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Man-made We're screwed

"What we found is that temperatures increased in the last hundred years as much as they had cooled in the last six or seven thousand," he said. "In other words, the rate of change is much greater than anything we've seen in the whole Holocene," referring to the current geologic time period, which began around 11,500 years ago.

The consensus is based on claims by a small self-appointed cadre. In fact, the "field" of climatology is so huge and amorphous that one would need expertise in about 100 specialties to encompass it. The inflated egos who claim that, yet refuse input from real professionals in those areas (which almost routinely rips their work to shreds as amateurish and incompetent), is cited by political forces, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose mandate assumes the conclusion to be offered to the contributing governments before even beginning the basic science reports, as "authoritative". The EPA then excused its failure to do its own science on the subject, as mandated by its fundamental legislative mandate, by deferring to the IPCC! Etc.

Control of CO2 has shown no evidence of being the claimed control knob for the climate, but is unquestionably an economic control knob for all industry and consumption, which makes politicians drool in hunger, desire, and eager anticipation. As I wrote a few years ago:

"The most loudly applauded speech at the Copenhagen confab intended to institute global controls was a rambling rant by the late Hugo Chavez excoriating Western civilization in general and in detail. But the air had been let out by a peek inside the closed communication loop, called popularly "Climategate". It featured Phil Jones and and Michael Mann and a few others most prominently.

"Poor Phil, when Climategate first broke, was almost suicidal at the thought of exposure and discreditation. But The Team Finance Network sprang into action, and assured him he'd have pre-approval of all materials examined, and of all questions asked in any "Inquiries". The Fix was In. Phil's tremulous gratitude swelled into new arrogance as his funding continued, even accelerated. The great Heat Detective Kevin Trenberth was hot on the trail, and loudly demanding the Benefit of the Nullification of Doubt; Mikey was still fulminating and prospering, also safely shielded by his funding prowess, despite having forgotten where he hid all his lab notes. All was well! Even Choo-Choo (IPCC head Pachauri, railroad engineer by training) survived a trainload of egregious pal-reviewed gaffes.

"But the skeptical termites had begun their work. Copenhagen collapsed in confusion. Cancan couldn't, and contracted a mysterious unseasonable chill. Public support of pro-mitigation politicians evaporated like the sun-struck morning mist (which models couldn't anticipate, since it comprised zillions of mischievous H2O droplets, coalesced on even more mischievous aerosol nuclei). What to do? Holy dispensations of carbon credits were sabotaged by model-busting, blasphemous, impossible Negative Feedbacks, stubbornly heading for a Valuation Strange Attractor near $0! Despite potently and affirmatively pre-plugged parameters.

"Aggressively mitigating countries and governments began discovering voracious FIT parasites and politico-economic opportunists were crashing national budgets. Persistence would clearly be rapidly self-defeating! It was past time to stop. So that's what they did. Spain, renewables Wunderkind and muscular tail of the PIIGS, gave an unheard-of absolute majority to a skeptic party, over a zoo of 37+ rivals. Subsidies were slashed, bankruptcies multiplied.

"Doubt is now troubling the minds of the Believers. Will it be, after all, possible to fool enough of the people enough of the time to achieve the much-desired de-industrialization of Gaia? Doubly redoubled PR efforts are obviously called for. A climate-disruptive tsunami of them is now under way. Will it work? Only the Shadow knows ..."

typo: "as mandated by its founding legislation"

It is hilarious and beyond any logic to seriously claim that the net economic incentive is on the side of scientists touting climate change.

Fossil fuel companies are the largest, wealthiest corporations on Earth, and are backed by governments that subsidize (or even directly run) their activities all over the world. The notion that a few hundred tenured professors and environmental activists are a match to the fossil fuel lobbies is totally implausible given the funding imbalance.

The idea that politicians, who answer first and foremost to those who fund their campaigns, are eager to fight against fossil fuel interests, is even more bizarre. Not to mention, it is unsupported by actual policy choices, as shown by the fact that global CO2 emissions continue to increase.

@Brian H

If you wish to argue, you need to be fair and stop broderizing the facts that other people bring to the debate. Posting a fable doesn't help, either. I understand that climate-gate is the one event that climate change-deniers were waiting for. You may think it illustrates your views on the topic, but the revelation of a few scientists' and activists' zeal doesn't disprove the science or the conclusion, it only makes for more headlines to confuse the public. Science is about the facts and logical consequences, not media sensation, which is why it is so much more interesting than the tabloids.

Based on what I gather of your comments, you seem to suggest that more CO2 in the atmosphere is a good thing because it would help plant growth and make it more comfortable by preventing another ice age. Oh, and it reduces the strength and frequency of hurricanes, according to you, because colder temperatures (as opposed to hot air or hot air meeting cold air) is the cause of hurricanes (goes against the laws of thermodynamics, but whatever). You may have suggested other benefits that escape me at the moment. I would therefore suggest that you find or build a large airtight but minimally insulated greenhouse (perhaps with heat diffusers to compensate for the greenhouse effect resulting from the fact it is airtight). Then, run some gas motors inside it, or burn some wood or coal, or extract the CO2 from the atmosphere to release it instead your greenhouse so to achieve a level of CO2 similar to what you say would benefit the planet, which should be many times the current ppm count. Go inside, bring as many plants as you want, lock the door, and stay a good while, long enough to get a good feel for your surroundings. Then, tell us about your experience and the experiment. Maybe everyone was wrong and you were right and higher CO2 levels really are a good thing, as you say. Then we can stop worrying about pollution, start living a little, and stop restraining economic growth. At least if you are wrong and the experiment ends up being a horrible experience for you, it won't put the biosphere at risk.

Storms and hurricane energy levels (ACE) are documented to be at multi-decade lows currently. There hasn't been a major Cat 3+ hurricane hit the US for almost a decade. Colder poles/warm equator provides the needed steep gradient for stronger global heat flows; warmer poles/warm equator the opposite. Which of those do you disagree with? What "thermodynamics" shows on a global scale is the exact opposite of the AGW claims. Local warm SSTs here and there are not enough to drive cyclones and hurricanes.

As for the hand-waving about "Big Oil", the actual funds disbursed and projects funded by governments and foundations go exclusively to consensus-pushers and "renewables" projects. From BP & Shell (founders of the East Anglia CRU) to Exxon-Mobil, etc., all are going with the flow while it lasts, knowing full well that at the end of the day, when states are driven to stop pouring money down the black holes of impossibly inefficient dream-sources of renewable power, the economies of the world will be faced with life-or-death decisions to use functional energy or disfunctional, and they will be ready to carry on as they always have.

The only economic energy source now "displacing" oil & coal is frac natural gas. Nothing else is reliable, usable and cheap enough to implement. The rest of the world is watching the de facto US demonstration and the huge energy-economics advantage it now enjoys and is being forced to attempt to replicate it, from the UK to China.

Meanwhile, CO2 emissions and levels continue to have zero detectable effect on weather or climate. Except in the video-game models.

(As for your locked greenhouse nonsense, commercial greenhouses are routinely run at double to quintuple current atmospheric levels. What's your point?)

“Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase [per century] of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age”.—Professor Richard Lindzen MIT, emeritus.

So despite saying there is zero detectable impact on climate, you are admitting that the poles are warming much faster than the rest of the planet?

There has been (fortunate) irregular slight warming since the pits of the Little Ice Age about 1800, at about 1°F/century. The poles and high latitudes vary (warm or cool) more than the tropics, which vary by only a degree or so, ever. At the height of the "Hot House" eras, millions of years ago when global temps averaged about 10-15K warmer than now, there was much less of a gradient up to the high latitudes, and rhinos and alligators lived in the polar regions. That's the way the climate wobbles. We had, have, and can have nothing to do with it.

The issue isn't whether the earth is getting warmer or cooler. Yes the mean average temperature of the earth fluctuates, and it may even be going up slightly for the past century.

It also isn't even whether or not human civilization is causing it. It may in fact be that human activity is in fact increasing mean temperatures slightly.

The issue that skeptics have is whether or not this is a problem. And given that it is far from a proven fact that it is a huge problem, why are we rushing into economy wrecking schemes to bandaid this "problem".

There is a large body of evidence that the earth has been MUCH hotter than now in the past while still being able to sustain a very diverse ecosystem (we are talking timescales of thousands to millions of years). There is also ample evidence that it has been much cooler than it is now, the ecosystems were not thriving as much then!

Regardless, the earth has been able to sustain a very diverse ecosystem during all these times. There is very little evidence to support that idea that the climate will break into a some sort of positive feedback loop and have huge mounting temperature increases. Indeed the evidence is mounting that increased CO2 concentration IS NOT correlated with increased mean earth temperature. See the latest Economist article about this (and the Economist has been pro-green the past 10 years or so).

Humans are no doubt having an impact on climate, but it is possible that the impact isn't that big.


It is precisely in the spirit of preserving our economy that we MUST act now. It is true that there is a chance climate change will be benign or even beneficial but as we learn more about how earth has acted in the past the odds of this diminish seemingly with every passing day.

Just as with any disease acting earlier is always easier than acting later. The odds are much greater that climate change will pose a significant challenge to future generations than it will not. The longer we wait to act the costs increase exponentially.

I have solar on my both homes I own... the is NO long-term economic cost. I am getting a better return than anywhere else I could have invested that money with the same level of risk. The morons around me are infuriating... they prefer to squander their resources frivolously. Lancaster, CA has the right idea, their REPUBLICAN mayor created a new building code for the city making solar on new home a requirement. Yes, we value our freedom but your right to do what you want ends when it starts hurting others. You can't legally drive 90 on the highway; The burning of fossil fuels is morally reprehensible and it must stop. With options we have available to us thanks to innovative companies like TESLA and with the information we now have on the probable impacts of AGW it's accurate to say there are three reasons people still use fossil fuels. They're Lazy, Stupid or Evil.

There are several reasons people still use fossil fuels; the fuels are concentrated, versatile, and permit huge multiplication of human effort. "Lazy stupid or evil" is the chant of the spoiled brat who thinks food grows in supermarkets.

Solar without subsidized installation and buyback is economically hopeless, and is ruining numerous European economies. In low latitude locations it can, with an adequate storage "pool" (such as the grid), contribute enough residential power for most uses. Try running the industry you depend on for survival on it, and it goes smash very fast.

Wow, interesting that Lancaster is doing this. First city in the US to require solar electric. Not a small city either - 150,000 people. But before you get all excited about this, here are some things to consider.

In the sun belt, residential solar ends up costing about $0.11 per Kwh. Utilities can generate power at $0.04 per Kwh. But they sell it to you at a marginal rate of 0.28 per Kwh (at least here in California). That isn't the rate they would LIKE to sell it to you, that's the rate mandated by government regulators to allow cheaper electricity for small users (like apartment renters). Small users pay a lot less, larger residential users pay a lot more. It's just another progressive tax system.

From an economy wide perspective, rigging the power market so that it ends up costing more to generate electricity doesn't seem like a smart move to me (and solar electric DOES cost more compared to what utilities can generate electricity at).

But from a personal perspective, installing solar electric in the sunbelt is a good idea ESPECIALLY when you consider that electricity rates are going to continue increasing (ironically due to mandates that utilities buy more of their power from the more expensive electric solar companies). AND if that isn't enough to help you install solar, think about what the looming inflation will do to your electric bill. After a few years of 15% inflation, that electric bill is going to skyrocket, better to spend dollars that are worth more now (before inflation) on something that will generate electricity at a fixed cost.

Similar thinking goes towards installing a water well if you can.

@shop re: the latest Economist article

Be a little careful here. The Economist article also concludes, " Global temperatures rise by about 1.5°C for each trillion tonnes of carbon put into the atmosphere. The world has pumped out half a trillion tonnes of carbon since 1750, and temperatures have risen by 0.8°C. At current rates, the next half-trillion tonnes will be emitted by 2045; the one after that before 2080. Since CO₂ accumulates in the atmosphere, this could increase temperatures compared with pre-industrial levels by around 2°C even with a lower sensitivity and perhaps nearer to 4°C at the top end of the estimates."

And NASA, in discussing the last five years says, "2012 is nominally the 9th warmest year, but it is indistinguishable in rank with several other years, as shown by the error estimate for comparing nearby years. Note that the 10 warmest years in the record all occurred since 1998.
The long-term warming trend, including continual warming since the mid-1970s, has been
conclusively associated with the predominant global climate forcing, human-made greenhouse gases which began to grow substantially early in the 20th century.

Statistical doubletalk. In a rising series (since the Little Ice Age) the latest decade is always the highest. Only when actual decline has been going on for most of 10 yrs would the previous decade be warmer. It says nothing about human causation, and the "per gigaton" numbers are pulled out of their nether parts. Especially since the CO2 rise followed temperature rise. Magic reverse causation!

Here's how the funding appeals go:

Uncertainty is so uncertain that nothing can be said about natural variation. Thus the only known forcing variable that we can think of is CO2 concentration, which humans are contributing to. Give us all your money!
Extreme dryness and hotness in some places causes some pther areas to be wet and freezing, which is why you're suffering from fuel poverty. Give us all your money!
The plateau of surface atmospheric temperatures over the last decade just means the swing back to normal overheating will be all the more extreme! There's no time to waste. Give us all your money!
The heat that's not hiding or passing through in the upper or middle depths of the oceans must be lurking somewhere. When it comes out, we'll all be rooned! Give us all your money!
The Arctic is getting so close to melting in the summer, that it's bound to happen soon, and suck in and trap peta-giga-joules, and boil the planet. Give us all your money!
Animals are already going extinct so fast we can't count how many aren't there. Give us all your money!
Increased GCRs (Global Cosmic Rays) are causing low cloud, which GCMs (Global Circulation Models) prove magnify back-radiation. We'll grill like sausages! Give us all your money!
CO2 increase and warming have previously always been beneficial, but if they aren't this time it might be awful. Give us all your money!
Birds and animals are getting smaller because of the heat, or larger from temporary overeating due to excess plant productivity from excess CO2, and will all become confused and nicheless. Give us all your money!
Fossil fuel energy will accelerate the improvement in living standards of the Third World, which will mean they'll grab off most of the resources we depend on to maintain our lifestyles, so we'll all become impoverished because the poor got too rich. Give us all your money!
The weather is chaotic, and the climate is sort of chaotic except that the long-term trend is divinable (by our high priests), and anyway chaos means anything could happen, especially global warming which might be a bad thing this time (it's overdue), which we have to be ready for. Give us all your money!

And so on, with the same remedy every time.

Nice rant. But wrong.

1."In a rising series (since the Little Ice Age)..."
Earth had been cooling for 5000 years prior to the 19th century dramatic upturn.

2."Give us all your money"
If climate scientists are angling for more money by hyping fears of climate change, they are not doing so very effectively. According to a Government Accountability Office study, the climate research share of federal environmental spending has fallen from 56 percent to 39 percent.

Government expenditures on environmental sciences is down. Grants from foundations are down.
But, of course, we all know that scientists don't care about science, or facts, or evidence -- only about money. Or,is that the oil companies?

Yes, cooling, on average, since the Holocene Optimum 10,000 years ago. But in waves, with 4 upticks, of diminishing height, along the way. This is the latest and weakest. Trying to abort or reverse it is perverse. Which describes well the whole AGW movement.

"This is the latest and weakest"

Well, you're half right... one step at a time I suppose.

Question: If climate researchers are for sale to the highest bidder then why have the fossil fuel interests completely failed to get ANYTHING published refuting AGW?

There are hundreds such papers; you just never heard of them. BTW, according to IPCC's own figures, CO2 is potent enough, even with the mythical "positive cloud feedback", to account for <1% of the last two mini-warmings in the last century. Oops!

BTW, in real science, a hypothesis is considered false until all the alternatives (null hypotheses) have been disproven. Or if one unique prediction fails. By that standard, AGW is still at the goofy speculation stage.

...what? Where did you learn Science? NOTHING is ever PROVEN in science; Accepted science consists of theory that have been tested and fail to be DISPROVEN. If someone devised an alternative to an accepted theory would that theory be rejected until tested again? General Relativity became accepted science with a few published papers and an observation of Mercury's orbit. Scientists continue testing it to this day. Tested, Accepted, not PROVEN, probably never DISPROVEN but we keep trying.

AGW has been tested thousands of times and the key tenants have never been disproven;

1) CO2 is a Greenhouse gas. The NET effect is WARMING.

2) CO2 levels are rising rapidly.

3) Human activity is responsible the rise.

If these three are true AGW cannot be false.

My characterisation of science was exact. I made no reference to "proving", only of disproving. Read it again.

Science is advanced by disproving the null hypothesis, case by case -- (natural and known causes adequately explain the observed variance) -- as I said. None of that has been done with AGW; self-appointed 'expert' consensus is meaningless without disproof of natural variation. They "deem" and agree and insist nothing else could explain the warming, yet 1st-yr physics shows the CO2 effect to be an order of magnitude or more too weak to do what is claimed, even if it operates as claimed. Beyond that, human emissions have shown zero influence on temperatures except locally in and downwind of cities, corrupting most weather records. The pristine isolated weather stations' records are then retroactively "adjusted" up as "outliers", too cool to be "correct". All bogus. Even Hansen, the geriatric and senile charlatan, who finally retired as head of Goddard, has acknowledged that the rolling 5-yr average, the supposed gold standard, has been flat for over a decade.

The jig is up on "the greatest and most successful pseudo-scientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist", as the late Dr. Hal Lewis, founding member and Fellow of the APS said in his resignation letter.

Every KNOWN natural variation has been DISPROVEN several times as the PRIMARY source:

Is it the SUN?

Is it Volcanoes?

It it Earths Orbit?

If you're aware of a Natural Variation that is thought to be responsible then please cite it.

There are obviously more... It's not like natural variations haven't been tested... they have, none have been found that can explain our climate better than AGW. Perhaps someday we will find one that does... Perhaps one day we'll find something that explains gravity better than mass; Possible... not probable. Until those papers are published and peer reviewed those of us that appeal to reason and common sense will continue to accept AGW.

There are natural factors that do effect climate but the current warming trend is predominantly caused by the following facts that even you have yet to dispute:

1) C02 is a Greenhouse gas
2) CO2 levels are rapidly rising
3) Humans are causing levels to rise.

Seriously... how is this hard?

These are hard and ever ongoing discussions, good for those in it for the discussion.

But I go by the premise: why take a chance on messing up this planet? We know what levels of CO2 are comfortable and acceptable for humans to live and flourish. I do not really care about the ecosystem for dinosaurs. Is the evolution to a cleaner economy not the road to take anyway? Moving away from oil is an economic decision, not an environmental one. Am I better of having installed solar panels on my roof and giving my money to a 100% wind powered utility? Yes. Have I drastically reduced my CO2 fingerprint? I doubt it, my electricity still comes from mixed sources, I'm aware. But I did invest (by paying my utility bill) in a company that is expanding its 100% wind offering. So that it can grow and can reduce the need for mixed source electricity. Oh, and its €/kWh is a lot less than the other utilities, and it is fixed (yearly). So I'm green because my wallet agrees, and I have a hope it will make the earth a better place for my kids.

So we know that electricity generation is the biggest CO2 producer. The next one is transportation... guess why I'm interested in the Tesla Model S? Yes... in the end it will be cheaper to use this car than to use an ICE car. Will it drastically reduce the CO2 emissions in transportation? Not on its own, but given the choice I made with my utility, I know I'm not taking a gamble. We know that the climate with less CO2 is good for humans and its evolution.

Even if CO2 does not affect the climate, smoke contains a lot more than just CO2. This has a huge effect on the air in some cities, making it very unhealthy to breathe. And burning coal to produce electricity causes emissions of heavy metals and other dangerous pollutants. Thanks to filters etc., this is not as much of a problem as before, but burning coal still pollutes.

So even if people supporting use of fossil fuels are right, they´re wrong.

Ah, it seems that we are all saved, the Tesla does produce more CO2 than an ICE. Brian, you'll be happy to know this ;-)

btw: they seem to forget to add up the CO2 it 'costs' to produce an ICE, so the actual CO2 per mile is even 'better'.

I would live in L.A. but the don't like the diesel smell. I don't think one should be able to "see" the air that they breathe.
Maybe one day when there are more electric cars or other non-fossil-burning cars, the sun won't look like a brown orb in the sky as I pass through L.A., heading south.
So, regardless of who is "right or wrong", I personally, want to be able to breath fresh air (and drink fresh water) and if car exhausts have something to do with poor air quality, then I don't want car exhausts.

If anyone is interested in learning about how the scientific debate on climate change was pretty much settled decades ago watch this...

The fact that there's still a debate in the General Public at least in this country is probably the second worst black mark on our public education system next to the existence of young earth creationists.

"The most greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud" (Lewis) in modern history. With the potential to crash economies and kill billions, an acknowledged goal of Gaia Greens.

"I think there’s no disagreement in the scientific community that this (government mandated mitigation) will have no impact on climate, so it’s purely a matter of government revenue. And, as I say, I mean if they can fool the people into thinking that they really want to pay taxes to save the earth, that’s a dream for politicians." - Lindzen


Lewis is a frustrated old physics prof who know nothing about climate, frustrated because he can't get his colleagues to listen to the nonsense he is spouting. He has taken the ridiculous writings of "Climategate" to heart. He's an old fool.

Lindzen? "Today, most mainstream researchers consider Dr. Lindzen’s theory discredited. He does not agree, but he has had difficulty establishing his case in the scientific literature. Dr. Lindzen published a paper in 2009 offering more support for his case that the earth’s sensitivity to greenhouse gases is low, but once again scientists identified errors, including a failure to account for known inaccuracies in satellite measurements."

Lindzen is "feeding upon an audience that wants to hear a certain message, and wants to hear it put forth by people with enough scientific reputation that it can be sustained for a while, even if it’s wrong science. I don’t think it’s intellectually honest at all." -Christopher S. Bretherton

Kerry A. Emanuel, another M.I.T. scientist, said of Lindzen's views "Even if there were no political implications, it just seems deeply unprofessional and irresponsible to look at this and say, ‘We’re sure it’s not a problem.’ It’s a special kind of risk, because it’s a risk to the collective civilization."

@Brian H

Do you have any actual science to cite or just quotes from crazy people?

The science of climatology appears to be so complex that only brian h knows what's sense and what's nonsense. I sure have warm and fuzzies from that

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