the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

My Problem With the Scientists

Posted by Jeff Id on January 14, 2010

Warning, political opinion from a grumpy conservative tired of being run over:

Kevin Treberth has recently made a post complaining about how his ‘travesty we can’t explain cooling’ comment was out of context. First, I find his explanations lacking because it’s not very difficult to see his context and backpedaling in the emails he’s complaining about, Kevin is one who may have worked with Jones to keep Micheals and McKitrick out of an IPCC report in which they were chapter heads. In a brilliant move of sophistry, they misdirected the argument to McIntyre McKitrick but that was not likely the paper being discussed in this quote from 1089318616.txt

I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep
them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !

The point is that Kevin is not one of the good guys, he does believe in what he’s doing is for the good of us all though. As is the case with far too many liberal minded, they are happy to force their incorrect views on us no matter the result. The article:

Two Sundays in a row ill-informed columns about carbon dioxide and climate have appeared in the Camera. The first by Bob Greenlee (Jan. 3) and the second by Charlie Danaher (Jan. 10). Both misrepresent me and my work, and in particular, quote from one of my e-mails that was illegally stolen: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

The quote has been taken out of context. It relates to our ability to track energy flow through the climate system. We can do this very well from 1992 to 2003, when large warming occurred, but not from 2004 to 2008. The quote refers to our observation system which is inadequate to observe Earth’s energy flows at the accuracy needed to understand small fluctuations in climate; it does not mean there is no global warming, as is often interpreted by the likes of Danaher. What is does mean is that our observing system is not adequate to fully track the energy in ways that allow us to understand and make best statements about the effects of natural climate variability: the La Niña of 2007-2008, and the current El Niño, for instance.

It is absolutely certain that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and produces warming, despite Danaher’s wishes. Without carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, Earth’s surface would be some 32 degrees Fahrenheit colder than it is now. Increased carbon dioxide will increase this warming effect, and both theory and observations are consistent with this fact. The evidence of this happening is widespread and abundant, so that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 was able to state with unanimous agreement from all of over 100 countries that global warming is unequivocal. But global warming does not stop weather from happening, and cold outbreaks continue and are fully expected. It does not stop winter. And it does not stop La Niña from happening and setting up unusually cold regional patterns of weather across the United States and other parts of the world that last a year or two.

To misunderstand the role of weather and natural climate variability the way it is being done is to undermine much-needed actions in limiting carbon dioxide emissions. Global warming is happening. It will continue to happen and the way we are going it will jeopardize the very nature of climate on planet Earth some decades from now. Because of the long lifetime of carbon dioxide, by the time it is so obvious to everyone, it will be far too late to do anything about it.

Americans should be outraged that the Chinese are putting huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and changing our climate! But by the same token, the Chinese should be outraged that the United States is putting nearly as much into the atmosphere, and historically a whole lot more than any other country, and changing their climate. We try to outdo each other in mutual self-destruction!

Putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions is an essential first step to responsible management of our planet. The United States needs to show leadership on this critical environmental issue.

Kevin Trenberth is the Head of the Climate Analysis Section at NCAR, and has been a leader in the IPCC, which received the Nobel Peace Prize for its work in 2007. See cgd.ucar.edu/cas/trenbert.html. E-mail: trenbert@ucar.edu.

So now that Kevin has had his say, and his pathetic defense of his email which was quite correctly understood in many comments. In fact, try this.  For his defense of ‘energy’ substitute ‘heat’ for every instance and you’ll see the context I’ve read it discussed in, is correct. However, I would like to address only the last item in his post, how it relates to the final outcome on CO2 production and the basic wrongthink so prevalent in the left headed.

Putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions is an essential first step to responsible management of our planet. The United States needs to show leadership on this critical environmental issue.

First, putting a cost for carbon emission has additional costs associated with it. After all you have to track emission in order to tax emission. This necessitates a massive bureaucracy for even the simplest version. In addition, it must be a global pan-governmental effort, which of course only the honest governments would follow. This of course requires control from a central oversight government.  This brand new government would of course require oversight for corruption, which will occur, and an enforcement arm to insure that rules are followed, and primary individuals involved in the decision making regarding such taxes must be in place. Under the copenhagen proposal, the officials were unelected and empowered widely to tax and redistribute as they saw fit. It was a disastrous document.

Something tells me that Trenberth wouldn’t mind if only the US or Britan made the change even though he knows it would make no difference in global output.

Any of the above costs, any way you cut them are designed to limit economy. They place burden on energy. This burden will be passed to the consumer by big corporations through cost. All but the extreme left know that this will limit consumption and much of the left including Trenberth sees that as an ok solution.

However, it is wrongthink at its worst.

First, as many on the left do, Trenberth fails to recognize what has dragged people out of the worst and longest running situations of the human condition. Poverty. World wide poverty. One of the primary things we can learn from even a casual look at history is that in the past, starvation, plague, drought, infestation and strife were statndards of human condition. We lived and died with the same conditions as a hyena in the wild only hundreds of years ago. No medical technology, no fuel oil, no furnace or air conditioning. It wasn’t technically possible.  These will be the first affected by the US’s dramatically reduced purchasing power.

Those afflicted with this thought malady seem to believe that the problem with the poor is that capitalists haven’t paid enough money to them. In reality it was capitalism, which only in the last hundred fifty years lifted humanity from this scourge. The capitalism drove the technology. This concept of wealth redistribution is so broken, and so OFTEN proven false, that it can only be described as propaganda at this point. Yet that’s exactly what they want to do with your money. Take it and give it to the poor guys in the communist “not-developing” countries. Of course the effects of such a policy are wide ranging, including the repression of the west with and basic financial enslavement of poor people world wide but if you can’t figure that out, there isn’t likely much use of me explaining it.

It’s the same kind of secondary effects that occur with taxes, US congress considered and is probably still considering a concept called PayGo. It requires an offsetting tax or revenue source for every new rule/law/right limitation they come up with. Similarly to Trenbreth’s and team’s faith in a carbon tax, this concept is fatally flawed and some say demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the functioning of an economy. In reality it demonstrates a wish to limit the evil capitalist economy but nobody says that. If you don’t understand this, you have been tricked. The amount of tax levied on an economy is a regulation on economic output allegedly in exchange for a greater service. The department of education is a perfect example of how that’s not always the case. Of course there is necessarily a balance where more tax will result in less income to a government and less tax = more income. As you can see from California and Michigan, and other international examples we have well and often crossed that line.

The point is, limitation of the economy is the goal of some of these people. Greenpeace is one such group who’s CEO admitted it straight out recently.  It has nothing to do with improved service, it is limitation of prosperity allegedly for the greater gaian good. What this does to reduce CO2 output throughr a reduction in economic output and increase in price that will cause the poorest of the world to be pushed into strife and honestly into long term financial slavery. Consider what happens to the poor communities are using overpriced yet subsidized energy, if he CO2 money were to stop flowing what would they do? Remember IPCC says CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a very long time. Our save the planet goal can’t be to limit CO2 today, but the total amount released into the atmosphere over the next five to ten decades. The only way to do that, is through massive technological change.

Wind power stops and starts, solar is the same, wave power doesn’t exist, biofuel doesn’t work, the same foolish greens won’t let us use nuclear and we can’t make good electric cars because of battery technology.

Well if we realize we cannot make the technology to stop production of CO2 and our only avenue besides voluntary starvation is nuclear or improved technology.  That’s got to be the goal.

So you need to ask yourself what would be the best way to create the technology? Tax the economy to repress output and hope the govenrment happens to pay for the right research?   And to that, all you have to do is look at the recent hundred years of history. Where did the technology the world enjoys come from? I don’t mean which country, although it’s easy to see that, I mean which government style, where was the technology developed?

In nearly every example, private capitalist industry with a goal was the developer.   The same private industry the leftists want to suppress, while placing all faith that the highly corrupt governments of the world will provide the solution they have never been able to provide in the past.

The answer is easy to see, what we need to do is take the shacles off our industry.  Eliminate the foolish regulations on oil drilling and take control of oil prices again.  Eliminate blockades to new nuclear power and damn the foolish ignorant ‘green’ masses.  The solution will provide itself in 50 years, as long as we don’t voluntarily repress industry and science for the benefit of a few unelected politicians and the strengthening of an already fully corrupt world government.  In my opinion, people with these left leaning views of ‘we should do something’, could not be more wrong but if you want to do something, if you really must do something? Don’t tax consumption, don’t limit production, that just limits science.  Instead provide positive benefit for successful technology development.

Get out of the way of nuclear and some of the stupid non-drilling requirements and let the scientists and engineers do what they do best. It’s an understanding the IPCC, Trenberth and the team universally and incorrectly rejects.

But then I shouldn’t be surprised because it is a conservative view which goes against the method which would continue funding for the IPCC.


90 Responses to “My Problem With the Scientists”

  1. Mark T said

    It’s an understanding the IPCC, Trenberth and the team universally and incorrectly rejects.

    My guess is that deep down, they actually know this would make everyone wealthier in the long run. They reject the idea not for this reason, but because our way ™ does not provide any measure of control.

    Mark

  2. HotRod said

    It really is terrifying when you see a key scientist so utterly convinced of not only the facts, but the outcomes, and even the correct policy response. Truly amazing, again.

  3. John said

    I love the term ‘illegally stolen’. Can they be legally stolen> It’s just a rant from someone who is not thinking.

  4. Thomas B Gray said

    Many of the comments on this report in the Boulder Daily Camera were very critical of Trenbath – most unusual.

  5. Pat Frank said

    The issue is the science, not the politics. If the science is lacking, the politics is unsupported and becomes irrelevant. Kevin completely undercut his case by saying that, “[His comment] relates to our ability to track energy flow through the climate system. We can do this very well from 1992 to 2003, when large warming occurred, but not from 2004 to 2008.

    Either you can track the energy, or you can’t. If they could not track the energy flow through the climate from 2004 to 2008, it means their theory of climate is inadequate to predict where one should look for the energy flux. If the theory is inadequate for 2004-2008 then it was also inadequate for 1992 to 2003.

    That means the correspondence between model outputs and climate in the 1992 to 2003 period was adventitious. The reason for the correspondence is revealed in Kevin’s own statement. That is, 1992 to 2003 was when “large warming occurred.” Climate models are built to produce warming that positively correlates with [CO2]. That happened in 1992 to 2003, making a spurious positive correlation between climate models and observables. Kevin & co., take that as confirmation of the models and proof of their theory.

    But then in 2004-2008 (2009, now, really), the correlation disappeared, as spurious correlations are wont, and ever since the models have been shown up for what they are: engines for a pseudo-predictive warming bias. Clearly, they were wrong.

    Neither Kevin, nor anyone else can track energy through the climate system. They have allowed themselves to be fooled by spurious correlations. Roy Spencer has further pointed out the pervasive practice of making tendentious cause-effect judgments, specifically supposing that warmth makes clouds disappear, when an equally valid sequence is that when clouds disappear the climate warms.

    It seems to me that a basic failing of Kevin and his fellow-travelers is that although they can do science-like activity, none of them understands science itself and so they depart from its boundaries without even knowing it. None of them seem to pay attention to the detail proper science demands, passing over the uncertainties of the experiments because they’re far too interested in making grand theories.

    The flat temperature trend since 2002 or so is merely one of those details coming to bite them. The no-warming time has refuted their climate theory by contradicting its prediction, and has shown up the inadequacy of their models. Kevin’s defense just shows he’s unable to see that strictly scientific result, and demonstrates his lack of understanding of the scientific method.

    All of AGW sciencizing is similar. It rests entirely on false precision, spurious methods, and grand theorizing that neglects the experimental details. It’s almost as though these folks have never taken an instrumental lab course, never had to propagate experimental error, and never had to justify every step of a theoretical model.

  6. David Jay said

    Jeff:

    Pat’s post above is worthy of its own thread, or at least being put into an update at the head of this post. Brilliant.

  7. Mark T said

    Well said, Pat.

    I’d like to add a bit about the irony of all this. They (assumed that “we” know who I mean by “they”) make their statements about validity of their predictions based on statistics. The flat-line in the temperature is not counter to their predictions because it is within the error bars (the illegitimacy of their calculations not-withstanding). They use these “statistics” with authority as if they are experts in understanding them, yet fail the simple cause-effect questions every time they appear. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc. Baffling.

    Mark

  8. Mark T said

    David Jay said
    January 14, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Pat’s post above is worthy of its own thread, or at least being put into an update at the head of this post. Brilliant.

    This is not uncommon for Pat.

    Mark

  9. David Shipley said

    Pat you are exactly right.
    There are also extraordinary parallels between the structure of the climate models, and the accompanying belief systems, and the models that underpinned the banking/derivatives boom. In both cases complex models were constructed purporting to represent real world conditions, with inadequate real data and rafts of questionable or even directly disprovable assumptions, and calibrated so as to predict the past accurately. As they failed to predict events, the belief system cut in and the models were simply recalibrated, rather than discarded as a rational person might have done. We have also seen this in the insurance sector, with natural catastrophe modelling software, where individuals are trained within a hermetically sealed world of modelling, and assumptions treated as immutable truths to the point that members develop a cult mentality, unquestioning of their leaders and hostile to all questions or challenges.

  10. Phillip Bratby said

    In email 1255523796 Trenberrty also said
    “How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are nowhere close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter?” and
    “We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we cannot account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless, as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!” and
    “But the resulting evaporative cooling means the heat goes into atmosphere and should be radiated to space: so we should be able to track it with sky temperature data. That data is unfortunately wanting, and so too are the cloud data. The ocean data are also lacking, although some of that may be related to the ocean current changes, and burying heat at depth, where it is not picked up. If it is sequestered at depth then it comes back to haunt us later, and so we should know about it”

    The 33deg F (normally 33C) can be explained by the perfect gas law (or CpdT + gdh = 0).

    Trenberth is all weasel words.

  11. Mark T said

    Same for Venus, which is often touted as “proof” of a runaway greenhouse. The argument is circular.

    Mark

  12. Jeff Id said

    #10, I forgot to mention the Farenheit number is a humorous mistake for a ‘climate scientist’.

  13. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Pat Frank,

    Exactly right. It is astounding that Kevin Trenberth can’t appreciate the glaring logical error in the defense of his email. I can’t imagine any reasonably talented scientists or engineer not see such nonsense for what it is.

  14. Mark T said

    Perhaps he is hoping the majority of people that read his article won’t appreciate the error?

    Mark

  15. Jeff Id said

    I’m pretty sure from the tone of the email string that Trenberth realized exactly what pat said above and found himself under attack for it. His backpedaling started there with pressure from the rest of the team.

    How do you falsely defend what you know is true.

  16. BarryW said

    Trenberth’s comments smack of pseudo-science. It is just as likely that their supposed ability to track energy flows was random chance Similar situation with what seems to be going on with solar cycle predictions. As one of the characters in “Little Big Man” said: “sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn’t”.

  17. JamesG said

    Since nuclear energy research was entirely funded by governments and most of the nuclear plants in the world were constructed with taxpayers money then how did it escape your dogma about all things statist being automatically bad? By your argument surely nuclear power must be the wrong solution too.

    Maybe statist France was right about foisting nuclear power on their citizens without their consent….but how could that possibly happen if statism is always wrong? Do you suppose government bodies might be sometimes correct? A fluke maybe, except that it happens quite a lot! America got to be a world leader despite, or perhaps because of, FDR’s new deal and financial protections and then the economy fell off the bus when the new deal was dismantled and the protections were removed. And howcum the more lefty US states have traditionally been the most productive by far, subsidizing all these farming red states? More flukes or just something wrong with your theory? Maybe it’s not all quite so linear.

    You might be surprised to know that a lot of left-leaning folk would agree with your conclusion, if not the way you arrived at it via paranoid, reds-under-the-bed fear-mongering. You seem to put everyone who believes in social justice in the box labelled Stalinist. But to a “left-thinker” anyone who doesn’t believe in social justice is being merely selfishly amoral and who would change their opinion radically should they find themselves out of work, disabled, without health cover and/or without a home. I’m with George Carlin in this: It’s the stinking rich at the top of the dungpile that keep us all infighting about nonsenses while they run off with all our loot.

    Apart from that I agree about Trenberth. He worries for the rest of us bless him, but he never seems to entertain the possibility that a CO2 overburden might be neither harmful nor even warm the planet very much. I postulate that the underlying driver for these left-leaning academics is a hatred of US petrodollar foreign policy that starts pointless wars and subverts democracy worldwide. Though to be fair we all demanded the cheap oil: The oil barons prefer to give us expensive oil instead. That was certainly one other difference between Clinton and Bush2: Clinton gave us 30 dollars a barrel (via a deal with Chavez) and Bush’s oil dominated administration took us sailing over 100 dollars. But anyway most oil companies are state owned and funnily enough they mostly make darn good profits despite that handicap.

  18. Espen said

    Jeff, even 37 years after my first visit to the US (as a kid) I still have a hard time with your use of the word ‘liberal’. Clearly, guys like Trenberth aren’t liberal at all, they’re so conservative that they’re not able to change their mind at all anymore😉

    Pat: absolutely brilliant!

  19. Jeff Id said

    I find it amusing that those who consider themselves liberals believe they stand for social justice. This is certainly not the effect of leftist policy.

  20. RB said

    “In reality it was capitalism, which only in the last hundred fifty years lifted humanity from this scourge.”
    No, it was the industrial revolution fuelled by the scientific revolution. Maybe you see them as the same, but I think you are being historically inaccurate in saying that it was because of the emergence of a ‘new’ non-redistributionist philosophy.

  21. Mark T said

    JamesG said
    January 14, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    By your argument surely nuclear power must be the wrong solution too.

    Indeed, we do not need nuclear energy. Had the government not been involved, it would eventually have been developed using private funds, for a proportionally lower cost and higher benefit than what we have now.

    Maybe statist France was right about foisting nuclear power on their citizens without their consent….but how could that possibly happen if statism is always wrong?

    It is, sorry.

    Do you suppose government bodies might be sometimes correct?

    Rarely.

    America got to be a world leader despite, or perhaps because of, FDR’s new deal and financial protections and then the economy fell off the bus when the new deal was dismantled and the protections were removed.

    What? You should spend a bit more time studying history. The US was a world leader before FDR, and yes, in spite of him. His “New Deal” nearly bankrupted the US and dragged our participation in the Great Depression out far longer than was necessary. The economy “fell off the bus” because of the very same policies implemented by Hoover, which FDR actually campaigned against, yet somehow continued under his own reign of tyranny.

    And howcum the more lefty US states have traditionally been the most productive by far, subsidizing all these farming red states?

    They are also the most bankrupt. Wait, are you talking about the “farming red states” that feed the rest of the country?

    More flukes or just something wrong with your theory?

    I already poked a hole in each of your theoretical points up till now…

    Maybe it’s not all quite so linear.

    … in a rather linear fashion.

    But to a “left-thinker” anyone who doesn’t believe in social justice is being merely selfishly amoral and who would change their opinion radically should they find themselves out of work, disabled, without health cover and/or without a home.

    I know plenty of “right-thinker” types that are without work, health care, and some even, a home. Guess what? None of them think their views are wrong, and they are still “right-thinkers.” Wanna know why? Because they arrived at their positions based on principles. Principles do not change with circumstances. You think the rest of us would change our minds because you think that’s the way all people are. You base this conclusion on knowledge of yourself and those you identify with, i.e., those that deep down, don’t have principles.

    I’m with George Carlin in this: It’s the stinking rich at the top of the dungpile that keep us all infighting about nonsenses while they run off with all our loot.

    Yet here you are advocating giving the same rich at the top control over the loot they are supposedly running off with. Seems silly.

    Apart from that I agree about Trenberth.

    Of course you do. Logic doesn’t seem to be your strong point.

    He worries for the rest of us bless him

    I’ll worry for myself, thank you.

    but he never seems to entertain the possibility that a CO2 overburden might be neither harmful nor even warm the planet very much.

    Because he wants the CO2 to be harmful and warm the planet. Your own statement contradicts the notion of a scientist.

    Though to be fair we all demanded the cheap oil: The oil barons prefer to give us expensive oil instead.

    Define “expensive.” I suggest you spend some time studying economic theory, particularly a concept known as supply and demand. Oil is exactly as expensive as it needs to be to meet demand, period. Supply is not greater than it is (which would serve to reduce prices), btw, since our refining capacity has not changed significantly in the last 30 years due to government regulations spurned by the very people you seem to be in favor of.

    That was certainly one other difference between Clinton and Bush2: Clinton gave us 30 dollars a barrel (via a deal with Chavez) and Bush’s oil dominated administration took us sailing over 100 dollars. But anyway most oil companies are state owned and funnily enough they mostly make darn good profits despite that handicap.

    Again, study the concept of supply and demand. Clinton had very little to do with $30 oil, and deals to artificially reduce the price come at a cost to another area.

    Mark

  22. Jeff Id said

    #17 “all things statist being automatically bad? By your argument surely nuclear power must be the wrong solution too. ”

    While most things by government turn out far worse than expected, and I believe we would do well to cut our US government to 1/3 of it’s current size, even I didn’t say all things govt are bad. I also didn’t claim that no solutions government have ever worked. Only that most don’t and it’s probably incorrect to think that a global tax redistribution will output less CO2 in the long run and it’s foolish to misunderstand the massive strife that energy tax would create for the world in the immediate time.

    It’s also complete wrongthink so pervasive of those who consider business the enemy.

  23. Mark T said

    Well, indeed, I did misread you JamesG, when you said “Apart from that, I agree about Trenberth.” You do seem to find folly in his error. Seems there is hope, though everything else you said indicates otherwise.

    Mark

  24. kdk33 said

    “And howcum the more lefty US states have traditionally been the most productive by far, subsidizing all these farming red states? ”

    California, for example

  25. JamesG said

    I suspect the editor helpfully added the “Farenheit” after Trenberth wrote just “degrees”. He’s a New Zealander, not likely to think in degrees F, except when translating for Americans🙂

  26. Mark T said

    RB said
    January 14, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    No, it was the industrial revolution fuelled by the scientific revolution. Maybe you see them as the same,

    The industrial revolution was fueled by capitalism, purely, so yes, it was capitalism. Pretty crappy evidence in support of your point of:

    but I think you are being historically inaccurate in saying that it was because of the emergence of a ‘new’ non-redistributionist philosophy.

    Wrong. Adam Smith was one of the early proponents, just a bit over 200 years ago, and it came to prominence during… the industrial revolution.

    Mark

  27. Jeff Id said

    #24, California was highly populated in comparison, nearly all industry has been chased over its borders. We’ve seen a lot more customers quit production there than you can imagine in recent years. They can’t even build boats there anymore due to envirowhacko regulation of VOC. Sure they can buy them, but build, no way. Energy production in Cali, nope, they import for the same reason. Michigan has been destroyed by tax laws, unions and business regulations from the left. These policies are absolutely destroying America and people are still discussing taking more from the rich. It’s insane.

  28. JamesG said

    KDK33
    Yes like California, net contributor to the Federal budget since the early 80’s. They might have to take some of that money back this year but with that ingrained entrepreneurial spirit I predict they’ll bounce back. You better hope they do. Maybe they’ll have to remove the ill-educated, spendthrift Conservative currently in charge though🙂

  29. Jeff Id said

    #28, The terminator is no conservative.

  30. Just a question of curiosity. Is there any, any, any laboratory way of measuring / comparing the GHG effect of say 200 ppmv, 300 ppmv, and 400 ppmv CO2? You’d have thought there would be and the warmists should be touting it. I suspect there could be but actual test results (if done at all) have been squelched. Certainly never heard of it.

    Just asking.

  31. Mark T said

    Jeff Id said
    January 14, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Energy production in Cali, nope, they import for the same reason.

    CA is the reason my natural gas price shot up in CO a few years ago. They connected them to our supply.

    Mark

  32. oh, and anyway, I still suspect the CO2 ice hockey stick. I don’t believe the CO2 was as low as the ice record claims, any more than the temp record which AFAICT shows reasonably accurately in the 18O record, why the devil didn’t they use 18O (sorry, the oxygen isotope temp proxy) rather than fat tree rings. If the ice CO2 is ok, then even more the ice O has to be ok. Anyway, I want that CO2 ice science audited! Backups to Jaworowski / Segalstad!

  33. Jeff Id said

    Mark,
    I’ve never convinced anyone of anything but I’ve got to let off some steam with these posts once in a while. It’s like people have fallen so deep under the spell of the media that conservatives are against the little guy and against freedoms, the reality is so opposite.

    One of our employees had to take off from work today because his 14 yo daughter got arrested. What for? A schoolyard fight where she punched a girl who had been bullying her for months. The other girl fought back, but why do leftists believe it’s good to have a social worker, a cop, suspensions and all the rest. It’s a massive waste of money and it’s incredibly invasive of the state and it’s standard policy in our schools in our area of Illinois. This isn’t social justice, it’s insanity.

    Also, they have mandated Spanish from kindergarten on.

  34. Following up Pat’s comment: The most elementary course in the philosophy of science describes the need for a hypothesis to make accurate predictions. If the hypothesis can’t do that, despite its other possibly attractive features, you go back to the drawing board. You admit the hypothesis is defeated.

    The logical formulation of this is simple. If your hypothesis is A, you state:

    A implies B (predicted observable fact flowing from A).

    But not-B.

    Therefore, not-A.

    Another way of saying it is:

    If A is so, then B will follow.

    B does not follow.

    Therefore, A is not so.

    An example:

    If it rains, there are clouds.

    There are no clouds.

    Therefore, it is not raining.

    There are many examples in which researchers try to fudge their way around observations which defeat their hypotheses. These fudges are often misidentified as “doing science.” They are not. They are, at BEST, ruminations about how the defeated hypothesis might be saved when framed in a different fashion. But then the hypothesis does have to be changed, and then it does have to make new predictions, and then those predictions have to be confirmed or rejected by direct observation. The overall process stays the same.

    No matter what models you use, no matter how complex the math, no matter what you say or how you tap-dance or explain or ruminate or speculate or try to adduce “the probability” of certain as-yet unobserved events, it all comes back to the basis of implicative logic.

    If A, then B.
    Not-B.
    Ergo, not-A.

    One denial of the consequent (B), and your hypothesis is shot down.

    Actually, the confirmation of one B does not protect your hypothesis for all time. You need to make many predictions based on your hypothesis, and they all have to pan out. Then you have reasonable certainty. Otherwise, the hypothesis has to be re-worked.

  35. dearieme said

    Pat, when I started reading about Global Warming, what struck me forcefully was just how dud it all is. Anyone who’s done chemico-physical experimental work and the associated mathematical modelling is obliged to burst out laughing – and perhaps sneering – at the intellectual inadequacy of much of “Climate Science”. My own guess is that the climate hoodlums may have started out as more-or-less honest incompetents; they later became crooks to defend their otherwise indefensible positions.

  36. […] of secrecy, The pretend consensus – its all about spin, A deniers view of global whining, The problem with lying scientists and how they try to explain away their actions, financially stimulating climategate, Follow the political money trail, the times they are a […]

  37. JamesG said

    Mark T
    You didn’t poke a hole in anything and least of all using logic. I provided only facts, not dogma, and tried to say it’s not quite as simple as right is right and left is wrong. I gave you several contradictions to that dogma and you ignored them, remade history by ignoring that America was deeply in the toilet in the 30’s before FDR took over and you came up with no real arguments at all – just blind tribalist dogma. Both left and right are equally guilty of that.

    And no it wasn’t the new deal that brought prosperity; it was the 2nd world war – or rather staying out of it and suppling materiel and vast credit to the combatants which brought the US economy out of the toilet. The new deal however didn’t hinder the greatest expansion, which was in the 50’s and 60’s. Neither did the very socialist and statist new European countries seem to be held up with their own expansions in the 50’s and 60’s, including Germany with the toughest labor laws of them all yet still becoming the brightest star. Blaming the current difficulties on the left requires such huge amounts of mental gymnastics that I despair.

    Now perhaps you might, if you use real logic, notice exactly the same pattern of I’m-right-and-you’re-wrong-and-that’s-it is the tactic of the lefty scientists that you like to criticize. I’m giving you a mirror. Take off your dark glasses and look at it.

    As for supply and demand. It’s a wee bit more complex than that. The entire idea of OPEC is to change that game to manipulate the oil price: That’s why it exists for heavens sake. And that’s why presidents talk to the Saudi’s or the current Opec head (with Clinton it was indeed Chavez) when they worry about the oil price. You can rest assured that the Saudis just love 100 dollars a barrel.

    As for nuclear power, the idea that it could have arisen privately is quite laughable and shows a deep ignorance of the history of nuclear power. But let’s see which nuclear companies now will manage to flourish without state largesse. It might happen. I’ll wait and see what the truth is rather than just believe it.

    Maybe there is hope for me only because i’m not tied to a right or left dogma. Both are partly right but mostly wrong as far as I can see. I’m open to hearing logic and reasonable arguments though you didn’t provide any though sad to say.

  38. Hmmm said

    It is incredibly stupid to try to force/mandate solar and wind tech that is not ready yet (while nuclear IS ready as a baseload source right now). If the incredible left was truly fervently trying to save the world they would embrace nuclear as a current solution and bridge to whatever new options we may have down the road. It really is simple if these people were rational and could compromise the solution.

    What was Obama’s excuse for continuing to give nuclear the cold shoulder? He said new plants wouldn’t be ready for 20 years. What a screwy argument! What other alternative WILL be ready in 20 years? Plus we could have had all the nuclear we wanted now if we hadn’t hamstrung the industry for decades. He’s effectively saying that we shouldn’t do it now because we should have done it 20 years ago. Seriously! That’s his argument!!! Isn’t that morbidly silly???

  39. Neil Fisher said

    “The 33deg F (normally 33C) can be explained by the perfect gas law (or CpdT + gdh = 0). ”

    Actually, no – it’s worse than that.

    Dry adiabatic lapse rate is ~ 10C/km.
    Moist adiabatic lapse rate is ~ 6.5C/km.
    Theroetical BB temp. height is ~ 5km.
    Therefore:
    1) water in all it’s forms is clearly a cooling for surface temperature (negative feedback).
    2) unless and until we have widespread and accurate global humidity data, any surface delta-T of less than +17C can easily be attributed to changes in humidity only.

  40. kdk33 said

    I get it. California operates in the red ($40B this year, I hear) in order to subsidize red state farmers. How thoughtful. Who knew.

  41. JAE said

    “It is absolutely certain that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and produces warming, despite Danaher’s wishes. Without carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, Earth’s surface would be some 32 degrees Fahrenheit colder than it is now. Increased carbon dioxide will increase this warming effect, and both theory and observations are consistent with this fact.”

    Absolutely certain???? Where can I find a PROOF of this? Empirical evidence?/

  42. JamesG said

    Hmmm
    Well a lot of greens believe that nuclear proliferation and pollution is actually potentially worse than any warming. That’s enough to knock your argument down. It’s not even about what’s true, it’s about what’s perceived.

    For investors the real problem is that nuclear power, while established, has never been any less than incredibly expensive and most of the expense comes at the start and the end. Nuclear proponents like to talk only about the running costs and ignore the rest. If you do a real comparison it is as expensive as wind power and probably more so. In reply the proponents will say that the new technologies will be cheaper. But then that’s not “established” technology is it? And the fact is they always say the same and they are always grossly optimistic. The Finland debacle proves that they even end up believing their own spin.

    But one point you miss is that nuclear wouldn’t have been ready unless it had been forced. To believe otherwise is to ignore reality. Therefore it IS possible to force an energy technology: nuclear power proved it. Meanwhile great leaps forward are happening with solar and wind power and combined heat and power plants as they continue to get cheaper and cheaper. Mass production ensures they’ll get cheaper so a stimulated demand by tax cutting is maybe not as crazy as it sounds. Judging by the many crazy ways that governments can waste money, I’d personally prefer they spent it on energy research and tax rebates. Alternatively you might hope that one day they might become fiscally responsible. good luck with that one🙂

    Of course I’m certain that the science is putrid – like Lucy I don’t even believe the CO2 measurements – but if it doesn’t actually cost as much as the doomsayers say and if it does lead to new industries that provide local jobs which gives a big net plus and if it does mean we can ignore the Middle East’s oil entirely then maybe we’d all be happy, no?

  43. Retired Engineer said

    Just about everyone knows of Eisenhower’s “Military Industrial” warning, fewer know of his science warning that followed in the same speech. We let experts tell us things that only they can know and expect us to blindly follow without question.

    The science is never ‘settled’. The debate never ends. In the 60’s the motto was Question Authority. Now that those folks are in charge, the tune has changed a bit.

    Read “FDR’s Folly” by Jim Powell. Every aspect of the New Deal backfired. Made things worse. A recession that should have lasted 18 months ran for over 10 years. Hoover screwed up, FDR made things much worse. It took a World War to get things going again.

    That’s not a good option these days.

  44. JamesG said

    Kdk33
    Either you have a reading problem or you are being wilfully obtuse. If California can subsidize red states for the past 25 years then isn’t it fair that they get some back? That’s the argument I made. Presumably California will sort out it’s problems and be a net provider again. For better or worse that’s how the Federal budget works. If they hadn’t been forced to subsidize others they would have had a bulging piggy bank with enough to ride the storm.

    And yes the red states provide the food so it’s probably best that the system works that way. Of course you might also argue that it’s Wall Street that caused all the misery and that’s in a blue state. In any event none of this money really exists. I’m wondering what will happen when the Chinese shut of the debt taps.

  45. Jeff Id said

    “I’m wondering what will happen when the Chinese shut of the debt taps.”

    Perhaps we should slash the size of government and get the left’s and pseudo-right the heck out of office before we find out.

  46. Peter of Sydney said

    This is why we need to put back the scientific method. At the moment it’s not being applied to climate science research. By applying the scientific method as it was originally intended, open and honest debate without biased “peer reviews” plus verification by all interested scientists of the theories and data sets would have avoided all this AGW nonsense.

  47. JAE said

    Great post, Jeff!

    I’m basicly a carbohydrate chemist, by training. Over 37 years ago, I applied for a position at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO. to help develop a way to ECONOMICALLY make ethanol from cellulosic materials. I didn’t get the job, but I’ve watched that governmental bureaucracy spend millions upon millions of dollars over all these years trying to develop “renewable energy systems” that make economic sense. But we still don’t have a demonstrably economical way to make ethanol from cellulosic materials. And we still don’t have economical solar energy-producing systems. And we still don’t have economical ways of harnessing wind energy. But now this backassward “progressive” Administration is insisting that we can make all this work by throwing billions more $$ at it. How can our Nation be so stupid?

  48. JamesG said

    “Perhaps we should slash the size of government and get the left’s and pseudo-right the heck out of office before we find out”

    A revolution? You might be getting another interview from the police. We just need to somehow get rid of the crony captalism which seems to work under both pseudo-left and pseudo-right regimes.

  49. JamesG said

    Read “FDR’s Folly” by Jim Powell.
    I read something similar. FDR’s revisionists usually make a lot of sense and and a lot of made-up nonsense in equal amounts. Most economists still disagree about the causes and remedies and failed policies and policies that worked. so you can pick any other book as a counterpoint. As the crash and subsequent bailouts etc proved, they are still basically guessing anyway about what’s good and what’s bad for an economy. FDR in fact was merely copying Mussolini, ie something that had appeared to work in Italy. Yes, the War jump-started the recovery, but the new deal didn’t obviously hurt the growing economy which was my point. The expansion was in fact greatest when it was in full swing. And you couldn’t get anything more statist than the massive Marshall plan. It was a plan to rebuild economies but was really to provide customers for all these new products made in all these new factories. That was the privately stated aim and it worked for everyone. I’m guessing that’s the principal reason why everyone still trusts the USA to bring us out of the recession – even though Wall Street chicanery caused it in the first place.

  50. RB said

    “And no it wasn’t the new deal that brought prosperity; it was the 2nd world war – or rather staying out of it and suppling materiel and vast credit to the combatants which brought the US economy out of the toilet.”

    James is correct. FDR’s policies were successful until 1937 when he listened to the deficit hawks and tightened policy which in retrospect was a mistake because the economy hadn’t fully healed. The corollary of the 2nd world war is this – read Richard Koo on balance sheet recessions and about the paradox of thrift both of which I’ve linked to here in the past – when private sector is deleveraging, government sector must leverage up. Government debt to GDP during the war was even higher than it is now but at the end of the war, private sector balance sheets were freed up and they were able to start investing and initiate a new debt cycle. And as James points out, real GDP growth was strongest in the 50s and 60s. Debt-based spending during good times and tightening during bad times = two wrongs do not make a right. Most people have this single-factor explanation for everything, such capitalism is the root cause of all good in this world – anyway, probably the wrong place for my views.

  51. Bob said

    Jeff,if the policies put forward by the IPCC do come into effect,then I agree with many others that, without doubt, world poverty would ensue.For untold numbers of people that will mean starvation.Not hunger,but a long cruel death by starvation.The third world poor will surely attempt massive migration on a scale as yet unimagined.The flow of the desperate will be to the western countries.Since we will be barely capable of feeding our own,civil strife will inevitably result,then, in my view civil war (the worst of wars).I muse then on how left wing governments will respond.Will they turn their armies guns on the refugees or their own people? I believe,maybe wrongly,that they would fire on their own.(I am envisioning such overwhelming numbers as Europe eg, doubling in size) The history of the far left (that includes the Nazi’s;remember Hitler hated democracy and capitalism)has always been oppression of its peoples.I have no taste for extreme right wing regimes either:moderate left versus moderate right is my ideal in politics. Sadly, the barking-mad left have infiltrated all moderate left leaning parties and organizations and many ostensibly non-political ones too.I hope and pray that my musings will soon be shown to be nonsense.

  52. Confused said

    Bob, that kind of economic collapse argument, or even any kind of catastrophic economic collapse argument, is as bizarre as the AGW catastrophist alarmism, and is supported by less evidence. It ‘might’ happen, just as (in my view) AGW ‘might’ be happening, but there is no rational basis for assuming that it will.

  53. kdk33 said

    JamesG,

    Government ought not decide which states get more or less of other states money. Government ought not pick energy technology winners. Governments don’t set commodity prices. These are market choices.

    Social justice is in the eye of the beholder, and most who speak of it need glasses.

    Don’t confuse Wall Street chicanery with government interference in the housing market.

    CO2 isn’t destroying the planet.

    But kudos to Californians for the farm subsidies. How thoughtful. Who knew?

  54. Carl said

    “The answer is easy to see, what we need to do is take the shacles off our industry. Eliminate the foolish regulations on oil drilling and take control of oil prices again. Eliminate blockades to new nuclear power and damn the foolish ignorant ‘green’ masses. The solution will provide itself in 50 years, as long as we don’t voluntarily repress industry and science for the benefit of a few unelected politicians and the strengthening of an already fully corrupt world government. In my opinion, people with these left leaning views of ‘we should do something’, could not be more wrong but if you want to do something, if you really must do something? Don’t tax consumption, don’t limit production, that just limits science. Instead provide positive benefit for successful technology development.” –JeffId

    US production of oil peaked more than 30 years ago and it has nothing to do with regulation or restricted drilling. 50 years? you/we do not have that long, whether everyone likes it or not consumption is going to come down and come down to something reasonable and sustainable, you couldn’t build enough nukes to compensate even if you wanted to. Oil is a finite resource and nuke power has external costs and requirements that make it pretty much a non starter. Seems to me you and others are dreaming that the status quo and lifestyle/living standard will continue to be available when basic economic math and resource constraints say otherwise.

    Of course nobody ever wants to deal with reduced consumption of anything, this is the root of all our problems. We can live on this planet quite comfortably but it will be at far less population and profligate energy usage. Technology does not alter the laws of physics nor does it fix social problems. AGW right or wrong is basically moot and irrelevant, we have other more pressing problems to deal with which if done properly will mitigate AGW if it is occurring anyway.

    Part of all this is simple understanding of the very nature of our species. We like other animals do not do long term planning to our own long term detriment. We are a parasite, we over populate and over consume just like any other animal. The consequences are unavoidable. This can be mitigated to a large degree but when push comes to shove many are going to suffer and many already have. Mindset is the key, until we learn to live on this planet sustainably using only the resources available that can be sustained indefinitely with some cushion for the unforeseen issues we will not succeed. No economic or political system for a few centuries has been set up this way although small isolated cases have shown it can be done. Historically it has happened and it will again but more than likely it will be forced on us by our own misdeeds.

    Resource constraints could care a less about politics, both “sides” of US politics are guilty of gross negligence and avoidance of real governing and we will pay a hefty price for it. Short term greed and the fascist relationship between big business and govt will make it almost impossible and quite likely inevitable that no real change will occur for the better. Infinite growth on a finite planet, that alone does in our monetary system and economic ponzi schemes. Our world energy situation alone will wipe out our economic system as we know it, permanent limits on energy and a shrinking energy supply put an end to our hydrocarbon based infinite growth model. Our govts, pensions, countries, and many citizens are geared and require growth or the ponzi scheme fails in spectacular fashion.

    we have witnessed some real world changing events lately, sad few see what they really mean……..anyone besides me grasp what a shrinking US car fleet means? well that has already started !! over 3 decades of wage and standard of living stagnation, etc etc etc….many of the past assumptions about what the US could always count on aren’t there any longer

    all this stuff is profoundly intertwined, AGW and climate change and anything else covers a whole range of disciplines and I think some of these scientists need to round out their skill sets and consider consequences and actual real workable strategies but maybe that’s just me🙂

  55. Philemon said

    RB, I’m not quite sure I understand your point completely. Is your point that the reduction of aggregate debt caused the Great Depression?

  56. RB said

    Philemon, there were various causes that I can’t adequately do justice to and of course, some of them haven’t held up to the test of time such as Bernanke’s apology to Friedman that “Yes, we failed, if central banks had stepped in, we could have saved the system.” It was partially true – liquidate them was absolutely the wrong policy and tight Fed policy was very wrong, but as shown today, not sufficient. It is simplistic thinking that looks at single-factor causes, so let me take up only those relevant to the specific context in which I made the statements above.
    From Wikipedia :
    The consensus viewpoint is that there was a large-scale loss of confidence that led to a sudden reduction in consumption and investment spending.

    Debt prior to the downturn had built up to very high levels. The paradox of thrift tells us that if everybody starts to save at the same time, then we put the system into a vicious circle where production is cut back to meet the significantly lowered consumption leading to job cuts which leads to even lower consumption and so on. This leads to a deflationary psychology as prices move down to meet demand which becomes a spiralling effect as real debt burden increases (negative inflation). Therefore, private sector prefers to pay down debt rather than roll over new debt as they would do so in an environment of positive animal spirits.

    Bernanke believed that if the Fed had been liberal with monetary policy the Depression could have been averted. But once deflation set in, the Fed is powerless because it cannot lower its interest rates below zero: the so-called liquidity trap. We have a similar scenario now where based on output gap computation, the Taylor rule suggests that interest rates should ideally be negative 6% .

    It is under these circumstances (and Koo is an excellent source for understanding this) that govt spending comes in. Govt effectively fills in the drop in demand by offsetting the drop in demand from the private sector. As private sector pays down its debt, and banks see less demand for credit – they park it in Treasury bonds that Govt issues to finance its spending. Contrary to popular opinion, all of the Govt debt does not have to be raised from abroad – a significant portion of it is raised domestically – we see it happening now.

    At the end of the war, private sector was ready to spend and govt debt naturally went down with time as it no longer had to fulfill the spending role.

    [There are many other reasons for the Depression, not all of which are fully understood, including the bank runs because of lack of FDIC protection, lack of automatic stabilizers such as Social Security etc. Don’t believe anybody who thinks they understand *the* cause. Even today, people have multiple theories for something as simple as the crash of 1987].

    Those who got this far can now jump in and display the errors of my flawed and debunked Keynesian views.

  57. RB said

    sheesh, messed up italics

  58. Jeff Id said

    #57, I tried to fix it.

  59. RB said

    Great, thanks a lot Jeff.

  60. RB said

    You can see the profound effect the Depression had on very conservative neighborhoods from accounts such as these summarized by someone today describing how people livin in those times felt themselves unable to cope for themselves and needed the government’s help:

    The author lived and worked in Flint during the famous sit down strike at the Fisher Body auto factory. Most Flint residents, the author included, were avidly anti-union in1936. The attitude the author and other Flint residents had toward unions reflected their generally conservative perspectives. Recalling his view at the time, the author writes that: “I was a product of middle-class parents and I was brought up in a world that solidly embraced a middle-class philosophy. It was a relatively small world where everyone knew everyone else. There had never been a labor union in that world, because most people didn’t believe one was needed. One of the basic tenets of my world was the belief that each man stood on his own legs and fought his own fight[….] It was a viewpoint that was incompatible with the theories of unionism.” (219). Having worked in three factories himself during his college years, the author also believed at the time that for the most part employees were treated fairly by their managers.
    ()..
    “The significance of what had happened was a long time dawning on me,” the author recalls, noting that the company was unionized in 6 months with most workers quickly joining the union. “I was seeing a lot more than a union victory in a strike. I was seeing a way of life disappear. […]The rural viewpoints that people had carried with them into the cities in the first three decades of the twentieth century were gone. The General Motors Corporation was no longer a local concern managed by local men with a kindly regard for the workers. The men at Fisher body knew this. They’d seen it long before the rest of us did and their strike was against an impersonal entity, cold and hard.
    Something else had become apparent, too. The idea that each family and each community could take care of its own and exist like a small island in a great sea was no longer valid. The crisis of the Depression with its poverty and its hopelessness had long since proved too much for cities like Flint, for counties like Genesee County, for states like Michigan.[…]. The whole essence of the New Deal was the abandonment of this small, individualistic outlook in favor of the bigger, stronger, national government and the immense power it could bring to bear on the solutions of the pressing problems which faced us.”

  61. RB said

    The process of deleveraging as described is currently underway . I suspect more of you may agree with the viewpoint expressed at the end rather than the “Koo”-vian one I described above.

  62. Philemon said

    Loss of confidence, animal spirits, psychology is not explanatory. It’s hand-waving.

    When you say the fed was running a “tight” policy, specifically, what do you mean?

    When you say “thrift”, how were people being thrifty? And what effect did that have?

  63. RB said

    You are probably right, Philemon, I have nothing more to add and answers regarding the Fed etc are easily available on the googles.

  64. carl said

    Only problem is the govt is unable to cover the shortfall of fallen consumption by the consumer nor can you force people to borrow money. Unless the debt holders are bailed out which is the over leveraged consumer at this point why would anyone borrow money? Or hire people? Or expand business? Deflation, bankruptcy, and contraction are the natural corrective measures of capitalism and it must be allowed to occur. Smaller bubbles would help, the FED however blows bubbles in a serial fashion, nature of the beast, it isn’t a benign entity either.

    the FED and fractional reserve has problems, specifically deflation and it must grow or it fails

    it typically over reacts to stagnation and problems always seeking to add more debt……this leads to bubbles and an exacerbation of the normal ups and downs of business left to its own devices

    Banks have been sort of bailed out, financial regs rigged to make them appear to be solvent meanwhile joe consumer is tapped out and will be for a decade or more…….just like the last depression caused by the same factors:greed, corruption, graft, too much leverage, and govt intervention in all of the clearing functions of capitalism. Socializing losses and privatizing profits doesn’t help joe consumer get out of debt. There are natural limits to how much debt a person or business can take on over time, adding more than they can handle thru artificial means creates bubbles and massive defaults which is where we are now.

    Too big to fail is too big to exist, our anti-trust laws are there for this reason….business now extorts the govt in the open to rip off the tax payer !!! The FED and the govt are happily doing it too. Only source of lending right now is the GSE’s with the FED providing the $$ and the tax payer is on the hook for the losses which will be huge, like a couple trillion huge and more in the next few years. Fannie Mae? Freddie Mac? full backing of the US govt with unlimited loss ceilings yet the certificates are both illegal for the FED to buy but also right on the face of them has the phrase ” Not backed by the US government”. Since fall 2007 the FED has been operating under the “exigent circumstance” clause which means it can do whatever it wants and it is, no strings attached and no accountability.

    this is just the tip of the iceberg…….pensions plans are toast, regional banks are toast, the big 5 banks should be toast if the law was actually enforced, and the taxpayer will pay for all of it

    You lever up to 30-60:1 and even a small % drop in assets and you are done, check the FDIC foreclosed banks so far, 30-60% LOSSES are not uncommon, think about that. Banks create money from nothing all they do is loan it into existence with a ledger entry and yet they still mess that up. When Lehman blew some of its garbage sold for 5 cents on the dollar. AAA rated paper at 5 cents on the dollar, major major indication of how fraudulent things are.

    old bank regulators from the S&L crisis call this “control fraud” and it is back stronger than ever, the tax payer is getting the pump and dump treatment

  65. carl said

    @ Philemon

    paradox of thrift is this, an over leveraged consumer will en masse tend to snap from taking on excessive debt to saving money and paying down debt causing a huge and self reinforcing feedback loop leading to more deflation which leads to a downward spiral and over correction

    the FED right now is caught in a liquidity trap: new money is essentially free, interest rate is 0% but the FED cannot inject money directly into the economy, it always must be lent into existence yet nobody is borrowing

    the FED however has stepped in and is using 100% inflationary buying of govt debt to finance the deficit spending while devaluing our currency and killing purchasing power which is another self defeating act, this is euphemistically known as “quantitative easing”, its alleged purpose is to keep long term debt rates down thus encouraging more lending into an already over burdened and saturated debt market(no these guys do not know when to quit)

    now the govt can step in and take up some of the slack but it simply can’t cover the magnitude needed and it isn’t even close……and govt’s at all levels made the same mistakes they too took on too much debt and made promises they can’t keep

    beyond that our govt itself cooks its books beyond belief, the whole stinking mess is one big ponzi scheme all the way down to our fiat currency

  66. rogerthesurf said

    There might be global warming or cooling but the important issue is whether we, as a human race, can do anything about it.

    There are a host of porkies and not very much truth barraging us everyday so its difficult to know what to believe.

    I think I have simplified the issue in an entertaining way on my blog which includes some issues connected with climategate and “embarrassing” evidence.
    .
    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

    Please feel welcome to visit and leave a comment.

    Cheers

    Roger

  67. Mark T said

    carl said
    January 15, 2010 at 1:00 am

    paradox of thrift is this, an over leveraged consumer will en masse tend to snap from taking on excessive debt to saving money and paying down debt causing a huge and self reinforcing feedback loop leading to more deflation which leads to a downward spiral and over correction

    I prefer the Austrian approach to the paradox of thrift: it is nonsense. So far, these folks are the ones that keep hitting their predictions.

    Mark

  68. Geoff Sherrington said

    JamesG,

    If you keep up to date, you will see change under way. This from World Nuclear News, 25 Dec 2009:

    “New Chinese company for demonstration power plant. A new company has been set
    up to build the first demonstration unit of the Chinese AP1400, an indigenously-enlarged
    version of the Westinghouse AP1000, three of which are now under construction there. The
    new joint venture company is 55% State Nuclear Power Technology Corp and 45% Huaneng
    Group, and the demo plant will be build at Shidaowan in Rongcheng city, Shandong, at or
    near the site where Huaneng is building four AP1000 reactors from April 2013. About 30
    more are proposed to follow, though some of these may now be CAP1400s, which is being
    called the “National Nuclear Design”. Its development from the AP1000 is one of 16 flagship
    technology projects, and China claims intellectual property rights for it.”

    That’s right, China plans to build 30+ nukes, possibly at the same site.

    I’ve followed the cost of power since the early 70s. You can divide it into 2 parts, intrinsic costs (related to physics, etc) and social costs (like licenses, pre-paid insurance, site studies, waste studies, Greenie appeasement costs mainly.) The fundamental physics costs have not changed since the 70s. Hydro was cheapest, then nuclear, the fossil fuels, with “renewables” not even in the frame except for tiny niche markets.

    The change has been in social costs, which are scarcely disguised as an artifice to price nuclear out of the market. Thank you to the loony left.

    The Chinese do not factor in so much of the social cost. Admittedly it’s hard to summarise, but read from WNN 27 Nov 2009 –

    “First Areva EPR reactor starts construction in China. First concrete was poured for the
    first unit of Taishan nuclear power plant in Guangdong province at the end of October. This
    makes the third such reactor under construction, after those in Finland and France. This first
    1750 MWe Taishan reactor is expected to start up about the end of 2013, and its twin a year
    later. The Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Co Ltd (30% EdF, 70% China
    Guangdong Nuclear Power Company) is building the plant. The Guangdong Development
    Commission quotes the total investment in both units as CNY 49.85 billion ($7.3 billion).”

    I rest my case.

  69. Geoff Sherrington said

    There’s more from the country with most uranium reserves but no nuclear power plants (a Left Political decision bowing to Green propaganda).

    The conservative Australian Opposition today announced that rather than go for a carbon tax, it would roll out environmental policies, starting with a Green Team of some 15,000 paid people who would actually do something about cleaning up the environment instead of merely talking about it. Eradication of noxious pests and weeds, proper management of parks re fires etc., were first off the rank, using unemployed and volunteers as well.

    Then a Referendum to place the main Murray-Darling River system under Federal control instead of having 4 states fighting for water rights and producing shortage & degradation.

    It’s nice to see well-directed action replace dogma.

  70. Mark T said

    Seems like make-work projects, Geoff. They rarely accomplish their goals, and often at a disproportionately higher cost than necessary. Still dogma, unfortunately.

    Mark

  71. Espen said

    Jeff, have a look at some numbers, e.g. http://www.doingbusiness.org/EconomyRankings/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita and you’ll see that social welfare states can be very competitive economies. I won’t brag about my home country’s Norway’s rank, since Norway with its oil economy is hard to compare with most other countries. But check out e.g. Denmark, which owes its good situation mainly to their ability to do good business.

    I think it’s important to be able to cut through the binary view of politics that is forced upon us, and distinguish e.g. between the (far) left’s wish to control for control’s sake and the wish to establish good social security nets. Also, the wish to spend other people’s money on your own pet projects is not unique to the left, just think Bush and Iraq… Threats to our freedom come from everywhere, not only “the left”. Just consider how the movie and music industry lobby is about to succeed in introducing absolutely outrageous surveillance laws in many countries, just because they are too slow adapting to a completely new era of distribution of “intellectual property”. In their lobbying, they’re usually successful with both left-wing and right-wing politicians.

    Well, all these considerations tend to make me alien to the whole political system, I’m a little bit of left and right and (real) green and more of a liberalist than most, and makes it very difficult to be a voter. I have to force myself to vote, but only because I know of no better alternative to our western democracies.

    One more comment: “The point is, limitation of the economy is the goal of some of these people. Greenpeace is one such group who’s CEO admitted it straight out recently. It has nothing to do with improved service, it is limitation of prosperity allegedly for the greater gaian good. ”

    I’m afraid that this doesn’t only apply to some of the people, the current AGW movement is quite deeply rooted in the “deep ecology” movement which at its core is anti-humanist, because humans are considered of no more worth than any other species, and the rest of the world is in its best state if it’s left as un-touched by humans as possible. Some of these people will probably object to CO2 emissions even if it was found that CO2 emissions do far more good than bad, since any alteration of the environment by humans is inherently wrong.

  72. Jeff Id said

    #71, I see denmark is ranked high but I sure wouldn’t want to own a business there. They have a ridiculous tax rate, you personally can’t make any money. 36,000 salary and they take 60 percent? Yet they rank as having a good environment for business. Business is taxed at a far lower rate so they can export their products to countries having good personal income.

    Unlike nearly any heavily socialized country they were smart enough not to penalize sucessful business directly and they allow you to fire your workers when needed. The non fireable union worker is actually outlawed. That helps a lot.

    I love how they say one of the highest per capita incomes and then show the government taking it away. The tax needs to be subtracted from the income. You need the higher income just to live a reasonable lifestyle.

    I’ve never been there but it’s probably like Germany which those on the left like to hold out as a poster child for socialist govt. In Germany, people can’t be fired …almost ever, they live in small buildings all wedged wall to wall, most have no car of their own. Groceries are a daily affair. Small towns sit in the courtyard and drink together.

    Germany is a nice lifestyle, but it cannot compare to America. I don’t believe Denmark’s system would survive without large scale consumption outside its borders. Were other nations to adopt this system, where would all these goods from the overtaxed peoples be sold?

    I’ll pass on Denmark, keep my two cars, tv’s, huge stereo, business and money earned and I’ll buy their stuff. That is, unless the leftists spend all my money for me.

  73. Ryan O said

    #72 Exactly. A fair comparison requires subtracting the tax from the gross. This is standard behavior for the socialists – ignore the details in order to tell a palatable story.

  74. Espen said

    Jeff, my wife is from Germany, I have lived there for three years and visit the country at least three times a year, and I can assure you that the picture you paint is not even close to reality, if you’re not talking about the German Democratic Republic 30 years ago. “Most have no car of their own?” What? You’re talking about the country where the lack of speed limits on Autobahn is considered a basic human right!

    (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_vehicles_per_capita)

  75. carl said

    @ 67

    agreed but that doesn’t change the definition

    one of the problems with keynesian theory is there is no such thing as debt saturation yet it is easily observed that people will indeed when they perceive hard times coming stop taking on more debt

    for a debt based system which requires ever increasing amounts of debt to function properly this presents a big problem

    keynesians for some strange reason simply think you can suspend the nature and laws of the clearing side of capitalism and simply pile on more and more debt

    there is nothing wrong with deflation unless you are a banker, heck it helps the average worker under a fiat currency regime as long as they have little or no debt, but it kills banks and does so very quickly

    and Bernanke has proven all his theories to be wrong, printing press or not deflation rages on an they are powerless to stop it

  76. kdk33 said

    Carl,

    You certainly paint a dire picture…

    Can I summarize your thesis to be: people are awful, eviil, incompetent creatures who need to be ruled by the iron hand of a wise and benevolent government.

    Which political or economic system would you find appropriate?

    I think your post is important for another reason. I think many “warmists”, when pushed, will confess that they too have doubts about AGW science but support carbon reductions policies regardless – scarcity, politics, or technology&innovation reasons.

    Of course, these arguments can be coutered. The market handles scarcity via price. America is no more addicted to OPEC oil than OPEC is addicted to american dollars (it’s a market); OPEC is in no position to embargo the western world. Wealthy countries develop new and innovative technology, like “clean” energy, but carbon reduction policies destroy wealth so are counterproductive. There’s no end to this argument, no doubt.

    But I am curious to know which economic political system would save us from our greedy selves.

  77. Jeff Id said

    #74, I only worked there for about a month. My partner spent 8 months there. As far as most not having a car all you need to do is look at car ownership rates, which I did before I wrote my post. On your list it looks like Germany has crossed the half way point in 04 which is different from my result.

  78. Layman Lurker said

    #5 Pat Frank

    This is a gem. Thanks.

  79. Mark T said

    Carl,

    Thanks for your reply. I figured you were simply defining it as your other comments seemed to imply you did not agree with the theory.

    Kdk33

    Can I summarize your thesis to be: people are awful, eviil, incompetent creatures who need to be ruled by the iron hand of a wise and benevolent government.

    I don’t think you can infer that from Carl’s statments at all. Austrians (von Mises, Hayek), and to a lesser extent Chicagoans (Friedman), tend to think that the “wise hand of benevolent government” is neither wise, nor benevolent. Keynesians seem mixed on the concept, and from what I understand, even Keynes himself was inconsistent in his views (particularly later in life after witnessing the failure of the “New Deal” policies).

    Mark

  80. carl said

    @ 76

    good questions, wish I had decent answers

    I have no problem with our government set up per se, it’s the end result it produces over time I have issues with. Fundamentally it is human nature vs what is best for our own good long term. I am not sure at this stage of my life man is capable of handling it collectively long term, nature always bats last though🙂

    Icelanders surrounded their parliament and head honchos estate a couple days ago with torches over what amounts to the same proportional debt our own govt is forcing on us without our permission yet Americans don’t even care. Our govt only does what we allow it to do, until we ask and demand more of it then we won’t see any real changes. Hate to say it but some bloodshed and revolution is in order but maybe that’s just me, some people do not understand anything else I’m afraid.

    Economics wise capitalism does work when allowed to do so, it is also easily gamed corrupted all systems are. We the people could break up the big banks in a matter of days and not give them any choice in the matter but that takes collective effort, people aren’t pissed off enough yet. Mindset is the key at least a big part of it, when and if we collectively realize that the world is small and finite relative to our needs and population things may change for the better.

    In the meantime all you can do is spread as much info and truth as you can and let as much sunlight in to disinfect the BS in all areas of our lives and world, sites like this are great for that. (tips hat to Jeff Id) I sure as hell don’t have all the answers, just what I have gained over time some of which has proven wrong some of it not. The situation mid to long term though is dire, but people will survive the question is how comfortably and how many.

    I guess in summation I myself am very conflicted over my own human nature vs what I see coming, I wrestle with it daily and never win, it is what it is. Only solace and redemption I have ever found is helping others get thru this mess as best I can, helping people that appreciate it is gratifying.

  81. Mark T said

    I should add: governments do play a rather significant role in a “pure capitalist” society, though solely as a protector of individual rights. Given the tendency of people to seek relief from the government during hard times, however, I don’t know if such a goal is attainable (sadly).

    Mark

  82. RB said

    #75, policies that encouraged the govt to stay passive such as these led to 25% unemployment.
    Andrew Mellon: ”Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate . . . purge the rottenness out of the system.”

    In the end the debate is about reducing the impact of the downturn in time as measured in years – not about whether or not “in the long run, everything is going to be fine” or whether or not the economy can eventually self-heal. In a democracy, in the face of an economic downturn, people throw out the Hoovers who sit by and passively watch the economy self-destruct to a point where even credit-worthy businessses and individuals do not have access to credit or people who were not responsible for the excesses in the first place lose their jobs and for the rest we only know to look back 80 years ago. It is about easing the transition to an economy which has purged itself of its rottenness.

  83. carl said

    @ 79

    indeed

    I don’t see good or evil in the theories just how they are cynically and predictably applied by man.

    I do not agree with the paradox of thrift as being a bad thing either, the clearing side of capitalism must be allowed to function if you are going to use this system, gotta have both sides to balance things out. The reward for failure is failure not a mulligan. You cannot make capitalism into a “have your cake and eat it too” situation which is what many attempt to make it.

    I don’t see govt as benign or evil or benevolent in general but it certainly can at times have all those traits, it is made up of us after all. It has the traits we give it and make of it. Right now it isn’t benevolent that is for certain. At the moment it is one of our biggest problems, how ironic is that? Go figure. I don’t see any economic system as good or evil either, just systems of getting things done. Things don’t get corrupted till man steps in and does that, some are just more inherently corrupted than others.

  84. Mark T said

    Ideal systems are unattainable (due to free will, IMO). Utopia can only exist if everyone demanded only what they needed, and what they needed corresponded exactly to what was available.

    Systems themselves are not evil, nor benevolent, they are, as you note, what we make of them. How people apply systems can be either, or neither for that matter.

    Mark

  85. kdk33 said

    Carl,

    Your comments are very interesting. I now read your thesis to be: people are awful, evil, incompetent creatures, and there is no hope.

    Curiously, I think we would agree on many points. I’m frustrated with businees/government collusion. I think market mechanisms will handle scarcity issues and energy technology substitutions nicely if left alone. We get the government we deserve and we ought pay more attention. But I’m no economist.

    I also think mindset is key. My thesis is: people are, as always, awful, evil, incompetent creatures, capable at times of infinite ingenuity and unlimited goodness; the future has never looked brighter.🙂

    Why the doom and gloom? Can you distill it to one or two overarching concerns – population, oil, food. Do you despair for humanity as a whole, or just americans. And it’s not clear to me why I should worry about a shrinking US car fleet – we could use fewer cars where I live.

    Not to take up too much of your time, but I’m quite curious as to how you’ve arived at your mindset.

  86. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Lucy Skywalker (Jan 14 16:23),

    Is there any, any, any laboratory way of measuring / comparing the GHG effect of say 200 ppmv, 300 ppmv, and 400 ppmv CO2?

    You need to define what you mean by “GHG effect”.

    If it’s the overall effect on the earth as we know it, then no.

    But if it’s radiative transfer only, then yes, it’s been done. One can calculate the radiative transitions of simple molecules like H2O and CO2 from first principles. The line strengths can be measured in the lab and the field. The data are in the HITRAN database. Then one specifies the atmospheric conditions from the ground up (or measures them with a radiosonde) and, using a line-by-line model, calculates the atmospheric emission spectrum including the effects of pressure and doppler induced line broadening. Finally, one measures a high resolution emission spectrum using a Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) spectrometer and compares it to the calculated spectrum. This has been done and the agreement is reasonable given the uncertainty in the measurement of the atmospheric conditions at the time of measurement. The largest uncertainty is what’s called the continuum spectrum of water vapor thought to result from what’s called collisional induced absorption, effectively water vapor dimers. That’s been measured empirically and is known with reasonable precision.

    MODTRAN is a simplified method of calculating spectra using a moderate resolution band model rather than line-by-line. It works pretty well too.

  87. carl said

    @ KdK33

    meh, I have hope, I just don’t have much hope for the mid to long term to turn out like many of us were raised to believe, as in work and raise a family and retire and then watch the kids and grand kids do the same, I think that kind of life here in the US is looking at its extinction. I also don’t have much hope that the govt will survive financially or politically. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes out of the ashes of failure great things emerge. But failure is an option and a likely one.

    As far as population and oil, well one is dependent on the other, lower world oil output means reduced population and this is done by force. Our food is literally petroleum converted into food these days. This is how world population exploded from a couple billion to 6 billion in just a few decades. In 2007 and 2008 when oil spiked in price Africa went dark and people starved and that was just an appetizer, coming cycles of this will eventually hit the US middle class and quite hard. Economically and systemically we have no defense as our entire system is predicated on cheap energy and permanent growth, for all practical purposes oil and energy is also money. They are profoundly intertwined. What’s worse and this is the real problem we have allowed the scale of this issue to go beyond our ability to adapt and change ahead of it and the gap is so huge it isn’t even a realistic option to try to close it. No matter which path we try the ultimate end game means less consumption, that is a world changer. This is why a shrinking car fleet portends some serious ugliness in the US, like everything else it too is predicated on non stop growth. Kind of hard to maintain infrastructure or justify it in the face of shrinking need and demand yet much of it is critical to our way of life. Food doesn’t travel cross country without roads and decent rail roads and we have an embarrassing rail road system. We have literally sacrificed and all across the board diversity and strength for profit and efficiency while leaving ourselves with a system that can easily collapse quickly and without much warning like a bunch of dominoes. It is a mile wide but only a millimeter deep, no redundancy or reserves at all. Katrina should have been a wake up call for many, sadly I think that lesson didn’t sink in.

    Realizing all that is how I arrived at my current mindset…..is it all doom and gloom? maybe, maybe just recognizing the realities of our situation for what it is which is part of the first step before you prepare for what is coming. There is always hope, we have huge huge extra capacity and waste than can be pared back with hardly anyone noticing. A crash diet would do this nation some real good I think, we are embarrassingly profligate with our consumption even to our own detriment. Hard economic times also bring out some diversity as the very things that make monopolies strong in good times kills them in bad, there is always hope. Time is a factor and there are limits.

  88. RB said

    Indeed there are limits although compounding is hard to understand for most people. It is easy to see with corner cases – at current rates of world population growth, in 2400 years, mass of human beings will be equal to the mass of earth. Therefore, far before then, unless we find a way to populate other planets in a few hundred years, population trends will turn down and resource conflicts will probably begin this century since we are already seeing signs of it arising from diminishing hydrocarbon, minerals and water resources.

  89. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: RB (Jan 15 18:45),

    …resource conflicts will probably begin this century…

    When have we not had resource conflicts?

    WWI was about, among other things, access to colonies.

    Did Iraq invade Kuwait just because Saddam was an evil SOB or was he trying to control Kuwaiti oil resources?

    The list is endless.

  90. Hi, I’m currently building up a database of “meta” sources on economic history, statistics and related fields like climatology etc. – just about anything that’s got to do with statistics impinging on political arguments. See Economics Reference List (http://crisismaven.wordpress.com/references/). Currently over 200 meta sources, it will in the next days grow to over a thousand. Check it out and if you miss something, feel free to leave a comment.

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