The Climate Crash of 2009

Frequent WUWT commenter and tips contributor Pierre Gosselin has a new blog titled

NoTricksZone Climate News from Germany in English

Be sure to add it to your bookmarks. Here’s an entry that I found interesting.

Crash Of 2009 – Scientists Say Climate Policy Needs Radical New Direction

In a just published 43-page paper, leading scientists and professors are calling for a completely new direction in climate policy after what they call “The Crash of 2009″.

click for PDF of report

In its Executive Summary, the paper states that climate policy “has failed to produce any discernable real world reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases in fifteen years”, adding:

…UNFCCC/Kyoto model was structurally flawed and doomed to fail because it systematically misunderstood the nature of climate change as a policy issue between 1985 and 2009.

In my view this paper reveals that many scientists and policymakers are now realising what many of us already knew: Radical regulation and taxation of carbon is not going to work. The paper proposes a much watered down version of what governments, interest groups and activists were previously pushing for. Its authors are still calling for a tranformation in energy supply and consumption, but in a more measured and targeted approach using low taxes and through the development of unsubsidised energy sources.

The authors say of their paper:

It explains radical and practical ways to reduce non-CO2 human forcing of climate. It argues that improved climate-risk management is a valid policy goal, and is not simply congruent with carbon policy.

Well at least governments now have an option: they can continue to allow energy policy to be formulated and driven by zealots, or they can hand the job over to the lukewarmers, who are promising a less painful approach that respects human dignity.

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Check out his blog NoTricksZone Climate News from Germany in English

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44 thoughts on “The Climate Crash of 2009

  1. The lukewarmers are at least waking up to political reality,but they have a huge problem: the policies they now advocate cannot *possibly* reduce CO2 emissions by anywhere *near* the amount that *Their* warming theories say is required.
    So, by the logic of what they themselves hold to be true, there is no reason to follow their policies because it would be pointless feel-good handwaving that can not possibly achieve their goals.
    On the other hand, if they admit that their warming theories are NOT true, then there’s even less reason for anyone to adhere to their ideas.
    So they’ve just put out a paper that’s in favor of a plan that is useless no matter what your assumptions are, on the basis that this is all that is politically possible at the time.
    Not what I would call a strong argument, and certainly not one that is going to attract much support from any direction.

  2. Be fair, there has been no warming for fifteen years either. Obviously we are doing enough. Thank you for your help, warmists, but we think we’ll be OK now.

  3. This is good news. I haven’t read the paper yet but so glad to see that perhaps real scientists are winning the battle over the zealots and fascists of AGW. If the climate science community would renounce the zealots (con men and corporations) who have positioned themselves to profit from the CO2 trading scam, many of us would cheer the day. Now is the right time to embrace energy efficiency and help the average taxpaying citizen to live a better more comfortable life through education and efficiency. Breaking the backs of people with burdensome taxation is a prescription of failure. Thank you WUWT.

  4. I think the point is to (mostly) ignore climate change when making energy policy. It’s a good idea.
    It’s also true that fundamental energy research investment is unlikely to take place in the private sector, and that government sponsored R&D in that area is a good idea.
    They also get the point that the third world will burn carbon as long as it’s cheaper, and that there are good reasons from national security points of view to develop energy alternatives (nuclear, solar).
    All this is rational.

  5. I guess we can hope that if this strategy is adopted, the delay in focus on CO2 will allow enough time to see how little effect it actually has on climate.

  6. It’s just a verbalization of Pielke Jr’s “painless decarbonization”.
    A bunch of sociologists sitting around, wishing a magic “low/no carbon energy” supply can be dreamed up by technology if we just “invest” in the research with a low (no pain) CARBON TAX.
    They all still believe that man is at fault for this “unprecedented climate change” in a world where natural processes would otherwise stay neutral.

  7. Back here in the UK after the coldest winter for 30 years people will be skiing into June.
    Frost forecast for tonight and the road gritters are still out on roads at sea level.
    When will we have a reality check.

  8. I am in agreement with the hands-off sentiment towards this milktoast paper. It is defeatist in tone and provides no human related, CO2 related, scientific base for its proposed climate change mitigation policies.
    It should have been a paper explaining the scientific reasons why cap and trade that is tied to CO2 AGW is nonsense. Cap and trade on dirty particulate ladened emissions versus particulate clean stacks is worthwhile. Cap and trade on landfill throw away versus recycling is worthwhile. Cap and trade on mercury water spoilage versus mercury cleanup is worthwhile. And all of these have a scientific base readily established. China’s air quality problem will not be fixed one iota with CO2 cap and trade, no matter the degree. It can only be solved when particulate matter is dealt with.

  9. The earth is OK…, as comedian George Carlin says: “it is not going anywhere, We do, so pack your sh*s folks!”
    So drink your “soma” right away, conveniently flavoured with potassium cyanide or sodium arsenate, if you wish,, and fly away from us!

  10. well,
    if it’s luke warm, then there’s no catastrophe to worry about. That is unless we head into a full bore glaciation period again. otherwise, it’s viva la revolution verde as all the plants rejoice from near suffocation.

  11. The fundamental problem with these types of papers is that it is the same scientists that “found” the CO2 problem discussing how to deal with it. The politicians and the activists take great pains to tell us that we have to listen to the climatologists about CO2’s effect on the climate because they are the trained experts in the field. However, in reviewing the program of study for climatology, I have not seen even on class in planetary systems engineering.
    The scientific community completely ignores our community (the engineering community) that actually knows what to do to create a sustainable planetary energy system that preserves and expands the material prosperity of the west and the rest of the world.
    This is why, at the end of the day that their ideas are rejected by the citizens of the world. The solutions that are proposed are not materially different from the ideas who have their genesis in the book “Limits to Growth” from the 1960’s. The limits to growth idea is fatally flawed in that it failed to understand what limits means in the engineering sense (all of our limits are tied the availability of energy), and how we in the engineering and physical sciences community know how to overcome those limits.
    It is time for scientists in the climate community to reject that type of thinking and look toward a more positive outcome for all mankind.

  12. Even without any climate considerations, the US at least is left with energy dependence on supplies that are limited and not within it’s borders. This is a bad national security situation, and will probably look worse 40 yrs from now. I’m not sure how this point could be remotely controversial (?). The fact that you may not believe CO2 emissions represent a big problem, or that the problem has been overstated and manipulated, does not lead you to the conclusion that carbon based energy supplies are a good long run strategic bet for the US, and probably are not a good bet for most developed countries without their own supplies.

  13. Any competent and realistic analysis of present and future global energy use and resource mix unequivocally shows that the environmental extremists proposals of worldwide CO2 reductions of 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 were simply preposterous without creating a massive economic depression across the entire world. When that stark economic reality is combined with the hopelessly flawed and contrived data and analysis manufactured by climate fear alarmist’s to falsely portray a man made global warming crisis to drive the purely political climate change agenda it is inevitable that a completely different approach must be undertaken by the climate fear charlatans.

  14. Big problem in the proposal: Globalization.
    Tying most of the economies of the world into single knot opened the door to the era of globalist domination.
    There is a crisis for humanity, and it’s called an economic disaster of global proportions.
    It’s the straw that broke Climate Change’s back.
    Now, there is a call for a small tax.
    Guess what: The globalists won’t pay a dime and the populations are broke.

  15. Whre is the crash? 14 Eminences to produce this paper is an insult to our intellect and an assault to our pockets.
    I never went beyond the Executive Summary, I have never seen anything like that and is definitevely worst than I thought.

  16. At what point in time do we take money from other people and they run out of money??
    Today they are screaming eco terror in congress and blaming BP so the pick pockets can snitch your wallet by the new cap and tax bill.

  17. Governments will fund new research to prove that they need new tax revenues to fund new research.

  18. The Lukewarmers are evidently part of the problem rather than the solution. They would have accomplished more by remaining silent and watching from the side lines.

  19. Mesa says:
    May 11, 2010 at 9:02 am
    Even without any climate considerations, the US at least is left with energy dependence on supplies that are limited and not within it’s borders…. does not lead you to the conclusion that carbon based energy supplies are a good long run strategic bet for the US, and probably are not a good bet for most developed countries without their own supplies.
    ______________________________________________________________________
    THAT is a Fallacy: The USA has plenty of uranium, oil coal and other minerals. It is all just tied up in red tape or difficult to get to so we do not use it.
    ” The U.S. is sitting on the world’s- largest untapped oil reserves – reserves energy experts know exist…estimated at 2.3 trillion barrels… sufficient to meet 300 years of demand – at today’s levels…” http://www.kiplinger.com/businessresource/forecast/archive/The_U.S._s_Untapped_Bounty_080630.html

  20. This approach makes no sense. If AGW is real and catastrophic then we should spare no expense. If it is real but mild then we should spend nothing. If it is delusional then we should start competency hearings. If it is fraud then we should start criminal proceedings.
    If we are ever going to get a move toward renewable energy it will have to be a clear headed and well founded reason decoupled from scientific theories. Unfortunately the renewable energy has become so connected to the AGW rationale that we probably set the movement back a decade of more when well meaning but ill informed people realize they wasted a lot of money on solutions for fictitious problems.

  21. What if the Rosswell incident was true and you were INVADED BY ALIENS. It seems that you lost the war and didn’t even realize it!
    Just think it over…could you have figured your real present , say 20 or 30 years ago?
    Gotto wake up babies! ☺

  22. Climate “ploicy”, meaning “it”(Read tax), has not crashed at all. Just the pollies are waiting for the right slimy hole to pass this law, that’s it. It will happen! When it does, lets see how Greece deals with it, or Portugal, or Spain. The list is growing!

  23. Gail Combs – I’m with you on nuclear power. It requires a huge investment in technology and waste disposal infrastructure to get it moving. Fine – let’s do it.

  24. So Prof. Mike Hulme is a good guy now? Stakes high, Uncertainty, Professor Of Climate Change. Now he wants “low” taxes for non-subsidized energy sources?
    They didn’t change their conviction because they have none. They saw that COP15 was a failure so they’re switching gears and try a different tactic. The strategy is still the same: get control and keep the grants flowing, keep that nice warm post in that Tyndall Climate Change Center or what it’s called. Any means is right when it serves this goal for them. Transform society so that it pays them eternally. Well i guess it’s already been transformed enough for that.
    They’re like politicians; the difference is only that they’re not elected and can’t be removed by an election.

  25. I posted this to another topic, but it fits in here too.
    And let me add to that that the so-called renewable energy is label totally in the hands of the politicians – we have hydropower in Norway, which IS renewable, but the politicians talk about wind power and wave power and solar power as the only renewables – and then ask for taxes to subsidize those energy providers although they are much more expensive than the hydropower – which already caters for 100% of Norwegian electricity. It is so absurd that it is totally unbelievable. So please read below:
    What are you Americans complaining about?
    At least you are miles away from the measures ALREADY implemented in politically-correct Norway:
    Fact: Norway has 100% CO2-free-produced electricity, the best in the world.
    As a reward, we pay 50% carbon TAX upon it. Approx. 1.25 billion US$ of a total of 3.75 billion paid for energy bills for the whole nation last year.
    Our politicians have stated that we SHALL have the world’s HIGHEST taxes against POLLUTION. (You wish to have references, just ask – I recently wrote a leading article about this in a Norwegian daily newspaper.)
    Note: They call CO2 pollution and did so two years ago in government! And nobody protests!
    Obama and company can still obtain shiploads of money – they look to the Scandinavian social democrat states for inspiration. You talk about like 20% of the workers working for the government is a disaster – well, we have 50% of the workers working for the state. So not only are we heading for disaster, but the social democrats have 50 % of the workforce voting for them because of their affiliation to the state.
    What are you complaining about? Please, praise yourself happy that you have people in government that can protest, that you have attorneys that can investigate.
    We haven’t. and we are screwed.
    You have NO IDEA how lucky you are yet! In Norway, not ONE SINGLE POLITICIAN in government protests against what half the population have decided, according to the latest polls, that they don’t believe in at all.
    Common sense is alive and well in Norway, but goverment don’t give a **** about it. And that is how it is going to be in the US too if there is not a new Tea Party movement for it rising up.

  26. “has failed to produce any discernable [sic] real world reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases in fifteen years”
    More to the point, it has failed to produce any discernible evidence that those greenhouse gas emissions are in any way detrimental to the climate or the ecosystem.

  27. Hulme et al’s “Hartwell paper” is promoted heavily by Richard Black, BBC employee. The BBC’s employees all got trained by futerra ( http://www.futerra.co.uk ) so i wonder whether this is a new campaign designed by the communication manipulators of futerra… No traces on their website for now…

  28. Bookmark added.
    I like the description of a “wicked problem”. This is why I am unalterably opposed to any regime or regulation on this issue that extends beyond 10 years. I’d prefer 5-7. I *am* in favor of “getting started” in a modest way, but I also demand plenty of milestone checkpoints to change course entirely, or determine that advancing science has changed the goal posts significantly (most likely in our favor, in my opinion).

  29. Nuclear can play a much bigger role in the US if two things happen.
    a) The NRC is funded to approve alternative cheaper and greener nuclear technology than is currently deployed. I expect the Obama administration’s BRC (Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future) will address the NRC funding issue.
    http://brc.gov/
    b) Nuclear technology like LFTR is pulled of the shelf, update and widely deployed.
    http://memagazine.asme.org/Articles/2010/May/Too_Good_Leave_Shelf.cfm
    http://energyfromthorium.com/

  30. The issues seem (superficially) to be about climate, WUWT readers know it ain’t, its about thought/ideas, and inculcating a stream of faux ‘common knowledge’, diseminated by useless repeaters, parroting authorities.
    At its core, this issue has its roots in three things:
    Necrophilia.
    Pedophillia.
    Nihilism/Hedonism.
    Seems harsh, but easily justified – The language of climate change is the language of DEATH, they speak of destruction, disaster, ‘the end’, loss and extinction. This is more than just emotive, which its engineered to be, its plays on the Human fear of change and the unknown, its also a directive, what we believe we create – call it predictive programming.
    Climate Change language is also Pedophillic, in that children are being targeted, changed, and engineered to uselessly repeat the language of DEATH. We must, think of the Children, the ‘world our children will inherit’, the children will lead the way, children are the future,…its become such a weird substitute for a parent/adult mentored apprenticeship into maturity. What are Children?, when they’re commodified to extoll the virtues of a GREEN economy, the new ECO-Youth, stormtrooping from a school near you. They cease to be the future and become the same old violent past thats haunted Humanity since the start.
    And thirdly, Nihilism and Hedonism – just substituted Neo-Paganism, its origins rooted in human sacrifice and human bloodletting, leading to an anything goes just don’t hurt the earth cult. Call it the Green movement. Add to that the mental consumerism of the corpirate world – Kids raising kids, feeling good trumps being decent, and we have a merry-go-round generation seeking peer group approval over morality. Kids who either don’t care – ‘apathetic’ so no trouble, or those who superficially care abouth the earth, possibly to the extent they’re willing to kill for it, and over it. Watch this space for the worlds first ECO-War, syndicated and coming to a 3D T.V near you.
    So they can write all the reports they like, they’re preaching to the converted, in the language of DEATH.

  31. Mesa says:
    May 11, 2010 at 9:02 am
    Even without any climate considerations, the US at least is left with energy dependence on supplies that are limited and not within it’s borders. This is a bad national security situation, and will probably look worse 40 yrs from now. I’m not sure how this point could be remotely controversial (?). . .

    Gail Combs has already handled this fallacy, but let me reiterate that just considering coal alone the US has centuries’ worth of energy supplies. Then there’s the petroleum (described in the Kiplinger article she cites), and uranium (or thorium), and the vast quantities of natural gas now being extracted from shale rock.
    Instead of pandering to ‘environmental’ alarmism, and paying out huge subsidies of taxpayer funds for the development of uneconomical ‘clean energy’ systems, a rational federal government would be getting out of the way, so private industry could put America back on the track to rapid growth and expansion, for which cheap and plentiful energy is the key. But with this current administration, ideology trumps rationality at every turn.
    /Mr Lynn

  32. “In its Executive Summary, the paper states that climate policy “has failed to produce any discernable real world reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases in fifteen years”
    CO2 has failed to produce any discernable real world increase on temperatures in fifteen years.
    GW since 1985, is easily expessed as warmer N.H. winters due to higher solar wind speeds in recent winters. http://www.solen.info/solar/coronal_holes.html
    The warming is not Global, it is largely in the Arctic, and as a trend, is undiscernable in Summer.

  33. The problem is convincing people there is a problem and then convincing them to pay more money to the government to do something about it.
    All governments must share in the failure that is climate change communications.
    In Canada, the UK goes around putting up a speaker from the British Association of Privae Security Companies to explain the British position. Howzzat? The UK high commission in Canada is well known for its gossipy tidbits, but what on earth can this organization have to do with climate? Governments have to rethink their policies, fire the dangerous deadwood, and start fresh.

  34. Mesa says: Even without any climate considerations, the US at least is left with energy dependence on supplies that are limited and not within it’s borders.
    This is false. About 1/2 our power today comes from coal, we could easily make all our “oil” products from it (there are numerous existence proofs, the most blatant being South Africa and the SASOL company). We’ve got a few hundred years of coal. Oh, and we mine and ship vast amounts of it to other countries like China…
    Our problem is NOT lack of carbon sources. Our problem is nutty politics.
    This is a bad national security situation, and will probably look worse 40 yrs from now. I’m not sure how this point could be remotely controversial (?).
    The OIL dependence is a bad security situation. That we have put the fastest, most economical AND ALREADY PROVEN technology on hold for a fantasy about CO2 is nearly criminal. At any point in the last 30 years, we could have contracted with SASOL to make all the “oil” we wanted and told OPEC to go pound sand. Cost of fuel is about $3 / gallon at worst to about $2 / gallon with large scale and present best practices. You can make “oil” at a profit at about $40-$50 / bbl and dropping. The threat that OPEC can crash the price to below $40 more or less at will (and has…) tends to discourage investment. A ‘flex tariff’ that puts a price floor under oil would be sufficient to prevent that and have NO economic impact. So just saying “oil landed at less than $60 / bbl will be taxed to the $60 price level” or some such would be enough.
    FWIW, we can also use all the nuclear power we want too. At least 10,000 years worth “easy” and a few million years with a bit of effort (and using already demonstrated sea water extraction at profitable prices). With nuclear process heat and any carbon source (coal, natural gas – of which we have about 100 years proven, even trash) you can make all the ‘petro’ chemicals you want too.
    My major concern about nuclear was the “25,000 year waste issue” and that went “POOF!” when a friend pointed out that is to reach background radiation. It takes on the order of 200 years to reach “the same level as the original ore”. I’m much more comfortable that we can bury waste as well as the original ore for 200+ years.

    The fact that you may not believe CO2 emissions represent a big problem, or that the problem has been overstated and manipulated, does not lead you to the conclusion that carbon based energy supplies are a good long run strategic bet for the US, and probably are not a good bet for most developed countries without their own supplies.

    But it DOES put our native coal, natural gas, and tar shales back on the table for a few hundred years… and those ARE good long run strategic bets. Period. Failure to understand that Coal and Gas ARE NOT OIL and do not come from OPEC, is a critical failure of your view. Not all carbon is politically equal.
    We just need to stop shipping our coal to China for them to burn and use it to displace our oil consumption.
    BTW, if you want to have a ‘green’ variation, the Rentech Company (RTK) has signed contracts with the LAX airport and some others to provide Diesel oil made from TRASH via a similar FT type process to the one used by Sasol. Syntroleum (SYNM) has a deal with Tyson Foods to turn chicken trash into oil. (I own small “toy” stock holdings in both… awaiting the day…). Also, Synthesis Energy Systems (SYMX) has a deal going in China to turn coal into oils and motor fuels with a very similar process. Collectively these are known as CTL or Coal To Liquids and has been in use for about 70 years. It’s a ‘well proven technology’ with most advances going into getting the costs down from $100 / bbl to the $50 and under range.
    So we can turn our coal into Diesel and Gasoline here, or we can ship it to China and buy back the finished products… and stay dependent on OPEC in the process.
    “Insanity” does not quite capture what the USA is doing …
    BTW, CLNE is a stock I trade into and out of. That is a company doing Natural Gas gas stations and truck conversions. Expect to see more of them. With natural gas at about 1/2 the cost per ‘gallon equivalent’ and with it being a cleaner fuel, and so favored by smog regulators, it’s hard to resist. And we only have about 100 years of it with present proven fields… (Oh, and using a Zeolite catalyst originally invented by Mobil Oil decades ago you can turn it into gasoline if you want… or you can use the FT process. Collectively these are called Gas To Liquids or GTL.)
    Also that whole “use wind and solar” to kick the OPEC habit is just a broken idea. The costs are way out of line and you must replace the entire vehicle fleet and overhaul the electrical grid. A process that costs $Trillions and takes about 20 years. While GTL and CTL let you keep the present fleet and you can be ‘built out’ for facilities in 5 to 10 years depending on how much you want to ‘push’ it. And at far lower costs. Both capital costs and fuel retail prices.
    If you want to fix the fuel problem, get government out of the way and put a ‘price floor tariff’ under OPEC oil. Then just stand back and watch “The Invisible Hand” fix it in no time flat. If you really can’t stand the idea that markets work, then have the government spend $Billions on subsidizing and planning the construction of GTL and CTL facilities. It will take about 5 years longer and cost about 3 x as much, but would still work… If you want to ASSURE we are dependent on OPEC for at least another decade and a half (and potentially twice that), put CTL/GTL off limits with a ‘carbon cap’ and insist on “green” solutions.
    BTW, most electricity in the USA comes from coal, so if you start pushing electric cars, you will still be using coal for decades to come. Just doing it in a particularly poor way. Aside from the 1/2 that goes to waste heat in generating electricity, you then take transmission losses and charge / discharge losses in batteries even before you get to power converter losses and motor / drive train losses. If you are lucky, you might get to 20-25% efficiency end to end. On a cold day or with old batteries, it can be down in the 10% range. And forget parking outside in Idaho in the winter…
    My Bias: I love alternative energy technology and I’d own an electric car if they didn’t cost so darned much. I just think they are neat to play with. From time to time I have owned stock in electric car companies and I like the IDEA of them. But I also can do the math… The batteries that work best use lithium. About 1/2 the world lithium supply is in Bolivia. A massive e-car program is either going to just swap OPEC dependence for dependence on a Marxist leaning Bolivian government, or will use less efficient batteries. (With luck, some new battery tech will solve this problem… but for now the Tesla is the ‘best of breed’ and they are lithium…) I’ve been going to e-car shows for years (saw my first e-car at about 5 years old… an old lady in town had one from the dawn of the automotive era, just stored away in her garage unused…) and saw the Tesla, before it was shipped, at an E.E. meeting in Palo Alto. So I’m not coming at this from an ‘anti’ point of view. Just a realistic one.
    Replacing the whole vehicle fleet is just not realistic in anything close to a short period of time. Trains, ships, and trucks last a long time. And airplanes are not going to fly to Europe on batteries. (RTK has certified their fuel for airplane use and the US Military is busy type certificating all their aircraft on it. They get a special sticker on the hull once certified. IIRC, they started with the B-52. Speaking of long lived vehicle fleets…)
    So if you love OPEC, embrace wind and solar powered e-cars as “the solution”. If you want OPEC made irrelevant, get the oil companies to make GTL and CTL facilities. (Shell, Standard, Exxon, etc. all know how to do this too – and have in other countries…)

  35. E.M.Smith says:
    May 12, 2010 at 11:32 pm
    Did I hear they found an oil field in Alaska that would see the US proud for 300yrs and they capped it and went sshhhhh? Did they stash a load of North sea oil in a hole in a desert somewhere? You put too much of this stuff on the market, and the price will drop below $10 a barrel like it was before both Gulf wars.

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