The Hartwell Paper:  Revisited

Essay by Kip Hansen — 20 June 2023

The Hartwell House, in Buckinghamshire, UK, is where, on 3 April 1850, Mr. Lee, the owner, convened a meeting of ten gentlemen in the Library, including the future inaugurating President, Samuel Whitbread, which resolved to found a society that became the British (later Royal) Meteorological Society.  And where, on the 2nd through 4th of February 2010, another meeting, convened by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), was held to consider the implications of certain developments in climate policy in late 2009.  This Hartwell meeting was a private meeting, held under the Chatham House Rule. It included participants from various disciplines in the sciences and humanities, from academic and other walks of life and from around the world. 

The Hartwell Paper [ .pdf file ] is a synopsis of the conclusions of this meeting.

[Note: The paper is available in  English, German, French, Japanese, Italian, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese – links on this page. ]

Its co-authors were:

Professor Gwyn Prins, Mackinder Programme for the Study of Long Wave Events, London School of Economics & Political Science, England

Isabel Galiana [.pdf], Department of Economics, McGill University, Canada

Professor Christopher Green, Department of Economics, McGill University, Canada

Dr Reiner Grundmann, School of Languages & Social Sciences, Aston University, England

Professor Mike Hulme, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, England

Professor Atte Korhola, Department of Environmental Sciences/ Division of Environmental Change and Policy, University of Helsinki, Finland

Professor Frank Laird, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, USA

Ted Nordhaus, The Breakthrough Institute, Oakland, California, USA

Professor Roger Pielke Jnr, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado, USA

Professor Steve Rayner (deceased), Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, University of Oxford, England

Professor Daniel Sarewitz, Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes, Arizona State University, USA

Michael Shellenberger, The Breakthrough Institute, Oakland, California, USA

Professor Nico Stehr, Karl Mannheim Chair for Cultural Studies, Zeppelin University, Germany

Hiroyuki Tezuka, General Manager, Climate Change Policy Group, JFE Steel Corporation (on behalf of Japan Iron and Steel Federation), Japan

There were others that attended and contributed to the meeting via conference-calling which enabled the inclusion in the discussions of Indian and Chinese colleagues who were not able to be present in person.

Readers who have followed the climate debate and climate policy for the last several decades will recognize the names of many of the co-authors.  (I have tried to include links to relevant information on each. – kh )

The Hartwell Paper is 42 pages (only 33 are significant text) and over 20,000 words.  Every bit is well worth reading.

But, as the paper was written more than a decade ago, I emailed Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., one of the co-authors and today a major voice in in the Climate Policy arena.  I asked two questions:

1)  Would you say the analysis in the Hartwell Paper of the state of international climate policy remains the same, 13 years later?

2)  Would you still make the same remedial recommendations today?  If not, what would you modify?

This is his reply, written 12 June 2023, quoted in its entirety with his permission:

“The core of the analysis of The Hartwell Paper, and my book The Climate Fix, remains solid in 2023.”

“To some degree the real world has moved in its direction, such as with the focus of the Inflation Reduction Act on efforts to accelerate energy innovation via incentives rather than by imposing costs. This reflects the reality of the “iron law” of climate that says that climate policy has a greater chance of success if it goes with direction of prevailing winds rather than against them.”

“There has been little or no progress on our recommendation that innovation be supported with a low and rising carbon tax.”

A bit of history:

Saavy readers will recognize the significant date of the meeting: early 2010.  What had just taken place that would have prompted these leaders in climate science, climate policy and governance to organize a meeting of this type?

1)  “The first watershed is to be found within intergovernmental and international diplomacy. It was crossed on 18th December [2009], a day which marked the confusing and disjointed ending to the climate conference in Copenhagen. The Accord which emerged from that meeting holds an uncertain status and it is not clear what the commitments under it might signify. Not only had no agreements of any consequence been reached, but the very process of multilateral diplomacy through large set-piece conferences had been called into question.”

2)  “The second watershed is to be found within the science of climate change. It was crossed on 17th November [2009]. The climate science community has experienced an accelerated erosion of public trust following the posting on that date of more than a 1,000 emails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. These emails, whose authenticity is not denied, suggested that scientists may have been acting outside publicly understood norms of science in their efforts to bolster their own views and to discredit the views of those with whom they disagreed.”
[ source – The Hartwell Paper Part 1 Page 6 ]

After three days, what did they conclude?  Here I quote the Executive Summary:

“Climate policy, as it has been understood and practised by many governments of the world under the Kyoto Protocol approach, has failed to produce any discernable real world reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases in fifteen years. The underlying reason for this is that the UNFCCC/Kyoto model was structurally flawed and doomed to fail because it systematically misunderstood the nature of climate change as a policy issue between 1985 and 2009. However, the currently dominant approach has acquired immense political momentum because of the quantities of political capital sunk into it. But in any case the UNFCCC/Kyoto model of climate policy cannot continue because it crashed in late 2009. The Hartwell Paper sets and reviews this context; but doing so is not its sole or primary purpose.”

“The crash of 2009 presents an immense opportunity to set climate policy free to fly at last. The principal motivation and purpose of this Paper is to explain and to advance this opportunity. To do so involves understanding and accepting a startling proposition. It is now plain that it is not possible to have a ‘climate policy’ that has emissions reductions as the all encompassing goal. However, there are many other reasons why the decarbonisation of the global economy is highly desirable. Therefore, the Paper advocates a radical reframing – an inverting – of approach: accepting that decarbonisation will only be achieved successfully as a benefit contingent upon other goals which are politically attractive and relentlessly pragmatic.”

“The Paper therefore proposes that the organising principle of our effort should be the raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.”

“It explains radical and practical ways to reduce non-CO2 human forcing of climate. It argues that improved climate risk management is a valid policy goal, and is not simply congruent with carbon policy. It explains the political prerequisite of energy efficiency strategies as a first step and documents how this can achieve real emissions reductions. But, above all, it emphasises the primacy of accelerating decarbonisation of energy supply. This calls for very substantially increased investment in innovation in noncarbon energy sources in order to diversify energy supply technologies. The ultimate goal of doing this is to develop non-carbon energy supplies at unsubsidised costs less than those using fossil fuels. The Hartwell Paper advocates funding this work by low hypothecated (dedicated) carbon taxes. It opens discussion on how to channel such money productively.”

“To reframe the climate issue around matters of human dignity is not just noble or necessary. It is also likely to be more effective than the approach of framing around human sinfulness –which has failed and will continue to fail. The Hartwell Paper follows the advice that a good crisis should not be wasted.”

Thirteen years ago, there was a call to reframe the climate issue  “around matters of human dignity”. But the world’s governments, urged onward by the UN’s IPCC and the “Davos Crowd”, are enacting policies to enforce the rapid elimination of fossil fuels from the world’s economy and energy base in an all-out effort to bring about “NetZero” – doing this despite the known harms such policies are causing and will cause and in denial of the physical impossibility of the target, given the currently available technologies.

And while neither I nor many of you will find yourselves agreeing with everything in the Hartwell Paper, it is possibly one of the sanest and most well-reasoned policy alternatives to the madness that we see occurring in this arena today. 

Download and read The Hartwell Paper – it is not scientifically technical, isn’t filled with obscure formulas.  Most importantly, you will find why these eminent scientists,  scholars and policy experts say:

“We begin by observing what was once controversial but which now seems inescapable: for progress to occur on climate policy, we must reframe the issue in a fundamental way: not simply in various procedural details. We must describe a different comprehensive approach for climate policy.”

# # # # #

Author’s Comment:

Nearly every reader will have objections either to parts of the content or some of the specific policy recommendations of this paper.  I know I did.  But objections to small details do not obviate its overall value and importance.

I cannot argue points of the paper, I was not a participant in the meeting nor a co-author.  I am, primarily, a journalist, not a scientist, a climate scientist or a policy expert.  That’s both my weakness and my strength. Or, as the fictious Adrian Monk would say “It’s a blessing….and a curse.”

I will be happy to discuss my viewpoint with readers who actually read The Hartwell Paper before commenting.

Thanks for reading.

# # # # #

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June 20, 2023 6:22 pm

it is possibly one of the sanest and most well-reasoned policy alternatives to the madness that we see occurring in this arena today. 

The whole premise is a fairy tale so why would any sane person take any note of its content.

The only sane approach is to knock this stupidity on the head. The notion that trace amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere can cause the planet to heat up is pure drivel that only ignorant zealots push.

The sun is now at its zenith over the Arabian Sea and the surface temperature on the north eastern side is at 27C.,7.86,336/loc=67.891,18.325

Go back two weeks and the same location was 31C:,7.86,336/loc=67.891,18.325

This is the nature of convective instability that regulates ocean temperature limit to 30C.

There is no delicate radiation balance. the energy uptake in Earth’s climate system is limited by open tropical oceans being unable to sustain more than 30C with the pressent atmospheric mass. Doubling the level of CO2 will increase that regulating limit by an unmeasurable 0.006C.

This is the message that any sane individual should readily grasp because the process is observable somewhere on the planet every day of every year.

Reply to  RickWill
June 20, 2023 7:03 pm

Attached shows 100 days at the moored buoy in the middle of the Bay of Bengal through 2019. A perfect example of the surface temperature regulating process. Ocean warms up to 31C before the convective instability takes control to reduce temperature below 30C. The temperature is then controlled around the 30C limit.

This process can be observed any day of the year somewhere in the trop[ical oceans. Convective potential will form over any open ocean surface above 15C and the resulting instability forms clouds that become sufficiently persistent at 30C to limit the surface sunlight to match the surface heat loss so is in thermal balance at 30C. The only way CO2 contributes to this regulating temperature is increased mass of thew bound atmospheric carbon.

Screen Shot 2023-06-21 at 11.52.25 am.png
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 20, 2023 9:37 pm

I only need to read the executive summary to know it is based on the fairy tale of CO2 in the atrmosphere causing changes in Earth’s climate. Specifically it has this drivel:

But, above all, it emphasises the primacy of accelerating decarbonisation of energy supply.


Tom Abbott
Reply to  RickWill
June 21, 2023 4:52 am

CO2 causing changes to the Earth’s climate is a fairy tale, based on there not being one shred of evidence backing up the claim about CO2.

Why should we reduce CO2 when there is no evidence for a need to reduce CO2?

People who think we need to reduce CO2 are operating on speculation and assumptions, and nothing more. If pressed to provide such evidence for a need to reduce CO2, they could not do so. Yet they are adamant that CO2 needs to be reduced. They are very confused, obviously.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 4:41 pm

Same question – Why?

Let market economics do the job. The only reason China is not going full bore on nuclear fission is that coal is lower cost. But they must have some idea how long the available reserves will last.

Right now the governments have set up a criminal conspiracy with weather dependent power owners to thieve from electricity consumers. There is no sane reason for this. It is all based on a fairy tale.

Panasonics ENE natural gas fuel cell achieves 95% overall efficiency in optimum mix of electricity production and water heating. This seems to be a technology worthy of pursuing but is off the table because the criminal conspiracy to use electricity bills to thieve from consumers has gained so much currency it is not even questioned.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  RickWill
June 20, 2023 7:54 pm

The Le Châtelier Principle (LCP), well known to chemical engineers and chemists, states that in a system of interacting components (say, chemical composition, temperature, pressure, the three states of water, biological components, etc.), any change in one component, let’s say T, however caused, will induce a reactive change in all the other components such as to resist the change, thereby resulting in a a very much attenuated change from what had been expected from ‘logic’.

We get this climate change thing horribly wrong because of ‘ceteris paribus’ thinking (‘all other things remaining the same’). Here is a simple example that everyone can understand: when the sun’s activity causes increased heating of the atmosphere, one reaction is for the atmosphere to expand in volume! This expansion has a cooling effect.

Now imagine all the other components in unison also striving to resist this heating. This is additive and opposite in sign to the perturbing change. Stupid ‘Bose’ equations to calculate positive feedbacks à la sound amplifier is either silly or dishonest.

How big is this resistance? Recall that modelers were happy to predict a temperature anomaly by 2005 that turned out to be 300% too high compared to independent observations. Let us grant for the moment that this ceteris paribus calculation by modelers was ccorrect (they advertised it as such) in getting the most of important ‘physics’ right. A chemical engineer would suggest that the modelers forgot to multiply it an LCP coefficient of 0.333.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  RickWill
June 20, 2023 11:31 pm

quote:” that regulates ocean temperature limit to 30C.

No. Convection removes vast amounts of heat energy from water but whatever “convective instability” is is not the reason for the 30°C limit it gets to.

Yes you are totally correct = The Atmosphere Cools The Surface.
(At low latitudes = less than the generally recognised 45 to 50 degrees of latitude. Above that, it warms via ‘weather’)

The deep water temp limit can be calculated, using known factors without the presence of any atmosphere: (no convection or conduction)


  • Deep water of 100m+ absorbs solar energy completely to that depth
  • At solar noon on the equator without any atmosphere that would be 1,370Watts/m² less the normal incidence reflection of 6% = 1,288Watts
  • For a sphere facing the sun, the average power from East to West would be that value divided by √2 = 910Watts/m² (The RMS power calculation for a sinewave)
  • The water will warm and will radiate, at emissivity of 0.95
  • It will continue warming until, over a 24 hour period, it is radiating away all the energy it absorbed inside the 12 hours the sun was up.
  • The water can only radiate and thus lose energy from its top surface at a rate of 910Watts divided by 2 = 455Watts/m² ##
  • From Stefan: that gives a figure of 303 Kelvin = exactly the 30C figure you quote and everybody knows about – all done without even an atmosphere, let alone any convection or greenhousegases

## If you work that out, (455Watts from 1m² over 12hrs) using the specific heat of water, you will get a temp loss for 100m³ water at 30°C of about 0.05°C as it cools (without solar input) overnight

*there* is your ‘Trapped Heat‘ and is what powers Climate and is why ‘climate’ is as stable as it is.
It’s in the water. Not the sky.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 21, 2023 2:30 am

Deep water of 100m+ absorbs solar energy completely to that depth

If solar energy (sunlight, I suspect, is a common term for it) is completely absorbed, what is it that allow one to see all that stuff down below the surface in clear water?

Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 21, 2023 4:52 pm

No. Convection removes vast amounts of heat energy from water but whatever “convective instability” is is not the reason for the 30°C limit it gets to.

As far as I know, I am the only person to actually quantify the process of the open ocean temperature limiting by convective instability.

To support any claim I am wrong. you have to find fault with my observations:

Part 1 here has data from Moored buoys in three tropical oceans showing the process in detail:

Tom Abbott
Reply to  RickWill
June 21, 2023 4:42 am

“The only sane approach is to knock this stupidity on the head. The notion that trace amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere can cause the planet to heat up is pure drivel that only ignorant zealots push.”

I agree completely. There is no evidence CO2 is doing anything that is detrimental to the Earth or to those living on the Earth.

We should not be curtailing CO2 output without a good reason, and there is no good reason to do so, despite the claims of climate change alarmists. They can’t prove a word they say.

Reducing CO2 is a mindless, kneejerk reaction by idiots.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 21, 2023 7:54 am

Tom, I am sure there are plenty of mindlessly parroting idiots. However, those who benefit from the swindle, inasmuch as they benefit from the CAGW narrative, carbon tax, green energy and EV investments, etc., are not idiots at all. For them it is a calculated cynical business.

Reply to  Someone
June 21, 2023 4:56 pm

Academia is hooked on this nonsense as their major source of income. It has become a criminal conspiracy now because anyone questioning the dogma gets silenced.

Nick Stokes
June 20, 2023 6:23 pm

But, above all, it emphasises the primacy of accelerating decarbonisation of energy supply. This calls for very substantially increased investment in innovation in noncarbon energy sources in order to diversify energy supply technologies. The ultimate goal of doing this is to develop non-carbon energy supplies at unsubsidised costs less than those using fossil fuels. The Hartwell Paper advocates funding this work by low hypothecated (dedicated) carbon taxes. It opens discussion on how to channel such money productively.”

Sounds reasonable.

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 20, 2023 10:05 pm

So, this paper references “the erosion of public trust^; this is clearly a reference to the Climategate email scandal. This is followed immediately by the paper extolling the need for decarbonization of energy use! The ongoing fraud enterpise must continue, despite having been caught in a scandal of scientific dishonesy? The better to insist that taxpayers must foot the bill for whatever the fraudsters are charging?

In that spirit, all hail our glorious idiot-cratic leaders, those who so bravely contend with the predations of that demon atom, carbon! Perhaps these great philosopher kings can find a way to rid the atmosphere of carbon altogether, and wipe our kind of life off the face of the planet along with it!*

*The resulting silence would be quite relaxing, I suppose, if only some advanced being were left hanging around to hear it..

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  David Blenkinsop
June 21, 2023 3:24 am

kinda strange how Climategate is all but forgotten outside of a few discussion forums like this one- if I didn’t read this site I’d never see any mention of it

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 21, 2023 5:12 am

Leftists control most of the Media and leftists don’t like it when their lies are exposed, so they cover it up as much as possible by ignoring such things.

The Mainstream Media had ZERO coverage of the allegations of Biden bribery, when it came out the other day.

It’s censorship by omission.

We are being manipulated by the Leftwing Media 24 hours per day.

The Leftwing Media is the most dangerous organization in existence when it comes to putting our personal freedoms in jeopardy. We can’t govern ourselves properly if we are lied to constantly, and that is the situation today.

Our personal freedoms are in Great Danger from the Radical Left, who currently control our government’s Executive Branch, and from the Radical Left Media who run interference for the Executive Branch.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 21, 2023 5:17 am

The MSM also ignores the UAP thing- though Congress is investigating and the Pentagon admits there are solid objects flying around and we don’t know what they are- which could be a flight security risk, if not spooky aliens.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  David Blenkinsop
June 21, 2023 5:02 am

“So, this paper references “the erosion of public trust^; this is clearly a reference to the Climategate email scandal. This is followed immediately by the paper extolling the need for decarbonization of energy use! The ongoing fraud enterpise must continue, despite having been caught in a scandal of scientific dishonesy?”

Yes, the Climate Change Alarmists don’t let facts get in their way. If they did, they wouldn’t have an issue to argue.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 21, 2023 5:18 am

vast amounts of money to be made by the wind/solar industrial complex

Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 8:00 am

There are many reasons to decarbonize the energy system.

Like what? Just name a couple.

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 8:43 am

Thanks to your article here I’m pretty sure I now know all I need to about this ‘conventional’ cli-sci paper. It just seems absurd, so ‘techno-idiocratic’ if you will, that this uncorroborated CO2 threat continues to be pushed as a basis for energy planning.

Here on planet Earth, living things deposited a wealth of stored solar energy for us to use, with new discoveries potentially good for who knows how many hundreds of years. Now, it’s true, we have no way of knowing if our own relatively minor contribution to the natural flow of CO2 will be key to a substantial increase in the long run atmospheric CO2 percentage, or whether it *won’t*.

What we do know for sure is that plant life, our kind of life, will do just fine all the way up to 1000 ppm or more.The whole issue is really just this one thing then, the perceived threat from the dangerous global warming that we are supposedly causing?

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  David Blenkinsop
June 21, 2023 9:45 am

p.s. by saying ‘plant life, our kind of life’, I mean to refer to all the usual kinds of plants that humans depend on, not trying to reference humans as plants, or something..

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 11:01 am

At what cost decarbonization?

Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 20, 2023 11:11 pm

Wishful thinking … a politician and tax should never be allowed in the same country together. Let’s be perfectly honest, politicians drive carbon tax as much as do socialists because it give them more access to other people’s money … and by that, the average Joe taxpayer because the billionaires by and large avoid taxation obligations. The middle class pays the taxes and politicians don’t like a free thinking ambitious middle class. When Soros, Gates and the rest of the ‘world domination’ elites donate +50% of their gross wealth to the IRS for the good of the people then I’ll take note.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Streetcred
June 21, 2023 5:14 am

Yes, this CO2 tax is just another method for politicians to get more money from the public.

The politicians think they can spend your money better than you can.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 21, 2023 5:18 am

It’s not just your money they want, they also want more control over how you live your life.

Scarecrow Repair
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 12:20 am

Money is fungible, politics is flexible. No such limitation is possible.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 4:49 am

Well, Kip, first of all hahahahaha! A government limiting itself to forego paying off its client voters? Utterly impossible.

Second, if there were a law directing all carbon tax proceeds to funding energy innovation…what were your next words?…”including (long list)”…who but the corrupt legislators would be enumerating and defining those categories? Who but the corrupt civil “servants” in the permanent deep state bureaucracy would be selecting the winners among the applicants?

So of course the crony capitalist of Solyndra variety needs only set up a company or a research project that purports to fit into one of many categories. Despite a business plan that includes the phrase “and then a miracle occurs”, they are approved on the strength of their campaign contributions to the correct party (Demonrats). They take the carbon money, pay themselves sky-high executive salaries, and alas and alack, they “unexpectedly” fail in the supposed objective. (Shock!) Then they go bankrupt. Oddly enough, the multimillion dollar salaries don’t get revoked due to incompetent performance. They need to stay on to “unwind” the corporation and we can’t expect them to make ends meet on less than $1m per month, can we? The same set of cronies will then move on to the next scam. With 10% held by Hunter for the Big Guy.

It’s not a reasonable approach. Proof positive is that Nick thinks that it is.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 10:59 am

Kip, beyond the realm of probability that government will limit a tax, especially the use to which the tax will be applied. Crony capitalism runs rampant whenever politicians have money to spread around, especially if the money can be printed or borrowed.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 20, 2023 7:19 pm

Yes Nick.
And by now after years of real-world observations of the effectiveness and actual costs (ie, NOT lcoe bullshit), utility scale solar and wind must be taken out of the mix.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 20, 2023 8:48 pm

it emphasises the primacy of accelerating decarbonisation of energy supply.”

The comment is totally lacking in any scientific reason.

So it is idiotic from the very start… saves me reading further on such NONSENSE.

Carbon taxes are EVIL… Immoral, twisted and anti-science.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  bnice2000
June 21, 2023 5:16 am

And unnecessary.

Javier Vinós
Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 21, 2023 12:12 am

The ultimate goal of doing this is to develop non-carbon energy supplies at unsubsidised costs less than those using fossil fuels.

Except it is impossible if you understand the energy. At least while fossil energy sources are readily available. Their energy density and easiness of use make them much cheaper. Setting impossible goals is the first rule of failure.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 11:08 am

Why don’t we just let the free market decide? Politically directed “solutions” are always just that; ranging from sub-optimal to ruinous.

Javier Vinós
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 3:25 pm

Kip ==> Nuclear is more expensive and more dangerous than fossil energy. Hydro is great, but it is a solution only for a few places in the world. Many countries don’t get enough rain and in others, there are not enough good locations.

I do think technological improvements can help, but our energy needs play the Jevons’ paradox. I have seen the improvements in the past decades since the 70s and nothing has changed much. Despite the improvements in solar and wind we still rely mainly on fossil, nuclear, and hydro.

don k
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 22, 2023 7:49 am

“In my opinion, petroleum is far to valuable as a feedstock for industry to waste it by burning it up.”

Kip: I’m still very far from being ready to comment on the Hartwell paper. But I can comment on this. I agree with you. Completely. Our society is entirely based on fossil hydrocarbons. The total amount of those is unknown. It’s very large. But it isn’t infinite. Once they are gone, they’re gone. And it’s difficult to underestimate the rate at which the citizens of now developing and undeveloped countries will be burning through fossil fuel resources 50 years from now, if humanity can’t provide them with reasonable alternatives. Which it currently can’t.

IMO, Non-carbon energy sources that, unlike many current sources, actually work should be a far greater priority than climate change which will prove, I think, to be more of a nuisance than an “existential problem”.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 21, 2023 2:24 am

Disclosure: I have not read the paper.

But I’m interested in this passage that Nick predictably pounced on because it mentions carbon taxes (taxpayer subsidies) which he seems a big fan of.

The critical expression in the passage is “in order to diversify energy supply technologies” which, for the most part the world had with coal, gas, nuclear, hydro, renewables etc. a diversity of energy source. Now we have governments hell bent on restricting our sources of energy to renewables which isn’t sensible at all. You don’t fight a war with a single weapon.

As for subsidising research into new forms of energy, why?

What’s wrong with industry doing the research? There is a privately funded Fusion project ongoing in Oxford, England, as we speak. Hitachi and Rolls Royce have SMR’s ready to go (although I accept there may have been subsidies involved in their development).

The point is, building a CCGT, SMR, or even coal fired power station is a known cost, with a known output, and a known life therefore the cost to build, maintain and run are almost fixed (other than fluctuating fuel costs). That’s a very attractive long term investment for institutional investors.

Renewables are failing simply because they require huge public subsidies and are therefore subject to political will and the vagaries of public opinion, which is gradually turning against them because they are increasing the cost of energy dramatically. Quite apart from them being only partially functional, requiring 100% backup, 100% of the time.

The west has turned into subsidy junkies with people howling for the government to do something every time there’s a problem. Perhaps a bit more determination and self reliance would produce better results in our lives than having self serving politicians making bad decisions on our behalf.

Reagan’s prophetic words were never more appropriate than they are now: “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

Reply to  HotScot
June 21, 2023 2:39 am

If you had been paying attention, you would have noticed that the politicians/activists are doing everything they can to prevent “a bit more determination and self reliance“.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 9:09 am


I get it. I know renewables are subsidised – and gas in the UK is around 60% taxes. We even pay VAT on the fuel taxes.

All taxes are “small” at the user end, until they’re not. The first official tax on income in the world was in the UK. 1penny in the pound (pre decimalisation) to fund the Napoleonic wars.

Fast forward until today, the middle class have around a 50% tax burden to shoulder, not just income tax which is 40% of earnings above $50,000 but that, and every other tax we pay combined.

What I’m saying is that taxation never stops at a “small” amount, it just grows and grows.

And any money dished out from the treasury for anything other than infrastructure projects (which arguably isn’t necessary either) are subsidies. They can be dressed up any way we care but it’s taxpayers money being spent by politicians.

My argument is, industry can happily fund research into energy innovation themselves. As with the Oxford fusion project, the prize is massive.

And when has government ever been able to resist picking winners and losers?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 21, 2023 2:32 am

Maybe nuclear can qualify, if done right, but what if there just aren’t any “non-carbon energy supplies at unsubsidised costs less than those using fossil fuels”?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 11:16 am

Why, then do we need government corrupting science? If something is valuable free people will seek it in their infinitely variable inventive ways as opposed to government saying it will be done this (politically acceptable) way.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 21, 2023 5:00 am

“Sounds reasonable.”

It’s not reasonable if CO2 is a benign gas, and all the evidence says it is a benign gas. There is no evidence showing CO2 is not a benign gas.

So Carbon Taxes are unreasonable.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 11:19 am

Since governments are not actually seeking that why should we pay for (not) it?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 6:07 pm

True Kip,air pollution is a problem, but it is a problem that can be solved without destroying the U.S. economy in the process.

I remember the yellow and orange air in Los Angeles back in the 1970’s. The air is much better now, and we didn’t have to destroy our economy fixing it.

I’m just saying banning CO2 makes no sense considering there is no evidence it is harmful in any way.

Reducing air pollution and stretching our petroleum resources are good goals, but they don’t require a total ban CO2.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 21, 2023 5:35 am



Maybe to someone that cares nothing about poor people or 3rd world living conditions.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 21, 2023 7:56 am

Yes, OK Nick, I suppose it does sound reasonable – to you. But I, and several others. have noticed that it speaks of “decarbonisation of energy supply”, which there is no need for at all. If anything, the need is for recarbonising the world.

Kevin Kilty
June 20, 2023 8:50 pm

I have not read the paper, and if I do I may comment on it. However, this comment by Pielke Jr. bothers me, and is the reason I tend to distrust the “professionals”.

“To some degree the real world has moved in its direction, such as with the focus of the Inflation Reduction Act on efforts to accelerate energy innovation via incentives rather than by imposing costs.

The IRA is a pile of money intended to encourage all sorts of investments that will impose unrecognized costs — increasing public debt, injuring the environment, transfers of wealth from tax- and rate payers to corporations and wealthy individuals, and in places grievous harms to local employment and the economy.

Whatever reductions in CO2 come out of it will be replaced almost immediately by the remaining 7.5 billion people on the planet working in their best interests. It is sisyphean labor and no person aware of the full facts would support it without the corrupt inducements of public subsidies.

Javier Vinós
June 20, 2023 11:40 pm

Note: The paper is available in English, German, French, Japanese, Italian, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese

Not in Spanish? It is the fourth language in number of speakers, and the second in number of speakers as a first language. What an oversight.

Javier Vinós
June 21, 2023 12:05 am

It is an interesting but misguided paper. That’s why they had no impact. They went astray from the beginning:

The first step is to recognise that energy policy and climate policy are not the same thing.

Climate policy is an energy policy in disguise. That is why nothing has been done about those other anthropogenic “forcers” they talk about that could be more easily fixed, like black soot.

It is about CO2 because CO2 is the product of fossil fuel combustion, not because CO2 affects climate, as nobody knows how much. The climate effect was pre-determined and scientists just went along with the story line for the incentives.

Those highly intelligent people sat down without understanding what the real issue was about.

Reply to  Javier Vinós
June 21, 2023 1:04 am

Their first mistake was to assume that a ‘climate policy’ is needed in the first place…

So many professors and they still couldn’t get it right!

This is groupthink personified.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Javier Vinós
June 21, 2023 8:54 am

“It is an interesting but misguided paper.
Very good point. I read the entire paper. There are some interesting ideas about policy effectiveness, but they always came back to the same misconception – that emissions of CO2 represent a risk of harm to the climate system, which is based on unsound over-attribution of recent warming to non-condensing GHGs.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Javier Vinós
June 21, 2023 11:24 am

The UN has made it very clear that income redistribution is the purpose of climate policy.

June 21, 2023 12:13 am

You lost me at the support for a carbon tax. Utter bs to tax something beneficial to everyone. Hurting the poor more than the rich ones who you are jealous of because they drive huge vehicles you can’t see around when you’re stuck behind them in traffic. If that has made you into an eco-nazi than ban big vehicles but leave us poor out of it!

Scarecrow Repair
Reply to  PCman999
June 21, 2023 12:28 am

I initially thought climate alarmunism was just ordinary political scares because statists needed some existential scare to replace the Col War.

There were several things which convinced me later it is all pure hogwash.

  • CO2 levels were 10-15 times higher during dinosaur time. The only catastrophes were two snowball earth periods. Obviously Venus has never been an issue.
  • The complete lack of embarrassment for all the failed predictions, of no snow, no Arctic ice, no polar bears … the list is literally endless.
  • The lies, from Mann’s hockey stick to emailgate.
  • Olive trees growing higher up mountains 2000 years ago, that retreating Scandinavian glacier uncovering a forest of 300 year old trees, and many other clear signs of it being hotter long ago.
  • The bizarre treatment of CO2 as a pollutant.

There is absolutely nothing they can say now that will convince me human life is in any danger.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
June 21, 2023 3:39 am

They keep talking about an EMERGENCY- I look around and see no emergency. It’s mind blowing that they’ve convinced so many people that we’re experiencing an emergency. A trivial change in the climate might be something to somewhat ponder when you can’t think of anything more important- like brushing your teeth- but to call it an emergency is so absurd that it should make anyone who is awake realize how crazy it is. Whatever it is- it’s NOT an emergency. An emergency is when a tornado is tearing the roof off your house- or a foreign army is approaching your community or you just found out you have a brain tumor. If ONLY they use language appropriate for the situation. Here in Woke-achusetts, which I consider the Mecca of this “emergency”- our state government is in full panic mode- as if we’re being invaded by another planet and we must all hide under our beds.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 21, 2023 5:30 am

It really is extraordianry the depths to which this climate change delusion has taken hold of the politicians and a large portion of the populace. With not a shred of substantiating evidence to support the dire CO2 predictions.

We must conclude we are dealing with religious fanatics in this case.

George Daddis
Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 21, 2023 7:22 am

To make it worse, folks such as John Kerry openly acknowledge that if we attain all of the goals they set for the West, the INCREASES by China and India would dwarf those REDUCTIONS.

The only possible rationale for such idiocy is that somehow we will shame China and India into doing “the right thing”.
Of course all this while he travels on his “Climate Missions” (the last to the Vatican) in his private jet.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 21, 2023 11:21 am

Decades ago I debated with some friends who became religious fundamentalists. They tried to convince that there really was an Adam and Eve- and Noha’s Arc. I gave my best replies based on geology and anthropology. They wouldn’t listen and always had some slick reply- that would seem reasonable to other such “believers”. I finally gave up. One of them was later arrested for robbing some old people in a home for old people that he ran, paid for by the state. But, I find the same kind of slick replies from climatistas. They will always have a reply- like Stokes. 🙂 And they never, never admit to being wrong in any way. They are afraid of they give an inch, they’ll lose the battle- and they will!

Reply to  PCman999
June 21, 2023 8:13 am

“Utter bs to tax something beneficial to everyone.”

Not very different from any other church tax. And similarly to medieval ages, paying the tax is not optional.

don k
June 21, 2023 12:17 am

Kip, It’s an interesting paper. Well written and thoughtful. Thanks for posting it.

I’ve read the executive summary and maybe a quarter of the paper. But there’s a problem, and I think not just for me. This paper would seem to need a week, maybe three, to read and think about before commenting. It is now 0300 local. My todo list for later today already overfloweth. I’m simply not going to be in a position to comment in any reasonable timeframe. I suspect I’m not alone. So I’m probably not going to comment on the substance now or any time soon.

I will finish reading it. Maybe tonight. Maybe not. And I’ll check back to see what others have to say. But I doubt I’ll be commenting. I suspect others may have much the same problem.

June 21, 2023 1:11 am

A major problem in developed countries is over-consumption. An obvious example of this is the fact that most people are overweight to some degree, ranging from slightly overweight to extremely obese.

This means that most people are carrying excess and unused food with every step they make. Those who are slightly overweight are carrying the equivalent of, say, a 10kg suitcase of food, spread over their body. Those who are obese, are carrying, with every step they make, the equivalent of a 20kg suitcase of food, in each hand, and even more if they are very obese.

But that’s just one example of over-consumption. Many people buy houses and cars that are far bigger than they need, containing expensive and unnecessary luxuries, just to boost their ego, and buy ridiculously expensive clothes, and jewelry, and watches, and so on, to boost their ego.

This direction of ever-increasing luxuries cannot go on forever if we rely upon fossil fuels, the use of which would increase exponentially as the undeveloped countries try to mimic the lifestyles of the wealthy developed countries, and as the developed countries raise the living standards of the ‘working class’ to those of the luxurious ‘middle class’, and so on.

It might be true to claim that we have enough ‘efficiently mineable’ fossil fuels to last a hundred years, even with an escalation of its use, but it would be foolish to create a world economy which is totally dependent upon fossil fuels without investigating, researching and developing alternative energy sources before the supply of fossil fuels becomes a problem due to scarcity.

In other words, it might take a hundred years of technological development before we find alternatives that are at least as efficient, safe and reliable, as fossil fuels, and hopefully more efficient.

The Nuclear Fusion develpopment is just one example of how long it might take. A durable, light-weight battery that is not dependent on scarce resources, is another example.

Reply to  Vincent
June 21, 2023 2:49 am

researching” is certainly reasonable but the development on any scale of unproven sources and methods that have so many clearly obvious flaws for wide spread use, such as wind and solar, isn’t even slightly reasonable.

Reply to  AndyHce
June 21, 2023 6:44 am

Consider it a scientific experiment on a grand scale. Wind and solar are obviously not efficient sources of energy in areas that are not particularly windy or sunny. Solar is best suited for the roofs of buildings in sunny areas, or on arid land which can’t be used for other purposes.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Vincent
June 21, 2023 3:44 am

so then if we begin to use up fossil fuels, the price will rise, then alternatives will be able to compete on price without subsidies- best to let “the hidden hand of economics” to solve the problem of energy scarcity and when that time comes, the planet will be just fine, probably better than now

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 21, 2023 6:51 am

Haven’t we already learned that alternatives can’t compete on price without subsidies, even after several decades of research. It will take much longer periods of research, experimentation and development, for renewables to compete, so it’s better to start sooner rather than later.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Vincent
June 21, 2023 11:33 am

Go ahead and start on your own, Vincent, and reap your rewards. Just keep your hand out of my wallet.

Reply to  Vincent
June 21, 2023 7:32 am

From comment:”…bigger than they need,…”

Who exactly do you think you are to tell anyone what they “need”? If third world countries “mimic” us then good for them for more of Gods children will survive.

Can I assume by your comment you only wear sack cloth are bare foot and only eat what you can pick from the side of the road? Nope why do you “need” a computer?

Reply to  mkelly
June 21, 2023 7:56 am

Should be God’s.

Reply to  mkelly
June 21, 2023 8:14 am

“Who exactly do you think you are to tell anyone what they “need”?”

An intelligent and rational person who doesn’t waste resources. Who do you think you are?

Reply to  Vincent
June 21, 2023 10:11 am

I am a free American who buys what I can afford that satisfies my needs whatever those needs maybe.

You make the connection that those people making buying decisions you disagree with are NOT rational nor intelligent and they are wasteful. How did you gain so much knowledge?

What about those countries that mimic us?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Vincent
June 21, 2023 11:31 am

Vincent, history has shown humans are quite capable of solving problems all on their own without government interference. It is government with its ruling classes that seem to create problems for regular people. It certainly took governments to kill those hundreds of millions of people in the 20th Century.

Reply to  Dave Fair
June 21, 2023 4:51 pm

Can you give me an example of any civilization in the past that thrived without governmental control?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Vincent
June 22, 2023 11:06 am

Vincent, you are being disingenuous; it is excessive, unaccountable governmental control that’s the issue.

Neil Lock
June 21, 2023 2:10 am

There are some interesting ideas in there, though I agree with others here that they are wrong about the “primacy of accelerating decarbonisation of energy supply.” The primary target ought, I think, to be to generate all the energy we need at a price we can all afford.

But the political classes didn’t take up the Hartwell suggestions, did they? They ignored what these people had to say, and went full-on with their top-down approach of bundling all the hyped “problems” together as if they were all one big scare. As a result, we have the Paris agreement, “sustainable development” goals, Dutch farmers being kicked off their land, London ULEZ extension, and all the rest.

I may be cynical, but I suspect the Hartwell people were actually a bit naive over this. They assumed that the politicians and the UN were actually concerned with finding a solution to the perceived “problems.” It probably never occurred to them that – as recently confirmed by Antonio Guterres himself – what the political class actually want is to destroy human industrial civilization, and the prosperity which fossil fuels have brought us.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 11:41 am

This is conflating the “climate issue” with energy needed to provide “human dignity.” Denying energy to starving people to support a Leftist, anti-FF ideology sure the hell doesn’t consider “human dignity.”

Utopias always look fantastic from afar. Just don’t tell me you know how to reach utopia.

June 21, 2023 2:52 am

Does anyone else attempting to use the link to download a copy of the paper find anti-malwear software quite unhappy with it?

Dave O.
June 21, 2023 6:05 am

“We must describe a different comprehensive approach for climate policy.”

The term “climate policy” assumes that humans have a significant influence on the climate which they do not.

Dave O.
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 9:13 am

We may need a different energy policy, but this is independent of any climate issue.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 11:44 am

No, the problem has been the attempt to provide a “comprehensive approach.” A distributed approach is necessary for complex problems. Five Year Plans don’t work.

Ronald Stein
June 21, 2023 6:27 am

The world needs products that did not exist a few centuries ago to support modern life in a society that requires merchandise to live and thrive in a healthy socioeconomic system.

Few are aware that there are NO backup plans to replace the more than 6,000 products for society, as well as manufacturing the fuels for 50,000 jets moving people and products, and more than 50,000 merchant ships for global trade flows, and the military and space programs that are all based on derivatives manufactured from crude oil.

Intermittent electricity from wind and solar are incapable of manufacturing anything!

8 billion people are populating the world based upon what is manufactured from crude oil.
Without a replacement, curtaining fossil fuel sources and manufacturing is the kiss of death for America and the World.

Reply to  Ronald Stein
June 21, 2023 7:34 am

Not needed we will have a railroad across the ocean.

June 21, 2023 7:20 am

We are freezing our butts off here in Western Canada. Remind me again how long this interglacial is going to last. Remind me again why the 1.5 degrees of warming that we have experienced over the last 100 years is a bad thing. Remind me again why a slight further increase in warming would be bad. The fundamental problem with the global warming fear campaign is that the purported consequences are all lies that even in their exxageration, pale in significance to the horror of the end of the interglacial. We clearly need more greenhouse gas, not less.

Reply to  BCBill
June 21, 2023 8:08 am

It is always warming and/or cooling, depending on a chosen time scale, and either could be portrayed as a good or bad thing, but this is inconsequential. The fundamental problem of the global warming fear campaign is that the whole premise that trace amounts of CO2 are the driver of Earth climate is an unsubstantiated conjecture at best, but calling things their own name is just a pure unadulterated bullshit.

David Dibbell
June 21, 2023 9:26 am

Thanks for posting this paper, Kip. I read the entire thing. The reference to what became the Royal Meteorological Society is interesting. Please consider the comments to Guy Callendar’s attribution of warming to CO2 in 1938, which I discuss here.

The misconception about the surface effects of non-condensing GHGs in the atmosphere, which the Hartwell participants accepted as a given, is that increases in GHGs should be expected to result in warming [i.e., accumulation of heat energy] on land and in the oceans. This was known to be unsound by meteorologists of the RMS. Simpson and Brunt, in particular, grasped what the dynamic motion of the atmosphere does with the energy involved in the static warming effect.

Much respect for the Hartwell participants for their well-reasoned product. But the core assumption of climate risk due to GHGs is fundamentally unsound to begin with, as I see it.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 12:53 pm

“They do not focus on reducing CO2 or GHGs as a primary goal.”
OK, but they still can’t let it go. Lots of attention is on the non-CO2 GHGs. GHG warming keeps being the reason to have any “climate policy” discussion at all. The substitution of parallel goals to achieve decarbonization indirectly is noted, and those parallel goals are good ones, with the emphasis on efficiency, low cost, and access to energy for all.

I hold out hope that eventually you will see how these two things can both be true:

  1. GHGs do indeed absorb and emit longwave IR, producing an incremental static warming effect at the surface looking toward space, as concentrations rise.
  2. We need not expect the energy involved in the static “forcing” to end up accumulating on land and in the oceans. The dynamics of atmospheric circulation, including the formation and dissipation of clouds, changes everything about what result to expect.

Thanks again for posting and discussing this paper. I regard it as highly important to consider carefully formulated views, such as Roger Pielke Jr. expresses.

Frank from NoVA
June 21, 2023 10:42 am

‘Comments closed!’, or is that a glitch on my device?

Kevin Kilty
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 22, 2023 8:22 am

Software issue. I get it occasionally and just logout and log back in.

June 21, 2023 11:25 am

We are already paying a carbon tax in the form of government subsidized wind and solar. See how far that has gotten us. So let’s take all of the preferential treatment of renewables in $s and cents and turn that toward supporting modular nuclear. If that had been done 20 years ago, by now we would be building modular and scalable, plug-and-play nuclear plants and not wasting resources on hopelessly unreliable wind and solar.

This is but one example of how taxation and governmental preferences lead to bad choices and squandered resources. A carbon tax may on the surface appear “noble,” but it would simply be the occasion for governmental waste and corruption.

June 21, 2023 2:47 pm

Nope, I have no use for the Hartwell Paper. It is basically a bunch of professionals getting together and agreeing that they know we have a problem and they know how to fix it. If only they had used the right words then others could also see the problem and support the professional’s agenda for solving it. It is truly lame.

If the Hartwell House wanted to make a difference they would have two get togethers.

The first would be only those who strongly support the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis. They could discuss without interference why CO2 is causing the earth to overheat and why, lay out all the proof and show that if we decarbonize we can save the world.

The second get together would consist only of those who do not accept the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis. They could show that yes man is contributing CO2 to the atmosphere, that the earth has been warming since the end of the little ice age, that the added CO2 has a minor role in warming, that storms are not more powerful or more frequent, that sea level is not rising abnormally, that glaciers are expanding and receding like they always do, that the earth is not going to reach a tipping point and experience catastrophic over heating, that CO2 is an essential gas necessary for life on earth, that the pre industrial CO2 level was not ideal but in fact very low, that below 150 ppm life is unlikely, that fossil fuels are our friend so long as they are used responsibly, that nuclear is safe, dispatchable and reliable and that wind and solar are not a substitute for fossil fuels and nuclear, that they should be removed from the grid.

After these get togethers all discussions, conclusions, evidence and whatever must be made public and the authors made to defend their work. If this were to happen I am convinced that the issue would be solved in favor of those opposed to the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 6:24 pm

If it is not based on catastrophic anthropogenic global warming what is the point? If there is no threat what is the point? Why on earth should we be directed how to change our lives from this bunch if there is no threat? Nope I don’t much care what these people have to say.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2023 6:30 pm

One more thing make sure you add the anthropogenic part if you are referring to something I said. I always use it when I am referring to CAGW and it makes all the difference.

June 21, 2023 5:40 pm

“But objections to small details do not obviate its overall value and importance.”

It is not ‘small details’ that make this paper a worthless waste of time to have even tried to read. This document adds absolutely nothing of value, in fact if it was ever used by anyone for ‘guiding policy’ it’s the exact opposite.

Kip, I wasn’t actually going to even try to read it given what I believed I understood about it from the summary you provided but after reading your comment to RickWill below re: “However, there are many other reasons why the decarbonisation of the global economy is highly desirable.” I thought “ok, I’ll give it a read maybe it includes these ‘other reasons'”…but nope not a single ‘other reason’, admittedly I only read 16 pages but there’s nothing in those 16 pages that provides any hint of discussing other reasons to ‘decarbonise’.

You can only give 1 (at least that I’ve read so far) & that’s as using fossil fuels as feed stock for all the great things we have in our lives from plastic, cells phones, etc to life saving & affirming medicines…yeah ok, I recognized that over 30 years ago. It was 1 of the reasons I kept debating & debating ‘anti-nucs’ who seemed to have no concept of reality & the benefits or using a substance that has no discernible other useful purpose but as an energy source.

Long story short (or not), this paper is just dripping with the hubris, conceit, and arrogance that only people who have lost all concept of their actual place in the world can achieve. Hint: The universe doesn’t give 2 hoots about you, we will all die eventually & the universe will go about decaying as it has been for lo these 14 billion years or so…

Seriously who can write a comment like the following without an entire lack of understanding that the only ‘functioning’ of this system is to tend towards maximum randomness (e.g. ‘maximum entropy’):

“…to ensure that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system…”

“essential functioning of the earth system”!!! Seriously? There is NO ‘essential functioning of the system’…the earth (note not capital on purpose) is not a machine, it is not a living organism, it isn’t a ‘god’ (GAIA hypothesis is fun reading in Isaac Asimov novels but that’s it…). The only ‘functioning of the system’ if there is one is to help the universe decay. It takes energy (or ‘work’ but in the physics use of that term) to temporarily act against this tendency to make anything organized, even life. But in using that energy the process gives off heat or ‘entropy’ (yes I’m being rather cavalier but this is already long & would get longer to be 100% accurate in my wording) or ‘randomness’. So just stop with the religiousity already. Stop with the belief that there is any type of ‘Goldilocks’ environment or ‘earth system’ that is some how ‘organized’ in a manner meant to provide some kind of ‘garden of eden’ for our use.

The whole history of the earth’s development is one of extremes right from the start, getting smashed in to by that ‘lady’ we call the moon wasn’t exactly ‘relative stability’..seriously ‘damn that b* can hunt’ is a thought that comes to mind. The size of these extremes may have changed over time but oscillating between extremes is the only ‘constant’. At least until, many billions of years from now, there is insufficient energy to organize anything at all.

And it just keeps getting better:

“…cannot be addressed through any single, governing, coherent and enforceable thing called ‘climate policy’.”

Again, who but someone so full of themselves would include that in a document about ‘reframing climate policy’ ..O right they call it a ‘reframing’…O well then if it’s a ‘reframing’ then it must not be a ‘climate policy’…

O…and 1 last ‘small detail’…

“One important reason that more than 1.5 billion people presently lack access to electricity is that energy simply costs too much.”

Nope, sorry, wrong…just wrong. If we’d taken the trillions of dollars wasted on this ‘climate emergency’ we could easily have provided reliable, cheap electricity for these 1.5 billion people. From the billons wasted on stupid COPxx meetings, paying far too many useless ‘computer game programmers’ (sorry ‘climate scientists’) and especially wasted on unreliable, intermittent, dirty, wasteful and harmful ‘wind and solar’ these people might have the electricity they so desperately need.

Of course the reason 1.5 billion people don’t have reliable cheap electricity isn’t all about that money. It’s far more complex then that. Throw in greed, inaction with stopping despots, dictators and generally ‘bad people doing bad things’ & yeah you end up with that many people without reliable electricity but let’s just say its because ‘energy costs too much’ while sitting in an ivory tower wasting other people’s money to pay for your shindig to write up this dreck…the arrogance is inconceivable.

If the contributors to this document had any sense of their relative place in life they would have all looked at themselves in the mirror and said “there’s no climate emergency, all policy is best handled locally & now I’ll get back to my cushy (mostly) government paid job and thank every last person I meet for paying their taxes so I can have this cushy job.”

Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 22, 2023 5:58 pm

Well…I did add an ‘(or not)’…

Ron Clutz
June 23, 2023 8:18 pm

My favorite part of Hartwell paper is on pg. 18

“Climate change was brought to the attention of policy-makers by scientists. From the outset, these scientists also brought their preferred solutions to the table in US Congressional hearings and other policy forums, all bundled. The proposition that ‘science’ somehow dictated particular policy responses, encouraged –indeed instructed – those who found those particular strategies unattractive to argue about the science.

So, a distinctive characteristic of the climate change debate has been of scientists claiming with the authority of their position that their results dictated particular policies; of policy makers claiming that their preferred choices were dictated by science, and both acting as if ‘science’ and ‘policy’ were simply and rigidly linked as if it were a matter of escaping from the path of an oncoming tornado.

In the case of climate modelling, which has been prominent in the public debate, the many and varied ‘projective’ scenarios (that is, explorations of plausible futures using computer models conditioned on a large number of assumptions and simplifications) are sufficient to undergird just about any view of the future that one prefers. But the ‘projective’ models they produce have frequently been conflated implicitly and sometimes willfully with what politicians really want, namely ‘predictive’ scenarios: that is, precise forecasts of the future.”

So rational debate of climate was kneecapped from the beginning. Science + Politics = Politics.

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