An Energy Central Expert Community Power Industry Professionals

Article Post

0

It's Time for Some Due Diligence on Global Warming Claims

Actually, it is long overdue. A staggering amount of money and man-hours already have been expended across the globe and we are getting ready to kick the level of spending up a notch. A rapidly growing group of scientists is challenging the claims on which this movement is based, yet they are being ignored by most of the media, environmental activists, and people who stand to profit from the "carbon economy." GW proponents need to answer the questions that have been raised over the validity of their claims if they want support those who will be paying the bills for their proposed programs. Their current approach - personal attacks on anyone who challenges GW orthodoxy and manufacturing a crisis to build support for their movement -- are unacceptable.

There is widespread belief that the recent warming is due mainly to global warming gases produced by mankind -- i.e., the anthropogenic global warming (AGW). I have been searching for years for good science to support this theory. I can't find any. In fact, most of the scientific work that has passed independent, objective review contradicts this theory. What I have found falls into 3 main categories:

  • Good, but inconclusive work - Objective analyses that presents interesting and possibly useful findings, but acknowledge that there is a high degree of uncertainty in the input data and assumptions. These analyses normally end with the conclusion that more work is needed to resolve the uncertainty.
  • Junk science - Analyses built on unsubstantiated assumptions and/or questionable data that employ models that have not been validated. These typically conclude that climate catastrophe is likely and we need to do more analyses and/or take steps immediately to avoid disaster. This work typically comes from scientists who are working in areas they do not understand or who have abandoned the basic principles of scientific investigation.
  • Apocalyptic predictions based on questionable research, selective interpretation of good work (e.g., only presenting the high end or a range) or blatant distortion. These typically come from the media, politicians and environmental activists rather than serious scientists.
I challenge those who disagree with my assessment to identify any good work that presents a compelling case supporting AGW acceleration. I am looking for examples from the first category -- i.e., good work -- that actually contradicts the "inconvenient facts" listed below. By "good" work I mean analyses that use validated models and reasonable assumptions that have a sound basis. I ask anyone who has seen work that meets these criteria to share it with readers.

This is plea for sanity. We cannot afford to waste more resources on a hypothetical problem when they are so desperately needed to address real, overwhelming problems such as the global financial crisis, energy supply problems, health care, hunger, etc.

The following section summarizes some of the main "inconvenient facts" that are being ignored or suppressed by those inciting carbon hysteria. This list of fact is followed by an expanded explanation of why this movement is a serious threat, my thoughts on why this is happening, and some recommendations on what you should do about it.

Some "Inconvenient Facts"

Carbon hysteria proponents keep claiming "the science is settled and the debate is over." This is the centerpiece of an aggressive campaign to crush discussion and intimidate those who challenge their claims. These proponents need to take this approach because their case is so weak. A few of the major inconvenient facts that they are trying to suppress are:

-The last warming wave ended over 10 years ago in 1998. Temperatures have been lower than the 1998 peak ever since and the trend has been downward in the last several years. The claim that global warming is accelerating is a blatant lie. Even some of the prominent AGW advocates have publicly admitted that we have entered a cooling period that probably will continue for another 10 to 20 years (this is based on the well established sunspot cycle and correlations between sunspots and climate changes).

-The claim that the consensus of scientists agrees with AGW theory has become one of the "big lies" of our time. A few examples of the multitude of scientists who disagree are:

  • Over 31,000 American scientist who signed the Petition Project (you must have a degree in hard sciences or engineering with relevant experience to be eligible to sign the petition)
  • Over 700 prominent international scientists who have publicly disagreed (Senate EPW blog; note that this list includes several IPCC panel members)
  • Over 35,000 Canadian Scientists (68% of group surveyed in 2008)
  • The NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change) report issued in May 2009 cites thousands of peer-reviewed research papers and books that present contradictory results
  • Supportive statements issued by the National Academy of Sciences, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and IPCC (Summary for Policy Members) were prepared by the governing board members only. Society members and IPCC panels were not given an opportunity to vote on or approve the statements, so the boards cannot claim they represent the opinions of members on this issue.
-ALL of the apocalyptic forecasts are based solely on projections from computer models that have been proven wrong, that is assuming the authors ever attempted to validate them (i.e., plug in historical data and confirm model projections match actual climate trends). It is impossible to accurately predict future climate given the current state of climate knowledge and limitations of available computers and climate models. In addition, many of the key input assumptions in these analyses do not have valid justification and hence are questionable at best. As the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out.

  • The 4th technical report of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identified 12 phenomena that affect global temperatures and rated our understanding of 8 of these as "very poor." How can the governing panel (all political appointees) claim they are over 90% certain that AGW is a major threat when they admit that two-thirds of the analyses inputs are very questionable?
-Global warming is not a crisis. In fact, some warming is desirable given the outlook for energy and food supplies.

  • Warming impact studies generally ignore benefits such as expansion of agricultural land and reduced need for heating fuels. In addition, they typically use unrealistic escalation and discount rates to downplay the real costs of the measures that are proposed.
  • Climate changes are cyclic. Apocalyptic claims all come from extrapolating recent changes indefinitely into the future. These changes include real problems such as local droughts and postulated changes that do not exist such as increasing hurricanes or spreading diseases.
  • The time frame for claimed apocalyptic sea level and temperature changes is hundreds of years. There would be plenty of time to adapt to the theoretical sea level and climate changes if these were real problems.
I suspect most readers have not heard many of these facts. That is because the media are ignoring them and hysteria proponents generally refuse to debate them. The refusal to debate is understandable given that the hysteria proponents have lost every time they go against someone who understands the real science. All the proponents need to do to win a debate and quiet the skeptics is present convincing scientific support for their case. However, the proponents can't present any convincing science because they don't have any. Hence, their normal responses to the skeptic's challenges are personal attacks/mocking, the "consensus of scientists" lie, and attempts to kill funding for the skeptic's work. By using these tactics AGW hysteria supporters in effect are admitting they can't defend their claims.

Why is the Carbon-Control Movement a Problem?

Many people I know admit that they don't believe AGW claims, but they support the movement because they think it will help increase energy efficiency. Increasing energy efficiency is essential for our future well being. However, trying to achieve this worthy goal through the back door of carbon caps/taxes is dangerous. Major problems with this approach include:

  • Carbon capture and sequestration and carbon caps/taxes/trading are the dominant focus of this movement. These efforts are a total waste of resources that actually will make our energy supply problems even worse. Improving energy efficiency is a secondary issue in the proposals and debates.
  • The obsession with postulated global warming catastrophes distracts attention from real, serious, imminent problems such as coming energy shortages, rebuilding our financial system, population control, etc.)
  • A serious backlash is likely once the general public and political leaders learn they have been misled. The widespread corruption of the scientific process that this movement has fostered will result in a loss of trust in scientists that will haunt us for years to come.
  • The carbon industry is huge already. The Waxman-Markey bill currently being considered by the US Congress and the multitude of international efforts in progress would provide additional resources for the carbon industry and their government supporters, creating an even larger long-term drain on the global economy. All entrenched industries or bureaucracies try to grow and resist shrinking, even after their purpose for existence is gone.
Why has Carbon Hysteria Become so Widespread?

I think there are two main drivers behind this movement. The first originates from the widespread recognition that we do face many serious environmental problems (e.g., hazardous pollutants in water and air; rainforest destruction, ocean overfishing; aquifer depletion, desertification, etc.). Many people feel guilty over contributing to these problems and want to do something to help the environment. This desire has made them receptive to the claims of carbon hysteria proponents. The zealots have done a good job of convincing these people that AGW is a crisis and that we can "solve" it.

The dominant drivers, however, are money and power. Staggering sums of money are involved and much of it will be collected and distributed based on subjective decisions and political negotiations. The leaders of the carbon-control movement are working hard to get as big a piece of the pie as they can. Obvious vested interests include:

  • Academia - funding for the research they need to publish papers ("publish or perish")
  • Legislators & government agencies - power from controlling carbon taxes and allocating funds; funding for their agencies
  • Consultants - defining carbon footprints, developing sustainability plans, managing trading, etc.
  • Lobbyists - carbon taxes vs. cap-and-trade; funding for federal & private research programs, etc.
  • Industry - "green" products and services to sell, improving image by being green.
  • Environmental associations - funding to support programs and issues to attract members.
  • Carbon offset sales & tracking - a new industry with a long list of beneficiaries
The worst offender, however, is the mainstream media. A few members of this group are trying to convey the above information, but most are ignoring one of the biggest scandals/frauds of the last several decades. In fact in many cases, they are actively suppressing scientific work and opinions that contradict the hysteria. I am totally baffled as to why this industry has abandoned its standards of objectivity and sense of obligation to find the truth. I don't believe the conspiracy theories so the only explanation I can come up with is misguided environmental passion. Intimidation by zealots with scientific credentials is a contributing factor, but it in no way excuses the media's behavior on this issue.

The frenzy of activity surrounding the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade Bill is a perfect example of why this movement is so strong. Lobbying on how to allocate or sell CO2 allowances is intense - one source estimated that there are over 4 lobbyists per legislator working on this issue. At one time the draft had 85% being given to utilities and other generators for free.

What Can We Do?

My first recommendation is to check out the serious science to convince yourself that global warming due to CO2 generated by mankind is a non-problem. I have plenty of backup to substantiate all of the above statements plus a lot of additional information I could share. However, I don't want anyone to simply take my word for it. You need to see for yourself how thoroughly the facts contradict the claims. Some good starting points for the search are listed at the end of this article.

Once you are convinced, start challenging the claims being made by carbon hysteria promoters. Call them when they repeat one of the big lies like "no serious disagreement." Demand that they disclose the work on which their claims are based and make it available for independent review. There are two simple points to check: have the models the analysts used been validated and do they have a good basis for their assumptions. If the analysts cannot provide convincing answers to these two questions, their results are no better than pure speculation.

Another important task is working to defeat any carbon legislation and any international treaties to replace the Kyoto agreements. Kyoto was a farce -- most signatories never came close to meeting their commitments. However, it did provide political cover for sustaining the hysteria and the justification governments needed to waste more resources on this issue. We don't need another treaty like Kyoto that will be ignored by all the signatories except when it comes to spending money.

Remember, the only losers in this game are consumers and taxpayers. Every dollar that goes to the above groups comes out of our pockets. Don't get suckered into this scam. If you have been supporting it, open your eyes and join the rapidly growing ranks of scientists and other who recognize the absurdity of the carbon hysteria that has overcome so many.

Update on Energy - a Real and Important Threat

In 2005 and 2006 I prepared assessments of the energy outlook which were published here in Energy Pulse (and still are online). The trends I discussed are playing out pretty much as presented with one exception - natural gas supply in the US. The rapid growth of gas from shale in the last few years actually led to an increase in production in 2008. However, production is expected to decline this year due to the sharp drop in drilling. Gas from shale provides a temporary reprieve from the steady decline in gas supply, but it is too soon to tell how long the upward blip in the curve will last.

The other significant update is that the crude oil production plateau that seemed to be forming in early 2005 definitely has been confirmed. The huge increase in drilling over the last several years was unable to expand production. The combination of the sharp drop in drilling since prices collapsed last year, increasing depletion rates, and shortages of capital to fund exploration makes it highly unlikely that global oil production ever will exceed the plateau levels of the last few years. The start of the unavoidable long-term production decline may in fact arrive sooner than anticipated thanks to the reduction in exploration.

Our entire transportation system (except for electrified trains) is totally dependent on oil and our economy is totally dependent on transportation. None of the alternative transportation fuels (natural gas, biofuels, electricity) could have a significant effect for several years due to infrastructure constraints and the time required to build fleets. Oil truly will be the lifeblood of our society for years to come. The impacts of shortages and the resulting price spikes can be devastating if we are not prepared for them.

Across the globe there is close correlation between oil use and economic activity. Oil supply constraints will affect all economies, but they are being ignored in the debates over how to resurrect our economy. If global oil production is flat or declining, the only way any country can expand its economy is to divert oil away from other consumers. Given our current financial situation, why would anyone think the US will be able to win the bidding wars that are sure to come?

A few other important points to keep in mind when considering this situation are:

  • Oil prices will spike to as soon as we start to see real economic recovery. Gasoline at $4/gal will seem like a bargain within a few years.
  • Small oil shortages will produce big panics. Remember what happened when Katrina and Rita disrupted supplies for a few weeks. Think about what could happen if shortages continue for a few months or longer. US citizens are not accustomed to shortages and many people will react badly. If those shortages come as a surprise, the response is likely to be worse.
  • Our economy is highly complex and interconnected. Shortage or price-induced problems in one area can quickly ripple into big problems in many other areas.
  • Some commentators tell us we don't have to worry about oil shortages because we will never run out of oil and the market always solves supply problems. This is a triumph of wishful thinking over realistic analysis of the facts.
    -The claim that we will never run out is correct, but irrelevant. Production will continue indefinitely, but the problem is that we will not be able to produce oil fast enough to sustain the global economy, much less enable it to grow. Once the production decline starts, problems will multiply quickly.

    -There is nothing in the development pipeline that could lead to a replacement for anything close to our current consumption of oil. Don't delude yourself into thinking that something is coming.

  • Conservation is the only option that can have a big effect on oil demand and can be implemented quickly. This means car-pools, mass transit, telecommuting, bicycles and walking for individuals and shifting freight from trucks and airplanes to trains and water wherever possible. You should start preparing for the ones that fit your situation.
Oil shortages and high prices are an imminent huge threat that will force a total restructuring of our economy and lifestyle. Unlike global warming, this is a real, staggering problem that should have you very worried.

The opinions presented here are the views of the author and do not reflect the viewpoints or positions of any of his clients or employers.

Sources for Further Information
NIPCC report: Climate Change Reconsidered - www.nipccreport.org/

The Petition Project - www.petitionproject.org/

Comments by over 700 leading scientists challenging carbon hysteria: Senate Environmental & Public Works Minority Blog, - (http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&Content...

Science and Environmental Policy Project - www.sepp.org

Global Warming Facts - www.globalwarmingheartland.org/

List of peer-reviewed articles skeptical of man-caused global warming - http://petesplace-peter.blogspot.com/2008/04/peer-reviewed-articles-skep...

The Carbon- Sense Coalition - http://www.carbon-sense.com/

The Anti "Man-Made" Global Warming Resource, Stop the Hysteria - http://z4.invisionfree.com/Popular_Technology/index.php?showtopic=2050

size="1">

Discussions

Regardless of whether the AGW problem is true or not, I agree with the author that oil price spikes will be a far bigger problem to deal with economically.

When gasoline at $4/gallon becomes a bargain within a few years time, the economic upheavals will make AGW problems seem miniscule. Whole industries will be threatened and many consumer goods will skyrocket in cost to either produce or import.

Cheap vacations abroad will disappear as many airline business models completely fail when oil exceeds $200/barrel. The overnight courier businesses will shrink into oblivion when it costs more than a hundred dollars to ship a small parcel overnight.

The just-in-time delivery business practices in all industries will implode because it will become far less expensive to stock inventories as they did in past than to rely on fast cheap reliable transportation of goods. Say goodbye to the massive fleets of trucks on our highways.

Some consumers will flock back to city living from the suburbs as it will become too expensive to commute to work. This has already been seen happening in America during the current economic recession.

Many consumer goods imported from the far-east will no longer be "low cost" Toys to electronics to clothing will simply disappear from WalMart's shelves as consumers will no longer be willing to buy them.

Widespread conservation and efficiency upgrade measures, and shifting some oil uses over to electric read other energy sources are our only hope to mitigate the untold many other looming economic problems.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Dennis, Brace yourself for the ad hominem and avoidance of science by the usual suspects. And thank you for having the courage to write it. I have too long felt that far too many good scientists avoided the controversy and dumped all of society - us - into this AGW hysteria, as a result of ignoring it and hoping that it would either go away by itself or others would provide the counter-arguments.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Over a century ago the Catholic Pope was regarded as being infallible. However, today politicians and other goverment officials regard themselves as being infallible if they have been advised be a large number of academics and consultants, both of whom are on the public payroll. Hence the carbon theory of global warming persists . . . even though the average earth temperature has cooled somewhat over the past decade.

Academics who disagree with the carbon theory of global warming risk being ostracised within their universities or risk having their sources of funding reduced. If the accept funding from private sources, they are accused of being in the pockets of big business. Academics have to be politically correct if they are not to run afoul of their peers in today's academia . . . very few would so much as to publically disagree with their peers or with government officials. State control of academia effectrively restricts debate and silences critics who woudl otherwise speak out against the fraud of the carbon theory of global warming.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Surely you are not suggesting that large portions of the renewable energy industry, and politicians in particular, are feeding off the hapless taxpayer?

... I'm shocked, simply shocked!

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Michael,

Don't forget politicians typically listen to us hapless taxpayers if enough of us are screaming at them.

Public fear of environmental catastrophe has been growing steadily, boosting the volume level so politicians are listening more, and not just in America, it's worldwide. So yes indeed parts of the renewable energy industry and some politicians are "feeding" off of us.

It's not much different really than what happens with other industries who grow their businesses as a result of public pressure on governments to intervene. It's what typically happens when the public also perceives they have no other way to effect change, particularly when any change from the status quo is an attack on large vested interests in existing large corporations as is the case in energy.

Need other examples? The US and Canadian government bailouts of GM and Chrysler this year are a result of public pressure to preserve the huge numbers of jobs in the economy that depend on them. One can argue that the literally hundreds of companies kept afloat with the bailouts were in effect "feeding" off us hapless taxpayers. It's a similar story with the large financial institutions bailed out last year by the US government. Many other banks and companies in the banking system were effectively feeding off taxpayers being kept alive.

If you're shocked at these things, watch what can and will happen if the US federal debt gets out of control as it is threatening to do. Foreign lenders will eventually stop loaning Washington money as they recognize it may never be paid back, and then see what happens to us hapless taxpayers in North America.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Well, I might as well wade in here. I don't disagree with the author as much as some might think, but I do note a few areas of concern:

The author makes many statements, but puts out no references to back them up. You mention how the proponents simply need to present the evidence, but you have not done so yourself. And I found no starting points for search at the end of the article, as you have stated.

I agree that oil depletion is a more pressing and immediate problem than global warming. But I'm not sure that directly relates to this issue. Why not write an article about oil depletion instead? It seems reasonable that our efforts to address oil depletion might also consider global warming as well. Oil depletion will be so challenging to address, the added effort to handle global warming may actually be rather reasonable.

At the end of the day, global warming and carbon emissions are really about coal. Oil and gas will largely take care of themselves due to depletion (a simplification, but not a horrible one).

I don't see phasing out coal-fired electricity plants in favor of nuclear power over 50 years or so as being enormously disruptive to the consumers. Even the late Michael Crichton (a GW critic) agreed with this sort of approach. Dealing with it as a problem, but not a crisis. I can concur with that.

Your point on the vested interests is well-taken. But there are obviously vested interests in keeping the status quo as well, namely King Coal. I think they have perhaps spent a dollar or two in trying to influence this debate as well. The hapless consumer/voter is left wondering who to believe.

As for proof, the issue that I point to is historic CO2 levels. These are recognized to be higher than they've ever been in the last 600,000 years. [I tend to get into p*ssing matches with some at this site who won't don't agree with this point.] I don't know what is considered an adequate reference, but hopefully CDIAC is adequate? Part of the problem with the debate is that both sides tend to reject references of the other. The GW believers think the references by the 'deniers' are too fringe, whereas the 'deniers' think the scientific community as a whole has been co-opted on this topic.

I don't want to indicate that raised CO2 levels alone constitutes proof of global warming. But I do think it constitutes concern. As such, I feel both sides (pro and anti GW) are burdened with proving what is (or what is not) going on.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
I personally don't think that GW alone is the total problem with climate change, it's the disruption of normal historically predictable seasonal climatic patterns that are causing much more grief. With the exception maybe of the 1930's droughts and heat waves in North America, we could always depend on predictable seasons on average. Farmers base their living on it everywhere.

For example this year the northeastern part of the US and eastern Canada did not receive any summer heat waves until just last week, all because the jet stream stayed south of the Great Lakes most of the summer instead of shifting north of them as it normally would, thus sucking Arctic air masses much farther south than usual on this side of the continent. Whenever hot air masses do arrive, they tend to bring extreme temperatures that set records as what happened in recent weeks in British Columbia all the way up to Alaska.

There are many other examples of extremes happening regularly every season now which were rarely seen 40 years ago and back. The question is what is really going on. My theory is that increased CO2 levels must contribute something to disrupting climate patterns, but CO2 alone is not the only factor, others are a myriad of air-borne pollutants, world deforestation, etc.

Apparent changes in average temperatures over long time frames whether it be warming or cooling is just one measure of changing climate behavior, and not conclusive simply because it is an average measure over many points in time and over many inputs to an extremely complex system.

An example of how other airborne elements can change world climate, there are documented records showing substantial climate changes in the years following major volcanic eruptions. The most famous is the huge one of Krakatoa in Indonesia in 1883. During the following year Britain reported spectacular sunsets from the ash ejected into the upper atmosphere as it circled the globe, and the much colder weather in a summer that passed them by.

In my humble opinion, less consistent jet stream patterns are creating much more extreme weather systems because they are not following historical seasonal behaviors. There almost seems to be less mixing and moderation of air masses, and the results are many more weather extremes that last much longer during a given season in any given region. For the last 20 years in eastern Canada, we rarely see decent spring or autumn seasons anymore, they have progressively shrunk in duration.

I therefore tend to agree with Jim that raised CO2 levels constitutes a concern, but it is not our only source of problems.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
I've bought the global-warming/climate-warming story, but I haven't bought it hook, line and sinker. Actually I dont give a ____ about it, but if somebody were to ask me I would say that it deserves consideration. Bob Amorosi's approach probably makes a lot of sense: something different and maybe bad is or seems to be happening.

One thing though is certain. As a logical, oprn-minded, tolerant, friendly and unpredudiced individual I intend to stay far away from Waxman-Markey nuttery and Presiden Obama's Environmental Department - which for some reason he calls his Energy Department

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
For some reason the links at the end of the article were deleted. They are listed below.

I did not include much discussion of the backup for the points I made in the article as I want to encourage people to look beyond media sensationalism and check out the information that has been published. If you ignore the articles and studies based on analyses that use un-validated computer models, the rest of the work overwhelming contradicts the claims supporting carbon hysteria.

One of the truisms of life is that change is normal. This is particularly true when it comes to climate. Again, the main point of my article is: the claim that global warming (which appears to have stopped) is being driven primarily by man-made CO2 is based almost exclusively on junk science. Wasting more resources on gestures that will have no effect on climate is a luxury we cannot afford when there are so many other urgent needs for those resources.

Sources for Further Information:

NIPCC report: Climate Change Reconsidered - www.nipccreport.org/

The Petition Project - www.petitionproject.org/

Comments by over 700 leading scientists challenging carbon hysteria: Senate Environmental & Public Works Minority Blog, - (http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&Content...

Science and Environmental Policy Project – www.sepp.org

Global Warming Facts - www.globalwarmingheartland.org/

List of peer-reviewed articles skeptical of man-caused global warming - http://petesplace-peter.blogspot.com/2008/04/peer-reviewed-articles-skep...

The Carbon- Sense Coalition - http://www.carbon-sense.com/

The Anti "Man-Made" Global Warming Resource, Stop the Hysteria - http://z4.invisionfree.com/Popular_Technology/index.php?showtopic=2050

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
If change is normal, then a world that "changes" in that now we need to regulate CO2 emissions, would be normal as well. That 'truism' is meaningless.

You also said:

"I did not include much discussion of the backup for the points I made in the article as I want to encourage people to look beyond media sensationalism and check out the information that has been published."

This just doesn't make any sense. The point of references is so that the reader doesn't have to re-find all this information. By not including references, you are in fact doing just the opposite!

I was not impressed with the links you just provided. They are typical of AGW denier references, with heavy emphasis on Fred Singer, Craig Idso, and the Oregon petition. All stuff that's been seen before. In fact, I feel a bit bait-and-switched with an article that promises (new?) references, but then delivers the same stuff I've seen again and again.

As far as I could determine, none of these references has disputed the observation that CO2 levels have risen to levels unprecedented in the last 600,000 years. I believe that this is sufficiently high to register a 'concern' such that both sides are burdened as to figure out what's going on.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Well, that's the problem with this debate, isn't it James? The pro-AGW info is co-opted by the scientists eager for their grants, or so the anti-AGW people think; and the anti-AGW lacks the scientific validity (or at least the accreditation) to be taken seriously, or so the pro-AGW folks think.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
a) "A rapidly growing group of scientists is challenging the claims" -- please provide a credible reference for CREDIBLE scientists, numerical statistics as implied.

b) "Their current approach - personal attacks on anyone who challenges GW orthodoxy" -- It's actually the other way around. Go on eg. Physorg.com and argue for GW and you're immeditely personally smeared, no science included, by a determined group of repeat offenders.

c) " I have been searching for years for good science to support this theory. I can't find any." -- it is obvious to everyone from your following three points that your search has NOT included peer-reviewed scientific publications, which it should in fact restrict itself to.

Why bother? I'm not going to read any further. This is just a lot of nonsense.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
James,

The pro-AGW information is produced by Phds and published in refereed journals. The following information about CO2 levels was put out by AAAS. They publish Science magazine.

On the other hand, the CO2 level 'deniers' are people like E. G. Beck, a retired high school teacher, and Zbigniew Jaworowski. Both of these people has been thoroughly critiqued by the scientific community at large. (They both claim about the same thing, and make the same mistakes.) That's why I think the pro-AGW information is better. The anti-AGW folks can't really do anything else other than claim a massive scientific conspiracy, encompassing multiple disciplines, all for the purpose of, well, I'm not exactly sure.

Yes, James, we have debated this point. You've presented scant credible evidence to support your point, and deny the evidence in favor of this position by the scientific community. I appreciate that you think it might be nonsense. Well, I think a massive, interdisciplinary scientific conspiracy concerning AGW is nonsense as well.

And I'm sorry Mr. Moran, but I don't thinking citing old references from Idso, Singer and the Oregon petition constitutes "due diligence". Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
[QUOTE]Research published by climate scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) has been named one of the most highly-cited in its field in the last two years. -- The article, 'Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system', appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in February 2008 and was this month named a 'New Hot Paper' by Thomson Reuters.

"The article captures the zeitgeist of a growing group of climate scientists who perceive that human activities are already pushing Earth's climate past regional tipping points," said lead author Prof Tim Lenton of UEA's School of Environmental Sciences.[/QUOTE]

http://www.physorg.com/news170328791.html

My point, James, was that "that" list didn't include many, if any, climate scientists, whereas this sort of article is common.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
James, you are wasting your breath. Len REFUSES to read anything that stands in the way of his prejudicial belief system, I've been going at this for more than two years with him and he and JimB both have their blinders on completely. Len first says there aren't any scientists, then when you show them they ARE, he claims they aren't climate, then when you show them they ARE, he disparages where they got their degrees (such as HARVARD) then he disparages them because they are old. Meantime, I am waiting to find how what grade school (if any) Len himself graduated from, since he can look down from such lofty heights on poor schmoes from Harvard, Yale and MIT.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
The NIPCC is run by the Heartland Institute, a group that worked hard to dismiss the dangers of cigarette smoking in years past. I don't find a report issued by a think tank (conservative or otherwise) the same as a paper published in a refereed journal. If the Singer/Idso report is so wonderful, then why wasn't it (or even a summary of it) submitted to a journal? Why did it have to be self-published?

You left out key parts of Joanne Simpson's quote. She also said: "What should we as a nation do? Decisions have to be made on incomplete information. In this case, we must act on the recommendations of Gore and the IPCC because if we do not reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and the climate models are right, the planet as we know it will in this century become unsustainable. But as a scientist I remain skeptical."

The complete quote is here.

The Ivar Giaever quote is similarly muddled. He does claim to be a skeptic, but also admits he is not an expert. He got his Nobel Prize for Electron Tunneling and Superconductivity.

Beware of quote bearing ellipses!

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
JimB, here is why we KNOW the climate models aren't right. We can plug in KNOWN information from the past into them and they don't even come CLOSE to predicting the KNOWN climate THEN. Now if they can't be predictive in the PAST when ALL the (supposed) inputs are KNOWN, why in blazes would we trust them to predict the FUTURE when the inputs are NOT known? This is science 101, unfortunately climate "scientists" of the new school don't actually have to study hard science, they are in the pseudo-class of political science. Even the link Len gave above is just a bunch of "scientists" rehashing previously written reports (which they readily admit) and doing what? Writing a summary with scarier sounding political overtones? This is Science? I'm a LOT more impressed with Ivar, who has done something that REALLY is science that REALLY achieves something and most importantly his results CAN BE VERIFIED!!!!

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Jimb: Typical of this lot. A waste of time.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
I don't want to have this same debate over and over again. Unlike Jeff and James (and maybe even Len) I could be convinced otherwise should new information arise. I have not seen anything that would convince me that CO2 levels aren't elevated at this point. (And I find it hilarious how both Beck and Jaworowski insist that CO2 levels bounced all over the place until, magically, in 1959, they became rock steady. Of course, that just happens to be the year that accurate instrumentation was put in place in Mauna Loa.)

Anyway, high CO2 levels means one should be concerned. Skepticism is warranted, even healthy. But that doesn't include the summary dismissal of valid data right in front of our eyes.

James, I'm not sure where you got that (original) Joanne Simpson quote from, but think about the character of the person that edited her statement. He or she clearly distorted what Dr. Simpson was saying. Are there so few scientists speaking unfavorably about GW that they feel the need to warp Dr. Simpson's words? It is simply dishonest when ellipses used to remove relevant words.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Well, it looks like James' source of the Simpson distortion is none other than U.S. Senate Minority Report on global warming. Wonderful. You can find it here. The distorted quote appears on page 3, and the link to the real quote is on page 12.

The people responsible for this seem to be either Marc Morano of the Senate EPW Committee and/or Matthew Dempsey, a staffer for Sen. Inhofe (page 1).

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Sigh... Here's Beck's graph.

Both Beck and Jaworowski don't seem to understand that the earlier chemical measurements of CO2 were extremely inaccurate. If they weren't, then some variation in the CO2 levels (other than the steady upward rise) would be apparent from the Mauna Loa site. The Mauna Loa IR instrument is sensitive and accurate enough to measure seasonal variation, as shown by the stairstep rise.

The CO2 data in the ice cores tracks the ice age record from fossil depositions, etc. It's definitely a valid signal. One could critique how it tracks with the Mauna Loa levels, but even a high distortion downward (the ice cores are artificially low) would still indicate we are a unprecedented CO2 levels today. Higher than its been in 5-6 ice ages.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Let's tie oil depletion to CO2 production. If you believe oil production will decrease through 2100, then you also have to admit that CO2 from the consumption of oil products must also decline. Right? It only takes high school math logic to figure that out. One can make a similar argument for natural gas and coal consumption. Both will peak in this century. So. None of the published IPCC CO2 projections are valid. Because? Because the IPCC deliberately ignored the effect of fossil fuel depletion. Since then, two NASA scientists have tried to bring this up. But no one wants to listen. Least of all the "scientific" publications. See "The Evil Twins" on my blog www.tce.name for the details. It is clear to me that these "global warming is caused by CO2 theories" would not stand up under cross examination in a court of law. On the other hand, it is impossible to research climate trends without noticing our planet has been in a period of global warming since the "Little Ice Age". It is also clear that CO2 levels have increased rapidly since we humans began consuming copious quantities of fossil fuels. But that does not necessarily mean one causes the other. Our planet has had multiple cycles of cooling and warming, and multiple cycles of CO2 production. They have NOT always been in sync. So. Where does that leave us? I would prefer we knew more about the chemistry of sunlight, other air born chemicals, and water vapor on CO2. I wish our "scientists" had a better understanding of how CO2 is dissolved and released from bodies of water, and the process of water acidification because that could be a devestating problem. I wish the IPCC would release its data and the formulas it used to calculate the effect of CO2 on global warming. Yes. We humans need to do a better job of environmental stewardship. But I am not convinced we can make good decisions based on the evidence thus far presented.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
James, you can't hide more than a 50-100 year peak in the ice core record without it showing up. There's no mechanism for CO2 levels to rise so high and then fall again so quickly.

If the chemical measurements were inaccurate and wrong, it doesn't matter if there were thousands of them. Isn't this what the anti-AGW people always say, science isn't about majority opinions?

I don't understand your point about Mauna Loa. The IR technique is the first one that was sensitive enough to detect seasonal variation in CO2 levels. The chemical methods never came close to that.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
I skimmed the article, because it looks like typical denier boilerplate. But then I read the comments, and noticed some patterns.

First, there are no women in the list. How about men under 50 years old? Blacks, Hispancis or Asians? You guys sound like a bunch of old ladies who don't get out much.

Is this representative of the electric power industry? Does that explain why a supposedly non-partisan industry publication would disseminate this stuff?

You guys can't retire soon enough.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
I am not retired yet Susan, but soon to take early retirement! I agree with you that the Bloggers here do not get out of the "box".

To the Good People: If the Good people at http://www.swapsol.com/ have their way CO2 waste and H2S waste AND the Economy woes ARE history!

SWAPSOL has the solutions!

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Ronald,

We will run out of atmosphere before we run out of coal. There's lots of coal left, and it produces more CO2 per BTU produced than either oil or NG.

Susan,

EnergyPulse doesn't edit or review anything as far as I know. So basically anything can get printed as an article, and does.

James,

The CO2 levels track several iterations of ice ages, so if the time scale got larger, the older ice age readings would blur. They don't.

I didn't ignore your point. I didn't understand it. That individual measurements at Mauna Loa are volatile (I think you mean contains random error, but whatever...)? So what? The point is that Keeling developed a measurement regimen that actually works, and the older methods as applied clearly did not. Something that everyone seems to understand but Beck and Jaworowski (and apparently you).

A method that measures 470 ppm one year and 350 ppm 3 years later will scarcely be able to exhibit seasonality.

I think a strange thing about the denier mentality (probably the believer mentality as well) is that they have to deny EVERYTHING. There's plenty of problems with the AGW theory. Modeling (tip 'o the hat to Jeff). Economics of remediation. Viability of alternatives. But past CO2 levels? (JUST the levels; let's leave out the alleged temperature association for the time being.) Hmm.... Not so much. But it HAS to be denied. Why? Because admitting that ANY part of the AGW issue has merit would show WEAKNESS, and WINNING (as opposed to finding the truth) is paramount.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
The history of the “greens” is a pertinent consideration in the sophistry, bullying and fraud that accompanies this latest incarnation of political manipulation. It is not reality but entirely about command and control facilitated by the politics of fear. First it was global cooling, then came "Silent Spring" and the pesticide apocalypse, then global warming and finally the ultimate slight of rhetoric -"climate change" when the evidence manifested itself.

What is most ridiculous is the notion that we take these reds seriously to begin with.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
One more thing: The polar drillings have demonstrated that CO2 follows warming and does not precede it. This is a smoking gun as far as many others and I are concerned. And it has led more than a few to advance that CO2 is an element of a natural thermostat. After all is not CO2 in solid form dry ice - a refrigerant? If true, the sequestering of the element may in fact be harmful and have unintended consequences.

Finally, it’s the sunspots stupid. What audacious folly to think that man can control the weather when he cannot even control a draught or a rainstorm.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
On, how the dog ate my climate data – and why many of us ask, to paraphrase Gerry McGuire: Show me the money Gerry – just show me the @#$%^& money!

The world's source for global temperature record admits it's lost or destroyed all the original data that would allow a third party to construct a global temperature record. The destruction (or loss) of the data comes at a convenient time for the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in East Anglia - permitting it to snub Freedom of Information requests to see the data.

The CRU has refused to release the raw weather station data and its processing methods for inspection - except to hand-picked academics - for several years. Instead, it releases a processed version, in gridded form. NASA maintains its own (GISSTEMP), but the CRU Global Climate Dataset, is the most cited surface temperature record by the UN IPCC. So any errors in CRU cascade around the world, and become part of "the science".

Professor Phil Jones, the activist-scientist who maintains the data set, has cited various reasons for refusing to release the raw data. Most famously, Jones told an Australian climate scientist in 2004: Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it. And you wonder why there are sceptics?

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
James,

I agree with you! I will agree (to some extent) that chemical analysis with many more samples may have produced better results. (There is some indication that the sampling process itself was flawed before Keeling as well). Lots of samples (with random error) can produce good answers. But the error goes down as the square of the samples taken. I'm sure there were practical problems to good results with the chemical analysis.

But at the end of the day, that doesn't mean the chemical samples before 1957 were any good. Variation of 100 ppm over a few years is not encouraging. Beck and Jaworowski basically took these samples at face value. Lots of other people did the same thing about 50 years ago and decided the measurements were highly problematic. One of them was Keeling, which led to the Mauna Loa instrumentation.

You say we have to accept the limitations of such reanalysis. Agreed. I'd say anything that shows variation of 100 ppm in 2-3 years is EXTREMELY limited.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
From Ernest Siddall. With a woe-betider like Dennis Moran, who needs climate change? One kilogram of uranium - I dare not use the "n-" word - yields 50,000 kiloWatt-hours of grid electricity in our present-type reactors. In fast breeder reactors, that will take a few decades to build up, it is about 3,000,000 kiloWatt-hours. So we will have to rough it with electric cars, buses and trucks. And you put out all those thousands of words about oil and gas "plateauing" and depletion without risking a single neutron. . Conservation ? Schmonservation !

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
All I want to add is this little anecdote: The local radio newsbroadcast focused on a big hoo-doo regarding a local winery that had installed SV panels on his building's roof (paid for by our taxes of course). The installation cost $100,000, while the owner of the winery trumpeted a reduction in his electric bill of "up to" $100 per month, It quickly became apparent to anyone listening that it would take roughly 100+ years for this "investment" to pay off.

I doubt the solar panels will last that long, but that's beside the point. What this little anecdote illistrates is the utter insanity of this global warming religiousity. The news blurb quoted the guy as saying his new installation "would help battle climate change". I guess first off that no one pointed out that up here in the Pacific Northwest we get 80% of our electricity from hydropower. Secondly, there is no quantifiable evidence that such activities will have any discernable effect on climate cycles one way or the other. But such is the primary characteristic of willfully blind faith.

I am somewhat hopeful that in the next few election cycles normal people will take back our federal government from the current crop of nationalized socialist nutjobs, and at that time these do-gooders who are ripping off the taxpayers will be presented a bill for their wasteful extravagence. But frankly I think we're past the point of no return regarding this slippery slope of metasticized ecofascism, and returning to prosperous normalcy may be wishful thinking.

Dave Smith Moscow, ID

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
hahahaha--what a bunch of "Morans"

There's plenty of material supporting the AGW thesis at realclimate.org for those of you still with an open mind and an ability to read and understand a modicum of science.

As for me, I'm unsubscribing to this useless weekly immediately.

"There are none so blind as those who will not see."

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Killing watts

Gentlemen,

The Earth is a beautiful planet and all of us we like it to remain so.

In our world many are speaking about Global warming and many scare about it but only few are in clear what it does mean “Killing Watts”. The meaning is related to production of alternative electricity independently from what kind of source it is coming: hydro, coal, nuclear, wind, solar or geo-thermal energy driven power plant.

The effect of induction heating the Earth crust is closely related to alternative electricity from its production by electrical generators via its distribution across the grid to its consumption by users.

The effect of induction heating is well described even in Wikipedia and this effect might lead to collecting of heat inside the Earth crust comparable to quantity of ever-produced electricity. Please consider links below: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Structure_of_the_magnetosphere_mod.svg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Earth-crust-cutaway-english.svg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_generator http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday%27s_Induction_Law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induction_heating

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
David Smith: "hopeful that in the next few election cycles normal people will take back our federal government ... ecoFACISTS" ??

Wow.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
I think it may be time for rational people to "drop out" of the global warming "debate", just sit back and see what eventually happens. No-one is learning anything fom this anymore, its just rigid political rhetoric.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
James: Regarding obtuseness, I'd say the same thing about you. The CO2 measurements swing all over the place up until 1957, when they stabilize due to better techniques. As I think we both agree, the Mauna Loa measurements are better because they can make more of them. If the chemical values are similarly noisy (I'm sure they are noisier), then Beck is wrong in citing their error of 1-3%. This is clearly not the case. Beck is wrong, and wrong in a very critical way.

Let me put these as yes/no questions:

1. Do you actually believe that the CO2 values were as high as 470 ppm in the 1940's?

2. Do you believe the atmospheric CO2 magically stabilized (slow upward trend) after 1957?

3. Do you believe Beck's contention that the chemical measurements were accurate to 1-3%?

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
You never did answer one of my questions: is the mix of opinion in this publication and this comment thread representative of the power industry? If it is, you desperately need new blood.

As long as the power generation industry refuses to acknowledge science they don't want to hear, we will continue to depend on foreign oil and gas, and hideously destructive coal. Changing our electric power sources means creating jobs and improving national security. What would motivate you to stand in the way of a huge surge in importance for your own industry?

Let the kids take over. They'll move us forward.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
A very informative article that I found most interesting. But a primary question still lingers - If the hypothesis of global warming is such junk science why is the much of the world embracing the task of carbon reduction? Do they not think for themselves?

“Leaders from the Group of 8 leading industrialized nations — United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Russia — agreed in L’Aquila last July that developed nations should aim to reduce emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 – a formula that essentially requires the developing world to make a 20 percent cut.”

“Chinese lawmakers are considering practical and effective measures to combat climate change. The draft resolution on climate change, submitted to the 10th session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC), puts forward five guidelines to practical action to better deal with climate change.”

I would like to understand how it is possible that the entire world is being duped. If it is all being driven by the self interests of a few, then we have more serious problems ahead.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Demand of natural resources are increasing day by day.! This fact is probably no surprise in a world with a population that is increasing fast and by standards of living that are steadily rising across the globe.

Renewable Energy and environmental Education are essential for the survival of the Preset human race.

“The World is finally becoming globally aware that exponential resource usage in combination with finite reserves is a recipe that ensure our great grand children won’t be born”

Economic development and technological progress can be compatible with reasonable protection of the environment. New Renewable Energy and Environmental management, techniques are in use around the world, helping enterprises to meet their objective of profit, growth and survival, while protecting the environment.

The dimensions of Renewal Energy are increasing each year as governments become aware of the political priority of reasonable ENERGY SECURITY and its links t to economic development and technological progress.

Kisholoy Gupta, Editor & publisher, http://greenhotelnews.info http://greenotelindia.in

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Susan,

I'm not sure how anyone is supposed to know what mix of people this might be. Although it can be frustrating how conservative and seemingly rigid some of these people are, they nonetheless represent the core experience of ACTUALLY providing power to millions of people domestically and billions of people worldwide.

While I admit being perplexed about the intransigence of some of these people about some aspects of AGW, I will also admit being similarly concerned about how alternative energy people simply have no grip of the task of displacing coal. Even a simple run of the numbers indicates that the only possible way this could be achieved is through greater use of nuclear power.

Since nuclear power is rarely mentioned by the alt. energy crowd these days, I will stand with the "conservatives" in expressing concerns that everything will be fine if we simply built more wind turbines and more solar panels. That simply is not the case.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Jim and Susan,

I agree the task of replacing coal over time could be met by greater use of nuclear, but North America is not presently pursuing a great expansion of nuclear with the same fervor and economic support as they are for all the other renewable sources. Indeed it will be a challenge for nuclear to just maintain their current levels of generation as existing plants reach end of life or are threatened by shutdowns.

This begs the question are all our politicians and regulators that ignorant or are they all being duped simultaneously ? I doubt it very much. I suggest they are all depending on another solution - reducing total energy consumption and more importantly consumption growth. The question is how are they going to do this without imposing draconian economic measures.

The pathway of total reduced consumption (TRC) goals is being pursued perhaps most aggressively here in Ontario where our government is attempting to foster a public culture of energy conservation. Through its provincial power authority agency that administers all new generation contracts, it has also mandated fostering enormous TRC targets by 2020. If met they will avoid building gigawatts of new generation, and even allow them to retire our existing coal generation without replacing all of it at once.

It is being implemented by throwing public money into wide-ranging consumer and commercial rebates for purchasing energy efficient products and upgrading building efficiencies. Homeowners and businesses can receive large grants to upgrade buildings or industrial processes. Companies receive rate incentives to enroll in active demand response programs through our local utility companies.

Other measures include setting new commercial standards in energy efficiencies for lighting to residential appliances to heating and air conditioning, and others. They are being set to have increasing efficiency levels over time, and any products that don't eventually meet them over time by defined deadlines will be banned from sale here. Incandescent light bulbs have been the first on their hit lists, and now widescreen televisions are being sucked into it too.

The latter is also placing huge new demands on manufacturing industries to develop new more efficient products. Recognizing this Ontario is also pumping substantially more public money into university and commercial research and development efforts to help them.

The plan is working in Ontario but they have a long way to go yet to meet their TRC targets, and from what I have seen over the past year on this website forum, these ideas are also starting to catch on in the US, Australia, and in Europe.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
It is all about the exponential growth of population only made possible by fossil fuels. A world without fossil fuel use couldn’t keep 1 billion alive. Now world population is approaching 7 billion. And it grows. It strikes me as a curious form of insanity that nearly everyone seems to believe we can continue to have something like the present civilization without major energy from fossil fuels. People rejoice when a proposed coal burner is cancelled, a hollow victory as while they were getting one cancelled the Chinese built and started many. These plants are financed on the premise they will run for 50-60 years. The money in these plants will never be available for wind turbines, etc.

Of course the Indians and Chinese make great statements about reducing CO2 emissions - while they open new coal mines and buy coal companies in other countries. The Chinese also said they plan to increase coal production by 30% in the next 6 years. Can all the combined reductions to come out of Kyoto II offset just this? India can’t even keep the lights on or keep their factories running: something wind turbines or solar can’t fix, and nuclear plants have become far too expensive for poor countries.

Kisholoy, Thanks for recognizing the population dilemma.

Susan, Do those young bloods of yours have any ideas about reducing population? It has to happen.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
James,

I sympathize with you. I realize the US has made great gains in efficiency levels per capita since 30 or so years ago, but it is widely believed there are much more gains possible yet.

Being an engineer I know what it is like firsthand to have design goals be imposed on developing new products. And sometimes those goals can be wishful thinking if the state-of-the-art today is not good enough to meet those goals.

Too, it is often much easier for non-technical people like politicians etc. to set technical goals that are sometimes unattainable. To reach them successfully often depends intimately on something else given sparse attention for it's worth in industry - innovation and good creative design engineering to meet stringent new goals.

Practical good ideas for new design does not grow on trees, but many average people out there in society don't realize it. They have been spoiled by decades of tremendous progress in technology where many think all that is necessary is to mandate stringent goals and then throw money at it to make it happen.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
James, I do read your posts, and I do endeavor to understand them. And I'm not an idiot (I promise), but I don't understand what you were getting at. This is a difficult medium and sometimes what is clear to the writer is not clear to the reader. (BTW, It bothers me when non-informative replies such as "That's Hilarious" or "Are you being deliberately obtuse?" are written instead of simply stating what the problem or error might be. Similarly, sarcasm is a poor choice for this medium as well, for obvious reasons.)

I tried asking 3 simple yes/no questions, but they were not answered.

But if we can agree that Beck may have misunderstood the error bounds of the old CO2 levels, that's probably good enough for me. That's basically the main critique of his work and Jaworowski's. Beck used these unreliable values (the graph, again) to justify a long term trendline of CO2 levels that doesn't vary too much. This really isn't justified, and anyone examining the data collection methodologies of the older means, and using some plain common sense, can see this is a highly problematic conclusion.

Also, in a resource-constrained world, if per-capita use doesn't go down faster than population is rising, then we still have a problem. Since 1978, overall electrical energy use in the US has nearly doubled. Perhaps there were some gains in other areas (vehicle mpg?) but overall energy usage has clearly risen.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Beck used these unreliable values to justify a trendline to show relatively stable CO2 values. That's just not very good science,

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
James,

I think we are communicating a bit better here. I am unsure if you agree that Mauna Loa represents the actual CO2 values, or whether you think the CO2 values actually gyrate alot, and the sampling is smoothing them out. I believe the former. I don't think atmospheric CO2 levels (as a whole) vary too quickly, though there can be huge local variation and short-term temporal variation. That's my take concerning #2.

Depending on your opinion of the previous paragraph relates to point #1. If you actually believe the values gyrate wildy (CO2 concentration actually moves alot; not due to sampling problems) then why has this never been seen since 1957? Not even a tiny bit. I think your bias in pre-supposing that the Mauna Loa sampling is covering up CO2 level gyrations (if that's what you are thinking) is much less likely than the value being relatively stable, and the pre-1957 measurements being off. You already have agreed that the technique was less accurate, and they made many fewer measurements.

Given that Beck has allowed for 100 ppm variation in just 2-3 years, and I think this is highly unlikely, then I think he has misstated his accuracy by a large amount. Probably 50% or more. This is why I think these measurements have little value.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
I thought the subject is about CO2, but it is hard to determine. The comments seem to dodge the very idea of due diligence as expressed in the in the title. (Oddly, the phrase “due diligence” has bothered me for decades so when I recently could ask someone who’s job actually required “exercising due diligence” I asked. I found the answer too fuzzy for an engineer to understand – but I am still trying.)

How can population be ignored? It’s crazy. We have billions of people with little or no electricity service who have no lighting and cook their food by burning gathered sticks. Solutions, anyone?

We have far more destitute people today than we had a thousand years ago. Progress?

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
"Is it possible that CO2 levels were twice as high in the 1940s as they were ten years later? Yeah, sure... it's possible. " -- Agreed, there is some statistical possibility. Vanishingly small, but apparently sufficient to keep this boring debate going.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
James,

50 years is long enough. Looking at Beck's graph You can see the value bouncing all over the place from 1800 to 1950. And then they suddenly stop? When the measurements improve? You have blinders on if you think that the earlier data should be well-regarded.

And there is no mechanism to spew 100 ppm into the air, and them suck it back out again, in the space of 2-3 years. All our industrial activity raises it just a 1-2 ppm per year. The oceans have huge stores, but they only interact at the surface, so their ability to affect huge changes are also limited. Even large eruptions like Mt. Pinatubo created not a blip in CO2 levels. On the other hand, there is ample evidence that the earlier measurement techniques were highly problematic. When Keeling reviewed the 100s of papers on this topic, written over the past century, he found 3 that he thought were valid.

Note also that even if the 1940s measurements were somewhat accurate, they weren't taken in Hawaii (in fact, the measurements cited by Beck were taken from all different parts of the world. The 1940s readings were taken by Misra in Poona, India) so it is not reasonable to simply attach them to the Mauna Loa readings and assume it represents the same view of world CO2 levels. It is well-known that locality can vary CO2 levels by 100 ppm or more. Yet another mistake by Beck.

I'm sorry, but it simply is not possible, in any practical sense of the word, for levels to have been that high in the 1940's.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Pages