Stop The Devastation of Peoples Lives By Speculating with No Data: Remembering Cattle And Methane Emissions

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

Release of early data from NASA’s OCO2 satellite triggered the typical nonsense. The usual people talked about the modern equivalent of how many angels on the head of a pin, when they haven’t even established the existence of angels. The initial OCO2 data appears to show most estimates and assumptions were wrong. This might explain NASA’s hesitancy to release all the information, especially with regard to sources and sinks. If nothing else, the maps show the CO2 is not well mixed. The wider truth is that every piece of data in the climate debate is a very crude estimate created for a political or scientific agenda, including those used by many skeptics.

Kip Hansen’s essay “Are we Chasing Imaginary Numbers?” speaks to an important point about approximations. It reminded me about learning navigation and taking what was called “a three star fix”. The result almost always was a triangulation and all you knew was you were somewhere in the triangle. To narrow it down, but still not be precise, you dropped perpendicular lines from the centre of each side of the triangle to create what Hansen would recognize as the data point, we called it a Most Probable Position (MPP). Hansen’s discussion is very valuable, but in climate science the problem begins long before the point of determining accuracy.

All measurement records are inadequate for any legitimate analysis, lacking length, breadth, or depth. For example, Spectrum Analysis is used to determine climate cycles, but requires long records which are rarely available. The overall records are inadequate as the basis for modeling or even input to formulae; they definitely should not underpin any policy.

In typical IPCC fashion they acknowledge most of the problems in Box 2.1 Uncertainty in Observational Records. It appears in the Physical Science Basis Report where they know it won’t be read, It should be the first page of the Summary for Policymakers (SPM), but don’t hold your CO2 laden breath. Despite these inadequacies, unnecessary policies and attacks on entire segments of society occurred. Usually this occurs insidiously and without wider knowledge, primarily because of the abject failure of the mainstream media.

I have given evidence about climate and environment at trials and served on dozens of commissions of inquiry. In every case the primary finding was the same; data was inadequate to draw any conclusion. The problem is exacerbated because authorities limit and control what data is made available. Unfortunately, while this would stop pure scientific research, it doesn’t hinder political scientific research. The data problem in climate research has not improved in the 43 years since Hubert Lamb set up the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in 1972. He explained the challenge in his autobiography.

“…it was clear that the first and greatest need was to establish the facts of the past record of the natural climate in times before any side effects of human activities could well be important.”

Lamb’s central interest was in reconstructing climate records, but his concern about inadequacies applies to all related data. He also commented on what would happen when all the efforts went to speculation without adequate data.

A precarious and threatening situation has developed for climatology: a tremendous effort was made to land research funds in all countries, mostly the USA, on the basis of frightening people about the possible drastic affects of Man’s activities, and so much has been said about climate warming there will be an awkward situation if the warming doesn’t happen or not to the extent predicted.

The IPCC successfully directed most attention, including that of most skeptics, to temperature and CO2. They were wrong on both these variables, but were equally wrong on most others. One error was their data and predictions about methane (CH4). Misuse of methane data began even before the IPCC hit full stride with attacks on the agriculture sector and cause serious and totally unnecessary economic and social damage (Figure 1).

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Figure 1

Failed IPCC predictions like these are obvious and not surprising. More intriguing is the increase in observed methane levels after 2004, but more of that later.

On The Front Line

After 40 years working with farmers and landowners I know they are more aware and environmentally conscious than anyone else in society. They and their families live on and make their living from the land; it is an investment and a legacy. Farmers were attacked in the 1970s and 80s with claims their cattle produced methane (CH4) that caused global warming. It was incorrect scientifically and ignored facts that provided a different picture. It combined with attacks on their entire operation by animal rights groups that were aggravated by the severe drought across western North America in the late 1980s. Waterfowl numbers declined and farmers were blamed because they cleared the woodlands, drained the wetlands, and using chemicals. I spoke to a farm conference in Yorkton Saskatchewan during that period. A farmer spoke to me in the parking lot after. He said they no longer had family suppers because of dissent and hostility as his children, indoctrinated by a misinformed social studies teacher with a political agenda, attacked him and farming. The numbers of waterfowl recovered in the early 1990s when rains returned, but there were no apologies.

When the methane issue appeared I was serving as a technical advisor for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). I urged them to ignore the issue because scientific evidence didn’t justify the claims but that didn’t matter; the eco-bullying was effective. Some governments, like New Zealand, actually planned taxes on animal emissions of methane. The government eventually withdrew the tax after farmers protested loudly about the damage to the economy. In Canada the government offered sizable sums of money to farmers who adopted their methane reduction programs. I learned, while speaking to the Canadian Forage Crop producers a few years ago, that many signed on. They quickly found how disastrous it was because bureaucrats dictated their farm management, including inappropriately changing their crop rotation.

What happened to the methane issue? How was a very important part of society threatened and made to feel guilty for what humans and animals have done for millions of years, produce methane? The answer is special interest environmental groups used inadequate data and scientific knowledge to create a false narrative. The mainstream media amplified the threats in their furtherance of sensationalism. The worst part was most scientists remained silent. There was another scientist on the CCA panel with me who urged action. It later emerged that he was receiving research funds to produce methods of reducing methane from animals.

North American cattlemen went from the personification of freedom and healthy lifestyle represented by the Marlboro Man, to the actor who played the Marlboro Man sadly dying of cancer and the great outdoors polluted by the cattle in his herd.

T.H. Huxley said, “The great tragedy of Science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.” It certainly applies to the hypothesis that human activities are causing increases in greenhouse gases, such as CH4, that are destroying the planet. The trouble was atmospheric methane volumes leveled and declined at the same time as the charges were made. The 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report shows the trend (Figure 2).

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Figure 2: Plot of methane levels from 1985 to 2006.

The IPCC (Table 1) showed that atmospheric methane (CH4) levels did not change as a forcing factor between 1998 and 2005.

Concentrations        and their changes 

Radiative Forcing 

Speciesa 2005  Change since 1998  2005 (W m–2 Change since1998 (%)
CO2 379 ± 0.65 ppm +13 ppm 1.66 +13
CH4 1,774 ± 1.8 ppb +11 ppb 0.48
N2O 319 ± 0.12 ppb +5 ppb 0.16 +11

Table 1: Changes in 3 greenhouse gases from 1998 to 2005.

Over the period from 1990 – 2013, which includes the period in Table 1, US methane levels declined (Figure 3).

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Figure 3

 

The same EPA web page says,

Globally, over 60% of total CH4 emissions come from human activities.

They don’t know that, but it maintains the false narrative. The question is what do we know?

Methane is 0.00017% of all atmospheric gases and only 0.36% of the total greenhouse gases. These fractions were so small that even people who didn’t understand the science became skeptical of the claims that it was doing harm. This is when the concept of climate sensitivity appeared except it was called the Global Warming Potential (GWP). The story was that methane was a small percentage of the greenhouse gases, but much more effective than CO2 or H2O. It is a meaningless measure because

“The infrared absorption bands of methane, at wavelengths of roughly 3 and 8 microns, are overlain by absorption from water vapor.  But once the water vapor absorbs the radiation in these bands, there is really nothing left for methane to absorb.  So the estimates of methane being 20-70 times more effective per molecule than CO2 (as estimated by IPCC), or that methane forcing is 20% of CO2 forcing, as shown in various IPCC reports, makes absolutely no sense.”

Great variation in the GWP figure is evidence that it is artificial nonsense. EPA currently says it is over 20 times more effective than CO2.

Regardless, its lack of importance was clarified when, Andrew Weaver, contributor to four IPCC Reports (1995, 2001, 2007, and 2013) said,

“[Methane] was not considered in any of the predictions at all.”

[Disclaimer, Andrew Weaver has a defamation lawsuit against me]

 

Historical Context

Many facts about methane show why the story was distorted. In the 1970s and 80s farmers were already under attack from animal rights groups. The global warming due to greenhouse gases appeared and provided a bigger vehicle for their agenda. Global warming dominated the headlines pushing the theme that humans and their animals were a blight on the landscape.

Methane levels were not increasing, but that didn’t matter. Once government funding became available academics emerged to perpetuate the myth, not to report the truth. The central objective was to blame any change on human activity. An early story blamed Imperialist promotion of bush clearing for agriculture in Africa (Figure 4).

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Figure 4; Termite mounds on the Savanna in Africa .

They claimed cleared land increased termite numbers and thereby methane amounts. This fell apart when someone discovered a calculation error that overestimated the numbers by a factor of four. Then the target became more Beaver and methane producing flooded land because of decreased trapping (Figure 5).

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Figure 5: Beaver dam and increased flooding.

When ground checked, the numbers and area proved insignificant.

Cattle became the next target, but only North American cows. Jeremy Rifkin’s Beyond Beefwas a book and global campaign that combined the animal rights and climate issue. The activists’ goal is to convince politicians of the problem. Once that happens it is virtually unstoppable as bureaucrats and research money (Figure 6) exaggerate, elaborate, and exacerbate so the truth never emerges.

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Figure 6: Milking money because 85% of methane comes from the cow’s mouth.

A balanced approach would include all ruminants and changes in their numbers over time. For example, there is no question the number of cows in North America increased from the 1850s from approximately 120,000 to 86 million by the 1980s. However, during that time North American Bison (Buffalo, Figure 7) decreased from an estimated 65 million to 120,000 by the 1980s.

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Figure 7: North American Bison methane producer.

They ignored the decrease in the number of elephants (Figure 8) from an estimated 25 million to 5 million.

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Figure 8: African elephants

All these decreases are regrettable, but that is another issue. Unemotional facts are necessary for scientific measures of methane production.

There was a political bias as well because they didn’t mention the 250 million sacred cows in India (Figure 9).

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Figure 9: Holy cows that produce no foodstuff.

It appears they ignored the Holy cows and Asian rice paddies, the second largest source of human produced methane, because of political bias (Figure 10). Science must be amoral and apolitical otherwise it is political science.

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Figure 10: Asian Rice Paddies

If you make accusations and demand massive change it is mandatory to have as complete information as possible. This is never the case with eco-bullying. Instead they look for other potential sources created by human activity.

Recently, as the CO2 and global warming issues faltered they went back to methane. This time the source was melting permafrost due to human induced warming creating a positive feedback. Russian scientists are world experts because much of their vast country is permafrost. One of them, Michali Grigoryev, states categorically, the permafrost is not melting due to global warming.

 

Other evidence shows how little is known about methane. Scientists discovered in 2006 that rain forests were a major, previously uncounted, source of methane, not just from the rotting vegetation. Here is a quote from a 2006 BBC article,

To their amazement, the scientists found that all the textbooks written on the biochemistry of plants had apparently overlooked the fact that methane is produced by a range of plants even when there is plenty of oxygen.

 

The amount of the gas produced increased when the air was warmer, and when there was more sunlight. The paper estimates that this unexplained phenomenon could account for 10 – 30% of the world’s methane emissions.

The discovery caused a panic in climate science and affiliated circles as it potentially undermined their global warming stories and associated funding. Scientists who made the discovery, suddenly realized what their research said and back-pedaled. Apparently it triggered fears their funding would disappear because it undermined global warming and remediation claims. Here are comments from a 2006 article titledForest methane scientists hose down media reports.”

 

The authors of a study which revealed for the first time that growing plants emit the greenhouse gas methane now say their work has been widely misinterpreted by many in the media.

 

The results of the study, which were published in the January 12 edition of Nature, led some commentators to incorrectly conclude that planting trees to combat global warming was a waste of time.

 

The Kyoto Protocol encourages forest planting because growing trees capture the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, from the atmosphere and ‘lock it up’ in plant material. In a media statement posted last week on the website of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, principal author Max Keppler says the study findings are only “preliminary”.

 

But he estimates that methane emissions by plants may reduce their carbon uptake by up to 4 percent. The climatic benefits gained from reforestation far exceed this relatively small negative effect, he says. “The potential for reduction of global warming by planting trees is most definitely positive.”

They show their ignorance with the incorrect information that carbon dioxide is the “main greenhouse gas” by saying,

Methane has the second greatest effect on the climate, mainly due to rice cultivation and the digestive processes of ruminants like cattle and sheep.

Was this the information that caused the increase in methane shown in Figure 1? How can you claim to know what is going on when suddenly, a previously unknown 10-30% of methane emissions are discovered?

Arthur Conan Doyle created the character of Sherlock Holmes. Although he was fictional, Sherlock’s methodology dramatically altered real criminal investigative work. The following quote was central to that method and summarizes what goes on in climate and environmental science.

I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

With environmental issues this twisting of facts results in unmeasured and untold damage to people’s lives. Sadly, the methane and agricultural story is just one of many.

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167 thoughts on “Stop The Devastation of Peoples Lives By Speculating with No Data: Remembering Cattle And Methane Emissions

    • A most enlightening article that sums up Methane.

      Your article tackles the intellectual arguments over Methane, which is great for anyone prepared to look deeply into the subject and read summaries like yours, but most people have other priorities. I wonder if articles like theses should be packaged into bullet points, and the referenced bullet points contained in a library of bullet points that is easily accessed by journalists. In this article was the bullet point:

      Methane is 0.00017% of all atmospheric gases and only 0.36% of the total greenhouse gases.

      followed by: “The infrared absorption bands of methane, at wavelengths of roughly 3 and 8 microns, are overlain by absorption from water vapor. But once the water vapor absorbs the radiation in these bands, there is really nothing left for methane to absorb. So the estimates of methane being 20-70 times more effective per molecule than CO2 (as estimated by IPCC), or that methane forcing is 20% of CO2 forcing, as shown in various IPCC reports, makes absolutely no sense.”
      Great variation in the GWP figure is evidence that it is artificial nonsense. EPA currently says it is over 20 times more effective than CO2.

      Lord Monkton has constructed a list of bullet points about “the pause” which he repeats. It is the repetition of Monkton’s wording and bullet points that has pushed “the pause” into a wider collective consciousness.

      These sorts of bullet points (and their constant repetition) are game changers, the warmists are scared of them being circulated by the media. An occasional mention does not peculate into collective consciousness, constant repetition does. We should be pushing these bullet points out continuously until they lay foundations in the media consciousness of why the global warming theory is doubted. Bullet points like these start discussions and cause people to begin to question the processes that underlie the scare stories that they are being fed on a daily basis.

      By the way should we call ourselves “global warming doubters”, the wording is an invitation to discussion on level ground.

      • “By the way should we call ourselves “global warming doubters”, the wording is an invitation to discussion on level ground.”

        I think “Global Warming Dissident” hits the mark a bit better. Considering the amount of vitriol, hate, career sabotage, blackmail, and general meanness we must endure. We have become the conscience that science is trying its best to forget.

      • “By the way should we call ourselves “global warming doubters””

        How about global warming realists?

      • “So the estimates of methane being 20-70 times more effective per molecule than CO2 (as estimated by IPCC), or that methane forcing is 20% of CO2 forcing, as shown in various IPCC reports, makes absolutely no sense.”

        If the methane emitted is 4% of the carbon absorbed, and the effect of warming is 25 times that of CO2, then the GWP of the methane is equal to the CO2 absorbed by the trees. If it is higher than 25x then trees are a net forcing, as they chow CO2 and manufacture CH4 with a higher total GWP.

        The comment about methane absorbing the same wavelengths as water must be read together with reports that a concentrated cloud of methane hangs over all tropical forests. It is not well dispersed and this affects the proportionate absorption.

      • I prefer “Global Warming Protestant” myself. It doesn’t indicate that I don’t believe the climate changes, it just points to the fact that I don’t follow the established religion of CAGW.

      • I don’t doubt warming, but I see it in the natural interglacial/glacial cycles of the present Ice Age and that none of it has anything to do with the emission gases of man, his livestock, or his industries.

      • “These sorts of bullet points (and their constant repetition) are game changers, the warmists are scared of them being circulated by the media …”

        Your opponent has a name for this style of messaging … it’s called message mapping. Became a big hit after 9_11.
        It’s also extensively used in MSM.

        So, if you were serious about executing the above, you go to a well viewed webpage like WUWT and create a weekly executive summary bullet style article. Publish it on a schedule, build up hits and end up on content creators top 10 research reviews.

        They use a tecinque called 3 – 3- 27.

        Three themes
        Each with three supporting facts/or made up stuff if you intend to be devious.
        Each theme delivered in 27 words or less (based on attentions span impact).

        There are other tricks to the trade, but that’s the basics, rinse, repeat. Repeat again.

      • I doubt “global” warming. That imaginary number called “global average temperature” is simply a fantasy. some places warm, while others cool, and yet others remain relatively static. Averaging all those places together is completely meaningless.

  1. The usual people talked about the modern equivalent of how many angels on the head of a pin, when they haven’t even established the existence of angels.

    The question of angels dancing on the head of a pin was addressed in the Summa Theologiae by Thomas Aquinas. Later in life he appears to have achieved some kind of enlightenment and realized that most of what he had written was crap:

    Everything that I have written seems to me chaffy in respect to those things that I have seen and have been revealed to me. link

    This was distressing to the church because the crap he was writing was very agreeable to it. Naturally, it ignored his repudiation of his own work.

    The parallels with climate science are obvious. The powers-that-be find great joy in findings that bolster CAGW. Naturally, they ignore anything that might repudiate it.

    • “The question of angels dancing on the head of a pin was addressed in the Summa Theologiae by Thomas Aquinas.”

      Really? In which Treatise and Question(s) in Summa Theologiae does Aquinas mention angels and pins (or needles)?

      • Exactly. That is why the issue was formulated as whether the angels could dance on the point, not the head, of a pin. The point of a pin was regarded as having zero extension, and thus equivalent to a point in space.

    • With respect, St Thomas wasn’t repudiating his work with these words. He was merely stating how inadequate they were compared to the divine reality they were describing, which must be the case, since words – at least human words – are only a sign of the things they signify. The Church has never been “distressed” by his remark, which came at the end of his life in 1274 after a prolonged ecstasy in December 1273. Nor has it ignored it: on the contrary: it has been mentioned in every biography of St Thomas I know of, and I’ve been aware of it since my Catholic youth when my parents and the nuns who taught me mentioned it without cavil. Moreover, on at least two other occasions, people near the saint heard a voice saying “Thou hast written well of me, Thomas.”

      But your point about CAGW is well made.

  2. Don’t ask a leopard to change itself. Figure out how to make the leopard hunt for you.

    Fighting bad science with good science when it’s not about science is foolish, no ?

    • Knute commented: “…..Fighting bad science with good science when it’s not about science is foolish, no ?”
      +1 The agenda is neither climate nor science but wealth redistribution. As long as the outcome doesn’t personally affect someone the chances of them caring about it are slim. CO2 works now because the narrative has political and MSM backing but wait until it affects the people. Europeans will be the first to suffer the consequences.

      • Thanks Mark

        So if the IPCC proudly tells people that their role is to redistribute the world’s wealth, wouldn’t it make more sense for an awareness based organization to take up telling the world’s members who will get a check and who will be paying ?

      • Knute commented: “….So if the IPCC proudly tells people that their role is to redistribute the world’s wealth, wouldn’t it make more sense for an awareness based organization to take up telling the world’s members who will get a check and who will be paying ?”

        The UN has taken it upon themselves to manage the redistribution. Supposedly there is a UN document that divides the world in half according to economic success based on industrial returns. The period goes back to 1776 (how convenient). Those countries with the most success will give more money and those with the least will receive the most. This was apparently decided by them several years ago. Are the pieces of the ‘conspiracy theory’ falling into place now? Personally I don’t think they can pull it off because when push comes to shove you won’t convince ‘the West’ that their penance for being successful is to give up their lifestyle.

      • Mark

        “Personally I don’t think they can pull it off because when push comes to shove you won’t convince ‘the West’ that their penance for being successful is to give up their lifestyle.”

        6 months ago I would have leaned in your direction. Watching how behind the scenes deal making and UN concurrence secured the Iran deal changed my mind.

        The UN is telling you what they are doing.
        They are measuring the tax base for how they will do it.
        They are already cutting behind the scenes deals with powerful opponents (BRICs).

        And schmart people still debate the science like it ever matterred. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Paris_Tuileries_Garden_Facepalm_statue.jpg

      • Knute commented: “….6 months ago I would have leaned in your direction. Watching how behind the scenes deal making and UN concurrence secured the Iran deal changed my mind.”

        A non event for most people. It doesn’t immediately affect anyone in the West. Wait until people in the West are told how much their penance tax will be. Right now it’s trickling in with higher electricity rates but heating oil will eventually follow and massive gasoline taxes to supposedly pay for a dying child . So far the impact is nil.

      • Take clues from the style of how it got passed, not the deal. The same will (and is) happening via the UN as we speak. China pays tribute while it gets IMF functions for coal fire power plants.

        The UN will carve out the detractors and make England, Europe, Canada and US pay. Aussieland is a bit player in the UN, but a potential moral victory for them.

        An easy CO2 tax to begin with and ratcheted up as the populace allows. Multiple cuts, till the frog is too cooked in the slow boil to react.

        They know alt energy cant cut it. They also know if they buy depressed assets (oil and coal) thatbthe transfer will be quickened.

        When warming fails and fossils become desparately needed we will be buying them from the people who rigged their demise and scooped them up when they were depressed.

        Diabolical.

        Would make for a fantastic movie.

      • The UN, like almost any political organization, will prove almost incapable of “wealth distribution” (ref: USA “war on Poverty”).

        However, these organizations invariably are quite good at creaming off an ever-increasing portion of this cash flow for their “overhead services”…even as less and less of the benefits drip thru to the advertised audience.

      • I think the Europeans have something much more important and critical on their minds at the present. The ruling elite (politicians, bureaucrats, media people and professors) is completely detached from reality and the pitchforks are coming out. It’s going to be rather like Verseilles all over again, with Hollande playing the role of Louis.

        I suspect these other issues will be dominating the peoples’ mind during COP21 while the COPPERS tax farts. What a tragedy of historic proportions and import.

      • … organization to take up telling the world’s members who will get a check and who will be paying ?

        Of course not Knute, the money isn’t going to the poor, silly. The recipients already know who’s getting it, themselves, the organizers of this embezzlement.

      • Silly me. Unicorns, fairies and other distractions.

        My point in all this happy science talk ( in this case methane) is science is not listening to what they have already been told … loudly … and in writing.

        Some countries will pay, others will receive. As you pointed out, there will be a big skim.

        If you want to see how angry people get towards an organization, show them what happens when they give their carbon tax “donation”.

        Who “donates”.
        Who gets some.
        Who gets to keep the skim.

      • Knute,

        “Fighting bad science with good science when it’s not about science is foolish, no ?”

        No, I say, because without that fighting we wouldn’t even know it was bad science now, and the whole scam would have already been completed, it seems to me. And I don’t doubt the scammers wish we would stop fighting their bad science with good, do you?

        I recall you recently writing to me about two weeks ago on another article thread by Mr. Ball (entitled; ‘The Need To Revisit The Climategate Revelations To Counter Mainstream Media Failure And The Paris Climate Conference Plans’), when I tried to suggest you were undervaluing the such a revisiting as the author was advocating;

        “Yes, I concur. You can do both. My passion for wanting to make my point interfered with my ability to see that both strategies are appropriate.

        Well done. ”

        Has something changed in this regard, to your mind? It seems like part of the same fight to me . . against the “bad science”.

      • One of the weaknesses appears to be that the warmistas take advantage of the road down minutia. You are correct that both are necessary, but I also see that they are taking advantage of the scientific process when that process leads down a path which incurs increasing debate about increasingly insignificant matters.

      • Knute,

        “You are correct that both are necessary, but I also see that they are taking advantage of the scientific process when that process leads down a path which incurs increasing debate about increasingly insignificant matters.”

        It is difficult for me to even imagine how the potential that we are witnessing a global power grab by ruthless mobsters can be seen as insignificant . . Unless one considers such critters to be as unlikely to encounter as “Unicorns, fairies and other distractions”.

        A mere glance at history renders that absurd to my mind, sir. .

    • “Fighting bad science with good science when it’s not about science is foolish, no ?”

      This has been my point for many years. But its a broader confluence of agendas than just redistribution, and historically unique. People don’t ignore good science, don’t ignore common sense, don’t ignore the obvious, EXCEPT when you have an alternative agenda.

      And there are many in play here that are keeping this alive, from the redistributive agenda, to anticapitalism, to anti fossil fuels, to anti big Oil, to the precautionary principle, to anticonservative, and many others. From the top (President, IPCC, Pope) on down to the lemmings who buy into it blindly, they all have their agendas.

      The good science will only appeal to the remaining few, who self identify as uninformed but willing to listen.
      The precautionary principle appeals to many of these and should be shot down at every opportunity. These people are more reasonable, accept they don’t know, but also can’t accept the incredible intellectual dishonesty and politics going on at the highest levels of science, government, and religion.

      At the highest levels of anything….its always political.

      B

    • These people should be an embarrasment to themselves.
      We know that the “useful idiots” despise and resist hydropower. And we know WHY they must.
      But, the puppets themselves do not really know who is pulling their strings.
      How sad to see the them struggling to come up with yet another pathetic excuse for their resistance.
      It must be bad. It must, it must…

      • The more shrill the green voice, the more obvious that;

        a) their plans are not coming to fruition thanks to Gaia not toeing the line, and
        b) their funding requires them to be shrill.

        No such thing as a happy greenie. Those hypocrites only care that the light goes on when they flip the switch in their house – and damn everyone else.

      • Olaf,

        “No such thing as a happy greenie. Those hypocrites only care that the light goes on when they flip the switch in their house – and damn everyone else.”

        If that is true, then they are not really “greenies” at all, it seems to me. (Not in the sense of plants being green that is.) And are the shrill “social justice” warriors any different, it ought to be wondered, I feel . . and shrill political Partly potentates, and shrill national security officials, and the mass media shrillness amplifiers . . Or are we just hearing the echoes of money talking, so to speak.

        Big money, in the hands of some people who don’t care about things like ruining people’s lives, even whole countries of people, and are expert at manipulating us humans. There are words for people like that, sociopath, psychopath, or just plain old criminally insane.

        Such people often join themselves together in what we call gangs, Mafias, syndicates, cartels and so on. They do not care about harming the people/societies/nations they are parasites of, obviously. They would not hesitate to corrupt legal, political, financial, media, or scientific institutions to suit their insatiable desire for personal power/security, for they generally don’t really care about anything else, it seems to me.

        And I think Mr. Cohen captured something we need to face ~

        Everybody knows the dice are loaded
        Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
        Everybody knows the war is over
        Everybody knows the good guys lost

      • @Olaf Koenders:
        No such thing as a happy greenie. Those hypocrites only care that the light goes on when they flip the switch in their house – and damn everyone else.

        When I was young I came upon some sage advice, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” and resolved to become an idea-person. This involves listening to everyone and applying judgement in a way that is silent and non-confrontational, trying to put events into some perspective but not fixating on them, and above all… being unmoved by tabloid fascination with celebrities or royals or politicians that boils down to who’s tupping whom and who’s wearing what, which accounts for half of all print and conversation. After a lifetime of inquiry mostly free of these distractions I find myself being dragged down the ladder into discussing people.

        There IS such a thing as a “happy greenie”. They are those who have found a ’cause’, whether or not it seems noble or rational, whether or not they’re making progress. We’re not talking about someone who is environmentally conscious in any general sense. Those things are intricate and draw you into idea-space. The most damage is done by people who have seized on a single environmental issue, which goes on to occupy the same part of the mind (and in the same way) as a tabloid fixation on a distant celebrity. When we try to describe it as ‘religion’ we are missing the mark. Even calling it pagan Gaia-worship does not explain it. Religion is something separate in the mind, more like a unfulfilled quest. The loftiest precepts of religious fulfillment leave most people behind. The lowest aspirations of daily life also often fail to stimulate us. This leaves a middle-ground, the place where habits, hobbies and tabloid fascinations reside. It represents the slack time, several hours a day for most, in which people can do and think what they wish. It is an amazing human triumph, this slack time.

        Now that we number in the billions and most of us live in cities, we owe it all to science and industry and modern infrastructure. Most have never learned this or have now forgotten… that is our first mistake.

        We owe our continued species-survival to a steady stream of problem-solving, but above all, recognizing that some risks are ‘existential’ and putting those in a class by themselves, on the top of the worry-heap. Throughout history people in all walks of life and all ages knew of these risks and they were a staple of conversation. But in modern times children are kept inside childhood bubbles where the world is a perfect place with no danger, then as they mature they are encouraged to just “follow their dream”… as if mankind is not faced with any danger of real importance. Failing to identify existential risks and introducing children these ideas at a young age, which would have nurtured in them a natural desire to attack these problems… that is our second mistake.

        Now we have compounded the second mistake by moving far away from our families more often than staying close to them. Existential risks and lofty goals are best communicated from the oldest to the youngest. This skip-a-generation connection has been broken and grandparents are now merely acquaintances, where they once had real day-to-day influence.

        Even worse, our arbitrary separation of adult-things and child-things has upset the natural balance and backfired. I observe that there is less real communication between parent and child than ever before. In nurturing our children we have also provided them free access to networks, and not surprisingly they choose to spend their whole childhood communicating with other children. Child-adult interaction with family and with strangers, once common throughout human civilization, has altogether ceased. Many of these children who only communicated with other children have become adults who act like children. And these ‘children’ are raising children who are often more mature (as my daughter likes to point out) than their parents.

        A general lack of lofty goals and poorly communicated existential risk has resulted in generations “following their own dreams…” and those dreams have led them to dreary places, from which they seek escape. And they escape, among other places, into a low-level infatuation that begins with a single thread — such as CO2 is bad, nuclear power is bad, it is always primarily one thing — and they become personally vested in it. But it is not a process of open-minded learning or research. It is ‘activism’, the step-child of supermarket tabloid fixation where the critical thinking is best left to ‘experts’ and one can become a hero by just arguing in a single direction. Activism has become a hobby. Modern provides them time and resources to pursue this hobby.

        The problem is, some of those ‘experts’ were wrong.
        Those who are vested as a hobby have no need for research, learning, reevaluation.
        They’re having fun. Maybe we are not.
        We just have to find a way to work around these people. Outsmart them.
        Or manage to raise children who can outsmart them, and do not get caught in these sticky tabloid mind-traps.

      • Of course they’re not REAL greenies. They’re pretenders from the ground up. They drive their SUV’s into a forest, chain themselves to and spike the trees with iron in order to damage the chainsaws that’ll cut down the wood that eventually makes their Tasmanian Oak furniture etc. They never walk the walk.

        As soon as some pet “issue” of theirs is sated by legislation that eventually causes more harm than what it was designed to protect, they move on to the next issue in what eventually becomes a circular argument. No such thing as a happy greenie. Hypocrites of the highest order.

        Even if they bleat about “Earth Hour” and carry out their own orders, they wouldn’t dare engage in it for any more than that – if at all. They force everybody to toe their line – except themselves.

      • Hocus Locus,

        I see much I can agree with in your comment, but I don’t see a (to my mind) plausible “mechanism” by which this can “work” ;

        “The most damage is done by people who have seized on a single environmental issue, which goes on to occupy the same part of the mind (and in the same way) as a tabloid fixation on a distant celebrity.”

        If one considers for a rather relevant example, the CAWG cause, it did not come into prominence via some bottom-up process of superficial “environmentalists” somehow causing those in positions of power/authority to manifest their concerns about CO2, but rather, it seems clear to me, that a top-down process led to many “pop greens” if you will, taking up that cause in the way you suggest.

        If one considers recent polling I’ve seen, it’s quite true that a great many will answer ‘Yes’, when asked if global warming is a danger . . yet if placed on a list of ten or twelve dangers humanity faces, global warming consistently ranks at or very near the bottom.

        It’s not that “pop greens” are causing the damage you imply they are, it seems to me, but that they are just going along for the ride as you seem to me to be implying they are. They are the cart so to speak, I believe, and not the causal horse within that metaphoric context. So the operative question to me is about people, but about who constitutes the real horse end (no need to excuse the pun ; ) of this “movement” toward enshrining plant food gas as an arch enemy of all that’s good and holy?

        What sort of people would do such a thing, I ask you to consider, and have the power to make it stick so tenaciously as it has, despite a great deal of what to me is sound/rational environmental concern and reasoning, being in existence among many more involved, and ostensibly more influential people than some “pop greenies” who are basically just preening their self image in a “hobbyist” sort of way?

        It’s the sort of people I mentioned in my comment above, me thinks.

      • John

        Gangs as you call them, right John ?
        I think you’re closer to the truth than not. Much of the early NGO pushes in the US came from the “intellectual NE” of the USA. Ivy leagues. Boston/NYC corridor. The NGOs crafted much of the language for the CO2 regs. They appeared to have been motivated as a backlash to the Bush era.

        I also think there is the Hollywood connection. You no longer saw as much front and center Hollywood types, but instead they funneled their donations through NGOs. Arms length but controlled behind the scenes. Ted Danson and Co is a good example.

        And, again you are right. They back door sold it to the masses. Generally speaking people aren’t fans of waste and are fans of conservation. Sure they wouldn’t get in the way of more efficient energy, cleaner air and blah blah.

        So here we are, carbon tax on the horizon.

        So what percent increase in the family household will spark pushback … 5, 10, 15 ?

      • Knute,

        “So what percent increase in the family household will spark pushback … 5, 10, 15 ?”

        Well, when you say pushback I assume you mean from the common folk, and that’s not the sort of pushback I feel will stem the tide we might sense rising in various ways, in the long run of things. If that is a concern among the perps, then they will make the pain slight, at least at first. But to me, it’s the precedent being set they are after, more than money itself, and any amount will do for starters, so to speak.

        If I am right about there being an actual “elite” gangster type mob, way in the background of the many more visible layers of pseudo-gangs such as you mentioned (and others like military, intel, corporations, etc) then in a sense, it’s pushback among members of the pseudo gangs that might be critical. If it becomes clear in the minds of those in complicit psuedo gangs, that the people pulling the big strings are psychopathic . . that can cause many to become part of the solution, one can hope, rather than part of the problem we face.

        The fine post (I feel) we are commenting on, is to my mind the sort of ammunition that might very well hit some targets that need some help in grasping just how inhumane the ostensibly humanitarian cause they help support might really be.

        The dark side of playing along with what to them may seem like just profiting off of some convenient over-reaction to a non crisis, changes the mental/psychological equation it seems to me. The rationalization mechanisms begin to creak and grind more, the “eventually” starts to haunt the present more, the awareness of one’s “gut feelings” begins to grow more acute . . I believe.

      • JohnKnight commented: “….If I am right about there being an actual “elite” gangster type mob, way in the background of the many more visible layers of pseudo-gangs such as you mentioned (and others like military, intel, corporations, etc) then in a sense, it’s pushback among members of the pseudo gangs that might be critical. If it becomes clear in the minds of those in complicit psuedo gangs, that the people pulling the big strings are psychopathic . . that can cause many to become part of the solution, one can hope, rather than part of the problem we face….”

        It’s the Socialist movement that’s been going on for over a hundred years. Capitalism has always been their target because it’s successful and directly threatens their beliefs. Read any UN planning or strategy documents for the current narrative. UN? IPCC? They are the ‘gangs’ under the cover of world diplomacy.

      • markl,

        “It’s the Socialist movement that’s been going on for over a hundred years.”

        I can agree with that statement on one level, in that socialism in it’s broadest sense implies control of society in carious ways, but I have come to believe that there is a more sinister side of the “Socialist movement” which is actually dedicated to getting that control for themselves, regardless of what sort of economic system(s) they might eventually be in control of.

        Which is to say not ideologues in the common sense of the word, fighting for their pet ideology, but rather people essentially masquerading as ideologues, simply because socialism has that control of society implication. They just want the control, I believe, for what to me are obvious reasons.

      • JohnKnight commented: “….but I have come to believe that there is a more sinister side of the “Socialist movement” which is actually dedicated to getting that control for themselves, regardless of what sort of economic system(s) they might eventually be in control of…… but rather people essentially masquerading as ideologues, simply because socialism has that control of society implication. They just want the control…”

        Agree. The environmentalists, labor groups, religions, politicians, etc. are simply useful idiots being controlled as a means to an end. Anyone who believes the world will wake up one day with everyone sharing the same high standard of living and material goods because an altruistic central government has provided for them is seriously naive. AGW was manufactured as the bogeyman for the UN to save the world from.

      • “Anyone who believes the world will wake up one day with everyone sharing the same high standard of living and material goods because an altruistic central government has provided for them is seriously naive.”

        The US declared war on poverty back in the 60s ? It was a big cultural movement which had some success but mostly stalled. Those people had children. As children do, they often either reject completely or pick up the values of their parents. And on and on and on …..

        So here we are, a large part of the developed world eager to help the poor. In some small way, I’m glad they didn’t imprint for rape, pillage and plunder.

        It’s good to not want to be wasteful.
        It’s good to care about your neighbor.

        CAGW tapped into that feeling.
        Something true will replace it, but the when and what will be up to folks who see it clearly and show better options.

      • Knute,

        CAWG is not a conscious entity, and did not tap into anything therefore. Real people did, using things like the CAWG, and if those people are the sort I believe they are, all bets are off as to what will replace what, should they succeed in gaining the sort of totalitarian surveillance/police state type of control I believe they strive for.

        Showing better options as you put it, may soon enough earn you a trip to prison or worse, if I am right about the truly sinister aspect I believer I see, lurking behind the whole charade of CAWG .the Terrible ; )

    • “Gary Wockner, PhD, is an international environmental writer and activist based in Colorado …”.
      =======================
      Wow Gary must have paddled his board down the Colorado River into the Gulf of California then down the coasts of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua to get to Costa Rica without poisoning the atmosphere with CO2 or CH4.

    • The claim is, if I understand correctly, that sediments and organic material enter the hydroelectric dam and produce large amount of methane. But what would happen to those sediments and organic material if the dam wasn’t there, they would flow down the river and ultimately into the sea. Would this eliminate methane production, or would it just redistribute it to a larger area? Or are the sediments thought to settle at the bottom of the dam and due to lack of oxygen produce methane, while flowing down the river these same sediments, etc., would be taken up in an oxygen rich environment? Then these sediments probably would produce CO2 and what I have read is that methan IR is masked by water vapor, so methane would be better than CO2 (in the eyes of those that still believe that CO2 is harmful)? I think they are tying their own rope, they are just undecided which tree to use…

    • Do these folks really believe the organic matter decomposing in the reservoirs would otherwise never break down? Did I miss something in the Ecowatch article?
      If the author is right about methane from hydro-power would it not be that the organic matter would release methane and CO2 later? Does it matter where?
      I doubt it matters at all but surely not where it happens. Nature recycles carbon. Period.

  3. Dr. Ball , you make me proud to be Canadian …Keep up the good fight no matter what the liberals throw at you !!

  4. I’m a little bit confused. In the body of the report just below Fig 3 it is noted that “US methane levels declined (Figure 3)” from 1990 to 2013. However, the label for Fig 3 is “Methane emissions”. Also table one shows an increase in level of methane from 1998 to 2005 of 11 ppb.

    • Yeah, I assume that it should have read “U.S. methane emission levels declined”.
      It’s pretty clear from the article, that what has not risen – is the rate of increase of methane concs. globally.
      i.e. this has not risen in the manner predicted by the IPCC or by alarmists widely.
      An increase in rate was predicted and demanded as part of the proposition that methane would be responsible for so-called “runaway” global warming. i.e. an accelerating trend.
      Had they predicted the non-accelerating trend, currently witnessed, then we would not be discussing this topic, because that is not a thing of any great concern.
      And apparently falling U.S. emissions levels suggest even further that nothing is likely to run away at any point within our lifetimes. Or, indeed with advancing technology and understanding – ever.

      • Current levels of CH4 only add up to ~42ppm CO2, which is nothing compared to CO2 levels millions of years ago being some 15x higher than present.

  5. Dr. Ball,

    The initial OCO2 data appears to show most estimates and assumptions were wrong.

    Come on, the satellite data in general show the same CO2 levels as measured in Barrow and the South Pole and any station (and flight measurements) in between: seasonal changes and the lag between NH and SH. There are some surprises like the release in the NE Atlantic, where ocean measurements show the largest sink and the lack of release in the Pacific equator, despite the ongoing El Niño. But that needs clarification from the satellite people, not reverse…

    CO2 measurements at fixed stations are better than 0.2 ppmv…

    A little too much jumping to conclusions here…

    • But please cut to the quick.
      Who pays and to whom ?

      Does China pay Australia ?
      Does NE USA pay the Midwest USA ?

      The IPCC says this isn’t about science.

      Time to get down to brass tacks.

    • Last Summer, there was a strong, somewhat straight- line current for a while, entering the Bering Strait and exiting the Fram Straits. One might wonder how much heat from the El Niño “Blob” was transported ‘neath the Arctic ice to the Atlantic and if those warmed waters may have influenced North Atlantic bio- activity, perhaps contributing to your mentioned increase in NE Atl. CO2.

  6. Pasture or grassland is one of the most under-recognized Carbon sinks that there is.

    Each acre of the pasture that cattle feed on has been very carefully measured to sink 0.3 tons of Carbon each year.

    If one does lots of extrapolation, one would find grassland, prairie and pasture are a net sink to the order of 25% of our total Carbon emissions currently.

    Cattle may give up methane emissions, but the pasture they are feeding on more than makes up for it. It is okay to eat beef again. Feedlots providing grain to cattle are not quite the same thing but most grains are Zero-till soils now which has the same Carbon-sink numbers as pasture.

    See the black Carbon in this cross-section profile of a prairie scenario. Why do you think the best soils in the world are in the areas which were mostly grassland before Agriculture came along. Carbon is Black.

    • That’s right. The world’s thick layers of topsoil were all created with the help of and primarily by grazing herds of ruminants. Much of the world’s thickest deposits of topsoil have been eroded, since the advent of the moldboard plow and other implements, which subjected the unprotected soils to the elements. Modern low/no- till practices should slow the erosion. Our knowledge of soil science is increasing, but still hasn’t made much of a dent in reclaiming, or increasing the fertility of unproductive soil types, like caliche. Much of the planet’s surface is wholly unsuited to growing crops, at this time.

      disclaimer: I’m not involved in agriculture and don’t know much- really not even rising to a layman. I’ve taken an interest in soils and have been wading through my growing collection of (cheaper) out- of- date college texts on soil chemistry, etc. There’s much info on the internet, concerning more recent additions to our knowledge. Grazing cattle are much more a solution than a problem.

      Ps It’s cow burps wot’s the methane issue.

      • If they’re only worried about cows, what about every other farting and burping ruminant on the planet? These people are hypocritical idiots. They ought to plug themselves up before inventing that issue, then they’ll see what’s important.

        CH4 is such a natural process of many living and dying organisms over billions of years that have never caused a runaway greenhouse. They’re morons of the highest order.

      • Actually Alan if you think about it the biggest carbon sinks of all are the result of plants – coal and oil for instance are the compressed remnants of ancient tropical forests, peat bogs are the result of mostly moss plants. Probably the closest you get to your statement is chalk which is billions of years of plankton that graze on algae. The thickest soils are nearly all created by plants primarily not grazing animals as the animals cant graze without the plants and at best what is left behind by the animal in carbon terms is that part of the plant that the animal could not digest.

        Our knowledge of soil management has vastly improved since the destruction of farmland during early industrialisation – low/no till practises being just one part of a new understanding of how soil’s microenvironment ticks. for all the rubbish talked about ruminants polluting the atmosphere with methane very little consideration is given to how ruminants speed the return of carbon to the soil. Ruminants also feed carnivores and the whole process is one of breaking down photosynthesised carbon into material that mostly ends up in the ground or in the sea – more than balancing the amount of CO2 and methane produced in the process.

        The thing that most worries me is not the increase in domesticated ruminants but the covering over of so much good fertile agricultural land with concrete and idiotic solar panels – do we honestly think that we can improve on natures use of solar power?

      • mwh-
        I was speaking of topsoil creation and not about ultimate C sequestration. It almost goes without saying, that today’s bit of limestone gravel road was yesterday’s leaf.
        The thick topsoils of the North American Great Plains resulted from a symbiotic relationship of all life in and above the soil, with grazing ruminants being a key component. Grasses quickly reach their maximum growth stage and without being cut back (grazed,) will stop growing and sequestering carbon. Being cut down, they once again enter a stage of maximum growth and the process repeats. Another aid to building the prairie soils was fire, both natural and by man’s hand, which not only suppressed the invasion of woody plants, but created biochar, which we have discovered to be beneficial to soil microorganisms, as well as other aspects of healthy soil creation. Rich topsoils are also found in the “bottom” lands of creeks and rivers, where soils eroded from higher ground have been captured/deposited.

        In and around my native home, in a remnant of the once vast tallgrass prairie, the best soils are prairie soils and excepting bottom lands, forested areas outside the prairie have the poorest soils. Consider the lateritic soils of the tropics… nutrients necessary for plant/all life are almost wholly locked up within that life and little, if any topsoil exists. Discoveries of terra preta deposits in Amazonia have shown that man has also played a symbiotic role in the creation of rich soils in the tropics.

        Underneath the Green arguments to suppress grazing animals, lies what has become their foundational argument to suppress and control mankind, but their reasoning proferred for public consumption, neglects the contributions of both man and beast within the symbiotic web of life, because recognition of that symbiosis, which speaks to true conservation, or environmental stewardship, does nothing to further the Green political agenda.

  7. Just a note about Doyle. Holmes may have been an early forensic detective, but his creator Doyle was easily conned into believing that fairies existed. And the perpetrators of the hoax were two young girls. Fair dinkum you could not dream this stuff up.

  8. Ball sez: “Stop The Devastation of Peoples Lives By Speculating with No Data”

    So, talking about data, could you pls show me ONE person that has been hurt by climate speculations. Just one example.

    • traffy, you’re being a copycat.

      How many times have I asked you to produce the name of even one person hurt by climate change?

      Gimme just one name…

    • trafamadore commented: “….could you pls show me ONE person that has been hurt by climate speculations. Just one example.”

      Any of the scientists that were fired for their views?

    • Traffy:

      Any time you’ve paid higher taxes thanks to subsidies and funding required by the green machine – which is every time tax gets ripped from your pay cheque. It goes into green dreams that can’t exist without subsidy. Waste.

      There were civilisations over millennia that were hurt by natural climate change, but so far nothing has even remotely proven mann-made climate change exists, even on a regional scale. Natural climate change needs to be extrapolated and removed from the noise in the system before anything mann-made can be uncovered, which has so far proven to be impossible.

    • “So, talking about data, could you pls show me ONE person that has been hurt by climate speculations. Just one example.”

      Um, how about the entire coal mining industry in Kentucky, and many other places.
      The list is long…the question, inane.

      • CAGW has created fear.
        Fear causes stress.
        Stress is the greatest silent killer of man.
        Keeps the body and mind on high alert.
        Burns up the motor quicker.

        Other harms caused by CAGW ?

        How about an entire town in Canada blown off the map because of the antipipeline group and the movement of oil via trains ?

        Millions of people on the planet denied access to readily available fossil fuels because the UN doesn’t want them developed …. yet.

        Lots of low hanging fruit.

    • RE: traf
      **could you pls show me ONE person that has been hurt by climate speculations. Just one example.**
      Easy.
      Try all the taxpayers in British Columbia, Canada and soon in Alberta as the NDP gov assessed a carbon tax.

    • trafamadore
      October 10, 2015 at 4:13 pm
      ………..
      So, talking about data, could you pls show me ONE person that has been hurt by climate speculations. Just one example

      Suicide of Francisco Lotero and Miriam Coletti. The baby shot in chest, survives but not named. (Argentina)

      New York Daily News – Mar 1, 2010
      “Seven-month-old baby survives shot to chest in parents’ murder-suicide pact blamed on global warming”

      Then there are the unnamed.

      Science Daily – February 19, 2014
      “Climate change linked to increase in Australia’s suicide rates, study shows”

      Then there are the unnamed excess cold weather deaths of the elderly in cold modern countries due to high energy bills. See energy poverty in UK pre-2012.

    • err try the young sth american couple that suicided and killed their baby due to worry about warmist crap..reported about 4? years ago.
      theyre not the only ones just the one I remember best as so tragic

    • trafamadore
      October 10, 2015 at 4:13 pm
      ………..
      So, talking about data, could you pls show me ONE person that has been hurt by climate speculations. Just one example

      Francisco Lotero and Miriam Coletti. Their baby survived a chest wound.
      Sources: News articles Reported in March 2010

      See also Science Daily – February 19, 2014

    • I suggest the situation is far more serious than increased electrical bills.

      I want to bring to your attention a paper recently published by veteran meteorologist Joe d’Aleo and me on the subject of Excess Winter Mortality.
      https://friendsofsciencecalgary.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/cold-weather-kills-macrae-daleo-4sept2015-final.pdf

      Globally, cold weather kills many more people every year than hot weather, even in warm climates. Excess Winter Deaths particularly target the elderly and the poor.

      The numbers are shocking. Excess Winter Deaths total approximately 10,000 per year in Canada, up to 50,000 per year in the United Kingdom and about 100,000 per year in the USA. I have been writing and researching about Excess Winter Mortality since ~2009 and I am confident that these alarmingly-high numbers are correct.

      It is clear that adaptation is the key to reducing Excess Winter Deaths, specifically flu shots (when they work), home insulation and proper heating systems.

      Our study also leads to another conclusion – that cheap, reliable, abundant energy is the lifeblood of all societies, and efforts to drive up the cost of energy (through inefficient “”green energy“ schemes) will cost many lives.

      Yours truly, Allan MacRae

      • And that plays into the little facts that the “AGW doomsdayers” are ignoring. The world has only a few hundred more years of petroleum left, after which most of our our industry and transportation will collapse. And past that, the Ice Age interglacial will end, and the world will stop being warm and wet and become cold and dry, with a major impact on agriculture. Right now, we’re in a period of paradise that will not last.

        Funny how they aren’t discussing how to survive the real looming threats in the Church of Co2.

    • “So, talking about data, could you pls show me ONE person that has been hurt by climate speculations. Just one example.”

      First you would have concede that raising the cost of living hurts the poor. I don’t know that you are there yet.

    • trafamadore,

      What planet are you talking about? Here on planet Earth, every significant rise in the cost of basic necessities inevitably results in some that can barely keep themselves and their families supplied with those necessities, suffering and dying.

      We (in general) on this planet, consider starving to death a form of harm to those who experience it. Perhaps your “home-world” is so devoid of beauty and love and hope, that this is not readily understood by your people . . or perhaps you believe a better reality awaits those whom cease to live here. But I caution against being too presumptive about that sort of happy ending for everyone, sir.

  9. As a farmer, I thank you for detailing the properties of atmospheric methane. It is a constant battle justifying agricultural practice to those who think that they know better.

    • If you are a farmer and live in the green zones, it looks like you’ll get a check. Will you take it even though you know CAGW is a fraud ?

      • Maybe a better question: will China get a check, or give a check?

        Who am I kidding? China wouldn’t be part of any climate discussion if they had to pay.

      • DB

        Ah, but you read that China has agreed to pay tribute. In return they will be allowed to fund the BRICs consortium in building coal fired plants for non first tier nations. Give a little to get alot. The IMF is backing out of that business.

        But Australia, now there’s a bit of green.
        Looks like the Aussies get checks.

        Steal the thunder from the UN and do an accounting. Publish it on the net.

      • Let’s just say that Aussies shouldn’t be paying money to anyone. The stupidity of left wing idiots has to be seen to be believed.

      • Okay so the Aussies don’t pay. Will they take the money even though it’s a fraud ?
        :::: btw, Aussieland being in the green makes them vulnerable to being seduced by the warmistas …. we’ll see what their character is made of ::::::

    • True and irrelevant because it’s not about good science. What is relevant is who pays and who gets some.

      What will you do when the accounting begins ?

    • Jeremy,

      Yes, but far less than what is measured today (or Salby assumes). The previous warmer interglacial – the Eemian – was average 2-3°C warmer than today and 5-10°C in the polar regions (forests did grow up to the Arctic Ocean at the Alaskan North Slope) with 700 ppbv methane. Current levels are around 1900 ppbv and increased from around 1750. Most seems to be from increased rice cultivation for an increasing population and the recent stall is probably from switching to more “dry” methods of rice growth:

      The resolution of the Law Dome DSS core is about 20 years.

  10. Hmm… N2O is up. You’d think it would have dropped some after the Grateful Dead stopped touring.

  11. What has been the order of the environmental “crises” that have have gripped the United States before Climate Change?

    1) DDT (The automotive industry redesigned its cooling systems and big bird deaths on the west coast ceased. No more puddles of radiator fluid for the birds to drink)
    2) Acid Rain
    3) Ozone Depletion
    Were they the beginning?
    And what was next?
    Methane, of course raised its ugly head.
    Global cooling and a new ice age fits in there somewhere.
    One assumes we stopped hearing about most of them because they lost their funding.

    Completing such a list, by its shear length, might make people pause and think about the validity of these “scares”. How many times were destruction and death suppose to vomit down on humanity — and it never happened?

    • Most people don’t care. The public is uninterested in arguments over science. They will however want to now about that new line item in their taxes. Ya know, the one that wants you to identify if you live in a CO2 violation zone or not.

      China … cuts a deal with other BRICs to pay but gets IMF banking role for coal fired power plants (CFPP).
      Aussieland … positioned to get a check
      America … East, SE and far West pays .. Midwest receives … net pays a check
      Africa … gets a check, the western rim countries are not first tier so they get a pass
      On and on

    • Although not closely related to climate change, I remember around Thanksgiving season sometime in the late 1950s, that cranberries could cause cancer because some ‘cide that was used on them. I can’t remember if it was an insecticide or an herbicide, but it really caused lots of controversy among our relatives around the Thanksgiving table. I was proud of my dad who as a physician with a good skeptical scientific bent, carried the argument in downplaying the media’s hype and urged us all to enjoy the cranberries.

  12. A great article, and two quotes stood out for me:

    Once government funding became available academics emerged to perpetuate the myth, not to report the truth.

    and

    I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

    • Elephant poop is the best manure for adding to a garden though.
      Proved it in an experiment for a horticultural botany class.
      Every crop tested was bigger and greener than with horse or cow manure.

    • Donald L. Klipstein I am sorry to sound petty here but you said:

      Donald L. Klipstein
      October 10, 2015 at 6:58 pm
      Regarding: “They ignored the decrease in the number of elephants (Figure 8) from an estimated 25 million to 5 million.” Elephants are not ruminants.

      All true. I just cannot find where Tim Ball stated that elephants were ruminants. MAYBE he was pointing out a certain offsetting factor that was ignored?

      An elephant releases about 2,000 liters of methane gas a day.
      http://tinyurl.com/pu2e4o6

  13. For anyone old enough to remember this there was this hare brained hypothesis before Chicxulub and the traps (what a name for a rock band!) that the rise of flowering plants and attendant constipation was the explanation for the extinction of the dinosaurs. I kid you not. Piss me off and I’ll find a citation.

    It becomes very clear now that it was the methane from the constipation/juspullinyurleg.

  14. I watched a very interesting TED talk about the benefit that elephants have on the environment and so do cattle that is moved from one limited grazing ground to another. The release of manure and the trampling of plant material into the ground reversed desertification:

    Allan Savory: How to fight desertification and reverse … – TED.com

    ► 22:19

    Mar 14, 2014 – 22 min
    Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly …

  15. Tim, thanks as always for an interesting essay. However, as someone who has navigated by sextant across the Pacific, I must take exception to the claim below:

    Kip Hansen’s essay “Are we Chasing Imaginary Numbers?” speaks to an important point about approximations. It reminded me about learning navigation and taking what was called “a three star fix”. The result almost always was a triangulation and all you knew was you were somewhere in the triangle. To narrow it down, but still not be precise, you dropped perpendicular lines from the centre of each side of the triangle to create what Hansen would recognize as the data point, we called it a Most Probable Position (MPP). Hansen’s discussion is very valuable, but in climate science the problem begins long before the point of determining accuracy.

    In counterintuitive fact, the MPP in a navigational triangle is one of the three corners. This can easily be verified by using lines that represent the navigational triangle, and then adding random noise to them.

    In addition, you say that “all you knew was you were somewhere in the triangle”.

    The problem with this claim is that if you drop perpendicular lines from the centers of the three sides per your procedure, this often ends up outside the triangle. And if (as is sadly too often the case) two of the lines are nearly collinear, your procedure will give an answer that may be dozens of miles away from the triangle.

    However, your mistake makes your case stronger, not weaker, as your example appears to be another of the “imaginary numbers” that Kip Hansen is talking about.

    Best regards, and thanks for all the good posts,

    w.

    • Willis is right.

      It depends upon the shape of the initial triangle that was obtained from triangulation whether by projecting perpendicular lines from the centres of the lines that make up that triangle you end up with a second triangle within the initial triangle, or even any intersection of two lines within the initial triangle

      And of course, each point (the measures latitude & longitude) that makes up the initial triangulation has an error all of its own. It is not a point, but rather a circular area around the point. So when you triangulate you really have 3 circles on a map, and one is already making an approximation when one takes the centre point of those circles to create the initial triangulation. It is an approximation upon an approximation.

      • Phil.

        The perpendicular bisectors of the sides of a triangle intersect at the circumcenter, they do not form a second triangle.

        Acute triangle, or obtuse? When I drew three lines perpendicular to the far side from each corner of a acute triangle, they intersected into a single point; and created 6 new small interior triangles. And 6x additional large interior triangles.

        Lines bisecting the three interior angles of an acute triangle will not be perpendicular to the far side.

        Lines from each corner of an acute triangle to the midpoint of each opposite side will intersect at a single point, but will not be perpendicular to the far side.

    • In navigational terms I dont think that the perpendicular lines ever end up outside the triangle as that would defeat the point of MPP – or Estimated Position the way I was taught (and yes I do have my ocean navigation certificate) .However (particularly with sunsights and DR [dead reckoning] or rough weather) the triangle can become quite large. This triangle is only a best estimate, for as with standard deviations on a graph, the same applies with the triangle and I believe the point you are making is that the actual position could be outside of the triangle. So then I completely agree with your problems with ‘all you knew was that you were somewhere in the triangle’ as actually this is quite false as many mariners (and aviators) have become wildly off course making that assumption.

      It only goes to back up further this use of imaginary numbers. My personal favourites are those imaginary base numbers that most climate theories use to base ‘dangerous levels’ on – as with CO2 does anybody really know where the optimal level lies – almost certainly not at the minima.

    • The triangle is known as a ‘cocket hat’ in nautical and aviation spheres. But largely redundant in the age of Loran and now GPS.

    • All I know is that is what they taught as the Air Navigation school of the Royal Canadian Air Force in Winnipeg. Fortunately, we never had to use the method as better navigational devices were appearing. The view was you had to be able to practice dead reckoning and all techniques in case you lost instrumentation.

  16. Allan Savory’s talk was brilliant and his results potentially important for the planet. But that was some time ago now. I have heard absolutely nothing since. Apparently nobody really cares about saving the planet for human habitation.

  17. they haven’t even established the existence of angels.

    Nor have they defined the area of the pin head. And what about expected error pars? Wings extended or retracted?

    • And how old are the angels? Are they babies, children or adult? What is an angels ideal weight, do they come fat and skinny? Or are they etheral where thay can share the same space?

      Only in an insane word where imbeciles rule the show can data no more robust than the data used to count angels is considered adequate enough to change public policy.

  18. CO2 is a well mixed gas in our atmosphere. This is not an assumption it is a measurement – and it is not wrong. Do not be misled (though it’s not clear what difference it would make if it wasn’t).

    NASA explains the apparent deviations month to month for anyone who cares to read them. These coincide with bush fires and seasonal crop burning for land clearance. This can be verified by correlating with fire locations from the earth Observatory
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/GlobalMaps/view.php?d1=MOD14A1_M_FIRE

    For example. compare CO2 concentration for October 2014

    with ground fires visible from space for the same month

    Pretty good correlation, Yes?

    • Well it all depends upon what is meant by well mixed, and in what context one is considering.

      The other day, Ferdinand provided data that showed that CO2 is anything but well mixed at low altitude, and can vary significantly during the course of the day, throughout the month and seasonally. This variation could be more than 300ppm. I have not checked, but I seem to recall that he provided data showing CO2 measurements of about 300 ppm peaking to over 700ppm in the course of a day or so? This is more than a doubling of CO2!! So is that well mixed?

      The significance of this may be, at what level does the bulk of DWLWIR take place? Is it within a few hundred metres of the surface, a thousand metres of the surface, or say 10,000 metres from the surface?

      If it is as low altitude and if CO2 is not well mixed at low altitude (such that it can vary by more than double over short periods) then this has a bearing on the efficacy of the CO2 causing warming theory, and the testability of the theory.

      • Richard,

        CO2 is not well mixed in the first few hundred meters over land, where the largest sources and sinks are, depending of wind speed which mixes it with the above air layers. That is about 5% of all air mass. In the bulk of the atmosphere, the other 95%, that is everywhere over the oceans and over land from a few hundred meters up to 30 km height, the levels are within +/- 8 ppmv (4% of full scale) for seasonal values to +/-2 ppmv (1% of full scale) for yearly averages, from near the North Pole (Barrow) to the South Pole.

        Taking into account that some 20% (80 ppmv) goes in and out the atmosphere within a few months over the seasons, that means that CO2 is damn good and fast mixed.

        One can make use of Modtran ( http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/modtran/ ), a program that calculates how much energy is retained by GHGs. If you look at the radiation difference between 400 and 1000 ppmv in the “standard 1976 atmosphere”, looking down from 1 km height, the difference is 0.314 W/m2. A temperature increase of 0.1°C at ground level is sufficient to restore the outgoing radiation level…
        Even that is overblown, as the variability is only over land (30% of the surface) and not constant 1000 ppmv over a full 1000 m. The influence of even high variability near ground above land on the radiation balance is simply negligible…

      • Ferdinand

        Thank you for your further comments, they are appreciated and something to ponder on.

        I have not clearly formulated in my mind what I think about CO2. I am wavering on whether it is contextual as to whether or not it is truly well mixed, and precisely what energy imbalance is said to have arisen and how and with what claimed effect.

        That said, and whilst I consider that Mauna Loa was less than an ideal site for an observatory, I consider that the Mauna Loa CO2 data set is one of the better data sets available in Climate Science, and that it gives us a reasonable insight as to how CO2 levels have changed these past 50 or so years.

    • MikeB commented: “….Pretty good correlation, Yes?”

      Yes. And if you let the video run through all the years it’s apparent that it’s consistent. It’s also seems that the CO2 is well mixed as the difference between max/min on their scale only represents about 4%.

  19. Of one million air molecules on average 1.8 are methane molecules. On the methane bomb “problem”. I have to say, bring it on.

    One gem from the IPCC meeting in Stockholm 2 years ago was when Thomas Stocker claimed that the heat increase from the 1950 to 2013 of the oceans between the surface and down to 700 meters was solid, showing a graph with a rapid increase of accumulated heat with a gigantic number in Joules. But, when this number is translate in Celsius then the increase from 1950 to 2013 turn out the be less then 0.1 degrees Celsius, which is much less than any possible error bar given the equipments that were in use.

  20. MPP? Not the correct way Dr Tim. Draw parallel lines to each position line, at the “error” distance from each particular line. You get a cocked hat offset towards the most accurate position line, and you are probably in the center of that.

  21. Reprise from 2012:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/02/what-can-we-learn-from-the-mauna-loa-co2-curve-2/#comment-1001541

    Allan MacRae says: June 4, 2012 at 4:05 am

    First, you totally miss the point of the urban CO2 readings – it’s about Ferdinand’s mass balance argument, which fails not only on a seasonal basis but even on a daily basis, imo.

    FerdiEgb says: June 4, 2012 at 6:26 am

    The mass balance must be always obeyed, no matter what happens where. But that is only calculatable on a yearly basis, as we only have yearly inventories of the emissions. Urban readings anyway are irrelevant for the mass balance, as are all readings in the lowest few hundred meters above land. That represents only 5% of the air mass where the CO2 is not well mixed due to a lot of local sources and sinks. In the rest of the global air mass, the yearly averaged measurements are all within 2 ppmv for the same hemisphere and 5 ppmv between the hemispheres, where the SH lags the NH but the trends are exactly the same:

    _____________

    You are missing the point Ferdinand. The SLC urban CO2 readings show that even a the typical SOURCE of manmade CO2 emissions (the URBAN environment), the natural system of photosynthesis and respiration dominates and there is NO apparent evidence of a human signature. If your premise was correct, you would see CO2 peaks at breakfast and supper times and the proximate (in time) morning and evening rush hours, when power demand and urban driving are at their maxima. This human signature is absent In the SLC data, and yet the natural signature is clearly apparent and predominant.

    Similarly, in the AIRS animation I posted earlier, there is NO human signature and the power of nature is clearly evident. Here it is again.
    [video src="http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4" /]

    These are huge natural DYNAMIC systems that are apparently NOT impacted by the relatively small human contribution. Sadly, Nature apparently just ignores our humanmade CO2 emissions, as irritating as that must be for you.

    I know you have made up your mind on this point Ferdinand, and nothing will shake your belief. Try watching the George Carlin video again – George gets it. :-)

    • Your statement that we do not see CO2 peaks at breakfast and supper times due to urban driving at maximum is interesting.
      Before catalytic converters on cars we could see this very easily by measuring carbon monoxide in Los Angeles for example.

    • Allan,

      All going well here, just back from a 4-weeks trip in the SW USA – visited lots of National Parks… Except for sometimes still much to hot temperature levels – South Arizona – marvelous trip…

      Here a report of Diekirch, a nice small town in Luxembourg, where they measured CO2 and a lot of meteorological items over a few summer days. Chapter 4.1 shows the simultaneous measurements of a second CO2 peak during rush hours, the same moment that there is a peak in NO:
      http://meteo.lcd.lu/papers/co2_patterns/co2_patterns.html

      As I agree that the natural cycle is dominant, that is a cycle which only varies less than +/- 1 ppmv from year to year over the full cycle, while human emissions are currently 4.5 ppmv/year…
      The AIRS data were too crude to detect human emissions and even the OCO-2 will need its best performance to show them. Which doesn’t mean that it isn’t the cause of the increase…

  22. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/02/what-can-we-learn-from-the-mauna-loa-co2-curve-2/#comment-1000261

    Hi Ferdinand,

    I hope you are well.

    For the record, I have no problem with CO2 measurement accuracy. The CO2 measurements at Barrow, Mauna Loa, the South Pole and many other sites correlate well and make sense.

    Also, we don’t need to discuss yet again your “mass balance” argument – I will leave that to you and Richard C. I agree with Richard – the system just does not work the way you say it does.

    Humanmade CO2 emissions are very small compared with natural CO2 flux, which is not only huge on a seasonal basis, but also huge on a daily basis.

    I would really like you to be correct, because if you were, humanity would survive better than under my most probable scenario, which is moderate or severe global cooling.

    The only impact I can see of humanmade CO2 emissions is that we are making little flowers happy.

    To counter the wild claims of the global warming alarmists, I leave all of you with this note from George Carlin, and wish you a very pleasant Sunday. :-)

    Regards, Allan

    Warning: Language.

    George Carlin – “The Planet is Fine”

  23. “Waterfowl numbers declined and farmers were blamed”

    BWTM . . . They got double use out of it. Hunters were blamed as well. The theory was/is that spent lead shot was ingested by birds, and they died from lead poisoning. 5,000,000 a year (!) was the claim. Habeas corpus. That no one could produce a body was irrelevant to the regulators, and lead shot for waterfoul hunting was banned. Then declared a wonderful success. Lead shot is still banned for waterfoul.

  24. Here is my point. Are there more cattle today, in the USA than there were Bison in the 17-18th centuries? (before cars, I note.) Reputedly there were millions and millions of bison in North America. Did they release methane too? Seems to me that cattle merely replace the existing “natural” herds.

  25. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Fantastic read.

    Dr Tim Ball maps out the historical proliferation of ‘methane (CH4)’ alarmism via governments and activist groups, highlighting the economic and social damage that such environmental misinformation and hysteria inflicts on our lives.

    Ergo, CO2 alarmism…

  26. The story was that methane was a small percentage of the greenhouse gases, but much more effective than CO2 or H2O. It is a meaningless measure because

    “The infrared absorption bands of methane, at wavelengths of roughly 3 and 8 microns, are overlain by absorption from water vapor. But once the water vapor absorbs the radiation in these bands, there is really nothing left for methane to absorb. So the estimates of methane being 20-70 times more effective per molecule than CO2 (as estimated by IPCC), or that methane forcing is 20% of CO2 forcing, as shown in various IPCC reports, makes absolutely no sense.”

    The statement about water vapor absorbing and there being nothing left for methane to absorb in those bands is incorrect. In the 8 micron band there are very few, narrow, weak absorbing lines due to water compared with a large number of stronger bands due to methane.

    • Show me some graphs showing the total amount available in reality-land, in each of those “micro bands” of emissions absorbed by methane, after water vapor has done it’s absorption number on them, and I’ll look carefully. This, just does not seem very relevant to what was said, to my mind, Phil.

      • Well it’s extremely relevant since water vapor can’t ‘do it’s absorption number’ without having spectral lines which overlap with the CH4 lines, in this region of the spectrum it’s CH4 that does its number on the water vapor.

  27. Thanks for the Carlin Save the Planet. I actually saw that on HBO and laughed my self silly. Sorry he is not with us now. I’m sure he would put the current circumstances in perspective.

  28. Thanks, Dr. Ball. Good article.
    I agree we don’t have data necessary to even formulate climate theories, let alone reaching conclusions and making predictions.
    Some basic things we know: CO2 is plant food, water vapor is the most powerful GHG. We don’t know the warming effect of the present-days increment (the sensitivity of the climate system).
    If the CO2 sensitivity is around 1~2°C there’s no measurable global temperature increase above natural variations, like ENSO.

  29. The militant vegans want us to stop eating meat to “save the planet”, or so they say. So what are we to do with all the food animals? Set them free? Kill them all wastefully?

    I’d like to explain to them that all the vegetarian hominid species died out and the omnivorous ones survived. But they’re just another doomsday cult religion on the wrong side of evolution.

    Amazing how many “green” folk claim to worship Nature, but instead want Nature to conform to their fantasies. A mere human never tells a goddess what to do. That’s the ultimate disrespect.

  30. There are a lot of discussions on natural CO2 emissions verses manmade CO2.

    Leaving aside de-forestation, slash and burn etc (and leaving aside the scientific issue as to whether there is any measurable Climate Sensitivity to CO2), isn’t the issue simply the following:

    Would today’s current CO2 of about 400 ppm, be the same or would it be less if man had not been burning fossil fuels these past 100 or so years?

    Where I consider the matter becomes difficult is to answer by how much has man increased atmospheric CO2 levels.

    Is Man responsible for the entire increase from say about 270ppm to about 400 ppm on the basis that whilst carbon sinks have been expanding, their rate of expansion has not kept pace with manmade emissions such that they have been unable to sink and sequester only part of manmade emissions?

    Or is man only responsible for about 3 to 4% of that increase on the basis that the manmade component of the carbon cycle is only about 3 to 4% of the total carbon cycle.

    Personally, I consider that a difficult question to answer since we have insufficient data about the carbon cycle and in particular the carbon sources and the carbon sinks. At best we have insight on a composite basis, ie., the net difference between sources and sinks rather than details of each individual component.

    What we do not know is whether the natural carbon sources have been increasing year on year and by what amount. Unless we are able to clarify that, as I see matters, we are unable to answer whether man is responsible for only about 3 to 4% of the increase in total CO2, or whether he is responsible for all the increase.

    • richard,

      “What we do not know is whether the natural carbon sources have been increasing year on year and by what amount. Unless we are able to clarify that, as I see matters, we are unable to answer whether man is responsible for only about 3 to 4% of the increase in total CO2, or whether he is responsible for all the increase.”

      What I do not know is why our lack of ability to “answer” such a question, is significant beyond noting that neither are the people calling for forcing any sort of reparation/mitigation payments out of billions of human beings.

      It ain’t up to me to prove I didn’t rain on your parade, so to speak, if you start saying I’m responsible for the showers, it seems to me. Nor do I feel my inability to demonstrate I didn’t throw the Earth into a heated tantrum, is in any sense an indictment against me in that regard . . The burden of proof clearly rests with the persecutors in such cases, not whomever they happen to start persecuting, right?

  31. “Speculating with No Data”

    That is the best kind of speculating. The more data we have, the less freedom we have to speculate. (Unless we ignore it.)
    Why are you trying to deny us our freedom?

  32. Thank you, Tim Ball, for this excellent post. I’d like, however, to bring to your attention that I treated the claim of livestock husbandry and meat consumption driving climate change in a number of publications: Here they are:
    http://www.davidpublishing.com/davidpublishing/Upfile/5/8/2014/2014050882981745.pdf
    http://tropicalgrasslands.info/index.php/tgft/article/view/144/92
    http://www.pastoralismjournal.com/content/4/1/1
    http://livestocknutrition.conferenceseries.com/abstract/2015/reconsidering-livestock-s-role-in-climate-change
    In this very moment I am with the Five Nations Beef Alliance annual conference in Mex-ico (Durango). On Friday I’ll give a talk in which the question of climate hazards through livestock will be a central issue.

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