Revisionist History at ATTP

Over at And Then There’s Physics, ATTP himself blogs, “One of the motivations behind yesterday’s post was the sense that we will start to see people, who might be regarded as contrarians (or mitigation skeptics, as Victor might say), starting to adjust their views to be more consistent with that of those who’ve been arguing for action.”

This conveniently overlooks that fact that those he is writing about have been clear and consistent for over a decade. Rather than Lukewarmers such as The Breakthrough Institute or Steve Mosher moving in ATTP’s direction, what in fact we’re starting to see are signs that some of the saner people on the alarmist side are beginning to consider what Lukewarmers have been proposing since Day 1.

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Of course, what ATTP is really after becomes quickly clear: “I suspect, however, that if they do so, they will not acknowledge the role that they may have played in delaying action, will attempt to portray these ideas as new and their’s, and will probably do so with the goal of controlling the narrative and marginalising those who’ve already been speaking in favour of action.”

The Breakthrough Institute, so despised and reviled by Konsensus warmongers like Joe Romm and Michael Tobis, was founded in 2003. Their operating premises, goals and strategies have not changed in the past 12 years. They’re not slyly modifying their hymn sheet to sound more like the Konsensus. They were the ones who tried to find common ground between U.S. Republicans and Democrats, bringing together the liberal Brookings Institute and the conservative American Enterprise Institute to publish the report Post-Partisan Power, which calls for increased federal investment in innovation in order to make clean energy cheap.

ATTP singles out Steven Mosher, who in a previous post had said the time is ripe for horsetrading on climate policy, as one of those who is now slyly trying to curry favor with those right-thinking alarmists to salvage his reputation. Michael Tobis, who commented several times on ATTP’s thread, forgot to mention how unlikely it is that Mosher would be kissing up.

Mosher had written at Tobis’ blog, “I’m on the record from my first appearance on the web in 2007 at RC that the GCMs are the best tools we have for understanding future climate. I’m on the record at CA showing people how to download ModelE results and generally praising its fidelity. I’m on the record noting some of the improvements gavin has made in the documentation. I’m on the record extolling the virtues of MITs model and their approach of including software developers. Im on the record arguing that the IPCC should use the best of breed models. On the record saying that the models and the data as it stands gives us enough cause for action. NOW.
None of those positions on the SCIENCE and on the Need for ACTION, is inconsistent with my views on open data and open source and on best practices. Global warming is true. we should act now. AND hiding data and code is a short sighted tactic. Hiding the decline and other silly chartsmanship games are bad tactics. And I want my tean to STOP employing bad tactics. We’ve got the science on our side, there is no need for us to compromise our dedication to transparency or our dedication to the highest quality science.”

To which Tobis replied, “I understand you want to air the dirty laundry. You understand that I don’t, but you don’t seem to understand why I don’t.

“Let me explain why. It is not because I am a pusillanimous chickenshit, Mosher. It is because the fucking survival of the fucking planet is at fucking stake. And if we narrowly fucking miss pulling this out, it may well end up being your, your own fucking personal individual fucking self-satisfied mischief and disrespect for authority that tips the balance. You have a lot of fucking nerve saying you are on my “side”.

“Unless and until you find it within yourself to understand that you have major fucked up, big time, by throwing big juicy meat to the deniers to chew on and spin paranoid fantasies about for years, even decades, I’ll take wild-eyed Frank who is inclined to start to hate me for exchanging a word with you, and gasbag Randy Olsen and the stunningly demoralizing Bill McKibben, and everybody, I’ll take all of them, on my “team” before I will pass the ball to you, because I have no way of knowing which way you will decide to kick it.”

Bjorn Lomborg has not changed his opinions since the publication of The Skeptical Environmentalist in 2001. He has always stated that global warming is a pressing problem that needs to be addressed, but that it needs to be placed in context with the other problems facing humanity. For this he was attacked viciously and repeatedly–and the attacks have never stopped.

Roger Pielke Sr., one of the first scientists to call for using ocean heat content to quantify global warming, has not changed his opinions. He believes the global warming is a pressing problem that needs to be addressed, but that it needs to be placed in context with other anthropogenic forcings on the climate system, such as land use/land cover, etc. For this he was ridiculed and marginalised by many of the people piously sucking their teeth at ATTP’s thread, edged out of future contributions to the IPCC, had projects rejected for funding and was caricatured in a cartoon drawn up by Konsensus idiots who actually called themselves scientists.

As I wrote yesterday, I have been calling for adoption of no-regrets policies, bottom up approaches, investment in energy technology, $100 billion in aid to developing countries, a revenue neutral carbon tax and much more since 2008.

It never occurred to me that I should suck up to the smarmy hypocrites comprising the Konsensus. They’ve attacked me just as they’ve attacked the people mention above. They have attacked me, not despite my support for those policies, but because of it. Because I do not call for drastic emission cuts, it doesn’t matter what else I advocate. I am become Denier, slayer of worlds.

But I’m not surprised that as their efforts to impose ineffective policy from the top down fails, they would start the tapdancing.

The Konsensus has long acted as if they truly hated Lukewarmers far more than skeptics, much as priests hated those who have left the fold far more than adherents to other religions. If this is a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment, it won’t be lukewarmers saying they’ve seen the light. We saw it long ago.

Postscript: Over at ATTP, where the blog owner continues to insist I am not banned, we see this:

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104 responses to “Revisionist History at ATTP

  1. ATTP is going to regret, if he has any ability to experience regret, the ignorant crap he has been spewing for so long. And thanks to the internet, he won’t be able to do like his eugenics spiritual fore-bearers and pretend he never said it. The world in reality is doing a fairly rational thing: Paying the alarmists to prove their case and ignoring them in terms of actual policy because it is so obvious they are full of shit. the money squandered on wind and solar is (so far) an minor source of bribes and payoff and no serious power grid is committed enough to the unreliable over priced faux industry so as to compromise the real work of delivering power.
    The third world is using the climate kooks as a way to shake down the West for money-why not? the gullible climate kooks are tossing some around, go ahead and get it while it lasts.
    It is the pathetic true believers like Romm or ATTP that provide the entertainment value in this pointless drama of the real.
    Let them spew and strut around…they are too stupid and unaware to do anything else with their empty lives.
    Meanwhile the climate will continue to ignore their imprecations, prayers, wind mills, tax schemes, and sciencey talk.

  2. Tobis is, and always has been, a good definition of “alarmist”, but at least he doesn’t talk out the side of his mouth like many other alarmists. He’s willing to spell out that the ends justify the means. I’ll never forget him telling Pielke Jr that the facts were “unhelpful”. He’s right, of course.

    I wonder if he lives in a solar powered closet somewhere?

    • No, but I just sold my car and didn’t replace it. The question of how we should live once we understand the issue is not one that I am ducking.

      I have no idea what you mean about what you will never forget me telling Roger. I am fairly confident I am being misinterpreted. It wouldn’t be the first time.

      At this point there are few people prominent in the climate debate for whom I have great enthusiasm. Romm is not among them, but ATTP is. If that makes me an “alarmist” that’s your name, not mine. So be it.

      My anger at Mosher is about his consorting with people whose idea of debate is childish schoolyard bullying, nay, monkey-like turd-flinging, directed at people like Santer, Jones and Mann. That is “unhelpful” to say the least.

      Thanks for your interest.

      • You like ATTP. You also like Peter Gleick, Jim Prall and Stefan Lewandowsky, who are bringing great shame to the very concept of ‘climate science.’ You have strange taste in friends.

        As for monkey-like turd flinging…. What you did to Judith Curry, Roger Pielke Sr., Steve Mosher and myself stands as a prototype for all to learn from.

  3. Tom, it could be my imagination, but it strikes me that you have been giving far more attention (and air-time) to the scribblings of Ken Whats-his-name than he’s ever done anything to deserve.

    To my mind, his voice echoes nothing but yet another in the multitude of third-rate, attention-seeking parrots whose mutterings and utterings (not unlike those of Romm and/or Tobis, whom he may or may not be attempting to emulate) are best left unattended and unheralded in the thinking – and thoughtful – corners of the blogosphere.

    Please stop this … “pollution” of your otherwise (well, at least for the most part!) readable blog NOW😉

    • Hi Hilary,

      Well, I sympathize with you,but since I can’t comment there and ATTP is just lying through his teeth, I hope you’ll forgive me–think of it as therapy for me and an exercise in patience for you…

      • OK, fair enough … Not so sure about the validity of your claim on the “therapeutic” front. But I’ll definitely grant you a healthy ration of patience!

        P.S. I’ve been meaning to mention that I very much admire – and to some extent even envy – your commitment and dedication to frequent postings.

        As a (possibly genetically) predisposed procrastinator, I see that I have almost as many “drafts” on file as I do actual posts! Consequently, even for your posting record alone, my hat’s off to you, Tom!

      • I was going to post your comments, but since you’re going to accuse me of lying I won’t bother. Consider the following: a lie normally has to be something that you state with certainty. An opinion is not normally a lie. I could be wrong. That doesn’t make me a liar.

      • Fine ATTP. Just go on saying I’m not banned and come up with a different excuse each time. Rachel did it! She has Absolute Moderating Command! You called me a liar!

        I have now attempted to post 8 comments since you said I was not banned. All of them on point and polite. None of them have appeared.

        As one of your commenters noted, ‘The trend is your friend.’

        Maybe I’m on Double Super Secret Probation? You are an academic, after all… Dean Wurmer?

      • Oh, noes! ATTP am I going to have to eat my words, or did your finger slip? One of my two comments actually appeared! What…does… this… portend?

      • Tom,
        Look, this is silly and I don’t really care, but if you’re going to state that I’m lying though my teeth it might be nice if you actually proved it or retracted it. I’m not really bothered either way, but I see no reason to post comments from someone who can say such things without at least actually providing some kind of convincing evidence. It doesn’t say much about your overall credibility if this is what you’re willing to to do.

        We can go through the whole “you banned me saga” again, but I don’t really feel like explaining it all again. If you don’t believe me, that’s fine but that still doesn’t mean that I have to accept your accusations of lying. You can, of course, make them if you wish, I can then choose to ignore you as a result.

      • ATTP, I’m glad to see you assert autonomy as a free agent in this world. We need more actions like that.

        You banned me. I submitted eight comments that disappeared. You said you didn’t ban me. I call that a lie. Your mileage may differ, I suppose…

        Now you have posted one of my two comments. What does it all mean? Why did you disappear the second one? Why did you give royal permission for the first one to grace your electronic pages?

        Silly? What on earth would lead you to say that all this is…silly?

      • Tom,

        You said you didn’t ban me. I call that a lie.

        Fine, but when I said that you hadn’t been banned I did not realise that my moderator has done so. You don’t need to believe me, but that doesn’t make your accusation true.

        Now you have posted one of my two comments. What does it all mean?

        Because I followed your link, discovered you’d accused me of lying through my teeth and decided not to bother posting the comment of someone who could make such a claim.

        Silly? What on earth would lead you to say that all this is…silly?

        Because I think it is. I think the whole online climate debate is silly and juvenile. I’m not even aiming that at one side in particular, I think it is all broadly juvenile. I think the behaviour is ridiculous. I don’t even take my own blog seriously. Why do you think I prefer being pseudonymous? I deleted some of your comments; so what? It’s not the end of the world. You’re not the only one who has that happen to them. I’ve had it happen to me elsewhere. I don’t care. The blog owner gets to decide how to run their blog.

        Look, if you want to accuse me of lying through my teeth, go ahead. As I said, I don’t particularly care. However, I also have no interest in interacting with someone who would choose to do so. If posting comments on my blog is so important to you, then you need to decide if you want to back up your accusation or retract it. It makes no difference to me. Here’s the bottom line from my perspective. I’m not trying to be a hypocrite or dishonest. I try to write what I believe to be true. I don’t always get it right. That doesn’t make me a liar or a hypocrite. However, if you’re going to convince me that I’m wrong you’re going to have to do a good deal more than simply throw around accusations of lying. You’re also going to have to do a better job of distinguishing between an opinion (which cannot really be wrong) and a statement (which can).

      • Now you have posted one of my two comments. What does it all mean?

        Oh, I misread this. I actually intended to delete both, but approved one by mistake and decided to just leave it.

      • Okay, ATTP. As long as you’re having fun.

        Now, about the substance of my post. Care to comment?

      • Now, about the substance of my post. Care to comment?

        Nope. If you think I’m a liar then why would you wish to interact with me? If you’re sticking with your accusation why would I wish to interact with you? The answers to both questions should be obvious. What I shall do is now add you to me comment blacklist. That way you can whine about me to your heart’s content on your blog, I can ignore it, and you can continue to be confused about why I regard the online climate as juvenile. Happy now?

      • Okay ATTP. Whatever. I’ll just consider your argument demolished and mine triumphant. Have a nice day.

  4. Tom, I have said here many times that most of these histories of the climate debate are revisions that have nothing to do with reality. But I’m a conspiracist. AGW didn’t come out of climatology departments. It came out of the nuclear labs. It became the predominant paradigm because Thatcher and Reagan (or whoever was running the country for him) pored money into it and cut off funding for everything else. It was pushed by the right wing media until the late 80’s. I’ve made lists of right wing scaremongers like Newt who pushed it. But it has all entered the collective amnesia. Your experience is just one more drop.

    Maybe you should do a piece on how the “so called skeptics” are just trying to reinforce stereotypes. Look at their sites. Are they trying to change anyones mind any more than the alarmists.

    The only way to move forward is to break the stereotypes. Point out how many progressives think that CAGW is a crock. Point out much money the alarmists are getting from the 1%, the frackers, and the nukes.

    I only read comments on here from names that are not completely predictable.

  5. Revisionist history….. sometime things are revised to get them more accurate. Like the TMI nuclear event. It was actually proof that the safety systems of well designed American light water reactors worked. Everyone was OK with discussing AGW until it devolved into apocalyptic claptrap. Most skeptics are lukewarmers, which is actually the reasonable position.
    Tom, you are a pretty good pig wrestler. Very entertaining.

  6. ATTP’s lies are of a special kind. He will insist on characterizing your words and opinions for you, and then cut you off. It is the same trick he has pulled with anyone who’s crossed paths on his blog. A terrible individual.

    • Shub,
      “Bamal” is what come to mind when I observe ATTP and his entourage.

    • Shub, how is ATTP’s behavior in any way different from Tobis, Connolley, Gavin, and other alarmist bloggers? ATTP is just following protocol. They don’t want to debate opponents. Ever. Why would they make an exception for blog commentary?

    • Tom, when ATTP started a climate blog, his tagline was ‘keeping it civil’ and he tried to follow it. He picked up on censorship as a useful tool because (i) he was sensitive to criticism, (ii) realized discussion broke out on inconvenient topics which others’ had worked to suppress, and importantly, (iii) he gained acceptance and encouragement every time he banned. He learned the protocol.

  7. Hi Thomas,

    If you can see the “Your comment is awaiting moderation” message on a WordPress.com blog then this means you have not been banned. If you had been banned your comment would simply disappear and you wouldn’t see any record of it. The other reason a comment may disappear is if Akismet has mistakenly marked it as spam. If this happens you can contact Akismet:
    http://akismet.com/contact/

    Part of the misunderstandings here are because AndThen and I are both very busy and don’t always inform the other of decisions we make right away. But I can confirm for you that you are now banned from the …andThenTheresPhysicsBlog.

    • It always fascinates how fanatics are at heart cowards. Brave enough to come over and make their cases at other people’s blogs but censoring and banning those whose hospitality they rely on at their own blogs.

    • You could told that on your blog, and at the moment you decided to ‘ban’ him. You could have given him a reason.

      It’s like the ISIS cutting off hands for petty theft.

      • Okaaaaaaay, backing away slowly now……………

      • ATTP, you keep coming over here to tell me you don’t want to talk to me.I don’t understand that. You banned me, lied about it, let one comment up, banned me again. Okay–end of story.

      • Shub, If someone left a comment on AndThen’s blog comparing someone to ISIS I would not hesitate to delete it. I’m surprised you said that.

      • Rachel, if I wanted to compare you to ISIS I would have said “she’s like the ISIS cutting off…”. If I wanted to draw attention to the casual manner in which harmful punishment is handed out, I would say what I said.

        Would you have done the same to a prominent academic who appears on your blog? I know you banned Tol but he’s too nice to make anything of it, and Tol participated in your blog for a long time so he doesn’t count.

    • Hi Rachel

      Thanks for the information.

  8. Let’s not make it about ATTP as much as folks want to make this about me.

    Early on I had a standard blurb I would post
    The climate is warming, man is the the cause, we ought to take action AND
    the hockey stick is BS

    The point of that was this: we dont need to know about the HS to take action.

    I had a variant of this: AGW is true AND we ought to have open data.

    Same logic.

    What I was trying to illustrate was the following: Many people were conflating my views on the HS and views on Climategate with my views on the science.

    One can chew gum and walk at the same time; one can believe in the core science of AGW and STILL criticize Mann and criticize thwarting FOIA.

    they are not connected in my view.

    Then of course people conflated a concern for uncertainty ( say a lower ECS ) with a policy position of “No action” Again, a logical mistake.

    Here people tend to think that if you dont support the “right” policy that somehow you are a denier. Reading Hansen’s pro nuke and revenue neutral tax ideas, my thought was.. “I can live with that” Now here is the strange thing. if hansen says it.. no problem. But if I say it, then the
    following gets thrown at me.

    1. Liar, you really dont believe that, because climategate
    2. Apologize for climategate or we wont believe you.
    3. Ahhh, your a nuke shill, because climategate.
    4. Ah, you are playing a game, because climategate
    5..You’ve seen the error of your ways, but its not good enough
    because climategate.

    In other terms the only way people can handle the lukewarmer position on policy is by personalizing the debate.

    • Yes, I do note that they’re jumping all over you because of some mysterious and nefarious motivation you must have. They did the same thing with the Ecomodernist manifesto.

      It’s no different than Joe Romm a few years ago–‘Delaying is as bad as Denying’ and the only reason we’re doing all this is our Koch sucking paymasters are pulling our puppet strings.

      Didn’t somebody write something about conspiracist ideation a while back?

    • Personalize? Gag.

      Stop attacking ordinary scientists as if they were as vicious as the organized liars-for-hire (you know who some of them are) or more so.

      I agree that Hansen’s proposal has drastically more merit than what we are doing now (the reason I believe it won’t work in a simplistic way in the US are because it constitutes a wealth transfer from red counties to blue ones, so the “conservatives” won’t allow it on entirely non-libertarian grounds; besides it is incomplete as a strategy in that it completely ignores the international negotiation side of the picture). But I agree that revenue neutrality and revived nuclear industry seem to be a good start.

      For the most part I don’t believe you or disbelieve you. I disagree about the Hockey Stick. Seems to me that the substance of it has been vindicated by subsequent studies, and that’s all that matters.

      Mike Mann to you is some sort of an abstract metaphor. To me he’s a human being, basically a mensch, a member of a community to which I belong, who in no way deserves what he has been subjected to. I don’t always agree with him, but I’m reluctant to call him out BECAUSE of the absurd and vicious way he has been attacked, nitpicked, misrepresented, and turned into a symbol.

      That you are bringing up the damned hockey stick after 17 years AND accusing others of personalizing the debate is the height of chutzpah, and not the good kind.

      I believe you on many things, Mosher. In some ways I like you. I just can’t work with you. Because climategate.

      • Because climategate. Because Mosher (and I) helped point out that a group of scientists acted unethically.

        You refused to read our book, even when we sent you a free copy. You’re blaming Mosher for writing something you have never read.,

        Because climategate my butt. It’s because you played judge, jury and executioner without bothering to examine the evidence. Which is exactly what you’ve done with every public figure who has stood up to the Konsensus.

      • Steven Mosher

        want to know something?
        when we were first publishing we got a request from Mann to work together.
        I voted yes.

      • liars-for-hire…. you are refering to Glecik? Or are you gazing in a mirror?

  9. There is no such thing as policy lukewarmism. The first fossil fuel policy question is a dichotomy – do we keep the stuff in the ground or do we use it up? Those of us who say “Keep it in the ground!” argue that the climate system cares very little about how fast we burn it; to a good approximation only how much of it we burn matters. This is a matter of physics and chemistry, not politics.

    Those who say all that we will and should certainly burn all of the carbon, albeit a little more slowly than otherwise, proudly claiming a middle ground, are only proposing taking the more scenic route to hell.

    Many of the best informed people see it that way, anyway: those of us who have studied the system in earnest mostly agree that the only economic carbon intensity that works is zero, and rather soon at that. Not taking that into account is not to understand the problem.

    We should be arguing about how soon we can get to zero, how to minimize the side effects of the transition, and (the thorny one in practice) how to allocate the remaining emissions budget. Those who argue that “things are getting better all the time” somehow forget to look at the Keeling curve.

    • Talk about putting the cart before the horse…

      Nobody should care how much carbon stays in the ground. The relevant metric is how much stays in the air.

      As for policy lukewarmism not existing, you can only say that by studiously ignoring what lukewarmers have been writing for a decade–which wouldn’t surprise me, as you’ve made a niche out of ignoring what everybody has been writing since you started.

      The difference between lukewarmers and you Alarmists is that we propose a sheaf of policy initiatives as opposed to banging the emissions drum. And that’s because China,India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, Turkey and Nigeria will not stop emitting.

      So when we talk about eliminating black soot, methane, HFCs, when we talk about revenue neutral carbon taxes,when we talk about X Prizes for improvements in energy storage, all you hear is “blah blah deniertalk blah blah.”

      The will not to know is your hallmark. It is your schtick. It is your curse.

    • keep it in the ground or use it up?

      the all or nothing position at the start explains why we havent gotten anywhere.

      We know we have to leave some in the ground.
      We know that even if we started a radical transition today that keeping it all in the ground is a practical impossiblity. We will burn between some of it and most of it. Not none or all: some or most.

      you start with an all or nothing position, anyone who suggests anything in between is evil. I get that. I get it every day.

  10. No, the question is whether we try to stop as quickly as possible or whether we merely try to slow down (or even just reduce carbon intensity while speeding up). The latter course simply doesn’t work.

    Cutting down on methane and HFCs are good but marginal gestures. Methane is not cumulative, and HFCs are not that important. It’s necessary to actually look at the numbers.

    Revenue neutral carbon taxes are obviously a promising approach. Energy storage is obviously also promising, and so is nuclear.

    “China,India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, Turkey and Nigeria will not stop emitting” Well, right, that’s the problem, isn’t it? Of course, many people include the US on that list too.

    But the fact is, it’s near-net-zero global emissions or accelerating environmental difficulties. That’s the choice. Face it or duck it, that’s what the issue actually is.

    As to who is evil, I am sure that good people get accused of being evil all the time. I won’t get into who started it. Why don’t we all just stop it? I don’t see any sign of that happening hereabouts.

    • Which is why you keep trashing Mosher among others at every opportunity. Because you want to stop… you really do want to stop…But you can’t.

      • Hmm, as I see it, I want you guys to stop bringing Mike Mann up as some sort of bad guy.

        (Ideally I’d like you to acknowledge that the hockey stick, fine methodological nitpicking notwithstanding, after almost two decades of further investigation, appears to be robust and correct. But I don’t doubt you’ll find ways to convince yourselves otherwise. As Mosher points out, it’s not really all that important anyway.)

        So as for “you really do want to stop”, I am not convinced you do. I do not trash Mosher at every opportunity. I trashed him once for claiming to be my friend because (he thinks) we are in broad agreement on the science.

        We do not need this animosity between climate enthusiasts and climate professionals. I am not asking you to change your opinion about the so-called “climategate” thing. You have stuck your respective necks out so far on that as to be unlikely to be change your position. I am only asking you to let the matter drop and stop flinging accusations, which by now are getting mighty stale.

        I would like to convince you that “lukewarmism” as a scientific position is not sufficient to justify lukewarmism in policy.

        But you keep bringing up your old resentments of the paleo proxy people. It offends me because it is overwrought, and it offends because it short circuits real conversation. If I say so you say I’m the one who’s personalizing things. Amazing.

        I’d like to try to present the evidence to your crowd without hearing about “climategate” for once. I suppose I ought to give up, right?

      • Tobis,
        We are not on a train, you are a blithering fool for believing in apocalyptic claptrap, and your cowardly schtick of posting on skeptical boards when you cesnor on yours only demonstrates that cowardice competes in you with your stupditiy.
        And Mann is as bad as any eugenicist of the last century.

    • You keep slamming Mosher. And then you lament that people are slamming people. At least we read what Michael Mann said, wrote and did.

  11. You’re on a train curving toward a bridge and you see that the bridge is out ahead. You also notice that the train is speeding up. You call everyone’s attention to it and try to pull on the emergency brake.

    People on the other side of the train do not see the problem and restrain you from pulling the brake.

    Then people whose instinct is to compromise and be reasonable offer the compromise that the train will stop speeding up so much, that we need to compromise on the speed with which we approach the bridge, that people have important appointments in the next town.

    But there isn’t any bridge.

  12. More precisely:

    “The remaining global carbon budget – the limit of what we can still emit in the future –­ must be well below 1000 Gt CO2 to have a reasonable chance to hold the 2°C line. Humankind has already emitted around 2000 Gt CO2 since the beginning of industrialization. Respecting the global carbon budget means leaving at least three quarters of all known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. With current emissions trends, the remaining 1000 Gt CO2 would be used up within the next 25 years.”

    http://earthstatement.org/statement/

    • It must feel good to use such big sciencey numbers like “1000 GT” and decide they must be left inthe ground. Or what?
      The sign of stupidi extremists is when a) they believe inthe apocalypose just around the corner and b) they can only see the negative side of the issue and misrepresent the issue at dramatically at that.

      • Or we’re flying perched on the back of Big Bird and Kermit the Frog says there’s an airplane coming at us. We look and we see Robert Stack, Peter Graves, Leslie Nielsen and Kareem Jabbar in the cockpit talking about gladiators and Turkish baths.

        But there isn’t any bridge!

  13. The 1000 GT CO2 number and the 2 C number are roughly equivalent based on current sensitivity estimates.

    • mtobis,
      The estimates are based on dumbass failed SF plots that would not even pass the editor’s screen at a pulp magazine.
      That you climate kooks have not only embraced this claptrap but managed to build social capital and wealth parroting it is an amazing, sad thing to witness….sort of like a train wreck, now that you mention it.

      • The crucial reason we have managed to achieve significant momentum is because what we say is basically true. Any other view of how it happened really is too amazingly unlikely to give any credence to.

        The silliest part of the conspiracy theory view is the idea that liberals are just eager to abandon real wealth just to have more regulations. This is such an absurd characterization. No politician is clamoring for reductions in short term economic activity. What is happening is that liberals are less challenged by the necessity for treaties and regulations and more willing to sacrifice for the long term, not that they are looking for bogus excuses.

      • Momentum? Every country that gives its people a voice and honestly discusses the issue rejects the apoclayptic view you tout.
        Switzerland overwhelmingly rejected carbon tax. Australia rejected Carbon tax. Europe is easing out of the wind and solar scams.
        There is no conspiracy ideation except by the climate obsessed. When they are confronted with the failure of their policies they blame “big oil”, the Koch brothers and etc.

      • I for one never blame “Big Oil” for the propagation of confusion. Big Oil is too big to act as a monolith, and there are plenty of decent, responsible people in the industry. They may be understandably reluctant to admit the full extent of the problem, but that doesn’t mean they are the forces responsible for subverting the conversation.

        But somebody is.

        Do you really think the Koch political money is not actually trying to defend their interests, particularly in tar sands? That implausible.

        As far as I know there’s no smoking gun tying the oil-rich in general or the Kochs specifically directly to lies about climate. But there is this, which is at least suggestive:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/31/us/politics/pr-executives-western-energy-alliance-speech-taped.html

      • mtobis,
        The hot money is giong into solar, wind and cliamte ‘research’ and cliamte ‘communication’.
        Do you think the many $billions spent on climate hype are not influencing the message?
        As to the Koch’s it is amazing how they are “merely” defending their interests and all the cliamte hypesters are only in it for the honor.
        What a hoot.

  14. No, they are based on previous sensitivity estimates.

    • The estimates haven’t changed much. Even if we were certain that the sensitivity is half the consensus value, carbon has to stay in the ground and policy measures should be started. I’d say a sensitivity above 0.5 +/- 0.25 (roughly a quarter of what we understand) leaves us very little slack time. Because the sensitivity is more like 2.5 +/- 0.75, action is drastically overdue.

      If Kyoto had been taken seriously we probably wouldn’t be in this mess. The right time to start taking action was probably not later than 1995.

      I don’t get the sense that a lot of people understand the implications of the cumulative nature of CO2 in the atmosphere, because the carbon sinks are so slow as to be negligible for planning purposes. I think Tom’s dislike of me prevents him from paying enough attention to what I am trying to explain. Perhaps someone else could explain it to him.

      • If sensistivity is half, the same amount would not have to be “kept in the ground”. That is non-rational for yuou to assert. But since the actual world is indicating a sensitivity of less 0.5 oC, and nothing is happening in climate stats that is outside of historical norms, why are you so obsessed on the carbon?
        If Kyoto had been fully implemented, nothing would have happened measurable in the climate, even according to the promoters of Kyoto. It is interesting that you would take such an extremist, non-data supported view.

      • mtobis: “sensitivity is more like 2.5 +/- 0.75”
        Mosher’s definition of “lukewarmer”: Given the over/under bet on atmospheric sensitivity to a doubling of concentrations of greenhouse gases at 3C, Lukewarmers will take the ‘under.’

        Ergo, mtobis is a lukewarmer.

      • Sure, if that’s the definition, count me as a lukewarmer. And IPCC I believe. On Mosher’s definition, there aren’t a lot of non-luke folks.

      • Tobis, my dislike and my not paying attention are actually based on your previous behavior. You have repeatedly acted very badly. Not at all like a nice human being.

        You have said several times that being nice in a vital policy conversation is irrelevant. I disagree. I actually think that in a vital policy conversation such as the need for mitigation and adaptation to climate change, something that will affect the entire world and need the active cooperation of millions of people, being a nice human being is actually more important than in a casual encounter in the street.

        But you’re here and you’re talking about the right subject for once. So let’s proceed.

      • “Sure, if that’s the definition, count me as a lukewarmer. And IPCC I believe. On Mosher’s definition, there aren’t a lot of non-luke folks.”

        Yes, you lot are moving in the direction of sanity. Your previously published opinions on sensitivity were not at all lukewarm. Neither were those of many in the alarmist community.

      • You have repeatedly acted very badly. Not at all like a nice human being.

        Pot, kettle?

      • Oh come on. Firstly there’s the irony of you complaining about me calling you unpleasant and then you doing the same to MT. For reference, my reason for calling you unpleasant was based on the the first time I encountered you on Stoat’s blog, when you implied I needed medicating and then called WMC Cunnulley. There’s also this. You’ve also proceeded to spend a good deal of time calling me a liar. I’m failing to see how this qualifies as “being a nice human being”.

        To be clear, I don’t particularly care and I’m well aware that we can all say things that are not particularly nice. I certainly have and I get them thrown back in my face quite regularly (despite acknowledging these failings). My issue is with the idea that some seem quite comfortable highlighting other’s failings but never acknowledge their own. Not being nice all the time I can happily deal with. Not being nice all the time, while implying other wise, I have real trouble with. Seriously, if you really think that you are without fault in this regard, then I have to assume that there are two Tom Fullers, or that you have a very serious issue with how you perceive your own behaviour compared to how you perceive the behaviour of others.

        Also, FWIW, MT is one of the most pleasant, calmest people I’ve encountered. That’s not to say that he hasn’t had his failings in the past, but I certainly find his manner typically very decent.

      • So, ATTP: You linked to a comment that was “I’d take a tattoo on my body a la Glover above–“Bugger off alarmist d***heads,” I’d place it where I’d like you to kiss it.”

        That was not my comment. It’s in Stoat’s borehole, so I don’t know where it came from or who said it. It has my name next to it. But it was not me. I abhor tattoos.

        You just said yesterday at your blog that first Rachel banned me, then you did. But you didn’t let any of my comments up while you were busy saying you hadn’t banned me. I think that’s a lie. As I said, your mileage may vary.

        Your perception of Tobis is very different to mine. That’s what makes life interesting.

        I have cheerfully acknowledged losing my temper and saying things I’d like to unsay. In that I am no different from you. I have apologized on occasion–have you? But I lose my temper when provoked. If that’s what the core of my problem with Tobis was, I could understand it. But it’s not.

      • So, someone else was commenting under your name? Okay, it’s quite possible, I guess.

        But you didn’t let any of my comments up while you were busy saying you hadn’t banned me. I think that’s a lie.

        I know you think it’s a lie. I’m telling you it’s not. So, in my world when someone tells me that they’re not lying and I can’t prove otherwise, I give them the benefit of the doubt. That would seem decent. You seem to think that you can stick with your accusation despite having no ability to prove it right or not. That doesn’t seem very decent to me. Of course you can stick with it, since that’s your right. What would you think if I accussed you of lying about not making the comment I highlighted?

        I have apologized on occasion–have you?

        Yes, regularly.

        But I lose my temper when provoked. If that’s what the core of my problem with Tobis was, I could understand it. But it’s not.

        Okay, you have an excuse but other’s do not?

        Okay, this is going back in circles again. My main reason for commenting here again was to highlight the two points that I think MT had made and that were not being recognised. I’ve done that now.

      • Okay, ATTP. If you insist you are not lying I will take you at your word. In case I have to refer to the incident again, what phrasing would you prefer?

  15. At S = 1.25 C/doubling, the same amount would not have to be kept in the ground for a given disruption, true. But some existing preserves reserves would still be abandoned for a reasonably tolerable outcome. Given that we are already past safety margins and winging it for a 2 C peak warming target, part of the slack arguably ought to go to a 1.5 C target.

    If S really were 0.5 C/doubling or less with high confidence, you would have a point. But it’s only in blog science that such a number has any currency.

    As for Kyoto, it’s inadequacy was overstated by certain statistical tricks, but if it had been implemented it would not have sufficed. Obviously the subsequent development of China in particular would not have been altered by the treaty. But nobody thought that Kyoto was the end of the process. We had hoped, rather, that it would be a beginning of a process, a process that for practical purposes has not started yet.

    • Kyoto, we can apparently agree, was a failure from inception. China’s development track, by the way, was clear since the early 1990’s.
      As for disruption: What disruption? The problem with AGW is that the “A” stands for “Anthropomorphic”, not “Anthropogenic”.

  16. Pingback: Academic freedom and hypocrisy | Shub Niggurath Climate

  17. I was going to stay away and you’re welcome to delete this, or ban me, if you wish, but I think Michael is making some interesting points that are not being addressed. Since there are hints that some here would like to engage in serious discussions, I thought I would highlight them again. The two main ones (I think – MT can correct me if I’m not correctly representing what he’s presenting) are

    1. On the scale of decades, or maybe a century or so, it doesn’t really matter how fast we emit, just how much.

    2. Whatever changes to our climate do occur will be roughly irreversible on human timescales.

    So, here’s my question. Given the two constraints above, if climate change does present a risk (i.e., there is a non-negligible chance that some amount of cumulative emissions will do severe damage) what should be done? Or, a weaker version, what are our viable options?

    • ATTP, I don’t censor comments here. I’ve banned two people in the life of this blog. I think banning is much kinder than censoring, as if people know they are banned they don’t waste time composing posts that will not see the light of day. You are not banned.

      As a thought experiment, you may at some point wish to compare the nature and quality of discussion on this thread (assuming we proceed to discuss) with threads with more active moderation policies, such as your own site.

  18. Should we discuss the assumptions or stick with the constraints?

    • My suggestion was that you could try to discuss the options, given those constraints.

      • I like both proposed structures for two separate conversations.

        I suggest a fork in the linux nerd sense of “fork” – move the more focused and more tightly moderated branch of the conversation that ATTP suggests elsewhere.

    • I am willing to try. If conversation can actually take place in such a polarized milieu, it is worth the chance. Certainly none of us in this thread lack in vitriol. As to moderation, I suggest we could all try internal moderation. I am uncomfortable with a heavy handed “moderation” that means posts get delayed, deleted or edited by either participant or third party.

  19. I have made my preferred policy options clear many times, although I reserve the right to reorder them based on new findings and new political realities.

    As I said upthread, I believe the sane metric to use is the carbon that stays in the air, not how much remains in the ground. I will discuss further in a separate comment.

    1. Emission reductions should be pursued vigorously in the OECD. Natural gas should replace coal for electricity generation in the short term. This should be an active policy goal. The EPA is high-handed and is currently not playing fairly. Nonetheless, they are essentially correct in their policy goal of getting coal out of the electricity grid.

    2. In the rest of the world, the rich world’s contribution should move in two directions: Helping the developing world skip one or two rungs on the energy ladder and helping make their preferred energy portfolio as clean as possible using technology transfer. This will implicitly involve swallowing hard and accepting coal as a rational choice for many countries.

    But coal is less emissive than dung and firewood and its benefits are easy to number. We should donate scrubbers for coal plants and help them chart a path to even less emissive technologies in the medium term.

    All of my other policy recommendations fall logically from those two primary goals. If we cannot agree on them, my advocacy of revenue neutral carbon taxes, X prizes for innovation in energy, support for Fast Mitigation measures, etc., do not make sense.

    It is my experience that true skeptics will object strongly to Point 1 and true alarmist to Point 2. That is the discussion I think needs to be resolved.

  20. Putting limits on how much in the way of fossil fuels we withdraw from the ground to me is misguided for several reasons.

    The first is practical. It is difficult to measure and impossible to enforce.

    The second is scientific. Unburnt fossil fuels are hard to measure and the relationship between unburnt fuel and avoided warming is indirect. Substitution of factors may occur.

    The third is also scientific. As Freeman Dyson has pointed out, we do not know enough about the relationship between the great carbon sinks to say with any confidence that X amount of fossil fuels will reduce warming by Y.

    ATTP said in a comment at his blog recently that physics plus logic trump statistics. I would say rather that in a world with a very complex climate and hydrological system that biology has the potential at any time to trump physics.

    Finally, I think it political suicide to move away from the one metric everyone in the debate currently trusts, the Keeling curve. We all understand it, we all believe the numbers and the consequences of moving away from it are certain to be more arguments based on less certain metrics.

  21. I vote for keeping the focused conversation on viable options here and let the conversation that requires moderation go somewhere else.

    To date, the most widely advocated mitigation approach is the top down imposition of a price on carbon, achieved by the political process, communicated through the information deficit model. It is a denier and delayer dream scenario.

    The purpose of a carbon tax is to incentivize the market toward mitigation. It fundamentally recognizes the marketplace as the best vehicle for mitigation. The advantage of the marketplace is in the ability of participants to spend their time, money and effort in any way they choose. It can be incentivized toward mitigation from the bottom just as it can from the top. The advantage of a bottom up approach is that it can begin right now. In fact, it has already begun.

    So far, the political process has proved woefully inadequate in achieving what is often called the most promising avenue to mitigation. Even political majorities, which are fleeting, have not guaranteed success. I wonder how long until a meaningful carbon tax will be realized? How many countries will enact one in the next five years? What does it say about the urgency of mitigation that its most promising proposal won’t be in place for years, if ever? Climate, as a tragedy of the commons, is more a social problem than a political one. It should be overcome through a social process that does not rely on politics.

    Hart,Nisbet2011 is one of several recent studies that demonstrate the weaknesses of the deficit model of science
    communication for mitigation. Another study used cultural filters rather than political affiliation. It came to similar conclusions, finding that, whatever its merits, the information deficit model is inapplicable to the mitigation. message. The more we use the model, the further from mitigation we go. We need a communication model that focuses on the goal.

    • Hiya Paul! Good to hear from you again.

      I just want to add my usual ‘me too’ comment backing you up. I don’t think the power of individual actions lies primarily in emissions reductions, but rather in their utility as a signaling device to politicians, manufacturers and the owners of utilities.

      Voting with your pocketbook has changed policy in the past.

      One thing that should give hope to all of us concerned about climate change is the speed with which opinion changed on gay issues. It took a decade, once they found the right message, the right voices to carry it and the right attitude towards the huge majority that was previously reluctant to engage on the issue.

      There was no attempt to overcome an information deficit. Real people told their stories or had them dramatized in the media. Common sense and shared humanity did the rest.

      And there was organized opposition that had to be overcome. And it happened without demonization, with clear acknowledgements of the difficulty faced by those with strong religious beliefs.

      Unlike the current climate debate, where Anthony Watts is called a motherfucker who needs to die, or the Australian government funds a play called ‘Kill Climate Deniers.’

      Perhaps the alarmist brigade can learn from the gays.

      • I was in academia much of that time. LGBT’s took no prisoners. You were either 100% with them or you were gone one way or another.

      • Hi Marty, but academia had been politicized on the issue for decades without having an impact on policy. It was only when average citizens changed their views that movement actually began.

        I credit Will and Grace…

      • Tom,
        Elevating the climate obsessed to the levels of the LGBT community is so wrong on so many levels.
        As to real stories of the cliamte crisis: There are no real heart rending stories of the climate crisis to tell That is why the hypesters have to rely on Cooked books and as Paul points out, “Top down” (imposed by fiat) solutions.
        If they had to rely on reality, there would be nothing for them to do.

    • Paul,
      You assume that “mitigation” is
      a) achievable
      b) useful
      As to informaiton deficit, I would disagree.
      All alarmism is mis-or dis-information.
      The promoters of alarmism are seldom operating at a deficit of information. It is the signal to noise of the information that is the problem.
      What is it with the climate obsessed and “moderation” (censorship) that attracts them so much?

  22. Hunter,

    A better term for “mitigation” is energy transformation transformation or, if you will, replacing fossil fuels. Is it achievable? Certainly, maybe even inevitable. It will take 30 to 75 years under the best of circumstances, but it will happen.

    Is it useful? That’s the essential question. Is it a good idea to, in this century, replace fossil fuels? There are a number of valid and equally compelling reasons to think so. Mine is simply the march of human progress.

    I don’t think you understand what the information deficit communication model is, but you do understand how its use is counterproductive to the climate concerned’s goals. The “alarmist” tendency to exaggeration and low probability worst case scenarios is a fatal flaw.

    • Paul,
      I think we will be burning coal and natural gas as significant power sources until a nuclear alternative becomes acceptable and widely available.
      Wind and solar are non-starters, always have been and always will be for grid level applications.
      As to “information deficit”, I re-checked the definition and I think I have it right: People are persuadable by experts when the public’s bs detector is not triggered.
      Evolution is a good example of this: Most Christians accept at least the general outlines of evolution even as they believe in God causing all to happen. The climate hype promoters have been caught fibbing and deceiving far too often- their noise overwhelms the signal. IOW, alarmists are corrupting the proper use of information deficit by mixing the signal (CO2 is a GHG, humans are impacting climate) into the apocalyptic claptrap that we are facing a catastrophe, that is already happening, that there is strong evidence supporting those claims.

    • Paul,
      Your posts are interesting and give a lot of food for thoguht.
      While I like your definition of mitigation, transformation seems to be the last thing on the climate insider’s mind. They seem to be much more interested in strong positive cashflows- wind subsidies, govt. loan guarantees, consulting fees, sstudy grants, NGO funding, etc. The correlatoin between climate concerned policies and CO2 reduction is basically 0, similar to the climate concerned success rate on predictions, which is matched by impact on climate.

      • From my perspective which you call “alarmist”, the principal issue is to get to carbon neutral or carbon negative. I am sure some of the proposals on the table are bad ones. A complete lack of policy intervention is among the bad ones. But that doesn’t mean that every policy is good. To the contrary, bad policy is always much easier than good policy.

        Bad policy, including continuing the effective no-policy policy which is the easiest bad policy, is by far the likeliest outcome. But we need a good policy.

        Doing policy right is a huge challenge to global collective decision-making, which (GATT, WTO, IATA etc.) has some successes that people somehow like to forget.

        It seems to me that our host’s idea of “lukewarmism” is that getting to zero is not important, so that the no-policy policy is fine.

        The new “ecomodernist” push implicitly restates the BTI position that getting to zero follows from technological innovation alone. Again there is no need for a policy instrument on that view. That is exactly the stated position of the main players in the fossil fuel industry. But the immense economic interests of that industry are in slowing that transition down. If they extract the full book value of their reserves, which “fiduciary responsibility” says they are supposed to do, the outcome will likely be somewhere between grim and cataclysmic. Avoiding that is the reason we need a globally binding policy.

        That’s why both “lukewarmism” and (“breakthroughism” as now renamed) “ecomodernism” are wishful thinking in my opinion.

        In the real world, there is a fossil fuel industry, and the imperatives of capitalism put them under enormous pressure to do us harm. Some sort of global regulatory instrument is needed. Doing this responsibly and effectively will be very difficult. The fact that lots of people would just as soon that such a process fail for their own ideological reasons just makes matters even harder.

      • The ones doing harm are the green parasite NGOs. They seek to impose poverty, drain away money from things that help people in the name of CO2 obsession, and offer little more than posturing at self-enrichment.
        The fossil fuel industry (which is a construct of your mind) delivers things that helps billions daily: The coal industry delivers good, affordable power that lights the world and powers economies that help people live better, healthier lives. The oil industry supplies transportation fuels that helps billions dail, not to mention plastics and petrochemicals and fertilizers that billions of us people rely on for clothes, shelter, medicines, clean affordable containers, among amny, many other things. World poverty is decreasing, world health is increasing, and instead of offering ways to improve that the climate obsessed community wants to end it.
        And the climate obsessed have the chutzpah to demand it all goes away because they have scary stories about the future that a self-promoting industry of fear mongers have pretended is an accurate prediction of the future. Each and every prediction of doom by the climate community has failed.
        We have impacted the climate/environment of Earth since humans first harnessed fire and started using agriculture. We will continue to do so. And we are getting better at these imapcts- making more of the world sustainable for humans. The obsession on CO2 is just a modern manifestation of the delusion that Malthus wrote about.
        As Tom points out in another post, we have muddled through quite well despite the litany of failed prophecies of doom. And we will continue to do so in the future.

      • As has been the case since 2008, Mr. Tobis, you have either ignored what I have written or choose not to understand it.

        The policies I advocate were mostly proposed first by those supporting the consensus on the need to mitigate global warming to whatever extent we can. These are not crackpot proposals put forward by iron sun mongers.

        Fast Mitigation seeks to lower temperature forcing by 0.5C by the end of the century. Revenue neutral carbon taxes are based on solid economics, mostly from Pigou. Energy efficiency is already official policy in the U.S. and many other countries and has worked wonders:

        I don’t think getting to zero is unimportant. I recognize that it is impossible. What that means is that we have to practice politics, the art of the possible, to find the best possible portfolio of fuel choices, investment strategies and advance adaptation to allow development in developing countries while reducing the burden that the developed world places on the environment.

        The plainly obvious fact that you will not get what you want has embittered you, something that earned you the nickname of Dr. Doom. Demanding that the world get to zero emissions just isolates you.

      • Tobis, I’ve written this before. This is what you are labeling no policy and bad policy.

        That said, here is what I think we should do while waiting for clarity regarding sensitivity and other unresolved issues with the science:
        1. Tax CO2 at a starting rate of $12/ton and revisit the rate every 10 years, adjusting the rate to reflect changes in CO2 concentrations and a pre-agreed metric for climate change that has occurred in the interim. Where possible (especially in the U.S., to offer some hope that conservatives may eventually support the concept) the carbon tax should be arranged so as to be revenue neutral. In the U.S. that might involve reductions in Social Security taxes for both employers and employees.
        2. Spend a global total of $100 billion for the transfer of technology to the developing world for the purpose of reducing the impact of development technologies, in hopes that they can leapfrog one or two generations of energy development.
        3. Commit to spending over the course of this century on moving roads inland, removing permission for construction on threatened coasts and flood plains. The EPA found that this would cost about $400 billion for the United States about 20 years ago–adjust for inflation. But that’s a one-time cost.
        4. Continue Steven Chu’s investment strategy for reducing costs in renewable energy, storage and transmission. Continue with ARPA-E at full funding. Institute high value X Prizes to reward innovation in these areas.
        5. Encourage the U.S. EPA to continue to regulate CO2 emissions from large emitters.
        6. Accelerate permitting for new nuclear power plants to restore nuclear power’s percentage of electricity to 20% in the U.S.
        7. Uprate existing hydroelectric plants to take advantage of advances in turbine technology.
        8. Mandate uptake of GPS within the air traffic control infrastructure and controlled and one-step descent on landing.
        9. Homogenize permitting and regulation for installation of solar and wind power. Maintain current levels of subsidies and RPS.
        10. Increase utilization of Combined Heat and Power facilities from its current 7% of primary energy production to the world average of 9% and then by steps in northern regions to benchmark levels found in Denmark, Holland and other northern European countries.
        11. Subsidize introduction of charging stations for electric vehicles.
        12. Force existing coal power plants to meet best available technology standards or close.

  23. The scale of human impact has changed. There are more of us, and each of us has more power over the environment. The world is more than the sum of its parts now – we are creating nonlocal issues.

    That’s why the nature of the problems we face and the strategies we need has changed. Local thinking is no longer enough. Global issues require global solutions, like it or not.

    It’s a new situation. Past performance is no guarantee of future outcomes.

    • If local thinking/solutions are no longer sufficient, then why does the climate obsessed community spend so much time telling people to “their part”?
      Setting that aside, you make an assertion without any evidence that your point of view offers anything like a solution- it is clear that claims about the scale of the impact have been vastly over stated. Even now Scripps is confirming the skeptic point of view that Arcitic ice is much more complex than the cimple spiral of death the consensus offered. Even now there is a complete lack of evidence that slr is an issue to be concerned with more in the future than it has in the past. Even now it is still clear Tibetan glaciers never were in danger from CO2. etc.
      Even the IPCC has backed off, in its non-political writings, the fear mongering that characterizes so much of the discussion today. As for global solutions, if there is a need for global thinking, it is clear that windmills and solar will never be an important part of it. Why not reach some low hanging fruit: clean soot and other pollutants out of coal fired plants worldwide? Incremental solutions that do something are better than grandiose plans that never happen.

    • I always thought that the phrase ‘think globally, act locally’ originated with environmentalists.

      The problem with a multinational solution is that the problems each region faces are different. Their contributions to the problem are different. And their contributions to the solution should be different.

      • Tom,
        After your experience in China, do you have any concerns about Pielke’s Iron Law and its implications? Also, consider the dynamic situation: Emerging India, the likelihood of breakthroughs in Africa, etc.
        Also, when have we *ever* had a political situation that would lend itself to incremental, rationally revisited 10 year tax and finance planning?
        Never.
        The USSR could never even get their 5 year plans to work and they had no organized free opposition.
        As a Luke warmer who is on the coolish side, I think the best thing to do is to encourage critical reviews of the need to act beyond what Tobis is against: Basically as little as possible.

      • I thought the phrase started with the co-opters.

      • Hiya hunter

        China has compelling reasons to move towards a greener country. That video Under the Dome was seen by 200 million in China before the censors yanked it offline.

        Conventional pollution is a big, big deal in China. Which is exactly what environmentalists used to tell us–that as soon as per capita GDP reached $4,000 people started to want resources committed to dealing with environmental issues.

        But those people highly concerned are relatively rich people living in half a dozen of the big cities. In the countryside they are still concerned with having enough power to get to the level of poor.

        Dueling concerns–my money is with the relatively wealthier to get their way, for China to shut down coal near the wealth cities and to continue to use it in the hinterlands.

      • Tom,
        Good insights. I wish we had been able to go to China this past February.
        I understand the pollution is even worse in winter. Except for summer, lol.
        As to coal: There are many things to do besides shut down coal.
        There is cleaning the plants, scrubbers, better burning, etc.
        My bet is China the route of incremental improvements in their existing plants and build the many new ones in the pipeline to better standards.
        It worked here, before big green hijacked the process.
        I hope China can avoid the emergence of a parasite class of self-declared activists.

  24. Here is a nice compendum of cliamte related predictions that are worth reviewing, by the way:
    http://climatechangepredictions.org/categories/doomsday

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