Another hole in the climate models – no lamp black forcing

Kerosene Lamp

Smoke emitted by simple wick lamps, similar to the one shown here, was found to be a significant but previously overlooked source of global black carbon. These lamps are used by hundreds of millions of households, and can be replaced by cleaner, affordable alternatives. (Ajay Pillarisetti photo)

Interesting point, but I wonder how such a change would come about when people often can’t afford an alternative?

Let there be clean light: Kerosene lamps spew black carbon, should be replaced, study says

By Sarah Yang, Media Relations BERKELEY —

The primary source of light for more than a billion people in developing nations is also churning out black carbon at levels previously overlooked in greenhouse gas estimates, according to a new study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois.

Results from field and lab tests found that 7 to 9 percent of the kerosene in wick lamps — used for light in 250-300 million households without electricity — is converted to black carbon when burned. In comparison, only half of 1 percent of the emissions from burning wood is converted to black carbon.

Factoring in the new study results leads to a twentyfold increase in estimates of black carbon emissions from kerosene-fueled lighting.

The previous estimates come from established databases used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others. One kilogram of black carbon, a byproduct of incomplete combustion and an important greenhouse gas, produces as much warming in a month as 700 kilograms of carbon dioxide does over 100 years, the authors said.

“The orange glow in flames comes from black carbon, so the brighter the glow, the more black carbon is being made,” said study principal investigator Tami Bond, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “If it’s not burned away, it goes into the atmosphere.”

The findings, published online this month in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, are coming out at the same time that the United Nations Climate Change Conference kicks off in Doha, Qatar. While officials from around the world are seeking effective policies and guidelines for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the study authors note that the simple act of replacing kerosene lamps could pack a wallop toward that effort.

“There are no magic bullets that will solve all of our greenhouse gas problems, but replacing kerosene lamps is low-hanging fruit, and we don’t have many examples of that in the climate world,” said study co-author Kirk Smith, professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health and director of the Global Health and Environment Program. “There are many inexpensive, cleaner alternatives to kerosene lamps that are available now, and few if any barriers to switching to them.”

Smith pointed to lanterns with light-emitting diodes that can be powered by solar cells or even advanced cookstoves that generate electricity from the heat produced. Such technology, said Smith, is already available in developing countries.

The researchers used kerosene lamps purchased in Uganda and Peru and conducted field experiments there to measure the emissions. They repeated the tests in the lab using wicks of varying heights and materials, and kerosene purchased in the United States as well as in Uganda.

The study authors noted that converting to cleaner light sources would not only benefit the planet, it would help improve people’s health. A recent epidemiological study in Nepal led by Smith and other researchers at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, for example, found that women who reported use of kerosene lamps in the home had 9.4 times the rate of tuberculosis compared with those who did not use such lamps.

“Getting rid of kerosene lamps may seem like a small, inconsequential step to take, but when considering the collective impact of hundreds of millions of households, it’s a simple move that affects the planet,” said study lead author Nicholas Lam, a UC Berkeley graduate student in environmental health sciences.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, U.S. Agency for International Development and Environmental Protection Agency helped support this research.

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128 Responses to Another hole in the climate models – no lamp black forcing

  1. “If they can’t afford bread, let them eat cake”

  2. MarkW says:

    So the solution to global warming is to allow poor people to become rich enough so that they can afford to replace inefficient lighting with more modern lighting?
    That at least is a program that I could support.

  3. View from the Solent says:

    “The primary source of light for more than a billion people in developing nations is also churning out black carbon”
    Black carbon. As oppposed to what sort of non-black carbon? Diamonds?

  4. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    Okay, Greenpeace, time to go back to whale oil! It’s the only logical conclusion of the “science” you paid for.

  5. MarkW says:

    Don’t Coleman style lanterns also use kerosene? Since they glow with a white light, I’m guessing they would produce little if any carbon black. I’m also guessing that they are more efficient than the style of lamp shown in the picture above.
    For a fraction of the money that was wasted on Solyndra, we could buy every poor person in the world a Coleman style lantern.

  6. MarkW says:

    I’m willing to bet the Coleman style lanterns would also cost less and last a lot longer than the solar powered led lamps mentioned in the article.

  7. CAGW crowd not interested if it doesn’t require tens of billions in annual grants to study, hundreds of billions in new taxes & trillions in lost economic activity due to greater government control.

  8. Left out of the above press release:

    ” …. and our secret plan is to make fossil fuel so expensive they won’t be able to afford kerosene anyway”

  9. Gary Pearse says:

    Yep, how about replacing it with cheap clean coal fired power. They want to take away what they have and also not give them the only sane alternative. Since you need a fossil-fueled plant to back up the proposed solar and windmills (which don’t shine and blow just when you need them and they are not cheap. Why in heck do you ivory tower clones think these poor folk are using kerosene in the first place?

  10. pat says:

    These lamps cause tuberculosis? Huh?

  11. gator69 says:

    “A recent epidemiological study in Nepal led by Smith and other researchers at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, for example, found that women who reported use of kerosene lamps in the home had 9.4 times the rate of tuberculosis compared with those who did not use such lamps.”

    I would venture to guess that households using kerosene for lighting, probably have a number of other lifestyle differences that could cause TB. They are likely burning wood, or worse, for heat and cooking. Berkeley must be chock full of idiots.

  12. Anopheles says:

    Yes, they ought to all have electric light. And power plants to provide the juice. Or sit in the dark.

    Do they realise that before kero there was whale oil, and candles, and rush lights, for thousands of years? I’m, pretty sure the earth knows how to eat the carbon.

  13. I strongly suspect this is simply more foolishness. Next we will be told not to use charcoal to cook our food. I am biased of course as soon as I read IPCC I immediately relegate what ever is being said to the world of speculation and fiction.

  14. commieBob says:

    It’s sad that they have to use AGW to promote the replacement of kerosene lamps. TFA mentions the health benefits of replacing oil lamps. In addition, the replacement lamps would be much more efficient and would pay for themselves by using less fuel.

    Bigger health and efficiency gains come by replacing open fires with efficient burners such as the Rocket Stove. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_stove Many ‘greenies’ seem to have a problem understanding it but technology is actually good for the environment and general human well-being.

  15. When I was a kid and the power went out, my father fired up the old Aladdin kerosene lamp. It came off of a Southern Pacific Railroad Caboose. Aladdin has been making those lamps since the early 1900′s. It uses a mantle (like a Coleman lantern) to turn the heat into light. I remember that if I put a piece of paper at the top of the chimney, it would ignite it and I would get fussed at.. Lot’s of waste heat obviously. Once it was hot, there was no visible smoke that I recall. Maybe they just need to improve their kerosene lamps for now.

  16. My first thought was that there was some much wrong in the PR write up of this study, I didn’t know where to begin. But then I thought, “Don’t poo-poo it; bring it on!”

    For one thing, if lamp derrived black carbon is so bad, then modeler’s will have to dial back the CO2 sensitivity to account for black carbons ‘just realized’ contribution. Adding an element to your model doesn’t change the historical temperatures you need to match.

    Who knows, maybe the shrinking Martian Ice Caps will finally make people admit “Oh, gosh, there is a stronger solar component than we modeled, too.”

  17. John M says:

    One kilogram of black carbon, a byproduct of incomplete combustion and an important greenhouse gas

    Oh why, why, why, oh why don’t scientists insist on reading the PR releases before they got out?

  18. Alexander Harvey says:

    Not all kerosene/paraffin lamps are born equal.

    There is a big difference between the amount of carbon emitted by naked wick lamps compared to chimney lamps (with or without a mantle) and a big difference in the light output.

    I would wonder whether it would be preferable to get a better lamp rather than upgrade to LEDs/batteries/solar or to a combined heat and electricity producing cooking stove.

    Alex

  19. Matthew W says:

    Cheap, reliable electricity benefits EVERYONE on the planet, and here we have the EPA doing everything they can to make CHEAP and RELIABLE electricity more scare

  20. feet2thefire says:

    Pardon my French, but how in the hell can previous scientists’ studies overlook such an obvious source? It is not like each study is a lamp in the wilderness; they have earlier papers’ shoulders to stand n. NO ONE thought of this? What an indictment of methodology and thoroughness – for the entire field. Sloppy thinkers and sloppy science.

    Steve Garcia

  21. Chris @NJ_Snow_Fan says:

    N hem BC emissions are not healthy for people and snow and ice pack.My feeling is Most BC deposits in the arctic region in the N. Hem are caused by high altitude Jet exhaust. Easy to control ground Black Carbon emissions and we would end up having healthier people and cleaner snow and packs for glaciers. My guess is there is about 70% (Except when All Gore files to S.Pole for visits) less BC in S.Hem then northern. That is one reason Antarctica snow and ice is growing with the low sun spot cycles not like N.Hem is my feeling.

  22. Robin says:

    While officials from around the world are seeking effective policies and guidelines for cutting greenhouse gas emissions

    While continuing to find an excuse to jet around and party at taxpayer expense, officials sought additional rationales for collecting tax-free salaries, planning and controlling economies, and prescribing and limiting individual behaviors. To prevent the gravy train from blowing up, they continued to insist that Gaia had a temperature and that models trump reality.

    Luckily back in the US, the EPA in a document mapping out its future plans laid out its adoption of Systems Theory/Systems Dynamics as laid out by Meadows in the controversial Limits to Growth in order to use “Science” to help protect public health. It was utterly delighted to now have so much power over the economy and planned to go on a hiring binge for “Scientists” with aspirations for planning with Big Data. It was also delighted that its new education People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) student grant initiative was bringing in plenty of prospective planners captured while their idealism greatly exceeded their knowledge.

    The EPA was also excited about its global reach. Nothing that could be tied in to carbon seemed beyond its grasp as 2013 loomed. What a great time to be employed by the Predator State where no problem is too small nor behavior too inconsequential to be captured as part of the Ecosystem view of the world.

  23. Eric H. says:

    Really? Who funds this non-sense?

  24. Enginear says:

    Are those modern laterns? Sure a lamp without a chiminey will not burn efficiently nor produce a good light but lanterns with a glass chiminey will eliminate most of the problem here. In effect a latern with just a wick is a smudge pot.

    Also, note that most of the carbon produced remains inside the building being lit. I attaches to any surface it contacts and is pretty hard to remove. Their conclusions are BS.

    Barry Strayer

  25. Jolly farmer says:

    What a crazy world! Worrying about kerosene lamps as adding to “greenhouse gas problems”, and ignoring the fact that lighting homes with them leads to lung conditions.

    Finding alternatives to kerosene lamps is a good thing. The “greenhouse gas problems” aspect is rubbish.

  26. Doug Huffman says:

    My diesel powered Welsbach mantle lamp produces light, heat, carbon dioxide and water vapor. There is no soot on the soot-bell.

  27. Tim says:

    “One kilogram of black carbon, a byproduct of incomplete combustion and an important greenhouse gas”
    I thought Carbon was a solid.

  28. John West says:

    “The primary source of light for more than a billion people in developing nations is also churning out black carbon”

    When are these people going to pay the developed world reparations for their pollution?

    (/sarc)

  29. Gail Combs says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 29, 2012 at 8:43 am

    “If they can’t afford bread, let them eat cake”
    __________________________
    As I recall the person who said that lost her head…. We are more civilized now…Oh Wait.

    One wonders if the politicians realize they, and not the advisors whispering in their ears, are the first in line when anger reaches explosive proportions.

  30. Michael Tremblay says:

    Wow, this report is filled with so many inaccurate observations it is difficult to know where to start.

    First, black carbon is not a gas, let alone a greenhouse gas. It is a solid resulting from the incomplete combustion of a fuel (any fuel containing carbon, not just kerosene). Lack of oxygen during the combustion will result in small particles of solid carbon forming which forms a suspension of solids rising with the convection currents.

    Second, the orange glow in the flame is a result of the infrared radiation emitted by the flame, not the formation of carbon black, and is indicative of the temperature of the flame at that point. If more oxygen is added the temperature will rise as more combustion takes place resulting in a flame of a different colour and complete combustion of the carbon with less carbon black forming and a brighter flame.

    Third, if the technology were available to these homes to provide better light, IE electricity on a regular basis, they would be using it based on its cheaper cost, not because of some green initiative – these people are trying to survive, not satisfy some fanciful notion about preventing global warming.

    Finally, and this is the most ridiculous, tuberculosis is not caused by carbon black, it is caused by a bacillus which is transmitted through the air by people in close contact with each other. Rising tuberculosis rates in these countries is the result of exposure to the bacillus which are becoming increasingly antibiotic resistant. By the way, you will also find tuberculosis rates are increasing in populations which do not use kerosene lamps.

  31. Gail Combs says:

    MarkW says:
    November 29, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I’m willing to bet the Coleman style lanterns would also cost less and last a lot longer than the solar powered led lamps mentioned in the article.
    _________________________________
    Make that Aladdin Oil Lamps – the world’s finest non electric lamps. They are quite beautiful too. link (we have an antique Aladdin sitting on the dinning room table)

  32. There are more efficient kerosene lanterns than these simple open-wick ones, and they give off a more intense light. They must be pressurized with a built-in hand pump. That’s what would seem to be the best replacement for the 3rd world. There are pressurized Coleman lanterns starting at about $50. Click here:

    http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=coleman+lantern&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    There’s also a high-quality any-fuel lantern, the Brite-Lyt. It is the 5th generation of Petromax products, and there is a nickel-plated military version that can also function as a stove. But there are competitors using earlier versions that are cheaper. The Brite-Lyt costs $140 for the basic model. Here’s its link:

    http://www.britelyt.com/lanterns.htm

  33. DarrylB says:

    Well, perhaps this would work to some degree. I am sure many of us have used solar energy for lighting. Not too much light! Might need a significant number of solar panels.
    However, if Sarah and the researchers want to be convincing, I would suggest the researchers (and her) live at some (friendly) location for two to three weeks, where they can replace the kerosene with any of the sources they suggest. It might be that there are many unforeseen problems. I tire of someone suggesting what others can do when they are preaching from a distant comfortable environment.
    —Or, maybe the researchers did just that when they were there and Sarah did not write about it.

  34. Neil Jordan says:

    Re Charles Bruce Richardson Jr. says: November 29, 2012 at 9:10 am
    Aladdin lamps are very efficient producers of light. I have one for emergency lighting. The efficiency is gained by using the kerosene flame to heat the mantle to incandescence. To show that there is no free lunch, the incandescence comes from the thorium nitrate in the mantle. Thorium is one of the many naturally occurring radioactive elements. A similar mantle is used in the gas-fired lanterns.

  35. FerdinandAkin says:

    I am going out and buying a dozen or so Tiki Torches to light my back yard. I am putting Tiki Torches on my gift giving list for all my friends this Christmas season. I may have to start buying them by the gross.

  36. Billy says:

    I am guessing that households that cannot afford a lamp also has no access to a doctor for TB diagnosis.

  37. John M says:
    November 29, 2012 at 9:15 am

    One kilogram of black carbon, a byproduct of incomplete combustion and an important greenhouse gas…

    Oh why, why, why, oh why don’t scientists insist on reading the PR releases before they got out?

    Maybe they did read it and didn’t realize the difference: that it’s a source of soot.

    (Hence the brown clouds from Asia. Hence some of the melting of arctic ice.)

  38. Gail Combs says:

    I am sure this is what they want to replace those kerosene lamps picture

  39. Steven Mosher says:

    “For one thing, if lamp derrived black carbon is so bad, then modeler’s will have to dial back the CO2 sensitivity to account for black carbons ‘just realized’ contribution. Adding an element to your model doesn’t change the historical temperatures you need to match.”

    There is no c02 sensitivity dial.

    There is an aerosol dial. This dial exists because estimates of aerosols are not well know.

  40. John F. Hultquist says:

    Being a confirmed skeptic and cynic, I wonder who makes money from the sale of kerosene in Uganda? Will those same folks make money from the “lanterns with light-emitting diodes that can be powered by solar cells or even advanced cookstoves” as Kirk Smith (professor – public health) wants to have them use? Technology is not the problem.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    View from the Solent says:
    November 29, 2012 at 8:47 am
    “The primary source of light for more than a billion people in developing nations is also churning out black carbon”
    Black carbon. As opposed to what sort of non-black carbon? Diamonds?

    In certain parts of the USA, auto drivers have frequent accidents because of “‘black ice.” Many roads have a black surface because of the paving material but concrete is more gray than black. Then there are those roads that have volcanic cinders (more red than black). Nevertheless, no one ever claims gray ice or red ice – only black will do. Driving thru NE Oregon years ago I thought my car was being a bit unresponsive in the steering sense. I stopped and opened the door and without getting out I noticed the road with all its painted lines was covered in ice. Very clear ice.

  41. TomH says:

    This article is from one of our leading universities?
    - Solar panel powered led lights that cost less than kerosene lanterns don’t exist, and if you live in a mud hut are not available anyway..
    -Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterial infection, not kerosene lamps. Apparently no editor was available to review this before sent out.

    “Getting rid of kerosene lamps may seem like a small, inconsequential step to take, but when considering the collective impact of hundreds of millions of households, it’s a simple move that affects the planet,” said study lead author Nicholas Lam, a UC Berkeley graduate student in environmental health sciences.”
    - I would submit that getting rid of millions of kerosene lamps would not be “small and inconsequential” project to anyone that isn’t a graduate student at UC Berkeley.

  42. Alec Rawls says:

    When the cooling starts we’ll need to dot the great white north with black carbon plants, producing as much soot as we can to lower the albedo of the snow and ice. Thanks to the 3rd world for giving us a head start.

  43. kwik says:

    feet2thefire says:
    November 29, 2012 at 9:21 am

    “Pardon my French, but how in the hell can previous scientists’ studies overlook such an obvious source? It is not like each study is a lamp in the wilderness; they have earlier papers’ shoulders to stand n. NO ONE thought of this? ”

    Everyone else thought about it, especially the sceptics. The “Team” denied to even think about it.

    Time for the third world to start paying us mucho dollares for “black Carbon” release to the athmosphere.

  44. JJ says:

    Stephen Rasey says:

    Adding an element to your model doesn’t change the historical temperatures you need to match.

    Correct. Changing the historic temperatures is a separate step.

    Steven Mosher says:

    There is no c02 sensitivity dial.

    Correct. There is a CO2 sensitivity goal. It varies depending on the political strategy of the ‘climate scientist’ but is in the vicinity of 4C per a doubling of CO2.

    There is an aerosol dial. This dial exists because estimates of aerosols are not well know.

    And because fiddling with things that are ‘not well know’ allows one to to achieve the desired CO2 sensitivity goal with some cover.

  45. RobRoy says:

    Cause and effect, simple cause and effect is lost on these people.
    I always have at least 50 cents in my pocket. I have never contracted TB. Therefore; having at least 50 cents in one’s pocket prevents TB.

  46. RobRoy says:

    I’m not worrying. Most of these lamps will be blown out by the increased hurricane activity.

  47. Steve C says:

    “Advanced cookstoves that generate electricity from the heat produced”? A good few years ago now, my favourite amateur radio mag featured a photo of a fellow in Norway during WWII. He was using a kerosene lamp fitted with a collar consisting of an array of thermocouples, which generated enough electricity from the lamp’s waste heat to charge a battery to power his clandestine radio. If putting thermocouples in cooking stoves now counts as “advanced”, we must have de-evolved considerably over the last 70 years. Judging by the way our UK politicians are “de-evolving” our electricity supply at the moment, it’s an ongoing project.

  48. Jimbo says:

    One kilogram of black carbon, a byproduct of incomplete combustion and an important greenhouse gas, produces as much warming in a month as 700 kilograms of carbon dioxide does over 100 years, the authors said.

    Now let’s take a look at the Asian haze over the Himalayas and soot in the Arctic ice.

    Dr. James Hansen – NASA
    “Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos”
    http://www.pnas.org/content/101/2/423.long

    Dr. James Hansen – NASA
    “Distant origins of Arctic black carbon: A Goddard Institute for Space Studies ModelE experiment”
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2005/2004JD005296.shtml

    J. Ming et. al.
    “Black carbon record based on a shallow Himalayan ice core and its climatic implications”
    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00328571/

  49. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    Stop Global Dumbing Now says:
    November 29, 2012 at 8:47 am

    In the colloquium of the irascible Newfoundlander, “Whale Oil Beef Hooked”.

  50. DirkH says:

    commieBob says:
    November 29, 2012 at 9:09 am
    “It’s sad that they have to use AGW to promote the replacement of kerosene lamps. ”

    You got it all wrong. Climate Scientists are the most supreme scientist as they can never err (the models make sure). So they have watched the misery of the humans and decided to climb down from their pedestal to give their advice. Stop using cheap Kerosene lamps, humans. It hurts the climate.

    And as they are as pure as the driven snow, humanity will listen to their advice where humanity has never listened to lesser (expensive) scientists and promptly ban those lamps and send some blue helmets after every hut to confiscate them.

    Of course, free advice on how to get better sources of lighting will be given as well.

  51. Jimbo says:

    A recent epidemiological study in Nepal led by Smith and other researchers at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, for example, found that women who reported use of kerosene lamps in the home had 9.4 times the rate of tuberculosis compared with those who did not use such lamps.

    I am just speculating here but might it not have something to do with poverty? Just askin.

  52. Cam_S says:

    Roger Pielke Jr. has an article about this very subject. Poverty and access to energy.
    Take a look!

    Against “Modern Energy Access”
    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.ca/2012/11/against-modern-energy-access.html

  53. daveburton says:

    Re: “One kilogram of black carbon… an important greenhouse gas, produces as much warming in a month as 700 kilograms of carbon dioxide does over 100 years, the authors said.”

    Obviously, as John M notes, black carbon (soot) is not a gas, let alone a greenhouse gas.

    However, the claim that carbon in the form of aerosol soot in the lowest atmosphere has 700 x (12/44) x 12 x 100 = 229,091 times the warming effect of the same amount of carbon in CO2 also seems astonishing.

    AFAIK, soot:

    1. warms the earth only by lowering albedo, which it does to much effect only when it settles out on snow and ice (i.e., never in the tropics); and

    2. settles/washes out of the lowest atmosphere very quickly – typically in a matter of a few days or weeks; and

    3. cools, rather than warms, the surface of the earth while airborne, by reducing the amount of sunlight which reaches the surface.

    So how on earth can kerosene lamps in Haiti or Uganda possibly have any global warming effect at all, let alone >200,000 times the warming effect of the same amount of carbon in CO2? At most, it seems that it could contribute to a locally increased UHI effect.

    The journal article, unfortunately, is behind a paywall:
    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es302697h
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23163320
    I’ve written to the senior author, Prof. Tami Bond, asking if there’s a non-paywalled copy anywhere. (I checked arXiv.org, but it’s not there.)

    Here she is testifying about black carbon before a Congressional committee five years ago:

    The last five seconds are the most interesting, IMO: she admits that reducing black carbon emissions can reduce warming “only in the short term.” (Note: she mentioned “climate” and “warming” four times each, but never used the word “global.”)

    I wonder whether her real motivation might a humanitarian concern about the health effects of soot on the people who inhale it? Perhaps she’s just craftily trying to hitch that worthy cause to the global warming gravy train, so that some good can come from the vast sums wasted on climate concerns.

  54. cartoonasaur says:

    Additionally, climate scientists are 97% smarter. Settled science, don’t you know?

  55. Jimbo says:

    I learn something new every day. :)

    “One kilogram of black carbon, a byproduct of incomplete combustion and an important greenhouse gas

  56. Roy says:

    Robin wrote:

    Luckily back in the US, the EPA in a document mapping out its future plans laid out its adoption of Systems Theory/Systems Dynamics as laid out by Meadows in the controversial Limits to Growth in order to use “Science” to help protect public health. It was utterly delighted to now have so much power over the economy and planned to go on a hiring binge for “Scientists” with aspirations for planning with Big Data. It was also delighted that its new education People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) student grant initiative was bringing in plenty of prospective planners captured while their idealism greatly exceeded their knowledge.

    That reminds me of a project designed by Stafford Beer, a British expert on “cybernetics”, to control the economy of Chile when it had a Marxist president, Salvador Allende, in the early 1970s. The system was installed and used for a while but was abandoned when President Allende was overthrown. There is an article about it in Wikipedia.

    Project Cybersyn
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Cybersyn

  57. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Coleman lanterns burn unleaded gasoline.

  58. GlynnMhor says:

    “… kerosene lamps in the home had 9.4 times the rate of tuberculosis…”

    So, does this mean kerosene causes tuberculosis, or does it mean that people not wealthy enough to afford electricity also have risk factors for tuberculosis, such as crowded conditions and limited medical treatment?

    Correlation does not demonstrate causation.

  59. Jimbo says:

    The nonsense continues.

    Energy minister Ed Davey has unveiled the government’s much-trailed Energy Bill, setting out the roadmap for the UK’s switch to “a low-carbon economy”.

    Energy firms can increase the “green” levy from £3bn to £7.6bn a year by 2020, potentially increasing household bills by £100.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20539981

    Excess winter deaths may rise between now and 2020. Just wait until an overcast, bitterly cold, relatively windless winter’s day over just half of the UK.

  60. MarkW says:

    Roger Knights says:
    November 29, 2012 at 9:55 am

    $50 is the retail price, I’m sure that if you are buying them in bulk, you can get them for a lot cheaper.

  61. Gail Combs says:

    Steven Mosher says:

    There is no c02 sensitivity dial.
    _________________________________________
    And there you have it folks.

    Steven Mosher has just admitted to the world that the CO2 sensitiviy is cast in stone in the computer models EVERYTHING else can be adjusted to make sure the model can be fudged to give the ‘right’ answer but that CO2 sensitivity is absolutely sacred.

    With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk. ~von Neumann

    Just don’t touch that CO2 parameter what ever you do.

  62. Robuk says:

    The enviromentalists took away their lives (40 million I believe ) when they banned DDT, now they want to take away their light.

  63. Kaboom says:

    The green solution to this obviously is withholding electricity from these poor people while taking away their kerosene lamps because both are evil destroyers of Gaia. Instead they are to live in darkness while their green benefactors call out the industrial world for keeping them in poverty.

  64. P Wilson says:

    Save Water. Drink Champagne.

  65. Bruce Cobb says:

    Whatever warming effect soot has on our climate is both arguable as well as being a red herring. It doesn’t matter in the slightest. It is a real pollutant (unlike C02), has very real consequences on people’s health, particularly those in 3rd-world countries, and that is why it needs to be reduced. How to do that is the big question. The Warmist cult would say carbon taxes and other transfer-of-wealth schemes.

  66. TomL says:

    Isn’t soot thought to be a negative feedback? Or is it another one of those things where nobody is sure of the sign?

  67. anengineer says:

    How much reduction in lamp black production and increased light would they get from simply adding a glass chimney?
    Simple and likely to producible with local labor.

  68. Duster says:

    MarkW says:
    November 29, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Don’t Coleman style lanterns also use kerosene? Since they glow with a white light, I’m guessing they would produce little if any carbon black. I’m also guessing that they are more efficient than the style of lamp shown in the picture above.
    For a fraction of the money that was wasted on Solyndra, we could buy every poor person in the world a Coleman style lantern.

    The fuel used in a Coman lamp is white gas, or in the “dual fuel” versions you can also use unleaded gasoline. Kerosene is heavier and somewhat less volatile. The flame of a kerosene lamp supplies the light – according to some sources by actually heating the soot to incandescence. In a Colman-style pressurized lamp, the fuel is gasified by being pressurized. Once the lamp reaches a working temperature the mantle heats up and emits visible light with a spectrum dependent on the doping agents used to fabricate the mantle. The “cloth” mantle is doped with metallic salts, typically thorium cerium oxide, that glow brightly in the visible spectrum when heated. All the flame does in a Colman lamp is heat the mantle. They are considerably more efficient than a kerosene lamp.

  69. Michael Tremblay says:

    The technology to reduce the amount of soot produced by a kerosene lamp, or any other lamp burning a liquid fuel through a wick, has been available for at least 150 years. The version of that lamp which Coleman markets was first patented in 1868 and there has been modest improvement on that design. If those people using kerosene lamps are not using at least that version then the most economic and environmental solution is to provide them with the facilities and designs to make their own, not providing them with ‘modern’ light producing equivalents whose manufacture is too expensive for these people and whose manufacture is actually more environmentally damaging than the supposed damage they are preventing.

    Last year I did a study on the availability of fresh drinkable water to third world countries. People, like the ones who conducted this study, would have them supplied with modern water purification plants which they cannot afford and which they can’t maintain because they don’t have the necessary technical expertise, when simple natural water filtration methods can provide them with that. The economic fact is that even these simple, and relatively inexpensive, filters are too expensive for villagers whose average annual income is less than $1000 (16 countries – mostly in Africa – had an average annual per capita income of less than $1000 in 2007 according to the IMF).

  70. Rob Dawg says:

    Were some philanthropic organization to fund the $3-4b needed to get all these kerosene lamps traded in for solar/human power LED lamps the price of kerosene would plummet encouraging even more use. I love climate economics.

  71. Roy Uk says:

    How much was the grant for this research?

    How many clean lamps would it have bought at the previously mentioned retail price of $50?

    And the author is worried about Black Carbon??? If all of the nonsense studies into global warming had not been done, everyone the world over could have had a clean burning lamp. I am so angry.

    And @Steve Mosher I always read all of your posts. I admire your tenacity. I understand your fervent belief in CO2 global warming. I know you think you understand everything about the climate sytem and the modelling thereof But:

    “The first rule of holes: When you’re in one stop digging.”

  72. A third of the world’s population tests positive for TB antibodies. It’s as high as 80% is some Asian countries. Which means these people have been infected by the TB bacteria at some stage. There are 2 reasons why most of these people don’t develop symptomatic TB. Natural resistance and environmental factors, primarily poor nutrition, other infections and factors that cause lung damage, which would include black carbon.

  73. andyb says:

    a) Nothing in this article is about climate models.
    b) For people laughing about the tuberculosis/kerosene study not considering confounders you should – just a crazy idea here – read the abstract, heck maybe even the whole paper – to see if they controlled for those confounders. Its available here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2854735/ and yes they did control for everything you were thinking about.
    c)
    i) Carbon tax in developed world -> less energy consumption in developed world ->lower energy prices in developing world.
    ii) carbon tax in developed world -> investment in energy saving tech and new energy sources -> that tech trickle down to developing world -> higher living standards per energy consumption in developing world.

    i + ii -> carbon taxes in developed world increase living standards in developing world, before considering effects on climate. (Unless you think the developing world is highly dependent on energy intensive imports from the developed world)

    Andy

  74. One kilogram of black carbon, a byproduct of incomplete combustion and an important greenhouse gas, produces as much warming in a month as 700 kilograms of carbon dioxide does over 100 years, the authors said.

    I assume this is a reference to the atmospheric scattering of solar radiation by BC. This is a highly questionable number for a number of reasons. When BC scatters incoming solar radiation the atmosphere is warmed, but this is energy that would otherwise have reached the surface where most of would have been absorbed (excepting ice and snow surfaces). Being scattered by atmospheric BC results in the energy having a shorter path to space than energy absorbed by the surface. So, BC both warms the atmosphere and cools the climate.

  75. David Jojnes says:

    John M says:
    November 29, 2012 at 9:15 am
    “One kilogram of black carbon, a byproduct of incomplete combustion and an important greenhouse gas…
    Oh why, why, why, oh why don’t scientists insist on reading the PR releases before they got out?”

    No, No. You do the science. Leave the PR stuff to us. We’re the professionals.

  76. David Jojnes says:

    Eric H. says:
    November 29, 2012 at 9:28 am
    “Really? Who funds this non-sense?”

    Probably your Uncle Sam!

  77. mfo says:

    Gore, Pachaury and a few friends have passed round the hat to solve the problem:
    http://im.rediff.com/money/2009/oct/28teri.jpg

  78. mfo says:

    Or even Pachauri.

  79. David Jojnes says:

    Michael Tremblay says:
    November 29, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Mike

    I’m afaid you are confused. It is the message which is importanat. The science will just confuse the reader!

    Even UC Berkley must have Professors (or even undergrads) who know this paper is scientific BS!

  80. Mike Jonas says:

    I’m not the first to say it, but the solution is blatantly obvious. Coal-fired power stations. A lot less pesky emissions than kerosene, and a lower price than just about anything else. Price matters for people with little money. Coal is in abundant supply, and it uses totally tried and tested technology. Although the total energy in question is relatively small in global terms, the percentage reduction in CO2 emissions would massively outstrip anything that any country in Kyoto has achieved. What’s not to like?

  81. Black carbon seeds persistent (non-precipitating) clouds which cool the climate. Most of the world has seen large reductions in BC emissions over the last 50 years (mostly thanks to coal fired power stations replacing domestic combustion of coal/wood/oil).

    This IMO is the main cause of the warming over the last 50 years – reduced BC and other aerosol seeded clouds.

  82. Louis Hooffstetter says:
    November 29, 2012 at 11:44 am
    Coleman lanterns burn unleaded gasoline.

    Coleman sells lanterns to go with kerosene; one is shown here (for over $100):
    http://www.coleman.com/Products/1015/liquid-fuel-lanterns

    It also sells dual fuel models that work with either unleaded gasoline or “Coleman Fuel” (alcohol?); others work with propane. The latter are the cheapest at $40. Most others are around or over $100.

    A neat accessory (which the seller claims fits all lanterns with a bail) is a $17 semi-circular reflector that avoids wasted lighting (and hence allows a lower setting of the dial):
    http://www.basspro.com/Coleman-Lantern-Reflector/product/10230019/?hvarAID=shopping_googleproductextensions&om_mmc=shopping_googleproductextensions&affcode_c=17kw3123366&SST=34a5d011-4dd4-11a8-4b29-000008d8090b

  83. Bruce Cobb says:

    andyb says:
    November 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm
    i) Carbon tax in developed world -> less energy consumption in developed world ->lower energy prices in developing world.
    ii) carbon tax in developed world -> investment in energy saving tech and new energy sources -> that tech trickle down to developing world -> higher living standards per energy consumption in developing world.

    i + ii -> carbon taxes in developed world increase living standards in developing world, before considering effects on climate. (Unless you think the developing world is highly dependent on energy intensive imports from the developed world)

    You greenies live in a dream world, full of make-believe, and divorced from the reality of how economics works. None of what you stated would happen. Carbon taxes would simply mean higher prices, forcing some industries overseas, where costs were lower (like China) and lowering living standards in the developed world. The only beneficiaries would be countries like China. Your Greenie dreams would be of no benefit whatsoever to developing countries, and if anything, they’d be even worse off.

  84. JPeden says:

    “[Coleman] also sells dual fuel models that work with either unleaded gasoline or “Coleman Fuel” (alcohol?)”

    No “Coleman Fuel” is not alcohol – it’s volatility is comparable to regular non-diesel vehicle gasoline and equally explosive!

  85. JPeden says:

    andyb says:
    November 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    “c)
    i) Carbon tax in developed world -> less energy consumption in developed world ->lower energy prices in developing world.”

    andy, if you want to make the sacrifice yourself to move your standard of living down toward the developing world’s by decreasing your own energy consumption, you can already do it – and also find out something about what the sacrifice will actually entail – without a carbon tax on the rest of us. Such sacrifice is apparently your way to find “meaning in life”, so it’s your responsibility and burden.

    But it’s not mine: in your imposed “carbon tax” panacea, I see only a meaningless destruction of wealth and decreased standards of living , totalitarian control and the appropriation of created wealth, and the stifling of the further creation of wealth and increases in the standard of living which got us to this eeeevilll “wealth inequality between the rich and poor nations” in the first place.

    The World needs more wealth creation from all nations and America’s way of creating wealth should be a model for it!

    Wealth is not a “fixed pie”. It must be created, even to be sustained at a certain level. Energy availability is critical to wealth creation. Meanwhile, andy, you seem to be interested only in your own version of “pie in the sky”.

    “ii) carbon tax in developed world -> investment in energy saving tech and new energy sources -> that tech trickle down to developing world -> higher living standards per energy consumption in developing world.”

    You mean like the trickle down solar and wind energy investments which are already a proven failure at their site of production in Europe; and like the U.S. Gov’t investments which have produced 19 “green energy” bankruptcies from the Obama Adm.? Maybe Algae?

    Attn, andy! Have you noticed that China is constructing just about as many coal-fired electricity plants as possible, as an integral part of its path out of its under-developed ‘disaster’ and toward higher standards of living? Or that due to the failure of solar and wind energy “investments”, Germany itself is now moving heavily into coal-fired electricity?

  86. The “ugly American” (i.e., practical, low-cost) solution to the immediate soot problem would be for a pilot project to distribute add-on glass chimneys as an accessory to existing smudge-pot type kerosene lamps. They’d need to have a wide base dipped in some “grippy” substance to reduce tipping over and/or sliding off, and they’d have to be thick, to reduce breakage if they did fall off. If possible, some sort of way of securely attaching them to the lamp, however clunky, should be devised.

    These should not only reduce soot but also increase the efficiency of the lamps, allowing lower fuel consumption or better lighting. Once statistics on the increased efficiency could be obtained, these could be sold as cost-saving add-ons. Or maybe given away, if Greenpeace wants to foot the bill. And the government of India could mandate that all new lamps sold must include such a chimney.

  87. Curt says:

    A couple of months ago, the Economist had a very good article on the prospect of replacement of kerosene lamps with solar-charged LED lamps.

    http://www.economist.com/node/21560983

    Nothing about climate change, just the economic and health benefits to the users.

  88. Neil Jordan says:

    A paper describing a stove-powered thermoelectric generator can be downloaded here:
    http://edge.rit.edu/content/P10451/public/Thermoelectric%20power%20generation%20from%20biomass%20cook%20stoves%20Champier%20et%20al

    The bottom line cost is about 120 Euros, based on the following summary. Note that the Euro symbol came out as “V”.
    [...]
    This study shows that it is possible to obtain a useful power of about 6W regulated electrical power with 4 TE modules for the stove. The cost price has been briefly estimated as follows:
    - The price for the electronic part is 31V for one sample and drops to 15V for more than 100 samples.
    - The price of one TE module for the generator is 75V and it decreases to 19V for 10,000 pieces. However, the price of Peltier TE cooling modules of the same size produced in large
    quantities starts at 16V for one piece and decreases to 12V for 100 pieces. As the production of Peltier modules uses the same materials and the same technology except for welding on the
    hot side, the price should decrease in the years to come to a more reasonable value probably around 25V for more than 100 samples.

    We can estimated the price of our TE generator for a production of at least 100 pieces around 120V for 6W. So the cost per watt of our prototype is around 20V.
    [...]

    According to the paper the estimated 2009 cost is 120 Euros. At an exchange rate of 1E = $1.30, the cost would be about $160.

    The unit price of thermoelectric produced electricity is 20 Euros or $26 per watt. The 2010 unit price of coal produced electricity from, for example:
    http://nuclearfissionary.com/2010/04/02/comparing-energy-costs-of-nuclear-coal-gas-wind-and-solar/
    is about $0.04 per kilowatt. Compare that with the unit price of the thermoelectric solution, $26,000 per kilowatt.

    The first commenter said it best.
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 29, 2012 at 8:43 am
    “If they can’t afford bread, let them eat cake”

  89. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Lots of misunderstandings out there today! Wow!

    Mosher, your first comment is correct.
    Black Carbon has a very large GHG forcing equivalent but it is not a gas,that’s true.
    It doesn’t scatter light it absorbs it which is why it is black.
    It heats the air directly, immediately.
    Light is emitted from glowing particles. If the quality of the kerosene flame is greatly improved less light is emitted per game of fuel. That is why high quality flames have a mantle.
    Kerosene is quite capable of being burned with no flame visible at all. Google FLOX.
    BC below 4 microns is respirable and a serious complicating factor for all lung ailments.
    Most BC is from burning biomass.
    Very small BC particles are strong absorbers of UV.
    BC is net warming. Organic Carbon is net cooling.
    Tami Bond is on no one’s gravy train and is an actual expert on the matter of BC. She has a PhD in the subject and is also an engineer. Hence her technical tact with words.
    The many comments that BC matters to the total forcing are correct. All warming has to be divided across the contributing factors. Increase one (BC) and all others have to decrease.
    Finally, evaporated kerosene causes a lot of lung damage because it causes chemical pneumonia. Poorly burning wick lamps all evaporate fuel. High quality kerosene combustion can be obtained for much less than $20. Google REDI stove and FSP stove. Both could be lanterns instead.
    Please give a care for clean air! Bad indoor air kills more people than malaria.

  90. george e. smith says:

    So “black carbon” is an “important greenhouse gas” ??

    So what is the chemical formula for black carbon gas ?

    It can’t be just C because as we all know, mono-atomic gases are not infra-red active. Try finding the Modtran spectrum for C gas.

    And we can also eliminate C2, since homo-diatomic gases also are not infra-red active, like H2, well, and N2 /O2 of course. Would 16O18O be considered a homo-diatomic inactive gas ?

    So I guess black carbon gas has to be C3 or maybe it’s some sort of n(C3) “polymer” ?

    Well it’s an intriguing question. Is C60 Buckygas infra-red active ?

    Enquiring minds want to know about this new gas.

    Could black carbon gas molecules be big enough to act as nucleation centers for water droplet formation. Burning kerosene is a well know source of H2O greenhouse gas, so along with black carbon gas, it might just make more clouds, which would be a big cooling effect.

    And I’m sure those primitive wick kero lamp users, prefer the warm white output, as more relaxing than the eye sore cold white of Coleman kero lamps; so they might simply throw the Coleman lamps out. Best to let people use what they want to. Why would a Bushman nomad of Africa; apparently the ancestor of all of us, want to have an iPhone 5 ?

    Yes black carbon gas, is the key to an entirely new generation of goverment grant addicts to build their career around !!

  91. It doesn’t scatter light it absorbs it which is why it is black.

    BC does scatters as well depending on particle size, but you are right BC predominantly absorbs and re-emits.

    Because sources of soot also are responsible for a significant fraction of organic carbon,
    uncertainties in the net forcing for black carbon (positive) and associated organic particles
    (negative) are particularly important. This net forcing can vary significantly with the
    reflectivity of the underlying surface (e.g., white ice or clouds vs. dark sea). When soot
    particles are present over a darker surface, the incoming sunlight absorbed by black carbon
    and scattered toward space by the organic carbon reduce the sunlight reaching the surface
    (dimming). This cooling effect partly offsets the atmospheric heating caused by black carbon.
    However, when these particles exist over white clouds or a snow covered surface, the energy
    balance is changed. Much of the reduction in sunlight reaching the ground caused by
    absorption and scattering by soot would have been reflected upwards by the white surface
    anyway; this greatly diminishes the potential cooling.

    http://www.c2es.org/docUploads/black-carbon-12-16-09.pdf

    But my point about BC causing atmospheric warming and climate cooling stands.

  92. ConfusedPhoton says:

    In Nepal people in non-urban areas often produce heavy smoke inside the building on purpose to help preserve the wood. I am sure that will have an unhealthy effect on their lungs.

  93. ”Primary source of light”? I thought the primary source of light was the sun.

  94. Climate Dissident says:

    Intuit mummies (women and children) found in Greenland had damage to their lungs because of whale oil lamps. By damaging your lungs you are more likely to catch airborne deceases such as TB or other lung infections.

  95. Ryan says:

    “If it’s not burned away, it goes into the atmosphere.”

    Really? In my experience the use of indoor kerosene lamps causes the carbon to coat mostly the ceiling and to some extent the walls of the room where they are used. I doubt that very much of the particulates ever have the opportunity to reach the great outdoors. No doubt some of this carbon does indeed coat the inside of the lungs causing health impacts, although it seems pretty far-fetched to say it causes an increase in ill-health related to the contagious disease TB which is pread by a bacterium.

  96. Climate Dissident says:

    This link might be interesting (and makes a link between kerosene or other lamp fuels not such a stretch as others seem to believe):

    http://www.searo.who.int/en/Section10/Section2097/Section2106_10682.htm

    “he risk of prevalence of TB infection is more among current or ex-smokers than never smokers. The risk of TB is more with the duration of smoking than the number of cigarettes smoked daily.”

  97. Ken Harvey says:

    TB has been the scourge of South Africa for many decades. Sleeping in overcrowded conditions with inadequate ventilation promotes its rapid spread; conditions which quite incidentally go with paraffin lamps. If you have a lamp burning in the open, as at a barbecue, the carbon black will disperse, temporarily, into the lower atmosphere. In an inadequately ventilated room where the majority of such lamps are used, the carbon black will mainly be deposited on the nearest solid surface where it is likely to remain for all time.

  98. Billy Liar says:

    Chris @NJ_Snow_Fan says:
    November 29, 2012 at 9:28 am

    N hem BC emissions are not healthy for people and snow and ice pack.My feeling is Most BC deposits in the arctic region in the N. Hem are caused by high altitude Jet exhaust.

    My feeling is that you know little about jet exhaust emissions or other sources of particulate material from on high.

    The amount of meteoric dust that enters the earth’s atmosphere on a daily basis is the equivalent (in terms of PM10 emissions from jet engines) of operating ~10,000 Boeing 777 flights at maximum range, ie one 777 landing from a maximum range flight every 9 seconds of the day. Since only ~1,000 have been built and it takes between 16 and 18 hours to carry out a maximum range flight the Boeing 777 is not going to compete with meteoric debris.

    This is not a well researched area and climate scientists would be well advised to put more effort into finding out the effects of aerosols.

  99. Jolly farmer says:

    Response to Michael Tremblay:

    I’m not saying that kerosene lamps lead to TB. I was thinking about respiratory problems caused by having to burn stuff in a home. Burning fuels for cooking without adequate evacuation of exhaust gases is a problem.

    Adequate supply of electricity would be a good solution. Let them burn coal in a power station.

  100. numerobis says:

    Commenters who suggest building large power plants are somewhat missing the point: you would also need to establish a well-working state that can build, protect, and maintain an electric distribution system to all the far-flung settlements in their country. Sending a few solar panels and batteries to a village is far easier.

    Even in the US we set up solar panels to power the occasional system that’s far off the grid, because it’s cheaper to do that than to run wires.

  101. E.M.Smith says:

    @MarkW:

    Coleman makes lanterns that use LEDs & Batteries, Gasoline, Petroleum Naptha, and Kerosene. (Though the kerosene ones are getting harder to find). I own one of the Gasoline / Naphtha ones (Dual Fuel) and one of the Kerosene ones (bought this year for ‘emergency kit’ as I’m converting to a safer fuel to store than Gasoline and that stores for a long time more easily).

    I don’t have one of their LED “lanterns” as I use LED Maglights for battery driven use. I don’t have one of their Naphtha (or Coleman fuel) only lanterns as I want the ability to run on gasoline in an emergency and the Dual Fuel runs on naphtha for cleaner less smell use if desired.

    And yes, a much simpler solution would be to buy everyone a mantle based lantern… (They are made by many folks other than Coleman). In particular, you could even get an Aladdin style kerosene LAMP that is pretty much like a regular kerosene lamp, but puts a mantle over a large circular wick. So lower ‘tech’ without any need to pump or have a pressurized fuel tank.

    In case some folks have never heard of them, here’s their link:

    http://www.aladdin-us.com/

    I have one of them in the garage somewhere too.

    But the warmistas are not interested in effective solutions… When you get to the issue of stoves, do a search on “rocket stoves” for that answer… Or look at:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/beer-cans-will-save-the-world/

    BTW, thanks to recent massive price increases in electricity here in California, it’s cheaper to use my Coleman stove and cook on the patio that use my All Electric Kitchen. We’re going “3rd World” in order to save it….

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/camping-at-home-is-cheaper/

    And yes, I’m WAY too interested in emergency lighting and cooking facilities… comes from having lived through a 7ish quake…

  102. Neil Jordan says:

    Re numerobis says: November 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm
    I agree with your first point that a well-working state is needed for an electrical infrastructure. However, I must disagree with your second point for the rural USA that was electrified in the 1930s, decades before solar panels, through the Rural Electrification Administration. My father grew up without electricity in rural Oregon; he said the happiest day was when they could turn on light bulbs rather than light the kerosene and Aladdin lamps at night. Incidentally, the family did have a radio before the REA ran the wires out to the farm. The radio was powered for brief periods when they brought the car battery into the house.

  103. phlogiston says:

    andyb says:
    November 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    i + ii -> carbon taxes in developed world increase living standards in developing world, before considering effects on climate. (Unless you think the developing world is highly dependent on energy intensive imports from the developed world)

    Andy

    Sounds Keynsian to me. I’m with Hayek.

  104. phlogiston says:

    I forgot to add:

  105. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, having now read all the comments I see that Gail Combs (and others) beat me to it. Sorry to have been redundant…

    @Roger Knights:

    Regular Coleman lanterns use Petroleum Naphtha. Or “white gas”. Basically gasoline without the fuel additives in it (like lead or alcohols). Coleman Fuel is a narrower ‘cut’ of naphtha with a more selected boiling point and exacting chemical structure (linear molecules ‘soot’ less and smell less than cyclic hydrocarbons).

    While there ARE alcohol burning lamps, to the best of my knowledge, Coleman does not make one.

    Coleman started out making a Kerosene (or related ‘coal oil’) lamp, then later added the Naphtha burners… then even later added gasoline burners (that have a gas ‘generator’ more immune to deposits from evaporating the gasoline – basically larger and hotter. The Kerosene lantern has a little ‘cup’ around the generator where you can start an open flame with alcohol to heat the generator externally. That’s pretty much the difference.)

    This guy has an interesting video where he basically adds the cup to a dual fuel lantern generator and lets it run kerosene. ( I decided to pop the $100+ for the actual Coleman one, but that’s just me ;-)

    Also, having used a LOT of candles and lamps and lanterns, I second the observations that the soot rapidly deposits on any surface nearby. Even the top of the chimney if it’s cool enough.

    BTW, I also have a solar self charging emergency radio that has a built in LED lantern… so I’ve covered just about every possible ;-) It takes all day to charge to any significant degree and would not be very useful in constant rain, like we’re having now… but has a hand crank on it for then ;-)

    Gee…. I wonder if we can now ask all the “Feel Good Burn a Candle” for Gaia or whatever folks to stop “polluting” with their symbolic candle lighting?…

    Oh, and I’ve got a couple of old Primus single mantle propane lanterns. Bought for about $15 IIRC some years back. Work great.

    Final note: The use of Thorium in mantles has been phased out (at least in the USA) replaced with other similar but not radioactive elements from the same series. Light is a little less white and a touch more yellow / greenish depending on metal oxide used, but not enough to notice. Not that the amount of radiation in the mantle mattered…

    Best thing to do for poor folks in the third world? Provide designs for things they can build for themselves, like the Rocket Stove, and help in advancing to modernity as fast as possible. For lighting, while the system in the Economist article is very nice and makes a lot of sense, it would be better to teach them how to make their own chimney lamps and mantel lanterns too…

    Or even just bike generators and LED bulbs to put on their bike and a stand to hold it up while pedaling in place..

  106. Gail Combs says:

    numerobis says:
    November 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Commenters who suggest building large power plants are somewhat missing the point….
    _______________________________
    No we are not. Wind and solar are fine in niche markets. So are propane stoves and frigs (Checkout Lehmans nonelectric catalog)

    However you had better lecture the World Bank about “suggesting building large power plants” because the World Bank is now lending out $4,270 million dollars for building COAL PLANTS in third world countries, up from $100 mil in 2005. graph and story

    Ironically this is the SAME World bank whose new report shows a 4-5C increase per CO2 doubling and is being used to shove a Cap and Trade type bill through congress and the SAME World Bank whose employee was head of the IPCC and the SAME World Bank who was named in the leaked ‘Danish Text’ as handler of the carbon trading funds. Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after ‘Danish text’ leak: Developing countries react furiously to leaked draft agreement…

  107. Gail Combs says:

    Neil Jordan says:
    November 30, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Re numerobis says: November 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm
    I agree with your first point that a well-working state is needed for an electrical infrastructure. However, I must disagree with your second point for the rural USA that was electrified in the 1930s, decades before solar panels….
    _______________________________________
    Ah yes another Warmist LIE. Solar panels are not NEW technology.

    …The development of solar cell technology begins with the 1839 research of French physicist Antoine-César Becquerel….

    the first genuine solar cell was built around 1883 by Charles Fritts, who used junctions formed by coating selenium (a semiconductor) with an extremely thin layer of gold….

    In 1941, the silicon solar cell was invented by Russell Ohl….

    The first public service trial of the Bell Solar Battery began with a telephone carrier system (Americus, Georgia) on October 4 1955.
    http://inventors.about.com/od/sstartinventions/a/solar_cell.htm

    From another history:

    1860 – 1881
    Auguste Mouchout was the first man to patent a design for a motor running on solar energy….

    1873
    Willoughby Smith, a Brit, experimented with the use of selenium solar cells….

    1876 – 1878
    William Adams, wrote the first book about Solar Energy called: A Substitute for Fuel in Tropical Countries. Him and his student Richard Day, experimented with the use of mirrors and was able to power a 2.5 horsepower steam engine. Much bigger than the Mouchout’s 0.5 horsepowered steam engine. His design, know as the Power Tower concept, is still in use today.

    1892 – 1905
    Aubrey Eneas formed the first Solar Energy company – The Solar Motor Co. They sold the first Solar Energy system to Dr. A.J. Chandler of Mesa, Ariz for $2,160….

    1906 – 1914
    Frank Shuman’s company, Sun Power Co, built the largest and most cost-effective solar energy system covering 10,000 square feet plus….

    1956
    The first commercial solar cell was made available to the public at a very expensive $300 per watt. It was now being used in radios and toys….
    http://www.facts-about-solar-energy.com/solar-energy-history.html

    So modern solar technology has been around for over fifty years and the idea for well over 100 years.

  108. bike generators and LED bulbs

    Flash to a memory of Edward G. Robinson in Soylent Green recharging the batteries on an exercise bike…. but his one bulb was tungsten.

  109. numerobis says:

    @Neil Jordan: I don’t see how we disagree. Electrification is great — the story above is just another way of putting it. Now, what’s the best way to electrify the rural countryside? In the 1930s with a strong central government, an excess of labour during the depression, and the technology of the day, the answer was to get the WPA to build dams and transmission lines. Today we have new technologies, the people this story (and others like it) talks about live in fragile states, and the people who would fund the work operate on charitable donations.

  110. andybarenberg says:

    phlogiston says:
    November 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm
    Sounds Keynsian to me. I’m with Hayek.

    He then follows up with the “fear the boom and the bust” video – which I normally show my econ students to discuss the many ways it distorts the views of the two men. (While the video creater see themselves as pro-hayek, they make him out to be an idiot.)

    I could try to explain how what I said is not keynesian, that it is straight neo-classical economics – and right in line with Hayek’s views on the role of the price system in signalling information… but why don’t I just let Hayek explain it himself :

  111. Neil Jordan says:

    Re: Gail Combs says: December 1, 2012 at 12:31 am
    Thank you for the historical background. I stand corrected. I should have known better, because my Weston exposure meter is ~60 years old, using the selenium cell you mentioned being developed in 1873.

    Re: numerobis says: December 1, 2012 at 9:28 am
    Given those economic constraints, I agree. I was thinking of rural electrification just starting with light bulbs, but the electricity was eventually put to work pumping water, separating cream, and washing clothes.

  112. Hayak:
    0:11 “We have to invent methods of making the Producer pay for all the indirect [1] damage he causes.”
    0:21 “There are great problems of (short of, should?) limiting property rights available to the users who destroys resources is to count this in part of his cost of production.”
    0:33 “One of the problems of our developing our rules of kind of law along with anything else, you can’t prevent (all of this?) by any government direction.
    0:42: It may be that if the world becomes more and more crowded, the counting of total costs of further advance may turn out not to be worthwhile and the people with think, “Well, we’d rather stay where we are than having say the air is so polluted that it comes (unattractive?)”
    1:05 “If you can (let me?) develop the right kind of legal framework where ever the producer really [2] pays for all the damage he’d done, then the people can choose.
    1:17 “If something, because the producer has to compensate for all the damage, becomes so expensive that people are not willing want to pay the price, then we’ll stop it. [END]

    [1] – Indirect damage? I cannot go there. Indirect is boundless. If we adopt that, then we should be able to sue the Chaos Theory South American butterfly for causing a hurricane. Leave it as direct, but disbursed damage and we can still talk — I’ll argue, but I’ll talk.

    [1b] – Fair is fair. If you are going to hold producers to compensate for indirect damage, then society must also compensate producers for indirect benefits of their production. Just when should we stop rewarding Westinghouse and Tesla for the transformation of humanity via AC current technology. And why pick that point?

    [1c] – Can I sue Nintendo for the indirect damage their products have done to my children’s school grades? (I said it was a boundless standard. But the theory of public nusiance might apply.)

    [2] – There’s the rub. Hayak’s principle is there can be a “right kind of framework” where the producer will know ahead of time the real cost of damage he causes. This is a logical as well as a practical fallacy.

    The logical fallacy is that no one can know the future price of any damage caused today. Let’s suppose there really is a CO2 tipping point at 532 ppm. How can a producer know what a price of a ton of CO2 is worth? The open market of course…. But how is the buyer of that liability to know? And the buyer, with a case of terminal prostrate cancer, has a different discount rate than do you.

    The practical fallacy is that there could ever be a legal framework that would set —- and honor — an objective price that the producer could rely upon for his decision to produce.

  113. Addendum:
    Hayak -0:42: the people with think, “Well, we’d rather stay where we are

    INDIVIDUALS can think, “I’d rather stay where I am.”
    How can PEOPLE think that? This is a rather frightening thought from someone who is a defender of classical liberalism.

    Can 51% of a population who want to “stay where there are” really control the other 49% to stay where they are? Should any majority EVER have that power over a minority?

    If the minority are felons, I suppose so. Is that what it will take? To cast those who actively disagree with a majority as felons?

  114. jimshu says:

    I have read the report at the link here ( given in the post above) – http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2012/11/28/kerosene-lamps-black-carbon/

    and it does not say “. One kilogram of black carbon, a byproduct of incomplete combustion and an important greenhouse gas, produces as much warming in a month as 700 kilograms of carbon dioxide does over 100 years, the authors said.”
    It reads today as ” One kilogram of black carbon, a byproduct of incomplete combustion, produces as much warming in a month as 700 kilograms of carbon dioxide does over 100 years, the authors said.”
    So have they edited out “… and an important greenhouse gas, ..”?

    Perhaps I missed discussion over this discrepancy ?

  115. Gail Combs says:

    jimshu says:
    December 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I have read the report…
    ____________________________
    Editing after the fact gets done and WUWT is watched closely. Whether this is the case in this instance I do not know. Perhaps someone else may have noticed.

  116. Mike Smith says:

    Michael Tremblay says:
    Wow, this report is filled with so many inaccurate observations it is difficult to know where to start.

    Thank you. You are exactly correct but without the baloney, there would be no scope for nice juicy articles on global warming. The kind that attract money to needy researchers in Berkeley.

  117. jim moran says:

    Should the poor nations pay the wealthy nations to off-set the climate impact caused by this massive and inconsiderate form of energy use. They should be limited to the same number of kerosene lamps per person as the rich nations.

  118. george e. smith says:

    “””””…..John Marshall says:

    November 30, 2012 at 2:30 am

    ”Primary source of light”? I thought the primary source of light was the sun……”””””

    People need to watch their language; you never know who is reading your stuff.

    Actually the ONLY source of “light”, is the human eye-brain system.

    The sun is a principal source of energy in the form of electro-magnetic radiation. It just so happens that the human eye has evolved so as to be sensitive to the major portionof the radiant energy spectrum that the sun emits (fancy a co incidence like that )
    The radiant energy from the sun is commonly measured in energy units like Joules, or power units like Watts, and a host of other measures well known to students.

    The human eye/brain system, produces a psycho-physical response to that narrow spectral region in a single octave from about 400 to 800 nm wavelength; roughly 1.5 to 3.0 electron Volts photon energy. That response is represented in a completely different set of measurement units, that have evolved over long periods of ingenious experiments to determine what human eyes actually “see”.

    The result is called “light”, and the psycho-physical equivalent of the Watts power rate of EM radiation is “lumens”. I’m not aware of any unit corresponding to energy in Joules, other than lumen seconds.

    We get neither heat nor light from the sun. We make them both right here on earth, and light is all in our heads.

  119. daveburton says:

    jimshu wrote: “So have they edited out ‘… and an important greenhouse gas, ..”‘

    They definitely edited it.

    Unfortunately, the previous version isn’t in google cache or yahoo cache. However, it is almost certainly in the browser cache of somebody here on WUWT.

    If you viewed the story before they edited it, the you probably have a copy of the unedited version in your browser cache. To check whether you have a copy, do this:

    1. Do not go to the page and view the new version! If you do that (as I foolishly did), you’ll replace the old copy in your browser cache with the new one.

    Alternately, you can view the page using a different web browser. IE, FireFox, Chrome & Opera all use separate caches, so browsing with one browser won’t wipe out the cache entry kept by another browser.

    2. Visit NirSoft.net, and download the appropriate “cache viewer” tool(s) for your web browser(s):

    IECacheView (for Microsoft Internet Explorer)
    ChromeCacheView (for Google Chrome)
    MozillaCacheView (for FireFox & other Mozilla variants)
    OperaCacheView (for Opera) (the Opera version is currently broken)

    3. Then, using the appropriate cache viewer tool, ctrl-F (find) and enter the URL of interest:
    http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2012/11/28/kerosene-lamps-black-carbon/
    Then select (click on) the file, and press F4 (File -> Copy selected files to) to save the cached file.

    Then email a copy to me, and I’ll put it on my web server. :-)

    My email address is here:
    http://www.sealevel.info/email/

  120. daveburton says:

    UC Berkley actually edited their article is several places, to eliminate all the embarrassing references to black carbon as a greenhouse gas.

    Here are a few copies of the entire original version:
    http://www.webcitation.org/6Cbi1U76a
    http://www.webcitation.org/6CbgNO81e
    http://www.webcitation.org/6Cbj7L2U6
    http://pages.citebite.com/p7r9f2p9kptw

    Also, the health.universityofcalifornia.edu site has most of the original version; saved here:
    http://www.webcitation.org/6CbgpN566
    and here:
    http://www.burtonsys.com/climate/Let_there_be_clean_light–UC_Health.htm

    Google and Yahoo also find more copies.

  121. numerobis says:

    What’s the point of tracking down the original wrong press release?

  122. jimshu says:

    To provide a record of the un-acknowledged editing out of that basic blunder. Since much of the above thread discusses that edited-out error, a critic could then read this report and thread and point to this site as discussing something that could appear to have been made up by Anthony, as the error no longer is in the referenced-to report.
    Oh, and to evidence how wrong the original report is.

  123. Gail Combs says:

    Dave Burton, Thank you for finding the unacknowledged editing. I have seen it happen a number of times on several different topics. It is often used as proof that the critic is a LIAR when in fact he is not. jimshu is correct.

  124. daveburton says:

    Thanks, Gail & Jim. Another motivation for documenting their slight of hand, numerobis, is the pure, sweet, simple joy of ridiculing the Left Coast libs at UC Berkley. ;-)

  125. jimshu says:

    I have followed discussion on the original report because I believe we are missing some fundamentals when looking at energy replacement in undeveloped countries where the future will see a massive demand for energy . What is missed from this report and subsequent discussion is just what energy poor tribal, nomadic herders or slash and burn locals are to use if we want them to move away from kerosene , charcoal, dung and chopping down trees.

    Some will say solar power, but that isn’t the answer for a very simple reason- electricity is an unknown to most poor in a developing country.

    What they know is a FLAME…and that currently comes from wood, charcoal or kerosene.

    Electrical appliances are mostly unknown, unwanted, or seen as merely supplying them with an extra, a chance to use a new technology.
    I have seen solar panels outside a Mongolian nomadic herder’s ger , and they use it for …guess what? A TV and cell phones, but not to replace their cooking which is still done by wood or dried dung. Any new technology they receive is viewed as an extra, not a replacement for a perfectly good system they have used for generations.

    Most importantly, any alternative to kerosene, charcoal, wood or dried dung needs to create a flame…they understand a flame. (I have Indian tenants, I supplied a new stove, they cover it with foil, place a gas ring on top and cook from bottled gas). They want the immediacy, high heat and controllability of a flame.

    Solar does not create a flame. Wind does not create a flame. And each requires either batteries or a line distribution network. In Africa, line networks are raided for wire for poaching bushmeat. (You want to hear my stories of whole gangs that steal railway lines to ship steel to China?)

    So a viable, sustainable alternative energy supply to encourage locals to stop chopping down trees, or using dung, needs to be cheap, robust and low maintenance, easily transportable ( many people are nomadic) and create a flame.

    Talk above about clean burning kerosene lamps neglects the robustness that nomadic people or the poorest peasant needs, as those lamp mantles are very fragile.And once they are ruined, they’ll throw aside that equipment and go back to what they know.

    The alternative energy they need to adopt is natural gas, now cheap and plentiful from fracking in many developing countries and able to be easily distributed in bottled form, a distribution system that doesn’t have the downsides of an electricity network that is raided for poacher’s snare wire.
    The natural gas bottle/gas ring burner cooking/lighting equipment is much more robust than any electrical or kerosene option any time.

    Keep it simple, cheap, robust, easily transportable, and a flame…or they’ll just go chop down trees.

  126. DarrylB says:

    Jimshu,
    Thank You very much.
    Earlier in this thread, I suggested that if the researchers wanted to be convincing they should live with some of the peoples for several weeks because there are so many unknowns and none of us should be telling them what to do until we have been there.
    Evidently you have and your experience provides a great deal of illumination !!
    Personally, by coincidence, I was in Cancun at the time of the yearly climate change vacation for which I am quite sure we all provide.. Of course I could not get near the gala events. There were miles and miles of tanks mounted with M-60′s and 50 Cal guns.
    One night they celebrated Mayan Culture and of course any Mayans lucky enough to be there were servants at their feast. (Reported on TV) Amazingly, only four or five miles away, Mayans lived in a thick jungle and what I saw was that many had some kind of a simple gas burner which supplied a flame for a cooked meal which they had on a very irregular basis. I found myself liking to be there as opposed to a few miles away. They were very welcoming, and the children were as happy and entertaining as children anywhere.

  127. jimshu says:

    You got it DarrylB.
    Gas is the way to go.
    People are very entrepreneurial…so if we in the comfort of our developed world impose ways of carbon taxing ourselves to shift wealth to poorer countries on the basis of bringing them new energy, we can bet much of that money will be siphoned off to pay for 50 cal rounds.
    If any does get down to the lowest level of need, you can also bet much of that will be used to buy new technology such as tv, cell phones, and motor bikes while mum carries on cooking with kerosene or dried dung.
    From their perspective, why change?

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