What is to be done?

 Guest essay by David Archibald

In President Obama’s war on coal, and thus the US economy, what would be the cheapest way to start the counter-attack? The most effective allocation of funds would be to achieve what Nebraska set out to do. At the urging of State Senator Beau McCoy in late 2013, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture was tasked with commissioning a report on cyclical climate change. The budget for the exercise was $44,000. That right, for a mere $44,000 Nebraskans would be told what was going to happen to their climate. If the Sun was going to sleep with the consequence that cold air from the Canadians would come south faster and longer, Nebraskans would be forewarned and fore-armed. Alas, the effort was abandoned when promoters of global warming in the state offered to do it for free.

The danger to the promoters of global warming was that the stillborn Nebraskan climate report would have been the first government-sanctioned report on the planet to say that carbon dioxide and the burning of coal are nothing to worry about. A report on cyclical climate change would say that there is something far more serious coming that is going to smack our civilisation like a freight train. That serious thing is one of the cycles that the Nebraskans were going to be told about. One day the science of climate cycles might get out to Nebraska but in the meantime they will be wondering why their winters are getting colder and Spring seems to be delayed and how can they begin planting while their fields are still covered in snow.

It is one thing for books to be published which warn of the severe, solar-driven cooling coming (I’m on my third) and for retired academics to voice concerns over the low standards of US Government-funded climate science, but much more moral authority comes from the imprimatur of government. And any government can do it. Any government with coal mines, or coal-burning power plants, and tens of thousands of jobs at stake could wonder if the EPA view of climate science was all that there was to be known on the subject. Pennsylvania could do it, North Carolina could do it and Texas could do it to name a few. Half the states of the Union could do it and should do it.

As the climate reports come in, the vague, almost-impossible-to-believe notion that the Obama Administration’s war on coal through the EPA is a peculiar form of malicious self-loathing will be seen with crystal clarity. That there is no scientific basis for what the EPA is attempting to do whatsoever. That the degradation and disruption that the EPA is intent upon is a loathing for America as it is, pure and simple. Instead of the loftiest ideals of “thinking of the children” and so on, President Obama and the EPA are driven by the basest of motives – that their fellow Americans be poorer with reduced opportunities.

Now it is up to the states to defend themselves in the war on coal. Nobody else has the power or the interest at the moment. If they wish to defend themselves and their way of life, the first step is to acquire the armament appropriate to the battle. That would be a report on climate that they have commissioned and have ownership of. One government’s report on something like climate is as good as another’s. Thickness doesn’t matter so much. A 40 page report from the State of Pennsylvania that said that carbon dioxide is tuckered out as a greenhouse gas and that we had better prepare for solar-driven cooling would send the EPA into apoplexy. So where is Pennsylvania’s report on climate, and those of all the other states that have so much to lose? Hasten now, so much time has been lost already.


David Archibald, a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., is the author of The Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short (Regnery, 2014).

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April 5, 2014 12:38 am

Interesting concept. Please explain further how the AGW promoters derailed the state effort. The story seems incomplete. We need to know more so that the push back against the hype can be more effective.

April 5, 2014 12:39 am

There is admittedly very circumstantial evidence that America is already planning for the possibility of global cooling.
A while ago, “The Herald”, a major Australian newspaper, posted an update about the ongoing scandal of large scale foreign buyouts of Australian farmland, some of which are believed to be government backed.
The big question is – why? Why would the American and Chinese governments, who are believed to be behind the buyouts, be so interested in large scale ownership of Australian farmland, land which the IPCC and Australian CSIRO predict will shortly become worthless desert?
The reason of course is the land will not shortly become worthless. The land may shortly become very valuable indeed.
Back in 2006, the Russian Academy of Science predicted imminent severe global cooling, beginning in 2012-2015, peaking at around 2055.
Their prediction is based on the historic correlation between solar cycles and global climate.
Humans have been aware of the 11 year climate cycle since the dawn of history – several good years followed by several bad years is a fact of life. But there are also other, longer, more powerful cycles, which have an even larger impact on global climate.
One of them is the 200 year cycle. Every 200 years or so, solar activity falls to a sustained low. These long periods of low activity, known by the names of the scientists who discovered them – Maunder, Dalton, etc. – coincided historically with periods of extreme cold – plummeting global temperatures, crashing food production, and drastically shorter and less reliable growing seasons in the Northern Hemisphere.
At the peak of the cold periods, history records widespread famines and other disasters, such as the Year Without a Summer in 1816, a food production catastrophe triggered by low solar activity during the Dalton Minimum, combining with an unusually severe series of major volcanic eruptions. In the Year without a Summer, over vast areas, crops in the Northern hemisphere were destroyed by snow and frost in mid Summer, which created global famine and social unrest.
If the Russian Academy of Science is correct, the world is on the brink of a new cold period, which will start to bite in the next few years.
We could even see another year without a summer – there are several large volcanoes which are overdue for major eruptions, such as Katla in Iceland and Merapi in Indonesia. When they erupt, they shall add to downward pressure on global temperatures.
Given the risk, what could a nation whose grain belt is vulnerable to global cooling do to protect its future food supply?
The obviously solution is to buy up farmland in another country, a country which is warm enough, so that even if global temperatures fall significantly, the land they purchased would remain highly productive. A country which respects the rule of law, and would continue to respect the rule of law, even in the face of a global disaster.
A country like Australia.

April 5, 2014 12:44 am

[snip . . why not try pointing out the deceptions you allude to? Your comment is content free and pointless . . mod]

April 5, 2014 12:51 am

I’m all for a “war on coal”. But only if it is replaced with coal to liquid fuel conversion. Further, all coal fired power stations should be replaced with closed cycle gas fired backed up with open cycle gas peaking plants.
As to “what is to be done”? Well then, that is in the hands of readers of blogs like this.
If you pursue the “lukewarmer” path you will fail, not just yourselves but all of humanity.
If you are reading this, then you are not blameless if you do no stand up against the inanity.
It is not just the AGW hypothesis in error but the underlying radiative GHE hypothesis itself.
If WUWT readers chose the “lukewarmer” path, you have assisted those who would assault science, reason, freedom and democracy.
Either radiative gases act to cool our atmosphere or they act to warm it. There is no middle ground, no “real politic”. Cool or warm. Right or wrong.
Time to choose.
(Harsh? Yes, but seriously, do you think your half baked lukewarmer tripe, championed by the guy who revived it to help Margaret Thatcher and a guy who stamped the solar record flat to protect his “insurance advice” career, is going to shield you?! You were the sceptics. You were the people who were supposed to know. You were supposed to be the smart ones. Are you? )

April 5, 2014 1:08 am

It is one thing to report (without detail, as the previous comment noted) that a potential report on cyclic climate change was sabotaged by the defenders of the ‘consensus’ but quite another to impugn the motives of Obama and the EPA with rants about them wanting to impoverish America for generations to come. The latter gets nowhere – other than pandering to one side of a political divide. I wish such rants would disappear from this worthy site and the focus be kept upon science and the skullduggery that surrounds the IPCC, the academies and the research institutes – and yes, even the environmental campaign groups. There is a growing fanatical tendency to deride Democrats and any environmentalists – and to dismiss all past environmental campaigns as the same scaremongering as climate alarmism (DDT, PCB, Acid Rain, Lead in Petrol, etc.) – and apart from demonstrating massive ignorance of environmental science, it plays into the hands of those who dismiss ‘sceptics’ as politically motivated right-wing perpetual optimists with no real grasp of complex earth-sciences nor of economic realities. That is a shame, because there are some very astute critics that underpin this site and their analysis and commentaries need to be read. My fear is that many open minds will shy away from reading further when they encounter diatribes against Obama or dismissals of ALL environmental problems, past and future.

April 5, 2014 1:51 am

I think the poster above gives Obama way too much credit. I don’t believe Obama cares one bit for the environment, I think his motives are entirely an effort to support the efforts of an extreme faction of liberals. Not all supporters of AGW science are the same. He gives voice only to those scare mongers whose goal isn’t to clean the environment, but to control every facet of life in America.
Climate change science could have been saved in 2009 if Obama were to do with it what Clinton did with the economy, stop listening to the radicals on the left and bring himself to the middle. But Obama is not an effective leader and has shown himself to be leftist in everything he does. I’m not sure if Obama truly believes he is doing something good. My suspicion is that he doesn’t know what to do. The problem is that Obama’s natural impulse is to surround himself with leftists and they are the ones driving his agenda. He has made this a completely partisan issue. The actions taken by Obama, through the EPA, will actually set back the environmental movement for a generation. Obama’s problem, a lot of the time, is Obama himself. He’s too arrogant to admit, even to himself, that he isn’t as smart or important as he wishes to be.

April 5, 2014 1:52 am

The war on coal in UK is almost won. Two of the three remaining underground mines are under threat of closure thanks in part to the glut of cheap US coal (displaced in its home energy market by fracked gas), but mainly to the policies of successive UK governments to ban the construction of any new, state of the art, cleaner and more efficient generating capacity except with a carbon-capture millstone around its neck, and to impose carbon taxes designed to make generation from existing, 50-year-old-but-periodically-upgraded power stations uneconomic by 2018.
The mines still have reserves but these government policies are destroying their market and their future.

April 5, 2014 1:57 am

Peter Taylor at 1.08am
As an occassional contributer, I agree that it would be a pity if this wonderful site gets a name for ranting rather than science. However, although I am English I offer the view that your President and the EPA don’t mean to impoverish the country with their ill conceived strategies, any more than our Prime Minister and the DECC mean to over here. BUT THEY WILL.
Unfortunately politicians have to be seen to be ‘Doing something of strategic importance’ – its in their DNA. The terrible, endless, human tragedies playing out in the Middle East and Central Africa will make any potential impacts from climate change, given our ability to adapt, look like a picnic, but because they can do nothing about the real problems of today’s World, the UN and national politicians busy themselves in coming up with what they misguidedly believe to be a ‘strategic solution’ to a mainly hypothetical long term problem. Sadly, their inate need to be seen to be taking action on ‘something’ induces a gullibilty that, in this case, has been exploited by the environmentalists.
Very sad, but thank goodness we have sites like WUWT and its contributors prepared to question the orthodoxy.

April 5, 2014 2:32 am

This is nothing more than political fear mongering.
The biggest war on coal is the competition from fracked natural gas.
Natural gas prices have been low over the last five years. Electricity prices have been relatively steady (and historically low) over those five years following the increases in electricity prices in the preceding five years (i.e. 2004-2009). Over the last five years coal power has declined by approximately 30 GW. What will an additional 60 GW less do to the economy? Nothing.
What happened when the price of oil increased ten-fold over the decade of 1998-2008 (avg annual WTI price: $14 in 98 vs $100 in 2008; low in Jan 98 below $10, peak Jul 08 at $146 — WTI prices are from memory). Nothing. And don’t try to tell us the recession–oil prices plunge to $35 during the financial crises due Goldman and others selling their best assets in the liquidity crunch. Those were the good old days of the Bush Administration.
The “free market” has been choosing natural gas because it’s cheap. There will be $8 billion in subsidies to coal generators. Is that a war? AEP, the largest coal consumer in the US, doesn’t seem to mind. If coal power goes down 90 GW over a decade (225 GW to 135 GW), most of that will be the result of nat gas, not regulations.
Regarding the motives “that their fellow Americans be poorer with reduced opportunities.” That is ridiculous. What were Bush’s motives? I wouldn’t go that far with Bush (I am not a closed minded hater), but this is certainly what Bush accomplished. The US will never fully recover from Bush.

April 5, 2014 2:36 am

it is all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ very sad for our grand kids who have no say for or against

April 5, 2014 2:48 am

I was wondering about coal yesterday and their attempts to destroy the industry. Then I realised that coal in the ground is coal in the ground for our grand children. The coal reserves can always be dug up in the future, ‘it’s all for the grand children.’ 🙂

Joe Born
April 5, 2014 3:05 am

An example from just yesterday of state-level suppression of dissent: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/03/ind-air-quality-chief-draws-heat-for-global-warming-remark/7287855/
Note that this was a first-page, above-the-fold story in the Indianapolis Star that ran for over forty column inches–just because one Department of Environmental Management official is a global-warming skeptic. And note the multiple quotes from unnamed sources.
So good luck with that state-level government-response thing.

April 5, 2014 3:08 am

Peter Taylor says:
April 5, 2014 at 1:08
So it is OK to impugn the IPCC, some researchers, and academics, but not the people that use their false report to arm to the people. Obama could easily bless the Keystone pipeline as it has several studies done by his own people that say it would cause no harm, but he chooses not to. He purposely causes less employment, less economic activity, less wealth creation.
As for DDT it should be brought back to save millions of people, but there are people who would rather allow others to be sick or die instead of letting them use a safe chemical to be protected from harm.

April 5, 2014 3:39 am

Quite true, Peter Taylor.

April 5, 2014 3:50 am

It was reported last October that University of Nebraska-Lincoln refused to cooperate in the original study if it “it excluded the influence of humans”
So I thought I would save them 44 grand, and did my own study.

April 5, 2014 3:51 am

I just spoke to a friend of mine who called me to talk about cars they want to buy, and then talked about electrically powered cars because the UK had “servos” littered about the country to re-powered electrically powered cars. Apparently it was cheaper than petrol. Well, maybe so in the UK, but CO2 is still emitted. I asked how the electricity that “re-powered” the batteries was generated. We eventually got to gas and coal fired power stations. Which in the bigger picture of the situation, is correct. Then I asked how much CO2 “pollution” was in the air, right now, in their opinion. The answer was 40% (I kid you not – And most people I know “believe” this is the sort of concentration in the air right now). We’d all be dead I said, if that were true. The actual figure, as we know here, is ~3%.

April 5, 2014 4:07 am

Patrick: .04%

April 5, 2014 4:23 am

“Ken Coffman says:
April 5, 2014 at 4:07 am”
Yes. Corrected. That ~3% is the estimated annual human contribution to that ~0.04% total. Many times less than I stated. The main issue here, and with that post, is that too many people seriously believe that 40% of the air they breathe is CO2. Thats scary, even accounting for my error!

April 5, 2014 4:24 am

If the California government claims there is potential liability to coal generated power in the form of ecological disaster for which AZ power generators might be liable, then Arizona power producers should take them at their word and surcharge the hell out of CA power to create a trust to pay for that potential liability until such time the CA government can prove that there is no risk of having to pay that amount. If CA wants a carbon tax, then they should try it in their house first.

April 5, 2014 4:59 am

Hunter April 5, 2014 at 12:38 am says “Please explain further how the AGW promoters derailed the state effort. The story seems incomplete. We need to know more so that the push back against the hype can be more effective.”
Serious? Think politician and bureaucrat thinking. They love spending but doing studies “for free” is even better.
Folks that don’t understand this need do some research on the thinking behind political campaigns. A good starting point is he bible of the Left, “Rules For Radicals”. Available on Amazon:
Another campaign example is After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s also available from Amazon
You can usually find them on line, maybe for free for reading at places like Google books, etc. It seems 1989 was a banner year for strategic campaign books (imho, driven by the election of Bush The First after two terms of Reagan). The Right (and “deniers”) are really late to the party in developing campaign guides that counter the Left. Name any that are widely read on the Right as the above from the Left. The Left used to use anything, even “studies”, “reports” such as Lewandowsky, so they could point to them and pronounce “scientists say” and cite an article. Now, however, they seem to have progressed to the point where they feel free to run campaigns on outright lies such as “if you like your plan…”.
Archibald correctly identifies the battlefield and one, but only one, weapon that can be used for a political counterattack. So often “deniers” believe all one needs is point to a failed “fact”, ala Fynman’s ” If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong.” ends the argument. It doesn’t. It hasn’t. It’s moving into to full, outright, campaign mode.
As to a government funded study? It would be helpful on the “fact” side of the ledger but only if one uses it, imho, within a political campaign. It will be extraordinarily difficult to produce such a study for the simple reasons outlined in the cited books. Through their campaigns, the Left controls many State bureaucracies, many State legislatures and, more importantly, the Federal System (which trumps any State action). Even States like Kentucky, a large coal mining state, with a Governor and General Assembly controlled by the Left even though a Right winger like Rand Paul is their Senator. I’ll wager anyone Kentucky will not pay for a study like the Nebraska one. Consider the campaign that has made folks like Sarah Palin and Bush The Second as the butt of jokes. In an environment where the Left is winning the firing CEOs for political reason(s), converting agencies like the IRS into political action agencies and is actively calling (and seriously) for jailing those that even offer complaints about what the Left is doing, suggesting and getting such a study will simply touch off another attack and smear episode. It’s a political campaign. The “deniers” simply, by their nature, won’t do political campaigns.
Further, it seems, like all things Left, the proposals implemented are failing in rather spectacular ways. Adding a study by a State won’t add much to the arsenal. German and British windmills come to mind. Even opinion polls indicate “warming” is at the bottom of all environmental issues. In fact, Australia’s government is actually rolling back some of it’s “warming” follies. The point is Warmism (ala, “climate change”, etc) is now entering what I call the Left wing’s political steady-state. This means there is a critical mass of money, people with vested interested and a proven political playbook to continue until events provide another opportunity. And there is always, for the Left, another opportunity or crisis. For example, WUWT has a recent article about another possible Super El Nino.
So, what should be done? A political counter-campaign that puts the Warmists, et al, into the same box as Piltdown Man and Bernie Madoff. Archibald’s suggestion could help but it must be done within a political counter-campaign. For the biologists, it means one must incinerate the seeds so they won’t sprout later.

Bruce Cobb
April 5, 2014 5:14 am

Wow, this post has brought out a higher-than-usual rash of concern trolls whingeing about “sticking to the science”. It’s hard to know if the ignorance displayed concerning the very real, and deliberate war on coal is agenda-driven or shear mental deficiency. Obama himself said clearly during his campaign what his intentions were with regard to coal, and that his policies would necessarily make coal-fired energy prices skyrocket.
Obama’s EPA has been given an unprecedented, unconstitutional, and frankly totalitarian power, with its ability to punish “carbon”. This is something that should frighten the bejeezus out of all freedom-loving peoples, regardless of political affinity.

Tom in Florida
April 5, 2014 5:27 am

Patrick says:
April 5, 2014 at 3:51 am
“Then I asked how much CO2 “pollution” was in the air, right now, in their opinion. The answer was 40% (I kid you not – And most people I know “believe” this is the sort of concentration in the air right now). ”
Yes, it is one of the questions I always ask when trying to discuss climate. I have found the answer most people give is 20%, still so far off it is scary. I believe this is a course we must take, to focus on the CO2 percentage so that the correct numbers become common knowledge to the common person.. I think we will find out that when that happens the power the alarmists have due to their fear mongering will dissipate.

R. de Haan
April 5, 2014 5:36 am

Bruce Cobb says:
“Obama’s EPA has been given an unprecedented, unconstitutional, and frankly totalitarian power, with its ability to punish “carbon”. This is something that should frighten the bejeezus out of all freedom-loving peoples, regardless of political affinity.”
You’re 100% correct.
And this is only the beginning.
Read UN Agenda 21 and http://green-agenda.com
This is about the destruction of Western Civilization.
There were times we would have taken appropriate measures to take care of those traitors.
Now even resisting the Agenda which eventually will result in a massive slaughterhouse will serve the Agenda.
The Climate Change agenda is only a small part of the arsenal brought in position to down us.
The sooner we resist, the smaller the price we have to pay.
The times for civil dialogue and discussions have long gone.
Luckally we can still use our wood stoves.
April 5, 2014 at 5:14 am http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/04/05/obama-administration-faces-backlash-on-wood-stove-regulations/

Bruce Cobb
April 5, 2014 5:38 am

You raised some interesting straw men, and then heroically knocked them down. Good job.

April 5, 2014 5:47 am

Peter Taylor says:
April 5, 2014 at 1:08 am
“My fear is that many open minds will shy away from reading further when they encounter diatribes against Obama or dismissals of ALL environmental problems, past and future.”
Yeah let’s bully people with non-aligned opinions, worked like a charm with Brendan Eich, didn’t it.

April 5, 2014 5:54 am

“The biggest war on coal is the competition from fracked natural gas.”
Bingo! Although every action the Feds take to shut down coal production is just icing on the cake.
I work in the nat gas industry, and every action the Fed’s take to shut down coal just makes my future that much more secure and makes my employers that much wealthier. While jobs like mine are growing because of this, whose jobs are getting wiped out? Union members, that’s who. One of the left’s longtime, hard core supporters. Knock yourself out, Obama!!!

April 5, 2014 6:00 am

Jimbo says:
April 5, 2014 at 2:48 am
I was wondering about coal yesterday and their attempts to destroy the industry. Then I realised that coal in the ground is coal in the ground for our grand children. The coal reserves can always be dug up in the future, ‘it’s all for the grand children.’ 🙂
Protect your grandchildren’s future , go cold and dark today so they can stay warm in the future.

April 5, 2014 6:08 am

Of course, the root Obama problem is just plain stupidity combined with the desire to “be somebody” , tough when you dont have a brain and then hire like minded folk like (junk)
science advisor Holdren. And his goal could have been so easily reached – take one of those trillions that he flushed down the toilet and use it instead to buy nuclear plants – that would buy 200 such plants, and their capacity (roughly 260 GW), would, in addition to the current 20% nuclear component, provide for over 70% emission free nuclear power. Since the cost of one of those plants (roughly $5 billlion, less due to bulk buying) can be repaid by sending the Treasury 1 less than a penny for each kWhr they produce, in 60 years they would have more than repaid the trillion dollars. They are guaranteeed a 60 year lifepan, which means they will still be around 70 years from now, which means paying back considerably more than they cost.
My calculations, based on very dependable cost data, shows the Gen 3+ nuclear plants in the U.S. producing at a cost of roughly 4 cents per kWhr, total, which includes everything : nuclear waste disposal, decommissioning, fuel, ops and maintenance, cost of original construction of the plant. For comparison, that is close to the cost of natural gas and since nuclear fuel costs are
such a small protion of nuclear power costs (less than 3/4th of a penny per kWhr) and are in oversupply for the foreseeable future, nuclear power generation costs will be just as steady in the future as in the past. A report of the actual costs of wind power estimates their production costs as 15 cents or 19 cents per kWhr, depending upon whether coal or gas power is used for backup.
The total govt subsidy for wind power is roughly 2 cents per kWhr, which is more than twice the cost of building a nuclear plant (which anti-nukes claim is too expensive).
By or before the end of the buildout, SMRs (small modular reactors) would be commercially available that would have load following capability, which means they could replace most of the
remaining peak load natural gas generators and thus provide most of the remaining 30% demand, as well as incrementally adding more nuclear capacity as demand increases via additional installations.
Clumsy thinking always leads to clumsy ideas, and Obama is , without doubt, the clumsiest thinker in Washington. Evah!! His programs are overly complicated, a sure indication that little intelligent thought was behind them.

April 5, 2014 6:12 am

Patrick and Ken, perhaps the “people” are confused with human breath at about 40,000 ppm per exhaled concentration, or 4%

April 5, 2014 6:14 am

If States want to win the war on coal and get rid of the AGW fearmongering then all they have to do is adopt the work of the NIPCC as their guide for future climate. Science at it’s best and it suits the purpose.
There, wasn’t that easy?

James Strom
April 5, 2014 6:32 am

In light of your political leanings, which I am sympathetic with, it is amusing that your choice of title, “What is to be done?”, is the same that Lenin used for a pamphlet he published in 1902. The phrase is somewhat famous, at least to someone with an interest in early communist arcana.

William Astley
April 5, 2014 6:35 am

There is now unequivocal observational evidence that planet cooling has started. It appears there will be billions of dollars made available for ‘skeptic’ climate research.
If significant planetary cooling continues the public, media, and political response are predictable: Panic, outrage over climategate, and a demand for a scientific explanation as to why the planet is cooling, why the AGW mechanism saturates, and how much cooling will occur. There will likely be initial warmists attempts to explain away the cooling, however, that will be futile if there is significant cooling.
The public and media are not aware there is unequivocal evidence of cyclic abrupt cooling in the paleo climatic record. There is a physical reason why Canada, the Northern US Border States, UK, and Northern Europe were covered 22 times with a 2 mile thick ice sheet and why interglacial periods ended abruptly rather than gradually.

April 5, 2014 7:16 am

Both the scientific and the political debates have been overwhelmingly incompetent, with individuals unsurprisingly spread all over the place in their views, and dogmatically resistant to changing those views when confronted with new, and increasingly definitive, evidence against them.
The mere fact that the climate change/global warming debate is now widely understood to be political rather than scientific (I summarize the scientific side of the situation as: there is no valid climate science and no competent climate scientists, ever since my Venus/Earth atmospheric temperatures comparison) should tell everyone, in no uncertain terms, that the situation is beyond anything any of us have ever personally experienced before: false science being mandated (that means forced upon us all, tyrannically) by the highest political authorities, not to mention by all of our most trusted and authoritative, but incompetent and even fraudulent, institutions.
I informed you all a year ago that the system is broken, in both science and politics. Obama is not merely the latest Democratic President; the evidence, before your very eyes for the last 6 years (beginning in my estimation with his disavowal of knowledge about his pastor of 20 years, the “Rev.” Jeremiah Wright–demonstrating a complete lack of character and a religious cult leader’s ability to lie blatantly, before the whole world) is that he is a pathological liar, and is in fact personally devoted to lying, at every point and on any topic big or small, to the people he is supposed to serve. And he is devoted to the ideology of the radical, activist Left, whose purposes and actions led me to begin calling them the Insane Left, with the passage of Obamacare 4 years ago. And I remind everyone, I voted Democratic through 8 straight presidential elections, from 1976 through 2004–I do not approach these matters with prejudice of any kind. Obama is of a different fundamental kind, more closely resembling a dissembling and self-serving religious cult leader than anything else.
But you all think you are knowledgeable adults, who know the situation and Obama well enough to be “reasonable” about him and those who raised him up. The Weimar Republic also thought it knew Hitler–who suspended their constitution the same year he was raised to power by them (what’s that? I can’t evoke Hitler, according to your fashionable “Godwin’s Law” dogma? Well, “who knows only his own generation remains always a child”, and Godwin was a child).
This unprecedented time calls for more than unending, vain lukewarm (!) debate. It calls for getting to the very heart of matters both scientific and political, and for dealing with criminal authorities.

R. de Haan
April 5, 2014 7:33 am

The real problem is that markets should decide what direction our power generation should take, not Government subsidies and politics.
The real struggle human kind is engaged in is the struggle with nature.
Some more soot anybody, have a ball: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-26899525

April 5, 2014 7:33 am

You cant spend billions and then implement into the trillions and be wrong.. The peasants have no clothes with the lib-left decked out in such finery..
Its like finding out WW2 was based on a lovers quarrel..

G. Karst
April 5, 2014 7:45 am

I would like to see coal miners and the mine owners perform a pre-emptive strike. A shut down of coal production for thirty days will have an alarming effect on those trying to shut down the industry. A shutdown until prices improve would be justifiable and a real sharp eye opener. GK

April 5, 2014 7:46 am

Obama is an idiot.

Richard Sharpe
April 5, 2014 7:48 am

As the climate reports come in, the vague, almost-impossible-to-believe notion that the Obama Administration’s war on coal through the EPA is a peculiar form of malicious self-loathing will be seen with crystal clarity.

I have heard this sort of claim before and it does not make sense to me.
What makes sense is that there are competing interests involved and the Administration is behaving in a manner that they believe suits their interests not those of the coal states.

April 5, 2014 7:51 am

Greater and more efficient use of energy will improve the human condition. Coal is our major source of energy. There are two main types of coal. If CO2 is not considered a pollutant, anthrocite burns “clean” and bituminous coal burns “dirty”. Clean air standards require plants to scrub out the dirty ash and store it in lagoons (that are now failing and polluting our water). Here in North Carolina, Duke progress is in the process of replacing those old failing plants that burn bituminous coal with natural gas burning power plants that are cheaper to build and operate. They are working for a pipe line from Pennsylvania’s fracking sites and the state legislature is fast tracking the exploration of shale gas in North Carolina. I think the future use of “dirty” coal is through insitu conversion to natural gas and shipping by pipelines rather than rail. Even if CO2 is considered a pollutant, It makes no sense to sequester CO2 at the source when the cold water sink of the Arctic ocean is doing a much better job for free.

Bruce Cobb
April 5, 2014 8:10 am

Cramer says:
April 5, 2014 at 2:32 am
This is nothing more than political fear mongering.
Wrong. Try opening your eyes. But first, get your head out of the sand. That helps.
The biggest war on coal is the competition from fracked natural gas.
Wrong again. Competition from NG is healthy, just as any real competition is. It is good for the market, and good for customers. What is unhealthy is government interference in the market.
Make no mistake. This is not just a war on coal, and by extension, a war on “carbon”; it is a war on democracy itself.

April 5, 2014 8:15 am

As one of the early posters to this site, I think this post is not one of the better posts. The post is vague and accusatory, providing little if any evidence of what is claimed. The most obvious problem coal faces is that natural gas is now abundant and cheap and mostly confined to a domestic American market. And gas does, in fact burn cleaner than coal. But too many of the reactions and responses on this thread ado not speak well of the current state of WUWT community. Disagreement and discussion is not trolling. It is tolerance and civility. Asking for evidence is not trolling. It is being skeptical.

Barry Cullen
April 5, 2014 8:27 am

cedarhill says:
April 5, 2014 at 4:59 am

Sadly, you are 100% correct.

April 5, 2014 8:28 am

Regarding Obama, the EPA and the impoverishing of America, I don’t think it is necessarily their deliberate intent to impoverish the country. It’s just that they are so obsessed with environmental issues that they don’t a rat’s a** about the impact that excessive and unnecessary environmental rules and regulations will have on the economy, especially those involving coal and CO2. They are either apathetic about the impact or simply ignorant of it because they don’t understand how the economy works and know nothing about running a small business or corporation and what impacts their success. We in the U.S. can only hope that the next president will be someone who does understand these things and actually cares.
IMHO, it is not necessarily the ends of the green left that we need to be concerned about, but the manner in which they believe they can get us there. Rather then an ongoing regulatory eco-war on the economy, we need someone in the White House who places the emphasis on technological improvements and advancements as the key to environmental protection and policy. Fossil fuel power plants should be replaced (especially the older ones) only when we have the will, the money and the technology to replace them with something better, namely nuclear. The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor has been bandied about for some time now as the best answer for the next generation of nuclear power. LFTR (with its safely and proliferation-resistant features) and other environmentally friendly technologies such as the Brayton Cycle (http://energyfromthorium.com/2014/04/04/closed-loop-brayton-cycle-sandia-national-laboratory/) need to be the environmental counterargument to Obama, the EPA and the green left and their obsession with furthering a regulatory eco-war on the economy. The Brayton Cycle developers at the Sandia National Labs hope that the Brayton Cycle will improve gas turbine efficiency by as much as 50%…quite an achievement.
The American people need to be made to understand that regulatory eco-wars on the economy, CO2 taxes, cap-and-trade schemes and a scientifically bogus CAGW scare campaign only serve to further burden an economy that is still struggling to create enough good-paying jobs for everyone who wants one. They do not provide the technology and other means with which we can take steps toward a post-fossil fuels era, if that is indeed our near-term goal. The worst part of this is that the hardliners in the green leftist movement will probably never understand any of this no matter how hard you try to get them to do so. So sad and tragic.

April 5, 2014 8:42 am

The other big sink is the biosphere that converts that CO2 into useful products like food and wood. Power plant plumes of CO2 have a short half-life above global background levels. Clouds, rain, moist soil, and the biosphere are sucking up those extra CO2 molecules. Also, the biosphere is emitting a lot more CO2 (rotting organic matter) than all the coal fired power plants in existance. Trying to control the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by controlling anthropogenic emissions is like spitting into the wind.

Samuel C Cogar
April 5, 2014 8:45 am

harrydhuffman (@harrydhuffman) says:
April 5, 2014 at 7:16 am
WOW, …. great commentary, … Harry D Huffman.
May I have your permission to post (quote) it on another Forum?
Sam C

Bruce Cobb
April 5, 2014 8:45 am

There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. Competition from NG is completely healthy. If you view market forces as a “problem” for coal then you either have no understanding of economics, or are simply biased against coal, and thus have an agenda. The truth is that both coal and NG have slightly different, and equally important roles. The price of coal is stable in comparison to NG, which can vary enormously. Yes, these are good times for NG. Hurray. But, demand is high. That puts upward pressure on price. Fortunately for consumers, pesky coal is there, with its irritatingly stable price helping to keep NG competitive price-wise. Hurray again. Now, throw in Obama’s war on coal, and everything goes out the window, hurting consumers, skewing the market, and ultimately threatening democracy.

April 5, 2014 8:47 am

Or, we could all just watch the thermometers and as the temperatures fall, watch CAGW people shriek louder trying to convince every one that colder is hotter, and bend their adjustments to the breaking point, becoming less believed. Facts obvious to most are not on their side. Here in the upper central states this AM I look out the window and see a fresh blanket of snow. Now snow in April here is not completely unusual, but the last time I remember this was back in the early 80’s, just at the end of the 70’s ice age “crisis”.

April 5, 2014 8:48 am

James Strom says:
April 5, 2014 at 6:32 am
Bingo, you win the prize James! Send me your postal address and I will send you a copy of my book. If you send me your postal address via the contact button on my website, http://www.davidarchibald.info, I will mail you a copy of my book.

April 5, 2014 8:54 am

I can’t believe Cramer above suggested that rising oil prices don’t have a strong effect on the economy. This is the pie-in-the-sky liberalism that destroys this whole climate change issue among the middle. When liberals completely ignore reality to justify their actions.
Let’s look at the modern age and the effect oil prices have had on the economy.
After World War II the American economy grew rapidly and steady for more than 25 years. The US by then had mostly industrialized and good jobs were plentiful and companies grew. Throughout this period we had abundant and cheap energy.
Then this period of expansion came to a crashing halt in 1973. This was the year of the first Arab oil embargo which created the first energy crisis. The country had already been hit by bad fiscal policies which created a major strain on our budget, such as LBJ’s war on poverty and the war in Vietnam.
The economy eventually recovered, but growth remain anemic and inflation became the norm for the rest of the 1970s. Then came the second energy crisis which followed the Iranian revolution and subsequent war with Iraq. This created yet another recession which doomed Carter’s Presidency. Reagan came in, ripped the band aid off the inflation problem by hiking up interest rates to 20+%, creating a third major recession in 8 years. But he also convinced the Saudi King to ramp up production of oil to collapse prices.
With inflation under control and the oil glut on, the economy surged. This created the longest period of economic expansion in American history, and it coincided with, again, having an abundance of cheap energy available.
This period of prosperity was interrupted only briefly in 1990-1991 when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and America went to war against him. This sent prices rising to 60 dollars a barrel and caused a small recession. The war went well, and ended quickly. Prices fell, the economy recovered.
This lasted until 2000, when another spike in oil prices (from 1999-2000) caused yet another small recession.
Yes, oil prices continued to rise and despite this, the economy recovered. But as we know now this recovery existed because of a real estate bubble which, when it finally popped, brought the entire economy down with it in 2008.
Since then the economy, like in the 1970s, has enjoyed only an anemic recovery. The reason is mostly due to the existing high price of energy, which is now being held up arbitrarily by various environmental taxes and regulations.
Reasons cheap energy is so important to economy:
1. Energy doesn’t have the same supply and demand relationship as most other commodities. People need energy regardless of what the price is. They need to heat their homes and they need electricity to run their household goods. They need to drive to work and their children to school, etc. They can’t do without energy. Thus, if the price increases it will cost regular consumers hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of dollars more a year. That money then won’t be spent on other items these people might want or need and, therefore, they do without those other items to pay their higher energy bills. Two-thirds of our economy is based on consumer spending. Thus, this has a strong negative impact on both consumer confidence and purchasing power.
2. We still live in an industrial economy. Factories need energy, and lots of it, to produce its goods. Increasing energy costs substantially adds to the overhead of a company, thus hurting its prospects of profitability. This, in turn, means that these companies may be less inclined to hire more workers in order to reduce costs.
3. There is a direct relationship between oil prices and the auto industry. If people drive less, they buy fewer cars. This means car companies suffer. This means car part companies suffer. This means companies which produces steal and metal suffer, etc.
Arguing that high energy costs don’t have a negative impact on the economy is stupid.

John F. Hultquist
April 5, 2014 8:59 am

The assumptions in the post by David A. ought to be questioned. One would be that anyone would care what a report by a US State would say. The government and people of Portland and Seattle likely could not find Harrisburg and would not listen or care about reports from there. Many new reports would say what the UN IPPC SPM says so there is no sense in going there. Further, every State already has a climate report; find them here:
Like most such reports done by States, they are accumulating dust on the shelves of bureaucrats or taking up space on ageing hard drives. Why waste more money on such efforts?
A second major assumption of the post is that solar-driven cooling is about to hit “like a freight train.” Many people believe this but it actually seems the science is not settled in this regard.
Eric Worrall says:
April 5, 2014 at 12:39 am
“Why would the American – government . . .”
“. . . the 11 year climate cycle . . .

I know of zero evidence for the first of these.
The second is stated incorrectly. Makes no sense?
Konrad says:
April 5, 2014 at 12:51 am
“. . . in the hands of readers of blogs like this.

Wrong! Recall:
In the 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai Stevenson: “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person.” Stevenson called back “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority.”
And HOPE is not a plan:

Robert of Texas
April 5, 2014 9:18 am

Burning coal still produces more pollution than over forms of energy (not talking about plant food, I am talking about all the impurities found in coal). It also has the greatest impact on the landscape and aquifer when mined (despite the scary stories about fracking). If it remains economical after paying for tighter pollution controls and land reclamation, then use it. Gasification might help separate pollutants from the production of energy, but then you have to dispose of that waste. It isn’t the long term answer. We have lots of reserves but they get progressively more dirty. Pit mining beautiful mountains will never sit well with people that live next to them. I do not agree with the EPA, or Obama, but coal use is going to decline for lots of other reasons, mainly economic.
Gas is a better source of energy and likely to remain competitive for a long time (say 50 to 100 years). But it too eventually goes into decline in the U.S., and I believe we need to achieve energy independence if we want to control our own destiny. So in the next 40-60 years we need to be adding alternative forms of energy production to our mix.
Nuclear energy is the only long term viable answer I see short of new technological breakthroughs. I just do not believe we will ever get much higher than 20%-30% of our total energy needs from wind and solar (and only then if better batteries are produced). I hate and despise wind farms – they “uglify” the landscape. Solar is OK for home use as a way to reduce your electric bill, but we need to stop subsidizing it. It should either compete or go away.
Big industry requires big, reliable energy. But we cannot seem to wrap ourselves around an answer for nuclear waste. Unless you solve that problem, you shouldn’t be building more nuclear power plants. And its mostly a political problem – so science can’t settle it. You can either elect to store nuclear waste, or recycle it. I believe recycling is the correct approach, but no one wants anything to do with it. Storing waste next to power plants is just plain stupid – the risks of accidents (leakage) and terrorism are too high. It needs to be in a long term disposal site that is well guarded and not next to populated areas. By the time to work through the economics of nuclear power and waste handling, it isn’t competitive in todays cheap gas economy.
So back to coal – I am OK with leaving it in the ground if it can’t compete given a fair set of standards it must meet. It will still be there in 50 years if we really need it.
What I am never OK with is an artificial regulatory effort by our government to pick winners and losers. Set some standards and let the players compete. Period.

Susan Corwin
April 5, 2014 9:22 am

I suspect I’ve been influenced by reading
    “Twilight of Abundance”
The MN 370 flight data recorder “pings”, in the news, is most strange.
1. The BBC is clear that the Chinese ship was searching but not recording.
    With all the signal process skills, it would be incredible incompetence
    to have the search equipment in the water not record.
2. the “announcement” came from China
    cleared by higher authorities? Generated by them?
3. it is far, far away from anything that makes any sense other than as a diversion.
4. it comes on a Friday afternoon so the reporting is muddled and hazy, delayed, etc
It really sounds like there was a strategic plan having to do with this hijack and global players.
This, unfortunately, fits with the book’s conjecture on
    a confrontative scenario between China and the US,
        to grab/dominate/take the Pacific,
while the current POTUS would dither, draw red lines, etc, and before there is a new Congress that might actually have some backbone.
But the Boeing satellite pings many have thrown a spanner in the works.
    to be finessed, next time.

April 5, 2014 9:42 am

The share of the value of home production (food grown by farmers and households for their own consumption) declined from 17.4 percent in 1940 to 1.6 percent in 2012. How to eliminate a few billion souls – (Hint: Stalin knew, China has the lead).
Government land grab. Control the land, control the food…control the population.
As for coal, the entire demonetization of coal (and all fossil fuel) is an additional attack on humanity. For those wearing their rose colored glasses, think doomed. Turn off the news and read… read ….read….. read……

April 5, 2014 9:56 am

USA has more coal within its borders than any other country with over 260 billion tons of coal reserves. USA’s 260 billion tons of coal reserves would last 290 years at current consumption rates. Projections by the U.S. Energy Information Administration say that coal will remain the dominant fuel for electricity generation in the U.S. through 2040.
The technology for all energy sources should compete freely. Cheap energy wins.

April 5, 2014 10:24 am

1)In an Obama administration: “electricity prices will necessarily sky-rocket”
Obama said this.
So, how is this not a plan to reduce the standard of living?
All of you Obama apologists here today, answer that.
2)The 2008 financial crisis was the direct result of the Clinton administration coercing of banks to make mortgage loans to people with poor credit. The threat to coerce being civil prosecution by the Federal government for racist loan tactics. Lenders could be sued simply for the appearance of racism.
So the lenders loaned money to anyone. Their new tactic was to bundle these questionable loans with better loans as mortgage backed securities.
Once financiers became aware of these “toxic” securities nobody would touch them.
Then came the effects. These effects happened under GWB’s administration, but it was not his doing.
You can blame the Iraq war on GW Bush, but not the 2008 crash.
That was all Bill Clinton.

Bruce Cobb
April 5, 2014 10:26 am

Robert of Texas says:
April 5, 2014 at 9:18 am
So back to coal – I am OK with leaving it in the ground if it can’t compete given a fair set of standards it must meet. It will still be there in 50 years if we really need it.
So, your anti-coal agenda has nothing to do with “carbon”. Good. “Leaving it in the ground” is probably the dumbest idea I’ve seen, and I’ve seen some whoppers.
Maybe try reading up a bit on modern coal-fired power plants would help. But, if you just “don’t like coal” for some unexplained reason, then I suppose it’s no use. Even so, think about our economy. Cheap energy is vital.

JM VanWinkle
April 5, 2014 10:35 am

There are perhaps a half dozen different “dark horse” fusion projects (not the multi billion dollar boondoggles such as ITER and NIF) that are in play, with one or more on the verge of delivering economic fusion (as opposed to fission), economically competitive with coal. As one example, General Fusion, Inc. recently made a TED presentation in Vancouver, Ca. Moreover, GF’s project status at this point is that it has resolved almost all their issues including demonstrating stable compression of their plasma spheromak injection, and have one remaining challenge. that remaining challenge is dealing with RM instabilities at the plasma – liquid lead interface.
The point is that the whole energy issue is ready to bow to a paradigm shift from fossil (hated by greeinies) vs green (impractical) vs fission (and its radioactive waste) to fusion powered by an unlimited fuel with no radioactive waste byproduct. Not a pipe dream, not 30 years from now, not a government boondoggle, empty promise.

April 5, 2014 11:05 am

Toxic Air Report – American Lung Association
A couple of things…
“The president shall pass laws to protect the public health.” quoted from the Clean Air Act. The key word is ‘shall’ not ‘can’ as this powerful law actually obliges him to act.
In 2003, Gov. Romney went after a coal plant in Massachusetts for spewing air pollution and announced: “I will not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people. And that plant, that plant kills people.”

April 5, 2014 11:08 am

Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
It is up to the several states now. Our federation is broken, perhaps beyond repair. I trust we will repair it. Further, I note that while the likes of James Burke predict our problems in the coming decades will be due to over abundance, “The Twilight of Abundance” supposes the opposite. I suspect abundance for most will never be a problem, ever.

April 5, 2014 11:45 am

As the climate reports come in, the vague, almost-impossible-to-believe notion that the Obama Administration’s war on coal through the EPA is a peculiar form of malicious self-loathing will be seen with crystal clarity.
It is stunning to me that one of the most dangerous enemies of the US is our own president.
I don’t think it’s self-loathing though; I think it’s a loathing of America – of which he does not see himself as a citizen. He stands outside of normal politics and picks away at our way of life.
He has been wildly successful. I weep for my country.

April 5, 2014 11:48 am

Warren Buffett donated 37 billion to the Gates Foundation, very admirable. The Gates Foundation again very admirable. I look at the foundation work only chipping away at the issues it deals with while not really solving anything. I say use some of that money to the development up to date nuclear energy to give the world abundant cheap energy. Abundant energy as shown in the so called developed world leads to quality of life, abundant food and lower birth rates and democracy. I do realize the UN may have a say in the democracy bit, I am not that naive.
Bill, Melinda, Warren problem solved. Sounds simple and I believe it is.
Question, since Google has untold resources to search the net how come they push CAGW so much? Oh wait, a simple finger held up to check direction of the wind.

April 5, 2014 12:07 pm

Peter Taylor said:
April 5, 2014 at 1:08 am
It is one thing to report (without detail, as the previous comment noted) that a potential report on cyclic climate change was sabotaged by the defenders of the ‘consensus’ but quite another to impugn the motives of Obama and the EPA with rants about them wanting to impoverish America for generations to come.
It is worse than that.
I am no fan of Bush, but imagine this having gone on under his presidency. The country would have been brought to a stand-still. There would have been riots in the streets. There would have been investigative commissions and wall-to-wall news coverage (as there should be for this under any administration).
Where is the outcry? Where is the scrutiny?
We are in deep, deep trouble.

Steve in Seattle
April 5, 2014 1:14 pm

The state of Washington would, will NEVER allow such a report to be generated, let alone give approval for such a report. CO2 is evil, the left of liberals here live the lie, preach the agenda and have as their prayer book, the “settled science” new testament.
How about pooling money, buy 30 second spots on National TV / radio, and putting the current science right in the face of these warmists ? And don’t pull any punches !

April 5, 2014 1:32 pm

If you are in the coal business, then NG is a problem. Just like if you were in the buggy building business, cars were a problem. I am all for coal. I like that Germany is building more coal plants. Mr. Obama’s war on coal is contra-reality, and hurts Americans. The two statements are not mutually exclusive. The anger and speed with which more and more posters here attack skeptics who are even slightly nuanced in their views is not a good trend.

April 5, 2014 1:34 pm

Steve in Seattle,
You may be on to something. A reasoned, well presented message countering the alarmist claptrap of AGW promoters could make a real difference today. Our AGW promoting friends have certainly spared no effort or expense in pushing their fear and hype. A little cool water of reason might quench much of their fire.

Chad Wozniak
April 5, 2014 1:40 pm

Bruce Cobb pegs it – Obama is fighting a war on democracy, and climate alarmism is one of his biggest weapons. If Obama succeeds in destroying the US economy through climate alarmism, and can continue to trample the Constitution at will, he wins his war. No one should be under any illusions about this hate-driven individual’s intention to destroy democracy – and America..

Bruce Cobb
April 5, 2014 2:40 pm

My point is, whatever “problem” NG is for coal, it pales in comparison to the Obama EPA problem. I see coal and NG as fairly equal competitors, with slightly different niches to fill. In the end, that kind of competition can only benefit us all.

KRJ Pietersen
April 5, 2014 3:57 pm

New clean-burn coal technologies should be and will be the backbone of the developed world’s power generation until we move into the era after fossil fuels. Yes, we should look at how to support local power initiatives – solar panels, burning waste and wood from well-managed woodlands for power and so on – but in the medium term there will be no substitute for big power providers of the traditional type. I don’t like the nuclear option as it has huge front.end and trailing costs, financially and environmentally – I don’t want to leave the waste behind for future generations to clean up. That’s not fair. So I’m left with what we have. Fossil fuels are the only current answer to the bulk of our energy needs. Coal can be cleaned up, and if you don’t like CO2 emissions, these can be reprocessed via greenhouses that grow crops. Everybody wins. The history of humanity shows that we are not that bad at finding solutions. Even if the doomers are right about our temperature trajectory, I am quite sure we can take it in our stride. We always have. That’s how come we are still here.

April 5, 2014 4:37 pm

John F. Hultquist says:
April 5, 2014 at 8:59 am
In the 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai Stevenson: “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person.” Stevenson called back “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority.”
I take your point, however the message to defeat the global warming scare is actually quite simple. You just need to tell people –
“You know how the atmosphere cools the oceans by evaporation? Well global warming believers claim the atmosphere is warming the oceans!”
Seriously, this is the simple truth. Stephan-Boltzmann equations used assuming the ocean to be a “blackbody” give an incorrect temperature of -18C for the oceans without atmospheric cooling or downwelling infrared from radiative gases. The correct figure should be around 80C. The net effect of our atmosphere over the oceans is cooling. And how does our atmosphere cool?
It really is that simple. I understand the message is not popular here at WUWT as it makes the “lukewarmer” position look foolish as well. But when the error it that great, there is little point in trying to engineer a “sciencey” sounding exit from the inanity. Every delay just makes the inevitable backlash from a public well able to understand that our atmosphere cools the oceans that much worse.

April 5, 2014 5:20 pm

It is hard to beat something with nothing yet many of the contrarians (empirical realists ) continue to argue using the same basic approach as the IPCC but just come up with lower numbers for the future warming and reduced climate sensitivity. The realist community needs take on board the fact that the Modeling technique is inherently useless for climate forecasting because models with such a large number of variables simply cannot be computed or indeed even initialized with sufficient precision and accuracy.
The IPCC itself has been quite open about this and In practice the modelers have known for some time that their models have no skill in forecasting and have indeed said so in the WG1 reports. The IPCC AR4 WG1 science section actually acknowledges this fact. Section IPCC AR4 WG1 8.6 deals with forcings, feedbacks and climate sensitivity. The conclusions are in section 8.6.4 which deals with the reliability of the projections. It concludes:
“Moreover it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining the future projections, consequently a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed”
What could be clearer. The IPCC in 2007 said that we don’t even know what metrics to put into the models to test their reliability.- i.e. we don’t know what future temperatures will be .
The key factor in making CO2 emission control policy is the climate sensitivity to CO2
. By AR5 – WG1 the IPCC itself is saying: (Section
“The assessed literature suggests that the range of climate sensitivities and transient responses covered by CMIP3/5 cannot be narrowed significantly by constraining the models with observations of the mean climate and variability, consistent with the difficulty of constraining the cloud feedbacks from observations ”
In plain English this means that they have no idea what the climate sensitivity is and that therefore that the politicians have no empirical scientific basis for their economically destructive climate and energy policies. In this case should take the IPCC at their word but for some reason few people do.
The entire IPCC output falls into the not even wrong category and provides no basis for serious discussion yet again most bloggers and pundits continue to discuss the IPCC forecasts as though they had some connection to the real world.
A different non model approach must be used for forecasting . Forecasts of the timing and amount of the coming cooling based on the 60 and 1000 year quasi-periodicities in the temperature and using the neutron count and 10Be record as the best proxy for solar activity are presented in several posts at
What we can do in the social media, the blogosphere ,letters to editors and especially in e mails and letters to politicians, is to put forward the possibility of a coming cooling based on the study of the natural cycles which actually control global climate. Then the logical first step would be to urge legislators to at least call for multiple working hypotheses so that impact studies would be broadened to include a degree or two of cooling as an alternative scenario.
I agree that anything that can be done at the state and local level to produce empirically based studies as a guide for action and to assist States in legal and regulatory actions against the EPA would be very helpful. Thought should also be given to targeting at least one of the MSM propagandist machines to see if it could be turned around – and present the case for cooling to the general public. Surely there must be a TV producer somewhere willing to break ranks from the herd and say the warming emperor has no clothes and winter may be on its way?

April 5, 2014 6:50 pm

re: JM VanWinkle says April 5, 2014 at 10:35 am
There are perhaps a half dozen different “dark horse” fusion projects …
Probably not what you had in mind, but, coming down the pike nonetheless:
. . http://www.google.com/patents/US20130243143
Filed by #9 (for 2013) ranked semiconductor manufacturer (and researcher) STMicroelectronics by their research facility near Milan, Italy.

April 5, 2014 7:17 pm

Konrad says April 5, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Seriously, this is the simple truth. Stephan-Boltzmann equations used assuming the ocean to be a “blackbody” give an incorrect temperature of -18C for the oceans without atmospheric cooling or downwelling infrared from radiative gases. The correct figure should be around 80C. The net effect of our atmosphere over the oceans is cooling.

80 deg C translates to 176 deg F. Seems a little warm, maybe?

And how does our atmosphere cool?

By transport of warm air masses to the poles; see: Hadley Cell, Mid-latitude cell and polar cell. Loss of sensible heat is via radiation from land surfaces in which the transported or advected air masses are eventually in contact with in the boundary layer. This is basic Meteorology and not generally in contention exc by those unfamiliar with these processes …

April 5, 2014 7:54 pm

The whole black body radiation approach is highly questionable as a basis for calculation of the effect of CO2 anyway see

Plancks constant applies only to carbon black. In the real world Black body radiation hardly ever exists that is why the Boltzman equations don’t work for the ocean or for radiative gases.

April 5, 2014 8:15 pm

re: Dr Norman Page says:April 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm
..Plancks constant applies only to carbon black. In the real world Black body radiation hardly ever exists that is why the Boltzman equations don’t work for the ocean or for radiative gases.
Are you (or are others?) still ‘stuck’ on that aspect of the physics? Have you ever investigated IR spectroscopy? EM (Electro-magnetics) coupling/propagation (after radiation), the whole resonant molecule thing are beyond most ppl.

April 5, 2014 8:27 pm

To Peter Taylor,
You said: ” It is one thing to report (without detail, as the previous comment noted) that a potential report on cyclic climate change was sabotaged by the defenders of the ‘consensus’ but quite another to impugn the motives of Obama and the EPA with rants about them wanting to impoverish America for generations to come.”
He explained how and why it was done. For free and to only publish one thing only.
To your second point: I am not going to walk around on corn flakes afraid to call out my government and their mismanagement or failures, or their pandering for votes by pushing fake science.
Of course, this is the Alynski method: claim the other side is crazy so they back down and walk on cornflakes, shut up and, using your words, stop ranting and impugning.
Looks like you have fallen prey to the Alynski method.
In regards to DDT, PCB, Acid Rain, Lead in Petrol…and lead in paint, CFC, mercury….
we have actual measurements of the cause and effect and actual measurable outcomes when we took action on those items. Science.
c02 anthropomorphic climate change does not. No science.
BTW, we spent 40 years taking mercury out of the environment (measurable and proven) and the c02 anthropomorphic (not measured and not proven) put the mercury back in one year.

April 5, 2014 9:15 pm

_Jim says:
April 5, 2014 at 7:17 pm
“80 deg C translates to 176 deg F. Seems a little warm, maybe?”
Not at all, 80C is a conservative estimate for the oceans in the absence of a radiatively cooled atmosphere made on the basis of empirical experiment. A non-radiative atmosphere would essential turn all the would oceans into evaporation constrained solar ponds. It is possible to drive transparent materials to over 120C with surface strength sunlight alone without solar concentration. You can run a (very inefficient) steam engine of a flat plate collector.
And how does our atmosphere cool? – “By transport of warm air masses to the poles; see: Hadley Cell, Mid-latitude cell and polar cell. Loss of sensible heat is via radiation from land surfaces in which the transported or advected air masses are eventually in contact with in the boundary layer. This is basic Meteorology and not generally in contention exc by those unfamiliar with these processes …”
“by those unfamiliar with the processes..” Cute.
No, conduction back to the land is not what cools our atmosphere, nor does it play a primary role in driving global circulation despite Trenberths attempted re-write. Radiative subsidence plays a critical role in driving tropospheric convective circulation. Coriolis forces break this circulation into three cells north and south of the equator. And as most of the energy leaving our planet is OLR from the atmosphere, radiative gases are clearly the primary cooling mechanism for our atmosphere.
A non-radiative atmosphere cannot cool our oceans as it would have no effective way to cool itself. Conduction back to the remaining 29% land is not an effective cooling mechanism –
A. 29% land couldn’t provide enough radiative cooling to offset the energy entering the a non-radiative atmosphere from the oceans.
B. Gravity creates a bias in conductive flux between the atmosphere and surface. The surface is far better at conductively heating the atmosphere than it is at cooling it. In meteorology a night inversion layer is a good example of this effect. Gravity brings colder air to the surface at night minimising conductive flux. Gravity brings colder air to the surface during the day, maximising conductive flux.
So the bottom line? Climastrologists have made a fist-biting mistake that even highschool kids will be able to understand. The have essentially claimed our radiative atmosphere is warming our oceans when it is clearly cooling them. And the only effective cooling mechanism for our atmosphere is radiative gases. These gases therefore cool our planet at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. Global warming due to CO2 is therefore a physical impossibility.

April 5, 2014 9:56 pm

Dr Norman Page says:
April 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm
This is correct there are no cases liquids or solids on our planet that act as a theoretical “blackbody”. In the case of our deep oceans covering 71% of the planets surface the answer is “not even close”. Climastologists have used basic S-B calculations to claim that the oceans acting as a blackbody, in the absence of DWLWIR and atmospheric cooling, would have a Tmean of -18C. Empirical experiment shows they are in error by around 98C.
Does this sound incredible? Then think again. The same calculations applied to the moons surface disagree with empirical measurement by the Diviner mission and the recent Chinese Jade rover by 90C.
Instead of black or grey body calcs based on a single figure for “emissivity”, they should have used the science of “selective coatings” or surfaces. Here multi-spectral emissivity, albedo, absorption, internal conduction and specific heat are taken into account.
Our oceans are effectively an “selective coating” covering the planet 5 km deep. Blackbody calculations were never going to work.

Bruce Cobb
April 6, 2014 5:20 am

By happy circumstance, the only way we can prepare for cooling just happens to be cheap, reliable energy for all people, even the poor, and vibrant economies worldwide. Even if cooling, by some miracle doesn’t occur, or is relatively minor – say, similar to mid last century, not only has no harm been done, but all people worldwide are better off, with higher living standards, even the poor. Unless that is what they don’t want.

more soylent green!
April 6, 2014 7:49 am

Jimbo says:
April 5, 2014 at 2:48 am
I was wondering about coal yesterday and their attempts to destroy the industry. Then I realised that coal in the ground is coal in the ground for our grand children. The coal reserves can always be dug up in the future, ‘it’s all for the grand children.’ 🙂

No Jimbo, it’s not. First of all, that would involve long-range planning for the future. Second, we have hundreds of years of coal “in the ground” and saving a small amount of a highly abundant resource will make little difference centuries from now. Nor or we trying to save our coal for the future while burning up other nation’s coal now.
I’m actually fairly convinced you’re not being serious in your comment. However, we’ve heard that same idea expressed quite seriously before and it’s always been specious.

Samuel C Cogar
April 6, 2014 8:23 am

Mark and two Cats says:
April 5, 2014 at 12:07 pm
Where is the outcry? Where is the scrutiny?
We are in deep, deep trouble.

The social/cultural pendulum has done swung too far off-center to the “left” to ever swing back again ….. and it will remain there until total economic collapse occurs and the rioting, pillaging, burning, anarchy and killing subsides and some new form of government or governments “rise out of the ashes” but said government(s) will not be anything like it originally was.
The US as a civilized nation and “Rule of Law” is in deep, deep trouble.
hunter says:
April 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm
If you are in the coal business, then NG is a problem.
Not so. If you are in the coal business, then government is your primary problem.
Coal operators can compete against NG ……. but coal operators and power generators can’t compete against government taxes, restrictions, mandates & price-fixing, …… against the lefty liberal tree-hugging “greenies” socialists and conservationists, …….. against the Public School System that is teaching the children/students to hate them, ……. against all the Trial Lawyers that have free reign to sue the coal industry for any and everything the aforementioned can “think up” to accuse them of ……. and against the elected politicians who will do anything to appease all of the aforementioned.
And wrong, …. “a reasoned, well presented message countering the alarmist claptrap of AGW promoters” …. would not make one iota bit of difference …. simply because the AGW promoters and their friends control the majority of all the “microphones” …. in the Public Schools, …. on the “airways” ….. and in the halls of government.

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