Imagine the horrific fate of the losers after the climate policy debate ends

Guest essay by Larry Kummer, of the Fabius Maximus website

Summary: The appropriate public policy response to climate change is one of the great issues of our time, driving one of the longest yet inconsequential debates in modern US history. Yet everything comes to an end, eventually. This post speculates what that end might mean for the activists and scientists on each side if they lose. The consequences of defeat might mar the lives of ten thousand people in America (more around the world), yet has been little discussed.

Are you now, or have ever been, a climate denier?

Burning of Anne Hendricks as a Witch in 1571. Engraving by Jan Luyken (1685).

Burning of Anne Hendricks as a witch in 1571. Engraving by Jan Luyken (1685).

The US public policy debate about climate has run for 28 years, starting the clock from James Hansen’s famous Senate testimony. Although the results have been meager, I suspect it’s like a geological fault. Massive forces moving but locked together, with the stress accumulating year by year. People live on it, complacent since nothing has happened. Then …boom.

There are many possible intermediate outcomes, such as slow political and climate change over generations. We remember the exciting outcomes — ice ages and revolutions — but slow evolution is the most frequent outcome. But sometimes the extreme outcomes become unusually likely. I believe climate is one of them. The political debate has become a game in which nobody claims the pot. It grows to immense size as both sides bet more than they can afford to lose. Each confident of victory; neither prepares for possible ruin. It’s a commonplace in military history.

The outcome will result from a combination of weather and politics, contingent on random (or unpredictable) events. Whatever the outcome, the long-term fate of 21st century climate change might mock it. The good guys often lose in politics.

Here are guesses about some “tail outcomes”, two possible extreme outcomes that illustrate the stakes in this now deadlocked political debate. Either the climate science institutions — and climate scientists — win, or the skeptics win.


Historians might point to this logo as evidence of their self-confidence.

Scenario One: hard times for climate scientists

Climate scientists have staked the reputation of their field on an increased occurrence of extreme weather during the next few years. We have read about future climate apocalypses (amidst other certain forecasts about climate change), the end of snow, the looming monster methane apocalypse, more and bigger hurricanes, and nightmarish futures illuminated only by burning coal (based on RCP8.5). Plus the sixth great extinction (since supposedly 30 thousand species go extinct every year).

As a result Leftists frequently speak casually of our certain doom.

What if most of this proves false? Perhaps we will get continued slow warming, without the devastating increase of extreme weather and disruption of the biosphere? Perhaps people will forget the decades of doomster predictions (seldom contracted by scientists or the major science institutions). Climate scientists will reclaim their bets, without consequences.

Or perhaps the public will lose confidence in climate science (anti-intellectualism has deep roots in US history), a crash in their reputations. If so, government and ngo funding for climate science might vanish like last years’ snow. They’ll rename it (“meteorology” and “earth science” will become poplar names, as scientists rebrand themselves to avoid public mockery).

What do you call a climate scientist? Waiter!

Scenario Two: hard times for climate skeptics

If Trump wins the GOP nomination (likely), and the resulting Democratic landslide takes down the GOP’s Senate and House majorities with him (possible) — expect Congressional “investigative” hearings of skeptics. The results will be unpleasant. But skeptics cannot be easily blacklisted since the major institutions have already cut off most of their funding — and most are either in the private sector (e.g., meteorologists) or well-established with tenure. Younger scientists are protected, most having wisely chosen not to burn their careers on the altar of skepticism — no matter how esteemed it is in science lore.

That’s the mild outcome for skeptics. Their websites will close. They’ll find new causes on the Right, build new hobbies with new communities (as Leftist doomsters have jumped from one certain end-time scenario to another (pollution, overpopulation, Y2K, peak oil, etc).

What if there is severe damage from extreme weather (blamed, of course, on CO2 emissions)? For example, if two cities on the east coasts of Asia or America are hit by large hurricanes — with massive damage and large loss of life. No matter what the buttoned-down scientists deep in the halls of NOAA say (e.g., time needed for study, attribution of weather is difficult), on the next day journalists’ microphones will go to activist scientists announcing their insta-verdicts.

The public uproar might be like nothing we’ve seen since the 1950s, when the unexpected and astonishing Soviet atomic blasts and the fall of China to the red commies led to mass hysteria, “witch hunts” of suspected communists, and loyalty oaths.

The Left is eager to start. They talk about banning them from the news media and suing them. In their fantasies (occasionally displayed to the public) they imagine killing them.

“With climate change becoming increasingly threatening, and decreasingly talked about in the media, we wanted to find a way to bring this critical issue back into the headlines while making people laugh. …Many people found the resulting film extremely funny…”
Lizzie Gillet, 10:10 global campaign director.

“The film may have been somewhat tasteless, but it was an imaginative attempt to challenge public apathy over climate change.”
Statement from the Guardian, a backer of 10:10.

Vengeful Leftists leading an angry public is a combination to fear. Prominent skeptics might be harassed and demonized on a scale far greater than anything seen in generations. “Lukewarmers” might be grilled — “were you ever a skeptic or associated with skeptics?”

History suggests that the only choice Congressional committees will give skeptics is poison or the knife (metaphorically speaking). Fortunately skeptics can easily prepare for these inquisitions by study of medieval confessionals and the accepted forms of self-criticism in Mao’s China. At least they will have lots of company in the dock.

Often unemployment will follow, as companies and universities in self-defense cut them lose (tenure has failed to provide protection in the past, and it is weaker today).


There is no reality-based community in America (as discussed in scores of posts on the FM website, such as Facts are the enemy of both Left and Right in our America). This leaves us ungrounded, liable to extreme and irrational responses to events (as we have seen in our mad wars since 9/11).

The debate about the public response to climate change might provide more evidence if one side wins decisively. With the stakes so high, the reaction of both winners and losers might be dramatic. Oddly, neither side shows any awareness that they might lose — or takes any measures to protect themselves. Time might prove that one side was unwise.

“I offer a toast to the future, the undiscovered country.”
— Klingon Chancellor Gorkon in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country“.

{A}s I stood sadly at my country’s boundary and looked longingly into the unknown country, which was so near me and yet so far away, some little revelation might be vouchsafed to me…
— From Either/Or: A Fragment of Life by Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1843).

For more information see The keys to understanding climate change, My posts about climate change, and especially these about the policy debate…

  1. How we broke the climate change debates. Lessons learned for the future.
  2. My proposal: Climate scientists can restart the climate change debate – & win.
  3. We can end the climate policy wars: demand a test of the models.
  4. There will be little public policy action by the US to fight climate change – until the weather decides the debate.
  5. How climate change can help the GOP win in 2016.
  6. Why skeptics will lose the US climate policy debate.

243 thoughts on “Imagine the horrific fate of the losers after the climate policy debate ends

  1. ..As a video game strategist I can tell you personally that you should NEVER plan for defeat, only temporary setbacks ! LOL

    • It should be remembered that the original Fabius Maximus-long before he embarked on a second career in running blogs- was a Roman politician and General. Consequently his modern namesake seems very suited to taking a leading role in the climate struggle he has identified as, according to wiki;

      ‘He (Fabius Maximus) is widely regarded as the father of guerrilla warfare due to his, at the time, novel strategy of targeting enemy supply lines in light of being largely outnumbered.’ He also initiated the ‘scorched earth’ policy

      FM was also involved in fighting Hanibal who, so modern research reports, had an easier time crossing the Alps with his elephants than previously thought, as the Alpine glaciers at that time were at amongst the lowest levels of recession of the entire Holocene.

      Perhaps FM can outline his guerrilla tactics and where his the scorched earth policy will be applied?


      • Fabius Maximus-long before he embarked on a second career in running blogs- was a Roman politician and General.

        Fabius was also the General that inspired the Fabian Socialists. They use deceit, deception and manipulation to get society to accept socialism without society knowing it is accepting socialism. Their emblem is a wolf is sheep’s clothing. A truly despicable group of people.

      • Oh thanks tonyb / climatereason….now I feeel bad…Fabius Maximus was my great, great great, great Grandfather, on my fathers side! Now what am I going to tell my children ( that I don’t have yet ) ?

      • Marcus-
        You were adopted? :)
        We all have exciting ancestry at some point, but who or what our ancestors did is most often irrelevant to who we become.

      • ..Aphan, I’m surprised at you !… You have never heard of Marcus Anthony Maximus the third ? I’m the the 13th !! LOL

      • Plan for your own defeat? That is good advice? I can’t find any quotes or evidence anywhere that demonstrates that line of thinking as good, or smart, or even rational! Especially when the stakes are so high.

      • Aphan,

        “Plan for your own defeat.”

        Your frequent nutty misinterpretations are quite troll-like. Defeat is always possible in most kinds of projects, and so such scenarios must be considered when planning.

        This is a basic, for example, in military planning. Napoleon recommended positioning fortresses to cover possible lines of retreat, and prepare river crossings so that they can work for defensible fast crossings in retreat. Clausewitz also wrote about this in great detail.

        Professional security traders — such as macro hedge fund traders — also plan in advance for the possibility of failure.

        Ditto diplomates when negotiating. It is just good sense.

      • Wouldn’t that be Napolean’s plan for Retreat?
        I understand exit strategies but no one would venture into any endeavor with a plan for Defeat. It wouldn’t, as the man says, be prudent.
        Exit strategy allows for life to fight another day. Defeat means capitulation usually resulting in enslavement or death.

      • Editor of the Fabius Maximus website: “That’s daft advice in real life.”

        Spoken like a true loser.

  2. How about, in a decade or so we’ll know for sure how the climate responds to increasing CO2 levels, and then everybody shakes hands and calls it a day? By that time wind and solar will be much cheaper than fossil anyway so that part of the discussion will be moot as well. Stay positive guys! People are generally nice :)

    • So Benben thinks that the very real problems with wind and solar will be solved in ten years. What amazing new technology is he aware of that everyone else seems to have missed?

      • If this ‘new’ energy technology is creating millions of jobs, that should tell you it can’t possibly be cheaper.

        California is implementing a gradualism slide down to a $15 per hour minimum wage.

        That will boost all union wages because of their clauses being pegged to the minimum wage. Minimum wage jobs will no longer be available for no skill high school graduates; it will require a two or four year degree to get a minimum wage job. (since the employer will demand higher job skills and productivity for the higher pay.)
        Many present minimum wage earners will simply have no job at all, as they will be laid off.
        Tax revenues will go down, because the loss of jobs will more than take care of the higher tax brackets of the minimum wage workers.

        A Palo Alto daily paper (yesterday) ran an article advocating (by a Math “professor”) the elimination of algebra in high school. He suggested replacing it with statistics.
        This will create a base population of school graduates with absolutely NO problem solving skills or ability whatsoever.

        You only need the very earliest primitive parts of an Algebra course, to get the concept of giving EVERY essential element of a problem, a label (variable or parameter name) that immediately defines what elements are needed to solve the problem and distinguish them from bric-a-brac that is quite unrelated to the problem.
        Algebra first teaches the concept of designating an unknown or known number by a label that marks it as an essential part of the problem to be solved.

        So if you can’t define what the problem is in general terms, you can’t organize the elements to construct a solution.

        Statistics as we have already noted (here) operates ONLY on numbers that are already known, and have exact values. So it is just about the worst imaginable branch of mathematics for problem solving. Which is why I call it numerical Origami, because it is really a branch of numerology. Playing games with numbers you already have, and imagining that it tells you something about possible numbers that you don’t have.

        For example, everybody (I hope) already knows that the rational number 1/7 has a recurring decimal value of 0.142857142857…… in which precisely 6 different digits occur.
        Some people even know that 1/7, 2/7, 3/7, 4/7, 5/7. 6/7 give the exact same set o repeating digits but each starting with the next successively larger digit.

        0.142857.. 0.285714 .. 0.428571 .. 0.571428 .. 0.714285 .. 0.857142 ..

        Well such numerology ‘gee whizzes’ are interesting doodles, but that’s all they are. They aren’t going to solve complex problems for anybody.

        Statistics and probability are of course linked, but calculated probabilities tell you what you should get for the statistics of a very large number of repetitions of a ‘test’.

        They do not and cannot tell you what the result of any one new test will be; that is a giant leap of faith. In particular they are not the solution of any problem.

        Replacing algebra with statistics is like replacing quantum mechanics with alchemy.

        So PV solar, and possibly wind also , will likely have a permanent place in future energy supplies for niche applications; but Ivanpah and Tonopah should demonstrate to anybody with a brain, just how impractical some large scale energy ‘ solutions ‘ really are.

        I would be totally embarrassed as an Engineer (or scientist) to have my name indelibly linked with stupid projects like Ivanpah or Tonopah.

        I’m still totally at a loss to try and figure out how the Solyndra concept of a practical PV solar collector, ever convinced either venture capitalists or Government agencies to waste so much money on such an impractical Rube Goldberg idea.

        Well my apologies to Rube Goldberg, for even suggesting that Solyndra might be as clever as a real Rube Goldberg.

        The Solyndra solar cell truly is about as clever as screen doors for submarines.


        Yes Mod, I know it’s a ramble, but it’s how I feel this morning.

      • george e. smith said “If this ‘new’ energy technology is creating millions of jobs, that should tell you it can’t possibly be cheaper.”

        Jobs are a cost, not a benefit.

        The whole process of the advancement of our society is the cutting of jobs. We cut down the number of agricultural jobs from something like 80-90% of the population to under 10% (in the UK) yet we produce more food than our forefathers did tilling the land by hand. The same happened after the industrial revolution, yet we make more than are forefathers did with steam engines.

        But has the cutting of jobs meant that everyone is unemployed? No, it means that everyone is now employed doing more productive work. So we now have more people being teachers, nurses, advertising executives, telephone sanitisers (HHGTTG ref), engineers, nail technicians, etc.

      • “sadbutmadlad March 29, 2016 at 12:36 pm

        So we now have more people being teachers, nurses, advertising executives, telephone sanitisers (HHGTTG ref), engineers, nail technicians, etc.”

        More nurses, in the UK? Well, maybe true, but they would be mostly imports/migrants, not locally trained nurses. Every time there is a labour saving technology or process, or when industry is closed or “off-shored” unemployment goes up, with no prospect of retraining and re-employment.

      • “BFL March 29, 2016 at 3:25 pm”

        ANZ Bank here in Australia are considering replacing people with robot tellers at their branches. When ANZ outsourced their customer helpdesk in 1998/1999 customers dropped ANZ like a hot rock.

        Dominos Pizza here are introducing robot delivery vehicles for their products, they say the delivery boy will still be in service (I am sure that is said with tongue firmly in cheek).

      • george e. smith wrote “I’m still totally at a loss to try and figure out how the Solyndra concept of a practical PV solar collector, ever convinced either venture capitalists or Government agencies to waste so much money on such an impractical Rube Goldberg idea.”
        Hi George; I was at the Intersolar Exhibition during Semicon West trade show in SanFrancisco some years back. I approached an engineer at Solyndra’s booth, and inquired into the logic of having tubular solar arrays. Specifically, I asked, “How is this a good idea, where only a very small fraction of the solar cells/panels will see direct sunlight?” I contunued, “or said another way, isn’t it true that most of the solar panels within the tubes are in shade or facing away from the sunlight?” The response was something to the affect that you can lay these tubes flat on a roof and the sunlight will always reach [some of] the solar cells, so they are easier to install. “I scratched my head, saying, but the pot is always 1/5 full at best… I don’t get it.” Wouldn’t you want 100% of photovoltaic surface to try to face towards the sunlight as much as possible?” He had no answer.

        A few years later, I was instrumenting a building with some soil moisture sensors, and noticed thousands of solar tubes in storage within the building. I asked, “Aren’t these those Solyndra tubes?” Yes, they are paying us to store them, because they cannot sell them. A few months later after they got the big fat $500B loan, when they were gone, I asked, “What happened?” The answer? They were all ground down to dust and reclaimed. Presumably that loan was disappeared to pay off all those bonuses, and help shut down the operation. Good grief.

      • PLEASE let me correct myself. Solyndra got a $500MM loan, ($0.5Billion). Sorry for the confusion!

    • ..In a decade, AFTER we have wasted 10 Trillion dollars on non existent CAGW ? Solar and wind technology is at a standstill . It will take a HUGE leap in physics to get any improvement on batteries ! All this wasted money should be spent on REAL sustainable energy research, like SALT reactors etc…while coal keeps us warm while we wait ! ( my blood pressure is at 296, so I’m ok now )

      • The only reason why solar and wind appear to be cheap at present is that govt is spending billions in other people’s money to make it look that way.

      • In a decade, most of the wind farms that were built a decade ago will need completely refurbished, just as they are reaching pay out!

      • Thing is, that ten trillion would have paid for investigation of hundreds of other power engineering possibilities. Including, for one, LFTR, which would cost well under one percent of that amount to test. It is statistically unlikely that none of the hundred or more projects would have worked.

        Only one has to work, and problem solved.

        Instead the whole sum has been spent principally on two technologies for which statistical predictions based on the results to date, suggest that the odds of either working are low, and will remain low no matter how much funding is poured into them. .

        Maybe statistics isn’t such a useless subject after all.

    • When you factor in the fossil fuel plants needed to back up solar and wind, solar and wind will NEVER be cheaper than fossil fuel.

      • ..Any reason he should ? Have you ever gone to an Alarmists website and stated opposite opinions ? You don’t just get attacked, you get threatened with death to you AND your family !

      • Well, just like my mother always said, just because someone else jumps off a bridge doesn’t mean you should do the same. Very sad really, I prefer a civil debate. Oh well.

      • benben

        Well, just like my mother always said, just because someone else jumps off a bridge doesn’t mean you should do the same. Very sad really, I prefer a civil debate. Oh well.

        Your favored climate alarmists ARE throwing everyone else off of the bridge to THEIR deaths, all based only on the false and exaggerated fears of the alarmists and their political allies. Who remain safely back on the bridge deck, eating their steaks, playing their movies in air-conditioned homes and sitting in heated cars while collecting 1.3 trillion in carbon taxes, 92 billions in government CAGW money, and 31 trillion in carbon futures trading.

      • wait, so we’re collecting 31 trillion dollars in carbon futures? Annually? Damn. That’s a lot of steaks. I’m going to ask for a raise /s

        Obviously, those figures are completely ridiculous.

    • Ha. Obviously the main point of my post was that I don’t think it’s quite so dire that skeptics will be burnt at the stake, and to suggest otherwise is fear mongering. But with regards to wind and solar… There is an observed learning cure of ~20% for solar energy:

      All of you experts know what such a high learning curve implies for the price of solar in a decade or two, right?

      Second, wind is already incredibly cheap (and still with a learning curve of ~10%). A recent tender in Morocco (no subsidies) was awarded at as low as 25$/mwh, which compares VERY favourably to coal, which costs ~70$/mwh.

      Baseload is a complicated matter, but people here seem to forget that a fossil based system also needs massive backup power (turbines fail quite regularly as well, especially the really old ones as still in use in the EU and the US). Perhaps an interesting link for people that are genuinely curious:

      Obviously, I find debating as enjoyable as the rest of the people here, but please keep in mind the most recent developments instead of just railing against renewables as they were ten years ago :)


      • Ben Ben

        Baseload is a complicated matter, but people here seem to forget that a fossil based system also needs massive backup power (turbines fail quite regularly as well, especially the really old ones as still in use in the EU and the US).

        False. Dead wrong.

        You should have right at 10-12% margin for best reliability and security in the electric grid, but can “get by” for limited periods of time with 5-10% Now, due to Oboma’s cursed stupidity and blind faith in his CAGW religious zeal to destroy America’s conventional reliable power, we are (at best) running with only 5-7% reserves and are projected to drop down below 5% soon. The UK and US “older”
        plant’s ARE reliable and ARE NOT regularly breaking down.
        Obama’s massive schemes of paying his democrat donors off with green energy tax breaks and green nergy policies to destroy coal-fired power plants ARE now breaking them up with excessive thermal cycles and GREATLY diminished plant lives of heat exchangers, pumps, vessel walls, exhaust cylinders and exhaust and pressure wall cracks. Those “new” failures ARE destroying the “new” gas turbines faster than they can be fixed.

        Even worse, fossil plants ARE BEING arbitrarily shut down nationwide specifically because of his policies – good plants with 30 and forty year’s of remaining life.

      • benben,

        It’s hard to be civil to someone who posts such rampant nonsense over and over again.
        Learning curves have nothing to do with cost.
        What matters is efficiency and cost of production.
        Those are going down, but no where near the rates that you claim.

        I love the way you keep spouting disproven industry propaganda, but never actually deal with the refutations that are given.

        A true acolyte you be.

      • That solar price curve has existed since the 1970’s.
        What I would like to know, then, is why we threw massive subsidies into R&D for alternative forms of solar energy. And what impact did the subsidies thrown at PV have? Since this price trend was clearly inevitable based upon the historical trend.
        It looks to me as though hundreds of billions of dollars has been spent on “pushing the river”.
        i.e. achieving the inevitable, but at massive needless cost to the taxpayer.
        It’s a good thing that the government didn’t also decide that it needed to spend billions in tax dollars on ensuring that we all had access to smaller and faster computers:

      • Well… good thing for the unhappy gang here, most of the costs regarding wind have been made in Europe, not the US. So don’t worry too much about your tax dollars. It’s mostly my tax euros.

        Also, it should be pointed out that many parts of the EU have very high levels of renewables (towards 50% of electricity production) without any problems to grid stability and with energy costs going down every year. As I said, wind is currently very cheap, so you can see that currently most investments in new energy are going into wind, regardless of subsidies.

        But I know everyone here is so deeply entrenched in their opinions that it will take a while before enough evidence amasses that you’ll… well maybe not change your mind but at least be conflicted. I’m looking forward to reading the discussions here on WUWT!

        Just to point out also, I’m not saying anything about the validity of using renewables against climate change. Just about the fact that on shore wind has become cheaper than coal (for up to 50% of total power demand)


      • BenBen-
        The glowing advertisements are kind of brainless. Solar panels for power have completed most of their logarithmic lowering of costs. The numbers represented in the cleantechnica post are for the initial plant. Actual costs would also include the extremely high costs as little as 8 or 9 years ago, along with the annual decrease in energy production in older systems. Include those and the actual lcoe of solar energy production has reached the point of tiny decreases year to year. Also, every year will add increasing maintainence costs as mundane things like support equipment degradation and replacement rises. Add in the fact that many household solar installations, especially in California, will run aground when the homeowners finally realize that the lease to own contracts they signed don’t cover replacement,repair, and maintainence after they close. People will be facing expensive repairs to an obsolete solar system or triple or quadruple electricity costs.

        Right now solar, even without the subsidies is a reasonable offset against summer air conditioning costs. The only other benefit is taxpayer/ratepayer subsidies for grid feed-in tariffs or renewable energy credits.

        Keep in mind that Germany and England are now building new coal plants and increasing subsidies for renewables. The recent lowering of oil prices has also increased air pollution by forcing natural gas generation down due to higher costs because is was replaced by lower cost coal. Energy poverty in England is reaching dangerous levels.

      • Ben Ben how can you say such stupid things with a straight face. Mankind has been developing wind power for over 4000 years. If you think there is a quantum leap in wind turbine efficiency on the horizon you are deluding yourself. Solar will not work as the cells will fail after about 15 years and the manufacture of the cells is an environmental disaster.
        To supply the Canadian province of Ontario with a population of only 14 million would require 160.000 1.5 MW wind turbines to supply the 30GW this province requires at peak load at their usual %25 availability level. That works out to 1 turbine for every 2 square miles of land in the province.
        The stupid thing is you need all of the fossil fuel generators running for backup when the wind stops so you pay twice.
        The only wind turbine I know of in Ontario that is not on the government fit program, a 600KW unit, has only made a profit of $5000 on it’s best year. A few years ago the owners of that 600KW turbine had to spend 120000 for a new main bearing and whatever it cost to install it. I doubt it was cheap.
        Wind and solar will never be a viable power source that is why we gave wind up a couple of hundred years ago. Humans have to move forward to new things not backward.

      • Interesting comments. Thanks everyone!

        catweazle666: it was interesting. But the article is very one sided. Yes, all the traditional power plants lose money. But that’s kind of the point. You do fossil, you lose (hence also the fossil divestment move by long term investors). The article doesn’t mention that there are many many people with new jobs in the renewable industry. Economic activity moves, it doesn’t disappear. Yes it was very expensive, but why do you care that the Germans made the political decision to spend their own money on closing nuclear powerplants? As the article itself points out, the energiewende remains very popular with both the german public and german politicians. That should say enough. The point is here that the Germans paid a massive price to go through the learning curve, but now that we are through, renewables are much cheaper for everybody in the world.

        Phil Cartier: you write that solar power has completed most of its exponential cost decrease. Why? Learning curve says that the costs will reduce with X% per doubling of the industry. Note that this cost decrease will come in a large part from benefits of scale, not inherent technological improvements, and obviously the scale of both solar and wind can double several times before coming close to fossil. So no reason to assume that cost decreases will stop any time soon.

        Matt Bergin: same as above, cost decrease in wind energy comes from increase in scale, not inherent technological breakthroughs. As seen from the fact that turbines keep getting larger (from 70m a couple of years ago to 100m now and 140m for the latest designs), and also that you can install 500 turbines in one go, instead of one turbine here, one turbine there. Anyway, I doubt that a 600kw unit is profitable. We’re talking about 2.5MW+ designs before it makes economic sense without subsidies.


      • Banben

        Steam engines when first invented had a high learning curve also. Then they peaked and the internal combustion engine came along. Just because steam had an original high learning curve didn’t mean it had much of a top end.

        The same for wind and solar. Whatever high learning curve you claim for them there is still not much of a top end. They lag far behind fossil fuels and nuclear for top end in their ability to create the power that drives civilization.

        Horses are another example. You would be surprised at how efficient some carrying company were in using their wagon horses. But horses plod not run. No high top end.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Second, wind is already incredibly cheap (and still with a learning curve of ~10%). A recent tender in Morocco (no subsidies) was awarded at as low as 25$/mwh, which compares VERY favourably to coal, which costs ~70$/mwh.

        I’ll believe wind and solar are and cost effective when they can manufacture the entire system using just wind and solar energy. The costs associated with construction of these white elephants never include the enormous amount of energy required for their construction!

      • Gosh, benben, if wind is so cost competitive, why does it need a 2.3c subsidy?

        Understand that that subsidy is a significant fraction of the wholesale price of electricity.

        And if greed energy is so effective in Europe and benefiting from a learning curve, then why do the countries with the highest penetration of greed energy have the highest electricity costs?

      • Turbines don’t fail very often. Coal fired boilers rupture tubes a lot. Maintenance is mostly planned, unplanned is minimized. Spare capacity backs up broken capacity & it’s not “massive,” 15% +/- is desired. BTW, I have BSME & 35+ years operating, maintaining & designing coal, NG, steam, combined cycle, etc. power generation. What do you got?

        Wind generators haven’t solved their gear box problems yet.

      • “railing against renewables as they were ten years ago”

        Still looking for the successful wind and solar project. Ben is confused about the difference between protections and performance.

      • If this coming winter of 2017 is bitterly cold, Germany power grid will collapse
        The same can happen to UK system

        That will be the end to this” name games” with “flexible back up”and such.
        It is amazing how gullible Germans become, to fall for this nonsense

      • Having worked with people who used to install turbines in large scale coal fired power plants, I will tell you now they would be deeply insulted but also laugh as they realize you haven’t a clue what you are talking about.

      • The apparent cost effectiveness of wind relies on the fact that all energy produced has to be bought, wanted or not. As far as I know, we don’t have any stats for how much wind energy is actually called-for by the Grid operators, and how much is bought simply because they have to buy it. If we knew that, we we would have a better picture of wind’s usefulness.

        There is also a significant difference in the way that constraint payments are applied to renewables. If a fossil fuel operator is requested to spin-up to meet anticipated demand, but the demand never materialises, then the operator receives a constraint payment to cover the expenses of spin-up and standby. However, if a fossil fuel operator overproduced deliberately they would get nothing for the surplus.

        If a renewables operator produces surplus energy, they always receive constraint payments. This is basically a licence to overproduce, at public expense. Perhaps the most farcical aspect is that the same overproducing operator might have been unable to produce when demand was high a short while back, yet this is not factored into the overproduction payment. .

      • RACook1978 I’m afraid BenBen won’t ever actually even try to wrap his mind (such as it is) about what energy policy really needs to be to support a constantly advancing modernizing economy that is providing “gateway” employment to participate actively in it as something other than a french fry tender. Scratch him and I bet he will consider it a “plausible scenario” to go ahead and let the great plains revert to bunch grass with thousands buffalo migrating twice a year past Omaha with their collection of wolves and grizzly bears following in their wake because we nasty humans don’t have to exploit natural nature …..well a least then the fry tending job would have upgrade to rock sharpener.

      • benben,

        Obviously you are incapable of thinking for yourself, since you constantly parrot alarmist nonsense that has no basis in fact. Many Europeans are like that, but it’s still no excuse.

        Fact: coal power, at least in the U.S., is cheap and clean. Windmill power cannot possibly compete with it without enormous subsidies. Solar power like California’s Ivanpah project costs in excess of nineteen dollars per kiloWatt hour! Coal power costs 6¢ – 11¢ per kWh. Those are the costs without the subsidies.

        You’ve been so indoctrinated with bogus numbers and baseless statements that you’re head-nodding right along without thinking, as usual.

        Why do you clutter up this science site with your pseudo-science? There are eco-religious blogs that would be much more to your liking. May I suggest Hotwhopper?

      • Ron Manley

        March 30, 2016 at 4:31 pm

        Worked around ash ponds and sewage lagoons & prefer the ash ponds.

        [Note: The commenter ‘Manley’ is an impostor/ID thief who is commenting under Mr. Manley’s name. Therefore, all the impostor’s comments were a waste of time: Deleted. -mod]

      • So now Keating is “Ron Manley”.

        Keating is about as honest in his constant ID thefts as he is in his bogus ‘challenges’.

        Get lost, Keating. You’re just a troll.

        [Note: The commenter ‘Manley’ is an impostor/ID thief who is commenting under Mr. Manley’s name. Therefore, all the impostor’s comments were a waste of time: Deleted. -mod]

      • benben March 29, 2016 at 9:48 am
        How about, in a decade or so we’ll know for sure how the climate responds to increasing CO2 levels, and then everybody shakes hands and calls it a day? By that time wind and solar will be much cheaper than fossil anyway so that part of the discussion will be moot as well. Stay positive guys! People are generally nice :)
        The problem with your suggestion that we take it in shorts now, is that governments are taking people’s money away now (making some rich).
        The problem is that so-called green made energy far more costly now.
        The problem is that poor people are having a harder time paying for higher energy costs now.
        The problem is that more people are on food stamps now.
        The problem is that we are going into more debt now.
        The problem is that the debt bubble will exlode within 10 years.

        And there is no evidence that increased CO2 warrants exacerbating these problems NOW and over the past decades.

        One might say, it would be foolish to do so [sorry dbstealey, you said it first!]

    • benben March 29, 2016 at 9:48 am

      How about, in a decade or so we’ll know for sure how the climate responds to increasing CO2 levels, and then everybody shakes hands and calls it a day? By that time wind and solar will be much cheaper than fossil anyway so that part of the discussion will be moot as well.

      You might not be old enough to remember that that promise has been made by renewablunatics every decade starting in 1970 with Jimmy Carter … you’re just the latest anonymous internet popup to come back with the same tired claim that solar and wind will be economically competitive in just a few years

      Sorry, I didn’t believe the last hundred charming folks making those same rainbow and unicorn promises, and I don’t believe you either.

      If that were true, the wind and solar lobby wouldn’t have crammed the latest subsidies into the latest budget.


      • I’m saying that renewables (onshore wind) are competitive right now. Today. Not in a few years. See the link with price structure for 2016 wind energy projects (or any other 2016 report on wind energy really).

        But sure, I understand it’ll take a few years before enough counterfactuals accumulate which will force you ti change your internal representation of the works. Kuhn in progress!

        Solar is still dependent on subsidies of course. Time will tell dear Willis!

      • benben: “I’m saying that renewables (onshore wind) are competitive right now.”

        No they’re not.

        Nor will they be until they can survive without watt-for-watt backup from some type of thermal plant, whether it is fossil fuelled or nuclear.

        You can forget about batteries too, they show no sign of the kind of orders-of-magnitude improvements in performance, cost and lack of environmental impact for generations.

      • Let me note also that in 2014, renewables contributed the following energy to global energy consumption:

        Remember that this is after decades and decades of wind and solar subsidies totaling billions of dollars …

        So no, benben, I do NOT think that wind and solar will be “cheaper than fossil anyway”.


      • benben

        I think you are misrepresenting what is happening in Germany with power producers. The power utility by law has to buy, well above base load cost, energy produced by ‘renewable’ hardware owners. They have to take all of it whether it is needed or not. They then have to sell it to get rid of it, which means sending it into the EU grid well below the cost they just paid to buy it. This creates both the price you are quoting and the massive cross-subsidization needed to meet the legal requirements.

        The are being taken to the WTO because they are literally selling electricity below cost (dumping) which is illegal. They are pushing power (by under-charging) into the Czech Republic at less than the cost of coal-fired power. It is not actually cheaper, it costs a lot more, but that is the course of the rumour that ‘coal fired power plants are being put out of business by renewables’. They are being put out of business by Germany taxing consumers and subsidising electricity to the Czech Rep and others. It is correctly called dumping.

        You repeatedly show the cost of generating capacity, not the cost of electricity. You consistently over-state the cost of coal energy. I just returned from Bishkek and the power station pays 0.75 US cents per kWh of coal energy which makes the marginal cost of electricity about 2.5 cents. For duff coal they pay 80% less. China was paying Mongolia $11 a ton for coal delivered to the border. Now they stopped because of a drop in the price of local coal. In rural China, coal delivered by truck to the house is under $50 a ton in small quantities. There is simply no way solar PV can compete with that. Ontario Canada pays 34.5 cents per kWh on a 20 year contract. It is still not a good deal because there are subsidies in the capital acquisition.

        The numerous costs you cite are simply not reflecting the actual cost of producing power from these intermittent sources. There are no windmills produced from power generated by windmills. The windmill would cost far too much to buy, if there were no subsidies. You might consider for a moment where subsidies come from. They are the product of a profitable enterprise that generates more wealth than it destroys.

        I don’t think anyone ever got enough electricity out of a windmill to make another one. If they did, then the electricity available after that new one was built is the first net energy gain available from the windmill. The same applies for PV panels, If a panel must first replaced itself, which is foundation of a renewable energy grid, then the power available after than is the only energy output available do other work. I believe an erected windmill contains more energy generated by coal than it is ever going to generate. If I am wrong, it is not by much, and the self-replacement energy must be subtracted from the total output or else the all-renewable system is not viable. Subsidising it will not make it viable. Energy accounting doesn’t work that way. A subsidy is a profit generated somewhere else.

      • Crispin: thanks for your thoughtful reply. So obviously price of energy (especially coal) really varies with geography because transportation costs can play a large role. The price I qouted was for inland Morocco, which is not Bishkek (or any other of the examples you quote). But fair point. Wind is only competitive in regions with a lot of wind, elsewhere it’s not (yet). But I concede the point that I oversimplify. Lets have this discussion again in a year, when the full 2016 energy market analyses come in.

        As to the other point: I know that the energy payback time for wind turbines (not economic payback!!) is roughly three months. So that is really not that bad. Google scholar is your friend if you want references (look for life cycle assessments).


      • ” Wind is only competitive in regions with a lot of wind, elsewhere it’s not (yet).”

        Wind is not close to competitive even in regions with a lot of wind. You really need to let go of the “Hope and Change” and firmly grasp just how far wind and solar really have to go to be within hailing distance of fossil fuel. But at least you are now starting to adopt a better tone …

      • benben March 29, 2016 at 2:55 pm

        Google scholar is your friend if you want references (look for life cycle assessments).

        Thanks, Ben, but I don’t go on snipe hunts for any man. If you think there is research out there that supports your claim, either link to it or forget it. I will not attempt to guess which out of the many studies (both valid and already falsified) you are referring to.

        If you want to get traction, provide links. When someone tells me “google is your friend”, that just means they are unwilling to support their own arguments with actual facts and are instead resorting to handwaving.

        And in the absence of other evidence, I’m quite willing to draw the obvious conclusion from that fact …



      • benben,

        If you believe that you are astonishingly naive and credulous.

        Remove subsidies, and winmills cost more than a dozen times the most expensive fossil fuel power.

      • benben: Why not? Every indication is that modern wind turbines are very competitive.”

        What, with a load factor generally less than 30%, hence requiring that every watt is backed up with a watt of real electricity, hence requiring a doubling of generating capacity?

        No chance.

      • Hello W!

        I’ve provided quite a few links, which provide a lot of primary references. I’m going to have to assume you didn’t read any of them…. :(

        The LCA specific link, meh, it’s such a side branch from the discussion, why bother.

        Hello DB! Please continue! I’m always looking forward to reading your posts.


      • Benban —

        i used the link you provided. Pie in the sky.

        How long have you been around? Research older articles and you will find that years ago the same people were promising the same things — and avowing it will all come true “the day after tomorrow”,

        But I guess hope beats eternal in the renewable industry — or will as long as the subsidies last.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • benben,

        Have you ever considered the people who have to live among these giant wind turbines and the fact that these same people have no say in where these wind turbines are located?

        These wind turbines are being forced upon rural residents so that urban areas can be supplied with “green” power.

      • benben,

        “Why not? Every indication is that modern wind turbines are very competitive. But as I said before, this is new 2015/2016 data. So it’ll take a while to sink in with the crowd here. But a few years down the line this debate should be settled.”

        Do YOU actually read the articles you link to?

        “The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently released data showing that the Capacity Factor (CF) for wind power can reach 65% which is comparable to that of fossil fuel based generation .”

        CAN reach benben, not HAS reached. And THAT is only possible if ALL of the land sites IN the NREL report (the report simply noted the suitable land sites for wind turbines across the US…that COULD be utilized…it is NOT a report of actual, already in place wind turbines…it’s a projection report) actually currently HAD wind turbines on them…and “future tech” turbines at that…not actual present tech ones! Let me bold some more important words for you benben…you seem to have skipped them.

        “With little fanfare, NREL released updated data showing that, with current technology, wind turbines could generate more than enough energy at 55% CF to power the entire US. (If they covered every square inch of acceptable sites available…which they currently do not) However the real stunner is that near future turbine technology (140 m towers) could boost that to 65% CF. With the current national average wind CF (pg 34) at about 33%, this represents a near doubling. (do you need me to define the word “current” as used in that sentence for you?) According to NREL using current technology and siting it in prime locations, wind power CF already can exceed that of natural gas. Using ‘near future’ technology wind power’s CF will exceed the CF of both coal (61%) and natural gas (48%) achieved nationwide in recent years.”

        benben…they are talking about the future, and the things that COULD happen with relation to wind technology. They are not talking about wind generated electricity TODAY.

        And here’s an article that explains -“Why wind and solar eat their own lunch”. You have simplified wind power down to the point of meaningless discussion because you don’t understand it’s not as easy as “Make turbines, wind blows, turbines make energy”.

        “Also, it should be pointed out that many parts of the EU have very high levels of renewables (towards 50% of electricity production) without any problems to grid stability and with energy costs going down every year.”

        And according to this 2014 report-(and I quote) “The wind energy capacity currently installed in the EU would produce in an average wind year 284 TWh of electricity, enough to cover 10.2% of the EU’s total electricity consumption.”

        Whew! 10%!!

      • Ron Manley March 30, 2016 at 4:31 pm
        Dbstealey says: “coal power, at least in the U.S. is cheap and clean.”
        Obviously Mr. Dbstealy has never seen a coal ash pond.
        LIke this….
        Looks like horse manure. Obviously Ron Manley has never seen the stuff that organic veggies grow in.

        [Reply: This is an impostor posting as R. Manley. -mod]

    • For what it’s worth, my opinion is that public interest in gullible warming is already waning, meaning that in the absence of some cataclysmic weather event (which would need to be of biblical proportion, not merely another Katrina-esque storm), gullible warming will continue its slide off the public radar and into obscurity within another decade, maybe (hopefully) less.

      Activists of the cause will invent some new fashionable end-of-days cause to fight for, because it’s the only way they can give meaning to their pointless, feeble lives and kid themselves that they’re part of something important. Maybe the new fashion will be oxygen depletion of the atmosphere, maybe it will be panic that the earth’s core is cooling down and Mars is the poster child hinting at our fate if we don’t act now, before it’s too late?
      Climastrologists will reinvent themselves as something else; meteorologists, statisticians, soap-opera script-writers or such like; and claim that they always knew the gullible warming meme was a bit dubious but, you know, it was better to be safe than sorry. No harm done though, eh? No really, I earned that seaside mansion with hard work.

      Trillions will continue to be squandered on low key government funded efforts to mitigate climate change for a few more years because no bureaucracy likes to loose influence (e.g. they never get smaller or more efficient on their own initiative, that only ever occurs because some indefatigable external force leaves them with no choice). Maybe they’ll be trying some additional new justifications to the pointless ‘initiatives’ though, like energy independence, energy diversification, economic diversification, local stimulus or whatever else, in addition to averting gullible warming, just in case.

      Developing nations might finally be able to ask for help building reliable power stations, but by then many will already have lined up behind Ghana, South Africa, Iran, Turkey, Bolivia and others to avail themselves of Russia’s generous offer of nuclear power stations built and run by Russia and paid for with Russian loans.
      Maybe just as well, because the OECD won’t be able to print enough funny-money to help since we will have pissed all of our money and a lot of our credit ratings up against the gullible warming wall. We’d really like to help by contributing to a new interntional fund to replace the stillborn green bank, since we’ll by then be told to feel guilty not of having caused gullible warming, but of having stalled the 3rd world’s development for three decades with this big mistake which we clever Westerners should have known was bogus all along and which we probably only foisted on the poor old 3rd world to keep them under our thumbs, blah,blah,blah. Of course it’s always the 1st world’s fault that the 3rd world can’t get it’s sh!t in one sock and take a break from corruption and civil war long enough to tidy up a bit and rebuild some of the infrastructure the nasty colonials left for them when we packed up after WW2 and went ‘home’.
      But anyway, the newly re-branded guilt train with the paint on it’s shiny new livery still tacky will be pulling out of the station empty, because what was left of our gold was on the gravy train when it derailed.

      The likes of George Soros who have been quietly feasting on the bones of the weakened coal industry will suddnely say “Great news, it’s not as warm as ‘they’ said it would be. By the way, if you’d like to buy some coal, I own plenty of it now and I can offer you a special price”.
      There will be plenty of financial instutions in Wall Street who will similarly profit at that future juncture from their liquidation sale purchases of bankrupt shale oil and gas producers today.

      What will finally kill the whole absurd diversion that is gullible warming though will be the OECD’s debt bubble bursting in the next year or so with the result that our economies come crashing back to reality. As bad as that ride will be, it may at least mean and end to funding of endulgences like monuments to the green blob (no more windfarms,no solar cells,no EPA tyrant’s dirty looks…) and also and end to wasting money funding parasite organisations like the United Nothing-doers and a host of NGOs (every cloud has its silver lining).
      Once we all have some real 1930’s depression style sh!t to deal with (individuals and governments alike) we won’t need to invent phantom menaces to fight against for something to in our spare time. Governments won’t need to make up bogey men to declare war on and accuse their opposition of being incompetant to deal with in order to scare us into not voting for the opposition (established political parties long ago seem to have given up trying to give us compelling, positive reasons to vote for them). Meanwhile in gentlemen’s club alternative reality totally disconnected from the everyday real world inhabited by us mere mortals, the actual power brokers won’t need to invent reasons to keep everyone divided and therefore conquered and in their pockets.

      At least we won’t have to sit through the tired old “this is further proof of incontrovertible gullible warming” stories in the news anymore.

      …But that’s just my opinion.

      • Erny72: “For what it’s worth, my opinion is that public interest in gullible warming is already waning, meaning that in the absence of some cataclysmic weather event (which would need to be of biblical proportion, not merely another Katrina-esque storm), gullible warming will continue its slide off the public radar and into obscurity within another decade, maybe (hopefully) less.”

        The 2015 United Nations ‘My World’ global survey of causes for concern currently covering 9,722,350 respondents shows ‘action on climate change’ flat last, 16th of 16 categories.

      • Hasn’t Bloomberg donated millions to environmental groups to shut down coal and then Soros is acquiring coal mines?

        Both big UN guys!

    • Actually, we’ve had thirty years to see that increasing CO2 has had virtually no effect on the climate. Nothing has happened outside the normal range. Look at the silly Bill McKibben, his tried to frighten everyone if CO2 passed 350 ppm. It’s now around 400 ppm and zero, zilch, nada, nothing has happened. None of the predictions, dire or otherwise have ever happened. Richard Feynman’s famous quote about a theory being falsified if it doesn’t match experiments or reality observations was never more appropriate than with the climate scam.

    • So benben, have you ever driven through an industrial scale wind or solar farm?

      Ever notice where they are? Miles from anywhere.

      Southern and Eastern Alberta are being populated with wind farms. For miles and miles all you see are sometimes turning turbines, and hundreds of miles of collector lines, substations, and transmission lines that go to the cities hundreds of kilometres away. Considering the transmission losses, I can’t figure how these can possibly be economic (well with the subsidies of course). Around the large cities like Calgary and Edmonton there are large natural gas and coal power plants within spitting distance. NG and Nuclear can be built close to large consumers. Typically wind and solar are remote requiring a spaghetti bowl of power lines. Southern Alberta is becoming a visually polluted mess. I avoid driving through the wind belt as it make my stomach turn – akin to looking at a black smoke belching factory dumping black ink laden arsnic into glacial moraine lakes. I suspect that the urbanites that promote these monstrosities have never ridden a horse across the open prairie with an unobstructed view of the Rocky Mountains.

      That is forever gone in some regions and getting worse. (I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder – so my bias is showing.)

      I cry for the visually polluted future that my grandchildren will have. Give me back power dense solutions.

    • Hans,

      That’s not an accurate analogy. First, one is a religion. The other a political debate. The latter have decisive conclusions more often than the former.

      Second, Jehova’s Witnesses are a small religious group. The debate about climate policy is one of the major political struggles in the developed nations. Magnitudes matter.

      • Faith is belief in something in which there is zero evidence (religion). There is, however, some circumstantial evidence for AGW, a bit-part player. Therefore, it cannot really be described as a religion. Religious belief (faith) is a bizarre state of mind, needing a less than scientific explanation (and puerile comfort) whilst a scientific explanation is available. The older I get, the more uncomfortable I am walking among people who will believe in pathetic childish nonsense with no evidence to sustain their faith. I actually find it frightening, and fear for the future of our species.

      • Other example: even now Paul Ehrlich has been proven wrong, he still has followers. New doomsday is simply shifted thirty years ahead. In fact, doomsday is always thirty years ahead.

      • Baz,

        “”Faith is belief in something in which there is zero evidence (religion).”

        No, that’s an anti-religion myth/lie, I am quite sure, a distortion of the Biblical meaning; Belief in something you can’t see. Like air for instance, or subatomic particles. Nowhere in the Book does it ask of anyone that they believe without evidence . . that’s just not in there.

      • Baz(?) said-“”Faith is belief in something in which there is zero evidence (religion).”

        JohnKnight- “No, that’s an anti-religion myth/lie, I am quite sure, a distortion of the Biblical meaning; Belief in something you can’t see. Like air for instance, or subatomic particles. Nowhere in the Book does it ask of anyone that they believe without evidence . . that’s just not in there.”

        I always find it so interesting when this debate is injected with religion for some reason or another. For millennia, the “faithful” have been warning against the ultimate destruction of society, a reforming of the planet, and an “end” to life as known by humans historically and currently. Some in the “scientific” community mocked and hammered and fought against the religious dogma that they considered to be unlearned and superstitious. And now, it seems that some in the scientific community want to do the same thing without the same results that they dished out to those whose religious views they once mocked.

        The thing is, that the vast majority of Americans seems to believe in some kind of life after death, even the agnostics. If that is true, then trying to “scare” such people with tales of “death” is never going to be very effective, because if you’ve convinced them that life on this planet is bad or cruel or hard or unhappy etc….then surely the odds of something “better” being on the other side are pretty good!

        In other words, it’s kind of like one side has been saying for 2,000 years-“Hey..human greed and selfishness and corruption is going to cause the end of the world” to a deaf audience that is now suddenly saying “Hey, human greed and selfishness and corruption is going to cause the end of the world”. It’s not the least bit scary, it’s really more like “Took you long enough to come around to our side”. :-)

      • Small religious group? 8 million “active” Jehovah’s Witnesses world wide is a small religious group? Most of those joining after a serious schism split the church in 1931 and it became known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. And that was after several failed “end of days” predictions of it’s founder had already failed to materialize.

        Define decisive conclusions. Han’s point was that an organization making repeated end of world predictions, that all failed to come true, did not end that organization, and it’s going even stronger today…after it’s failed predictions…than it was prior to them.

        YOU believe that the debate about climate policy is one of the major political struggles in the developed countries, and it might very well be. But what YOU believe might not be what the majority of other people believe.

        Statistically speaking, there are liberals, conservatives, and moderates in both of the major political parties in the US. According to Gallup-

        On “social issues” 31% of Americans self identify as “conservative/very conservative” and 31% self identify as “liberal/very liberal”, which leaves 38% outside of those two boxes. 31% is not a majority on either side, so even if every single person who self identified got exactly the same degree of “outraged” based on your either skeptics win or warmists win scenario, (and that is statistically improbable) it wouldn’t be enough to force some kind of a “game changing” “or “extreme” situation to occur.

        American’s are extremely apathetic when it comes to things that don’t really bother them, only concern them a little, or sometimes…even a great deal, if there are other things on their daily priority lists that concern them more. The supposedly HUGE movement-the 99% vs the 1%-or Occupy Wall Street went nowhere in the end. There was a lot of noise, a lot of demands for all types of vengence/retribution/redistribution etc, protests, violence, and even a summer long “live in” in major cities, but today, most people don’t even remember it off the top of their heads. It was a world wide movement, with huge potential and initial inertia, but the average person got really sick and tired of the yelling and the anger and the stupidity and inconvenience etc and turned their backs on it fairly quickly.

        FM says-“That’s the mild outcome for skeptics. Their websites will close. They’ll find new causes on the Right…”

        You just do not understand people do you FM? Not really at all. You see, until there is scientific evidence that human CO2 is driving our climate, skeptics will never give up. It doesn’t matter what the Left declares if they “win” the imaginary battle you see occurring. Because one or two hurricanes, or natural disasters, do not change the fact that such things are NOT EVIDENCE that proves any such thing. Skeptics for the most part actually BELIEVE that the weather will keep changing! We believe it can continue to warm, or cool, and still not have a freaking thing to do with CO2 at all. It MIGHT, but might is not enough. Americans who seek after truth (not consensus) and facts (not estimates) and what can be documented as real and accurate (as opposed to modeled results) will continue to seek those things no matter who “wins” any sort of political debate. Their websites will not close. They will not move on until the issue gets resolved…not by political dictate, but by facts, evidence, and time. The “climate” is not their “cause”. Winning a political battle is not their “cause”. TRUTH is. Evidence is. Scientific reality is.

        In fact, I suspect that if push really came to shove…and the “left” tried to force feed AGW to the population in some form, you’d actually see MORE vocal, more vibrant pushback from the skeptic side than what exists now, rather than some kind of drying up and blowing away result. Look at the countries that succeeded in pushing some form of “green” policy upon the people early on, and who are now dismantling or removing those policies today after they failed spectacularly.

        Do you think American citizens gave up when slavery was declared lawful and the “political standard” in this country? Did they “move on” to other causes when women weren’t allowed to vote by political decree? Did they give in to the political pressure and overwhelming power of the British Empire when it attempted to control their lives? No. Because SOME things are worth fighting for no matter what the odds are. And those things tend to be based upon truths and facts-not ideologies.

        “Imagining the horrific fates of losers” is a great title. It’s all imaginary at this point. So why do you insist on engaging in such imaginary, extreme scenarios? For fun? For discussion? Or do you actually think that making up the worst thing YOU can imagine happening will result in some kind of change of behavior etc in your audience?

      • Okay, what about Y2K then? That was a quasi-scientific debate about a catastrophe that never came to pass. When nothing happened all the formerly hysterical news media quietly looked the other way. How about global cooling that slipped quietly into that good night with nary a recriminating word in sight? Swine flu never materialized in any quantity in countries which didn’t vaccinate for it (Poland) but the WHO and the news media fear mongers are fully convinced they saved the world. Heard much about the Zika virus lately- that paradigm of junk science? Are we seeing a pattern here? The modern scientific method is to avoid debates that you might lose and when evidence proves you and all your colleagues wrong, just carry on as if nothing had happened. And that’s how you ride the gravy train.

      • Robin Guenier: it is a considerable oversimplification to say the Y2K issue was fixed. We were warned that countries like China and Russia would grind to a halt because they weren’t taking the issue seriously. Right up until the day after, the media were filled with dire warnings. Wikipedia has a nice synopsis of the situation. A few of the fearmongers have had the courage to admit they were wrong. If you were right, there would be nothing to admit.

  3. …If Trump wins the GOP nomination (likely), and the resulting Democratic landslide takes down the GOP’s Senate and House majorities with him (possible) — expect Congressional “investigative” hearings of skeptics….

    Umm… and what about Trump winning the GOP nomination and the resultant REPUBLICAN landslide…?

      • The FBI does not indict or prosecute. The DOJ (Department of Justice) has to do that and that is politically controlled by O’Bummer.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • because everybody predicted trump would be so popular, right?
        because all the polls are scientific – like climate science- you know- descriptive; not manipulative.
        because polls are how we know what to think and what the future will bring.
        because polls show us where the consensus lies.

        (holy crap, dude- you score a first. i never saw somebody misspell ‘loose’ on the internet before!)
        you definitely are the priapus of punditry, fabman.
        it’ll be fun when the pope pius 9 of punditry arrives with his chisel and mallet.

      • ..LOL…Clinton will be in jail or at the very least, charged with capitol crimes of espionage ! The FBI does not bow down to O’bama !

      • Editor of the Fabius Maximus website March 29, 2016 at 10:12 am

        It’s still early days in the campaign, but the available data is clear. Also note that polls have proven quite accurate this year (i.e., few fails).

        Yeah, all those oh-so-accurate polls said Bernie wouldn’t win, he had 3 points at the start, said couldn’t take Wisconsin, and of course the pundits like the EDITOR have all been 100% correct that the Donald would fail, fail, fail, he’d crater in the first month … oh, wait, they meant the second month … then he’d be sure to crater for attacking female journalists … then he’d be sure to crater once he pointed out the obvious, that our vetting of Islamic refugees leaves a lot to be desired … rinse and repeat as necessary.

        One thing that the pundits and the polls don’t seem to capture is that the electorate on both sides of the aisle is fed up and not willing to take any more … don’t know why the talking heads and the polls keep missing that, but the actual election results for both the Demagogues and the Repuglycans sure show it.


      • You don’t seem to grasp political voting history in this country very well either. Lets say that Hillary wins the election. That win would almost certainly CEMENT Republican victories in both the House and the Senate for the next midterm election. Obama was elected into both houses being Democrat controlled…yet no climate policies were enacted, heck…they couldn’t even produce a budget when all teams were playing on the same side. Because they are cowards when the future might prove how stupid they were and they might end up responsible for future consequences.

        But immediately the Republicans swung into action and took BACK the House and eventually the Senate because this country’s politics always try to self correct a balance of some kind. And I promise you, the impeachment hearings to put Clinton in jail will begin immediately upon her winning. So it will be interesting to see who she chooses as her running mate. If legal action isn’t taken right away, Hillary will attempt to play nice and act more moderate than Obama to keep Republicans from seeking her legal removal, which means she won’t be able to push as hard to exercise powers she doesn’t have,

        Trump wins, and it’s a toss up. Republicans are afraid of him as well as supportive, so it would be in the interest of Republicans to secure both houses just in case he goes off half cocked and does all sorts of irrational things. Democrats of course would immediately try to take both houses back. It would be an epic midterm election that’s for sure.

      • I think the polls are skewed due to the fact that pissed off people don’t complete polls. Since everyone is pissed it skews the result

      • You could well be right, But polls don’t walk into polling booths. Turnout is the key. I wonder, are Democrats more enthusiastic about Grannie Hillary than Republicans are about Trump? Once Bernie drops out, what will those squealing twenty-somethings be doing on election day – standing in line outside a polling place?

      • Ahhh but it might be like in 1998 George H.W. Bush/Michael Dukakis at 37/54 in July but changing to 56/44 in Nov. That was a 19 point gain over those months for Bush. Then in 1992 there was Clinton/H.W. Bush (Perot ran as independent) at 25/44 in March but at 49/37 in Nov. So polls this early don’t necessarily mean much at all. In addition Trump is a wild card that is capable of pulling lots of surprises. One thing I am kind of amazed at is that at least some can separate the chaff; for instance being able to realize that what he may be able to do for the country is more important than some insulting conflicts with women who apparently many still don’t consider equal on that footing (major PC at work as in they can insult men or each other but not the reverse). As far as Hillary it is just possible that she really really meant it when her response to “did you wipe your server” was “did you mean with a cloth” as she said that she never had a computer. So it may be that she was, literally, totally ignorant of how to use one (very presidential?).

      • ..Well stated Willis ! That’s what I was trying to say but I don’t quite have your pizzaz!

    • Hmmm, I wonder, since 6 in 10 Republicans don’t like him and 8 in 10 Democrats are excited to go vote against him, what mathematical formulation are the 4 in 10 Republicans using to convince themselves that their “Plurality” in a field of 17 means a Trump Landslide?
      The real problem is voters like Dodgy acting out of anger. In order to prove you wrong the country will have to be handed over to a thief, cheat, liar. So when your landslide doesn’t materialize, Dodgy, can we rely upon you to at least come back and apologize to the rest of us for your part in electing the mostly un-electable, accept in the event of extreme stupidity by a vote splitting group of angry voters, and placing President Billary back into the White House? I will gladly apologize to you and your minority of Americans for my stupidity if Trump is elected. Either way I lose.

    • From your lips to Bog’s ears. ABH. (Anybody but HIllary.) However, Trump will likely go down in flames with women voters. Women are why the Community Organizer In Chief got elected. Trump does not turn ’em on, to be blunt.

    • Willis. +100 Bernie and Trump are a signal as to how disgusted the public is with BOTH sides on Capitol Hill. I personally think the the Media thought it would be great fun to give Trump more coverage than he deserved in the early going as a way of kneecapping Republicans from sweeping into the white house. The attack dog got away from them and now they don’t know what to do. Bernie is such a lovable sweet ol’ grandpa there wouldn’t be any harm in pandering to him while “wink wink” everybody knows Hilary will take down the nomination. Except that people hate Hilary so much that dems may have to beat down an attack on the “super delegates” in a public display of just how undemocratic the party machinery really is. Add an early heavy snowstorm and you may have Richard Daly’s Chicago disaster all over again.

  4. “Prominent skeptics might be harassed and demonized on a scale far greater than anything seen in generations”

    Not this sceptic.

      • “You seem unclear about inquisitions.”

        No, you are unclear on climate change, you have little or no knowledge of science and even less of statistical analysis – two subjects that i have utilised all mi life and have enabled me to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

        As Mother Nature exerts her inexorable influence, it will become increasingly clear that anthropogenic CO2 is not having any appreciable effect on the climate, and that all the alarmism is purely based on ignorance of the ~60 year cycle correlating with the North Atlantic Oscillation allied with the ~1,000 cycle that produced the Minoan, Roman and Medieval warm periods and the concomitant cold periods such as the Dark Ages and the Little Ice Age, and is just another power grab by the usual suspects based on yet another Chicken Little scare, just like all the others we have witnessed in the past only far larger and vastly more expensive.

        In around five years or so it will become uncomfortably clear to even the most devout follower of the Warmist religion that the Earth is cooling.

        You can take that to the bank.

      • …Cat, Mother Nature has shown herself to be the boss time and time again, but, as always, some Humans just don’t get the hint !

      • marcus: “as always, some Humans just don’t get the hint !”

        Pure hubris, marcus.

        Very soon they will be forced to admit that mankind can no more significantly alter the Earth’s temperature than the time the Sun rises and sets.

        It’s nearly time to get in the popcorn and six-packs, it will be entertaining.

      • Wish I had your optimism Cat. You’ve already seen what they can claim for the magic molykule and seemingly get away with i.e. virtually anything. A further claim that in fact all cooling of any type whatsoever is likewise co2 caused should be child’s play to these guys. The only possible way to stop it is to shut down the valve piping swill into the trough. Even a further half dozen Climategates wouldn’t do it since as always the establishment would close ranks and do the usual whitewash. They are going to have to be starved out.

      • “You seem unclear about inquisitions. Participation is not voluntary. Belief that you are correct — or even being correct — provides no defense.”

        I see that you have read some history. The central lesson of which is that being correct is often much more dangerous than being one with the crowd.

        There is a great Sufi teaching story from the middle ages called something like “When the waters changed” that tells us that being right does not protect you from problems in life.


      • Um Fabius…the skeptic in the cartoon is Mother Nature. The Earth. So I’m sure we’re all unclear on how it (she) would be forced to participate in an inquisition of any kind…..

      • 300 million guns amongst the population however is a very good defense against the inquisitors.

  5. Scenerio #3 Ted Cruz wins the election, RICO investigations are initiated, whistle-blowers come out of the woodwork to testify, all subsidies are eliminated, and nobody but nobody wants to be associated with the humiliating fraud. Then the only way to make money from ‘global warming’ is to write a tell-all book outlining the theft, manipulation of science, or piling on the dim-wits that fell for it. Either way — scam over.

  6. This great climate change debate boils down to this:

    Resolved: There are way too many people on earth, they are wrecking the planet, we’re all going to diiiieeee, aaaahhhhhh!!!! Skeptics should be rounded up like the Japanese in WW II, stripped of their wealth and confined to remote re-education camps, forced to grow organic gluten.

    Pro side: Coal fired power plants are solely responsible for the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations and all must be shut down immediately because the consequences are catastrophic, immediate, significant and obvious.

    Con side: There are not too many people, the population is growing because life expectancy has increased thanks to the vastly improved quality of life. The rising CO2 concentration and alleged consequences are simply natural variability, i.e. the null hypothesis, stuff happens, has not been proven false.

  7. What if there is severe damage from extreme weather (blamed, of course, on CO2 emissions)?

    This could happen at any time. So if the new Maoists want to come and beat me to death because of one of these, I at least expect the event to have happened in a world with a global mean temperature more in line with their doom-mongering predictions than it is now. Not that my wishes or rationality would stop them when brainwashed frenzy is in vogue.

    I agree – Trump = Hillary win and all the horror that might entail.

  8. Chances are pretty good that the debate won’t end till Earth returns to cooling. Human CO2 will, of course, continue to rise and it will be clear then who was right and who was wrong. However, it takes us at least ten years to agree a trend so we’re 10 years from a settlement at a minimum even if the Earth starts cooling right on the heals of this currently sputtering el nino. So…

    Skeptics are going to lose. Sorry; hate to admit it; but we lose; too bad; we’re right but we still lose.

    Mind you, at some point the Earth will begin to cool; and CO2 will have skyrocketed; and we will be proven right. But by then massive-scale damage will have been done.

    • RV, the damage being done to the UK grid, German economy, and California is (a) self inflicted so no sympathy and (b) necessary as a reality check on warmunist ‘solutions’ for the nonextant ‘problem’ of CAGW. Abengoa and SunEdison bankruptcies help with (b). So does Ivanpah technical failure to work as planned. UK grid reserves mess helps with (a).

    • “Chances are pretty good that the debate won’t end till Earth returns to cooling.”

      The peak of the ~60 year cycle apparently correlating with the AMO has been passed and we are now into the negative phase.

      This will become increasingly apparent over the next five years or so.

      It will be both interesting and entertaining to see how the the retreat is managed.

      • We are also past peak for the current solar cycle and indications are that the next one will be even weaker than the current one.

  9. > Either the climate science institutions — and climate scientists — win, or the skeptics win.

    I strenuously disagree. One side says “we have it nailed and you have to do what we say.” The other side says “no you do not have it right and even if you have it right it does not follow.” Skeptics are fighting an asymmetrical battle for neutrality. As a consequence “compromise” results in the warmists being validated and exercising control of our futures.

    • Not all of us were that junior. They also talked a number of senior COBOL guys to come out of retirement for a few months.

      • MarkW: not all I agree.

        nigelf: that National Geographic article is broadly correct – although expanding a date to a four-digit number was very far from “simple”. And it’s wrong about “Countries such as Italy, Russia, and South Korea”: see page 15 and endnote xxxi of the paper I cite above.

      • Robin Guenier: “nigelf: that National Geographic article is broadly correct – although expanding a date to a four-digit number was very far from “simple”.”

        Absolutely every bank or financial institution worth a damn had been dealing with forecasts, loans, mortgages and various other financial instruments that ran decades into the future for decades before the year 2000, so all the software involved was designed to cope.

        There may have been some antediluvian IBM370 running unpatched COBOL somewhere in a basement, but id there was, I never came across it.

        All the PCs with BIOSes that couldn’t cope were easily fixed with a simple TSR loaded on boot.

        So from the point of view of the financial industry, there was not and never had been a problem.

        Personally, for my sins I did rather well out of the Y2K scare, but in my defence I advised my clients that there was no problem, and so if they ignored my professional advice I had no qualms about charging them for the privilege.

      • catweazle666: “ … from the point of view of the financial industry, there was not and never had been a problem.

        Hmm … so explain these:

        This News Release (the first of a series) issued by the Bank of England: An extract:

        The origin of the problem lies in the programming methods used in earlier years, when computer memory was expensive and the use of two digits rather than four to represent the year was an efficient short-cut. Many of those programs, or elements of them, are still in use, and while the problem is simple to describe it is so widespread and pervasive that the cost and complexity of correcting it represents a massive burden on business.

        This technical paper (The year 2000 – A challenge for financial institutions and bank supervisors) issued by the Bank for International Settlements in Basel (a particularly levelheaded organisation): An extract:

        Failure to address this issue in a timely manner would cause banking institutions to experience operational problems or even bankruptcy and could cause the disruption of financial markets.

      • Robin Guenier “Hmm … so explain these:”

        Are you seriously suggesting that there was a single antiquated COBOL financial application of any consequence or importance in any financial institution anywhere on the planet that wasn’t dealing with financial calculations on matters such as interest rates and loan repayments in the late 20th century that extended decades into the future?

        Because I can assure you that notwithstanding the dire prognostications in your links, there wasn’t a single one.

        Incidentally, I am well aware of the restrictions imposed by early technology, as I actually have some experience of it, as I did my first bit of programming in FORTRAN over half a century ago, and was writing COBOL not long afterwards, and was writing vertical applications for financial purposes way back in the late 1980s.

        I can further assure you that a great number of organisations made a great deal of money creating “solutions” for non-existent problems, because I owned one of them!

      • The problem, CW, wasn’t only about COBOL. It was about any system that might have used two rather than four digits to represent the year. It shouldn’t have happened – but it did. I worked for example with HSBC in London which spent many hours crawling through countless lines of code (some buried deep in legacy systems) looking for examples. They found several. Then they had to fix them – not easy. And then to test them. It was mind-numbing stuff.

        Here’s an example of a (non banking, non COBOL) failure:

        It came to light in 2002. A Health Visitor in Yorkshire noticed a higher than usual number of babies with Downʼs Syndrome in her area. What had happened was that pregnant women who were referred to the National Health Serviceʼs Northern General Hospital in Sheffield as possibly being at risk of having babies with birth defects were initially screened by a routine designed to identify those at highest risk. A major factor was age (women over 35 were at higher risk) so that was a main focus of the screening process. Unfortunately, the PathLAN computer used for the task used a two-digit system. Therefore, if a woman born in 1962 presented in 1999, the computer deducted 62 from 99, getting 37 – over 35, so she was at risk. But, if the same woman presented in 2000, it deducted 62 from 00, getting minus 62 – under 35, so (it concluded) she was not at risk. This affected over 150 women.

  10. The CAGW hypothesis is, for all intents and purposes, already a disconfirmed hypothesis.

    CAGW global temp projections vs. reality are have been off by 2 standard deviations for 20 years, which is sufficient disparity and duration to toss it on the trash heap of failed ideas.

    Because the PDO & AMO will soon be in their respective 30-yr cool cycles and as the sun will likely enter a Grand Solar Minimum from around 2035, it’s highly likely global temp trends will be in decline for the next 84 years, with temporary warming trends during future PDO and AMO warm cycles.

    By 2022, the disparity between CAGW projections vs reality will likely exceed 3 SDs for 25 years, which is when scientists outside the CAGW cult will blow the whistle and demand the CAGW scam be shutdown for good.

    The blowback against Leftists politicians who wasted $10’s of trillions of dollars on this scam, and grant-grubbing scientists that fiddled with the raw data to keep the grant gravy train well stoked will become anathema to the scientific community.

    Hopefully, people will learn the dangers of big-government Leftist ideologues wielding too much power and control over society and the economy, and a movement towards limited government and free-market Libertarianism will ensue…. or not…

    Regardless, the demise of CAGW will likely be swift and brutal.

    We’ll see soon enough.

    • What Samurai said^. Already the public has disengaged with it, and the media has stopped pushing it because it’s not getting the clicks and ratings. The hysteria is simply no longer believable, and most people have problems better able to sustain their attention. My prediction is this “issue” will quietly crawl away–how often to you hear about the “ozone hole” these days? Paying the rent tomorrow vs. the temp. difference between your head and your feet by 100 years from now? Guess which one’s important!

    • Samuri, good post but I will have to disagree. The money was NOT wasted on those involved with the scare. Oh no, they have profited very handsomely out of the “industry”.

  11. Two points of contention:
    1. You really want to stake the future demise of scientific skepticism on a win by Trump? Is he so the embodiment of evil incarnate that the whole world will implode? (And I’m no Trump fan.)
    2. When Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann and the other loonies can tell me hard, factual figures for what percentage climate change has on any single weather phenomenon, then I’ll consider its validity as potentially detrimental.

  12. My views are quite different and much less apocalyptic. The momemtum built up over 28 years will not dissipate easily, but it will dissipate. COP21 was a toothless joke, and everybody knows it including Hansen. Renewables are an economic disaster, as UK, Germany, and California are determined to prove. UK and Spanish subsidies unaffordable and already cut. Bankruptcy of Abengoa and SunEdison. Intermittency caused grid instability….
    Scientifically, the pause busts the CO2 control knob meme, and it will likely return later this year. Lack of a tropical troposphere hotspot busts climate models. Sea level rise is not accelerating. Arctic summer ice is likely begining a cyclic recovery. Observational ECS 1.5-1.8. Every major AGW meme is increasingly clearly factually challenged.
    I expect a 5-10 year climb down as funding gets cut and the developing world and UNFCCC discover green climate fund extortion didn’t work. The warmunists are ever more desperate and delusional. Hansen’s new joke of a catatrophe paper. Greenpeace breaking the law everywhere from damaged Nazca lines in Peru to criminal trespass in the UK. CPP almost certainly unconstitutional. RICO20 backfiring, exposing Shukla’s criminal diversion of NSF grant money that Rep. Smith referred to the NSF IG for legal action. Climategate. Mann v. Steyn eliciting A Disgrace to the Profession. Global warming means no snow until itbmeans more snow…
    Despite all the gov and NGO funding and messaging, polls show the public isn’t buying CAGW. Skeptics must be having an increasing impact–else Sen. Whitehouse would not suggest using RICO to silence them. The public does notice when Sec. Kerry says CAGW is the worlds largest problem while ISIS blows up Paris and Brussels and Palmyra.

    • Unfortunately, WaPo recently posted a poll showing a strong uptick in US public support for anti-warming efforts. I think this is due to the pope’s outspokenness on the issue.

  13. Either the climate science institutions — and climate scientists — win, or the skeptics win.

    More likely if will fade away as we find that we have more real and pressing problems to deal with.

    In twenty years times the models will have been every so slowly tweaked to be closer to reality without anyone ever admitting they w..r..o..n..g .

    • Maybe it’s time SOMEBODY exposed the idiocy of expecting people untrained in science to be our “thought leaders” on, well, SCIENCE? Naw, everybody knows acting lessons make you omniscient . . .

  14. The real threat is that science will no longer be science, it will simply be a bunch of people paid to give the answer the Government wants. It started in the Social Sciences, and now has metastasized into the physical sciences. Truly pathetic, we are repeating the mistakes of Lyschenco.

    At 200ppm the atmosphere’s energy budget looking down from 10km is 298.865 W/^2 doubling it to 400ppm it changes to 295.914, a total change of less than 1%. Doubling it to 800ppm alters it by another 1%. Adding a simple cloud layer alters the energy budget by over 10%. If CO2 was to cause any real problem, clouds would be causing catastrophes on a daily basis. Just do the math, there are countless other facts that impact the atmospheric energy, and no one is worried about them, why the focus on CO2? Because that is where the money is.

  15. I think you are giving ‘Mericans waaay too much credit. There is far too much complacency in this society for anything of significance to materialize as a result of this non-existent debate (a real debate must take place for there to be a debate). We’re talking about a society that can watch a modern steel frame skyscraper collapse, with no known way for it collapse, and then just sit back and twiddle their thumbs like nothing happened.

    • RW

      Do you mean the twin towers? They were a stack of dominoes. A hollow concrete tube up the middle with pipe chase and elevator shafts clipped to a flimsy outer shell with those rod trusses you see on the ceilings of big box stores, not the traditional steel I-beams and girders ala Empire State. It had to be built fast and cheap, hence the flimsy floors, easy to assemble on the ground and fly up. The floor plans were an acre in size, like the lot my house sits on. Really tiny, tall and skinny, like a soda straw. The plane’s wings spanned the entire floor, cutting the building in half. Just a matter of time before the fires melted those flimsy trusses and the upper floors collapsed on the lower floors, turning the whole structure inside out. Now the unknown becomes known.

      • This doesn’t look much like a “A hollow concrete tube up the middle. . .” None of the rest of your comment is any closer to reality.

      • “I stand by my statement.” No doubt. I stand by mine, with one small clarification: The cross-sectional area of the towers in the floors plane (not the usable area of each floor) was approximately an acre in size – but what relevance the size of the lot your house sits on has I can’t fathom. And if the item you linked is the best you can do . . . I rest my case.

        P.S. For anyone who’s interested, here’s some actual information (as opposed to ignorant hand-waving) about the design of the Twin Towers.

      • Well, how about that. The link you cite has pictures and shows drawings of the floor trusses exactly as I described. Mentioned my house for perspective. Footprint seems rather small. Not much net area for offices and cubicles.

  16. What continues to astound me is that decade upon decade this entire putative branch of applied physics , can present no enabling quantitative equations or experiment demonstrating the claimed trapping of energy by spectral phenomena . It fails the first requirement of real physical science .

    It’s a Seinfeld science .

    • “What continues to astound me is that decade upon decade this entire putative branch of applied physics , can present no enabling quantitative equations or experiment demonstrating the claimed trapping of energy by spectral phenomena . It fails the first requirement of real physical science .”

      The science is ~150years in the knowing my friend and not been found wanting (empirical) …..

      There is a good explanation of the science here…

      Also For your experiment….

      • Ah, “scienceofdoom”…

        You’ll be quoting unskepticalscience, David Apple or even Grant Foster next.

        Sorry Tone, the climate isn’t as one-dimensional as you seem to believe.

        Check out “logarithmic” ,”asymptotic” and “saturated”.

        For starters.

      • Cat:
        Ah, a “slayer” steps up….
        yep done that my friend and the science still says what it says, whatever you may prefer to think.
        An ABCDer eh?

        You try looking at the the Beer-Lambert law on that science site or just Google it – (hint the answer lies in path-length ) and with the pressure narrowing response of the discrete absorption lines. There is plenty of room in the upper Trop for more CO2 molecules to intercept terrestrial LWIR. That is why the lower Strat is cooling.
        For those who like to take note of your “Fave” scientists. Is Roy Spencer still in favour?

        If so, this is what he says about your “saturation” myth.

        “It doesn’t matter even if the CO2 absorption bands are 100% opaque to the transmission of IR radiation from the surface to the top of the atmosphere…adding more CO2 still causes a warming tendency in the lower atmosphere (and cooling in the upper atmosphere).”

      • Toneb-

        Oddly, I cannot find one reference in any of those articles that suggest that CO2 “traps energy”. Absorbs and re-emits. Slows down loss to space. Sure…both those. But CO2 has absolutely no ability to absorb and hold onto or “trap” energy. If it did, we’d all be dead….crispy fried….long ago.

        In order for CO2 to cause the oceans or the land to warm up through radiation, it would have to be short wave radiation, and it is not. NONE of the heat or energy absorbed by and/or re-emitted from CO2 is strong enough to re-warm the planet or the oceans. As long wave radiation, it’s simply too weak to do that.

        The only energy that warms the planet and the oceans comes from the Sun. CO2 does not make more energy, or generate more heat in our atmosphere. Once the ground re-emits the long wave IR and CO2 intercepts it that heat is “in the atmosphere” (and no longer on the ground). A CO2 molecule must cool to cause another one (or something else) to heat up. IE no net heat is being added it is just being moved around. A Co2 molecule cannot stay warm, AND heat up something else at the same time.

      • Seaice1,
        To be clear, I answered that question the last time you asked it. And I believe my response to Toneb very clearly referred to it.

        So what exactly is your point?

      • Alphan:

        “Oddly, I cannot find one reference in any of those articles that suggest that CO2 “traps energy”. Absorbs and re-emits. Slows down loss to space. Sure…both those. But CO2 has absolutely no ability to absorb and hold onto or “trap” energy. If it did, we’d all be dead….crispy fried….long ago.”

        (not oddly) that’s mere hand-waving my friend …

        It’s empirical science … but wait, if wrong then a Nobel awaits – GO for it.

        Also try harder (to find…) …..


        “But the atmosphere DOES absorb IR energy. The IR absorption coefficients at various wavelengths, temperature, and pressures have been measured for water vapor, CO2, etc., in laboratories and published for decades.”

        Some people (in this case Roy Spencer) are “skeptics” and others (specifically here Alphan) are Slayers (who Anthony abhors).

      • Toneb,

        “Traps” indicates something completely different than “absorbs and reemits”. If CO2 could ‘trap’ energy, all we’d need to keep warm would be a clear glass jar of 100% CO2. It would trap the IR energy, and keep warming up. Runaway jar warming!

        But then, maybe semantics and definitions aren’t your strong point.

  17. Yesterday it was witch trials. Today it is baby trials and other carbon sequestration rites and planning.

  18. This is only a depiction of the final stage. Before that there will be FBI files ordered on all the victims by the Clinton Ministry and IRS files organized by the Lois Lerner Ministry. The actual workload will be performed by paid consultants from NRDC, Sierra Club, EPA moonlight employees, Green Peace, certain other EPA employees who said they were on military reserve duty call up by DoD, and special agents of the Al Gore Brigade.

  19. Once again the FM editor reveals his lack of understanding of Y2K (which was a real problem) and his lack of understanding of the climate “change” brouhaha (false equivalence between the alarmist fraudulent position and the realist position called skeptic by him). Also he ignores that many true climate scientists are on the side of realism not alarmism (see for instance Notrickszone or Popmech websites). He ignores that the loudest alarmists are primarily not climate scientists or are discredited scientists. And he is still peddling his pointless proposal to “validate” the models by testing them as if last twenty five years of model run results compared to reality have not already invalidated the models. (Just study up FM on the methods used in the models and you will find without needing to test them why they are not valid.) Ah well.

  20. Here are guesses about some “tail outcomes”, two possible extreme outcomes that illustrate the stakes in this now deadlocked political debate. Either the climate science institutions — and climate scientists — win, or the skeptics win.

    Stopped right here because it is an ignorant thing to write on a science blog. “Either the climate science institutions and climate scientists win or the skeptics win” presumes skeptics are not, cannot be scientists or members of scientific institutions, and that climate science institution members and climate scientists are not and cannot be skeptical. On this last point if someone is not skeptical they clearly are not a scientist. The same can be said for institutional policy. Institutions that fail to exhibit skepticism are not scientific institutions.

    • You really should learn to read what you quote. He answered your question in the portion you quoted.

      “tail outcomes”, two possible extreme outcomes”

      He never states specifically, but “tail outcomes” probably refers to statistical “tails”, which are the extreme ends of any for of distribution. IE, unlikely but extreme.

      He also specifically refers to his two outcomes as extreme outcomes.

      At no point did he ever say that these were the only possible outcomes.

      • You completely missed my point. His two populations (potential winners) are scientists and skeptics. Those exclusive populations are inconsistent with reality. It is utterly impossible to be a scientist without being skeptical, and being skeptical does not prevent one from being a scientist – it is a requirement. These are not exclusive states and cannot be a part of any number of outcomes.

    • Ah, yes, but there is a BIG difference between being “sceptical” and what I think is the reality of the problem.
      It’s a word beginning with d and, of course, cannot ever be used here.

      It is the name for someone who uses any and all excuses to gainsay the climate science of AGW. The “ABCD” folk (Anything But Carbon Dioxide).

      And don’t say that a goodly number of denizens cannot be categorised as such.
      Sceptical is great but taken too far (for whatever reason) is closed-minded.
      Denizens will say that the shoe is on the other foot – but then you are left trying to explain away every and all of the science, the (raison d’etre) of WUWT.
      And it doesn’t matter in what “ology” that science emanates from … the ABCDers pile in to the dog-whistle come-hither.

      A neutral would intuitively grasp the agenda … and so it becomes the cheer-leading echo-chamber that it is – save for a few who can be bothered to put up with it to try to link to the “horses-mouth” of the real science and not that represented here by the filter of ABCD “scientists”.
      When it comes down to it there are 3 alternatives.
      a) all the world’s experts in all “ologies” touching on AGW are incompetent.
      b) all the world’s experts in all “ologies” are in a conspiracy to rob you of your “tax-dollars” or, more simply to enrich themselves.
      c) They know more than you.

      As I said – even the dullest tool in the box ought to come to the obvious answer.
      Yet so many here don’t.

      • ToneB,

        “a) all the world’s experts in all “ologies” touching on AGW are incompetent.”

        All the PR departments of all the “ollogies” have an obvious interest in pleasing the money/grant bestowers. None have an interest in bucking the (to me blatantly obvious synthetic) “climate science consensus” therefor.

        It’s just too easy for “experts” to go along in the name of general “expert-ism” for such PR department declarations to be tken seriously, it seems to me. Especially with all the “You’re not a climate scientist” disqualifying we’ve all seem a zillion times.

        “b) all the world’s experts in all “ologies” are in a conspiracy to rob you of your “tax-dollars” or, more simply to enrich themselves.”

        Just takes a few “climate scientists” in cahoots with the IPCC political clan . . in terms of a “seed expertise” the rest can “go along to get along” with, without much difficulty.

      • Remind me what the logical fallacy appeal to authority is again and why it’s relevant. It’s OK, we all need to learn new things.

      • Toneb says, “the (raison d’etre) of WUWT [is] trying to explain away every and all of the science [of AGW].

        That marks you, Toneb, either as entirely unable to extract meaning from words, or suffering from a refractory ignorance, or, possibly, given to lying.

        WUWT invites and does not censor, science-based essays. I challenge you or anyone else to show WUWT invites tendentious dismissals.

        On the other hand, WUWT is demonstrably loaded with very powerful essays containing analyses fully refuting AGW so-called science. Those essays have been reviewed in the comments to a degree surpassing many published articles in scientific journals.

        Here is my 2008 Skeptic article, three-times peer-reviewed: first prior to submission, then following submission by climate scientists chosen by Michael Shermer, and then again on the web including at RealClimate (where Gavin could not defeat the argument). The article shows that climate models cannot predict the climate and cannot resolve the effect of CO2 emissions. Let’s see you refute it, Toneb.

        There is currently no scientific basis whatever for asserting a strong effect of CO2 emissions on the terrestrial climate. It’s all just handwaving and Stefan-Boltzmann; even less compelling than an insistence that the enormously well-verified Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory proves atomic orbitals cannot exist, or black-bodies for that matter.

        The logic of the AGW position in a nutshell: using inappropriate physics to falsely manufacture certainty.

        Here’s the name for someone who uses any and all excuses to [insist there is a] climate science of AGW.: incompetent.

      • Toneb-
        That those are the only three conclusions (not alternatives) you can come up with, indicates that you sir, have a very closed mind. But at least you clarified your post as what YOU THINK the reality of the problem is, rather than trying to pass it off as more than your own opinion.

        “but then you are left trying to explain away every and all of the science, the (raison d’etre) of WUWT.”

        Oh please, PLEASE tell me what “every and all of the science” is that WUWT supposedly “tries to explain away”!!! (First maybe define what you meant there grammatically for us?) I mean, because I see people here discussing study results, and conclusions, and definitions, and data, etc…but I’ve never seen anyone here try to explain away, for example “the laws of thermodynamics” or mathematical standards, or laws of motion etc. I’ve seen people here rebut how “the science” gets used and abused all the time. I’ve seen people here point out that certain things qualify as authentic scientific methods, and certain things don’t. But I’m having a really difficult time coming up with any evidence that “the most important reason or purpose for WUWT’s existence” is to “explain away every and all of the science”.

        Maybe you just aren’t that familiar with horses…because what you claim to link to, seems most often to come from the NOT horse’s mouth end of the animal….

      • Pat:

        First of all congrats in at least accepting the veracity of the empirical science of the GHE pertaining to CO2.


        “Claiming GCMs yield a reliable picture of future climate is like insisting that an indefinable blurry blob is really a house with a cat in the window.”

        Is NOT the language required of a scientist carrying out unbiased research and therefore your “peer reviewed” paper, thrice or not, is worthless.

        Perusing your “paper”….

        Just how can the uncertainty be that large when you look at the stability of the control runs or the spread in the different models ?
        You also seem to have confused the error in an absolute value with the error in a trend. That’s like assuming that if a clock is off by about a minute today, tomorrow it’ll be off by two minutes, and in a year off by 365 minutes. The errors over a long time are completely unconnected with the offset today.

      • Toneb, your dismissal of my Skeptic article on the grounds of a single sentence you dislike is, in a word, fatuous.

        The article was written for an intelligent non-specialist audience. The analogy comparing assertions based on climate modeling to having a blob and claiming a cat in the window is: a) accurate, and b) a visual metaphor for people less familiar with the idea of false precision (rife in consensus climatology).

        The article was also, in actual fact, thrice peer-reviewed and not found wanting. If you’re able to mount a specific and valid criticism, do so. Anything else is just opinion-mongery.

        You asked, “Just how can the uncertainty be that large when you look at the stability of the control runs or the spread in the different models?

        Models deploy the same physics and the same sets of parameterizations. They are then tuned to reproduce (hindcast) the same target observables. Why should it be surprising that they should then give similar control runs, or constrained projection spreads?

        Your question confuses precision with accuracy. Similar control runs reflect model precision. Accuracy requires that the underlying physics be correct, i.e., that the model expectation values be unique. However, they are not unique. Many values are possible, because of model theory bias and parameter errors. Model tuning doesn’t solve those problems. Tuning merely hides the errors. Every model calculational step therefore produces systematic error. That error is propagated forward into each next calculational step. In a futures projection, the magnitude of that error is unknown. Nevertheless, systematic error causes the projection to wander continuously away from the correct phase-space trajectory of the physically real climate. Hence the growth of propagated uncertainty, i.e., with each projection step one knows less and less about where the model trajectory is relative to the physically correct trajectory. Uncertainty expresses that ignorance, and it necessarily increases with projection length. I have yet to encounter a climate modeler who understands that problem.

        Your clock analogy is also incorrect. To correct it, it’s as though you have a clock with an unknown error. And you’re living in a cave where it’s always pitch black and you have no way of appraising time independently, including being unable to count heartbeats. You are able to set the clock to the correct time once, and then must let it go. You never know the true time, don’t know the magnitude of the clock error, never have an indication of true time, and no way other than your clock of guessing time. What happens to the certainty of your knowledge then, over time?

        Finally, you do understand that the Stefan-Boltzmann equation is not a valid theory of climate, don’t you. The question of greenhouse warming concerns the response of the climate to the tropospheric kinetic energy provided by the collisional deactivation of CO2*. No one knows how the climate will respond. Climate models merely elaborate an assumed response and then climate modelers assert it; hardly a valid way to do science.

      • Toneb, let me add that the projection uncertainty also accrues to hindcasts.

        Theory bias and parameter errors mean the underlying physics is incorrect, even when the hindcast observables have statistical merit. I.e., the physics of the model does not describe the climate state that produced the known observables.

        This means that a statistically meritorious hindcast conveys little or no knowledge about the true correct physical state of the past climate. The same uncertainty attending a climate projection, also attends a climate hindcast because of the same inherent model errors.

  21. Larry Kummer has consistently misinterpreted the climate debate as strictly political. That is an impoverished representation, in that there is a large group that is skeptical by reason of analysis.

    That is especially true here at WUWT, where a large community of rational — not political — skeptics can be found.

    Among the population at large skepticism is produced by the fact that many people see clearly that nothing peculiar is going on with the weather. This is a common-sense approach to the issue, and one that cannot be fully negated by the incessant drumbeat of alarmist propaganda.

    The obvious disparity between experience and propaganda serves merely to harden this commonsense skepticism. Neither of Larry’s politics-only scenarios seem credible.

    It seems more likely to me that the serious consequence of climate alarm will be that all of science loses credibility, not just climate science. The reason is that all of institutional science has loudly and publicly bought into the doomsday scenario.

    We’re going to pay a big price for that willful and large-scale betrayal of scientific integrity. After it’s all over, expect everyone from anti-vacciners to creationists to make hay from that betrayal. ‘They lied about climate, and they’re lying about (vaccines, autism, evolution, chemtrails, etc., etc.) too!‘ So will the cries be against science and scientists.

    From my own work, I know that the claim of a huge CO2 effect on climate is unsubstantiated by any science. There is no particular prospect that this state of ignorance will change in the foreseeable future.

    There is also no particular visible indication of an impact of CO2 on climate. I.e., the engineering approach to the climate problem cannot find a problem. See Mike Kelly’s recent open-access paper about the lack of any change in frequency of extreme weather (pdf).

    The likely outcome is that climate will warm or cool or cycle around however it chooses. Even though climate alarmists will yell more or less loudly, depending on positive or negative trends, respectively, in air temperature, the public will lose interest; as it should.

    Politicians will continue to pose as the opportunity arises. But the price will be paid by science, because the scientific establishment knowingly, consciously, and willfully politicized itself. This is the true offense, and it is nearly mortal.

    Consequent discredit of science and scientists is where the negative outcome will be concentrated. The existence of those of us who spoke out probably won’t ameliorate the negative impact.

    When it’s finally revealed how dishonestly, or incompetently, or both, establishment science has behaved for the last 25 years(!) and counting, the public is going to rise up in disgust. Once that happens, my guess is that it will take generations of strictly ethical behavior to regain the stature science had among the public before this all started.

    • Pat, you’ve hit the nail on the head. I for one am already in that boat. I find myself on the brink of sharing some astounding or interesting science news with someone – even things from the past – and as I form the words, “scientists have found,” everything crumbles, my enthusiasm especially. Instead of launching into what I had thought of as an interesting topic, I have to admit that I don’t know anymore because I don’t know what funding was involved or what the motive was to produce such a paper.

      I hate that because I know that on sites like this one, it’s the scientists who are working so hard to put it right again. Real science is so important and real scientists so vital to what we know and learn, but already I doubt everything every one of them has ever claimed. Yes, I know there are good and honest ones. I meet a lot of them right here, and yes, it’s wonderful that I am prompted to dig in and check it all out myself, but I do hate the distrust that has developed and the way it is the first response to spring forward now.

      • I understand your point exactly, A.D. I’ve lost my joy in science because of the betrayal all around us, especially by physicists.

        My faith in the tough-minded integrity of scientists is gone. I still carry out my own work with pleasure, as before. But the greater vision of the community of science as the unfailing hope of the future has corroded into rust.

    • At the risk of repeating the responses of others; hammer, nail, head.
      And you’re quite right, it won’t simply be climastrology degrees being quietly dropped due to ‘lack of demand’ from university curriculums, science in general will be tarred with the untrustworthy brush for a generation.
      I guess it will take the urgency of a general war before any branch of science is getting much funding once the odious gullible warming dust has settled.

      I’m interested to see though what other casualties will be added to the butcher’s bill once public apathy for gullible warming turns into something more vengeful.
      How will corporations who climbed aboard the band-wagon fare with respect to public reputation; will a disgruntled public decide that since Google were milking the gullible warming cause for all it was worth, they’re probably dodgey so-and-sos who are best avoided with your personal information?
      How about oil companies who claimed to ‘care’ about climate impacts when it should be obvious to all and sundry that they opportunistically exploited stupidity to try and earn an extra buck at the expense of coal? Maybe much maligned ExxonMobil will emerge as the trustworthy good ole’ boys since their CEO publically said “ExxonMobil won’t fake it on climate change” in response to the collective Euro companies’ two faced declaration prior to Paris; the one urging world bureaucrats to ‘put a price on carbon’, you know, to save the planet. And while they were at it, switching power generation to gas would be good for the children’s children…
      Will any of the financial institutions who have advocated a policy of divesment from reliable energy investment be sued for loss of earnings by pissed off investors in under-performing funds who moved their capital into ‘clean’ energy companies?
      How long will Elon Musk stay out of gaol once it dawns on joe public that the guy really is a snake-oil salesman who not only ripped off politically gorrect punters, but ripped off taxpayers en-masse by means of the subsidies and tax breaks his company has scammed?
      Will the Catholic Church have extra trouble raising money in collection plates after trying a political hat on over the top of their god botherer’s hat?
      Will any political, lobbyist or advisory bodies be crucified in return for their posturing on gullible warming? IPeCaC will of course be disbanded, but how will the UN in general fare? (hopefully poorly, that’s another crippled old ass that should have put out to pasture long ago), if the EUssr even survives that long (which seems rather unlikely), will the collapse of the gullible warming cause be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back?
      How many mainstream political parties will finally go to their long homes once voters realise they’re bang-out of fresh policy ideas and newer ‘insurgent’ parties at least have some new thinking?
      Will the International Energy Agency finally be laughed out of existence?
      Will Greenpr!cks, WWF et al see the writing on the wall and put sufficient distance between themselves and the cause to maintain a loyal donor base or will they go down with the ship?
      I agree with Catweazle, this could be a mildly entertaining implosion and it’s not so much longer to wait.
      It’s such an appalling shame that the cost of admission was gob-smackingly expensive though.

  22. So Gore wants to prosecute his ‘foes’ – when he ‘wins’. The man is not fit to lick the boots of a far greater man, one who knew a lot more about struggling and winning: Churchill – who said:

    In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill.

  23. Two posting ago you promised that would be your last posting on this topic, yet you demonstrate you are as reliable as all in Climatology.
    Sorry Larry but option 3 applies,
    The costs come home to roost on the bill payers,shoving them into real poverty they see how they are receiving a lot less for very much higher costs and boot the politicians concerned.
    Academia fades away, claiming we never said that, the media left out our caveats and we always knew climate was cyclic and or chaotic…
    The media will pick a new doom to sell, denying ever having pushed CAGW/CC/ C.C.C
    The costs are coming home, even Hawaii is apparently finding wind too expensive to maintain.
    We are collectively about to reap the rewards of uncontrolled spending by governments worldwide,the cost of which will be born by the taxpayers and savers in every liberal democracy.
    Being impoverished by a massive scheme to rob the many, for the enrichment of the well connected few, using planetary doom via pixie dust as a cover.
    Great scheme until the marks get angry.

    In case you have not noticed, the signs are abundant that the marks are very angry and “Good enough for government” no longer cuts it.

  24. The notion that the end game will be extreme is absurd.

    If we take the case of skeptics being “silenced” by force, it would mean that the political elite no longer has any reason not to act, and enormous pressure from “scientists” to do so. They won’t, because they understand the economic calamity that would result, and which would sweep them from power in the next election. Actions against skeptics are just for show. Without skeptics to blame for their inaction, the political elite cannot drag their feet on the issues they know would sink them at the polls (or in less civilized countries, via revolt)

    It does raise a different question though. How far does this show boating go before Big Fossil actually drops the gloves and puts some real money into the public debate?

    • “How far does this show boating go before Big Fossil actually drops the gloves and puts some real money into the public debate?”

      It remains eminently possible that the insanity has even infected Big Fossil itself. As we’ve seen, virtually all large bureaucratic organisations inevitable support the politically correct mantras of the day. I don’t think it’s totally all about grant money but seems to have a dimension of all organisations when large enough are by default liberal and progressive. It is literally inconceivable that a significant institution would ever turn around and say global warming is a crock – and furthermore we don’t believe mass Muslim immigration into Western cultures is a particularly good idea. Consequently nothing will be done about these things unless there is a major popular uprising and overthrow of the establishment. Hate to say it but cannot see any other rational path out of the nightmare.

    • I agree, the outcome is unlikely to be extreme for either side. There won’t be any purges or gulags. But I do think that things will get quite uncomfortable for client scientists. Firstly, because the activities of some scientists have caused many people to associate the whole field with scaremongering and exaggeration. This will make it an easy target for politicians and university administrators looking to cut research spending or close down a source of bad publicity. Secondly, the politicians who have endorsed alarmist positions will need an “out” when it becomes inconveniently clear that any potential dangers from AGW have been grossly exaggerated to serve political goals. Once they decide that it’s a major political liability they will make climate scientists the scapegoats for their own actions. Climate science will lose the majority of its funding and will spend a couple of decades as an obscure and somewhat embarrassing specialism that’s seen as the last resort if you can’t get into anything better. Then a new generation of scientists for whom this is all ancient history will get excited about the big unanswered questions of the Earth’s climate, and climate science will return to prominence without all the political baggage.

  25. I wouldn’t worry to much about climate doomsters. Their party, in partcular, exhibits (to quote Emerson) “a surprising fugacity in creeping out of one snake-skin into another of equal ignominy and lubricity.”

    • Or, just another nutjob, fruitbat expressing his own personal opinion. There are lots of those (nutjob fruitbats) out there FM. It doesn’t prove any of your points at all.

      And the AG’s had a meeting and pledged their undying support for the presidents Clean Power Plan. They filed a brief to “defend the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s “Clean Power Plan” against legal challenge.” They filed a brief Larry, that doesn’t do anything at all except show which side of the issue they support.

      It’s against the LAW to attempt to stop it from being legally challenged! And according to the NCSL:

      “In fact, various research shows that the Clean Power Plan is the most heavily litigated federal environmental regulation in U.S. history.”

      It’s a little late to try to defend it against legal action!

  26. the “debate” will go on ad infinitum, because the case for CAGW is axiomatic, rather than empirical. It can’t be refuted by any amount of evidence or argument. No matter how much time passes without catastrophe, some will always claim that the catastrophe is just around the corner, that the tipping point is nearing.

    So it’s more a question of how long will it take for one side of the other to be so marginalized as to be either politically or scientifically insignificant. I would say that will hinge on two factors. One is a lack of warming, even cooling, over a period of decades. People lose interest when nothing much happens that actually effects them. The other factor is that something of far greater interest and immediate import replaces these vague and insubstantial concerns. Already, despite warnings from the usual suspects, Climate Change is among the least vital of public concerns. At some point even environmentalists will move on to other causes. But they will face no consequences.

    The current threat of legal consequences is merely a move to shift the debate away from facts of science towards facts of politics, where facts are far more malleable and can be voted on rather than backed by evidence. It’s a sign of desperation, and not a winning strategy.

  27. This is an interesting essay.

    Prominent skeptics might be harassed and demonized on a scale far greater than anything seen in generations. “Lukewarmers” might be grilled — “were you ever a skeptic or associated with skeptics?”

    For one thing, maybe they will have to finally give a definition as to what a skeptic is vs. what a lukewarmer is. I wonder what that definition will be, and if it will match my personal definition of same.

    On net, I think that the issue will fade away over the next 20 years since we are headed into a cooling time or a time where there is very little warming much like the last 20 years. I think the public gets tired of hearing about climate and since the alarmism was only ever supported by the government to make it stronger (to “protect” us) it will fade away as terrorism has taken its place as the big threat requiring you to trade away all your freedoms (as if any were left) for a little security. (cue Ben Franklin)

    Obama will go out with a lot of sound a furry over “skeptics” (he will use the D-word of course) but the next person will not feel compelled to keep walking down that tired old road.

    One warning though; we live in a police state and if the federal government decides to cage, fine, torture, or kill people based on their scientific beliefs don’t look to a worthless piece of paper called the Constitution to protect you. After all, the state itself decides what that piece of paper says. And hell, GITMO is just sitting there underutilized.


  28. I would demand my CO2 footprint be weighed against my accusers as proof that my opinions didn’t impede the reduction of CO2. In fact you might find that the footprints of 100 top sceptics weighed massively less than 100 prominent campaigners for CO2. You don’t need to be very abstemious to beat DiCaprio or Gore or Prince Charles. Or did I get it wrong and the whole AGW thing isn’t about CO2 at all?

    If sceptics vanish then there will be no excuses left to not reduce CO2. They’ll have to admit they have no idea how to do it other than by embracing horrible hardship. If they want the West to act unilaterally, why not the half that believes, acts first? Not one sceptic would stop them from paying for the alternative energy out of their own pocket. They can stop flying, become vegetarian, downsize, insulate their homes, clothe their kids in recycled garments and walk everywhere. What’s stopping them?

    • “In fact you might find that the footprints of 100 top sceptics weighed massively less than 100 prominent campaigners for CO2. You don’t need to be very abstemious to beat DiCaprio or Gore or Prince Charles.”

      All of these guys will claim carbon neutrality through supporting tree planting or some such whereas you putting your kettle on are a planet killer.

  29. There is always great information discussed on this site. But I am curious when will the real reason for all of this actually begin to be discussed. The patterns all lean toward 2020 through 2030. Even when the present weather patterns are expected to show a turn around 2020. is this truly just a coincidence. hmmm

  30. Up here in Canada the politicians are pushing CAGW, our new prime minister sunny boy Trudeau is looking at a country wide carbon tax. Ontario shutting down coal plants, carbon tax, pushing wind and solar as a result energy costs skyrocketing. Alberta shutting down its coal plants, carbon tax also pushing wind, energy costs rising. British Columbia carbon tax while trying to export oil and gas, wacko. Then add Australia with its carbon push.

    David Suzuki that angry little old man wanting to jail sceptics and he having spent time in a Japanese relocation camp. Oh he and his sea level homes.

    I don’t see the religion dying just yet.

    • David Suzuki is going to be ranting about the temp in hell pretty soon where it really is kinda warm

  31. Last week Mr Editor boldly stated that the skeptics will lose the policy debate and that his prediction success rate was “quite high”.
    He also predicted that essay “Why skeptics will lose the US climate policy debate” (re-framed as ‘could’ for WUWT consumption) was the final in his climate series, a prediction that has been falsified within a week.
    Skeptics out there take heart, your chances of being burned at the stake are, well, quite low.

    • You and I and several others have openly pointed out the flawed logic and strange biases in the unsupported opinions of a certain editor. I tend to think we are not a minority except in our vocality. Of course, I have the ability to recognize and openly admit that is nothing more than my own unsupported opinion. :)

  32. If Trump/Drumpf gets the Republican Ticket Hillary will be president, soooo dump Drumpf, pleasssssse

  33. Hmm surly you mean human caused “climate change” or anthropogenic doom of some description, you gave me the impression that you have no clue what you were rambling on about.

    Why would you? your opinion suggests that some people believe that earth has a stable climate that humans are changing, this sir is your imagination, humans look after their environments believe it or not we do no harm and our intentions a good.

  34. Germany and England are now building new coal plants and increasing subsidies for renewables.

    England is phasing out all coal and reducing subsidies for renewables

  35. 1. I also believe that the most likely result for a Hillary/Trump race will be a landslide for Hillary, a Democrat Senate, and perhaps a Democrat House. But, I don’t think that there will be much action like Mr. Kummer describes. Those majorities will be evanescent. 2018 will be like 2010 and 2014. Further, the Senate is for structural reasons unfriendly to environmental legislation. There are too many farm states, and mining states. Obama couldn’t get a carbon tax through the Senate when he had 60 votes to pass Obamacare.

    2. I think that it more likely that we have seen peak temperatures with the El Nino in 2015, than that temperatures will continue to increase. But, I also think that the world will be a happier place it is warmer. Crop yields are far more likely increase than they are to decrease. Growing seasons will be longer, and plants love having more CO2. Tropical diseases have nothing to do with the temperature. They are a result of poverty and poor government. As for weather, it seems more likely to become less violent as the temperature difference between the arctic and the tropics, which is its primary driver, decreases. Further, weather related deaths are also produced by poverty and poor government.

  36. When the Left can no longer use global warming/climate change to push their agenda, it will fade away, as if it never happened. The Left will find new causes to push the same agenda.

    Skeptics win, nothing changes. Except the name of the New Terror. Ocean acidification or whatever. This whole deal is politics, not science. And politics doesn’t change.

  37. I should add that there are a number of looming crises that could push climate completely out of the arena and onto the back pages.

    1. The Muslim war on Europe continues to grow and spread. Bombings and mass rapes become the new normal.

    2. The US southern border collapses completely because of deliberate weakening by Hillary, who has promised it to garner Hispanic votes.

    3. The attack on policing combined with a flood of illegal immigrants produces increased gang warfare in US cities.

    4. There is a major recession. We average a recession about every 8 years. The last one was in 2007-2009. The last recession pooped a housing bubble. A new one is forming to replace that one.

    5. The Fed loses control of interest rates and they jump back to levels they were at a few years ago. They could blow a huge hole in the Federal budget just at the time when flexibility is needed to cope with the recession.

    6. Social Security Disability exhausts its trust fund and must cut payments. It only has a couple of years worth of money on hand, a recession could kill it.

    7. Chinese brinksmanship in the South China sea results in a war that cuts off trade.

    • 8. Terrorists obtain a crude nuclear weapon and destroy a large city in Europe. Terrorists hold governments hostage, populations panic, world economy collapses, …

      9. Unstoppable deadly new virus, worldwide pandemic, billions infected …

      10. Iran …

      11. N. Korea …

      XX. The Chicago Cubs win the World Series

  38. To establish a “scientific consensus” the federal government needs to first register all relevant scientists and have them vote on the AGW conjecture. If such consensus establishes scientific fact, then the Ptolemaic model of the universe should be taught as established scientific fact and all who believe the contrary should be burned at the stake.

  39. I have a problem with BenBen concept of a civil debate. I am an engineer in the power industry but I will lose a debate with a Sierra Club lawyer every day of the week. I offer BenBen as proof. Wind and solar is not a viable technology to replace fossil fuels but he thinks it is for some reason or other.

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

    I would suggest doing the wrong thing is worse than doing nothing. BenBen likes to provide links. That is a plus for winning a debate but is a minus for knowing what the right to do is because the links are junk science.

    “False. Dead wrong.”

    Well actually I think that BenBen is more accurate than RACook in this case. RA gets a plus for the use of hyperbole for winning a debate. RA is just making stuff up. The ignorant debating the ignorant.

    It is easy to provide examples. For example, Columbia Generating Station tripped monday afternoon as can be seen here:

    • You should be writing Op-Eds, Kit P. Or analytical articles for professional journals. The considered views of expertise like yours is in serious need of public exposure.

    • Retired Kit P

      Well actually I think that BenBen is more accurate than RACook in this case. RA gets a plus for the use of hyperbole for winning a debate. RA is just making stuff up. The ignorant debating the ignorant. … It is easy to provide examples. For example, Columbia Generating Station tripped monday afternoon as can be seen here:

      What “stuff” do you believe I am making up? Please be specific. Your own link for Canada’s wind deliveries over a 6 day period shows ONE period of near 4000, one-half day at 3000, and the rest at zero. Wind is useful only for generating subsidies for wind power advocates, wind power companies and academics, and their government-sponsors and the donations and publicity those advocates give to their government bureaucrats who continue funding those subsidies.

  40. “look for life cycle assessments”

    LCAs are a good reason to build coal or nuke plants and not windfarms. I am still waiting for wind and solar to live up to performance in LCA academic exercise.

    CO2 is a very insignificant factor. Wind and solar have the same amount of hazardous waste as nuclear.

  41. If Co2 was the demon it’s made to be and the worlds climate is changing because of it why are they changing past temps to prove their theory ??
    Burn me at the stake come judgement day , medium rare thanks

  42. It’s not a debate, Larry. The term “debate” implies a level of restraint, of mutual respect, that is totally absent from the climate scrum. There are a few polite scientists; they are mostly sceptics and some of them hang out at WUWT, but their civilised, rational arguments tend to be drowned out by levels of acrimony and verbal abuse coming from both sides, that are more consonant with a religious or political conflict than with a scientific debate. Which of course it is – both political and religious (the “pro” side involves a very strong element of belief without the need for supporting evidence). You don’t have debates between opposed religious or political factions, you just have groundless assertions “I’m right” “No, I’m right” – and the faction that shouts the loudest and gathers the most adherents, is the one that prevails.

    Also, Larry, not only is it not a debate, it’s not an American “debate”. It is a global phenomenon that seems to have permeated countries to levels that can be roughly correlated with their level of wealth. The USA does exert an influence because of its size and power, but it by no means controls what happens elsewhere.

    How will it end? Who the heck knows. But I suspect it will gradually fade from the consciousness of the public and the political class as more years go by without any substantial warming trend, possibly with undeniable cooling even, and as other issues become more pressing. The most obvious candidate for a future pressing issue is the rise of Islamism of course, but who knows what concerns will arise in the future. Nobody has a crystal ball.

  43. When I was a teenager I was exposed to survivors of the holocaust. And wondered along with many others how did it come to this, and how could so many be taken in.
    Deniers then were a very small persecuted group, sound familiar?
    Its not that long ago in the big scheme of life, and there are people who remember, even if we are laughed at by the so called educated, degree holding experts (drips under pressure).
    I don’t need a degree to remember that we are savage, or can be savage given the right set of circumstances, I think many have forgotten.

  44. Up to this point, the debate concerning what, if anything, needs to be done about climate change has been mere kibbuke theater. That debate will never reach critical mass unless and until the Federal Government begins demanding serious sacrifice on the part of the American public in the service of greatly reducing our carbon emissions.

    President Obama wants an 80% reduction in America’s GHG emissions by 2050. It is impossible to reach the President’s goal without raising the price of all fossil fuels and without imposing direct constraints on their supply and availability.

    Nothing short of raising the price of all fossil fuels and applying an aggressively enforced system of anti-carbon regulations could ever be successful in forcing the lifestyle changes and the technology transitions needed to fully achieve the President’s 2050 goal.

    The EPA has full authority to regulate all sources of America’s GHG emissions, not just those of the electric utility industry. In addition to putting a price on carbon, the goal of an 80% reduction in America’s GHG emissions demands that the full resources and authority of the EPA be brought to bear on the problem.

    But so far, the Obama Administration has chosen not to use the full power and authority of the EPA in pushing its climate change agenda.

    The administration has instead pushed the Clean Power Plan — a plan which is mostly gesture politics in that it covers less than a quarter of the GHG reductions needed to meet the President’s 2050 goal, and that it piggybacks on an already extant market-driven transition towards reliance on natural gas.

    Hillary Clinton will defeat Donald Trump this fall in a landslide election of massive proportions. The fall election could well see control of the US Congress revert to the Democratic Party. This is an event which could and should be interpreted as a mandate from the voters for the Federal Government to begin taking serious action on climate change.

    What if a Democrat controlled Congress refuses to put a price on carbon, and what if President Clinton refuses to apply the full regulatory authority of the EPA in pushing strong anti-carbon measures?

    If that’s the way it happens after Hillary Clinton is sworn in as our next president, there will be positive proof the Democrats are using the issue of climate change as nothing more than a political talking point for gaining the support of environmentally conscious voters.

  45. The future of CAGW is dependent on the next/other crisis/crises (reality, not talk), not who does or not a win a ‘debate’. The general public and media have no idea what is coming next as surely as the sun rises in the east.

    There is currently a race on which will come first significant planetary cooling or an economic crisis. Either new issue will end the climate wars. There will be no money to spend on green scams that do not work and there will be public panic and political pressure to address the real problems, not a made up problem.

    The 1990s and 2000s were a weird cycle, a weird paradigm, the rise of the term deniers and other 1984 type propaganda labeling, unending new government spending on new issues which the government must spend money that it does not have on programs that do not work.

    The peak of the cycle was books published such as:

    Do deficits matter?

    This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

    The weird paradigm was possible as reason and responsibility (i.e. logic/independent thought, independent scientific, engineering, and economic analysis, the normal weighing of alternatives, prioritizing of problems, costing of proposals, the need to balance budgets) was removed from the formation of public policy. To question the pillars of the paradigm was/is to be a denier or an evil right winger.

    The cult of CAGW was only one example.

    The problem is there is a delay in public/political realization that there are real unavoidable consequences of governments spending more than their countries’ have to spend on idiotic schemes that do not work in addition to unbelievable waste due to ridiculously large, inefficient, and unneeded government departments/programs and super government (EU and UN) bureaucracies.

    The Japanese are the leaders in deficit spending. The Japanese tabloids are warning of a run on their banks if the Japanese try to take their money out.

    The Japanese accumulated debt is now 260% of their GDP. The old rule of thumb was the limit of manageable accumulated debt is 70% of GDP. The US accumulated debt is 109% of GDP however the US future unfunded liabilities, increases the total US accumulated debt to around 300% of GDP, if future unfunded liabilities is included.

    The knowledgeable insiders are stating that it is better for the GOP to lose the presidential election as the next president will have an impossible problem: Ridiculous public expectations and a complete lack of public understanding of the real problems and what will be forced to be done to address the real problems. There will need to be a crisis before there is a change.

    Quantitative easing (fancy name for printing more money), zero interest rates, and negative interest rates were/are the end of the road.

  46. “… There is no reality-based community in America (as discussed in scores of posts on the FM website, such as Facts are the enemy of both Left and Right in our America). This leaves us ungrounded, liable to extreme and irrational responses to events (as we have seen in our mad wars since 9/11). …”
    Is this different?

    The story of the Emperor’s New Cloths was not invented from thin air. It’s resounding commentary on the human condition, its social spectrum-disorder, its illusions, its ubiquitous mechanism and desire to imposing fear to coerce and force with lies.

    Fooling others by hook or by crook is situation-normal, and having a majority of frightened fools is likewise situation-normal.

    Believe nothing, don’t react to hype, test everything, don’t accept things that you don’t actually know, don’t let others ‘lead’. Don’t live in fear of people, words or concepts, steer clear of political clamors, people who represent government and other emperors are mercenary, disingenuous, antagonistic and exploitative. If they express a desire to ‘help you’, there’s a better than even chance they’re about to do you grave personal harm.

    Never smile at a crocodile
    No, you can’t get friendly with a crocodile
    Don’t be taken in by his welcome grin
    He’s imagining how well you’d fit within his skin

  47. I dunno, but to me the posts by Benben, Seth and SImon appear to be nothing short of cut and pastes from pre-loaded alarmist sites.

  48. Larry, there just isn’t going to be any troublesome climate change. The idea was a political invention in the first place, a poor place to start a science on. However, proof is not a factor in the game. Propaganda and lies supported by government funding is all you need. Besides, some of the alarmists have morphed from opposite positions (Ehrlic, Holdren from ice age to thermageddon in their lifetimes, both theories supported by the same cause!) We are really fighting for freedom here and that is the scariest and most probable scenario. There is not going to be a gentlemen’s agreement with apologies all around if the CAGW keeps going the way it has – not in the warmist’s favor. The left has a naturally imposed timeline to give one last shot to a world socialist government. The population is going to peak (its already 80% there) and prosperity will ensue. This is the worry of the totalitarians. There won’t be scary futures peddle, at least convincingly once we reach this plateau (and it starts to decline naturally to a below peak level.

  49. Scenario 3: Climate Scientists publicly ignore the mounting evidence that they’re wrong while incrementally moving out the timeframe and severity of the “crisis”; never admitting that this climate crisis is just like the population bomb and all the other dooms that came before it. The public attention shifts further and further from the climate scaremongers and they shout louder and louder until they’re shouting into a vacuum. The skeptics don’t fare much better as the attention wanes from climate they’re left congratulating themselves with no acknowledgement from any authority or institution unwilling to admit they were duped.

    Both climate scare and skeptic books collect dust in forgotten places while the world moves on to the next crisis: Tay attempting world takeover.

  50. When Trump wins he’ll neither support nor oppose CAGWers – nothing to gain, and their fundings melting fast with their apparatuses that will be fed.

    Clinton the same: green voters my have some ambitions, but whatfor go into conflict with more then half of the people, not to say approximately half the senate.

    Either way silence comes soon.

    Don’t no what persons he surrounds with, FabMax fits his nom de guerre with that unbased fantasies.

  51. benben: “The mechanical stresses on wind turbines are if anything lower.”

    Oh dear,

    Funny thing, a good friend of mine in the engineering industry is rubbing his hands in glee having just landed a very lucrative contract rebuilding broken wind turbine gearboxes and knackered bearings which have failed at less than half their design life.

    The biggest problem is with bearings which are running right at the corner of their envelope due to the dreaded square-cube law and a phenomenon called “false brinelling” generally caused by an incomplete understanding of the harmonic effects caused by blade flutter.

    Some offshore turbines are starting to suffer from “scour”, due to they didn’t bother consulting the oil rig boys before they designed the supporting piers.

    • Sounds to me like liberals have their own special kind of engineering. They believe it will work therefore it does. It comes complete with a 97% consensus, an endless supply of taxpayer funding, and special non-scientific laws that are beyond debate and they have computer models to prove it. It doesn’t work with the exception that it is really good at transferring authority from the people to the government with fully funded University approval.

  52. The scientific communities are all setting up for catastrophe when reality overwhelms grant-seeking schemes to save the world from the end of civilization du jour their “research” predicts.

    Every scientific association, with the possible exception of IEEE, has gone “all in” in the government grant boo-ray game. The others have all fallen into what Harry Browne, two-time libertarian presidential candidate and investment advice author called the “prior investment trap.” —

    “I know I am in over my head and have a losing hand, but I have so much invested that I can’t afford to quit now!”

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