The League of 2.5

Guest post by Thomas Fuller

Before I start, I’d like to remind readers that as a guest poster, the opinions I voice here are not those of Anthony Watts, and should not be taken as having been endorsed by Watts Up With That.

I am going to propose an idea based on my position as a Lukewarmer regarding climate change. I fully expect to get a lot of criticism from commenters here, and I welcome it. My idea is new (at least to me), and if it is a good idea it will be sharpened by your criticism–and of course, if it is rubbish, best to know quickly, right?

I think the debate on climate change needs some new ideas and criticism too. So blast away–but please bring your A game. I neither need nor want to see the equivalent of ‘you suck, dude.’

Families, businesses and yes, even governments, need to make plans for the future. Those plans used to include assumptions about the physical environment, although most of those assumptions were passive acceptance of the status quo. However, it is now difficult to make assumptions because various theories of climate change and its effects have people wondering if their homes will be threatened by sea level rise, drought, hurricanes or floods.

Because of the competing number of possible futures (the IPCC has many scenarios and many more have been pulled from the science fiction rack and offered up to us), people are somewhat paralyzed by too many choices. I think it is time to recognize that all of use engaged in the debate about climate change are not doing the rest of the world any favors. We are making their life more difficult because they cannot make plans with any confidence.

If there is one dataset that I trust regarding the Earth’s climate, it is the measurement of atmospheric concentrations of CO2. It has been freely available for examination, it is replicated by measurements in more than one site, and in my mind survived criticism from people such as the late Ernst Beck. I trust the numbers.

The numbers show that concentrations of CO2 were 315 ppm in 1958, when Mauna Loa started measuring. Concentrations now are 390 ppm. That is a rise of 19%. The central question in climate change is, ‘What is the sensitivity of the earth’s atmosphere to a doubling of the concentrations of CO2?’ Is the atmosphere easily influenced by CO2, producing more water vapor and adding to temperature rise, or is the atmosphere largely indifferent? Despite protestations from both sides, the honest answer is we don’t know now, and we are not likely to know for another 30 years.

Temperatures appear to have risen globally, although the accuracy of the data is not yet fully determined. The rise since 1958 appears to be about 0.5 degrees Celsius.

If these were the only statistics available to us, we would quickly conclude that the sensitivity of the earth’s atmosphere to all human-related activities might well be 2.5 degrees Celsius. This would lead to the supposition that, if concentrations of CO2 rise to about 600 ppm, which certainly seems possible, that the Earth’s temperature will rise about another 2 degrees C. Since it’s based on measurement of temperatures, it can be presumed to include all the effects we are having on temperatures, not just CO2.

And I am arguing, no–proposing, that we do exactly that. Attempts to refine models and measurements have been unsuccessful and have served to heighten suspicion and muddy the debate. I have seen very credible arguments for sensitivities that are both higher and lower, but these arguments are based on data or models that have much higher levels of uncertainty associated with them, ranging from differing ways of measuring tropospheric temperatures to analysis of varves from Finnish lakes.

I don’t see undisputed data that will allow us to do better than the 40 years of good data we have now. So I think we should provide a ‘rough and ready’ estimate of 2 degrees C climate change this century to the public, business and politicians, so they can start making plans for the future.

It should obviously come with an asterisk and error bars, and should be presented as ‘crude, but the best we can really do at this time.’ Much like earlier and simpler climate models have often done better in handling projections of future climate, our rougher and cruder metrics may serve us better for now.

We need to stop throwing sci-fi fantasies out as plausible outcomes. We need to provide a range of outcomes based on measurements that we trust.

We also need not to be distracted by elements of the debate that have only served a political purpose. Current temperatures are not unprecedented. There was a MWP and a LIA. Sea level is rising at 3 mm per year. The ice caps are not going to disappear this millenium.

None of that really matters. Temperatures are rising, and more quickly than they have often in the past. (Yes, they have risen this quickly on occasion.) It is the speed of change and the numbers of people those changes will affect that are actually of more concern than the total temperature rise. The people in developing countries are actually more vulnerable than the last time there was a big quick rise–hunter gatherers didn’t have homes and could just move out of harm’s way, and they were few enough in number that they would not have been labeled ‘climate refugees.’

So, I call for all those involved in the climate debate to throw down their weapons, embrace this practical solution as being of use to the rest of the world, climb aboard the Peace Train and sing Kumbaya. Right.

No, have a look at this–tell me if it’s remotely possible that the skeptic community could sacrifice its current temporary, but very real advantage in the debate and agree that a rough metric that acknowledges warming but puts sane boundaries on it would be of use to the rest of the world.

Again, I’d like to thank readers who have made it this far for listening to a different side of the debate in a forum where you are more comfortable seeing the failings of your opponents exposed. If you find the gaping flaw in my logic, my idea can die quickly, if not quietly. If you see merit in my proposal, any indication of such would be warmly welcomed.

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Bruce

“The rise since 1958 appears to be about 0.5 degrees Celsius.”
From 1910 to 1940 temperature rose by about .5C.
There was a similar rise after the end of LIA.
Please explain why 1 out of the 3 was caused by CO2, 2 out of the 3 were caused by ReasonX and not CO2, and why you believe the 1 you think was caused by CO2 was not caused by ReasonX.
Please offer proof.

Since [CO2] historically (climatically speaking) follows temperature change and not the other way round, perhaps the question is whether we should be looking at other sources of delta T? (More causative rather than passive in nature.)
The charging elephant is undisturbed by your ability to shoot the fly from his shoulder.

Dave

The speech by Vaclav Havel in the post directly preceding this one could almost be a direct riposte.
“Many of us came to the conclusion that the case for the currently promoted anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is very weak. We also know that it is always wrong to pick a simple, attractive, perhaps appealing scientific hypothesis, especially when it is not sufficiently tested and non-contentiously pushed forward, and to base ambitious, radical and far-reaching policies on it – without paying attention to all the arguments and to all the direct and indirect as well as opportunity costs associated with it. “

Andy

Not much to say from me, apart from thankyou for your ideas, presented in an ‘approachable’ style. I’d like to think that (unlike the censorious Joe Romm and his cronies), WUWT has always welcomed rational and reasoned debate.
Whilst I don’t agree with your point of view, I still look forward to the comments people will make about your post and the debate it will generate.

geo

Tom, I consider myself a lukewarmer too, but I can’t go with this idea. What happened 1958-1977? (answer: C02 went up and temperature went down) What happened 1880-1940? (answer: temperature rose quickly and it is agreed C02 could not played a significant part)
I do believe C02 is contributing to warming, but as to how much? I don’t know. I do know I would not be comfortable assuming it is more than 1/3 based on the data we have now. Not saying it couldn’t be more (and, indeed, maybe even more than 100% if you assume the cooling of the 60s/70s might have continued without it!), but I’m not comfortable assuming it based on current data.
And that means that costly efforts to limit C02 could be aimed at the wrong problem, and all that money you could have used on either the right problem, or helping people adjust to climate change, is now gone. “Opportunity Cost” is a big issue here on getting it right what we need to be addressing.

What if temps go down to 1970’s level in 10 years or so as some believe, doing so without the decrease of carbon emissions that the current theory of AGW would have us believe? What then? Will the pro-AGW climate scientists give their mea culpa and say they were wrong, or will they try to come up with excuses and theories as to why their pronouncements were waaaaay off? Funny feeling it will be the later.

Cold Lynx

I can stretch to agree that we disagree.
You write:
“Temperatures are rising, and more quickly than they have often in the past. (Yes, they have risen this quickly on occasion.) It is the speed of change and the numbers of people those changes will affect that are actually of more concern than the total temperature rise. The people in developing countries are actually more vulnerable than the last time there was a big quick rise–hunter gatherers didn’t have homes and could just move out of harm’s way, and they were few enough in number that they would not have been labeled ‘climate refugees.’”
My view:
“Temperatures are changing , as they have often in the past. The speed of change are smaller than change of season and will not have any affect that are actually of concern. Especially not the total temperature rise. The people in developing countries are actually less vulnerable than the last time there was a big quick rise, just because they are developing countries. Hunter gatherers didn’t have this knowledge and could not just move in right direction, in right time’”
That make a difference.

hunter

Tom,
In principal, yes. I would be willing to see us discuss a 2.5o policy. This means I would like to see what costs should be imposed, whether for mitigation or adaptation.
As to the great debate, I would like some closure on it, but realize it is unlikely to simply see AGW promoters busted like the murderer in an Agatha Christie mystery.
But we should get, for an end to the great hot air debate, a full and thorough audit of of the promoters who received so much public largesse.

glacierman

The flaw is that you assume that the rates we are seeing will continue for the next 90 years, as if CO2 controls the climate – CO2 thermostat control. This has not been proven, so even if the concentration of atmospheric CO2 continues to increase at the same rate, we do not know what effect that will have on the climate. There are many good reason to believe that temps are going to begin to go down based on non-CO2 influences, and have been flat for 10 years. If temps go down while CO2 continues to go up, the whole theory is falsified and we should not be planning for a 2 degree rise, but instead reevaluating the role of science in policy making. Besides does anyone really think the warmist will give up “sci-fi scenarios”. If the skeptics gave into a 2 degree rise, the warmist will say see they are right and here is what will happen if you don’t give into global governance over your life………….pick your doomsday scenario.

Kum Dollison

Cain’t go fer it, Bubba (at least I didn’t say, “you suck.”) 🙂
In 1958 we were in a Negative PDO, and AMO. We got the run-up when we transitioned to a Positive PDO, AND AMO.
Now, we’re moving back into a Negative PDO, but with a Positive AMO.
There just isn’t nearly enough information to go making serious changes to the World’s economy. Let’s take another look in, say, 2030. Maybe we’ll know a little bit more, then. (It would be hard to know “less.”)

One problem I have always had is the aversion to nuclear power as a solution. People truly concerned with CO2 should be pushing the hardest for nuclear power to replace all fossil fuel power plants.
Planning for the future will involve nuclear power. Get the warmists on board with nuclear instead of wasting time with the expensive and low energy “green” options.

Richard Ilfeld

We never talk about the winners…the vast areas of northern US, Canada, Europe and Asia whose agricultural prospects will improve or become possible with 2degC warming …. the expansion of the citrus belt, the modest reduction in “coping with winter” costs, the net energy savings
(less heating vs modestly more cooling, etc). The net costs may well be positive with warming in this range. How about “managing” rather than “coping”. Also a look at population maps 100 years ago suggest that any “climate refugee” movement will be dwarfed by the scope of the natural demographic changes that have occurred as lifestyles have changed.
When looking out a century its well to remember that the enlightened city planners of a century ago were wondering what cities would do with all the horses**t.

wws

PJB has hit upon the central problem involved in coming up with any kind of rough agreement on actions to be taken – the idea that any actions at all are required depends upon whether or not CO2 is actually the cause, and not the effect.
But it is certainly possible that the heating has occurred for a completely different reason (ie, the Sun) and that CO2 levels have been the *effect* of the temperature rise, not the cause. If this is true, than any efforts to restrict CO2 are worse then useless, because they squander valuable resources on a wild goose chase.
You say it could be 30 years before we know for sure. So, come back and ask me in 30 years. Till then, observe only – there is, there can be no firm justification for any action under this level of uncertainty.

doug arthur

The inaccuracy of global temperature data has certainly been determined.

Ben D.

Kudos, this is your best post yet.
I disagree with a few things, but that being said, you came out swinging, and in a civil method came out with an outcall for discussion on something that is indeed relevant. When the scare mongering is over, what should we do? Obviously policy makers need to know IF this science can predict to some degree of accuracy and if it can, making plans never hurts.
Back on topic, I would caution that 2 degrees as a figure like you said is probably a little high compared to the warming that we have experienced since the end of the LIA. From the crude models I drew from the end of the LIA until now, it seems we have warmed a total of around 2.5 degrees (this figure is actually 2.4 in my own models.) As you said, the error bars should be included, but in not modeling the future I can also accuratly depict the error, and this is + or – .7 degrees. This is based on interpolation I had to use to complete the models to 1850 and of course the filling in of the data. Note, that UHI effects might increase or even decrease the error (I am not sure how it will effect things….)
The question here, is like you said, what is the actual sensitivity to a doubling of CO2. Natural effects seem to say that over 100 years (this is just me doing some simple math) that over 100 years we can expect to see about 1.6 degrees from natural variation if solar effects remain the same. (disclaimer since obviously this is something that I do think needs more study.)
Your 2 degrees I might have missed, but what is the time period? Because as I noted, natural variation since 1850 (I started here with some interpolation.. (yes this can be just as bad, but note that I do not extrapolate future trends either..)) is 1.6 C over a century, and if we double over 200 years, this means the CO2 + other human effects is less then natural variation. This assumes the climate is stagnant so to speak since the LIA (leaving out 60 year cycles…) and just the general warming since then.
This might seem like nit-picking, but a two degree difference is something to note with some issues since I showed that there is some natural variation to account for in there. It could be that natural variation is smaller and the effect on the model is mostly human activity and land usage change (including CO2 since 1850). It could be the opposite, but I would tend to think that at this stage in the game, our policy leaders need to know that we have no idea what effect we have on the climate. (This might be my opinion, but I find it hard to untangle natural variation from human effects from my work and what I have read) ———– This means I disagree with a message for policy leaders except for what we can expect from (“well done”) models.
As for policy leaders:
Investing in research and development: Good thing. Increasing the efficiency of energy devices is never a bad thing. Perhaps even in alternative energy that has not been invented yet. Pure science, that is something I love.
Investing in efficiency by itself: Might be good, might be bad. Look up Jevon’s paradox, this has hit us more then we want to admit with efficiency issues. Simply increasing efficiency does not mean we use less energy. This is why its called a “paradox”
Effects: These can not be predicted today. Dustbowl from the 1930’s shows that even though our temperatures from the 1990’s were similar, we have no idea why we didn’t suffer the same effects in the midwest. This is just one example of attempting to find a local solution, which I would hazard to guess is what we would call an impossible problem today.
Basically, just be ready for the worst mother nature can throw at us through good fire-fighting training; flash-flood training for first responders in arid regions; Education of what to do when disaster X approaches. Make sure any area that gets hit by hurricanes has good evacuation protocals and such. Other then that, mother nature will throw at us what she will. The best bang for our buck is preperation and training of both personal and civilions.
Mitigate our effect through intelligent money, keep our fire fighters and such funded, and educate the citizens on how to handle crisis. In addition, help other countries industrialize so they too can reach our level of industrialization and do their own work at that point when they have enough wealth to minimize their effect on the planet.
Not sure if that leaves me apart from some sceptics, but in the end I think that states my opinions the best. Keep up the good work, posts like this really make people think ( at least me…)

Jason Calley

Unless there is a full showing of what raw data has been choosen to calculate global average temperatures, what adjustments (and their reasons) have been made, and what form of averaging the actual calculations have used, how can we have a scientific discussion on the subject. Has there in fact been a rise in global temperatures over the last 100 years? I would guess yes, and if I had to bet, that is probably where I would place my money — but do we have scientific evidence of a recent temperature rise? Not without open data and open methodology.
Facts first, then we can have an open discussion. Hiden data, hiden adjustments, hiden calculations, hiden software — no discussion.

Dennis Cooper

Do your own research on the last 70 years. All city and town news outlets have been recording very accurate temperatures. Use ( http://www.wolframalpha.com ).Type in search box: Average Temp Marion Ohio click current week and click all. A chart from 1940 to 2010 shows a falling temp of -0.03 deg. F per year. The same is true for Kenton and Lima and a lot of other towns that did not put there thermometer on the cement in a parking lot, or on the roof like Columbus.(I guess that makes it man made.)Type in search box: Average Temp Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin click current week and click all. A chart from 1940 to 2010 shows a falling temp of -0.087 deg. F per year. I’m an old fart that remembers orange groves at the Florida, Georgia border. If we were in global warming all temperatures would be going up. This sample is every where, even England. Warming would be nice! I would love to have our orange groves back again! Some deeper water would not hurt anything either.

RichieP

I think, Mr. Fuller, that you should read another post on these pages – the Vaclav Klaus speech. I think his views address the realities, both on the scientific issues and those of adaptation to normal climate variation, and are much more to the point than yours here. Also they are probably more congenial to the uncarbonated amongst us, me included. I certainly, at this point, don’t intend to ‘climb aboard the Peace Train and sing Kumbaya.’

I can except that the trend over the last about thirty years is likely to continue in the future. But does that imply any need for individuals and governments to “plan” to deal with this trend?
I think not. When one looks at the possibility of “risks” associated with the continuation of such a trend, one quickly finds there is little actual evidence of any substantial risks. The sea level changes that we already need to plan for due to subsidence are much more serious, and the challenges of most “natural disasters” are contingent upon some links to warming which, for the most part, appear to be completely non-existent.
But the best plan for the future is always to maximize productivity, growth, and become wealthy and healthy enough to be able to deal with whatever the future throws our way.

Dr T G Watkins

Reasonable on the face of it and, as with other contributions by Mr Fuller, there is much that one can agree with. Many who contribute to this blog are concerned about environment, energy, population etc.
However, there is still no evidence of any kind that CO2 is the main driver of global temps and in the last decade (at least) there has been no temp rise despite a linearly increasing CO2. In addition none of the sequelae predicted by the IPPC have been realised.
Until there is a complete retraction of the AGW hypothesis by scientists and more importantly politicians, no progress will occur on far more important and real problems facing our world.
Possibly, maybe JeffId at the Air Vent has what could be a beginning of the end of GCMs

Bruce

For 400,000 years (according to the Vostok ice cores) the temperature and CO2 has risen and fallen as we enter and leave long ice ages. Since there were no significant numbers of humans 100,000 years when this last occurred, what caused CO2 and temperature to go up?
The current rise in temperature is occurring right on schedule.
So why do think the causes from 100,000 years ago are not causing temperature and CO2 rises that are occuring now?

anna v

I do not think it is possible to say “there will be 2 degrees warming +/- 0.2”
One can say, “there will be 2 degrees warming +/-1.0” and cover all possibilities, but in that case one had as well ask the Ouija board.
Unless one studies in detail what is happening I do not think a skeptic who has looked into the physics will accept smaller errors.
So far models are unsuccessful in describing real temperatures . The data range from 13.5C ato 14.5C (assuming they are not doctored), and the models range from 12 to 16C and the majority have a discrepancy of at least 1C from the data.
What use is it to predict the anomalies when the absolute values are off? Energy is connected with the absolute values, not with anomalies, and any effects, deleterious or beneficial of raising the temperature by 2 degrees will depend on the absolute numbers .
If the models cannot predict absolute temperatures how can one trust they are getting the anomaly slope the same way that nature has? And if the details are not to be trusted how can one say if the effect of a rise in temperature will be bad or good? A graduated raising of the night temperatures, leaving the tropics fixed and giving higher temperatures at night for the high latitudes will be good for agriculture etc and will not have a gross effect on melting of ice etc. , for example.
It is a blind man’s buff, or bluff.

Bruce

If the Vostok ice cores suggest that our interglacial will come to end end and plunge us into the next regularly scheduled ice age, should we not do everything possible to keep the planet warm and delay the next ice age?

Mike

I am reminded of the postulate…the nobleness of a cause is often far different than the motives of those pushing the cause. Not necessarily about your motives.
I am also reminded of Shakespeare…”Much ado about nothing”.
That said, I am no expert. I don’t claim to be an expert. I don’t even play one on TV. I am your average citizen trying to weed through the debate. From what I have read the perceived warming is less than the margin of error in calculating these measurements. Therefore, I am of the camp that we need a greater time period to make observations and to determine a trend if any.
That is my 39/1,000th of 1%… because that is all it’s worth.

Ferdinand

As has been said it has been shown that CO2 rises AFTER temperature. Why on earth is this being revisited? – exccpt to satisfy an AGW proponent.

Norm814

You make the assumption that the relationship between CO2 and temperature (if there is one) is linear. I believe there are theories out there that there is a point that increase in CO2 will have no affect on temp.

Rhoda R

One of the factors in evaluating the impact of the the proposed AGW sea level rise is the fact that Al Gore has recently bought a mansion on the California coast. I don’t think that this represents a feeling on his part that the coasts will be innundated any time soon. Look the behavior of those who are promoting AGW and you’ll see that they really don’t believe it either.

John Whitman

Tom Fuller says: “None of that really matters. Temperatures are rising, and more quickly than they have often in the past. (Yes, they have risen this quickly on occasion.) It is the speed of change and the numbers of people those changes will affect that are actually of more concern than the total temperature rise.”

————-
Tom Fuller,
That is not right.
Do you only read your own posts here?
I sincerely think you should try very active participation in the discussion of all temp record posts by some of the independent thinkers (a.k.a. skeptics) on this blog and other blogs. I am sure that will help you a lot.
Thank you for your post.
John

Neo

This all goes back to the same problems of nuclear arms … trust but verify.
When the “powers that be” tell you to trust them but offer no method to verify, there is no reason to trust.
Given that the fluctuations in temperatures that are the basis for many of the current judgements that lead to the supposed “scientific consensus” are so tiny, even minor “adjustments” take on huge potential impacts. The “ClimateGate” emails that shown that there is little reason to trust these “climate scientists” who seem to be more interested in “feeding at the trough” than performing real science.
Meanwhile, a huge boatload of politicians on virtually every level, from local, national to the UN, are queuing up for a piece of the “carbon trading” action (a quick look at CCX tells this story). The potential of “ripoffs” on a global scale are too big to ignore.
With this as a backdrop, it takes a huge measure of fortitude to think this will ever go anywhere good with a huge level of “trust but verify.”

Now, there is a positive way of knowing how much total energy is released by the earth. Now you can play calculating the actual energy emitted by the whole emission system of the Earth, by using the Unified Field equation:
E= (Sin y + Cos y)(V/D)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/38598073/Unified-Field
Where Gravity/10= Sin Y= 0.981
Rest of the Field=Cos Y =-0.019, where it is added 1 (total field)- 0.981 = 0.019 x 10= 0.19 Nm (a positive emission field- 19% of the total field= 10 Nm)
V=Earth velocity around its axis in m/s
D=Earth Diameter in meters.
And, of course, the result is in Joules/second.
Now, you can have, also in consideration the Moon which “sucks” at perigee and emits at apogee:
Moon (a) at eccentricity=0,026
-2,24915291288904 Nm
Moon (b) at eccentricity=0,077
+9,40962149507112 Nm
http://www.scribd.com/doc/39678117/Planets-Moon-Field

Ben D.

Fred N. says:
October 20, 2010 at 12:31 pm
What if temps go down to 1970′s level in 10 years or so as some believe, doing so without the decrease of carbon emissions that the current theory of AGW would have us believe? What then? Will the pro-AGW climate scientists give their mea culpa and say they were wrong, or will they try to come up with excuses and theories as to why their pronouncements were waaaaay off? Funny feeling it will be the later.

They refuse to take natural variations into account when modeling the future, so as such that is why their models are so bad. But the evidence that is there does point to us warming (including the 60 year cycle). Its just over a much longer time period then they like to admit. We will cool over the next 30 years, and then we will warm again. But averaged over 60 years, we have been warming since the LIA, and I see no proof that shows this is not natural. (I also assume this will continue unless given evidence that shows it will not.)
On the other hand, I am sure land use changes and CO2 changes do effect the climate, but to what degree is the question of the day obviously…at the end of the day we simply do not know right now, and I will gladly admit it just for the sake of science that until we do know, we shouldn’t make any predictions about the future. Just my two cents.

Perhaps you should take a good look at this graph, and than look into CO2 hypothesis again.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CO2-Arc.htm or
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm
But of course you are not going to do that. You expect sceptics to reconsider their position, but are you willing to do the same?

Hi Tom
I cannot agree for one second that we will likely see a 2 degree rise this century – but – for arguments sake, I am willing (pro tem) to accept your proposition.
What then would be the impacts of such a 2 degree rise be on populations – especially the vulnerable – unable to adequately fend for themselves?
There are so many arguments about sea-level – ie Venice, Maldives, NY, Florida etc etc. Many are pure fallacy (eg if Venice stopped extracting fossilised water from below the city then it would stop sinking – they could even pump it back)
But sea-level change would not happen overnight, and the ability of places such as Florida and London to adapt slowly and methodically would far outpace any rise in perceived levels – after all 3mm per annum is not exactly gonna inundate anywhere anytime soon.
Embarrassment that the Maldives are actually rising not sinking – relatively speaking – the list goes on
But for the vulnerable, can we expect a uniform distribution of the 2 degree warmth, or are we likely to see higher temps at lower lattitudes, and little variation above say 80N?
If we expect more warmth in the tropics, then drought will almost certainly become far more prevelanet – with huge effects on those already living on the margins. Offset against this however would be warmer climes in Europe and N America with many less deaths from cold winters, although some more from heat in hotter summers.
Accepting your postulation then, if we took all the money being injected into false profits (sic) such as wind, wave and solar and applied it to famine and drought, we could fix the worlds abysmal humanitarian needs overnight.
So – I don’t necessarily agree with your proposition, but I do like where the outcome could take us – Regret I can’t see the power moguls accepting it though
Good Luck nonetheless
Andy

Philip Thomas

Condensed version –
“I think we should provide a ‘rough and ready’ estimate of 2 degrees C climate change this century to the public, business and politicians, so they can start making plans for the future.”
IPCC CO2 AGW science is fundamentaly correct and the public, business and politicians should invest in Green technology to plan for warming. Congratulations on being a non-scientist who can estimate the future warming.

Neo

This all goes back to the same problems of nuclear arms … trust but verify.
When the “powers that be” tell you to trust them but offer no method to verify, there is no reason to trust.
Given that the fluctuations in temperatures that are the basis for many of the current judgements that lead to the supposed “scientific consensus” are so tiny, even minor “adjustments” take on huge potential impacts. The “ClimateGate” emails have shown that there is little reason to trust these “climate scientists” who seem to be more interested in “feeding at the trough” than performing real science.
Meanwhile, a huge boatload of politicians on virtually every level, from local, national to the UN, are queuing up for a piece of the “carbon trading” action (a quick look at CCX tells this story). The potential of “ripoffs” on a global scale are too big to ignore.
With this as a backdrop, it takes a huge measure of fortitude to think this will ever go anywhere good without a huge level of “trust but verify.” Verification will require an unprecedented level if transparency, which frankly governments are not capable of ever achieving (the current US administration talks a good game but is at least as secretive as the last, even on little things).

David Davidovics

This wouldn’t work because from the viewpoint of many prominent alarmists, there is nothing flawed about the intent of their science. Coming up with the best science available at the time is what they claim to have always done. Skeptics disagree about that.
I don’t see how common ground can be found when alarmists are still defending the hockey stick graph and marching to the tune of the all mighty tipping point god.

Frederick Davies

“The people in developing countries are actually more vulnerable than the last time there was a big quick rise–hunter gatherers didn’t have homes and could just move out of harm’s way, and they were few enough in number that they would not have been labeled ‘climate refugees.’”
The last time there was rise of this magnitude was during the Middle Ages. Medieval people could be considered poor and backwards, but hunter-gatherers they certainly were not. If we were to consider the poorest among mankind today as being in a “Medieval” state of development, then it is more than likely that a warming of 2C would have on them the same effect as it did then: increased crops and development. Why is it that almost everyone fails to consider that the answer to AGW (even if you believe in it) could perfectly well be “Please sir, can I have some more?”?

Again, Thomas… a rise in TEMPERATURE is SO MEANINGLESS!
I’m embarrased that that MYTH keeps being perpetuated.
Please, PLEASE, PLEEEEEAAASSEEE! Look up the ENTHALPY of a cubic foot of air at 105 F and 10% RH. (Arizona).
Then look up the enthalpy (total energy) of 1 cubic foot of air at 85 F and 60% RH.
Which enviroment is “hotter”? (Total energy wise..) Of course, the MN cubic foot.
Unless we know something about the HUMIDITY DISTRIBUTIONS these “average temperatures” are so VALUELESS.
It slays me that anyone with alledged “intelligence” keeps falling for the “average temperature” motif.
Satellite temps have more meaning, but again…why are they not given with a humidity distribution component? And worked out as ENERGIES?
Why is this concept AVOIDED?
To quote the marvelous Amory Lovins, “It makes no sense to have a reactor, located miles away from a user, generating MILLIONS OF DEGREES OF HEAT, just to keep a house at 72 F…”
Heh, heh.. Did you laugh at that? GOOD, please apply that sort of critical thinking to the atmosphere. Give me ENERGY, ENERGY, and ENERGY balance.
Oh yes, and when you do. Go to the NASA NEO website, and note that the IR balance, by the satellites, has been PRONOUNCEDLY INWARD for about 30 months. So much so, that on a generalized “sensible heat” basis, we should be up about 5 to 10 degree C on all troposheric temps by now. NOT HAPPENING.
SO, how accurate ARE the satellites? (This addresses the problem of fereting out .5 degree C since 1958 with instrumentation errors, see: www. surfacestation.org)
Let’s just say I’m all for giving the whole thing the COLD SHOULDER until the data noise is far less.

Ken B

I’ve never thought the response to global warming and its potential effects should await the outcome of a politically charged debate about its causes. We dont have to KNOW what’s causing the warming to measure it, model it, predict it’s potential effects on human civilization, and figure out how best to cope with those effects. Did we have to KNOW what causes earthquakes or hurricanes or tornadoes before we learned (and continue to learn) how to minimize their effects on our lives?
If, in fact, we wake up tomorrow to BREAKIN NEWS that science has indisputably proven that human activity has absolutely nothing to do with global warming, does the warming and its effects go away as a public policy issue?
Consider …
We have in place a scientifically & technologically robust methodology for measuring global temperature. It is the output of this very methodology upon which MMGW adherents rely for their periodic pronouncements that global warming is real and ongoing.
We can KNOW what the global temperature is doing without knowing why.
And yet, international political schemes crafted (ostensibly) for the purpose of altering the trajectory of global temperature propose using tons of GHG emissions — not temperature — as their official measure of progress.
Why?
Who will ‘peer-review’ the GHG emissions data compiled and officially reported by the designated ministries in places like Beijing, New Delhi, Moscow, and Brasilia?

JDN

Poor Anthony. He goes away for a week and comes back to his own blog endorsing cap & trade.

mycroft

Good post, Good points….But
“if it’s remotely possible that the skeptic community could sacrifice its current temporary, but very real advantage in the debate and agree that a rough metric that acknowledges warming but puts sane boundaries on it ”
I think most sceptics agree on warming,its the cause of the warming and and how much is Co2 and what is natural.The bigggest spanner in the works of AGW protaganists is that there is no other cause to the warming other than Co2.They will not (uptil recently) even consider anything like natural cycles were/might be involved and then we have to endure every natural event be it strong hurricanes,
terrible floods,heatwaves are all down to AGW.Until climate scientists tone down the message sceptics will keep on winning the argument,simply because sceptics and the public at large are sick and tired of the doom and gloom,and sceptics have pick holes in the AGW argument, be it with bad temp reading/site locations,dodgy proxy data, stastistical jiggery pokery and the main ones closed peer review process,and unwillingness to debate with the likes of Anthony Watts,Steve McIntyre etc.
PS
Sea level rise is very hard to measure,over time it rises in places and falls in others.

Vorlath

Like clockwork, 100,000 to 250,000 year ice ages occur after 2000 to 10000 year warm periods. We’re already well past 6000 years in this warm period. Sumerian civilization gave dawn to all of our current civilizations about 4500 years ago who were around at least 8000 ago. This would not have been possible without warmer climate.
What is your belief concerning the coming ice age with respect to global warming? Or do you believe that we will no longer have any more ice ages?
The reason I ask is that I’m a skeptic because scientists often say their theories have to be correct because they can’t think of any other explanation. As others have mentioned, what caused warming in the past? Wasn’t man made CO2. What causes ice ages? What caused the MWP and the LIA?
You mention Mauna Loa. It’s too bad it did not come online 10 or 20 years earlier. I’m willing to bet that nice curve wouldn’t be so nice. Mauna Loa is a red herring. Nice curve, but is leading to wrong conclusions.
And finally, we know that CO2 is released from the oceans as the temperature rises. So how are you certain of what is the cause and what is the effect? Does CO2 rise precede or follow temperature rise? We know for a fact that it will follow it. Is this one of the sources of feedback? You tell me. But if you believe CO2 rise precedes temperature rise as well, then what is the catalyst aside from human involvement that caused previous rises in CO2?
You can discuss what you want, but ultimately it comes down to scientists not being able to predict past behaviour while proclaiming to know what will happen in the future. I just can’t get over that stumbling block because it doesn’t pass the BS detector.

ShrNfr

The closest understanding we can have to what really exists is only through honest debate on the issues. To have everyone on only one side leads to to bad decisions. Thank you for your contributions.

Roger Clague

You admit the skeptics are winning the argument. So now we should be nice to warmists like you who say “Temperatures are rising, and more quickly than they have often in the past.” No way.
We will argue with you and each other until only the best data and logic survive.
Temperatures have not been rising for 15 years and the recent rise since 1650 is not unusual.
The warming effect of the atmosphere is affected by its mass but not its composition.

Tom in Florida

Your basic assumption is that global average temperature means something significant. I would disagree for the reasons stated above by Roger Pielke Sr : “In terms of the global average surface temperature trend, it is almost irrelevant for impacts on society except as an indirect metric on the heating (in Joules) of the oceans and resultant contribution to sea level change.”
Humans live in a variety of climates, all more extreme in temperature range than the so called global average temperature rise. I submit that overpopulation along with the elimination of natural selection for our species are far greater problems and carry far greater consequences.

Frederick Davies

As a follow-on to my previous post:
To all those talking about paying for adaptation, the refugees, etc: do you also propose that if AGW improves the lives of people in developing countries, they should pay us for the improvement? Unless you do, then no amount of argumentation will convince me that anyone should pay for anything related to AGW.

Troels Halken

Well, 2 degrees is what the EU has determined in it’s wisdom is the magic number for acceptable temperature rise – 2,5 degrees is not far of that mark, so in essence we can all sit back and relax.
I my view the climate is changing and it has done so for a few billion years and the planet has not turned into a roasted peanut in the mean time, which I take as a proof of that the climate is more resilient than many believe.
Since we’re unable to explain past or current climate with any accuracy nor predict the future climate and nothing points to a runaway effect, we might as well just do that: Sit back and watch.
Lomborg proposed that combating co2 emissions and adaptation to a warmer climate will be cheaper in the future due to the fact that we will be richer (as we today are richer than people 100 years ago) and technologically more advanced.
I think that we should acknowledge that we simply do not know and that the climate won’t change tomorrow, so there is no hurry to do anything.
My 5c.

DJ Meredith

I’m puzzled, in that we have seen repeated flaws in the temperature record indicating, at least in many cases, what amounts to fraudulent manipulation of data that results in what appears to be warming. We’ve seen that UHI is a major influence in the data.
We’ve seen cooling while CO2 rises, and we know that temperature can rise, and fall, quickly, and from natural forcing.
How is it that you can say with such a high degree of confidence now that the temperature will rise 2 deg this century, when prediction after prediction after “scientific” prediction fails? How do you know that the temperature won’t suddenly FALL 2 deg by the end of the century?
I believe it far more prudent to presume that the temperature could go up……or it could go down…by your 2 degrees, and we should plan accordingly.
If it warms up, I’ll buy an airconditioner. If it cools down, I’ll buy some wool socks. Meanwhile, I see no practical reason to pay more taxes so some politicians and associated businessment can feel warm and fuzzy with their profits.
Sorry, but this League of 2.5 sounds like nothing more than caving in to the alarmism. Your statement “….tell me if it’s remotely possible that the skeptic community could sacrifice its current temporary, but very real advantage in the debate and agree that a rough metric that acknowledges warming but puts sane boundaries on it would be of use to the rest of the world.” is, at least to me, still insulting, because it places scientists who disagree with a predetermined output into a derogatory category.
The scientists I work with consider themselves scientiests, nothing more, and certainly nothing less.