This year's Antarctic ozone hole is 5th biggest

September 12th, 2008 Ozone hole over the Antarctic

Palette relating map colors to ozone values

From NASA News

This is considered a “moderately large” ozone hole, according to NASA atmospheric scientist, Paul Newman. And while this year’s ozone hole is the fifth largest on record, the amount of ozone depleting substances have decreased about 3.8% from peak levels in 2000. The largest ozone hole ever recorded occurred in 2006, at a size of 10.6 million square miles.

The Antarctic ozone hole reached its annual maximum on Sept. 12, 2008, stretching over 27 million square kilometers, or 10.5 million square miles. The area of the ozone hole is calculated as an average of the daily areas for Sept. 21-30 from observations from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite.

More here and  here from NASA

What I find most interesting is this press release from last year from NASA:

NASA Keeps Eye on Ozone Layer Amid Montreal Protocol’s Success

NASA scientists will join researchers from around the world to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol.

+ Read More

In that PR they write:

“The levels of ozone depleting compounds in the atmosphere continue to drop, thanks to 20 years of scientific advances following the signing of the Montreal Protocol.”

“The Montreal Protocol has been a resounding success,” said Richard Stolarski, a speaker at the symposium from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. “The effect can be seen in the leveling off of chlorine compounds in the atmosphere and the beginning of their decline.”

No mention of the possibility of cosmic rays then, but in the face of a reversal, I wonder if maybe they’ll consider alternate suspects. Sometimes I think of our current atmospheric science like a stubborn district attorney that refuses to look beyond what he considers the prime suspect.

“We’ve got our criminals and their names are CO2 and CFC, I’m confident that the forensics will show them guilty beyond a shadow of the doubt”.

Trouble is, if forensics had the same sloppy data gathering and adjustment procedures as we’ve seen climate science, the defense would have the forensics tossed out easily.

h/t to David Walton

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173 thoughts on “This year's Antarctic ozone hole is 5th biggest

  1. “We’ve got our criminals and their names are CO2 and CFC, I’m confident that the forensics will show them guilty beyond a shadow of the doubt”.
    Exactly. The media and press-releases are running the world.

  2. …so in other words, the CFC ban has turned out to be another DDT hoax, but maybe with less fatal results?
    REPLY: I don’t know that we can say that yet, but it is starting to look a bit like CO2. We have changes in the gas which don’t always correlate to the atmospheric measurements. It brings it into question again, whereas before it was a slam dunk for CFC’s as the cause. – Anthony

  3. I read some news last year – something about it had been discovered that the formulas used to calculate the “dwell time” of CFCs in the atmosphere were off by an order of magnitude. Oh wait, here it is: Ozone Science Revisited

    News@nature.com (sub required) is reporting a new analysis by Markus Rex, an atmosphere scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany, which finds that the data for the break-down rate of a crucial molecule, dichlorine peroxide (Cl2O2) is almost an order of magnitude lower than the currently accepted rate.
    What this could mean according to the Nature news article is that:
    “This must have far-reaching consequences,” Rex says. “If the measurements are correct we can basically no longer say we understand how ozone holes come into being.” What effect the results have on projections of the speed or extent of ozone depletion remains unclear.
    The rapid photolysis of Cl2O2 is a key reaction in the chemical model of ozone destruction developed 20 years ago2 (see graphic). If the rate is substantially lower than previously thought, then it would not be possible to create enough aggressive chlorine radicals to explain the observed ozone losses at high latitudes, says Rex. The extent of the discrepancy became apparent only when he incorporated the new photolysis rate into a chemical model of ozone depletion. The result was a shock: at least 60% of ozone destruction at the poles seems to be due to an unknown mechanism, Rex told a meeting of stratosphere researchers in Bremen, Germany, last week.

  4. Seem that the Montreal Protical has acctualy failed. If the largest, and 5th largest (wich was less than one percent smaller than the largest) ozone holes have occured after the ozone depleating substances have started to drop, looks to me like a compleat faluar.
    And to think that I can’t get my trucks airconditioning repaired over this whole fiasco.

  5. The 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was given to Gerhard Ertl in the field of surface chemistry. What he found was the the chemical reaction between ozone and CFC’s believed to cause the ozone hole does not occur in the real atmosphere, only in the lab.
    In addition, there are other questions about the chemical reaction itself: http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070924/full/449382a.html .
    Five years ago, there was a ‘consensus’ regarding the ozone hole which now seems to be falling apart. The ozone hole is, in theory, far more simple than the earth-ocean-atmosphere system that produces our weather and climate.

  6. Acknowledging any possible effects Cosmic Rays have on the Ozone layer opens the door to other possibilities…such as their effect on increasing cloud cover.
    It is then only a matter of time before AGW is questioned..
    Don’t expect anything to happen for quite a while but another cold winter and another cold summer should at least kick-start the debate.
    Likely clues to the debate starting will be well known AGW’s taking early retirement…or new jobs!

  7. I would give the CFC ban the benefit of the doubt as any uncertainties at the time could be outweighed by the precautionary principle related to CFC chemistry since CFCs are not naturally occurring beyond very low levels.
    That’s why the CO2 concern floors me. There is no unknown chemistry concern with CO2, but it seems sometimes to be considered as a nasty polluting chemical. If I didn’t know any better I might think it was as bad as nerve gas.
    The real test for the CFC folks is to see if they go the way of the CO2 crowd.

  8. There was an interesting article published in Nature last year-
    http://www.junkscience.com/sep07/Chemists_poke_holes_in_ozone_theory.htm
    “As the world marks 20 years since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, Nature has learned of experimental data that threaten to shatter established theories of ozone chemistry. If the data are right, scientists will have to rethink their understanding of how ozone holes are formed and how that relates to climate change.”
    If these results from NASA JPL are confirmed, then, as some leading atmospheric chemistry scientists have stated publicly-
    “If the measurements are correct we can basically no longer say we understand how ozone holes come into being.”
    “The result was a shock: at least 60% of ozone destruction at the poles seems to be due to an unknown mechanism, Rex told a meeting of stratosphere researchers in Bremen, Germany, last week.”
    “Now suddenly it’s like a plank has been pulled out of a bridge.”
    And the piece de resistance- “Overwhelming evidence still suggests that anthropogenic emissions of CFCs and halons are the reason for the ozone loss. But we would be on much firmer ground if we could write down the correct chemical reactions.”
    Unbelievable. We know the answer. We just need to work out the chemical reactions to support what we “know”. Sure sounds familiar.
    I wouldn’t put the CFC ban in the same category as the DDT ban, since it resulted in far fewer deaths. The DDT ban has killed millions of Africans, mostly children, due to Malaria outbreaks, whereas the ozone hole nonsense and subsequent CFC ban has only resulted in the loss of one space shuttle and higher refrigeration costs worldwide.

  9. Pingback: The Rush to Climate Change Laws | Hennessy's View

  10. I’ve always wondered when humankind discovered the ozone layer, and when we started measuring its extent. Are there proxies that exist to determine the historical extent of the ozone layer, or is the ozone hole/CFC hysteria based on 50 or so years of measurement? If its only 50 years, how can anyone be sure that the ozone hole isn’t just a natural occurrence? I’m new to all this, so I’d appreciate it if someone could set me straight? Thanks
    Nizialek

  11. Slightly OT:
    Antarctic ice is above normal again.
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_daily_extent.png
    It will be interesting to see NSIDC’s next monthly Arctic news update, with ice at it’s highest extent and area (for the date) since at least 2001.
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png
    http://eva.nersc.no/vhost/arctic-roos.org/doc/observations/images/ssmi1_ice_area.png
    Will they choose to highlight this highly relevant information, or will they choose to seek out some concept which boosts the idea of rapidly disappearing ice?

  12. While debating this with another poster on another forum, I’ve learned a few things I did not know about the ozone hole. It is not permanent. It forms only when atmospheric conditions and temperatures are just right. It forms during the winter months when the stratosphere reaches -80F. There is not a corresponding Arctic ozone hole because it simply does not get that cold there. Furthermore, clouds play a very significant role. I suspect the cloud condition may be influenced by the cosmic ray variable (should that prove itself out). The most important thing I learned is this hole CANNOT extend past 55 degrees latitude (and most commonly will never get north of 65 degrees) because the atmospheric conditions to support the ozone breakdown simply will never exist there. It’s too warm.

  13. “We’ve got our criminals and their names are CO2 and CFC, I’m confident that the forensics will show them guilty beyond a shadow of the doubt”
    Looks to me like CO2 is being Nifonged.

  14. the defense would have the forensics tossed out easily.

    Not when the judge is the district attorney’s husband. The trial is rigged, don’t cha know..

  15. Does anyone know if the Astrophysics (Solar Physicists in particular) or Particle Physicists have looked at this problem? Does anyone know what particles or rays may in fact interact ‘negatively’ (if that is the right word) with ozone? Please, I am a layman so be gentle (I studied Military History…..ie – the wheres, whys and hows of people blowing crap up throughout the ages).

  16. This new research does not in any way contradict the well-supported theory that CFCs cause ozone depletion- quite the opposite, in fact.
    Previously, it was thought the breakdown of CFCs (and the release of ozone-destroying chlorine) was mainly caused by UV light; this research shows that cosmic rays also break down CFCs.
    CFCs are still the source of the chlorine.

  17. The LA Times yesterday reported the event as totally man made. It seems impossible to get factual reporting when even NASA spins the data. What is wrong with CFCs do not seem to be the cause as was once thought and we now believe it could a combination of UV and cosmic rays involved with solar output. We used to bleed patients to restore their health, those ideas were discarded with better science. Why must we blame man when we haven’t a clue about the chemistry.

  18. I follow these debates with an open mind. If the sun stays as relatively inactive as it currently is for a while, we will get our answer, one way or another, about the sun’s influence on climate. It’s too early, yet, to draw conclusions, in my view. The change in Arctic sea ice growth in the last 3 months is very interesting, but we need to see if it continues in that direction, for example. I think it was Bjorn Lomborg who said he wants results to be data driven, not model driven.
    I do want to say that DDT was not a hoax. Reason magazine’s Ron Bailey, among many others, made this point. It really did cause a number of birds in the U.S. to have huge declines in populations because their egg shells would break. This was determined in the field as well as in experiments in the lab, which found the biological mechanisms by which DDT caused eggshells to get so thin. It was widespread DDT use on farms which caused it to be so abundant as to have these effects. I for one don’t think we should be cavalier about widespread use of a chemical which had the potential to cause Peregrine Falcons, Bald Eagles, Brown Pelicans, and several other assorted large birds to come close to disappearing in the lower 48.
    I also agree that DDT’s limited use on the insides of huts in Africa has saved tens of thousands of lives, at minimum, and could save many, many more. Just the smell of it keeps the mosquito carriers of malaria outside the living quarters. The hostility of environmentalists and governments to such limited life-saving use is as criminal as is defense of its original widespread use. To say that DDT was a hoax in the first place is wrong on the facts.

  19. On a parallel topic … sort of.
    Are you guys on the West side of the pond likely to put up a good show over this:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27609463/
    If so I’ll plan to get a few beers in, buy some popcorn and watch the show.
    If not I guess it will mean a trip the Restaurant at the End of the World as we Know It. Once there I will watch the death throes of the civilisation I am familiar with whilst quaffing something alcoholic and blowing my soon to be worthless savings, such as they are.
    A question for those more familair than I with US politics.
    Will the Democrats and their outliers self destruct before or after Obama takes office?
    Supplementary question.
    Will they take most of the developed world with them?
    Grant

  20. paminator:Thanks for remember about the loss of the Columbia. The cause wasn’t just the banning of the Freon blowing agent for the ET foam, but the banning of the surface preparation solvent as well, which caused bonding problems throughout the shuttle program.

    About eight years ago (~1993) Thiokol Propulsion began
    a comprehensive effort to eliminate the use of
    1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) for adhesive
    bonding surface preparation in the manufacture
    of NASA’s Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket
    Motor (RSRM). TCA is an ozone-depleting
    compound (ODC) whose production has been
    banned by international agreements.

    Now the loss of the Challenger (and two Titan expendables) was primarily due to the replacement of the asbestos-bearing Fuller O’Brien putty used to seal the SRB O-ring joints. Fuller O’Brien quit making it under threat of lawsuits and NASA selected a replacement which obviously didn’t work. (See: Did risk reduction backfire in space? )
    Yup, the environmentalists were at least partly responsible for the loss of both orbiters.

  21. Chris V writes: CFCs are still the source of the chlorine.
    What about the millions of tons of chlorine injected into the atmosphere from volcanoes, the oceans, and other natural sources. I read where those sources are much larger than any man-made source. Anybody have the numbers?

  22. Tom –
    Any studies you can refer to on the DDT/eggshell business?
    I’ve never been able to find any that supported the claim . . .
    Thanks in advance for any info.

  23. The Great Alarmist GORE lays it out in the NYT. The 5 things he says that need to get done, NOW!:
    1. Large-scale investment in incentives for the construction of concentrated solar thermal plants and wind farms.
    2. Planning and construction of a unified national smart grid.
    3. Convert quickly to plug-in hybrids that can run on the renewable electricity.
    4. Nationwide effort to retrofit buildings with better insulation and energy-efficient windows and lighting.
    5. Put a price on carbon here at home.
    This of course is to “begin an emergency rescue of human civilization from the imminent and rapidly growing threat posed by the climate crisis.” And concerning coal: “we simply cannot any longer base the strategy for human survival on a cynical and self-interested illusion.”
    Obviously big Al hasn’t seen any temperature data since George snatched the election from under his nose in 2000. My bet is that Obama is gonna try to implement this insanity.
    Anyone willing to predict otherwise?

  24. “emergency rescue of human civilization” !!
    “strategy for human survival” !!
    The guy needs valium.

  25. Steve Goddard,
    Joe D’Aleo has also posted on sea ice at IceCap (Nov 8).
    It’s approaching the 1979-2000 average. You know, during a time when things were “normal”.
    So here’s the picture:
    Ice and temps are normalising, yet we got Nobel laurates Gore and Pachauri screaming at the top their longs that we’re about to go over the edge.
    And now we’re finding out that the ozone hole is not solely caused by humans.

  26. Tom, “I do want to say that DDT was not a hoax.”
    You may want to look at some scientific studies. Here are many studies that have been collected by junksciencedotcom. Just in section VI there are 26 studies about eggshell thinning.
    Thanks,
    Mike Bryant

  27. Lance: Start here, at Junkscience.com The part on eggshell thinning reads :

    Many experiments on caged-birds demonstrate that DDT and its metabolites (DDD and DDE) do not cause serious egg shell thinning, even at levels many hundreds of times greater than wild birds would ever accumulate.
    Experiments associating DDT with egg shell thinning involve doses much higher than would ever be encountered in the wild.
    Laboratory egg shell thinning required massive doses of DDE far in excess of anything expected in nature, and massive laboratory doses produce much less thinning than is seen in many of the thin-shelled eggs collected in the wild.
    Years of carefully controlled feeding experiments involving levels of DDT as high as present in most wild birds resulted in no tremors, mortality, thinning of egg shells nor reproductive interference.
    Egg shell thinning is not correlated with pesticide residues.
    Among brown pelican egg shells examined there was no correlation between DDT residue and shell thickness
    Egg shells of red-tailed hawks were reported to be six percent thicker during years of heavy DDT usage than just before DDT use began. Golden eagle egg shells were 5 percent thicker than those produced before DDT use.

    Citations and conclusion at source.

  28. John Cooper asks
    “What about the millions of tons of chlorine injected into the atmosphere from volcanoes, the oceans, and other natural sources?”
    According to this link:
    http://www.nas.nasa.gov/About/Education/Ozone/depletion.html
    Most of the natural chlorine compounds are oxidized to water-soluble compounds in the lower atmosphere and get washed out; most of it doesn’t make it up into the stratosphere.

  29. “Banning DDT saved thousands of raptors over the past 30 years, but outright bans and misguided fears about the pesticide cost the lives of millions of people who died of insect-borne diseases like malaria. The 500 million people who come down with malaria every year might well wonder what authoritarian made that decision. “-Reason Magazine Ron Bailey 2004
    http://www.reason.com/news/show/34742.html
    Of course the first part of the comment is speculation, the last, cold hard truth.

  30. It goes much deeper than that. Use of DDT by 1960 (“it’s perfectly safe; dump heaps of it all over creation” and then pour on some more) standards was weakening eggshells. Maybe. (Or not.)
    Modern methods of use would have would have had zip effect on birds. But instead of reforming DDT use, it was banned. The results were horrific.
    Fortunately, the WHO has (finally) STRONGLY endorsed the reintroduction of DDT–using modern methods.
    Almost no one who opposed the use of DDT will ever admit their mistake nor alter their opposition to the use of DDT in any form at all.
    (P.S., When I was helping clean out my aunt’s old house, we came across a sack of DDT. So of course I had to eat some. I like to take the opportunity to put my mouth where my money is.)

  31. “We’ve got our criminals and their names are CO2 and CFC, I’m confident that the forensics will show them guilty beyond a shadow of the doubt”.
    This is a classic statement of specious, spurious science. Guilty without proof. A tenet of the AGW alarmists.
    How long will science tolerate the Algore/UN/IPCC kangaroo court, where the verdict was decided in advance?
    When will the uncontaminated forensics be brought out of the shadows? In that event the truly guilty criminal will be revealed.

  32. Does anyone know if the Astrophysics (Solar Physicists in particular) or Particle Physicists have looked at this problem?
    Military History for me, too. (And a bit of wargame design.)
    You want to put a shout-out to Leif Svaalgard, our local (and world-famous) solar expert.
    Incidentally, my father managed to get ahold of DDT in the early ’60s. We did not have a cockroach for three years. Then the company “improved” its formula. The cockroaches returned and we never did get rid of them after that. (I can’t get rid of them in my slum, either, no matter how hard I try.)

  33. To tell you the truth, it was rather tasteless. I confess to being slightly disappointed. (But that strange buzzing in my ears went away, after a tiny gasp.)
    Uh, how much did you eat?
    Around a teaspoon.
    How did it taste?
    See above. I once read about someone who confused it with salt and used it for years. But it didn’t taste at all salty to me, so I suspect that may have been suburban legend.
    The advantage of DDT is that it’s safe for pets (unless you go in for ant farms), and kids. When they sprayed malathion a few years back during the West Nile Virus scare, they had us do the chemical weapons strike skull-and-crossbones duck-and-cover drill. (They say that stuff will take the paint off your car.)
    My objection to the DDT ban is that the alternatives are far more dangerous to wildlife of any stripe (and humans) and far less effective against insects. So the ban was not only terribly damaging, but utterly self defeating.
    Got any left?
    How I wish! But unfortunately my cousins (who do a bit of gardening) snagged the lot.

  34. Brooklyn Red Leg (10:42:54) :
    “Does anyone know if the Astrophysics (Solar Physicists in particular) or Particle Physicists have looked at this problem? Does anyone know what particles or rays may in fact interact ‘negatively’ (if that is the right word) with ozone? Please, I am a layman so be gentle (I studied Military History…..ie – the wheres, whys and hows of people blowing crap up throughout the ages).”
    Actually this is the province of a photochemist , neither an astrophysicist or a particle physicist. It is the low energy electrons knocked off during the passage of cosmic rays through the atmosphere that are supposedly responsible for a highly magnified photochemical reaction. So this means any kind of charged cosmic ray.
    http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~qblu/research-I.pdf
    Note that the electron-induced dissociation cross sections of CF2Cl2 in the gas phase
    and adsorbed on the surface of H2O ice (Eq. 4) are respectively four and six orders of
    magnitude higher than the photodissociation cross section of CF2Cl2 (Eq. 1).

  35. EvanJones: How long did you spend in the emergency room getting your stomach pumped?
    The stuff is harmless to mammals. This is very fortunate as DDT is persistent as all hell, was very widely used (and abused), and everyone over a certain age has at least some hanging out in their fat cells. Including the polar bears.
    Now, the early use of DDT was very irresponsible: Yes, the stuff was utterly harmless, longterm. But if it HAD been harmful, we would ALL have been in for it.
    Sort of like the July 1945 A-Bomb test. Teller estimated that there was a 2% chance of setting the atmosphere on fire–and they went ahead and did it anyway. Now it turned out that there was no such risk, but they didn’t know that when they tested. It turned out fine, but it was, in one sense, one hell of a reckless risk.

  36. Tom in Texas: (cold in Florida?)
    Well thought out.
    Knowing that Evan Jones and Jeez.
    Both have stomach problems.
    Both use medicines that release CO2.
    Conclusion;
    CO2 is beneficial to skeptical.

  37. What I don’t understand is why we see an ozone hole at the South Pole but not at the North Pole?
    Most of the CFCs released were released in the Northern Hemisphere, I would estimate ten times as much, because that is were most of the world’s population and industry is. How much of the Northern Hemisphere released CFCs reached the South Pole?

  38. A good resource for background information on atmospheric ozone is the book entitled “But Is It TRUE? A Citizen’s Guide to Environmental Health and Safety Issues.” (Aaron Wildavsky, 1995)
    This is a terrific manual for what is sorely needed in this world – “Citizenship in Science.” In fact, that is the title of one of the chapters. Not only is the CFC/Ozone scare thoroughly described, but a range of other topics including DDT, asbestos, Alar, and yes, global warming. The AGW meme was apparently in full flower by 1995, differing hardly at all from the way it works today.
    The book is unfortunately out of print. When I inquired at B. Dalton’s, they kindly tracked down a used copy for me at another bookstore (not their chain). Maybe Amazon can get it, I have not checked.
    It’s a must read for anybody following this blog.
    This is my first post, and I want to thank you, Mr. Watts for your extraordinary energy and dedication to rooting out the climate deceptions as soon as they sprout. Thanks also to many informed posters. I’ll be following this blog as long as it exists.

  39. Chris V – If NASA says Volcanoes produce little stratospheric chlorine because the huge amounts of tropospheric chlorine is rained back to earth … I’d like to see if certain NASA Administrators had a hand in the press release.
    And I’d still bet their computer models are wrong.

  40. So what does this do for Qing-Bin Lu’s theory that Cosmic Rays are a prime agent in affecting the Ozone layer?

  41. Will they choose to highlight this highly relevant information, or will they choose to seek out some concept which boosts the idea of rapidly disappearing ice?
    Steve, Steve, Steve. I’m surprised at you. Aren’t you aware that the increase in sea ice is merely the result of all those disintegrating glaciers?
    Nothing to see here. Move along.

  42. “This year’s Antarctic ozone hole is 5th biggest”
    I don’t understand. How can they say it’s the 5th biggest when they don’t know how big it was before they started measuring it in the late fifties?

  43. Despite the lack of man-made global refrigerants, it’s due to man-made global warming … or … is that … because of?

  44. CO2 is now being looked at as a cause of the ozone hole? I can’t wait for these ‘experts’ (apparently in deception) to give us the reasons why the northern ozone hole isn’t as big as the southern hole.

  45. Re Richard Sharpe (14:34:16) :
    Maybe it has something to do with the earth’s N-S magnetic poles in that some of the sun’s charged particles are being drawn in to the southern pole via the field lines?

  46. I think something people can relate to in this country concerning the ddt ban is the return of the bedbug as a major pest in hotels in the US. DDT had them just about knocked out. Now they are returning and people are finding their homes infested with the things. I support the use of DDT for things such as lice, bedbugs, and mosquitoes.

  47. Is there no end to it?
    First the stock market crashes, then the election results, now this.
    Must I forever lie awake at night, worrying about the 10’s of thousands of penguins that will die of skin cancer?

  48. Mike Smith (08:28:45) wrote:
    The 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was given to Gerhard Ertl in the field of surface chemistry. What he found was the the chemical reaction between ozone and CFC’s believed to cause the ozone hole does not occur in the real atmosphere, only in the lab.
    Do you have a cite for that bit about the chemical reaction between ozone and CFCs occurring only in the lab? All the articles discussing his award that I saw implied that his CFC research supported the consensus.

  49. Remember this?
    2008-09-16 10:09:59
    New theory predicts the largest ozone hole over Antarctica will occur this month
    http://newsrelease.uwaterloo.ca/news.php?id=4997
    WATERLOO, Ont. (Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008) — A University of Waterloo scientist says that cosmic rays are a key cause for expanding the hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole — and predicts the largest ozone hole will occur in one or two weeks.

  50. On Junkscience and DDT: When Steve Malloy started saying that DDT hadn’t caused the problems with egg shell thinning, I decided to look for myself. I don’t find Junkscience to be consistently credible, they can be right on occasion, but they are not without bias.
    I went back to original source materials from the 1960s, and found several lab studies of large birds where groups were fed different amounts of DDT in their feed. The groups with the most DDT had less breeding success and more broken eggs in the nest, all statistically significant results, for several types of birds. Studies also found a specific biological mechanism responsible for the thinning, as noted earlier today.
    So why does Junkscience have a list of studies finding to the contrary? I can’t really say, although I can speculate from some of the comments above that they might have been studies of small birds, which I’m not aware were affected as large birds were, and which weight a few ounces rather than a few pounds. So perhaps the eggs might not have broken because of the smaller weight.
    In any case, I take science very seriously, I know as well as people on this blog that what officials tell us can turn out to be wrong. Scientific evidence is best made by verification of studies, by testing of hypotheses, by looking for alternative explanations, and by data. So instead of taking Junkscience at its word, I found about 8 of the best studies from the time that I could find, and they were completely consistent that DDT was the cause for the egg shell thinning and the near extinction in the lower 48 of several large birds.
    In other words, I questioned Junkscience the same way that many on this blog question the orthodoxies of this day: what is good for the goose is good for the gander, that’s what science is about. (I’m agnostic right now about the orthodoxies of the day — I’m waiting to see if Arctic sea ice continues to recover, should the sun remain quiescent, to see if sea levels might decline, glaciers regrow, but I’m open minded to the possibilities.)
    I would have accepted Junkscience’s findings, had they been corroborated, but they were not. I think many readers of this blog may, upon reflection, decide that the way I approached the DDT issue is entirely consistent with the spirit and approach of this blog.

  51. Iam shocked at the size of that hole.
    That is just down right scary looking.
    If it is going to take 60 years to heal the hole, most of us will have expired from this life.
    I am really sorry our planet has been so hurt.
    Maybe it is being caused by all the damage the bombs do when there is war.
    It is most likely the results of the chemicals they use to make bombs.
    See, Mother Earth hurts too, when there is war. Everything hurts from war.

  52. It is not a particularly non-typical hole. The hole opens and closes on a seasonal basis. If this is anywhere near the worst harm done to mother earth, our worries are over.
    Unfortunately not, however.
    To wit, prehistoric man’s utter destruction of most of the earth’s large mammals (The Pleistocene Overkill) radically affected the environment of the earth ever since. No amount of time will ever, ever repair it.

  53. Tom,
    please go reread those DDT studies. The good ones acknowledge that DDT causes shell thinning. The really good ones showed that the amounts of DDT in the wild had little affect on population. The junk ones used higher levels of DDT in their EXPERIMENTS than were seen in the wild and showed negative outcomes. You know, kinda like all those carcinogen scares we have been inundated with over the years.
    The primary issue was, and is always, REASONABLE USE!!!!!
    This even goes for water. If you overwater what happens (besides wasting water).
    The Eagle issue was much more to do with shooting, trapping, poisoning…
    Sadly this was the real kick off of JUNKSCIENCE being used to damage society through propaganda.

  54. General question???
    Please – has there ever been a record of “No Hole in the Ozone Layer at the South pole”?
    How does anyone know that the Ozone hole isn’t a natural phenomenon?

  55. Dan Hawkins-
    Thanks for reminding me to buy this book. Its been on my list for a while now.
    “But Is It TRUE? A Citizen’s Guide to Environmental Health and Safety Issues.” (Aaron Wildavsky, 1995)
    The book is unfortunately out of print.”
    I just successfully ordered a paperback edition on Amazon. Looks like it is available, even if not in print.
    John Cooper- thanks for the additional information on the shuttle external tank coatings and the o-ring fiasco. Asbestos is your friend when it comes to keeping burning fuel plasma inside a solid rocket booster shell. *sigh*.
    As far as the ozone hole scare and skin cancer, the US government could enable a huge reduction in skin melanoma cases by ordering the forced resettlement of everyone from south of the 40th parallel to more northern climes. To keep this in perspective- The predicted 10% or so reduction in ozone absorbance of UV-B in the mid-latitudes due to CFC emissions up thru 2000 (assuming no Montreal protocol) is equivalent to moving south about 200 miles. The UV exposure in the tropics (where no ozone hole is possible) is far higher than the UV exposure experienced directly under a complete ozone hole in the Antarctic (and as we all know, the ozone ‘hole’ is not a region of zero ozone concentration at any time, since the ozone level appears not to drop below about 100 Dobson units at any time).

  56. How does anyone know that the Ozone hole isn’t a natural phenomenon?

    Same way we know that it has never before been possible to travel from the pacific to the Atlantic via the Arctic.

  57. To wit, prehistoric man’s utter destruction of most of the earth’s large mammals (The Pleistocene Overkill) radically affected the environment of the earth ever since. No amount of time will ever, ever repair it.
    I call bullsh!t! The Pleistocene Overkill has NEVER been proven. Furthermore, even if Man did do that, SO WHAT! MegaFauna like the Dire Wolf routinely hunted and ATE our ancestors!
    Personally, I’m sick to death of people who claim to be Darwinian adherents yet continually wring their hands over species extinction.

  58. Mark (17:29:04) :
    Maybe it has something to do with the earth’s N-S magnetic poles in that some of the sun’s charged particles are being drawn in to the southern pole via the field lines?
    The solar ‘particles’ reach both poles.

  59. Graeme Rodaughan (20:59:03) :

    Please – has there ever been a record of “No Hole in the Ozone Layer at the South pole”?

    One of Anthony’s links in his post goes to http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/ . From a graph ther, it appears there was no hole in 1979, 1980, and 1981. It also says “220 Dobson Units were not found in the historic observations over Antarctica prior to 1979.”
    Anthony often includes useful links to the original sources in his posts, even though they sometimes come from NASA.

  60. “Sadly this was the real kick off of JUNKSCIENCE being used to damage society through propaganda.”
    Not even close. What about eugenics? And I’m sure there are many more even earlier examples.

  61. Graeme,
    Good question!
    As soon as we had technology to “see” over the antarctic, we found a “hole”. Now, the hole is not really a hole, just a reduction in ozone density. So, the “hole” has been there ever since we have been able to look. It oscillates in density from “not really a hole” to “looks like a hole”.
    So, we don’t know whether or not it is a natural phenomenon. There are theories for both natural and anthropogenic causes.

  62. I think Wildavsky’s book points out that the birds in the studies got a diet with lots of DDT and below normal amounts of calcium. If you can remember back to when Carl Sagan, et. al. was thrilling us with Nuclear Winter, one of the facets was that since there was little atmospheric transfer between N. Hemis. and S. Hemis. and most of the bombs would be detonated in the N. Hemis. the S. Hemis. would be a refuge. So I have always wondered how the CFCs, mostly released in the N. got down to the south. I womder if any enviro-scare story has any truth to it.

  63. Thanks for the answers.
    (RS: I assume that you are being ironic – I must be a bit thick today – I don’t really get it…)
    Cheers G

  64. How does anyone know that the Ozone hole isn’t a natural phenomenon?
    So far as I know, when it was discovered, it had a hole in it. It opens and closes just about every year so far as I know.

  65. The Pleistocene Overkill has NEVER been proven.
    I suppose not. Yet it seems likely.
    Furthermore, even if Man did do that, SO WHAT! MegaFauna like the Dire Wolf routinely hunted and ATE our ancestors!
    Well, yes, that was my indirect point. Also, it was a comment on prehistoric man’s environmental abuse in contrast to the modern attitude.
    Personally, I’m sick to death of people who claim to be Darwinian adherents yet continually wring their hands over species extinction.
    You will have noted a lack of handwringing on my part.

  66. If so much time and money has been spent trying to figure out the damaged ozone hole, then maybe a little more should be done to test the hole for heavy metal damage. Such as lead and zink levels. Along with sodium and radon levels.
    All the risidual of explosives go somewhere, usually up.
    I bet all the years when there has been heavy war, this hole has grown.
    I bet that hole is a result of metal lead particals.
    They will figure it out someday that Mother Earth loves all creation. And when we destroy creation we destroy the ozone.

  67. When I was a kid, if hens were short on calcium in their diets, the shells of their eggs broke when they stood on them. My aunt used to grind up old shells to feed to the hens so small that they wouldn’t recognise them and therefore learn to eat the shells of their new layings. Maybe nothing’s changed.
    Geoff A

  68. I don’t know about CFC’s though it looks like the mechanism and reasoning for it causing a whole in the antarctic is unlikely.
    DDT causing egg shell thinning? That one has failed a lot of experimental tests. If you cherry pick like crazy you can maybe still believe it, but in the real world raptor birds in particular showed their largest increase rates during years of peak DDT use. (per both Hawk Mountain and Audobon counts) It was certainly possible to mess up ecosystems by removing food sources expecially for insect eating birds, starvation is a much better explanation than the egg shell mechanism that doesn’t fit the data.
    Millions of innocent human lives is a high price to pay for this myth.

  69. Must I forever lie awake at night, worrying about the 10’s of thousands of penguins that will die of skin cancer?
    ………
    Lol Mike, fortunately for the penguins apparently its dark and cold when the hole forms. Has anyone done a regional temp vs hole size study. Record cold in Antartica might not be the result of the hole as indicated by some studies but instead be the forcing.?
    And as for DDT, birds aside, I seem to remember there being a fear that it was accumulating in human food sources and in humans themselves alarmingly quickly. There is still to this day DDT trace in water, animals and human milk from areas where it was used and has since been banned, although the good news is that the concentrations drop the longer it is not being used. Seems it takes longer to degrade in cooler climates than in tropical ones as well. Below are links…..
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/j1173j72677386r7/
    http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp35-c6.pdf
    According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Assessment Plan initiated in 1991,
    which focuses on the water quality in more than 50 major river basins and aquifer systems, the frequency
    of detection of DDT and its metabolites in bed sediment in the 1990s remains high (USGS 1999).
    Im sorry but DDT is bad stuff as are most persistant organic polutants. There are alternatives out there.

  70. Tom I would like to see those “original” “1960s” DDT studies that support your position. While it was a long time ago, (1980) I did an extensive literature search looking for support of your assertions. Neither I, nor the chemistry departments at 2 major universities were able to find the support that you claim exists. Oddly we had no trouble finding many studies that did not support them.
    I tried very hard to prove Rachel Carson had not made up her famous “and no birds sing” out of whole cloth. I, or I should say we, failed.
    The issue that destroys a persons youthful idealism is easy to remember.

  71. Tom I would like to see those studies also. Will you please post the links or at least the details so I can read it at my library?
    Mike

  72. How exactly do these results compare with the “revolutionary” theory linking ozone hole and cosmic rays? For what I remember this new approach predicted the largest ozone hole ever would be found this year because of the very low solar flux.
    Does anybody have an idea?

  73. I do want to say that DDT was not a hoax. Reason magazine’s Ron Bailey, among many others, made this point. It really did cause a number of birds in the U.S. to have huge declines in populations because their egg shells would break. This was determined in the field as well as in experiments in the lab, which found the biological mechanisms by which DDT caused eggshells to get so thin.
    —————–
    In reality, there was never any evidence that egg shells in the field had thinned. The laboratory experiments were so flawed, that it is reasonable to determine that they had been set up to prove the theory rather than test it.
    They fed chickens diets high in DDT. They also fed the chickens diets poor in calcium and put the chickens in a high stress environment. Two conditions that any farmer could tell you would result in eggs with thin shells. Then when the shells were found to be thin, it was blamed on DDT, not the other factors.
    Come to think of it. The way these experiments were run does remind me of current climate science.

  74. There was never any argument as to whether CFC’s were capable of putting chlorine into the stratosphere. The argument was about how destructive the chlorine was to the ozone in the stratosphere.

  75. Eagle populations began recovering years before the DDT ban was put in place. Bans on hunting and habitat destruction were given credit at the time.

  76. Mike Bryant:

    Not even close. What about eugenics? And I’m sure there are many more even earlier examples.

    Goes back a long way, like the sun orbiting the earth, heroin and cocaine being good for you, etc..

  77. Old Coach:

    So, we don’t know whether or not it is a natural phenomenon. There are theories for both natural and anthropogenic causes.

    I’d say that we can conclude it’s natural, but don’t really know whether it’s exacerbated by anthropogenic causes.

  78. Mike Bryant says:

    “Banning DDT saved thousands of raptors over the past 30 years, but outright bans and misguided fears about the pesticide cost the lives of millions of people who died of insect-borne diseases like malaria. The 500 million people who come down with malaria every year might well wonder what authoritarian made that decision. “-Reason Magazine Ron Bailey 2004
    http://www.reason.com/news/show/34742.html
    Of course the first part of the comment is speculation, the last, cold hard truth.

    I think you have that exactly backwards. The part that is speculation…in fact myth…is that there was ever any worldwide ban of DDT that resulted in millions of deaths for malaria. The fact is that DDT has never been banned worldwide for public health use and has continued to be used in some countries where it is still effective. Alas, it is not effective in many places because mosquitoes developed resistance to DDT after it was used indiscriminately in agriculture, which is precisely one of the things that Rachel Carson warned us about. (There are also other failures in the fight against malaria…including simply a lack of commitment of resources on the part of the industrialized countries.) To the extent that these warnings have stopped such indiscriminate use of DDT, allowing it to remain effective in some regions, one can just as easily speculate that millions of lives may have been saved by such warnings.
    It seems to me that many of you self-proclaimed “skeptics” here haven’t been very skeptical when it comes to buying the myths on DDT and its supposed ban propagated by anti-environmental groups (such as JunkScience.com, which lives up to its name). Here are some useful resources:
    http://info-pollution.com/ddtban.htm
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/ddt/

  79. Joes Shore said:

    …there was [n]ever any worldwide ban of DDT that resulted in millions of deaths for malaria.

    See what he did there? Misrepresentation.
    There may not have been an official worldwide ban of DDT by all countries, but the true fact of the matter is that the use of DDT was banned in many countries, and its use strongly curtailed in many others, due to the misguided knee-jerk reaction of meddling environmentalist do-gooders [sound familiar?]
    The result of the DDT ban: many millions of people died of malaria as a direct result of those concerted efforts to ban its use. This NPR article is about the mildest criticism of anti-DDT efforts that I could find [do a search of “DDT, malaria, deaths” and you’ll get over 272,000 hits].
    If even a liberal taxsucking propaganda organ like NPR is now forced to admit that DDT use saves lives, then we can be sure the real benefits are much greater, and the number of lives saved is way more than would ever be admitted by the likes of those who still try to sell the failed hypothesis that CO2 causes runaway global warming.
    The sooner DDT is brought back to kill anopheles mosquitoes and many other disease carrying insect pests, the more lives will be saved.

  80. Alas, it is not effective in many places because mosquitoes developed resistance to DDT after it was used indiscriminately in agriculture, which is precisely one of the things that Rachel Carson warned us about.

    Ahhh, yes, your messiah warned you about it.
    Can you explain to me precisely the metabolic pathways involved in the resistance to DDT that insects have developed?

  81. Alas, it is not effective in many places because mosquitoes developed resistance to DDT after it was used indiscriminately in agriculture, which is precisely one of the things that Rachel Carson warned us about.
    I agree wholeheartedly that the indiscriminate use of DDT was irresponsible. Not because it became much less effective (it is so contrary to insects that ineffectiveness is impossible), but that it was unnecessary and there might have been longterm disastrous effects (there weren’t). So, yes, I agree that the way it was used was an unwarranted risk.
    But rather than banning the stuff, we should have constrained it much as we have constrained the use of all other insecticides. And the studies that have claimed it to be ineffective are called into question and do not consider the fact that it is an incredibly effective repellent quite aside from its role as an insecticide.
    Silent Spring, in spite of its (erroneous) scientific basis, never happened. it was every bit as much a novel as State of Fear. I do not consider Rachel Carson to be villainous. I do, however, consider her to be an invaluable and most unfortunate object lesson. One that we badly need to learn from.

  82. Smokey says:

    [do a search of “DDT, malaria, deaths” and you’ll get over 272,000 hits]

    I have never argued that the right-wing anti-environmentalist movement does a bad job in getting their deceptions out onto the web. Yes, you guys are very good at it. But I find it strange how you and your fellow anti-environmentalist advocates completely ignore the issue of insect resistance. Why is that?
    And, the story you gave (which you carefully tried to distance yourself from by denigrating NPR because it is apparently not as fair and balanced as, say, Bill O’Reilly) backs up many of the facts that I have noted: For example, it says, “The WHO previously approved DDT for dealing with malaria, but didn’t actively support it.” (Some have argued that even this statement is an exaggeration of the shift in the WHO position made by Arata Kochi in order to try to look like he was doing something important and big when he was making what was at best a slight shift of emphasis.)
    And the story you linked to also notes:

    A number of major environmental groups support the limited use of DDT, such as spraying only inside of houses and huts once or twice a year. That type of use is supported by the Sierra Club and Environmental Defense, which was originally founded by scientists concerned about DDT.

    And, here is the discussion of resistance in that story, a discussion that seems to be almost completely absent from the writings of the anti-environmentalists since it undercuts your whole argument:

    The field of malaria control has historically been dogged by problems with resistance. Each time scientists find a way to fight the parasite, the parasite finds a way to fight back. It has become resistant to most treatments, for example. And some mosquitoes have already adapted to tolerate DDT. The WHO’s Kochi says resistance can be limited if DDT is used carefully, and only where it’s likely to be effective

  83. Richard Sharpe says:

    Can you explain to me precisely the metabolic pathways involved in the resistance to DDT that insects have developed?

    No because I am not a biologist although I am certain you can find ones who would. There was a series of blog articles by an entomologist, one of which is here: http://membracid.wordpress.com/2007/06/13/ddt-malaria-insecticide-resistance/
    However, are you seriously doubting that resistance is in issue? How else would you explain how in places like India back in the 1970s (or thereabouts), malaria skyrocketted at the same time as DDT use there was huge and still rapidly increasing?

  84. I never did advocate indiscriminate use. I have strongly advocated modern usage, as supported (finally, ‘way too late) by the WHO et alia. And, as I also commented, DDT is possibly even more valuable for its repellent qualities as for those lethal.
    And, yes, as Lomborg points out, a huge number of lives would be saved if even a small fraction money publicizing AGW were instead spent on combating malaria. Every dollar lost to AGW policy comes comes from somewhere else. Usually (directly or indirectly) out of some poor person’s hide.

  85. However, are you seriously doubting that resistance is in issue? How else would you explain how in places like India back in the 1970s (or thereabouts), malaria skyrocketted at the same time as DDT use there was huge and still rapidly increasing?

    Ahhh, ever full of weasel words.
    Provide me with a cite so I can look at the exact circumstances of the so-called skyrocket. Also, what exactly is meant by “DDT use there was huge and still rapidly increasing?”
    As always, the devil is in the details.

  86. Today’s DDT limerick:
    A mosquito was heard to complain
    That a chemist had poisoned his brain;
    The cause of his sorrow
    Was Para-dichloro-
    Diphenyltrichloroethane.

    [Do a sing-song of ‘para-dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro-ethane.’ Helps you to remember it, so you can impress people with the full name for DDT. If they ever ask.]

  87. By the way, even Malaria Foundation International, the group that led the fight to prevent a “ban” (really a phase-out) on the use of DDT back around ~2000 when the international treaty on persistant organic pollutants (POP) was being negotiated admits that resistance to DDT is a big problem…particularly if it is used in agriculture. They noted here http://www.malaria.org/DDTpage.html :

    The outcome of the treaty is arguably better than the status quo going into the negotiations over two years ago. For the first time, there is now an insecticide which is restricted to vector control only, meaning that the selection of resistant mosquitoes will be slower than before.

    Furthermore, on this page http://www.malaria.org/DDTcosts.html , they note concerning resistance:

    Are There Regions Where DDT No Longer Works? Anopheles mosquitoes are physiologically resistant to DDT in some regions, and thus DDT is not effective in these areas. Currrent insecticide resistance test data should be used when planning malaria control efforts. Much resistance test data is 15-30 years old, and current resistance test data should be gatbered.

    As regards the dangers of DDT to wildlife (and humans), they say:

    What About the Hazards of DDT? DDT is hazardous to certain wildlife species and should not be used outdoors or in natural areas. DDT toxicity to human beings is low. The appropriate use of DDT is to treat human dwellings and other buildings where mosquitoes enter to bite people.

    Mind you, this is from an organization dedicated to fighting malaria and who very strongly opposed a DDT “ban”, i.e. phase-out, as part of the Treaty on Persistant Organic Pollutants (and does, unfortunately, still link to some of the more extremist pro-DDT anti-environmentalist views from their website). Those of you claiming that DDT is not harmful to animals (when used outdoors) or that resistance wasn’t a big issue when it was used more indiscriminantly (and unfortunately, as a result, still remains an issue in some areas today) are thus way out in the weeds on this. The only people who agree with you are ones who clearly have an axe to grind as part of a larger concerted attack on the environmental movement.

  88. Wondering Aloud — here are three articles to look at (BTW, I’ve read Junkscience.com’s critiques of them and don’t find them convincing):
    Porter and Wiemeyer, “Dieldrin and DDT: Effects on Sparrowhawk Egg Shells and Reproduction” Science, V. 165, July 11, 1969 pp. 199-200
    Bitman, Cecil, and Fries, “DDT-Induced Inhibition of Avian Shell Gland Carbonic Anhydrase: A Mechanism for Thin Eggshells” Science V. 168, May 1, 1970, pp. 594-596
    Peakall, “p,p’-DDT: Effect on Calcium Metabolism and Concentration of Estradiol in the Blood” Science V. 168, May 1, 1970, pp. 592-594
    The last of these suggests that DDT inhibits enzymes which utilize calcium “when a bird was otherwise in normal calcium balance.” It also finds that DDT is more effective at eggshell thinning that other pesticides such as dieldrin and PCBs, based on field results.
    FYI, for both of us to read, is an article which I just found, and have only read the abstract, which bases findings on DDT levels found in the environment, and related DDT levels in the birds to fewer fledged young:
    Science 28 May 1971:
    Vol. 172. no. 3986, pp. 955 – 957
    DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3986.955
    DDE Residues and Eggshell Changes in Alaskan Falcons and Hawks
    Tom J. Cade 1, Jeffrey L. Lincer 1, Clayton M. White 1, David G. Roseneau 2, and L. G. Swartz 2
    1 Section of Ecology and Systematics, Langmuir Laboratory, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14850
    2 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alaska, College 99701
    Eggshell thickness after exposure to DDT was reduced by 21.7 percent in Alaskan tundra peregrines, by 16.8 percent in taiga peregrines, by 7.5 percent in Aleutian peregrines, by 3.3 percent in rough-legged hawks, and not at all in gyrfalcons. Tundra peregrine eggs contain an average of 889 parts of DDE per million (lipid basis); taiga peregrine eggs contain 673 parts per million; Aleutian peregrine eggs contain 167 parts per million; rough-legged hawk eggs contain 22.5 parts per million; and gyrfalcon eggs contain 3.88 parts per million. These changes in eggshell thickness and the pesticide residues reflect different degrees of exposure to contamination. There is a highly significant negative correlation between shell thickness and DDE content in peregrine eggs. Tundra and taiga peregrines have fledged progressively fewer young each year since 1966.
    I’m trying to get this article today; I’ll make a brief additional entry if the article has anything substantially different from the abstract.

  89. evanjones says:

    And, yes, as Lomborg points out, a huge number of lives would be saved if even a small fraction money publicizing AGW were instead spent on combating malaria. Every dollar lost to AGW policy comes comes from somewhere else. Usually (directly or indirectly) out of some poor person’s hide.

    This is a popular tactic, namely, to put the money spent on environmental causes against money spent on the poor. However, I think most poor countries would want us to do both. And, in fact, the cost of combatting malaria could probably be paid by the U.S. alone for some tiny fraction of the cost of fighting a war in Iraq that has made us less safe and less respected in the world or of the cost of giving the wealthiest 1% significant tax breaks.
    If you really want to solve issues like poverty and disease, why don’t you just fight directly for the spending (in many cases a rather paltry amount by 1st world standards) to attack them directly rather than conveniently discovering how important they are only when we are talking about alternatives that you don’t like such as spending money to fight environmental dangers that you (in opposition to the consensus of the world’s scientists) happen to think are not real.

  90. Well, all that lets me out.
    I favor usage via by restrained but hugely effective modern methods. My gripe is why did we have to wait so long to get the ball rolling. I don’t see any satisfactory answer to that.

  91. This is a popular tactic, namely, to put the money spent on environmental causes against money spent on the poor. However, I think most poor countries would want us to do both.
    Yes. We are pleased to refer to it as “cost-benefit analysis”. And, woefully, it is not nearly as popular a tactic as I would like.
    We have a limited amount of available resources. If we do not limit those resources, we cause even greater harm. And since those resources are (by definition) limited, there is a pressing moral requirement to prioritize and allocate.
    If we, for example, embrace (no, I mean really embrace) Kyoto or Stern, we will reduce world growth by 1% or even more. In other words, reduce longterm world growth by a third to half. That would cause incalculable harm to the “poor countries who want us to do both”.
    Or to put it in another context,
    Jacques! Jacques! Jacques Chirac!
    How many kids did you starve in Iraq?

  92. Richard Sharpe says:

    Provide me with a cite so I can look at the exact circumstances of the so-called skyrocket. Also, what exactly is meant by “DDT use there was huge and still rapidly increasing?”

    The India case is documented in Georgeanne Chapin & Robert Wasserstrom, “Agricultural production and malaria resurgence in Central America and India”, Nature, Vol. 293, pages 181 to 185 (1981) [ http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v293/n5829/abs/293181a0.html ]. It looks like you will have to find a library with Nature to get a copy as I did since it doesn’t appear to be available on the web for free.

  93. evanjones says:

    Yes. We are pleased to refer to it as “cost-benefit analysis”. And, woefully, it is not nearly as popular a tactic as I would like.
    We have a limited amount of available resources. If we do not limit those resources, we cause even greater harm. And since those resources are (by definition) limited, there is a pressing moral requirement to prioritize and allocate.

    Unfortunately, it often seems to be doing cost-benefit analysis very simplistically and, strangely (given the uncertainty that skeptics often cite in regards to climate change), by ignoring the full range of possibilities but focussing just on the most certain, least severe ones in regards to the consequences of climate change (and ocean acidification).
    Most importantly, however, it is doing cost-benefit analysis on a very restricted subset of possibilities. I.e., it is arguing, “We shouldn’t do A because B is more pressing” without acknowledging that, even if B is more pressing, why not do both A and B rather than C (e.g., going to war in Iraq), which is not only not pressing but incredibly costly and actually counterproductive.

  94. That assumes that the Iraq war is counterproductive and that the Kyoto protocols are not.
    The Korean War, at the time, was widely regarded as a destructive and deadly exercise in futility (it cost the democrats the white house for eight years and dearly in congress). History, however, has (dramatically) proven otherwise. We do not yet know the longterm effect of our hard-earned victory in Iraq nor how it will compare with stalemate in Korea. We do know that an immense number of people were dying in Iraq every year for over a decade prior to the invasion.
    Global temperatures increased rather sharply for twenty years. But they have remained flat for the last ten. Now they seem to be headed in a generally southward direction. I think we should take a wait-and-see attitude. If it turns out that further study confirms CO2 AGW theory (much as the last three year’s worth has tended to demolish it), we will have plenty of time and greater resources with which to act.

  95. Joel Shore made the comment:
    “I have never argued that the right-wing anti-environmentalist movement does a bad job in getting their deceptions out onto the web.”
    Question – Is there really such a movement or is it the “environment at all costs” movements’ mis-characterization of the “pragmatic cost benefit” environmental folks as a means of discrediting them?
    Partial Response: I think that certain talk radio hosts contribute to the sense that there is such a movement by their somewhat flippant comments where they scoff at protecting this animal or that animal. I could never understand why they do that. I’d like to think it is a poor way of getting at the cost benefit analysis…..
    Also, in regards to political party differences, I could never figure out why Republicans seem to have lost the environmental conservation image. Didn’t they start it all?

  96. …it often seems to be doing cost-benefit analysis very simplistically and, strangely (given the uncertainty that skeptics often cite in regards to climate change)…

    Smile when you call us skeptics, pardner.
    The people you routinely denigrate as ‘skeptics’ are the ones in the mainstream of science. You are not.
    Skepticism is essential to the scientific method. Otherwise, those who put forth verifiably silly hypotheses like “increases in CO2 will cause catastrophic, runaway global warming” would lead us into the realm of witch doctors.
    And make no mistake: the catastrophic AGW hypothesis is central to all climate alarmist arguments — even though they don’t trumpet it like Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth any more, for fear of well-deserved ridicule.
    Without the AGW/CO2/catastrophe scare, they are left to argue peripheral issues like how much DDT is enough, but not too much. But those arguments have little value compared with their repeatedly falsified AGW scenarios that they used so effectively years ago to scare the public. Those good old days are over my friend. Carbon dioxide is rising, and the planet is cooling.
    Which begs the question: if steady rises in beneficial carbon dioxide do not cause runaway global warming, catastrophic 20 meter rises in the sea level, etc., then why should anyone regard the AGW/CO2/catastrophe mongers as anything other than a wild-eyed fringe group that will never admit, despite overwhelming evidence, that the climate doesn’t agree with their rigged models?

  97. When I first heard about the research suggesting this years ozone hole will be the largest ever due to cosmic rays, I immediately equated this to the ‘unprecedented’ warming of the Arctic. Of course its only ‘unprecedented’ back to the start of satellite records in 1979- there are lots of records of arctic melt before this date.
    Consequently my immediate thought about the ozone hole was that it was going to be the largest since….when? I then thought to myself how do they know whether there hasn’t always been a hole but didn’t discover it until the appropriate technology existed?
    I posed this very question to one of the top ozone scientists in the world at Cambridge University. He agreed it was an interesting idea and couldnt deny there had been one before, but that this particular hole was caused by cfc’s although doubt had been thrown on the theory, and research being carried out should yield results either way in a few months-probably end december now,
    To my mind the 5th biggest hole- but only 1% behind the biggest- means the theory is close enough to be taken seriously. Incidentally it seems ironic but I understand that the very cold stratosphere accentuates the size of the hole, so the colder than usual antarctic weather has accentuated the hole.
    Its said to be too warm at the Arctic for one to form but then we have only had records back to 1979 and if it got colder than during that period who knows that one may form?
    TonyB

  98. evanjones says:

    We do know that an immense number of people were dying in Iraq every year for over a decade prior to the invasion.

    The numbers that I have seen have the number of excess deaths higher since the invasion than before. Do you have different numbers? (And, are you talking about deaths from the effects of the sanctions or death due to Saddam’s killings? If the latter is the case, I believe it is pretty well-established that most of the deaths occurred before we implemented a no-fly zone to prevent his attacks on the Kurds. I’m not saying Saddam was inherently a nice peace-loving guy but we seemed to have him pretty effectively contained from committing the worst of his atrocities and our attempts to make things better seems to have resulted in more violence and death than before, not even to ask the cost-benefit question of whether there might be more effective ways to save lives than the $100+ billion per year we are spending on Iraq [and, which so far, as I have pointed out, seems to have cost more Iraqi lives than it has saved plus American casualties].)

    Global temperatures increased rather sharply for twenty years. But they have remained flat for the last ten. Now they seem to be headed in a generally southward direction. I think we should take a wait-and-see attitude. If it turns out that further study confirms CO2 AGW theory (much as the last three year’s worth has tended to demolish it), we will have plenty of time and greater resources with which to act.

    Well, we’ve been told to wait-and-see for the last 20 years or so. Up until the late 1990s, a large group of corporations (including fossil fuel companies, auto companies, and others) spoke through the Global Climate Coalition ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Climate_Coalition ) expressing this point of view. That organization is now defunct because their members started to abandon this as an untenable position in light of the science. What exactly are we supposed to wait for? Until every last diehard “skeptic” is convinced? The sooner we start to act, the more gradual and less disrupting our transition to a low carbon society can be.
    As for your interpretation of the temperature data, people here seem very focussed on the short term and ignore the fact that the general trend over the long term remains up. (This is true especially if you ignore 1998 as an outlier. A “theory” that depends critically on a single year of data isn’t much of a theory.) And, the climate models and past history is clear on the fact that fluctuations in climate due to El Nino – La Nina oscillation among others don’t allow accurate determination of the underlying trend over short times. That is the nature of the beast in a system where the noise on year-to-year scales is several times greater than the underlying trend. With an underlying trend of ~0.2 per decade, or 0.02 per year, and year-to-year fluctuations that tend to be many times that large, the global climate system qualifies. And, attempts to determine trends over too short periods of time are just hocus-pocus.

  99. Smokey says:

    The people you routinely denigrate as ’skeptics’ are the ones in the mainstream of science. You are not.
    Skepticism is essential to the scientific method. Otherwise, those who put forth verifiably silly hypotheses like “increases in CO2 will cause catastrophic, runaway global warming” would lead us into the realm of witch doctors.

    It takes a strong disconnect with the reality-based community to come to the conclusion that it is the Heartland Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute and the like which represent the mainstream of science and it is the peer-reviewed journals, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences and the corresponding academies in all the other G8+5 nations, the councils of the American Meterological Society, the American Physical Society, and the American Geophysical Union, and even companies ranging from Dupont to Ford to Shell and BP that represent the fringe! I saw Patrick Michaels talk several years ago and at least he was intellectually honest enough and connected to reality enough to admit that his was the minority view in the scientific community, even if he still thought it the correct one.
    As for the use of the word “skeptics”, I have NEVER denigrated you guys with the word. What I have tried to say (e.g., when I referred to you as “self-proclaimed ‘skeptics'” is that if you want to use this word, which I agree with you represents an essentially quality of a scientist, then you ought to act like true skeptics…And, in my view most of you do not (with a few notable exceptions, including some like Leif who get attacked here for not holding to your politically-correct viewpoints consistently enough). In that case, I think you are just co-opting a word and using to put a nice label on yourselves which is completely divorced from the reality.

  100. To answer your question “Mike”, I am a hetrosexual female.
    And that ozone hole is very large.
    Gas and energy is lighter than gravity, therefore it will rise, with no place to go.
    Substance that contain no vapor are usually lighter than gravity.

  101. The Iraq war is very OT, so I will make it very short. Yes, FfO scandal-related deaths included. (And yes, though we did not do it, we should have forseen the consequences and thus bear some responsibility.) Yes, the IBC, for example. The Iraqi government has stats. The Lancet Report is a severe outlier (reporting many times more Iraqi deaths than during the Iran-Iraq war). Deaths include terrorists, however, while pre-war deaths were entirely innocents. But the vital point is that war is virtually over and the death rate is way down, and will dwindle to nil going forward. Same for the monetary costs. Had Saddam remained in power the death rates would be much higher today and for the foreseeable future. One must also consider that if Saddam had died or fallen from power without US/UK forces in place, there would have been a far, far more deadly civil war with very poor prospects for democracy. As with AGW, one must consider both sides of the equation. And, no, it hasn’t been cheap.
    As for the temperatures, I am okay with going from 2001. If one skips the 1998 El Nino, one must also skip the 1999-2000 La Nina.
    From 1976 – 2001 all six major cycles (PDO, IPO, AO, AAO, AMO, NAO) all flipped from cool to warm. That would seem to account for the increase. Now the PDO has flipped back to cool and we see a cooling. This correlates better than with CO2. Not proof, but good circumstantial evidence.
    We can (probably) discount CO2 as a major factor because of the Aqua Satellite data which indicates that CO2 positive feedback loops are not at issue.
    Yes, the periods are short, but we only have reliable data from 1979; previous data is suspect (and has been adjusted upward c. 0.3C from the beginning of the century, according to NOAA/USHCN-1. USHCN-2 is worse).

  102. then why should anyone regard the AGW/CO2/catastrophe mongers as anything other than a wild-eyed fringe group that will never admit, despite overwhelming evidence, that the climate doesn’t agree with their rigged models?
    I say we regard them as looter mobocracy thugs! They’re getting rich now and will make many of the rest of us poor! They’re again talking about a carbon tax! Even if 10 yrs down the line AGW and its adherents are finally torn to shred, we’ll STILL be paying that @#$%^$#@ tax! Nothing is quite so permanent as a temporary government program.

  103. CO2 is vapor and vapor is absorbed back into the atmosphere.
    It is something lighter than gravity that cannot evaporiate it’s self.
    Helium is lighter than gravity but it evaporiates.

  104. I like Yaakoba!
    IMHO, she has a bright future in Hansen’s GISS. Or maybe working with Michael Mann to provide data for his next chart.

  105. Joel,
    “…we seemed to have him pretty effectively contained from committing the worst of his atrocities…”
    You wouldn’t say that if your mother or sister had been at some of his son’s “parties”.
    Mike

  106. Joel,
    Is this blurb about you?
    “For your editorial and marketing projects, turn to a pro. Joel Shore has the experience to create content that meets your needs in technology, retail, and banking.”
    Mike

  107. TonyB,
    Well if the Arctic does get colder and another ozone hole does form above it, we all know what will have caused it.
    Mike

  108. evanjones: I won’t derail things with any further discussion about the Iraq War except to say that your spinning and speculation there makes me see what you consider to be “cost-benefit analysis” which is basically to come up with estimates / interpretations / WAGs of the costs and benefits that give you the conclusion that you seem to favor.

    As for the temperatures, I am okay with going from 2001. If one skips the 1998 El Nino, one must also skip the 1999-2000 La Nina.

    Unfortunately, that leaves with a period so short that the errorbars are any trend estimates are huge. And, that is confirmed by the fact that using, for example, NASA GISS and Hadcrut data gives quite different estimates of the trends (although this difference just accounts for the error due to analysis of the data and doesn’t include the contribution due to “climate noise” like El Nino – La Nina etc). And, of course, climate models runs with steadily increasing CO2 levels see the same large variations in trends over such short periods (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/langswitch_lang/sk ).

    From 1976 – 2001 all six major cycles (PDO, IPO, AO, AAO, AMO, NAO) all flipped from cool to warm. That would seem to account for the increase. Now the PDO has flipped back to cool and we see a cooling. This correlates better than with CO2. Not proof, but good circumstantial evidence.

    I’d call it pure speculation based on essentially no mechanistic reasoning and ignoring all understanding we have of climate and its responses to radiative forcings, etc.

    We can (probably) discount CO2 as a major factor because of the Aqua Satellite data which indicates that CO2 positive feedback loops are not at issue.

    What are you talking about exactly? Most of what I have seen, from e.g., Soden or from Dessler’s group, confirms that the water vapor feedback is behaving basically as expected by the climate models. Although the cloud feedback is more uncertain, there are many good reasons (from estimates of the total climate feedback by various means such as paleoclimate data and the Mt. Pinatubo eruption) to believe that this total feedback is in the range that the IPCC says it is.

  109. Mike Bryant says:

    Joel,
    Is this blurb about you?

    No…That’s a different Joel Shore. (There seem to be at least 3 of us floating around.) If you want me, you might try googling “Joel D. Shore”.

  110. Joel,
    If that blurb is about you, it makes me wonder if you have been crafting this editorial content for a paying customer. Of course I could be way off base here, but I understand that there is a $300,000,000.00 budget for precisely this type of “content”.
    I also just realized that you and Yaakoba are on the same side of this discussion. Just a couple of “real” skeptics trying to set the record straight.
    Mike

  111. Spinning and speculation? Any historian (or policymaker) worth half his salt is well aware that doing nothing is doing something (to quote liberal Tony Blair). Why do you think I “favor” what I favor? Repressed imperialism? Try lives and freedom. Since 1991, Saddam had massacred (not just in ’91) and/or starved between half a million and a million of his own people already. No WAG there. The only war crime the US is guilty of is the “war crime of inaction” of not having invaded once Saddam violated the treaty and started massacring his own people. A crime of inaction we committed every day from then to 2003. Your mileage may vary. As for me, I am proud of my country, proud of great Britain, and grateful to every nation that lifted a finger or paid a penny to help Iraq in its agony, even though we took action so late in the day.
    I don’t favor invasion of Iran. But Iran is not a bleeding sore, a charnel-house, a slow-motion holocaust in progress. Iraq was.
    You’re willing to take action to prevent climate change that I believe will result indirectly in an awful lot of deaths. But no doubt you think death from climate change is certain and no ill effects to the poorest nations of the world will result if we sacrifice a third to a half of world growth in the process. And you believe we are reaching a tipping point, so immediate action is necessary.
    Well I think such action will result in an awful lot of deaths. And I think that if AGW is a problem we will have plenty of time to solve it down the road–if it even is a problem. And I think we’ll know a lot more about it either way in a few years than we do now.
    However, I know you genuinely believe what you believe, and I respect that even though I do not agree. So I do not accuse you of spin.
    What are you talking about exactly? Most of what I have seen, from e.g., Soden or from Dessler’s group, confirms that the water vapor feedback is behaving basically as expected by the climate models.
    Spencer flatly claims otherwise. He asserts that the bulk of the extra water in the lower trop is going towards to cloud formation, and that this is resulting in negative, not positive feedback. The last decade of the record (flat) would seem to be consistent with that.
    And the Rev has posted humidity measurements some time back, and they do not conform with any models I ever heard of. Specific humidity is down in all but the lowest altitudes.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/21/a-window-on-water-vapor-and-planetary-temperature-part-2/
    Furthermore, your assertion baffles me: the climate models are badly off, so how can water vapor feedback be behaving “basically as expected”? I agree that non-cloud water vapor would create feedback, but I am not seeing that vapor. That’s the point.

  112. I’d call it pure speculation based on essentially no mechanistic reasoning and ignoring all understanding we have of climate and its responses to radiative forcings, etc.
    Is it you contention that the PDO, AMO, IPO, NOA, AO and AAO do not have warm and cool phases or that they do not affect global temperatures and that there is nor mechanistic reason to believe they do? Really?
    I believe that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. And I believe that if there are positive feedback loops at work, it will magnify the effects. But what I do not believe is that there are any significant positive feedback loops at work, here.

  113. Much like real scientists never claim that CO2 is the _only_ driver of climate change, real scientists never claim that CFCs are the _only_ driver of the magnitude of the Antarctic ozone depletion. Given that the loading levels of anthropogenic chlorinated compounds aren’t even 10% less than their peak (which was more than 200% more than natural background chlorine), it isn’t surprising that year to year variability might obscure that trend (due to temperatures, cloud formation, cosmic rays, whatever).
    I do recommend the UNEP report, much like I would recommend the IPCC reports: if you actually _read_ them, you will see that scientists are quite upfront about what is and is not consistent with their expectations, and what the sources of natural as well as anthropogenic variability are.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/assessments/2006/chapters/executivesummary.pdf
    Also, check out the figure in Q13 in their twenty questions document to see the fairly dramatic decrease in global ozone (not just the Antarctic hole) that pretty much peaked in the early 1990s, which is when stratospheric chlorine loading also peaked.: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/assessments/2006/chapters/twentyquestions.pdf

  114. Marcus,
    ” I would recommend the IPCC reports: if you actually _read_ them, you will see that scientists are quite upfront about what is and is not consistent with their expectations, ”
    Such as the Medieval Warm Period and The Little Ice AGE …..
    How can any part of any IPCC report be trusted.
    Nigel Lawson said it best,
    “A grain of truth, and a mountain of nonsense.”
    They (the IPCC) are politicians pretending to be scientists,
    read between the lines mate.

  115. Mike Bryant says:

    If that blurb is about you, it makes me wonder if you have been crafting this editorial content for a paying customer. Of course I could be way off base here, but I understand that there is a $300,000,000.00 budget for precisely this type of “content”.

    And, if pigs could fly… I told you that it is not about me. And, while it would be great if I actually could get paid for doing this, alas I do it as the scientific equivalent of a lawyer’s “pro bono” work. At any rate, my real job completely unrelated to climate change pays me fine. (By completely unrelated, I mean in the content of what I am studying; I do use a lot of computational modeling techniques and study issues like light scattering that have applications both to my work and to climate science even though what I am studying is very different.)

    I also just realized that you and Yaakoba are on the same side of this discussion. Just a couple of “real” skeptics trying to set the record straight.

    I won’t touch that one except to say that I have no idea what Yaakoba is saying most of the time. “Helium is lighter than gravity but it evaporates”? Whatever.
    [REPLY – Yes, you did make that clear, but it’s quite possible that Mike Bryant hadn’t read your reply because it had yet to be approved when he made his post. I am quite sure we take you at your word. There are a number of Evan Joneses in the internet, including at least one environmentalist whom I sincerely doubt would share ANY of my views. ~ Evan]

  116. Thanks for the try Tom, but the articles you site did not show that the proposed mechanism actually happened in real birds, and in fact tests on birds generally showed positive reproductive effects at least as often as negative. One experiment I recall that had slight but significant negative result fed the birds 200 times the highest dosage ever encountered in the wild. Even that dosage didn’t discourage ducks.
    It has been almost 30 years but I recognized a couple of you citations immediately .
    Most puplished papers are of course proven wrong eventually. Saddly we set our fears in stone with the “Ban”. By the way the idea that a US ban did not stop others from using DDT is a talking point but is not honest. As UN programs throughout the 70s and 80s were largely US funded and DDT use was forbidden in US funded programs the results were a wider ban. Yes places like India eventually built their own manufacturing infrastructure.

  117. On the supposed egg shell thickness measurements, as I recall these were done before people realized that the break down daughter substance that was being tested for, and that could “only” come from DDT was in fact found to come from natural sources in at least 90% of all identified cases prior to about 1980.
    The great DDT poisoning of the “Elephant” population being the straw that broke that one.

  118. evanjones says:

    However, I know you genuinely believe what you believe, and I respect that even though I do not agree. So I do not accuse you of spin.

    Sorry. “Spin” was a poor choice of words as I did not mean to imply that you do not believe what you said. Let’s leave it at that we disagree on a lot of the facts and speculations about what might have happened had different actions occurred or not occurred.

    Spencer flatly claims otherwise. He asserts that the bulk of the extra water in the lower trop is going towards to cloud formation, and that this is resulting in negative, not positive feedback. The last decade of the record (flat) would seem to be consistent with that.

    Well, yes, Spencer may believe this. However, this is very new work by him, some of which is just beginning to be published in the peer-reviewed literature so there has not been much opportunity for scientists to react to it (although I have seen some blog criticisms of aspects of Spencer’s work, e.g. by RealClimate and tamino) and it contradicts a lot of other work in the field. So, in other words, you are betting a lot on the idea that Spencer is correct and a lot of other science, including some that has withstood a considerably longer period of scrutiny by other scientists, is wrong.
    As for the fairly flat temperatures over the last several years, since this is not in contradiction with the global climate models forced with constantly increasing CO2, I don’t really see it as evidence in support of Spencer’s hypothesis.

    And the Rev has posted humidity measurements some time back, and they do not conform with any models I ever heard of. Specific humidity is down in all but the lowest altitudes.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/21/a-window-on-water-vapor-and-planetary-temperature-part-2/

    So, you accepting the results of data available on the web with little explanation being plotted and interpretted by people who don’t know much about it and not being written up for peer review even though these claims are in contradiction with peer-reviewed work. (See here for some references: http://sciencepoliticsclimatechange.blogspot.com/2006/08/more-on-water-vapor-feedback.html ) Note that the Soden paper explicitly mentions the problem with the radiosonde re-analysis data that I believe Anthony has relied on here.

    Furthermore, your assertion baffles me: the climate models are badly off, so how can water vapor feedback be behaving “basically as expected”? I agree that non-cloud water vapor would create feedback, but I am not seeing that vapor. That’s the point.

    The peer-reviewed evidence that I am aware of (noted above) demonstrates that the water vapor feedback is indeed behaving basically as expected. And, note that the Soden paper looks not only at the trends over long times but also at the shorter-term fluctuations and how they correlate with temperature fluctuations.

    Is it you contention that the PDO, AMO, IPO, NOA, AO and AAO do not have warm and cool phases or that they do not affect global temperatures and that there is nor mechanistic reason to believe they do? Really?

    I believe that these result primarily in the redistribution of heat, not in significant global warming or cooling…particularly sustained for decades. (El Nino and La Nina can have an effect on global temperatures but that is for a much shorter period of time, over which exchanges of heat between the oceans and the atmosphere can be significant.)

  119. Joel
    Tamino apears to have misunderstood this paper and his critique at real climate appears to show this.
    I’m not taking sides other than that at the moment,

  120. Let’s leave it at that we disagree on a lot of the facts and speculations about what might have happened had different actions occurred or not occurred.
    Okay.
    Well, yes, Spencer may believe this. However, this is very new work by him, some of which is just beginning to be published in the peer-reviewed literature so there has not been much opportunity for scientists to react to it (although I have seen some blog criticisms of aspects of Spencer’s work, e.g. by RealClimate and tamino) and it contradicts a lot of other work in the field.
    Yes, it’s new.
    So, in other words, you are betting a lot on the idea that Spencer is correct and a lot of other science, including some that has withstood a considerably longer period of scrutiny by other scientists, is wrong.
    Say rather that I would wait until it is proven or disproven before enacting policy. This is an important distinction.
    The peer-reviewed evidence that I am aware of (noted above) demonstrates that the water vapor feedback is indeed behaving basically as expected.
    Wasn’t it expected that positive feedback would accelerate temperature increase from a rate of c. 0.7C per century to over 3.0C?
    I believe that these result primarily in the redistribution of heat, not in significant global warming or cooling…particularly sustained for decades.
    Well, yes. But we measure that which is at the surface.
    Oceans seem to have been cooling for several years (and sea level dropping, even with its positive adjustment).
    not in significant global warming or cooling…particularly sustained for decades.
    But note the trends from 1950-1976 and 1976 to 2001. An up-down correlation is more significant than the straight-line variety.
    (El Nino and La Nina can have an effect on global temperatures but that is for a much shorter period of time, over which exchanges of heat between the oceans and the atmosphere can be significant.)
    But that is what the PDO is said to affect: Duration and intensities of Nino vs. Nina.

  121. Such as the Medieval Warm Period and The Little Ice AGE …..
    Yes, that was very careless of Dr. Deming.
    Have they found it yet?

  122. evanjones says:

    Say rather that I would wait until it is proven or disproven before enacting policy. This is an important distinction.

    But, there will always be someone around to throw out a new hypothesis, so what you are really calling for is a recipe for never taking action. When you have contentious issues like this, the debate goes on forever…just look at the evolution / intelligent design example.
    And, why should the default be to not enact any policy until you know with more certainty? Do you only buy fire insurance once your house is already in flames? We all have to make decisions in the face of uncertainty…and hedge our bets. Here is a good article about that in the case of climate change: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/sci;306/5695/416

    Wasn’t it expected that positive feedback would accelerate temperature increase from a rate of c. 0.7C per century to over 3.0C?

    Not sure what you are saying here. The general rate of warming seen over the last 30 years is compatible with the climate sensitivity range of the IPCC. (Because of uncertainties in forcings such as manmade aerosols as well as natural forcings and variability, however, this data doesn’t provide very strong constraints on climate sensitivity, which is why it is useful to also look at paleoclimate data and events such as the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, and to also look at things like the water vapor data that Soden did to test the specific feedback mechanisms in the models.)

    But that is what the PDO is said to affect: Duration and intensities of Nino vs. Nina.

    Is it? Even so, I’d question how long term El Nino and La Nina can affect the global climate. The heat has to come from somewhere.

  123. “We’ve got our criminals and their names are CO2 and CFC, I’m confident that the forensics will show them guilty beyond a shadow of the doubt”.
    Who said this? I can’t find the source anywhere? If anybody has the link, please post it.

  124. But, there will always be someone around to throw out a new hypothesis, so what you are really calling for is a recipe for never taking action.
    Not necessarily. Spencer isn’t just “someone”. And this strikes right to the heart of the theory, If feedback loops fall, everything falls.
    And, why should the default be to not enact any policy until you know with more certainty?
    Partly because the default is best for wealth and world growth.
    Partly because the theory is weakening rather than strengthening (and yes, I know the IPCC “certainty” progression). It isn’t gone. but it’s teetering.
    Partly because if there is inaction and proof hits us in the face, there will be action, but if we take action and the theory is disproved, we’ll never reverse course.
    That last is just a pathetic political reality; I didn’t make those stupid rules, but I know ’em when I see ’em.
    And I also suspect that a direct fix such as pole-to-pole orbital reflectors (just an example) might prove far more effective and infinitely cheaper than “stopping the engine that moves the world”. That would (at worst) cost around two years’ worth of Stern of Kyoto.
    Finally, I just don’t think the evidence is strong enough.
    Do you only buy fire insurance once your house is already in flames?
    It entirely depends on what the fire insurance policy costs. And then there’s the likelihood factor. Is GW as likely as a fire or less so? Why not spend half your savings on meteorite insurance? Should we wait until the meteor hits?
    The fire insurance analogy doesn’t work because the factors are different. I think you are putting the farm in hock for the fire insurance.
    Not sure what you are saying here. The general rate of warming seen over the last 30 years is compatible with the climate sensitivity range of the IPCC.
    But not the last 60. You are taking an upswing and a leveling instead of an entire cycle, which includes a downswing. 1979 was a nadir. Sure, if you go from trough to peak you get a higher delta. try a peak-to-peak. Say, 1940 to roughly 2000.
    When you go from 1979 – 2007 you take a 20-year period when all the cycles flipped to warm and a ten year cycle where they remained warm. But you exclude the cooling part. You need a full cycle.
    I see no evidence that the longterm rate of warming has quadrupled. And I grant you that feedback works. But you need the non-cloud humidity to rise, and it hasn’t really. And yes, there is dirty snow and the like. It’s a biggish system.
    Is it? Even so, I’d question how long term El Nino and La Nina can affect the global climate. The heat has to come from somewhere.
    They fluctuate in 30-year ups and downs. The heat comes, the heat goes. There are larger cycles, too. DeVries. Milankovic. And the seasons they go round and round and the painted ponies go up and down.

  125. Is it? Even so, I’d question how long term El Nino and La Nina can affect the global climate. The heat has to come from somewhere.

    It comes mostly from the sun (99+%).
    It is stored in the seas mostly and a little is stored in the atmosphere. It is released back to space …
    The seas can absorb it in one place and give it up in another and warm the atmosphere.
    They system has not run away over 600M years or more, even when CO2 levels were higher than they are today …

  126. Richard Sharpe says:

    They system has not run away over 600M years or more, even when CO2 levels were higher than they are today …

    I don’t know what your point is. Nobody serious is saying that we are going to have a Venus-like run away here on Earth either. (The folks over at RealClimate have been very clear on this point before.) However, what the paleoclimate record shows (see, e.g., here: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/sci;306/5697/821 ) is that the climate system is quite sensitive to small perturbations, presumably because of the positive feedbacks which, while insufficient to cause an instability, are large enough to magnify what the effect of the perturbation would be in the absence of feedbacks. (The paleoclimate history also suggests that there are tipping points in the climate system which can lead to quite sudden shifts in climate beyond a certain point…although again, not a runaway Venus-type instability.)

  127. evanjones says:

    And I grant you that feedback works. But you need the non-cloud humidity to rise, and it hasn’t really.

    You only seem to think that because you ignore the evidence in the peer-reviewed literature that it has and instead rely on someone using suspect data available on the web that he doesn’t understand very well to make some plots.
    As for your analogy about putting the farm in hock, if you believe that reducing (or sequestering) our carbon emissions is so difficult, what then do you think will happen when we run out of fossil fuels? We will have to get off of fossil fuels eventually. Really the only question is whether we do it before or after we have caused irreparable harm to our environment.

  128. 1. We will never run out of fossil fuels. Understand? They will simply become increasingly expensive to extract, as the easy oil becomes more scarce. With a higher price, the market will then produce more. Econ 1A.
    2. Sequestering carbon dioxide underground is the stupidest idea in the history of civilization; the equivalent of hiring an army of $100,000/year unionized bureaucrats to dig 10X10X10 foot holes in the ground, then move them 20 feet every six months. In fact, sequestration is even stupider than that, because an increase in atmospheric CO2 is beneficial to life on Earth. The atmosphere is currently starved of carbon dioxide, and adding a very tiny extra bit is good for both plants and animals. Carbon is not evil as the alarmist propaganda contends; we are made mostly of carbon.
    3. “Irreparable harm” is an alarmist term with no basis in fact:
    Bikini atoll was subjected to multiple zero altitude thermonuclear tests using the newly invented hydrogen bomb. Today the atoll is brimming with life, and appears no different than similar atolls. If there were “irreparable” harm anywhere, it would be at ground zero on Bikini atoll.
    And Pittsburgh, for example, had such heavy pollution in the 1950’s that most days you couldn’t see across the rivers. Industrial waste was discharged directly into the rivers with no processing or treatment.
    Today, Pittsburgh is clean. The air is clean, and the water is clean. The EPA now states that fish caught in the rivers are fit for human consumption. In fact, the U.S. is one of the very the cleanest countries on Earth, if not the cleanest.
    The entire focus of the environmental movement [as opposed to conservation] is to hobble the U.S., while most countries only pay lip service to the UN’s agenda while scolding the U.S., as they pour soot into the atmosphere and untreated industrial sludge into the rivers and oceans.
    The “UN go-o-o-o-o-d, America ba-a-a-a-a-d” globaloney contingent, led by Al Gore and his clones in the UN and Hollywood, want the entire U.S. standard of living to go straight down via retarded schemes like “carbon sequestration,” with absolutely zero proof that these pea-brained proposals will do one bit of good.

  129. Smokey says:

    1. We will never run out of fossil fuels. Understand? They will simply become increasingly expensive to extract, as the easy oil becomes more scarce. With a higher price, the market will then produce more. Econ 1A.

    So, are you saying that Econ 1A implies there are infinite amounts of fossil fuels available to extract?!?! (What I assume you would say is, “No…Once the price of fossil fuels gets high enough, cheaper alternatives to it will be found.” However, this is of course exactly what will happen if we raise the price of fossil fuels (or, more precisely, the CO2 emitted from fossil fuel burning) by putting on a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system. Market fundamentalists seem to believe that the market works wonderfully when nature imposes limits on us but if we artificially impose a limit ourselves with market mechanisms, it will cause impoverishment of us all!
    As for the rest of your post, such paranoid “the UN and Al Gore are out to get the U.S. diatribes” are frankly too silly to merit a response.

  130. Good idea, Joel, artificially inflate the price of oil by giving the government even more money. Brilliant! Simply brilliant.
    Hasn’t the government already inflated the price enough? Did you say your doctorate is in economics?

  131. *sigh* Some folks just can’t seem to get it. Maybe it’s a failure of reading comprehension.
    So let’s try to teach today’s basic lesson again: We will never run out of oil. Is that really so hard to comprehend? The price may rise until other alternatives are preferable. Heck, the price of oil might rise to $1,000/bbl. But there will always be oil, at a market price set by the equilibrium point in the demand/supply curve. Econ 1A.
    And ‘cap and trade’ is simply another tax. It does nothing at all to make the world better or the environment cleaner. It raises the price of food and energy, whacking the world’s poor the hardest.
    Despite giving hypocritical lip service to “the poor,” the Left could not care less if they have a much tougher life, or even if millions die due to their anti-humanity leftist ideas. As one of their heroes, Josef Stalin, said, “One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”
    The truth is that considerable numbers of “environmentalists” are secretly delighted at the prospect of large swathes of the world’s poor starving. ‘Cap and trade’ will lead in this direction, without it doing one whit of good for the environment.
    Finally, being unable to formulate a reasonable response to #2 and #3 above isn’t surprising. Carbon sequestration and ‘irreparable’ harm to the environment are logically unsupportable. Better to just call rational arguments against them “silly”, huh? No thinking required.

  132. Mike Bryant says:

    Good idea, Joel, artificially inflate the price of oil by giving the government even more money. Brilliant! Simply brilliant.
    Hasn’t the government already inflated the price enough? Did you say your doctorate is in economics?

    No, it is in physics. However, I took two good semesters of economics, which is clearly more than you can say since you seem to have no understanding whatsoever of the concept of an “externality”, one of the most basic concepts in economics.
    Smokey says:

    Some folks just can’t seem to get it. Maybe it’s a failure of reading comprehension.

    Speaking of a lack of reading comprehension, as anyone reading my post would be able to see, I understood what you said…In fact correctly intuited what you meant even though you had stated it rather obscurely and indirectly. As for the rest of your post, you are another one who seems to be a “market fundamentalist”, believing religiously in “free markets” without a basic understanding of the actually economic science of markets, when they succeed and when they fail, and how such failures (such as “externalities”) can be corrected.
    I guess in your world, these “leftists” and people out to destroy the U.S. economy now must include many major U.S. corporations, such as DuPont and Ford, even some electric power companies and so forth, who have called for action on addressing AGW. Strange world that you inhabit!

  133. Richard Sharpe says:

    Smokey. Never try to teach a pig to sing!

    You guys might feel somewhat smug and superior since your views are in the majority on this website. However, you might want to think about how you present yourselves to a larger world where you are losing the argument. (Note how both candidates for President have embraced cap-and-trade for greenhouse gas emissions, and as I noted, a growing number of corporations have also expressed support for such an approach.) I am actually doing you folks a favor by trying to prune off some of the most ridiculous and misguided arguments that you make. I think it would actually be healthy to have some intelligent skeptical voices around on the issue of AGW. Alas, these skeptic websites seem to be almost completely dominated by arguments that may look good to your fellow travelers but will be considered laughable by the larger community of scientists (and informed laypeople). It’s rather sad actually.

  134. Joel,
    I do understand that externalities cause market failures. The government is already too pervasive. Why not just say that you prefer government control of the economy? At least then you don’t have to keep talking around it.

  135. I agree we’re losing the political argument. But not as badly as you think. Not as badly as before. And I question whether we are losing the scientific argument. I think we don’t know as much as we need to, but there is a lot more study being done and a lot more students at work on it.
    And I’ve been here before, what with Ehrlich and the Club of Rome. So far I see much the same pattern.
    I should also point out that you are welcome here, and even your most critical posts are approved (often by me). If I am not mistaken, you will have read my views on the matter, so I won’t repeat them here.
    We don’t often get that treatment from the other side of the fence. That has an effect on us; we are human.
    We either take your advice, or we don’t. I think you may be right. I doubt it, but concede the possibility. I think most of us present, even including the more sanguine among us would agree, at least if pressed to the wall.
    I would advocate a different approach even if you are right, but that’s another argument entirely.
    Ultimately it is the data that is going to decide the issue. If temperatures continue to drop and cycles flip cold, that will be good evidence. If the temperatures spike upwards in spite of it, that, too. will be good evidence. And of course, the sun will have its say.
    Regardless, you are part of the family, too. We may not agree with much of what you say, but you do and will continue to get to say it.

  136. You only seem to think that because you ignore the evidence in the peer-reviewed literature that it has and instead rely on someone using suspect data available on the web that he doesn’t understand very well to make some plots.
    IIRC, there was a new satellite that is going to track humidity mentioned on this site a while back. We’ll see what gives.
    As for your analogy about putting the farm in hock, if you believe that reducing (or sequestering) our carbon emissions is so difficult, what then do you think will happen when we run out of fossil fuels?
    I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think we’ll have moved on long before we even run short. As it is, potential reserves are ‘way up from 1974 in spite of increase of use. I think it’s a non-issue.
    We will have to get off of fossil fuels eventually. Really the only question is whether we do it before or after we have caused irreparable harm to our environment.
    Yes and no.
    Yes, we will (because we’ll find something better, not ’cause we have to). No, I don’t think we’ll cause irreparable harm to the environment.
    Fear not. the UDCs will develop and then they will take just as good care of their environments as the DCs. #B^1 When nations become wealthy, they gain both the inclination and the power to maintain their space.

  137. Mike Bryant says:

    Why not just say that you prefer government control of the economy? At least then you don’t have to keep talking around it.

    Because a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax to correct an externality is not the government taking control of the economy! It is using the market-based system to correct an externality. Do you realize that exactly the same sort of solution was proposed to regulate traditional pollutants from power plants by the Bush Administration in place of the Clean Air Act. They called it the Clear Skies Initiative and touted the fact that it was such a market-based approach. (It was generally opposed by Democrats and environmentalists, although this opposition was not because they didn’t like the approach but rather because the White House had raised the caps on the original EPA proposal so that the cleanup would be slower than would have occurred under the Clean Air Act. In fact, I think one Democratic senator introduced an alternate proposal that was like the Bush Administration’s but with caps similar to those originally proposed by the EPA but Cheney and company got their hands on it. There was also some concern that a cap-and-trade system could create local area where pollutants were high, which is not an issue for CO2 where only the total emissions matter not where they are emitted.)

  138. evanjones says:

    I should also point out that you are welcome here, and even your most critical posts are approved (often by me).

    Regardless, you are part of the family, too. We may not agree with much of what you say, but you do and will continue to get to say it.

    Thanks. I appreciate those kind words, your general approach to this debate, and your contribution to approving my posts on this website.

  139. Joel,
    How I long for the traditional pollutants. Back in the sixties and seventies, we had pollutants that you could really sink your teeth into. These new, fresh pollutants are just so ephemeral. I guess they fit in with the new age music, and the new socialism light. I’m just so old fashioned that I will never be able to get my mind around plant food disguised as pollution.
    Now, water vapor, there’s a greenhouse gas that everyone could rally around.

  140. Joel (& Mike): Thanks. Not at all.
    Particulates and your standard toxins are a lot cheaper to regulate. I am not as concerned with the socialist aspects as some (though I am not stoked with treaties that, in effect, make the senate alone capable of trumping federal law). I even agree that external regulation is sometimes necessary. Within living memory, we used to shoot the strikers down in the streets.
    My problem is not with standard pollutant control.
    My objection to CO2 regulation is
    A.) It is very costly (both in terms of direct cost and inhibited growth), and the worst effects will hit the poorest hardest.
    B.) The evidence is not good enough and the emergency (stipulating there is an emergency) isn’t dire enough to warrant precipitous action. We can afford to wait and see and the evidence pours in. There is a huge amount more study now than ten years ago. Give it a little time as the pump is primed.
    C.) If legislation is put in place it is very hard to get rid of, even if it can be proven it was never necessary. This is human nature. Therefore we should be very sure it is necessary before acting.
    D.) A technological fix such as (but not limited to) a solarsynchronous pole-to-pole horizonal satellite array could solve the issue at a (relatively) minuscule cost (a mere couple of $tril.). This is not a “green” nor a “behavioral” approach, thus it is unfashionable among many. But it (or some other indirect approach) could be both effective and cheap.
    E.) In any case, C may not have the desired effect. Even if the IPCC is correct, GW would not be much affected, just delayed by a few years.
    F.) If C happens, D will be put aside. I favor the reverse!

  141. Evanjones, to take each of your objections in turn:

    A.) It is very costly (both in terms of direct cost and inhibited growth), and the worst effects will hit the poorest hardest.

    Well, no doubt there is a real cost associated with this…but the costs have been exaggerated by those with a vested interest in the status quo. Furthermore, as everyone here…even Smokey…admits, fossil fuels will get more expensive eventually as the supply / demand curves shift. So, not dealing with it now is really just putting off costs that we would have to face eventually…plus adding in the additional costs associated with the environmental damage from climate change and ocean acidification.

    B.) The evidence is not good enough and the emergency (stipulating there is an emergency) isn’t dire enough to warrant precipitous action. We can afford to wait and see and the evidence pours in. There is a huge amount more study now than ten years ago. Give it a little time as the pump is primed.

    As I noted, you will always find people who will make this argument. The nature of science is such that you are never going to have 100% certainty about anything so if you set the bar high enough, you will not be able to reach it. Ten or fifteen years ago, this argument was being made by most of those with a vested interest in the status quo, such as fossil fuel companies, power companies, and automobile manufacturers. Now, even many…if not most…of them have abandoned this claim as no longer scientifically tenable.
    Furthermore, there is not as much time as you think. There is a huge amount of inertia both in the climate system and in our society. If we wait until the negative effects are too obvious, it will be some combination of too late and too costly to prevent further such effects.

    C.) If legislation is put in place it is very hard to get rid of, even if it can be proven it was never necessary. This is human nature. Therefore we should be very sure it is necessary before acting.

    It is also human nature to put off dealing with problems…particularly ones that do not have a dramatic onset but build up slowly over time. If the science subsequently really does swing the other way, there will be plenty of pressures on legislatures from vested interests to ease up on the goals. In the meantime, we will have done things that we would need to eventually do anyway independent of the issue of climate change.

    D.) A technological fix such as (but not limited to) a solarsynchronous pole-to-pole horizonal satellite array could solve the issue at a (relatively) minuscule cost (a mere couple of $tril.). This is not a “green” nor a “behavioral” approach, thus it is unfashionable among many. But it (or some other indirect approach) could be both effective and cheap.

    There are lots of good reasons to be skeptical of both the costs of such geoengineering fixes and their effectiveness (and ability not to create other problems). In fact, there is already an emerging understanding among climate scientists of how trying to inject aerosols into the stratosphere to cause cooling would produce some detrimental effects (in terms of rainfall distribution, for example). It seems somewhat ironic to me that the same people who argue that there is too much uncertainty to say, “This is a problem and we need to reduce the perturbation we are making on the climate system” are so quick to suggest counter-perturbations, since such an approach would seem to me to demand a much better understanding of the climate system than the former.
    Note, by the way, that technological fixes in general and legislation in particularly are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the reason that we need the legislation is to provide the market signals for the technological fixes to be developed. Technologies are not generally researched, developed, and commercialized when there is no market incentive to do so (unless this is done by governments or out of altruism on the part of people with a lot of money).
    A cap-and-trade system will encourage the development of technological solutions, at least on small scales. (It may be harder to create a system that would provide sufficient encouragement for the huge geoengineering solutions that you are thinking of…and perhaps some government research has a role to play here, but again, I think these solutions will prove more problematic anyway.)

    E.) In any case, C may not have the desired effect. Even if the IPCC is correct, GW would not be much affected, just delayed by a few years.

    Not sure what you are basing this on. This is presumably an argument about Kyoto which, since it only covered emissions over like a 4-year period, could not (in the strict sense that you speak of here) possibly delay the consequences more than 4 years, since reducing emissions to zero for 4 years and then going back up to our previous levels would only delay things by 4 years. The point of such legislation / treaties is to get us on a new trajectory in terms of future greenhouse gas emissions…and this is done by creating the market incentives for the development of the technologies that will get us there. The specific emissions targets for the specific years are not so much the ends in and of themselves but rather the means to the end.

    F.) If C happens, D will be put aside. I favor the reverse!

    Like I say, I don’t see how someone who truly thinks that we know less about the climate system than we think we do would want to favor solutions that require we understand it much better (in fact, IMHO, better than we actually do) rather than solutions that will still be effective in light of greater uncertainty. (At any rate, I don’t even think that your claim is necessarily true, as C would probably create at least some incentives for investments by the marketplace in researching D…and governments could help with investments in D.)

  142. Joel Shore, cap-and-trade is not “using the market;” it is making people pay the government for the right to do what they can already do for free. Real markets compete over resources and how they’re used, which creates wealth. Permission from the government to do business (which is all a carbon credit is) is not a resource.
    And since when is the Bush administration the litmus test for free market principles? Should I suppose that steel tariffs and corn subsidies are part of free market capitalism?

  143. Well, no doubt there is a real cost associated with this…but the costs have been exaggerated by those with a vested interest in the status quo.
    Stern himself estimates it will cost 1% of GWP (1.8% for DCs if the burden is to be borne by them).
    Others without “vested interest”: So as not to clog up space: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/22/global_warming_mitigation_vs_adaptation/
    As I noted, you will always find people who will make this argument.
    As of this time, you may include me among them. The main reason I feel this way is that temperatures are not up over the last decade and appear to be on the decline. And CO2 feedback theory is in dispute (we each have already cited conflicting opinions). We should wait until that vital issue is resolved before taking action on that very point.
    It is also human nature to put off dealing with problems…particularly ones that do not have a dramatic onset but build up slowly over time.
    Yes. But I don’t think this is indicated by the current data. And I really, really doubt the window is as narrow as five or ten years.
    A cap-and-trade system will encourage the development of technological solutions, at least on small scales.
    So they say. I say that with encouragement like that we won’t be needing any discouragement.
    I also think that the race is already very much on to come up with viable alt-energy. (Which alone could render the whole cap issue moot.) I am afraid, however, we are being prodded in the direction of the UNviable variety.
    Not sure what you are basing this on.
    A four year program is unlikely to delay AGW by several years. See link above.
    Like I say, I don’t see how someone who truly thinks that we know less about the climate system than we think we do would want to favor solutions that require we understand it much better (in fact, IMHO, better than we actually do) rather than solutions that will still be effective in light of greater uncertainty.
    We don’t need to know any more about climate than we do to know that shade cools. And although we do not know enough about climate, two things are evident: First, we are learning a lot more every year, and second, wealth-driven technology is accelerating every year. Killing world growth by a third to half is not going to be helpful to either of these things. And I have little confidence in government “help” taken from a dwindling pool of wealth of which the government itself is dwindler-in-chief.

  144. Josh S,
    You seem to have no understanding whatsoever of the concept of an “externality”, one of the most basic concepts in economics.
    However, you are correct. The free market is only a distant memory in America today. Perhaps everyone here should reread “Wealth of Nations”.

  145. evanjones: Well, we have each stated our positions. I will just comment on this one thing:

    Killing world growth by a third to half is not going to be helpful to either of these things.

    The estimates from the IPCC report are reductions in world growth over the next 50 years of <0.12% per year in order to go for the most stringent emissions targets. Since it is reasonable to assume GDP growth rate of around 2 to 3% per year, I don’t see how it will kill the growth by a third to a half. (I am not sure where you are getting the 1% reduction in GDP that you quote from Stern, but you seem to be assuming that they meant 1% lower growth each and every year, which I am quite sure is not what they meant.)

  146. Yes, I think we understand each other. We merely disagree.
    (I am not sure where you are getting the 1% reduction in GDP that you quote from Stern, but you seem to be assuming that they meant 1% lower growth each and every year, which I am quite sure is not what they meant.)
    From Stern, himself. Yes, every year. Around half a $tril.
    Estimates for Kyoto (Molinari Inst.) range from 0.8% (Germany) to 1.1% (UK) to 2.3% (Italy) to 3.1% (Spain)
    If I thought the situation to be as bad as they say, I would go along. But I don’t. Not yet, anyway.

  147. Evan is right and Joel is wrong. Both are sincere, I think. So am I.
    Rather than refute Mr. Shore point by point, I’ll mention once again that:
    * The climate is absolutely normal; it is well within normal and natural historical parameters, whether you go back 1,500 years, 15,000 years, or 15 million years. The climate naturally fluctuates, and the current normal fluctuations are relatively minor. Yes, there is a *slight* greenhouse effect, but it is insignificant; other minor forcings overwhelm its tiny effect, which is so small that it can not be reliably measured against the climate’s background noise.
    * The AGW/catastrophe premise is based on computer models, not on empirical proof; sea ice is not disappearing, sea levels are not rising, and despite steady increases in CO2, the planet is cooling.
    * Many of those predicting runaway global warming refuse to publicly archive their taxpayer-funded data, thus making an end run around the scientific method, which requires the possibility of falsification. This isn’t national defense, this is the climate. There is no credible rationale for refusing to disclose the taxpayer paid data and methodology used to produce scary looking hockey stick graphs.
    The simple facts are that big money is involved, and the climate issue has become deliberately politicized by the likes of Al Gore, the UN/IPCC, George Soros, James Hansen, Gavin Schmidt, Hollywood stars, etc.
    Money and politics has corrupted them. If not, why the almost universal lack of transparency? What are they trying to hide?

  148. evanjones (12:41:47) :
    D.) A technological fix such as (but not limited to) a solarsynchronous pole-to-pole horizonal satellite array could solve the issue at a (relatively) minuscule cost (a mere couple of $tril.). This is not a “green” nor a “behavioral” approach, thus it is unfashionable among many. But it (or some other indirect approach) could be both effective and cheap.
    I also favor D, not because I believe that we are entering a runaway warming period, but because, if designed well enough, it can be used for runaway cooling periods. Actually the only true prediction is that an ice age is coming sometime in the future, we just do not know when, so satelite mirrors that could add sunshine will be crucial then.

  149. Joel,
    You say that many corporations now support ‘cap-and-trade’ as if this is some kind of evidence of the correctness of the science.
    I would hazard a guess that the main reasons they support such a scheme is either they can see a way of making money out of it or they see which way the political wind is blowing and are going along with it, or both. I doubt very much that their decisions in this area are based on the supposed science.

  150. Smokey,
    That is a very well reasoned response to the continual obfuscation coming from the AGW camp. It really is as simple as you say, despite attempts by some who believe that complexity somehow adds to the debate. I believe your approach of simplicity and cool logic will win the day.
    When we hear a response to the simple points you have made, watch for the subtle denigration of you and your thoughts, the appeal to authority and a scholarly, pompous explanation of why you are wrong.
    I believe that this debate will not be won or lost in the hollow halls of academe, but rather in the workplaces of hard-working Americans. Your direct, simple and truthful explanations are meat and potatoes for the masses.

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