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Holdren uses free market to get back to Stone Age

Nearly 40 years ago, John Holdren (now “science” advisor to Obama) wrote a book with the infamous Ehrlichs. In the “recommendations” at the end of 1973 book Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions, they said: “A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States”.

It’s a weird use of the word. But, there is no mistaking “de-develop”:  to undo development, to go backwards, to get rid of advances….

And it was hardly a juvenile slip of the tongue.  37 years later, all this time passes, and when asked about that passage, he acknowledges it’s still on his agenda:

“What we meant by that was stopping the kinds of activities that are destroying the environment and replacing them with activities that would produce both prosperity and environmental quality. Thanks a lot.”

CNSNews.com then asked: “And how do you plan on implementing that?”

“Through the free market economy,” Holdren said.

Just imagine what twisted, sicko “free market” would freely choose to do some de-developing?

Holdren’s version of freedom is just another grand control scheme: “Let me tell you how to live”. “Free market” has become the false advertising banner of the totalitarians. A market is not free if you have to coerce people or jail them into joining the market.

“De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation,” Holdren and the Ehrlichs wrote.

“Resources must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries,” Holdren and his co-authors wrote. ”This effort must be largely political, especially with regard to our overexploitation of world resources, but the campaign should be strongly supplemented by legal and boycott action against polluters and others whose activities damage the environment. The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge. They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than in the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.”

There are plenty of world-peace-type-problems to discuss. But, the mindset that thinks 1973 USA was “overdeveloped”, and that development itself is the problem is two dozen beers short of a slab. If people are unfed, sick, or homeless, then problem is not the development, but that the development is only half done.

Populations can’t keep growing exponentially, sure.  But, the only countries that have got control of their population surge are the ones that developed.

Read the whole report on CNS.

H/t Climate Depot (see also John Holdrens Ice Age Warning in 1971)

The man just wants to stop everyone else flying around in planes, having fun:

In their 1971 chapter, Holdren and Ehrlich speculate about various environmental catastrophes, and on pages 76 and 77 Holdren the climate scientist speaks about the probable likelihood of a “new ice age” caused by human activity (air pollution, dust from farming, jet exhaust, desertification, etc.).

He also wrote that trees ought to be able to sue in court…

Giving “natural objects” — like trees — standing to sue in a court of law would have a “most salubrious” effect on the environment, Holdren wrote  the 1970s.

“One change in (legal) notions that would have a most salubrious effect on the quality of the environment has been proposed by law professor Christopher D. Stone in his celebrated monograph, ‘Should Trees Have Standing?’” Holdren said in a 1977 book that he co-wrote with Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich.

If you met him at the pub, he’d be the guy you might egg on just for sake of a good dinner party anecdote to use after the fact, but he’s not just the nutter at the bar, he’s one degree of separation from the the Leader of The Free World.

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156 comments to Holdren uses free market to get back to Stone Age

  • #
    bill-tb

    Crazy leftists try to convince sane people about insane premises … A cocktail party dunce.

    I see today they renamed their sci-fy fantasy “global climate disruption”.

    Old lie croaks, rename it, the people won’t know, right?


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  • #
    Sean2829

    The crazy irony is that with the sun going into a quiet spell, a repeat of the “little ice age” is not out of the question. Holdren’s prediction in the 70′s might just be correct to a degree. When the main stream media say conservatives are nuts to call Obama a socialist, Holdren and Carol Browner are there to reinforce the worst suspicions.


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  • #
    Amr

    In 1973 I actually read this book and thought both authors and environmental movement idiotic and still do .
    My parents were stationed in a 3rd world country at the time which made the contents even more offensive .
    Amazingly these 2 people are idolised and given high powered jobs by the powers that be .
    Amr


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  • #
    pat

    17 Sept: Australian: Business condemns carbon price call
    by Andrew Burrell and Matt Chambers
    Mr Chaney, a former BHP director, said yesterday he believed that taking action before the rest of the world would damage Australia’s economy and international competitiveness.
    He also said a carbon tax, which was suggested by Mr Kloppers on Wednesday, would have little impact on overall carbon emissions…
    The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry said Mr Kloppers’s statements did not represent the views of its members.
    “We unambiguously represent the views of energy users rather than producers,” ACCI economics and industry policy director Greg Evans said. “Our members are concerned about the impact of either of a carbon tax or an ETS.
    “We certainly don’t believe Australia should pre-empt any international action.”…
    Macarthur Coal chairman Keith DeLacy urged caution on the issue. “We should not be looking at a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme in advance of the rest of the world,” he said.
    “It will reduce our competitiveness and won’t necessarily reduce carbon emissions.”
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/business-condemns-carbon-price-call/story-e6frg6nf-1225925059115

    Garnaut welcomes BHP’s call for carbon price
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/garnaut-welcomes-bhps-call-for-carbon-price-20100916-15egc.html

    it must be 2013!

    BHP’s move puts carbon tax back on Gillard’s agenda
    Tom Arup and Adam Morton With MATHEW MURPHY
    JULIA GILLARD has left open the possibility of abandoning an election promise to not introduce a carbon tax amid a concerted push by energy and mining leaders for swift action on climate change…
    The re-emergence of powerful industry voices in the climate debate comes as new Climate Change Minister Greg Combet met with Greens Deputy Leader Christine Milne to discuss the formation of the climate change committee.
    Senator Milne told The Age they talked about how the committee — planned to be a mix of MPs and experts — would be formed and operate. She said its main focus was introducing a carbon price…
    The government and Greens have promised the committee would start work by September 30.
    Independent MPs would be included, but the Coalition has ruled out being involved.
    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/bhps-move-puts-carbon-tax-back-on-gillards-agenda-20100916-15epm.html?autostart=1


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  • #
    Jamie

    “pat” (4),
    A carbon tax based on the FRAUD of man made global warming was NEVER off RED GILLARD’S agenda.

    She announced this on the eve of the election…….

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/08/duplicitous-last-minute-declaration-of-intent/comment-page-2/#comment-77135


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  • #
    Bob Malloy

    Green agendas going batty’

    Fed-up teachers at a northern NSW school claim they are being told to stop ringing the school bell, not hold sport days and plan different class times so they do not upset an influx of 20,000 flying foxes.

    Staff at Maclean High School say their school has been taken over by the noisy animals and are so upset that they plan to hold a stop-work meeting on Friday.

    They say bat droppings, which students then spread throughout classrooms, have made the school a health and safety risk.

    Maclean High teacher and NSW Teachers Federation representative John Ambrose said the foul smell and screeching by the bats forced teachers to close windows – making classrooms “unbearable” and learning difficult.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/school-goes-bats-over-red-tape-and-flying-foxes-20100915-15bp0.html


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  • #
    Bob Malloy

    From the 7.30 report.

    I spoke with Christine Milne earlier this evening; she was in Canberra.

    Christine Milne, you’ve just come from a meeting with the new Climate Change Minister Greg Combet on the make-up of the new committee on carbon pricing. Can you shed any light, or any further light, on the shape of the committee?

    CHRISTINE MILNE, GREENS: Well I’ve had a very good meeting with the new minister. That was my first opportunity since he was sworn in as minister to sit down and talk with him about the whole issue of climate change, about renewables, energy efficiency and the carbon price, and they are things that he’s nominated publically as things he wants to really progress. I intend to begin as I will end, and that is building the relationship with the Government on climate change, and so, we will deliver the terms of this committee by 30th September as we agreed with the Prime Minister.

    When she says “WE”, I believe she means it will on green terms, I also believe she and the rest of her green Nazi’s and their 12% of the vote have the right to govern the nation. Delusions of GRANDEUR.


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  • #
    elsie

    Bob Malloy: #6
    Yes, I can’t understand how the flying foxes can still be regarded as endangered when they are to be found everywhere in huge numbers. They are more likely endangered from over population of the species. But people come well down the totem pole when it comes to protection. If the hendra virus ever gets to the stage of being directly infectious to people from flying foxes there will not be one to be seen again.


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    I’d like to be sued by a tree. My defense would be an ax! End of problem.


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    On the other hand, there’s a whole lot of bold talk still coming from the executive branch while Democrats up for reelection, to hear them say it, never heard of Obama and his failed administration.

    It’s absolutely amazing.


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  • #
    wes george

    …. Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.”

    - John Holdren from his book Ecoscience: Population, Resources & Environment (co authored by Paul & Anne Ehrlich) pg 837

    http://www.amazon.com/Ecoscience-Population-Environment-Paul-Ehrlich/dp/0716700298

    * * *

    “Perhaps those agencies, combined with UNEP and the United Nations population agencies, might eventually be developed into a Planetary Regime—sort of an international superagency for population, resources, and environment. Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable, at least insofar as international implications exist. Thus the Regime could have the power to control pollution not only in the atmosphere and oceans, but also in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes that cross international boundaries or that discharge into the oceans. The Regime might also be a logical central agency for regulating all international trade, perhaps including assistance from DCs to LDCs, and including all food on the international market. The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits”.

    – John Holdren, Obama’s Science Czar

    http://davegj13.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/more-quotes-from-the-idiot-left-on-america-taxes-and-other-issues/

    * * *

    The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

    http://www.vhemt.org/oar.htm

    * * *

    Musings of mass annihilation of humanity by violent scientific nuts.

    http://www.classicalvalues.com/archives/2010/09/since_when_have.html

    * * *

    Arbeit macht frei


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  • #
    Jeff of Gembrook

    And in more Global Warming news from Melbourne, with the Spring Equinox just days away, the Maximum temperature in Melbourne still has not reached 20C on any day since the winter solstice.
    The last time Melbourne went without a 20C day up to & including the 17th of September was 1992.
    The Bureau’s 7 day outlook still shows no days forecast to reach 20C before the 23rd.

    Just to show how cold 1992 was in Melbourne; it holds the record for our lowest ever average maximum for January and has the only September in 155 years of weather records where the maximum temperature failed to reach 20C for the entire month.


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  • #
    Bob Malloy

    elsie:#8
    September 17th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I can’t understand how the flying foxes can still be regarded as endangered when they are to be found everywhere in huge numbers

    Its all part of the one agenda, de-develop, de populate, leave it all to the critters, we humans don’t deserve to exist, unless were green and know our place in the pecking order.


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  • #
    Bulldust

    I see the Greens have appointed WA newbie Senator Ludlam as spokesman on nuclear issues. He trots out all the usual demons here:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/old-tech-nuclear-power-is-not-the-answer/story-e6frg6zo-1225925023935

    Clearly he has not heard the saying “better to hold your tongue and be thought the fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.” You have to feel for the poor sausage… how can he be expected to make reasoned scientific arguments when his background is dabbling in graphic design?

    http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22handbook%2Fallmps%2FI07%22

    I suggested in my comment to The Australian (assuming it gets posted… it was a tad aggressive) that he might better serve the party by creating a pretty brochure about the issue.


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  • #
    Bulldust

    PS> Perhaps I am becoming more cantankerous with age… I find a diminished ability to tolerate syupidity as each year wanes…


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  • #
    Bulldust

    stupidity* I spell gud… mah topying suxxors.


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  • #
    Tim

    I was an Ehrlich follower when I was still quite naive, but I’ve waited 20 years for that sea level to rise to the 9th floor of the Empire State building and so have lost faith in him a wee bit.


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  • #
    Speedy

    Morning All.

    I just think it’s funny that every time you see these guys preaching about the need to reduce our standard of living etc, they don’t seem to include themselves on the list of future victims. A severe sacrifice for Al Gore, for instance, might mean selling one of his mansions…

    The pain, the pain.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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  • #
    oh dear

    To those of you who are still waiting for “real” evidence that shows that human produced GHGs are causing global warming, please, what sort of evidence are you looking for? What sort of measurements or observations do you think are needed to demonstrate, beyond reasonable doubt, that the AGW hypothesis is correct?

    Jo Nova claims that there is no evidence that humans are causing global warming. I wonder what she would accept as evidence?


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  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    Bulldust:
    The correct phrase is “Educated Idiots”.

    After all Global warming keeps changing there phrase.


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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    Bulldust: #14

    For what it is worth, I posted the following comment to the article:

    With all due respect to the Minister, it seems that his advisors are several decades out of date in their information.
    Whereas his comments are accurate in regard to heavy water reactors of the 1940′s vintage, they are not true for the light water reactors used today. Nuclear powered ships required the development of new technology, that was smaller, lighter, and safer. This resulted in technology that does not produce plutonium or enriched uranium.
    Get rid of the old reactors by all means, but replace them with modern and safe nuclear alternatives, of which there are now several alternatives, with further developments in the pipeline. It would supply the energy the world needs, make the world a safer place, and protect the environment at the same time.
    How could the minister object to that?

    We will have to see if it gets past the censors …


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  • #

    Roy Hogue:
    September 17th, 2010 at 9:14 am edit

    I’d like to be sued by a tree. My defense would be an ax! End of problem.

    Except Roy, if you are a farmer in Australia and you do that to a tree on your property, you might be breaking the law.

    See “Peter Spencer”.

    The Thompsons tell me they can’t sell the deadwood on their property without a permit.


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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    oh dear: #19

    That is a hard question. There is so much evidence missing that it is difficult to know where to start.

    I would not presume to speak for Jo, but for my part, I would like to see observational evidence of warming in the upper troposphere that the models say should exist, but doesn’t – the so-called hot spot that produces positive feedback. To a lay-person like me, that seems to be a critical part of the debate.

    As an engineer, who understands a little about electromagnetic radiation, I would also like to see some empirical evidence that demonstrates how the sum of radiative energy in the system can be greater than its constituent parts.

    Oh, and I would also like to be able to understand the evidence that demonstrated conclusively that the sun’s magnetic field does not have any influence in patterns of weather variation on Earth, other than provide a constant and unvarying source of heat, as assumed in the models.


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  • #
    co2isnotevil

    Holdren has an ulterior motive. He’s a big fan of geo-engineering and wants to try it out.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/apr/08/geo-engineering-john-holdren

    Another interesting connection to this is one of the last climate gate emails which was cc’d to Holdren by MacCracken regarding geo engineering possibilities MacCracken was trying to push.

    George


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  • #
    handjive

    Global Warming Out, ‘Global Climate Disruption’ In

    White House science adviser John Holdren urged people to start using the phrase during a speech last week in Oslo.

    From the administration that brought you “man-caused disaster” and “overseas contingency operation,” another terminology change is in the pipeline.

    The White House wants the public to start using the term “global climate disruption” in place of “global warming”.

    White House: Global Warming Out, ‘Global Climate Disruption’ In
    Published September 16, 2010 | FoxNews.com

    “Are they going to change the name of weathermen to disruption analysts?” quipped GOP strategist Pete Snyder.


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  • #
    Speedy

    Rareke

    I’d just like to see evidence that the warming of the late 20th century was any different to any previous warming. I’d like to see evidence that CO2 levels were a direct cause (not just a coincidence). I’d like to see why the present atmospheric CO2 levels are on the “tipping point” whereas previous CO2 levels were about 5000 + ppm. I’d like to see why temperatures in the earlier part of the century fell on a decadal basis, while all the while CO2 levels increased. I’d like to see why the effect of water vapour is assumed to increase global tempertures. I’d like to see why we should be afraid of warmer climate, when cold climates are the killers. And what the AGW advocates hope to achieve by controlling atmospheric CO2 levels when they are in dynamic equilibrium with the dissolved CO2 in sea water – a mass of CO2 that is 50 times that of the CO2 in the atmosphere. Oh dear, indeed.

    Need we go on?

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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  • #
    elsie

    The transcript of the 7.30 Report 16 Sep also shows Greens Senator Christine Milne saying,

    “We want to make sure that the polluters pay for the pollution that they generate and the real costs of climate change which we are all suffering and paying for.”

    Excuse me for asking. But what change are we suffering?? I can’t think of any.
    I am also sure if my late parents and grandparents were to come back to life they would not notice any change. Droughts and floods and storms are what we have always ‘suffered’. The only reason why water shortages are a bit more frequent is because of too much irrigation in the rural areas and the lack of building more dams near the expanding cities. The shortage is not caused by nature but by obstinate ideology.


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  • #
    Pete Hayes

    Odear #19

    I will assume you are asking the question for real so why not read what is available on this site, WUWT etc etc etc and then you answer your own question by posting on here

    Explain how CO2 causes AGW

    Explain the tipping point (use of models will be ripped to bits, remember the Professor that said, “If you need to use a model your experiment is not worthy” or words to that effect!)

    Explain Positive Feedback in relation to AGW.

    There you go, 3 easy starters for ten points but only if your explanations are falsifiable.


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  • #
    John Brookes

    oh dear@19, please play by the rules!

    The onus is on us (the no-pun-intended agw brigade) to prove to them (the skeptics) that agw is real, but it would be too easy if they just say, “ok, if the temperature goes up by 0.7 degrees a decade for the next two decades, or, if the sea level keeps rising, or if the arctic ice keeps shrinking, then we will admit that you are right”.

    To make it harder, the skeptics will say “jump”, and when the agw scientists (and global temperatures) jump, the skeptics will say “not high enough”, or, “that wasn’t a jump”, or “you cheated”, or “you are only jumping because you get paid heaps to jump”, or “do it again, I wasn’t looking”.

    And this is only fair, because we agw alarmists don’t appreciate modern society and want to turn off the electricity and return to a hunter gatherer society. Well, actually, we want to keep our electricity but force the vast majority of humans back to the stone age. Because we are misanthropic hypocrites (and educated idiots).

    I hope thats cleared things up for you, oh dear.


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  • #
    John Brookes

    Decade! What was I thinking – its supposed to be century!


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  • #
    John Brookes

    Not “decade”, “century”.


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  • #
    Louis Hissink

    John Brooks

    “The onus is on us (the no-pun-intended agw brigade) to prove to them (the skeptics) that AGW is real”

    No scientific theory can be proven, but they can be falsified, but AGW has been falsified on many counts.

    In any case it isn’t a scientific theory based on some observations but a speciously reasoned belief hatched by John Holdren and others in 1975 at Margaret Mead’s conference sponsored by the AAAS “1975 `Endangered Atmosphere’
    Conference”.

    Notable Climate Change advocates then included John Holdren, the late Stephen Schneider, George Woodwell, Margaret Mead, to mention some luminaries in the Global Warming Camp.

    The problem for you is the science behind AGW is essentially cargo-cult or pseudoscience, in which the trappings of the scientific method are used to justify and intellectual argument.

    The following facts are pertinent.

    1. Humanity is not burning fossil fuels (no such things) but hydrocarbon exhalations from the mantle deposited as either liquid hydrocarbons in sedimentary basins, and carbon accumulations in old peat and lignite beds from precipitation of mantle derived methane.

    2. The troposphere hot spot is missing.

    3. CO2 is an effect of biogenic metabolism of hydrocarbons by carbon based life-forms.

    4. The standard model of the sun is wrong as it cannot explain observations.

    5. The standard model of the solar system is wrong, in that it ignores the data accumulated in plasma physics applied to astrophysics.

    6. Given these inconvenient facts, it is clear that AGW is a political driven idea masked by scientese.

    7. Incidentally computer modelling outcomes are not evidence at all but abstractions from a incomplete theories.


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  • #
    wes george

    So, John says that he can prove AGW is real. Just wait 100 years for the evidence!

    BZZZT! Epic Fail. Please reapply for Scientific Method Theory 101 next term.


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  • #
    wes george

    Personally, I believe that a hostile Alien Space Armada is on the way to invade Earth, but won’t arrive for a decade. But my psychologist say the onus is on me to prove it or he’ll refuse to sign my release form! That would be too easy if he would just say, if the aliens arrive in a decade, then I’ll admit you are right!


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  • #
    wes george

    Decade! What was I thinking – its supposed to be century! A CENTURY, I tell you!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOA3aYRSy_k&feature=related


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  • #
    co2isnotevil

    John,

    Like so many CAGW cultists, you fail to recognize the difference between coincidence and causation. The facts that the climate changes and that man is putting CO2 into the atmosphere are coincidental. The additional fact that CO2 is a GHG doesn’t change this. Let’s try and stick to the science instead of relying on precaution based lunacy.

    The best doubling CO2 can do is about 1C. I said ‘best’ because history tells us that warming is beneficial to civilization. Not withstanding the benefit, the 3C ‘catastrophe’ is completely bogus and based on precaution justified speculation. We have enough measurements that we can tell how water vapor effects respond to forcing and it’s far from what the IPCC requires to get all of the magic amplification and cause the evangelized catastrophe.

    When skeptics ask for evidence, we mean how can you explain the physical process, in terms of first principles, that magically amplifies CO2 ‘forcing’, yet does not similarly amplify incident solar forcing. Just mentioning water vapor isn’t the answer, since that will apply equally to any forcing power, independent of it’s source.

    You really should try and take a stab at explaining the science, in your own words. The emphasis is because this requires you to think through what you are saying. Simply parroting some talking point will not suffice.

    George


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  • #

    John Brookes: #29
    September 17th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    oh dear@19, please play by the rules!

    seems Johns science game is a bit off but his humour is well in place. I’ll play..

    John replies to Oh Dear….yada yada yada

    Humbug replies to John….Oh Dear!


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  • #
    John Watt

    When it is all said and done, the only opinions that matter in Oz wrt ETS/CPRS are those of our current crop of Parliamentarians. How many of them can produce an expert who can explain in terms of basic laws of physics/chemistry how CO2 drives significant changes to climate?
    If there are no such explanations forthcoming then these Parliamentarians will abstain from voting on the legislation, resign for misleading their constituents or give some other honorable acknowledgment of the error of their ways…not likely!

    If there are such explanations available then as a sign of “open” government our elected representatives need to share such explanations.

    Clearly with PM Gillard confining Ministerial comment to portfolio issues the onus is on Minister Combet to publish the factual explanation or resign.


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  • #
    Speedy

    Baa Humbug

    Regarding your comment to John. That was very unreasonable of you. These lovely people want to turn civilisation on its ear and you’re just making life difficult for them. Please, just do as they say, and give them the money. And stop asking questions…

    Cheers,

    Speedy.

    (Call me old fashioned, but scientists in my day were expected to prove their theories before they were accepted. And certainly before anyone spent a few lazy trillion on the idea.)


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    Jaymez

    It is a worry when someone who has been so demonstrably wrong in the past can e the world’s most powerful person’s scientific adviser. It is frightening.


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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    Speedy: #26

    Don’t tell me! Tell “oh dear”: #19

    You guys have already beaten me into submission — several times. :-)


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    Speedy: #39
    September 17th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Baa Humbug

    Regarding your comment to John. That was very unreasonable of you.

    Sorry speedy, not hav’n a good day, bit cranky :)


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Louis Hissink: #32

    In any case it isn’t a scientific theory based on some observations but a speciously reasoned belief hatched by John Holdren and others in 1975 at Margaret Mead’s conference sponsored by the AAAS “1975 `Endangered Atmosphere’ Conference”.
    Notable Climate Change advocates then included John Holdren, the late Stephen Schneider, George Woodwell, [the late] Margaret Mead … [and others]

    And there, ladies and gentlemen, [drum roll] is your conspiracy.

    Thank you for mentioning it Louis … for reasons I won’t go into, I was unable to broach the subject myself.

    Oh, and by the way, I think John Brookes #29 was being facetious — I thought it was quite good too.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    wes george: #34

    I believe that a hostile Alien Space Armada is on the way to invade Earth, but won’t arrive for a decade.

    You are wrong, totally and utterly wrong, you could not be any wronger if you tried.

    They are here already, and I have it on good authority, from my psychologist, that they are hiding under your bed, so it is all your fault. I just hope you are sorry, that is all I can say …


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    John Watt: #38

    Julia Gillard is on record as stating, quite categorically, that she believes in Global Warming. Her word, not mine.

    If she has belief, she has no need or motivation to prove otherwise.


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    Louis Hissink

    Rereke, #45

    So do I but which one – natural or anthropogenic.


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    Joe Lalonde

    The phrase “Global Climate Disruption” is wanting to be adapted, then the sound pretty close to the scare of “Global Climate Destruction”. Easily to have a slip of the tongue in speaches.


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    Joe Lalonde

    Question.

    Why are we using the incorrect phrase of Global when clearly the two hemispheres are split at the equator and the weather NEVER crosses?


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Louis Hissink: #46

    Good point!

    From the way she said it, I presume she meant anthropogenic. It was in connection with her eleventh hour statement that she would implement the ETS.


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    Jessie

    The de-development has been going on for years, under the aegis of an increasingly unionised public service and superannuation investments, eco-tertiary education courses and research focused on developing the market of a natural [sustainable] environment as an economy with human assets as a byproduct. Why so has WHO not made the Millenium goal impact on maternal morbidity and female education in some nations when such a workforce is available to provide relief?

    Community development, primary health care codified at Alma Ata USSR in 1978, health promotion codified as Health for All http://mja.com.au/public/issues/178_01_060103/hal10723_fm.pdf and health education all seem to be another Kyoto or Copenhagen. Or Mexico. Now the movement is termed Public Health and Urban Planning (aka Population and Social Inclusion ministry).

    It is about re-distribution of wealth http://jech.bmj.com/content/59/7/542.abstract
    and structural adjustments http://www.who.int/social_determinants/en/
    and

    Even though one is living, has enjoyment to education, employment and benefit AND has freedom of speech, unlike many others in non-capitalist nations or communities, the barrow can still be pursued of anti or re-distribution:
    http://www.themonthly.com.au/fran-baum-capitalism-good-our-health-1955

    It is not clear that the majority of women and children in
    — the remote communities of Australia,
    — the urban slums created by maintaining archaic rural agricultural, sorcery and education practices and
    —the pandemic of HIV with no services [even in the ususal climatic catastrophes] for our women and children in PNG (and the Pacific)
    have much faith in the utopian notions of ‘de-development and anti-capitalism’.

    Root crops and pigs are still traded, as are child brides, for land, in our region, over and above any development of one rule for all, transparent governance and freedom of speech. Especially for these children and mothers.

    Phh, the marxo-eco feminists and those that hang from them have a long way to go before they realise women and their children are being traded as proxy land and potential for food or is that tree-locked landscape these days. Or are they now, that 50% + 25% being their children born, in the trade of carbon so heavily pursued?


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    I consider it amazing that we have a man who is a “scientific” adviser to the president.The same man who for over 40 years peddling pseudoscience.

    He has been wrong so many times,to rationally be considered a credible adviser on science matters.Same with DR. Chou,who wins a prize despite being wrong.

    Evidence that mediocre people will chose mediocre people.What does that tell you about Barak Obama?


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    Roy Hogue

    Jo @22,

    Except Roy, if you are a farmer in Australia and you do that to a tree on your property, you might be breaking the law.

    See “Peter Spencer”.

    The Thompsons tell me they can’t sell the deadwood on their property without a permit.

    Hopefully you’ll forgive my sense of humor. I’m fully aware of the situation in Australia from your excellent reporting.

    In any case, Holdren is our monster to deal with. I only wish I knew a way to cut him down to a size where his hat will actually fit on his head. Come to think of it, the entire collection of nut cases comprising our government at the moment needs to be cut down to normal size.

    November 2 will be very interesting.


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    Roy Hogue

    PS:

    I gave you a thumbs up, Jo!


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    MattB

    “The following facts are pertinent.”

    You use an extremely flexible meaning of the word “fact” there Louis!


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    MattB

    May I offer some edits Louis?

    “believing the following factsrandom whako unfounded distortions of science:
    1. Humanity is not burning fossil fuels (no such things) but hydrocarbon exhalations from the mantle deposited as either liquid hydrocarbons in sedimentary basins, and carbon accumulations in old peat and lignite beds from precipitation of mantle derived methane.
    2. The troposphere hot spot is missing.
    3. CO2 is an effect of biogenic metabolism of hydrocarbons by carbon based life-forms.
    4. The standard model of the sun is wrong as it cannot explain observations.
    5. The standard model of the solar system is wrong, in that it ignores the data accumulated in plasma physics applied to astrophysics.
    6. Given these inconvenient facts, i Is symptomatic of a political driven idea masked by scientese.”


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    Roy Hogue

    oh dear @19,

    Jo Nova claims that there is no evidence that humans are causing global warming. I wonder what she would accept as evidence?

    Jo has written The Skeptic’s Handbook, available on this site. And her case is all laid out in that fairly short document for you to read.


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    Roy Hogue

    May I offer some edits Louis?

    Matt,

    If I was a betting man I’d bet that Louis can support everything he said with good strong arguments and observable facts. That’s certainly more than you’ve been able to muster up regards AGW.

    Is Louis right? I don’t know! But you should not be so anxious to cross swords with him. He’ll eat your lunch! You’re much more astute at politics than at science.


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    Adolf Balik

    Holdren just proposed a new term instead of Global Warming or Climatic Change “Climatic Disruption” should be used.

    It is a RETRO to me! I used to live under a communist dictatorship. Ono of the top sacral value was so called socialistic social order which should be always protected against disruption. If someone had committed anything politically incorrect it was declared as a disruptive act. Everybody was call upon to be on guard against disruptions. There was also watch-cry: “We won’t allow our socialism to be disrupted.”

    The prepared climatic socialism is the longer the more similar to the Bolshevik socialism and Holdren is a perfect prototype of Red Commissar to me. I know them well and I recognize one when I meet him.


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  • #

    The average U.S. resident uses energy at the rate of approximately 11 kilowatts of primary energy. The world uses energy at about 1.5 kilowatts per capita. I read in columns like this such sentiments as “the green commies are trying to use AGW as an excuse to prevent the under-developed world from achieving our standard of living, all will be will if we just let them develop using fossil fuel sources.” Really? Do the math. If 7 billion people use energy at the rate of 11 kilowatts in lieu of 1.5, the rate of primary energy use will be multiplied by over seven times. Yeah, how could that not work? Please…


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    DougS

    You’d expect that people like Erlich and Holdren, having got their dire predictions so wrong in the past, would be hiding under a table in some far-flung outpost of the earth.

    But far from it, they’re still at it, albeit with the opposite reasons for calamity but the same blame – nasty humankind.

    One of them is even advising the the President of USA on scientific matters.

    You really couldn’t make it up!


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    Llew Jones

    Rob Ryan:
    September 18th, 2010 at 2:49 am

    “The average U.S. resident uses energy at the rate of approximately 11 kilowatts of primary energy. The world uses energy at about 1.5 kilowatts per capita. I read in columns like this such sentiments as “the green commies are trying to use AGW as an excuse to prevent the under-developed world from achieving our standard of living, all will be will if we just let them develop using fossil fuel sources.” Really? Do the math. If 7 billion people use energy at the rate of 11 kilowatts in lieu of 1.5, the rate of primary energy use will be multiplied by over seven times. Yeah, how could that not work? Please…”

    That’s easy. It wont happen tomorrow but India and China are talking in terms of aiming at the West’s per capita energy usage. Efficiency improvements in energy production will help get that future 9 to 10 billion earth inhabitants, not your 7 billion, up to a decent standard of living using mostly fossil fuel energy sources. Here’s a recent report on projected energy usage by 2035:

    EIA Says World Energy Use Projected to Grow Nearly 50 Percent
    By Jane Van Ryan | Wednesday 2 June 2010

    The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released the latest edition of the agency’s long-term assessment of world energy markets–the International Energy Outlook 2010 (IEO2010).

    Among the points stressed in the report are that world energy consumption is projected to grow nearly 50 percent between 2007 and 2035; and while growth of renewable energy sources is brisk, fossil fuels will meet nearly 80 percent of total energy needs in 2035.

    Also, the report says that China and India are expected to more than double their combined energy use by 2035–accounting for roughly 30 percent of world energy use….

    http://blog.energytomorrow.org/2010/06/eia-says-world-energy-use-projected-to-grow-nearly-50-percent.html


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    Llew Jones:
    September 18th, 2010 at 4:06 am

    Yes, no question, the 9 billion makes it just that much worse. While you cited an EIA report, you made no effort to address that fact that, even at the current world population, we would need to extract over seven times as much energy from fossil fuels for everyone to be able to use energy at the rate we in the U.S. do. Europe uses about half as much, per capita so we’d only need to extract a little less than four times as much energy as we currently extract to bring everyone on Earth up to the European standard. That is, of course, at present levels of population, not the projected 9 billion. That number of people will require extracting five times the current rate to support at the European standard.

    The EIA estimates make no pretense of bringing the developing world to the standard of living (and energy use) of the developed nations. If China and India double their combined energy use, they’ll still be at per capita levels lower than Europe is today, let alone the U.S. The figures are readily available, it simply can’t happen.


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    wes george

    Rob Ryan,

    The developing world is rapidly shrinking the gap in energy usage with the developed economies. That’s a good thing, right? Because energy usage in the third world is a proxy for health outcomes. In 2000, 12 million children died each year before the age of five in the poorest of nations. It’s now down to 8 million and declining as power plants – primarily coal – are built.

    Energy supply increases in the developing world means clean water, toilets, modern health clinics, cooking without charcoal, power tools, refrigeration, info/coms tech and a myriad of other conveniences we simply take for granted, but couldn’t live without. Imagine if we turned off Sydney’s electric for a year. Welcome to Sudan.

    The topic of this thread is the anti-humanist ecological solutions that Obama’s science advisor John Holdren has proposed to the problem of resource distribution. Do you support “compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion” regulated by a one-world government?

    The solutions to the world’s ecological and poverty problems don’t lie in a form of authoritarian eco-Marxism because this would freeze technological and cultural innovation at today’s levels, creating the very ecological apocalypse we seek to avoid. Why? Because nary a creative thought was ever generated by coercion. Collectivist action is toxic to individual innovation.

    Only a continuation and extension of the global free market of capital, goods, services and most of all IDEAS can save the planet. Free markets imply the existence of free thinking and acting individuals in control of the product of their labour.

    Technology and cultural evolution is accelerating at rates never experienced before due entirely to free markets and individual liberty. Now is not the time to freeze this roaring engine of innovation with some variety of authoritarian central command economy directed by a clique of intellectual elites who think they are smarter than the distributed wisdom of 6.89 billion sentient beings on this planet.

    Technological and cultural innovation can only be created and propagated by the chaotically non-linear natural selection process that can only occur in a free market ecology of capital and ideas, which requires respect for individual human autonomy and dignity above all else.

    Perhaps most distressing to hand-wringing control freaks – future solutions will only arrive in a just-in-time fashion and can not be forecast by econometric (or whatever) models beforehand! Humanity is just gonna have to wing it and trust in our innate human capacity for curiosity and rational inquiry to see us through, rather than for a messianic leader waving a little red book to come save us.


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    cohenite

    Rob’s comments go to the heart of the psychology of AGW; it is a fundamentally pessimistic view which is incapable of seeing or appreciating the capacity of humanity to overcome seemingly ineluctable problems. It is a fearful view which verges on paranoia and it is a misanthropic view which blames humanity for raising these problems which cause so much distress and anguish.

    One is tempted to place the origin for this syndrone in the expectations of the baby boomers and the uber individuality that defines the various cahorts of the post WW11 generations. Increasingly the expectations of these are self-centred and about personal fulfillment; enui is the natural result of a collective and largely mediocre generation staring at its own navels and one of the solutions is to seek a moral consolation which can restore the sense of worth and entitlement. What could be more noble and restorative than saving the planet? It also has the virtue of punishing anyone who has or is likely to achieve more than the advocates of AGW; if nothing else AGW is a restraint on unemcumbered scientific exploration; the Lysenko attributes of AGW science is that any other science is unimportant, irrelevant or if it has the temerity to contradict AGW, subversive.

    Rob’s complaint is nothing more than a manifestation of the misanthropic Malthusian clap-trap which underpins AGW and in particular this swine Holdren’s hatred of humanity. I can remember many years ago being at a party with some government scientists chappies who were describing people as the “hairless rainbow rats”; they were from CSIRO. This rat view informs many of the sub-theologies of AGW, notably the animal liberation fanatics who assert that humans deserve no more than any other animal.

    Humans are not like other animals. Humans can overcome natural limitations; we can feed ourselves beyond what nature would allow; the Malthusian prophecies have never looked like coming true; Rob should google Norman Borlaug. Our inventive capacity may be stymied by AGW but the fact is the best solution to population is prosperity; prosperity, with one exception, is the perfect social contraceptive. People who lead prosperous lives do not have large families. By giving such lifestyles to the 3rd world their much greater population increase will stop. To argue that the Western world should move down to a 3rd world standard is the recipe for a much greater population; it is stupid. Instead people like Rob should believe in human ingenuity and capacity and be positive and optimistic.

    After all we have Mars and perhaps Venus to terraform and populate not just Earth.


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    Terraform Mars and Venus is your solution? Are you capable of doing an energy balance? I love human ingenuity, I love my creature comforts, I love the fact that I was born at a time that has enabled me to live as I do and enjoy the things that I have. But handwaving arguments that we can overcome any obstacle, extract infinite resources from a finite planet and terraform “Earth-like” planets.

    The so-called “demographic transition” to which you allude MIGHT limit the growth of population, that’s why I used the current population in my original comment. We use (rounding here) 80 million barrels of oil per day and about 57 million barrels of oil equivalent per day of coal. Do you really think we can just “be ingenious” and figure out a way to extract four times this much energy from the ground and continue it indefinitely?


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    Louis Hissink

    Doug S @ #63

    That Holdren and Erlich don’t hide from the failure of their prophesies is normal – these people “know” their beliefs are right, and that the correctness of the prophesies remains – it’s just that the final timing of the prophesy was not known as accurately as thought at the time.

    I was told by a dark left lawyer type that Communism failed because the people were not up to the task set them by Marx and Engles.

    This is the nature of the mindset behind AGW – it is a religious belief, albeit couched in scientese. Arguing with them achieves nothing excerpt frustration.

    If you want to familiarise yourself with AGW bone-headed obstinance, one could read the musings on http://www.johnquiggin.com on AGW issues from a social democratic perspective. From what I can make of that site, AGW is a proven fact, and the task remains to convince us bone headed right-wingers of our error.

    AGW was from the start a progressive agenda to force us, or ease us if you want to be polite, into living a more sustainable lifestyle. The AGW group sincerely believe we are not doing that and therefore we need to be “managed” into such. This belief is based on the junk science behind Peak Oil etc nd if one studies the history of science, it’s the Whiggish view of life that tends to support the pseudosciences which ae restricted to the intellectual domain that, for most parts, is disconnected from physical reality. All the GCM’s are disconnected from physical reality – and better described as virtual global climate models.

    Also notice that the bone-heads are pointing out that sceptics are trashing the “science” (the accusations mainly made by unscientific bone-heads, or bone-heads unfamiliar with the scientific method) who believe that a scientist is someone who does ‘science’ whatever that could mean. The problem is that the halls of instiutionalised science are populated for the most by highly skilled journeymen or technicians, not scientists, and AGW is the product of this technocratic class, and not from the much smaller group of true scientists.

    As such it is best viewed as a cultural phenomenon of the progressive world-view, (read social democratic) and as they are in the majority, controlling Europe and the Anglosphere, its institutions and government bureaucracies, then do not think the AGW battle is won – despite Marc Morano’s excellent summaries of the problem – stopping AGW and the imposition of any emission trading scheme or carbon tax requires the wholesale conversion of the chattering classes and their camp-followers. That is not going to happen, esepcially when Malcolm Turnbull, a so called conservative, ardently believes in a carbon tax.

    We are living in interesting times.


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    Edited (I was distracted by earning a living).

    Terraform Mars and Venus is your solution? Are you capable of doing an energy balance? I love human ingenuity, I love my creature comforts, I love the fact that I was born at a time that has enabled me to live as I do and enjoy the things that I have. But handwaving arguments that we can overcome any obstacle, extract infinite resources from a finite planet and terraform “Earth-like” planets will not enable 7 billion people to live as I (and I presume you) do.

    The so-called “demographic transition” to which you allude MIGHT limit the growth of population, that’s why I used the current population in my original comment. We use (rounding here) 80 million barrels of oil per day and about 57 million barrels of oil equivalent per day of coal. Do you really think we can just “be ingenious” and figure out a way to extract four times this much energy from the ground and continue it indefinitely?


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    Louis Hissink

    Rob Ryan,

    Humanity has historically never ran out of resources – for what all doomsday beliefs neglect to include is human ingenuity – and the solutions usually come from the far left field from areas totally unknown by the so called erudite among us.

    Mind you no solution is expected from government.


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    Llew Jones

    Rob Ryan

    “The EIA estimates make no pretense of bringing the developing world to the standard of living (and energy use) of the developed nations. If China and India double their combined energy use, they’ll still be at per capita levels lower than Europe is today, let alone the U.S. The figures are readily available, it simply can’t happen.”

    I mentioned production efficiency but there is no doubt plenty of room for user efficiency. Assuming that generally Europe enjoys a standard of living roughly equivalent to that of the US, their per capita energy usage surely is enough to provide a high, by Western standards, living standard to the developing and under developed nations (Of course energy availability is not the only factor in the standard of living for a given country – we anti commies are very aware of that).

    I don’t think many were suggesting that the commies were preventing the under privileged from consuming the same amount of energy as you claim US citizens on average do. That is a red herring of your making and muddies the waters a bit. Improving efficiencies on both sides would reduce fuel and power usage whilst still maintaining the same standard of living.

    In that quest it would be instructive to see what the break down of that energy use is in the US and other countries before making a judgment on what amount of energy is needed to enjoy a “Western life style”.

    On the production side the US is notorious for its highly inefficient coal powered energy production from antiquated power plants. Maybe we could blame the commies for that state of affairs? That said I’m not sure even the commies could do much to help the apparent continuing profligacy of you Americans with your energy production and usage.

    I think most of us “anti commies” are more concerned to expose the quasi religious nature and basically unscientific doctrines of the catastrophic ACC commies and hence decry the commies’ vain attempt to save the earth than with American’s seeming inefficiencies when it comes to energy production and usage and its relevance to a “Western” standard of living.


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    Baa Humbug

    Rob Ryan: #62
    September 18th, 2010 at 2:49 am

    The average U.S. resident uses energy at the rate of approximately 11 kilowatts of primary energy. The world uses energy at about 1.5 kilowatts per capita. I read in columns like this such sentiments as “the green commies are trying to use AGW as an excuse to prevent the under-developed world from achieving our standard of living, all will be will if we just let them develop using fossil fuel sources.” Really? Do the math. If 7 billion people use energy at the rate of 11 kilowatts in lieu of 1.5, the rate of primary energy use will be multiplied by over seven times. Yeah, how could that not work? Please…

    Rob Ryans great great grandfather was seen tweeting the following back in 1890..

    “The under-developed world will reach our standard of living if we just let them have the numbers of horses and oxen that we use. Really? Do the math. If the hoards in the dark continent and the orient use beasts of burden at the same rate that we do, this planet will have horse-chit piled as high as Mt Everest by the turn of the century and flies will rule the world. Yeah, how could that be good? Pullease!!!”

    Hey oracle Bob, I fear for my great grand kids future, can you check your almanac and give me a sneak peek into the world in 2050?

    ################################
    The problem as I see it is that many who claim to be concerned about the planet are really people who lack faith in humanity due to their own lack of self esteem. Mainly inflicting the young and inexperienced who are too lazy to study history and too young to have experienced anything like recessions, depressions and other worldly ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ events.

    I would suggest an hour or so reading the musings of Michael Crichton regards humanity, and a couple of days reading the entries at the late great John L Daly website Still Waiting for Greenhouse, regards Global Warming / Climate Change / Climate Disruption / Climate Catastrophe / Climate Whatever Fools Ya.


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    wes george

    Rob Ryan says, “Do you really think we can just “be ingenious”

    Yes, of course, we can continue to be ingenious! That is the ONLY solution. Just being ingenious is how we got this far.

    You’re simply projecting today’s trends linearly, indefinitely into the future. But we know from history, real world development is chaotic and nonlinear and just-in-time. Technological evolution is discontinuous and punctuated by phase shifts that can’t be well predicted beforehand.

    This makes literalist projections into the future always result in forecasts of doomsday scenarios, since innovation is unquantifiable. Obviously, if we continue frozen into our current state of techno-cultural evolution we’ll face doomsday scenarios in 2060. Nothing could be a more unrealistic representation of reality. You could had said the same thing in 1950 about the future in 2000.

    That’s exactly what the Club of Rome did in the 1970’s. They directly extrapolated trends in energy, resources, food and population forward. Not surprising they predicted that the few of us left alive should all have devolved into Road Warriors by 2000.

    The Club of Rome didn’t take into account Moore’s Law, the acceleration of technological evolution on many fronts or the arc of human cultural evolution that is lowering fertility rates. Nor did it include concepts like “ephemeralisation” which Buckminster Fuller first described in the 1960’s as the accelerating trend towards doing MORE with LESS resources.

    Ephemeralisation explains the fact that our GDP weighs (yes, weighs in tons) less today than it did in 1970, while the value of today’s economy is many, many times greater. A worker lying naked on a beach with an iPhone can be more productive than a whole office with several tons of gear in 1978. Likewise the amount of energy used to produce a single gram of “work” today (energy density per unit of GDP) is much, much less than 1978. Ephemeralization, like Moore’s Law, are accelerating trends. The outcome, while impossible to predict, is one that suggests hope rather than pessimism. But only if we can maintain an ecology of mind and spirit in which human innovations can evolve naturally without coercion.

    To be unaware – or in denial – of the almost exponentially accelerating rates of technological and cultural evolution is one of the most perplexing cognitive deficits of our intelligentsia today. I won’t try to offer an explanation, other that it is only human to want the comfort of a simple plan to directly manage outcomes.


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    cohenite

    wes; I wonder whether AGW is a form of Future Shock?


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Bulldust: #14

    I have to report that your comment to Senator Ludlam was printed by The Australian, as 66 of 72.

    My comment, at #14, did not make the cut. Either I was too polite, or they noticed it originated outside of Australia, or perhaps my “ethnic” name gave the game away. On the other hand, I may just have been too late. Ce la vie.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Rob Ryan #62 – #72

    And following on from Senator Ludlam’s awful interview in The Australian, I notice that you make no comment about nuclear.

    Almost every conservationist I talk to is totally against nuclear in any form – it is the big bogyman.

    They quote the Chernobyl reactor failure in the Ukraine as “proving” how dangerous nuclear is. The real facts, taken from this site, maintained by the United Nations Development Program, presumably an authoritative source, are:

    The operating crew planned to test whether the turbines could produce sufficient energy to keep the coolant pumps running in the event of a loss of power until the emergency diesel generator was activated. In order to prevent the test run of the reactor being interrupted, the safety systems were deliberately switched off.

    And they were switched off because a previous test had “failed” because the safety systems cut in and prevented the test from completing. Say what?

    Oh, of course, this was under a communist regime, so the rules had to be followed, and the test had to prove what it was designed to prove, irrespective of whether it was rational or not.

    Or perhaps conservationists are worried about the Three Mile Island incident:

    [This] was the most serious in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant operating history, even though it led to no deaths or injuries to plant workers or members of the nearby community. But it brought about sweeping changes involving emergency response planning, reactor operator training, human factors engineering, radiation protection, and many other areas of nuclear power plant operations.

    Source: United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    They had a core meltdown, but the containment vessel was not ruptured, and no significant radio active material was released. To be on the safe side, they advised pregnant women and pre-school-age children within a 5-mile radius of the plant to leave the area.

    They are the only major incidents involving nuclear energy, and both used the older style of heavy water reactor, not the newer light water reactors that are now common in Europe.

    So, how does this relate to the debate on population?

    Well I think that people agree that having access to energy improves the standard of living, and that increasing the standard of living tends to decrease the rate of growth in population. Sound bite: People have babies as insurance against an uncertain future. Make the future less uncertain, and they will have less babies.

    Energy can come from nuclear – it is actually safer than flying. Two accidents in forty years, involving older technology, cannot be the real reason why conservationists vilify this technology. I am constantly left wondering what the real reason might be. It can’t be because it works, surely.

    Oh, and before people sledge me for not mentioning all of the nuclear waste that is produced …

    There is a form of reactor under development that doesn’t require enrichment or reprocessing, and therefore reduces proliferation risks. It uses depleted uranium as fuel—a by-product of uranium enrichment that exists in large quantities and is unused. (It can also use spent fuel from existing light-water reactors.) One fuel load lasts for several decades, so the reactor can be sealed and won’t require refueling. Source: “Nuclear Reactor Renaissance”, Sally Adee, Erico Guizzo, August 2010, IEEE Spectrum. – emphasis mine.

    So, this new technology is so innovative, so green, that it will clean up all of the waste from the previous generation of reactors. The result free market thinking.


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    Louis Hissink

    Rereke

    Slioght correction – Three Mile Island was a LWR and it was not a runaway chain reaction which caused the problem (it was shut down within seconds of the first failure) but one problem LWR’s have is the heat continued to be produced by the residual radioactivity, at a few % of the chain reaction power and in the absence of coooling, sufficient to melt the reactor core. In LWR’s the moderator is water and if this is lost the chain reaction instantly stops.

    Chernobyl was moderated by graphite and was essentially a plutionium production military reactor. When those reactors lose their moderator serious shit happens. LWR’s are, by comparison, boring and safe.

    Sourced from “The nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl, USSR,by Bernard L. Cohen, Univ. Pittsburgh,1987, Am. J. Physics. 55 (12), December 1987


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    oh dear

    Hi Rareke #23

    Certainly there are gaps in the data, measurements are sparse, and in some areas of climate science there is no detailed knowledge. For example, the exact responses of the Greenland ice sheet to incremental rises in temperature are not well understood. It is interesting to note regarding your comment of “missing evidence”, that while scientists seem to have greater confidence in their models then the data, laypeople tend to have more confidence in data than models.

    You mention that observational evidence troposphere hot-spot is missing. In fact, the troposphere hot-spot has been observed relatively recently after higher resolution measurements were taken. For more details see

    Sherwood et al., 2008: Robust Tropospheric Warming Revealed by Iteratively Homogenized Radiosonde Data. American Meteorological Society, v. 21.

    For a good discussion of troposphere effects for the layperson written by a climate scientist, see http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/08/the-key-to-the-secrets-of-the-troposphere/

    You mention that you’d like to see “empirical evidence that demonstrates how the sum of radiative energy in the system can be greater than its constituent parts”.

    I presume you are talking about a situation where the total amount of radiative energy entering a system is less than that which is radiated back into the surroundings? That is exactly what happens to a system not at thermal equilibrium with its surroundings: it emits less than 100% of the energy that it receives, and as a result, the temperature of the system increases until the thermal energy radiated from the system is equal to the energy radiated to the system. A new equilibrium then ensues. (An empirical example would be a pot of cold water on a hot plate). Not sure if that helps, as your point was a bit vague.

    When you mention the sun’s magnetic field, i presume you are referring to the 22 year cycle of the poles of the sun, which results in an 11 year sunspot cycle? The average global temperature trend observed in the last few decades seems to be almost independent of the sunspot cycle. (Sunspot cycle evidence is seen in maxima over the trend line, such as in 1998). If the global temperatures were only being effected by the varying intensity of solar radiation, then there wouldn’t be a long-term upward trend in temperatures, as no long-term upward trend in solar irradiance has been observed.


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    oh dear

    Hi Speedy #26

    You say, “I’d just like to see evidence that the warming of the late 20th century was any different to any previous warming”.

    Scientists seem to be concerned with the rate of warming, rather than the current average global temperatures. The current average temperatures are roughly what they were at the peak of our interglacial period about 6000 years ago. Paleoclimatic temperature reconstructions from O16/O18 ratio in calcium carbonate reveal that temperatures from at least the last 65 million years are strongly correlated with Milankovitch cycles. The maximum, long-term rate of change of average global temperature due to Milankovitch cycles are about 0.001 deg celcius per decade, which occurs between interglacial and glacial periods. Incidently, that trend (-0.001 deg C per decade) is observed in all the various “hockey-stick” reconstructions in the period before 1800.

    The most studied departure from Milankovitch is probably the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleocene%E2%80%93Eocene_Thermal_Maximum), where a rise of 6 deg celcius occurred over 20 000 years (with long-term average change in temperature of about 0.003 degrees per decade). Studies of the C12/C13 ratios have verified that enormous amounts of carbon-containing gases were released into the atmosphere at the time. The cause is not yet known with confidence, but the rises in temperate are likely to have been enforced by positive feedbacks such as melting ice sheets (reduced albedo) and enormous releases of methane. At about that time, a range of mass extinctions occurred; primates apparently emerged too. Other “hyperthermals” occurred later, including ETM-2, K, X and ETM-3.

    So how does this fit in with your request? There is no evidence that global temperature trends have ever been at the rate they are today, 0.13 deg per decade (http://www.csiro.au/news/Climate-Change-Palaeoclimatic-Context.html). Perhaps the resolution of reconstructed temperature trends is too poor to show such rates of temperature? The lack of observation doesn’t mean that they could not have occurred, but evidence remains to be seen that long-term rates in the past have ever been comparable to today’s.

    You say,
    “I’d like to see evidence that CO2 levels were a direct cause (not just a coincidence)”.

    To understand the current situation (the rising global T) and its causes, we need to resort to mathematical models (GCMs) to try to identify the causes of the current warming trend, and to try to predict what is likely to happen. Can you think of any other way to do this? Relying just on historical data won’t offer the same insight that GCMs do. GCM simulations have predicted the warming trends that are occurring now; when the human-activity produced GHG forcing components are removed from the simulations, a warming trend is not likely (<5%). In fact, there are no natural forcings that would indicate that long term temperature trends should deviate from -0.001 deg C per decade. For an illustration, see figure 1 of
    Stott, P. A., Gillett, N. P., Hegerl, G. C., Karoly, D. J., Stone, D. A., Zhang, X. and Zwiers, F. (2010), Detection and attribution of climate change: a regional perspective. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 1: 192–211. doi: 10.1002/wcc.34

    found at
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcc.34/abstract

    You say:

    "I’d like to see why the present atmospheric CO2 levels are on the “tipping point” whereas previous CO2 levels were about 5000 + ppm".

    CO2 levels are not on a "tipping point" – after all, they are being emitted at a slowly accelerating rate by human activity.

    Tipping points refer to the reactions in nature. An example is the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. If average temperatures pass and stay above a certain threshold temperature, the ice sheet will completely melt over a long period. The exact threshold is not known, but is thought to be between 2 and 7 degrees C warmer than now.

    Another threshold temperature would cause the melting of methane clathrates, which are methane-water complexes that are found in vast and deep deposits under seas in the polar regions.

    You say:

    "I’d like to see why temperatures in the earlier part of the century fell on a decadal basis, while all the while CO2 levels increased".

    In the first half of the 20th century, increasing greenhouse gases, increasing solar radiation and a relative lack of volcanic activity all contributed to a rise in globally averaged temperature.

    During the 1950s and 1960s, global temperatures levelled off.

    This is most likely due to an increase in reflective particles in the atmosphere, known as aerosols, from increased industrialisation and the volcanic eruption of Mt. Agung in 1963.

    Since the 1970s, increases in greenhouse gases have dominated over all other factors, and there has been a period of sustained warming.

    It is very unlikely that 20th century warming can be explained by natural causes alone.

    see http://www.csiro.au/news/Climate-Variability–ci_pageNo-2.html

    You say:

    "I’d like to see why the effect of water vapour is assumed to increase global tempertures".

    Emitted GHGs result in more heat being trapped in the biosphere, leading to increased average global temperatures. Higher average global temperatures result in a higher water vapor content in air, from evaporation of sea water. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas, so the additional water vapour traps additional heat.

    You say:
    "I’d like to see why we should be afraid of warmer climate, when cold climates are the killers".

    The major concern is the rate of warming, and the effect this may have on biodiversity. Many species may not be able to move with shifting climate zones, nor be able to evolve quickly enough to keep pace and may become extinct. Some biologists think that up to 50% of species could be extinct, or threatened with extinction, by the end of the century, if the GCM projections are correct.

    Why is a simplified ecosystem a concern? We are provided with ecosystem services such as clean water, air, good soil, wild fish and so on. Mass extinctions will cause ecosystem services to suffer.

    The direct impact on humans of the projected temperatures? Well, we have adapted to live in a variety of environments. Probably more heat-waves will lead to deaths of the elderly, increased frequencies of droughts in temperate areas will reduce crop yields (unless there are technological advances here), there could be a refugee crisis as countries like Bangladesh become submerged, along with problems due to simplified ecosystems.

    You say:
    "[I want to see] what the AGW advocates hope to achieve by controlling atmospheric CO2 levels when they are in dynamic equilibrium with the dissolved CO2 in sea water – a mass of CO2 that is 50 times that of the CO2 in the atmosphere."

    The GCM projections have intractible implications, and by limiting emitted GHGs by replacing old technologies with new, the problems can be minimised.


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    wes george

    Oh, Dear. Your long-winded rant is off-topic. This isn’t a debate about climate sensitivity but about the totalitarian methods John Holdren and others have proposed to Save The Planet.

    Should we assume that you support Holdren’s cure for climate change since you have simply repeated the orthodox dogma you were taught to memorize as the moral authority to justify coercive and repressive eco-policies?

    Do you support “compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion enforced by a one world government?” Zero-economic growth through de-development? 50% renewables by 2020?

    What practical solutions do you propose for Saving The Planet? Please don’t say turning off the bathroom light when your finished would be a good start.

    Thanks in advance.


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    cohenite

    oh dear; you certaintly took the long way to say nothing;
    1 rates of temperature change: note the rates in the 2 periods which correspond to +ve PDO periods, a verified climatic process: http:www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1976/to:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1910/to:1940/trend [// excluded]
    2 past temperature changes: http:icebubbles.ucsd.edu/Publications/Preboreal_EPSL_2008.pdf [// excluded]
    3 THS; I’m amazed anyone still refers to the Sherwood paper as evidence of a THS. Basically Sherwood was concerned that the instruments showed no troposphere hotspot, so he and Allen repudiated the instrument data and developed a windshear model which showed if there was windshear there would be warming. This is Matrix science, nothing more; with a resonant irony; the instruments which were not good enough for temperature were used to establish windshear and model predicted temperature. As Motl said this is not global warming but global blowing.
    4 20thC warming CAN be entirely explained by solar variation and PDO phase shift.
    5 GCM’s have predicted nothing; see Koutsoyiannis: http:www.itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/850/
    And McKitrick: http:rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/mmh_asl2010.pdf
    6 Aerosols did not cause the cooling from 1940-1976 for 3 reasons: the cooling was more pronounced in the SH even though based on aerosol production the cooling should have been greater in the NH; aerosol levels did not decrease into the 1980s’ but merely leveled off but temperature rapidly increased in 1976; the cooling is entirely consistent with a -ve PDO from 1940-1976.

    AGW has no evidence to support it all.


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    wes george

    Cohenite, I never thought of it that way, but yeah, AGW is like future shock. I suppose we’re lucky though. So far it isn’t nearly as bad as the future shock these poor buggers had to go through:

    Mao’s Great Leap Forward ‘killed 45 million in four years’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/maos-great-leap-forward-killed-45-million-in-four-years-2081630.html

    Couldn’t ever happen again, of course. Nah. Never.


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    co2isnotevil

    Oh dear,

    You are mistaken about the paleo record. Here is a close up of the last 15K years from the DomeC ice core.

    http://www.palisad.com/co2/domec_15k.gif

    Approximately 12K years ago, the temperature increased about 4C over less than 500 years which is a rate of 0.08C per decade. Of course, during this increase, there were several short term decreases along the way. The maximum rate of change shown here is about 14.5K years ago. Here, the temperature increased by about 2.5C in less than a century, for a rate of 0.25C per decade. Systematically scanning the DomeC data shows many, many short term increases and decreases well in excess of 2C per century. Keep in mind that the ice cores record multi-decade to multi-century average temperatures which change far more slowly than changes in a short term averages (i.e. the usual 5-year averaging applied to climate data for establishing trends). The fact that the ice cores show many changes in multi-century averages that far exceed contemporary trends in the 5 year average is clear evidence that the current rate of change is neither unprecedented or alarming. What more evidence you you need?

    George


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    oh dear

    Hi Pete Hayes #28

    You say:
    “Explain how CO2 causes AGW”

    CO2 absorbs particular wavelengths of IR (thermal) radiation extremely efficiently (with two absorption peaks at 2.6 and 4 um, and an absorption shoulder above 13 um).

    In fact IR photons at these wavelengths have a mean path length on the order of 10 meters (that is, the average distance a thermal photon travels through air before being absorbed by a GHG molecule). When a CO2 molecule absorbs an IR photon, it enters an energised state characterised by bond vibration. The CO2 molecule will typically rerelease an IR photon almost immediately (in a random direction). When the CO2 molecule is in the excited state, it is unable to absorb another photon at the wavelengths mentioned until it is back to its unenergised (ground) state. The vibrating molecule may also collide with another air molecule (N2, O2, H2O etc), transferring its vibrational energy to translational kinetic energy. The increased total KE is equivalent to an increased average temperature.

    The main thing is that CO2 (and other GHG) molecules are rapidly absorbing and rereleasing IR photons in random directions, effectively increasing the total pathlength of photons as they travel through the atmosphere. The more GHG molecules are present, the longer the IR photon path length becomes and the longer the period of time that each IR photon spends in the atmosphere. If GHGs increase (in amount) by some increment, then for some time interval there is more thermal radiation entering the earth/atmosphere than leaving it, until the temperature of the earth/atmosphere has increased by some increment and thermal equilibrium is re-established.

    On the macroscale, CO2 emissions result in the storage of more heat in the land/ocean/atmosphere system, which results in rising temperatures. There are many competing feedback mechanisms, both positive and negative, that respond to the additional heat energy. Positive feedback mechanisms increase the warming further, and include the melting of ice sheets (because ice reflects a lot of IR photons back into space, when ice melts the resulting sea surface is dark and absorbs IR photons strongly). Negative feedback mechanisms restrict further warming, and include the formation of clouds. (As the atmosphere warms, it tends to carry more water vapour; convection of warm moist air upwards results in the formation of clouds, which reflect a lot of IR radiation back to space). The complexity of the system of feedbacks means that they must be analysed with various algorithms that simulate the land surface-ocean-atmosphere system (GCMs).

    So far, GCMs predict that the effects of positive feedbacks outway those of the negative feedbacks and GCM projections show that rising GHG levels will result in an upward trend in the globally averaged temperature. An area of uncertainty is the albedo associated with the projected greater cloud coverage as the heat content of the ocean/atmosphere increases. Despite the uncertainties, the GCMs still project warming trends, and these agree very well with the observed trends.

    You say:

    “Explain the tipping point (use of models will be ripped to bits, remember the Professor that said, ‘If you need to use a model your experiment is not worthy’ or words to that effect!)”

    Tipping points occur when the average temperatures stay above certain threshold values. One such threshold temperature would result in the complete melting of the Arctic ice-sheet; the Greenland ice sheet would completely melt at another threshold temperature. Other “tipping points” are temperatures at which the thermafrost thaws, releasing methane, or the sea temperature for the release of methane from methane clathrates deposits. These events all result in positive feedbacks (further warming): lack of ice results in further absorption of heat, as does more methane.

    The precise threshold temperatures are not known for any of these tipping points.

    Your comment about models is a tad anti-scientific, I have to say. After all, what is a scientific theory? Essentially it is an algorithm (or a model) whose projections are a good approximation to observations/measurements of some phenomenon (the better the theory, the better the approximations).

    In the case of GW, there would be no way of understanding what is happening without the use of GCM simulations. Can you think of a better way to work out the effect of all the competing feedbacks?

    You say:

    “Explain Positive Feedback in relation to AGW”.

    This is largely covered above. Anthropogenic GHG additions to the atmosphere result in the atmosphere absorbing more heat, and through positive feedback mechanisms (such as the increased water vapour content of air (as water vapour is an efficient GHG), decreasing ice-sheet area, increasing methane emissions) the heat content of the earth-atmosphere increases further. Paleoclimatic studies are essential to understand the sensitivity of the climate, and climate sensitivity parameters are used in GCMs. A historical episode of global warming that is being studied rigourously is known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleocene%E2%80%93Eocene_Thermal_Maximum


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    co2isnotevil

    Oh dear,

    Nice try, but no cigar. First, there is no CO2 absorption ‘shoulder’. There’s a saturated absorption peak between about 13.5u and 18u. Above 18u it’s all water vapor and there’s heavy overlap between water vapor absorption lines and the region of CO2 absorption above about 15u. The CO2 line centered around 15u is really a broad spectrum of narrow lines, all of which overlap and are largely saturated. This leads to relatively sharp edges in the transition around 13.5u.

    Upon absorption of a photon in it’s capture range, the energy is far more likely released as kinetic energy transfered to the motion of another molecule which collides with the CO2 molecule. Look at the partition functions to see how energy is distributed among modes. Re-emission is a rather low probability event and all that does is delay the ultimate re-radiation of that energy a little longer. Besides, if all the absorbed energy in the CO2 absorption spectrum was just bouncing between CO2 molecules, it wouldn’t be heating up the rest of the atmosphere and it’s effect would be moot (well, it is anyway …).

    We know that doubling CO2 causes 3.7 W/m^2 more incremental power absorption by the atmosphere. Half of this gets back to the surface representing a net increase at the surface of less than 1.9 W/m^2. This doubling occurs over 2 centuries, for a net increase of about 0.1 W/m^2 per decade. The Sun has periodic variability whose rate can exceed 10 W/m^2 per decade and the system has no trouble at all adapting to this. What makes you think an energy trend 100 times smaller than natural ‘trends’ will cause problems?

    Tipping points are BS. If such things existed, the Earth’s climate would have latched up a long time ago. The Earth has been subject to impact and volcanic events that dwarf anything man could ever do and it has recovered just fine. Tipping points are a seemingly plausible, but completely impossible, mechanism to incite fear among the ignorant.

    The positive feedback from water vapor amounts to far less than 0.1C per 1C of rise. 3.7 W/m^2 of incremental CO2 absorption can not cause 13 W/m^2 of incremental water vapor absorption, which is what’s required to get your magical 3C rise. The net climate system gain can be readily measured from weather satellite and ERBE data and it’s about 1.6, relative to power incident to the surface. That is, each 1 W/m^2 of incremental incident surface power results in 1.6 W/m^2 of incremental surface emitted power. See my post here for more info (towards the bottom).

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/07/another-10-of-the-worst-agw-papers-part-3/#comments

    George


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    oh dear

    Hi cohenite #82

    Interesting post. Could you please give more info about your assertion that

    “20thC warming CAN be entirely explained by solar variation and PDO phase shift”? A reference would be handy.

    The other points you make, as well as that made by co2isnotevil #84 are all interesting – I will look into them too.

    And Wes George #82 – long-winded? I suppose I wanted to answer questions carefully and minimise logical leaps. I wanted to answer some of the points that my question in #19 raised. You ask about solutions (to a problem you don’t believe exists)? A price on carbon (preferably a tax), as the undesirable environmental costs of producing something should be reflected in the price of that product. Problem is if some nations include such a tax and others don’t. Best thing to do is to impose a carbon tax on products imported that reflects the carbon cost of those products, dependent on the country of origin, for example, and have no carbon tax on exports. Revenue from the tax should be invested into renewable energy power generation and to prevent carbon leakage. You all seem to be nuclear energy advocates here (why nuclear energy if you don’t believe in AGW and coal works well?). The main problems with uranium nuclear fission are the waste issue, accidental release of volatile radioactive gases, and bigger accidents. Thorium reactors look promising, and if they don’t have waste issues and are indeed safer then they are certainly worth commissioning. What else? A good adaptation policy, as changes will occur. We need to recognise and protect new biodiversity refuges as they occur, and try to minimise as much stress as possible that various high value ecosystems already receive from human activity. Biodiversity corridors are also necessary to allow movements of various species.


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    oh dear

    co2isnotevil #86

    You mention that

    Upon absorption of a photon in it’s capture range, the energy is far more likely released as kinetic energy transfered to the motion of another molecule which collides with the CO2 molecule. Look at the partition functions to see how energy is distributed among modes. Re-emission is a rather low probability event and all that does is delay the ultimate re-radiation of that energy a little longer. Besides, if all the absorbed energy in the CO2 absorption spectrum was just bouncing between CO2 molecules, it wouldn’t be heating up the rest of the atmosphere and it’s effect would be moot (well, it is anyway …)”.

    I think you’ve overlooked that upon collisions, heat (ie an IR photon) is released; certainly radiant energy must be transferred to heat energy in the ocean/land surface for warming to occur, and certainly if IR photons are trapped for longer in the atmosphere, there is a greater chance of the thermal content of ocean/earth surface increasing. Collisions too can precipitate the emission of a photon.

    You mention that you don’t like the word “shoulder” – what is a better word to describe something broader than a peak?


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    oh dear

    I should complete a sloppy statement in 88: Collisions can precipitate the emission of a photon from a CO2 molecule in its excited state.


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    Louis Hissink

    Oh Dear @ 85

    Your write: “In fact IR photons at these wavelengths have a mean path length on the order of 10 meters (that is, the average distance a thermal photon travels through air before being absorbed by a GHG molecule). When a CO2 molecule absorbs an IR photon, it enters an energised state characterised by bond vibration. The CO2 molecule will typically rerelease an IR photon almost immediately (in a random direction). When the CO2 molecule is in the excited state, it is unable to absorb another photon at the wavelengths mentioned until it is back to its unenergised (ground) state. The vibrating molecule may also collide with another air molecule (N2, O2, H2O etc), transferring its vibrational energy to translational kinetic energy. The increased total KE is equivalent to an increased average temperature.”

    So a CO2 molecule receives and IR photon that raises its state but then immediately loses an IR photon, which then lowers its energy state (conservation of energy operating here). Hence it can receive another IR photon because it’s no longer in an energised state, since it lost one a moment before. Under this scenario CO2 is continually moving from a less energetic state to a more energetic state by absorption of an IR photon, which, being almost immediately emitted, then lowers the energetic state of the CO2 molecule being used in this example. Your explanation cannot explain warming of the atmosphere, and incidentally any object that it at a lower temperature than matter it is in contact with, cannot warm that matter. It basically means arguing that an ice block in contact with water can boil that water.

    Methinks you do not understand what you are writing but merely repeating the technical jargon of others who don’t understand physics either.


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    oh dear

    Louis Hissink #90

    A CO2 molecule does absorb photons of particular wavelengths; after a small (non-zero) period of time it spontaneously emits a photon of the same wavelength (collisions can force an emission; spontaneous emission is also attributed to the presence of zero-point energy in the radiation field).

    So indeed, each CO2 molecule in the atmosphere is continually absorbing and emitting IR photons.

    It’s basic – and uncontroversial – quantum chemistry/physics.

    I am very curious to hear your explanation as to how this violates the second law of thermodynamics? I don’t want to be rude, but it is a bit hard to understand the AGW theory if you don’t understand basic quantum theory.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Louis Hissink: #78

    More than a slight correction I think, but I am grateful for the correction.

    Once again it seems, I am a victim of my tendency to skim read for key points – a professional hazard I am afraid.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Oh Dear: #79

    It is interesting to note regarding your comment of “missing evidence”, that while scientists seem to have greater confidence in their models then the data, laypeople tend to have more confidence in data than models.

    As somebody who as worked as a modeller (electronic engineering R&D), I know that a model is, and can only be, as good as the data. It is not an either/or argument. Garbage in = garbage out. If the data has been “adjusted”, and your dog has eaten the adjustment records, both the data and the models are worthless.

    But as you say, scientists have greater confidence in the models, and as such they use them for predictive purposes with a time horizon of decades — they are therefore living in a state of perpetual sin — because it is not possible or feasible to do that, my friend. You are working in a chaotic cyclic system where not all of the significant variables are known and there is an unknown number of significant relationships still to be identified and defined.

    Is this why the hockey stick suppressed earlier warming periods, because the longer cycles were recognised, but could not be modelled? Many lay-people are of the opinion that is what happened.

    The problem is that the scientists know that they don’t know a lot of what is going on, but they don’t know how much they don’t know, and are afraid to admit it, but the lowly lay people, who are very canny at spotting when politicians (and now scientists) are lying, now know that they don’t know, and hence the growth in scepticism.

    You can fool some of the people … etc.

    And by the way, if the math behind the models is settled, why has it not been published and made available for sceptical review?


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Oh Dear: #85

    Positive feedback mechanisms increase the warming further, and include the melting of ice sheets (because ice reflects a lot of IR photons back into space, when ice melts the resulting sea surface is dark and absorbs IR photons strongly).

    As a student of history, and especially military history, I was interested to note that the Arctic sea ice was less, seventy years ago, than it is today, and by a significant amount. German surface warships were using the opened channels to pass into the Pacific, with navigational assistance from the Russians (prior to Hitler deciding to attack Russia).

    It would seem that the Western concern that, “the area of the ice sheet is at its lowest on record”, has more to do with the size of the record than changes to the atmosphere. Russian Arctic ice records go back several centuries, and show a clearly defined seventy year cycle.

    I am not sure if the reason has been explained, but the cyclic records exist, which makes references to melting ice sheets in the modern era somewhat moot, wouldn’t you say?


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  • #

    oh dear: @91

    …each CO2 molecule in the atmosphere is continually absorbing and emitting IR photons.

    Please include in your calculation of total system energy the following:

    As far as energy is concerned, the atmosphere is a passive system. It can create no new energy. It merely reacts to the energy it receives. This means that if a CO2 molecule absorbs an IR photon, that photon had to came from somewhere else and that the somewhere else no longer has it.

    The source lost one quantum of energy and the CO2 molecule gained one quantum of energy. The reverse is also true when CO2 emits a photon, the CO2 has lost a quantum of energy and no longer has it. It went somewhere else. The “temperature” of the CO returns to what it was before the original absorption of the IR photon. If both the source and sink are within the system there is no change in total energy.

    The usual mistake is to count each “bounce” of a photon as adding to the total store of energy. It’s as if the atmosphere is a giant ping pong game where each ball exchange adds a ball to the game. In effect, the first law of thermodynamics says there is only one ball unless and until someone makes another ball and tosses it into the play.

    You perform a simple experiment that demonstrates this point every time you look into a mirror and see your face. The light from your face is reflected back to your face and then back to the mirror and back again.

    In spite of the fact you may or may not like what you see, you don’t catch on fire. Note that new photons are added to the bouncing light from the lighted lamps about you and you still don’t catch on fire from the repeatedly bounced light.

    You are fully protected by the three laws of thermodynamics. Just as the surface of the earth is protected from being heated by the CO2 reflecting heat back to it that came from the surface of the earth in the first place.


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    co2isnotevil

    Oh dear,

    If all CO2 molecules did was capture and re-emit photons, then there would be no atmospheric warming and only surface warming as those photons bounce back, moreover; little absorbed energy would ever escape the planet or be returned to the surface as it would be emitted in a band that some other CO2 molecule will likely absorb. In other words, there would be no greenhouse effect.

    The mean free path of a gas molecule in the atmosphere is about 6.7E-8 m (67 nm) not 10m, although 10 m is about right for the average length a photon in the 15u absorption band will travel before being captured by a CO2 molecule. The important thing to realize is that after traveling 67 nm, an energized CO2 molecule is more than 2 million times more likely to hit an N2 or O2 molecule, rather than another CO2 molecule.

    Your supposition requires that CO2 molecules heat up (equivalent to 100′s of degrees C from a single 15u photon) and that this heat energy is never transferred to anything else, except another CO2 molecule. This is clearly wrong, although is more representative of the Venusian atmosphere, which is all CO2. In this case, the thermal mass of the planet is CO2, rather than H2O, and all of the CO2 molecules are energized at all times. This is why the Venusian atmosphere is so hot and has nothing to do with any kind of runaway greenhouse effect. It’s a consequence of the thermal mass of the planet being CO2, rather than H2O.

    You are correct that EM emissions occur at collisions, however, these are not emissions at absorption spectrum energies. Even N2 colliding with other N2 will create EM and it’s properties related to the mean free path and speed that determines the spectral characteristics of emitted BB radiation. It basically boils down to molecules having a non zero net E-field near their surface (being closer to electrons than protons) and that moving E-fields create moving B-fields, etc. (Maxwell’s equations) and that the distribution of collisions produces an equivalent distribution of radiated energy, whose total sum is proportional to how fast and how often the molecules are colliding (i.e. the temperature).

    Going back to post 84, I strongly recommend that you examine some high resolution ice cores (DomeC is a good example) and look at short term variability before you make claims about the recent trend being unusual. The data is quite clear that the current rate of surface temperature change is not unusual. If anything, the current rate of change is a little on the low side, relative to the rate of historic variability.

    BTW, the dotted line in the temperature plot I linked to in post 84 is the current temperature, relative to the ice core record, which I have copied below.

    http://www.palisad.com/co2/domec_15k.gif

    This shows that the current temperature is more than 1C lower than the maximum 30-50 year average during the last 15K years (the average sample spacing over the last 15K years varies from about 20 to 50 years). If you extend this further back, the current temperature is about 4C cooler than the maximum average temperatures achieved in each of the last 4 interglacial periods, where these maximums represent maximum’s in the multi-century average temperatures (the sample period increases to several centuries as the core gets deeper and reaching a maximum on the order of a 1000 year average).

    George


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    co2isnotevil

    Oh dear.

    Correction, I meant meant many thousands of times more likely to hit something other than another CO2 molecule, not millions. Although thousands, or millions doesn’t really matter in this case as both are unlikely enough.

    Regarding what to call the 15u CO2 absorption peak. It’s a highly saturated peak, rather than the unsaturated peaks around 2.6u and 4u. As I already pointed out, the 15u line, as well as the other lines, are comprised of many thousands of smaller lines which overlap each other. Each individual line is very narrow, even saturated, and are typically well under 0.1u, but combined and owing to their overlap, they merge into an apparent single line peak, which as it saturates becomes more of a notch. Even as a notch, it’s only a few microns wide and relative to the entire EM spectrum is an insignificantly thin line.

    The center of the surface BB radiation emission spectrum is closer to 10u anyway, so the CO2 peaks, CH4 peaks and most of the water vapor absorption lines only affect wavelengths in the upper and lower thirds of the LW energy distribution emitted by the surface. More than 1/3 of the power emitted by the surface passes through this transparent window, independent of atmospheric GHG concentrations (except ozone).

    While the atmosphere captures 2/3 of the power emitted by the surface, the atmosphere itself acts as a BB (actually a very gray body), and re-radiates this captured power in all directions. Considering the steradian factors related to BB radiation and the geometries involved, about half of this power goes into space and half is returned to the surface. Non linear atmospheric property gradients have a small effect on this distribution, but not by enough to matter as it pertains to this discussion. The main one is that the mean distance a 15u photon travels before being absorbed by CO2 is larger going up than going down. But over the few 10′s of meters over which most of these photons will be absorbed, the relative difference is negligible.

    If you have any doubt about a heated gas radiating power as a Planck distribution of wavelengths, let me point you to the Sun. Plasma vs. gas makes no difference, just as liquid, solid and gas makes no difference relative to the wavelength distribution of the BB radiation emitted by any heated object.

    George


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    [...] on Holdren’s stated positions, interviews, and writings at JoNova Cap & Trade, Environment, Government resources, Marketplace Information, Policy, Power [...]


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    oh dear

    Hi Lionel #96

    You say

    The source lost one quantum of energy and the CO2 molecule gained one quantum of energy. The reverse is also true when CO2 emits a photon, the CO2 has lost a quantum of energy and no longer has it. It went somewhere else. The “temperature” of the CO returns to what it was before the original absorption of the IR photon. If both the source and sink are within the system there is no change in total energy.

    The system in this case is the earth and atmosphere, and the surroundings are the entire universe beyond the atmosphere. An IR photon is emitted by the sun and enters the system; that photon contributes an energy to the system of hf, where f is its frequency and h the Planck constant. While that photon is being diffused through the system, no matter how that diffusion is happening, the total energy of the system is hf higher than when before the photon entered (in the simplified case where no other photons are being emitted from the system). When a photon of the same frequency is emitted from the system back into space, the net energy of the system is back to what it was originally, before that initial photon entered the system. At thermal equilibrium, the amount of photons entering and leaving the system is equal. What GHGs do is increase the photon storage capacity of the system by increasing the amount of time a photon spends in the system. The more photons there are in the system, the more heat energy there is, and consequently temperatures increase.


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    Lionell Griffith

    oh dear: @100

    Yes. I agree the resultant temperature of the earth-atmosphere system is largly a function of the system’s thermal inertia integrating the absorbed energy coming from the sun balanced by the earth’s thermal radiation into the cold of space.

    There is a specific heat for every component of the earth-atmosphere system. Each component has a mass. It takes time to heat the masses and it takes time to cool the masses. Ditto for the earth itself.

    The earth rotates and heat is gained on the day side and lost from the night side. There is no trapping of heat. There is no adding of energy by the absorption and re radiating of previously absorbed energy.

    CO2, being such a small fraction of the total thermal mass of the earth-atmosphere system, cannot possibly contribute a significant amount to the thermal inertia of the system. Man’s contribution to that thermal mass is a small fraction of that small fraction. As a consequence, it cannot cause a runaway catastrophic global warming.

    We have far more to fear from an errant earth devastating asteroid than we have to fear from a mere doubling of the atmospheric CO2. In fact, we have far more to fear from our governments who are pretending to be working to save us from disaster than we have to fear from even a tripling of CO2.


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    oh dear

    Hi Rereke #93

    Code for GCMs and other tools are available from http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/. Many journal articles on the subject have links to repositories where algorithms can be downloaded.

    I hear what you are saying about chaotic systems, but remember that GCMs don’t predict the weather at some distant day and specific location in time; they merely project the long-term weather averages over spatial areas.

    Imagine a machine that tosses coins (grossly oversimplified, I know, but the example has a point, because it describes a chaotic system). It would be extremely difficult to predict with certainty what the outcome would be after 5 tosses, let alone after 1 000 000 tosses. But we’d be able to say with a great deal of confidence that over 1 000 000 tosses, very close to 50% of the time the outcome would be a tail, for example.

    The example is pertinent because GCMs work in a similar way, but obviously with a far more complicated system. The chaotic nature of atmospheric solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations for fluid flow has great impact on weather forecasting, but the evidence suggests that it has much less importance for climate prediction. For example, you know that the southern hemisphere average temps in january 2050 will be warmer, than those in july 2050. This is despite the chaotic nature of the weather system.

    Just on that point, there is an interesting FAQ on GCMs that is worth reading at RealClimate, a site with articles by climate modellers. the FAQ is at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/faq-on-climate-models/

    The point that might interest readers of this blog is:

    How do I write a paper that proves that models are wrong?
    Much more simply than you might think since, of course, all models are indeed wrong (though some are useful – George Box). Showing a mismatch between the real world and the observational data is made much easier if you recall the signal-to-noise issue we mentioned above. As you go to smaller spatial and shorter temporal scales the amount of internal variability increases markedly and so the number of diagnostics which will be different to the expected values from the models will increase (in both directions of course). So pick a variable, restrict your analysis to a small part of the planet, and calculate some statistic over a short period of time and you’re done. If the models match through some fluke, make the space smaller, and use a shorter time period and eventually they won’t. Even if models get much better than they are now, this will always work – call it the RealClimate theory of persistence. Now, appropriate statistics can be used to see whether these mismatches are significant and not just the result of chance or cherry-picking, but a surprising number of papers don’t bother to check such things correctly. Getting people outside the, shall we say, more ‘excitable’ parts of the blogosphere to pay any attention is, unfortunately, a lot harder.

    In your post #94, you mention that ice pack has undergone variations in area over time. Indeed, it is well known to climatologists that the temperatures in the Arctic in the 1930s were similar to now. The problem is that a single time-series with both warming periods will not tell you the cause of the warming in the 30s, nor will it tell you the cause of the warming occurring now. To conclude that both periods of warming must have had natural causes after looking at a single time-series is unwarranted.

    The studies that show that the recent period of warming is due to GHGs is not based on a single time-series, but on many reinforcing lines of scientific evidence. In the 30s, the warming was confined to high latitudes (i.e. was localised) and was the result of the “Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation”. The recent warming is observed on most of the planet, and is consistent with the presence of a global forcing. GCMs demonstrate that the current warming is very likely to be from human emitted GHGs.


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    Louis Hissink

    Oh Dear @ 91

    If the Co2 molecule absorbs and then almost instantaneously emits a IR Photon, then its temperature or energetic state does not, on average, increase either. Ie, from your description, CO2 does not trap heat or IR.

    It would only do that by not emitting an IR photon almost immediately, and which then results in a longer state of higher energy.

    The ball just collapsed in your court, I believe.


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    oh dear

    Rareke, let me add something to my post of 102:

    So why didn’t warming spiral out of control when the Arctic ice sheet thinned out in the 30s? There was not enough heat being absorbed by the earth for that to occur.


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    cohenite

    oh dear, you need to do some basic spectroscopy:

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/03/radical-new-hypothesis-on-the-effect-of-greenhouse-gases/?cp=1

    http://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/greenhouse-science/climate-change/Hammer2007.pdf

    Consider Beer-Lambert; really this idea that CO2 cannot be saturated and will continue to heat at a constant rate with incremental increases in CO2 concentration is one of the great myths of AGW.

    Another thing you overlook is the role of Local Thermodynamic Eqilibriums [LTE]. An LTE is defined by eli, who should know:

    http:rabett.blogspot.com/2007/03/what-is-local-thermodynamic-equilibrium.html [// removed]

    An LTE is created when its internal temperature is both uniform and different from the external temperature. The internal temperature is stable because of the difference in the rate of excitation [through absorption] of CO2 and the rate of deexcitation through collision/emission with the rate of excitation greater than deexcitation; this fundamental property of ghg’s including CO2 is what allows LTE’s to occur [see grant Petty]; these parcels of air are lifted convectively to a characteristic emission layer [CEL] where the LTE’s internal temperature reaches parity with the external temperature and emission outwards occurs. [I should point out that DeWitt Payne has done a very nice piece saying that there is no difference between the rates of excitation and deexcitation and the LTE forms because the ratio between between deexcitation through collisional transfer and emission is heavily in favour of the former, which allows the parcel of air to thermalise and conform to Zeroth's law].

    The operation of LTE’s means that CO2 is effectively saturated at current levels because the energy total of backradiation is almost entirely from low level CO2 prior to the formation of the LTE [see Geiger’s “The Climate Near The Ground”]; isotropic emission from the CEL is at a much lower temperature than at the surface and therefore according to Stefan-Boltzmann, any backradiation from the CEL will have far less energy and heating capacity than at the surface. The surface is saturated for CO2 because of the density of the atmosphere there and the much greater chance of collisional rather than emission transfer of the absorbed energy; the extra CO2, has a fading to nothing effect on this pre-existing state. So whatever greenhouse effect CO2 has had has ALREADY occurred. There is no “increase [in] the photon storage capacity of the system by increasing the amount of time a photon spends in the system.” because the photons don’t stay longer in the atmosphere.


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    co2isnotevil

    Oh dear,

    You put far too much faith in what Gavin says. Isn’t his real job to work on climate models? Don’t you think there’s a little bit of a conflict of interest here? Being the RC censor is something he does to gain brownie points with his boss (Hansen), and he gets a forum to push whatever disinformation he or his boss wants. Hansen is a real piece of work who rose to his current position via political connections and certainly not as a result of the usefulness, veracity and accuracy of his research. His work is entirely focused on trying to prove what we keep asking you to do, yet despite billions spent, has nothing to show for it except for a pile of papers pushing alarmist messages based on modeling which predicts things that do not happen (warming, hot spot, etc.) and don’t predict things that do happen (PDO’s, global cooling, etc.).

    You are also misled about how GCM’s work. They try and model the atmosphere with fluid dynamics. This is the same thing done by normal weather forecasting, which we know, diverges after a few hours to days. The same happens with GCM’s. They quickly diverge from reality and while they may be simulating a climate, they are not simulating the climate. The reason for divergence is because the chaos can not be accurately simulated. It seems as if many if these models also run ‘open loop’ with respect to energy and power considerations. That is, they are not constrained by COE. Such models can produce accumulated warming (or cooling), simply as a result of round off error.

    I’ve written climate models myself, and they don’t predict the kinds of warming CAGW centric models do. They predict the same kinds of climate system gain (sensitivity) as can be measured by satellite data. This is that for each 1 W/m^2 of incremental surface power change, the steady state surface temperature change corresponds to the temperature where the surface emits 1.6 W/m^2 more (or less) power. The required gain for doubling CO2 to cause 3C of warming is about 8, that is, for each 1 W/m^2 of incremental forcing power, about 8 W/m^2 of incremental surface power must be emitted.

    BTW, I’m still waiting for a comment on the rate of change shown by the DomeC core. My plot is of the raw data. The limits of the graph are +1.2C and -5.1C (6.3C p-p) where 0C is close to the current global average temperature. If you don’t trust my plot, feel free to download the raw data and plot it yourself.

    George


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    oh dear

    Louis Hissink #103

    Let me give you a simple example: think of a glasshouse, or at least a flat panel of glass over the ground. Lots of IR radiation passes through the glass without warming it, through to the ground surface. The ground warms up. It radiates heat (IR photons) upwards. Some of the photons reflect off the glass back to the ground as “counter radiation”. The ground becomes warmer than ground without glass over it (assuming air currents are minimal).

    What do GHG molecules do? They scatter many of the IR photons from the ground/ocean back down, so the situation is superficially similar.

    It seems that your issue is that I have said that a GHG molecule is in an excited state for a short, non-zero interval of time. You say it must be longer. How long do you think a GHG molecule in the atmosphere stays in its excited state? What are the implications of that? I’ll give you the answer: if all GHG molecules became permanently saturated (is this what you’re implying?) and did not radiate any energy at absorbance wavelengths, then there would be no greenhouse effect and the average temperature of earth would be well below zero, because they would no longer be capable of capturing IR photons.

    Note that I do mention on an earlier post that the energy can be converted to translational KE of air molecules (such as N2 and O2) after collisions, so the overall temp of the atmosphere increases through that mechanism.

    You say:

    The ball just collapsed in your court, I believe.

    Is that something to do with a discontinuous gravitational field?


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    I posted my response, with charts and links to data regarding the plausibility of “ingenuity coming to the rescue” in my (completely noncommercial) blog site at: .


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    Ugh. I wish I could delete comments, I have apparently misused the link facility here. My post is at my blog site


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    cohenite

    You’re a hard man Rob; since 1980, according to your calculations, we’ve had a 42.8% increase in per capita energy use efficiency as a function of GDP; at a time when GDP has itself been increasing at a great rate. This has also been during the time when the great waste of AGW expenditure for no return has been occuring. Take some serotonin and cheer up.


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    wes george

    Guys,

    Oh dear has totally won this debate. Not fairly or rationally, mind you. But he performed his trolling with admirable efficiency. He has turned a what could have been an analysis of the growing eco-fascist tendencies exposed by the climate debate into just another interminably obscure climate sensitive digression.

    The only way a debate on climate sensitive can be related to Jo’s post is if Oh Dear is attempting to build a case for the need for a Holdrenesque eco-fascist totalitarian one-world government.

    The only moral counter-argument Oh to Dear’s implied thesis that an impending climate catastrophe justifies Holdren’s anti-humanist totalitarian solutions is that totalitarianism is NEVER justified in any case.

    Next time Jo Nova writes an article exposing some lunacy of the CAGW dogma, don’t let trolls change the topic. Red Herring is the most common device used by trolls on this blog.


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    wes george

    A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to “win” an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic. This sort of “reasoning” has the following form:

    Topic A is under discussion.
    Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).
    Topic A is abandoned.

    * * *

    “In politics, who “wins” the argument is less important that who decides what the argument is about.”

    –Mark Kleiman, public policy instructor, UCLA

    “In politics, who “wins” the argument is less important that who decides what the argument is about.”

    –Mark Kleiman, public policy instructor, UCLA


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    co2isnotevil

    Wes,

    It doesn’t bother me at all when a warmist wants to talk about the science. I’m happy to let them know why they are wrong. All too often, the troll gets in over their head after a short while and then they tend to disappear anyway.

    These exchanges are always good to illustrate the common flaws in the CAGW arguments. For example, oh dear’s post at 107 where concepts from a real greenhouse are used to explain the atmospheric greenhouse effect. It should have never been called the greenhouse effect in the first place, as there is very little in common between the atmospheric greenhouse effect and how a greenhouse works. A better analogy would be a greenhouse with 1/3 of the glass panels removed. Sure, the heat bounces down, but eventually bounces back up through one of the missing panes.

    George


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    @ Cohenite

    You’re right, we have had a 42.8% increase, that’s an annual increase of about 1.38%. I see no way that that’s going to enable us to achieve a level of efficiency of GDP production as a function of energy use that will enable the underdeveloped world to have a standard of living remotely similar to, say, mine. It would have to be accomplished with a combination of that rising efficiency and increasing rates of energy usage, regardless of source, that accomplishes the equivalent of what I’d originally stated. It won’t happen without a pixie dust energy solution. And that doesn’t address whatever population increase may occur.


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    Louis Hissink

    Wes,

    re: Oh Dear – his last response has been to dump a new catch of red herrings over me.

    Oh Dear,

    Actually the inference that there is no greenhouse gas effect is quite correct – there isn’t, but then I neglect to mention that the observed anomalous thermal state of the earth, while real, isn’t anomalous when plasma physics is used.

    In the plasma physics case the earth is encapsulated by a number of Langmuire sheafs or plasma double layers that come into existence due to the presence of electric currents between the earth and the plasma of space. No electric currents, no DL’s.

    The measured downwelling of IR is dominated by the atmospheric electric currents passing in and out of the earth via the Van Allen Belts and polar Birkelands. Electric currents passing through matter generate heat or IR. So the computed thermal anomaly based on the assumption that the earth is a black body and the sun is considered a simple radiating source isn’t anomalous for those of us using plasma physics to explain observations. (Even wind is caused by atmospheric electric currents).

    It is anomalous for those who don’t, however, and hence the invocation of the greenhouse gas effect to explain the earth’s thermal state.

    Some of us have moved on from Stanley Steamer physics.


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    oh dear

    Hi Cohenite #105
    Some basic spectroscopy: an IR source is directed through a sample, say of CO2. On the other side, a detector measures that some of the frequencies have been absorbed.

    Where have those photons gone? They have been reradiated in random directions through absorption-emission events, or the energy has been transferred from an excited (vibrating) CO2 molecule to translational/rotational kinetic energy of gas molecules, so that far less photons of that frequency reach the detector. (Some still reach the detector, as they are redirected in the forward direction by absorption-emission events; others may not interact with CO2 on the way through). If CO2 molecules became saturated at these wavelengths, what would happen? Those CO2 molecules would stop absorbing at those wavelengths after a time period. They would all be in the excited state, so would be unavailable to absorb more photons at those wavelengths. The absorbance spectrum would flatten out over time, so that eventually ALL IR radiation passes through the sample without any absorbance. There’s no evidence that this happens at all: there always seem to be “available” CO2 molecules for absorption.

    Also, the idea that there is a CO2 saturation point at a certain atmospheric concentration is wrong. The Beer-Lambert law shows that absorbance is related to the logarithm of the concentration. This implies that an increase in concentration of some amount will have a smaller effect if the amount of CO2 is already large, compared to if the CO2 amount in the atmosphere is lower. But there is certainly no threshold value where all additional CO2 emitted has no further contribution to absorbance.


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    oh dear

    wes #111, #112

    You obviously get quite impassioned when someone doesn’t agree with your beliefs. Not only do you seem overwhelmed by emotion, but in your outbursts there is no substance, no information, no facts, only childish ad hominem ridicule and stereotyping. Fortunately, most people on this site seem to be respectful of others that have different views and seem to enjoy thoughtful discussion.

    For a bit of brain rectification, the following sources have been known to do a marvellous job:

    http://www.criticalthinking.org/articles/index.cfm

    http://www.amazon.com/Critical-Thinking-Taking-Professional-Personal/dp/0130647608/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284873980&sr=8-1


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    co2isnotevil

    Louis,

    You’re making it more complicated than it needs to be. I’m a fan of Occam’s razor and the simplest explanation is what conventional physics says should happen. Consider an atmosphere without clouds. Some amount of power is arriving from the Sun and an equal amount is leaving the planet. If the incident power corresponds to a temperature T (per Stefan-Boltzmann), then in order for that same amount of power to leave the planet, the T of the surface must be higher. If P is the incident power, such that P is T^4 times the SB constant and f is the fraction of power blocked from leaving, then the surface power, Ps, must be such that Ps*(1-f) = P. The clear sky atmosphere absorbs between about 60% and 65% of the surface power. The heated atmosphere radiates half to the surface and half into space which sets f (the net blocking factor) between 0.20 and 0.175. The gain is 1/(1-f), which is between 1.21 and 1.25. The measured climate system gain is closer to 1.6, but that includes the effects of clouds, which block a larger fraction of the surface power and covers 2/3 of the planet. FYI. doubling CO2 increases f by about 0.8%, so instead of 1.21 to 1.25, it would be 1,22 to 1.26, but like everything else, it’s not enough to worry about. The equivalent metric of gain required to quantify IPCC sensitivity is about 8.0, which of course, is impossible.

    The first misstep many warmists make is assuming that all of the power absorbed by the atmosphere is returned to the surface. The IPCC makes a fuzzy definition of radiative forcing that accounts for power blocked, but fails to account for any of that blocked power that later leaves the planet through the transparent regions in the absorption spectrum, rather than being returned to the surface through those same transparent regions.

    George


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    co2isnotevil

    Oh dear,

    When we talk of the GHG effect being saturated, we mean that all of the available photons that can be absorbed are being absorbed, not that the atmosphere couldn’t absorb more if they were there.

    George


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    oh dear

    CO2isnotevil #97

    I had a look at your plot – kudos for plotting that, it’s very interesting. However, it raises a number of questions:

    Was the rate of heating only found locally at the DomeC site? Because the current rate of warming of 0.13 deg C per decade is the globally averaged rate of warming.

    Ultimately though, the GCMs demonstrate that CO2 emissions are responsible for the warming trends, and GHG concentrations, and hence temperatures, are only going to increase upwards with a vengeance (Jo’s recent article “7 signs of the times” shows that there is a lack of will to do anything, which most of you probably are in agreement with). Whatever the causes of previous warming episodes, the current warming episode is due to human emitted GHGs, according to the GCMs, so the existence of previous warming episodes are almost irrelevant from a logical point of view. The climate science is being driven by the GCMs rather than only data, as I mentioned in earlier posts. The fact that the AGW theory has not gone away is because long-term globally averaged temperature trends are yet to deviate away from the GCM projections. If this occurs in a significant way, rest assured that the AGW theory will be well and truly dead and buried. It is yet to happen though, unfortunately.


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    cohenite

    Oh Dear; you have ignored the effect of LTE’s; Beer-Lambert as described by Hammer means that CO2 is saturated in the lower atmosphere, which is confirmed by Geiger’s work; take issue with him not me; I have paraphrased Hammer’s article here at comment 376:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/07/the-great-leap-forward-professors-et-al-realize-they-need-to-talk-about-evidence-instead-of-insults/comment-page-8/#comment-62938

    If what you say is true then ever increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere would continue to cause heating – the so-called Venus Syndrome -; as a thought exercise if Earth’s atmosphere constituents were replaced by CO2 to the same level as Venus, 96%, but the atmospheric density remained the same, would it be hotter or colder than now?

    Now, since I value wes’s erudite and insightful comments I will take his advice about your distracting chicanery and note that Holdren is an elitist misanthrope; so what is your opinion of Holdren?


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    co2isnotevil

    Oh dear,

    The rate of heating in the ice cores was inferred by measuring the ratio of Deuterium to Hydrogen in the snow that built the ice. This ratio is a function of global ocean temperatures. All of the ice core and sediment data with a fine enough temporal resolution shows these relatively large, rapid temperature swings.

    The current rate of 0.13 per decade is the increase in the 5 year average since the last global temperature minimum. Ice cores show changes in long term average temperatures. Vostok represents averages from 100 years to several thousand. DomeC represents averages from 20 years to a couple of thousand years. Longer term averages will change far more slowly than short term averages. Consider that there’s more difference between night and day than there is between the global averages between the deepest ice age and warmest interglacial.

    Even seasonal change is quite fast and on the order of 1C-2C per month (120-240C per decade). Can you see how much difference the term of the average makes? Monthly averages can change at rates in excess of 100C per decade!

    You are absolutely wrong about GCM’s predicting that CO2 emissions are responsible for warming trends. The GCM’s generally assume this though ‘empirical’ relationships with associated tweakable constants. A model can’t predict something that it’s assuming in the first place. This kind of circular logic just doesn’t fit within the framework of the scientific method.

    George


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    wes george

    Well, George @ 113, that’s all good. ;-)

    But, in this case, by submitting to a troll-led digression about the science away from the topic of Holdren’s authoritarian solutions, we skeptics give the impression that we could support authoritarian solutions if we could only be convinced that CAGW is real!

    This plays into the underlying assumption of both Oh Dear and Rob Ryan’s comments – that problems are so severe that individual liberty and dignity must be subverted to the goal of Saving The Planet. They believe the free market of capital and ideas is no match at creating innovation compared to a collectivist technocracy’s power to command invention and discovery.

    Obviously, we’re skeptical of the scientific basis for the threat in the first place. But Holdren’s eco-fascist beliefs violate fundamental principles of human nature and can only make matters much worse if implemented, especially if the ecological threat is half as dire as the warmists believe!

    In fact, the only environmental catastrophe to worry about is the one that authoritarian “long-term planning,” based upon political correct consensus, might cause by slowing the rate of technological evolution. Canberra can’t install pink bats without burning houses down, but Rob and Oh Dear imagine big government can legislate fine weather for our grand children! The self-evident lunacy of that idea shouldn’t merit a debunking, but apparently it does. And that’s exactly what Oh Dear and Rob don’t want to debate.

    Unfortunately, my time is up. So I’ll just make one last point:

    There is only one-way forward for humanity: To allow a free ecology (market) of capital and ideas guided by natural selection to innovate in a nonlinear, chaotic fashion. Techno-cultural evolution can’t be coerced by an authoritarian technocratic elite. An ecosystem of competing ideas must be fundamentally based upon the respect of individual human autonomy and dignity above all else. This is true whether the AGW hypothesis is true or false.

    * * *

    PS, wish I didn’t have to exit now. Shearing starts manana, and then I’m off to the big smoke. Had a lot of fun being argumentative with you blokes. ;-) I’m very grateful for Jo Nova’s tireless efforts to expose dogma posing as science and our inalienable right to do so. She gives us all hope even as our nation’s intellectual climate continues to chill. Cheers!


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    oh dear

    cohenite #121

    Ok, wes does have a point, this is a thread about Holdren, after all (sorry wes!)

    Also, I have to read through Hammer’s article carefully and try to compare his claims with satellite measurements.

    RE Holdren.
    “Dedevelopment” is a broad and vague term. I agree in principle with what Holdren says about living within the ecological limits, I think that as a society we must move toward one with a minimal environmental impact (i.e. sustainable), and what Holdren is saying is that a market mechanism (I presume something like an ETS) is the way to do it.

    A lot of people get suspicious when a social or political issue (in this case distribution of wealth) is converged with an environmental problem; that tends to politicise environmentalism. In this case, from the selected quote and emphasised by Jo’s words, it is portrayed to be a component of left-wing politics. Unfortunately environmentalism has become so closely associated with left-leaning politics that the conservative side of politics will oppose environmental reform on ideological grounds, it seems. However, environmentalism is simply aimed at preservation of natural places and resources, so it is inherently a conservative belief.

    Some conservatively-minded individuals seem to oppose environmental reform (eg price on carbon, replacing old established technology with new) because they fear that environmentalism is being used by those with a social/political agenda as a vehicle to further their political aims (such as the creation of one world governments, income redistribution and so forth). That is a result of the extreme and unfortunate politicisation of the environment, and the historical rejection of environmentalism by the conservative movement. The main paradigm in conservative thinking seems to be the preservation of market fundamentalism (neo-liberalism/laissez-faire capitalism), which of course, “has no morals” (Christine Lagarde).

    Those of us who accept that AGW is happening realise that it is happening because carbon pollution (among other environmental costs) was never added to the prices of items, so products were cheaper than they were actually valued, with various ecosystems bearing the brunt of the costs. I believe that environmental costs should be enforced, through regulation, into the costs of products.


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    co2isnotevil

    Oh dear,

    Again, you are assuming that CO2 has costs in the first place. It’s the same circular reasoning you used to support GCM’s. You can’t assume something is true and then say it has consequences that must be addressed because some logic downstream of your assumption says so.

    My problem with Holdren is that much of what he preaches as science is not, moreover; he lacks the kind of critical analytical skills that are required for his position. I don’t know WTF Obama was thinking when he appointed him, although this seems like a recurring pattern with this administration, where unqualified academics are put into positions of power, many of whom have a history of supporting extremely far left ideas that have been shown to fail time and time again. When you add an unnecessary carbon guilt factor to predisposed self destructive stupidity, nothing good can come from it.

    George


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    cohenite

    Hurry back wes; oh dear has enunciated clearly and transparently the antithesis at the heart of environmentalism which is using AGW as a handmaiden for its social/political and economic dominance.

    Oh dear, you define your position in terms of “ecological limits” and “minimal environmental impact”. The key however, is “environmentalism is simply aimed at preservation of natural places and resources, so it is inherently a conservative belief.” There are 2 fundamental issues with this and both are tenents of AGW.

    The first is that there exists an ideal natural place and environment; this is, of course, foreign to the natural condition, which is a blind set of processes acting chaotically to produce stochastically derived environments. Why should one set of those randomly derived environments be regarded as prime? The answer is either because the randomness of nature is to be regarded as inviolate and superior in itself so each blind environment is valued as part of that; or because it benefits humanity more than any other environment. This 2nd rationale is anathema to most environmental groups. Many of these groups think that the world would be better off without humans at all. One noted spokesperson, Glenn Albrecht, regards the stable aboriginal population of Australia of about 300,000 as being inherently unsustainable. The paradigm of this view is that humans are less important than a pristine nature and that the best chance humanity has is to live according to natural constraints because any interference with these will have dire consequences; that is, any attempt by humanity to exceed or deviate from natural limitations will have bad consequences; this is the Frankenstein concept, packaged with the Eden myth; it is the ideological basis of AGW.

    Of course there are other people who think all of nature should be cemented over, or at least be maintained as a Japanese garden. I’m more of an English garden man myself, but the central question of this dispute is: does nature have any intrinsic worth or is nature only valuable to the extent that it is beneficial to humanity. If humanity did not exist would Earth have any value at all? Answer that.

    The 2nd issue is can humanity control nature so as to preserve natural places and resources; AGW assumes it can, but ironically only by NOT using this capacity because when we do use this capacity the results are always bad. There is no doubt that we can control to a certain extent natural influence over humanity through medical and social infrastructure; this is indisputably a good thing; but it is completely different from controlling those natural forces which have influence over us: building shelter does not stop the storms and immunisation does not stop disease. The question here is should humanity strive to control nature and achieve an apotheosis which is unnatural? I believe we should so strive; the alternative is horrifying; living a sustainable [and this word needs to be defined and I have already suggested you look up Norman Borlaug] livestyle is inherently a static condition; many civilisations in the past have done this [the Mayans] and when the environment changed, perished. A sustainable lifestyle is a slow suicide. At the end of the day nature does not care for humanity; to escape nature’s vicissitudes humanity must either nullify those or insulate against them. A sustainable lifestyle would allow neither.


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    Wendy

    Subject: Greenpeace uses child!

    http://www.4bc.com.au/blogs/michael-smith-blog/greenpeace-uses-child/20100914-15ad7.html

    The Green movement really is beneath contempt!

    Fancy getting a child to spout this rubbish!

    CHILD ABUSE!

    http://www.youtube.com/v/vgvnqv1-_D4?fs=1&hl=en_GB


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    @ Wes George, et al

    It’s quite incorrect that I think big government will solve the problem or that it can. Bit government is occupied by the same self-serving short term oriented types that invest in stocks for mutual funds, etc. In fact, I’m extremely dubious that it can be solved. For the record, I typically vote Libertarian and am a business owner in the private sector, dealing with construction.

    The problem is that I also have a degree in mathematics and a minor in physics. The mathematics of exponential growth is straightforward and inexorable. Given that energy conversion is a strict and fundamental limit, business as usual cannot work.

    What do I think might work? Possibly changing capital markets in such a way that long term results have much more impact than short term results on the ability of investors to profit might help. Certainly, massive investment and “way-clearing” for nuclear energy is essential.

    Unfortunately, humans have been equipped by evolutionary pressures to be sexual, tribal, and oriented to immediate gratification. I think a bad bunch of decades is inevitable.


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    co2isnotevil

    Rob,

    Investing in stocks and bonds is not self serving. This is part of the engine that drives economic growth.

    The private sector can both grow and shrink the economy. When companies make profits and stock prices increase, money expands in a non inflationary way (i.e. wealth is created) and the economy grows. Conversely, when they take losses and stock prices drop, money contracts in a non deflationary manner (i.e. wealth is destroyed) and the economy shrinks.

    Government, on the other hand, can only destroy wealth. It takes it away in the form of taxes and then frivolously spends it on programs to benefit those in power, usually to help them get reelected. It can print money, but printing money faster than companies earn profit is inflationary. The Obama administration, and in fact, most left leaning governments, falsely believe that government can grow the economy. Of course, at best, this is like trying to fill a swimming pool by siphoning water from the deep end and filling the shallow end. In practice, the hose is leaky and water is lost along the way and the water level drops, i.e. the economy contracts.

    Profit is driven by efficiency, so there’s a natural tendency to improve productivity and efficiency and this is what free market capitalism is all about. Improvement leads to more profit which provides funds for further improvements. If the government really wanted to grow the economy, it would eliminate all taxes on profit and income and move to a consumption based tax instead. The lunatic left objects to this because it gives the appearance that the 50% of the country that pays hardly any taxes at all will start to pay taxes. They fail to recognize that corporate taxes are already buried in the price of everything and that this cost of doing business will disappear leading to lower prices for everything. A consumption tax will bump the price back up, but at least then, the people get to see the exact fraction of the economy siphoned away to keep bureaucrats employed and to fund their fat pensions and if they really knew how big that was, there would be another revolution, or has this already started with the tea party?.

    George


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    I don’t disagree that the purchasing of stocks or bonds of corporations serves a purpose and that stock prices reflect the degree to which the stock investing public thinks that purpose is being served but it’s hard for me to see how you’d claim that it’s not self-serving. Wouldn’t a free market thinker want it to be so?

    In any case, the relentless valuation based on the price earnings ratio of the most recent quarter cannot serve to solve long term problems, which the development of non-polluting, dispatchable, plentiful sources of energy and the replacement of our fossil fuel based infrastructure certainly is.

    Accurate pricing of externalities would also help. In the end though, exponential growth ultimately constrained by self-poisoning will rule the day I’m afraid.


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    Further, I’m definitely in favor of small government and of consumption based taxes. The ability to utilize resources of all types (human, natural, knowledge, etc.) is certainly the essence of progress. Such progress is not possible without some of the functions of government such as defense, providing a framework for the enforcement of contracts, enforcement of criminal law, etc. These must be paid for by those using the platform provided by government to make economic profit. But it’s said that an economy is a complex but effective system for turning natural resources into refuse. When nine billion people are doing so, the end is in sight.


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    co2isnotevil

    Rob,

    It would be self serving only if profit was guaranteed. As it is, there’s risk and that investment can be lost as well. That would certainly not be self serving. Gain is the reward for taking a risk which would otherwise benefit more than just yourself. If this element wasn’t there, why bother with the risk?

    Consider the case of a CEO getting stock options, if the CEO does a good job and grows the company, he will benefit. But what you would consider self serving is inure to the benefit of all shareholders, i.e. collective salvation. This is how capitalism implements collectivism. Sure, the individual benefits, but so does the collective and by far more than the collective would benefit without the profit motive. It’s the old adage that 10% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

    Regarding exponential growth, this isn’t a problem with industrial nations, but only with nations whose population is still in the stone age. Consider India. In only 11 days, it’s population increases by the same amount that the EU population increases during an entire year. The reason is that most Indians are subsistence farmers who live off the land (isn’t this what the green monster wants for everyone?). They can’t afford workers, mechanization or the gas to run it, so they require children to tend the farm. Each of these children then needs 8 kids of their own to run their farm and so on and so forth.

    This is clearly unsustainable and is destined to crash as India runs out of land and/or water for all the new farmers. When this happens, we will of course be bombarded with heart string pulling images of starving children which will elevate the ever present guilt complex embodied by the left. So we will funnel money to them to keep them fed so they can have more children and make the problem worse. This is what Holdren wants to preemptively achieve by redistributing wealth from wealthy countries to poor ones, which will only serve to make the crash bigger when it eventually occurs.

    George


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    An rational investor clearly evaluates risk vs. reward to make the investment decision. He/she decides the expectation is positive in comparison with other available opportunities to deploy his or her capital. This is surely self-serving behavior, as it should be.

    With respect to India, in the end the developed countries will not be able to fence off India, Indonesia, China, etc. There problems will be our problems. Believe me when I say I wish there was a solution that human nature would allow to happen – I live a VERY western lifestyle and don’t wish to do otherwise.


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    co2isnotevil

    Rob,

    But, no profit is guaranteed, so risk is still present. This is only conditionally self serving and not absolutely self serving. Yes, the desire for self improvement and betterment drives capitalism (many incorrectly call this greed), but the bottom line is that capitalism builds a bigger pie for all to earn a piece of. Individual greed is when one wants more by taking a bigger piece at the expense of others. The ‘greed’ that drives capitalism gets you a bigger piece by making the pie bigger so that everyone gets a bigger piece. An inability to distinguish between these is a common flaw in socialist and communist logic. This is because under such regimes, the pie is not expected to get bigger and the data tells us that this is exactly what happens.

    Part of the solution to problems in the third world is to let those countries know, in no uncertain terms, that their problems are caused by their own actions and that there’s nothing the west can, should or will do to make any kind of difference. This is not the message promoted by Holdren, the Obama administration, the UN or in fact, anyone on the left. Instead the message is that the west is profusely apologetic for their plight which reinforces the idea that we are somehow responsible. At the same time, these idiots tell the third world they can’t grow their economies because burning fossil fuels destroys the planet, so they promote the message that we want to redistribute western wealth to the third world to make up for this. Of course, this is promise that can never be fulfilled and which we will be blamed for later as contributing to their problems.

    George


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    George,

    Despite the fact that risk is there, no investor I’ve ever known makes anything but an absolutely self-serving analysis. Broken down to its most fundamental aspect, they set a maximum risk tolerance for each of their portfolio categories, then look at possible investments. They sum the rewards of each outcome by its probability and determine an expectation. They then select the investment within the category offering the greatest expectation for the time frame they are contemplating for that category. Probably few do it so analytically but even off the cuff that’s the sort of calculus in which they engage. NONE of which I’m aware do it to promote making the pie bigger for everyone, that is a happy unintended consequence [as opposed to a happy ending ;) ].

    Nevertheless, none of this behavior will allow seven or nine billion people to live “western” lifestyles. It might be possible but only with the sort of focused long term investment behavior that our capital markets and political systems do not encourage. Even with those it’s very iffy. Suppose we could increase efficiency, decrease waste, implement a massive nuclear energy program in a safe way at a rate that would double the rate of gain of efficiency of energetic purchase of gdp. That won’t come close to enabling the four (or six) billion people currently converting energy at rates of one kilowatt and lower to achieve a standard of living that someone like me (and, I speculate, you) would consider remotely tolerable without so-called self-poisoning (air pollution, water pollution, deforestation, ocean acidification, desertification, topsoil destruction, etc.) making drastic inroads to bringing our population into balance with what the sun provides.


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    oh dear

    cohenite #126

    You say:

    oh dear has enunciated clearly and transparently the antithesis at the heart of environmentalism which is using AGW as a handmaiden for its social/political and economic dominance.

    That claim is spinning nastily at an odd angle, I am afraid to say. Perhaps you need to read carefully what I am saying again? Environmentalism is not social/political in its pure form; after all, environmental degradation has been caused by societies living under various political and social systems. AGW is not some Illuminati-esque conspiracy to take over the world, regardless of what wes and other like-minded people might think. AGW and its consequences are natural (physical, chemical, biological) reactions to human activities. It’s not political, although it’s politicised and needs to be dealt with at the political level.

    What has happened is that in a general sense, one side of politics is more serious about doing something about it than the other. Some people of one political persuasion refuse to even acknowledge its existence for ideological reasons alone, because the consequences mean that some of the time-honoured institutions that they so strongly believe in and adhere to need to be modified to reduce the effects of AGW. Some of them have such an irrational fear of (non-organic) change and a deep-seated belief in the truth of their egocentric standards (“it’s not true because I don’t believe it”, “it’s not true because we [social group to which I belong] don’t believe it”, “it’s not true because I don’t want to believe it”, “it’s not true because I’ve never believed it”, “it’s not true because it’s in my selfish interests not to believe it”) that opposing AGW on the grounds of some conspiracy between a motley crew of scientists, governments, left-wing extremists, ELF, big business, Al Gore and the UN has no ring of absurdity about it.

    I think that if the conspiracy theorists thought about AGW seriously for a moment, they’d tend to agree with the truth of the conditional statement that
    “IF AGW is happening, AND its consequences are highly undesirable AND we are capable of reducing the effects of AGW,
    THEN
    efforts to reduce its effects must be made AND collaboration between the nations of the world is essential to do this”.
    However many of them don’t believe the first premise of the conditional, and if they change their minds on that one, they are unlikely to accept the second premise. If they change their mind on second one, they are unlikely to accept the third, sometimes because of the immediate expense.

    Now to your comments on nature.

    Your definition of “nature” seems to be all the (non-human) living organisms in the biosphere, as a collection of ecosystems (or “blind environments”, as you put it). Your first issue is all about value. “How can the worth of nature be evaluated?” you ask. You claim that there are two ways to value nature.

    The first involves valuing optimisation algorithms that are isomorphic to the evolutionary path of present day organisms in an ecosystem. You imply that that is essentially what environmentalist-types do, value some ecosystems as better then others and that the rationale behind it is like trying to value an algorithm that is “stochastic”, with a strongly random characteristic about it. I think your claim lacks quality. The value of an ecosystem in the viewpoint of an environmentalist (whether high or low conservation value) has nothing to do with looking at the way its various members evolved. Typical criteria used to evaluate the conservation value of an ecosystem include:
    - the level of biodiversity and related values such as endemism, endangered species and refugia, the size and the degree of intactness of the ecosystem and how closely the populations of naturally occurring species exist in their natural distributions and abundance;
    - rarity of the ecosystem
    - whether the ecosystem provides basic services of nature (eg protecting watersheds, erosion control)
    - whether the ecosystem provides basic needs to local communities, or are critical to the cultural identity of local communities.

    You claim

    there exists an ideal natural place and environment; this is, of course, foreign to the natural condition

    I’m in agreement with the second statement. Every person’s idea of nature is different. Knowledge of nature is not the same as the “natural world” it purports to represent.

    As for the first statement, I presume you mean that such ideal places exist in the minds of some people.

    Then you say

    Many [environmental] groups think that the world would be better off without humans at all…
    The paradigm of this view is that humans are less important than a pristine nature

    If you think that the majority of people who want to do something about AGW hold these opinions, then I am sorry but I am not sure how you can take yourself seriously.

    Of course there is no going back to pre-European civilisation Australia for example; things have changed drastically and will continue to do so. Why shouldn’t the few pristine ecosystems that still remain be conserved? The opportunity cost of destroying/vandalising such ecosystems far exceeds the immediate profits that are obtained. How does preserving a rare and pristine ecosystem instead of letting in the developers/loggers/miners mean “humans are less important?”

    Then you say

    [Environmental groups believe that] the best chance humanity has is to live according to natural constraints because any interference with these will have dire consequences; that is, any attempt by humanity to exceed or deviate from natural limitations will have bad consequences; this is the Frankenstein concept, packaged with the Eden myth; it is the ideological basis of AGW.

    The idea of living within the long-term environmental constraints is not an ideology – it has a scientific basis. The idea of societies living far beyond their long-term environmental constraints – that’s an ideology. Ideology drove the Easter islanders to extinction because they exploited their environment unsustainably. I don’t think that humans are facing an impending extinction as a species, but population growth seems to be outstripping technological advances in food production and unless the population growth rate slows down in advance, there will eventually be a big famine (see the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey relationship). To those who scoff, do you think the earth could support, say, 1000 billion people? If not, what would stop the population growth before then?

    You say:

    Of course there are other people who think all of nature should be cemented over, or at least be maintained as a Japanese garden. I’m more of an English garden man myself

    I think the most depressing part of your entire comment is the implication that your utopia would be an earth covered in manicured English gardens. I’m sure that even my grandmother would find the idea of such a world barren and uninteresting. That that “acclimatisation” idea has survived “selective pressures” through to the 21st century is curious indeed.

    You write

    the central question of this dispute is: does nature have any intrinsic worth or is nature only valuable to the extent that it is beneficial to humanity. If humanity did not exist would Earth have any value at all? Answer that.

    Would Earth have any value to what? It’ll certainly have value to the organisms that still inhabit earth. Think of environmental economics. That is obviously human-centric, but it is hypothetically possible to develop an environmental economics for any species. After all, each organism, each species as a group, is struggling to survive and propagate through time. Anything which improves survival, improves the chances of propagating genetic material into the future, has a value to an organism and to its species.

    To value something, what do you value? It makes no sense to ask questions like: “is the wetland or the forest better?”
    Obviously we need to qualify what characteristic we are valuing.

    I think that humans don’t have any more right to inhabit earth than any other species. We are able wield power over other species due to our own circumstances, but I think we have a moral responsibility to respect our fellow earth-travellers and the environment.

    Humans are completely dependent on ecosystems and ecosystem services for survival. We are not above the environment at all, just another species in the web of various ecosystems. It is in our best interests to ensure that our ecosystems are healthy.

    Your second issue is about controlling nature. Firstly, minimising AGW is not about controlling nature (unless geoengineering techniques are used), but changing the technologies that humans use.

    You say

    The question here is should humanity strive to control nature and achieve an apotheosis which is unnatural? I believe we should so strive; the alternative is horrifying; living a sustainable [and this word needs to be defined and I have already suggested you look up Norman Borlaug] livestyle is inherently a static condition; many civilisations in the past have done this [the Mayans] and when the environment changed, perished. A sustainable lifestyle is a slow suicide. At the end of the day nature does not care for humanity; to escape nature’s vicissitudes humanity must either nullify those or insulate against them. A sustainable lifestyle would allow neither.

    Some points:
    - A sustainable society means a society living within environmental constraints. Technology is important here, obviously, as Borlaug’s work demonstrated. The better the technology, the more people can live within the environmental constraints.

    - your view of nature as being malignant, horrifying and threatening and to be tamed at all costs is bemusing. Other organisms have far more reason to fear us than we do to fear them.

    neblinaria [at] hotmail [dot] com


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    cohenite

    Thank you; a reasonant post which clearly delineates most of the defining philosophies of the green/environmentalist movement. In no particular order:

    1 You say: “The first involves valuing optimisation algorithms that are isomorphic to the evolutionary path of present day organisms in an ecosystem.” In fact I say the opposite; humanity as it exists to day is not isomorphic to natural evolution; many people, possibly a majority, especially in the Western world, are alive today in contradiction to evolution. Medical intervention has meant that many otherwise human genetic cul de sacs have survived and reproduced. Any similarity to nature is in the fact that this is still largely random. But in many societies arranged marriages and therefore, in a broad sense, specific attributes are being deliberately bred. This is a poor relation to eugenics but it is what medical intervention has been doing in reverse; attributes [natural defects] which would have ended genetic lineages are not being preserved.

    Is this a good thing or a bad thing? The naturalist would, I presume, say a bad thing because, in your words, it is an example of humanity living “far beyond their long-term environmental constraints”. To remedy that and restrict population growth selections of which humans can breed would have to be made. Who would make that decision? The Greens? On the basis of what criteria and wouldn’t any such program be a form of eugenics?

    2 You say: “I think that humans don’t have any more right to inhabit earth than any other species” When I read this I immediately thought of the Animal Liberation slogan: “A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy”; are you really suggesting that a human has an existential equivalence to any animal? If so I find that incredible. That is completely different from saying humans have a stewartship role of the planet and other creatures because that stewartship goes to humanity’s self-worth, a desirable psychological characteristic; that self-worth is either generated by humans in a supranatural way by overseeing other species, playing god as it were; or, as you seem to be arguing, by not doing it at all and leaving it to nature; a form of deference and supplication which the Gaia concept seems to bring out in many AGW supporters. If the latter this contains a massive contradiction; nature is survival of the fittest; that would give humans carte blanche to do what they will with other animals entirely on the basis of what is in the best interests of humans in conformity to survival of the fittest. To blithely say that it is the best interest of humans not to interfere with natural process when we are actively competing with other animals for resources does not make sense.

    What you ignore is the fact that humans can greatly enhance natural resources. You only briefly mentioned Norman Borlaug despite my reference to him. Borlaug showed that humans can extract far more from the environment than the environment naturally offers; this is not living within environmental constraints; it is abolishing those constraints. Other methods of doing this include GM. Are you against GM? The methods that Borlaug used to increase crop yields? If so where do you stop; with Mendel?

    If you think interference with nature is undesireable what are your views about manipulation of the human capacity to resist natural ‘culling’: immunisation, genetic organs, pantropy? And why do you think that modern exploitation of resources is incompatible with a better environment? After all the environment is consistently less polluted in modern, technolgical societies than in less advanced ones; google the Citarum River.

    3 You say: “Humans are completely dependent on ecosystems and ecosystem services for survival. We are not above the environment at all, just another species in the web of various ecosystems. It is in our best interests to ensure that our ecosystems are healthy.” If this is so how would you desribe the urban environment where the majority of the world’s peoples live. Is this an ecosystem? A natural ecosystem? If so that would be taking sociobiology a bit too far. Cities are unnatural environments. They are also essential for the survival of humanity; but they are contrary to nature. What is your solution: some sort of agrarian society as proposed by Hamilton or as attempted by Pol Pot? Agarian societies of this, natural, sort cannot sustain anywhere near the existing human population, so again we come back to choices about who can live and reproduce.

    4 You say: “your view of nature as being malignant, horrifying and threatening and to be tamed at all costs is bemusing”. I did not say nature was malignant; nature has no intent and whether it is threatening or horrifying depends on your degree of ability to avoid natures worst, from a human perspective, events. From personal experience I can say that an earthquake is extremely threatening; and I am horrified by some of the diseases nature can afflict humanity with.

    I am not interested whether other organisms fear us; I think this is a typical anthromorphism of the Disney view of nature which Hollywood and certain, invariably urban dwelling, nincompoops have forstered. I am sure other species do not give a damn about humans or fear us collectively or individually. Apart from some degree of consciousness in the great apes other species exist on the basis of natural reflex and instinct. The romanticising of nature has worked to great detriment in respect of how humans make sensible policies for dealing with natural resources. Management of resources depends on not regarding them as equals but as utilities which includes such criteria as an aesthetic inherent in such concepts as ‘wilderness’ which many people seem to value as an arm’s length quality. Good and well because leaving certain tracts of nature undisturbed has flow on benefits such as bio-diversity and eco-tourism. But to say that nature should be left untouched because it has a worth independent of humans is a nonsense and will remain a nonsense until Johnny Alien appears with a alternative paradigm.


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    cohenite: @137

    …humanity as it exists to day is not isomorphic to natural evolution; many people, possibly a majority, especially in the Western world, are alive today in contradiction to evolution.

    I see. A tiger doing what comes naturally is isomorphic but man doing EXACTLY the same thing (doing what comes naturally to him) is not. Either man did not evolve or what separates man from the beasts of the world (the capacity to reason and thereby advance his knowledge and skill of adapting nature to HIS purposes) did not evolve.

    Clearly, the presumption here is that whatever man does, it is not natural BECAUSE it is done by man by methods peculiar to man. If any other creature does anything, it is natural BECAUSE it is not done by man. I suggest that you have thereby implicitly accepted the unstated premise of the over the edge ecologists.

    All that has happened is that man evolved to be able to add social, political, and technological evaluation to the biological evaluation to which the rest of living things are constrained. It is his capacity to reason that gives him that power. That capacity developed as a consequence of his NATURAL evolution over the past several millions of years.

    There is a risk. Man’s use of reason can lead to error as well as success. However, by using that self same reason, man has the capacity to discover and correct error. In either case, that capacity is as naturally derived as the capacity of any other creature. Hence, what man does is just as natural as any other creature. One therefor cannot use “it isn’t natural” as an argument against ANY human behavior. Such behavior cannot be anything but natural.

    One may not like or approve of said behavior but it is none the less of natural origin. In a very real way, man changing his environment is as much nature changing things as a volcano eruption or an asteroid hitting the earth.

    As argued above, man’s ability to live as a man is just as natural as a tiger’s ability to live as a tiger. Man is just as much a product of nature as the tiger. The difference is that a man can learn to be much more effective at doing what he does than a tiger can for what a tiger does. The tiger is constrained to the limits of his biological evaluation. Man is constrained only by natural law, resources, time, and freedom to think and act.

    It is therefor not pristine nature that the ecologists wish to conserve, it is man’s ability to use reason they wish to destroy. They are insisting that man must live as a beast rather than as a man. They are asking man to become what he is not and cannot long attempt and still survive without other men, using reason, taking up the slack.

    The ecologists must come up with a different excuse for their power and control plots than man is not a proper part of nature and that any action by man is not natural.


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    cohenite

    Lionell; you raise an interesting point, namely that mankind’s capacity to manipulate nature to an extent which distinguishes us from other animals, is in itself natural. I think we can go down a semantic hole here; and you will note that I refer to sociobiology in my last reply to Oh Dear. Sociobiology says that human society is an expression of our biology, our nature, and therefore the large urban edifaces and the technology needed to construct these structures and maintain them are natural.

    I wanted to distinguish what Oh Dear appeared to be saying and what I know the Greens say, that what is natural is not in terms of what humans can do but is defined on the basis of not interfering with natural process; that is, living within natural constraints; which is what I understand sustainability to mean.

    For me, the defining characteristic of humans is our technological capacity alligned to an ability to reason which is unnatural in the sense that it allows us to overcome our natural limitations and to also encroach into natural process in a much more limited way; that is, we are ‘unnatural’ in 2 ways; firstly in our ability to alter the human natural form and ability and 2ndly in our ability to actually alter external natural process. I’m not sure Oh Dear understood my point; obviously I have to express it better!


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    cohenite:

    When man does something, the presumption by both yourself AND the over the top ecologists is that it is not natural. Both our minds and bodies came about by the self same processes that brought about a tiger or other beast. Yet one is not natural and the other is. This is a contradiction. Something cannot come about by natural processes and not be natural itself.

    When you say

    we are ‘unnatural’ in 2 ways; firstly in our ability to alter the human natural form and ability and 2ndly in our ability to actually alter external natural process.

    you are placing man, his actions, and the source of his ability to consider and choose the nature of his actions outside of nature. In effect, you are saying that to be “natural” you must be mindless and act without understanding nor conscious purpose beyond the range of the moment responses to momentary sensory events.

    It follows from that position that the original sin of man is that to exist he must use his mind. He must learn, he must choose his purpose and his methods, and he must act accordingly. Because man can exist only as a man, he has lost the right to continue to exist. Yet, nature created him that way. Can there be a worse hell?

    I say, check your premises. Somewhere in them there is a serious flaw leading you to this abominable contradiction.


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    J

    Very good, I agree, except one quibble.

    When Holdren says, “Through the free market economy,” that is his current thinking and you try to mesh it with what he wrote long ago. But in the old work he is not talking about market mechanisms.

    What he is invoking currently is an American code phrase for cap and trade. Usually the words “market mechanisms” or “free market mechanisms” are used. The left in America uses these phrases because they think it will appeal to “free market” righties, or the righties who get a thrill down their legs when they hear the word “market,” which is like magic to them. Ironically, or not, the rhetoric was created for George Bush’s father when he instituted Enron’s SO2 cap and trade “solution” in the early 1990′s.


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    cohenite

    Lionell, I wasn’t going to reply to you because I don’t want to mix religion in this aspect of the debate but you say:

    “When man does something, the presumption by both yourself AND the over the top ecologists is that it is not natural.”

    I did say we could go down a sematic hole here and I think you have dug the hole; your position is simple a priori reasoning: man is natural therefore everything he does is natural. That misses the point. The point is that if look at what man does from the vantage of natural process then man’s actions are unnatural, at least in part: we build cities which have an UHI effect; our agriculture affects rainfall patterns; immunisation and health infrastructure means the genetic pool is different then it would be. Of course we are still natural in that we still breathe and have the physicality that nature provided but we have strayed from the natural path as it were because we change natural processes, consciously and deliberately.

    I think the terminology has blurred a bit; you seem to be black and whiting the issue; the reality is more shades of grey. The moral context and the whether being unnatural is inevitably existentialist is not my immediate concern. My concern was to look at the fallacy of there being an ideal environment or set of natural processes. This seems to be the underlying point of AGW; that is, there was either a pristine environment or pristine natural processes [the distinction between the 2 is subtle but substantial] which man has disturbed. This is the Eden myth which you have noted, as have others including Richard C. You also mention the “original sin” which dovetails with AGW in that the sin is unsustainability. Unsustainability here means altering, changing distorting nature through application of technology [knowledge].

    All of this is very interesting and can be discussed ad infinitum. For me the practical issues are these:
    1 Should humans exploit nature to support as higher a standard of living as possible
    2 What responsibility do we have to not harm other creatures and the environment in pursuing 1
    3 What limits should there be on application of technology to humans; through such things as implants, genetic manipulation to eradicate diseases, enhancement of physical and mental abilities.

    I am not sure what you mean by this:

    “Because man can exist only as a man, he has lost the right to continue to exist”

    Man can’t reinvent himself?


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    cohenite:

    You are digging the semantic hole here.

    You say:

    …your position is simple a priori reasoning: man is natural therefore everything he does is natural. That misses the point. The point is that if look at what man does from the vantage of natural process then man’s actions are unnatural, at least in part: we build cities which have an UHI effect; our agriculture affects rainfall patterns; immunisation and health infrastructure means the genetic pool is different then it would be.

    An ant colony must build its hill – that uses and changes the environment. A bee hive must build its hive – that too uses and changes the environment. A bird must build its nest and lay eggs – ditto. A plant must grow – dtto. A rat must reproduce – ditto. Such actions are not the result of conscious thought, choice, and purposeful action. The actions are constrained by the nature of the creature acting. If that is not sufficient to sustain their lives, they die.

    Yet, when man does what he must by HIS nature, act based upon conscious reasoning and purposefully use the resources in his environment to change his environment to suit his purpose, it is not “natural”. What do you mean by natural here other than “man did it by conscious thought, choice and purposeful action so it is not natural”?

    Man can do what he does because he can reason. That capacity is just as natural as a bee’s capacity to turn pollen into honey or an ant’s capacity to tunnel in the earth. It is a contradiction to say a bee’s or and ant’s actions are natural while man’s actions are not. Man is simply being what he is as is the bee or ant.

    For me the practical issues are these:
    1 Should humans exploit nature to support as higher a standard of living as possible
    2 What responsibility do we have to not harm other creatures and the environment in pursuing 1
    3 What limits should there be on application of technology to humans; through such things as implants, genetic manipulation to eradicate diseases, enhancement of physical and mental abilities.

    1. Absolutely YES! Natures value is only to man for the improvement and extension of his life. Other than that, there is no value. It simply is. This activity is limited by the necessity NOT to violate the rights of other men. Animals, plants, bacteria et.al. have no rights. Rights pertain only to rational beings capable of understanding the concept of rights and who respect the rights of others.

    2. To the extent necessary to support item one. However, it is not because other creatures and the environment have rights. Its because such things are of value to living humans. As a consequence, there is every reason to take appropriate care of one’s property and not to violate the property of others.

    3. The only limit is that the rights of other humans may not be violated. A fetus is not a human. It is only a potential human and, as such, has no rights unless and until it is born and living as an actual individual rather than as a parasitical appendage.

    I am not sure what you mean by this:

    “Because man can exist only as a man, he has lost the right to continue to exist”

    Try holding context for a few seconds. The ecologists principle that man is not part of nature and therefor cannot properly violate nature means exactly that. Such a conclusion is a simple logical consequence the ecologist’s basic premises which you apparently share in part if not in total.

    The part you share is crucial. The not so hidden premise is that natural is the good and the man made/caused is bad. This is the ultimate of the altruist’s creed: good is that which is done only for other – evil that which is done for self. Nature becomes the ultimate other and man’s actions become the ultimate evil. There is little that could be more wrong than this.


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    John Smith

    I guess George Orwell did a much better job at predicting the future than Nostradamus did eh?
    Oh count Aldous Huxley in as well.


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    cohenite

    Lionell: I do not share this viewpoint at all!

    “The ecologists principle that man is not part of nature and therefor cannot properly violate nature means exactly that. Such a conclusion is a simple logical consequence the ecologist’s basic premises which you apparently share in part if not in total.

    The part you share is crucial. The not so hidden premise is that natural is the good and the man made/caused is bad”

    In fact I totally disagree with it! I say man has the capacity to transcend nature which he has started to do in the 2 ways I describe; that is, altering his natural self and altering nature. I can’t make it plainer than that. I said that nature has no value other than in reference to man’s interests; I agree with your answer to the 3 issues I raised. I think you are confusing what I said with what Oh Dear said.


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    pjwebster

    If a tree falls in court, will anybody hear it?


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    cohenite:

    I say man has the capacity to transcend nature which he has started to do in the 2 ways I describe; that is, altering his natural self and altering nature.

    This is still a faulty identification based upon your presumption that man’s action results in something that is not natural. Man cannot transcend nature. Neither his own nor any part of nature. He is constrained by natural law, his own nature, his knowledge, and what is physically available to him. He cannot act outside of it. To continue to exist, he must act consistently with what is.

    Man can change his environment to suit his consciously chosen purposes but he can only change it within constraints. The nature of existence makes certain of that. Man, by necessity is part of nature and cannot act outside of it nor in contradiction to it. What is, IS. What isn’t, IS NOT. What can be is dependent upon what is and not upon what isn’t. Magic is inoperative in this universe.


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    cohenite

    Google LASER Lionell.


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    cohenite:

    Are you saying that a laser works because of magic?

    Or is it simply man using the principles and materials he discovered in nature to do something that surprises you?

    If so, what is the significance to be derived from your surprise except that you are ignorant of the physics of light and matter? During my rather long tenure on this earth, I have invented many things that surprised many people – sometimes even myself. However, in no case was I able to do anything that nature did not allow. I was able to do it ONLY because nature allowed it. Ditto for every other inventor who exists, will exist, and has ever existed.

    If lasers were not possible by natural law, they would not exist! That man can discover and make use of those laws for his own purposes is interesting and rather unique in the animal kingdom but in no way does that fact take him outside of nature. It is a simple demonstration that man is of nature and cannot escape it. In the same way and for the same reasons as a bee making honey is of nature.

    See: Reality is Absolute for some basic instruction on the nature of nature.


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    cohenite

    Ah Lionell, now I understand; having read your link to that notorious prankster and wordsmith Francis Bacon I realise you’ve been taking the mickey! So in that spirit let’s have some fun with your assumption that any and everything man does is natural:

    Man is natural
    Everything man does is natural
    Therefore everything man can’t do is unnatural

    Man cannot control the climate
    Therefore the climate is unnatural.

    or paradoxically:

    AGW says man can control the climate
    Therefore AGW is natural.

    Now let’s introduce some value into the syllagisms.

    Everything man does is natural
    Men kill other men
    Therefore men killing other men is natural.

    AGW says that what is natural is best
    Therefore AGW says men killing men is good.

    Let’s get metaphysical:

    Godel says this sentence is false
    All sentences are similar
    Therefore no sentence is true.

    Lionell says everything men do is natural
    That is a sentence
    Therefore everything men do is not natural.


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    cohenite:

    Now I understand where you are coming from.

    You have no interest in what is or how to discover it. That is your choice.

    I choose to end this conversation now.


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    cohenite

    Lighten up Lionell.


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    Larry Fields

    Jo Nova wrote:
    “Holdren’s version of freedom is just another grand control scheme: “Let me tell you how to live”. “Free market” has become the false advertising banner of the totalitarians. A market is not free if you have to coerce people or jail them into joining the market.”

    In contrast, other commentators in this thread have used words like fascism and socialism, vis-à-vis Environmentalism. I think that Jo’s use of the word totalitarian is a more accurate description. Environmentalism is one of two emerging totalitarianisms of the 21st Century. The other one is Security Theater, to use Bruce Schneier’s expression, which describes draconian albeit unproductive approaches to fighting terrorism in our home countries.

    Holdren-style totalitarianism is somewhat similar to Khmer Rouge ideology *and* to Fascist ideology. Billionaires will still be flying to environmental conferences in their corporate jets. But most of us will be pulling weeds on large plantations. And when the guards aren’t looking, we’ll sneak in rat-burgers for Vitamin B-12 and supplementary protein.

    Some of the old labels do not do justice to 21st Century totalitarianism.


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    deniers suck

    (SNIPPED for trolling) CTS


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    Roy Hogue

    This thread began on September 17. I’ve just returned from a week’s vacation and it’s still going as of the 22nd (23rd if you count deniers suck — yet another whacko). Reading it all I’m struck with how many words have been spent on “oh dear” and how little was clarified, how little this troll was moved by any of it and how it went on well past the point where it was obvious that you were arguing with a broken record (I know many of you remember those old vinyl disks). Whatever you said the same answer came back in one variation or another.

    You know I’m one who will take on a troll myself so I hope you’ll forgive my saying this. This troll won the fight, distracted a lot of attention away from the point of Jo’s opening post and tied up the best of our regulars who can argue the science to accomplish nothing.

    I’m just one opinion and you can tell me what you think with up and down buttons. Also I might not think this way if I had watched it go by day-by-day. But seeing it all at once it was almost embarrassing to see the extent of it. You could have been arguing with a tree for all the good it did. There’s a time to let it go.


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    [...] Holdren uses free market to get back to stone age: ‘If you met him at the pub, he’d be the guy you might egg on just for sake of a good dinner party anecdote to use after the fact, but he’s not just the nutter at the bar, he’s one degree of separation from the The Leader of The Free World.’ [...]


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