Canadian Contretemps

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Driving home today, I heard about a new report from one of those Canadian “we work for the Government but we’re actually really truly independent, honest we are” kind of organizations. It’s called “PAYING THE PRICE: THE ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE FOR CANADA.” It is chock full of the usual nonsense about how, in a country plagued by cold Arctic winds and suffering from a short growing season, a couple degrees of warming will be a multi-billion dollar national tragedy. It featured the usual huge numbers, warming will cost multiple tens of billions of dollars per year. (Curiously, there is no mention of any billions in supposed costs from the 20th century warming.)

I got to wondering about how they estimated these huge costs. I mean, were they based on scientific studies, or from actuarial data, or were they estimated from past damages, or were they just extracting the numbers from their fundamental orifices?

The answer, I found out, is “none of the above”. Once again, it’s models all the way down. In this case, it’s a whiz-bang model called Page09. Here’s their diagram of how it all works, from page 37 of the cited report.

Figure 1. Description from the climate report of the model used to estimate the damages from warming temperatures.

Damage functions? I like the sound of that, I never heard of a “damage function”, but then I was born yesterday. So I set out to understand the Page09 damage functions.

In my research I find this:

Within the PAGE09 Model, damage from climate change is modelled firstly as combination of specified damage functions for sea level rise, economic effects and non-economic effects.

In this reference they give the general form of the damage function. I have spread out the right side of the equation to show the two different parts.

Climate change economic and non-economic impacts before adaptation are captured as a proportion of GDP by the climate change damage function. As do all the other main IAMs with the exception of MERGE, damage is defined as a non-linear function (Bosello and Roson, 2007). Welfare impacts (WI) are expressed as a polynomial function of the difference between regional and tolerable temperature levels (RTT) as follows:

WI(t, d, r) = [RTT(t, d, r) / 2,5 ^POW ]        *         W(d, 0) *[WF(r)/100] * GDP(t, r)

where t corresponds to time, d identifies the damage type (economic, non-economic, sea level rise) and r the region; 2.5 are the °C corresponding to the tolerable increase in temperature due to global warming; POW is the power of the polynomial impact function; W(d, 0) is the impact in the focus region (i.e. EU) at 2.5 °C and WF(r) is the regional weight applied to EU impact to calculate the impact in other world regions. SOURCE

Let me give a stab at translating that into English. First, the left hand side in brackets says take the amount by which the region is warmer than the tolerable range RTT(t,d,r) . Divide that by 2.5, and take that to some power POW. That gives you the damage impact index.

Second, the right hand side just adjusts the damage index calculated on the left hand side, to convert the impact into a dollar value. The important thing to note is that for a given damage type and region, the right hand side is a constant, that is to say it does not vary with T. All the work is done by the left-hand side.

Another reference gives the exact same equation for the damage function, with different symbols:

1.3.2 Model adjustments

At the core of the damage function in PAGE09 is the Equation (5).14

d = alpha * (TACT/TCAL) ^ beta

where d is the damage, alpha is the damage at the calibration temperature, TCAL is the calibration temperature rise, and TACT is the actual temperature rise, beta is the damage exponent.

The calibration temperature is on average 3°C. Therefore, if the actual temperature rise is 3 °C, on average, the damage equals alpha. The damage exponent, beta, becomes more important as temperatures rise above TCAL. In the standard model, beta is entered as triangle (1.5, 2, 3). Therefore, on average, the exponent is 2.167 (slightly above a quadratic), meaning that at twice the calibration temperature (on average, TACT equals 6°C), the damage will be 4.5 times alpha. SOURCE

The damage function graphs out as shown in Figure 2, for various values of the power coefficient POW (also called “beta”) and RTT(t, d, r) (also called “TACT”).

Figure 2. The form of the damage function for the triangular number POW = {1.5, 2, 3}. Note that for a 5° rise the maximum curve (POW = 3) forecasts eight times the damage.

This shows that in all cases used in, damage rises faster than temperature.

There are some odd parts of using this form of a damage function.

First, the one that rises the fastest with increasing warming (POW = 3, green line) starts out the slowest. What would be the physical reason for that?

Second, it assumes that human beings don’t learn. Sure, if there is one year of warmer weather, some farmers will lose money from planting the wrong thing, or at the wrong time. But if the warmer weather continues, the farmers will plant earlier and rejoice that the growing season is longer.

There is also another problem with this kind of analysis. In addition to assuming that farmers are stupid and that damage goes up geometrically as temperatures rise, there is no provision for the benefits of the warming. They pay lip service to the idea of benefits in the report, but I see no serious understanding of the difference between the costs and the benefits of warming for Canada. One difference is that the costs are often short-term (adjustment costs), while the benefits of the warmer climate are often longer lasting.

Again, farming is a good example. The costs to farming of a warming are short-lived. For a few years the farmers would plant something that might not be optimum for the new, warmer climate. But after that, the longer growing season is a benefit forever … how can they not include things like that?

Around the latitude of Canada, the change in average temperature as one goes north is on the order of 2.5° (where damage = 1) for every couple hundred miles. So if you took a Canadian farm and moved it two hundred miles south, do you seriously think that the farmers would suffer huge problems?

The same thing is true of the forests. They claim there will be huge damage to the forests from a few degrees temperature rise … but for many forests in Canada, the same forest exists two hundred miles to the south of a given point … and two hundred miles to the north of that point. That’s a change of FIVE DEGREES, OMG, THE SOUTHERN TREES MUST BE BURNING UP, THEY ARE FIVE DEGREES WARMER THAN THE NORTHERN TREES, COULD BE EIGHT TIMES THE DAMAGE …

I fear I can’t appropriately express my contempt for this kind of grade-school level of thinking about damage impact. If that’s the best a bunch of “damage analysts” can come up with, I’d fire them on the spot.

Always learning, I find out that this family of models are called “IAMS”, for Impact Assessment Models. The most trenchant comment I have found about them comes from the first source cited above, which says (emphasis mine):

An interesting challenge to the methodology of IAMs comes from a series of papers from Weitzman (2009a, 2009b, 2009c). In these papers, he puts forward a number of critiques of the current cost-benefit analysis of climate change, especially the approach embodied in IAMs.

Weitzman’s observations go even further with the elaboration of what is referred to as the ‘dismal theorem’. The idea is basically that under certain conditions, the expected loss from high-consequence, low-probability events can be infinite. In such a situation, standard cost-benefit analysis is therefore no longer an appropriate tool. Weitzman argues that, given the extent of our current understanding, these conditions apply to climate change.

Taking this idea to its limit would suggest that IAMs have little relevance for policy, as the response ought always to be to choose policies that do everything possible to avoid an infinite loss, even if there is only a small probability of such an outcome.

This “dismal theorem” is an extremely important conclusion, and is applicable to a host of the modeling exercises involved with thermal doomsday scenarios.

So Canadians, when they throw this high-cost, low-value modeling exercise in your face, you can just say “Sorry, go hawk your model results somewhere else. IAMS have little relevance for policy”.

Finally, as a businessman, I’ve done a host of cost-benefit studies. I have no problem with a proper historically based cost-benefit analysis of some possible future occurrence or action. However, the “PAYING THE PRICE …” report is nothing of the sort.

My condolences to my northern neighbors, who have their own Kyoto crosses to bear …


PS — The climate models say that the maximum effect of the putative warming will be seen in the extra-tropical winter nights. Is this a problem? I mean, I don’t hear a lot of Canadians saying “Dang, it’s getting way too warm after midnight in February” …

PPS — my favorite argument is that the problem is not the absolute temperature change, it is the speed of the temperature change that is claimed will cause the problems. Yeah, at the much-hyped theoretical future rate of 0.03 degrees of warming per year, watch out when you step on board. If you’re not ready for it, the G forces from suddenly taking on that magnitude of high-speed warming can cause whiplash …

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October 1, 2011 5:37 pm
October 1, 2011 5:39 pm

If statism hadn’t penetrated Canada to the extent of sending a copy of the Piltdown Mann’s Crooked Hockey Stick to every Canadian household, where would we be?

Doug Proctor
October 1, 2011 5:44 pm

Good comment on temperature rise effects not having observational input. Would not the mid-central-north US that has a wheat-corn agriculture be a proxy for the southern Saskatchewan? Southern Alberta for northern Arizona, maybe the Magullen(sp?) Plateau? Could you not plop examples in from north and south and see what happens?
And how about the reverse? Make central-north US match central Saskatchewan, and see what happens to the “damage”? Should not northern Arizona become MORE liveable, like the Garden of Eden is a cold place irrespective of moisture and sunshine?

Brent Matich
October 1, 2011 5:47 pm

You mean no more -40 C nights? We can get -39.97 C next year and -39.94 C after that! I might not be able to adapt.
“Let’s get Tropical! ” – Jackie Moon
Brent in Calgary

October 1, 2011 5:51 pm

“The same thing is true of the forests. They claim [ their ] will be huge damage to the forests from a few degrees temperature rise …
Thanks for this post 🙂
[REPLY: Thanks, fixed. — .w]

Steve from rockwood
October 1, 2011 5:59 pm

Another dismal theorem to explain global warming. The only conclusion is that Canadians are as gullible as Americans who are as gullible as Australians who are…

October 1, 2011 6:00 pm

oh noes……where have we seen that graph before

October 1, 2011 6:16 pm

Steve from rockwood says: October 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm
[Another dismal theorem to explain global warming. The only conclusion is that Canadians are as gullible as Americans who are as gullible as Australians who are…]
Nope, just the people that publish this nonsense. The voters however are not information publishers, as for the non-Canadian voters, we shall see.
See also:
“Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.”
“Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.”
“Carbon dioxide which is a naturally occurring gas vital to the life cycles of this planet”
“This may be a lot of fun for a few scientific and environmental elites in Ottawa, but ordinary Canadians from coast to coast will not put up with what this will do to their economy and lifestyle”
“We can debate whether or not… CO₂ does or does not contribute to global warming. I think the jury is out.”
“My party’s position on the Kyoto Protocol is clear and has been for a long time. We will oppose ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and its targets. We will work with the provinces and others to discourage the implementation of those targets. And we will rescind the targets when we have the opportunity to do so”
“As economic policy, the Kyoto Accord is a disaster. As environmental policy it is a fraud”
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.

Scott Brim
October 1, 2011 6:19 pm

Willis, is it possible that warmer temperatures might accelerate the rate at which Canada’s steel bridges corrode, possibly leading to a series of catastrophic bridge collapses which will ultimately be linked to the mining of tar sands in Alberta?

Steve from rockwood
October 1, 2011 6:21 pm

In figure 2 the damage impact amount has no units. It could be 9% of nothing.

Bill Illis
October 1, 2011 6:26 pm

If any country is to be the least impacted by global warming, it is Canada. I mean really, -40C winters will be warmer. Agriculture has a longer growing season. More water vapour means more rain. Plants (and forestry trees) grow better with higher CO2 and more rainfall. Heating costs will lower. Snow removal costs will be lower. Winter tire costs will be lower.
The 2.0% of GDP cost should be balanced off with at least a 30% GDP gain.
Nobody in Canada will lose sleep over this report.

October 1, 2011 6:26 pm

Thank you Willis – crystal clear as always.
A simple model for climate hysteria:
Climate Hysteria = Politician’s need for taxes / Scientific honesty
The forecast for climate hysteria is: escalation. Politicians need the taxes to soothe their sponsors, and climatologists (and their apologists) are tending toward zero honesty.

October 1, 2011 6:27 pm

These conclusions are always like this. Someone makes a spreadsheet with some formulas in it and reads off the bottom line in a press release. $x in damage from global warming, Y lives lost due to salt on popcorn, Z number of jobs “created or saved”
There are dozens or hundreds of assumptions built into the spreadsheets. Most turn out to be incorrect to some degree. The conclusions tend to be self-serving nonsense.
I’m not sure how this kind of thing got to be called “science”. It’s sad.

October 1, 2011 6:31 pm

I cringed when I heard this garbage on CBC. It’s just more desperation by the “research” crowd trying to frighten people and ensure more money for “studies”. It’s pretty pathetic. Sure the climate has warmed a bit over the past 150 or so years- so what’s the big deal? Nothing catastrophic going on. We Canadians could use a bit more warming thank you very much!

October 1, 2011 6:41 pm

Hey Willis, before you go off on our northern neighbors, maybe you want to first fix your climate sensitivity mistake on your previous post? Kinda getting ahead of yourself…

Doug in Seattle
October 1, 2011 6:50 pm

Curiously, there is no mention of any billions in supposed costs from the 20th century warming.

I think Willis is on to something here.

October 1, 2011 6:52 pm

Ah, but what about the ice roads?

October 1, 2011 7:00 pm

You rock Willis again very clear so even someone with a lowly high school diploma can understand it…….to bad those in charge have college degrees and egos to match the amount they paid for those degrees.

David Falkner
October 1, 2011 7:00 pm

Hmmmm…. What happens in these models when the same magnitude of temperature change occurs with the opposite sign?

October 1, 2011 7:03 pm

I live in Vancouver BC (Home of the living high alarmist David Sazuki) I am a news hound, only the CBC TV news ( Socialist media supported by our TAX money to the tune of $1.2 Billion) and a small blurb in the Vancouver Sun. Both seem to salivate at every doom and gloom Climate study/ hoax the rest of our media left it alone as did most of the Canadian public.

Ian L. McQueen
October 1, 2011 7:15 pm

kim says:
October 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm
If statism hadn’t penetrated Canada to the extent of sending a copy of the Piltdown Mann’s Crooked Hockey Stick to every Canadian household, where would we be?
I don’t suppose that you still have your copy, do you? I would like to replace my discarded copy.

October 1, 2011 7:16 pm

I agree with you Robert. We Canadians could use a lot more warming. It is Oct 1st and we have a frost warning tonight with the possiblity of snow tonight and tomorrow. I am an hour north of Toronto. If it snows, it will be the earliest snow in the 24 years I have lived here. What really scares me about articles like this one, is that the average person believes it. It’s like living in the movie “The Body Snatchers” Every one says we have to save the environment. Save it from what? I have been living in the same place for 24 years and the only change is that the vegetation is lusher.

October 1, 2011 7:18 pm

Oh my god!
Imagine if Canada got if few degrees warmer. Then imagine if a country like Congo or Indonesia got a few degrees colder. That would be terrible.
BTW is this garbage peer-reviewed?

Steve Oregon
October 1, 2011 7:18 pm

Every bit of this is make work BS. It’s job security and with the forecast of calamity many more bureaucrats are needed to monitor, prepare, plan and report on what must be done to address everything they can dream up.
It’s becomes parasitic and unstoppable.
Yes, we’ve crossed the tipping point of more planners & other bureaucrats than mankind can handle. They are unleashed and producing an ever increasing magnitude of crap than will ever have any use what so ever. And all of it must be reported, filed, tracked, advanced, expanded and repeatedly revised. Because we need to know what to do.

October 1, 2011 7:37 pm

The climatic bump that came in the early 1300s – and was accompanied by famine, disease, Hundred Years War, Black Death – had a cost. Of course, that was a cooling. There are serious academics who suggest that it was due to humans overheating the planet in the boom of the Medieval Warming period, making the Warming too warm, causing the Gulf Stream to shut down, causing a great cooling, causing…
Well, when I say they are serious academics, you know what I mean.

October 1, 2011 7:43 pm

Lol Willis – we had great fun with this garbage when it appeared on CBC – you know that CBC that features that love bunny David Suzuki as their “star” broadcaster. Well, what do you expect from a far left wing taxpayer 100% funded black hole? And as you well know human physics breaks down at a black hole – surprise, we can’t make sense of an internal black hole – well, same with the CBC.
Its sorts like your crazy uncle that that claims he was abducted by aliens – or perhaps like NASA’s alien invasion because of Global Warming. Granted, perfect for the average CBC listener with a grade three diploma signifying his/her highest level of education. Makers sense to them. You do know, Willis, no one was ever intended to look at the actual facts, don’t you?
However, for anyone about a grade 3 level then the theory seems to suffer a tad – mostly from a complete lack of human intelligence.

October 1, 2011 7:45 pm

Re Kim and Willis,
I have seen a plausible case for significant damage caused by warming of the coldest nights of winter. The Mountain Pine Beetle is killing the White Pine (and Aspen?). Global Warming is being blamed because a couple of nights of minus 50 deg F in necessary to kill off the larve

“Every winter would have cold snaps of 50 below, which wiped out any bugs inside the trunks. But now it only drops to 20 below, max, and beetles can easily live through that — their larvae produce a kind of antifreeze that protects them to 30 below.”

So, a damage function can be justified that takes the rise of minimum temperatures into account. However, anyone using such a function must simultaneously accept that such a function is highly non-linear, with a negative second derivative wrt temp: Massive damage if min Temp changes from -55 to -40, Not much additional damage for higher temps. Concave downward.

October 1, 2011 7:50 pm

You have my deepest sympathy, Dave, in Vancouver. Its not easy living on the same rock as David Suzuki, but to live in the same province? At least we, Alberta, have the oil sands to drive Suzuki insane –

October 1, 2011 7:56 pm

Dave says:
October 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm
I live in Vancouver BC (Home of the living high alarmist David Sazuki) I am a news hound, only the CBC TV news ( Socialist media supported by our TAX money to the tune of $1.2 Billion) and a small blurb in the Vancouver Sun. Both seem to salivate at every doom and gloom Climate study/ hoax the rest of our media left it alone as did most of the Canadian public.
I first heard of this report from Global TV news, and they put a link to this report on their web site.
I considered if I should bother downloading and reading this report, but reading junk science doesn`t seem to be a good use of my time.
Thanks Willis for noticing and researching this report, so I didn`t have to. 🙂

October 1, 2011 7:57 pm

Steve Oregon says:
October 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm
Every bit of this is make work BS. It’s job security and with the forecast of calamity many more bureaucrats are needed to monitor, prepare, plan and report on what must be done to address everything they can dream up.
It’s becomes parasitic and unstoppable.
Yes, we’ve crossed the tipping point of more planners & other bureaucrats than mankind can handle…..
Agreed 1000%. And it’s happening everywhere.
Willis, great post! Toronto has a nasty UHI effect which makes summer nights very uncomfortable, but most Canadians in their heart of hearts have fantasies in line with Minnesotans for Global Warming. And because the warmists tell us that more global warming means more snow and more severe winters (because of more moisture etc. etc.) even the die-hard ski fanatics can agree!

October 1, 2011 8:00 pm

“OK, Ted. Per your request, I have now gone to my previous post and fixed your climate sensitivity mistake.”
And I yours….

October 1, 2011 8:11 pm

I’m particularly fond of footnote 11, which refers to the authors’ modification (from the previous model) of the distribution of parameters including the one they call “transient climate response”. The authors extend the distribution — in the direction of greater climate sensitivity — and the new upper bound “has been arbitrarily chosen as three times bigger than the original one.” The rationale appears to be related to a previous statement “[t]he existence of an upper limit does drastically reduce the possibility of the occurrence of catastrophic events.”
It’s all about producing a “fat tail” in the probability distribution of damages, by including large powers (beta) and by increasing the probability of large temperature increases. I don’t see any justification for the assertion that damage should increase quadratically or higher. And I note that the authors’ model claims that there is a 5% chance that the temperature sensitivity is above 10 deg C. Given that we’ve seen perhaps a 0.5 deg C increase with half a doubling of CO2 (so far), there’s no case to be made for such a high value as 10 deg C. The authors quote Weitzman that these are “wildly-uncertain unbelievably-crude ballpark estimates” and then go ahead to compute expected values to three significant digits. But more fundamentally, there is a complete lack of consideration of observation-based constraints.

Jeff Alberts
October 1, 2011 8:19 pm

PS — The climate models say that the maximum effect of the putative warming will be seen in the extra-tropical winter nights. Is this a problem? I mean, I don’t hear a lot of Canadians saying “Dang, it’s getting way too warm after midnight in February” …

Willis Willis Willis. *sigh*. Of course you won’t hear a resident of Canadia say such a thing. They would, of course, say “Dang, it’s getting way too warm after midnight in February, eh?”
p.s. Yes they do all say it. Even my buddy, an Oz transplant in Canadia, now says “eh” all the time.

Jeff Alberts
October 1, 2011 8:21 pm

kim;) says:
October 1, 2011 at 5:51 pm
“The same thing is true of the forests. They claim [ their ] will be huge damage to the forests from a few degrees temperature rise …
Thanks for this post 🙂
[REPLY: Thanks, fixed. — .w]

Hmm, when I point out a grammatical error, I’m labeled as “Pedantic Man”.

October 1, 2011 8:22 pm

(A bit rambling..)
Thanks once again, Although, I’ve not read your analysis, I am sure it is spot on. I heard the CBC (?) news report the other day .. something like, “Damages of $5 billion annual from increased floods and fires.” And my lopsided left-sided brain immediately thinks:
1) That’s about $150 per person. I suspect that I already pay more than that in subsidizing “alternative” energy sources like wind and biomass because they get a $0.06/kwh subsidy for their silly efforts and I pay for that every time I pay my electrical bill. PLUS I get to pay for the grid in hidden “administrative” charges on my electrical bill. In Alberta we all pay for the new wind farm transmission lines in these hidden charges. The wind farm investors don’t pay for these transmission systems. The public pays for the transmission systems in the admin fees on their bill every month.
2) Those increased flood and fire costs are because (in part) folks want to live in upscale communities built:
a) inside dry forests in BC and
b) on flood plains. (Lordy, the concept of “flood plain” cannot be that difficult to understand, eh? ☺)
Some houses just south of Calgary (in High River I think) were recently flooded or at least threatened for the third time in the past five (?) years. Apparently, the insurance companies are balking. And rightfully so. We all pay for replacing houses flooded in “flood plains” when we pay our insurance premiums.
So I get to pay two or three times for this nonsense: increased taxes, increased utility fees and insurance rates. And it is (of course) all for nothing as far as the climate is concerned.
Ironically idiot politicians who slobber all over “climate change” and “we must do something” are the ones who approve building permits in forests and flood planes. Big disconnect.
Thanks again!

Christian Bultmann
October 1, 2011 8:48 pm

Tourism Canada did find a silver lining from global warming 🙂

October 1, 2011 8:51 pm

Scott Brim says:
Willis, is it possible that warmer temperatures might accelerate the rate at which Canada’s steel bridges corrode, possibly leading to a series of catastrophic bridge collapses…?
I can’t talk about Canada but in the UK the last few colder winters have reminded us of the ruinous cost for the repair of infrastructure from damage caused by ice and snow. Many roads are still pot-holed from last winter and, given that many bridges here are partly or wholly made of stone, brick or concrete, I can see repair costs for those rising as the cold continues.

Joe Prins
October 1, 2011 8:51 pm

Willis, thanks for the fun stuff. If the formula does not work with negatives, ie, it gets a tad cooler here in Alberta, how does that jive with the title of this momentous earthshaking report?
Seems to me that a few degrees cooler on average for the next 10-15-20 years would shorten the growing season and have far more severe economic consequences than a few degrees warmer.
And I pay taxes to pay for this drivel? Hope Harper does not waste his majority in parliament like Mulroney did.

P.G. Sharrow
October 1, 2011 8:52 pm

Willis Eschenbach
“I fear I can’t appropriately express my contempt for this kind of grade-school level of thinking about damage impact.”
It takes a collage degree to dream up something this insane. Grade schoolers are not this bad at logic.
I have spent most of my 65 years farming in short growing season areas. Any warming is only positive. Enough warming will allow for growing more valuable crops and makes livestock production more cost effective. pg

October 1, 2011 8:59 pm

Environment Canada plans to restrict carbon dioxide from coal-fired electric generation plants at a cost to Canadians of $8.2 billion.
On behalf of the Friends of Science Society, yesterday I submitted our response to the proposed regulations. We present strong evidence that the climate sensitivity of CO2 emission is one-sixth of the IPCC estimate. We show that a small warming effect of greenhouse gas emissions, about 0.5 C in 200 years, cause a social benefit, rather than a social cost. CO2 emissions also increase crop yields.
The submission is published on our website at

October 1, 2011 9:36 pm

The heartbreak of proctocraniosis.

October 1, 2011 9:48 pm

Great analysis, thank you.
To Doug Proctor, we down here is AZ just call it the Mogollon Rim, great place to go camping.

October 1, 2011 9:50 pm

What a load of road apples. But then what can you expect from the country that blessed the world with the likes of Maurice Strong, David Suzuki and Andrew Weaver. I wonder how many members of this illustrious panel are members of WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, etc..

Michael Wassil
October 1, 2011 9:58 pm

When I saw that headline in the National Post I said to myself: “Fools.”
I suspect my reaction was typical; we know enough to file this where it belongs. The problem is the fools still control a lot of stuff they should never have been allowed near. We’re working on that, too.
Michael Wassil (North Vancouver, Canada)

October 1, 2011 10:07 pm

Lefty ‘scientists,’ ‘mathematicians,’ ‘computer programmers,’ etc., are mathematically challenged. They obviously don’t even know how to model their wrong ideas using differential equations.

Al Gored
October 1, 2011 10:22 pm

From this media version of this story:
“In the report, the panel urged the federal government to invest in expanding the country’s expertise in the economics of climate-change impacts and adaptation, in research on the costs and benefits of specific adaptation options.”
Give us money or the “damage function” will be high.
Its simple extortion. Judging from the comments on these stories in the Canadian media, nobody but the shrinking number of eager AGW dupes is buying this there anymore, at all. And the government there now, and for at least the next four years, are not AGW dupes.
And with this fine piece of dissection spead across that blogosphere there will be even more eyes rolling. Great job (as usual) Willis.

October 1, 2011 10:26 pm

But, but, but…
These guys are all noble laureates, they must be right:
I have a buddy who works for the Red Cross, an organization that won the Noble Peace Prize about three times. Guess I get to address him as a “Noble Laureate” next time I see him. At least he deserves the accolade.

Jay Currie
October 1, 2011 10:40 pm

Critical piece here is that the Climate Change Roundtable (or whatever the actual name of this farce is) is an organization created by the previous eco-Liberal government back when the Liberal Party Leader had already named his dog “Kyoto”. [No, really, I am not creative enough to make this stuff up.]
That leader of the Liberal Party and the Liberal Party itself went down hard in the last federal election a few months ago. The new, Conservative, government has a lot on its plate and it has not yet gotten ’round to defunding this bunch of eco loonies. But there is no chance at all that anything they have written will be taken seriously at a policy level
As ever, Willis has whacked this particular mole dead…but it was already a dead mole walking.

Terry Jackson
October 1, 2011 10:41 pm

Dang ,does this mean that Winnipeg could get as scorchingly hot as Fargo, ND in the winter? Ever notice how many northerners winter in Texas and Arizona and Florida and Hawaii? A notable portion of Canada and Alaska and the frosty northern tier of states head south for the winter. A considerably less portion of the Arizona and Texas and Florida folks move to Winnipeg and Saskatoon and Halifax and Whitehorse for the summer.
Sort of makes you wonder if human migration can be modeled as a function of seasonal temperature. Someone could perhaps follow the seasonal travels of those whose homes are RVs.
Do any sentient adults ever get paid to write this stuff?

October 1, 2011 10:44 pm

This brings to my mind Mulroney saying something in his memoir about “seasonal unemployment”. I believe the season causing that unemployment is the cold one.
That “experts” can make such an incredible projection of the effect of warming on Canada is about as telling as can be. Also: “OMG, THE SOUTHERN TREES MUST BE BURNING UP, THEY ARE 5 DEGREES WARMER THAN THE NORTHERN TREES, COULD BE 8 TIMES THE DAMAGE” Quoted for very great justice… I took off my glasses and laughed!

October 1, 2011 10:47 pm

I was offered a wonderful job in Ottawa and would have accepted it but for the fact that the temperature during my visit in mid February was -25 Centigrade during the day. It is really obvious that Canada needs as much “Global warming” as it can get!
“Climate Shock” hit me when I saw the power connections in the company parking lot so you could plug in your sump heater to prevent your engine oil freezing during daylight hours!
Currently I live in Florida. My wife and I plan to move another 1,000 miles south (within 6 degrees of the equator) when we finally retire in 2013. No snow or ice……ever.

Al Gored
October 1, 2011 10:52 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
October 1, 2011 at 10:22 pm
The real driver of the cycle you describe is fire. The lodgepole pine, the primary poster child for this story, is fire dependent on the long time scale. It can only dominate a landscape with regular stand-destroying fires which simultaneously eliminate their competition and plant new EVEN-AGED pine stands. Without fire spruce wins. And spruce beetles do not kill spruce forests the way pine beetles kill lp pine forests because spruce forests are multi-aged, leaving lots of young spruce while killing off the older ones – still leaving the pines in the shade, unable to grow.
(Other pines are also fire dependent in a less suicidal way – regular fires thin but do not destroy those forests unless but the lodgepole pine is the most dramatic and simplest example… and its late and I’m tired.)
Thus the real driver of the recent mt pine beetle hyper-epidemics is fire suppression, which created so much prime beetle habitat – MATURE even-aged lodgepole pine stands. In the case of British Columbia, the fire history left vast swaths of it and that let the population explode.
No matter how warm winters are, no mt pine beetle habitat, no mt pine beetle epidemic, period.
Blame Smokey the Bear, not AGW. But that wouldn’t be nice, would it?

Al Gored
October 1, 2011 11:02 pm

Forgot to add. The mt pine beetle epidemic in Canada is OVER. It has already killed off almost all of its habitat. Contrary to the wild fearmongers, there is no chance it will spread across the boreal forest because it is host specific and jack pines, the ‘boreal pine,’ is not a viable host.
That is a point all the supposed ‘green’ thinkers seem to conveniently miss on this story. They talk and talk about biodiversity but when there’s an obvious and simple example staring them in the face – different insects are adapted to different trees – their brains seem to freeze… perhaps from the heat.

October 1, 2011 11:03 pm

I know it’s been said already:
Mr Suzuki’s fruit flies never seem to die.
Until the cold Arctic comes home and wipes them out.
’nuff said -(Canadian for he’s embarrassing ) and still works for the CBC
Still feeding people with the same stuff that his fruit flies excrete.

ferd berple
October 1, 2011 11:13 pm

every summer when the ground thaws we get a fresh crop of rocks pushed up by the freezing ground last year. Where would the Canadian economy be without this vital crop? Instead we have to settled for exporting $400 billion worth of oil to the US each year.
Even wikipedia understands why peak oil is nonsense:
Oil sands may represent as much as two-thirds of the world’s total “liquid” hydrocarbon resource, with at least 1.7 trillion barrels (270×109 m3) in the Canadian Athabasca Oil Sands (assuming a 10% recovery).
In October 2009, the USGS updated the Orinoco oil sands (Venezuela) mean estimated recoverable value to 513 billion barrels (81.6×109 m3), making it “one of the world’s largest recoverable” oil deposits.[16]
Between them, the Canadian and Venezuelan deposits contain about 3.6 trillion barrels (570×109 m3) of recoverable oil, compared to 1.75 trillion barrels (280×109 m3) of conventional oil worldwide, most of it in Saudi Arabia and other Middle-Eastern countries.
Oil sands reserves have only recently been considered to be part of the world’s oil reserves, as higher oil prices and new technology enable them to be profitably extracted and upgraded to usable products. They are often referred to as unconventional oil or crude bitumen, in order to distinguish the bitumen extracted from oil sands from the free-flowing hydrocarbon mixtures known as crude oil traditionally produced from oil wells.

ferd berple
October 1, 2011 11:21 pm

Here is an example of the madness in US oil policy:
Section 526 of the Energy Independence And Security Act prohibits United States government agencies from buying oil produced by processes that produce more greenhouse gas emissions than would traditional petroleum including oil sands.[31][32]
^ Kosich, Dorothy (2008-04-11). “Repeal sought for ban on U.S. Govt. use of CTL, oil shale, tar sands-generated fuel”. Mine Web. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
^ Bloom David I, Waldron Roger, Layton Duane W, Patrick Roger W (2008-03-04). “United States: Energy Independence And Security Act Provision Poses Major Problems For Synthetic And Alternative Fuels”. Retrieved 2008-05-27.

October 1, 2011 11:24 pm

Here’s Suzuki comparing people to maggots:

October 1, 2011 11:29 pm

RE: Willis Eschenbach says: Oct 1, at 10:22 pm
The point I was making was that alleged increases in minimun very cold temperatures can arguably be linked to “damage” in a damage function. However, such a damage function might increase quickly at low temperatures, but once the damage is done, further rises in temperature have little effect.
Indeed, as you further raise the temperatures, the very same forest will experience much faster growth, resulting in “negative damage” rates. You wind up with a somewhat parabolic damage function(T), concave downward. Sort of a Laffer Curve of Damage.

Anthony Scalzi
October 1, 2011 11:30 pm

Scott Brim says:
October 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm
Willis, is it possible that warmer temperatures might accelerate the rate at which Canada’s steel bridges corrode, possibly leading to a series of catastrophic bridge collapses which will ultimately be linked to the mining of tar sands in Alberta?
Well, if it got warmer, the steel bridges might not undergo the glass transition in winter, and that would improve the serviceability of the bridges. As it is, when it gets really cold, the steel in the bridges can turn into a brittle glass-like state. There have been instances of bridges shattering when in this state.

October 1, 2011 11:33 pm

RE: ferd burple: “Section 526? Yikes!
What does it say about getting energy from burning the Federal Register?

Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001)
October 1, 2011 11:39 pm

Per Strandberg says: October 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm

BTW is this garbage peer-reviewed?

Well, as I discovered when I skimmed through this report, yesterday, they claim it was:

According to p. 145 there were 60 “experts who provided peer review and other advice throughout the research process”. In keeping with the “transparency” standards of the IPCC, this document provides no indication of the “expertise” or affiliations of these 60 “experts”.

This opus, btw, is the fourth in a series of six – all of which have the over-arching (well, left sideways arching, actually) title of “Climate Prosperity”. More at:
Spreading the joy of climate change economic alarmism

October 1, 2011 11:46 pm

For all the late winter/spring storms that delayed so many crops, it’s time to assess what is coming for this winter. We heard geese flying south over NW Calif. today. It’s October 1st.
Forget about CO2 warming, it’s not happening.
Forget about rising sea levels, they’re falling.
Forget about the Arctic Sea Ice melting, it reversed course 1 week before the equinox.
What kind of a winter are we looking at?

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead
October 1, 2011 11:52 pm

Well, at least for now, having a Conservative majority government in Canuckistan will limit the effectiveness of these very strange models. Hopefully, the whole stupid mess will collapse before the next election.

October 1, 2011 11:55 pm

… and we still don’t learn from history.
The Medieval Warming reached temperatures approximately 1 to 1.5 degrees C higher than the present assumed global warming. The crop yields across Ireland, England and Europe, and their market prices, are all a matter of historical record, as they were during the of the Little Ice Age. Where are the comparisons? What were the trends?
Shouldn’t we look back and learn?

October 2, 2011 12:22 am

Interesting equation raises one question, when the cooling sets in, how much money will we get ?
POW = 3 means we will get a load of money even if the planet turns into a ball of ice. POW = 2 means we will still have taxation and high cost situation. POW = 1 getting money again ? Just look at the cost of the London blizzard last year and send this garbage where it belong. Don’t forget to send the authors the same way to stop the drainage from our well earned money, legally stolen with help from our very intelligent so called leaders.

Robert of Ottawa
October 2, 2011 12:42 am

Well, as a Canadian living in the Capital, I can assure readers here that the tolerable range and speed of temperature variation is at least 60 Centigrade in 6 months. What does THAT do to this illiterate and deceitful damage function? How about a lengthened growing season function, is that a negative damage function?
Fortunately, we have a government that is reducing expenditures on this sort of nonsense, so expect more public bleatings from those with nice secure government office chairs and research funding contracts. Bye-bye la!

October 2, 2011 12:47 am

Hi Willis
Interesting article.It seems that some academics are completrely unawre that climate has this irritating habit of changing. Here are three examples of when IAMS calculations would have been triggered
This first quote comes from the same year as the start of the GISS records -1880-and puts that data set into better context.
Fom the records of the Canadian Horticulturist monthly of 1880 (page 7).
“I do not know whether or not the climate of Ontario is really becoming permanently milder than formerly, but I do know that for the past 18 years or 20 years we have not experienced the same degree of cold as the seven years preceding.”
“The temperature of the winter season, in northern latitudes, has suffered a material change, and become warmer in modern, than it was in ancient times. … Indeed I know not whether any person, in this age, has ever questioned the fact.” —Noah Webster, 1758-1843 (founder- Webster’s dictionary)
This next excerpt comes from the extensive weather records of Thomas Jefferson; (the warm weather of the early 1700’s has given way to intense cold then another period of warmth)
“A change in our climate however is taking place very sensibly. Both heats and colds are become much more moderate within the memory even of the middle-aged. Snows are less frequent and less deep. They do not often lie, below the mountains, more than one, two, or three days, and very rarely a week. They are remembered to have been formerly frequent, deep, and of long continuance. The elderly inform me the earth used to be covered with snow about three months in every year. The rivers, which then seldom failed to freeze over in the course of the winter, scarcely ever do so now.”

October 2, 2011 12:59 am

rbateman says:
October 1, 2011 at 11:46 pm
In a word – COLD

October 2, 2011 1:12 am

Why does anybody even bother reading reports from economistst? Economists failed to predict every major economic event from the great depression to the savings and loan crisis, to the sub-prime loans crisis (and every other economic event in between). They can predict nothing, they have no empirically proven methods to correct economic problems. Therefore economics is a fraudulent occupation. It exists at all only because it is fronted by non-capitalist business interests to legitimize immoral manipulation of markets and finances. The economics community even bought their own “Nobel” prize (not really Nobel or noble) to try to bask in some of the glow surrounding legitimate fields of investigation. Aside from a small number of rational individuals, most economists are simply shills to rationalize such parasitic activities as commodities and stock trading, arbitrage and carbon credit trading. Economists have difficult projecting a 20 year straight line one year into the future, let alone modelling anything remotely as complex as climate. The best thing to do is ignore all reports by economists. To pay attention to them, even to point out how farcical they are, simply encourages them.

October 2, 2011 1:43 am

Here in Toronto
as the temperature drops to near freezing
announcing the beginning of another grim 8 month winter
I continually ask my neighbours
when are we going to get this global warming
that they have been promising us for years?
The can’t seem to say
but they all are terribly afraid of it nonetheless.
Canadians are insane.

John Marshall
October 2, 2011 1:54 am

I use a model to assess other models and my model output about this model is:
C+R+A+P= yes you’ve guessed it.
Actually Willis your initial assumption was correct. Out of Orifice figures.

October 2, 2011 2:03 am

Thanks. It looks like under any rock you turn you find political scientists thriving on rotting heaps of Dollars and Euros.
About the inventor of the exponential damage function:
“Martin Weitzman serves as a consultant to The World Bank, Stanford Research Institute, International Monetary Fund, Agency for International Development, Arthur D. Little Co., Canadian Parliamentary Committee on Employment, Icelandic Committee on Natural Resources, National Academy Panel on Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting.”
A paper by him:

Rhys Jaggar
October 2, 2011 2:21 am

Look mate
If your sources of funding rely on the funders being idiots, why do you suppose the damage analysts have the nous to realise that farmers aren’t just as stupid?
It’s not just temperature that would affect farming decisions. It’s also rainfall patterns, both amounts but also timings and spread between deluges and drizzle.
Economists still don’t get ‘adjustment theory’; do they?
It’s that Nobel Prize-winning insight that if you have less money to spend each month, in general you may find that in a few spending classes, you choose to either decrease frequency of spend or average spend/spending round.
You don’t say?
You know the effect of that on the economy right now in the eating trade? You’ll find more restaurants catering to the ueber-rich, pretty much the same numbers catering to the middle and upper middle range and quite a few at the bottom range going bust.
Do their models factor in things which chnage a constant temperature leading to a change in temperature? I’m talking about chopping down trees. This has huge effects on transpiration of water and, hence, rainfall. It has huge effects on ability of the soil to absorb rain which falls and erosion of topsoil.
If you read history about the Medieval Warm Period, you’ll find a migration of Danes to Greenland for several centuries where they could feed themselves happily. Until when? Oh, that would be the Little Ice Age wouldn’t it?? I seem to read in my history books that rather a lot of farmers died in those days….wonderful thing global cooling, isn’t it??
Thanks for the article. Keeping writing similar!

October 2, 2011 2:35 am

I’ve now read large chunks of this work of fiction, and came across this little gem in section 2.3 ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE FOR CANADA
“Costs are higher with more climate change. On a dollar basis, a richer Canada would
face higher costs than in the alternate case, since the value and number of assets exposed to damages from climate change is higher. The combination of high climate change and rapid growth leads to the highest economic cost impacts.”
In other words, a richer Canada would do as little (i.e. nothing) to mitigate the effects of “damages from climate change” as a poorer Canada. Canadians will simply sit around and fiddle while Ottowa burns and coastal cities drown (with citizens presumably still in their beds).
The hidden message is, of course, that economic growth is BAD BAD BAD in a moderately warming world. What a surprise.

October 2, 2011 2:51 am

Re: “a new report from one of those Canadian “we work for the Government but we’re actually really truly independent, honest we are” kind of organizations.”
Try working for the government and getting a paper CRITICAL of this arrant nonsense published. Just sayin’.
In other news, Ontario has a provincial election coming up, and the Liberal incumbent, Dalton McGuinty, is airing a campaign commercial where he says “8 years ago Ontario had 10 wind turbines, today we have more than 900.” He then cites David Suzuki as praising his government’s environmental policies.
Boy, talk about a tin ear. Can’t wait to hit the polls. Meanwhile, companies that offer REAL “green energy” (high efficiency gas and conventional heating and cooling systems, water-based and DX geothermal systems, etc.) can’t make a living because McGuinty is taxing the crap out of us to fund his pie-in-the-sky bird-blenders and solar panels. The billions of dollars he has put into solar have ended up adding 86 MW of (theoretical) generation with a 10-20% capacity factor to the Ontario grid; the same money could’ve built a 2.2GW nuclear generating station with a 92% capacity factor. The one thing leftist environmental zealots all have in common is an inability to do basic arithmetic.
Me? In anticipation of another winter of global warming, I just split and stacked three cords of hardwood.

October 2, 2011 3:24 am

I did of course mean “adapt to the effects” and not “mitigate the effects” in my previous comment. Reading this sort of stuff (rubbish reports, not WUWT) is rotting my brain. I’m clearly suffering a failure to adapt.

October 2, 2011 3:38 am

10 to1 on says fundamental orifices.

Ursus Augustus
October 2, 2011 3:44 am

The more I see of this hysterical lunacy the more I am reminded of the reasons why Martin Luther started his break with the Catholic Church: the moral, political and commercial corruption that had grown up, the selling of indulgences, the hypocrisy of priest, abbots and bishops with women on the side etc etc. It took the Church 1500 years to reach that point where it was plain as day what the joke was, it has taken these alarmist bozo’s a mere 15 years or so.
I am an engineer , all I do is model in my analysis and lives depend on me getting pretty close to reality. They call that cretinous mathematical crap modelling?

October 2, 2011 4:09 am

Rhys Jaggar says:
October 2, 2011 at 2:21 am
“Economists still don’t get ‘adjustment theory’; do they?”
I think comparing this Weitzman fellow to the late Milton Friedman is like comapring Michael Mann to Richard Lintzen.

Alan Watt
October 2, 2011 4:14 am

You fail to consider the enormous economic impact inflicted on Canada by people fleeing the warming climate in Minnesota, including those trying to escape the hoards of refugees from WIsconsin and Iowa, who have to move out to make room for climate-displaced people from Missouri and Kansas, who can no longer co-exist with the influx of survivors from Oklahoma and Texas. Global warming will spark the Great Northern Diaspora of half a billion people desperately fleeing to the last polar refuge. I have modeled this effect numerous times and I assure you, it is much, much worse that we thought.

October 2, 2011 4:14 am

Another wikipedia quote about Weitzman:
“Weitzman’s research has covered a wide range of topics including Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Green Accounting, Economics of Biodiversity, Economics of Environmental Regulation, Economics of Climate Change, Discounting, Comparative Economic Systems, Economics of Profit Sharing, Economic Planning, and Microfoundations of Macro Theory.”
He’s a kind of economist tool for the Green NGO’s and Social Justice (see Economics of Profit sharing), it seems to me.

October 2, 2011 4:51 am

I have read the report. The work is of shameful quality.
Tom Harris has done stellar work in combating the alarmist reports in Canada as the the skeptical side of things is very rarely reported. He currently has the report and his response to it linked on his home page.
He was interviewed on the Charles Adler show on Sun News:
The interview is well worth the listen. Charles is a good interviewer and Tom Harris is a “fun guest” with facts at his finger tips.

October 2, 2011 5:15 am

BCBill says:
October 2, 2011 at 1:12 am
Yep, ignore all economists. Useless. Like the Ross McKitrick fellow, eh?
Real economist know that it is models all the way down. And the biggest unknown is human behavior which controls it all.
on the side, want to annoy a Keynesian? Ask them to explain stagflation with a Keynesian model.

Craig Loehle
October 2, 2011 5:22 am

In this paper:
Loehle, C. 1998. Height growth rate tradeoffs determine northern and southern range limits for trees. J. Biogeography 25:735-742
and others I show clearly that trees (and other plants) will not die when it warms. The northern range limits are determined by freezing but the southern by competition, because more southern species grow faster than the northern species (a fir tree will grow in Atlanta, but not very fast). They just imagine death and destruction.

October 2, 2011 5:26 am

The Canadian Boreal forests are expanding due to increased CO2 and slightly warmer temperatures. I suppose that is an inconvenient truth.
Most of the warming has taken place at higher latitudes where growth is limited to the number of frost free days.
I noticed the IPCC included in their estimate of the economic impact of global warming a significant reduction in tourism as less people from Northern Countries will travel south to get away from cold winter temperatures. So far there is no evidence that is problem in Canada.

October 2, 2011 5:38 am

GIGO all the way. Garbage in, garbage out, and garbage in between. They input the garbage from what-if climate models, run it through garbage what-if functions, and expect to get useful economic information.

Steve from Rockwood
October 2, 2011 5:39 am

Stephen Rasey says:
October 1, 2011 at 11:29 pm
“such a damage function might increase quickly at low temperatures, but once the damage is done, further rises in temperature have little effect”
Stephen, I don’t think such a damage function could exist in nature as “normal” temperature variations are so much higher than the proposed AGW trends. Otherwise all the forests would have died by now.
It is more likely that a damage function would be little affected by typical temperature variations until some point was reached and then its sensitivity would increase. Problem with even that is it doesn’t take into account the ability of the environment to adapt. If you believe in ice ages you have to be believe in adaptation and a low damage function sensitivity.
The only way a damage function could be real was if its effects were felt over a very short time period where adaptation was not fast enough to respond.
Also, take a look at Willis’ Figure 1. All the inputs into the system are presumed to be negative. There are no offsetting positive inputs such as lower heating needs, longer growing seasons, adaptation, less RVs going to Florida etc.

Ed Fix
October 2, 2011 5:44 am

In other words:
“Oh my God! It’s worse than we thought!!”

October 2, 2011 5:49 am

IAM = Idiotic Agenda Model (Maths)? sorry can’t resist!!

October 2, 2011 5:54 am

Did you check who is on the Round Table?
May be a few former employees who want more grants.

October 2, 2011 5:56 am

Figure 4 on page 30 of their report shows “High” and “Low” climate change which translate as the “upper hot range” and the “lower hot range”. They could have fawned some objectivity by making these warming and cooling. The cooling could then be shown to be a miniscule likelihood, say .01%, and the propaganda message from this piece might be even stronger.

Mike M
October 2, 2011 6:06 am

“…I can’t appropriately express my contempt for this kind of grade-school level of thinking.”
Grade schoolers doth protest sir!

Alan D McIntire
October 2, 2011 6:07 am

For temperature drops below the zero point , RTT(t,d,r) is a negative number. Plug that into the
formula and you get a negatve cost f- the lower the temperature, the larger the negative cost- the richer well all be When the average world temperature is equal to that of Greenland, we’ll all be rolling in wealth because of those negative costs.

October 2, 2011 6:09 am

@ZT says:
October 1, 2011 at 6:26 pm
Thank you Willis – crystal clear as always.
“A simple model for climate hysteria:
Climate Hysteria = Politician’s need for taxes / Scientific honesty”

I don’t get it, ZT.
Climate Hysteria = +Infinity/-Infinity = ?????

October 2, 2011 6:10 am

BCBill October 2, 2011 at 1:12 am
Why does anybody even bother reading reports from economistst? Economists failed to predict every major economic event from the great depression to the savings and loan crisis, to the sub-prime loans crisis (and every other economic event in between).”
I think they wouldn’t do as poorly if they could model the larger scale manipulations by the central banks like the Federal Reserve and such, but that is a much tougher modeling,

October 2, 2011 6:15 am

Reminds me of the Drake equation. Perhaps they could combine the PAGE09 equations with the Drake equation, and figure out how long it will be before the aliens come down and destroy us.

October 2, 2011 6:42 am

Oh the irony.
There was a piece on CBC Radio promoting the television documentary on experts. It features research showing that ‘experts’ as a group do no better than a chimpanzee at predicting things. The clear message was that you can’t trust experts; especially ones who are really clear about their message. Actually, those ones are wrong more often than they are right.
The interviewer accepted what the documentary maker said without question. She didn’t, for instance, ask something like: “But surely we can trust climate experts?” or anything else like that. Then, in the next breath, and with no sense of irony, she did a positive story on the NRT climate report. Did she say, “Should we be trusting these ‘experts’?” Sadly, no, she did not.

October 2, 2011 6:53 am

The problem with Canada is that when they havve a majority in Parliament, they essentially have a dictatorship for 5 years. If Prime Minister Harper decides that Cap&Trade will win him the next election, there is nothing Canadians can do about it, nothing. They don’t have mid term elections like in the US, where changed public opinion can toss the bums out.The ruling party simply rams it down their throats. And if they lose the next election, the new ruling party almost never goes back and undoes what was done before. This is the sad plight of Canadian Politics.
With this, plus $5 a gallon gas, $40 for 24 beer and $10 for a pack of smokes, be glad you don’t live there.

October 2, 2011 7:04 am

Thanks Willis for the informative article explaining the ‘science’ behind the scam. The propaganda efforts to convince Canadians that manmade climate change is real never stops up here. I wish every Canadian could read what you wrote, but alas the lamestream media have convinced most that freezing in the dark is the way to go. I’m ashamed of my fellow Canadians for swallowing the Climate Liars koolaid. They’ve lost the ability to think for themselves.

Ian L. McQueen
October 2, 2011 7:06 am

Anthony Scalzi wrote about glass transition of steel. From the Wikipedia article on the bridge failure that he referred us to: “The failure was due to brittle fracture on a very cold Melbourne winter day.” We should note that Melbourne rarely reaches zero celsius (water freezing point). I wonder if steel can reach the glass state at such a high temperature. OTOH, I recall reading about brittle failure of ships in the North Atlantic winter. I would think that the problem would be the frigid air temperature, not that of the water. The specs for the steel had to be modified.

October 2, 2011 7:09 am

We are having a small heat wave this weekend in Holland, the ONLY person complaining was the alarmist weatherman on TV who was warning that “the glaciers realy are melting in Europe”.

Mike M
October 2, 2011 7:16 am

Ursus Augustus says: I am an engineer , all I do is model in my analysis and lives depend on me getting pretty close to reality. They call that cretinous mathematical crap modelling?

It’s my opinion that people who get away with initiating a collection of dishonest assertions tend to become lazy at defending them over time. Given their success at foisting their initial lie of 100x complexity, they will always be tempted to reduce the complexity because a little less work rarely produces any change in final result – the lie is still a lie. Lies are malleable, the truth is not.

Gail Combs
October 2, 2011 7:18 am

Eve Stevens says @ October 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm
“I agree with you Robert. We Canadians could use a lot more warming. It is Oct 1st and we have a frost warning tonight with the possiblity of snow tonight and tomorrow. I am an hour north of Toronto. If it snows, it will be the earliest snow in the 24 years I have lived here….”
I am in central North Carolina it is 10.09 AM and a chilly 55F with a forecast of 41F tonight and tomorrow night. (We usually get snow about once every five years) Normal for today is 74F/54F
Some how I don’t not see Canadians swallowing this load of bull especially those aware that a 1C drop in temp will have devastating consequences on wheat production. A two degree drop just about kills the industry. Maps

Chris F
October 2, 2011 7:31 am

When I first saw the headline to this story in the paper my first thought was “the BS continues”.
Thanks again Willis for confirming my first thought in a straightforward manner.

October 2, 2011 7:35 am

So… wait. Are you saying we won’t make it with catastrophic climate failure by the end of 2012?

George in Richmond (BC)
October 2, 2011 7:38 am

Vancouver-types… don’t dogpile on the CBC too hard. CNKW radio aired this same report, complete with angst-tinged voice. However, I don’t expect it to get more air time unless “Global Warming” threatens Bill Good’s ferry schedule.

October 2, 2011 7:42 am

Perhaps they should include the impact of various critters such as Crazy Ants:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It sounds like a horror movie: Biting ants invade by the millions. A camper’s metal walls bulge from the pressure of ants nesting behind them. A circle of poison stops them for only a day, and then a fresh horde shows up, bringing babies. Stand in the yard, and in seconds ants cover your shoes.
It’s an extreme example of what can happen when the ants — which also can disable huge industrial plants — go unchecked. Controlling them can cost thousands of dollars. But the story is real, told by someone who’s been studying ants for a decade.

Mike from Canmore
October 2, 2011 8:00 am

Ken Gregory. As a member of FofS, keep up the good work. Unfortunately, you are going at them with Actual Science instead of political science.
Al Gored. Exactly. I use to consult into the BC lumber industry and had lots of contact with the Min of Natural Resources – Forestry and the good news is, they get that. They are the ones who educated me.
I have but a few regrets in life. One was when I went for a run in the UBC Endowment lands, I passed by Suzuki going for a stroll. I regret not running over him. (I’m an ex rugby player who at 5′ 9″ am 220 lbs and when was in shape was 210 lbs)

Mike from Canmore
October 2, 2011 8:00 am

I should have said Al Gored and Willis. Exactly.

More Soylent Green!
October 2, 2011 8:05 am

ASSume the models are. Find the projected climate for Canada in the future. Move your finger south on the map until you find a region in the US that has that climate now. Where are you? Iowa? Nebraska? Kansas?

October 2, 2011 8:08 am

My wife and I drove from Dallas Texas to lower Canada last year.
There were cornfields to within 100 miles of the border mixed in with wheat etc. There were virtually no cornfields in Canada.
If it were to warm slightly my guess is that the cornfields would continue into Canada and the farmers would have another crop to grow. There are 1,000 or more lakes in Canada so water will never be a problem.
In Canada we saw many fields which were fallow and I am no farmer but having corn as an option could bring these fields into use.
The ways that Canada would benefit from warming were obvious to the casual observer.

Ted Swart
October 2, 2011 8:16 am

Perhaps it is worth mentioning that IAMS is the brand name for a cat food. I am afraid that this kind of baseless modelling is not even worth one can of cat food. Many thanks to Willis E for saving the rest of the need to wade through a largely indigestible mound of crud.

October 2, 2011 8:39 am

Ian L. McQueen @ 7:15PM 10/1/11
We’re more sophisticated here. They sent the Gorebellied Fool into my home. But you do know that is how Steve McIntyre first gazed into the tarpit with a stick floating in it, don’t you?

Andrew Harding
October 2, 2011 9:18 am

Willis, an excellent article as ever.
When will these people realise that climate is not the problem it is the weather. Normal grey skies 16 celsius and rain here in NE England now (Sunday late afternoon), 28 celsius and sunny yesterday, Friday and Thursday. Shops were restocking with summer wear and moving Autumn stock off the shelves. Our local airport was closed for several days last winter and the winter before. Our frost damaged roads look like they have been planted with anti-personnel mines that have detonated . Many people were snowed in last winter and couldn’t get into work. The summer was a disaster for tourism, because it was cold and wet. We had our central heating on in August!
This is what costs money both to the economy, businesses and to individuals.

Gail Combs
October 2, 2011 9:18 am

Curiousgeorge says: @ October 2, 2011 at 7:42 am
“Perhaps they should include the impact of various critters such as Crazy Ants:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It sounds like a horror movie: Biting ants invade by the millions….”

It seems to be an “imported species” Nylanderia pubens “…an exotic species native to the Carribean Islands and/or South America….”</i.
And I thought the Fire Ants that just migrated to my property in the last five years were bad…..

Nick Shaw
October 2, 2011 9:45 am

Damn you Ted Swart! 😉
I read every comment with no mention of the obvious connection that the report was based on IAMS until yours at the very end! I really need to learn to read faster!
If it’s IAMS it must be dog food!

tom T
October 2, 2011 9:49 am

I don’t need all that math. All I need is the first chart to see this is GIGO.

October 2, 2011 9:54 am

Pseudo mathematics for the pseudo mathematician. Sociologist have been playing that game for years. Much like AGW itself. About as valuable as tree rings in forecasting weather.

October 2, 2011 9:56 am

taxpayer from Canada
“The National Round Table on the Envoronment and the Economy” that produced this drivel claims to be a non-profit organization. Just wondering how much of my taxes contributed to the thing.

October 2, 2011 10:13 am

Canada is simply taking a lead from Chicago’s actions in preparing for a Louisiana like climate within the next few years…according to our National Broadcaster:
How will we deal with the alligators in the Great Lakes?

Bruce Cobb
October 2, 2011 10:15 am

Ow, Canada! We feel your pain.

October 2, 2011 10:18 am

Re – “steven mosher says:
October 1, 2011 at 5:37 pm
watch this Willis.. you’ll enjoy it”
Jonathan Rougier – “We know that climate is so complex, that even a code that’s a million lines long is not going to do a good job in capturing all the wonderful micro/macro scalar variation we see in the actual climate, and especially when you couple together the atmosphere, the ocean, the cryosphere, the biosphere [and] the chemistry.”
Now I understand (a) why, in the past, the art of reading chicken entrails was the accepted practice for predicting the future, (b) why current climate models are the present method of prediction, and (c) why man’s folly in trying to predict future climate changes, based on millions of variabilities, will continue ad infinitum…not bad work if you can get it…
As someone once told me, if you’re going to predict, predict often…..
Rougier’s power point presentation is at

October 2, 2011 10:20 am
October 2, 2011 10:44 am

Andrew Harding
We don’t want any of your subversive nonsense here.
Newcastle (your local council?) is spending large sums of money to educate businesses and schools to cope with a warmer climate.
You did NOT have snow last winter, you roads are NOT frost damaged, the summer was NOT cold and wet and you did NOT need your central heating on in August,
You are imagining things and are a very naughty boy.

October 2, 2011 10:49 am

As pointed by a poster in another forum:
“Our data shows that the 50-year trend of decreasing monsoon rains is not a natural variation and is likely because of the particles from burning fossil fuels,” study co-author Yi Ming, a scientist at the Washington-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said in an interview. “By better understanding the past, we can be more confident about predicting future climate change.”
The researchers ran data on pollutants compiled by the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change in computer models to determine the effect on monsoon precipitation. They then compared the results with 50 years of rain data from India and Pakistan.”
And on the newspaper SAME page:
“Monsoon rain crippled Pakistan’s biggest city Karachi on Tuesday, and the unpopular government came under pressure to provide relief for about 300,000 people left homeless by floods in the south. More than 800,000 families remain without permanent shelter from the 2010 countrywide floods, aid groups say, and more than a million need food assistance.”
Read more:
Clearly the models do not fit the reality!!!

October 2, 2011 11:00 am

Fortunately there are some sane Canadians, such as Dr. Tim Ball:

October 2, 2011 11:00 am

At least some studies see climate change as a positive thing for forestry in boreal forests:
An assessment is made on how climate change and thinning may affect the total stem wood growth of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), Norway spruce (Picea abies) and silver birch (Betula pendula), and the resulting effects on the total timber yield and the consequent distribution of timber between pulp wood and saw logs. A process-based model used in the study links the flows of carbon, energy, nitrogen and water in trees and soils as affecting the physiological and ecological performance of trees under the control of climatic and edaphic factors and management. The simulations represent the boreal forest in Southern and Northern Finland. Under thinning, the climate change increased the growth of Scots pine up to 28% in the south and up to 54% in the north, whereas the increase for Norway spruce was up to 24% in the south and 40% in the north. The response of silver birch was smaller than that of conifers; i.e. growth increased by 21% in the south and 34% in the north. The enhanced growth implied an increase in the timber yield regardless of tree species and site. The increase for Scots pine was up to 26% in the south and 50% in the north. For Norway spruce, the increase was somewhat smaller, up to 23% in the south and up to 40% in the north. For silver birch, the increase was the smallest, up to 20% in the south and up to 33% in the north. The thinning regime had, however, a clear effect on total growth and timber yield. Any thinning regime increasing the mean stocking over the rotation increased the total growth and timber yield regardless of the tree species and site. An adaptation of the current management rules might be needed in order to exploit the benefits that climate change seems to provide in the form of increased growth and timber yield in the boreal conditions.

October 2, 2011 11:03 am

And as a follow up to my first post:
“Floods kill 18, displace 100,000 in east India
Agence France-Presse September 12, 2011
BHUBANESWAR, India — Heavy flooding in eastern India has killed 18 people and displaced almost 100,000 over the past week, government and aid officials said Monday, warning of more wet weather to come.
The floods were triggered by torrential monsoon rains across Orissa state, causing water levels to rise and overflow river banks, sparking an operation that saw helicopters drop off emergency food packets to help the stranded.
“We are face-to-face with yet another bitter flood that has claimed 18 lives with another six people reported missing,” Orissa’s disaster management minister Surya Narayan Patra told AFP.(…)”
This on the same page in the same newspaper!!!!

October 2, 2011 11:28 am

Doug Proctor says:
October 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm
Its spelled “Mogollon”, the ‘ll’ pronounce like the ‘j’ in fjord. It actually refers more to the escarpment. The plateau is usually called the “Colorado Plateau”.

October 2, 2011 11:37 am

George in Richmond (BC)
Besides Bill Good of CKNW don’t forget Chris Gailus of Global Vancouver another talking shrill of Suzuki’s. Modern mainstream media all about the show and not the facts. Stopped watching Global mainly because of his warming support.

Billy Liar
October 2, 2011 11:57 am

steven mosher says:
October 1, 2011 at 5:37 pm
Steven Mosher, taunting Willis by giving him a link to a guy who stands up and starts talking about his model as an ‘experiment’ is very unfair. Are you trying to give him high blood pressure?

ferd berple
October 2, 2011 12:21 pm

Unlike the US, most of the Cars in Canada are already electric. We plug them in during the winter which pretty much keeps them running year round. We also have a lot of renewable energy cars. During the winter when you can’t plug them in, all it takes is a small charcoal fire under the oil pan to warm them up a bit and get them running.
In the north of Canada, where wood and electricity are hard to find, we use perpetual motion cars and trucks. You never shut them off during winter, otherwise they won’t start until late spring when there is enough solar power to get them going again. Once started they seem to run fine until the next winter.

October 2, 2011 12:32 pm

steven mosher says:
October 1, 2011 at 5:37 pm
watch this Willis.. you’ll enjoy it”
Makes you cry for every GBP these people are allowed to waste.

ferd berple
October 2, 2011 12:33 pm

It should be noted that not all cars in Canada are electric. Out on the west coast of Canada in Lotus Land where Suzuki lives, the cars there are all pretty much solar powered. Except for the very rich who can afford Whistler, the cars all pretty much run all year round even if you don’t plug them in.
Recently this has begun to change, led by Suzuki himself who was spotted this summer with an all electric Prius. With a long enough extension cord he can reportedly drive it all the way from Kits to Downtown. No word yet on what sort of mileage the heater gets.

October 2, 2011 12:52 pm

ferd you are a riot! Thanks.
This computer model is a riot also. Don’t these guys test their own models, as Willis did? If temperature goes up, and CO2 increases as it is released from the oceans, don’t crop yields go up? Where are the mitigating expressions—there have to be many beneficial results that can be added to the simplistic equation, and many clever ones here have pointed these out. What are these clowns thinking? Do they NOT think, just type like the Chimpanzee novel writing pool of lore?
This reminds me of the Piltdown Man scandal, where the fraudsters fused pig, monkey and human bones to make the story they wanted to tell. It persisted as “truth” for decades. Thank goodness we have the internet, where clever minds like Wilis, Anthony can’t be silenced, else we would have the warm-earther cult lasting for decades!

October 2, 2011 12:55 pm

Thanks again, Ferd.
Just an aside…I often wondered how Canadians could eat that tough back-bacon every day with their four front teeth missing? Perhaps you could shed light on this mystery also?

Andrew Harding
October 2, 2011 1:27 pm

Thanks for your comments climatereason.
Yes I live in Newcastle. I am paying £2180 council tax a year for roads that are designed to slow traffic flow down as opposed to keeping it moving, salaries for people who cannot ask for a white or black coffee because it is racist and to cap it all “teach” AGW. The teaching of AGW galls me the most because many of the kids at the local state schools cannot carry out simple arithmetic or string a sentence together.
They must really get therir knickers in a twist though about the devils machine (car) and the fact that slowing it down burns more fossil fuel and produces more CO2.
They also, a few years ago put a pollution sensor in the underground bus concourse instead of in the open air, this gave us the distinction of having the most polluted city in the country until it was placed more sensibly.

Ken Harvey
October 2, 2011 1:39 pm

The report addresses economic impacts. The only direct money value input appears to be the GDP which is then manipulated by various qualifiers. That may mislead some to believe that there is at least one real number in the equation. That is not in fact the truth of matters. The GDP is what the relative statistical authority says it is! There is not a country on earth, not even a tiny one, which knows what its GDP really is. Data is ( as I am talking about a body of data the singular is appropriate) collected from various sources of extremely variable accuracy. This is totaled and adjusted in the hope of eliminating the obvious sources of error. The bigger the economy the more complex the adjustment exercise and that final figure can be subject to political adjustment. How good is the final figure? Pretty good – probably within 10%.

October 2, 2011 2:00 pm
October 2, 2011 2:32 pm

Thanks for the heads up.
The author, Laurence Smith is indeed one of the perps in this saga:
Dr. Laurence C. Smith is Professor and Vice-Chair of Geography and Professor of Earth & Space Sciences at UCLA. He earned a B.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Illinois (1989), M.S. in geological sciences from Indiana University (1991), and Ph.D. in Earth and atmospheric sciences from Cornell University (1996). He has published more than sixty research papers including in the journals Science and Nature. In 2006, he briefed Congress on the likely impacts of northern climate change, and in 2007 his work appeared prominently in the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has won more than $5M in external grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for his research on northern climate change.”
Anyone care to look up what his “contribution” was in IPCC 2007?
Five million$$$ ??? from Big Warmers? AND I thought taking Geography in university was just above Basket Weaving 101. Who knew? I could have taken Geo instead of Advanced Calculus IV and Advanced Organic Chemistry and gotten more rest and partying in…
Nice going Larry. Willis, Anthony, how much did you guys get from big oil?
Must be nice to be at UCLA and an IPCC author…

Gary Pearse
October 2, 2011 3:47 pm

Willis and others, one needn’t worry about us northerners so much as long as we have a conservative government in charge. I believe you southerners have graver worries. Both countries are full of disaster models for climate change but you folks have people in government that are pushing this stuff out there. They even invented the CO2-is-a-dangerous-pollutant in the clean air act. Fortunately our liberals and socialists are not likely to be in power for a stretch of years into the future by which time we may have this thing licked by inconvenient data on sealevel decline, and cooling.

October 2, 2011 7:10 pm

It seems a certain story, along with reader’s comments, has been scrubbed.
(are my contractions correct? “hopefully” they are)

October 2, 2011 7:16 pm

“Here’s my problem. Seems like at the end of that process, what we have is a fast, computationally simple way to calculate the wrong answer …”
did you watch all the way to the end and get the import of the work they were doing on reconstructions?
In this line of work there are not “wrong” answers.
Your simple functions cannot reconstruct the field, you only reconstructed 1 dimension as I recall. Nevertheless, what they found out about the S/N was interesting.. There will be some interesting paleo that uses this approach.. with a GCM recon as a prior

October 2, 2011 9:07 pm

Thanks Fred. And Fred and you other Canucks, maybe you should pass this drivel on to some of your PC MP’s and see if they can do anything about the funding for the “Round Table”. I am waiting for my weather to warm here in central Alberta. I just split 6 cords of wood. Maybe that is why it is warming up cause all my neighbours are also stockpiling wood like crazy – carbon credits? Oh yeah, that’s right, we get carbon credits for using zero tillage on our fields. Gotta go fill out my application …. (CTV also carried this silly story along with CBC.)
Wayne Delbeke in Faraway, Alberta, Canada … and yes it is a real place.

October 2, 2011 9:29 pm

Models and projections about the outcome of the federal election on May 2 did not see the rise of the New Democratic Party into the official opposition. Anybody who tries to use a model to predict the course of the economy are no better than those idiot pollsters who haven’t yet discovered the biases that led them to completely miss the orange wave of the NDP.
Willis and all other skeptics who visit here, rest assured that most Canadians have tuned out of the climate alarmist hysteria, especially when you consider that the current government has deftly mouthed the words “fighting climate change” while avoiding actions that would ruin our economy and the results of the last election were thus:
Conservative Party of Canada 166 seats (a majority win that assures power for 5 years)
New Democratic Party 103 seats (greenies and socialists)
Liberal Party of Canada 34 seats (talked of a Carbon tax two elections ago)
Bloc Québecois 4 seats
Green Party of Canada 1 seat
The battle for Canada has been won by the skeptics, but I pity the province of Ontario because it looks like the result of their upcoming provincial election will be another few years of good taxpayer money shredded by wind turbines in a coalition of parties enamoured by the alarmist agenda.

October 2, 2011 10:45 pm

Because of this article, I went to the ICSC home page. I found this: Environment Canada invites public feedback on carbon dioxide reduction plan. Geez. I thought it was safe to vote for Stephen Harper. Yes, I live in Ontario and it looks like McGuinty will be elected again, although with a minority. I would call him an econut but he doesn’t care about the environment.

Hugh Pepper
October 3, 2011 12:19 am

I have a few problems with your extensive analysis Willis. Firstly, as a Canadian I am pleased that risk assessments are being conducted and I will be even more pleased if our government actually uses this advice in a constructive manner. Prudent policy making must follow this kind of analysis.
You mock the model approach used in this work, but neglect to mention that the PAGE09 model is one of the first models to take into account both mitigation and adaption. The Canadian Prairie region (for example) is expected to get warmer and drier, conditions which have occurred several times in the past. Is it not wise now, to develop drought resistant seeds and other mitigative farming practices, in the chance that these droughts will be prolonged. Being prepared for both expected and unexpected conditions is usually considered good management, and governments, together with private business, must engage in these prudent practices. If the analysis is wrong, nothing is lost. But if the assessments prove correct, we have a chance to continue growing crops and feeding the increasing global populations.
By the way Ellis, you should be aware that warming is already having a devastating impact in Western Canada and Alaska. Because our winters are not cold enough, critters like the Pine beetle and the Spruce Bud Worm now survive, and multiply and they are devastating our forests. Wildfires now become massive quickly leading to loss of lives, timber, and property. Our government agencies struggle to contain these conflagrations, and costs are rising commensurately. This is not a trivial matter, Willis.
Warming also leads to increased evaporation, and in my region, there is already a loss of ground water as a result. Neither is this a trivial matter Willis. There are real costs involved in mitigating the impacts which are presently being experienced and it is reasonable to expect that these costs will increase. Every farmer I know is now acting as though there will be tougher times ahead here in Western Canada, and I’m sure that farmers in Kansas and Texas are acting similarly. This too is called good management practice Willis.

October 3, 2011 1:43 am

Allen says:
October 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm
…and the results of the last election were thus:
Conservative Party of Canada 166 seats (a majority win that assures power for 5 years)

The federal government (or The Stephen Harper Government as the MSM like to use) has not changed the Fixed Election Dates Act:
The Fixed Election Dates Act establishes fixed election dates for Canadian federal elections every four years, except when a government loses a vote on a non-confidence motion, in which case an election would be held immediately.
So its only 4 years, not 5.

October 3, 2011 2:38 am

Hugh Pepper says:
October 3, 2011 at 12:19 am

Many regions of B.C. saw their coldest spring in their history this year. The snowpack was well above normal this year as well. The fire season was well below normal for the number of fires and area burnt.
Last year Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell said he has had scientists in the forests for the past 8 years and they tell him that the forests are getting drier due to Global Warming. This is Cherry Picking from an El Nino year that saw some record snowfalls, and I found it rather dubious to use 8 years of weather to make Climate Change proclamations.
This year the way the fire service does its accounting has changed to add in costs of training and other costs which greatly increases the apparent cost of fighting forest fires. If we hadn’t had such a low number of fires this year in which earlier this year the costs where much greater than the same time last year while the number of fires was much smaller, you can be sure that this accounting trick would not have been exposed and the high costs of fire fighting would have been touted as proof of Catastrophic Climate Change. As it was, B.C. Made a lot of money having our fire fighters shipped off to fight fires in other places.
I once believed in this Pine Beetle epidemic being a result of Global Warming, but it doesn’t add up. It isn’t really plausible that a global rise in temperatures of 0.7 K over a 150 year time frame, a rise of only 0.3 % could explain this Beetle outbreak. It is far more likely to be a naturally occurring cycle exasperated by the forest practices over the last few decades, of fire suppression and logging practices.
The Idea of the warmer temperatures is really about how fast the cold weather comes, before the beetles’ have built up ther natural glycol defences to combat the cold.
What do the temperature statistics say, I have never seen them, and I bet this is because it would completely render Global Warming as the cause of this outbreak to the junk science bin.

October 3, 2011 2:48 am

Make that a La Nina above. I’m fairly new at this Climate Science research, 1.5 years so far.

Pamela Gray
October 3, 2011 6:51 am

If the climate guy hocks like a snake oil salesman, looks like a snake oil seller, and leaves you breathless with the claims of a snake oil product, then buy if you believe you are that stupid. Why am I so willing to let the gullible fall into a batch of snake oil? You can’t fix stupid.

October 3, 2011 8:02 am

If I may comment on those inputs:
The first is “emissions trajectories” which are referred to as if the were independent of inputs 4 and 5. which is, in point of fact, absurd, since the levels of socioeconomic development and economic “baseline” are in part functions of energy consumption, energy consumption being the chief driver for emissions. Thus it is fallacious to treat these as “separate” inputs. This will be true almost regardless of the model they use to determine future emissions. Now, putting aside for the moment the issue of whether “modeling” the economy is a feasible or reasonable thing to do, as if it were a physical system (it is not reasonable, but it’s not important for now). The problem is that one needs more than just future emissions to determine future concentrations, one needs a full blown carbon cycle model. No where do they indicate what model is use to determine concentrations from emissions, but the model almost certainly requires arbitrary terms to keep too much rise from happening in the twentieth century, and then ceases allow the “missing sink” to grow, as it has been for a century, thereby eliminating the mysterious, but very real, buffer between our emissions and the concentration in the atmosphere, guaranteeing that the concentrations will grow rapidly, almost certainly more so than in reality. So input one almost certainly results in an overestimate of “damages.”
The second input, “sensitivity” is probably an overestimated value. This could be talked to death, but in fact as we shall see, the other inputs are sufficiently murky as to make whether they get this right irrelevant! Nevertheless, there is a good chance this overestimates “damages” making us two for two.
The third input doesn’t appear to have obvious consequences for their estimates of damages, except that for whatever reason the appear to be modeling damages as functions of the size temperature change, without regard to what that represents a change from. Well, naturally when they get models saying the higher latitudes warm more, their model says the further North you are, the more screw you will be. If you think about it, this defies all common sense: it would suggest that, essentially, if an are in the far North comes to have almost the same temperature as an area to it’s south, the Northern area will suffer horrendously because it’s temperature level is exactly the same as a relatively well off area to it’s South. In fact, the opposite is arguably true. So a again, overestimate, we are three for three.
As for the “economic baseline” this is presumably referring to economic conditions as the stand today. One wonders if the damage analysts noticed that the vast majority of Canada’s economic activity takes place huddled along the southern border. Well, anyway, we finally have something they should be able to screw up, at least not in any particular direction with regard to “damages” although they probably underestimate the level of economic activity due to “underground” activity. We now stand at 3 for 4 overestimating impacts.
With respect to the fifth input, I have to shake my head, because I know this input is derived from economic “models” that were wrong before their equations were even conceived of. One cannot mathematically model human behavior, which fundamentally constitutes the “economy” and determines the path of socioeconomic development. Their predictions with respect to future development can only be correct by pure luck, which is quite a long shot. But let us be generous, and say that just because economic modeling is utter nonsense, doesn’t mean this results in over or underestimating impacts one way or another. However, it is worth asking, whether the modelers realize that the future development that drives their emissions scenarios, apart from being a neglected implied negative feedback (since socioeconomic development is supposed to be slowed by these “impacts” but the unimpaired development drives the emissions, despite supposedly not happening) is not feasible without those emissions: that the size of the damages should pale in comparison to the size of future socioeconomic development so that we will all still be better off. But let’s ignore that feedback thing since it probably doesn’t really exist and call them 3 for 5 overestimating.
The final “input” are their “damage functions”, and we have already discussed several problems with them. I will just like to mention one thing, since problems with there functional form, insistence on positive sign for “damages” and faulty assumptions have already been noted: These damage functions are almost certainly based on changes to weather patterns which simply aren’t, and probably will never, happen. I have look for evidence all over for weather getting worse: there is none. Therefore, the vast majority of the “damage function” coefficients should be equal to zero. Since they are not, the are overestimating again, leaving them 4 for 6.
Now that’s just the inputs! But clearly they are overestimating future “damages” by quite a lot. Which means that, with just that, their primary conclusions are thrown out.

October 3, 2011 9:48 am

@Gary: If it’s 4 years it may as well be 8. I doubt any of the opposition parties can muster the discipline to convince us that they could be trusted with government in time for the next election.

October 3, 2011 2:11 pm

My first reaction was “OI – they have copied my idea!”
Well the damage function at least!
Actually, this can be found by the claims of the Stern Review or AR4. Try looking at the table in AR4 of “Examples of impacts associated with global average temperature change” and you will get the idea.
More seriously Willis, this is worse than you thought. The paper makes the claim that unlikely but high impact events should be considered. The argument is that the likelihood and impacts of potential catastrophes are both higher than previously thought. The paper then states
“Various tipping points can be envisaged (Lenton et al., 2008; Kriegler et al., 2009), which would lead to severe sudden damages. Furthermore, the consequent political or community responses could be even more serious.”
Both of these papers are available online at
The Lenton paper consisted of a group of academics specialising in catastrophic tipping points getting together for a retreat in Berlin. They concluded that these tipping points needed to include “political time horizons”, “ethical time horizons”, and where a “A significant number of people care about the fate of (a)
component”. That is, there is a host of non-scientific reasons for exaggerating the extent and the likelihood of potential events.
The Krieger paper says “We have elicited subjective probability intervals for the occurrence of such major changes under global warming from 43 scientists.” Is anybody willing to assess if the subjective probability intervals might deviate from objective probability intervals, and in which direction?
So the “Climate Change damage impacts” paper takes two embellished tipping points papers and adds “…the consequent political or community responses could be even more serious.”
There is something else you need to add into the probability equation. The paper assumes the central estimate of temperature rise from a doubling of CO2 levels is 2.8 degrees centigrade. This is only as a result of strong positive feedbacks. Many will have seen the recent discussions at Climateaudit and wattsupwiththat about the Spencer & Bracewell, Lindzen and Choi and Dessler papers. Even if Dessler is given the benefit of the doubt on this, the evidence for strong positive feedbacks is very weak indeed.
In conclusion, the most charitable view is that this paper takes an exaggerated view (both magnitude and likelihood) of a couple of papers with exaggerated views (both magnitude and likelihood), all subject to the occurrence of a temperature rise for which there is no robust empirical evidence.

October 3, 2011 2:23 pm

Please note my recent comment was based on a source document for the Canadian paper. It is still a story that gets embellished with every re-telling.

October 3, 2011 2:26 pm

Hugh Pepper says:
October 3, 2011 at 12:19 am
I have friends and relatives in the forestry industry including tree planters and biologists doing beetle counts. In their unanimous opinion, the biggest problem has little to do with climate (temperature, rainfall, snowfall, sunshine hours etc) but everything to do with forest management. Pines stands used to self regulate, but when you plant hundreds of acres of closely spaced pine trees of the same age, same species with similar genetics, you are creating a disaster in waiting a lo and behold …
Nature will take care of it, but it will take some time.
By the way Hugh, it is not temperature alone that kills the pests, it also has to do with timing, duration, moisture and a host of other variables.. A good Chinook a few years ago had a 90% kill rate in the foothills west of Calgary. If you know how the pine beetle works, you will know why.

October 3, 2011 4:19 pm

Shortly after I linked to WUWT and JoNova in the comments section at G&M, the pertinent article, along with the comments disappeared.
Someone at the G&M got cold feet?

Al Gored
October 3, 2011 4:44 pm

Wayne Delbeke says:
October 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm
“Pines stands used to self regulate, but when you plant hundreds of acres of closely spaced pine trees of the same age, same species with similar genetics, you are creating a disaster in waiting a lo and behold …”
You’re missing the key point here Wayne, for lodgepole pines (the main mt pine beetle host in Canada).
The lp pine is fire dependent on the long time scale. Their cones only release their seeds after they are burned. So when fire happens they naturally “plant hundreds of acres of closely spaced pine trees of the same age, same species with similar genetics” and thereby they “are creating a disaster in waiting.” But it is not a ‘disaster’ for them, in the long run. It sets up the cycle, to be burned again (most typical) or to get mature enough to support mt pine beetles which turn these stands into fire prone kindling and then burn. Without fire, shade tolerant species like spruce (typically) will take over the areas. Spruce can start growing in the shade of the pines but not vice versa.
Thus even-aged stands are the natural norm for lodgepole pines, not some new invention. The modern problem is fire suppression which stopped this fire cycle and allowed so much lp pine to mature into beetle habitat.
Again, no habitat, no mt pine beetle epidemics, no matter how warm winters are.
Now, if they are dumb enough to replant these pine forests as you describe, or just let them burn which will do the same thing, then we will have learned nothing. The trick now is to recreate diversity in tree species and lp pine age classes.
(The beetle is ALWAYS there in low numbers, attacking older trees, but if they are still healthy they can resist those low beetle numbers.)
P.S. I first worked on this problem back in the 1970s when the mt pine beetle hit the border region between Glacier Nat Park and Waterton Nat Park. So much for unprecedented.

October 3, 2011 4:51 pm

Seems I buggered the link to image upthread.

October 3, 2011 5:41 pm

I really like the turtles quote spin, “We can’t measure any warming.” “Very clever young man, but the warming is in the models, it’s models- all the way down!”

Al Gored
October 3, 2011 9:04 pm
October 3, 2011 10:28 pm

Al Gored says:
October 3, 2011 at 4:44 pm
Wayne Delbeke says:
October 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm
“Pines stands used to self regulate, but when you plant hundreds of acres of closely spaced pine trees of the same age, same species with similar genetics, you are creating a disaster in waiting a lo and behold …”
You’re missing the key point here Wayne, for lodgepole pines (the main mt pine beetle host in Canada).
Pine forests were replanted with the trees only a step or two apart for years, under the assumption they would thin naturally through disease and adjacent trees competing for space. After 20 years, different methods of planting are being experimented with, varied spacing, varied species. In the mean time, different methods of thinning are also being tried, including clear cutting juvenile trees and replanting parts of the forest and simple multiple thinnings of trees in an effort to recover the wood in a commercial manner while encouraging the remaining trees to grow to a decent merchantable timber size instead of becoming wood chips. And this helps to deal with parasites and disease. We learn, but we learn slowly but considering the life of mature farmed tree is 80 to 100 years, it is going to take a while. But we are getting there. I see large trees being harvested in areas some of our young tree huggers think are virgin forest. But they are worrying about areas that were actually cut in the first half of the 20th century. They now appear as beautiful large stands of future building studs. We are learning. I love waking into the forest and showing the folks worrying about the cutting of these “old growth” forests and showing them the stumps of trees that were cut down 80 years ago BS more.
While forest management has a way to go, it is doing fairly well in many regions from what I can see.

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