The Problem of the Electorate

Guest essay by Don Aitkin

A few weeks ago the G7, meeting in Bavaria, issued a statement about climate change. It was widely reported, and I wrote about it myself, here ( What no one much commented on was that the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, had plainly agreed to it, yet his position is skeptical. That is to say, he is opposed to carbon taxes, has repealed or let lie dormant greenhouse gas measures that his predecessors had introduced, and has said that Canada will not do any thing further after the Kyoto accord. Yet he agreed to the G7 statement, which among other things called for ‘deep cuts in global greenhouse emissions’.

Or consider Australia’s Tony Abbott, who famously said that the arguments supporting climate change were ‘crap’, and whose government actually repealed Australia’s carbon tax. Australia is not in the G7, but had Abbott been included, I would bet a dollar to nothing that he would have had let the statement go out without protest on his part. In fact, I have little doubt that the other six members of the G7 have their own private views about the notion that greenhouse gas emissions must be stopped now, that a 2 degree C rise in temperature would be a disaster for humanity, that the seas will rise dangerously, and all the rest of the AGW mantra. But they agreed with the statement, too.

Why? Why don’t these leaders set an example — if, like Harper and Abbott, they have made it clear that they do not regard ‘climate change’ as a globally pressing issue? The answer lies in the distribution of views within the electorates of these representative electoral democracies. Opinion pollsters have been asking respondents about their attitudes to climate change for twenty years and more, and there is a large amount of data about it.

The methodology of these opinion polls varies a great deal, and (as someone who used to have claims to know something about survey research) I think some of the polls are hardly worth noticing. What, for example, is the sensible way to respond to this choice: ‘Climate change has been proven by science’ OR ‘Climate change has not been proven by science.’ A terrible pair of alternatives. (

But once you’ve read and thought about the first few dozen poll results — and it doesn’t really matter what country we are talking about — it is plain that while attitudes vary over time and across the world, a few things begin to stand out.

1. ‘Climate change’ (I use the inverted commas to signify that I am talking about the political definition coined by the UNFCCC — a change in climate caused by human activity) is not high as a political priority anywhere. People are much more worried about jobs, health, immigration, transport costs and welfare. If you ask people to list their concerns, climate change comes in way down the list.

2. However, if you ask people whether or not they are concerned about ‘climate change’ then you get quite a high affirmative response — around a quarter to a third in most of the developed countries. What does that ‘concern’ actually mean? In one British survey, about one in seven thought ‘climate change’ was a major threat, and three quarters would support a global treaty. But few would get in touch with their local MP to press their concern. What sort of concern is that?

3. And if you ask people how much they personally would pay to deal with ‘climate change’, support drops off very quickly. Yes, ‘climate change’ is a threat, but it’s something for governments to deal with, and they shouldn’t do it by asking me for more money.

Now how does an elected politician interpret all this? Again, it doesn’t really matter which country we’re talking about. He or she will see that ‘climate change’ is one of those things, like motherhood, and germs, about which there is a conventional position. In this case, one should be opposed to it. If, on the contrary, you think that the whole thing is emerging as a beat-up, you need to realise, just the same, that quite a lot of electors are secure in their view that it is a worry.

What you do then, if you are in power, as is Stephen Harper, is to say as little as possible. If pressed, you retreat to a position that is defendable but does not stir up the ant-heap. In his case, the fall-back position is to say that Canada will do its bit when everyone else does their bit, but until they do there is no point at all in acting unilaterally. That just costs Canadians, for no good outcome at all. Tony Abbott has behaved in much the same way. In fact, at the 2009 meeting in the Australian bush where he pronounced on the validity of climate science, the full quotation goes like this: “The argument is absolute crap. However, the politics of this are tough for us. Eighty per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.” ( )

I once took part in a public meeting on global warming speaking for the sceptical side, as did someone who is now one of Tony Abbott’s senior colleagues in government. Afterwards, when we compared notes, he said much the same to me: the issue had to be handled delicately, and that time was needed. After nearly two decades in which there has been no significant warming, you might think that there should have been enough time by now.

And for my part there has been. The notion that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that increases global temperature in an alarming and dangerous way, melts the Greenland icecap, and imperils those in Bangladesh, ought now be dead and buried. But I’m not a politician who is looking anxiously at the next election. If I were, I’d be looking at the size of the passionate minority who believe in the threat of global warming, hoping that it is declining, and at that the size of the more or less indifferent majority, hoping that it continues to rise steadily.

In the meantime, the argument against the orthodox AGW/’climate change’/extreme weather/climate disruption alarmists has to be carried out outside politics, in large part, I think, through websites like this one. Time is important, and so is spreading the argument. While we spread the argument, our elected governments talk about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but do nothing that would achieve such an outcome.

It is a strange world that we live in, where our leaders try hard not to be controversial. I am reminded of the remark attributed to Ledru-Rollin, a French politician of the mid 19th century: ‘There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.’ Mahatma Gandhi used the phrase too, and he meant that a leader can never be too far from the views of those he wants to lead.

So, we need more good argument, more good analysis, and more controversy on WUWT and elsewhere. In time there will be someone, somewhere, who has been elected, and takes on the alarmists. But not tomorrow. I know that among the Republican hopefuls for the Presidential election in 2016 there are already a couple who have denounced ‘climate change’. But those pinning their hopes on one or other of them need to remember that in January this year a Stanford poll reported that two-thirds of those interviewed said that they would vote for a candidate ‘who would campaign on fighting climate change.’ (

So I would not be expecting the election of 2016 to see a vigorous debate about ‘climate change’. And for reasons very similar, I would expect that whatever comes out of Paris in December will be as vapid and innocuous as the G7 statement earlier this month.

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June 27, 2015 3:17 am

Nicely encapsulated.
As for leaders, many are invited, few are chosen. Now it seems, is a time for reluctant leaders to have greatness thrust upon them. If only….

Reply to  Manfred
June 27, 2015 11:16 am

What elected officials SAY to a global audience is far less important than what they DO in their own countries.

June 27, 2015 3:27 am

Politicians must know
It’s all just a fraud,
So why do they agree
To sign an accord?

John W. Garrett
June 27, 2015 3:42 am

“Hope for the best— expect the worst.”
Lindsay Graham scares me. He came very close to drinking the Kool-Aid.

Reply to  John W. Garrett
June 27, 2015 1:53 pm

He’s far worse than that. Lindsey Graham: “Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war.” Frankly he’s a dumb coward.

Robert O
June 27, 2015 3:42 am

The campaign about global warming, now climate change, has been relentless and has been widely spread throughout society by an extremely vigorous media. The fact there hasn’t been any global warming for 18 years (apart from manipulation of land-based data) and there is no significant relationship between levels of carbon dioxide and global temperature is irrevelant to governments since most people believe in the hyperbole. Why on earth would one go hell bent on setting-up wind turbines (30% efficient) and solar arrays (15% efficient) when man-made CO2 is only about 2% of the total atmospheric content, 98% being natural, and it is controlled by its partial pressure and solubility in the oceans following Henry’s Law of gases: it goes into solution in the colder oceans and is returned to the atmosphere in the tropical seas. Whatever is decided in Paris about carbon abatement will not make an iota of difference, but will cost a lot of money and fortunes will be made.

Reply to  Robert O
June 27, 2015 6:44 am

The conversion efficiency of wind and solar is not directly relevant, they are taking in “free” energy. What is relevant is the cost of the technology, including the cost of accommodating the difference between what these sources can provide and demand load. And in terms of cost wind and solar fall far behind more conventional energy sources.

Reply to  hanelyp
June 28, 2015 12:24 am

Thank crap that SOMEBODY on planet earth has understood that.
I’m so tired of hearing people talk about marginal improvements to the conversion efficiency of a wind turbine or solar panel, as though this was significant.
Who cares? We should presume, for the sake of argument that we can consume an infinitesimal quantity of an infinite supply. Since we are not in danger of ever using up all the wind or sunlight.
The only metric that should be considered is how much energy do we get per unit of MONEY.
Since money is the finite thing that we wish to convert into energy.
I have never understood why people struggle to grasp this and always slip back into talking about possible conversion efficiency improvements with total disregard for the cost.

Reply to  Robert O
June 27, 2015 8:12 am

Robert O
CO2 is aprox 0.0383% of earth’s atmosphere. That is the total percentage, not the ‘man made’ percentage.

The other Phil
Reply to  Terry Bixler
June 27, 2015 8:29 am

So what? You say this is if it has some meaning all by itself. It doesn’t. That same percentage of arsenic in a glass of water would kill you, that same percentage of sugar in a glass of water would be undetectable. Statements such as these are one of the reasons why some are able to dismiss skeptics.

The other Phil
Reply to  Terry Bixler
June 27, 2015 8:30 am

Sorry I read too quickly, and thought you are making a bald statement. I see now that you are correcting the misinformation of Robert O. My apologies.

Reply to  Terry Bixler
June 27, 2015 8:39 am

Terry Bixler
I believe Robert O meant 98% of total co2 as natural and 2% attributable to fossil fuel burning, etc. Not that co2 is 2% of the atmosphere.

Robert O
Reply to  Terry Bixler
June 27, 2015 11:20 am

I agree that 0.04% of the atmosphere is the gas Co2, but only about 2% of this is man-made, the rest is natural.

Robert O
Reply to  Robert O
June 27, 2015 3:13 pm

Just a typing slip; CO2 is 0.04% of the atmosphere, and of this CO2 approx. 2% is man made, the rest 98% is natural.

June 27, 2015 3:50 am

“The politics of this are tough for us. Eighty per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.”
This because, people already have a seemingly innate disposition to over-estimate the severity and frequency of recent events when compared to events that occurred long ago.
This is a well known cognitive bias.
In addition to this – the recent availability of hand-held video camera phones has created a massive surge in exposure to images of weather related disaster.
It really should have been the job of conventional rationalist skeptics and scientists to explain to the common man that the seemingly very real and concerning perception that recent events are more frequent or more severe is an artifact of the fading of memories, the way in which the mind attributes significance to memories and recent changes in technology.
Apocalyptic beliefs and doomsday mentality should have also been challenged by rational scientific explanations.
But instead, it seems that skeptics and scientist see this flaw as an opportunity to trick the public into taking their plans for global energy transformation seriously.
I think that many such abusers really were very concerned about global warming initially – but only later discovered that climate change was an easier sell.
In the same sense, it would be quite easy to convince a large portion of the public that they are subtly psychic or that they can sense dead relatives.
Now that a large body of self-described scientists have elected to mislead the public by reinforcing already existing cognitive biases – then we really are up shit creek.
Abbott is right. It is politically tough. When a significant number of scientists are assisting the electorate making a mistake that they already tend to make, unaided, then there is probably no way back from mass popular delusion.
Like it or lump it, really.

Ian W
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
June 27, 2015 8:19 am

The educators have succeeded in brainwashing the children. The media with the ‘marketing; use terms for whatever they want them to mean, so they talk of ‘climate deniers’ which demonstrates their profound ignorance. Although there will be some of the gullibles that will say it is getting colder because of global warming or just that cold is caused by ‘carbon’; nature will have the final say as always. If as some people are saying, there could be relatively profound cold for 40 years, it may be difficult to keep up the pretense that cold is caused by global warming. Then the politicians’ problem may be trying to show that they were not the ones pushing for carbon taxes and shutting down oil and coal fired power generation, and that is when the politicians will turn on the scientists who will be ‘to blame’ for misleading the politicians. That will not be a pretty time for climate ‘science’.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
June 27, 2015 11:27 am

I think that the reason “eighty per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger” is because 80% or more of the electorate never read pass the headlines. They are fed a constant stream of headlines, e.g.” 2014 the warmenst year on record” and, of course, any criticism of such reports is never printed. Indeed the Guardian and the BBC both refuse to print/broadcast anything critical of the concensus.
What our leaders need to do if they really don’t support CAGW is start drip-feeding sceptic views to the electorate to get them to slowly become aware that the science is not all settled.

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
June 27, 2015 4:59 pm

“…in January this year a Stanford poll reported that two-thirds of those interviewed said that they would vote for a candidate ‘who would campaign on fighting climate change.’”
What a poor choice of words for a poll question: “fighting climate change” Does this mean fighting the actual climate to keep it from changing – or – fighting those that are promoting the climate change meme?

Reply to  Harrowsceptic
June 28, 2015 12:01 am

Absolutely. We’ll be able to insert balance into the argument when newspapers are convinced to publish headlines such as “Quite Possibly Nothing of Any Great Significance Will Happen to the World’s Climate Within Our Lifetime, Say Some Scientists”.
Since that isn’t ever going to happen, we are doomed to witness a catastrophic level of alarmism.
Diverting mankind into addressing non-pressing issues whilst neglecting the real problems facing most of humanity.
It was always thus.
I don’t really know why I expected the modern era to be less foolish than all those before it.
Never mind.

mark fraser
June 27, 2015 3:56 am

It comes down to the amount of money the green blob could spend attacking Harper (for example) who has an election coming up. Think about it – hundreds of millions – many times what could be raised by a superpac. Best to try to neutralize the threat, rather than poke a stick in the blob’s eye.

Reply to  mark fraser
June 27, 2015 5:06 am

Exactly. The leftist Mob would attack him relentlessly and the leftist media up here would go even harder on him than they are now.
This upcoming election will decide if Canada continues to be a rational country or if it’s taken over and destroyed by the left. The Boy® seems to have faded but Mulcaire coming on strong scares the crap out of me. He would do like the Bamster and “fundamentally transform” this country into something very few people would approve of.
It’s going to be an election about keeping a steady rational leader or unleashing the socialist monster.

Reply to  nigelf
June 27, 2015 8:57 am

Does anyone dare to mention the names of the Canadian billionaires and multi-millionaires who are backing the global warming/climate change agenda in Canada?
The environmental NGOs are foot-soldiers for the wealthy elite.

Ted G
Reply to  nigelf
June 27, 2015 5:18 pm

Exactly. The leftist Mob would attack him relentlessly and the leftist media up here would go even harder on him than they are now.
Spot on, Here in Canada we have a relentless Leftist Media. CBC, CTV, Global, These are the big national networks that never have a good thing to say about the Conservatives. God help Canada if the NDP or the Liberals win the next election. It will be a race to the bottom for Canada. We were there once before in the and it was a painful slow climb out of that pit.

June 27, 2015 3:58 am

The majority of people do not think about climate change. The theories that base the climate change is human caused are not even validated scientifically and the two C rise as being dangerous is based on nothing more than a guess by an economist. Hardly scientific especially since diurnal and annual temperature changes can be over 40 times that scant figure.

June 27, 2015 4:00 am

“So, we need more good argument, more good analysis, and more controversy on WUWT and elsewhere.” ~ Don Aitkin
Yes, we do need more good argument, analysis, and controversy. We need to allow all viewpoints so that arguments may be refined and we can move ever closer to the truth. This is going to be a long, long battle against the governments and their paid minions who want ever more control over people’s actions.
Someday, in the far future, the delusion that CO2 warms the planet and is a danger will be over. It took thousands of years before the idea that the planets and stars revolved around the earth was put to bed — so this could be a long slog indeed.

Joseph Murphy
Reply to  markstoval
June 29, 2015 4:04 pm

And when that day comes there will be another issue to take its place. It is more likely that the politics will shift before the argument is settled and victory will be unceremoniously snatched away. The battle against ignorance and politics is not to be won but rather endured. Fight the good fight, but don’t expect a parade.

June 27, 2015 4:00 am

In my country, climate change is almost never mentioned in political campaigning except by the greens.
However successive governments keep on signing UN Protocols and keep committing the tax payer to expensive “Climate Mitigation” practices.
For example, we have a climate change minister (this is a so called conservative government by the way), there is substantial tax payer funding to find ways to lessen production of green house gasses from farm animals, (AKA Farting), we have an Emissions Trading Scheme, (of which there are no figures available about how much cash it actually costs each consumer and recently an under publicized call for submissions “Setting New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change target”
As far as I am concerned, most of this stuff is going on under the radar.
The press will not entertain publishing anything informative on the subject, and when I write to my (conservative) MP he warns me that it is important not to be seen as supporting “conspiracy” theories.
In other words, I have no idea what is going on, except we appear to be going in a very totalitarian direction with AGW and “sustainability” as an excuse,

Reply to  rogerthesurf
June 27, 2015 7:27 am

Is it still a conspiracy “theory” when the conspirators have been caught in the act?

Reply to  rogerthesurf
June 27, 2015 1:33 pm

I agree 100%, Roger. Or should that be 97%? My National MP does not reply to my suggestion that he reads up on the subject, but has quietly told me that I should not assume that all MPs agree with the warmist crap. Honesty and truth are uncomfortable bedfellows for politicians – no wonder they rate at the bottom of the list of occupations along with second-hand car salesmen! Votes are more important than anything else!

Dudley Horscroft
June 27, 2015 4:00 am

Of course we are concerned about climate change. We worry that there is a strong possibility that we will enter a new “Little Ice Age”. We worry that politicians who accept the CAGW scam will come up with bad policies that will not affect the climate but will to a small or large extent badly affect the lives of us, and even worse, badly affect the lives of those who are poor, keeping them in poverty, or sending more people into poverty. We are concerned about the possibility that ‘windmills’ may have a deleterious effect on humans and livestock, and are aware that their costs are subsidized by cheaper and more efficient converters of potential energy into usable energy. We are worried that if carbon dioxide is pumped into deep caverns eventually it will leak from supposedly secure storage into unstable surface layers, and be greatly destructive when it breaks out, either from asphyxiating people in the vicinity of the outbreak, or destabilising buildings or railways. We are NOT worried if the same is done in the oceans, where carbon dioxide could be liquefied under pressure, as the density of carbon dioxide when liquefied under pressure (58 atmospheres at 20 Celsius) is only 770 kg/m3, so it would still float to the surface and bubble up like sodawater! (Seawater is 1025 kg/m3.) We are worried that CAGW alarmists get councils to declare land well above sea level, as liable to flooding as a result of the ‘rise of the oceans’ and put good land out of bounds, and incite insurance companies to ramp up their premiums.
In short, we are very concerned about climate change.

Doug Huffman
June 27, 2015 4:15 am

Electors and democratic voting are corrupt of their Ancient Greek foundation. From Aristotle, Politics IV, Ch 9, 1294b paraphrased, ‘It is accepted as democratic when public offices are allocated by lot; and as oligarchic when they are filled by election.’ (

Robert of Ottawa
June 27, 2015 4:22 am

Canadian PM Stephen Harper has an election in October, where his opponents will be arguing for carbon taxes and after stupid things. The media, particularly the state broadcaster, as in Australia, worships David Suzuki and the green religion. He is not going to stir up a hornets nest, they already are anti-Harper.
The fact that the G-7 agreed to do something about global warming by the end of the century must tell you what they think of it. Especially Merkel who is desparate for electricity

Steve from Rockwood
Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
June 27, 2015 4:39 am

Thanks Robert. I wonder what all those coal-fired power stations will do to Germany’s CO2 emissions.

Climate Pete
Reply to  Steve from Rockwood
June 27, 2015 5:57 am

Germany’s coal use increased somewhat in 2013, but has dropped back in 2014, mainly due to an increase in renewables in power generation, plus a mild winter.comment image
It does not make much sense to try to phase out both coal and nuclear at the same time, as Germany is doing. However, they are also focusing big time on energy efficiency, and total energy use is reducing, so Germany is just about getting away with it.comment image?itok=rqXH6cJY
There are some comments on adjustments to remove the effect of the mild 2014 winter here –

Stephen Rasey
Reply to  Steve from Rockwood
June 27, 2015 9:10 am

However, they are also focusing big time on energy efficiency, and total energy use is reducing, so Germany is just about getting away with it.
I heard that costs of electricity from renewable sources and increasing intermittency of power is a big worry of the industrial sector of Germany.
So are they ‘getting away with it” or are they sawing off the limb they are sitting on?

Billy Liar
Reply to  Steve from Rockwood
June 27, 2015 11:59 am

They’ve reduced their coal/nuclear percentage of generation from about 85% to 60% but it’s the last 60% that gets you!

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Steve from Rockwood
June 27, 2015 2:46 pm

Pete, the energy conservation argument is like telling a starving man to reduce his hunger by eating less. It is nonsense. Also, be very wary of these green energy input numbers. The swindlemillers and subsidy farmers always quote total installed power, rather than actual – rather like the millions of jobs that will be created – ask Spain.

Climate Pete
Reply to  Steve from Rockwood
June 28, 2015 3:35 pm

Robert of Ottawa said

The swindlemillers and subsidy farmers always quote total installed power, rather than actual – rather like the millions of jobs that will be created – ask Spain.

You are correct that total capacity of renewables is often quoted and is misleading unless you happen to understand the capacity factors for renewables. But just as often the total number of MWh (GWh, TWh) units produced by renewables is also quoted, and this is the valid statistic.
For instance the GreentechMedia article –
includes two graphs. The first is nameplate capacity
but the second is electricity production in Twh, which is a valid measure of the true power mix.
plus more graphs.

Robert of Ottawa
June 27, 2015 4:25 am

Besides which a warmer world is in Canada’s interest. Two growing seasons, lower energy costs for heating. What’s not to like?

Climate Pete
Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
June 28, 2015 3:38 pm

What’s not to like are the millions of refugees from Africa no longer able to grow their own food due to increased drought and needing somewhere to live that can. Would you be welcoming a few millions of them to Canada to work in the new agricultural Canadian paradise that is current the frozen Yukon? If not, where are they going to go?

Brian H
Reply to  Climate Pete
June 29, 2015 4:03 pm

Climate refugees seem to be confused. The nations which were supposed to be exporting them have experienced net immigration.
IOW, another BS-Fail for AGW theory and its projections.

June 27, 2015 4:30 am

That 2 degree rise above the preindustrial global temperature.
So what is that preindustrial temperature? (In degrees Celsius please)

Reply to  mwhite
June 27, 2015 5:54 am

Like your post – most won’t get it.

Reply to  kokoda
June 27, 2015 7:41 am

And when stating that preindustrial temperature, please include the error range.

Reply to  mwhite
June 27, 2015 10:50 am

You want an aproxymate number?

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  PiperPaul
June 27, 2015 2:49 pm

Well, when the Thames froze over regularly, it must have been colder in winter in London than now. I reckon we are already 2C above pre-industrial temps – all by natural causes.

June 27, 2015 4:42 am

We need to fight climate change. Anyone know any preventives that will keep us from a deeper ice age?

Brian H
Reply to  M Simon
June 29, 2015 4:08 pm

More CO2 won’t work. It’s a demonstrable failure. Except that it makes plants much more temperature-tolerant and water-efficient.

June 27, 2015 5:20 am

Not mentioned (at least not that I’ve seen) is the simple fact that all of us have had some sort of bad experience with a weather related event.
So, when someone comes along and says that they can make it less likely to happen again, we, quite naturally, pull out our coin of the realm and buy a bottle of Snake Oil.

Reply to  JohnWho
June 27, 2015 6:35 am


Mark from the Midwest
June 27, 2015 5:28 am

I am ‘concerned’ about climate change, I’m also concerned about the temperature of my coffee, which is presently borderline between “acceptable” and “time to grab a fresh cup.” Later today I’ll be concerned about my brakes, it’s been about 30,000 miles since I swapped out the pads, it’s probably also time to have the rotors turned, maybe I should do that soon. I concerned about the light low-level fog coming off the big lake, should I close the windows before too much humidity settles in the house, or just let the fresh air come in? In about 15 minutes I will be very concerned about toast, I like it medium brown, but lately my toaster has been a bit flaky.

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
June 27, 2015 6:19 am

” In about 15 minutes I will be very concerned about
toast, I like it medium brown, but lately my toaster has been a bit
Blame the BBC for that…. Bread Browning Change.

Reply to  peakbear
June 28, 2015 3:59 am

oh? I thought it was the carbon in the atmosphere affecting the way bread toasts nowdays , silly me.

Dave O.
June 27, 2015 5:32 am

It is incumbent on the purveyors of climate change hysteria to come up with a reasonable and rational alternative to fossil fuels – something that works. Given the fact that these people aren’t too smart to begin with makes the possibility of an alternative very unlikely.
I make the accusation of (not too smart) because of their hypocritical stance on fossil fuels. They demonize fossil fuels and use massive quantities of it at the same time.

Reply to  Dave O.
June 28, 2015 12:12 am

THAT is the problem.
Those who advance the problem seem to be least well equipped to solve it.
Hard-headed capitalists could move the world towards a low carbon future, at a price.
Lefty looneys can’t organize a piss up in a brewery.
Or, for that matter, an agrarian utopia on the Indochinese peninsula.
I suspect that most leftist were those people who were shit at maths and preferred to sit at the back of the class.

Reply to  Dave O.
June 28, 2015 11:47 am

Strangely enough, that doesn’t seem to be a real concern with these people. Which says something about the character of their beliefs. I’ve decided that building wind farms in spite of their inefficiency and incredibly negative externalities is some sort of ritualistic behavior. Maybe it falls under the heading of cognitive consistency – if I do something that’s supposed to be in line with a belief in AGW, then that supports my belief in AGW, or something along those lines.

David S
June 27, 2015 5:38 am

I still fail to understand how any leader who is slightly skeptical can’t choose the Chinese option on climate change. Obama lauded the great commitment the Chinese , biggest CO2 emitter in the world to NOT do anything till 2031 was somehow action on climate change. Why Australia doesn’t make the same commitment is beyond me . The reality is that with the Chinese continuing to increase its CO2 any real action by others will be utterly futile. With the insidious AGW movement infiltrating all major global institutions including media, government, schools, churches, universities, corporations, UN, government agencies it needs one or two strong leaders to try to start redressing the gross imbalance. I despair at the lack of real courage that they have.

Climate Pete
Reply to  David S
June 27, 2015 6:22 am

China committed to Obama to peak CO2 emissions no later than 2030. Later it committed unilaterally to peaking coal use no later than 2020. But in 2014 coal use dropped 2.9% vs 2013, even as the GDP “only” increased at a rate of 7.4%. So it looked like the Chinese are starting to detach coal use from GDP.
Then came the 1Q 2015 bombshell coal use figures – 8% down on a year previously. Some of this is because of a blip in the Chinese economy. But overall, it looks very much like China has actually peaked its coal use already – 2013 being the peak.
The Chinese have really been trying hard to get rid of coal – for instance 3 out of 4 of Beijing’s coal generation stations have been replaced by larger-capacity gas generation and the last is due to close soon. Of course when the people in a country can’t actually breathe the air because of soot from coal generation it is probably time to do something serious about it.
If China really has peaked use of coal (and the Chinese government has not been trumpeting it), then they are on course to peak CO2 emissions in 2025 instead of 2030.
Here is the Chinese government climate web site –
Bear in mind that China is not like the USA. The government can put you in prison if they don’t like your non-compliance with instructions such as climate policies. On the other hand the country is huge, so more difficult to steer in a particular direction.

Reply to  Climate Pete
June 27, 2015 6:33 am

They do it because of ‘climate policies’, or because they cannot breathe the air? I think you misspoke at the end when you suggested climate policies as the reason for going to NG.

Reply to  Climate Pete
June 27, 2015 8:46 am

Nope. Coal use in China is still increasing, and new alternate power is only a small fraction of energy use increases.
China is nowhere near peak coal.
the amount of new coal energy added to the China grid last year exceeded new solar energy by 17 times, new wind energy by more than 4 times, and even new hydro by more than 3 times. And, despite having more than 30 new nuclear reactors under construction, China’s new nuclear capability was still a fraction of new coal energy.
[At first blush, this data seems to contradict recent reports that total China coal use fell in 2014 for the first time by about 2.5%. However, the two trends are not inconsistent. Half of China coal use is outside of the power sector, especially in heavy industry, which has reduced its coal use as exports fell in 2014 and government policies to remove subsidies from heavy industry took hold.
comment image
Alternate energy growth in China is only 5% of total energy consumption annual increases.comment image?w=705

Reply to  Climate Pete
June 27, 2015 10:20 am

Often forgotten that coal is not only burned for electric power, but also is used in concrete, steel and glass production, all affected by the slowdown in the heated Chinese construction boom for the last few years.

Reply to  Climate Pete
June 27, 2015 10:52 am

For all the advance technology that China produces and uses…I’m stunned that they “can’t breath” because of burning coal. Just a heads up here, COAL as the whipping boy might be a true LIE. Let’s see, as an old utility engineer, myself I can think of this: Stoker/Grater + Cyclones (simply built, sheet metal) 85% containment of fly ash. Bag houses, yep cost money to run…90% reduction. ESP (electrostatic precipitates), 98% reduction of particulates. Low sulfur coal, well..self explanatory. How about this for the primary cause of the “choking cities” problem: 1. Coal with NO controls used for heating in residences and small businesses. 2. Cooking grease/combustion product releases. 3. In Bejing (Peking, love that older term!) 4 million Chinese (hooked, we didn’t force them to this) cigarette smokers puffing away. 4. Lots of poorly kept diesel engines at work in the major cities. Put these together and you have “air you can chew”. My point: Stop blaming coal fired ELECTRIC plants. It is a bogus argument.

Reply to  Climate Pete
June 27, 2015 11:52 am

The move to gas powered power plant in Beijing only moves the CO2 emissions to Inner Mongolia, where coal is gasified and piped to the cities, to reduce particulate emissions there.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Climate Pete
June 27, 2015 2:54 pm

I have no more faith in Chinese government numbers than those of the EPA, NASA or NOAA. And let’s not mention the UK Met Office and Australia BOM. All fixed. Yes, I know it sounds like a conspiracy but it is.

Climate Pete
Reply to  Climate Pete
June 28, 2015 3:16 pm

ECB said :

They do it because of ‘climate policies’, or because they cannot breathe the air? I think you misspoke at the end when you suggested climate policies as the reason for going to NG.

The Chinese people and government tend to lump air pollution and other non-carbon environmental pollution together with climate change. If you know people are dying from coal pollution and you want to get rid of coal, then why bother to think too carefully about whether you need to get rid of coal to solve climate change? You can see the Chinese attitude to climate change differs considerably from that in the UK and USA.comment image

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  David S
June 27, 2015 2:52 pm

The G-7 just out-did China, They will do something by 2100.

Reply to  David S
June 28, 2015 9:10 am

Climate Pete is a warmist BS-er troll par excellence. Don’t water your time.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
June 28, 2015 9:19 am

Too funny======>> “water your time”

Climate Pete
Reply to  Allan MacRae
June 28, 2015 3:03 pm

Allan, I am very flattered by your “par excellence” accolade.

Climate Pete
Reply to  David S
June 28, 2015 3:01 pm

Chen Zhu, Chinese health minister until a year ago says 350,000 to 650,000 deaths in China from air pollution each year.
Fourth biggest threat to the health of Chinese people (behind heart disease, dietary risk and smoking).

Reply to  Climate Pete
June 28, 2015 3:18 pm

Climate Pete: “Fourth biggest threat to the health of Chinese people (behind heart disease, dietary risk and smoking).”
None of which involves CO2 of course.
What a disingenuous – mendacious even – fellow you are.

June 27, 2015 5:39 am

I’m concerned about those who think they know everything better and are “enlightened” because they have a graduate degree. Just spending 8 years on campus doesn’t mean you are part of the “intellectual” community. The whole tyrannical nature of this movement should put up a red flag for anybody. The idea of a class of people that know everything better whether science or politics is not exactly an American value. The fact is that any qualified critic of this movement is shunned from the community in a religious fashion. There are countless skeptics to list. It’s not just a few heretics. i don’t like the idea that the masses must be told what to think especially about a scientific topic. The idea seems to be, “You must believe this because you could never fully understand it.” How is that logical. It seems purely condescending and is totally untrue. I think it’s pretty sad academia is so full of itself that it thinks regular people don’t have the intelligence to educate themselves informally and come to a sound conclusion. Of course, the academic community should be given top authority on an issue like this. To me climate change is the biggest blunder in our current times of that that type of mentality though.

Mark from the Midwest
Reply to  Charlie
June 27, 2015 6:01 am

Charlie, actually spending 8 years on campus is an indication that a person is pretty mediocre. I know several people who are both smart and educated, they had a masters within 4 years, and finished their doctoral work in the minimum of 2 years in residence. I know a guy who took 24 semester hours, two terms in a row, so he could finish his MBA in 9 months, (from Wharton, but he only had a 3.83 g.p.a.)…

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
June 27, 2015 8:22 am

I don’t know if the universities have altered their gpa system. It’s been a while since I was in college. I know the American high schools have taken liberty to add other political factors to gpa. With this students of some high schools can obtain a gpa over 5.0 now. Hey that reminds me of another topic.

Mark from the Midwest
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
June 27, 2015 9:12 am

For Wharton a 3.83 would be the equivalent of an A- average, it just pissed this guy off that he didn’t have a 4.0 … and he blamed himself for slacking, he’s also worth about 60 million, due in part to building small affordable, highly efficient, and architecturally pleasing homes, among other things.

Reply to  Charlie
June 27, 2015 6:22 am

Don’t be silly.
Of course CAGW is true.
Just ask Gruber.

Reply to  Charlie
June 27, 2015 12:38 pm

I understand completely, because this was , is ,and shall be ,to the end a political story, amen

June 27, 2015 5:42 am

Simple politics, words like this are cheap. People who don’t care about climate change will ignore this blather, the people who care will clasp it to their breasts and send money, and people who dislike it aren’t going to do much about it – because it is meaningless.

June 27, 2015 5:43 am

In order to win an election, candidates need to offer their supporters other people’s wealth, and candidates must convince their supporters to vote in spite of the fact that individual votes will not affect the election. Accomplishing these two goals requires deception. Therefore, candidates who are willing to violate property rights — to steal — and be deceptive have an advantage over candidates with stronger moral convictions. So of course elected officials are corrupt. Candidates with moral integrity are at a severe disadvantage in the political sphere. Do not put your hope in political solutions.

June 27, 2015 5:45 am

Answer: When anyone brings forth the phrase ‘climate change’, all skeptics, fence-sitters, non-greenie politicians, etc., should immediately reply with a question: Are you referring to Global Warming Climate Change or Natural Climate Change.
The Greenies, Liberals, Democrats were brilliant in the name change to ‘Climate Change’, as they knew that, over time, with constant repetition of ‘Climate Change’, the General Population would not differentiate between the two concepts.
Even though many skeptic scientists are brilliant, supe- smart, top-of-the-world in their profession, they are politically dumb when they use the phrase ‘Climate Change’. They have fallen into the beautiful spider web created by the bad guys and I am getting angry at our guys.

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  kokoda
June 28, 2015 2:23 am

Even better, ask if they mean warming or cooling.

Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
June 28, 2015 8:53 am

Or even better, are you referring to man made climate change or natural one

June 27, 2015 5:52 am

A very reasonable argument, Don Aitkin. Much appreciated. Your helpful explanation why — “While we spread the argument, our elected governments talk about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but do nothing that would achieve such an outcome.”
In addition to more of the only investigative journalism we have today through independent blogs like WUWT — spreading knowledge, the scientific method, providing a model (“digging to the bottom” of each issue carefully), teaching people how to think — I think “the media” must consistently be identified by its owners’ names and identified as a bought-and-paid-for arm of the AGW forces. Continuing to call it “the media” makes it “respectable” and prevents discriminating thoughtfulness (like Obi-Wan — “you cannot see xxx”) about truth(s), science, the scientific method, investigation, learning, making good “survival” choices in an election. The owners of public information sources who use them only for propaganda purposes must be named over and over again, or else we also are guilty of “dumbing down” the electorate.
And this is truly a biggie — the elephant in the room. All our past respectable scientific journals, our conservation organizations, our newspapers, our news programs, cable news, children’s education (books, curriculum, etc.), IT organizations (Google, Apple, Microsoft, on and on) have morphed into the “green blog”. The owners need to be named and their feet held to the fire for publishing lies under the banner of their organizations. I plead, stop calling this propaganda blob “the media” and identify those responsible for the lies, as we can identify the independent bloggers who put so much effort into reconstructing independent, investigative journalism. Independent blogger put so much on the line, make those owners as prominent as, for example, Anthony Watts.

June 27, 2015 5:59 am

What I see and expect to see is that ‘climate’ like ‘weather’ or ‘body weight’ is in a constant state of flux. We will always see slow changes one way or another in the climate. I am not a ‘climate denier’. What is yet to be proven to me is that humanities activities as a whole is having any ‘negative’ affect on climate. Oxygen and Nitrogen are just as much a ‘greenhouse gas’ as carbon dioxide. This fixation on CO2 and very little if no mention of real bad harmful gasses is what is making climate scientists and their supporters look like whackos to me. I am all for encouraging people to not poison the environment around them with real poisonous things whether gasses or poisonous liquids and trash. This fixation on CO2 is infuriating as CO2 is essential in the cycle of life on our planet. Our earth is a great regulator of temperature through the physics of winds and ocean currents. We see it and it can be proven. Rather than arguing back proving how the climate scientists are wrong, start asking a lot of ‘why’ questions and get to the real root of what is driving them and their fixation. We may find that the CO2 fixation is just a distraction away from a bigger problem with these scientists themselves.

Mark A
June 27, 2015 6:06 am

In academia I have never come across an idea that can’t be succinctly expressed in the language of a 14 year old. Sadly, I have come across many a work that expresses itself in the most obscure manner, creating the appearance of sophistication. This helps promote the idea that there is a special class of knowledge available only to the few. Various hoaxes, of course, have revealed the nonsense for what it is.
My view is that only around 10% of scholarship has much value. Most AGW material, I fear, does not belong in the10%.

Reply to  Mark A
June 27, 2015 10:37 am


Bob Highland
June 27, 2015 6:31 am

Thanks, Don Aitkin, for your nuanced analysis of the “problem” of climate change for practising politicians of all stripes.
In politics, as in life, in corporate hierarchies and in relationships, the art of success lies in picking your battles wisely. There are times to come out blasting with all barrels to be true to your convictions and mark yourself as a person of integrity; and there are other times when it is better to keep your own counsel and bite your lip. Times such as when the likes of Obama and Merkel are indulging in their “We just want to save the world for you all” grandstanding moments, like post-G7 communiques. While the anodyne platitudes are being read out – mainly for the benefit of journalists, so they can all try to make it look like the whole meeting wasn’t a gigantic waste of time and money, not to mention all those pesky, embarrassing CO2 emissions – it’s generally regarded as bad form to be standing in the background silently mouthing “Bull***t”, especially when there are so many cameras focused on you. It makes you look like the drunken uncle at a kids birthday party
No, when you want to make a point that runs counter to the stated beliefs of the supposed great and the good of other nations, it’s much better to do it on a home battleground of your own choosing. And it’s much better to actually do something – like axing a pointless carbon tax, as Tony Abbott did – rather than waste your breath arguing with greenies.
Tony Abbott is my local MP as well as being PM, and I believe I understand what he thinks about the shamelessly exaggerated claims and predictions of the blowhard catastrophists. But he still finds it easier to pay lip service to the existence of a “problem” to avoid daily rants and arguments from various quarters, while relegating the subject to a deservedly low position on Cabinet’s priorities.

Reply to  Bob Highland
June 27, 2015 10:26 am

Thanks Bob:
I was going to include a comment at the end with my posting; however it serves better following your points, Bob.
Professionals attend meetings for specific purposes. A G7 summit is primarily economic.
Any discussion that is not central to a professional’s mission is useless. It is far better to focus on building alliances needed instead of alienating attendees.
Any statement as vapid, vague and useless at the G7 climate statement isn’t worth the breath needed; let it pass and ignore it. Or use it to placate the eco nuts. No change in home governmental action is needed.

June 27, 2015 6:41 am

Everything a politician does is scripted. Every speech is run by sample audiences to gauge reaction. Every word, gesture etc. Harper is no different.

Climate Pete
June 27, 2015 6:42 am

What action on climate has actually been committed by various countries / regions?
There’s plenty of talk about political talk but no action. However, in preparation for the Paris climate conference at the end of this year, developed countries have submitted INDCs – Intended, Nationally Determined contributions. See UNFCCC INDCs as communicated by Parties
Most are unilateral commitments to specified greenhouse gas emission reductions relative to a start year. e.g. the European Union says “40% reduction by 2030 compared to 1990”.
Russia’s is interesting. It points out it has 70% of the Boreal (N Hemisphere) forests, and commits to expanding them, believing that such a land use change will reduce its net CO2 emissions by 25%.
Mexico is also interesting in that it has made a unilateral commitment to GHG and carbon black reductions, but said it is prepared to do more if this helps to secure a global agreement.

Climate Pete
June 27, 2015 6:48 am

Developed countries who have submitted UNFCCC INDCs plus China, which has made public statements, are responsible together for 58% of worldwide CO2 emissions.

Brian H
Reply to  Climate Pete
June 29, 2015 9:05 pm

All posturing. Remember that CO2 is toothless in affecting temperatures. Bill Gray has established its ECS as 0.3, +/-0.1, which is functionally indistinguishable from 0. So any commitment to cut it is a commitment to waste money.

Jim G1
June 27, 2015 6:54 am

The left marches to the tune played for them, while the right will only march to the tune their specific subgroup likes.
The left spent years chipping away at education, the media, building pro abortion groups, anti gun groups, pro gay rights groups, green groups, etc.
The right wants exactly what its subgroup wants and wants it all now.
The left uses the legal system and government money to fight their tactical battles, the right needs to obtain private money to fight back and rarely starts a real fight of its own as the subgroups cannot agree on what the fight should be about.
If you will not vote for the ultimate Republican nominee, irrespective of what an ass you believe him/her to be, then you are part of the problem. The right needs to believe in the philosophy of the lesser of evils.

Reply to  Jim G1
June 27, 2015 10:39 am

Exactly correct.
Republicans elected Obama to his second term. Especially the ones who go around calling everyone they do not like a RINO.

Jim G1
Reply to  Menicholas
June 27, 2015 7:10 pm

That sword cuts both ways.

Reply to  Menicholas
June 28, 2015 12:12 pm

I have no idea whether you’re right or not; I’m a Brit.
What’s RINO when it’s abroad, please?
{Yeah Rhino, big bit of kit with a dodgy temperament and a b I g nose. But – I guess – RINO is different}

Brian H
Reply to  Menicholas
June 29, 2015 9:08 pm

Republican In Name Only.

June 27, 2015 6:54 am

Climate change gets a passing mention in most elections. Obama is trying to leave a climate change legacy because he has little options left but he certainly did not campaign on it in his two election victories. Most other countries and elections are similar. Climate change policies are only described and enacted after the election not a central feature of the campaign.
This is to the detriment of parties that do no buy into the climate change belief. They need to force the other parties to be clear about what they are going to do and to be very specific about that. Normally, this would lose votes for the pro-climate change parties but they are left off the hook in elections because the anti-climate change policy parties are simply scared of bringing it up.
That is a mistake and a vote-swing of at least 10% is left on the table.

June 27, 2015 7:00 am

The climate extremists are using the same tactics to impose their policies that the gays used to push their agenda through in the US:
Control the public discussion, co-opt the government, co-opt all areas of “academia”, control the educational process, redefine any and all terms as convenient to their cause, find Judges friendly to their cause in which to make court precedents. Then use the precedents to flip the rest of the courts.

Nicholas Harding
June 27, 2015 7:07 am

In addition to WUWT there is a need for another program. Several sponsors are needed. Monthly brown bag lunches on this topic need to be held on capitol hill for staffers and members—make staffers the target, They need to know that someday after the windmills have killed all the birds, the carbon taxes have done nothing to either stop the rise or fall in temperature, that the people will know they have been had. And they will be in the streets with pitchforks for having robbed them of wealth, quality of life and abundant wildlife. It will require a carefully designed and managed program that is a three to five year effort.
This is all way too stupid. Someone proposed 9 industrial windmills in Connecticut (even our Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection says there is no wind in Connecticut to power these monsters; accord DOE); many hearings later (Commissioner did not oppose) they can now build 2 of these monsters (non recourse loan from the Connecticut funded Green Bank) and get paid by the grid twice the retail rate per kw/hr. for the electricity that reaches the interconnect. And the Great Blue Heron rookery between the turbines? Who cares? No bird conservation group would testify against the project. And for a name plate of 5 MWs? Of undependable power? We are all being had in a major way by alternative energy scams. To save the Earth? The Earth has been here far longer than humans. It will be here long after humans are gone.

Reply to  Nicholas Harding
June 27, 2015 7:20 am

You demonstrate well what I attempted to point out in my post:
The climate kooks have controlled the discussion so long and have silenced their critics quite effectively.
I frankly expect that the tiny groups of skeptics still active to be silenced soon. Blog hosts and social media will simply ban them. Google will bury them in the search results. Students who dare question the consensus will find no academic future. Companies will be pressured to fire employees who do not beleive correctly. We are in a brave new world.

Reply to  hunter
June 27, 2015 10:43 am

I do not wish to believe that you may be correct.
In the back of my mind are plans for when and where to move to if you are.

Reply to  Nicholas Harding
June 27, 2015 11:03 am

European Climate Foundation Board includes:
Susan Bell, Vice Chair. and National Audubon Society,U.S. Board where she is listed as Secretary.
Check out the other Audubon Board members at the Audubon website.

June 27, 2015 7:13 am

The correction will come the populist rejection of leftist ideas in general, circa Goldwater to Reagan is revived. The GOP is currently a Party of RINO’S and appeasers similar in dimension to the Hoover Republicans the capitulated to New Deal orthodox and government expansionism that marks our age.
Dr. Curry mentioned the other day that Bush 41 was the peak of climate funding and academic consensus building. There in lies the problem of essentially a one party status quo. Less we forget the oversights of Thatcher and Reagan who incubated to Green Terror movements on their watch.
The fear of Orwellian climate change state is very real and justified. The electorate could optimistically become motivated to vote against it but it requires leadership. The elimination of Lindsey Graham and John McCain politically would be as relevant as removing the current Socialist consensus in the WH.

Reply to  cwon14
June 27, 2015 10:46 am

Your denigration of those you refer to as RINOs is why Obama is in the White House. Not you personally, but those who think as you do and many of which stayed home and did not vote.
And Curry is wrong…climate related spending is still rising, faster than ever.

David L. Hagen
June 27, 2015 7:26 am

Develop Replacement Transport Fuels
Discoveries of conventional oil fields peaked in the mid 60s and have steadily declined since. Conventional oil discoveries are now only one third of global production.
Fracking for tight oil is a temporary respite. The Annual Energy Outlook US Energy Information Agency projects oil production including tight oil to plateau around 2020 and then steadily decline. By 2100, global oil production will likely be in strong decline. We need to develop replacement fuels now sufficient to put into production long before 2100.
Thus the G7 call to replace fossil fuels by 2100 is a useful (though misguided) prompt to focus on developing replacement transport fuel that is for now critically important to society – while we develop cost effective reliable electric transport.

June 27, 2015 7:55 am

Don Aitkin said:
‘Climate change’ (I use the inverted commas to signify that I am talking about the political definition coined by the UNFCCC — a change in climate caused by human activity) is not high as a political priority anywhere. People are much more worried about jobs, health, immigration, transport costs and welfare. If you ask people to list their concerns, climate change comes in way down the list.
Even Green politicians agree with that statement. In the recent UK General Election the Scottish Green Party put one leaflet through my letter-box. It did not contain the word ‘climate’ once or anything remotely to do with the climate. They had obviously worked out that that there are many other issues which are far more important in most people’s minds.

Stephen Rasey
Reply to  Alba
June 27, 2015 9:25 am

The same tactic was used in the USA in the 2012 election. The Democrats were silent on the issue of Climate Change. Why scare off the sheep? The Republicans on the other had are too stupid to spot the weak plank in the oppositions platform.

June 27, 2015 8:52 am

@Hunter “We are in a Brave New World” Yes we are and at the same time not yet. The academic elite have been discussing these ideas in the halls of prestigious universities for the last 100 years A Huxley came from an intellectual milieu that were discussing how to manage the future of the human race in salons all over Europe. I think that what we are dealing with is the unintended consequences as those fabian socialists and their radical communist running dogs have achieved intellectual hegemony in academia.
There is reality also. In real economic terms it means that they must convince real people and nations to commit hari kuri. That isn’t so difficult to do in the third world where corrupt locals have always been dependent on hand outs and concessions from the occupying colonial powers but it does get more complicated when you ask modern industrial nations like Russia, China, and India to give up all aspirations of economic advance on behalf of a green world view. (The U S is, apparently, expected to be too redneck stupid or liberal delusional to understand that its role in the future is apparently to be the world’s game reserve and water park with some decadent entertainment centers for the chosen)
Only academicians could envision a United States in which Buffalo graze peacefully balanced with their wolf apex predators under the rhythmicly slinking shadow of a windmill farm as an alternative to “breadbasket to the world” The pure insanity of that vision and everyman’s hate of the kind of bureaucracy necessary to create it is how the “plumber joe” voters of the US will be forced off the fence.

Reply to  fossilsage
June 27, 2015 2:53 pm

Your assumption that it will be subject to a vote is a mistake. The Courts and the civil servants (bureaucrats) are the Achilles heel of civilization. The climate kooks control both. These intellectual charlatans have sold themselves on a climate consensus- popular opinion- but would never submit the policies they develop to an actual vote in a fully communicated fair election. Instead they will come in by way of tort law in kangaroo courts, pre-agreed on faux lawsuits by green NGOs against the EPA, and flat-out bureaucratic fiat. Notice the huge loser in recent years Constitutionally is the branch that was supposed to per-eminent. We are now ruled by Executive branch unilateralism and a vastly expanded Judicial review. But it is a ratchet effect. When conservatives take the Executive and attempt at even modest reform, the bureaucrats and Judges will prevent it.

Brian H
Reply to  hunter
June 29, 2015 9:21 pm

hunter, you always seem to slip a groaner into otherwise good posts. “per-eminent”?? preeminent.

June 27, 2015 9:24 am

‘There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.’
Probably the most apt reference to modern day politics. And the problem than becomes which (probably biased) poll do think represents what the people actually want me to do. With the appalling state of the ‘popular’ press and their reporting of surveys and opinion polls, I reckon you can get just about anything pushed forward as ‘the popular view’ today – and then – by definition – picked up by political party eager to grab hold of or hang on to power.
Real leadership is doing unpopular things because – in the long run – they are what is needed and we are sorely in need of some real leadership in today’s world.

Joel O’Bryan
June 27, 2015 9:28 am

Harper is just playing Obama’s game of cheap, empty rhetoric. Actions are the only measure of today’s honorless politicians. Their words are usually empty.

Robert Austin
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
June 27, 2015 10:54 am

At one time Harper was a CAGW skeptic but the political winds have forced him to change his tune. Nevertheless Harper is no fool and is also a great hockey fan to the extent of even writing a book on the subject. So to use a hockey expression, I strongly suspect Harper is “ragging the puck”. The expression means to skillfully stick handle the puck around the ice with the intention of letting the game time run out.

June 27, 2015 9:55 am

According to the 2015 United Nations My World survey covering currently 7,632,963 respondents globally, climate change comes flat last, sixteenth of sixteen causes for concern.
Seems that all the screeching and frothing by the AGW catastrophists is being treated with the contempt it deserves.

June 27, 2015 10:06 am

Concern about climate change or anything else means nothing, in absolute terms.
We all would agree to do anything to prevent dangerous climate change if it had no cost whatsoever. Why wouldn’t we?
But it’s when climate change competes with other priorities – like reducing poverty – that we object.
It’s the fact that climate change is bottom of the list that makes every leader’s statements meaningless. We will do something when we get around to it.

Reply to  MCourtney
June 27, 2015 10:40 am

You beat me to the point, MCourtney. +!

June 27, 2015 10:38 am

Several issues Don.
Polls spun by the New York times are not worth any more than lewserdunsky’s falsehoods.
Surely that Stanford Poll’s results struck you as odd? There have been several polls the last few years where voters placed ‘climate fantasies’ dead last or near the bottom of genuine concerns.
Yet the NYtimes, (pronounced nit times), wants their readers to believe that citizens who consistently bottom rank climate fantasies yet these citizens would vote for a Republican candidate who champions climate fantasy action?
Don’t be absurd.
In spite of the twisted logic spun up prior to the Paris minimum, most Republican candidates, voters, Independents and centrist Democratic voters will not rate action on climate fantasies any higher than they did last election. Voter interest was so low in 2014, that most candidates completely ignored climate as a campaign issue.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  ATheoK
June 27, 2015 11:01 am

I prefer to focus on the other end of this lens –
what are your plans for providing all of us with abundant, reliable, and affordable energy?

June 27, 2015 10:40 am

I know quite a few people who say they believe in ‘climate change’.
So I ask them, one by one: “Do you think the term is intended to
describe a cause, or an effect?”
Thus far, no illumination has been forthcoming.

June 27, 2015 12:58 pm

If you want to have firm control of the populus, there must always be some sort of threat to everyone’s well-being that you as a politician can provide protection from, or action against. Promising that disaster is imminent if your opponent wins, is the recent favorite tactic of candidates on both right and left wings.
Moderates don’t get many votes because they don’t sell protection from fictitious or exaggerated dangers.

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
June 27, 2015 1:15 pm

I have observed that climate change provides the external threat to the people, and the role of the internal enemy is relegated to those who question the external threat. The desired correlation is that those who question AGW fall in with ISIS sympathizers as enemies of freedom. It works well on those with little critical thought skills and applies a strong emotional stimulus.

June 27, 2015 4:13 pm

The global warming/climate change agenda is real union buster. No/little manufacturing translates into loss of union jobs in the manufacturing sector. No manufacturing > no unions.

June 27, 2015 4:24 pm

It bears repeating what I wrote earlier, especially since the last link, referred to below, has been updated in the light of my discovering ‘The Birth of Thermodynamics’, i.e. Count Rutherford’s famous experiment to help establish the identity between Energy = Work = Quantity of Heat — all measured in joule (J).
I am getting more and more bored. The globe can be getting warmer or colder, but the idea that the human contribution from burning carbon fuels has anything to do with it is not only IMHO the biggest political and intellectual fraud ever – but so says the IPCC itself:
The ongoing discussion pro and con is becoming akin to the scholastic argument as to how many angels can dance on the head of a needle. Which is, of course, exactly what is intended to achieve worldwide disorientation away from the actual IPCC aims of monetary and energy helotization – and bringing a whole, if not all, of science into disrepute. Even the UK Royal Society has become Lysenkoist. viz.
Besides, an elementary order-of-magnitude calculation shows that, even when allowing the IPCC calculation of man-made global warming by 2100 reputably caused by CO2, is so trivial when compared to solar input variability alone, as to be totally irrelevant to ‘climate’, viz.

June 27, 2015 7:26 pm

The simple and most regrettable fact I that the electorate, in all countries, is not very bright. Some are just rather short on intellect while others are too lazy to make good use of what they do have. It is so much easier and socially popular to be concerned with trivia, such as sport, celebrity gossip and the like. Furthermore, it is a well documented fact that a tiny fraction of society – the so-called opinion leaders – make the judgement on all phenomena and the rest unquestioningly fall into line. A good illustration of this is the popularity of tattooing. People mark themselves for life not because they necessarily think it’s a good idea but because others, often their heros, are doing it. So it is with Climate Change. While most people are not particularly concerned about it, the relentless exposure to the hype causes them to think that there must be something to it. Considering that respected world leaders, popular entertainers, even the Pope, is spruiking the alarm, the “man/woman on the street” can’t easily dismiss it. As for all the useful information available in support of the sceptic stance, sadly it is mostly preaching to the converted. Few of the unconverted ever bother to read it. Progress against the status quo will be very long, indeed.

Reply to  Bill Martin
June 28, 2015 12:05 am

June 28, 2015 12:10 am

“the full quotation goes like this: ‘The argument is absolute crap. However, the politics of this are tough for us. Eighty per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.’”
Unfortunately the reply is meaningless without the question. A666ott never said climate change was absolute crap. The question was “Julia said the science is settled.”
Like it or not, A666ott’s “skeptical” positions have never actually extended beyond what is beyond reasonable doubt. CO2 has some positives – ECS is not as high as the alarmists say – unilateral pricing helps no one – warming has slowed contrary to projections and even claims.
He may or may not be a genuine lukewarmer but his stance is less helpful to the skeptical cause than widely attributed. And he appointed an ecoloon as Enviro Minister.

Climate Pete
Reply to  Andrew
June 28, 2015 4:00 pm

After proposing to grant an Australian knighthood to Prince Phillip (whose is married to the Queen of Australia, of course), Abbot was subject to a vote of confidence within his party. He passed with a reasonable sounding majority 61-39. However, the commentators are saying he only got through because the government ministers all felt obliged to vote for him this once.
Next really stupid mistake Abbott makes (and he has a track record of minor ones), they are not going to bother to support him, and he will be out. So it looks as is his days are numbered whatever his view on climate change.

Bob Lyman
June 28, 2015 12:46 am

This is a useful article for, among other things, providing insight into the way that the framing of polling questions can influence the outcomes of polls and thus in turn alter politicians’ public strategies. I would add only a few clarifications and other comments. First, the G7 statement committed the leaders in principle to “a common vision” of eliminating fossil fuel emissions by 2100 with interim goal of reducing GHG emissions by 40 to 70% from 2010 levels by 2010 “recognizing that this goal can only be met by a global response”. The language of the communique was very carefully crafted and no doubt the object of lengthy negotiations. The communique includes a slightly less nuanced commitment to “develop long term no carbon strategies”. Each of the leaders was aware that the communique was important politically to show a common front but that it means nothing if a deal cannot be negotiated in December.
Prime Minister Harper must have gritted his teeth as he signed. Those of us who dissent from the CAGW thesis clearly would have been more comfortable with a lesser statement, but it played to the media in a way that probably was unavoidable.
Having formerly worked in government for many years, I am used to seeing the tightrope that politicians walk on this subject. There is some difference among the political parties, but those broadly on the left are pleased to be able to use climate change as an excuse to subsidize the interest groups and industry (i.e. energy “efficiency”, ethanol, solar and wind) that heavily contribute to their campaigns and those on the right prefer, when pressed, to regulate (e.g. vehicle fuel efficiency, appliances, etc.). Most politicians are increasingly nervous about anti-carbon policies being used as trade barriers (e.g. Keystone XL pipeline).
Up to now, there has been no political downside to promising to reduce emissions, only to actually doing so. I fear, however, that we are reaching a critical stage as is indicated by the frantic efforts of the CAGW crowd and their friends in the media to hype this issue before the public. They truly seek an agreement in Paris that will legally bind the parties to massive and economically damaging emissions reductions. While I take heart from the tendency of the developing countries to overplay their hands in demanding hundreds of billions of dollars from the OECD to finance their transition away from carbon (such as it is likely to be), I worry that media pressure may move politicians into some truly rash measures. This is not a time for dissenters to stand aside from the fray.

June 28, 2015 7:55 am

True Bob, very true. I just sent my yearly donation to Mr. Harper and told him agreeing to the statement at the G-7 about so called reductions in CO2 was “hot air”.

June 28, 2015 9:27 am

1. There has been NO global warming for 18 years and counting. There is no global warming crisis.
2. The trillions spent on ineffective green energy schemes (scams) to “fight global warming”, now clearly a false alarm, have been wasted.
3. Industry has relocated to China, where even the worst forms of air, water and soil pollution are not controlled.
4. Those wasted trillions could have provided clean water and sanitation systems for the third world, and about 50 million kids under the age of five could have been saved from horrible deaths.
That is the track record of the IPCC and the greens.

Climate Pete
Reply to  Allan MacRae
June 28, 2015 3:54 pm

Here’s the most recent NOAA ocean heat content chart for 0-2,000m
The 14 years between 1998 and 2012 have increased the ocean heat 0-2,000m by 11 x 10^22G. Divide by the earth’s area 5.1 x 10^14 m^2 and by the number of seconds in 14 years (441 million) and you get a contribution to the net energy (power) imbalance at the top of the atmosphere of 0.5 W/m^2
Who cares if this net incoming power is virtually all going into ocean warming at present, with very little going into surface warming. Sooner or later more will be go into surface warming, as it did before 1998. This might well start in the next few months coinciding with the later stages of the current El Nino state.
Industry did indeed relocate to China because it was cheaper. But they have only just overtaken the EU in CO2 emissions per head, and are way behind the USA.
And what are you going to do about 350,000 – 650,000 deaths per year in China from atmospheric pollution mainly due to coal? China’s ‘airpocalypse’ kills 350,000 to 500,000 each year

Climate Pete
Reply to  Climate Pete
June 28, 2015 4:08 pm

Oops, that was not the most recent NOAA chart. But this iscomment image

June 28, 2015 10:12 am

WE Brits proposed a solution 40 years ago:

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  rtj1211
June 30, 2015 11:11 pm

Perfect quote from that show:
“If the right people don’t have power, Bernard, do you know what happens? The wrong people have power.”

June 28, 2015 12:41 pm

Politicians – BSers, one & all.
Long Term = the next election. Sadly.
See – London, and the price of property.
You will certainly offend a few if you allow development on XXYYWWZZ Common.
So – flat [and house] prices go through the roof.
Bingo – for those selling – but not for the 60% of ther population who ate middleclass or young, or both.

johann wundersamer
June 28, 2015 6:18 pm

what hinders a for what ever candidate to say – sure you care about climate: ever feel free to hammer that to the EPA. It’s their job, they get paid for.

June 29, 2015 6:56 am

I think you have misrepresented Harper’s position.
Harper favours gradual CO2 abatement, but not at the expense of economic growth. He apparently figures he can have both over the long run. This is not out of line with ‘deep cuts in global greenhouse emissions’ when the target is the year 2100.,

Climate Pete
Reply to  rabbit
June 29, 2015 11:29 am

What Harper’s Canadian government has actually committed to in their UNFCCC INDC :
is :

Although Canada represents only 1.6% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, Canada
remains committed to doing our part to address climate change. As part of our contribution to a
new global climate change agreement, Canada intends to achieve an economy-wide target to
reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Not as spectacular as Europe (40% below 1990 levels by 2030), but still significant.
This mostly has to come from non-electricity sources, because of the following chart in the INDC :
Canada has also said it might use international mechanisms for achieving this carbon reduction, subject to verification that they are reducing carbon emissions.

June 29, 2015 4:39 pm

They will pretend that there is a problem and then they will agree to pretend they are solving it…

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