1. With all due respect, I have been studying the global warming issue for a couple of years now. I have a BS degree in chemistry and spent 15 years in the chemical industry, so I am not illiterate when it comes to science. I understand that global warming could be a great reason to push nuclear power. (I happen to believe nuclear power is necessary for our [US] energy independence and that alone is sufficient reason for nuclear.) However, the science behind nuclear power is extremely shaky. I would urge you to spend more time reading skeptical blogs like WattsUpWithThat. Here are some URLS. You seem to be intelligent. I’m sure you would agree that one must consider both sides of any controversial issue.
    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/ (Luke warmer)

    1. Did you mean to say, “The science behind global warming is extremely shaky.”? If so, I have to agree with you.

  2. Jim – are you suggesting that I should ignore the decades worth of solid science conducted by thousands of people including Dr. Hansen and instead weigh equally the publications from “skeptical blogs”?
    What exactly did you do in the chemical industry? Have you pursued any advanced education or done work involving publishing original research?
    Where do these “skeptical blogs” get their information? Does it come from a wide range of peer reviewed literature or does it come from fossil fuel industry supported publicists?

      1. Indeed, the people running desmogblog.com are PR hacks. And that blog is mostly about how the cultural anti-global-warming phenomenon is a PR creation. So who’d do better to explain manufactured skepticism about AGW has gained such a foothold in western culture?

        1. Publicists with a heart of gold, eh?
          I can just hear them now: “Those PR guys are evil because they take money, but we are doing this out of nothing but the goodness of our hearts. You can trust us, because we told you so.”
          That kind of b.s. line has been used by just about every anti-nuclear group out there. The facts put forward by the supporters of nuclear are just “industry-funded lies,” whereas groups like Greenpeace, the Union of Corrupt Scientists, the World Wildlife Fund, etc. ad nauseam, are staffed by concerned do-gooders who have nothing but the best interests of the Earth at heart and would never think of making any money from their efforts. After all, they told us so, and they have pictures of whales and polar bears and trees on their websites to prove it.
          I’m amazed that anyone who has followed the debate over nuclear throughout the years could still be naive enough to fall for that kind of line.

          1. Brian – one thing I like about Hansen’s book is that he is quite harsh with regard to his criticism of what he calls the Union of Concerned Lobbyists, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and others that have signed on to support the very complex and port laden Waxman-Markey bill.
            He does not point to photos of polar bears or believe that the Kyoto accord was useful. He does not advocate weak renewables. He does think that conservation has a role and he frequently states that he is not diametrically opposed to fossil fuel burning, just fossil fuel emissions. Though he never says anything like this, I am reminded of an old joke about a smoker who asks bystanders if they mind if he smokes. A courageous man says no problem, just don’t exhale.
            He makes a case that seems very logical and well supported to me.
            BTW – I do not think it is ‘BS’ to find out where people get their money. Accepting money does not necessarily indicate a bias, but it is a bit of information that is worth having, just as it is worth knowing the credentials and experience that a person brings to the discussion. In the case of the frequently cited WattsUpWithThat.com, the author freely admits that he has no degrees in climate science, but he has been a television weatherman. I presume that means he has a meteorology degree, but for some reason he does not mention whether or not he does or where and when he got it. Sourcewatch also has some questions – http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Anthony_Watts

            1. Read what I wrote again, Rod. It’s not “BS” to find out where people get their money; however, it is “BS” to claim that only one side needs to be examined. It’s even more “BS” to believe such nonsense.
              Now, are you naive enough to believe that “one of Canada’s leading public relations firms” (a description taken from their website) has its hands completely clean and is hosting the desmogblog site as some sort of altruistic public service announcement? Or is it more logical to think that such a firm is providing a valuable service to its clients, who pay them very well? Hoggan won’t reveal his entire list of clients, but his PR firm is rumored to be hired by various hydrogen, fuel-cell, and wind companies, all of whom stand to benefit greatly from public policy related to “climate change.”
              Tell me, do the skeptics have a $300 million ad campaign at their disposal — an effort that is “one of the most ambitious and costly public advocacy campaigns in U.S. history”?
              Why is all of this money being spent? More importantly, who stands to benefit? Obviously, somebody is willing to pony up some serious money to influence public opinion. The amounts that have been rumored to have been spent by Exxon-Mobile are pennies compared to this.
              Are they effective? Well, apparently, they have managed to coax you into engaging in the alarmists’ favorite pastime: character assassination.
              I don’t want to defend Anthony Watts, because I don’t know the guy from Adam, but I have to respond to your criticism with the following questions:
              Does Hansen have degrees in “climate science”? No. Meteorology? No. Geography (which was the field that typically studied the effect of climate before the last several decades)? No. His degrees are in astronomy and physics. If we were to go by educational pedigree alone, then I’m more qualified to talk about climate models than Hansen. At least my dissertation was relevant to modern GCM’s. He was studying the atmospheres of planets like Venus.
              Does Hansen have degrees in economics? No? Well, you seem to be more than willing to parrot his opinions on tax policy. Why is that? Why are you willing to criticize a fellow blogger for his credentials, while giving a free pass to Hansen? After all, he has no education, no experience, and as far as I know, no knowledge of economics beyond the average layman.
              Hansen might be critical of UCS, NRDC, Sierra Club, etc., (which is to his credit), but they are the groups that are fanning the alarmism that he is riding. He might criticize them because they support “cap and trade” (which he disagrees with), but has he ever criticized them when they publish something about climate change that is simply untrue?

          2. I can’t follow your argument, Brian. Is it “We should not trust what PR people say about other PR people, because they are PR people?” and “Hoggan is PR. Anti-nuclear propaganda often has a PR signature. Anti-nuclear proganda is bad. Don’t trust Hoggan, he’s in it for the gold.” You are not addressing the substance – the evidence – of what Hoggan is saying at all.
            DeSmogBlog is run by PR-men who are EXPOSING the fact that anti-agw ideas, whatever their worth, is being disseminated throughout our culture by the efforts which bear the signature of a campaign by their pr-industry cohorts.
            I think they are doing a useful service. Who would you have do it?

              1. You don’t need a lot of money to run a website. Furthermore, they actually thank one major patron of the site: an internet gambling “pioneer” who pleaded guilty to tax evation.
                It doesn’t cost a lot of money to run a website. It doesn’t take a huge amount of time to write posts on a blog. Many people who blog do so because they like it, not because people pay them. That includes skeptics. Who pays who is an issue, yes. But it isn’t the only one. And it isn’t a valid reason to unilaterally dismiss what desmogblog writes. What they write about can be verified. Who pays who to amplify what certain people say is an interesting subject: that is what they write about: PR and its impact on the climate-change “debate”. It is written by experts in PR: they should know what they are talking about on that subject.
                Questioning Hansen’s climate-science credentials because he has not degree in climatology, despite doing much work in the field and while maintaining a laudable reputation for his insights among his peers, is silly. Questioning his economic arguments because he doesn’t have a degree is not so well framed: people question his making arguments on economics because he is an amateur, and doesn’t do research in that field. However, even if Hansen is wrong on the particulars of his arguments against cap and trade and for a carbon tax, his argument is predicated upon a real fact, decried much by real economists, that carbon dioxide emissions have no present cost to those who emit them. Economic policy and tax tools to meet the challenge of limiting the rise in concentration of carbon dioxide must be evaluated both upon the economic soundness AND their effectiveness in meeting their climate goals. People like Hansen, experts in the interpretation of climate goals, are right to speak up if they feel economic policy doesn’t properly address them.
                Brian, do you really want experts to be silent?

                1. crf – You have entirely missed my point. I wasn’t questioning Hansen’s climate-science credentials. I was pointing out how inconsistent Rod was being by questioning the “credentials and experience” (particularly academic credentials) of one person, while extolling the opinions of another person on one topic for which this person has weak academic credentials, but plenty of experience, and on another topic for which he has neither credentials nor experience.
                  Rod was trying to have it both ways.
                  And don’t give me this nonsense that desmogblog is some lone blogger in the wilderness who is running his site on a shoe-string budget. That blog is run by an entire team of PR professionals, so many that they require their own “project manager.” These guys aren’t like Rod, who has a day job in something different than what he blogs about. Their full-time job is to manipulate public opinion for their clients.
                  In addition to the blog, Hoggan has written a book. That does take a significant amount of time.
                  Oh … and I’ll just add, in case you think that these guys are on our “side,” the “major patron” of that site is a pretty solid anti-nuke. Didn’t you know that these guys think that nuclear is so bad that it even makes Big Coal look good on Global Warming — probably because nuclear energy is so “expensive, dangerous, and not cost-effective.” Ouch!
                  Still want to go on about what desmogblog writes? Frankly, I’m not impressed.
                  I guess that there are no nuclear companies on the client list of James Hoggan & Associates, but I’m willing to bet serious money that some of nuclear’s competitors are on that list.

                  1. No, AGW science is not extremely shaky. Science of AGW is actually very clear, and there is not a single national or international body of professional scientists who disputes the science in general or the IPCC findings in particular. There are lowly figures selling their mouth to obfuscate the issue. There is a bunch of snake oil salesmen conning people into buying their product such as Watts. There is a bunch of old timers who cannot get over past ideological divides, and who are unable to move forward even if their own house is on fire, in particular a slow kind of fire which will not interfere with their quality of life too much. After us, the deluge – seems the great motto of the Boomers.
                    We have to move this mountain of ignorance and fossil fuel interests to get anywhere forward with nuclear energy specifically and getting the planet back to thermal equilibrium in particular. Hansen suggested that none with past antinuclear positions shall be nominated anywhere near Energy department and other energy related agencies. I think we should have a similar position concerning AGW deniers, if only to prevent great PR disasters of shooting ourselves in our feet.

                    1. ABison. This is science. It is not determined by “national or international” bodies. It is determined by individual scientists. All this appealing to this or that authority is meaningless blather. It isn’t science. There is no consensus. Sorry.

                    2. Jim, it seems to me you do not understand what does scientific consensus mean: there is always dissent in any topic of science. HIV-AIDS link is a clear example, where the contrarians are actually real scientists working in the specific relevant field. However, to make any action feasible, the consensus opinion has to be defined. This is why we have these professional organizations. Their professional opinion about AGW is clear, as we all well know. Couple contrarians do not change the overwhelming scientific consensus, in AGW or HIV-AIDS issues.

  3. Rod Adams wrote:
    I have also recognized since early childhood that there is a substantial amount of money involved in the process of creating electricity and distributing it to every house and business. Dad used to love showing us parts of the infrastructure involved; I remember touring power plants, transformer sub-stations, hydroelectric dams, and even a coal mine or two. I understand inertia and recognize that infrastructure built over a 50-100 year period does not get replaced quickly.
    The slow replacement of such infrastucture is a part of its “beauty” — it not something built for just our immediate needs, but it is something we build for right now, for our children, our grandchildren, and even our great-grandchildren. It is a gift to future generations as well as structure for us to use today. Along with all its other failings, this is yet another area where wind generation falls short. I think we will be seeing a LOT of wind turbines failing in 20 to 25 years. The gift to the next generation my well be the rare-earth magnets in the generators that can then be recycled into motors for electric cars.
    Rod Adams also wrote:
    After my recent post about the NRC’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget submission, which was $13.3 million LOWER than the FY2010 budget, I exchanged several emails with public affairs and financial representatives at the Commission. They explained to me that the reduction was due to the cancellation of the Yucca Mountain license review and the announced slowdowns in reviews requested by several applicants. That sort of reassured me, but I am still concerned that there are resource constraints that add delays at a time when delay is dangerous to the health of the climate that has enabled human society to flourish.
    This is demonstration of the short-sightedness of government and the NRC. The focus is on the immediate need of getting licenses for nuclear power plants that will likely be constructed in the near future. While this is necessary and good, there are various companies with (for example) innovative small reactors that are cooling their heels, waiting for an opening to get their designs reviewed, not to mention the fee structure that discourages anyone who cannot be assured of large dollar volume sales. This short-term focus on the licensing process for long-term infrastructure shows a lack of imagination.

  4. Rod – There are many scientists who have published peer reviewed papers that contradict the AGW hypothesis.
    For example, CO2 was lower than now and the sea level higher:
    Sea-Level Highstand 81,000 Years Ago in Mallorca
    Jeffrey A. Dorale,1,* Bogdan P. Onac,2,* Joan J. Forn

    1. Jim – you apparently think that I have come to my conclusion lightly and without a great deal of reading spread over a number of years using a variety of sources. This is not a political issue for me, it is one of understanding the science, listening carefully to the experts and recognizing the truth from all of the chaff.
      You also apparently do not understand that there are plenty of additional reasons to be concerned about CO2 levels, including ocean pH. Finally, even if you completely dismiss the trends of temperatures, it is difficult to deny that measured CO2 levels are increasing and that humans are dumping about 20 billion tons per year in additional emissions into the environment. Even if there is a possibility that the people who worry about the dumping such a large quantity of long lived gas are wrong about the effects or the exact magnitude of the effects, do you really believe that it is a good idea to experiment with the only atmosphere that the earth has?
      I guess I would feel differently if there was not an obvious alternative that can actually provide less expensive energy without any emissions at all if it were allowed to flourish.
      The entrenched interests that want to keep selling fossil fuel have a great deal of power, money and education and are perfectly capable of obscuring the arguments by supporting the work that you have quoted.

  5. Jim – none of that indicates any problems with AGW. 1) yes sea level was fluctuating in the past rapidly, several meters per century was rather normal. The exceptional sea shore stability in the last 7000 years enabled stable river deltas, which provide enough nutrients to allow permanent human settlements. This is not the case any more, sea level is starting to rise, due to human activities.
    2) Yes many measurements were imprecise. We need better equipment. GRACE satellite provides clear evidence of accelerating melt at both polar regions. http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/2009/10/13/greenland-and-antarctic-ice-sheet-decay-continued/
    3) We have several independent lines of evidence of global warming, more precisely heat imbalance of the planet, which are all consistent with each other and with the models. http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-cooling.htm
    4) There are fossil funded skeptics (such as Lindzen – http://www.logicalscience.com/skeptics/Lindzen.htm ), some true believers who are just getting disproved by their own measurements (Spencer and his analysis shows this January to be the warmest in recorded history), and many people honestly confused by the propaganda of fossil industry and other people who want to make some pocket change, such as Watts with selling his “better” data from his sufacestations project.
    BTW do you know why Watts didnt publish his findings concerning the reliability of the generally used data? Well because the stations he marked as wrongly positioned (close to heat sources etc) actually show *LESS* warming than those marked as well sited. This is of scientific interest obviously, however Watts will not publish it as it does not follow his preconceived narrative. This is rather telling about Watts motivation: it is certainly not the truth, as if it was the truth, he would have published his findings.
    IMHO most poeple are just misinformed about science by the propaganda outlets such as the “skeptical” blogs you referenced, which are funded by the truth crusaders known from their previous advocacy of benefits of smoking.
    5) Most importantly we know about the climate sensitivity and ice sheet stability from Earth’s history (paleoclimate), and from observations of current climate: the current rate of migration of ecosystems poleward (such as tropics expansion) is already faster than it had been at major extinction events.
    If you do not want to read primary science literature, and prefer the popular form such as blogs, read the Hansen’s book!

    1. Abison – Not long ago Anthony Watts on his blog stated:
      I have a Paper with Pielke Sr. and others we are working on, and it is a fully detailed analysis. That will be the best rebuttal.

      1. Yeah he has been sitting on this for over a year. Now when other people shown that his argument does not hold water, and discovered that the wrongly sited stations show less warming, he will publish it. What a splendid integrity 😀

        1. It has been amply demonstrated already that long-term, rural stations show little or no warming. Anthony Watts will take however much time necessary to be certain his paper does not suffer from same sloppiness demonstrated by Briffa, Steig, Mann, Jones, and especially Hansen.

  6. Guys – If you noticed, I cited some peer reviewed papers written by scientists. As far as funding goes, Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit brought in 22 million in funding from government sources. You can bet UEA treated Jones well and does not want to lose that funding. Lindzen got what, $10,000 dollars from some oil-related fund? Phil Jones has recently talked about suicide due to his role in blocking proper peer review of skeptical papers and lining up favorable reviewers for pro-AGW papers and blocking Freedom of Information requests. There is fire under all that smoke.
    Also, the skeptical blogs I cited do reference many peer reviewed papers written by scientists. If you think the science is settled, take a look this presentation concerning the CLOUD experiment at CERN, then tell me the science is settled!!!
    The current understanding of climate change in the industrial age is that it is predominantly caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gases, with relatively small natural contributions due to solar irradiance and volcanoes. However, palaeoclimatic reconstructions show that the climate has frequently varied on 100-year time scales during the Holocene (last 10 kyr) by amounts comparable to the present warming – and yet the mechanism or mechanisms are not understood. Some of these reconstructions show clear associations with solar variability, which is recorded in the light radio-isotope archives that measure past variations of cosmic ray intensity. However, despite the increasing evidence of its importance, solar-climate variability is likely to remain controversial until a physical mechanism is established. Estimated changes of solar irradiance on these time scales appear to be too small to account for the climate observations. This raises the question of whether cosmic rays may directly affect the climate, providing an effective indirect solar forcing mechanism. Indeed recent satellite observations – although disputed – suggest that cosmic rays may affect clouds. This talk presents an overview of the palaeoclimatic evidence for solar/cosmic ray forcing of the climate, and reviews the possible physical mechanisms. These will be investigated in the CLOUD experiment which begins to take data at the CERN PS later this year.
    Another point. Don’t assume I am against all efforts to keep the environment clean. I am all for clean air, water, land, and I’m for trees 🙂 My beef is ONLY with the hypothesis that CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming. That has not been proven well enough to be actionable. To me, this has nothing to do with politics so don’t put words in my mouth or ascribe to me motives that aren’t there.
    Finally, the total sea ice is doing quite well, thank you: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
    And as far as the Arctic proper is concerned, I’m not seeing an acceleration in the decrease: http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=02&fd=01&fy=2007&sm=02&sd=01&sy=2010
    You have to remember, warming has occurred since the Little Ice Age. It has little or nothing to do with CO2.

  7. I was a sceptic for a while precisely because it would be “too good to be true” for nuclear energy. For me, it was the acidification of the oceans and bleaching of the coral reefs (i.e., directly observable phenomena) that convinced me that CO2 is not a good thing. In addition, I recall that we have also examined sediment cores going back over 55 million years. That data indicated that you do not have polar ice caps when the CO2 is 500 ppm or greater.

  8. I frankly find the argument about whether or not CO2 affects the climate as irrelevant. All forms of power generation that create large amounts of CO2 also tend to release other emissions that have been unanimously decided upon as harmful.
    Jim, in your first post, you mentioned that “the science behind nuclear power is extremely shaky.” Was this incorrect (as your post seemed to imply that AGW science is shaky) or do you have any specific issues with clean, emission free nuclear power?

  9. Gentlemen, please consider our place in a larger, much larger picture, that includes a “Fluffy Cloud” through which our sun is passing. Electron/Proton resonance of 3He at the Heliosphere boundary has increased. The scalar resonance effects of magnetic 3He upon Solar Activity, extreme quiete of late, and the heating of solar system bodies with magnetic cores is well documented. May I suggest the Schumann Resonance center frequency has recently risen by 7-8 Hz in response to “Fluffy Cloud” influence upon our Solar System.
    The Earth is not something that determines how the rest of the universe moves but in fact is a bit of flotsum in a very large space environment. That being the case, has anyone noticed that lacking life boats or alternative means of staying afloat yelling about our sinking boat is non productive and even dangerous. Har Maties! I say even a cave man had the good sense to man the boats when the CO2 and water levels got too high. But modern man would prefer to blog until the power lines snap from the ice load. My conclusion is the cave man had a better chance of survival than modern man floating on the “Fluffy Cloud”.

  10. Scott – Sorry, I meant to say the science behind CO2 induced catastrophe is shaky. I am all for nuclear power: small nukes, large nukes, thorium nukes, uranium nukes, and plutonium nukes. These have the power to save the world.

  11. Cold weather is bad for coral too. In fact, coral can stand warmer weather better than cold weather.
    Scientists have only begun assessments, with dive teams looking for bleaching” that is a telltale indicator of temperature stress in sensitive corals, but initial reports are bleak. The impact could extend from Key Largo through the Dry Tortugas west of Key West, a vast expanse that covers some of the prettiest and healthiest reefs in North America.
    Given the depth and duration of frigid weather, Meaghan Johnson, marine science coordinator for The Nature Conservancy, expected to see losses. But she was stunned by what she saw when diving a patch reef 2.5 miles off Harry Harris Park in Key Largo.”

  12. I am grateful that Rod Adams continues to see value in additional climate related discussion. While I do not always fully agree with everything Rod says about climate I am heartened by the fact that Rod tolerates alternate views in the Blog comments.
    Great leaders of the environmental movement that are only interested in TAKING ACTION to support an agenda feel that further discussion of the evidence of anthropomorphic cause of global warming is a foregone conclusion and that it is a waste of time to spend any more time considering evidence. (But I suggest that in science there is no time when you stop considering evidence – even if the evidence tends to disprove a favored position and outcome).
    I feel that it is very important to build more new nuclear but it is only tangentially because of climate considerations (One degree F. of warming since 1957 does not justify the radical agenda driven measures requiring pouring billions into immature boutique renewable energy experiments and doing multiple simultaneous expensive commercial demonstrations of doubtful CCS (carbon capture and sequestration of coal). The planet is suffering from energy scarcity, where approximately 2 billion of its human inhabitants have no regular access to electricity and live significantly shorter and more potential constrained lives as a result. We are continuing to add new population to the planet and most of the population growth is in the areas that already have little or no access to energy. We should find a way, through nuclear technology, to just make more clean energy and extend access to affordable energy to a greater segment of mankind. In so doing we may also avoid future wars over dwindling fossil fuel resources and provide enough for the needs of all in peace. All of the above is only rather peripherally involves climate concerns.
    Tilting the energy playing field by placing carbon taxes on all energy has consequences that all of us may not have completely thought through. Pricing up the cost of energy will have inflationary impacts on almost every product made or delivered to market with energy including food. By choosing to price up all energy to make a few highly subsidized but as yet underperforming wind and solar segments choosable will tend reduce the level of economic activity (everything will cost more – there is less money available to spread around and make other non-energy purchases

  13. Jim you show a great amount of confusion created by cherry-picking and miss-understanding. Totality of polar ice is best measured by total mass, not by widely fluctuating sea ice extent. The total mass shows a clear decrease, an accelerating melt over 100 km^3 per year. Earth history over millions of years shows that ice sheets are rather unstable, and that >350ppm of CO@ is already in the dangerous territory. From the big melt 14 000 years ago we know about periods when sea level risen 1 meter every 20 years for 400 years. If the ice sheet disintegrate, they provide additional heating feedback (albedo), leaving very different planet for humans to live on. Ice sheets disintegrate rapidly in response to forcings, but take thousands of years to build up. http://www.iop.org/EJ/abstract/1748-9326/2/2/024002
    Being all happy about sea ice extent in January is therefore rather confused position.
    Concerning CLOUD experiment at CERN, there are many holes in the GCR theory, namely the cosmic radiation decreased in the last 30 years when temperature risen, cloud cover does not follow the cosmic ray intensity as expected, and there is experimental evidence that even man made radiation does not seed clouds as expected. http://www.skepticalscience.com/cosmic-rays-and-global-warming.htm
    The CLOUD experiment should increase our understanding of these processes. I encourage you to actually listen to the whole talk. GCRs concern short term variability, while on the long term timescale of tens of thousands of years we know that the forcings were primarily feedbacks from CO2 and albedo changes.
    The same applies for time scales of millions of years. Now GHGs (mainly CO2) are primary drivers, not feedbacks, and the human generated forcings are overwhelming natural forcings by an order of magnitude. Read the Hansen’s book.

  14. Apparently, coral won’t be adversely affected until CO2 is at 1000 ppm. That is predicted to happen around 200 years from now. Seriously now, will we still be burning oil in even 100 years? I say we burn all the oil and nat gas we need until we can build out the nuclear reactor fleet.
    It also seems to me that small nuke power plants (using small nuclear reactors) would be useful at remote cities or mines. They could even come in handy around heavily industrialized areas. Just put several small nuke power plants around the industrialized areas to serve the industry there. That would take a load off the grid and prevent the need for large plants so soon. It would also keep electricity up for the industries in the event of a blackout. This would be great for refineries and chemical plants that are difficult to start up.

      1. ABison – Do you ever back up anything you say? Where’s the reference to that? The article I cited stated some corals grow more mass with more CO2. You just say whatever with nothing to back it up.

        1. I backup everything with references unless it is trivial and well known. Coral reefs are already in trouble now because of increased ocean temperatures. But as you ask, here is an reference you may be interested in: Jones, G. P. et al. 2004. Coral decline threatens fish biodiversity in marine reserves. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:8251-8253.

  15. ABison. I did indeed view the entire CLOUD video. This supplies an alternative hypothesis to the catastrophic CO2 global warming one. All I said is that the science is not settled, didn’t say GCR is true or AGW is false. Although the more I read about AGW, the more I doubt it is true.
    Do you have any numbers for sea ice mass? I didn’t see a link or reference for that.

    1. Yeah so we should bet the only planet we have on an off-chance that 100 years of science is wrong, because someone proposed a hypothesis (which is already at odds with measured facts, see the link I provided)?
      Science is never “settled” by definition. For instance the AIDS-HIV link theory is still being disputed. So I presume you would suggest we should abandon the policies which limit the HIV spread, because someone suggested a hypothesis (already at odds with facts), such as that AIDS can be cured by having a sex with a virgin?
      For the numbers, read the Hansen’s book or papers. The current measured (by several independent means) heat imbalance of Earth is enough to melt all the ice on the planet in 10 years if the heat went to the ice only – 90% of the heat is absorbed by oceans and it takes some time to propagate to ice sheets in polar regions.

      1. Unfortunately, Arrhenius, like the computer models of today, can’t accurate model clouds. That Arrhenius-100-year stuff does NOT even come close to modeling a system as complex as the Earth. That wasn’t even a good try.

        1. This is irrelevant. Clouds can contribute to feedbacks from Sun, however 1) over a long time these periodic effects average out, 2) we know the magnitude of Sun related forcings from paloclimate and they are order of magnitude smaller than human made forcings, 3) Sun contribution was going down over the last 3 decades of record warming.
          In another words it would be great to know more about clouds, but it does not disprove AGW in any way.

          1. Abison – So you believe clouds can’t moderate the amount of sunlight hitting the surface of the Earth? I think even mediocre minds can see through that one. For example, what would the temperature of the Earth do if it were fully covered in clouds? (Hint: Think ‘Nuclear Winter’)

      2. Here is a more recent paper on cosmic rays and global warming …
        “A decrease in the globally averaged low level cloud cover, deduced from the ISCCP infra red data, as the cosmic ray intensity decreased during the solar cycle 22 was observed by two groups. The groups went on to hypothesise that the decrease in ionization due to cosmic rays causes the decrease in cloud cover, thereby explaining a large part of the presently observed global warming. We have examined this hypothesis to look for evidence to corroborate it. None has been found and so our conclusions are to doubt it. From the absence of corroborative evidence, we estimate that less than 23%, at the 95% confidence level, of the 11-year cycle change in the globally averaged cloud cover observed in solar cycle 22 is due to the change in the rate of ionization from the solar modulation of cosmic rays.

        1. And then, for counterpoint, these …
          The possible physical linkage between galactic cosmic rays intensity and the Earth’s cloud cover is discussed using the analysis of the first indirect aerosol effect (Twomey effect) and its experimental representation as the dependence of average cloud droplet effective radius on aerosol index characterizing the aerosol concentration in the atmospheric air column of unit section. It is shown that the basic kinetic equation of the Earth’s climate energy-balance model is described by the bifurcation equation (with respect to the temperature of the Earth’s surface) in the form of fold catastrophe with two governing parameters defining the variations of insolation and Earth’s magnetic field (or galactic cosmic rays intensity in the atmosphere), respectively. The principle of hierarchical climatic models construction, which consists in the structural invariance of balance equations of these models evolving on the different time scales, is described. It means that if the system of equations of multizonal weather model correctly guesses” physics of process, such a system convoluted in the certain way into the balance equation of onezonal model practically completely repeats the structure and properties (governing parameters) of global climate model on the intermediate (millennial) time scale and long (millionth) time scale. ”
          The solution of the energy-balance model of the Earth’s global climate proposed in Ref. [1] is compared with well-known experimental data on the palaeotemperature evolution of Earth’s surface over past 420 kyr and 740 kyr obtained in the framework of Antarctic projects the EPICA Dome C and Vostok. The Solar-Earth mechanism of anomalous temperature jumps observed in the EPICA Dome C and Vostok experiments and its relation with the order-chaos” transitions in convection evolution in the liquid Earth core responsible to the mechanism of the Earth magnetic field inversions was discussed. The stabilizing role of the slow nuclear burning on the boundary of the liquid and solid phases of the Earth’s core (georeactor with power of 30 TW) for convection evolution in the liquid Earth’s core and hence in the Earth’s magnetic field evolution is pointed out. ”

          1. And this criticism of the Sloan and Wolfendale paper.
            Sloan and Wolfendale raise three points in their analysis. Although I certainly respect the authors (Arnold Wolfendale is very well known for his contributions to the subjects of cosmic rays and high energy astrophysics, he was even the astronomer royal, and for good reasons), their present critique rests on several faulty assumptions. Here I explain why each of the three arguments raised cannot be used to discredit the cosmic-ray/climate link.

        2. Yes there are passionate arguments about effects of clouds. We are not even sure if their effect is net positive or negative. But that does not change the reality of AGW, because we know well limits on significance of cloud effects from the Earth history.
          Therefore arguing about GCR/cloud formation with respect to AGW is confused.

      3. Jim is not the slightest bit confused, nor is he cherry-picking data. Was James Hansen not pushing climate alarmism in 1971, only it was global cooling?

        1. Lynne – He was predicting catastrophe in 1988 also.
          Oct 23, 2001 – While doing research 12 or 13 years ago, I met Jim Hansen, the scientist who in 1988 predicted the greenhouse effect before Congress. I went over to the window with him and looked out on Broadway in New York City and said, If what you’re saying about the greenhouse effect is true, is anything going to look different down there in 20 years?” He looked for a while and was quiet and didn’t say anything for a couple seconds. Then he said, “Well, there will be more traffic.” I, of course, didn’t think he heard the question right. Then he explained, “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change.” Then he said, “There will be more police cars.” Why? “Well, you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up.””
          Hmmm … sure seems NYC is still intact, at least not affected by climate change. You really can’t believe anything this man says.

  16. Rod, I think you’ve made a number of mistakes here.
    I don’t disbelieve global warming, or that CO2 is a (and probably the) major human contribution to it, but the science doesn’t support alot of the Romm-esque alarmism that has taken over the debate.
    It is intellectually dishonest to attribute specific weather events – hot or cold – to global warming or to claim they falsify global warming. It was dishonest for alarmists to blame AGW for the reduced summer arctic ice extent a few years ago, and it’s dishonest for skeptics to say recovering summer ice extents disprove AGW. Kevin Trenberth was dishonest to claim AGW played some part in Katrina. Dishonest and malicious. He knew better, but he couldn’t resist the chance to get press time as an activist rather than a scientist.
    When “scientists say” global warming leads to blizzards, you can be sure either the scientists aren’t scientists at all, or are acting as PR men rather than scientists. It rains in the winter all the time in your area – those rainstorms would be snowstorms if there were cold air ramming into the warm fronts. Is global warming going to increase or decrease the cold air in your weather systems?
    Those non-scientists cherrypick one model run that shows increases and ignore the model runs that show decreases. They’re not interested in truth, they’re engaged in fear mongering.
    The AGW alarmists are the ones running PR websites paid for by fossil fuel interests.
    You can’t point to a penny from big oil or king coal that funds the main insurgent/skeptic blogs.
    Why should you believe James Hansen can’t make a mistake?
    Or that there are problems in the data he’s being given on which to run his simulations?
    Or that his pride in what he’s created in decades of work could blind him to deficiencies in it?
    Do you really believe polar bears will go extinct if summer arctic sea ice goes away? It’s a fairy tale, not science.
    Likewise the nonsense about Africa losing 50% of its agriculture in the next decade.
    Likewise the alarmism about 20 foot tidal waves caused by Greenland’s ice jumping up and diving into the Atlantic Ocean.
    Likewise the garbage about malaria spreading back to places that have learned how to eradicate it.
    There is a solid case to be made that our dumping of CO2 into the biosphere is changing global climate and that we need to move to nuclear power to reduce our CO2 emissions as much as possible while spreading a modern standard of living to the entire world. That case does not require demonizing heretics, and it does not require siding with vested interests against insurgent researchers.

    1. While it is incorrect to attribute any particular weather event to climate change, we know for fact that warmer air holds more moisture, therefore the frequency of extreme weather events such as heavy floods or heavy snowfalls is expected to increase because of AGW. This is similar to temperature extremes: there will still be cold weather extremes in a warmer climate, just less than usual; while there will be more than usual hot weather extremes.
      Most of what you write about the climate change impacts is in error. Our understanding does not rely on models, but primarily on observations of climate changes in the past, and the current one. The impact on species is hard to predict, however we know that the poleward habitat migration forced on species by AGW is already faster than ever was in major extinction events, and accelerating. What is more, humans placed many barriers to migration of species.
      Again I would suggest to read Hansen’s book.
      As for the real impacts of climate change as predicted by science, instead of your “fairy tales”, “nonsense”, “alarmist” and “garbage” – see here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/Peer-reviewed-impacts-of-global-warming.html

  17. Didn’t know about the “Fluffy Cloud” did you? Well, talk to the Astronauts or better yet to JPL NASA. We just launched a Solar probe to investigate some strange changes taking place on the Sun. Hex patterns on Saturn and Jupiter at the north poles are a dead gavaway to scalar resonance in slightly magnetic water ice crystals in cloud tops. The major problem is not here guys but up there! The only problem here is the speed at which our paradigm changes based upon what we know which is apparently confined to CO2 and the disappearing ocean thermalcline due to fresh acidic surface water. Did anyone consider the fact we are a fragile little spec subject to scalar resonance from deep space? I would really like to see a more in depth discussion of larger forces at work driving the largest changes. Rod is right about acidic oceans and CO2 could go much higher than current levels but more important is how CO2 is distributed in weather patterns and convection columns. Average CO2 does not define the real CO2 issue. Nuclear power in the event of an ICE AGE will sustain a larger population better than almost any other energy with the exception of geothermal. What ICE AGE? Just step outside for a minute.

    1. Interestingly enough, we in central New England haven’t gotten nearly any snow this year. It’s been a little chilly, but snow…? We’ve heard that there’s plenty down in DC, but very little here. Weird weather, whatever’s causing it. Then they’re trucking snow into Vancouver this year…kind of like carrying coal to Newcastle.

  18. Rod, as someone who has a great deal of respect for your opinions, I really hope that you will read the blogs that Jim has recommended. They are science-based and a great many climate professionals post on them. Then take the time to read some of the Climategate emails, especially the Harry read me file. They expose a concerted effort on the part of a small group of climate scientists to rig the peer review system, as well as some very serious issues with the quality of the data being used. This is not how real science is done, and if we are to make fundamental changes to our society, then we need science that has been tainted by greed or agendas. The IPCC is unravelling, with even groups like Greenpeace calling for the resignation of Dr. Pachauri. So read both sides before you make up your mind.

  19. I would ask those who oppose AGW: Why shouldn’t we undertake rational actions to ensure that AGW doesn’t occur? Merely because you might believe that you’re not going to die tomorrow doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take out a life insurance policy to ensure your family is provided for if you do.
    If AGW is correct, and we go nuclear in a large way, we’ve dodged a bullet.
    If AGW is incorrect, and we go nuclear in a large way, we’ve just created hundreds of thousands of permanent jobs, encouraged science, educated a new generation of engineers, fertilized industry, jump-started innovation, cut ourselves off from energy supplies in hostile nations (such as Venezuela and the Middle East), reduced pollution, and made the world a better place to live.
    This can include fossil fuel companies, especially those with the foresight to engage in coal to liquids research along with carbon sequestration (using nuclear heat sources), and biologically based replacements for fossil fuels – using light and heat generated by nuclear power during the night and the winter. Instead of sending your profits to Tehran and Caracas, why not keep them here at home and employ Americans in slightly more labor and capital intensive processes – but ones that you keep more of the profits from? Ones that create long-term shareholder value – rather than requiring continuing exploration all the time?
    In any event, America wins. So what’s there to wait for?

    1. Dave, it is not that people who question the accuracy of AGW science are promoting pollution and the burning of fossil fuels, it is that we are demanding that the self-serving interests who have hijacked the environmental movement be removed from the equation, so that we can get a clear picture of what really is happening. Are the temperature fluctuations part of a natural cycle, or are emissions contributing to warming? Did you notice at Copenhagen, most of the talk was about MONEY. Did you notice the large number of corporations there? When you have dictators like Hugo Chavez demanding “climate justice” (money for nothing), questions have to be raised. The changes proposed by the IPCC would do little to change the total amount of emissions, as industry in the western world would just relocate to China and other countries that refuse to comply with emissions reduction mandates. What they would do is divert money from legitimate means of cleaning up our environment, like replacing fossil fuels with nuclear power, and enrich corporations and the financial institutions who would administer the carbon trading market. Look at the fraud happening now in the carbon markets in Europe. Put our money into cleaning up our water and air, but do it in a viable fashion and based on solid scientific evidence. Rod often discusses why nuclear is being sidelined when it is emissions free and makes perfect sense. It is because energy decisions are no longer being made with the public good as the first consideration. The energy supply plan is being driven by corporate and political agendas, often by some the same groups that brought you the global economic meltdown.

    2. I agree with many of your assertions about the actions being taken to supposedly counter AGW are not productive and are really giveaways to the special interests.
      Based on the available evidence, I think that AGW is happening. Based on the available evidence, I think carbon dioxide emissions are causing AGW (along with other greenhouse gasses, such as sulfur hexafluoride, and radiative forcing inducing materials, such as soot, etc.). I have no broader agenda than trying to stop AGW.
      With this being said, I don’t think any of the proposals on the political table internationally will do much to stop AGW. I think very few on the table domestically will do much to stop AGW (aside from increasing nuclear power). We are not tackling AGW in the correct way.
      I agree that Hugo Chavez is using AGW as an method of rent-seeking from first world nations (along with the usual suspects from the Non-Aligned Movement); I agree carbon credit markets (and the very idea of carbon credits – a politically constructed commodity) are full of waste, fraud, and abuse, combined with the worst elements of banksterism, bubble-ism and cronyism; I agree that China and the rest of the rapidly developing nations need to grow in a way that doesn’t doom the rest of us – this is because right now they are doing so; if they’re non-compliant – and we are – shouldn’t we take steps to protect American industry from unfair competition from nations without carbon limits?
      The proper way to tackle AGW is a scientific and engineering mobilization to find ways to shift away from carbon while achieving minimal disruption of the economy. This would be coupled with a modest carbon tax, starting at a very low level in 2020 or so, that gradually increases until the desired reductions are achieved combined with a dividend, which would come directly to every energy consumer (including businesses). We would impose carbon tariffs on the imports of non-compliant nations (China) to prevent them from gaining unfair leverage over our carbon-limited economy; they would reflect the carbon emissions in every good and service imported, plus a penalty of around 25% for non-compliance, or so. (I think we should go further than that, and impose a general tariff on their imports to prevent American jobs from going to countries that don’t have labor standards similar to ours, but that’s an issue for another day.)
      Rod often discusses why nuclear is being sidelined when it is emissions free and makes perfect sense. It is because energy decisions are no longer being made with the public good as the first consideration.
      This I agree with. The problem here is that every little special interest has to get their little fingers into the pie so as to extract a rent, an expropriation, from the remainder of us who punch a timeclock or make a salary while we all rush about trying to solve the problems of today, achieve a decent life, provide for our families, try to help others, be charitable and generous, do the right thing, make our Republic stronger, perfect our union, etc. Kind of like so many other things, that by the time that the rent-seekers get their pound of flesh out of every bill passed to advance the public interest, the public gets very little. It’s why the system is broken: results are no longer delivered in the quantity they should be because a good portion of every bill to support the public good is wasted by special interests. This speaks to a broader problem I have with what might be termed “interest group liberalism”: in order to get anything done to serve the public good, you have to buy off the rent-seekers – who then consume so much of the pie in total that the general public is left with crumbs.
      I would contrast “interest group liberalism” with broad, “public good liberalism” that served our nation so well from the 1930s to the early 1970s…and then the idea of the public good went out the window in favor of the idea that “greed is good”… since then, America has been in decline.
      Where did we go wrong? And how can it be fixed? I don’t know. Nobody does.

  20. After reading some of these comments, I feel some of the essential points are lost amongst the bickering.
    For example, lets say we know that climate change is not happening for arguments sake. Now that it’s “settled”, how then would anyone go about reversing the “awareness” of climate change that has reached the far corners of the globe? What’s the message then? “Hey folks, guess what, all the scientists are wrong, there is no climate change and you can go about your usual business, have a nice day.” Do you think everyone would buy that after hearing what they’ve heard for the last ten years? No, convincing millions of people otherwise would be a very difficult task indeed.
    Still assuming climate change is wrong, is it then still a good idea to continue producing energy the way we are now? Probably not. If we are going to change how we produce energy, hopefully it will allow us to keep the same lifestyle we’ve become accustomed to and better yet if it can improve other’s lifestyles with less pollution. Energy companies are the most powerful companies in the world, anything that might upset that power is going to be met with stiff and clever opposition.
    Nuclear advocates are in the somewhat precarious position of having to “go with the flow” on the climate change issue. If we come to the discussion table and say “go nuclear because it have all these wonderful advantages, oh and by the way climate change is B.S.”, then the opposition’s response would be and should be a predictable “well, then you’re really not relevant to the conversation then are you, the technology you advocate is dangerous and you don’t respect our values”.
    So the way I look at this issue is that it really doesn’t matter if climate change theory is correct or not, the shift to change our entire energy system is still in its infancy. Nuclear energy is very fortunate to have many passionate advocates, just as passionate as renewable advocates, and it had better use all of its marketing advantages now if it wants to gain a solid foothold on the future. The game is on, so get in the game. I’m not saying you have to sacrifice your value for truth in science or give in by saying the debate is over, but I am saying that some people come across as pedantic jerks trying to score points where it doesn’t matter. Thus, Rod’s point of the need to take effective action is a very good one.
    I think the lesson here for some people is learning which battles to pick. Choosing the wrong ones can easily undermine the sales pitch.

    1. Jason – While I do agree that, right or wrong, the global warming hypothesis could be good for nuclear. But we will pay a huge price in the form of taxes and loss of freedom if the government acts to curb CO2 emissions. It is far better to fight the battle for nuclear power on its own merits, without adding momentum to the political underpinnings. If you study this for a while, you will find that the UN is drooling over a carbon tax that it collect directly, out of the control of member countries. A secure funding source that can’t easily be cut off is something they have wanted for a long time. For us in the US, it would be back to taxation without representation. The UN doesn’t even have a Freedom of Information Act. And personally, I don’t want the US to be subordinate to the UN as a world government. I want the US to remain sovereign. It is unfortunate that global warming science has been hijacked by governments that want to achieve control, but that is the sad fact of the matter. It is difficult to stick with the science when politics and other issues are so intimately tied to it. But ultimately, that is what we need to do; stick with the science and let the rest work itself out. Ultimately, that will be the best all round solution.

    2. Jason – I’ve got to ask, why even mention climate change at all?
      There are many reasons to advocate nuclear power, and “climate change” is just about the weakest argument out there. I suppose that it is a useful talking point to get a few environmental extremists on board, but let’s be realistic — we’re not going to get most, or even many, of them to change their minds. Opposing nuclear is combination of quasi-religion and profitable business for the environmental extreme.
      As for the public at large — those who have not drank the green kool-aid — Global Warming is on the way out. Less than half of Americans now “think global warming is caused mostly by human activities.” In fact, Global Warming now ranks at the very bottom of the public’s policy priorities, and it’s importance in the mind of the public has been dropping (down 26%) for the last four years that the Pew Research Center has been tracking it.
      Is this a winning issue? I don’t think so, so I say ignore it.

      1. Brian, I see your point and trying to connect the dots of climate change -> CO2 production -> CO2 prevention -> nuclear is your answer, is not a good strategy, nor could it offer any guarantees to “cure” it, no technology can. However, the most CO2 producing countries who already burn a lot of coal already have nuclear (Australia excepted) so if curbing CO2 emissions is the goal, then going nuclear is a no-brainer. At least it should be.
        Those who hate nuclear constantly say it cannot be deployed fast enough to make a difference while ignoring the fact that wind and solar make no difference already. They are competing for the very same incentives, tax breaks and so on as everyone else in the energy business, so why not use their own arguments against them if they bring it up? And they will.
        Simply touting the fact that nuclear has no emissions is a big selling point alone, no need to go further than that. If that is good enough for laws to be passed in favor of nuclear then all the better. Nuclear can create a lot of jobs too and jobs on the periphery of the projects as well, another big selling point. I’ve seen some of the recent polls you point out and given the political atmosphere right now, I think we won’t see any major push any carbon pricing schemes any time soon.

        1. Jason – I’m a member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS). Perhaps you’d like to take a look at the ANS’s position statement on reducing carbon emissions (pdf).
          Personally, I think that it’s a very well drafted position statement. I can’t find anything there that I don’t enthusiastically support. Note what is missing, however. There is no mention of “global warming” or “climate change” or the IPCC or anything else.
          There’s no need to mention these things. If you think that reducing carbon-dioxide emissions is a priority, then nuclear is your answer, as the position statement points out; if not, then you can ignore this position statement.

    1. I bought three copies of “Power to Save the World” and gave two away. Mainline science does not support AGW – stating it that way would imply a consensus that doesn’t exist. If you simply read the comments here, it is obvious there isn’t one. Also, you need to talk to the people in China and India about burning coal in a dirty manner. They are the ones doing that, not us. With all due respect, I think you are just another hitchhiker on the global warming band wagon, because you appear to be one of those people who believe humans are the bane of the Earth. I happen to like humans.

      1. Mainline science does support AGW rather clearly. Read the statements of Academies of Science, APS, and other professional organizations, claiming: “The emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, among which carbon dioxide is the main contributor, has amplified the natural greenhouse effect and led to global warming. The main contribution stems from burning fossil fuels.” [EPS]; “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes. The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth

        1. Correction: the science is clear *enough* to warrant the above statements confirming the reality of AGW

          1. If the science is all that clear, why is no less than Phil Jones of the Climate Research Unit now saying the science IS NOT SETTLED??? Maybe his conscience got the worst of him.
            Specifically, the Q-and-As confirm what many skeptics have long suspected:
            * Neither the rate nor magnitude of recent warming is exceptional.
            * There was no significant warming from 1998-2009. According to the IPCC we should have seen a global temperature increase of at least 0.2

          2. Here’s more on Jones:
            “Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995
            By Jonathan Petre
            Last updated at 1:51 PM on 14th February 2010
            * Comments (286)
            * Add to My Stories
            * Data for vital ‘hockey stick graph’ has gone missing
            * There has been no global warming since 1995
            * Warming periods have happened before – but NOT due to man-made changes
            Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0fWlbMCwf

          3. “The temperature records cannot be relied upon as indicators of global change,”. John Christy, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Alabama and former lead author of the IPCC

        2. There you go, you just love to appeal to authority, don’t you. Statements made by a handful of members of an organization does not mean the members agree with them, many don’t.

    2. Yes, John, all those transitional fossil forms clearly demonstrate macro-evolution having occurred. Where are the fish-amphibian-reptile-avian fossil record?
      Shake up a box of springs, gears and miscellaneous metals parts and, viola’, out pops a watch! Now let’s try that same trick with sis and trans forms of amino acids to create proteins and DNA.

      1. @docforsight,
        I have wondered for a while how the mechanism for biological evolution worked underwater? It seems to me from reading here, that water is a very effective block for radiation. How did the DNA of aquatic life get bumped around when they were swimming many feet down?
        Is the mechanism adequate for the cause is my question. 🙂
        @ Rod
        thanks so much for allowing this debate on your site. It has been very helpful for me. While still a doubter in AWG I am closer to appreciating the science involved – that is the neutrality of the science. The rent seekers have me deeply concerned. Especially, as some have pointed out, that the cost of energy is a substantial part of the cost of any item. I am deeply concerned with U.S. attempts to cap and trade because it will raise the cost of energy for everyone. I am very pro-small nuke because it has the chance to lower the cost of energy and to bring it to places that traditional fuels are difficult to bring.

  21. Jim, have you read The Deniers, by Solomon? He reviews a number of mechanisms and event of the past that have triggered global warming. I found this to be an informative book. Solomon is unfortunately and anti-nuke. I don’t believe that he presented bias in his reviews of the works of many scientists, so the book really does expand one knowledge of the complex nature of climate study. While no one is maintaining that natural events don’t or won’t precipitate ice ages or global warming, I stlill maintain that rank and file cliamatetologists are backed by good science which they use to warn us of AGW.

    1. John – No, haven’t read “The Deniers.” From what you say, he may be a “denier” as a means to take the steam out of the push for nuclear power. I am for the truth.

  22. Nuclear power is the answer.
    If you are a proponent of Wind power PLEASE read this link. http://www.masterresource.org/2010/02/wind-integration-incremental-emissions-from-back-up-generation-cycling-part-v-calculator-update/
    It brings to light facts that any good electric utility distribution engineer knows. Just because the wind is free and gives you power does not, and I repeat, DOES NOT mean that using wind is CO2 neutral or reducing. The same can be applied to solar. Read the article several times. You will discover that utilities are required (FERC regulation) to have 10% spinning reserve (that means moving/rotating or producing power within seconds in some areas). The unreliability of wind power means that utilities are actually forced to build gas fired generators that will never operate at peak efficiency. And still comply with FERC spinning reserve rules. Most coal and nuclear power plants cannot take a sudden increase in demand exceeding about 5% of their capacity. On top of that, even if they could take the surge, the greatest efficiency is at 95-100% power/load. So they do not have the extra buffer to absorb that surge. That means the most economical solution for providing backup power for wind is gas turbines. That is why TB Pickens wants Wind Power, he knows this and will make a fortune off of his NG reserves, NOT because he is an environmentalist!
    For wind power reliability look at
    You will note, that both of these multi-Gegawatt facilities are producing, for the last week or so, less than 10% of their nameplate capacity. That means that somewhere, a gas turbine is running, producing CO2, to make power, so that someone does not get cold.
    There was ramblings about using “distributed” generation rather than large mega generators. I guess they want these on their property or roof. That only complicates the above problem and adds in the problem of providing heftier distribution lines to all of these facilities.
    20 years ago a co-worker put up a 5kw wind generator on his property. The local IEEE chapter even was impressed and toured his setup. The only reason it lasted 15 years was that he was a electrical maintenance technician (at the local nuclear power plant) and knew how to repair everything that broke. Otherwise, he would have spent twice what he paid for the tower, generator and controller on maintenance of the system, otherwise, he would have lost money. Can you fix a windmill, generator, anti-reversing relay/controller? Do you have an electrical license? What does it cost to get your furnace ready for winter? Well double that for a wind turbine every year. Just like a car, things worked great for the first few years, after that he had to fix something about every 3-4 months. Does anybody ever explain this to the people that spend $20,000-50,000 on a backyard wind generator/solar panel or that say “distributed system are the way to go?” Now that he is retired, he retired his windmill also.

  23. The broad agreement in the scientific community that action must be taken to mitigate climate change has existed for decades.
    I participated with a high level group at the Changing Atmosphere conference in Toronto 1988 that had no difficulty signing off on a statement saying “the earth’s atmosphere is being changed at an unprecedented rate by pollutants resulting from human activities”, that are “a major threat to international security and are already having harmful consequences over many parts of the globe”, “whose ultimate consequences could be second only to a global nuclear war”. We were aiming the statement at heads of state, and at everyone in the world. Bob Watson, the prime mover behind the creation of the IPCC, was there. 400 high level delegates from 40 countries attended. This was before the IPCC was created. The full statement: http://www.cmos.ca/ChangingAtmosphere1988e.pdf
    I mention this to illustrate how long this issue has been staring humanity in the face.
    The IPCC was set up so that all countries could be part of an authoritative assessment of the evidence for climate change. Governments and individuals could know that some of their own nationals who are in the best position to assess, i.e. the best climatologists from their own nation, were on this giant committee and that if something was in an IPCC report, they would know their own people had had a hand in it.
    The US doesn’t have to pay attention to the IPCC necessarily. The NAS was set up by President Lincoln so the the best people in the US could advise their own government. The US provides some of the best data to the climatologists of the world, and some of the best and most recognized scientists in the world are here.
    The National Academy is composed of 2,100 members, 200 of whom hold the Nobel. “Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist or engineer” (from the NAS website). The current president is Ralph Cicerone.
    Take a look at the signature of Cicerone for the NAS on this two page Joint Science Academies statement, read the statement, and you will have a current expression of the views of the NAS.
    The NAS has joined with the science academies of the UK, Japan, Germany, France, Russia, Italy and Canada, India, China, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico in this unprecedented call to world leaders for action on this issue. The statement was presented to each head of state at this years G8.
    If the conclusion that civilization is threatened by the effects of dumping its waste products into the atmosphere is so shaky and the theory full of holes, how does anyone explain the existence of this unprecedented document?
    These days Cicerone is calling for action to preserve the trust between science and society in an editorial in Science mazazine Feb 4 2010. All the supposed controversy and all the noise surrounding the climate change debate does not affect what the state of present knowledge is. He comments on the “climategate” incident: “scientists’ understanding of climate change is undiminished by this incident”.
    By the way, Cicerone has said this in the past, of James Hansen:
    I can’t think of anybody who I would say is better than Hansen. You might argue that there’s two or three others as good, but nobody better.
    Anyone pretending there is serious disagreement among the scientists who know what the evidence is, is deluded or lying.
    Climate “skeptics” who are pro-nuclear might ask themselves, what is the difference between the way I have arrived at my beliefs about climate change and the way people who oppose nuclear power arrive at theirs? Why do I disdain and show such disrespect to the most reputable scientific authorities on the subject?

    1. David Lewis – The IPCC is falling apart right now because much of its “peer reviewed” science came from Greenpeace papers, World Wildlife Fund papers, and even a mountain climbing magazine. There so much wrong with AR4 that the entire IPCC should be disbanded. They are essentially lying to everyone.

      1. They are essentially lying to everyone.
        No, “Jim”, I think that’s you.
        Care to record your real name for posterity?

        1. I would be happy to provide references that demonstrate that IPCC relies on non-peer-reviewed articles. Here we go:
          “Andrew Bolt
          Monday, February 08, 2010 at 03:10pm
          Melbourne University alarmist David Karoly once claimed a rise in the Murray Darling Basin

    2. Google Glaciergate and Afticagate for a start and look at the quality of the information in the IPCC reports. Many of these sources are not peer-reviewed and were written by activists, not scientists. Some of the information sources do not even agree with the conclusions printed in the reports. There is a serious problem with data quality here, and to say that we should just ignore this amd make decisions based on questionable evidence is hardly a prudent way to proceed. We need to get pro-AGW and skeptical scientists to re-examine what raw data remains and the adjustments that were made to the raw figures, and see what the conclusions are. As for saying that there is no disagreement among scientists, I suggest you broaden your reading sources, as there are a great number of eminent scientists who disagree with the AGW theory. Even Bob Watson has recently made critical remarks about the IPCC.

  24. Rich – your FUD is a piece of work.
    1) The Fortran looking stuff in emails was not Fortran but IDL.
    2) All programming languages suffer from rounding errors, not only Fortran.
    3) It is rather trivial to get arbitrary precision in Fortran (unlike in some other languages) http://crd.lbl.gov/~dhbailey/mpdist/
    4) If someone claims it was 3 degrees warmer on Earth few thousands years ago, he is clearly lying, check the record by yourself.
    5) IBM’s Deep Blue (as well as all other supercomputers) do run Fortran of course, check it out for yourself.
    6) Nuclear industry, nuclear safety, and many nuclear applications rely on Fortran. What do you think MCNP, SCALE, etc. are written in?
    Summary -> those who talk trash about Fortran are know-nothing quiche eaters. Real men do use Fortran to cook their breakfast, to please their lover, and of course to do their accounting (if they do it at all).

    1. ABison – Actually, there were both IDL and Fortran files, as well as AWK programs. I see nothing wrong with using FORTRAN as long as one realizes its limitations – just as for any programming language.

    2. 3) It is rather trivial to get arbitrary precision in Fortran (unlike in some other languages) http://crd.lbl.gov/~dhbailey/mpdist/ – I know that , you know that, the warmests know that, BUT does the average politician know that?
      4) If someone claims it was 3 degrees warmer on Earth few thousands years ago, he is clearly lying, check the record by yourself I have, or would not have posted that number.
      Do not trust Wikipedia for honest climate data.
      Try these – (or look at anything on the web that does not have wiki… in it, The Warmers are trying to change history. Any good geologist will tell you the plant growth came from a warm climate.)
      http://esp.cr.usgs.gov/research/alaska/PDF/KaufmanAger2004QSR.pdf – provides ->
      The timing of the HTM varied spatially, but the increase in temperature relative to present was about the same around the western Arctic. At the 16 terrestrial sites where quantitative estimates have been reported, temperatures (mainly summer estimates) were 1.670.8_C higher during the HTM than present (approximately the average 20th century). Although the data are sparse, warming in northeast North America appears to have been similar in magnitude to the eastern Beringian sector, relative to modern conditions, [I believe 1.67 X 1.8 is close to 3.]
      And, now from Dr. Phil Jones mouth, himself.
      6) Nuclear industry, nuclear safety, and many nuclear applications rely on Fortran. What do you think MCNP, SCALE, etc. are written in? I know that also, and that there is better Nuclear Reactor Transisnt and Safety analysis programs (And have used them.)

      1. Interestingly I didnt find anything in your references which would support your claims. Yes it was warmer, in summer and only in the northern hemisphere, ~1.5C warmer than 1961 – 1990 average, perhaps as high as 2-3C above 1961-1990 average. (global average temp was about the same as around 1900). No one is arguing that. To see a brief period of global temp +3C, you need to look much farther, before there was any sign of human civilization. For stable temp +3C you need to go back yet further, before the era of Homo Sapiens.
        And I do not trust Wikipedia, but I do trust several independent peer reviewed reconstructions, which the Wikipedia happens to quote.

    3. Post script – And by the way, NO program, NONE, can be used for Nuclear Reactor Safety/Transient analysis (regardless of the language they are written in) UNLESS independently verified with a completely different program ( by a different company) AND approved by the NRC. A COMPLETE analysis, including numerous sensitivity runs, including multiple iterations and variations, etc., etc., is also included. (and I think you knew that before you posted. The NRC devotes a whole chapter of 10 CFR to the requirements.) And the CRU has independently verified their model? – I don’t think so and you, as I, probably know that too. The e-mails indicate that they collaborated-not independently verified their programs. Is that how you do safety analysis work? We are not talking about a college demonstration of how a reactor works, we are talking about the global climate and attaching a penalty for all use of carbon!.

      1. Yeah, the QA (quality assurance) demands placed on codes certified for nuclear safety and those placed on “climate models” (GCM’s) are like night and day. In fact, I think that it’s safe to say that there are no QA demands placed on climate models.
        The GCM developers tweak the various knobs of the models (i.e., modeling parameters) to get their results to match the historical data reasonably well (how well is determined by the modelers themselves; usually the standards are rather loose), and they do some code-to-code comparisons with other models. That’s it. That’s all they do. In certain parts of the modeling world, that’s considered incredibly weak.
        At least one knows how good a meteorological model is within a couple of days. With a climate model … well … I suppose that someone will know 100 years from now, after we’re all long dead. 😉
        Hansen’s claims of “climate catastrophe” rest heavily on the results of these climate models. If nuclear safety was based on models such as these, I’d be anti-nuclear too.

      2. Yes I am aware that NRC created an Vogon-like environment where no progress can ever happen on human time scales. Good for coal and gas sellers! I’m surprised by your Vogon salute though.
        Fortunately in science there is very efficient peer review. Indeed there are plenty of different codes which model the same underlying physics (with different emphasis on various phenomena, and independently written), so there is plenty opportunity for cross checks. Every serious model also has to be able to “predict” recorded climate data.
        Most importunately you are in error claiming that Hansen’s claim of climate catastrophe rest heavily on the results of these climate models. Wrong! The claim rests heavily on observations of the records of past climate changes on Earth. We do not need models for that per se. Models do provide additional evidence and strengthen the argument however. Again – Read the Hansen’s book.

        1. Nonsense. The QA requirements for codes used for nuclear safety are not keeping real work from being done. I can imagine some valuable improvements that could be made to the NRC, but the QA procedures for codes are not one of them. They’re just good practices when getting the correct answer matters.
          So Hansen doesn’t rely on computer codes, eh? So I guess that GISS can now retire modelE. 😉
          But I forgot, this is Hansen, the True Believer. He probably gets his knowledge from divine inspiration; of course no models are needed. We mere mortals, however, must rely on evidence.
          Seriously, however, the IPCC’s latest report uses models to put the “A” in “AGW.” That is, the evidence that they provide to support the claim that recent warming is man made is that their models “reproduce” the recent temperature record only when anthropogenic forcings are included, they do not when these forcings are left out.
          There are only a handful of models that are sophisticated enough to be used for this. “Toy” models do not include enough feedbacks and relevant phenomena to make the results meaningful for anything non-trivial. The IPCC used five models to obtain the results mentioned above. These models are not as independent as you like to imply. Besides, when a model has as many adjustable parameters as these do, it’s not very difficult for the developers to “tune” their model to match the results of another model or to match a particular set of data, especially when one has to match only one set of data. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that the tuned model is an accurate representation of reality.

    4. Here is a recent peer-reviewed study with proof of higher temperatures during the MWP in Canada’s Columbia Icefield.
      …it can be seen that the peak-winter temperature of the Medieval Climate Anomaly–or Medieval Warm Period…was warmer than peak temperature of the Current Warm Period…Hence, it is becoming even more clear that recent temperatures around the world have not been unprecedented” over the past one to two millenia, as climate alarmists typically claim they have.”

      1. Rich – again, please read the links you paste here, as they do not support your claims. To the contrary indeed: ”
        In summary, the mid-Holocene, roughly 6,000 years ago, was generally warmer than today, but only in summer and only in the northern hemisphere. More over, we clearly know the cause of this natural warming, and know without doubt that this proven “astronomical” climate forcing mechanism cannot be responsible for the warming over the last 100 years.”

        1. I do read the links I post. The statement “and only in the northern hemisphere” is disputed by geologists. The statement ” More over, we clearly know the cause of this natural warming, ” is also disputed. Look at geology sites not AGW sites – Again Wikipedia has been heavily edited by the AGW crowd.
          In my mind it is illogical for the northern hemisphere to be 3+ F degrees warmer for 5-6,000 years and the southern hemisphere to stay the same or be colder. I am an engineer, not a climatologist, andthat just does not make sense.
          Anyway, all of the links were to refute your claim ” If someone claims it was 3 degrees warmer on Earth few thousands years ago, he is clearly lying,” not to explain the effects of CO2 on the global temperature. It clearly was 3 degrees warmer, and the links I provided indicate this.
          I feel that SOME of the warming MAY be caused by CO2. BUT the AGW crowd is over-hyping the problem and NOT looking at several other potential causes, e.g., solar radiation, sunspots, the earth’s magnetic flux, etc. etc. 10 years ago they said “we might find a “Black Hole” in our life time. Now these same scientists say that every galaxy has a black hole in its center. We know zilch, about the gigantic fusion reactor that that we call the SUN. Is it a coincidence that the present cooling and el Ni

  25. No, they are not Real Programmers.
    Real Programmers don’t write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who wear white socks. They get excited over finite element analysis and nuclear reactor simulations.
    Real Programmers scorn floating point arithmetic. The decimal point was invented for pansy bedwetters who are unable to “think big.”

    1. This is, of course, correct, Brian. Who cares about those silly floating point numbers. Real men don’t split hairs or use floats. They drop the negative sign, round up, truncate, and leave the whining over precision to the pansies. After all, a K-effective of 2 is nearly twice as good as a K-effective of 1.001, right?

  26. Hi. I haven’t followed all of this, but I do like this posting because it is directly focused on the attacks on climate studies. If fifteen people have already referred to it, forgive me. I read through the comments fairly quickly and could have missed the ones that refer to this post. As you can imagine, I am up to my neck in Vermont Yankee stuff. We are all up to our necks, alas.

    1. Real Climate is the spin machine for the Hockey Team: Gavin Schmidt, Micheal Mann, Phil Jones, etc – commonly know as the Hockey Team. You can’t believe what they say. They were involved in Climategate and some are under investigation.

      1. You can’t believe what they say
        Actually, I can; and I think Jim knows that this capability is widespread. Thus, he is lying.
        Perhaps I missed the part where, two or three years hence, neighbours of, say, Jim Q. Abbott of Poughskeepsie, if that is who he really is, can look up what he said on the net, and he can’t claim those lies were posted by some other Jim. Why should anyone waste time contending with a will-o’-the-wisp? He must stand up and be counted.

        1. G.R.I Cowan, do you ever get around to making a point, or do you just come on blogs to harass people by threatening to ‘expose’ their names? You must not have any valid points to make. Enrich the shared knowledge by pointing us to research or give us a possible solution.

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