I'm Not Schizophrenic (And Neither Am I)

Guest Post by Thomas Fuller

It is not often that I get called a ‘denialist’ and a ‘troll’ for the dark forces of Al Gore on the same day, but it does happen.

It’s because I am a ‘lukewarmer,’ one who believes that the physics of climate change are not by theselves controversial, but who believes that the sensitivity of the earth’s atmosphere to a doubling of concentrations of CO2 is not yet known, but is likely to be lower than activists have claimed.

I suppose it should bother me that I am getting slammed at activist websites such as Only In It For the Gold, Deltoid and ThingsBreak because they think I don’t go far enough, and slammed again here and at The Air Vent because I go too far. Although I want to be liked as much as the next fellow, it doesn’t, because the reasons given for slamming me never seem to match up to the reality of what I write.

Critics here have focused on a lack of substance, so I’ll try and address that in this post. I’m a bit amused at one commenter who yesterday said I understood nothing of energy. (Shh! Don’t tell my clients–I just delivered a 400-page report on alternative energy, and they’ll be ticked off…)

And I’m equally amused that I have to acknowledge that Michael Tobis (at last) got one thing right in a comment yesterday, when he wrote that the real problem we face is coal–and Chinese coal at that. (More on that in a minute.)

The LukeWarmer’s Way

The operation of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is one of the least controversial ideas in physics. The calculations that show a temperature rise of between 1 and 2 degrees Celsius if concentrations double is also widely accepted, including by all skeptic scientists without (AFAIK) exception.

We don’t know the sensitivity of the atmosphere to a doubling of CO2, so the effects of feedbacks are not know. Activists think it is 3 degrees or higher. Contrarians think it is very low–1, maybe 2, tops, some thinking it is even lower.

If activists are right we have a very big problem on our hands. If contrarians are right we don’t. If both are wrong, there is a lukewarmer’s way.

If you believe that about 2 degrees of warming is headed our way this century, it will be a problem–probably not for those reading this, because of our fortunate geography, but for those in the developing world, who will have to add droughts, floods and heatwaves to their current long list of miseries. And it’s not really the size of the temperature rise that worries me, although having a 2 degree average means it will be greater in some places, and again, probably in the least fortunate locales. But it’s really the speed of change that will make it tough to adapt to.

So as a lukewarmer I believe that if there are ‘no regrets’ options, by which I mean things that make sense for us to do no matter what happens to the climate, that we should move quickly to do them in hopes that it will a) help prepare for whatever temperature rise comes our way and b) may serve in some small way to lessen the total temperature rise and its impacts.

The devil is in the details, obviously, and a bigger devil lies in who should decide and how much authority we give them. And we probably don’t get to pick and choose at the right level of detail.

For example, I have no problem with the EPA actively encouraging power plants to shift from old coal configurations to combined cycle natural gas. It’s not a permanent solution but it’s a quick win. But I do have a problem with them classing a school with 3 buses as a major emitter of CO2 and getting them involved in the bureaucratic nightmare of emission control.

I do not want Maurice Strong to control our approach to the world’s environmental issues. I’m reading his book right now (‘Where On Earth Are We Going?, with a foreward by Kofi Annan), and it is horribly bad, and horribly wrong. I’ll give it a full review later, but suffice it to say that I wouldn’t trust him with any responsibility at all.

But there are some in both government and science who I do trust. And I’m willing to work towards helping them get to where we need to go. If a panel composed of both Pielkes, Judith Curry, Mike Kelly, John Christy, Richard Lindzen and a few others were to work on proposed solution, I’d be pretty happy. I might be alone in my joy, I realize.

Another no regrets option I’d like to see is a review of building planning, permitting and insurance in areas that are already vulnerable to tropical storms and floods. We are in the silly situation right now where middle class workers in the Midwest are subsidizing rich people who rebuild ruined but rich second homes in Florida or Malibu Canyon.

We could also allow planes to use modern technology to choose the most fuel efficient routes, descend directly rather than in stages and unblock no-fly spaces left over from the Cold War.

I’d like to see greater use of X prizes to stimulate innovation, as it did with private spacecraft. I’d love to see prizes for utility level storage or better use of composites for distribution, or improvements to HVDC transmission. Prizes almost always work.

I’d like to see more base research done on superconductors, for example, and other technologies that are threatened with being trapped in the Valley of Investment Death.

And I don’t think that list of no regrets options is too controversial, either here or with the activists. (I’m sure I’ll hear about it if it is.)

But the real problem is counting to 3,000. Because a straight line extension of energy consumption gets us to 3,000 quads (quadrillion BTUs) by 2075, with 9.1 billion people developing at present trends and GDP growing at 3% per year.

If those 3,000 quads are supplied by burning coal, we’ll choke on the fumes, no matter what it does to temperatures. China has doubled its energy use since 2000, it may do so again by 2020, and 70% of their energy is provided by coal. The massive traffic jam into Beijing a couple of weeks ago, 90 miles long and lasting three or four days, was composed primarily of small trucks bringing coal into China’s capital. And the pollution and soot that is caused by China’s coal travels–to the Arctic, hastening ice melt and over the rest of the world, as small particulates and just general haze.

So I also advocate pushing for renewable and nuclear energy. I think we’ll need them both. Nuclear is ready to roll right now, but it’s expensive and time consuming to put up as many plants as we’re going to need. Solar is on the verge, and I’d like to give it an extra push. Natural gas is a temporary solution in terms of emissions, but at current prices we can’t ignore its advantages.

We also need to push piecemeal solutions that will not solve our problems by themselves, but are important contributors at a local level, such as geothermal power, or small hydroelectric and run-of-river installations.

No matter what you or I believe about climate change, we face an energy issue that we need to address today. Our coal plants are dramatically cleaner than they used to be. China’s are not. If we don’t want the air we breathe to taste of China’s coal, we need to work on better solutions.

And the worst of all possible worlds is where we don’t do the right thing on energy because we are at war with each other about climate change.

I’m a firm believer in markets, and I like free markets better than the other sort. I also think they work better with light regulation. I think it’s legitimate to nudge the energy market in the direction we want it to go, without giving the reins and the saddle to government bureaucracy. And I do think it can and probably will work.

So I’m not a ‘denialist.’ I’m not a ‘skeptic.’ I’m a lukewarmer–and I’m right.

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

The Joy of Innovation

Thomas Fuller

There would be no global warming without new technology. And that’s not because new technology uses so much energy.

It’s because new technology has allowed us to measure new phenomena, and old phenomena with radically more powerful tools.

Mike Smith gives us an example in his book ‘Warnings’, a great story about how technology addressed the warning system for U.S. tornadoes (and which is advertised here on the right hand column). He notes that many tornadoes that are called in to reporting centers today would never have been noticed before, thanks to a growing American population and the ubiquity of mobile telephones.

The same is more or less true of hurricanes. Before satellite coverage began in 1969, we really didn’t know exactly how many hurricanes actually happened in a given year, nor how strong they were. If they didn’t make landfall, they would only be catalogued if planes noticed and reported them, and they would only be measured if specially equipped planes basically flew through them and charted their strength.

It’s certainly also true of measurements of ice extent, volume and area, which would not be possible without satellite imagery.

New technology has had a radical effect on the time series of measurements made for extended periods before the technology was adopted. Sailors used to measure sea surface temperatures using a thermometer in a bucket lowered into the sea. When Argos buoys began providing a network of more accurate measurements, there was a break in the timeline. When surface stations converted to electronic thermocouples on a short leash, the adjustments required caused another break in the data series. (I guess readers here might know something about that already.) Scientists have worked hard to make adjustments to correct for the new sources of data, but the breaks are still pretty noticeable.

The sensible thing would be to give the new technologies time to develop an audited series of measurements long enough to determine trends, rather than grafting new data on top of older, less reliable series. But there are two objections to this: First, who’s to say another new measurement technology won’t come along and replace our brand new toys and resetting the clock to zero? Second, and of more concern, there is a whole scientific establishment out there saying we don’t have time to wait for a pristine data set. Some say we’ve already waited too long, others say that if we start today (and they really mean today), we just might avoid climate disaster.

And if you start to muse on the remarkable coincidence that warming apparently started at the same time as we got all this new-fangled technology, why that makes you a flat-earth denialist. Or something.

As it happens, while serving in the U.S. Navy I took sea surface temperatures with a thermometer in a bucket. There were not many detailed instructions involved. Should I have done it on the sunny side or the shady side? Nearer the pointy end of the ship (that’s technical talk) or the flat back end? How long was I supposed to leave the thermometer in the water?

I wouldn’t want to make momentous decisions based on the quality of data I retrieved from that thermometer, which wasn’t calibrated–I think the U.S.N. stock number was like 22, or some other low number indicating great antiquity. I much prefer what comes out of Argos.

But there are times I wish all those fancy instruments on the satellites were pointing at another planet.

Thomas Fuller href=”http://www.redbubble.com/people/hfuller

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290 thoughts on “I'm Not Schizophrenic (And Neither Am I)

  1. You have an opinion and regardless of whether we agree or disagree with you we are better off for it.
    Having said that then how do you factor in the immediate future (next 2-3 decades) where we have a cold PDO, more prevalent La Ninas, dropping SSTs and a quiet sun. How much cold do you think there will be and when it is the cold that kills why should we sacrifice this generation to a guestimated warmth of the future (remembering the warm periods are the golden eras of earth’s history).

  2. If both extremes are criticising you, you’re probably doing something right.
    But I’m wondering if there’s any hard numbers to back up the “Chinese coal is going to choke us” claim?

  3. The operation of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is one of the least controversial ideas in physics.
    Greenhouses work by preventing convective air currents. CO2 is not a greenhouse gas!!!
    Moreover, CO2 is also a cooling gas – it bats both ways, if it is cooler it absorbs radiation from the surface, if it is warmer than the prevailing environment (like space) it helps to emit IR.
    Amost everything in that sentence is wrong except “CO2 is … a gas”.

  4. Why do I always smile when people claim that there will only by some 9.1 million people because for some magical reasoning at about 2040 world population will start a downwards trend (That would be the UN medium trend).
    In 1980 we were about 4.5 billion, today we’re about 6.9 billion, that’s 2.4 billion in 30 years. In 1950 we were about 2.5 billion per estimate. It wouldn’t be unprecedented so to speak if we became 3 billion more people in the next 30 years if the actual trend holds. And the only thing that seem to keep population down is economic progress. War and what not actually only seem to accelerate population growth.

  5. I’ll give you at least some benefit of the doubt for your co-authorship of “The Crutape Letters”, which is great.
    Can agree with a fair bit of what you say (and like apple pie and support motherhood, too).
    Yes, nuclear is fairly expensive. Not as expensive as laughably inefficient BigWind (which, very curiously indeed, you don’t discuss). Not as expensive as BigSolar, especially for people who live where the sun doesn’t much shine.
    But modern technology can burn coal efficiently and cleanly. And gas is extremely plentiful and also reasonably priced.
    There are far more risks involved in hugely expanding fuel poverty and by effectively throttling development and alleviating grinding poverty in the third world than there are in risking a fractional increase in “global temperature” (mainly at high latitude in winter) which might be caused by an essential trace gas.
    And, if you are happy that the ‘consensus’ view should be taken seriously, how come they feel the need to tell so many bare faced porky pies?
    You must have learnt something from the CRU emails? No?

  6. “So I’m not a ‘denialist.’ I’m not a ‘skeptic.’ I’m a lukewarmer–and I’m right.”
    Even if you were right, that would be a grotesquely smug line. But you’re wrong.
    “We don’t know the sensitivity of the atmosphere to a doubling of CO2, so the effects of feedbacks are not know. Activists think it is 3 degrees or higher. Contrarians think it is very low–1, maybe 2, tops, some thinking it is even lower.”
    You have made a catastrophic error here. You have ignored what climate scientists say about climate sensitivity. They say this: we cannot constrain the climate sensitivity terribly well but we know that the greatest probability is that doubling CO2 would raise global temperatures by somewhere between 1.5 and 4.5°C. Values lower and higher than this are unlikely, but lower values are more unlikely than higher. No-one has ever produced a model with a sensitivity of 1°C or less that can reproduce the recent rise in global temperatures as well as reproducing historical and geological temperatures to a tolerable accuracy.
    Who cares what activists and contrarians think? Their opinions are not relevant to what the climate sensitivity is. If you ignore what scientists say, you’ll get the science wrong, as you have done in this post and others.

  7. Population
    There is no population growth in the west and the rate of growth elsewhere is slowing. This is according to the UN. As the world gets richer and poorer women get educated, less children are born. Of course if the greens get their way, the death rate in the third world will go up for want of electricity.
    As to TF’s assertion
    “The operation of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is one of the least controversial ideas in physics. The calculations that show a temperature rise of between 1 and 2 degrees Celsius if concentrations double is also widely accepted, including by all skeptic scientists without (AFAIK) exception.”
    Wrong, this is the IPCC’s assertion unsupported by evidence. We know that CO2 absorbs and emits in the IR spectrum although there are enough sceptics who doubt even this effect (although not Jeff Id and a number of regular commenters here). What no one has been able to do is separate this effect from all the other factors that govern weather and climate.
    Cheers Paul

  8. Thomas Fuller, you say : “I am a ‘lukewarmer,’ one who believes that the physics of climate change are not by theselves controversial, but who believes that the sensitivity of the earth’s atmosphere to a doubling of concentrations of CO2 is not yet known, but is likely to be lower than activists have claimed.“.
    In a way, that puts you in a similar category to just about everyone here (if by “the physics of climate change” you mean the fact that atmospheric CO2 does indeed have some warming effect. But what you simply haven’t cottoned onto yet is that the people here have been through the science exhaustively over a long time, and whereas you “believe” the sensitivity “is likely to be lower”, people here know that there is no scientific evidence that it is as high as the IPCC claims, and there is plenty of evidence that it is lower. You want to challenge “no evidence”? Easy. Go through the IPCC Report and find where they present any evidence that clouds provide a positive “feedback” – and not only a positive feedback, but one that is greater than the forcing delivered by CO2 in the first place. (That bit is in the IPCC Report AR4 at 8.6.2.3 on page 633)
    I’ll give you a hint – they don’t. They even say they aren’t sure what sign the feedback has.
    And clouds isn’t everything, by the way, just one killer.
    And don’t try to tell me something like : there is a lot of other information in the IPCC Report, and clouds are only one issue of many, and you prefer to follow all the other information. Read 8.6.2.3 again. Without clouds they cannot get ECS up to their stated 3.2. Without clouds they can’t even get it to 2. Without clouds their case is DOA. If you don’t believe me, be scientific : tell me how to get an ECS above 2 without clouds.
    Now, if you can’t get ECS above 2, tell me what good it could possibly do for all the countries in the world except China and India to reduce CO2 emissions by a possible amount. Say 5%. Now for a bit of pure fantasy : what good would it do even if China and India joined in.
    PS. On your way through the IPCC Report, make a note of everything they have to say about clouds. It makes for a very revealing read. If you don’t have time, don’t worry, I have already done it myself, and the result is here:
    http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/IPCCOnClouds.pdf
    [Note : I have in fact left out a small number of inconsequential references. You are welcome to check.]

  9. Claims that the physics of the atmosphere are known is the same as saying that the science is fixed and we are causing climate change. Atmospheric physics are the very things that we are arguing about. There is no consensus about them by any means. Claims that CO2 store heat to re-radiate it at a later time actually violates the laws of thermodynamics and it is this ‘small’ fact that separates the alarmists from the realists.
    It also flies in the face of the facts to claim that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 levels will lead to a tipping point from which climate would never recover. Past atmospheric CO2 levels were many times higher than today’s and no tipping point was reached.
    Climate change is caused by natural inputs and events and not by some trace gas.

  10. “The operation of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is one of the least controversial ideas in physics. ”
    I truly belive that you should take some time to evaluate the physics behind the greenhouse effect and effect of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    First the greenhouse effect is just partly a radiation balance effect. Not 100% as in common scientific simplified explanations.
    Most of the effect is due to the fact the atmosphere is a gas.
    A gas that is heated and cooled from below, the earth surface, will be average warmer than the surface that heat and cool it.
    Try to cool a water storage tank from the bottom . Impossible because hot fluid raise.
    But to heat the kettle from below is much easier.
    That explain most the greenhouse effect! Not radiative transfer inside the atmosphere.

  11. In part I agree with the above post.
    Climate changes, it always has it always will, and it has a direct influence on the inhabitants of the planet, migrations of animals, including humans, is well noted historically.
    We may well be influencing climate in some small way but our risk assesments should be looking at the broader picture including how to adapt to a cooling climate. My overall feeling is that we should never try to influence future climate but extend the ability to adapt to change.
    Humans are always going to need energy sources, we as a species have evolved to a state that as a population of 6.5 billion it would be extremely detrimental to our species if we did not have major sources of energy and in part that is where the problem lies.
    The future of energy generation has to be for a more localised and portable source based on the needs of community requirements rather than nationally. Unfortunately nothing fits this bill currently.
    In the future we need the ability to say that because of whatever environmental impact this town, village, community needs to be moved from it’s current location and resited to another location and have the ability to up stakes and take the entire infrastucture including it’s energy source to a new location much in the way that our hunter gatherer ancesters used to do.
    To develop our technology to this level is what we should be aiming for now, eventually leading to the ability to relocate an entire city.

  12. Have I got news for you:
    – CO2 is 0,0385% of our atmosphere. It’s a trace gas;
    – Watervapor is the most important ‘greenhouse gas’;
    – Feedback of clouds is negative;
    – CO2-levels follow warming; CO2 doesn’t cause warming;
    – There is no such thing as a tipping point. Earth’s history shows that;
    – CO2 is plantfood, not a pollutant;
    – The sun and cosmic rays determine cloud cover;
    and this list goes on and on and on.
    In my view, lukewarmers have a problem to accept that warming of the earth is a natural phenomenom. Man MUST have influence. That is the legacy of the green movement in their minds. It’s a religous way of thinking: blame and punishment.
    I agree with a commenter some days ago, who did see that little influence of man is becoming the main stream thought. I prefer to stick to the facts: man has no influence.

  13. Another collectivist stuck out a finger from his hiding place during more rational times
    and found the climate suitable to bring his “We-ism” to save the world. Can’t you just let
    free people go about their own lives and adapt as necessary, as economically as they will choose to do so. Individuals know far better than you whether to change their lives. People like you have taken over the village of 1700 where I live doing their tree hugging and burying utility lines and urban renewal and neglecting the old water and sewer lines and pot holed streets while placing us in $23 million debt to be repaid by 2023. I am tired of persons with life problems trying to save the world. Get a life Fuller and do something useful and planning other peoples lives is not a useful occupation.
    [I suggest you refer to the site POLICY. There is a link up in the menu bar. Specifically make note: Respect is given to those with manners, those without manners that insult others or begin starting flame wars may find their posts deleted. … bl57~mod]

  14. Good post Thomas, I liked it. You obviously think on a clear lateral taking in all considerations like myself. The problem with China’s coal burning is obviously that it’s not clean, but other factors are afoot remembering the pollution from the last Olympics there [kof].
    If prevailing winds manage to take China’s particulate pollution into the Arctic, it may well help form water droplets and more snow. However, other countries will suffer from the haze. When I was in Seymour (Australia), a light southerly would blow all of Melbourne’s morning peak hour filth into our town some 100k (60Mi) away. The prevailing winds are usually SW, so towns NE of Melbourne have to deal with it more often.
    I remember Melbourne’s air in the 70’s when I was a kid. It was a lot thicker back then, with far less humanity and machinery. It’s become far cleaner since, and still no coal-fired power factory within its boundaries.
    Whenever I pass by the power factories in the East, I can’t see any smoke from the stacks. Frosty mornings show a slight tinge of blue and a very light smell of coal which I find pleasant. However we have greenies in this country that want to shut down Hazelwood – one of our main power sources – for nothing more than their own agenda, forgetting the brownout malaise they’ll have to endure with everyone else.
    Greenies are the sand in the gears of modern civilisation, and they intend to be. Business can only sell what people want, and the vast majority want clean energy, but understand it’s not yet possible. The greenies would prefer sabotage to get us there, and they’ve proven that many times. They spike the very trees they’re trying to save with long metal rods to blunt chainsaws. Hypocrisy is rife eh? How ’bout I stab a greenie chained to a tree to ensure nobody runs a chainsaw through her? Nice.. Count the rings.
    They’re all about wind power, but not in THEIR backyards as turbines appear unsightly, and noisy – god forbid they chop up an endangered orange-bellied parrot, which they sought long and hard to find something endangered to protest against the turbines.
    They love the trees, but go to extreme lengths to protect them, naturally forgetting their house is held up by their necessary remnants, their hardwood benchtops, cutting boards and ever so expertly lathed and polished fruit bowls. They drive to their eco-mentalist events – PROBABLY car-pooling. Shouldn’t they walk bare-footed instead?
    They’ll cover their houses in solar panels, not knowing heat in an electrical circuit increases resistance, consequently a bright sunny day can reduce solar performance to around 60%.
    Society will work it out in the long run, but the AGW beast will be around while there’s still some money in it. We’ve got ads on the radio from heating companies bleating about their product’s low emissions. The mainstream media’s no help either, ignorantly coughing up the same alarmist phlegm in bucketfuls hoping to inspire panic so we can somehow force nature to behave through regulations and taxes, which nature cares nothing about going by lengthy interviews. Interestingly, this seems to be having the reverse effect as millions of viewers tire of this constant barrage, which has subsequently quieted recently – apart from the election campaign.
    Meanwhile, the greenies blather on about the POSSIBLE extinction of some lesser-spotted weevil, how destructive modern civilisation is, and enjoy all the comforts of that very same modern life.

    Australia’s northern half has a dry season in winter, and a wet season in summer. Much the same as similar latitudes worldwide, with some 20C temperature swing. I can’t see 2C doing much at all really. But for a country that normally succumbs to wet and dry seasons, a little warming may be of benefit due to increased rainfall in the winter – becoming more tropical, diverse in wildlife etc. AGW increasing the size of the tropics? Nice. It seems to be where we go on holiday most of the time anyway.
    However, the PDO shift into cool, a weak sun and possibly at the 100,000 year end point of all major ice-age/interglacials, we may yet end up colder, hungrier and fighting off plagues yet again. No doubt some enterprising dolts at NASA or IPCC will blame it on a gas of some sort which needs to be taxed heavily, possibly water vapour, and everyone in their blind panic will forget exactly what that is, where it comes from and how it naturally occurs, much like basic photosynthesis and CO2 now.
    In the near future, humanity’s panic regarding carbon will be too incredible to be believed. Lucky we have it all on hardcopy.
    Once again Thomas, nice post.. 🙂

  15. There are so many changes going on in the world that I have to say, anybody making plans beyond 2030 is deluding themselves. The world will not be recognisable.
    Just make a list of all the scenarios that you can think of. Now imagine that something else happening that wasn’t foreseen by anybody.
    We can’t prepare for that kind of unknown. We will simply have to ride it out. The West had hundreds of years of Dark Ages, then bam! The Enlightenment.
    Many activist environmentalists talk about averting disasters if just everybody came together and cooperated and put our selfish cravings aside. Well many great leaps in history happened under chaos and confusion and were fuelled by cravings and hungers and created many victims. Even positive change is messy and ugly.
    So by all means, do what can be done now, look at a middle way, be a lukewarmer, promote that which makes economic sense. And let’s get the enviros to drop this idea that money is evil. Money is information, money is communication, money tells you what people want and need. Capital is stored imagination and creativity.
    That’s the biggest criticism perhaps of the environmentalists. They are doom obsessed, guilty, self-denying, boring, humourless people lacking imagination. But they seem to believe they have a handle on the “reality” of 2050.
    If we are lucky the West won’t commit harakiri, only to be replaced by the bio-energy giants of Malaysia. If we are lucky the West will just about survive the world’s advance into new creative leaps.

  16. “If a panel composed of both Pielkes, Judith Curry, Mike Kelly, John Christy, Richard Lindzen and a few others were to work on proposed solution, I’d be pretty happy. I might be alone in my joy, I realize.”
    This composition suggests to me that lukewarmers are not a genuine
    third way movement, but rather a second way movement within
    the sceptics. You seem to have excluded all the scientists who actually
    contribute to climate science.

  17. “… the physics of climate change are not by themselves controversial, but … the sensitivity of the earth’s atmosphere to a doubling of concentrations of CO2 is not yet known, but is likely to be lower than activists have claimed.”
    I get really fed up by all these stupid labels. I’d always thought I was a climate sceptic because I understand the claims of the activists, the Guardian, the Royal Society etc to be unjustified and dishonest. But now it seems the only way to be a true sceptic is to reject the basic physics. And how can I do that? – I’m trained in physics. The basic physics is underpinned by both classical and modern physical theories, as well as numerous real world measurements, and is extremely unlikely to be wrong. And why would anyone need to reject it? This “grain of truth” certainly doesn’t support the activist’s claims – read SoD if you disagree. I’m on your side, Thomas, about this…
    “…I believe that if there are ‘no regrets’ options…”
    “We also need to push piecemeal solutions…”
    “I do not want Maurice Strong to control our approach to the world’s environmental issues.”
    “If a panel composed of both Pielkes, Judith Curry, Mike Kelly, John Christy, Richard Lindzen and a few others were to work on proposed solution, I’d be pretty happy. I might be alone in my joy, I realize.”
    … and all of this as well. You would not be alone, I promise you.

  18. Mr. Fuller, if I have read your missive correctly you seem to be suggesting that if the alarmists are wrong and the realists are wrong then, by default, you are probably be right.
    Sorry but I don’t buy that. Not on your say so and not without a shred of evidence. Opinion isn’t evidence.

  19. You refer to yourself as a ‘luke warmer’ which puts you in the middle of the road.
    People who stand in the ‘middle of the road’ are referred to as ‘targets of opportunity.’
    It is illogical and a non sequitur to declare that you believe both ways.
    Otherwise, I fully concur with Mike Haseler’s posted remark (September 17, 2010 at 12:29 am).
    You said:
    “The operation of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is one of the least controversial ideas in physics.”
    And he replied:
    Greenhouses work by preventing convective air currents. CO2 is not a greenhouse gas!!!
    Moreover, CO2 is also a cooling gas – it bats both ways, if it is cooler it absorbs radiation from the surface, if it is warmer than the prevailing environment (like space) it helps to emit IR.
    Amost everything in that sentence is wrong except “CO2 is … a gas”.

  20. Olaf Koenders says:
    September 17, 2010 at 1:41 am
    “Whenever I pass by the power factories in the East, I can’t see any smoke from the stacks.”
    “Greenies are the sand in the gears of modern civilisation, and they intend to be.”
    ———————-
    Well, looking at the global picture, ‘greenies’ were instrumental
    in the developments leading to cleaner water, air and soils in past
    decades. You seem to condone these developments now, but
    contemporary greenies are always “sand in the gears”, and later
    ob you can always be ahistorical and forget their contributions.

  21. I’m getting really fed up of so many ‘tripe’ opinions, it’s absolutely no use whatsoever pontificating over highly disputed theories until we have reliable set of temperature records that are not being “homogenised” every five minutes. I repeat, when we are able to trust the input temperatures we can start to theorise the effects of trace gases.

  22. You said: “those in the developing world, who will have to add droughts, floods and heatwaves to their current long list of miseries” If you believe that weather changes in a warming world, then you believe in negative weather feedback because all of things you describe are globally cooling.
    RW, likewise you must believe that weather will NOT change as the world warms with CO2. That is a legitimate position (poles and dry areas warming will allow water vapor to be evenly distributed and cause water vapor warming feedback). If that is indeed your view, then the polar icecaps will melt (Greenland will have substantial melt within a few hundred years).
    The models are unequivocal, as storminess increases, the distribution of water vapor becomes more uneven and the world warms less or cools.

  23. It’s because I am a ‘lukewarmer,’ one who believes that the physics of climate change are not by theselves controversial, but who believes that the sensitivity of the earth’s atmosphere to a doubling of concentrations of CO2 is not yet known, but is likely to be lower than activists have claimed.

    If you want to be a scientist, you’ll better remove the ‘belief’ verb from your vocabulary. Whether the sensitivity of earth’s atmosphere to varying concentrations of CO2 is known or not is not a matter of belief. It is an empirical problem that has to be solved by experimentation, and no computer is going to give you the answer. You need to make real experiments in real world.
    And, by the way, we don’t know either if that sensitivity ‘constant’ is actually a constant or not. You might prove that in a confined space that the radiation some gases adsorb is proportional to the (log) of their concentrations, but this doesn’t mean they are going to behave the same way in an open atmosphere.
    Think about gravity. We know that any object falls in vacuum at a constant acceleration (g) but that doesn’t mean that any object falls in an atmosphere at a constant acceleration. There is a negative feedback (air resistance) that prevents the object from falling at constant acceleration. That’s the starting point of aerodynamics.
    If we don’t know how much the sensibility is at the current CO2 concentration, or at any concentration for that matter, little can we say about this parameter being constant or not.

  24. RW makes a cogent argument: “No-one has ever produced a model with a sensitivity of 1°C or less that can reproduce the recent rise in global temperatures as well as reproducing historical and geological temperatures to a tolerable accuracy.”
    The probable reason that that hasn’t been done is that it’s not possible to do so with a physics based model. Good luck trying to explain the amplitude of past temperature changes with such a low sensitivity. I’ll be all ears if and when someone can (without invoking a deus ex machina of one sort or the other).
    http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2006/03/climate-sensitivity-is-3c.html

  25. The article and several commentators appear fixated on CO2 apparently because of the constant propaganda. Yet the IPCC has made some serious scientific mistakes.
    1. The models assume imaginary [an error in the physics, see later] ‘cloud albedo effect’ cooling. Taking average figures in AR4 [Figure 2.4], it’s 44% of AGW.
    2. Real radiative greenhouse heating is c. 60 K: you lose 27 K by convection so you should scale radiative temperature rise to 60 K, not 33 K.
    3. Since 1970, possibly 60% of temperature rise has been astrophysical.
    So, the IPCC’s predicted 3 K central temperature rise for 2xCO2 may be c. 0.4 K.
    You may ask “Where’s the missing AGW?”. The models assume as CO2 increases, so does the main greenhouse gas, water. But the evidence increasingly points the other way: upper troposphere water has been falling and that’s where radiation matters.
    An ex-NASA physicist [Miskolczi] calculates this natural control system, which already stops us frying, exactly compensates for CO2 rise. So, why do I think there’s still AGW?
    I have little doubt that pollution gives a heating ‘cloud albedo effect’. You get at it from physics ignored in the past. It’s in addition to the diffuse albedo and strongly dependent on droplet diameter. Because pollution reduces that diameter, the albedo of polluted clouds is significantly lower, so more solar energy reaches the Earth.
    OK, it’s the reverse of what is assumed by the IPCC. But, look at NASA websites, e.g.: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Aerosols/. That ‘science’ is totally wrong, incompetence or deception. So there’s no cooling ‘cloud albedo effect’ for thick clouds. It’s the other way around and indistinguishable from CO2 warming.

  26. Makes me think of the position of ‘realist’ or ‘neutrality’. Gets FLAK from absolutely everywhere 🙂

  27. You might have to expand on your sentence “The calculations that show a temperature rise of between 1 and 2 degrees Celsius if concentrations double is also widely accepted, including by all skeptic scientists without (AFAIK) exception.”
    To make a statement like this you have to (a) state the initial concentration and (b) specify the shape of the relationship between CO2 and temperature, or the reverse if the physics act that way.
    Re (a), a change from 2 ppm in air to 4 ppm in air will produce nothing like a 1 to 2 degrees C change in temp. When you talk doubling, you have to say ‘doubling from X ppm’ or similar. Then you get into difficult ground defining (a) if there was a constant pre-industrial level of CO2 (b) when post-industrial started and (c) what the pre-industrial level was, if it was indeed constant.
    Re (b), some regard the relationship as exponential downwards. At “high” concentrations, the temp change is quite small for a doubling because the graph is levelling off to a fixed temperature asymptote.
    I’m sure that you know these things, so I guess I’m quibbling about use of language. AFAIK, very few if any climate skeptics would accept the opening statement.

  28. Thomas Fuller wrote:

    I like free markets better than the other sort. I also think they work better with light regulation.

    That’s most commonly called a contradiction: Free markets that are regulated, lightly or noo, are not free. They’re “the other sort.”
    Thomas Fuller wrote:

    I’m a lukewarmer–and I’m right.

    Not about free market, you’re not.

  29. I don’t agree that there is a case to move away from fossil fuels without global warming. Government has a responsibility for regulating emissions (non c02 – real pollutants) but it also has a responsibility for energy supply. We have lots of coal and it only really makes sense for electricity generation. At some point there will be a replacement, but it isn’t now. Can you think of nothing better to use tax dollars on than an arbitrary attempt to choose fuel sources?

  30. Anyone who says ‘I’m right’ in an argument is likely to be wrong.
    No one knows what the climate will be in fifty years. Bearing in mind the complete lack of evidence to support AGW – and strong evidence that contradicts it, e.g. Richard Lindzen – then there’s a good chance that the climate will be colder.
    A thousand years ago – and two thousand years ago – the world was probably warmer than today. In both these periods mankind prospered. And not a single SUV in sight.
    Until there is real scientific proof for AGW that would stand up in a court of law, then the most likely situation is that the warming was natural and will come to an end. That may already be happening, but we can’t be sure for some years to come.
    Unlike Fuller, I am Wright – and I can prove it!
    Chris

  31. As a Buddhist I see many virtues in the middle path, and I believe we can indeed take many “no regret” actions, even if not motivated by deep believe in Global Climatic Disruption.
    Micro generation is one way to go that I believe has a lot of potential. I have installed solar panels to heat water that heats my house when it is cold an sunny, and electricity warms that water when it is raining. I am highly skeptical of CAGW, but I think oil & coal is not the best way to have energy.
    If I could generate 4 Mega Watts at home for my home I would be energy independent. One option are solar panels, but they are still to expensive and only work 100% during daytime and when it is sunny, wind power is a nice complement and many of my neighbours have installed 1-2 MW wind turbines, but they are a bit noisy. Where I live, Portugal, it is now cheaper to go energy independent than to connect a remote home to the power grid or water grid, many farmers are installing wind turbines and solar panels (thermal and photovoltaic) as a way to go independent. Also small water turbines can be installed in small rivers, with very litle impact in the river itself,
    This means that the power grid is alliviated from a lot of stress, less coal is burned, and less governmental investment is needed to build big scale power sources. So micro-generation of energy may be a way to smoothly divert power sources from coal & oil to renewable sources. The main obstacle seems to be financial, because most investment would be done by individuals.

  32. Stefan says:
    September 17, 2010 at 1:42 am
    “That’s the biggest criticism perhaps of the environmentalists. They are doom obsessed, guilty, self-denying, boring, humourless people lacking imagination. But they seem to believe they have a handle on the “reality” of 2050.”
    ———————
    Take away the words ‘self denying’ & ‘guilty’ (you probably mean: guiltiful,
    feeling guilty?) – and that characterisation could fit sceptics rather well:
    – my tax money (boring)
    – climate policy: taxes will quadruple and the economy will be destroyed
    (doom obsessed)
    – only fossil fuels work (lack of imagination)
    – take Monckton et al seriously (humourless)
    but they seem to believe they have a handle on the “reality” of 2050?

  33. Despite debate about the details of his post, Thomas Fuller raises some important points. The world population is growing and energy use is growing faster. Coal and oil may currently be the most economical energy sources but there are alternative sources that are not pie in the sky or windmills in the sea.
    His “panel of experts” and his list of alternative energy sources seem to me to be pretty good places to start. I’ll admit to being a skeptic. But that doesn’t stop me from worrying about a future dependent on coal and oil. Let us not bankrupt our current economy with fanciful fixes. Let us instead reduce regulatory burdens on the pursuit of alternative energy sources (such as nuclear) and give incentives (such as prizes) for R&D on practical and economic ways to reduce dependence on coal and oil.
    I would hate to interfere with the debate about CO2. It is a lot of fun. But it should not be a distraction from the effort to find and exploit better ways to deliver energy to the world’s population.

  34. “But the real problem is counting to 3,000. Because a straight line extension of energy consumption gets us to 3,000 quads (quadrillion BTUs) by 2075, with 9.1 billion people developing at present trends and GDP growing at 3% per year.”
    Is it not obvious that the technology then will be vastly superiour to the technology now? I find it incredible that anybody can think that 65 years from now the human race is going to be worrying about power unless we do something now. I also find it incredible that anybody can think that governments are capable of identifying the technology that we will want to use 65 years from now and will be effective at giving them a push – which will still give them an advantage 65 years from now. 5 years maybe, 10 unlikely, 65? The energy landscape will be unrecognisable by then.
    Solar has had a huge push in the last 10 years from governments around the globe. Have you noticed an increase in the rate of increase of efficiency of solar panels – or a surge on the path to cost effectiveness? I think the market is big enough that it will increase at a natural pace, and you may as well flush your investment money down the toilet – except it isn’t your money it is taxpayers money. It used to be that the first rule of the precautionalry principle was to do no harm, now it seems the precautionary principle is to spend as much taxpayer money as possible – just in case.

  35. With an as yet undetermined appendage Fuller writes:

    The operation of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is one of the least controversial ideas in physics. The calculations that show a temperature rise of between 1 and 2 degrees Celsius if concentrations double is also widely accepted, including by all skeptic scientists without (AFAIK) exception.

    Richard S. Lindzen
    Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and ClimateMassachusetts Institute of Technology:
    Fourth International Conference on Climate Change
    Heartland Institute
    May 16, 2010
    “2. If one assumes all warming over the past century is due to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing, then the derived sensitivity of the climate to a doubling of CO2 is less than 1C.”
    Now you know, Fuller. Write it down so I don’t have to correct you ad infinitum.

  36. You write “The calculations that show a temperature rise of between 1 and 2 degrees Celsius if concentrations double is also widely accepted, including by all skeptic scientists without (AFAIK) exception.”
    I am not sure if I qualify as a “skeptical scientist”, but I do not accept this. I have two objections. On a general principle basis, I do not believe that you can assess the effect of doubling CO2, without looking at all four ways that energy is transferred in the atmosphere. Radiative forcing is estimated from radiative transfer models. The estimation of 1.2 C is based on the change in radiative forcing, and the use of the Stefan Boltzmann 4th Power law (SB). This strikes me as nonsense.
    From what I can see, the use of SB assumes that all the energy that is radiated into space comes directly from the surface of the earth. If so, then this is just plain wrong. What you need to do is to use SB to estimate the change in temperature from those places where energy is being radiated into space – eg the TOA -, and then estimate how much difference this makes to the temperature at the surface. No one knows how to do this.
    Just my 10 cents. I would be delighted if someone could tell me where my reasoning is wrong.

  37. “Behold the man!”
    Just be yourself. That’s enough. Infact, that’s everything.
    If we win, we win. If we don’t, we don’t.
    Say, ‘La Vie’!

  38. Dear Thomas Fuller,
    You wrote:
    “If you believe that about 2 degrees of warming is headed our way this century, it will be a problem–probably not for those reading this, because of our fortunate geography, but for those in the developing world, who will have to add droughts, floods and heatwaves to their current long list of miseries.”
    I would encourage you to do a little more diligent research in this area. It is basic Meteorology 101. As the earth warms, the temperature difference between the poles and the equator lessens, and thus the thermodynamic driving force for storms diminishes. It is, as you say, basic physics. However, unlike the “basic physics” of CO2 induced warming, this physics is not supported by the computer programs. Rather, it is supported by all of the historical literature.
    It is fascinating to read books on The Little Ice Age, and how weather influenced the course of history. I can’t remember the author off the top of my head, but there is a good book that outlines all the terrible droughts, floods, and disasters around the world when it was cooler, and how the climate stabilized when the world warmed. Of course, the Author then proceeds, at the end of the book, to pronounce that this means we should be even more careful to stop CO2 production and that the climate is more sensitive to small temperature changes than we think. A strange conclusion to say the least, but the author seemed to not notice this disconnect in logic.
    Throughout longer time scales, there is (I hate to say it) nearly “settled science” that when the earth is cooler, the earth is much more extreme, much drier, and much windier. If you are interested in the mechanisms for this, as well as all the geological evidence that supports this, then I would recommend “Frozen Earth” by the geologist Douglass McDougal. Again, he is not a skeptic, in fact, he asserts that we should be concerned with climate change. He merely presents what we know about past climate and how we know it.
    You seem like a fellow who is very fascinated by these topics and I am sure you would get much enjoyment from digging in and doing a little research.
    Cheers!
    Fred
    ps. You might also want to check up on how much temp will rise with a doubling of CO2 from 300 ppm to 600 ppm. You will be surprised how much the answer differs from the numbers you posted.

  39. Rob Vermeulen says:
    September 17, 2010 at 12:34 am
    Mmm I think you mean “dissociative identity disorder” and not “schizophrenia”.
    Love that term!!!
    Hi, I suffer from “DID”, the world is wrong and I am right.

  40. “If a panel composed of both Pielkes, Judith Curry, Mike Kelly, John Christy, Richard Lindzen and a few others were to work on proposed solution, I’d be pretty happy”
    Aren’t they climate scientists? I thought you were already happy that co2 was the cause. What have climate scientists got to do with finding a cost effective solution? That sounds like an entirely unrelated discipline to me….

  41. Mmmpf. Coal has three real problems, none of which have anything to do with CO2:
    * Mining safety;
    * Environmental degradation by mining; and
    * Air pollution with sulfur and nitrogen compounds.
    The third is pretty much resolved in the developed world. The first two remain problems in the US and are horrendous in the Third World.
    Coal is not going away, particularly if the masses of Africa are to be lifted from their poverty. Can you imagine what progress might have been made in these areas if $100 billion had been spent addressing these issues over the last two decades instead of delusionally chasing the Global Warming Fairy?

  42. A reasonable course of action would be to put money into research for alternative energy sources and data collection. There is a no regrets policy to increasing knowledge. To tax our carbon use so we can send our jobs to China while at the same time borrowing money from China to send to China because elements of the population think we owe them for one reason or another, that is just pure insanity. Paleo data is an interesting argument but it isn’t a logical one. If you are failing to accurately explain what is happening in the present what makes you believe you are accurately explaining the past?

  43. So the reasoning behind your actions would be: “Ah, these are just small changes. There might be a problem, there might not be a problem. In either case, these are just sensible things we should do anyway as they’ll likely make things better for a lot of people.”
    By this thinking, the many “rich” nations have been brought to technical bankruptcy by increasing social spending. Guns were nearly banned from civilians in the US.
    So the problem is Chinese coal and its dirty emissions? Employ the solution we have previously used, export our values to other countries as a requirement for accepting their imports. We don’t like child labor, we don’t import goods made with child labor. We’ve taken a similar albeit less strong stance towards environment degradation through toxic pollution. If you poison your people to give us a low bid, don’t expect a warm reception from our buyers as they don’t want to anger their customers.
    Dirty inefficient power plants are the problem? Then we insist the offending country use cleaner energy sources to produce and transport the goods they send us, which must be verified. And no proclaiming those goods are in compliance while your figures consider the dirty sources to be only used residentially. We know better, we’ll be watching.
    Promoting an ongoing series of small harmless changes that will likely do some good, is a long-used tactic of agenda-pushing activists as it garners the support of decent moral people who would strongly reject implementing the full agenda as a whole item. Thus such big plans are broken up into small easily-swallowed pieces, knowing the recipients will not notice the effects of the accumulating poison. On certain issues you must draw a hard line, no matter how heartless it may seem, since those who really do care are those employed to do the most damage.
    The problem is not here, it is over there. So take your solutions over there, not here. On this matter, we have done enough. When they have done the same, and all have verifiable proof there is (still?) a problem that must be attended to, then we will consider acting together. But until then, “we” are not doing anything, especially not mandating by law that “we” do something. If individuals decide an action makes sense for them personally, then let them do it for themselves. As a group, the only “change” we should make is to insist others adhere to the standards we have set for ourselves as a condition of doing business with us, which isn’t a change at all since we already do so in other matters.

  44. In Texas, wind power in reality deliver about 8% of its rated capacity.
    Nuclear and coal deliver about 90%.
    Let that sink in, and let rational people hold a brief period of mourning for the yet another alternative energy dream dying off.
    Solar will never reach more than 50% under ideal circumstances for the obvious reason.
    Geothermal could be a great source, but why has it not done so yet?
    Nuclear has been crippled in the US and elsewhere by fanatical extremists who have high jacked the public policy on energy.
    In the normal course of events. like in France, coal is a passing technology of development.
    In developed countries where so-called greens dominate, the technologies are stuck on coal.
    While I disagree with Tom, I would like to offer a possible clarification to settle the claim that CO2 is not a ghg due to a garden green house operating by trapping air under a roof: The term ‘green house’ is a loosely applied term. A green house, at its heart, is increasing temperatures higher than they would otherwise be. CO2 has the impact, all other things being equal, of increasing the amount of energy kept in the atmosphere.
    The term ‘green house gas’ was in use long before promoters of climate catastrophe high jacked the public square.

  45. Mr Fuller Sir,
    Where I come from those that sit on the fence are called Charlie Brown, after the Peanuts cartoon character, whom the little red head girl Lucy called him wishy washy. In the light of real science that is emerging since the cabal of the unreal scientists had the rug pulled out from under them, plus the fact that the sun went on a rampaging bender for a few decades and is now nackered. History tells us that it may be in re-hab for a few decades. Maybe you noticed that the northern winter was far from pleasant, well the southern one has been no better. South america copped a reasonable dose of global warming that killed millions if not billions of critters and hundreds of people. This week in our spring in australia has been real special 16c below normal in tropic climes, rain and snow and cold in temperate zones. Tasmania our southern island state just had their coldest days EVER, 140 kph wind, rain and snow all over, 18.4 Metre waves, for us no problem. How ever the largest storm noted in the southern ocean is descending with plunging temperatures on the poor old Kiwis, some what like the day after tomorrow. Either CO2 needs a minus sign in front of it or it is the sun playing its normal game and those sucked in to the AGW nonsense are the pawns.
    The time for fence sitting has lapsed, if the politicians decide that increased power supplies are a no no, buy a chain saw and start harvesting a real renewable resource.
    Old Sol is a worry at the moment, for history shows when Sol slumbers the earth tremors, volcanos awaken, our magnet field has a funk and the outer atmosphere behaves badly giving less protection from space nasties. Sir it is time to get off the fence and take a good long look around. Chart the difference between advocacy, spin and real scientific knowledge, the fog will clear. Wayne

  46. Fuller:
    If you believe that about 2 degrees of warming is headed our way this century, it will be a problem–probably not for those reading this, because of our fortunate geography, but for those in the developing world, who will have to add droughts, floods and heatwaves to their current long list of miseries.
    ________________________________________________________
    And don’t forget, that two degrees may well be mostly warmer nights. That is unlikely to add droughts and floods and …” Interesting that two opposite effects frequently get mentioned in people’s concern with global warming. I understand but somehow it always makes me chuckle.
    But the way, could you send some to that two degree, probably night time temperature increase my way. I just came in from outside from doing some chores (it is 5 am here) and it is a nippy minus 5 Celsius. I wouldn’t mind a couple of those warmist degrees up here right now. http://www.theweathernetwork.com/index.php?product=hourlyfx&hourlytype=hourlytable&interval=1&placecode=caab0005&ref=widgetwxhourlyv2&var1=0

  47. PS. If AFAIK (I had to look it up btw) is your baseline, it’s not good enough, laddy. At least be scientific. ‘As far as you know’ isn’t necessarily actual knowledge.

  48. Lukewarmer is a bad choice of an epithet:
    King James Bible, <>
    “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
    Middle of the road is better. Or the camel’s way: They asked the camel,” would you rather ride uphill or downhill”, and she replied: “what is wrong with the level road”?
    I am all for supporting changes that in any case, irrespective of the CO2 specter, clean the air, conserve energy and resources and are good “housekeeping”.
    Unfortunately with the CO2 banner wavers, instead of persuading/helping China to clean up its coal factories they want China to commit energy harakiri on flimsy nonexistent evidence of the dangers of CO2.
    BTW, what is so bad if the temperatures at night instead of being -10C are -8C or even -4C? Last winter the arctic went from -45 to -30C and that huge anomaly was counted in the warming .

  49. I should have added one further objection to the 1 C rise for a doubling of CO2 without feedbacks. This number can never be measured; any attempt to do so would be confounded by the feedbacks. So why any physicist would believe in a number that, theoretically, can never be measured, I have no idea.

  50. RW says:
    September 17, 2010 at 1:06 am
    >“So I’m not a ‘denialist.’ I’m not a ‘skeptic.’ I’m a lukewarmer–and I’m right.”
    >Even if you were right, that would be a grotesquely smug line. But you’re wrong.
    I thought you got banned.

  51. “We are in the silly situation right now where middle class workers in the Midwest are subsidizing rich people who rebuild ruined but rich second homes in Florida or Malibu Canyon.”
    And we middle class workers in Florida continue to subsidize those in the Midwest who get hit with tornadoes and ice storms every year. Face it, everywhere someone lives gets hit by natural destructive events. It is only the nature of those events that differ.
    Your apparently loath successful people. It’s no wonder that you are a lukewarmer.

  52. Just realised I posted this on an old article by mistake. Sorry to duplicate it. It is more suitable here as in this post TF deals with criticism
    Thomas Fuller
    Thank you for answering my previous questions. However, I would like to question you further on a couple of points.
    “Philip Thomas says:
    September 13, 2010 at 6:09 am
    ‘[Major media campaigns] ignore IPCC scientists so they could insist that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035.’
    I was under the impression that this claim was made by the scientists in the IPCC report. These facts were reiterated on numerous occasions by Rajendra Pauchari.
    Here is the IPCC’s statement on the matter.
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/presentations/himalaya-statement-20january2010.pdf
    Unless I have greatly misunderstood what you have said, it seems completely incorrect to say that the media pushed these errors in the face of IPCC protest.”
    You answered:
    “Mr. Thomas: An IPCC scientist brought the news of the IPCC’s error to Mr. Pachauri’s attention in (I believe) 2004, but Mr. Pachauri paid no heed and in fact was rather dismissive of it all. But the scientist was from IPCC.”
    It was well reported that the Himalayan claim was questioned by scientists outside of the IPCC before the report was published and long before they claimed the mistake had been brought to their attention by IPCC scientists. I believe the internal revelation was damage limitation on the part of the IPCC.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/20/himalayan-glaciers-melt-claims-false-ipcc
    Your answer does not support the direction of your original article that the IPCC and its scientists are innocent and the media is to blame for excessive AGW claims. Pauchari does not fall into the media category by a long stretch.
    Secondly:
    “On Googling your name I was led to a testimonial you gave: http://www.pep-partnership.co.uk/testimonials.asp
    ‘Bill understands how business happens in the governmental sector, especially the European Commission. He’s a hard worker and next time I need a big proposal for an E.C. tender, there’s no doubt that he’s the guy to go to.
    Tom Fuller, Managing Director, nQuire Services Ltd’
    [Edit: PEP partnership specialise in EC grants]
    Can you elaborate on your business interests with the EC? Do you worry that the tenders would be less forthcoming if you were critical of the accepted climate science consensus?”
    You answered:
    “..and if you found my recommendation for Bill Blakemore, how is it you could find so little about me? My tracks are much easier to trace. I have no current interests with the EC, btw.”
    Your on-line biographies suggest you have worked in market research and marketing for most of your life but nothing jumps out as an obvious link to ‘a big proposal for an E.C. tender’ unless you were you offering marketing products/services to the E.C.
    You have previously stated that you are not a scientist (it seems that you are a journalist and market analyst/salesman), which begs the question, why were you a green technology consultant to the UK Government? Was this in a capacity as a market research or salesman capacity?
    This piece you have written today recommends our heavy investment in green technologies. Do you see a need to make your interests in green technologies, if you have any, explicit?
    Please excuse my hard interview.

  53. The massive traffic jam into Beijing a couple of weeks ago, 90 miles long and lasting three or four days, was composed primarily of small trucks bringing coal into China’s capital.
    Were there photos of this? Or was a survey of the vehicles done? How did you arrive at this statement? I’m not being sarcastic. I just would like to know how you know this.

  54. And the pollution and soot that is caused by China’s coal travels–to the Arctic, hastening ice melt and over the rest of the world, as small particulates and just general haze.
    Would you provide the evidence for why you believe this is true?

  55. If we don’t want the air we breathe to taste of China’s coal
    You don’t really believe that the smell of Chinese coal power plants can cover the world—do you? That’s a serious question by the way, not sarcasm.

  56. Thomas Fuller
    You were once MD of Interactive Prospect Targeting that does market research and supplies sales leads for green technology companies. This particular propaganda website they run pretends to be an environmental help site but is infact just a fishing tool for green companies to sell their wares.
    http://www.ipt-ltd.co.uk/howgreenareyou
    http://www.howgreenisyourhome.co.uk/
    Did you begin your green interests through your marketing employment? Are you today heavily invested financially in the sale of green technology to the public.
    How can you satisfy me that your series of articles are not part of a new marketing campaign?

  57. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    September 17, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Were there photos of this? Or was a survey of the vehicles done? How did you arrive at this statement? I’m not being sarcastic. I just would like to know how you know this.

    A major news story for many days which was covered by print, broadcast, and Internet media extensively inclusive of still and video images. The question is…. how could anyone NOT know about it?

  58. Me thinks Mr/Dr Fuller does much too much armchair science here and not enough looking out the window. He does not appear to consider what the planet is really doing in the face of CO2 rise. The lack of warming in the last 15 years and current cooling appears to not enter into his thinking.
    To not at least acknowledge the possibility that natural cycles and the Sun’s effects could very well swamp out any effects by CO2 is to over-inflate the importance of CO2’s effect, particularly as our CO2 production, even if it does affect concentrations, is sure to vary over time, rising and eventually falling in the not too distant future. If the Sun really does a Minimum for the next 30 some years, our CO2 peak might mostly pass in the meantime.
    By remaining fuzzy and NOT connecting or touching base with the real world, by looking outside, he leaves his armchair work in the air without a realtime anchor and thus has little sway with the warmists or some skeptics, in my opinion.

  59. I have a problem with labeling people or accepting a label. I care about humanity and the biosphere.
    Atmospheric CO2 increases are positive for the biosphere. Commercial greenhouses inject CO2 to increase plant yield and plant growth rate.
    In addition to higher yield and faster growth rates, higher levels of CO2 enable plants to make more effective use of water.
    Currently plants waste approximately 50% of the water they absorb due to low levels of CO2. As the level of CO2 increases C3 plants produce less stomata and hence lose less water.
    If the planet’s response to increase forcing is negative rather than positive (cloud cover increases or decreases like an iris to regulate planetary temperature to resist rather than to amplify forcing changes. There are multiple papers and observations to support that assertion.), then there will be less than 1C planetary temperature increase due to a doubling of CO2. A slight warming of the planet with most of the warming occurring at higher latitudes is positive not negative. (Rainfall increases with warmer temperatures for example. There is less temperature differentiate to drive extreme storms and so on.)
    No one is disagreeing with energy conservation, more fuel efficient cars and houses.
    The IPCC is advocating spending billions and billions of dollars on CO2 sequestration and carbon trading programs. The IPCC is advocating that billions and billions of dollars should be spent to develop a world bureaucracy to monitor and police mandatory CO2 emission levels.
    Life on this planet is carbon based. Adding the CO2 to biosphere is one of the few changes is beneficial to biosphere.
    The problem is the promotion of an incorrect scientific paradigm that makes any practical action very, very difficult.
    Those people who truly care about humanity and promoting a healthy productive biosphere should be advocating for efficient advanced gasification combined cycle coal plants, energy conservation, pollution control, and addressing the problem of corrupt governments in Africa rather than CO2 sequestration.

  60. The calculations that show a temperature rise of between 1 and 2 degrees Celsius if concentrations double is also widely accepted, including by all skeptic scientists without (AFAIK) exception.
    The strength of negative feedback of H2O when increasing CO2 has not been settled. We do not know how much warming will come from CO2, if any. Increasing co2 may have a cooling effect. Or it may turn out that it has no effect at all, that it is neutralized by H2O.

  61. I for one, welcome your inputs. I don’t agree with all of them, but it’s important for this dialog to take place and I’m very happy that this blog allows for these contra (for this blog) opinions to be aired, unlike some of the more partisan blogging sites that I could mention. As it is, there’s a surprising amount that we do all agree on, hype, hysteria, poorly conducted/communicated/recorded science etc etc
    Our main difference is over the effect of man made CO2 and the our climates sensitivity to it, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t all talk and exchange views and that doesn’t mean that we can’t all learn something from that exchange.
    So, there’s no need for any existential angst – It may be a difficult place for you to be, but IMHO (Ok, I know that no opinions are humble) we’re all the better for it, so please keep up the good work.

  62. Bart Verheggen says:
    September 17, 2010 at 3:04 am
    RW makes a cogent argument: “No-one has ever produced a model with a sensitivity of 1°C or less that can reproduce the recent rise in global temperatures as well as reproducing historical and geological temperatures to a tolerable accuracy.”
    This statement does not reflect an understanding of how models cited by the IPCC achieve a high degree of model fit to estimations of past temperatures. Such an achievement would not be possible without the use of dummy variables. These variables are values for aerosols, and the introduction of these variables — whose values tend to be conveniently and arbitrarily chosen — enable model fit.
    Actually, I have seen much better fit by use of AMO and PDO as drivers rather than Greenhouse gases without aerosols.

  63. ….including by all skeptic scientists without (AFAIK) exception….Pielkes, Judith Curry, Mike Kelly, John Christy, Richard Lindzen….
    Richard Lindzen with some thoughts on global warming alarm science, and 1/10ths of a degree forecasting:

  64. As a, what some people may call “warmist”, I find myself actually agreeing with much of this article. I think many “warmists” will agree that, although” the physics of climate change are not by themselves controversial,”, there is much uncertainty in climate sensitivity. As Tom Fuller states it here however, it looks to me to be much whishfull thinking: “sensitivity…is likely to be lower than activists have claimed.” Which activists? Or does he actually mean scientists? I don’t care what activists claim, but there are very good reasons to believe that climate sensitivity is quite high (otherwise we would not have experienced ice ages for example). But indeed, the truth is: we don’t know for sure.
    So the question then becomes: Given the uncertainty in climate sensitivity, what will we do? Only going for “no regret” options, as Fuller wants, can surely lead to much regret if climate sensivity is indeed as high as most scientists believe. This arguing for “no regret” policy is really just like continuing smoking when your doctor says you have a strongly increased risk for lung cancer. What a regret it would be if I didn’t die from long cancer and I gave up smoking for nothing. The reason that Fuller is by some AGW proponents referred to as a “troll” is, I believe, his refusal to admit that climate sensitivity could very well be high.

  65. “The probable reason that that hasn’t been done is that it’s not possible to do so with a physics based model.”
    That sounds extremely unlikely, Bart, to say the least. I’ve no doubt the models do a very good job in dealing with the physics that is well understood, but this is unlikely to be true for the rest, let alone any factors not modelled at all. Not to speak of the numerous well-documented problems the models have in explaining some of the real-world data. I see from your link, Bart, that you are an atmospheric scientist working in the Netherlands, and this certainly gives me pause for thought. But with all respect, I find statements of certainty such as this even more bothersome than I find statements that reject the GHE altogether.

  66. Surely, everyone knows that the condition alluded to above is multiple personality disorder and not schizophrenia. Before responding with disagreement, please Google it.

  67. I have a question regarding the effect on the Earth’s temperature of doubling the concentration of CO2:
    Skeptics think the effect will be significantly less than the AGW advocates. The fact that CO2 can cause a rise in temperature, “all things being equal,” is pretty well accepted, but how much?
    Well, if the population continues to grow and energy consumption with it, how about a quadrupling of CO2 in the atmosphere? Is that out of the question? Isn’t that likely to have a signficant effect?

  68. The operation of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is one of the least controversial ideas in physics. The calculations that show a temperature rise of between 1 and 2 degrees Celsius if concentrations double is also widely accepted, including by all skeptic scientists without (AFAIK) exception.
    I have seen calculations by credible experts that the temperature rise (based on radiation physics) would likely be in the range of only 0.3°C. And don’t forget that radiation is not the only way in which energy is transported up from the earth’s surface. Evaporation of water and subsequent convection to high altitude has been attributed (by some) for 60-80% of the heat transfer.
    Don’t get caught in the trap of attributing everything to radiation, as El Gordo seems to.
    IanM

  69. Anthony, you wrote:
    “But there are some in both government and science who I do trust. And I’m willing to work towards helping them get to where we need to go.”
    Oh – oh! Follow the brilliant intellectuals, huh? That way lies danger. Because today the brilliant intellectuals are trying to create the world’s first successful socialist society, right here in River City.

  70. Roger Carr says:
    September 17, 2010 at 5:22 am
    All the value I find in this post is from the comments.

    Well, is there not also value in that which prompts valuable comments?

  71. I have distilled my understanding of the CO2 issue in global warming down to three main ideas. They are in no order of importance the following:
    1. Not logical. In logic for something to be the true logical answer it must be necessary and sufficient. As has been shown by the ice core difference with an 800-2000 gap from when temperature rises and CO2 rises and with the drop in temperature from 1940-mid 1970’s , CO2 is not necessary nor sufficient as a root driver of temperature change or climate.
    2. There are no experiments, of which I am aware, done under STP nor standard conditions that show CO2 increases the temperature. All of the real world evidence I encounter show gases as a heat dissipater not a heat increaser. Fans, radiators, hairdryers, electric heat, etc but none increase the heat.
    3. There are no products on the market that take advantage of the claimed property of CO2 to increase temperture. No blankets, home insulation, thermos bottles, etc none. This propery is claimed to be known for over 100 years yet not one person has been able to become wealthy because of it.
    No, I am not a skeptic I say CO2 cannot do what is claimed for it.

  72. A perceptive man, Mr. Fuller, would not have committed the faux pas of assuming that either the internet, or WUWT, has some sort of geographic periphery.
    Those of us who come here regularly have probably made a greater investigation of physics than since they last took any interest in the subject in High School. The trouble with that is that the physics give one the barest glimmer of what the feed backs might be and without positive feedbacks there seems to be nothing to worry about.
    The biology gets much less attention. Every ounce of that coal, not only the nasty dirty variety in China, but also the nice clean stuff in the U.S., originated from biological activity which took vast amounts of CO2 out of the atmosphere. When we burn it, we return it, at least temporarily, to the atmosphere. Over time, that CO2 will again be sequestered. Down on the seashore, we can see evidence of the same process when we look at the shells and the shingle. One can argue that the process will be slow, too slow perhaps, but no one has yet tried to predict timings to me. Surely this must come since the long suit of climatologists seems to be extrapolation.

  73. If you believe that about 2 degrees of warming is headed our way this century, it will be a problem–probably not for those reading this, because of our fortunate geography, but for those in the developing world, who will have to add droughts, floods and heatwaves to their current long list of miseries.

    These are things that all living things have always, and will always, deal with. It’s part of living on this planet. And there simply isn’t any evidence that such things are getting worse. There is evidence, however, that we’re more alarmed at such things than we used to be.

  74. May I join Mike in noting how polite all the comments have been. Long may it continue. Let us discuss physics; not have ad hominem attacks. I see Ian McQueen posting here. If I may make a suggestion to you, Thomas Fuller, if you are really interested in what real skeptics think. Find your way the the Yahoo group climatesceptics, and post your ideas there. I am sure people will be as polite as they have been here, but, IMHO, that is where you will get comments from the real climate skeptics.

  75. And….”If it walks like a duck….”
    No possible diversion tactics here. It’s a too trascendental matter to give in.

  76. The problem with Anthony’s publishing schedule is that this post has attracted close to a hundred comments before I have finished my first cup of coffee. So I don’t know where to start.
    Just briefly, although I am not a scientist, I have read extensively in this field and believe I understand what the scientists are saying. From the IPCC to Christy, Pielke Sr., etc. I may not succeed in communicating what I believe I understand, but that’s perhaps a lack of writing skill.
    I had hoped that being a bit light-hearted about this would take some of the sting out of my message. My last sentence was intended as humourous. Mr. Thomas, I appreciate your attempt at journalism skills. For the record, I worked for two years at IPT in a separate division doing market research. My consulting with UK government was while I was with another company altogether. I have no ties with any government at all, have no business with any government currently (although I have one proposal outstanding with the public sector–but in an unrelated field). Others here are more appropriately focused on whether I’m right or wrong–I have no objection to you digging the details out on my professional life, have at it. But I assure you there’s nothing to find. I’m not on anyone’s payroll.

  77. Thomas Fuller, you are a lukewarmer. That doesn’t mean reasonable nor rational, but rather a fence rider. First, “If both are wrong, there is a lukewarmer’s way.” Way to rationalize! Either CO2 is our doom or it isn’t. They both can’t be wrong. One is wrong and the other is correct. You say, “Natural gas is a temporary solution in terms of emissions, but at current prices we can’t ignore its advantages.”……What? Gas, currently is an attractive currently, but that because coal is still widely used. If gas is to replace coal then we’ll run into that tricky supply/demand thingy. I do agree, we should pursue nuclear generation as much as possible, but your assertion solar is anywhere close to a viable alternative leaves me wondering where you get your information? Go here, http://www.iea.org/textbase/npsum/ElecCostSUM.pdf
    I’ve said this before, as have many others before me, but apparently it needs repeating. The most destructive condition to humanity, in terms of civil, social, economic, health and welfare is poverty.
    Thomas, by your “lukewarmer” label that you’ve applied to yourself, you are seeking to compromise with people that choose to ignore the difficulties of the day, indeed, choose to exasperate our greatest challenge today to fix an imaginary difficulty of tomorrow. Were it me, I would distance myself from those people without seeking to compromise with them. Reading your moderate, middle of the road, compromising words, I can’t help hearing the words of Barry Goldwater, while rhetorical, truth nonetheless…….”Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
    Thomas, you seem like a nice intelligent person. However, by your statement, “Solar is on the verge,…” You can’t be serious. You’re a believer in markets? Please refer to the document I linked. LOOK AT THE COST!! By your advocacy, you are advocating further impoverishment of many of the world. Understand the ramifications of your “lukewarmistness”.
    Most importantly, your statement “If a panel composed of both Pielkes, Judith Curry, Mike Kelly, John Christy, Richard Lindzen and a few others were to work on proposed solution, I’d be pretty happy. I might be alone in my joy, I realize.”, seems to be advocating an acquiescence of our individual rights and liberties to an oligarchy. I don’t care how well meaning, intelligent and informed these people are, we don’t need panels of any kind. The EPA was a well-intentioned thought. Now it is a bureaucratic throttle to wealth generation.
    “Compromise is never anything but an ignoble truce between the duty of a man and the terror of a coward. ” ——————–Reginald W. Kaufman
    “Compromise is but the sacrifice of one right or good in the hope of retaining another–too often ending in the loss of both.” ——————–Tryon Edwards
    “All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.”————————————————Mohandas Gandhi
    “I’m a lukewarmer–and I’m right.” Call it what you will, but in the end of the day, it is clear that CO2 isn’t the real issue. Figure out why they don’t call it “global warming” anymore. Floods and droughts simultaneously! The real issue is totalitarian socialism. Feel free to stay on the fence for as long as you can. At some point, you will have to choose.

  78. Thomas, some of your post is reasoned. I concur with some of your conclusions. But you seem to agree with much of the “consensus AGW view” concerning the magnitude that CO2 is contributing to warming. I am not so convinced. The magnitude of concentrations of CO2 vs water vapor alone convinces me that water has a far, far greater effect than the miniscule role of CO2. And the beneficial effects that the increase in CO2 has had on plant growth and the further “greening” of the planet is far more beneficial than any adverse miniscule average temperature change.
    I have a few questions for other WUWT commenters (and lurkers like me):
    1) Why is it that in order for us to arrive at a number for the average change in the “temperature” of the earth we have to measure it at thousands of locations ALL over the planet (but more in the US than anywhere else), homogenize it, average it, adjust it, and then statistically masticate all of this data in order to spit out an official “global temperature anomaly”, ie a “significant number” that we should believe (sarc/on With all that “science” it must reflect the actual TRUTH after all sarc/off), while the official (ie. believed to reflect truth) CO2 value for the whole world is measured at just one location on a mountain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Is it not true that the value of the concentration of CO2 changes from location to location? and from month to month in even one location? and from lattitude to lattitude and altitude to altitude depending on the weather? just as much as the temperature does, and influenced just as much maybe even more by urban effects as temperature? How can either sets of data (temp and CO2) actually have any degree of credibility when the degree of certainty of any measured value has so much uncertainty when compared to the supposed change that is reported?
    2) Suspected “greenhouse” gasses have known spectra: They have well characterized peak absorbing wavelengths, and wavelengths where they are relatively transparent to IR. Water vapor has many more absorbing peaks than CO2, and they are at different wavelengths. To get to an answer about the question of forcing and the magnitude of the “greenhouse” effect that any given gas plays in the retention of heat on the planet, has anyone ever “looked” at the planet from space with the appropriate set of filters on the camera to see what the IR picture looks like at gas specific (ie. relavent) wavelengths? In other words, has anyone looked at the IR signature of the earth at a group of IR wavelengths that are relatively transparent to CO2, Water vapor, (and other relavent “greenhouse” gasses) during times of high incident solar radiation (day time), and low incident solar radiation (night time), to get a baseline; then looked at these same locations with a set of “CO2” filter lenses, and then a set of “Water vapor” filter lenses to get a picture of just how much heating, and reradiating, and reabsorbing, and reradiating and cooling, and concentration changing is going on all over the earth in any given day? I’m sure that if a hurricane can take a huge amount of energy from the surface of the ocean, sweep across the planet and effectively “cool” large swaths of the ocean as it moves, that as it is redistributing energy by evaporating, moving, then condensing water, it must also be redistributing large quantities of CO2 and other “greenhouse” gases along with the water vapor. Just as a picture of the planet from outer space at IR wavelengths transparent to “greenhouse” gases will show the redistribution of energy by showing significant radiative temperature changes from the surface, so too should pictures that correspond to the peak absorbing wavelengths for each suspected “greenhouse” gas.
    3) Has anyone ever launched an IR laser beams of known intensity and predetermined wavelengths to correspond to peak absorbing and maximum transparency to assumed “greenhouse” gas spectra, at a satelite with the appropriate CO2, water vapor, etc filter sets to measure just how much absorbtion and reradiation is occurring? For that matter, has anyone done the same experiement, by launching this same laser at a balloon as it is ascending on a clear day, a foggy day, a cloudy day, and measured not only the amount of light that is transmitted up, but also the amount that is reflected, and the amount that is absorbed and reradiated at different altitudes?
    If either of these experiments have been conducted, can anyone please point me to the website where I might see the pictures or point me to the article so that I can be better educated about the magnitude of CO2’s effects vs water vapor?

  79. @RW “No-one has ever produced a model with a sensitivity of 1°C or less that can reproduce the recent rise in global temperatures as well as reproducing historical and geological temperatures to a tolerable accuracy.”
    But that’s okay because nobody has ever produced a model with a sensitivity of more than 1°C which has proved capable of forecasting future temperatures to a tolerable accuracy either.
    “We can’t make our models track historical temperatures without adding this CO2 fudge factor” does not constitute proof that it was CO2 what dunnit. Only that we really don’t understand climate at all.

  80. To Tom Fuller and also to Lachlan at 12:19 am, who said:
    “But I’m wondering if there’s any hard numbers to back up the “Chinese coal is going to choke us” claim?”
    China actually has nine times the coal electricity generation capacity than does the US. WHOA! That is the main reason they now surpass the US in CO2 emissions. But what about black carbon and the nasty emissions Tom Fuller notes?
    I think Tom Fuller is wrong when he implies that Chinese electric generation plants put out a lot of black carbon that gets to us and to the Arctic when he says this:
    “Our coal plants are dramatically cleaner than they used to be. China’s are not. If we don’t want the air we breathe to taste of China’s coal, we need to work on better solutions.”
    Chinese burning of coal is very dirty when used in industrial applications, and when burned in residences. However, since most of their electric generation with coal is in modern plants, like the US they burn the coal efficiently, meaning they utilize virtually all the carbon as fuel. My reference for this is T Bond et al., 2004, “A technology-based global inventory of black and organic carbon emissions from combustion” J Geophysical Research.
    Table 15 in Bond et al. shows that worldwide, black carbon emissions from electric generation is about 7 parts per 7,950. Industrial use of coal is responsible for 642 parts per 7,950. Residential coal use is 480 parts per 7,950. On-road diesel is 792 parts per 7,950. Off-road diesel is 579 parts per 7,950. It is these sources which contribute the emissions that most harm human health, AND which contribute to global warming by warming the atmosphere and melting glaciers and Arctic sea ice when they land on it and decrease the reflecticity of ice and snow.
    There’s more, but I’ll stop here.

  81. My main problem with the article is the title. The public perception that schizophrenia represents a split personality is erroneous. The title suggests the author was looking for multiple personality disorder. Being that schizophrenia is the world’s most pervasive mental illness (its victims occupy more hospital beds than any other physical illness or mental disorder), it would be nice if the public became more informed about this terribly debilitating illness.

  82. In my post anna v says:
    September 17, 2010 at 5:05 am
    the chapter and verse were lost due to html mixup
    here it is
    King James Bible,
    “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
    Revelation chapter 3 verse 16

  83. William says:
    September 17, 2010 at 6:18 am
    In addition to higher yield and faster growth rates, higher levels of CO2 enable plants to make more effective use of water.
    ————-
    Pot experiments … but in reality rice yields are already decreasing:
    “Scientists found that over the last 25 years, the growth in yields has fallen by 10-20% in some locations, as night-time temperatures have risen. The group of mainly US-based scientists studied records from 227 farms in six important rice-producing countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, India and China.

    The latest data, by contrast, comes from working, fully-irrigated farms that grow “green revolution” crops, and span the rice-growing lands of Asia from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu to the outskirts of Shanghai.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10918591

  84. anna v says:
    September 17, 2010 at 9:14 am
    Sometimes, less is more. Thank you for articulating so clearly what I attempted to do with my ramblings. Well done.

  85. Tom Fuller says:
    September 17, 2010 at 8:20 am
    The problem with Anthony’s publishing schedule is that this post has attracted close to a hundred comments before I have finished my first cup of coffee. So I don’t know where to start.

    Try with another cup of coffee !
    BTW, It’s cool buddy!(*)
    (*) just to avoid any possible retaliation 🙂

  86. Elizabeth says:
    September 17, 2010 at 9:04 am
    A need to be precise: You are right, these are common fools, not real crazy ones as we 🙂

  87. Let’s see…
    If it gets 3C warmer, we know a few things:
    1) it will warm most at high latitudes (where it’s cold) and less at low latitudes (where it’s warm)
    2) it will warm most in winter (when it’s cold) and less in summer (when it’s warm)
    3) it will warm most at night (when it’s cold) and less in the day (when it’s warm)
    4) rain will increase (I’m told) about 5%
    So, we will have longer growing seasons, increased crop ranges and more rain and more CO2 fertilizer. Maybe it’s just me, I’m having a hard time gettin’ worked up.
    The *consequences* of warming are the least understood of all the elements in the climate debated. Claims of storms, droughts, sea level, etc are nothing more than speculation. And yet, you speak of these with such certitude: “2 degrees of warming… will be a problem”. Moreover, you imply the consequences will somehow only visit the poor (pray tell, how does that work?).
    The truth is: you have no idea if 2 or 3 degrees will be good or bad for humanity. None.
    And that’s why, choose any label you prefer, you are wrong.

  88. Not wanting to make my posts too long, I omitted the following on my post of 9:20 AM:
    Thomas Fuller, I liked the core message you have put forward. It is time for folks in the middle of the road to defend their “lukewarmer” positions as being where we think the science actually is. People on both extremes have grabbed all the air time, but they frequently (not always) appear to be more political than scientific, meaning that they seem to me to be strongly defending one extreme or the other, rather than trying to get to what is the actual state of play.
    For me, rather than try to decipher climate models or predict climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2, all I can do is look at the satellite record, which seems more reliable that the land based record, and look at the linear trend.
    That trend about 1.4 degrees per century, give or take. It includes the slight downturn of the last 10 years, which may be the PDO downtrend, a bit less than halfway through. There are many factors which influence this trend, whether it is different aerosols or natural oscillations or GHGs or solar, and I can’t parse them all out. So when I look at the trend, it seems to me that for a doubling of CO2, we will likely be toward the bottom of the IPCC range of temperature increase. And that puts me in Roger Pielke Jr.’s camp, that it is better to wait until the alternatives are cheaper before we start large scale programs to replace today’s cheap energy sources.
    One caveat: we haven’t heard much discussion of “peak oil” in these blogs. But suppose that the output of rapidly depleting older oil wells — the ones that where oil was easy and quick and inexpensive to find and produce — can barely be replaced by the much more expensive and time-consuming new sources, such as ultradeep offshore and tar sands. In this case, just to keep pace with today’s demands, we will have to have continually high oil prices to justify the costs of tar sands and ultradeep offshore, AND we will see higher prices to balance supply and demand as rapidly growing Chinese and Indian demand for oil put increasing pressure on supply and thus on price.
    If “peak oil” comes to pass in the next five or so years, we may well see a drop in the CO2 growth rate, as countries like the US actually cut further back on gasoline use because of the cost of, say, $4 and then $5 per gallon gasoline.
    There’s lots of stuff that don’t make it into the models that turn out to be quite important….”peak oil” could be one of them.

  89. I apologize for the rant Mr. Fuller. I am an old guy who has seen his liberties eroded yearly and who, when science is discussed with the heavy hand of “We”, with all its governmental connotations mixed in, sometimes will have a tendency to use ridicule rather than diplomacy. I will try to be kinder in the future but I implore you to consider that the unit making up humanity is the individual acting in whatever way he considers best and that government interference in individual lives and in science and economics can only make things worse.

  90. I would take the typical “warmers” much more seriously if it weren’t for their obsession with unworkable energy solutions. That for me is the touch-stone.
    A large majority of the green movement rejects nuclear power and advocates “alternative” solutions that can never be used to power an industrial society.
    Wind power for example in the form of windmills and sail for propelling ships has been known since the old egyptians.
    They have been immediately replaced when more controllable solutions like steam engines and internal combustion engines became available.
    And now they are considered “new”?
    What none of these people accept is that especially electricity has to be produced exactly at the moment of consumption and precicesly match the consumption rate.
    This just cannot be done with energy sources over which we don’t have control like wind and solar.
    Trying to run a modern society with them is like trying to drive a car with no brakes and an accelerator pedal controlled by a frightened squirrel. The crash will not be far off. Basically suicide by stupidity.
    I am personally against coal. Not because of CO2, but because of all the other nasty materials coal plants release in their ashes like mercury and heavy metals.
    But the green movement has stopped the ONLY long term alternative, the development of nuclear energy, basically in its infancy.
    The nuclear reactors we use today are expensive only because they are held at 1950s technology level and because of the large regulatory burden forced on them. If we compare the technology steps that happened for example in cell-phones, nuclear energy technology is artificially held at the level of WWII field radios, albeit with far far greater reliability (lower number of deaths/injuries per GWhr by far than any other known energy source).
    But what we know in nuclear engineering today would allow us to build reactors that can utilize 100% of the uranium we have instead of 0.7%. We could build nuclear systems that use also Thorium instead of uranium. That that is 4 time more common in the earths crust than uranium.
    And all that with “waste” that decays to harmlessness in a less than 300 years instead of millenia, and while doing that produce rare elements as decay products that are difficult to mine and find.
    Even with todays technology know-how (not even counting on technical progress) we could supply an earth population of 9 billion with a larger energy supply than a typical American today enjoys for as long as the sun doesn’t go nova.
    The FUD about nuclear power, produced by the same alarmists that want to shut western society down today, has held us back.
    Instead we are wasting the world supply of rare and needed elements like Indium and Neodymium on unworkable “alternative” energy generators.
    Indium is needed for transparent electrodes for solar panels, but also needed for displays.
    Neodymium is needed for strong magnets, used in quantity in windmill generators, but is also needed for strong light magnets for electric car motors.

  91. Thomas Fuller
    Thank you, once again, for your courteous response to my questions, which I hope do not come across as rude because, as you can tell, I am not much of a journalist. I am asking these questions because I honestly have suspicions about the recent lukewarm push on climate change and you are the only person who is open enough to be pressed on the matter.
    If I may press further, I asked what your capacity was as a green technology advisor and generally about your financial interests in promoting green technologies, having pointed out that you have previously worked in that area.
    “You have previously stated that you are not a scientist (it seems that you are a journalist and market analyst/salesman), which begs the question, why were you a green technology consultant to the UK Government? Was this in a capacity as a market research or salesman capacity?
    This piece you have written today recommends our heavy investment in green technologies. Do you see a need to make your interests in green technologies, if you have any, explicit?”
    You replied:
    “My consulting with UK government was while I was with another company altogether. I have no ties with any government at all, have no business with any government currently (although I have one proposal outstanding with the public sector–but in an unrelated field).”
    Was this another marketing company? Did your consulting involve marketing Climate Change or marketing green technology?
    You did not comment on your financial interests in promoting green technology.
    Your CV and past employment suggests work in the promotion of private green technology companies. Do you benefit financially from marketing green technology? Can I again raise my last question.
    “How can you satisfy me that your series of articles are not part of a new marketing campaign?”

  92. For what it is worth, I think your article is a valuable contribution and summarizes quite well my own take on many of the issues discussed. Ultimately, I think the global warming debate comes down to what should we do and what can we do when faced with a great deal of uncertainty regarding the effects of CO2 emissions. I, like you, believe that CO2 sensitivity is likely in the low range of proposed forecasts, but I acknowledge that I could be wrong.
    For many good reasons, however, totally apart from the climate controversy, it makes sense to move towards decarbonizing the economy, but at a deliberate pace that will not hamstring the economies of developed nations and condemn developing economies to perpetual poverty. In fact, we have no other choice but to proceed at a deliberate pace because we will never have a worldwide political consensus to substantially reduce economic growth, which is required to reduce CO2 emissions with existing technologies.
    For some reason, many of the people most alarmed about global warming think that decarbonizing the economy will be relatively painless. I am almost certain that they are wrong. Although many developed nations in Europe like to talk the talk with respect to global warming, no one country is, in fact, making any significant progress towards reducing CO2 emissions.
    Ultimately, the only way to decarbonize the economy of the world is to develop new technologies and improve upon exisiting ones. Whether this will occur, or even can occur, is an unknown. I do know that if one lived in the year 1900, it would have been impossible to predict where technology would take us by the year 2000. I am cautiosly optimistic that over the next 100 years similar types of changes will occur that may make this entire discussion moot.

  93. Martin C says:
    September 17, 2010 at 9:49 am
    Mikael (post at 9:23 am)
    You are wrong when you say rice yields are decreasing. See the below post for more on this
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/12/bbc-to-issue-correction-on-rice-yields-story/
    ———————
    Thanks. You are right as far as the press release and BBC rendition
    of it goes. But both are vague; I checked the article (abstract below),
    it is in fact direct yield they are discussing; minus 300-350 kg/ha due
    to Tmin, balanced by plus a 200 kg/ha due to Tmax., derived from a
    multiple regression model of farm data (below).
    So by sheer luck I was right, which is unsignificant. But, the implications
    for SE Asia in a warming climate are not unsignificant.
    ABSTRACT
    Welch et al.: Rice yields in tropical/subtropical Asia exhibit large but opposing sensitivities to minimum and maximum temperatures).
    Data from farmer-managed fields have not been used previously to disentangle
    the impacts of daily minimum and maximum temperatures and solar radiation
    on rice yields in tropical/subtropical Asia. We used a multiple regression model
    to analyze data from 227 intensively managed irrigated rice farms in six
    important rice-producing countries. The farm-level detail, observed over
    multiple growing seasons, enabled us to construct farm-specific weather
    variables, control for unobserved factors that either were unique to each
    farm but did not vary over time or were common to all farms at a given site
    but varied by season and year, and obtain more precise estimates by
    including farm- and site-specific economic variables. Temperature and
    radiation had statistically significant impacts during both the vegetative
    and ripening phases of the rice plant. Higher minimum temperature reduced
    yield, whereas higher maximum temperature raised it; radiation impact
    varied by growth phase. Combined, these effects imply that yield at most
    sites would have grown more rapidly during the high-yielding season but
    less rapidly during the low-yielding season if observed temperature and
    radiation trends at the end of the 20th century had not occurred, with
    temperature trends being more influential. Looking ahead, they imply a
    net negative impact on yield from moderate warming in coming decades.
    Beyond that, the impact would likely become more negative, because
    prior research indicates that the impact of maximum temperature
    becomes negative at higher levels. Diurnal temperature variation
    must be considered when investigating the impacts of climate change
    on irrigated rice in Asia.

  94. KLA :
    Trying to run a modern society with them is like trying to drive a car with no brakes and an accelerator pedal controlled by a frightened squirrel. The crash will not be far off. Basically suicide by stupidity.
    Blame Hanna-Barbera for creating “The Flintstones”, greenees took it as real (NASA included:their pebbles’ universe is a joke)

  95. If all the energy devoted to climate change were devoted to reducing world populations, then it might achieve something really positive for the world. A population of say 3 billion would not need the energy that is required now and could probably be well fed when cooling comes along, either a mini ice age or the inevitiable return to the full ice age conditions.
    The problem is that there are already far too many people on the Earth. The choice is between a good quality of life for humans or an exercise in how many people can the earth support before some natural event causes mass stavation with the deaths of billions.

  96. hey Tom,
    I’m glad to see you pick up the farmer in Iowa subsidizing the movie star in Malibu meme.
    This debate is so polarized that people cant even agree on the simplest things.
    A while back when Judith sent a bunch of us one of her articles to comment on, I asked everyone ( ya both the warmists and the skeptics) to look for the positions they could agree with rather than the positions they felt compelled to nit pick pick.
    Not a single person could read Judy’s piece and leave the differences aside for another day. It’s the internet. And if you said the sky was blue some idjit would come along and question your definition of blue, or ask you to prove it to them, or argue that because you were a liberal the sky was red.
    Anyways, I liked the piece. I would hope people could just focus on the “no regrets” decisions. what things can we do as individuals, towns, states, regions, countries, ( in that order) that we should be doing anyway.

  97. Phil:
    “But that’s okay because nobody has ever produced a model with a sensitivity of more than 1°C which has proved capable of forecasting future temperatures to a tolerable accuracy either.”
    In fact, they have. Qualitatively and quantitatively, model predictions have been validated. They predicted stratospheric cooling, arctic amplification, faster warming night, and faster warming winters in response to greenhouse gas forcing, among many other things. They predicted the magnitude and duration of the post-Pinatubo cooling successfully. What’s the basis of your claim that they didn’t?
    ““We can’t make our models track historical temperatures without adding this CO2 fudge factor” does not constitute proof that it was CO2 what dunnit. Only that we really don’t understand climate at all.”
    Fudge factor! Ha ha ha, that’s a good one. I suppose you could also say that no model can reproduce anything like our observed climate unless they include this “Sun” fudge factor. Greenhouse gases are as real as the Sun.
    I see many, many people using this bizarre royal “we”, like you did in your last sentence. You meant “I”.

  98. Elizabeth says:
    September 17, 2010 at 9:04 am
    Reply;
    Schizophrenia is a diagnosis by exclusion, in other words if the Dr. you are seeing can not find a medication regime that fixes you, then you have Schizophrenia.
    IF you have not been placed on the right family of anti depressants, and are having a lot of side effects from either being on the wrong medication for your case, or on a sub-therapeutic dose of the right medication this is the default diagnosis.
    There are three main neurotransmitters in brain chemistry, epinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. You could have either low production, fast metabolism, or total lack of a regulation mechanism for any one, or as many as two of these, resulting in the need for the right specific medication to fix the resultant problem.
    There is an even chance that your problem could be any of the three problems of level control, of any one of the three neurotransmitters. However the number of prescriptions (due to powerful lobbying and advertising campaigns) that are written for medications to fix dopamine regulation problems, is less than 3% of the total, although the chances of having a dopamine regulation problem is about 30%.
    The high number of curable “Schizophrenia” patients (about 40% of the total mental health patient base) is more due to picking the wrong medication, sub therapeutic dose or, choosing a conflicting combination of medications, which produce the diagnosis of “untreatable Schizophrenia or schizo-effective disorder”.
    The fact that this qualifies the patient to be eligible for permanent medical disability benefits from Medicaid and Medicare, does not seem to motivate providers to search much further for a cure for their locked in funding support.

  99. …Blame Hanna-Barbera for creating “The Flintstones”, greenees took it as real…

    They took it for more real than you think.
    Seriously.
    See this:
    http://humancar.com/
    US$15,500 for a prettied up toy. Something my kids got bored with when they were 5 or 6 years old. Only a greenee can think this is a good idea.
    It shows that greens have brains like cheap denim jeans. Repeated (brain)washing shrinks them to uselessness.

  100. Steven mosher says:
    September 17, 2010 at 11:38 am
    Maybe i’m a little sensitive, but i must say i find this contribution very offensive if not a little revealing.
    It appears your flag is well-nailed to the mast.
    tim

  101. Tom
    Another nice post. Thank you. You said;
    “So as a lukewarmer I believe that if there are ‘no regrets’ options, by which I mean things that make sense for us to do no matter what happens to the climate, that we should move quickly to do them in hopes that it will a) help prepare for whatever temperature rise comes our way and b) may serve in some small way to lessen the total temperature rise and its impacts.”
    I think we can all agree that energy is important and it ‘makes sense’ to look to it as a means to bring us all together. It is the bedrock of our society and the west prospered because it was cheap, plentiful and secure(ish) due to it being within our own borders or from countries who subscribed to Pax Americana or Pax Britannia.
    We are now in a new environment where there are different realities. Many countries who sell us energy frankly don’t like us and what we stand for, and are willing to see prices rise or to restrict supplies if it suits their agenda.
    As a result energy is not only less secure, but it is much more expensive, thereby knocking away a large part of our industrial and social foundations.
    I think we need to set out some realities;
    1) We must have security with our energy supplies
    2) We need a range of different types of energy sources that are appropriate to the teritory using them
    3) They need to be cheap and plentiful
    4) We have to take into account political realities, practicality, safety and environmental issues
    5) We have to accept that fossil fuel is ultimately going to run out
    So in the context of all the above- and the subsets that arise from them- having home grown energy makes perfect sense, but can it match the various criteria we need to then apply? Thats a tall order.
    In the UK -as an example- we have masses of domestic coal but politically it is not acceptable to use it. Our nuclear power stations are being decomissioned as they go past their design life, but ideologically sucessive govts have been unwilling to embrace the technology again. We are climatically unsuited to large scale solar power and have limited supplies of hydro power. We are the windiest country in Europe but if this resource is used you immediately run into serious cost considerations-it is outrageously inefficient and eye wateringly expensive- and becomes even more so if you move it offshore to try to damp down increasing environmental concerns . We are an island and could power the entire country with wind and wave, but the reality is that we are at the very beginning of that technology, which is up to 20 years behind wind power.
    Legally we have to produce 20% of our power through renewables by 2020 and the only game in town is wind, which can’t hope to achieve this aim without bankrupting the country or causing a massive outcry over the large scale installations that will damage our landscapes and lie idle for large parts of the winter when the wind doesn’t blow.
    So, Tom Fuller we have an area -energy-where sceptics, lukewarmers or full blown warmists could come together but instead -certainly in our case- a totally unsuitable and expensive way forward is being imposed on us -through carbon scaremongering-which will inevitably lead to a power shortage a little way down the road.
    Assuming that politically the West are unlikely to go down the carbon route again, that leaves us all in a pretty pickle as we will be denied access to the very stuff that has fuelled our indistries for 200 years-cheap, plentiful, reliable, energy.
    My solution? It is in ALL our interests to put the search for ‘acceptable’ energy on the same basis as the Apollo programme all those years ago and use our resources-money and brains- to develop a range of practical technologies that will deliver a solution to our energy needs within 10 years. That might be new energy sources, or refinenement of existing ones. My own favourites?
    Wave/wind -but obviously not suited to all countries as a coastline is rather essential
    Heat pumps
    Solar-in the right places
    Fusion. More info here: focusfusion.org . Technical reports page here: http://focusfusion.org/index.php/site/category/C30/
    We have lots of unfriendly states who control our energy sources. We are faced with continual price hikes. We are faced with the imposition of unsuitable and costly renewables. We are faced with the reality of controls on carbon. If the West is to prosper we need cheap, reliable, and secure power and need to use our best efforts to achieve that goal whilst we still have the means to do so.
    Tonyb

  102. Mr. Fuller,
    I agree with your policy goals, but I disagree with your policy statement.
    There is nothing whatsoever wrong with wanting alternative energy.
    However, using a climate equivalent of a Reichstag fire (Al Gore, Jim Hansen) is not the correct path to go about it. For one thing, whatever the purported goal, the actual goal is empowermet.
    Similarly using a climate equivalent of Pascal’s Wager is equally invalid. There are any number of real world issues which have far more measurable negative impact which a focus on a “lukewarm” preventative measure will eclipse.
    If the goal is alternative energy, then so be it.
    There are plenty of well understood paths to sensible adoption – none of them involve throwing massive sums of money to either assuage climate guilt via a post-modernist climate indulgence or a fear-mongering prevention of potential climate Armageddon.
    A clear eyed focus on reducing the deficit, improving lives, decreasing poverty, or whatever via parity or cheaper alternative energy is more than sufficiently motivating given credible leaders.

  103. No Regrets policy — I can live with that. I wonder how many remember that George Bush (the first) advocated that policy over twenty years ago. If you do remember, then you may recall how he was demonized for it — by the press, by activists, and by so-called scientists.
    Some features of a no-regrets policy:
    1. Fewer hurdles for nuclear power.
    2. Allow new coal plants — they are less polluting than the ones they replace.
    3. Conservation programs — especially where we can reduce the energy usage of welfare recipients for whom taxpayers pay the energy bills.
    4. Support R&D for better efficiency in electric transmission.
    A very short list, but these actions would increase standards of living, decrease pollution and decrease dependence on foreign oil. Most initiatives in the name of global warming have done the opposite so far.

  104. Mr. Fuller is “firmly ambivalent”. Or you might say they he feels very strongly both ways. I will agree that on the finer issues there exists a degree of ambiguity, but on the “big picture” macroscopic scale this really is a dichotomous issue. We’re either wrecking the climate or we’re not. Sure…we might be having a very small, inconsequential influence, but we’re NOT destroying the climate. At least not by any metric available to us today short of vivid imagination.
    What I find so fundamentally absurd is that warmists believe we have reached the pinnacle of technological innovation. I graduated from high school in 1975. In 1975 AT&T had no fear of something called cellular phone technology. In 1975 only a scant few geeks had computers in their homes (even hand held calculators were an expensive luxury). Today the modern household that doesn’t have at least one computer is an oddity and hand held calculators are so cheap you can buy one with full trig functions for under $10 (you couldn’t buy a good slide rule for under $10 in 1975). In 1975 the average vehicle got about 15 miles to the gallon (or less). The analog vinyl record album reigned supreme as a recording format and cassette tapes were just gaining popularity. Even answering machines were rare. By 1975 we had even stopped going to the moon and nobody yet knew what a VHS tape was. How far have we progressed in 35 years?
    How many homes US homes today don’t have color TVs or microwave ovens? In the US how many people do you know that don’t have a cell phone, a computer, a microwave oven, a CD, DVD or MP3 player, a refrigerator, a vacuum cleaner or a cordless phone? Compare this to 1920. How many folks had electricity or a home phone? When we examine the “AGW crisis” we tend to neglect the human capacity for innovation.
    The person who invents utility storage of electricity will become wealthy beyond human comprehension. No “prize” is necessary. If it can be done it will be done. I’m quite sure it will happen. I just don’t know when. We could develop efficient thorium reactors tomorrow if there was a will. One thing is certain. Any government effort that retards the production and use of energy will have a negative effect on mankind.
    We need to heed the “needs of the many” meme another posted earlier. We have some stargazers in my little community (perhaps as many as a hundred). These stargazers (I’m sure mostly retired or trust fund babies) successfully lobbied (or, more likely, took over) our local neighborhood government and outlawed functional outdoor lighting. I was forced to remove floodlights from my home that I only used when taking the trash to the curb because they violated the newly accepted “light pollution” provisions. Two years ago I tripped taking out my recycling in the dark, fell and broke a rib. This resulted in pain and discomfort for months. Why? So a minority of stargazers could have a “light unpolluted” night sky to view when they weren’t watching TV indoors. All I wanted is lighted safe passage just 40 yards to the curb once a week. But that was not to be allowed…no matter that is was my OWN property.
    Energy takeovers are tyranny, pure and simple. There is no middle ground. This isn’t a struggle between science and “anti-science”, it’s a struggle between liberty and freedom over oppression and tyranny for the sake of the personal interests of a minority.

  105. Being a father of a son was diagnosed with schizophrenia and is being successfully treated, I have to echo what Elizabeth (September 17, 2010 at 9:04 am) has stated. I do that in the strongest terms possible.
    While what Richard Halle (September 17, 2010 at 11:42 a.m.) states may be true in the country which he lives, it certainly can’t be said to be the case for my son.
    Only those who lives have been “touched” by schizophrena can truly understand how devastating, frustrating, and mis-represented this mental disease is.
    I suspect that many of you have had interactions with people who have schizophrenia but are successfully being treated without you even knowing it.
    I ask for greater sensitivity to the use of the words schizophrena and schizophrenic.

  106. “I’m a lukewarmer–and I’m right.”
    Kinda shoots that whole “open minded, looking at both sides of the issue” theory right in the ol’ bung hole, doesn’t it?
    Mr. Fuller sounds like Barack Obama when he says “I can talk with anyone…” Sure he can, but his ideology dictates no consideration of alternative solutions, other than marxism and its dictates. Similarly, Thomas starts from the ideological perspective that CO2 is accepted as a significant green house gas that will drive global warming as CO2 concentration increases. Neither part of this contention is settled or accepted science. Neither the current CO2 atmospheric content nor the extent of global warming since the conclusion of the last ice age are unprecedented. Both have been much higher in the geologic past, without strong correlation.
    It isn’t schizophrenic to deny these facts but neither does it reflect honest intelligence. It reflects a strongly held belief system, an ideology or a religion, that will not consider fundamental facts that challenge the belief system framework.
    Hence, the smug assertion “I’m a (insert your favorite ideology) and I’m right!”

  107. Your 1 to 2 degree warming supposedly accepted by all is a lot closer to 1 and only if net feedback is not negative.
    Here is a real question though: Why would anyone presume that 1 or 2 or even several degrees of warming would be a net negative thing? That supposition certainly is not supported by anything we know about the history of life on Earth. Looking at the how much argument is almost missing the main point. Isn’t warmer better for any rationally believable amount of warmer?

  108. Dr.Dave
    What I find so fundamentally absurd is that warmists believe we have reached the pinnacle of technological innovation
    The problem is that they think that “Science is Settled”, that there won’t be and there is not any new possible (or perhaps “allowed”) knowledge we can reach, but theirs is the “ultimate”.
    All recent progress, as you wisely pointed out, it is and it has been “technological”, derived from engineering practice or from inventions, not from science as such. Science has dedicated itself as dark magic to cook the weirdest possible descriptions of nature, to extremes only dreamt by stoned science-fiction-horror movie writers.
    Only forced by circumstances has managed to describe actual functioning of other peoples’ creations or inventions by heuristic equations, the more esoteric the better.
    Fortunately human ingeuity still exists, as still exists a Farmers’ Almanac in the realm of weather/climate, or the real advances in actual science which currently appear here in WUWT. All the rest is psychopathic or chrematistic.

  109. An Inquirer.
    yup. Instead of taking action on matters in the US, people have chased the dream of a global treaty. To what end?
    policy based on adaptive management would dictate that the US do the best it can to prevent,mitigate and adapt to the specific risks faced by the US. not spend over 20 years chasing a global solution.
    The solution ( a global prevention of C02 emissions) has been chased long enough.

  110. I hope this isn’t too late for the conversation. I’ve just been handed a brochure about some smart grid applications and data about the consumer for their viewing such as meter usage throughout the days of the billing cycle and they want my opinion on it. A co-worker was also asked the same. I threw in the trash after a cursory 5 second glance and stated firmly I was against it. Why, I was asked. Isn’t encouraging energy conservation a good thing? I responded with “We are tripping over a twenty to pick up a dime.”
    People that wish to track their usage already do. Its called walking to your meter and reading the numbers. Wow what a strange concept. No licensing fees, software and hardware installation, no additional costs. Further, as a worker in a small electric utility, I’m aghast at how many people would willingly invite utilities into their home with our eyes firmly fixed on control of their appliances! I’ve no more business in your living room as I do in your bedroom. Moreover, were it not for the alarmism and regulatory hurdles, energy would be as cheap and plentiful as sand on a beach. One doesn’t fight lunacy by appeasement. One confronts the aggressive power grab. I don’t accept that we have to conserve. I don’t accept that the costs should be as high as it is. But with the quickened pace towards smart grid and their many various applications, energy providers must increase the cost of energy because of the technology costs. Its beyond me why people can’t see this. We don’t save anything! Think of the consumption of energy to produce things such as a windmill! The of the cost of energy the windmill produces! Think of the man hours consumed in creating the technology that allows me to run your A/C from my office! All of this still doesn’t equal the greatest cost. Your freedoms.

  111. Dr. Dave says:
    September 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm
    What I find so fundamentally absurd is that warmists believe we have reached the pinnacle of technological innovation.
    ——
    Your assertion doesn’t make sense. The warmist standpoint is to
    introduce carbon taxes, for to create incentives for technological
    innovation. You could perhaps accuse them of overestimating
    the role of technological innovation …

  112. Fuller wishes to engage the debate on the argument that CO2 level is a red herring on the larger question of energy demands going forward. That is, let’s not let CO2 levels drive the debate on the following premises: 1) The global population will increase; 2) Along with it demand for energy will increase. I think his premises are grounded in some solid empirical evidence.
    Those of you who are nitpicking at the CO2 question are validating his argument and if you can’t get your minds to where he wants to have the debate then you open yourselves to well-deserved ridicule by those who understand where the debate needs to be.

  113. I find that if the temperature moving average is one degree above average for a month or so then there has been a succession of exceptionally hot days; so that if it was certain that by using fossil fuels the temperature of the earth would rise by two degrees, then I would take a position of extreme advocacy against fossil fuel use.
    I do not believe that the Earth’s climate is so sensitive to so-called greenhouse gases though. The fact that we are in a sequence of ice ages for the last 3 million years indicates that the climate is indeed in a sensitive state. However the “sudden” onset can only have been caused by continental drift, which means that the oceans are an essential part of the feedback loop, and CO2 is not implicated.
    Even if it were, efforts to limit CO2 usage in particular countries is futile. The developed countries already have their power generation infrastructure constructed. Replacing this infrastructure is a waste of resources. Instead an international scheme should be implemented to help developing countries construct nuclear plants for their power generation infrastructure, with countries like Australia playing a key role in providing nuclear fuel and storing spent fuel.

  114. As someone else commented – when you stand in the middle of the road, you are liable to get hit from both sides!
    I appreciate your articles and comments. While I do not totally agree with you, that is more because my mind is not made up on the issue. I guess my brains are going to fall out since I am searching for the answers, and refuse to believe that we have them all already.

  115. Peter Foster says:
    September 17, 2010 at 11:32 am
    ” The problem is that there are already far too many people on the Earth. ”
    But, yet Mr. Foster here you are using energy to send a post to this blog, intending to eat supper later maybe a snack before bed, and possibly a drive tomorrow. Mr. Foster, I think folks like you really mean “There are too many people lesser than myself here on earth.” Mr. Foster by your presence you demostrate you really don’t mean what you said.
    [Borderline – please refrain from ad hominem ~ac]

  116. Some commenters challenged me on my statement:
    “No-one has ever produced a model with a sensitivity of 1°C or less that can reproduce the recent rise in global temperatures as well as reproducing historical and geological temperatures to a tolerable accuracy.”
    Perhaps they could enlighten me where this has been described then?
    Btw, Philip, I never proclaimed certainty, so you’re arguing a strawman there.

  117. “The warmist standpoint is to introduce carbon taxes, for to create incentives for technological innovation.”
    Absolute rubbish.
    The incentive to invent a lower cost energy source is HUGE. I couldn’t possibly be larger and a carbon tax will do nothing to change it. When wind/solar/bio outcompetes fossil fuel, the market will immediately dictate a switchy.
    The taxes artificially raise the price of fossil fuels above the price of alternative energy. The tax is simply the mechanism for forcing the economy to change from low cost to high cost energy; which, by the way, will leave us all worse off, at least from an economic point of view.
    If you think CO2 is destroying the planet, then maybe this is an OK idea. But please don’t pretend the tax is to spur innovation/creativity.

  118. Allen says:
    September 17, 2010 at 1:20 pm
    Fuller wishes to engage the debate on the argument that CO2 level is a red herring on the larger question of energy demands going forward. That is, let’s not let CO2 levels drive the debate on the following premises: 1) The global population will increase; 2) Along with it demand for energy will increase. I think his premises are grounded in some solid empirical evidence.
    Those of you who are nitpicking at the CO2 question are validating his argument and if you can’t get your minds to where he wants to have the debate then you open yourselves to well-deserved ridicule by those who understand where the debate needs to be.
    *****************
    precisely. I will add this. If you want to have ANY say in how the problem will or wont be dealt with, you dont win any credibility points by denying basic physics.
    its far more effective to say “granted, C02 may cause problems, lets move on nuclear” than it is to say “You can’t prove C02 is a problem, lets move forward on nuclear”

  119. THE major problem with the CO2 thesis is it is all focused on radiation physics. But the atmosphere is dominated by convective processes and water vapor. Major mismatch.
    So reasonable thinking people certainly can look at the ‘CO2 as greenhouse gas’ thesis and say it’s broken on the face of it; since CO2 is not a glass barrier to convection, it’s just part of the megatons of mass flow from the surface to altitude where the heat radiates off to space.
    Take just a moment to look at the three hurricanes in the Atlantic right now. Then ask: How effective is CO2 at blocking them from moving heat from the ocean to the upper atmosphere?
    CO2 is a blind alley as it ignores the dominant forces in the sky. And no, we don’t need to do anything about it and we don’t need to have governments making decisions that ought to be made by energy companies. The choice of fuels and systems is none of the governments business.

  120. Philip Thomas says:
    “You did not comment on your financial interests in promoting green technology.
    Your CV and past employment suggests work in the promotion of private green technology companies. Do you benefit financially from marketing green technology? Can I again raise my last question.
    “How can you satisfy me that your series of articles are not part of a new marketing campaign?”
    ****************************
    Tom does market RESEARCH. sheesh do you even understand what that job is and how it differs from campaign marketing..

  121. Wow.
    Fuller is a nincompoop, but at WUWT, he is attacked by nincompoops orders of magnitude more ignorant than himself.
    Thus we are privileged to view the almost infinitely regressing layers of stupid comprising climate science denial. Truly an appalling spectacle, but par for WUWT, I suppose.
    [mod: Pee-Wee’s playhouse just exploded! the word of the day is “nincompoop”]

  122. Amino Acids in Meteorites says “I knew about the traffic jam. I did not know it “was composed primarily of small trucks bringing coal into China’s capital”. This is what I want proof of.“.
    Well, three photos might not be the complete proof you seek, but here are the first three photos from a search for “beijing massive traffic jam photo” :
    http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://www.bjjafter40.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/traffic.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.bjjafter40.com/%3Fp%3D410&h=295&w=400&sz=48&tbnid=gzN4FHaIOsm2ZM:&tbnh=91&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dbeijing%2Bmassive%2Btraffic%2Bjam%2Bphoto&zoom=1&q=beijing+massive+traffic+jam+photo&hl=en&usg=__R4Lo5TPnyneHiAQVd53zDcMfIfY=&sa=X&ei=l-KTTPKjFY6lcdHytKQF&ved=0CB0Q9QEwAA
    http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://www.treehugger.com/traffic-jam-beijing.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/11/beijing-21-new-cars-per-day-welcomes-more.php&h=314&w=470&sz=48&tbnid=DLHm8loh1elkiM:&tbnh=86&tbnw=129&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dbeijing%2Bmassive%2Btraffic%2Bjam%2Bphoto&zoom=1&q=beijing+massive+traffic+jam+photo&hl=en&usg=__5tW6EV7iXS2-7KLlNwjOar2v5GI=&sa=X&ei=l-KTTPKjFY6lcdHytKQF&ved=0CB8Q9QEwAQ
    http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://www.12news.us/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/traffic.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.12news.us/china-traffic-jam.html&h=311&w=400&sz=61&tbnid=NHOH4NofpzvPtM:&tbnh=96&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dbeijing%2Bmassive%2Btraffic%2Bjam%2Bphoto&zoom=1&q=beijing+massive+traffic+jam+photo&hl=en&usg=__X78IfaBZ1JdtRc-GzMxsozeQjsA=&sa=X&ei=l-KTTPKjFY6lcdHytKQF&ved=0CCEQ9QEwAg
    Number of vehicles positively identified as coal trucks : 0 (zero, nil, nada)

  123. “”” The LukeWarmer’s Way
    The operation of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is one of the least controversial ideas in physics. The calculations that show a temperature rise of between 1 and 2 degrees Celsius if concentrations double is also widely accepted, including by all skeptic scientists without (AFAIK) exception. “””
    Well I presume that AFAIK is texting for “As Far As I Know”. So let’s just declare then that in fact you DO NOT know.
    Well perhaps there’s a chance you could be right. Because I certainly am a Scientist; and in fact I am a Physicist; but then I realize I am NOT a skeptic. I’m quite certain; without any reservations that your conjecture is quite false. That being: “””The calculations that show a temperature rise of between 1 and 2 degrees Celsius if concentrations double “””
    Well for a start, the IPCC says the number is 3 deg C; well +/- 50% or 1.5 to 4.5 deg C, or a 3:1 ratio, rather than a 2:1 that you claim is accepted almost universally.
    By the way; Just WHAT TEMPERATURE is that that is supposed to increase by 1 to 2 deg C for a doubling of CO2.
    The extreme range of Temperatures on earth goes from almost -90 deg C at Vostok Station to at least +60 deg C, and maybe as high as +90 deg C in the hottest tropical arid deserts; that is surface Temperatures of course which are the original source of whatever thermal radiation is captured by your CO2 which a lot of us certainly do agree with you is a greenhouse gas; at least in the way, that climate science refers to the greenhouse effect, even though real green houses don’t funtion that way.
    And that range of Temperatures as sources for the LWIR radiation that activates the green house effect results in about an 11 to 1 or more range of Surface Radiant Emittances that supplies the greenhouse effect.
    So clearly the Temperature increase of whatever depends on wherever the whatever is located on planet earth.
    But you say that this 2:1 range of Temperature increase is “Calculated”. So why does it have a 2:1 range if it is calculated. You said this was well understood Physics so why is it 2:1 uncertain.
    Perhaps you are aware of actual measured observations of this 1-2 deg C Temperature increase in whatever, wherever this doubling of CO2 took place. That would be useful information to pass on to us; because none of US have ever seen such data from actual measurments.
    Well I for one, do agree that CO2 is a GHG; and that GHGs such as H2O for example, DO capture LWIR thermal radiation and create some warming of the local atmosphere where that absorption occurs. What happens next I am not so sure about; it depends on where you are in the atmosphere.
    But so far in the last 600 million years or so, it has not resulted in anything catastrophic to life on earth; and it seems to have never driven the Temperature fo the entire planet above about +22 deg C.
    But to get back to your worry wort fear thata couple or three degrees rise in Temperature is going to lead to disaster on earth; did I remeber to point out to you that on any ordinary northern Hemisphere midsummer day, you can find places on earth that can be as cold as -90 deg C (rarely) but -75 deg C routinely; or as hot as +60 deg C (surface) routinely and maybe +90 deg (rarely); and because of an argument by Galileo, Galilei, every possible Temperature within that 135 to 180 deg C range can be found somewhere on the earth at the same time.
    And human beings live quite routinely in places where the Temperature can be in the +/- 55 deg C range.
    So what was that you were saying about a 2-3 deg C change being a catastrophe ? You could do with a healthy dose of reality.

  124. To some the glass is half full, to others half empty, consider the possibility of smaller glasses.
    “The man who is unhappy will, as a rule, adopt an unhappy creed, while the man who is happy will adopt a happy creed; each may attribute his happiness or unhappiness to his beliefs, while the real causation is the other way round.” – Bertrand Russell

  125. It’s because I am a ‘lukewarmer,’ one who believes that the physics of climate change are not by theselves controversial,
    As a general question: What level of cooling would be incompatible with physics as you know it? I.E. How much would the Earth have to cool before you’d say “That’s against the laws of physics”?

  126. Mikael Pihlström says:
    September 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm
    “Your assertion doesn’t make sense. The warmist standpoint is to
    introduce carbon taxes, for to create incentives for technological
    innovation. You could perhaps accuse them of overestimating
    the role of technological innovation …”
    ______________________________________________________
    Man! If you actually believe this I have a unicorn ranch you might be interested in. If you think those tax monies will be spent on technological innovation you’re seriously deluded. Technological innovation does not require subsidy by means of confiscatory taxes. Technological innovation proceeds quite nicely without government intervention. In fact, it flourishes in the lack of government intervention. Please…name ONE thing that government does better than the private sector. Hell, government doesn’t even win on “military” anymore.
    One has to stupidly assume government (any government) would levy taxes and then use 100% of those taxes to fund technology. Seeing as this has never happened in the history of mankind I think we can rule out this particular fairy tale. Then we have to assume that this “free” (taxpayer) money would be spent efficiently on the development of new technology. One has only to look at the BILLIONS that have been utterly squandered on “climate change” to know that government should get out of the R&D business.

  127. Z, cooling for me would be a matter of length of time, not number of degrees. If it cools for the next 20 years, we all win, and I’ll be happy to eat crow in any venue you name. Really. But that might be because I would win a thousand dollar bet with Joe Romm… 😉

  128. George E. Smith, I’m assuming you wrote in haste. The 1.5 to 4.5 C estimate by the IPCC is of course of atmospheric sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 concentrations, not the warming expected solely from a doubling of CO2 itself.
    Obviously, I’m adopting common usage for my reference–it’s global mean temperature. I agree with you that it’s not a useful way of looking at any real world consequences, and am fully aware that the Earth offers a wide spectrum of local and regional climates and that humans have done remarkably well in adapting to them.
    I’ll repeat my concern, which is that temperature rises over a short period of time would be extremely troubling to some parts of the world that have not had the opportunity to develop the resilience we show in so many other parts of the world. Right or wrong, that’s my worry.

  129. Steven mosher said on September 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm:

    I am glad to see people pick up my meme that the precautionary principle is just Pascal’s wager.

    There is a major difference between the precautionary principal with regards to CO2 and Pascal’s wager. We still don’t have evidence that CO2 will be a problem that must be taken care of, while it is proven fact that all human bodies will eventually expire. For only one of the two are we certain that “We’re all going to die!!” applies.
    😉

  130. I’ve produced some analysis which had “lukewarmer-type” results but let me poke some holes in the lukewarmer approach.
    – The 1.0C per doubling of GHGs (without feedbacks) actually refers to troposphere temperatures – 5.5 kms up – not the Surface – (note this number is sometimes quoted as 1.2C but it is really 1.0C). The Stefan-Boltzmann equations, however, indicate this will only produce 0.7C of warming at the Surface where we live (a never talked about discrepancy).
    – The 1.0C per doubling comes from calculations by Myhre et al 1998 (and Hansen and Manabe earlier) which said doubling GHGs increases the forcing in the troposphere by 3.7 watts/m2.
    http://folk.uio.no/gunnarmy/paper/myhre_grl98.pdf
    Nobody can really verify these calculations (although the same kind of numbers is built into Modtran for example). Does doubling GHGs really increase the forcing in the troposphere by 3.7 watt/m2? I can’t say I have ever seen that calculation demonstrated including in the above.
    The historic temperatures have been adjusted to increase the trend. No wonder no climate model can reproduce a 1.0C total sensitivity – they are trying to reproduce artificial historical temperature trends. And they are forced to use artificially high Aerosol estimates which artificially produce higher GHG sensitivities.
    The satellite troposphere trends is lower (two new papers out on this – one today) and my own analysis indicates that the sensitivity is around 1.0C from the temperature trends produced by the satellites – which might also show that the historical temperature figures before 1979 have been adjusted again.
    The Paleoclimate history supports a vey low sensitivity – between 0.0C and 1.5C per doubling.
    Feedbacks to date are extremely low if not negative (see Trenberth 2009 which has the feedbacks at a negative value). When are they supposed to start producing a +200% additional positive impact?
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/EnergyDiagnostics09final2.pdf

  131. Tom Fuller says: September 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm
    Adam R.,
    Next time you drive by, bring me a cup of coffee, willya?

    Sure thing, nincom…er, Tom. Cream and sugar?

  132. Mr. Illis, my opinion (and that’s all it is) about 2 degrees Celsius incorporates other anthropogenic influences, such as deforestation and other changes to land use / land cover. I actually think CO2 will provide a bit more than half that.
    Svante Arrhenius, when he recalculated his numbers in 1906 (and which Al Gore and John Rennie never seem to have heard about), came up with 1.6 C from CO2 and about 0.5 from feedbacks. There are things he didn’t know about at the time, but I like his end results.
    Time will tell.

  133. Steven mosher says:
    September 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm
    “Tom does market RESEARCH. sheesh do you even understand what that job is and how it differs from campaign marketing..”
    Tom does market research. This can lead into other areas such as generating sales leads.
    He worked at Kable – ‘The company helps ICT suppliers to understand the government market better and to reach public sector decision-makers. Kable also helps public servants to make informed decisions about transformation and technology.’ i.e helping companies sell technology to the government.
    He also worked at IPT (Online Lead Generation, List Rental & Email Marketing Specialists – myoffers.co.uk!), has a line specialising in leads to helps green technology suppliers find customers through permission marketing. He has protested that he wasn’t involved in the green technology website, ‘I worked for two years at IPT in a separate division doing market research.’ but as Managing Director of market research he surely had some exposure.
    Factoring in the big proposals for EC tenders he has submitted through a specialist EC grant negotiating company I believe that TF has a far broader range of skills and interests than market research. It is certainly POSSIBLE that TF became involved in the climate debate through a financial interest in promoting green technologies and I for one would like to keep pushing to make it clear that this is not the case.

  134. Philip, you’re really on the wrong track here. I don’t work for either of those companies–it’s been years. I have no financial interest in promoting green technologies. I never have.
    How clear do you want me to be? I have no dog in this fight at all.

  135. Tom Fuller says:
    September 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm
    Tom, I was just presenting another side to the issue. Generally, one should be in the lukewarmer-like category given the trends to date but even the trends to date may not reflect what has actually happened. Let’s say the temperature increase to date is really only 0.45C. Well, then that would not indicate 2.0C by 2100, maybe 1.0C. If the real trend to date is 0.65C, maybe 2.0C is in the ballpark then.

  136. E.M.Smith says:
    September 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm
    since CO2 is not a glass barrier to convection, it’s just part of the megatons of mass flow from the surface to altitude where the heat radiates off to space…..And no, we don’t need to do anything about it and we don’t need to have governments making decisions that ought to be made by energy companies. The choice of fuels and systems is none of the governments business.
    Thank you Mr. Smith. Your comment made the most sense of all in this thread.

  137. “So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.” Rev. 3:16
    I could not resist on that one. 😉
    Chris

  138. Don V says: September 17, 2010 at 8:27 am
    “The magnitude of concentrations of CO2 vs water vapor alone convinces me that water has a far, far greater effect than the miniscule role of CO2.”
    Hi Don V. Most of us have experienced the difference between a cold cloudness night and a relatively warmer cloudy one. This is a direct consequence of water vapour acting as a greenhouse gas, slowing infra-red radiation’s passage to space. CO2 does the same. What would happen if all the non-water-vapour GHGs were magically scrubbed from the atmosphere? Whereas a molecule of CO2 stays in the atmosphere for ~100 years, water vapour is precipitated in the order of days or weeks. As rain fell in any given region temperatures would plummet and we would rapidly reach snowball earth. Blackbody radiation theory suggests earth would be 33C colder without our present combination of GHGs. Water vapour on its own has such a small residence time in the atmosphere that it is not self-sustaining.

  139. savethesharks says:
    “So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.” Rev. 3:16
    I could not resist on that one. 😉
    .
    LOL! XLNT!

  140. E.M.Smith says:
    September 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm
    THE major problem with the CO2 thesis is it is all focused on radiation physics. But the atmosphere is dominated by convective processes and water vapor. Major mismatch.
    So reasonable thinking people certainly can look at the ‘CO2 as greenhouse gas’ thesis and say it’s broken on the face of it; since CO2 is not a glass barrier to convection, it’s just part of the megatons of mass flow from the surface to altitude where the heat radiates off to space.
    Take just a moment to look at the three hurricanes in the Atlantic right now. Then ask: How effective is CO2 at blocking them from moving heat from the ocean to the upper atmosphere?
    =======================================
    Repeated for effect here. EXTREMELY well said.
    Chris

  141. Phillip:
    “It is certainly POSSIBLE that TF became involved in the climate debate through a financial interest in promoting green technologies and I for one would like to keep pushing to make it clear that this is not the case.”
    Phillip you are so far from the truth you have no idea. I’m not just saying that because I know Tom personally. You still dont get what a reseacher does and why researchers dont and cant promote.

  142. anna v says:
    Lukewarmer is a bad choice of an epithet:
    King James Bible,
    “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

    Dunno if its bad for the political situation Thomas is trying to describe. It is like in the labor movement when those that thought the the commies should not be outlawed they were sometimes called pinkos. The Lukewarmer term was used by Savonarola in the bonfire of the vanities days in Florence to describe those who would not join his movement to purge the vanities of the city. It was his term to chastise the moderate, respective, wealthy practicing Christians. Speaking as God’s mouthpiece he would scream the apocalyse But because you are lukewarm…I am going to spit you out of my mouth! . One could almost say that Savonarola destroyed the renaissance in florence.

  143. Z:
    “As a general question: What level of cooling would be incompatible with physics as you know it? I.E. How much would the Earth have to cool before you’d say “That’s against the laws of physics”?”
    wrong question and a total misunderstanding of how physics is developed, refined and modified. it would take more than a cool spell to overturn the physics involved, way more.

  144. I don’t believe a trace gas is going to turn out to be Earth’s #1 looming problem. In face, I don’t believe it is a problem nor is it really a driver of climate. The Earth is fully capable of wolfing down any extra C02 we put out, and more, if and when it decides to.
    The real problem is pollution. Chemicals, plastics and soot. The S02 and soot we had either licked or on the way to getting under wraps in the US. We really did clean up our air. We could have continued on, and cleaned up a lot more than just the S02 problem, but profits got in the way, and government agencies/regulators were bought/lobbied. We sent our core industries and tooling overseas, along with our productivity.
    There isn’t much we can now do about China. That situation is at least 10 years or more removed from any meaningful influence we might have had. Now, they are ready to leapfrog us, and they appear not to care one bit how much pollution they have to spit out in the process of becoming #1. Our troubled consumer-driven market is not in the drivers seat, China’s is.
    We do not control our monetary system, they do (Bernanke did it … 2005) via the long-term interest rate and thier investments.
    So, what exactly can the US do? What we used to do: Make products that last.
    Throwaway products that are cheap cost jobs, our jobs, and as they don’t last long, they are a huge waste of resources & energy.
    Great for Asia, very bad for the US. Even worse for pollution on 2 continents.
    Green energy? We use to call some of these schemes perpetual motion.
    Nuclear? We had better get some serious reform into our oversight & regulatory agencies before we start messing with that genie again.
    Renewables? Localised and subsidized so far. Tranmission lines blocked. Outsourced.
    It’s going to be a while before the US has the wherewithal to make meaningful changes, the present economic malaise has seen to that.

  145. mikael pihlström:
    “Well, looking at the global picture, ‘greenies’ were instrumental
    in the developments leading to cleaner water, air and soils in past
    decades. You seem to condone these developments now, but
    contemporary greenies are always “sand in the gears”, and later
    ob you can always be ahistorical and forget their contributions.”
    Being “instrumental” is just a small part of the orchestra. The non-green public at large saw the problems themselves and wanted solutions. Many moved out of the CBD for fresh air and, business noted that and changed their ways.
    When it came to lead pollution from car exhausts, unleaded fuel was devised. The stink of sulphur dioxide (SO2) was enough to drive the greenies into a frenzy. From WIKI:
    “Since 1981, three-way catalytic converters have been used in vehicle emission control systems in North America and many other countries on roadgoing vehicles. A three-way catalytic converter has three simultaneous tasks:
    1. Reduction of nitrogen oxides to nitrogen and oxygen: 2NOx → xO2 + N2
    2. Oxidation of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide: 2CO + O2 → 2CO2
    3. Oxidation of unburnt hydrocarbons (HC) to carbon dioxide and water: CxH2x+2 + [(3x+1)/2]O2 → xCO2 + (x+1)H2O
    Now, the problem is that it converts CO AND unburnt hydrocarbons into CO2 (not a problem as us climate realists are aware since CO2 is plant food). Greenies have unknowingly (stupidly) caused their own “problem” – again. Or was it stupid, as now they have yet another “cause” to fight for?

  146. Mike Jonas,
    There has been an increase in car sales in China. Roads have not been upgraded to accommodate the new traffic. Your photos confirm that’s what the traffic jam was. I also didn’t see a single coal truck.

  147. Adam R., before you start calling people names, you’re the one spending time in a place he doesn’t like…

    Gee, Tom, that doesn’t even make sense. I love WUWT. Where else can I find denialist lunacy on this extreme scale? The entertainment value is virtually infinite!

  148. Mr. Fuller,
    I am not going to argue atmospheric physics with you, because you are not an atmospheric physicist and neither am I. You and I can only guess at who is right and who is wrong on those questions.
    But we both have experienced climate and know for certain what Alaska’s is like versus say, California’s. And we can both agree that agricultural productivity is much greater in the latter than the former. We can agree that most of humanity lives in warm climates, not cold ones. It’s not puzzling why this is: warmer climate is more conducive to survival of our species than colder climate.
    Way back when, the Alarmists coined “global warming” and held it up as a threat. Then folks began to realize that warmer is better, certainly much better than the alternative, a return to Ice Age conditions. The Hansen line that the seas are going to boil was laughable. So the Alarmists substituted “climate change” and more recently “climate disruption”. Warmer is no longer the threat, it’s the alleged “change” projected. And you resurrect the old canard, “rapid change”, as the “real” boogie man under the bed.
    It isn’t happening. Good Old Mother Earth is gradually cooling. It’s back to Ice Ages, something that has happened like clockwork for 2 million years or so. There is no rapid change, and there is no warming. Despite what the models say should be happening. Look out the window. Yes, there are floods and droughts. There always have been. There is no detectable increase in their severity or frequency.
    Furthermore, so what? If warmer means a few more storms, they would be offset by the astounding increase in productivity. A detectable (significant) warming would bring both. I vote for warmer. Warmer Is Better.
    Your dire report fails to move me toward fear and trepidation. Sorry, but I don’t share your concerns. Try a different tack. Try impending cooling. That might stir my emotions.

  149. People believe that by changing human perception, you can change the world. They believe they can change human nature just by believing they can. Human nature doesn’t work like that. Human nature has not changed for 10, 00 years. Human nature always reverts back to it’s primeval core no matter how hard they try to change it. That is why we use something called the US Constitution to keep us from destroying each other. It’s the best plan we have come up with in the history of the planet. I suggest we utilize it till we come up with something better.

  150. rbateman says:
    September 17, 2010 at 8:36 pm
    I don’t believe a trace gas is going to turn out to be Earth’s #1 looming problem. In face, I don’t believe it is a problem nor is it really a driver of climate. The Earth is fully capable of wolfing down any extra C02 we put out, and more, if and when it decides to.
    The real problem is pollution. Chemicals, plastics and soot. The S02 and soot we had either licked or on the way to getting under wraps in the US. We really did clean up our air. We could have continued on, and cleaned up a lot more than just the S02 problem, but profits got in the way, and government agencies/regulators were bought/lobbied. We sent our core industries and tooling overseas, along with our productivity.
    There isn’t much we can now do about China. That situation is at least 10 years or more removed from any meaningful influence we might have had. Now, they are ready to leapfrog us, and they appear not to care one bit how much pollution they have to spit out in the process of becoming #1. Our troubled consumer-driven market is not in the drivers seat, China’s is.
    We do not control our monetary system, they do (Bernanke did it … 2005) via the long-term interest rate and thier investments.
    So, what exactly can the US do? What we used to do: Make products that last.
    Throwaway products that are cheap cost jobs, our jobs, and as they don’t last long, they are a huge waste of resources & energy.
    Great for Asia, very bad for the US. Even worse for pollution on 2 continents.
    Green energy? We use to call some of these schemes perpetual motion.
    Nuclear? We had better get some serious reform into our oversight & regulatory agencies before we start messing with that genie again.
    Renewables? Localised and subsidized so far. Tranmission lines blocked. Outsourced.
    It’s going to be a while before the US has the wherewithal to make meaningful changes, the present economic malaise has seen to that.
    ==========================
    Again…repeated for effect.
    Robert’s the type of person you want to be closely connected to in the event of an apocalypse.
    I would much rather listen to survivors who know what to do…than to ideologues and theoreticians who are just glued to models.
    Well said, Robert…as usual.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  151. Tom, I enjoy reading your articles and respect your stance on climate issues. Your Examiner articles are often used by myself to help others understand the politics of climate studies.
    There is one part of this article that I must comment on though. You wrote “The calculations that show a temperature rise of between 1 and 2 degrees Celsius if concentrations double is also widely accepted, including by all skeptic scientists without (AFAIK) exception”.
    Unfortunately, this is not the case. Here is an example of one scientist that does not conform to that sentence.
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-101/
    “It has been calculated theoretically that, if there are no other changes in the climate system, a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration would cause less than 1 deg C of surface warming (about 1 deg. F).”
    By making a claim that something is accepted by all of a group, you may run the risk of being compared to Al Gore et. al. with their claims of “consensus”. I believe that you are too good a writer not to be pigeon holed in a similar fashion.
    Keep up the good work. I always look forward to your articles.

  152. I hope your knowledge of climate science is greater than your knowledge of mental health. Schizopohrenia is a severe mental illness and the word mean ‘split from reality’ not ‘split personality’ as so many wrongly think. Using the term in this way trivialises a serious mental condition which affect 1 in a 100 people.
    As for the climate science? Time will givc the true answer

  153. Another great post, Tom, you will be making luke warmers of us all. I am sure there is a better name tho’, it has a biblically ineffectual ring to it.
    How about something stronger, like RAMs
    Right And Misunderstood

  154. Mike D. says: It isn’t happening. Good Old Mother Earth is gradually cooling.

    There ya go! [SNIP]
    [The D-word does not refer to Deltoid. Stop using it here. Any questions, read the Policy. ~dbs, mod]]

  155. Oh look, Tom (and everyone here in the WUWT choir), yet another Hockey Stick! This one is from Thibodeau et al. (2010, GSL), “Twentieth century warming in deep waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence: A unique feature of the last millennium.”
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010GL044771.shtml
    Their bottom line:
    “We conclude that the 20th century warming of the incoming intermediate North Atlantic water has had no equivalent during the last thousand years.”
    Don’t you just love how these Hockey Sticks keep coming? I sure do!
    Hat tip to: MapleLeaf @ Deltoid

  156. Bart Verheggen@September 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm
    “I never proclaimed certainty, so you’re arguing a strawman there.”
    My objection was to “the probable reason that that hasn’t been done is that it’s not possible to do so with a physics based model”. If you do after all acknowledge the possibility of producing a physics based model with a sensitivity of 1°C or less, then I happily withdraw my criticism.

  157. [The D-word does not refer to Deltoid. Stop using it here. Any questions, read the Policy. ~dbs, mod]]

    I must protest, Mr. Mod: when someone proclaims, contrary to simple, verifiable fact, that “Good Old Mother Earth is gradually cooling.”, what other word fits?
    Reply: If your vocabulary is that limited, [mod self snip (consider alternatives) ~ ctm] ~ ctm

  158. Ok, so I’ve read the post, and found several incorrect assumptions.
    “So I’m not a ‘denialist.’ I’m not a ‘skeptic.’ I’m a lukewarmer–and I’m right.”
    Tom, I do like you but you don’t know what amount of warming we’ll see. Spencer has just demonstrated a negative feedback to CO2. This means it can be lower than 1-2 C you claim everyone agrees to. It’s flatly untrue — we don’t know.
    Then you make this claim.
    “The calculations that show a temperature rise of between 1 and 2 degrees Celsius if concentrations double is also widely accepted, including by all skeptic scientists without (AFAIK) exception.”
    This is based on a very very crude estimate. You have to understand that no convection,moisture, or any other responses are not included in this calculation. It is simply put out there for people to understand that it is a real and positive number. I’ve posted the calcs at tAV myself. When I see people cite it as a minimum, I always cringe because you have to understand the equations to understand what they are saying. You simply cannot claim this as a minimum, although I know some have.
    Spencers latest publication has refuted this number by demonstrably negative feedback using actual data rather than the simple model equations that generated it.
    “If you believe that about 2 degrees of warming is headed our way this century, it will be a problem –probably not for those reading this, because of our fortunate geography, but for those in the developing world, who will have to add droughts, floods and heatwaves to their current long list of miseries. “
    Why will 2C be a problem? I doubt very much that anyone would even know about it. We’ll still be cold or warm, we’ll still have the same weather. Any proof of this claim? Certainly the Antarctic won’t melt and again most of the ‘developing’ world is caused by dictatorial government.
    A science blogger should have some kind of data to back up extreme claims like this — and this is very much an extreme claim.
    “No matter what you or I believe about climate change, we face an energy issue that we need to address today. ”
    We have exactly zero energy supply problems which are not the direct consequence of the kind of thinking in this post. Belief vs science and belief wins the argument due to fear.
    I can keep going on this post, the solar claim is false, but I do like Tom. What I can’t abide is the claim of human knowledge of our situation where none exists.
    We don’t know how damaging a bit of warming will be. We don’t know the minimum amount of warming by doubling of CO2.
    So when you write —
    “So I’m not a ‘denialist.’ I’m not a ‘skeptic.’ I’m a lukewarmer–and I’m right.”
    I say I’m an engineer and a skeptic, people who call themselves lukewarmers don’t know any more about the future than I do, they don’t know how much warming there will be, and they don’t know if it will cause any problems at all.
    – and I am right.
    Until proven wrong.

  159. From: Adam R. on September 18, 2010 at 4:21 am

    I must protest, Mr. Mod: when someone proclaims, contrary to simple, verifiable fact, that “Good Old Mother Earth is gradually cooling.”, what other word fits?

    Dr. Phil Jones said in February 2010 that since January 2002 there has been a negative trend to the global temperatures, -0.12C per decade, although not statistically significant. As noted here and elsewhere, the global sea surface temperatures are decreasing, and that’s 70% of the global surface right there, as well as the total upper ocean heat content dropping as well.
    Thus it would be foolish to deny that global cooling is possibly occurring. Indeed, it seems likely it is happening.

  160. Jeff, you make good points and your post over at The Air Vent is truly brilliant.
    I’ve seen Spencer’s recent work, and they are promising–but let’s wait and see.
    Again, as I’ve said before, 2 degrees is not a problem because of the size of the rise, but because it will happen unevenly and over a short period of time. And I freely acknowledge there will be winners in this game as well as losers.
    As for not having energy problems, China is experiencing rolling brownouts and blackouts due to simple lack of energy. They cannot even burn enough coal to keep the lights on. The same is true in India. We don’t have an energy problem in the developed world–our population and economies are stable and we built the infrastructure over a century. Half the population of this does have an energy problem, and it’s going to get worse unless it is solved.
    But if solving it means they burn 3 times as much coal as the world uses today without any of the technology we use here to keep it as clean as possible, they will export their pollution.
    And I’m still an optimist about solar 😉
    Readers who are not familiar with Jeff Id and his weblog The Air Vent should take time to visit him. His blog is linked on the blogroll at the right. He’s one of the good guys in this business.

  161. Adam R,
    “Their bottom line:
    “We conclude that the 20th century warming of the incoming intermediate North Atlantic water has had no equivalent during the last thousand years.”
    Don’t you just love how these Hockey Sticks keep coming? I sure do!”
    ===========================
    That’s great – I’m really happy for you. Now here’s a paper that concludes the exact opposite.
    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_pigmybasin.php
    Their bottom line: ” This work revealed that “two multi-decadal intervals of sustained high Mg/Ca indicate that Gulf of Mexico sea surface temperatures were as warm or warmer than near-modern conditions between 1000 and 1400 yr B.P.”
    Next please.

  162. “2 degrees is not a problem because of the size of the rise, but because it will happen unevenly and over a short period of time.”
    Whoa, where did that come from . So… Global warming -> Climate Change -> Climate Disruption -> now what… Rapid Global Warming. I can’t keep up.
    Do you mean unevenly in time or unevenly in space, and by what mechanism will it happen unevenly? Tipping points?
    According to NCDC and GISS, the temperature has risen about 0.5 C over the last 30 years – that’s about 1.7 C per century. I haven’t noticed the catastrophe. At what rate of warming do you anticipate danger?
    Thinking about technology in the year 1900 compared to technology in the year 2000; and thinking about how *difficult* it has been for humanity to adjust to the recent rapid warming. What’s the problem?

  163. Hi kdk33
    It is my understanding (imperfect though it may be) that temperature rises are expected to continue roughly at this trend until approximately 2030, at which point the rate is expected to rise.
    As ‘global’ warming is a convenient fiction used for statistical comparison, all real climate change is experienced at a regional or even local level. Again, remembering that I am not a scientist, it is my understanding that some tropical regions will experience greater change after 2030–that the Arctic rises were prelude and the tropics will catch up.
    So the warming that I perceive as problematic will be uneven in both time and space.
    I don’t want to paint this as catastrophic–I do not believe it will be. We will adapt and overcome, because that’s pretty much what we do. But it will just be tougher on a very large number of people that already have things tough enough.

  164. Given the state of the sun and the developing likely minimum (as in a later article here on WUWT), all this talk about warming seems rather futile. I’m certainly planning on some dreadful winters and cool summers.

  165. Tom,
    You claim continually claim that you are a “lukewarmer” yet on your blog you have indicated that you will vote for Pelosi, and Boxer that you support Obama’s radical energy policy that is based on extreme belief in global warming. These folks hardly practice a moderate position in their belief of CAGW and proposed actions.
    Have you changed your mind on your vote or are you being less than forthright on how you portraying yourself on WUWT?

  166. Tom Fuller says:
    September 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm
    Z, cooling for me would be a matter of length of time, not number of degrees. If it cools for the next 20 years, we all win, and I’ll be happy to eat crow in any venue you name. Really. But that might be because I would win a thousand dollar bet with Joe Romm… 😉

    Well personally I wouldn’t consider cooling for 20 years a win – I like the warmth. But a thousand dollar payoff would certainly help your heating bill.
    Actually, I predict that 1934 will cool continuously for the next 20 years – does that count? 😉
    Steven Mosher says:
    September 17, 2010 at 8:23 pm
    Z:
    “As a general question: What level of cooling would be incompatible with physics as you know it? I.E. How much would the Earth have to cool before you’d say “That’s against the laws of physics”?”
    wrong question and a total misunderstanding of how physics is developed, refined and modified. it would take more than a cool spell to overturn the physics involved, way more.

    So an event such as a repeat of the Little Ice Age would not falsify CAGW?
    That’s an interesting answer.
    Anyone else like to venture an opinion?

  167. Mr. Shaw, I support those politicians despite my disagreement with many of their positions, not because of them. I have to take the bad with the good. Perhaps you Republicans are luckier with your choice of politicians…

  168. “So an event such as a repeat of the Little Ice Age would not falsify CAGW?
    That’s an interesting answer.
    Anyone else like to venture an opinion?”
    Everything is compatable with AGW, from sudden temperature rises to a new LIA. It’s all in the error bars, you see.
    So nothing can ever falsify AGW.

  169. Z, not sure what is encompassed when you say the known physics but as for the models 15 consecutive years of no ENSO adjusted warming will invalidate those at the 95% per NOAA State of the Climate 2008 BAMS

  170. Tom, while most here criticize the scientific aspects of your opinions, I’m more concerned about what you think government should do even if your views are correct.
    Government is police power. Period. We ought to be very careful what we decide we should force citizens to do (or not do). When you ask government to inact all manner of regulations to micro-manage this or that aspect of behavior that is not based in violence or fraud, you are asking for the worst kind of society we can possibly have: one riven by rules (i.e., laws) that someone in government has police power to enforce however they see fit (e.g., see the blog here about the Western Australia cattle rancher). Horrible situation that simply makes my case about giving the police (i.e., government) too broad a mandate to make rules/ laws.
    If we need to reduce the emission of CO2, then by all means put a tax on it and let people figure out what to do. If this sounds like “cap and trade,” I would argue against that approach to taxing CO2. If one needs to phase in taxes for different types of CO2-emitting devices/ systems to allow an orderly re-distribution of capital investment, fine. Anything else, and you get an EPA, which once it goes beyond its brief to identify, fine, and remediate
    obvious pollution, becomes a police force with its own will. That’s why government bureaucracies like the EPA, established to deal with obvious externalities that a free market will struggle to price properly, are to be strongly limited in what they do.
    Bottom line, my head spun in reading about all the micro-regulation you would want unleashed. Do you really believe government is/ can be a force for good? Never has been anywhere, anytime. It’s a force for keeping social order and cannot do well what you seem to be suggesting it should do.
    Therefore, my objection is to your notions of political economy, not to your opinions about science (which, I will agree with some here, are questionable even before we get to the policy implications).

  171. Ammonite says: “Whereas a molecule of CO2 stays in the atmosphere for ~100 years, water vapour is precipitated in the order of days or weeks. . . . Water vapour on its own has such a small residence time in the atmosphere that it is not self-sustaining.”
    ???? Please excuse my bluntness, but your response doesn’t make sense. Even in the driest climate location on earth the average yearly atmospheric concentration of water vapor is on the order of .03%. By comparison CO2 concentration is .0003% ! More importantly, in vast swaths across the tropics of the planet the annual average atmospheric concentrations of the water vapor are between 60-80%! Look at those order’s of magnitude carefully, sir. You seem to be confused about the contribution that any given molecule of a GHG has because of your emphasis on “residence time”. So what if a molecule of water cycles back to the ocean in days while a molecule of CO2 takes years to be “caught” by a plant to be converted to sugar, or dissolved into rain to be cycled back to the ocean. For every molecule of water that precipitates one has already evaporated somewhere else! Your right about one thing, the process is not self sustaining – it requires the SUN! On any given day the concentrations of each of these molecules is much more influence by the sun’s interaction with the ocean, than the sun’s interaction with the atmosphere! The very fact that a molecule of water has precipitated out of the atmosphere during a storm, to reenter the water cycle means it has given up a significant amount of “global warming” energy that hits the oceans on any given day, making it the most important GHG by far. Water is THE temperature buffering miracle molecule that has enable sustained life on this planet – as a gas, as a liquid and even as a solid (since it floats on its own liquid form). It’s heat buffering capacity far exceeds all other molecules (only surpassed by ammonia) and even metals! Without CO2 the earth would remain about the same temperature as long as the sun contributed the same amount of incident radiation on the oceans and magnetic storms didn’t adversely affect the amount of cloud precipitating ionization. Water vapor would just dominate even more over CO2’s tiny role. But without CO2 the planet would lose life sustaining green! Double, triple even quadruple CO2 concentration and the planet will just get greener – period! Temperatures will go up, temperatures will go down completely independent of CO2 concentration, or its residence time.
    I can’t prove it, but I am in complete agreement with E.M.Smith and “savethesharks” Chris when I restate that in my opinion, the vast majority of CO2’s black body temperature (ie. GHG thermal energy storing capacity) in the atmosphere is not caused by IR illumination from the surface, but instead by collisions with the much more abundant water vapor molecules and other non GHG molecules in the atmosphere – the dominant heat transfer mechanism in the atmosphere is not irradiative it is CONVECTIVE! (It’s pretty easy for me to just look at the gas burner on my stove vs the black body radiating coils in my toaster oven to realize that it takes one heck of lot more energy in the black body radiator (my toaster) to create sufficient irradiative heat to toast my bread than it takes to utilize highly effective convection, from the highly kinetic energy in the CO2 and water vapor coming off the burner of my stove. In no time at all my toast is on fire! on the stove, and very little of the energy transfer was caused by the radiation coming off the flames. It is nearly all caused by the very highly kinetic molecules that resulted from the combustion, convectively rising, causing significant numbers of molecular collisions, trying to give up their kinetic energy to reach equilibrium with the bread and the other gas molecules around them!)
    That was what was behind my original questions. I am wondering if anyone has measured the IR black body irradiative signature of CO2 and Water Vapor from space – taken a series of 2 dimensional “pictures” in the IR spectral ranges characteristic of CO2 and water vapors peak extinction coefficients, to illustrate the convective flows of energy that are caused by water vapor’s movement from liquid to gas and back to liquid.

  172. Hi JP Miller,
    Well, I agree with you insofar as if and when we need to put a price on carbon that a carbon tax is the best way to go. I’ve written that many times, and have even gone so far as to suggest starting at a low $12 / ton of CO2 and revisit it every decade to see if we either need to keep it at all or stay the same or increase it.
    I would also be very pleased if the money collected was refunded through rebates on employment taxes.
    As for the broader question of government, I think your question is too general for me to answer it. There are many places in this world that desperately need good government–some in the developing world, where red tape needs to be cut and bureaucracy and corruption eliminated. Today I think I would include Australia, after what happened to the Thomsons.
    It’s not that we liberals all love government, you know. For me and those like me, it’s because we care about people that only government can help.

  173. (Shh! Don’t tell my clients–I just delivered a 400-page report on alternative energy, and they’ll be ticked off…)

    Many alternative energy advocates write long reports about it, it does not mean they have any remote understanding of what they are talking about. I listed three major books on the subject and asked if you had read any of them, no answer. Here is the most recent again,
    Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future
    Have you read it?
    All forms of alternative energy are not economically viable and do not have the power density necessary to replace hydrocarbon and nuclear energy.
    The only viable forms of energy are:
    Oil
    Coal
    Natural Gas
    Nuclear
    Hydroelectric
    Everything else is an emotional pipedream,
    Five myths about green energy (The Washington Post)
    The Real Problem With Renewables (Hint: It’s physics) (Forbes)

  174. SEN GORE AND FAMILY–
    “For decades, Sen Gore, Sr., young
    Al Gore’s Dad and then Al Gore, Jr.,
    as Rep., Senator and Vice President
    have been the “go to” politicians
    for political issues related to
    the US nuclear weapons
    programs’ nitty gritty problems”–
    And he helped create agw as the counterweight
    to distract from and legitimize the nuke
    pollution-genocide industry.
    http://redactednews.blogspot.com/2010/09/911-global-warming-and-other-crimes.html
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/04/after-getting-bailed-out-by-american.html
    leaky yankee nuke pipes
    http://iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/article/228057
    http://iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/article/224327
    NUKES COST 4 TIMES COAL
    http://notsylvia.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/the-origins-of-the-global-warming-scare-2
    trillion dollar loan guarantee to nuke industry
    http://www.psr.org/assets/pdfs/alexander-webb-bill.pdf
    http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/look-out-for-the-nuclear-bomb-coming-with-your-electric-bill/
    http://indymedia.org.nz/article/77839/uranium-dust-gore
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/polluted-by-profit-johann-hari-on-the-real-climategate-1978770.html
    http://www.alternet.org/environment/146813/how_global_warming_and_capitalism_are_deeply_intertwined_?page=entire
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18951
    http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/2009/12/03/theres-more-to-climate-fraud-than-just-tax-hikes/
    http://nuclear-news.net/2009/06/05/is-nuclear-a-green-fuel-%C2%AB-voices-from-ghana/
    http://nuclear-news.net/
    http://nuclear-news.net/2009/05/06/former-federal-regulator-plans-for-fermi-3-nuclear-reactor-could-lead-to-job-loss/
    http://arizona.indymedia.org/news/2009/10/74943.php
    http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/brenda-norrell/2010/06/popcorn-and-beans-depleted-uranium-and-raytheon
    http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/brenda-norrell/2010/07/racism-irony-and-censorship-trademarks-us-media
    http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/5598
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/158542-what-s-good-for-ge-is-good-for-america
    http://junkscience.com/oct07/al_gore.html
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/How-GE-puts-the-government-to-work-for-GE-8154266-54820577.html
    http://www.ge-energy.com/prod_serv/products/nuclear_energy/en/new_reactors.htm
    http://www.ge-energy.com/prod_serv/products/nuclear_energy/en/index.htm

  175. Clearly the IPCC theories are defective. We should not spend trillions until theories are developed which can actually predict future climate. Crippling life-saving economic development is insane.
    1. There has only been 1/2 degree F of warming in 150 years. IPCC and GISS reports of 1.2 F are BS based on cherry picking warmer temp stations, and plentiful “adjustments”. Unadjusted data shows little change.
    2. Warming is better for farming and biology of all types. CO2 is the ultimate plant food. The biosphere is extremely healthy and lush. All predictions of dire consequences have failed to come true.
    3. Temperatures are stable to cooling, according to the best measurement systems – satellite temp measurements, and the ARGO ocean temp system. Only the highly compromised land-based temp stations are used to conclude warming is happening.
    4. The IPCC theories of increasing humidity at 10k altitude are wrong, the humidity is decreasing. Same for their predictions of increased temp at altitude. Backwards. Their theory is kaput. There is no evidence that the “positive feedback” of warming is happening, or can happen. Positive, runaway feedbacks are extremely rare in nature.
    5. There is a good chance that CO2 will not contribute any more to warming. The Miskolczi theory states that the atmosphere is fully saturated with the greenhouse effect, and that adding one greenhouse gas decreases the effect of another. The decreasing humidity at altitude is congruent with that theory.
    6. The Sun has just finished a period of historically high sunspot activity. Fewer sunspots are predicted. That will mean more cosmic rays, more clouds, and thus cooling.
    7. No IPCC model can explain the cessation of warming. None predicted it. Again, their theory is broken. Stop the rush to global governance based on broken “science” which is really nothing more than billion dollar video gaming.

  176. I think it’s legitimate to nudge the energy market in the direction we want it to go, without giving the reins and the saddle to government bureaucracy. And I do think it can and probably will work.

    So you have the magical ability to pick winners and losers? Must be nice to believe in your own magic powers. How come everytime the government has tried to dictate energy policy it has been a complete failure?
    So without your “nudging” all the “clueless” energy companies will do what? Keep providing us with the most efficient and economically viable sources of energy?
    I mean really, do you think energy companies are not using X,Y and Z energy sources because you have not talked them into it? ROFLMAO!!
    Yeah right, the only reason we are not using Solar is because it is not subsidized and “pushed” enough, it has nothing to do with the economics or physics behind it, nothing to do with it being the most expensive way to generate electricity, nothing to do with it being unreliable or consuming enormous real estate. Please. Guess who holds the majority of the world’s reserves for the rare earth’s needed to make the panels? China. Get back to us when you have a remote understanding of energy.

  177. Poptech, I’m a little confused. I live in Northern California and I’m pretty sure that all the electricity I use comes from geothermal. It’s viable and profitable for Pacific Gas and Electric and has been for quite a while.
    As for solar, it is viable in certain locations right now and the extent of those locations seems certain to broaden in the very near future.
    Brazil is doing quite well with ethanol, although attempts elsewhere to replicate Brazil’s success are not going as well. But Brazil is a huge country with a lot of people.
    I must say your short list seems to be based on dogma not what is actually happening in the real world. 100 years ago everybody thought automobiles would be powered by bioufels, such as peanut oil. Who knows what’s going to happen over the next few decades?

  178. C’mon, kim. It is probably true that people in desperate need could conceivably be helped by people and organisations that are not governmental. But in practice it doesn’t work that way.

  179. OK, Tom, now that you’ve conceded my only point, can we talk about the default assumption that, practically speaking, only government can help some people. Got examples?
    =================

  180. This is an example of what I am talking about you not knowing anything about energy,

    Nuclear is ready to roll right now, but it’s expensive and time consuming to put up as many plants as we’re going to need.

    Nuclear is only expensive in terms of cost to build the plant, once you factor in operating costs is one of the cheapest and cheaper than all forms of alternative energy for electrical generation. It is far far cheaper to build Nuclear plants than miles upon miles of solar panels and wind turbines.
    And it is a myth they are time consuming to build,
    Modern Nuclear Reactors can be built in 3 years and last 60 years (Westinghouse)

  181. Or better yet, Tom, let’s not talk about examples where only government can help some people. I’m glad to see you’ve backed off of touting wind power. Its fundamental problem is power density, as it is with solar.
    ====================

  182. Tom Fuller says:
    September 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm
    “C’mon, kim. It is probably true that people in desperate need could conceivably be helped by people and organisations that are not governmental. But in practice it doesn’t work that way.”
    How old are you? Not very, or else you have a bad memory. That’s the way it worked before LBJ’s “Great Society.” Churches, family, social organizations, and local government took care of those in need. All the federal government did by getting into the charity business was add overhead, bloat, and waste and create wards of the state, some of whom are now 5th generation.
    If you were there, you don’t have to look it up.
    P.S. Read the “Call to Action” Thompson thread and tell me who is helping and who is oppressing.

  183. Tom Fuller says:
    September 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm
    “Hi JP Miller,
    Well, I agree with you insofar as if and when we need to put a price on carbon that a carbon tax is the best way to go. I’ve written that many times, and have even gone so far as to suggest starting at a low $12 / ton of CO2 and revisit it every decade to see if we either need to keep it at all or stay the same or increase it.
    I would also be very pleased if the money collected was refunded through rebates on employment taxes.”

    Think about what you just wrote. That’s nuts! Take money out of your left pocket. Put the money back into your right pocket. Oh wait… there’s a government rake somewhere between the left and right pocket. And after a while, let’s all just forget about any being left to put in your right pocket.

  184. Tom, Geothermal is geographically an[d] economically very restrictive, depending on the method used it can run as expensive as solar.
    Where is solar economically viable without government subsidies? Where is it cheaper than Coal, Natural Gas and Nuclear?
    I see you are repeating the Ethanol Myth about Brazil,
    Brazil Energy Profile (EIA)
    Brazil’s Energy Plan Examined (Washington Times)
    The Myth of Brazil’s Ethanol Success (Energy Tribune)
    Brazil is the 7th largest oil consumer in the world (EIA)
    Ethanol has been debunked as not viable,
    Myth: Ethanol is Great (Video) (5min) (ABC News)

  185. H.R., it’s actually not a bad idea. Raise taxes from zero to $12/ton on something people like me would ideally like to see less of, and lower taxes by an equivalent amount on labor, something we would dearly like to see more of.
    The administration of labor taxes already exists. I doubt if the administration of a carbon tax would be very expensive–apart from income tax, this country at least does not spend too much on collecting taxes.

  186. Poptech, I’m very familiar with the EIA profile of Brazil. The other two stories you link to are not really relevant. Both the Times and Energy Tribune make the case that the United States cannot blindly follow Brazil’s path to ethanol glory. And that’s true.
    But it certainly works for Brazil. They get 20% of their transportation fuel from it, it’s cheaper than oil, and they like it.
    We are not Brazil. Our current ethanol is not really a good solution–it takes too much energy to make it, not to mention too much water to grow it, but it certainly is effective for Brazil, IMO.

  187. Tom Fuller says:
    September 18, 2010 at 8:43 am
    I’ve seen Spencer’s recent work, and they are promising–but let’s wait and see.
    Roy Spencer’s work shows strong negative feedback from H2O. You believe conclusively that CO2 will cause global warming. Yet there are still no data in the real world that show CO2 causes the warming that you are finding to be a problem. You base your beliefs on climate models, apparently. But Roy Spencer’s work is based on data from the real world.
    Why aren’t aren’t you convinced by data?
    You say let’s wait and see about his work. But we have been waiting to see about the global warming hypothesis for 22 years and the predictions it makes are not happening. So apparently waiting and seeing is not really what you are all about.
    You are seeing what you want to see, not what the real world is showing, ex: the photos of the traffic jam that do not show any coal trucks but you say they are there anyway.

  188. JohnWho (September 17, 2010 at 7:31 am) replied to my comment (“All the value I find in this post is from the comments.”) with: Well, is there not also value in that which prompts valuable comments?
    Yes; and the longer this thread runs the more your question proves this — however, as an increasing number of comments work to demolish Thomas Fuller’s essay I have an equally increasing doubt that it was worth Tom’s writing it in the first place, and Anthony’s publishing it in the second.
        Wal… maybe that’s a trifle harsh. It should centainly be having a positive effect on the education of young Tom…

  189. Tom it doesn’t “work” in Brazil, the government mandates a 20% mix of ethanol, subsidized it’s production and has a much higher tax on gasoline. Even after all that you cannot compare price per gallon between ethanol and gasoline because ethanol has 30% less energy content per gallon thus lower MPG. Thus it is not cheaper than oil. There is no ethanol “glory” in Brazil and the two articles I linked to explain why.
    I am sure these Brazilians “love” Ethanol,
    Brazil Ethanol Boom Belied by Diseased Lungs Among Cane Workers (Bloomberg)
    ‘Slave’ Labourers Freed in Brazil (BBC)
    Remove the government mandates, taxes and subsidies and ethanol will not be able to compete with gasoline and diesel.

  190. Roger Carr, you may not like what I write, but I am no longer Young Tom. That was decades ago.
    Gotta say a lot of these later comments seem like throwing mud against the wall and seeing if any of it will stick–and so far, like coal trucks in traffic jams and ethanol in Brazil, none of it is.
    There are a lot of logical reasons for skepticism and I’ve run into a lot of them–I really have a lot of respect for people like John Christy, who I’ve interviewed, our host here, Jeff Id, and others.
    But people are not starving because of sugarcane being turned into ethanol in Brazil, and the article with the picture that doesn’t show any coal trucks… talks about coal trucks.
    C’mon folks. You can do better.

  191. Tom Fuller — I do not actively dislike what you write; I do question its usefullness here on WUWT, and I do pay a lot of attention to some of your critics on this thread, critics for whom I have a lot of respect.
         As to “young” – “old” — my first written work was published in 1959. Should I stay with “young Tom”?

  192. Don Shaw says:
    September 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm
    Tom,
    You claim continually claim that you are a “lukewarmer” yet on your blog you have indicated that you will vote for Pelosi, and Boxer that you support Obama’s radical energy policy that is based on extreme belief in global warming. These folks hardly practice a moderate position in their belief of CAGW and proposed actions.
    Have you changed your mind on your vote or are you being less than forthright on how you portraying yourself on WUWT?
    1. Tom Fuller says:
    September 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm
    Mr. Shaw, I support those politicians despite my disagreement with many of their positions, not because of them. I have to take the bad with the good. Perhaps you Republicans are luckier with your choice of politicians…
    Mr Fuller,
    You are quite mistaken, I am a registered Democrat. Presently there is so much “bad” in the leadership of that party that I can no longer cast my vote in that direction and the extreme desire to control my carbon use while these elites cast a huge personal carbon footprint is one of the many reasons for my current withholding of my vote for Democrats.
    My point is confirmed, your lukewarmer positions here are totally inconsistent with your selection of leaders. Of course that is your right for which we both served in the military.

  193. Roger Carr says:
    Sack up and write something yourself , old man. Send it to me, I’ll see if it’s worth posting.
    If fact, all the commenters here can do the same. Stand in and take the heat yourselves. work up a post, send it to ctm.

  194. TJS says:
    September 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm
    1. There has only been 1/2 degree F of warming in 150 years. IPCC and GISS reports of 1.2 F are BS based on cherry picking warmer temp stations, and plentiful “adjustments”. Unadjusted data shows little change.
    BZZZNT. wrong.
    1. there no cherry picking of warmer stations. see the work on GCos and the work on over 10K daily stations. i can pick any random selection of stations ( and have) and the answer does not change.
    2. unadjusted data does show substantial changes. The issue is not the adjustments, but rather the added uncertainty.
    please learn the better skeptical arguments. they exist and are important

  195. Steven mosher (September 19, 2010 at 1:49 am) to me: Sack up and write something yourself , old man. Send it to me, I’ll see if it’s worth posting.
    No, Steven; I am a student here at WUWT, albeit a critical student, and that is a legitimate position. I am confident I can write at the level Thomas Fuller does and in the same manner, but, as I have explained, I do not believe that breed of writing is appropriate here.
        And please do not cry “cop-out!” as I have never tried to cop in; other than with tips to Anthony and questions and brief opinions in comments.
        Also note my responses to Tom have been civil, with a modicum of humour to leaven the mix. I am not at war with him.

  196. I, too, love Tom, but don’t think any prescribed contributions are necessary. I think his stuff here is useful and I highly value his opinions. I’m still going to snarl when I hear silliness and Tom, like the rest of us, is not above occasional such episodes, wandering as we all are amongst a paucity of knowledge.
    ===============

  197. Amino Acids in meteorites wrote above “I knew about the traffic jam. I did not know it “was composed primarily of small trucks bringing coal into China’s capital”.
    In 1994 My wife and I drove south from Nanning to near the Vietnam border. Even then, I’d estimate that about 30% of the through traffic was 5 ton pale green trucks carrying coal from 300 km inside Vietnam. In this case, they were taking it to Shanghai. That’s what the local police chief told us, so it might be correct.
    I have no trouble at all accepting that the truck jam aforementioned was probable. The trucks can be in poor condition, especially poor brakes, judging from the squeals made when braking.

  198. Here, Tom, check what I just slapped up on the wall to dry. A big steaming pile of water buffalo dung on a hut in India has more energy density than a photovoltaic panel.
    =====================

  199. Tom Fuller says:
    September 18, 2010 at 8:00 pm
    “H.R., it’s actually not a bad idea. Raise taxes from zero to $12/ton on something people like me would ideally like to see less of, and lower taxes by an equivalent amount on labor, something we would dearly like to see more of. […]”
    Yeah, but… corporations and businesses do not pay taxes. Only individuals pay taxes. In the end, it is all out of my pocket.
    Tell ya’ what; you, and all the others believing as you do, just start sending in 12% more to the government based on your usgae of fossil fuels, and leave me out of it. No government agency needed, the willing do their part, the unwilling are left alone, and it’s all done with that great American “can do” spirit of volunteerism. (It won’t make a bit of difference in the climate, but everyone is happy that way.)

  200. Steven mosher says:
    September 19, 2010 at 1:55 am
    “BZZZNT. wrong.”
    Steven, I am sure we can accept the 20th century temperature record as published by GISS as factual (latest revision, of course).

  201. Adjustments are always an issue. It is not very controversial that deforestation and replacement with farmland at high latitudes where the land is covered with snow during the winter causes increased albedo. It is also not controversial that replacement of farmland by urbanization causes decreased albedo. Since the former took place in temperate areas mostly in the early 20th century and prior to that time period and since urbanization took place mostly in the latter half of the 20th century one would expect the earlier adjustments to be an increase in temperature and the latter adjustments to be a decrease in temperature. The fact that we do not see this pattern is cause for legitimate questioning. There may be reasons why the adjustments do not follow the expected pattern but it is quite reasonable to expect those doing the adjustments to identify what the other factors are.

  202. Roger Carr, okay, you can still call me young. Hope I’m writing as clearly as you when I have as much time in the saddle.
    I used to use a lot of statistics, charts and graphs when I wrote about climate change–check out my old columns on examiner.com. I have quit doing so. The reasons are fairly simple: First, I believe most who participate in these discussions have been exposed to the relevant numbers, probably numerous times. Second, I have seen some use it to cover up their lack of scientific credentials. I have no scientific credentials and I write primarily to discuss the reactions and directions of politics, media and the public. Third, I have seen some extraordinarily weak ideas hiding behind graphs. Al Gore did it first and worst, but there are others.
    So when I write I assume my readers have seen the graphs, formed their opinion of the science (which I do not seek to change) and are ready to talk about policy options and political directions. That includes people who disagree with me.
    I do not believe the science has been settled. Not by James Hansen, not by Roy Spencer. I have a guess that temperatures will rise about 2 degrees C this century, over and above what happened through 2000. If my guess is right, there will be some consequences. I would like to discuss those. That’s why I wander around the web world annoying people.
    When I do it on activist sites like Deltoid, Real Climate, Only In It For the Gold, Stoat and Rabett Run, I get called a denier, when I don’t get called worse. You people are far gentler and more considerate, and I appreciate it. But I didn’t come here to change your minds–I’m pretty sure that only a long term trend in climate will change anyone’s minds. I’m trying to insure that a third set of policy options do get discussed.

  203. Tom Fuller says: {September 18, 2010 at 8:00 pm}
    ” Raise taxes from zero to $12/ton on something people like me would ideally like to see less of, and lower taxes by an equivalent amount on labor, something we would dearly like to see more of. ”
    So the leopard finally shows his true spots! You are not a luke warmer, you are a liberal holier than thou fascist who believes government’s job is to control people, as long as the control agrees with your point of view.

  204. Tom in Florida, I’m not a leopard and any spots that are changing on me need to be reported to my doctor double quick.
    Every time I wander into a discussion about new taxes and government control, it spirals quickly down into an argument with a very low level of information exchange.
    The policies I discuss are intended to be looked at in the context of the governments we currently have, not some Platonic ideal. We currently try to raise money for government departments and we currently try to influence behaviour with changes to taxes.
    I don’t think a revenue neutral attempt to shift the tax burden from employees and employers to those who could choose to convert from coal to natural gas but need an added incentive to do so is monstrous. Not in this country. Not in this century.

  205. Tom Fuller says: (September 19, 2010 at 8:40 am)
    “The policies I discuss are intended to be looked at in the context of the governments we currently have, not some Platonic ideal.”
    That, in my opinion, is pure spin. The problem with the government we currently have is that it needs to be changed back to a more platonic ideal.
    ” We currently try to raise money for government departments and we currently try to influence behaviour with changes to taxes.”
    This is also what is wrong and needs to be changed. Too many government departments and too many taxes used to try an make behavior changes. Governments are instituted by the people to ensure our safety and secure our natural rights of freedom. They have morphed into something else which you seem to condone. But I assume you only condone government forcing when it applies to your ideals and not mine.
    “I don’t think a revenue neutral attempt to shift the tax burden from employees and employers to those who could choose to convert from coal to natural gas but need an added incentive to do so is monstrous.”
    You seem to miss the point that a company is in business to make a profit for its investors. Any other benefit is just extra. Government interference is always monstrous but we tend to tolerate it at certain levels rather than constantly fight it.
    But what you are suggesting is based solely on your belief that you are right and those who do not conform to your view are not only wrong but also need to be punished because they see it differently.

  206. Tom in Florida,
    I’ll start with your last point and work up, if that’s okay.
    I am not trying to make anyone conform to my view. I am stating my view and trying to give reasons why I hold it.
    If a business can make more money by switching to cheaper natural gas than coal, why don’t they? Because the payback time and capital investment costs work against it. Using lower taxes on natural gas and higher taxes on coal is an attempt to change the balance of the equation without coercion.
    As for the broader role of government, you may be correct–I don’t think so, which is why I’m a librul and you are not. But even if you are correct, while you are engaged in reforming government I am not willing to let everything stand around and wait until you are finished.

  207. Tom Fuller,
    If you believe that jacking up taxes on the cheapest energy available does not amount to government coercion, no wonder you’re on the wrong track.
    I understand that you’re not science oriented like most of us here. The following letter may provide some education by showing there is nothing wrong with energy produced from coal.
    This letter appeared in the Rockhampton (Queensland Australia) morning Bulletin on 22.12.09:

    The Editor
    The Morning Bulletin.
    I have sat by for a number of years frustrated at the rubbish being put forth about carbon dioxide emissions, thermal coal fired power stations and renewable energy and the ridiculous Emissions Trading Scheme.
    Frustration at the lies told (particularly during the election) about global pollution. Using Power Station cooling towers for an example. The condensation coming from those cooling towers is as pure as that that comes out of any kettle.
    Frustration about the so called incorrectly named man made ‘carbon emissions’ which of course is Carbon Dioxide emissions and what it is supposedly doing to our planet.
    Frustration about the lies told about renewable energy and the deliberate distortion of renewable energy and its ability to replace fossil fuel energy generation. And frustration at the ridiculous carbon credit programme which is beyond comprehension.
    And further frustration at some members of the public who have not got a clue about thermal Power Stations or Renewable Energy. Quoting ridiculous figures about something they clearly have little or no knowledge of.
    First coal fired power stations do NOT send 60 to 70% of the energy up the chimney. The boilers of modern power station are 96% efficient and the exhaust heat is captured by the economisers and reheaters and heat the air and water before entering the boilers.
    The very slight amount exiting the stack is moist as in condensation and CO2. There is virtually no fly ash because this is removed by the precipitators or bagging plant that are 99.98% efficient. The 4% lost is heat through boiler wall convection.
    Coal fired Power Stations are highly efficient with very little heat loss and can generate massive amount of energy for our needs. They can generate power at efficiency of less than 10,000 b.t.u. per kilowatt and cost wise that is very low.
    The percentage cost of mining and freight is very low. The total cost of fuel is 8% of total generation cost and does NOT constitute a major production cost.
    As for being laughed out of the country, China is building multitudes of coal fired power stations because they are the most efficient for bulk power generation.
    We have, like, the USA, coal fired power stations because we HAVE the raw materials and are VERY fortunate to have them. Believe me no one is laughing at Australia – exactly the reverse, they are very envious of our raw materials and independence. The major percentage of power in Europe and U.K. is nuclear because they don’t have the coal supply for the future.
    Yes it would be very nice to have clean, quiet, cheap energy in bulk supply. Everyone agrees that it would be ideal. You don’t have to be a genius to work that out. But there is only one problem—It doesn’t exist.
    Yes – there are wind and solar generators being built all over the world but they only add a small amount to the overall power demand. 
    The maximum size wind generator is 3 Megawatts, which can rarely be attained on a continuous basis because it requires substantial forces of wind. And for the same reason only generate when there is sufficient wind to drive them. This of course depends where they are located but usually they only run for 45% -65% of the time, mostly well below maximum capacity. They cannot be relied for a ‘base load’ because they are too variable. And they certainly could not be used for load control.
    The peak load demand for electricity in Australia is approximately 50,000 Megawatts and only small part of this comes from the Snowy Hydro Electric System (The ultimate power Generation) because it is only available when water is there from snow melt or rain. And yes they can pump it back but it cost to do that. (Long Story).
    Tasmania is very fortunate in that they have mostly hydro electric generation because of their high amounts of snow and rainfall. They also have wind generators (located in the roaring forties) but that is only a small amount of total power generated.
    Based on a average generating output of 1.5 megawatts (of unreliable power) you would require over 33,300 wind generators.
    As for solar power generation much research has been done over the decades and there are two types. Solar thermal generation and Solar Electric generation but in each case they cannot generate large amounts of electricity.
    Any clean, cheap energy is obviously welcomed but they would NEVER have the capability of replacing Thermal power generation. So get your heads out of the clouds, do some basic mathematics and look at the facts not going off with the fairies (or some would say the extreme greenies.)
    We are all greenies in one form or another and care very much about our planet. The difference is most of us are realistic. Not in some idyllic utopia where everything can be made perfect by standing around holding a banner and being a general pain in the backside.
    Here are some facts that will show how ridiculous this financial madness the government is following. Do the simple maths and see for yourselves.
    According to the ‘believers’ the CO2 in air has risen from .034% to .038% in air over the last 50 years.
    To put the percentage of Carbon Dioxide in air in a clearer perspective: If you had a room 12 ft x 12 ft x 7 ft or 3.7 mtrs x 3.7 mtrs x 2.1 mtrs, the area carbon dioxide would occupy in that room would be .25m x .25m x .17m or the size of a large packet of cereal.
    Australia emits 1 percent of the world’s total carbon Dioxide and the government wants to reduce this by twenty percent or reduce emissions by .2 percent of the world’s total CO2 emissions.
    What effect will this have on existing CO2 levels?
    By their own figures they state the CO2 in air has risen from .034% to .038% in 50 years.
    Assuming this is correct, the world CO2 has increased in 50 years by .004 percent. Per year that is .004 divided by 50 = .00008 percent. (Getting confusing -but stay with me).
    Of that because we only contribute 1% our emissions would cause CO2 to rise .00008 divided by 100 = .0000008 percent.
    Of that 1%, we supposedly emit, the governments wants to reduce it by 20% which is 1/5th of .0000008 = .00000016 percent effect per year they would have on the world CO2 emissions based on their own figures.
    That would equate to a area in the same room, as the size of a small pin!!! For that they have gone crazy with the ridiculous trading schemes, Solar and roofing installations, Clean coal technology. Renewable energy, etc, etc.
    How ridiculous is that.
    The cost to the general public and industry will be enormous. Cripple and even closing some smaller business.
    T.L. Cardwell
    To the Editor: I thought I should clarify. I spent 25 years in the Electricity Commission of NSW working, commissioning and operating the various power units. My last was the 4 X 350 MW Munmorah Power Station near Newcastle. I would be pleased to supply you any information you may require.

    Just as the internal combustion engine has been greatly improved and its emissions reduced to almost nothing but harmless water vapor and CO2, coal plants have been made as pollution free as natural gas power. Demonizing coal is part of the overall attack on modern industrial society but only in the West. China, India, Russia, Brazil and a hundred smaller countries get a pass, with head-nodding approval by science-challenged people who emit erroneous opinions based on wrong assumptions and beliefs.

  208. Tom in Florida
    I agree with you that government has no place influencing people where it thinks they should go. In fact the Constitution was made to keep government out of peoples lives. It can easily be said that government control of people is un-American.
    Milton Friedman may have summed it up well:

  209. Tom Fuller,
    and the article with the picture that doesn’t show any coal trucks… talks about coal trucks.
    You’re not saying anything new here. You are still missing the point.
    This is the point:
    What does it matter what the article says? Anyone can say anything they want in the article. The photos do not show coal trucks. Coal trucks did not cause the traffic jam. If there were that many coal trucks as you claim they would clearly be in every photo. We would easily see the coal trucks causing the problem. But we do not see that. We see everything but coal trucks….. unless people are transporting coal illegally in their cars. 😉
    The idea that coal trucks made the traffic jam is a product of bias in the media. That bias is in the article.
    I hope that finally gets the point across.

  210. Amino Acids, I think you have about 23 comments on this thread. The only question mark in any of them regards the presence or absence of coal trucks in a recent traffic jam in Beijing. Here’s another link to reinforce my statement that there were a lot of coal trucks in the traffic jam and they are partially to blame for it:
    http://www.aolnews.com/world/article/coal-may-be-behind-chinas-monster-traffic-jam/19607142
    If there are other issues you want me to address, would you kindly summarize them?
    Thank you.

  211. And Amino Acids, how would you propose to stop people from growing biofuels?
    It is their property, their product, their choice on who to sell to, right? You would need government to stop it. Would that not pose an ethical dilemma for you?

  212. Huh?
    We need some southing Prozac spray at the door?
    Let’s begin with the Nitrate and, then, the Carbon cycles.
    For a start.

  213. Tom Fuller says:{September 19, 2010 at 10:15 am}
    “If a business can make more money by switching to cheaper natural gas than coal, why don’t they? Because the payback time and capital investment costs work against it. Using lower taxes on natural gas and higher taxes on coal is an attempt to change the balance of the equation without coercion.”
    What you suggest is exactly coercion! You are correct about the payback time and capital investment costs. That is why the switch won’t happen without government coercion, and government has no place doing that. Leave business to business people.
    We can debate political ideas from different sides of the isle, but my main objection to your posts are that you try to come across as a reasonable person who is somewhere in the middle when in reality you are just trying to create less resistance in order to infiltrate us with your government knows better ideals. Yes, your true spots are on display.

  214. Tom Fuller writes:
    “I am not trying to make anyone conform to my view.”
    But in the article he states categorically:
    “I’m a lukewarmer–and I’m right.”
    In fact, Tom is wrong. His belief system has him convinced that a tiny trace gas essential to all life on Earth is going to cause runaway global warming, despite the complete lack of any convincing, real world, measurable evidence. His evidence-free belief is based on faith, not reason.
    This entire article fails due to the lack of testable science. It is just an opinionated faith-based article laced with “what ifs”. After being shown conclusively by multiple commenters that Mr Fuller is wrong, he falls back onto the climate alarmists’ tired old appeal to authority — his own preposterous ‘authority’ in this instance, which is about as convincing as a Sociology major trying to explain calculus without ever having taken algebra.
    The fact that the CAGW scare cannot pass the scientific method is enough to convince reasonable folks that the pseudo-science masquerading as the CO2=CAGW hypothesis is debunked. But Tom Fuller’s belief is based on “post-normal science,” which of course is not any closer to science than Scientology — and just as much of a scam.
    Mr Fuller would do well to heed Dr Richard Lindzen’s prescient words:

    Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age

    Tom Fuller is doing his part to add to that hysterical panic — and the scientific method be damned.

  215. Tom Fuller says:
    September 19, 2010 at 11:53 am
    Amino Acids, should we quit growing cotton as well? It takes up land that could be used for growing food.
    Biofuels are not needed. Gasoline works fine. The price of gas would be much lower in the US if oil companies could freely drill for oil anywhere they could find it in Alaska. Biofuels would be priced off the market by a huge influx of gasoline if that could happen.
    Complicating drilling for oil has made biofuels economically viable. ‘Global warming’ is not happening. The world needs food, not biofuels. The land that people are free to grow whatever they want on would be used to grow something other than crops for biofuels if gasoline was less expensive. They could not make money from biofuel crops then. The government would not be in what some could call an “ethical dilemma” then. The world can turn just fine without big government.
    People know what to do on their own. They don’t need people who think they are smarter than them, who feel they are “right”, deciding (or is it called nudging?) for them.
    Are there people deciding for you the things you do in life? Or do you feel there aren’t people smarter than you to be able to do that?

  216. Tom Fuller says:
    September 19, 2010 at 10:15 am
    Using lower taxes on natural gas and higher taxes on coal is an attempt to change the balance of the equation without coercion.
    You make an assumption: that things are not in balance.

  217. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    September 19, 2010 at 3:56 pm
    Tom Fuller,
    there are no photos in this one either.
    ———————————————————————————————-
    Correction:
    I went back to your link again and this time photos did open. They didn’t last time.
    It is not apparent that those trucks are coal trucks, though some may be. There is increased commerce on the roads in China. But there is also an increase in all traffic. Roads are being upgraded. If America had a similar increase in commerce there would be traffic jams here too. But I’m sure they wouldn’t be like China. This is a new problem for the Chinese.
    Highways through Arizona have very bad traffic jams at times from commerce.
    Not all photos of the traffic jam have this many trucks in them.

  218. Steven mosher says:]
    Philip Thomas says:
    “You did not comment on your financial interests in promoting green technology.
    Your CV and past employment suggests work in the promotion of private green technology companies. Do you benefit financially from marketing green technology? Can I again raise my last question.”
    ****************************
    Tom does market RESEARCH. sheesh do you even understand what that job is and how it differs from campaign marketing..

    And I have to second Steven Mosher here. I’m an ARDENT SUPPORTER of alternative energy. I’ve bought damn near every alternative energy stock out there at one time or another as I’m a True Believer (and it’s cost me about $20,000 so far. Call it about $1000/year). But I can’t stop, so I try my best to just control the urge and channel it into small buys. I’ve been an advocate of solar, geothermal, wind, alcohol fuels, wave and tide, you name it since about 1973 (the Arab Oil Embargo years) when a friend and I converted a lawn mower to alcohol and I ran my VW on all sorts of odd things (including alcohols). Though in fact, the interest started earlier as in high school about 1968 I was playing with gasohol and alcohol blends in an old Ford Fairlane… but I digress…)
    So on the face of it I ought to be an ardent AGW Advocate given my bias.
    But an over riding fact is where facts and clean analysis lead me. And that is to say that the AGW thesis lacks the quality data to support it. As much as I’d like to have a reason to push for my present stock holdings in OPTT (a wave generator company) and a couple of others including PSUD (an algae fuel company that’s cost me about $3000 so far as I lamely can’t bear to admit that its just not the right time and is likely to go bankrupt); the fact is that I buy those things as a TOY and for recreation. To “feel good”. So I budget it inside my gains on other things.
    The simple fact is that a bias on one issue (alternative energy) is not enough to buy my soul on another (adherence to truth and numbers). I have to think the same is true of others as well.

  219. Larry says: I don’t agree that there is a case to move away from fossil fuels without global warming. Government has a responsibility for regulating emissions (non c02 – real pollutants) but it also has a responsibility for energy supply. We have lots of coal and it only really makes sense for electricity generation.
    Um,. couple of points. First off, what makes you think government has any responsibility for energy supply? Why can’t Exxon and Peabody Energy decide to produce oil and coal (respectively) and I can decide to buy it or not? WHY does government need to have a role at all? Look, I’m well schooled in economics (it was my major) and know almost all the ways markets can ‘go wrong’; but governments go wrong in so many larger and more catastrophic ways. Why would you ever want to give lawyers driven by avarice and greed (most of the politicians in the USA at least, are such) control over such a central issue?
    Second minor point: A major use of coal is called ‘metallurgical ‘. It’s not just soft brown used for fuel, it’s also a chemical reagent used to reduce metals. There is no decent alternative. So to eschew coal is to also decide we don’t need steel and other metals. Think on that for just brief while as you look at your car, your furnace, and perhaps even your coffee thermos and your TV (metal circuits inside) while forming your answer on your computer… made with a host of metals…

  220. wayne Job says: This week in our spring in australia has been real special 16c below normal in tropic climes, rain and snow and cold in temperate zones. Tasmania our southern island state just had their coldest days EVER, 140 kph wind, rain and snow all over, 18.4 Metre waves, for us no problem. How ever the largest storm noted in the southern ocean is descending with plunging temperatures on the poor old Kiwis, some what like the day after tomorrow. Either CO2 needs a minus sign in front of it or it is the sun playing its normal game and those sucked in to the AGW nonsense are the pawns.
    The time for fence sitting has lapsed, if the politicians decide that increased power supplies are a no no, buy a chain saw and start harvesting a real renewable resource.
    Old Sol is a worry at the moment, for history shows when Sol slumbers the earth tremors, volcanos awaken, our magnet field has a funk and the outer atmosphere behaves badly giving less protection from space nasties. Sir it is time to get off the fence and take a good long look around. Chart the difference between advocacy, spin and real scientific knowledge, the fog will clear. Wayne

    To all those who complimented me on my posting and clarity: I thank you and appreciate your compliments. Please look at what Wayne has said. He “has clue”…

  221. Ric Werme says:
    September 17, 2010 at 5:32 am (Edit)
    RW says:
    September 17, 2010 at 1:06 am
    >“So I’m not a ‘denialist.’ I’m not a ‘skeptic.’ I’m a lukewarmer–and I’m right.”
    >Even if you were right, that would be a grotesquely smug line. But you’re wrong.
    I thought you got banned.

    I suspect that even “banned” posters sometimes get through when the moderators get a particularly intense chuckle at what they say. At least, that’s what it looks like to me. But “I could be wrong”. ;-0

  222. A very generous response, Tom: (Tom Fuller September 19, 2010 at 8:15 am: Roger Carr, okay, you can still call me young. Hope I’m writing as clearly as you when I have as much time in the saddle.) — Thanks!

  223. Amino Acids in Meteorites says: If we don’t want the air we breathe to taste of China’s coal
    You don’t really believe that the smell of Chinese coal power plants can cover the world—do you? That’s a serious question by the way, not sarcasm.

    I can’t say where I saw it, as I was paying poor attention, but something like 1/4 or 1/3 of “stuff” in the air in California is from China as it drifts over the ocean that divides us…

  224. And Amino Acids, how would you propose to stop people from growing biofuels?

    Simple, remove the government mandates and subsidies,
    Push Ethanol Off the Dole (Cato Institute)
    Ethanol would not exist in the market without government intervention (mandates and subsidies) because it is a poor substitute for gasoline and diesel.

  225. Tom I am still waiting on an answer,
    Where is solar economically viable without government subsidies? That means cheaper than hydrocarbon or nuclear based electrical generation.

  226. The problem here is that as demonstrated by some excellent physicists and mathemeticians over the last few years. The theoretical basis for 1 or 2C is demonstrably false. I realise this view is a “minority” one, even here on WUWT, but as a scientist myself, I perfer to listen to the laws of physics and thermodynamics over politics and spin.
    The ‘greenhouse effect’ denies the basic laws of physics and thermodynamics, it is quite simply impossible! The sooner lukewarmers like yourself, Thomas wake up to this fact and stop denying the physics then the sooner we can defeat for once and for all the global warming bogeyman.

  227. Really curious if this self-inflicted waterboarding technique is any better than shock theropy administered by professional sadists, seems it would only increase the level of schitz in your Cherri-O’s and make you more phrenic, that is it would if you really had a problem. Which I doubt. Life’s a beach.

  228. Poptech said on September 20, 2010 at 12:48 am:

    Tom I am still waiting on an answer,
    Where is solar economically viable without government subsidies? That means cheaper than hydrocarbon or nuclear based electrical generation.

    I’m not Tom, however…
    Where remoteness renders solar as more attractive, when it isn’t otherwise the only choice. Far from power lines and grids, putting in a solar installation is a more economically viable solution than running the power lines to access the nuclear-based electricity. Where coal or petroleum-based fuels for use with a generator would have to be carried in or air dropped, and local biomass isn’t considered an available fuel, or again with the power lines when considering hydrocarbon-using power plants, then solar would likely be more economically viable.
    Also, when done on a DIY basis and going off-grid, where having your own generator is locally frowned upon, solar is economically viable without government subsides. However this can quickly change depending on the level of regulation, which includes how far you are required to shift away from DIY. Going with factory-made panels instead of self-built can alone make the difference.
    There are some circumstances where it does make sense. But far too few to matter, with circumstances that are extreme in their own ways.

  229. Hi Poptech,
    1. I think Hawaii, Southern Italy and a couple of other places right now.
    2. EIA is projecting consumption based on what they think will get produced. My consumption trend includes unmet need, or what we used to call ‘latent demand.’

  230. “”” Tom Fuller says:
    September 17, 2010 at 4:37 pm
    George E. Smith, I’m assuming you wrote in haste. The 1.5 to 4.5 C estimate by the IPCC is of course of atmospheric sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 concentrations, not the warming expected solely from a doubling of CO2 itself. “””
    Well Tom you know what they say about “assume” and assuming.
    So I’m not going to “assume anything about this statement that you put here:- “”” The 1.5 to 4.5 C estimate by the IPCC is of course of atmospheric sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 concentrations, not the warming expected solely from a doubling of CO2 itself. “””
    So for those of us perhaps less astute than yourself; please explain the difference between “doubling of CO2 concentrations”; and “doubling of CO2 itself ” ?
    Lets put it in numbers:
    If the atmospheric CO2 “Concentration doubles” from 280 ppmv or ppm mole fraction up to 560 ppmv or ppm mole fraction; what will be the change in the atmospheric “CO2 itself” ? For comparison, you could perhaps express the change in “CO2 itself” in some well understood units such as ppmv or ppm mole fraction.
    And for the legal disclaimer;- Be it known, that I did NOT wite this post in haste. It took me quite a long time to read and re-read your well considered comment and try to understand what it means; and when finally I reached a conclusion that to me it is just gobbledegook; then I decided to ask you to elucidate; hence the reason for this post. So please explain the differnece between “Douhling of CO2 concentrations” and “Doubling of CO2 itself.”

  231. Hi George,
    As I am neither a physicist nor a climate scientist, I hope you will accept my non-scientific explanation of this.
    We emit a lot of CO2. Much of it is absorbed very quickly in major sinks–the ocean and by vegetation. What is left is mixed into the atmosphere and increases the concentration of CO2. This fairly easily measured, principally at a station in Mauna Loa, Hawaii (I think there are a couple of other back-up stations at other locations).
    Our emissions have been increasing, which is fairly easy to understand. The sinks are still ‘accepting’ CO2 at more or less the same percentage as in the past, which surprises some. However, the concentrations have been rising steadily, although not by as much as James Hansen predicted way back in 1988.
    Anthony has linked to Science of Doom on his blogroll that walks through a lot of the conventional basics regarding this, if you want to refresh your memory or learn some stuff that climate scientists consider important for a good understanding of the issues.

  232. D Bonson@September 18, 2010 at 12:03 am
    You wrote:
    There is one part of this article that I must comment on though. You wrote “The calculations that show a temperature rise of between 1 and 2 degrees Celsius if concentrations double is also widely accepted, including by all skeptic scientists without (AFAIK) exception”.
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-101/
    “It has been calculated theoretically that, if there are no other changes in the climate system, a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration would cause less than 1 deg C of surface warming (about 1 deg. F).”
    —————————————————————————————
    Tom claims that all skeptic scientists accept a 1-2 C rise for 2xC02. If you take him to mean “without feedbacks”, then I think he is about right (I think people often quote 1.0-1.2 for this figure). However, note that this is for the rise in atmospheric temperature as seen from space. I presume the figure quoted by Roy Spencer is for the change in *surface* temperature. The GHE accounts for the difference.
    On a slightly different topic, Tom also commented that his guess was a rise of about 2 C this century including feedbacks. Personally, I think it will be less than this. However, since I agree that 2 C is a definite possibility I also have to agree with the kind of measures that Tom suggests.

  233. Tom,
    1. Solar is so barely used in Hawaii that the EIA does not even represent it with a number,
    Hawaii Solar Usage: * = Absolute percentage less than 0.05
    Clearly it is not viable there. If you believe it to be more economically viable without government mandates or subsidies in Southern Italy than hydrocarbon or nuclear generated electricity than you need to provide actual data to support this claim, as in actual cost per kWh.
    2. What data sources are you using to come up with this?

  234. PopTech
    It looks as though I’m a bit ahead of the game on Hawaii: “The European Photovoltaic Industry Association and a number of analysts say solar panels can already produce electricity at a cost competitive with conventional sources in parts of southern Italy, where the sun shines often and electricity tariffs are among the highest in the world.
    Japan and Hawaii will follow, reaching “grid parity” within several years, the group predicts.
    Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a renewable-energy database, sees the best solar panels producing electricity at a cost of US15¢ per kilowatt-hour by 2015, says Jenny Chase, lead solar analyst. That is less than the retail electricity price in most European countries and parts of the US.”

  235. And Poptech, Solar power is an asterisk everywhere. So was petroleum a century ago. Petroleum did not become the leading provider of energy until 1965, when it finally surpassed coal.
    Give the start-ups a break, okay?

  236. “”” Tom Fuller says:
    September 20, 2010 at 10:51 am
    Hi George,
    As I am neither a physicist nor a climate scientist, I hope you will accept my non-scientific explanation of this.
    We emit a lot of CO2. Much of it is absorbed very quickly in major sinks–the ocean and by vegetation. What is left is mixed into the atmosphere and increases the concentration of CO2. This fairly easily measured, principally at a station in Mauna Loa, Hawaii (I think there are a couple of other back-up stations at other locations). “””
    Tom you don’t need a PhD in Physics or Climate Science to Understand this. Dr Laura has a PhD; I’ll bet whe can understand this.
    When it comes to the phenomenon; commonly referred to in “climate Science” as the green house effect; the purported origin of global warming; as measured by “Climate scientists” in the form of “Climate sensitivity” the only thing that matters is HOW MUCH CO2 THERE IS IN THE ATMOSPHERE AT ANY TIME;
    It doesn’t matter how much was actually produced by burners of fossil fuels and then stored in their closet or basement or somewhere else; the only thing of any consequence to the green house effect is the atmospehric abundance of ALL so-called green house gases at any time. That is what interracts with surface radiated LWIR emissions, and results in warming of the upper atmospehre; and then subsequent re- radiation; in the form of LWIR emissions to space, or back to earth.
    Of course other thermal processes ; particularly convection and evaporation also convey thermal eenrgy to the upper atmosphere from where it can escape; but the GH effect applies exclusively to Electro-magnetic radiation effects; adn the only green house gases that matetr; are those that are in the arth’s atmosphere; where the rest of the chemical effluents of natural processes go is irrelevent to the green house effect.

  237. I found nothing to suggest that Solar is economically viable in Hawaii.
    Italy subsidizes Solar Panels via a feed-in-tariff of 45 to 63 cents per kWh and ,a href=”http://www.autorita.energia.it/allegati/inglese/annual_report/ra_2009-en.pdf”>Solar Thermal Power Plants by 28 t o36 cents per kWh. Solar Power is not economically viable in Italy.
    The trend in energy usage has been to sources that are more dense, so why would we go in the opposite direction and adopt a less dense source such as solar?
    Petroleum surpassed coal because it is a more dense source of energy and more suitable as a transportation fuel. Better sources of energy are adopted on their own. The only reasons we are not using more natural gas and nuclear right now is because of government intervention in energy markets.
    I have no problem with start-ups, I have a problem with government intervention in energy markets. If solar was so great you would not need the government to push it, the market would adopt it on it’s own.
    Let me ask you a question, do you want the poor to pay more for electricity?

  238. I found nothing to suggest that Solar is economically viable in Hawaii.
    Italy subsidizes Solar Panels via a feed-in-tariff of 45 to 63 cents per kWh and Solar Thermal Power Plants by 28 t o36 cents per kWh. Solar Power is not economically viable in Italy.
    The trend in energy usage has been to sources that are more dense, so why would we go in the opposite direction and adopt a less dense source such as solar?
    Petroleum surpassed coal because it is a more dense source of energy and more suitable as a transportation fuel. Better sources of energy are adopted on their own. The only reasons we are not using more natural gas and nuclear right now is because of government intervention in energy markets.
    I have no problem with start-ups, I have a problem with government intervention in energy markets. If solar was so great you would not need the government to push it, the market would adopt it on it’s own.
    Let me ask you a question, do you want the poor to may more for electricity?

  239. Tom’s actually pretty sensitive to the whammy that carbon encumbrance would put on the world’s poor by raising energy prices. There are plenty of unresolved dissonances for the lukewarming liberal with caution in his heart and rainbows, er, I mean solar in his dreams.
    ==============

  240. I was not implying that you made the claim, I was simply asking the question because if you don’t then you would want the market to decide what sources of energy we use.

  241. Larry
    Why does the govenment have a responsibility for energy supply? A government is a peculiar beast. Its defining characteristics are entirely different from those of any other organisation. Its main characteristic is that it has a preponderance of military power within its jurisdiction. It has to, otehrwise it could not guarantee to enforce teh laws it makes.
    Governments of course share characteristics with other organisations, but that is not to the point. The point is to ask what is it about supplying energy that requires a preponderance of military power, or any of government’s other defining characteristics?
    The short answer is, “Nothing.”
    I think governments have become so intrusive that people have come to accept certain activities as properly belonging to the government, rather than to the people.
    IMHO it is but a short path from that acceptance to despotism.

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