awards for supporting the biosphere. Anything else is a violation of common sense.

  80. Berényi Péter says:

    “Undoubtedly, Hestia will be a good tool to help us make more informed decisions as leaders in Phoenix and the Valley around issues of air quality, health and a sustainable future.”

    Undoubtedly, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is butthead. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations up 5,000 ppmv (more than 10 times the current environmental value) have absolutely nothing to do with either “air quality” or “health”. As for “sustainable future”, the biggest obstacle to it is being mortal, which is an undeniable ingredient of the human condition so far. But I do not think a Major has any authority over eternity, no matter how “informed decisions” he is helped to make.

  81. A. Scott says:

    http://hestia.project.asu.edu/uploads/Gurney.ES&T.2012.final.proof.pdf

    There is a link to the paper itself – a bit over my head but I skimmed the paper and mostly understand the basics … it largely appears to be models modeling models….

    That said – to be fair – I was at least somewhat impressed, in my laymans point of view, with the effort. It is part of a long term ongoing project. There seems to be at least SOME comparison between their model outputs and measured data – although there was a “calibration” mentioned.

    The interesting finding was the biggest contributor by far to CO2 emissions was all the residential property. Large square footages with minimal occupancy loading and generally inferior energy efficiency compared to large commercial structures.

    I certainly can see significant problems and abuses but also some possible potential benefits.

  82. DEEBEE says:

    What a bunch of crap combination of little fact and lot of fiction (modeling). CO2 emissions are counted as increased becuase during winter we use more energy!
    Only a matter of time before these jack-donkeys start modeling at the personal level and then watch out large people are toast — only women and children will survive. OMG

  83. michael hart says:

    lol
    First they came for the breweries…

  84. A 1984 solution to a non problem. Have these idiots not have a proper job. Send them to Africa to help dig wells.

  85. more soylent green! says:

    It’s far easier to convince the local city council or city regulators to start some sort of carbon consumption tax, or local cap-and-trade scheme, than to persuade Congress to pass a law. The local media almost certainly be 100% in favor. Proponents will be able to spend millions on such a campaign.

  86. golfnewsmag says:

    In the context of honorable debate, all of you that take the stand that 1) global warming doesn’t exist AND/OR 2) global warming as a destructive component for the survival of society is a hoax AND/OR 3) global warming exists but it’s no big deal and is being portrayed way out of proportion by those professing global warming AND/OR there is a conspiracy to “create” the concept of global warming, I simply ask you this: What are your credentials to back your beliefs?

    A brief synopsis of your educational background and degrees, and professional experience regarding this subject would be appreciated. Ignorance works both ways. For those that might feel I’m ignorant for believing global warming exists, I request your background as evidence to counteract the possibility that you are ignorant for either believing global warming doesn’t exist or, if it exists, it’s not a serious problem.

    Again, all this is asked in the spirit of honorable discussion about a current topic of significant importance..

    [Duped statement/challenge already printed in another thread? Mod]

  87. GeoLurking says:

    John Marshall says:
    October 10, 2012 at 4:37 am

    A 1984 solution to a non problem. Have these idiots not have a proper job. Send them to Africa to help dig wells.

    Dunno if that’s such a good idea. UNICEF got into the “lets dig em a well” game back in the 1970’s an 1980’s and managed to make Arsenic poisoning a common ailment in Bangladesh.

    The Best solution is to to just lock up anyone connected to the UN before they hurt someone. They are dangerous.

    http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/documents/sciam.pdf

  88. Johanus says:

    _Jim says:
    October 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I think we had an in-flight-on-launch error on a CO2 research satellite several years back.
    It was “The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)”, a NASA satellite mission intended to provide global space-based observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).

    Thanks for the reference. I did a little more digging and discovered that NASA is preparing a second carbon observatory “OCO2″ for launch in 2014.
    http://eospso.gsfc.nasa.gov/eos_homepage/mission_profiles/show_mission.php?id=99&mission_cat_id=19
    Also I found that there is a CO2 imager called AIRS (Atomospheric InfraRed Sound) currently riding on board the NASA Aqua satellite:
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/AIRS_CO2_Data/About_AIRS_CO2_Data/

    But all three of these observatories seem to be operate by detecting absorption in reflected sunlight at IR wavelengths less than 2 microns, i.e. inside the solar black body curve. This is well outside the terrestrial black body curve (4 to 40 microns). So is not using the re-emission caused by the green house effect.
    http://chriscolose.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/blackbody_curve.jpg?w=500

    So these satellites will observe a strong diurnal variance, virtually nothing on the dark side of the earth and max output on the sunny side at noon. Whereas the GOES Channel 3 output, which measures the Earth’s thermal GHE radiaton around 6-7 microns, shows little difference between the dark and sunny sides of the Earth.

    I erred in my description of this “earth shine” in my post above:
    “Dark areas in the imagery are areas which are dry and expose the ground below. The whiter regions show the heat radiated from water vapor.”

    Actually, the images are inverted negatives, so the darkest regions are the “hottest” and the whiter areas are the “coldest”, with respect to emitted radiation in the 6-7 micron band. Which proves that for every NOAA image there is a simple and clear explanation, which is also wrong.

    But I think my claim is still valid (that you can “see” the green house effect in the GEOS water vapor images). But perhaps it’s not as “simple and clear” as before:
    1) output independent of “sunny” or “dark” side of Earth (to see this go to http://www.goes.noaa.gov/ and lookat “Visible” [changes between sunny and dark] and “Water Vapor” [no change between day and night]
    2) the whiter regions are colder therefore represent absorption of IR radiated from surface [black areas]. Since energy must be conserved, it follows that the absorbed radiation was converted into higher kinetic energy of surface and air molecules, i.e. higher temperatures

    So I’m still curious what a “CO2 Vapor” image, filtered at 4microns, would look like. I’m guessing that it would not be anywhere as dramatic, GHE-wise, as the GEOS water vapor imagery. Because CO2 is only present in traces and fewer absorbing wavelengths.

    The available AIRS data seems to back my claim. Look at this AIRS “CO2 Movie” of “Global Distribution and increase of CO2 in the mid-troposphere”
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/news_archive/2010-03-30-CO2-Movie/
    Look carefully for any large sources or sinks of CO2. The most striking occurred in Feb-Mar 2009 in China. (What caused that!?) Also a lot of sourcing in the northern polar regions. But hardly any sourcing visible from the U.S.

  89. David Cage says:

    Surely this is a total; fabrication as it clearly says they are estimating from indirect measurements of other factors. They are presenting as factual measured information indirectly obtained results that are at best weak reliability estimates with only a dubious probability of being right. They are tracking nothing whatever.
    What has happened to science and scientists.

  90. gold account says:

    With funding from the Purdue Showalter Trust , Knauf Insulation and most recently from the National Institute for Standards and Technology (in the context of the INFLUX experiment), a case study of Indianapolis (and surrounding counties) has been accomplished. The final visualization, currently under construction (example in the figure below), will aim towards a dynamic environment where users can zoom and pan over portions of the city, imaging sub portions of carbon dioxide emissions by sector, sub-sector and area. The Indianapolis case forms the basis of our recent publication and outreach video .

  91. Lars P. says:

    golfnewsmag says:
    October 10, 2012 at 7:49 am
    In the context of honorable debate, all of you that take the stand that 1) global warming doesn’t exist AND/OR 2) global warming as a destructive component for the survival of society is a hoax AND/OR 3) global warming exists but it’s no big deal and is being portrayed way out of proportion by those professing global warming AND/OR there is a conspiracy to “create” the concept of global warming, I simply ask you this: What are your credentials to back your beliefs?

    Freeman Dyson, Ivar Giaever, I think they know and understand physics well. Listen to Ivar here:
    is climate change pseudo-science:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/04/nobel-laureate-ivar-gieavaer-asks-is-climate-change-pseudoscience/
    http://www.mediatheque.lindau-nobel.org/#/Video?id=1410

    Here please read careful through the comments you will see that most people have educational knowledge in engineering, geology, chemistry, climate, astronomy or meteorology and many more. Here people do not talk beliefs but science and I trust when I say that all trust the scientific method.
    So stop posting platitudes of no value. Discuss on the blog subject and try to defend global warming if you have knowledge of the subject or read and learn. As nonsense posting troll you will not convince anybody of anything except your incapacity to talk.

  92. george e smith says:

    “””””……golfnewsmag says:

    October 10, 2012 at 7:49 am

    In the context of honorable debate, all of you that take the stand that 1) global warming doesn’t exist AND/OR 2) global warming as a destructive component for the survival of society is a hoax AND/OR 3) global warming exists but it’s no big deal and is being portrayed way out of proportion by those professing global warming AND/OR there is a conspiracy to “create” the concept of global warming, I simply ask you this: What are your credentials to back your beliefs?…..”””””

    So golfnewsmag, let me reverse the query; other than writing about the second most wasteful use of valuable real estate; not to mention a completely unwarranted waste of precious water resources, what are YOUR credentials for commenting on “global warming”.

    Other than 55 years, as a practical working Physicist, I’m a bit of a novice myself; which is why I come here, to learn from those who know much more about it, than I do.

    So what qualifies you to be so critical of “all of you” ?

  93. george e smith says:

    “””””…..golfnewsmag says:

    October 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    So, folks, are you saying either there is no global warming or there is, but it’s not a serious issue? There are some things as a society we have to tackle as a society; issues so pervasive individuals alone can not solve them. Global warming, whether you like it or not, seems to be one of them. I am not about to believe I am smarter that hundreds of the finest scientists in the world that say global warming exists, it is alarming and they give factual, physics to back it up……..””””

    Do you have numbers to show what percentage (like 97% maybe) of these “finest Scientists in the world” actually do have any sort of degree in Physics ? And if they truly are “the finest scientists in the world”, why is it that so few of them are actually able to find permanent jobs in productive enterprises, using their scientific training; and seem doomed (according to Physics Today) to spend their careers as permanent post-doc fellows living off taxpayer grants.

    “Global warming” is what is keeping many of them in groceries.

  94. Sparks says:

    SETH BORENSTEIN “Global warming means more Antarctic ice”

    “Shifts in wind patterns and the giant ozone hole over the Antarctic this time of year — both related to human activity — are probably behind the increase in ice, experts say.”

    Many experts agree. Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado adds: “It sounds counterintuitive, but the Antarctic is part of the warming as well.”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hZjexMwx4JtHEl19ni3lJCOQHx2Q?docId=71ccc50ef7674d1ea661a3d0b51fb757

  95. GeoLurking says:

    “Look carefully for any large sources or sinks of CO2. The most striking occurred in Feb-Mar 2009 in China. (What caused that!?) Also a lot of sourcing in the northern polar regions. But hardly any sourcing visible from the U.S.”

    The AIRS Global Monthly does provide for some very interesting questions… specifically the polar regions.

    Monthly CO2 Mole Fraction averaged by Latitude.

    http://i48.tinypic.com/audopv.png

  96. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Dear Moderators,

    Comment from “gold account” is auto-spam.

    [Thanks. I suspected as much, but the comment seemed to be more well thought out than the usual spambot comment. So I deleted his URL before approving it. Since someone responded to it I'll leave it. But future 'gold account' comments will not be approved. — mod.]

  97. RockyRoad says:

    golfnewsmag says:
    October 10, 2012 at 7:49 am

    In the context of honorable debate, all of you that take the stand that 1) global warming doesn’t exist AND/OR 2) global warming as a destructive component for the survival of society is a hoax AND/OR 3) global warming exists but it’s no big deal and is being portrayed way out of proportion by those professing global warming AND/OR there is a conspiracy to “create” the concept of global warming, I simply ask you this: What are your credentials to back your beliefs?

    A brief synopsis of your educational background and degrees, and professional experience regarding this subject would be appreciated. Ignorance works both ways. For those that might feel I’m ignorant for believing global warming exists, I request your background as evidence to counteract the possibility that you are ignorant for either believing global warming doesn’t exist or, if it exists, it’s not a serious problem.

    Again, all this is asked in the spirit of honorable discussion about a current topic of significant importance..

    Oops–you left out the only one that’s important: 5) catastrophic global warming is caused by humans (hence the “anthropogenic” component of CAGW).

    Were you to really be an educated person, golf, you’d see your silly options for what they are and not bother us with trivial pursuit.

    Oh, and it’s always polite to state your own credentials when coming here trolling for responses–otherwise nobody will give you the time of day.

    So on that note: What are YOUR credentials to back not only your beliefs, but verifiable facts regarding point #5 above?

    If nothing is forthcoming, we’ll just roll our eyes at your sophomoric attempt and wish you a good day and good riddance.

  98. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Found in “golfnewsmag” on October 10, 2012 at 7:49 am:

    [Duped statement/challenge already printed in another thread? Mod]

    Hey, when you’re saving the world from evil Big Oil-funded global warming deniers, mild thread spamming is among the least things you can do. Mahatma Gandhi would be proud.

    Look at the bright side. WUWT is worthy of “civil disobedience” against it, therefore WUWT is part of “The Establishment”. The skeptics are in charge!

  99. D Böehm says:

    golfnewsmag,

    Look here. What did you learn? Maybe you learned that the planet has been warming along the same long term trend line since the Little Ice Age.

    Maybe you also learned that the warming trend has not accelerated. It is the same, whether CO2 is low or high.

    Then look here. You could learn that the warming trend repeats, whether CO2 is low or high. Here is another example showing that CO2 has no measurable effect on temperature. Each rising temperature episode is the same, whether CO2 is low or high.

    Then look here. Did you see that temperatures have stopped warming? What does that tell you?

    What those charts tell rational folks is that the “carbon” scare is baseless. Maybe CO2 has a minuscule effect, but there is no empirical data to provide evidence of AGW. Can you live with that? Or have you drunk so much alarmist Kool Aid that you no longer need scientific evidence. For some folks, their Belief is sufficient. Does that describe you? Or do you now wonder why global warming is not accelerating, despite much higher CO2 levels.

    The rising temperature trend has been the same for 3+ centuries. How do you explain the Belief in “carbon” as the primary cause of global warming? Instead of your Appeals to Authority, maybe you need to re-think your AGW Belief.

  100. JJ says:

    golfnewsmag says:

    In the context of honorable debate, … I simply ask you this: What are your credentials to back your beliefs?

    You cannot advance an honorable debate by asking dishonorable questions. This is a science blog. Scientific beliefs are not backed by “credentials”. Scientific beliefs are backed by facts and reasoning.

    For those that might feel I’m ignorant for believing global warming exists, I request your background as evidence to counteract the possibility that you are ignorant for either believing global warming doesn’t exist or, if it exists, it’s not a serious problem.

    You are ignorant of far more than than simply the facts about global warming. You are ignorant of the fundamentals of scientific reasoning. You are not equipped for honorable debate on matters of science.

  101. ”Its high-resolution maps clearly identify CO2 emission sources in a way that policy-makers can utilize and the public can understand”

    NO, NO, not maps; but affordable gadgets .for everybody, would be blessing in disguise. People would be able to see for themselves that: rain washes CO2, the more in the air -> the more it washes of it. CO2 increases condensation = is a rainmaker. Please, gadgets for everybody interested; not to get maps from professional ”Carbon Molesters” !!!!!!!

  102. Brian H says:

    And what will they do when it’s finally acknowledged CO2 is beneficial? Hand out awards?

  103. kevin gurney says:

    Hello from the author and principal investigator of this study. I occasionally try to keep up with blogs and other writings on climate science in general and my work in particular. I can’t respond to all the comments here, and you will have to forgive me for ignoring the emotional responses, the politically-based discussions and the like. I have no problem with it, I am just not the right person to have that discussion. I will stick to the science components. The main thing I would respond to is the repeated questioning of “measurement” the unease with models and estimation procedures, the surprise that funding agencies would fund this work and so on.
    though fossil fuel combustion is in a sense an utterly obvious thing (my 8 year old could probably hazard a good qualitative guess at what a city looks like), simple qualitative, descriptive characterization is insufficient to perform carbon cycle science, which is the driving question in this research. Below the nation-state scale, there is little reliable, consistent, methodologically sound treatment of this very important portion of the carbon cycle. there are one-off studies or microscopic scale treatment (building energy audits and so forth) but no landscape-scale scientifically-driven quantification. Quantitative knowledge is essential to solve rather fundamental questions about the feedbacks between the carbon cycle and climate and the carbon cycle and soils/vegetation, etc.
    for those that speak derisively about our methods, I encourage you to go beyond the press release and read the literature. Not just this paper, but my 25 years of peer-reviewed research and that of a large community of scientific leaders in this field. In fact, if you have better methods, insights that we have missed, deeper understanding than those of us who have spent the last 25 years working on this problem daily… send me an email please. Better yet, write a paper outlining your ideas, insights, send them to a journal, come to our meetings in which we spend all day and every day going into every possible detail associated with the science around carbon emissions, carbon cycling, atmospheric co2, radiative transfer etc. I will help you prepare a manuscript. I am serious. Part of my entreaty is to try to bridge the gap between the blogosphere and the grind of daily, peer-reviewed research. those of us doing scientific research cannot wave our hands and emote anger at science that doesn’t comport with our world view. That simply won’t wash. we cannot proceed with a “headline review” of research. We can’t wildly speculate without evidence or physical understanding built on hundreds of years of enlightened western thought. Though it is easy and fun (yes, it is fun I agree :) to shout and yell and proclaim that elites in science and politics and (pick your discipline) are somehow idiots that don’t get it, rather than pontificate hand-waving arguments about subject matter that you likely only have a passing understanding of….. join the real discussion. Prove your ideas. write in the scientific literature. read the literature and use that as a basis of argument rather than headlines and press releases. that will make a difference, I assure you.
    I anticipate that this contribution will be met with claims of elitism or arrogance or that the climate science community is some secret cabal sucking at the teet of government funding. I have heard that for years and all I can tell you is that it is a laughable notion to those of us that do this work. Not out of any sort of dismissiveness, but because becoming and practicing science is fundamentally about challenging conventional notions. The scientists that truly succeed have an anarchistic bent, question everything, do not accept groupthink as an answer. that is why the claims I hear in the public of late about the climate science community are so strange to my colleagues and I. We tend not to trust anybody. we require things be proven. over and over again if necessary.
    I could go on, but I have probably overextended your patience. I do actually appreciate the passion and the honest questioning I read hear. this is good and I encourage more. But, I would encourage you to push farther. dig ina more serious fashion. Don’t settle for the easy angry shouts and hand-waving. pick up a calculator, a computer, a slide-rule, a monitoring device and do some science. prove me wrong with convincing factual evidence and physical understanding. That will get my and my colleagues long-term attention.
    all the best.

    kevin gurney

  104. JJ says:

    kevin gurney says:

    I can’t respond to all the comments here, and you will have to forgive me for ignoring the emotional responses, the politically-based discussions and the like. I have no problem with it, I am just not the right person to have that discussion. I will stick to the science components.

    And thence he proceeds into a multi-screen rant that answers none of the science components, and is entirely an ad hom emotional response to the very things he said he’d ignore.

    Kevin, you have a neat data visualization tool. You have some models. You aren’t measuring anything. You aren’t verifying anything. You are making pretty pictures with the specific intent to drive policy decisions and facilitate their implementation. That isn’t science, it is politics.

    You would be well served to drop the notion that all here are members of the ‘great unwashed’. You are not the only one in the room who creates landscape scale models of environmental processes (complete with cool visualization tools). Nor are you the only one who operates at the nexus of science and policy. You may be unique here in your (self) denialistic treatment of such work.

  105. kevin gurney says:

    JJ,
    Sorry you felt it was a “rant”, certainly was not my intention. I didn’t go into a lot of detail on the science because you really haven’t posed anything specific, your concerns appear to be based on the press release which is not a scientific document. Because so many of the comments clearly work from that basis, it seems redundant for me to reproduce our paper here. The journal paper provides a detailed explanation of both the scientific target and the methods used. Please read it, and send me some questions and I will do my very best to answer them. In short, my group does not personally make physical measurements. We ingest data, some of which are measured ([by] others, for example), some survey-based, etc. For example, we ingest all the CEMs monitoried data at US power plants. We ingest traffic ATR data. and much more. Again. if you have specific comments on any of those datasets, feel free to provide your concerns on them and I can speak specifically to that. Though the media tends to focus on pictures, the visualization is not the point of the effort. The numerical estimate are. Yes, I use “estimate” precisely because it is a model/data system. I am a modeler and models are a powerful way to combine data and generate derived information from the parts. The specific intent was to close the carbon budget over a large city to better understand the complete carbon cycle – anthro, vegetation, soils, etc. This is one piece of that larger puzzle. The intent was not to push specific policy. As the paper outlines, we are part of a larger effort that combines what we do (bottom-up flux estimation) with ambient measurement of atmospheric measurement of CO2. that experiment, INFLUX further combines measurements that we make (Purdue, Penn State colleagues) with model/data systems. This information will be applied to many things, as science outcomes often are. However, I can’t let the many ways people might use this information to dictate whether or not I generate it, in my quest to understand the carbon cycle better. I would end up doing very little if I spent my time worrying about that. From my point of view, information is power and more information is more power.
    On your concern over the “verification” phrase, the point there is that a model/data system ingests a variety of independent datasets and tests that data within a physical understanding of a system (the model) can find inconsistencies and adjustments that examination of a single dataset cannot. This is an important point and really the basis of the “verification” idea. We are not fully there, and I am always careful to point out that we have merely taken a step closer. Perhaps not even a big step but a step nonetheless. We have a lot more work to do
    Your last para has a lot of “projection” if you don’t mind my saying. I never referred to the “great unwashed” nor do I think I am the only one doing the things you list. As I indicated at the outset of my original post, I will just leave the personal stuff aside, as it isn’t either interesting or useful, in my opinion. science is not about the people doing it, but about the information.
    So, to that end, please share with all of us your specific thoughts on the individual datasets we use. What parts of the modeling system are you uncomfortable with? Visuals aside, how would you do things differently? what data would you collect, if you could?

  106. H.R. says:

    @kevin gurney
    October 10, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    So, if you can respond to the science of your work, how does your model express the CO2 associated with nuclear/hydro/solar/wind generation? Given that anyone can buy their power from non-fossil fuel using power generators, even if they live in Indianapolis, how does your model discriminate among the power sources actually being used?

    JJ (October 11, 2012 at 6:25 am) rightly points out that your comment didn’t contain much science. I’ll add that I noted your comment did contain much appeal to (your own) authority. By asking the preceding questions, I’m just giving you an honest shot at explaining how your model handles some of the complexities of accurately assigning CO2 emmissions to a particular building, e.g. non-fossil fuel generated power.

  107. kevin gurney says:

    It may strike your readers as lazy but forgive me for not wanting to reproduce a long scientific document that has already been published in the peer-reviewed literature on your blogpost. It seems most efficient for everyone to just read that. It will clear up 90% of the concerns I have seen written here. That is the reason we publish – to communicate in a wide but succinct manner. I am sorry it struck you as referring to my own authority – I was actually intending to point to the importance of the peer-reviewed literature. that is where the substance lies and this is why I emphasize that readers dive in to that realm and then come back with questions. It is simply more efficient – I won’t be able to respond to all questions for which the paper provides answers. I would probably spend the next month all day writing on your blog! Fun, perhaps… but not possible :)

    But, since you ask a somewhat specific question, I will happily attend to that. The system specifically states that we track fossil fuel CO2. Since renewable energy is not based on fossil fuel, we don’t quantify that. We are not interested in tracking all energy… we are interested in tracking the fossil fuel contribution to atmospheric CO2. The purpose was carbon cycle research and not energy research although the two are often closely aligned.
    I will also speculate that you are thinking that we assign CO2 to electricity consumption. We do not. We are concerned with where CO2 leaves the surface. Hence, all electricity generation has its CO2 emitted from the power plant. The emissions from buildings are on-site combustion – typically natural gas for heating. we take care to assign NG CO2 emissions to building that have pipe feeds and not to buildings that clearly utilize electricity for building climate control and other uses. So, the elctricity problem is fairly easily solved because it all “lives” at the combustion source – the power plant. Hence, solar, wind, etc simply would not be in our system (unless they burn fossil fuels to do other things). Nor should they given our stated intention.
    hope that helps.

  108. Johanus says:

    ” GeoLurking says:
    http://i48.tinypic.com/audopv.png

    Thanks, that is a fascinating time-line plot of polar CO2, which shows several large “carbon events”, .e.g. spring of 2009, summer 2010 etc.

    I think the ‘spring 2009′ may correlate with the AIRS “CO2″ movie that I mentioned earlier

    Look at this AIRS “CO2 Movie” of “Global Distribution and increase of CO2 in the mid-troposphere”
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/news_archive/2010-03-30-CO2-Movie/
    Look carefully for any large sources or sinks of CO2. The most striking occurred in Feb-Mar 2009 in China. (What caused that!?)

    I captured some frames from the movie, where you can see a big CO2 plume in China start to appear in Feb2009, blooms larger in Mar2009 and finally spreads to the polar regions in Apr2009 (and completely disappears after that).
    http://i46.tinypic.com/oaqdsm.png Feb2009
    http://i48.tinypic.com/dza3ia.png Mar2009
    http://i45.tinypic.com/2w4ebzm.png Apr2009
    The Mercator projection exaggerates the April spread a lot, but it did spread as far as Northern Canada. Also the range of CO2 density here only covers 370 to 392 ppm, but the false-color mapping makes it look more “alarming”.

    So, what exactly was this event? Dr. Gurney, do you have any information on this huge CO2 plume?

    It would be interesting to get some more data to probe those other “carbon events” in your time-line. AIRS data can be obtained here (in .hdf format, not trivial to process):
    http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/AIRS/data-holdings/by-access-method

  109. H.R. says:

    @kevin gurney

    “[...] I will also speculate that you are thinking that we assign CO2 to electricity consumption. We do not. We are concerned with where CO2 leaves the surface. Hence, all electricity generation has its CO2 emitted from the power plant. The emissions from buildings are on-site combustion – typically natural gas for heating. we take care to assign NG CO2 emissions to building that have pipe feeds and not to buildings that clearly utilize electricity for building climate control and other uses. So, the elctricity problem is fairly easily solved because it all “lives” at the combustion source – the power plant. [...]“

    Yes, thank you. That does answer my specific question and some percentage of the 100+ comments made so far. The caption under the first figure in this post says in part “Dubbed “Hestia” after the Greek goddess of the hearth and home, the system combines extensive public database “data-mining” with traffic simulation and building-by-building energy-consumption modeling.”
    (bold mine) If it had said ‘fossil fuel usage’ or ‘combustion source’ I’ll wager you would have seen the comments greatly reduced.

    Many other questions in the comments were related to how the model treats CO2 sinks and the net balance over time. Since it’s taken well over a hundred years to go from 280 to 390 ppm atmospheric CO2, how the net modeled concentration over time over the landscape being modeled is expressed in your model is worth some scrutiny.

    BTW, Billy Liar’s comment regarding the meaning associated with Hestia in Australia (“Holds Every Sized T*t In Australia”) might cause you to consider carefully how releases of your work are worded there.

    You shoulda showed up earlier. This bunch knows that the difference between what shows up in a press release and what a paper actually said can often be nearly the opposite. It is always a rare treat when a study’s author shows up to defend/explain the details and differences. It’s a tough, cynical crowd to play to here but – just my opinion – all parties seem to come out the better for it.

    Thank you for your response.

  110. kevin gurney says:

    to the use of “energy-consumption modeling”. In truth that is what we do…. we use DOE2 to isolate the non-electric component of building energy consumption. We don’t use it to directly calculate CO2 (not recommended IMHO) but use it as a partitioning treatment… it just provides the spatialization of the data based on the non-electric energy use. per unit area of course and fit into a building classification system. So, the phrase is correct from where I sit. However, it is “on-site fossil fuel combustion”. This is one of those cases where the language of a press release cannot be jargon-laden. This is why I think people that are knowledgeable, such as many of the readers on this blog, should bypass the press headlines and read the journal paper where we like to think we accurately portrayed what was done.
    Hestia does not currently include any vegetation whatsoever. I do lots of work on the terrestrial biosphere net exchange but the focus of this effort was teh fossil fuel piece. We need that in order to match up with radioisotope measurements of CO2.
    The name: sure, there are a few other uses of Hestia here and there. I didn’t bother much with it. Any name we choose is on the front of a store somewhere in the world.
    showing up is about all I can do…. but I am happy to chime in even if I can’t engage for very long. I am a strong proponent of outreach in general and feel the scientific community hasn’t done a great job communicating what it is we do. I may not have improved much on that, but I try. best to you all. keep thinking, keep arguing.

  111. JJ says:

    kevin gurney says:

    I didn’t go into a lot of detail on the science because you really haven’t posed anything specific, your concerns appear to be based on the press release which is not a scientific document.

    It is a press release for your project that quotes you, describing your own work. Yet you run from it. One of the fundamental problems with this politicized “science” is people like you trading on your position to act as advocates, and then playing dumb when you get called on it. Sorry, but you are not only responsible for what you publish in the journals that no one reads. You are also responsible for how you sell that work to the public, and for how you reference that work for political purposes.

    “In short, my group does not personally make physical measurements.”

    In shorter, your group does not make measurements. Yet you claim in your press release that you do. Model outputs are not measurements.

    The specific intent was to close the carbon budget over a large city to better understand the complete carbon cycle – anthro, vegetation, soils, etc.

    Funny how neither you nor anyone else involved in your press release managed to even mention “carbon cycle”. Seems like if that is what you really considered to be the import and utility of your work, you would have mentioned it at least once between all of the other things that you actually said but now deny saying:

    The intent was not to push specific policy.

    Liar.

    The whole GD press release was about policy. It quotes you, talking about policy. It quotes your university president, talking about policy. Does it quote any scientists, talking about how their understanding of the carbon cycle is greatly expanded by your paper? No. But it does quote a politician, talking about how your models can be used to implement policy. And it quotes you stating that this was the intent of your work.

    This information will be applied to many things, as science outcomes often are. However, I can’t let the many ways people might use this information to dictate whether or not I generate it,…

    These comments are surreal in their dishonesty.

    As if you are some lonely little scientist, toiling away in the basement of the Life Sciences building, just trying to understand the universe. Why, you don’t even have any interest in how your work might be used to achieve political ends, let alone any input over such matters. Heavens no!

    If you were like that, why, you would work for an outfit with a policy objective in its name. Like the Global Institute of Sustainability. And you would give press releases that misrepresented your work, and which quoted you talking about getting the US into international climate treaties, and providing tools to politicians. And you would publish position papers on fossil fuel CO2. Why, you would never do anything like that.

    On your concern over the “verification” phrase, the point there is that a model/data system ingests a variety of independent datasets and tests that data within a physical understanding of a system (the model) can find inconsistencies and adjustments that examination of a single dataset cannot. This is an important point and really the basis of the “verification” idea.

    Unmitigated BS.

    Models are guesses. Models don’t verify. Models (sometimes) get verified. With measurements. Models aren’t measurements.

    We are not fully there, and I am always careful to point out that we have merely taken a step closer. Perhaps not even a big step but a step nonetheless

    Really. Always.

    Please point to that part of your press release about the wonderful utility of your models for policy making and enforcement that mentions your incomplete understanding of the carbon cycle, and how it is that you are only a small step closer to being there.

    What parts of the modeling system are you uncomfortable with?

    The modeler.

    He describes guesses as measurements, and more guesses as verification. And he has serious problems with the truth.

    He is an advocate, but pretends he isn’t. He says he will talk about science, and then he rants about everything but. He gives a press release saying his work is all about policy tools, and a blog post that says it is not about policy, but about baby steps in esoteric understanding of carbon cycle processes. He says that it is about “anthro, vegetation, soils, etc”, but the paper is about fossil fuels, the press release for the paper is about tools for forming and implementing policies to reduce CO2 from fossil fuels, the little movie that accompanies the press release is about tools for forming and implementing policies to reduce CO2 from fossil fuels, and he finally admits in the fine print that the paper does not include any vegetation whatsoever and makes no mention of soils, etc.

    This is not disninterested, objective science. It isn’t science at all. It is tech to drive policy making and to implement those policies. It is not ‘carbon cycle’. It is fossil fuel use, and the primary benefit is advertised to be the facilitation of policies to reduce that use.

    You came into this discussion whining about how you were misunderstood by all of those mean, emotional posters, but your participation has demonstrated that they were correct in their assessment.

  112. D Böehm says:

    JJ says:

    “Model outputs are not measurements.”

    Exactly. Scientific evidence is not model output, it consists of raw data and verifiable empirical observations, which are absent from this pseudo-scientific paper. Kevin Gurney clearly avoids the Scientific Method. It is also clear that he has both front feet in the public trough, living large at the expense of hard bitten taxpayers. Despicable. He could not possibly succeed in the private sector with this anti-science nonsense.

  113. kevin gurney says:

    D Boehm,
    I never said they were. I recommend returning to the commonly held and widely discussed definition of science: “a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe” I utilize measurements with what is commonly referred to as model/data fusion. This is consistent with both the scientific method and science in general. What specifically in my journal paper is “pseudo-scientific” or are you also spending your time on a press release? How is it clear that I “have both front feet…..” Since you seem to have such strong feeling about scientific evidence, what objective evidence do you have to support such ad hominem slander? i truly hope you have some, otherwise it would seem that you, and not me, are engaging in pseudo-science.

  114. D Böehm says:

    kevin gurney,

    As long as you take the position that model outputs are measurements, you are engaging in pseudo-science. Model outputs are neither data nor measurements. And they are certainly not scientific evidence.

    Regarding the ‘public trough’ comment: I apologize in advance — if you will state that you receive no public funds, either directly or indirectly, for peddling your models. But I suspect that you are pocketing plenty of our tax money.

    If I sound frustrated at the self-serving misappropriation of our public funds over the fabricated “carbon” scare; you bet.

  115. kevin gurney says:

    “D Boehm” – not so fast. Let us review. Your original assertion was as follows:
    “Scientific evidence is not model output, it consists of raw data and verifiable empirical observations”
    I disagreed with the statement. I supported my disagreement by supplying a common definition of science and the scientific method, of which similar definitions can be found in Webter’s, Kuhn, wikipedia…take your pick.
    Your misunderstanding demonstrates two things: 1) you don’t have a comprehensive understanding of what science is. That is perfectly fine with me and I don’t expect everyone to and I don’t require that in order for people to engage in useful discussion. However, what is troubling is that you are asserting that you do have that knowledge and are attempting to build an argument on something that you clearly do not have a thorough understanding of. More troubling however is the second thing this demonstrates: you were not willing to take the time to look up commonly held definitions of science and scientific method before making your erroneous assertion. That is inexcusable, IMHO. Do your homework before engaging in argumentation about a topic that you don’t have a complete understanding of. For me to engage, that is a minimum. That isn’t arrogance, it is simply a reality in parsing my time to discussion on blogs.
    You apologize in your response. You are apologizing about the wrong thing: you should be apologizing about your mistaken assertion. About not knowing what science is before you accuse somebody else of not carrying it out. I don’t care about the content of your assertions (the “public trough”, the “pseudo-science” and all the other colorful assertions). What I was trying to point out is that you were excercising the very same weakness in logic that you were accusing me of. You had no observational basis or thoretical model upon which to construct your assertions. Yet, you made them nonetheless while accusing me of the very same weakness. We have a word for this – hypocrisy.
    I very much enjoy engaging critics….however I do admit that I really only engage those who have credibility on the subject at hand. Otherwise, I learn nothing useful because the discussion cannot be maintained at a level sufficient to provide insight or new knowledge on the mutally agreed topic. Critics without credibility only offer trivialities, misunderstandings, or the type of personal attack that appears to be the MO on this blog. All of these were demonstrated vividly in your comments. Since I don’t know you or your background (you are a “socked” blogger), all I have to go on is the accuracy of your statements, the consistency of your logic, and the willingness to maintain humility on those things you don’t know about. That is a perfectly acceptable approach and focused on the merits of the arguments. Hence, given the observational evidence that I do have (outlined above), it is demonstrably clear to me that you simply have no credibility on this topic and hence, it is hard for me (and I would recommend everyone else reading this) to take you seriously.
    You say “model output are not measurements”
    True. If you want to undestand what a model/data fusion system is and how it was used in this effort, read the scientific paper. If you want to discuss the measurements used, send a specific question on the continuous emission monitoring data or the traffic volume data or the CO emissions data, etc, etc, etc. You are hand-waving in the worst possible way and using these generalities to make something look like an intelligent argument.
    Your “public trough” statement is irrelevant and unsupported. Your comment on “self-serving misappropriation” is unsupported. Your comment on “’carbon scare’” is unsupported. And so it goes. Accuse somebody of not providing scientific evidence without actually reading or understanding their work then proceed to do exactly that over and over again. Shame on you.

  116. JJ says:

    kevin gurney says:

    “D BoehM” – not so fast. Let us review. Your original assertion was as follows:
    “Scientific evidence is not model output, it consists of raw data and verifiable empirical observations”

    I disagreed with the statement.

    I supported my disagreement by supplying a common definition of science and the scientific method, of which similar definitions can be found in Webter’s, Kuhn, wikipedia…take your pick.

    Uh, supporting your disagreement requires more than supplying a deifinition. At minimum, it requires you demonstrating that what you are doing fits that definition. You did not do that. You launched into another rant. You do that a lot.

    The definition of science that you supplied: ““a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe”

    If you want to counter some of the objections of D Böehm and others here, then instead of making very egotistical personal attacks (you do that a lot, too) you might start by demonstrating that your currrent work meets your own proffered definition of science, instead of baldly asserting it.

    From your current paper, please recount:

    1) the testable explanations and predictions presented there for your “model/data fusion”,

    2)the criteria of falsifyability you determined for those testable propositions,

    3)how you performed those tests, and

    4)the results of those tests.

    Speaking of your current paper, it is non-responsive chicken shit for you to run around admonishing people to read your paper when their criticisms directly addresses your other communications – but if you do genuinely want others to read your paper, then provide a means for them to do so. At minimum, proper form here would dictate that you post the abstract. Providing a link to the full paper will permit more informed discussion…

  117. D Böehm says:

    kevin gurney says:

    “…you don’t have a comprehensive understanding of what science is.”

    I know what scientific skepticism is. And FYI, skeptics have nothing to prove. The onus is entirely on those, such as yourself, peddling their CO2 conjectures.

    And my ‘public trough’ statement is not “unsupported”, as you claim. I requested — and you avoided — your stating for the record that you receive no public funds, either directly or indirectly. If you so state, then as I said, I will apologize to you. But so far, you are dodging the question. So no apology. I think you are riding the ‘climate change’ gravy train at taxpayers’ expense. Correct me if I am wrong.

  118. kevin gurney says:

    I have put real material out there in the form of peer-reviewed research. You have asserted with no support whatsoever. I have lived up to my end of the burden you mention and do so continually by publishing, signing my name to everything I do. You hide behind a sock on a blog. The onus is on you to establish support for your assertions.
    You continue to misunderstand my point. So, let me be as clear as I possibly can. Your mistake is your sequence. If you wanted to approach the question from a scientific methodological perspective, you would have asked it this way:
    “kevin gurney, is your Hestia research funded through public taxpayer sources?”
    If I had said yes, you could then launch your colorful description. And you would have a logical right to that position.
    If I said, no, then you would just leave it alone. No harm, no foul, no embarassment.
    However, you FIRST made an assertion and are now attempting to gather evidence to (hopefully) support it.
    Do you see? This is not science, not even rudimentary logic. This is why you are a hypocrit. Because you are accusing me of the exact same thing you actually exercise, in plain view of everytone (willing) to read this blog. You assert first, then attempt to gather evidence after. This from the blogger who attempted to lecture us on all on scientific evidence.
    Now, to your question. The answer is NO. The Hestia research was not funded by taxpayer resources but through a trust fund and a contribution from a corporate sponsor. Future work will be funded by taxpayer resources. But, the current work is the culmination of private resources. In the end, it will be a real mix of private/public financing which I am quite proud of.
    I await your apology.
    thanks.

  119. kevin gurney says:

    Richard M says:
    This type of program should be trivial. Simply input the energy consumed at a location, the source of that energy and the answer can be computed easily. Probably not more than a couple hundred lines of code. I’m sure all that wonderful graphics is completely useless since, to actually use the information, you’d want a nice report.

    Richard M.: that is a great idea. But, where would we get the individual building energy consumption data for a whole city? What about vehicles? what about airplanes? power plants? thanks.

  120. JJ says:

    kevin gurney says:

    You continue to misunderstand my point. So, let me be as clear as I possibly can. Your mistake is your sequence.

    You do understand that this is one of the primary criticisms against the ‘global warming’ movement – putting the policy cart ahead of the knowledge horse.

    At least when called on it, D Böehm adopted the “scientific methodological perspecitve”. He recognized that he had a hypothesis that needed testing. He established a criterion of falsifyability for his hypothesis. Then he tested that hypothesis. And is rapidly approaching the level of confidence necessary to reject the null….

    Now, to your question. The answer is NO. The Hestia research was not funded by taxpayer resources …

    That was not his question. He did not ask if Hestia was funded by taxpayer resources. He asked if you are. Very different questions, that do not necessarily have the same answer. This is the third time that you have avoided answering that question, by giving a cynically parsed, misleading response. I believe that D Böehm may have a model/data fusion system, by he which can invert those evasive species to arrive at a minimzation solution that correlates very strongly with an original emission of “Yes” at near 100% saturation..

    But, the current work is the culmination of private resources.

    And public resources. NIST for Hestia. Much more for Vulcan, which by your own accounting Hestia is the culmination of …

    Odd that you call this question “irrelevant”, yet it is the only topic placed before you here to which you continue to dedicate a response, and you are evasive and untruthful at that. Why?

    BTW, the question is relevant. The next time someone asks you why you think it is that the general public is not buying your ‘global warming’ narrative, don’t just stammer something along the lines of “uhhh… resistant to evidence …uhh…creationists”. Take a moment and ask yourself if a large part of the problem you are facing might be that you are effectively demanding trust from people toward whom you demonstrate utter contempt … while you simultaneously enjoy a much greater standard of living than they do … some or all at their expense. Reflect upon your behavior here. It reflects upon you.

  121. richardscourtney says:

    kevin gurney:

    I write to respectfully request a clarification to your post at October 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm. Your post concludes by saying to D Böehm

    Now, to your question. The answer is NO. The Hestia research was not funded by taxpayer resources but through a trust fund and a contribution from a corporate sponsor. Future work will be funded by taxpayer resources. But, the current work is the culmination of private resources. In the end, it will be a real mix of private/public financing which I am quite proud of.
    I await your apology.
    thanks.

    I understand your words which I quote say that – building on your past work – your “Future work will be funded by taxpayer resources”.

    So, I am at a loss to understand what it is you think D Böehm has said which requires him to apologise. Please explain.

    Richard

  122. kevin gurney says:

    I did think that D Boehm was talking about the work that is the focus of this entire blog section. Hence, my answer. I actually think his hypocrisy is the aspect that is more appropriate for an apology. But, to answer that larger question: yes, I would say that the majority of my funding is public-sourced funding. thanks for the clarification. Let the attacks begin :)

  123. richardscourtney says:

    kevin gurney:

    Thankyou for your reply to me at October 17, 2012 at 10:37 am.

    Unfortunately, that reply adds to my confusion.

    I fail to see any “hypocrisy” from D Böehm so I still do not understand what it is you want him to apologise for.

    And I don’t understand why you suggest I am going to make “attacks” on you. Warmists constantly attack me in many ways but I mostly refuse to engage. There are circumstances where I ‘fire back’ but I am not aware that you have attacked me.

    Richard

  124. JJ says:

    kevin gurney says:

    I did think that D Boehm was talking about the work that is the focus of this entire blog section. Hence, my answer.

    Whence your apology?

    I actually think his hypocrisy is the aspect that is more appropriate for an apology.

    His hypocrisy is a figment of your rather robust defense mechanisms. D Böehm’s comments, however objectionable you may have found them, were not offered up as science. For you to criticize him in terms of abrogation of the scientific method is a cute rhetorical device, but that does not generate actual hypocrisy.

    D Böehm’s comments were comments on a blog. Comments of which he has taken ownership, for which he accepts responsibility, and which for which he has answered. Unlike you, who run from your own press releases. And wrt D Böehm’s comments – he hasthus far been demonstrated to have been correct in his suppositions, insofar as you have deinged to respond.

    But, to answer that larger question: yes, I would say that the majority of my funding is public-sourced funding. thanks for the clarification. Let the attacks begin :)

    Not attacks, but certainly an admonishment for you to demonstrate the appropriate sense of gratitude for the life and lifestyle that you are given, at the expense of others. The obverse is evident in your comments here and elsewhere. Whatever critics such as D Böehm may think of your work, they are among those that fund it. You are permitted to live very high on this particular hog, while pursuing esoteric topics that interest you, often to the detriment of the interests of others, while they foot the bill. That is a very special privilige, and rare in the course of human history. Act as if you are deserving of it.

  125. kevin gurney says:

    KG: The following is my response to “JJ”. It is long, but hopefully a bit humorous.
    I engaged on this blog because one of your readers/posters encouraged me to do so, suggesting that there were “smart” people who “knew science” and hence, it was a worthwhile forum. He/she did warn me that it gets rough, etc. I have no problem with the roughness or criticism, in general. What has surprised me, however, is the fact that nearly all of the “smart” commentary by those who “know science” appear to revolve around my PRESS RELEASE. You heard right, A PRESS RELEASE.
    Excuse my lack of civility. I attempted the calm, try-to-elevate-the-content approach, but it appears that lands on deaf ears. So, to get your attention and at the least, keep myself amused, I will put aside the professorial demeanor and adopt a “style” consistent with vibe here. Hopefully, I can provide a bit of comic relief as well.

    “JJ”: kevin gurney says: I didn’t go into a lot of detail on the science because you really haven’t posed anything specific, your concerns appear to be based on the press release which is not a scientific document. It is a press release for your project that quotes you, describing your own work. Yet you run from it.

    KG: I am running from absolutely nothing. I stand by every word. Yes, PRESS RELEASES are somewhat compromised representations written by our media people (a bunch of wild-eyed english majors) who can spell way better than me (they actually smell better than me too, something about showering regularly). Though I ok’d every word, I probably should just dispense with them and send the media outlets my entire paper. I am sure it would be self-evident generate a LOT of interest (I must say that “JJ”s use of boldface is admittedly more typeface-muscular than all caps – I submit to his typeface superiority, argh).
    Since “JJ” is up in nuts over a scientist mentioning policy, let me just make it as clear as I can – I am completely comfortable advocating (yes, I used the a-word!) for a better version of policies that exist independent of my powerful political influence….. put in place by elected representatives and the taxpayers and not by the all-powerful me. Yes, those were quotations around the sentences in the PRESS RELEASE followed by “Gurney said”. I think that means I said them or at least the English majors heard me say that and quickly wrote it down before I took it back (I often retract things and assert the opposite). I suppose if the policy was to encourage people to emit more greenhouse gases and this was a generally accepted public good, the information I create would help with that too. So, when that parallel universe exists, let me know, “JJ”, and I will change a few words in the PRESS RELEASE and get it out there. It will be a lot easier than this one – I mean I had to read the whole thing (like 2 pages, and the English majors put in big words).

    “JJ”: One of the fundamental problems with this politicized “science” is people like you trading on your position to act as advocates, and then playing dumb when you get called on it. Sorry, but you are not only responsible for what you publish in the journals that no one reads.

    KG: That paragraph was well written. Seriously, are you an english major? Somebody told me that if you put a routine word in quotes that makes it sarcastic. “JJ”, you still don’t “appear” to have actually “read” the paper or at least constructed a “critique” based upon “it” (ok, that last one didn’t work out). Now, since it appears that you can read (and have a way with typeface – sorry, I am stuck on the typeface thing)……take off the sock, get serious and challenge me with something other than wimpering about how you don’t like the wording of a PRESS RELEASE (seriously…it is a PRESS RELEASE, people) and your thinly supported opinions about what you “think” I am doing or am not doing. Next, you’ll claim my imperfect grammar is a sign that I am plotting to take your guns or your bible (wait, I was suppose to say something about the 47% here, I think. Damn, I can never remember which side I am on – I need to get my “politicized science” straight).
    Now I have lost my train of thought……what exactly have you called me on? I certainly think that science can help make policy better. I will advocate for that! The only policy I am aware of around greenhouse gases is the reducing’ish kind. I think the increasing’ish kind was tried but it turned out to be unecessary because everyone was just doing that on their own and didn’t need a policy to make it happen. Oh, wait, I see…. you are sly. You called me on being caught trying to improve information that can be used in policies that exist and that I had nothing to do with creating. I have to stop doing that. Especially troubling since I am trading my credibility in science, for credibility in the science of quantifying fossil fuel CO2 emissions which will help improve information that can be used in policies that exist and that I had nothing to do with creating (what did we do before cut and paste?). Although now that I say that, I don’t appear to be getting much out of that trade.
    To wit: In the PRESS RELEASE I say, “Cities have had little information with which to guide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – and you can’t reduce what you can’t measure,”
    I suppose I could have said, “Cities have had little information with which to do something that – I can’t say in case people think I am advocating for it – and you can’t – do something I can’t talk about – what you can’t measure”. Yeah, that sounds neutral. And again, I didn’t say something “I” measured, I just said “measured” (see, this is where boldface type would be so effective – darn you “JJ” for pre-empting my typeface dramatics!).
    But yes, we USE measurements. Again, those terrible ones that people other than me make. The ones that somehow don’t exist in my model which is apparently a “guess” machine driven by virtual chipmonks (sorry “JJ” nails me with that later – premature sarcasm).
    Cities ARE doing this….. you may not like it, I may not like it, but by golly it is happening and my position is that if they are going to do it, they should at least avail of the best scientific knowledge they can to do it. Uh oh, did I just admit to something?
    And what do you mean “journals that no one reads”? I know for a fact that my mother fell asleep reading the author list on this paper. And that is like halfway down the page because the title is so long (that actually wasn’t my idea… I wanted to call it simply “carbon sex” but the reviewers did not have the necessary artistic irony to see the deeper meaning).
    And one more thing…. If I play dumb, you won’t know it because I have practiced in front of a mirror for many years.

    “JJ”: You are also responsible for how you sell that work to the public, and for how you reference that work for political purposes.

    KG: Ok, I take full responsibility. Do I win now?
    Here is a thought, if you don’t like greenhouse gas reduction policies, work on getting them removed or convince a good chunk of the public that we shouldn’t engage in that activity. Heck, I can make this work relevant to giving people better information on their horrible, noisy, smelly exhaled CO2. I am creative, necessity is the mother of invention.

    “JJ”: “In short, my group does not personally make physical measurements.” In shorter, your group does not make measurements.

    KG: Hey, we have come upon a coherent assertion! So, here is where we take stock of how well “JJ” can build an argument. To wit, “JJ” apparently doesn’t know about the extensive measurement work I have done though it is in my CV, in my past papers, in my public talks. So, what this demonstrates in its most obvious form is that “JJ” talks a lot about measuring/observing things but apparently cannot muster that same brilliant insight into the simplest argument with me – gather evidence then postulate hypotheses rather than the other way around. I must have learned this in one of my science’ish classes. Finally, It demonstrates that “JJ” does not perform the most rudimentary homework before waving his hands in the hope that something coherent will come out. Shame on you! Bad boy/girl! Stand in the corner!

    “JJ”: Yet you claim in your press release that you do.

    KG: Liar, liar, pants on fire. We use many, many measurements. You can read about all of them in my paper…… that is the “science” one not the short one with the smiley faces on it (sorry, I kow I keep bringing it up). When we use measurements, we call this “working with others”. It generally feels weird and mostly doesn’t work out. For example, sometimes one research group takes measurements, sometimes another uses those measurements in a model. Sometimes they work in adjacent labs. Sometimes they call each other “stupid modeler” or “stupid observery-person”. But, in the end, they make up and generate happy-science together. Here is what the PRESS RELEASE says, “The research team collected data from a wide variety of sources such as local air pollution reportings, traffic counts, and tax assessor parcel information. The data is then combined within a modeling system for quantifying CO2 emissions at the building and street segment level.”
    Look, I made an obervation! I observed what I said in a PRESS RELEASE and presented it as evidence. I think that is science!
    I am just not seeing where I claim I made measurements. I “collected data”. Are we stuck on “collected”? Let’s put it in a sentence: “Joe collected the politicized science press releases”. Joe didn’t make the press releases… he just collected them to give to all his enviro-nazi friends. OK, you have been nailed. Admit it.

    “JJ”: Model outputs are not measurements.

    KG: Thank you. All this time…through my undergraduate degree, my Ph.D. my road through tenure…. I just hadn’t realized that. Thank you “JJ”.

    “JJ”: The specific intent was to close the carbon budget over a large city to better understand the complete carbon cycle – anthro, vegetation, soils, etc. Funny how neither you nor anyone else involved in your press release managed to even mention “carbon cycle”.

    KG: So, now you are quoting out of context. Come on “JJ”, do you work for one of the presidential campaigns? Fess up.
    Yes, I did not write long-enough, explanatory responses late at night on this blog…. that I never had heard of before. So, let me back up a bit. The specific intent of the overall Hestia project was, and remains, principally focused on carbon cycle science. However, a very important side-benefit and exciting intermediate outcome of this work has been information that is policy-relevant to greenhouse gas emission reductions (yes, those things that I am pushing down the throats of every man, women and child). The PRESS RELEASE was aimed at the policy-enabling aspect of the work. PRESS RELEASES are for public consumption. I chose (consciously, fully) to emphasize the part that had applicable relevance to the public (that support my research, thank you public…oh, and I need more – all small bills). But, have no fear, I will likely punish the masses with another PRESS RELEASE associated with the next stage which will happily, probably have the words “carbon cycle” written all over it (and I have a very strong case to make regarding the smiley faces). That will occur when we hit the throaty climax of the project, bringing the bottom-up estimates (based on non-measurements inside our “guess machines”) and top-down measurements together (which will likely be followed by cold showers all around). But, in the meantime, you are implying again (over and over again to a level of redundancy that sort of makes most people think you should cut back on the red bull) that I somehow am running from the policy implications. I am not. I am very comfortable that this scientific research will improve and enable better policy. The policy we all know we are talking about is greenhouse gas reductions. Maybe it means more push for greenhouse gas emission reductions, maybe less? Maybe it will be ignored? Maybe people will point fingers at each other? Maybe they will see themselves as one pure spiritual truth and reduce into a puddle of pure greenhouse gas energy and commit mass suicide by throwing themselves into the sun. OK, that last part was because I am watching that burning asteroid movie right now. Whoa, the graphics are good.

    “JJ”: Seems like if that is what you really considered to be the import and utility of your work, you would have mentioned it at least once between all of the other things that you actually said but now deny saying: The intent was not to push specific policy. Liar. The whole GD press release was about policy.

    KG: Oh GD (I just learned that from you), the boldface again. You have no idea how the boldface hurts me……I just spilled my chai tea (my third) on the leather seat of my biodiesel volvo while I was trying to mock the SUV driver next to me (the asteroid movie ended and I have a need to stand around the recycling center, so I got on the road – though I hate roads because they are expressions of post-industrial, isolating metal machines that kill charismatic megafauna through fossil-hate-fuels). Drat and bother.
    The intent was not to “push” “specific” policy. Nowehere in the release nor in the journal article (I know I keep mentioning it – sorry), do I advocate a specific policy. I do identify a specific policy that, though you may disagree with it, is actually happening in many places. Policy exists, it is happening, I agree with some, I disagree with some. What I do not like, is policy based on limited and poor information. To me, that is just bad policy. Imagine I am working on understanding leprosy growth better and I come up with a better way to identify a specific type of leprosy growth. And I say, “this information will help doctors trying to reduce the incidence of leprosy”….. see, I am not promoting reducing leprosy…. I like leprosy, we need more leprosy. Its those stupid goody-goody doctors that are doing that.
    Look, “JJ”, I know you think that I am using my massive science cache to push everyone into reducing their greenhouse gases. But, I think you just have to face the reality that this is an ongoing operational policy in a lot of places. You may not like that, you may think climate change is a hoax made up by geniuses like me to…I always get stuck here…. why again, would we want to do that?…. oh yeah, to get more funding so we can spend our time making this massive conspiracy more cool and elaborate and threatening, which in turn gets more funding, and so on.
    The bottom line from where I sit is that this policy is in play in many places. And I am really uncomfortable with the operationalization of that policy given the poor quantification that I know exists right now. If the public and policymakers want to head down that road, I want it done with the best information, with an accurate sense of proportion and an understanding of the processes that make it go. I want the counting done right. Now, if you think that is a promotion or me pushing the policy, you are entitled to that opinion. I don’t see it that way. If policy didn’t exist and I said “I have information that confirms the need to make greenhouse gas reducing policy”, you may be right. But, I was careful not to say that.
    Your line of argumentation is not unfamiliar to me. You want scientists to say nothing about anything related to policy when the policy runs contrary to what you think should happen. I am supported by the taxpayers to increase what is known about the world… and I have no problem telling them when I have information that could improve or assist something they have expressed interest in doing through elected representatives and other democratic instruments. Heck, I consider it my duty.

    “JJ”: It quotes you, talking about policy. It quotes your university president, talking about policy. Does it quote any scientists, talking about how their understanding of the carbon cycle is greatly expanded by your paper? No.

    KG: That is correct…. and? Last time I checked policy is studied at Universities, policy is employed in just about every aspect of our lives, policy is what we do when we get together and actually do anything in the societal context (oh darn, now I see it….. I am a communist). Hey, I asked some scientists to say cool things about my science but they think I am a smartass (yes, I know, this is baffling).

    “JJ”: But it does quote a politician, talking about how your models can be used to implement policy.

    KG: Now, that is the last time I ever ask a politician to comment on my policy-relevant work. The idiots just go ahead and say how it might impact their policy. They are so clever, you just don’t know what crazy topic they will launch into.

    “JJ”: And it quotes you stating that this was the intent of your work.

    KG: Now, I can’t find that quote. This may seem overly subtle to you, but it really wasn’t the intent (really). It is an outcome, and one I think is pretty useful, but it was not the original intent. Science is wacky that way, things just happen that you don’t intend. Usually the ideas I start with are pretty stupid. So, I am always happy when dumb luck delivers something useful from stupidity, sort of like anti-stupid-entropy.

    “JJ”: This information will be applied to many things, as science outcomes often are. However, I can’t let the many ways people might use this information to dictate whether or not I generate it,… These comments are surreal in their dishonesty.

    KG: “surreal in their dishonesty”. Hey, is that a fancy way of accusing me of lying? Me can’t talk pretty.

    “JJ”: As if you are some lonely little scientist, toiling away in the basement of the Life Sciences building, just trying to understand the universe.

    KG: Well, not the universe actually……how did you know I was lonely? “JJ”, are you hitting on me? And that is Life Sciences Wing B, for your information! And “little”?

    “JJ”: Why, you don’t even have any interest in how your work might be used to achieve political ends, let alone any input over such matters.

    KG: How do you jump to that conclusion? I have an interest, of course I do. But, I can’t allow a specific application of the work among many applications alter how I ask questions about what is known and unknown. Are you familiar with the history of science. Sorry, check that, are you aware of the history of thought? If science were to self-censor because we imagined some way that the knowledge might be used that wasn’t consistent with the questions that drove us, there would be little of modern existence to enjoy. You wouldn’t be in your air-conditioned basement sipping your red bull, occasionally glancing at your star trek model, tapping away on your apple IIe right now.

    “JJ”: Heavens no! If you were like that, why, you would work for an outfit with a policy objective in its name. Like the Global Institute of Sustainability.

    KG: Uh, because I do research on aspects of sustainability? (shoot, do I mention 47% here or the guns and bibles thing again?) Did I miss something. Is “sustainability” a policy prescription? I will ask them to change the name to “Global Institute of maintaining non-sustainability”. That’s not political and it sounds awesome. Surely, monster-trucks will be involved.

    “JJ”: And you would give press releases that misrepresented your work, and which quoted you talking about getting the US into international climate treaties, and providing tools to politicians. And you would publish position papers on fossil fuel CO2. Why, you would never do anything like that.

    KG: Right. Wait, when did we start agreeing? Have I won? That happened fast.
    I didn’t do any of those things. I represented the work. I did not suggest “getting the US into international climate treaties” (wait, is there more than one? When did that happen?). What I said was:
    “These results may also help overcome current barriers to the United States joining an international climate change treaty,” agreed Gurney, Hestia’s lead scientist. “Many countries are unwilling to sign a treaty when greenhouse gas emission reductions cannot be independently verified.”
    Please note that I refer to treaty as singular. Hey, if more treaties occurred they weren’t on my watch when I was making countries do things with my all-powerful science policy-pushing raygun.
    The barriers I refer to are the barriers stated by the president (Bush and Obama), members of the state department, negotiators, representatives of both political parties and on and on. “JJ” – yes, I am a very powerful guy writing papers nobody reads, but I don’t think I could get a country into a treaty. If I could get a country to do something, it would probably be to bring back Gilligan’s Island 24/7. I mean, I really loved that show.
    An outcome of this work is a step toward the lowering of that barrier. Whether the US joins a treaty or not is up to the taxpayers….or Hillary Clinton because, you know, she is such a total domineering female and all. Seriously, who wears the pants in this administration?

    “JJ”: On your concern over the “verification” phrase, the point there is that a model/data system ingests a variety of independent datasets and tests that data within a physical understanding of a system (the model) can find inconsistencies and adjustments that examination of a single dataset cannot. This is an important point and really the basis of the “verification” idea. Unmitigated BS. Models are guesses.

    KG: OK, so this is the part that I kept prematurely jumping to (I read ahead). Now this is patently wrong in so many ways that I am embarassed for you. Which is hard for me because most of the time I am embarassed for me. And you kind of have to admit that the BS is a bit mitigated by all the big words (there are 11 words of more than 3 syllables – that is a record for me because I actually only know 11 words of more than 3 syllables).
    Now that I think about it, your phrasing is brilliant. Just think, you are driving down a swampy backroad aiming to pick up your potato moonshine and you inch up to the a-hole ahead of you only to see his bumper sticker: “models are guesses”. I mean, it is genius (have you copywritten that? I mean, I probably deserve co-authorship writes since you were pissed at me when you thought it up).

    “JJ”: Models don’t verify. Models (sometimes) get verified. With measurements. Models aren’t measurements.

    KG: Once again, I am so thankful to you for correcting my ways.
    Look, “JJ” is this the climax? Am I nailed yet? I am getting tired and my pre-natal yoga class starts early.

    “JJ”: We are not fully there, and I am always careful to point out that we have merely taken a step closer. Perhaps not even a big step but a step nonetheless Really. Always. Please point to that part of your press release about the wonderful utility of your models for policy making and enforcement that mentions your incomplete understanding of the carbon cycle, and how it is that you are only a small step closer to being there. What parts of the modeling system are you uncomfortable with? The modeler.

    KG: And herein, the light shines. This isn’t actually about the content of a PRESS RELEASE, it is about me. Now while my totally self-centered ego loves this, the fact that this is about me makes clear that you aren’t really interested in content but ad hominom attack. OK, so I kind of like that too, but I probably shouldn’t ‘cause, I mean, I think that is bad.

    “JJ”: He describes guesses as measurements, and more guesses as verification.

    KG: OK, so enough of the hand-waving. Is this what passes for argument? You appear to feel strongly about observations, so why not bring some objective ones to the discussion next time? I was thinking that by now we would be having a spat about equation 5 in my paper but we are still on the PRESS RELEASE. Uh, this is tedious (and I just missed the fricking asteroid hitting the planet while I was typing, god they better have it on netflix).

    “JJ”: And he has serious problems with the truth. He is an advocate, but pretends he isn’t.

    KG: Does that mean I am liar? Wait, maybe you made a double negative and you like me now?
    Look, I have already demonstrated that nothing in my statements advocate anything….. oh, sorry, other than the heretical, politically motivated notion that policy should be made better. “JJ” perhaps you don’t like that fact that greenhouse gas emission reductions are being pursued by policymakers and the fact that your hippy neighbors made it so. Hey, I am sorry. But, having a stress-moment over the fact that I am doing carbon cycle science while also producing information relevant to those policies does not make me an advocate. The worst thing it makes me is probably an opportunist…… my science outcomes could assist with an ongoing policy effort and a stated barrier to international policy. If I say “you win” – does that make the hurt go away?

    “JJ”: He says he will talk about science, and then he rants about everything but.

    KG: ok, this is actually your most embarassing statement slightly worse than the other (now) slightly less embarassing one (the model-guess thing). I have asked you to construct any argument based in science that counters anything in the peer-reviewed paper that has my name on it in a public journal (which you can get from my website which you can find by googling my name and “co2” or googling the title of the paper or googling “hestia” – please do it, I need the hits, my mom is tired of visiting my site every night). In the peer-reviewed paper I do talk about policy too. I talk science every day. I do it for a living which I really like, though I wish the pay were higher and I had a better parking spot.

    “JJ”: He gives a press release saying his work is all about policy tools, and a blog post that says it is not about policy, but about baby steps in esoteric understanding of carbon cycle processes. He says that it is about “anthro, vegetation, soils, etc”,

    KG: Is it just too hard to imagine it can be both? Strike up Lennon singing… “imagine all the carbon, cycling true and clean, spewing out of tailpipes, making ‘JJ’ scream”. I am copyrighting that – Lennon be damned. OK, I will share co-authorship with you since I was pissed at you when I thought of it.

    “JJ”: but the paper is about fossil fuels, the press release for the paper is about tools for forming and implementing policies to reduce CO2 from fossil fuels, the little movie that accompanies the press release is about tools for forming and implementing policies to reduce CO2 from fossil fuels, and he finally admits in the fine print that the paper does not include any vegetation whatsoever and makes no mention of soils, etc.

    KG: Funny, out of the now 100s of readers, news stories, colleagues reviewing, nobody was “led” to such conclusions. “JJ”, uh, perhaps it is you? The paper is about fossil fuel CO2. The PRESS RELEASE is about fossil fuel CO2. There is no sly fine print disclaimer that somehow hides the fact that none of the Hestia research is about vegetation, soils, etc. The wider context of vegetation, soils, etc is what the larger field is about, into which this paper and the research, along with many others, fits. I am sorry if that was too subtle for you. I won’t reproduce a lecture on the global carbon cycle but there are a lot of good texts that go into how the various portions of the carbon cycle are interconnected. But, then again, the only document that you have apparently read on the entirety of this branch of science, appears to be my PRESS RELEASE ……… and my totally, killer blog postings.

    “JJ”: This is not disninterested, objective science. It isn’t science at all. It is tech to drive policy making and to implement those policies. It is not ‘carbon cycle’. It is fossil fuel use,

    KG: Last time I checked, fossil fuel CO2 is the largest annual net source of carbon to the atmosphere. Uncertainty in fossil fuel CO2 is emerging as the a critical uncertainty in inverse-estimation of net carbon exchange in the terrestrial biosphere, also known as the missing sink. Lack of understanding regarding the missing sink is, in turn, emerging as one of the key poorly understood feedbacks in projections of anthropogenic climate change.
    These are the type of little factoids, that would be worth researching before expressing your ignorance on a subject you appear to know little about. But then, there is nothing like a sock and a basement to bring out the man/woman in all of us.

    “JJ”: and the primary benefit is advertised to be the facilitation of policies to reduce that use. You came into this discussion whining about how you were misunderstood by all of those mean, emotional posters, but your participation has demonstrated that they were correct in their assessment.

    KG: Now, now, I never said they were mean…… moderator, he is being mean.
    Stepping back, my observation is that the reason “JJ” bursts a brain-vein when scientists even hint at discussing policy or politics or anything that can possibly be construed as something having any political content at all is that science historically has led the way to forward movement, to change, to shedding light on ignorance and close-mindedness. And, if policy is built on that logic, it improves the probability that it will win by virtue of reason. And that strikes fear in the heart of people who don’t want to see a particular policy win the day.
    So, what have we learned? Yeah, I can be a real prick. But, I have tried to be funny and sarcastic and hopefully you got a laugh. And, make a point. If you don’t get that point…..well, then you probably never will.
    As my mother used to say, “one way to get ahead is to push everyone else down, but you are no better than you were before you did it, and everyone hates you”
    Best of luck – may the echo chamber bring you comfort.

    REPLY: Next time, try to make your comment longer – Anthony

  126. kevin gurney says:

    KG: The following is my response to “JJ”. It is long, but hopefully a bit humorous.
    I engaged on this blog because one of your readers/posters encouraged me to do so, suggesting that there were “smart” people who “knew science” and hence, it was a worthwhile forum. He/she did warn me that it gets rough, etc. I have no problem with the roughness or criticism, in general. What has surprised me, however, is the fact that nearly all of the “smart” commentary by those who “know science” appear to revolve around my PRESS RELEASE. You heard right, A PRESS RELEASE.
    Excuse my lack of civility. I attempted the calm, try-to-elevate-the-content approach, but it appears that lands on deaf ears. So, to get your attention and at the least, keep myself amused, I will put aside the professorial demeanor and adopt a “style” consistent with vibe here. Hopefully, I can provide a bit of comic relief as well.

    “JJ”: kevin gurney says: I didn’t go into a lot of detail on the science because you really haven’t posed anything specific, your concerns appear to be based on the press release which is not a scientific document. It is a press release for your project that quotes you, describing your own work. Yet you run from it.

    KG: I am running from absolutely nothing. I stand by every word. Yes, PRESS RELEASES are somewhat compromised representations written by our media people (a bunch of wild-eyed english majors) who can spell way better than me (they actually smell better than me too, something about showering regularly). Though I ok’d every word, I probably should just dispense with them and send the media outlets my entire paper. I am sure it would be self-evident generate a LOT of interest (I must say that “JJ”s use of boldface is admittedly more typeface-muscular than all caps – I submit to his typeface superiority, argh).
    Since “JJ” is up in nuts over a scientist mentioning policy, let me just make it as clear as I can – I am completely comfortable advocating (yes, I used the a-word!) for a better version of policies that exist independent of my powerful political influence….. put in place by elected representatives and the taxpayers and not by the all-powerful me. Yes, those were quotations around the sentences in the PRESS RELEASE followed by “Gurney said”. I think that means I said them or at least the English majors heard me say that and quickly wrote it down before I took it back (I often retract things and assert the opposite). I suppose if the policy was to encourage people to emit more greenhouse gases and this was a generally accepted public good, the information I create would help with that too. So, when that parallel universe exists, let me know, “JJ”, and I will change a few words in the PRESS RELEASE and get it out there. It will be a lot easier than this one – I mean I had to read the whole thing (like 2 pages, and the English majors put in big words).

    “JJ”: One of the fundamental problems with this politicized “science” is people like you trading on your position to act as advocates, and then playing dumb when you get called on it. Sorry, but you are not only responsible for what you publish in the journals that no one reads.

    KG: That paragraph was well written. Seriously, are you an english major? Somebody told me that if you put a routine word in quotes that makes it sarcastic. “JJ”, you still don’t “appear” to have actually “read” the paper or at least constructed a “critique” based upon “it” (ok, that last one didn’t work out). Now, since it appears that you can read (and have a way with typeface – sorry, I am stuck on the typeface thing)……take off the sock, get serious and challenge me with something other than wimpering about how you don’t like the wording of a PRESS RELEASE (seriously…it is a PRESS RELEASE, people) and your thinly supported opinions about what you “think” I am doing or am not doing. Next, you’ll claim my imperfect grammar is a sign that I am plotting to take your guns or your bible (wait, I was suppose to say something about the 47% here, I think. Damn, I can never remember which side I am on – I need to get my “politicized science” straight).
    Now I have lost my train of thought……what exactly have you called me on? I certainly think that science can help make policy better. I will advocate for that! The only policy I am aware of around greenhouse gases is the reducing’ish kind. I think the increasing’ish kind was tried but it turned out to be unecessary because everyone was just doing that on their own and didn’t need a policy to make it happen. Oh, wait, I see…. you are sly. You called me on being caught trying to improve information that can be used in policies that exist and that I had nothing to do with creating. I have to stop doing that. Especially troubling since I am trading my credibility in science, for credibility in the science of quantifying fossil fuel CO2 emissions which will help improve information that can be used in policies that exist and that I had nothing to do with creating (what did we do before cut and paste?). Although now that I say that, I don’t appear to be getting much out of that trade.
    To wit: In the PRESS RELEASE I say, “Cities have had little information with which to guide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – and you can’t reduce what you can’t measure,”
    I suppose I could have said, “Cities have had little information with which to do something that – I can’t say in case people think I am advocating for it – and you can’t – do something I can’t talk about – what you can’t measure”. Yeah, that sounds neutral. And again, I didn’t say something “I” measured, I just said “measured” (see, this is where boldface type would be so effective – darn you “JJ” for pre-empting my typeface dramatics!).
    But yes, we USE measurements. Again, those terrible ones that people other than me make. The ones that somehow don’t exist in my model which is apparently a “guess” machine driven by virtual chipmonks (sorry “JJ” nails me with that later – premature sarcasm).
    Cities ARE doing this….. you may not like it, I may not like it, but by golly it is happening and my position is that if they are going to do it, they should at least avail of the best scientific knowledge they can to do it. Uh oh, did I just admit to something?
    And what do you mean “journals that no one reads”? I know for a fact that my mother fell asleep reading the author list on this paper. And that is like halfway down the page because the title is so long (that actually wasn’t my idea… I wanted to call it simply “carbon sex” but the reviewers did not have the necessary artistic irony to see the deeper meaning).
    And one more thing…. If I play dumb, you won’t know it because I have practiced in front of a mirror for many years.

  127. kevin gurney says:

    “JJ”: Seems like if that is what you really considered to be the import and utility of your work, you would have mentioned it at least once between all of the other things that you actually said but now deny saying: The intent was not to push specific policy. Liar. The whole GD press release was about policy.

    KG: Oh GD (I just learned that from you), the boldface again. You have no idea how the boldface hurts me……I just spilled my chai tea (my third) on the leather seat of my biodiesel volvo while I was trying to mock the SUV driver next to me (the asteroid movie ended and I have a need to stand around the recycling center, so I got on the road – though I hate roads because they are expressions of post-industrial, isolating metal machines that kill charismatic megafauna through fossil-hate-fuels). Drat and bother.
    The intent was not to “push” “specific” policy. Nowehere in the release nor in the journal article (I know I keep mentioning it – sorry), do I advocate a specific policy. I do identify a specific policy that, though you may disagree with it, is actually happening in many places. Policy exists, it is happening, I agree with some, I disagree with some. What I do not like, is policy based on limited and poor information. To me, that is just bad policy. Imagine I am working on understanding leprosy growth better and I come up with a better way to identify a specific type of leprosy growth. And I say, “this information will help doctors trying to reduce the incidence of leprosy”….. see, I am not promoting reducing leprosy…. I like leprosy, we need more leprosy. Its those stupid goody-goody doctors that are doing that.
    Look, “JJ”, I know you think that I am using my massive science cache to push everyone into reducing their greenhouse gases. But, I think you just have to face the reality that this is an ongoing operational policy in a lot of places. You may not like that, you may think climate change is a hoax made up by geniuses like me to…I always get stuck here…. why again, would we want to do that?…. oh yeah, to get more funding so we can spend our time making this massive conspiracy more cool and elaborate and threatening, which in turn gets more funding, and so on.
    The bottom line from where I sit is that this policy is in play in many places. And I am really uncomfortable with the operationalization of that policy given the poor quantification that I know exists right now. If the public and policymakers want to head down that road, I want it done with the best information, with an accurate sense of proportion and an understanding of the processes that make it go. I want the counting done right. Now, if you think that is a promotion or me pushing the policy, you are entitled to that opinion. I don’t see it that way. If policy didn’t exist and I said “I have information that confirms the need to make greenhouse gas reducing policy”, you may be right. But, I was careful not to say that.
    Your line of argumentation is not unfamiliar to me. You want scientists to say nothing about anything related to policy when the policy runs contrary to what you think should happen. I am supported by the taxpayers to increase what is known about the world… and I have no problem telling them when I have information that could improve or assist something they have expressed interest in doing through elected representatives and other democratic instruments. Heck, I consider it my duty.

    “JJ”: It quotes you, talking about policy. It quotes your university president, talking about policy. Does it quote any scientists, talking about how their understanding of the carbon cycle is greatly expanded by your paper? No.

    KG: That is correct…. and? Last time I checked policy is studied at Universities, policy is employed in just about every aspect of our lives, policy is what we do when we get together and actually do anything in the societal context (oh darn, now I see it….. I am a communist). Hey, I asked some scientists to say cool things about my science but they think I am a smartass (yes, I know, this is baffling).

    “JJ”: But it does quote a politician, talking about how your models can be used to implement policy.

    KG: Now, that is the last time I ever ask a politician to comment on my policy-relevant work. The idiots just go ahead and say how it might impact their policy. They are so clever, you just don’t know what crazy topic they will launch into.

    “JJ”: And it quotes you stating that this was the intent of your work.

    KG: Now, I can’t find that quote. This may seem overly subtle to you, but it really wasn’t the intent (really). It is an outcome, and one I think is pretty useful, but it was not the original intent. Science is wacky that way, things just happen that you don’t intend. Usually the ideas I start with are pretty stupid. So, I am always happy when dumb luck delivers something useful from stupidity, sort of like anti-stupid-entropy.

    “JJ”: This information will be applied to many things, as science outcomes often are. However, I can’t let the many ways people might use this information to dictate whether or not I generate it,… These comments are surreal in their dishonesty.

    KG: “surreal in their dishonesty”. Hey, is that a fancy way of accusing me of lying? Me can’t talk pretty.

    “JJ”: As if you are some lonely little scientist, toiling away in the basement of the Life Sciences building, just trying to understand the universe.

    KG: Well, not the universe actually……how did you know I was lonely? “JJ”, are you hitting on me? And that is Life Sciences Wing B, for your information! And “little”?

  128. kevin gurney says:

    “JJ”: You are also responsible for how you sell that work to the public, and for how you reference that work for political purposes.

    KG: Ok, I take full responsibility. Do I win now?
    Here is a thought, if you don’t like greenhouse gas reduction policies, work on getting them removed or convince a good chunk of the public that we shouldn’t engage in that activity. Heck, I can make this work relevant to giving people better information on their horrible, noisy, smelly exhaled CO2. I am creative, necessity is the mother of invention.

    “JJ”: “In short, my group does not personally make physical measurements.” In shorter, your group does not make measurements.

    KG: Hey, we have come upon a coherent assertion! So, here is where we take stock of how well “JJ” can build an argument. To wit, “JJ” apparently doesn’t know about the extensive measurement work I have done though it is in my CV, in my past papers, in my public talks. So, what this demonstrates in its most obvious form is that “JJ” talks a lot about measuring/observing things but apparently cannot muster that same brilliant insight into the simplest argument with me – gather evidence then postulate hypotheses rather than the other way around. I must have learned this in one of my science’ish classes. Finally, It demonstrates that “JJ” does not perform the most rudimentary homework before waving his hands in the hope that something coherent will come out. Shame on you! Bad boy/girl! Stand in the corner!

    “JJ”: Yet you claim in your press release that you do.

    KG: Liar, liar, pants on fire. We use many, many measurements. You can read about all of them in my paper…… that is the “science” one not the short one with the smiley faces on it (sorry, I kow I keep bringing it up). When we use measurements, we call this “working with others”. It generally feels weird and mostly doesn’t work out. For example, sometimes one research group takes measurements, sometimes another uses those measurements in a model. Sometimes they work in adjacent labs. Sometimes they call each other “stupid modeler” or “stupid observery-person”. But, in the end, they make up and generate happy-science together. Here is what the PRESS RELEASE says, “The research team collected data from a wide variety of sources such as local air pollution reportings, traffic counts, and tax assessor parcel information. The data is then combined within a modeling system for quantifying CO2 emissions at the building and street segment level.”
    Look, I made an obervation! I observed what I said in a PRESS RELEASE and presented it as evidence. I think that is science!
    I am just not seeing where I claim I made measurements. I “collected data”. Are we stuck on “collected”? Let’s put it in a sentence: “Joe collected the politicized science press releases”. Joe didn’t make the press releases… he just collected them to give to all his enviro-nazi friends. OK, you have been nailed. Admit it.

    “JJ”: Model outputs are not measurements.

    KG: Thank you. All this time…through my undergraduate degree, my Ph.D. my road through tenure…. I just hadn’t realized that. Thank you “JJ”.

  129. kevin gurney says:

    “JJ”: The specific intent was to close the carbon budget over a large city to better understand the complete carbon cycle – anthro, vegetation, soils, etc. Funny how neither you nor anyone else involved in your press release managed to even mention “carbon cycle”.

    KG: So, now you are quoting out of context. Come on “JJ”, do you work for one of the presidential campaigns? Fess up.
    Yes, I did not write long-enough, explanatory responses late at night on this blog…. that I never had heard of before. So, let me back up a bit. The specific intent of the overall Hestia project was, and remains, principally focused on carbon cycle science. However, a very important side-benefit and exciting intermediate outcome of this work has been information that is policy-relevant to greenhouse gas emission reductions (yes, those things that I am pushing down the throats of every man, women and child). The PRESS RELEASE was aimed at the policy-enabling aspect of the work. PRESS RELEASES are for public consumption. I chose (consciously, fully) to emphasize the part that had applicable relevance to the public (that support my research, thank you public…oh, and I need more – all small bills). But, have no fear, I will likely punish the masses with another PRESS RELEASE associated with the next stage which will happily, probably have the words “carbon cycle” written all over it (and I have a very strong case to make regarding the smiley faces). That will occur when we hit the throaty climax of the project, bringing the bottom-up estimates (based on non-measurements inside our “guess machines”) and top-down measurements together (which will likely be followed by cold showers all around). But, in the meantime, you are implying again (over and over again to a level of redundancy that sort of makes most people think you should cut back on the red bull) that I somehow am running from the policy implications. I am not. I am very comfortable that this scientific research will improve and enable better policy. The policy we all know we are talking about is greenhouse gas reductions. Maybe it means more push for greenhouse gas emission reductions, maybe less? Maybe it will be ignored? Maybe people will point fingers at each other? Maybe they will see themselves as one pure spiritual truth and reduce into a puddle of pure greenhouse gas energy and commit mass suicide by throwing themselves into the sun. OK, that last part was because I am watching that burning asteroid movie right now. Whoa, the graphics are good.

    “JJ”: Seems like if that is what you really considered to be the import and utility of your work, you would have mentioned it at least once between all of the other things that you actually said but now deny saying: The intent was not to push specific policy. Liar. The whole GD press release was about policy.

    KG: Oh GD (I just learned that from you), the boldface again. You have no idea how the boldface hurts me……I just spilled my chai tea (my third) on the leather seat of my biodiesel volvo while I was trying to mock the SUV driver next to me (the asteroid movie ended and I have a need to stand around the recycling center, so I got on the road – though I hate roads because they are expressions of post-industrial, isolating metal machines that kill charismatic megafauna through fossil-hate-fuels). Drat and bother.
    The intent was not to “push” “specific” policy. Nowehere in the release nor in the journal article (I know I keep mentioning it – sorry), do I advocate a specific policy. I do identify a specific policy that, though you may disagree with it, is actually happening in many places. Policy exists, it is happening, I agree with some, I disagree with some. What I do not like, is policy based on limited and poor information. To me, that is just bad policy. Imagine I am working on understanding leprosy growth better and I come up with a better way to identify a specific type of leprosy growth. And I say, “this information will help doctors trying to reduce the incidence of leprosy”….. see, I am not promoting reducing leprosy…. I like leprosy, we need more leprosy. Its those stupid goody-goody doctors that are doing that.
    Look, “JJ”, I know you think that I am using my massive science cache to push everyone into reducing their greenhouse gases. But, I think you just have to face the reality that this is an ongoing operational policy in a lot of places. You may not like that, you may think climate change is a hoax made up by geniuses like me to…I always get stuck here…. why again, would we want to do that?…. oh yeah, to get more funding so we can spend our time making this massive conspiracy more cool and elaborate and threatening, which in turn gets more funding, and so on.
    The bottom line from where I sit is that this policy is in play in many places. And I am really uncomfortable with the operationalization of that policy given the poor quantification that I know exists right now. If the public and policymakers want to head down that road, I want it done with the best information, with an accurate sense of proportion and an understanding of the processes that make it go. I want the counting done right. Now, if you think that is a promotion or me pushing the policy, you are entitled to that opinion. I don’t see it that way. If policy didn’t exist and I said “I have information that confirms the need to make greenhouse gas reducing policy”, you may be right. But, I was careful not to say that.
    Your line of argumentation is not unfamiliar to me. You want scientists to say nothing about anything related to policy when the policy runs contrary to what you think should happen. I am supported by the taxpayers to increase what is known about the world… and I have no problem telling them when I have information that could improve or assist something they have expressed interest in doing through elected representatives and other democratic instruments. Heck, I consider it my duty.

  130. kevin gurney says:

    “JJ”: The specific intent was to close the carbon budget over a large city to better understand the complete carbon cycle – anthro, vegetation, soils, etc. Funny how neither you nor anyone else involved in your press release managed to even mention “carbon cycle”.

    KG: So, now you are quoting out of context. Come on “JJ”, do you work for one of the presidential campaigns? Fess up.
    Yes, I did not write long-enough, explanatory responses late at night on this blog…. that I never had heard of before. So, let me back up a bit. The specific intent of the overall Hestia project was, and remains, principally focused on carbon cycle science. However, a very important side-benefit and exciting intermediate outcome of this work has been information that is policy-relevant to greenhouse gas emission reductions (yes, those things that I am pushing down the throats of every man, women and child). The PRESS RELEASE was aimed at the policy-enabling aspect of the work. PRESS RELEASES are for public consumption. I chose (consciously, fully) to emphasize the part that had applicable relevance to the public (that support my research, thank you public…oh, and I need more – all small bills). But, have no fear, I will likely punish the masses with another PRESS RELEASE associated with the next stage which will happily, probably have the words “carbon cycle” written all over it (and I have a very strong case to make regarding the smiley faces). That will occur when we hit the throaty climax of the project, bringing the bottom-up estimates (based on non-measurements inside our “guess machines”) and top-down measurements together (which will likely be followed by cold showers all around). But, in the meantime, you are implying again (over and over again to a level of redundancy that sort of makes most people think you should cut back on the red bull) that I somehow am running from the policy implications. I am not. I am very comfortable that this scientific research will improve and enable better policy. The policy we all know we are talking about is greenhouse gas reductions. Maybe it means more push for greenhouse gas emission reductions, maybe less? Maybe it will be ignored? Maybe people will point fingers at each other? Maybe they will see themselves as one pure spiritual truth and reduce into a puddle of pure greenhouse gas energy and commit mass suicide by throwing themselves into the sun. OK, that last part was because I am watching that burning asteroid movie right now. Whoa, the graphics are good.

  131. kevin gurney says:

    “JJ”: Seems like if that is what you really considered to be the import and utility of your work, you would have mentioned it at least once between all of the other things that you actually said but now deny saying: The intent was not to push specific policy. Liar. The whole GD press release was about policy.

    KG: Oh GD (I just learned that from you), the boldface again. You have no idea how the boldface hurts me……I just spilled my chai tea (my third) on the leather seat of my biodiesel volvo while I was trying to mock the SUV driver next to me (the asteroid movie ended and I have a need to stand around the recycling center, so I got on the road – though I hate roads because they are expressions of post-industrial, isolating metal machines that kill charismatic megafauna through fossil-hate-fuels). Drat and bother.
    The intent was not to “push” “specific” policy. Nowehere in the release nor in the journal article (I know I keep mentioning it – sorry), do I advocate a specific policy. I do identify a specific policy that, though you may disagree with it, is actually happening in many places. Policy exists, it is happening, I agree with some, I disagree with some. What I do not like, is policy based on limited and poor information. To me, that is just bad policy. Imagine I am working on understanding leprosy growth better and I come up with a better way to identify a specific type of leprosy growth. And I say, “this information will help doctors trying to reduce the incidence of leprosy”….. see, I am not promoting reducing leprosy…. I like leprosy, we need more leprosy. Its those stupid goody-goody doctors that are doing that.
    Look, “JJ”, I know you think that I am using my massive science cache to push everyone into reducing their greenhouse gases. But, I think you just have to face the reality that this is an ongoing operational policy in a lot of places. You may not like that, you may think climate change is a hoax made up by geniuses like me to…I always get stuck here…. why again, would we want to do that?…. oh yeah, to get more funding so we can spend our time making this massive conspiracy more cool and elaborate and threatening, which in turn gets more funding, and so on.
    The bottom line from where I sit is that this policy is in play in many places. And I am really uncomfortable with the operationalization of that policy given the poor quantification that I know exists right now. If the public and policymakers want to head down that road, I want it done with the best information, with an accurate sense of proportion and an understanding of the processes that make it go. I want the counting done right. Now, if you think that is a promotion or me pushing the policy, you are entitled to that opinion. I don’t see it that way. If policy didn’t exist and I said “I have information that confirms the need to make greenhouse gas reducing policy”, you may be right. But, I was careful not to say that.
    Your line of argumentation is not unfamiliar to me. You want scientists to say nothing about anything related to policy when the policy runs contrary to what you think should happen. I am supported by the taxpayers to increase what is known about the world… and I have no problem telling them when I have information that could improve or assist something they have expressed interest in doing through elected representatives and other democratic instruments. Heck, I consider it my duty.

    “JJ”: It quotes you, talking about policy. It quotes your university president, talking about policy. Does it quote any scientists, talking about how their understanding of the carbon cycle is greatly expanded by your paper? No.

    KG: That is correct…. and? Last time I checked policy is studied at Universities, policy is employed in just about every aspect of our lives, policy is what we do when we get together and actually do anything in the societal context (oh darn, now I see it….. I am a communist). Hey, I asked some scientists to say cool things about my science but they think I am a smartass (yes, I know, this is baffling).

  132. kevin gurney says:

    “JJ”: Seems like if that is what you really considered to be the import and utility of your work, you would have mentioned it at least once between all of the other things that you actually said but now deny saying: The intent was not to push specific policy. Liar. The whole GD press release was about policy.

    KG: Oh GD (I just learned that from you), the boldface again. You have no idea how the boldface hurts me……I just spilled my chai tea (my third) on the leather seat of my biodiesel volvo while I was trying to mock the SUV driver next to me (the asteroid movie ended and I have a need to stand around the recycling center, so I got on the road – though I hate roads because they are expressions of post-industrial, isolating metal machines that kill charismatic megafauna through fossil-hate-fuels). Drat and bother.
    The intent was not to “push” “specific” policy. Nowehere in the release nor in the journal article (I know I keep mentioning it – sorry), do I advocate a specific policy. I do identify a specific policy that, though you may disagree with it, is actually happening in many places. Policy exists, it is happening, I agree with some, I disagree with some. What I do not like, is policy based on limited and poor information. To me, that is just bad policy. Imagine I am working on understanding leprosy growth better and I come up with a better way to identify a specific type of leprosy growth. And I say, “this information will help doctors trying to reduce the incidence of leprosy”….. see, I am not promoting reducing leprosy…. I like leprosy, we need more leprosy. Its those stupid goody-goody doctors that are doing that.
    Look, “JJ”, I know you think that I am using my massive science cache to push everyone into reducing their greenhouse gases. But, I think you just have to face the reality that this is an ongoing operational policy in a lot of places. You may not like that, you may think climate change is a hoax made up by geniuses like me to…I always get stuck here…. why again, would we want to do that?…. oh yeah, to get more funding so we can spend our time making this massive conspiracy more cool and elaborate and threatening, which in turn gets more funding, and so on.
    The bottom line from where I sit is that this policy is in play in many places. And I am really uncomfortable with the operationalization of that policy given the poor quantification that I know exists right now. If the public and policymakers want to head down that road, I want it done with the best information, with an accurate sense of proportion and an understanding of the processes that make it go. I want the counting done right. Now, if you think that is a promotion or me pushing the policy, you are entitled to that opinion. I don’t see it that way. If policy didn’t exist and I said “I have information that confirms the need to make greenhouse gas reducing policy”, you may be right. But, I was careful not to say that.
    Your line of argumentation is not unfamiliar to me. You want scientists to say nothing about anything related to policy when the policy runs contrary to what you think should happen. I am supported by the taxpayers to increase what is known about the world… and I have no problem telling them when I have information that could improve or assist something they have expressed interest in doing through elected representatives and other democratic instruments. Heck, I consider it my duty.

  133. kevin gurney says:

    “JJ”: It quotes you, talking about policy. It quotes your university president, talking about policy. Does it quote any scientists, talking about how their understanding of the carbon cycle is greatly expanded by your paper? No.

    KG: That is correct…. and? Last time I checked policy is studied at Universities, policy is employed in just about every aspect of our lives, policy is what we do when we get together and actually do anything in the societal context (oh darn, now I see it….. I am a communist). Hey, I asked some scientists to say cool things about my science but they think I am a smartass (yes, I know, this is baffling).

    “JJ”: But it does quote a politician, talking about how your models can be used to implement policy.

    KG: Now, that is the last time I ever ask a politician to comment on my policy-relevant work. The idiots just go ahead and say how it might impact their policy. They are so clever, you just don’t know what crazy topic they will launch into.

    “JJ”: And it quotes you stating that this was the intent of your work.

    KG: Now, I can’t find that quote. This may seem overly subtle to you, but it really wasn’t the intent (really). It is an outcome, and one I think is pretty useful, but it was not the original intent. Science is wacky that way, things just happen that you don’t intend. Usually the ideas I start with are pretty stupid. So, I am always happy when dumb luck delivers something useful from stupidity, sort of like anti-stupid-entropy.

  134. Anthony Watts says:

    Mr. Gurney, thread bombing with multiple identical comments isn’t cool, please stop.

  135. kevin gurney says:

    “JJ”: This information will be applied to many things, as science outcomes often are. However, I can’t let the many ways people might use this information to dictate whether or not I generate it,… These comments are surreal in their dishonesty.

    KG: “surreal in their dishonesty”. Hey, is that a fancy way of accusing me of lying? Me can’t talk pretty.

    “JJ”: As if you are some lonely little scientist, toiling away in the basement of the Life Sciences building, just trying to understand the universe.

    KG: Well, not the universe actually……how did you know I was lonely? “JJ”, are you hitting on me? And that is Life Sciences Wing B, for your information! And “little”?

    “JJ”: Why, you don’t even have any interest in how your work might be used to achieve political ends, let alone any input over such matters.

    KG: How do you jump to that conclusion? I have an interest, of course I do. But, I can’t allow a specific application of the work among many applications alter how I ask questions about what is known and unknown. Are you familiar with the history of science. Sorry, check that, are you aware of the history of thought? If science were to self-censor because we imagined some way that the knowledge might be used that wasn’t consistent with the questions that drove us, there would be little of modern existence to enjoy. You wouldn’t be in your air-conditioned basement sipping your red bull, occasionally glancing at your star trek model, tapping away on your apple IIe right now.

    “JJ”: Heavens no! If you were like that, why, you would work for an outfit with a policy objective in its name. Like the Global Institute of Sustainability.

    KG: Uh, because I do research on aspects of sustainability? (shoot, do I mention 47% here or the guns and bibles thing again?) Did I miss something. Is “sustainability” a policy prescription? I will ask them to change the name to “Global Institute of maintaining non-sustainability”. That’s not political and it sounds awesome. Surely, monster-trucks will be involved.

  136. kevin gurney says:

    “JJ”: And you would give press releases that misrepresented your work, and which quoted you talking about getting the US into international climate treaties, and providing tools to politicians. And you would publish position papers on fossil fuel CO2. Why, you would never do anything like that.

    KG: Right. Wait, when did we start agreeing? Have I won? That happened fast.
    I didn’t do any of those things. I represented the work. I did not suggest “getting the US into international climate treaties” (wait, is there more than one? When did that happen?). What I said was:
    “These results may also help overcome current barriers to the United States joining an international climate change treaty,” agreed Gurney, Hestia’s lead scientist. “Many countries are unwilling to sign a treaty when greenhouse gas emission reductions cannot be independently verified.”
    Please note that I refer to treaty as singular. Hey, if more treaties occurred they weren’t on my watch when I was making countries do things with my all-powerful science policy-pushing raygun.
    The barriers I refer to are the barriers stated by the president (Bush and Obama), members of the state department, negotiators, representatives of both political parties and on and on. “JJ” – yes, I am a very powerful guy writing papers nobody reads, but I don’t think I could get a country into a treaty. If I could get a country to do something, it would probably be to bring back Gilligan’s Island 24/7. I mean, I really loved that show.
    An outcome of this work is a step toward the lowering of that barrier. Whether the US joins a treaty or not is up to the taxpayers….or Hillary Clinton because, you know, she is such a total domineering female and all. Seriously, who wears the pants in this administration?

    “JJ”: On your concern over the “verification” phrase, the point there is that a model/data system ingests a variety of independent datasets and tests that data within a physical understanding of a system (the model) can find inconsistencies and adjustments that examination of a single dataset cannot. This is an important point and really the basis of the “verification” idea. Unmitigated BS. Models are guesses.

    KG: OK, so this is the part that I kept prematurely jumping to (I read ahead). Now this is patently wrong in so many ways that I am embarassed for you. Which is hard for me because most of the time I am embarassed for me. And you kind of have to admit that the BS is a bit mitigated by all the big words (there are 11 words of more than 3 syllables – that is a record for me because I actually only know 11 words of more than 3 syllables).
    Now that I think about it, your phrasing is brilliant. Just think, you are driving down a swampy backroad aiming to pick up your potato moonshine and you inch up to the a-hole ahead of you only to see his bumper sticker: “models are guesses”. I mean, it is genius (have you copywritten that? I mean, I probably deserve co-authorship writes since you were pissed at me when you thought it up).

  137. kevin gurney says:

    “JJ”: Models don’t verify. Models (sometimes) get verified. With measurements. Models aren’t measurements.

    KG: Once again, I am so thankful to you for correcting my ways.
    Look, “JJ” is this the climax? Am I nailed yet? I am getting tired and my pre-natal yoga class starts early.

    “JJ”: We are not fully there, and I am always careful to point out that we have merely taken a step closer. Perhaps not even a big step but a step nonetheless Really. Always. Please point to that part of your press release about the wonderful utility of your models for policy making and enforcement that mentions your incomplete understanding of the carbon cycle, and how it is that you are only a small step closer to being there. What parts of the modeling system are you uncomfortable with? The modeler.

    KG: And herein, the light shines. This isn’t actually about the content of a PRESS RELEASE, it is about me. Now while my totally self-centered ego loves this, the fact that this is about me makes clear that you aren’t really interested in content but ad hominom attack. OK, so I kind of like that too, but I probably shouldn’t ‘cause, I mean, I think that is bad.

    “JJ”: He describes guesses as measurements, and more guesses as verification.

    KG: OK, so enough of the hand-waving. Is this what passes for argument? You appear to feel strongly about observations, so why not bring some objective ones to the discussion next time? I was thinking that by now we would be having a spat about equation 5 in my paper but we are still on the PRESS RELEASE. Uh, this is tedious (and I just missed the fricking asteroid hitting the planet while I was typing, god they better have it on netflix).

    “JJ”: And he has serious problems with the truth. He is an advocate, but pretends he isn’t.

    KG: Does that mean I am liar? Wait, maybe you made a double negative and you like me now?
    Look, I have already demonstrated that nothing in my statements advocate anything….. oh, sorry, other than the heretical, politically motivated notion that policy should be made better. “JJ” perhaps you don’t like that fact that greenhouse gas emission reductions are being pursued by policymakers and the fact that your hippy neighbors made it so. Hey, I am sorry. But, having a stress-moment over the fact that I am doing carbon cycle science while also producing information relevant to those policies does not make me an advocate. The worst thing it makes me is probably an opportunist…… my science outcomes could assist with an ongoing policy effort and a stated barrier to international policy. If I say “you win” – does that make the hurt go away?

    “JJ”: He says he will talk about science, and then he rants about everything but.

    KG: ok, this is actually your most embarassing statement slightly worse than the other (now) slightly less embarassing one (the model-guess thing). I have asked you to construct any argument based in science that counters anything in the peer-reviewed paper that has my name on it in a public journal (which you can get from my website which you can find by googling my name and “co2” or googling the title of the paper or googling “hestia” – please do it, I need the hits, my mom is tired of visiting my site every night). In the peer-reviewed paper I do talk about policy too. I talk science every day. I do it for a living which I really like, though I wish the pay were higher and I had a better parking spot.

  138. kevin gurney says:

    “JJ”: He gives a press release saying his work is all about policy tools, and a blog post that says it is not about policy, but about baby steps in esoteric understanding of carbon cycle processes. He says that it is about “anthro, vegetation, soils, etc”,

    KG: Is it just too hard to imagine it can be both? Strike up Lennon singing… “imagine all the carbon, cycling true and clean, spewing out of tailpipes, making ‘JJ’ scream”. I am copyrighting that – Lennon be damned. OK, I will share co-authorship with you since I was pissed at you when I thought of it.

    “JJ”: but the paper is about fossil fuels, the press release for the paper is about tools for forming and implementing policies to reduce CO2 from fossil fuels, the little movie that accompanies the press release is about tools for forming and implementing policies to reduce CO2 from fossil fuels, and he finally admits in the fine print that the paper does not include any vegetation whatsoever and makes no mention of soils, etc.

    KG: Funny, out of the now 100s of readers, news stories, colleagues reviewing, nobody was “led” to such conclusions. “JJ”, uh, perhaps it is you? The paper is about fossil fuel CO2. The PRESS RELEASE is about fossil fuel CO2. There is no sly fine print disclaimer that somehow hides the fact that none of the Hestia research is about vegetation, soils, etc. The wider context of vegetation, soils, etc is what the larger field is about, into which this paper and the research, along with many others, fits. I am sorry if that was too subtle for you. I won’t reproduce a lecture on the global carbon cycle but there are a lot of good texts that go into how the various portions of the carbon cycle are interconnected. But, then again, the only document that you have apparently read on the entirety of this branch of science, appears to be my PRESS RELEASE ……… and my totally, killer blog postings.

    “JJ”: This is not disninterested, objective science. It isn’t science at all. It is tech to drive policy making and to implement those policies. It is not ‘carbon cycle’. It is fossil fuel use,

    KG: Last time I checked, fossil fuel CO2 is the largest annual net source of carbon to the atmosphere. Uncertainty in fossil fuel CO2 is emerging as the a critical uncertainty in inverse-estimation of net carbon exchange in the terrestrial biosphere, also known as the missing sink. Lack of understanding regarding the missing sink is, in turn, emerging as one of the key poorly understood feedbacks in projections of anthropogenic climate change.
    These are the type of little factoids, that would be worth researching before expressing your ignorance on a subject you appear to know little about. But then, there is nothing like a sock and a basement to bring out the man/woman in all of us.

  139. kevin gurney says:

    “JJ”: and the primary benefit is advertised to be the facilitation of policies to reduce that use. You came into this discussion whining about how you were misunderstood by all of those mean, emotional posters, but your participation has demonstrated that they were correct in their assessment.

    KG: Now, now, I never said they were mean…… moderator, he is being mean.
    Stepping back, my observation is that the reason “JJ” bursts a brain-vein when scientists even hint at discussing policy or politics or anything that can possibly be construed as something having any political content at all is that science historically has led the way to forward movement, to change, to shedding light on ignorance and close-mindedness. And, if policy is built on that logic, it improves the probability that it will win by virtue of reason. And that strikes fear in the heart of people who don’t want to see a particular policy win the day.
    So, what have we learned? Yeah, I can be a real prick. But, I have tried to be funny and sarcastic and hopefully you got a laugh. And, make a point. If you don’t get that point…..well, then you probably never will.
    As my mother used to say, “one way to get ahead is to push everyone else down, but you are no better than you were before you did it, and everyone hates you”
    Best of luck – may the echo chamber bring you comfort.

  140. kevin gurney says:

    Anthony Watts: not my intention: just trying to get the complete response in. seems it was not done in the two times i tried the whole. so, thought, if I break in to small sizes, it would work. no interest in dupes…. just want to get the whole thing rather than doing all the small individuals. sorry about the confusion. If it is easier for me to send as a whole, happy to do it. let me know.

  141. richardscourtney says:

    kevin gurney:

    I tried to read your recent series of very long posts but failed. So, I used the Cntrl-F function in attempt to find your apology to D Böehm for your untrue demand of an apology from him: unfortunately, that did not work.

    Please identify in which of those posts you provided the needed apology or, preferably, repeat it without hiding it in a diatribe.

    Richard

  142. D Böehm says:

    kevin gurney,

    I offered to apologize to you if I was wrong in thinking that you were feeding at the public trough. As it turns out, by your own admission I was correct, so no apology is due.

    Speaking of that, you seem to lack professional ethics. Being employed largely at taxpayer expense, it is clear that most of your dozens of L-O-N-G comments were written and posted during your work day. So I can add cheating the taxpaying public to my charge.

    I won’t bother to read your longer posts, but it seems you are of the belief that “carbon” [by which the scientifically illiterate mean CO2 — a gas, not an element] is a problem.

    CO2 is not a problem. CO2 is harmless and beneficial. More is better. It may cause some minuscule warming, which is on balance a good thing. It does not, and cannot cause runaway global warming. That canard is debunked by the ultimate Authority: Planet Earth.

    Further, the rise in global warming since the LIA has been along the same trend line. Warming has not accelerated, despite harmless, beneficial CO2 rising more than 40%. Since there has been no acceleration in the long term warming trend, CO2 cannot be the cause of measured global warming. QED

    In fact, there is no measurable effect from the rise in CO2. But there is a clearly measurable effect on CO2 as a function of temperature. We have empirical evidence showing conclusively that ∆T is the cause of ∆CO2. But we have no such evidence showing that ∆CO2 causes ∆T.

    So it turns out that you have cause and effect confused. No wonder your conclusions are easy to falsify.

  143. JJ says:

    kevin gurney says:

    What has surprised me, however, is the fact that nearly all of the “smart” commentary by those who “know science” appear to revolve around my PRESS RELEASE.

    That is the conversation that you joined, on a thread was was dedicated to that subject. And it is a conversation to which you have added precisely nothing, apart from increasingly flamboyant tantrums. Kudos on that last one, BTW. Acknowledged objective accomplished.

    Perhaps if you were to join in the conversation like an adult, instead of sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming until everyone drops what they are doing and talks about what you want to talk about, you might find more success. Your press release raises many interesting and provactive issues regarding appropriate technology, science communication, epistemology, the maintenance mechanisms of the ‘global warming’ religious/political movement, and other important topics. Anthony understood that, and that is why he started this post.

    It is a pity that you apparently do not, as it is likely that you have valuable insights that would inform such discussions – and vice versa. Some of those discussions would likely lead to things that you would enjoy discussing. The “my paper or my paroxysm” routine is arrogant, boorish, and not getting you there. Why don’t you try something else?

  144. dwayne kellum says:

    the guy calling himself kevin gurney aint. you are getting duped

    REPLY: The email and address check out correctly to AZ state, so I think you are in error – Anthony

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