Richard Muller cozying up to Bill Clinton – but there’s good news too

Bill Clinton Praises His New Climate Change Hero

Excerpt:

I happened to be sitting next to Dr. Muller last week, and although he was whisked backstage by some big secret service staffers after Clinton’s speech, he agreed to answer a few Fresh Dialogues questions by email about his research and how he feels about hero worship by number 42.

You might be surprised to learn three things about Dr. Muller:

1. He says Hurricane Sandy cannot be attributed to climate change.

2. He suggests individually reducing our carbon footprint is pointless — we need to “think globally and act globally,” by encouraging the switch from coal to gas power in China and developing nations. He’s a fan of “clean fracking.”

3. He says climate skeptics deserve our respect, not our ridicule.

Muller said he hopes that Berkeley Earth will be able to coordinate with the Clinton Foundation on their mutual goal of mitigating global warming.

h/t to Marc Morano. Full story here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/blackberry/p.html?id=2278509

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I can’t say I disagree with his points. While we’ve had our issues, it is nice to see #3 pointed out. – Anthony

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120 Responses to Richard Muller cozying up to Bill Clinton – but there’s good news too

1. Lew Skannen says:

Interesting and a bit unexpected.

2. John R T says:

Either, “Truth to power,” or his daughter’s business is in for big money.

3. gator69 says:

Is Muller’s middle name ‘Sybil’?

4. Rob Dawg says:

What part of pulling another BEST practices double cross isn’t blindingly obvious in this latest “outreach?”

5. Dr. Muller is being a politician and protecting his organization and his job. Notice he still haven’t moderated the AGW mantra just altered the message to make it more palatable.

6. john robertson says:

Definitely a climate science, half assed effort and suck up power to get to the trough.
A shining example of the ethics of climatology.

7. It looks like he saved the “BEST” for Last.

8. OK. You got me. I was wrong and silly. D’oh.

But here’s the question – what’s good for the goose, and what’s good for the gander?

“He says climate skeptics deserve our respect, not our ridicule.”

Sure, respect when you’re being genuinely skeptical, and not when you are being ridiculous.

9. Perhaps he’s noticed that we’ve noticed and that others have noticed that we’ve noticed.

Is that clear? ;-)

10. Werner Brozek says:

Muller said he hopes that Berkeley Earth will be able to coordinate with the Clinton Foundation on their mutual goal of mitigating global warming.

It is time for a new goal. That one has been taken care of already.
Here is what has happened with RSS lately:
The negative slope for RSS is since January 1997 or 15 years, 11 months (goes to November).
However in view of the significance of the 16 years lately, I would like to elaborate on RSS. The slope for 15 years and 11 months from January 1997 on RSS is -4.1 x 10^-4. But the slope for 16 years and 0 months from December 1996 is +1.3 x 10^-4. So since the magnitude of the negative slope since January 1997 is 3 times than the magnitude of the positive slope since December 1996, I believe I can say that since a quarter of the way through December 1996, in other words from December 8, 1996 to December 7, 2012, the slope is 0. This is 16 years. Therefor RSS is 192/204 or 94% of the way to Santer’s 17 years.

11. Matthew W says:

“mutual goal of mitigating global warming.”
Uh Huh, as if we can do that any way.

12. geran says:

Is Muller hinting he will be flip-flopping soon? Or is he just keeping his options open?

You got to be really shifty these days, if you want to keep the funding coming in.

One day lapping up to Koch, the next day lapping up to Clinton.

13. John West says:

“The temperature of the Earth has been rising in a way that closely matches the rise in carbon dioxide. The history of solar activity does not match the data at all.”

Ok, I’d agree that the stratospheric cooling suggests that some of the warming is due to CO2 increase but to claim there’s no correlation to solar activity is absurd. Why has it always got to be all or nothing? Muller talks about objectivity but doesn’t display much.

14. Richdo says:

ok but… 2. He suggests individually reducing our carbon footprint is pointless…
So what’s that about? Does he mean it’s too hard to convice individuals to choose the “correct” thing to do and that it’s easier to force them to do it by global/government directive?

I appreciate the 3rd point, but he still sounds like a statist to me; intent on seeing his “reduced carbon footprint” future implemented regardless of the science and regardless of what is best for humanity.

15. Michael Cohen says:

Slightly OT, but speaking of temperature series, where are the November 2012 numbers from UAH and RSS?

16. Today he is skeptical about Sandy.
He’ll convert when the time is ripe.

17. A.D. Everard says:

Sorry, I don’t buy it. Something is up. Their push to tackle the problem “globally” is still on. They’ll still be pushing for a centralized government and for the UN to take over.

Someone pointed out the other day (sorry, I forget who) that the IPCC were backing down ONLY to appear more “reasonable” and to tone down their show of alarmism. I think this display is more of the same.

So: WARNING. Watch your backs. I mean it. In the days or weeks to come, the extremists on this issue will be waving around whatever evidence they can pounce on – or make up – proclaiming that we are the unreasonable ones and that the world, therefore, should listen to them.

18. RayG says:

I realize that, given Hillary’s postion, the Clinton’s investment portfolio is probably in a blind trust but I am curious about whether or not they have followed any investment advice from his green Veep and put money in to “green” companies or funds.

19. Lance Wallace says:

This is not actually any different from what Muller states in his recent book Energy for Future Presidents. Here is his self-described “Executive summary” of what a president needs to know about global warming:

“1. Most of the evidence, as presented to the public, is exaggerated or distorted.
2. Global warming is indeed real and dangerous, and it is worthy of serious effort to stop.
3. Assuming the theory is correct (it may not be), none of the well-known proposals to stop global warming that have been made have any realistic chance of working, even if they are fully implemented.”

Note that his willingness to allow that the theory may be wrong rather vitiates his second point–how would we know it is dangerous if the theory is wrong?

He also points out that by 2040, “China could be the most economically powerful nation on earth, by far”–at which point, “the United States and the rest of the wealthy world are no longer in control.”

He concludes that “the best bet… might be to encourage a worldwide shift from coal to natural gas.”

He took a few shots at the Hockey Stick, Al Gore, and 350.org as well, stating about the latter “It is ironic that a movement named after a number actually ignores the numbers.”

All in all, if he could replace a few of Obama’s advisers, it would be a change for the better.

20. aaron says:

Nir Shaviv has a post on BEST up: http://sciencebits.com/WorstBEST

Given that Muller is a smart guy, and having met him, I know that he is an honest scientist (and an original one too), all I can say is that he is not aware of this data which unequivocally proves that the sun has a large effect on the climate.

But this however doesn’t explain why the Berkeley group didn’t see any correlation. So why didn’t they?

Given the above, it is clear why the Berkeley group obtain a high climate sensitivity. If all they have is just CO2, then yeah, you need a high sensitivity which is about 3°C per CO2 doubling in order to explain 20th century warming. However, they are missing other forcings. For example, the indirect aerosol effect can increase their sensitivity (because it cools, but nobody knows by how much), while if you take the sun into account, the models prefer smaller sensitivities. Moreover, if one takes a real model which includes the diffusive components (and thus produce the lags/low pass filter behavior) one finds an even better fit with a preferentially low sensitivity. Now I must say that they did point out in their paper that they only used CO2 to proxy all the anthropogenic activity and therefore the sensitivity should be modified, however, I am quite sure that people will start quoting their number as the real climate sensitivity with the ridiculously small error that they obtained. You have been warned.

To summarize, I think the BEST methodology towards reconstructing the temperature has its merits. However, the conclusions from their follow up analyses are unfounded. This is primarily because they used modeling which is too simple (and with it they killed the solar effect) and unphysical (response to volcanic forcing is much smaller than the response to CO2 forcing).

Don’t get me wrong. I do think it is good that independent analyses are done to reconstruct the temperature. The response in the climate community was luke warm at best, partially because an “outsider” group came an entered their own territory. This just proves that independent analyses are important.

21. Justthinkin says:

Ohoh.Either his off sprongs business needs more money,or he is angling for an Amassadorship when Hillary gets in. I trust this guy about as far as I can spit into a hundred knot headwind.He’s TOO namby-pamby on the fence.

22. sebastianjer says:

In my opinion Muller is a charlatan from the get go. His game is feed off the climate change industry by appearing to be “reasonable” but he has always been in it for the cash. Don’t be surprised when he begins to promote “reasonable” geoengineering solutions. http://jer-skepticscorner.blogspot.com/2011/04/best-novim-and-other-solution.html

23. Steve from Rockwood says:

If you think Bill Clinton is committed to climate change then you’ll think Richard Muller is committed to climate change.

24. Werner Brozek says:

Michael Cohen says:
December 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm
Slightly OT, but speaking of temperature series, where are the November 2012 numbers from UAH and RSS?

Just RSS and GISS have the November numbers up. But why is WFT down?
For more details:
With the GISS anomaly for November at 0.68, the average for the first eleven months of the year is (0.32 + 0.37 + 0.45 + 0.54 + 0.67 + 0.56 + 0.46 + 0.58 + 0.62 + 0.68 + 0.68)/11 = 0.54. This would rank 9th if it stayed this way. 2010 was the warmest at 0.63. The highest ever monthly anomalies were in March of 2002 and January of 2007 when it reached 0.89.

With the RSS anomaly for November at 0.195, the average for the first eleven months of the year is (-0.060 -0.123 + 0.071 + 0.330 + 0.231 + 0.337 + 0.290 + 0.255 + 0.383 + 0.294 + 0.195)/11 = 0.200. This would rank 11th if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.55. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in April of 1998 when it reached 0.857.

25. bikermailman says:

Clinton and Muller: Fabians to the Bolsheviks. Both want us in the same place, just have differing paths to get us there. Funny, I was quite literally just pondering such matters. Call me a skeptic, or a cynic, but this type has a track record.

26. TomRude says:

AD Everard is right on. The carbon tax/market pushers are well at work behind our backs. And since mother nature does not cooperate, they might become more desperate and thus more dangerous: the Doha Diktat adopted by a single angry old man is proof, reason had left the building a long time ago.

It is funny to notice how they push the agenda. For instance, in green dominated Vancouver, BC Canada, a handle of academics from SFU, UBC and UVic (among them Weaver) are fearmongering with meters of sea level rise supposed to happen in the next 50 to 100 years or early: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/West+Coast+contemplates+calm+before+storm/7671558/story.html#ixzz2EWxwie2B

BC Ministry released a report last year and although the real data show virtually no sea level rise 1.2 in +/- 1 in over the past “unprecedented” warming, projections are for one meter minimum, once they fit the IPCC models, a la hockey stick…

So academics, some of them funded by Willburforce and Bullitt US Foundations (the anti oil sands campaigns), are peddling alarmism to politicians in power who in turn are agitating billions of public contracts in front of the development & building industry using the climate change issue as a pretext for trying to get support and favorable green media (Postmedia/CBC/ Globemedia) coverage before next year’s elections…

Should this happen, following the money and the rewards will be exciting…

27. William McClenney says:

Rob Dawg says:
December 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm

What part of pulling another BEST practices double cross isn’t blindingly obvious in this latest “outreach?”

Touche

28. Werner, are you saying that GISS is at 0.68 for November, but RSS is only showing 0.195???? That’s one heck of a discrepancy if so.

29. Gail Combs says:

John R T says:
December 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Either, “Truth to power,” or his daughter’s business is in for big money.
____________________________
Well his daughter has a Shell VP on board ….

30. RobertInAz says:

Werner, are you saying that GISS is at 0.68 for November, but RSS is only showing 0.195???? That’s one heck of a discrepancy if so.<

Probably different baselines.

On another subject, there are a number of inappropriate ad hominem attacks on Dr. Muller in this thread. Sad. He appears to be one of the more responsible alarmist voices and this many here do not appreciate how important his voice is.

31. Scott says:

It would be nice if some of the \$2,000,000,000 Clinton collected for Haiti would be spend on something in Haiti, EG clean water

“On another subject, there are a number of inappropriate ad hominem attacks on Dr. Muller in this thread. Sad. He appears to be one of the more responsible alarmist voices and this many here do not appreciate how important his voice is.”

Keyword: ‘appears.’ [!!!]

XD

33. Muller recently lied in his WSJ article about being a “former skeptic.” He never was a skeptic.

When billions of dollars are involved, all kinds of subversive actions are being used and paid for, including using stool pigeons pretending “not to be skeptic’s enemies.”

I think Muller is a Green Totalitarians’ stool pigeon. Whatever he says to appear being your friend, he says with the objective to betray you.

He still continues to pronounce the bad business of the devil’s molecule, though, as from her interview, “However, we have closely examined the evidence for temperature rise, and there are several conclusions that are now strongly based on science. The temperature of the Earth has been rising in a way that closely matches the rise in carbon dioxide. The history of solar activity does not match the data at all. Based on this, the human cause for this warming is strongly indicated.”

35. TomRude says:

As a follow up to my initial comment, check how the Vancouver Sun reporter is stringing the subject for a series of 3 articles:
The articles come from a single source/viewpoint and feature the SAME academics prominently: Deborah Harford from SFU, whose ACT Institute is sponsored by Willburforce and Bullitt Foundations (of course not a word on that from the writer Tracy Sherlock) and Stephen Sheppard
professor in landscape architecture and forest resources management at UBC, who is insuring work for himself and his students, peddling glossy green residential planning reports based on fantasy climatology.
As usual, the reporter gobbles the well rehearsed alarmism especially when Gordon McBean is involved. Clearly, this series should be considered like “paid advertisement” not information.
Then another reporter Larry Pynn hammers the nail: “METRO VANCOUVER – Combating rising sea levels due to global warming could cost \$9.5 billion in flood-protection improvements in Metro Vancouver”
http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Metro+Vancouver+dike+improvements+could+cost+billion+2100+report/7682197/story.html#ixzz2EoDCZOK7
Not ONE word that sea level rose 1.2 in in 100 y in Vancouver…
These articles are brainwashing and once again, follow the money to figure out who is launching this campaign and who will benefit from it.

RobertInAz says:
December 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm

On another subject, there are a number of inappropriate ad hominem attacks on Dr. Muller in this thread. Sad. He appears to be one of the more responsible alarmist voices and this many here do not appreciate how important his voice is.

Come again? Would you enthusiastically pick up a rattlesnake just because it happened to have one less rattle than the rest?

An alarmist is an alarmist, regardless of how “responsible” his alarmism. (A serious contradiction in terms, Robert; besides, deceptive alarmism is the most dangerous kind.)

37. TomRude says:

Robertin Ariz, “responsible alarmist voice”? How do you reconcile these words… LOL

38. Werner Brozek says:

Michael J Alexander says:
December 11, 2012 at 7:31 pm
Werner, are you saying that GISS is at 0.68 for November, but RSS is only showing 0.195???? That’s one heck of a discrepancy if so.

Yes, different base lines as Robert said. Now I know that satellites and ground based data are different. However I still found the discrepancy between RSS and GISS odd over the last three months. For GISS: 0.62 + 0.68 + 0.68; for RSS: 0.383 + 0.294 + 0.195.

If WFT works, it will also give all information but it is down now. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot

While I am at it, I am NOT impressed with the graph for the ENSO meter. The graph itself went from 0.30 to 0 as of yesterday. But when the actual value came out today, it increased from 0.30 to 0.37 and a few people, including myself, made comments on the assumption the graph was correct.

39. garymount says:

TomRude says: December 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm
As a follow up to my initial comment, check how the Vancouver Sun reporter is stringing the subject for a series of 3 articles:…
————–
In the Dec 8 paper I found these gems:
” “If things go really badly, and our emissions really take off – which quite honestly, they are taking off; we’re way above the worst-case scenarios that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based all of its projections on – (the 1.2-metre sea level rise) could happen in 50 years,” Harford said.

“In the very worst-case scenario it could happen in 20 years.”

40. E.M.Smith says:

John West says:
Ok, I’d agree that the stratospheric cooling suggests that some of the warming is due to CO2 increase but to claim there’s no correlation to solar activity is absurd.

Um, I think I’ve shown that the Stratosphere response to added CO2 is cooling, but the Troposphere is unaffected by CO2. Only the water cycle matters to the Troposphere.

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/tropopause-rules/

In other words, the AGW notion that Stratosphere and Troposphere are inversely coupled is wrong. They are DE coupled. The stratosphere changes have no meaning at all to what CO2 does in the troposphere.

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/tropopause-rules/tropobands-cell1/

3. Stratospheric cooling rates: The picture shows how water, cabon dioxide and ozone contribute to longwave cooling in the stratosphere. Colours from blue through red, yellow and to green show increasing cooling, grey areas show warming of the stratosphere. The tropopause is shown as dotted line (the troposphere below and the stratosphere above). For CO2 it is obvious that there is no cooling in the troposphere,

In other words, the CO2 band in the troposphere does nothing while the CO2 band in the stratosphere is radiating like crazy. More CO2 raises stratospheric cooling, but doesn’t change tropospheric temperatures (as they are water dominated).

So CO2 is a ‘do nothing’ for surface temperatures.

Per Muller:

I never trust someone who has made false representations (a skeptic? Yeah, right…) or doing a deception (bait and switch on “BEST”…)

Thank him kindly for the nice words, check your wallet, smile politely and ask if there might be funding for research available, check your wallet, check your watch, say ‘Oh, look at the time, must go!’, check your wallet. Shake hands, check your watch, step back THEN turn and leave, check your wallet, watch, and anything else of value….

He may be the nicest guy on the Warmers side, but he is a skilled politician. Need I say more?

Be polite. Be understanding. Do not ever “trust”. First, verify, then evaluate…

41. theduke says:

Muller’s problem is that with the BEST project and its conclusions, he fell into the “correlation is causation” trap. The question I have is whether he actually believes that the science supports that conclusion. I’m guessing that he doesn’t. That he’s just pleasing one side of the debate one year and the other side the next.

With this interview we are clearly into the “next” year.

42. P.G. Sharrow says:

The post says;”Muller said he hopes that Berkeley Earth will be able to coordinate with the Clinton Foundation on their mutual goal of mitigating global warming.”

Sounds as if Muller is in need of a fat grant from the Clinton Foundation, or has already been “hired”. pg

43. Goode 'nuff says:

Every place usually has something they enjoy making fun of. Arkansas had one person with a shrill voice they wanted to get rid of and they did… and her husband too. I’m surprised she gave Uncle Bubba permission to do that.

George Washington never told a lie… Richard Nixon never told the truth… and Bill Clinton cannot tell the difference.

So I wouldn’t read too much into it.

44. Agnostic says:

Dr Mullers point of view on climate is properly nuanced. I watched the entirety of an interview he gave not so long ago and there was very little in there a skeptic would disagree with. The only thing I think he has not sufficiently thought through is the area of attribution. It made for pretty funny viewing as the alarmist interviewer squirmed somewhat.

This is a guy who we could and should court as a ‘voice of reason’, whilst trying to get him to think about attribution a bit more fully. It’s irritating to read how he is ‘converted’ from skepticism, but the reality is he as broadly nuanced in his views as most skeptics or as a rational scientist aware of the issues such as Judith Curry. The only thing he has been ‘convinced’ of is that there has been global warming and that the temperature record such as HADCRUT 3 is basically correct, which isn’t something skeptics seriously challenge other than the extent of the warming due to measurement and selection bias.

I think he is a good guy, we ought to see him as a rational voice despite a few missteps.

45. JJ says:

RobertInAz says:

On another subject, there are a number of inappropriate ad hominem attacks on Dr. Muller in this thread.

There aren’t any ad hominem attacks on Muller above. There are some insightful comments on his lack of character, and a few insults. All are appropriate.

He appears to be one of the more responsible alarmist voices and this many here do not appreciate how important his voice is.

Muller is a liar. He is a self promoting charlatan who is playing politics with science to further his personal political and financial agendas. There is nothing responsible about his stalking horse tactics and his ‘respect for skeptics’ is exactly as real as his own ‘former skepticism’. Stories told to achieve an end.

3. He says climate skeptics deserve our respect, not our ridicule.

So he’s saying he used to deserve respect, even from himself, and now?

2. He suggests individually reducing our carbon footprint is pointless — we need to “think globally and act globally,” by encouraging the switch from coal to gas power in China and developing nations. He’s a fan of “clean fracking.”

I added the “clean fracking” link from the original, which goes to a paywalled WSJ opinion piece. Been searching for what he means by “clean fracking”. Is that like “clean coal”?

Finally found this August 2012 blog post allegedly quoting Muller from an interview with Rachael Madcow:

Well, I totally don’t support the old kind of fracking, but I think clean fracking — in which you just fine the hell out of the companies if they spill anything or upset the water tables, they can fix it up. Compared to developing really cheap solar, developing really clean fracking, I think, is relatively straightforward.

Go talk to BP, by that standard they’ve achieved “clean crude” in the Gulf of Mexico.

So the relatively straightforward way to encourage a better kind of affordable energy, is to threaten to wipe out ten or more years of a company’s profits if they should earn the displeasure of a (former?) environmental activist turned “environmental protection” government bureaucrat?

1. He says Hurricane Sandy cannot be attributed to climate change.

Directly attributed? Nah, that’s ascribing a single event to a general trend, science doesn’t support it. Can’t say it wouldn’t have happened without climate change. Indirectly attributed? Too much of a stretch.

Climate change exacerbated Hurricane Sandy, making it larger, stronger, more damaging, more lethal? Maybe climate change caused and/or influenced those whacky weather patterns that hooked together to make it such a terrible Megastorm? Caused it to make landfall at all, instead of being another “fish storm” following the coast?

Let me know when he rejects that nonsense, okay?

BTW, Muller is getting some interesting “Climate Wars” flack. Muller supports “clean fracking”, BEST had Koch Brothers financing, Koch does oil and natural gas… So Muller is really a climate denialist hack paid for by the evil fossil fuel industry! He’s just another lying shill pretending like he cares about saving the planet from global warming!

Or at least that’s what the stuff I found looking for “clean fracking” was saying. YMMV.

47. A.D. Everard says:

I’m not a scientist, I’m a writer. My strength is that I study people, I recognize people, their motives, their ploys. In the past I’ve also come up against manipulation frequently enough to now spot it a mile off. Muller is not being honest. The turn around is too sudden and has no cause.

What we’re looking at here is a shift in the Alarmist stance. Some of the smarter Alarmists have recognized that their message is not being received by the general public as readily as it once was, especially when delivered with extreme aggression. The order has gone out, perhaps from the IPCC (because it seems to have shown up there first, but I could be wrong on that), to calm it down a bit so they can get their BS back under the radar where it once worked so effectively.

They recognize that we are being heard and our views are beginning to get accepted as scientific, logical, reasonable. They’ve tried shouting us down. That backfired. More and more people are looking our way to see what’s happening here and to learn why the guys with the money, the spotlight and the microphone are so worried about us way out in the shadows. They recognize that polititcians are beginning to think twice about the so-called “solutions” being rammed down their throats – especially when there are clearly better solutions to hand. They recognize that people are getting angry about the number of people dying in the snow year after year and the taxes going to a non-problem. The Alarmists are getting frightened because the ordinary citizen is looking around for something better than the Greens/Reds and the destruction of economies and other needless sacrifices around the world.

So now they’re coming in with the soothing tones and the “let’s be reasonable” voice. They still have the money, the spotlights and the microphone. They’re just looking at another way to harpoon us because, collectively, we’re getting to be a nuisance and we’re spoiling their party.

Do not doubt for a moment that the Alarmist still see us as the enemy. This isn’t Muller on his own. You will see it’s an orchestrated move to downplay our objections. They are simply trying not to shoot themselves in the foot anymore.

Maybe we can take advantage of this and publically call for that reasonable open debate. If they are so reasonable, will it be granted – reasonably? No, it won’t, but it could be worth the attempt to see how they squirm out of it “reasonably”.

48. Scarface says:

” 2. He suggests individually reducing our carbon footprint is pointless — we need to “think globally and act globally,” by encouraging the switch from coal to gas power in China and developing nations. He’s a fan of “clean fracking.”

I can’t say I disagree with his points. While we’ve had our issues, it is nice to see #3 pointed out. – Anthony ”

And what about point 2? Think globally and act globally? This sure smells like a UN-minded ‘solution’ with still blaming only CO2 for the mild warming we have witnessed. This is the AGW-doctrine in a new coat, but with the same objective (climate justice etc.) and the same mistake about the role of CO2: CO2 follows warming, it doesn’t cause it!

CO2 in my opinion is a harmless trace gas, yet essential and necessary for life on earth. Anyone trying to lower the 0,039% of CO2 in the atmosphere is an enemy of life. We need more of it to feed the world, not less.

49. Jimbo says:

Michael Tobis says:
December 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm

OK. You got me. I was wrong and silly. D’oh.

But here’s the question – what’s good for the goose, and what’s good for the gander?

“He says climate skeptics deserve our respect, not our ridicule.”

Sure, respect when you’re being genuinely skeptical, and not when you are being ridiculous.

[My bold]

The reason why the cause of the melting streetlights was quickly found is because some people were sceptical. It is a cornerstone of science.

Mr. Muller might one day regret his ‘alleged’ conversion to CAGW in light of the stalled global mean temps.

July 2012 – New York Times – Dr. Richard Muller
CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-a-climate-change-skeptic.html?pagewanted=all

Some point out that this is nonsense.

I have never read any sceptic stating doubts that the world has warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age. I have never read any sceptic who doubts the world warmed for a short period prior to 16 years ago. His alleged conversion is what’s “ridiculous”.

50. rk says:

The comments at HuffPo are pretty funny….let’s just say that the Koch brothers make an appearance….as does Prof Curry (in a curious comment)

In the article Muller also says open up Yucca and let’s go nuke…and let’s get China to stop with the CO2. I.e. lib heads Explode…but i just went there so you wouldn’t have to. There’s very little interest in the story…just a few comments

51. R. de Haan says:

“2. He suggests individually reducing our carbon footprint is pointless — we need to “think globally and act globally,” by encouraging the switch from coal to gas power in China and developing nations.” He’s a fan of “clean fracking.”
Yeah, he’s a real Mr. nice guy 100% focused on a global carbon treaty. A true and honorable Green Totalitarian. Nothing more nothing less.

http://green-agenda.com

52. rk says:

Oops, I don’t mean Prof Curry makes an appearance herself….a commenter refers to her off-handedly….sorry

53. Stephen Richards says:

Which of his many faces was he talking out of ??

54. Stephen Richards says:

Mr. Muller might one day regret his ‘alleged’ conversion to CAGW in light of the stalled global mean temps.

He was ever thus.

55. Bill Illis says:

So far, we haven’t examined whether Berkeley Earth’s methodology is sound.

Their scapel method of treating discontinuities identified by their automatic algorithm, scapels/splits the 7,400 GHCN stations into 44,380 new effective stations. This is what their methodology paper says.

There is no way, this method did not introduce even more spurious errors into the trend.

Let’s say a little more than half of the discontinuities identified and scapeled out, were when temperatures at some station were falling. Now let’s say one-third of those were actually real and not just station moves or equipment changes. Well, now the methodology has just pulled out a bunch of real drops in temperature.

They have to show us the number of flagged “down” discontinuities is balanced out by the number of “up” discontinuities. They have to show us that this balances out over time as well. Not that the balance of down discontinuities is at the beginning or end of the record. They have not done this that I can find.

And neither has the NCDC done this for their break-point/discontinuity pairwise algorithm. Both methodologies could suffer from the same problem.

The methodologies sound good on paper until you start to think about what they are really doing. Like eliminating Reykavik’s “real” drop in temperatures in the 1960s. The Iceland meteorological office insists it was a real decline and there was no station or equipment changes. The algorithms, however, insist that it is a clearly a discontinuity and has to be removed. The drop is taken out and the overall trend is just re-adjusted higher. Now multiply that situation over 7,400 stations over 1400 months and we just have a bunch of spurious errors introduced into what is supposed to be an homogenized record. Hopefully, people will understand what is posted here. Its hard to describe.

56. S Basinger says:

I think I’m getting a feeling of deja-vu Anthony. Best to beware.

57. Gixxerboy says:

Muller is talking sense. Why are so may on here talking rubbish? Nearly everything he says is reasonable. Maybe he still sticks to the conventions of ‘global warming’ but, surely, most so-called ‘sceptics’ would agree that the world has warmed. And some of that is due to human causes. And some of that is due to increases in CO2? Bloody hell, cut the man some slack.

58. Peter Miller says:

Most of what Muller said was completely rational, he even used the expression: “Yet that is also true of the alarmists.”

What’s wrong with supporting fracking and nuclear energy?

What’s wrong with pointing out that China, India and the Developing World are far more important than the Western World in their growing output of CO2 and therefore anything we do is almost irrelevant?

What’s wrong with any of the three points made by Anthony?

What’s wrong with taking a swipe at dodgy ‘science’, as practiced by Mann et alia?

The only statement I could find I strongly disagreed with was: “However, we have closely examined the evidence for temperature rise, and there are several conclusions that are now strongly based on science. The temperature of the Earth has been rising in a way that closely matches the rise in carbon dioxide.”

Whatever his motives or prior statements, Muller sounded reasonable and rational here.

59. Kev-in-Uk says:

Muller is still not being scientific in his comments. For example, it is illogical to believe that billions of individuals ‘reducing’ their carbon footprint is pointless (unless of course, you don;t believe in CO2 as a major warming contributor?). If everyone managed a 10% reduction in power use, that would be a significant saving of fossil fuels. So,. IMHO that comment is clearly politically based and not scientifically based.
On point 2 – again, if he is accepting that clean fracking is ok – then he obviously doesn’t consider the CO2 meme to be catastrophic?
as for the respect for skeptics – I dunno, just seems a bit tongue in cheek to me….
Overall, adding these points together would indicate a slight shift in his perceived position, (certainly a change from a hyped up attacking stance to a more controlled defensive stance?) – and if so, we have to ask why?

60. DirkH says:

His daughter peddles a “product” called “GreenGovt”, so no wonder he’s cosying up to the Clintons. He’s got his eyes set on keeping the scare alive; but he’s smart enough to understand that pretending Super Frankenstorm Sandy is caused by CO2 is not credible.

One of the smarter snakeoil salesmen.

IF he were a genuinely honest scientist he would HAVE TO declare observed climate change as perfectly normal and within expected range. The fact that he does NOT proclaim that shows that he’s got some bridges to sell.

61. DirkH says:

Michael Tobis says:
December 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm
““He says climate skeptics deserve our respect, not our ridicule.”
Sure, respect when you’re being genuinely skeptical, and not when you are being ridiculous.”

Michael Tobis, we don’t care what a rent seeker like Muller declares about us. We are watching him; and not for his science.

62. cd says:

Not sure I would trust this man. He seems to play to whatever audience he is addressing.

63. Billy Liar says:

Werner Brozek says:
December 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Now I know that satellites and ground based data are different. However I still found the discrepancy between RSS and GISS odd over the last three months. For GISS: 0.62 + 0.68 + 0.68; for RSS: 0.383 + 0.294 + 0.195.

GISS are out to make 2012 the hottest year evah (using ‘adjustments’ where necessary).

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/hansen-caught-cheating-again/

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/warming-the-present-at-giss/

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/cooling-the-past-at-giss/

+ many more.

64. michael hart says:

3. He says climate skeptics deserve our respect, not our ridicule.

Fine. Let’s do a swap. But he shouldn’t expect a favorable exchange-rate.

65. commieBob says:

I think many skeptics would agree with Muller. Extra CO2 will produce ‘some’ warming. I suspect that even James Hansen would agree that catastrophic warming requires a tipping point or positive feedbacks.

Muller: We need to act, but no need to panic. I see no tipping points that are scientifically valid. Of course, we don’t understand the atmosphere and biosphere well enough to be sure.

The only thing I disagree with, about the above statement, is the need to act.

The official climb-down on CAGW is continuing. There is a leaked version of the next IPCC report circulating. There was a story on Slashdot. It came from a story on ABC. link They are predicting some warming and some sea level rise but nothing catastrophic. Nothing dramatic and nothing worth ruining our economy to prevent. The mainstream is moving. Now all we have to do is convince them that more CO2 is a very good thing and some warming is beneficial. Dipping back into Little Ice Age conditions should do that. :-)

66. Coldish says:

I’m not greatly impressed by Muller’s grasp of climate science, but I agree he too deserves respect rather than ridicule, as he at least shows flickers of open-mindedness.

67. knr says:

Has BEST actual mangled to get anything through peer review and published yet , or is it still ‘science by press release ?

68. pouncer says:

Hi Michael Tobis,

Hey, glad to have you here to engage. Maybe you can help with a question I’m having. Why is it that some climate researchers baseline climate and CO2 concentrations on the Biblical/historical era (circa 5000 BC to present) rather than geological/evolutionary timespans ranging back through the various ice ages? I mean, when we can see in the ice core and fossil records that atmospheric CO2 has been vastly higher in the past, and that coral existed, plants thrived (with better adapted stomata, etc) and mega-fauna flourished — why is the CO2 increase of Fulton and Edison decades over empires since Pharoh and Caeser — in the direction of the more distant, biologically more robust past — considered a problem? By you, at least. What is this apparent bias against geology?

69. Robert of Ottawa says:

Muller is not to be trusted. These comments are made for political reasons and will only be noticed by Muller-Watchers. He is still a snake.

70. Paul Vaughan says:

Bill Illis (December 12, 2012 at 1:20 am) wrote:
“The methodologies sound good on paper until you start to think about what they are really doing. Like eliminating Reykavik’s “real” drop in temperatures in the 1960s. The Iceland meteorological office insists it was a real decline and there was no station or equipment changes. The algorithms, however, insist that it is a clearly a discontinuity and has to be removed. The drop is taken out and the overall trend is just re-adjusted higher. Now multiply that situation over 7,400 stations over 1400 months and we just have a bunch of spurious errors introduced into what is supposed to be an homogenized record. Hopefully, people will understand what is posted here. Its hard to describe.”

The dealbreaking problem is that such algorithms simply & plainly canNOT differentiate natural changepoints from artificial ones. Parties advocating the use of such adjustments are making clear their lack of desire & patience to carefully appreciate and understand nature. They’re making it clear that understanding nature is not a priority for them. This is offensive. Bulldozing records of natural variability is part of their strategy. This eliminates trust.

71. JohnWho says:

Muller said he hopes that Berkeley Earth will be able to coordinate with the Clinton Foundation on their mutual goal of mitigating global warming.

I can’t say I disagree with his points. While we’ve had our issues, it is nice to see #3 pointed out. – Anthony

And I can’t say I agree with his last statement.

“Mitigating global warming” implies there is something we can do about it which in turn implies we are contributing to it in a significant manner.

Statement 2 implies that humanity should reduce its “carbon footprint”. No need to even consider doing this unless it can be clearly shown that the effects of our “footprint” are more negative than positive.

I would share anyone’s goal of preparing for global warming although I’m more concerned about preparing for global cooling.

72. highflight56433 says:

Convert coal power to methane? What for? They both produce CO2. Clean coal technology is not new. The anti coal agenda is driven by the oil companies who provide funding to the Sierra Club crowd to lobby against coal. Pretty simple hypocrisy on the part of the anti CO2 CAGW’ers.

73. John West says:

@ all those defending Muller:

He’s discounting solar activity as a climate change driver even though we reached temperature maximum and solar activity maximum congruently. Either he’s woefully misinformed or purposely dishonest. Either way he’s dangerous.

@ E.M Smith:

I agree that convection and evaporation dominates heat transport in the troposphere. I also agree that clouds and water vapor dominate the GHE (as I’ve said on numerous occasions they’re the king and queen of the GHE). But to say that CO2 has no effect in the troposphere is a bridge too far for me. Just because it doesn’t dominate doesn’t mean it has no influence at all. The influence may, however, be so infinitesimal that it can be ignored for all practical purposes.

BTW: I read the links you provided; very, very good stuff. We’re basically in 100% agreement if I insert something like [most likely negligible] wherever you have something like [no effect].

74. The fear of UN as a world government (via climate policies) expressed by some, is unwarranted, based on ideology rather than understanding.. The UN is an organisatiosn that lobbies can take over (and the Greens and climate research have done so but this is no ordained and happened by default). The Un and most of its agencies remains weak in practice as long as its membersbers refuse to act and pay jointly. The climate scare has provided the World Bank with income and influence, and this what bureaucracies want, but they need not get it , if…..

75. ferd berple says:

I’m not skeptical about climate change. I’m skeptical about the motives and objectivity of human beings that promote climate change as a means to political change.

I am skeptical that people that seek to save the earth will in fact do so. Every crusade in history has blinded people to the harm they are doing in the name of the noble cause. The modern day Climate Crusaders are no different.

Actual climate change in the past 100 years has been much too small to measure except with ultra sensitive modern machines. All of which were built with fossil fuel. Show me a single weather satellite built and launched to space using only wind power or solar power.

Show me a single solar powered climate conference, or a climate conference where the delegates arrived using wind power. Yet 1000 years ago conferences were lighted and heated by the sun, and delegates arrived in sailing ships. So we know it is possible.

Why, if the Climate Crusaders are so concerned about the climate, why do they not use the proven technology of the past and stop producing CO2 themselves? Why do they label those that are skeptical of their motives “deniers”, as though we are denying the word of god?

For this is the true meaning of denier. Not a holocaust denier, but one that denies the word of god and the righteous that act in god’s name.

76. Alan Watt, CD (Certified Denialist), Level 7 says:

Robert of Ottawa says:
December 12, 2012 at 4:18 am

Muller is not to be trusted. These comments are made for political reasons and will only be noticed by Muller-Watchers. He is still a snake.

The many people in this thread with similar opions are watching the wrong hand: If Mueller is getting cozy with Bill Clinton, just whose initiative do you think that is? Think as many negative things about Dr. Muller is you like, but don’t believe for an instant he is even close to the manipulator and prevaricator Bill Clinton is.

In any kind of partnership with these two, Muller will be the sock puppet/fall guy and Clinton will be the beneficiary. To Clinton, the science doesn’t matter in the least; the goal is to achieve a political result and if real science doesn’t support the goal, phony science is perfectly acceptable.

In fact I suspect Clinton’s definition of “real science” is whatever supports his political goals.

77. D Böehm says:

Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen,

You are incredibly naive about the UN and human nature.

Peter Miller says:
December 12, 2012 at 1:37 am

Does the man believe CO2 is causing global warming to the point CO2 needs to be controlled or reduced? If so, nothing else he says matters (for he then contradicts himself and becomes the consumate politician–willing to say anything and everything to achieve his ultimate goal).

Beware wolves in sheep’s clothing. And don’t castigate the rest of us for seeing through his charade.

79. klem says:

Though I disagree with Muller on some things, I have always felt he had a fairly balanced view of the world. He says things which upset the climate skeptics, but he also says things which upset the climate alarmists.

80. R. de Haan says:

@ Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen:”The fear of UN as a world government (via climate policies) expressed by some, is unwarranted, based on ideology rather than understanding..”

You must be kidding yourself. We have political leadership today who claim they support Global Governance and hand over all powers to the UN the moment the time is right. Just listen to the first speech made by the current “NON ELECTED” President of the EU. In the mean time we have more UN rules interfearing with our lives than many of you know. In fact, Agenda 21 rulings are already closing down entire roads and rural area’s. Please wake up and activate your gray cells.

81. ferd berple says:

Muller’s BEST was fatally flawed. He compared temperature change to absolute city size and concluded there was no UHI. He ignored change in city size as a factor and has not published the necessary correction. Why? One answer might be that such a correction shows that there is an UHI and publishing this is would not be in his BEST interests..

Consider this: Which is more likely to show an UHI? A town that has grown from 100 to 100,000 citizens, or a city that has remained static at 1,000,000 inhabitants? Muller’s study assumed the later should show more UHI than the former, and found that this was not the case, thus concluding there was no UHI, and thus GHG must be the cause.

What he did not consider, at least not for publication, was that his assumptions themselves were wrong. If there is a UHI, then a town that grew 1000 fold would show more change in temperature than a larger city that remained static in size, regardless of absolute size. Why has he not shown that comparison?

82. Bruce Cobb says:

He’d make a great politician. He’s certainly no scientist. He does throw cold water on some of the more outrageous Alarmist claims, and says skeptics should be respected, not ridiculed. So very good cop – bad cop of him.

83. Robert Christopher says:

Muller’s Point 2 (must think globally about CO2): I think Muller said as much at the same talk as he said that the hockey stick, (some years ago?) with its filtering of two grafted graphs, misled not only the public but academics. I think he had graphs of coal, oil and gas reserves, production and consumption, by country, to illustrate .his points.

84. JJ says:

Gixxerboy says:

Muller is talking sense. Why are so may on here talking rubbish? Nearly everything he says is reasonable.

Well, if one is to come to a conclusion about nearly everything he says, one has to follow everything he says – out of both of his faces. He says a few things of minor importance that skeptics will like, to seem reasonable and gain acceptance for the big-ticket items that are the goals of his agenda. He’ll give you hurricane Sandy, so you will accept that “We need to act.”

Maybe he still sticks to the conventions of ‘global warming’ but, surely, most so-called ‘sceptics’ would agree that the world has warmed. And some of that is due to human causes. And some of that is due to increases in CO2?

According to Muller, 100% of ‘global warming’ over the last 250 years is due to human CO2.

That is what you are buying into, when you roll over for Muller’s Clintonesque sweet talk. It is the contents of the package, not the wrapping paper, that is important.

Bloody hell, cut the man some slack.

No. Lying politicians operate on ‘slack’. Last thing you do is give it to them.

Muller is playing his part in the kabuki.

Bad Warmist says: “Sceptics are stupid. Hurricane Sandy is all our fault! We need to act.”

‘Good’ Warmist says: “Sceptics are right. Hurricane Sandy is not our fault. We need to act!”

Sorry. I wasn’t born yesterday. They’re both bad warmists.

85. It’s all about diplomacy and politics. Agree with whoomever you are speaking to at that moment, even if you don’t believe a word of what he says. I think that sums up Muller

86. O/T but in the last 24 hours our windmills here in the UK have generated the princely total of 0.6% of total electric output.

It will be fun when we have to rely on them for most our power in a few years time.

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/just-enough-to-boil-the-kettle/#more-2109

87. Cam_S says:

Tom Rude;

CBC is pushing rising sea levels also. They are saying one meter over one hundred years.

Metro Vancouver dike upgrades to cost billions
Improvements needed to protect Lower Mainland from rising sea levels

But the Vancouver tide tables say otherwise;
Mean Sea Level Trend 822-071 Vancouver, Canada
http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_global_station.shtml?stnid=822-071

88. rgbatduke says:

However in view of the significance of the 16 years lately, I would like to elaborate on RSS. The slope for 15 years and 11 months from January 1997 on RSS is -4.1 x 10^-4. But the slope for 16 years and 0 months from December 1996 is +1.3 x 10^-4. So since the magnitude of the negative slope since January 1997 is 3 times than the magnitude of the positive slope since December 1996, I believe I can say that since a quarter of the way through December 1996, in other words from December 8, 1996 to December 7, 2012, the slope is 0. This is 16 years. Therefor RSS is 192/204 or 94% of the way to Santer’s 17 years.

Or, one could simply look at the temperature curve itself, note that almost all of the increase over the entire satellite era occurred in one single event — the 1997-1998 El Nino, and that it was flat (as far as $R^2$ is concerned) before this event. In other words, the entire timeseries from 1979 to the present is inconsistent with any sort of picture of gradual warming driven by a steadily increasing concentration of CO_2. It is consistent with a system that is multistable — has many limit points that correspond to a kind of “dynamic equilibrium” — that can be jarred from multidimensional orbits around one locally stable attractor into orbits around another locally stable attractor, where the unusually strong ENSO event sufficed to force such a transition.

Really, there is no other particularly good explanation of the data in terms of single variables (as Bob Tisdale is fond of pointing out, and pointing out, and pointing out — because it is true). Of course when you take into account additional variables such as CO_2 and/or solar state, you can come up with other explanations. Perhaps increased CO_2 caused the emergence of the second attractor, and perhaps its continued rise is destabilizing the currently stable attractor. Perhaps the prolonged period of high solar activity in some way caused the emergence of the second attractor with little help from CO_2, and now that it has gone down to the lowest level in 100 years an attractor at a cooler temperature is emerging and we’ll either smoothly decay or “jump” down to it. Perhaps attractors are “dense”, with nearly equal probability of jumping up or jumping down all of the time, but with the direction of the jump strongly dependent on the perturbation that causes it plus e.g. the phases of the various decadal oscillations. All we can see is that over the 33 years of good data, the first fifteen of them exhibited almost no warming, then there was a comparatively huge jump, and the last fifteen of them have exhibited almost no warming, strongly suggesting that Koutsoyiannis’ picture of Hurst-Kolmogorov punctuated equilibrium is the right statistical framework for describing the climate, although perhaps not the local noise of the time-evolution through the Poincare’ cycles bound to an attractor.

As for the 17 years, or 15 years, or whatever — bullshit. It is completely, totally meaningless as a number barring assumptions that are impossible to justify and according to the data, rather likely to be wrong concerning the correct statistics and corresponding dynamics of the process of climate evolution. The hypothesis of carbon dioxide driven global warming with high feedback/climate sensitivity could be dead right, but the nature of the dynamical evolution could be one of 5-20 year flat stretches bound to a currently stable attractor (plus substantial noise) followed by a dynamically driven jump to a strictly warmer attractor following the CAGW doomsday scenario curves. Or, it could be dead wrong and CO_2 could be a minor, easily overcome modulator of the probability of upward or downward transitions in a phase space of nearly equally balanced attractors, where the upward or downward transition probability is much more strongly influenced by the dynamical heating or cooling potential of the decadal oscillations and/or solar state (through mechanism unknown) or steady by very slow orbital variations or hundred year cyclic variations in the thermohaline circulation or aerosol levels or…

The best that can be said is what can be said from the entire data set. That treats everything interior as noise (in the specific sense that we profess complete ignorance of the causes of the variation), and suggests a warming rate of roughly 0.1 C/decade, projecting 0.9 C more warming by the end of the century, all things being equal. The uncertainties are great enough, however, that they embrace 2 C over the century or 0 to slightly negative numbers over the century (still from the 33 year baseline).

Is this a naive estimate? Sure, it assumes a monotonic linear trend for a temperature series that is neither linear nor monotonic across one single full century in the known climate record. Does this estimate account for what is “natural” warming versus anthropogenic warming? How could it? Warming doesn’t come with a label and we cannot directly measure either the precise amount of warming caused by CO_2 increase nor the hypothetical feedback amplification and we do not know the baseline of what temperature would be doing without the additional CO_2. It is a maximum ignorance — or maximum entropy, if you prefer — estimate based strictly on the satellite era data.

If we were to use data from outside of that era without the bias of presumed knowledge, without Bayesian priors, we’d do little better. Indeed, we’d do almost infinitely worse. If we go back forty years we get perhaps the greatest rate of warming. If we go back fifty to sixty years we get less. If we go back 140 years we get little change from the 33 year linear extrapolation (certainly within its probable error bounds). If we go back 300 years we get the same. If we go back 700 years we get a very small rate of warming. If we go back 1000 years we get a very very small rate of warming. If we go back 2000 or more years, we get net cooling for almost all starting points (with two or three localized exceptions) until we reach a point where we get consistent, strong, and then very strong warming. Go back 100000 years and we get anything from (by now very small indeed) warming to equally ignorable cooling. And so on, into the past.

We can explain almost none of this quantitatively! Assertions that we can are bullshit too — prove it, and predict the five million, or fifty million year climate record. We haven’t a bloody clue — not one that we can check — for why ice ages punctuate the climate record back as far as we can see, separating eras where almost without exception it was far warmer than it is today, even when the Sun was very likely somewhat cooler. The current ice age is happening with a much brighter Sun than the one that shown down on the Precambrian era or the Ordovician-Silurian transition. We have hypotheses as to why these ice ages happened, as to why the world remained warm with a significantly lower insolation, but we really don’t have a hell of a lot of data to support the hypotheses or any reliable way to test them. They’re right up there with the debate about dinosaurs and whether they were warm or cold blooded, warm nurturing parents or lay ‘em and leave ‘em egg parents who would cheerfully eat their own young, scaly lizards or feathered lizards, colorful or drab. All we have to go on (for most of this, for most species) is rare, indirect evidence drawn from the handful of species that actually left fossils that we have actually been fortunate enough to find.

Dinosaurs could have built artifacts and cities and had a bloody civilization that lasted a thousand years and the reshaping of the Earth a dozen times over in between might well have erased every recognizable trace of it. And so it is with the climate, which we infer, in part from that selfsame incomplete fossil record.

Skeptics, to be completely fair, need to not engage in wishful thinking and imagine that the last 16 years disproves GW, AGW, CAGW, or that it proves that the world is about to cool, or start the descent into an ice age, or whatever. It does nothing of the sort. It “proves” absolutely nothing but that for reasons we do not fully understand, the world has not warmed or cooled much for 16 years but rather fluctuated in a way that cannot be distinguished from “no linear trend”.

CAGW supporters, to be equally fair, need to not engage in wishful thinking and imagine that the last 16 years supports the hypothesis of high climate sensitivity leading to catastrophic warming. It does nothing of the sort. Indeed, it is, or should be, quite worrisome to them in the specific sense that it should be causing them to question or doubt their hypothesis and consider modifying it (which is not worrisome at all, of course, quite the contrary — it would be excellent news). In particular, every year the temperature remains flat should be pushing them to consider two changes — the obvious one of reduced climate sensitivity within their existing model(s), and with a correspondingly larger explanatory role for natural fluctuations and trends in the past, and the less obvious one of recognizing that climate dynamics is not a linear or even trivially nonlinear process but rather that the “average global temperature” is a one-dimensional projection of a complex and chaotic dynamical process that appears very much to be dominated by locally stable attractors that emerge and disappear according to internal non-Markovian dynamics that we are almost completely clueless about but that appear to be more than capable of “erasing” any trivial linear or nonlinear trend driven by a single variable so that no single variable can explain even local dynamics as more than an accident.

In other words, everybody needs to stop claiming knowledge that they just don’t have. That way we could stop pretending that we have a friggin’ clue as to what the climate is going to do in ten years, or twenty years, not with enough certainty to justify literally betting the health, safety and happiness of countless people in the world on the arguments either way.

Here’s the bottom line: We should, as a civilization, take moderate measures to hedge our bets against the worst case warming scenarios without panicking and spending trillions of dollars on it. Reasonable measures absolutely include doing more billion dollar research on the question (hey, at least the results here are immediately useful to the extent that the research succeeds, unlike, for example, the answer to the question of whether or not the Higgs Boson exists — so far) and on non-Carbon based energy resources. Just in case. After all, if the thermal record tells us anything, it is that we have time — the extrapolated linear trend is not something to panic over, and some fraction of that warming is almost certainly not anthropogenic.

The seas may disastrously rise, but they aren’t doing it yet. Crops may fail, storms may lash humanity, but there isn’t a clue that either one is happening yet. The arctic may melt, but it has melted before in the 1930s and it wasn’t disastrous (the polar bears somehow muddled through) and there is no disaster up there — yet. None of these things will happen overnight even if warming resumes and the CAGW extreme of the AGW hypothesis proves correct. And frankly, even if it were correct, there is damn all we could do about it with our current technology that wouldn’t count as a “catastrophe” for most of humanity in its own right — we’d be choosing between catastrophes, not avoiding one. Surely mere common sense suggests searching for technologies that might permit civilization to continue of the worst case scenario proves correct and the choice really is stop burning carbon or die in appalling numbers, while at the same time refusing to buy in to the assertion that it is true without some very hard, impossible to ignore, evidence.

Which simply does not, at this time, exist.

In twenty years we’ll know more. In fifty years y’all that are younger than I am will know more. It might take, however, seventy or even a hundred years for us to get to where we really understand the climate well enough to predict it on a century-plus timescale or to “steer” the climate in a predictable way by deliberately altering (for example) the chemistry of our atmosphere or deliberately turning Panama into a deepwater open connection between the oceans by means of a few thousand nuclear bombs that both dig and cool by blasting dust into the atmosphere nuclear winter style. In the meantime, doing stuff like that or spraying an orbital curtain in between us and the Sun is just crazy talk — I mean, what could go wrong?

rgb

89. Resourceguy says:

A BEST-Clinton alignment sounds on the face of it like the feedback loop of Gore and his non-profit for profit setup in which the nonprofit activity drives for-profit opportunities in speaker fees at a minimum. It goes to show that there is still plenty of money to be made while global climate indicators move sideways or opposite the stated goal.

90. rgbatduke says:

CO2 in my opinion is a harmless trace gas, yet essential and necessary for life on earth. Anyone trying to lower the 0,039% of CO2 in the atmosphere is an enemy of life. We need more of it to feed the world, not less.

Ah, please, surely we don’t really need this sort of hyperbole. Someone interested in lowering the 400 ppm CO_2 in the atmosphere is not necessarily “an enemy of life”, and while your opinion may be that it is a harmless trace gas, you could easily be mistaken, and people that disagree and think otherwise, especially when and where they have an actual physically supported argument as opposed to an opinion stated as fact, are not “evil” or seeking World Domination.

There may well be some people seeking World Domination on the back of the CAGW hypothesis. There were and continue to be plenty of people seeking or continuing to hold onto substantial parts of World Domination on the back of the beliefs of people raised not to question them concerning the existence and probable deity of a legendary figure who might or might not have lived 2000 years ago, or the religious philosophy written down by a real figure reportedly taking dictation from an angel 1300 years ago, or the religious society established by a real figure who claimed to have found golden tablets under the direction of a different angel just a few hundred years ago. That doesn’t reduce the sincerity of the people that without the faintest shred of concrete evidence continue to accept those incredible beliefs.

Personally, I think the exploitation of those beliefs are a greater risk to civilization than the CAGW assertions, by far — the latter can be falsified and if you are correct, will be falsified in due course, whereupon the peasants can descend with their pitchforks and torches or not as seems fitting. The former are killing people literally ever day by the score, with a risk of killing people by the hundred, or thousand, or even million, hovering perpetually in the wings. If rationality is a standard worth pursuing in public affairs, we could start with the enormous irrationality of religious beliefs that threaten one with an eternal (but non-verifiable) catastrophe as the reward for disbelief or non-compliance and the huge waste of public wealth and diversion of political power enabled by the collection of irrational belief systems. Talk about ongoing real-world catastrophes — look no further.

rgb

91. Gail Combs says:

RobertInAz says:
December 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm

….. there are a number of inappropriate ad hominem attacks on Dr. Muller in this thread. Sad. He appears to be one of the more responsible alarmist voices and this many here do not appreciate how important his voice is.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
You have GOT to be kidding.
The guy is a Machiavelli. He screwed Anthony and then LIED about being a ‘skeptic’ !

I would not trust him to take my dog for a walk.

You can find the links to the continuing saga of the BEST scandal here:
http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/categories.html

However the damage has been done. The popular perception is Muller as a skeptic, funded by the Koch brothers, looked at the surface station data found nothing wrong found no Urban Heat Island effect and is now convinced CAGW is real. As a prominent Professor his take on -

1. Berkeley Earth Temperature Averaging Process

2. Influence of Urban Heating on the Global Temperature Land Average

3. Earth Atmospheric Land Surface Temperature and Station Quality in the United States

4. Decadal Variations in the Global Atmospheric Land Temperatures
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/20/the-berkeley-earth-surface-temperature-project-puts-pr-before-peer-review/

- are going to trump anything Anthony publishes peer-reviewed or not and that was the WHOLE POINT of the exercise. It was a PR move and nothing more and it worked beautifully.

The (Self-snip) has the morals of a mink in MHO and I can not believe that others can not see through him too.

92. Sean says:

Of course he thinks that “individually reducing carbon footprints is pointless — we need to “think globally and act globally”. The global warming cult is really all about a UN ruled socialist paradise. For socialism, individuality and personal accountability poses a threat to the socialist way of doing things, i.e. by surrendering all your thinking to the will of the collective and blindly following the group think dictates of the benevolent nanny state. The minute that the peasants start thinking and acting for themselves, is the moment when the door is opened to possible skeptical thoughts, and next comes the challenge to power as skeptical peasants expand their questions.

93. joeblack25 says:

Many of the posts here are by right wing extremists. These people are far to the right of 90% of the pieces that get posted on this site. I wish they would find some extremist, out of touch with reality, site to vent their misconceptions. Dr. Muller is a good man and someone who is on the the side of those who question mainstream climate science, as do people like Judith Curry. I think Andy leans strongly towards the views of these very rational people, because Andy is rational. In the end this site is a beacon of rationality. I just wish that the extremist clowns that unfortunately dominate the commentary on this site would migrate to some other site and leave those reasonable thinking people that effectively counter this climate nonsense to fight it effectively.

94. richardscourtney says:

rgbatduke:

I agree with all of your post at December 12, 2012 at 8:46 am. I write to add comments of my own on some of the points you make in that post.

In response to consideration of “the significance of the 16 years lately”, you say

In other words, the entire timeseries from 1979 to the present is inconsistent with any sort of picture of gradual warming driven by a steadily increasing concentration of CO_2. It is consistent with a system that is multistable — has many limit points that correspond to a kind of “dynamic equilibrium” — that can be jarred from multidimensional orbits around one locally stable attractor into orbits around another locally stable attractor, where the unusually strong ENSO event sufficed to force such a transition.

Really, there is no other particularly good explanation of the data in terms of single variables (as Bob Tisdale is fond of pointing out, and pointing out, and pointing out — because it is true)

Yes, as you say, “the entire timeseries from 1979 to the present is inconsistent with any sort of picture of gradual warming driven by a steadily increasing concentration of CO_2. “
But so what?
The recent 16 years of lack of warming (at 95% confidence) is “ruled out” by the climate models which are accepted by supporters of the idea that “CO2 is the climate control knob”.

Those supporters will not agree the time series is not consistent with their views until their statements of what would falsify their opinion are fulfilled. The ‘16 years’ does that.

We have already seen those supporters trying to “move the goal posts” but that is not relevant to explanations to others (e.g. research funders) of the inconsistency of the ‘16 years’ with the models.

Politicians are responding to the assertions that “CO2 is the climate control knob”. As I have repeatedly, said that response is an error which has potentially catastrophic consequences. For example, in the St Andrews Uni. debate
http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=2938
I said this

Climate change is a serious problem. All governments need to address it.

In the Bronze Age Joseph (with the Technicolour Dreamcoat) told Pharaoh that climate has always changed everywhere: it always will. He told Pharaoh to prepare for bad times when in good times, and all sensible governments have adopted that policy throughout the millennia since.

It’s a sensible policy because people merely complain at taxes in good times. They revolt if short of food in bad times. But several governments have abandoned it and, instead, are trying to stabilise the climate of the entire Earth by controlling it.

This attempt at global climate control arises from the hypothesis of anthropogenic (that is, man-made) global warming (AGW).

AGW does not pose a global crisis but the policy does, because it threatens constraint of fossil fuels and that constraint would kill millions – probably billions – of people.

I understand you to be making the same point – except that you ignore the risk of cooling – when you write

In other words, everybody needs to stop claiming knowledge that they just don’t have. That way we could stop pretending that we have a friggin’ clue as to what the climate is going to do in ten years, or twenty years, not with enough certainty to justify literally betting the health, safety and happiness of countless people in the world on the arguments either way.

Here’s the bottom line: We should, as a civilization, take moderate measures to hedge our bets against the worst case warming scenarios without panicking and spending trillions of dollars on it. Reasonable measures absolutely include doing more billion dollar research on the question (hey, at least the results here are immediately useful to the extent that the research succeeds, unlike, for example, the answer to the question of whether or not the Higgs Boson exists — so far) and on non-Carbon based energy resources. Just in case. After all, if the thermal record tells us anything, it is that we have time — the extrapolated linear trend is not something to panic over, and some fraction of that warming is almost certainly not anthropogenic.

In my opinion, this point needs to be made much more often. We need to be aware that climate changes in unpredictable ways and to make reasonable precautions against effects of all such likely changes.

Richard

95. TomRude says:

@ Garymount and Cam-S, indeed and no surprise here. None of these “information” outlets would dare mention real measurements. SFU Deborah Harford is completely out of control and the reporter is ever so happy to print her baseless rambling as an argument of authority.

96. highflight56433 says:

R. de Haan says:
December 12, 2012 at 7:28 am
“You must be kidding yourself. We have political leadership today who claim they support Global Governance and hand over all powers to the UN the moment the time is right. Just listen to the first speech made by the current “NON ELECTED” President of the EU. In the mean time we have more UN rules interfering with our lives than many of you know. In fact, Agenda 21 rulings are already closing down entire roads and rural area’s. Please wake up and activate your gray cells.”

Exactly right.

All those pretty trees and gardens planted along new construction and those prominently marked bicycle lanes you never see used…Agenda 21. I saw three lanes reduced to two lanes just to add a bicycle path, when there are parallel roads 1 block away with no traffic and sidewalks galore. Agenda 21. And controlling the internet will another control. Sooner than you expect.

Unprecedented restrictions in zoning…Agenda 21. Huge apartment complexes constructed…not a problem. Agenda 21. Build a new home on your ranch…good luck. Fail the housing industry, turn property owners into apartment dwellers. Agenda 21. 9-11, a crisis, Patriot Act, Agenda 21 Utah’s NSA Data Collection Center collecting 100% of every digital transmission. Search engine data, cell phone data, texting data, collecting data by pinging those cute little chips in your electronics everywhere you go, etc,..all of them…globalliy. Agenda 21. Makes Orson Wells “1984″ a reality. Drones in your neighborhood coming soon. Facebook, twitter, Share this, share that. …World better wake up. …and no, I am not paranoid; old enough to see the changes and recognize what it means. When they say they are collecting an “enemies list” you better listen…it’s everyone.

97. otropogo says:

It appears that Richard Muller got his knuckles badly rapped for authoring “Nemesis: the Death Star”, back in 1988, and returned contritely to orthodox mediocrity.

The academic cabal learned from its frontal attack on Emmanual Velikovsky, and turned to the more effective weapons of neglect and quiet sniggering to defeat the ideas of Muller and the Alvarezes. Of course, Muller’s book wasn’t a best seller like “Worlds in Collision”, and Muller was never an independent thinker such as Velikovsky, who managed to provoke Carl Sagan to public outburst of venomous lunacy.

Looking for superheros to save our bacon is always a bad strategy, but choosing one with patently clay feet is ridiculous.

98. rgbatduke says:

I understand you to be making the same point – except that you ignore the risk of cooling – when you write

I don’t ignore the risk of cooling, I just consider cooling back to the temperature range of the 20th century unremarkable and non-risky. A LIA-scale dip would be a problem, but historically that too seems “unlikely” and likely to proceed at slow enough of a rate that we could cope with it. I’m opposed to chicken-littlism in either extreme. It’s a weird modern version of apocalyptic religion.

So sure, we could melt like an ice cube in the summer sun, we could freeze down into a snowball with full resumption of glaciation, but these extremes are unlikely until empirically proven otherwise. “Likely” variation is on the scale of what we have seen in the century scale past, over century scales, and on the downhill side for 0.3 to 0.5C that is simply not catastrophic or even “interesting” from the social or economic point of view. On the uphill side another 0.5C will probably cause some actual damage, but it will have benefits as well. Damage might outweigh benefits.

By all means, let’s prepare for cooling as well as warming, but invest our money proportional to the best estimated probability of associated damage and the likely timeframe that damage might occur in. That would probably make it 10 to 1 in favor of ameliorating warming as there is lots of time to cope with temperatures as cool as they were in (say) 1950. By not actually “coping” — simply returning to an older normal.

rgb

99. Bruce Cobb says:

joeblack25 says:
December 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

Many of the posts here are by right wing extremists.

Allow me to stop you right there. First of all, as has been amply pointed out many times before, this is an issue which cuts across all political spectrums. So your acusation is a complete red herring, in addition to being an obvious ad hominem, which carries no logical weight. The rest of your “argument” falls on its face, being based solely on emotion, not fact. We can only base our criticisms of “Andy” on what he has said, not on whether you think he’s a “good” or even “rational” man. His “goodness” is neither here nor there, so we’ll just say that yes, he is. So what? His rationality is questionable, based on what he has said, as are his motives.

100. David, UK says:

Michael Tobis says:
December 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Sure, respect when you’re being genuinely skeptical, and not when you are being ridiculous.

Have you ever acknowledged a single case of sceptics being “genuinely sceptical?” Have you ever been “genuinely sceptical” of climate science?

I won’t hold my breath.

101. Gail Combs says:

I should add Ged Davis (Shell VP) in the IPCC and the Climategate e-mails, old comment on Davis

(I found the links) On the TEAM at Muller Assoc. you find Arthur Rosenfeld, Former California Energy Commissioner and Marlan Downey, Oil and Gas Executive ….. Former President of the international subsidiary of Shell Oil 2nd old comment

This old comment should also be reread:

Betapug says:
October 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Joe Romm does not miss a beat covering ” the well known smearers of climate scientists, Judith Curry and Richard Muller.”

Besides it is old news: “Climate Progress actually broke this story back in March — ……….based on an email Climatologist Ken Caldeira sent me after seeing their preliminary results …”

Anthony, Roddy says he will miss you:

“Mike Roddy says:
October 20, 2011 at 9:33 pm
Muller and I have mutual friends at Berkeley-he is an opportunist, and was once Nobelist Louis Alvarez’ lap dog. He has become a little weird, but is still a smart scientist.
I think Muller was gaming Koch and Watts the whole time. He knew about the NOAA study, of course, and all of the suspense about postponing the BEST results until “all the data are in” was just a way to milk the Kochs out of more money, which amounted to a lot compared to a professor’s salary.

In this case, the charge that climate scientists were “after grant money” was correct, but the results verified what has become obvious. Only a complete idiot would claim otherwise.
As for Watts, the whole notion that scientists were conspiring to use faulty temperature stations to exaggerate climate change was never anything more than a joke. Even Curry and Muller figured that one out.

Watts is not going to be headlining any Heartland conferences for a while. I’ll miss the humor opportunities, but good riddance.”

Roddy is in the business of selling steel (produced using coke, maybe even Koch coke?) framed structures, claiming they have a smaller carbon footprint because they reduce logging.

Then there is Elizabeth Muller’s press statement in support of anti-CO2 alarmism

Elizabeth Muller, co-founder and Executive Director of Berkeley Earth, said she hopes the Berkeley Earth findings will help “cool the debate over global warming by addressing many of the valid concerns of the skeptics in a clear and rigorous way.” This will be especially important in the run-up to the COP 17 meeting in Durban, South Africa, later this year, where participants will discuss targets for reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG)emissions for the next commitment period as well as issues such as financing, technology transfer and cooperative action.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/28/explaining-muller-vs-muller-is-best-blissfully-unaware-of-cosmic-ray-cloud-theory/

And if you want to know what this is all really about.

“The carbon economy is the fastest growing industry globally with US\$84 billion of carbon trading conducted in 2007, doubling to \$116 billion in 2008, and expected to reach over \$200 billion by 2012 and over \$2,000 billion by 2020″ – World Bank Carbon Finance Report for 2007

102. john robertson says:

@rgbatduke 8:46. Thanks Dr Brown, thats a refreshing blast of reality and common sense, now if there was some way to get our indoctrinated politicians to read and comprehend.
We never did know enough to panic which is why I feel the instigators of this CO2=CAGW, must be held responsible.
I did not know that Esops Tales and the rest of folk lore is no longer taught, maybe these cautionary tales need to be compulsory for High school. Or as the morning prayer in our legislatures.

103. Gail Combs says:

December 11, 2012 at 11:07 pm

3. He says climate skeptics deserve our respect, not our ridicule.

So he’s saying he used to deserve respect, even from himself, and now?

2. He suggests individually reducing our carbon footprint is pointless — we need to “think globally and act globally,” by encouraging the switch from coal to gas power in China and developing nations. He’s a fan of “clean fracking.”

I added the “clean fracking” link from the original, which goes to a paywalled WSJ opinion piece. Been searching for what he means by “clean fracking”. Is that like “clean coal”?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Of course Muller is a big fan of fracking, after all he has a Shell Oil VP on his ‘Team’ at Muller & Assoc. Fracking has been the goal from day one. Wipe out the coal industry and substitute gas. The whole scam is working like a charm.

We have the closing of coal plants. In the USA the EPA has a three-year timeline. EPA estimates about 600 plants with 1,100 coal and 300 oil units are affected.

In the UK people are already dying of hypothermia (7,800 people die during [last] winter because they can’t afford to heat their homes properly, says fuel poverty expert Professor Christine Liddell of the University of Ulster. That works out at 65 deaths a day) and the price of fuel skyrocketing with a quarter of Brits living in fuel poverty as energy bills rocket.

On top of that the rank and file Greenies are becoming disenchanted with windmills and solar panels as the environmental consequences slowly seep into their brains. If that doesn’t work you have Smart Meters waiting in the wings so the rolling blackouts can be shunted to residental/small businesses customers only. (see bottom)

At this point I really do not think big energy cares whether or not the carbon trading scheme works (the banks/financial traders do of course) They have pretty much achieved their goal. They know when the reality of a ‘low carbon lifestyle’ hits just as the global temperature takes a down turn there will be screaming from the ‘useful idiots’ for polititians to DO SOMETHING and more tax payer money will be funneled to the energy companies to build gas fired (and nuclear?) plants.

It goes right along with Who has been behind CAGW from the beginning.

The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) is a component of the University of East Anglia and is one of the leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change….
…Initial sponsors included British Petroleum, the Nuffield Foundation and Royal Dutch Shell.[6] The Rockefeller Foundation [Standard Oil money] was another early benefactor… WIKI

There is also the nuclear people and the Oman connection

Enron, joined by BP, invented the global warming industry. I know because I was in the room. This was during my storied three-week or so stint as Director of Federal Government Relations for Enron in the spring of 1997, back when Enron was everyone’s darling in Washington. It proved to be an eye-opening experience that didn’t last much beyond my expressing concern about this agenda of using the state to rob Peter, paying Paul, drawing Paul’s enthusiastic support….

The basic truth is that Enron, joined by other “rent-seeking” industries — making one’s fortune from policy favors from buddies in government, the cultivation of whom was a key business strategy — cobbled their business plan around “global warming.” Enron bought, on the cheap of course, the world’s largest windmill company (now GE Wind) and the world’s second-largest solar panel interest (now BP) to join Enron’s natural gas pipeline network, which was the second largest in the world. The former two can only make money under a system of massive mandates and subsidies (and taxes to pay for them); the latter would prosper spectacularly if the war on coal succeeded.….
http://dailycaller.com/2010/12/15/lessons-from-the-global-warming-industry/

Info on rolling blackouts:

Don’t want smart meter? Power shut off
The rollout of smart electric meters across the country has run into a few snags: one woman doesn’t want one, and ended up in the dark as a result.

You might not think that would be an issue. But it is, because Duke Energy is now beginning to disconnect any homeowner who refuses a new electric meter.

….Rolling outages are systematic, temporary interruptions of electrical service.
They are the last step in a progressive series of emergency procedures that ERCOT follows when it detects that there is a shortage of power generation within the Texas electric grid. ERCOT will direct electric transmission and distribution utilities, such as CenterPoint Energy, to begin controlled, rolling outages to bring the supply and demand for electricity back into balance.They generally last 15-45 minutes before being rotated to a different neighborhood to spread the effect of the outage among consumers, which would be the case whether outages are coordinated at the circuit level or individual meter level. Without this safety valve, power generating units could overload and begin shutting down and risk causing a domino effect of a statewide, lengthy outage. With smart meters, CenterPoint Energy is proposing to add a process prior to shutting down whole circuits to conduct a mass turn off of individual meters with 200 amps or less (i.e. residential and small commercial consumers) for 15 or 30 minutes, rotating consumers impacted during that outage as well as possible future outages.

There are several benefits to consumers of this proposed process. By isolating non-critical service accounts (“critical” accounts include hospitals, police stations, water treatment facilities etc.) and spreading “load shed” to a wider distribution, critical accounts that happen to share the same circuit with non-critical accounts will be less affected in the event of an emergency. Curtailment of other important public safety devices and services such as traffic signals, police and fire stations, and water pumps and sewer lifts may also be avoided.

104. Alan Watt, CD (Certified Denialist), Level 7 says:

rgbatduke says:
December 12, 2012 at 8:46 am

[ lots of good stuff ... ]
In other words, everybody needs to stop claiming knowledge that they just don’t have. That way we could stop pretending that we have a friggin’ clue as to what the climate is going to do in ten years, or twenty years, not with enough certainty to justify literally betting the health, safety and happiness of countless people in the world on the arguments either way.
[ lots more good stuff ]

Thank you. As a non-scientist I have thought for some time that people on both sides of the debate are claiming more certainty on understanding the climate than warranted. Climate operates over such vast timescales while we have reliable instrumental data for such a miniscule slice of it.

What I have come to believe thanks to WUWT is that I/we have nothing to fear from continued moderate warming and atmospheric CO2 increase, and there are likely net benefits.

I don’t believe it is necessary to raise a global cooling bogeyman to “trump” the global warming bogeyman, and predictions of one are no more credible than predictions of the other.

But if you must have a bogeyman that is likely to be catastrophic in our lifetimes don’t look to the climate. Focus instead on the pending collapse of industrialized societies due to unrestrained expansion of spending, entitlements and central planning bureaucracies. What is happening today in Greece and Spain is the future for the rest of us in the next 10-20 years, if not sooner.

In the US total government spending as a percentage of GDP has risen from 23.9% in 1950 to 41.9% in 2010. You can get other historical data here. And that doesn’t consider the unfunded entitlement liabilities (currently estimated at \$86.8 trillion, or 8.68E12 USD for UK readers who use the terms “billion” and “trillion” differently) which will eventually show up as future spending increases — see here . We are increasing spending and obligations much faster than our ability to pay for them.

A lot (> 3C) of warming over the next 100 years may be bad; the same amount of cooling over the same period is most probably bad; collapse of the industrialized societies within the next 20 years would likely trump any other disaster in human history.

105. Gail Combs says:

Bill Illis says:
December 12, 2012 at 1:20 am

So far, we haven’t examined whether Berkeley Earth’s methodology is sound….
_______________________________
It was put under the microscope ages ago:
A ton of WUWT articles with links to other sites are here:
http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/categories.html

106. Gail Combs says:

Peter Miller says:
December 12, 2012 at 1:37 am

Most of what Muller said was completely rational…
_________________________________
Trojan Horse

107. A.D. Everard says:

“Individually reducing carbon footprints is pointless — we need to think globally and act globally”.

This makes me very nervous. It sounds like he’s suggesting individuals don’t actually have to cut out anything, but that’s not really what he means.

“Individually reducing carbon footprints is pointless” = Turning off some of your lights and turning down your heating simply won’t do it.

“We need to think globally and act globally” = Much better if we take away your house.

Anything global will clearly outdo any of our piddling little individual efforts. But that’s okay, we don’t have to worry about it – the UN will do it for us. /sarc.

As for Muller being “reasonable” and “honest” and “will flip when the time is right” – forget it. He has proven himself to be a liar and a cheat. What’s to trust? This is the price one pays for being a liar and a cheat.

There is a con in the making. As I said earlier, this doesn’t just involve Muller. Is the IPCC losing power? I don’t believe so. Was the IPCC deliberately not invited to COP18? It looked like it, but I don’t think so. Various bodies are pulling back into the shadows and downplaying alarmism because they recognize that shouting and screaming and demanding are tactics that are no longer working. They are playing the “Let’s be reasonable” game. They will whisper and smile and look rational for the cameras, but there’s a big boot at the end of all this, and you can bet it’s swinging our way.

I don’t trust Muller an inch. I don’t trust any of them an inch. This isn’t a man “coming over to our side” nor a man “taking the blinkers off” – this is a man getting ready to slip the knife in yet again. Too much is at stake, for him/them and for us, too. Please do not be duped again by Muller. The Alarmists are taking us for fools – let’s not prove them right.

108. Gail Combs says:

Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen says:
December 12, 2012 at 6:15 am

The fear of UN as a world government (via climate policies) expressed by some, is unwarranted, based on ideology rather than understanding.. …
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
To put it bluntly BOVINE FECES!

Sorry that will not fly any more because Pascal Lamy Director General of the World Trade Organizatio let the cat out of the bag with all his ‘Global Governance’ anti-sovereign nation articles. The WTO and UN work hand in glove as anyone who followed the Agreement on Ag/traceability/seed patenting wars can attest.

Here are a few of Lamy’s articles – go read them and take your head out of the sand.

…The concept of governance disappeared in the 16th century with the emergence of the nation state….

…The first efficiency challenge of any global governance system stems from the fact that the classical Westphalian order is based on the full sovereignty monopoly of nation states….
We must find ways to address the opposition from sovereign nation-states…
http://www.theglobalist.com/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=5740

… Lamy asserts that the four main challenges to global governance today are Leadership (“Who is the leader?”); Efficiency (“naysayers” can block decisions); Coherence (“Each international organization focuses on a limited number of issues”); and Legitimacy (“togetherness” weakens significantly as distance to power systems grows.). Addressing these challenges, Lamy says, requires the world turn to Europe, the “one place where attempts to deal with these challenges have been made and where new forms of governance have been tested for the last 60 years.”

On the question of efficiency, Lamy gives the European Union high marks “[t]hanks to the primacy of EU law over national law.”
http://www.globalgovernancewatch.org/spotlight_on_sovereignty/lamy-calls-for-europeaninspired-global-governance

…the international system is founded on the principle and politics of national sovereignty: the Wesphalian order of 1648 remains very much alive in the international architecture today. In the absence of a truly global government, global governance results from the action of sovereign States. It is inter-national. Between nations. In other words, global governance is the globalization of local governance.

But it does not suffice to establish informal groupings or specialized international organizations, each of them being “Member driven”, to ensure a coherent and efficient approach to address the global problems of our time. In fact, the Wesphalian order is a challenge in itself. The recent crisis has demonstrated it brutally. Local politics has taken the upper hand over addressing global issues. Governments are too busy dealing with domestic issues to dedicate sufficient attention and energy to multilateral negotiations, be they trade negotiations or climate negotiations….
http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/sppl_e/sppl220_e.htm

And here lies the root of many of today’s problems. Global challenges need global solutions — and these can only come with the right form of global governance, which today, 20 years later, remains too weak….

We are in the midst of the worst-ever economic crisis — and the first to have a global reach and which has seen a decimation of employment.

We are seeing our planet deteriorate due to global warming. We see droughts and violent floods. We see entire islands disappearing under water.

What is global governance? For me, global governance describes the system we set up to assist human society to achieve its common purpose in a sustainable manner — that is, with equity and justice….

…the European construction is the most ambitious experiment to date in supranational governance. It is the story of a desired, defined and organized interdependence between its member states….

the European Union remains the laboratory of international governance — the place where the new technological frontier of international governance is being tested.
http://www.theglobalist.com/storyid.aspx?StoryId=8216

109. DavidG says:

Anthony and a few others may be pleased with Mueller’s Romney-like about face, but I don’t believe there’s anything behind it but self-interest. We’ll have to wait and see what he does.

110. Gail Combs says:

Alan Watt, CD (Certified Denialist), Level 7 says:
December 12, 2012 at 6:39 am
…. Think as many negative things about Dr. Muller is you like, but don’t believe for an instant he is even close to the manipulator and prevaricator Bill Clinton is…..
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Amen to that. Don’t get me started on that Son of a Syphilitic Camel.

You can credit him with the banking crisis, NAFTA, WTO, China’s entry into the WTO , the loss of millions of US jobs, the US trade deficit, the starvation and food riots in third world countries…… The word traitor comes to mind: President Clinton said today that reported political campaign contributions from China to the Democrats had not influenced his foreign policy… ”The decisions we made, we made because we thought they were in the interests of the American people,” Mr. Clinton said

So the permanent loss of 2.4 million American jobs to China, a ~23% unemployment, 1.9m homes foreclosed, home prices falling 34%, a growing trade deficit and the resulting skyrocketing of federal debt are in the interests of the American people – Yeah right.

111. Werner Brozek says:

Michael Cohen says:
December 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm
Slightly OT, but speaking of temperature series, where are the November 2012 numbers from UAH and RSS?
I commented on RSS earlier. UAH just came out.

With the UAH anomaly for November at 0.281, the average for the first eleven months of the year is (-0.134 -0.135 + 0.051 + 0.232 + 0.179 + 0.235 + 0.130 + 0.208 + 0.339 + 0.333 + 0.281)/11 = 0.156. This would rank 9th if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.42. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in April of 1998 when it reached 0.66.

The last three months of UAH are rather different from the last three months of RSS, but perhaps the version6 will make things closer when it comes out.
For UAH: 0.339 + 0.333 + 0.281
For RSS: 0.383 + 0.294 + 0.195

112. E.M.Smith says:

That description of the BEST method of “death by 14,000 cuts” is doing things ‘exactly wrong’.

Per the “Right Wing Extremist” accusation: Oh Really? I think he’s a snake and I’m not exactly Right Wing, despite being accused of it by folks on “The Loony Side Of Left”…
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/wings-feet-beak-middle-of-the-bird/

(Short form: I’m a fiscal conservative who DID inhale and has some offspring with ‘two mommies’ and have slow danced with a gay guy {though I decided it wasn’t for me}. Hardly “right wing”)

So perhaps we need a “R-WE?” tag for Right Wing Extremist mud slinging. ‘Cause “we” are not. We are a collection of folks from all sorts of Points Of View. Tossing mud and trying to put people in nice little boxes of bigotry (and make no mistake about it, the RWE insult IS bigotry) is just a bogus emotional attack. I suggest dropping it.

(BTW, the spouse is more of a ‘religious conservative’ on social issues… but judging by her spending habits is not a fiscal conservative. 8-{ It’s just not possible to put people in ONE box on a R/L axis. It’s a broken metric. http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/socialism-utopia-workers-paradise/ as at various times ‘business’ is on the right or the left and as it ignores the liberty vs central authority axis what with having kings on the right and communism on the left, both authoritarian oppressors…)

@Gail Combs:

Sounds like you have a handle on things. ;-)

@John West:

Having a nearly constant 10% ish heat move effect and “doing nothing that matters” to warming are substantially the same statement. I’m not saying CO2 “does nothing at all” but that the first derivative of it is zero or nearly so. MORE CO2 does nothing. Even if CO2 has some (nearly constant) activity.

I’ll re-read the article and see if I can make that distinction more clear…

But, thanks!

113. rgbatduke says:

“1. Most of the evidence, as presented to the public, is exaggerated or distorted.
2. Global warming is indeed real and dangerous, and it is worthy of serious effort to stop.
3. Assuming the theory is correct (it may not be), none of the well-known proposals to stop global warming that have been made have any realistic chance of working, even if they are fully implemented.”

Note that his willingness to allow that the theory may be wrong rather vitiates his second point–how would we know it is dangerous if the theory is wrong?

I missed this earlier remark (which which I largely agree, I personally think that Muller is comparatively reasonable about the climate, if also somewhat mercurial). I agree completely with points 1 and 3. I half agree with 2. Global warming is without any reasonable doubt real. The world has warmed, on average, since the late 1700s, putting on somewhere around 1 to 1.5 C. That warming is in no way uniformly distributed — it warmed very slowly (with an additional dip) well into the 19th century, then added a fairly consistent roughly 0.1 C/decade, with a few bobbles, from the latter 19th century up to the present. So let’s agree that global warming is real, as long as the word anthropogenic is omitted. The conflation of the former with the latter is part of point 1.

Is global warming — regardless of cause — potentially dangerous? Absolutely. So might be global cooling. Global climate stasis could be dangerous. It’s all a matter of degree and secondary consequences. A half degree here or there would barely be detectable (either way), especially spread out over a half-century. A half degree plunge, or rise, over a decade, could cause considerable damage with little time to adjust. A half degree spread out over longer times than a century wouldn’t even be noticable. A rise or fall of a degree or more would almost certainly cause considerable damage, again if it occurred in any sort of short time frame.

The third problem with this sentence is that if the GW is not necessarily A, and the fact that it is “dangerous” does not mean that its danger is preventable by humans or capable of being “stopped”, that it makes sense to expend “serious effort” trying to stop it!

The addition of this one word, plus the omission of the perhaps implicit word “anthropogenic” modifying the global warming bit, plus the modification of “serious effort trying to stop it” into “cost-effective effort into trying to understand it and, as indicated, prepare for it in reasonable ways” and we’d have perfect agreement.

Let’s try, then, to change Muller’s second sentence into:

2. Global warming is indeed real, some portion of the most recent warming may be anthropogenic, and even natural climate change is potentially dangerous. It is therefore worthwhile to invest cost-effectively in trying to understand the climate and, as indicated by empirically founded discovery, prepare for climate change in reasonable ways.

Specifically, invest in research, and invest in some bet-hedging new technologies. In the meantime, watch carefully and be prepared to act no matter what happens, without panicking or spending a catastrophic sum on ineffective measures taken to prevent a catastrophe that may never happen in the meantime.

rgb

114. john says:

Anything to do with Clinton needs to be scrutinized. As the IMF is hell bent on Carbon,
http://www.imf.org/external/Pubs/FT/books/2012/climate/climate.pdf

So is the Clinton Global Initiative.

“Respect” is only paying lip service in this case. Something’s up.

115. richardscourtney says:

rgbatduke:

At December 12, 2012 at 9:42 am I responded to your post at December 12, 2012 at 8:46 am. As part of that response I pointed out that I have often said

Climate change is a serious problem. All governments need to address it.

In the Bronze Age Joseph (with the Technicolour Dreamcoat) told Pharaoh that climate has always changed everywhere: it always will. He told Pharaoh to prepare for bad times when in good times, and all sensible governments have adopted that policy throughout the millennia since.

It’s a sensible policy because people merely complain at taxes in good times. They revolt if short of food in bad times. But several governments have abandoned it and, instead, are trying to stabilise the climate of the entire Earth by controlling it.

This attempt at global climate control arises from the hypothesis of anthropogenic (that is, man-made) global warming (AGW).

AGW does not pose a global crisis but the policy does, because it threatens constraint of fossil fuels and that constraint would kill millions – probably billions – of people.

I then said

I understand you to be making the same point – except that you ignore the risk of cooling – when you write
“[snip]”

You have replied at December 12, 2012 at 10:41 am where you do not dispute that you were making the same point, but you say

I I don’t ignore the risk of cooling, I just consider cooling back to the temperature range of the 20th century unremarkable and non-risky. A LIA-scale dip would be a problem, but historically that too seems “unlikely” and likely to proceed at slow enough of a rate that we could cope with it. I’m opposed to chicken-littlism in either extreme. It’s a weird modern version of apocalyptic religion.

With respect, that misses the point completely.

Governments –especially local governments – prepare for what they expect.

So, for example, here in Cornwall little preparation is made for dealing with snow because snow typically occurs less than two days per decade and, therefore, it is cheaper to cope with snow than to prepare for it. And the coping involves severe economic disruption (and sometimes deaths).

Yorkshire is further north and makes much preparation for snow because it happens every winter. Several snow ploughs, gritters, and their trained operators are maintained for use to deal with the snow because the costs of this are less than the costs of coping with snow.

However, Cornwall has had severe snow during the past two winters. This may be a freak, but arrangements to obtain help from elsewhere to deal with snow have been made in case it happens again this winter. Should that occur then Cornwall will start to make the preparations which Yorkshire now makes because that would be cost effective.

As I said, preparation for expected weather (i.e. climate) is a sensible policy. But several national governments have abandoned this sensible policy which has stood the test of time for millennia. Instead, are trying to stabilise the climate of the entire Earth by controlling it, and that policy is daft.

Richard

116. Alexandre says:

Muller should never have done that “BEST” temp time series.
A much better approach is that one of PopTech’s: just pile up the papers and let the reader be induced to the conclusion. This “getting to verifiable results” business is too vulnerable to… well, verification.

117. Brian H says:

lip service in this case. Something’s up.
richardscourtney says:
December 13, 2012 at 2:27 am

Several snow ploughs, gritters, and their trained operators are maintained for use to deal with the snow because the costs of this are less than the costs of coping with snow.

??? How exactly are “dealing” and “coping” with snow different? The ploughs etc. are simply techniques and tools for coping with snow competently, as opposed to not and just suffering the consequences. A parallel to “climate mitigation” would be some (stupid and futile) attempt to prevent the snow.

118. Brian H says:

RayG says:
December 11, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I realize that, given Hillary’s postion, the Clinton’s investment portfolio is probably in a blind trust but I am curious about whether or not they have followed any investment advice from his green Veep and put money in to “green” companies or funds.

Only if they’re seriously stupid. http://www.businessinsider.com/renixx-renewable-energy-index-decline-2012-12

119. Brian H says:

All Muller’s reasonableness is “mitigated” by his insertion of the assertion that human-caused CO2 rise has driven dangerous climate change which must be responded to. He’ll happily cede anything if you’re prepared to buy that pig in a poke. That’s game over.