Truly inconvenient truths about climate change being ignored: IPCC's Pachauri says "warming is taking place at a much faster rate"

UPDATE: 11/10 From the Sydney Morning Herald

Michael Duffy

November 8, 2008

Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC Chairman

Last month I witnessed something shocking. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was giving a talk at the University of NSW. The talk was accompanied by a slide presentation, and the most important graph showed average global temperatures. For the past decade it represented temperatures climbing sharply.

As this was shown on the screen, Pachauri told his large audience: “We’re at a stage where warming is taking place at a much faster rate [than before]”.

Now, this is completely wrong. For most of the past seven years, those temperatures have actually been on a plateau. For the past year, there’s been a sharp cooling. These are facts, not opinion: the major sources of these figures, such as the Hadley Centre in Britain, agree on what has happened, and you can check for yourself by going to their websites. Sure, interpretations of the significance of this halt in global warming vary greatly, but the facts are clear.

Satellite derived lower troposphere temperature since 1979 – Click for a larger image

Reference: UAH lower troposphere data

So it’s disturbing that Rajendra Pachauri’s presentation was so erroneous, and would have misled everyone in the audience unaware of the real situation. This was particularly so because he was giving the talk on the occasion of receiving an honorary science degree from the university.

Below: find out how you can tell Mr. Pachauri directly what you think – he has a blog!

Later that night, on ABC TV’s Lateline program, Pachauri claimed that those who disagree with his own views on global warming are “flat-earthers” who deny “the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence”. But what evidence could be more important than the temperature record, which Pachauri himself had fudged only a few hours earlier?

In his talk, Pachauri said the number of global warming sceptics is shrinking, a curious claim he was unable to substantiate when questioned about it on Lateline. Still, there’s no doubt a majority of climate scientists agree with the view of the IPCC.

Today I want to look at why this might be so: after all, such a state of affairs presents a challenge to sceptics such as me. If we’re right, then an awful lot of scientists are wrong. How could this be?

This question was addressed in September in a paper by Professor Richard Lindzen, of the Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lindzen, probably the most qualified prominent global-warming sceptic, suggested that a number of changes in the way science is conducted have contributed to the rise of climate alarmism among American scientists.

Central to this is the importance of government funding to science. Much of that funding since World War II has occurred because scientists build up public fears (examples include fear of the USSR’s superiority in weapons or space travel, of health problems, of environmental degradation) and offer themselves as the solution to those fears. The administrators who work with the scientists join in with enthusiasm: much of their own funding is attached to the scientific grants. Lindzen says this state of affairs favours science involving fear, and also science that involves expensive activities such as computer modelling. He notes we have seen “the de-emphasis of theory because of its difficulty and small scale, the encouragement of simulation instead (with its call for large capital investment in computation), and the encouragement of large programs unconstrained by specific goals.
MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen’s March 2008 presentation of data from the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office found the Earth has had “no statistically significant warming since 1995.”- see story here
“In brief, we have the new paradigm where simulation and [computer] programs have replaced theory and observation, where government largely determines the nature of scientific activity, and where the primary role of professional societies is the lobbying of the government for special advantage.”

Lindzen believes another problem with climate science is that in America and Europe it is heavily colonised by environmental activists.

Here are just two examples that indicate the scale of the problem: the spokesman for the American Meteorological Society is a former staffer for Al Gore, and realclimate.org, probably the world’s most authoritative alarmist web site, was started by a public relations firm serving environmental causes.

None of this is necessarily sinister, but the next time you hear a scientist or scientific organisation warning of climate doom, you might want to follow the money trail. Sceptics are not the only ones who have received funding from sources sympathetic to their viewpoint. (And yes, Lindzen did once receive some money from energy companies.)

Lindzen claims that scientific journals play an important role in promoting global warming alarmism, and gives a number of examples.

Someone else who’s looked closely at scientific journals (although not specifically those dealing with climate science) is epidemiologist John Ioannidis of the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He reached the surprising conclusion that most published research findings are proved false within five years of their publication. (Lest he be dismissed as some eccentric, I note that the Economist recently said Ioannidis has made his case “quite convincingly”.)

Why might this be so? Later work by Ioannidis and colleagues suggests that these days journal editors are more likely to publish research that will make a splash than that which will not. They do this to sell more copies of their publications and of reprints of papers in it. Ioannidis believes these publication practices might be distorting science.

It’s possible the forces described by Lindzen and Ioannidis have imbued climate science with a preference for results that involve (or seem to involve) disastrous change rather than stability. Rajenda Pachauri’s recent Sydney lecture suggests that in this relatively new field, inconvenient truths to the contrary are not welcome.

Note: Dr. Pachauri now has a blog. You can even post comments.
Video of the Pachauri lecture is here. Apart from seeing it on the video linked above, the graph used is here.
h/t to Paul Biggs for these links
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November 7, 2008 7:39 pm

I have posted on this article as well.
See here.
Cheers,
Simon

November 7, 2008 7:40 pm

I do not suggest for one moment that what I am about to say applies to Dr Pachauri. But I thought anyone considering leaving comments on the blog of an irrational spouter of claptrap might like to bear in mind a fine old saying: “never argue with an idiot, he will reduce you to his level then beat you with experience.”

crosspatch
November 7, 2008 7:46 pm

NCDC finally has the October narrative up on their “Climate at a Glance” site:

The average temperature in October 2008 was 54.5 F. This was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average, the 44th coolest October in 114 years. The temperature trend for the period of record (1895 to present) is 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit per decade.

Brent Matich
November 7, 2008 8:02 pm

FatBigot, I can’t agree more!!!
Brent in Calgary

hunter
November 7, 2008 8:04 pm

The climate simply refuses to cooperate and obey those models.
How sad.

Editor
November 7, 2008 8:10 pm

“We’re at a stage where warming is taking place at a much faster rate”
Say, WHAT?
Oy. And other comments.
The climate simply refuses to cooperate and obey those models.
We can rebuild it. We have the technology.

November 7, 2008 8:13 pm

Michael Duffy:
John Ioannidis of the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He reached the surprising conclusion that most published research findings are proved false within five years of their publication.
It will be interesting to see if his research holds up in five years… 🙂

Rick Sharp
November 7, 2008 8:32 pm

Didn’t have his glasses that day or his graphs were upside down. Give the guy a break I’m sure it was just an honest mistake. Pray for snow…….
Rick

Douglas Janeway
November 7, 2008 8:41 pm

“We’re at a stage where warming is taking place at a much faster rate [than before]“.
“Never mind the facts! You will now stare into my chart. Gaze intently at the rising line. You are getting warmer . . . you are getting warmer . . . you are now really, really warm now. Follow the line upward as it goes off the chart! You are sweating profusely now as you imagine how high the line will go!”
“But, Sir, the UAH chart shows a decline in . . .”
“Enough I say, enough! Never mind the highly accurate satellite measurements! They are just facts! We have experienced global warming by imagining it, and the world will be hypnotized under the power of the IPCC! We will rule the world!!”
Whewee!

November 7, 2008 8:44 pm

The “good Doctor” ONLY allows comments from those who AGREE with him– at least he only publishes those that agree. I looked at just about every article, and ALL the posts were about how wonderful he was, what GREAT information he provided, or questions like “what should I do to live a planet friendly lifestyle”
Yes, it is his blog. Yes he is the Editor of his blog and can do as he wants. But he should at least have a disclaimer that says “I only post comments of people that agree with me.”
Personally, at my blog I always post the comments of those who disagree with me–IF they leave a name. I mean really, if you are going to disagree, actually stand up for what you believe. The debate is GOOD. (Plus it increases traffic).

Tom in Florida
November 7, 2008 8:44 pm

I went to his blog just now and there were no posted comments. So I posted this:
“Dr Pachauri,
A simple question. What is the correct temperature for the Earth? I personally would like it a little warmer. It is the reason I moved to Florida in the first place. I like warm. I do not like cool. I prefer the sea temperature above 82 degrees F. How can the scientific community resolve the many differences in personal tastes for what the ideal temperature should be?”
I will be anxious to see if it makes in past the moderator.

Cathy
November 7, 2008 8:46 pm

If you’ve not seen this Michael Crichton interview on Charlie Rose last year – you must. Go to minute 20. It’s worth the watch if only to watch Charlie sink to near hysteria when he can’t persuade Michael of the fact of global warming catastrophe.
http://michaelcrichton.net/video-charlierose-2-17-07.html
Crichton died yesterday. I hadn’t appreciated the courage it took to write his book that was critical of the theory. It can get pretty nasty swimming against that tide – as you know, Anthony.

John D.
November 7, 2008 8:52 pm

Still, if the last single interval is excluded, the slope climbs from left to right..no?
REPLY: Cherry picking, John. Tsk

crosspatch
November 7, 2008 9:03 pm

Isn’t this the same Rajendra Pachauri who told the government of India that global warming wasn’t really a problem and that the issue was to be used in order to provide India with a more competitive position in world markets?
From this article in the Financial Post:

In India, growth trumps sustainability
Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post ,Published: Saturday, July 26, 2008
India loves the UN’s climate change policies and so does India’s representative at the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri.
Why the love-in? The Indian government’s new “National Action Plan on Climate Change,” which Pachauri helped craft, plainly explains why: The UN formally establishes that global warming is a matter of secondary importance to India, allowing the world’s largest democracy to pursue its own best interests.
As the National Action Plan unapologetically puts it, the UN’s climate change convention “recognizes that ‘economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country parties.’ Thus, developing countries are not required to divert resources from development priorities by implementing projects involving incremental costs.”
And India doesn’t. Throughout its National Action Plan, India demonstrates that it will divert precious little of its scarce resources to solving the climate crisis. Where greenhouse gases will be curbed — for example, by aggressively building hydro dams or modernizing industry — the curbs will be a by-product of India’s national security concerns or economic development plans.
The UN’s climate change convention is even better than that — it’s a money-maker for India and a lever with which to obtain western technology. As the Action Plan makes clear, there’s only one condition under which India need spend a rupee to help curb global warming “–(if) these incremental costs are borne by developed countries and the needed technologies are transferred.”
Apart from wanting to develop, and wanting transfers of western wealth, the Indian government has one other reason for putting global warming on the back burner — although it agrees that climate change may one day pose a threat, the National Action Plan states boldly that man-made global warming may not exist, and that if it does exist, its existence may be of no account to India.

crosspatch
November 7, 2008 9:06 pm

So he tells India that there is a good chance that “global warming” doesn’t exist and out of the other side of his mouth tells the world that it is a dire emergency.
PUHLEEZE!

November 7, 2008 9:09 pm

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JimB
November 7, 2008 9:12 pm

FatBigot (19:40:11) :
“…might like to bear in mind a fine old saying: “never argue with an idiot, he will reduce you to his level then beat you with experience.”
Up in Maine, we weren’t all schooled up…
The saying when I was a kid was Never argue with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, but the pig will like it.
Jim

Editor
November 7, 2008 9:20 pm

Still, if the last single interval is excluded, the slope climbs from left to right..no?
We’ve been through this a number of times. Here is my take:
You have two choices. You can either include El Nino 1998 or exclude it.
If you exclude it an an anomaly, you must also exclude La Nina 1999-2000 and measure from 2001.
You will notice you get close to the same result if you measure from 1998 or 2001.
Yes, El Nino ’98 is a high point that elevates the left side of the graph. But it is offset by La Nina ’99-’00, which is less steep but a bit longer. Both are over on the left side of the graph.
One can even spitball and point out that there was a triple El Nino ending at the start of 2007 with no intervening La Nina to balance it.
At any rate, the temperatures seem to be headed south again, so it’s likely we’ll wind up with a downward trend even if we cheat and include 1998 OUT and 1999-2000 IN.

Kohl Piersen
November 7, 2008 9:27 pm

One hears a lot of rubbish sprouted by various people who should know better. Generally it is at the margins and one shakes one’s head and moves on. But when people in positions of influence, claiming to be scientists, paid by my tax money (or by someone very like me) presume to fabricate outright falsehoods with neither shame nor apology, then it really gets on my goat!
I agree Anthony, it is shocking. To my mind it raises serious questions as to what sort of people they really are. And since it appears to be deliberative behaviour, I cannot help pondering upon what the possible motives might be.

Kate
November 7, 2008 9:29 pm

Someone else who’s looked closely at scientific journals (although not specifically those dealing with climate science) is epidemiologist John Ioannidis of the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He reached the surprising conclusion that most published research findings are proved false within five years of their publication.
Oh the joy of a chaotic system.

Kohl Piersen
November 7, 2008 9:35 pm

Ah!! I get it.
From Crosspatch – “Isn’t this the same Rajendra Pachauri who told the government of India that global warming wasn’t really a problem and that the issue was to be used in order to provide India with a more competitive position in world markets?”
So Rajendra DOES HAVE an agenda!
(Love the alliteration too)

anna v
November 7, 2008 9:49 pm

Kohl Piersen (21:27:41) :
“And since it appears to be deliberative behaviour, I cannot help pondering upon what the possible motives might be.”
Get even with western civilization? Never underestimate the power of chauvinism.
Also crosspatch (21:03:37) : supports this.

Editor
November 7, 2008 9:50 pm

Well, at least he isn’t trying to lead India and China over the cliff. #B^1

Editor
November 7, 2008 9:55 pm

Back to John D.:
Actually it’s good to measure from breakpoints because you get to see the whole swing of the cycle.
1979 was the very beginning of a warm phase. 1998 is the very beginning of a cool phase (or at least a flat phase). 2007 looks very much like the start of a steep cooling.
In order to understand the full swing of the various phases, we must measure them in their entirety. Anything else will yield misleading results. So we look at 1979-1998, 1998-2007, and 2007 going forward.
Right?

John D.
November 7, 2008 10:09 pm

Hey there Anthony,
Is it “Cherry Picking”..or choosing to pay attention to larger scale?
Not sure..and if we chose an earlier beginning point…?
You kow more about statistical analysis of these data sets than I do..wouldn’t that last interval carry a little less weight on overall trend than what one assumes by emphasizing the endpoint of the graph?
And isn’t paying alot of attention to an endpoint “cherrypicking” when it comes to elucidating long-term trend? Afterall, not much siginificant in long-term trend happens during very short intervals. I’d venture to say that we don’t know what that last dip means untill we see the next few years of data.
Still, it looks clear to me like the graph has an overall slope to the upper right, regardless of the endpoint.
John D.

John D.
November 7, 2008 10:11 pm

Evan,
I’ve got to look more closely at your comments-points.
I’m just a simple biologist!
Thanks
John D.

Bill P
November 7, 2008 10:14 pm

Pachauri:

We’re at a stage where warming is taking place at a much faster rate [than before].


Was it not Cassandra, pictured here, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Solomon_Ajax_and_Cassandra.jpg)
who said, “I see disaster. I see catastrophe. Worse, I see lawyers!” (?)

Leon Brozyna
November 7, 2008 10:18 pm

He is the consummate con, I mean pitch, no, salesman. He’ll say what he expects the audience to be receptive to. When in India he tells his fellow citizens that AGW is not a problem, at least as far as India’s development priorities are concerned. To the superbly developed West, he points to our excessive consumption, preying on a guilt that’s been well developed over the decades, and warns of coming doom unless we mend our sinful ways. Just shut down the country till you’re left with change…in your pocket.
Cherry picking data to present an alarming graphic is easy; start in the coldest part of the 19th century and run it to around January 2007 {the most recent peak as shown above on the UAH graph}. At first glance, it looks ominous. Then quickly move on to the next slide and just keep the slides moving, giving the audience just a taste without allowing a close look at the light and mirror show. It’s magic.
P.T. Barnum would be proud.

John D.
November 7, 2008 10:23 pm

Oh; as an after-thought of my posts, the point of the article you posted Anthony, is Dr. Pachauri saying that warming is accelerrating, obviously he cannot be basing that inference on the terminus-interval of the graph presented. I’ll certainly concede that!
But I’d have to look more closely at his presentation to know exactly what he is saying, and based on which data. I haven’t read it yet.
Best regards,
and thanks again.
John D.

crosspatch
November 7, 2008 10:32 pm

evanjones: And the same is true on longer time scales. The modern thermometer and temperature scale were invented at the end of the Little Ice Age so *all* modern temperature records record the recovery from that event. You will find nothing but general warming from the late 1700’s until the first half of the 1900’s. Then it cools somewhat until the mid/late 1970’s, warms a bit for 20 years or so, then begins to cool again. But to go farther back than 1930 or so guarantees you are going to get a “warming” trend.

Cary
November 7, 2008 10:42 pm

Have any of you looked at the carbon-14 and beryllium-10 production graphs? Theres a couple of them on this wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_minimum
They show that solar activity has been steadily increasing over the past 300 years.
Also, this ENSO index graph matches up incredibly well with the UAH temperature graph. http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/mei.html#discussion
I’m not a climatologist, but shouldn’t the increased solar activity along with the positive ENSO be able to explain most of the warming?

Editor
November 7, 2008 10:47 pm

And the same is true on longer time scales. The modern thermometer and temperature scale were invented at the end of the Little Ice Age so *all* modern temperature records record the recovery from that event.
Yes, I agree. It is hard to know when the recovery ends, of course, whether it is still continuing, or for how long it may continue.
It’s even possible that the last 10 years of flat temperatures have signaled an end of the recovery, or at least reflect diminishing returns.
We just don’t know.
But with ten times the number of climate students (now the topic itself is hot), I bet we find out a lot not too far down the road. (Grad students just love clasting them icons.)

Editor
November 7, 2008 10:53 pm

But the reason I like the break points I mentioned is that from 1976 or so to 2001, the “Big Six” cycles (PDO, AMO, NAO, IPO, AO, AAO) went from cold to warm phase one by one. The climate warmed.
Then they were all on warm. The climate was fairly flat.
Now PDO goes cold, and it looks as if the NAO and AO are beginning to swing as well. And the temperature drops.
So it correlates fairly well.
This is not to say there cannot be underlying factors such as LIA recovery or even (gasp) a bit of CO2 influence.

Norm
November 7, 2008 11:07 pm

The average temperature in October 2008 was 54.5 F. This was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average, the 44th coolest October in 114 years. The temperature trend for the period of record (1895 to present) is 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit per decade.
So that makes October 2008 the 70th warmest in history!

November 7, 2008 11:13 pm

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Joseph Goebbels

F Rasmin
November 7, 2008 11:14 pm

Site http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png.
I see that the Arctic sea ice extent is higher now for this time of year, than for all of the years on the chart back to and including 2002.

matty
November 7, 2008 11:24 pm

I think Pachauri has been forced into this. He either concedes the cooling knowing the sceptics will have him on toast, or he ramps up the deception. He chooses the latter and now finds himself on some very thin ice which is where he deserves to be. It isn’t sustainable so watch for the cracks which may now begin to spread through the whole movement. Matty, Perth, Western Australia

November 7, 2008 11:25 pm

[…] View original post here:  Truly inconvenient truths about climate change being ignored: IPCC … […]

tom
November 7, 2008 11:39 pm
P Folkens
November 7, 2008 11:42 pm

Let us harken back to the good ol’ days of 2005. Amidst the clamor over AIT, a Russian solar scientist announced that their data indicated a distinct cooling trend developing going forward that would be well-established in about 10 years. Within days, Hansen and his ilk were saying things like “we must solve the problem immediately because in ten years it will be too late!” (Remember those comments?) It was not lost on some of us skeptics that the AGW core was well aware of the solar scientists’ work. Clearly, the AGW shills needed the Draconian measures sought by the IPCC (UN) put in place so they could claim that their quick action saved the planet from certain peril of GW.
We are three years since the claims and concerns. It appears the AGW wonks got it wrong, but they have enough political traction still to push their agenda before the cooling becomes really obvious.

John D.
November 7, 2008 11:54 pm

Bruce H.
Your citation of Goebbels is appropriate, timely and telling, considering what has happened as of late! It pertains and extends far beyond “Climate Science”.
John D.

Editor
November 8, 2008 12:04 am

You mean like the continual refrain of Bush Lied! Bush Lied! Bush Lied! Bush Lied! Bush Lied! Bush Lied?
(I am getting terribly bored with German song.)

November 8, 2008 12:19 am

Cary (22:42:13) :
They show that solar activity has been steadily increasing over the past 300 years.
No, there is good evidence that solar activity has not increased steadily over the past 300 years: http://www.leif.org/research/GC31B-0351-F2007.pdf

len
November 8, 2008 12:56 am

Last year when it was claimed Antarctica was disappearing and with a few simple clicks you can see the original South Pole station is getting buried you have to start wondering about the human condition.
I agree with the theory we evolved with a tendency to suspend reason and succumb to the group … a strategy which allowed us to eliminate our hominid competition but has also made us suckers for … this stuff.
It has been getting so retarded I really don’t care if there is a debate or discussion. Let that English AGW clown march to the North Pole and freeze to death in February (?), that would be evolution. One less lemming and maybe we can move on to consistently using the scientific method and not keep burning down the library in Alexandria … metaphorically speaking. Let the facts speak.

G Alston
November 8, 2008 1:20 am

evanjones — “You mean like the continual refrain of Bush Lied!”
The misapplied quoting of Goebbels and Franklin (security/safety) to denigrate Bush is pretty much de rigueur… back in the day, why, I recall the misapplied quoting of Ike’s military/industrial complex speech by those who were convinced they were intellectually superior to Reagan.
When you get down to the rub vis a vis climate stuff, doesn’t the entire argument really distill down to (misapplication of) timescales?
Misapplication seems to be a common theme.
Hmmmm.

Phillip Bratby
November 8, 2008 1:32 am

F Rasmin:
Also the Arctic ice area is close to the 1979 to 2007 mean and the Arctic ice extent is about 1 SD from the 1979 to 2007 mean.
See: http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic

Anne
November 8, 2008 2:08 am

because scientists build up public fears (examples include fear of the USSR’s superiority in weapons or space travel, of health problems, of environmental degradation
Now all of a sudden we have scientists to thank for the ‘global communism scare’ of the cold war. You’re joking, may I assume?

Anne
November 8, 2008 2:18 am

…He reached the surprising conclusion that most published research findings are proved false within five years of their publication…
Nice to know that the research findings concluding CO2 is a greenhouse gas are more than a century old. And the research findings indicating that CO2 is changing our climate are decades old.

MartinGAtkins
November 8, 2008 2:19 am

October monthly temp anomalies have been in for a day or so but only for _v03_2.
_v03_1 seems to be stuck at September.
http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/

brettmcs
November 8, 2008 2:48 am

BTW it’s “Sydney” (my birthplace), not “Sidney”.

November 8, 2008 3:03 am

Awww – give the guy a break! We’re in a global recession and the guy probablt has a wife and kids to support. The last thing he is going to do is make himself voluntarily redundant.
Seriously, there are now hundreds of thousands of people all over the world whose livelihood depends on anthropogenic global warming being real – and most of them work for government in one way or another. Whether it is a politican whose personal credibility is on the line, a scientist who is funded by government to research “climate change” or a bin inspector paid by the state to check what we chuck away – they all have a vested interest in keeping the gravy train on the tracks.

Anne
November 8, 2008 3:12 am

crosspatch (21:06:29) :
So he tells India that there is a good chance that “global warming” doesn’t exist
Did he really do that? Read the article, it says:
….The Indian government’s new “National Action Plan on Climate Change,” which Pachauri helped craft….
The report was created by the Indian government and is their responsibility, not Pachauri’s. He apparently was a contributor, which could be as little as answering one or to questions or writing a small introductory paragraph here and there.
By the way, googling around I could not find confirmation that he indeed ‘helped craft’ the action plan. I could find reports about him endorsing the plan, which does not mean he has to agree with everything written in the action plan.
Without knowing exactly how he contributed to the plan, you can not make this type of judgements.

Jack Simmons
November 8, 2008 3:13 am

John D. (20:52:28) :

Still, if the last single interval is excluded, the slope climbs from left to right..no?

If the electoral results from the states of VA, OH, IA, CA, NY are excluded from the election results, John McCain won…no?

Jack Simmons
November 8, 2008 3:29 am

matty (23:24:30) :

He chooses the latter and now finds himself on some very thin ice

Isn’t thinning ice the inevitable result of warming?

kim
November 8, 2008 3:32 am

I am much disturbed by Mr. Pachauri. Way back last winter, in reference to the degree of warming attributable to CO2, he said something like ‘maybe someone has got their sums’ wrong. Then he came out with the report for India, downplaying AGW. Now this, and of course the rest of his work pushing the IPCC agenda. This guy is an economist as well as an engineer. He ought to know better.
As to motive, it must be obvious to the poobahs at the IPCC and elsewhere that there is a good chance that the world will continue to cool. Why do they think this hoax can continue, and why do they think that they can continue to get away with it? If they are wrong, and it surely seems as if they are, the judgement of science and society is going to be harsh.
===================================

Anne
November 8, 2008 3:42 am

Leon Brozyna (22:18:38) :
He is the consummate con, I mean pitch, no, salesman. He’ll say what he expects the audience to be receptive to. When in India he tells his fellow citizens that AGW is not a problem, at least as far as India’s development priorities are concerned.
No he did not say that. He said that it is of secondary importance. Stick to the facts.
To the superbly developed West, he points to our excessive consumption, preying on a guilt that’s been well developed over the decades, and warns of coming doom unless we mend our sinful ways.
The western countries are for more than 90% responsible for combined CO2 emissions done over the past centuries. It would be morally untenable to not hold those same western countries repsonsible for the problem.
Just shut down the country till you’re left with change…in your pocket.
This is not true. Nobody apart from some extreme environmentalists suggest to shutdown the economy. Wait, you make it even worse, by claiming they suggest we have to shutdown the country.
I have complete faith in humen ingenuity to develop the technology needed to reduce CO2 emissions without sinking our economies or even noticeably affecting our way of life.
Thinking a large reduction of CO2 emissions will mean the end of civilization as we know it, is alarmism of the other kind.

Les Francis
November 8, 2008 4:13 am

These statements were made by the esteemed Mr. Pachuari in Australia which has a Government that is committed to starting their Emission Trading Scheme in 2010.
The government friendly Australian MSM is pummelling out daily alarmist AGW nonsense and consequences.
The government ministry department of the environment has be relabeled the department of Climate Change.
No scientific facts are going to get in the way of the the Governments ETS. All guns are being loaded in the governments AGW arsenal. Any contribution by any psuedo official is welcomed. MR Pachauri (I can’t bring it in myself to label him the title Dr. Pachauri) fits the bill (bull).

Ron de Haan
November 8, 2008 4:29 am

Quote: MICHAEL Crichton
“The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance. We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we’re told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.”
Found on: http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/

Stefan
November 8, 2008 4:31 am

“In his talk, Pachauri said the number of global warming sceptics is shrinking”
In previous talks Pachauri has said that scientists skeptical of global warming are like modern day people who believe the earth is flat.
Way to go with extreme statements. He is just a mouth for a political organisation.
Incidentally, I used to believe all the global warming stuff, and was genuinely moved–tears came to my eyes–when I heard Kyoto was being put together. My God the world is actually coming together to do something!
Then I started noticing that the AGW people were closed minded and making mean spirited attacks against any dissenting opinions. At that point it was obvious the real truth of the matter could not be known because people summarily dismissed any dissenting voice. You can’t know the truth if you are closed minded. It is as simple as that. Eventually Pachauri himself became a prime example of this. Now I wouldn’t trust these people to fix my plumbing let alone save the world.

Chris Wright
November 8, 2008 4:35 am

I don’t think Pachauri is a liar. Like Gore, Hansen and all the others he almost certainly believes this to be the truth, despite the obvious contradictions in the data.
I’m reminded of a tragic accident: the shooting down of an Iranian Airbus by the U.S.S Vincennes. Although the radar showed with high precision that the Airbus was ascending, the crewman monitoring it continued to report that the Airbus was descending, and so appeared to be on an attack profile.
In the investigation the crewman was unable to explain why this happened. He was unable to explain why he reported the exact opposite of the truth.
There was a psychological explanation: scenario fulfillment. Because the captain and his officers believed they were probably under attack, then strong evidence that contradicted this was ignored. Actually, it wasn’t ignored. The crewman probably really did believe the Airbus was descending, despite the evidence right in front of his eyes. Because of his belief he saw something quite different to the truth.
Could this effect explain Pachauri and all the others? Quite possibly. If the sceptics are right – and I believe they are – then there must be an explanation as to how this delusion has taken over the world, despite the complete absence of credible evidence to support it.
I think the fundamental reason for this huge and damaging delusion – and many other delusions – is very simple: all human beings are fallible. The scary thing is that this also applies to sceptics!
Chris

Allan
November 8, 2008 4:47 am

AN ENERGY POLICY FOR AMERICA
The USA has two really big problems – the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, and President-Elect Obama’s energy policies, which if implemented will deepen this crisis.
Obama stated in a San Francisco Chronicle television interview that he wants to implement a very aggressive CO2 cap-and-trade system that could bankrupt coal companies. He further states that energy prices will necessarily skyrocket.

Obama states that he thinks global warming is critical. He states that he supports the use of solar energy, wind power and biodiesel. Obama does seem to support a market approach and technological development.
The main components of primary energy are oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and hydroelectricity. Approximately 25% of USA total primary energy is supplied by coal – natural gas is about equivalent and oil supplies almost twice as much. http://www.bp.com/productlanding.do?categoryId=6929&contentId=7044622
Here are some practical suggestions for a responsible, economic US energy policy:
1. Reject cap-and trade and CO2 taxes. The theory of dangerous humanmade global warming is demonstrably incorrect. The Earth is naturally cooling, not warming. Global temperatures are insensitive to atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
http://www.atmos.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2
2. Generate as much energy as possible from coal – the USA has over 28% of global proved coal reserves. Use the best available technologies to control SOx, NOx and particulate emissions, and don’t worry about CO2.
3. Over time, I think we’ll see a move to more electric and gasoline-electric light vehicles – the power infrastructure exists, and refueling can be done during off-peak periods.
4. Reject corn ethanol and wind power. These do not work economically or effectively. Corn ethanol used for motor fuel requires huge subsidies and distorts food prices. Wind power requires subsidies, and almost 100% backup from conventional power generation. Conduct a full-life-cycle energy balance on corn ethanol, wind, biodiesel and solar, and also examine the environmental demands and pollutions associated with these technologies.
5. Reject hydrogen – it is an energy medium (and a poor one at that), like electricity, and if implemented would require a huge new hydrogen infrastructure to be built at great cost, for no apparent energy gain.
Instead of skyrocketing energy prices, these policies will result in lower energy prices. Coal is cheap and abundant in the USA, and real pollution from coal can be effectively controlled.
Best regards and good fortune to America,
Allan
Disclaimer – I do not work in the coal industry and hold no coal investments.

KRuddwatch
November 8, 2008 4:55 am

Has anyone seen the HADCRU/UAH or indeed any figures for the “anomoly” for October yet?

lgl
November 8, 2008 4:58 am

Cary, Leif
But decreased GCR “along with the positive ENSO should be able to explain most of the warming”. Because the solar activity proxies on wikipedia are actually GCR proxies and not solar. (And you should include the absence of large volcanoes between 1994 and 2001 to explain the temporary warming in that period)

Neilo
November 8, 2008 4:59 am

Nitpick: It’s Sydney Morning Herald.

Stefan
November 8, 2008 5:01 am

Anne wrote:
The western countries are for more than 90% responsible for combined CO2 emissions done over the past centuries. It would be morally untenable to not hold those same western countries repsonsible for the problem.

I think we have to go beyond this provincial and nationalistic outlook. But if you want to stick to that map of the world, then we can’t blame the west in any way other than they were the ones who happened to get there first. All peoples of the world have always been in competition with each other. That is what we are trying to get beyond, to have a united world.
But if you want to apportion “blame”, then go back to seeing the world as a collection of mobs in competition with each other. Go back to a long history of wars and conflicts. Go back to the day when might makes right. You cannot build a united world if you keep perpetuating the view that we are pitted one against another.
The west certainly didn’t have it easy; two world wars in recent memory, millions of upon millions dead or suffering. It is arguably that monstrous conflict that drove the west to rapid technical and material development. Driven by adversarial conditions of Us-vs-Them. And this is the view– –“apportion blame”– –that you wish to perpetuate in the face of a global problem?? I’m sorry, but that is a morality from the Old World. It is not Global.

Katherine
November 8, 2008 5:17 am

Anne (03:42:29) wrote:
The western countries are for more than 90% responsible for combined CO2 emissions done over the past centuries. It would be morally untenable to not hold those same western countries repsonsible for the problem.
You’re taking it as given that CO2 is responsible for “global warming,” and that “global warming” is a problem. Until it’s proven that the human-produced additions of CO2 to the atmosphere is responsible for “global warming,” western countries cannot be held responsible. Plus studies have shown that warmer temperatures result in climate conditions that benefit agricultural production (e.g., stronger monsoons), while cooler temperatures tend to cause drought and famine. How can “global warming” be considered a problem in that light?

November 8, 2008 5:20 am

The scary thing is that ‘scenario fulfilment’ applies to everyone all the time.
In my day job as a lawyer I see it as all pervasive in disputes that should never have arisen.
It is something I fight against daily in every aspect of my own life.
However at some point the real world does take over and only the most dangerous people continue with their defective perceptions in the face of that.
Now, given the lack of warming for 10 years now, where on the scale for ‘dangerous’ would Mr. Pachauri and other cooling deniers fall.

Don B
November 8, 2008 5:29 am

Another inconvenient scientific observation is show on Anthony’s graph, that Arctic sea ice yesterday was greater than during each of the preceding six years on that date.
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png
And, from the Cryosphere website, the NH negative sea ice anomaly (1979-2000) is exactly offset by the SH positive anomaly; global sea ice is just normal.

Anne
November 8, 2008 5:33 am

Chris,
You are someone I am quite happy to disagree with. You moved beyond the demonizations and stereotypes, reducing the entire debate to a simple Hollywood good vs. bad scenario. Something, I will immediately concede, happens at the pro-AGW side of the debate as well. But that doesn’t make it right.
I have not seen the graph Michael refers to in his article, so I can not judge for myself if and how much Dr. Pachauri mislead his audience. I only have second hand information. I am always skeptical about second hand information.
The statement that Dr. Pachauri somehow seems to tell the Indians that GW is not a problem clearly ilustrates that: I and no one on this forum have exactly read first-hand what was said and written. It is all second hand information, inevitably exaggerated/distorted/taken out of context along the way. The article says clearly that the action plan states ‘that man-made global warming may not exist’, which is translated by crosspatch into ‘Pachauri says that there is a good chance that “global warming” doesn’t exist’. Before the end of this thread we can see Pachauri declaring AGW a myth!

JimB
November 8, 2008 5:34 am

Kim,
” Why do they think this hoax can continue, and why do they think that they can continue to get away with it? If they are wrong, and it surely seems as if they are, the judgement of science and society is going to be harsh.”
I don’t think this will happen, at least not likely in our lifetimes. You underestimate the marketing ability of the group as a whole. They have already started making statements to the effect that “This is a temporary downtrend…but make no mistake!…in another few years/decade/several decades, the temps will start going right back up!”
Chris:
“I think the fundamental reason for this huge and damaging delusion – and many other delusions – is very simple: all human beings are fallible. The scary thing is that this also applies to sceptics!
Chris”
They are fallible, yes, and mostly due to misplaced trusts and laziness. I know of no one within the circle of people I have as friends and workmates who has taken the time to actually do 1hr of research on this subject. Another major event in recent history also falls under this same situation.
It’s a 30sec soundbite society.
Jim

eric
November 8, 2008 5:39 am

Sorry this is OT, but I don’t know a more appropriate place to ask. Last year I downloaded the original broadcast of The Great Global Warming Swindle that ran on British television. I convinced my local library to buy a DVD copy to counterbalance all the PBS global warming videos they’ve bought and Al Gore’s movie.
I have finished watching the DVD, which is slightly re-edited, but substantially the same as the original broadcast. My question: Are there any factual errors or any misleading parts of this documentary? For the most part, I can’t find anything to complain about. Have you seen it? What did you think?
I want to recommend this documentary to many other people, but I want also to know all its limitations. If I was an AGW believer, I would just dismiss it with insults. That’s what they do. But we know there are big flaws in Al Gore’s movie. If there are any big flaws in this one, I’d like to know what they are. As I said, I don’t see any real problems, save one.
It seems to me the film implied that when we look at the past 400,000 years and see changes in atmospheric CO2 following rather than leading temperature changes, it means the oceans act as a sink for CO2, releasing more when it warms up, and absorbing CO2 when it cools down. That may be true in history, but that does not seem to be happening today. CO2 in the ocean is slightly increasing, if I’m not mistaken. The increased CO2 in the atmosphere is not primarily coming from the oceans this time around. Is my analysis correct?
I think the overall thrust of The Great Global Warming Swindle is very good, and I agree with it. I would appreciate comments and criticisms from others who have attempted to fact-check this documentary.

JamesG
November 8, 2008 5:48 am

Quite right Chris. It is a sociological phenomenon which has happened many times in the past and will happen many times in the future as well documented in books like “extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds” and the more recent “mobs and messiahs”. History shows that it will fizzle out eventually but it won’t be by persuasion or facts so much as by being replaced by the next catastrophe prediction. What will that be? Well I’ve noticed on Andy Revkin’s blog the renaissance of the resource-depletion, population explosion talking heads and it was also subject of a recent feature in the new scientist mag. As a warning shot it’s ok but these types simply refuse to look at the real facts and figures. They rely instead on overly-simplistic logic and fit everything to a magic two variable straight line graph with little or no foundation in reality.
I don’t know if anyone else has noticed too but most, if not all, visions of the future in film or print are either catastrophic or depressing. Maybe it just makes for a more interesting storyline or maybe people are inclined to believe in catastrophes more readily. I’ve certainly noticed that many who are so willing to believe scientists when they predict catastrophe are much the same types who disbelieve scientists when they say something won’t cause any harm – like genetically modified crops for example, or MMR vaccinations, or DDT. It seems to be a deep reactionary conservatism which says that all change (or all chemicals?) is to be feared. Hence the future, being utterly uncertain, is to be feared the most. All you have to do is find the bogeyman which fits your persona, or just follow the latest fashion in fears.

Ron de Haan
November 8, 2008 5:57 am

Chris Wright,
“I don’t think Pachauri is a liar. Like Gore, Hansen and all the others he almost certainly believes this to be the truth, despite the obvious contradictions in the data”.
Where do you buy your pink sunglasses?
If climate is your job and you provide false information to serve an agenda that will harm economies and populations, you are not only a liar but a crook too.
In the past we were forced to wage wars because of characters like Pachauri.
The only difference is that the other guys were dressed in uniform.
Pachauri and his clan serve an agenda that is aimed at total control over life.
They are more than half way with their crooked schemes and it’s time to wake up in order to stop them.

MattN
November 8, 2008 6:06 am

Again, I am embarassed that he holds a degree from the same fine university as I do: North Carolina State.

Steve Berry
November 8, 2008 6:09 am

Look, let’s not beat about the bush, Rajendra Pachauri is a liar – it’s as simple as that. I’m all for being courteous, but when someone is not telling the truth (and they know it) then they are lying – there’s no better word for it in the English language. If he wasn’t being strictly true then one might say he was being disingenuous, but he isn’t. He’s a liar.

shane
November 8, 2008 6:15 am

have you seen this http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s1848641.htm
reporter is a little bias at the end i think?

November 8, 2008 6:21 am

[…] thing for someone already so well known, well positioned, to do (hence the exclamation marks from Wattsupwiththat). It is also not that sophisticated as a portfolio site. Perhaps the process of leading the IPCC […]

November 8, 2008 6:32 am

Fatbigot — two thumbs up.
It is good to see what’s next, the investment in the AGW scam is so high, it’s now just moving forward on 100% lies.
Steve Berry also gets two thumbs up, yep, just a liar.

leebert
November 8, 2008 6:49 am

As crosspatch cites above, this has always been more about politics than science. To think this guy stood on the stage with Al “carbon credits” Gore. It’s painfully obvious by now that Europe is grappling with the loss of competitiveness resulting from their green agenda, the overheads from carbon credits & a renewable energy crash program is hurting EU competitiveness.
It goes beyond that, the manufacture of an equivalent good in Asia emits 40% more CO2 than in the West, so if these green policies self-inflict job & manufacturing loss to India & China, the result will be *more* CO2 emissions, not less!
India & China, OTOH, are grappling with massive poverty, so any cost (read: green) overhead will take food out of the mouth of babies. Under the UNEP CDM programs India & China would get compensation for clean coal, but under the IPCC claim of CO2’s pernicity, the absence of aerosols from clean coal would accelerate climate change!
Aside from these internal contradictions, how Pachauri can make this claim amazes me, it’s in contravention of yet another recent paper from Keenlyside forecasting 10 more years of stable temperatures. But since this is climatology newspeak – that an ongoing (and unexpected) temperature stability inheres exponential pay-back later – it makes a weird kind of sense.
Heck, even the simplest trend analysis belies these claims of accelerated warming:
http://tinyurl.com/co2trend
http://tinyurl.com/co2trend2

PearlandAggie
November 8, 2008 6:52 am

“The western countries are for more than 90% responsible for combined CO2 emissions done over the past centuries. It would be morally untenable to not hold those same western countries repsonsible for the problem.”
What problem? There is actual, factual evidence that increases in CO2 levels are wholly beneficial and substantially increase crop productivity, something sorely need with a burgeoning world population. There is also evidence that increased CO2 levels cause an increase in water utilization efficiency in plants, resulting in more drought tolerance. There is little evidence, however, that CO2 can or ever will cause a “runaway” greenhouse effect or even enough of an enhanced greenhouse effect to negatively impact the planet. The problem is that most “experts” like the guy mentioned above cite computer model output as “evidence”, which is clearly NOT evidence but fanciful prognostication.
“I have complete faith in humen ingenuity to develop the technology needed to reduce CO2 emissions without sinking our economies or even noticeably affecting our way of life.”
Well, you have more “faith” in the government to solve the “problem” than I do. When has ANY GOVERNMENT ANYWHERE successfully solved a “problem” of this magnitude? I, too, believe we can successfully reduce CO2 emissions without significantly impacting lifestyles; however, emissions trading schemes won’t accomplish that goal and absolutely WILL cripple economies as energy prices and all associated goods and services manufactured with energy skyrocket. I also have NO CONFIDENCE that governments worldwide will implement those solutions that will keep energy plentiful and cheap while aimlessly reducing CO2 emissions (i.e., vastly expanded nuclear power generation).
The first stage after the implementation of an ETS in developed countries will be that companies will ship as many manufacturing jobs as possible overseas to countries that do NOT have an ETS in place. How does that help developed economies?? It doesn’t and can’t!!. Eventually, if this insanity continues long enough, the blight that the ETS brings on developed countries will spread to currently developing countries until every nation has an ETS in place. So, in effect, the imposition of ETS systems around the world will eventually lead to either a shutdown of the global economy as we know it today or the lopping off of politicians’ heads (both literal and figurative) worldwide. Imagine the “unfair”, or more properly “strategic”, trade advantage that would befall just ONE nation if they decided to forego the implementation of a costly, ineffectual, national ETS. Are we willing to wage war on countries not willing to commit economic suicide by ETS?
“No he did not say that. He said that it is of secondary importance. Stick to the facts.”
Well, if the “problem” is of secondary importance for developing nations, then it is not really a problem at all unless developed nations are gullible enough to enact such schemes (which all current indications tend to point to such gullibility). People in developed nations need to WAKE UP and think through the logical consequences of the implementation of global environmental restrictions on the economy. We truly are facing a potential manmade disaster of epic proportions and that disaster is NOT potential trivial warming due to increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.

JamesG
November 8, 2008 6:57 am

Steve B:
If his lie is supposed to be this: “We’re at a stage where warming is taking place at a much faster rate [than before]“, then it’s not based at all on the last 10 years -it’s based on the proxy reconstructions of Mann and others. In terms of climate change a flattening of the last ten years could very easily be a blip so you naturally look farther back. Now while we both happen to think that these reconstructions are flawed and that the current plateau is just as likely to be a turning point and that temperature is heading back down, these scientists have a lot of psychological motivations for their belief. Not the least of which is the incredible powerful inbuilt human instinct to believe a rising trend will keep rising. It doesn’t make it a lie – only self-delusion at best. What you see depends on where you stand. I’m pretty sure that most of you guys only looked closer at the data for one reason – you don’t like taxes under any circumstances. People with less objections to taxes haven’t looked closer so they believe what the newspapers say: Very natural human behavior.
Ron de Haan
“If climate is your job and you provide false information to serve an agenda that will harm economies and populations, you are not only a liar but a crook too. In the past we were forced to wage wars because of characters like Pachauri.”
You’re wearing pink glasses too, otherwise you’d notice that the USA is currently fighting a war which was based entirely on lies. So yes you are definitely correct that we wage wars because of lies. But is it always down to evil or just delusional thinking? You decide, but remember it cuts two ways when you take your own blinkers off.

leebert
November 8, 2008 7:04 am

Anne:

The western countries are for more than 90% responsible for combined CO2 emissions done over the past centuries. It would be morally untenable to not hold those same western countries responsible for the problem.

Here’s the problem: At what point are they responsible? Before the knowledge that CO2 might pose a pernicious emission?
What of the post-War boom in global trade in Asia & the Mid East that went along with the boom in fossil fuel use? Araby sold a great deal of oil & yet they’re exempt as well despite being immediate beneficiaries.
And as the West loses competitiveness to Asia from globalization and Asian industrialization, we’re also supposed to bear green burdens alone? Green taxes will create yet more incentives to move jobs & production abroad. The internal contradiction in your thinking arises almost instantaneously however, since an equivalent good manufactured in China realizes 40% more CO2 emissions than were it manufactured in the West.
So even from a practical standpoint the notion that the West is more culpable in the short term is flawed, never mind the question as to how much threat is in fact posed by CO2 emissions.

JimB
November 8, 2008 7:07 am

Ok…this is OT…but it’s pretty funny, and seems to be well done…
Gore’s new blog:
http://www.aninconvenientblog.org/
Jim

November 8, 2008 7:11 am

The present worldwide economic downturn has affected the extremists’ plans for the near term.
► Expensive solutions to questionable problems requires an excess of capital investment that is not available
► Data defies dogma: enough observational and anecdotal information brings into question the hypothesis of global warming and the notion of the economic soundness of a cap and scam system
► Repetition of incongruities as proof weakens dogma: global warming causes global cooling does not ring true… and becomes irrelevant… when people are facing colder winters with more expensive fuel such as natural gas which is expected to rise 6-10% in cost in many places… and have less means to pay for it.
PE Obama made a major gaffe when he proclaimed that he was willing to bankrupt any company that attempted to build a new coal-fired power plant in the U.S. [though no mention of sanctions against China came out]. We need to suffer for our beliefs… was the message he proclaimed. Economic hardship and a lower standard of living was necessary to offset a hypothetical problem.
Political climate science and economic realities don’t align.
http://hallofrecord.blogspot.com/2008/11/reducing-co2-through-suffering.html

Anne
November 8, 2008 7:27 am

Stefan (05:01:39) :
I have learned from my parents that if I make a mess of things, I should clean up. I am trying to teach my own kids the same values.

little ice
November 8, 2008 7:42 am

The net result of all of these is to hobble the US economy while the economy of the rest of the world surges ahead. This is all part of the conspiracy by the rest of the world to economically weaken the US, so that the tinpot dictators of the 3rd world can take over and impose their own brands of morality. Pachchauri has already advocated veganism ot solve AGW.
However, Pachchauri can rest now, while the conspiracy to weaken and hobble the US will be lead and directed from the Whitehouse

David L. Hagen
November 8, 2008 7:42 am

Comment to
Dr. R. K. Pauchari’s Blog
of November 4, 2008. “Can Civil Society be Srengthened to Achieve Sustainable Development?”
“Our existentially critical need is to develop alternative fuels for growing population and economic growth in the face of declining light oil. Funding climate control will directly deny funds urgently needed to develop alternative fuels. Carbon sequestration is a huge black hole consuming enormous funds with negligible returns. It would cause massive depression and starvation.
Your carbon taxes or Cap and Trade directly harm the poor.
They multiply irrigation and fertilizer costs causing starvation.
They dry up discretionary income and increase unemployment.
There is growing evidence that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and solar cycles modulating cosmic rays dominate global temperature changes. Tropospheric temperatures are cooling, not warming. Demand objective science with statistically verifiable climate models.
Our critical need is to develop alternative fuels faster than declining light oil.
Nepal, Eritrea, and Zimbabwe have run out of fuel causing massive economic damage. OPEC production cuts extorted far more from developing countries than from ALL developmental aid. The impact of climate change is negligible by comparison.
I urge you to prioritize feeding the poor and fuels to sustain economic growth above all else, especially for Bangladesh and other developing countries.
Dr. David L. Hagen”

Anne
November 8, 2008 7:42 am

Katherine (05:17:14) :
You’re taking it as given that CO2 is responsible for “global warming,” and that “global warming” is a problem.
Correct. I believe the first part of this statement is true. As for the second part, it is largely undecided what will exactly happen where and when. I have concluded that that is a gamble I am not willing to take.
Until it’s proven that the human-produced additions of CO2 to the atmosphere is responsible for “global warming,”…
Whether it is ‘proven’ or not is irrelevant. Do you need proof that you will develop serious health problems next year before taking a health insurance? All decisions suffer uncertainties. Excluding information will almost certainly decrease the quality of a decision.
Plus studies have shown that warmer temperatures result in climate conditions that benefit agricultural production (e.g., stronger monsoons), while cooler temperatures tend to cause drought and famine. How can “global warming” be considered a problem in that light?
The consequences of climate change are not all negative. Nobody in the AGW camp disputes that. But the question is: do the postives outweigh the negatives? Do you have proof of that?

John Philip
November 8, 2008 7:54 am

Tim Lambert has posted the video:
http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/10/rajendra_pachauri_to_speak_at.php
The section that so ‘shocked’ Duffy is between 16:00 and 18:30. Judge for yourselves if a comparison with the last 7 years is good journalism, and indeed let us remind ourselves what the first ‘C’ in IPCC stands for ….
REPLY: Note to readers, Tim Lambert has not shown a tendency towards balanced analysis, so take it with a grain of salt. – Anthony

Bruce Cobb
November 8, 2008 7:55 am

JamesG
I’m pretty sure that most of you guys only looked closer at the data for one reason – you don’t like taxes under any circumstances. People with less objections to taxes haven’t looked closer so they believe what the newspapers say: Very natural human behavior.
That is a bizarre, and pretty outrageous claim to make, James. Pretty neat trick, that of branding everyone here, based on nothing more than your own blinders. The truth is people have many reasons for looking closer. I only looked to be better able to refute anti-AGW letters to the editor. My only agenda was proving AGW was true. Surprise, surprise, it was all smoke and mirrors, and yes, lies. Like it or not, repeating a lie which you believe in no way absolves you from the fact that you are spreading lies, no matter what the motivation is. Usually, it’s is some combination money, political power, and professional ego.
Pachauri is a liar whose lies will, and already have had negative impacts on humanity. May he burn in aitch e hockeysticks2, or wherever he’s going.

Anne
November 8, 2008 7:59 am

PearlandAggie (06:52:51) :
What problem? There is actual, factual evidence that increases in CO2 levels are wholly beneficial and substantially increase crop productivity,…
This is only true if that crop is not constrained by other factors, like soil nutrients or water. But indeed there may be benefits to higher CO2 levels. I don’t dispute that, climate scientists don’t dispute that.
Well, you have more “faith” in the government to solve the “problem” than I do.
And then you spend 20 lines attacking a statement I did not make. You should learn to read, I wrote: “I have complete faith in humen ingenuity”
We truly are facing a potential manmade disaster of epic proportions and that disaster is NOT potential trivial warming due to increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.
I thought that alarmism was the hallmark of the AGW crowd.

John Philip
November 8, 2008 8:00 am

eric
Re Swindle … Are there any factual errors or any misleading parts of this documentary? For the most part, I can’t find anything to complain about.
There is an analysis of the many problems with the film here …http://www.ofcomswindlecomplaint.net/
JP.
REPLY: For balance, here is a detailed analysis of the many problems with Gores Inconvenient Truth movie here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/10/04/detailed-comments-on-an-inconvenient-truth/
-Anthony

anna v
November 8, 2008 8:06 am

eric (05:39:22) :
“It seems to me the film implied that when we look at the past 400,000 years and see changes in atmospheric CO2 following rather than leading temperature changes, it means the oceans act as a sink for CO2, releasing more when it warms up, and absorbing CO2 when it cools down. That may be true in history, but that does not seem to be happening today. CO2 in the ocean is slightly increasing, if I’m not mistaken. The increased CO2 in the atmosphere is not primarily coming from the oceans this time around. Is my analysis correct?”
I do not know if anybody has replied to your query, and I have not seen the DVD.
The skeptics claim is that CO2 is behaving as it has behaved the last 400.000 years, coming out of the ocean after the increase in temperature. The anthropogenic contribution ( from oil and coal) is a small part of this increase. Some comes from animals and forest fires and land clearance so that would also be anthropogenic. The warmers think that Co2 lingers for decades in the atmosphere, if not centuries. The skeptics give a lifetime of five or ten years. If cooling/stasis continues for another ten years we will have one more datum on which side is right because the cooling oceans should be absorbing more CO2, and the CO2 curve should flatten.
In addition the skeptics are right that the level of CO2 at the moment is barely adequate for the flora of the planet. Levels below 150ppm and the plants would die. Plants thrive in greenhouses with 1000ppm.

Bill Illis
November 8, 2008 8:10 am

The problem is all the smoothing and all the averaging that goes on.
Pachauri’s chart is a 5-year moving average of annual temperatures. If you cut the averaging off at 2007 (2008 isn’t finished yet of course) you can get a line going up.
But the climate varies alot. It goes up and down and the warmers like to convienently cut out all the downs in their analysis.
The monthly variability should not be ignored since it also contains alot of information that is useful to explaining what is happening.
If you plot the monthly Nino 3.4 anomaly against the global temperature anomaly, there is a very, very strong correlation. Global temperatures follow the PDO – Nino Index (with a 3 or 4 month lag) directly and continuously. The Nino temps vary more than global temps so a good rule of thumb is that changes in the Nino anomaly of 3 months ago times 15% to 20% is very closely matched to the global anomaly change this month. Plot this monthly over 70 years like I have and you will be convinced.
In the last five years (cutting 2008 out of course) we have mostly been in a positive PDO-Nino and thus temps as annual averages have been increasing. They started falling drastically about 20 months ago when a La Nina appeared but the warmers can just ignore that for now.

leebert
November 8, 2008 8:13 am

JamesG:

You’re wearing pink glasses too, otherwise you’d notice that the USA is currently fighting a war which was based entirely on lies. So yes you are definitely correct that we wage wars because of lies. But is it always down to evil or just delusional thinking? You decide, but remember it cuts two ways when you take your own blinkers off.

Hyperbole solves nothing here.
And the USA war you’re referring to, I assume, is Iraq. It was not “based entirely on lies.” There was evidence found of active Plutonium refinement found at al Tuwaitha (never mind there was enough high-grade U235 to make two shotgun nukes), there were chemical munitions which had been disguised as conventional ones, the colocation of chemical precursors near chemical munitions was not coincidental and the prospect of a post-sanctions Iraq in which yet more Kurds & Swamp Arabs were subjected to genocide was very real.
Neither Bush nor Colin Powell ever claimed the prospect of an imminent nuclear weapon, just as Iran may not have a working one w/in a decade. But Hans Blix looked the other way when Kim Jung Il pulled the wool over his eyes, so what were the leaders of the USA – in a post-9/11 world – supposed to think? That letting Iraq fester in a mire of diversion of food money would result in anything positive?
The greatest errors can be shown to be Bush following the advice of Colin Powell, et al, in letting large divisions of the Iraqi army escape in Spring 2003, and Rumsfeld’s intransigence in stepping up control against what became a proxy battlefield against al Qaeda. This led to years of Saddamist insurgents committing wanton slaughter and internacine recriminations.
The biggest lie is from American Democrats who’ve acted as though they didn’t know what was coming, how the war would evolve, or whether some of the pre-war claims being made were based on shoddy, unclassified, data that was in fact unsubstantially wrong.

George Patch
November 8, 2008 8:31 am

I don’t see the good Doctor allowing my comment on his blog, but we’ll see. Here is what I submitted.
“I have not seen any evidence that many Americans were voting on the climate change issue, and I also can’t say the American people as a whole have a major difference with the current policies.
Just what is the policy you’d like to see announced? I say this with the knowledge that last six years have shown no warming, and the last year or more indicates a pronounced cooling trend is underway.
I think common ground can be found with the current economic crisis. A crisis with roots deep in risky lending policies, but triggered by a rapid rise in energy prices over the last few years.
Yet I’m fairly certain you are advocating policies that will constrain the supply of energy and further drive up prices. Many proposed initiatives such as carbon trading and sequestration will take limited resources away from renewables and nuclear. These initiatives and policies will constrain supply, force price increases and ultimately lead to further economic turmoil, which will reduce the resources available to new developments.
With the policies you advocate, you can’t get to your destination. You need to find the middle ground, and that is in energy independence. Policies that increase the domestic supply, increase the use of renewables and nuclear, increase conservation, while lowering costs and boosting economy as a whole.”
-George

anna v
November 8, 2008 8:36 am

p.s. to my (08:06:24) :
Have a look through the satellite measurements of CO2
http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/story_archive/Measuring_CO2_from_Space/
If you have a fast connection there is an instructive animation you can find further in the link.
The increase in CO2 is less than 2ppm at the moment. The world map has a width of 20ppm.
There is a lot of CO2 in a band in the southern hemisphere, and a spike in the antarctic. This talks of CO2 emitted by volcanic activity, which has not been well documented. There are continuous discoceries of undewater vents and volcanoes that go unreported. The complete CO2 story is not really available for us.

November 8, 2008 8:40 am

I think what we are seeing is the beginning of a scientific ‘McCarthiest’ period regarding AGW skeptics. I can well imagine Dr Hansen sitting before the next Congress saying, “I have here a list….”
It seems that the movement to suppress those that do not accept the gospel has begun and, I fear, will become worse as time goes on.

Editor
November 8, 2008 8:45 am

back in the day, why, I recall the misapplied quoting of Ike’s military/industrial complex speech by those who were convinced they were intellectually superior to Reagan.
There is only one way that speech would have been (mis)taken. It was very irresponsible to have made it in the first place. It hurt the American position in the Cold War badly, both at home and abroad. To this day it sets my teeth on edge just thinkin’ about it. Nuclear tripwire and massive retaliation were great stupidities as well (fortunately for the world, Herman Khan came onto the scene in 1960 and put paid such nonsense).

John D.
November 8, 2008 8:49 am

Jack Simms..you’re comparing apples and oranges there amigo. The climate data are illustrative of a linear trend, supposedly reflective of decades of fluctuation, wheras the election results are reflective of opinion at a single point in time..no parallell there at all…whatsoever !! 🙂
Good try though!
John D.

November 8, 2008 8:52 am

leebert,
What you did not mention also was the discovery of over a dozen labs secreted beneath police (torture) stations and some Presidential ‘palaces’, the intended purpose of which was to preserve Saddam’s chemical/bio production capabilities against the day the French and Russians managed to get the UN inspection regime lifted (which would have occurred, sans the US invasion, in 2004.
Saddam was a horribly inept General, but he was not stupid and realized he could not keep quantities of chemical/bio weaps hidden from the UN. What he could keep hidden (and was also required to surrender by the UN ceasefire agreement) was the capability to produce the weapons. I suspect, tho there is no proof that large quantities of nerve gas/mustard gas were dumped into the Tigris near Baghdad as US troops approached (the inability of the 4th ID to attack from the north allowed Saddam significantly more time than we had wanted – time he used to ‘clean up’) . I recall US troops getting highly positive readings from the waters of the Tigris for nerve agents in the first days of the approach to Baghdad. That and it does not take much to change Sarin to insecticide (since that is what led to the development of Sarin type agents – research into effective insecticides). It was always seemingly strange to me that we discovered caches of insecticide guarded by Republican Guards..

David Gladstone
November 8, 2008 8:57 am

I just went on his blog and gave him a good verbal thrashing! Nothing better in the morning than clubbing a global warming idiot who is doing a great deal of damage the world over! :]

Editor
November 8, 2008 8:59 am

Thinking a large reduction of CO2 emissions will mean the end of civilization as we know it, is alarmism of the other kind.
Oh, I agree. The brunt will be borne by the poor in the third and fourth worlds. The cost in human life will be tremendous. Civilization as we pampered few know it will not be materially affected.
DDT provides the stereotypical analogy. Malaria was at the point of being wiped out worldwide. Cases in India and Ceylon were practically nil. Then came Silent Spring. The US was hardly affected by the ban. India banned DDT but quickly reverted to use (after millions of deaths). All in all 40 million of the world’s most vulnerable children needlessly died. And yes, the White Man’s World hardly even noticed. We just substituted far more toxic and environmentally destructive, far less effective insecticides and continued forward.
So, yes, nothing to be alarmed about.

anna v
November 8, 2008 9:00 am

From Jennifer’s blog:
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,24608324-30538,00.html
Carbon crash hits Europe’s emission trading scheme
* Font Size: Decrease Increase
* Print Page: Print
Carl Mortished | November 06, 2008
“WHILE you were distracted by crashing banks and clashing US senators, you may have missed a small environmental earthquake.
The price of carbon has collapsed.
In only three months, life has become a lot cheaper for polluters. The financial cost of warming the planet has plummeted in Europe’s emissions trading system (ETS) and the effectiveness of such a volatile market mechanism in curbing carbon is being questioned. ”
……
“Carbon’s falling price spells companies going bust, the loss of jobs and the shredding of political reputations. Over the next year, no politician with re-election hopes will back a policy that would triple the price of carbon for industry and raise consumers’ energy costs. There is a wider question about the ETS that must be addressed, and that is whether it is a sensible mechanism to regulate carbon.”

Michael Jennings
November 8, 2008 9:03 am

John Ioannidis of the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He reached the surprising conclusion that most published research findings are proved false within five years of their publication.
It will be interesting to see if his research holds up in five years… 🙂
Well played Leif, well played! 😉

John D.
November 8, 2008 9:13 am

Evan..by the way, those who are unaware of “German Songs” may have children and grandchildren who unwittingly, once again, sing them.
John D.

Christian Bultmann
November 8, 2008 9:16 am

The warming period from 1895 to 1946 and the current one from 1957 to 2008 are virtually identical in lope and appearance as Anthony pointed out in his presentation.
The good doctor skipped over the cooling phase in the 70th to produce a steeper temperature trend.
Amazing what wisdom garners you a Nobel Price these days.

kim
November 8, 2008 9:19 am

Anne (07:42:47) Proof that CO2=AGW is irrelevant? You marvelously illustrate that the Precautionary Principle is a paeon to ignorance. Would you pre-emptively remove your colon to make sure you don’t develop colon cancer?
How about trying to gain enough knowledge to make an informed decision. We really need an effective and honest accounting of the costs and benefits of carbon encumbrance. There is nowhere near enough proof that CO2 adversely effects the climate to justify the massive social costs of encumbering carbon, especially now that temperatures are falling and the purported connection between CO2 and climate regulation is unravelling. You fool yourself if you think otherwise.
================================

Editor
November 8, 2008 9:19 am

It seems to me the film implied that when we look at the past 400,000 years and see changes in atmospheric CO2 following rather than leading temperature changes, it means the oceans act as a sink for CO2, releasing more when it warms up, and absorbing CO2 when it cools down.
Yes, but that is a delta of a mere 10 ppm CO2 per Degree Celsius of increase or decrease. So the level varies by around 100 ppm CO2 over a Milankovitch-inspired ice age.
–Man adds @ of c. 3% of total atmospheric carbon (or c. 7.5 BMTC/year).
–A little over half of that is absorbed by ocean and soil sinks.
–The remainder remains in the atmosphere and accumulates, increasing the amount in the Atmospheric sink (750 BMTC) by c. 0.4% per year.
So, yes, man has had a significant role in the increase in CO2.
HOWEVER, since it would appear that since CO2 does NOT drive climate at current levels (we’ve hit diminishing returns) and since IPCC CO2 positive feedback theory is woefully incorrect, the increase in CO2 is not significant to temperatures (but may well have contributed to the 6% increase in biomass–mostly in the rainforests–over the last decade and a half).
So, is man responsible for CO2 increase? Yes.
Is CO2 increase a Bad Thing? No.

Ron de Haan
November 8, 2008 9:20 am

The fact that the UN IPCC now has a loyal servant in the white House, the biggest economy of the world, clearly makes them over confident.
Especially because this economy is hit by one of the worst economic crises in history.
The Patriot Act and a new formed Civil Army (as introduced by Barack Obama on his speech of the 2nd of july 2008), provide a forward view on what COULD happen to climate deniers and protesters when the use of carbon fuels is regulated by law.
The president already has promised to bankrupt the coal industry, sky rocket the costs for electricity and tax the use of carbon fuels.
There is absolutely no life threatening reason why we should kill the coal industry and confront the US households and the industry with soaring energy prices.
It is my personal opinion that any doctrine based on lies and disinformation of the people should be rejected at any price.
The “agenda” of the UN IPCC, planned for decades, is not democratic and represents a great threat to our existence. (http://green-agenda.com)
The basic philosophy behind the agenda is the threat of over population and use of resources and destruction of habitats.
Their final objective is to create a sustainable society limited to about 500 million to 1 billion inhabitants…
The fastest and most efficient way to achieve this goal is to choke the western world by destroying the carbon energy infrastructure which is the life blood modern society.
Without carbon energy the modern world comes to a stand still.
The result will be human suffering, hunger and starvation on an unimaginable scale.
The UN push for the development of green fuels, a huge mistake which will be corrected by the current crises, is directly responsible for 1 billion people that currently depend on food aid which is NOT delivered.
This is because the world food stocks are at its lowest levels since a long time and the price of food was coupled to the price of carbon fuels.
I personally believe that we can solve our problems very well without a doctrine that intends to artificially take a way our liberties, messing with our way of life and a reduction of 5/6 of the world population.
It could very well be that I have made a completely wrong assessment about the forces that push for carbon taxation.
But one thing is clear to me.
When the the ruling elites in the world use lies to push policies we have to be extremely careful and be prepared for the worst.

clique2
November 8, 2008 9:22 am

Hi!
Please be very circumspect about referring to DDT. Granted alternatives are can be worse but DDT is an accumulative OP poison with a whole host of consequences.
Shouting about DDT leaves the door open to being deluged with evidence about bats, bird eggshell thickness etc.
It was the one part of Monktons letter that made me feel he was giving the “opposition” a target which which they could belittle and dismiss everything he says.

M. Jeff
November 8, 2008 9:25 am

Excerpts from BJØRN LOMBORG article in today’s WSJ:
… And while warming will mean about 400,000 more heat-related deaths globally, it will also have positive effects, such as 1.8 million fewer cold-related deaths, according to the only peer-reviewed global estimate, published in Ecological Economics — something that is rarely reported. …
… Germany, the leading consumer of solar panels, will end up spending $156 billion by 2035, yet only delay global warming by one hour by the end of the century. …

Anne
November 8, 2008 9:27 am

anna v (08:06:24) :
If cooling/stasis continues for another ten years we will have one more datum on which side is right because the cooling oceans should be absorbing more CO2, and the CO2 curve should flatten.
Global temperatures declined slightly from ca. 1940-1970. At least from 1959 (start of Mauna Loa monitoring) until now it increased steadily. The temperature trend over the last decade was pretty flat too, but the CO2 level kept increasing. My bet is that the next ten years will not show any change in the rise of CO2 levels. Either the period is too short to prove your hypothesis or your hypothesis is false.

Bruce Cobb
November 8, 2008 9:29 am

Anne: Excluding information will almost certainly decrease the quality of a decision.
Correct. In addition to lying, excluding information is precisely what AGWers habitually do.
I have complete faith in humen ingenuity So do we. It will prevail, despite the incredibly wasteful stupidity of believing the AGW lie.
You should learn to spell, BTW.
[REPLY – We can’t edit our posts. Typos are to be expected. ~ Evan]

G Alston
November 8, 2008 9:34 am

evanjones — “There is only one way that speech would have been (mis)taken.”
He was warning about technological stasis, and he was mostly wrong. I said his quote was misapplied, not mistaken; the reason being that the result wasn’t technological stasis. Pournelle/Possony’s late 60’s book “strategy of technology” spells this out, if you’re interested. Reagan used this to great advantage.
Anne — “Whether it is ‘proven’ or not is irrelevant. Do you need proof that you will develop serious health problems next year before taking a health insurance? ”
You’re basicially positing a neutered version of Pascal’s Wager. It doesn’t apply to the climate debate, although attempts to invoke this are an everyday occurence. You’re the #87 this week alone. You can look up the discussion of the fallacy of this yourself; I lack the requisite interest to help you with your homework. (Will one of you GW people *please* come up with an original argument? And for once, can it also be logical? Is that too much to ask for?)
JamesG — “I’m pretty sure that most of you guys only looked closer at the data for one reason – you don’t like taxes under any circumstances. ”
So, all skepticism is informed by Rush Limbaugh? Hmmm. I didn’t know this. Brilliant observation. Just brilliant. You must hang with Anne there.

AKD
November 8, 2008 9:35 am

Anne: “Whether it is ‘proven’ or not is irrelevant. Do you need proof that you will develop serious health problems next year before taking a health insurance? All decisions suffer uncertainties. Excluding information will almost certainly decrease the quality of a decision.”
To provide a more correct analogy, I would require substantial proof that one of my legs is suffering from an incurable and spreading infection before I submitted to having the leg amputated.

Anne
November 8, 2008 9:36 am

evanjones (08:59:01) :
The brunt will be borne by the poor in the third and fourth worlds. The cost in human life will be tremendous.
And all that without any data to support it. I rest my case.

M White
November 8, 2008 9:39 am

Less money in the pockets of the western consumer is already having an effect on China. This is without US cap and trade.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7713594.stm
Cap and trade will just make life more expensive. In Europe there seems to be a bottomless pit of carbon credits.
http://newsbusters.org/node/12378
If you need some there’ll aways be some to buy.
Just how will the Chinese government manage an unemployment problem

JamesG
November 8, 2008 9:40 am

Bruce Cobb
Re. aversion to taxes.
It’s also a pretty neat trick to convert “most of you” into “everyone” like you did. And far from being a bizarre claim, most people here, honest souls that they are, would likely admit that tax limitation is their main credo. Not that i was being nasty – obviously more folk should be skeptical regardless of motivation.
Leebert
You give a very good example of the typical human behavior I was talking about. Clearly you put most of the information you receive through your political affiliation filter – or perhaps you just don’t like to look at both sides to an argument. The decision to invade Iraq was made very early on by a prominent conservative think tank called “Project for a new American century” of which Cheney and Rumsfeld were members and signatories. The report is even online to read. All they needed was a good excuse. This was confirmed in a leaked memo by the UK MI5 where they complained that “the facts are being fit around the policy”. I’m sorry if those little facts escaped you. Why don’t you check it out via non-conservative channels. All your arguments are frantic revisionism obtained from your extreme right-wing support group. Again, I don’t mean to insult anyone here. I think most conservatives are decent people and that the neo-con movement has been a nasty succubus to real Republicanism just like the Militant Tendency was to the UK Labour party. They need to be expelled. The truth is you were lied to plain and simple and you wanted to believe it. It might not be nice to admit but you’ll be a better person when you do. Having said all that I’ll admit myself that I was in favor of the war too – because those evil UN sanctions had already killed millions of Iraqi children: Something everyone seems to forget about now.

Katherine
November 8, 2008 9:41 am

Anne (07:42:47) wrote:
Whether it is ‘proven’ or not is irrelevant. Do you need proof that you will develop serious health problems next year before taking a health insurance? All decisions suffer uncertainties. Excluding information will almost certainly decrease the quality of a decision.
If paying for that health insurance means I won’t have enough money for food, yes, I’d demand proof first. After all, what good is that insurance if I’m so weak from hunger I pass out on the street and get run over by a truck?
The consequences of climate change are not all negative. Nobody in the AGW camp disputes that. But the question is: do the postives outweigh the negatives? Do you have proof of that?
Since historical records have shown that climate change is natural and cyclical, it’s up to the warmists to first prove that this time the cause of the change is unnatural. Until they have proven that, no problem exists. That would be like advocating a glass of clean water be used to wash your hands when a person beside you is keeling over from dehydration.

Editor
November 8, 2008 9:45 am

clique: I hear you. But DDT (and all insecticides) were used very irresponsibly. Using it in the modern way poses no threat whatever to the birds and the bats.
The history is that since DDT was so safe to humans it was dumped wholesale over all creation and some residual effects over gross overuse DID show up. We are quite lucky, actually. If DDT were not so benign, we would have been up a very deep creek.
The point is that the alternatives are worse and more dangerous. But with modern use, their ill effects are limited. The WHO has finally got it through their thick heads that DDT–via modern use–is by far the best course. The kindertotenlieder is over.
And of course, DDT is persistent. That’s why it works! Plus, it not only wipes out the buggers but it repels them as well.
He was warning about technological stasis, and he was mostly wrong. I said his quote was misapplied, not mistaken; the reason being that the result wasn’t technological stasis. Pournelle/Possony’s late 60’s book “strategy of technology” spells this out, if you’re interested. Reagan used this to great advantage.
All very well. But he should never have said it in the first place. It just plain old hurt America and hurt the world.

crosspatch
November 8, 2008 9:56 am

“Without knowing exactly how he contributed to the plan, you can not make this type of judgements.”
I do know that he was the one presenting the plan to the Indian government and that he was responsible for it and that he offered no caveats. To attempt to find some weasel language to allow him to escape responsibility for his own report seems a but of a reach and more likely an improper judgment.
And this isn’t the only example of which I have heard where he has spoken domestically that AGW isn’t really a problem but could be used to the benefit of India to obtain a better global competitive position. It was simply the first example that came up on a not very exhaustive web search.

JamesG
November 8, 2008 9:56 am

M. Jeff
I respect your views on DDT but I’ll leave these quotes from Robert Gwadz of the national institute of Health in Zambia in the National Geographic of July 2007 who said “the ban on DDT may have killed 20 million children” and “it’s possible that due to malaria every child in Africa is neurologically scarred”. He treats malaria victims every day so I think he deserves the last word. I truly respect most environmentalists, some of whom do huge amounts of good in the world, but when they get it wrong they can really get it wrong.

Editor
November 8, 2008 9:56 am

And all that without any data to support it. I rest my case.
And here is my case (esp. the last two pages). Enjoy.
(And thank me for my support!) #B^1
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/22/global_warming_mitigation_vs_adaptation/

M White
November 8, 2008 10:07 am

A definite prediction (subject to change?)
The forecast from researchers at the Met Office’s Hadley Centre in Exeter reveals that natural shifts in climate will cancel out warming produced by greenhouse gas emissions and other human activity until 2009, but from then on, temperatures will rise steadily. Temperatures are set to rise over the 10-year period by 0.3C
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/aug/10/weather.uknews
Hadley temperature graphs from 1850
http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/

Chris D.
November 8, 2008 10:10 am

…meanwhile, look at that ice go!

Anne
November 8, 2008 10:12 am

Katherine (09:41:09) :
If paying for that health insurance means I won’t have enough money for food, yes, I’d demand proof first. After all, what good is that insurance if I’m so weak from hunger I pass out on the street and get run over by a truck?
Is that the choice we’re facing? Come on, get real. Even the most agressive mitigation proposals cost less than a few percent of GDP. To parafrase your example: If paying for that health insurance means I won’t have enough money for a new plasma tv, yes, I’d demand proof first. After all, what good is that insurance if I miss out on the latest and greatest tv shows in HD?
Since historical records have shown that climate change is natural and cyclical, it’s up to the warmists to first prove that this time the cause of the change is unnatural.
Since historical records have shown that CO2 and climate change are deeply linked, it’s up to the skeptics to first prove that this time the change of CO2 levels will not cause climate change.

November 8, 2008 10:13 am

Roy Spencer said;
While a politician might be faulted for pushing a particular agenda that serves his own purposes, who can fault the impartial scientist who warns us of an imminent global-warming Armageddon? After all, the practice of science is an unbiased search for the truth, right? The scientists have spoken on global warming. There is no more debate. But let me play devil’s advocate. Just how good is the science underpinning the theory of manmade global warming? My answer might surprise you: it is 10 miles wide, but only 2 inches deep.
Contrary to what you have been led to believe, there is no solid published evidence that has ruled out a natural cause for most of our recent warmth – not one peer-reviewed paper. The reason: our measurements of global weather on decadal time scales are insufficient to reject such a possibility. For instance, the last 30 years of the strongest warming could have been caused by a very slight change in cloudiness. What might have caused such a change? Well, one possibility is the sudden shift to more frequent El Niño events (and fewer La Niña events) since the 1970s. That shift also coincided with a change in another climate index, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
evanjones (22:53:48) said:
But the reason I like the break points I mentioned is that from 1976 or so to 2001, the “Big Six” cycles (PDO, AMO, NAO, IPO, AO, AAO) went from cold to warm phase one by one. The climate warmed.
Joe D’Aleo said:
La Nina is gradually returning. The Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) has dropped to -0.74 in October, well into weak La Nina territory. The tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures all the way from South America to beyond the dateline are back below normal. The North Pacific as a whole remains strongly in the cold mode (negative PDO). The Atlantic is weakly in its warm mode (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation is positive).
Dr Leif said:
There is good evidence that solar activity has not increased steadily over the past 300 years.
Anthony Watts said:
As many readers know, the predictions for record low sea ice minimums in 2008…
Sorry: the repetition
FM

Stefan
November 8, 2008 10:19 am

Anne wrote:
I have learned from my parents that if I make a mess of things, I should clean up. I am trying to teach my own kids the same values.

Anne, thanks for the reply. I have learnt from being married that the last way to solve a problem with my partner is to try to apportion blame. It doesn’t matter who screwed up, we have to try to work out a way that benefits both of us.
Apportioning blame leads to more conflict, and on the world stage that means all sorts of trouble. You may want to clean up your house, but how are you going to convince another country like the UK or Italy to clean up? Every nation is essentially selfish, including the poor ones. The governments of the poor countries can be some of the worst and most draconian. It is the rich countries that are more open to ethical behavior. But don’t imagine that countries won’t just exploit our self sacrifice for their own ends. This is the problem. There is this idea that a global problem requires a global solution, but the countries of the world will attack this problem using competition, not co-operation.
There is a big difference between a marriage where both people are genuinely helping each other, and a marriage where neither one wants to be in the relationship but they are tied together financially. The world is like the latter.

M. Jeff
November 8, 2008 10:19 am

JamesG (09:56:27) : “M. Jeff, I respect your views on DDT… ”
I did not mention DDT.

M White
November 8, 2008 10:21 am

The precautionary principle
Some say there will be a drought
Some say there will be a flood
Do you dig a well or build an arc??

JamesG
November 8, 2008 10:25 am

G Alston
If you’re trying to pigeonhole me you’ll fail. I’m a skeptic’s skeptic and apolitical. But if I’m wrong just tell me so. Actually if Anne is the same Anne from “Economists view” then we do pretty much agree on most things, except climate change of course. We were both very adamant there that there was a massive financial collapse coming due to the unsustainable nature of the debt-based economy. Bingo. My own credo is the search for truth and you often have to wade through piles of ideological manure from both sides in order to get to it. I see the way ahead is on clean, green energy solutions based on cost-benefit and I’m sure we can all agree on that at least. There’s nothing wrong with being anti-tax though, so don’t be ashamed of it 🙂

crosspatch
November 8, 2008 10:32 am

And on a completely different note, the RSS anomaly numbers are out for October.
You can get the data here
Looks like it cooled a bit in October globally, warmed a little in the NH and cooled a little in the SH.

November 8, 2008 10:33 am

Follow the money trail…if they’re getting funding for ‘Climate Change’..they have to lie to continue to receive the money…shameful..very shameful….
http://www.cookevilleweatherguy.com

November 8, 2008 10:36 am

Leif Svalgaard (20:13:20) :
“Michael Duffy:
John Ioannidis of the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He reached the surprising conclusion that most published research findings are proved false within five years of their publication.
It will be interesting to see if his research holds up in five years… :-)”
This may be true of some research areas but in the AGW area false findings seem to be the rule when published.

Mike Bryant
November 8, 2008 10:41 am

Wow Evan,
That was a nice clear explanation, with plenty of data to support it.
Mitigation is supposed to be a low cost way to prevent large losses. If a hurricane is coming, you board up the windows. If the gate is open and the cows might get into the highway, you close the gate.
Somehow, mitigation has been turned upside down. It’s as if we must burn down the house to prevent hurricane damage, or kill/cripple the cows to prevent accidents.
We are being asked (ordered?) to pour the wealth of our nation down a black hole to delay warming for a few months a hundred years from now.
In the new logic, mitigation is an extremely high cost action designed to prevent very manageable outcomes.
Adaptation is the correct response to global warming. Mitigation? Sure, if the price is right.

Editor
November 8, 2008 10:43 am

Since historical records have shown that CO2 and climate change are deeply linked, it’s up to the skeptics to first prove that this time the change of CO2 levels will not cause climate change.
[Amused reaction sternly repressed.] Linked, yes. But it is the CO2 that follows the climate change, not the other way around.
The climate warms, and, centuries after, the CO2 increases. The temperatures drop and, centuries after, the CO2 decreases.
It is not logically impossible, I suppose, that there is some small interim feedback effect at work. But it is THAT theory which bears the primary burden of proof!
I recall US troops getting highly positive readings from the waters of the Tigris for nerve agents in the first days of the approach to Baghdad.
You recall correctly.
That was a nice clear explanation, with plenty of data to support it.
Thanks. But it seems I am too late. the case appears to have been rested. Debate over. Case closed. (Move along.)

JamesG
November 8, 2008 10:47 am

Lifted from the register.co.uk – because I like it:
By Charles Manning Posted Thursday 6th November 2008 00:36 GMT
” The aim of all scientists is to secure funding and the easiest way to do it these days is to somehow tie your research area to Global Warming. Sure many scientists think Global Warming is a crock (or at least is not “proven” — whatever that means), but you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
If you were in the CIA then you’d know that your funding and power depends on the commie/Islamic threat. Therefore you fan the commie/Islamic flame. The last thing anyone in the CIA wants is peace because that would do them out of jobs.
If you’re an IPCC scientist then you know that your funding & conferences etc depend on keeping the threat alive. Same deal.
The unwashed masses seem to love drama and the scientific community are always keen to play along. Just look at the list we’ve had over the last few years:
* AIDS: We were supposed to all be dead by now weren’t we. Sure, some people die, but for the most part so long as you don’t play silly buggers with needles or todgers you’re OK.
* SARS: 774 deaths in a few years. It was supposed to go around the wold in a killing spree.
* Bird Flu: 243 deaths. Mostly in Indonesia where people live with poultry walking around in their houses.
* Mad Cow Disease: About 150 deaths
Yet boring and less newsworthy stuff kills far more of us:
* Cars: Hundreds of thousands per year.
* Tuberculosis: 1.5 million per year”
All so true!

John M
November 8, 2008 11:02 am

Anne,
I’ve always disliked the insurance analogy. You buy insurance to spread the risk and to protect you when bad things happen. While there may be a tiny preventative benefit from health insurance, its main benefit is to pay out when you get sick, otherwise there’d be demand for “service contracts” (x visits to the doc per year, no more). Generally, insurance doesn’t prevent bad things from happening.
AGW policy makers aren’t just trying to force us to buy insurance, they’re trying to change the way we live because THEY think it’s a good idea.
Of course, no analogy is perfect. What it comes down to is a political debate about who gives up what for who’s benefit. The “collective good” generally means “what’s good for me and what I think”.
By the way, our current and deepening recession is because of a drop of “a few percent of GDP.” Tell the 200,000 people that just lost their jobs and the people staring at their retirement statements that it’s just “a few percent of GDP”.

Richard deSousa
November 8, 2008 11:02 am

OT?…. New Zealand just elected a conservative government… I think it means the end of the crazy green idea of cap and trade scheme.

Stefan
November 8, 2008 11:09 am

Anna wrote:
Even the most agressive mitigation proposals cost less than a few percent of GDP.

This is something that puzzles me. World energy use is something like 60% oil and coal. How do you stop this?

Anne
November 8, 2008 11:15 am

evanjones (10:43:44) :
You touched a fundamental problem, which usually results in an endless discussion because it is a matter of opinion, simplified to its essence:
1. If you want to change human behaviour then you have the burden of proof.
2. If you want to change the composition of the atmosphere then you have the burden of proof.

Katherine
November 8, 2008 11:32 am

Anne (10:12:28) wrote:
Is that the choice we’re facing? Come on, get real. Even the most agressive mitigation proposals cost less than a few percent of GDP. To parafrase your example: If paying for that health insurance means I won’t have enough money for a new plasma tv, yes, I’d demand proof first. After all, what good is that insurance if I miss out on the latest and greatest tv shows in HD?
You can afford a plasma TV? Lucky you! But you’re overlooking the millions who can’t, those who would be immediately affected by hikes in electricity cost if coal-fired power plants are forced out of service. I’m one of them. On hot summer days/nights, I turn on a fan; no air-conditioning in my home. Get real? That is real. My example stands.
Since historical records have shown that CO2 and climate change are deeply linked, it’s up to the skeptics to first prove that this time the change of CO2 levels will not cause climate change.
evanjones’s rebuttal said it all. “Deeply linked” is not causation, especially when CO2 change trails temperature change. The skeptics don’t have to prove nature. Nature will change as it will. Warmists claimed the change is unnatural? Prove it.

Anne
November 8, 2008 11:33 am

Stefan (10:19:17) :
I very well understand and appreciate your point of view.
Blaming people is definitely counterproductive. As is blaming yourself. But there is this a third option: feeling responsible for your own actions, which has nothing to do with guilt.
Since the western countries are the ones taking the initiative in both climate change awareness and mitigation efforts, I do not feel they are blaming themselves, they are taking responsibility for their actions.

Don Shaw
November 8, 2008 11:36 am

Ann, some food for thought on your comments:
“The western countries are for more than 90% responsible for combined CO2 emissions done over the past centuries. It would be morally untenable to not hold those same western countries repsonsible for the problem.”
How many “centuries” are you referring to? Do you also include the periods that were extemely cold like in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s? Did CO2 emissions prevent any of this extreme cooling? In my opinion it is morally untenable to destroy our economy based on a politically driven agenda based on a weak theory, especially when the AGW advocates refuse to allow a scientific discussion of the facts and name call those who disagree.
You state that CO2 emissions are a problem caused by Western Nations. You assume the Science is settled, many do not agree with you and recent global and sea temperature data does not match that theory although CO2 emissions have increased.
“Just shut down the country till you’re left with change…in your pocket.
This is not true. Nobody apart from some extreme environmentalists suggest to shutdown the economy. Wait, you make it even worse, by claiming they suggest we have to shutdown the country.”
Barak Obama has called CO2 a pollutant and the Democratic leaders in Congress have called coal and oil dirty. Obama has said he want’s to bankrup the coal companies. Congress is restricting use of oil from Canada tar sands and refuses to drill offshore and in ANWR for oil and natural gas. Nuclear has been taken off the table by Harry Reid and Obama only says he will look at Nuclear. Al Gore runs around the world ranting and raving saying that the end is near and the MSM never questions his claims. This is not just a few extreme environmentalists. For many of us the above actions are extreme and based on our experience believe such a stance will negatively affect our economy in a significant way.
“I have complete faith in humen ingenuity to develop the technology needed to reduce CO2 emissions without sinking our economies or even noticeably affecting our way of life.”
Energy Companies have spent billions over 50 years looking for alternative sources of energy, and progress has been slow except for Nuclear that was killed in the USA by our government listening to the environmentalists. Do you think that the Countries like Japan, China, and India with all their talent have not tried to get off expensive oil? They have thousands of engineers and scientists looking for alternatives. What progress has been made in the last 10 years that have been devoted to alternative fuels? NADA. I spent a lot of time in the 80’s working on major, expensive projects to rid our dependence on foreign oil, so this has been going on for a long time. If it is as easy as you and Barak claim someone would have found the silver bullet a long time ago. Someday , a breakthrough will occur but not with the way we are approaching the energy need. In the meantime I’m not prepared to risk the lifestyle of my children and grandchildren based on your “faith”. One of the problems we experience is that the politicians have got involved and we have subsidized a lot of useless programs like subsidies for Corn farmers (Ethanol) and other marginal programs like cutting down trees to produce fuels and proposals for carbon tax. Of course this is a form of income distribution to congressional campaign contributors and those who have got into carbon trading business. What do you expect from a Congress with a 9% approval rating.
“Thinking a large reduction of CO2 emissions will mean the end of civilization as we know it, is alarmism of the other kind.”
Rapidly pushing for the CO2 reduction before there are commercially demonstrated, economic alternatives to replace fossil fuels is suicidal for our economy. And it is especially troublesome since it is all based on the theory that manmade CO2 is causing a “problem” which many do not agree with. Not to mention that because we refuse to develop our own fossil resources we are currently sending a lot of $$$ overseas, burdening our economy, and artifically creating a shortage of cheap, affordable energy. The carbon tax is already being questioned in Europe and yet we have a bunch of politicians eager to increase the cost for carbon based fuels. How will this help our economy?

Richard
November 8, 2008 11:39 am

I have one question, do Pachauri, Gore and Hansen
(a) really believe everything they say is true?
or
(b)believe some things they say are untrue but justify it in their minds?

November 8, 2008 11:43 am

Anne:
You can discard #1 and #2 above, and replace them with:
If you propose a hypothesis, then you have the burden of proof.
AGW/CO2/runaway global warming is the proposed hypothesis. It has not withstood falsification. Therefore, it has not replaced conventional climate science, which posits that the climate is currently well within normal historical parameters. Nothing out of the ordinary is occurring.
Remember that the only support for climate catastrophe comes from always-inaccurate computer models, while the empirical evidence supports conventional climate science.
The burden of proof is on the alarmists, who have completely failed to prove their hypothesis.

Editor
November 8, 2008 11:51 am

Anne: The fundamental point is which comes first, the chicken or the egg.
Even the most agressive mitigation proposals cost less than a few percent of GDP.
GOOD Lord! A few percent? A FEW PERCENT? World growth is around two to three percent. And the “most aggressive mitigation proposals” tag directly those very industries which create the growth. Cut my heart out, please! It’s only a few percent.
I think I’ll do the King Lear dodge: “I can be patient, I can stay with Re[a]gan, I and my hundred knights.”
The western countries are for more than 90% responsible for combined CO2 emissions done over the past centuries. It would be morally untenable to not hold those same western countries repsonsible for the problem.
I quite agree. But there are two problems. A.)The evidence is (esp. from the Aqua Satellite) that CO2 emissions are not harmful. And B.) When the developed countries lose productivity, the undeveloped countries take it in the teeth and suffer far more man-for-man.

Ed Scott
November 8, 2008 11:51 am

It is clear that real scientists do no have a clear understanding of the specious science of AGW – BGW in Dr. Pachauri’s case.
When Dr. Pachauri stated “We’re at a stage where warming is taking place at a much faster rate [than before],“ he was speaking of the heat from the lighting above the stage on which he was standing in contrast with the heat from the lighting on previous stages.
Pachauri said the number of global warming skeptics is shrinking. Dr. Pachauri was having a Kinsley Moment in admitting that his audience was shrinking in that fewer and fewer skeptics were attending his lectures.
The concept in specious AGW and/or, BGW science is that factual data is irrelevant, it is the specious claim that prevails.
Remember, eat more vegetables and eat less meat to off-set the BGW (CH4) of 400,000,000 sacred bovines in Dr. Pachauri’s India.

Jason
November 8, 2008 11:57 am

To Dr. RK Pachauri
I was surprised to hear of your talk at the University of NSW. In it you are quoted as saying “We’re at a stage where warming is taking place at a much faster rate” than before, and presenting a graph that shows global temperatures continuously rising since the beginning of the 21st century.
Is this true? If not, could you please correct the record?
If so, could you provide me with a reference to your source of temperature data?
All of the sources of global temperature data that I have used (hadcrut, giss, the various satellites) show little or no change in global temperatures since the dawn of century.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that global warming has stopped. There are a variety of possibly explanations that are completely consistent with the hypothesis of AGW driven by greenhouse gas emissions.
But if the allegation that you are misrepresenting global temperature trends is true, it could have a material impact on your credibility and that of the IPCC.

eric
November 8, 2008 11:59 am

John Phillip and anna v:
Thanks for your thoughts re: Great Global Warming Swindle.
John, the full complaint at the ofcomswindlecomplaint.net site is 188 pages long. I have only perused a few pages, but it strikes me that this film must have been very effective for it to merit this much effort to discredit it. How many of their complaints are substantive and how many are picayune blather, it could take a person a month to research! I guess I’ve looked at enough data on this (wattsup) and other websites to know where I stand and have a decent sense of when a presentation is seriously departing from the known science. However, I will double check the graphs in the film, as I know there was some controversy about how they represented the Medieval Warm Period. The film has been slightly re-edited for DVD release, and they may have modified the graphs. I do think it is a bit rich for AGWers to complain about systematic deception in this documentary, when Pachuri himself is engaging in blatant falsehoods, and I doubt the group who was so concerned about the Great Global Warming Swindle will author another elaborate piece to discredit Pachuri’s lies.
anna v, I did not know about the controversy about the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere. I’m not sure how we would definitively answer the question, either, without much more time and observation — which the AGW lobby does not intend to give us before they implement draconian anti-carbon measures. One reason I am passionate on this issue is that in a fragile economy, carbon cap and trade is just another regressive tax that Obama wants to impose on the USA (and McCain wanted it to), causing electric rates to “skyrocket” in his words. That would be adding insult to injury, as a practical matter, facing the worst economic dislocation since the 1930s.
–eric

Paul Shanahan
November 8, 2008 12:23 pm

Anna, it’s easy for you to find the evidence that the theory is false. Just look at a Mauna Loa graph of rising CO2 and compare it to the big 4 climate centres temperature graphs. What you will see is CO2 going up and temperatures staying stable and since 2007, reducing. No other proof is required to throw that theory out of the window.

JimB
November 8, 2008 12:36 pm

evanjones (09:56:35) :
“And all that without any data to support it. I rest my case.
And here is my case (esp. the last two pages). Enjoy.
(And thank me for my support!) #B^1
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/22/global_warming_mitigation_vs_adaptation/
Evan, Thanks for the link to that article…great reading.
Anne,
My understanding is that the whole of the man-made global warming argument rests on the statement: We can find no proof that the recent rise in termperature was caused by anything natural, therefor it must have been caused by CO2.
I’ve been reading on this subject for a few years now, and I’m not by any means a scientist, but I’ve yet to find 1) any documented proof of CO2 causing the warming, and 2) any reasonable response to any number of reasonable requests/challenges to the theory. Based on that alone, I have to be a skeptic…I’m left with no choice. I do not believe in “faith”, espeically when it comes to science as I understand it.
My 3D friends tell me I’m crazy, it’s settled. When I ask why they believe that, they say that “thousands of scientists all agree”. In fact, there is to my knowledge, one reference in Chapter 9 of the IPCC report that seems to be at the bottom of a lot of this. It was “peer reviewed” by approx 65 scientists. I have no idea what their background was, or what discipline they have studied…and I’ve read that 50 some-odd were “biased”. Forgetting that, 65 scientists is not a lot. There are likely 65 scientists between here and Climate Audit that all present what seem to be very credible arguments regarding experiements, measurements, processes, and results.
Additionally, the number is meaningless. It only takes one scientist to be right. I know you are aware of all of this, as you seem to be a very intelligent person.
The #2 part of my “skeptic” problem is when ACC scientists refuse to release their data, their methods, so that their research can be independently verified. Why is that? If you really stood behind your data and methods, why wouldn’t you want as many other scientists as possible to verify your results?
I don’t understand that at all.
Jim

Stefan
November 8, 2008 12:38 pm

Anne wrote:
Blaming people is definitely counterproductive. As is blaming yourself. But there is this a third option: feeling responsible for your own actions, which has nothing to do with guilt.
Since the western countries are the ones taking the initiative in both climate change awareness and mitigation efforts, I do not feel they are blaming themselves, they are taking responsibility for their actions.

Yes, option three is wise and I feel that is really the way forward. It is the one that is about leading by example.
A lady once asked Ghandi to please instruct her son to stop eating sugar. Ghandi said to come back in two weeks. The lady brought her son back two weeks later, and Ghandi told the son quite pointedly that he must stop eating sugar for it is very bad for his health. The lady thanked Ghandi, but asked, why did she have to wait two weeks? Ghandi replied, “because two weeks ago, I was still eating sugar.”
You may have heard the story, I’m sure it is quite famous. It also illustrates that leading by example is a slow process. But it is also the most effective way, as we avoid getting into conflicts about guilt and hypocrisy.
Someone said that we have been moving to progressively lighter and cleaner technologies for thousands of years–instead of burning down forests we burn oil, and more lately gas–it is a question of whether we can continue the slow move towards cleaner technology, which has been progressing anyway, or whether we actually have to stop further development until a new clean infrastructure is created?
If the accumulation of CO2 is not an immediately severe problem, then we can continue the gradual slow lead by example towards cleaner technology, and India and China can continue their gradual development using the materials they have most cheaply available, even if that is coal, until they can later progress to cleaner technology as that becomes available in the future. This is the path of least conflict, blame, and aggression.
But if the situation is truly dire and we need immediate cuts, then leading by example is not an option–much as we may desire it–instead it will look a lot more like a messy divorce, with winners and losers. And right now the industrialized nations are the ones with the upper hand in any such conflict. At least, that’s how I see it.
Everyone wants a clean environment and lighter footprint and more efficient energy. It is a matter of at what speed we have to go to get there? Are we in a dangerous crisis, or are we just eagerly anticipating a clean future? Most conflict in these debates seems to hinge on what speed people think we need to go at.

Pete
November 8, 2008 12:40 pm

Anne (07:42:47) :
“The consequences of climate change are not all negative. Nobody in the AGW camp disputes that. But the question is: do the postives outweigh the negatives? Do you have proof of that?”
If everyone in the AGW camp agrees that some climate change impacts are positive, why is it so damn hard to hear them. I can envision them whispering behind closed doors, but why don’t they say it publicly?

Pete
November 8, 2008 12:41 pm

Anne (10:12:28) :
“Since historical records have shown that CO2 and climate change are deeply linked, it’s up to the skeptics to first prove that this time the change of CO2 levels will not cause climate change.”
I agree that CO2 and climate change are linked because long term (200-800 year) ocean cycles bring old cold water to the surface that is full of CO2 and also because overall sun induced ocean surface temperature changes lead a change in CO2 (CO2 lags ocean temperature change rates) with about a 5 year lag, but the linkage relations are not well quantified/modeled. CO2 lagging ocean temperature makes sense because that’s where most of the carbon sits, dissolved in the oceans.
The 2nd part of your sentence seems to be based on a different CO2/climate change linkage then what I based my agreement with you on, so I will now disagree but based on what I think you meant. Its up to the warmists to prove that CO2 does not primarily lag ocean temperatures over the last interglacials. I believe that because they can’t, they misdirect and propagandize instead.
Also, I assume that you use “climate change” in lieu of “Catastrophic Anthropogenic CO2 induced Global Warming”. Any reason for that?

November 8, 2008 12:50 pm

Climate alarmists believe that CO2 persists for a very long time in the atmosphere, because that hypothesis contributes to climate alarmism. Some alarmists estimate that CO2 persists for centuries.
As usual, their ‘facts’ are wrong:

“…the average lifetime of a molecule of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, before it is captured by vegetation and afterward released, is about twelve years.”

The quote is by Prof. Freeman Dyson. [source]
The fact that CO2 stays in the atmosphere for only a short time makes the proposal for carbon [dioxide] sequestration spectacularly wrongheaded. There will always be much more CO2 produced – both manmade and natural – than we could possibly store underground. And for what? CO2 is beneficial. More CO2 is better, up to at least a doubling of current atmospheric levels.
Additional CO2 is constantly being produced naturally. In addition, as Paul Shanahan points out above, CO2 has been steadily rising at the same time that global temperatures have been flat to declining.
Where is the cause and effect between rising CO2 levels and global warming? Unless the climate alarmists can answer that question, they have lost their argument.

Anne
November 8, 2008 1:15 pm

Stefan (11:09:24) :
This is something that puzzles me. World energy use is something like 60% oil and coal. How do you stop this?
The right question would be: “How do you replace this?”
You can see that one coming: the usual enviro-hippie 😉 view. Reduction and renewables. Perhaps even nuclear if the renewables don’t fulfill their promise. CCS may become viable, or biofuels (algae-based or something else not competing with food production). There are many options, and there is only one way to find out which are the best.
The main problem holding back renewables is cost. If you see what mass manufacturing does to cost of nearly everything imaginable (cars, telephones, televisions, air travel, computers and even space travel), then there is only one way where that cost is heading: down. That is why I believe that nearly all renewables will become cost-effective sooner or later.

Dave Andrews
November 8, 2008 1:15 pm

I’m sure somebody may have already mentioned it but didn’t Pachauri recently back an Indian Government report that supported the increased use of coal fired power stations in India, even at the same time he is constantly saying the West needs to reduce its CO2 emissions from such stations?
If CO2 is such a problem it surely needs to be tackled on a worldwide basis does it not? (I think I already know the answer to that rhetorical question 🙂 )

janama
November 8, 2008 1:24 pm

Dr. RK Pachauri suggested that the west should pay the price as we are the greatest producers of CO2.
Has anyone done a study on the amount of CO2 produced by 1 billion Indians burning cow dung and firewood?
the Dr’s speech is here:
http://www.unsw.edu.au/news/pad/wallacewurth.html
His interview here:
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2008/s2399649.htm

Ashley
November 8, 2008 1:39 pm

Exceptional post. Those who are truly scientific do not lend themselves to easy deceit. http://www.changingthepast.wordpress.com

Slamdunk
November 8, 2008 1:41 pm

So Rajendra DOES HAVE an agenda!
(Love the alliteration too)
Let’s call him Ragenda Pauchauri

Bob B
November 8, 2008 1:46 pm

Anne (10:12:28) :
“Since historical records have shown that CO2 and climate change are deeply linked, it’s up to the skeptics to first prove that this time the change of CO2 levels will not cause climate change.”
CO2 has been shown to follow temp and not the other way around!

Editor
November 8, 2008 1:50 pm

The right question would be: “How do you replace this?”
Unfortunately there is no right answer.
The counterquestion would be, “At what cost?”
And remember the payment is in human life.
i see you dancing
damn you look good
i wish i could dance like you
but i ain’t got no legs

November 8, 2008 1:53 pm

[…] For the full article by Australian columnist Michael Duffy, which originally appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, click here. […]

Slamdunk
November 8, 2008 1:57 pm

I have to share this:
Last month, I had breakfast with a friend and we talked about global warming. He said that global temperatures are rising. So I asked how he knew that and he replied, “Thousands of scientists say so.” I asked who they were and he said he heard about them on Air America. I then told him about the Chairman of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, and Secretary General of the WMO (World Meterological Organization), Michel Jarraud, both of whom acknowledge there has been no warming so far this century. That did not change his mind. Temperatures are still rising. I pointed out that the four major satellite temperature tracking systems (NASA/GISS, UAH, RSS, Hadley) recorded that temperatures have actually dropped about a half degree since 2007. Right over his head. “Temperatures are rising and if we don’t cut back on CO2 emissions, it will be disaster.” I then asked him if the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) agreed with Pacharui, Jarraud and the tracking systems, would that change his mind. “No it would not. There’s no point in you trying to change my mind.” Finally, I asked him if the scientists he heard about on Air America should contact the IPCC, WMO, NASA and NAS to inform them they are wrong. “Yes, they should.”
This story is true, honest injun.

Anne
November 8, 2008 2:04 pm

leebert (07:04:47) :
Here’s the problem: At what point are they responsible? Before the knowledge that CO2 might pose a pernicious emission?
That is a good point. Although be careful how you phrase your question, you might not like the answer 🙂 The exact answer to your exact question is Arrhenius somewhere end of the 19th century, so before most of the CO2 emissions occurred. What would be a better criterium? Perhaps a more justified question would be: when did the evidence became convincing enough so that it could no longer be ignored? I am afraid most of you will say: that moment hasn’t arrived yet. I’m not prepared to start a new debate on that.
And even if those emissions were done without knowledge about the consequences, we still reap the benefits. So your point is half valid.
And as the West loses competitiveness to Asia from globalization and Asian industrialization, we’re also supposed to bear green burdens alone? Green taxes will create yet more incentives to move jobs & production abroad.
I will concede that my opinion regarding that matter is more a question of principles than practical consequences. Sometimes principles require sacrifices. And I think I did not suggest the developing countries should be completely left off the hook. My proposal is not: we everything, they nothing, but: we first, they later.
What is often overlooked is the fact that the market for renewable energies may be the main growth area for the next decades. If you want a piece of that pie, better start developing the technologies. So the disadvantage you percieve, may turn around to be an advantage as soon as those developing countries start implementing renewable energies. China is already seriously investing in wind power. Will they have the biggest piece of the pie?
The internal contradiction in your thinking arises almost instantaneously however, since an equivalent good manufactured in China realizes 40% more CO2 emissions than were it manufactured in the West.
No, firstly I don’t think China is a developing country, more like half way in between. Secondly, I do not propose to let China, and other more or less developing countries, off the hook. Thirdly, it is based on the premise that implementing green technologies will shift all production to China. If it happens, there are much more factors at play in the global economy.
never mind the question as to how much threat is in fact posed by CO2 emissions.
Now I have come all the way down your response, only to discover that you actually think the whole discussion is irrelevant. Well thanks a lot :-).

Pete
November 8, 2008 2:06 pm

Stefan (12:38:21) :
I couldn’t agree more that most conflict hinges on what speed people think we need to go at.
If we assume the warmists possess cognitive dissonance or haven’t done ALL their homework, as they are still just reading from the Cliff Notes, then they will likely not change their opinion. However, they could still agree on a more measured pace of change based on the arguments about;
a) future value of money,
b) the expectation that future technological advances will arise,
c) the current projections that natural cooling cycles will dominant for 10-30 years, and
d) the concept that we can adapt relatively easily as long as we are thinking of 20 to 100 year time frames and much of our infrastructure is nearing the end of its useful life.
If I was a climate catastrophe warmist, these arguments would seem very pragmatic to me. That warmist don’t consider these makes me think they are either irrational, have other agendas or are in negotiation mode, wherein they are ready to back off from stopping energy generation in the western world dead in its tracks (while the rest of the world laughs at our insanity.
BTW – I wish the catastrophers hadn’t given ‘warmist” such a bad name, because I was one under the definition that a warmist believes a few more degrees is a very good thing.

kim
November 8, 2008 2:10 pm

Anne (13:15:12) I agree with this post. Those hydrocarbon bonds were much too lovingly and labouriously formed to destroy merely for the energy within them. We need them for structure to clothe and house the teeming billions.
============================================

Pops
November 8, 2008 2:13 pm

He’s not accepting any comments on his blog. Perhaps he’ll allow them in his next life.

kim
November 8, 2008 2:19 pm

Anne (09:36:05) If the coming cooling is prolonged and deep then the small effect CO2 has to warm the earth and the large fertilizing effect it has will keep millions on the margin from freezing and starving to death. The degree of this catastrophe is dependent upon the severity of the cooling, but it will be quite palpable even if mild. Severe cooling will be holocaustic. I know you doubt that the PDO and/or the Sun will lead to 20-100 years of cooling, but it would require an extreme lack of imagination for you to contend that cooling would be harmless. At this point, with the lack of knowledge we have about climate regulation, to encumber carbon is far more likely to do harm than good.
Now, how cold does it have to get, and for how long, to convince you of this. Alternatively, how many have to die?
======================================

Kum Dollison
November 8, 2008 2:22 pm

Right now, the actual cost of producing ethanol is about $1.50/gal. That’s without Any subsidies.
There is approx. One Billion Acres of abandoned farmland in the world (from a study by Stanford University.)
It costs less than $100.00 to make a vehicle flexfuel.

Anne
November 8, 2008 2:26 pm

Pete (12:40:31) :
If everyone in the AGW camp agrees that some climate change impacts are positive, why is it so damn hard to hear them. I can envision them whispering behind closed doors, but why don’t they say it publicly?
I will concede that a good reason of course is human nature to filter facts on whether they support their view or not.
But this article raises some doubts about the most frequently touted advantage of higher CO2 levels:
High carbon dioxide levels can retard plant growth, study reveals
I am not really sure how big the advantage is and am pretty sure that it does not outweigh the risks.

Pete
November 8, 2008 2:29 pm

Smokey (12:50:07) :
…“…the average lifetime of a molecule of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, before it is captured by vegetation and afterward released, is about twelve years.” The quote is by Prof. Freeman Dyson. [source]”
I read a recent compilation of studies that indicated closer to 5 years for the residence time (?) of a molecule of CO2 based on a given CO2 perturbation, and that most of it goes into the ocean. I think that of those studies, 12 years was at the upper range. Perhaps that was based on ignoring the oceans and just looking at land based vegetation absorption and decay.(?)
On top of that 5 year cycle, throw in the long term ocean cycles and the annual northern hemisphere vegetation cycles, a volcano here and there and a 3% anthropogenic contribution .. did I miss anything?
BTW, when can we move on from the CO2 BS?

kim
November 8, 2008 2:29 pm

Anne (10:12:28) I see others have trashed your ‘deeply linked’ sophistry, but I’ve got to add my licks. You know, or should know, that issues of correlation and causation are not explained well in the ancient record. You have demonstrated an acuteness of rhetoric and base of knowledge to have known that yours is an unsupportable point. [*snip* We must not so presume ~ Evan ]
==============================================

kim
November 8, 2008 2:33 pm

Pops (14:13:21) It’s presumptious to suggest it, but at this rate he’s losing merit so fast he won’t rate blogability in the next life. Enlightenment of himself and others seems not to be on his agenda. Let’s hope he comes to dwell in the land of those who sweep the path before themselves, so he’ll have a little longer to improve, next time. Jai guru deva om.
=============================

Paul Shanahan
November 8, 2008 2:33 pm

Anne (13:15:12) : The main problem holding back renewables is cost. If you see what mass manufacturing does to cost of nearly everything imaginable (cars, telephones, televisions, air travel, computers and even space travel), then there is only one way where that cost is heading: down. That is why I believe that nearly all renewables will become cost-effective sooner or later.
The current issue with renewables are not just dollar related, but also CO2 related. The belief that renewables will negate the CO2 from burning fossil fuels in a little unfounded at present. To manufacture a photocell solar panel or create a windmill is said to create as much CO2 as they would save, once you take into account manufacture from mining raw materials through to installation.

kim
November 8, 2008 2:48 pm

JamesG (09:40:23) I have heard your skeptical voice on many boards.
Re: WMD The most recent evidence is that Saddam bluffed everyone about WMD in order to keep the Persians at bay. Everybody thought that Saddam had plenty of WMD. Even Joe Wilson claimed in a 2/6/03 op-ed in the LATimes that we should not invade Iraq for fear Saddam would use his chemical and biological WMD on our troops. Yes, that Joe Wilson, husband of Valerie Plame.
The need to depose Saddam arose most acutely in 1991. I blame Powell for not getting it done, but it is true that Bush only got allied support for freeing Kuwait, and not for deposing Saddam.
So please, quell your fantasies about the impetus for the war.
============================================

Ron de Haan
November 8, 2008 2:48 pm

james G
Ron de Haan
“If climate is your job and you provide false information to serve an agenda that will harm economies and populations, you are not only a liar but a crook too. In the past we were forced to wage wars because of characters like Pachauri.”
You’re wearing pink glasses too, otherwise you’d notice that the USA is currently fighting a war which was based entirely on lies. So yes you are definitely correct that we wage wars because of lies. But is it always down to evil or just delusional thinking? You decide, but remember it cuts two ways when you take your own blinkers off”.
Well James, we are not discussing the Iraq war at this site do we?
So I do not understand your remark.
However, I underline your opinion that we have entered the Iraq war based on lies and deception.
And now we are confronted with a scheme based on lies and deception that has to convince us to commit economic suicide on a voluntary basis.
Do you know they even have plans for mass euthanisation?
WE ARE DEALING WITH VERY SICK PEOPLE read about how sich they are: http://green-agenda.com
By the way, I do not wear glasses.

Anne
November 8, 2008 2:51 pm

Pete (12:41:19) :
I agree that CO2 and climate change are linked because long term (200-800 year) ocean cycles bring old cold water to the surface that is full of CO2 and also because overall sun induced ocean surface temperature changes lead a change in CO2 (CO2 lags ocean temperature change rates) with about a 5 year lag, but the linkage relations are not well quantified/modeled. CO2 lagging ocean temperature makes sense because that’s where most of the carbon sits, dissolved in the oceans.
The 2nd part of your sentence seems to be based on a different CO2/climate change linkage then what I based my agreement with you on, so I will now disagree but based on what I think you meant.

One thing doesn’t preclude the other. In the process of emerging from an ice age, CO2 is a feedback. The higher temperatures increase the global CO2 levels, increasing the temperature further, etc. Well you know what a feedback is. This does not invalidate the current claim that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
Its up to the warmists to prove that CO2 does not primarily lag ocean temperatures over the last interglacials.
You can wait long for that. They won’t even try. Because they agree with you on the fact that CO2 lags temperature on prehistoric timescales.
Also, I assume that you use “climate change” in lieu of “Catastrophic Anthropogenic CO2 induced Global Warming”. Any reason for that?
I can answer that question if you tell me exactly what you mean by “Catastrophic”

kim
November 8, 2008 2:54 pm

Kum Dollison (14:22:48) Yet corn-based ethanol is still sucking dollars in subsidies, still requires government mandate to perform in the market, and still uses land that would otherwise grow food.
Anne (14:26:30) We are still in the area of improving plant production with rising CO2. We are a long way from CO2 adversely impacting the biosphere.
Is this more sophistry? Ignorance or deception; your bona fides are getting thin.
=================================================

Anne
November 8, 2008 2:55 pm

Bob B (13:46:34) :
CO2 has been shown to follow temp and not the other way around!
Yep, see my answer to Pete above.

Anne
November 8, 2008 2:58 pm

evanjones (13:50:54) :
And remember the payment is in human life.
Do you really have to be so dramatic to make a point?

G Alston
November 8, 2008 2:58 pm

Anne — “What is often overlooked is the fact that the market for renewable energies may be the main growth area for the next decades. If you want a piece of that pie, better start developing the technologies. ”
Given that I’m merely a dull-witted engineer, I’d be fascinated to learn how one goes about “developing the technologies.” Surely by now you must know that scientists and engineers worldwide are already working on energy problems and have been doing so for… well… decades, and are doing this for the motivation of making a pile of cash. Few things are better at motivating. The first engineer who can figure out how to get 200 mpg out of a standard car is going to make a great deal of money. The first team who can figure out how to power a home full time for a $10k investment is going to likewise make a lot of money. Funny thing, these things haven’t appeared yet. I wonder why.
Surely you’re not suggesting that you simply mandate that these technologies that need developing and we wake up and poof them into existence, are you? (“Yeah, we could have made vehicle batteries that can power a Chevy Volt 1000 miles for 5 cents years last year, but gee, we didn’t knew it was required. That surely makes all the difference. Let’s build that battery, boys.”) Sounds like technology creationism to me. Must be nice to have that much faith that government can do what the lure of riches beyond the dreams of avarice cannot.

kim
November 8, 2008 3:01 pm

Evan, re your snip of my 14:29:58 comment. I was not presuming. When one has the base of knowledge that she has, and the rhetorical skill, it is difficult to blame ignorance for the error. Deliberate deception is the other possibility, and she has the opportunity to defend herself in open debate. Had she been lacking in either of those areas, she could get away with disinformation, but people like this have got to be called on their sophistry.
You’re the editor, and I respect that impossible task, but I am not being abusive to question her rhetoric.
=======================================
[REPLY – I’m one of several. It’s easy and it’s fun. (And you get to edit your posts. BWA-HA-HA! ABSOLUTE POWER!) I like you and I hope you’re not too mad at me. But you can’t presume. Besides, the counterargument is complete and speaks for itself, and that’s what cuts the mustard. Value judgments don’t prove anything. ~ Evan]

BernardP
November 8, 2008 3:03 pm

OK, I know this is low…
Would you buy a used car from this man?
Look at him… Doesn’t he look suspiciously like Rael, another hoaxer who has been at it for decades?
http://www.pravoslavieto.com/inoverie/rael/index.htm

kim
November 8, 2008 3:08 pm

You see, evan, it continues in her 14:51:57 comment. She is just guessing and acting as if she knows how carbon dioxide works in the ancient climate. Were she called on it we might get somewhere.
=============================================

crosspatch
November 8, 2008 3:10 pm

Not a single indicator the models have predicted of CO2 caused greenhouse warming has happened. In particular would be the atmospheric temperature profile. If CO2 warming was happening, we should see an increase in temperature in the middle altitude of the atmosphere. We aren’t seeing that. Remember that CO2 absorbs IR in both directions, from the sun and from the Earth. In increase in CO2 should reduce the IR reaching the Earth’s surface and conserve that energy as heat. It should also trap IR leaving the surface of the Earth, again conserving that energy as heat. There is currently no evidence that is happening and in fact the evidence shows pretty clearly that is not happening.
Also, current CO2 content of atmosphere is still pretty close to an all time low in the history of Earth’s atmosphere. If it gets much lower than it was at about the turn of the 20th century, plants would begin to have trouble existing. In fact, CO2 depletion due to erosion is expected to be what causes the demise of life on Earth. As the Earth cools, volcanism slows. As volcanism slows, natural CO2 injection slows. As CO2 injection slows, available CO2 continues to be bound up through erosion of exposed rock causing a drop in CO2 until plants can no longer survive. When plants die, the animals that depend on them die.
As the Himalayas rose up from the collision of India into Asia, the amount of CO2 removed due to erosion of rock skyrocketed.
I also want to know why people have this emotional attachment to polar ice. For most of Earth’s history there has been no polar ice. The current ice age that we are in a brief (and probably closing) respite from is only about 2 million years old. Ice at the poles of Earth is an anomaly, not the usual condition.

kim
November 8, 2008 3:11 pm

Anne (14:57:27) So, how many people have to die? Are you callous naturally, or as a sophistical point. We are talking about flesh and blood, helpless creatures, at the mercy of the elite. So what about it? Cake or bread?
================================

Editor
November 8, 2008 3:11 pm

“Climate Change is the greatest threat that
human civilization has ever faced.”
– Angela Merkel,
German Chancellor
Those quotes are pretty horrifying. That one in particular, however, left me gasping.
What face! How dare the German Chancellor presume to speak of threats to human civilization!
You-all missed it by about one bad call by Rundstedt and one overruling of Guderian.
Talk about . . . chutzpah!

Stefan
November 8, 2008 3:14 pm

Anne wrote:
One thing doesn’t preclude the other. In the process of emerging from an ice age, CO2 is a feedback. The higher temperatures increase the global CO2 levels, increasing the temperature further, etc. Well you know what a feedback is. This does not invalidate the current claim that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

The real question is why temperature eventually came down whilst CO2 remained high. Is anyone able to comment on the adjustment that was made to remove this discrepancy?

November 8, 2008 3:20 pm

[…] More of Dr. Pachauri here. […]

Old Coach
November 8, 2008 3:43 pm

EvanJones
There is a logical theory that postulates that baseline climate is dependent on the positions of continents around the globe. When india crashed into asia and raised the Himalayas, thus began the current ice age we are now in.
The temp has been steadily dropping ever since (on a geologic time scale). There is no reason to think that we will not be in another “snowball Earth” episode after a few more millions of years. Therefore, climate change will wipe us out eventually if we don’t figure out how to adapt.
I’m sure this is what Angela Merkel was referring to! :<)

Tom in Florida
November 8, 2008 3:46 pm

Katherine:”You’re taking it as given that CO2 is responsible for “global warming,” and that “global warming” is a problem.”
Anne: “Correct. I believe the first part of this statement is true. As for the second part, it is largely undecided what will exactly happen where and when. I have concluded that that is a gamble I am not willing to take. ”
Anne, that is a fear based response. Are you unwilling to gamble on whether a near Earth object will hit and cause major changes in our Planet? Are you campaigning for more funding to find a way to prevent that? Are you unwilling to gamble on whether aliens will come to our Planet and enslave us? Why are you not out campaigning for funding to prevent that? I could probably list a hundred other cases where someone would not be willing to gamble on the outcome of a scenario. Do we need to fund all of those also?
Should we just try to “human proof” our Planet? Perhaps we should all live in a hole, never venture anywhere, never attempt to live a full life, never take a chance, never experience the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat (thanks to ABC Sports for that one). A little warming would be a good thing, in fact I would love to never see a temperature below 70 degrees again. Why not get off the high horse and just enjoy the ride, it’s short enough as it is.

PearlandAggie
November 8, 2008 3:49 pm

“This is something that puzzles me. World energy use is something like 60% oil and coal. How do you stop this?”
The right question is, “Why would you replace it when no real rationale to do so exists?”
As far as “a few percent” goes, 1% of the current US GDP of around 14 trillion USD is equivalent to the loss of 3.5 million jobs paying $40,000 per year. And that’s just 1%! There’s no telling how many jobs “a few percent” will cost.
“I thought that alarmism was the hallmark of the AGW crowd.”
Your words, not mine…but yes, I agree with that statement.
“This is only true if that crop is not constrained by other factors, like soil nutrients or water.”
In my 20 lines of “attack” that you obviously didn’t read, I touched on the fact that higher CO2 levels make plants more drought resistant due to increased efficiency of water usage. Guess I’m not the one that needs to learn to read…

Editor
November 8, 2008 3:57 pm

Do you really have to be so dramatic to make a point?
Mmm.
Someone mentioned Pascal’s wager. The whole idea behind Pascal’s wager is that there is nothing to lose on one side, so why not play it safe? But there is something to lose. Look at the unintended consequences of the ethanol debacle. All it took was that in tandem with one cooler than average winter to create havoc. Not even noticed by the developed world, but havoc everywhere else. Ours is the sin of the Pharisees.
One of the reasons that presidents age three years for every one in office is that kind of responsibility. If I thought it were a matter of simply playing it safe with but minor expense and inconvenience, I wouldn’t really care that much. But I’m a demographics man. No escape for me.
Yes, I consider the potential consequences in human life if I am wrong. But if I’m right, no one suffers.
You, on the other hand, have a harder job. You need to consider how many must inevitably die–off the top–in order to prevent what you believe to be a potentially greater number of deaths. I don’t envy you. Most ship captains never have it that hard.

F Rasmin
November 8, 2008 3:59 pm

In New Zealand after yesterdays general election, the Prime Minister elect is reported as saying, ‘ Key has promised a more right-leaning government than Clark’s, which for almost a decade made global warming a key policy issue.
In a country where the environment is a mainstream political issue, Key has vowed to wind back Clark’s greenhouse gas emission trading scheme to protect businesses from financial losses, and to reduce red tape he says entangle important dam projects’.

PearlandAggie
November 8, 2008 4:06 pm

F Rasmin (15:59:22) :
Sounds like New Zealand has the right idea…might be a place one might want to move to! For some reason, though, I seem to remember New Zealand having a fairly restrictive immigration policy….rats! 🙂

PearlandAggie
November 8, 2008 4:09 pm

meanwhile…
Arctic Ice Extent Now Likely Highest Level Since 2002
http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Arctic_Ice_Extent_Now_Likely_Highest_Level_Since_2002.pdf

Editor
November 8, 2008 4:14 pm

You see, evan, it continues in her 14:51:57 comment. She is just guessing and acting as if she knows how carbon dioxide works in the ancient climate. Were she called on it we might get somewhere.
We did, though, don’t you see? Let her guess. Others will realize this. (Maybe she will eventually realize it, though we cannot count on it.)

Robert Wood
November 8, 2008 4:22 pm

His photo looks like a police mug shot.

Pete
November 8, 2008 4:26 pm

Old Coach (15:43:29) :
“There is a logical theory that postulates that baseline climate is dependent on the positions of continents around the globe. ….”
I would love to see ocean circulation modelers get to the point where they could simulate (with independent verfication) scenarios where the continents are in different positions in, say, 200,000-1,000,000 years. Alternatively, suppose we get to the point where we can confidently predict the next ice age starting in, say, 500 years and one of our kids comes along and proposes a geo-engineering project, that can be validated with the models, that proposes to increase equator to poleward ocean circulations to offset this real catastrophe.
I don’t know what would do it. Perhaps some strategically placed giant breakwaters or an expansion of the Bering straits to open up Pacific to Arctic circulation….

David Corcoran
November 8, 2008 4:45 pm

Anthony, the arctic ice is now within one standard deviation of the trend line for the last 100 years:
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.jpg

Editor
November 8, 2008 4:50 pm

You’ll be needing to go back further than that.
There is a logical theory that postulates that baseline climate is dependent on the positions of continents around the globe.
Surely. If Antarctica were not there, if the Southern extremes were ocean rather than land, we’d have a much warmer planet.

John Philip
November 8, 2008 5:09 pm

Smokey
Re: residence time of a CO2 molecule. Your Dyson quote is slightly misleading as he is talking about the residence time without replacement, that is, the scenario where emissions have ceased. In the debate assuming ongoing emissions the more appropriate figure is the residence time with replacement (the Bern cycle), which is nearer a century on average, with about 20% of a given pulse of CO2 remaining in the atmosphere 1,000 years after emission. This was pointed out in a reply to Dyson from Professor Lord May of Oxford here.
This leads Dyson to the conclusion that “the average lifetime of a molecule of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere…is about twelve years.” Dyson correctly emphasizes that such a timescale is fundamental to discussions of global warming. Unfortunately, however, estimates of the characteristic “residence time” of a molecule of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere involve a complicated mélange of factors, leading to the conclusion that although almost half of newly added carbon dioxide molecules remain for only a decade or two, roughly a third stay for a century or more, and fully one fifth for a millennium (see, e.g., Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 7 (2007), pp. 2287-2312). This is why the residence time of such molecules is generally characterized as a century.
Hope this is useful.
JP
PS We had fireworks last night. At one point I lit a roman candle. The fuse burned for about 45 seconds, there was a brief pause then the firework began to emit an increasing amount of light and then the local temperature rose considerably as the explosives combusted. Clearly, however, since the temperature rise from the explosives occurred after the burning of the fuse it is not possible that the black powder was responsible for the increasing temperatures.

November 8, 2008 5:18 pm

Anne,
From your Stanford/Jasper Ridge link:

The biggest surprise from the study was the discovery that elevated carbon dioxide only stimulated plant growth when nitrogen, water and temperature were kept at normal levels.

In other words, under normal growing conditions, increased CO2 stimulates plant growth. Only when radical changes were made to the water and soil did they get the results that they wanted.
And as explained here, their experiment has no real-world control; they rely on invented new conditions, which can only be found in their computer models.
Without a control group of plants subjected to the same inputs of heavier rainfall, increased fertilizer, and other additives, they will never know how plants react to these changes in the open air.
Furthermore, the authors admit that microscopic biomass has significantly increased due to increased CO2. That is certainly strong evidence that organic life thrives when CO2 increases. [This effect has been clearly explained by Prof. Freeman Dyson in this article.]
Finally, it is clear [IMHO] from reading the author’s commentary that this questionable experiment is just one more example of the quest for grant money to study global warming/AGW/CO2.
Had they wanted to do a proper experiment, there are numerous skeptical biologists who would have loved to be a part of an experiment with lots of grant money available.
But skeptics aren’t asked, are they? The grant money would then have to be shared.

Ed Scott
November 8, 2008 5:19 pm

Has anyone else tried to post on Dr. Pachauri’s blog?

Editor
November 8, 2008 5:27 pm

Yes (but not me). It never occurred to me for one minute he’d allow a dissenting post.
JP: It is not implausible that there is a secondary CO2 effect. But if so, how much? The cooling does not wait for CO2 to decline. The cooling occurs first, then the CO2 declines, just as the warming precedes the CO2 bump.
Therefore it is unlikely that the CO2 is having that much of an impact. It may have some; it is a greenhouse gas. But how much? And at what saturation?
Given the chicken/egg situation, it needs to be shown that a secondary effect does exist, not the other way around.

November 8, 2008 5:28 pm

OK, John Philip, explain why Lord May is credible. Note that May is selling a book. However, that doesn’t excuse his repeated ad hominem attacks against Prof. Freeman Dyson; the personal attacks only make May come across as desperate.
And he should be desperate, because in Dyson’s reply, May is demolished.

Robert Wood
November 8, 2008 5:31 pm

G Alston (01:20:34) :
I do not like to politicize this web site; occasionally I employ sarcasm or derision. But I must be political here.
“Mis-application” is just another way for the left to force their world-view down the throats of non-believers in their world-view. Remember, the left insists it understands history and that human behaviour is malable; the employment of any technique available to drive this world-view home, from “green” ads to re-education camps and gulags, is justifiable in their world-view, as they know the truth.
End of rant. I hope I have enlightened rather than wasted bandwidth.

jorge c.
November 8, 2008 5:36 pm

dear bloggers: dr pachauri knows that there is a fenomenal recession world wide. and so, to implement “green” solutions will be very very difficult (i ask you perdom for my english).

Robert Wood
November 8, 2008 5:37 pm

Rick Sharp (20:32:02) “pray for snow”???
Are you crazy? This is Ottawa, Canada!!! For crying out loud, we understand cold and snow. Being the coldest & snowiest capital in the world.
Yes, Yes, I know, Ulan Bator is colder, but it has less snow.

Fernando
November 8, 2008 5:39 pm

…….There is a logical theory that postulates that baseline climate is dependent on the positions of continents around the globe.
Entropy:
We can have different solutions to the climate of the Earth, simply by altering the probabilities of spatial arrangements on the planet. Without the need external changes.
Unfortunately: the concern. is a Enthalpy.
FM

Robert Wood
November 8, 2008 5:48 pm

Leif,
I understand you objections to the Sun’s small variations producing large climatic changes on the Earth. I do not agree with them; I think there is more impact upon the Earth by the Sun than we understand.
However, there have been extremely large, even over a relatively short time scale, changes in Earth’s climate. This is a matter of fact. So, you must posit an external agent responsible for these changes; as, after all, you deny the Sun is responsible.
Come on, Leif, you know I am a smart guy and a man of his word. Please address this issue. BTW You are not allowed the “well, we don’t know” get-out-of-jail-free clause. if you don’t know, you cannot deny my arguments, or anyone elses.

Ed Scott
November 8, 2008 5:54 pm

Matt
I too have been censored on Dr. Pachauri’s blog. However, I expected the restriction of contrary opinion on the blog. You probably received the note that your comment would be published soon. Unfortunately, probably not in our life-time. My response to his blog of 5 November 2008 is as follows:
Dr. Pachauri, the government of the United States of America is not a democracy, it is a republic: “,,,and to the Republic for which it stands…”
What measures have you recommended to the Nation of India in eliminating the CH4 GHG emitted by the 400,000,000 bovines in India?
I would like you to provide me with the scientific data, not computer model data, that shows that there is an anthropogenic CO2 cause for climate change.
The specious and spurious claim of anthropogenic CO2 climate is without merit. A claim is not scientific fact and a computer model is not reality. Nature is reality.
The AGW assault has been an assault launched by the UN on capitalism, especially the dynamic economy of the United States.
The recent election, to which you refer, is a momentary detour into socialism from which We the People shall recover.
You mention the Lincoln Quote: Government of the people, by the people and for the people. Here is another Lincoln quote: You can fool all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
Keep warm,
Ed Scott

November 8, 2008 6:05 pm

Interesting times ahead for our Brit friends: click
You deniers had better watch out!

Robert Wood
November 8, 2008 6:05 pm

Katherine (05:17:14) you said:
You’re taking it as given that CO2 is responsible for “global warming,” and that “global warming” is a problem. Until it’s proven that the human-produced additions of CO2 to the atmosphere is responsible for “global warming,” western countries cannot be held responsible. Plus studies have shown that warmer temperatures result in climate conditions that benefit agricultural production
You are also assuming that a warmer plane is bad. Now, hear this, dear world:
A warm planet is a happy planet.
CO2 makes for a green planet.

John Philip
November 8, 2008 6:06 pm

Smokey
You mean vicious personal attacks such as I greatly admire Freeman Dyson, one of the most notable physicists of his generation. I guess?
It is not a question of right or wrong, just context. The 12 year figure was in a hypothetical context, the 100 year average is the real world figure, as Dyson makes clear…
This discrepancy is easy to resolve. We are talking about different meanings of residence time. I am talking about residence without replacement. My residence time is the time that an average carbon dioxide molecule stays in the atmosphere before being absorbed by a plant. He is talking about residence with replacement. His residence time is the average time that a carbon dioxide molecule and its replacements stay in the atmosphere when, as usually happens , a molecule that is absorbed is replaced by another molecule emitted from another plant.
Hope that’s clear,
JP.
Source: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21882

Robert Wood
November 8, 2008 6:21 pm

Steve Berry said (06:09:55) :
Look, let’s not beat about the bush, Rajendra Pachauri is a liar – it’s as simple as that. I’m all for being courteous, but when someone is not telling the truth (and they know it) then they are lying – there’s no better word for it in the English language. If he wasn’t being strictly true then one might say he was being disingenuous, but he isn’t. He’s a liar.
Steve, I am with you here. You have opened yourself to a libel suite from the head wanker. You have called him a liar. I support you and repeat the accusation that Rajendra Pachauri is a liar; he is such to continue his very luxuious life as a UN king-pin. He is a liar. The planet is not warming’; and certainly not due to human activity.
I am willing to assist in legal costs; I cannot carry them all alone, we need other non-believers to pony-up.
Pachuri is a liar and fraud
I repeat it. I will spread this accusation throughout the planet. He is obliged to rsepond. Otherwise, he agrees.

November 8, 2008 6:32 pm

Yes, John Philip, it’s clear that your boy May was misrepresenting the situation, as we see from Dyson’s no-nonsense response.
As Dyson unequivocally states, “Since we are discussing the effect of carbon-eating plants, my use of the short residence time without replacement is correct, and [May’s] use of the long residence time with replacement in that situation is wrong.
May is writing a globaloney book. Of course he’s going to dispute Prof. Dyson. But he does so by spinning the facts.
Anyone wishing to decide for themselves is encouraged to read May’s position, and Dyson’s response immediately below it.

November 8, 2008 6:34 pm

“Climate Change is the greatest threat that
human civilization has ever faced.”
– Angela Merkel,
German Chancellor

Actually Evan, if you look at her statement in the right way Merkel has a point; if you make a big fuss about supposed anthropogenic influence as climate forcings, and then use this argument as a prime driver for economic policy, then Earth’s ever changing climate really does become an economic threat to civilization.

kim
November 8, 2008 6:34 pm

Evan’s reply (15:01:28) Good answer. I like you, too, and will accept your editing. I used to brag that Steve McIntyre was the only editor I’d accept, but I’ve found a few others, since. But you are right, I really don’t know her well enough to judge in the way I did, besides, the attack was intemperate.
People with no conception or admission of the evil that they may be bringing just bug the shit out of me. And then they want to invoke the Precautionary Principle. Dramatic cooling will be a lot more devastating than any warming CO2 can bring, and it is a lot more likely.
==========================================

Fernando
November 8, 2008 6:35 pm

John Philip:
Please.
When the water solidified (ICE) in the Arctic. where is the heat released ? (79.7 cal / g).
FM

Les Johnson
November 8, 2008 6:41 pm

Hilarious!

Braving Sydney’s unseasonable cold weather, 600 people filled the John Niland Scientia Building to hear Dr Pachauri reveal how the release of carbon emissions from the unrestrained burning of fossil fuels is causing global warming, melting glaciers, and causing sea level rises that could overwhelm planet Earth.

November 8, 2008 6:50 pm

Robert Wood (17:48:03) :
However, there have been extremely large, even over a relatively short time scale, changes in Earth’s climate. This is a matter of fact. So, you must posit an external agent responsible for these changes.
The way I see it is this:
(0) I’ll discount orbital changes as being too slow and catastrophic changes [impacts, Deccan Traps-style events, Yellowstone blowing its top, …] as being too infrequent and in a sense too large, so,
(1) Either the Earth’s climate system is hypersensitive to even the smallest solar changes, so that these extremely large effects can arise from nearly infinitesimal solar changes, or
(2) The Sun undergoes very significant changes on a short time scale which then has an obvious direct influence on the climate, or
(3) The Climate system has so many interlocking feedback mechanism that it is conditionally unstable and ‘blows up’ now and then all by itself [or by the batting of a butterfly wing] after which it can return to its metastable state, or
(4) Some combination of the above.
I’ll lean towards (3), for the following reasons:
(1) Being hypersensitive over billions of years without ‘going over the top’ is too fine a balancing act for my taste.
(2) The Sun is very large. Some stars are inherently very variable [some by orders of magnitude]. This variability happens in certain phases of stellar evolution. In between such phases, a star is very stable. It is also very hot, and hot things are much simpler than cold things. Heat up a snowman [or an elaborately carved ice swan] and watch him simplify to a puddle of water and then to unstructured steam. I hold it to be more likely that the vastly more complex climate system can vary and fluctuate randomly than the much simpler Sun. These fluctuations having no external sources. If you insist on large excursions to necessarily have external sources one might ask what those would be for the Sun.
(4) Leaves us with no explanation at all, and scientists tend to avoid being dogmatic about intractable problems.

Kum Dollison
November 8, 2008 6:52 pm

Kim, what did the last energy bill have for oil companies? $13 Billion?
Of course, that doesn’t count the approx. $800 Billion we’ve spend in the Persian Gulf, and the 4,000 Dead young men, and women.
Ethanol, today, is replacing 8% of our gasoline, 1.4 Billion Bushels of corn is available (carried over from last year) for About $0.06 per pound, and, not a single life (or dollar) has been lost protecting the Nebraska corn fields.
Doesn’t sound like much of a debacle to me.
Oh, and we’re still paying farmers Not to Farm 34 Million Acres.

Kum Dollison
November 8, 2008 6:58 pm

One other thing: You might want to ask yourself why gasoline is down to less than $2.00 gallon, and Diesel is still up around $3.00/gal.

November 8, 2008 7:33 pm

Kum Dollison,
You’re slipping. No mention of yellow grease in your last two posts.
Hope you’re feeling OK…

November 8, 2008 7:35 pm

KD:
OK, I’m sorry. In the words of Dan Quayle, that was uncalled for.
My bad.

GP
November 8, 2008 7:42 pm

Anne,
In one of your many posts you mention your concern about doing something because you would not like your children and grandchildren to blame you, as a representative of an earlier generation, for not doing something to mitigate some future problem effect that might be linked back to now.
I think that is the gist of what you are concerned about, I may have missed some details.
But of course the reality of the comparison of what may happen is that it will be unprovable one way or the other. So you still run the risk of the accusation. This will be a matter of politics, not science. You will have little or no influence over how it is presented.
Unless ….
Being a political situation people will look to political history. If political history were to conclude that a series of decisions made around 2010 set in motion a significant decline in the wealth, power and influence of the developed nations (with unknown effects of course but I do not assume that other parts of the world would suddenly progress to take the pinnacle of the pyramid, though it may happen) your children and grandchildren would be unlikely to thank you for that either.
I am. of course, assuming that future conditions lead to today’s children feeling that it is acceptable to have children of their own and that they would still have free choice in such matters. It is possible that you are trying to be protective of a generation that will barely exist.
If could be even worse.
There are a number of organisations around who strongly support the idea of a much reduced world population and for this to occur quite quickly. Indeed one might expect that the people making such proposals would like to see the results for themselves so assume that they would prefer 20 years to 40 years.
Think about that. In the developed world the logical approach would be to reverse attempts at life extension and survival of the unfit. Easy to present economic and carbon footprint benefits for those cases. Then limit births. If that does not work ….? well, forced euthanasia is extreme and unlikely, but then, who knows where ecological philosophy might head off to should social and economic stability continue to wobble.
It is easy to contemplate the effects today should one wish to. Let’s say it is decided to suddenly reduce the planets population by 50%. Too off the wall? Probably, but in fact one of the few things we actually could do with certainty.
So, you are head of family and are instructed to make a list of who is to be ‘let go’.
How do you choose?
Who do you choose?
Would you prefer someone else to choose for you?
Too far fetched?
Maybe, but strange things happen when mass beliefs and a few powerful movements and people come together, as can be seen time and again through history. Famine has been a common cause, along with financial problems. Energy availability is likely to be a strong factor in our modern world alongside the other two.
Whether those three real current issues (amongst others) are more likely to brings disruption than the hypothesis of anthropogenic CO2 induced climate change is anyone guess. But they certainly seem to be more real, visible and measurable as a threat in our time.
What do you think your children will feel about such matters and their outcomes in, say, 20 years from now?

Kum Dollison
November 8, 2008 7:51 pm

Smokey,
No Worries, Mate. 🙂 Feelin, fine; but thanks for askin.
I enjoy this blogsite, and appreciate the level of weather/climate discourse. I’ve, also, had the feeling, almost from jump-street that the whole “CO2-driven, AGW” malarkey was . . . . . . . well, malarky.
However, I have studied biofuels (I don’t have much of a life) rather extensively, and hate to see a good cause (anti-AGW) lose it’s credibility due to misconceptions about alternative energies.
Here is one reason (Click) I think it’s important. Note: The guy that draws these charts works from the “bottom/up” and has a very good track record of predictions.
I’ll go back to “lurking” now. (And, dreamin of “yellow” grease.) 🙂

kim
November 8, 2008 8:00 pm

Kum Dollison (18:52:39) Oh, please, don’t give me ‘No blood for oil’. It’s just such a pitiful argument. Why don’t you tell me how happy the Iraqis were under Saddam? The metric right now is about one US soldier dead for every 3,000 enfranchised Iraqi voters, a steep but fair price.
And corn ethanol still is subsidized with tax dollars, still makes it in the market because of government mandates and still uses land that would otherwise be growing food.
Diesel has more energy in it than gasoline, and a lot more than ethanol does.
===============================================

Don Shaw
November 8, 2008 8:09 pm

Anne says,
“The main problem holding back renewables is cost. If you see what mass manufacturing does to cost of nearly everything imaginable (cars, telephones, televisions, air travel, computers and even space travel), then there is only one way where that cost is heading: down. That is why I believe that nearly all renewables will become cost-effective sooner or later.”
I generally agree with you on the first point, that cost holds back renewables for liquid fuels. The reason is that the current technologies don’t make thermodynamic, engineering, or economic sense in the first place, unless you apply a carbon tax to the fossil fuels or provide huge subsidies. These energy sources are being touted as being clean and promising by the MSM and politicians. This is a diversion from reality in an attempt to fool the public into believing there is a near term alternative to fossil fuels. Actually I think it is criminal to lie this way to the public when the stakes are so high. Obama was honest when he said the cost of electricity will increase significantly without coal. Currently, there are very few viable economic subsitutes to carbon and hydrogen from fossil fuels especially if you take Nuclear off the table.
The worst example is that it requires at least as much (if not more) energy to manufacture ethanol from corn as we get out of it when we burn it. Most of that energy comes from electricity, natural gas, diesel for the farmer’s tractors, diesel to transport the ethanol to market, natural gas to make the fertilizer, etc. Do you ignore all the fossil energy (and pollution) required to manufacture ethanol which has about 70% of the energy value of gasoline? The price of ethanol is burdened with the price of the feed stock as well as the cost of the energy required for manufacture. Not to mention the many other problems. Yet Congress ignores all these problems and has mandated 4 to 5 times increase in Ethanol. That is no way to find a solution.
Basic economics apply when it comes to any energy manufacture. The comment that “all renewables will be cost effective sooner or later” lacks a fundamental understanding of engineering principles, energy production and business economics. The analgy of reducing cost of TV’s etc by mass production is not applicable. All similar commercial plants are highly automated to begin with and require minimal labor to operate. The cost of feed stock and energy consumption is not going away with mass production. The capital cost for constructing plants is significant. Unfortunately any plant that produces energy is burdened with the need to follow all the laws of science and thermodynamics rather than those laws produced in Washington. BTW except for the recent downturn, cars have not become less expensive where I live.
Can you explain where the savings from mass production will come from with renewables?
One can’t start with a significantly inefficient process and expect mass production to make it efficient. Did you ever wonder why the large energy companies don’t get into these as commercial ventures (except for research) unless they get a subsidy from Congress. They would go out of business quickly if they spent the share holders dollars on enterprises that make no engineering or business sense to start with. There are no commercial celluosic feed ethanol plants operating that I know of. Do you know of any? Why bet the farm on yet to be developed technology?
The other myth that is being perpetrated is that these technologies are clean. The fact of the matter is that cellulosic feeds have all the same “nasty stuff” that coal has. Think about it, they both come from the soil and the technology required to clean up the ash and other elements is essentially the same: scrubbers etc. Some emissions is inevitable just like with coal. Oil or natural gas is actually cleaner. The liquid products are typically very corrosive and require a lot of processing.

GP
November 8, 2008 8:16 pm

John Philip wrote:
“PS We had fireworks last night. At one point I lit a roman candle. The fuse burned for about 45 seconds, there was a brief pause then the firework began to emit an increasing amount of light and then the local temperature rose considerably as the explosives combusted. Clearly, however, since the temperature rise from the explosives occurred after the burning of the fuse it is not possible that the black powder was responsible for the increasing temperatures.”
Hmm.
But the fuse was only lit because you lit it and, despite the wet conditions that many will have experienced when trying to enact their firework displays, it managed to burn for the 45 seconds required to transfer the heat to the point of secondary ignition.
The fuse was merely a transmitter unless you are suggesting it could self-combust. You could also have obtained the main combustion with a shorter fuse, no fuse at all (with some increased in risk to yourself) or using a remote electronic ignition system – for examples.
The fuse merely did what is was supposed to do – delay the final outcome. But absent a strong initial energy input it could do nothing by itself.
I’ll give you topical and almost a convincing analogy but in my view rather flawed in some when considered in its component parts.

Kum Dollison
November 8, 2008 8:58 pm

Don, THIS is an example of how costs come down. We have increased Yield by 67% since 1980, and DECREASED Fertilizer use by 10%.
It’s just not true that it takes as much energy to produce ethanol as it contains. An ex. – Corn Plus in Winnebago, Mn uses 17,000 btus of nat gas to brew a gallon of ethanol. The fertilizer, and seed is embedded with another 6,000 btus of nat gas, and it contains less than 2,000 btus of diesel for farming, and transportation. It takes approx 5 gallons of diesel to raise an acre of corn, and, after allowing for DDGS, you will get about 720 gal of ethanol/acre.
Okay, you’ve got 25,000 btus of fossil fuel in a gallon of ethanol that, in a properly compressed engine, will replace 116,000 btus of gasoline. That’s a bit over 4.5:1 eroei.
Of course oil companies don’t want to sell ethanol. Why in the world would they? Thus, it HAS to be “mandated.” It’s true, it is subsidized to the tune of $0.51/gal, but it’s a young industry getting started, and, heck, oil is subsidized, also. In many different ways.
KL Process Design Group is producing 1.5 Million gallons/yr. of Cellulosic Ethanol, as we speak, and has been doing so for 6 months, or so.
It costs about $1.50 gal to produce ethanol, today; and, that’s probably about what cellulosic is going to come in at.
That’s the Numbers, guy. You can talk about thermodynamic toomadiddles all day long; but it doesn’t change the numbers.

Kum Dollison
November 8, 2008 9:08 pm

Kim, you said, “one US soldier dead for every 3,000 enfranchised Iraqi voters, a steep but fair price.
Did you mean that?

Don Shaw
November 8, 2008 9:42 pm

Kum Dollison (18:52:39) :
Kim, what did the last energy bill have for oil companies? $13 Billion?
Reply
Kum, I asked you for some specificss on this claim about a month ago. You only came up with programs that expired decades ago such as oil depletion allowance and the Texas RR comission. I am well aware of the many subsidies to the ethanol folks in the last energy bill, can you enlighten me on specifics of the 13 Billion for oil companies. I don’t doubt that there might be something in it since everyone else got a some break, but I would appreciate specifics for just the oil companies not an across the board tax incentive for all business.
“Of course, that doesn’t count the approx. $800 Billion we’ve spend in the Persian Gulf, and the 4,000 Dead young men, and women.”
Kum, if you really believe what you are saying there is not much point in discussing much further. Keep in mind that 77 Senators voted for the resolution in favor of the Iraq invasion and many Democrats including Kerry, Clinton, Rockerfeller gave strong speeches for regeim change in Iraq. As you know, very little of our imported oil comes from the middle east so I don’t understand your point. If you think we invaded Iraq and Afgahstan for oil (I don’t agree), then blame the Democrats since they will not let us drill for our oil resources in the USA. Since we could be virtually independent of foreign oil, so I assume you blame Obama and the Democrats for this issue.
“Ethanol, today, is replacing 8% of our gasoline, 1.4 Billion Bushels of corn is available (carried over from last year) for About $0.06 per pound, and, not a single life (or dollar) has been lost protecting the Nebraska corn fields.”
Kum, How many people did your food to fuel policy starve last year? Also you are ignoring the huge taxpayer $$$ subsidies to the farmers and ADM for ethanol.
I tried to verify your 8% since it seems high and this is the best I could find which is admittedly two years old.
“A major challenge is getting enough biofuel. Already, 14.3 percent of corn grown in the United States is converted to ethanol, replacing just 1.72 percent of gasoline usage. Even if all the remaining corn were converted to ethanol, the total ethanol would only offset 12 percent of gasoline. The entire soybean crop would replace a much smaller proportion of transportation fuels–only 6 percent of current diesel usage, which itself amounts to a tiny fraction of gasoline usage.”
Do you have an better source for the 8%?
Finally are you ignoring the fact that we had to burn a lot of coal, use a lot of natural gas, use diesel for the farm and transportation for the ethanol production and distribution. Most unbiased sources have proven that it takes at least as much energy to produce the ethanol from corn than you get out of it considering the fact that it only has 70% of the energy value of gasoline.

Editor
November 8, 2008 9:48 pm

Did you mean that?
More to it than just that.
Kim: Thanks. Appreciated.
To All: I daresay the majority of the readers and contributors here are at least somewhat skeptical. To those of you who support the AGW point of view, we know you are in “enemy territory”. That can get pretty lonely at times. I salute you. It takes character. And I think I can safely speak for our honorable host, the moderators, and everyone else here when I say that we respect that, and your presence is welcome–and valued. Anyone who defends their ideas as honestly as they can and keeps their cool is welcome here.

Pete
November 8, 2008 10:22 pm

Kum Dollison (18:52:39) :
“Ethanol, today, is replacing 8% of our gasoline, 1.4 Billion Bushels of corn is available (carried over from last year) for About $0.06 per pound, and, not a single life (or dollar) has been lost protecting the Nebraska corn fields.
Doesn’t sound like much of a debacle to me.”
I believe the debacle discussion was in relation to ethanol’s impact on Catastrophic Global Warming. Energy Security is a separate issue and is probably a good reason to subsidize ethanol until better/cheaper sources are available. When national energy policy decisions are being made all factors should be considered in the cost benefit analyses that (should) underlie them.

Pete
November 8, 2008 10:36 pm

John Philip (17:09:05) :
I can’t find the compilation of studies which indicated a 5 year residence time for CO2, but I did find a Tom V. Segalstad paper at http://folk.uio.no/tomvs/esef/ESEF3VO2.htm, which says in the conclusion:
“This coupling is in turn coupled to the much larger lithospheric reservoir. The rates and fluxes of the latter coupling control the amount of carbon in the surface reservoir of the Earth. All kinds of measurements show that the real residence time of atmospheric CO2 is about 5 years.”
Maybe there is a definition issue involved.

Kum Dollison
November 8, 2008 10:55 pm

Don, here is a complete list of our operating refineries, plus those under construction.
http://www.ethanolrfa.org/industry/locations/
Note that we’re NOW producing at the rate of 11 Billion gallons/yr. That come out to 11,000,000,000 / 42 /365 = 717,000 barrels/day. Divided by 9 Million barrels/day (we’re actually using just a bit less than that, now) and you get 7.97%.
As for oil subsidies? Well, they never have taken away that provision that exempts them from paying $13 Billion/yr in Royalties for oil produced on some rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. And, then there was, what, about $3 billion for exploration of deep water in the gulf?
The elephant in the room of course IS our action in the Persian Gulf. If you don’t think we’re there to protect the oil supplies, well, that’s your business.
Our ethanol policy didn’t starve ANYONE last year that I know of. If YOU know of someone that it starved by all means share it with us. Good Lord, man, field corn never got to more than about $0.14/lb. If anything starved anyone, I’d say it was $5.00 gasoline.
We paid no price supports to farmers for corn, soybeans, or wheat last year. If you would care to go to treas.gov you will find that the slightly higher corn prices saved the American taxpayer about $11 Billion last year compared to 2004.
The $0.51 blenders’ credit goes to the “blenders” (usually, an oil company.)
Approx 25,000 btus of nat gas is used (fertilizer, plant processing, seed processing) and 2,000 btus of diesel (farmer, transportation) to produce a gallon of ethanol. That gallon of ethanol, in a properly-compressed engine, can replace 116,000 btus of gasoline. That’s a bit better than 4.5:1 eroei.
After accounting for DDGS you get about 720 gallons of ethanol from an acre of corn. Thus, 11 Billion/720 = 15,27 million acres. We, presently, rowcrop 250 Million Acres (we used to rowcrop 400 million acres) so we are using 6% of our present rowcrop land.
We’re Still paying farmers NOT to farm 34 Million Acres.

Editor
November 8, 2008 11:15 pm

The elephant in the room of course IS our action in the Persian Gulf. If you don’t think we’re there to protect the oil supplies, well, that’s your business.
It is my business, partly. What protect? Afghanistan has no oil to speak of. And nearly all of Iraq’s oil was under embargo. With the blockade and no-fly zone on, Iraq wasn’t much of a direct threat to Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, either. Or even Iran, for that matter. When we invaded, we hardly got any oil at all for years (and didn’t really expect any). And even now that Iraq’s production (rebuilt by us at our own expense) is back on line we do not siphon it off, they sell it to whomever they please. And not so much to us, thanks to the dems in congress queering the deal (thanks a whole heap, guys). So whatever we are there for, it sure ain’t oil, not as a main priority, anyway.

leebert
November 8, 2008 11:21 pm

JamesG:

All your arguments are frantic revisionism obtained from your extreme right-wing support group. Again, I don’t mean to insult anyone here.

Well, you have and you do. You presume to know the extent of the truth and the problem, but the Dueffler & Kay reports reveal much much more — no neocon chicanery there.
And good and serious leftist thinkers like Christopher Hitchens have a different view from the liberal majority. We are not of the ilk that would appease this emergent theocratic fascism that threatens the world. It doesn’t require PNAC neocon foolishness to reach one’s own conclusions that eventually the failed state of Iraq had to be confronted or that atavist and nihilist forces do portend a global threat.
As for the UN sanctions being responsible for malnutrition and infant mortality in Iraq, that is utter bunkum. The Saddamists, the Baathists and the corrupt UN bureaucrats allowing graft and corruption were responsible for the untold thousands who suffered under the perversions of the “smart sanctions.” To claim otherwise is to play apologetics for the very forces who are complicit in Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, for the theocrats who’d usher in a new Jewish genocide.
More is coming down the road, in North Africa where untold riches in uranium stock lay in Niger, neighbored by countries where atavists militate to reclaim their long lost caliphate. In Sudan we can already understand the scope of the danger where the Sudanese government took the lives of millions of Christian and animist black African Sudanese under the aegis of jihad. The pretext for a war in Chad is being set in the Sudanese Arab govt’s genocide in Darfur.
Just three states away, Iran has yet to recant it’s claim to destroy Israel – in fact, its political leaders continue to reiterate antisemitic pretexts as first principles. This is the peril faced, of millions more dead, possibly taken in mere moments of nuclear brinksmanship with Tehran and Tel Aviv in smoldering ruins.
Think this is overblown? Think of the two times India and Pakistan came within a hair’s breadth of annihilating each other’s capital cities and militaries. Only the aggressive and intense intervention of the USSR and the USA prevented real nuclear holocaust in Central Asia. We mightn’t fare so well in keeping the lid on nuclear combat between Israel and Iran, no Mexican standoff could be kept for long.
This is where I agree with the movement toward sustainable energy that we need to ease our dependence on oil from theocratic regimes in order to diffuse the theocratic bomb. But this is also where liberals like myself find ourselves parting ways from green pusillanimity in the face of fascist murder. If we care about civilization’s future, we have to confront the problem of virulent theocracy and thugocracy emboldened by oil money. No naive hope in diplomacy, or bitter resentment against oily Cheneyites will prove a real nostrum to the seriousness of the problem.

Old Coach
November 8, 2008 11:27 pm

evanjones (16:50:49) :
“You’ll be needing to go back further than that.
‘There is a logical theory that postulates that baseline climate is dependent on the positions of continents around the globe.’
Surely. If Antarctica were not there, if the Southern extremes were ocean rather than land, we’d have a much warmer planet.”
Evan,
I also used to think the same thing. However, unless we are completely wrong about geology, the two snowball earth events (and maybe a third way back) occurred when there were no land masses over the poles.
Polar ice actually cools the planet very little. It keeps the high latitudes cold, and increases the temp gradient between poles and equator, but does not radiate much heat into space. More importantly, it does not reflect much solar radiation into space. A Russian mathematician (forgot his name) once calculated the latitude that polar ice needed to spread before it cooled the Earth enough to start a mass glaciation.
The current thinking from a geological standpoint is that snow and ice at low latitudes reflect way more sunlight than at high latitudes. So, once the Himalayas started accumulating ice, the Earth’s albedo increased significantly and started the recent cool down. In fact, the Himalayas became glaciated 10-20 million years before Antarctica.

leebert
November 8, 2008 11:28 pm

Bill marsh:
Thanks for backing me up on more of the salient points WRT Iraq. If only well-intentioned folks like JamesG would step back from partisan outer doctrine & look toward the deeper realpolitik that the West must confront in preventing a next world war.
If only wind & solar energy were truly ready and economical!