Climate Change Is Not a Forever Problem

Guest post by Thomas Fuller

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Okay, all–this is a slow developing post. I hope you can stick with me to the end here.

If you’re reading this, the chances are better than even that you are a well-educated male who is either working full time or transitioning or in retirement. That’s if respondents to last year’s survey of WUWT visitors told the truth.

If it is true, it may surprise you to learn that there is a body of medical and sociological literature written specifically about you. The theme of the literature is how to shepherd you through your fifties and early sixties and get you to your next ‘life-stage’ in good shape.

It isn’t aimed directly at you, but at your wives, doctors and nurses, which is why you may never have heard of it. The literature is big on prevention–getting you to finally put down the cigarettes, lose the weight and lay off the hard liquor so you don’t keel over too soon.

Whatever man-made climate change turns out to be, it is not a permanent state. This is something that is not often discussed, but is very true. This is a ‘life stage’ the human race is going through–probably not late middle age, but late adolescent–but it is certainly a phase, not a permanent condition.

The UN estimates that our population will peak at about 9.1 billion souls around 2075. They, and almost everyone else, estimates that our GDP will grow at roughly 3% per year during that time. This means that all except the very poorest of this 9 billion will be richer than we are today. The textile workers in Vietnam making $84 a month? Their grandchildren will be making more than our national average today.

During the next 65 years the world’s energy consumption will skyrocket, both because of more people and because so many will be adopting western energy consumption patterns. It is going to be impressive, and scary, especially if coal turns out to be the fuel powering this growth.

But it won’t be permanent. Here in the US, our energy consumption per capita is already declining, and it is declining or very stable in most of the richer countries of the world. About 20 years after world population peaks, shortly before 2100, the world’s energy consumption will peak as well, and both will start to decline.

At that point (and maybe long before, if technology does what technology normally does), our impact on this planet and its atmosphere will begin to slowly decrease. We will have passed the crisis point, and will be moving into–what? Adulthood? Middle age? I guess they’ll come up with a cute name for it.

The two points I’d like to make is, first, that whatever we do on behalf of the planet can be looked at as our generation’s contribution to a future that is almost in sight already. 90 years? Kids being born today will see it.

Second, those who are trying to push apocalyptic scenarios for political reasons need to keep their story lines straighter than they have so far. There are far more reasons for optimism than pessimism.

While I am probably a stronger advocate for renewable energy and energy efficiency than many of you reading this, it may be because I’m looking at this as just part of our generational duty–a far lighter duty than previous generations had to shoulder.

Yes, I think we should commit more of our treasure and toil towards reducing pollution, including emissions of the non-polluting CO2. Yes, I believe that we should spend more of our money on researching energy efficiency and things like utility level storage of energy.

But like most of you, I am an optimist at heart. I am truly confident that we have the system in place to find the solutions that we need and to put them in place. If we’re wrangling about it now, it’s a combination of anger at those who have blown this out of proportion and sticker shock at what the solution may cost.

But I do believe we’ll get there, and without having the revolutionary upheaval so many think is the only way to get through this.

It’s just growing pains.

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

Climate Change Is Not a Forever Problem
Thomas Fuller
Okay, all–this is a slow developing post. I hope you can stick with me to the end here.
If you’re reading this, the chances are better than even that you are a well-educated male who is either working full time or transitioning or in retirement. That’s if respondents to last year’s survey of WUWT visitors told the truth.
If it is true, it may surprise you to learn that there is a body of medical and sociological literature written specifically about you. The theme of the literature is how to shepherd you through your fifties and early sixties and get you to your next ‘life-stage’ in good shape.
It isn’t aimed directly at you, but at your wives, doctors and nurses, which is why you may never have heard of it. The literature is big on prevention–getting you to finally put down the cigarettes, lose the weight and lay off the hard liquor so you don’t keel over too soon.
Whatever man-made climate change turns out to be, it is not a permanent state. This is something that is not often discussed, but is very true. This is a ‘life stage’ the human race is going through–probably not late middle age, but late adolescent–but it is certainly a phase, not a permanent condition.
The UN estimates that our population will peak at about 9.1 billion souls around 2075. They, and almost everyone else, estimates that our GDP will grow at roughly 3% per year during that time. This means that all except the very poorest of this 9 billion will be richer than we are today. The textile workers in Vietnam making $84 a month? Their grandchildren will be making more than our national average today.
During the next 65 years the world’s energy consumption will skyrocket, both because of more people and because so many will be adopting western energy consumption patterns. It is going to be impressive, and scary, especially if coal turns out to be the fuel powering this growth.
But it won’t be permanent. Here in the US, our energy consumption per capita is already declining, and it is declining or very stable in most of the richer countries of the world. About 20 years after world population peaks, shortly before 2100, the world’s energy consumption will peak as well, and both will start to decline.
At that point (and maybe long before, if technology does what technology normally does), our impact on this planet and its atmosphere will begin to slowly decrease. We will have passed the crisis point, and will be moving into–what? Adulthood? Middle age? I guess they’ll come up with a cute name for it.
The two points I’d like to make is, first, that whatever we do on behalf of the planet can be looked at as our generation’s contribution to a future that is almost in sight already. 90 years? Kids being born today will see it.
Second, those who are trying to push apocalyptic scenarios for political reasons need to keep their story lines straighter than they have so far. There are far more reasons for optimism than pessimism.
While I am probably a stronger advocate for renewable energy and energy efficiency than many of you reading this, it may be because I’m looking at this as just part of our generational duty–a far lighter duty than previous generations had to shoulder.
Yes, I think we should commit more of our treasure and toil towards reducing pollution, including emissions of the non-polluting CO2. Yes, I believe that we should spend more of our money on researching energy efficiency and things like utility level storage of energy.
But like most of you, I am an optimist at heart. I am truly confident that we have the system in place to find the solutions that we need and to put them in place. If we’re wrangling about it now, it’s a combination of anger at those who have blown this out of proportion and sticker shock at what the solution may cost.
But I do believe we’ll get there, and without having the revolutionary upheaval so many think is the only way to get through this.
It’s just growing pains.
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236 thoughts on “Climate Change Is Not a Forever Problem

  1. “how to shepherd you through your fifties and early sixties and get you to your next ‘life-stage’ in good shape.”
    pre-paid burial?

  2. Those long range predictions are useless. And your insulting presumption that you care more for future generations than WUWT readers is baseless.

  3. Mr Fuller, you still give no clues as to why us humans should find it desirable to ‘limit CO2’ – can you give a reason for this stricture, backed by empirical evidence?

  4. Hi Onion. I don’t believe I care more about future generations. I believe what I do is different from what you do, and that the way I express my concern is different than the way some of you do.
    Takes all kinds.

  5. Extinction is forever. Those species that we wipe out – by whatever means – are unlikely to return. Ocean acidification will likely last tens of thousands of years.

  6. “Whatever man-made climate change turns out to be, it is not a permanent state.
    Are you still on about that? MMCC = UHI and land use effects. Now you can relax.
    The energy issue you raise is important. Unfortunately, I fear you may be looking for government solutions and I ‘fear’ government solutions. (Name one successful government solution: social security? medicare? medicaid? food stamps? welfare? Anyone of those programs would be outperformed by a scheme unencumbered by the economic drag of the accompanying administrative waste.)

  7. I am a female scientist and find the assumption, by Fuller, of a reader being ‘ a well educated male’ condescending if not worse.
    It is also completely beside the point as far as the general aim of this rather feeble post.
    I do not wish to pick on the self righteousness expressed as I assume the post is well meaning if ill put together.
    bruria

  8. I see nothing wrong with your philosophical approach. It is all based on predictions which we know from past experience will be totally wrong, but that’s OK. As I say, we all know they will be wrong.
    Like you, Tom, I am optimistic, generally, although I believe that the convulsions following the falsification of the AGW theory will be dangerous and painful. The expectations pumped up by the likes of Gore, Soros, Hansen and Mann will have already reached such great heights that the crash will be frightening.
    I also believe that the UN, like the EU, will continue it’s push to be an unelected world government and that will only be stopped by a courageous American president and not the current incumbent (and I nearly swore there). My disrespect for Obama verges on hatred for someone who can be so deceitful and hateful for ‘his own’ people.
    Otherwise, well, I am totally convinced that the planet will have cooled somewhat from today’s high (whatever that might be for we cannot know what it is thanks to the mann-ipulation of global temps by all interested parties) by the time I die and much of the hype will have dissappeared along with the idiots that created it and once again all will be calm until the next idiot discovers that the world is warming again, and so on.

  9. Too much time on your hands? Useless Nutjobs and similar experts can project all they want onto the future. Reality will bite, as usual. As profound as we are all gonna die. Or life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease. Maybe the real point ,is that made on another topic (the zombie environmental kid) what kind of children are we leaving on the planet? What accuracy over examining the entrails of fowl do you claim for your soothsayers?

  10. I agree, so get the hell out of the way and let the markets work to bring down our consumption of fossil fuels. We need the gov to stop incentivizing fossil fuel production, and the gov to allow green tech to work. We do not need cap and trade and the rest of it, markets work, let them.

  11. I might have missed a previous explanation but can you show why you think that energy consumption in richer countries is declining?
    UK CO2 reductions are largely based on 3 things.
    1) Change from coal to gas, leaving us criminally vulnerable to our suppliers.
    2) Export of CO2 heavy industries to other countries as outlined by this article.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11172239
    “At face value UK emissions look like they have decreased 15% or 16% since 1990. But if you take in carbon embedded in our imports, our emissions have gone UP about 12%.”
    3) Recession.
    Many of the improvements in efficiency have been swallowed up by more consumer stuff using electricity. I do think that individual consumption will level off but without a declining economy, the UK CO2 footprint will continue to grow for some time. Theoretically our needs will decline as people have most things they desire and those things become more efficient but you wouldn’t be able to prove that by recent consumer history.
    Population is also not guaranteed to level off. There is a connection with educated women and reduced offspring but it’s also connected to being busy with a job that provides the luxuries in life. If the luxuries are cut off or women are less busy, birth rates could go up again. This was demonstrated by the mini UK baby boom created by the cold spell in January where people had nothing to do but engage in err… traditional entertainments.

  12. “During the next 65 years the world’s energy consumption will skyrocket, both because of more people and because so many will be adopting western energy consumption patterns. It is going to be impressive, and scary, especially if coal turns out to be the fuel powering this growth.”
    Yes that growth would be in China and India, Where coal, and things like Nuclear energy, are not buried forever in permitting.
    Yes energy use in the US is going down, because it’s getting too expensive.
    No one ever ran a steel plant on solar power.

  13. The big challenge is to avoid the ultimate cut-throat competition: Big War.
    Populations get nervous, unscrupulous politicians play both ends against the middle, and words are spoken that cannot be retracted as honor is sullied and face must be preserved. WWI was exactly this scene, with alliances kicking in as if on auto-pilot.
    The Big Distraction is to keep the public’s attention focused elsewhere.
    This is done by driving wedges of antagonism between peoples and nations.
    Anthropogenic Global Warming Warfare, where the few play the many like pawns.
    Avoid that Noid, and we’ll get to the 22nd Century in good shape.

  14. Pace dear Onion, Pace. It’s as valid a point of view as any other I’ve read this year. Good on you Mr. Fuller and thank you for sharing it with us.

  15. Mr Fuller, I would take issue with your premise because if we follow most of the plans regarding renewables being put forth/put into action now, we will be poorer and will not have enough cheap energy within 20 years let alone 100. The 3% GDP increase could be achieved, but not in a states burdened with debt, and with huge sums of money wasted in supporting renewables like wind and solar which make energy costs zoom.

  16. Despite the limitations and inherent biases, consider the preceding “century of progress”. In 1910, how well would we have predicted the world of 2010? Flying cars notwithstanding, the main “unpredictable” has been the exponential growth in information production, processing and use. The parochial has become the mundane. We know our fellow men better and share our most private moments with the world.
    Aside from the rabbit-warren effect of increased population, our greater access to all manner of technology has eased the experience. Where is this leading? More of the same or something new and inviting? If information density is matched by energy availability, we will undoubtedly benefit and progress in ways unimaginable. Energy is the key and that is where we must invest our time and money. In the past, lack of resources was a greater instigator of instability than any other force. Depriving developing nations of the energy availability that has allowed us to enjoy the last century will certainly spur unrest and revolt. How we deal, share and enjoin our newly “discovered” brethren around the world is of greater importance than any single aspect of our internal societal concerns.
    The world has been shrinking for some time now. Sharing is caring and the conversion of wanton consumption to willful conservation will certainly help make the available space a calmer and better place to be.

  17. “Second, those who are trying to push apocalyptic scenarios for political reasons need to keep their story lines straighter than they have so far. “
    An, admittedly cursory, attempt to find out the annual worldwide income of groups like WWF and Greenpeace reveals, strangely, little attempt at transparency. However, in 2009 WWF UK had a total income of £46.4 m whilst the President of WWF US was paid (in total) almost $250,000 in 2001.
    Meanwhile, Greenpeace International’s income in 2005 was 119m euros, roughly the same amount in pounds. This, of course, understates considerably the total income received by Greenpeace that year because national organisations only pay a percentage of their income to Greenpeace International,
    In other words these organisations are, oh the irony, equivalent in many ways to the multinationals they so often denigrate. No wonder the ‘great and good’ are lining up to join their boards.
    But it all begs the question – are these organisations now more interested in preserving themselves than in the original aims with which they were set up?

  18. “The UN estimates that our population will peak at about 9.1 billion souls around 2075. They, and almost everyone else, estimates that our GDP will grow at roughly 3% per year during that time. This means that all except the very poorest of this 9 billion will be richer than we are today.”
    This is not what I see happening today. Mr. Fuller, I wish I shared your optimism.

  19. “I think we should commit more of our treasure and toil towards reducing pollution, including emissions of the non-polluting CO2.”
    Rather lost you at this point son. Why the subordinate clause? The logic escapes me. Or just call me suspicious and a grumpy old man.

  20. “The UN estimates”
    Thomas, this is the whole problem – predicting the future.
    We can’t do it, will never be able to do it, have never been able to do it….
    …in spite of all the doom and gloom predictions of the past, here we are,
    and frankly we’re not doing too bad at all………

  21. erm…. Sorry to disagree !! One thing IS certain Climate change IS forever – the earth’s climate, the solar system, and the universe it exists in will ALWAYS change until they cease existing.

  22. I have to say I’m enjoying the Thomas Fuller articles. There’s a fair bit in them I don’t agree with, but they’ve been presented without the usual dogma attached, and in a thought-provoking fashion.
    I do believe we should reduce our “footprint” on the planet, if for no other reason because we can. But until we can crack the energy storage problem, we’re likely to remain disappointed with renewable technology. That’s the reason fossil fuels have been so successful, they store an enormous amount of energy in a small space, and they just sit there inertly until energy is needed.
    Once we crack it, and we will, it will transform how we generate energy. Power stations can be operated in their most efficient mode, and only the most efficient need be used most of the time, because it will all be baseload. If the storage can be done at the substation level, we need never have another black or brown-out, except in the most egregious of circumstances. People will happily pay for 99.9% uptime of energy, and along with the efficiencies gained, it will pay for itself.
    But most importantly, the erratic nature of renewables won’t matter. Even the most up to date grids can only handle about 20% from renewables. That limit goes away with storage. Wind only blows at nighttime? Sun only shines during daytime? So what, it can be handled without expecting people to turn their lives upside down.
    Get the storage medium small enough, and we don’t have to compromise with how we transport ourselves. Even if it’s only 25% as good as fossil fuels, we’re still ahead because we’re not losing 75% of the power to heat.
    For me, that’s where the smart money should be moving to.

  23. Bruria says: September 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I am a female scientist and find the assumption, by Fuller, of a reader being ‘ a well educated male’ condescending if not worse.

    I suggest that you go back to school and learn to read! No way does

    If you’re reading this, the chances are better than even that you are a well-educated male who is either working full time or transitioning or in retirement.

    imply that all readers fit that description. It implies that there’s a better than 50% chance that a reader fits it. Your snit isn’t warranted.

  24. I am a grandfather of children who may well live for another 200 years, if the predictions of others may be believed. I care about their future more than I care about my own since I probably have little time left to enjoy the good health that makes life worthwhile. I have no great desire for long life but I would hope for a good life and for others to enjoy the same. The world owes me nothing and I hope my contribution has been a positive one. Therefore maybe some would see it as a paradox that I would seemingly put the future at risk by questioning the orthordoxy of climate change. However the truth is that I fear the few who desire power more than the consequences to the environment of consumption by the many who desire the basics of living. I believe that science has gone the way of religion and medicine and what was once a vocation is now just a means of making money. There is little left to protect my grandchildren from the whims of the rich and powerful who control government and the media unless the real careing, thinking population stand up to be counted and resists the willful distortion of the truth for personal gain. I am optimistic but only while there are blogs like this and people willing and able to reason for themselves.
    Where I also disagree with Thomas Fuller is in the parallel with the human lifespan. It is difficult to know where to start but if we take the point where we had evolved sufficiently to move out of Africa this might be considered our birth.
    The next 60000 years were our childhood. Largely slave to the world around us with little capability to bend it to our will. The last 5000 years are like our teenage years where we are slightly disorientated and consumed with destructive and idealistic thoughts in equal measure. I do not see the next 100 years as long enough for anything really special to happen in this evolution. It is a pity because I would like my children and grandchildren to live through something special. Sure they will see and do amazing things and many problems of today will disappear like the horse shit of the 19th centuary. But great change will require people to change and that will take many generations. I believe it will be another 1000 years before a new phase in human existence will materialise. Pity. I would love to see it.

  25. Why should we kill our economy to limit “non-polluting” CO2? There is no pollution problem, that’s just greenie propaganda. The skies are clearer now than they’ve been in many years.

  26. I think we have or are very close to having the technology to bring back the saber toothed tiger or mammoth. Yet, I think we are probably better off without those creatures. But just to prove Mike wrong, it would be a great prank to put one in his back yard. Personally, I would like to see the passenger pigeon brought back.
    Anyway, please stop with the ridiculous predictions about what it will be like in 2050 or 2100; I’ll be busy then.

  27. Tom Fuller,
    Still waiting for you to answer Alexander K’s post, [3rd post from the top]:
    “Mr Fuller, you still give no clues as to why us humans should find it desirable to ‘limit CO2′ – can you give a reason for this stricture, backed by empirical evidence?”
    CO2 is harmless and beneficial. Food crops are growing much faster with the added trace gas. And no unusual warming is occurring, as was incessantly predicted by the alarmist crowd.
    Falsify that — or admit that a rise in carbon dioxide is a non-problem.

  28. Well, I’ve seen much worse opinion pieces in the MSM, so I guess there’s little point in taking on the issues once at a time, pro or con. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mr. Fuller.

  29. Mr. Fuller,
    We need more facts and fewer unsubstantiated opinions.
    What are our limits to growth?
    Exactly which resources will we run out of and when?
    How many people will it take to make the world overpopulated?
    Why must we fear CO2 emissions?
    Again, facts, please, not unsubstantiated opinions.

  30. I have always had masculine tastes I suppose, so WUWT is another one. I am a granny with hordes of grandchildren and very interested in their future.
    Why talk of cutting CO2 at all? If the level of CO2 had gone down by as much as it has gone up since 1850 we would now be within striking distance of a level below which plants can’t grow, and then how would you feed the 9 billion? The next ice age will no doubt see a further drop in CO2 as there seems to be some temperature sensitivity, so not only will the end of the Holocene bring advancing glaciers, but a reduction in essential plant food – i.e. CO2. Our descendants, looking back on the present misunderstandings about climate and CO2 will think that we must all have been very stupid and wish that we had burned more fossil fuel.

  31. Smokey and AlexandraK,
    I think that emitting CO2 in the same fashion we are today will bite us in the hind end when we are using a lot more energy. I think temperatures will increase a couple of degrees in a short period of time and put some areas through a lot of trouble–and probably these areas will be the kind that don’t need any more trouble.
    I know a lot of people here don’t agree. But if the calculations I have presented here over the past few days end up being in the right ballpark, even if I’m wrong about CO2 (and I admit I might be), do we really want to use 3 times as much energy as today, all provided by burning coal? Just the conventional pollution from that will be tough to deal with.

  32. As a a well-educated male who is either working full time or transitioning or in retirement, I find condescension an appropriate means of tweaking those who go about finding condescension. As long as I don’t have to do it.
    Interesting post. The fun part is getting from here to 2075 where things level off without those condescending bureaucrats and politicians destroying the planet in order to save it from a degree or two of warming.
    Well, here’s to hoping that global warming didn’t peak in 1998, cause the next interglacial is 100,000 years away.

  33. Thomas,
    I agree that non-polluting energy sources are a something that we need to develop, but I do not agree that CO2 is a problem at all. In fact, I believe that history will prove that one of the greatest gifts that humanity gave our earth is the liberation of trapped carbon that was long ago sequestered in the earth in the form of coal and oil. Making this carbon freely available to the biosphere promotes plant growth and increases the total living biomass, which is historically very low right now compared to past epochs.

  34. “Climate Change Is Not a Forever Problem.” Cobblers. Climate change is not a problem, and it will go on forever – period. This site deserves better.

  35. The one thing we do know about climate change is that, whilst there is still a climate to talk about, it will be changing. Whether that is, or ever will be, a problem is not clear however. Probably those who visit this site are, mostly, at least as concerned about energy efficiency and the future of the planet as you are, Mr Fuller. We are especially concerned about the massive, very probably unnecessary, bills being bequeathed to our children and grand-children as a result of absurd ‘climate-change’ mitigating measures, such as the Quixotic fascination with windmills – and the ridiculous mis-direction of effort, time and money away from dealing with real pollution and other environmental issues towards the mental-environist issue of CO2 reduction.

  36. Pace or no pace, the analysis just does not cut it. Mr Fuller you presume to come from a different generation to WUWT readers, and then presume that ‘fact’ means you express your generational duty different to WUWT readers. Presumably all this on the basis of that survey you cite.
    Well you don’t know if I’m the same generation as you or not. You don’t know what I think of renewables. You don’t know what I think of my responsibility to future generations. And I don’t really know about you. Or others here. Surveys can be misleading.
    What I do know is there are some warmists who believe sceptics like me don’t care about future generations or the environment. But they’re wrong. In my opinion, the bigger catastrophe for future generations will be the economic effects of measures designed to combat CAGW.
    Presumably you are in support of thorium-based nuclear reactors, given your advocacy for energy efficiency?

  37. Whatever calculations were used in arriving at this optimism left out the most important factor – human folly.

  38. The UN that predicts a levelling off of global population – that would be the same UN that established the IPCC that so confidently predicts CAGW, would it?
    I’ve mentioned to you already my belief that we all need to identify the things we don’t really know but merely accept, and to check whether we’re justified in doing that. We get smarter by coming to know how little we know.
    Tomorrow, for all we know, a supervolcano could blow, a nuclear holocaust could be triggered, or someone could crack LENR technology. Any one, and a thousand others, could radically change everything.
    All we can do is live in the present addressing the problems and opportunities of the present, constrained by the limitations of the present. I’m wondering why we waste so much time in the present thinking about and planning for a future that, as Buckminster Fuller put it, usually turns out at right angles to expectations.
    Maybe we’ll grow up as a species when we discover the knack of living in the now, accepting without resistence the fact that we know sod all.

  39. Mr Fuller
    I disagree with the second part of this statement:-
    While I am probably a stronger advocate for renewable energy and energy efficiency than many of you reading this,
    Anthony has posted several items on energy saving, all met with generally positive responses.

  40. For those wishing to question why we need to consider CO2 reduction in this post, try to suspend disbelief for a while. The issues surrounding CO2 reductions are quite important and explain why some people doubt climate science but still think it’s okay to act as if CO2 is bad.
    One of the great myths put about by AGW theorists is that we only have to cut back our consumption a bit and invest in new technologies and we will be able to replace carbon based fuels. Any suffering caused by CO2 reduction will be temporary. Isn’t it worth a few hardships now, just in case CO2 is really bad? Myth. If CO2 has to be reduced it will be very, very hard.
    At the moment we can forget renewables. Every time Obama points out a successful project running in another country a report comes out to prove the success is exaggerated. They just don’t provide reliable energy at a suitable volume. Nuclear is good but has ‘issues’. So what about new energy sources?
    Research into fusion began in the 40s but I still can’t buy the Mr Fusion reactor for my DeLorean. Even if they came up with a workable design tomorrow, it would be decades before a working power station was up and running and decades after that before there were enough power stations to make a difference. Can we speed up the process? Sure and we can have huge accidents too. And how long will it be before rich countries trust poor countries with the technology?
    We may be blessed and a fantastic energy source may pop up to save us but don’t hold your breath.
    So if the gist of your article is to suffer a bit now so it will be okay later, you might want to reconsider if ‘later’ is in your lifetime.

  41. Tom Fuller says:
    September 5, 2010 at 2:01 pm
    I think that emitting CO2 in the same fashion we are today will bite us in the hind end when we are using a lot more energy.
    do we really want to use 3 times as much energy as today, all provided by burning coal? Just the conventional pollution from that will be tough to deal with.
    =======================================================
    Tom, with all due respect, you don’t seem to realize you are wetting the bed for the wrong reasons.
    You don’t seem to realize that CO2 is not the same as “air pollution”, and with all of the money, time, and distractions of CO2..
    …not one thing is being done about real pollution…
    This whole CO2 scam is taking center stage.
    We do have real pollution problems, problems that are causing real human diseases, etc
    that we are not focused on at all, because of this CO2 garbage.
    We can’t lower CO2, period, that’s it, can’t be done, end of story, drop the hype.
    All of this climate change, global warming, CO2 pollution crap is based on lowering
    CO2 production.
    It can’t be done….get over it, move on

  42. We scientifically-oriented people are stuck in this time-wasting groundhog-day debate – through no fault of our own – while important issues pass by untouched. Thomas Fuller : I do not wish to denigrate your article as it contained food for thought and was a brave effort to contribute to the debate, but quite frankly your statement “we should commit more of our treasure and toil towards reducing pollution, including emissions of the non-polluting CO2” is absurd, and shows just how stuck we are.

  43. I think the current series of science-free pure-opinion PR-managements posts by Tom Fuller are just a “stupid” phase in the growth og WUWT – some sort of reversion to romanticism and unprincipled pragmatiskm.
    Let’s pray that this phase of WUWT’s life does not last very long and that Tom Fuller comes to realize that his dreams about designing and managing the future of humanity are just a manifestation of his highly immature stage of mental development.
    Acting on behalf of the planet? Acting on behalf of the rest of humanity? What conceit!

  44. How is Tom Fuller getting these guest posts? Has something changed at WUWT? With Tom’s occasional ‘Good on ya.’ supporters it sound like an orchestrated propaganda attack.

  45. “Prediction is difficult, especially concerning the future” ( Niels Bohr ). Don’t get too wrapped up in the prognostications of all those “experts”, especially the UN. Their crystal ball is no better than mine or yours.

  46. But it won’t be permanent. Here in the US, our energy consumption per capita is already declining, and it is declining or very stable in most of the richer countries of the world. About 20 years after world population peaks, shortly before 2100, the world’s energy consumption will peak as well, and both will start to decline.
    At that point …, our impact on this planet and its atmosphere will begin to slowly decrease

    I’m all in favour of optimism, but it is more productive when grounded in reality. Green house forcing is determined by the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, which reflects cumulative emissions. A reduction in energy consumption just means that the concentration increases more slowly. Only once emissions have been greatly reduced, will the concentration stabilise and then start to decline. This decline will be slow, as mixing CO2 enriched surface waters into the deep ocean takes time. Transition to more carbon intensive fuels such as coal and tar sands could decouple the relationship between energy use and emissions, greatly worsening the problem, and extending the time period.
    But forever is a long time.

  47. Another word about energy consumption: Nations that have abundant electricity from renewable sources also tend to have the highest electricity consumption. Interesting table here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_consumption
    My prediction is thus: When Germany is even more awash in wind power and solar power surges than now, our consumption will inevitably rise. Supply creates demand.

  48. .Oh, and btw, optimism or pessimism is a state of mind, not a reliable predictor of future performance.

  49. “Climate Change Is Not a Forever Problem”
    Actually changing climate is forever and it isn’t currently a problem. It will be when the sun takes a holiday and I would quite like all the CO2 obsessed warmists to volunteer to take a walk out in the snow when the time comes… It won’t solve my problem keeping warm but it will make me feel better and there’ll be some frozen meat to eat… It’s only a theory but I’m thinking warmists are only poisonous while they’re alive…
    From the title downwards, this article contains one incorrect assumption after another. As a well educated male of 50-many I’d call this an insult to my intelligence…

  50. Thank you for the article Mr. Fuller. A pragmatic approach to futurology! I’m not sure relying on the UN for predictions is a wise thing to do though.
    “The UN estimates that our population will peak at about 9.1 billion souls around 2075. They, and almost everyone else, estimates that our GDP will grow at roughly 3% per year during that time. This means that all except the very poorest of this 9 billion will be richer than we are today. The textile workers in Vietnam making $84 a month? Their grandchildren will be making more than our national average today.”
    Everything is relative. Wages in the future being far higher than today would mean little if the cost of living is much higher too. That said, consumers and producers are very good at finding and exploiting efficiencies if only Governments would allow it. Do the UN make any estimates of how living costs will change? Do they account for inflation in those GDP growth figures?
    For me, free trade is the way forward – developed nations would see falling living costs and developing nations would see increasing income levels. Any leveling up of wealth would be by choice rather than force. We already have a global economy of people trading with people. The interference of national Governments slows that down and a knock on effect of that is restricting the pace at which efficiencies are realised.
    Unfortunately for us there are many powerful people who see the only solution to the above as being a global government with them somewhere in it pulling at the levers of power. I do not. There is no need. The global economy works largely despite national and supra-national authorities not because of them.

  51. “At that point (and maybe long before, if technology does what technology normally does), our impact on this planet and its atmosphere will begin to slowly decrease. ”
    Thomas, you are coming along a bit from an earlier post. “We” don’t decide to switch from this to that, it is and has been done by technological change driven by economics – even in socialist countries these days since the grandest of all such experiments crashed 25 years ago or so because of its government managed economy. Although the latter are playing catch-up, they will catch up quickly with the model out in front of them.
    Mike says:
    September 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm
    “Extinction is forever. Those species that we wipe out – by whatever means – are unlikely to return. Ocean acidification will likely last tens of thousands of years.”
    Mike don’t be the last to abandon this nonsense. Many of those who cooked this idea up are already looking for an exit strategy after climategate (note the softer tones and the fact that only graduate students and not so many tenured scientists are coming out with all the AGW fire and brimstone these days) and the continuing stream of revelations of bad science and bad behaviour. Note that the Inter-Academy Council – an international council of scientists and engineers have called for massive changes in how the IPCC operates after all the revelations of misrepresentation of science and the political activism (Most skeptics believed this group, which in the past has been in the warming camp were going to do another whitewash of climate science status quo – but we were taken by surprise):
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/30/iac-slams-ipcc-process-suggests-removal-of-top-officials/
    Please tell me that you, like Ozimandius of Egypt (poem by Shelley) are a little bit disappointed that the gods were found to have feet of clay.

  52. I agree with the gist of this post. But without the resource depletion bit.
    Other than that, is not unlike what I have been saying here since 2007 (and, before that, for 30 years).
    Only I believe it in my head, not my heart.

  53. I know its too late to change this now that everyone uses it but “renewable energy” is an oxymoron.
    Energy once expended is for ever lost as work done and heat. It’s not “renewable” otherwise we would have perpetual motion machines.
    Sustainable energy sources Yes but renewable No. Even “renewable” sources doesn’t make sense either.

  54. Mr. Fuller said:
    “…western energy consumption patterns. It is going to be impressive, and scary, especially if coal turns out to be the fuel powering this growth.”
    Scary as compared to what? Maybe loss of liberty from government involvement, or maybe being killed on the highways or some other accident, or maybe the natural increase of a few more degrees and maybe another 100 feet of sea level rise leading into the next full ice age, or
    maybe as scary as some really scary movie.
    You also mention harming the Earth. Is that Earth one sans all life or just one sans humans who are an unnatural plague placed on the Earth by some god for a good sadistic laugh?

  55. Never forget the fundamental truth, that “global warming” is simply a gigantic fraud. “Global Warming” is a malicious lie, a criminal enterprise promoted by greedy con-artists like Gore and Pachauri to suck money out of people’s pockets without providing anything of value in return. [snip]
    Surely it’s obvious that the world is controlled by vast, interacting cosmic forces that man can’t even measure, much less predict. Human beings can do nothing to change global climate. As of now, the world is not warming, it is cooling. Warm is better – higher crop yields. Might be wise to plan for the alternative.
    Since we cannot control our global environment, and since that environment is dangerous and volatile, humanity’s best course is to give ourselves the option of leaving Planet Earth to colonize the stars.

  56. While I am also generally optimistic, and I believe the future may be a better place, there is one human issue that needs to be overcome. GREED. Everything else will work itself out.

  57. Pointless, Tom.
    Go away, you have exhausted my limited supply of patience, which I have to conserve for my grandchildren

  58. Mr. Fuller- futurism is fun – and especially in reference to the largest demographic in the usa- the boomers – is a very engaging topic and I’d love to read more about that.
    CO2 fetishism is seriously [snip]. Suggestions about how others should distribute my income are threatening. If you can leave off that sauce, the meat and potatoes could make a lot of meals.
    Objectivity is where you will find the unfilled demand.
    Everybody is a wannabe keyboard- ‘air guitar’- demagogue. Most of us have read the same crap they think they can conjure with. We are not morons to be manipulated for milking, either for money or vanity. We know the score.
    Respect for being a professional.

  59. On the stock market there is the boom and then there is the bust. The world is littered with the corpses of civilsations who did not make it through the bust.
    Anyone here see the latest stock market bust coming AND took effective action. Did some one tell you there was a problem and what do do about it, but you ~snip~ the need to take action.
    I am optimistic but only if action can be taken.

  60. FrankK says:
    September 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm
    “[…]Energy once expended is for ever lost as work done and heat.[…]”
    You can convert mass into energy and back but you cannot just lose it. Maybe GISS or the CRU could, but normally, you can’t.

  61. Anthony,
    Thomas Fuller’s posts are weak and lack serious content. It’s not worth the effort to log in for something like this. If you wish to maintain the dedicated readership that this blog has enjoyed you need to provide us with more substance than the musings of Mr. Fuller. It’s time for him to “transition” to the next phase in his life.
    A loyal but disapointed follower of WUWT
    [before condemning, suggest you read the announcements made on Monday ~mod]

  62. Sorry Thomas, but as reasonable and cool-headed as your post is, you’re still falling into the rather arrogant trap of predicting what society will be like a hundred years from now. This has never been possible in the past, and is not possible now, and never shall it be. It is nonsensical to make changes to our lives now for the sake of future generations when we have no idea what their society will be like.
    Ask yourself – what would the average thinking man have considered he should do in the late 1800s to ensure he was not creating a hell for us now? Stop breeding horses maybe, to cut down on (very polluting) horse manure “emissions”? Well, people actually were discussing the alarming projections of horse over-population in the 1800s and early 1900s, and how we should solve the problem – until the motor engine was invented. Problem solved. No one legislated to invent the engine – it just happened, because where there is a demand, someone will invent. No one could see it coming, partly because no one had a fully working crystal ball.
    I must also echo the sentiments of others who take issue with your suggestion of finding “solutions” to what many here (including me) see as non-problems. The fact is, there is no hard evidence (only sloppy evidence based on “fudged” data and unproven assumptions about feedbacks) that “non-polluting” CO2 is a problem for the environment. Indeed there is much evidence to suggest more CO2 is beneficial (plants just love it).
    We don’t need to actively look for solutions. We need to let society be free – FREE – to develop new technologies (which it will do perfectly well without any interference from Big Government, as it always has, thank you very much) which will continue to improve the lot of the whole world in the long run. The human ability to adapt and invent (when free to do so) has proven over the centuries to be the key to our success. Knowing this, and knowing some political history, we should be looking for solutions to the problem of ever-growing Government, not CO2.

  63. Thanks again Mr. Fuller,
    I understand some of the criticism to your post, but I like the respondents that reply to your theme better than those focusing on single points.

  64. Not only is it a give away that AGW is a non problem by scientific evidence and the behaviour of the planet. If this was really a serious and life threatening issue then this so called problem can be fixed quickly and with little problems just by increasing nuclear plants around the world. The nuclear waste is a tiny price to pay if this hype was true. Though of course it isn’t true because firstly this is opposed (gotchya) and the true meaning for power and greed.
    This can’t happen if we actually do solve this problem quite easily with little cost to human society. At worst spend millions of pounds launching nuclear waste into space on unmanned rockets if there was not anywhere on Earth to dipose of. Though it doesn’t end there with many not practicing what they preach. Yet some alarmed scientists and politicians can’t understand why others, including the public don’t take them seriously.

  65. I’m thinking that Anthony thinks we get along way too nicely. He wants us to have something worthy to punch. Maybe it’s Anthony’s sock puppet to see how we all react to being talked down to.
    I am passionately averse to any argument that invokes grandchildren or further posterity. Every generation has found a way to solve its problems. Every generation will face problems we have not faced. They too will solve them. My main problem with this argument is that if we give up something for our grandchildren, the government will tell them they have to give it up for their grandchildren. On and on forever. I am not going to surrender my liberty to accept political promises that won’t be kept. When I was a child in the 50s and 60s, each sales tax increase was going to be “temporary” and rolled back after they paid for the thing they installed it for. Never happened. Social Security same thing. Ponzi schemes are illegal for all except the U.S. government. In order to rule us, they have to take our power away, literally. We need to draw the line in the sand and say NO.

  66. Thank you Mr. Fuller for an interesting post. I too am an optimist. For every problem technology causes, there is a technologicial solution.
    You mention utility level energy storage. One of the best storage methods has been around for over 100 years. It’s called pumped storage, or pumped hydro. Off-peak generated electrity is used to pump water to up to a storage area (pond, lake, etc.). When additional electricity is needed, the water flows down to a lower level through hydro turbines. The following website talks about all utility level storage systems.
    http://www.electricitystorage.org/ESA/technologies/

  67. In some ways I think the Precautionary Principle approach that Tom is hinting at is the worst of all options for three reasons.
    1) If CO2 isn’t a big problem the solution is a huge waste of money and raw materials including energy. It erodes public support for any future crisis mobilisation. Windmills will be monumental structures of human stupidity. Waste is waste even for a good cause.
    2) If CO2 is a big problem, the solutions aren’t anywhere near effective enough to make a difference. It’s the frog in the slowly heating pan of water. People will think that changing a light bulb is enough to save the planet. 10 years from now when the scientists say ‘now we really have the proof’, people won’t care. Billions will have been wasted on pointless activities that could have been focused where it would be needed.
    3) It doesn’t give the authorities the kick up the backside needed to get the science sorted one way or the other. One of the major reasons I’m very pro sceptic is the hope we annoy The Powers That Be enough to prove to us that CO2 is really bad. Until they do I’m assuming the problem is minimal.
    Now I’m all for minimising waste and only using what I need. I’ve mastered the art of CO2 reduction (hence the pseudonym) and I can honestly say it’s bloody difficult. It requires a huge change in lifestyle from the norm. To believe that society can change enough to reduce CO2 significantly I would need to see the captains of the good ship Anthropogenic Warming first change their lives. It’s not going to happen because they think it’s us who will make all the changes.

  68. Jim Barker:
    That future Utopia of “betterness” again, similar to the libertarian “Wouldland” where this or that would come about if only much of government was gotten rid of. It might help with the increased liberty but only to make life’s struggle easier. There will never be a time where life is not struggle with nature, self, and others. By interfering with laws (ultimately with force), the struggle can only get more burdensome.
    Greed is just an emotion to get enough to satisfy oneself and is not necessarily bad. Envy, an emotion to have something which one has not earned, is just plain bad.

  69. Philip Thomas says:
    September 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm
    How is Tom Fuller getting these guest posts? Has something changed at WUWT? With Tom’s occasional ‘Good on ya.’ supporters it sound like an orchestrated propaganda attack.
    Yep, his entourage. Onion, dude please, peace, love and tranquility. LOL.

  70. Commercial greenhouses operate at about 1,200 ppm of CO2 to grow more food faster.
    Currently the Earth’s measured CO2 ppm is about 390. So we have a ways to go to get to commercial greenhouse levels which we might very well need to feed us all in the case we grow a population of 9 billion human beings.
    From 1980 to 1999 the Earth greened by 6% as measured by satellite, since then it’s leveled off a bit, but the point is that as more and more CO2 enters the atmosphere plants will grow more faster (given that they have the other nutrients they need) and that is a very good thing for feeding people.
    CO2 doesn’t get toxic will well above commercial greenhouse levels of 1,200ppm (0.12%): “Due to the health risks associated with carbon dioxide exposure, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that average exposure for healthy adults during an eight-hour work day should not exceed 5,000 ppm (0.5%).” – wikipedia.
    With the Girma Orsenaggo’s and Steve Goddard’s analysis (published here on WUWT) it’s clear that no Temperature increases caused by CO2 have shown up since CO2 levels started rising just after WWII which clearly shows no correlation between temperature and CO2. In addition based upon first principles with Ferenc Miskolczi’s “Saturated Greenhouse Effect Theory” it’s clear that “C02 Cannot Cause Any More Global Warming”: http://pathstoknowledge.net/2010/01/13/ferenc-miskolczi%E2%80%99s-saturated-greenhouse-effect-theory-c02-cannot-cause-any-more-global-warming.
    So the future with CO2 is green, as in a Greener Earth! Personally I welcome a “commercial greenhouse” Earth since it would provide additional crop production to feed the masses.
    It’s very important to keep in mind when “projecting” or “soothsaying” the future that you’ll not get one possible future but MANY possible futures. All projections that assume only one future are deficient.
    The other problem with projecting the future is that many “processes” in Nature are inherently chaotic and have their own built in randomness (see chapter two of A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram for the math proof) which means that you can’t predict them at all, you must actually observe them in real time to find out what will happen. Climate aka long term weather certainly qualifies. This non-predictability is a hard fact of life in the objective reality of Nature that can’t be avoided but which many need to learn.

  71. Tom,
    I recall you doing an online survey of around 3000 sceptics visiting your site. I believe the results indicated that 80% had a tertiary degree and 50% had two degrees. I would suggest this result is more significant than age or gender. Did the age or gender of those involved in Anthony’s surface station project matter?
    The level of education of sceptics is what you should be taking note of. Have a think about what this means. AGW believers and luke warmers like yourself have provided the impetus and the internet has provided the means to create a genuine grass roots sceptical movement amongst educated people across the globe. It should have been clear to you after your survey that sceptics are neither anti science nor in the pay of big oil. The AGW believers are losing not just because they told lies about CO2, but also because they lied to themselves about the nature of their opposition. If there is something that the grumpy old educated men of the AGW sceptics movement should be passing on to the next generation it is the torch of scepticism.
    You believe we can move on from the global warming hoax without revolutionary upheaval. In the short term this may protect the egos, reputations and careers of some AGW believers. However even if this were possible, there would be no benefit to our society as a whole. Slinking away from the CO2 hoax would be a failure to acknowledge mistakes. We cannot learn from mistakes we don’t admit to.
    The benefits to a loud and painful end to the AGW hoax are many. An end to post normal science and restoring society’s trust in genuine science. An end to the environmental movement being used as a stalking horse for political advocates. A wake up call to the MSM and their culture of advocacy journalese. An early death to the Bio-Crisis and Peak Energy Crisis hoaxes, and of course the destruction of any UN plans for global socialist governance.
    With so much to gain, sceptics are unlikely to relax their grip and allow the fellow travellers in the AGW hoax to weasel away, lick their wounds and come back with a new manufactured crisis. We are tired of the politics of fear and guilt. Many politicians, scientists, environmentalists and journalists may experience pain and upheaval, but should the pain of the guilty stand in the way of a future of aspiration and hope for society as a whole?

  72. *sigh* How long do I have before my wife starts reading these books and starts ushering me to my dotage?
    Excellent post, but I must disagree on one point: U.S. energy use is not declining at all – we’ve exported energy-intensive industry, but we haven’t stopped using the fruits of that industry. I see no reason to think that global energy use will decline unless global energy prices increase.

  73. I agree with your basic philosophy but not about any certainties about the future projections. Right now some people are suggesting solutions where the bill is way out of proportion to the pain. I fully support alternative energy, efficiency and conservation. Those are just smart ideas by themselves. I have confidence in people and they will correct the problem when there is some actual harm or pain. Right now the so called pain sounds more like a blessing and radicals that push the doomsday nonsense don’t have realistic alternatives as cures for any problems that might arise. They are basically self loathing types whose goal is to punish us. You clearly aren’t in that category, but I suspect you are giving more weight to some of their ideas than they actually deserve.
    You seem quite sure about the physics that the Earth is going to heat up because of the simple physics. Even if I bought the line that doubling CO2 will increase the watts/square meter by about 3.4 watts, that is only the amount that the sun warms about ever 30 million years since it started burning hydrogen. It gets hotter as the concentration of hydrogen gets less. The world has always had a relatively stable climate. It seems highly unlikely that is suddenly going to change since it didn’t in the past when the similar increases in forcing happened like clockwork every 30 million years. The Earth is more than a hundred times as old.
    I am fairly optimistic that significant human caused climate change isn’t going to happen at all but I hold out hope that there will be a least a little warming, whatever the cause. It won’t last though. The climate has never been stable for long and it isn’t going to be in the future because of what humans are contemplating doing. It isn’t necessarily going to warmer either. We should all just hope that it will be.

  74. There are many ways to compile a vision of the future. The nature of suggested scenarios, regardless of source or method, are most oft dictated by the viewpoint of the present as held by those developing the scenario. If the view of the present is flawed then vision of the future will be a magnification of those flaws.
    The industrial revolution and development of technologies changed life for man. They along with the an ever increasing human population has, without doubt, had an impact on earth. It is also true some of our impact has been clearly detrimental, ie; photochemical smog, preventable contamination of water, etc. On the other hand it is also true that the mere existence of man is going to have an impact on the earth. That is unavoidable. So how is that impact to be viewed?
    In the eyes of many humans an ant is a pest, a termite is a live machine of destruction, and any change in the climate is man’s fault. The termite:
    Statement from Wiki: are economically significant as pests that can cause serious structural damage to buildings, crops or plantation forests. Wiki does go on, however, to make further comment such as: Ecologically, termites are important in nutrient recycling, habitat creation, soil formation and quality and, particularly the winged reproductives, as food for countless predators. and As detrivores, termites clear away leaf and woody litter and so reduce the severity of the annual bush fires in African savannas, which are not as destructive as those in Australia and the USA. Thus it is clear termites serve a purpose in nature. They have for far longer than man has viewed them as a pest.
    Man, from the viewpoint of many, could be considered a pest. The critical thing, however, is that man is part of nature. Yes man should be good stewards of the earth. However, we should do so with honest deliberation and care. Let us not get too cocky about what we think we know, especially in regards to climate change.
    The annual energy consumption per capita in the US has declined. Due, in part, to a shift in manufacturing to other countries. Consumption in China and India has skyrocketed. We still feed a significant portion of the world and that process uses massive amounts of energy. Many of the places we feed could do far more for themselves, reducing total energy expense, if they were provided / permitted energy sources (inclusive of inexpensive coal burning power plants).
    When it comes to alternative energy sources, yes would should work in that direction. We should advance in that direction for reason of the merit of such technology on its own. I do not believe that littering the landscape with 10 million faulty wind turbines or painting the land with thousands of square miles of solar panels is the answer. Nor should we bankrupt economies in an effort to force society into such follies. Those concepts are clumsy, inefficient, and not befitting a society which desires the claim of being scientifically / technologically advanced.
    Some realities.
    1) We know what CO2 does in a controlled atmosphere. We know that effect will occur in earth’s atmosphere. What we don’t know is the true, actual, net effect. There are too many unknowns or knowns which cannot be accurately measured.
    2) We cannot agree on what historic global temperatures were.
    3) We cannot agree on what present global temperatures are.
    4) It seems that much of science cannot even agree on how to measure temperatures.
    5) There is far more that we do not know about earth’s climate than what we do know.
    With all of that confusion, and more, present society is reacting to a change in climate that is but an extremely brief period in geologic time. Less than one second.
    Socioeconomic and alternative energy issues should not be connected to climate issues.

  75. Mike says:
    September 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm
    Extinction is forever. Those species that we wipe out – by whatever means – are unlikely to return. Ocean acidification will likely last tens of thousands of years.

    Who are you to say WE wiped them out? Aren’t you guys all about natural selection and survival of the fittest? Who are you to say that ocean critters that flourish at 7.0 don’t deserve a chance?

  76. Tom Fuller is getting an education here in what made America great — and it certainly wasn’t because of the government; it was despite the government. Tom is in San Francisco, so maybe he should be given a little leeway. [That formerly great city, like so many others, has been hijacked by ultra-radicals who indoctrinate folks like Tom. So maybe he can’t help being a believer in post-modern ‘science.’]
    Limited government has gone completely by the wayside. A giant, unproductive federal bureaucracy has become the goal. States no longer have rights; the feds can trump them despite the clear language of the 10th Amendment. The thieving, suffocating monster that we were always warned to avoid has learned to game the system, and at the current [exponentially increasing] rate of growth, spending, and unfunded liabilities, the current standard of living will remain more or less static, and possibly decline. Sure, there will be technological innovations. But average living standards and discretionary income will be far below what they would have otherwise been without an out-of-control federal bureaucracy. People will have much lower after-tax incomes.
    The government has already spent more than working citizens can possibly repay. Yet they stand with both front feet in the public trough, demanding more. The CO2 scam is their chosen method, because every economic activity emits CO2. The government is using the trumped-up scare of labeling a harmless and beneficial trace gas a “pollutant” as a lever to confiscate the real, after-tax earnings of private citizens; and to jack up food and fuel prices, and to create immense and unwanted new bureaucracies. All these things are happening right now.
    Tom, wake up and smell the coffee. And in November, vote with your intellect, not with your feelings — which the government has learned to easily manipulate.

    The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get, and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.
    ~ H.L.Mencken

  77. “whatever we do on behalf of the planet can be looked at as our generation’s contribution to a future that is almost in sight already.”
    The problem with that is that it’s very easy to dress something up as being “on behalf of the planet” for motives having nothing to do with either the planet or concern ones’ progeny. We are in a position now where folks in power are making decisions, which they say are for the good of the planet which will be financially costly for all, financially beneficial only for those in the green industry, and will certainly not affect climate in any noticeable way. This is nothing short of highway robbery, and people aren’t going to stand for it. Nor should they.
    Mr. Fuller, there is nothing wrong with the climate. We are in fact blessed to be living during this warm period, which will not last. Your concerns about C02 are entirely misplaced, which you would know if only you were interested in researching the subject a bit more than you obviously have.

  78. Lots of people here have already pointed out flaws in your assumptions.
    For my part I’m all for reducing our enviromental impact. What I object to is people waving the science banner to give their lies credibility. I am (was) a scientist (or reaserch engineer to be precise) and it offends me when people recruit science (pseudo science) to pursue an agenda. Science is digital, it either is or it isn’t. Demand belief and that’s not science, not never ever. Show me the data, and your methodology, and if your lucky I might agree with you.
    One of the great lies of the enviromentalist movement is the notion that “we must start doing something”. We have been doing something since the industrial revolution and some here will be old enough to remember the smog and acid rain of the late 70’s that hung over so many large cities. All those cities are bigger now than they were then, yet most are LESS polluted, no thanks to fundraising organisations masquerading as enviromental advocates to attract donations.
    Anyway, I read this blog to the exclusion of many others precisely because it’s “fair and balanced” 😀 Make your posts but please don’t assume we’re all enviromental terrorists out to slash and burn all in sight…

  79. All of the predictions including the UN’s predictions on population growth are based upon equations that have never been correct in the past, and yet somehow these equations are never rewritten from scratch, but rather just slightly modified and said “they are better now!, you should trust us on that…” Like they say, burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me.
    Malthus theories have been recycled dozens of times throughout history and the common theme in them are pseudo-science equations that describe a future based on variables that will probably never be known such as X resources, or maximum capacity of getting food from the Earth. Even trying to predict energy usage 20 years in the future is futile at best. But trying to say we have even an inkling of what society will be like in 50 years is arrogant at best. Someone from 1960 would have no idea or have been able to predict where our society would be today. If asked, they would have probably guessed “our society will be wiped out by nuclear holocaust.”
    This is the true error in the public policy arena. If society would have gone down the path to preparing for the widely held belief that nuclear holocaust would destroy us within 50 years in 1960….we would have spent trillions on ditches (bomb shelters)that would have just needed to be filled back in 30 years later when the Soviet Union failed. This is also the issue with saying we have a responsibility for our future generations in something that may or may not take place within 50 years, namely global warming.
    So in essence, if you take the widely held belief that as in 1960 (this is prior to MAD), that society will destroy us through nuclear weapons, and you apply the precautionary principle as it is held today with climate, there is no doubt that that generation owed it to my generation now (I am 29) to prepare and make sure our generation would have some resemblence of a future after the nukes came down.
    I feel cheated by the way. Not only is our society not ready for nuclear war from a now non-existant country (the USSR) but two generations ago did not build me huge ditches that I could have filled in for exercise today. Also, all of that 50 year old canned food that was made could have made excellent target practicing with my guns. What were they thinking to not apply the pre-cautionary standard back then? I feel cheated!
    Public Policy is the reason so many people are becoming vocal skeptics including myself. If a bunch of scientists want to sit in a corner and drool all over themselves with their malthus BS, have at it as far as I am concerned, but stay out of policy decisions if you do that. When you get the drool on my energy, it becomes my problem and I will hound you until you go back to your corner and drool on yourself for as much as you like.
    This is a free country, and although you have a right to try to guilt me into living a greener lifestyle, that will have no effect. I choose to be an environmentalist not because I think I owe it to my children, or because you guilted me into it, or because the government requires it, I do it out of my own free will. And I will fight tooth and nail for you to require me to do things that I already do by the way….not because I think it isn’t right, but because I don’t believe freedom should be taken away from those who do not want to live like I do.
    And for ounce, can we go a day without the stupid pre-cautionary standard, I hope my little example shows how futile it is in the end. 50 years from now people will think the world will end from something we can not even imagine, same as it was from 1960. My grandchildren will laugh at all of you applying the pseudo-science pre-cautionary principal. So will yours.
    As far as the future goes, I am smart enough to realize that is the only thing I can predict to any degree of accuracy.

  80. tom –
    do not presume anything about those of us visiting WUWT. as a pedestrian who has never even turned a car engine on, who rarely burns a light bulb, and who picks up other people’s trash as a matter of course, i find it offensive that sceptics of CAGW and CO2 remedies are presumed to be uncaring of the environment.
    however, renewables need to stand up on their own financial merit, not through taxpayer subsidies of one sort or another:
    6 Sept: Bloomberg: Brian Parkin and Nicholas Comfort : Merkel Plans Nuclear Power Extension in Return for Alternative Energy Fund
    Merkel has championed a revival of nuclear power saying that industry and consumers need affordable electricity until renewable energy prices fall and grid and storage capacity for the power source expands. Germans pay the third-highest rate for power in the 27-state European Union after Denmark and Italy, according to the Energy.EU Web site…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-05/merkel-coalition-proposes-12-year-nuclear-reactor-extension-for-germany.html
    add “carbon border tax” to all the other mad schemes:
    5 Sept: UK Financial Times: Dieter Helm: A carbon border tax can curb climate change
    The writer is professor of energy policy at the University of Oxford
    Kyoto’s failed targets remain popular in part because they make Europe look good. But this is mostly because, under the system, carbon consumption is ignored. As Europe continues to de-industrialise relative to emerging economies such as China and India its production of carbon falls, displaced by carbon imports.
    All of this looks fine, until you admit that energy intensive industries have been emigrating elsewhere…
    But a carbon tax – initially as a floor price to the trading scheme – would be an improvement. The tax could start low and rise over time. It could also begin “upstream” by taxing coal, gas and oil, instead of finished goods. A cross-party agreement never to lower it would be even better…
    The latter is more serious: it is practically impossible to work out the carbon content of each and every import. Some approximations are obviously required…
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a68bfc80-b915-11df-99be-00144feabdc0.html

  81. Mike says:
    September 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm
    “Ocean acidification will likely last . . . “
    WUWT readers have gone over this before. The first thing to decide on is whether having the ocean become slightly less “basic” is properly described as “acidification”. Maybe yes, maybe no – but you need to state how you want to use the term. Otherwise, some may find your statements confusing. Note that I don’t care where you come down on this terminology, only that you do.
    On another thread the poster was asked to better label his charts and explain the terms used so others could understand the meaning of the post. Maybe you could help us out by doing something similar. When you write of ocean acidification, what exactly does that mean? What is the ocean now and how is it changing. Is this happening fast or slow? How much can it move from where it is now? Why doesn’t it change more rapidly (or more slowly) than it does? If it is changing one way or another, is it doing so uniformly or in selected geographic locations? If the latter, where and why?

  82. For those of you standing up for me here, thanks–but don’t worry! I get ten times worse when I try and post on ‘warmist’ sites–you guys at least make sense, you’re always far more polite than the other guys, and some of your criticism is hitting home. So keep banging away!
    Now that I’ve ticked a few of you off, I’ll be trying to go after the other side in my next few posts.
    For those of you who think I’m wasting Anthony’s space, I understand. While I think it’s gracious of Anthony to let people of other opinions post guest articles, that imposes no obligation on his readers. Feel free to click out! Or, like others here, point out where you think I am in error.

  83. I think this is a great post by Tom Fuller.
    If anything, just to make everyone think a little deeper and a little longer about things. Which usually results in a better perspective.
    We should be doing everything possible to increase the efficiency of our energy usage. We should be limiting our emissions of CO2 and pollution wherever the economic cost is reasonably small. We should be thinking about the future.
    It doesn’t automatically require that one conclude global warming will be a problem. We should be doing these things regardless.
    But we do need new technologies and new physics to generate energy in the future. I think we have exhausted the technology of energy efficiency based on Chemistry (and oil and coal win that battle) and we have nearly exhausted the technology of Motion including wind and gravity (hydro wins that battle and wind turbines are not efficient so fail the test). Solar? Well, we need technology that directly transforms photons/EM radiation into electricity and that may not be possible. Otherwise, solar looks to fail. Nuclear? Well, that needs to be more efficient as well and we need some way to store its electricity in better ways so that it can be used at a smaller scale, like in cars or in the home.
    Which brings one full circle again. What if it eventually turns out that it is just not possible to generate energy more efficiently than we do today (it is not guaranteed that there will be more efficient technologies of course – it just might not be possible – like it just might not be possible to travel to the stars for example).

  84. My comment above (“I think you’re deluding yourself. The big problem is Moore’s Law.”) was directed not just at Thomas Fuller, but even more at the rest of you. All the Smokeys and who have you.
    The alleged CO2 ‘threat’ is overblown. But our species is at the top of the world as its apex predator par excellence precisely because we are the most intelligent. Soon, our machines will vastly surpass us in intelligence.
    That will be interesting.

  85. “…it may surprise you to learn that there is a body of medical and sociological literature written specifically about you…”
    How could something that everyone knows be surprising?
    “Whatever man-made climate change turns out to be, it is not a permanent state.”
    Note the niftily inserted assumption that AGW is real.
    “…whatever we do on behalf of the planet can be looked at as our generation’s contribution to a future that is almost in sight already…”
    That conventional alarmist message is almost in sight already.
    “While I am probably a stronger advocate for renewable energy and energy efficiency than many of you…”
    That’s fine. Personally, I’ve never met anyone who’s against motherhood or renewable, efficient energy. It’s the expensive wind turbines manufactured and boosted by coal power that bother me. They waste precious coal power.
    “…reducing pollution, including emissions of the non-polluting CO2.”
    Even non-polluting CO2 is pollution? That’s some bad gas!
    Thomas, because of a previous generation of activists concerned with the “planet”, my country, Australia, has failed to extend hydro and has no nuclear industry worth mentioning, though we have the most uranium. The trillions that might be spent on useful things like “utility level storage of energy storage” are being frittered on non-solutions to non-problems. If you are going to conduct some fruitful generational studies, I suggest you study the damage done by pious and fetishistic activists. The mentality of Australia’s anti-hydro, anti-nuke generation of the 80’s would be a great place to start.
    And, Thomas, now that the whole AGW edifice is looking shaky, getting down with the skeptics to sing Kumbayah is not a convincing strategy.

  86. Mr. Fuller,
    >> I think temperatures will increase a couple of degrees in a short period of time <<
    By theory a doubling of CO2 will raise temperatures 1.1C. That additional increase comes at a CO2 level of 780 ppm. Another doubling would make the total increase 2.2C at a CO2 level of 1560 ppm. That's about 4 degrees F, or the temperature change in about an hour for a typical mid-latitude morning.
    Do you expect that we could reach 1560 ppm in a short period of time? How do you define a short period of time. Or do you buy the premise that each CO2 doubling will raise temperatures more than 1.1C through positive feedback? Common sense says that any water vapor feedback will increase cloud cover, and that small albedo changes due to increased cloud cover have a very strong cooling effect, making any feedback negative.
    What if things go in the other direction, and the Earth starts getting colder? Historically we are overdue for an ice age. Wouldn't it be more prudent to keep wealth and productivity growing as fast as possible to be able to handle a climate problem in either direction should one actually arise?

  87. Hey Mike: For every species that becomes extinct, there is at least one that evolves or adapts into distinctly different genetic form. After all. extinction is evolution in action.
    I have to credit wildlife biologists and Malthusians, the prime movers who founded ecology along with Progressives. They took advantage of the strong environmental emotions that they manufactured in the late 1960s. They created the Endangered Species Act to be an adjunct to the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedures Act. This ragout of procedure of administrative process gave the environmental movement the tools needed to control most land uses. As their procedural mess evolved, they were able enrich themselves and to corrupt politicians beyond all expectations.
    Trial lawyers were part of the game too. It is their influence that led to the provisions for citizen suits as part of the enforcement in all of the major environmental protection laws. It made trial lawyers and the public interest law firms bounty hunters. Winning was easy because the Peter Principal Principal coupled with sympathetic judges ensured that bureaucrats rarely could negotiate the morass of process needed to authorize and implement executive management policy and practices.
    Remember Mike, the essence of Darwin’s law is that the unfit are extirpated by the fit.

  88. Mr. Fuller, I am afraid I have to agree with Harry Bergeron but add human greed for power and money to human folly.
    Like you, Mr husband was a cheerful optimist and disagreed with my pessimism. Unfortunately after the last few years untangling the criminal deceit behind the “food safety issues” ; watching US President after President sign off on bills that export more and more of our industry and wealth overseas, and wealth into the pockets of the bankers; he turned to me last week and said, I am afraid I finally have to agree with you, we are watching the coming death of the United States if people do not wake up soon.
    If you bother to look at the international concentration of power and wealth into fewer and fewer hands it is down right frightening. For example ten corporations, many privately held, control up to 80% of the world’s seed, agricultural and pharmaceutical products. What is worse is the decreased genetic diversity and the increased size of industrial farms not to mention the grain traders convincing governments to do away with national grain reserves.
    ENERGY:
    The PE’s and scientists have shown biofuel, wind and solar use more energy in “construction” than they produce. I am all for nuclear but at least in the USA the fear factor has been played up to much. so I doubt that is a near term option.
    When the cost of energy skyrockets, food prices will have to follow. Without local farmers to compete with the corporations the prices will be jacked up even further so you will see a repeats of 2008. Food prices soaring, corporate profits soaring, food riots and death. It has already started again this year.
    If you bother to at least skim this articles you will see why I am not optimistic about the near future. International Ag Cartel controlled food supply, government enforced idiotic “green energy policies” and predatory bankers engineering economic collapses do not give me the warm fuzzies.
    The Purpose Behind Engineered Economic Collapse
    http://stocksthatpay.com/?p=10775
    History
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/History-HACCP-and-the-Foo-by-Nicole-Johnson-090906-229.html
    Food safety scam
    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/contributors/nicole-johnson/
    http://www.marlerblog.com/lawyer-oped/cattle-feces-and-hamburger-do-not-mix/
    http://www.mfu.org/node/276
    Threats of corporate concentration in agriculture:
    http://www.twnside.org.sg/title2/susagri/susagri066.htm
    the World Food Crisis
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Monsanto_and_the_World_Food_Crisis
    Death of farmers
    http://www.countercurrents.org/glo-shiva050404.htm
    http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=5030
    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/savePolishCountryside.php
    Global Food Cartel: Instrument for Starvation
    http://www.whale.to/b/freeman.html
    Financial Speculators Reap Profits From Global Hunger
    http://www.countercurrents.org/steinberg280408.htm
    I hope this list of articles opens at least some eyes.

  89. Yes, Smokey, I read your post and it occurred to me that Moore’s Law is profoundly affecting everybody, even the conservative and generally optimistic. 🙂
    I’m pretty happy about my own life. However, when Earth’s computers (and other machines) are 10s of thousands of times more intelligent than us, I do wonder how our species will fare.
    Of all the “doomsday scenarios”, this seems to me by far the most plausible. The others could happen, sure, but mathematically they are not likely to before the above one.

  90. We might make it through in good shape if the guys who are good at forecasting here would set up a Watts Up With That Farm Weather? Since Storm x-change/weather and agriculture online have ceased to be, its some harder now for farmers to make agri-decisions.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/GDP_growth_1923-2009.jpg
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GDP_growth_1923-2009.jpg
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recessions_in_the_United_States?wasRedirected=true
    We could probably stand a bit more GDP growth!
    Don’t worry, we’ll get the people alright. Since this solar cycle got moving I’ve never had so many women try to pick me up in my life. Their pineal glands are re-activated.
    It also helps if you look like Elvis.

  91. Mr. Fuller,
    My work is posted at nationalforestlawblog.com. Oct. News letter under my name.
    This is my perspective on our future and I wish to share it with you.
    The big problem???
    There will be wars and rumor of wars.
    We have more nuclear countries with irresponsible governments.
    We have 30 years of cold winters ahead and 30 years of drought due to the lack of sunspot activity. This will greatly reduce the amount of crops. We also have committed a lion’s share of our crops to bio-fuels.
    Our government and its people in power believe in man-made global warming. They are searching a “dark cave” in vein for the answers. They will not find the cure to their self-created lies and hysteria. The children in our public schools have been brain-washed into believing they can stop global warming. They have already been swallowed up in the following.
    The American government and its liberal want to tax our farms and ranches and their livestock out of existence for the sake of reduced carbon.
    The American government has allowed our atomic plants to age without replacement and the present administration is blocking new power plants and breaching dams.
    Our manufacturing industry has been given away to other nations. We have open borders.
    Why are we fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan?
    The USA is only interested in self and its toys. As long as it has that, who cares what is going on around them.
    The USA believes in the burden of tax should fall on the producers and the others to live off of them. This is creating an unbalanced tax base.
    The present spending will be payed for by printing inflationary and deflationary dollars. The USA hasn’t paid for its wars or the $600 million tax rebate or the trillions approved by our government in the last two years of both administrations.
    With the coming 30 years of cold, stagnant workers, lost of crops, unbalanced tax base, and unpayable debt, we have in place the formula for the French Revolution.
    That said, these are varibles you might want to consider in your work.
    Most Sincerely,
    Paul Pierett

  92. Smokey:
    “And no unusual warming is occurring, as was incessantly predicted by the alarmist crowd.
    Falsify that — or admit that a rise in carbon dioxide is a non-problem.”
    1. the warming seen is not “unusual” ( a non mathematical word) But the warming seen does match the predictions made by GCMs. namely in the attribution studies ( chapter 9 of Ar4 I believe)
    2. Further, if we assume No forcing from C02 ( that it has no effect) Then the warming seen is not what one would predict. ( again see chapter 9)
    3. The notion of “unusual” is in dire need of quantification. The Cooling you see after a volcano ( a couple of 1/10ths) is not “unusual in the whole history of earth, YET we have a physical explanation of WHY this slight cooling occurs. So the measure we look at is not the “usualness” or “unusualness” of the change. BUT RATHER the predictability of the change.
    4. Physics tells us, and the success of the attribution studies confirm, that C02 will warm the planet. That course of warming may “look” “ordinary” the same way a drop after a volcano “looks” ordinary. Calling these small dips or small secular increases “natural variation” is no explanation. Its anti science.
    A warmer planet may be a good thing. for some. 100 degrees warmer would be a bad thing for all. So the question always comes back to: how much warmer? and what exactly is the damage mechanism ( sea level rise) and who exactly will win and who will lose.
    That intractable calculus is the key question.

  93. Tom Fuller says:
    September 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm
    For those of you standing up for me here, thanks–but don’t worry! I get ten times worse when I try and post on ‘warmist’ sites–you guys at least make sense, you’re always far more polite than the other guys, and some of your criticism is hitting home. So keep banging away
    ================================
    That’s because we enjoy what we do Tom. 😉

  94. Tom Fuller says:
    September 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm
    “[…]For those of you who think I’m wasting Anthony’s space, […]”
    Not me. I think you’re barking up the wrong tree most of the time, but I like seeing other viewpoints. I do not enjoy hearing the same hymns from the same choir day after day as appears to be the case on far too many other blogs.
    I do respect your thick hide and ability to roll with the many punches thrown your way, all the while keeping good spirits and good humor. WUWT is a tough crowd to play.
    Signed,
    H.R., an over-50 male with more than one degree, working full-time while transitioning to retirement

  95. Christoph Dollis says:
    September 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm
    “Thomas Fuller,
    I think you’re deluding yourself. The big problem is Moore’s Law.”
    Christopher, that does not seem to be a logical conclusion. Your statement is far more cryptic than Thomas Fuller’s, perhaps because it is so very much more terse. Could you add just enough explanations to make your statement intelligible?
    1. Why is Thomas Fuller deluding himself, and with respect to what? Do you feel that everything Thomas stated is wrong?
    Do you disagree with the premise of the polemic, “Climate Change Is Not a Forever Problem,” or do you disagree with any of the elaborations Thomas provided to expand his premise? If the latter, which one?
    Even from a very negative point of view, not all of what Thomas speculates on can possibly be wrong. For one thing, his statement is not sufficiently specific to enable anyone to refute all of the points made in it.
    2. Why is Moore’ Law a big problem?
    3. How does Moore’s Law relate to anything or all that Thomas Fuller stated?

  96. Sorry old boy, but renewable energy is a JOKE and a CRUEL ONE at best.
    I spent 20 years working in THE energy source which CAN propel the world, NUCLEAR. Forget all that WHINING about what to do with the waste.
    When I was in Sweden, visiting my relatives during the ’70’s I visited the tomb of Gustavos Adulphos, the King who “Christianized” Sweden. It is in a Church in Upsula, and his bones have been undisturbed for almost 500 years.
    Bury the high level waste from a nuclear plant for that amount of time, and the total “activity” of the waste is below that of the ore from which it was orginally derived. Grind it up and spread it about, and in actuallity you have “cleansed” the Earth of radioactivity. The concept that the waste “remains hazardous” for “millions of years” is a LIE.
    Now, as to the utility of Nuclear power…If we had approximately 500 power plants of last generation size in the USA, we’d be 100% nuclear electric.
    If we had 1500 plants, we’d be 100% ENEGY nuclear…
    That’s NOT an infinite amount. And it is NOT a technical impossibility. In France, the AVERAGE 6th grader can walk to a chaulkboard and draw a basic nuclear power plant, and the basic nuclear fuel cycle and explain the functionality of both.
    In the USA an average 6th grader can show you how to put a condom on a cucumber.
    Therein lies the problem of “energy” in the USA. ALAS!

  97. Sorry … but this is a very disappointing post …. typical of the philosophical archair ramblings that have become so common in the Guardian opinion pages. One of the best things about WUWT is that almost all the articles are factual, or scientifically oriented or highlighting interesting media angles etc etc. I would urge you to please steer clear of this kind of self indulgent, opinionated, philosophical crap. Human race growing pains ??? Pleeeeeze !

  98. Steven Mosher,
    Surely you must know my position by now: that CO2 warms, but the effect is insignificant. By insignificant I mean less than 1°C from here. That would not cause major problems, and the health and agricultural benefits would be substantial.
    But there is also a good probability that the planet will be significantly colder thirty years from now. It has happened over and over in the past.

  99. Steve Mosher says: “Calling these small dips or small secular increases “natural variation” is no explanation. Its anti science.”
    Almost all physical processes are self-similar and so have a wandering mean. Thus “natural variation” is a well understood concept and is not in any way “anti science”.

  100. This business of what we do for our grandkids and beyond is nutter-speak. We have no foundation on which to believe anything we decide today will be followed for any significant time period let alone remaining funded. We have elections – rules come, rules go. It is absurd to propose we create budget items for future generations. Especially large budget items for which we have no proof of benefit. Altruism is not a multi-generational motivation.

  101. Mr Fuller,
    I find your comments patronising and condescending. You come across like a schoolteacher telling the kids not to worry their little heads about things. I think that you will find (have found?) that the readership of this site is rather more educated than that. By all means have your say, but couching it in those terms only damages its credibility.

  102. Regarding Steven Mosher says:
    September 5, 2010 at 6:52 pm
    1. the warming seen is not “unusual” ( a non mathematical word) But the warming seen does match the predictions made by GCMs. namely in the attribution studies ( chapter 9 of Ar4 I believe)
    Mr Mosher, did we not have a similar warming period up until about 1975, which also would have matched the trend? If there is an estimated 60 year trend do we not need to go from peak to peak, and throw in the error bars and disputed UHI as well?
    Did you disagree with Luboš Motl stating no statistically significant warming since 1995? (If you read his post to that effect)
    Thanks

  103. “those who are trying to push apocalyptic scenarios for political reasons need to keep their story lines straighter than they have so far. There are far more reasons for optimism than pessimism.”
    I am optimistic for different reasons. Specifically, but not only, because there is a good chance that pretty soon observations will really diverge from theory on the CAGW thesis.
    The big risk is when this thing falls apart, what desperate actions will the true believers take?
    *****Warning **** Ridiculous content follows*****
    Some of the CAGW crowd reminds me of the mutants in Beneath the Planet of the Apes. They worship catastrophe and if they don’t get their way, they might blow the whole thing up !
    http://planetoftheapes.wikia.com/wiki/Mendez_XXVI
    http://planetoftheapes.wikia.com/wiki/Fellowship_of_the_Holy_Fallout
    Hey moderators – no offense taken if you snip this…. but… you know, apparently the reference fits reader demographics 🙂

  104. 1. the warming seen is not “unusual” … But the warming seen does match the predictions made by GCMs. namely in the attribution studies …
    2. Further, if we assume No forcing from C02 … Then the warming seen is not what one would predict. …
    —————————————————————
    That’s precisely the logic that convinced me of flying elephants. I could not see them, but once it was explained that they were invisible, that was all the proof needed.

  105. Thomas,
    A not insignificant proportion of mankind, could care less about global warming/climate change, they are still busy trying to find food and shelter.
    You say: “But I do believe we’ll get there, and without having the revolutionary upheaval so many think is the only way to get through this.”
    —-
    Where is “there”?
    How will we know, when we are “there”.
    Who will decide the definition of “there”.
    “there”, as a perception?

  106. This reminds me of the scene in Peter Pan where we all have to say ‘I DO believe in the anthropogenic fingerprint fairy, I do!’

  107. Thomas Fuller’s posts seem as tiresome to read as those posted by Dr. Jerome Ravetz on post normal science. I prefer Lord Monckton’s presentations. Lord Monckton’s writing is more logical and detailed with facts although his writing can go on to great lengths. To me Thomas Fuller’s post is not logical or organized with related facts. It was very slow: “…stick with me to the end here.” I was unable.

  108. This is so totally right.
    It is ridiculous to assume that we will keep on doing what we are doing today for very long. We never have in the past and there is no reason to start not changing and developing now. We love to improve and use new technology, particularly when it is so cool and more efficient.

  109. Tom says,
    “But like most of you, I am an optimist at heart. I am truly confident that we have the system in place to find the solutions that we need and to put them in place. If we’re wrangling about it now, it’s a combination of anger at those who have blown this out of proportion and sticker shock at what the solution may cost.”
    Tom, Pelosi and Boxer surely fit my definition of “those who have blown this out of proportion” yet you have previously stated that you will vote for them in November in your blog. Have you changes your mind about voting for them or is this all meaningless words on your part?
    My optimism will hopefully return after the November election, otherwise the foolish spending and energy policy including cap and trade on the table will reduce the USA to a second rate nation and the hopes I have for my granchildren to live a better life are doomed.

  110. JeffM says:
    “I am passionately averse to any argument that invokes grandchildren or further posterity.”
    ———-
    I’m with you there. I always wonder if the caring about future generations is logarithmic, like IR extinction. Does the caring lapse rate reverse with the last generation to have natural gas? How about the generation that sees the asteroid approaching at 50,000 miles?
    My answer to the line “They’re our future” is “No, we’re their past.”

  111. Thomas Fuller I appreciate your attempt at reason here and even more your evolved “anti-amygdala” approach to being polite and reasonable and objective.
    I think the whole of the CAGW argument can be seen in this flaw….inciting riots on both sides of the argument:
    There are two separate arguments here:
    One is “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”. (There is no data to support this.)
    The other is “catastrophic anthropogenic global pollution.”
    Plenty of real time data.
    From China’s coal dust blackening the Arctic…to the overfishing of the oceans….to Monsanto.
    Two completely separate arguments, though like oil and water. Yet they are treated as one in the same.
    I’m an optimist too, though.
    As one of the most evolved species that the universe has ever produced–especially because we have frontal lobe reasoning powers and a conscience–we can fix the problems that WE created.
    Otherwise we are just another opportunistic species like poison ivy, fire ants, and locusts.
    I would agree with the other posters that you implied [not on purpose, I am now sure!] a “better than thou” attitude about caring for posterity just because of your convictions, and as if others did not….and that it was a little insulting.
    I am reminded of a Sting song from the Cold War era: “Even the Russian mothers, love their children, too.”
    It is all about finding that common ground of purpose and working symbiotically to leave this planet, better than we found it.
    Thanks for your efforts…and to that end, I join you.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  112. Um, wow. This article sucks.
    It’s amazing how rapidly the quality of WUWT content deteriorates when Anthony steps away. There are something like a gazillion interesting hard science news stories mentioned in the “tips and notes” section of WUWT that were passed over in favor of this semi-coherent, rambling, and trite opinion piece about… well, who the hell knows?
    What this article desperately needs (aside from a theme) is a third-grader to proof read it. Please study the following modified sentence fragments to grasp the concept of plural vs singular verb forms:
    “They, and almost everyone else, estimates that…”
    “The two points I’d like to make is are, first…”

  113. Climate Change Is Not a Forever Problem
    That’s true, 10% of the time Chicago does not have a mile of ice sitting on it.

  114. FWIW, Tom I think you’re right on.
    I too am optimistic. While cynics and pessimists may sound smarter, in the past they have been wrong about the future. Tertullian predicted the end of times in the 3rd century. Malthus predicted apocalypse in the 18th century. Ehrlich, et. al. predicted mass famines to happen during the 1970’s. Despite their Jeremiad warnings of deprivation and doom, we live longer; eat better, and on far less land than ever before. And, the trend is accelerating. By all indications the world will be much richer in fifty years and able to accomodate changes from warmer temps.
    “On what principle is it,” asked Thomas Babington Macaulay in 1830 in the Edinburgh Review, ” that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?”

  115. There seems to be a presumption that because you genuinely care about future generations your predictions are somehow more accurate and valid.
    I would say that if your underlying science and logic are flakey it really doesn’t matter where your heart is.

  116. Several good posts on this thread, especially the one by Max Hugoson:
    Nuclear is indeed the long-term energy self-sufficiency answer; especially if we want to back off burning coal and oil while moving to electric cars on a large scale.
    Given the huge array of important products that come from oil, burning it is in fact the LAST thing you would like to do with it, long-term; i.e.:
    From petroleum resources we get: Lubricants, plastics, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, etcetera.
    The Generation-III+ nuclear plant designs are ready to go; and in fact several are in the approval cycle at the NRC. Naturally occuring uranium ore is still so cheap that designs for Generation-IV fast-neutron reactors to burn up what is now referred to as ”spent” nuclear fuel rods may not be economically viable on a large scale for a while yet, but eventually they will be. Remember that the 104 current Generation-II nuclear plants around the U.S. only ”burn up” about FIVE percent of the total energy in the fuel rods. After reprocessing, ultimately Gen-IV fast neutron reactors should be able to extract close to NINETY percent of the total energy in said fuel rods.

  117. I believe progress will be delayed because some men believe they can alter the temperature of earth.
    Food stocks being comandeered for bio fuel.
    London not building a 3rd runway.
    governments not building power stations.
    rationed health care(that’s a biggie for the 50 year old now)
    no investment in oil exploration on land.
    bike lanes instead of extra highways
    insufficient housing because more land is locked up each year
    fishing areas locked up
    allowing animals to take over more and more of our space
    allowing criminals to prey on us time after time
    Banks to be regulated to the point that the government has control of our money
    Internet to be monitored for dissidents
    Then we have the green agenda on top of that
    Any refugee must be allowed to walk into any country
    pesticides must be banned
    forestry must be cut back to the bone
    electric cars for everybody
    businesses must comply with any regulations
    plane travel must be restricted
    all fishing and hunting banned
    no mineral exploration
    no nuclear
    no coal
    no gas
    only necessary people allowed to live in rural areas
    vaccinations to be banned
    Iran and Palestine must be allowed to do as they please
    Any dictator must be allowed to treat the people as he or she pleases
    I see the future and it’s nowhere near as rosy as Mr Fuller portrays.

  118. Someone upthread wrote: “Many of the improvements in efficiency have been swallowed up by more consumer stuff using electricity”
    I doubt this very much. Most of the electrical appliances from the past were energy hogs. Nearly every consumer gadget uses far less electricity than its roughly equivalent ancester gadgets. The old luggable analog cellphones tethered to 12volt bricks could power a large number of iPhones today.
    I miss the smell of ozone and the risk of shock from my grandmothers kitchen appliances. Also how they dimmed the lights when she used them. Fun times.

  119. A few of the posters on this blog will supplement their opinions with several html links. This is probably a good way to back up what you are saying, but I almost never look at those links. If the commenting authors articulate their point without a half-dozen links, then I lose interest in what they are saying.
    Short sentences, precise points, and only a link or two will suffice.

  120. If you read and agree to the principles contained in the book The Singularity is Near When Humans Transcend Biology: By Ray Kurzweil.
    Y’all wont care one way or the other.

  121. Tom, could you see if the U.N. will let me use thier crystal ball, my is in the shop getting repaired. Slight accident with a wall. The U.N. predictions are as worth less as thier climate assements. And as you say “Non-pollant CO2 should also be reduced” if it is not a pollant and good for plant life WHY should we worry about it. I do like your post it does give one things to talk and think about so keep up the good work and thanks to Anthony for for having you on.

  122. The post by Thomas Fuller raises some very good and valid questions and that is a good thing I think.
    Humanity grows and evolves in stages, the struggle at the beginning of the industrial revolution has many lessons for us if we care to examine them. We are seeing a fear of the future combined with a lack of self confidence and this happens just before great change in our social/political/economic structures takes place.
    Just as a child is sometimes frightened of taking the next step in the journey to adulthood so society exhibits similar traits, now we see uncertainty tainted with fear and we see cynical exploitation of that fear and uncertainty show its ugly face and like the overwhelming mother who seeks the eternal baby to comfort.
    The future could be a wonderful and bright place filled with hope and we only have to reach out and strive for that future and it can be ours to enjoy but first we must put aside our childish fears and the excuses we hide behind to justify that clinging to that fear.
    We cannot know for sure what the future holds for us, we cannot know what our descendents will or will not think of us just as our ancestors could not know how we would judge them, they will hold different values to our own and we cannot know what those values will be, all we can do build and grow as fast as we can and hope we are fast enough to avoid the fate of all species so far.
    Let me put it this way, its time to put aside our childish fears and the childish self justifications of those fears and its time to jump into the lake of our future, yes it may be cold and it may hurt a bit but jump we must if we are to face the future without fear and its fear that is the killer. If we turn away now then history will not be kind to us, we have a duty to put aside our fears and we owe to those who follow to build the foundations of strong industrial capitalist free trade economy, we evolve or we wither and die and the choice is ours to make right now.
    Dont let the Luddites spread their silky lies, there is no ideal planetary and social stasis and if that dream is chased it will only lead to decay and misery, our only hope is full spectrum evolution, its a race to grow and survive folks whether we realise it or not the clock of the evolutionary clock is ticking and our time and place in the chain is limited, we either grow ASAP and with all the tools at our disposal or we go the way of millions of other failed species.
    We have but two simple choices in reality, we grow or we die, we either strive to colonize and inhabit a million worlds or we end up with none, we are predators not grazers and the sooner we come to terms with that the better.

  123. According to David Archer, who knows more about this stuff than either you or I do, the time scale for CO2 mixing with the upper ocean, which removes about 2/3 of the perturbation, is about 300 years. The time scale for the next fifth, which amounts to the equilibration of the deep ocean and the decay of the acidification spike. The residual decays on geological time scales, about half a million years. That is less than forever, but for practical purposes, not much.
    I have tried on several occasions to explain to Tom Fuller the distinction between emissions and concentrations. While he protests that he is well aware of it, the current article again shows that he thoroughly misses the point.
    See Archer’s accessible book “The Long Thaw”, or of course his contributions to the primary literature.

  124. Walter Scheider, as far as Earth’s population and energy usage stabilizing, I agree with Thomas Fuller.

    “… I am an optimist at heart. I am truly confident that we have the system in place to find the solutions that we need and to put them in place.” [for energy usage, sure — Christoph]
    “… as our generation’s contribution to a future that is almost in sight already. 90 years? Kids being born today will see it.”

    As far as everything being hunky dory for our ancestors in 90 years, I am doubtful. Certainly I don’t see how they could be in 190. Not if computer processing power and AI increases at present rates, well, continues to increase exponentially.
    Will our species maintain control of this intelligence and capability forever?
    Maybe. But I doubt it.

  125. So it turns out that Mr Fuller is another tepid warmist?
    May I suggest you take a half hour or so and read Michael Crichtons essay on predicting the future and his article on the impact of “good intentions” in relation to Yellowstone NP.
    The best way to minimise the impacts of “weather” is to provide poor nations with the cheapest form of energy available at the time…COAL…and may it burn beneficially for generations to come.

  126. Tom,
    You are correct in one assumption – I am a caucasian male in his early 60s.
    However, I would not trust any information that the UN sees fit to divulge.
    On what criteria is the estimation that Earth’s population will peak at 9.1 billion?
    Until such time as the so-called environmentalists see sense, advancing technology will be hampered; e.g., in the UK we have the wherewithal for useless wind powered generators, but not for thorium based nuclear plants, even though we are importing French nuclear powered electricity on a daily basis.
    On my assumption that the green movement will never be reasonable (which includes compromise), in the UK we will inevitably have to endure future power failures, resulting in reduced industrial output.
    3% p.a. growth? Poppycock!

  127. Thank you Grayman – I’m so tired of this “CO2 isn’t a pollutant but we still have to control it” nonsense.

  128. While reading through these comments I flashed on an idea. If you were to graph the average life expectancy from 100 years ago to today and drew a trend line through it you might be convinced that in another 50 years the average life expectancy will be 150 years. Intuitively we know this is not possible because even in the healthiest of human specimens the physical body simply wears out after the age of 90 even if all other diseases are avoided. I feel the same way about global warming. We might be getting a little warmer after coming out of the LIA and we might get a little warmer still. But what goes up invariably go down again or at least levels off. History has taught us this much.
    The goal of “saving the planet” is purely propaganda. The real goal is controlling energy and thereby controlling the population. Sadly, this is an all too common human trait among some people. Demonizing CO2 is actually silly and in about 10 years it will be remembered as being even sillier. At least 85% of mankind’s energy is derived from the combustion of hydrocarbons (even more if you count biologic metabolism of food). At the present time there is no suitable substitute. I have little doubt there will be a better alternative one day, but these things take time. The best thing we can do in the interim is to resist governmental control of CO2 or energy. Let the free market and non-government funded innovation lead to new discoveries.
    The reality is that it is impossible to get the entire human population on the same page. Even if we were somehow able to cut global CO2 emissions by 50% within a decade it wouldn’t make a lick of difference in terms of global warming. We do, however, know a lot about electricity. We know that in countries that have electricity we have seen a drastic increase in life expectancy, improvements in standard of living, greater innovation and an improvement in environmental conditions. The free market is the best arbiter of how energy should be used and allocated. Some argue that the USA uses a disproportionate amount of the world’s resources. Perhaps, but the USA has also contributed a disproportionate number of advances to mankind.

  129. Christoph Dollis says:
    September 5, 2010 at 10:46 pm
    Sorry about misspelling your first name before. That was caused out of habit. Christopher is the name of one of my grandsons
    It is a good thing that you are somewhat more specific with respect to which points you feel Thomas Fuller is deluding himself, but I don’t think that there is more realistic evidence right now that we will be buried by AI than there was in the 19th century that we were likely to be buried in horse manure.
    However, if you wish to project from the way things are right now to what they will be like a hundred or two-hundred years from now, how come you put no limit on exponential growth of the capabilities of AI and yet, you feel that there should be a limit to the growth of energy generating capacity?
    David, UK, September 5, 2010 at 3:50 pm, correctly stated, “The human ability to adapt and invent (when free to do so) has proven over the centuries to be the key to our success.” Therefore there is no technological limit to the availability of natural resources, no limit to our capability to grow food and to generate energy or to use available space far more efficiently. For those reasons it is needless to set limits for population growth.
    Freely available cheap energy creates wealth, and wealth eliminates the urge for people to propagate in large numbers.
    Reality will be much different from what you or Thomas Fuller worry about. We have nothing to fear but fear itself and the totalitarian measures that grow out of that fear.

  130. Mr Fuller, while I found your previous posts interesting if rather converse (nothing wrong with an alternative and polite point of view), your latest post reads like one of those tiresome Guardian opinion pieces. I visit WUWT to try and get a handle on the major contributing factors responsible for our chaotic climate system. If I wanted utopian/distopian predictions I’d consult professionals such as Mr Romm, Mr Hansen, Mr Pachauri, the UN, the Met Office and Gypsy Petulengro.
    As for the title of this piece – Climate Change is Not a Forever Problem. Apologies for being pedantic but I beg to differ. Climate change is with us constantly. It will always be with us right up until the time our sun becomes a post main sequence star and expands to swallow the Earth. Climate is not something you can attach an on/off switch to even if our politicians think they can. The only people who have achieved global ambitions of this magnitude are the likes of Asimov or Heinlein. Personally I prefer my science fiction to be entertaining and not gratuitously taxing.
    BTW I’m not part of the demographic mentioned in your opening paragraph. I’m a well educated female in my fifties so what are the chances of that?

  131. Tom Fuller says:
    September 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm
    “Now that I’ve ticked a few of you off, I’ll be trying to go after the other side in my next few posts. ”
    Is it ususal for a guest poster to confidently assume that he will be given more slots, even after ticking a few people off? What is the deal here? Are you a new WUWT columnist?

  132. Max Hugoson : “Sorry old boy, but renewable energy is a JOKE and a CRUEL ONE at best.
    I agree with you that nuclear energy is the (or at least a) way to go, but fossil fuels will still last for a century or two. I don’t agree that renewable energy is a cruel joke. Certainly it is mostly uneconomic at today’s level of technology, and certainly in countries like Spain it has proved to be a cruel joke, but at tomorrow’s level of technology the picture might change. I hope so, after all the amount of sunlight reaching the planet is something like 100 million gigawatts (from memory, correct me if I am out by a factor of 10^n), and economically tapping into a small fraction of that would do wonders for the world’s energy needs.

  133. Mr. Fuller,
    IMHO your analogue reasoning is not yet pertinent against unanswered digital questions;
    Is there a temperature rise? Y/N
    If yes, is any man-made? Y/N
    If yes, is it significant? Y/N
    If yes, is it malignant as oposed to benign? Y/N
    If yes, is there an efficient way to deal with it. Y/N
    If no, begin discussions to acquire concensus on actions.
    You appear to be at stage 6, and somewhere on the periphery.

  134. Tom, do you actually read (or at least skim) all the articles on WUWT?
    I can’t understand how anybody can be au fait with the posts here and still believe the modelled predictions could possibly be accurate.
    “I think that emitting CO2 in the same fashion we are today will bite us in the hind end”
    on what evidence base?

  135. Thomas Fuller [Top Post] …
    “While I am probably a stronger advocate for renewable energy and energy efficiency than many of you reading this, …”

    Slightly offended I think. You should have said ‘I feel I am probably a stronger advocate …’.
    What is renewable energy anyway? Leaving aside Hawking and M-Theory, energy cannot be created or destroyed, period.
    Using petroleum is clearly recycling/renewing old energy, primarily solar, from long dead plants/animals/marine life. The use of oil plus all its by-products surely is a humanitarian accomplishment when you consider what it has replaced!
    For example bio-fuels utilize energy from recently deceased plant life. In the not too distant past the long era of whale/seal/(mammal) oil which was far worse, is now too distasteful for most of us to contemplate. Growing plants and killing animals to burn is not a rational thought when we have already dead things for that.
    Solar panels steal photons before they ever arrive at their destination robbing them of their chance to play a part in photosynthesis! photons + CO2 = Green 😉 Put them on roofs and things sure, but wiping out acres of land, no way. That would be truly anti-environmental.
    Wind farms, in addition to slicing and dicing currently alive birds and flying mammals, have some effect on air flow that will no doubt be quantitized in the future. Many, including myself believe these things are anti-environmental.
    Nuclear (well Steam really) was demonized by the eco-nuts to near the point of extinction, but may get pardoned by the eco-nuts at the last moment to avoid the evil oil. This reprieve will only be due to the relentless narcissistic obsessive-compulsive personality disorders of the neo-Luddite ‘progressive’ left who have focused their mental illness on petroleum now. As a general rule, if a progressive/statist/neocom hates it, then I am for it.
    Anyway, wasn’t the first oil well only started in 1860? So we are barely a century (once it ramped-up) into the Oil Age. Considering the durations of previous identifiable technological ages, Wood/Stone/Iron/Bronze/etc, I’d wager we have quite a ways to go before the last oil well is capped. My guess several centuries at least

    “The UN estimates that our population will peak at about 9.1 billion souls around 2075.”

    That pre-supposes they all have souls 😉 I’d wager that at any point in time fully a third of the population are souless programmable eco-bots, natural born serfs forever seeking authority figures to coddle them and set limits on their meaningless lives.

  136. To this reader, a wee bit past that ‘life-stage’, well aware of the health risks mentioned and perfectly capable of looking after myself without being shepherded anywhere, the opening three paragraphs of this little essay are offensively condescending.
    Others have pointed out the underlying assumptions of the writer like the conflation of CO2 emissions and pollution, ‘renewable’ energy and energy efficiency.
    If wind and solar are so efficient, why do they have to be subsidized by governments?
    It reads like ‘green’ soft-sell, using the all too easily accept the memes and vocabulary of the AGW creed.

  137. Mike Jonas says:
    September 6, 2010 at 12:41 am
    “I hope so, after all the amount of sunlight reaching the planet is something like 100 million gigawatts (from memory, correct me if I am out by a factor of 10^n), and economically tapping into a small fraction of that would do wonders for the world’s energy needs.”
    The output of a modern coal-fired station (Drax, UK) can be >26,000 W/m^2 of land occupied for every hour of the day. Isonification by the sun for the purposes of an average solar panel is 200W/m^2 over a 24 hr period. If you add in surface for dedicated supply lines and for coal mines, the huge disparity remains. The problem is a practical one of energy density. Solar and wind cannot get close. And speaking of getting close, if you use areas of frozen wastes or deserts, there are transport issues and losses associated to get to the consumers, not to mention impact on wilderness areas themselves. Of all renewables, only strategically sited hydro comes close which of course is why it was adopted as a competitor and others were not.

  138. Mike Jonas,
    “amount of sunlight reaching the planet is something like 100 million gigawatts (from memory, correct me if I am out by a factor of 10^n), and economically tapping into a small fraction of that would do wonders for the world’s energy needs.”
    Mike, did you ever stop and think that that solar radiation reaching Earth might be needed by the biosphere?

  139. Steven Mosher,
    “Further, if we assume No forcing from C02 ( that it has no effect) Then the warming seen is not what one would predict. ( again see chapter 9).”
    Save it for RC, Steve. That dog won’t hunt on this website for the reason that most people posting here are intelligent enough to recognise an Argumentium ad Ignoratium when they see one. The fact that chapter 9 gives a low level of scientific understanding to several forcings, (and those are only the ones they have considered) should be a dead giveaway.
    Please see Gnomish (September 5, 2010 at 7:39 pm ) for more details.

  140. “Climate change is not a forever problem” sort of implies that it is a sometime / anytime or current problem. Of course the next ice age will be a real problem but I do not believe this is intended by Thomas Fueller as his time horizon is set in centuries rather than millenia. For the time being climate change appears to be more of a relief than a problem, most doomsday predictions of the IPCC 4 ridiculed: Himalaya melt down, malaria pandemic, Kilimanjaro glacier melt attribution to GHG etc. Human food supply and therefore prosperity of the billions appears to be benefitting from higher average global temperatures and CO2 concentrations. Polar bears are among the cutest animals on the planet but if feeding the world’s populations and fighting poverty results in their extinction, so be it, preserving a species may never justify the starvation and poverty of people. So as long as we have no clear understanding of the climate system, the impact of human behaviour including the emission of GHG thereon and the consequences thereof, let alone make a balance between benefits and burdens of any AGW we should refrein from drawing politically correct conclusions, or more accurately, drawing any conclusions at all.

  141. First, Thomas Fuller states that CO2 is not a pollutant, which is clearly true. But if so, why do we actually need to reduce it? The satellite data from NASA shows that the world has become more fertile (but that trend may be going into reverse, according to their latest data – just as global warming seems to have stopped or even gone into a mild decline).
    All the data seems to suggest that the combination of higher CO2 and a slightly warmer world has been of great benefit to the world. I think we have been very lucky to have lived most of our lives during a mild warming period. History repeatedly tells us that mankind prospers when the world is warmer, and that mankind suffers when the world gets colder.
    Actually, I think CO2 has a very small effect on climate, maybe close to zero, so CO2 and climate change are actually two different issues. The ice cores show clearly that CO2 changes follow temperature changes. To paraphrase Gore: when the temperature goes up, so does the CO2.
    When you look at the history of life on Earth, CO2 is actually almost at record low levels. It seems likely that, as technology improves, CO2 emissions will get smaller. I hope that the second half of the century will be dominated by fusion power.
    Meanwhile, probably the only real options are clean coal (assuming the real pollution associated with coal can be solved) and nuclear. I regard renewables as a complete waste of time, as they are too expensive and too unreliable. If you think wind power is a good idea I suggest you monitor the hourly and daily outputs of wind power for your country. Today’s UK 24 hour average is a bit over 4% – but four days ago it was just 0.1%. Occasionally it is actually zero %. Complete madness.
    But hopefully common sense will prevail. I heard on the news this morning that the German government are going to extend the lifetime of their nuclear power stations by up to 15 years. They said the extension would be required until renewables were sufficiently developed. Of course, they will never be ‘developed’. If the wind doesn’t blow, the wind doesn’t blow – however well developed the wind turbines might be.
    So, although I recognise that Thomas Fuller is not an alarmist, and deserves credit for that, I have two fundamental disagreements:
    1. I believe that any future emissions cuts should come from the natural improvements in technology. To enforce emissions cuts as envisioned by many governments is simply deranged. Some aspects, such as the enforced use of biofuels, I regard as something close to a crime against humanity, as it takes food away from starving people in order to fill gas tanks. And all in the name of science that is almost certainly wrong, and that has been badly corrupted by money and politics.
    2. I believe that renewables are mostly a complete waste of time and a pointless waste of enormous resources. Despite the thousands of wind turbines that disfigure our country side, they still generate less power than a single conventional power station. And that’s when the wind does blow.
    Chris

  142. Like many posts here I think the only way to guarantee the future of our ( in my case g-grand children) children is to educate our children to think for themselves.
    Consider what would happen if a CME blew out national grids and transformers and every computer and computer controlled vehicle and device, or even a few neutron bombs that would have a more limited geographical effect. Big transformers are one off, and take months to build.
    Scary if you think it through, slide rules and log tables to the fore, if there was time before chaos ensued. All services down for months if not a year or two.
    Only the military have some fully hardened equipment to guard against a neutron blast, and once their fuel runs out? CO2 is a non problem.

  143. Since climate change has been around for 4.6 billion years it would seem to me that it will continue without any help from man. Energy use is a function of development despite the fact that technology becomes more energy efficient. But we will in the next 30 years or so have discovered how to get energy from fusion. Liquid fuel, like diesel and petrol(gasoline to you Americans) will still be in use but we will be able to manufacture these by biodigesters using genetically modified algae. This is already being done on a small scale in America. Hydrogen power will become a curiosity because hydrogen requires too much power to produce and is very dangerous to handle. Hydrogen power sounds good and clean but it is low in efficiency. BMW’s hydrogen powered car travelled 200 miles on a tank on fuel. The same car using petrol traveled 600 miles. qed petrol,is far more efficient and far less dangerous.

  144. It is always a good idea to look at the underlying, ‘hidden’ narrative of a posting.
    The underlying narrative here is that Fuller is so smart and knowledgeable that he can predict climate and human behavior over a century, while most of the readers are so incompetent, the efforts to keep them in good health by those around them are not even shared with them.
    Yes you, most of the readers of this blog, you must be treated like children who are not even told what is done for their own good.
    The implication: What do you think you are doing here, thinking for yourself and attributing to this blog. Better you listen to the superior people who guide you. And Thomas Fuller is capable and willing to magnanimously and verbosely do just that.
    In my experience, people like him love hearing themselves so much, they will go on and on until you make them stop or walk away.
    Prepare for many more installments of this posting.

  145. Mike says:
    “Extinction is forever. Those species that we wipe out – by whatever means – are unlikely to return. Ocean acidification will likely last tens of thousands of years.”
    Ocean acidification is the fallback scare should the catastrophic global warming fail to manifest itself. It’s scientific base is even less substansial than the CAGW one.
    Did a quick search on animal extinsion in the last century, there are no extinsions in the last century that can be attributed to changes in climate, none, nada, zip.

  146. You can’t predict which technologies will be required to make the next generation of renewable energy, and the current generation are so inefficient they will be a liablity. scientic research has to be broad based, not specific as it will be an unrelated field which will give the breakthrough. They are using large amounts of rare earth metals and the like, and will be very difficult to recycle. In effect the price signal tells us that we are using rare stuff to replace abundant stuff.
    The current solution appears to be to use large amounts of rare and difficult to recycle materials in order to infinitessimally reduce consumption of one of the most abundant materials on the planet – the byproduct of which is the easiest to recycle. This is done by hiring armies of beaurocrats to make sure it is done in the most inefficient and intrusive way imaginable.
    It would make far more sense to spend the money on big ticket improvements to public transport, and potentially infrastructure. That way we get something for the money and the savings are more effective, and it doesn’t really matter whether the science is right or wrong.

  147. Walter Schneider asked:

    “… how come you put no limit on exponential growth of the capabilities of AI and yet, you feel that there should be a limit to the growth of energy generating capacity?”

    I never said that. I expect we will solve many of the energy challenges we now face. And I suspect what supplants humanity will benefit from this.

  148. Mr. Fuller:
    Thanks very much for your posts.
    But…..what is the reason you have not yet answered at least some of the many questions asked to you in this post and in the “We Talk About Politics Because The Science Is Uncertain” post?.
    Regards

  149. At Thomas, I guess your detractors follow you around the interweb, well at least you brought them to an excellent site.

  150. K~Bob Yes, old equipment were energy hogs but :-
    First people didn’t have a TV at all.
    Then they had one which everyone watched (concentrating lighting and heating in one room). Sometimes even the neighbours came round.
    The TV was only on for a short while because there was little on to watch.
    Then there was more tv to watch and most people got their own set.
    Then they got colour TV.
    Then there were tv programmes for all the family on multiple channels.
    Then they had a few small tvs around the house.
    Then there was standby so that TVs never get turned off.
    Then there was 24 hour TV.
    Then there were video players, then DVD, then Blue Ray, etc. Many of these are powered 24/7, just in case you need them.
    Now they’ve got many TVs including widescreen.
    Then Add satellite and digi boxes.
    There are multiple remotes that need batteries.
    And finally, people aren’t just watching TV in multiple rooms using multiple sources of light and heat or cooling, they’re playing computer games and surfing the net.
    Now tell me that watching the TV uses less energy than it used to. You can do similar time lines for other items and get a familiar pattern of energy inflation.
    The phone is another good example, it’s not the energy that is used by a single item but the new options we now consider essential; mobile internal phones, mobile external phones, phones for all family members, modems, TV hook ups, fax, added network capacity, etc.

  151. latitude says:
    September 5, 2010 at 2:29 pm
    Tom Fuller says:
    September 5, 2010 at 2:01 pm
    I think that emitting CO2 in the same fashion we are today will bite us in the hind end when we are using a lot more energy.
    do we really want to use 3 times as much energy as today, all provided by burning coal? Just the conventional pollution from that will be tough to deal with.
    =======================================================
    Tom, with all due respect, you don’t seem to realize you are wetting the bed for the wrong reasons.

    Not only that, he is contradicting himself. First he says co2 isn’t a pollutant, then he says it’s some kind of ‘unconventional’ pollutant.
    Get it straight Tom, it isn’t any kind of pollutant.

  152. Moore’s law has held for about 40 years and states something like processing power doubles every 18months. i.e. irrespective of the amount of money spent in semiconductor research you can expect procesing power to double every 18 months. Clearly research dollars are required, but it would strongly suggest that there is a limit to the effectiveness of that research, because if you wish to go faster than that you also need to speed up the advancement of other technologies.
    Renewables are not a technology in their own right, they are interesting applications of a more general field. When you read about new technology in this area it is always application of something else. The breakthrough to make renewables cost effective is not predictable, it is likely to be a product of the interesting properties of an unknown compound, and no amount of research dollars focussed on renewables will find that compound.
    To take it to an extreme example, if in roman times mankind had decided the only research it was interested in was a computer, we would not have a computer today we would have complex abacuses. The research required to develop the silicon chip would have been cut at birth. All that funds in research to renewables will do is hasten the application of current technology, and we are such a long way from break even that that is not money well spent.

  153. To continue to theme of energy escalation I started in my reply to K~Bob. The energy used in the home is not the whole TV story.
    There is the manufacture of the equipment. Replacement of equipment as it becomes obsolete (accelerating). Disposal of old equipment. Transport of old and new equipment. Similar energy patterns in complementary TV equipment (DVDs, etc). Manufacture and launch of satellites. Even things as trivial as new wall sockets for all that extra equipment use energy.
    There’s also the explosion in the TV programme industry. More cameras and other equipment. More travel. More special effects. Etc. Etc. Etc.
    None of this is bad but it doesn’t point to efficiency winning the war against energy use

  154. Max Hugoson says:
    September 5, 2010 at 7:10 pm
    Sorry old boy, but renewable energy is a JOKE and a CRUEL ONE at best…..
    _______________________________
    Well said.
    “Enemies” of the USA and commercial interests nave not want to see the conversion of the USA to all nuclear. Nuclear is by far the cheapest source of power therefore industry would have stayed in the USA giving the US a great advantage. This would have upset “the balance of power”
    Consider: the three mile Island “accident” had a high probability of being sabotage. Investigators suspected sabotage at Three Mile Island
    Consider: the Boston Globe in the mid eighties ran want ads for nuclear protesters at $10/hr (I was job hunting and probably have some of those ads stashed in the attic)
    Consider: in April 1994 on a back page the Wall Street Journal had an article stating papers in the Kremlin showed activists groups in the USA were not only funded by but were lead by the KGB this is backed up by.
    http://www.savethemales.ca/150801.html
    and The ‘Innocents’ Clubs’
    “….During the 1920’s and most of the 1930’s Münzenberg played a leading role in the Comintern, Lenin’s front for world-wide co-ordination of the left under Russian control. Under Münzenberg’s direction, hundreds of groups, committees and publications cynically used and manipulated the devout radicals of the West.
    Most of this army of workers in what Münzenberg called ‘Innocents’ Clubs’ had no idea they were working for Stalin. They were led to believe that they were advancing the cause of a sort of socialist humanism. The descendents of the ‘Innocents’ Clubs’ are still hard at work in our universities and colleges. Every year a new cohort of impressionable students join groups like the Anti-Nazi League believing them to be benign opponents of oppression, rather than the Trotskyite fronts they really are….”

    More: http://www.sunray22b.net/antonio_gramsci.htm
    The whole idea of hamstringing US development was even written up in a textbook by none other than John Holdren, Obama’s Science Czar and the Ehrlichs. In their 1973 book: Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions they ” called for “a massive campaign … to de-develop the United States” and other Western nations in order to conserve energy and facilitate growth in underdeveloped countries. “De-development,” they said, “means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.” “By de-development,” they elaborated, “we mean lower per-capita energy consumption, fewer gadgets, and the abolition of planned obsolescence.” The authors added:
    “The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge. They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than in the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.”

    Look at the timing:
    1972: UN first Earth Summit: Maurice Strong “warned urgently about global warming, the devastation of forests, the loss of biodiversity, polluted oceans, the population time bomb. Then as now, he invited to the conference the brand-new environmental NGOs [non-governmental organizations]: he gave them money to come; they were invited to raise hell at home. After Stockholm, environment issues became part of the administrative framework in Canada, the U.S., Britain, and Europe.”
    1973: textbook: Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions calling for “de-development of the USA.
    1979: The Three Mile Island accident started at exactly 4:00:37am on March 28, 1979.
    The “de-development of the USA, is shown by the US census figures.
    1970 – 24.0% of the labor force
    1996 – 10.2% of the labor force
    As of June 2010 – 7.58% we lost 1,962,000 manufacturing jobs since 1996 and the ratification of the World Trade Organization.
    Is it any wonder I think the US nuclear program (and industry) was deliberately sabotaged by traitors?

  155. Noelene says:
    September 5, 2010 at 9:02 pm
    _________________________________–
    I believe progress will be delayed because some men believe…
    A very realistic list of what is actually happening. The perpetual blindness of certain people continues to amaze me. I guess it comes from shielding our children from any contact with harsh reality.

  156. Tom Fuller says:
    September 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm
    “Now that I’ve ticked a few of you off, I’ll be trying to go after the other side in my next few posts. ”
    Good. I look forward to it. Yes, you’ve raised quite a stir here, which I don’t see as a bad thing, as a few seem to. I know you are seeking a middle ground on this, but there really isn’t any. The minute you remove the “C” from CAGW/CC, you remove the idiotic notion that we “must do something” about our climate. The debate then can be about energy policy, and how to go about finding a sane one. Remember, it is wealthy societies who have the will and the means to clean up their environment, and also to innovate. Forcing energy prices up has the opposite effect, decreasing living standards, with all of the concomitant social and environmental ill effects.
    Yes, by all means, we should continue to seek alternative energies, just not through government fiat.

  157. Tom, I now realise your skewed view of reality stems partly from your poor reading skills. My name is Alexander; your mis-spelling is for the female version of the name, which is not offensive to me but quite incorrect. I also find your assertions about the kind of folk who frequent WUWT to be slightly weird and Big-Brotherish.
    Your oddly avuncular post-modern stream-of-consciousness writing technoique, which seems aimed at giving the reader an impression of you as a kindly and slightly doddery old chap who was quite sharp once, but means well, is beginning to become a little tiresome.
    You have continually, and I suspect intentionally, failed to quote proper, empirical evidence as to why you are so concerned that we all should ‘reduce CO2’.
    Answering a specific question with waffle about your feelings about the future is not good enough; you made the statement, so it is up to you to provide proper evidence for that statement.
    Regards,
    Alexander

  158. The heart of the problem is as you point out – too many people trying to live sombody else’s life for them – for their future own good.
    Had our forefathers worried about future generations they would have prevented development of steam power and thus the Industrial revolution. Their forefathers would have prevented the Iron Age, their forefathers prevented development of the use of fire and the wheel.
    We ensure the existence of future generations by our own survival and by thriving. We have no way of knowing if our “contribution to the Planet” will be good, bad or be of no consequence to future generations.
    Let the future take care of itself.

  159. Some facts to remember:
    CO2 follows temperature, not the other way. Open a coke and you´ll see it: The more you have it in your warm hand the more gas will go out when you open it.
    CO2 is the transparent gas we all exhale (SOOT is black=Carbon dust) and plants breath with delight, to give us back what they exhale instead= Oxygen we breath in.
    CO2 is a TRACE GAS in the atmosphere, it is the 0.038% of it.
    There is no such a thing as “greenhouse effect”, “greenhouse gases are gases IN a greenhouse”, where heated gases are trapped and relatively isolated not to lose its heat so rapidly. If greenhouse effect were to be true, as Svante Arrhenius figured it out: CO2 “like the window panes in a greenhouse”, but…the trouble is that those panes would be only 3.8 panes out of 10000, there would be 9996.2 HOLES.
    See:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/28018819/Greenhouse-Niels-Bohr
    CO2 is a gas essential to life. All carbohydrates are made of it. The sugar you eat, the bread you have eaten in your breakfast this morning, even the jeans you wear (these are made from 100% cotton, a polymer of glucose, made of CO2…you didn´t know it, did you?)
    You and I, we are made of CARBON and WATER.
    CO2 is heavier than Air, so it can not go up, up and away to cover the earth.
    The atmosphere, the air can not hold heat, its volumetric heat capacity, per cubic cemtimeter is 0.00192 joules, while water is 4.186, i.e., 3227 times.
    This is the reason why people used hot water bottles to warm their feet and not hot air bottles.
    Global Warmers models (a la Hansen) expected a kind of heated CO2 piggy bank to form in the tropical atmosphere, it never happened simply because it can not.
    If global warmers were to succeed in achieving their SUPPOSED goal of lowering CO2 level to nothing, life would disappear from the face of the earth.
    So, if no CO2 NO YOU!

  160. Well, Mr Fuller, if you are one of those eccentrics/open minded souls who would consider what astrology would say, you would no doubt read that planet earth is coming to the end of the era of Pisces and soon to enter the age of aquarius.
    Now you can argue when that is, but my interpretation of astrology (you’ll note I’m not an astrologist nor a person of that faith) is that the Age of Aquarius was fertilised some time ago and the emergence of the internet was akin to the laying down of the neural network that grows within each gestating foetus.
    The characteristics of Pisces? Faith, deference to authority, occasional dissembling, a great belief in institutions.
    The characteristics of Aquarius? Eccentricity, rationalism, scientific, opinionated, logical.
    Right now the two are fighting each other.
    But sooner or later, humanity will realise the role that faith played in earth’s journey and integrate that with the knowledge that comes from science.
    I’m optimistic like you.
    But I don’t expect to benefit from saying so.
    Because society trashes those who challenge authority, despite it being justified when authority has failed………

  161. Mike says:
    “Extinction is forever. Those species that we wipe out – by whatever means – are unlikely to return. Ocean acidification will likely last tens of thousands of years.”
    ________________
    Frank says:
    Ocean acidification is the fallback scare should the catastrophic global warming fail to manifest itself. It’s scientific base is even less substansial than the CAGW one.
    Did a quick search on animal extinsion in the last century, there are no extinsions in the last century that can be attributed to changes in climate, none, nada, zip.
    __________________________
    Willis did the search it is in: Where Are The Corpses? http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/04/where-are-the-corpses/

  162. This is an awful thing to say, but I suspect that WUWT scepticism is
    not primarily about climate change. More about anti-environmentalism
    and all about Paranoid Ultra Conservative Fever. The catastrophic PUCF
    religion.
    Smokey says:
    September 5, 2010 at 4:50 pm
    “The thieving, suffocating monster [ government]..”
    ——-
    H.R. says:
    September 5, 2010 at 12:49 pm
    “The energy issue you raise is important. Unfortunately, I fear you may be looking for government solutions and I ‘fear’ government solutions. (Name one successful government solution: social security? medicare? medicaid? food stamps? welfare? Anyone of those programs would be outperformed by a scheme unencumbered by the economic drag of the accompanying administrative waste.)”
    —————–
    can you provide examples of such ‘outperforming schemes’?
    Gareth says:
    September 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm
    “The global economy works largely despite national and supra-national authorities not because of them.”
    ——
    The whole history of Man is an interaction between private and public, between
    individual and society, between tribe and state. There is no point in entertaining
    some counterfactual dream image of a totally FREE man.

  163. People are capable of every dream and nightmare under the Sun. Looking ‘forward’ in this manner is like the modern psyence of Etamilcology (some say ‘climateology’ but, as it is so new and infantile at this time, I prefer it spelled backwards). Beyond a few days, the ‘future of anything’ is as questionable as the ‘climate to come’. It is always interesting to read what someone thinks about either; indeed, some are actually more sane and compelling than others. Such is life.
    Dreaming usually, normally, for most of us, is a pleasant –though quickly forgotten– experience. Some, however, have various chemical imbalances and find pleasant dreaming difficult; they are more inclined in the opposite direction –the same is true in Etamilcology.
    Daydreaming is not healthy. Some have a chemical imbalance in this direction as well. Whenever we daydream about something we really want, we usually end up disappointed with any result except the one we daydreamed of achieving. Best not to dwell on the particulars and pleasures of grandiose daydreams –reality and life are so much more satisfying that way.
    To hear another’s dream, or their reasoned thoughts, is enlightening. Thank you for a little more information to add to my experience for the day. Best to you!

  164. Dear Moderator,
    I did read the Monday announcement, and I am completely sympathetic to Mr. Watt’s need to deal with the health crisis in his family! I wish the very best for all concerned.
    I continue to be a loyal admirer of this excellent blog. But I still feel that Thomas Fuller’s posts have been thin on content and condescending.

  165. mikael pihlström says:
    “There is no point in entertaining some counterfactual dream image of a totally FREE man.”
    mikael enjoys the cozy feeling of being part of the CAGW crowd. But in his post above he recalls Eric Hoffer’s observation:
    We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, “to be free from freedom.”
    Give me freedom any time over statist watermelon groups.

  166. mikael pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 6:27 am
    This is an awful thing to say, but I suspect that WUWT scepticism is
    not primarily about climate change. More about anti-environmentalism
    and all about Paranoid Ultra Conservative Fever. The catastrophic PUCF
    religion.

    If you knew anything at all about this site, its commenters, and posters, including Anthony, and by extension its readers you would know that your “suspicion” is completely false. Giving a few “examples” of your so-called PUCF theory proves absolutely nothing. My suspicion is you already know this, and thus are simply being disingenuous. Nice try.

  167. mikael pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 6:27 am
    “This is an awful thing to say, but I suspect that WUWT scepticism is
    not primarily about climate change. More about anti-environmentalism
    and all about Paranoid Ultra Conservative Fever. The catastrophic PUCF
    religion.”
    If you care to look you will find a reasonable signal-to-noise ratio at WUWT. Whereas at RC etc you will only get signal, noise having been filtered. I prefer actual over homegenised data myself. It is usually found at WUWT but can be absent elsewhere proxies aside.

  168. Tom Fuller,
    Thank you for another of your posts. You are stimulating key points of discussion. Anthony, thanks for hosting all this great intellectual discourse. : )
    You are starting your post at the end of a long previous philosophical analysis. It is that prior missing philosophical analysis that requires your post’s theme to be false. Why did you omit the analysis that falsifies your post’s theme? I find your post’s theme to be that there is a deterministic pre-ordained historical requirement that the human population now must perform self-sacrifice for the sake of the future. A future which you argue is doomed by overpopulation and AGW.
    Your historical imperative argument is in the same form and on a similar concept as the essential Hegelian thinking is. It was Hegelian thinking that essentially influenced Marx’s view of the deterministic historical necessity of capitalism’s doom and the end of the prosperous middle class. Living humans were told to sacrifice now for the utopian paradise of the future because the historical imperative says you must. It said that it is the inevitable march of predetermined history. They cloaked their arguments in pseudo-scientific terminology to gain credibility in the free western countries and were quite successful in misleading the west for a while. Resistance, they said was futile. History, it was trumpeted, will win no matter what the capitalists and affluent middle classes do.
    However, we all know that the self-sacrificial philosophy failed in the form of the failure of every country that took the philosophy seriously. They sacrificed themselves eventually for nothing as those countries collapsed without the historically necessary utopia occurring. They sacrificed for nothing.
    Mr. Fuller, now you argue in the same vein. You set up a politely stated (low key / introductory) hysterical spectre of overpopulation apocalypse and also of AGW apocalypse as the motivating factor for self-sacrifice to the future. Your argument is hinged on what you say is accepted science about AGW and population. You say that it is accepted science, yet such so-called accepted science have been shown to be independent of the actual discussions occurring in the open/public ongoing scientific process. Whether your accepted science is pseudo-science is open now (finally) to public scientific debate and it doesn’t look good regarding your accepted science. Based on that you argue mankind now must sacrifice for the future. Now is the key operative word of your post.
    If you think human self-sacrifice is pre-ordained, why tell us about it. You would not need to convince us if it is an historical necessity that we must perform self-sacrifice. Your actions invalidate your argument.
    Note: There is another fundamental philosophical concept fatal to your argument; it is related to the nature of human beings. It falsifies your argument about self-sacrifice at an even more fundamental level than your Hegelian type argument.
    John

  169. mikael pihlström says:
    “This is an awful thing to say, but I suspect that WUWT scepticism is
    not primarily about climate change. More about anti-environmentalism
    and all about Paranoid Ultra Conservative Fever.”
    Like many you confuse anti-environmentalism with anti-anti-capitalism. Governmental solutions are often clumsy, misdirected and expensive.
    Eg If the main problem on Earth is CO2 then CO2 is what you tackle. However getting Joe Bloggs to insulate his loft won’t stop deforestation. Joe Bloggs getting a windmill won’t help a cyclone victim in China. Joe Bloggs composting his leftovers won’t stop a gorilla from being killed for bush meat. Joe Bloggs buying carbon offsets won’t get electricity to the third world. Putting biofuels in his car won’t prevent starvation in Ethiopia.
    If people want to see a reduction in consumerism then it has to stand or fall as an issue by itself. Too many are using CO2 as a way to pass judgement on other people’s lifestyle.

  170. Bruce Cobb says:
    September 6, 2010 at 7:31 am

    mikael pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 6:27 am
    This is an awful thing to say, but I suspect that WUWT scepticism is
    not primarily about climate change. More about anti-environmentalism
    and all about Paranoid Ultra Conservative Fever. The catastrophic PUCF
    religion.

    If you knew anything at all about this site, its commenters, and posters, including Anthony, and by extension its readers you would know that your “suspicion” is completely false. Giving a few “examples” of your so-called PUCF theory proves absolutely nothing. My suspicion is you already know this, and thus are simply being disingenuous. Nice try.

    I don’t think you can discount the PUCF completely, I’ve certainly seen some of it here. But to generalize is just incorrect. There are many ultra-liberals here. Myself, I don’t classify myself as anything. I just don’t like secret science. And it seems as if the “facts” aren’t as factual when you have all the data.

  171. mikael pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 6:27 am
    ——-
    “H.R. says:
    September 5, 2010 at 12:49 pm
    “The energy issue you raise is important. Unfortunately, I fear you may be looking for government solutions and I ‘fear’ government solutions. (Name one successful government solution: social security? medicare? medicaid? food stamps? welfare? Anyone of those programs would be outperformed by a scheme unencumbered by the economic drag of the accompanying administrative waste.)”
    —————–
    can you provide examples of such ‘outperforming schemes’?”

    One scheme that takes care of the needs of people in poverty is the religious and secular-social charities with zero overhead. You give the volunteers $1.00 and $1.00 is spent on the goods needed by the beneficiaries. All overhead is absorbed by the members and volunteers of the organization. (NB there are “charitable” organizations where 80% or more of donations go to the overhead; boo, hiss, boo!.) Contrast this with the US government which collects a tax “donation” which is encumbered by the cost of collection (IRS); a portion of that amount is sent to a federal agency (all overhead cost so far; no one in need has seen a penny yet), which then send some of the funds to a state agency (all overhead cost so far; no one in need has seen a penny yet), which then sends funds to a county agency (all overhead cost so far; no one in need has seen a penny yet), which is charged with the task of disbursing it to someone who may or may not need the funds, depending on the honesty of the applicant, after all of the appropriate paperwork has been filled out.
    Which scheme is more efficient, direct action or layers of government? Rinse and repeat for any federal program. The most efficient and lowest cost action takes place at the lowest level necessary to effect the action.
    Social Security is a government-sanctioned Ponzi scheme. That’s not opinion. The government takes money from current “investors” (hahahahahahaha!) to pay earlier “investors” (again; hahahahahahaha!). Worse yet, people who were never “investors” in the first place are eligible for payouts. There have been many more efficient and effective replacement schemes for S.S., but unfortunately there are too many people left holding the bag of the current scheme for the U.S. to easily get away from S.S. Yes, S.S. is only supposed to be a safety net but like any net, it’s full of holes. The most efficient and lowest cost action takes place at the lowest level necessary to effect the action.
    Medicare/Medicaid: If the government is so successful with running those schemes, why are Dr.s refusing to take new patients and dropping those they already have? Why is medicaid and medicare bankrupting the states? If they are such efficient schemes, why is the new healthcare scheme depending so heavily for success on the revenue they hope to get from cutting the fraud and waste in the existing system? How much extra will it cost to cut fraud in the new system? If I give a Dr. $40 to determine if I have a minor fracture or a sprain, where’s the potential for fraud? The most efficient and lowest cost action takes place at the lowest level necessary to effect the action.
    A more efficient scheme being tried right now is patient/Dr. co-ops. A group of Dr.s is paid by a pool of patients for run-of-the-mill heealthcare. The patients carry only catastrophic healthcre insurance, which is cheap. No one else is involved. I’m sure other schemes will be tried, but the upshot is that all of the emerging private schemes are trying to cut out the costs of overhead (insurance and/or government) to deliver affordable healthcare.

  172. Actually, this post is very valuable. It depicts the very weak argument for CO2 reduction. Thomas, you lost the majority of voters for your cause here in the US with just this one post. It was milk toast at its best.
    If there is one thing I adhere to, it is survival of the fittest, meaning those with the biggest canine’s (and I am talking about all omnivores here, including humans) along with those with the most offspring (and I am talking about insects here). CO2 benefits omnivores and insects. It does not destroy them.

  173. hmmmm… I spent a fair amount of time answering mikael pihlström @ September 6, 2010 at 6:27 am and when I hit submit, the usual, “your comment is awaiting moderation” didn’t pop up.
    Spam bin, maybe?

  174. Pamela Gray says:
    September 6, 2010 at 8:11 am
    …..If there is one thing I adhere to, it is survival of the fittest, meaning those with the biggest canine’s…
    _____________________________
    Welcome back Pam.
    That is the one lesson our molly coddled, middle class supermarket browsers have never had. A year on a farm, preferably and Amish or Mennonite farm at the age of ten or so would be a real eye opener. Mucking out barns, weeding gardens, wringing the necks of tomorrows dinner… It gives you a real appreciation of what work is, where your food comes from, and a deep thankfulness for our energy using technological wonders.
    I got that lesson in college while visiting my roommate’s farm for vacation. Chasing an escaped sow with piglets gets rid of the “bambi complex” real quick, if it does not get you killed. It left me with a high regard for those who grow our food.
    For the rest of you city folk, a 400 pound sow with razor sharp teeth can be dangerous especially when her piglets squeal. There’s a saying that the difference between an inexperienced and experienced pig farmer is a few scars.

  175. The writer should also have more respect for the law of diminishing returns.
    The UK government recently increased the efficiency standards for Gas boilers, making the new boilers 4% more efficient than the old ones. Unfortunately the new boilers are more complex, and have approximately half the lifespan of the old ones. A large proportion of the energy savings probably disappears in the manufacturer and recycling of the boiler.
    The cost of replacing the boiler and maintenance has also made electric boilers a lot more desirable.
    The simplistic calculations used by the people pushing this stuff means most of the resources used to reduce resource usage end up chasing their tail.

  176. Gail Combs,
    “wringing the necks of tomorrows dinner… “.
    So that’s how you get your beef steak on the table. I’m impressed!

  177. Larry,
    “The cost of replacing the boiler and maintenance has also made electric boilers a lot more desirable.”
    You are quite right. I have an old gas boiler. It has no moving parts, no computer circuits and consists of nothing more than the gas jets. Inefficient, maybe. But it never needs servicing, and has never gone wrong is the 15 years I have lived here. On the other hand, a friend bought a state of the art gas boiler. Annual servicing costs are around £70 and it went wrong after a few years.

  178. If you’re reading this, the chances are better than even that you are a well-educated male
    Oi, how about us women out here?????? Discrimination! You’re lucky I’m English and not American and therefore likely to take you to court! (Only kidding.)

  179. mikael pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 6:27 am
    Mikael, for those of us who have studied this issue extensively for years, we’ve seen the arguments and counter arguments. I’m not “skeptical” of climate change (AGW). I’ve concluded it’s not a danger to humanity or Earth. I don’t believe in the Easter Bunny either. But along the way, it became apparent that “science” wasn’t the motive for the AGW obsessed. The masses who follow the AGW narrative are simply fooled. The true motivators of AGW are Money, Marxism, and Religion. AGW has very powerful followers, and as a religious political machine, it is very malevolent toward humanity and freedom. This conclusion comes from extensive study, not Paranoia as you imagine. We’re not anti-Environment at all. But Environmentalism has become anti-human, anti-industrialization, anti-capitalist, and anti-American. We defend against that hatred.

  180. alan says:
    September 6, 2010 at 6:53 am
    Dear Moderator,
    “I did read the Monday announcement, and I am completely sympathetic to Mr. Watt’s need to deal with the health crisis in his family! I wish the very best for all concerned.
    I continue to be a loyal admirer of this excellent blog. But I still feel that Thomas Fuller’s posts have been thin on content and condescending.”
    Seconded!

  181. Smokey says:
    September 6, 2010 at 6:58 am
    mikael pihlström says:
    “There is no point in entertaining some counterfactual dream image of a totally FREE man.”
    mikael enjoys the cozy feeling of being part of the CAGW crowd. But in his post above he recalls Eric Hoffer’s observation:
    We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, “to be free from freedom.”
    Give me freedom any time over statist watermelon groups.
    ————————-
    Between John Wayne and the Hitler Jugend trainee Pihlstrom there are no
    intermediate stages?
    BTW, John Wayne was out there on the prairie, because he was playing
    a role in the State-Big Business blueprint for the West. He, like Smokey,
    only thought they were free, protecting the women & children.

  182. Mr. Fuller,
    The responses are more revealing, as is often the case, of the responder rather than the initiating thoughts. Regardless of what individual women might wish in gender issues, more men than women are technophiles and number-oriented analysts. How it is. I, like my majority sex, am obsessive to the point of distraction to my female friends, but am understood, if not quite receiving agreement from, my male associates. The significance of conclusions, potential impacts etc., which forms the heart of the environmental cause, lacks importance to me if the fundamental details do not ring true. My warmist connections float over this argument, in part because it is so difficult to put to rest, as evidenced by the continuing CAGW/normal-plus-a-bit dispute. When one is worried about being run down when crossing the street, he is not pleased when a bystander is trying to find someone who actually has seen cars travelling down that street, let alone a mad rush of traffic.
    As we go forward there are a lot of possible, alarming scenarios. All are population based, as our impact on the world is a volume vs time problem. I, too, am an optomist. I expect that the killing fields of Africa and Asia will decline as their societies enter the modern age as ours did over the last 150 years. The environmental abuse will, I believe, reduce as self-improvement is seen to be a result of collective-improvement, as we have seen. Technology is not evil, though evil uses technology.
    The planet, in my opinion, is a robust organism or physical system – pick your imagery, as the result is the same. It is heavily buffered. As long as we can get our act together over the 100 year timespan. Those who think of the Earth as an example of something in static equilibruim, including its human inhabitants, will see changes or shifts or wrongs as perpetuated and enhanced by repercussions. Those who think the Earth is an example of a thing in dynamic equilibrium will disagree as I do. One can overwhelm such a thing in which internal systems vie with each other for opposite results, but until then changes will tend to be muted. We are in a state of muted changes without doubt – an increase of 0.8C* since 1975 is not a temperature rise of catastrophic proportions, especially since its global occurrence is only detectable with statistics and sophisticated data adjustments. Real, perhaps, but not the smack-you-in-the-face type of change. We still have time.
    Drama – we all love drama, whether on the TV, in our social circle, personal or intellectual life. It gives us colour and a frisson to our waking hours. The CAGW hypothesis gives us much drama and it makes our personal travails trivial. That is a good feeling, too. Our credit card problem is trivial to millions of strangers being threatened sometime in the future with a sea leavel rise of 7 m. And it is better if the danger is hypothetical at this point. Alarm, concern, empathic unease is exciting and invigorating without threatening us personally or requiring us to get out there and helping on the ground, a muddy and less-than poetic reality.
    You speak with moderation and some hesitation as we tend to do as we age, having seen enough worries come to naught. We thought our children would stop breathing if we didn’t watch them in their cribs. For some, it happened. For virtually all of us, it didn’t, but we couldn’t help being worried and would be worried again were we to return to that child-in-cribs stage. It is natural. Yet, with years, we acquire that background voice that tells us to calm down, watch carefully and not to jump too quicklyt. The younger set, not only is more idealistic (a good thing: mellow from idealism, not cynicism), but quicker to react. Think of the western gunslingers of history and fiction: the older guys say to walk calmly and fire carefully, while the young ones rush in blazing everywhere and don’t live to be older, calmer fighters.
    The blogosphere, like e-mail in general, encourages hyperbole and excessive interactions. I don’t know why. Psychologists or behavioural analysts probably have fascinations with this. I am guility as all others. A nuanced stance is not well suited to getting peoples'”dander up”, to getting them involved. It may be appropriate, but not terribly exciting – back to the drama I discussed above. The nuanced stance ultimately is what determines actions taken as a social body, however. It may take time and disasterous interludes for it to be seen, but it is what history shows happens in the long run. Of course this precludes catastrophic events.
    Which brings us back to the CAGW vs skeptical positions. The responses to your comments are drama- and castrophe-based. Having lived through the last half of the 20th century, I have ridden enough roller-coasters of disaster and recovery to be suspicious that this latest one is as real as portrayed. Those who have not had that displeasure have a different view: it only takes one disaster to destroy you, after all.
    I thank you for your input here and on your own blog. I hike with my sons. They start out far faster than me but we both get to the top at the same time, as the mountain determines our speed, not the vigour and insistence of the hiker.

  183. mikael pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 6:27 am
    The whole history of Man is an interaction between private and public, between
    individual and society, between tribe and state. There is no point in entertaining
    some counterfactual dream image of a totally FREE man.

    —————–
    Mikael Pihlström,
    Your position is philosophically incomplete. Of course all humans are born, raised and educated within a pre-existing human society. Because of that you somehow conclude that there can be no totally free man. You would need to define your concept of what is the nature of human beings as human beings in order to claim humans cannot be free.
    Will you answer a question for me? What is the nature of human beings by your philosophical views?
    Show me yours and I will show you mine. : )
    John

  184. Bruce Cobb says:
    September 6, 2010 at 7:31 am
    mikael pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 6:27 am
    This is an awful thing to say, but I suspect that WUWT scepticism is
    not primarily about climate change. More about anti-environmentalism
    and all about Paranoid Ultra Conservative Fever. The catastrophic PUCF
    religion.
    If you knew anything at all about this site, its commenters, and posters, including Anthony, and by extension its readers you would know that your “suspicion” is completely false. Giving a few “examples” of your so-called PUCF theory proves absolutely nothing. My suspicion is you already know this, and thus are simply being disingenuous. Nice try.
    Jeff Alberts says:
    September 6, 2010 at 8:07 am
    I don’t think you can discount the PUCF completely, I’ve certainly seen some of it here. But to generalize is just incorrect. There are many ultra-liberals here. Myself, I don’t classify myself as anything. I just don’t like secret science. And it seems as if the “facts” aren’t as factual when you have all the data.
    ——————–
    Granted, a blog or a movement will have different components and
    viewpoints, but still there is some common denominator. In this case:
    scepticism concerning AGW. Without the political explanation I gave
    it is hard to understand the recalcitrance of many posters here. Seems to
    me that the Fullers & Moshers of this world are trying to renew the platform
    of scepticism by throwing out ideas that have been disproved by science and
    time itself.

  185. Mikael Pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm
    “Seems to
    me that the Fullers & Moshers of this world are trying to renew the platform
    of scepticism by throwing out ideas that have been disproved by science and
    time itself.”
    Like what, exactly?
    Note, I already criticized Mr Mosher on this thread for positing the assertion that CO2 forcing must be true because models cannot hindcast the 20th century warming without it. And you call that science?

  186. Thanks for a detailed answer. Short comments below,
    H.R. says:
    September 6, 2010 at 8:10 am
    One scheme that takes care of the needs of people in poverty is the religious and secular-social charities with zero overhead. You give the volunteers $1.00 and $1.00 is spent on the goods needed by the beneficiaries. All overhead is absorbed by the members and volunteers of the organization. (NB there are “charitable” organizations where 80% or more of donations go to the overhead; boo, hiss, boo!.) Contrast this with the US government which collects a tax “donation” which is encumbered by the cost of collection (IRS); a portion of that amount is sent to a federal agency (all overhead cost so far; no one in need has seen a penny yet), which then send some of the funds to a state agency (all overhead cost so far; no one in need has seen a penny yet), which then sends funds to a county agency (all overhead cost so far; no one in need has seen a penny yet), which is charged with the task of disbursing it to someone who may or may not need the funds, depending on the honesty of the applicant, after all of the appropriate paperwork has been filled out.
    ———————
    Charity is good, but I feel the default and guarantee option should
    be public service. There is always a ‘middle man’, overhead or such. In
    your example somebody at least feeds the volunteer, or if totally on free time
    basis, there is a ‘deprivement cost’ for the volunteer’s close ones.
    If a private company has raw material costs of 4-5% of the product price,
    everybody finds it normal that most of the money paid by consumers goes to
    ‘middle men’ and administration. How could government provided services
    run on zero inputs?
    —————————-
    Which scheme is more efficient, direct action or layers of government? Rinse and repeat for any federal program. The most efficient and lowest cost action takes place at the lowest level necessary to effect the action.
    ————————–
    In a modern society like the U.S. allocation of the decision to the lowest level
    is not as cost-efficient as it seems. A central bureaucrazy can stamp and post
    quite a number of letters per day.
    ————————
    Social Security is a government-sanctioned Ponzi scheme. That’s not opinion. The government takes money from current “investors” (hahahahahahaha!) to pay earlier “investors” (again; hahahahahahaha!). Worse yet, people who were never “investors” in the first place are eligible for payouts. There have been many more efficient and effective replacement schemes for S.S., but unfortunately there are too many people left holding the bag of the current scheme for the U.S. to easily get away from S.S. Yes, S.S. is only supposed to be a safety net but like any net, it’s full of holes. The most efficient and lowest cost action takes place at the lowest level necessary to effect the action.
    ———————–
    I thought Soc Sec had a stand-alone budget, running surplus and
    that it is a small fiscal component, compared to e.g. Bush tax cuts
    weighing heavily on the Nation deficit?
    ———
    Medicare/Medicaid: If the government is so successful with running those schemes, why are Dr.s refusing to take new patients and dropping those they already have? Why is medicaid and medicare bankrupting the states? If they are such efficient schemes, why is the new healthcare scheme depending so heavily for success on the revenue they hope to get from cutting the fraud and waste in the existing system? How much extra will it cost to cut fraud in the new system? If I give a Dr. $40 to determine if I have a minor fracture or a sprain, where’s the potential for fraud? The most efficient and lowest cost action takes place at the lowest level necessary to effect the action.
    ——–
    I don’t have enough knowledge on your HC system. But, in
    international comparisons it is both economically inefficient and
    less covering than other OECD countries with universal HC.
    ———–
    A more efficient scheme being tried right now is patient/Dr. co-ops. A group of Dr.s is paid by a pool of patients for run-of-the-mill heealthcare. The patients carry only catastrophic healthcre insurance, which is cheap. No one else is involved. I’m sure other schemes will be tried, but the upshot is that all of the emerging private schemes are trying to cut out the costs of overhead (insurance and/or government) to deliver affordable healthcare.

  187. Bart Verheggen says:
    September 6, 2010 at 12:17 pm
    Climate change may very well be a (practically) “forever” problem: https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.earth.031208.100206

    Bart,
    It is nice to see you playing around in these woods. : ) I haven’t been much to your place since the redoubtable VS departed.
    I think it is more accurate to say that climate change has been forever wrt to the history of the earth and forever will be. OK, no problem there and I agree except . . . . for the future you aren’t talking about anything but man so we don’t really agree.
    You are implying man is forever a problem. I think you have an unimaginably bigger problem with man than you realize. I am and many others are actively advocating, au contraire, to ensure man will achieve the stars and spread the problem you have with him across the known and unknown universe. To me and many others there never was nor will be a problem with man. : )
    I my view you have a universal problem in mankind, not an earthly one. It is unimaginably worse than you thought. So, you better try to “fix” mankind before he spreads the disease you perceive he has (due to his very existence) beyond earth to blight the universe. I can see the current environmentalists blocking the spread of man, as a disease, from escaping earth itself, in order to protect the universe. Yup, a “protect the universe from man foundation” will spring up at my very mention of it. : ) Entire blogs will spring instantly into action to block space travel. Millions of dollars will be donate to the cause . . . . whole industries will spring up to block space travel.
    Be aware, you and I may be protagonists in a Greek tragedy or comedy. I will promote mankind’s every effort to spread himself across the universe.
    Bloggers like you, if some equivalent to bloggers exist a million years from now, will be at it still trying to limit (population and domain) of mankind across the known universe into other dimensions via parallel universes. coooool.
    I say have at it mankind. Be prosperous and multiply into the vast universe . . . .
    John

  188. Mikael Pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm
    Without the political explanation I gave it is hard to understand the recalcitrance of many posters here.
    Sounds like a bad case of cognitive dissonance to me. Your “political explanation” is no more true than saying Warmists believe in CAGW/CC because they are (mostly) of the Liberal persuasion, though it is true they may be more likely to.
    No, the common denominator of Skeptics/Climate Realists is a deep respect for Science, the scientific process, and for truth-telling, no matter where the chips may fall.

  189. The CAGW hype is in itself anti-environmentalism, where it distracts and uses funds from what otherwise should have been used for geniune environmental projects that can make a big difference. How many environmetalists would shoot thousands of birds a year to save 1 percent of energy on household bills or swing from fossil fuels? Yet for the same reasoning fuel prices will surge (already have to some extent) because all of us rely a lot on fossil fuels. This is what just a small amount of wind turbines are doing on a yearly basis without the gun, but this supports the AGW cause so it’s good right?
    This doesn’t even count the cost to maintain, unsightly in the countryside and energy used in making them in the first place takes years until there is a net gain. While all this effort in trying to reduce emissions of CO2 in which, all fossilised emissions released in the atmosphere at once will never become harmful to life on the planet. These levels are not harmful, not toxic and therefore will never become a pollutent. The realistic targets of nations for reducing CO2 emissions also will have virtually no effect on the global temperature. (no one will notice any difference) Therefore, there is no point in reducing CO2 levels because no one (except the greedy rich gaining from it) will benefit.
    Let future technology that is increasingly energy efficient decide the power balance, not a religious assault on misunderstandings of pseudoscience. It’s a shame that so many people on this planet have gone completely insane. No wonder the biggest arm wavers are the very ones where there is financial gain.

  190. John Whitman says:
    September 6, 2010 at 10:58 am
    mikael pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 6:27 am
    The whole history of Man is an interaction between private and public, between
    individual and society, between tribe and state. There is no point in entertaining
    some counterfactual dream image of a totally FREE man.
    —————–
    Mikael Pihlström,
    Your position is philosophically incomplete. Of course all humans are born, raised and educated within a pre-existing human society. Because of that you somehow conclude that there can be no totally free man. You would need to define your concept of what is the nature of human beings as human beings in order to claim humans cannot be free.
    Will you answer a question for me? What is the nature of human beings by your philosophical views?
    Show me yours and I will show you mine. : )
    John
    ———
    Hello John,
    well, a FREE man recognizes his given context, in this case modern
    society. After that, he is free to develop and act out his destiny in any
    way he chooses, provided he does not hurt anyone, again in the given
    context of modern society. For the best quality freedom fruits, there is
    actually no need to compete for resources or financial assets. A free man
    is not predestined, but fully responsible for his every thought and action.
    If you will, he profits from being a sceptic intermittently, but also from
    disciplining himself if confronted by inconvenient truth.
    Sorry, this is not very lucid, but it’s late overhere and you asked.
    This is my complaint with American conservatism:
    it so values the freedom

  191. The UN estimates that our population will peak at about 9.1 billion souls around 2075. They, and almost everyone else, estimates that our GDP will grow at roughly 3% per year during that time. This means that all except the very poorest of this 9 billion will be richer than we are today. The textile workers in Vietnam making $84 a month? Their grandchildren will be making more than our national average today.
    LOL
    We all know how good UN predictions are…
    Right, simply facts: Our population will expand to the carrying capacity of the planet. Every animal’s population expands the carrying capacity of its environment, we will be no different. For every group that thinks it will be different, and will limit its fertility, there will be a group who will not limit its fertility, and render the previous group’s activities futile.
    This will mean a life of borderline starvation for the vast majority of people. There will of course be the elite (whether they shaman, priests, kings, presidents or whatever) who will have a happier life, but these will alway be a tiny minority.
    Now for most other populations of animal, predation at peak population becomes overwhelming, as the predated population is only barely hanging on, and the pack of lions (for example) is not a help. You could argue that we have no real predators – rather like elephants in national parks – in which case we’d be looking for an outside agency to ship us off somewhere and reduce our numbers. That’s unlikely to happen, but it won’t stop people looking for little grey men with their “probes”.
    Personally, I think we self-predate. Which means, that the populations of hoi polloi will reduce, and reduce drastically, as the the population of green “camouflage” people (you know – the ones with guns) take everything away from them. Then the population of the green “camouflage” people will crash as there will be no one left to feed and water them.
    And then we start all over again…
    You may notice I’ve not said what is the final carrying capacity of the planet. That’s because I have no idea. We may be able to grow from 7 billion now to maybe 12 billion or, in the absense of fossil fuels, our population may measure a whole 1 billion. Personally I think with nuclear power, the answer will probably lie somewhere between the two.
    The numbers really matter either way – you’re either part of the live population, or you’re not. Try to be one of the live ones…
    In the meanwhile, the earth will continue its dance across the cosmos, and what will our trials and tribulations matter? They will matter not a jot.

  192. simpleseekeraftertruth : “The problem is a practical one of energy density. Solar and wind cannot get close. … ”
    I believe you are absolutely correct. But the human race is amzingly creative when allowed to be. Here we have a difficult problem to be solved, but a massively valuable outcome if it is solved. I think the creative minds will do it. That’s why I referred to “tomorrow’s level of technology”.
    Vince Causey : “
    Mike, did you ever stop and think that that solar radiation reaching Earth might be needed by the biosphere?
    Yes. The world as we know it can get along with how much energy – 100k gw maybe? (I have pulled a figure from the air, correct me if I am wrong). If the sun provides 100m gw, we only need to tap into 0.1% of that, less whatever energy we get from nuclear, (depleting) fossil fuels, and other sources. I really do believe that the biosphere can get on OK with 99.9% of what it’s used to. especially if we choose carefully which 0.1% we use.
    H.R. : “I spent a fair amount of time answering … when I hit submit, the usual, “your comment is awaiting moderation” didn’t pop up
    I find that if I prepare an answer in another place and then paste it in, it goes ok. And vice versa!
    Everyone : thanks for a great discussion. It has taken a long time to read all the comments, but it has been worth it.

  193. Vince Causey says:
    September 6, 2010 at 9:25 am
    Gail Combs,
    “wringing the necks of tomorrows dinner… “.
    So that’s how you get your beef steak on the table. I’m impressed!
    _____________________________________________________________-
    That conjures up the memory of watching several would be cowboys trying to “wrassal” a steer. Poor thing stood there with its muzzle pointed at the sky for a half hour but no matter how hard they tried they never did throw him – steer 14 cowboys zero.

  194. Mikael Pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm
    …..This is my complaint with American conservatism:
    it so values the freedom
    ______________________________
    Thank you, Thank you, Mikael for making it clear that CAGW is all about freedom. I take it since you are anti-freedom you are all for serfdom as long as its is someone else who has been robbed of his freedom and not you. Is that correct?

  195. Don’t forget the $$$$$$$$$$ incentives
    HSBC Says Low-Carbon Market Will Triple to $2.2 Trillion by 2020
    By Catherine Airlie – Sep 6, 2010 6:19 PM GMT+1000 Email Share
    Business Exchange Twitter Delicious Digg Facebook LinkedIn Newsvine Propeller Yahoo! Buzz Print HSBC Holdings Plc says the global market for low-carbon energy and efficiency projects will triple to $2.2 trillion by 2020.
    The bank based its forecasts on the likelihood of meeting renewable energy, efficiency and carbon-dioxide emissions targets.
    “We recognize significant upside and downside risks to our forecasts, but even in our most bearish scenario, we expect the market to double by 2020,” Nick Robins, head of climate change at HSBC, said today in an e-mailed research report.
    The bank expects the European Union will meet its renewable energy targets and mi30ss its energy-efficiency targets. The U.S has limited growth in the clean energy sector, and China will exceed its targets, according to the report.
    To contact the reporter on this story: Catherine Airlie at cairlie@bloomberg.net
    regards

  196. What makes you think energy consumption is bad? Energy gives us freedom to do things we could not otherwise do. Food production, for example, is very energy intensive. Do you care to plow, plant, harvest, and preserve your food each year?
    We need to build Integral Fast Reactors (IFRs – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_Fast_Reactor) to fully utilize the uranium and thorium we have. Fission could provide us 500 to 1000 years of inexpensive power.
    The nuclear waste problem effectively goes away with IFRs. Even with current reactor designs, the radioactivity of the waste falls below the level of the original ore after about 200 years. With thorium fuel, the 233U produced IFR can’t be diverted for nuclear weapons due to the high level of gamma rays it produces.
    A modular plant design could be air cooled, far simpler to operate, cheaper to build, and safer since it would not need elaborate emergency cooling systems.
    I would rather have a Star Trek future than a Little House on the Prairie future.

  197. Gail Combs says:
    September 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm
    Mikael Pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm
    …..This is my complaint with American conservatism:
    it so values the freedom
    ______________________________
    Thank you, Thank you, Mikael for making it clear that CAGW is all about freedom. I take it since you are anti-freedom you are all for serfdom as long as its is someone else who has been robbed of his freedom and not you. Is that correct?
    —————–
    The phrase of mine you cite was submitted in mistake. Meaningless
    since I never finished the paragraph. Please disregard.

  198. Bruce Cobb says:
    September 6, 2010 at 1:11 pm
    Mikael Pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm
    Without the political explanation I gave it is hard to understand the recalcitrance of many posters here.
    Sounds like a bad case of cognitive dissonance to me. Your “political explanation” is no more true than saying Warmists believe in CAGW/CC because they are (mostly) of the Liberal persuasion, though it is true they may be more likely to.
    No, the common denominator of Skeptics/Climate Realists is a deep respect for Science, the scientific process, and for truth-telling, no matter where the chips may fall.
    ——–
    There is a big difference! Warmists are in line with the scientific
    understanding of AGW. No cause to posit political overdetermination.
    Skeptics often support theories that have been proved wrong time after time.

  199. mikael pihlström [September 6, 2010 at 6:27 am ] says:
    This is an awful thing to say, but I suspect that WUWT scepticism is not primarily about climate change. More about anti-environmentalism and all about Paranoid Ultra Conservative Fever. The catastrophic PUCF religion.

    You betcha. If belief in something is a religion, I am Guilty as charged. Freedom, Individual Liberty, Self-Determination. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Self-Defense with great prejudice. Freedom of Speech, Assembly and to Worship (be it God or football or Ozzy Osbourne) or not. These rights are inalienable, they come from the highest authority, not from man/government. Scary concept to those that cannot understand it. You should get out more. Meet refugees from communist hell-holes who thankful and grateful when they get here.

    The whole history of Man is an interaction between private and public, between individual and society, between tribe and state. There is no point in entertaining some counterfactual dream image of a totally FREE man.

    It is not a dream though. Really! I woke up this morning and it is still here. I think I recognize your quote though, but I cannot place it (Engels maybe?), care to explain before someone else figures it out?

    Mikael Pihlström [September 6, 2010 at 10:10 am] says:
    Between John Wayne and the Hitler Jugend trainee Pihlstrom there are no intermediate stages?

    Why the urge to straddle a fence (you know that can be painful and impact your love life ;-)? Besides, why would anyone look for the middle in your example anyway?

    Mikael Pihlström [September 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm] says:
    This is my complaint with American conservatism: it so values the freedom

    Ahh, the crux of the matter indeed. There are so many has-been dictators and tyrants that phrase could be attributed to. Wow. Just wow. (Meanwhile posters at RC and Tamino are cringing because their cover is blown).
    Just out of curiousity who did this to you? How did this feudal serfdom Stockholm Syndrome get so deeply implanted into your psyche? Was it parental indoctrination, schooling, peer pressure? Inquiring minds want to know.
    But kudos to you mikael pihlström for honesty. However you must be very young to post such tripe, or you must be so terrified of all the folks here that value their freedom that you took leave of your senses. Either way, your anti-freedom prejudice will now live forever and ever in the archives of Google for all your family and friends to see. Congratulations I say.

  200. “Extinction is forever. Those species that we wipe out – by whatever means – are unlikely to return. Ocean acidification will likely last tens of thousands of years.”
    Strange that you don’t talk about those that we helped create and those that we protect.

  201. mikael pihlström says: “Skeptics often support theories that have been proved wrong time after time.”
    While I see alternate theories proposed, I’ve seen very few on this issue disproved (or proved) time after time; instead the skeptics are continually debated (this is good). What I have seen is CAGW theories proposed time after time with a failure to predict the impact on the climate or prove the science. Getting away from the math and science for a moment, a prophet (scientists) should be rated to the degree their theories are fulfilled. Currently, I don’t see the hurricanes, rising sea levels and general apocalypse advertised; only isolated periods of high temperatures.
    And as has been noted many times before, it is to CAGW group to prove their theories, not for the skeptics to prove alternative theories.

  202. mikael pihlström says:
    September 7, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Gail Combs says:
    September 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Mikael Pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm
    …..This is my complaint with American conservatism:
    it so values the freedom

    “Thank you, Thank you, Mikael for making it clear that CAGW is all about freedom. I take it since you are anti-freedom you are all for serfdom as long as its is someone else who has been robbed of his freedom and not you. Is that correct?”

    The phrase of mine you cite was submitted in mistake. Meaningless
    since I never finished the paragraph. Please disregard.

    ———————
    Mikael and Gail,
    Mikael, I said I would share mine. My understanding of the nature of human beings is they are animals with a volitional capacity for conceptual processing of reality and with the volitional ability to evaluate/find causal links with those concepts confirmed by testing against reality. The volitional part of the nature is the really hard part of it. My statement is incomplete in that a treatment of man’s capacity must also have a treatment of its relationship with reality and a treatment of the nature of reality . . . another post at another time perhaps . . . . it would get rather lengthy here. But, this is a beginning. : )
    So, I think beings with that nature would not long be subjects in an authoritarian society . . . . new men/women will always grow up and think and rebel. Those societies in the long term cannot work for them.
    Gail, we can hope that Mikael may complete his paragraph on freedom & conservatism in time. Great dialog.
    John

  203. And while I’m at it, I’ll address Moore’s Law and it’s applicability to energy. In my industry, per Moore’s Law the energy requirements for Data Centers and Telephoy Switches have increased exponentially, to the point that fingers are being pointed at the electronics as energy hogs.
    However, I see the electronics as energy savers, even as their power requirements increase. Many people can work from home now, eliminating the transportation energy (and maybe less energy to wash closes). Bills are paid on-line, eliminating inefficient mail systems and again reducing transportation costs. Sahring documents between different areas again save transportation. And now we’re seeing more groups willing to go paperless on more and more issues, again saving energy. The only energy I see as wasted is that for personal games and entertainment. But like Mr. Fuller, my long term belief is if we act prudently, long term energy requirements per person will be reduced.

  204. Blade says:
    September 7, 2010 at 2:06 am
    Just out of curiousity who did this to you? How did this feudal serfdom Stockholm Syndrome get so deeply implanted into your psyche? Was it parental indoctrination, schooling, peer pressure? Inquiring minds want to know.
    —–
    Since you are an inquiring mind, you could have figured out that
    the fragment you cite last, was an unfinished sentence, submitted
    by mistake, thus meaningless per se.
    What I said before that can hardly be construed as advancement of
    serfdom, but then again nuances might not be your strongest side?

  205. “The whole history of Man is an interaction between private and public, between individual and society, between tribe and state. There is no point in entertaining some counterfactual dream image of a totally FREE man.”
    I believe this is paraphrased from “Thus Spake Zarathustra”

  206. John Whitman says:
    It is the distinguishing characteristic of human nature that he is born tabula rasa and defines his own nature. That is the objective definition of human nature.
    It’s not circular; it is self fulfilling.
    The standard of value for any living thing is its own life as the thing it is. That which achieves and maintains a value is named ‘virtue’.
    Thinking is our primary virtue.
    To choose according to a standard of value is to be moral. Morality is the science of choice and a standard is required to evaluate any choice.
    Humans have an organ for thinking. It has become a tribal fashion to mutilate it. It has become fashionable to be a mutilator.
    That’s the negation of the means by which human beings achieves what his nature requires. That is evil. To choose this as a virtue is pervert morality.
    Hope that’s all clear. I know a 4 year old who can explain it if I failed.

  207. Djozar says:
    September 7, 2010 at 9:26 am
    “The whole history of Man is an interaction between private and public, between individual and society, between tribe and state. There is no point in entertaining some counterfactual dream image of a totally FREE man.”
    I believe this is paraphrased from “Thus Spake Zarathustra”
    ———–
    Really? I read it (or parts of it) so long ago, I cannot tell. But,
    wouldn’t Nietzsche have said nearlythe opposite: “If you are Super Man,
    (Ubermensch) screw the others and realize your destiny”

  208. Mikael Pihlström says:
    “Really? I read it (or parts of it) so long ago, I cannot tell. But,
    wouldn’t Nietzsche have said nearlythe opposite: “If you are Super Man,
    (Ubermensch) screw the others and realize your destiny””
    Different section: I believe the first part where he’s indicating that freedom is an illusion. Been a while for me too; just sounded similar. Plus I don’t read Ubermensch as superman but overman seeking be created.

  209. Mikael Pihlström;
    I don’t claim to be a Nietsche expert, and I tend to read different views from his works than other people. I believe the quote is in part 1 of “Thus Spake Zarathustra”, and I thought it was were he was scoffing at the overall concept of free men. But I also don’t read Ubermensch as conventional superman, but as a “over” man using his will to approach that state. Of course my grades were crappy in philosophy, so I’m probably wrong.

  210. TinyCO2 wrote:
    “Now tell me that watching the TV uses less energy than it used to. You can do similar time lines for other items and get a familiar pattern of energy inflation. ”
    Gladly. The old teevees used to suck a ton of juice just by turning them on. Our old console TV used to cause lights to dim when you turned it on. Modern widescreens don’t use much juice at all, compared to older versions. And frankly, the trend is away from group viewing now, since you can stream damn near anything, and younger folks think the crappy resolution they get for both video and audio on their handhelds is just fantastic.
    You used to be able to find a “Stereo/HiFi” dealer in almost any town of size. They sold big amps and bigger speaker systems.
    What do the kids listen to now? Ear buds. Ear Buds! Goodbye HiFi stores.
    Now, worldwide you sure have an increase, since all of India and China rely heavily on cellphone tech for comms and Internet service. And yes, more and more poor folks are getting access to cheaper gadgets. But we’re talking the difference between locomotives (old tvs and phones) and windup toys here. And the efficiency scales are getting better for each gadget, not worse. Why? because that’s how you stay in business.
    Oddly enough, cheaper housing has impacted kitchen appliance consumption negatively in some (some) ways. Many people discover that a good quality set of knives and *enough counter space with which to work*, ends up taking less time and produces better outcomes than operating countertop appliances. (Cleaning time for such gadgets is a major turn-off.)
    Add to that the huge benefits from such things as on-demand water heating, LED lighting, solar-powered exterior lighting, etc, and you can see that the situation gets better per-individual, all the time.
    So the notion of “energy inflation” is not cut and dried. You need to factor in use trends, economies of scale, and efficiency improvements.
    We haven’t even tested the limits of our technological capacity yet, and the AGW folks seem to think we have only a few tools with which to solve problems.
    My money is on tech and industry to solve any climate problems.

  211. Mikael Pihlström says:
    September 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm
    “Thanks for a detailed answer. Short comments below,”
    And I appreciate that you took the time to read and respond. I wasn’t sure if yours was a “hit and run” post. I guess not; and thank you.
    Mikael Pihlström replied
    ———————
    “Charity is good, but I feel the default and guarantee option should
    be public service. There is always a ‘middle man’, overhead or such. In
    your example somebody at least feeds the volunteer, or if totally on free time
    basis, there is a ‘deprivement cost’ for the volunteer’s close ones.
    If a private company has raw material costs of 4-5% of the product price,
    everybody finds it normal that most of the money paid by consumers goes to
    ‘middle men’ and administration. How could government provided services
    run on zero inputs?”

    You asked for examples of schemes that were more efficient than government of some sort and so examples are what you received. (BTW the volunteers provide for their own upkeep whether or not they perform charitable acts. Their overhead is zero.)
    As you point out, government has a cost as a middleman. The higher the level of government administering a program, the more money is wasted in “middleman” costs. In the U.S. the governmental layers are the individual, village/town/city, township, county, state, and then federal government. That’s just cost. As the level of administration goes higher, mistakes are made, square pegs are forced into round holes, unintended consequences arise, and if the problem is temporary, the bureaucracy remains behind long after it has served its purpose.
    Mikael Pihlström also replied
    —————————-
    “[H.R. wrote] Which scheme is more efficient, direct action or layers of government? Rinse and repeat for any federal program. The most efficient and lowest cost action takes place at the lowest level necessary to effect the action.
    ————————–
    In a modern society like the U.S. allocation of the decision to the lowest level
    is not as cost-efficient as it seems. A central bureaucrazy can stamp and post
    quite a number of letters per day.”

    Yeah, but… at the local level, you know the letter is going to the right person for the right reason. And the larger the organization, the more diffuse the responsibility. When citizens have problems with government, it’s “the rules;” the government no longer serves the individual but instead lives only to perpetuate itself.
    Mikael Pihlström replied
    ———————–
    “I thought Soc Sec had a stand-alone budget, running surplus and
    that it is a small fiscal component, compared to e.g. Bush tax cuts
    weighing heavily on the Nation deficit?”

    No. All of the money collected for S.S. is spent in the year it is collected. There is no seperate account where the overage is safely kept. The U.S. congresscritters spend it just as they would general revenue. The only thing that can be said for now is that current revenues exceed current payouts. That won’t be true in a few years. BTW, tax cuts: what’s wrong with keeping your own money? Why does the government have a right to any of it? They do, by but consent of the governed? If I think they are taking too much, I vote for someone who will take what I think is really needed to fund the country and not every pie-in-the-sky cockamamie program. I’m not against government, just wasteful government spending and spending on things that are not the legitimate business of government.
    Mikael Pihlström replied
    ——–
    ” I don’t have enough knowledge on your HC system. But, in
    international comparisons it is both economically inefficient and
    less covering than other OECD countries with universal HC.”

    Absolutely! Your perceptions are correct. We have our government to thank for that. BTW, NO ONE, in the U.S. is denied basic medical treatment. It is a requirement for hospitals to accept and treat all-comers, regardless of ability to pay. That is the current system. Healthcare costs to those who actually pay for healthcare reflect that reality.

  212. If energy consumption is indeed decreasing in developed countries, wouldn’t that largely be because of concerns about the environment, climate change and so on?
    If nobody cared about the environment, do you think energy consumption would have decreased?

  213. Joe Earth says:
    September 8, 2010 at 3:46 am
    If energy consumption is indeed decreasing in developed countries, wouldn’t that largely be because of concerns about the environment, climate change and so on?

    That …. or….. the need for consumption has been reduced by industry leaving those countries for developing countries which provide lower costs and less regulation / taxes, etc.
    The other issue is; what is the energy used for. The US could greatly reduce its energy consumption if we quit feeding the rest of the world. That of course would leave a lot of hungry people while at the same time reduce our GDP.

  214. Gnomish says:
    September 7, 2010 at 10:23 am

    ————-
    Gnomish,
    I was taking it one step at a time. I like to start with man’s nature and move backwards toward metaphysics from there, then move forward from man’s nature to ethics, politics and ending with esthetics. It seems to work much better with people who have not walked through the fundamental concepts before rather than just starting with metaphysics.
    Your philosophy’s overview was classic Aristotle/Rand.
    John

  215. Joe Earth 3:46 am
    “If energy consumption is indeed decreasing in developed countries, wouldn’t that largely be because of concerns about the environment, climate change and so on?
    If nobody cared about the environment, do you think energy consumption would have decreased?”
    While there are some who are driven by the environment, I see it more as engineers striving to provide the most cost effective solutions. This isn’t just efficiency, but life cycle costs; this is why solar and wind will not have a payback until other energy costs increase.
    Another factor in the U.S. include the reduction of industrialization (along with the loss of jobs). It doesn’t mean the world is using less energy, just that the markets have shifted to areas with lower production costs. A large part in the cost is the paperwork hurdles imposed on any new venture in the Western world. As a working professional engineer, my clients would rather outsource the work to a third world country where all they have to invest beyond cost is a bribe.

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