Mitigation Math: Is Climate Activism Futile? (Judith Curry thinks so)

Guest essay by Robert Bradley Jr. — March 27, 2017

“[T]here is growing evidence of much smaller climate sensitivity to CO2; and even if these drastic emissions reductions occurred, we see little impact on the climate in the 21st century (even if you believe the climate models).”

“It seems rather futile to make token emissions reductions at substantial cost. Deciding that all this is impractical or infeasible seems like a rational response to me.”

– Judith Curry, “A Roadmap for Meeting Paris Emissions Reduction Goals.” Climate Etc., March 25, 2017.

Numerous posts at MasterResource have summarized the thinking of climate scientist and straight shooter Judith Curry. Bravely, and with intellectual vigor, she has personified the adage: “One plus the truth equals a majority.”

Curry has not only documented the fact that estimations of climate sensitivity to the enhanced greenhouse effect have been coming down, and tie-in’s of climate forcing and extreme weather events remain unproven. She has also explained why the large majority of climate scientists have cut intellectual corners to be activists in a cause that is futile politically and economically unattractive (these two are tied).

Stark Math

Curry’s evolution away from the alarmist side (another story) took another step, in my view, with her latest commentary on what would be required for the climate goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to be met. Her views (see below) regard a new paper in Science, “A Roadmap for Rapid Decarbonization” (by Johann Rockstrom, Owen Gaffney et al.). The Abstract of that paper states:

Although the Paris Agreement’s goals are aligned with science and can, in principle, be technically and economically achieved, alarming inconsistencies remain between science-based targets and national commitments.

Forced energy transformation, the authors state, would require a carbon tax that begins at $50 per metric ton–worldwide–that would increase past $400 per ton by 2050. Government R&D would increase by “an order of magnitude between now and 2030,” and so on. (Also see the Vox summary of the proposal that Curry references.)

For more than a decade, climate scientist/activist James Hansen has been clear on the daunting math of CO2 reduction. He first stated that the world had ten years to reverse course on fossil-fuel reliance, a prediction made in 2006 in The New York Review of Books.

When that prediction came due, Hansen floated the need to go emissions-negative. Wow! Then, just a couple of months later, he recanted to say that we still have time to turn things around. (“The ponderous response of the climate system also means that we don’t need to instantaneously reduce GHG amounts.”) Lots of confusion, to say the least, from the father of climate alarmism.

Curry’s Latest

Back to the new Science article, Curry goes over the mitigation math. She then ties the implications of the paper with the latest climate science to reach these profound conclusions.

Apart from the issues raised in this paper, there are several other elephants in this room: there is growing evidence of much smaller climate sensitivity to CO2; and even if these drastic emissions reductions occurred, we see little impact on the climate in the 21st century (even if you believe the climate models).

I think that what this paper has done is important:  laying out what it would actually take to make such drastic emissions reductions.  Even if we solve the electric power problem, there is still the problem of transportation, not to mention land use.  Even if all this was technically possible, the cost would almost certainly be infeasible.

As Oliver Geden states, its time to ask policy makers whether they are going to attempt do this or not.  It seems rather futile to make token emissions reductions at substantial cost. [1]

Deciding that all this is impractical or infeasible seems like a rational response to me. The feasible responses are going with nuclear power or undertaking a massive R&D effort to develop new emission free energy technologies.  Independent of all this, we an reduce vulnerability from extreme weather events (whether or not they are exacerbated by AGW) and the slow creep of sea level rise.

The implications of the Bad Mitigation Math (BMM: let this become an acronym in the debate) go further.

What is very bad today for mitigation is becoming worse by the day as fossil fuels continue their dominance in the energy sphere. Total demand is growing, and renewable-energy subsidies are under increasing assault around the world; it is quite possible that the market share of natural gas, coal, and oil will expand in the next decades from today’s 80 percent (+) market share.

Profoundly, the US’s about-face on climate activism, and a weakening of the paper promises of countries worldwide, could permanently ruin the math of mitigation from the activists own viewpoint. There might still be activism, but it will be increasingly seen as token and futile. Adaptation will be the only game, which points to a free market strategy of global freedom of movement for goods, services, and people.

“It’s all over but the shouting” may be the case for climate alarmists/mitigationists, but the public policy imperative is to end government taxing-and-spending in the name of climate change, and pressure private foundations/civil society to stop funding climate activism and address here-and-now human needs.

That job awaits a lot of us.

———

[1] Curry begins her post with this quotation from Oliver Geden: “I think this should be the way forward, translating [overarching climate goals] into ‘policy portfolios’ and then asking policymakers if they are going to do it or not.”

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171 thoughts on “Mitigation Math: Is Climate Activism Futile? (Judith Curry thinks so)

  1. Reductions are futile in reducing global temperatures. Those who are still pushing this are doing so for other reasons.

    • This whole game has become an identity badge of being generally left of centre. The logic and science of it no longer matters. It is question of self perception and social identity.

      • And interestingly, confined almost 100% to the “donor class” who’ve never actually done anything practical or productive in their lives. They had a big parade to “defend democracy” in a nearby town on Sunday–nearly all white, scrawny, entitled, 1%-er females dressed in pussy hats and $300 Patagonia puff jackets.
        Guaranteed their view of the world is confined to the NYT, WaPo, Atlantic, New Yorker and NPR. The irony is they all live off of capital and hard work–usually their husbands’ or past generations’. Hate to tell ’em, but Democracy spoke loud and clear last November 8th, and they’re the last to get the word.

      • “Changing the Climate” has never been the goal for the backers of this – that is just the boilerplate put out for the followers to repeat, because it makes them sound moral.

        Although there are many hidden goals for different participants, the biggest goal has always been from Government, and that goal is to find and secure a politically acceptable new funding/taxation model in an era when all traditional taxes have proven to be virtually impossible to raise.

        That’s where the Carbon Tax comes in – government needs money, and this movement held out hope of providing a moralistic motive for tapping a vast new source of taxation. And of course, for smaller, non-industrialized 3rd world governments, the hope is for “guilt money” to be granted to them by the larger industrialized governments – much of the vaunted “Paris Accord” is concerned with that.

        That’s why this idea is so hard to kill – that’s also why it has almost nothing to do with the actual science. This is about money, always has been, always will be. They want it, and they will say and do anything to try and get it.

      • Here is a theory, It is a decades long effort to ween us off the Middle East and their Oil, and the commitment to defend those fields and sea lanes militarily. Also being forced to support their aims politically and practically in that part of the world over other friendlier nations. Once it was clear that there really was no such thing as energy independence then the way to get leverage was to undermine their trade and their future via alternative energy, no matter what the real cost.

      • The Americas are capable of ‘energy independence’ today so attaining it is not a goal but rather a given.

      • 31 pages of ‘proof’ and nary a mention of nuclear. The fossil fuels in the Americas would last many centuries. Americas, not America.

      • That is the mistaken view of US Republicans.

        Outside the US with its polarised politics, climate change is not identified with the left or right or politicized
        (well except maybe Australia)

      • “Outside the US with its polarised politics, climate change is not identified with the left or right or politicized”

        That’s plainly false. Just look at the parties in Germany, France, England, etc that are pushing the climate change fraud so strongly. Of course it is the power movement of the far left.

      • CMS, if the goal was to wean us off middle eastern oil, (The US never imported much from there anyway) then the most sensible method would have been to allow drilling and development on every possible square inch in this country.

      • Griff, the problem is that for most of the rest of the world, socialists who want to grow government more slowly than the other socialists, are viewed as right wing.

      • CMS March 27, 2017 at 11:40 pm:
        Art Berman is a contrarian that claimed, early on in the shale gas revolution, that production would decline much faster than reservoir engineers were predicting. But time has proven Berman’s claims couldn’t be more wrong. in fact the technology has continued to improve. Average wells completed today easily double to output of wells completed only three years ago. Berman has become a laughing stock within the industry, and cannot show his face at industry events without getting laughed off the stage. The only place Berman can get a voice any more are with gullible people like you CMS who dearly wish Art’s views to be true.

      • @CMS – that pdf is three years old. Back then, OPEC new they could starve out shale oil. We had a Government that was doing all they could to shut down/penalize non-renewable fuel sources. Everyone “knew” shale petroleum could not make it with prices under $50.
        All of that is changing now. The study needs to be updated. Not sure it was correct then, definitely isn’t correct today.

      • Tom in Denver No body pays attention to Berman except maybe for people like Forbes where he is asked to be a frequent contributor https://www.forbes.com/sites/arthurberman/#2251f794779c But he is laughed of the stage by people in the industry. You mean like the Houston Geological Society where he gave an invited talk in September. http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/HGS-Joint-North-American-Group-General-Group-Dinner-26-Sept-2016.pdf So along with claims that present well productivity has doubled in three years. One thing to be drilling wells that are profitable at $120 compared to those that might be profitable at $50. Hm, might just drill the very best productive locations. Oh and have you looked at the decline rate in the Shale plays, and by the way the Permian is not a shale play only a tight oil play if you were going to talk about that. But of course where else would you talk about as the rest of the shale drilling is only beginning to restart at these prices. Somebody predicted that, I wonder who that could have been.

      • Hivemind said: ““Outside the US with its polarised politics, climate change is not identified with the left or right or politicized”

        That’s plainly false. Just look at the parties in Germany, France, England, etc that are pushing the climate change fraud so strongly. Of course it is the power movement of the far left.”

        No, you are incorrect. You mention the UK – both parties there agree that AGW is real and that action needs to be taken. Same in Japan. Same in Korea. Same in Singapore. The conservative parties in these countries may not talk about it as much, but they are not doubting the science, as is the case in the US.

      • The ‘Green Investors’ wants Governments to extract taxpayer money by pointing guns at people to fund ‘sustainable’ (which means’ NOT economically sustainable without State robbery of citizens’) projects.

        The Green Scam is a massive transfer of wealth from the POOR to the RICH.

        The rich ‘Green Investors’ are ‘rent seekers’ looking for a way to tap into the finds that the Government can extract from the tax slaves using coercion. They don’t actually care about the climate, or they’d live low carbon lifestyles instead of using their wasteful private jets and mansions, they do care about getting access to the tax base. So they are very willing to ignore the actual science to do this.

        The root of the problem is people are so immoral they can no longer see that tax is extorted involuntarily, and the supposed benefits (libraries, bloated bureaucracies regulating more and more aspects of your life, drone killings, perpetual war, etc) are nothing compared to the immorality of the theft at the point of the States’s guns.

      • Yes. As the fraction of GDP taken by government increases, then the fraction comprising discretionary spending by consumers must fall. It makes economic sense for large players and investors to chase monies coming directly from government. By-passing the citizens in this manner probably also saves a lot in marketing and advertising costs.

      • oddly enough, there is nobody who has the exact average number of legs, either.
        i’m ok with having an above average number of

      • george e. smith March 27, 2017 at 3:19 pm

        Well fortunately for us, there is neither experimental observational evidence for the purported logarithmic connection; nor any valid theoretical basis for such a model.

        There is George, it’s due to spectral broadening, check out ‘Curve of Growth’.

        You only have to talk to medical imaging experts to learn that the Beer’s Law, or Beer-Lambert Law,actually first offered by Brugeur (or izzat Brugeut) is quite invalid for the transmission of optically scattering media. It assumes that photons travel in straight ray directions, perhaps bent by refractive index gradients, until they emerge out the other side of the medium, or are captured, and once captured , they stay dead; i.e. NO re-emission processes.

        What does Beer’s law have to do with it?

      • Gnomish, that depends on which average you are talking about. Most people have the ‘median’ and the ‘mode’ number of legs. The ‘mean’, not so many…

    • Remember if you believe in the fictitious mantra that each doubling of the global (well mixed) CO2 abundance increases the mean global surface or lower troposphere Temperature by a fixed amount (The CS delta T); that the mitigation by reduction, or even the reduction of growth rate, is the most difficult at the start f the mitigation.

      At today’s CO2 abundance (say 400 ppmm), you have to remove more megatonnage to show any Temperature drop, or drop in Temperature growth rate.

      So it takes the most invasive and restrictive controls right at the beginning.

      So basically if you are serious, you have to bet the farm on a commitment to CO2 reduction.

      You have to go ” all in ” before you have even seen the first cards.

      And then the bets get easier as you proceed because each halving of the atmospheric CO2 gives more instant cooling gratification than the last halving.

      Well fortunately for us, there is neither experimental observational evidence for the purported logarithmic connection; nor any valid theoretical basis for such a model.

      You only have to talk to medical imaging experts to learn that the Beer’s Law, or Beer-Lambert Law,actually first offered by Brugeur (or izzat Brugeut) is quite invalid for the transmission of optically scattering media. It assumes that photons travel in straight ray directions, perhaps bent by refractive index gradients, until they emerge out the other side of the medium, or are captured, and once captured , they stay dead; i.e. NO re-emission processes.

      So I for one don’t believe the data, and for good measure, I don’t believe the models either.

      G

    • Dude… look at it the other way: reductions in the amount of CO₂ dissolved in vast areas of the “sterile ocean” are almost trivial to remediate, and will just as readily start soaking up the atmospheric load. Its called “FeSO₄” or ferrous sulfate, a pretty blue-green waste product from making white pigment for paint. There are … literally mountains of the stuff around the world.

      Each kilogram of FeSO₄ causes enough biological activity in an otherwise sterile patch of open ocean (of which over 40% of all the world’s oceans qualify), to deliver 10,000 kg of top-level food chain (stuff we like to harvest and eat), as well as over 100,000 kg of CO₂ sequestered in diatoms, whose carbonaceous and silicaceous shells drift to the bottom, to permanently become part of the sea floor.

      There’s a saying (from online source): “The idea became more mainstream after oceanographer John Martin famously told his colleagues, “Give me half a tanker of iron sulfate and I’ll give you the next ice age.””

      This of course is very probably hyperbole, a cocktail reception tall tale quote. But his point in more concrete terms actually has merit. If we back-calculate just exactly how much CO₂ is said to be necessary to remove from the atmosphere (easily done) and divide by 100,000 … then that’s the amount of FeSO₄ needed to be spread relatively uniformly over selected ‘nurseries’ around the world.

      For instance, Google “mass of atmosphere”, you get 5.15×10¹⁸ kg. If we want to reduce CO₂ by 100 ppm, (from present day 403 ppm to 303 ppm), that’s 5.15×10¹⁴ CO₂ to remove. Divide by 100,000, and you have 5,150,000,000 kg or 5,150,000 metric tons of FeSO₄ to ship and distribute.

      Half a tanker load? Nah… more like 20 of them. But the point is well made: the result would be significant, would result in trillions of tons of phytoplankton-fueled food-chain development. And over a 20 or so year period, the atmosphere might drop from 400+ ppm to something around 300 ppm. Still “enriched” for enhanced land-based agriculture output and replenishment of rainforest regrowth.

      Just saying.
      The answer is in hour hands should we REALLY want to get serious about it.
      And it would be dâhmned cheap to effect.
      And it doesn’t require 10,000 PhDs, artificial plants, SO₂ stratospheric injections.
      Just fertilize a few dozen LARGE open-ocean presently-sterile patches.
      And mother nature does the rest.

      WOOT.

      GoatGuy

      • Goatguy, :Half a tanker load? Nah… more like 20 of them. But the point is well made: the result would be significant, would result in trillions of tons of phytoplankton-fueled food-chain development. And over a 20 or so year period, the atmosphere might drop from 400+ ppm to something around 300 ppm.

        Please don’t give them ideas I would like the opposite 500 ( or more) ppm of CO2 would be fine with me. I’d hate to go back to the 300 ppm threshold all over again..

    • Here is a theory, It is a decades long effort to ween us off the Middle East and their Oil, and the commitment to defend those fields and sea lanes militarily. Also being forced to support their aims politically and practically in that part of the world over other friendlier nations. Once it was clear that there really was no such thing as energy independence then the way to get leverage was to undermine their trade and their future via alternative energy, no matter what the real cost.

      • @CMS
        unfortunately the ‘alternative energy’ selected doesn’t replace fossil.

        If climate change were real and they believed it we would build nukes: What we have built is virtue signallers – that shows that they don’t believe in anthropogenic climate change either.

    • Griff March 28, 2017 at 12:58 am says

      Where do you live Griff? Country I’m referring to rather than planet. I can’t think of anywhere in the world where political viewpoint doesn’t play a significant part in the acceptance of cagw and the need for action.

    • How do we know that a warmer world isn’t a better world overall?

      Why the fear of global warming?

  2. Even if we solve the electric power problem, there is still the problem of transportation, not to mention land use. Even if all this was technically possible, the cost would almost certainly be infeasible.

    •And the need for concrete.
    •And land use change.
    •And fertiliser generation.

    And every single new solution means fewer people can afford infrastructure, housing or food.

    This anti-CO2 activism is only justified if you ignore all costs.
    That is if you do consider the poor to be irrelevant

      • Each generation can easily live with 5% more than the previous generation and consume 5% less

        The answer is easy: we just have 10% fewer people in each successive generation.

        But when I explain this simple logic to women who are so adamant that men must forsake their cars and instead cycle to work on wooden bikes … women don’t like the idea of not being able to have so many children to make the world a better place in the future … and I’ve not quite understood why.

      • Macha:

        How about banning travel by jet planes…..

        In his concluding statement on the Intelligence Squared debate on whether global warming was a crisis, the late Michael Crichton said:

        —that we can really address this by changing our light bulbs. Or that we can really make an impact by unplugging our appliances when we’re not using them. It’s very much out of whack. And so if…if it were only gonna do symbolic actions, I would like to suggest a few symbolic actions that right—might really mean something. One of them, which is very simple, 99% of the American population doesn’t care, is ban private jets. Nobody needs to fly in them, ban them now. And, and in addition, [APPLAUSE] let’s have the NRDC, the, the Sierra Club and Greenpeace make it a rule that all of their, all of their members, cannot fly on private jets, they must get their houses off the grid, they must live in the way that they’re telling everyone else to live. And if they won’t do that, why should we. And why should we take them seriously. [APPLAUSE]

        http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/global-warming-not-crisis

    • A good argument for Alex Epstein’s The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

      You’ve heard that our addiction to fossil fuels is destroying our planet and our lives. Yet by every measure of human well-being life has been getting better and better. This book explains why humanity’s use of fossil fuels is actually a healthy, moral choice.

    • MarkG March 27, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      No mark. We will always want to travel. It’s why we have sports crowds in the stades and not sat at home. Yes there are many sat at home but fishing by VR? Rallying ? Where’s the fun in VR?

    • According to the theory of enerconics (which I invented so … ) but if my calculations are correct, then if a form of energy costs more than twice the “base” cost of energy, then it is likely a NET CONSUMER of energy.
      Enerconics II

      In other words, wind “energy” appears to be a bit like pulling your boots up by their bootlaces. It takes more energy to build, run and sustain this “energy” form than we will ever get out of it. And it may be worse than that, because governments are also secretly subsiding them by forcing us to pay for fossil fuel stations for baseload.

      In other words wind “energy” isn’t so much a way of creating energy – instead its closest analogy would be to those companies that build big statures. Totally useless, but just a great way to create employment … the only downside in wind is that it now tends to be Chinese employment.

  3. I saw a lovely graph that had a lot of the sensitivity papers plotted showing a downward trend to less than 1 over time?? Anyone know where to find the source?

    • CG, its worse. Anomalies hide the fact that the models vary +/- 3C in absolute temps. They don’t even get the phase state changes of water right. Essay Models all the way Down in ebook Blowing Smoke reproduces that key figure from the linked reference paper.

  4. That has the alarmists running very scared. That man has SOME impact is undeniable. But as skeptics have long held, it is the magnitude of the impact that is the sticky wicket. And the more CO2 rises, and temperatures do not (or feebly creep up a smidge), that goes to support the impact as being minimal. And thus any mitigation is going to be minimal to non-existent.

    With unlimited resources, man can build a stairway to the stars. But resources are not unlimited. And there are many more pressing problems than reducing temperature by 1/10 of 1 degree at a cost of $trillions while people starve and die from preventable diseases.

  5. Government R&D would increase by “an order of magnitude between now and 2030″

    Aka throwing money at a problem. It is profoundly unscientific to expect certain research outcomes from basic science investigation and it is even worse to expect development answers from the current state of understanding.

    • Rob Dawg: Right on. And the 800 pound elephant in the room is the pathetically low energy density of all known renewables, not to mention the problem of non-dispatchability. All the government-funded research in the world can’t overcome those findamental physical facts.

    • In most of the SiFi stuff I can recall, it was the scientist who didn’t get government grants who ended up with the “the answer” that saved the day.
      Of course, the “crisis” was always fiction, like in that Star Trek The Next Generation episode where warp drives were fracturing the space-time continuum.

      PS They wrote and made that episode specifically in support of Al Gore’s … distress … about Man increasing “the ozone hole”.

      • The entire Star Trek series was a leftist delusion — Earth was a cashless society. Everyone had a mansion or palace? Or wanted no more than his neighbor had? Etc.

    • Policymakers everywhere need to be aware of ‘Why Greatness Cannot be Planned: The Myth of the Objective’ by Kenneth O. Stanley and Joel Lehman. link

      Breakthroughs don’t happen just because we desire them and throw buckets of money at research. They happen for two reasons:
      1 – Someone is perceptive enough to recognize a lucky accident while trying to do something else.
      2 – Supporting technology comes into existence. We could have thrown the entire economy of the world at research in 1900 and still not have produced a communications satellite in time for WW1. The necessary technology didn’t exist.

      If the breakthrough has already happened, more research money can speed up its practical implementation. That is exemplified by the progress during WW2. Basic components for radar existed before the war (eg. magnetron, klystron, CRT). My WAG is that progress developing useful radar was about five or ten times as fast during the war as it had been during peacetime. link

      Don Lancaster had a lot of very good advice for inventors. He pointed out that, if people have been working on something for a long time, it is futile to expect a breakthrough any time soon. All the low hanging fruit has already been plucked.

      Policymakers and granting institutions have to fund curiosity based research. It’s the only way we will stumble over the breakthroughs we desperately need. Directing research money at renewable energy is, in Dr. Curry’s words, futile.

      • I see your radar during WWII and raise you the jet engine. For every innovation the military accepted, at least one other was ignored because they didn’t like it for some reason. Look at Barnes-Wallis’ struggles.

        What we need is as many people as possible pursuing as many different ideas as possible. That’s why markets work and governments don’t.

      • Phoenix44 March 28, 2017 at 1:36 am

        … What we need is as many people as possible pursuing as many different ideas as possible. That’s why markets work and governments don’t.

        The government should support blue sky research. The problem is that these days granting organizations and universities want research that can be monetized. That, for sure, should be left to private enterprise.

  6. If you believe in global warming climate science…then you have to believe that CO2 is the primary driver.
    The IPCC also says so….and without CO2 this planet would be below the freezing temp of water.
    Not knowing if the minuscule warming, that’s been mostly adjusted, is natural or not.and knowing very little about climate in the first place…even the models leave out most of it simply because we don’t know

    …to want to reduce CO2 levels…..takes a special kind of stupid

    • Not so.

      If this planet was below the freezing Temperature of water, there would be NO CLOUDS in the sky, and earth would not have an albedo of 0.375 or whatever they claim it is.

      You would have the mother of all forcings (by the sun) if earth wasn’t 60% covered by clouds all the time., and the Temperature would not be heading for any 288 K global mean Temperature, but something very much hotter than that.

      Peter Humbug published a paper, I think in SCIENCE, where he took every last molecule of H2O out of the atmosphere, and then ran his X-box simulation of his climate model, and he said that he got ALL of his atmospheric water back in just three months.

      CO2 is also a solar spectrum absorber (weakly) so it too helps to cool the earth by absorbing solar spectrum radiation, before it can enter the deep oceans, and become part of earth’s heat storage in deep oceans.

      G

      • George, albedo appears closer to 0.30 to 0.32, nowadays mostly atmospheric (clouds). However, with serious decreases in T can replace cloud cover with surface snow & ice. Of course there is the problem of an average T versus a max surface T and there could be clouds wherever surface T exceeded 273K where there was water. There’s actually slightly more IR coming in from the Sun than visible light energy. The IR is not going to go into the deep oceans unless something is churning the water and bringing surface water down deep. IR will only result in more evaporation at the surface.

  7. Oceans mitigate CO2 levels world wide

    The illustration identifies the high-latitude North Atlantic as a significant CO2 sink (The purple areas are the most efficient sinks, while red ones are sources of CO2 in the modern ocean). The white star shows the location of the studied sediment core. The map was generated using data of Takahashi et al. Credit: M. Ezat

  8. If there was a single piece of proof that CO2 has any affect whatsoever on climate I would line up on the side of emissions reduction in a sane and commensurate way. There is none! And the human costs of emission reduction, particularly to those who have the least, are the only catastrophic result to be found amongst the garbage dump of evidence.

    • I wish there was. If there was any proof that CO2 has any effect then there would be a hope for ameliorating effects of the calamitous cooling that is inevitable as this interglacial is coming to its end.

    • The greenhouse effect is misnamed, and it’s probably not large enough to worry about, but it is still real.

      You can verify the warming effect experimentally, in the laboratory. Add a dye to a clear gas or liquid, and then shine a bright light through it, which contains wavelengths that are absorbed by the dye. The gas or liquid will warm due to absorption of the light, compared to its temperature without the dye, and a few ppm of dye is enough to see the effect.

      You’ve probably noticed that black asphalt pavement gets hotter in the summer sun than does light-colored concrete. Well, it’s a similar principle: when something absorbs light it warms, and color affects the absorption of light.

      CO2 in the atmosphere is a dye. It “colors” the atmosphere in non-visible parts of the light spectrum, and it greatly affects the passage and absorption of light at those wavelengths.

      A so-called “greenhouse gas” absorbs longwave IR. The Earth emits much more LWIR than it receives from the Sun, so blocking LWIR prevents energy from escaping from the Earth. That has a warming effect.

      But additional CO2 has only a small greenhouse effect, because the atmosphere is already nearly opaque in the affected absorption bands, because there is already so much CO2 in the atmosphere. MODTRAN Tropical Atmosphere calculates that 50% of the warming effect of current (400 ppmv) CO2 level would be accomplished by just 20 ppmv CO2 (for a tropical atmosphere w/ constant relative humidity). The NCAR radiation code says that 40 ppm CO2 would be needed to get 50% of the current CO2-caused warming, rather than 20 ppmv, but, either way, the lesson is clear: we’re well past the point of diminishing returns w/r/t the warming effect of CO2.

      With so much CO2 already in the atmosphere, additional CO2 mostly just effects LWIR absoprtion at wavelengths in the far wings of CO2’s absorption lines, where CO2 absorbs only very weakly.

      The best evidence is that anthropogenic warming from CO2 is real, but modest and benign.

      • DB, your dye analogy is sort of apt, but your saturation argument is not. Sort of apt because the GHE is an absence of cooling, not a direct warming as in the water/dye and asphalt examples. More CO2 simply raises the equivalent radiating level (ERL) in the upper troposphere where the ‘dye’ clears. Saturation in the lower atmosphere is unimportant. That is why doubling CO2 from 200-400ppm in the absence of feedbacks has the same (~5.35ln(2)) ~1.16C impact as going from 400 to 800 or 800 to 1600. Now other feedbacks might well vary, but not the pure CO2 effect alone.
        Same argument does NOT apply to water vapor GHE to the same extent, because of the humidity lapse rate with altitude and colder temperatures. Colder air is drier air; CO2 is supposedly well mixed but water vapor cannot be because of the humidity lapse rate.

      • Irrelevant if that warmth never reaches the ground ie surface where we live. Since heated air rises, the height at which earths average air temperature occurs simply increases, by about 150m for doubling CO2 at 5km off the ground, and the rate of losses to space increases. hmmmm.

      • Well CO2 also absorbs incoming solar spectrum radiation, which further warms the atmosphere, but it cools the surface because that solar energy will never reach the surface at solar spectrum wavelengths, and get absorbed in the deep oceans. Any re-emission or thermal emission from the heated CO2 is radiated isotropicly so only a half of it can be directed earthward, while the other half is radiated spaceward.

        G

      • “because the atmosphere is already nearly opaque in the affected absorption bands”
        There is another reason why CO₂ concentration matters, even if saturated (which it isn’t). The direct warming effect on us is via DWLWIR (down IR), emitted mostly by low atmosphere GHGs. The intensity of that depends on the emission temperature, which is the combined effect of concentration and lapse rate. More CO₂ means the emission comes from lower and warmer, even if there is saturation.

        And there is a complementary effect at TOA. The amount emitted to space depends also on the temperature at emission. More CO₂ raises that to a higher colder level, and less is emitted in that band. That means more has to be emitted in other bands – ie something somewhere has to warm up, to increase emission in those bands.

      • We have known for a long time that the absorption bands of CO2 and H2O overlap.

        … the net effect of the overlapping of gases is to increase the tropospheric warming and decrease the surface warming caused by CO2 increase. link

      • ristvan,
        CO2 is SUPPOSED to be well-mixed. However, the last OCO-2 animation that JPL put out indicated that there was a deficit of CO2 at higher elevations. Remember the ‘drapes’ that were hiding what was going on at different seasons?

      • Actually, ristvan, the reason “doubling” CO2 produces roughly the same amount of warming regardless of whether you go from 200 to 400 ppmv or from 400 to 800 ppmv is that CO2’s LWIR absorption spectrum is approximately triangular. So when you change the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere you don’t change the shape/width of the “wings” of the absorption band (where LWIR is only partially absorbed, so additional CO2 has a substantial effect) by very much. You effectively just slightly change the width of the band, and you change it by the same amount when going from 200 to 400 as from 400 to 800 ppmv.

        Here are a couple of slides from a presentation by atmospheric physicist Will Happer:

        (An additional complication is “pressure broadening” at lower altitudes.)

    • Even if you accept the Alarmist case, the political/economic one simply does not stack up. The attempts to show that it is “economic” to make huge changes now rather than get as rich as we can and adapt to any changes are all flawed.

      I simply don’t understand why we gamble everything now rather than make what progress we can and wait and see what happens. I don’t believe for one second these “irreversible tipping point” arguments, which are solely designed to persuade us not to take a sensible, incremental approach.

    • “If there was a single piece of proof that CO2 has any affect whatsoever on climate I would line up on the side of emissions reduction in a sane and commensurate way. ” john harmsworth

      Oh there certainly is an effect, which diminishes as levels increase, which is added to other positive forcing and subtracted by other negative forcing, known and unknown; what is uncertain is what any net effect is and whether it is predicatble.

  9. This Science paper proposes a global commitment to cut emissions by half every decade. It assrts this is possible. But it isn’t. Schellnhuber, for example, called for complete elimination of the ICE by 2030. He obviously has no idea how agricultural, construction, mining, forestry, and shipping machinery would work afterwords to support the world’s 2030 population of about 8.5 billion, up from 7.7 billion today. Horses, picks and shovels, sails? Nope.
    Bad news, the proposal is not remotely feasible despite the unsupported blind faith assertion that it is, both technically and economically. That is nonsense that should not appear in Science.
    Good news, the proposal is not necessary because ECS is likely 1.6 per Lewis and Curry 2014, and is likely 1.6 and cannot be more than 1.9 per Monckton’s draft constraints paper.

    • Does Monckton’s paper really lop off the tail of the ECS distribution? If so, the debate should really be over.

      How does one explain this to those that have no interest or ability to understand the mathematics?

      Monckton was great at Heartland, but I can’t imagine him in front of a congressional committee or even on FOX news.

      • MS, I have watched Monckton’s Heartland presentation now 3 times, twice taking math notes. I was already intimately familiar with both the IPCC implied simple equation, his previous math arguments, and the ECS tail problem (wrote about it extensively in the climate chapter of The Arts of Truth, because AR4 was disingenuous in how it was handled– a sure sign the high tail issue (or not) is very important to warmunists and they are on weak ground.
        The first major tail lopping was by Annan and Hargreaves in 2011, although A&H did not discuss it much–just plotted in their figures. The second was Lewis and Curry 2014. Now we have Monckton, which is finally mathematically compelling (unlike his previous irreducably simple paper). So the science debate really should be over. It won’t be because did not start with and is not now about actual climate science.

      • Yup, it’s now, as of today, about sensibly reviewing the Social Cost of Carbon. I’ve argued for years that the number is negative. The warming of which we are capable will be net positive, and the greening we are enabling has been, is and will continue to be miraculously positive, with billions of extra bellies fed, particularly cumulatively.

        A nice irony is that the longer the residence of our anthropogenic aliquot of CO2, the more billions of bellies will be fed.
        ======================

      • In addition to the mild beneficial warming, and the great cornucopic greening, when you add in the tremendous facilitation of an advanced civilization, the social benefit of carbon is simply huge, thus the number for cost is a huge negative number.

        That the maddened crowd ever considered anthropogenic CO2 to have a positive cost number is simply a measure of how big a bubble of delusion that alarmist catastrophism has become. It’s completely unreal. It’s megasurreal, fershur.
        ===============

    • “brain fossilization” isn’t such a bad thing, lot of climate science is based on studding fossils. Fossilised brain of a good scientist could be of a great value to science in a millennium or two/ sark

      • Speaking of fossils, some two generations ago I recall some towers from decommissioned (or otherwise defunct) whirlybirds. Also recall someone studying the situation saying giving up hydrocarbons would lead to starvation. We are wasting valuable resources and should be seriously studying the energy future, as some are and even were then, apparently to small effect.

      • I wondered too, and ended up thinking he lived long enough to see where she was going. So, he may not have needed a formal apology to be satisfied.
        ===============

    • Just because I point out to the doctor that his medicine is not working..not cured my illness, does not mean I have to provide the cure myself.

    • Nick, read Judith’s post, which this is about. You don’t need fancy math. Just common sense. See my comment on this paper above for a bit of that.

      • The claim is that there is bad math, and I’m asking what that is. What I see is a rate of emission reduction that you think would be painful. That doesn’t mean the math is bad. I also see claims based on a very narrow selection of papers of variable reliability that you think ECS is lower than they supposed. That’s good if true, but doesn’t make their math bad.

      • This is the first sentence of the abstract:

        Although the Paris Agreement’s goals are aligned with science and can, in principle, be technically and economically achieved, alarming inconsistencies remain between science-based targets and national commitments.

        Note the “can, in principle, be technically and economically achieved”. If that’s not bad math, it’s delusional thinking, even technical and economic illiteracy!

    • The use of inappropriate discount rates as the only way to get the required answer.

      Use the discount rate that is sensible, and accept the answer the maths then produces – which is to get as rich as we can now and adapt later of anything bad happens.

  10. I love it!

    Doctor Curry just rubbed salt into the quite open rhetorical CAGW wounds.

    Now all they need is the anti-infection cure followed by a reawakening science.

  11. When British Columbia implemented a carbon tax in 2008 at $10/T (which is now up to $30/T on all carbon based fuels including biodiesel) the whole world said this is the model on how it should be done. A recent report by the Fraser Institute says otherwise.

    https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/examining-the-revenue-neutrality-of-british-columbias-carbon-tax

    The problem with the introduction of a carbon tax, whether the science or politics makes any sense whatsoever, is that the revenue that is brought in by such schemes is very hard to replace with any other legitimate revenue stream and the fraud will be perpetuated indefinitely if possible to keep this revenue streaming into gov’t coffers. And those new ‘carbon” taxes will give the governing politic the funds it needs to redistribute the monies to those who will keep them entrenched in power.

    Carbon taxes are usually paid for by the poorer middle class masses whose basic cash expenditures are based on carbon based products for everyday living and survival while the upper middle class and corporates can easily afford the higher price for everything that gets passed down the ladder to the consumers or the corporations just pass on the costs to the poor consumers while benefiting from the tax reduction. The upper middle class also gets the tax breaks, and the gov’t skims off a huge admin fee while getting $$ to reallocate politically for the best votes money can buy. Nothing generally gets put into any programs that would actually increase efficiencies or reduce carbon based fuels, so it certainly smells as bad as it looks and is about as crooked as politics can imaginably get in a civilized society.

    Once you open this door, it will be very hard to put the genie back in the bootle and eliminate collecting carbon taxes. So by extension, the bold faced lie about CO2 having much to do with global warming or climate change will be even preached shriller and louder from the academic and political rooftops so as to convince the delusional that this will stop the ocean’s from rising and the weather from damaging humankind. This is what we are now witnessing with the last gasps of scientific papers preaching that humans are now responsible for all ‘weather’ related Catastrophe, our ‘CO2 fingerprints’ all over every weather event.

    If the election of President Donald J. Trump accomplishes nothing but destroying this global warming/climate change cult/religion sickness that is endangering the planet with lies and Trillions of dollars of stupid spending, then this will be the highest reward for humanity ensuring that scientific truth will be upheld for generations to come.

      • True but it has the following side effect: increased sales volume causes upward pressure on prices for the rest of us who live here (ref the Law of Supply and Demand). Therefore I am probably paying more that I otherwise would (but the Canadians are paying for some of our Washington Dept of Transportation bureaucracy!)

      • Depending on the circumstances of the station, higher sales could lead to lower prices. As the station has more sales to cover it’s fixed prices. If higher demand does result in higher prices, the higher profits will attract investment. Either existing stations will expand or new stations will be built, until the price drops back to close to the regional average.

    • A tax on telegraphs, later expanded to phone service, that was implemented to help fund the Spanish/American war, was finally killed a couple of years ago.

  12. $50 per metric ton–worldwide–that would increase past $400 per ton by 2050. Government R&D would increase by “an order of magnitude between now and 2030,”

    Law of diminishing returns applies to government purchased R&D just as it does to anything else. As government throws more money at a problem it will find the quality of the technologists involved will diminish and so will the quality results. At some point innovation will not keep pace with the diminishing quality of life and from there on the dramatic reductions in energy use will move civilization backward. If I had to guess the social cost of carbon at which the backward motion would begin I would weight my guess heavily toward $0.00.

  13. It has been clear for quite a few years that climate change is not being investigated by science. Re the ideology of climate change: I like many others here have simply blamed the Left for cynically grasping the non-issue as a way to achieve the Иеш Шоялд Оядея. In thinking about it, the colossal size of the issue and arguing with lefty family members, my sense of it has evolved to the idea that the parties in name that the voting – left supports are no longer the party they think it is. Voting has become a vestige of earlier times but is the only way until the order is in place to put the people in power to serve their real constituents, who are outside of the voter’s jurisdiction. They promise you a chicken in every pot and then regulate your life into misery and take your cash in give it to the new international ministry that you didn’t vote for. Trump may not have understand what a powerful statement he made when he said to African Americans – Vote for me -what have you got to lose!

    Obama days before his departure sent off another 500 million to the climate fund at the UN and he has embedded climate change into every program in a way that it isn’t readily identifiable as such. What do the poor and labor have to do with Soros, Steyer, the Rockefeller Fund, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Clinton Fund? Ironically, the poor and the wage earner got more hope from Trump than the “party of the people”. In Canada, Alberta (big oil and gas) votes in its first soci@list government and with oil prices in the basement and the city in the heart of the oil sands, Fort McMurray, being burned down by a forest fire and massive unemployment, the gov. loads them up with a carbon tax and announces the Big Leap Forward – an international initiative. Nobody even got a chicken in their pot. Nobody voted for this stuff. Dumb mayors are slipping the thin edge of the @genda vingt-et-un wedge. Ridiculous, but Nigel Farage and Donald Trump are saviors of western civilization. This is the reason for the simplistic Left/Right split. Liberals have outsourced their ‘democracy’ and as a feint have ostensibly occupied the real left’s position; old left went international, too, but is really a party without a cause now.

    Mitigation economics is another feint to distract people into thinking they are really planning to do something to save the planet.

    • I think I see your point Gary. When I heard Tom Mulcair (for those who don’t know, the leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party) praise the policies of Maggie Thatcher, I came – quite suddenly – to the realisation that the “Left” that I knew well (and really quite liked, while being aware of its shortcomings) growing up in post-WW2 Britain, just does not exist any more.

      What passes for “Left” now is a group of people who latch on to every new, silly idea that says the status quo needs to change because blah blah blah. And climate change is the biggest and silliest of the silly ideas. And because this “Left” has next to nothing to do with traditional social democracy any more, it has metastasised across party lines and completely taken over “middle of the road” political parties like US Democrats and our own liberal party. It has made major inroads into formerly right-wing parties and even sucked in a big chunk of the billionaire class. And of course it owns most of the media.

      It’s like those science fiction movies from the 1950s where only a small group of outsiders can see that everyone else is really the shell of a human that’s occupied by an alien. That’s us, the denialists, the outsiders and the misfits. Only we can see behind the facade. We have to save the world from the mind-controlling green invaders. That’s the plot of a movie to be made in 2027. Now taking auditions for the role of Judith Curry.

      • Not just the oceans that are rising! Al Jazeera has it that Lake Michigan is rising and it is all our fault. Soon it will be high enough to flow through its one route to the Mississippi. Now that will be something to talk about. Niagara Falls will dry up!!

      • In the past there has been talk of digging a canal to connect the Mississippi to Lake Michigan.
        Can you image being able to ship from New Orleans to New York State by barge.

    • She started like many scientists I have known. They believed that the AGW alarmism must be real because they found it impossible to believe that a “real scientist” would behave that badly. They found it offensive to even suggest that one would.
      However as she started examining the data, she allowed the data to change her mind.

  14. By the time we are capable of existing at our current standard of living without fossil fuel energy we will be ready for it. No sooner. Anyone that believes we can regulate fossil fuels out of use before their time is peeing into the wind. Science, politics, and religion won’t change that fact. The only thing that can change this course of events is running out of fossil fuel and that’s conceivably many hundreds of years in the future.

  15. RE: Climate models.

    I’m not a scientist, but I noticed the graph below posted at Tom Nelson’s Twitter page. If the narrative in the yellow box at the right side of the graph is correct, the IPCC’s models also appear to get the residency time of CO2 in the atmosphere wrong — by a considerable margin.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C72XThLXUAINIhV.jpg:large

    • You are correct. The IPCC relies upon the Bern model, which assumes saturating sinks. The actual ‘efold’ concentration residency time is ~35-50 years depending on who is estimating what. The individual molecule (not the net aggregate) residencyntime was shown by 14C bomb spike ‘experiments in the 1950s to be about 12-14 years. Net total efold is 3-4x that rate.

      • The 14CO2 bomb decay curve is a direct observation of the permanent removal of all atmospheric CO2 into deep sinks of very long time period. The exponential decay of 50 percent in 10 years is equivalent to a 16 year efold time, aka Tau. That’s not an analysis or interpretation, it is observed fact. The 14CO2 added to the atmosphere before the test ban in 1963 will never return to the atmosphere. Any CO2 added to the atmosphere in any year will have the same fate, 50 percent gone in 10 years. The same can be said for the human added CO2. One half of the amount of atmospheric CO2 added by humans before 2007 has been “permanently” removed.

        Carbon dioxide never “accumulates” in the atmosphere, just as water never accumulates in a river.

  16. In other words, for the last thirty years that AGW has been pushed and vast amounts of money, time and effort have been wasted, all of it just amounts to, “a fart in a windstorm.” Just as I believed all along.

  17. Well… If indeed there was any reason to go “carbon emission free”, there is no practical way to do it without eliminating many many human beings.

    The technology does not exist and the costs to implement the existing technologies are staggering,..

    It would require reducing everyone’s standard of living to 10% of what it currently is, or even less.

    And keep in mind, you cannot just “will” energy breakthroughs into existence. Nobody “willed” the discovery of oil under the ground. It just happened. Coal was known but it took the “Peak Wood” crisis in Europe to develop it in earnest.

    We could throw every tax dollar collected every year towards “renewable energy” and still likely come up with nothing.

    This whole “replace fossil fuels” meme is like urinating in the wind, the wind just keeps on coming and you end up very malodorous, but with an empty bladder (but you can get to that goal downwind much easier).

    It is far past the time when anyone that claims they can predict the weather in a century to just sit down and shut up……

    Cheers, KevinK

  18. When Keynes suggested digging holes and filling them in as part of stimulus remedy for The Great Depression and smaller ones that followed, he was not even joking about continuous spending folly to right the economic ship. But that is what AGW global spending policy is about. It never stops and it amounts to adding zeroes to global debt for the benefit of the policy hacks and favored allies.

  19. There is a somewhat esoteric and hypothetical question embedded here: If we use 100% of our Gross National Product trying to accomplish ‘climate change’ will there be anything left to live on?

    • See my comment above, they understood thermodynamics back in those days, maybe better than today!

    • Whilst few modern schemes actually save energy, assume for a moment you have a scheme that saves 50% of the cost of running your car. As such you can afford two cars.

      And indeed, this is what typically happens with “energy reducing measures” – all people actually do, is stop consuming “carbon” in one form and consume it in another.

      Now imagine that you lose your job. Not only do you no longer need your car for a job, but “better still” you can’t afford the gas guzzling monster. Indeed, without a job you cannot afford children, so that you are further reducing the effect of humanity because of all those unborn kids in the future.

      So, forget about the nonsense of “energy saving” … the real aim of anyone trying to reduce carbon use is to wreck the economy and reduce populations.

  20. You can’t manage, what you can’t measure.

    We simply do not understand our climate system well enough to define it in control terms, make changes, and observe the results. The whole scheme, beyond the base errors in the CO2 armeggedon theory, was never feasible.

    • The real truth is that it’s easy to control the climate – we were told this unequivocally in the 1970s when eco-activists warmed of a “nuclear winter”.

      The problem with controlling the climate is not the problem of controlling the climate … it’s how to get money to research controlling the climate without letting on to ignorant politicians the truth – that we don’t need to research how to control the climate as it’s easy to control it.

  21. Capitalistic Efficiency Strikes Again
    CAN WE SLOW GLOBAL WARMING AND STILL GROW? J. B. MacKinnon March 27, 2017 The New Yorker
    This bastion of liberal thought makes the remarkable capitalistic observation:

    March 17th, the International Energy Agency announced that 2016 marked the third year in a row that global carbon emissions had stayed at the same level while the world’s economy grew. . . .Nearly as remarkable was the star of the latest announcement: the United States. Long decried as a climate-action laggard, America led the world in reducing carbon pollution in 2016, with a decline of three per cent. More important, this improvement was not tied primarily to the evolution of its economic system. . . recent gains within the United States have been achieved by burning less coal and more natural gas, which is a cleaner fuel, and, to a lesser extent, through an increase in renewables.

    • The decline in US emissions would be twice as great if Holdren hadn’t persuaded Obama to push electric cars instead of cars (and trucks) powered by natural gas.

  22. For those who have not yet seen the very important Christopher Monckton explanation of the IPPC’s math error, here it is. The talk begins at about 10 minutes into the video

  23. Very interesting reading. We have the answer to reducing emissions without making electricity more expensive and/or less reliable. It’s called ‘nuclear power’. If the greenies want reliable, inexpensive electricity for the masses without fossil fuels, they know where to look. But they won’t. And if I end up paying for their hubris … well, UP THE REVOLUTION!

  24. The initial calculations of the Planck (without feedbacks) climate sensivity of CO2 yield 1.2 degrees C for a doubling of CO2. To make the number seem to be of greater importance, the IPCC likes to multiply that number typcallly by 3 to account for a positive H2O feedback. The IPCC is so unsure of this feedback number that they have published a wide range of guesses as the the climate sensivity of CO2 and have sponsored a plethora of different climate models. Over the years their climate models have all been wrong in terms as to what has actually happened to the global temperature and after more than 20 years of effort they have published the same range of guesses for the climate sensivity of CO2. So after more than two decades of effort they have learned nothing that would allow them to narrow the range of their guesses as to the climate sensivity of CO2 one iota.

    One researcher found that the initial calculations neglected to account for that fact that a doubling of CO2 will cause a slight lowering of the dry lapse rate in the troposphere, enough to decrease the Planck climate sensivity of CO2 by more than a factor of 20. So rather than 1.2 degrees we should have .06 degrees C. The AGW conjecture neglects that H2O is in total a major coolant in the Earth’s atmosphere as exemplified by the fact that the wet lapse rate is significantly less than the dry lapse rate, which is a cooling effect. So the H2O feedback is really negative and really attenuates any possible warming effect of CO2 by lets say a factor of .3 yielding a climate sensivity of CO2 of .02 degrees C for a doubling of CO2. This signifies that if we could cut the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere in half we could reduce the average global temperature by .02 degrees C.. an amount too small to really measire because of the noise involved.

    A real greenhouse does not stay warm because of a greenhouse effect caused by the heat trapping effect of LWIR absorbing gasses. A real greenhouse stays warm because the glass limits cooling by convection.
    There is no radiant greenhouse effect that keeps a greenhouse warm instead it is all a convective greenhouse effect. So too on Earth. As derived from first principals, it is gravity and the atmosphere that keeps the surface of the Earth on average 33 degrees C warmer because of a convective greenhouse effect. There is no additinal radiant greenhouse effect. The convective greenhouse effect has been observed on all planets in the solar system with thick atmospheres, The radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed anywhere in the solar system, It does not exist so the climate sensivity of CO2 is really much less than .02 degrees C. It is 0.0 degrees C. The idea that adding CO2 to the Earth’s atmosphere causes warming is really science fiction.

  25. If climate activism is futile, why did Curry abandon science to indulge in it?

    And we already see nations on track to make substantial reductions in CO2, not token ones (major industrial nations at that).

    • What she is driving at is that if the sensitivity of the atmosphere to increased CO2 is in fact quite low,whatever we do about CO2 emissions won’t make much difference, or a dangerous difference, to the atmosphere.
      This then frees us to keep on producing electricity and driving cars using the cheapest sources of energy, like we do now.
      Like the big energy producers are still doing, like China, India,Russia and Japan.
      We are getting to the point where if you want to produce electricity with solar cells on the roof or drive a Prius, go for it.
      However don’t ask me to pay you to do it.

    • Griff:

      You say,

      And we already see nations on track to make substantial reductions in CO2, not token ones (major industrial nations at that).

      No we don’t see that because it is not possible.
      As the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in Chapter 2 from Working Group 3 in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (2001)

      no systematic analysis has published on the relationship between mitigation and baseline scenarios.

      In plain English, that means it cannot be known what if any effect altering the emission of CO2 from human activities will have on the future atmospheric CO2 concentration.

      Importantly, there is still no published systematic analysis on the relationship between mitigation and baseline scenarios because no such analysis is possible.

      The reason there is no such analysis is because it is not possible to determine what if any effect altering the emission of CO2 from human activities will have on the future atmospheric CO2 concentration as we reported in one of our 2005 papers,
      ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005).

      The analyses of that paper indicate the atmospheric CO2 concentration would probably be the same if the CO2 emission from human emissions were absent: n.b. it would probably be the same.

      Those analyses show the short term sequestration processes can easily adapt to sequester the CO2 emission from human activities (i.e. the anthropogenic emission) in a year. But, according to each of our six different models, the total emission of a year affects the equilibrium state of the entire carbon cycle system. Some processes of the system are very slow with rate constants of years and decades. Hence, the system takes decades to fully adjust to a new equilibrium. So, the atmospheric CO2 concentration slowly changes in response to any change in the equilibrium condition.

      Importantly, each of our models demonstrates that the observed recent rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration may be solely a consequence of e.g. altered equilibrium of the carbon cycle system caused by, for example, the anthropogenic emission or may be solely e.g. a result of desorption from the oceans induced by the temperature rise that preceded it.

      The most likely explanation for the continuing rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration is adjustment towards the altered equilibrium of the carbon cycle system provided by the temperature rise in previous decades during the centuries of recovery from the Little Ice Age.

      This slow rise in response to the changing equilibrium condition also provides an explanation of why the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere continued when in two subsequent years the flux into the atmosphere decreased (the years 1973-1974, 1987-1988, and 1998-1999).

      Richard

    • Interesting how you decide that giving up your position at a major university is the equivalent to giving up on science.
      As always Griff puts politics ahead of science.

    • “And we already see nations on track to make substantial reductions in CO2, not token ones (major industrial nations at that).”

      You’re fantasizing

      You might want to check out this site http://climateactiontracker.org/countries/eu.html which is green as they come I didn’t read the whole site, but I did check out some major CO2 emitters — China, the US, the EU, Japan. My take away — If you believe in high CO2 sensitivity and that a warmer world is bad, the promises made by the major CO2 emitters are inadequate to avoid disaster. And even those promises almost certainly will not be kept.

      You better start hoping that Curry is right lad. Because the practical alternatives would seem to be a (hypothesized) climate disaster or, as James Hansen — father of global warming urges — a massive roll out of nuclear power.

  26. The evidence does show humans have substantially affected the climate and that as such we should be careful how we treat the environment.

    However, that evidence does not point to CO2! Instead it points to the introduction of the clean air acts in the 1970s being the dominant cause of warming between 1970-2000. (The main evidence is the hotspots shown downwind from areas that had the biggest change in pollution with the introduced the 1970s clean air acts).

    Understanding Global Temperature VIII – It was the greens wot warmed us!!

    This explains why calculations of feedback sensitivity based predominantly on the 1970-2000 Environmental Action Induced Warming (EAIW) have been falling steadily as the reduction in air pollution has slowed.

  27. Why do people not want nicer weather? 40% of the world is uninhabitabley cold, except by a few eskimos and hardy whites. Here’s an idea, bring back cheap Freon and enjoy the warmth.

  28. george e. smith March 27, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    And then the bets get easier as you proceed because each halving of the atmospheric CO2 gives more instant cooling gratification than the last halving.

    More than one halving would be truly disastrous, cooling gratification or not.

    Even a single halving is bodeful. With less atmospheric CO2, food production would decrease so much, that only substantial increase of arable land could feed the world. Now, nothing is more detrimental to the natural environment, than agriculture, so it would be an environmental disaster.

    For that matter, global food production is increasing much faster, than world population, so extent of arable land should have started to decrease two decades ago. Except for the biofuel craziness, which prevents us from giving land back to wildlife, which is the only sensible course of action from an environmental point of view.

    Widespread famine does not promote environmental consciousness. Hungry people only care for their kids, loved ones and themselves, nothing else.

  29. Bjorn Lomberg has already shown that it is much more cost effective to mitigate actual damage when it occurs. The money spent on CO2 reduction could be put to much better use.
    The Climate Change alarmists hate this argument.

    • And that was assuming that the damage caused by more CO2 actually would be as bad as predicted.

  30. 11 years ago I calculated to my satisfaction using CO2 and H2O absorption correlations developed by Hoyt C Hottel in the 1930s that CO2 would have a negligible effect on agw or climate change and that no correlation could be found. I applaud the new EPA chief for saying that man-made CO2 does not effect global warming. The media have to be re-educated in this respect and if told often enough that CO2 has negligible effect and cannot possibly cause global warming they will change their left leaning political stance.

  31. I agree that realisation of the sheer futility of climate action should lead to politicians demanding that all policies to meet climate commitments are overturned. But in Australia even the less crazy Liberal coalition government pays expensive lip service to the global warming God. The sheer and obvious futility of climate action means that the whole thing is either a religion or a scam and is probably a combination of both. Its time for the Australian politicians who are skeptics to come out of the closet and demand immediate inaction be taken.

  32. “There is growing evidence of much smaller climate sensitivity to CO2 …”

    My comment:
    That sentence is nonsense.

    There is no evidence of ANY sensitivity to CO2.

    Since the era of “man made CO2” began in 1940 we have had three different correlations of CO2 and average temperature — negative, positive, and no correlation … all in just 75 years!

    Evidence that CO2 causes warming would require something abnormal about the climate today, because a lot of CO2 has been added to the atmosphere in the past 150 years.

    But there is nothing abnormal about the climate in 2017.

    And the average temperature of Earth, based on VERY rough measurements, has stayed in a narrow 1 degree C. range since 1880 — how is that tight range “abnormal”, except perhaps abnormally stable?

    If you think CO2 causes warming in a laboratory, that’s a long way from proving its effect in real life including feedbacks that are probably negative.

    Where is ANY evidence that CO2 was ever a climate controller in the past 4.5 billion years?

    Oh, I know — both manmade CO2 levels and average temperature went up at the same time from the early 1990s to the early 2000s — one decade of strong positive correlation in 4.5 billion years — it seems that’s all the “proof” the warmunists need!

    Actually, that’s proof of nothing.

    Climate blog for non-scientists:
    http://www.elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com

  33. A huge problem is trying to relate a T change to a change in atmospheric absorption directly for co2. We can determine the absorption in the atmosphere for a particular concentration of co2 but that is in the form of Watts/Meter Squared. It is a gradually diminishing contribution – roughly logarithmic. One can come up with very simple ideas of just how much absorption exists and that can be used to get an idea of how much temperature sensitivity there is per W/m^2 but there are other factors too. Albedo enters in – the amount of incoming radiation reflected away instead of absorbed. The presence of clouds reflecting the energy away and radiating energy away at their temperature and also blocking surface radiation.

  34. Perusing Brad Plumer’s summary quoted above it is clear that people who take it seriously are seriously insane. If they really act on this it will bring about Maurice Strong’s fondest wish, which is to bring about the total collapse of the Western Civilization. He said that openly but I don’t see any reaction to it from “climate” scientists. I guess they stand in such an aw of the originator and fiurst leader of IPCC that they do not know what to say or do. Just do what consensus tells you to do and be quiet is all they arerequired to dokeep their jobs. Or else. And all these ap[ocalyptic demands of the Parisians are for nothing because carbon dioxide is not warming up the world now and it never has. A glance at the geological history graph should make it clear to any person who knows what geologic history is. In case you are actually curios how it works, we start CO2 history in the Cambrioan and work our way down to the Holocene. Carbon dioxide was very high in Cambrian (7000 ppm) but since then it has suffered a steady reduction so that by the Holocene it was only 280 ppm. That is a 25 fold reduction in 500 million years. And at no time during thjs period was there any sign of that imaginary runaway warming that these Paris dopes say they are fighting.

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