The climate science elephant footprint in the room

Even though written from a biased perspective, with comments such as “raving from a fringe minority”, this article speaks clearly to things like the absurdity of the Catlin Artic Ice Survey. It used tremendous amounts of fuel (and left fuel depots on the ice yet to be retrieved) compared the the simple flyover in a DC-3 by German researchers at the Wegener Institute to measure ice thickness.

Then there’s the new “Deep Black” supercomputer being installed by the UK Met Office that will use 1.2 megawatts of power to run climate models.

That’s enough to power a small city

Yet there’s “no shame” in any of this as long as its being done to “save the earth”. Even though Mr. Brook is on the other side of the argument from me, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that wonders about these “do as I say, not as I do” things. – Anthony


Ignoring the Elephant in the Room:

The Carbon Footprint of Climate Change Research

by Ryan K. Brook from ARCTIC VOL. 62, NO. 1 (JUNE 2009) P. 253–255

http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic62-2-253.pdf

Despite some ongoing raving from a fringe minority of attention seekers and professional refuters funded by the oil companies, most scientists now accept that climate change is a reality and that human activity is the root cause (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007; Jacques et al., 2008). Many scientists have worked tirelessly to ensure the science is solid, and each new study contributes to understanding the big picture. In all of this, scientists should be immensely proud. Global efforts to convince the general public that climate change is a reality and that our collective actions need to change have been much less successful. Perhaps this failure stems from the misguided notion that climate change is really only an environmental issue, not a social problem.

FIG. 1. Field research by aircraft, especially helicopters, produces a very large carbon footprint. This Robinson 44 uses half the fuel of the similar-sized Bell 206 Jet Ranger.

FIG. 1. Field research by aircraft, especially helicopters, produces a very large carbon footprint. This Robinson 44 uses half the fuel of the similar-sized Bell 206 Jet Ranger.

It seems that while the general public is now much more aware of climate change and its potential impacts than ever before, perhaps the majority believe that global warming is still in debate and that scientists are far from reaching a consensus. For example, a recent poll in the United States found that only 41% of respondents blame global warming on human activity. Even worse, despite some important success stories, there has been a global failure to respond with real reductions in carbon dioxide output. In 2008, a poll of 12 000 citizens in 11 countries, including Canada, found that only 47% were prepared to make personal lifestyle changes to reduce carbon emissions, which is actually a decrease from the 58% willing to do so in 2007. Canada signed and ratified the Kyoto Accord with strong public support, yet it has failed miserably in reaching even these modest goals (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2009). The United States, on the other hand, signed and then promptly ignored Kyoto. Some European countries have led inspirational initiatives, and there are definitely some bright lights throughout the world, but globally we are losing the battle to control carbon output. Badly.

If the science of climate change is so compelling and the risks of maintaining the status quo are so overwhelming (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007), why is the message not translating into meaningful action? One reason, I believe, is that the scientists sounding the alarm are, in fact, part of the problem because we are saying “Do as I say, not as I do.” Scientists who study climate change, especially in the polar regions, have large carbon footprints themselves. By not openly discussing this issue and actively addressing it, we seriously undermine our credibility andour message. Of course, there is no question that the science is absolutely essential and that the data generated will have significant positive impacts on our understanding of climate change and development of policy and mitigation strategies.

But it is increasingly difficult to make a convincing case for how serious the problem is when we, ironically, are doing little to reduce our own research-related carbon footprint. Perhaps most troubling is the almost total absence of dialogue among researchers on this issue.

I think we are generally aware of the vast amount of carbon our research produces, but most of us have not done much to reduce our CO2 production or even calculated its amount. Like most scientists working in polar regions, I travel a great deal throughout the Arctic to do research and teaching, as well as to conferences and meetings in the south.

Recently a student of mine calculated the carbon footprint for a course I teach in the Arctic, and the numbers were sobering. For a research team of 20 people, calculating only the propane and gasoline used in our remote camp on the Hudson Bay coast for one week and the helicopter fuel needed for the short 40 km flights in and out, we produced 3500 kg of CO2.

For the purposes of this essay, I estimated my carbon footprint for helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft use, including commercial travel to get north and travel to four North American conferences annually over the last decade. On average, I have produced 8300 kg of CO2 per year through research alone. I suspect that my total is about average, if not on the low side, compared to other researchers.

FIG. 2. Remote Arctic field camps at a) Daring Lake in the Northwest Territories and b) Nester One on the Hudson Bay coast of Manitoba have decreased their carbon footprint by using solar and wind power.

FIG. 2. Remote Arctic field camps at a) Daring Lake in the Northwest Territories and b) Nester One on the Hudson Bay coast of Manitoba have decreased their carbon footprint by using solar and wind power.

For comparison, the average citizen living in Toronto produces about the same amount of CO2 per year in daily life (8600 kg) as I do in my research alone. In the global picture, the total amount of CO2 produced by all scientists is relatively small, but it is the perceptions created by scientists who travel extensively in helicopters, planes, and large ships to do research that has an influential impact on the general public and their willingness to make personal changes. An important first step is calculating our individual research footprint; a far more challenging step is to do something about it.

How can we argue to the world that reducing CO2 output is so important if we are not willing to undertake change on our own? Yet how can we reduce our use of fossil fuels while still conducting research and monitoring in the North? Clearly these are not easy questions to answer, but it is time to start thinking and talking about them. The International Polar Year (IPY) has led to a vast number of training opportunities for graduate students who will form the next cohort of northern scientists. I fear that the science community as a whole is not doing enough to recognize the impacts that we are having through our research activities, and there is an immediate need to identify ways to reduce our negative impacts and take ownership of the issue. Will our inaction result in future scientists who also ignore the issue and do nothing?

Lately, I have been raising the issue of carbon footprints and what should be done about them with colleagues, but surprisingly, carbon production from research and the possibility of offsets doesn’t seem to be on the radar of many. When I inquired about buying offsets, most were quick to dismiss them as a sham. Indeed, there do seem to be some issues with offsets, and it is clearly more effective to deal with emissions at the source rather than absorb them later or stop them somewhere else (Wright, 2007; Galik and Jackson, 2009). But offsets are one tangible way to start at least discussing the issue and working toward viable solutions. I also inquired several times to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to seek some leadership on this issue, but of these only NSERC responded and had no advice, ideas, or support to offer. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, there is virtually no general dialogue or leadership on the issue of researchers’ carbon footprints. It would seem that the leadership will have to come from within.

When I talked with a colleague in the ecotourism industry, who also has a large carbon footprint, it quickly became clear that many in the tourism industry are way out front on this issue. He had built offsets into programs and said that cap-and-trade requirements will soon become a part of how business is usually done. The David Suzuki Foundation has already produced a comprehensive, practical guide to help businesses reduce and offset greenhouse gas emissions (David Suzuki Foundation, 2008), and many similar resources are available worldwide. The World Business Summit on Climate Change, held in Copenhagen at the end of May 2009, also planned to emphasize discussions on low-carbon options for business and facilitate conversation regarding business action on climate impacts (Copenhagen Climate Council, 2009). So if the business sector can become organized around quantifying and mitigating carbon footprints, what can the science community do to catch up? Better yet, what might we do to become leaders in this? Scientists could begin to provide leadership on this issue by sharing data about their carbon footprints and perspectives on how to reduce them. We can also share our collective experience in ways to minimize reliance on fossil fuels during travel and fieldwork, as there have been some important success stories (Figs. 1 and 2a, b). We can also minimize the number and extent of our trips and work collaboratively with northern communities to collect the data we need (Fig. 3).

FIG. 3. Community-based monitoring provides many benefits to research, which include lowering the carbon footprint of a project by minimizing the travel of southern scientists to field sites. Here, Greg Lundie of Churchill, Manitoba, measures the active layer of permafrost at monitoring sites along the Hudson Bay coast.

FIG. 3. Community-based monitoring provides many benefits to research, which include lowering the carbon footprint of a project by minimizing the travel of southern scientists to field sites. Here, Greg Lundie of Churchill, Manitoba, measures the active layer of permafrost at monitoring sites along the Hudson Bay coast.

The International Polar Year has facilitated much greater collaboration with northern people and has built capacity for community-based research and monitoring. Meetings held using video-conferencing and other technologies can both lower carbon output and save money. The year 2009 may be an important milestone in climate change action, with the United Nations Climate Change Conference fast approaching. This conference, to be held in Copenhagen in December, represents an exciting opportunity for scientists to emerge as leaders, not only in the science of climate change, but also in the process of recognizing and reducing carbon footprints.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I thank Susan Kutz, Leanne Niblock, and Murray Gillespie

for insightful comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript and

Celes Davar of Earth Rhythms for his thoughtful perspective.

My research is currently funded by the Nasivvik Centre for Inuit

Health and Changing Environments, the Department of Ecosystem

and Public Health in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at

the University of Calgary, the Natural Sciences and Engineering

Research Council of Canada PromoScience Program, and

an International Polar Year grant to the CircumArctic Rangifer

Monitoring and Assessment Network.

REFERENCES

Copenhagen Climate Council. 2009. World Business Summit

on Climate Change, 24 – 26 May, Copenhagen. http://www.

copenhagenclimatecouncil.com.

David Suzuki Foundation. 2008. Doing business in a new climate:

A guide to measuring, reducing and offsetting greenhouse

gas emissions. www.davidsuzuki.org/Publications/Doing_

Business_in_a_New_Climate.aspx.

Galik, C.S., and Jackson, R.B. 2009. Risks to forest carbon offset

projects in a changing climate. Forest Ecology and Management

257:2209 – 2216.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2007. Climate

change 2007: Synthesis report. www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/

index.htm.

Jacques, P.J., Dunlap, R.E., and Freeman, R. 2008. The organisation

of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental

scepticism. Environmental Politics 17:349 – 385.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

2009. Kyoto protocol status of ratification. http://unfccc.int/

files/kyoto_protocol/status_of_ratification/application/pdf/

kp_ratification.pdf.

Wright, M. 2007. Carbon offsets deliver where it matters. BBC

News: Viewpoint, 23 July. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/

tech/6912336.stm.

Ryan Brook is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Ecosystem

and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, at the

University of Calgary (rkbrook@ucalgary.ca). He has worked in

northern Canada for the last 16 years and is currently focusing

on community-based caribou research.

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100 thoughts on “The climate science elephant footprint in the room

  1. “professional refuters funded by the oil companies”
    Did you ever run into that football player you knew in high school and listen to him talk? And realize that somehow the clock had stopped for him 20 or 30 years ago when he graduated, but everyone else had moved along? That’s what it’s like for the AGW advocate crowd. There have never been any scientists consistently funded by oil companies to spread the ‘denialist mantra’, but, seriously, who is MORE on board the green bandwagon now than BP, Shell, Chevron, and the other oil companies, who have successfully diversified into alternative fuels?
    Has this guy stuck his head out his room in the last 10 years?

  2. Despite some ongoing raving from a fringe minority of attention seekers and professional refuters [b]funded by the oil companies[/b],…
    Anthony, I didn’t know you were funded by oil companies!

  3. “Despite some ongoing raving from a fringe minority of attention seekers and professional refuters funded by the oil companies …”
    HOLY CRAP! I’ve been getting paid by the oil companies?
    Where’s my check?

  4. The Robinson 44 is “similar – sized” to a Bell 206??
    As I see the specs. the Robinson has a payload of a little over 800 lbs and the Bell over 2100 lbs.
    Quality analysis!

  5. Great to see these scientists doing their bit to increase CO2 levels and help sustain plant food growth during these times of global cooling.

  6. Whataya wanna bet we burn a lot of carbon this August pulling bearded ninnies in their pleasure & protest schooners out of the ice along the Northwest Passage . Those rescue missions are CO2 hogs.

  7. “When I inquired about buying offsets, most were quick to dismiss them as a sham”
    Surely a typo, it should read “When I inquired about buying offsets, most were quick to dismiss them as a scam”

  8. Just my opinion but MrCPhysics asks:
    “who is MORE on board the green bandwagon now than BP, Shell, Chevron, and the other oil companies”
    Answer:
    GE
    Does anyone know a ‘big business’ not in love with AGW?

  9. Well, the natives lived off the land, did quite well, survival being the goal of course and from what I’ve read, pretty minimal carbon foot print for sure.
    I would suspect that a couple of years outside of your current “carbon footprint” and focused on climate studies while living a traditional Inuit lifestyle might provide a scale of perspective that is missing from this paper.

  10. How refreshing, and unusual, to hear a member of the ‘delusionists’ party, express a, genuinely held, viewpoint so politely, lucidly and well put, that at times I thought I was listening to a ‘denialist’
    If Gavin is listening, employ Ryan as head of PR at Real Climate- use the money you’ve saved, over the years, from having to worry about surface-station data integrity to pay him. Maybe, just maybe, and hold this thought, mate.
    RC, best science blog of 2010 now that would be awesome! Watts up with that?

  11. OT, but on USA Today Tech we have ‘Game-changer’: Report on climate change urges action
    Among other whoppers we have: “U.S. temperatures have increased by almost 2 degrees over the past 50 years, and are expected to increase by as much as 4 to 11 degrees by 2100.”
    “Says Lubchenco, “We have greater confidence now than ever before. This report is a game-changer.”
    Sen. James Inhofe commented on the report: “That the federal bureaucracy in Washington has produced yet another alarmist report on global warming is nothing new.” Despite millions of dollars spent on alarmist advertising, the American public remains rightly skeptical of the so-called ‘consensus’ on global warming.”

  12. I love to watch the carbon footprint logic come back and bite the chicken littles in the behind.

  13. “professional refuters funded by the oil companies”
    the language indicates that this should be an article in a peer reviewed journal

  14. What about the “Footprint” of:Algore,Nancy Pelosi,Prince Charles,most Hollywood warmists…?

  15. What was it that really turned it around for me?
    It was when they started passing Energy bills that did nothing but outsource.
    Then all the primary candidates started agreeing with each other over the science is settled.
    Then they started in with Alternate Energy schemes and sequestration plans that resembled nonsense.
    And finally, the “We must act quickly” panic button was hit.
    So, when I dug into the science (the real stuff) and started checking, it was then that Global Warming struck me as a wild madcap theory.
    All you have to do is get out there and talk to people. They have a sense about the attempt to pull the wool over thier eyes.
    The unreal parade of ever larger AGW fish-stories are a total insult.
    MadCap & Tirade.
    Dinner has been served burned to a crisp by overzealous MSM and fanatical AGW spokesman.
    Of course the public doesn’t want to believe in AGW or trust it anymore.
    It’s become highly insulting.

  16. dja: Sham is a real word, generally meaning “fake”. Officially “Something false or empty that is purported to be genuine.”
    And a pretty darn good description of indulgences – er, I mean carbon offsets – it is.

  17. Excuse me, but is “Arctic” a peer-reviewed journal? How could the author use smearing terms such as “fringe minority of attention seekers” and “funded by oil companies”? Where’s the impartiality and objectivity?
    And quoting IPCC as the basis for proof of ACC is ludicrous.

  18. Big news from NASA on helio-jetstreams
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/17jun_jetstream.htm?list173737
    The good bits:
    “The jet stream is now, finally, reaching the critical latitude, heralding a return of solar activity in the months and years ahead.
    “It is exciting to see”, says Hill, “that just as this sluggish stream reaches the usual active latitude of 22 degrees, a year late, we finally begin to see new groups of sunspots emerging.” [sic; ref today’s Mini Mini Teenie SC24 Spot]
    The current solar minimum has been so long and deep, it prompted some scientists to speculate that the sun might enter a long period with no sunspot activity at all, akin to the Maunder Minimum of the 17th century. This new result dispells those concerns. The sun’s internal magnetic dynamo is still operating, and the sunspot cycle is not “broken.”
    WHAT? We’ve established causality?
    Are any of these people actually betting their OWN resources on their conclusions? Or do they want OUR tax money to make THEIR bets?
    Reminds me of the old line about Management Consultants; when you ask them what time it is, they want to see your watch.

  19. The irony of trying to fight AGW indeed, also my paper has a comic called ‘The other coast’ which shows tons of ironies on being green.
    Also, has anyone else noticed that Unysis’ daily SST anomaly plots have gone blank as of yesterday? The only easily accessed information right now without going through links with obscure names is the NOAA maps and their maps tend to have a warm bias north of the equator and a cool bias south of it.

  20. Oil companies stand to MAKE money out of global warming. Why? Because as 1.) people diversify from coal to oil & gas, oil & gas prices will increase. 2.) Any costs to oil companies in carbon cap & trade etc will be passed straight-on to the consumers (caveat: It requires consistent application of any effective taxes / surcharges on all players in the market, and assumes that oil & gas are largely inelastic products – reasonable considering energy is a necessity, and oil & gas is something like 83% of world energy). 3.) The oil & gas companies will make money out of geosequestration.

  21. What a bunch of machine generated bloviation ! I know people who can write a program that will write an endless string of Haydn Symphonies; maybe even Mozart Symphonies; but certainly not Brahms or Mahler Symphonies.
    I’m sure they can generate the like of the above Bovine Scat to order, to fit any form of information outlet from Parents Magazine, to Scientific American and Barron’s Weekly; not to mention modern elecronic media.
    Do they not realize how lame brained you need to be to trot out this oil company drivel, when it can easily be shown that that the freebie government handout of Taxpayer earned funds to otherwise unemployed out of work “scientists” simply dwarfs what all the energy companies on earth spend on climate research. And energy companies do spend a lot, because they need to know how much of what fuels to manufacture during what season to utilize the resource in the most efficient way; So they really need to knwo what weather and climate is REALLY going to do to steer their way through endless red tape so they can continue in the energy business.
    If you are a climatologist/AGW believer, put your money where you mouth is, and eschew fossil fuel consumption immediately; not next week; but drive your car home tonight and park it, and get out your bike.
    Stop eating meat and rice, and other resource wasting foods; don’t buy foods that are trucked into some local mart by dieslel smelly truck; grow your own in your own chemical free garden; organic food, unless you know how to make actual inorganic food so you don’t have to kill either animals or plants; make it out of rocks like mother nature does,a dndon’t use anything but renewable green energy in the process.
    No matter how much daily news there is reporting all the lastest instances of nothing untoward happening anywhere on earth; these people keep on trotting out 30 year old garbage and predictions, as if nothing has happened to show that so far none of those predictions; sorry projections has come to pass.
    Who was it that first said that insanity is keeping on doing the same thing and expecting to get a different outcome. Well we have kept on doing the same thing pretty much for the entire duration of the recent temporary episode of warmer mean global temperature anomalies; and so far nothing has changed; the weather still changes from day to day, the climate still changes from place to place and year to year; decade to decade; but none of the projections of climate computer models has actually come to pass.
    Throw in the political charlatans into the mix, and you have a whole clack of people who are borderline criminally insane; who will sit on the shoreline in their rocking chairs and tell the tide to stop rising; well it isn’t rising; at least any more than it has been for the last 10,000 years due to natural causes, and the CO2 is still rising, but also at the lowest levels that earth has ever “enjoyed” that may soon become problematical as it denies us adequate food production for all of the mouths to feed. Of course the warmist alarmists are planning on not having anywhere near that number of mouths to feed; I invite them to be the first to voluntarily exit the picture.
    Well I fear the eminent collapse of my soapbox; so I will exit stage right while I have a chance.
    George.
    PS just got notice of acceptance of another peer reviewed technical article with the obscure title:
    ” # 7,495,837 Collimating Lens Structures. ” Yes even with two lls in collimating. It was published by the United States Patent Office; and I have no more room on my office walls to hang it alongside the previous publications. You might find it interesting if novel optics is something you like. It ought to be found in any college optics text, since it combines three very important funamental optical principles, into a totally unique design. But you won’t find it in any optics text anywhere; but who knows, you could actually be using a Logitech Laser mouse that uses it.

  22. All those big screaming AGW prophets of doom with their extra large clown carbon footprints, would look really good with a few hundred million typical working American carbon footprints tattooed all over their backsides as they limp away into the shadows of history.

  23. Sorry.
    Fringe minority of oil financed attention seekers.
    Reliant on IPCC reports
    Full belief in carbon causing AGW
    These items put me off reading the article in full. The first statement leads me to believe that the author is a single minded obsessive. Probably very good in his field but like a lot of other academics, that field is the only subject he is competent in.

  24. Bizarre, a smart guy, lives in Calgary, it’s been cold there, and he’s still stressed out over his carbon footprint? He needs to visit the tar sands to see how much petroleum his country is producing.
    http://caribounews.blogspot.com/
    He has a mail signature that is quite appropriate: “Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.” Grossman’s Law

  25. by Ryan K. Brook from ARCTIC VOL. 62, NO. 1 (JUNE 2009) P. 253–255
    Despite some ongoing raving from a fringe minority of attention seekers and professional refuters funded by the oil companies, most scientists now accept that climate change is a reality and that human activity is the root cause

    The above quote marks where I stopped lending any credence to the author.
    You only get one chance to make a good first impression.

  26. “professional refuters funded by the oil companies”
    Well Mr Brook, I work for an oil company & I would put my scientific integrity up against yours any day. The fact of the matter is geoscientists in the employ of oil companies have a better understanding of historical climatology than pretty much any profession – as our jobs depend on it. Paleo-climatology controls both source rock & reservoir distribution, so if you don’t understand it, you wont find hydrocarbons & you won’t have a job. And the current climate changes we have witnessed over the last 100 years pale in comparison to changes on a geologic time scale – which I can guarentee you were not driven by any human activities as there were no humans. Why would one think that processes that have gone on for hundreds of millions of years suddenly don’t exist in the modern era can only be atrributed to shear ignorance or driving a political agenda in spite of the scientific evidence. The smugness & arrogance of those who don’t understand the historical record is astounding. The dis-service they do to the world in the name of their personal politics is borderline criminal. Mr Brook, next time you power your way to some boondoggle that you call research, you can thank ” a professional refuter funded by the oil companies” that found you that hydrocarbon – who actually understands the historical record.

  27. The bibliographic references are in themselves a giveaway… University of Calgary is among the institutions that gave Al Gore an honorary doctorate…

  28. “In 2008, a poll of 12 000 citizens in 11 countries, including Canada, found that only 47% were prepared to make personal lifestyle changes to reduce carbon emissions, which is actually a decrease from the 58% willing to do so in 2007.”
    The reasons are simple. The warmists have shown themselves to be fringy cultists who cannot admit they are wrong (the elephant). So fixated are they on their vision of global warming – they have slipped into denial of the hard science. As the world cools and prediction after prediction from IPCC fail – people conclude it is merely PR hype. Like a movie trailer screaming, “Explosive action, sizzling seduction and heart-breaking redemption!” You know it’s all fiction.
    Mr. Brook is to be commended for his sincerity. He is unfortunately deluded to think that his reformation of carbon footprints will alter the global climate. The warmists have yet to look hard at their claim that CO2 is a pollutant. Were this truly the case – could anyone justify our consumption of carbonated beverages? Should we immediately ask the Dept. of Health to suspend all sales and quarantine them in a secret underground city until destroyed?
    Let’s worry about real pollutants Mr. Brook. Scrubbing the SO2 and particulates out of China’s new smokestacks will far better humanity than lowering your carbon footprint.

  29. That volcanic eruption is just what’s needed to supress ‘not quite an El Nino’ currently in the Pacific, as many pointed out here doesn’t have some of the usual things associated with El Nino, and forget the effect it could have later this Summer, it may mean you need plenty of firewood to get through next Winter if it’s anywhere like Pinatubo, or especially if it’s like Tambora

  30. The question here is how to put this elephant into the refrigierator in order to cool down.
    The answer is simple.
    Open the door of the refrigerator, put the elephant in and close the door.
    Problem solved.
    (Phantasy probles are in need of phantasy solutions, this is one of them.)

  31. Speaking of “do as I say and not as I do”, doesn’t that elephant at the lead of this story look a little bit like a former vice president who now makes a very good living sounding the AGW alarm?

  32. Mike Bryant (18:08:10) :

    All those big screaming AGW prophets of doom with their extra large carbon clown footprints, would look really good with a few hundred million typical working American carbon footprints tattooed all over their backsides as they limp away into the shadows of history.

    Mike, we don’t need a few hundred million butt-kickers. American ingenuity has solved the problem very efficiently: click
    Care to start pedaling? I’ll take over when you get tired.
    Or maybe we can hook it up to a solar array, or a windmill…

  33. Just thinking about carbon footprints… It seems obvious to me that most tasks that are worthwhile, urgent and moral require a person or an organization that has the ability to release tons of carbon immediately. This simple fact is pretty much acknowledged by Ryan K. Brook above. Also, Al Gore and the other carbophobes do not shrink from releasing carbon into the atmosphere in tons or megatons, if they believe it helps to spread their message of doom, or guarantee their air-conditioned comfort in their mansions, limosines and houseboats.
    I wonder what the United States’ carbon cost was to free the world by engaging in, and ending WWII?
    Within a few years, the only organization that will be capable of pressing their carbon footprint advantage will be China. I would like it to be known that I have the utmost respect for the Chinese I have met, because of their industry, fair-dealing and general all-around good nature. The Chinese may be the only hope of sanity in our world. I WAS hoping that the USA could fill that role but now I am not so sure.
    Using carbon to make the world (and plumbing) better,
    Mike

  34. Smokey,
    If you can back ol’ Al up to that machine, I would consider it a rare privilege and honor to pedal…
    I have a speech balloon for the guy in the last photo of the post…
    “Duck, it looks like you’re about a quart low…”

  35. On my websites we cover caribou research in some depth, but I have never heard of Ryan K. Brook. I do know that the Univ. of Calgary is funded in part by the huge fossil fuel industry in Canada.
    More to the point, should global warming happen (ha ha), Canada would benefit greatly. On the other hand, should the globe cool significantly, Canada will be a useless pile of ice, as was the case during most of the last 1.8 million years.
    However, it’s not my country. If Canadians want to shut down their largest industry and turn all the lights and heat off so that their citizenry starve and freeze to death, I think that’s their business. I am for building border wall/fence up, though, to keep starving and freezing Canadian refugees out of the U.S.
    I have no sympathy for fools who inflict suffering on themselves. Call me cold-hearted.

  36. Reading this article was too funny! I could barely stand to read it all (I didn’t). It was so tedious: “I need to do my research but I’m outputting all this CO2 to do it, and I feel guilty.” He even measured how much CO2 his research operation is emitting. I think Brook needs therapy. There’s a bigger issue going on here. Does he feel guilty for his existence? Does he have OCD? I half expected him to say somewhere “I emitted X Kg of CO2 while I was writing this. Oh dear. And I must calculate how much CO2 that’s being emitted by the power station that’s powering the web server that’s hosting this article. Let’s see…Oh dear…”
    Yes, be conscious of how you’re polluting if at all, and how much energy you’re using (it’ll help save on the bills), but otherwise my attitude is don’t sweat it!
    He somehow thinks that people don’t believe in AGW because the scientists are hypocrites. That’s not even on the radar, though some do wonder about Al Gore’s extravagant living (though he’s not a scientist) while telling others to cut back.
    The biggest reason people aren’t buying AGW is the WEATHER! We all noticed how cold it was last winter. Did Brook?

  37. Tom (18:31:26) : “Speaking of ‘do as I say and not as I do’, doesn’t that elephant at the lead of this story look a little bit like a former vice president who now makes a very good living sounding the AGW alarm?”
    Nah. The elephant has a way tinier…er…vocabulary?

  38. quote: “When I inquired about buying offsets, most were quick to dismiss them as a sham. Indeed, there do seem to be some issues with offsets, …. But offsets are one tangible way to start at least discussing the issue and working toward viable solutions.”
    Ryan Brook seems to accept that offsets are a sham, but then says at least they are a way to start discussing the issue. I take this as another confirmation of its okay to exaggerate or lie about AGW as long as one means well. Fraud and deceit that steals people money seems to be just fine.
    I cannot tell the difference between the hight priests who decided that it was necessary to throw a virgin into the volcano to appease the gods and the AWG believers. Both are absolutely sincere in their beliefs and seem to never do the harsh examination to ensure their data and theories are valid. They KNOW they are right. My life is absolutely dependent on oil, coal and natural gas but like the virgin I am to be gagged by lies about being paid by the oil companies so I do not scream and cry too much and upset the villagers.

  39. And another thing, perhaps the key take-home point:
    Those of us who labor to stem the global warming madness do so not for personal gain — there is none, only sacrifices — not for fame or personal aggrandizement — slurs, slanders, and threats are our only reward — but for the good of humanity in general. We seek to prevent catastrophic taxes, the deconstruction of economies, the devolution of civilization, the poverty, starvation, and suffering of billions of people, for motives purely altruistic, benevolent, and moral.
    The truly moral imperative is entirely on the side of climate realists who refuse to knuckle under to gross hardships that would be imposed by authoritarians for the most unreasonable and fraudulent of excuses.

  40. “When I inquired about buying offsets, most were quick to dismiss them as a sham. Indeed, there do seem to be some issues with offsets, …. But offsets are one tangible way to start at least discussing the issue and working toward viable solutions.”
    Young one… I am the Magister Carbo Ludi. I do not purchase offsets because I am the master of the school and the players of the game. The game is the reason that the research is done. The footprint is the mark of the unworthy. Only the unworthy have the footprint. As a Castalian, you have none. Be still and know, young Brook. And as a brook, quietly babble the great truths to the unwashed. And play the game if you yourself would become a master. Do not embarrass us further else you will be removed.

  41. Mike D.
    Yes, build that wall. We will need it to keep the dissilusioned Democrats from overrunning Western Canada. We will be building a wall along the Manitoba / Ontario border.
    We westerners (of that certain age) remember the National Energy Policy, a left wing Liberal policy designed to enrich the “East” at the expense of the hard working energy producing conservative west.
    The proposed US Cap and Trade policy is designed to do the same thing using Carbon Offsets. As carbon offsets are carbon emissions that did not and will not exist they have no identification number and are not regulated they can be sold many times and no-one is the wiser. As the big players will be given emission pardons, who will pay?
    As always, the little guy with a wife/spouse and 2.3 kids, a mortgage and two sets of vehicle payments and dirt under his/her fingernails.
    Ryan K. Brook does, to his credit, make two valid points.
    1. Carbon offsets are a sham.
    2. Research, or just living, in the north has a huge carbon footprint. All that energy in whale blubber or even more desireable fresh seal heart came from a long succession of energy (carbon) consuming organisms. (Seems the same applies to JP4 and winter diesel, those who have worked in the north will understand!)
    Time to fold up my soap box!

  42. I love the radio station from the U of Calgary. The music , not the politics. the station manager is a very clever fellow, yet he is definitely on a socialism kick. Great idea in theory, but due to human nature , not so good in practice. The folly of youth, ………

  43. Gordon Ford (20:37:46) Your third paragraph just described me to a “T”. I had a feeling I was going to be in trouble, ……

  44. hareynolds (17:47:46) : “It is exciting to see”, says Hill, “that just as this sluggish stream reaches the usual active latitude of 22 degrees, a year late, we finally begin to see new groups of sunspots emerging.” [sic; ref today’s Mini Mini Teenie SC24 Spot]
    “She wore an itsy bitsy tiny weenie yellow polka dot bikini” …
    from: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/17jun_jetstream.htm?list173737
    “June 17, 2009: The sun is in the pits of a century-class solar minimum, and sunspots have been puzzlingly scarce for more than two years. Now, for the first time, solar physicists might understand why.
    At an American Astronomical Society press conference today in Boulder, Colorado, researchers announced that a jet stream deep inside the sun is migrating slower than usual through the star’s interior, giving rise to the current lack of sunspots.” and
    The jet stream is now, finally, reaching the critical latitude, heralding a return of solar activity in the months and years ahead.
    “It is exciting to see”, says Hill, “that just as this sluggish stream reaches the usual active latitude of 22 degrees, a year late, we finally begin to see new groups of sunspots emerging.”
    The current solar minimum has been so long and deep, it prompted some scientists to speculate that the sun might enter a long period with no sunspot activity at all, akin to the Maunder Minimum of the 17th century. This new result dispells those concerns. The sun’s internal magnetic dynamo is still operating, and the sunspot cycle is not “broken.”

    To quote Bullwinkle “This time for sure!!!”
    From:
    http://www.solarcycle24.com/
    The small sunspot pictured below has faded. It lasted long enough to be numbered 1021 however. Solar activity will remain very low.

  45. “raving from a fringe minority of attention seekers and professional refuters funded by the oil companies”
    I thought I was in the wrong place. In any case, such people don’t have enough credibility to merit a response.
    Maybe this guy should share whatever it is he’s smoking?
    jorgekafkazar (19:12:28) :
    Tom (18:31:26) : “Speaking of ‘do as I say and not as I do’, doesn’t that elephant at the lead of this story look a little bit like a former vice president who now makes a very good living sounding the AGW alarm?”
    Nah. The elephant has a way tinier…er…vocabulary?

    Maybe the most objective way in which to compare the two is to compare their output.

  46. OT… Interesting little factoid… Anthony LLoyd Webber says that the lyrics in the song Polka Dot Bikini are the finest english lyrics ever written and he should know. In fact, Sarah Brightman may have divorced him since he sang it and hummed it incessantly. Perfection can be irritating.

  47. Wait a second, I thought this was an editorial until I saw the bibliography. Was this published as a scientific paper?

  48. Andrew (17:56:36) : Oil companies stand to MAKE money out of global warming. Why? Because
    Agreed, but you left out: Enhanced recovery works best with LOTS of liquid CO2 that costs a great deal to make. How better to get it than to get someone ELSE to pay for it as “sequestration”.
    These folks are sitting of “spent” oil fields from which they can get, roughly, the same total quantity of oil as they have already extracted but selling at far higher prices: IF ONLY they had a CHEAP source of liquid CO2 to do the well stripping….
    Think about it. Just for a moment. Think about it….

  49. On the subject of volcanic activity, there has certainly been an uptick in eruptions over the last couple of years compared to the mid-to-late 90s and early part of this century. Where can historical and recent measures of the Dust Veil (DVI) Index be obtained?

  50. Mike D said: “However, it’s not my country. If Canadians want to shut down their largest industry and turn all the lights and heat off so that their citizenry starve and freeze to death, I think that’s their business. I am for building border wall/fence up, though, to keep starving and freezing Canadian refugees out of the U.S.”
    Surely, you must know that it will be you in the US that freeze (maybe, not starve) if we stop digging up the tar sands. We’ll just have to do without some luxuries that we’ve gotten used to. Canada continues to be the principal exporter of oil to the US. We may not know which side our bread is buttered, but, with thousands of acres of rape-seed, we’ll always have margarine.

  51. Jeff L
    ” Why would one think that processes that have gone on for hundreds of millions of years suddenly don’t exist in the modern era can only be atrributed to shear ignorance or driving a political agenda in spite of the scientific evidence.”
    Jeff, sorry to say, but you missed the roadsign a mile or so back. It reads
    “Perception is Reality”
    Good post by the way…
    Mike

  52. E.M.Smith (21:10:08) :
    “She wore an itsy bitsy tiny weenie yellow polka dot bikini” …

    Brian Hyland (1960)

  53. “Professional refuter”?
    The Author doesnt do irony I think!
    Thousands of highly paid jobs now depend on spreading fear and alarm throughout the world, indoctrinating innocent children with anti scientific mumbo jumbo to force them into accepting the propaganda that adults usually either dismiss or question.
    The author notes a big problem that the AGW/MMCC peddlers have come across much to their annoyance I might add and that is people are starting to realise en masse that they are being lied to and they are not prepared to accept the lies any longer.
    We get an invaluable insight into the believers mindset with this article, we see how the AGW/MMCC believers mind works and its very similar to a polititians, the message itself cannot be challenged only the method of propagation and the actual target of the propaganda.
    When the commissars of the old USSR spewed out their fantasy statistics and those figures were laughed at by the masses then guess who the commissar class blamed? the ordinary workers were to blame of course! It was they who were too stupid or disloyal to blindly accept the lies, it was never thought by the commissars that the message was at fault and that in the end was their downfall, as the Russian peasant used to say ‘a party slogan will not fill your belly’ and ‘a commissars edict will not heat your home’.
    Let the alarmists shout and spit, they are in fact dying like the commissars of the old USSR.

  54. Jeff L (18:14:03) :
    Well said sir! I’m an oil industry geologist myself and I couldn’t have put it better.

  55. gt (17:47:14) :
    Excuse me, but is “Arctic” a peer-reviewed journal?
    As I have always said. what use is ‘peer review’ if the peers are all in on the game themselves?

  56. “When I inquired about buying offsets, most were quick to dismiss them as a sham.”
    Why do AGwers never consider applying the Precautionary Principle to their own ennobling precautions/”cures”? Maybe because regressing the World’s population back to the Stone Age would require a number of offsets only Al Gore could really afford, since he’d be selling them, too?

  57. Fortunately the whole global warming debate has just became irrelevant.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6481997.ece
    June 11, 2009
    “Officials from Beijing told a UN conference in Bonn yesterday that China would increase its emissions to develop its economy rather than sign up to mandatory cuts.
    Taro Aso, the Japanese Prime Minister, said on Wednesday that Japan would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 15 per cent by 2020 from levels in 2005. The Japanese commitment is a mere 2 per cent improvement on its commitment under Kyoto.
    The UN chief made no attempt to hide his disappointment. “For the first time in my two and a half years in this job, I don’t know what to say,”

  58. “E.M.Smith (21:22:13) :
    Andrew (17:56:36) : Oil companies stand to MAKE money out of global warming. Why? Because
    Agreed, but you left out: Enhanced recovery works best with LOTS of liquid CO2 that costs a great deal to make. How better to get it than to get someone ELSE to pay for it as “sequestration”.
    These folks are sitting of “spent” oil fields from which they can get, roughly, the same total quantity of oil as they have already extracted but selling at far higher prices: IF ONLY they had a CHEAP source of liquid CO2 to do the well stripping….
    Think about it. Just for a moment. Think about it….”
    Nail, head, hammer. And Enron were the first, before their finacial fraud was exposed, company to start researching how they could obtain CO2 to do their well stripping at the same time controlling energy supplies (In much the same way as traders did with CA’s power suppliers/traders. “Hey pal, how long would it take to bring up a steamer? About four hours. Can you turn off a steamer for a while? Sure.”).

  59. It’s 21st century bra-burning this.
    Course, 40 years after all that feminist outrage, we are getting closer to sexual equality in the workplace, albeit with a few glaring cases of females abusing the system for their own ends.
    Hopefully, in a generation, this will be looked back on as sensible forest management policies, sustainability of energy supplies etc come closer to reality……..

  60. I’m quite looking forwards to when the Caitlin Expedition actually publishes something, when “Unreal Climate” headline it, I can pop over & denounce anything that comes out of it, as being due to its sponsorship by “Big Insurance”.
    Sauce for the goose etc.

  61. I’d have thought that masses of people being thrown out of their homes was a fairly big lifestyle change. So what if they didn’t volunteer, they are eco-heroes. Meanwhile it’s good to know there is still plenty in the kitty for pampered academics. Isn’t education wonderful?

  62. It is useful to be reminded of those wonderful carbon offsets, claimed so freely to discount personal carbon emissions and maintain the moral high ground.
    Why cannot AGW be dealt with simply by Governments of each country purchasing carbon offsets on behalf of all their citizens?

  63. “I cannot tell the difference between the hight priests who decided that it was necessary to throw a virgin into the volcano”
    Dang, I’ve never met a virgin(by choice)?!:p lol
    My hypothesis/conjecture is that combined measurements of the stress on supplies of virgins already felt in the middle east, and VAGIS(Virgins and geeks into science) CPU models that have exhausted their memory sticks and climaxing a long time ago, have left the earth depleted of virgins.
    Of course exceptions can be made for wuwt bloggers, but that’s a gi’me ! :p lol
    The modern sexy modelers of today are projecting/predicting a drop of more then 96% vww(virgins world wide) by 2100. Yep, models don’t lie, there’s an “ALARMING”worldwide epidemic of de-virgining going on all over the globe. The west is not immune to this deflowerstation and the threat of 3.8 dpp( drinks per person) on the population adds to a already inebriated tipsy point.
    Oh yes, alcohol IS the canary in the coal mine for virginity( no idea what that means?!), But the cap it/cork it and trade system in conjunction with technologically advanced thinkers at VAGIS and SSEX (Sexy Scientists and Elaborate Xaggerations) have a plan for sustainability for Future generations in a “virgin neutral” market!
    Naaah, just another urban myth like AGW!
    Reply: Hmmm…bordeline. Approved for now. ~ charles the prudish moderator

  64. There is a story told about Mahatma Gandhi: A lady brought her son and said he ate too much sugar. She wanted Gandhi to tell him to stop. Gandhi said to bring the child back the next week. The next week she brought the child and Gandhi said “Stop eating sugar child”. And the child did. A month later the lady came back and said “My child has done what you asked, but why could you not have spoken to him the first time I came.” “Lady”, said Gandhi, “a week earlier I was still eating sugar”.

  65. I’m sorry, I got to the end of the first paragraph but was laughing too much to continue. I’ll just have to take your word for it that there’s any merit in that piece of…er…

  66. It’s all about Guilt with them. You must at least feel guilty about your “carbon sins”, confess them, and “do penance” for them. But, if you are a “scientist” working for the “good of the planet”, well then, that’s different, your carbon sins are forgiven, but you must, at least acknowledge them.
    I am reminded of a weekly program called “One Planet”, carried by the BBC World Service which has the usual alarmist self-flagellating bilge. At the end of the program, the host Mike Williams actually confesses the carbon sins of the program for the week as well as since the shows’ inception, with ominously dark music. If you confess your sins, all is forgiven, and you’re good to go for another week of “sinning”.

  67. “The United States, on the other hand, signed and then promptly ignored Kyoto. ”
    The US never ratified Kyoto. Another lie in the ointment.

  68. The ‘impartiality’ of the BBC here in the UK continues. We have to pay an annual fee to have a TV in our homes and thereby support this lot.
    Latest climate scare web page link is here not to mention all the other propaganda links it contains. This is really winding me up. The scale of the scam is frightening – thank goodness for WUWT and friends. Do we need some sort of realist worldwide political party to ensure that common sense prevails?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8107014.stm

  69. Mike Bryant (19:02:38) :
    Smokey,
    If you can back ol’ Al up to that machine, I would consider it a rare privilege and honor to pedal…

    Mike, look again. It’s a hand crank for Lilliputians.

  70. “Why cannot AGW be dealt with simply by Governments of each country purchasing carbon offsets on behalf of all their citizens?”
    Because the so-called “carbon offsets” are just con games by which politically unpopular companies and people are forced to transfer cash to politically popular groups and nations. These favored parties do not do anything to actually reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but instead are paid to NOT do something that they claim they would have done.
    Of course, since they never actually intended to do the thing they are being paid not to do, this scheme is quite literally Money for Nothing.

  71. Nick Darlington UK (05:29:02) :
    You are so right about the biases at the BBC. They have no news about the Sarychev eruption, yet its SO2 plume will have a cooling effect in the northern hemisphere this coming winter. It is the third such release of SO2 this year and who knows what is to come.
    There is however, what seems to be a coordinated and concerted effort by the EU and the USA, to release scare stories such as how COMPUTER MODELS models forecast soaring temperatures, like the BBC news at 8-00 this morning claiming London summer temperatures as high as 41 degrees C. by 2080.
    There must be a financial reckoning with these liars one day.
    IT’S THE SAME OLD STORY, GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT.

  72. Something similar was published last year:
    Climate researchers ‘should cut their carbon footprint’
    Jet-setting scientists responsible for substantial greenhouse gas emissions.
    By Anna Petherick
    Published online 21 November 2008 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news.2008.1250
    http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081121/full/news.2008.1250.html
    and
    The travel-related carbon dioxide emissions of atmospheric researchers
    Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 6499-6504, 2008
    By A. Stohl
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/8/6499/2008/acp-8-6499-2008.html

  73. Thanks for a fantastic read, everyone. I’m spreading the word about this site – and a few others – to those I know who are openminded.
    Unfortunate story in the link to notevil just wrong – I live in Switzerland (American married to Swiss), we had a translation office for 20 years – and have counted among the not-scientifically-trained skeptics since finding out there was even such an inane idea as “consensus science.” Well, if I could still stand to translate, I’d offer to do it (assuming they haven’t found anyone). There are a number of us heretics over here.
    By the way, you probably aren’t aware that the ranks of the skeptics is swelling by leaps and bounds from the now-leperized ranks of those who began questioning second-hand smoke scaremongering. As they discover the pseudoscience behind that, they begin to question other “scientific” claims (especially when used to impose or threaten draconian policies/laws).

  74. “”” Tom in Florida (04:47:20) :
    “The United States, on the other hand, signed and then promptly ignored Kyoto. ”
    The US never ratified Kyoto. Another lie in the ointment. “””
    To be precise, Al Gore alone signed the Kyotp Treaty; nobody else representing the USA did. Then the United States Senate; who alone is empowered to sign treaties (as Veep, algore was president protem of the senate), voted 95 to zero to NOT ratify the Kyoto Accord.
    If you were the soon thereafter incoming President George W. Bush, would you push for approval of a treaty that your Senate had voted 95 to zilch to 86 ?
    Bush was castigated for ignoring Kyoto, when the entire pertinet part of the Congress voted against it. I don’t remember whether the other five were absent or abstained.
    George

  75. But it is increasingly difficult to make a convincing case for how serious the problem is when we, ironically, are doing little to reduce our own research-related carbon footprint.
    Of course, the important thing is that you *feel* bad about what the wrongs you have committed.
    How about funding based inversely on the size of your “footprint”. I suspect that would spur a new industry to develop computer models that would produce tinier and tinier outputs. Kind of an inverse hockey stick. 😉

  76. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the carbon footprint of President Obama with all his flying around the country and the world to promote himself. IN the meantime we are asked to drive around in small vehicles. He could sign some of those bills in the Whitehouse rather than flying off to another State. He acts like he is still running for President.

  77. From the original post:

    Then there’s the new “Deep Black” supercomputer being installed by the UK Met Office that will use 1.2 megawatts of power to run climate models.

    When larger desktop machines are equipped with 600 W power supplies, you can’t really be surprised at 1.2 MW supercomputers.
    That’s enough to power a small city
    A bit of an exaggeration — it’s only like 400 average U.S. households!
    PaulH (09:50:30) :

    How about funding based inversely on the size of your “footprint”. I suspect that would spur a new industry to develop computer models that would produce tinier and tinier outputs.

    I thought the prevailing wisdom here was all about more observation and less reliance on blind modeling. 😉

  78. chillybean (16:05:28) :
    Typo’s are never a good first post so feel free to snip.

    Nor should “Typo’s” (sic) have an apostrophe. The correct pluralization is “Typos.” An apostrophe is used for possession, e.g., “Anthony’s typos should be corrected,” or a contraction (it is), e.g., “Anthony’s the one that should correct the typos, not me!”
    Sorry to be a punctuation Nazi, but I cannot help it!
    Mark

  79. “Despite some ongoing raving from a fringe minority of attention seekers and professional refuters funded by the oil companies, most scientists now accept that climate change is a reality and that human activity is the root cause (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007; Jacques et al., 2008).”
    I suppose that “climate change” is now code for AGW caused climate change. Is there anyone who reads this blog that ever doubted that climate is always in a state change? Of course not!
    This use of strawmen puts put everyone who disputes AGW into the category of raving fringe minority of attention seekers and professional refuters funded by the oil companies. The AGWers do this rather well. If only they could come up with some research to support their dogma.
    The policy advocacy-science conflict of which this example and its corruption of science is analyzed in an excellent speech/essay, “Aliens cause global warming,” by Michael Crichton, 2003 speech at Cal Tech:
    http://michaelcrichton.net/speeches.html
    Crichton’s website is a wellspring of wonderfully crafted prose. Enjoy.

  80. Anthony, where do I sign up for a check from the oil companies to post my comments refuting AGW? I certainly could use the income in these trying times.

  81. OMS:
    “That’s enough to power a small city
    A bit of an exaggeration — it’s only like 400 average U.S. households!”
    which comes to about 1500 people. Average desktop PC consumes 400 watts, divided into 1.2MW means 3000 desktops. Does this supercomputer equal the processing power of 3000 CPUs?
    “When it is finally completed, around 2011 the Met Office machine will be the second most powerful machine in Britain with a total peak performance approaching 1 PetaFlop — equivalent to over 100,000 PCs and over 30 times more powerful than what is in place today.”
    What is a petaflop in re PC capacity?
    http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,2542,t=Roadrunner&i=59167,00.asp
    “The first supercomputer to reach one petaFLOPS (one quadrillion floating point operations per second). Running under Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Roadrunner comprises 12,960 Cell chips, 6,948 dual-core AMD chips and 80 terabytes of memory. Developed by IBM for Los Alamos National Labs and achieving its record performance in 2008, Roadrunner weighs in at 250 tons, much larger than the behemoth computers of the 1950s. It takes up an area approximately 100 by 120 feet. Although Roadrunner soaks up nearly four megawatts of power, its performance is that of 100,000 fast laptop computers and is actually more energy efficient than many of its peers.”
    A PC is not a “fast laptop computer”. PC computers are generally significantly more powerful than laptops.

  82. George
    Actually, that’s not quite right. The Senate voted 95-0 or something similar to tell then VP Gore NOT to sign anything at Kyoto that might hurt the US economy. Gore, thinking he new better, ignored the will of the Senate and signed Kyoto. Then President Clinton never presented the accord to the Senate for ratification – not that the President is required to, it’s just protocol – electing instead to let his successor deal with it.

  83. Well pedantically I am sure you are right; it was a “Sense of the Senate” resolution they voted on; not exactly a call for ratification.
    In any case Bush was faced with something the senate had rejected hands down; would have been political suicide to push Kyoto on the American people; and the subsequent history has borne that out.
    I just file this stuff away in my head so sometimes I recall it incorrectly.
    George

  84. I know that sarcasm and joking around is kind of the norm in these comments, but I’ve felt some regret after writing this here:
    “I think Brook needs therapy. There’s a bigger issue going on here. Does he feel guilty for his existence? Does he have OCD?”
    I kind of felt some concern for Brook after reading his article (though at the same time I couldn’t help but chuckle), but at the same time I was kind of joking around, too. No one’s prompted me to do this, but I apologize for saying the above, in all seriousness. People’s foibles are their own and I shouldn’t joke about them. I think I was expressing my frustration at the realization that people like Brook who have an obsessiveness and shame about what we emit have as much influence as they do over our lives.
    Changing the subject some, I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that one reason why we’ve seen what we’ve seen with AGW proponents is the dominant role that mathematics has played in the institutional study of climate influences, over science. I’ve been doing a little reading about mathematics, and the profile seems to fit. It seems the whole idea is to make an assumption and then make a deduction from it. This is seen as absolute truth. In the realm of mathematics this is perfectly fine, because it’s okay to deal with abstractions that have no basis in reality. I heard a prominent man in my field of study, Alan Kay, say once, “Mathematics without science is dangerous.” I don’t remember him elaborating on this, but I think he was referring to this quality of mathematics, and that people can become convinced they are discovering truth in the real world through mathematics alone. After all Galileo said that the universe is written in the language of mathematics, right? If people in the field try to draw wisdom and justification from this they are misinterpreting what he said. It’s been written in the language of mathematics by us, but the universe is not mathematical in the purest sense. Mathematics just happens to have been the best tool we’ve found to explain what we see (though in some quarters this idea is being challenged by my field of study, computing). This is what science informs us about.
    A while back I read “The Art of Mathematics” by Jerry King (a good book), and in there he talks about how mathematicians tend to have an air of intellectual superiority about them, that only they and their colleagues can understand what they are doing. Everyone else is not mentally equipped for it (that’s the assumption). We’ve heard this from the AGW proponents, haven’t we?
    I can’t say this arrogance is universal. I had the thought that another area where mathematics has intruded on science is string theory in physics, and I have not heard the same complaints in that field as I’ve heard (and I’ve had) about AGW alarmists in climatology. Perhaps the only reason for this is the funding differential…
    My understanding is that string theory came about when a student happened to compare a mathematical theorem for the motion of a spring to a physics formula for the motion of a particle, and they seemed kind of similar. This student and others opened up a whole new realm of theoretical physics by doing some combining and recombining of the math and physics formulas to come to some conclusions. The physics field was initially very skeptical of this approach (rightly so), but there’s been some acceptance of this theory as time has passed, with as yet no empirical evidence. Its proponents say it just seems to help explain some phenomena that were unexplainable before. It doesn’t seem that physics has lost its head with this stuff though.
    I understand the political aspect of AGW, and that there are those who want to control and restrict freedom, destroy capitalism, and destroy manufacturing, but I’m sure there are many in this area of work who don’t have those sorts of desires, but are mistakenly convinced that by their use of mathematics they can arrive at scientific truths.

  85. wws (05:56:33) :
    “Because the so-called “carbon offsets” are just con games by which politically unpopular companies and people are forced to transfer cash to politically popular groups and nations. These favored parties do not do anything to actually reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but instead are paid to NOT do something that they claim they would have done.
    Of course, since they never actually intended to do the thing they are being paid not to do, this scheme is quite literally Money for Nothin”
    I am glad you agree “money for nothing” is a scam
    Sham = fake = scam

  86. rbateman (17:25:00) :
    “MadCap & Tirade”
    Is that covered in the Taxman/Malarkey bill?

  87. Mark T:
    “Sorry to be a punctuation Nazi, but I cannot help it!”
    I’m afraid I’m a bit of a pedant too. The mistake I spotted earlier was the use of the word factoid to describe a small fact. The dictionary definition of factoid is: -n. an assumption or speculation that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact; a simulated or imagined fact.
    A better word might be factette. (-ette. suffix meaning small, ie kitchenette, cigarette.)
    I, too, am sorry; but I, also, cannot help it!!!

  88. Stephen Brown (13:05:27) :
    Thanks for posting that information.
    With the plumb reaching 10 to 15 and possibly 20km it will be interesting to see how much total SO2 is released.

Comments are closed.