Patterico's Pontifications

4/23/2009

Green is the new Ponzi

Filed under: General — Karl @ 6:26 am

[Posted by Karl]

I forgot yesterday was Earth Day.  Then again, so has Vanity Fair magazine.  I must be in the group that thought electing Pres. Obama automatically fixed the environment. No, wait, that’s Democrats.

Speaking of the president:

The Obama administration is using Earth Day for launching another all-out effort to sell the American public and key lawmakers on “green jobs” as the solution for the United States’ environmental and economic woes.

However, a recent paper by professors Andrew P. Morriss, William T. Bogart and Roger E. Meiners, along with with international law expert Andrew Dorchak, concludes that “green jobs” programs are a scam:

Our review of the claims of green jobs proponents, however, leaves us skeptical because the green jobs literature is rife with internal contradictions, vague terminology, dubious science, and ignorance of basic economic principles. Indeed, the green jobs literature claims resemble the promises of long-term financial prosperity offered by Ponzi schemes. New taxes, increased public borrowing, and government subsidies will be needed to support green jobs programs. We find no evidence that these “investments” in green jobs can support the promised results. Investing taxpayers’ money in developing green jobs as an economic and environmental panacea, are likely, like a Ponzi scheme, to result in empty bank accounts.

Our review convinces us that the real purpose of the green jobs initiative is not to create jobs but to remake society. The sweeping changes advocated in these reports under the guise of greening our economy are intended to shift the American and world economies away from decentralized decision making, in favor of centralized planning. Therefore, instead of allowing individuals to voluntarily trade in free markets in pursuit of their own ends, green jobs advocates would instead discourage trade and allow technologies to be chosen by central planners and politicians, who would determine the choices faced by consumers and workers. By wrapping these policy shifts in the green jobs mantle, those advocating the reorganization of much of life hope to avoid a debate over the massive costly changes they want to impose.

In the Times of London, Dominic Lawson compares “green jobs” to subprime mortgages and has great fun dissecting the idiocy of British plans promoting electric cars, before turning to Obama’s schemes:

The key to a successful, wealth-generating economy is productivity. Saving energy is what businesses have done already, because it lowers their production costs. The problem with any form of subsidy is that it makes the consumer (through hidden taxes) pay to keep inherently uneconomic businesses “profitable”. Meanwhile, diversified energy companies such as Shell, with plenty of speculatively acquired wind-farm acreage, are salivating at the plans by Obama to introduce cap-and-trade carbon emissions targets for American industry.

Obama’s energy secretary, Steven Chu, had some soothing words for US manufacturing companies that complained that the new policy will make them even less competitive with Chinese exporters, since the people’s republic has indicated that it has no intention of inflicting a similar increase in energy costs on its own producers. He suggested that America might have to introduce some sort of “carbon-intensive” tariff on Chinese goods. One of China’s envoys, Li Gao, immediately retorted that such a carbon tariff would be a “disaster”, since it could lead to global trade war.

There’s nothing like a trade war in the middle of a global economic contraction.  Obamanomics: it’s like economics, but backwards.

–Karl

215 Responses to “Green is the new Ponzi”

  1. I got into an argument with a friend who’s a big Obama guy, and fancies himself a cutting – edge enviro. As he rhapsodized about the awesomeness of electric cars, I asked him where did he think all of that electricity was coming from – the outer planets, perhaps? I then outlined the massive increases in coal pollution that would be the direct byproduct if there was a big shift from oil, and that many more nuke plants would need to be constructed ASAP (which I hope happens regardless) – he didn’t have a snappy response to that unpleasant reality. My biggest problem with groups like The Sierra Club and other backers of these ideas is their blatant unwillingness to accept the inevitable trade – offs that will come from these overly – hyped initiatives.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  2. Every single time the local news types do a story on electric cars they always get orgasmic over the ‘free’ miles they get on the battery. They never ever mention that in order to recharge that battery you must plug the flipping car into a power source and that you must pay for that power source. Dumbasses.

    Just like any other cult, you can’t reason with them. Right now the enviro-nuts are all kinds of happy to be throwing virgins (the economy and our ability to power our technology) into the volcano (eco-friendly lunacy). You can’t even show them how increasing wealth and technology brings a society/culture/nation to naturally decrease their carbon output and naturally lessens pollution. It has happened every single time a nation gets past the point of subsistence.

    Vivian Louise (c0f830)

  3. Which article of the Constitution gives government the authority to decide what form of energy is produced and used in this country. I thought, no doubt falsely do to my more traditional education, the market would be the determining factor. Obama the Kenyan callsl fossil fuel the energy source of the past. Since we have almost a trillion barrels of the sh*t in oil shale in Colorado and vast oceans of untapped resources off shore, by utilizing those resources for sales to those not advanced (retarded) as the society Obama the Kenyan envisions, we could pay for the unproven. unknown and unavailable energy sources our great leader, Obama the Kenyan insists we limit our selves to no matter what the cost.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (57cae1)

  4. It’s too bad your friends and the local news types are not well informed. Your point that the electricity costs (and associated environmental costs) are glossed over is valid, but electric cars do still have environmental advantages over gas-powered cars.

    The biggest advantage is that electricity can be generated in many different ways; with a gasoline-powered car, you only have one option for fuel. Even existing electric cars get cleaner when power plants are cleaned up.

    To fully compare the two, you have to take into consideration the types of fuel used where you purchase electricity (coal is about 50% nationwide), how old the power plants are, and where the pollution itself is emitted (smog is bad in the cities, but that can be alleviated by charging a car from a power plant further away).

    A general shift from oil to electricity would require more electrical generation capacity, but new power plants require better pollution control than old ones, and generally they’re more efficient and cleaner than small gas engines. Plus, increased electricity demand in itself makes “green” power sources more viable, thanks to economies of scale, etc.

    Doug (5d0532)

  5. So Doug, I’d guess that you would be willing to support massive construction of nuclear facilities because they don’t pollute?

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  6. More info on the relative merits of gas vs. electric cars can be found in this report by the NRDC from 2007:

    A PHEV’s global warming pollution is significantly lower than a conventional vehicle of comparable size, even when factoring in emissions from the production and transmission of the electricity… In regions of the country that have a relatively clean generation mix, PHEVs are also likely to reduce soot and smog-forming pollution.

    The main point is that the efficiency of the vehicle, how the energy is produced, and the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) all affect total pollution. All three should be addressed together.

    Doug (5d0532)

  7. You bring up some valid points, Doug – but the devil is always in the details, specifically:

    - regarding the construction of new clean – energy powerplants, who’s going to pay for them, and are the same people advocating this going to accept their construction in their backyards? One need only to look at the rampant hypocricy of the Kennedy’s protesting the construction of the wind farm on the ocean (which they had long advocated for previously), which obstructed their lovely views from their coastal homes – even though they’re located almost 3 miles away.

    - we need more nuke powerplants, period. But again, many of the same advocates of electric cars are also against the evil nuclear plants, despite France’s demonstration of their widespread safety over the past three decades. While the technology for cleaner coal – firing plants is progressing, it’s nowhere near the lack of environmental degradation that nuclear energy provides. Granted, eventual economies of scale may kick in at some point in the future, but it’s still uncertain if that dynamic will ever occur, while our current technology regarding nukes is already there. CA is a prime example of the best that alternative energy can do (ie. solar power farms out in the desert and private/commercial applications), and also among the worst examples (bans on new nuke construction while buying costly and inefficient electrical power from far away).

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  8. So Doug, I’d guess that you would be willing to support massive construction of nuclear facilities because they don’t pollute?

    Don’t say they don’t pollute, because they do. But yes, environmentalist that I am, I’m resigned to accept that nuclear power is a necessary (and hopefully short-term) evil that must be part of the solution. I’m probably in the minority on that.

    Doug (5d0532)

  9. It’s a version of “feelings more important than facts” meme, Dmac.

    “Nuclear” is associated with “bomb” in the public mind. Remember the original name of the procedure we now call MRI. PR rules.

    Electricity is good, but the thought of where it comes from is more challenging. And a panoply of “experts” will appear to tell us all the complex problems will be solved with, say, windfarms. Or conservation (speaking of Jimmy Carter). Or biofuel.

    The fact is, we need to try everything.

    Personally, I am with you on nuclear. But I think that the culture has destroyed that possibility in our nation–while France just looks at us, confused. No Yucca Mountain debates for them.

    How we feel about nuclear power is much, much important than the facts. Didn’t that Jane Fonda movie prove nuclear is bad?

    Sigh.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  10. I should’ve done a much shorter post saying that those most in favor of the alternative energy approach are also the ones primarily against the implementation of the most practical aspects of achieving those goals.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  11. increasing wealth and technology brings a society/culture/nation to naturally decrease their carbon output and naturally lessens pollution

    I don’t think that statement is supportable, unless you call government regulation “natural”.

    Doug (5d0532)

  12. Absolutely, Dmac. There are some “greens” who are waking up to reason, however.

    I mean, if you buy into carbon dioxide as a horrific evil, nuclear power is the only alternative.

    A “green” who believes in AGW should be a big giant booster of nuclear. And some are.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  13. Doug, I don’t mean to be flippant, but look at Poland in 1960 and Poland today. There was a lot of…er…regulation in 1960 and very little wealth, and some of the worst pollution on the planet.

    Wealth and development does help.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  14. Since the sun’s activity levels are the primary cause of global warming and cooling, perhaps the environmentalists should be trying to take out a federal court order, or even going to the UN, to mandate that the sun maintain a more stable energy level — they’ve got to sue to control this, before that 2012 peak in sunspot activity (and of course, UN military action against the sun could be put on the table by the greenies if it continues to resist efforts to modify its behavior and become more Earth-friendly).

    If that’s too ambitious — 93 million miles one way is a long way for a process server to travel to serve a subpoena — maybe they should wait and just take legal action against the next major volcanic eruption, which can cause global cooling on a scale that all the SUVs, air conditioners and flatulent cows in the world couldn’t offset.

    John (692c5c)

  15. Eric, I readily concede that at one time there were legitimate concerns about nuclear that were buttressed by real – world scenarios. Having lived in IL for almost the entirety of my life, I watched ComEd make huge pitches for the incredible benefits of nuclear power (I believe IL is still among the states with the most nuke plants compared to the population), with the promise of increased safety and ultimately lower rates. Neither occured during the first two decades after their construction; the Zion plant being among the most notorious – it got so bad that the NRC had to shut the entire complex down, permanently – while our electrical rates have always been among the highest in the country, year – in and year – out. But we’ve come a long since those days, and it appears that nuke is the only viable option, at least in the short – term.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  16. Another point that pro-electrical car types forget is that in order to maximize mileage, the electric cars need to be small and light.

    Smaller and lighter cars will not be safer than cars produced now, and will inevitably lead to higher injury rates and an increase in serious injuries from common accidents.

    http://www.insurancenewsnet.org/html/BreakingNews/2009/0417/Size-and-weight-of-vehicles-Play-Major-Role-in-Crash-Safety.html

    Personally, I like to ensure my safety and the safety of my family when driving.

    Peter (eb3b76)

  17. Since the sun’s activity levels are the primary cause of global warming and cooling,

    I take issue with that assumption, John – although I agree that the sun’s activity levels have been ignored almost completely in the GW debate. However, that conclusion is far from certain at this point in time, and I still think that reducing the planet’s Co2 levels is necessary, primarily because our oceans are almost at the brink of their capacity to absorb any additional Co2 in the future, and vast tracts of previously – pristine areas have been degraded significantly. There also exists many huge, 20 – miles or more drifts of trash and chemicals that can been readily viewed from the air, and many species that were not even on the endangered list a few years ago are suddenly close to extinction. You can make the same case for the air we breathe, since countries like India and China are putting unimaginable amounts of untreated pollutants directly into the air, which forms massive clouds that eventually circumnavigate the globe. I’ve personally witnessed one of these clouds during my last visit to Vancouver Island, and the scale and scope of that thing is still difficult to describe.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  18. Wealth and development does help.

    That I can agree with, as wealthy nations can more easily afford regulations. My point was that no one voluntarily decreases pollution. That has to be mandated. But maybe you call that a natural part of economic development.

    Doug (5d0532)

  19. Another point that pro-electrical car types forget is that in order to maximize mileage, the electric cars need to be small and light.

    I don’t think Arnold Schwarzenegger would agree with you.

    Doug (5d0532)

  20. Another issue ignored with electric cars and hybrids is that manufacture and disposal of their batteries is a serious environmental problem given the exotic and dangerous compounds that they are made from these days.

    SPQR (72771e)

  21. #17 Doug – I call BS.

    For every pound of junk you throw out, that’s real $$ wasted – everyone in manufacturing recognizes that. It’s either raw materials you do not convert to product or added cost in disposing of the stuff. No mandates necessary – simple competition does the trick.

    The meme that the US is the biggest user of natural resources compared to it’s population is fatally flawed in that the US is the most productive economy in the world. So therefore the US is the most efficient means to convert raw materials into products. Being most efficient means the lowest cost per unit, including energy costs.

    Dr. K (eca563)

  22. the sun’s activity levels are the primary cause of global warming and cooling,

    the sun’s activity levels have been ignored almost completely in the GW debate.

    Both statements are just not true. Solar activity is well studied and always included in models of global warming. And recent changes in solar irradiance just aren’t large enough to explain temperature increases.

    In fact, solar activity is currently the lowest it’s been in almost a hundred years.

    Doug (5d0532)

  23. Doug, the low level of solar activity is the reason why the planet is cooling, not warming. Do you know what the Maunder Minimum is ? What happened then ?

    I then outlined the massive increases in coal pollution that would be the direct byproduct if there was a big shift from oil,

    Dmac, there is evidence that even the present coal fired electricity plants are more efficient and produce less carbon by-product than gasoline powered cars when comparing modes of ransportation. Moving to electricity as the primary source of transportation energy would be a good move but it requires massive investment in infrastructure of a type that is NOT on the Obama agenda. Principally that would be nuclear power and a huge upgrade to the power grid, including making it more resistant to EMP.

    I have a post on this.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  24. Can the CO2 emitters in Washington DC be sued for polution? I think if environmentalist were truely interested in saving the planet, and since most of them are CO2 emitters, they should take whatever steps necessary to stop emitting. I suggest to you Doug, that you stop breathing. Everything we eat depends directly or indirectly on CO2. Just like waterboarding, we have let the left define what something means. CO2 is a naturally occuring substance. No science knows how much there should be or should not be. There is no way to control it. History shows there were times when there was vastly more of it than now. Remember the commercial. Its not nice to fool with mother nature. But since this is just a ponzi scheme. We can hope those who are in the lead of this ruse will get to spend the time in prison that Bernie does. Start with the idiot Gore.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (57cae1)

  25. Further, for those who are so incline. I am selling carbon credits at great discount. Leave a comment if you have lots of cash and are interested. Also have some cheap realestate for sale off the coast of Florida.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (57cae1)

  26. “In fact,” you say? No, I don’t believe that’s a fact by any stretch of the imagination:
    http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2008/09/02/solar-3/

    Both statements are just not true.

    Really? Then please point to the studies regularly cited by the mainstream media that have included the extensive study of sunspot activity, specifically the ones by Dr. James Hansen, noted NASA GW alarmist and all – around quote machine.

    Whoops, Hansen was beclowned and defenestrated on his fraudulent findings, leading NASA to issue a retraction, making their prior claims about the infamous “hockey stick” of global temperature rise over the past decade as complete horsepucky:

    http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2008/11/responses-to-gavin-schmidt-part-2.html

    Please note the ridiculous “scientific” response when the errors were pointed out to NASA.

    You also cite NASA as the authority on sunspot activity, which begs the question – has NASA been truthful about it’s past findings concerning anything related to this issue, or are they on a dogmatic and highly biased crusade on the subject instead?

    Please understand that I agree that the earth and climate have been warming gradually over the past century, but I don’t agree with all the dogmatic and inflexible reasons behind it.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  27. But Mike, I was given to understand that Obama’s stimulus monies were to be spent on massive infrastructure upgrades! What happened to the hallowed “shovel ready” projects? (more like shoveling sh-t).

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  28. Doug,

    GM expects to see a market of 2,000 electric hummers in 2010. That is not much of a market and probably tells you why they are not a viable company.

    What your article doesn’t say is what the cost is, although with a market of 2000 vehicles, it is obviously over the average american’s ability to pay.

    Article also doesn’t tell you how much electricity is needed to power that vehicle. Just as people dropped hummers when gas hit $4 and up, they will drop this one when their electric bills go up by 500%.

    Peter (eb3b76)

  29. Doug,

    Nuclear plants have minuscule pollution figures. All plants have diesel generators for emergency power and to restart the plant if it goes offline. For a life-cycle approach, you have the mining equipment, uranium processing, and transportation emission, which are nowhere near emissions for coal. Probably around the level of solar or wind.

    The problem at Zion was a equipment that failed. The steam generators were damaged from the intense radiation to which they were exposed, and it would have been too expensive to fix. We could probably rebuild the plant on site if necessary.

    OmegaPaladin (3468f5)

  30. “…a market of 2,000 electric hummers in 2010…”

    Is that even legal? Not that there is anything wrong with that….

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  31. Back from an academic integrity hearing board meeting. Sigh. I hate watching students destroy their undergraduate careers by stupid choices (= cheating, which was are not supposed to say, preferring the more sanitary “violation of academic integrity guidelines”).

    Dmac, very reasonable on all counts. The “Redi Kilowatt” propaganda of the 50s and 60s was exactly that.

    What I would like to see is how France handles nuclear waste (other than sending it off to be dumped in Africa, I believe; I also think that the Japanese—!—do reprocesssing for them).

    As for the sun, I expect we are going to be getting schooled on this subject by Nature shortly. The current meme is that the CO2 we produce is more important to climate than solar irradiance. Any attempt to argue this point (say, with the Maunder Minimum data) tends to devolve into “environmental politics”—how things should be, rather than as they are.

    I think we should be trying anything and everything right now. And I am REALLY leery of the folks who want to try geoengineering to “prevent” global warming. We don’t understand climate, and the models—sorry about this—are not predictive.

    If the models were predictive (and if CO2 was genuinely the major driver) then we could plug in known CO2 levels and the model should spit out the global temperature. Except that doesn’t work. The model makers all prattle on about “modifers” and “multipliers.” But I notice that they don’t cite that when they claim disastrous future effects of CO2.

    Anyone who uses data selectively is selling something.

    For us, it is environmentalism as religion. Don’t disagree or argue, apostates. The debate is over!

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  32. As long as you’re not using them while plugged in during a shower.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  33. Trouble is, this is all but a done deal, and I don’t see any way out of it once it’s done. Seriously, have you tried to buy a 3.8 gal toilet lately? I thought that nonsense was totally ripe for repeal. This will be orders of magnitude harder to change back.

    Attila (Pillage Idiot) (b6cc49)

  34. (#20) For every pound of junk you throw out, that’s real $$ wasted – everyone in manufacturing recognizes that. It’s either raw materials you do not convert to product or added cost in disposing of the stuff. No mandates necessary – simple competition does the trick.

    That only works if the cost of controls/recovery is less than the cost of disposal/raw materials, which isn’t always so. It costs nothing to “dispose” of air pollution.

    Most of the costs of pollution are externalities; that is, the costs are borne by the community, not the polluter. The only way free market economics can achieve optimum, is if the costs are transferred back to the polluter, usually through programs like cap & trade, taxes or regulation.

    And even if pollution control is cost effective for the polluter, an investment that pays for itself in a few years still competes for capital with every other expenditure.

    Doug (5d0532)

  35. There has been quite a bit of cheating in the AGW literature, which inspires a lot of confidence in their estimates. The researcher who was supposed to be monitoring temperature sensors in China was found to be doing it from home while heat generating cities and factories grew up around the sensors. Then the data from Siberia showed a gross outlier value and it was found that data from September was input when the October data was lost. That will really give you warming.

    The new book by George Friedman, The Next 100 Years, states that global warming, which he accepts as valid, will have a minimal effect. In fact, I criticized the book in my review for not considering the positive effect it would have on Russia as Siberia becomes much more open to development. Siberia is a treasure house of minerals that would be much easier to access if there were real warming.

    I am getting very pessimistic about the future under Obama and have only the satisfaction that these uneducated Millennium Generation voters who elected him will have to live with the consequences.

    Mike K (8df289)

  36. Doug, in your zeal to indict the free market for pollution, has it come to your attention that the US is far less polluted, both air and water, than it was a generation ago ? If so, why is Cap and Trade necessary ?

    This is all leftist politics and the early results are already trickling in.

    Mike K (8df289)

  37. (#22) Doug, the low level of solar activity is the reason why the planet is cooling, not warming. Do you know what the Maunder Minimum is ? What happened then ?

    Yes, that coincided with the Little Ice Age, though causation is harder to prove.

    There are several processes that affect (force) global climate: solar variability, plate tectonics, Milankovitch cycles, and yes, greenhouse gas emissions (and many others). Saying that solar output does affect climate does not imply that carbon dioxide doesn’t. But you have to look at the magnitude of those changes. And this century, greenhouse gas emissions have overwhelmed the other forces.

    Doug (5d0532)

  38. California is a showcase of why these plans are silly. A few years ago when the infrastructure was so far behind demand that we were seeing rolling blackouts and brownouts the insane legislature there was trying to mandate that 10% of all new cars had to be electric. Our new house in 1999 had outlet boxes for car chargers in the garage, mandated by code for when we had all these electric cars. At a time when the power grid was daily breaking down during peak hours they wanted millions of commuters to arrive home at peak usage time and plug in high amperage chargers for their cars while hoping they didn’t have to take a spouse or child to the hospital before it recharged enough to get them there. At the same time the people not only blocked upgrades but were dismantling power plants and Damns to help the fishes and scrapping the dual fuel equipment that would allow some of the power plants to use fuel oil instead of scarce and expensive natural gas. Even if a majority of voters agree to new power plants, something I don’t see happening until far too late given the multiyear lead time on power plants, the projects would be tied up for decades by small groups of activists who cared nothing of peoples needs, as happens now. Are we to suspend democratic processes to get these things done. These people will block even wind and solar projects to protect the tortoises and birdies, saying mankind will just have to live without his tech toys. The obstructionist machines the liberals have encouraged to thwart voting majorities that didn’t buy their BS are truly coming home to roost now. There is no way these small groups of judges, lawyers, and eco terrorists will all go along, no matter how bad things get. Throw in hypocritical fat cats like Kennedy and Gore and this is all a con.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  39. I was in school in the 1970s when the sky was falling then, too. Only then, it was the next ice age and we were causing it.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  40. “…And this century, greenhouse gas emissions have overwhelmed the other forces….”

    Based on what data, other than computer modeling? Again, the models are not predictive.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  41. I notice that Doug is neatly sidestepping those arguments that are basically unanswerable from his POV.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  42. Who has determined the optimum temperature for the planet. Every time in history that mankind and civilization have thrived were during warmer periods if I recall. The naturally following cooler periods resulted in starvation, plague, war, and massive migrations and extinctions. Is there any time when a cooling period resulted in improvement for mankind?

    I welcome guidance here from better educated folks as I’m not properly qualified.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  43. Greenhouse gases have overwhelmed the other forces. You state that as though it is a fact.

    They want cap-and-trade because it fits in with their command-and-control view of things. That it will gouge the consumer is a feature, not a bug.

    JD (64340a)

  44. I might believe environmentalists more if they admitted the Hockey Stick graph was a hoax and the people responsible removed from the movement. Instead, the environementalists responsible for the graph are STILL insisting it’s right and trying to bring it back. And leading environmental lights, like Gore, still mention it despite it being completely discredited. Science? Lefties don’t need no stinking science when they have feelings.

    EBJ (2fd7f7)

  45. (#28) Nuclear plants have minuscule pollution figures.

    OmegaPaladin, your points are all well-made. When I said that nuclear plants pollute, I was thinking of the possibility for radiation leaks, as well as the long-lived radioactive waste generated, which isn’t technically pollution as long as it’s contained. (See for example the Sellafield plant in England.)

    If nuclear power is to be part of the solution, those problems will have to be addressed. Hopefully, they will.

    Doug (5d0532)

  46. Doug – I havr 3 questions that should be very simple.

    1) What is the optimal global temperature?
    2) What are the optimal CO2 levels?
    3) If the current problem is man-caused, how do you account for times prior to man when the temps and CO2 levels were higher than now?

    JD (64340a)

  47. (#35) Doug, in your zeal to indict the free market for pollution, has it come to your attention that the US is far less polluted, both air and water, than it was a generation ago ? If so, why is Cap and Trade necessary ?

    Don’t try to infer an agenda from my remarks. I am fully in support of free market solutions. But an unregulated free market does not work at optimum efficiency.

    Someone mentioned Bernie Madoff. Why was he arrested? Why are Ponzi schemes illegal (in a nod to the original topic of this post)?

    Why is the US less polluted now than a generation ago? Environmental regulation.

    Doug (5d0532)

  48. Why, EBJ!

    Haven’t you heard? Only the Right politicizes science! Experts say so. The debate is over! And if you don’t agree, you are the equivalent of a Holocaust Denier.

    No doubt the conclusions are due to a computer model.

    Seriously, folks, this is the “Nuclear Winter” business of the 80s, all over again. Folks biasing their science to support their politics.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  49. Again, back to #40. Data?

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  50. 3. Well, for one thing, JD, I would most certainly ignore any research that has gone into historic CO2 levels which indicates that the earth’s current levels are basically an all-time high, such as this:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/may/13/carbonemissions.climatechange

    Because that is a lefty site. Here is my official conservative source for how much impact humans have had on the earth’s climate:
    http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/zero.0.jpg

    Eat that, you liberal pieces of poo.

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  51. JD, probably dinosaur flatulence. The bastards brought about their own extinction, just like mankind. They deserved to die.

    Oh, and Vikings released heavy CO2 while rowing around in their ships ruling the world and this caused global warming then. Wait, maybe it caused global cooling. Whatever happened to the climate was what they caused!

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  52. And for folks interested in this topic, I highly recommend the following:

    http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2007/07/table-of-conten.html

    The author is a person without a political axe to grind, and understands numbers better than Al Gore (faint praise).

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  53. Doug, #47
    “Why are Ponzi schemes illegal ”

    They are not, Sir. They are just a government monopoly. See Social Security.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  54. I notice that Doug is neatly sidestepping those arguments that are basically unanswerable from his POV.

    Ouch! That’s a bit unfair. I’m only one guy and I type slowly.

    I don’t feel compelled to respond to every point, even those I disagree with.

    Doug (5d0532)

  55. “Why are Ponzi schemes illegal ”

    They are not, Sir. They are just a government monopoly. See Social Security.

    Touche!

    Doug (5d0532)

  56. “..historic CO2 levels which indicates that the earth’s current levels are basically an all-time high…”

    Um. I guess this depends on your definition of “historic.” Geologists will disagree. It’s not as cut and dried as Al Gore would have you believe.

    This is quite separate from the question of the role CO2 plays in global warming.

    And keep in mind that carbon dioxide is NOT the most important greenhouse gas. That would be water vapor, followed by methane.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  57. I seem to recall this Diamond character, not at all fondly.

    IF we are currently at all-time highs for CO2, why do we not have all-time highs for temps?

    Doug only feels compelled to answer the ones where the talking points are in order.

    Cap & trade is just a minor regulation of the free market.

    JD (64340a)

  58. We’re not at an all-time high for CO2, JD. Didn’t you see my second link?

    I shouldn’t have even posted that first link. We don’t need stupid studies to make our points. Can I be forgiven?

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  59. Yeah, the Diamond character was deemed a sock puppet not so very long ago, if I recall correctly.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  60. Final point. I find that many people without any background, at all, in science respond very strongly to this topic. It is something like people sounding dire about nuclear waste without studying the topic. I have found more than one person, in fact, who carried on with me about the dangers of nuclear power, who smoked cigarettes and rode a motorcycle without a helmet.

    This is why I recommend that everyone interested in this topic spend some time reading about it. Coyoteblog is a great source, because (as you will see if you can spare the time to read it), he doesn’t gloss over things, and spends some time discussing the data. He also isn’t terrifically partisan on the issue.

    He skewers the people who are using this topic for political purposes.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  61. Is it a good site because he finds that global warming is a sham, Eric?

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  62. Hey, Jeffrey…did your read the site, and the author’s comments?

    Why am I asking?

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  63. Wait. Do I smell foot powder?

    I thought so.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  64. No, Eric, ‘your’ did not read the site yet. I only read sites that agree with my conservative values. That is why I thought I fit in here. I guess you guys just are only willing to demonstrate this concept, but aren’t actually willing to vocalize it.

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  65. A corelation between CO2 and temperature….
    I seem to recall some ice-core studies of late that seem to show that the relationship that the Enviroweenies have been screaming about is bass-ackwards:
    It is not high levels of CO2 that cause high temps, but it is that high temps cause high levels of CO2.

    But then, when you don’t know squat about science, why would you care about what the real science is?
    This has always been about changing the way people live, and who has control over their lives;
    and the funding…

    AD (93d2f0)

  66. Ah yes, now I recall this one.
    I am going to take Machinist’s advise and not respond to the mendoucheous twatwaffle.

    JD (64340a)

  67. An opinion/assertion with no corroborating site! I like it, AD! Brilliant!

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  68. Moby, Moby on the wall
    Who’s the biggest Jackass of them all?
    Why it’s you, and you’re a big girl now!

    I don’t feel compelled to respond to every point, even those I disagree with

    Fair enough, Doug.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  69. BTW, just so we are speaking correctly, global warming is no longer the right phrase to use, since it is not actually … well, like …warming. It is the Global Climte Change Crisis.

    JD (64340a)

  70. JD: Another hallmark of the modern day conservative. If you can’t shout down your opponent, just ignore him. I like it. Why do you think the national conservative mouthpieces (talk radio) do not have intelligent, well-spoken liberal points of view on their programs?

    Give up? Because there aren’t any! I’ll bet you guys had to think about that one. The fact is that any intelligent, well-spoken person is simply not liberal. They all agree with us, if they are intelligent.

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  71. Well, Mr. Melville, how would you know if the website agrees with you, if you don’t spend some time reading it?

    Yeah, JD, just some kid trying to be a wit. He is a half correct.

    AD, that is one of the interesting issues regarding carbon dioxide. There is a lag time between warming and increases in CO2 (NOT the other way around). This is because the warmer temperatures drive dissolved CO2 out of the seawater.

    And the vast majority of CO2 on our planet is dissolved in the oceans.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  72. (#56) And keep in mind that carbon dioxide is NOT the most important greenhouse gas. That would be water vapor, followed by methane.

    Water vapor contributes the most to the greenhouse effect, but its concentration depends solely on temperature, so it is properly treated as a feedback, not a forcing. Methane has a stronger effect than any other gas on a mass basis, but it is present in much smaller concentrations and has a much shorter life-span in the atmosphere, so contributes about a third of the warming potential of CO2.

    (#57) Doug only feels compelled to answer the ones where the talking points are in order.

    Must we resort to name-calling? I have no illusion that I’m going to change anyone’s mind here. I respond when something interests me and I feel I can contribute something useful.

    Doug (5d0532)

  73. It is, indeed, a Moby.

    JD (64340a)

  74. Comment by Jeffrey Diamond — 4/23/2009 @ 12:03 pm
    You can start here:
    http://sayanythingblog.com/readers/entry/the_great_global_warming_swindle_new_documentary/

    AD (93d2f0)

  75. Eric,

    Do the numbers work out? Is the huge increase in CO2 in our atmosphere completely attributed to the relatively small temperature change? I know the chemistry behind this phenomenon, but I would encourage you to crunch the numbers. I believe it is the van’t Hoff equation, is it not?

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  76. Oh wait. Silly me, Eric. We don’t need equations to prove we are right. We are just right…. no ifs ands or buts.

    I would encourage you to read my favorite author, who is the guy who posted this:

    http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/zero.0.jpg

    See that? He thinks we have zero affect on the environment. He is right. So are we.

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  77. “…but its concentration depends solely on temperature, so it is properly treated as a feedback, not a forcing….”

    I would be VERY careful here. Please read the coyoteblog site about this very issue—in detail, with scientific references. CO2 concentration is also driven by temperature, and this is an indisputable part of the geological record—and one that Al Gore danced around in his silly documentary, because it showed, historically, increases in temperature predated increases is CO2 by about 800 years.

    Water vapor solely due to temperature? Careful. This is the problem with the entire topic: folks love the meme of AGW, and they tend to jump on data that agrees with their conclusions, and disagree with the data that does not.

    Good example: every warm record is trumpeted as a sign of AGW. Every cold record is dismissed.

    By the way, average temperatures have not been increasing since about 2002. Jim Hansen is going to have a stroke over that one, which is why goes to England makes those bizarre speeches about coal-fired power plants.

    This is my favorite example of that thinking:

    http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977339186

    Again, the modeling does not work. But the politics continues apace.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  78. Doug – I did not call you a name. I pointed out that you are very selective to what you respond to, which you admitted.

    I do not think that they Diamond person is a Moby. It is more like an imaginary talking caricature of what a Leftist thinks us neocon wingnuts are like.

    JD (64340a)

  79. Dear Doug: I appreciate your politeness, and I hope that you will give the blog I referenced a read. He really goes over a number of issues with a well trained numerate mind.

    Eric Blair (ad3775)

  80. Ridiculing the potential of green jobs in a global economy is reactionary folly.

    My late grandfather was born in 1903, 11 months before the age of powered flight took wing. It was an era when steel and steam power were kings and horse drawn transportation on unpaved roads was a norm, moving everything from armies across battlefields to delivering ice and coal to American homes. The horseless carriage was an expensive, noisy novelty. There was no infrastructure to support them to speak of; no big oil companies, no chain of gas stations, no Pep Boys and no DMV. Space travel was the stuff of science fiction and so deeply ridiculed as a possible reality, it made for front page news in the NY Times, chiding a proponent by the name of Robert H. Goddard. The electric light was still a wonder and practical radio a tinkerers curiosity.

    If you look closely at the first quarter of the 20th century, there were many fits and starts as new technologies and fresh ideas were tried. Indeed, television was panned at first as a novel and expensive gadget. Some of these ideas took root, others died away. Many motor car companies were formed back then but only a few grew and lasted into our time.

    So it will be with green technologies at the dawn of the 21st century. It’s called progress. And President Obama is a proponent of progressive government, with all the promise for winning successes and false starts that entails.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  81. Oh, Good Allah.

    JD (64340a)

  82. DCSCA: Take your reasoning and evidence elsewhere. They are of no use on conservative people like us. We are, after all, God’s people.

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  83. Yup, I agree. I believe he was banned under another name (or two) prior.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  84. DCSCA, #82, no, ridiculing green jobs is considered, rational thought based on economic study.

    Something you’ve no familiarity with.

    SPQR (72771e)

  85. All of the sites I regularly read have been infested with trolls. JD’s Law of Trolls holds that their frequency and intensity increases when Barcky is doing poorly.

    JD (64340a)

  86. You tell ‘em, SPQR. Way to speak to somebody else’s education level without any actual knowledge of it. Could you possibly comment on the urbanization of equatorial african areas while you’re at it?

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  87. #82,
    I think those new industries and technologies were by private enterprise and initiative, not government mandate, and the purpose was increased productivity or advancing mankind, not bridling the economy with union rice bowls and curtailing freedom.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  88. I disagree with JD (I hope I don’t get ridiculed for disagreeing with a fellow conservative here…). Baracky is always doing poorly because he is a democrat. There is nothing he can do that I will find even remotely satisfactory, because of the ‘D’ after his name on the ballot. As far as I’m concerned, he doesn’t even brush his teeth correctly.

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  89. #86- Hey spork, the town crier says there’s a sale on quills, sealing wax and parchment at Ye Ole Office Depot. Quick, saddle up the pony and ride!

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  90. Jeffrey – Nobody gets criticized for disagreeing with me. They do get criticized for being an abject liar, such as yourself.

    JD (64340a)

  91. If you can’t post anything specific that I have lied about, then labeling me a liar with no proof makes you a liar.

    But, conservatives can’t ever be liars… by definition. Therefore we must agree that there are two alternate realities so as not to actually suggest that a fellow conservative is actualy wrong about something.

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  92. Since the Earth was considerably warmer during the Medieval Warm Period (when the Vikings colonized Greenland and Vineland) than it is now, what was the great source of “greenhouse gasses” that brought about this period of warming?
    And, what great industrial contraction caused the cooling associated with the “Little Ice Age” (which only ended in the early-19th Century, coinciding with the beginning of the Industrial Age)?

    AD (93d2f0)

  93. You and I are not fellow conservatives, Jeffrey Diamond. The caricature of conservatism that you post about exists only in your head, and the conservatism that you describe, I do not adhere to. Couple that with the fact that you have done this act before here, and I am not at all out of bounds in calling BS on your act. Sorry, Machinist ;-)

    JD (64340a)

  94. (#46)
    1) What is the optimal global temperature?
    2) What are the optimal CO2 levels?
    3) If the current problem is man-caused, how do you account for times prior to man when the temps and CO2 levels were higher than now?

    Excellent questions, JD. Yes, temperature and CO2 levels have varied widely over the history of this planet. 500 million years ago, CO2 was 20 times what it is today! So why should we care if it goes up again?

    Because CO2 concentrations are at their highest level in at least the last 400,000 years, and are increasing faster than anytime in that period. So why is that a more important time scale?

    Because the oldest anatomically modern human fossils are only 200,000 years old. The Neolithic Revolution was only 10-15,000 years ago. Sumer, the oldest complex civilization, started 7,000 years ago. Human civilization has never had to deal with major environmental change before. And look how poorly we’ve dealt with isolated problems like Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

    The issue is not whether life will survive: species will go extinct, new ones will evolve; this is nothing new. We’ve had mass extinctions before; so what? No, the issue I care about is how will this affect us? It’s a totally selfish thing.

    [And yes, I realize I did not defend the idea that CO2 affects climate in this post. One thing at a time.]

    Doug (5d0532)

  95. DCSCA, really, we already understand your complete ignorance of all things economic, no need for reinforcement.

    SPQR (72771e)

  96. AD – That was a long time ago. Those don’t count.

    JD (64340a)

  97. I hope that you will give the blog I referenced a read.

    I’ve bookmarked it and will read it as soon as I can.

    Doug (5d0532)

  98. #89- To be sure, some were. Some were not. For instance, the failure of the government to strongly invest in aviation development in that era stalled the Wright Brothers and it was France and Germany that led the world in aircraft development until after WW1. And we know what happened to Billy Mitchell. Government investment in R&D evolved and excelled through the FDR years and learned from those earlier misjudgments.
    So it will be with the Obama Administration.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  99. JD, You certainly owe no apology to me, Sir. Respects.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  100. Doug, you are exaggerating the magnitude of the changes we are currently seeing when you drop lines about mass extinction. Gross exaggeration really. Human civilization has indeed dealt with the magnitude of temperature changes we are seeing currently – that’s why MBH had to manipulate the data so much to generate the faux “hockey stick” to make those historical changes appear to disappear.

    SPQR (72771e)

  101. SPQR- I know I sound like a broken record, but kudos to you! If you can’t come up with anything to counter an argument, just pretend that the other person has no education and therefore cannot speak to the subject.

    Let’s see the official breakdown, just to make sure that we are completely adhering to the conservative rulebook:

    conjecture: 100%
    Facts: 0%

    Yep, this argument is officially conservative. Excellent work. I approve.

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  102. Doug – if they were such excellent questions why didn’t you answer them?

    If CO2 levels are currently at historically high levels, by your calculus, why aren’t temperatures?

    I guess it is easier to ignore facts like how CO2 levels historically have followed periods of warming, not caused them.

    JD (64340a)

  103. 104:
    JD: It is easy to ignore that, in most forums, an assertion like that would normally require a link.

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  104. Jeffrey, I did come up with something “better” to counter DCSCA’s argument. In another thread, I pointed him to a recent study from Spain of their “green jobs” subsidization program that documented its failure rather spectacularly. DCSCA pretends that information does not exist. In yet another thread, I showed yet another economic study to support a claim I had made that he had ridiculed – and yet again, DCSCA ignores it.

    So spare me the nonsense about conversations you are not following.

    SPQR (72771e)

  105. Comment by Doug — 4/23/2009 @ 12:52 pm

    Are CO2 levels higher today than they were during the Medieval Warm Period?
    If so, why aren’t we herding goats on the Greenland coast as the Viking did?
    Why aren’t we making wine in vineyards on the Labrador coast?
    Why were new modern low temperature levels put into the record books over the last few Winters?
    It’s a scam, it’s always been a scam (to get public funding), and has much more to do with the surface condition of that yellow thingy that arises in the morn, and sets in the eve, than anything that we mere mortals can do here on this blighted piece of rock that we temporarily inhabit.

    AD (93d2f0)

  106. #100,Sir, I must respectfully disagree. The Wright brother’s led the world. When they went top Europe the leaders in aviation there were astounded and humbled by their achievements. Even the French said “We are nothing, we don’t exist”. The progress in aviation in Europe came because they went to war sooner and war always spurs progress and spending. When we went to war we soon caught up and passed them.

    Had Billy Mitchell gotten his way we might well have lost to the Japanese. I can think of few worse things than what he wanted to do. He was unprincipled and dishonest in advocating for his causes.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  107. I think you misjudge me, SPQR. I am on your side. That you suggest my lack of evidence is a problem is laughable, because we are on the same side and using the same tactics.

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  108. SPQR – it is nothing other than a garden variety under a bridge thingy.

    Diamond – It was linked above in the comments, and discussed as well. That you did not read that which you proclaim to have knowledge about is no surprise.

    JD (64340a)

  109. You still have not come up with anything I have lied about, JD. *sigh* I guess you are a liar.

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  110. Well, I am out. Perhaps I will be back in a few weeks? Goodbye, friends!

    Jeffrey Diamond (b3de8f)

  111. I pointed out above that you and I are not fellow conservatives, or fellow anythings for that matter. Your idea of conservatism is a caricature of conservatism. Plus, you are a dishonest douche since it is apprent to anyone with more than 1 brain cell that you are a troll, a Moby, and a Leftist.

    Now, I will resume following Machinists most excellent advise, and pretend that the lying Moby does not exist.

    JD (64340a)

  112. AD – But … but …. That is different. Or that was a long time ago. We are worried about now, and even more importantly, tomorrow. For the kids.

    JD (64340a)

  113. (#79) CO2 concentration is also driven by temperature, and this is an indisputable part of the geological record—and one that Al Gore danced around in his silly documentary, because it showed, historically, increases in temperature predated increases is CO2 by about 800 years.

    This does not contradict AGW. All it shows is that temperature changes in the past were triggered by something other than the burning of massive amounts of fossil fuel. That does not prove that burning massive amounts of fossil fuel won’t change the climate, just that it hasn’t happened before. (But we already knew that.)

    It also indicates that there is a feedback somewhere that causes an increase of CO2 concentrations when temperature increases. What this is, I don’t know, probably several things. For example, we’ve already seen signs of CO2 being released from melting permafrost. Rather than causing relief, this causes more worry.

    But the geological record certainly doesn’t prove that CO2 doesn’t increase temperature. If you review those records, you will see that temperature continues to rise once CO2 concentrations begin to increase.

    Take a few simple physical principles:
    * CO2 is transparent to visible light.
    * CO2 is opaque to infrared radiation (much of it anyway).
    * We are increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

    The existence of other processes (I mentioned some previously) will never contradict the existence of these processes. Don’t fall into the trap of saying because “X” affects climate we don’t have to worry about “Y”, because there are a lot of “X”s, and there is a great big “Y”.

    Good example: every warm record is trumpeted as a sign of AGW. Every cold record is dismissed.

    By the way, average temperatures have not been increasing since about 2002.

    Eric, you warn against cherry-picking and immediately commit the same error. Many recent studies show that climate trends have to be examined on at least a decadal scale, maybe longer. 2002 was only 7 years ago!

    Doug (5d0532)

  114. #115,

    I have still not heard any reason why a temperature increase over today’s is bad. Mankind has thrived during such warmer periods in the past and suffered greatly when things cooled, as they always have.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  115. Doug, could you inform us on how, before the Industrial Age, people warmed their abodes, cooked their food, and provided illumination for themselves?
    Did they not use “fossil fuels” and other naturally occurring substances that when burned, produced light, heat, and C-O-2?
    BTW, have you forsaken driving your internal-combustion powered vehicle, that (through its’ mandated catalytic converter) produces an exhaust that is approx 13% CO2 – far in excess of the natural level of this gas in the atmosphere?

    AD (93d2f0)

  116. We are being told that Obama MUST take drastic measures in the next few years to stave off disastrous and irreversible climate change, To “save the planet”, yet mankind and the planet have done quite well in warmer times.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  117. The only reason for the unseemly haste that I can see is the need to seize power before the current cooling shows how ridiculous the claims are.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  118. A few quickies and I gotta go:

    Since the Earth was considerably warmer during the Medieval Warm Period

    It wasn’t.

    Mankind has thrived during such warmer periods in the past and suffered greatly when things cooled, as they always have.

    As I said, mankind has never experienced this climate before. Assuming it will be good is as bad as assuming it will be bad. (But I realize I haven’t defended the argument that it will be bad. No time now!)

    Doug, could you inform us on how, before the Industrial Age, people warmed their abodes, cooked their food, and provided illumination for themselves? Did they not use “fossil fuels” and other naturally occurring substances that when burned, produced light, heat, and C-O-2?

    Yes they did, but not in the same amounts as since the Industrial Revolution.

    BTW, have you forsaken driving your internal-combustion powered vehicle, that (through its’ mandated catalytic converter) produces an exhaust that is approx 13% CO2 – far in excess of the natural level of this gas in the atmosphere?

    My personal level of hypocrisy does not prove or disprove AGW.

    Doug (5d0532)

  119. Doug, the graph you link to is based on studies like MBH’s famous “hockey stick” study and other that derive from the same set of data and that have been pretty well discredited.

    SPQR (72771e)

  120. Doug, unfortunate.

    To say the world is hotter than any time in history is questionable but even if true I think it can be said that the top civilizations in human history have always been in warmer or temperate climates. The cold weather cultures that have had major impact such as the Vikings and Mongols have migrated South and conquered more developed warm weather cultures. Why is today’s temperature assumed to be the line across which all warming is disastrous? If previous warming has always been good for mankind shouldn’t we assume the same for further warming? Is it arbitrarily assumed that this is the cliff? Why?

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  121. It seems we should have good reasons before hobbling our economy and giving up on the concept of personal liberty.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  122. The dishonesty and hysteria associated with this movement makes me doubt such reasons exist.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  123. Comment by Doug — 4/23/2009 @ 1:48 pm

    Does it instead, demonstrate your level of moronic stupidity and devotion to hysterical drivel?
    First it was the “Hole in the Ozone Layer” above Antarctica, and they banned R-12, and then we found out that the hole was a naturally, reoccurring phenomona that was more closely corelated to other naturally occcurring phenomona than to the release of CFE’s.
    Now, it is the “record high temperatures” due to man’s obscene use of fossile fuels; and, at the same time, the refusal of many environmental groups to endorse the use of nuclear energy for electrical production when it is completely carbon free and would free us from the dependance on “fossile fuel”.
    Plus, it is their complete inability to explain where they went wrong in the 70′s over the great “global Cooling” crisis.
    Along with the inability of the computer models they rely on to predict the future, to predict the present when past, verified, data is entered.
    May you curse the darkness in your freezing cave as you starve due to a world-wide famine.

    AD (93d2f0)

  124. “..your level of moronic stupidity and devotion to hysterical drivel?”

    I wonder if this is called for. I think Doug is misinformed and I am no more convinced by his points than he is by mine, but he has debated in a civil and reasonable manner on this thread. Does that constitute a troll? I have disagreed and been unmoved and unconvinced myself on occasion though I was treated with respect and courtesy, even by those I disagreed with. Was I a troll.

    There were two trolls on this thread and they deserved contempt but I can’t see how Doug fits that description. Have I missed something?

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  125. Comment by Machinist — 4/23/2009 @ 2:35 pm
    Instead of advancing his argument, he relies on the same discredited “data” over and over, ignoring any and all contrary positions.
    It is always the since the Industrial Revolution and (this is one I love for its treble negative) But the geological record certainly doesn’t prove that CO2 doesn’t increase temperature.
    He has professed his “faith” in AGW, and no amount of factual data professed and advanced by the “heretics” to that faith will deter him, or AlGore, or James Hansen, among others.
    The fact that man’s current position is an affirmation of his ability to overcome the adverse conditions that he encounters in nature, means nothing to the cult of Gaia.
    We must submit, for we are not worthy.

    AD (93d2f0)

  126. No, you haven’t missed anything.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  127. AD, I believe his sources are wrong but I can’t claim experience or proof to say it is proven so. Why should he accept my sources if he feels they are wrong? I remain open to proof that he is correct and all I think I can ask is that he reciprocate, unless there comes indisputable proof, and as strongly as I believe in my opinions I can not claim to have seen such. I can not say this is moronic stupidity any more than I can call another man’s spiritual beliefs heresy.

    Dmac, thank you, Sir.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  128. “compelling” was the word I couldn’t think of above. Sorry, it’s frustrating being unedumacated.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  129. When two people can not reach consensus on a historical or factual point the only way to advance the debate is to move along. This is why I did not dispute his assertion that global temps are at an all time high in human history and simply asked why that was assumed to be a bad thing given historical patterns. I do not find insults a successful tool in convincing reasonable people to take a second look at an issue. YMMV.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  130. I guess I’ve been watching this debate for far too long to allow discreditied opinions to pass without comment. When they become recycled, it says more about the user’s beliefs than about the argument itself.
    Doug has bought into a discredited scam, but can’t bring himself to recognize it.
    I feel sorry for him.

    AD (93d2f0)

  131. I agree with you there, Sir.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  132. To me, this can be traced back to a mindset. They want to change our behavior, either by hook or by crook, to conform with their ideology. And in this case, it is obvious that they have taken the crook route to get there.

    JD (870a39)

  133. A few quickies and I gotta go:

    Since the Earth was considerably warmer during the Medieval Warm Period

    It wasn’t.

    Doug, you had me going there until I looked at your link. First it was Wikipedia, well known to be biased on AGW. There is an editor who quickly removes any conflicting posting.

    Two, the Hockey Stick has been discredited and you used it !

    Sorry, I thought you might be a reasonable proponent of your theory but I was wrong.

    The Holocene Maximum was far warmer than now and the Little Ice Age ended in 1850 suggesting that we are in a rebound period that may have ended about 10 years ago. The human effect on climate began about 10,000 years ago with agriculture ad clearing of European forests. The effect may have been an end to ice ages.

    I am not ready to see the world economy, and especially the US economy because 80% of the world is too sensible to be snookered like Gore is trying to do, destroyed for a theory that cannot be proven.

    MIke K (8df289)

  134. We should all know enough by now not to use Wikipedia for anything controversial. I myself use it as a research tool, but would look for a primary source for anything definitive.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (bd41c0)

  135. The Maunder Minimum, the Mini Ice Age, and even the recent variations in sun spots suggest that the recent claims by AGW opponents that they’ve factored out sun variability in recent temperature variation to be low in credibility.

    SPQR (72771e)

  136. Since they only recently deigned to actually mention sun spot activity, that prior silence speaks volumes.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  137. If Al Gore could get rich peddling this bullshit you know it’s gotta be a scam.

    I think it’s great that they read a disclaimer to British school kids before they show his movie now that it isn’t science – just like Michael Moore’s movies aren’t documentaries. Pure propagandists, the both of them.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  138. Comment by daleyrocks — 4/23/2009 @ 9:56 pm

    I agree. Everything I happen to agree with is truth, while that which I don’t agree gets discarded in the ‘propaganda’ pile.

    science = propaganda
    radioactive dating = propaganda
    the moon landing (sure, it happened during nixon’s administration, but it was spurred on by those evil libs = propaganda

    However Bush says we’re going to Mars, well, in my opinion we already have (or maybe we’re on our way there now). We have to take him at his word. It is gospel.

    Jeffrey Diamond (1f03f0)

  139. The Moby woke up full of shite. Same shite, different day.

    JD (34eca7)

  140. Moby’s are so tiresome, particularly those who cannot even come up with an original Trolling meme. What’s next on your hit parade, something along the lines of BushHitlerNotinourNameKoranFlushingImoutofmymindhelpsomeonecallmymotherthecatslitterboxisfullidontknowhowtoemptyitwhoamiwhatamiheywhatsthisthingstickingintomybottomoopsthatsmythingy!

    Try harder next time, mmmkay?

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  141. Good morning everyone! Some interesting comments since yesterday. I only have a few responses which I’m sure will disappoint. :)

    (#121) Doug, the graph you link to is based on studies like MBH’s famous “hockey stick” study and other that derive from the same set of data and that have been pretty well discredited.

    That graph compiles data from direct temperature measurements, glacier measurements, tree-ring data, ocean sediments, boreholes, corals, and speleotherms (yes, speleotherms!) from dozens of different papers. Are you saying all of them have been discredited? Do you have better data to share?

    (#122) To say the world is hotter than any time in history is questionable but even if true I think it can be said that the top civilizations in human history have always been in warmer or temperate climates. The cold weather cultures that have had major impact such as the Vikings and Mongols have migrated South and conquered more developed warm weather cultures. Why is today’s temperature assumed to be the line across which all warming is disastrous? If previous warming has always been good for mankind shouldn’t we assume the same for further warming? Is it arbitrarily assumed that this is the cliff? Why?

    I’ll grant your point about historical temperatures, although the US was established during the Little Ice Age, so be careful or someone might think you’re being unpatriotic! But even if previous warm periods were good for civilization, they’re not a good example for what to expect from the predicted temperature increases. We’re simply in untested territory.

    Your question is a very important one, but I’ve avoided answering it because most on this site don’t even accept the reality of climate change, so discussing the effects of climate change is putting the cart before the horse. Plus, I’m not as well-informed on the subject, so I don’t have as much to contribute.

    All I can offer at this point is that the most compelling research I have seen has convinced me that the changes are going to be dramatic and detrimental. But you have access to the same information as I, and you remain unconvinced.

    (#136) Doug, you had me going there until I looked at your link. First it was Wikipedia, well known to be biased on AGW… Sorry, I thought you might be a reasonable proponent of your theory but I was wrong.

    I’m well aware of Wikipedia’s limitations. I link there from time to time because it’s convenient, and the better written articles include reference links for more research. For example, that page links to this NOAA Paleoclimatology page with links to all of the data sets used.

    Doug (5d0532)

  142. I’m not a troll dmac. I have no memes, only truth. I am one of you, remember? I have not disagreed with you at all concerning any major ideological statement. I hate the gays, too! Accept me! Accept me!

    Jeffrey Diamond (df26a8)

  143. because most on this site don’t even accept the reality of climate change

    Doug, hile I can’t speak for anyone else here, it would appear that the majority on this site do in fact accept that climate change has occurred over the past Century – the differences are pertaining to the reasons behind that change. I have no truck with those that want to reduce the overall global output of C02, but the methods that many on the enviro left are advocating are not only extremely radical, but by no means has their validity been established – it’s all theory at this point. Have you read Lomborg’s essays and thoughts on the matter? He’s a definite GW skeptic, but he posits that even if the GW alarmists are correct, would that massive amount of money not be better spent eradicating human poverty and disease in the short – term? He looks at the entire subject with an economist’s eye, and that debate is sorely lacking among many on the Left these days, primarily because they know that if the true costs of their programs ever became fully disclosed, the Western nations would immediately reject them out of hand.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  144. I hate the gays, too! Accept me! Accept me!

    The Moby is apparently unaware of what the word projection entails. As with the other rants, he doth protest way too mucheth.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  145. It lies again. You are the only one here that hates gays.

    JD (788853)

  146. #145 Doug:

    Are you saying all of them have been discredited?

    Not all data is relevant to your question, but yes, the “hockeystick” prediction of modeled climate change has been thoroughly discredited.

    … they’re not a good example for what to expect from the predicted temperature increases.

    They aren’t? Maybe you could explain why not?

    We’re simply in untested territory.

    Something worth remembering. There is sufficient chaos in the system under study that it cannot be reliably modeled, nor the models tested in anything less than real time. IOW, attempting corrective actions to correct something that is likely not to be a problem in the first place doesn’t sound like a particularly attractive idea.

    because most on this site don’t even accept the reality of climate change,

    On the contrary, most here are well aware that climate has changed in the past, often dramatically, without any discernible anthropogenic input.

    and you remain unconvinced.

    It could well be because the research doesn’t make a compelling case for anthropogenically caused climate change.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  147. EW1 makes the point more succinctly than my earlier post.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  148. Dmac, thanks, but I think your reference to Lömberg’s work is a good reminder of what happens to those who stray from the “environmentalist” dogma.

    The O!ne isn’t the only one to toss folks under busses.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  149. I was going to say that a policy of “we don’t know what is going to happen but we must take dramatic steps to avoid it” seems a bit silly, but EW1′s was nicer.

    I have an idea. Since the sun causes cancer, and heat, we should have the EPA declare it a pollutant, and slap some massive fines and regulations on it. Or, we could build a giant solar shield around the whole world.

    We have had Ice Ages come, and then melt off, with no aid from evil man, so I am always curious where the hubris comes from that we could stop it from happening if mother nature wants to?

    JD (788853)

  150. If GW alarmists were half as ‘alarmed’ as they claim to be and they had half the supporters they claim to have we’d be arguing whether the drop in, say, sales of clothes dryers (easily among the most frivolous personal uses of electricity) represents a true change in consumptive habits…or whether its just anecdotal evidence.

    As it is they (GW alarmists) go whistling about there merry way continuing to consume as they damn well please, salve their shallow guilt by buying CF bulbs, and lecture everyone on what we all should be doing. Then when they’re called on it they throw their hands in the air and exclaim that their personal hypocrisy doesn’t disprove anything.

    Can’t remember how many times I’ve heard the accusation that the US is 5% of the world’s population and uses 30% of its resources. But if I had a nickel for ever time…I’d be above this week’s Obama Income Outrage Limit. What they never follow it up with is the relatively simple math that would require an average reduction of our consumption by 5/6 (yes, an over 80% reduction) just to bring us within the ‘fairness’ range that the 5%/30% number implies. Right? If we’re only 5% of the population then obviously we should only be using 5% of the resources. Anything more is unfair.

    KB (5a6552)

  151. Doug writes: “That graph compiles data from direct temperature measurements, glacier measurements, tree-ring data, ocean sediments, boreholes, corals, and speleotherms (yes, speleotherms!) from dozens of different papers. Are you saying all of them have been discredited? Do you have better data to share?

    If you are ignorant of the detailed work that has been done in showing that those studies are based on datasets that cannot be replicated, contain fundamental statistical methods errors, violations of basic scientific protocols, rehash previous datasets while pretending to be fresh studies, and that the temperature recreations are in fact sensitive to only a single proxy – well, if you are ignorant of all those issues then you should not be pretending to be more informed on AGW than I am.

    SPQR (72771e)

  152. #145 Doug,

    Thank you for your courteous and thoughtful reply. As I mentioned in a comment after you left and as you point out, we are unlikely at this stage to convince each other on the cause or direction, apparently, of climate change. I do wonder however about this,

    “Your question is a very important one, but I’ve avoided answering it because most on this site don’t even accept the reality of climate change, so discussing the effects of climate change is putting the cart before the horse.”

    Would you not agree that if climate change is natural and unstoppable, or if the effects are likely to be beneficial, than we should not divert vast resources to trying to control it? The less tractable aspects of the debate become unimportant if the effects are not a problem, and the debate can move on to how to monitor the changes and best exploit or prepare for them. Damaging our economy and crippling our ability to adapt to changes while trying to control those changes is not sensible if those changes are beyond our ability to influence or if the effects need not be detrimental.

    In our entire history, as far as I know and I am no scholar, the only climate changes that have had a bad effect were when things got colder, causing famine, plague, and war. The measures we are told we should take just to be doing something are drastic and damaging and could be more detrimental to mankind than we have seen from almost any climate change in the historic past.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  153. (#139) Since they only recently deigned to actually mention sun spot activity, that prior silence speaks volumes.

    (I didn’t have time to respond to this earlier.) I wonder if I’m misunderstanding you, but there is hardly a silence in the literature on solar activity. A quick Google search turned up a 1999 GISS paper describing the results of including the solar cycle in GCMs (global climate models): “The pattern of modeled surface temperature changes induced by solar variability is well correlated with observed global warming over the first half of the 20th century, but not with the more rapid warming seen over the past three decades. The latter more closely resembles modeled warming induced by increasing greenhouse gas emissions.”

    I then checked the IPCC reports and sure enough, they discuss the importance of including the effects of solar variability in models.

    Then I did a quick search of Nature and found several relevant articles from at least the early 1980s; such as this letter from 1992: “Our results provide strong circumstantial evidence that there have been intercycle variations in solar irradiance which have contributed to the observed temperature changes since 1856. However, we find that since the nineteenth century, greenhouse gases, not solar irradiance variations, have been the dominant contributor to the observed temperature changes.”

    Unfortunately, I don’t have a subscription and can’t read the original papers.

    Doug (5d0532)

  154. (#150) Not all data is relevant to your question, but yes, the “hockeystick” prediction of modeled climate change has been thoroughly discredited.

    Your link is broken; could you kindly repost?

    … they’re not a good example for what to expect from the predicted temperature increases.

    They aren’t? Maybe you could explain why not?

    As I said, because the magnitude is greater and the rate of change higher than previous warming periods.

    There is sufficient chaos in the system under study that it cannot be reliably modeled, nor the models tested in anything less than real time. IOW, attempting corrective actions to correct something that is likely not to be a problem in the first place doesn’t sound like a particularly attractive idea.

    How can you say it’s impossible to model, then immediately say it’s unlikely to be a problem?

    because most on this site don’t even accept the reality of climate change,

    On the contrary, most here are well aware that climate has changed in the past, often dramatically, without any discernible anthropogenic input.

    I of course was referring to AGW when I said “climate change” in that sentence. As I said earlier, the existence of non-anthropogenic climate change in the past is not evidence that current climate change is also non-anthropogenic. And now I’m repeating myself — a sure sign this thread is running out of steam.

    (#153) I was going to say that a policy of “we don’t know what is going to happen but we must take dramatic steps to avoid it” seems a bit silly, but EW1’s was nicer.

    I realize that’s what I sound like, but it’s not what I believe. There is actually quite a bit of research on the effects of AGW. I just haven’t personally discussed any on this thread because I’ve been focused on the evidence for AGW itself.

    (#154) (GW alarmists) lecture everyone on what we all should be doing. Then when they’re called on it they throw their hands in the air and exclaim that their personal hypocrisy doesn’t disprove anything.

    When have I lectured anyone here on what you should be doing? There are many important conversations that could be had around the topic of climate change, including what should be done about it. I don’t have time to engage in all of them at once.

    (#155) well, if you are ignorant of all those issues then you should not be pretending to be more informed on AGW than I am.

    When have I ever called you uninformed? I shared the data I relied upon to make earlier statements. You said my data was discredited and I asked for evidence or better data. It’s a reasonable request and one that has been made of me several times on this thread.

    Now can someone help a poor ignorant fellow out and explain what a “Moby” is supposed to be?

    Doug (5d0532)

  155. You are not a Moby, and those were not in reference to you, Dog.

    The uber-liberal singer, Moby, at one point was advocating a policy where Leftists should post to message boards claiming to be conservatives, either in such a manner so as to discredit conservatives in general (like Jeffrey Diamond does), or to claim that they were lifelong concerned Christian voters that have seen the error of their ways and had switched to Dem.

    I still am interested in knowing what the optimal temperature for the earth is.

    JD (788853)

  156. I still am interested in knowing what the optimal temperature for the earth is.

    The question should be, what is the optimal temperature for our current civilization and the infrastructure that supports it? The answer is what we’ve have in the last century or so.

    Our infrastructure and population patterns were established to deal with the climate we’ve experienced in the recent past. If climate were to drastically change, there’d be a lot of misery.

    In prehistoric days, people could migrate freely when conditions changed, but that’s not possible when nearly all territory is under the control of one nation or another.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (83f220)

  157. Brother Bradley, I must respectfully wonder if this is a given. The longer growing seasons and more abundant crops have rarely if ever been bad for any civilization. With energy being an issue now the warmer climate reducing the need for heat and light should also be a positive.

    There are numerous examples of people migrating to escape cooling climate but I might suggest these are rarely if ever peaceful. There have been several waves of successively more advanced humans spreading South through the Western hemisphere and I think they always resulted in the extermination or extinction of the prior inhabitants. In historical times we have seem such migrations and the plagues caused by cooling climate cause the collapse or recession of several previously thriving civilizations. I can’t think of any comparable result of warming climate, only good results. What have I missed?

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  158. I would point out as well that never before in our history have we had the ability to produce such abundance of food from so little land with so few people working it, but a cooler climate could greatly alter this. I don’t think we have the technology to grow food in very cold weather in such huge quantities.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  159. (I didn’t have time to respond to this earlier.) I wonder if I’m misunderstanding you, but there is hardly a silence in the literature on solar activity.

    Doug, I was referring not to the scientific studies on the issue, but to the broader media’s black – out of the subject in all of their scaremongering stories. Gore was only the worst of the transgressors on this issue, there are thousands of others (including the hysterics over at The Weather Channel).

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  160. Machinist,
    Water and air conditioning are the big drawbacks for warming in much of the southern and southwestern United States.

    In my neck of the woods, in Kollyfoahneah, the projections are for less snow in the mountains and more rain. This means water will arrive more suddenly, which our reservoir system is not built to handle. The gradual snowmelt in the Sierras is essential for the dry summer months.

    Canada would certainly benefit, however.

    Also, click on the link to A Brief History to see my latest, about a particularly dishonest NYT article on global warming.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (83f220)

  161. It is tragic in a time of such concern that our greatest asset, scientific methods of research and study, have been so poisoned by fraud, Lysenkoism, and politics, that it has been rendered almost impotent for use in this debate, but I do feel we can reasonably discuss the extent to which we even need to be worried about the issue. The most alarming scenarios of some years ago have been exposed as false by the fact our oceans have not flooded our cities and global temperatures are in fact heading down. We were recently told that at least one ice cap would disappear completely in four or five years, I suspect this will prove equally alarmist and false.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  162. Brother Bradley,

    I grew up in California without air conditioning and I do not consider it vital for civilization, plus I don’t think we need give it up if we choose not to. California’s shortages of electricity, natural gas, gasoline, and water are largely self induced. In recent years they have shut down or dismantled damns that stored water and produced cheap, pollution free electricity in order to pander to the greens. I find it hard to take a crisis seriously when people continue such counterproductive activities. I might even suggest that the political changes needed to stop California from harming itself might advance the cause of freedom and make the state more economically healthy, but I admit that’s a bit of a reach. California voters have not shown that much sense.

    I shall read the article in your link now, thank you.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  163. Amen, Machinist.

    JD (d9176e)

  164. Amen, Machinist.

    Comment by JD — 4/24/2009 @ 2:16 pm

    Atheistophobe!

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  165. But I AM an atheist. Can I be both??

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  166. Thank you, Brother Bradley, a good post.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  167. Thank you, Machinist. I try to be fair and balanced on global warming. :-)

    Your points on California’s self-limitation of water supplies are well taken. I for one would like to see reclaimed water use for drinking, but that’s not currently allowed for political reasons — that awful “toilet to tap” label.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (dd7fb0)

  168. Ah, but women regularly put toilet water behind their ears.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  169. #158 Doug:

    Your link is broken; could you kindly repost?

    Oops. Certainly: The M&M Project: Replication Analysis of the Mann et al. Hockey Stick.

    As I said, because the magnitude is greater and the rate of change higher than previous warming periods.

    Uhm, were that the case, we would most probably be facing extinction as a species this very minute! Sorry, recent climatic changes are far more publicized than those of the past, but aren’t actually any more onerous.

    How can you say it’s impossible to model, then immediately say it’s unlikely to be a problem?

    Because we have historical data from the real system itself. As Machinist notes, the historic problems caused by climate change don’t come from global warming, but rather global cooling.

    I think it particularly unwise to attempt a corrective action that might actually have an effect (ie, aerosol dispersion of reflectant materials in the upper atmosphere) when there is no way to reverse that action (how exactly do we scrub the sky if we make a boo boo?), when we don’t know for sure that we have a problem (as Bradley Fikes notes, a little warming would involve tradeoffs: some areas would likely benefit more than others, and some may not benefit at all; but global cooling is pretty much a no win situation), nor do we know with any certainty what kind of geologic or astronomical phenomena may occur immediately following any effective anthropogenic action making that action extremely undesireable.

    As I said earlier, the existence of non-anthropogenic climate change in the past is not evidence that current climate change is also non-anthropogenic.

    Negative proofs are difficult at best, so no, I don’t think past nonanthropogenic climate change is proof positive that current climate change is also nonanthropogenic; but it seems a pretty strong indicator.

    I think another factor that people find misleading is that it is very difficult to capture the magnitude of the changes that we are attemping to quantify with numbers that only vaguely represent the precision that is claimed for them. Take as an example a weather event: a single hurricane, which is rated as having about the equivalent energy as 8000 megatons of explosives, or more than 1.5 times the total energy of the world’s combined nuclear arsenals. [1]. And this is a singular weather event, something that in the scheme of things, is totally disregardable in predicting future climatic behavior. And to me, a pretty good indicator that the magnitude of anthropogenic behaviors is likely to have a small, and quite probably negligible effect on climatic change.

    BTW, I am not repeating myself yet.

    [1] Google answers: “I am trying to locate where I read ‘Hurricane Isabel has the
    equivalent force of Nuclear weapons’,” and references.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  170. “As I said earlier, the existence of non-anthropogenic climate change in the past is not evidence that current climate change is also non-anthropogenic.

    That’s true, but the problem is that the AGW proponents have been arguing the corollary, that recent change is unique, and trying to prove the uniqueness by using dubious methods to try to make the historical climate changes go away.

    SPQR (72771e)

  171. And to me, a pretty good indicator that the magnitude of anthropogenic behaviors is likely to have a small, and quite probably negligible effect on climatic change.

    But, but . . . solar power is going to zap those nasty hurricanes!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (dd7fb0)

  172. To continue my point in #175, proving that recent climate change is not unique directly refuts the AGW argument to the contrary that AGW proponents assert is proof of mankind’s contribution.

    SPQR (72771e)

  173. Repent for your sins, Mankind – or Mother Gaia will smite you!

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  174. #175 SPQR:

    proving that recent climate change is not unique directly refuts the AGW argument to the contrary

    Does to me and you, anyway. ;)

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  175. #176 Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R.:

    But, but . . . solar power is going to zap those nasty hurricanes!

    From the story at the link [emphasis mine]~

    In fact, there have been enough schemes that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a canned response to would-be hurricane modders:

    “There have been numerous techniques that we have considered over the years to modify hurricanes: seeding clouds with dry ice or silver iodide, cooling the ocean with cryogenic material or icebergs, changing the radiational balance in the hurricane environment by absorption of sunlight with carbon black, exploding the hurricane apart with hydrogen bombs, and blowing the storm away from land with giant fans, etc. As carefully reasoned as some of these suggestions are, they all share the same shortcoming: They fail to appreciate the size and power of tropical cyclones.

    1.21 Jiggawatts beamed from space or not, adding energy to a complex chaotic system known for dissipating its energy in a frightfully destructive manner seems like that probably isn’t the most helpful scenario.

    ;)

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  176. Thanks EW1(SG) for reposting your link. I didn’t read everything on that page (heavy reading for a Friday evening!), but I did read parts of the 2005 APEC study by M&M (MM05), the National Research Council report linked by M&M, and several critiques of MM05 I found on the web. I tried to read the GRL paper linked by M&M, but the link was broken.

    I was unconvinced by M&M; MM05 highlights a computational flaw in Mann’s 1998 reconstruction (MBH98), which seems to be generally accepted, but also seems to make little difference to the original conclusions. Later reports highlight flaws within MM05 itself.

    The NRC report gives a good overview of MM05 and generally agrees with M&M’s criticism of the Mann’s 1998 reconstruction (MBH98). But it goes on to report that MM05 “raised concerns that led to new research and ongoing efforts to improve how surface temperature reconstructions are performed”. It presents some of the more recent data in charts on page 18. And guess what? It looks remarkably like the graph I linked to earlier that everyone said had been discredited. Or see this chart from a 2008 PNAS paper also by Mann. Compare these to the graph given in Figure 8 of MM05.

    The NRC report also states “The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence.”

    MBH98 is hardly the final word on AGW, nor was it the first. The first two IPCC reports confirming AGW were published years before MBH98 (1990 and 1995, respectively). So even if you consider MBH98 discredited, there’s still plenty of other data supporting the same conclusions, as well as computer models.

    Doug (3b32e8)

  177. Thanks, Doug,
    To insert long or difficult links, use TinyUrl or some similar link-shortening service.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  178. I for one would like to see reclaimed water use for drinking, but that’s not currently allowed for political reasons — that awful “toilet to tap” label.

    Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., — 4/24/2009 @ 2:51 pm

    Brother Bradley,
    Human consumption is such a small part of California’s water use that I don’t think such measures are needed or prudent (given the politics of selection there I don’t trust them).

    The vast majority of water is used by agriculture and it is used very wastefully and irresponsibly. Subsidized water prices have encouraged the use of flood irrigation which wastes vast amounts of water and leads to messes like Kesterson where selenium leached from fields has accumulated making an environmental disaster. I know that this runoff was supposed to flow to the ocean or bay but the money ran out and they just let it dump where the project ended. It would probably not have been a problem if not for flood irrigation methods used. Realistic water prices would encourage more efficient use of water and greatly help the supply situation. As long as 80% of the water is being used in this profligate manner the personal consumption restrictions are blatant hypocrisy by the politicians (consumers don’t write the big checks that farming interests do).

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  179. This touches on a related issue. Selenium is one of the deadliest inorganic poisons known, yet we must have it in trace amounts. Iodine is also a deadly poison but we add it to our salt because the results of not getting enough are terrible. I am skeptical of absolutists. When people propose that we reorder our society or cripple our economy to reduce a certain greenhouse gas emission yet can’t say if we can effect such levels, if such levels have an effect on climate, or if such an effect would be good or bad for us, I get cautious and want to take a second look.

    “If some is bad then less must be better”, is not a given.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  180. Machinist,
    I know from having covered water issues about the great predominance of ag water use. And I keep hearing about subsidized ag water. How can we determine if it’s really subsidized? What standards do we use?

    This would be a great explainer story for my paper, but how to get definitive data, if such a beast exists?

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  181. In general I favor market forces to set proper prices, Sir. In this case the situation has gotten way out of hand and there are powerful government entities that might skew the markets so I think some managed transition is probably needed. It will take a better educated person than I am to sort that out. As to the paper, I bow to your expertise. Thank you for the link.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  182. I think it’s a given that when people are rationed in water use but farmers are still using flood irrigation, water is too cheap.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  183. 184- You are certainly right about selenium. Reports from Argentina are that 21 horses here in Palm Beach area died from selenium poisoning when their supposedly illegal supplement was mixed with 5 mg instead of .5 mg of selenium to whatever amount of water (I forget the ml/liters thing). That nasty decimal point can be a killer.

    I am one opposed to deadly floride being added to water for drinking purposes, but the ADA is behind it and but god they must know better than the naysayers. No special interests there.

    Why not just euthanize everyone over a certain age if they are not loyal adorers of Algore? Or anyone of any age who doesn’t swear allegiance to the religion of AGW and Greendom, the Pantywaist in the Wh, etc.? What might be best way to have them decompose without marring the environment?

    aoibhneas (0c6cfc)

  184. Machinist,
    The trouble is we don’t have market forces in water in California. It’s almost entirely provided by government agencies. My mind reels at the prospect of calculating market rates in such an environment.

    And thank you for the compliment, but while I have covered water off and on for 20 years, I don’t claim expertise. Reporters are not experts, we just find the experts. Problems arise when we forget that humbling fact.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  185. Brother Bradley, well said Sir.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  186. aoibhneas,

    Somebody has to do the work and pay the taxes. And how many Algores can the environment support, given his wasteful habits ?

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  187. It’s almost entirely provided by government agencies. My mind reels at the prospect of calculating market rates in such an environment.

    That’s the rub I referred to. California in particular makes that a Gordian knot. I doubt any major project like the Golden Gate Bridge could be dome today. Cronyism, corruption, and political correctness would at least triple the cost of any such state of the art project and the ability to do the work would be low on the selection criteria.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  188. Or see this chart from a 2008 PNAS paper also by Mann.

    You do realize the that the graph that you have linked to is essentially a flat line?

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  189. I leave that to the California residents while I do a rain dance here in Texas and hope for the best. We do try seeding the clouds with gunsmoke here. It may not help but it’s fun to do!

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  190. EW1(SG),
    Historically the one degree global temperature change they are saying has happened in the last fifty years has had major, history bending effects on human society. Having lived through the last fifty years when this same degree of change is claimed to have happened I just have not seen it. Have you?

    I suspect the well documented problems of instruments environments changing has more to do with the readings.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  191. but not with the more rapid warming seen over the past three decades.

    The hockey stick is evidence of fraud and discredits all other evidence from that, or related sources. There are also a number of other examples of fraud and they all push the data in one direction.

    Sorry, I’m with Lomborg on this one. I keep seeing AGW fanatics denying the existence of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. When you find a liar, you disregard ALL he says, not just that which you can prove wrong.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  192. CA water….there are those sticky little problems called “Water Rights“!
    And, as has been said repeatedly through our history:
    Whiskey’s for drinkin’,
    Water’s for fightin’ over!

    AD (2ef8a1)

  193. #195 Machinist:

    I suspect the well documented problems of instruments environments changing has more to do with the readings.

    The point of my question to Doug was essentially that: I don’t find this graph particularly persuasive because I have had occasion to plot myriads of empirical data points, and I find a number of things wrong with the presentation. The first thing being that you have units of quantity 40 along the x axis vs a decimal fraction along the y axis.

    The presentation immediately suggests two things to me: 1) Somebody is attempting to elicit an emotional reaction (ie, they’re lying); or 2) They are presenting an impossible degree of precision.

    In this case, I think a bit of both~ conflating impossible precision with the desire to present a dramatic conclusion that leads people like Doug to believe that the data is unprecedented.

    I am not a climatologist, and I don’t play one on TV or the innertubes or anywhere else, but my experience as a sailor with practical meteorology, sonography and as a lab rat leave me with some serious doubts about the validity of the data presented. Coupled with a discreditation of the method used to make such a dire prediction, I find it difficult to understand the headlong rush to tie up a substantial portion of humankind’s resources to solve a problem that I am not convinced exists anywhere except conceptually.

    There are plenty of problems with greater precedence, one of them being how the hell are we going to make it through the next ice age? Which, relatively speaking, is due any minute?

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  194. (#195) Historically the one degree global temperature change they are saying has happened in the last fifty years has had major, history bending effects on human society.

    (#196) I keep seeing AGW fanatics denying the existence of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.

    If there really were a Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, the difference between the two was about half a degree Celsius.

    Doug (3b32e8)

  195. IF ?! IF ?! The pretense of rational debate just got dropped on the ground, and a herd of wildabeast are doing the jitterbug on it.

    JD (1e04df)

  196. (#198) I don’t find this graph particularly persuasive because I have had occasion to plot myriads of empirical data points, and I find a number of things wrong with the presentation. The first thing being that you have units of quantity 40 along the x axis vs a decimal fraction along the y axis.

    The scales are different because the units are different: time on the X-axis, temperature on the Y. If the difference in scale bothers you, simply change the X-axis to millennia instead of years. Et voilà!

    They are presenting an impossible degree of precision.

    Why do you say this degree of precision is impossible? It’s not enough just to be incredulous.

    One experiment showing a dramatic result: sure, it’s best to be skeptical. 92 temperature reconstructions compiled over two decades by hundreds of authors? Ignore that and you’re no longer a skeptic, you’re an ostrich.

    Doug (3b32e8)

  197. DENIALISTS !!!!!

    JD (1e04df)

  198. I do not want to overstate this, but if we follow that argument, it essentially says that actually looking at the historical record leads one to question the existence of the Little Ice Age, but makes it a reality beyond question that the world is warming at a catastrophic rate, even when previously one admitted that the outcome is not and cannot be known, yet we must move forward with dramatic changes to avoid an unknown outcome. And if you do not believe that you have your head in the sand.

    JD (1e04df)

  199. Doug, are you still not realizing how many of those temperature “reconstructions” reuse the same unreproducible datasets? The idea that you would cite to any Mann papers is itself incredible given how he’s obstructed any examination of his basic data and algorithms.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  200. You are an ostrich, SPQR. And you have your head in the sand, denialist.

    JD (1e04df)

  201. From 1998, when global temperature was higher than this year (due to a decade of global cooling):

    Surveys of climatologists suggest substantial disagreement about humanity’s impact on the climate. In a 1997 poll, most state-government climatologists disputed the claim that ”human activities are already disrupting the global climate.” True, the environmental group Ozone Action got 2,600 scientists, including several Nobel Laureates, to sign a petition making that claim. But a counter-petition, circulated with a letter from Frederick Seitz, past president of the National Academy of Sciences, has garnered over 18,000 signatures, including many from physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists. Scientific truth is not determined by majority vote, but there is clearly no ”consensus” that human-induced warming is here.

    Predictions of global warming in the future are largely based on computer models that can’t even predict current temperatures accurately. And as the models improve, they consistently predict less warming. Last May, America’s most prestigious scientific journal, Science, reported that ”most [computer] modelers now agree that the climate models will not be able to link greenhouse warming unambiguously to human actions for a decade or more.” One month later, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society published a paper suggesting that computer models exaggerate the climate’s sensitivity to industrial emissions.

    (emphasis mine)

    To paraphrase a good movie: “You’re an ostrich, huh?”

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  202. (#202) IF ?! IF ?! The pretense of rational debate just got dropped on the ground, and a herd of wildabeast are doing the jitterbug on it.

    When I said “if”, JD, I wasn’t denying the existence of these periods. I know there is some controversy surrounding them, and was trying to avoid it. The fact that I accomplished the exact opposite is an indictment of my communication skills.

    I believe the general consensus is that the evidence for the LIA is strong, the evidence for the MWP, less so (which is expected since it was longer ago) and regional where it does exist.

    This 2002 paper (by the thoroughly discredited Michael Mann) gives a good summary of the evidence.

    Doug (3b32e8)

  203. JD, I’ve been involved in the AGW debate for more than a decade now and find the sneering from people who do not understand the actual issues more than a bit annoying. There has been a lot of detailed work done over several years showing how much Mann, Bradley and Hughes violated basic principles of the scientific method and Doug’s pretense that Mann et al are credible scientists is more than a little infuriating.

    What Mann et al have done is simply not science. It is not science to play “hide the ball” with data, methodology, statistical processes and to even continue to do that in congressional hearings.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  204. (#206) Doug, are you still not realizing how many of those temperature “reconstructions” reuse the same unreproducible datasets? The idea that you would cite to any Mann papers is itself incredible given how he’s obstructed any examination of his basic data and algorithms.

    Only three of the papers on that page are by the bogey-Mann. No, I would not trust such a dramatic conclusion based on research by only one person; I thought I made that clear. That’s why I linked to that page which lists many different methods used to reconstruct past temperatures.

    Doug (3b32e8)

  205. Are those 18,000 naysayers ostriches, Doug?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  206. Doug’s pretense that Mann et al are credible scientists is more than a little infuriating.

    The only reason I linked to a paper by Mann in the first place (way back in comment #181!) was to show how similar his chart was to the one published by Ross McKitrick, which EW1(SG) linked to (#174) to demonstrate Mann’s debunkitude (debunkment?).

    Doug (3b32e8)

  207. I’ve been involved in the AGW debate for more than a decade now and find the sneering from people who do not understand the actual issues more than a bit annoying.

    My “ostrich” comment was not intended to be offensive, but I see now that it was. To everyone reading this: I apologize.

    Doug (3b32e8)

  208. [...] jobs, but removing $200 billion from another part of the economy has not cost a single job. And the “green jobs” claims are a scam. But Reich does grasp the basic political point that the US economy has shed about two million jobs [...]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » ObamaCare: Dithering while the economy burns (e2f069)


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