The Tyranny of Tautology

A response to A conversation with Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.

Guest essay by Scott Bennett

Willis Eschenbach described the Kaya Identity as being “trivially true”, his opinion is uncontested by Dr Pielke Jr., whose only retort in its defence was, ‘the math is simple’.

The Kaya is a simple Identity, used as a tautological instrument. To deny this, would be to deny the very heart of its utility. The algebraic cancellation and isolation of its terms is de rigueur for its use.

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Fig. 1. The “Kaya Identity” as depicted in the lecture by Dr Roger Pielke Jr. : Climate Policy for a High Energy Planet4

I really wanted to understand how the Identity was actually applied, both mathematically and as a “tool” of policy discourse. To that end, I spent several days grappling with Kaya, as demonstrated by Dr Pielke Jr. .

When I felt I fully understood its application, I turned to the real world, from whence the model was presumably derived.

It doesn’t take very long to see why the Kaya is being used as an instrument of policy. Examining the real world, makes it abundantly obvious, just what a stake-to-the-heart, reality is, for policy wonks!

The Kaya’s real value is in its use, as a claim to authority. It is a construct, designed to frame the debate and thus isolate and compartmentalise contradiction.

Everywhere I looked, the terms as factors of total emissions where erroneous. But how could this be, I wondered? It seemed reasonable to suppose that the factors as given in the Kaya, according to Dr Pielke Jr., are the ‘only levers available in the tool box’.

I spent some time gathering data and comparing real places. More and more I began to see, that there was a fundamental factor missing. How is it possible that emissions weren’t a direct measure of the energy intensity of GDP and the efficiency of its energy production? Clearly there was a missing factor that was making the proportionality of the Kaya’s terms aberrant. Some hidden input was providing efficiencies that oddly, reduced the size of real world terms, making their ratios, counter intuitive!

But before I reveal what it is, I will tell you why it was left out! It was censored because it exposes the fact that the relationships of the Kaya are not universally applicable (Across the countries of the world). The inclusion of this important term renders the Kaya impotent as a tool of national policy.

Truly, the phrase “one size does not fit all” could never be ascribed more applicably than to the Kaya Identity!

Land area1 is the missing term and including it makes it very difficult to compare economies directly, and at the same time keep a straight face!

Ratios like, population density and emissions per km, would seem to be, essential aspects of any genuine and realistic analysis. Without this quantity it is irrational to compare national emissions and their individual contribution to the global total.

Singapore, with the world’s highest population density, is 11,000 times smaller than Australia. Australia’s land area represents 5% of the Earth’s surface, while its emissions are just 1% of the global total. The entirety of Europe2 fits inside Australia with room to spare.

Singapore’s population is 4 times smaller than Australia, its GDP is 5 times smaller, its emissions are 3 times smaller and its total energy usage is 45 times smaller. Yet, using the ratio of Emissions/GDP3, we find that Singapore produces 1.7 times more CO2 emissions for every dollar of GDP than Australia. This isn’t a real mystery, when you realise that not all GDPs are equal, of course!

It is probably safe to say that the resources in Australia’s vast land area, something Singapore lacks, is the missing factor in this case. The numbers are also strongly at odds with the assumptions spruiked by Kaya devotees, because Singapore produces all its electricity from natural gas while Australia is coal fired!

It is also probably not a surprise, that with such a small land area, Singapore produces 3,500 times the CO2 per km compared to Australia’s tiny contribution of just 5.5 kt/km.

This is the weakness of the Kaya. It can’t be universally applied. As soon as you compare figures across countries you discover the logical fallacies inherent in it.

Australia’s ratio of, emissions to GDP, is just double that of France. If emissions per square kilometre are compared however, France emits 12 times that of Australia.

It is clear why governments around the world aren’t rushing to embrace the logic of the Kaya. They understand, that they would be ill advised to do so. The Kaya is a tool of the global minded, useless for national policy, that reveals with perfect clarity, the hubris of groupthink and the latent stupidity of collectivist ambitions.

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Notes:

1. Absolute values are given here, rather than “Real Land Area” which is of less relevance to the geography of climate.

2. Western Eurasia excluding Asia and Russia. The West or Western Europe.

3. This ratio is demonstrated in Dr Pielke’s lecture! The intent here, is to highlight that its “usefulness” also extends to invalidating the relationships between all four terms of the Kaya itself ;-)

4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTUE5Ue6Z38

UPDATE: Dr. Roy Spencer has a nice simplification of the terms cancelling issue here in The Kaya Identity Crisis

UPDATE2: Elevated from a comment.

The problem with the Kaya identity is in its application, not in its arithmetic or ability to produce a bit of understanding about the real world. It is being used to help generate policy; long term policy that will be around for decades. It is being used to generate a meme; a way of thinking that will influence decision makers for many years to come.

The Kaya identity begins with the assumption that CO2 emissions MUST be reduced. RPjr stated in his video that it wasn’t even worth talking about the science of climate change anymore. He implied that there was absolutely no point in even discussing climate sensitivity to CO2 emissions and that such discussions are actually harmful. (I was gobsmacked!) The Kaya identity is part of the meme that proclaims “The science is settled!” He argues that it doesn’t matter what the science says about CO2′s impact. The Kaya identity is valid regardless. While that may be true for the identity, it is just stupid to carry that thinking over to the process of making policy. There is nothing more important than the science in making good policy decisions.

The Kaya identity ends with disaster. It is inherently linear in every aspect. The world is inherently non-linear in every aspect. The Kaya identity gives an illusion of knowledge and wisdom to decision makers; convincing them that they will be making good choices. In reality, there is a near zero chance that policies resulting from the use of the Kaya identity will be positive. The outcomes from such policies will range from bad to disastrous.

The Kaya identity gives decision makers the idea that they actually have a control knob. A half turn to the right gives a certain result every time. A half turn to the left gives another result, but just as predictable and dependable as the half turn to the right. This is a complete illusion!

Using the Kaya identity to make policy is like deciding to paddle your raft with two strokes on the right, followed by two strokes on the left, for the entire duration of your trip down the Colorado river. Such a strategy will not get you very far and may actually kill you. They way to paddle your raft down the Colorado river is by constantly assessing your current situation and deciding the best possible paddle strokes for that moment.

The same is true for climate change policy. There is no need to implement solutions today that will solve all climate change problems for the next 100 years. In fact, that would be impossible, and any attempt to do it would almost certainly cause more harm than good. In order to make good decisions, those decisions should be focused on the short term, and the main objective should be the strengthening of the position of future decision makers. That means the current policies should promote adaptability in all areas while enhancing the financial strength of future generations to deal with their issues; issues that they will certainly understand far better than we do today. It means the science is constantly assessed, along with the current state of the population and their needs. It means the UN should be concentrating on potable water for all of humanity today and not on the average global temperature 100 years from now.

The use of the Kaya identity rationalizes the bad decision making process. It allows decision makers to ignore the vital importance of adaptability and weaken the financial strength of future generations. It is the height of hubris and the antithesis of wisdom to use the Kaya identity in the manner it is being used by the United Nations and other bureau-crazies; and apparently promoted by Roger Pielke, Jr; a man I admire and respect, but strongly disagree with on this topic.

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209 thoughts on “The Tyranny of Tautology

  1. Interesting.

    Can you point to where Pielke compared the Kaya identity of two countries? My impression was that it was intended to describe a single economy not to compare them.

  2. “When I felt I fully understood its application, I turned to the real world, from whence the model was presumably derived.”

    Well you still have not understood what an identity is in mathematics.

    Kaya is NOT a model. A model would be represented by an equation and would bring added information. An identity does not add any information, it is just a series of factors as Pielke explained.

    If you want to bring in land area, I suspect you could come up with a similar identity with different factors, some of which included land area.

  3. One wonders if the significance of land area will change as new technologies (like Skype) are adopted.

    That still won’t destroy the practical utility of the Kaya Identity. As the Kaya Identity’s utility is in framing debate and thus getting the desired policy answer (whether sceptic or alarmist).

    It is not used to get the best policy answer.

  4. “Australia’s ratio of, emissions to GDP, is just double that of France. If emissions per square kilometre are compared however, France emits 12 times that of Australia.”

    Largely because France 75% nuclear powered , if you are interested in carbon bean counting that seems to be an reasonable result.

    Your own example shows how irrelevant the land area idea is.

    “The Kaya is a tool of the global minded, useless for national policy, that reveals with perfect clarity, the hubris of groupthink and the latent stupidity of collectivist ambitions.”

    Ah, so now we get the heart of your argument. It is nothing to do with the maths which you understand so poorly, it is motivated by the usual anti-progressive anti-communist rant.

    If you want an anti-commie rant just come up front about it, skip the maths, about which you have no idea.

  5. If KAYA is an identity then the problem in proving it true is a mathematical problem, not an empirical problem. (An identity is signified by not by “=” but 3 horizontal bars.)

    KAYA is obviously not an identity but an equation that purports to describe a law of nature or at least a relationship among physical variables–a theory. As such it cannot be proven, but only falsified by empirical means.

    I believe this is obvious.

  6. Ummm, Kaya makes the assumption that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are produced by human activity, not land, thus the inclusion of population as a factor. The fact that the factors in the Kaya identity vary from country to country doesn’t matter.

    “Australia’s ratio of, emissions to GDP, is just double that of France. If emissions per square kilometre are compared however, France emits 12 times that of Australia.”

    And so what? Should Australia change it’s land area? Should France? Nonsense. The point of the Kaya identity is to account for the things that can be changed via policy intervention. One can conceivably slow population growth, GDP growth, decrease energy intensivity, and increase energy production efficiency.

  7. It really does not matter if the first line is written as a trivial algebraic manipulation. What counts is the final expanded version of the equation that is subjected to empirical tests.

    If you doubt this, I suggest you examine Einstein’s 1905 papers where he proceeds in this manner. I suggest Einstein’s paper because he wrote in a clear manner that is understandable to non-physicists.

  8. why is everyone trying to make this so complicated??? the Kaya Identity is simply a way for laymen to understand some of the real world variables associated with anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Any engineering or physics class would simply write CO2 = f (population,gdp,energy,efficiency) but most laymen dont understand what that means. I dont think it is any more complicated than that.

  9. Clear presentation. That’s good. I need to go off and think about it, but my initial reaction is that surely a policy instrument should reflect emissions per person rather than emissions per square km.
    A couple of minor points:
    1. I think that the where in “Everywhere I looked, the terms as factors of total emissions where erroneous.” should be were?
    2. No argument with not slowing down the paper with a sidetrack illustrating examples of “erroneous terms”. That’s an editorial decision and quite possibly a good one. But maybe a footnote or afterword or something with some examples might be appropriate.
    3. Let me cast a vote here for redesignation the “Kaya Identity” as the “Kaya relationship” it looks to be an approximation. That’s fine. Engineers use approximations all the time without dire consequences — after making sure the approximation is appropriate for the purpose at hand. What we are discussing is whether the approximation is appropriate and what its limitations are.

  10. Greg Goodman said:
    July 24, 2014 at 3:50 am

    In the the words of Dr Roger Pielke Jr., the Kaya Identitiy:

    “Was first preposed as a tool to help climate modellers, if you want to drive a climate model, you want to run it, one of the things you have to know about the future, is what emissions will be…”

    The Kaya models relationships in the real world. It was conceived as systems analysis behind the algorithms of climate models (Apparently ;-).

    cheers,

    Scott

  11. Kaya again ?
    Please stop. It is not that the formula is (or isn’t) an identity, or that it would need another term (is this serious?). It is that it contains, by construction, _no information_ whatsoever about _relationships_ between GPP, CO2, Population or whatever.
    As a (counter)example (quickly coming to my mind), please consider this identity: “center of mass = center of gravity in an uniform gravity field”. This is an identity (not an equation, not a definition). It contains information. Kaya formula doesn’t.

  12. Assume full conversion to nuclear and everything electric, the equation becomes zero.
    So population density doesn’t count as well as km*2.
    This story is ad acta.

  13. JPS: “why is everyone trying to make this so complicated???”

    Indeed. Perhaps I’m missing something, but all I get from the head post is that the Kaya identity doesn’t include a quantity from which one could compute emissions per unit area, as opposed to emissions per unit population. In other words, if you have a country’s total emissions, you’d have to divide by total area to get its emissions per unit area.

    It takes over 800 words to say that?

  14. Greg Goodman says:
    July 24, 2014 at 3:59 am

    The point of mentioning France for me, was precisely because it is nuclear powered. It also happens to be only 14 times smaller than Australia, in terms of land area. Interestingly (And probably coincidently.) Australia’s emissions are exactly 14% larger than France.

    Show me how the mathematics actually adds up for you and I’ll drop my silly idea that the Kaya might be more of a globalist notion than a nationalist one ;-)

    cheers,

    Scott

  15. The Kaya is a tool of the global minded, useless for national policy, that reveals with perfect clarity, the hubris of groupthink and the latent stupidity of collectivist ambitions.

    I agree with this. I further would point out that most all “national policy” is deluded, collectivist error. Once upon a time, many “leaders” were worried about how to feed all the horses in the growing young country. My god! Think of the millions of horses we need to get around. Fortunately this period of time came when the dominate philosophy of the people was Classically Liberal (1) and hence it was left to the people to work out the problem. Innovation came up with a solution. (I drive one myself)

    The anthropogenic CO2 leads to catastrophic warming myth is a tool to control the economies of the world for the benefit of the rulers. Unfettered and voluntary mutual cooperation is seen by our overlords as unacceptable. The Kaya is just another tool to aid in “planning”. (planning is a euphemism for draconian control)

    (1) Classical Liberalism explained … http://mises.org/daily/4596/What-Is-Classical-Liberalism

  16. Greg Goodman Said

    >>“Australia’s ratio of, emissions to GDP, is just double that of France. If emissions per square
    >> kilometre are compared however, France emits 12 times that of Australia.”

    > Largely because France 75% nuclear powered , if you are interested in carbon bean
    > counting that seems to be an reasonable result.

    Trouble is Greg the only emissions that 75% nuclear generation reduces is electrical power.
    The emissions per capita of France are around 25% lower than EU nations with comparable GDP per capita. The French are just as keen on their cars, AC and gas heating as everyone else.

    If you make the comparison Roger produced for Germany to Australia then you would find that emissions per sq km from Germany were around 15 times that of Australia. Since Germany has a similar GDP per capita to France but a smaller area. This discussion of course has nothing to do with communism.

  17. Kaya addresses the “tools in the toolbox” for managing carbon.
    Land area is of interest to reasons why large countries are less carbon efficient than small countries. Land area it is not a tool in the sense the other terms of Kaya are tools.

  18. I’m pleasantly surprised by most of the reactions so far. For the most part, “the KAYA identity / equation” discussion has always been a “non-issue”.

    In IPCC’s own words: the Kaya identity’s one and only purpose is to organize discussion of the primary driving forces of CO2 emissions. And IPCC add: “the four terms on the right-hand side of the equation should be considered neither as fundamental driving forces in themselves, nor as generally independent from each other.”

    If someone thinks that “land area” is a main driving force of CO2 emissions, than by all means he should add it. Not quite sure though what kind of policies he would suggest to increase or decrease land area. Then again, in that respect, “population” is also a controversial driving factor that at the very least poses some moral issues (as pointed out by Pielke jr.)

  19. OYG WUWT’s experiment in communal embarrassment continues. Each post inexplicably more asinine than the last.

  20. I remember in college when I was not solving a math problem improperly I would end up with all of the terms cancelling and be left with V=V or M=M. That was proof positive that I did not yet understand what the teacher was talking about!

  21. Consider a very useful equation, something like F=MA, or perhaps PV=NRT. They are useful because they allow us to calculate some unknown term (like F) if we know what the other terms (like MA) are. In fact, we can calculate any of the terms if we know what the other terms are. That is what they are used for. That is why they are helpful. Now consider the Kaya Identity. Can you use it to calculate “C”? Well, no, not unless you already know both what “C” is and what “TE” is.

    An equation like PV=NRT gives us some insight into the relationship of pressures,volume, temperature and gas molecules. The Kaya Identity gives no real insight; it is the mathematical equivalent of “Weekly income” = “Number of days in a week” X “Income per day”. The Kaya Identity can only give you the number for “C” if you already have numbers for “C”, and as the author says, those numbers vary from location to location.

  22. Joe Born said:
    July 24, 2014 at 4:54 am

    All the words were required to make a complex point in an elegant way. If you spell out every premise then it is no longer prose but a just a list.

    Take the time to relax, take a deep breath and think about what has been written, because a great deal of thought and research has been given to every line of its premises.

    The conclusions presented, are a direct response to a particular post, bounded by the context and precedent of two very long threads.

    cheers,

    Scott

  23. I don’t post often, but I’d like to understand how this identity is useful.

    What it says to me is that it doesn’t matter whether P, GDP or TE are changed, carbon emissions will stay the same.

    It’s not like carbon emissions are said to be proportional to population squared or something.

    What am I missing?

  24. Angels on the head of a pin.

    Lumpers vs Splitters.

    It’s the contestants, not the content.

    “Framing” is a tool of conflict, not erudition.

  25. First, looking at Fig. 1, is that C = Carbon or should it be Carbon Dioxide emissions?

    Either way, “Carbon/Carbon Dioxide emissions + Carbon/Carbon Dioxide emissions” seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    However, determining world-wide total C/CO2 emissions, or a specific countries C/CO2 emissions, should be by direct observation and measurements, (or well-established methods of estimation) not by some odd machination of GDP, People, Energy usage and efficiency,

  26. Uh, typo above –

    “Either way, “Carbon/Carbon Dioxide emissions = Carbon/Carbon Dioxide emissions” seems perfectly reasonable to me.”

  27. Land area is not a “knob” that can be significantly adjusted to effect CO2 emissions and therefore rightfully not in the Kaya Identity.

    If you want to reduce CO2 emissions, what are your options?
    1) Reduce Population,
    2) Reduce the standard of living,
    3) Increase economic/production efficiency,
    4) Reduce CO2 emission intensity of energy production,
    5) Increase transportation efficiency wrt CO2 emissions.

    (#5 is not well covered in the Kaya Identity due to the use of GDP in the GDP/Energy factor since GDP is calculated with net import/export. For assessing CO2 emissions gross import/export would be more appropriate.)

  28. Change in Kaya Identity of the world = change in Kaya Identity of Australia + change in Kaya Identity of France + change in Kaya Identity of Singapore + etc……

    Since the area of these places can’t change, area is an irrelevant term in the change equation. And how CO2 production might change is the whole point of the discussion.

  29. “What it says to me is that it doesn’t matter whether P, GDP or TE are changed, carbon emissions will stay the same.”

    How does it say that?

    C = P*(GDP/P)*(TE/GDP)*(C/TE)

    Even if you cancel it all out, which makes no sense, you will have:

    Before the change:
    C1 = C1

    After the change:
    C2 = C2

    C2 may be unknown this way, but it doesn’t equal C1, unless the carbon intensity (C/TE) changes exactly as much, to make C2 equal C1, in spite of the changes in P, GDP and TE.

  30. Hundreds of comments on this Kaya identity, really.

    Using the Kaya identity from Wikipedia and assuming that all the variables have the same units
    The LHS of the Kaya identity can be represented as a fraction.
    The RHS of the Kaya identity is just an equivalent fraction of the LHS

    In other words the Kaya identity is useless.

  31. It is invariably people who are weak mathematicians who are drawn to such gobbledygook.

    Why not just say the amount of carbon produced will be be higher for:

    Larger populations
    Higher output
    Less efficiency use of energy and
    The carbon intensity of the energy used

    The pseudo-maths is a weak attempt to make it look more “sciency”.

    However it just makes it look simply weak.

    Note that Dr Pielke is an advocate for lower carbon emissions, because. Just because.

  32. What this does remind me of is the basic national accounting identity in economics:

    Y=C+G+I+X-M

    Which of course is only an identity representing the equivalence of output and income (approximately simplified)

    However mathematically or economically illiterate people treat it as as formula explaining how income is created and the relationship between different variable . It doesn’t

  33. For all those who hate KAYA so much, here is some food for thought.
    What KAYA (also) says is that to increase anthropogenic CO2 emissions, there are two important things you can do:

    1) Replace all the new energy efficient technologies with older energy inefficient technologies. For example, in cement production, why use the dry process rotary kiln equiped with multi stage cyclone preheaters that uses only 3.0 GJ energy per tonne of clinker; if you might just as well use the wet kiln process that uses 7.0 GJ energy per tonne of clinker?

    2) Only use fossil fuels as primary energy resources, ever. Under any circumstances do not, I repeat, do not use any primary energy resources such as uranium/thorium (nuclear) or renewables. Do not even consider investigating nuclear fusion as a possibility in a (far) future – its CO2 emissions (if any) would be far too low.

    KAYA really does say that (too).

  34. Scott Wilmott Bennett: “Take the time to relax, take a deep breath and think about what has been written.”

    Done.

    I’ll take your word for the fact that “a great deal of thought and research has been given to every line of its premises,” but the logic between those premises and your main point–whatever that is–is obscure.

    If you’re saying that certain parameters, like energy per unit GDP, encompass a lot of factors that for good reasons differ among countries, that’s true; Dr. Brown and others have made that point well in another thread. If you thence conclude that the Kaya identity can be misused, well, yes, I think we’ve covered that.

    What you added to the discussion–and what you emphasized–is land area. But your logic connecting its absence from the equation to whatever point you were trying to make remains obscure even after one has taken the time to “relax, take a deep breath and think about what has been written.”

    Perhaps you could expand on why dividing by land area is so crucial.

  35. The Kaya Identity appears to be intellectual toast, for a simple reason: It poses population – “Humans” – as a negotiable variable. It provides a plausible context in which to hold “people” culpable, simply because they exist.

    Placing population “on the table” has been a goal of some, for quite some time. There are those who resent humans (who salivate at great tragedies that will eliminate them), and sit up late formulating contexts in which to place them on the bullseye.

    This enterprise – to condemn people per se – is a bust because ‘the populace’ is already wise to it, and to the extent that the Kaya algebra serves as a wedge or foot in the door for it, it is too.

  36. Scott,

    Of course countries differ in their CO2 emissions per GDP! This is neither a new discovery nor a challenge to the Kaya Identity.

    It is already very well known, and acknowledged by Pielke. He calls the reason a difference in technology, but I and (I think) most economists would call it a difference in economic structure. Land area is only one of many differences among Australia, Singapore, and other countries that lead to different economic structures.

    When countries like Australia and Singapore produce their GDP in different ways, they have different levels of energy use per unit of GDP, and they gain their energy from different sources with different CO2 emissions. As I replied to you yesterday (7:22 a.m., right after you posted these same thoughts during the Pielke conversation),

    … no one denies that the values of the ratios in the Kaya Identity may differ for different countries. It is not meant to be ‘universally applied’ in the sense that bothers you. It is not a scientific law with universal constants — and no one claims that it is.

    Have I understood your difficulty with the Kaya Identity? I think that I have, but perhaps not.

    I hope that we can wind up this thread quickly without wading into the swamps of incomprehension that made the last three threads on this topic so frustrating.

  37. Joe Born says: July 24, 2014 at 6:20 am
    Perhaps you could expand on why dividing by land area is so crucial.

    Including “land area” would simply give the following identity/equation:

    CO2 = L * P/L ¨GDP/P * E/GDP * CO2/E; where L = land area (km²) and (P/L) would be population density (population per km²). In other words, one symply replaces “population” in the original KAYA by “land area” times “population density”.

    Given that:
    a) Kaya originally interpreted P as global population, GDP as world GDP etc, it seems to me L should be interpreted as Earth’s total land mass
    b) humans have a huge impact on the Earth’s total land mass

    I would conclude, very crucial indeed.

  38. The problem with the Kaya identity is in its application, not in its arithmetic or ability to produce a bit of understanding about the real world. It is being used to help generate policy; long term policy that will be around for decades. It is being used to generate a meme; a way of thinking that will influence decision makers for many years to come.

    The Kaya identity begins with the assumption that CO2 emissions MUST be reduced. RPjr stated in his video that it wasn’t even worth talking about the science of climate change anymore. He implied that there was absolutely no point in even discussing climate sensitivity to CO2 emissions and that such discussions are actually harmful. (I was gobsmacked!) The Kaya identity is part of the meme that proclaims “The science is settled!” He argues that it doesn’t matter what the science says about CO2’s impact. The Kaya identity is valid regardless. While that may be true for the identity, it is just stupid to carry that thinking over to the process of making policy. There is nothing more important than the science in making good policy decisions.

    The Kaya identity ends with disaster. It is inherently linear in every aspect. The world is inherently non-linear in every aspect. The Kaya identity gives an illusion of knowledge and wisdom to decision makers; convincing them that they will be making good choices. In reality, there is a near zero chance that policies resulting from the use of the Kaya identity will be positive. The outcomes from such policies will range from bad to disastrous.

    The Kaya identity gives decision makers the idea that they actually have a control knob. A half turn to the right gives a certain result every time. A half turn to the left gives another result, but just as predictable and dependable as the half turn to the right. This is a complete illusion!

    Using the Kaya identity to make policy is like deciding to paddle your raft with two strokes on the right, followed by two strokes on the left, for the entire duration of your trip down the Colorado river. Such a strategy will not get you very far and may actually kill you. They way to paddle your raft down the Colorado river is by constantly assessing your current situation and deciding the best possible paddle strokes for that moment.

    The same is true for climate change policy. There is no need to implement solutions today that will solve all climate change problems for the next 100 years. In fact, that would be impossible, and any attempt to do it would almost certainly cause more harm than good. In order to make good decisions, those decisions should be focused on the short term, and the main objective should be the strengthening of the position of future decision makers. That means the current policies should promote adaptability in all areas while enhancing the financial strength of future generations to deal with their issues; issues that they will certainly understand far better than we do today. It means the science is constantly assessed, along with the current state of the population and their needs. It means the UN should be concentrating on potable water for all of humanity today and not on the average global temperature 100 years from now.

    The use of the Kaya identity rationalizes the bad decision making process. It allows decision makers to ignore the vital importance of adaptability and weaken the financial strength of future generations. It is the height of hubris and the antithesis of wisdom to use the Kaya identity in the manner it is being used by the United Nations and other bureau-crazies; and apparently promoted by Roger Pielke, Jr; a man I admire and respect, but strongly disagree with on this topic.

  39. The devil here is in the assumptions. What this identity seems to accomplish is to nail everybody’s attention to carbon. It is tantalizing enough to make that carbon seem really, really important. Let’s drop everything else and reduce that carbon, because that’s the obvious puzzle. That’s what we are all staring at.

    But real life is nearly always about a mix of goals, not just one fixation. Not just improving things short-term, but also long-term,and so on. It is common for different aspects to pull in different directions.

    OK, this is one aspect. But why are we forgetting about the other aspects?

  40. Jim Clarke says: July 24, 2014 at 6:46 am

    That is by far the wisest I have read in all the threads on the KAYA identity / equation.
    It is your post that deserves to be a blog post, and really, all discussions should end there.

  41. This doesn’t seem to be problem. co2 3x less, gdp 5x less.

    co2’/gdp’ = (co2/3) / (gdp/5) = co2/gdp * 5/3 = co2/gdp * 1.67

    So what is the matter? You are focusing too much on absolute quantities.

    Australia’s ratio of, emissions to GDP, is just double that of France. If emissions per square kilometre are compared however, France emits 12 times that of Australia.

    That is not very good ratio, emissions to GDP. I’m sorry to say that.

  42. The Kaya identity begins with the assumption that CO2 emissions MUST be reduced.

    See above, if you want to increase co2 emissions, it is fine as well.

  43. Willis uses the identity in every argument he makes
    About carbon policy and the poor. He just never uses
    It explicitly.

  44. Dial back, the commas, partner, they are, not really, needed in, all those many places, where you put them. It makes, your article, somewhat, difficult, to read, by making it, jolting, and halting, and blocky, to the reader. Thank, you. (grammar n@zi strikes again! lol)

  45. An simple analysis aided by Kaya Identity shows that if it is wanted for co2 emissions to be decreased, there is just one (hypothetically) reliable way: using less co2 intense energy. If co2 were a problem, and renewables actually worked, there doesn’t seem to be a major obstacle for a policy to be effective.

  46. The Kaya is a tool of the global minded, useless for national policy, that reveals with perfect clarity, the hubris of groupthink and the latent stupidity of collectivist ambitions.

    Dr. Pielke (Jr) uses this tool a lot. I don’t think this characterization fits him at all.
    Just sayin.

  47. b) humans have a huge impact on the Earth’s total land mass

    Why mass??? Help me, I’m not all-knowing.

    Shouldn’t you be saying humans have an impact on area? (which seems weird)

  48. I would like to add that arguing over the arithmetic and/or the terms of the identity actual gives credence to its use in the policy process. In effect, we are saying: “This identity needs something to be a little different…then it will be okay to use it as you see fit.” NO! Even if you transform it into the most beautiful and eloquent mathematical representation ever, it will still be counterproductive in attempting to make good policy decisions. It’s as if someone wants to use a wood chopping ax to perform open heart surgery and we are arguing over whether the handle is made from the right kind of material and if the blade is sharp enough!

  49. This seems rather 1st grade to me to say that all that country’s CO2 emitting activity equals that country’s total CO2. To me that is a “duh” moment. To then rank the solutions in a simple ordinal way is also 1st grade math and would be useless as a metric towards mitigation policy related to any warming attributed to CO2.

    Higher order ordinality would be to compare total CO2 emissions by dividing by per capita statistics. I use “per capita” as a general term here. It simply means per square mile, per person, per vehicle, per employed person, etc.

    So it seems to me that only the first half of the math problem has been done and is therefore pretty useless unless further presented on a per capita basis.

    That said, one must always question one’s analysis of such things before buying a pig in a poke. And that question is this: Is this solution significantly important? Therein lies the difference between watermelons and skeptics.

  50. The Happiness Identity

    The Kaya Identity is intended to show that you should reduce energy, GDP and population so as to reduce human CO2 emissions.

    Emissions = C02 content x Energy per x GDP per x Population
    of energy Unit of GDP person

    C02 Energy GDP
    C02 = ——— x ———- x ——— x Population
    Energy GDP Population

    The premise of course is that ‘C02 emissions are bad’ therefore they should be minimized.

    Personally, I find that energy, GDP and people actually make me happy. Obviously, happiness is a good thing so I propose that the Kaya Identity be replaced with the ‘Happiness Identity’ as follows …

    Happiness Energy GDP
    Happiness = ——— x ———- x ——— x Population
    Energy GDP Population

    Clearly, we should maximize energy, GDP and Population so as to maximize global happiness. Who could possibly argue with that!

  51. Clearly, we should maximize energy, GDP and Population so as to maximize global happiness. Who could possibly argue with that!

    You probably are just joking, but if this is intended to be a critical satire of Kaya Identity, you’re not doing it right.

    While ridiculous, your Happiness Identity is not wholly bizarre. (considering your personal preferences)

  52. Johan: “I would conclude, very crucial indeed.”

    I appreciate the input. However, even if I were not, well, skeptical of your premise that “humans have a huge impact on the Earth’s total land mass,” I’m not sure how that premise makes dividing by land mass crucial.

    Of course, I’m rather misinterpreting your use of “huge impact on the Earth’s total land mass.” Of course humans have massively transformed their environment–to their vast benefit. But the effect that has had on the quantity Mr. Bennett proposes to divide by has not been great.

  53. Daniel G. says: July 24, 2014 at 7:17 am
    Shouldn’t you be saying humans have an impact on area? (which seems weird)

    You’re right, Daniel, I should have said “Earth’s total surface area”. (blame it on the fact that English is not my native language).

    And although you can say that humans have a noticeable impact on the landscape, I do not think they have that much impact in terms of square kilometres or square miles. (I was being sarcastic, or at least, I tried to be). In other words, I do not think that “land area” is an important driving force, since there seems to be very little humans can do about that.

  54. Brock Way says: July 24, 2014 at 5:50 am
    “If anyone lost some superfluous commas, I think they can be found above.”

    Are you, accusing the, author of randomly, sprinkling, commas in weird, places for, no apparent reason? The, commas are to make it, more readable, you, shouldn’t be, so judgmental.

  55. The Happiness Identity

    The Kaya Identity is intended to show that you should reduce energy, GDP and population so as to reduce human CO2 emissions.

    CO2 Emissions = C02 content of energy x Energy per unit of GDP x GDP per Person x Population

    or

    C02 = (CO2/Energy) * (Energy/GDP) * (GDP/Pop) * Population

    The premise of course is that ‘C02 emissions are bad’ therefore they should be minimized.

    Personally, I find that energy, GDP and people actually make me happy. Obviously, happiness is a good thing so I propose that the Kaya Identity be replaced with the ‘Happiness Identity’ as follows:

    Happiness = (Happiness/Energy) * (Energy/GDP) * (GDP/Pop) * Population

    Clearly, we should maximize energy, GDP and Population so as to maximize global happiness. Who could possibly argue with that!

  56. Joe Born says: July 24, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Joe, as I explained to Daniel G above: a) I should have said “surface area”, but b) more importantly, it was a feeble attempt to be sarcastic towards Scott Bennett, not you (of course humans cannot change Earth’s surface area in noticeable quantities). Unfortunately, the “(/sarc”) remark I added didn’t show in my post.

    Believe me, I do not think one should include “land area” in the KAYA identity / equation. And as you so correctly pointed out, if one is interested in CO2 emissions per km², one should simply divide total CO2 emission of a country / region by that country’s / region’s land area.

  57. Hey, for my part, when Willis first highlighted the Kaya Identity, I didn’t understand what I was looking at and I’ll freely admit it looked silly to me. I get it now, to the extent that I care to get it. If Pielke Jr. thinks it’s useful, that’s his business as far as I’m concerned. I’m an amateur who spends enough time already trying to follow climate science, I’m not particularly interested in second guessing Pielke Jr..
    Just my thoughts.

  58. In other words, I do not think that “land area” is an important driving force, since there seems to be very little humans can do about that.

    Well, the opposite is the point made by the blog poster.

    His presentation of the topic makes me skeptical. (you might want to see my comments above)

  59. JJ says:
    July 24, 2014 at 5:19 am

    “OYG WUWT’s experiment in communal embarrassment continues. Each post inexplicably more asinine than the last.”
    _________________
    Not a bad effort from a no- name drive- by troll. Not bad at all.

  60. The “Kaya identity “is obviously an incorrect formula. It assumes changes in CO2 levels are due soley to humans, ignoring the geological history of changes in CO2, either increasing or decreasing over aeons. Even with all energy nuclear, producing that extra energy would affect earth’s temperature and weather patterns, which in turn would affect plant life and their effects as sources or sinks of CO2.
    The equation should read something like
    CO2 = K1*GNP + K2*(additional natural or manmade sources of CO2) – K3(additional or manmade sinks of Co2).

    The above “land area” argument would fall into that K2 and K3 portions of the equation.

  61. Joe Born says:
    July 24, 2014 at 6:20 am

    Comparing economises directly, in relation to global climate, is absurd without considering the surface area of that very globe, out of which those economies are derived.

    Are you making the case that Australia’s resources based economy is divorced from the extent of its resources? Are you really arguing, that a continent that is 5% of the Earth’s Surface should be compared with one that is 7000 times smaller, such as Hong Kong!

    You did not read very carefully, because the example of Singapore was a test of the Kaya against reality. Every term is smaller and the result is not the product of the terms as given by the Kaya but something unexpected. Every single factor is lower for Singapore, yet it produces more CO2 per dollar than Australia.

    If my example does not falsify the assumptions of the Kaya for you, nothing in the real world will.

  62. “The Kaya identity was developed by Japanese energy economist Yoichi Kaya.[1] It is the subject of his book Environment, Energy, and Economy: strategies for sustainability co-authored with Keiichi Yokobori as the output of the Conference on Global Environment, Energy, and Economic Development (1993 : Tokyo, Japan).” Wiki

    There is a lot of gullible nonsense coming up in this and previous threads that relates to Roger Jr’s innocence on this matter. There is no question that it has been adopted by IPCC and that it has both a simple and a sinister purpose. The Malthusian, seemingly motherhood-type, feel-good statement “sustainability” identifies it as a tool for what we know the UN is all about. The term “Identity” gives it a clear authoritative ring that everyone can be happy with A=A and the products that can come out of it are therefore “noncontroversial”. These are patient guys. They’ve slipped the nice-neighborly-thing-to-do Agenda 21 into virtually every country and state and it sits there like a virus.

    JPS says:
    July 24, 2014 at 4:13 am

    “why is everyone trying to make this so complicated??? the Kaya Identity is simply a way for laymen to understand some of the real world variables associated with anthropogenic CO2 emissions.”

    Yes it is a nice fluffy think isn’t it. Population is the main factor that appears to need manipulation.

    Mark Stoval (@MarkStoval) says:
    July 24, 2014 at 5:08 am

    “The Kaya is a tool of the global minded, useless for national policy, that reveals with perfect clarity, the hubris of groupthink and the latent stupidity of collectivist ambitions.”

    You got it! Fortunately, collectivists don’t have a very savory resume and their past projects are a good indication of where they want to go.

    JJ says:
    July 24, 2014 at 5:19 am

    “OYG WUWT’s experiment in communal embarrassment continues. Each post inexplicably more asinine than the last.”

    JJ’s part of the “Group (think)” It’s exasperating and tough to try to put a ring in the nose of a group like this.
    Geckko says:
    July 24, 2014 at 6:08 am

    “It is invariably people who are weak mathematicians who are drawn to such gobbledygook.”

    And strong mathematicians look only at the surface of the relation – this is not innocent arithmetic.

    Ted Clayton says:
    July 24, 2014 at 6:34 am

    “The Kaya Identity appears to be intellectual toast, for a simple reason: It poses population – “Humans” – as a negotiable variable. It provides a plausible context in which to hold “people” culpable, simply because they exist.”

    Ted gets it.

    Jim Clarke says:
    July 24, 2014 at 6:46 am

    “The problem with the Kaya identity is in its application, not in its arithmetic or ability to produce a bit of understanding about the real world. It is being used to help generate policy; long term policy that will be around for decades. It is being used to generate a meme; a way of thinking that will influence decision makers for many years to come. ”

    Jim this is Kaya in a nutshell. Like Agenda 21, it is an insidious patient virus that we will inflict on ourselves in time. Meanwhile, lets teach the children to think like this. Forget the math!! This is a shaping tool.

  63. “the Kaya Identity is simply a way for laymen to understand some of the real world variables associated with anthropogenic CO2 emissions.”

    Kaya indentity is fraudulent because we don’t know how to distinguish anthropogenic emissions, neither we can measure them reliably.

  64. The Kaya Identity is the period at the end of the “The science is settled.” statement. It is there to allow the Team to roll their eyes and look askance at any and all who question AGW. This is their trump card because they can sell this to fools and not feel foolish themselves.

    I heard the same type of statement in poli-sci… “All change comes from the government.” and felt the same queasiness in my stomach when I saw the Kaya identity. Just giving it a name is enough to show how much the pro AGW team has invested in it.

    The only upside is that it will serve as a litmus test for team membership and is already.

  65. You did not read very carefully, because the example of Singapore was a test of the Kaya against reality. Every term is smaller and the result is not the product of the terms as given by the Kaya but something unexpected. Every single factor is lower for Singapore, yet it produces more CO2 per dollar than Australia.

    Nothing unexpected. The terms in the kaya identity are RATIOS (not absolute quantities) and population, the result is energy-related co2 emissions, not co2 per GDP.

  66. Population is the main factor that appears to need manipulation.

    Even with the starkest population control measures, population is going to increase in this century.

    But that is beside the point. THE IDENTITY DOESN’T MAKE NORMATIVE JUDGMENTS.

  67. Jim Clarke says:
    July 24, 2014 at 6:46 am
    “The Kaya identity begins with the assumption that CO2 emissions MUST be reduced”

    Carbon dioxide is the breath of life for the earth. If anything it MUST be increased.
    All the above arguments are just wasted time and missed opportunities. I regret the time I have put into the subject.

    One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not to be done at all.”
    ― Brian Tracy,
    The Global Warming mongers don’t even do that something very well.

  68. Daniel G. says: July 24, 2014 at 7:44 am
    Well, the opposite is the point made by the blog poster. His presentation of the topic makes me skeptical. (you might want to see my comments above)

    I agree.
    If I understand the original blog poster correctly, he seems to think that “CO2 emissions per unit of GDP” is the better indicator, and that somehow there is a “deep connection” between a country’s GDP and its land area. Now, in principle, there could be some connection between GDP and the natural resources a country has at its disposal (which in turn could be somewhat connected to its land area in terms of likelood of having the required resources). But when looking at the GDPs and land areas of Russia and Japan … if there is such a connection, it must be obfuscated by a lot of other factors.

    Anyway, following the original poster’s ideas, the SCOTT BENNETT IDENTITY would be:

    CO2/GDP = (L/GDP) * (P/L) * (GDP/P) * (E/GDP) * (CO2/E)

    where L = land area (km²), (L/GDP) is land area per unit of GDP; (P/L) is population per unit of land area; (GDP/P) is GDP per capita; (E/GDP) is energy intensity; and (CO2/E) is CO2 emissions per unit of energy.

    Well, if he thinks that “land area per unit of GDP”, or for that matter, its reciprocal (GDP per unit of land area) is something than policies can change, he should let us know how !

  69. i think the reason Singapore emits so much co2 with respect to the energy used, is that their emissions have significant non-energetic factors.

  70. Gary Pearse says:
    July 24, 2014 at 7:55 am

    “There is a lot of gullible nonsense coming up in this and previous threads that relates to Roger Jr’s innocence on this matter.”
    __________________
    Agreed.

  71. Are you really arguing, that a continent that is 5% of the Earth’s Surface should be compared with one that is 7000 times smaller, such as Hong Kong!

    You are the one doing a comparison!

  72. BTW, now that I spelled out the SCOTT BENNETT identity, there may be something to it.

    You do not want to impoverish people, so you don’t want to decrease GDP or GDP per capita, but why should it be bad per se trying to decrease CO2 per unit of GDP ?

    Also, population P is now replaced by population density. Surely, unless you’re a North Korean dictator, you do not wish to decimate population P, but decreasing population density would simply mean “more room for everybody”.

    And the connection between land area and GDP? In a global setting, it still wouldn’t mean much. But in principe, for individual countries/regions, why would it be a bad case if countries made better use of the natural resources they have available within their borders?

    Just some thoughts.

  73. John West says: “If you want to reduce CO2 emissions, what are your options?”

    Kaya is “Smoke & Mirrors” construct of Global Warming sham Alarmists. Purpose being to add another Scare. With Kaya craftily based on false premise AGW is fact.

    Being there is No valid Scientific evidence of claimed Anthropological Global Warming, let alone AGW being caused by increase in Man made CO2, there is No need to be even discussing reducing CO2 emissions.

    Kaya is more AGW Caca.

  74. Daniel G. says @ July 24, 2014 at 8:21 am

    [Gary Pearse says @ July 24, 2014 at 7:55 am]
    Population is the main factor that appears to need manipulation.

    Even with the starkest population control measures, population is going to increase in this century.

    But that is beside the point. THE IDENTITY DOESN’T MAKE NORMATIVE JUDGMENTS.

    The determinative point for the intellectual fate of the Kaya Identity, is that the population is not an inanimate, inert or passive element of the construct.

    This ‘bookkeeping device’ will be fine as long as it stays in Ivory Towers and hallowed bureaucratic halls. As soon as it strolls out into the streets, the populace will immediate see that it is they who are the target. At that point, the Kaya Identity assumes the pariah-identity.

  75. dghblogging says:
    July 24, 2014 at 3:17 am
    Can you point to where Pielke compared the Kaya identity of two countries? My impression was that it was intended to describe a single economy not to compare them.Here’s an identity
    —————————-
    If it can’t be used to compare economies how can it have any value in describing one economy? Because we are all individuals with unique physical characteristics does not mean we cannot compare blood pressure statistics. And thankfully many equations and identities work regardless of nationality. This identity/model/equation hybrid has no value, other thant to present something that looks scientific and/or mathmatical that focuses on man-made Co2. It is enormously stupid scientifically and deceptive poltically. It does describe the obvious concept that Co2 is equal to energy_use * efficiency and type of energy generation, but then throws in population and GDP ratios in bizarre and immeasurable relationships.

    But planet earth fear not. Here is an Identity (thanks to Rummy) that supercedes Co2 concerns and gets to the heart of Climate-Change:

    Climate_Change = known * (known_Unknown/known) * (unknown_Unknown/known_Unknown) * (Climate_Change/unknown_Unknown)

    This works, plug in the numbers and you will find thankfully for the future of the Earth that

    Climate_Change = Climate_Change.

  76. Gary says:
    July 24, 2014 at 7:01 am

    I agree, completely, with the observations, you and others have pointed out about my use of commas! ;-)

    However, if you have ever had, to read your own essays in front of a large audience, you will find, as I did, that, for the most part, there can never be enough commas! ;-)

  77. Scott Wilmot Bennett says:
    July 24, 2014 at 9:11 am (replying to)

    Gary says:
    July 24, 2014 at 7:01 am

    I agree, completely, with the observations, you and others have pointed out about my use of commas! ;-)

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Next, are you gonna start singing your theme song from a few years back?
    You know, that one that begins “Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma, Chameleon”

  78. Isn’t the Kaya Identity a Ludlum novel about a Japanese agent trying to find himself?

  79. Amazing how this trivial matter has generated so much controversy. It is very simple.

    The ratios in the identity are more or less independent of one another, and of population. So, e.g., to get a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions, you need to either: 1) cut the population in half, 2) diminish per capita GDP by half, 3) increase energy efficiency (GDP per unit of energy) by factor of 2, 4) increase “CO2 efficiency” (energy produced per unit of CO2) by factor of 2, or 5) some mix of the above. It illustrates the fact that this requires: 1) stringent population controls, 2) precipitous drop in standard of living, 3) enormous increases in energy efficiency, and/or 4) massive reduction in CO2 production for each erg of energy.

    That’s all. Shouldn’t even be controversial.

  80. Alan Robertson says:

    Not a bad effort from a no- name drive- by troll. Not bad at all.

    Sweetheart, I commented at length on the first two posts. Despite having demonstrated the mathematical ignorance and error of those posts and the follow-on commetns, the idiocy continues apace. Now we are treated with the moronic assertion that the lack of a land area term is somehow invalidating. That is retarded.

    These juvenile “falsifications” of a mundane economic identity are strictly “Sky Dragon” type material, and Anthony should treat them as such. To do otherwise prolongs the embarrassment.

  81. Darren Potter says:
    “there is No valid Scientific evidence of claimed Anthropological Global Warming”

    Who said there was?

    anthropological – of or concerned with the science of anthropology; “anthropological studies”

    I think you meant anthropogenic. Anyway, to say “no valid scientific evidence” is a bridge or two too far. There’s some valid scientific evidence for almost any nutty hypothesis. Saying there’s insufficient valid scientific evidence for AGW and especially CAGW to justify mitigation efforts would be much more defendable. You are right that the Kaya Identity’s applicability to policy decisions depends upon the assumption that CO2 emissions have a significant impact and since there’s insufficient evidence to make that conclusion the Kaya Identity is as you put it ”AGW Caca” indeed.

  82. Bart says: July 24, 2014 at 9:29 am
    The ratios in the identity are more or less independent of one another

    Funny that you should say that, because even IPCC denies that.

  83. Kaya IS the ideal numbers game, and that is all it is, for policymakers.
    In the age of showing how good we are as a country Kaya allows just about any country to find something that shows that they are the lowest CO2 producers per whatever in their region, a race to the bottom so to speak.
    That is why our neighbors need to do more and we don’t have to do anything.
    It is all their fault. We are proper global citizens doing our bit and we have the numbers to prove it.
    Now we have land area to add to this, soon it will be length of coastline, area still in forest, households rather then capita, you name it. Fantastic.
    The Al Gore green principle. Others have to change their way of living, not me because …….!
    So a policymaker does not have to do a thing (what is new), their country is the lowest per whatever.
    What a way to go.
    As far as increasing CO2 is concerned I am only seeing positives so far, doing nothing is exactly what is needed. Although getting ready for a future with very limited C based fuels available is not a silly thing. But none of us commenting here today need to worry about that.
    Methane Hydrates are next.
    And if the Maldives are really that concerned about rising sea levels they should stop tourism today, accept those coming in by paddle canoe perhaps. All these people flying untold miles producing megatons CO2 to get there which supposedly aids warming and sea level rise as a consequence hurting their low lying islands. That would show that they take it serious. Or is it that all countries should ban travel to the Maldives so they can be saved. Come on people, we have to help them if they can’t help themselves. If their concern is real they should lead by example, just like Al Gore.

  84. I don’t want to come off as too negative as I do think that land area will have an impact on CO2 emissions. I just think that this relationship is going to prove to be highly non-linear so it will probably not be easy to quantify. That said, without quantifying the relationship somehow there is no way to test this idea and it is only handwaving. It is one thing to claim that Kaya + land area does a better job of explaining CO2 emissions that Kaya alone. It is another thing to *show* that.

    Off the top of my head, land area of a country will affect CO2 usage in a couple of main ways 1. the amount of land in a country will affect the utility of owning a vehicle and 2. the size of homes, and other structures will be greater in a country with a lot of land, 3. goods will need to be transported further in a country with a lot of land than otherwise.

    Each of these things will have several sub-factors involved – for instance the utility of owning a car will depend on the distance one needs to travel, the cost of the car itself and its operating costs after factoring in the time savings and increased convenience of other modes of transport. As you get a more densely populated country, these other options (ie public transport) will tend to get better and more convenient as population density increases.

    I, personally doubt that it will be possible to construct a model that will accurately reflect all these factors for a country but feel free to give it a go.

    Certainly, it would be great to have a Kaya identity that would allow us to compare countries meaningfully, but this is likely to be pretty hard to come up with.

    Cheers, :)

  85. Johan says:
    July 24, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Are you saying that per capita GDP depends on population? On CO2 efficiency?

    Does it depends on energy efficiency? Not directly. This is a tricky one – higher energy efficiency allows greater GDP for a given population, but it does not produce it.

    Each of these terms can be varied without changing any of the others.

    It would be more rigorous if the equation were written as an expansion in partial derivatives, but you’re bound to lose most of your audience doing that. As it is, it is just an heuristic tool for putting changes which would have to be wrought into perspective.

  86. Shawnhet says: July 24, 2014 at 9:51 am
    I, personally doubt that it will be possible to construct a model that will accurately reflect all these factors for a country but feel free to give it a go.

    It seems to me that “land area” is a bad proxy for a variable that just *might* be interesting, namely “presence of natural resources”, all the more so if you make a distinction between replenishable and non-replenishable natural resources.

    In the SCOTT BENNETT IDENTITY CO2/GDP = (L/GDP) * (P/L) * (GDP/P) * (E/GDP) * (CO2/E)

    decreasing population density (P/L) would actually decrease CO2/GDP, which seems very odd, to say the least (for some of the reasons you mentioned in your post).

    But what if L meant “presence of natural resources” instead of “land area”. In that case, decreasing (P/L) woud either mean lowering P (keeping L constant), which we don’t want; or increasing L (keeping P constant), wich in principle would be possible if L were to include replenishable resources.

    Furthermore, (L/GDP) would now mean “presence of natural resources per unit of GDP”. One could argue that policies could increase (L/GDP) by making resources extraction more efficient, and/or by making better use of replenishable natural resources.

    Just some musings.

  87. Bart, please try it with some real numbers.

    Fill in the entire Kaya identity with real information from any where.

    Then 1/2 the population and keep everything else the same.

    What results do you get? Notice anything strange?

  88. Reading the article in Wikipedia on the Kaya Identity (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaya_identity), it looks to me like it was originally presented as a tool for global analysis rather than something for individual countries. It’s probably more of a tool for use by an organization like the IPCC to try to shape policy on a global scale than anything else. Has anyone reached out to Yoichi Kaya for his comments on all this?

  89. Johan says: July 24, 2014 at 10:08 am
    One could argue that policies could increase (L/GDP) by making resources extraction more efficient, and/or by making better use of replenishable natural resources.

    That should of course read decrease (L/GDP). The whole idea is to produce the same amount of GDP with less natural resources; or conversely, to produce more GDP with the same amount of resources.

  90. sinewave says: July 24, 2014 at 10:09 am
    Has anyone reached out to Yoichi Kaya for his comments on all this?

    For what purpose? Just read the book he co-edited.
    Environment, energy and economy: Strategies for sustainability. by Yoichi Kaya (Editor), Keiichi Yokobori (Editor), United Nations University Press (November 1, 1997)
    You can buy it at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Environment-Energy-Economy-Strategies-Sustainability/dp/9280809113/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406222207&sr=1-1&keywords=yoichi+kaya

  91. Alx says:
    July 24, 2014 at 8:58 am
    . . .
    Climate_Change = known * (known_Unknown/known) * (unknown_Unknown/known_Unknown) * (Climate_Change/unknown_Unknown)

    This works, plug in the numbers and you will find thankfully for the future of the Earth that

    Climate_Change = Climate_Change.

    Thank you. I was beginning to doubt my grasp of the associative property, looking for nonexistent information. A tautology in short. How again is the Kaya identity informative?

  92. After reading this, I felt a piece of my intelligence, leave me, and, I fear, it is never, to return. It has been replaced, with a new fondness, for the comma and, I have developed a speech pattern, that makes me sound, like Obama’s stutterances.

    If there is a god who loves us she will make this the last WUWT post on the Kaya Identity.

    REPLY: Actually, yes, I’m pretty well done with it. I found the whole exercise an interesting study in perceptions, much like the global warming debate itself. I’m prepared to leave with the identity being trivially true for science to true for political purposes. – Anthony

  93. Scott Bennet,

    The mysterious “dp” is spot on – your comma key seems to have a mind of its own. You need to disable it, or severely limit its use. Or, submit your drafts to a good living, breathing editor.

  94. Anthony says: I’m prepared to leave with the identity being trivially true for science to true for political purposes.

    True for political purposes? I really think you do need to (re)read what Jim Clarke said in this thread on July 24, 2014 at 6:46 am
    It’s one of the most intelligent responses in this whole discussion, and too bad it gets drowned into a lot of _____

    REPLY: hadn’t seen it. BTW true for political purposes doesn’t mean I agree with the trueness, only that they think it is true, and as we know there is very little truth in politics. So “true” for politics really doesn’t mean much. – Anthony

  95. sinewave said @ July 24, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Has anyone reached out to Yoichi Kaya for his comments on all this?

    Kaya, in the 1993 book Environment, Energy, and Economy: strategies for sustainability, was looking at the economics. Japan has continued to suffer from some kind of major, historic economic sustainability syndrome.

    Since the early ’90s, several others have revamped, repurposed, refactored the Kaya Identity. It is now IPCC ‘canon’, but within their own “framework”. No less than PNAS have published [2002] A framework for sustainability science: A renovated IPAT identity, which although obviously the identity in question, references “Kaya” exactly one time (and then using the “so-called” qualifier). Again, with the “framework” buzz.

    Kaya appears to be emphatically & purposefully/intentionally no longer involved. To the point where efforts are being made to ‘scrub’ the name. Which is a bit interesting, in its own right.

  96. Shawnhet (9:51 am):

    … I do think that land area will have an impact on CO2 emissions. I just think that this relationship is going to prove to be highly non-linear so it will probably not be easy to quantify. That said, without quantifying the relationship somehow there is no way to test this idea and it is only handwaving. It is one thing to claim that Kaya + land area does a better job of explaining CO2 emissions that Kaya alone. It is another thing to *show* that.

    You (and Scott and others) are still not quite getting the point: Land area is already in the Kaya Identity. A country’s land area affects its economic structure, and its economic structure affects the value of Energy/GDP — one of the ratios in the Identity.

    As you point out, land area affects energy usage for transport, among other things. Singapore only needs to move goods a short distance from port (or, often, within the port). Australia needs to move them hundreds of miles.

    The Kaya Identity is only an analytical framework that needs to be fleshed out with real-world facts — such as how land area affects the ratios in the Identity.

  97. Ted Clayton says: July 24, 2014 at 11:03 am
    Kaya appears to be emphatically & purposefully/intentionally no longer involved. To the point where efforts are being made to ‘scrub’ the name. Which is a bit interesting, in its own right.

    IPAT emerged out of a debate between Barry Commoner, on the one hand, and Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren on the other. For that reason, it’s sometimes called the Ehrlich-Holdren identity / equation.
    Prof. Kaya and collaborators independently “(re)discovered” the Kaya identity /equation, which i basically the same as IPAT.

    Neither Ehrlich-Holdren nor Kaya seem very interested in having their names attached to the identities/equations.

  98. Dr. Doug says: July 24, 2014 at 11:14 am
    You (and Scott and others) are still not quite getting the point: Land area is already in the Kaya Identity.

    Of course GDP covers a lot of activities. Just take a look at the number of sectors in e.g. the North American Industry Classification System or NAICS.
    That doesn’t mean one isn’t allowed to further decompose GDP (per capita), into as many terms as one likes. In fact, that is what economists do all the time, except of course they don’t call it KAYA.

  99. Duster (10:21 am):

    How again is the Kaya identity informative?

    The Kaya Identity is informative to the extent that one can plug in informed numbers for the ratios in the identity. Pielke does so, showing, for example, that Britain’s energy policy cannot plausibly achieve its carbon-reduction goals.

  100. Bart says:

    I get 1/2 emissions. Why is that strange?

    Equivocation parade from steveta_uk in 3…2…1…

  101. Kaya sounds like the kaka used by Jeffrey Sachs to gen up papers with students in place of real research. It also has a lot of similarities to the more familiar version of ranking cities, states, and countries with a handfull of general variables to concoct a new kaka measure and research-sounding headline.

  102. Dr. Doug, I understand both of your points to me. My point, was that it may be possible to make our understanding *even better* that the KI itself does (perhaps by helping us understand why some countries E/GDP are higher than others).

    GDP is a one dimensional number and does nothing on its own to explain why E/GDP varies – figuring that out is a valuable exercise IMO.

    Cheers, :)

  103. steveta_uk says:
    July 24, 2014 at 10:09 am

    “Bart, please try it with some real numbers.
    Fill in the entire Kaya identity with real information from any where.
    Then 1/2 the population and keep everything else the same.”

    steve, one of the troubles with the arithmetic is that if you half the pop, you more than half the GDP. GDP grows with population, at least in industrial countries.

  104. Jim Clark (6:46 am):

    The Kaya identity ends with disaster. It is inherently linear in every aspect. The world is inherently non-linear in every aspect. The Kaya identity gives an illusion of knowledge and wisdom to decision makers; convincing them that they will be making good choices. In reality, there is a near zero chance that policies resulting from the use of the Kaya identity will be positive. The outcomes from such policies will range from bad to disastrous.

    Jim, any policy tool can be used either well or poorly. Don’t you see value in Pielke’s conclusions about British energy policy?

    Yes, much of the world is non-linear. Marginal changes in, say, the CO2 intensity of energy might well differ from the current average CO2 intensity of energy. Newly added power plants might be natural gas fueled, for example, while legacy power plants are coal fueled. Still, the Kaya Identity can be applied well enough to the marginal changes.

    So, yes, do oppose any stupidity that abuses the Kaya Identity. But don’t judge the matter without facts.

  105. Jim Clarke says:
    July 24, 2014 at 6:46 am
    —————————-
    Jim nailed why the Kaya identity is not overly useful. It gives the illusion of having control knobs, one of which is population, yikes. (People) x (production per person) x (energy use per production) x (carbon emmissions per energy use) = industrial carbon emmission, not overly complicated stuff. If you want to get nit-picky here is food for thought. It is not hard to imagine a completely automated industrial construct still chugging along with no people left to complain about it. Also, if we removed all industry, mankind would still have an affect on the carbon cycle.

    Aren’t we lucky that most of our energy production’s waste product is completely harmless to all animals and beneficial to all plant life on this planet? Should we not be celebrating this fact? I am all for double checking to make sure we are not overdueing it but, there is really no reason to believe we are. If This debate were about the science maybe that would be a reasonable position. Oh hell, I misplaced my soapbox.

  106. Johan says: July 24, 2014 at 11:16 am

    IPAT emerged out of a debate between Barry Commoner, on the one hand, and Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren on the other. For that reason, it’s sometimes called the Ehrlich-Holdren identity / equation.
    Prof. Kaya and collaborators independently “(re)discovered” the Kaya identity /equation, which i basically the same as IPAT.

    Ahhh. IPAT preceded KAYA. That’s why PNAS don’t have to cite Kaya. And I really did wonder why Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren weren’t in this discussion. Back to the stacks. Thanks!

  107. I’m prepared to leave with the identity being trivially true for science to true for political purposes.

    That has been a common view through all the threads even by people who know how the identity is used. The evidence it is principally a political tool is observed in the literature where it appears. PNAS and Pielke, Jr being good examples, but also because the author of it is a strong advocate of renewables, a topic that requires political intervention because it isn’t supported by market forces.

  108. Dr. Doug says:
    July 24, 2014 at 11:50 am
    Jim, any policy tool can be used either well or poorly. Don’t you see value in Pielke’s conclusions about British energy policy?
    ———————-

    I don’t disagree but some tools are better suited for certain purposes. Let’s rewright it so that at least we are not offing people. CO2 emmisions = GDP x (Energy use per production) x (Carbon emmissions per energy use). I feel safer already.

  109. Dr. Doug:

    You conclude your post at July 24, 2014 at 6:38 am by saying

    I hope that we can wind up this thread quickly without wading into the swamps of incomprehension that made the last three threads on this topic so frustrating.

    I agree. And for three threads I have been saying why; i.e.

    The Kaya Identity is a propaganda tool that permits malign policy-makers to pretend a logical basis for their desires because –in reality – the Kaya Identity is merely an unjustifiable collection of prejudices presented as an equation with the intention that the prejudices displace scientific evidence and argument.

    Proponents of the propaganda attempt to support the equation which has been devised as a tool to present the propaganda. And their support has generated the “swamps of incomprehension” about the egregious propaganda tool and, thus, has hindered outright rejection the propaganda tool. as being the illogical nonsense which it so clearly is. But several people have seen through this support for the unreason presented as the Kaya Identity. For example, Jim Clarke says the same with more detail in his post at July 24, 2014 at 6:46 am, and his post concludes

    The use of the Kaya identity rationalizes the bad decision making process. It allows decision makers to ignore the vital importance of adaptability and weaken the financial strength of future generations. It is the height of hubris and the antithesis of wisdom to use the Kaya identity in the manner it is being used by the United Nations and other bureau-crazies; and apparently promoted by Roger Pielke, Jr; a man I admire and respect, but strongly disagree with on this topic.

    Richard

  110. I’m interested in Dr Spencer’s posting as to “miles = [hours] x [miles/hour]” – that (on the one hand) this says that distance travelled = time elapsed x speed (a useful construct) but (if simplified) just that “miles = miles”.

    The test seems to be that all of the “contributing quantities” (distance, time elapsed, speed) are familiar concepts frequently used separately and independently, in various contexts, and the formula just reminds us of the intrinsic relationship between them. I see plenty of sense in this (that it is all essentially down to context in which used) – but accept others may not …

  111. Shawnhet (11:33 am):

    Dr. Doug, I understand both of your points to me. My point, was that it may be possible to make our understanding *even better* that the KI itself does (perhaps by helping us understand why some countries E/GDP are higher than others).

    GDP is a one dimensional number and does nothing on its own to explain why E/GDP varies – figuring that out is a valuable exercise IMO.

    In agreement with your earlier comment, I’m sure that land area affects E/GDP in ways that are both non-linear and difficult to quantify. And you’re quite right that GDP is an aggregate that hides many material differences between countries — differences that are relevant for many purposes.

    Nonetheless, I’m not sure how much would be gained by quantifying the effect of land area on E/GDP. Land area is not itself a policy variable. Perhaps it might be useful to look at something more concrete like land-freight ton-miles (or tonne-kilometres), which may depend on land area (or more generally on geography), along with energy usage per ton-mile. The latter is potentially a policy variable, for example in promoting railways over trucks (lorries).

    For many purposes it may be sufficient to simply note that countries with different economic structures have different E/GDP ratios, and to have a rough idea as to the reasons why.

  112. JJ says:
    July 24, 2014 at 5:19 am

    OYG WUWT’s experiment in communal embarrassment continues. Each post inexplicably more asinine than the last.

    ####
    Amen to that. Meanwhile real work in fighting the stupidity goes on, but here:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/more-from-bridgehampton-ny/

    instead of here on this blog.

    REPLY: So I didn’t do enough? Gosh, next time I won’t even bring stations like this to anyone’s attention for fear of your judgement because I didn’t do enough in the first post about it and someone built upon what I started. That’s called science BTW. Since we are in the judgment business today, what if anything have you done, to fight such “stupidity”, other than complain that I’m not doing enough, or that I’m allowing discussion of concepts you consider unfavorable?

    Show your work.

    Anthony

    • >> OYG WUWT’s experiment in communal embarrassment continues. Each post inexplicably more asinine than the last.

      Thanks for joining in!

  113. Update #2 said: “The use of the Kaya identity rationalizes the bad decision making process. ”

    In actuality, the use of the Kaya identity rationalizes the bad decision making process upon which Progressives subsist. It allows them to hide their true intentions behind a smokescreen of “green energy” policies.

  114. John West:

    re your post at July 24, 2014 at 9:30 am.

    Contrary to your assertion,
    There is NO EVIDENCE for anthropogenic global warming (AGW); n.b. none zilch, nada.

    Three decades of research conducted world-wide at a cost of more than US$5 billion per annum have failed to find any such evidence. If you think you have some then publish it because the discoverer of such evidence will be awarded at least one Novel Prize and probably several Nobel Prizes.

    Evading the fact that there is no evidence for AGW is one of the purposes of propaganda tricks such as the Kaya Identity.

    Richard

  115. Joseph Murphy (12:24 pm):

    I don’t disagree [that any policy tool can be used well or poorly] but some tools are better suited for certain purposes. Let’s rewright it so that at least we are not offing people. CO2 emmisions = GDP x (Energy use per production) x (Carbon emmissions per energy use). I feel safer already.

    For what it’s worth, I also oppose treating population as a policy variable. For that matter, I also oppose restricting GDP for the sake of reducing CO2. However, in applying the Kaya Identity to the future, it’s necessary to make projections of future GDP, and that requires making projections of population.
    By the way, in case anyone wonders, I play no role in environmental or energy policy.

  116. see also Wikipedia entry: I = PAT

    (This is prominently linked, in Wiki’s Kaya identity entry, which several of us have used for a cheat-sheet.)

    The equation [IPAT] was developed in the 1970s during the course of a debate between Barry Commoner, Paul R. Ehrlich and John Holdren. Commoner argued that environmental impacts in the United States were caused primarily by changes in its production technology following World War II, while Ehrlich and Holdren argued that all three factors were important and emphasized in particular the role of human population growth.[1][2][3]

    The Kaya identity is closely related to the I = PAT equation. [also mentioned in the reverse relationship, in the Kaya entry]

    So the Kaya-thread actually begins in the 1970s, under the name IPAT, originally with 4 well-known ‘authors’. Johan has mentioned that Ehrlich/Holdren no longer want to be associated with it; perhaps Commoner with be a better search-lead.

    But, the 2002 PNAS article I linked earlier will have at least some history on IPAT, the paper being titled as a “renovated IPAT”. I’ll revisit it. (This paper is a lead citation in the Wiki Kaya entry.)

    Is this all worthwhile? Well, we have a lot of Kaya-discussion, without noting (or seeming to know) that it had quite an extensive previous AND parallel history & intellectual context, under another name and by different authors.

    ‘Serious players’ don’t want to talk ‘Kaya’. They talk about the same thing, when they want to, under the IPAT moniker, sometimes seen as I=PAT.

    There is a lot of Mathus (200 years back) in this, particularly when we consider the involvement of Ehrlich & Holdren, who would rather we not … which tells me ‘dig here’. ;)

    P.S. I like mathematical ecology. It’s basically hardcore science. Ehrlich did some good science (in that field), very classical, and at the time his Doomsday warnings did not seem remiss to many of us. His science-example seemed refreshing, and his politics well-intentioned … once upon a time. His, and especially Holdren’s affinity for, uh, population-adjustment solutions, cooled my affection in the longer run.

  117. To both Shawnet and Dr. Doug (who will probably not read this).

    It would be nice if you actually read what both the original blog poster and yours truly are saying.

    “Land area” is not what matters, but the “availability of natural resources”. And that could be a relevant “policy variable”. In the same sense that a country could try to improve its energy intensity (by means of introducing more energy efficient technologies), that same country could also try to improve the efficiency with which it “extracts and uses” it natural resources (including both replenishable and non-replenishable resources).

    I once more introduce the SCOTT BENNETT IDENTITY
    CO2/GDP = (L/GDP) * (P/L) * (GDP/P) * (E/GDP) * (CO2/E)

    Where L would be “availability of natural resources”, not “land area”. To lower CO2/GDP, one could – ceteris paribus – lower (L/GDP). And lowering (L/GDP) simply means, for the same amount of GDP, you use less of your “natural resources” (or alternavely, for the same amount of natural resources, you could produce more GDP).

    Granted, (P/L) would now mean “population per unit of available resources”, and not “population density” (population per unit land area). It’s not obvious how that could be a “policy variable”. You certainly don’t want to lower population P, keeping L constant. And one can hardly increase non-replenishable resources (add iron ore?). But if L includes replenishable natural resources, there might be a way to increase L (at least the replenishable part), while holding P constant.

    And of course, in (macro) economics one always has to be aware of the danger of “double counting”. The primary sector is evidently part of GDP.

    Anyway, although it could be considered some “refinement” of KAYA, it would not solve the main problem with KAYA, as clearly demonstrated by Jim Clarke.

    Yours truly.

  118. Anthony:

    At July 24, 2014 at 10:36 am you write concerning the Kaya Identity

    REPLY: Actually, yes, I’m pretty well done with it. I found the whole exercise an interesting study in perceptions, much like the global warming debate itself. I’m prepared to leave with the identity being trivially true for science to true for political purposes.

    I write to respectfully request that you continue to provide posts on such matters on WUWT.

    The predictions and projections of anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) have failed to occur and – very importantly – no successor Treaty to the Kyoto Protocol has been achieved or seems possible. In these circumstances it seems likely that in several countries bureaucratic methods will be used to achieve the policy aims of the AGW-scare. I refer anybody who doubts this to peruse, for example, actions of the US EPA in its declaration that CO2 is pollution.

    Such bureaucratic activities need justification in the absence of empirical evidence for discernible AGW and lack of international policy agreements. And propaganda tools such as the Kaya Identity provide the required justification for the bureaucratic activities. As can be seen (for example, in this thread) arguments concerning options suggested by the Kaya Identity can displace discussion of need for any actions.

    Hence, in my opinion, exposure of the function of such propaganda tools is important

    Richard

  119. Jim Clarke says:
    July 24, 2014 at 6:46 am
    The Kaya identity begins with the assumption that CO2 emissions MUST be reduced. RPjr stated in his video that it wasn’t even worth talking about the science of climate change anymore. He implied that there was absolutely no point in even discussing climate sensitivity to CO2 emissions and that such discussions are actually harmful.

    I think you sort of answered your own question earlier when you say:

    It is being used to help generate policy; long term policy that will be around for decades.

    My take is that Pielke is observing that long-term policy is being generated right now. In the minds of many policy makers, the debate is over. Given that, somebody has to make the situation understandable to policy makers so they can see, that given their assumptions, a) just how difficult it will be to reach their CO2 targets, and b) what “knobs” they should touch, and which “knobs” they should not touch. In my mind, he is working on damage control.

    There is nothing more important than the science in making good policy decisions.

    Well, yes. Except the only problem is that we are dealing with imperfect beings who believe the science is already settled. And they are generating “long term policy that will be around for decades” right now. If you had the ears of policy makers, would you continue to argue about uncertainties (and quickly lose the ears of policy makers) or would you try to mitigate some of the damage they were about to do?

  120. Johan (1:06 pm):

    Sorry, what natural resources affects is economic structure, which is already well reflected in the Kaya Identity.
    Regarding your “Scott Bennett Identity”:

    CO2/GDP = (L/GDP) * (P/L) * (GDP/P) * (E/GDP) * (CO2/E)

    The first three ratios on the right-hand side all cancel out together. In other words, you have a circular argument embedded in the equation. This does not make for useful analysis.

  121. Dr. Doug says:
    July 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm
    However, in applying the Kaya Identity to the future, it’s necessary to make projections of future GDP, and that requires making projections of population.
    ——-
    It is only necessary because those variables are in the Kaya identity. I posted an identity just as valid as the Kaya identity without population. You could do the same for GDP if you wish. There is no magic in the Kaya identity, nothing empirically needs to be in there.

    CO2 emissions = CO2 emissions is just as valid as the Kaya identity. And it also simplifies the policy decisions! Let’s make some more.

    CO2 emissions = Energy use x (CO2 emissions per energy use). Now we have dropped population and GDP. We could of course add more variables in if we like.

    CO2 emissions = Houses x (people per house) x (Energy use per person) x (CO2 emissions per energy use). Now, if we can only cut down on the number of people per house.

  122. Johan says “For what purpose? Just read the book he co-edited.” Yeah, that’s the most sensible thing to do. I still wonder if he has anything to say about this current discussion / debate since the book is 17 years old.

  123. Joseph (1:44 pm), you’re repeating Willis’s ‘Beer Identity’, which was well refuted on that thread. GDP is close to an encompassing measure of energy-using activity. Houses are not.

  124. Dr. Doug says: July 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm
    natural resources affects is economic structure, which is already well reflected in the Kaya Identity.

    Reflected yes, but not “well” reflected. GDP = GDP1 + GDP2, where GDP1 stands for the “primary sector”, and GDP2 for all the rest (secondary and tertiary). All I am doing is singling out the primary sector. Set L = GDP1, and we have
    CO2/GDP = (GDP1/GDP) * (P/GDP1) * (GDP/P) * (E/GDP) * (CO2/E)

    So, GDP1/GDP would simply the the share of “primary sector” in total GDP; and (P/GDP) the population per unit of output in the primary sector. Those are values than can easily be looked up.

    As for canceling out, well, it is written as an identity. Try
    CO2 emissisons per unit of GDP = output of primary sector per unit of GDP * population per unit of output of the primary sector * GDP per capita * energy intensity * CO2 emissions per unit of energy
    GDP1 and GDP would both be expressed in monetary units, but I still don’t see why you can’t say 0.14 dollars of primary sector output per 1 dollar of total GDP.

  125. Dr. Doug says:
    July 24, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Duster (10:21 am):

    How again is the Kaya identity informative?

    The Kaya Identity is informative to the extent that one can plug in informed numbers for the ratios in the identity. Pielke does so, showing, for example, that Britain’s energy policy cannot plausibly achieve its carbon-reduction goals.

    Well, that does seem to be what people say, but all the variables except the CO2 emissions cancel, which would seem to mean they have no effect on the value of CO emissions: CO2 emissions = CO2 emissions.

  126. Johan (2:02 pm),
    Sorry, the first three ratios on the right-hand side of your identity are interdependent. You can’t change one without simultaneously changing one or more others in a way that exactly offsets your change. The equation does not allow for “ceteris paribus”:

    CO2/GDP = (L/GDP) * (P/L) * (GDP/P) * (E/GDP) * (CO2/E)

    If you raise L while leaving GDP and P constant, then the rise in L/GDP will be offset by the fall in P/L. If GDP rises as well as L, then P/L and GDP/P will offset each other. There is no way around it.

    And yes, including L is double-counting, because L unavoidably affects the structure of GDP and thus the E/GDP ratio.

  127. Dr. Doug says: July 24, 2014 at 2:22 pm
    The equation does not allow for “ceteris paribus”:

    Well, the whole point being, neither does the original KAYA identity. But for whatever reasons, you are totally unwilling to accept that.

  128. JamesNV says:
    July 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm
    —————————
    I don’t follow Dr. Pielke closely, but +1 anyway. I’d like to think that anyway. :)

  129. Johan (2:02 pm again):
    I’ll grant that It could certainly be useful to treat L within the category of GDP. You could model differing economic structures (resource intensities) and their implications for the E/GDP ratio. But you can’t break out L apart from GDP.

    (Johan 2:28 pm): The fact that KAYA indeed allows for “ceteris paribus” (i.e., holding other things equal) was firmly established by consensus after long discussions in the preceding threads. I won’t reopen that can of worms here.

  130. I don’t see how land area can be a useful “lever in the tool box”.

    Consider a swimming pool with kids in it.

    P = Kids * (refreshments/kid) * (liquid/refreshment) * (P/liquid)

    If I want less P in the pool, I can reduce the # of kids swimming, or give them less refreshments, or give them refreshments with less liquids, or use liquids that result in less P (what would that be, olive oil?)

    Does it matter how many kids are in the shallow or deep end? Whether most are in the shallow, or deep, or equal, or whatever, I still get the same amount of P in the pool.

    Likewise, let’s say Singapore purchases the western parts of Australia where almost nobody lives. Now we’ve dramatically changed the land area of both countries but changed nothing about the CO2 emissions.

    What am I missing?

    (Note: Don’t get me wrong… a little P in the pool doesn’t actually bother me, and I realize some CO2 in the atmosphere is good for the environment whether it comes from people’s machines or not)

  131. Dr. Doug,
    Defending the Kaya Identity as a useful tool, without understanding the diabolical purpose of it, is what worries me, unless you are part of the soft sell team that does this sort of thing. If you actually think this was designed as a useful tool for understanding things, then there is an old label coined early in the last century by political philosophers of the same stripe that rhymes with useful tool. Making benign-looking frameworks like this for shaping policy thinking a generation or so down the line while indoctrinating the next generation in classrooms is the way to do it.

  132. This is my one and hopefully only comment on the Kaya Identity. When Willis posted the original article I had a read through and because of my mathematical background I quickly came to the same conclusion as Willis, and I moved on to other topics of the day. I was surprised to find later that there were a lot of comments on that post. Then there was another post, then another and another.
    Yesterday, before this latest and perhaps last post on the Kaya topic, I was sitting in the coffee shop looking at the parking lot and it reminded me of the posts on the Kaya Identity. Why might you ask, because technological advancements don’t seem to be part of the identity. And indeed technological advancements don’t seem to get much mention throughout media discussions of all sorts of topics.
    So why a parking lot? It has to do with computer advancements and the coming revolution in autonomous vehicles. The parking lot I was looking at, and am looking at now is 1/3 full. There is a neighboring parking lot that is 2/3 empty serving a restaurant. Then there is the other neighboring parking lot serving the grocery store, and the Costco parking lot across the street and so on and so forth.
    The autonomous or self driving vehicle is a topic I have been researching since about 1996. One reason I think about this topic is because of the car accident that put my twin brother into a coma for 40 days and his agonizing slow multiyear recovery learning to walk and talk all over again starting in 1981 at the age of 21. One of my sisters was also in a vehicular accident when the van she was a passenger in with 13 others followed the van in front of them off the road in a snow storm in Québec. She was luckier than some with only a smashed leg requiring metal rods and pins to repair and years of healing and further surgery.
    Anyway, onto the economics of the potential change this technology could wrought. Imagine no more car accidents and no more grid lock. No need for police to check for drunk driving, speeding, using a smart phone. No need for truck drivers and the deliveries could be make outside of the rush hours.
    And those parking lots that are empty at night. Cars can drop you off at the front door of businesses then go park themselves in community parking lots. Land consumed by parking lots could be considerably reduced.
    Then there’s the thousands of lives saved, the fuel saved from not idling in traffic, and so on. None of this technological advancement seems to make up any of the components of the Kaya.

  133. garymount (3:54 pm):

    because technological advancements don’t seem to be part of the identity

    Gary, if you read Roger Pielke Jr.’s work (linked in the previous post), you’ll see that technological advance appears twice within the Kaya framework: (i) in the energy intensity of GDP, E/GDP, and (ii) in the carbon intensity of energy, CO2/E. Technological advance generally reduces both of these ratios.

  134. Gary Pearse (3:51 pm):

    Dr. Doug,
    Defending the Kaya Identity as a useful tool, without understanding the diabolical purpose of it, is what worries me, unless you are part of the soft sell team that does this sort of thing. If you actually think this was designed as a useful tool for understanding things, then there is an old label coined early in the last century by political philosophers of the same stripe that rhymes with useful tool. Making benign-looking frameworks like this for shaping policy thinking a generation or so down the line while indoctrinating the next generation in classrooms is the way to do it.

    Gary,

    I’m sure that the Kaya Identity, like almost anything, could be abused for a diabolical purpose, but I think it important to affirm the distinction between use and abuse. “Abusum non tollit usum”, as the ancient saying goes. It is important to claim (or reclaim, as the case may be) every tool that is valid in itself. Even if the Identity is abused, it hardly makes sense to avoid using it properly, and thus letting uncommitted observers (and your schoolchildren) see an obviously proper tool supporting only the wrong side of an argument. “Why should the devil have all the good music?”, as early evangelicals put it.

    In truth, I don’t think the KI has a diabolical purpose — certainly not as Pielke uses it! Give me evidence if you would convince me otherwise. I am well aware of the ‘useful idiots’ among the see-no-evil left who supported Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Chavez. And I am not part of the “team that does this sort of thing”.

  135. I think the whole argument is about trees, while completely missing the forest.

    If the resident time for CO2 in the atmosphere is 5 to 7 years, then who cares what the emissions are. It’s gone in 5 – 7 years anyway.

    If the current rise in CO2 is caused by the warming of the oceans, and that humans contribute 3% of the total. Then it’s a pedantic exercise (using something that’s not even an equation?).

  136. The Problem with Citing or Referencing a so-called Kaya Identity

    At the top of this post is a link to A conversation with Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., a previous WUWT post by Dr. Pielke Jr., et al. At the top of his remarks, the Professor recommends that to understand the Kaya Identity, we refer to his published paper elsewhere; The British Climate Change Act: a critical evaluation and proposed alternative approach.

    This paper is Dr. Pielke Jr.’s well-known & well-received rebuttal of the British national response to AGW. He says that he critiques their efforts, using the Kaya Identity. In his Methodology section, he begins:

    The methodology employed here draws upon Waggoner and Ausubel (2002) who argue that understanding the ability to influence environmental outcomes through policy requires `quantifying the component forces of environmental impact and integrating them’. For carbon dioxide the relationship of forces leading to emissions has been called the Kaya identity …

    However, the title of Waggoner & Ausubel (2002) is; A framework for sustainability science: a renovated IPAT identity [emph. added] Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. 99 7860–5. This is the PNAS paper that I cited & linked above, in Ted Clayton says: July 24, 2014 at 11:03 am. I copy my (full content) link, to the title here.

    The problem is, Waggoner & Ausubel are talking about a construct called the IPAT identity (or I = PAT). They are emphatically not discussing the Kaya Identity.

    IPAT and KAYA are quite similar. But IPAT was created & developed by other people, not by Yoichi Kaya. The basis of Professor Pielke Jr.’s presentation is not the work of Yoichi Kaya, as one would infer, but of others who are not being clearly credited.

    The original creators of IPAT are Barry Commoner, Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren. Waggoner & Ausubel cites them thus (with 13 others):

    1. Commoner, B. (1972) Bull. At. Sci. 28, 17, 42–56.
    2. Ehrlich, P. R. & Holdren, J. P. (1972) Bull. At. Sci. 28, 16–27.

    IPAT predates Kaya by 21 years, and by major scientific figures. Yet Dr. Pielke Jr. does not mention IPAT, or any of the people behind it, although it is the basis of his analysis, and his leading Methodology citation.

  137. Dr. Doug says:
    July 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm
    Joseph (1:44 pm), you’re repeating Willis’s ‘Beer Identity’, which was well refuted on that thread. GDP is close to an encompassing measure of energy-using activity. Houses are not.
    ————–
    Yes, that is the point. The kaya identity does not demonstrate a relationship between the variables, it is the correct way of representing them if they do have that relationship. The identity is true with any variables, the output will be total carbon emissions. That is why it is trivially true. If you are going to argue that population and GDP are important variables in dealing with and lowering climate emissions, you still have to make that argument. The kaya identity doesn’t make it for you. It has no predictive power, you need to punch in the correct values for it to work. It does not tell you what will happen to carbon emissions if you adjust the variables. That was the point Willis was making and it was not refuted. That is what the identity is. If you know total carbon emissions, you can create the variables and the equation will be true. With that being said, RPJR is making the argument that these are the correct variables for this to have some predictive power, he is making the argument that these are the ‘knobs’. Although, I don’t know to what precision and I have seen no predictions verified. That is what is frustrating. The identity tricks people into thinking it is an equation that demonstrates a relationship. It tricks people into thinking it is an equation with predictive power. It is not.

  138. The rather obvious omission for me is that climate affects energy consumption. Here in Australia, even though we don’t have large differences in climate across the country, household energy consumption in the cooler states and territory is double that of the warmest state.

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4670.0main+features132012

    Were a climate factor to be introduced into the equation, it would show, that for most of the developed world, increasing CO2 emissions would result in declining demand for energy. A rather inconvenient truth for the Warmists.

  139. Dr. Doug says:
    July 24, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I’ve grown tired reading most of the comments on the three articles related to the Kaya identify; so I’ve run out of steam and haven’t read all your comments.

    But I must say I fully agree with your most recent comment (cited above). In particularly, there seems to be a subset of Kaya objectors who reject it mainly because they feel that it can be abused by the warmists. Also, it’s one thing to be a skeptic and another to be paranoid.

    Thanks for your thoughtful post.

    Dan

  140. Units are not variables.

    Say it again:

    Units are not variables.

    The “Kaya Identity” is actually:

    V CO2 = W Population × X (GDP/Population) × Y(Energy/GDP) × Z(CO2/Energy)

    Note the units properly cancel, so that the result on the RHS is the same units as the LHS.

    Note that there is nothing about this that is an identity – without units, it looks like:

    V = W * X * Y * Z

    V varies for any change in W, X, Y or Z.

    You cannot construct this “identity” algebraically:

    V = V

    V = W * X * Y * Z ???

    Please, for those people that want to write out the “Kaya Identity”, stop omitting the variables.

  141. Edim says:
    July 24, 2014 at 6:00 am
    “What it says to me is that it doesn’t matter whether P, GDP or TE are changed, carbon emissions will stay the same.” How does it say that? C = P*(GDP/P)*(TE/GDP)*(C/TE)

    If P is doubled, then C remains unchanged. Perhaps the C on the RHS is not the same as the C on the LHS.

    Perhaps the two Ps on the RHS are in fact different quantities. That was the problem when another writer wrote miles = hours * (miles / hour). The writer didn’t appear to notice that it is “hours” outside the brackets but “hour” inside.

    I still can’t see what I’m missing, but other learned folk are having earnest discussions, so I’ll leave it at that. Thanks for trying to help.

  142. krischel says:
    July 24, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Wow, a couple of cogent comments, the most recent by krischel (cited above). All of this hullabaloo because someone decided to “dumb down” the Kaya identity with a dimensional representation using non-mathematical, sophmoric nomenclature.

    Taking Krischels comment one step forward, a rational use of this equation might be to take the total differential of V using the chain rule to show the individual influence (via partial derivatives) of each RHS variable. This would provides a localized and linear set of sensitivity parameters, telling how V is influenced by W, X, Y, and Z independently . . . and also allow what-if analyses.

    Is it decisive in resolving the climate scientific and policy debate. . . no! But can the method provide insight. . . possibly so as has be done for similar zeroth and first order equation used in engineering.

    Dan

  143. mjc says:
    July 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Yes, mjc, you are correct that population (or GDP) is an integer number (not a unit) at a given time. However, since both population and GDP can and usually do vary with time for a given economy, it would be more correctly termed a “variable” rather than a “constant”.

    Regards

    Dan

  144. Dr. Doug says:
    July 24, 2014 at 12:30 pm
    “Nonetheless, I’m not sure how much would be gained by quantifying the effect of land area on E/GDP. Land area is not itself a policy variable. Perhaps it might be useful to look at something more concrete like land-freight ton-miles (or tonne-kilometres), which may depend on land area (or more generally on geography), along with energy usage per ton-mile. The latter is potentially a policy variable, for example in promoting railways over trucks (lorries).”

    I also am not sure what tying in the effect of land on E/GDP would gain us but it *might* enable us to suggest new policy options that are not obviously apparent. I, personally, don’t really believe that the OP has found a meaningful way of relating land to the rest of the Kaya factors but I do believe that such a meaningful relationship might well exist. OTOH, maybe something like E/(ton-mile)*tonnage*total miles might be a better way to think about this stuff. Or maybe none of this stuff will add anything at all – I certainly can’t tell at this point.

    Johan says:
    July 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm
    ““Land area” is not what matters, but the “availability of natural resources”. And that could be a relevant “policy variable”. In the same sense that a country could try to improve its energy intensity (by means of introducing more energy efficient technologies), that same country could also try to improve the efficiency with which it “extracts and uses” it natural resources (including both replenishable and non-replenishable resources).”

    If the OP is talking about resources, his wording is very poor. Most people would consider that Kuwait has lots of resources and little land – so what is its L value? Perhaps you have something in mind here, but I have a hard time even imagining how one could measure the availability of resources in a way that will combine all sorts of resources into a single number. How would you measure the resources in Kuwait? What units would you use? How about Russia and Japan?

    More fundamentally what makes a resource? If a particular type of appliance generates a demand for a particular(formerly useless non-resource) mineral- how do we measure the increase in L? What happens to L if that appliance stops using that mineral?

    Cheers, :)

  145. The thing is, you are going to be working with ‘snapshots’ so neither really applies…but calling them units is definitely way off the mark.

    One class short of a math major before chucking it all…decided it wasn’t worth when my differential calculus prof said the expected time to complete the one equation assigned for homework was the entire weekend And that was over 25 yrs ago, so my ‘in depth’ math skills are bit rusty.

  146. Dr. Doug says:
    July 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm
    Gary, if you read Roger Pielke Jr.’s work (linked in the previous post), you’ll see that technological advance appears twice within the Kaya framework:…

    Ah, well, i don’t have the stomach for Pielke jr. Let me put it this way then. The policies to reduce CO2 emissions could slow down the development of technology and make things worse for no benefits.

  147. JamesNV says:
    July 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    “If you had the ears of policy makers, would you continue to argue about uncertainties (and quickly lose the ears of policy makers) or would you try to mitigate some of the damage they were about to do?”

    If I had the ears of policy makers, I would demonstrate the futility and danger inherent in what they are trying to do. Do you remember the movie ‘War Games’? In the climax of that movie, they teach the computer the futility of nuclear war by first playing countless games of tic-tac-toe, a futile game for any modestly intelligent players. The computer learned that some games have no winners.

    In this case, we would play Kaya games. They would be instructed to pick any problem that faced any society in the past and, based on the knowledge of that time, construct a simple identity that defined the problem. Then they would be instructed to research what actually happened to resolve the issue. In almost every case, the solution would not be forthcoming from the ‘identity’, and tweaking the identity ‘knobs’ would have made the situation worse, not better. They would learn that using such identities to develop long term policy would almost invariably do more harm than good.

    So what should they do? I described that in my post this morning:

    “In order to make good decisions, those decisions should be focused on the short term, and the main objective should be the strengthening of the position of future decision makers. That means the current policies should promote adaptability in all areas while enhancing the financial strength of future generations to deal with their issues; issues that they will certainly understand far better than we do today. It means the science is constantly assessed, along with the current state of the population and their needs.”

  148. Dr. Doug says:
    July 24, 2014 at 11:50 am

    “Jim, any policy tool can be used either well or poorly. Don’t you see value in Pielke’s conclusions about British energy policy?”

    No, because the assumption that ‘CO2 emissions must be reduced’ is not valid. The science does not support the assumption and, even if it did, the British energy policy would have no discernible impact on the issue. It will be all pain and no gain for the Brits. They will be less able to contribute to a future solution because they will be handicapped by the proposed regulations now. Those are the facts!

    It would be far better for the British people, today and for the generations to come, if they concentrated on the most efficient use of their limited resources to promote the economic strength and physical adaptability of their systems. The ‘marginal’ or future changes to the system should be decided on those principles. The implementation of the Kaya identity works against those goals. It does more harm than good by sacrificing the present for a hypothetical future (described by the Kaya identity) that has almost no chance of happening!

  149. Forrest Gardener says:

    “C = P*(GDP/P)*(TE/GDP)*(C/TE)

    If P is doubled, then C remains unchanged. Perhaps the C on the RHS is not the same as the C on the LHS.”

    C doesn’t (necessarily) remains unchanged, it depends on the other values/ratios. If all the other ratios remain unchanged (while P doubles), then C doubles. However, if the ratios remain unchanged, then for example GDP has to double too, in order for GDP/P to remain unchanged (2GDP/2P). Energy has to double too, for TE/GDP to remain unchanged (2TE/2GDP). C has to double in order for C/TE to remain unchanged (2C/2TE).

    After doubling of P, C can amount to any value value, depending on the other ratios (GDP/P, TE/GDP, C/TE). There are infinite number of changes in the ratios, which amount to unchanged C. Basically:

    C2/C1 = RHS2/RHS1,
    C2 =C1*RHS2/RHS1

    Only if RHS2/RHS1 equals 1, then C remains unchanged (C2 = C1).

  150. It gives the illusion of having control knobs

    Only if you are stupid. If you get illusions of control knobs from any mathematical identity you are in over your head and should probably spend more time at other interests.

  151. Jim Clarke.
    Great Comment.
    So it is a Rorchach test.
    The Kaya Identity means whatever you need it to mean.
    This is post #4 on this tool of bureaucracy.
    What I find most interesting is the various POV, many of which require assumptions not spelt out in this poorly expressed “creation”.
    Communication is only possible(meaningful) if the terms are agreed upon.
    This thing, Kaya Identity,does little to enhance communication.
    Seems designed to prevent understanding,almost a perfect device for the Cult of Calamitous Carbon Dioxide.AKA the IPCC.

  152. DanMet’al:

    You (deliberately ?) get everything the wrong way round in your post at July 24, 2014 at 7:04 pm that says to Dr. Doug

    But I must say I fully agree with your most recent comment (cited above). In particularly, there seems to be a subset of Kaya objectors who reject it mainly because they feel that it can be abused by the warmists.

    NO! The main objection to the propaganda tool known as the ‘Kaya Identity’ is that it only has one use, and that use is to frame discussion on the basis of warmunist prejudices to the complete exclusion of logic, evidence and science.

    Simply, the ‘Kaya Identity’ is a special case of the Big Lie propaganda tactic and it has no other possible purpose than promotion of ‘Big Lie’.

    I recognise that warmunists have difficulty understanding that some of us trust logic, evidence and science more than what we “feel”, but please try to understand that your emphasis on feelings is regarded idiocy by we rationalists.

    Richard

  153. Fundamentals matter. CO2 is a valuable planetary resource, so Australia is far more productive per capita than Singapore.

  154. Willis – thanks for your analysis. Yes, the Kaya identity is a convenient distortion whose “real value is in its use, as a claim to authority“. I think there is more wrong with it than you have covered in your article (not a criticism : there is a limit to how much one article can cover). Take, for example, emissions/GDP : the claim to authority embedded in this is that countries need to enforce the reduction of their rate of emission per unit of GDP (think carbon tax, ETS, mandatory renewable energy target, etc). But, as you indicate, the equation is not as linearly simple as that. The fact is that cheap energy is a major driver of GDP, and fossil fuels have been and still are the dominant source of cheap energy. You can’t simply enforce the replacement of some or all of the energy with lower-CO2-emitting energy, and expect anything remotely like a proportional result in ‘emissions/GDP’ – if the replacement energy is more expensive than the energy it replaces (and by definition, in a competitive economy it will be more expensive otherwise it would already be being used) then the product of the energy becomes less affordable and less competitive, hence everything in the economy gets squeezed and the end result is that GDP is reduced. And that is likely to be a disaster for everyone. That is not allowed for in the Kaya identity – and nor are many other important real-world factors.

    The Kaya identity is based on a zero-sum way of thinking, and its uses are deliberately top-down. ie, wrt real life its usage gets everything exactly backwards.

  155. dp says:
    July 25, 2014 at 12:04 am
    It gives the illusion of having control knobs

    Only if you are stupid. If you get illusions of control knobs from any mathematical identity you are in over your head and should probably spend more time at other interests.
    ————

    dp, are you actually argueing that the identity is not used for predictive purposes in policy making? Don’t get me wrong, I agree that it does not demonstrate control knobs. But, I have no doubt that politicians and others see kaya and think they can predict what will happen to CO2 emissions if they shut down sugar cane farming in Florida and drop GDP .3% (making up numbers). Thats the issue. It is very hard for people to understand that this does not represent a relationship between the variables.

  156. richardscourtney repeats:
    ”There is NO EVIDENCE for anthropogenic global warming (AGW); n.b. none zilch, nada.”

    Evidence: CO2 increases roughly correlates with documented warming and man emits CO2.

    There, now you look rather more like a fanatic spouting a platitude than a scientist dispassionately evaluating and communicating information.

    I’m not saying its convincing evidence. I’m saying you can find some evidence for any nutty hypothesis such as the ‘moon is made of cheese’ (it has the appearance of cheese, that’s evidence). Saying there’s no evidence for AGW puts you in a pretty precarious position in a debate whereas saying there’s no convincing evidence doesn’t.


    You’re the one that convinced me that the majority of climate scientists in the warmist camp had gotten there honestly; that we should call CAGW a “bandwagon” instead of a hoax. How does that happen without some small teeny tiny shred of evidence no matter how trivial to support it?

    Or as a prominent atmospheric physicist once put it:
    “The influence of mankind on climate is trivially true and numerically insignificant.” – Richard Lindzen

    Why would Richard Lindzen characterize it as trivially true if there were “no” (zero, zilch, nada) evidence for it?

    All I’m saying is that “No” (Zero, Zilch, nada) is just too easily toppled by even the slightest bit of insignificant evidence.

  157. @ John West says:

    July 25, 2014 at 5:41 am

    richardscourtney repeats:
    ”There is NO EVIDENCE for anthropogenic global warming (AGW); n.b. none zilch, nada.”

    I suppose the question is: “What is meant by anthropogenic global warming (AGW)?

    If they mean an anthropogenic contribution to global warming, then while there may not by conclusive proof, the science suggests, as Lindzen states, that it may be “trivially true and numerically insignificant.”

    But, if they mean anthropogenic CO2 emissions are the CAUSE of global warming (which seems to be the description many apply to “AGW”), then no, there is no evidence.

    At least, that’s my take.

  158. The point of this article seems simple enough. REPLACE population (P) with land area (A) and the Kaya Identity is still true. Economic activity is then GDP/square km, not GDP/Person, yet the Kaya identity is still true.

    C = A * G/A * E/G * C/E

    The purpose of the Kaya Identity is simple. To paint Population (P) as the bad guy. That is why P is singled out on its own. However, when we replace P with A, the Identity still holds, so P cannot be the problem, rather A (surface area) is the problem.

    So the Kaya solution to CO2 emissions is to make countries smaller, while keeping economic efficiency unchanged!! Which is just as nonsensical as changing the population and keeping economic efficiency unchanged.

  159. A the heart of the Kaya Identity is this:

    P * G/P

    However, if we were to half the population we would get:

    .5P * G/.5P

    Which would not change CO2 emissions at all!!. So what Kaya is implying is that if we half the population we would actually get:

    .5P * G/P

    Which is at the very least misleading.

  160. The warmist case:

    1) Burning fossil fuels releases CO2 into the atmosphere in quantities that exceed the natural sinks such that atmospheric CO2 increases even though anthropogenic sources are small in comparison to natural sources because they a large in comparison to sources not matched by sinks. Burning fossil fuels basically transfers carbon from the geologic carbon cycle into the biologic carbon cycle faster than the natural transfer from the biologic carbon cycle to the geologic carbon cycle causing an imbalance in the system manifested by an increase atmospheric CO2.

    2) Doubling CO2 increases greenhouse effect (GHE) heat flux by about 3.7 W/m2 (per Q=5.35Ln(pCO2f/pCO2i)) and suppresses outgoing long wave radiation (IR) via absorption and re-emission.

    3) The 3.7 W/m2 increase in down welling heat flux (Radiative Forcing (RF)) causes the surface to be warmer on average by significantly reducing net radiative heat loss at night and insignificantly adding to the direct heating during the day.

    4) The warmer surface emits more IR and causes the atmosphere to become warmer via convection, conduction, and radiative heat transfer.

    5) The earth-atmosphere system as a whole must warm enough for the effective radiative top of atmosphere (TOA ,~20km) to emit the additional IR to space, basically obtain radiative balance.

    6) The climate warms about 1 degree Celsius on average globally to accomplish the initial radiative balancing on a decadal timescale termed the Transient Sensitivity (TS) or Transient Climate Response (TCR).

    7) The 1 degree Celsius warming causes changes in the system such as increased humidity and changes in cloudiness which amplifies the warming to 3 degrees Celsius on a centurial timescale termed the Equilibrium Sensitivity(ES) or Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS), via an approximate feedback factor (ff) of about 0.8, (note: feedback factor is less than 1, so there’s no danger of “runaway” GW) described by dT=[ES][dRF] and [ES]=[TS] + (ff)[TS] + (ff)^2[TS] + (ff)^3[TS] + (ff)^4[TS] ……… to convergence for all practical purposes. (dT = change in temperature and dRF = change in radiative forcing)

    8) 3 degrees C of warming globally on average above pre-industrial global average would cause significant harm to civilization(s) and ecosystems around the world.

    Of course, we can poke holes in most if not all the above points but there is at least some tiny bit of evidence in support of each of these points. If someone is truly “on the fence” or just starting “to look at the issue for themselves” your arguments are going to be summarily dismissed if you try to tell them there’s “no” evidence for the above points in part or in whole. Our strength is that we can be totally and brutally honest; no hidden data, no lies of omission, no spin required. I can produce the warmist case above as diligently as I am capable with full confidence that it doesn’t meaningfully challenge the “skeptic’s case” that has been presented, developed, and refined right here at WUWT in both eloquent and not so eloquent posts and comments over many years. I guess if I had to sum up my objection to saying there’s “no” evidence for AGW is that it smacks of “the D word”.

    Where’d that soap box come from? Why am I standing on it?

  161. John West:

    In your post at July 25, 2014 at 5:41 am you quote my having made the true and accurate statement

    There is NO EVIDENCE for anthropogenic global warming (AGW); n.b. none zilch, nada.

    And you reply with this nonsense

    Evidence: CO2 increases roughly correlates with documented warming and man emits CO2.

    There, now you look rather more like a fanatic spouting a platitude than a scientist dispassionately evaluating and communicating information.

    I’m not saying its convincing evidence. I’m saying you can find some evidence for any nutty hypothesis such as the ‘moon is made of cheese’ (it has the appearance of cheese, that’s evidence). Saying there’s no evidence for AGW puts you in a pretty precarious position in a debate whereas saying there’s no convincing evidence doesn’t.

    NO! Correlation is NOT evidence of causation.

    That “CO2 increases roughly correlates with documented warming and man emits CO2” is NOT evidence for a causal relationship. Similarly, US postal costs roughly correlates with documented warming and the US government sets US postal costs. Similarly, and etc., etc., etc..

    The is no evidence of anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW); none, zilch nada.
    My stating that scientific truth is a scientist dispassionately evaluating and communicating information as clearly and unambiguously as I can, and your misrepresentation cannot change that.

    Importantly, my stating that truth does NOT may put me “in a pretty precarious position in a debate”. I have won every public debate on AGW in which I have been invited to participate, and I win by sticking rigidly to the truth.

    You say to me

    You’re the one that convinced me that the majority of climate scientists in the warmist camp had gotten there honestly; that we should call CAGW a “bandwagon” instead of a hoax. How does that happen without some small teeny tiny shred of evidence no matter how trivial to support it?

    The answer is that snake-oil-salesmen don’t need real snakes to make snake oil. AGW-alarmists are selling fear of AGW, and the fear does not require real AGW to make it. This is why the alarmists have adopted the Kaya Identity: the adoption by-passes the fact that there is no evidence for AGW and discusses which ‘flavour’ of snake oil should be purchased.

    To prove me wrong you only need to state one piece of evidence so you can claim, your Nobel Prizes.

    And you fail in your attempt to isolate my factual view when you conclude by writing

    Or as a prominent atmospheric physicist once put it:

    The influence of mankind on climate is trivially true and numerically insignificant.

    – Richard Lindzen
    Why would Richard Lindzen characterize it as trivially true if there were “no” (zero, zilch, nada) evidence for it?

    All I’m saying is that “No” (Zero, Zilch, nada) is just too easily toppled by even the slightest bit of insignificant evidence.

    Lindzen is correct that the “influence of mankind on climate is trivially true and numerically insignificant”. People affect climate in many ways; e.g. the urban heat island effect(UHI). But it is so numerically insignificant that it cannot be discerned as a global effect.

    Yes, the factual statement that there is no evidence for AGW would be “toppled” by provision of one, single, solitary bit of the slightest insignificant evidence. The power of the factual statement is that it cannot be “toppled” because it is true. As I said to you in my post at July 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm which you have answered

    Contrary to your assertion,
    There is NO EVIDENCE for anthropogenic global warming (AGW); n.b. none, zilch, nada.

    Three decades of research conducted world-wide at a cost of more than US$5 billion per annum have failed to find any such evidence. If you think you have some then publish it because the discoverer of such evidence will be awarded at least one Novel Prize and probably several Nobel Prizes.

    Evading the fact that there is no evidence for AGW is one of the purposes of propaganda tricks such as the Kaya Identity.

    Richard

  162. ferdberple says:
    July 25, 2014 at 7:01 am
    ——————————–
    Exactly, it is not hard to demonstrate the Kaya identity has no predictive power. Those people using it (RPJR) are arguing that these variables do have some predictive power. They seem to be conveniently avoiding the point that Kaya doesn’t and they are also avoiding correcting people who use Kaya as a predictive tool. After watching some lectures by RPJR in order to try to figure out this ‘identity’, I am not impressed with the kaya identity (by definition there is no reason for anyone to be) and I am even less impressed with RPJR’s work.

  163. richardscourtney says:

    ”Correlation is NOT evidence of causation.

    Of course it is. Try having causation without correlation. Correlation is not CONCLUSIVE PROOF of causation or in statistical parlance doesn’t imply causation, but it is evidence albeit of a circumstantial variety. Correlation is evidence that is more than ‘none, nada, zilch’ but less than convincing.

  164. ferdberple says:
    July 25, 2014 at 7:08 am

    “However, if we were to half the population we would get:

    .5P * G/.5P”

    No, the P and G/P are essentially independent. With half the population, we get

    .5P * (G/P)

    The GDP per capita is assumed not to change with a change in the population. It is assumed that each worker, each “capita”, puts in the same effort before the population change as after.

  165. Or, you could say

    .5P * (.5G/.5P)

    With half the population, you presumably get half the GDP. That is the implicit relationship in the ratios – the ratios remain constant unless you some how change them, e.g., by introducing new technology. But, you can change them individually without, at least to a first order of approximation, affecting the others.

  166. John West:

    Please stop making a fool of yourself in public. Your post at July 25, 2014 at 10:21 am attempts to defend your having said

    Evidence: CO2 increases roughly correlates with documented warming and man emits CO2.

    I had refuted that by showing that each of many things “roughly correlates with documented warming” and by stating that correlation is not evidence of causation.

    Your daft reply says in total

    richardscourtney says:

    Correlation is NOT evidence of causation.

    Of course it is. Try having causation without correlation. Correlation is not CONCLUSIVE PROOF of causation or in statistical parlance doesn’t imply causation, but it is evidence albeit of a circumstantial variety. Correlation is evidence that is more than ‘none, nada, zilch’ but less than convincing.

    You really, really don’t understand this subject.
    Absence of correlation is conclusive evidence that there is not a causal relationship.
    Correlation absolutely and certainly is NOT evidence of a causal relationship because – as you admit – it does NOT imply causation.

    There is NO EVIDENCE for anthropogenic global warming (AGW); n.b. none, zilch, nada.

    In the 1990s Ben Santer claimed to have found some such evidence but it was soon revealed that his finding was an artifact of his having chosen a selected portion of data from near the middle of a time series.

    Evading the fact that there is no evidence for AGW is one of the purposes of propaganda tricks such as the Kaya Identity.

    Richard

  167. Oops!
    Important typo.

    I wrote
    Absence of correlation is conclusive evidence that there is not a causal relationship.
    But, of course, I intended to write
    Absence of correlation is conclusive evidence that there is not a direct causal relationship.

    Sorry.

    Richard

  168. richardscourtney says:
    ”The answer is that snake-oil-salesmen don’t need real snakes to make snake oil.”

    But they do need snakes to either exist, have had previously existed, or at least for people to believe they had previously existed.

    AGW-alarmists are selling fear of AGW, and the fear does not require real AGW to make it.

    True but it does need some potential based on some trivially true facts, like the “Ban DHMO” faux Zohnerism.

    ”This is why the alarmists have adopted the Kaya Identity: the adoption by-passes the fact that there is no evidence for AGW and discusses which ‘flavour’ of snake oil should be purchased.”
    Completely agree.

    ”To prove me wrong you only need to state one piece of evidence so you can claim, your Nobel Prizes“

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas & man emits CO2.
    (I can do this all day.)

    On correlation:
    If I were on trial the prosecution would present any evidence that my position correlated to the time and place of the crime; this would establish opportunity and be considered circumstantial but nevertheless an essential component of a line of evidence establishing my guilt. The defense however would present any evidence that my position did not correlate to the time and place of the crime and therefore could not have perpetrated the crime. The correlation is very weak evidence for my guilt but de-correlation is very strong evidence for my innocence. Similarly, correlation is merely one weak but essential component of the line of evidence necessary for AGW. Of course the correlation is rapidly falling apart with GW pause and CO2 rising which as more time goes by the de-correlation becomes strong evidence against AGW.

    You do realize our positions only vary by one word?

    ”Evading the fact that there is no”convincing” evidence for AGW is one of the purposes of propaganda tricks such as the Kaya Identity.

    You continue on and on with:
    ”Please stop making a fool of yourself … Your daft reply … You really, really don’t understand this subject.”
    Tauntology doesn’t become you my friend.

    Who are you and what have you done with Richard?

  169. Joseph Murphy says:
    July 25, 2014 at 4:35 am

    dp, are you actually argueing that the identity is not used for predictive purposes in policy making? Don’t get me wrong, I agree that it does not demonstrate control knobs.

    Not at all. In fact if it has other uses I’d be surprised. Implementing the Kaya Identity is like tennis with the net down. It is very easy to create important looking slides that can be used to misinform people with learning challenges or worry why there are voices behind the curtain. Because it was intended to create policies regarding renewable energy it also requires accepting an unstated requirement: That decarbonizing the global economy is urgently necessary and not an option. I don’t accept that as a given. The Kaya Identity actually demonstrates the futility of suggesting it, in fact.

    The modern world is inconsistent with a decarbonized global economy and policies that mandate decarbonization will be effective only at the point of a gun. Nobody is going to accept the Haiti model of human existence without a fight. The sooner we advance the current crop of green politicians out of the political process the better. Perhaps they could be rounded up and placed barefoot at Kaho`olawe, Hawai`i where they can create a natural paradise free of the trappings of modernity. Their success as the first `ohana of Kaho`olawe will be proof that there is much to be appreciated in abject poverty that the rest of us are missing.

    I will also add that I don’t find the idea of the Kaya Identity being only a political tool invalidates it. Politicians need tools, too. Politics is a necessary evil in society and they will have and use tools. Give that their product is akin to prestidigitation it should be expected that they will use amazing tools such as the miracle molecule CO2 and mathematics that oversimplify the complexities of the physical world to blunt criticism of their latest crazy agenda. The policies of climate management won’t be driven by science and it should not be left to scientists to fight that battle. The successful skeptic battle will be won via politics. The war will go on until a new better wedge is found to drive between the haves and have-nots.

  170. John West:

    You continue to make silly statements with your post at July 25, 2014 at 1:57 pm and you say you “can continue to do it all day”.

    I believe your claim that you can repeat daft assertions: you have clearly demonstrated that. However, it is sad that you accuse me of “tauntology” when I advise you to stop making a fool of yourself by iterating untrue and illogical nonsense.

    I will try another tack.

    There is a correlation between people who sell bridges and people who claim to own bridges. indeed, the correlation is so good that every legally purchased bridge was sold by a person who claimed to own the bridge.

    You say that correlation is evidence. OK. In that case I say I own Tower Bridge in London so you have evidence you can buy it from me. How much will you pay?

    Remember, this is really about your refusal to acknowledge the fact that there is no evidence of any kind for AGW. If you had any actual evidence – however poor – then you would be citing it instead of foolishly asserting the nonsensical falsehood that correlation is evidence of causation.

    Richard

  171. richardscourtney says:
    July 25, 2014 at 1:50 am

    Thank you Mr. Courtney for your (not so) kind words. But I must correct you on a major point; I am a full blooded skeptic. But as a skeptic, I think that scientific argument should be based on both sound science and mathematics without regard as to whether the AGW intelligentsia might abuse an equation.

    You seem to be fighting a different war than I, and with different weapons; that’s OK and frankly it’s your choice. But why do you seemingly attempt to alienate some of us that could be your allies? Truly, I’m flabbergasted! . . . correct me if I’m wrong. . . I’m Gob-smacked! . . . My mom was born on the Firth of Clyde, but I never got the Scottish lingo. . . so forgive me if “Gob-smacked” is inappropriate.

    Cheers to you Richard.

    Dan

  172. @ richardscourtney

    This is getting tiresome. Looking back through it seems we’re using the word “evidence” differently. You seem to be using the word evidence as if it equates to proof and I seem to be using the word evidence as any fact or tidbit of data that aligns with or as the warmists have worn out is consistent with a hypothesis. As sloppy as English is I’d wager both usages are acceptable. I would certainly agree that there’s no proof of AGW and I suspect you’d agree there are a few (not many) facts that are consistant with AGW.

    Cheers.

  173. John West says:

    Evidence: CO2 increases roughly correlates with documented warming and man emits CO2.

    I’m sorry, that’s not evidence. That is an example of coincidental corellation. Claims of scientific evidence is one of my pet peeves. Evidence consists of raw data, or verified empirical observations and facts. Evidence does not consist of peer reviewed papers, or computer climate models, or coincidences like the T/CO2 corellation you noted.

    [And the fact is that ∆CO2 is caused by ∆T. However, there is no evidence that ∆T causes ∆CO2. That causation is critical in the AGW claim.]

    I don’t want to get further into this particular debate. Just wanted to note what ‘evidence’ is.

    Cheers to all.

  174. DanMet’al:

    I am replying to your probably disingenuous post at July 25, 2014 at 3:48 pm in reply to my post at July 25, 2014 at 1:50 am.

    I provide this link to my post because I stand by every word of it and I ask people to refresh their memories of it.

    You reply to it saying

    You seem to be fighting a different war than I, and with different weapons

    Yes. I am fighting – and for over three decades I have been fighting – a war to defend science against its abuse, misuse and distortion by political forces. My “weapons” are truth, evidence and logic.

    The Kaya Identity is an abomination: it pretends to be ‘science’ but is solely a political propaganda tool.

    Richard

  175. John West:

    I am replying to your post at July 25, 2014 at 6:34 pm.

    Correlation is NOT evidence of causality for a reason that you stated. As you said – and I quoted – correlation does not imply causality: if it does not imply causality then it cannot be evidence for causality.

    Your refusal to accept this fact is evidence that you are obtuse. And I refer you to the post of dbstealey at July 25, 2014 at 7:01 pm.

    This will be my last reply on the matter because I am wasting time discussing your daft refusal to understand that correlation is not evidence of causality.

    Richard

  176. [The Future of a Tautology]

    Concerning the Kaya identity, the first thing I would be interested in is energy efficiency, which I don’t exactly see in the equation: you could keep TE the same by an invention such as the Wheel and TE’s efficiency would increase. If GDP happened to go up, that wouldn’t bother Kaya in any way, would it? But hopefully people wouldn’t turn this gain of efficiency into making artistic marks on stone walls, digging holes then filling them up, or growing a lot of tulips. Anyway, we’ve seen by now that people have much better things to do, like worrying about C and getting ready for its Apocalypse by establishing the Totalitarian Utopia stat by any means necessary!

    Ahh, but if we were to ever get hold of Fire, that’s where the real trouble starts for C. One thing leads to another as P and GDP increase, and pretty soon we’re spinning out of control, despite more inventions which massively increase the efficiency of by then, “Fossil Fuel Energy”. At some point people wouldn’t even need wooden teeth anymore, but we’d be getting nearly to “the destruction of creation” at a “virtually certain” level. So the only thing we could do is go way back to the time before the invention of these two devils-in-disguise, “before it’s too late!” But we certainly wouldn’t need Kaya to tell us that, either!

    But others just don’t care if all of Kaya’s variables increase, as long as they are free to invent things and innovate systems which help people deal with other problems, the unfortunate consequence of which is that they might get rich, assist everyone else in getting richer than anyone in the Stone Age could ever imagine, and also help to create “the obscene inequality between the rich and poor nations,” which we know eventually brings on The Wrath of Gaia! But for some strange reason, these Stone Age Raaaacists! don’t want to go back there.

  177. The original Identity as given by Yoichi Kaya, implicitly includes area. Each term is prefaced with the words, global or world. And CO2 emissions are given as the global total. This is what gives the Kaya relevance for global climate!

    The IPCC omits the words global or world from its version of the Identity. I compared both version here.

    Whether intentional or not, the omission of a qualifying preface for emissions, amounts to the “omitted variable problem”.

    If you are dealing with climate, presumably the extent of emission would be of relevance.
    A distinct lack of concern for the climate is apparent in comparisons of economies that ignore emissions as a percentage of the globe, either by land area or total contribution!

    I have argued that the “factors” themselves are misleading without qualifying the geographical area upon which, the economies operate.

    Examining an economy in the context of climate and not including the fact that it represented 8 percent of the globe (Such as in the case of Russia), could be characterised as misleading, at the very least!

  178. I disagree with Dr Roy Spencer.

    He wrote the following on his blog:

    “But the same as true of just about any equation where the physical units must balance on both sides: say, the equation to estimate the miles driven if you know the average speed and the total time driving:

    Miles = [hours]x[miles/hour]

    You can cancel out the “hour” terms in the above equation, and get the seemingly trivial result that “miles=miles”… but the equation is still useful.”

    I commented:

    Dr Roy, I can’t believe that you could mix up units with the variables of a formula!

    Units are never explicitly handled by a formula. The result must balance dimensionally or it is badly formed.

    You have mistakenly illustrated dimensional analysis for a formula.

    Miles = [hours]x[miles/hour], all of these are units not magnitudes.

    They should be replaced by variables to create a properly formed formula:

    Miles (Total miles traveled) = k = ?
    hours (Total hours ) = h = 2
    speed (Displacement/Elapsed time or Miles/hour) = s = 100

    k= s x h

    k = 100 x 2

    k= 200

    Total MILES traveled = 200

    Your answer is expected to be in Miles, not miles per hour and so it is, because dimensionally, the hours cancel!

    And it is absolutely appropriate to add values to the variables of an identity* because this is in fact the proof!

    The IPCC call the Kaya a multiplicative identity and that is what it is!

    * I am specifically talking about adding values to an Identity not a formula. The way an Identity is tested (In the strictly mathematical sense.) is to give its variables values and to calculate if the LHS = the RHS.

  179. Apparently there is a SCOTT BENNETT Identity doing the rounds.

    Since I have never actually written one* and others have proffered “my version”, I would like to have a go!

    For the particular rather than the universal case, I would render it thusly:

    CO2 Emissions ÷ Percentage of Globe ≡ (Population × (GDP/Population) × (Energy/GDP) × (CO2/Energy)) ÷ Percentage of Globe ;-)

    *A mathematical IDENTITY not a formula and not an equation!

  180. @ richardscourtney

    You can call me daft all you want it doesn’t change the fact that correlation (technically association) is one of the three conditions that must be met to establish causal relationship / association (direction of influence and non-spuriousness being the other two conditions), therefore observations of correlation are evidence (in the broader sense) that the correlation condition has been met for causation and therefore evidence (in the broader sense) for AGW. If temperatures and CO2 hadn’t both risen (correlated) in the late 20th century we wouldn’t have had this AGW mess to begin with because the correlation (association) condition would not have been met.

    Regardless, I noticed you didn’t attempt to discredit the evidentiary status of the radiative properties of CO2, which I also noted as evidence for AGW. Laboratory experiments provide ample evidence (even by you and dbstealey’s standards) that CO2 is a GHG, another necessary component of AGW therefore a component of the line of evidence for AGW. Similarly, if CO2 weren’t a GHG we wouldn’t have had this AGW mess to begin with because there would be no mechanism for the increase in CO2 to cause warming therefore the association would likely be the other direction (which we know is true from observational evidence of CO2 dissolution properties) or spurious.

    Again, I have to say I think you are taking an untenable position when you assert there is no evidence for AGW. In common usage the word evidence is taken to mean any observation or experimental result which supports a hypothesis in whole or in part. There is observational evidence that CO2 is a GHG and that man emits CO2. That’s 2 components of the line of evidence required to establish a causal relationship between human’s CO2 emissions and warming.

    Of course, since you’ve declared me daft (kinda like another D word) and the debate over; I expect
    I’ll be ignored. Being a skeptic, I’m used to it.

  181. John West:

    re your post at July 26, 2014 at 10:28 am.

    No! I did not call you “daft”. You did that by your ludicrous insistence that correlation is evidence of causation although you admit that correlation does not imply causation.

    There is no evidence for AGW. Three decades of research have failed to find any.

    Richard

  182. richardscourtney says:

    “insistence that correlation is evidence of causation although you admit that correlation does not imply causation.”

    Let’s say I wanted to establish a causal association of A causes B. I’d have to be able to provide convincing evidence that 1) A correlates to B, 2) The direction of correlation is A then B, and 3) that there’s not some 3rd variable C actually causing A & B. So, as you can see, correlation is the first condition that I have to “check off”. So, correlation while certainly not implying causation by itself is certainly required for the causal relationship to be established such that evidence of correlation is part of the evidence for a causal relationship.

  183. John West:

    I congratulate you on your successful trolling of this thread which exists to discuss the Kayla Hypothesis and not your lack of logical comprehension.

    However, your post at July 26, 2014 at 11:01 am provides so illogical an argument that it may be useful to point out your error for some who may not see your illogicality.

    Existence of a necessary condition for something to be true is not evidence that the something is true.

    For example, it is necessary for a person to be in deep water for them to be able to swim, but someone being in deep water is not evidence that he can swim and is swimming. Being or not being in deep water is not evidence of that. And you are drowning.

    Richard

  184. @ richardscourtney

    I apologize for my part in derailing the tread, but of course you do realize it takes two to tango.

    I do appreciate: ”Existence of a necessary condition for something to be true is not evidence that the something is true.”

    You might have me there. I’ll have to chew on it a bit, but for now continuing with your example: if I’m not in deep water, I can’t be swimming.

  185. John West says:

    Laboratory experiments provide ample evidence (even by you and dbstealey’s standards) that CO2 is a GHG…

    No argument from me there. But just because CO2 is a ghg, the real question is: how much effect does it have on global T?

    So far, there are no measurements showing the fraction of a degree warming caused by the rise in CO2. Therefore, the effect must be too small to measure.

    As Willis Eschenbach notes, CO2 is a minor, 3rd-order forcing. It is swamped by much larger second-order forcings — both of which are in turn swamped by first-order forcings.

    Thus, CO2 is a non-player. It just does not matter at all. If it causes global warming, any such warming is minuscule, and should be completely disregarded for all practical purposes.

    Are we on the same page?

  186. @ richardscourtney

    Congratulations to you, on misdirecting me. The issue is not whether correlation is or is not evidence but rather whether there is any evidence in support of AGW, let’s chalk correlation up to a bad choice for an example on my part. You claim there’s no evidence for AGW, so let me just ask what in your opinion would constitute evidence for AGW?

  187. John West:

    I see that you continue your egregious misrepresentations with your post at July 27, 2014 at 7:24 am which says in total

    @ richardscourtney
    Congratulations to you, on misdirecting me. The issue is not whether correlation is or is not evidence but rather whether there is any evidence in support of AGW, let’s chalk correlation up to a bad choice for an example on my part. You claim there’s no evidence for AGW, so let me just ask what in your opinion would constitute evidence for AGW?

    I did NOT misdirect you!
    I refuted your ridiculous claim that a poor correlation is evidence for AGW. You refused to desist from pressing your idiotic contention.

    Evidence was defined by dbstealey in his post addressed to you at July 25, 2014 at 7:01 pm which includes

    Claims of scientific evidence is one of my pet peeves. Evidence consists of raw data, or verified empirical observations and facts. Evidence does not consist of peer reviewed papers, or computer climate models, or coincidences like the T/CO2 corellation you noted.

    [And the fact is that ∆CO2 is caused by ∆T. However, there is no evidence that ∆T causes ∆CO2. That causation is critical in the AGW claim].

    My post addressed to you at July 26, 2014 at 12:16 am referred you to that post of dbstealey so I have addressed the issue of evidence for AGW.

    Evidence for AGW would be observed climate behaviour which is predicted by the AGW-hypothesis and is an unambiguous effect of AGW. There is no evidence of any kind for AGW.

    The Kaya Identity is a political propaganda trick intended to avoid the fact that there is no evidence of any kind for AGW.

    Richard

  188. dbstealey asks:
    ”Are we on the same page?”

    Yes we’re on the same page on the big picture. There is no convincing case for significant AGW!

    What I’m trying to get at is that AGW is not a simple hypothesis like if A then B. It’s more like If A+B+C+D+E+F+G then Z; I agree that there’s no evidence for “A+B+C+D+E+F+G” as a unit but there’s evidence for maybe B and F. So, if you go around saying there’s no evidence for Z and then someone says yea there is: see B and F then it looks as though you’re being misleading because there is some evidence for Z. It may not be logically sound but I think that’s how the average person would see it.

    Why do you think the warmists are always trying to paint us as not believing in the GHE? Because that’s the part they have evidence for and most people will buy it hook, line, and sinker that we’re “the D word” without a clue. As in: ‘See we have all this evidence of the GHE and they say ‘There’s no evidence for AGW’ what “the D word” they must be, poor delusional “the D word”.’

  189. @ richardscourtney

    “Evidence for AGW would be observed climate behaviour which is predicted by the AGW-hypothesis and is an unambiguous effect of AGW. “

    Thank you.
    So that would be like a tropical tropospheric hotspot, polar warming amplification, stratospheric cooling concurrent with tropospheric warming, and an increase in downward IR concurrent with a decrease in outgoing IR?

  190. John West:

    re your questions to me at July 27, 2014 at 8:07 am.

    I answer,
    yes, yes and yes.
    None of those predicted effects has clearly occurred throughout the time when measurements have been possible.

    And I add that absence of an unambiguously predicted effect is conclusive falsification however much supporting evidence exists.

    Richard

    PS Please ensure that any future post you make indicates its relevance to the subject of the thread because I think you are still trolling.

  191. Scott Wilmot Bennett says:
    July 26, 2014 at 7:14 am

    “A distinct lack of concern for the climate is apparent in comparisons of economies that ignore emissions as a percentage of the globe, either by land area or total contribution!”

    No, a distinct lack of concern for the principles of real science and the well being of Humanity is patently obvious in the Beliefs of those who preach the CO2 emission Apocalypse!

  192. richardscourtney says:
    ”Please ensure that any future post you make indicates its relevance to the subject of the thread”

    Sir Yes Sir!

    The thread posits the addition of land area to the Kaya Identity which I pointed out was irrelevant since the Kaya Identity endeavors to identify and relate policy effectible variables to CO2 emissions and land area isn’t significantly policy effectible. At some point the contention was made basically that ‘IF there’s no evidence for AGW THEN the Kaya Identity is merely warmist propaganda (I believe the first word used was actually Caca) to which I agreed but wished to qualify the word evidence with convincing such that it would be: IF there’s no convincing evidence for AGW THEN the Kaya Identity is warmist propaganda. The discussion rapidly degraded into ‘is to/is not’ that really is completely beside the point. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said (cried, screamed, yelled, etc.) ‘Evidence of warming is not evidence of Anthropogenic Warming’ and it’s not, but then again it is to a lot of people. It’s that kind of mindset we have to convince and IMHO we’re not going to do it by giving ammunition to those that want to paint us as “the D word”. We could still lose this war. We win by gaining converts from the undecided/uncommitted and IMHO this requires a humbly uncertain tone of language. Are you really willing to bet the farm that there’s no evidence for the tropical tropospheric hotspot, polar warming amplification, stratospheric cooling concurrent with tropospheric warming, or an increase in downward IR concurrent with a decrease in outgoing IR?

  193. Seems to me a lot of fuss about nothing. If the terms represent something useful for the sake of policy, what’s the beef. The tautology bit is meaningless as they’re figuring the CHANGE in carbon.

    I’m sure there are programmers here who know what this means:

    x = x + 1

    Impossible? Nope. Just shows the change in x as you iterate through a loop where x defines both the beginning and the end of the loop.

  194. Regarding tautologies and meaningful formulas, for a simple example, look at the common formula cited by TimC:
    distance = rate * time
    The tautological view would apply to a question such as:
    A man travels 100 miles in 2 hours. How far did the man travel? Well, we can work it out as rate = 100miles/2hours = 50miles/hour. Therefore, the man traveled distance = 2 hours * 50miles/hour = 100miles. Tautological and not much there. But suppose we know he sometimes went 45miles/hour and sometimes 75miles/hour and many other rates. Then we could chop the time up into intervals in which the rate is constant and compute in the traditional way:
    x = r * t
    dx = rdt + tdr
    By definition, dr = 0 as the chopped intervals have the same rate
    dx = rdt
    x = ʃr(t)dt
    Voila, a tautology becomes a meaningful formula.

  195. John West says:

    Yes we’re on the same page on the big picture.

    Then that is what matters.

    Nitpicking whether or not the tropo hot spot appeared as predicted or not can easily turn into an interminable argument. Even though satellite and radiosonde balloon data show conclusively that the hot spot never appeared as predicted, some will always argue that it did. Same with all the other bits of empirical evidence that destroy the runaway global warming scare. You will never convince some people.

    But you don’t have to. You only need to convince the undecideds in the middle. That is best done using the big picture: global warming has stopped. None of the alarmist predictions have happened. They were wrong. All of them.

    If you argue every time a wild-eyed alarmist true believer raises an argument, you will never see the end of it. It is enough that global warming has stopped. They were wrong. End of story. Case closed.

    Now go forth, and preach the truth.

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