Oh Noes! 'Climate action window could close as early as 2023'

From the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN and the “climate deadline is always just a few years out, but keeps moving” department comes this familiar cry we’ve heard soooo many times before. Then, they move the goalpost again. On the plus side, they show the Paris Climate Accord as being ineffective, something obvious anyway.

Beyond EPA’s Clean Power decision: Climate action window could close as early as 2023

ANN ARBOR–As the Trump administration repeals the U.S. Clean Power Plan, a new studyfrom the University of Michigan underscores the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions–from both environmental and economic perspectives.

For the U.S.’s most energy-hungry sectors–automotive and electricity–the study identifies timetables for action, after which the researchers say it will be too late to stave off a climate tipping point.

And the longer the nation waits, the more expensive it will be to move to cleaner technologies in those sectors–a finding that runs contrary to conventional economic thought because prices of solar, wind and battery technologies are rapidly falling, they say.

Steps outlined in the Clean Power Plan, as well as in the 2016 Paris climate accord, would not have been enough to meet the goal of keeping global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, the study shows.

To achieve the 70-percent reduction target for carbon dioxide emissions used in the study, additional steps would be needed–and before 2023. The window for effective action could close that early.

“If we do not act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions forcefully prior to the 2020 election, costs ?to reduce emissions at a magnitude and timing consistent with averting dangerous human interference with the climate will skyrocket,” said Steven Skerlos, U-M professor of mechanical engineering. “That will only make the inevitable shift to renewable energy less effective in maintaining a stable climate system throughout the lives of children already born.”

Before Trump’s reversal of both the domestic and international climate plans, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had recommended a 70-percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions from industrialized nations such as the U.S., where nearly half of emissions come from the electric and automotive sectors.

Using a custom, state-of-the-art model of these sectors, the researchers showed that the window for initiating additional climate action would close between 2023 and 2025 for the automotive sector and between 2023 and 2026 for the electric sector.

“That’s true under even the most optimistic assumptions for clean technology advancements in vehicles and power plants,” said study lead author Sarang Supekar, a mechanical engineering postdoctoral fellow at U-M.

Withdrawal from the accord and the EPA’s plan to repeal the Clean Power Plan will only make the chances of achieving the goal more remote, the researchers say.

“In the absence of a government mandate, and if there is encouragement for coal to come back, then there’s no way we can meet the target,” Supekar said.

To arrive at their findings, Supekar and Skerlos calculated the future greenhouse gas contributions of the auto and power industries based on two approaches going forward–“business as usual” and “climate action.” Their calculations relied on the lowest-cost technologies in each sector.

In the “business as usual” scenario, the auto industry followed its current rate of vehicle diversification–utilizing efficient internal combustion, electric and hybrid models, and the power sector utilized mostly natural gas and renewable plants. In the “climate action” scenario, those sectors relied on a greater percentage of cleaner automotive and power technologies to meet the IPCC climate goals.

“At some point, likely by 2023, you actually can’t build the newer, cleaner power plants fast enough or sell enough fuel-efficient cars fast enough to be able to achieve the 70-percent target,” Skerlos said.

Added Supekar, “The year-on-year emission reduction rate in such dramatic technology turnovers will exceed 5 percent after about 2020, which makes the 70-percent target infeasible for all practical purposes.”

The analysis found no evidence to justify delaying climate action in the name of reducing technological costs, even under the most optimistic trajectories for improvement in fuels efficiencies, demand, and technology costs in the U.S. auto and electric sectors. In fact, the study found that waiting another four years to initiate measures on track with the 70 percent target would take the total cost for both sectors from about $38 billion a year to $65 billion a year.

“You could take this same model or a different model and arrive at different cost numbers using a your own set of assumptions for “business as usual” or interests rates, for instance,” Supekar said. “But the point is, regardless of whether the cost of climate action today is $38 billion or $100 billion, this cost will rise sharply in three to four years from now.”

The IPCC has determined that in order to keep Earth’s average temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times by the end of the century, global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced between 40 percent and 70 percent by 2050. The U.S. is the largest cumulative emitter of greenhouse gases, and the electric and auto industries account for nearly half of the country’s annual output. Fossil fuel combustion accounts for 95 percent of those industries’ emissions.


The study, “Analysis of Costs and Time Frame for Reducing CO2 Emissions by 70% in the U.S. Auto and Energy Sectors by 2050,” is published in Environmental Science and Technology. It was funded by the U-M Energy Institute and the National Science Foundation.

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October 11, 2017 11:04 am

One more goalpost to refute. You wonder when they’ll finally give up?

Joe Wagner
Reply to  Steve Brueck
October 11, 2017 11:06 am

“But this time its TRUE! SERIOUSLY!!!!”

Reply to  Joe Wagner
October 11, 2017 2:10 pm

Can someone please shut that window , then we can get on with discussing something which MATTERS.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Joe Wagner
October 11, 2017 5:42 pm

Yes, shut it because this window is the window of opportunity for a world govt to slide in by means of “necessity”.

Reply to  Joe Wagner
October 11, 2017 8:06 pm

Shut the window and close the shutters, it’s getting dark outside and there are beasts prowling.

Reply to  Steve Brueck
October 11, 2017 11:09 am

When SMOD is only a few days out and they know they are going to die anyway, just not from CAGW

Reply to  Steve Brueck
October 11, 2017 1:03 pm

There is absolutely no reason for them to give up pushing their disaster, we must all sacrifice, scam as there is nothing to be gained by quitting and everything to gain by persisting and hoping to succeed in the future.

Reply to  Steve Brueck
October 11, 2017 1:16 pm

When the money runs out. But not a day before.

Reply to  Steve Brueck
October 12, 2017 3:59 pm

They make the Nazgûl look like shirkers. They will never stop.

October 11, 2017 11:04 am

I thought it already closed… several times.

Bryan A
Reply to  John
October 11, 2017 12:34 pm

We keep crossing it but no one seems to trip at the Tripping Point

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Bryan A
October 11, 2017 5:53 pm

Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down.
Global climate seems to operate similarly.

Reply to  John
October 11, 2017 1:03 pm

This is getting to be worse than the “GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE!!!” at the local Discount Furniture Outlet. Which has been running every weekend for the last 10 years, at least.

Bryan A
Reply to  wws
October 11, 2017 2:09 pm

World ends at 10…Film at 11

Pop Piasa
Reply to  wws
October 11, 2017 6:05 pm

The art of the sale is creating a sense of urgency in the mind of the buyer.
These folks are quite transparent to those who posess critical thought.
This must be the transparency that the BO administration bragged.

Bob Burban
Reply to  John
October 11, 2017 3:08 pm

Nah … it bangs like a dunny door in a gale

Bemused Bill
Reply to  John
October 11, 2017 4:35 pm

Yes, but this time its much worse than previously thought!!!! I’m so upset I will go out and deface someone else’s sculptures later after I have a good old hysterical tantrum in my safe space. I wonder what mommy is going to cook me for lunch? I wonder if she will let me borrow her car after last time? I’ll phone Jane later to tell her what a hero I am for my duty to humanity…and maybe she will let up on my losing my latest job down at the mini market. I shouldn’t have to do those menial tasks anyway, I’m far too intelligent for that crap. I hate all those dinosaurs. Mum shouldn’t have a car anyway, she can catch the bus. She should have a Prius….I wonder if Mom would buy me a car for my birthday? Its my 35th so I should get something good. It will have to be a Prius though, unless she gets me something cool! Jane would like that. I could plant some trees to make it carbon neutral…I’m sooo wonderful. Why cant everyone see that?
A few thoughts from your typical socialist.

Reply to  Bemused Bill
October 12, 2017 2:33 am

LMAO! Wonderful synopsis of a liberal and both true and sad at the same time.

Reply to  Bemused Bill
October 14, 2017 5:14 pm


October 11, 2017 11:07 am
Reply to  vukcevic
October 11, 2017 11:45 am

Wonder if they’ll ban the fossil fuel needed to charge their batteries, too?

Gerry, England
Reply to  vukcevic
October 11, 2017 1:40 pm

Buses tend to last a long time so I wonder if it would actually be cheaper for Stagecoach to say ‘F*ck Oxford, we are closing down the services’. These dumb schemes to save the planet end up scrapping perfectly good vehicles and using more energy to create new ones. Delivery companies might be in the same position – not worth delivering to Oxford. That would be so funny – less so if you live in Oxford or run a business there of course – but the collapse of the supply chain would be such an embarrassment to the council.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Gerry, England
October 11, 2017 6:11 pm

Those busses will make great housing down the road, just mount a proper solar array and rent to 1slamic refugees.

Reply to  Gerry, England
October 12, 2017 12:22 pm

In London the Dark Brown company [UPS I think] started using electric delivery vehicles before I gave up smoking – so by 2004. They could redeploy those truck, after a dozen or more years use to Oxford.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  vukcevic
October 13, 2017 11:01 am

The first thing to go should be all the emergency response vehicles. “Oi, what’s that you say? Councilman’s having a heart attack? Sorry guv, you’ll have to carry him to the city limit before we can pick ‘im up.”

October 11, 2017 11:09 am

Someone please explain to me why preventing a rise of 2 degrees C above 1850 levels is such a worthy goal. Considering the history of the 2 degree theme, which was done by an economist if I recall correctly, not a specialist in climate, why, pray tell, is that such a bad outcome?

Phil R
Reply to  Tom Halla
October 11, 2017 12:17 pm

Tom Halla,
Whenever I see a comment about the origin of the 2°C limit, I always like to remind people where the dreaded and dangerous 2°C limit comes from (hint: it’s pulled from a place of darkness).

Clearly a Political Goal
Rarely has a scientific idea had such a strong impact on world politics. Most countries have now recognized the two-degree target. If the two-degree limit were exceeded, German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen announced ahead of the failed Copenhagen summit, “life on our planet, as we know it today, would no longer be possible.”
But this is scientific nonsense. “Two degrees is not a magical limit — it’s clearly a political goal,” says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). “The world will not come to an end right away in the event of stronger warming, nor are we definitely saved if warming is not as significant. The reality, of course, is much more complicated.”
Schellnhuber ought to know. He is the father of the two-degree target.
“Yes, I plead guilty,” he says, smiling. The idea didn’t hurt his career. In fact, it made him Germany’s most influential climatologist. Schellnhuber, a theoretical physicist, became Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief scientific adviser — a position any researcher would envy.

Please read the whole thing at:

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Phil R
October 11, 2017 12:38 pm

“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief scientific adviser — a position any researcher would envy.”
I don’t know about that. Science Advisor to “Handsy” Merkel? She’s the Harvey Weinstein of Realpolitik.
Seriously, I can’t think of a more denigrating task for a scientist than having to rubber stamp her loony science policies.

Phil R
Reply to  Phil R
October 11, 2017 3:29 pm

Mumbles McGuirck,
I agree in general, but please remember that someone actually married Weinstein, and your second point assumes that someone is a scientist with ethics and not a political hack looking for more dosh.

Bryan A
Reply to  Tom Halla
October 11, 2017 12:37 pm

Forgive the joke (or relish it) but…
Perhaps all the Climate Models are Blond

The Reverend Badger
Reply to  Bryan A
October 11, 2017 2:58 pm

That’s a dumb joke.

Rhoda R
Reply to  Bryan A
October 11, 2017 3:09 pm

But funny.

Reply to  Tom Halla
October 12, 2017 10:19 am

I know that some interpret the 2 degrees C as the “tipping point”. I am also fairly sure that some think 2 degrees C is OK, but 2.0001 is not. But we all know that nature rarely works in round numbers, but people like them all the time.

Reply to  oeman50
October 12, 2017 10:21 am

And that still does not address the question about what was the temperature of the earth in 1850…….?

Reply to  oeman50
October 12, 2017 12:31 pm

Or even what is “The Temperature” of the Earth today?
Paucity of data.
Urban Heat Island Effect possibly affecting some [but no idea which] readings, or how much].
Inadequate siting of instrumentation.
Use of models to infill [change your assumptions, change your outcome].
False claims of precision to a tenth of a degree; remember, the ‘Number of the Beast’ is 670 – to two significant figures!.
Changes of instrumentation on the ground, on ships, and on satellites – with sometimes inadequate overlapping data.
And, of course, there is inefficiency, perhaps bias, and even fraud.

October 11, 2017 11:12 am

Don’t these morons see that “business as usual” means, as usual, technological changes? Electric cars are imminent, especially with the advent of the recently announced Toshiba batteries coming to market in 2019, and I will suggest that molten salt nuclear reactors will dominate – and they can be manufactured and installed very quickly – they require less site preparation than your typical windmill, which sits on a huge block of concrete.

Bryan A
Reply to  arthur4563
October 11, 2017 12:41 pm

Not so sure the Concrete is such a good argument in favor of Molten Salt Reactor vs Wind Turbine Generation. Typicaly far more concrete goes into the Nuclear Generation Facility construction than is used in the footing of the Wind Turbines.

Reply to  Bryan A
October 11, 2017 2:00 pm

But with thousands of times the output.

Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
October 11, 2017 2:13 pm

True there.
On a “pound of concrete per MWh of electricity produced” basis, there is likely far less concrete in a single 2 unit 2200MW Nuclear Reactor facility than in an equivalent 2200MW worth of Wind Generation

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Bryan A
October 11, 2017 6:24 pm

How many wind turbines can run as long as nuclear (or for that matter, fossil fuel) plants?
How many wind turbines produce enough power in their usable lifetime to reproduce themselves once, much less many times over?
How many wind turbines, over what geographic distribution and grid management would it take to provide steady base load to the greater NYC area alone?
No wonder our Aussie mates are in a tizzy.

Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
October 11, 2017 7:06 pm

NYC is easy. Due to population density, to power the island by solar would require covering Kings, Queens, Brooklyn and every inch of Long Island to a line south from the middle of Smithtown Bay. That is just to replace the current electric usage. To supply additional electricity for a total electric transportation system would require the remainder of Long Island. To supply the same amount of energy from Wind Turbines would require an area 1/2 the size of the state of Connecticut.

Reply to  Bryan A
October 11, 2017 8:22 pm

… and then they’d be so closely packed together that the wind to the turbines in the center would be decreased.

Reply to  Bryan A
October 12, 2017 7:09 am

Bryan, is that just face plate capacity? Does it include enough energy to charge up the batteries needed to keep the lights on at night and on cloudy days?

Reply to  arthur4563
October 11, 2017 12:46 pm

The organized environmental community will oppose any and all attempts to go nuclear. They already believe they have managed to get enough regulations and bureaucrats hoops in place to make it too expense. I will bet if someone worked out fusion reactors they would be even more opposed. Until capitalism and the USA are destroyed they will not be happy. Just bring up restoring or expanding hydroelectric and remind them it is a renewable, that hangs them up every time since one segment of the environmental community has been fighting to remove hydroelectric dams for decades now.

Reply to  arthur4563
October 11, 2017 1:55 pm

People have been telling me that electric cars are imminent for over 50 years.
Nothing has changed. Nothing will.
While it MAY be possible to someday build electric cars that are cheaper than IC cars, there are two fatal flaws.
1) Replacing the battery pack is more frequent and much more expensive than replacing an engine and drive train.
2) Range and recharge time make them unusable for most people. And don’t go into the usual claims about fast recharge times. Those kill battery life.

Reply to  MarkW
October 11, 2017 2:56 pm

3) Replacing the battery pack is more frequent and much more expensive than replacing a petrol tank. (Not that this ever seems to be necessary!)

John Francis
Reply to  MarkW
October 11, 2017 6:30 pm

Forget those factors. The required increase in the electric grid capacity to recharge all those batteries is absolutely impossible, economically and practically.

Reply to  arthur4563
October 11, 2017 7:45 pm

The new Toshiba Li-on batteries? All those batteries searching for a new lithium supply

Reply to  lee
October 12, 2017 12:38 pm

So – you could buy ‘Cornwall Lithium Company’ shares.
This is not advice.
Other Lithium Companies may be available outside China.
Shares may go up as well as down.
Never gamble money you can’t afford to lose.
Auto – with not even a single cent invested in the ‘CLC’ [and it might be ‘Mine’ or similar in the name, too!
Caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.
If I have missed any of the statutory warnings, please keep quiet about it – thanks!

October 11, 2017 11:15 am

Surely if anything has been shown to be nonsense it is these “tipping points” or whatever they want to call them? We have had so many and every single one has passed without any kind of runaway anything occurring. if those forecasts were utterly wring, why are new ones any better? The science doesn’t seem to have gone anywhere in 10-15 years frankly, with so much time and effort and money spent to justify forecasts (that cold only be right by chance, even if the basic science was correct) rather than provide new insights or new information.

Bryan A
Reply to  Phoenix44
October 11, 2017 12:44 pm

Here is what happens when the models reach their predicted Runway tripping points

Reply to  Bryan A
October 11, 2017 10:36 pm

She must have been daydreaming about clouds.
No models are good with clouds.

October 11, 2017 11:16 am

I think we’ve had a five-year “climate action window” since 1978… I wish someone would just slam that widow shut and lock it… So we don’t have to hear about it anymore.

Reply to  David Middleton
October 11, 2017 1:37 pm

“maintaining a stable climate system”
We don’t have a stable climate system now!

Reply to  Latitude
October 11, 2017 1:56 pm

Not just now, but there has never been a stable climate.

Bryan A
Reply to  Latitude
October 11, 2017 2:15 pm

I don’t think they wanted to state what they really meant to say…”Creating a Stable Climate System”
as that would imply the ability to control the weather and ultimately the climate.

Reply to  Latitude
October 11, 2017 10:48 pm

In as much as the chaotic climate moves in erratic jumps to quasi-stable patches, and the ‘climate scientists™’ are all jockeying for position on the back of the UN-IPCC horse (trading). As the climate move into cooler period, this might be the first time that the (quasi-)stable has bolted before the horse has moved.

Reply to  Latitude
October 12, 2017 3:50 pm

We have a stable climate for thousands of years. +/- 3°C.

Rhoda R
Reply to  David Middleton
October 11, 2017 3:12 pm


Reply to  Rhoda R
October 12, 2017 12:42 am

Putting the stable before the climate?
Time for your fifth labor, Hercules.

Reply to  David Middleton
October 12, 2017 12:30 am

There’s a sad sort of clanging from the clock on the wall…
Stuck on two minutes to doomsday…cuckoo, oh cuckoo…comment image

Reply to  beththeserf
October 12, 2017 12:41 pm

Many thanks! Excellent!
An admirable example of early Photoshop, I believe.
No-one has worn a moustache that narrow since 1945!

October 11, 2017 11:18 am

How do they figure everyone is going to be driving electric cars and using electric heating in their homes, is going to work if the ELECTRIC sector has to cut back?

October 11, 2017 11:21 am

Case dismissed is more like it.

October 11, 2017 11:33 am

A stiff tax on Michigan residents and its industries would help for now. The world needs some lab rats for this experiment.

Walt D.
October 11, 2017 11:56 am

Oriental Carpets – Annual Going out of Business Sale!

Bruce Cobb
October 11, 2017 12:04 pm

If a “climate action” window closes and nobody cares, did it ever really happen?

October 11, 2017 12:06 pm

2023. 2033. 2043. and so on so forth.

Tom in Florida
October 11, 2017 12:20 pm

How many windows does this house of cards have?

Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 11, 2017 12:53 pm


Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 11, 2017 7:47 pm

They must be thankful there is no window tax.;)

October 11, 2017 12:24 pm

It’s the dreaded Overton window! OMG!

October 11, 2017 12:29 pm

The U.S. is the largest cumulative emitter of greenhouse gases …

What’s that supposed to mean? It sounds like weasel words.
China emits twice as much CO2 as America. link

Reply to  commieBob
October 11, 2017 1:57 pm

It means that adding up all CO2 emissions since the beginning of time.
That’s how they get the attention off developing countries.

Bryan A
Reply to  MarkW
October 11, 2017 2:19 pm

Like China’s “Per Capita” CO2 figures.

Rhoda R
Reply to  MarkW
October 11, 2017 3:13 pm

Just another way to bring the blame and the onus back on the US.

Reply to  MarkW
October 12, 2017 3:12 am

“Like China’s “Per Capita” CO2 figures.”
They’re pretty big.

October 11, 2017 12:30 pm

I was wonder what established the 2023 date then I read this and it became clearer:
“If we do not act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions forcefully prior to the 2020 election, costs ?to reduce emissions at a magnitude and timing consistent with averting dangerous human interference with the climate will skyrocket,” said Steven Skerlos, U-M professor of mechanical engineering.
So, it seems the climate tipping point is awaiting the outcome of the next presidential election to determine whether it goes catastrophic or simple evaporates into nothingness.
I always find it comforting to realize that the earth is so considerate of our agendas. [sarc]

Bryan A
Reply to  rocketscientist
October 11, 2017 2:24 pm

If Trump is reelected, they will relocate the goal posta from 2020/2023 to 2024/2027. If another Republican is then elected in 2024, they will again move them to 2028/2030. By then China will reach their stated 2030 proposed cutback period and will “Need a 10 year extension” on their allowed CO2 production prior to cutting back.

Reply to  Bryan A
October 11, 2017 4:00 pm

Trump will be reelected and yapping about climate on the campaign trail will be even more of a political death wish than it is right now. Nobody buys the BS anymore.

October 11, 2017 12:32 pm

Let’s all read this again:
“And the longer the nation waits, the more expensive it will be to move to cleaner technologies in those sectors–a finding that runs contrary to conventional economic thought because prices of solar, wind and battery technologies are rapidly falling, they say.”
This makes no sense- if prices are rapidly falling then you’d be an idiot to buy them now instead of waiting until they have fallen further.

Reply to  PQ
October 11, 2017 2:12 pm

PQ: Right on. And the longer you wait, the LESS it costs on a discounted cash flow basis. As a matter of fact, I would suggest we wait an infinetly long time so that the discounted sum will approach zero in current dollars. Economics 101.

Reply to  Trebla
October 11, 2017 2:41 pm

Don’t forget the cost of lost opportunity. Take the money you are saving by waiting for the price of solar energy to drop and invest it in something that will appreciate in value.

October 11, 2017 12:38 pm

Phil R: I recall Phil Jones commented on the 2 degees: “The two degree figure is pulled out oif thin air”

Walt D.
Reply to  Johan
October 11, 2017 1:05 pm

Better than from where the Anglo Irish Bank pulled their bailout figures?

Reply to  Johan
October 12, 2017 10:41 am

And there I was, thinking they pulled out of somewhere else.

James Loux
October 11, 2017 12:45 pm

… said Steven Skerlos, U-M professor of mechanical engineering. “That will only make the inevitable shift to renewable energy less effective in maintaining a stable climate system throughout the lives of children already born.”
Professor Skerlos, a Mechanical Engineer, not a “climate expert,” makes a statement that implies man has the power to maintain the earth’s climate system as stable “throughout the lives of children already born.” When has the earth’s climate been stable? Does the professor not know that every 100,000 years or so the climate completes a cycle of glaciation that includes 12 degrees C of climate change? And not in a good way, but in a way that covers the cities in the now temperature temperate areas with ice that is thousands of feet thick. And the warm part of the cycle has pretty well timed out, so we are due for the part that will chill those children, not overheat them with a 2 degree C rise.

Roger Graves
October 11, 2017 12:53 pm

You can paraphrase the U. of Michigan study as “Don’t stop the contracts and subsidies for wind and solar, otherwise we’ll issue ever more outlandish threats of climate doom and gloom.”
Ah, now it makes sense. $3 trillion worldwide since 2000, and counting. What’s not to like?

October 11, 2017 1:14 pm

The big problem with all of this is that, based on paleoclimate evidence and modling results, the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is zero. AGW is a conjecture full of holes. The AGW conjecture is based upon a radiant greenhouse effect that has not been observed anywhere in the solar system including the Earth. The radiant greenhouse effect is sceince fiction. Hence the AGW conjecture is sceince fiction. If CO2 really affected climate then the increase in CO2 over the past 30 years should have caused at least a measureable increase in the dry lapse rate in the troposphere but such has not happened. There are many good reasons to be conserving on the use of fossil fuels but climate change is not one of them.

Allan Spector
Reply to  willhaas
October 11, 2017 4:00 pm

CO2 constitutes only 0.05% of our atmosphere. How the hell can CO2 effect climate. AGW is totally BS!

Reply to  Allan Spector
October 11, 2017 4:04 pm

You are correct Allan, CO2 cannot “effect” climate. However CO2 can affect climate.

October 11, 2017 1:15 pm

Whatever happened to that Northwest Passage by 2017 that they had promised us?

John V. Wright
October 11, 2017 1:37 pm

About that tipping point. CO2 levels reached 1,000ppm in the Triassic – but mammalian life is still thriving. How come?

Reply to  John V. Wright
October 11, 2017 1:59 pm

Fell to 1000ppm would be more accurate.

Mr Julian Forbes-Laird
October 11, 2017 1:49 pm

Heart-rending stuff… you can hear the voice cracking in the phrase “children already born”. Children, that is, as opposed to “people”.
It seems improbable to me that the warmistas are wholly unaware of the imminent PDO cold phase, on the contrary I suspect it keeps them awake at night.
But if, IF action is taken TODAY or, worst case, by teatime tomorrow, then maybe, just maybe, they can say, there you go, we did it but only just in time.

Tom Judd
October 11, 2017 1:55 pm

Doesn’t the University of Michigan know that Donald Trump, and not Hillary Clinton, won the election? More to the point; doesn’t U of M realize that Trump won partly because Hillary thought that the three blue-wall states were in the bag so she didn’t bother visiting them during the campaign, and that one of those three was Michigan (which I assume is where the University of Michigan is located)?
I’m going to assume that U of M is either scamming Michiganers by using their state’s name or scamming Michiganers (whose tax dollars support them) by presenting studies that offer the polar opposite of what Michiganers communicated in the last election.
Much more to the point; I’m really hoping to soon see what Senator Kid Rock thinks about all of this.

Reply to  Tom Judd
October 12, 2017 3:20 am

UofM offered their students crayons and a safe space after President Trump won the election.
Michiganders are ready to vote Kid in. All he need do, is run for the office.
The H. Clintonnista visited Flint, proclaiming they would have water if she was elected. It did not matter if she campaigned in Michigan or not. Trump was first choice and remained that choice, contrary to the MSM voices.

CD in Wisconsin
October 11, 2017 1:56 pm

“Beyond EPA’s Clean Power decision: Climate action window could close as early as 2023…”
Captain Countdown: “Walters!”
Walters: “Yes sir!”
Captain Countdown: “Initiate Doomsday Countdown Clock #103. Set it for exactly six years from now!
Walters: ” Aye aye sir! Doomsday Countdown Clock #103 set!
Initiating clock in 3…2…1…..”.
Walters: Doomsday Countdown Clock #103 set and ticking Sir!”
Captain Countdown: “Thank you Walters!”
Walters: “Sir, what do we do if and when the clock expires six years from now?”
Captain Countdown: How the hell should I know. I’ll probably pass on before that……”

October 11, 2017 2:12 pm

For the U.S.’s most energy-hungry sectors–automotive and electricity–

so electricity sector is “energy-hungry” , wow we must fix that !!

Reply to  Greg
October 11, 2017 2:17 pm

How has this slipped our attention for so long?
Surely if we put our minds to it we could develop the technology to have an electricity sector that hardly consumed any energy at all.
I know , maybe if we all bought electric cars, that would mean that automobile sector would not need any energy either. PROBLEM SOLVED.

Reply to  Greg
October 11, 2017 2:53 pm

Greg, I ‘ll wager if we put “their” minds to it we could create an electricity sector that actually produces more energy than it requires to operate.
I’m all for energy conversion efficiency, but more out than is put in can’t be done.
Ahhh, to be so blissfully unencumbered by the ravages of higher intelligence…

October 11, 2017 2:17 pm

Wow, aren’t researchers wonderful – to come up with such precision, 2023-2025. Didn’t Al Gore come up with a much earlier deadline? In his 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” he claimed that unless drastic measures were taken the world would reach a point of no return within 10 years.

October 11, 2017 2:24 pm

A reduction of FF use in CONUS to 70% of today is easy.
The west coast electorate is the most devoted to a devastating reduction in energy use, so they will be happy to accept draconian measures.
Just write an executive order that bans the transport of hydrocarbons to the west of he continental divide. And while we are at it, also cut the power lines and the water pipes.
California has the best possible climate for a 100% solar powered economy. They also are well positioned to spearhead sea water desalinization for all urban uses.
They should be honored to act as the alpha test for this social experiment.

Reply to  RLu
October 11, 2017 2:57 pm

What shall we do with all the oil we pump out of the ground in CA, send it east?

Rhoda R
Reply to  rocketscientist
October 11, 2017 3:19 pm

Well, they are the home of the “Keep it in the ground” types.

Reply to  rocketscientist
October 11, 2017 5:26 pm

Not all of them, just the ones with media connections. 😉

Reply to  rocketscientist
October 12, 2017 8:24 am

It is actually quite a waste to burn oil. Because of its rich content of long molecules, it would be better use to turn all of it into useful chemical compounds (to be burn at end of cycle only), or even food for next-gen greenies (the one who will resent eating not just meat, but anything alive, including plants).
Burning coal and natural gas is fine, and it is enough.

Steve Zell
October 11, 2017 2:53 pm

“If we do not act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions forcefully prior to the 2020 election, costs ?to reduce emissions at a magnitude and timing consistent with averting dangerous human interference with the climate will skyrocket,” said Steven Skerlos, U-M professor of mechanical engineering. “That will only make the inevitable shift to renewable energy less effective in maintaining a stable climate system throughout the lives of children already born.”
Professor Skerlos was probably using an IPCC climate model to predict what “dangerous” human interference with the climate would be. Those same climate models that over-predicted the temperature rise in the past 20 years by more than a factor of 2 compared to actual data?
So, let’s correct the models and multiply the predicted future temperature rise for a given scenario by the ratio of (actual temperature rise over the past 20 years) / (model-predicted temperature rise over the past 20 years). If such a correction tells us that we can meet the <2 C goal by doing nothing, will Professor Scare-loss let the market decide what cars people should drive?

The Reverend Badger
October 11, 2017 3:10 pm

The climate action window should be triple glazed with CO2 between the panes. Just like the ones in your house which utilize the well known back radiation effect from the 100% CO2 gaseous filling to reflect 50% of the heat otherwise lost back into your room. For those who can afford it of course there are the more expensive quadruple glazed windows with methane which , on a sunny day, require no furnace heat at all.
Rolling out these new climate action windows into all domestic dwellings over the next 5 years is projected to achieve a reduction in primary fuel consumption of over 33% compared with 2017. Combined with the new CO2 filled balloons in loft spaces the total reduction could exceed 50% completely negating the need for any other CO2 emission mitigation. Of course the trapped CO2 in these new building materials will prevent the same amount of gas getting into the atmosphere where it causes untold problems.
Yes, these NEW Climate Action Windows are the win-win of the decade!

Reply to  The Reverend Badger
October 12, 2017 8:18 am

miss the sarc tag, as CO2 and methane are very bad insulation gas.

J Mac
October 11, 2017 3:14 pm

Enough Already! Close the damn window and don’t ‘let the door hit ya….’ on the way out!

Steve from Rockwood
October 11, 2017 3:18 pm

Until we invent time travel, every point we reach is a point of no return.

The Reverend Badger
Reply to  Steve from Rockwood
October 11, 2017 11:14 pm

Have you never had a comment here “Awaiting moderation?”. Time literally stands still.

October 11, 2017 3:22 pm

Add another failed prognostication to the CAGW list. Even our resident alarmist can’t come up with a single claim that has come to pass. Not one. You’d think they’d be embarrassed by now but they just keep adding to the list and ignoring their failures. The people aren’t ignoring them though but by the same token they aren’t calling them on it. Even Chicken Little’s time expired.

The Reverend Badger
Reply to  markl
October 11, 2017 11:16 pm

Chicken Little is crispy coated and deep fried. He’s had his chips.

October 11, 2017 3:28 pm

“Beyond EPA’s Clean Power decision: Climate action window could close as early as 2023”
Someone in the U-M engineering department did not get the latest memo on climate change. The IPCC analysis of a low-probability, high-consequence event is demonstrably flawed, and decisions made from that analysis would be the wrong ones. The fallacy of the IPCC analysis is that probability distributions have two tails. A correct analysis must consider the entire distribution, not just the extreme high value. The IPCC’s findings ignore the low-probability, high consequence cooling event. Temperature databases and GCMs are not sufficiently robust to reliably estimate future long-term temperatures. At best, current technology can only predict future temperatures within a wide range of values, which is not sufficient to warrant spending trillions of dollars going down the wrong road.
The consequences of a warming earth are no greater than the consequences of a cooling earth. Policies appropriate for the warming case would be diametrically opposite to those appropriate for the cooling case. Under this reality, promulgating environmental regulations with too little information is illogical. The likely damage from acting on the wrong premise, a warming or a cooling planet, nullifies arguments for either action until the science is right. The goal of climate research should be to successfully predict global mean temperatures within a range of values that is narrow enough to guide public policy decisions. Climate scientists are not even close to an answer. The elephant in the room not even addressed in this discussion is if any steps taken by mankind would have a significant effect on future climate.
Someone tell the University of Michigan Post-doc engineer to get a grip. He is going to have to find another way to get a free ride on public funding.

Mike Maguire
October 11, 2017 3:45 pm

They keep ignoring the tremendously positive response on this massively greening planet. Observations, observations observations. Get your programmed brains out of the computer modeled world with it’s group think religious type faith in so called settled science that abolished debate and questioning a decade ago and look around you.
There is a big negative feedback going on with regards to the warming slowing down and the explosive growth in vegetation. Moisture that should be going into increasing sea levels is going into soils and the booming biosphere. To suggest a “tipping point” is absurd based on what is happening.
It’s anti scientific, anti life and anti biology to suggest that the optimal temperature and CO2 levels for life were at some point in the past, when the reality shows conclusively that life prefers it a bit warmer and with more CO2 than this.
One can make a case for:
1. The possibility of more warming to contribute to an increase in sea levels in the future at a rate greater than the current 1 inch/decade……..though we have not seen it yet. The speculative projections of the increase hitting numerous feet is not justified based on the observations.
2. An increase in heavy rain/flooding events because the atmosphere can hold around 4% more moisture with a temperature going up another 1 deg. C. We have seen a slight uptick so far. However, the atmosphere does not hold 400% more moisture or 40% more but 4% and probably only 2%(half) of that can be blamed on humans. Global drought has actually gone down slightly, not up.
3. A slight increase in heat waves but note that global warming effects the coldest places at the coldest times of year the most(considered a benefit by rational thinkers).
4. Could cause some hurricanes to be a bit stronger. Oceans are .5 deg C warmer but there has been no statistically significant increase in hurricanes or strength yet.
Some measures of extreme weather have gone down, like violent tornadoes. This was expected because of the reduction in the temperature gradient with latitude that resulted from warming the coldest places.
This desperate cry to take drastic measures now or it will be too late is based on a computer simulated world that exists because of a speculative theory which uses mathematical equations that are not being adjusted to reconcile with the real world.
Recent weather and climate is NOT more extreme than in the past. The California drought and 2012 Midwest drought were NOT caused by humans burning fossil fuels(think about the decade of drought, the 1930’s Dust Bowl if you want more extreme).
1954 featured 3 major hurricanes hitting the East Coast in 3 months………during global cooling. There are numerous other examples of bad hurricanes seasons like this one in the archives and even worse hurricanes.
The benefits of increasing CO2 have been at least 10 times the negative consequences for humans, just considering the increase in world food production.
Maybe at some point they will be balanced because negatives increase….or even go the other way. Using models with no skill at predicting that would be a really dumb method to plan for it.
Think of all the money that would have been wasted so far and losses from less agricultural productivity.
Actually, think about all the money that has been wasted trying to get people to waste even more money on this political, non scientific based agenda.

Gary Pearse
October 11, 2017 3:57 pm

The desperate hysteria arises from the existential threat to their alarmy livelihoods and the overall reality-trauma of a crumbling Dem-global-governance paradigm that will last a generation for which rehab is not an option.

October 11, 2017 4:00 pm

I guess the tipping point is when you finish dinner and have to pay the bill … AND THE TIP !!!

Walt D.
Reply to  Neo
October 11, 2017 6:00 pm

Unless you are Hillary Clinton.

Roger Knights
October 11, 2017 4:47 pm

“If we do not act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions forcefully prior to the 2020 election, costs to reduce emissions at a magnitude and timing consistent with averting dangerous human interference with the climate will skyrocket,” said Steven Skerlos, U-M professor of mechanical engineering.

By “we” he means the U.S., but “our” action will not count for much if the Rest Of the World doesn’t act similarly—which it has already pledged not to do (unless it is paid trillions).

Michael S. Kelly
October 11, 2017 5:46 pm

It’s like Michael Mann, wearing a sandwich board sigh that reads “Repent, the end is nigh!” These idiots should be accorded the same respect.

October 11, 2017 7:30 pm

I suggest a “Climate Action WIndow” in the WUWT Reference Pages, with a running account of all the previous climate deadlines, who said it, and when.

Gary Hladik
October 11, 2017 7:39 pm

I think it’s pretty clear the US (and more importantly, the rest of the world) is not going to meet the stated goal by the time this particular “window” closes. In any case, it would be foolish NOT to prepare for such failure. So I suggest these researchers, if they have any confidence in their model(s), should immediately move to high ground in northern Canada, where they at least have a chance to survive the approaching apocalypse. Given enough lead time, I’m sure they and other like-minded folks can set up a resilient community that will actually thrive on what will surely be catastrophe for the rest of us.
One thing: in order to avoid being discovered and mobbed by future climate refugees, they should keep a low profile, i.e. shut the heck up…for their children.
What can I say, guys? You’re welcome!

October 11, 2017 8:04 pm

Well you really should shut the window when you turn the air conditioner on. 😉

October 11, 2017 10:32 pm

Paris Climate Accord and the start of the new solar cycle — coincidence?
Maybe the UN-IPCC want all the Western nation locked into the accord before the climate cooling effects get too noticeable. Certainly the next decade should be an interesting time.

Coeur de Lion
Reply to  tom0mason
October 12, 2017 3:03 am

In Laos I watched a ten year old Hmong tribal OU cooking lunch in the hut on a twig and dung fire, probably joining the four million or so that die of lung disease annually. Why doesn’t the Left worry about this, the bastards? Just down the road, the little stream was dammed ineffectually in three or four places with a little homemade turbine at the apex, thin wires to the kampong. Generating a couple of amps at say 8 volts? So boy can study after dark? Pathetic and sad. They need a coal fired power station right now.

Dr. Strangelove
October 12, 2017 5:22 am

Farmers target 1,200 ppm CO2 level, it’s ideal for plant growth

Mike F
October 12, 2017 5:41 am

“If we do not act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions forcefully prior to the 2020 election, costs ?to reduce emissions at a magnitude and timing consistent with averting dangerous human interference with the climate will skyrocket,” said Steven Skerlos, U-M professor of mechanical engineering.
In my mind, FORCEFULLY is the key word. Climate alarmists cannot win the argument based on sound scientific data, so, the next action proposed is force. Force is incompatible with freedom and liberty. Morality ends where the gun begins. This should tell you all you need to know about climate alarmists.

October 12, 2017 6:53 am

An old school climate ‘doom’ claim and by old school I means making a claim that can disproved in their own lifetime or while they are still in the job to be asked ‘why did you get it so wrong ‘
The modern school of ‘climate doom’ tend to go for 50 year plus claims so they never have to worry about these issues , for some reason !

October 12, 2017 8:12 am

IF this is true, and since it is already known that by December 2023 greenhouse gas emissions wont have been reduced, the first logical implication is to start trying to live with the doom, instead of trying to prevent it (pretty much like we build earthquake-proof building, rather that trying to prevent earthquake, and it works).
Since they don’t make this logical step, they don’t believe their own stuff.

October 12, 2017 10:16 am

I will be so happy when it is too late to do anything. Then there will be no sense in spending quadrillions on the climate change delusion.

October 12, 2017 10:17 am

Here’s one take on moving the goal posts BACKWARDS in the state of Washington:
Because nothing was done earlier, it is now too late and we’re all doomed.
All proudly based on the IPCC climate models as well as the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group (CIG) reports
See what a $250K grant can buy and get ready for some real damage by your elected and unelected officials. What a load of bureaucratic BS. They should be ashamed of this drivel.

michael hart
October 12, 2017 11:01 am

So 2023 makes it six years from now, if my arithmetic is correct.
That is slightly unusual. Five years is obviously a hugely popular deadline, if not the most popular. Less than 5 years and they sometimes even break it down into months, weeks, or electoral cycles. I’ll have to see if Google metrics can supply the most popular time-frame for the end of the world due to global warming.

October 12, 2017 11:55 am

As a resident of Michigan since 1977, I want to apologize for the University of Michigan nitwits participating in the climate scaremongering included in this article.
To prove that there are some people within 50 miles of Ann Arbor, Michigan (U of M is there) with common sense about climate science, who don’t waste your time with wild guess predictions, I will quickly summarize what I’ve learned from 20 years of climate change reading:
The current climate is the best it has ever been for humans, their pets and farm animals.
If we continue to add CO2 to the atmosphere, the climate will eventually be optimum for green plant growth (800 to 1,200 ppm CO2)
The claim that anyone can predict the climate in 100 years is a hoax.
The average temperature has remained in a narrow one degree C. range for the past 137 years — probably a 0.5 degree C. range if the raw data were not “adjusted” to show more warming so often.
That’s an unusually stable temperature for our planet, and is good news!
The claim that adding CO2 to the air will cause runaway warming is a hoax.
The foolish demonization of beneficial CO2 takes attention and funding away from REAL pollution of the air, water and land, especially bad in Asia.
Adding CO2 to the atmosphere was, inadvertently, the best thing humans have ever done to improve our planet … along with inventing indoor plumbing, and The Three Stooges.
I offer a free climate blog with no ads as a public service.
Aimed at non-scientists.
Over 12,000 page views so far:.

October 12, 2017 1:10 pm

Modern day Millerites. They remind me of nothing so much as the doomsday cult wave in early 19th century US and Britain. The formula is simple. First, predict doom and gloom to scare she sheep into submission. When the predicted doomsday inevitably fails to occur, claim you’ve found the error in the data and recalculated (It’s science!!!), then move the date a little farther down the road to keep the suckers hooked (as Bullwinkle would say, “This time for sure!”). Lather, rinse, repeat, and count your money.

October 13, 2017 1:56 am

Maybe these people should bet on their beliefs. That way they actually have something to lose if they are wrong. Talk is cheap after all. And like many have previously pointed out, it doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence that they have been saying this for the last 30 years. The “tipping point” just keep being pushed back and every single time it’s very “urgent” and “alarming”. But then nothing happens and everything is just quietly swept under the rug and then started all over again. There is nothing wrong with being wrong of course, but there is never any apology or acknowledgment that “yes, we were wrong.” Instead it’s just the same arrogance and intolerance.

October 13, 2017 4:22 am

No, 2023 may be too late – I have it from Figueres, Schellnhuber, Rahmsdorf, Mann, Stocker, and friends: https://www.nature.com/news/three-years-to-safeguard-our-climate-1.22201
2020 is crucially important, and that has more to do with physics than politics. When it comes to climate, timing is everything – don’t you know?
That’s why they launched Mission 2020 — a collaborative campaign to raise ambition and action across key sectors to bend the greenhouse­-gas emissions curve downwards by 2020.
The good news is that it is still possible to meet the Paris temperature goals if emissions begin to fall by 2020.
[??? ??? .mod]

Reply to  feliksch
October 13, 2017 6:13 am

Paris temperature goals have a likely ~95% chance to happen even if climate is perfectly random
Chance to bend the greenhouse­-gas emissions curve downwards by 2020 are zero ~0%
so, by 2020 the whole scam has ~95% chance to be plainly obvious, as temperature will not reach the limit despite the condition said to cause the disaster will be met.
The worst case scenario would be some very long global heat wave, but very improbable. Indeed, the heat would be fine in itself, but warmunists would succeed in their evil plan with deleterious effects offsettting the good result of heat.
A cold spell would disprove the scam, but that’s not to be wished, because of bad impact on human and the whole biosphere.

Reply to  feliksch
October 14, 2017 12:58 am

I only quoted their article in Nature – to show how greed and lust for power can inhibit thinking.

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