Study: 'Climate scientists are more credible when they practice what they preach' – but my aerial surveys show many don't

From the “arch denier Watts leads the way” department (see my photos below) I thought it would be interesting to see how many climate scientists actually have solar power on their home, so I did an aerial survey to find out. The results don’t speak well for them. Don’t worry, I did not disclose anyone’s address – Anthony

 

Climate scientists are more credible when they practice what they preach

People are more willing to take advice from climate researchers who reduce their own carbon footprint

Americans are more likely to follow advice about personal energy use from climate scientists who minimize their own carbon footprint, according to Shahzeen Attari of Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She and her team used two large online surveys to determine that scientists should practice what they preach if they want their advice on reducing energy use to have greater credibility. Their findings are published in Springer’s journal Climatic Change.

Personal attacks on climate experts and advocates are not uncommon when it comes to their own behavior. For example, environmentalist and former vice president Al Gore was criticized for home energy use that far exceeded the national average.

Attari and her team conducted the online surveys with about 3,000 Americans to see the impact of the researchers’ credibility on their messages and advice. Participants were randomly presented with fictional vignettes about a climate expert presenting a talk on how an individual’s actions can collectively have a large impact on the environment.

The surveys began with a baseline narrative: a leading climate researcher is giving a talk about the merits of reducing air travel and lowering the amount of energy used in the home. The researcher gives advice to the audience on how they can reduce their own energy use.

The survey participants were then asked to judge the impact of a range of actions by the researcher including this one: “During the question period a member of the audience asks the researcher whether he flew across the country to give this talk. He replies that he regularly flies to lectures and conferences all over the world. It is part of his job, though flying like this does lead to negative impacts on the climate.”

The surveys showed that audiences are less concerned with transportation habits than home energy use. A scientist who buys carbon offsets is seen more positively but it doesn’t wipe the slate clean.

“Credibility may require climate researchers to decrease their carbon footprint,” Attari said. “Effective communicators about climate change do sometimes discuss their own behavior and our research indicates that this can be a good way to enhance their credibility,” Attari added. “Whether the climate scientists are male or female, what they do in private can have a pronounced effect on how their message is perceived by the public.”

She continued, “To communicate effectively, advocates of energy conservation need to be the change they wish to see. Climate researchers, including the three authors of this study, need to make strong efforts to reduce their own carbon footprints.”

Still to be determined is whether the effects on credibility and on intentions to conserve are temporary or enduring, the study reports. Another open question is whether the personal behavior of scientists is a factor when lawmakers consider changes in the nation’s policies on climate change.

###

Reference: Attari, S. Z. et al. (2016). Statements about climate researchers’ carbon footprints affect their credibility and the impact of their advice, Climatic Change. DOI 10.1007/s10584-016-1713-2

http://www.springer.com/gp/about-springer/media/springer-select/climate-scientists-are-more-credible-when-they-practice-what-they-preach/10266932


It is interesting to note that Mike Mann’s house near State College PA, the address of which is available on the web from a variety of public sources, shows no trace of solar power:

(UPDATE: It seems that Google identified the wrong house in street view, and because of that, the wrong house was presented in the initial post. With the help of a realtor, the correct house was located using a different service. The updated location and the previous one is shown below. It doesn’t have solar. I apologize for any confusion this might have caused.)

mike-manns-house-updated

I won’t disclose his address, or the address of others below (I’ve pixelated out street names too), because I don’t want to make it easy for anyone to harass them over this. Solar panels on your home are a personal choice, but it sure looks better to have them when you are preaching to the world that we must do everything possible to reduce personal carbon footprints.

Climate scientist Kevin E. Trenberth of NCAR in Boulder (of Climategate fame) has quite a nice home in a private community, information that is also easily publicly available. His neighbor has solar panels, but he does not.

kevin-trenberth-no-solar


UPDATE: As I mentioned in comments, I’m happy to provide an update should any climate scientist want to show proof they have solar panels on their home. Dr.Kenneth Trenberth writes in to say:

Accord to Zillow, climate Scientist Jonathan T. Overpeck of the University of Tucson, also of Climategate fame, lives in a “3120 square foot, 3.5 bathroom, single family home”. You’d think that in hot, sunny, Arizona, he’d at least have solar on his home to cool a house that size, especially after rants like this on his Twitter feed:

peck-onsolar

His home seems completely devoid of solar power as well:

jonathan-overpecks-house-no-solar

At least he has a white roof.  Note: I’m not absolutely certain which of the two house it is as Google’s place-mark for his address is a bit ambiguous), but all the evidence points to the one I’ve indicated. Either way, neither home has any solar panels. (Update: WUWT reader “Aridzona” who is a realtor, identified the correct house from real estate data. The image arrow was changed to reflect this, thanks.)

How about Thomas R. Karl, director of the National Climatic Center in Asheville, NC? He has a six figure annual salary according to budget reports I’ve seen, so surely he can afford home solar power to be put on his home near Asheville. Nope, it doesn’t seem so:

Tom-karl-house-no-solar

Karl’s second in command at the National Climatic Data Center (now NCEI) surprisingly does have solar panels, but he’s always been pretty green based on what I know of him.

thomas-c-petersen-house-solar-panels

Of course, no aerial survey would be complete without Dr. James Hansen, the “father of global warming” as described by some, who has a farm in Pennsylvania. He helpfully included the address in a letter to congress a few years back. Surely, with all the pronouncements about coal “death trains” and boiling oceans you’d think he’d have solar panels for his house. He does, sorta…he has them for his barn:

james-hansens-barn-solar-panels

Guess who paid for them? You and I did. From the Powerline blog: (bold mine)

The really shocking thing for me was how many times he contradicted himself and made admissions against interest. If he was under oath and subject to cross examination at a trial, Power Line’s own John Hinderaker would carve him up. Example: He said that all energy subsidies must stop and be replaced by a $100 per ton carbon fee. He then later admitted that the solar panels on his barn were subsidized by the federal government. So it was simply a bizarre contradiction on his part.

And then there’s me, “arch climate denier” Anthony Watts:

electric_car

The electric car owned and driven daily by Anthony Watts

My home solar

Ground view of the solar panels on the roof of Anthony Watts house

anthony-watts-house-solar-panels

Aerial view of my home showing the solar panels

But, I’m the evil one, according to many climate scientists, anonymous coward bloggers, and activists.

 

Note: Some typos were corrected within 2 hours of publication. Also with an hour of publication, two images were updated that still showed some adjacent streets that were not pixelated out. No addresses were ever revealed.

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Alan Watt, Climate Denialist level 7

Great survey, but would it be possible to include Shukla?

Michael Jankowski

The great irony is that it wasn’t long ago that Shukla was regularly berating the performance of climate models and essentially calling any sort of regional climate model results “garbage.”

fah

It is possible. The Form 990 for the IGES for 2014 contains sufficient information to locate his house and confirm it via real estate records. I have done so and have a google map aerial photo. It does not show solar panels. I am hesitant to post it out of privacy concerns and could not see how to email it to Mr. Watts. Anyone interested could surely retrace my steps, but please do not broadcast his address.

John Harmsworth

Should be identifiable by the piles of subpoenas and dirty money laying around

Hlaford

Just put coordinates 😉

george e. smith

Hey where’s the Weber in your back yard Anthony ??
Aren’t you supposed to have a barbie next to your thermometer ?
Anyhow great study Anthony. I really missed the windmills on those houses too. But you have enough PV solar to not need a bird slayer.
G

Michael Jankowski

Reminds me of the stark contrast between the extremely green Bush ranch and anything to do with Al Gore.

gnome

A good market opportunity for sellers of dummy solar panels to make it look like you’re willing to subscribe to the narrative, even though you know solar panels are a waste of money.

Pop Piasa

Fill them with insulation and they might come close to saving as much money over 20 years.

… unless they blow away. If you go to the expense to secure them to the roof and seal the attachment points you might as well use real PV panels, or mount free-standing dummy arrays a safe distance from your house.

MarkW

Solar panels, if they aren’t mounted directly to the roof, will provide shade for the roof, which all other things being equal, should make the attic cooler.
I wonder if that would be the biggest cost savings from solar?

Timothy Price

Good for you. The preachers on the left believe everyone else has to do what they say. But they, themselves? They believe they are exempt!

Barbara

This same thing has been done for some involved in the wind turbine “game” or promoting wind power.
And with the same results!
Suzuki is just one example.

Goldrider

Yeah, don’t see any wind turbines around any of their places either!

MarkW

The Kennedy family fought tooth and nail to prevent offshore windmills from being built near their beach house.

Actually using solar is for the peasant scum 🙂

Golden

David Suzuki –
People are calling you a hypocrite about your carbon footprint, your air travel and your 3 houses. How do you justify that?
Suzuki – The technology hasn’t caught up to my lifestyle yet.

Roxanne

The only time I’ve seen Suzuki was boarding a plane from the front, and there he was … ensconced in a 1st. Class seat … trying not to be noticed by the hoi-polloi having to walk past him.
So much for *his* carbon footprint!
Another ‘gravy-trainer’?

You are just a maggot to Suzuki:

Barbara

A.K.A. as Dr. “Fruit-fly”.

Gary Hladik

“People are more willing to take advice from climate researchers who reduce their own carbon footprint.”
And use their own money to do so.

Paul Linsay

You should do a survey of the offices of the major environmental organizations. Those people should be 100% wind and solar and off the grid.

Pop Piasa

I actually have a neighbor who is totally off the grid (except for a cell phone so he can work for Walmart). he has 200 watts or so from a solar panel and a wood stove (oh, and a gas generator). His cabin is 12’x20′ and lofts down a hillside. His water comes from a spring on his property and he heats water in a pot for a gravity shower. He has a composting toilet and attempts to compost all his waste. His property is a source of flies and vermin, with asian honeysuckle thickets taking over.
Oddly enough, he does not believe in anthro-induced climate change – his motivation is monetary conservatism. He does, however demonstrate the limitations placed on the ultra-conservationist lifestyle.

I would suggest blurring out road names. You identify cities, and many satellite shots also show adjacent road names. With both of those it’s rather easy to obtain an address.

Barbara

Expand the images and look for any wind turbines in the surrounding areas too.

Terrific post. Warmunist hypocrits.

Aridzona

Anthony-
You have pointed to the wrong house for Mr. Overpeck here in Arizona. It is in fact the house to the east, with the reddish roof. I am in real estate and have easy access to ownership info and have confirmed the correct house. I’d be happy to show you the info if you would like.

Pop Piasa

Re: Overbeck’s house, I can attest to a white roof helping to keep cooling costs low. The campus buildings with membrane roofs that were changed from rock ballasted black rubber to white membrane had a noticeable top-floor improvement in comfort during extreme outside temps, obviously we saved on electric.
Nice place you have Anthony, you are a much greater conservationist than they. I think conservationism has been twisted by the greens and hijacked for the propagation of the political agenda.

Pop Piasa

Overpeck, (like a hen) sorry.

Pop Piasa

Since that’s actually Overpeck’s neighbor with the white roof and rusty truck, the guy must be one of us peons.

ferdberple

Al Gore and Climate Science 101:
Everyone needs to take a smaller piece of the pie so I can take a bigger one.

AW, Street names still there on the teaser…

Hilarious Anthony 🙂

I ask them a slightly different question:
If you are certain that the world as we know it will end in catastrophe if we do not ceases using fossil fuels, have you taken steps to protect yourself and your loved ones by buying property in Alaska?

MarkW

On a similar vein, have you sold your beach house yet?

William R

Those poorly funded public servant socialist-leaning academics sure do have nice houses. Such men of the people. I wonder where they got all that money from. Green living at it’s be$t.

I had the same thought.

Mick In The Hills

Good work Anthony.
A while back I thought of outing alarmist activists and politicians with beachfront properties here in Australia.
Maybe they know something they’re not telling the punters?

Reality Observer

Some difference in how I view such people. If they owned the property before the scare got started – well, they have reason to fear that their investment will be underwater. Their attitude is therefore understandable (if rather selfish – impoverish as many people as needed to ensure that my interests aren’t affected).
Then there are those that bought it after the scam kicked into high gear – at a reduced price thanks to the fear-mongering. Those are con artists – and should be in jail, if we had a just world.

Pop Piasa

I’ll second that.

How come you don’t have one of them 4,000 square foot like the majority of those guys? You going cheap on all that oil money/

Marcus

…Anthony, you are brilliant !

Gunga Din

Character matters.
Hypocrisy is another word that may come into play. It’s commonly understood as “Do as I say, not as I do.” But some of who have been around for awhile know that it isn’t that simple. If we’re stuck in a pit ourselves, it’s not hypocrisy to tell someone else not to jump in with us. That’s passing on wisdom learned “the hard way”.
Hypocrisy is pretending to be something you are not, one who pretends he’s not in a pit.
Maybe if Mann had spent less of other people’s money on law suits he could have spent more of other people’s money on solar panels. Just like Hansen.
These people are stuck in a money pit that they demand others fill.
For what? Ego? Power?

Robert from oz

I have a 5kw system on my roof , nothing to do with green everything to do with trying to save money in retirement .
So far about $100 every three months wow I’m so depressed I mean impressed .

Will Nelson

Actually, if they really practiced what they preached they’d have to be living in mud huts and cooking with an open flame.

MarkW

Open flame? Only if it’s using wood or preferably cow dung as a fuel.

Food cooked over an open wood flame is usually pretty tasty. Especially steak or salmon. Use cedar or oak and the smoke will add an especially nice flavor.

MarkW

Cow dung on the other hand …

PiperPaul

Gee, Anthony, do YOU, a famous “d*ni*r”, use solar panels and conserve electricity yourself? [I already know the answer]

Gunga Din

I’m sure he’ll correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe he mainly has them to save money because CA energy policy had made electricity so expensive.

Pop Piasa

May I add that solar panels are most practical at the user end of the grid where there is no need for grid modification as it only reduces the grid load. If the govt wants to help folks do this, I am all for it where it is most practical. I strongly disagree with large scale commercial application of such a low density energy source.

commieBob

Back in the 70s I did a fair bit of work on pv solar. It saved my employer a bucket of bucks by reducing fuel resupply trips to remote locations. The payback was less than a year.
I could have engineered a system that would never need resupply but it would never have paid back its cost. Inspection and maintenance trips were necessary anyway. The extra cost for fuel resupply was the difference between renting a Beechcraft and renting a DC-3.
PV can really pay off if it is part of an engineered system. Even so, it doesn’t become part of the equation until most of the easy energy conservation steps have been taken first.

John Harmsworth

When doing energy reduction design a host of fairly minor things make all the difference. The politicians who vote funding for these scams have no idea whether they will actually work or have payback. In the private sector a deal would have performance criteria. It shows the contempt government has for citizen’s tax dollars that they seldom use something so basic.

commieBob

As I drive around town, I see many pv panels in places that make no sense at all. In one case, panels were mounted on the north facing slope of a roof (I’m close to the Canada-US border). Somebody’s being ripped off for sure.

Wait, you actually admit to driving that, Anthony? 🙂

PiperPaul

Oops, posted too fast.
Wow, these guys lie in pretty opulent homes, considering they’re humble, taxpayer-funded public servants and all (just based on some of the photos). I live under a bridge and use WiFi from outside a McDonalds because I (used to) work in the fossil fuel industry.

Gunga Din

“WiFi”?
I’m familiar with “HiFi”.
Does “WiFi” have something to do with wiring speakers? 😎

PiperPaul

Oops again, ‘live’, not ‘lie’. I’m going too bad before I error again. Maybe I’ll plug my stereo into the internet (that was for you, Gunga).

bill johnston

I saw the “live” “lie” thing and thought what an imaginative choice of words. Also, maybe you should go to “bed”.

expat

I’m a huge skeptic but use only solar on my 20 acres to power everything but the hot water heater and stove which are propane. Don’t even have grid power to the property. Run the house and barn/workshop just fine with it too. A well and septic take care of the other utilities so with the garden and critters I’m self contained. Still not a greenie though.

Tropical paradise

I am also a skeptic that lives off grid…water tanks, bore, septic and very small power system (cheap to replace) in a small 1 bedroom cottage but enough for fridge, lights and computer. 6.5kVa Gen backup for washing machine or battery charge when cloudy, also when I watch TV (If the generator is on, everything goes on). No mobile service and internet and tv access is by satellite only.
I love a warm climate and so happy to be in control of my own power, water especially as this is a cyclone prone area and will never go back to suburbia. Am in the tropics so climate change won’t be noticeable either way.
Love this site, never usually comment but here I am. 🙂

John Harmsworth

I’m a sceptic but I’m on the grid. I leave a light on all night to keep global warming, ocean acidification and the boogey man away!

Robert from oz

+10

MarkW

I’ve switched to mostly LED lights (rarely used lights are still incandescent) and drive a manual transmission Fiat 500 that gets 45 to 50 mpg around town.
It’s not because I care for the environment (though I do). It’s because I’m cheap.

charles hart

Like me!

Jimmy Haigh

More excellent work Anthony. Their hypocrisy surprises me not.

How about Overpeck’s residence having a pool – a pool in an arid desert.

Uninspired

Well, the barn idea was out, Hansen having one already. And Trenberth had the tennis courts. And we can’t all have pleasant forest acreage around our “little hovels” like Mike and Tom have. As essential as the ostentatious display of wealth is its uniqueness. Hence, the pool.
My nephew will receive his doctoral degree this year – Overpeck his adviser.
He is a top student and a classy person, and I love him, but if he stays the course he’s on now, he’ll contribute greatly to the wrong causes in his early career. I trust that he’ll eventually come aright.

Jeff

I am also a confirmed skeptic,
but have solar panels,
my household only uses on 6 kWh per day,
and I so I am in credit of $543 with Energy Australia.

Those are awfully “large” cars in Overpeck’s driveway…or is that a boat? 🙂

Roxanne

The mannipulators of climate science are far more interested in establishing a sinecure for themselves (financed by governments politically-driven by the exigency of re-electio — on *any* pretense — and equally gullible voters who believe what their “Leaders” tell them), than putting their money where their mouths are.
These people are not interested in their chosen science, but profiting from the tendentious exploitation of it on the public purse.

Roxanne

As no-one has picked-up on my little play on words, I should have written “mannipulator” (sic)!

Pop Piasa

I was wondering about the rusty truck in the driveway before we switched houses.

Randy in Ridgecrest

I can’t get this image of Mike mowing the lawn out of my head

John Harmsworth

Electric mower with 500 sq. ft. of panels attached?

John Harmsworth

Mini hydroelectric electric generator hooked to the end of his garden hose?

John Harmsworth

Subpoena fired steam boiler?

beng135

Randy, if it were sunny, the image from above would be like a reflected solar flare…..

Pamela Gray

Either Trenbreth has solar panels or he has skylights on one of his roof pitches.

Great piece Anthony! Your sardonic and witty viewpoint skewers these posers perfectly.

Eugene WR Gallun

Anthony
You have left yourself open to attack. WUWT exposes all the follies of green energy and yet you use solar panels and ride around in an electric car. The Greens will use that to brand you a hyper HYPOCRITE!
Rip off those solar panels and trade in that electric car for an SUV. You can currently buy an old oil pumping rig at many junk yards. Get one and set it up in your front yard. It doesn’t have to actually pump anything just so long as it moves. An eternal gas flame commemorating something like American Energy Independence (nice patriotic ring to that) would certainly be a welcome addition. Have ten tons of coal dumped on your front lawn topped with a sign saying — My Furnace Is Coal Fired!
Anthony, you need the credibility these masgues would provide. You need to hide your true inclinations. Please, please consider these suggestions.
Eugene WR Gallun

Robert from oz

Actually I think your missing the point ,are we hypocrites for having solar and using (erg) electric cars but refusing to accept the CAGW meme/ religion.
Or are they hipocrites for preaching the meme/ religion of CAGW and not following the lifestyle they want forced upon everyone .
Do as I say not as I do !

Goldrider

Comes down to this: People change to new technologies when it PAYS them to do so. Or as some wag has put it, nobody had to pass a law to get all that horse manure off the streets of New York.

And why does a boy from Indiana have solar panels and drive an electric car………….. because it makes economic since for you. It doesn’t for many and for some it would be ludicrous. Not all that’s green is correct.

Another Ian

Plain and simple
If it passes Scotchenomics it makes sense
If it doesn’t it doesn’t

Pop Piasa

Anthony, just curious, why have your neighbors not invested in solar also?

John Harmsworth

Most people educated in other than the physical sciences can’t do fairly simple math to calculate payback, don’t really understand money and are quite afraid of all technology.

Gabro

Good work!

TG

The typical warmist creed is – Do as I say, not as I do.

Philip Schaeffer

Cheap muck raking. Like putting solar panels on your roof is the only important way of reducing your carbon emissions. My father was paying for energy from renewable sources (solar and wind) long before he put panels on his own roof.
He also switched to all LED lighting, had the roof insulated. He also invests in large scale solar and wind power companies. And a whole bunch of other stuff that I don’t remember all the details of.
But by the standards of this cheap shot, you would call him a hypocrite based on a picture of his roof without solar panels.
Absolute BS.
[Anthony surely wouldn’t call your father a hypocrite because your father isn’t pushing low carbon lifestyle changes on the world. the issue here is a study that said climate scientists should walk the talk to be seen as more credible. so the question is valid. if Mann put solar on his home like Anthony I’m sure Anthony would be happy to congratulate him. all Mann does is spew venom about Anthony .mod]

John Harmsworth

He either lost a lot of money on his goofy “green” investments or he made money on the unconscionable public subsidies those businesses received. We don’t always realize when the government acts to make us fools AND hypocrites.

Robert from oz

Not everyone puts solar on the roof because of the danger to polar bears of CAGW some of us are just trying to save a buck . Having solar on your roof doesn’t mean the occupier is for or against the CAGW meme/religion.

Philip Schaeffer

“the issue here is a study that said climate scientists should walk the talk to be seen as more credible. so the question is valid.”
Right, so you really think this was simply an unmotivated perspective on an interesting article?
Anthony Watts: “From the “arch denier Watts leads the way” department (see my photos below) I thought it would be interesting to see how many climate scientists actually have solar power on their home, so I did an aerial survey to find out. The results don’t speak well for them.”
The article quoted by Anthony has been used as an excuse for this cheap shot.
[you are certainly entitled to your opinion on the issue. so are the authors of the study suggesting climate scientists “walk the talk” and also Anthony. your dislike is noted but the question remains: why have they not bent over backwards to “walk the talk”? .mod]

Philip Schaeffer

Or, to put it another way, it’s would be as silly as criticizing Anthony for having solar panels, and saying it’s ok, because you found an article suggesting that climate skeptics who invest in renewable energy as seen as less credible.
[actually no, Anthony doesn’t fly around the world to talks promoting a low carbon lifestyle or any lifestyle changes at all. climate scientists and climate activists do. that’s the difference. .mod]

Philip Schaeffer

“[actually no, Anthony doesn’t fly around the world to talks promoting a low carbon lifestyle or any lifestyle changes at all.”
Uh… What’s that suppose to mean? Are you saying that Anthony’s criticism of Mann for not having rooftop solar panels, without knowing what else Mann does or doesn’t do, that may have more or less effect on his carbon footprint, is valid because Mann promotes a low carbon lifestyle and Anthony doesn’t?
Pretty weak if you ask me.
“that’s the difference. .mod”
The difference to what. Help me out with a bit of an explanation here. How does this make such criticism valid? Would the criticism still be valid if, instead of using rooftop solar, he paid a utility company that generates power from solar and wind? Do you have any idea whatsoever of the reality of Mann’s carbon footprint? Why should rooftop solar be more important that any other carbon footprint reduction, to make the lack of it a valid reason to criticize Mann. And Anthony does criticize Mann. He isn’t just pointing out that some research suggests that people who are seen to do what the preach get more respect.
[Dr. Mann is a public figure and preaches for carbon footprint reduction. it is reasonable to think he’d advertise his efforts to “walk the talk” to cement credibility as the study makes clear. if you can find an example of any green tech he’s using (wind, solar, Green utility company, even carbon credit purchases) that he’s posted prior to this article you might have a point .mod]

Philip Schaeffer

“Dr. Mann is a public figure and preaches for carbon footprint reduction. it is reasonable to think he’d advertise his efforts to “walk the talk” to cement credibility as the study makes clear.”
So you’re criticizing him for not being more conscious of choosing the form of renewable energy that would be most publicly visible as being used by him? That should be his main priority in his energy choices?? Really?
” if you can find an example of any green tech he’s using (wind, solar, Green utility company, even carbon credit purchases) that he’s posted prior to this article you might have a point .mod”
The point is that you don’t know, but the criticisms made would only be valid if things you don’t know are true. You might be right, but you have not idea if you are.

Jeff Norman

Philip, you appear to be missing the point. The people identified in Anthony’s article are not simple scientists laboring to increase our knowledge base. They are activists who claim to have access to a higher knowledge that justifies their attempts to dictate how other people should live their lives, particularly how other people should use energy. While it is true you cannot tell a book by its cover, it is telling that many of these activists seem to display a level of hypocrisy by not accessing the green technologies their ilk are promoting. I can not see if an activists buys carbon offsets but I can see when their lifestyle appears to exceed the lifestyles they propose for other people. The fact that they appear to think this is unimportant is interesting.
Similarly, when a political leader tells the people of the hardship they must endure to combat global warming and then drive off to their mansion in a large SUV, you have to question their morality whether it’s AL Gore or Kathleen Wynne.

beng135

Philip Schaeffer sez:
Cheap muck raking. Like putting solar panels on your roof is the only important way of reducing your carbon emissions. My father was paying for energy from renewable sources (solar and wind) long before he put panels on his own roof.
He also switched to all LED lighting, had the roof insulated. He also invests in large scale solar and wind power companies. And a whole bunch of other stuff that I don’t remember all the details of.

Wow, put LEDs in? That’ll stop ocean levels from rising & save polar bears. Had the roof insulated? Nobody but the most committed, thoughtful citizens ever do that…

Philip Schaeffer

What exactly is your point? They aren’t the only things he did. But they are still useful things to do. That’s just a cheap shot, deliberately focusing on just a couple of things to insinuate that his overall effort is useless.

Philip Schaeffer

Anthony, if you wish to criticize Mann for not telling you about his energy choices and carbon footprint then you can do that, but that’s not what you did. You specifically criticized him for not having a specific form of renewable energy that would be visible from his roof. For this criticism to be valid, it must be assumed that he doesn’t do anything else equally as useful instead, like buying energy from companies that use wind and solar generation. You have no idea what he does.
What if he does buy all his power from renewable sources? Would your criticism still be valid then? I think all that would be left would be a claim that he should have placed more value on how it looks rather than how it works, and I think that’s a terrible way to decide how energy should be generated.

Philip Schaeffer

What I want to know is when it was that rooftop solar specifically became walking the walk, as opposed to any of the other effective things you can do? Why must it be that specifically?

Philip Schaeffer

“Yes, you tell me how you can guarantee that while being connected to the grid, you get ONLY those electrons that have been generated by renewable sources.”
Are you seriously trying to say that the actual electrons from solar or wind are the point rather than the overall balance on the grid? Really?
Getting the specific electron generated from these sources isn’t the point. If I buy X units of electricity produced from solar and wind, and those actual electrons go to Sydney, and my electrons come from a coal plant that’s closer, then the overall effect is the same. The grid as a whole requires less coal for the same amount of power.
If renewables could be increased to produce 50% of our power demands, and I pay for my part, it doesn’t matter if my actual electrons came from the renewables, or from coal. At that point we’ve got half our power from renewables.
If hypothetically it could be increased to 90%, and I helped pay for that, it wouldn’t matter if I was getting my actual electrons from one of the coal plants making up the last 10% The effect on carbon emissions is the same. And I’ve still done my bit, even if I didn’t actually put the panels on my own roof.
“The study says that climate scientists would improve their credibility if they did these things. Since they all want people to listen to them and to be seen as leaders, their lack of leading in this area by publishing what they have done (just like I did) seems quite a credibility hole that you’d think they’d want to fix. Maybe they will now that the issue has been brought up.”
Why do the need to install roof solar specifically to improve their credibility? What is so special about roof solar that makes it necessary to use over other options? What is so special about it that it makes it ok for you to criticize them for not having it, regardless of whatever else they may do?
“I’m amazed at your stream of flailing here. It is about 2:30 AM where you are at. I’m reminded of this excellent XKCD cartoon:”
Says the man with an internet blog largely dedicated to telling scientists and greenies how wrong they are.
[clearly it worked. you stopped flailing and went to bed given your several hours absence. you’ve said your piece time and again, there’s disagreement. move along .mod]

catweazle666

You are a clear case of not actually reading the article and going off half-cock, Philip.
The target of the article is climate scientists who while exhorting others to live “Green” lifestyles to ward off the apocalypse, absolutely fail to live up to their own standards.
So, unless your father fits into that bracket, you’ve just made a fool of yourself.

MarkW

If you want to re-work the entire world’s economy because global warming is going to kill us all and if you personally aren’t doing every single thing possible to reduce your carbon footprint, then yes you are a hypocrite.

Philip Schaeffer

So solar and wind power wouldn’t be good enough, unless they are on your roof? Do you know who he buys power from? I don’t and neither do you, so without that knowledge, who are we to pass judgement on him for that?
[now you are just being obtuse .mod]

MarkW

It’s been pointed out, that the people in question are not doing everything in their power to reduce their carbon usage.
If they are buying “green” power, that just means that there is less green power for others to use, since there is limited access to suitable sites for wind and solar.
They want everyone else to suffer, but they refuse to do everything that they can.
In my opinion the moderator is being kind by merely calling you obtuse.

Michael Lomsky

Along these lines, I live in SE CT, and I am one of the many unfortunate ones who uses oil to heat instead of natural gas considering today’s prices. There are no gas lines within half a mile of my home.
I burn an average of 925 gallons of oil each year for heating and hot water for my 1870sqft house. Last year, admittedly a warm one, I burned 700. How? We added an air source hear pump that cools and heats a large part of the house for an install price of $5500. We’re adding another this year, as I used $50 of electricity to save that 225 gallons of oil, roughly $500.
My point is that I did it to improve the comfort of my home and hopefully to save a few bucks. Near as I can tell, and I have not done the math, I should technically have saved some CO2. So I ask, why have they not done this as well?

lyn roberts

Here in Australia when I got a $900.00 bill for 3months of electricity, that was it.
Worked out that the costs of solar panels had to be worth it. $7500.00 later 20 panels and 5kw inverter we were in business.
Also have a powerpoint put in outside so we can can our 5kw camping generator if power out, summer storms and power outages for a heart failure patient husband essential, other than going to hospital, and then having to have a big argument with reception to get him admitted and cared for, soo ho hum when you present, when they finally get his file up from storage they wise up quickly.
Power bills now not over $300.00, very pleased with investment, most bills in the $250.00 range.

John Harmsworth

Where I live power costs about .09 Canadian per kW. Not terrible, but there is a monthly base fee of $25.00. So power isn’t too bad but not as cheap as it looks at first glance.

Patrick MJD

So, based on your figures, after 10 – 12 years you will have paid for the system, just in time to have your system repaired/replaced?

Michael Lomsky

Yes that’s about right. yes that’s about right. 5 or 10 years it will pay for itself but more importantly I purchase is for comfort. The fact that the heat pump will effectively pay for itself depending on oil and electric prices is a bonus but a happy one. The relevant part to this discussion is that it should be lowering the CO2 and I wonder why the climate Fanatics don’t use it. Folks that I know that are fanatics don’t buy their electricity from solar and wind even though most New England States including New York you can buy your electricity from anyone you want. Of course if you pay for clean energy you’re going to be paying 30 to 50% more. The state of Connecticut requires everyone to have at least 25% of their power from renewable anyway. At least I can get the rest of mine from a cheap supplier.

MarkW

How long would the payback be if he had paid for the full cost of installation himself?

ralfellis

The cost of buying simething, is analogous to the energy used to create it. (ie more iron, glass and alluminuim = more cost = more energy used.). So if you have to replace something as soon as it has paid for itself, you are probably not saving any emissions at all.
Do you think any profitable company would invest in machinery that ran out as soon as it paid for itself? Ergo, your solar panels are probably a complete waste of time, in terms of energy and emissions..

Robert from oz

Love the power point idea for the generator if the power fails but can’t understand the discrepancy between our systems ,we use 24 kWh a day on average but live in Victoria .

AndyG55

Any way of figuring what sort of cars they have parked out front.
BIG SUVS ??

AndyG55

ps.. we do, of course, know that Dana rides a scooter. 😉

Patrick MJD

Reading some of his comments, I think it is a beer scooter

Eugene WR Gallun

Patrick MjD — good one — Eugene WR Gallun

joelobryan

I think Trenberth’s home has solar panels. look closer.
His roof design only allows for a smaller set that faces Southeast, no fully south, so the efficiency is lower, but they are there.

4TimesAYear

I think you’re right – the light is at such an angle they pretty much blend in with the roof but they are discernable.

4TimesAYear

Hansen has a barn? That means methane-making critters, right?

1saveenergy

I have a barn as well – with 4kW solar PV on top ( useless for any reliable power ….but great for a guaranteed income ),
it’s full of 440v 3ph machines & a 37kva 440v 3ph diesel gen-set to drive them; the cooling water supply’s the workshop underfloor heating….NO methane-making critters here !!!

Doug

I’m not sure you did not give away addresses. I looked at Anthony’s photo and Google Earth and in 30 seconds located the house. Of course, I could have just asked. Hopefully Mr. Watts (and everyone else in this article) will never be afraid to reveal his address.