Stern Review

The Stern Review has been published today here . I don’t intend to spend much time on it, but others may wish to comment. I noticed that he cited Hansen’s “Warmest in a Milllll-yun Years” article as authority for the claim that it was the warmest in 12,000 years. It s frustrating when policy recommendations are based in part on sophomoric splices like Hansen’s.


145 Comments

  1. MarkR
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    The fact is the “warmers”, the Hockey Team, Hansen, Curry, etc have been allowed to dominate the published record over the last several years.

    However much they have been shown, off the record, so to speak, to be wrong, or at the very least questionable, the powers that be are able to rely on incorrect published papers.

    This is more than frustrating, it is disastrous, as we British are about to find out.

    Colossal redirection of resources to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

    I do hope some scientists who can get published, or at the very least get media attention speak up now. Any further delay will do real damage, as these resources are needed to solve real problems. It’s got past the stage of being an academic exercise.

  2. Jim Edwards
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    I thought this quote from the “science” section of the report was interesting:

    ” The accuracy of climate predictions is limited by computing power. This, for example, restricts the scale of detail of models, meaning that small-scale processes must be included through highly simplified calculations. It is important to continue the active research and development of more powerful climate models to reduce the remaining uncertainties in climate projections.” [page 8, HS stuff on page 6]

    This sounds like a reasonable explanation for why there should be more funding for modellers (Assumes, of course, that physics are modelled correctly..), but I get the sense that the author believes it would be possible to predict what the Queen will have for lunch on her birthday – if only we had a big enough computer to do the calculation.

  3. fFreddy
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    Mentor of Arisia rides again …

  4. Dane
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    I think it is too late. The train has left the station… All you can do is get off the tracks.

  5. Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

    I don’t intend to spend much time on it, but others may wish to comment.

    I think you should. Here’s the spaghetti graph on Page 6 of Part 1

    It’s fuzzy in the original but you can see all the old favourites represented:

    Overpeck, Jones 98, Mann 99, Crowley, Briffa, Esper.

    The box that surrounds it says the following:

    Box 1.1 The “Hockey Stick” Debate.
    Much discussion has focused on whether the current trend in rising global temperatures is
    unprecedented or within the range expected from natural variations. This is commonly referred to as the “Hockey Stick” debate as it discusses the validity of figures that show sustained temperatures for around 1000 years and then a sharp increase since around 1800 (for example, Mann et al. 1999, shown as a purple line in the figure below).
    Some have interpreted the “Hockey Stick” as definitive proof of the human influence on climate. However, others have suggested that the data and methodologies used to produce this type of figure are questionable (e.g. von Storch et al. 2004), because widespread, accurate temperature records are only available for the past 150 years. Much of the temperature record is recreated from a range of “proxy’ sources such as tree rings, historical records, ice cores, lake sediments and corals.

    Climate change arguments do not rest on “proving” that the warming trend is unprecedented over the past Millennium. Whether or not this debate is now settled, this is only one in a number of lines of evidence for human induced climate change. The key conclusion, that the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will lead to several degrees of warming, rests on the laws of physics and chemistry and a broad range of evidence beyond one particular graph.

    Reconstruction of annual temperature changes in the Northern Hemisphere for the past millennium using a range of proxy indicators by several authors. The figure suggests that the sharp increase in global temperatures since around 1850 has been unprecedented over the past millennium. Source: IDAG (2005)

    Recent research, for example from the Ad hoc detection and attribution group (IDAG), uses a wider range of proxy data to support the broad conclusion that the rate and scale of 20th century warming is greater than in the past 1000 years (at least for the Northern Hemisphere). Based on this kind of analysis, the US National Research Council (2006)11 concluded that there is a high level of confidence that the global mean surface temperature during the past few decades is higher than at any time over the preceding four centuries. But there is less confidence beyond this. However, they state that in some regions the warming is unambiguously shown to be unprecedented over the past millennium.

    No mention of your work, but you’re used to slights like this, aren’t you Steve?

  6. Tom Brogle
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

    YES
    We British are going to carry the can,like the Californians. Industry will emigrate to India and China and we all will be poorer.
    Hopefully the weather will prove them wrong before they reduce CO2

  7. cbone
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    Mmmm.. Mmmm.. That’s some mighty tasty Cherry Pie served up by the Brits today. I thought that Brits couldn’t cook.

    CB

  8. David H
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    I ran a search. In the whole report there are 607 instances of the letter sequence “model” which includes models and modelling and so forth. There are 43 instances of the letter sequence “observ” which includes observed, and observation. It is pretty clear where he is coming from.

  9. Jeff Weffer
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    One interesting comment from the Stern Review is that GHGs have increased from 280 ppm to 430 ppm CO2 equivalent (with CO2 at 380 ppm and other GHGs making up the difference to 430 ppm.)

    The increase in GHGs is equivalent to an increase of 54%. We should be seeing much more increase in temperatures than we have seen with those numbers if global warming theory is correct.

    So which is wrong then. The increase in GHG equivalents or the global warming theory.

  10. Proxy
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

    Tony Blair said this at the launch of the Stern Review today.

    Some will always make a case for doubt in an issue such as this, partly because its implications are so frightening. But what is not in doubt is that the scientific evidence of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions is now overwhelming. It is not in doubt that if the science is right, the consequences for our planet are literally disastrous. And this disaster is not set to happen in some science fiction future, many years ahead, but in our lifetime.”

    Brilliantly subtle caveat or just mangled logic?

    Hint: He studied law at Oxford

  11. Steve Bloom
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    Hansen “sophomoric”? Let’s see (from an online dictionary):

    soph·o·mor·ic (sf-màƒⳲk, -mr-, -mr-)
    adj.
    1. Of or characteristic of a sophomore.
    2. Exhibiting great immaturity and lack of judgment: sophomoric behavior.

    Why, it’s an insult! But just out of curiosity, does that sort of characterization accomplish anything other than to a) make you feel better and b) toss a bit of red meat to the cheerleaders?

    Possibly I should collect a page of such remarks from you (there are lots more) and hand them out to the attendees at the AGU session.

  12. EP
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Re: #10 Yes, the caveat is all you need to know the man is an economist. Given A then B follows. Poor statistical analysis has spawned an entire industry of what-ifs.

  13. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    #11. Well, Steve Bloom – how would you characterize the splice? Do you think that it was well -presented or documented in a sophisticated way?

  14. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    Re #11 – **Possibly I should collect a page of such remarks from you (there are lots more) and hand them out to the attendees at the AGU session.** Steve B – Yes, you can stand on the street corner. Why don’t you write a paper on the spelling of “Milllll-yun Years” and present it?
    Re #9 – **The increase in GHGs is equivalent to an increase of 54%. We should be seeing much more increase in temperatures than we have seen with those numbers if global warming theory is correct.**
    Sure, we saw how much Global Warming increased the hurricanes this year. How close was it to 54%???

  15. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    re: #11

    Trollish: posting on a blog solely for the purpose of sirring up trouble.

    So what was the purpose of your post? Ahhh. You’re trying to stir up trouble.

    Go away, Troll.

  16. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    It’s frustrating when policy recommendations are based in part on sophomoric splices like Hansen’s.

    I’ll stand by that remark. I’m not saying that it’s not possible to present good reasons for the policies. Just that the Hansen splice isn’t one of them. Remember Gerry North saying about the Hockey Stick that it’s a good idea for scientific papers to be seasoned. Policy bodies should not jump on some study that is a couple of months hot off the press, like Hansen’s. I haven’t seen any substantive rebuttal to my criticism of Hansen’s splice.

  17. bender
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    Re #13
    That splice, I would say, indicates immaturity and lack of judgment. Let’s look that up in the thesaurus …

  18. Jaye Bass
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    Amateurish is likely the better word.

  19. bender
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    Is “amateurish” less or more insulting than “sophomoric”?

  20. Jaye Bass
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    Definitely more descriptive or maybe naive would do…though naivety would presuppose no malice aforethought.

  21. EP
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Just to put things into political context here: the new Conservative leader has been pushing the Green agenda in the UK. Labour has just raised the ante. All three main parties are keen to look Green.

    I don’t see any sound counter arguments persuading them that Green taxation (to off-set other taxes) is a pointless gesture.

  22. Paul Penrose
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    Just like Steve Bloom to twist the meaning of something. In case anybody did not notice, Steve M. was characterizing some of Hansen’s work (in this case the splice) as ‘sophomoric’, not Hansen himself. There’s a huge difference. Remember, smart people can do stupid things.

  23. Steve Bloom
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    Re #13: Steve M., words like “unsupported” or “unjustified” would appear to represent your position without shading into insult.

    Re #14: FYI, Gerald, I’m an AGU member and like any other member can pay to attend on any given day, so no street corner.

    Re #15: Dave, I would have to say that the use of “sophomoric” constituted the trolling, wouldn’t you?

  24. Mark T
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

    Unfortunately, the news blurbs highlight the “successes” of nations that are not growing economically (at least not relative to the US). The US will suffer much more than such places under “green taxation.”

    Mark

  25. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    Steve B,

    One last, undoubtedly futile, remark. Steve’s post was to get people to look at he Stern Report if they wished to. Yours was to waste people’s time. Even if we granted the possiblity that the owner of a blog can act trollishly, this wasn’t an example. Steve described his opinion of an action by Hansen but had no desire or need to discuss him on this thread since he already has a thread on the subject.

    There’s no doubt that Steve has no very high opinion of Hansen, Mann, and any number of other self-important people, but what is the point of your coming here endlessly telling him he’s not allowed to insult eminently insult-able people? Presumably it’s not because you enjoy being insulted too? And presumably too, you’re not doing so because you’re paid by Hansen or Mann to uphold their honor. So what purpose does it have except to waste people’s time? Anyway, end of conversation.

  26. Jaye Bass
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    I don’t believe its possible to be a troll on your own blog. Trolls are by definition outsiders.

  27. Jeff Weffer
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    Rleated to my post above, did you know that the OTHER GHGs (methane, nitrous oxide and various CFCs) have actually stabilized in recent years and have begun declining.

    Methane in the atmosphere stablized around 1990 to 2000. Some sources show 1990, some show 2000.

    N2O has flattened out in the most recent estimates.

    CFCs started declining in the mid-1990s.

    This was NEWS to me when I looked it up today.

    Here is a Wikipedia chart that goes out to 2003. Interesting that the most recent data isn’t shown given how many global warmers run the Wikipedia climate change pages.

    Here are the most recent estimates for Methane.

    http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/trends/otheratg/blake/methane/methane.html

  28. Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    Steve Sadlov said:

    The cow is already out of the barn in California and soon to be in a number of other states. California is on the verge of even worsening it with a punitive tax on oil drillers.

    Oh, you’re forgeting the auto emissions lawsuit. Note that two of the companies, Honda and Toyota, are at the forefront of bringing cleaner transportation to the masses (and the smug malibu hollywood set). Yet the state, in it’s infinite wisdom, is sueing them anyway. Keep in mind that both the Insight and Prius were brought to the marketplace at a profit loss, and the Big Three are trying their best to catch up. Why oh why does the state of California, or so many of the Greens for that matter, not understand that money the car manufacturers are forced to spend to defend these stupid lawsuits is money diverted away from producing eco-friendly cars that will help provide a cleaner environment.

  29. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

    Re: #31 – Think of all the methane recovery that’s gone in in landfills and sewage treatment plants. Industry is not as leaky as 30 years ago due to much stricter air quality regs. Fewer polluted and putrid bodies of water, etc.

  30. bender
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    But what about the melting permafrost and those smelly subarctic peat bogs?

  31. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    RE: #33 – Where has the permafrost been shown to be incurring long term significant melting? I certainly have read many fears expressed about how it *should* melt in the future. I have also seen claims that it is melting in Siberia, but other than some photos at road cuts and other disturbed ground, I have yet to examine any conclusive evidence of that either. I remain to be convinced via a significant body of peer reviewed literature that the permafrost is truly melting away to any substantial degree.

  32. Follow the Money
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 8:38 PM | Permalink

    “Methane in the atmosphere stablized around 1990 to 2000. Some sources show 1990, some show 2000.”

    Maybe oil extractors aren’t venting associated methane as much, but rather storing it for commerce

  33. Steve Bloom
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

    Coincidentally, today’s Real Climate post is all about methane trends.

    Re #26: Dave, Steve wants to be taken seriously by the scientific community. Publicly insulting scientists contradicts that goal. As to why I should bother continuing to mention it, you make a good point.

    Re #29: Yes on 87!

  34. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    #38. Steve B, I don’t see how it is possible to accurately describe Hansen’s splice without the description being perceived in some way as an insult. You suggest that the term “unjustified” for the splice would be more appropriate than “sophomoric”. I was trying to convey the lack of sophistication in the methodology and “unjustified” by itself didn’t seem to quite capture the nuance. There’s an element of opportunism that is not quite captured by “sophomoric” either – so I’ll think about the adjective.

  35. Proxy
    Posted Oct 30, 2006 at 11:01 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps ‘artful’ would be apt and not overly negative.

  36. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    #40. Using words like “artful” is part of the problem. It’s polite but it doesn’t convey the sense that’s there’s anything wrong with it. And BTW why have NO climate scientists stood up and criticized Hansen’s “unjustified” splice – applying Steve Bloom’s description – politely or impolitely? Why have they permitted this to pass into the policy arena unopposed?

  37. Anders Valland
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 4:24 AM | Permalink

    Re #4, in the previous section the report says: “Using climate models that follow basic physical laws, scientists can now assess the likely range of warming for a given level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
    It is currently impossible to pinpoint the exact change in temperature that will be associated with a level of greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, increasingly sophisticated climate models are able to capture some of the chaotic nature of the climate, allowing scientists to develop a greater understanding of the many complex interactions within the system and estimate how changing greenhouse gas levels will affect the climate. Climate models use the laws of nature to simulate the radiative balance and flows of energy and materials. These models are vastly different from those generally used in economic analyses, which rely predominantly on curve fitting. Climate models cover multiple dimensions, from temperature at different heights in the atmosphere, to wind speeds and snow cover. Also, climate models are tested for their ability to reproduce past climate variations across several dimensions, and to simulate aspects of present climate that they have not been specifically tuned to fit.”

    It seems to me they are overly confident in climate models. But I wonder how they can say all this and then turn around and say that the models really only use “highly simplified calculations”.

  38. Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    Please don’t lets turn this blog into a political forum. I’m pretty sure that Steve wants this about science and not politics.

    I have put in the moderation queue all of the political comments in this thread for Steve’s consideration.I’ve even put my original in the mod queue that appears to have started it off.

  39. bender
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    Re #33
    They don’t understand why methane is flatlining when IPCC predicted it to keep rising, and RC suggests that the RealQuestion is whether and when it will start rising again, thus wreaking certain havoc with Earth’s climate? Maybe the question is “why is IPCC wrong, yet again?” And maybe the answer is “we don’t know”. Again.

  40. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

    #38. John A, thanks for putting those comments for moderatino. Yes, the political discussion would be never-ending. Let’s stick to science issues in Stern.

    Roger Pielke at prometherus has a good post on cherrypicking by Stern in regard to hurricanes.

  41. KevinUK
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 8:22 AM | Permalink

    #40, John A

    Point taken but I hope you’ll concede that as the subject of this thread is a government (and therefore by definition political) document (the Stern review) then the discussion will inevitably involve politics.

    Let’s face it, in the UK, the AGW debate is entirely about politics as we in the UK have little if anything to fear from global warming, yet our political masters nonetheless expect us to pay for it. I promise henceforth that I will confine any further posts on this thread to discussion of the content of the Stern Review. It will probably take me a week to read and digest it all but so be it.

    KevinUK

  42. bender
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    From the Stern “Key Messages” section on the science of climate change:

    “Higher temperatures cause permafrost to thaw, potentially releasing large quantities of methane.”

    Has he got his science right?

  43. bender
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

    From Stern:

    Climate change arguments do not rest on “proving” that the warming trend is unprecedented over the past Millennium.

    Oh no? Then why so much effort devoted to “proving” exactly that? (And why the quotes here? Is “proof” a questionable concept?)

    If current levels of warming are below those observed during the MWP that would suggest planet Earth might have powerful mechanisms, such as nonlinear negative feedback from clouds, to keep a lid on warming. There is alot of talk about runaway postive feedback. Not much talk about negative feedback. That is one sign of alarmist AGW science.

  44. bender
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    From Stern: a tiny footnote on clouds on the bottom of p. 9:

    An increase in low clouds would have a negative feedback effect, as they have little effect on infrared radiation but block sunlight, causing a local cooling.

    That’s putting things in some perspective.

  45. Joe B
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    Economist Richard Tol puts the report in perspective, there’s a report on Pielke Jr.’s site. As usual, the report uses the most pessimistic figures and studies to make its point, suggesting its all about politics and scaring the populace.

  46. bender
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 9:09 AM | Permalink

    In Stern’s Figure 1.4 “The link between greenhouse gases and climate change” he has “changes in clouds” in there as a positive feedback. No hint that clouds could be a source of both (+) and (-) feedback. Is this material designed to educate people or alarm them?

  47. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    re: #46

    I’m dutifully also working my way through Stern, but it’s a real struggle. The trouble is that everything is stated as known while we’ve either shown them to flat wrong here or not well known and even doubtful. Reminds me of when I tried to read Das Kapital when I was college aged. I tried to read it but as I disagreed with essentially everything Marx was presenting as assumptions on which to base the rest of his book I quickly realized that there was no way I could get anything useful out of the book and gave up.

    I’m rather wondering how much farther (I’m only on page 7 of 54 in part 1) I’ll be willing to go in reading the Stern Review. What exactly are we who disagree with the points Stern is using as the underpinnings of his policy conclusions supposed to get out of reading the whole thing? If I don’t agree that 1 + 1 = 5 (which is a good summary of the entire global warming hypothesis, BTW) how do I appreciate the nuances of this advanced math when applied to national budgets?

  48. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    The Stern Report is yet another voluminous document trumpeting Dr. Jones instrument data spliced onto Mann’s hockey stick. The NAS panel concluded that Mann’s conclusions were unsupportable. To call the cherry picking used to create many of the “temperature” reconstructions sophomoric is insulting to sophomores. Yet none of the authors of these reports seem to be at all concerned that Dr. Jones steadfastly refuses to release his data and that all the supporting reconstructions are based on the same few proxies.

    A house of cards built upon a house of cards foundation.

  49. MarkR
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    RE#47 The thrust of the economic arguments of Stern are that if we increase costs by adopting the measures “needed”, and divert a lot of resources into “environmental” industries, we will all be better off.

    Not much of an economist I think.

  50. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    A grim, chilly and gloomy All Hallow’s Eve found me retrieving my daily London Financial Times from the drive …. as expected, par for the course, FT weighed in with a most dark view of the future, strongly endorsing Sir Stern’s perspective, with nary a counterargument offered. There is no stopping this madness. It is mass psychosis.

  51. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    Re: #11

    Possibly I should collect a page of such remarks from you (there are lots more) and hand them out to the attendees at the AGU session.

    Steve B, if you are looking for an example of sophomorish, I think the above may help.

    You might have more credibility for your righteous suggestions if you had avoided in past discussions here (and elsewhere) some less than auspicious remarks when referencing those scientists with whom you vehemently disagree. Judith Curry’s visit to CA certainly did not lead me to believe that the world of climate science is all politeness or with discussion always couched deferentially in professional terms.

    I find it odd that you seem to dwell on this issue when it is not unique here by any stretch and the emphasis you place on it detracts from discussing the real issues.

  52. Jack Lacton
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

    In 10-15 years time it’s very likely that the world will be in a cooling phase. Even as we see the odd temperature high at the present we are also seeing anomalous lows, including here in Australia. This will allow those countries that have adopted expensive, economy killing GHG measures to claim that they have been the ones that have ‘saved the world’, which will give them enhanced political power. Perhaps that’s why they’re so desperate to get something in place now before it becomes obvious as to which way temperature is trending.

  53. MarkR
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    I think they’ll say, “Look how successful we have been at reducing temperature, we must do more……………”

  54. Dane
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    #51 I agree, that may very well be why they are rushing to get all the legislation and measures in place.

  55. bender
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    Without valid climate models how will we evaluate the effectiveness of any policy?

  56. Ralph Hartley
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    Don’t you all forget that by the time AGW fades, a new “man-made-ecological-disaster-we-good-people-have-to-stop” will be in place to replace the old one, and any reference to the shambles AGW ended in will be extremely unwelcome and will submerge, as usual, in selective amnesia.

  57. Mark H
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    I can think of a number of words that might more accurately characterize the methodology: disingenuous, unprofessional, crude, amateurish or unprincipled — any one of which would raise the hackles of those so criticized. In other words, chose the word that would convey an undergrad’s attempt at being original in his first collage term paper and it would convey the appropriate impression.

    However, the problem is not the specific “word’ chosen, it is the shameless assertions and methods that corner a critic into either being polite and dishonest, or in being direct and stinging — should one pretend a study is merely “unjustified” when the approach is knowingly disingenuous and crude?

    Having been long engaged in political debate, I am familiar with the problem. Today’s climate researchers don’t feel embarrassed at self-evident nonsense. Superficial opportunistic reasoning, once confined to the realm of hack politics, has tainted climate science ‘analysis’ – so what can one say other than the truth?

  58. Demesure
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    Jeff wrote: The increase in GHGs is equivalent to an increase of 54%. We should be seeing much more increase in temperatures than we have seen with those numbers if global warming theory is correct.

    -Then the alarmists say “all the heat is stored in the ocean, when it WILL be released, we WILL be doomed”.
    -Then you say “but the Lyman study found that oceans have lost in just 2 years 20% of heat accumulated over 50 years”
    -Then the alarmists say “it’s natural variability, nothing can be deduced over a short period of 2 years” (accept heat waves, snowstorms, hurricanes, THC decline, polar bears drowning).

    Models have failed miserably and will never be able to predict climate 1,2 years ahead, not to say 1 century, just like expert systems (overhyped 20 years ago) have failed miserably to produce useful reasoning.
    But how to tell it simply to alarmists without using dirty words like “correlation matrix, 500 hPa geopotential, planetary waves…”? Anyone can help me?

  59. Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    Re #41

    KevinUK: I might agree with some, a little, most or all of your sentiments regarding the Stern Review, but this isn’t the place to address them. You are right that these types of reviews have a political dimension, but this blog needs to stick to science or it will get buried under left-wing/right-wing mudslinging pretty quickly. There are other blogs which indulge themselves with politics (like RealClimate) but neither Steve nor I have the time to pour oil on troubled waters, so we’d ask you all to cool it and stick to the science.

    I would suggest that reading the Stern Review would be an interesting test from the scientific point of view. For example, Stern comes up with these categoric statements:

    As the world warms, the risk of abrupt and large-scale changes in the climate system will rise.
    – Changes in the distribution of heat around the world are likely to disrupt ocean and atmospheric circulations, leading to large and possibly abrupt shifts in regional weather patterns.
    – If the Greenland or West Antarctic Ice Sheets began to melt irreversibly, the rate of sea level rise could more than double, committing the world to an eventual sea level rise of 5 — 12 m over several centuries.

    and a table purporting to show that the human race has a 10% chance of becoming extinct in a century (page 47, Part 1)

    For \delta =0.1 per cent there is an almost 10% chance of extinction by the end of a century. That itself seems high — indeed if this were true, and had been true in the past, it would be remarkable that the human race had lasted this long. Nevertheless that is the case we shall focus on later in the review, arguing that there is a weak case for still higher levels.11 Using \delta =1.5 per cent, for example, i.e. 0.015, the probability of the human race being extinct by the end of a century would be as high as 78%, indeed there would be a probability of extinction in the next decade of 14%. That seems implausibly, indeed unacceptably, high as a description of the chances of extinction

    To which I reply:

  60. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    #59

    For =0.1 per cent there is an almost 10% chance of extinction by the end of a century. That itself seems high — indeed if this were true, and had been true in the past, it would be remarkable that the human race had lasted this long. Nevertheless that is the case we shall focus on later in the review, arguing that there is a weak case for still higher levels.

    Phew! How can a so-called “respected” economist indulge in such outrageous and totally unfounded speculation! Humans have lived through ice ages where most of the continents were buried under hundreds of meters of ice. They’ve lived through the Younger-Dryas event, where temperatures changed by 10C in just one century, and all that without any of our modern technology.

    It would be funny if so many people didn’t take it so seriously.

    The whole climate debate is such a house of cards! If we were to find out tomorrow that doubling CO2 will merely warm the world by less than 2 degrees, all those costly studies would amount to nothing. The money would have been better spent improving the scientific knowledge, and reducing the forecasted temperature range. At least we would have a more solid ground on which to base such economic analysis.

  61. Steve Bloom
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    Re #43: bender wrote “If current levels of warming are below those observed during the MWP that would suggest planet Earth might have powerful mechanisms, such as nonlinear negative feedback from clouds, to keep a lid on warming.”

    If the Holocene thermal maximum and the last interglacial were warmer than present, it would seem that such mechanisims cannot be relied upon to keep temperatures at current levels. Since the direct forcing from orbital variations during these past warmer periods cannot account for the increased temps, if anything there is evidence for positive rather than negative feedbacks. I agree with you that such negative feedbacks must exist since something (very likely low clouds) acted to stop the PETM, but this is not entirely comforting since temps then topped out at something like 8C above present.

    Step back for a moment and consider the big picture: What does climate look like over the last 100M years or so? I think you’ll find that the glaciation of the last 2M years constitutes an unusually cold period. Have a look at the various recent Huybers, Wunsch et al papers here (showing that Milankovitch forcings are at the root of the glacial cycles) and tell me you think there’s some reason to believe we can rely on the present climate being stable in the face of the forcings we are adding. The recent history of rapid glaciations/deglaciations would seem to imply rather that we are on something of a climate knife edge and that it won’t take much to tip us back into a warm phase.

    Re #51: Ken, can I assume that comment #s 52/3/4/6 exemplify the discussion of real issues that you prefer?

  62. bender
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    First it was sampling error, now it’s nonlinearity that’s got Bloom in a fuddle. How about that nonlinear feedback, Bloom? Do you even know what nonlinear means?

  63. Steve Bloom
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    Re #63: Try answering on the substance, bender. Oh, and speaking of sampling error, I thought that discussion was over when you provided a definition that supported my POV. Your continuing to raise it in unrelated threads seems, um, sophomoric.

  64. MarkR
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    Re#61 The “forcings” (as they are grandly described), that we are adding, are microscopic in their effect when compared to the grand scheme of things, hence the warmers dodgy models with force multipliers in them. The warmers can’t get the numbers up high enough otherwise.

    PS I asssume you mean well, but how do you feel about resources that could be used to find a cure for cancer, or feed the starving, etc are now going to be used to fund endless Carbon friendly programmes, windmills etc, to reduce CO2 which is growing at the rapid rate of a couple of parts per million per year.

  65. Dane
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    Steve B, Climate is never stable, never has been and never will be. What makes you think you can ssume a stable climate for any time period when it is always changing?

    Also, there is still no evidence in my eyes that humans have added any forcings at all, please site at least one paper showing the direct link.

  66. bender
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    Re #63
    Ha ha ha. Guess you didn’t see the GT report card on your, ummm, awesome performance. You’re my hero.

  67. Steve Bloom
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    Re #64: Just out of curiousity, Mark, what set of forcing/feedback calculations do you prefer? Citation, please.

    Regarding your friend Mr. Lomborg, could you tell me exactly what he’s been doing to promote cancer research, food aid, etc.? My experience is that people concerned about climate change are far more likely to also be concerned with and give money to the other causes you list.

  68. MarkR
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    Steve, you just don’t get it do you. 1% of UK GDP is going to go on climate related expenditure. That means $21 billion that could be spent on health, or education,etc, will now vanish into the ether.

    Since February 16, 2005, the Kyoto Protocol has cost US$ 255,966,758,005 while potentially saving an undetectable 0.002654470 °C by the year 2050.

    Malaria cost US$ 224,263,483,258 in lost GDP and 4,607,401 lives over the same period.

    I like this analysis

    On balance of available evidence then the current model-estimated range of warming from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide should probably be reduced from 1.4 – 5.8 °C to about 0.4 °C to suit observations or ”€°Ë† 0.8 °C to accommodate theoretical warming — and that’s including àŽ”F of 3.7 Wm-2 from a doubling of pre-Industrial Revolution atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, a figure we suspect is also inflated.

    Link

    I don’t know any Lomborg.

  69. bender
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    Re #68
    Still haven’t got the ergodicity thing worked out, hunh? Keep trying. You can do it. (I still laugh at that every time I hear it: “count ‘em: five hurricanes, no error”. Ha ha!)

    I’m still waiting for your lecture on Bayesian statistics, and now your promising to educate me on nonlinear feedbacks!? Please, go right ahead on both counts. I love to learn.

    The TC paper? Glad you asked. Bin-and-pin Emanuel (2005) has been soundly refuted already by people more knowledgeable than myself, so there are some diminishing returns there; yet but I see it’s made no difference … people still bandying his icon around like it’s truth. No thanks. If y’all can’t be convinced by data and proper statistical analysis, I’m not interested. That’s where the TC paper is. Swallowed up by the hole of alarmist AGW hysteria. Along with our dear friend Dr. Curry.

  70. Mark T.
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    Actually, Steve B., your repeated attacks regarding areas you clearly do not understand (e.g. statistics) are sophomoric.

    Mark

  71. welikerocks
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    Hey I found Steve Bloom’s online world:

    http://tinyurl.com/yg25z6

  72. mikep
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    Re 59 and 60. You are missing the point. What Stern is doing is trying to establish upper bounds on the possibility of extinction. It’s all to do with discounting. There are two good reasons why we might want to say that consumption in the future is less valuable than consumption now. The first is that there might not be people around to do the consuming so we might as well eat, drink and be merry now. The second is that people in the future might be richer than us anyway and so get less value out of consumption than we do. It’s these two factors that underlie the discount rate. The higher is the possibility of extinction, the higher the appropriate discount rate to use in evaluating consumption streams. And the higher the discount rate the less likely it is that investments with pay-outs far in the future will show up as good bets.
    So what Stern is arguing is that even if you assume the probability of extinction is as high as ten or fifteen percent, you still don’t get a very high overall discount rate. Therefore it is worth a lot of pain now to get pay-offs in the relatively far future. If the probability of extinction were much lower, so would be the discount rate and the cost benefit analysis would be more, not less, likely to favour action now.

  73. Stan Palmer
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    The possibility of an asteroid impact on the Earth has been widely discussed. The proability of an impact causing an extinction, the destuction of a continent etc can and have been calculated. They are surprsingly high. The possibility of an impact is remote but unlike climate change, the destruction caused by an impact is certain and very large.

    Now people proposing to spend large sums on asteroid defence are regarded as being somewhat nutty scientists. Why is their a difference with climate change?

  74. Stan Palmer
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    re 74

    I would suggest that a troll filter AI program would be a welcome addition to blog software.

  75. welikerocks
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    #75 I am not a troll. I am giving Steve Bloom a tease And he can take it.
    That guy could be your soul mate huh SteveB? ;)

    Stan, I would also bring up tsunami. I know for a fact there is no funding here where I live on the coast to update research and emergency response plans etc

  76. David H
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    Re # 9
    430ppm CO2 eqiv is about 54% above 280 ppm but its effect is logarithmic is it not? So isn’t what Sir Nick saying that we’ve seen nearer 62%of the forcing equivalent to doubling CO2?. Given that they say some of the early 20th Century warming was down to natural variation (to make the D&A sums come right?), the observed sensitivity to doubling of CO2 can only be about 0.5 deg C at most, which in turn suggests there might be some negative feedback. Does anyone know why the next 100 years is going to be different?

    Perhaps some one can also help me with Stern’s fig 1.1. Is this another splice? It has a very convenient dip in CO2 in just the right place for their D&A. It’s shown as a fine smooth line without error bars suggesting it’s instrumental but we didn’t get good instrument readings till after 1957. So is the earlier bit Law Dome or some other core? Isn’t the business of historic CO2 as problematic as temperature reconstructions?

  77. welikerocks
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    #78

    Something sure is keeping a lid on warming just now, but it doesn’t seem to have been historically persistent.

    I can pick a year or time on Earth at radom out of a few Billion Years as well and say:

    Maybe the COLD is keeping a lid on the warming just now.
    And believe me, it’s really been historically persisitent.

  78. bender
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Re #78
    Yes it is sad when alarmist politics derails science. So why do you keep doing just that?[Please bender, stop replying to Bloom. He's just trying to get a rise]

  79. Mark H
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    What does this tell you:

    October 31, 2006
    Today’s San Francisco Chronicle Front Page Headline (taken from from LA Times story):

    WARMING FORECAST: ECONOMIC DISASTER
    -British study says failure to act could cost 20% of world income-

    “A major Britsh study issued Monday concludes that rapid and substantial spending is needed to avert a world wide productivity slide on the scale of the Great Depression that could devastate food sources, cause widespread deaths and turn hundreds of millions of people into refugees.”

  80. Dane
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Steve B,#80

    Whats your point? Us geologists have been saying just that exactly, only its even more complicated than your simplistic model. Also dating the onset of glaciation is extremely difficult due to later gaciations often wiping out all evidence of past glacial cycles.

  81. Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    Re #67

    Regarding your friend Mr. Lomborg, could you tell me exactly what he’s been doing to promote cancer research, food aid, etc.? My experience is that people concerned about climate change are far more likely to also be concerned with and give money to the other causes you list.

    As it happens mr Lomborg has invited a group of specialists and established what is now called the Copenhagen Consensus and has been adopted by the UN.
    The essence of what this group does is asking the question: the world is full of important problems, and the amount of money we can spend on them is limited. Say we could spend 50 billion dollars,what would a ranking of the most worthwile goal in terms of saving human lives look like. What resulted was a list (regularly updated) where the fight against aids and contagious diseases and malaria is on top and climate change ranks about 25. It is a very good list for you SteveB to check whether you have picked the right goals for your generosity.

    I do not know whether you are right that environmentalists are more generous than the other side. They are usually very generous with other peoples money that is for sure and the goals they pick (e.g. the protection against so called carcinogenic substances) is a dramatic life costing waste of money. ( see here ).

  82. KevinUK
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

    #79, John A

    Sorry for breaking my promise made to you in #41 above but like rocks it’s hard to resist an opportunity to tease our favourite troll.

    and re #59 “I might agree with some, a little, most or all of your sentiments regarding the Stern Review”, which one is it some, a little, most or all?

    One initial comment on the Stern review. I’m used to seeing discounted cash flow calculations being used to justify not doing anything other than care and maintenance for long periods of time on ex-nuclear facilities. In effect the Stern review is doing the opposite in attempting to claim that it’s best to spend the money now rather than later. Perhaps we now need to commission (pun intended) him to write a similar report for the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

    KevinUK

  83. Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    re #59 “I might agree with some, a little, most or all of your sentiments regarding the Stern Review”, which one is it some, a little, most or all?

    Whatever it is, this isn’t the place to discuss my politics or yours or especially Steve Bloom’s.

    One initial comment on the Stern review. I’m used to seeing discounted cash flow calculations being used to justify not doing anything other than care and maintenance for long periods of time on ex-nuclear facilities. In effect the Stern review is doing the opposite in attempting to claim that it’s best to spend the money now rather than later. Perhaps we now need to commission (pun intended) him to write a similar report for the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)

    I’d be curious what Castles and Henderson make of the economic case made by Stern. I mean Stern’s an economist – he surely can’t foul that part up, can he?

  84. Jeff Weffer
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

    Shouldn’t someone do a study on the impact on GDP of the Ice Age returning.

    I mean Canada would take a heck of whollop on its GDP.

    We should calculate the odds of the Ice Age returning. We should be doing all we can to avoid it (including pumping as much C02 as possible inot the atmosphere.)

  85. Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    We should be doing all we can to avoid it (including pumping as much C02 as possible into the atmosphere.)

    Of course that is the topic of the decade old Sci Fi novel by Niven and Pournelle – The Descent of Anansi.

  86. Demesure
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

    Can John A and Steve M NOT suppress censored posts but replace them with “moderated”. Deletions shift down numbering and make #reference uncomprehensible.

  87. Jack Lacton
    Posted Oct 31, 2006 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    Re: #83

    I do not know whether you are right that environmentalists are more generous than the other side. They are usually very generous with other peoples money that is for sure and the goals they pick (e.g. the protection against so called carcinogenic substances) is a dramatic life costing waste of money.

    In fact, assuming that environmentalists are of the left then they are definitely NOT more generous than those of the conservative side, as has been shown in recent surveys in the US. That, on a personal level, the right gives more to charity than the left is axiomatic. The reason is that the left believes it has done its bit by paying taxes and letting government determine who it goes to.

  88. Larry Huldén
    Posted Nov 1, 2006 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

    RE # 68 by MarkR
    — start citing —
    Since February 16, 2005, the Kyoto Protocol has cost US$ 255,966,758,005 while potentially saving an undetectable 0.002654470 °C by the year 2050.

    Malaria cost US$ 224,263,483,258 in lost GDP and 4,607,401 lives over the same period.
    — end citing —
    This is a good point !
    The whole problem with Kyoto Protocol is well illustrated with these two sentences. Historical malaria trends have no connections with climate trends (although IPCC tries to connect them). Malaria trends are completely related to human social behaviour and economics. Changes in economics change human social behaviour. Changing human behaviour caused the decline of malaria in the industrialized world. Increase in education and economic level will similarly cause the decline of malaria in developing countries (starting with Latin America). Any wasting of money on Kyoto Protocol will prolong the burden of malaria in the world.

    Because of the negligable effect of Kyoto Protocol all efforts should instead be focused on adaption to the current climate which cause increasing problems because of the increasing human population.

  89. Posted Nov 1, 2006 at 3:32 AM | Permalink

    Here’s another “O RLY” comment from the Stern Report (page 23, Chapter 4):

    Gender equality
    Gender inequalities will likely worsen with climate change. Workloads and responsibilities
    such as collecting water, fuel and food will grow and become more time consuming in light of
    greater resource scarcity. This will allow less time for education or participation in marketbased work. A particular burden will be imposed on those households that are short of labour, further exacerbated if the men migrate in times of extreme stress leaving women vulnerable to impoverishment, forced marriage, labour exploitation and trafficking.112 Women are “overrepresented’ in agriculture and the informal economy, sectors that will be hardest hit by climate change. This exposure is coupled with a low capacity to adapt given their unequal access to resources such as credit and transport. Women are also particularly vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters with women and children accounting for more than 75% of displaced persons following natural disasters

    So let me understand: climate change (the Orwellian contraction of “human-caused climate change”) will cause:

    – more gender inequality
    – men being forced to work abroad
    – female impoverishment
    – forced marriage
    – labour exploitation
    – ‘trafficking’ (is this a synonym for slavery?)
    – fewer credit cards and loans
    – less transportation (overcrowding on buses, or will they be forced to car-pool?)

    There’s no end to the horrors caused by climate change!

    Of course, the real reason behind all of these things is poverty, which the carbon trading system will do nothing to solve, and probably exacerbate by reducing the amount of money available for investment and trade with developing countries.

    Or maybe my analysis is just to facile to be considered…

  90. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 1, 2006 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

    RE: #91 – talk about attribution! LOL ….

  91. Pat Frank
    Posted Nov 1, 2006 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    #90 — “with women and children accounting for more than 75% of displaced persons following natural disasters”

    Husband, wife, two kids. Women and children account for 75% of the displaced people. Husband, wife, 3 kids …

    Great analyst, Stern. Gold star for misleading sentimentalism.

  92. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 1, 2006 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    Re: #90 Gender equality…

    Um excuse me, no Stern I don’t think so. All the moms are going to get together and pimp out their SUVs ; ala The Road Warriors; and take out all the evil men before any of that ever happens. And all while wearing some spiked heels (for sea level rise you know) plus taking care of the children, and our mates just fine. We already have the plan mapped out.

    Sheesh they have no idea what they are talking about!

  93. Jeff Norman
    Posted Nov 1, 2006 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

    The front page (above the fold) headline of the Globe & Mail read: “$7-trillion warning on global warming”. I thought the number sounded familiar. I present the following to put some perspective on the number.

    Tokyo lies above the boundary of three tectonic plates. In 1923 the “Great Kanto” earthquake resulted in the death of ~200,000 people. It is estimated that an earthquake of a similar size today would cause up to $7 trillion dollars of damage.

    The Globe & Mail’s $7 trillion is in Canadian dollars converted from English Pounds. The Tokyo damage estimate is in U.S. dollars converted from Yen.

    The earthquake damage WILL eventually happen and will happen all within the space of one or two days with little or no warning.

    The global warming damage could happen over 100 plus years if global warming occurs like some of the models used by the IPCC actually happens and nobody responds in a way that could mitigate the costs.

  94. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 1, 2006 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    RE: #94 – Plus no one dares to examine the cases where extreme AGW scenarios actually lower certain costs. All I can say to any futures bettors who fall for this rubbish is …. suckers!

  95. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 1, 2006 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    Jeff Norman,
    That’s a good perspective to bring up.
    My grandmother is alive and is 103 yrs old. Her mother was born the year Lincoln was assasinated and she lived until she and my grandmother saw/heard men walk on the moon (because great grandmother was blind by then).

    Think of everything natural, horrible, good, and wonderful that has happened in this world during their lifetimes, yet they never thought they could control the weather. Nor did they fear it in the future, nor did anyone threaten them with it.

    What would the make the maddness stop about GW? Just money? A new engine?

  96. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 1, 2006 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    RE: #96 – Just as a thought experiment, imagine that we had a new technological breakthrough which allowed us to go into near zero anthropogenic CO2 emissions mode from mechanisms. To boot, we vastly reduced other GHG emissions. Who honestly believes that the radical greens would stop raising the bar to involve other previously unconsidered “issues?” GHGs are but the currernt red herring. There will be others, I guar-onnnn-tee it.

  97. Bob K
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 3:54 AM | Permalink

    Here’s Bjorn Lomborg on the Stern Report.

    Snip…

    The Stern review’s cornerstone argument for immediate and strong action now is based on the suggestion that doing nothing about climate change costs 20% of GDP now, and doing something only costs 1%. However, this argument hinges on three very problematic assumptions.

    First, it assumes that if we act, we will not still have to pay. But this is not so–Mr. Stern actually tells us that his solution is “already associated with significant risks.” Second, it requires the cost of action to be as cheap as he tells us–and on this front his numbers are at best overly optimistic. Third, and most importantly, it requires the cost of doing nothing to be a realistic assumption: But the 20% of GDP figure is inflated by an unrealistically pessimistic vision of the 22nd century, and by an extreme and unrealistically low discount rate. According to the background numbers in Mr. Stern’s own report, climate change will cost us 0% now and 3% of GDP in 2100, a much more informative number than the 20% now and forever.

    In other words: Given reasonable inputs, most cost-benefit models show that dramatic and early carbon reductions cost more than the good they do. Mr. Stern’s attempt to challenge that understanding is based on a chain of unlikely assumptions.

    Article

  98. Nils Simon
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 3:55 AM | Permalink

    Just a quick feedback: I started reading the comments, but stopped after #15 or so. It’s just too much noise. I really got used to ClimateAudit while Judith Curry was writing here. It gave the blog a better quality than ever, and, sorry to say that, than ever expected.
    It is interesting how less some people here are interested in acting like scientists, the one thing they claim to demand most from climatologists. There are some notable exceptions, though – but according to the massive amount of noise it is just not worth it to read through all that, just to end up with a low number of useful comments.
    There were some very helpful comments made by Judith and her students, and nobody seems to be interested very much in listening to what people say who do not come here regularly. Why do people here wonder that nobody quotes Steve, or anything that has been discussed here? Because it is a horrible experience to read at least three quarters of the comments. And anybody who’s not well-used to the internet and blog style will immediately look for alternatives, likely BEFORE getting any useful information. That Steve is sometimes escaping into insults is not making this better at all, as you will all perfectly understand.
    And the bitter point in this is, it really de-values your message. By creating a structure that lets interested readers run away, you prevent a very big audience from participating in ClimateAudit. Sorry for them? Well, since there is really something at stake in global warming, it is sorry for US.

  99. Bob K
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 5:33 AM | Permalink

    If you read the top of the post, Steve expessed no real interest in the document, and put it up for general comment.
    Being a policy document, I fail to see why strictly scientific comments should be the only ones allowed. Shouldn’t non-scientists be allowed to comment on a policy that may have a large impact on their lives?

    Maybe you’d be better off trying some of the other threads, if you’re not interested in this one.

    As to your bit about insults. I fail to see where Steve has personally insulted anyone. He has made some rather apt remarks concerning the work product of some people though.

  100. MarkR
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 5:56 AM | Permalink

    Re#99 Exit SteveB with a flea in his ear, enter sensitive stranger????

  101. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 7:02 AM | Permalink

    #97 Yep, no doubt. They will not stop.

    #99

    I really got used to ClimateAudit while Judith Curry was writing here. It gave the blog a better quality than ever, and, sorry to say that, than ever expected.

    Translation:

    A scientist who believes in AGW commented on CA. She’s a big player. Her picture is in the newspaper. I really like her. She swooped in and pretended to be open minded and fair. She couldn’t handle the comments and questions addressed to the grand statements she made [no matter how nice, polite, rude, or scientific they were] and made one big last speech to teach CA a lesson; then left in a huff. I don’t blame her.

  102. bender
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

    Re #99
    Nils, you stopped reading at the point where troll Steve B came in to divert the discussion away from Stern and refocus on Steve M (over his use of the term “sophomoric”). CA might not read like a good science paper, but it reads like an honest blog should read. Noisy because POV are diverse and all POV are expressed. Less noise would be better, yes. But people are noisy beings. Welcome to democracy.

  103. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    #99

    it is a horrible experience to read at least three quarters of the comments

    Do you include your own comment in the lot?

  104. John West
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    Folks on this thread may be interested in the following tidbit from the indispensible Melanie Phillips: Not only is Stern a high Treasury official whose agency would benefit from stealth taxes imposed pursuant to climate change hysteria, but “the bank Morgan Stanley recently unveiled a £1.6bn investment in carbon trading; and the World Bank, where Sir Nicholas [Stern] previously worked as chief economist, is heavily involved in the trade. Is it any surprise, therefore, that his report is expected to give carbon trading an enormous boost?” Hmmn.

    Enjoy the whole column, ‘From economics to airconomics’, Daily Mail, and also today’s follow-up, ‘Reason fights back’, at

  105. John West
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

    Whoops! ‘Reason fights back’ is at

  106. John West
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

    http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/?p=1375

  107. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    #105-107, John W

    Thank you for that link. I particularly empathise with the content of the letter to the Telegraph from Professor Paul Reiter, of the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

    “I have seen Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, read the book, and read the Stern report. As a scientist, I am appalled. Both authors present myriad dangers as truth — no doubts, a 100 per cent consensus. Yet a glance at the professional literature on glaciers, hurricanes etc. confirms that this consensus is a myth. Besides, consensus is the stuff of politics, not of science.

    I am reminded of Trophim Lysenko, who used pseudoscience and myth-making to establish “scientific proof’ of Marxist genetics. Lysenko dominated Soviet science for more than two decades by propaganda and ruthless liquidation of his opponents. When he was finally discredited, the Soviet Nobel Laureate Nicolai Semyonov wrote: “There is nothing more dangerous than blind passion in science. Given support from someone in power, it can lead to suppression of true science, and… to inflicting great injury on the country’.

    Popular knowledge of scientific issues is again awash with misinformation. Alarmists use the language of science to manipulate public perceptions by judgmental warnings. Scientists who challenge them are branded as a tiny minority of “sceptics’. One of the few geneticists who survived the Stalin era wrote: “Lysenko showed how a forcibly instilled illusion, repeated over and over at meetings and in the media, takes on an existence of its own in people’s minds, despite all realities.’ To me, we have fallen into this trap. A genuine concern for mankind demands the inquiry, accuracy and scepticism that are intrinsic to science. A public that is unaware of this is vulnerable to abuse.”

    For me the geneticists quote of “Lysenko showed how a forcibly instilled illusion, repeated over and over at meetings and in the media, takes on an existence of its own in people’s minds, despite all realities.” sums up where we are in the UK in regard to AGW. I’ve spent a great deal of time (too much) this week asking work colleagues of mine what their impressions are of the Stern Review and how it has been presented in the media.

    Most of them (I’ve obviously not been doing a very good job of counteracting the AGW propaganda but out in the UK MSM recently) are totally unaware of the fact the the alarmist claims of future ‘dangerous climate change’ are based on computer model predictions. I’ve shown them copies of the IPCC TAR and explained to them just how uncertain re-constructing temperature (through proxies) in the past can be and how easy it is to cherry pick the proxies and how it’s possible to use statistical methods that will produce a hockey stick shape even from red noise (thanks to M&M) and they are gobsmacked. They now all know that the major GHG is water vapour which is not well modelled is the GCMs. I’ve explained how the ‘dangerous’ increases in temperature predicted by the GCMs are entirely a result of the positive feedback effects built into the models and not due to an experimentally verified physical experiments. Like myself they are all now questioning why our government is putting out this propaganda (as happened with WMD prior to the Iraq war) and are for sure now not prepared to pay further stealth taxes to fund this propaganda.

    KevinUK

  108. Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    We should all remember that economic models were invented to make the weather forecasters look good.

    Stern builds an economic model on a weather forecasters model and expects us to take it seriously?

  109. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    I’m re-posting a copy of the following post from the Roadmap (with some edits for the links) as I think its relevent to this thread.

    “The issue of how to deal with knowledgable confabulators (liars) is a difficult one. It is certainly worth noting that the Stern report isn’t necessarily lying, they are simply assuming that they can get away with the false physics assumptions as a start – the models tell us, the science is well known, now we must act – and build their case, based on economic models, that it really won’t be so bad, easily affordable, as long as we concede our rights to the high priests, the gurus, who will take over everything including the right to breath. The comments by Bjorn Lomborg in the WSJ (here) provide interesting reading. Note that, when Steve M. demonstrates that their methodology is mathematically flawed – broken, their response is that it doesn’t matter because they can get the same results using other data, and it doesn’t change their conclusions. They are probably right. If you use a hockey stick data mining regression model, you can probably find a hockey stick with almost any data, especially, if you use “the instrumental record” graft. This is simply saying that “the instrumental record” was peer-reviewed and reputably published. The “in-crowd”, i.e., the hockey team have blessed it.

    I apologize to those who think I am introducing politics to the debate. That is not my intention. Re-read the paragraph – no politics, anti-establishment – maybe. (It should be noted, that conflating politics with a position you don’t like, is so – well, last century – that it shouldn’t work with any of your readers – attention, Steve B.). The problem, as I see it, is that, although the Hockey team would like you to believe that they have moved on, and no longer depend on the “hockey stick” (to suppress the MWP and the Little Ice Age), they really haven’t. They are depending on the public to remember the general idea (the hockey stick), and to associate it with the concept (never proven – amazing what suppressed scales can do) that it is well established that the blade of the “hockey stick” shows that we are in a real crisis, it is man-made, CO2 is the villain, and our only hope is to dramatically cut back on hydrocarbon usage. Steve M. is correct that the most egregious lie is the grafting of “the instrumental record” by Jim Hansen, but he is also correct in not putting out his “own” hypothesis, since this will muddy the waters, causing Steve M. to spend all his time defending it. People should ask whether splicing on the satellite tropospheric record causes any great concern, or whether any of the spaghetti graphs (without “the instrumental record”) are cause for great concern. Perhaps, some competent, anonymous reader could help the rest of us out. An average of all the spaghetti graphs, perhaps with an expanded scale for the right-hand (most recent) data, plus the satellite record at the same scale, would help at least some of us understand reality better. I realize that this will not solve the problem.

    I recommend Numberwatch for October as good reading. If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing. Anatole France If you are wondering who really wrote Stern? see Numberwatch for November. Richard Lindzen really nails it with “Under the circumstances, perhaps we should be suspicious of the dishonourable tradition of establishing the alleged truth of global warming by constant repetition, while ignoring reality.” (Sunday Telegraph 30/10/2006) It looks as if it may be a long, uphill fight.

    Comment by Frank Scammell “¢’‚¬? 2 November 2006 @ 11:36 am ”

    KevinUK

  110. bender
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

    Re #110

    An average of all the spaghetti graphs, perhaps with an expanded scale for the right-hand (most recent) data, plus the satellite record at the same scale, would help at least some of us understand reality better.

    Don’t forget the uncertainty envelope. Means are useless with some reasonably robust estimate of confidence.

  111. bender
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

    Doh. A Team moment. Means are useless withwithout some reasonably robust estimate of confidence.

  112. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

    RE: #107 – A key excerpt:

    ********************

    Professor Paul Reiter, of the Institut Pasteur in Paris, writes:

    I have seen Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, read the book, and read the Stern report. As a scientist, I am appalled. Both authors present myriad dangers as truth — no doubts, a 100 per cent consensus. Yet a glance at the professional literature on glaciers, hurricanes etc. confirms that this consensus is a myth. Besides, consensus is the stuff of politics, not of science.

    I am reminded of Trophim Lysenko, who used pseudoscience and myth-making to establish “scientific proof’ of Marxist genetics. Lysenko dominated Soviet science for more than two decades by propaganda and ruthless liquidation of his opponents. When he was finally discredited, the Soviet Nobel Laureate Nicolai Semyonov wrote: “There is nothing more dangerous than blind passion in science. Given support from someone in power, it can lead to suppression of true science, and… to inflicting great injury on the country’.

    Popular knowledge of scientific issues is again awash with misinformation. Alarmists use the language of science to manipulate public perceptions by judgmental warnings. Scientists who challenge them are branded as a tiny minority of “sceptics’. One of the few geneticists who survived the Stalin era wrote: “Lysenko showed how a forcibly instilled illusion, repeated over and over at meetings and in the media, takes on an existence of its own in people’s minds, despite all realities.’ To me, we have fallen into this trap. A genuine concern for mankind demands the inquiry, accuracy and scepticism that are intrinsic to science. A public that is unaware of this is vulnerable to abuse.

    **********************

    Wow …. very, very interesting allusion there to ole Lysenko. Wow ….

  113. bender
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

    Consensus is one thing. Groupthink, quite another.

  114. Pat Frank
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    #113 — Richard Lindzen has made the identical analogy to Lysenkoism, e.g., here. I think the reference is exactly right, except this time the ideological drive comes from a synergy of green-sympathyzing media enabling the enviro-NGO’s use of dis-mis-information to ramify their fanaticism up into government policy, rather than the impulse coming from an ideologically driven government per se. However the methods are the same: hold facts and theory hostage to ideology, repeat the claims endlessly no matter the evidence, vilify contrary thinkers.

    I think it’s not a coincidence that the two groups expressing their hopes for Nuremberg-type trials of their opponents, as having committed crimes against humanity, are green extremists and fanatical anti-abortionists. The self-indulgent descent into a sentimentalized justification is identical.

  115. bender
    Posted Nov 2, 2006 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

    Don’t forget THE critical element in the equation. Media attention is ancillary to the fact that you have a large body of public servant scientists continually frightened that their work will be deemed irrelevant by the fund gatekeepers, i.e. politicians. If the climatologists were to warn of cooling a good half of the “consensus” (those who study climate IMPACTS, as opposed to climatology) would switch sides opportunistically, just to keep the funding coming in. Bistable systems … so resilient, yet so pliable.

  116. Pat Frank
    Posted Nov 3, 2006 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    #116 — There might be some of that, but I think an adequate level of funding would have been there in any case, even if they’d kept their noses to the properly analytical science grindstone. People were doing good work in the past, and it was funded by granting agencies, even though the results weren’t Earth-shattering. Climatology is intrinsically important work, and so is developing empirical measures of past climate. The NSF, and even Congress, have usually been pretty good about letting the scientists in a discipline determine what is the important work to fund. That approach has generally worked well.

    I think the real problem is that the scientists working in climate really have been politicized. In essence, they have decided they already know the right answer, without actually knowing. So, they pick and choose the data that reinforce what they already “know.” It’s rather like the case of Michael Behe and his like, seeing evidence for intelligent design wherever they look in the results of science.

    This attitude has been both incubated and nurtured by the moralizing of the green left. Its suffusion with purity of motive is completely blinding to those within the system.

    So, I don’t think venality or job security plays into it very much at all. I think it’s all about personal meaning, along with the wonderful effervescence of fame. Scientists addicted to drugs.

  117. Ralph Hartley
    Posted Nov 3, 2006 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    #108: You’re more lucky than me, KevinUK. A workmate of mine recently went to see “Inconvenient Truth”, and next day at lunch told us that he was now really afraid for the future lives of his children. I felt so sorry for him I broke my rule of no-politics-at-work and told him ten years of following the discussion had convinced me there wasn’t much danger for his family. The result was that he flew into a frenzy, crying how unendurable such foolish and ignorant talk, generated by paid liars, was to him (nothing against me personally, of course…) And we’re engineers, supposedly hard-headed and rational people.
    That’s how propaganda works: make people afraid for their kids.

    Repulsive.

  118. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 3, 2006 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    RE: #117 – I was in the Univ of Calif system more or less contemporaneously with Mann and personally witnessed the onrush of the “Greens with a mission.” Way back when I was a Freshman (1980) they were largely found in the true “Eco” disciplines but by the time I finished Grad studies (late 80s) they had started showing up in the hard sciences and engineering. Cal and the other campuses are a microcosm of California. When I was a child, only places like SF, Marin, Palo Alto, Berkeley, Isla Vista, Chico, Santa Monica and West LA were havens of radicalism. But these nodes attracted many from other states and other parts of the world and by the early 1990s California had become a so called “Blue State.” We, who elected Ronald Reagan governor, had done a 180 – now only a diminishing remnent in rural and exurban areas are in any way similar to the norms of 30 or 40 years ago. By the way, I was a teenage / early adult Eco Marxist Radical Green – an early infiltrator into the hard sciences. By some miracle I changed.

  119. Stevan Naylor
    Posted Nov 3, 2006 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    I stumbled on to this quote & link at Samizdata…
    “It is, I suspect, no accident that it is in Europe that climate change absolutism has found the most fertile soil. For it is Europe that has become the most secular society in the world, where the traditional religions have the weakest popular hold. Yet people still feel the need for the comfort and higher values that religion can provide; and it is the quasi-religion of Green alarmism and what has been termed global salvationism – of which the climate change issue is the most striking example, but by no means the only one – which has filled the vacuum, with reasoned questioning of its mantras regarded as a form of blasphemy.”

    – Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, quoted today by Guido Fawkes
    Samizdata link:
    Lawson’s speech is here:

  120. Stevan Naylor
    Posted Nov 3, 2006 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    Sorry – trouble with the links thingy… the speech can be found here:

    http://www.cps.org.uk/latestlectures/?

  121. Frank Scammell
    Posted Nov 3, 2006 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    Re.: 112 – Yes, bender, with some reasonably robust estimate of confidence, although I have no idea where these will come from. Sometimes I find myself astounded – at my own stupidity – to say nothing of other’s problems. On second thought, maybe leave all the spaghetti plots (I think Steve M. already has such a collection, but I don’t recall where) together. Once you remove the obfuscation of “the instrumental record”, it is obvious that none of them are going anywhere anyhow. As Steve M. has said, time to update the proxies.
    This article, Stern Measures, Reason, (http://reason.com/news/show/116401.html) opens with a good line. “It never fails. Just before the United Nations’ annual negotiating conference on climate change, the world is treated to reports warning that the problem of man-made global warming is”¢’‚¬?you guessed it”¢’‚¬?worse than we thought”.
    I really get a kick out of the argument that, if you don’t pay attention to me (i.e., don’t believe my numbers), I’m going to remind you that the Earth is very near a “tipping point”, (nonlinear, chaotic, heterogeneous, etc.) and that will be disaster. Well where is the disaster ? In my opinion, the whole idea of a climate sensitivity (positive, of course) to doubling CO2 is dependent on an assumption of linearity (over a 100 yr. period). Has any reader seen a climate model run for only a 50% increase in CO2 ? Is it 1/2 as bad ? Or does it change from a random walk to an exponential ? Quadrupling CO2 (apparently, the latest fad) should invoke all of the nonlinearities contained in the AOGCMs. Does it, or do you get a similar exponential (probably due to roundoff error) ? I don’t know, but it sure would be fun to find out !

  122. Posted Nov 3, 2006 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Bob Carter on Stern Review

  123. jae
    Posted Nov 3, 2006 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    118:

    The result was that he flew into a frenzy, crying how unendurable such foolish and ignorant talk, generated by paid liars, was to him (nothing against me personally, of course…) And we’re engineers, supposedly hard-headed and rational people.

    I have seen many people do this, including some of my relatives who should know better. It is amazing how much effect the media has on some people.

  124. chrisl
    Posted Nov 3, 2006 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    Try asking the next person you meet how much Co2 there is in the atmosphere.
    I just did and they said 10%( 100,000 parts per million) Hmmm
    I think this would be a good question for a poll
    And printed next to the one about whether you believe in global warming
    Supplementary question: how much has the globe heated up over the last 100 years?

  125. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 3, 2006 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    RE: #125 – yeah that’s right, a toxic level of CO2 in the atmosphere … ;)

    Typical answer to the question about how much the globe has heated up over the past 100 years ….”20 degrees man!” …… “why we used to get snow for 8 months out of the year, now, we only get it for 4 months”…… “we used to get cold fronts now we only get troughs”….. LOLOL!

  126. Proxy
    Posted Nov 4, 2006 at 3:04 AM | Permalink

    #120 Stevan Naylor – thank you for that excellent link.

    Lawson’s keen economist’s intellect deals with the ‘scaremongering’ Stern Review by summarizing the weaknesses in Stern’s climate science (uncertainties, models, Hockey Stick etc etc) and then demolishes the economics. He goes on to propose a rational approach to managing changes in global temperature. A direct link to his essay is here – a recommended read for anyone feeling pessimistic about the current state of ignorance.

  127. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 4, 2006 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

    #120,121 and 127 Stevan, proxy

    Thank you for the links. I’ve just listened to the speech given by Nigel Lawson, a former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer under Maggie Thatcher (and a formet Secretary of State for Energy whn I worked in the nuclear industry). It was a very interesting talk in which amongst otherthing he criticised (quite rightly in my opinion, the Royal Society’s attempts to under cut the funding of organisations which present alternative explainations for what may be causing global warming.

    It also lead me to this article by Ruth Lea (a director of the CPS) published in the Daily Telegraph on the 9th October 2006. It is entitled “Just another excus efor higher taxes” which is a sentiment I wholehearted agree with. The following is a quote from the article.

    “There is a case for green taxes. I favour reducing this country’s dependence on fossil fuels, which will increasingly have to be imported from politically unstable regions of the world. If green taxes are used to incentivise the development of indigenous, non-fossil fuel sources of energy for transport and electricity generation, this is to be encouraged. But if such taxes are introduced, they should not just be seen as revenue raisers. There should be offsets for business in the form of, for example, corporation taxes cuts and for individuals.

    Green taxes can be mightily unpopular, as shown by the fuel protests of September 2000, which led to the suspension of the fuel duty escalator. Perhaps the Government feels that, by emphasising the moral case for saving the planet, this will sweeten people’s attitudes. I’m not so sure.

    I agree with the first sentence of the first paragraph and all of the second paragraph but I do not however agree with “If green taxes are used to incentivise the development of indigenous, non-fossil fuel sources of energy for transport and electricity generation, this is to be encouraged.”. The UK does not have any indigenous, non fossil fuel sources of energy. I presume therefore she means that the development of renewable sources of energy e.g. wind power, tidal power, hydro-electricity etc should be encouraged? If she is including nuclear then sorry but that is not indigenous and either way is not acceptable to the ‘greenies’. The only realistic sources of energy which exist in the UK are North sea oil/gas and coal. Thanks to the ‘dash for gas’ the former is running out and the latter is currently uneconomic to mine and politically unfavoured.

    KevinUK

  128. Posted Nov 4, 2006 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

    Here’s “The Business” on the Stern Review

  129. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Nov 4, 2006 at 1:13 PM | Permalink

    The British government has vastly underestimated the costs of its green agenda, which could turn out to be up to five times more expensive than ministers are predicting, according to a leaked United Nations (UN) report obtained by The Business. The action recommended by the British Stern Review – keeping greenhouse gas levels at 550 parts per million – would cost up to 5% of global gross domestic product (GDP), according to the UN. This is in stark contrast with the Stern review, which says it will probably cost only 1%. This much lower number is used by Stern to make the case for immediate action and steep taxes to cut back on the emission of greenhouse gases. But the UN estimate undermine Stern’s economic rationale.

    Stern also said the cost of not acting could be 5% to 20% of global GDP. If the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change figures are right, they open up the possibility that the British proposals would cost as much as they save, making them redundant. The new UN figures, exclusive to The Business, come from a draft copy of the 2007 review of the IPCC, which is the acknowledged global authority on climate change science. The Stern review itself was explicitly based on the IPCC’s last report, which didn’t calculate the cost of stabilising emissions.

    Embarrassingly for the British government, the IPCC has done its own sums on restricting greenhouse gas emission to various levels and has found each of the targets far more expensive than the Stern review claimed.

    http://jonjayray.bravehost.com/green.html

  130. Dimitris Poulos
    Posted Nov 4, 2006 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    #116 LOL.

    It’s just that this is not science.

    Modern “science” shall, after infinite time, invent the wheel.

    Dimitris

  131. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 4, 2006 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    #130, Ken

    Thanks for the link.

    Best and for me most releveant quote from that link is

    “This is ‘Chicken Little’ stuff,” said Murray, “except Chicken Little wasn’t trying to scare the public in order to create Enron-style con games and line the pockets of Wall Street bankers at the expense of consumers.”

    While I was depreseed last Sunday morning when I first mentioned the arly coverage of this piece of AGW propaganda on the BBC, I’m glad to see that I feel a lot happier now that the rest of the world outside of our now sadly eco-infiltrated establishment in the UK has realised that there are no clothes on this particular Emperor. I’m particular buoyed up by the parallels drawn (as I did myself) in much of the international press between this obviously politically inspired preport and the dodgy WMD dossier.

    KevinUK

  132. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Nov 5, 2006 at 1:00 AM | Permalink

    Does the Stern report provide any details on how all this money will be spent? From what I can tell it sounds like the UN Millenium Development Goals, lots of motherhood and apple pie and nothing concrete. It’s all very well and good to set a goal of stabilizing the CO2 level in the atmosphere of 550 ppm or whatever, but does anyone have a plan that might actually accomplish this short of a massive reduction in global population? Socolow’s article in Science certainly doesn’t qualify, IMO.

  133. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 6, 2006 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    RE: #129 – “As a compendium of alarmist studies on global warming, the Stern report has no rival. Few outlandish claims have not been included in his 570-page tome, making it a useful guide to current eco-nuttery. Naturally, it paints the now-familiar vision of apocalypse; malaria doubling; Bangladeshis drowning; Europeans expiring in summer heatwaves and hurricanes ripping apart America.”

  134. TAC
    Posted Nov 10, 2006 at 5:45 AM | Permalink

    Robert J. Samuelson, Nobel economist, has a nice op-ed in today’s Washington Post. It begins:

    It seems impossible to have an honest conversation about global warming. I say this after diligently perusing the British government’s huge report released last week by Sir Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank and now a high-ranking civil servant. The report is a masterpiece of misleading public relations.

  135. sc
    Posted Nov 10, 2006 at 6:28 AM | Permalink

    So far as I am aware Robert J. Samuelson, although certainly no fool, has yet to be awarded the Nobel. Paul Samuelson (some relation? father?) certainly did get the Nobel for Economics.

    As regards Stern, he certainly has been successful in stirring up the sceptics (or is it heretics). Since, whatever else he may be, he is not stupid, he must have known the criticism he was going to generate by only going with the A2 scenario. Kinda makes you wonder what game is really being played

  136. Proxy
    Posted Nov 10, 2006 at 6:43 AM | Permalink

    re #135 It’s as easy to confuse Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson with the WJS op-ed writer Robert J Samuelson as it is with correlation and causation.

  137. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 10, 2006 at 6:47 AM | Permalink

    #136. Had it been Paul Samuelson, I might have got (back?) in touch with him. He phoned me up in the late 1960s to offer me a PhD scholarship at MIT.

  138. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 10, 2006 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

    #132 KevinUK,
    I could go American on you and discuss the WMD thing, but I won’t because this is not the place. :)

    Intelligence is not science. That’s two different ways of collecting information. My husband is also a retired army vet disabled-Scientist and soldier- he says apples and oranges here. [I just read a report in the NY Times that according to documents obtained and translated recently, Iraqi scientists were about a year away from creating an atomic bomb. [and we have friends and friends with sons on the ground in Iraq-one is a chemical weapons expert]
    Anyway I hear you though and understand what you mean and respect your opinion. What got us interested- besides my husband being in the environmental field is the hype being fed to our children in college and middle school about GW. Including subtle references to how our president is “a bad man” because he didn’t act on the danger of GW or agree with Kyoto Protocols.

    Now we have Diane Feinstein again running her mouth in California. You should have seen her campaign ads featuring her granddaughter and speaking about the GW threat. Blech!

  139. Joe B
    Posted Nov 10, 2006 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

    Well Rocks, your Senator Barabra Boxer is the new Chair of the Environmental Committee and she will be introducing Global Warming legislation:

    Boxer pledges shift on global warming policy

    This should get interesting.

  140. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 10, 2006 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    Yep Joe B,
    we didn’t vote for the Terminator either and one reason is because he’s into the GW game as well. It’s a shame because you can’t help but like a whole lot about the man.

  141. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 10, 2006 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    Stern wrote an Op Ed in the FT a few days ago. I have not had the time to transcribe key excerpts (I get the paper FT). If I find it on line I’ll link it although if someone finds it before, please go for it.

  142. James Erlandson
    Posted Nov 10, 2006 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

    re 142: Stern Op Ed in FT
    Benefits of climate action outweigh costs
    Tackling climate change effectively requires a global collaborative effort based on a common understanding of the magnitude of the challenge and of what is required to reduce the risks, writes Nicholas Stern, head of the UK Government Economic Service.
    It’s behind a Paid Subscriber Only wall.

  143. Jean S
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    re #27 Here’s the latest: Seven-Year Stabilization of Methane May Slow Global Warming

    Levels of atmospheric methane, an influential greenhouse gas, have stayed nearly flat for the past seven years, following a rise that spanned at least two decades, researchers say. This finding indicates that methane may no longer be as large a global warming threat as previously thought, and it provides evidence that methane levels can be controlled.

    “If one really tightens emissions, the amount of methane in the atmosphere 10 years from now could be less than it is today. We will gain some ground on global warming if methane is not as large a contributor in the future as it has been in the past century,” said Rowland,

    Isn’t this excellent news, but why isn’t the press (with few honorable exceptions), RealClimate, Lambert, or other usual suspects reporting this? Is it only CO2 we should be worrying?

  144. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    Isn’t this excellent news, but why isn’t the press (with few honorable exceptions), RealClimate, Lambert, or other usual suspects reporting this? Is it only CO2 we should be worrying?

    I’ll tell you one reason why. AGW is supposed to be unlocking substantial amounts of methane sequestered in permafrost, such as discussed here, along with significant amounts of CO2, too.

    Stable methane levels would imply that this concern is overblown. It could also imply in some/many cases that in some areas where this is expected to be taking place thanks to “warm temps,” that these warm temps are relegated to local urban heat islands and that the permafrost outside of these areas is relatively stable.

  145. Khim Singh Dhami
    Posted Feb 3, 2011 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

    Amazing! But, not exactly based on empirical evidiences.

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