Drifting Back to the Center

Guest post by Thomas Fuller

Climate Central’s interview with Harold Shapiro, head of the InterAcademy Council which reviewed the IPCC, had the money quote–but it didn’t come from Shapiro, it came through him.

Shapiro reported that John Christy said, “if they do this, if they adapt both the letter and the spirit of what you’ve said, things would be a lot better. ”

One can hope. 

In the spirit of assessment, we can offer a sort of ‘back to school’ look at climate change as a cultural and political phenomenon at this point. Let’s at least try.

Shapiro’s team at the IAC provided lots of meat and potatoes advice and recommendations to the IPCC on how to do its job better.

The jury’s obviously still out, but they could improve dramatically in time for their fifth assessment report. But there’s no doubt that the IPCC has been put on notice and that they understand that some of the things that got them in trouble in their 4th Assessment Report cannot be repeated. This should lead to a more centrist, consensus-driven look at the evidence.

The United States Congress is clearly not going to pass Cap and Trade.  However, they are evidently not going to kneecap the EPA, which will be free to force utilities and very large emitters to reduce emissions. Also a centrist move.

Bjorn Lomborg has switched the emphasis of his message, in time to help get publicity for his new film, and is now stepping up his calls for concrete action (and concrete sums of money) to fight climate change. It’s a move back to the center for him. This time around, the heatwave in Moscow and floods in Pakistan and China were only briefly blamed on climate change, before cooler heads made it clear that at worst they served as previews of coming attractions.

And the transition between El Nino and La Nina is actually being discussed in fairly reasonable tones–this year’s heat is not being extravagantly pronounced an irrevocable tipping point, and next year’s cooling may be the reason why. We all know it’s coming, and we all know it’s La Nina, not the ultimate end of global warming.

Is there a center growing for discussion on climate change? It would be certainly nice to think so. In the blogosphere, more bloggers and commenters on the ‘skeptic’ side seem willing to preface their criticism with a frank admission that the physics of CO2 acting as a greenhouse gas is not very controversial. On the ‘warmist’ side, there are some who are beginning to examine some of the claims made in their name, and to admit that people like Steve McIntyre or Anthony Watts are not devils incarnate.

As a ‘lukewarmer’ I’ve been in the middle for a while, with some very good company, people like both Pielkes, Lucia Liljegren, and more. It’s tempting to think people are moving in our direction.

But being in the middle doesn’t automatically make us right, and some of this movement is illusory, end of summer tolerance in all probability. Joe Romm will certainly launch another tirade against the existence of Roger Pielke Jr. on this planet, and Keith Kloor will call out Michael Tobis and we’ll probably be back at each other’s throats by Labor Day.

Kind of a pity–there’s a lot we could be doing. We could be agreeing to let wind kind of rest for a couple of years and pushing for solar power to get more attention. We could be trumpeting the energy efficiency gains from LED lighting. We could be examining in closer detail the new nuclear power plant designs and the specification sheets for the new electric cars.

When the advocates for a better climate are all busy ripping each other apart (and I have been as guilty as any in this regard) the people making the decisions are a more detached lot, who may not feel the same sense of urgency.

Hard core skeptics may say that’s okay. But even they think that better technology will supplant, or at least supplement, fossil fuels as it becomes cost-effective–and most would cheer it if it came.

I read elsewhere that ‘We’ll never have a kumbaya moment. Too much bad blood.’ But the Palestinians and Israelis have just agreed to face-to-face talks.  This puts some of our quarrels in perspective.

Thomas Fuller  http://www.redbubble.com/people/hfuller

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159 thoughts on “Drifting Back to the Center

  1. Is climate science so unimportant or precious that modern interactive technologies are ignored in favour of a lumbering report produced in near-secrecy every 5 years, and which is probably out of date before it is printed?

  2. Indeed there is bad blood. This “daemonization” of scientists such as Phil Jones and Michael Mann just to score points is bad for the debate and our effort.
    Writing stuff just to rile up the base and have them attack (by e-mail, FOI requests, telephone) the scientists is not in my book.
    Is Lomborg credible? He has to explain his views on the science, and take a position on what he actually believes.
    In this Internet age, what are are saying is saved for the future, and we can visit back and see who was wrong, and who was actually right all along.

  3. Ouch! They sill don’t get it!
    “This should lead to a more centrist, consensus-driven look at the evidence.”
    Science is NOT “consensus-driven,” it is driven by the solidity of the science itself. Can it be tested and confirmed? Consensus includes opinion and opinion is not science.

  4. Drifting to the center with finger on the scale? Where is the interest in bringing science to the data sets. Auditable data, accurate measurement, archive of programs. How can “decisions” be made without accurate data and tested hypotheses. Lets cap and tax when it was a solar maximum? Lets renewable without knowing the net cost? This is engineering 101 not lets make a climate deal (you know twirl hula hoops to generate power).

  5. “Bjorn Lomborg has switched the emphasis of his message, in time to help get publicity for his new film, and is now stepping up his calls for concrete action (and concrete sums of money) to fight climate change.”
    All that concrete!!!!! What about the CO2? Concrete is a good insulator against fire! It’s also very good for molding to form channels with which to course water run-off away from where it can do no harm, & to where it can do lots of good! (It’s called drainage).

  6. > I read elsewhere that ‘We’ll never have a kumbaya moment. Too much bad blood.’ But the Palestinians and Israelis have just agreed to face-to-face talks. This puts some of our quarrels in perspective.
    It’s hard to hold a candle to that quarrel! I think I’ll pass on the kumbaya moment for now. That’s all well and good when the science is as settled as plate tectonics, the period leading up to settled science in any field has been filled with tension and competition, and that’s quite okay. When it spills over into vehement blather, that’s not okay, and science has done a pretty poor job of avoiding that. With the high money stakes and politics thrown in, I don’t think we can do much better than to disagree agreeably, and if we do that, well, perhaps there’s a chance of reconciliation between Arabs and Israelis. Well, in a century or two.
    First steps first, and the first big step is to get more people to realize the climate isn’t settled, and that’s happening. The new La Niña should help too. Achieve that and then the politicians will follow, especially if we can get to simply drop the issue instead of using it as differentiation between sides.

  7. Can’t fix what is not broken. The IPCC is not broken. It is doing exactly what it is meant to do. That is to create scientifically sounding propaganda to convince the population of the world to submit to handing over all control of their lives to an international government. It stead of trying to “fix” it, the thing should be put down, as fixing it will not change its mission, just make the propaganda better.

  8. Frankly, I find the calls for rapprochement, while certainly sincere and heartfelt, to be based more on naivete than on reality. The Warmistas, who have been calling the shots, government backing and funding, the full support and valuable hype from the MSM to sway the public, and even a Nobel-prize winning “movie”, have been caught out. They have used lies, bullying tactics, threats, Pal Review, and an enormous amount of pseudo scientific garbage to frighten people, especially children. And now, they want a truce?
    I don’t think so.

  9. Hi Bruce,
    Actually, I don’t know if the ‘Warmistas’ want a truce. I do. I think we’re spinning our wheels fighting each other instead of working on a) climate change for those who are concerned about it or b) energy efficiency for those more concerned with our balance of payments and dependence on foreign oil.

  10. “I read elsewhere that ‘We’ll never have a kumbaya moment. Too much bad blood.’ But the Palestinians and Israelis have just agreed to face-to-face talks. This puts some of our quarrels in perspective.”
    I hope that analogy is wrong, for IMHO the Israeli/Palestinian issue is intractable. The two sides have totally incompatible goals and the current talks are a political exercise in futility. 🙁
    The climate change issue, on the other hand, has a lot of room for discussion, and eventual agreement. Both sides can agree on such goals as energy conservation, environmental protection and climate stability or adaptation. The issues are all about uncertainties, and means to a common and desirable end. One hopes that eventually the partisan emotional climate will cool to the point where both sides can begin to listen to and learn from each other.

  11. Fuller is a centrist in the same way that Neville Chamberlain, Joseph Kennedy and Charles Lindbergh were centrists.
    When all the facts are on one side and all the brutal power is on the other side, “centrism” means letting the brutal power win while mildly complaining.

  12. I suggest you turn your energy towards pushing decent technology for nuclear energy. That gives the best return on invested money and effort. It is an idea many “skeptics” will get behind as well. Many of us are just as against trashing the environment, polluting and dumping megabucks into the pockets of the oil companies as you are. We are just against bad science as a disguise for a massive ripoff of the middle class and the poor by the wealthy.
    Biofuel in its present incantations has been show to use up more fossil fuel in its making than it produces, at least according to David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell. Biofuel also has the problem of enriching corporations while causing food riots.
    Second according to Charles S. Opalek, PE (Professional Engineer) “Solar pv energy has an EROEI ratio of 0.48 (www.dieoff.org/pv.htm). That is: In the lifetime of a solar pv installaton it will only return 48% of the energy that went into its manufacture, installation and operation. What a colossal waste of my electric bill dollars and taxpayer money.
    Wind power is worse. It’s EROEI by my calculations is 0.29.”

    EROEI is Energy Return on Energy Invested or:
    EROEI = energy / energy used to produce that energy
    Other commentors here at WUWT stated: It takes 1,350 tons of coal to make steel for a 850 ton wind turbine tower. That does not include cement and transportation fuel as well as the construction of the special trailers for transport.
    All the “Green Energy” stuff does is move money out of the pockets of the little guy in the pockets of the conmen. Is it any wonder that former Clinton and Obama budget adviser Franklin Raines owns a key carbon-emissions patent he developed as CEO of the government-sponsored mortgage giant Fannie Mae, positioning him and his partners to make millions of dollars?

  13. You really think that the PLO is coming to these talks in good faith ? Really ? Wow … talk about a naive view of the real world …
    stick to science and data, not models …

  14. It’s a VERY bad idea to compare climate rapprochement to “peace” talks in the Mid-east. There has never been a peace process, only smoke and BS.

  15. This guy is still thinking in political terms rather than scientific. He just doesn’t get it. Yes to sensible scientific debate with good mathematical models which can be VV&T’ed. Yes to the removal of vehement language of the Romms of this world; Yes to the end of the Obama stupidity and hatred. Yes to the return of the FULL scientific method in climate science, if it ever existed and GET RID OF THE IPCC. It is not needed. It wasn’t needed for the resolution of atomic, nuclear and quantum physics it is not needed to resolve the issues around climate ‘science’ and with a person like at Pachy at it’s head it is needed even less. A negative not needed now that’s is novel theory.

  16. “We could be agreeing to let wind kind of rest for a couple of years…”
    If by a couple of years you mean a permanent moratorium, then I agree. Wind destabilizes the grid, reduces the efficiency of fossil fueled backup generation, and has almost no impact on CO2 emissions in real-world grids.
    “… and pushing for solar power to get more attention.”
    That will be difficult to do, given the current gushing media coverage of all things solar. Unless you are suggesting more attention be focused on the un-subsidized costs of solar PV or solar thermal power generation; how environmental groups are fighting to block the construction of thousands of acres of solar farms and the transmisison lines required to transport the generated power to load centers; or how renewable energy credits turn fiscally irresponsible solar projects into revenue generators ( the Nellis Air Force Base solar PV farm is a prime example of this nonsense).
    “We could be trumpeting the energy efficiency gains from LED lighting.”
    By this do you mean, for example, that LED fixtures are starting to approach the luminous efficiencies and of fluorescent tubes and sodium vapor lamps, but at more than 10x the cost?
    “We could be examining in closer detail the new nuclear power plant designs…”
    Absolutely agree.
    “… and the specification sheets for the new electric cars.”
    I would prefer to bring attention to the limitations of existing non-fuel energy storage solutions for vehicles, and how to accelerate the development of an energy storage technology that is competitive (capacity, cost, toughness, safety) with gasoline, diesel, propane or compressed natural gas.

  17. “The United States Congress is clearly not going to pass Cap and Trade. However, they are evidently not going to kneecap the EPA, which will be free to force utilities and very large emitters to reduce emissions. Also a centrist move ”
    Not until Jan,2010 then things will change, there too…
    The EPA actions would tie things up in court for years..
    As we get cooler and cooler….

  18. DesertYote: The IPCC is not broken. It is doing exactly what it is meant to do. That is to create scientifically sounding propaganda to convince the population of the world to submit to handing over all control of their lives to an international government.

    These kind of views make us look like conspiracy theorists and any arguments that come out of here are not taken seriously.
    Is Anthony in a position to appear credible if such views appear in the comments?
    [snip – religion topic – policy]

  19. Tom,
    Middle? Your journalist background is getting the best of you. I’d be happy with sounder science (or better reported if it’s already out there) no matter middle, one side or the other, no matter where it falls. Wouldn’t you?

  20. I’m with Bruce.
    Grind them into the dust from whence they came and start anew with honest people and without
    the “Left”over agenda from previous fake crises .

  21. “However, they are evidently not going to kneecap the EPA, which will be free to force utilities and very large emitters to reduce emissions. Also a centrist move.”
    We got right at 60 days til you see a big change coming there.
    And you brought up the Israelis and the Palestinians – it’s a safe bet that they’ll be shooting at each other again before the snows come.
    “In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.” – General Ulysses S. Grant

  22. Tom Fuller,
    Thank for yet another thought provoking article. Keep it up.
    There is no compromise between A and not A.
    In politics things might appear to be all about compromise. A lot of compromise does properly occur in politics, yet there are things in politics that cannot be compromised and if compromised will cause the collapse of society/culture. If you are calling for things to be compromised that are not essentials for our civilization, then OK. But I think your suggestions may be close to things that cannot be compromised if we wish our modern civilization to persist.
    In science A-is-A and A cannot be not A. Are calling for a compromise in science?
    Tom, you say “In the blogosphere, more bloggers and commenters on the ‘skeptic’ side seem willing to preface their criticism with a frank admission that the physics of CO2 acting as a greenhouse gas is not very controversial.” No, I do not think that is correct.
    What I think, regarding the “physics of CO2 acting as a greenhouse gas”, is correct is that most bloggers who are independent (of consensus climate science who call independent bloggers skeptics) seem to be willing to finally, after many years of trying, engage in direct public/open debate with those bloggers of the so-called consensus.
    John

  23. As it currently stands, if reasonable skeptics got as much public airtime as reasonable warmists, AGW hysteria would be long over. The bias required in scientific literature, mass media and education systems is a huge, huge source of potential energy. All of that will come rushing downhill eventually, like it or not.
    If cap and trade is passed, and even a little bit of the fallout envisioned happens, do you think anyone disenfranchised in the name of the carbon god is going to go quietly into the night? Once the average energy cost to the US citizen starts to rise? When the cost of doing business on a daily basis starts to creep up? Once you really start hitting people in their pocketbooks, you’ll see some “skepticism”. Bias and treehugging will go right out the window.
    Even now, when I point out to my friends that Congress isn’t willing to pass a cap and trade bill because they know it’s unpopular, but are willing to sit by and watch the slow expansion of the EPA’s non-elected powers, I get disbelief. Once businesses start suing the EPA, with high-powered lawyers?
    For people lukewarm, warm and hot, you have to realize that not only is the burden of proof on you, but the skeptical machine that exists BECAUSE of the low quality of the proof given will audit you at every single step of the way. And the AGW proponentry can’t afford to look back with a clear eye and say, “yes this was demagoguery, yes this is false, this is misleading, yes we’re making commercials to scare children, let’s throw all this out the window and start over with quality, transparent science.”
    If that admission was made, and the scientific research behind the matter moved forward in a nice, objective fashion, people would conclude that predictions are predictions and get on with their lives, to the next big scare. But most of the AGW crowd has too much skin in the game now. Even the people that aren’t fiscally involved. They’ve argued for it, held viewpoints in it, derided skeptics, cited greenpeace and AWF, repeated patently absurd and/or unproven links between “agw” and our world (gores inconvenient untruths, as an example). And the number of people on that side, the believers and the advocates and the companies profiting and the politicians committed and the universities committed is staggeringly large. But they’re committed to an overblown, overstated system of bias. The embarassment for admitting that, alone, is a motivator for all those involved to just ride it out as forcefully as they can.
    And they’re going to lose in the long run, because each day the skeptics are getting just a little more airtime. Just a little bit more of a chance to point out this overstated thing, or that conflict of interest. And at some point, to save themselves from embarassment, someone is going to shout “I was tricked!!! This is terrible!!!” and the rapidity with which the house of cards crashes down will be stunning.
    The problem of course is that AGW could exist, and even be a scientific conclusion. But once the advocates got ahold of it and blew it out of proportion, it became nothing but a mechanism of guilt, control, fear and money. And that’s not what science is.
    But I will rejoice, when the house of cards come crashing down, because people will start to “suspect” the MSM, and “science”. People will become skeptics, questioners. We will evolve better systems of information. We will demand more transparency. We, as the human race, will evolve to be better by collectively learning from our mistakes. Glorious!

  24. If I may. . .

    When the advocates for a better climate are all busy ripping each other apart…

    Let us assume right now (for argument’s and reasonability’s sake) that the adjusted GISS and NOAA and everybody’s numbers are okay. Let’s understand, like Tom says, that the Russian and Pakistani weather may have been due to climate change. Let’s accept for non-argument’s sake that some warming – probably 0.7C – has occurred in the last 100 years.
    If we stick our heads out our doors and take a feel for what is out there. . .
    …The climate right now – in 2010 – is analagous to “drifting into the center.” It is not what it was in 1900, nor 1950, and it is not what the pro-warming folks say it will be in 2100.
    If it stayed like this, just like this, the weather in 2010, would any of us really complain so much? The pro-warming folks would be glad it didn’t get any worse. The skeptics would be glad we could get on with our lives and fixing things in other areas of our lives.
    With more or less mild winters over the last 10 years, and with crop yields being nicely bumper-level most years, would any of us really bitch and moan if our climate stayed as it has been?
    Yes, there are some ups and downs. Even though the global average is staying in a pretty tight range since 2000, our local temps generally vary by ten times that global average, and we all get along pretty well with warm spells and cold spells and some extremes now and then, before it comes back to what our 10-year average has been, more or less. Yes?
    So if this was going to be our plight, we’d all be pretty well okay with it, wouldn’t we? If it all found this as the center and it drifted back to this after weather excursions toward some extremes now and then?
    Perhaps our weather/climate is somewhat a reflection of our mindsets. Perhaps if our hot and steaming rants – on both sides – mellowed out, we’d see our weather/climate has also mellowed out, too.
    After all, is 0.7C warmer than 1900 all that bad? Since 1900 was kind of a cool period, what is wrong with a bit of warmth? Could we all live with it if it stayed here at 2000-2010 levels? I would think so. Some of us might get a little nervous in the dog days of August or when knee-deep in snow, or when a year comes by with a few more hurricanes – but overall, is it all that bad?

  25. Thomas Fuller is an opinion journalist, not a scientist. He has some background in science, but he writes and sounds like and opinion journalist (i.e. like not much). We already have too much of those. Much of the time I agree with him, but this blog is supposed to bring science, data, facts. His pieces don’t fit in here. (No offense to Tom, which I respect).
    Please, Anthony, concentrate on the data and science, leave opinion to other blogs (Tom has his own, which I read too). This is supposed to be a science blog, please keep it so.

  26. Politics will do as it will.
    I think what is most important is that the scientific community disconnect from the political process (as per post-normal science) and get back to traditional procedures regarding peer and independent review, that is to say scientific method itself.
    The “old ways” have their disadvantages, but the more recent modes of replacement are far worse and have led us badly astray.
    I think this may be what Mr. Fuller is saying comes down to.

  27. For most people the centre is where ever they happen to be standing at the time.
    A well written “point of view” piece Mr Fuller, nothing more.

  28. When :
    1) Alarmism is replaced by cool headed reasoning
    2) The science is openly discussed and results are presented without tricks or subterfuge
    3) Environmental and Political advocacy is taken out of the arena
    4) The theory is allowed to stand or fall on it’s merits
    Then we’ll be in a better place.
    However there’s so much personal and political capital invested in the Alarmist approach I can’t see how the Alarmists can back off easily. On a personal level people have built careers and paid for lifestyles for themselves and their off spring based on Alarmism.

  29. The problem with the IPCC is that it has no business in science. If the UN was concerned about science, then it would be a science academy.
    While the analysis of this article is good, it fails. To make the argument on how we can improve the IPCC is playing on the statist’s playground.
    There is a template at play here. Beware not to fall into the trap.
    The statist’s takeover of education is a prime example. All of our lives well meaning people have offered suggestions on how to make government run education better.
    The answer is you cannot. If a foreign nation did as much damage to our education system as our own government did, we would be at war.
    The statist’s takeover of our nation’s energy policy is another example. Since the energy department, the EPA, and the Interior Department told us that they could produce more energy, better energy, cleaner energy, etc energy, our nation’s energy supply has been hobbled. If a foreign nation cut off our energy supplies as effectively as our own government has, we would be at war.
    Since when is healthcare a function of government? If all the statists like Pelosi, Reid, and Obama really cared about healthcare, they would have all went to medical school. They did not. They went into governmental control of our lives. If a foreign nation took over our healthcare industry, we would go to war to defend it.
    Same with the takeover of the auto industry via CAFE standards and outright takeovers. Same with the banks. Same with student loans. Same with mortgages. And the same with climate science such as it is.
    Government should stick to governing not guessing tomorrow’s weather or climate and then handing us the bill for failed predictions.
    Government never does anything better than the private sector. Not one thing, including climate.
    All very fine to explain how the IPPC can do its job better, but you are playing on the statist’s playground. The IPPC should not be involved in science. It is a political organization and all its outcomes are political in nature.
    The only effective way for the UN to have a positive impact on our environment would be to dismantle the UN building in NY and create an artificial reef out of the joke it is.
    The IPPC is a hack big government agency. The UN is nothing more than a hack shadow government seeking to rule your lives. Do not seek to improve it, seek to defund this fraud.

  30. “The United States Congress is clearly not going to pass Cap and Trade. However, they are evidently not going to kneecap the EPA, which will be free to force utilities and very large emitters to reduce emissions. Also a centrist move.”
    This is about taxing the crap out of the public.
    And this is a centrist position?
    “We could be agreeing to let wind kind of rest for a couple of years and pushing for solar power to get more attention. We could be trumpeting the energy efficiency gains from LED lighting. We could be examining in closer detail the new nuclear power plant designs and the specification sheets for the new electric cars.”
    Hey, I have a radical idea; how about
    we leave engineering, to the engineers.
    “I read elsewhere that ‘We’ll never have a kumbaya moment. Too much bad blood.’ But the Palestinians and Israelis have just agreed to face-to-face talks. This puts some of our quarrels in perspective.”
    All the miss-translated “Reset Buttons” in the world,
    are not going change anything, when a third of the
    party is not at the table.

  31. Compromise! Compromise? This is the beginning of bad science and bad policy.
    The middle-of-the-road policy is for unprincipled wimps. The solution is not to make unwarranted concessions to your opponents but to have an honest and open debate on the issue. All data must be presented, and analyzed without preconceived biases towards the expected results.

  32. Tom Fuller says:
    September 3, 2010 at 7:34 am
    Actually, I don’t know if the ‘Warmistas’ want a truce. I do. I think we’re spinning our wheels fighting each other instead of working on a) climate change for those who are concerned about it or b) energy efficiency for those more concerned with our balance of payments and dependence on foreign oil.
    The issue is whether or not man, via his use of fossil fuels is causing climate change. Energy efficiency, energy independence, and a whole host of other issues, which actually are real, but certainly nothing to get hysterical about are simply being used as red herrings by the Warmistas. Often, what gets pegged as “energy efficiency” is nothing of the sort; it simply means using less energy, no matter what the consequences may be, and no matter what the cost. The Warmistas have a particular mindset which happens to be anti-industry, anti-capitalist, and anti-humanist. That is what we are up against. They do not care about the truth, nor about science, only their agenda.

  33. “the heatwave in Moscow and floods in Pakistan and China were only briefly blamed on climate change, before cooler heads made it clear that at worst they served as previews of coming attractions”
    Since there is little or no evidence that such events will be more common if there was warming, this sadly is again misdirection. It is basically assumed—that everything about warming HAS to be bad—based on the heavily flawed, inadequate computer models, which are, of course, not science. The IPCC HAS to dismiss and ignore the stupid models—they do not work.
    Since we are not warming, then where’s the problem, according to their thinking that warm is bad?
    And being centrist, for the sake of being even, fair or reasonable, is not necessarily good. Here, it may mean that the stupid things done to “fight climate change” might simply be fewer or less extreme and thus less effective, assuming that climate change is a real problem. They would just be a bit less hurtful to the people and the economy, but hurtful nonetheless and totally unnecessary.
    But as the whole climate change scam is a scam, being centrist is simply weak-minded and stupid. The scam should be opposed, not tacitly allowed to exist in a more moderate way. (“It’s OK to have a little terrorism. It’s only reasonable.”!!!) In this form it will still be junk science and wishy-washy thinking. Nature does not do centrist.
    Allowing the RGGI to persist is wrong as it exists for the wrong reason. Pretending that decreasing emissions is a valid goal is just plain wrong; that’s putting efforts into something that is not important. Making sure that emissions are clean (CO2 is not a pollutant and is plant food, a good thing) and that energy is used efficiently is just fine. But, generating funds for a false goal is not right. To then use the ill-gotten funds to promote immature “green” industries is to artificially stimulate an industry that will progress by its own healthy pace regardless.
    Government funding choices being what they are, the private sector is much better able to chose the best companies and research in which to invest. Keep government out of it, all that it will do is slow things down and play favorites, as they always do.
    And it is completely immoral for funds to be generated for a false purpose, as in RGGI, and then use the finds to balance a state’s budget. Balancing budgets should be based on trimming budgets and raising funds through normal legislative processes, not through backdoor taxes realized by the citizen as increased costs of electricity.
    “We all know it’s coming, and we all know it’s La Nina, not the ultimate end of global warming.”
    However, let’s not forget that the PDO is in its cool phase and that bright thing in the sky appears to be doing a Dalton Minimum 2.0. It very well could be the end of global warming. Wait, that happened back in the late 1990s! Why do people accept that the climate scientists, who cannot predict the climate now, have any valid claim when they shout that global warming will resume some time in the future, some time, but they know it will? Duh! That’s really concise, let’s bank on that—after the next ice age or mini-ice age, it will warm, got it!
    We also should not assume that warming will resume after 30 years. The Little Age did not follow the Medieval Warm Period by getting successively warmer—it had to cool for real at some point. AND, looking at the last 4 Warm Periods, including the current, each peak is successively cooler. We should worry about where this is going; warming may not be the realistic concern here. [Accepting that the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the recent Warm Period very simply cancels the global warming scam.]
    It is a shame that there is so much name-labeling and denigration of various people, resorted to by certain individuals when they are losing an argument. Socrates knew of this, “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
    What the warmists and eco-nuts clearly do not understand is that: (1) most people care about the environment; (2) technology, advancements, and wealth lead to lower birthrates (as women are educated), more efficient energy usage, smaller industrial footprints, and the time and wealth to take care of the environment and fix past mistakes; and (3) we adopt technological advancements as they become affordable—we love this stuff.
    It is wrong to push immature technologies as they are perforce initially inefficient, inadequate, and too expensive for most potential users. We need to let things mature and develop naturally – that should be OK with the enviro group.

  34. Harry Bergeron says:
    September 3, 2010 at 7:48 am
    It’s a VERY bad idea to compare climate rapprochement to “peace” talks in the Mid-east. There has never been a peace process, only smoke and BS.
    _______________________________________________________-
    Perhaps it is a good idea. Since their attitude towards honor is the same:
    Qur’an 9:3 “Allah is not bound by any contract or treaty with non-Muslims, nor is His Apostle.”
    Qur’an 9:7 “How can there be a covenant between Allah and His Messenger and the disbelievers with whom you made a treaty near the sacred Mosque?”
    I just stumble across this. Given its section on Energy it might be of some interest since we are talking about energy and “compromise” Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, An Introduction Programming Manual
    Alledgedly the following document, dated May 1979, was found on July 7, 1986, in an IBM copier that had been purchased at a surplus sale. It was found by accident when an employee of Boeing Aircraft Co. It is now 25 years later so we have the possibility of determining if the document was for real or a hoax.
    Energy
    “Energy is recognized as the key to all activity on earth…. [well that is true]
    All science is merely a means to an end. The means is knowledge. The end is control. Beyond this remains only one issue: Who will be the beneficiary?….
    Consequently, in the interest of future world order, peace, and tranquillity, it was decided to privately wage a quiet war against the American public with an ultimate objective of permanently shifting the natural and social energy (wealth) of the undisciplined and irresponsible many into the hands of the self-disciplined, responsible, and worthy few…..”

    Gee could that be Global Governance?
    Any comments on the hidden agenda Mr. Fuller? Afterall what you are ultimately asking is for the rest of us to agree to a “low energy” society “with an ultimate objective of permanently shifting the natural and social energy (wealth) of the undisciplined and irresponsible many into the hands of the self-disciplined, responsible, and worthy few…..” Isn’t that your real objective? HMMMmmm

  35. paulw says:
    September 3, 2010 at 7:18 am
    “In this Internet age, what are are saying is saved for the future, and we can visit back and see who was wrong, and who was actually right all along.”
    So why are you not worried about that? You are after all an anonymous alarmist.
    As for Mann and Jones, one is a liar the other is rent seeking yes man.
    Or maybe, just maybe? Each of them can be described as both liar and rent seeking yes man.
    Are you in the pay of “Big Carbon”?. ( Sorry mods, I couldn’t resist ).

  36. Gail Combes says “It’s a VERY bad idea to compare climate rapprochement to “peace” talks in the Mid-east. There has never been a peace process, only smoke and BS.”
    I’d say it’s a VERY bad idea to criticise someone else’s bad comparison when you demonstrate such a complete lack of understanding of the Israel/Palestine conflict. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with any cherry-picked quote from the Koran, including yours. If you don’t understand it – and you clearly don’t understand it – I suggest you don’t try to frame it, even in criticising someone else’s reference to it.

  37. What buffun said; to which I add that ONLY science has ever learned from mistakes. Politics has NEVER learned from mistakes.
    What Pablo said; you have to accept that Warmistas have personally IDENTIFIED with there position. This puts their very psyche at risk and move all consideration to the realm of psychology.

  38. Centrism is appeasement. The warmist are wrong – their belief is religion, not science. They have to be faced down and beaten. The warmist have an agenda of state control which is anti free enterprise and fascist in nature. You cannot compromise with slave owners. You are free or not. Any halfway stage and you’re still a slave.
    Look again at what Charles Higley says (near the top of the blog).

  39. “Is man’s CO2 making the planet warmer?
    Seems rather yes or no to me, where’s the centre?”
    _____________________________________
    Some possible center positions might be:
    “Man-made CO2 is making the planet warmer, but a warmer climate would be mostly good for human civilizations and all other life on earth.”
    or
    “The overall trend in climate is down into another ice age which will be ameliorated to some extent by man-made CO2 and its few degrees of global warming.”
    or even possibly
    “Man-made CO2 does not contribute significantly to global warming but the climate will be getting up to ten degrees C or more warmer — uncomfortably warm — due to man’s land-use changes (building ever larger cities and cultivating ever more land) and the early stages of this warming has been showing up in the data.”
    In short, we could have any one of a number of possible centrist combinations of “man-made CO2 causes warming” with “but warming is good” and “man-made CO2 does not cause warming” with “but bad warming is coming.”

  40. evanmjones says:
    September 3, 2010 at 8:35 am
    I think what is most important is that the scientific community disconnect from the political process (as per post-normal science) and get back to traditional procedures regarding peer and independent review, that is to say scientific method itself.

    Whenever a lot of agenda and money ride on scientific judgement, there is a danger of coercion, inducement, and graft.
    In those situations, public scrutiny is required. The assertion of the right of the public to scrutinize the science they pay for is itself a political act of, for and by the people.
    All the posturing, propaganda and scare-bullying by the bureaucrats and politicians provides ample evidence that they need to be scrutinized by the people too.
    We will not wait to be asked to join the politicians, bureaucrats and establishment scientists at the table. We will kick it over, and carry it off to a brightly lit chamber where cards cannot be passed under it undetected. Then we will summon them to come and sit at it with us so we can see what they’ve got.

  41. Politics has been defined as the art of compromise, but I personally don’t want compromised and/or politicised science, as that road leads to delusional thinking such as that of the hostage taker in California.
    As a sceptic who understands that the climate is a chaotic system of many cycles of differing lengths and causes which interact with and overlay each other, I want proper adherence to the scientific method and honesty about the data, however it falls. The ramifications of allowing scary nonsense extrapolated from simplisitic and erroneous models being used to frighten anyone into any sort of compromise do not bear thinking about. There should be no ‘reasonable conensus’ either: science has never been and will never be subject to consensus.

  42. The problem of being in the middle is that it is a position created by those not in the middle. There is nothing to be proud of being in a position you don’t influence. Years from now you will still be in the middle but the edges will have moved on because of activists. Your middle will perhaps have shifted from a previous middle, perhaps not. It has no anchor.

  43. The “consensus crowd” has convinced me that you can’t trust government scientists. It’s a business, and it has a marketing division. The product might be ok or it might not be – they won’t tell you. They’ll always praise themselves and their fine intellects in the highest tones.
    Remember the Monbiot – McIntyre debate? Why did Monbiot suddenly agree to such an endeavour? Because he thought he was winning? No. Because he recognized that the current marketing campaign of the government science doesn’t work so well and the marketing tactics has to be changed. So play a little touchy feely.
    Still not trustworthy a minute.

  44. We don’t need a “consensus-driven look at the evidence.” What we need is the evidence. All of the evidence. It’s been the driving-by-consensus that lets the policy-makers use science to advance their own ends and not solve real problems such as realistic mitigation, proper risk assessment, and reducing inefficiencies in energy use. We’ll get enough consensus quite naturally when everybody can trust the science and we let free markets instead of government-rigged initiative operate.

  45. “Actually, I don’t know if the ‘Warmistas’ want a truce. I do. I think we’re spinning our wheels fighting each other instead of working on a) climate change for those who are concerned about it or b) energy efficiency for those more concerned with our balance of payments and dependence on foreign oil.”
    Mr. Fuller, they want ‘our’ money, just as you crave ‘our ‘affirmation.’
    WE have no wheels together, Mr. Fuller – we are not sharing a ride.
    Your concern with my concerns is unwelcome. I’m not buying your climate fantasies and I don’t want any ‘work’ (which means you steal my money and pontificate) done on climate change. What you offer, nobody has a need of.
    As long as you keep spinning on other peoples’ balance of payments, you can expect fighting. What part of ‘stealing’ did you imagine led to kumbaya?

  46. “But I will rejoice, when the house of cards come crashing down, because people will start to “suspect” the MSM, and “science”. ”
    I disagree. The sad state of public science education will only allow more pseudo-science to influence public policy. From anti-vaxers to pure organic food, to homeopathy, the public is ill equipped to deal with the massive amounts of pseudo-science that they are exposed to on a daily basis. Time to look at the science education in schools. Help must start there.

  47. “Kind of a pity–there’s a lot we could be doing. We could be agreeing to let wind kind of rest for a couple of years and pushing for solar power to get more attention. We could be trumpeting the energy efficiency gains from LED lighting. We could be examining in closer detail the new nuclear power plant designs and the specification sheets for the new electric cars.”
    As long as “we” means individuals and not governments, it’s great! But I’m really tired of governments, like mine in the US, spending money we don’t have plus our tax money on things that are nowhere close to Constitutional. Let the private market be free once again and it will come up with any necessary innovations and, as a BIG BONUS, not spend resources on losing propositions or propellers as the case may be.

  48. *******
    Gary says:
    September 3, 2010 at 10:05 am
    We don’t need a “consensus-driven look at the evidence
    ******************
    I second that! The IPCC should be presenting the skeptical arguments as well as the so-called “consensus” ones. How many times must it be said that science is not done by consensus???? I mean really!!!

  49. T. Fuller commented to Bruce, “I think we’re spinning our wheels fighting each other instead of working on a) climate change for those who are concerned about it ”
    We should work to abrogate climate change just for those individuals? Is this a token effort to mollify their minds, a feel better program? Is it productive to control the emissions of only those who believe them a problem? Why on Earth would we even try to work on a non-problem just because some people think it exists?
    Should we start funding initiatives for all of the doomsayers?
    We do not have to work on energy efficiency. We will do that in the normal course of things as the technologies mature and become affordable and reliable. We are always trying to do things better and more efficiently as we are always trying to use our time, money and resources better and better.
    This trend does not need any specific effort. Just realize how far we have moved in the last 100 years. It is ingenuous to think that we will suddenly sit still and keep on doing what we are doing ad nauseum. That is the liberals’ vision of the rest of the people, but it is not the people—we progress.
    I guess the thing that bothers me about Mr. Fuller’s article here is that he appears to be all about middle ground and centrism, when the reality is that you cannot make real, sentient decisions regarding the real world based on pseudoscience, quasiscience, or junk science; it must be real science without overlying opinions. As soon as you start to look at science as negotiable, you are not doing science and will make bad policy decisions and people or the world WILL get hurt.

  50. Anything less than complete abolition of the IPCC and the obscene funding of the alarmists by the taxpayer is a defeat for science, truth and honest discourse.
    A few important battles have been won, but the war is not over.

  51. Smokey, I’ve no fear of discussing Middle East politics or history and I’m open to anyone who can further my “education” on the subject. Not really interested in being preached either zionism or anti-zionism, though. The situation is complex, is far more secular than it is religious – on BOTH sides – and Anthony’s blog is neither geared up nor I suspect predisposed to deal with it. Rather than countering Gail’s Koran quotes with Old Testament equivalents – and there are plenty – I think it better to discourage the political debate here.

  52. SimonH,
    Nice strawman you set up there. But I was referring to your assertion to Gail Combs when you told her that “you demonstrate such a complete lack of understanding of the Israel/Palestine conflict.”
    You may not agree with her opinion, but you overstepped when you accused her of “a complete lack of understanding.” You are free to retract that statement. Or not. It’s up to you.

  53. Charles Higley says:
    September 3, 2010 at 7:22 am (Edit)
    Ouch! They sill don’t get it!
    “This should lead to a more centrist, consensus-driven look at the evidence.”
    Science is NOT “consensus-driven,” it is driven by the solidity of the science itself. Can it be tested and confirmed? Consensus includes opinion and opinion is not science
    ##############
    There is always opinion in science at least science which has uncertainties. “traditionally” for example, we look for 95% confidence in our statistical statements. However, there are clearly cases where the public requires MORE confidence or lives with LESS confidence.
    the physics of GHGs is clear. GHGs warm the planet, they do not cool it. estimating how much warming is not an opinion free exercise, and the range of figures is rather large. estimating future emissions is not an opinion free exercise and the range of figures is enormous. estimating future damages and costs is not an opinion free exercise. Yet, it’s clear that under some assumptions drastic action would seem prudent. And, under some assumptions, there would seem to be little cause for any action. The middle ground, a consensus position would be something like Tom suggests. What actions can we take that will BOTH mitigate the climate change issue and make us generally better off. For example nuclear.

  54. Steven Mosher says:
    September 3, 2010 at 10:25 am
    the physics of GHGs is clear. GHGs warm the planet, they do not cool it.

    Uh-huh. And what range of figures would you put on the number of tenths of a centigrade a doubling of co2 would cause Mosh?
    I’d go for between 0 and 6

  55. The truly pathetic thing about the global warming (non) issue is that we have natural gas and coal, and at the moment even oil, running out our ears. If we throttle back on those on the off-chance that CO2 will cause CATASTROPHIC warming, then we are doing nothing but hurting ourselves and our children. There is nothing noble about living a lower standard of living due to ignorance.

  56. The tradition of the sceptic is a long and very honourable one, sceptics have done more to advance the cause of real scientific endeavour than any institution or government funded body.
    Science has always worked by defending a consensus usually built on the ruins of the previous consensus which in turn was built on the ruins of earlier entrenched beliefs, science needs the services of sceptics and mavericks and lone wolf visionaries because that is how incredible advances are made.
    The mistake that the AGW consensus establishment made was to attack and silence critics and scientists who simply wished to validate and check the work of others, the attacks were poisonous and spiteful and the dirty tricks were numerous.
    The isolated sceptical minority has been largely blameless, they have been subjected to the vilest systematic abuse by those drunk with the arrogance of power whose position was so tenuous and precarious that they simply could not tolerate criticism of any kind.
    Well, the fabricated consensus is dying now as we sceptics always knew it must and those who supported the consensus must either face reality or continue to attack the growing sceptical minority, is it going to be a scorched earth battle to the finish or a velvet revolution where the dead king is succeeded by the new prince with the exclamation “the king is dead long live the king”.
    Anyone wishing to see how the story ends would do well to read up on the plate tectonics theory, how it was born and how it fought for its life against the old certainties and how it triumphed in the end. The difference being that the plate tectonics story did not have the political/carpet bagger profiteer element and that is what has in large measure contributed to the poisonous atmosphere of the current struggle with the truth.

  57. Sandy says:
    September 3, 2010 at 8:50 am (Edit)
    Is man’s CO2 making the planet warmer?
    Seems rather yes or no to me, where’s the centre?
    #################
    well, physics tells us that increasing GHGs will warm the planet. There is no physics, no evidence, no theory that predicts it will cool the planet. None. Like many who have had to build things that work based on this physics questioning the fact that GHGs warm the planet is simply not a rational option. Leading skeptics even agree that GHGs will warm the planet: Monkton,Christy,Lindzen,Spenser,Watts,Willis. That doesnt make it so, However, there is an accepted working physics that predicts warming, warming has been observed. There is no accepted working physics that predicts cooling. The balance of the evidence suggests that a belief ( and all science is belief) that GHGs will warm the planet is WARRANTED. That is all we ever have: warranted belief. There is no warranted belief that GHGs will cool the planet. They issue, thus, resolves to this:
    1. How much warming ( can we even detect it given the internal dynamics of the system)
    2. How much damage will it cause and to whom.
    3. Will some benefit?
    4. What if anything can be done? who should do it?
    Luke warmers tend to believe:
    1. The warming will be less than the IPCC and models predict.
    2. Very hard to estimate
    3. Yes.
    4. We split here between those who favor global action, national action, local action
    and personal action.
    Now that is not a middle ground born from a desire to comprimise. That is an uncomprimising dedication to the facts as we know them. GHGs will warm. we dont know how much, dont know how much harm will result, exactly, and disagree about the best agents of action. The extremes in this debate are people who claim that GHGs can have No effect, that more warming is universally good, and that anybody who suggests otherwise is a socialist. And those who claim that the warming will be horrible, that warming is universally bad, and that anybody who fights it is a oil shill.

  58. For example nuclear.

    There are plenty of reasons to go ‘nuclear’. Climate is certainly not one of these.

  59. Ahh okay, Smokey, I getcha.
    In that case, I should clarify that: IF, as is easily inferred from Gail’s selective quoting of the Koran, Gail thinks that the reason that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is sourced in the preachings of the Koran and its preaching of hatred of Jews, THEN she definitely doesn’t have a grasp of the situation. If, on the other hand, Gail DOES actually understand the Israeli/Palestinian conflict but has carefully chosen to conflagrate hatred of the Palestinians through selective and irrelevant quoting of the Koran, then I suppose I should apologise to Gail for getting in the way of her anti-Arab message.

  60. SimonH says:
    September 3, 2010 at 9:24 am
    Gail Combes says “It’s a VERY bad idea to compare climate rapprochement to “peace” talks in the Mid-east. There has never been a peace process, only smoke and BS.”
    ________________________
    Not my quote. Oh and I am Lebanese/American

  61. Steven Mosher:
    I was strongly opposed to Tom Fuller’s argument about “middle ground” until I read your assertion at September 3, 2010 at 10:25 am which says:
    “the physics of GHGs is clear. GHGs warm the planet, they do not cool it.”
    Clearly, your statement is unequivocal and, therefore, an approach to “middle ground” would be a move from it and towards reality.
    Firstly, the “the physics of GHGs is” NOT “clear”.
    The absence of the ‘hot spot’ proves that the postulated feedbacks required to convert any AGW into a discernible effect do not exist.
    The ‘hot spot’ is explained in Chapter 9 of the IPCC AR4 and you can read it at
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter9.pdf
    Figure 9.1 (on page 675) summarises the expected responses to various forcings from 1880 to 1999.
    Figure 9.1(c) shows the expectation from GHG increase and Figure 9.1(f) the sum of all forcings.
    Figure 9.1(c) is the only diagram of the set of individual forcings that provides the pattern of warming which has the ‘hot spot’.
    And both Figures 9.1 (c) and (f) display the ‘hot spot’ because the AGW prediction is that the effect of the increased GHGs is to overwhelm the effects of the other forcings.
    That warming at altitude in the tropics has not happened according to radiosonde (i.e. balloon) measurements taken over the last 50 years and has not happened according to MSU (i.e. satelite) measurements taken since 1979.
    Indeed, the data indicates slight cooling at altitude in the tropics (i.e. the opposite of the expected effect of GHGs).
    So, it is an empirical fact that the theoretical effect of GHGs is denied by the empirical data. Therefore, the “the physics of GHGs is” NOT “clear”
    (quod erat demonstrandum).
    Secondly, it is true – as you say – that “GHGs warm the planet”
    but it is NOT true – as you say – that GHGs “do not cool” the planet because they do.
    At altitude the GHGs emit radiation to space from the atmosphere. Without this cooling there would be little heat loss from the atmosphere (and the atmosphere is part of the planet).
    So, a substantial move by you towards the “middle ground” (i.e. reality) would be appreciated by me (and I suspect others, too).
    Richard

  62. Tom, I think your hope for changes are going to turn out to be forlorn.
    Here is chapter author Myles Allen saying business will be conducted as usual.

    Clearly, none of this is relevant to the 5th Assessment due to be published in 2013-2014: too much work has been done to make major changes at this stage, with author teams already in place. It will be thousands of pages long and will contain a couple (“catalogue”) of errors that will be gleefully pointed out sometime in 2015. But now is the time to start thinking about what happens afterwards. We don’t need to keep doing this to ourselves.

  63. “The middle ground, a consensus position would be something like Tom suggests. What actions can we take that will BOTH mitigate the climate change issue and make us generally better off. For example nuclear. ”
    Nuclear, count me in.
    But, I’ll tell you, when I talk to AGW advocates I try to take the middle ground.
    First, we are carbon life forms, you cannot eliminate carbon from the life-cycle.
    They don’t buy that.
    I maintain that while pollution controls that will also mitigate excess CO2
    are good, while over regulation, punitive taxing and redistribution of wealth
    to places where it will be squandered, even as we go broke, is not a good deal.
    They are not persuaded .
    Then I explain my personal actions taken to mitigate excess emissions of all kinds
    at, I would say, great personal expense.
    They are not impressed.
    Polar Bears are drowning and it is my fault.
    I cannot “bear” it.

  64. Don’t bet on the kneecapping of the EPA. Watch the November results. If it is on the low side of a Republican victory, you are probably correct. If it is on the high side, you are wrong.

  65. But the Palestinians and Israelis have just agreed to face-to-face talks.
    Not a good analogy Tom.
    They’ve been trying since:
    July 17, 1968
    1968 Palestinian National Charter ratified
    First chairman of the PLO, Ahmad Shukeiri
    In its original 1964 version, established the Palestine Liberation Organization. Amended in 1968, focuses on the independent national identity of the Palestinian people

  66. Almost all sceptics accept the concept of CO2 being a ‘greenhouse gas’. Most sceptics accept that perhaps 10-15% of the ~0.7 degrees C increase in global temperature over the past century was due to the effects of rising CO2 levels.
    Most sceptics accept that if CO2 levels were to double from today’s levels, then global temperatures are likely to rise, but not catastrophically, perhaps by 0.5-1.0 degrees C.. This is the concept of CO2 forcing.
    Most sceptics accept that if temperatures rise, there will be more water vapour in the atmosphere. Logic suggests that increased water vapour levels in the atmosphere should mean more clouds, which trap heat beneath them – this is the principal cornerstone of the concept of positive feedback so loved by warmists.
    The basic flaw in fundamentalist warmist theory is it ignores the fact that more clouds would mean more of the Sun’s energy being reflected back into outer space – this is negative feedback, a factor which is routinely ignored by warmists. There seems to be growing evidence that this negative feedback may be equal to, or possibly even greater, than the positive feedback.
    This is a quote from NASA: http://terra.nasa.gov/FactSheets/Clouds/:
    “Until recently, scientists did not know whether clouds had a net cooling or heating effect on global climate. Clouds reflect solar radiation, which tends to cool the climate, but they also help contain the energy that the Earth would otherwise emit to space, which tends to warm the climate. Measurements made in the 1980s by NASA’s Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) satellite demonstrated that clouds have a small net cooling effect on the current global climate”
    Perhaps a simple analogy might be this: you are walking in a park on a warm, partly cloudy, spring day. If you are a warmist, then you won’t feel cooler if a cloud passes between you and the sun, however if you are a sceptic, you will undoubtedly feel cooler.
    It is self-evident there is no need to waste so many billions of dollars on the climate change industry. The problem lies in the fact there are many tens of thousands of climate ‘scientists’, bureaucrats and politicians whose comfortable lifestyles are completely dependent maintaining the health of the climate scare industry.
    There is no way these people are going to accept the concept of negative feedback or of natural climate cycles – why should we expect these people to want to destroy their own comfortable lifestyle by practicing real science?
    We can do absolutely nothing about climate cycles or climatic change – mankind’s impact on climate is totally trivial when compared with the forces of nature.

  67. To me, the biggest credibility gap with the big government types is that they want to kill carbon claiming its bad, but almost completely ignore nuclear. When someone has a problem they want to solve, and they don’t go for the obvious answer, something is rotten. Then when the people advocating drastic solutions aren’t willing to participate themselves in the solution ala Gore et al, then I think people have a right to be suspicious. As Glenn Reynolds likes to say frequently on his blog instapundit.com: I’ll believe there’s a problem when people (leaders in this case) start acting like there’s a problem.
    This is where the conspiracies are born: people start thinking that government is out to control them and then make up a story about breaking the economy (cap and trade would do that) create a big crisis, then use it to justify massive changes in our sociology. They can even point to history where such plans for control actually came to fruition. I think its good to remember the old saw: “Just because they’re paranoid doesn’t mean somebody is not out to get them”.

  68. @ Jeff says September 3, 2010 at 7:47 am:

    You really think that the PLO is coming to these talks in good faith ? Really ? Wow … talk about a naive view of the real world …

    And if you really think the Isrealis – who have inch by inch gotten everything they’ve wanted from the status quo – might come to thsese talks in good faith, if that status quo is threatened? (which, of course the talks would)
    Wow. . . talk about a naive view of the real world…

  69. Steven Mosher says:
    September 3, 2010 at 10:54 am
    #################
    well, physics tells us that increasing GHGs will warm the planet. Luke warmers tend to believe:

    The effect of CO2 relative to H2O is so small as to be irrelevant and certainly can’t be quantified with the precision quoted in the IPCC. Taking that into consideration :
    The issue, thus, resolves to this:
    1. Is there a positive feedback.

  70. Thomas Fuller wrote:
    I read elsewhere that ‘We’ll never have a kumbaya moment. Too much bad blood.’ But the Palestinians and Israelis have just agreed to face-to-face talks. This puts some of our quarrels in perspective.
    I’m going to reserve judgment on whether what has been promoted as “climate science” is going to return to some mythical center or simply disappear, blown away by gales of derisive laughter. I would caution, though, that depending on an analogy to the Middle East “peace” process is guaranteed to boomerang. I’ve been watching what’s gone on in the Middle East since shortly after the adoption of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 established the framework for the partition of Palestine, and see no rational basis to expect anything except an infinite succession of unsuccessful “peace” negotiations, punctuated by episodic warfare.
    There is, of course, the depressing possibility that the Middle East does, in fact, prefigure the future of climate science, as well . . .

  71. Steven Mosher says:
    September 3, 2010 at 10:54 am
    Sandy says:
    September 3, 2010 at 8:50 am (Edit)
    Is man’s CO2 making the planet warmer?
    Seems rather yes or no to me, where’s the centre?
    ———————————–
    well, physics tells us that increasing GHGs will warm the planet. There is no physics, no evidence, no theory that predicts it will cool the planet. None. Like many who have had to build things that work based on this physics questioning the fact that GHGs warm the planet is simply not a rational option. Leading skeptics even agree that GHGs will warm the planet: Monkton,Christy,Lindzen,Spenser,Watts,Willis. That doesnt make it so, However, there is an accepted working physics that predicts warming, warming has been observed. There is no accepted working physics that predicts cooling. The balance of the evidence suggests that a belief ( and all science is belief) that GHGs will warm the planet is WARRANTED. That is all we ever have: warranted belief. There is no warranted belief that GHGs will cool the planet. They issue, thus, resolves to this:
    1. How much warming ( can we even detect it given the internal dynamics of the system)
    2. How much damage will it cause and to whom.
    3. Will some benefit?
    4. What if anything can be done? who should do it?
    Luke warmers tend to believe:
    1. The warming will be less than the IPCC and models predict.
    2. Very hard to estimate
    3. Yes.
    4. We split here between those who favor global action, national action, local action
    and personal action.
    Now that is not a middle ground born from a desire to comprimise. That is an uncomprimising dedication to the facts as we know them. GHGs will warm. we dont know how much, dont know how much harm will result, exactly, and disagree about the best agents of action. The extremes in this debate are people who claim that GHGs can have No effect, that more warming is universally good, and that anybody who suggests otherwise is a socialist. And those who claim that the warming will be horrible, that warming is universally bad, and that anybody who fights it is a oil shill.

    ——————————
    Steve Mosher,
    What does the science have anything at all to do with any labels that you use like Luke-warmer or Leading Skeptics? Nothing.
    It is my impression that we are just now entering into, finally after persistently questioning the so-called settled science, a situation where open discussion/interaction can start. There has been no general open public discussion/interaction of climate science in the formal science on climate by all interested scientists. It is just starting to open up to all scientists.
    Limiting discussion/interaction? Why? Honestly, why? It cannot be for the sake of science itself, it can surely take care of itself? What is it? I am really surprised by your suggestion.
    We should open the science to discussion/interaction with all scientists at this point. The best theory which conforms to reality and is verified independently will determine the best scientist. That is what has been missing so far.
    Are you really speaking for the “Leading Skeptics” you listed. And how did you select those?
    John

  72. I can see I will be labeled a die-hard skeptic, a non team player, a guy incapable of burying the hatchet when offered an olive branch. Thomas, I have to say you have this whole thing completely wrong. It has nothing to do with accommodation or negotiation or consensus. You reveal with this essay that you are part of the delusion that climate science is separate from the rest of science and opinions of the butcher, the baker and candlestick maker have weight. In the Palestinian-Israeli differences, these productive craftsmen do indeed have a say but the irrelevance of your position on the CS debate is only underscored by your analogy (by mention of it) with the P-I dispute. Your proudly declared centrist position is just as bad as either extreme when it is simply a layman’s opinion and not based on an understanding of the science.
    Let us clarify what I am saying here with what some might say is an absurd example. Should one feel progress is being made when the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, having debated long, hard and often acrimoniously the shortcomings and validity of Einstein’s theories of relativity, finally with a handshake, to agree with the baker’s centrist position in the debate except for a few face-saving caveats?
    I hope this cements my position as an uncompromising skeptic in so far as the scientific method is concerned. I’d be happy to dust off my banjo for a few verses of Kumbaya though if peace is negotiated in the Middle East.

  73. Jimash.
    I empathize with you. They are uncompromising. BUT Some hard core skeptics deny that C02 will have ANY effect whatsoever or argue that it can have NO effect. The warmista tend to use those voices to characterize ALL skeptics. They have an interest in saying ” the skeptical position denies science” It’s strategically critical for the skeptical movement to accept the science that doesnt matter. That is, one can accept that GHGs warm the planet and STILL maintain the stronger position: we dont know how much. That skeptcism is at the heart of the science. That fight is inside their camp. So in essence I am telling skeptics to join the AGW camp, and marginalize the extremists from within. You cannot credibly argue with a warmista that the extremists are wrong, UNLESS you first accept some basic facts. which argument has more weight with a warmista:
    1. I agree with the basic physics, But Joe Romm is an extremist
    2. I disagree with the basic physics AND joe Romm is an extremist.
    And now people will argue that C02 will cool the planet, with no evidence whatsoever and call themselves skeptics. who will say:
    1 the best science predicts warming
    2 the levels of warming are uncertain.
    I believe in AGW, but dont know how bad it will be. In short, there is no evidence that we are NOT adding C02 to the atmosphere (Anthro) there is ample evidence that more C02 will warm the planet (GW) how much? how fast? does it matter? can we do anything? do we need to? who should act? Those questions are all INSIDE the AGW camp.

  74. paulw says (first quoting DesertYote):
    “‘ DesertYote: The IPCC is not broken. It is doing exactly what it is meant to do. That is to create scientifically sounding propaganda to convince the population of the world to submit to handing over all control of their lives to an international government.’ ”
    “These kind of views make us look like conspiracy theorists and any arguments that come out of here are not taken seriously.”
    You have to understand that it is a conspiracy. There is a clear history and related facts. When you can name the key players and events, it is no longer “conspiracy theory.” Otherwise one could never accuse anybody of doing wrong. Do not hobble your thinking.
    Maurice Strong hatched this plan to eventually create a one-world government (his dream) based on a world crisis focused on carbon (and an unproven hypothesis by Arrhenius); he knew the world could not get away from using carbon. He then set up the IPCC and staffed it with compatriots given the mission mentioned above. [Pushing wind and solar power generation gives the appearance of trying to solve the problem, but they fully know that this will not work, being unreliable, inefficient, and ultraexpensive. This gives them the facade of “honestly” trying, while all along they want the crisis and the failure to make the public desperate.]
    The IPCC’s mission is to show the effects of global warming regardless of whether the world is warming or not. To support this, they willingly and blatantly alter the temperature records, both old and new, to create warming. As certain onboard agencies have a monopoly on the data, this is a regular procedure. Only inquiring skeptics hunt down the original data and find out what they are doing. We should thank them profusely.
    Then the IPCC hands out billions in grant money with the clear implied stipulation that the results must involve climate change (global warming) and must support their mission – otherwise and there will be no further funding for you!
    The IPCC has no other reason for being; it is a political body and is not meant to be a scientific organization. That is why the Summary for Policy Makers is so heavily edited and altered, AFTER the scientists approve their own input (giving the report a facade of real science), to make the conclusions ALWAYS carry dire predictions and recommendations which support the agenda. [It is clear why nuclear power is avoided as it would cure the problem—they do not want a solution, they want Their solution, one-world rule.] Alterations such as these are what politicians do, not real scientists. Pachauri is NOT a scientist and he heads the place.
    So, this is indeed a conspiracy. A real conspiracy involving a host of politicians, individuals (wealthy with radical environmental agendas and/or seeing potential for huge profits), environmental and Malthusian groups, and governments, while being protected and aided by our very biased and unprofessional media. It is real, it is bad, and its machinations should be exposed as often as possible.
    Copenhagen was supposed to be the end game of this plan and conspiracy. Fortunately, the agreement, which included the formation of a one-world government, failed to be adopted. It is not a stretch to guess that such a power would be totalitarian and socialist. We missed that bullet, but we need to disarm the shooters.

  75. Steven Mosher says:
    September 3, 2010 at 10:54 am
    well, physics tells us that increasing GHGs will warm the planet. There is no physics, no evidence, no theory that predicts it will cool the planet. None.

    There is however, in the peer reviewed literature, an interesting and as yet unrebutted theory that additional co2 will neither warm nor cool the planet. That of Ferenc Miskolczi.
    Hows that for taking the middle ground?
    And in any case, physics does not tell us that co2 will warm the planet at all. Physics tells us that in lab conditions, with all other things remaining unchanged, co2 will act to slow down the rate of cooling. It cannot warm anything.
    It’s woolly thinking and sloppy use of language like this which has got us in such a mess with climate science.

  76. Feet2theFire:
    “Perhaps our weather/climate is somewhat a reflection of our mindsets. Perhaps if our hot and steaming rants – on both sides – mellowed out, we’d see our weather/climate has also mellowed out, too.”
    However, as I said above in more detail, it has nothing to do with climate change. The AGW scam is a political agenda, a plan, a well-funded, huge plan. One cannot sit back and say “get mellow, man,” as the warmist faction will then steam roll the world into a one-world government with control over our lives at levels you would not appreciate.
    The only tool the skeptics have is to clearly show that the “science” of AGW is false, fight to be heard in the media, and get the public to wonder to themselves that, if the science is bogus, why would we agree to all of these “save the planet by destroying our lives and freedoms” programs; cap, tax, and trade being only the poster-child for these evil, intrusive, life-sucking plans.
    My wife says that the skeptics will win, but they will not if they collectively sit back and expect others to come to their senses without someone presenting the real facts and science. They HAVE to keep pushing and making themselves heard.
    So, when we make gains, it is time to push harder, not less.

  77. Science is no more settled by compromise than it is by consensus.
    The questions are simple, really:
    1. Is the planet warming ?
    2. If yes, what is (are) the causes ?
    3. If found, can or should the underlying causes be mitigated ?
    Science allows us to answer :
    1. The planet is possibly warming, at an unknown rate given that instrumental data is relatively recent, is based mostly on land measurements collated at stations variably sited over time and is poorly adjusted for UHI. Trends based on proxies do not have the statistical power to arrive at any meaningful conclusion. If the planet is warming, there is zero evidence that the planet is warming at an unprecedented rate.
    2. Given that there is zero evidence that the planet is warming at an unprecedented rate, it is highly likely that warming, if present, is natural. Research has been biased, highly concentrated on the possibility of man-made warming to the exclusion of natural causes. Therefore, the natural causes of the the mild warming that the planet has probably been experiencing for the last 100 years, are unclear and need to be researched.
    3.Warming, of whatever cause, is quite beneficial to the human race and wildlife and at this time requires no mitigation. The ideal temperature of the planet is unknown, but certainly has not yet been reached. In any case, nothing can be done to mitigate (natural) long term climatic trends.
    I don’t see what I need to compromise here.

  78. I agree with Tallbloke: sloppy language is the problem.
    There is universal agreement that the trace gas CO2 has risen substantially over the past century. But it is still a very tiny trace gas. And the planet’s T has only a spurious correlation to the increase in CO2, indicating that any warming effect must be miniscule.
    If CO2’s effect is insignificant, there is nothing to worry about and no reason to spend immense sums to mitigate a non-problem.
    OTOH, if the effect of CO2 on T is substantial, then a strong correlation should have already appeared in observations. It hasn’t.
    So in essence I am telling climate alarmists to join the scientific skeptics’ camp, and marginalize the extremists from within their ranks. WUWT does its part by allowing all points of view. Until the alarmist blogs do likewise, they demonstrate that they are too insecure in their position to have an honest discussion that includes opposing and un-edited points of view.

  79. “In the spirit of assessment, we can offer a sort of ‘back to school’ look at climate change as a cultural and political phenomenon at this point. Let’s at least try.”
    Why bother? Get the science right and all else will follow quite easily.
    Roy Spencer – Negative cloud feedback
    Ferenc Miskolczi – dynamic equilibrium of atmospheric composition
    Anthony Watts – thermometry and record keeping
    Lindzen and Choi – radiative budget in the real world
    Nir Shaviv – amplification of solar variation at the surface
    CASE SOLVED

  80. Mr. Thomas,
    Fantastic, preposterous claims are still made every day by the most influential alarmists, such as Dr. James Hansen, without any correction by more “moderate” elements. Nor is any explanation given when dire warning from decades past turn out to be nothing. The same people keep yelling that the sky is falling and the sky stubbornly remains. I see no room for dialog given those conditions. Science is not politics, it’s not about compromise. It’s about being true and real or it’s a waste of time and effort. Would truth make peace with a lie?
    This will end with shattered reputations one way or the other… and given the risible track record of warming prognostications so far, I don’t think skeptics have much to be concerned about. It’ll make a great cautionary tale about over-exaggeration… perhaps it will replace the story of the boy who cried “Wolf”.

  81. “The center” … what is that in science? This is not a negotiation. I just bought a car and that was a negotiation. Science is the search for the truth, nothing more and nothing less. There is no center.
    As of adopting poor energy technologies to replace efficient ones, well you can keep the poor technologies. I don’t want to pay for them. All it does is make a few people richer and the rest of us a little poorer. Why would anyone support that kind of nonsense?

  82. Charles Higley says:
    September 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm
    My wife says that the skeptics will win, but they will not if they collectively sit back and expect others to come to their senses without someone presenting the real facts and science. They HAVE to keep pushing and making themselves heard.

    No Charles, skeptics need do nothing to win. History will prove them correct. BUT…..
    #1: Will there be anyone to show the AGW clan they are wrong? or will they have frozen to death due to lack of heating fuel?
    #2: The eventual victory will not be a matter of a triumpant “See?”, but one of a holding action. As long as the AGW crowd can be forestalled in wrecking complete havoc upon civilization, then you can declare a sort of victory. That fight is the real fight. The weather will do as it pleases regardless of the folly of man.

  83. The purpose seems to degrade it from a belief to a scientifically reasonable doubt, which by the “precautionary principle” would anyway lead to exactly the same previous goal: Making carbon market (and, what is more important, profit) possible.

  84. Anthony, you said, “We could be trumpeting the energy efficiency gains from LED lighting.” I have nothing against LED lighting per se, indeed, I’d like to kit out my house with lots of low-energy lighting. So why have I stocked up on twenty years’ worth of old-style tungsten-filament light bulbs? Because the EU has is making them illegal. And I’m blowed if I’m going to be dictated to by an unelected mob of commissars sitting in their Brussels-based proto-dictatorship, all on salaries of half a million US per year. Btw, they all love cap-and-trade in spite of the reported 90% fraud in the EU carbon market. I wonder why?

  85. Is there a center growing for discussion on climate change? It would be certainly nice to think so. In the blogosphere, more bloggers and commenters on the ‘skeptic’ side seem willing to preface their criticism with a frank admission that the physics of CO2 acting as a greenhouse gas is not very controversial. On the ‘warmist’ side, there are some who are beginning to examine some of the claims made in their name, and to admit that people like Steve McIntyre or Anthony Watts are not devils incarnate.
    From what I observe, only ‘lukewarmers’ hold this view!
    The physics of CO2 is well known in the laboratory, under controlled conditions, but in the real atmosphere, with all its rich chaotic motion, it is far from well understood. All evidence both recent and from the historical Vostock ice core data shows that the level of the trace gas CO2 follows rather than leads temperature change. It is also swamped by the effect of water vapour (see – Dynamic Equilibrium of Atmospheric Composition – F. Miskolczi).
    Water vapour exists in the atmosphere at much greater concentration than CO2, and any extra water vapour caused by increasing temperature leads to an increase in clouds which block out heat of the sun (see The Thermostat Hypothesis – Willis Eschenbach).
    There really is no middle ground ‘consensus’ in this debate, the CAGW conjecture is either right or wrong, and so far the null hypothesis of natural oscillations in our non-linear climate hasn’t been falsified. Governments around the globe are already realising that there is no urgent warming crisis. However, the dream of peace, via the vehicle of an unelected world government and a currency based on carbon, still burns bright in the twisted minds of the ‘old money’ elite.

  86. It is time for those on both sides who have suspended their critical faculties to reenact them and widen their selective thinking by allowing themselves critical thoughts about nearly all beliefs.

  87. Look. I’m all for people talking, but the aim should be to establish the truth, not to reach touchy-feely consensus. The former is in the scientific spirit, and the latter belongs in another realm altogether – perhaps the mis-applied Middle East scenario.
    As I indicated in my previous post, what TF seems to be advocating is to enter the bargaining phase, and somehow, to stay there whilst we all dance round the maypole on a fine summer day. This is naive, because we all know that the CAGW camp would only want to bargain for the acquiescence of the sceptics.
    We need to plough on towards the acceptance phase, this being signalled when the warmistas finally accept that all the science needs to be on the table and taken seriously, whether or not it comes from those with a sceptical position. Now, that would we what I would call arriving at a sensible position. It has nothing to do with “centrality”, but much more with honesty and truth.
    It is the dishonesty and disingenousness that most winds up the sceptics and agnostics. Warmistas seem incapable of grasping this simple point. Acceptance will be when everyone on both sides just wants to focus on scientific evidence. Then let the truth be whatever it is, even if it’s a resounding “we don’t know”.

  88. I was once unable to convince a young lady to remove her clothes.
    But I was able to talk her out of half her clothes.
    Ah yes, the results of compromise!

  89. Steven Mosher says:
    September 3, 2010 at 10:25 am
    the physics of GHGs is clear. GHGs warm the planet, they do not cool it.

    No, the physics states that the sun warms the planet. Without the sun, the earth would be at 3K like the rest of the universe.
    The energy budget of this planet (averaged over a reasonable time period) currently is “Sun in (@6000K)” + “Universe in (@3K)” + “Geothermal energy” = emissions (whether reflections or Stefan-Boltzmann). All of these will be measured in watts (ironically).
    If you want to add greenhouse gasses to that equations, then, using conservation of units, please express greenhouse gasses in watts, along with an explanation of how these watts are being produced (fission, fusion, chemical changes, entropy etc)
    I believe the statisticians have already taken “Climate Scientists” to task over mixing units with rates, but being statisiticians, no one understood them.
    Now if you want to claim that greenhouse gasses affect the distribution of heat, and hence the distribution of temperature – that I can live with. But having said that, averaging that distribution will then destroy any visibility of changes in that distribution in a rather ironic way.

  90. Charles Higley says:
    September 3, 2010 at 12:13 pm
    paulw says (first quoting DesertYote):
    “‘ DesertYote: The IPCC is not broken. It is doing exactly what it is meant to do. That is to create scientifically sounding propaganda to convince the population of the world to submit to handing over all control of their lives to an international government.’ ”
    “These kind of views make us look like conspiracy theorists and any arguments that come out of here are not taken seriously.”
    ______________________________________________________
    You have to understand that it is a conspiracy. There is a clear history and related facts. When you can name the key players and events, it is no longer “conspiracy theory.” Otherwise one could never accuse anybody of doing wrong. Do not hobble your thinking……
    Copenhagen was supposed to be the end game of this plan and conspiracy. Fortunately, the agreement, which included the formation of a one-world government, failed to be adopted. It is not a stretch to guess that such a power would be totalitarian and socialist. We missed that bullet, but we need to disarm the shooters.

    __________________________________________________________
    Thank you.
    Until CAGW is put into the political context and people start waking up we will remain in very big trouble.
    It is a long term three pronged attack. As Kissinger stated: “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people; control money and you control the world”
    MONEY
    You only have to look at the original move away from the gold standard, what is happening to the world’s economy, the demise of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency and the call for a creation of a new international currency reserve to replace the dollar. to see how control of the money supply is shifting.
    FOOD
    You only have to look at the impact of the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Ag, the Biodiversity Treaty, patenting of life forms and the newly enacted regulations on farming throughout the worldon independent farmers to see the take over of “Food Sovereignty.” Mexico lost 75% of her farmers, Portugal lost 60% and the EU plans to remove a million Polish from their farms. There have been more than 25,000 farmers suicides in India thanks to the WTO.
    ENERGY
    Control of CO2 emissions and hamstringing of nuclear energy.
    Conspiracy? I do not think so. It looks like a well executed plan to me.

  91. The centrist position is that dumping large amounts of the various by-products of hydrocarbon ignition into the atmosphere is bad and making our economy dependent of fossil fuels produced in unstable parts of the world is bad. We should aggressively spend public funds to stimulate the develop of clean renewable energy sources like nuclear and geothermal (a sort of Manhattan project for enregy). We should also establish liberal technology transfer practices to allow private entrepreneurs to commercialize the R&D resulting from the public funding. This is a position that the majority of people would support. You don’t need alarmism to get people on-board for something like this. You simply need leadership.
    Where alarmism and Mannian ‘manufactured-on-demand’ science comes in handy is if you are advocating for sweeping public policy changes like the replacement of free market capitalism with some other kind of economic system, namely a centrally controlled, planned economy. In this case, the “science” of CAGW is simply a tool in the service of a political objective.

  92. Here you go Mr. Mosher- in order that you may desist from your absolute talking point that ‘nobody says ghg cools the atmosphere’, allow me to acquaint you with the physics of a heat pump. In such a system, any addition of heat capacity to the working fluid IMPROVES HEAT TRANSPORT (that means cooling, ok?) CO2 adds heat capacity to the working fluid, therefore it improves the efficiency of cooling of the planet. The physics is well known, proven, not a matter of opinion. If you want the numbers I can get them from any first year chemistry text.
    When you mischaracterize a heat pump by stripping away all physics but the bright red candy colored funding hot button ‘co2’, you have dropped all context and are no longer dealing with reality or truth. You are promoting an agenda that requires destruction of values for the sake of mollifying the insane – at my expense. You are playing the very same game as the other frauds.

  93. ************
    Enneagram says:
    September 3, 2010 at 12:58 pm
    The purpose seems to degrade it from a belief to a scientifically reasonable doubt, which by the “precautionary principle” would anyway lead to exactly the same previous goal: Making carbon market (and, what is more important, profit) possible.
    ***********
    That is so wrong. If a loony says the Moon will collide with the Earth in 10 years, then the precautionary principle would compel us to run out and build a star ship in order to escape this alleged catastrophe. Now I’m not saying all climate scientists are loonies, but the point is that one must have a reasonable assurance that the proposed catastrophe will happen before spending resources on the solution. We don’t have a reasonable level of assurance that warming will even happen, much less be catastrophic. The so-called climate scientists who predict this catastrophe will have to, as others have said here, lay all their scientific cards on the table. Once everyone has a chance to see their hand, then we can all decide if we want to divert precious resources to what probably amounts to nothing at all.

  94. tallbloke says:
    September 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm
    “In the spirit of assessment, we can offer a sort of ‘back to school’ look at climate change as a cultural and political phenomenon at this point. Let’s at least try.”
    ————-
    Why bother? Get the science right and all else will follow quite easily…..
    ————-
    But only if we kneecap the corrupt politicians at the voting booths and let the newbies know the game is up, we are on to them. Otherwise we will get the irrational made into law whether we like it or not.
    We already have the House and Senate resolutions:
    “Salazar was joined by 33 other Senate members from both sides of the aisle in supporting the resolution, which calls for 25 percent of the nation’s energy needs being met with renewable resources from farms, forests and ranches by 2025. The resolution also reinforces the 25x’25 principle that the U.S. agricultural and forestry industries, while producing renewable energy, will continue to produce safe, abundant and affordable food feed and fiber.” click
    This is idiotic plan to starve people is still moving forward despite the science.
    “In terms of energy output compared with energy input for ethanol production, the study found that:
    * corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
    * switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and
    * wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.
    In terms of energy output compared with the energy input for biodiesel production, the study found that:
    * soybean plants requires 27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced, and
    * sunflower plants requires 118 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced. “

  95. There are many layers to the AGW debate but one thing is clear to me, after the gruelling job of reading much of this literature, climate science is an immature discipline and very little in practice is settled. Unlike physics it is not an experimental science – there is no laboratory where theories can be confirmed or refuted. In many respects climate science is closer to economics than it is to physics. True there is an element of physics in the properties of CO2 but much of the debate has been about the significance of historical data and various attempts to model the climate. In this respect Climate Science is almost identical in nature to the theory of finance within economics and Climate Scientists would do well to reflect upon and learn the lessons of how finance developed. Finance too relied upon the analysis of large volumes of historical data, and on extensive mathematical modelling of financial systems. Like AGW a dominant position developed – in the case of finance around the ‘Chicago School’ – and in particular in the core belief that markets are driven by rational expectations, exhibited high degrees of information efficiency and could be mathematically modelled to a high degree of precision. So much so that in 1976 the editor of one of the principal journals in the field proclaimed that submissions denying the efficient markets hypothesis were very unlikely to be published. We have all seen how this core financial paradigm – based upon deeply suspect empirical and theoretical assumptions – led to the development of quantitative finance and ultimately the banking crash.
    One of the enduring traits of scientists of all disciplines is that in the main they believe in Ockham’s Razor. Our understanding of the world is driven by theories and where those theories compete Ockham tells us that the simplest one is to be preferred. Scientists, again of most disciplines, believe that complex things can be reduced to simpler things and it is this reductionism that leads them in one field to attempt to capture all human and market behaviour in simple mathematical axioms of rationality or, in another, to reduce the complexities of the global climate to a simple theory of CO2 forcing and a mechanism of positive feedback.
    The problem with Ockham’s Razor is that the simple theory is not necessarily the true one. But sticking to the simple theory in the face of counter-evidence and poor predictive outcomes can lead to disaster. The banking collapse is a warning of how a simple theory can go wrong. What a disaster for humanity if we divert billions of dollars to the task of micro-managing the climate rather than tackling the three environmental P’s: population, poverty and pollution. Climate Science has a very long way to go on the path to maturity before I become convinced that such a huge diversion of resource is necessary. Hence I am with the skeptics.

  96. A would-be burglar wants all my stuff. I want to give him nothing. Obviously the “centrist” position is to give him half my stuff. WUWT?
    How about this? A slave-owner wants an African to work for him 12 months a year. The African wants to work for himself 12 months a year. So the “centrist” solution is for the African to work for the slave-owner, say, five months a year? No sane person would do anything like– Wait a sec. If we replace “slave-owner” with “US government” (federal, state, local) then the “African” becomes…me.
    Damn!

  97. Steven Mosher says (September 3, 2010 at 10:54 am): “4. We split here between those who favor global action, national action, local action, and personal action.”
    Well, I’m a lukewarmer (OK, a luke-lukewarmer), and I favor NO action. No wind/solar/biofuel subsidies/incentives/mandates, no IPCC, no limousine climate conferences, no @#$% carbon credits, no incandescent bulb bans, and especially no more insanity.
    Yes, I realize history is against me on the last one.

  98. Thomas, you make it seem that, battle-weary, both sides have started to desire a friendlier war with a little give and take. No! Things have moved toward a more reasonable centre only because of the horrible beating the AGW folks have taken since the Climategate affair which exposed the nefarious tricks, subversions and doctoring of data of the well-funded doomsters and also opened the door to a wave of objective science that had been denied an airing. It also opened up the books on the IPCC unscrupulous use of WWF and other club members grey literature in their assessments. This is not a move toward denoument but rather a trickle of desertion that has become a flood. Al Gore has gone out the back door to retirement in full silence and the other usual suspects are not so windy – Hansen will remain recalcitrant when the Hudson freezes over but he too hasn’t been seen lately lying on the tracks to stop the coal death trains. O there is a flurry of evermore fantastic papers coming out these days to trumpet the doom but they are not from the usual tenured set and senior gov scientists. They are all from grad students with their professors managing the stuff but keeping their heads down. Of course they want a truce. Of course they are casting about for ways to morph back into scientists. But say we went along. Whatever use would a born again Mann or Jones be to climate science? Gor Blimey, Kumbaya indeed.

  99. Charles Higley says: September 3, 2010 at 7:22 am
    Ouch! They sill don’t get it! Science is NOT “consensus-driven,” it is driven by the solidity of the science itself.
    ———————————————————————————–
    Agreed. I thought that was the reason for being. Science is science. It is not democracy.
    Ric Werme says: September 3, 2010 at 7:28 am
    But the Palestinians and Israelis have just agreed to face-to-face talks. This puts some of our quarrels in perspective. —well, perhaps there’s a chance of reconciliation between Arabs and Israelis. Well, in a century or two.
    ———————————————————————————
    Don’t hold your breath – maybe a millennium or two – I think that this goes back to Jacob and Esau – anyway a long long time ago. As I remember Esau got the goats and Jacob got the pie in the sky. Nothing has changed (IMHO).
    —————————————————————————————
    DesertYote says: September 3, 2010 at 7:30 am
    Can’t fix what is not broken. In stead of trying to “fix” it, the thing should be put down, as fixing it will not change its mission, just make the propaganda better.
    —————————————————————————————
    Sad to say I have come to this conclusion too after lurking here for a year or so.
    Gail Combs says: September 3, 2010 at 7:39 am
    I suggest you turn your energy towards pushing decent technology for nuclear energy. That gives the best return on invested money and effort. It is an idea many “skeptics” will get behind as well. Many of us are just as against trashing the environment, polluting and dumping megabucks into the pockets of the oil companies as you are. We are just against bad science as a disguise for a massive ripoff of the middle class and the poor by the wealthy.
    ———————————————————————————-
    I guess you have summed things up pretty well here Gail. I think the focus upon a viable energy source is the only sensible way to provide the energy we need for the future (when oil and coal are gone). And the development of Thorium as a source seems to belong to that set. Wind and solar seem to be a diversionary tactic to soak up the cash – I see no solid evidence of either as being a viable alternative to a carbon based energy source.
    Doug

  100. Gary Hladik says:
    September 3, 2010 at 3:49 pm (Edit)
    Steven Mosher says (September 3, 2010 at 10:54 am): “4. We split here between those who favor global action, national action, local action, and personal action.”
    Well, I’m a lukewarmer (OK, a luke-lukewarmer), and I favor NO action. No wind/solar/biofuel subsidies/incentives/mandates, no IPCC, no limousine climate conferences, no @#$% carbon credits, no incandescent bulb bans, and especially no more insanity.
    Yes, I realize history is against me on the last one.
    ######################################
    so to the extent that currently in the USA we incentivize people to stay in areas where GW will likely cause damage ( say below sea level or in places that may be) you suggest that those incentives should stay in place? In short continue to let people build and devlop in areas that could be in danger and keep the federal disaster bailouts in place for this activity. No action?
    to the extent that people are trying to tear down hydro projects, no action.
    your happy with all the government surrounding nuclear licencing? no streamlining.
    Basically, if you believe in market solutions then there are surely some actions you would take, NAMELY actions which would free the market. So simply saying ‘no action” wasnt thinking very long about the problem.

  101. Its not that there has to be a middle. Rather, that the warmists need to find one soon or have nothing at all! Funny how there has to be some bad science to comfort the frauds and hucksters that, for some reason I cannot fathom, must still be given respect, or else! It is no coincidence that a middle is now being sought. Others have already stated the obvious; that science isn’t something to be negotiated. It is science, or it isn’t. QED.

  102. What is a truce supposed to look like? Not checking assertions, data quality, analysis and algorithms? Not doing science they way it SHOULD be done? Sorry – not buying it.
    But I DO bet that the ‘climate community’ really really wishes that it was like the old days when no one checked their work and Princes and Presidents came fawning at their doors.
    I am glad to say that those days are gone. And all I want is for them to merely suffer the consequences of their malfeasance. That’s all. Or Mann up and apologize.

  103. Tom Fuller, “more bloggers and commenters on the ‘skeptic’ side seem willing to preface their criticism with a frank admission that the physics of CO2 acting as a greenhouse gas is not very controversial.
    I don’t know why so many people, even some scientifically skilled, seem to think that radiation physics is an adequate theory of climate.
    Earth to all such folks: It isn’t.
    Radiation physics tells us that additional CO2 will produce an additional energy content in the atmosphere. Energy content is not necessarily sensible heat.
    An adequate climate physics, not radiation physics, would tell us how that energy will be distributed among all the climate modes. Additional atmospheric CO2 may heat the atmosphere, may have an undetectable effect on heat content, or may even cause the atmosphere to cool.
    The latter could happen, for example, if the extra energy went into a more vigorous hydrology that increased low cloudiness. Low clouds reflect off incoming solar energy and have a negative feedback.
    Alternatively, one might expect to see an oscillation in cloudiness, in a feedback cycle between atmospheric energy and hydrology, as the energy content cycles up and down with cloudiness, and the cloudiness cycles up and down with energy, each not quite 180 degrees out of phase with the other (analogous to the phase relationship of insolation and atmospheric temperature). The net result of such a process could be no detectable change in sensible heat, but a marginally observable change in cloud dynamics.
    The upshot is that the truth about Co2 does not necessarily lay ‘somewhere in the middle’ between two conflicting points of view. One, or both, may be wrong, with the right answer off somewhere else entirely.
    In the meantime, the only valid position is to observe that, when it comes to climate predictions and where the truth lies, no one knows what they’re talking about.

  104. Compromise eh? One group with their useful idiots have tried to steal from me, using propaganda, fraud and deception. Now when caught out they want a compromise? Of what ? To steal 20% less? I did not attack the bedwetting cliche of climate, or attempt to change their miserable lifestyle and demonise their freedoms. Nor do I debase the scientific method and then claim this as scientific proof of my ideology. There is no compromise possible with this type of nitwit. I propose a tax on all do-gooders. If you believe you can run others lives better than they, you can pay for it. Compromise indeed. Put up your properly done scientific proof and suppositions and we will consider that. Belief does not trump data. And I have no mercy for ambush attackers.

  105. IPCC works very well, achieves stated policy perfectly.UN = useless nuts. I agree IPCC not broken.Also not useful to any sane individual on planet.

  106. A pull back from the “science is settled, we need do something/anything, right now ” position would be a start.
    Stop trying to jam this crap down our throats.
    Weather does not make climate, but if you play it right, it can mean profits.
    It would seem, another “business model” has been created, finance supplied via the Ponzi Scheme.

  107. Maybe I’m just confused, but apart from the poor speculation with pretensions of science, the real problem seems to be the adoption of the precautionary principle as a political meme.
    Invoke any possible problem, then we must act, even if it makes no sense, because if the problem is real, not acting would have been wrong.
    It really seems to me to be a restatement for “Just trust that I have your best interests at heart”
    I don’t believe that we are children, needing the Master’s guidance. At least not self-appointed. nor elected masters.

  108. @Charles Higley
    Thanks for the concise description of your views and the time it took you to write it up.
    It will be very useful to me if you could also share your views about
    1. Does smoking cause health issues? Does second-hand smoking cause health issues?
    2. The first (timid) scientific information on the health effects of smoking came in the early 1950s. The tobacco industry moved quickly, they hired Hill & Knowlton to discredit the scientists and publish ‘reports’ such as
    http://www.tobacco.neu.edu/litigation/cases/supportdocs/frank_ad.htm
    Due to their efforts, we only had effective measures against smoking in recent years.
    Do you believe that there has been manufactured doubt against the scientists so that action on smoking is delayed as much as possible?
    3. People claim that there is ‘manufactured doubt’ nowdays against climate scientists, with benefactors the oil and coal industry, with prime funders and organizers the Koch brothers,
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer
    Do you believe that there is any ‘manufactured doubt’ against climate scientists?

  109. ***************
    Like AGW a dominant position developed – in the case of finance around the ‘Chicago School’ – and in particular in the core belief that markets are driven by rational expectations, exhibited high degrees of information efficiency and could be mathematically modelled to a high degree of precision. So much so that in 1976 the editor of one of the principal journals in the field proclaimed that submissions denying the efficient markets hypothesis were very unlikely to be published. We have all seen how this core financial paradigm – based upon deeply suspect empirical and theoretical assumptions – led to the development of quantitative finance and ultimately the banking crash.
    *************
    Wallstreet was just trying to fund an out of control government program. Actually, there is more to the Chicago School than some models. Some of the basic tenets are individualism, limited government intervention, and small government. If you take an honest look at the history of government intervention in the housing market, you find that back in 1938 FDR, a Dem, set up Fannie May. Then Lyndon Johnson, another Dem, let it go public. The current problem stemmed from these actions. The last housing bubble would not have happened without the government backed mortgage programs. Government interference in the free markets created the problem. But instead of realizing (admitting!) this fact, the government just intervenes more and more. This is really stupid!! There is a lot more to the intervention in housing that even these actions.
    “Fannie Mae was created in 1938 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. The collapse of the national housing market in the wake of the Great Depression discouraged private lenders from investing in home loans. Fannie Mae was established in order to provide local banks with federal money to finance home mortgages in an attempt to raise levels of home ownership and the availability of affordable housing. ”
    http://hnn.us/articles/1849.html
    See also for more interventions: http://www.freedomworks.org/crisis
    We all know how well social security is working out – more government intervention and more debt and broken promises.
    Also, take a look at what happens when government does not intervene in a depression.
    “The 1920–1921 Depression
    This context highlights the importance of the 1920–1921 depression. Here the government and Fed did the exact opposite of what the experts now recommend. We have just about the closest thing to a controlled experiment in macroeconomics that one could desire. To repeat, it’s not that the government boosted the budget at a slower rate, or that the Fed provided a tad less liquidity. On the contrary, the government slashed its budget tremendously, and the Fed hiked rates to record highs. We thus have a fairly clear-cut experiment to test the efficacy of the Keynesian and monetarist remedies.
    At the conclusion of World War I, U.S. officials found themselves in a bleak position. The federal debt had exploded because of wartime expenditures, and annual consumer price inflation rates had jumped well above 20 percent by the end of the war.
    To restore fiscal and price sanity, the authorities implemented what today strikes us as incredibly “merciless” policies. From FY 1919 to 1920, federal spending was slashed from $18.5 billion to $6.4 billion—a 65 percent reduction in one year. The budget was pushed down the next two years as well, to $3.3 billion in FY 1922.
    On the monetary side, the New York Fed raised its discount rate to a record high 7 percent by June 1920. Now the reader might think that this nominal rate was actually “looser” than the 1.5 percent discount rate charged in 1931 because of the changes in inflation rates. But on the contrary, the price deflation of the 1920–1921 depression was more severe. From its peak in June 1920 the Consumer Price Index fell 15.8 percent over the next 12 months. In contrast, year-over-year price deflation never even reached 11 percent at any point during the Great Depression. Whether we look at nominal interest rates or “real” (inflation-adjusted) interest rates, the Fed was very “tight” during the 1920–1921 depression and very “loose” during the onset of the Great Depression.
    Now some modern economists will point out that our story leaves out an important element. Even though the Fed slashed its discount rate to record lows during the onset of the Great Depression, the total stock of money held by the public collapsed by roughly a third from 1929 to 1933. This is why Milton Friedman blamed the Fed for not doing enough to avert the Great Depression. By flooding the banking system with newly created reserves (part of the “monetary base”), the Fed could have offset the massive cash withdrawals of the panicked public and kept the overall money stock constant.
    But even this nuanced argument fails to demonstrate why the 1929–1933 downturn should have been more severe than the 1920–1921 depression. The collapse in the monetary base (directly controlled by the Fed) during 1920–1921 was the largest in U.S. history, and it dwarfed the fall during the early Hoover years. So we hit the same problem: The standard monetarist explanation for the Great Depression applies all the more so to the 1920–1921 depression.”
    http://www.thefreemanonline.org/featured/the-depression-youve-never-heard-of-1920-1921/#

  110. Steven Mosher says (September 3, 2010 at 4:13 pm): “so to the extent that currently in the USA we incentivize people to stay in areas where GW will likely cause damage ( say below sea level or in places that may be) you suggest that those incentives should stay in place?”
    Sorry, Steve, I thought we were discussing CAGW-related actions. I wouldn’t remove insurance subsidies to storm-prone coastal dwellers because of possible AGW. Now I do think there’s a good non-AGW case for phasing out subsidized flood insurance even if sea levels were unquestionably falling, but I see that as a different subject. I also see your hydro projects (who would remove hydro-power to prevent CAGW?) and nuclear licensing issues as something to be decided on their own merits, not on the current state of climatological knowledge.
    As for the “free market”, I’m all for it, whether or not AGW is a real threat. Heck, if it were up to me, GM would be in Chapter 11. I’d even phase out US Social Security and tax deductions for mortgage interest. But unfortunately, despite the pleas of the voters, I will not be running for office in 2012. 🙁
    BTW, I know that technically, abolishing the IPCC, anti-AGW subsidies, and such counts as “action”, but my point is that we should be doing nothing specifically about the “threat” of AGW. We should be doing everything to put our economic/political house in order, but that’s a separate topic.

  111. “As a ‘lukewarmer’ I’ve been in the middle for a while,”
    LOL thanks Tom, so you can’t prove it either……………
    There is no lukewarm, fence sitting, middle of the road, wishy washy, BS nada
    Science is not an opinion Tom, and only opinions can be wishy washy….

  112. Damn. In my last post, where I wrote about GM and Chapter 11, I was not referring to our GM, but rather to General Motors. I apologize to He Who Dwells Beneath The Private Bridge for any confusion.

  113. Gail Combs September 3, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Alledgedly the following document, dated May 1979, was found on July 7, 1986, in an IBM copier that had been purchased at a surplus sale.

    I am floored; the ‘cite’ to end all cites …
    .

  114. Jim Barker says: September 3, 2010 at 4:52 pm
    Maybe I’m just confused, but apart from the poor speculation with pretensions of science, the real problem seems to be the adoption of the precautionary principle as a political meme.
    Invoke any possible problem, then we must act, even if it makes no sense, because if the problem is real, not acting would have been wrong.
    ———————————————————————————–
    Jim. How true you observation is. We (ordinary people) have been caught up by this meme in so many ways. Politicians cannot escape from it because they become responsible for NOT adhering to it. This meme is extended everywhere, to all levels of government. Here it seems to be predicated upon an idea that has no proof whatsoever. It is effectively taking a precaution against the sky from falling in from what I can see. At what cost? At the low level, it seems to lead to a transference of blame to others and a refusal of people for taking responsibility for their own actions.
    Doug

  115. there sure is an uncommon amount of common sense in the replies to this article.
    if there were a volume control, I’d crank it to eleven!

  116. Tom,
    Get away from this crowd – you’re not appreciated anyway. Move toward the powerful and spectacular real science that is being done by climate scientists worldwide. The science is solid, unlike the continually-reinforced paranoia on this site.

  117. Owen says:September 3, 2010 at 7:38 pm
    Tom,
    Get away from this crowd – you’re not appreciated anyway. Move toward the powerful and spectacular real science that is being done by climate scientists worldwide. The science is solid, unlike the continually-reinforced paranoia on this site.
    ————————————————————————————
    Owen. ‘Powerful and spectacular real science that is being done by climate scientists worldwide’
    Yeah riiiight!
    Doug

  118. Gail Combs says: September 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm
    Thank you. Until CAGW is put into the political context and people start waking up we will remain in very big trouble.
    MONEY, FOOD, ENERGY
    Conspiracy? I do not think so. It looks like a well executed plan to me.
    ——————————————————————————————————-
    Well, if you see where China and India are going, it doesn’t seem to be headed towards a cosy world government – rather independent and competitive sovereignty which, I for one, hope is so. They are cornering all the world’s primary resources and have the money to do so too – thanks to the economic greed and profligacy of the US and Europe.
    I think that what the US and the other western countries should be doing is establishing and developing viable alternative energy resources, instead they are hell bent on destroying their own economies and tilting at windmills. I’m sure that Gail is right in saying that the CAGW is driven politically. I would add that the Climate scientists are merely pawns in a wider game plan
    Doug

  119. Owen says:
    September 3, 2010 at 7:38 pm
    Tom,
    Get away from this crowd – you’re not appreciated anyway. Move toward the powerful and spectacular real science that is being done by climate scientists worldwide. The science is solid, unlike the continually-reinforced paranoia on this site.
    =========================
    Obviously written for PR value, not a phrase wasted.
    It plays upon emotion.

  120. Owen says (September 3, 2010 at 7:38 pm): “The science is solid, unlike the continually-reinforced paranoia on this site.”
    Thanks for dropping by, Dr. Mann. 🙂

  121. “…..We all know it’s coming, and we all know it’s La Nina, not the ultimate end of global warming….” Thomas Fuller.
    “….if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought….” Orwell.
    We all know it’s coming, and we all know it’s La Nina, not the ultimate end of global warming (or indeed climate change).
    We all know it’s coming, and we all know it’s La Nina, not the ultimate end of global warming partly due to human activity.
    We all know it’s coming, and we all know it’s La Nina, not the ultimate end of harmful human-caused global warming.
    We all know it’s coming, and we all know it’s La Nina, not the ultimate end of catastrophic human-caused global warming.
    Which is it?
    The different positions in this political debate (not scientific) can never have fruitful dialogue until the terms used by those trying to limit the use of carbon-based fuels become more precise.

  122. But the IPCC’s central claim of 1.6 W/m^2 AGW forcing is grossly exaggerated because it assumes ‘cloud albedo effect’ forcing of -0.7 W/m^2 for which there is no experimental evidence. So, you have to halve that claim and revisit the models thus further reducing predicted AGW, a mess of the first magnitude.
    How did climate science fall into this trap? Because the models over-predicted, ‘global dimming’ became the mantra: the ‘direct aerosol effect’ is true; the ‘Twomey Effect’ had apparently been verified. But his theory, greater optical depth for smaller droplets, more backscattered light, breaks down for thick clouds [maximum albedo is 0.5 and you can’t explain that by standard aerosol optical theory.
    The real smoking gun is in NASA literature. It puts out a totally false physical explanation – ‘more, smaller droplets reflect more sunlight, up to 90%, because of higher surface area’. It’s as wrong as you can get, and the physicists know it.
    There’s clearly a second optical effect, an intense pseudo-geometrical backscattered lobe superimposed on the diffused background: I’ve got some ideas about it. So, when AR4 was published, either there was gross scientific incompetence or its central claim was knowingly untrue and the false science was part of that deception.
    The final proof? When I put this argument recently on ‘Real Climate’, it was deleted within a few minutes.

  123. Gary”
    “Now I do think there’s a good non-AGW case for phasing out subsidized flood insurance even if sea levels were unquestionably falling, but I see that as a different subject. I also see your hydro projects (who would remove hydro-power to prevent CAGW?) and nuclear licensing issues as something to be decided on their own merits, not on the current state of climatological knowledge.”
    Then you’ve missed what Tom and I have argued. There are things we should REGARDLESS of the truth of AGW that will MITIGATE the situation SHOULD IT PROVE to be true.
    The notion that you decide the nuclear issue “on its own merits” is irrational.
    Like this: One can hold that nuclear should play a larger role based on the following:
    ( For example ONLY )
    1. we should limit our dependence on foreign oil.
    2. it would reduce C02 emissions and that may help with GW
    Now, your position seems to be that one should not even consider the possible truth of the second reason, because the first reason is reason enough. I find no rational basis for rejecting the CONSIDERATION of reason 2. Seems like icing on the cake.
    Nothing is considered “on its own merits” We have a proposed course of action and many reasons to support it. What you are afraid of, it would seem, is giving any credence to any concern over AGW. That stikes me as narrow and doctrinaire.

  124. Pat Frank.
    will increasing C02 ten fold from current levels WARM the planet or cool it?
    Simple question.

  125. Steven Mosher says:
    September 4, 2010 at 12:56 am (Edit)
    Pat Frank.
    will increasing C02 ten fold from current levels WARM the planet or cool it?
    Simple question.

    Not at all if Miskolczi is right. A tiny bit if Spencer is right. We’ll roast in Hell if Hansen is right.
    Who do you think is right?
    Simple question.

  126. Bob Ryan:
    “One of the enduring traits of scientists of all disciplines is that in the main they believe in Ockham’s Razor.”
    Well, Ockhams razor is not a scientific method. It is a pragmatic consideration.
    Gosh I hate quoting wikipedia.. but they actually do a fair job
    In science, Occam’s razor is used as a heuristic (rule of thumb) to guide scientists in the development of theoretical models rather than as an arbiter between published models.[5][6] In the scientific method, Occam’s razor is not considered an irrefutable principle of logic, and certainly not a scientific result.[7][8][9][10]
    In the scientific method, parsimony is an epistemological, metaphysical or heuristic preference, not an irrefutable principle of logic, and certainly not a scientific result.[7][8][9][10] As a logical principle, Occam’s razor would demand that scientists accept the simplest possible theoretical explanation for existing data. However, science has shown repeatedly that future data often supports more complex theories than existing data. Science tends to prefer the simplest explanation that is consistent with the data available at a given time, but history shows that these simplest explanations often yield to complexities as new data become available.[5][8] Science is open to the possibility that future experiments might support more complex theories than demanded by current data and is more interested in designing experiments to discriminate between competing theories than favoring one theory over another based merely on philosophical principles.[7][8][9][10]..

  127. tall.
    1. There is no evidence whatsoever to support Miskolczi view of things. None.
    2. Spenser does not hold to a “tiny bit” for a tenfold increase. please reread him
    I’m below the IPCC projections. if you want a number go with 1.5 to 2C per doubling.
    Although I did like Spensers last paper a lot, but I need to go through it more completely.

  128. The Imminent Threat of Global Mousing Due to Climate Change.
    Abstract:
    Due to Anthropmorphic Global Warming the fate of the planet is in peril. The InterPlanetary Consensus Committee has therefore compiled a Synthesis Report in conjunction with the Consensus Research Unit of Prestigious University, headed by Professor Emeritus and lots of people smarter than anyone. We have reached the alarming conclusion that no time must be wasted in debate and percentages of GDP must be dedicated immediately to the goal of mitigating a catastrophic threat.
    The Imminent Threat of Global Mousing Due to Climate Change.
    Mice have a rapid reproduction rate; the gestation period is approximately 18 to 21 days. The typical litter size is 4 to 12 young.[1]
    Large show mice can weigh up to 100 g. [3]
    Scholarly scientific investigation has proven this and there is full consensus.
    Computer models were developed to understand the impact of these undisputed facts.
    Figure 1 shows the population projections.
    http://img519.imageshack.us/i/mousepop.gif/
    Figure 1- Population of mice without depopulation augmentation technology implementation.
    As the graph shows, it will be only a matter of months until the population of mice outnumbers every other creature on the planet.
    These estimates are extremely conservative because science has shown that rodents are coprophagic [2] which makes them a kind of perpetual motion machine and unstoppable.
    Figure 2 shows the estimated projected computer generated calculations of the mass of this population (Kg).
    http://img69.imageshack.us/i/mousemass.gif/
    Figure 2- Computerized projection of the GMOM project analysis of global mouse mass (Kg).
    It is apparent that such a mass of mice, if they were flung off the equator and into space, could entirely consume a moon made of cheese if there is no action taken to prevent lunar rodent change.
    How much time do we have, exactly?
    The mass of the moon is precisely Moon 7.349e+22 kg [4]. As our scientific model proves, in 3.2 months, the mass of mice will exceed the mass of the moon. Therefore they will be capable of consuming a mass equal to the moon in the next mouse generation. Three weeks later the mass of mice will exceed the mass of our own planet.
    Conclusions:
    We have a computer model which tells how many mice it would take to eat the Moon if it were made of green cheese – so the Moon must be made of green cheese.
    We have to take prompt action on the mice and it won’t be cheap- tighten your belt.
    References:
    [1] Moro, D. and Morris, K. (2000) Movements and refugia of Lakeland Downs short-tailed mice, Leggadina lakedownensis, and house mice, Mus domesticus, on Thevenard Island, Western Australia. Wildlife Research
    [2] Hilscher-Conklin, Caryl. “Coprophagy: Rattus Biologicus: Healthy Behavior For Your Rats”. Rat & Mouse Gazette. Rat & Mouse Club of America
    [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fancy_mouse
    [4] nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov
    San Francisco Psuedo – it’s all the outrage!

  129. The IPCC was formed to prove that AGW is a fact so their outpourings are only within their remit. The fact that they have spent billions of our money to fail shows that they should be wound down. They have never considered science as the resignation of scientists like Bob Carter et al. demonstrate. They wanted the science to be at the forefront of the reports but this request was refused.
    The science is quite clear. The ice core data shows that temperature rises occur 600 to 1000 years before parallel rises in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This alone shows that CO2 does not drive climate. It also shows that current small rises in CO2 concentrations may be due to the Medieval Warm Period. But if that does not convince then look at the overall annual global atmospheric CO2 budget. Our addition to this through burning fossil fuels is 3% of the total the remaining 97% is natural. Historically atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been much higher than today’s 385ppmv. During the Hadaean and Archaen CO2 concentrations were over 20%. There was no free oxygen in the atmosphere. That only appeared after the evolution of cyanobacteria which had a rudimentary ability to photosynthesise CO2 to oxygen which was taken over by plants later in the Pre-Cambrian. CO2 levels have been fluctuation ever since and today we are at an all time low so more is needed for plants to thrive, and to increase crop yield to feed the billions of humans now living. At no time in the geological past has CO2 levels led to any runaway climate change that we have been warned about. This has never happened so why would it happen now with CO2 levels, which have been proved not to drive climate, so low.
    All these scares are alarmist claptrap for political reasons which I will not dwell on now.

  130. Owen says:
    September 3, 2010 at 7:38 pm
    LOL. Wow, Owen; trolling for converts to your CAGW/CC religion. You people must be getting really desperate now.

  131. To “Steve Mosher”
    “Well, Ockhams razor is not a scientific method. It is a pragmatic consideration.”
    I think that is what I said. Normatively OR should be a pragmatic choice as the simplest theory is, normally, the simplest theory to refute. The problem, as Lakatos and Kuhn identified, scientists become committed to a core of theoretical ideas and highly resistant to changing them – they maintain them through ad-hocracy, the denial of counter-factual evidence, and gerry-mandering access to the literature.
    Jim: excellent summary on the history of the financial crash and the great depression. Obviously a number of factors obviously came together – not least Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act – however, the depth of the financial crash came through the belief that the risk inherent in large sub-prime mortgage books could be managed through engineering structured financial products. It is this element of the story where over-commitment to an over-simplified perception of individual and market behaviour became unstuck. That’s the point; immature disciplines like finance and climate science are not good at handling complexity.

  132. Steven Mosher says:
    September 4, 2010 at 1:29 am
    tall.
    1. There is no evidence whatsoever to support Miskolczi view of things. None.
    2. Spenser does not hold to a “tiny bit” for a tenfold increase. please reread him
    I’m below the IPCC projections. if you want a number go with 1.5 to 2C per doubling.
    Although I did like Spensers last paper a lot, but I need to go through it more completely.

    Mosh
    1. Doesn’t look like much of a rebuttal to me. Miskolczi at least attempts to use empirical data, unlike the hockey jockeys. And his theory is quantified, and internally consistent. So what exactly is your objection?
    2. What “tenfold increase”? Spencer estimates a possible 0.6C rise for a doubling of co2, with the caveat that uncertaintaies in estimating a sensitivity for the climate system in the presence of unknown radiative forcing make quantification highly uncertain. He also notes that a negative cloud feedback of ~6w/m^2 renders co2 increases harmless. Take your own advice on re-reading him.
    if you want a number go with 1.5 to 2C per doubling.
    Well I’m not going with that number, but if you are, then thanks for letting me know where you stand. I’d be interested to know what evidence you think supports such a figure though.
    Cheers.

  133. (Sarc On)The absolute worst thing to happen to the Great Climate Debate was Herr Albert Gore (aka Fat Albert, Big Al, ‘The-One-Who-Knows-All’, ‘The Massage Girls Worst Nightmare’, etc., and so on ) and, of course, his financial and political puppitmeisters. Too simple? Well sometimes the most exasperating Gordian Knot or Rubic’s Cube does have a simple explaination for ‘How to begin’. Half the world hates Albert for various very good reasons, ranging from the way he looks to the way he sounds. The other half wouldn’t trust him to drive their Mother-in-Law from Miami to Key West in a Cat IX hurricane. The only way the world is going to come together and move on (no pun intended) regarding ‘Climate Anything’ is for Tipper to have her day in court (or in the kitchen on a very cold, or hot, dark night with no witnesses). (Sarc Off)

  134. **********
    Bob Ryan says:
    September 4, 2010 at 4:25 am
    It is this element of the story where over-commitment to an over-simplified perception of individual and market behaviour became unstuck. That’s the point; immature disciplines like finance and climate science are not good at handling complexity.
    ************************
    I do agree with you there, but Wallstreet was the last domino in a long chain. Without the first domino, we wouldn’t have had the crash, at least that particular one.
    As I’m sure you know, economics is sometimes called the dismal science, even though it isn’t really what I would call a science. Climate science is in the same boat to the extent that one can’t run an experiment with a second Earth as a control. We need to come up with a good pseudonym for climate “science.” (The Pitiful Science?)

  135. Steven Mosher says:
    September 4, 2010 at 12:53 am
    “Like this: One can hold that nuclear should play a larger role based on the following:
    ( For example ONLY )
    “1. we should limit our dependence on foreign oil.
    2. it would reduce C02 emissions and that may help with GW”
    You left out whether or not nuclear is cost competitive with other electric generating methods. Hint, in the US South East nuclear is cost competitive with coal and in the US midwest nuclear in not cost competitive with coal.
    Let’s look at the US South East.
    1) New Nuclear is cost competitive with all fossil fuel choices.
    2) The US Southeast has lousy wind
    3) The US Southeast has fair, not great sunshine
    4) The US Southeast has very little exploitable hydro resources
    Nuclear power wins based on direct costs alone. This is the first order analysis.
    One can then engage in a second order analysis of indirect costs if one chooses.
    I.E. The indirect costs of being dependent on foreign oil or the indirect costs of coal ash vs nuclear waste or the indirect costs of CO2.
    Other regions of the US and other regions of the world have different direct costs.
    The AGW side continues to make a ‘regardless of first order cost comparisons action must be taken’ argument. This leads to a number of proposed solutions that just plain upset people, like Solar Panels in Seattle. Our state legislature ‘solved’ the climate problem, we have a 54 cent/KW feed in rate on Solar Power. A few people put up solar panels, everybody else did the math and realized that even with the feed in rate the payback is 80 years and the panels only last 20 years. As far as the ‘legislature’ is concerned, they ‘solved’ the global warming problem, they gave the activists everything they asked for. Case closed.

  136. Pascvaks says:
    September 4, 2010 at 8:26 am
    Ref – Jim says:
    September 4, 2010 at 6:25 am
    _______________
    ?Psycliogy? ?Psyclimology?

    —————-
    Pascvaks,
    etamilcology? [ climate spelled backwards ] : )
    John

  137. I don’t believe that you can advance technology by throwing money at it.
    If you accept Moore’s law you in effect accept that in the longer term the advancement of a particular technology is not based on the funds thrown at it, but is a function of time. That makes sense to me, because the major advances in a particular technology tend to come from other fields. In the case of the semiconductor it would be things like quantum physics, optics, materials and printing. Throwing money at scientific research in microchips may have perfected the current technology but would not be responsible for major advances – if it already had enough funding for people to take the technological achievements in other fields and incorporate them in the technology.
    The likes of lomberg ignore that at their peril. We cannot solve the environmental problems by throwing money at research in the nearterm. Research has to be broadbased. Governments cannot predict the best technology 20 years from now – and even if they could, they would not be able to predict the technology advances in other fields that would drive it. Buying solar panels now to make the market is pointless because it redirects the panels from uses where they would be more effective, and there is already enough of a market to motivate using any technology to reduce the costs.

  138. Pascvaks says:
    “(Sarc On)The absolute worst thing to happen to the Great Climate Debate was Herr Albert Gore (aka Fat Albert, Big Al, ‘The-One-Who-Knows-All’, ‘The Massage Girls Worst Nightmare’, etc., and so on )”
    I thought he invented the internet – probably started up Real Climate.

  139. John Whitman says:
    September 4, 2010 at 9:53 am
    etamilcology? [ climate spelled backwards ] : )
    _________________________
    Yes! YES! It works! IT WORKS!!!
    They’re Etamilcologists!!!! That’s perfect!!!!!
    Mann, Jones, et al, And Fat Albert’s an Honorary Etamilcologist.
    Wuenderschoen! Ausgeschinet! Wuenderbar!
    Ref – Djozar says:
    September 4, 2010 at 12:03 pm
    “I thought he invented the internet – probably started up Real Climate.”
    ____________
    On the internet issue he’s delusional. I was at that meeting in Virginia. He wasn’t there;-)
    Now the ‘Real Climate’ question is debateable. I recall Clinton sent Hillary to that one.

  140. Steven Mosher, simple question, complicated answer, Steve. No one knows. No one knows whether 10x over current CO2 will have any effect on global temperature at all.
    Several years ago, I had occasion to research the deep history of the geology of Earth while working on a book chapter about the chemical origin of life. Figure 3 in E. Tajika and T. Matsui (1993) “Degassing history and carbon cycle of the Earth: From an impact-induced steam atmosphere to the present atmosphere” Lithos 30, 267-280, plots an estimate of atmospheric CO2 vs. average air temperature for the last 4.5 Ga. Two billion years ago, CO2 partial pressure was about 0.1 atm ~ 100,000 ppmv ~ 256x today’s level. Average air temperature was about 2 degrees warmer than now. Over the intervening 2 billion years, CO2 decreased to recent levels, while average global temperatures hardly moved. Where’s the driver?
    This site shows CO2 vs. temperature for the last 600 Ma. Scroll down to “Similarities with our Present World,” to see the Figure. Let’s see anyone even find a CO2-temperature correlation, much less any indication that CO2 leads temperature.
    The CO2 record from fossil plant stomata, by the way, show the ice core record to badly under state the amount and variability of atmospheric CO2 levels over the last 15 thousand years.

  141. Wikipedia is wrong about Ockham’s razor.
    Ockham’s razor is not at all a heuristic or a metaphysical principle. It says that theories should not be encumbered with unnecessary add-ons. This is not metaphysics. Science is theory and result. Any unnecessary or ad hoc addition to theory provides no explanatory value and is therefore necessarily a-physical. That makes it a-scientific.
    So, Ockham’s razor states part of the core scientific methodology, which is that theories provide falsifiable explanations, and no more.
    It is also not true that, “science has shown repeatedly that future data often supports more complex theories than existing data.” The opposite is true. Newton’s Gravitational Mechanics is not more complex than Copernican hypercycles; nor is Einstein’s Relativistic Mechanics more complex than Newton’s GM. That is, RM does not add complexity to classical GM. It is a compact theory. Evolutionary theory is far simpler than even a naturalistic theory of the separate emergence of species, much less a theory of supernatural special creation, and plate tectonics is far simper than the ad hoc explanations of flood geology or the necessarily convoluted geological explanations of a stationary continents theory.
    Being able to wrap our minds around the deep meaning of modern theory has become more difficult, but the theories themselves have become simpler and more inclusive. That is, our theories have become more powerful and able to bring far greater varieties of observables under a single unified explanation that, in its general form, can be written in a compact way. H(psi), after all, equals E(psi).

  142. Steven Mosher says (September 4, 2010 at 12:53 am): “Then you’ve missed what Tom and I have argued. There are things we should REGARDLESS of the truth of AGW that will MITIGATE the situation SHOULD IT PROVE to be true.”
    Well, let’s see if I’ve misunderstood. In your example, the anti-AGW aspects were “icing on the cake” for a hypothetical project that presumably stood on its own merits. But suppose we’re in a coal-rich region deciding between a coal-fired power plant and nuclear, and on the applicable time scales the coal plant comes out ahead on all economic and environmental considerations except AGW. What weight do you assign to the anti-AGW aspects of the nuclear plant? If your answer is anything greater than zero, then I don’t think I’ve misunderstood you.
    “What you are afraid of, it would seem, is giving any credence to any concern over AGW. That stikes me as narrow and doctrinaire.”
    Is it? Using AGW purely as a sales pitch can backfire:
    Steve: “We should build this nuclear plant because it’s economical, er, and it fights AGW. Yeah, that’s it. AGW.”
    Hansen: “OK. And we should sequester CO2 at that coal plant because that also fights AGW.”
    Steve: “No, that makes no economic sense.”
    Hansen: “What?! I thought you wanted to fight AGW!”
    Steve: “Er, I do, but not when it costs jobs and–”
    Hansen: “Hypocrite! You don’t want to fight AGW! You’re a tool of the [pick one] industry!”
    In politics, nuance is the first casualty. Considering the pitfalls of humoring the alarmists, I’d say my view is actually broader than yours. BTW, speaking of the broad view, accelerated economic growth would mitigate ALL potential problems, not just CAGW, which is yet another reason not to get hung up on anti-AGW “icing”.
    “The notion that you decide the nuclear issue ‘on its own merits’ is irrational.”
    So let’s throw in yet another extraneous factor? That’s rational? WUWT?

  143. Gnomish says:
    September 4, 2010 at 1:35 am
    “The Imminent Threat of Global Mousing Due to Climate Change.
    […]”

    Brilliant!

  144. Gary:
    ” Using AGW purely as a sales pitch can backfire:”
    who said anything of the sort?
    Steve: “We should build this nuclear plant because it’s economical, er, and it fights AGW. Yeah, that’s it. AGW.”
    Since that is not how I argue, It’s rather besides the point. You clobbered the strawman. funny how he always loses

  145. If they don’t kneecap the EPA, this voter will surely spend the rest of her life voting for conservatives, no matter what kind of religiosity or misogyny invades their thinking. I am so disillusioned by our Democratic party that I am finding it difficult to remember why I ever was a registered Democrat in the first place.
    I thought at one time the Democratic party was the party of equal opportunity and privacy rights (IE if I qualify I should have equal pay and equal opportunity to have whatever job I can get, and stay the hell out of my private life, including who I bed and whether or not I birth).
    This climate change fiasco has changed my view of politicians from black to white, and white to black. I feel like a coal flipped out of the BBQ, left to burn or die on my own.

  146. Pamela: I am not surprised to see you wind up where you are, considering you are sensible and liberal (using the dictionary meaning of the word). The dems have fallen off the left edge of the table leaving most of the genuinely liberal ground to the GOP.
    “I can be patient; I can stay with Re[a]gan. I and my hundred knights. ”
    Like Lear, we have at times put our trust in the wrong people. Let’s hope the likes of us make out better than he did!

  147. Steven Mosher says (September 5, 2010 at 11:36 pm): “Since that is not how I argue, It’s rather besides the point. You clobbered the strawman. funny how he always loses”
    From your earlier posts, I gathered you assigned a weight > 0 to AGW in economic decision-making. You then wrote that I had misunderstood you and Tom. In my “strawman” post I considered the alternate possibility that you see AGW purely as a sales pitch. I’m glad that you don’t, glad that I understood you the first time, and disappointed that you give any credence at all to the CAGW boogeyman.

  148. Pamela Gray says (September 6, 2010 at 9:06 am): “I am so disillusioned by our Democratic party that I am finding it difficult to remember why I ever was a registered Democrat in the first place.”
    Hi, Pamela, I’m a life-long Republican and believe me, I don’t think “our” guys are that much better than “your” guys, if at all. “Government” has grown steadily under both parties, and as we’ve seen, any power we grant our politicians (whatever their party) will eventually be abused. The problem isn’t having “the wrong guys” in power, it’s having anybody with such powers over our lives.
    “I thought at one time the Democratic party was the party of equal opportunity and privacy rights (IE if I qualify I should have equal pay and equal opportunity to have whatever job I can get, and stay the hell out of my private life, including who I bed and whether or not I birth).”
    I effectively work about 5 months a year for “government” at all levels, which means someone else already runs nearly half my “private life” just in financial terms. I’d register Libertarian if I thought they had a hope of accomplishing anything.

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