Anthropogenically driven Global Warming (AGW): Some pro and con comments

Posted on October 29, 2007
Posted By: John K. Sutherland
 
‘A lie can race its way around the world, while the truth is tying its shoelace.’ Twain.

Disclosure: I studied meteorology in high school in the 50s and then had a year of studying climatology at University. I was also marginally involved in paleoclimatology while I got my degrees in Geology, and have been interested in it ever since, as well as staying abreast of climate and breaking science issues of all genres for the last 40 years. I am not a climatologist, but then neither are many of the loudest voices here. I have been employed in the Nuclear Energy industry for the last 30 years. One might think I would support this hysteria to get rid of fossil fuels in favor of nuclear, but I don’t. AGW is just such bad science at this time that I want nothing to do with it.

In the last of my articles on this site ‘The Inevitable resurgence of Nuclear Power’ I challenged those who did not like my stance on Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) to give me their twenty best shots and I would respond with mine. I waited expectantly for the hundreds of insta-pundits here to leap in and slaughter me on this energy manipulation boondoggle of the 21st Century (so far). There were no takers. No prizes for guessing why not. I decided to take up my own challenge to them with all of the main points as I see them, but would provide both sides – again, as I see them, so they are undoubtedly biased. Now give me your best criticisms of my stance and further point out anything I may have missed or got wrong and provide reasonably supportive data and names and references, not future guesses, or predictions nor slagging, unless I appear to have deliberately gone off the science.

Whether scientifically supported or not, rational or not, these first points are the arguments and projected predictions and beliefs that are used to try and persuade us that the AGW is real and is happening now where it had never happened at any time in the past. Too often the ‘science’ involved is either absent or is not science at all but emotional predictions or inventions, cherry picking the data, and grabbing at future straws (extinctions, diseases, polar bears drowning, ice melting, rising sea levels, extreme weather to scare simple people). It was this belief that led to the insanity of Rio and Kyoto (and thousands of other hoaxes) and contributed to additional government junkets (magnets for the inevitable environmentalist Klingons) to expensive third world fleshpots away from inconvenient scenes of poverty and squalor in the suburbs, and triggers a few more world-wide social spasms on a regular basis to keep the faithful in line.

We should remember that honesty, openness and integrity certainly make dishonesty in science difficult. We need to insist upon it from the IPCC process, Gore, Hansen, and many others. Dishonesty and obscuring data sources and processes, is a component of misconduct and abandonment of the Scientific method.

Weather and Climate are complicated issues with tens, if not hundreds of variables, many of which are not well understood. They are issues that are ripe for manipulation by any number of interests to achieve almost any desired purpose, though always predicted to be catastrophic.

1. The earth is demonstrably warming (True, or it was until about 1998, and now it seems to be stable or even cooling. Darn). If it had not warmed, then where I live would still be 1 km or more under ice. Focus only on warming and always speak of catastrophe. Warming, any warming, whether natural (GW) or anthropogenic (AGW) or some component of them both, will cause ice to melt and the climate to change slightly and gradually. However, it is the cause of the warming that is in dispute, not the periodic warming. It has always been the sun up until others decided that it should also be man’s industrialization. Ignore cooling.

2. It is said that the overwhelming scientific Consensus (opinion – not science) is that not just global warming is apparent but that it is anthropogenic global warming that is now discernible. Show me the poll results of all qualified climate scientists and related disciplines! That’s right, the ‘consensus’ doesn’t exist. The only thing that counts is the science. Show it to me. The weight of opinion some time ago was that objects heavier than air could not possibly fly, and that the human body would be torn limb from limb by anything faster than a galloping horse, and that iron could not possibly float.

3. Carbon dioxide is steadily becoming more abundant in the atmosphere (the only really true statement). Ergo, (so it is said) carbon dioxide causes warming. Sorry folks, a linkage does not prove causation. More ice cream is sold in Florida in summer. More people drown in Florida in summer. Ergo, Ice cream causes people to drown. Yeah! Proof of recent overwhelming warming is now obviously more difficult to come by when 1998 has to relinquish first place as the hottest year again, to 1934 (Hansen embarrassment, Mann’s too), and the most hot years wind up in the thirties, before serious industrialization. And then, of course there is that very inconvenient Medieval Warm period and those Vikings settling and farming in Greenland more than 1,000 years ago.

4. ‘Carbon dioxide drives temperature’ (Gore and his statements about Vostok. Oops! Wrong way around Al); and others about Greenland, and Arctic and Antarctic catastrophic melting (no half measures allowed here). Show ice sheets ‘calving’ as they did long before humans were around and suggest it all shows AGW. Suggest that Kilimanjaro is losing its permanent snow peak through AG warming, and not because of land use changes below, which reduce snowfall. Glaciers melting (AGW), but ignore those that are not, and never admit that they should be melting as it gets warmer normally, coming out of the last ice age. Lake Chad, and the Aral Sea are drying out (AGW), but don’t ever admit it could be due to irrigation projects. Almost all of Gore’s points in his talk and books have been scientifically demolished by Marlo Lewis:
http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=20796&CFID=6766344&CFTOKEN=13010580
You might not like the source, I do, and the criticism is good. Gore tours the world several times a year at this time to decry the supposed relationship between carbon dioxide and warming, while he contributes hundreds of times more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than anyone else, and whose heating and electricity bills are at least twenty times those of us lesser mortals. He’s getting filthy rich off it folks while telling us how we should be living. Not him, mind you. Us! Now make him accountable for being wrong, as he is gradually being shown to be, so that we can claw back all of his ill-gotten gains made by misleading us all and our children. Maybe a class action suit should do it.

5. The Mann Hockey Stick. Actually the now infamous Mann Hockey stick. It was once the darling of the politicians in the IPCC for several years, but no more, though how it got through in the first place should raise more red flags. There was clearly no data checking or peer review or sharing of data. Some of them decry data sharing saying ‘If I share my data with you, you will only try to show something wrong with it!’ Well, Yeah! That’s the point of science, isn’t it? And if they can’t, you win big time. But if they do… On second thoughts, better not disclose it! (Please note, I am now sharing my scientific thoughts with you - to assess and attack - in the best scientific tradition. I have nothing to hide. You might even be able to change my mind with facts. Try it).

6. Climate modeling. The reality is that the modelers don’t yet understand many of the variables or what we don’t know enough about, including the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO); a North Atlantic Oscillation; an Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation, a Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and very likely others we have not yet found out about. Been there. Done that. Can’t get it right.

7. Rising Sea levels – still waiting. I don’t think we’ll drown in our beds over a few millimeters a year when the background daily ‘noise’ is multi-metres.

8. Diseases will spread – no, they are mostly decreasing, thanks to modern medicine, except where ignorance and poverty rule, and DDT is still proscribed because of the deception that Rachel Carson promulgated in her fable, ‘Silent Spring’ (see junkscience.com, and in the side lines, DDT FAQ).

9. Desertification. But a lot of places are greening in the Sahel.

10. Species will go extinct as others have. Name them. The Great Auk and Dodo, and Passenger Pigeons don’t count as they were too long ago, though they were hunted out of existence by man. Penguins and whales almost went the same way (when rendered down there were about 10 penguins to the gallon, more or less, depending upon penguin size), but didn’t, thanks to the discovery of oil.

11. Local Flooding – weather folks, weather.

12. Local Starvation – mostly war and turmoil-related alongside of genocidal tendencies in Africa.

13. Local Droughts, Drying – more weather and El Niño and La Niña effects and a few other cyclical climate effects that are not yet clear to us.

14. Hurricanes – fewer than normal or about normal.

15. Reduction in Arctic sea ice – temporarily in summer and every year. Normal.

16. Antarctic sea ice breaking off, even big bits – normal. The Antarctic loses large chunks of ice when they intrude too far north into warmer water near South America. Antarctic is now the coldest (on average) that it has been since reliable measurements could be made (2004 was the coldest year), and Antarctic ice extent is now at or close to its largest ever since reliable measurements were started (its also winter down there, folks).

http://icecap.us/images/uploads/A_NEW_RECORD_FOR_ANTARCTIC_ICE_EXTENT.doc

17. Polar bear extinction – nearly all thriving and healthy, especially in the warmest places, or so those most qualified to know tell us – Nunavut wildlife specialists, and other Canadian wild-life specialists (if they still have a job after that not politically-correct bombshell), except where over-hunted. Of course you can still show a film of some skinny 20 year old polar bear finding a place to die of old age, before he gets eaten by his ravenous kind, and imply that it’s a young bear. Who’d know?

18. Penguin extinction – unlikely, unless it gets too cold for them and the ice extent gets too big (better not go there). There are penguins and bears in the tropics after all, and no, they weren’t introduced there by Bugs Bunny, though Al might suggest they were, to go with some of his other amazing discoveries and recollections (internet; ‘look for the union label’ jingle; against tobacco etc. even as his family grew it). One of the more hilarious of them – apart from the internet fandango, is the one when Gore was campaigning for president in 2000 and told a union group that his parents sung him to sleep with lullabies like “Look for the Union Label” – a jingle that was written for a union advertisement in 1975, when Al Gore was 27 years old! There are others in there that will have you holding your sides while you wonder just how far you should trust this guy on other matters too. http://ff.org/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=373

19. Glaciers are melting. Of course many of them are. We are leaving the last ice age for goodness sake. In the Alps in the Little Ice Age they were praying that the massive glaciers would stop advancing before they over-ran their villages, even as the sacramental wine froze in the churches.

20. Hurricane Katrina. Damage to New Orleans should be blamed on environmentalist court-blocking of the Corps of Engineers dyke and levee construction 20 or so years ago, and not blamed on a category 3, weak, hurricane. Of course the environmentalists don’t like this to be pointed out and try to deny it, and prefer to blame AGW, impending coastal flooding, and inadequate response by Bush. Another class action suit anyone?

And the most frightening point of all:

21. Hands off this religion! The issue has become a new religion that feels it does not need any science to bolster it up but can be carried along by the faithful. Long live the Gore-acle and his clones.

As if the above unscientific manipulations were not enough to kill any rational belief in AGW, the main ‘points’ why I am opposed to A driven GW:

1. Scare the crap out of everyone (if you don’t have the science behind you then use emotions) in true environmentalist tradition about AGW, or you will be ignored. Everything must be catastrophic or it will be shrugged off. Keep changing the focus. Ensure that future AGW predictions are scary - no one can ever prove you wrong in your lifetime, and you are not accountable for being wrong, as reputable scientists usually are. Scare politicians with extreme predictions to ensure the grants keep flowing. Scream censorship if your bosses ask for the science, and refuse to share it if anyone wants to see your base data or the code you used to massacre it. Teach children what to think, not how to think. Blanket the schools with propaganda rather than science. Brainwash the little dears. Never admit that there is a solid counter argument or let it into the schools. Censor the Great Global Warming Swindle (GGWS) film. Keep the faith, baby.

2. Never admit that you know that carbon dioxide is only 0.038% of the atmosphere and that human added carbon dioxide might be only 0.003 of that percentage. Also never admit that plants thrive on added carbon dioxide or that we would too, as agriculture improves (likely).

3. Never admit that it is the first 20 to 100 ppm of carbon dioxide that has 90+% of the ‘warming’ effect (even NASA knows this, though there are those in NASA who also try to deny it and were taken to task here: http://nov55.com/gbwm.html ). Further additions of carbon dioxide have hardly any additional effect.

4. Weather is weather. It is a day-to-day phenomenon, and we can get it right about 50% of the time for the next few days. Now we try to extend things out to 50 or 100 years?!! Weather records are made and others are broken all of the time: hot, cold, wet, dry, snow, ice storm etc. This is not surprising as we have been taking only good quality measurements, over too small an area, for too brief a time, and there are many weather processes we still do not fully understand. However, there are those who confuse weather events with climate change: they see that carbon dioxide levels are rising; they observe a weather hiccup; and then the hysteria-making machine takes over and predicts global catastrophe.

5. Everything about AGW is future predictions, guestimates, estimates, based upon Cherry-picked extreme and non-representative data, a lot of imagination, with little actual solid scientific based data, and avoidance of perspective. All statements must be negative. Optimism is not allowed or the issue becomes less scary, yet warmer is generally much more healthful than colder, but is not politically correct.

6. Global warming is realistically suggested to cause warmer winter temperatures, and a little warming at the poles (dry regions with low humidity) without doing anything serious to tropical regions. The polar ice caps won’t melt unduly except for the normal melting of the arctic in summer, and bits around the edges. Take a look at the polar temperatures. A few degrees warming would make little if any difference (minus 60 to minus 55). Nothing too scary there except to the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism (NN of N) (Spiro Agnew).

7. Paleoclimatology data. We are at a point in geological history where average global temperature (as estimated for the entire world even though it makes little sense), is at one of the lowest points ever (Graph below, from http://mysite.verizon.net/mhieb/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html)

It seems to be about 9 to 12 to 15 degrees C at this time, globally (difficult to pin down and makes little sense anyway), with the ice ages seemingly coming in at about 9 degrees C or less, with immense variations North to South and seasonally. It used to be an average of about 20+ degrees C when the reptiles thrived (they don’t like frost) and when plant life exploded (it loves carbon dioxide, the more the better at this time). So not only do we seem to have just left the last ice age, we are still not totally out of it, and cautious minds would say that considering the length of ice ages (millions of years) and the time since we think we left the last one (a few thousand years), we are still either just leaving it, or are really still in it and may be ready for a cyclic return to the really icy weather.

There are two inconvenient points on the graph above for the argument that carbon dioxide is a significant driver of temperature. One occurs at the Ordovician/Silurian boundary, and the other at the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary. Both show temperature conditions comparable with today (unusually low), but with a carbon dioxide level five to ten times higher. Clearly carbon dioxide could not be the driver of temperature then, so why should we believe that it must be a driver now? The physics of carbon dioxide has not changed. The other uncomfortable fact is that we are still at one of the coldest and least carbon dioxide concentration levels in all of earth’s history (the edge of an ice age, or a hiccup in the middle of one). Why do we seem to want to trap ourselves here, if we can? Why do we assume that even modest warming or modest increases in carbon dioxide will be a major catastrophe? Get rid of unworkable computer modeling until it becomes much more reliable and disconnected from political taint, and is able to get current climate right. Get back to the real science.

We should never forget the words of Nikola Tesla: “Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.” – Nikola Telsa, inventor and electrical engineer, and obviously clairvoyant about future climate computer modeling and the IPCC.

8. Cycles of natural weather changes: Medieval Warm Period, LIA, Roman WP etc., were so inconvenient, that Mann’s Hockey stick was designed to get rid of them from history, and make the present time the warmest ever. ‘We have to get rid of the MWP and LIA’ or we’ll never convince people that a catastrophe is coming. Sounds like egregious and highly dishonest manipulation to me. It seems to have been very easy to slip this real stinker by the IPCC, but then had it been true it would have been truly devastating. Too juicy to pass up. Says it all about the IPCC, and Mann unfortunately.

9. We are just leaving the last ice age

10. Sunspot cycles (different ones): Even one of the astronomers royal, came up with a seemingly radical hypothesis – one might say an ‘inconvenient truth’ – a real one rather than a manufactured one, contributing to much ridicule at the time - William Herschel suggested a link between sunspots, which seemed to affect the weather as they do even today, and wheat prices in 1801. The sunspot cycles brought warmth and good crops. He was right. And then there are the inconveniences of Cosmic rays influencing solar flux and cloud formation. Something else for the AGW brigade to try and avoid.

11. Then there is the problem of limited and low quality meteorological observations everywhere, with sites poorly maintained, often with contaminated data, high-low averaging without allowance for time weighting, including throughout the US (Anthony Watts: http://surfacestations.org/ and with unconscionable data manipulation (changing processes in mid stream to evaluate data, and even changing the raw data) (Hansen), as patiently and doggedly revealed by McIntyre: http://www.climateaudit.org/ . Several rounds of applause for McIntyre!

12. Water is the main greenhouse gas, but don’t ever admit it or show that its effect is multiples more effective than CO2, or that it is extremely variable from day to day and season to season. Ignore it.

13. There is a normal Diurnal and seasonal variation in Temperature of up to 40 to 60 degree C. Don’t admit this if you want to scare people about the possible and invariably scary and catastrophic suggested effects of a mere 0.5 to 1 or 2 degrees C increase over the next 100 years.

14. Then there was the Kyoto Protocol. Take a vote in the UN or the EU, and try to lock societies into a socially crippling and unworkable protocol (Kyoto) to legislate carbon dioxide emissions back to some historical level that cannot have any definitive effect other than that it will beggar and destroy society. Ignore some of the biggest polluters and forgive them.

15. Make more outrageous future projections. Drag out potential future Chinese beggars (Flood victims in this case) to keep people off balance. Tuvalu. Bangladesh, Battery Park NY (!?!), Holland, and blame it all on the US for opposing ratifying Kyoto (95 to 0 in the senate, and no partisan disagreement about it), even as Gore was V.P.

16. Suggest the possibility that the Greenland ice sheet could slide into the North Atlanticand send a Tsunami around the world and eventually raise sea levels by up to 100 feet or more, or maybe 20 feet (Gore) while the IPCC now says maybe 17 inches rise, or less, and they don’t touch Greenland’s ice sheet sliding off. I wouldn’t either.

17. Talk of the dreaded possibility of opening up the NW passage as though it had never been open before in 1905 (Amundsen) or several times since, and never suggest it would improve trade routes, reduce energy use (so would warming), or open up new resources, or that warming (of colder regions) would improve rather than harm agriculture. Talk of permafrost melting with catastrophic release of methane etc. (all to occur sometime in the future of course).

18. Enlist Hollywood movie stars to jet around the world and to convince the less fortunate fawning millions, of a problem that only Hollywood can exaggerate with whiz-bang sci-fi effects; in Technicolor; and with surround sound. Strange they don’t do that for the really well-defined crucial social issues like poverty, starvation, genocide, clean water etc, that kill millions each year while global warming kills, how many?

19. Transfer wealth – under Kyoto – or something like it, from the poor of developed society to the wealthy kleptocrats of the undeveloped world, and never question what they might do with that money to buy wives or Mercedes, or just to pay off cronies and thugs, or if it will decrease or increase overall carbon dioxide emissions in the world or in their much less efficient technologically backward societies. Al gets around this by buying carbon credits from himself; money from one pocket to the other. Slick! Way to go Al!

20. Show good film of numerous examples of rising sea levels (Suzuki) without pointing out that all examples are of land subsidence around the Mediterranean, as the SL has not noticeably or measurably risen over the last 200 years (Isle of the dead, Tasmania, Daly site). Never point out that the ‘noise in the oceans is plus or minus up to about 40 metres and more on a regular, even daily basis (tides, seiches, rainfall, evaporation, storms), so the few inches that there might be, is like a hiccup in a hurricane.

21. Then there are the Climate-modeling fiascos upon which so much is based, and other sleight of hand manipulations and human errors. They can’t even get it done by doubling the carbon dioxide in the models.

22. Temperature drives Carbon Dioxide. Vostok ice core data: the reality is – as a more detailed look at the ice core log shows, that temperature drives carbon dioxide (Wunsch was very clear on that in the GGWS, despite his protests afterwards after being leaned on), and not quite as Al Gore wanted us to believe; carbon dioxide drives temperature.

23. Mars and other planets’ are warming. Obviously the sun is at fault, unless the Martians have been up to stuff we don’t know about.

24. Do whatever you can to close down any possibility of debate. Al Gore has ducked away from this regularly, recognizing that he would get a shellacking. Lord Monckton wants to debate him. Bjorn Lomborg was in the running at one time. There are numerous other challengers and big rewards for those who can prove that Saint Al is correct. The Intelligence squared debate (below) was, however, a timely wake-up call to the faithful: ‘Don’t go there’.

25. Keep away from the science. Attack the man instead and engage in ad hominem attacks on them, even if they are the most qualified in the entire field (Christy, Landsea, Singer, Michaels, Lindzen, Reiter, etc., etc). Talk about them being in the pay of big oil, or coal, or whatever. Never admit that these people are the real tops in their fields, but are not popular with the IPCC as they want to see the truth told and a reliance on only good science, and the IPCC is not comfortable with that. And then of course there is Heidi Cullen and a few other nattering extremists. Fire those who question the orthodoxy. Intimidate and threaten the critics. This is no way to conduct a scientific debate.

26. Of course you know that honest meteorologists admit that they get the next few days forecast right about 50% of the time. After that, it’s a crapshoot. Climate is merely a concatenation of decades of variable and up and down varying weather, so how can anyone be so certain about 100 years ahead based upon today’s weather-forecasting success? They can’t. It’s a mug’s game, but a profitable mug’s game, and no-one can prove you wrong! 27. Avoid disclosure of data or methods,

like Mann, Hansen, Jones etc. do for as long as they can. Call the opponents ‘court jesters’ when they reveal that you committed a serious blunder (Hansen) in questionable data manipulation or got it entirely wrong (Mann) even though it might be obvious that you are more likely the court jester. The faithful will always be with you. 28. Censor opposing views (Science, nature, etc), especially in your own blogs to create the impression of acceptance and unanimity (real climate)

29. IPCC – deal only with the data that supports your view, ignore and expunge the rest. It’s difficult to know how to start with everything that is wrong with the IPCC, but this is a good start:
(http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles%202005/GobalWarmStevenson.pdf)

30. IPCC Degree of uncertainty wildly underestimated (its about 70% uncertainty – they say so themselves indirectly: 8 of 11 climate parameters are poorly understood), and therefore estimates of certainty (high degree, greater than 90% sure) are criminally overestimated. The IPCC political summary says AGW is unequivocal, yet the scientists who wrote the chapters were not so sure. There is a very large disconnect here that stinks folks.

The IPCC's Third Assessment Report of 2001 listed 11 possible climate factors and indicated that the level of scientific understanding was "very low" for 7 of them and "low" for another.

In the new (fourth) IPCC Summary for Policymakers there are 12 key variables pertaining to temperature changes between the years 1750 and 2000. The IPCC characterizes its confidence level as “high” on only one of those variables. Two are characterized as “medium,” one is “low,” and eight are “very low.”

It doesn’t sound unequivocal to me folks. General criticism points are here:
http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/sppi_originals/fallacies_about_global_warming.html

31. IPCC summaries of politically rewritten science, beat the science into fit shape for the political readers and for media release.

32. IPCC: Constant revision of key predictions downwards (sea level data) as they come to a point where they can no longer ignore real science that shows them to be very likely wrong, and their models out-to-lunch.

33. The IPCC Chapters and the science – written by the qualified scientists - shall be changed to agree with the politically correct IPCC summary written by… politicians. Now that one really stinks!

34. One must scare people and exaggerate to get their attention (Gore, Hansen, etc, etc, and one must also edit out scientists’ uncertainties, and one must exaggerate and emphasize the politically correct edited conclusions to be more certain that politicians will pay attention and get the ‘correct’ message (IPCC). Sounds like lying to me. Another real stinker!

35. And all of those thorny skeptical sites that just won’t go away. They wouldn’t even exist if the science was correctly presented.

36. The GGWS eye-opener about the real science as told by real scientists not politicians. Response: Horror! – Slag Durkin, keep away from their science, stop it being shown, don’t let it in the schools. It’s obviously worth watching.

37. The intelligence squared debate, here:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9082151 Hard headed common sense from real world people (three of them anyway) about the lack of science to prove AGW, versus emotional pleas to morality (never mind the science) and to faithfully accept the future dogma of AGW or the world will not survive. The audience was not stupid. They became dominantly skeptical of AGW as a result. Another one to listen to and watch.

38. It might be global cooling. Sh! (Remember Schneider? Colleague of Hansen in NASA back then, who pushed this one along). It was global cooling just a mere thirty years ago as the media dutifully reported. Schneider is now a born again warmer. The media objected even then to seeing or reporting naysayers on that one too. They never seem to learn do they?

39. Define specific extinctions that HAVE occurred due to GW, not that are predicted to occur.

40. Define specific diseases, that have increased due to GW, not that are predicted to increase.

41. Predict more hurricanes and more destructive hurricanes but hope there is not a repeat of 2006, (damned inconvenient, no significant hurricanes coming ashore after a record breaking year had been counted on), although 2007 might be shaping up for a replay.

42. It’s clouds.

43. It’s the sun.

44. It’s not carbon dioxide.

Please note that the ‘points’ in the first section ‘in favor of A driven GW’ nearly all raise red flags of poor or manipulated science. None of them should even exist and wouldn’t if the science were better. Most of the ‘points in the second section amplify my objections and raise more red flag issues. It is a part of good science to point out the weaknesses and unscientific character of the beliefs and behavior of AGW promoters as well as that of the opposers.

In the AGW school of warming, the litany of one poor package of junk science after another - attempts at distortion, editing, hiding data, changing data (Hansen), inventing trends (Mann), changing conclusions (IPCC), ad hominem attacks (Hansen and most of them), censorship by a hysterical media, outrageously incapable computer modeling, and even outright lies (fill in the names here…) - should send enough alarm bells ringing to warn even the most obtuse about what is happening; though not loud enough to alarm the faithful it seems. It really is a new religion.

Now, take your best shots!

 
 
Authored By:
Dr. Sutherland is a retired Health Physicist who worked with radiation for almost 20 years in the non-nuclear industry, and then spent 20 years in various aspects of radiation protection at a CANDU nuclear power plant, while managing the environmental radiation monitoring program and providing a dosimetry monitoring program for about 600 employees. He now has his own consulting company. He writes about energy in general, radiation, radiation protection, and
 

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Comments

October, 29 2007

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Under normal circumstances I would be ready to join your army, John - to put my arrogant shoulder to your wheel; but I'm really terribly afraid that when I look at some of the other anti-AGW crusaders, I just can't force myself to step forward. Pathetic is the best description of those in Sweden with whom I am familiar, although admittedly some of the ladies and gentlemen working the other side of the street would have difficulty passing a freshman course in science at Boston Public.

Besides, as I have proclaimed from my soap box at the top of my voice, the basic issue is not GW but a new energy technology, and if the war against AGW was vigorously conducted we might get that new technology before rather than after we should have it, by which I mean before a possible gap between oil demand and supply calls for a macroeconomically devastating oil price rise, and a more intense military and perhaps political commitment in the oil exporting countries. Isn't that a worth-while goal?

About Al Gore. He's merely doing now what he should have done when he was running for president. At that time he didn't exploit his service in Vietnam, but now he's exploiting his access to the media. Wouldn't you be tempted to do the same thing if you were in his place? Jetting around the world with Hollywood eye- candy makes a lot more sense than debating a crank like Lomborg.

October, 29 2007

Len Gould says

Fairly irrefutable, John, and therefore unconvincing. Though the fact you had to include this meaningless and irrelevant old canard makes me tend to wonder

" Never admit that you know that carbon dioxide is only 0.038% of the atmosphere and that human added carbon dioxide might be only 0.003 of that percentage. Also never admit that plants thrive on added carbon dioxide or that we would too, as agriculture improves (likely)."

October, 29 2007

Len Gould says

This is relevant:

Associated Press - White House edited Senate testimony on warming's effects" - "The White House significantly edited testimony prepared for a Senate hearing on the impact of climate change on health, deleting key portions citing diseases that could flourish in a warmer climate, according to documents obtained Wednesday. .... Two people familiar with the documents said Tuesday, after the Senate hearing, that the White House Office of Management and Budget had edited the CDC director's congressional testimony, removing specific scientific references to potential health risks."

As usual, the Office of Management and Budget telling the head of the CDC what to say to the country about potential disease effects of climate change. Where's the scientific justification there? If the director's incompentent they should fire her, else leave her testimony intact. It's a good thing there's people like Al Gore willing to take such as the above ad hominem's to balance the discussion controlled by that that brainless bunch at the top in the US.

October, 29 2007

Jim Beyer says

John,

I can't spend the time to refute all of your points, though I probably should. You are in a fairly reasonable state of denial. Truth be told, under other circumstances, you probably would accept global warming as real (you'd accept the science) but the implications (costs) are so grave, you are looking for the crack in the armor. [Yeah, yeah, I should tell other people what they are thinking - but if I'm wrong, they will let me know.....]

A few of your points:

1. Your point that if Earth hadn't warmed, you be under 1 km of ice. The issue IS stability. There IS a "present" that we'd like to preserve for economic reasons. (This is what I don't get about anti-AGW people; they bitch about the cost, and then say huge (and costly) climatic changes are "normal"). So if things do warm up to much, climate changes will be very costly to current economic structures, including, perhaps, Florida, NYC, other coastal areas, etc. Wildlife will also be adversely affected because due to human influences, they are stuck in "islands" they can't easily escape/migrate from.

5. The hockey stick. Yeah, the data was wrong. The new data looks more like a scythe. Still going up. If anything, the data is more predictable looking than the sudden eruption from a hockey stick.

10. Picking this point for a different reason. Oil. We are running out of it. (Unless you don't believe THAT either.) My take on this is that this argument is 10x stronger than the AGW argument. But since dealing with oil is a problem enough, we can probably deal with both of them while we are at it. Why not kill two birds with one stone?

What you didn't say in your paper that you should have, regardless of your opinion, is that AGW is all about COAL. We will run out of NG and oil before they contribute that much more to CO2 levels. Same with old growth trees, though there are good reasons not to torch them either. AGW is all about COAL.

COAL.

COAL!

You get it? COAL!

Saying AGW is nonsense is saying we should burn more coal. The stuff that spreads mercury into our lakes, releases more radioactive particles than nuclear power plants, and kills 13 miners daily in China. That stuff. The stuff we are so desperate for that we permanently entomb 6 miners in Utah to get. And kill another 3 people just in the effort of retrieving their bodies. We risk people's lives by mining the columns holding the mine celing up in retreating from a coal seam. That's what coal has come to.

Saying you are anti-AGW is saying that coal is the best way to fuel our future society of 6-9 Billion souls. Acknowledging AGW is acknowledging that there should be a better way of doing this.

October, 29 2007

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Anybody who has any curiosity about Lord Monckton should turn to GOOGLE and Wikipedia: after reading the first few paragraphs I immediately thought of informing him that if he wanted a debate, I would be glad to supply him with one - provided of course that he handled the financial responsibilities. In case his secret service checked my bona-fides, he would have found that anyone coming to my university with the intention of putting me in my place made it his business to never return, because in that kind of situation I take no prisoners.

HOWEVER, when I found out that Viscount Monckton was an EU skeptic, and apparently had been an advisor of some sort to Sir James Goldsmith - who roughly had about the same low opinion of the EU as my good self - I immediately withdrew my 'theoretical' invitation. I wnat to go on record as saying that Lord Mocckton is A-OK with me. AGW may or may not be a reality, but the probability that the EU is an unmitigated curse is pretty close to 100%. I would even be willing to call Bjorn Lomborg and his Copenhagen Consensus an assembly of outstanding scientific talent if they would bad mouth the EU.

October, 29 2007

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Jim Beyer,

I suggest you pause, take a few deep breaths and then go back and re-read your comment above. This is not the place, nor is AGW the issue, for hysteria.

Perhaps you could focus on the following questions: 1) What is the ideal average global temperature? 2) What is the ideal atmospheric CO2 concentration? 3) By what percentage must AGW emissions be reduced to achieve the ideal? 4) Over what time period must that reduction occur? 5) Who will convince everyone to do what must be done?

These may seem like silly questions. However, the absence of one generally accepted answer to each of these questions suggests otherwise to me.

Ed

October, 29 2007

Jim Beyer says

Ed,

Answering your questions:

1) I don't know. 2) I don't know. Keeping the CO2 concentration under 400 ppm would be nice. Not too likely though... 3) A lot. Net emissions would probably have to effectively cease. Perhaps 10% of current emissions. 4) 50 years. 5) I don't know. That's kind of a problem, isn't it?

I have some questions for Ed:

1) Are 6 Billion people sustainable on this planet with current technology? 2) Are 9 Billion people? 3) Are 20 Billion people? 4) Are 100 Billion people?

If any of these anwers are NO, then we need some way to accomplish zero population growth within the next 2-3 generations, along with an economic system that can tolerate a zero growth scenario for the earth as a whole. Who is going to organize all of this?

You think I am focusing on some "ideal" temperature. I am not. I am saying our planet is now so crowded that major climactic changes would disrupt and probably kill millions of people. I guess if that's OK with everyone, then we got no problems.

October, 29 2007

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Jim Beyer,

My point is that there is not a definitive answer to any of those questions; and, that there must be before we can develop a rational plan to attack the issue.

I know the "7% solution" is no solution; if it was, there would be no issue. I just have a huge problem with: "Do something, anything, even if it's wrong."

I am certain that 6 billion is sustainable with current technology, especially since current technology is in use by a small percentage of those 6 billion today. Of course, if we were all using current technology, we might already be 9 billion.

October, 29 2007

Malcolm Rawlingson says

Excellent article John. The point at issue is whether we - the global community -should spend billions or trillions of dollars to avert a supposed "crisis" that will never happen while not doing anything about those that actually ARE happening.

The significant "doctoring" and manipulation of data for political ends that has been clearly evident throughut the IPCC process is not the way real scientists do business.

Here is a recent climate prediction proven wrong.

Prediction "All" of the hurricane scientists (consensus) predicted 2007 would be a bad year for hurricanes. All the conditions were right for it according to the models. Warm sea temperature etc etc. Observation: This has been a very mild year for hurricanes with fewer than normal not more than normal incidence of the phenomenon. Conclusion: There is something wrong with the modelling because it cannot predict hurricane frequency or intensity with any degree of accuracy.

Based on the predictions of a dire hurrican season I decided to take my wife to the caribbean for a holiday in October. No hurricanes. Weather was beautiful and we got the trip for an absolute bargain price while the rest of North America stayed home and waioted for the hurricanes to blow us off the island.

Of course there is still November yet. If we get about 5 major storms in November we could get to where the predictions said we were to be. My prediction is we will not get that number.

But these are the computer models that are predicting massive climate disruptions. I'd suggest we take a moment to really think about spending billions and billions of dollars on this science. It is apparently about as good as guessing. A 50-50 chance of being correct.

But I have to agree with my good friend Ferdinand Banks. If the outcome of all the political hysteria is the development of science that will replace oil and gas and perhaps coal then we will arrive at the right place for all the wrong reasons.

But that is not good science. We should not be doing business this way. It is entirely the wrong way for our society to progress.

A brilliant articulate article John. Well done.

Malcolm

October, 29 2007

John K. Sutherland says

First, I would like to see most of the world’s future energy use come from Nuclear power and the further electrification of society. And the sooner the better.

Second, I would like to see the world stop wasting fossil fuels to produce energy, or flounder around in dabbling with irrational, unworkable or marginal things such as ethanol, hydrogen, and even wind or solar, though the latter two do have their place off grid.

Obviously neither of these scenarios will unfold overnight, nor should they be railroaded through and imposed on any society by political fiat, which is how most meddling politicians prefer to achieve things in their posturing scramble for relevance and power. The fossil fuel industry will not disappear until there are viable alternatives, and they will fight to stop nuclear power even if it empowers the same environmentalists who will readily turn on them when the inducements are big enough.

But let’s stay with this much abused subject of AGW. What I would like to see from my interested and opposing respondents is exactly what specific scientific argument(s) persuaded them unequivocally, that Anthropogenic GW is a significant, or even dominant effect in the intermittent warming we have noted in the last 100 years, up until about 1998, when it appeared to stop warming. If you can do that, you stand a chance of influencing me.

What I have seen so far is a lot of smoke blowing around, as though few of my critics either read or tried to understand the points, and picking at minor but irrelevant details while no-one addresses the numerous issues that I have raised.

It is so evident from the Vostok data that Al Gore referred to so poorly, and from other ice core data, that temperature is the driver of changes in carbon dioxide. The entire house of cards about AGW, where carbon dioxide is supposed to drive temperature changes, falls apart right there. How can it be so studiously ignored by so many? Please stop avoiding the science. Try to present the incontrovertible AGW evidence that persuaded you, and that I so much want to have presented here.

John K. Sutherland.

October, 29 2007

Jeff Presley says

John,

Thank you! You've articulated what I have been unable to do in multiple posts here and elsewhere. Of course a few thousand words (and excellent links) trumps a few hundred here and there. :)

AGW is all about hype and hysteria and always has been.

I was at a conference recently and met a young PhD in ocean climatology. I thought, Great, someone I can talk with about this stuff. Unfortunately she was literally clueless about EVERYTHING. When I started with simple things like the amount of CO2 in the oceans, she was off by a factor of 30, There was a computer right there, I brought up the data and showed her and she quickly and literally ran away. This after she had told me in no uncertain terms that her postdoctoral work would be pro AGW at a prestigious university I won't name here because they've been embarrassed enough by over-zealous professors condemning a lacrosse team without the facts. Condemn the industrialized world without the facts either? Why not?

October, 29 2007

Jim Beyer says

OK,

I will comment on the first 8.

#1 The revised ("scythe") plot shows the global temperature up about 0.4C since 1000 AD, and up about 0.8 C since 1900.

#2 I don't know about overwhelming scientific consensus. Just consensus. Scientists admit they don't know everything. This is their best guess. And their best guess is that they are very concerned about this.

#3 (You agree to this.) CO2 levels are at the highest levels in the atmosphere in 600,000. Highest levels in recorded human history.

#4 None of the comments on this point refutes the notion. CO2 has a greater coefficient of radiative forcing than the other main components of the atmosphere (O2 and N2). CH4 and N2O also have high radiative forcing coefficients. So if more CO2 gets in the atmosphere, the earth will warm up. If the earth warms up, does more CO2 go in the atmosphere? Possibly, maybe the oceans outgas more. Maybe methane is released. (Methane turns into CO2 after about 10 years in the atmosphere.) This is a major concern of climatologists; the possibility of positive feedback and a "tipping point".

#5 The Mann Hockey Stick. Discussed earlier. Revised data still shows upward trend. Shaped more like a scythe. Temperatures rising strongly beginning mostly in the 20th century, possibly do to ending of mini ice age in early 19th century.

#6 Yeah. climate modeling is tough, and they make lots of mistakes. This is their best guess.

#7 Rising Sea Levels. Documented. The fact that tides shift daily is irrelevant. Small island nations in the Pacific have seen visible erosion of their lands. I don't really know what your point is here. That small changes per year aren't important? They are what they are.

#8 Diseases will spread. Spruce Bark Beetle is destroying more trees in Alaska due to the milder winters being experienced there. More bugs survive through the winter, so they can spread more. Forest area the size of Connecticutt damaged by the beetles. Extension of biomes of pest is one effect of global warming.

I guess I don't know where all this anger is on the part of you, John. I don't know what else to call it. You seem angry that Al Gore and the AGW proponents have 'won'. And they have won, even the Republicans have given up on this. You, Malcolm, Jeff and to a lesser extent, Edward, are what's left.

And you might even be right. Maybe this is all some huge mistake. The evidence (to me) is much more arcane than the problems with oil depletion, in my book. Yet, there are folks like Alan that are in denial about that as well. So I am supposed to believe you and not Alan? Why is that? Why is your case stronger than Alan's?

I think the main problem is that you don't have faith in Scientists. Not that you should believe AGW without a second thought. That you should believe in scientists to correct themselves if they figured out they are wrong. They will, believe me. If a SOLID, VALID piece of evidence is unearthed to invalidate AGW, then someone will make that very well known. Scientists love to find new material that bucks the trend, even trends such as AGW. Yes, there is a bit of a herd mentality right now in this area. But if something is found that is relevant, eventually it will make its way to the surface.

I can't be sure, but I don't think that's going to happen. I think the high CO2 levels are a reason for valid concern. Definitely worth watching very closely. What to do? Well, maybe not build so many coal plants right now. Maybe in 20 years we will know more. So no coal plants for 20 years or so.

And who knows. Maybe Kunstler is right. Maybe we are just totally screwed. That's a possibility too. Maybe the earth can sustain 6 Billion people. Then again, maybe only 3 Billion are sustainable long term. As NG gets more expensive (and it will, as it follows petroleum prices) we will see how all these mouths get fed as the cost of fertilizer goes through the roof.

I guess what I am asking is why is AGW so viscerally repellent to you? You make ad hominem attacks on Al Gore, while in the same breath express outrage on such attacks on AGW opponents. In the end, AGW is just a theory, to be borne out, or not, as time goes on.

In the interim, once you get past the nonsense, what does AGW really say? Don't use coal. That's what it says. Well, I don't think that's horrible advice, even without the threat of GW.

I guess I am saying that I can live with the uncertainty of the scientists and their current beliefs about global warming. I trust that the truth will eventually come out, and it will do so with minds sharper than yours or mine working on this subject.

October, 30 2007

Ferdinand E. Banks says

"Minds sharper than yours or mine". Jim, there ain't no such minds. In this forum we've got all the answers we need as long as we remember something that was implicit in the work of John von Neumann: getting rid of wrong answers is more important than searching for new right answers.

October, 30 2007

Len Gould says

How can anyone who reads honest reportage and understands the scientific method credit "Dr" Singer at al as any form of scientist? They are a tiny minority with clearly proven financial links to the carbon club of companies. That is a direct question expecting a response from John Sutherland and not Jeff Presley.

October, 30 2007

Len Gould says

-- CBC fifth estate -- "filtered their money through a series of associations in Calgary" re: "Dr." Tim Ball. "most of these guys you see quoted are not currently or even recently published in any climate science journals", (Friends Of Science) "funded by the oil and tobacco industries"

"You start with arguing that mandatory controls don't work, then go on to discuss clean air and non-climate-change issues" -- a Bush advisor's (Frank Luntz) discussion how he helped Canada's conservative party arrive at a position on the issue. Note: Frank Luntz, in a current interview, says he now believes global warming IS a real problem and Kyoto should have been followed by the present administration. His advice now is "take the issue OUT of the political sphere and start doing meaningful things about it."

October, 30 2007

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Len, I have great respect for Fred Singer, but let's just face it: he has been out of the scientific 'loop' for a very long time. Of course, the thing that I can't take is the mention of people like Viscount Monckton and 'Professor' Lomborg. Why do they have to be brought into this? John Sutherland, could you please clarify for dumb me the intellectual or scientific contribution that these gentlemen can make to our friendly discussion, and if you can't or won't perhaps Jeff Presley will lend a hand. In fact I can say the same thing about the very unnecessary Al Gore, who when he was running for president of the only country in the world that has had a war every generation, forgot that he had gone into the army and been sent to Vietnam.

And while on that subject let's mention Kyoto, where a collection of jet-setting know-nothings agreed on emissions trading as the main device for combatting AGW instead of nuclear, carbon taxes, and more attention to renewables.

At the same time though I'm ready to claim that Monckton is a wonderful person because of his position on the EU.

October, 30 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Jim, I am briefly going to ‘go’ at your main points.

1 Where is the revised ‘scythe’ plot referenced? Who produced it and with what data? If you choose your starting date to be a cold period, as Gore does, then of course everything by comparison will be warmer. However, there are good indications that we are still not back to the MWP, so in comparison to that, we have not moved significantly at all. I will, nonetheless agree that we have recently – until 1998 – seen a gradual warming trend. As I said.

2. Best guesses don’t make it when so much is at stake. I don’t think I would have much faith in engineers who designed a bridge, built a skyscraper, or built a jumbo jet by best guess, nor in a doctor about to operate on me if all he could do was a best guess. This is not science, and until there is some valid science here instead of guesses and future predictions, I want nothing to do with it.

3. Not necessarily. But certainly since the observatory on Mauna Loa started collecting data in 1958. Check the Paleoclimate graph – or maybe you didn’t read that far.

4. CO2 will have a very small and decreasing incremental warming effect, but as the graph showed, the warming gets less as the CO2 gets larger, with the first 20 to 50 ppm having the overwhelming effect. Beyond that, the effect is minuscule. Also, water vapor – which is considerably more variable than CO2 has multiples larger an effect that we can ourselves feel and see every day. You are still managing to get CO2 as causing (significant) warming when it is temperature change that causes much more of a change in CO2. This is still the Barse Ackwards principle.

5. As you admitted earlier, before you were sidetracked into emotional red-herring arguments; ‘The hockey stick. Yeah, the data was wrong.’

6. Another best guess! Not enough to pin the ‘catastrophic’ pronouncements on for me, nor for anyone else who can think, I hope. Not quite what you would like to spend a few trillion dollars on and then discover that Oh Dear! I got it wrong.

7 Visible erosion due to land exploitation, not due to rising SL. And a few millimeters per year does not translate into catastrophe either. However, the lies were that Tuvalu and others were being swamped, and that the islanders’ were already heading off to socialist NZ to avoid their fate. If they are, (and they are not) it would be to avoid a deprived lifestyle and not for fear of imminent inundation. The dishonesty was quite nicely captured in a recent paper in which it was shown that Australian environmentalists had deliberately uprooted a relatively old tree growing on a foreshore so that it could not be used to show that rising SL was mostly exaggeration.

8. Not the dreaded Pine Bark Beetles?! Run for your lives!! But then maybe other insects will also find it pretty good too, such as the insects that eat those insects, and of birds and plants and agriculture and general prosperity. We call it ‘change’. Only to some people, is ‘change’ unalleviated catastrophe.

Jim, Alan (Caruba) was talking about peak oil. I am not.

No Jim. I have no faith in most scientists – they are human, and I remember Pauling, and Pons and Fleischmann, and Y2K, and many others, including Hansen and Mann, and I have read McKays book on Popular Delusions. On the other hand, I have reasonable faith in science that observes the scientific method. Jim when you say ‘Maybe in 20 years we will know more?!!’ Not good enough! You are saying ‘Verdict now! Sentence later! Off with his head!’ (apologies to Lewis Carroll).

You haven’t convinced me at all about AGW being significant, yet you have now advanced to the point of ‘Don’t use coal’ because of an unproven linkage. I would like us not to use coal also, but for a different reason.

John K. Sutherland.

October, 30 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Continued:

Fred, You got it right. Science advances by getting rid of the bad science which litters every step of the way.

Len (next post), You are letting Ad Hominem get in the way of clear thinking. Singer’s credentials are well established outside of the miasma that is Wikipedia. It is the science that is important, not the person. I will even agree with Gore when he gets it right – when he gets it right. Until then, I am not so much attacking Gore as exposing his rotten science, which is a form of ad hominem I guess.

Len (next post), More ad hominem about Ball etc. When you reference the CBC, you lose nearly all credibility with me.

Fred (next post). Everyone has a contribution to make. I evaluate the arguments of the individual and agree or disagree based upon what I know, or can believe and verify. Hell, I even think that Lovelock is a great guy on some issues like Nuclear power, but then he went off into never-never land on drastic climate change even if you reduce carbon dioxide. Of course he’s right about that too if you are prepared to think in terms of millions of years. And Fred, you don’t do so bad yourself for someone in the ‘dismal science.’ At least you get Kyoto right, which most people didn’t and still don’t, and you can see the fatal flaws in the EU. Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose!

John K. Sutherland.

October, 30 2007

Len Gould says

"When you reference the CBC, you lose nearly all credibility with me. "

By that VERY slanted statement alone you loose all credibility with me.

October, 30 2007

Len Gould says

Didn't quite mean that as strong as it came out, simple a counter. If you wish to e.g. look back over the course of the Bush admin. fumbles in the mideast, i'll take reporting of that event as has been presented on CBC over any dozen of Rupert Murdoch's rags, or any of the other captive newsrooms of N. American media.

October, 30 2007

Jim Beyer says

John,

You can find the scythe plot in many places. It was drawn by several sources, using the corrected data. You can find a picture here: Page2 of "Surface Temperature Reconstructions of the last 2,000 years" by the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) available at he NAS website. http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11676

You complain about so much at stake, but then you agree with me that we shouldn't be burning more coal. I don't know what else you want: CO2 levels are rising. Average temperature is rising (past 2,000 years, much more so last 100 years or so) CO2 has significantly more radiative forcing than other gases in the atmosphere (N2, O2). What more do you want? I agree that the economic impact of a finding has some/much bearing on the degree of certainty of the finding offered. It would be nice if we could perform experiments on a planetary scale and 100% verify these things, but that isn't practical. What is known is that Venus is so hot due to its thick CO2 atmosphere, and Mars is as warm as it is (not very warm) due to its thin CO2 atmosphere

CO2 levels for the past 600,000 years have been verified with ice cores. They are scrambling to get to some places, as 600,000 year old ice is beginning to melt.... But even since 1958, CO2 has risen from 318 to over 380 ppm.

The water vapor issue is explained adequately elsewhere. A reference has been posted on energypulse on this. Basically, yes water can absorb a lot of heat, but it stays in the ari only a few days, not 90 years like CO2. So it mostly has very short term affects on heat in local areas, not the long term affects we are concerned about. Your graph is from a website by "a guy". Information from reviewed journals would be preferred. (If the anti-AGW viewpoint is such a valid one, why is it that such people always have such crappy references? Oh yeah, the global science conspiracy..... The reality is that a contrarian viewpoint, properly written, CAN get published in a reviewed journal. Maybe the anti-AGW should focus on that....)

Yes, the hockey stick was wrong, but the revised data still shows an upward trend. I don't know why I have to keep repeating myself on this stuff....

With respect to scientific uncertainty, I'm certainly glad I wasn't with you on Omaha beach, or in the West Wing of the White House, or in a boardroom of a major corporation. Sometimes you don't have all the information when you'd like to have it. If I was an electricity provider deciding whether to build a new coal plant with a 50 year lifetime, I'd think about AGW very carefully. Or if I was an insurance company, I'd study this pretty hard to try to figure out the liklihood that the scientists are right. Well, these folks mostly all agree that AGW is real, at least that's how their pocketbooks are voting. (Note that if they felt it WASN'T real, they'd have much to gain by bucking the trend, yet they aren't doing do. Yet another conspiracy? I don't think so. More like validation.)

My point about Alan is that his views should be ignored, but we are supposed to believe yours. Well, both of you are outside the mainstream viewpoint, and in my opinion, both of you are wrong. Like most anti-AGW folks, you simply try to deny the science, compiled by thousands of scientists over a broad range of disciplines. Sometimes you grab onto a fragment (like the water vapor issue) and show that off as contrarian proof. The reality, though, tends to be more involved, goes deeper into the science, but still is supportive of the main notion of AGW.

You cite Pons and Fleischmann. Perfect example. They claim cold fusion. It hasn't been reliably repeated in other labs. Other phenomena have been suggested. Fine. I don't see a problem with that. If AGW is another Cold Fusion, then we will find out soon enough. BTW, using lackluster and dubious scientific claims to try to support anti-AGW actually makes your cause WORSE, because if a valid anti-AGW claim were to be found, it will have work that much harder to get through to the mainstream scientific community, due to the endless stream of non-evidence that needs to repeatedly dismissed and shunted aside.

What part of "reviewed journals" do the anti-AGW folks not understand?

October, 30 2007

Len Gould says

John: I also think your "20 to 50 ppm having the overwhelming effect. Beyond that, the effect is minuscule." is overstating that case far beyond any concievable scientific reality. All one nned to do is observe the "V" shape of the notch in blocked IR with even our present levels of IR blockers Or read the article at AIP.org, http://www.aip.org/history/climate/Radmath.htm

"Most experts stuck by the old objection to the greenhouse theory of climate change — in the parts of the spectrum where infrared absorption took place, the CO2 plus the water vapor that were already in the atmosphere sufficed to block all the radiation that could be blocked. In this "saturated" condition, raising the level of the gas could not change anything. But this argument was falling into doubt. The discovery of quantum mechanics in the 1920s had opened the way to an accurate theory for the details of how absorption took place, developed by Walter Elsasser during the Second World War. Precise laboratory measurements studies during the war and after confirmed a new outlook. In the frigid and rarified upper atmosphere where the crucial infrared absorption takes place, the nature of the absorption is different from what scientists had assumed from the old sea-level measurements."

October, 30 2007

Len Gould says

further:

"Neither Kaplan nor anyone else of the time was thinking clearly enough about the greenhouse effect to point out that it will operate regardless of the details of the absorption. The trick, again, was to follow how the radiation passed up layer by layer. Consider a layer of the atmosphere so high and thin that heat radiation from lower down would slip through. Add more gas, and the layer would absorb some of the rays. Therefore the place from which heat energy finally left the Earth would shift to a higher layer. That would be a colder layer, unable to radiate heat so efficiently. The imbalance would cause all the lower levels to get warmer, until the high levels became hot enough to radiate as much energy back out as the planet received. (For additional explanation of the "greenhouse effect," follow the link at right to the essay on Simple Models.) Adding carbon dioxide will make for a stronger greenhouse effect regardless of saturation in the lower atmosphere.

(And actually, there is no saturation. With the primitive infrared measuring techniques of his day, Ångström’s assistant had gotten a midleading result. He could only measure the heat transferred across . Measurements from the 1940s on have shown that there is not nearly enough CO2 in the atmosphere to block most of the infrared radiation in the bands of the spectrum where the gas absorbs it. That’s even the case for water vapor in deserts where the air is extremely dry.) "

October, 30 2007

Len Gould says

In addition, in response to those who contend "We shouldn't cut back emissions until we have scientific proof that the emissions will cause definite hardship", I counter that it is equally valid to state, as I do, "We shouldn't be taking such a scientifically provably risky step as significantly increasing earth's atmospheric GHG levels until we have definite scientific proof that those increases will NOT cause future hardship." We don't yet have that proof, and (read the article I've referenced above) we DO have scientific basis for concern.

October, 30 2007

Warren Reynolds says

John K. Sutherland:

Bosh and hogwash ! Even if the global warming is not true, the "scare" will drive us to the solar-hydrogen energy (S-H) economy which is a good thing ! The S-H economy will reduce our dependence on oil (which has limited supply anyway) that creates geo-politcal problems in the Middle East for the U.S. The S-H Economy will also improve our health since over 40,000 people die in Europe and U.S. each year from fossil fuel air pollution.

By the way, a lot of planned coal-fired power plants that were on the drawing boards or planned have been canceled. The industry is now waiting to see what the EPA will come up with as to carbon dioxide limits for coal-fired plants. This due to the Supreme Court decision to have the EPA regulate carbon dioxide emissions.

So, John K. "rant on" nobody listens to you anyway !

October, 31 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Jim, to rain a little further on your parade. You observe CO2 increasing – which it is – you also observe a possible slight warming following the industrial revolution – some doubt is placed on exactly how much warming after Hansen was shown to be fudging the US data and getting it wrong – and then you leap to an illogical conclusion that the two are not just linked, but are directly related. From there you head off into a tirade against coal burning.

The dominant part of heating of our earth is due to the sun, with a minor contribution to heat trapping from anthropogenic CO2, as my graph showed. Minor heating arises from decay processes in the Mantle which add heat to the oceans.

Your comments on Venus need to take into account that Venus is a lot closer to the sun than we are, and that is the dominant reason for its high temperature.

Mars may be very cold, but it is not cold when the sun is shining. It gets up to several hundred degrees then in the sunshine, but when the sun is not shining it drops precipitously the other side of zero and even freezes carbon dioxide. We, on the other hand have water and other gases in our atmosphere or we would suffer the same fate but more-so as we are closer to the sun. Water is what makes this planet habitable and gives it its present amenable climate, with the exception of the Polar regions.

Len, Perhaps instead of waltzing off into a side track here, you should explain to the folks why, when the earth's atmosphere contained in excess of 4,000 ppm CO2, the climate was sufficiently beneficial to support all of the myriad life forms that it did back then, and was not roasted out of life. You should also explain why you want to trap us all here in possibly the coldest period in all of earth’s climate history (see the graph).

I notice how my two critics have avoided answering the main issue which is that Temperature rises in the Oceans since the last ice age, have added to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This was pointed out clearly by Carl Wunsch (on GGWS) and by other Oceanographers before him. And it was the preceding rise in temperature that caused this outgassing from the oceans. In other words temperature drives more CO2 into the atmosphere than man puts there. The small additional effect of this CO2 is small relative to normal solar warming.

Temperature drives CO2 and not the other way around to any significant degree.

The local Gore acolyte responded to one critic, that he would like to be able to look his daughter in the eye in 20 or 30 years and say ‘I did all I can to minimize the impact of global warming.’ Some hope. When this illusory folly collapses, I wonder if he might also want to correct his brainwashing propaganda to several thousand vulnerable children in the school system for repeating Gore’s errors and possibly contributing to trapping them in a new Dark Ages if we don't break free of this expensive, socially destroying stupidity. In the UK, they did wake up about this and started with a correction in the schools of at least nine errors. More will follow. Eventually, we will wake up over here.

And Len, I do not know of many rational people who are in favour of the Precautionary Principle (act first, think later) in issues such as this one.

John K. Sutherland.

October, 31 2007

Jim Beyer says

John,

Your comments on Venus and Mars are dead wrong. The average temp on Venus is 485C, (758K) and it's 107 Million km from the sun. The average temp of Earth is 7C (280K), and is 150 Million km from the sun. With an inverse square rule, Venus "should" only be about 550K, but it's more than 200K hotter than that, due to its thicker atmosphere. The maximum temp on Mars never gets about about 70F, tempered by its atmosphere (unlike the moon, which can be very hot or very cold).

It's true that some temperature rise will release CO2 into the atmosphere. This is a strategy proposed by some Mars terraformers to make Mars have a higher temperature. If you can raise the temperature a bit, CO2 will outgas from the soil (or CO2 will unfreeze) adding more CO2 to the atmosphere, which traps more heat and raises the temperature further. This is all fine for some sci-fi notion of making Mars livable, but this positive feedback mechanism is the main reason that climatologists are so concerned about global warming on earth. Warming can begat more warming. Your view is too narrow in thinking that EITHER higher temperature brings higher CO2 levels OR higher CO2 levels bring higher temperatures. Both occur. That's the problem!

Back when the planet had 4,000 ppm of CO2, I'm sure the lifeforms on earth back then thrived. Maybe the average temperature back then was 20-30C, I don't know. But it wasn't human life, it was something else. As someone pointed out (Len?) building managers are called to task if interior CO2 levels rise about 1000 ppm. Also, people will have trouble breathing if the O2 partial pressure drops much below 3 psi.

And John, you never explained why insurance companies, electric utilities, auto companies, and even most all oil companies seem to accept the reality of global warming. PR value aside, no company will shift assets around to address something they don't think is real. So are all the leaders of these companies stupid and deluded as well?

I agree that our planet with a higher CO2 level might "not be a major catastrophe". But not under the present circumstances. Not with 6 Billion people. Not with such a major portion of the Earth's flora and fauna directly or indirectly impacted by human development. If you want a planet that has a climate that flips around all over the place, that's fine. Let me know when we are at 1 Billion people - maybe we can work something out.

This is what I don't get about the viewpoint of someone like John. You can make a reasonable, credible case that substantial climate changes could occur if CO2 levels rise from present levels to say, 600 or 1000 ppm. The economic consequences of this would be severe. But if one looks to try to prevent this from happening, one is told this is too expensive. Since John is not a stupid or crazy person, I'm left to assume this means: "too expensive for him".

If AGW turns out to be hogwash, I'd be able to look a young person in the eye 30 years from now and say "We thought this CO2 thing was a big deal. It wasn't. But we thought it was. That's why you have more nuclear waste to deal with. We figured that would be easier for you to handle that than elevated CO2 in the atmosphere. You see it was either coal or nuclear. Or driving smaller cars. But we really like cars....."

October, 31 2007

Len Gould says

John: "The dominant part of heating of our earth is due to the sun, with a minor contribution to heat trapping from anthropogenic CO2, as my graph showed. " I believe you err again, easily proven. The moon's average distance from the sun is exactly the same as the earth. They are largly comprised of the same materials. They should be at very nearly the same average temperatures (allowing for eath's slightly lower albedo due to the oceans), but they aren't. Why? Why is the earth's average temperature nearly 40 degC (70 degF) higher than the moon?

The " greenhouse effect" of earth's atmosphere, primarily the atmosphere's IR blocker gasses. Your (btw. completely incorrect, see reference prior) graph is not relevant to that issue.

October, 31 2007

Len Gould says

And neither is earth atmosphere's water vapour content, that being an effect of GHG's not a cause.

October, 31 2007

Len Gould says

"when the earth's atmosphere contained in excess of 4,000 ppm CO2, the climate was sufficiently beneficial to support all of the myriad life forms that it did back then" -- I'll willingly bet you wouldn't want to attempt to support present levels of mammalian life with those conditions, or in fact ANY oxygen-breathing CO2-exhaling life form.

"This was pointed out clearly by Carl Wunsch (on GGWS) and by other Oceanographers before him. And it was the preceding rise in temperature that caused this outgassing from the oceans. In other words temperature drives more CO2 into the atmosphere than man puts there. The small additional effect of this CO2 is small relative to normal solar warming. " -- Whoever Wunsch was, he was wrong. Unless he's come up with evidence to refute the FACT that currently every year the oceans TAKE UP about 8 petagrams of the 16 petagrams excess FOSSIL CO2 put into the atmosphere by humans. I've referenced this before on this site, refer my deebates wrt Mr. Pressley. The oceans are in fact the ONLY remaining sink we have for excess atmospheric CO2, as land plant life is barely remaining in its own equilibrium.

However, I refuse to butt my head further against your strange and repeated mistaken ideas. There are far more interesting things to do.

October, 31 2007

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Gentlepersons,

I ask you to consider the 5 questions I addressed to Jim Beyer earlier.

1) What is the ideal average global temperature? 2) What is the ideal atmospheric CO2 concentration? 3) By what percentage must AGW emissions be reduced to achieve the ideal? 4) Over what time period must that reduction occur? 5) Who will convince everyone to do what must be done?

I find it hard to believe that we would embark on a program involving expenditures of $ trillions without generally accepted answers to those questions. I do not accept the approach of doing "something, anything, even if it's wrong". I don't believe any reasonable person should.

October, 31 2007

Don Giegler says

Len,

John's "...strange and repeated mistaken ideas..." seem to be shared by a number of others. Believe the reprint we were discussing in a previous string is an indication of that number. Who knows, as Jim seems to desire, the darned reprint may have even been refereed by a respected organization of pros. Let's see, we seem to have left off at:

We both understand the meaning of "unsolicited", don't we?

Now, just to spin you up a little more, here's another quote from the reprint, "Since 1940, hydrocarbon use has risen 6-fold. Yet, this rise has had no effect on the temperature trends, which have continued their cycle of recovery from the Little Ice Age in close correlation with increasing solar activity."

Oddly enough, the 0.5 degC/century noted on reprint Figure 4, Annual mean surface temperatures in the contiguous United States between 1880 and 2006, is extracted from National Climatic Data Center's "Global Surface Temperature Anomalies (2007)", http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climatic/research/anomalies/anomalies.html, and "NASA GISS", http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.txt. When cross-correlated with your reference, these two seem to yield noaa.gov as a common thread. The reprint authors or, perhaps, NCDC folks claim, "The slope of the least-squares trend line for this 127-year record is 0.5 degC per century." Oh yes, the reprint authors note increasing and decreasing trends for shorter intervals in the 127-year record. They find, as you did, about +1.5 degC/century between 1976 and 2006. They also find about -1.0 degC/century between 1938 and 1976 and about +2.0 degC/century between 1910 and 1938. All this, of course, sets up their argument that U.S. surface temperatures correlate nicely with solar activity between 1900 and 2000. Now given our experience with the sensitivity of trends to interval magnitudes, we should probably fall back on Fred's "...WHETHER IT'S TRUE OR NOT...", which probably applies to the certainty of arguments about systems subject to "black swans".

October, 31 2007

Don Giegler says

University of California has had some interesting work on Bristlecone pines going on in the White Mountains east of Owens Valley for the last 30 years. They noticed an area of old dead trees at an altitude well above the present tree line and hypothesized that the dead ancients were from a much warmer era in the past. They also note that the current stand of living Bristlecones (the oldest living in the group is ~5000 years old) seems to be repopulating upward again. The principal investigator did not seem ready to hypothesize on the trend.

November, 01 2007

Len Gould says

Don: Your position is comparable to a person who is criticised for throwing rock off freeway bridges saying "well, I can prove that other rocks have fallen around here in the past", then continuing to do so.

November, 01 2007

Don Giegler says

Many thanks for establishing the position I don't have. I do remember an adage about people who live in glass houses, however.

November, 01 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Jim, thanks for the correction to my Mars upper temperature.

I was mildly amused by your comment about insurance companies etc. seeming to believe in GW (why not? Its happening after all. I don't dispute it. I do dispute that it is significantly AGW). Most companies will engage in any activity that improves the bottom line for their share-holders, regardless of merit and puts a finger in the eye of the competition (coal and gas companies funding the anti-nuke rent-a-mobs). If a homeowner wants to buy insurance against an invasion of little green men (lgm), I am sure there are agents who will tell them (legal disclosure) that lgms' don't exist, but that if they wish to buy insurance anyway, they will sell it to them. After all the customer is always right. The same is true for utilities building windmills even though they are aware that they are too costly and stupid where they are, but it makes for good PR and keeps the nattering greens off their case to some degree while they run their pilot studies. Many CEOs have made the politically correct noises and bought off the greens to get their approval even though it makes no sense (Amory Lovins is one of those at the end of this money pipeline). Ford did it for a while. Many companies are at the mercy of political stupidity (CAFE standards), so will adapt to the pressures, even if it drives up the price of cars beyond reason.

I am astonished that I have not been buried under an avalanche of responses to point out that every last one of my points was wrong. However it seems that they must be right, as the global alarming munchkins have generally kept away from them and decided just to go at me instead, though Jim did make an attempt. but then got discourage after the first 8 included two 'best guesses'. Thanks Jim.

I am shocked that there have been only two obvious critics of my position so far, with four (in addition to myself) who seem to support it (thanks Malcolm, Jeff, Edward and Don), and one fence sitter (I think - Fred). This will never do. It is obviously a non-issue to most of the Energy Pulse intelligent cognoscenti, or the massive groundswell for climate alarmism is much overstated, or both.

By the way, this article above is just a brief version of a much expanded and more detailed version replete with many more sources and references and even cartoons. If anyone has the intestinal fortitude to see and possibly read the longer version (about 1 megabyte in Adobe), I will be happy to send it.

John K. Sutherland.

November, 01 2007

Jeff Presley says

Len of course you don't want me to respond about Dr. Singer, I've already beaten that horse to death. But your tactic is well known and understood. Bury poor John with mountains of crap, pile on with all your cohorts and don't allow interlopers like yours truly to help him out. He is bound to give up if he has any kind of life at all, as do most AGW skeptics. They are intelligent human beings who are looking at the scant evidence and are shaking their heads. On YOUR side we have bimbo starlets who failed addition and subtraction but look good in their store-bought mammary enhancements so of course THEY'RE the ones we should be listening to.

Jim, Peer-reviewed magazines are a joke and you know it. They've been bought and sold long ago. The Nature debacle is just the tip of the iceberg there. The dirty dozen anti AGW stalwarts can't get published in the classifieds because the negative emotion surrounding them is so thick. That's what happens when you mix hype and religious fervor about something that is ultimately a matter of faith, not fact. McIntyre constantly and consistently can't get published EVEN THOUGH he is rigorously following all the rules. It is normal operating procedure at these journals to print rebuttals from other scientists when mistakes are found in what has been published and yet in McIntyre's case this has not happened. Why? Since you're so in love with those graphs, avoid this article at all costs. It even mentions bristlecones, imagine that?

Len, your moon argument is absurd and realizing your trap, you pretend water vapor which is PROVEN to have many times the effect of CO2 isn't the culprit here, on the water planet. I can raise the temp of the moon 40C in an instant. I just have to spin it faster. We regularly put up satellites that we spin quite rapidly to keep the ambient temperature changes minimized but you already knew that right? I suggest you all go back to the source on the Martian temp increase, since there are no humans causing AGW there, the cause must indeed be the sun.

Cards on the table gentlemen. Every one of you has an ulterior agenda that has NOTHING to do with AGW and EVERYTHING to do with your pet energy projects. Since you believe it is a zero sum game, you feel you have to kill off the opponent (fossil fuels) for your weak straw horses to have a chance, and indeed you are correct, your substitutes are no substitute. Stacking the deck (literally) by adding in infinitely high costs to fossil fuel usage makes your uneconomic dreams almost palatable... almost.

The oil drum is happily beating their drum for a return to an agrarian society (improved methinks by the additional CO2 in the atmosphere) as ALL energy is tossed. Me, I'd prefer to live in a somewhat modern world, I've done agrarian and it ain't no picnic.

November, 01 2007

Jim Beyer says

Edward,

I appreciate your viewpoint. But given our need to displace ever-more-expensive oil, aren't we already beginning a multi-trillion dollar mission in that regard? Given that, and given that the message of alleged global warming is basically "don't use coal", how much risk is really being shouldered by this effort?

I appreciate this issue overall, that the 'proof' of global warming is not adequate in some people's minds. Since I am not a climatologist, I don't really know if these are 'reasonable' people or not (in this regard). If their concerns were valid, I'd think the Republicans wouldn't have folded in this regard, but that's not "proof".

Again, maybe these AGW naysayers are reasonable people, and then again maybe they are acting like the Catholic church did with respect to Galileo, who also produced an "inconvenient truth" about the earth not being the center of the universe.

It's odd that none of the doubters seem that hostile to the notion of abandoning coal. So what are we really debating about? It's not even clear to me who bears the burden of truth, given that AGW has been accepted by the greater public, and by most politicians around the world.

If I was a strict libertarian, I guess I could argue that I don't want the air above my head having 400 ppm. I want no more than 350 ppm or whatever. So you can do whatever you want, just don't put more CO2 in my air. If my neighbor (who burns coal) says "But that doesn't hurt anything, why are you bothering about that?" I could say "That's my business, you have no business telling me that something you do and put into my world doesn't bother me."

You might accuse my of wriggling about the "prove it" issue with respect to AGW, and you might be right. But I would submit that Edward's last question: "Who will convince everyone to do what must be done?" is also unrelated to the validity or non-validity of AGW.

November, 01 2007

John K. Sutherland says

And Len, one point about this quote of mine, with your comment immediately after it:

"when the earth's atmosphere contained in excess of 4,000 ppm CO2, the climate was sufficiently beneficial to support all of the myriad life forms that it did back then" -- I'll willingly bet you wouldn't want to attempt to support present levels of mammalian life with those conditions, or in fact ANY oxygen-breathing CO2-exhaling life form.

You would be wrong. We humans require about 20% oxygen - more or less - to survive (or 200,000 ppm oxygen), Those conditions of about 4,000 ppm and more of carbon dioxide nourished the early life forms on this planet for the first few hundred million years. Most ventilated homes today run about 600 ppm plus, of carbon dioxide, and unventilated homes burning candles or kerosene lanterns, or propane stoves etc. get up to about 2500 ppm, with some higher. Amounts above 800 ppm are considered unhealthy. Amounts above 5,000 ppm (the TLV) are considered very unhealthy, and those above about 50,000 ppm are considered dangerous to animal life. I guess we have a lot of leeway.

Oh, I'm sorry. You weren't going to waste any more time on me!

John K. Sutherland.

November, 01 2007

John K. Sutherland says

One more: 'Whoever Wunsch was, he was wrong' (Len).

Len, I am shocked. Shocked. Perhaps, as unreliable as Wikipedia can be, they seem not to have mangled Wunsch overmuch, and he even has his own web address as a respected Prof of Oceanography at MIT and a recognised world authority on the oceans - even by the IPCC. Do an MSN search for him and you will uncover his pedigree.

John.

November, 01 2007

Jim Beyer says

Quotes from Carl Wensch:

"Thus at bottom, it is very difficult to separate human induced change from natural change, certainly not with the confidence we all seek. In these circumstances, it is essential to remember that the inability to prove human-induced change is not the same thing as a demonstration of its absence. It is probably true that most scientists would assign a very high probability that human-induced change is already strongly present in the climate system, while at the same time agreeing that clear-cut proof is not now available and may not be available for a long-time to come, if ever. Public policy has to be made on the basis of probabilities, not firm proof."

Also:

He was one of the scientists interviewed in the documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle (GGWS) but says his: "discussion was grossly distorted by context... My appearance in the 'Global Warming Swindle' is deeply embarrassing, and my professional reputation has been damaged. I was duped". He has also said: "Durkin says that I reacted to the way the film portrayed me because of pressure from my colleagues. This is completely false. I did hear almost immediately from colleagues in the UK who saw the film who didn't berate me. They simply said, 'This doesn't sound like you, this seems to be distorting your views, you better have a look at this'. And having had a look at what they did with my comments in the film out of context and cutting away many of the important things that I thought were important that dealt with the science of it, it was a complete distortion of what I had told Durkin I believed."

So the GGWS seems to be yet another crappy reference by the AGW folk.

November, 02 2007

Len Gould says

Typical. And John: At 4% atmospheric CO2, you can likely still expect to support sloths and cattle, but you're likely to loose hummingbirds, bees and quick thinkers.

November, 02 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Thanks for that gem of a stunningly exaggerated future prediction Len. I must get a crystal ball like yours. However, I think it may be a long way off, as 4% CO2 is only 40,000 ppm and even Gore has enough wit not to go that far.

And Jim, here are various quotes of Wunsch (not Wensch) that I have, as well as a verbatim of what he actually said and when he said it on the GGWS:

Professor Wunsch: 25:43 The ocean is the major reservoir into which carbon dioxide goes when it comes out of the atmosphere or to from which it is re-emitted to the the atmosphere. If you heat the surface of the ocean, it tends to emit carbon dioxide. Similarly, if you cool the ocean surface, the ocean can dissolve more carbon dioxide. Professor Wunsch: 26:44 - The ocean has a memory of past events ugh running out as far as 10,000 years. So for example, if somebody says oh I'm seeing changes in the North Atlantic, this must mean that the climate system is changing, it may only mean that something happened in a remote part of the ocean decades or hundreds of years ago who's effects are now beginning to show up in the North Atlantic. Professor Wunsch: 49:22 - The models are so complicated, you can often adjust them is such a way that they do something very exciting. Professor Wunsch: 50:46 - Even within the scientific community you see, it's a problem. If I run a complicated model and I do something to it like ugh melt a lot of ice into the ocean and nothing happens, ugh it's not likely to get printed. But if I run the same model, and I adjust it in such a way that something dramatic happens to the ocean circulation like the heat transport turns off, ugh it will be published. People will say this is very exciting. It will even get picked by the media. So there is a bias, there's is a very powerful bias within the media, and within the science community itself, toward results which are ugh dramatizable. If Earth freezes over, that's a much more interesting story than saying well you know it ugh fluctuates around, sometimes the mass flux goes up by 10%, sometimes it goes down by 20%, but eventually it comes back. Well you know, which would you do a story on? That's what it's about." Not too much obvious distortion or taking things out of context there, is there? More Wunsch: 'Thus at bottom, it is very difficult to separate human induced change from natural change, certainly not with the confidence we all seek. In these circumstances, it is essential to remember that the inability to prove human-induced change is not the same thing as a demonstration of its absence. It is probably true that most scientists would assign a very high probability that human-induced change is already strongly present in the climate system, while at the same time agreeing that clear-cut proof is not now available and may not be available for a long-time to come, if ever. Public policy has to be made on the basis of probabilities, not firm proof. I believe that climate change is real, a major threat, and almost surely has a major human-induced component. But I have tried to stay out of the climate wars because all nuance tends to be lost, and the distinction between what we know firmly, as scientists, and what we suspect is happening, is so difficult to maintain in the presence of rhetorical excess. In the long run, our credibility as scientists rests on being very careful of, and protective of, our authority and expertise... I am on record in a number of places as complaining about the over-dramatization and unwarranted extrapolation of scientific facts. Thus the notion that the Gulf Stream would or could "shut off" or that with global warming Britain would go into a "new ice age" are either scientifically impossible or so unlikely as to threaten our credibility as a scientific discipline if we proclaim their reality Climate change is arguably one of the most complicated of all scientific problems, because it involves the changing atmosphere, the changing ocean, the changing land, the ice, the biology on both land and sea, possible changes in the sun and anybody who tells you they know what is going to happen 20 years from now, 100 years from now, is not a good scientist, because the science can only say at this stage there's certain possibilities that we are aware of. They are possibilities that we think society should take very seriously and try to decide how it is going to deal with them if they come about. That's quite different from my saying that I know the ice sheets are going to melt in the next 50 years. I don't know that, it's a possibility and something to worry about, but my credibility, the credibility of my colleagues is completely lost when people are broadcast saying, "I know that carbon dioxide is not changing the world," or, "I know the ice sheet will melt". This destroys the science in the long run.'

John.

November, 02 2007

Jim Beyer says

John,

I don't know what to say. You have Wunsch himself saying the GGWS is a "complete distortion" of what he believes, and here you go serving up more of that distortion.

I feel like Winston debating Big Brother on whether 2+2 = 4.

November, 02 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Wunsch was leaned on, whether he cares to admit it or not, or tries to hide it by saying that his friends called him and said it didn't sound like him.

Personally, I thought it did reflect a rational scientific stance, and that is the way Durkin presented it too.

I would be willing to bet that neither you nor Len has had the courage to watch either the GGWS documentary, nor the intelligence squared debate. I am sure that they would make both of you most uncomfortable with your present religious convictions.

John.

November, 02 2007

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Jim Beyer,

"But I would submit that Edward's last question: "Who will convince everyone to do what must be done?" is also unrelated to the validity or non-validity of AGW."

True. It is, however, crucial to our ability to execute any plan we might develop to achieve any reduction goal we might set.

Actually, the first four questions are also unrelated to the validity of AGW. They are, rather, related to what we would have to accomplish, over what time period, if AGW is a real and present danger. I am aware of multiple answers to each of the first four questions, but am unaware that there is a generally accepted answer to any of them.

There is a conceptual plan out there to achieve a 95% reduction in US CO2 emissions by 2050, which is generally consistent with the "testimony" of A. A. Gore, Jr. to the US Congress last April. There may well be others. To the best of my knowledge, there is no comparable global plan.

Right now, in my estimation, there is no established goal for anthropogenic carbon emissions reductions and no broadly accepted plan for accomplishing those reductions; there is just a collection of "squishy" wishes.

The current US coal generation fleet could be replaced with nuclear over the next 40-50 years with an investment of ~ $1-3 trillion. Satisfying the expected growth in electric demand and consumption would require another ~ $1-3 trillion. Of course, if just eliminating coal combustion is not sufficient, we would also have to address replacement of natural gas and propane, as well as petroleum derivatives. What's another couple of $ trillion in the overall scheme of things?

Once we actually get a plan developed which would achieve the required reductions globally, not just in the US, we get right back to my question 5.

November, 02 2007

Len Gould says

Edward: Is your "an investment of ~ $1-3 trillion" estimate taking account of the normal replacement costs of the coal-fired generation and the difference in operating/fuel costs, (e.g. is it $1 - 3 trillion above business-as-usual), or is it an absolute figure?

November, 02 2007

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Len,

500 gW x $ 2 billion/gW = $1 trillion

If you assume that all coal plants must be replaced anyway by 2050 and that new coal plants also cost ~$ 2 billion/gW, the incremental investment is $0.

If you assume all new nuclear plants cost what Shoreham cost, 500 gW requires an investment of ~ $ 3 trillion, or an incremental investment vs. the above assumption of ~ $ 2 trillion.

If you assume life extension for existing coal plants, the numbers get "fuzzier".

If you assume new coal plants must be emissions free, nuclear may actually be cheaper.

Of course, you might also do it with wind, at ~ 4 MW installed per MW peak demand, plus storage of about 4 MW per MW.

Ed

November, 02 2007

Malcolm Rawlingson says

Dr. Gray a New Zealander and long time member of the IPCC raises serious questions about the lack of scientific method in the IPCC. His (and many other scientists) raised serious questions that were not answered or simply ignored. Why is that? Science is all about asking questions, developing plausible answers and testing them against reality in the form of accurate measurement and experiment.

Here is just one example to illustrate some of what is wrong as I see it.

Mr Gore claims that Pacific islands (Tuvalu) are sinking and all the inhabitants are leaving to go to New Zealand. - this as a direct result of man-made CO2 in the atmosphere. That is the claim. Here is the fact. The "sinking" of these islands was being measured by instruments that were not calibrated properly rather ancient in origin and very likely were not providing accurate results. The fact when scientists made accurate measurements with modern highly sensitive instrumentation across different parts of the islands it was found that... the islands are either stable (not sinking) or actually rising...but that data does not fit with the scare mongering of tiny Pacific Island populations having to leave because the evil industrial west and China are warming the world. So the sea is not flooding tiny Pacific Islands at all.

So clearly if the measurements are not correct - forget about any predictions that result from putting them into a computer model however sophisticated they may be. The results will be wrong.

To all you smart people who post here take a very close look at what the IPCC really is, what its mandate really is and what Mr Gore and others goals really are. Check the REAL science before you endorse this sham of a "scientific" study.

As a one time scientist the accuracy of all measurements is fundamental. When I see global temperature measurements being made on the metal roof tops of trailers(emit radiant heat long after the direct heating has gone) and next to the output of an air conditioner (I can send you the photo if you wish) I question the fundamentals of the measurements on which all of this is supposedly based.

I don't care how good your models are. If you put garbage measurements in you will get garbage results out.

We have such garbage output being masqueraded as science.

Don't be fooled. You must have a questioning attitude...always. Never stop asking why. Unless you can verify the measurements being taken then any conclusions based on them will be bogus.

Clearly few are taking the time to actually verify the measurements in the first place. Even NASA of all organisations was forced to restate the warmest years because of improper measurements. Now the warmest decade was the thrirties (not the 1990's) Temperature over the last ten years now reported as stable and not increasing. Ooops a bit of a fundamental error but hey - who cares about data when there is a politically rich agenda to be milked dry.

And based on this we are to conclude that billions need to be spent while people go hungry because of our dreadful world food distribution system. Millions die of preventable disease.

To those who believe AGW. Read Johns article again and give your head a great big shake. if you are still convinced of it then I would like to purchase any property you own on the Florida coast for ten dollars as it is going to be under water.

Just for the record I am NOT employed by and receive NO remuneration from the oil coal or any other fossil based industry or company. I am paid by the nuclear industry and therfore have no AGW axe to grind. None.

But seriously folks John has highligted so many errors and mistakes and data that has been ignored that any thinking person should be asking some very pertinent questions of Mr. Gore and all others on the AGW bandwagon. Blind acceptance of this nonsense is going to be more dangerous to the human race than any change in climate.

That is all we ask you to do. Ask questions.

Malcolm

November, 02 2007

Malcolm Rawlingson says

I read with interest the comparison of the planets of Venus and Mars to the Earth. Len and Jim point out the differences in the atmospheric make up of those planets and explain that it is THIS that causes the tempreature differences noted by measurements taken space probes and earth based instruments.

The main difference that I see in the atmospheres is that the earth has water the others do not. Since water covers MOST of the surface of the Earth and since the primary thermodynamic property of water is that is has a heat capacity of one (much higher that any gas) I would conclude that the investigation of the effects of water vapour and liquid and solid water on the earths climate are much much more significant that increases in CO2 composition.

Water exists in three states on the planet. Solid (ice), liquid (water) and of course water vapour (clouds) and it exists in very large amounts in all three forms. Not so on any other planet. No water on Mars to speak of, No water on venus to speak of trillions of tons of Ice, trillions of tons of liquid water and trillions of tons of water vapour. I would say that is quite a substantial difference not to be ignored. But I am to believe that a small amount of Carbon dioxide produced by a few power staions and mammals is changing global temperature. I question that.

I suggest that changes in state of water, and the very high heat capacity of water are mainly what regulates the temperature of the planet earth and this lack of regulation due to the absence of water is what explains the major temperature variations of other planets and their temperature extremes.

If the surface of Mars were covered in water in similar proportions to the Earth I suggest the temperature of that planet would be much more like the earth but there would be more ice because it is further from the Sun and receives less of the Sun's energy than we do. It is also smaller so less surface area is exposed to the Sun at any given time than the earth.

So any disucssion of temperature solely in the context of atmospheric gases without concurrent dicussion of the major difference between earth and all the other planets (which is the existence of water in massive quantities) seems a bit bogus to me.

Just a dumb old nuclear engineer.

Malcolm

November, 02 2007

Jim Beyer says

John,

I'd love to see the GGWS. I don't know where it is shown. Maybe it's on DVD. I did see Al Gore's movie. Did you? I found it simplistic, quite a few errors in it, but overall, reasonable, given the audience he was addressing. I think a major omission was this issue of overall world population, and how that is affecting these issues. Few politicians have the courage to talk about. I also read Crichton's "Fear", which I found to be similarly simplistic. One thing that anti-AGWs come up with so quickly is this "conspiracy". All these scientists are secretly in cahoots and planning these huge plots (lilterally so, in 'Fear'). That's utter nonsense.

Until I get a chance to see the movie, I did check out:

http://www.durangobill.com/Swindle_Swindle.html

It's long, so just look at his first critique. Pretty damning. This Durkin guy seems to be a conservative version of Michael Moore, a documentary maker unconcerned about facts (I have seen several Michael Moore films, just so I can comment reasonably about him. I find much of his work problematic.)

Edward,

You make some reasonable comments. Given that the additional electricity demand needs to be met by something anyway, I don't see that bill being charged to CO2 control. Only the remediation of existing coal plants. If we replace them as they are retired, then there need be no lost 'sunk costs' at all, just the premium of nuclear vs. coal power (if I understand what you are saying correctly) which you say would be about 2 Trillion over 50 years, or an additional $40 Billion per year. Given the size of our economy, that's not that much. That's an annual carbon tax of $133 per person per year, to fix global warming in the U.S., the heaviest overall contributor (at present) on the planet.

No, you won't have to worry about methane or propane. They emit far less CO2 per energy emitted, and there isn't the quantity to worry about anyway. (Look how uneconomical gas-fired electrical plants have become).

I also think if we do built many more nuclear power plants, the average cost might come down a bit (one can only hope).

Malcolm,

The moon has no water AND no CO2. It has huge temperature swings, even though it is the same distance from the Sun as the Earth. So no, its not the water, or at least, not just the water. On the moon, a rock in the sun might be 400C and the shadow next to the rock might be -100C. Since there is no atmosphere, there is no effective heat transfer by convection, only radiative heat transfer, which is much less efficient, and depends on line-of-sight for transfers. Since Mars has a very thin atmosphere, the temperature moderation is better, but still problematic. On Mars, the ground at your feet might be 70F (on a very hot day) but the atmospheric temperature at head level might be 20-30 degrees cooler.

November, 02 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Jim and others, the internet site below contains all of the information you would ever want to see, or not see, about alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming, including directions to the GGWS:

http://z4.invisionfree.com/Popular_Technology/index.php?showtopic=2050

John.

November, 02 2007

Len Gould says

Malcolm, as one example, " raises serious questions about the lack of scientific method in the IPCC." in one sentence, and almost immediately states "I would conclude that the investigation of the effects of water vapour and liquid and solid water on the earths climate are much much more significant that increases in CO2 composition. "

Where the heck is the science in that? Are we now to believe that none of the climatologists assigned to the IPCC have noticed that earth has oceans? The (lack of) logic is truely astounding, and Malcolm is among the better at actually studying issues.

BTW, when I suggested comparing Earth to Moon, I was discussing AVERAGE temperatures, data which is readily available.

http://www.planetary.org/explore/topics/compare_the_planets/terrestrial.html#temperature

Moon average temperature = (+110 C day + (-150 C night)) / 2 = -20 degC Earth average temperature = (+20 C day + 10 C night) / 2 = +15 degC

John Gibbons, a professional science writer, provides a very accessable complete coverage of the issues here:

http://www.lifesci.sussex.ac.uk/home/John_Gribbin/environ.htm

"A great deal of what you read and hear about the so-called "greenhouse effect" is either exaggerated, or misrepresented, or both. But the basis for concern about uncomfortably rapid global warming occurring within our own lifetimes and those of our children rests on just three facts, and a reasonable inference.

The first fact is that there is an atmospheric greenhouse effect, which keeps the Earth warmer than it would otherwise be. The simplest way to get an idea of how important this is is to compare temperatures at the surface of the Earth with those on the airless Moon. There is no significant difference between the distance of the Moon from the Sun and the distance of the Earth from the Sun, so both receive the same amount of heat on each square metre of the surface that faces the Sun, and, other things being equal (which they are not) should reach the same equilbrium temperature. The average temperature at the surface of the Moon (averaging over the whole surface, including day and night sides) is actually -18 oC, while the average temperature on the surface of the Earth is 15 oC. The blanket of our atmosphere keeps the surface of the planet a full 33 oC warmer than it would otherwise be, and crucially (as far as life forms like us are concerned) raises the temperature above the freezing point of water.

There is no mystery about how it does this. Some gases in the air (chiefly carbon dioxide and water vapour) absorb infrared radiation (the same kind of heat radiation you can feel if you hold your hand near a warm radiator). Sunlight passes through the atmosphere essentially unaffected, and warms the surface of the Earth. The warm surface radiates infrared, not light (because it is cooler than the surface of the Sun), and some of this outgoing infrared radiation is absorbed in the atmosphere and re- radiated in all directions. Some of the re-radiated infrared radiation goes back down and increases the temperature at the surface. This is the atmospheric greenhouse effect -- and nothing to do, incidentally, with the way a greenhouse keeps warm, which is by letting sunlight in and stopping convection, trapping hot air that tries to rise under a roof of glass.

There are complications. Any increase in surface temperature increases the amount of evaporation from the oceans, which puts more water vapour in the air and increases the greenhouse effect, in a feedback process. As a result, adding a relatively small amount of carbon dioxide can produce a disproportionate warming, once the feedback is allowed for. On the other hand, there is a limit to the amount of infrared heat trying to escape from the surface in the wavebands where the greenhouse gases are absorbing energy. Heat that has already been trapped can't be trapped twice, so doubling the amount of greenhouse gases in the air will not double the strength of the greenhouse effect, but will have a lesser effect. A law of diminishing returns applies. All of these complications (and others) are taken account of in computer models of the greenhouse effect. These models accurately describe the differences in temperature between the airless Moon and the Earth, and the pattern of temperatures seen on Mars."

November, 03 2007

Jim Beyer says

Len,

Just for completeness, what are the other 2 facts?

November, 03 2007

Len Gould says

Word limit on posts.

"The second fact is that the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased over the past hundred years or so. " {similar discussion}

"The third fact is that the Earth has got warmer over the past century, by about half a degree, Celsius." {again, discussion}

"The reasonable inference is that the global warming (which is real) is related to the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (which is real), but that the computer models may slightly overestimate the strength of the additional greenhouse effect. There is even a "smoking gun", in the form of the effect of the eruption of the volcano Mount Pinatubo on the global temperature."

November, 04 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Len, I read John and Mary Gribbins’ (consensus of two?) article, with his three points and inference. Why you would go out on a limb for a relatively unknown ‘science writer’ beats me, when there are hundreds of better and more qualified commentaries on the above site I gave.

His reasonable inference is not supported by his first three facts; all there is, is a linkage. Further more he admits that water vapor is a major greenhouse gas and then proceeds to ignore it in the same way that Gore does, and seems to focus only on the minor carbon dioxide. He also ignores the fact that of course it is warming as we come out of the little ice age and the previous major ice age and prefers to put it all on greenhouse warming.

So Pinatubo put a hold on warming. So what? The same happened in 1816, the year without a summer, and there are graphs put out by Reid Bryson (never heard of him, you say. The ‘father’ of climatology) which show how volcanic eruptions have a big effect on global weather for one or perhaps two years).

This year is said to be a La Nina year and one of the more respected meteorologists in Canada – David Philips – who remains diplomatically cautious about statements of continued warming, unlike his colleagues on the weather channel, points out that there is the likelihood of a somewhat cooler winter than we have recently seen. As he said, we still do not understand the nuances of La Nina behavior. I might add that we also do not understand the El Nino cycles, or the various oceanic ‘conveyors’ or oscillations. This year was also the second year when the ‘more hurricane activity than normal’ proved to be spectacularly wrong. Of course they may guess it correctly one of these times and then point to the smoking gun again.

If, as you say – ‘All of these complications (and others) are taken account of in computer models of the greenhouse effect’ - when they are obviously NOT , no wonder you believe as you do. If the models are so great, how come they don’t use them for weather forecasting now to improve the 50% accuracy over the next couple of days. Extend them out to 100 years and I would guess the accuracy is almost zero, as is being revealed gradually.

John

November, 04 2007

John K. Sutherland says

I am staggered that no-one has yet argued against the killing argument that it is the same evidence that Gore misused, from the Vostok ice sheet, and other ice cores, that show that temperature rises FIRST, and that the rise in carbon dioxide FOLLOWS. Ergo whatever causes the temperature to rise, then causes the oceans to outgas carbon dioxide. Man’s contribution is of piddling effect. Could it possibly be the sun do you think?

Which brings me to another killer to the Gore gospel: the effect of the sun and sunspot activity. On this site: http://www.solarcycle24.com/

there is a constantly updated record of the Sun’s present sunspot activity. It has been almost zero for the entire month of October. It is to be hoped it does not presage a return to something like the Maunder or Sporer, or other minima when the world was particularly cold.

If you had watched the GGWS you would also know that there is a scientifically plausible, proposed relationship between the sun’s sunspot activity, cloud formation and cosmic rays. And it is cloud formation (i.e. water vapour) that has a major effect on our weather, despite some people not willing to believe this.

In fact a plot of sunspot cycle length and temperature anomalies shows a direct correlation from at least 1860 to 1980 and in previous times too.

When the sun’s energy activity is low (low or no sunspots) more cosmic rays (highly energetic particles) are said to be able to get past the sun and the ‘solar wind’, and cause more clouds to form on earth. When the sun is ‘active’, the solar energy bursts of activity keep more cosmic radiation from reaching earth, and cloud formation is less, with the resulting warmer weather and better crops (Herschel). Of course, none of it is quite as simple as that, as there are hundreds of variables, only few of which are fully understood, as the IPCC itself admitted.

John.

November, 04 2007

Len Gould says

John: "temperature rises FIRST, and that the rise in carbon dioxide FOLLOWS." Trying to place this position as a scientificly proven conclusion indicates the weakness of your arguments. You have obviously not thought his through. The Vostock graphs as published (temperature rises a small amount, then CO2 rises a small amount, then temperature rises more, then O2 rises more, on and on with significant overlapping) only prove that CO2 levels do not cause the initial small rise, it does not prove that CO2 levels have no effect whatever, as you imply. Think about it. So ice ages are initiated and ended by small perturbations in the Milankovitch cycles. Everyone who has studied those variations agrees that they are too small to cause such large variations. It is far more likely that the range of variation is perhaps initiated by the cycles, but then GHG level changes which happen as a result are in fact the main controlling factors.

And again I repeat, H2O as a greenhouse gas is a controlled variable, not controlling. Controlled by small temperature variations, which are controlled by the other GHG's.

November, 05 2007

Ferdinand E. Banks says

John, on the front page of a Swedish newspaper this morning there was an item about the government putting a large amount of money into bicycle 'paths' in order to encourage people to drive less, and thus help reduce CO2. Now, many of the people dealing with AGW in this country are even dumber than your idol Al Gore, but whether this reduces AGW substantially or not it is a good idea. Among other things it will increase health-care capacity for those old dummies that voted Sweden into the EU (and therefore guaranteed that they will have to wait months for crucial operations).

Something else that should/will take place in this country is more stress on biofuels. Yes, many people who contribute to this forum are against biofuels, and most of those people know more about this subject than I do, but I can't get rid of the belief that there is room for a lot of biofuels in the energy package, and if obtaining these requires a belief in AGW then I say fine. Moreover, if this means increased subsidies at the present time then I also say OK. Obtaining absolutely necessary motor fuel from local facilities rather than regions that are thousands of miles away makes a lot of sense to me, even if it is contrary to some of the economics that I taught when I was recovering from a severe case of the stupids.

Fred

November, 05 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Fred, I agree with you here 100%, except for the statement that Gore is my idol. And why we have not been manufacturing only diesel powered cars for the last 20 years beats me. Unfortunately, politics is a pendulum that only swings from one extreme to the other and seems unable to find the sensible middle ground.

John.

November, 05 2007

Jim Beyer says

Fred,

You seem to be saying the prescription to addressing AGW is good medicine for other reasons. That might be true, but that's not proof or non-proof of global warming. What it is, however, is some refutation to the equally non-scientific statement that "dealing with global warming would be too expensive". If the solutions are actions we have some reason to do anyway, then that should be counted in the overall social cost of remediation. (Biofuels can provide up to 10% of our energy needs, hopefully in the form of inexpensive (compared to anything else) biomethane.)

I did watch the "Great Global Warming Swindle" on the internet. Fairly slick. I can see how people might be swayed by it. But it is basically 5 or 6 angry scientists that think they are right and everyone else is wrong. Some of them, like Fred Singer, are not what I would call "core scientists". His knowledge base of the subject does not seem to be up to date for the task at hand. Many quotes from these people were suddenly cut off while they were still talking, leading one to wonder what was the whole meaning of what they were trying to say. Several of the graphs presented have been analyzed (see my link above) and show what appears to be obvious bias to distort what is actually occurring. The most blatant one is the graph of the Ave. World Temperature, which is conveniently truncated around 1995 or so. This would be fine, except they use the graph to purport that most of the recent temperature rise occurred before 1940, when the last 10-20 years has provided a huge contribution. The "volcanoes emit more CO2" statement is another myth, not supported by any evidence. On the contrary, human activity emits 130 times more CO2 than volcanoes do. (How many volcanoes are active anyway? Compared with coal-fired electric plants running 24/7?)

Durkin also tried to pull at our heartstrings by saying that global warming issues are preventing the 3rd world from developing. This is crap. What stifled the 3rd world was the oil crunches of the 1970's. That and pervasive, prolonged corruption in most of those countries. Most of the environmental advocates are similarly supportive of 3rd world debt relief (I don't seem the oil and coal companies calling for that) so I think that's a completely disingenuous argument.

Durkin never gave this presentation to hundreds of audiences around the world, like Gore did. He would have been booed off the stage. Gore's talk has problems, to be sure, and perhaps his audiences were mostly (though not completely) sympathetic. But if he had presented the glaring problems that Durkin did, he'd eventually get booed off the stage.

The major problems I remember about "An Inconvenient Truth" were:

1. Kilimanjaro shown as a global warming indicator (though not stated). This was found to be false, though fairly recently (the snow cap is receding due to excessive tree cutting.)

2. The implied statements about sea level rise. Again, not technically an error, but with a heavy implication. Although the sea level WOULD rise 7 meters or whatever if the Greenland ice sheet melted, the sheet is not expected to completely melt for at least 10,000 years, even with extreme global warming. It's just too big.

3. The "ease" of solutions. This was also not clarified. Perhaps Gore didn't want to dump more bad news on his audience. He also tiptoed around the world population issue. If we are having a GW problem with 6 Billion people, then it won't be any easier to fix with 9 Billion.

John's major gripe seems to be the cause-and-effect question of rising CO2 and rising temperatures. But it is basically beside the point. Yes, rising temperatures will raise CO2 levels (outgassing from the oceans). Yes, rising CO2 levels with raise temperatures (increased greenhouse effect). So, yes, burning coal or fossil fuels which had sequestered carbon for hundred of millions of years, will release added CO2 to the atmosphere, which will raise temperatures and yes, will release even more CO2. This is precisely the problem. This is why (mere) humans have raised the CO2 levels to heights not seen in 600,000 years. This is why AGW is rightly a source of serious concern by climatologists, the views of Michael Durkin notwithstanding.

November, 05 2007

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Jim, I think that you and I agree completely on this warming thing. "Think", because I know so little about the mechanics of AWG, and will probably never learn more. But yes, I'll go with the A-team.

Also, I don't understand Fred Singer - I don't understand why he doesn't think the way that I do, and I also cant understand why a man with his background and intelligence would be so enthusiastic about some of the know-nothings in the anti-AWG booster club. And if I believed that AWG was not a source of serious concern, I wouldn't admit it. Besides, as I say, if you accept AWG a lot of good things could result, regardless of whether it exists. After all, we WILL require a new energy economy - there's no getting around that.

I don't like Al Gore. He's the wrong kind of politician to lead the US, or for that matter to be the democratic candidate for President. He's also too comfortable in his new role of jet-setting celebrity, and if he found himself in the OVal Office it's impossible to say what he would come up with.

November, 05 2007

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Fred/Jim,

I am enjoying the "end justifies the means" arguments.

If developing a completely new energy economy for the US/Sweden/Canada is the right thing to do, then let's do it. That way, we can quit worrying about what anyone else is doing; we can just focus on doing what is best for the US/Sweden/Canada. Then, when the time comes, we can sell everyone else the technology.

November, 05 2007

Jim Beyer says

I don't know if the ends always justifies the means, but let's take stock here:

1. John S. has also said that he's not in favor of more coal, but not for the reasons of AGW.

2. Efforts to remediate AGW may be helpful in other areas as well (energy independence, alternate energy development, etc.)

3. We have to develop a post-oil energy economy anyway.

4. Remediation costs may be tolerable if phased in over time (replacing coal plants as they are retired with nuclear power plants).

5. If we can find a meaningful path forward that also happens to be carbon neutral, then we also don't have to worry about all the treaty issues with the rest of the world and its energy use.

So what are we really debating here? If the anti-AGWs were to run the show, what would they do? They don't seem to like coal that much either. FWIW, I can agree with them that silly gestures such as the "Green" NFL Football Sunday: http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/nbc_goes_green_during_sunday_night_football/ and perhaps even the Swedish bike paths are not meaningful changes to address global warming. But if anti-AGW agree to basically the same sorts of means, then what's the real problem here? I don't see a substantive issue of contention here.

True, it is a little odd if you see a crowd racing down the street, in the right direction, but for (perhaps) the wrong reason. But given the way most politics tend to work, I think one should make use of these opportunities when they do arise.

November, 06 2007

Hewitt Rose says

What is it about geologists that lead them to be such prolix crackpots on global warming? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Academy of Sciences, and nearly every climatologist publishing science in peer-reviewed articles have documented serious, human-caused global warming. Yet Sutherland would have us believe that they are all conspiring to put one over on us out of, what, a shared religion? How likely is that?

Sutherland can cite no one who has a published, peer-reviewed theory that can demonstrate anything but human causes for the extent of and increasing rate of average global warming temperatures. Instead, like creationists with evolution, he pokes at existing theory with the assumption that if any of his pokes are not refuted to his satisfaction, then all the built-up science comes tumbling down. That is not science. If one is going to reject theory, then one has to offer proof of a better explanation of the data. Sutherland does not have it and cannot cite it.

Nearly every statement of Sutherland comes with politicized accusation and the implicit claim that he must be right given all those evil people who disagree with him. These are the tell tale rhetorical signs of a perpetual motion machine salesman or an ideologue. Naturally, he begins his piece by accusing all those concerned with global warming of being liars. This is projection.

Nearly every factual claim he makes is wrong. To prove him wrong would take an essay much longer than his for exactly the reason Mark Twain explains. So just consider one claim, his first: The world stopped warming up and perhaps has even cooled since 1998. Wrong. See the NOAA data at http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/ZonAnn.Ts+dSST.txt.

Even if Sutherland had his data right, his conclusion would be wrong. Look at any chart of average global temperatures and you will see great variability from year to year. Short term trends are meaningless. It is the trend of smoothed data, typically the five-year average, that tells you that we are in trouble with unprecedented warming.

If Sutherland can't get this basic fact right, why should we trust anything else he has to say on the subject?

November, 06 2007

David Smith says

So Al Gore's parents sang him to sleep at age 27 (by his own admission!)? That pretty much explains everything!

As for other laughers, we have our resident AGW jester Len, who has the gall to state the following:

"John: "temperature rises FIRST, and that the rise in carbon dioxide FOLLOWS." Trying to place this position as a scientificly proven conclusion indicates the weakness of your arguments."

Len, since when has any of the pro-AGW dogma been scientifically proven? Does the fact that there is NO scientific proof of AGW indicate the weakness of that particular POV? The only scientific proof we have is of a slightly increasing average global temperature, which means nothing in relation to alleged anthropogenic influences.

Just for the record, the fact that increasing temperature drives increases in atmospheric CO2 is basic science, provable in any lab experiment. The fact that the ice core data back up this axiom is just icing on the cake. But of course, you would probably say it is superfluous, and thus that superfluousness indicates the weakness of that argument. LOL!

What I and others would like to know is how much money you've taken from "the carbon club of companies"? "Huh?!", you say? Well, check out the charitable contributions of Big Oil et al to the whole green movement (inclusive of the pro-AGW cult), then ask yourself what charter members of the carbon club of companies such as ExxonMobile and PacificCorp have to gain by joining the AGW bandwagon. Perhaps a suppression of potential competitors in the form of coal-to-liquids ventures? Perhaps a potential doubling of electric utilities' gross incomes by the "forced" implementation of so-called renewable generation (Hint: 10% of $0.12/Kwh is twice the revenue as 10% of $0.06/Kwh!)?

There's a whole lot of money to be made by big corporations riding this wave of AGW hysteria, and the ones who are going to pay for it all are the Average Joes of the world, aka guys like me. And we're not going to take it lying down.

Ergo, it is time to consider this phrase: PROSECUTE CLIMATE FRAUD!

Dave Smith

November, 07 2007

Len Gould says

Dave Smith: I (need to and haven't) read any further than your "the fact that there is NO scientific proof of AGW ". Please refer to my prior jests.

November, 07 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Rose, I agonized long and hard - about 2 milliseconds - as to whether or not I would respond to your 100% ad hominem, ad vericundiam, ad ignorantiam, unscientific tantrum.

I know that the editors of energy pulse would love it if you were able to write a rational rebutting argument to address the main points with science, to show that I am wrong, and strangely, so would I.

You and Len (the self confessed jestor) and Jim could then claim the $125,000 prize offered by junkscience for proving Al Gore right. Money for Jam, as they say.

With an ally like you, I am sure your friends are scurrying for cover and do not need any more enemies.

Keep up the good work.

Dave Smith, and all other rational individuals here, thank you.

November, 07 2007

Todd McKissick says

Under the right setup, it is provable in the lab that both increased temp causes CO2 increases and increased CO2 increases the temp. Both being true, the only question remains which is more applicable here. I can cite many examples in nature and in those isolated cases, can closely calculate the magnitude of each. The problem is that neither can be totalized globally with ANY accuracy. The most damming issue to both sides is that every variable is based on many feedbacks of both positive and negative nature and the problem with all feedbacks is that a slight error can have dramatic effects.

These discussions always seem to deteriorate into should we spend tons of money switching to cleaner energy supplies. One side argues that it's expensive and not worth it. The other argues that it's more than worth it and the price is justified or will drop. I see this as the same question as 'does the end justify the means?' To that question, I have to agree with those above who hold the opinion that we are not just benefitting by reduced CO2 emissions, but many known and many unknown societal costs. Therefore it is a no-brainer. This 'should' be enough to decide on, but there's even one more reason.

I have studied hundreds of upcoming renewable technologies in recent decades and can say with absolute certainty that many will become cheaper than fossil fuel supplies in the near future. Honestly, there are tons of guys out there that are keeping quiet because they are self funded, working independently with limited experience and not tied to any outside assistance. As I've stated here many times, the market isn't really helpful yet to someone competing with big energy so why would these guys release their technology early? This path to market by it's very nature takes much longer but promises much larger national economic growth when they do hit the market. Since this growth is the kind that touches all industries and doesn't just benefit the big energy monopolies. Isn't that reason enough to stop fighting the coming clean energy switch regardless of the endless debates on which data is more applicable or corrupt?

November, 07 2007

Murray Duffin says

Mr. Rose, Please point me to one paper that demonstrates reasonably irrefutably that the current warming is historically unusual, and that gives good evidence linking it to anthropogenic CO2. There is a lot of armwaving from the AGW community, but no solid science. Murray

November, 07 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Todd, I Find myself agreeing with you much more than disagreeing with you. If it were just a matter of letting sensible energy alternative solutions into the game, and doing away with wasting fossil fuels, it should be a no brainer, as everyone benefits. This, of course, presupposes that the energy playing field is level and not skewed overmuch by politics.

Unfortunately the AGW hysteria and rotten science, is not so much used to drive rational alternative energy scenarios, as putting the brakes on society and development in general, which is what the disastrous 'Politically correct' Kyoto Protocol was, and is, all about. There is no shortage of 'clean' energy, but there is a shortage of the political will to get out of the way and let it happen according to market forces.

Preferably, it will happen before the next major oil crisis (perhaps it is too late already for that, as Fred points out), social turmoil, and even more conflict over oil; all of which clobber the poor in all societies, and those in undeveloped societies more than anyone else.

And I didn't even mention the word 'nuclear'.

John.

November, 07 2007

Jim Beyer says

John,

FWIW, I agree with much of what you say as well. I think there is room for development with non-fossil fuel resources. We might not agree on how easy it would be to bring 12 Billion people up to U.S. standards, but that would be a worthy goal. I think we may be having a baby vs. bathwater misunderstanding. If the baby is the scientific validity of AGW and the bathwater is the hysterical response to it (such as lighting candles during Sunday Night Football....) then we can agree the bathwater must go. But that's quite different than the baby itself.

If you are angry about the hysteria of current attempts to address AGW, that's reasonable. Butting your head against the science that is supportive of AGW is not so reasonable. I think I can finally understand the source of anger from the anti-AGW people. But I would argue that it is being mis-directed at the climatologists and their findings.

Murray, the NOAA data that Rose provided is good. I can't comment on temperature, but the historically high CO2 levels is definitely historically unusual, not seen in 600,000 years. If you look at the ice core record, peaks like that precede very high temperature spikes (or, if you insist on reversing the cause-effect, such a spike would raise temperatures some, which will raise CO2 levels more, which will raise temperatures yet again, etc.)

November, 07 2007

Todd McKissick says

John, As long as the current atmosphere keeps the carrot in sight of those making progress, it's all good. The majority of the hype, Kyoto, studies, misguided investments, off target legislation and media attention is all good in this manner. The bad part is that it's really starting to get expensive. Too bad there's no way to divert all that effort towards actual progress. The good news is that it is inevitably going to win. I just hope to still be around.

November, 07 2007

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Gentlemen,

You may find the linked post interesting, in light of this discussion. Enjoy.

http://www.knowledgeproblem.com/archives/002274.html

Ed

November, 08 2007

Len Gould says

I would like to see just one of the self-styled amateur "realists" above refute scientifically the fact that adding CO2 etc. to earth's atmosphere WILL cause earth's temperature to rise, with specific reference the Spencer Weart reference I've posted above.

November, 08 2007

Jim Beyer says

In the interest of fairness:

So I went to a talk last night given by Bob Lutz (basically second in command at General Motors) on new car technology. Basically, it is clear that GM seems to take peak oil seriously; they are working to replace oil-based fuels with lots of other things, including ethanol, plug-ins, etc.

But when asked a question concerning global warming, Lutz said: "I think global warming is a crock." (of shit, presumably....). He then told the audience to google 'Global Warming Swindle'. So this documentary and these people (John S. and others) do have an effect on other people, including important people.

This sort of reminds me of Lee Raymond's (Exxon) disparaging comments on global warming. In both cases, I think they are wrong, and in both cases, it isn't really their fight. Why would they take up a fight that isn't even theirs, unless they were so mis-informed about the controversy in that they seem themselves as part of an issue in which they are not? (Yes, burning oil does release CO2, but at the same magnitude compared to coal; and there is relatively little oil remaining to burn anyway. Motor gasoline contributes less than one fifth of total U.S. CO2 emissions, and all transportation, including jets, contributes less than one third.)

November, 08 2007

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Jim,

There is no question that coal combustion is the largest source of US and global anthropogenic carbon emissions, followed by petroleum distillates, followed by natural gas, propane and other sources. There is a question, however, about whether just eliminating coal combustion globally would reduce anthropogenic carbon emissions sufficiently to stop AGW. According to one of our former vice presidents, what is needed is a 90% reduction in anthropogenic carbon emissions by 2050. That would require reductions which would affect virtually everything but commercial aviation and military applications.

November, 08 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Len, You forgot to give the Weart reference, unless I overlooked it. However he and a co-auther wrote it for realclimate (site of Schmidt - associate of Hansen). I think you will find that he was anticipated by writers on these sites, which you should try and read. After all, I read stuff that you and Jim point to, you should at least see the other side of things. The third address consists of hundreds of papers; all countering the AGW belief and hysteria.

http://www.john-daly.com/artifact.htm http://nov55.com/str.html http://z4.invisionfree.com/Popular_Technology/index.php?showtopic=2050

Jim, Hansen’s GISS data (your NOAA reference) which supposedly can be relied upon back to 1880 if you believe these people, are critiqued by McIntyre and others extensively here: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1878 http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2201#comment-157125http:// www.climateaudit.org/?cat=54.

By the way, climateaudit (Steve McIntyre's site) looks as though it will come in at least second and very possibly first in voting of the best web science site. How is that for an endorsement of real scientific effort to counter AGW hype, and in slicing and dicing Hansen's bad science, as well as that of others.

However, there are so many things wrong with Hansen's assumptions and even methods, that the whole thing is of dubious value even if it wasn't one of the most pointless parameters (average global temperature) that one could ever try to develop considering the massive disparity of data sources, seasonal opposites north to south, numbers of data points and locations, reliability, accuracy (yes accuracy), maintenance, coverage, method of averaging (min-max), urban heat island effects (which are significant) etc.. There is very little meaning behind an average global temperature when you realise there are such major gaps in coverage (at least until the satellite record which is only recent); and such unreliable met. data (Anthony watts - see the record of the Tucson, Az site as a perfect and astonishing example of many, here:

http://www.wecnmagazine.com/2007issues/oct/oct07.html#1

Hansen does not provide the necessary detail behind his table. He was also revealed as tweaking the data for the US network in a way (upwards, and revealed by McIntyre, and reluctantly and insultingly accepted by H) that he should have disclosed up front, but didn't, and he still refuses to share his base data with anyone lest (presumably) more such revealing and embarrassing discrepancies show up. All the while, he and his colleagues are disparaging of their critics instead of responding to the science.

John.

November, 08 2007

Kerry Sloan says

John,

Loved your article! I thought you touched about every base that can be touched in a well thought out manner. I also liked the way you posed questions that should motivate intelligent people to actually think for themselves...and based on a few posts I've read here, there are a few people that can't do that. They go right on quoting chapter 4, verse 12 of the AGW bible.

I can answer one question that was asked by one AGW church member -- Why are insurance companies, utilities, etc. "accepting" AGW? Because they get a seat at the table in determining what the rules are going to be in "fighting" AGW. They see the hand writing on the wall just as I do --- thanks to the media and the doom and gloom preached to the public, SOMETHING must be done to fight AGW. Now, as a utility company do you want the Sierra Club to establish the rules for CO2? Not hardly. So rather than be portrayed as the evil, bad, Earth-destroying utility company, you go along to get along. Besides, those companies will just pass along the costs to the public anyway.

John, you asked like 3 or 4 times why none of the AGW church members have addressed your point about temperature driving CO2 and not the other way around. They won't answer that. They can't answer that. To even acknowledge the premise destroys the foundation of AGW doesn't it?

Personally, all I can say is that I'm glad I won't live another 50 years to be around when the AGW church members and all their eco-friends are running the planet.

November, 08 2007

Joe Schiller says

John:

The reason you didn't get a response to your earlier challenge is that it doesn't merit a response. You accuse climate change scientists of not providing evidence and go on to make all kinds claims of your own without supporting evidence. Much of the evidence you put forward is misinterpreted or misconstrued. For example, your claim that the hockey stick has been refuted. That was not the conclusion of the National Academy of Sciences when they were asked to evaluate it. There is one point you discuss that is widely misunderstood that does merit comment. The criricism of Gore for claiming that the Greenland ice sheet is in danger of melting and raising ocean levels by several meters. Many people criticise Gore for claiming that this could happen by the end of this century. While that may not be likely, it cannot be ruled out. However, the most important point about this is that if the global climate warms sufficiently this century, the complete collapse of the ice sheet may become inevitable and unstoppable. I take little comfort in the argument that this will occur over a period of 1000 years versus 100 years. The uncertainty of how fast this will occur is the most disturbing aspect of the problem. If five years ago you had predicted the arctic ocean would be ice free in summer by 2050 almost any polar scientist would have scoffed. Recent evidence of the accelerating melting rate of the Greenland ice sheet may be a repeat of this scenario.

November, 08 2007

Jim Beyer says

Kerry,

The point about CO2 driving temperature vs. temperature driving CO2 HAS been acknowledged and HAS been addressed. I will do so, yet again.

First, both effects occur. (Even John S. acknowledges this. As Todd has mentioned, an issue is which one is stronger. But since both effects do occur, this makes for a positive feedback situation. More CO2 begats higher temps begats more CO2 begats higher temps.... This is one of the reasons that climatologists are concerned about high CO2 levels reaching a "tipping point".

The earth has experienced several Ice Age Cycles over the past 500,000 years or so. In that entire time, the CO2 concentration has never exceeded 300 ppm. Due to industrial processes, this level is not 380, heading to 400 ppm. Doesn't this register the least element of concern, at least potentially? We are increasing the radiative forcing on the planet by 25% (approximately). If temperatures rise, more CO2 is out-gassed, more water vapor is released, leading to even more radiative forcing.

Let me put it another way, if a scientist said: "Hey, I know how to increase the output of the sun by 10%, let's go for it!" do you think everyone would simply agree to that?

One thing that the Vostok ice cores do show definitively is that CO2 levels and temperatures are fairly closely linked. Never does one stray too far from the other. It would seem to me that if higher CO2 levels did NOT result in higher temperatures, this linkage would have been broken at least once in the last 600,000 years, but there is no evidence of this.

So basically, anti-AGW folks are asking me to accept that:

1) Raising CO2 levels in the atmosphere to levels 30% higher than have ever occurred in the last 600,000 years should be of NO concern to me, even though there is a strong linkage between CO2 levels and surface temperature, which is tracked even through massive climate change events such as ice ages.

2) That a raised CO2 level will have absolutely NO effect on raising surface temperatures, despite a mechanism known that can accomplish this (radiative forcing) and despite a historical record (Vostok ice cores) that show CO2 levels linked closely with surface temperatures for the past 600,000 years, without exception.

3) That the medical notion of "first, do no harm", does not apply to planetary climatology. The dynamics of planetary climate are so simple and clearly understood that we can confidently raise the level of a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere with no reason for concern.

I can't accept any of these points. Climatologists know enough about atmospheric science (thanks somewhat to the examples of the moon, Mars, and Venus) that they think they know they should be concerned. I think their position is quite reasonable, if (I dare say) inconvenient.

And the inconvenient solution: Build nuclear power plants instead of coal power plants.

November, 08 2007

Jim Beyer says

Edward:

Transportation is about 33%, so tripling fossil-fuel efficiency over total miles travelled would do that. (Note that plug-ins could easily do that now.) Some biofuels could help with this as well, if they weren't too expensive. But I agree that the 10% remaining emissions would all be coming from transportation, as that would be the most expensive source to curtail.

November, 08 2007

E Jim Andersen says

John K Sutherland and other nay sayers To quote Herbert Spencer, There is a principle which is a bar against all information and which is proof against all arguments, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance- that principle is contempt prior to investigation. Also Voltaire; it is dangerous to be right in matters on which the the establishment is wrong

E Jim Andersen

November, 08 2007

John K. Sutherland says

E jim 'Contempt prior to investigation?' This best fits the AGW hysteria crowd which had made up its mind about AGW before the research began, which was why the IPCC mandate was not to investigate climate change, but to investigate the human role in GW. Sentence first, verdict afterwards.

Joe The hockey stick was devastingly refuted by MacIntyre as described at length and persuasively by him at climateaudit. A couple of colleagues of Mann who hope to remain anonymous and in the background were identified by McIntyre on his site, as endeavouring to create the opposite impression in order the comfort the afflicted - Mann and Hansen - and to afflict the comforted - the critics of Mann. They did not get away with it. Thanks Steve.

I prefer McIntyre's approach. Afflict the corrupt comforted in their misuse of science, and comfort the afflicted 'deniers' with good science.

November, 08 2007

Murray Duffin says

Jim, 2 major problems with your key argument. first what changed something over 600k years ago that makes 600k years special. Go back 150 millon years and CO2 was muvh higher, but temperature wasn't. second, the ice cores tell us nothing about peak CO2 in the past 600k years. In a high precipitation region like like Law Dome, it takes about 80 years for the ice to close, so the record is at best an 80 year moving average, that certainly smears the peak. Also the sampling frequency beyond ca 100k years is in the order of 100 years, further smearing any peak. For Vostok, which is a very low precipitation high desert, it is estimated that ice closure takes 4000 to 6000 years, and the sampling definition is in the order of 1000 years. At prior interglacials we see measured CO2 a little above 300 ppm, which suggests a peak well above 300 ppm. Fossil leaf stomata for the brief warming just prior to the Younger Dryas (ca 12,000 y BP) show CO2 concentration of at least 340 ppm. There are several other problems with ice cores that probably decrease the trapped CO2 concentration before measurement, like depressurization, handling and storage issues that have simply not been measured, so ice cores a a very blunt instrument. Also for Vostok, the linkage is warming first, and apart from the big interglacial peaks one can see at least brief excursions where contemporaneous warming and CO2 concentration go in opposite directions. Also note the curve John shows of the logarithmically declining warming effect of increases in CO2 concentration, which explains why past high CO2 concentrations had no significant effect.

Joe, sorry, the NAS did say that the statistical methods used in the HS construction were incorrect, and warned against using BCPs (the main actor in PC1) as temp. proxies. That seems like refutation to me. Wegman, who actually did the analysis, was much more direct in refuting the HS. Better check your facts. Seems to me like you are getting your info from RealClimate, rather from reading the originals. Also the retreat at the boundaries of the Greenland ice is still reveaking MWP artifacts, which says that it is not unprecedented, and the depth of the central Greenland ice sheet is growing, for close to zero net ice loss/gain. OTOH Antarctic ice is now at the greatest extent since satellite measurement has been available, and is still growing.

Jim Andersen, I started out as an AGW believer in 1993, and have read 100s of papers, on both sides, so I fail Spencer's test. No contempt, plenty of investigation. Follow the data holistically, with an open mind, and the A part of AGW gets harder and harder to believe.There is probably some contribution, but it seems probable that the reported average surface instrument warming is overstated by at least 20% and the A contribution to the remaining real warming is less than 30%, let us say 0.2 degrees C in the last century, to be generous, and increasing at a logarithmically declining rate. Judging from this writeup John would fail Spencer's test too. Murray

November, 08 2007

Kerry Sloan says

Jim,

Am I to assume that your "concern" is the ONLY thing the members of the church of AGW are asking all the rest of to be as well? If that's the case, then I think we all could agree that we should do more research, more studies, grow our knowledge, etc. and in 50 years when the planet has actually warmed as the models have predicted, THEN take action. However, that is NOT what the members are asking all the rest of us to do. Therein lies the problem.

There is a gigantic difference between being "concerned" and taking action RIGHT NOW. Correct me if I'm wrong Jim, but everything I see regarding the possibility of AGW calls for ACTION RIGHT NOW or else...death, destruction, desease, floods, droughts, hurricanes, famine, extinction.....just to name a few.

Any good scientist knows that you need substantial amounts of data before drawing a conclusion. Again, that is not the case with the members of the AGW church. For instance, you say that for the last 600k years, CO2 levels have never been above 300 ppm and you use that as proof there is a "cause and effect" relationship between CO2 and temps. -- i.e. proof enough for you that the likelyhood of AGW being real and deadly is almost a lock. Jim, did you ever stop and think about what CO2 levels were say 2 million years ago? 2 BILLION years ago? The 600k year's worth of ice core samples is 0.0001 worth of data Jim based on the Earth's age. I know of no credible scientist that would collect that miniscule amount of data and proclaim any conclusions with any degree of confidence.

Jim, you said "The dynamics of planetary climate are so simple and clearly understood". I don't know where you're getting this from because as John pointed out, even the priests of the AGW church admit that very little is known. "In the new (fourth) IPCC Summary for Policymakers there are 12 key variables pertaining to temperature changes between the years 1750 and 2000. The IPCC characterizes its confidence level as “high” on only one of those variables. Two are characterized as “medium,” one is “low,” and eight are “very low.”

In summary, If the AGW church was merely asking for the funds to do more research. More time to study the relationship between CO2 and surface temps, sunspots and surface temps, etc., then I for one would support that position. But that is not the case --- Everyone knows it's not the case. So it's very insincere on your part to act so humble and merely state your "concern". I bet you're not so little concerned to tell the politicians to NOT enact legislation to reduce CO2 levels are you Jim? And let's reduce those CO2 levels to 1990 levels....as if we know THAT is the magic number!!

And one more point --- As you said " More CO2 begats higher temps begats more CO2 begats higher temps.... This is one of the reasons that climatologists are concerned about high CO2 levels reaching a "tipping point". --- If the AGW church really believes this, then why are we discussing ONLY REDUCING CO2 levels? I mean logically, if man puts ANY CO2 into the atmosphere, the PPM levels continue to grow and grow and at some point, we "tip over" the edge of no return apparently. Why then are members of the AGW church proposing that levels be reduced to 1990? Even in 1990, mankind was pumping out millions of tons of CO2. By reducing to 1990 levels aren't we simply delaying the enivitable?

November, 08 2007

John K. Sutherland says

And a little more eye-opening commentary on the Hockey stick as further revealed in McIntyre:

http://homepages.tesco.net/~kate-and-david/2007/Holland(2007).pdf

John.

November, 08 2007

Jim Beyer says

It looks like I'm back to playing whack-a-mole, repeating things over and over again:

John,

Yes, the hockey stick is invalid. The corrected "scythe" graph still shows a pronounced upward trend in temperatures. Why do you keep bringing this up? (I even provided you a reference to the corrected graph.)

Murray,

I'm not sure CO2 levels from 150 Million Years ago would be valid to current life as we have it here. It's not clear that O2 and CO2 levels back then would be very amenable to present day life. 4000 ppm of CO2, for example would be fatal. As would 10-15% O2 levels. Yes, the ice cores are a blunt instrument, but still informative. Yes, it's possible that some high peak snuck in there somewhere unseen, but not very likely. If there were lots of these peaks, I think the data would be even noisier than it already is. Also, why would the temperature, determined by other means, still track CO2 fairly well?

Kerry,

Yes, you are wrong. So I should correct you. I don't speak for any "church", but obviously, any measures taken should account for the economic costs involved. Even fairly ardent AGW proponents argue for phasing out coal plants when their lifetimes have completed, so that no sunk costs are lost. Is that so radical? As I mention to Murray above, yes CO2 levels have been much higher further back in time. But the world was so different then, even biologically, that such levels could not be considered acceptable to human life. 4000 ppm of CO2, for example, can be fatal. You mis-read my comments about the dynamics of planetary climate. I was stated that position as something I DON'T agree to.

I don't know what legislation I would support. But if someone builds a coal-fired plant NOW, I would not be concerned about shutting it down in the future, when we find out more. Unlike existing plants, a new builders should be aware of this risk.

I think based on what we know now, new power plants should be nuclear, not coal. Maybe we will think something else 50 years from now, but I don't think that's a horrible hardship. I think the activity with respect to transportation is already beginning massive change due to the problems of peak oil. Given this huge changeover is already afoot, I don't see addressing CO2 emissions as well as being all that onerous. I really don't.

Yes, we should do more research. But to the level of confidence of how many? 70% ? 90%? 100%? At some point, we need to reach a consensus. We probably already have one now, but that, as many have pointed out, does not mean scientific proof. Did we have PROOF that a Y2K killer bug was going to happen? NO. Was it prudent anyway to work to address it? Maybe. We might never know. Is is prudent to act on concerns about global warming now? Frankly, this would be a much harder question if we weren't also already having to deal with peak oil. But given we have to rebuild a huge portion of our energy infrastructure anyway, it's a no brainer to me. Yes, we should act now.

The CO2 levels have been relatively stable (200-300 ppm) over the past 600K years. Stable, that is, if you consider ice ages minor climate changes. We are juicing the CO2 levels to 400 ppm. It's a complete crapshoot as to what will happen. Possibly nothing. Possibly something really bad. As Edward has pointed out, reducing to 1990 levels is meaningless. But it is a start to change from the path we are going on now.

As Edward pointed out, the cost of dealing with CO2 levels in the U.S. is basically the added cost of nuclear power vs. coal power. If we phase them in as coal plants are decommissioned, this cost can be minimized. Probably less than 1-2 Trillion dollars over 50 years. Is that a lot of money? Yes, but 50 years is a long time too. As for transportation, that is already in flux due to peak oil, so the additional changes to address CO2 emissions as well is basically in the noise on that one. Far less than a Trillion dollars. Maybe even $0.

If we reduced emissions to 10% of present levels, that would mean basically the only things net emitting would be aircraft, military stuff, and maybe some big trucks and big ships. Electricity and small vehicles would be net-zero emitters. A challenge, but very doable. And most of the hard stuff we gotta do anyway because of peak oil.

November, 08 2007

Hewitt Rose says

Mr. Sutherland:

Like any ideologue, you respond to the arguments exposing your propaganda methods by accusing others of your propaganda methods. You are still projecting.

I made three simple points on the merits of the debate: (1) are we to just disbelieve the consensus of professional scientists on human-caused global warming, (2) your failure to provide any peer-reviewed scientific explanation of a natural cause of global warming, and (3) your factual errors on the global warming data, picking out just one of your claims. You respond to NONE of these points. Instead, you spew insults then beat on your chest claiming victory.

You are not making a scientific argument or a rational argument. You are a screamer.

November, 08 2007

Hewitt Rose says

Murray Duffin, you wanted evidence that the current warming is historically unusual, and that gives good evidence linking it to anthropogenic CO2. There are many independent lines of evidence published in peer-reviewed journals that are mostly not available on the web. An exhaustive summary can be found in the IPCC reports which are on the web. Let me offer you some quick but less over whelming web sites:

GENERALLY http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/GlobalWarmingUpdate/global_warming_update.html

LONG TERM DATA http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/ncdc.html, and explore from there, particularly the 2000 year data. They have graphs worth staring at.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming Has a collection of good graphs with multiple citations that you can follow up on.

November, 08 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Mr. Rose, Jim Beyer, If you have the courage, please read the Holland paper above in its entirety. It cuts the legs out from under just about everything the IPCC says - and you along with it - and exposes the IPCC's outrageous biases and political and partisan scientific manipulations most devastatingly.

Probably the only thing you can do is to ignore it for as long as possible and hope that few of your colleagues read it.

Fat chance. Read it and weep.

John.

November, 08 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Jim, Unfortunately, you obviously do not read many posts or you would have seen the TLV data that I quoted for carbon dioxide of 5,000 ppm. Four thousand ppm of CO2 is not fatal to humans. Fifty thousand ppm of carbon dioxide is regarded as fatal to humans.

John.

November, 08 2007

Murray Duffin says

Mr Rose: I can't seem to access your first url above. Can you send it again? The 2000 year curves from the second url are all products of the Hockey Team. They have at least 4 problems.1) they are reconstructions from proxies where there is a significant effect of proxies that are not uncontaminated temperature proxies, eg Bristle cone Pines and Bulloides 2)they repeat the original defective Mannian statistical methods, 3)they graft instrumental records onto the end of proxie records 4)the tree ring proxies used terminate at about 1980, while more recent records are available. Unfortunately the recent records suffer from what has been termed "the divergence problem". What that means is that, if they really were temperature proxies, the last 25 years don't show the warming expected. The Wikipedia entry states quote Global temperatures on both land and sea have increased by 0.75 °C (1.35 °F) relative to the period 1860–1900, according to the instrumental temperature record. This measured temperature increase is not significantly affected by the urban heat island effect. end quote There is no available description or algorithm for how UHI effects have been compensated, and if you go back to raw data it is quite clear that without major high growth urban centers most of the warming of the last 30 years disappears, so I don't accept the assertion. If you will take the time to actually check 200 or 300 temperature records, well distributed around the globe, with particular attention to clearly urban growth, and clearly rural sites, you will find that I am right. There are UN records for most urbam centers back to at least 1970. the task is tedious, but not difficult. Oh, and look at the spaghetti graph in detail. Try to separate the noodles. You will not a red and an orange noodle that tell a much different story than the worst case HS noodles. Which do you choose to believe? As for the IPCC, it was the SAR that drew me to the AGW problem (as an unquestioning believer) and the TAR that turned me into a skeptic. The 2 main problems in the TAR were the notorious Hockey Stick, and the SRES. Any one with a knowledge of European history knew that the first had to be wrong, and it has now been discredited. The SRES are a range of scenarios for the future, with no probabilities attached, and not enough fossil fuel carbon available to drive the worst 30 of about 45 scenarios. If that is the level of science at the IPCC, you can believe them, but I don't. There are also many peer reviewed papers that support solar effects as the primary source of warming, especially in Russia and Europe. The love of Science and Nature for AGW does not make it a done deal. Have you read any of those papers that develop a plausible link, other than a weak correlation, for CO2 and warming, on or off the internet? If yes, please provide the reference. If no, stop with the arm waving. Note, the correlation breaks down from ca 1940 to ca 1975, and from mid 1997 to now. The first failure is explained by the AGW crowd as caused by aerosols, with no, repeat no, paper describing the source(s) of the aerosols or quantifying their effects. They are just a plug to make the models work. The latest failure is simply not yet mentioned. Sorry, you have given me nothing I have not seen before, and nothing that is not very dubious. See Jim Andersen's quote from Herbert Spencer above. Have you maybe "drank the koolaid" without investigation? Murray

November, 08 2007

Murray Duffin says

JIm I'm not sure CO2 levels from 150 Million Years ago would be valid to current life as we have it here.

That's not the point. the point is correlation between CO2 and temperature. Don't worry, we won't get back to ancient CO2 levels. Available fossil fuel might get us to 560 ppm, just double the supposed preindustrial level.

Yes, it's possible that some high peak snuck in there somewhere unseen, but not very likely.

Why not likely. When you have a nice flat 4000 to 6000 year moving average for a 10,000 year warm period, you either have a phenomenonly stable situation or, more likely, you have one or more smeared peaks. Our present elevated level is only 100 years up so far, and if the cause of the elevated CO2 is fossil fuel burning, which is uniformly considered to be the case, then it will probably not last more than 100 to 200 more years. It's a totally invisible blip in a 4000 year moving average. A few volcanoes in a 100,000 year younger earth could have done as much. Murray

November, 08 2007

Jim Beyer says

Murray,

The Vostok record shows many sharp peaks. Look at the one about 250,000 years ago, for example. I don't think the data support a 4000 to 6000 year moving average. Again, it's possible a 100 year peak could be lost, but it seems unlikely. A 1000 year peak would not be lost.

Also, if you look back in the far past, the CO2 levels typically and clearly precede temperature rises. The levels are still largely correlated, with a few periods of exception.

John,

My apologies for indicating 4000 ppm of CO2 would be fatal. But that level would make many people, especially children and elderly, feel very uncomfortable.

The Holland paper points out the problems with the Hockey Stick Graph, along with the politicization of the U.N. Big surprise there. For the umpteenth time, the corrected data still shows an upward trend.

I can appreciate the notion that the broader scientific community could be wrong in this regard, but I don't see the peer-reviewed articles to back up this claim. Instead you have the John Dalys and even the McIntyres that complain that they can't get published and cry 'conspiracy'. I'm sorry, but that's not good enough. Yes, peer-reviewed journals are crappy. [I just have to look at 'Science' and 'Nature' espousing the hydrogen economy.] But the cold reality is that non-peer-reviewed information is crappier. Much crappier.

The sad, tiring part of this whole debate is that none of you anti-AGW folks really have much problem with the suggested remediation, that is, building nuclear power plants. So you are arguing against the conventional scientific wisdom, without proper backing information, for what? Because you don't like Al Gore or Hillary Clinton? Well, I don't care much for either of them either, but that doesn't mean that AGW isn't real.

Your motivation, honestly, escapes me.

November, 08 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Jim, My motivation is simple: scientific and intellectual honesty and transparency. Those who try to manipulate the emotions of society by misusing science for personal gain, power or influence are - in my view - a different class of criminal, but criminal they are.

Others may argue 'so what if we are wrong about AGW, if the outcome gets us to where we want to be'. This was Torquemada's argument about justifying the inquisition. Good decisions rarely come from bad judgements.

Wealth and its use in society, is a zero sum game. We need wealth to progress, to fund health, education, welfare and other social safety nets, as well as research in science and industry and also, to some degree, to address valid environmental problems whatever they may be. This includes ensuring that third world countries are allowed to develop as they should and not be held back in poverty by zealots who are mesmerized by Kyoto and its paralysing influence. We also can afford only so much parasitism (environmental and special interest factions) draining wealth out of society and returning nothing but fear and exaggeration.

Ralph Keeney, an economist, pointed out that every time society wastes about $5 million on any wasteful endeavour, then we have effectively condemned one person in our society to premature death by denying them some aspect of Health, Education, Welfare, as there is only so much money to do those things we should do.

When we waste money (trillions) chasing hysterical and unreal unscientific issues based upon the sayso of the likes of Al Gore, or the politically motivated and corrupt process of the IPCC, we deny money to essential programs. All of this comes out of the pockets, not of the wealthy, but of the poor and disadvantaged.

We need to get back to good science and make those who try to steer society down a wrong path with misinformation, personally accountable for the social outcome, as most employed scientists already are.

John.

November, 08 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Murray, thank you for your good responses. I did access the three papers referred to by Mr Rose and they seemed, as you say, to be based upon and reliant upon the very questionable science of the IPCC as stated in its politically rewritten summaries, and by ignoring its scientific writers.

The Holland paper should probably be ranked up there with the efforts of McIntyre, in this entirely shameful circus orchestrated by Hansen, the UN, the IPCC and Gore.

John.

November, 08 2007

Jeff Presley says

Jim, you claim no peer reviewed papers, yet you summarily refuse (cognitive dissonance perhaps) to click on the links I have provided. McIntyre HAS been published in PEER reviewed sources, ergo, YOU MUST accept his credentials AND his conclusions, since the peer process was UNABLE to debunk him. Read it and weep.

Mcintyre is an interesting fellow. He is an auditor with an engineering degree. Therefore, he is smart enough to examine the core data and recompute using the identical assumptions and MOST IMPORTANT knows how to CROSS CHECK THE DATA. There's a damn good reason the scientists are afraid to talk with him, nor provide him their datasets. HE BLOWS IT OUT OF THE WATER! Sloppy science, sloppy record keeping, sloppy backups (multiple scientists are claiming all their data was "lost" and therefore they can't produce it). You know what happens in a court of LAW when evidence is not forthcoming? CASE DISMISSED! Court of PUBLIC OPINION? Gore says, "The debate is over". He's right, but he didn't really win, and in a REAL debate he would have his A$$ kicked and he knows it.

You and I had a long involved discussion about Greenland Ice. What I was uncertain of then, but am certain of now is that the AGW crowed DOESN'T CARE what the data says. IN FACT prior to the (questionable) GRACE satellite conclusions, it was readily acknowledged that Greenland's ice sheet was growing. This was rather uncomfortable for the AGW religion, so they claimed the heating ocean water was causing extra snowfall on Greenland, hence global warming is proven. QED. Now we have it both ways, the "scientists" claim that IF Greenland's ice sheet is GROWING that means GLOBAL WARMING and IF it is shrinking that ALSO means AGW! Wow, how convenient! Is this science or poppycock?

Admit it, you NEVER clicked on the links I provided above. Admit it and be done with it. You won't be excommunicated from your religion for "peeking" at the other side, but better to be safe than sorry. Meanwhile we have this admission from one of your "scientists": "We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest."

Stephen Schneider (leading advocate of the global warming theory) (in interview for Discover magazine, Oct 1989)

As for the dubious argument that the end justifies the means, that is beyond the pale. People are going to die because of the global warming scare mongering, far more I suspect than would die from any HUMAN caused AGW. Your Mom is on an oxygen machine? NO problem, they'll have brownouts and blackouts where she lives because the utilities are scared to put in a safe, clean coal fired plant, and the nuclear plant has been delayed by NIMBY lawsuits for another decade. Good luck to her and everyone like her. RIP

Meantime the Chindians are going to put up a coal plant per week, of far WORSE quality than we would have, pumping out all kinds of nasty things beyond CO2 and thumbing their noses at whatever standards we will be expected to follow in the name of "global warming mitigation'. They're busy climbing the world economic ladder, if the guys on the top rungs are willing to cut their own throats, they'll be more than happy to provide the knives.

Your motivation, frankly, scares ME.

November, 08 2007

Murray Duffin says

John, thanks for the Holland reference. Lovely to have the points I made above confirmed. I had not seen that one before. I was aware of most of the early problems, but the Briffa 1960 truncation is new to me, and of course the whole IPCC review details are new, to me. I had followed the rest, particularly the NAS and Wegman conclusions, and the dendro technical problems. With regard to the tight knit group and their commitment to their position it is instructive to review the literature on what has been named "paradigm paralysis" or "paradigm blindness", a failing that some scientists seem particularly prone to. It has been demonstrated that a scientist can be required to read a paper that refutes his cherished and dearly held belief, and only a few days later cannot even remember seeing the paper. Given the corner the dendros have painted themselves into, the ego integrity pressure they are under makes the behaviour described by Holland almost a certainty. Climate "science" my a__!. I'm sure your true believers will have some way of rationalizing this indictment also. I especially liked that Holland had the cojones to suggest fraud. Of course, if one can't help himself (see paradigm paralysis) is it still fraud? Murray

November, 08 2007

Murray Duffin says

Jim, I didn't invent the 4000 to 6000 year moving average. The ice core guys say that that is how long it takes the ice to close. In the case of the Law Dome they say that 1950s air is trapped in 1880s ice so that they can splice the ice core record to the Mauna Loa atmospheric record. If it takes 4000 years for the Vostol ice to close, and if current air can mix down to the mid fern at least, then by definition we have a 4000 year moving average. If you don't accept that, then you have to question your faith in ice cores. you can't have it both ways, although I'm sure you will try.

As for motivation, I just want sound science, with full disclosure and open debate leading to the best conclusions we are capabl;e of. Those conditions don't exist in Climatology in general and in dendrothermometry in particular. I don't like snow jobs (pun intended), and won't believe something just because it is published, when there is equally authoritative published material that tells another story. I take a holistic view, look for all the evidence, and make up my own mind. I will also change my mind if presented with compelling new evidence. The strongest evidence we have today is that we are in a normal cycle of long term climate change, and since past cycles were not driven by CO2 it is unlikely that this one is. That leaves the sun as the most likely driver. iN FACT, GIVEN THAT SOLAR ACTIVITY HAS JUST SLOWED TO A CRAWL (sorry about the caps lock), we have probably just passed peak for this cycle and will now find ourselves into global cooling. I can't wait to see how the AGW church will explain that.

There is no sound science, and there are no peer reviewed papers that make the case for unprecedented warming or anthropogenic CO2 warming, but don't let that change your beliefs. Murray

November, 09 2007

Murray Duffin says

Jim, I forgot one other point last night: quote The data covers up to the Termination II (around 140,000 years ago). The parameters are depth in meters and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in part per million (ppm). The deepest depth (>995 m) show CO2 values of more than 390 ppm, suggesting reaction and mixing near the bottom with a till ice layer (>1001.8 m), and the intrusions of different ice flows that were laterally located near bed rock. quote

Siple Dome deep core - 390 ppm at ca 100k yBP, near the termination of the last interglacial. the cause "intrusion of lateral flows"???. Where did the lateral flows get the CO2? Now hows that for an inconvenient truth? Murray

November, 09 2007

Len Gould says

It's strange. One hardly needs to read the posts, only the names of the posters, to get the gist. This is definitely not science.

Jim Beyer, like me, notes "Even fairly ardent AGW proponents argue for phasing out coal plants when their lifetimes have completed, so that no sunk costs are lost. Is that so radical? "

I'm still waiting for any of you religious anti's to refute the very simple and powerful argument for caution in atmospheric GHG levels in the Spencer Weart reference above. a) hihger the CO2 levels, the higher in altitude will be the average atmospheric layer which actually radiates energy away from earth. b) Higher that altitude is, the colder it will be, meaning lower levels feeding energy to it will need to warm up. c) conclusion, adding GHG's to earth's atmosphere is and likely always will be a stupid and foolish experiment with very high risk.

The part I don't get is "Whats the big problem with us switching all new and replacement construction from coal generation to nuclear anyway?" Other than for the obvious one of those who own shares in coal mines. I estimate that the risk in future of the price of coal remaining pegged to the price of petroleum is very high, and leaves a not very pretty image for the future. Even nuclear generation built half-intelligently can compete directly with coal if reasonable assumptions are applied to future prices of fuels over the lifetimes, ignoring CO2 taxes or sequestration. I'm still absolutely certain that increasing GHG levels beyond anything seen in the past 600,000 years is a dumb, stupid experiment with the only spaceships we have, and that the solution is absolutely required anyway. So what the HECK is all the verbiage about?

John, you should get a hobby or something.

November, 09 2007

Len Gould says

Muray: Are we to suppose all the anti-arguers here are the only ones completely free from Why might that be?

November, 09 2007

Len Gould says

Muray: Are we to suppose all the anti-arguers here are the only ones completely free from {what has been named "paradigm paralysis" or "paradigm blindness"} Why might that be?

November, 09 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Len, If you had not stopped reading when you saw my name, you would have seen the three directions in answer to Spencer Weart smoke and mirrors piece commissioned by real climate (who else is so good at trying to cloud the issue?). But I guess you didn't even read this far to find that out too. Ah well!

Your paragraph (third) describing the effects of Weart's supposition is strangely contradicitive. It seems that you believe that adding GHGs (you seem to believe that carbon dioxide is the only one) will cause the earth to cool down. I don't think that that was what Weart or the good Hansen disciples at RC meant. Of course I probably misunderstood you.

When you say 'The part I don't get is "Whats the big problem with us switching all new and replacement construction from coal generation to nuclear anyway?" we are taling the same language. However that is not what is being suggested in this maze of opinions.

What is being suggested is social control first. That is what I object to. We cannot put coal producers out of bussiness overnight and nor should we, after all, they may be blameless, as may well be obvious when this AGW house of cards comes crashing down even more.

If we ensured that all energy generation options picked up the tab (for their health effects for example, which would be fair), then coal would suddenly become outrageously expensive relative to nuclear. If governments then get out of the way with their regulatory overkill standing in the way of nuclear building, with a one size set of regulations that fits all similar designs of operating process, and has a fast track for licensing, then it might just happen so much more easily. Safety does not have to be compromised - heck, it's already been compromised for the last 100 years of using coal and oil because of their supposed pollution health effects without even addressing your bete noire.

Electrify all of society. Electrify the railways. Encourage industry to research and build better electric car batteries so that we get off gasoline as much as we can, but in the interim give incentives to produce diesel powered cars instead of those using gasoline. Stop this government stupidity with ethanol, and biofuels which drive up the price of food. Stop encouraging this ongoing folly with wind as a means of putting electricity onto the grid and use wind and solar power where they will be most effective.

The transition from coal to nuclear could occur relatively quickly and with none of the stupidity brought into it by the UN, the IPCC or the sidetracking hysteria of AGW.

Now all you have to do is read the Holland paper. What's that? You never read beyond 'john'?

John.

November, 09 2007

Jim Beyer says

Murray,

I am merely stating the data does not look like a 4000 year moving average. It should be blurrier, less distinct. Perhaps this shows how bad the sampling accuracy is, but the non-blurry jumps do have a pattern to them, so I'm not sure that's the case either.

You have said the ice takes 4000 years to close. OK. How deep would the ice be at that point? Tens or hundreds of feet? From a practical perspective, how much atmospheric CO2 would really mix with CO2 trapped hundreds of feet in ice, even if the passage was not technically closed?

I once worked at a site that had these deep pits set in their floor. I was warned that CO2 could accumulate in them, so they were hazardous to descend into. Because CO2 is about twice the density of the surrounding air. Well, if CO2 is stable enough to reach deadly levels within an open air setting, I could see how similar stability could also occur in an ice core, even if it technically hadn't closed off.

If anything, the ice cores would reflect CO2 levels HIGHER than the atmosphere, not lower. Like the pit that collected CO2 from the surrounding air in the factory. Put another way, a pit (or ice core) would collect CO2 over time, more or less depending on the atmospheric content, but a lower level in the atmosphere wouldn't pull CO2 out of the pit or the core. There is no mechanism for that to happen. So though the core may take 4000 years to close, it's not a running average in any normal sense of the term. The shape of the data reflects this observation.

November, 09 2007

Murray Duffin says

Jim, it seems that the fern closes at about 80 to 100 meters depth, which can be about 60 -80 years (Law Dome) up to 4000 to 6000 years (Vostok) Closure seems to be mainly pressure related from the weight of ice, but temp. and granularity also have an effect. Precipitation/accumulation rate is the main driver of time to close. But also Law dome is mainly real snow. Vostok is muchly ice grains blown in from other locarions. The ice has greater strength and will close more slowly. Significant fractionation does occur in the top 20 meters where there is a large temperature gradient, as measured by isotopes of the same atoms. Below that it seems to nearly stop, but should still be quite measurable over a 4000 year span. I agree that CO2 should then be more concentrated at the bottom, but there is also the issue of CO2 escape during depressurization, which, for reasons I don't understand seems to be much faster than eg nitrogen. Ice core folks seem to ignore all coring, transport and storage effects. CO2 is also much more soluble in water, so will escape if the pressure at a given temp. causes some temporary liquifaction or if melt occurs during coring. At Siple, which is near the coast, there are also layers of ice at about 1000 year intervals, suggesting enough local warming to cause surface melting. Also, over a 400k year span, the 4000 year fractionation of CO2 would tend to be uniform, except for the last 4000 years, so would have no effect on the detected changes, only on the absolute level. For Vostok, samples are taken at roughly 1000 year intervals so the peaks you see are mostly sample points. It is the sample itself that has the averaged air, so it doesn't appear as a smoothed curve. You are starting to ask the right questions. Like I said, ice cores are, at best, a very blunt instrument. I have tried to find data on handling effects. Cores depressurize as they are taken, so no attempt is made to store them at pressure. They are also riddled with microcracks by depressurization.They experience temp swings form near 0 degrees C to more thna minus 30 degrees C during transportation and storage, and they are usually stored from more than 1 year to up to 20 years before analyses are complete. I have found no papers that show an attempt to analyze these effects, but have seen a few comments by ice core analysts that they are not analyzed. Also consider that a sample may only reflect 2 or 3 years of deposition, taken at 1000 year intervals for Vostok. The chances of hitting a short CO2 spike are less than 10%. At Siple the odds are better, and it seems they did hit one. Don't put too much faith in ice cores, at least not for fine grained conclusions. Murray

November, 09 2007

Len Gould says

John: "It seems that you believe that adding GHGs (you seem to believe that carbon dioxide is the only one) will cause the earth to cool down." That's the opposite of the expressed mechanism. Think of it this way.

a) At a given time zero, with say 300 ppmv CO2 equiv. GHG levels, say a unit 100 kJ of direct solar energy passes through the atmosphere and raises the surface temperature to 290 degK. That surface, and connected near-surface atmosphere heated convectively, then radiates longwave IR, approx. 50% outward. That longwave IR does a "brownian walk" upward through higher layers of atmosphere until the same 100 kJ of energy can escape past all GHG's above it. For discussion purposes, let's say that that layer of atmosphere is at average 30,000 meters and 250 degK and 10% RH with absolute x grams / cu m of water vapour.

b) At a later time, with say 550 ppmv CO2 equiv. GHG levels, the incoming energy may be 98 kJ of direct solar to the surface (2% trapped in upper atmosphere due to increased GHG's). It does it's "brownian walk" upward but when it reaches 30,000 meters, the rarefied air above it contains 50% more GHG's which trap part of the outgoing IR. Before it can fully escape, the IR energy needs to go to average 33,000 meters. In order for the 33,000 meter layer to radiate 98 kJ outward, it needs to increase in temperature to 248 degK. In order for the 33,000 meter layer to reach the 248 degK, the 30,000 meter layer needs to reach 255 degK. All layer below also increase in temperature an equivalent amount, 5 degK (5 degC).

c) There is a good chance that with the 30,000 meter layer now at 255 degK, eg. 5 degK higher than base case, it will also naturally contain a larger absolute amount of water vapour, which will further block the IR energy walking outward, requiring a further increase in temperatures all up through the column of atmosphere, further increasing the altitude of final re-radiation to 36,000 meters, further increasing the temperatures of all the column below it.

That's way simplified, within the scope of this medium and immediate time constraints. The absolute numbers used I have entirely made up as examples, but the logic is completely straight forward, and all irrefutable. Naturally the reality is far more complex, and that's what climatologists and computer models are for. It is IMHO completely ridiculous for anyone not part of a large team of experts in physics, computer software, etc. etc. etc. to claim that this easily logically verified system is entirely wrong simply because acknowledging so might jeapordize a good job in a coal plant or something. I know that can be considered a cheap shot, but i'm getting sick of the reverse going on all the time, e.g. how many good scientists on IPCC have been trashed endlessly as above by undereducated amateurs with a pre-established position. Nuts!

November, 09 2007

Murray Duffin says

Oops, forgot. Do you believe that current air diffuses down 80 meters into 80 to 4000 year old ice? That seems one hell of a stretch to me. There is isotopic evidence from the Bikini explosions that traces do go down near 30 meters, so maybe it can go down 80 given enough time, but I would expect the downward diffusion to slow abruptly after about 20 meters, as does the fractionation, so it still seems a dodgy conclusion to me. Murray

November, 09 2007

Murray Duffin says

Oops one more time. If CO2 escape varies in some manner with pressure change, than we would see less escape, and therefore higher concentrations near the surface, which is what we do see. Is the rising concentration near the surface due to increased atmospheric CO2 concentration in recent time, or due to less escape? I have never seen this question addressed by the ice core folks. Jaworowski, who seems to have some knowledge, thinks that escape is a major component, and thus concludes that actual preindustrial CO2 concentration was significantly higher than generally taken, maybe 310 ppm in 1780. One more small contribution to skepticism. Murray

November, 09 2007

Murray Duffin says

Len, its a dumb question, but Ill answer it. No some skeptics will also suffer from paradigm paralysis, and I have seen some fairly incredible arguments on their side too. However, the Hockey Team has much more at stake than any skeptics, and are the only ones published in eg the IPCC report, so are much more likely to be evidencing the problem. Holland's paper is not speculation, it is factual and largely checkable, and shows clear evidence of a failure to understand what they read, interpretation of McIntyre's work in a way quite contrary to McIntyre's statements and an inability to recognize that fact, cherry picking of data to leave out data that invalidates their position, etc. All characteristic of paradigm paralysis. Even if some skeptics have the problem, it is not their work that is in question, and the fact that they have the problem in no way lessens its importance wrt the Hockey Team.

November, 09 2007

Jim Beyer says

Murray,

No, I don't think that much air would diffuse down 80 meters. That's why I disputed your comment about the 4000 to 6000 year moving average. I think the CO2 sample (if properly read, etc.) would largely reflect the CO2 levels within a few years or so, with some minor (probably insignificant) contributions forward (and maybe backward) a few thousand years or so. But by no means an equally weighted average of a 4000 year time frame.

If they only sample every 1000 years, then a slim CO2 peak could occur and slip between the sampling points. I guess that's possible. The fact that the ice cores seem to track the CO2 variations of the multiple ice ages is a good sign. So I don't think the data is that horrible. Whatever errors are introduced by the sampling seem fairly consistent.

You first state a 4000 year moving average would hide a blip. Then you state this this wasn't "your idea" and that the ice core people are the ones with this idea of the 4000 year moving average. But they said no such thing. They've only said the ice can take 4000 years to close. Not the same thing.

Now you are saying the sample method might hide a blip. Well, maybe. I guess anything is possible.

I think this is picking at nits. You want to find evidence of high CO2 levels in the past, and the ice cores, at least with the current sampling methods, do not support this. So you try to question their methodology to support this notion of higher levels. You do not seem to be digging for the truth. You seem to be digging for a higher CO2 level.

November, 09 2007

Jim Beyer says

OK, so John says that the 3rd world will suffer and starve due the remediation of GW while Jeff says they will destroy us economically for the exact same reason. Maybe you two should get your attacks organized.

I think the larger reality (with respect to energy) is that the 3rd world was devastated by the oil prices spikes of the 70's from which it has never recovered from. The burning or not burning of coal has and had little to do with that.

John, no one here is talking about putting coal producers out of work overnight. Many of your other comments are in line with my thinking. I don't know what you mean by social control. Is it social control that we regulate sewage dumped into our lakes and streams? To some extent, I think so. Whenever anyone dumps something into the environment that wasn't there before, or not in the same quantity as was there before, one runs the risk of being regulated by a society seeking to protect its interests. I don't think that's horrifically radical. Or unexpected.

John, your position w.r.t. to what should done with our energy future and what AGW proponents think should happen (virtually identical) reminds me of a line from a Woody Allen movie (Annie Hall) where a woman said: "I finally had an orgasm, but then my therapist told me it was the wrong kind."

You and others find issues (some valid) of AGW to pick at, but at the end of the day, you want the same things anyway. This isn't even a case of the ends justifying the means. This is more accurately the SAME MEANS justifying different (perceived) ends.

November, 09 2007

Hewitt Rose says

Murray Duffin:

My first link to 2000 year temperature data works for me, but may not work for you. Try http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/ then click on the "Global Warming" link on the left.

Why would you dismiss out of hand the data from "the Hockey Team" as you put it? The data errors were trivial and made the projections too conservative. The original graph, the corrected and updated graph, and numerous other computer model projections all show a huge upswing in probable global temperatures. Given that CO2 persists in the atmosphere for 90 years or so, given that we keep pumping a higher rate of CO2 in the atmosphere every year, and given that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it is hard to see how there would be any result but a hockeystick. If you want to know well more on the subject, set aside a few hours and read http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/02/dummies-guide-to-the-latest-hockey-stick-controversy/

On to your specific issues. First, of course data going back 2,000 are proxies. The way to deal with the uncertainty is to show a confidence interval for each proxy and use many different independent proxies. The results are good enough to show the problem as well as other temperature trends the global warmer deniers like to rely upon. Are you arguing for NOT looking at historical climate? It seems relevant for all of us.

Second, you allege the data I cited has unspecified "defective Mannian statistical methods." If you have an argument here, make it.

Third, that the graphs show the more reliable instrument data for the years that we have it does not make the graphs LESS reliable.

Fourth, there may be tree ring proxy data post 1980, but so what? Do the data provide any basis for doubting the tree ring data of the past? Do the data provide any better data than measurements going forward? Until you address those questions, you don't have an argument.

Fifth, there is no basis to the claim that urban heat island effects pollute measured data on average global warming. You cite "raw data" as your proof, but I can look at the raw data on the NOAA web site and see nothing of the sort. You don't cite any source that lays out the argument from the raw data to your conclusion nor do you make the argument.

Stepping back, your claim is unlikely. Seventy-five percent of the earth is covered by water and temperature measurements over water are not affected by the urban heat effect. Also, it is farly easy to compensate for temperature gages in the city.

Sixth, I do not understand your attack on the IPCC report due to too many acronyms, i.e. SAR, TAR, and SRES.

Seventh, your claim that "there are also many peer reviewed papers that support solar effects as the primary source of warming, especially in Russia and Europe," is vague. Do you mean to argue that an increase in solar radiation is the cause of global warming over the last 200 years? If so, cite one such paper. If you are saying only that the sun is the primary source of warming on Earth, then, well duh.

Eighth, you want to know what I have read on the subject. I have read the material at the links I provided, parts of the IPCC report, the National Academy of Sciences report, various articles on the NOAA website, many articles (most not on the internet), and most recently a very good summary in Scientific American (not yet on the web). This is well shy of arm waving.

Ninth, the correlation between CO2 and average global temperature breaks down from ca 1940 to ca 1975 because of the rapid industrialization taking place at the time and the aerosols and SO2 pumped into the atmosphere which caused cooling due to reflected sunlight Two things happened after that. Polluntion controls got better and the global warming push from the buildup of CO2 overwhelmed the cooling effect. Your further claim that the correlation breakes down from mid 1997 to now is simply false. Look at the NOAA data in particular. (I wish we could post graphs in the comments section.)

You deny the effect of aerosols, but I know of no published paper that agrees with you. We know aerosols have this effect from the quick response in temperature data after major volcanic explosions. You also offer no better explanation, indeed, any explanation, for the data. I could try to run down sources for you, but I have taken too much time already.

Lastly, paragraphs are helpful.

November, 09 2007

Jim Beyer says

Murray,

I guess I would also like to point out that if ice cores are such blunt instruments, then it might not be fair to use them to argue that temperature rises precede CO2 increases, and not the other way around. This lag is purported to be only 800 years, much shorter than the aggregate accumulation time of 4000 years for the core samples.

I'm not intending to be hyper critical on this point, but it one of Jeff's links stressed the "very high quality ice core records" and I couldn't help but see some irony with respect to your current investigations.

November, 09 2007

Murray Duffin says

but the logic is completely straight forward, and all irrefutable.

Not so Len. The reradiated energy at the surface will be spread across the IR band, and the CO2 will block photons only in a small portion of that spectrum. the rest of the reradiated energy escapes (excluding water vapor and other GHGs for the sake of simplicity) regardless of how much CO2 there is. Most of The photons that are captured by CO2 will be transferred to other atmospheric molecules through collision, leaving the CO2 molecule in the lower atmosphere free to capture another photon, and then reradiated at other frequencies. At present CO2 concentratioms the center of the main CO2 IR band is already saturated, so putting more CO2 into the atmosphere captures more photons only on the sides of the band, which is why the effect of CO2 concentration decreases as the concentration rises. Band saturation occurs in the first few meters of atmosphere, so very close to zero photons of the CO2 sensitive frequency ever get to the upper atmosphere, so it doesn't matter if the CO2 doubles up there. The IR does get reradiated into space, but not in the CO2 band. Also the atmosphere is not a smoothly layered medium, it is chaotically agitated . I think that what you are describing is a thought experimant, not a representation of reality. Murray

November, 09 2007

Murray Duffin says

Jim, I think you misinterpret what I have said. Ice core clearly show that both CO2 and temperature change substantially. As for the 800 year lag of CO2, I do not know how that is determined, but I do not see it questioned anywhere. This all started because you said that never in 600k years has atmospheric CO2 concentration exceeded 300 ppm, and I am only saying that we can not know that to be true given ice core resolution, that because CO2 is at or slightly above 300 ppm at the peak of interglacials, and is surely smeared, the peak is likely to have been higher than 300 ppm, possibly much higher, and that we have 2 other pieces of evidence that it was higher. We also have good evidence, that to my knowledge is not disputed, that CO2 concentration was orders of magnitude higher in the more distant past, w/o any runaway GH effect. The claim you made is not supported. The lag is not likely to be affected by the smearing. If a well centered moving averag starts to increase, and another well centered moving averag starts to increase with some delay, the delay is still obvious, regardless of the width of the moving average. However the average can still conceal excursions of the value averaged. You are doing an apples and oranges comparison.

November, 09 2007

Len Gould says

"that because CO2 is at or slightly above 300 ppm at the peak of interglacials," -- did it ever get above 280? I don't recall that, and seem to recall 280 being the upper limit in the Vostock records.

November, 09 2007

Murray Duffin says

Mr. Rose, Thank you. this time I was able to access the url. It is clearly written for 6th graders, and it makes many claims that are simply unsubstantiated. Given that, and your "well duh" comment about solar radiation, you seem to believe I am simple minded. Pretty typical of RC afficionados.

I dismiss the hockey team for the reasons claerly presented in the Holland paper. Computer model projections are not science. The models are constantly tuned to get the effect wished. Models can't forecast weather 5 days from now with high skill, why do you believe they can forecast climate 100 years from now. I have read RC. It is also run by the hockey team, and refuses to post reasoned disagreements. You can only get their filtered side of the story there, not a holistic view. That doesn't satisfy me.

No I am arguing for using valid proxies, and analysing them correctly. Cherry picking proxies, and using corrupted proxies or mixing in proxies that do not clearly vary with temperature does not provide valid historic reconstruction.

Re: Mannian defects See Holland, Wegman and Climate Audit.

If you can't see the problem with splicing instrument data on to proxy data there is no use in me trying to explain it.

Yes, tree ring data for the key proxies, for the years after 1980 do not show the warming of the instrumental data. If the tree rings are a valid temperature proxy, and are calibrated to the post 1980 data, the whole historical reconstruction will be shifted. See Holland on the Briffa 1960 truncation.

Truly rural data shows little or no warming. Fast growing urban data shows large warming, often in excess of 2 degrees C since 1970. SE USA rural data seems to show slight cooling. You can check South America, sub-Saharan Africa, The FSU and northern Europe and the pattern holds. Like I said, go and check actual data on 300 GCN sites.

Most of the water is Southern Hemisphere. Most of the land mass and UHI sites are Northern Hemisphere. Most of thje warming is Northern Hemisphere.

SAR - Second Assessment Report, TAR - Third Assessment report, SRES - Special Report on Emissions Scenarios. Evidently you know little or nothing about IPCC reports.

No, solar radiation is representative of a major problem with both the IPCC and the Hockey Team. Both of them will only deal with the forcing effect of insolation change, which is too small to account for 20th century warming. Svensmark et al proposed solar activity increase and solar magnetosphere growth modulating incoming cosmic rays and as a result lower atmosphere cloud cover and the cloud cover multiplier providing enough forcing to account for 20th century warming. Several authors have addressed this theory, prominent among them Solanki and Marsh. This theory is more plausible than CO2 forcing.

Your reading is very limited, and far, far from holistic. No wonder you maintain your certainty. The main sources you have quoted are one sided, and less than impartially scientific.

Actually world industrialization slowed dramatically after 1943 due to the effects of WWII, and only picked up again after 1955. More than 60% of the ca 1944-1975 cooling took place between 1944 and 1952. Lower troposphere aerosols wash out of the atmosphere in a few days, and have to be constantly replaced to have any effect. I repeat, there are no papers identifying sources for or quantifying the growth of the famous aerosols. The aerosol/CO2 relationship you hypothesize just doesn't hold up . The three major sources of average surface instrument estimates are NASA, GISS, and HADCRU. Giss and HADCRU show little to no uptrend in temp from mid 1997 to mid 2007. NASA sjows a somewhat higher trend. None of them show a trend anywhere near the 1975 to 2000 trend, but the CO2 trend did not flatten. The correlation broke down.

Rather than doing independant and holistic research, you are touching only one part of the elephant. If ignorance is bliss etc. Murray

November, 09 2007

Murray Duffin says

Sorry fellows. It's been fun, but I have to get back to productive work now. Murray

November, 09 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Dear all, There was the very damning Holland paper on the corrupt processes within the IPCC, which bring their entire effort into question (yet again) and now there is another from SPPI (below).

The IPCC had a somewhat shaky start with good intentions when they said: IPCC,1990, “We conclude that despite great limitations in the quantity and quality of the available historical temperature data, the evidence points consistently to a real but irregular warming over the last century. A global warming of larger size has almost certainly occurred at least once since the end of the last glaciation without any appreciable increase in greenhouse gases. Because we do not understand the reasons for these past warming events, it is not yet possible to attribute a specific proportion of the recent, smaller warming to an increase of greenhouse gases.”

They rapidly went downhill from there. Not because any better data had appeared, but because politicians muscled in much more destructively to augment the level of hysteria, through exaggeration and censorship of inconvenient data.

The damning paper from SPPI is here:

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/mclean-disband_the_ipcc.pdf

There is a call, in the house of Lords by Lord Lawson, that in view of the obvious corruption of the process and the utter and incestuous bias of the IPCC, that the IPCC should be disbanded. I concur, as do many scientists, including some of those who were authors and reviewers in the IPCC. It has taken on the role of a self perpetuating club and still cannot distance itself from the Hockey stick.

If anyone gets climate information only from realclimate (Schmidt of Hansen's NASA) then you are being grossly misled in too many ways. Unlike this site (energypulse), which encourages free and often warm exchanges and debate - and is the better for it - the realclimate site eliminates all disagreeing posts to create the one sided impression that there is no-one who disagrees with them. This is entirely dishonest. No wonder they were not even in the running for this years best web log, and why climateaudit (of Steve McIntyre, and a VERY active and honest site) is in the running for either second or first place.

For those who do not think that carbon dioxide has been over 380 ppm in the past, I refer you to actual chemical measurements conducted in the century before last by several early chemists, and identified by Hecht in 21st Century Science and technology, here: http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/ Carbon dioxide obviously bounced around a lot then as it does now, but all we really take note of today is the highly homogeneous Mauna Loa data.

And thanks for the sterling effort Murray.

John.

November, 09 2007

Len Gould says

"Models can't forecast weather 5 days from now with high skill, why do you believe they can forecast climate 100 years from now." ?? "chemical measurements conducted in the century before last by several early chemists," ?? 1800's ?? Any plausible mechanism for that 380 ppmv level, and why it might have dropped again to what has been measured on Mauna Loa, e.g. 315.98 ppmv in 1958 and continuously rising ever since? How far from the nearest coal / wood burner was that chemist's lab?

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp001/maunaloa.co2

November, 10 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Len, Please read the Jaworowski paper available from 21st Century, as well as the other informative papers about Global Warming etc., on that site.

And yes, I agree that some of the early measurements may have been compromised by proximity to the fires that warmed all of early society at the time (- IN WINTER), but some of those scientists went to some pains to try and avoid that problem too. Also I would have reservations about both precision and accuracy at that time, but the same is true of most other scientific measurements then. One tries to work with what one has.

I also ensured that I stressed the word 'homogeneous' to describe the mid-oceanic Hawaii measurements (thousands of miles distant from industry - though not far from one of the biggest carbon dioxide vents on earth - Kilauea), which also bounce up or down according to season.

We do not live in a perfect world.

And Len, although it might not seem it, I do respect your opinion most of the time on most other scientific matters. Perhaps it is time that you wrote a comprehensive rebuttal paper for energy pulse, considering the traffic that this present paper has achieved so early, and considering the immense complexity of this apparently Gordian knot. I would be interested in responding to your carefully stated points that you feel are immensely persuasive.

I must admit that I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to other responders here who selflessly stepped up to the mark. I also owe much to the indefatigable labor of Steve McIntyre (who knows nothing of a munchkin like me) for his honest application of classy science on his climateaudit site, and in face of insults (Hansen), innuendo (Schmidt) and a large thankyou to the IPCC for so obviously revealing their perfidy by ignoring his (and others') justified reviewing comments of the IPCC reports, and for which they are now about to pay a price.

Adandon the IPCC process. It does not function honestly. The science is not and will never be 'settled', other than to admit that climate constantly changes, and we are not yet able to define what most of the main drivers, or constraints are. Concensus is nonsensus (sorry about that).

John.

November, 10 2007

Jim Beyer says

John,

First, thank you for the civility you have expressed to Len. I think most would agree these debates are honestly fought, and try to focus on the issue, rather than the person.

That being said, I do notice that scienceandpublicpolicy.org has an Idso on its board. One of the other papers on 21st Century is written by Lyndon LaRouche. These are not good signs. What I don't understand about you John is that you are very well-spoken, very thoughtful, and yet you seem to cite authors and publications who do not share the same qualities that are obviously important to you. (The publication associated with the Holland paper seems fine, by the way.)

Now THAT being said, I can see your concern about the IPCC process. In retrospect, I can see that much of your concerns, (like mentioning the hockey stick with nearly every breathe) is about IPCC, and not necessarily the reality of AGW itself. I can agree with that. If the body is corrupt, then it should be abandoned or reorganized. Maybe they can think of something better.

I'm thinking that one problem with these fact-finding organizations run at the behest of world leaders is that they don't seem to be allowed to say "I don't know". (Recall Hans Blick.) If the IPCC started out with good intentions, but then were forced by politics to commit to an answer, and then committed to staying with that answer, than that's a problem indeed.

I don't think the Jaworowski paper is all that helpful. It cites an alleged CO2 level of 340 ppm in 1932, which jumps to 440 ppm in 1942, and then plunges to 320 ppm in 1952. These are increases or decreases of more than 10 ppm per year. Yet the Mauna Loa measurements (regarded by most everyone as quite accurate) have never shown any annual increase of more than 1 ppm or so since it started taking measurements in 1958. Other huge CO2 spikes allegedly occurred in 1820 and 1850. Why has nothing like that ever shown up in the Hawaii data? Not even a single year jump of say, 5 ppm?

What Jaworowski SHOULD have taken away from this data set is that the older measurements show how bad the measurements were back then. Instead, he makes the ridiculous assumption that this is "proof" that CO2 levels were higher in the past than most agree, which you have propogated. If CO2 levels really jump around by 100 ppm every 20 years or so, then the ice core readings (that show reasonable rises and falls of CO2 levels between 200 and 300 ppm, that correspond well with the ice ages of the past) would show essentially random values between 200 and 350 ppm. They do not. If you are sampling something every 1000 years that allegedly cycles every 20-30 years, you are basically reading from an elaborate random number generator. The ice core readings, as poor as they may be, disprove Jaworowski's assertions.

November, 10 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Jim, thank you also for your participation and civility when I know the frustration level was high. With older measurements the uncertainty is always difficult to overcome, but also with modern day measurements too, when sensors drift and with the problem of the Urban Heat Island effect.

I am profoundly skeptical of most utterances by anyone, no matter what authority they claim (Hansen, who has a record of deviation, and areas of NASA, while others in NASA seem very honest), and strangely, I try not to judge a person by their politics or affiliations, but what they say and how they say it. I do not close off consideration of even realclimate utterances, though I have learned that they dissemble too well.

I find the Idsos to be most credible, as I do much of the writings of many foundations that are distinctly far right, like the CEI, Heartland, SPPI, and even the politician Inhofe, but NOT Gore or most of the Dems at this time, some of whom behave like lunatics about the GW idea.

This busy subject shows that the 'debate is not settled, and that it is enhanced by being open to this kind of exchange. Thank you.

John.

November, 10 2007

John K. Sutherland says

To repeat something I said earlier; this article above is just a brief version of a much expanded and more detailed version replete with many more sources and references and even cartoons.

If anyone has the intestinal fortitude to see and possibly read the longer and more hard hitting version (about 1 megabyte in Adobe), I will be happy to send it.

John K. Sutherland.

November, 10 2007

Len Gould says

John: I second Jim's comendation of you above. Regardless of our differences on this one issue I respect you personally both for your polite and welcome corrections of several of my errors in this and several other subjects in the past and your general civility in debate, a trait I would do well to cultivate myself.

November, 11 2007

Murray Duffin says

Well damn, I had to come back. My mind won't drop it. Len, we now have a perfect example of paradigm paralysis (pp) on the side of the skeptics. See the Jaworowski referenc above, then read Beck, then read the RC response to Beck. First, Jim above is displaying the same problem, rather than thinking it through. The idea that 90,000 readings, done by experts, and using accepted methods and equipment , are wrong, is simply ludicrous. Some of the oldest readings, prior to 1850 may have problems, but Beck already through out clearly biased ones. Where does pp come in?

Well Beck wants the readings to represent global concentrations, so he rejects WWII, clearly pp. Jaworowski wants the readings to be global to prove the ice cores (his hobby horse) wrong. Clearly pp RC accepts the readings as global and points out (correctly) that there wasn't enough CO2 to give such a global peak. They are so busy disproving Beck, that they can't think through that Beck's material might not be global. Clearly pp.

Beck says the peak is not WWII because there are elevated readings in Alaska and Poona India.Let's assume that the warm spell peaking about 1938 made a small contribution and WWII made a large contribution. There is no reason that there couldn't have been local spikes also in Alaska (military staging) and Poona (industrialized part of India supporting the Asian campaign). Most of the measurements were from Europe, and in '41/'42 Europe was in flames. Imagine a high ridge of elevated CO2 across Europe that is continuously flowing out to become well mixed around the world. By the time it gets to the South Pole 200 ppm would probably be no more than 20 ppm. Now consider that a few year spike (bottom to bottom 1935 to 1952) gets averaged out over abouit 80 years during ice closure, so its maybe 4 ppm. By the time the core is made, 1942 ice is deep enough to form CO2 clathrates, but not oxygen or nitrogen per Jaworowski, so when the core depressurizes, some more of the peak is lost, now 1 ppm.

Now see Law Dome, per Etheridge "flat to slightly up and down" from about 1935 to 1952. You can take the Law Dome CO2 plot, look only at the last 100 years, and fit Beck's peak right on the unexplained flat.There was plenty of CO2 to generate that ridge over Europe, and it was WWII. More importantly, it clearly shows up in the ice core. Also, if I'm right, this example clearly demonctrates my point about the moving average spreading peaks to the point of insignificance.

Is my conclusion right? I can't prove it, (and my quantification is only for example's sake), but it accepts both the Beck data and the ice core readings as valid, and adequately reconciles them, and that's a lot more likely than that either are wrong.

This example illustrates the problem with the whole AGW debate. People take a position, reject any data that conflicts with their position, and go away satisfied - pp. The evidence says strongly that dendro historic reconstructions are incorrect, that surface instrument averages are too high, that solar forcing is a valid theory. We need to get some impartial scientists to attempt a "unified theory" of global warming. Until that happens I will continue to look at all of the evidence I can find, impartially and dispassionately, and stick with my conclusion until good evidence to the contrary is presented. My conclusin? Warming is real, but at least 20% less than the surface instrument averages, solar is a major contributor, CO2 probably contributes, but not more than 0.2 degrees C in the last century, the CO2 contribution rate declines logarithmically with increasing concentration, so CO2 is no future threat, and we are likely to be past a solr peak, and into cooling, in which case AGW, what there is of it, will be vey welcome.

November, 11 2007

Peter Boisen says

I have just had a very interesting hour taking part of all arguments presented this week for or against the relevance of AGW. The last few contributions indicate that the steam has gone out of the debate. As a layman I make the following conclusions:

CO2 might be the precursor of increased temperatures, but increased temperature levels may also be the precursor of higher CO2 levels.

AGW could really only be considered as a possibly important factor in the industrial society - let us say in the last two centuries. The CO2 levels several hundred millions of years ago have little relevance when looking at the conditions required to sustain present human life. What kind of world do we wish upon our children and grand children?

The fossil fuel resources will, with the possible exception of coal, in another 50-100 years, no longer be able to to contribute significantly to global warming. But, how do we secure an environmentally sound future?

The people engaged in the debate have, by and large, only discussed two mid term alternatives - coal, or nuclear power. Even if we ignore the CO2 emissions from coal (sequestration is just a word, not a reality) there are other problems, air and water pollution, and looking at the fission power alternative we still lack a credible way of handling the nuclear waste. Where are the truly sustainable options - direct or indirect solar power, and efficient use of renewable biomass resources?

Jim Beyer did propose conversion of available biomass into biomethane, but otherwise I saw no proposals concerning truly renewable energy production.

Come on guys, if you are as clever as you think, there must be other options than building our future on finite resources like coal and uranium.

It may be that AGW is not the real issue, but we certainly need to ensure required long term availability of food, fodder, energy, and feedstock for the chemical industry. As it happens intelligent solutions to these needs could also reduce the AGW.

Instead of arguing about the possible threat of AGW we should be looking for truly sustainable solutions to various needs.

November, 11 2007

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Peter,

"...we still lack a credible way of handling the nuclear waste."

In a word: reprocessing.

November, 12 2007

Andrew Dodds says

Hmmm..

Point (1) - This is demonstratably wrong, even if we cherry-pick 1998 as a starting point, we STILL have a warming trend:

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2007/08/31/garbage-is-forever/

Point(3) - 1934 was/is a stastitcal tie with 1998 in the continental US; this appears confused with global temperatures.

Point (4) - Seems completely confused, since you make no effort to justify your position.

Point (5) - M+M did enhance some uncertainty pre-AD1000, the rest is of the HS fine and still stands. Although the analysis can show a marginally similar shape withrandom data, the magnitude of the result is much smaller.

Point (6) - If we say that an imperfect model is completely useless, then we should also sack evey economist, oil geologist, weatherman, etc, etc..

Poiint (8) - DDT is still in use; but the reason for the resrgance of Malaria had more to do with DDT resistance than bans.

Points 9-14 - Pointless.

Point (15) - The reduction in Arctic sea ice is unprecedented. I'm not sure how a 50% descrepancy counts as normal.

Point (19) - This is a direct contradiction of the idea that the MWP was warmer than now..

It appears that you don't know what you are talking about.

November, 12 2007

Len Gould says

Murray, what I've often said in the past here bears repeating, "where are we ever going to find enough CO2 to put into the atmosphere to avoid falling into the coming ice age?". Now you are really depressing me. You mean you don't think even elevated CO2 levels can do it? That was my big hope.

My problem is with running the experiment before we finish doing the theoretical stuff, background investigations etc.

November, 12 2007

Jim Beyer says

Murray,

If the 19th and 20th century readings represent localized CO2 concentrations and not global ones, then Jaworowski is wrong in portraying them as representative of global values. This is not paradigm paralysis. This is Jaworowski being wrong.

-Jim

P.S. If you want to use WWII to explain a CO2 peak, then the same event probably threw a lot of particles and smoke into the air (e.g. Hamburg, etc.) which probably also caused some Pinatubo-like cooling. This would then not be, as some AGW skeptics insist, evidence of non-correlation with CO2 levels.

P.P.S. It seems like the latest IPCC report might have a chance to be a fairer evaluation of what seems to be going on (e.g. 1 foot sea level rise by 2100) so perhaps we should give it a chance.

November, 12 2007

Jeff Presley says

Jim, WWII [Hamburg ,Dresden, Tokyo...] cooling planet? Are you kidding me? Pinatubo kicked dust into the stratosphere, by the gigatons, and it circled the globe at least 3-4 times. Now THAT is an albedo effect. The "campfire" that was Hamburg didn't. Here's a new mantra for you. Man little, nature BIG.

On another site I read an apropos line about man wanting to influence global warming being like two fleas on a dog's back attempting to control him by tugging on a couple of his hairs. But I guess only Edward and I and a couple of others get the joke. :)

November, 12 2007

Jim Beyer says

Gigatons? Pinatubo injected about 20 Million tons of dust and gases (SO2) into the atmosphere. So Jeff is only off by a factor of 100.

November, 12 2007

Jeff Presley says

Only off by a factor of 100? I should be a climatologist then! 5 billion cubic meters went up, but I didn't realize you had weighed them so accurately. How many gigatons of CO2 are created when 5 billion cubic meters of coal is burned?

See you from the next IPCC report :)

November, 13 2007

Len Gould says

Jeff: "Only off by a factor of 100? I should be a climatologist then!" -- not only shows total contempt for science, but a lot of foolishness.

November, 13 2007

Len Gould says

These guys are supposed to convince me?

November, 13 2007

Jim Beyer says

"Man little, nature BIG."

Tell that to the passenger pigeon, or for that matter, the cod fisheries of the North Atlantic.

November, 13 2007

Kerry Sloan says

Jim,

You said "Yes, we should do more research. But to the level of confidence of how many? 70% ? 90%? 100%? At some point, we need to reach a consensus. We probably already have one now, but that, as many have pointed out, does not mean scientific proof." I guess what troubles me Jim, and many others, is 70% of scientists agreeing that they're 90% sure that AGW is occuring is not a science fact -- not even close actually. You asked how many? I say as long as there is one, just one credible scientist, that can make a logical and reasonable argument against AGW then a "consensus" means nothing. What if that one lone scientist was Einstein or Hawkins? Was there a scientfic consensus on what killed the dinosaurs? Yes, there was until today that is!!! Now new research indicates something else -- volcanic eruptions! It only took ONE scientist to shake the entire consensus up didn't it?

Science has been so distorted over the last 20+ years that all we need now is a theory, a few surveys and BAM----you now have scientfic fact that requires legislation to alter behavior.

Let's boil this whole debate down to a few simple issues/points/facts.

The pro-AGW side scream "there is a scientfic consensus on AGW". This is not true, unless your version of consensus is a simple majority. Would there be a consensus on the following question: Do humans need oxygen to survive? Would the scientfic community agree 100% on this question? YES. Can this be proven in a lab? YES. Can the same be said for AGW? NO...ON BOTH COUNTS.

The above illistrates the REAL difference between science and quasi-science.

Unfortunately, it's not just happening with AGW. Now the entire country is attacking second-hand smoke. Is this based on real science or quasi-science? Yep, you guessed it...quasi-science. Have the American Lung Association or The CDC produce ONE....just ONE...death certificate showing cause of death as second hand smoke, and I'll retract my statement and eat my words.

Far too often the debate on AGW gets sidetracked and both sides start spouting CO2 levels, ice core samples, hocky-stick graphs, etc. Sometimes it's difficult to stay focused on the core issue(s). Unless AGW can be proven in a lab (which it can't); Unless the computer models that predict AGW can accurately predict temps for 2008 and then 2009 (and then following years---which they have failed misserably so far); Then the REAL scientfic position is --- AGW is still a theory, nothing more.

Prudently researching and implementing alternative energy sources has nothing to do with global warming theory. It just makes good sense to do so because we will eventually run out of fossil fuels. But for all you pro-AGW crusaders out there reverting to that argument when the facts and science don't properly support your position on AGW, you lose all credibility with me, and with many other people. The real sad part about this debate is --- REAL science and facts no longer matter now. The media have successfully convinced the politicians that we're all going to die unless we attack AGW NOW. CONGRATS to all the AGW church members. I hope you will be as happy with tripple electric rates as the rest of us will be in the coming years....all the while losing our economic ability to compete with countries that ignore the "rules" on CO2 emisions.

Len, the truth is --- there is nothing that can convince you to change your position on AGW. However, John, myself and many others COULD change our positions with actual facts....or proof. A study could come out next weeks showing that the Sun's output is driving the small increase in temps seen for the last 100 years. It would mean nothing to you. I know that and you know that. I'm not even sure why you "debate" AGW. It's certainly not to increase your knowledge on the issue.

Let me put it another way --- According to the climate models the next several years and decades will each be warmer than the previous year/decades. What will your position be when the year 2009 is cooler than the year 2007? What will your position be when the year 2012 is cooler than 2001? How will you explain that away? How many record cold temps will have to occur in the next few years to make you re-think your position on AGW? My hunch is that it won't matter to you what the ACTUAL temp is, it won't and doesn't matter to you that all climate models have not only been wrong about TODAY's temp, but will be wrong about next year temp as well. The truth is, I bet if another Ice Age were to bury you under 1 mile of ice, you could still be heard shouting from under the ice --- AGW is coming and it's going to kill us all!!!

November, 13 2007

Jim Beyer says

Kerry,

A few days ago, I heard Rush Limbaugh complaining that there might be 100 people in a room and 98 agree on something, but 2 dissent. Then Limbaugh bitched about how we are then supposed to accommodate the concerns of these 2 people before we can move forward with a plan. Ironically, he then immediately started complaining about global warming. I think the problem with consensus is that if you are on the other side, it doesn't seem fair or right.

But, as someone who knows a little about this (I've railed and contain to rail aginst the idiocy of the hydrogen economy), if you are on the other side, you have to persuade the majority that they are in error. It is not productive to complain that the process it not fair to you. To date, while some interesting issues have been raised, I am not impressed with the quality of information put forth by the AGW skeptics. I won't say it isn't out there, but I don't see it very often. If I wanted to put energy and effort to the anti-AGW effort, the first thing I'd do is clean up that act. The amount of pure garbage spewed by anti-AGW people taints the valid points that they do raise.

Yes, it only takes one scientist to change the field. But Mr. Sloan, I've read Einstein, I've studied Einstein, I've appreciated Einstein, and Mr. Sloan, Prof. Jaworowski is no Einstein. (Apologies to the late Lloyd Bentsen.)

November, 13 2007

Len Gould says

Kerry: "I say as long as there is one, just one credible scientist, that can make a logical and reasonable argument against AGW then a "consensus" means nothing." -- a ridiculous position.

Einstein was NOT a lone physicist working against the concensus. He corresponded constantly with all the top scientists throughout his development of the theories.

I second Jim's "If I wanted to put energy and effort to the anti-AGW effort, the first thing I'd do is clean up that act. The amount of pure garbage spewed by anti-AGW people taints the valid points that they do raise." -- It's getting to the point where there's so many complete illiterates frothing things up that it's become a huge effort just to sift through it.

November, 13 2007

Don Giegler says

Jim & Len,

Are we to assume your latest posts indicate you don't throw dice?

November, 13 2007

Len Gould says

Kerry: "Would there be a consensus on the following question: Do humans need oxygen to survive? Would the scientfic community agree 100% on this question? YES. Can this be proven in a lab? YES. Can the same be said for AGW? NO...ON BOTH COUNTS.

The above illistrates the REAL difference between science and quasi-science. "

The above illustrates nothing of the kind, beyond perhaps highschool science classes. In every area of real science where real progress is being made, the controversies and battles are constant and commonly quite lively to say the least. Check out dark matter, string theory, spintronics, or any area where real science is being done. There is huge disagreement on the existence-or-not of a "God Particle" Higgs Boson, and if exists, what it's mass might be. But that hasn't stopped the scientists from designing huge particle accelerators and detectors (CERN 2009 upgrade, or formet Tevatron) to try to find out, nor has it stopped the theoretical physists from using it in their widely accepted models. Voyagers are only now passing through the "pause" where solar radiation meets galactic background, and some of the effects predicted by the scientists turned out to not exist, which means they don't yet understand how that solar particle shock-effect works. However that didn't stop them from designing a relatively safe protection system for the trips to the moon.

We work as best we can with what we got. If Intel couldn't design a CPU until eg. one of the latest types of transistors was developed, we'd still be doing math on slipsticks.

November, 13 2007

Len Gould says

Don: I think the reverse is indicated. We take logical actions based on best information available. I realize engineering doesn't work that way (requires absolute certainty) but that difinitely is NOT science.

November, 13 2007

Jim Beyer says

Don,

I don't get the point of your comment. (Sorry, maybe I'm dense today...)

Kerry:

I think we could probably find one scientist, deemed credible by some, that does not believe in evolution, yet that does not mean that the consensus of evolution is not correct. For that matter, Einstein never quite accepted quantum mechanics ("God does not play dice."), yet the consensus on quantum mechanics still gelled, even while Einstein was still alive.

Like the evolution/creationism debate, there are likely to be those on the minority side for which the consensus is not acceptable nor will it ever be. The same could be said for peak oil. If the anti-AGW people feel that belief in Global Warming is a huge and costly mistake, then the reasons for these belief should be presented carefully and patiently to the confused majority. Screaming at them about the unfairness of the process, citing poorly written papers, and espousing the conspiracies developed by Al Gore accomplishes nothing except to get more people to think you are a bunch of nuts. I don't think that's what you want.

November, 13 2007

Kerry Sloan says

Jim,

I agree 100% that screaming under normal circumstances is not what anyone wants. However, in the case of AGW, the "antis" may have nothing left to do but scream...at least until the media listens a little bit and mentions the postions of at least 1/3 of scientists and climatologists that disagree with AGW theory.

I wish now I had not mentioned Mr. Einstien...I think you and Len may have missed my point by getting caught up in what Albert did or didn't do or believed or didn't believe. I only mentioned Mr. Einstien to illistrate that it takes just ONE scientist to form a theory...or to prove a theory. It does not require a consensus. The "consensus" jargon got its start as a way to "prove" that the pro-AGW crowd is right. "See, there is a consensus of scientists that believe that AGW is occuring right now". I say SO WHAT! Let them prove it. THAT is what real science is about. Theoritical science may be into dark matter, black holes, etc. but since there is no less than 6 pending bills in the US legislature combating AGW, I think we've just skipped the proving stage of science because it's "Envouge" to believe in AGW. Do you think the pro-AGW side could prove their case in a court of law? NO. Does that say anything to you at all?

I think most pro-AGW people think "Besides, if we're wrong, no real damage is done right? Because we've moved away from a carbon based economy to something else....and that is good". Does it not alarm you that the truth and real science is lost? What price is it worth to win the debate if we sacrifice our principals, fact and truth?

We all need to understand that the debate over AGW is NOT the same kind of debate that evolution is. Or what killed the dinosaurs. Or about dark matter; or even gama ray bursts. Whether evolution is 100% correct has no impact on my life -- My cost of doing business, or how much disposable income I'll have to send my kids to college. But the belief in AGW DOES IMPACT MY LIFE AND YOURS.

I hate to keep beating this horse, but I still feel as though I may not have made my point about how different the theory of AGW is verses other types of scientfic theories. The theory of evolution changed the material being taught in schools. Yes it caused a stir when it was introduced as it offended many people's religious beliefs. But ultimately, it had no real impact on their lives economically.

Perhaps one day science will be able to prove dark matter, God particles, black holes and the like. AGW is not, or should not be, considered in the same category as the aforementioned. I certainly hope that the pro-AGW crowd will admit that what we're talking about here, now, today is not just a theory anymore. It has transended the theory stage mostly due to the media, and not evidence. Do you see the differnece? For instance: Will exposure to radiation kill humans? YES. How do we know that theory is correct? It has been proven in lab experiments and in real life. Radiation is harmful to humans is a fact, not theory or quasi-science. Even the pro-AGW crowd will say that they are only 90% certain that man is having at least SOME impact on the climate warming ---- that is from the "consensus" crowd!!! Does this type of scientfic uncertainy give you comfort in spending no telling how much money, changing entire industries, reducing our ability to compete economically with other nations, and last but not least reduce our own disposible incomes?

Look I'll go a step further and say that if the planet HAD NOT heated and cooled dozens of times in the past without the presence of AGW, then I for one would be more inclined to believe in AGW. But it has....and that is a fact, not theory. When will the next ice age come? What caused the last one to occur? We know so very little and yet, we're poised to spend billions if not trillions of dollars to fight a "problem" that may not even exist!!! Does that not alarm you?

I'll ask this question again --- What will your position be on AGW when 2009 is cooler than 2007? If the cimate models are correct, this is not possbile. And please don't throw out "Of course it's possible if a major volcanic eruption takes places partially blocking the Sun for a period of years...etc, etc. That kind of argument makes my case...that no climate model can predict the variables in our climate and one of those variables is a massive volcanic eruption.

November, 13 2007

Jeff Presley says

Len, you proved for the thousandth time that you never read an entire post. I even made it easy for you and didn't write more than a few sentences. Jim hasn't questioned my 5 x 10^9 m^3 number and from one year in geology I can tell you the average rock weighs more than a ton per cubic meter, when vaporized you get to add in the oxygen and other elements it combines with (just like the AGW crowd does with CO2) and therefore my gigatons of dust hasn't been legitimately refuted, not by any means. Even IF Jim manages to find a site that says differently I can refute HIS site. So Len, you've fallen into yet ANOTHER mental trap, but of course you stopped reading sentences ago, your mind has now wandered off to yet another... location. I tried to reach you with humor, but humor is defined as a higher order mental function, so I apparently chose the wrong approach with you yet again.

Jim, extinct pigeons? What about extinct dinosaurs? Did MAN wipe them out? How about all the other extinct critters? Would you like a list of those we can attribute to man and compare them to those that fell prey to NATURE? Care to place a wager on which list is longer, this time by a factor of 10000000?

Point, set, match. No wonder the AGW crowd has to resort to ad hominem attacks.

But wait, there a CONSENSUS. Perhaps it is time to hide under another banner?

November, 14 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Please note that I am still following this thread at least once or twice a day. We appear to have got a little off the main topic and slid away from the science.

Jim, I am glad we agree that hydrogen is an illogical non-starter, but politics may make us both wrong.

yes, there is a lot of garbage around this subject, but we disagree which side seems to be loading it on more than the other.

November, 14 2007

Len Gould says

"the "antis" may have nothing left to do but scream...at least until the media listens a little bit "

Well, at least we all agree that this whole debate is political and not science. The real question appears to be "how many voters can be influenced to one side or the other". It's a political debate, not scientific.

November, 14 2007

Jim Beyer says

John,

Check out:

(OK, I give up, how do you format links???)

http://css.snre.umich.edu/makeframe.php?content=4_2_Factsheets

Choose the fact sheet on Climate Change: Science and Impacts.

I'm not sure how persuasive this would be to you, but I think it represents a more moderate opinion of AGW. Since UofM is not exactly the most conservative place on earth, this is saying something about what the scientists (not Al Gore) really think about this topic.

Kerry,

You seem fairly reasonable. If the earth is substantially cooler in the next few years, yes, then I'd question AGW. If more data to contradict it comes forward, I would have no choice but to accept it. I think the problem with AGW is that enough evidence for some (see sheet above) is there is suggest change, but it is not enough evidence for others.

I can appreciate your concerns about the rising costs of our way of life, but Kerry, that is already a fact due to oil peaking. The short and mid term ramifications of that far outweigh whatever mitigating efforts are done for climate change. As was discussed earlier in this thread, the costs of addressing AGW in this country might be as reasonable as $133 per year (to switch from coal to nuclear for generating electricity). We are all already paying more than that annually from the rising costs of gasoline and fuel for heating.

I do think the science will win out. If politics backs a topic without scientific purchase, eventually the push dies out. That's already happening with hydrogen. I don't think it's happening with climate change, however.

November, 14 2007

John K. Sutherland says

These are just a few of the many interesting writings; 1 pro, and 2 anti AGW, that recently appeared:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7081331.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7082088.stm http://www.projo.com/opinion/columnists/content/CL_sheldon13_11-13-07_7G7J2VJ_v30.3597da1.html

The source was junkscience.com. It has many other similar articles. You might not like the source, but they don't write this stuff, only report it.

John.

November, 14 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Jim, I checked out your U of M 'factsheet', that is not really U of M but is a 'splinter' that seems to be in it or close to it.

Their very first paragraph... and the comments in brackets are mine...:

'Climate change is altering temperature, precipitation, and sea levels, and will adversely impact human and natural systems including waster (sic) resources, human health, human settlements, ecosystems, and biodiversity (wow, one should tell them not to pull their punches!). The unprecedented (!!!) acceleration of climate change over the last 50 years and the increasing confidence (!!!) in global climate model results add to the compelling evidence (!!!) that climate is being affected by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activities.1'

...Consists of emotionally misleading, exaggerated, inaccurate, and entirely unquanitified claims.

The start of their second paragraph...:

'Changes in climate should not be confused with changes in weather.' Should read 'changes in weather, should not be confused with changes in climate.' All we have seen with any surety so far is 'weather'.

The rest of the so-called 'fact sheet' continues the hype along the same emotional, predictive, unscientific vein. Their crystal ball is amazing. Their rampant hyperbole is shocking.

We are not impressed!

John.

November, 14 2007

Kerry Sloan says

Yes Len, it has become a political debate, not a scientific one. But that begs the question WHY? I can see the theory of evolution becoming a political debate for obvious reasons, but why has AGW become political? After all, this is a question of science, or at least it should be. AGW is scientifically possible, or it isn't. This issue shouldn't have anything to do with politics.... but strangely enough, it does. Wonder why? Let’s delve into that question a bit deeper.

Let me ask a couple of questions to all those pro-AGW believers. (1) If an independent survey was conducted today of all the scientists and climate experts in the world, and the results indicated that not only is a consensus nonexistent, but the majority does not believe in AGW, where would your own belief be? (2) The climate models have been “tweaked” downward for over a decade. By that I mean that their predictions for temperatures have been wrong in every single assessment. The original models back in the 90’s predicted temps in the early 2000’s and then toward the end of the first decade in the 21st century to increase nearly 300% more than they have. That is lousy accuracy. What did they do? Ignore it, and push onward. Get as much doom and gloom out to the media as possible to scare the crap out of people. (3) What better way to level the playing field between countries that have a lot, and countries that have little? Over hype a theory in the media; make people scared; make people feel guilty; and force those countries that have a lot to nearly cripple their economies to combat the media-hyped AGW problem.

I was at a meeting in Colorado a few months ago where one of the scientists that participated in the IPCC reports was a guest speaker (I forget his name now). He did what I considered to be a factual presentation and honestly pointed out that we don’t really know if AGW is real; is possible; or is happening right now or not. However, he ended his presentation by discussing the pending bills in Washington to combat AGW and each of their impacts to the energy industry. I was astonished! There before me was a scientist participating in the IPCC research admitting that they don’t know if AGW is occurring for a fact, but yet telling us about the coming legislation to fight AGW!! After his presentation, I asked him “If we’re not sure about AGW being real, why then the legislation?” He responded “There is a scientific consensus on AGW.” I said, “When did science become about consensus?” He said, “Look at it as a form of insurance policy. If AGW is happening, then we’re taking action. If years from now we see that it’s not happening, what have we lost -- because we’ve forced a change away from fossil fuels and that is good.”

To me, this whole issue is a simple one. Either the pro-AGW crowd can support, defend, and win the debate on the basis of sound scientific evidence and facts, or they can’t. When one finds himself in a bind in a debate, and the evidence and facts seem to not support your position, the usual method to keep the dream alive is to resort to POLITICS. Politics is a very large umbrella. It can mean the actual art form of passing legislation, or it can mean take your distortions and claims to the media. Make sure they (the media) are as motivated as possible to spew the most prolific doom and gloom possible. Dirt sells folks we all know that. Have you watched the programs on AGW on Discovery Channel? Do we want to be responsible for killing the polar bears or penguins? Take a look at the tabloids at the grocery checkout lane. Are they packed full of nice, upbeat stories? Or are they packed full of who is cheating on whom? Besides, if it’s on TV it must be real right?

Had it not been for the media, the theory of AGW would be so far off the radar screen it would be laughable.

November, 14 2007

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Kerry Sloan

I have been playing blog games with some ignorant economists at the University of Chicago and their foot soldiers. It was my first experience at this sort of thing and the outcome is as follows.

Most people are not like the contributors to this forum. They neither know anything at all about real science, nor are they particularly interested in correcting this deficiency. And the only truth they are interested in is their truth. As a result, I'm not alarmed in the slightest if the TV audience believes in AGW if there is none, assuming that we end up with the new energy economy that we absoluely must have. I dont see how an intelligent person could find anything wrong with that position.

Fred

November, 14 2007

Kerry Sloan says

Jim,

I am fairly reasonable -- thank you for noticing. You also seem to be fairly reasonable. I appreciate your honesty in admitting that you would question AGW if temperatures don't increase as predicted, etc.

As to your other point -- "I can appreciate your concerns about the rising costs of our way of life, but Kerry, that is already a fact due to oil peaking. The short and mid term ramifications of that far outweigh whatever mitigating efforts are done for climate change. As was discussed earlier in this thread, the costs of addressing AGW in this country might be as reasonable as $133 per year (to switch from coal to nuclear for generating electricity).” I’m not sure what you mean by $133 per year Jim, maybe that is a typo? As to it “far outweighing” the mitigating costs for fighting CO2 --- The estimated cost to your electric bill and mine is 4 cents p/kwh to fight AGW. That would cost every average family about $600 per year on their electric bills alone. With about 150 million households X $600 per, total cost is about $90,000,000,000 PER YEAR for electricity cost alone to fight AGW. That is huge.

I have been heavily involved with the Sierra Club for a few years now. The Sierra Club is single handedly responsible for stopping most of the new coal plants scheduled for construction over the last few years in the USA. In my discussions with them, it is quite clear they will oppose any new nuclear plant even more so than a coal plant. Where as I agree with you Jim that nuclear is a logical path for this country to take for a number of reasons, however, it won't be taken because of the eco-nazis. I have tried to have logical conversations with the Sierra Club about energy supply. I have pointed out to them that if AGW is real and is going to kill us all, then why would you oppose a power source that has no CO2 emissions? Honestly, the only power source that the Sierra Club fully supports is solar. They don’t even fully support wind power as they’ve fought against at least 3 wind-power projects that I know of.

As to oil being at peak, I just watched a program last night about oil supplies. If it weren’t for restrictions on where oil can be harvested (self imposed by the US government) the USA would be practically free of needing oil supplies from the Middle East. The program also mentioned that the oil reserves below the Gulf of Mexico are believed to be 16 to 30 billion barrels. But Jim, in my opinion this is not about oil anyway. Autos can be converted to electric fairly easily now. But then the question becomes, where will the electricity come from? About 52% of this nations electricity comes from coal plants. About 65% of those coal plants are at or beyond their designed life expectancy today. That means that about ONE THIRD of the nations current power supply is at risk TODAY. Not 20 years from now, or 75 years from now --- but today. Jim, if you and I had several billion dollars in our 401k accounts and we decided to build a new nuclear plant to replace a retiring coal plant, guess how long until our new JimKerry nuclear station comes on-line? A speedy, quick 12-15 years. And that is assuming that the Sierra Club or other environmental groups don’t tie us up in court for years.

If we want to talk about a REAL CRISES facing this country, someone needs to be talking about the impending power supply crises. Because it’s not theory, it’s a fact. Unfortunately, it's not sexy enough for the media to sink their teeth into at the moment. And by the time the words gets out about the nations power supply crises, it will be too late to fix it before rolling brown-outs are imposed for many years to come.

November, 14 2007

Jim Beyer says

John,

I thought the pro-AGW article was fairly balanced. The article on Lindzen was typical Lindzen, nothing much new there.

It bothered me when Christie says "scientists are mere mortals casting their gaze on a system so complex we cannot precisely predict its future state even five days ahead."

I don't think this is a valid argument. I have no idea what the weather will be like 5 days from now, yet I know it will be cooler in Nov., Dec., and Jan. than it will be in June, July, and August (in the Northern Hemisphere).

Weather is not opening up the Northwest passage, or causing retreats of glaciers over the past century. It is climate change. Perhaps local climate change, perhaps naturally induced, but climate change nonetheless.

Sorry you didn't like the CSS fact sheet. I guess one man's balance is another man's extremism.

Kerry,

I agree the AGW debate needs to be won from the standpoint of science. If the scientific support is not present, it will fade away. To answer your questions (1) Then I would question AGW even more (I do now, but apparently not to the level that others do. ) (2) This does not seem to be a question. (3) Also not really a question.

Developing countries are already heavily hurt by the high cost of oil. I think it's odd that the anti-AGW camp think that remediation will either destroy the economies of developed nations (like Kerry and Jeff) or not allow developing countries to develop (John, GGWS). To me that means you don't really have a coherent opposing opinion. Provocateurs (like Michael Moore) can throw out lots of intriguing "what ifs" that with their mere bulk, sound impressive, but are often not even logically consistent.

If you want scientific proof, I'd say look at the worldwide retreat of glaciers since 1980. (Not all of them have retreated, but most have.) This affects many economies, especially with respect to the availability of fresh water. Glaciers have grown and retreated in the past, but never with this rate of retreat. Since it's a worldwide phenomenon, it's due to a worldwide, or global affect. This seems to me to be proof of climate change for me. Is it proof of human-accelerated climate change? No. Do we have a reasonable explanation for how humans could have accelerated this change? Yes. Do we have a reasonable explanation of how natural forces could be solely responsble? I'm not sure we do.

In 10 years (2017) the glaciers will either be still retreating or not. By then, we will either be more certain of AGW or we will not. Until then, I think peak oil is a plateful anyway.

FWIW, I think the media should be stressing peak oil more than AGW, but for most people, the problems are probably inseparable. At this point, casting aspersions on AGW might derail efforts to address peak oil, which would be a very bad thing. Maybe we should re-convene in 10 years?

November, 14 2007

Kerry Sloan says

Fred,

You said, “Assuming we end up with a new energy economy that we absolutely must have. I don’t see how an intelligent person could find anything wrong with that position.”

Where should I begin with this one? How about this Fred – Does truth mean anything? It seems as though you are suggesting that the end justifies the means. Is that what your proposing? Haven’t we all had our fill yet of being lied to by government officials? Or do we really want to take the position “It doesn’t matter what the truth is and what is prudent, we know that someday we will get away from fossil fuels anyway, so why delay the inevitable?”

The way things use to work before quasi-science, scare mongering and distorting of facts became the proper thing to do was --- if a new technology made economic sense then it made it to the market and became accepted. How long has solar power been available? How long has wind power been available? They both have been around for decades. Why then have they not matured in the marketplace? Economics, my dear Watson, economics. If they can’t be financially justified, then they don’t make the grade. But wait a minute…here comes global warming caused by man using fossil fuels. If we can tax the ever-loving crap out of coal, gas and oil, suddenly the playing field is now level. Solar, wind power, geothermal, etc. will all be as economical as any fossil fuel, perhaps even more so…. artificially.

If the money that is going to be collected by a CO2 tax, or a cap & trade system (which will be well into the hundreds of billions of dollars per year) would be spent on developing nuclear fusion, I honestly think I would be for that…perhaps not to the degree being proposed by some, but I certainly would support new taxes to developing this technology. But that’s not going to happen and we all know that. Let’s not fool ourselves here --- there are many, many people and all environmental groups foaming at the mouth at the thought of developing a new energy economy. The problem is, there is no such thing YET. Solar and wind power is not going to get it done. Nuclear fission is considered a bastard stepchild by environmental groups and a majority of the public. Hydrogen, ethanol, tidal-wave power, geothermal, are quaint ideas and may have a role to play, but all of them together are not the answer either. The reality is we are decades away from any technology to replace coal and nuclear fission as our baseload, grid-based power supply. That is why an intelligent person finds something wrong with the distortion of truth regarding AGW and all that it means for our way of life Fred.

November, 14 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Jim, to address just a very few of your points:

You say: 'It bothered me when Christie says "scientists are mere mortals casting their gaze on a system so complex we cannot precisely predict its future state even five days ahead."

and... 'I don't think this is a valid argument. I have no idea what the weather will be like 5 days from now, yet I know it will be cooler in Nov., Dec., and Jan. than it will be in June, July, and August (in the Northern Hemisphere).'

I say, Christie was correct. I do not see what there is to object about. Of course there is seasonal variation, but where I live, the weather forecast for even two days ahead is often wrong, and the forecast is sometimes drastically revised from one day to the next. They cannot predict weather with any consistency, and they certainly cannot predict decades beyond today. The one thing that all of history teaches us is that some future guesses might be right, most will be wrong, but one never knows which will be which until after the dust settles.

This retreat of glaciers adds more fresh water to the drainage, not less. This statement about fresh water was a Suzuki fabrication. Glaciers are now just getting back to where they were 1000 years ago, as Viking farms in Greenland are uncovered from ice; as the likes of Otzi are uncovered in the Alps, as Aboriginal artifacts are now showing up in the NW of the American continent.

Oh, and didn't recent news point out that Mont Blanc was now a metre higher from much greater snowfall accumulation? Perhaps you can explain why Argentina, South Africa, Chile, and other southern Hemisphere countries had record snow and cold this last winter for them. I can. It's called weather. Not climate change, and not necessarily global cooling, or global warming, though some people want it both ways. 'More rainfall and more snow indicate global warming, but could also mean global cooling.' NO. It's still weather. If it extends out to a few decades further, in a trend that is obvious, then it might indicate GCC, but it might also switch back to a cooling trend before we know it, and then watch out for the security of the energy supplies, availability and pricing. I hope we are in the beginning of a long warming trend. But I do not know that we are.

John.

You say:

November, 14 2007

John K. Sutherland says

And then there is this most interesting piece from 1997, and still as true today, though with a little better understanding today of the role of the oceans.

http://www.junkscience.com/news/jonker.htm

John.

November, 14 2007

Jeff Presley says

Jim, Here is how you do one of those spiffy links inline with your text. I'll do it twice:

[a href=http://mysite.verizon.net/mhieb/WVFossils/ice_ages.html#anchor2108263"> Global Warming A Chilling Perspective

Replace the "[" above with one of these "<" and you will have the following clickable link below:

Global Warming A Chilling Perspective

Interestingly I have given precisely this example before and Len used it almost verbatim (including the "[") and attributed it to someone else. To me that just demonstrated Len's cognitive blinders, he has such a problem with me he can't even keep the good things I say in his mind. :)

November, 14 2007

Jeff Presley says

There's a quotation mark missing in the example above, the system must have eaten it for some reason because I literally swapped a > for a [ and got the link that worked. After the equal sign above and before the http. I've said it in text in case the parser gets confused when it sees ="

November, 14 2007

Jeff Presley says

LOL, swapped a < for a [ that is, back to my regularly scheduled interruptions....

November, 15 2007

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Kerry, you need a soap box for that sermon. A soap box located on the Midway at the University of Chicago, standing before an audience of know-nothing professors juggling their mobile phones, and trying to figure out how to make fools of their students.

You don't know the truth where global warming is concerned, and neither do I. I do know the truth where this energy thing is concerned. We need a basket of renewables plus a lot more nuclear than is scheduled. As for coal, which you seem to have fallen in love with, the Chinese and Indians are going to use as much of that as you want, and in the long run probably more.

Sorry, I've got to run now, but if I had time I'd give you a lecture that would make your head swim.

Fred

November, 15 2007

Mathew Hoole says

The following is a bit off track with this discussion, but I've always enjoyed reading Mr Sutherland's opnion. The following was also posted on an old article of yours, so you can ignore at least one of them. :)

Hello Mr Sutherland You mentioned on pg 14 in your article Various Infos on Nuclear Energy

"Although it would contravene regulations and good work practices, it could be handled without undue hazard after only about 50 years, just so long as the over-riding individual dose limits are not exceeded by those handling it. The small amount of long half-life plutonium (Pu-239, 24,000 years) in it, poses no radiation hazard, as the plutonium is of low radioactivity. The Queen was given a plastic bag of some to hold a few years ago, to feel how warm it was."

Do you have a link that contains a picture of the Queen handling this nuclear waste?

Cheers

November, 15 2007

Len Gould says

Kerry: "it has become a political debate, not a scientific one. But that begs the question WHY?" -- couldn't have anything to do with owners of coal mines or operators of coal generating plants I'm sure, that would be unscientific wouldn't it?

Mr Pressley: Graham Cowan showed me how to do hot-links on this site a couple of years prior to your first post. Archived articles could prove it if you're interested, I'm not. Perhaps a lesson in assumption bases might be in order.

In general, I too cannot stand the Sierra Club, or Energy Probe, or Greenpeace. I have concluded that most of these have unstated hidden agenda's, and can prove for example that one of the most ardent anti-nuclear activists in ontario, a writer for Energy Probe, also publishes articles in trade literature promoting every type of use of natural gas, including switching all ontario's electricity generation over to nat. gas. I've also seen evidence that Greenpeace trains it's activists that "If you're in an interview and don't know a statistic needed to make a point, just make up the statistic, and make it dramatic." Their idea is that by the time anyone gets around to correcting it, the desired damage will be done, the desired leaning will be planted in the public record and in people's memories. Energy Probe also for some reason is (almost completely irrationally from what I can tell) against hydro-electric generation, and has published such tripe even on this site.

The obvious solution is nuclear fission baselaod, solar thermal peaking with natural gas peaking DG backup, until fusion becomes viable. The US needs to quit moaning about the difficulties of building nuclear and start doing it. Now. Canada is in general far more anti-nuclear than US (refuses to develop weapons or allow them on territory, etc. etc.), and in general politically far more "liberal", but even in ontario is already in process of planning enough new nuclear stations to enable it to shut down all(most all) coal gen by 2015 I think. It aint rocket surgery. Just do it. Figure it out.

November, 15 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Matthew, Unfortunately it is not easily found in my set-up, but the site she visited was Harwell in the UK. It Harwell does not get you there, then NRPB will. I got a photograph from one of those two sites, so I think you could probably find it too. It was probably 25+ years ago.

John.

November, 15 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Len, I agree that absolutely the best thing the world could do is to engage in a nuclear building program of unprecedented and continually accelerated proportions. If we did that, then all of this present stormy back and forth and wheel spinning about AGW would not exist.

November, 15 2007

Jim Beyer says

John,

Interesting that you mention Otzi, who had been frozen for 5300 years. That means Otzi had stayed frozen throughout the Midieval Warming Period, the time that had made Greenland more inhabitable for the Vikings. Otzi is further displaced timewise from the Vikings (4300 years) than we are (only 1000 years) , so it's not correct to try to lump them together.

Yet now, of all times, Otzi decides to become unfrozen. In 1991, even after the first concerns about global warming had been mentioned. Isn't it the least bit odd than an organic object had stayed preserved all this time, and only now becoming unfrozen? Again, not proof, but sufficient evidence to register a concern.

I once handled a neutron source containing a small amount of Plutonium. Not even in a bag. It didn't feel warm though....

November, 15 2007

Len Gould says

I think it's impossible to draw any conclusions regarding relative climatic variations based on what emerges from a glacier at any point in time. Items left on tops of glaciers at their upper reaches will get incorporated into the glacier as additional snow falls, and get carried along to lower altitudes and warmer environments as the glacier flows downhill to it's outlet. When they emerge is almost entirely a function of flow rate and distance to travel. Where exactly they emerge may be significant, as that would indicate what altitude the glacier toe is melting at, but one doesn't need an incorporated body like Otsi to measure that.

November, 15 2007

Adrian Lloyd says

Mr Presely,

You challenged someone to contradict you re Pinatubo, and poured scorn on Jim Beyers comments about 20 million tonnes SO2 being the cause of the subsequent cooling effect.

According to USGS "nearly 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide were injected into the stratosphere in Pinatubo's 1991 eruptions, and dispersal of this gas cloud around the world caused global temperatures to drop temporarily (1991 through 1993) by about 1°F (0.5°C)".

The USGS reports that Pinotubo ejected some 5 cubic kilometres of material (say 10 billion tons), however it does not ascribe any aldebo effect to the dust. Could this be because the greatest portion of the ejected material was contained in pyroclastic flows or fell to earth within a matter of days (assisted by the tropical cyclone that was blowing at the time) and it was only a minor portion that made it into the upper atmosphere?

November, 15 2007

Adrian Lloyd says

Link to USGS publication

November, 15 2007

Adrian Lloyd says

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/1997/fs113-97/

November, 15 2007

Kerry Sloan says

Fred,

Not sure what your problem is, whether you got flunked out of college in Chicago or a professor at the UofC didn't think you made the grade....or what. But you obviously have a lot of hostility. Relax Fred, take it easy ole boy. Even if what is putting you in such a bad mood is my irrefutable arguments against AGW, all is not lost Fred. Your side has the media in your back pocket and now most of the politicians, so you will soon get what you hope for…CO2 legislation.

However, I would like it very much if you would come back to this forum in a few years after the next few years are NOT warmer than the previous one, and still make your argument as to how CO2 is warming the planet and killing us all. I also hope you will enjoy spending the money it’s going to cost to fight the CO2 “problem” when that money could have been spent on REAL problems or technology that would change the world.

Personally, I can’t wait for you to get some time Fred and give us that lecture that will make our heads swim. But I will ask that it make more sense than your last 2 posts. Frankly, no one knows what the hell you’re talking about.

As to you knowing about the energy thing Fred -- Apparently you don’t know as much as you think. If you actually believe that nuclear fission power plants will be built in higher quantities than what is scheduled, then you’re in a dream world. AINT GONNA HAPPEN. Furthermore, we can build all the renewable plants that you want to and it won’t be a drop in the bucket to supplying the country’s baseload requirements. Even 10 years from now, renewables still won’t amount to more than 15% to 20% of the nations power supply….and that is with all the subsidies afford them, and with the anti-coal, anti-gas, anti-oil, crowd basically preventing them from being built at the rate they need to be.

Fred, I have no love for coal. No love at all for it. I do know however, that coal fired power plants are the reason that this country has prospered like it has for 50+ years. It’s why nearly all of America is electrified, rather than just urban areas. Coal made it possible for rural America to afford electricity. Coal is what made this country the industrial giant is has become. Plain and simple.

If you want to vilify coal today then do it for proven reasons like SO2 emissions, mercury, flyash, etc. Don’t vilify it because the environmental groups tell you to Fred. You should think for yourself; be your own man; and recognize that CO2 emitted from coal plants may have just postponed the impending ice age!

November, 15 2007

Jim Beyer says

Len,

Normally, I'd agree with you, but I don't think Otzi travelled very far. His weapons and tools were found near (but not on) his person. The body was also fairly intact. If it had moved with a glacial flow, it would probably have been torn to pieces.

I haven't found all the specifics about exactly where the body was found with respect to the glacier, but what I have gleaned seemed to indicate that he didn't flow with glacier ice.

November, 15 2007

Murray Duffin says

Adrian, you provide the data to address one ppoint Jim tried to make when the Pinatubo thing started, to wit: that the cooling from ca 1944 to 1975 may have been due to WWII aerosols, at least at the start. WWII never sent either dust or aerosols even near the stratosphere, Since Pinatubo effected a cooling near 0.5 degrees C for less than 2 years, with a much larger trigger than WWII, we have to find some other cause for the mid century cooling. TRropospheric dust/aerosols drop out of the air in days. Thanks for the reference. Murray

November, 15 2007

Michael Keller says

Seems to me the elephant in the corner is the need for affordable and reasonably (vice absolutely) clean energy so the lot of mankind improves. The AGW circus is a needless distraction.

Solutions will emerge faster if our limited resources are focused on real issues, as opposed to amorphous, impossible to reasonably predict and distant climatic calamities that may or may not occur.

Solve the emerging energy crisis and the climate will take care of itself – which it will do in any case. Fail to solve the problem and we damn future generations to a bleak life.

Michael

November, 15 2007

Jim Beyer says

Otzi was found at 3200 m. The nearest peaks are 3600 and 3500 m. Given that glaciers flow downwards, the most he could have moved was 400m vertical. Since he was found in a pass, he probably died not far from where he was found.

Reference:

Otzi Paper

November, 15 2007

Jim Beyer says

According to this report, some large firestorms could send ash and gases to the highest levels of the troposphere. So it at least seems possible.

Firestorm reference

November, 15 2007

Jim Beyer says

November, 15 2007

Len Gould says

Micheal: "Solve the emerging energy crisis and the climate will take care of itself – which it will do in any case." The key issue is whether the energy shortages / independence etc. are to be based on coal or nuclear, really. Both are clearly capable of providing a bridge to future fusion // solar, but the coal path makes me very nervous given the rate of increase of use required to replace petroleum-based transportation with either PHEV or CTL based systems. We're currently increasing atmospheric ppmv about 10 ppmv / decade. Double the consumption to take up transportation, and apply that solution to 4x the population currently living a high-energy-use lifestyle.......

I think nuclear makes a much smarter bridge even if the absolute certainty isn't quite there yet, thanks anyway. The sole difficulty is financing the slightly higher capital costs (paid back by cheaper fuel and hospital costs), and getting the religious anti's to follow Patrick what's-his-name from greenpeace over to supporting nuclear.

November, 15 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Jim, What it really shows is that at the time of the Holocene optimum which spanned that time, and with a somewhat colder mid-point, (fourth graph above), it was even warmer overall than the MWP, and even though carbon dioxide levels were almost entirely uninfluenced at all by humans (grass and brush fires maybe), and even lower than at any time in recent history. How was it warmer then do you think than even the MWP when CO2 levels were clearly not driving anything? Might it have something to do with Milankovitch or sunspot activity?

The queen was given a plastic bag containing about 100 grams of a key plutonium isotope. Your neutron generator would contain no more than a few milligrams, or less, mixed through a beryllium matrix. Of course you would feel no warmth.

John.

November, 15 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Jim, I can't get to the Otzi paper with the link you give. It does not work for me. However, I think I already have the paper.

Len, Patrick whats-his-name, is Patrick Moore.

John.

November, 15 2007

Jeff Presley says

Jim, Congrats on figuring out the links. Your first one has an error in it, but I just deleted the initial erroneous part and got this Otzi link repaired

Adrian, You bring up good points. There are other sources I won't bother to dredge up right now that talk about the albedo effect of dust clouds that hit the stratosphere cooling the planet. The disagreement with Jim was about scale, he's dropped that point as he should. We might argue like brothers at times, but I think the intention here is to keep each other honest, not to denigrate. Some posters lose sight of that.

As to SO2, it seems to be both a heating and cooling gas. Here's a link that talks about it. Pinatubo is a stratovolcano so can easily push dust into the stratosphere (well beyond troposphere). An earlier volcano called Tambora caused the year without a summer. If you want a link that's not as lightweight as Wiki, here's one

Hope this helps.

November, 16 2007

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Alright, Kerry, since you have access to my secrets via the 'freedom of information' act, I suppose that I might as well confess.

I flunked ALL of my courses except english and history my first year at Illinois Tech in Chicago, and was officially pronounced hopeless by the dean. I failed the entrance exam to the University of Chicago, and when I applied to the graduate school, they didn't even bother to answer my letter. I was first in my class in a US Army's Leadership school, but on the next to the last day I was expelled and given a three or four week tour on one of the post's garbage trucks. Hostility? Well, I punched an MP in the stomach in Kobe (Japan) a couple of centuries ago, but there were extenuating circumstances: one of the gentlemen in my squad was holding his arms behind him. Fortunately my company commander needed someone who had memorized the 81mm mortar range table, and so I missed a trip to Leavenworth.

Now we can get down to the business of the day. I'm not in the habit of making mistakes where oil and electric deregulation are concerned, and I know a bit about a few other things too. For instance, the construction of more nuclear is a certainty! The television audience prefers more money to less money, and the only way for them to experience that happy situation is for them to accept more nuclear. What they think or feel about it at the present time is irrelevant. As for subsiding biofuels and the like, the voters can choose between that or eventually subsidizing a big war in the Gulf. Since the voters have/will make it clear that they must have motor fuel, their politicians are going to get it for them one way or another. President Bush and his colleagues understand this, although you seem to be a bit vague on that subject.

About coal, I dont remember saying that I dislike coal. Maybe you should read the chapter on coal in my new textbook. What I say - more or less - is that Bill and Sally are not going to turn their backs on the energy in coal and uranium. What the former will mean for the environment is quite another matter, and one that I'm not equipped to handle. About those numbers and conclusion you supply. They belong in the storefront university that you should give some thought to attending and not in this forum, where they constitute no less than an insult. Here I can note that you must have been 'mentored' by Greenpeace, since that organization has taken the position that you can tell people anything you choose, since by the time that they figure out that it's nonsense, you have time to formulate another lie.

Finally, where this famous 'head spinning' lecture is concerned, I doubt whether you and I will ever bump heads in a seminar or conference, and so I'll tell you how I'm going to handle that. The lesson that I was going to give you I'll just give somebody else. In that way I'll get rid of all my so-called "hostility" - at least until the next day.

November, 16 2007

Jim Beyer says

John,

Yes, I'd think the Milankovitch cycles played a role in the earth's climate of 5000 years ago. I do after all, acknowledge that the ice ages existed. But still think that sending CO2 concentrations to levels unprecedented throughout all of the ice ages is a point of concern.

It seems like a problem with a lot of these contentions is who bears the burden of proof. I would like to suggest a compromise:

The burden of proof should be borne by those that believe that global CO2 levels now are higher than they have been for the last 600,000 years. That needs to be proven beyond reasonable doubt for reasonable people.

IF that can be proven, then I say that the burden of proof concerning climate change is on those that believe such levels are not a cause for concern.

FWIW, I think both sides are ducking and weaving on this issue. The AGW proponents duck and weave on this issue of absolute proof. The anti-AGW carry at all times in their back pocket the fatalistic "sh*t happens" when it comes to the reality of climate change, due to natural means or otherwise. We could have an extreme, abrupt climate change event tomorrow and both of these sides would STILL be arguing about whether it is due to natual or man-made forces.

November, 16 2007

Michael Keller says

Len & all, I would not necessarily write-off coal as it is actually pretty cheap. Having said that, it does suffer from the unfortunate problem of "what goes in must come out somewhere."

Nuclear is very pricey when all the numbers are rolled-up and the reactor's do make some folks uneasy. However, emissions are exceptionally low ("zero" from an engineer's perspective)

I suspect there is a "middle-of-the-road" path out there that will please most of the pro and anti AGW's factions while not breaking the consumer's financial back. May be closer than we think. In any case, no need to panic -- help is on the way from many sources.

Regards, Mike

November, 16 2007

Jeff Presley says

Jim, This is by far the smartest thing I've seen you write on this subject here:

FWIW, I think both sides are ducking and weaving on this issue. The AGW proponents duck and weave on this issue of absolute proof. The anti-AGW carry at all times in their back pocket the fatalistic "sh*t happens" when it comes to the reality of climate change, due to natural means or otherwise. We could have an extreme, abrupt climate change event tomorrow and both of these sides would STILL be arguing about whether it is due to natural or man-made forces.

I for one never doubted for a second that the climate is changing, it is ALWAYS changing. What I stood four square against was the unsupportable contention that MANKIND is doing the changing. I might have said man was 3% of the problem (if it is indeed a problem) and I'll happily stick with that assertion. Therefore, by logical analysis man can spend trillions of dollars and by redirection of resources perhaps kill millions of people to have a minor effect on the big picture that is natural climate change.

The fundamental question is, what ELSE could we do with those trillions of dollars??

November, 16 2007

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Jeff,

There you go, getting all "Bjorn Lomborg" on us! :-)

You'd think that getting warm and wet was the same as getting dead.

Ed

November, 16 2007

Jim Beyer says

You are right Ed, warm and wet does not mean dead; it just means expensive; which for many folks, means the same as dead.

But at least we didn't have to spend 2 or 4 cents more per kiloWatt-hour.

November, 17 2007

Len Gould says

Was reading an article today that claimed that a (likely not very precise) survey in the US had found that gasoline prices would need to reach $10.00 / gal before most average people would consider changing their driving habits or vehicle choices. Given a) how much cheaper per kwh electricity is than gasoline now and b) how much more essential it is to a modern lifestyle, i'd anticipate that an extra 2 to 4 cents per kwh to go to nuclear, if indeed valid, shouldn't cause anyone any significant fears.

November, 17 2007

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Better keep that figure of $10.00/gallon to yourself, Len. Our friends in OPEC are having a meeting this weekend, and if they believe that motorists are willing to pay that kind of money for gasoline, you'll have your $100/b oil by Monday night.

November, 17 2007

Murray Duffin says

Just came across this one for the AGW guys who know that we risk catastrophic sea level rise due to the slip of Greenland and/or Antarctic ice sheets. Kind of demonstrates the level of "science" we get from Hansen.

http://ff.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=396&Itemid=77

Also this for those who believe in AGW climate science

http://www.arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v3.pdf

Murray

November, 18 2007

John K. Sutherland says

Murray, Unfortunately, few of the 'true believers' will read, or attempt to read either of these two papers. The first one is the easiest and very clear, and should reveal Hansen's increasingly obvious ignorance and duplicity, and the complete irrationality of his models, and thus of him, as he ignores the real workings of the real climate world.

How many times, I wonder, do we have to topple these false prophets - like Hansen and the Gore-acle - before the faithful awaken from their brainwashed state?

You do your homework. Excellent effort Murray.

John

November, 18 2007

Len Gould says

Murray: in your second paper "Among climatologists, in particular those who are afiliated with the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC)3, there is a "scientic consensus" [22], that the relevant mechanism is the atmospheric greenhouse effect, a mechanism heavily relying on the assumption, that radiative heat transfer clearly dominates over the other forms of heat transfer such as thermal conductivity, convection, condensation et cetera [23{30]."

This shear nonsense statement is around page 11 of the document (what mechanism other than radiation do they propose an object (earth) suspended in a vacuum uses to get rid of collected solar energy? Is earth passing energy to other planets by conduction or have they discovered some as-yet-secret mechanism?)

On page 12: "Global climatologists claim that the Earth's natural greenhouse e ect keeps the Earth 33 C warmer than it would be without the trace gases in the atmosphere. 80 percent of this warming is attributed to water vapor and 20 percent to the 0.03 volume percent CO2. If such an extreme effect existed, it would show up even in a laboratory experiment involving concentrated CO2 as a thermal conductivity anomaly. It would be manifest itself as a new kind of 'superinsulation' violating the conventional heat conduction equation. However, for CO2 such anomalous heat transport properties never have been observed."

Hogwash. This is just meaningless verbiage designed to suck in the uncritical.

It appears that the strategy of the writers of such "scientific papers" is to just depend on debunkers eventually becoming tired of continually going through the complex endless process of point-by-point refutation of whatever new junk they can dream up. Well, you win. I give up. I refuse to further read or address any of the nonsaense.

November, 19 2007

Kerry Sloan says

Fred,

Sounds like you've had a rough life! So I'll take it down a notch or two for you, and make this real simple and easy on you.

Nuclear fission is not a certainty. In fact, it's the opposite for the foreseeable future. Will it be a certainty somewhere around the year 2020? More likely then. But not now. And while I agree with you that the television audience wants more money and not less, it's not the TV audience lobbying in Washington. It's not the TV audience spending millions of dollars fighting every single coal plant scheduled for construction for the last 3 years, and will continue to do so in the future. The Sierra Club's of the world are running the show --- from media propaganda, movies, handling of politicians, legislative efforts, and now sadly the minds of Americans. The people sitting and watching TV are not running for office. Are any of the front-runners for President saying anything other than "climate change is going to kill us all'!!!???

What you seem to overlook Fred is that what people think or feel is what drives them. People are TOLD by the media what to think and feel. As you pointed out, tell people a lie often enough, they will believe it.... it’s happening right now.

As to my numbers and conclusions that I supplied, I can support my numbers with actual data, can you? LOL! You apparently work for a nuclear company and have your head buried in the sand (or radioactive waste) if you think people will allow more nuclear plants to be built in this country. IT AINT GONNA HAPPEN. I wish it would more than you know because we really need the power, but it won't.

The really sad thing is the TV audience will one day wake up and notice for the first time that the TV isn't on.... because the wind isn't blowing or the sun isn't shinning. Then, and only then, will some progress be made in building more fission plants.

BTW --- I think Mike Keller had one of the most brief and valid posts that anyone has made. "Solve the emerging energy crisis and the climate will take care of itself – which it will do in any case." So you see Fred, there are some people out there that agree with me that the MOST challenging thing we face is the emerging energy crises.

Fred, put your many skills of phyco-bable to work for good and not evil!!! Use your gift of gab to ward off the pending CO2 legislation that makes no sense and will do nothing more than drain our economy. We need you Fred!!!!

November, 19 2007

Jeff Presley says

Len, NOW you refuse to read further? You've been refusing to read as long as I've known you, you HAVE been known to spot-check here and there and jump to faulty conclusions based on insufficient information however. Perhaps your biggest beef with those PHYSICISTS who were themselves complaining about the faulty physics the so-called climatologists of the IPCC were using is that they have trounced your pet theory and oft-cited radiative forcing black-body radiation, brownian walk photon nonsense!

I didn't jump previously on your post of 11/9/07 because, frankly it wasn't worth the effort. I had already thought up a sarcastic response about how your MAGIC infrared photon had single-handedly solved the energy crisis, because it could take a "brownian walk" through tens of thousands of feet of atmosphere WITHOUT LOSING ANY ENERGY??!!??

This was right there on page 12, right where I suspect your cognitive dissonance wouldn't let you read any further: But it is misleading to visualize a photon as a simple particle or wave packet travelling from one atom to another for example. Things are pretty much more complex and cannot be understood even in a (one-)particle-wave duality or Feynman graph picture.

Had you even made it past the introduction and perhaps found yourself all the way to chapter TWO, you would have perhaps educated yourself on simple BASIC PHYSICS, which you clearly don't understand.

November, 20 2007

John K. Sutherland says

And now there is the latest IPCC insanity - November 2007 - where they keep getting upon their soapboxes and getting extensive news coverage to promote their vision of the world at the brink of catastrophe.

These politiicans in the IPCC are on a very nice gravy train that they would hate to see derailed. They even go so far as to ignore their own scientists and what they wrote in the reports, as they twist everything out of shape to keep this AGW myth alive.

Thank God for sites like climate audit and people like Steve McIntyre.

John.

December, 05 2007

John K. Sutherland says

And now we have this wonderful paper by Lord Monckton.

http://www.cornwallalliance.org/docs/the-ipccs-cardinal-error.pdf

It tends to say it all about the IPCC and those who so religiously work to bolster up their efforts without questioning a single assumption regarding models, assumptions, beliefs, nor the entirely crippling fact that one should not project too far into the future, i.e. not much beyond a day or so, or at best a season, or else one will wind up with egg all over ones face.

I look forward to this day for Al Gore and Hansen, when the media finally wake up from their zombie state. It already happened for Mann et al.

John.

April, 08 2008

Mathew Hoole says

John

I would like to raise a Wikipedia article to your attention on the Medieval Warming Period.

In 2001 the IPCC downplayed the fluctuations of the Medieval Warming Period and the Mini Ice Age, and with their interpretation of historical global temperatures highlight that the recent warming was higher than the Medieval Warming Period.

It was initially believed that the temperature changes were global [2]. However, this view has been questioned; the 2001 IPCC report summarises this research, saying "…current evidence does not support globally synchronous periods of anomalous cold or warmth over this time frame, and the conventional terms of 'Little Ice Age' and 'Medieval Warm Period' appear to have limited utility in describing trends in hemispheric or global mean temperature changes in past centuries".[3]

^ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Climate Change 2001: Working Group I: The Scientific Basis 2.3.3 Was there a “Little Ice Age” and a “Medieval Warm Period”?. Retrieved on 2006-05-04.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Warm_Period

Now I know lots of people like to give stick to Wikipedia, so i don't want to go there.

What I would like are some comments about these claims of lower relevancy for these alleged periods of changing climate.

Cheers

April, 10 2008

John K. Sutherland says

Mathew,

Climate consciousness during the time of the MWP and the LIA was focused mostly in Europe and N America. Undeveloped societies in those times did not keep climate records, indeed even advancing societies did not keep good records either, as climatology is in its infancy still.

Where there is no written record, the biological and isotopic records are of value, as well as looking at historical events and sporadic written records of notable events.

The IPCC has got away with too much dishonesty and distortion of climate science (Mann Hockey stick, diseases, using models instead of valid observations, overstating certainties, ignoring most reviewer comments, getting 'feedbacks' wrong, downplaying water vapor, etc.).

The IPCC cannot address the growing body of science that shows that most of its efforts in rewriting even its own scientists to the point of actual distortion, is now getting exposed.

One of the better sites which shows - from the biological record at least - that the MWP and LIA were relatively widespread global events, is this one:

http://co2science.org/

There are others. Sometimes wikipedia - its specific writers - does good work, but on controversial issues it fails miserably, as the mischievous munchkins keep ensuring that the politically correct version of events is constantly before the public, even to the extent of 'defacing' good science.

Be careful what you believe. Become a skeptic in ALL things. Believe no one. Demand proof.

John.

April, 21 2008

Sal Pietromonaco says

John,

Didn't Dr's Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon discredit Mann's hockey stick by their research into proxies from all over the northern hemisphere. (And if I'mnot mistaken from the southern hemisphere also). They found that the Medieval Warm period did exist despite Mann-made global warming.

If it's too difficult reading for the MGW adovacates, they can also go and watch a Danish documentary: Doomsday Called Off In it Baliunas and Soon talk of their research and their conclusions.

May, 01 2008

John K. Sutherland says

And now we have this report on May 1, 2008:

'Global warming is taking a break that could last for another 10 years or so. That's the latest word from a team of climate researchers in Germany. Global average temperatures should remain above normal, the team suggests. But additional warming – already on hold over the first seven years of this decade – is likely to remain that way for another decade. The reason? The team says it expects natural shifts in ocean circulation to affect temperatures in ways that temporarily out-wrestle the effects of rising greenhouse-gas emissions. The forecast is "very bold," cautions Tom Delworth, a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University. But, he adds, it represents the cutting edge of climate modeling. The German effort is one of the first widely published attempts to offer climate forecasts on time scales of a decade or so, rather than a century or more. The findings appear in Thursday's edition of Nature.'

And this from Steven Milloy of Junkscience: 'Researchers belonging to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported in Nature (May 1) that, after adjusting their climate model to reflect actual sea surface temperatures of the last 50 years, “global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations… temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming.” You got that? IPCC researchers project no global warming over the next decade because of Mother Nature.'

I suggested that this year would be the year that this insanity was beginning to get corrected. It's happening, despite all the denialist comments by several respondents above.

I suspect they will not want to know any of it, but GW and obviously AGW is now on hold for at least 10 years because of good old mother nature.

I guess doomsday has been postponed for a while. Al must be hysterical over this, but then he always was. Hansen and Schmidt will probably do their best to muddy the waters.

John.

July, 11 2008

Mathew Hoole says

John and Guests

I have been reading up on the Iris Hypothesis, and although initially dismissed or criticised by the wider scientific community Roy Spencer, John Christy, William Braswell and Justin Hnilo did some follow up research. Although these scientists were conservative with their results, Lindzen's theory seemed to get some backing and has "thrown open" discussion again on Radiative Forcing.

Has there been any further studies on the Iris Hypothesis since the Spencer, Christy and Co study? If so what were the results and where may I find them?

I have performed a search on EnergyCentral/EnergyPulse for the Iris Hypothesis. You would think with the strong focus on "Climate Change" there would be some information somewhere.

To John

Aren't we overdue for another of your interesting articles????

Cheers

August, 09 2008

John K. Sutherland says

Mathew, Yes. Another one is coming out 'soon', I am told by the editors.

About the Iris hypothesis. I know nothing about it at this time. As for the article above, I constantly tweak it on my computer, so anyone who wants a much expanded and up to date version - though some linkages may no longer work - can get in touch with me.

Steve McIntyre at Climateaudit, has just eviscerated Casper Amman for his unconscionable data manipulation in support of the Mann hockey stick.

John.

September, 25 2008

Mathew Hoole says

John

I have found a few articles you may find interesting on this discussion.

The first regards recent CO2 concentrations. Around 1830 and again around 1940 CO2 had around 420-440ppm as compared to today's 380ppm. Yet temps then were far cooler than now (although around 1940 there was a little spike).

See pg 6-7 from Ernst Georg Beck. http://www.biomind.de/nogreenhouse/daten/AIGnewsNov06.pdf

The 2nd has to do with the Iris Hypothesis. This has to do with actual observations around the tropics of cloud activity and whether "CO2 enhanced" forcings are positive or negative. This research does seem to be a "Smoking Gun" against global warming at least in tropical areas where most forcing actually occurs.

http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2007/08/14/the-iris-opens-again/

Only realclimate.org sought to criticise this paper (by attacking the player, not the ball), however there hasn't been to much media attention about this research. It could well fade into oblivion AND not actually be wrong.

Spencer and Christy also made available their raw data for review. No critics have come forth saying it was wrong and attacked it with science.

The last article is about the recent and severe ice loss in the Arctic. Although temperatures have been a little warmer in the arctic such a small rise simply cannot account for all that ice melting. Again here is a "smoking gun" against the current view that global warming was the cause (at least for most of it). The reality is the wind pushed the ice to warmer currents.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/10/03/nh-sea-ice-loss-its-the-wind-says-nasa/ http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/quikscat-20071001.html

For the record I do actually believe agw is real. I believe above the layers of cloud we will get a RAW increase in temperature of around .5 - 1.5 degrees C due to increase in CO2 over the next century (at present rates of increase). Forcing above the cloud layers will not be an issue.

Below the cloudy layers of the atmosphere I believe that RAW warmth will be a lot less ie .3 degrees C. Forcing will be inverted around the tropics (see Iris Hypothesis), forcing will play a minor role in more temperate areas where there is much less cloud, and most agw will occur at the poles where the least amount of radiative forcing occurs anyway.

I also of course reserve the right to change my mind at any time. :)

Anyhow if you and other occassional wanderers take the time to have a read, you may all find it quite interesting.

Cheers

December, 14 2008

Mathew Hoole says

Some updated news on this issue.

Persons allied to the IPCC version of the "non existent" Medieval Warming Period and Little Ice Age have been busy. Wiki entries on the 2 Temperature periods are now dominated by the IPCC version of events (they were not 6 months ago). The (in my view non political) Borehole Global Study by Shaopeng Huang is now no longer referenced by either Wikipedia article. In fact I can no longer find the study on the web... anywhere except as a reference.

Roy Spencer has had to take a dose of humility after some of his most recent research was refused publication at Geophysical Research Letters with little explanation. You can find more information about it from his website.

http://www.weatherquestions.com/Roy-Spencer-on-global-warming.htm

Cheers

December, 28 2008

John K. Sutherland says

Mathew, Be cautious of Wikipedia. On the subject of AGW; AGW refuting scientists, and even of Nuclear, they have some editors who ensure that only the 'politically correct' version of these subjects is allowed to survive for any length of time. Perhaps when the world escapes from this death grip of temporary Gore-bull, IPCC insanity, we may be able to make such 'editors' accountable for their anti-social Goebels-like efforts, and destroy their reputations - if they have any left.

John.

December, 28 2008

John K. Sutherland says

Mathew, What happened with Spencer should not surprise you, it also happens to me at a lower level. Spencer and many others who are trying to ensure the non-existent 'debate' remains honest, cannot get published because of this 'censorship' of AGW-opposing observations and information, even in the lower echelons of the media. Until editors and reveiwers are identified by name, they can get away with hiding behind all kinds of screens to escape justifying their decisions. The moment they become openly and obviously accountable, it will change for the better.

This is where the 'science' behind AGW is so laughable. It cannot survive without such censorship support. Without this censorship of truly inconvenient truths, the scientific light of exposure shines in brightly and eventually kills off this unscientific abomination, and hopefully, the IPCC and even most of the corrupt and incompetent UN with it. It will happen anyway, eventually, but the longer it takes, the more painful will be our recovery.

I await Obama's scientific epipheny. If it does not happen - USA, RIP.

I was horrified at his choice of Holdren. This is the guy that stuck his neck out in Scientific American (?) when he blasted Lomborg over his best seller 'the skeptical Environmentalist'. He, rather than Lomborg, got his neck wrung over this, with his unscentific, ad hominem tantrum, and deservedly so. There were a few things Lomborg got wrong (in my opinion), but he was mostly right, whereas Holdren was entirely out to lunch and got caught with his pants down. Rah!!

John.

December, 30 2008

Mathew Hoole says

Dear John,

I hope your Christmas was a pleasant one, and kind regards for the new year.

I agree with you fully concerning Holdren. I read about this on Patrick Moore's website Greenspirit. I like Patrick Moore for several reasons ie 1. His style of environmentalism is about resource management rather than industry banishment. 2. He has a thick skin and isn't afraid of too many people eg the Lomborg/ Scientific America Legal threat and the constant harrassment by activists 3. His view that Development and Society can co-exist. 4. And the fact that has personally responded to an email I sent to him several months ago concerning one of his presentations.

Likewise I am a net supporter of Lomborg. In my view he is the first person that has made a major effort to bring order from the "headless chook" chaos of our (percieved) global issues. I can understand and certainly not appreciate how this has upset some "people".

Again I don't agree with everything he says eg to legalise/decriminalise illicit drugs; is asking for trouble.

Obama is going to have his hands full for the next 4 years. If his leadership skills are half as good as his oratory skills he will be a fine President. In any case he couldn't be worse than the current one. Noted that Holdren isn't worthy of employment anywhere except as the Bucket Boy in a Prison's Toilet Block.

Cheers

July, 11 2009

John K. Sutherland says

For those who wish direction to my other papers on a related site, go here:

http://www.energycentral.com/functional/reference/whitepapers.cfm

and select the publisher filter - edutech enterprises - ie ME. There are 8 more papers there I believe.

December, 13 2009

John K. Sutherland says

And now there is the climategate scandal, which as anyone can see from the article above, was many years in the making.

The first alarm bell with the IPCC was their restricted mandate to examine ‘human causes of climate change.’ Nothing else; no climate research first, to find out what might be happening, how the climate works, what are the variables and what do the data really show? They had made up their minds without that necessary step, and decided that it was human caused before any research ever took place. Some open mind, good science thing, that was not!

The second alarm bell came when the careful scientific language in the AR reports was ‘changed’ by people like Ben santer to reflect not the uncertainty that the real scientists wrote about, but ‘certainty’. Fraud and report manipulation at it’s best! All exposed years ago by Singer and others.

And then there was the barse ackwards stuff, pounded by Al Gore when he suggested persuasively – the glib misleading fellow - that carbon dioxide preceded warming, when it was the opposite. And on what basis other than that piece of skullduggery did the CRU and GISS decide the climate was warming? Why, upon the most neglected, inaccurate data available from the most poorly maintained weather network sites in the world, where the accuracy was often no better than plus or minus 2 degrees C, and up to plus or minus 5C, and with large Urban Heat Island effects. (Anthony Watts). As Monckton also showed, you can demonstrate almost any trend you wish, by carefully selecting a starting and end point for the plot. What an unscientific farce!

The Warming witch hunt, or ‘change’ whichever one calls it, has nothing to do with burning fossil fuels. It has everything to do with seeking and protecting empires, government grants, lying, distortion of raw data – which is why they dare not release it; and the sun. But for pity’s sake don’t let anyone know that, or we lose our funding and power!

One example of the unscientific shenanigans that went on, was the comment from one of this ‘gang’, that ‘we need to get rid of the medieval warm period, i.e. rewrite history! So they did for a while by ignoring all of written history, with the help of Mann, Bradley and Hughes using a few selected tree ring data. The sort of thing that Stalin might have said, and made happen.

This will give science and scientists a black eye for a very long time, and if there is one group of people we absolutely need in our society, it is good scientists. It will go down as one of the biggest manipulated frauds in history. Time for accountability.

December, 09 2011

John K. Sutherland says

The amazing thing about all of this, is that it is all still very relevant.

December, 05 2013

John K. Sutherland says

And two years later, it is still relevant. At last the world is waking up to the lies.

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