Kyoto and the Stern Review of Climate Change

Posted on July 20, 2009
Posted By: Ferdinand E. Banks
 
In preparing the new printing of my energy economics textbook, several widely publicized topics were deliberately omitted. One of these was the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. On several occasions I heard this document mentioned when I was visiting professor at the Asian Institute of Technology (Bangkok), which caused me to immediately make it clear that it was not to be discussed in my classroom in the course of what might be described as normal business.

Last year Lord (Nicolas) Stern (of Brentford) appeared in Stockholm in order to entertain a large audience with the conclusions reached in his famous analysis of potential climate change calamities. I of course was not invited to attend his presentation, because it was almost certainly believed by its arrangers that had I been present, there might have been what is sometimes called an `incident'. This was definitely not certain, because I would have been willing to exercise a maximum of restraint in order to avoid informing Lord Stern that many leading economic theorists regard his work on this topic as scientifically meaningless.

Meaningless and in the light of the finished product, pedagogically superfluous. To my way of thinking the Stern Review -- or at least the small portion that I have examined -- is an insult to both conscientious economics teachers and the students who require their knowledge, as well as innocent bystanders who pay taxes in order for -- among other things -- systematic and professional attempts to be made to ascertain the extent and mechanics of global warming, and if necessary to suggest or devise efficient programs for reducing its possible dangers. The analytical fragments of the Stern Review remind me of esoteric contributions to a journal called `The Review of Economic Studies' which played an important part in my education at the University of Stockholm, and contained articles which were often a part of the curriculum when I taught mathematical economics in Uppsala and Australia. I feel it appropriate to mention that I haven't read anything in that journal for more than 20 years, and I enjoy informing students and colleagues that I consider myself a better person as a result of this abstention.

After scrutinizing a few pages of the Stern Review, the first thing that came to my mind was that if it is true that we are now living in the most dishonest period in modern times, as a Canadian billionaire claims, then the so-called research done by Stern and his team might turn out to be a prime contender for the paramount scam of the present century: in wisdom and verbosity it belongs in the same category as Mein Kampf, and this is perhaps the reason that Professor Richard Tol said that if it were presented to him as a `Master's' thesis, he would grade it F (for failure).

But please take note that I am not criticizing nor denigrating climate scientists or anybody else who takes the position that global warming is a clear and present or nearly-present danger, because this may well be true. Instead I am merely commenting on an economic investigation whose ennoblement can be attributed to careerists in the faculties of economics and the environmental bureaucracies, and where the principal concern of some individuals on both the writing or reading end of enterprises of this nature may be money and some of the beautiful things that money can buy. Here I am thinking of subsidized travel and accommodation on the one hand, and on the other a superficial understanding of a fashionable topic.

Let us suppose for the purpose of this discussion that I was totally and obsessively corrupt, and found myself with the opportunity to write a thick book with the title The Ferdinand E. Banks review on the economics of climate change. Please be aware that what I am implying is that for me to write a book with that title, I would have to be `bent' in one sense or another, because otherwise I would never have anything to do with an assignment of this nature.

Given the limitations of economic theory, there is only one sensible approach to the project, and that is to find a model that can be adjusted and/or refined and/or extended and/or tweaked in such a way as to allow my assistants (and perhaps myself) to carry out rambling discussions of the economics of climate change in perhaps 700+ pages. The model that would be chosen by me, or my assistants, or my graduate students, or by party animals posturing themselves and courting attention at the bar of an Uppsala University student club could only be the one published by Frank Ramsey in his famous article `A mathematical theory of saving' (1928).

What is the logic behind this choice? First of all, the Ramsey model is complicated but not too complicated. Even if they are put off by its mathematics, the basic intent of such a model should be recognizable to a majority of advanced economics undergraduates, to include those pursuing their education in or near certain store-front universities where environmental studies constitute almost a religion.

Equally as important, the Ramsey model can be summarily enriched in case someone visiting a lecture on global warming decides to play ego games with the lecturer, in the course of which they proclaim the triviality of the basic Ramsey construction. If the basic model is polished up, a skilful lecturer might be able to successfully convince a drowsy audience that it is capable of providing some genuine insight into whether future benefits from `present' action to prevent climate change outweigh the cost of this action. The model -- though not the real world - reduces this puzzle to determining the discount rate that should be used to evaluate future benefits.

A simple example might feature being able to continue enjoying the marvellous beach life on the west coast of Sweden in future summers, while the estimated (or presumed or postulated) present cost of achieving this goal might involve altering Sweden's energy architecture in such a way as to include more wind turbines and natural gas, while promoting a nuclear retreat. Of course we know something about what this would mean, because the cost of electricity in Denmark -- which is the promised land of wind-based energy -- is perhaps the highest in Europe, while the cost of electricity in Sweden -- which has a large nuclear commitment -- is among the lowest.

For readers who are curious about this particular trade-off, I can refer to an article in the latest IAEE Energy Forum by Mary Hutzler (2009), in which she examines a proposal by the billionaire T. Boone Pickens for the massive employment of wind and natural gas in the United States, where it would be used to generate electricity (wind) and provide an alternative motor fuel (natural gas). I have attempted to convince large numbers of persons in the U.S. and elsewhere of the futility of this approach, however their fear (or hatred) of a situation in which the United States must depend on Middle Eastern countries for increasing amounts of energy has tended to undermine their rationality.

Another option for solving this problem is to get producers to invest in production equipment featuring clean outputs. For instance, electric generators might use coal, but carbon dioxide emissions from this coal would be sequestered underground or in the ocean, or perhaps generators could buy permissions to emit from other firms that possess the knowledge to greatly reduce the production of CO2. (This is apparently a big thing in Australia just now). In any event, and this is important, physical capital that might be used to produce items that were important in the manufacture of present necessities and luxuries would (directly or indirectly) be devoted to the suppression of CO2 emissions. In other words, the present consumption of necessities and luxuries would be reduced, and the disutility this would entail would have to be weighed against being able to visit the west coast beaches in the future.

Ramsay-type equations are designed to provide a `scientific' approach to comparing a future utility with a present disutility -- e.g. enjoying the beaches of the west coast of Sweden in the future in return for a present monetary outlay. Of course neither those equations nor any equations derived since Adam and Eve can carry out this particular commission to my humble satisfaction, but that is irrelevant. When many persons see or maybe just hear about the mathematics employed by Frank Ramsay and Lord Stern, they tend to draw the conclusion that it is in the same category as that employed by Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton. My comment on this situation is that this is precisely what is wrong with academic economics at the present time.

As mentioned above, many economic theorists find it difficult to accept the validity of Lord Stern's theoretical work, but some are of a different opinion. I certainly respect many economists who find the Stern analysis important, but as far as I can tell they find it important because they accept that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is the real deal -- which it may be -- and genuinely feel that the general public should be made aware of what could happen in the event that bad news in the form of e.g. rising sea levels arrive before precautions are taken to deal with its most unfavourable aspects.

As to be expected, some concerned citizens are almost totally confused when confronted with the opinions expressed in this short paper. Take for example Joan Ruddock, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the UK. She has dismissed the criticisms of people like Professors Tol, Partha Dasgupta and Martin Weitzman because -- according to her -- these economists suffer from "a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of formal, highly aggregated economic modelling in evaluating a policy issue."

I'm afraid that I must reject that point of view Ms Ruddock: they do not misunderstand. You and I are guilty of that shortcoming! You because your education in economic theory is inadequate, and me because the only interest I have in aggregated economic modelling is the slender amount necessary for me to write this note.

I would like to close by saying that the Stern Review may well be on its way to enjoying the same status as `The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money' by John Maynard Keynes, or `The Theory of Games and Economic Behaviour' by John von Neuman and Oscar Morgenstern. These are famous books that everyone knows about, although very few have actually read them. I for instance know a great deal about them, and may even have told some inquiring student or colleague that I have read them from cover to cover, but if I made this assertion, it is a departure from the truth. What is true is that if I had been ordered to read every page in these works by e.g. my regimental commander in the U.S. Army -- Colonel Michael (`Screaming' Mike) Halloran of the 24th Infantry -- I might have made an attempt, but even an order by a president of the United States would not cause me to read, think about reading, or even to thumb the pages again of Lord Stern's attempt to clarify the importance of the Kyoto Conference on the Environment.

REFERENCES

Baltscheffsky, S. (1997). 'Världen samlas för att kyla klotet'. Svenska-Dagbladet.
Banks, Ferdinand E.. (2009a). 'Deeper thoughts than usual about nuclear energy'. 321 Energy.
_____ (2009b). 'Nuclear and the new American president'- Energy Politics.
_____ (2007). The Political Economy of World Energy: An Introductory Textbook. London, New York and Singapore: World Scientific.
_____ (2004). 'A faith-based approach to global warming'. Energy and Environment, Volume 15, Number 5: 837-852.
Beyer, Jim (2007) 'Comment on Banks'. Energy Pulse (www.energypulse.net).
Harlinger, Hildegard (1975). 'Neue modelle für die zukunft der menshheit' IFO Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (Munich).
Huber, Peter W. (2009). 'Bound to burn'. City Journal (Spring).
Hutzler, Mary (2009). The Pickens plan: is it the answer to our energy needs? IAEE Energy Forum (Spring).
Nadeau, Robert (2008). 'The economist has no clothes'. Scientific American (April).
Ramsey, Frank (1928). 'A mathematical theory of saving'. Economic Journal.
Stern, Nicholas (2007). Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. London: H.M. Treasury.
Stipp, David (2004). 'Climate collapse'. Fortune (Feb. 9, 2004).

 
 
Authored By:
Ferdinand E. Banks (Uppsala University, Sweden), performed his undergraduate studies at Illinois Institute of Technology (electrical engineering) and Roosevelt University (Chicago), graduating with honors in economics. He also attended the University of Maryland and UCLA. He has the MSc from Stockholm University and the PhD from Uppsala University. He has been visiting professor at 5 universities in Australia, 2 universities in France, The Czech University (Prague), Stockholm University, Nanyang Technical
 

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Comments

July, 20 2009

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Kyoto was to be the first, but irreversible, step onto the "slippery slope" of carbon emission reductions. The Stern Report was an effort to suggest that the first step would be "easy and cheap". Both, as you suggest, have been howling failures.

There are many reasons for these failures.

(1) Kyoto was illogical. (When you perceive that you are digging yourself into a hole, the first step is to STOP DIGGING.) The logical first step would have been to halt increases in annual emissions, rather than trying to have some "fill in the hole" while others were still digging. The increases in annual emissions rates are predominantly from the developing countries, led by the ~10% annual increases from China. China has more than offset all of the carbon emissions reductions contemplated by the Kyoto Accords.

(2) Kyoto was inadequate. (When you decide to "solve" a "problem", it helps to pursue a course of action which actually offered some possibility of doing so.) The annual emissions reductions contemplated by the Kyoto Accords, even if achieved by every nation on the globe, would not have "solved" AGW. Reductions an order of magnitude greater than those envisioned by the Kyoto Accords would not have done so either.

(3) Inconveniently, the globe ceased warming at approximately the same time as the Kyoto Accords were agreed to by the signers. Despite a massive "obfuscatio ad absurdum" effort, the taxpayers have not been convinced of the necessity of sacrificing their futures on the altar of AGW.

(4) The participants in the Kyoto Accords have had a decade to evaluate the costs and benefits of their efforts to comply. Most have realized that compliance would be far more expensive than Lord Stern and his "band of merry persons" would have led them to believe. Most have also realized that, while not cheap or easy, the "7% solution" would have been far cheaper and easier than the remaining 93%.

Reality Bites! :-)

July, 21 2009

Len Gould says

Ed: Could we get a credible current reference for your item 3) above "the globe ceased warming at approximately the same time as the Kyoto Accords were agreed to by the signers." ?

July, 21 2009

John K. Sutherland says

Ed, I guess if you cannot work Al Gore's name into a 'credible current reference' as defined by Len alone, then you will not be able to provide one.

I guess Len won't accept anything Lord Monckton writes - especially his brilliant response to Markey and Barton (number 13), here: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton/ He probably doesn't read Richard Watts either, or SEPP or Marohassy, or Nova, or Morano, etc. etc. or the fact the Gavin Schmidt and colleagues are now climbing down off their perch for about 20 years. Sad! John.

July, 21 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Just a brief word here. I am NOT debating global warming. This is a topic that I have completely lost interest in because of the many charlatans and/or suspicious characters on both sides of the debate. I am also unqualified to handle the physics of the issue. I can however handle the economics, and despite his talent, Lord Stern has stooped unnecessarily low by becoming involved in a project of this nature.

WE DON'T NEED 'HIS' REVIEW! We don't need valuable space in our academic librairies taken up with more pretentious nonsense. We also don't need the thoughts and posturing of Lord Monckton, and especially Mr Al Gore, whose incompetence resulted in people like George W. and Condoleeza roosting in the White House for 8 years, starting a war that shouldn't have been started with Iraq, and insulting innocent members of the TV audience like my good self with their outrageous and irrelevant babbling about freedom and democracy.

July, 21 2009

Len Gould says

John: Could you indicate which, if any, of those references are peer reviewed articles by climate scientists? eg I note from Wikipedia "Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (born 14 February 1952) is a British politician, business consultant, policy adviser, writer, columnist, and inventor. He served as an advisor to Margaret Thatcher's policy unit in the 1980s and invented the Eternity puzzle at the end of the 1990s. More recently, he has attracted controversy for his public opposition to the mainstream scientific consensus on global warming." -- I prefer to get my science from other than politicians.

July, 21 2009

Edward Reid, Jr. says

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/07/uah-global-temperature-anomaly-hitting-the-slopes/

July, 22 2009

Jim Beyer says

NASA finds sea ice still melting

It is quite reasonable to argue that the cost of reducing carbon emissions might be onerous. But even given that, expending energy to refute the motivation for doing this will prove ultimately futile, not the least because this line of reasoning is likely wrong.

But even if it wasn't, population pressures will stir us to seek out something other than coal and oil anyway, even not (right) now, that perhaps 20 years hence. So the notion that this is a wasteful enterprise is not supported by either conventional reality or even the rarefied reality possessed by many AGW deniers.

And Edward, the "plan" is to not have so many babies. But this will prove hard to implement, not the least because of the legacy religious beliefs that often encourage large families and the growth quotient that seems to be an essential aspect of modern capitalist society. Barring growth restrictions, we need to find energy sources much more powerful and cleaner than what we are using today. They need to be clean because we are now so crowded there is little room to dump waste sources. As hard as changing human behavior might be, this may be even a harder problem than limiting population growth.

July, 23 2009

James Carson says

Len: Just peruse this list.

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=83947f5d-d84a-4a84-ad5d-6e2d71db52d9

Here is a sample:

“Anyone who claims that the debate is over and the conclusions are firm has a fundamentally unscientific approach to one of the most momentous issues of our time.” - Solar physicist Dr. Pal Brekke, senior advisor to the Norwegian Space Centre in Oslo. Brekke has published more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles on the sun and solar interaction with the Earth.

One of my favorites:

Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” - UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

July, 23 2009

James Carson says

Len: As for your request for a 'credible' source.... Here are THREE.

“For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?" - Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

“Earth has cooled since 1998 in defiance of the predictions by the UN-IPCC….The global temperature for 2007 was the coldest in a decade and the coldest of the millennium…which is why ‘global warming’ is now called ‘climate change.’” - Climatologist Dr. Richard Keen of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado.

Physical chemist Dr. Peter Stilbs, who chairs the climate seminar Department of Physical Chemistry at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, has authored more than 165 scientific publications in refereed journals since 1970. Stilbs coordinated a meeting of international scientists and declared his skepticism about manmade climate fears. Stilbs wrote on December 21, 2006 that “by the final panel discussion stage of the conference, there appeared to be wide agreement” about several key points regarding man-made climate fears. Stilbs announced that the scientists concluded, “There is no strong evidence to prove significant human influence on climate on a global basis. The global cooling trend from 1940 to 1970 is inconsistent with models based on anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. Actual claims put forward are that an observed global temperature increase of about 0.3 degrees C since 1970 exceeds what could be expected from natural variation. However, recent temperature data do not indicate any continued global warming since 1998.” Stilbs also noted, “There is no reliable evidence to support that the 20th century was the warmest in the last 1000 years. Previous claims based on the ‘Mann hockey-stick curve’ are by now totally discredited.”

Satisfied?

July, 23 2009

Len Gould says

James: "Earth has cooled since 1998 in defiance of the predictions by the UN-IPCC….The global temperature for 2007 was the coldest in a decade and the coldest of the millennium…which is why ‘global warming’ is now called ‘climate change.’” - Climatologist Dr. Richard Keen of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado. " -- How do you reconcile that with NASA global weather station + satellite combined data per this graph to 2009 showing ANNUAL CHANGES in temperature have NEVER BEEN NEGATIVE since 1996? Looks to me like your Dr. Keen is smoking something funny.



"Global Monthly Mean Surface Temperature Change

Line plot of monthly mean global surface tmperature anomaly. The black line shows meterological stations only; redle dots are the lan d-ocean temperature index, as described in Hans en et al. (1999). The land-ocean temperature index uses sea surface temperatures obtained from satellite measurements of Reynolds and Smith (1994)."

Or simply peruse ANY of the temperature presentations at this NASA site. GISS Surface Temperature Analysis - Analysis Graphs and Plots

July, 23 2009

Jim Beyer says

No.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/02/dummies-guide-to-the-latest-hockey-stick-controversy/

It all goes back to who bears the burden of proof. By shooting the CO2 levels to values unprecedented in 600,000 years, I say the burden of proof is on the AGW deniers that this global science experiment is NOT a problem. If proving a negative is difficult (difficult, not impossible) then I'm sorry, but maybe we should of thought of that before burning lump of coal in sight so we could drive to Wal-Mart and buy more plastic lawn furniture.

July, 23 2009

James Carson says

Len: It is YOU who doesn't understand the graph you posted. The y-axis is 'Temperature Anomolies' from some long-term average, not temperature change from year to year. Your graph, in fact supports the 'deniers'. Now, THAT is funny!

Jim: Do you really believe that we have any way of knowing what the CO2 levels were over the past 600,000 years? What is the measurement errors for these 'measurements'? How much has CO2 levels varied over that period?

Furthermore, by your logic, humanity should abandon the planet. Our very presence is an abomination, a crime against nature. I reject that. I am just as persuaded that humanity's true role in nature is to release the carbon locked up in the Earth's crust for the benefit of the rest of the biosphere. Perhaps we are here to rescue the planet from a slow death spiral.

July, 23 2009

Jim Beyer says

James,

There are multiple sources of confirmation of past CO2 levels. Ice core samples are commonly used, as are other sources.

Some sources can be found here: CO2 Levels

Significantly, the CO2 levels now are higher than anytime during the past several ice age cycles.

My logic indicates no such thing (abandoning the planet). Conversely, your logic (do nothing as we continue to multiply to 9, 12, 18 billion souls) will definitively lead to a catastrophic collapse of population akin to what happens when yeast grows unbounded in a Petri dish.

I would like to think humanity can out think the behavior of yeast, but sometimes I'm not so sure.

There's a medical term, "Primum non nocere", first do no harm. I don't see why this conservative and thoughful concept shouldn't apply to our environment as well. Your (assumed jocular) view that releasing more carbon will benefit the planet would be in violation of this principle.

July, 23 2009

Len Gould says

James: Not sure what YOUR interpretation of the word anomalies is. Near as I can tell, that graph indicates that mean surface emperatures have deviated UPWARD every year since 1996. Funny? Anyway, if you don't like that one, try any of the others from that NASA site I linked. eg.



Please detail for me YOUR interpretation of how any of these graphs indicate recent cooling?

July, 23 2009

James Carson says

Len: The correct interpretation of 'anomaly' is crystal clear. It means deviation from some long run average. Your interpretation that it is the change from the previous year is not correct. Your statement that "ANNUAL CHANGES in temperature have NEVER BEEN NEGATIVE since 1996" is simply ignorant. Your graph clearly shows a flat line since 1998, which supports the OTHER side of the argument. As to the rest, argue with the experts that I cited. You asked for credible sources, I gave you three.

Jim: I reiterate, we cannot now what those CO2 levels were hundreds of millenia ago because we cannot determine the accuracy of the measurements. I have read the literature. The rest of your argument is rehashed Malthus, Ehrlich and the Club of Rome, all of whom have been utterly discredited by history. Your insistence that we return to their models of the future is irrational.

July, 23 2009

Jim Beyer says

James:

Our current levels of CO2 are 27% above measured levels from the past 650,000 years. The measurements do not have to be that accurate to justify the concern. The ice cores from different parts of the world are generally in concert with each other. No serious researcher questions the basic validity of the ice core sampling with respect to CO2 levels. Not a fruitful tree to be barking up.

I don't think the former inhabitants of Easter Island would agree that Malthus was utterly discredited. You should read Collapse by Jared Diamond.

While it is true that societal collapse is not inevitable, it is certainly a possibility if resource limits are ignored.

July, 23 2009

James Carson says

Dr. Timothy Ball, climatologist, summarizes the fallacy of the ice core data: http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/6855

Zbigniew Jaworowski explains, "The basis of most of the IPCC conclusions on anthropogenic causes and on projections of climatic change is the assumption of low level of CO2 in the pre-industrial atmosphere. This assumption, based on glaciological studies, is false.”

and “The notion of low pre-industrial CO2 atmospheric level, based on such poor knowledge, became a widely accepted Holy Grail of climate warming models. The modelers ignored the evidence from direct measurements of CO2 in atmospheric air indicating that in 19th century its average concentration was 335 ppmv.”

Beck has found, “Since 1812, the CO2 concentration in northern hemispheric air has fluctuated exhibiting three high level maxima around 1825, 1857 and 1942 the latter showing more than 400 ppm.” Here is a link to a copy of Beck's article that was published in Energy and Environment, a peer reviewed journal.

http://www.biomind.de/nogreenhouse/daten/EE%2018-2_Beck.pdf

Jim, you need to remove your blinders and consider evidence that contradicts your views. Your failure to do so indicates that your views on global warming are not grounded in science.

July, 23 2009

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Len,

I believe that, with a little research, you would discover that Dr, Hansen's GISS shows the largest temperature anomaly of the commonly referenced temperature sources.

I believe that, with a little research, you would discover that the average temperature measurement station from which data is collected and used by GISS is subject to measurement errors in excess of 2 degrees C according to the NCDC rating system. (www.surfacestations.org)

With a little critical thought, I believe you would realize that collecting temperature data from such error-prone measurement stations, massaging it through several "black box" computer programs and using it to report temperature anomalies to two decimal place "accuracy" is folly.

It would seam reasonable to spend a few million dollars to measure temperatures accurately, from properly sited and maintained measurement stations, before committing to spend trillions of dollars redesigning the world.

Ed

July, 23 2009

Jim Beyer says

When questioning CO2 levels, it always falls upon Beck and Jaworowski is question ice cores.

If you look at Figure 2 of Jaworowski's own paper you can see that atmospheric measurements before 1900 were horribly inaccurate. His comment about citing an average of 335 ppmv is ludicrous. Much of Jaworowski's work was only published in Lyndon LaRouche's journal.

Some comments about Beck's paper and the review process of E & E can be found here:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/03/remember_eg_becks_dodgy.php

James, it's not me who has the blinders on. I have no trouble questioning the status quo (as I did with the Hydrogen Economy) but one does need substantive evidence to work with. Beck and Jaworowski do not provide this.

July, 23 2009

James Carson says

Jim: You said that no serious researcher questioned the ice core data. I demonstrated otherwise by citing a peer reviewed journal. You respond with a blog entry by a computer scientist??? You may disagree, but I find Beck, Jaworski and Ball have made a compelling case.

POINT SET MATCH

July, 23 2009

Jim Beyer says

James,

The link led to many other links critical to Beck, including this one

I'll point out just one concern of these critics. Beck says the CO2 level jumped from 290 ppm in 1925 to 470 ppm in 1942, then dove down again to 320 ppm by 1950. Pray tell, where did all this CO2 come from? And then go to? It makes no sense whatsoever. This is compared with the alternative hypothesis that these measurements do not reflect global values, but local variations.

As the critics point out, the Mauna Loa collection site was developed because CO2 measurement was so problematic; often due to local sources which distort measurements intended to represent global value.

But I agree that we disagree.

July, 24 2009

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Gentlemen,

You may find this discussion interesting and perhaps enlightening.

http://masterresource.org/?p=3847#more-3847

Ed

July, 24 2009

James Carson says

If we cannot take measurements from the 19th century seriously because they are subject to "local variation", how can we take ice core samples seriously? Are they not subject to the same variations? In fact, for us to take them seriously, we would have to accept that Antarctica and Greenland are representative locations. Do you think that their CO2 measurements are low is that there isn't a lot of vegetation there? Hmmm.... Could be.

I, for one, am inclined to have more confidence in the weight of the thousands of local measurements taken in the 19th century than I am in measurements taken today from air bubbles in ice cores. The ONLY thing we can say with any certainty about CO2 concentrations is that they have increased since 1960. Nothing more. The record before that time is sparse and inconclusive at best.

You asked the questions: Where did all that CO2 come from in the 1925 to 1942 time frame? Where did it go? The 1930s were scorching. Records were set all over the world that still stand. The 1950s and particularly the 1960s were very cold. Warmer water holds less CO2, cold water holds more. You do the math.

July, 24 2009

James Carson says

I should also point out that since 1960, the climate has become significantly warmer, which explains where the CO2 increases have come from.

James Carson, RisQuant Energy

July, 24 2009

Len Gould says



Mr Carson Sir. Your tactics are despicable.

July, 24 2009

Len Gould says

Following is the text which accompany's the above NASA data.

"Global Annual Mean Surface Air Temperature Change

Line plot of global mean land-ocean temperature index, 1880 to present. The dotted black line is the annual mean and the solid red line is the five-year mean. The green bars show uncertainty estimates. [This is an update of Fig. 1A in Hansen et al. (2006)]"

July, 24 2009

Len Gould says

I ask again. WHERE DO YOU GET A DECREASE IN THE PAST 10 YEARS?

July, 24 2009

Len Gould says

Example from raw data at this site GLOBAL Temperature Anomalies in .01 C base period: 1951-1980 -- The explanation of how to interpret these data is clearly written at the bottom.

"Divide by 100 to get changes in degrees Centigrade. Multiply that result by 1.8(=9/5) to get changes in degrees Fahrenheit.

Best estimate for absolute global mean for 1951-1980 is 14C = 57.2F, so add that to the temperature change if you want to use an absolute scale (this note applies to global annual means only, J-D and D-N !)

Example -- Table Value : 40 change : .40C or .72F abs. scale if global annual mean : 14.40C or 57.92F"

From the data, if you can read it, the values for J-D (Jan to Dec) anomoly for EVERY YEAR from 2001 to 2009 are GREATER than any from any prior year except 1998 (70).

July, 24 2009

James Carson says

MY tactics are despicable? *lol* Am I really the first person to call you out???

As for the past ten years, I am just citing subject matter experts who happen to take a different view from yourself. You asked John for citations while belittling Lord Monckton. So, I gave three to you. I've got a lot more. Argue with them. Incidentally, is Lord Monckton any less qualified than Albert Gore?

The explanation you cite from the bottom supports MY interpretation. Over the past ten years, the previously rising curve has FLATLINED. As I look at YOUR chart above, I do not see any discernible increase since 1998. In fact, the five year average (red line) notches DOWN at the very end. The anomalies are NOT increasing and the five year average has recently decreased. That indicates a reversal that confirms what they say. Your earlier chart also clearly shows a flat line since 1998.

July, 25 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Gentlemen, the belittling of a hereditary peer is not something to be taken lightly, however in the case of a windbag like Lord Monckton, I think that I will recommend a 'pass'.

Although only an appointed Lord, Lord Stern was in Sweden yesterday, where he addressed a congress of ignoramuses at the great ski resort of Åre. Among other things he put in a good word for nuclear. So, perhaps he is has gotten the message. In the long run the Chinese will probably take it all, but I prefer them taking it in a thousand years instead of in a decade, which might happen with a nuclear fade-away in their competitors.

July, 25 2009

Len Gould says

James: "Over the past ten years, the previously rising curve has FLATLINED." -- Well, at LEAST I've gotten you around to no longer claiming a cooling ttrend in tha past ten years, as you via your references, did on 7.23.09. So, what issue would you like me to refute your "references" on next?

July, 25 2009

James Carson says

Perhaps you should read my entire post before firing off a response. I further pointed out how YOUR OWN CHART confirms the view that a cooling trend has emerged. The last one you posted on the 24th shows a downward hook at the end of the 5yr moving average (red) line. That confirms the downward trend that the experts I cited were talking about.

July, 25 2009

Jeff Presley says

There's another take on this discussion. This article points out yet ANOTHER flaw in the IPCC models I wasn't paying enough attention to catch. For those of you (Len Gould) who won't click on the link, Dr. Bunger shows how the IPCC's data are clearly flawed because of the exponential growth of carbon, without knowing where it comes from. Just like the IEA blithely printing "prognostications" that had no merit in reality (some thankfully since redacted), the IPCC takes THOSE fallacious assumptions and rolls them forward, consuming ALL KNOWN AND UNKNOWN oil on the planet well before the 22nd century! oops

July, 26 2009

Edward Reid, Jr. says

James,

As I'm sure you now realize, this comment thread is not the optimal place to argue religion. :-)

Ed

July, 26 2009

James Carson says

Oh.... I confess to having realized that long before now.

July, 26 2009

Len Gould says

James. Yet you still argue a position from non-existent, or flawed data (""), the very definition of a religion.

Your quotation in an hilarious attempt to back up you position

“Earth has cooled since 1998 in defiance of the predictions by the UN-IPCC….The global temperature for 2007 was the coldest in a decade and the coldest of the millennium…which is why ‘global warming’ is now called ‘climate change.’” - Climatologist Dr. Richard Keen of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado. "

Though true (see the graphs I posted) actually says NOTHING which can be used to refute IPCC. It "conveniently" ignores the fact that even Keen's carefully selected COLDEST year, 2007, is warmer than any year in the 20th century except for ONE YEAR in the 1990's.

Agruing with you is just too easy. I continue posting only to make sure no unsuspecting reader might get sucked in by your references to bogus "scientist politicians".

July, 26 2009

Len Gould says

Jeff: Please cite a legitimate scientific reference for the claim in your referenced article "Peak oil may solve climate change - Most climate change models assume that future CO2 emissions will grow exponentially over this century." -- I've nefer seen any such assumption stated.

And regarding "running out of oil" solving CO2 loading growth in earth's atmosphere, that's ridiculous. Unchecked, coal will be used to substitute for oil and the CO2 loading problem will get worse, not better.

You guys are just so far off any base in reality, science or economics it's becoming funny, if it wasn't so serious an issue.

July, 26 2009

Len Gould says

"considering we only have about 13 trillion boe on earth in oil, gas, coal, oil sands, heavy oil and oil shale combined. ... The fact is, oil is peaking about now, gas will probably peak within a decade, and coal within a couple of decades." -- Coal peaking by 2030? Give me a TINY break. That is simply plain WRONG. The entire southern half of the province of Alberta, Canada is underlaid with coal seams 100 meters thick which are not presently counted as coal reserves simply because mining them would be uneconomical in the present market. 10^12 sq meters x 100 meters, = 10^14 cu meters, 1000 kg / cu meter. That just one location. Now do USA, Australia, China, India, etc. for "uneconomic but known resources". Let energy go into shortage, though, and it will ALL be gassified in situ and burned.

July, 26 2009

Len Gould says

IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios - 4.4. Scenario Quantification and Overview - 5.3.1.5. Inter-family Comparison

Readinbg the above reference clearly refutes your "exponential" claim, see graph below. Pretty much par for the course in discussions with you guys.



July, 26 2009

James Carson says

<< I continue posting only to make sure no unsuspecting reader might get sucked in by your references to bogus "scientist politicians". >>

Len, your lies are despicable, not to mention foolish. Here are the credentials of those whom I cited:

Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Climatologist Dr. Richard Keen of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado.

Physical chemist Dr. Peter Stilbs, who chairs the climate seminar Department of Physical Chemistry at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, has authored more than 165 scientific publications in refereed journals since 1970.

They are neither bogus nor politicians. I can cite dozens, perhaps hundreds more. Nevertheless, Edward is right. Your position wrt global warming is fundamentally religious. It is clear that you do not understand the science. Actually, it is very clear that you do not even understand what you yourself posts.

July, 27 2009

Jeff Presley says

James, I'm certain Len had a high quality Canadian high school education and might have even touched biology while there. Don't know about since then however, but his posts DO leave something... missing. He used to post on physorg until they laughed him off the site. I still chuckle at his infinitely energetic infrared particle taking a brownian walk through 60,000 feet of atmosphere heating everything in its path. Clearly his high school science courses didn't deal with the inverse square law.

Len, your graph didn't make it. I'm guessing if you meant to post a picture the file type would be .jpg or .gif rather than .htm as you did when I viewed your source: "http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc/emission/118.htm". Looking at the web link I see lots of graphs but it isn't obvious which one you meant to post. What IS obvious however is you COMPLETELY missed Dr. Bunger's point . A little puzzler for you. What is the growth rate at 1.5% per year COMPOUNDED for 100 years? How big for example will $10,00,000 get by then? Considering that the money in this case is SPENT every year (but still compounding, kind of like politicians like to do with taxes) how much in TOTAL gets consumed? Now I know your IQ is about 75 points lower than mine but you can still figure this stuff out with the aid of internet tools, but if you're REALLY stuck I'll give you the answers. Meantime, reread, or better yet, actually read for the first time Jim's short article and make sure you understand it before you spout off again.

Your point about coal is almost interesting, but Dr. Jim Bunger is way ahead of you there and already converted into BOE (bbls of oil equivalent). Next you should look into the Fischer Tropsch efficiency and recalculate how many TRILLION bbls you think can be produced from same, in situ or otherwise? Reread this: Fifteen trillion boe is an astounding number considering we only have about 13 trillion boe on earth in oil, gas, coal oil sands, heavy oil and oil shale combined. And only a portion of this total, probably no more than one-third, can ultimately be recovered under reasonable economic conditions. This disparity, between IPCC projections and fossil fuel reality, is sufficient to call into question all the conclusions of the climate change models, as future CO2 concentrations are the principal input to the model that drives all the outputs. [emphasis added]

Again, as an expert, I implicitly trust Dr. Bunger infinitely more than I trust YOU, (Bunger's credentials are extremely well known, he's peer reviewed and an acknowledged WORLD expert, especially in unconventional oil ) and the fact that I know him personally doesn't impact my judgment in the slightest.

July, 27 2009

Len Gould says

So that's, what, 4 climatologists agreeing with you guys, several hundreds if not thousands agreeing with the IPCC? Sounds par for the course for you guys.

July, 27 2009

Len Gould says

And I'm STILL waiting for EITHER of you to respond to my question, posed several times above.

"I ask again. WHERE DO YOU GET A DECREASE IN THE PAST 10 YEARS?"

July, 27 2009

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Len,

UAH MSU and RSS MSU (satellite data) both show a decrease.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/10/rss-global-temperature-for-june-09-also-down/#more-9262

GISS, on the other hand, contends that the globe's airports and miscellaneous other Urban Heat Islands continue to warm, although well within the error band identified by NCDC for the average US measurement station providing data to the GISS temperature set.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/15/giss-worlds-airports-continue-to-run-warmer-than-row/#more-9184

I still contend that it would be well worth spending a few $ millions to collect accurate temperature data from properly sited and maintained measuring stations before investing $ trillions reacting to temperature sets based on erroneous data.

I understand that measuring temperature accurately is not the easiest task, but it isn't the hardest either.

Ed

July, 27 2009

Len Gould says

Regarding your contention that eg. IPCC does not consider depletion, this quote at title "5.3.1.4. B2 Scenario Family" in IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios

"Emissions in the B2 scenarios with harmonized global input assumptions (population, GDP, final energy; B2-MESSAGE, B2-AIM, B2-MARIA) are very close in 2100. Differences in emissions are largest around 2050, which reflects the different patterns of structural change in the energy systems in anticipation of depletion of conventional oil and gas. "

It is also quite clear that IPCC is considering resource depletion in its scenarios, eg look at the heading "Primary Energy EJ " in the table IPCC SRES Emissions Scenarios - Version 1.1 - World - B2 IMAGE . eg. oil use in 2020 is assigned to be 130 EJ, and in 2100 is assigned to be 86 EJ, a reasonable rate of depletion assumption if one listens to EIA and not theOilDrum, and includes tarsands and shale as oil. Other of their 43 complete scenarios make alternative assumptions about such things, some in line with more rapid depletion.

Considering the IPCC reports have been vetted and accepted by representatives of pretty much every government worldwide including the appointees from the Bush admin., I think I might take their statements over yours.

July, 27 2009

Jim Beyer says

A few comments.

I'd like to think this is not a religion, at least to me. I for one, could be persuaded that global warming/climate change is a farce, but I do not think that's the case at this time.

And I DO appreciate the issues with temperature measurement that Edward brings up. Most of his posts seem to be reasonable.

What gets me and continues to get me is the CO2 level. No one questioned the CO2 levels from the ice cores 20 years ago; the science seemed to be fine THEN. But when it becomes a literal inconvenient truth to AGW deniers, they draw in discredited research from the likes of Beck and Jaworowski, which few serious researchers take seriously at this point. This is like disproving Darwin by citing LaMarck.

I think what sometimes happens on this thread is that people paint themselves into corners and then waste a bunch of effort defending their mindset. I try not to do that. When I make mistakes, I admit them. For example, I once thought CO2 could "settle" out of less dense methane, but that appears to be highly problematic. Something about Reynold's numbers. Mea Culpa. I was wrong. See? It's not so hard. (It's still a bit unclear to me because I know that a much harder gas separation occurs with Uranium separation.)

And on the subject of religion, I submit that the global warming believers and deniers are akin to the rival factions from "The Life of Brian", the Judean People's Front, and the People's Front of Judea, who both hate the Romans but prefer fighting amongst themselves instead.

The "Romans" in this case is not Global Warming, but peak oil. Dealing with Peak Oil will be hard enough such that GW or no GW, the solutions are not that much different.

July, 27 2009

Len Gould says

btw, my quick estimate of 10^12 sq meters x 100 meters, = 10^14 cu meters, 1000 kg / cu meter of "inaccessible" coal under Alberta provides, assuming 50% carbon, 10^14/10^9 = 10^5 / 1183.5 = about 90 times more carbon than THE ENTIRE Cumulative CO2 Emissions GtC used in the most recent IPCC B2 MARIA scenario.

Your reference hasn't a clue.

July, 27 2009

Len Gould says

(forgot the 50%) should be "10^14/10^9 * 0.5 = 10^5 / 1183.5 * 0.5 = about 45 times more carbon " No difference at all.

July, 27 2009

Len Gould says

Doubters of that coal in Alberta can go to Alberta Geological Survey - Interactive map of coal beds -- Choose a map scale, then click the "Coal Isopatch Thickness" button for any of the 7 different coal zones mapped. For example, the Drumheller coal zone is mapped for an area more than 800 km long by 250 km wide with seam thicknesses from 25 to 125 meters at a depth of 200 to 1000 meters. At just east of Calgary, the total seam thickness of all 7 zones is 0 + 7 + 75 + 5 + 1 + 0 + 25 = 113 meters, fairly representative of an area of about 2 x 10^13 sq meters. So perhaps only 10 times more carbon in that one location than IPCC's total estimate for cumulative carbon emissions from 1900 to 2100. Still no difference at all.

July, 27 2009

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Jim,

As I have suggested here previously, it is important to define the "problem" before designing the "solution".

This comment thread has touched on AGW and "peak oil"; energy independence has not been mentioned here so far, though that could change.

In previous threads, coal has been discussed as the "priority" from an AGW perspective. Oil is obviously the "priority" from a "peak oil" perspective. Those two facts strongly suggest that the "plan of attack" for dealing with the two issues would be very different, though the ultimate results might be similar. Certainly the "plan of attack" would be tightly focused in an economically constrained environment. I believe we are in an economically constrained environment.

I question whether anyone here "denies" that the globe has warmed since the trough of the "Little Ice Age". I certainly do not. I suspect most of us are rather glad it has warmed.

I believe many of us, myself included, are very skeptical of the AGW hypothesis and even more skeptical of the AGW hysteria. I acknowledge that it is not possible to "prove" what will happen 100 years in the future. It is even harder to "disprove".

I am extremely skeptical because my analysis suggests to me that none of the "solutions" to AGW being proposed publicly would actually "solve" the "problem" as defined. That makes me suspicious of the "slippery slope". I don't care how often or how loudly Waxman-Markey is proclaimed as the "solution" to "save the globe". My engineering analysis convinces me that such a claim is ridiculous on its face.

Ed

July, 27 2009

Edward Reid, Jr. says

The G8 "commitment" to limit global temperature rise to 2 C brought this to mind.

King Arthur (Camelot):

It's true! It's true! The crown has made it clear. The climate must be perfect all the year.

A law was made a distant moon ago here: July and August cannot be too hot. And there's a legal limit to the snow here In Camelot. The winter is forbidden till December And exits March the second on the dot. By order, summer lingers through September In Camelot. Camelot! Camelot! I know it sounds a bit bizarre, But in Camelot, Camelot That's how conditions are. The rain may never fall till after sundown. By eight, the morning fog must disappear. In short, there's simply not A more congenial spot For happily-ever-aftering than here In Camelot.

Camelot! Camelot! I know it gives a person pause, But in Camelot, Camelot Those are the legal laws. The snow may never slush upon the hillside. By nine p.m. the moonlight must appear. In short, there's simply not A more congenial spot For happily-ever-aftering than here In Camelot.

Ed :-)

July, 27 2009

Len Gould says

2 x 10^13 cu meters

July, 27 2009

Jim Beyer says

Ed,

If you were the head of the Soviet Army, you'd never have defeated the Germans, because you'd spend all your time planning exactly how you'd defeat their incursion. The same goes for Omaha beach when that "plan" went out the window.

AGW is a big enough problem that it will take years to figure out a plan, if it is indeed possible. Criticizing Kyoto as being insufficient is missing the point. If nothing else, it was a learning experience. We have a lot to learn.

And if you think this is all superfluous, then you are free to bow out and live your life without disruption. Just don't be a net contributor of CO2 to MY atmosphere. If you are still doing that, then expect further intrusions of this sort.

July, 27 2009

Len Gould says

Ed: Legislating support for solar thermal and nuclear over coal, electric transport over petroleum, is in no way comparable to legislating the date of the start of spring, even though it makes a cutsey obfuscation to interject.

July, 27 2009

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Len,

The G8 did not legislate anything. G8 announced a "goal" without a "plan", which renders it just a "wish". Therefore, it deserves the same level of respect as the song lyrics. The interjection was not an obfuscation, but rather an attempt at clarification, by comparison, with humor.

W-M is arguably an attempt to legislate lots of things, including "support for solar thermal and nuclear over coal, electric transport over petroleum", all wrapped up with a massive new federal revenue stream from the sale of emissions allowances.

Jim,

In both cases you mention above there was a plan which was believed to offer the opportunity for success. When they didn't, they were changed, very quickly and "on the fly". None of the "plans" on the table today regarding AGW offers the opportunity for success; and, the climate scientists on both sides of the issue KNOW that.

Before you can develop a plan, you must establish a goal or goals. In the case of AGW, the goal must be to stabilize atmospheric carbon concentrations, at least initially. That means first stopping the growth of annual emissions rates, followed by reductions in annual emissions rates. Continuing to "dig the hole deeper" (the developing countries) while others are "shoveling the dirt back into the hole" (the developed countries) is insane. (Just visualize the cartoon.)

Kyoto, if it taught us anything, taught us that nations will lie and cheat while continuing to maintain a self-righteous image. It certainly has not been a reassuring experience.

Ed

July, 27 2009

Len Gould says

Ed: I'm amazed! Are you promoting a "world government" which can legislate with authority over nation states? Good progress!

July, 27 2009

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Hardly!

The members of the G8 didn't legislate anything individually either; or, even promise to do so. They just made a joint "wish" when they couldn't agree to do anything.

The only thing I can imagine which would be worse than a larger federal government is an even larger world government.

Ed

July, 27 2009

Jim Beyer says

Ed,

So you are saying if all the shovels don't stop at exactly the same time, it's not a plan? Before one stops digging this hole (your analogy) then the digging will slow down at first. I don't see why this is so problematic to you. It just seems evidence of practical reality.

If some countries stop polluting whilst others continue, I admit, that's a problem. As I recall, slavery wasn't outlawed worldwide all at once either. That doesn't mean it still didn't make sense for some countries to outlaw it before others (and at an economic cost to them as well).

July, 27 2009

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Jim,

It certainly seemed problematic to a lot of people when the US didn't sign on to Kyoto. Right, Len? :-)

It is logical to stop digging the hole deeper before starting to fill it in again. Right now, China is digging faster than all of the developed countries would be expected to fill in the hole if W-M were adopted and adhered to by all of the developed countries. Therefore, the hole keeps getting deeper.

Maybe I'm just missing something.

July, 27 2009

Jeff Presley says

Len, Let's be crystal clear here shall we? You despise "scientist politicians" (by your OWN quote) but there is NO BETTER DEFINITION OF THE IPCC, which I'll remind you for the 1000th time stands for InterGOVERNMENTAL Panel on Climate Change. Better not read this link either since it COMPLETELY debunks your theory that the IPCC is such a great peer review process. And futhermore you're way off base as to the numbers of climate scientists IN THE WORLD! Saying there are thousands of climate scientists is as inaccurate as saying there are millions of nuclear engineers. Before the vast new riches, courtesy of the BUSH administration and a lot of sky is falling rhetoric from the political class, climate science was a sleepy little backwater eddy with a membership in the low hundreds worldwide. The TRUE climate scientists like Lindzen and Singer had their pedigree long before the "Johnny come latelys" with their, at best physical science degrees and their fear mongering.

Then we have so-called "scientists" like Hansen who screamed bloody murder under the Bush administration that he was being "muzzled" all this while giving over ONE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED interviews?!!?? Who is the "scientist politician" here? Hansen was BREAKING OFFICIAL GOVERNMENTAL POLICY by discussing policy that by definition was "above his pay grade" and when someone brought it to his attention the screaming began. But we've been over this ground before and you'll just ignore for the 1400th time having your arguments chopped out from beneath, ahh faith is such a wonderful thing. Whatever you do, don't read Hansen's latest because he's not saying nice things about the Obama administration's cap and trade plan either, so it is both topical to Fred's gold star article here and underscores that he's still a loose cannon on deck.

Your discussion on coal is so mistaken that I don't even know where to begin. Needless to say mining engineering is yet another area of your ignorance. You pull out the "expert" card every time someone steps on your holy grail, and yet pretend expertise yourself that is both ill warranted and misinformed. Leave THIS to the experts and Bunger is certainly one of those without a doubt.

Speaking of Bunger your post mentions this link, which I suspect was a mistake on your part, but one can never tell. From that link we find this quote, which is VERY interesting on the face of it, "In a small number of cases slight corrections were made after the publication of the document to prevent negative emissions which occurred as a result of the standardization procedure". So we have an admission (for a "small" as in we aren't going to tell you ALL the places we did it) of book-cooking so the numbers come out right. Well at least THERE they admit to cooking the books, as McIntyre has proven getting these "scientists" like Hansen to admit to ANYTHING they've done is about as easy as pulling hen's teeth, so he just has to continue catching them in lies and mistruths and support himself by donations NONE of which come from big oil. BTW McIntyre IS a mining engineer so for amusement I should send him your theories on Alberta coal.

July, 27 2009

James Carson says

Jim: The reason nobody "questioned" the ice core data THEN was that only a few dozen people were interested. Now that we are going to make $trillion decisions, the stakes are higher. Also, Beck and Jaworski have NOT been "discredited".

Len: The decrease is demonstrated in your own chart. You know that little hook down at the end of the five year average line that I have been yapping about. That average anomaly would not, could not, have hooked like that if temps were not falling. Get a clue.

Len: As for the climatologist count, HUNDREDS of qualified scientists now dissent from the so-called consensus. Many of them were part of the IPCC process and have either recanted, or say that they were overruled by the bureaucrats who wrote the summary.

Len: You do have a good point about the coal. (finally). We have been predicting the end of oil for many decades. This has been going on since the nineteenth century! As we adapted when we nearly drove whales to extinction hunting them for their oil for lamps, we will adapt again.

July, 27 2009

Jim Beyer says

A comment on Beck's paper "180 Years of atmospheric CO2 Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods"

[COMMENT]

In the period from about 1943-1946, the CO2 concentration dropped like a rock from 470ppm to 350ppm, the equivalent of removing almost 1 trillion metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. Talk about a giant sucking sound.

Then, in the next two years the CO2 concentration jumped back up by 80ppm (from 350ppm to 430ppm), the equivalent of adding 615 billion metric ton of CO2 to the atmosphere.

In the next couple years, it again dropped by 110ppm, the equivalent of sucking 845 billion metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.

For comparison, burning of fossil fuels currently increases the atmospheric CO2 concentration by about 1.5ppm (11.5 billion metric tons CO2) each year.

If we are to believe that the graph represents the actual atmospheric CO2 concentration before 1957, then presumably there must be physical mechanism(s) for such wild fluctuations in he atmospheric CO2 concentration.

My proposals: Black hole fly-bys to explain huge decreases in short time periods. Opening (and then closing) of giant CO2 valve allowing leak from the earth's interior to explain the large increases over short time periods.

Other proposals welcomed.

[End Comment]

James, earlier you asked me to do the math. Well, here's the math and it shows the Beck's findings don't make any sense.

July, 27 2009

Jeff Presley says

James I respectfully disagree with your assessment of Len's Alberta coal point, and the dissenting scientists number in the tens of thousands, not hundreds. Len, who understands nothing about mining, obviously, doesn't know what room and pillar means and doesn't understand stripping factor. As Hubbert said, when the amount of energy utilized to retrieve a product exceeds the energy available from said product, it will NOT be exploited. This is self-evident, but for example $billions had to be lost in ethanol plants in this country to drive that point home. When the Net Energy Ratio (NER) of ethanol was shown to be .78 (ie, less than even) the numbers were cooked and NER was replaced with EROEI. As we see from the asset values of those poor farmer coops, physics is not to be trifled with. I'll grant that Alberta has about 37 billion tons of coal available, and seriously doubt more than half of it will EVER be consumed.

Ferdinand's own countryman Anders Silvertsson from Uppsala University has a far more detailed analysis than Bunger's Study of World Oil Resources with a Comparison to IPCC Emissions Scenarios. Unfortunately I can't link to the many excellent graphs and charts because it is in .pdf format. Fred can perhaps translate the first page for us, but don't worry the rest is in excellent English. Furthermore Fred, perhaps you and Anders can have a drink together and peruse those Scandinavian beauties on the beach and discuss low viscosity lubricants and give us a detailed report?

July, 27 2009

Jeff Presley says

Jim Beyer, what years were those again? 1943-1946? What WORLD event was going on around that time? I'll give you a clue, no I'll give you TWO.

July, 27 2009

Len Gould says

Jeff: [QUOTE] "scientist politicians" (by your OWN quote) but there is NO BETTER DEFINITION OF THE IPCC[/QUOTE] Provide some citations of anything in an IPCC report which is not explicitly based on the work of qualified peer-reviewed subject specialists. Should be easy for one as discerning on the issue as yourself.

July, 27 2009

Jim Beyer says

According to the anti-GW site: http://www.warmingscaretactics.com/Skeptical_Scientists.php

Ernst-Georg Beck, M.Sc. Biology, Merian-Schule, Germany

Beck has a Master's degree in Biology, not meteorology or climate science. I've read he's a retired high school teacher, but I can't confirm that.

Jeff: World War II didn't not produce excessive amounts of CO2 (compared with industrial output of the 1990's-2000's.) We just blew up lots of stuff. And if anything, it would've gone UP, not down.

July, 27 2009

Len Gould says

Jeff: [QUOTE]Len, who understands nothing about mining[/QUOTE] -- see, that's why i don't believe a single thing you say. If you said the sun was up at noon I'd have to go to a window to verify. Why in the HECK would anyone but you propose room-and-pillar mining of high volume low-grade coal when in-situ gassification is obvoiusly the right approach? Ah, I forgot. It's a technique which was developed after your technical expertise stopped growing, eg. 1950.

July, 27 2009

Jeff Presley says

Len, let me guess, your finger was broken so you couldn't click ON THE LINK I ALREADY GAVE YOU!!! Here's a snippet for your perusal: Chapter 9 is the single most important chapter of the entire report because it is where the IPCC states, "it is very highly likely that greenhouse gas forcing has been the dominant cause of the observed global warming over the last 50 years". The IPCC leads us to believe that this statement is supported by a large number of reviewers. We often hear reference to 2,500 scientists supporting the IPCC's findings but that number supposedly includes about 1,5000 acting as chapter editors. Earlier it was shown that a total of 308 reviewers, individuals or government appointees, reviewed parts of the WG I report but even that figure is far higher than the number of reviewers for chapter 9. In fact only 62 reviewers commented on this chapter. Nineteen reviewers made just 1 comment and 18 made between 2 and 5 comments, and that total of 37 reviewers is 60% of the total. Just 10 reviewers made more than 20 comments for this, the most important chapter of the entire report, and yet some of these were typographical errors that were missed by many reviewers. The total of 62 reviewers is comprised of 8 government reviewers (designated as "Govt of ..."), 37 reviewers with potential vested interests and 17 reviewers who appear to be independent. Those 8 government reviewers cannot be considered to be impartial. All but 2 of the 8 governments signed the Kyoto Accord several years ago and even those two signed the Kyoto Agreement and therefore all of the 8 governments accepted the claim that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide have caused warming. It is difficult to imagine any reviewers acting under the auspices of those governments would be highly critical of a claim that their governments already accept. As a point of interest, among those 8 governments only the two non-signatories to Kyoto, the USA and Australia, were outside Europe. Despite its well-publicised beliefs about climate change the government of the United Kingdom was not among those eight, nor were the governments of any countries that claim to be at risk from rising seas. The 37 reviewers with vested interests are comprised of 7 who were authors of this same chapter and incidentally were all authors or co-authors of cited papers, 19 others whose papers were also cited, 5 more who were authors of other chapters and 4 who were otherwise involved in the IPCC's process by being overall editors, SPM authors, authors of additional material or working as technical support staff. Research into the 17 reviewers who appear to be independent revealed that several were far from impartial. Seven work at, or recently moved from, government and semi-government organisations that very likely receive research funding in accordance with the beliefs of those governments. These included reviewers who worked at GISS (USA), KNMI (The Netherlands), CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology (Australia), British Antarctic Survey and Hadley Centre (Britain), and Meteo France. According to a posting on the Internet by another reviewer, he was acting on behalf of a government but recorded as an individual rather than a government reviewer. Of the remaining 9 one appears to have a commercial or other vested interest in the claim of a significant man-made influence on climate and another was an author of chapters in one or more previous IPCC reports.

July, 27 2009

Jeff Presley says

Len I wasn't even born in 1950. I know more about in-situ than you do, but the ONLY way your massive carbon totals could work is if the product is ALL burned, otherwise there isn't that much carbon. Or do you believe the gasification is going to magically recover all those carbon atoms? And what is your brilliant scheme anyway? Burn the coal underground? Accomplishing what precisely? You are now treading dangerously close to MY area of expertise, which will be shown when I submit my own article to this site. I am talking real patents and real scientists, not the pie in the sky crap that you like to dream up.

July, 27 2009

Len Gould says

Jeff: Typical "All but 2 of the 8 governments signed the Kyoto Accord several years ago" -- In the convoluted "logic"? of your references, if the government of the country in which a reviewer lives has signed the Kyoto protocol, then THAT automatically invalidates their conclusions as tainted.

I give up. Not worth it.

July, 27 2009

Len Gould says

"And what is your brilliant scheme anyway? Burn the coal underground? Accomplishing what precisely?" -- conversion of the pure carbon into CO and H2 of course, so it can be brought to the surface via drilled pipe wells and directed to typical uses of gaseous fuels. Not a thing novel about that, except apparently to you ("?MY area of expertise" -- but never heard of coal gasification?)

July, 27 2009

James Carson says

JimB: My point is that Beck identified thousands of measurements that were systematically excluded that contradict the ice core data. I have no idea what the real measurements are, and neither do you. I have already pointed out why we can have no more confidence in ice core sampling than in direct measurements from the nineteenth century. As to his credibility in the scientific community, his work was published in a peer reviewed journal, and there are several PhD level scientists who have ratified his work. Do I really need to pull them up for you???

JeffP: I didn't mean to concur with the specifics of Len's numbers, although that reading is reasonable. My only point was that we have found replacement resources many many MANY times. Most of the time, we are mere years from depleting carbon based fuels entirely.

As to the number of dissenting scientists, I know of 700 as tabulated by Senator Inhofe. If you have a source that says that there are a lot more, by all means post a link.

Len: Since you would no doubt find the following quotes to be rank apostasy, I have little hope that you will read them, two of whom former IPCC scientists. But, others may find them interesting.

"Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” - UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

“The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists.” - Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

“I have found examples of a Summary saying precisely the opposite of what the scientists said,” explained South Afican Nuclear Physicist and Chemical Engineer Dr. Philip Lloyd, a UN IPCC co-coordinating lead author who has authored over 150 refereed publications.

James Carson, RisQuant Energy

July, 28 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

JEFF, "Ferdinand's own countryman*. Ferdinand is an American citizen, and couldn't be anything else. NOTE: COULDN't be, according to anyone who has had the misfortune to try to play ego games with him in a classroom or seminar room. Now, about those people on the Swedish beaches, welll....

As for Mr Silvertsson, I don't know him. But I suspect, just suspect, that somebody has told him to steer clear of my good self. I wonder why.

July, 28 2009

Jim Beyer says

James,

I know that atmospheric CO2 can't vary by 10s or 100's of ppm per year. And so do you. Beck pulled out old data from bad collections made 100 years ago in an effort to discredit more current findings. That's what happened. It's bad science.

July, 28 2009

Jim Beyer says

Len,

No, Jeff keeps hinting at his scheme to unlock oil shale, not coal. Like almost any new energy scheme, I double- and triple-check the thermal and heat transfer implications of any strategy when practically applied.

I'd bet on PHEVs before I'd bet on oil shale. They are not unrelated.

July, 28 2009

James Carson says

JimB: Please cite a peer reviewed article that discredits Becks's work. Quoting a computer scientists blog entry just doesn't cut it.

July, 28 2009

Jim Beyer says

James,

This Link leads to two links that critique Beck.

One is by Harro Meijer of the University of Groningen.

The other is by Ralph Keeling of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Please let me know when I've cut it.

July, 28 2009

Jim Beyer says

James,

Note also that Energy and Environment is not even recognized as an academic journal by ISI. Scopus lists it as a trade journal.

July, 28 2009

Jeff Presley says

Oh my goodness Mr. Gould, you've invented TOWN GAS? LOL

I knew where you were heading all along. The scary thing about you and your ilk Len is that you are the archetype of someone who quite literally knows just enough to be dangerous.

Now do the math and show me how your little region in Alberta gets to displace the 400 MILLION bbls per day of oil (which as Fred can ask you will come from WHERE and which because of the cumulative effect will have already exceeded all known and unknown oil reserves) which is what the IPCC projects to get THEIR carbon saturations. Add to that the growth in coal which they LIKEWISE factored into their scenarios (apparently missing your little hidden gem there in a province I seriously doubt you've even set FOOT in).

Beyer did a good little analysis to debunk Beck's paper (actually he did no such thing but Googled for "Beck and debunk" or some such). His paraphrasing from smarter people allowed him to say, "Where is this CO2 coming from?". Bunger and Silvertsson did exactly the same thing and further embarrassed the IPCC in the process. But they've got pretty thick skins and a LOT of political clout so they can handle it and force intelligent analysis to the fringes to be published in journals that will more and more be marginalized... well we've heard this song before.

July, 28 2009

Jeff Presley says

Carson, the list of dissenting scientists has been provided for you by Beyer on 7/27 "According to the anti-GW site: http://www.warmingscaretactics.com/Skeptical_Scientists.php" that site lists over 30K dissenting scientists as of May 2008. I personally know additional signatories since then but the site hasn't updated the list. What is known is that there are people who feel it is their right and privilege to attack those whose names are already printed, including demanding of employers that they be fired etc. so these are not cowards, however their numbers would be swelled enormously by those a little higher on the fear factor shall we say? For instance professors who may well be inclined to have a dissenting opinion but are sweating their tenure process.

Fred, there is no reason Anders would be afraid of you, if you look at his paper I'd be surprised you find anything there to disagree with. You both have a clear understanding of the economic and social reasons oil won't reach the kinds of numbers the IEA predicted and Herr Silvertsson adds the geologic background to cement the story. He may even be a future collaborator. On the beach you could practice a stochastic analysis of pulchritude based on melanin concentrations. ;)

July, 28 2009

Jim Beyer says

Jeff,

So you agree that Beck's paper is debunked?

July, 28 2009

Eli Rabett says

Two points.

First a rather useful review of CO2 concentration measurements can be found at http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html

Ferdinand E has done a thorough job, a good introduction for laymen.

Second, Ferdinand B has missed the boat. While much of the original criticism of Stern was of a similar bent, it was realized about a year later that the assignable costs for climate change were not linear with global temperature increase, but grow exponentially. Costs for mitigation are thus insurance against disaster. You can get a good idea of whlat the cost estimates are by looking at two figures, one from Stern and one from the IPCC report, which you can find at

http://rabett.blogspot.com/2007/12/return-of-fat-bird-eli-and-ms.htm

July, 28 2009

Jeff Presley says

Jim, Of course I will agree, so long as YOU agree that heat island effects LIKEWISE negate the temperature readings for EXACTLY the same reasons as your debunker (coincidentally our own newcomer Mr Rabet above) used, the CO2 concentrations were too high in the areas tested due to thermal inversion, pollution or whatever. Therefore, statements like the temperature is rising based on THOSE measurements also are invalid. Going to your favorite website we get to see those urban heat islands first hand, right next to air conditioning exhausts. BTW at the tail end of WWII, most of those cities from Beck's report were depopulating rapidly, hence the CO2 drop off. Thank you for agreeing with me. :)

BTW your new friend Eli has posted an invalid link above on his rabett blogspot. Since the link doesn't work I can't know what it says but of course I suspect from the content of his post that it is something of a Pascal's Wager straw man argument. By assigning nearly infinite scale costs, I can make ANYTHING economic or uneconomic as was done with Dr. Cooper's anti-nuclear "report". My statistics counter is that while it may be worth spending a dollar for a lottery ticket when the prize is trillions, it is NOT worth spending trillions, even if the prize is mega-trillions. At the low odds of success, the expected value even with a vast (but not infinite) reward is still quite negative, hence the rub. Pragmatists like Ed Reid and I want to see something that has a better chance of success, ESPECIALLY considering the immense costs. At least in my case if I'm expected to shoulder the burden of society's choice in this matter I sure as hell don't want weak science and shoddy models to guide the decision process.

July, 28 2009

Bob Amorosi says

Jeff,

I cannot defend or condemn any of the comments I've been reading here, but it certainly has been one of the most inspiring debates on an EP article in a long while.

One scientific fact is undeniable whether the earth's climate is warming or not - climatic patterns are dramatically changing, and not for the good of us. Historical seasonal patterns of decades ago are no longer reliably being repeated all over the world. Here in Ontario and eastern Canada we have been experiencing one of the coldest and wettest summers on record, all apparently because the jet stream has stayed much farther south than it "normally" did in the past during the summer months, leading many to disbelieve AGW. But in other parts of the world where the tropical air masses are present, they are experiencing record droughts and heat. In the Arctic the ice sheet melt-back during the summer months has been unprecedented in recent years, as also has been the gradual retreat of mountain glaciers in many parts of the northern hemisphere.

My point is do we really care weather these effects are due to warming or cooling of the global climate. About the only thing that our "changing" climate patterns correspond to in recent decades is man's likely increasing influence on it by increasing emissions and destruction of the biosphere like forestation etc.

So unless someone has other bullet-proof theories to what is causing our climate to change, isn't it reasonable to do SOMETHING about our influences rather than nothing? If nothing is done until a theory is proven rock solid valid, it could be too late with a price none of us can afford.

July, 28 2009

Jim Beyer says

Jeff,

I didn't know technical arguments were bartered, so the answer is no. I don't know anything about heat islands.

Add an l to Eli's link: http://rabett.blogspot.com/2007/12/return-of-fat-bird-eli-and-ms.html

July, 28 2009

Don Hirschberg says

Maybe Kyoto II i.e. Copenhagen is off-subect a bit but we might be flogging a dead horse here. In resent days both India and China have made it emminently clear they will not agree to any CO2 reductions In December. Quite the opposite. China will have maybe a couple dozen more coal burners on stream by then and has announced a goal of increasing coal production by 30% in the next 6 years. India says they already have very low CO2 emission per capita. Too low. And Japan says to only expect a 2% cut from them beyond Kyoto.

July, 28 2009

James Carson says

JimB: As the following link indicates, Energy & Environment is indexed in SCOPUS. You will have to show me where they say it is not an academic journal. http://www.multi-science.co.uk/ee.htm

I cannot take Rabett seriously. Nevertheless, I did check out the responses by Meijer and Keeling.

Meijer's critique in the link provided is unconvincing. While I would agree that the measurement error for Beck is very large, and problematic, Meijer fails to address the question as to how the differences can be systematically that large and so dramatically upwardly biased over thousands of observations. Very few of the historical observations are as low as the ice core data. There is virtually no overlap, in fact. Beck also makes the unaddressed and valid claim that the modern data as reported and the ice core data is averaged and that the disaggregated observations today have a much larger variance than reported.

Keeling's critique is not much better. He makes the point that any measurements taken before 1960 are pretty much worthless because his father's methods were not yet in use (convenient) and because the collection of the data was not systematic. Note that this second critique can also be applied to the ice core data.

Keeling: "In effect, Beck has turned back the clock to before 1957, rejecting the notion of an atmospheric background, a concept which has stood the test of 50 years of scientific scrutiny." I find this comment curious, if not bizarre. Beck wasn't 'rejecting' the notion of an atmospheric background, he tried to measure it, albeit with inadequate data.

Each of their criticisms of location and variability can just as easily be applied to the ice core data. At what time of day was this bubble formed? Under what conditions? Why do we believe that this observation is representative or otherwise more meaningful than a measurement taken in a Paris garden in 1856? Apply their critique of Beck, the ice core data is useless.

July, 28 2009

James Carson says

Let me put this more succinctly. If Meijer and Keeling are right about Beck, then you must reject the ice core data for the same reasons. You can't have it both ways.

July, 28 2009

Jeff Presley says

BobA, Climate has been changing since long before there was such a word, and will continue to change long after its meaning has been forgotten. For all we know, back when wine was grown in the north of England, Ontario was having blisteringly cold summers, unfortunately the natives didn't leave us a written history about it. The only thing REALLY different today is we have a global view that our ancestors couldn't and instant communications to convey that information.

JamesC, You've hit the nail on the head, in this kind of debate evidence that gets discarded by one side for one reason likewise discredits something on the other side for the SAME reason. Unfortunately as you see from Beyer's reply, the AGW crowd doesn't want to play that way. In fact the AGW side wants there not to be a debate at all, which is unfortunate because to my mind that just shows they've got a weak hand.

But this debate really is irrelevant. Bills WILL be passed and lifestyles WILL change. Whether for good or ill is not known yet, but the likelihood is quite strong that for many it will be painful. If you're currently paying 10 cents per kwh, expect to pay 20 or more. If your business won't survive at the new prices... oh well, perhaps you can move it to China.

July, 28 2009

Len Gould says

Jeff: "the AGW side wants there not to be a debate at all, which is unfortunate because to my mind that just shows they've got a weak hand." -- How does that argument line work again? Anyone who claims that scientific facts are irrefutable is simply exposing a weak hand. How conveninet for you that is!!

July, 28 2009

James Carson says

Jeff: I quite agree with your comments about the debate. However, I should add that I am not convinced that there is nothing to AGW. The evidence is weak, but there remains cause for concern. Certainly we should be looking into the increasing temperatures despite the fact that so much of the "literature" is nonsense. I have myself looked at the UAH data using ARIMA methods. The underlying processes are very complex. The simple GW rising temp model (positive drift) is not supported, but the increase is nevertheless disquieting.

July, 29 2009

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Len,

Precisely which irrefutable scientific facts convince you that the warming we have experienced until recently is all/predominantly/largely AGW?

Ed

July, 29 2009

Len Gould says

The coincidence of the rise in CO2 levels and the warming trend, combined with the physics of GHG's in earth's atmosphere and the historical similar coincidence of same for past 650,000 years.

July, 29 2009

Edward Reid, Jr. says

Len,

I grant that the recent coincidence is a fact. For the past decade, the coincidence is questionable.

Coincidence is not causation.

If coincidence were causation, the historical record would support attributing the increase in CO2 to the temperature increase, since temperature has preceeded CO2 increase. In the recent period of coincidence, temperature apparently led CO2 by ~100 years, based on the available data.

However, it now appears that whatever linkage might exist between temperature and CO2 is being tested by our somnolent sun. NASA currently acknowledges that we may be entering a solar minimum.

Should be interesting. Hopefully, if I am not "encouraged" to take the "little black pill" at one of my "end of life counselling sessions", I will be around to watch.

July, 29 2009

Jim Beyer says

reference Malfunction:

The ice core results correspond to the Milankovitch Cycles and thus have independent verification.

July, 29 2009

James Carson says

JimB, your tantrum over being challenged is very illuminating. Your statement "I have found that the AGW debate largely involves working to support or re-affirm well-established principles accepted by the the scientific community at large" says it all. You are not interested in a truly scientific dialogue in which you actually consider the other point of view. You are doing nothing more than defending your belief system. You are behaving just like the devoted acolyte who is beginning to have doubts and veers away from the discussion in frustration and ... fear?

Your notion of the skeptics as being outside the mainstream and not serious is obstinate and foolish. Hundreds, if not thousands of qualified scientists have expressed grave skepticism of AGW. I have cited many. I can cite many, many, MANY more. Why have you refused to consider their views? Is it because they are apostates?

Your link only shows that the CO2 levels vary with the Milankovitch cycles on a kiloyear time scales. They correlate. Okay, so what? It does NOT confirm, however, that the Vostok levels measured are are representative of anything other than a glacial environment.

July, 29 2009

Jim Beyer says

James,

This shows that the ice cores seem to correlate with actual CO2 values (Mauna Loa) at least fairly well: Law Dome It might not be perfect, but it doesn't have to be; Ice Age CO2 levels never got much above 300 ppm. Now we are close to 400 ppm, and it's risen nearly 100 ppm in the last hundred years. If the Ice Cores are even within 25% of the atmospheric levels at that time, then they confirm that present CO2 levels are without precedent in any recent history.

There are PLENTY of legitimate areas of discussion in the AGW debate; economic costs of mitigation, reliability and accuracy of surface temperature measurement; the actual effect of elevated CO2 levels in the atmosphere; the possible role of other mitigating, self-stabilizing forces, etc.

And there may well be lots of legitimate AGW skeptics. Yet you choose to cite Beck, Monckton, and Jaworowski. If there are so many of these thoughtful critics, then why are you leading off with the B or C team? Even Jeff has admitted that Beck is debunked.

In terms of my belief system, you might be surprised that I parallel Michael Crichton, who said on the Charlie Rose show that global warming is real, it should be addressed, but we shouldn't panic about it (or words to that effect) [Start watching the clip at about 40:00-45:00]. I concur. One shouldn't panic. That's unproductive. On the other hand, I find denial of our current situation (CO2 levels) similarly unproductive.

July, 29 2009

Jeff Presley says

Yeah I can see how scientists from HARVARD are the "B" team. "

Ancient ice shows warming ahead of CO2 (UPI) CO2 & temperature: ice core correlations (Luboš Motl, Ph.D. Theoretical Physicist, Harvard) QUOTE (Luboš Motl) The temperatures and carbon dioxide concentrations have been correlated but we know for sure that the temperature was the cause and the concentration was its consequence, not the other way around. If you look carefully at the graphs, you will see that the carbon dioxide concentrations lag behind the temperature by 800 years."

He is not the first and certainly not the last to note that even in the much-ballyhooed ice core data there is a substantial lag between the uptick of CO2 concentrations and the temperature. In other words, the temp goes UP first followed by the CO2. The obvious answer of course is the warmer ocean retains less CO2, just like your warm soda goes flat. Since the CO2 levels attributable to man only account for 1.5% of the TOTAL, we need to look at other sources/sinks as well. But I've said all this before and yes, this isn't my day job as I have better things to do with my time than peruse dusty old reports. He keeps things lively and approachable, albeit ruffling a few feathers at realclimate.org (otherwise known as realclimatepropaganda.org)

If I'm going to read anything with my valuable spare time, it had better be witty and urbane, as I largely find Herr Banks' articles to be. Keep up the good work Ferdinand! ;)

July, 29 2009

Jeff Presley says

BTW there are two separate links above, the extra carriage returns I had in my post version was devoured by the parser on this website.

July, 29 2009

Jim Beyer says

Jeff, if you actually read Caillon's Paper you'd see he's in agreement with the the theory of AGW.

Some quotes from the paper:

"This sequence of events is still in full agreement with the idea that CO2 plays, through its greenhouse effect, a key role in amplifying the initial orbital forcing. First, the 800-year time lag is short in comparison with the total duration of the temperature and CO2 increases ( 5000 years). Second, the CO2 increase clearly precedes the Northern Hemisphere deglaciation (Fig. 3)."

"The sequence of events during this Termination is fully consistent with CO2 participating in the latter 4200 years of the warming. The radiative forcing due to CO2 may serve as an amplifier of initial orbital forcing, which is then further amplified by fast atmospheric feedbacks (39) that are also at work for the present-day and future climate."

July, 29 2009

Jim Beyer says

Jeff,

And since you are now talking about CO2/temperature correlation, I assume you've given up on the issue of historic CO2 levels.

July, 29 2009

Jeff Presley says

Jim, you're grasping at straws. First of all Caillon is a politician, he knows that POLITICALLY he will NEVER GET ONE MORE CENT OF FUNDING if he comes out against AGW! Like every other "scientist politician" he is OBLIGATED to toe the party line in this regard, regardless of his personal beliefs or where the science leads him. Unlike those fortunate enough to either be retired or fully tenured, the rest MUST worship at the AGW shrine or face unemployment and worse. Second you're ignoring the substance of the research which conclusively demonstrated that CO2 levels FOLLOWED rather than PRECEDED warming. Furthermore he used a cross-check method so his results have even more validity than merely rehashing previous studies, as many of the other AGW "scientist politicians" are wont to do.

Have you made it to the second link yet?

So, let us rehash for YOU. Is there a correlation between CO2 and temperature? Answer YES, the CO2 rises AFTER the temperature rises!

July, 29 2009

Jim Beyer says

Orbital forcing triggers an initial temperature rise. This releases some CO2. This CO2 triggers more temperature rise and more CO2 is emitted.

The initial trigger was the orbital shift but the continuing rise of temperature was due to the CO2.

In your parlance, the temperature continues to rise AFTER the CO2 is released.

July, 29 2009

James Carson says

JimB: One more time.... Why are the ice core samples any more indicative of CO2 levels than the 19th century measurements? Much of the critique of Beck applies to them as well. Is Beck's analysis flawless? Of course not. A few of the points made by his critics are on point. Mostly, however, the genesis of their complaints is that the data is worthless. It is not worthless, it is just inadequate, as are all reanalysis studies.

The fact is that we have no idea what the atmospheric CO2 levels have been before 1960. At least, not within any reasonable margin of error. In fact, we do not have a good measure of temperatures either. All we have are climatic indicators, much of which contradicts the notion that temperatures are at some sort of high.

July, 29 2009

Jeff Presley says

JamesC, Wait a minute, now it is ORBITAL FLUCTUATIONS! Orbit changes in the past (this is new, but as we know AGW is like nailing jelly to a tree) now causes the CO2 to rise and that causes MORE CO2 to rise naturally (no bad humans to blame so we have to blame SOMETHING) and THEN the CO2 raises the temperature, well, with that pesky 800 yr lag, but not to worry, if you keep funding my research for the next 800 yrs (or at least until I'm safely dead and buried) I'll promise to keep presenting scary sounding scenarios to you. :)

July, 29 2009

Jim Beyer says

James & Jeff,

JimB: One more time.... Why are the ice core samples any more indicative of CO2 levels than the 19th century measurements?

Because they track the Milankovitch cycles (yes, Jeff, these are the orbital fluctuations that have triggered the last half dozen or so Ice Ages) and can be verified with other geologic records, like sea shell depositions. Beck's records don't track with anything. They indicate huge rises and fall in global CO2 with no mechanism to explain how this could possibly happen.

The Law Dome records track cores to more recent times and show that CO2 around 100 years ago was about 290 ppm or so.

James further says: The fact is that we have no idea what the atmospheric CO2 levels have been before 1960. This is false. We know is was about 250-300 ppm before the industrial age, and it has risen to 385 ppm since then. We know it fluctuates between 200-300ppm during the last several Ice Ages. Even if these numbers are off by 30%, it still means we are at unprecedented levels NOW than in the past 650,000 years.

July, 29 2009

James Carson says

JeffP: Why did you address that to me???

JimB: Just because the ice core data correlates with the Milankovitch cycles means little. My income correlates with Warren Buffetts. Does that mean I make as much money as he does? The correlation says nothing about levels.

As for what the atmospheric levels of CO2 were before 1960, I have already pointed out the fatal flaw in the ice core data. You have already asserted the point that Beck's re-analysis is flawed because of the lack of controls on the measurements. How is that any different from the ice core data? You can't have it both ways.

Nuclear Physicist and Chemical Engineer Dr. Philip Lloyd, a UN IPCC cocoordinating lead author on the Technical Report on Carbon Capture & Storage... "I have studied the ice core record, in detail, and am concerned that those who claim to have a model of our climate future haven't a clue about the forces driving our climate past"

Another point, the entire solar system shows distinctive signs of warming. Is that mere coincidence?

July, 29 2009

James Carson says

JimB: I've done a little reading this evening on ice core data. Our discussion has piqued my interest (again). I learned something interesting. Given the diffusion process of how the air bubbles form in the ice, each ice core measurement is, in effect, an AVERAGE of the CO2 concentrations on century time scales. We do not know the underlying variability on time scales less than a century because we can't.

So, your statement that CO2 levels have "never" been above 300ppm in 650,000 years based on ice core data is nonsense. You can say that the one hundred year average has never been above 300ppm. Even then, you would have to make the assumption that ice core core measurements are an unbiased estimate of CO2 levels everywhere. If vegetation introduces a bias when taken in a Parisian garden, mightn't the lack of vegetation in the middle of a continent bereft of life introduce the opposite bias?

July, 29 2009

Jeff Presley says

JamesC, I was being sarcastic and referring to Beyer's post immediately preceding my own. Sorry if that was confusing.

I find it interesting that the AGW proponents will grasp at any straw that supports their theory, but disregard log sized objects that are "inconvenient" to their "truth". So for instance, as you've noted the fact that Mars is 1C deg warmer must be due to those two pesky man made rovers toiling away on the planet and not that big yellow thing up in the sky? Jim wants to point to Milankovitch cycles, but DISREGARD them as CONTINUING to heat the planet opting to claim they STARTED the heating process but then had NOTHING to do with the further warming, blaming it instead on the CO2 "forcing". This is what is referred to as a red herring. If orbital oscillations cause the earth to be closer to the sun (and coincidentally if sunspot activity is heavy) the earth warms up. No big mystery here, the earth is being bombarded by tremendous energy from that big yellow thing all the time. In fact there's a discussion right here on EnergyPulse about solar heat energy. I haven't vetted the numbers but believe they are in the ballpark. So what happens when the earth receives 4,600 quadrillion BTU's of sun energy instead of 4,500? How about 5,000? When you hear hoof beats what's the first thing that comes to mind? Horses? Why obsess about reindeer then?

July, 30 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

Every now and then I catch a few minutes of the Larry King show, hoping that he will have a guest that is capable of talking about something sensible, and yesterday he had General Powell who - in apparently discussing a revitalization of the Republic Party - had climate as Number 2 on his list. When he said that I suddenly remembered the John McCain was a big climate man, and I suspect that very few congressional members of the anti-climate warming booster club are prepared to go public.

So, I guess that climate is going to be a big thing just about everywhere. Here in Sweden - where the environment is one of the best in the world - the belief is that if more is not done then everything everywhere is going to hell, regardless of what others do or don't, and while I don't have anything against keeping the west coast beaches of this country in apple pie order, I don't think that we are dealing with something that can always be discussed on the plane of logic.

July, 30 2009

Fred Linn says

Jeff P.----so what is the point of all your rambling? That there are natural cycles so humans digging and pumping billions of tons of carbon out of the ground and burning it everyday cann't possibly have any effect on the environment?

What is it that you want to convince people to do?

July, 30 2009

Len Gould says

Jim: "One shouldn't panic. That's unproductive. On the other hand, I find denial of our current situation (CO2 levels) similarly unproductive. " -- I find the scrabbling around in the wastebins of genuine science by the deniers to be the only evidence of panic in these sorts of discussions. The "Harvard therefore excellent" comment is particularly funny. Probably half the students who graduate Harvard couldn't get into bed much less a community college without their parents wealth.

July, 30 2009

Jim Beyer says

James,

The Law Dome cores go up to close to the present day and correlate pretty well with measured levels. That's why they know the cores represent a pretty good measurement of the CO2 of the past, not only in a relative sense, but in absolute numbers as well. Maybe the match isn't perfect, but it doesn't have to be; 30% is close enough to show we are sailing in uncharted waters right now.

The 100 year average issue is well-taken, but for a huge spike to occur and then vanish, again, one would need a mechanism(s) that would allow huge amounts of CO2 to enter and leave the atmosphere. The most likely way this could occur is via the oceans, probably via a delta Q (heat) of some kind. But again, what would be the mechanism? The records all show annual changes to CO2 to be in the 1-2 ppm range, not 10-20 ppm and certainly not 100-200 ppm. Given that a different mechanism would likely be needed to take the CO2 out, it's very unlikely (well nigh impossible) for a huge spike to be created and then vanish without showing up in the record.

Our oceans are huge, but they only interact with the atmosphere at its surface. There are practical limits (even with huge sunspot activity) as to how quickly they can be heated up in a single year.

Note also this averaging process will eliminate the time-of-day and time-of-season biases that can plague point data measurements such as those cited by Beck.

We are burning a million years of carbon sequestration (via green plant growth) annually with our coal and oil use. And with all of that, we are raising the CO2 levels 1-2 ppm per year. There's simply no mechanism to create (and remove) the spike you are speculating about.

July, 30 2009

Jim Beyer says

James,

Note that taking the 100 years of 1910-2010 with a beginning CO2 level of 290 ppm and an ending level of 385 ppm, and noting that levels were 320 ppm in 1960, we have an average level for this century of about 330 ppm or so, higher than any 100 year average in the ice cores.

July, 30 2009

James Carson says

JimB: You have no idea how these current measurements would change after hundreds or thousands of years under the ice. Do I have a problem with the science? No. It's the best we can do. Do I have a problem spending $Trilions because of the implications? Yes. I want a LOT more justification and validation.

July, 30 2009

Jim Beyer says

James,

I don't see building nuclear power plants instead of coal plants as costing Trillions more. And that's all we really have to do and can do.

July, 30 2009

Jeff Presley says

Fred Linn, do we REALLY burn BILLIONS of tons of fossil fuels every DAY? Wow! Thanks for educating me! And if you're right that all adds up to what percentage of the earth's CO2 budget (itself merely measured in the parts per million category)? If you guess 1.5%, you'd be pretty close. By all means let's reduce CO2 if it makes you feel good, all I've been saying for 2 years is let's not cripple the world's economies to do so. Hence tying it back to this article, in case you didn't remember the topic at hand. Here's an interesting piece you won't read, but others should and will.

Len, Jealous your folks didn't send you to Harvard? Me suspects that UNDERGRADUATE degrees from Harvard are more easily attainable than GRADUATE degrees, but what do me know? BTW my brother went to Yale and I could have gone - in both cases on free full ride scholarships, so not having wealthy parents isn't really a problem. Or maybe they just import smart guys like us to make up for the dullards with rich daddies. ;_)

JimB, you wisely dropped the orbital fluctuations point so I guess I can add that to my win column. Here's another link debunking that canard.. Guess the boys over at RealClimate are going to need to burn the midnight oil to refute the latest. Glad they're on the "winning" side what with all the "scientist politicians" supporting their position. BTW, they're about to lose the APS imprimatur, or the APS gets to lose hundreds of dues paying members who had NOTHING to do with the small subcommittee who published the alarmist statement in the first place. But Len doesn't respect any scientist who joins the denier camp, Nobel Prizes be damned. After all even Gore has one of them so what are they worth? Click on the link in that link and you'll have them name by name, and can make fun of the higher education locations they represent and/or got their diplomas at. You can even make fun of Len's cousin ;_)

Laurence I. Gould Professor of Physics University of Hartford Member Executive Board of the New England Section of the APS Chairman (2004), New England Section APS

July, 30 2009

James Carson says

JimB: There are two problems with your answer wrt nuclear. First, that is not the direction we are going. Second, we have not solved the problem of nuclear waste. Yes, I know we already have a perfectly acceptable waste repository under Yucca mountain. Nevertheless, decades of waste from a 1gw nuclear power plant in my state is sitting on a slab of concrete on an island in the middle of the Mississippi River. I do not care what the consultants say, that is brain-dead. Until that is solved, I cannot support nuclear.

July, 30 2009

Len Gould says

Jeff: "But Len doesn't respect any scientist who joins the denier camp" -- error, Jeff. No scientists have "joined" the denier camp, only quackes and some fakiers financed by the fossil fuel industries.

July, 30 2009

Jeff Presley says

Len took you all this time to smoke up the courage to make that post? Or did you drink up the courage, or both? LOL

BTW, just noticed my paste buffer had the same text so my third link above is wrong. Here's the corrected Open Letter to the American Physical Society. Naturally you didn't catch the mistake, you NEVER click on links. LOL

Now off to my dictionary to look up quackes and fakiers... LOL

July, 31 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

I thought about going to Harvard or Yale, Jeff, but ended up at a store front university of the kind that t so enjoy mentioning in my work - in addition to being expelled from engineering school and infantry leadership school of course. I love mentioning this, because 'Blackboard Jungle' was on TV recently, and I spent two years in one of those.

Anyway, I guess that it must be my bad education and educational habits that keep me from understanding this thing about nuclear waste that James is talking about. I spend a bit of time in France, and I'll be damned if I ever heard anyone in that country mention nuclear 'dechet' - although that could be due to my rotten knowedge of the French language. What I suspect is that when the next generation of nuclear equipment comes along (Gen 4) they are going to burn up all that waste. As a matter of fact I've given some thought to keeping some of it in my bedroom, in order to sell it to our French friends when the time comes.

Speaking of Gen 4 equipment, I have been assured that it will never appear. Of course I'm stupid enough to believe that the nuclear physicist who told me that HOPES that it wont.

July, 31 2009

Jim Beyer says

James,

The entire Great Lakes is contaminated with mercury from coal pant emissions. You can only eat fish you catch there once a week now. I'd say this is a considerably more vexing problem than "a slab" somewhere on an island in a river.

But like Jeff, you get off track from the issue we were discussing; past CO2 levels. First you denied it, now you are saying that clean-up is expensive. That may very well be. But that wasn't the point. The point is (no more and no less) that we are at CO2 levels unprecedented in the past 650,000 years. This is supported with strong scientific evidence.

July, 31 2009

Jim Beyer says

Jeff,

So this open letter has 60 signatories from APS members out of a total membership of 46,000. Let's charitably assume that 40,000 of them are cowering out of fear of losing DOE grants or whatever, and only 6,000 can voice their opinion freely. Congratulations! You've got to 1%!!!

July, 31 2009

Jeff Presley says

46K and 6K only 1%? Must be using Len's calculator. Those 60 people signed up within days of the letter's posting, there will be more and there HAVE been thousands of private letters to ASP HQ, including ones sent by friends of mine, Life Fellows of ASP. I noted that they haven't signed the online version, either they haven't seen it or feel they've already made their opinions known. The key will be when the folks stop paying dues of course...

As to off track topics, what was the name and topic of this article again? By rights the discussion shouldn't be devolving into the nuances of theories about how to measure CO2 and historic temperatures (not only unproven but CANNOT be proven), but rather the societal and economic impacts of Climate Change legislation. But by all means accuse ME of getting off track, I got thick skin. :)

July, 31 2009

James Carson says

Len, your posting "No scientists have "joined" the denier camp, only quackes and some fakiers financed by the fossil fuel industries." is ignorant and foolish. Many people have many times posted you lists of skeptical scientists. There are HUNDREDS if not thousands on the record as skeptical.

JimB, your comment on fish quality wrt mercury in the Great Lakes is nonsense. There are some problems with inland lakes, but NOT with the Great Lakes themselves. Show me a fish advisory for the great lakes that makes this once per week recommendation for anyone other than pregnant women and infants.

Banks, I really couldn't care less about the solution to nuclear waste in France and Sweden. In the US, it has not been solved. I still maintain that storing decades of such toxic waste on an island in the middle of the Mississippi River is downright foolish, not to mention irresponsible.

July, 31 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

I tell you what James Carson, you say that the waste problem hasn't been solved in the U.S., and I'm going to believe you. In fact a lot of things haven't been solved in the United States due to the American voters and their previous two presidents. Energy-wise I don't see much progress being made by the present president either, but I'm going to assume that he has other fish to fry. Howevert when he does get around to nuclear issues, I think that he could do a lot worse than to take a closer look at France and Sweden.

About the Great Lakes. The once a week recommendation for pregnant women and infants is enough to tell me that I don't want any part of fish caught in those lakes.

July, 31 2009

Jeff Presley says

August, 01 2009

Roger Arnold says

I think I would have to judge this whole dialog thread a low point for Energy Pulse. Jeff, you are fortunate that this is not a moderated forum with me as its moderator. Because if it were, the tone and character of your posts above would have earned you a permanent ban.

Jim, to keep this thread from being entirely wasted, I can address something you said you weren't clear about: separation of gases of different molecular weights.

Gases are infinitely miscible with one another; that's one of the defining characteristics of the gaseous state. They intermix freely, and each component behaves essentially as if the other components were not there. If you started with a container in which gas A was on one side of a divider and gas B on the other side, then when you removed the divider the two gases would diffuse through one another until each was distributed equally through the entire volume of the container.

In a mix of two gases of different molecular weight in a gravity field, the pressure of the mix decreases exponentially with altitude with a characteristic distance (the gravitational potential difference at which the presure is halved) that depends on the average molecular weight of the mix. (Assuming isothermal conditions throughout). But the partial pressure for each component decreases with a characteristic distance that depends on its own molecular weight. So the relative partial pressures of the two components shift with altitude. At higher altitudes, the mix will be relatively depleted in the heavier component compared to the lighter one. But the separation is a slow diffusion process, easily overwhelmed by any convective mixing. The lower atmosphere is dominated by convective mixing, which is why you won't find any difference in the oxygen to nitrogen level as a function of altitude.

Not below the tropopause, that is. But above the tropopause -- in the stratosphere, where the atmosphere is, uh, stratified -- you will, indeed, be able to measure a slow decline in the ratio of oxygen to nitrogen with increasing altitude. Along with a slightly stronger decline in the ratio of CO2 to other gases -- and a relative increase in helium.

August, 01 2009

Jim Beyer says

Roger,

You haven't read many of these discussions. I can think of FAR lower points...lol.

Yes, I was made clearer about those separations. I think it is called scale height. It is why hydrogen escapes faster than other gases because its scale height is higher and then it can be knocked away by solar wind particles or whatever.

Jeff, how about a challenge to see how many others sign that letter by say October 1? We could check back then. Not that it really matters. You will no doubt find any result to somehow be in support of your positions.

August, 01 2009

Jeff Presley says

Roger if I were to be banned then Len should be doubly so, and not just here but in multiple places for saying far worse than me and with far worse grammar. :)

Of course when the "banner", that would be you, had his own agenda, then it becomes difficult to take off the blinders and put personal prejudice aside. If you want a moderated site go to RealClimate, they don't allow ANYTHING that stands in the way of their agenda to hit their sacred pages. Perhaps they'll allow you to sign up as a censor, er I mean moderator. If I get a bit short sometimes it is surely because I get so fed up with others doing the same. Blame it on me if you want but I'm not one to back down from a bully, online or otherwise, never have never will.

I tell you what Roger, this will be my last post in this thread, not because I "lost" anything but because I have better things to do with my time. If this were a real moderated debate, in person I'd have a better score regardless, because of all the dropped arguments, that's the way it works in debate, called a flow sheet. But again, it doesn't matter whether there is ANY science to man made global warming, the politicians have deemed it so, therefore it is so. During the middle ages it didn't matter if you believed the earth revolved around the sun either, you were on the wrong side of the political powers.

August, 01 2009

Roger Arnold says

FWIW, Jeff, I have no problem with the substance of anyone's position regarding climate change issues, as long as they are respectful of others and are appear to be interested in the facts of the issue itself. It's snide insults and verbal bullying that offend me.

Your statement above expresses nicely what the problem is: you see the matter as a contest in which your personal standing is on the line. You're concerned about point scoring and "winning". Any tactic that furthers your position in the "contest" is OK with you, even if it means obscuring the issue and diverting attention from inconvenient points.

I quite understand that a lot of people -- maybe most -- operate on the same basis. It's just not what I look for in the comment threads on Energy Pulse. I have a perhaps quixotic interest in facts and issues, and zero interest in witnessing personal contests.

August, 01 2009

James Carson says

Banks: You claim to be an American, but you do not understand that the problem in the US with nuclear is not the President, but rather is Congress? As to not eating fish when there is an advisory regarding pregnant women, then you should never eat any fish, anywhere, any time.

Roger, if you would ban based on the tone of JeffP's posts, then you would ban just about everyone here. You are right, we are fortunate that you don't moderate this forum.

August, 02 2009

Don Hirschberg says

Off topic a bit, but the separation of gases by virtue of their MW by gravity so well explained by Roger Arnold reminded me that when I was in school the very idea of a real gas centrifuge bordered on heresy. Later we learned that this idea was actually proposed for separation of U235 and U238 (Manhattan Project) but was rejected in favor of diffusion for lack of development time. I had some exposure to centrifugal separation as a friend, Walter J. Podbielniak (lab distillation of refinery samples pre-chromatology and centrifugal extractors that both bear his name.)

August, 02 2009

Ferdinand E. Banks says

"Banks: You claim to be an American:::" Six years in the US Army makes me an American, and as for this thing with the President and Congress, it's like they said centuries ago in Uncle Sam's military: THERE ARE NO BAD REGIMENTS, JUST BAD OFFICERS.

Of course, as Jeff points out, the US is in retreat regardless of the number of wars that are going on, or trips to Mars and Venus that are being planned. The only mystery for me is why they decided to move backward instead of forward, unless somebody like Jon Stewart, with a gutter brain behind his gutter language, has decided that moving backward is the new American Way.

About EnergyPulse. Everything is relative in this old world, but when people ask me how to get an education in energy economics, I immediately send them to EnergyPulse. They ______ sure can't get an education in that subject from most of the books and most of the articles that are being written - with certain beautiful exceptions.

August, 02 2009

Don Hirschberg says

In my post above I should have mentioned perhaps Walter’s biggest contribution, Penicillin manufacture. Without Podbielniak centrifugal extractors penicillin production would have been indefinitely delayed.

August, 02 2009

Don Hirschberg says

Maybe I can make a late life career of being off topic. i have been drafted twice. In WWII I never finished Navy boot camp before they didn't want me - they didn't want "duration plus 6 months" men. Duration was then. The pretext was slow and irregular heat beat. After my school had repeatedly gotten deferments for me unrequested) I was again drafted for the Korean War.

i retian a very soft spot for the US Army. In contrast to every school and every employer the Army's word was good as gold. After a year of intensive trainng as an EM I got selected for OCS. Have all the jokes you want, officer schooling and getting those gold bars was the proudest day of my life.

My timing was bad. I had already paid every penny for my education between wars. Some posts on EnergyPulse annoy me.But not so much as to to have them censored.

August, 03 2009

Kenneth Kok says

James C .... The problem relative to nuclear waste in the US is political, 100 percent political. Technically the problem was resolved in the 1970s and additional experimental evidence was generated during the last few years in support of the GNEP initiative. Engineering wise all the systems have been designed but not all have been built and operated.

Calling spent fuel waste is like burning one gallon of gas from your 20 gallon tank and calling the remaining 19 gallons waste. Not only is there residual Uranium-235 and other fissile isotopes in the spent fuel there is also a very large amount of fissionable Uranium-238. Yes, this requires a fast spectrum reactor but it and all the leftover “depleted” uranium from previous enrichment processes (about 1,000,000 tons in the US alone) will yield the same 1 MW day per gram when it is fissioned.

August, 03 2009

James Carson says

Of course the problem is political. I never said that it wasn't.

June, 21 2013

Jaime Lopez says

Funny people

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