It’s Game Over for Keystone XL opponents 'Game Over' Claims

Even Dr. James Hansen doesn’t  believe Keystone XL itself will significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions

Video follows below

At today’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Keystone XL, Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) asked well-known climate scientist James Hansen to clarify what he meant when he made his famous “game over” comment, which has been used widely by Keystone XL opponents to justify their erroneous claims.  Of course, “game over” has been the main rallying cry for the Sierra Club’s Michael Brune who sat next to Hansen at today’s hearing.  In response to Senator Menendez’s question, Hansen explained,

I’m glad you asked me that question because my comment continues to be misinterpreted […] It has been clear that conventional oil and gas are limited. We’re probably close to peak-oil for conventional oil. The science was clear that we cannot burn all the coal, we’re going to have to phase that out and that’s a solvable problem because coal is used mainly for electricity production and we can generate electricity in other ways including nuclear power, which is carbon-free. Then there is this other huge source of carbon, unconventional fossil fuels and my statement was that if we are going to now open up that other source of unconventional fossil fuels, that’s what tar sands are: the first big step into that unconventional fossil fuels.  But the science tells us we can’t do that. We’re screwing our children and our grandchildren and all the young people in future generations if we think we can use those unconventional fossil fuels. The science is crystal clear on that and the world is just ignoring the science. The scientists are saying ‘wait you can’t do that,’ and that’s what I was saying. This is game over if you don’t understand; we have to leave that extremely large amount of carbon in the ground.”

So not even James Hansen, the very person Keystone XL opponents quote incessantly, believes that Keystone XL itself will significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions.

But that’s not all.  Senator Menendez followed up on Hansen’s clarification, offering yet another blow to Keystone XL opponents.  As he explained,

“So I now have the greater definition.  I just personally don’t think that the approval or disapproval of the pipeline is a decline in global leadership, nor do I believe that the specific approval or disapproval is necessarily game over. I understand what you’re saying, there is a broader context which is whether you have access to this fuel and you start down that road. I just wanted to refine this as it relates to the question before the committee, which is the question of approval of the pipeline.”

Of note, this question came after the State Department, numerous energy and climate experts, and Obama administration officials disputed activists’ claims.  Looks like it’s officially “game over” for opponents’ “game over” claims.

Watch:

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Lance Wallace

Would have been better if Hansen himself had said it, rather than Menendez doing it for him. I was hoping the video might catch Hansen nodding or something but it stayed locked on Menendez. However, like others trying to read the tea leaves, I am wondering if it is possible that Democrat Menendez has an inkling as to the likely recommendation and is thus downplaying the importance of Keystone?

The first quote block appeared to me as a double down on “game over”.

This is game over if you don’t understand; we have to leave that extremely large amount of carbon in the ground.”

It is the second quoteblock that was (cough) approval of KeystoneXL will not necessarily be “game over.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3FnpaWQJO0 ‘Never mind.’

davidmhoffer

We’re screwing our children and our grandchildren and all the young people in future generations if we think we can use those unconventional fossil fuels.
I’m not certain how that differs from “game over”?

Keystone XL is more and more irrelevant. Railways will be moving the oil … right through the center of your cities and towns.

DirkH

“We’re screwing our children and our grandchildren and all the young people in future generations if we think we can use those unconventional fossil fuels.”
Shouldn’t impress pro abortion Democrats.
Only kidding. I know they don’t use logic.

Jimbo

Who thinks Canada can’t sell its tar sands oil to Asian countries? Hansen is a citizen of the USA not of Canada. Hansen is finally going to come smacking head first with fossil fuel reality, people want and need cheap energy, no matter if they are going to fry their grandchildren. That’s the reality.

DirkH

sunshinehours1 says:
March 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm
“Keystone XL is more and more irrelevant. Railways will be moving the oil … right through the center of your cities and towns.”
Well, relevant for Railroad Tycoon Warren Buffet, and for the consumer. Rail transport is twice as expensive in this case, as transport via pipeline.

Grant A. Brown

The point here seems to be that Keystone itself does not spell “game over,” but rather tapping into all of the unconventional oil and gas in the world would spell game over, and Keystone is the first step down that path.

When is it going to be game over for James Hansen? None to soon for me. I’ve had enough of his B.S..

He doesn’t even seem aware of the fact that the only difference between “conventional” fossil fuels and “unconventional” is the technology used to produce them – the fuels themselves are the same. It’s like saying that “news” is only worthwhile if it’s printed on good old fashioned paper, and is dangerous if it shows up on one a’ these newfangled electronic thingamajigs.
He also missed the memo that the “peak oil” scare officially collapsed about 3 – 4 years ago.

Jimbo

What does GAME OVER mean? I don’t know but let’s see what Think Progress ‘thinks’.

2011 – Think Progress
The Canadian tar sands are substantially dirtier than conventional oil as the chart above shows (longer analysis here). They may contain enough carbon-intensive fuel to make stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide at non-catastrophic levels all but impossible.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/06/05/236978/james-hansen-keystone-pipeline-tar-sands-climate/

Now that’s stating the obvious. Why didn’t they mention temperature instead of concentrations?
Panic over, 16+ years of a global surface temperature standstill in the face of ever rising co2 concentrations, it really is game over. It was GAME OVER over when co2 concentrations in geological time was 800ppm, 1,000ppm, 2,000ppm, 3,000ppm and even more! These people are a bunch of deceivers and jokers of the highest order. They make me sick.

albertalad

After the Florida special election – democrats have enough trouble with Obamacare – the curse that keeps on giving. Hansen is smart enough to know the writing is on the wall. They’re all just going through the motions now.

Jimbo
parisparamus

Am I stupid, or is there no money quote in that video or this post. What does “game over” mean per the global moroning crowd? And what did Hansen say to upset that? Can someone verify my stupidity (or disprove it), please?
By the way, the global moroning folk want “game over” to mean that if KXL would represent 0.33% of oil pipelines in North America, so I don’t understand how this cuts big either way.

parisparamus

Correction: By the way, the global moroning folk want “game over” to mean that if KXL is built, the end of the world will follow. But KXL would only represent 0.33% of oil pipelines in North America, so I don’t understand how this cuts big either way. http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/372896/keystone-xl-would-swell-us-pipeline-coverage-0033-percent-deroy-murdock

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)

He looks tired. I think he should take a long vacation… best place would be a monastery where they take a vow of silence.

Jimbo

What has been the scientific skill of the astronomer and physicist Dr. James Hansen? Today he wants to disown his earlier speculations. You decide on the air-conditioner tampering astronomer. If he was right about soot and non-co2 greenhouse gases then he is going against the consensus up to 2000 and 2003.

James Hansen et. al. – PNAS – 4 November 2003
Abstract
Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos
Plausible estimates for the effect of soot on snow and ice albedos (1.5% in the Arctic and 3% in Northern Hemisphere land areas) yield a climate forcing of +0.3 W/m2 in the Northern Hemisphere. The “efficacy” of this forcing is ~2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO2 in altering global surface air temperature. This indirect soot forcing may have contributed to global warming of the past century, including the trend toward early springs in the Northern Hemisphere, thinning Arctic sea ice, and melting land ice and permafrost……
http://www.pnas.org/content/101/2/423.abstract

FAIL?

James Hansen et. al. – PNAS – August 15, 2000
Abstract
Global warming in the twenty-first century: An alternative scenario
A common view is that the current global warming rate will continue or accelerate. But we argue that rapid warming in recent decades has been driven mainly by non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as chlorofluorocarbons, CH4, and N2O, not by the products of fossil fuel burning, CO2 and aerosols, the positive and negative climate forcings of which are partially offsetting. The growth rate of non-CO2 GHGs has declined in the past decade……
http://www.pnas.org/content/97/18/9875.long

FAIL?

Abstract
Hansen and Matsushima 1967
The atmosphere and surface temperature of Venus: A dust insulation model.
http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha05400j.html

EXTRA FAIL.
Why should any sane person listen to a person that argued that the world’s oceans would end up in the atmosphere? This man has been one of the most dangerous people this world has ever known.

clark

So if I understand this correctly, Mann said it was game over if this oil came out of the ground and his opposition was to keep that from happening. But, it has become clear over the past few years that the oil will be put on the market no matter what. I think that is Obama’s way out of this. He says, “If not building the pipeline would keep the oil in the ground, I would oppose it, but since there is nothing we can do to stop it, I believe it should be delivered Americans in as safe and economically as possible”.

gbaikie

-Grant A. Brown says:
March 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm
The point here seems to be that Keystone itself does not spell “game over,” but rather tapping into all of the unconventional oil and gas in the world would spell game over, and Keystone is the first step down that path.-
So game over is a good thing?
I would say mining the vast amount unconventional natural gas in the ocean is a game changer.
But realize that conventional ways to mine oil and gas will continue for centuries- but they will be comparatively less significant.

When it comes to deciding between protecting our grandchildren from a possible degree rise in global temperature some time in the distant future and meeting our present day energy needs, most of us favor the latter. Smart politicians recognize that and will vote accordingly. “Game over”.

Steven Kopits

Hansen is saying that the pipeline provides access to a large volume of unconventional oil; he seems to be against the pipeline for that purpose. Menendez seems to be backing away from that view. He seems to be leaning towards approval, at least in the video.
According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), oil sands (ie, unconventional) production was 2.15 mbpd in 2013, forecast to rise to 5.5 mbpd by 2030. Current global oil production is 90 mbpd; 2030 oil production is variably estimated at 95-107 mbpd, depending on the source. Thus, Canadian unconventional production today–without Keystone XL–amounts to 2.4% of global oil production; and in 2030 is forecast to provide 5.1-5.7% of global oil supply.
Thus, the most at stake in Canada at present is about 3.3% of global production in 2030, as that 2.4 mbpd is already being produced, and therefore would be unaffected whether Keystone is built or not.
In any event, the numbers are not particularly material, either today or in 2030. For a bit of context, in the four years since Feb. 2010, production from just the US Bakken, Eagle Ford and Permian plays has increased by 2.5 mbpd, compared to a forecast increase of 3.2 mbpd from Canadian oil sands between now and 2030.
It’s hard to see what the big deal is.

Jimbo

What can I say? Why should any sane person listen to a man suffering from the Messiah Syndrome?

DR JAMES HANSEN
“…it gets warmer and warmer then the oceans begin to evaporate and water vapor is a very strong green house gas, even more powerful than carbon dioxide. So you can get to a situation where, it just, the oceans will begin to boil and the planet becomes, uhh, so hot that the ocean ends up in the atmosphere, and that happened to Venus…”

That’s Hansen going against the consensus again. What can I say?

“Some thresholds that all would consider dangerous have no support in the literature as having a non-negligible chance of occurring. For instance, a “runaway greenhouse effect” —analogous to Venus–appears to have virtually no chance of being induced by anthropogenic activities…..”
IPCC
http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session31/inf3.pdf
“There is no possibility of such runaway greenhouse conditions occurring on the Earth.”
Sir John Houghton – [Former IPCC author, helped set up the IPCC]
http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0034-4885/68/6/R02

Pull out the popcorn and listen to the loon.

Gunga Din

I sure hope it’s “Game Over” so we can get back to reality.

Given the fact that, according to Tol, global warming is net beneficial for the 60 years, we “will be screwing our children and grandchildren” if we don’t use our fossil fuels.
Because if we don’t use readily available fossil fuels , then energy prices will rise, and so the complete cost of living, in particular for the poor.

Jimbo

James Hansen looks like Homer Simpson. Know I know why.

Gamecock

It was game over in January 2012 when Obama said, “No.”
All else is intrigue.

Chad Wozniak

@albertalad –
According to Forbes, most of the ads for the campaign in Florida during the last two weeks had to do with global warming – Sink a believer, Jolly a skeptic. I suppose we can hope that this entered into Jolly’s victory as well. And one would think that if global warming alarmism can be tied to Obamacare, that will help drag down the AGWers.

ConfusedPhoton

The increasingly irrelevent Jim Hansen, the nursing home awaits!

tally

Tar Sands oil is super expensive to pull out of the ground (lift cost) and “refine” so it is usable. It costs about $85 bucks a barrel. We currently, and for the foreseeable future, have access to much cheaper oil. Tar sand will become viable as other sources run out and technology catches up. This will occur long after most of us are around to care. Many an investor in the tar sands has been handed his hat. Shell lost a couple $billion and I have been personally shown deals at ..20 – .25 cents on the dollar from what was originally paid……Still to expensive!

Chad Wozniak

@Gamecock – Game just might not be over despite Obama and Kerry, the way Democrats like Landrieu, Menendez and Manchin might be coming around to support it. Veto-proof majority in Congress? I don’t think that’s impossible. Democrats don’t want to dig themselves any deeper than they already are.

Jimbo

I find it a funny coincidence that cold countries like Canada and Russia couldn’t give a XXL about global yawning. Cold also kills and they know about cold. Heck, even warm India doesn’t give an XL for anything else.

albertalad

tally says:
Man – there is no such thing as tar sands. Tar is a man made product. We do NOT mine tar. Never have.

Dave in Canmore

Agree with Jimbo. Why is someone with such a well-published track record of prediction failure listened to in the highest halls?
At what point do people go “oh yeah, nothing this guy predicted is happenening, maybe he doesn’t understand things very well. Lets find someone else.”

albertalad

I’d like to add for tally’s benefit – 85% of all OIL SANDS produce a barrel for as low a $25.00 a barrel on all our in situ sites.

Jimbo

Sheesh, I’m now like Homer Simpson. 🙂 I meant to say the following.
“James Hansen looks like Homer Simpson. Now I know why.”

david(Mk2)

The clue here is that The AGW/CC Bogeyman must always remain behind you for him to exist…..

Latitude

oh well, just ship all of the oil and coal to China…..that’ll fix it

March 13, 2014
Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Keystone XL
Hansen said,
[. . .]
“This is game over if you don’t understand; we have to leave that extremely large amount of carbon in the ground.”
[. . .]

But where has proof been written down that it is ‘game over’ and show us the data that proves it?

Statement of Patrick Moore, Ph.D. Before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight
February 25, 2014
‘Natural Resource Adaptation: Protecting ecosystems and economies’
“Chairman Whitehouse, Ranking Member Inhofe, and members of the Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify at today’s hearing.
[. . .]
There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.”
[. . ]

Hansen saying game over is simply misleading and an exaggeration that is unsupported. He is merely stating an ‘a priori’ premise that he arrived at via an ideological bias.
John

David Ball

Just wait until they find out how big the oil sands in Saskatchewan are.
Those against fossil fuels are welcome to stop using them.
You cannot see Hansen’s clown shoes under the desk.

First he says “peak”, then he says “extremely large quantity”. Well, which is it?

Pathway

The only thing screwing our children is 100 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, ie medicare and social security.

Patrick

“Jimbo says:
March 13, 2014 at 4:13 pm
DR JAMES HANSEN
“…it gets warmer and warmer then the oceans begin to evaporate and water vapor is a very strong green house gas, even more powerful than carbon dioxide. So you can get to a situation where, it just, the oceans will begin to boil and the planet becomes, uhh, so hot that the ocean ends up in the atmosphere, and that happened to Venus…”
If Hansen really did say this then, IMO, renders his comments about non-Earth atmospheres etc worthless! The guy is clearly smart, but this makes him look as idiotic as Gore.

It will never be game over because, if global warming truly manifests itself, we will take action gladly, all of us. I would personally gladly switch from burning the fossil fuel natural gas to burning wood to heat my home in winter, spring and fall.

Let’s see now…. Hansen and colleagues first demand that nuclear power be used in place of “useless” renewables, and now no longer opposes the pipeline. I wonder how long before the greenie weenies come to the realization that Hansen is a “denier” and traitor to the cause?
When he demands that Obama , rather than himself, be handcuffed at the White House, they
may finally see the light. At last. Then Greenpeace will immediately make him a non-person. etc. etc.

Jimbo

Here is what some people thought of the astronomer in charge.

Astronauts Join Skeptics of Global Warming
http://www.newsmax.com/Murdock/NASA-astronauts-global-warming/2012/05/16/id/439252/
James Hansen’s Former NASA Supervisor Declares Himself a Skeptic – Says Hansen ‘Embarrassed NASA’, ‘Was Never Muzzled’, & Models ‘Useless’
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/27/james-hansens-former-nasa-supervisor-declares-himself-a-skeptic-says-hansen-embarrassed-nasa-was-never-muzzled/

Dr. James Hansen never risked his life to go to the Moon and neither did I. However, I have never frightened people with fairy tales. Hansen should really think about his grandchildren, they will hang their heads in shame for having a crazy grandpappy in their gene pool.

Jimbo

Patrick says:
March 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm
“Jimbo says:
March 13, 2014 at 4:13 pm
DR JAMES HANSEN
“…it gets warmer and warmer then the oceans begin to evaporate and water vapor is a very strong green house gas, even more powerful than carbon dioxide. So you can get to a situation where, it just, the oceans will begin to boil and the planet becomes, uhh, so hot that the ocean ends up in the atmosphere, and that happened to Venus…”
If Hansen really did say this then, IMO, renders his comments about non-Earth atmospheres etc worthless! The guy is clearly smart, but this makes him look as idiotic as Gore.

Watch the video I posted.

Pat Frank

Hansen: “We’re screwing our children and our grandchildren [if we] use those unconventional fossil fuels. The science is crystal clear on that…
This is the crux of his thinking, but the science is no better than murky on that. Consensus greenhouse thinking is that all the extra kinetic energy produced by industrial CO2 ends up as sensible heat in the atmosphere and the oceans, as though the climate had no other channels of response. It is an utterly half-cocked idea.

Randle Dewees

“the nursing home awaits!”
Don’t gloat – it awaits you too

So is Obama going to declare war on Canada, or something? At Hansen,s recommendation?

Martin 457

As I understand, the oil sands are leaking into the environment already. The cleaning of this area wouldn’t happen if they can’t sell the oil to help pay for the clean-up crew.
I live in Nebraska where there are other legal issues and a major aquifer in the way of this. Not like I wish to see more pipelines running through here but, at least this one does some good.
My grandkids could benefit from this actually.