A picture is worth a thousand words

Bob Carter has managed to get a whole bunch of people to sign a letter touting his warming ended in in 1998 claim. Here’s what they signed:

there has been no net global warming since 1998. That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.

I bet that they didn’t include a graph of global temperatures:

i-e41085efda34ceb0dcd669b1a667d11d-gat2005.png

You know, even the CEI admits that this “warming ended in 1998″ claim is disingenuous, but look at all the people who signed Carter’s disingenuous letter.

And look who Nexus 6 spotted in the list: Edward Wegman. Yes, the man touted as an independent judge of McIntyre and McKitrick arguments against the hockey stick turns out to be a global warming denier.

Comments

  1. #1 Ian Gould
    December 16, 2007

    Congratulations, Lance, you have a fellow member of the new mainstream: JC. It’s two lone soldiers for truth against the world.

    “Tol has not repudiated anything he said about the problem of Stern using a discount rate 1/70 below the cost of capital.”

    I’ll be generous and assume you’re yet to read the latest explanation of which this claim of yours is false.

  2. #2 jodyaberdein
    December 16, 2007

    Perhaps someone should tell the Nobel committee and Trinity College Cambridge that Sen is an idiot?

  3. #3 Jeff Harvey
    December 16, 2007

    Sachs is left wing? The guy has promoted ‘shock therapy’ using the disasterous capitalism laissaz-faire economic model first used by the infamous ‘Chicago boys’ on juntas in Chile, Argentina and elsewhere in Latin America. JC, have you a clue what the ‘shock therapy’ entails? Clue: it ain’t collectivism or Keynesian interventionism. Its out and out free market absolutism.

  4. #4 Chris O'Neill
    December 16, 2007

    jc: “you don’t need these dudes giving you any advice. You can easily just rely on me”

    he said looking at the ceiling and whistling a nervous whistle.

  5. #5 Tim Curtin
    December 16, 2007

    “I think that many people are re-evaluating nuclear power, as it becomes increasingly clear that the concerns people had about nuclear power are relatively minor compared to the likely consequences of global warming”.Posted by: trrll | December 15, 2007 11:56 PM

    As your name suggests you live in a dream world. The Greens in Germany have successfully achieved commitments to phasing out of all the country’s nuclear power stations by 2020, and each is being replaced by a new coal-fired station. The landscape there is already littered with windmills, seemingly to little effect. Wake up. The Greens are merely atavistic naturalist anti-humanists who won over the world’s bureaucrats at Bali.

    Jeff Harvey: how many species (both animal and vegetable)are present NOW in the Singapore Botanical Gardens (temp c.30C) (none air conditioned when I was there) and how many in Helsinki’s (ave temp c.0C) other than in centrally heated cages(or even in Amsterdam’s)? Let’s bet: say a dollar per species living without air conditioning or heating? Go count man!

  6. #6 JC
    December 16, 2007

    Gouldiechops,

    It’s not that i don’t believe you or anything like that, but I just wanna see the evidence. Link it please.

    Perhaps someone should tell the Nobel committee and Trinity College Cambridge that Sen is an idiot?

    I think it was the committee trying out the idea of affirmative action in giving it to Sen. Sen’s work on welfare economics is like tautological economics. Economics is the study of scarcity so it’s repetitious to introduce welfare economics as a separate subject. Nonsense.

    Sachs is left wing?

    Yea. But whatever he is first and foremost he is a dope. And a destructive one at that.

    The guy has promoted ‘shock therapy’ using the disasterous capitalism laissaz-faire economic model first used by the infamous ‘Chicago boys’ on juntas in Chile, Argentina and elsewhere in Latin America.

    Bullshit. He promoted the usual dopey crap that the IMF always did when it went into a country. Raise interest rates; devalue the currency and spike up tax rates.
    These were never Chicago’s policies. Chicago actually succeeded in turning Chile around. Sachs almost ruined Russia and Eastern Europe.

    Get to understand the subject before writing something, jeff.

  7. #7 jc
    December 16, 2007

    Chris:

    It was said tongue in cheek, but judging the level of economic understanding at this site by he commenters (including you Gouildiechops sometimes) there is an element of truth to it.

    I have Harvey suggesting Sachs is a Chicaogo School devotee. Christ almighty, even Sachs would throw a fit if he read that.

  8. #8 Robin Levett
    December 16, 2007

    @Lance (#89):

    Carbon fuels include coal which supplies about half of the US’s electricity.

    And another 25% of the US’s electricity is supplied by petroleum and gases together

    Only about 40% of US energy consumption is for electricity generation, so only 20% of the total requirement is met by coal-fired power-stations; 10% by petroleum and gas power stations.

    Transportation accounts for 40% of end-use consumption in the US; and how much of the freight transportation system can run on electricity or coal? You’ve got (by tonnage-volume) around 40% travelling by diesel-fuelled road transport, 40% by largely diesel-fuelled rail transport, 9% by (largely oil-fuelled) water transport, with the balance picked up by various modes including multi-modal transport using some of the above.

    So, even without looking at industrial and residential fossil-fuel usage, you have to replace around half of your current energy supplies when oil and gas become uneconomic whether you “believe in” AGW or not.

    I ask again therefore; when do you believe that fossil fuels – specifically oil, upon which most of global transportation rests – will be priced out of the global economy through scarcity?

    I fail to see the relevance of your asbestos red herring. Please try to stick to the topic at hand. Are you claiming that a “consensus” of economists are saying that abandoning fossil fuels is cost effective? Please don’t present the Stern Report as representing the opinion of main stream economists. It certainly does not.

    You appear to have me confused with someone else whose name is similar to mine – Ian Gould.

  9. #9 Jeff Harvey
    December 16, 2007

    JC, No I am ot suggesting it, but then again, Sachs economic prescriptions for eastern Europe are almost a carbon copy of the ideas that Friedman and Hayek imposed on Chile and Argentina in the 1970s – ideas that eventually bankrupted the economies of both nations and ostensibly destroyed the middle classes. It was only after Chile’s economy buckled and then collapsed in 1982 that Pinochet dusted off many of the policies of his old arch enemy Allende and ended the monetarist experiment in the country. Note that copper – by far Chile’s most important resource – was never privatized. Had that happened, I am sure that the economy would have collapsed even sooner.

  10. #10 Ian Gould
    December 16, 2007

    Time to break out the JC/English dictionary:

    “mainstream economist” = the tiny minority of economists who actually agree with JC. (If there are any since Hayek passed on.)

    “Left-wing” = anyone who disagrees with JC. JC is the guy who once denounced Maggie Thatcher on this site as a socialist.

    “Chicago actually succeeded in turning Chile around.” and precipitated a massive pension fraud and stock market collapse which was so catastrophic that Chileans have reacted by electing socialist governments for the last twenty years.

    “Gouldiechops,

    It’s not that i don’t believe you or anything like that, but I just wanna see the evidence. Link it please.”

    I quoted from a personal communication with Chris Hope, the guy who did the modeling. Since you assure me you’ve read his paper and since his e-mail address is in there (or your could google “Professor Chris Hope”) you could always contact him to verify that the message I quoted is really from him.

  11. #11 Jeff Harvey
    December 16, 2007

    JC wrote: “Chicago actually succeeded in turning Chile around”. Ha ha haa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ad libtum. What a load of unadulterated crap. JCB*, given your outright arrogance, I think its you who ought to swat up on economics. There’s no way Friedman’s and the Chicago Boy’s ideas could have been implemeted in South America without violent repression, torture and murder. Turn it asround? Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! Raul Prebisch, a noted South American economist, would find your arguments not only repugnant but ignorant. If you don’t believe that IMF/World Bank prescriptions and the free market absolutist ideas of Friedman and his ilk are virtually identical, then its you I think who needs to learn something.

  12. #12 Ian Gould
    December 16, 2007

    “Tol has not repudiated anything he said about the problem of Stern using a discount rate 1/70 below the cost of capital.”

    Since we’re askign for links, show me where Tol said that, bearing in mind, for about the 60th time, that PURE TIME PREFERENCE IS NOT THE SAME THING AS THE DISCOUNT RATE.

  13. #13 dhogaza
    December 16, 2007

    Looks like we have the airhead trifecta on this thread – lance, jc, and tim curtin.

    Each who knows more about science and economics than real, working, scientists and economics.

    Just think, we could replace thousands of working professionals in those fields with just these three geniuses!

  14. #14 dhogaza
    December 16, 2007

    Uh, economists, of course :)

  15. #15 tamino
    December 16, 2007

    For yet another perspective on the “no global warming since 1998″ claim, here’s another post on the topic.

  16. #16 Terry Ward
    December 16, 2007

    Where is the dust bowl on that graph at the top of page?

    Disingenuous indeed.

  17. #17 cce
    December 16, 2007

    Terry,

    The graph at the top of the page shows global temperature. You are confusing it with US temperature.

  18. #18 trrll
    December 16, 2007

    For yet another perspective on the “no global warming since 1998″ claim, here’s another post on the topic.

    Nice job. This is an excellent analysis, because it shows how to answer the question, “If you say that 9 years is too short, then how long is long enough? Isn’t that equally arbitrary?” Scientists frequently have to deal with the question of how much data you have to collect to detect a trend or difference of a particular magnitude. This sort of “Monte Carlo” approach, in which artificial data is created with a known difference or trend, then noise comparable to the real situation is added, and the analysis method is tested to see how reliably it can extract the (known) signal from the noise, is one of the best ways of validating an analysis method and determining how much data you need to collect to answer a particular question.

  19. #19 Kevin
    December 16, 2007

    Trrll:

    I will continue to object to the rhetorical device of referring to debate opponents disparagingly, and worse to likening them to moral undesirables as a matter of habit; I’ll leave it with my stated objection. If your argument is solid, you don’t need over-generalized name calling.

    Here’s the link to Trenberth’s statement:

    http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2007/06/predictions_of_climate.html

    “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios. They are intended to cover a range of possible self consistent “story lines”"

    Coherence over correspondence.

    “But they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.”

    Modelling scenarios are not empirical and not probabilistic due to lack of necessary input.

    “Even if there were, the projections are based on model results that provide differences of the future climate relative to that today. None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate.”

    IPCC GCMs don’t correspond to the case.

    There you go. That’s how I interpret what he wrote. If I have his statements wrong, please state how.

    Boris: Thanks for your considered reply.

  20. #20 Robin Levett
    December 16, 2007

    @Kevin (#119):

    Trenberth is not saying in the blog comment you quote is not that GCMs have no predictive value simpliciter. A better sense of what he is saying is found towards the end of the comment, where he says:

    The IPCC report makes it clear that there is a substantial future commitment to further climate change even if we could stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. And the commitment is even greater given that the best we can realistically hope for in the near term is to perhaps stabilize emissions, which means increases in concentrations of long-lived greenhouse gases indefinitely into the future. Thus future climate change is guaranteed.

    So if the science is settled, then what are we planning for and adapting to? A consensus has emerged that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” to quote the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Working Group I Summary for Policy Makers and the science is convincing that humans are the cause. Hence mitigation of the problem: stopping or slowing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere is essential. The science is clear in this respect.

    And this science incorporates the work done on GCMs; however:

    the science is not done because we do not have reliable or regional predictions of climate. But we need them. Indeed it is an imperative! So the science is just beginning. Beginning, that is, to face up to the challenge of building a climate information system that tracks the current climate and the agents of change, that initializes models and makes predictions, and that provides useful climate information on many time scales regionally and tailored to many sectoral needs.

    In a 19 September 2007 post on the same blog, Trenberth said:

    Climate models are not perfect, but they are useful tools for quantifying the effects of various climate processes and drivers of climate change.

    He is saying that the GCMs provide reliable big picture information; they predict the global long-term trends upon which regional and shorter timescale climate cycles are superimposed. Because they don’t model, say, the El Nino/La Nina cycle, and are not initialised with the current state of global climate, they cannot yet be used to make detailed predictions of what the global average temperature may be in a particular year.

    That is a long way from saying that they are not empirically based, and have no predictive value, which was your original assertion.

  21. #21 Kevin
    December 16, 2007

    Robin:

    Are you accusing me of the a dicto simpliciter fallacy or do you just Latin?

    I find your “sense” of what he is saying to contradict what he actually says. You quoted him offering his interpretation of the IPCC report’s statement, not him refuting or drawing antithetical conclusions to anything I asserted. There is an important difference between what the IPCC report says and what the case happens to be. His statement is relative to the report, not the case. You then quote him following up with a conditional, rather than a declarative sentence, “*if* the science is settled…” He states also that a consensus has emerged that climate is warming. He does not state that models have predictive value, that they accurately reflect the case, that they capture the necessary and sufficient conditions of global climate. In fact, I quoted him saying they don’t and you failed to rebut any of it.

    He also says “the science is not done, because …” which seems to falsify the earlier conditional “if the science is settled…”

    “He is saying that the GCMs provide reliable big picture information; they predict the global long-term trends…”

    No, he is not saying that at all or you need to be a hell of a lot more explicit for me. I quoted what he said about the predictive ability of IPCC GCMs.

    I’ll quote it again and thank you not to attempt to deny what he’s plainly written. Unless he has recanted, and then I’d enjoy your citation of him recanting, he plainly thinks they predict nothing.

    “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been.”

    What exactly does the construction “no predictions at all and never have been” mean in your ‘interpretation’ of his thought? I am hard pressed to think of a way he could have more emphatically denied their predictive qualities.

  22. #22 trrll
    December 16, 2007

    I will continue to object to the rhetorical device of referring to debate opponents disparagingly, and worse to likening them to moral undesirables as a matter of habit; I’ll leave it with my stated objection. If your argument is solid, you don’t need over-generalized name calling.

    I do not use the term “denialist” indiscriminately for debate opponents; I refer specifically to those who use the deceptive debating tactics of the denialist, such as cherry-picking

    ” But they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.” Modelling scenarios are not empirical and not probabilistic due to lack of necessary input.

    This is correct, because these are climate models, not political models. So the best that they can do is predict what will happen to the climate under different emissions scenarios. Physics is not a great deal of help in predicting what people will do.

    “Even if there were, the projections are based on model results that provide differences of the future climate relative to that today. None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate.”
    IPCC GCMs don’t correspond to the case.

    I find it odd that you quote this, but choose to omit the concluding sentence of the paragraph, “I postulate that regional climate change is impossible to deal with properly unless the models are initialized,” which makes it clear that he is referring to the limitations of current models in predicting regional, as opposed to global, climate change.

    Similarly, you choose not to mention his statement that “It works for global forced variations” or “Hence mitigation of the problem: stopping or slowing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere is essential. The science is clear in this respect.”

    Perhaps you genuinely do not understand what he is talking about, do not appreciate the meaning of what you omitted, and actually think that he is saying that current models of global climate change do not work. But this looks a lot like a kind of denialist cherry-picking known as “quote mining,” in which snippets of text are taken out of context to convey an impression that is at odds with what the full quote conveys.

  23. #23 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    Lance, with regard to your estimate that it’ll cost trillions to eliminate fossil fuels I’m goign to be a good environmentalist and recycle part of a post from johnquiggin.com.

    Note please that this is the UPPER cost estimate based on the most pessimistic figures from the IEA. Note too that this is for the total elimination of fossil fuels from energy generation in Australia. In practice, Australia and the world by using existing best-practice technology (not hypothetical clean coal technology) could generate 50% or more of its current electricity demand from fossil fuels while meeting the objective of a 75-80% cut in emissions from the sector. That’s because new supercritical steam generators convert close to 50% of the energy in coal inot electricity compared with 35% of less for older power stations.

    finally, note too that Australia is the largest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases in the developed world and that around half our emissions are from power generation. If we can eliminate our energy-related emissions for around a$750 per person per year, the cost for the rest of the developed world should be even lower.

    “http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/ElecCostSUM.pdf

    The IEA puts the total cost, including capital and running costs, of coal-fired power plants at between
    US$25 and $50 per megawatt hour. The equivalent cost for wind, allowing for the downtime due to intermittency, is between US$35 and US$95 per megawatt hour.

    In other words, there’s a big overlap between wind and coal in terms of price and the MAXIMUM difference between the two is around US$70 per MWH- which compares the cheapest coal power with the most expensive wind power.

    So the maximum cost of displacing coal with wind would be around $70 per megawatt hour. (Equivalent to 7 cents per kilowatt hour.)

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/as.html

    Australia generates around 240 billion kilowatt hours of power per year. 90% of it (circa. 215 billion kilowatt hours) comes from fossil fuel sources.

    Replacing all that fossil-sourced power with wind would cost around $15 billion per year.

    To repeat – that includes both operating costs and capital costs and takes into account the low utilisation rate of wind energy.”

  24. #24 jc
    December 17, 2007

    JC, No I am ot suggesting it, but then again, Sachs economic prescriptions for eastern Europe are almost a carbon copy of the ideas that Friedman and Hayek imposed on Chile and Argentina in the 1970s – ideas that eventually bankrupted the economies of both nations and ostensibly destroyed the middle classes..

    Jeff.
    Nothing personal but you’re out of your mind. Friedmans’ policies turned Chile into the wealthiest nation in Sth Am.
    Argentina obviously never followed Hayek’s policies, as they seem to find it “easier” to borrow money from the international institutiones like the IMF and then renege on the repayments while keeping their economy in a socialist quagmire. They have been doing this since the 30′s.

    It was only after Chile’s economy buckled and then collapsed in 1982 that Pinochet dusted off many of the policies of his old arch enemy Allende and ended the monetarist experiment in the country.

    Yea, Jeff, like what exactly? What policies did Pinochet steal from Allende? Property confiscation?

    Note that copper – by far Chile’s most important resource – was never privatized. Had that happened, I am sure that the economy would have collapsed even sooner.

    Or done better. Here’s an idea let’s nationalise the food industry as we’ll be better off by your reckoning. You’re really into Green left Weekly Economics, aren’t you?

    “mainstream economist” = the tiny minority of economists who actually agree with JC. (If there are any since Hayek passed on.)

    Stop dissembling Gouldie. You’re even worse then “normal” these days.

    “Left-wing” = anyone who disagrees with JC. JC is the guy who once denounced Maggie Thatcher on this site as a socialist.

    Maggie is one of the great leaders of the 20th century. A giant among mere mortal men. However her greatest disappointment must be that she didn’t lower government spending….. government theft.

    “Chicago actually succeeded in turning Chile around.” and precipitated a massive pension fraud and stock market collapse which was so catastrophic that Chileans have reacted by electing socialist governments for the last twenty years.

    Oh yea, which why they have the biggest middle class in the Sth Am. If they had followed Milts advice and floated the currency they would not have suffered those problems.

    I quoted from a personal communication with Chris Hope, the guy who did the modeling. Since you assure me you’ve read his paper and since his e-mail address is in there (or your could google “Professor Chris Hope”) you could always contact him to verify that the message I quoted is really from him.

    So I’m supposed to believe that Tol now thinks that using 1/70 the cost of capital is fine, but before thought is was an absurdity. He’s lying to you, gouldie. Either that or Tol has gone insane..

  25. #25 Tim Curtin
    December 17, 2007

    Jeff: ‘Note that copper – by far Chile’s most important resource – was never privatized. Had that happened, I am sure that the economy would have collapsed even sooner’

    Who owns Escondida?

  26. #26 dhogaza
    December 17, 2007

    Escondida is relatively new, 1988, while Jeff’s talking about the period prior to 1982.

    So your point’s a bit like arguing airbus vs. the wright bros.

  27. #27 JC
    December 17, 2007

    Hoggsie

    Stop dissembling. Tim was right to point out that Escondida is a private concern and Jeff is again proving how ill informed he is to suggest/imply that the mine is government owned. He’s a joke and you’re even abigger joke to stick a leg out on the road when a tractor trailer is heading your way.

    By the way, Marion has his star sign posted on his blog. He’s an Acquariarn. What are you?

  28. #28 Jeff Harvey
    December 17, 2007

    Tim Curtin,

    The VAST MAJORITY of Chile’s copper industry has been under state control, even during Pinochet’s abhorent rule. That’s the case even now, under Codelco. Escondida’s profits are on the increase, but there has been a lot of concern that the vast majority of these profits are not re-ivested into the Chilean economy but are repatriated abroad.

  29. #29 Jeff Harvey
    December 17, 2007

    JC, who is the joke? You are, but you can’t see the wood from the trees. Chile has one of the most uneven distributions of wealth in the world, a legacy of the Allende/Chicago Boys period. If you really think that Thatcher brought prosperity to the UK, then you’re even dumber than I thought. Basically, its a wonder anyone here responds to your ignorant taunts and jibes. I’d suggest you take your hollow pontifications elsewhere.

  30. #30 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    “So I’m supposed to believe that Tol now thinks that using 1/70 the cost of capital is fine, but before thought is was an absurdity.”

    Show me where Tol ever used the “1/70th” figure or even said specifically that Stern employed a discount rate (not a pure time preference rate) of 0.1%.

    Oh and called Christopher Hope a liar and accusing him of professional misconduct is probably actionable (as well as sad and desperate).

  31. #31 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    As for Tol going insane, he hasn’t.

    He’s quoted in last week’s New Scientist (the online version is firewalled I’m afraid) as saying that having read a subsequent paper by Matthew Weitzmann (who concurred in Tol’s earlier criticism of Stern) on the incorporation of high cost/low probability events into cost-benefit analysis, he now agrees with Weitzmann that Stern was correct and they were in error.

  32. #32 Jeff Harvey
    December 17, 2007

    JC,

    On closer reflection, I give up. I have decided to defer to your infinite wisdom. Heck, I’m even confusing Allende for Pinochet and vice-versa. Thus, your claim of Thatcher as bringer of unbridled prosperity to Britain, laissaz faire economics as creater of equity and social justice must be so cos’ you say so. I’ll ignore the immense volumes of contrary evidence and stick to your views. Happy now?

  33. #33 jodyaberdein
    December 17, 2007

    so can we take it that the warming thing is settled then?

  34. #34 Jc
    December 17, 2007

    JC, who is the joke?Chile has one of the most uneven distributions of wealth in the world, a legacy of the Allende/Chicago Boys period.

    You’re right; when you look at Mali where the wealth distribution is pretty even it makes Chile look terrible.

    If you really think that Thatcher brought prosperity to the UK, then you’re even dumber than I thought.

    Only a few people agree with you, which therefore makes you a denialist, Jeff.

    Basically, its a wonder anyone here responds to your ignorant taunts and jibes. I’d suggest you take your hollow pontifications elsewhere.

    Not your site pal.

    JC, On closer reflection, I give up. I have decided to defer to your infinite wisdom.

    So, you don’t want me to go elsewhere then. Thanks for the compliment, Jeff. As anyone normal person I appreciate the accolades.

    Heck, I’m even confusing Allende for Pinochet and vice-versa.

    Yes, you are pretty confused, aren’t you?

    .Thus, your claim of Thatcher as bringer of unbridled prosperity to Britain, laissaz faire economics as creater of equity and social justice must be so cos’ you say so.

    I sense note of sarcasm in your high-pitched voice, Jeff. You’re not turning into a denialist again are you? Surely not!

    I’ll ignore the immense volumes of contrary evidence and stick to your views. Happy now?.

    Thanks. And here I was thinking you had turned into a denialist again.

  35. #35 JC
    December 17, 2007

    So I’m supposed to believe that Tol now thinks that using 1/70 the cost of capital is fine, but before thought is was an absurdity.”
    Show me where Tol ever used the “1/70th” figure or even said specifically that Stern employed a discount rate (not a pure time preference rate) of 0.1%.

    I did, I cited it earlier as Tols attribtution. I’m not going to bother giving you the link though as you can “google Tols criticism” of Stern and go from there.

    Oh and called Christopher Hope a liar and accusing him of professional misconduct is probably actionable (as well as sad and desperate).

    Well, go ahead. Tell him what I said and let the cards fall they should. Read carefully what I said, Gould. Someone is bullshiting here.

    As for Tol going insane, he hasn’t.

    Well then he wouldn’t have backed out of his criticisms then.

    He’s quoted in last week’s New Scientist (the online version is firewalled I’m afraid) as saying that having read a subsequent paper by Matthew Weitzmann (who concurred in Tol’s earlier criticism of Stern) on the incorporation of high cost/low probability events into cost-benefit analysis, he now agrees with Weitzmann that Stern was correct and they were in error.

    What specifically does he agree with Weitzmann about? It doesn’t sound as though he disavows anything he said in his strong criticism of Stern’s report. It just sounds as though he’s changed his thinking on the parameters on the alarmist shtick….NOT THE ECONOMICS.

    I want to see evidence, Gouldie. Real evidence.

    I smell a dead rat here, Gouldmeister… I’m from Missouri on this one. Unless I see your evidence, don’t bother posting a comment.

  36. #36 dhogaza
    December 17, 2007

    I’m from Missouri…

    This explains your lack of education and manners …

  37. #37 Jc
    December 17, 2007

    It’s short th=form the expression
    I’m from Missouri, the show me state Hoggsie.

    It means prove it.

    By the way what’s your star sign as Marion would probably like to know? Funny that. Marion thinks Rich Lindzen is an idiot but reads the daily star sign gig. LOL.

  38. #38 Lance
    December 17, 2007

    Ian Gould,

    Hey, I’m all for alternative energy that is cost effective. If oil and natural gas remain at historic highs I’m sure that other energy sources will become competitive. If coal can be burned in highly efficient and low emission power plants we have nothing to worry about since we have hundreds of years of coal available.

    It shouldn’t take massive government mandates to accomplish this if things are as rosy as you claim. A clear sales pitch to public utility boards should be enough if it is such an obvious advantage over existing technology.

    Robin Levett,

    It’s not my fault your name is so close to Ian’s. ;)

  39. #39 Eli Rabett
    December 17, 2007

    Ah yes, Tim, may I borrow Jc for my Science Rant of the Year contest?

  40. #40 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    In JC’s case it’s more like “I’m from Missouri therefore I’m smarter than Jesus” state.

    As for my evidence, JC started his lying nonsense about Stern and discount rates in the “Simon Caldwell is a liar” thread – so I posted the text of the response I got from Chris Judge there.

    Here it is again:

    “Dear Ian,

    Thanks for your interest in my work. The Stern review team used a real pure time preference (PTP) rate of 0.1% per year, coupled with an elasticity of marginal utility of consumption (EMUC) of -1, which gives a real consumption discount rate of about 1.5% per year (‘about’ because it varies over time with variations in per capita GDP growth rates).

    The PAGE2002 model can handle uncertain PTP and EMUC rates, and I have made many other runs with PTP rates in the range of 0 to 3% and EMUCs of -0.5 to -2. Let me know if these are of interest to you and I can send you a paper.”

    So the guy who did the modeling says JC’s wrong. He’s failed totally to prove Tol made the statements he attributed to him.

    He calls Nobel laureates idiots. (Actually he only called Amatya Sen an idiot – maybe that’s a reflection of his conviction that brown people are less intelligent than him.)

    Oh and JC let’s see if I can explain this simply enough for you to follow.

    The discount rate has at least components.

    Opportunity cost: the alternative income stream foregone;

    The risk premium: the additional return people want to accept the possibility of default;

    Pure time preference: the residual after taking the two previous components out which reflects the fact people prefer not to defer consumption.

  41. #41 Barton Paul Levenson
    December 17, 2007

    Lance posts:

    [[Most sources I have seen claim that a doubling of CO2 alone, without positive feedbacks, will result in about 1 degree C of warming. Not the stuff of catastrophe.]]

    What in the world makes you think there are no feedbacks? Are you familiar with the Clausius-Clapeyron law?

    And in any case, a change of one degree in the mean global annual surface temperature is enough to shift agricultural growing belts by hundreds of miles. The danger of global warming isn’t the heat, though heat waves will be more frequent in summer. The danger is one of huge disruption to our agriculture and economy.

  42. #42 Boris
    December 17, 2007

    He does not state that models have predictive value, that they accurately reflect the case, that they capture the necessary and sufficient conditions of global climate. In fact, I quoted him saying they don’t and you failed to rebut any of it.

    Kevin, with respect, I think you are a bit confused as to what models have attempted to do thus far. Very few attempt to make predictions in the 7-day forecast sense of the word. They are tools to help determine (among many things) climate sensitivity, the expected warming for a doubling of CO2. This is why Trenberth says the IPCC does not make predictions. A prediction would attempt to incorporate future solar forcings, volcanism and etc.

    However, when likely scenarios are used to project future climate, warming occurs under all of them. Specific predictions need to be refined, especially regional predictions. This does not mean that GCMs do not give us a very good idea of climate sensitivity–and one that matches with observational evidence as well.

  43. #43 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    Richard tol’s original comments on the Stern Review are here.

    After a quick review of the comments (it is 12.30 AM here), I can’t find ANY discussion of Stern’s use of discount rates in them.

    Tol’s criticism was essentially that Stern overestimated the costs of damage resulting from climate change and was overly optimistic abotu the cost of reducing emissions.

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/000974the_stern_review_on_.html

    I guess next JC will claim that this is a fraud and not the original version and that just like Chris Hope, Colorado State University is part of the warmer conspiracy.

  44. #44 Barton Paul Levenson
    December 17, 2007

    Lance posts:

    [[Much of that vapour however forms clouds which as anyone familiar with this topic knows can give both positive and negative feedbacks.]]

    Kiehl and Trenberth’s 1997 energy budget for the Earth-atmosphere system includes a cloud scheme. For high, middle and low clouds, respectively, they suggest 20%, 9% and 49% coverage of the sky (or, randomly overlapped, 62% for the whole Earth). Their mass paths are 0.009, 0.020 and 0.036 kg m^-2, respectively. That would indicate that clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere mass about 1.08 x 10^13 kg. The mass of water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere is about 1.27 x 10^16 kg, so there is about a thousand times more H2O in the air as water vapor than as clouds.

    Lindzen’s attempt to show that a tropical cloud “iris” would counter any increase in water vapor was shot down by satellite observations. So this objection to water-vapor feedback fails on a number of grounds.

  45. #45 Barton Paul Levenson
    December 17, 2007

    Kevin posts:

    [[ I understand you think 7 years is too short to draw a trend and using a high temp. peak year is dishonest. Why is 1000 years sufficient? ]]

    For an unbiased sample, you need at least 30 points to hit a 95% level of confidence in a value for a normally distributed variable. Find an introductory statistics course and look at the tables of z-values in the back.

  46. #46 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    Actually I see that in his conclusions section Tol makes an offhand comment to the effect that “The discount rate used is lower than the official recommendations by HM Treasury.”

    Now he’s just spent several pages tearing Stern a new one for his damage and cost estimates and other technical issues. He’s used pretty intemperate language for an academicdescribing a fellow academic’s work. If he actually thought Stern had used a 0.1% discount rate I think he would have had more than that to say about it.

    Hell when he was interviewed on BBC radio – and said that if Stern were an undergrad in one of his classes he would have failed him – he doesn’t even MENTION discount rates just damage estimates and mitigation cost estimates.

    But I’m sure the BBC are part of the conspiracy too.

  47. #47 jc
    December 17, 2007

    Rabbet

    Haven’t talked about the science here, genius. I’ve been speaking about the economics of GW.

    Here’s a puzzle for you nibble on, Rabbet, so you can leave the lettuce alone.

    Stern argues that humans value present goods the same as they would future goods…. (Future goods being 93 years away).

    In other words…. you know that sexy looking Toyota Prius you’ve been eyeing off in the shop that you were thinking of buying? Well Nic Stern thinks that even say if you had the wherewithal to buy it now, you would value a future Prius virtually the same as the one you’re going buy today.

    What that you say?

    Yea, Rabbet it’s a pretty silly statement, isn’t it?

    And you know what he also says? Pay attention and stop yawning in class Rabbet or you’ll get a good clip over the ear.

    What he also says is that paying an upfront fee of 1% of annual GDP will help mitigate a projected 20% cut GDP in 50-80 years time.

    So what do the numbers represent? Stop yawning Rabbet and pay attention.

    It means that we leave things alone and don’t mitigate…even by his own numbers.

    Why?

    Because 1% of GDP now is bigger than .2 of GDP in Sterns time frame.

    The point is that you shouldn’t pay the premium cost of insuring Grand Central for your house.

    In fact the best policy is to leave GDP unmolested on stern’s numbers.

  48. #48 Barton Paul Levenson
    December 17, 2007

    Kevin posts (about Trenberth’s comments on models):

    [[If I have his statements wrong, please state how. ]]

    The models can’t tell you what will happen because we don’t know how future emissions will go. But they certainly CAN tell you what will happen if emissions increase at a given rate. So the models are still useful. Do you understand the distinction here?

    I don’t know which way the unemployment rate will go in 2012. I do know that if GDP is tanking that year, unemployment will go up.

  49. #49 jc
    December 17, 2007

    In JC’s case it’s more like “I’m from Missouri therefore I’m smarter than Jesus” state.

    You hate Christians now Gouldiechops? Or do you just hate Christians from Missouri. Lol.

    As for my evidence, JC started his lying nonsense about Stern and discount rates in the “Simon Caldwell is a liar” thread – so I posted the text of the response

    Which was a bullshit response. Let’s make this short and sweet, Gould. What rate does stern say he used in his report? I’ll give you a hint he doesn’t even say.

    He’s failed totally to prove Tol made the statements he attributed to him.

    No I didn’t. I told you where to look; See my comment above. I’m just not doing the work for you.

    He calls Nobel laureates idiots. (Actually he only called Amatya Sen an idiot – maybe that’s a reflection of his conviction that brown people are less intelligent than him.)

    Careful with a racist accusations here, Gould , or you’ll be asked to call me racist to my face. Want to try that on? Name the place and I’ll show up. I’m friggen serious. You’re always trying this racist shit on with people you disagree with. But it stops right here. You want to accuse me of being a racist to my face, just name the place and time.
    In my opinion Sen’s work doesn’t merit a nobel prize. It has nothing to do with the man’s color of his skin, you pathetic dissembler. Maybe it’s you that is the racist coward here seeing you brought up the man’s skin color.

    The discount rate has at least components.

    All combining into one rate. So what was the rate he used, Gould? Can you at least tell us?

    By the way Stern didn’t even add up the benefits of GW, making his entire report a crock of dung..

  50. #50 jc
    December 17, 2007

    Here’s Tols crticism of Stern’s report, Gould. Knock yourself out.

    I guess googling is too hard for you.

    http://www.env-econ.net/2006/11/tols_comment_on.html

  51. #51 Robin Levett
    December 17, 2007

    @Lance (#121):

    Are you accusing me of the a dicto simpliciter fallacy or do you just Latin?

    No; I’m a lawyer and I mean that what Trenberth said is more nuanced than you appear to have understood.

    I find your “sense” of what he is saying to contradict what he actually says.

    Then you are urgently in need of remedial reading comprehension lessons; can I suggest that you read all of the posts on the following page, in context and without trying to pull out sentences that can be made to agree with your position if quoted out of context:

    http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/recent_contributors/kevin_trenberth/

    The point that Trenberth is making is not that the GCMs are useless for giving information about the future; what he is saying (and I quote him as saying so in my earlier post) is that because the GCMs are not initialised with present conditions, and because they don’t capture regional variation and short term climate cycles such as El Nino/La Nina and the ADO and PDO, they cannot at present be used to provide climate predictions fine-grained either in time or space. He does say, however, that the IPCC has never sought to make such predictions; he says instead that:

    The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios. They are intended to cover a range of possible self consistent “story lines” that then provide decision makers with information about which paths might be more desirable. But they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.

    He goes on to say that:

    The current projection method works to the extent it does because it utilizes differences from one time to another and the main model bias and systematic errors are thereby subtracted out. This assumes linearity. It works for global forced variations, but it can not work for many aspects of climate, especially those related to the water cycle.

    So they make projections, and those projections work for global forced variations – which is exactly what the IPCC seeks to know – what will be the global effect on temperature, relative to that prevailing at a given level of CO2, of adding another X ppm.

    The models assume linearity – that is, as I understand it, that the climate won’t tip over into a state where the effects of the modelled forcings differ significantly from those in operation today.

    He asks:

    So if the science is settled, then what are we planning for and adapting to?…

    and goes on to point out in the remainder of that paragraph where the science is settled; he answers the question in the next paragraph when he says:

    However, the science is not done because we do not have reliable or regional predictions of climate.

    So; at the beginning of the piece he says that the IPCC doesn’t do predictions but projections. That is the contrast he is making in the quote you have seized on; he is emphatically not saying that GCs cannot tell us anything about what will happen in the future, which is the interpretation you are trying to put on that sentence by quoting it out of context.

    He goes on to say that projections are useful in that they can point where the global climate generally will go with given emissions scenarios. The models are “useful” in that respect, and science is in that respect settled. The models however can’t at present be used to predict climate at a regional level or on short timescales; for that, we need to work on the science, and the observations, so we can incorporate those regional and short term cycles and produce climate predictions.

    Nothing in what he says contradicts the IPCC reports – to the contrary, he is explaining what the IPCC reports say, and clearing away a misconception.

    Your position appears to correspond to Bob Carter’s in the Courier-Mail on June 29 this year; Carter said, quoting the same Trenberth post as you:

    A New Zealander by birth, Trenberth has had a distinguished career as a climate scientist with interests in the use of computer General Circulation Models (GCMs), the basis for most of the public alarm about dangerous global warming.

    When such a person gives an opinion about the scientific value of GCMs as predictive tools, it is obviously wise to pay attention.

    In a remarkable contribution to Nature magazine’s Climate Feedback blog, Trenberth concedes GCMs cannot predict future climate and claims the IPCC is not in the business of climate prediction.

    Trenberth’s statements are a direct admission of the validity of similar criticisms that have been made of GCMs and the IPCC by climate rationalists for many years.

    Trenberth’s reaction is in the July 11 2007 post on the page I’ve referred to above. He says:

    Bob Carter, a climate change doubter in Australia, has written a distortion of all this in the Courier Mail, issuing various attack against the science of climate change. Andrew Ash has written a rebuttal of these comments.

    So he endorses what Ash said in response – and what did Ash say:

    The assertion that CSIRO’s “climate models are worthless predictive tools” draws on a quote (out of context) by US climate scientist Kevin Trenberth – but he does not question the reality of anthropogenic global warming, or the threat of future warming as predicted by global and regional climate models.

    All Trenberth argues is that the climate models cannot predict exactly how some aspects of regional climate will evolve in the years ahead.

    Climate scientists are acutely aware of the limitations of climate models and as a result they do not try to forecast the actual climate for a particular day or month or year decades into the future.

    They do not produce “useless regional climate forecasts” but rather valuable projections of how the climate is likely to trend, as well as assessing uncertainties. These projections equip us to prepare for the changes ahead, giving us the opportunity to pre-empt and minimise some of the potential negative impacts of climate change if we act promptly.

    So your reliance upon Trenberth in support of your position is misguided; he endorses the interpretation of his post that I gave in my first post on the topic – see the emphasised portion of the quote above. And guess what? I’d only read the Climate Feedback page I refer to above when I came to that conclusion.

  52. #52 Robin Levett
    December 17, 2007

    Oops – in #151, for “@Lance”, read “@Kevin”.

  53. #53 Robin Levett
    December 17, 2007

    @Lance (#138):

    Ian Gould,

    Hey, I’m all for alternative energy that is cost effective. If oil and natural gas remain at historic highs I’m sure that other energy sources will become competitive. If coal can be burned in highly efficient and low emission power plants we have nothing to worry about since we have hundreds of years of coal available.

    It shouldn’t take massive government mandates to accomplish this if things are as rosy as you claim. A clear sales pitch to public utility boards should be enough if it is such an obvious advantage over existing technology.

    Robin Levett,

    It’s not my fault your name is so close to Ian’s. ;)

    Anyone can make a mistake…

    But – could you please answer the question I’ve already asked twice?

  54. #54 Jeff Harvey
    December 17, 2007

    JC, You wrote:

    “By the way Stern didn’t even add up the benefits of GW”.

    What benefits? Given the current rate of climate change is probably unprecedented in many millions of years, and that it is occurring against a background where natural systems have already greatly stressed by a range of anthropogenic assaults, its going to be hard to find any as far as these systems and the species that make them up are concerned. What we are going to see (and indeed are already seeing) are complex adaptive systems and food webs unravelling and having to reassemble themselves. There will be some winners but many more losers. The current extiction spasm already underway will likely increase. As a result, we can expect systems to become leakier, less efficient at cycling nutrients, concomitant with a reduction in the delivery of critical ecosystem services vital to our own survival.

    I know this wont’mean much to you, but that’s probably because you don’t understand the processes and mechanisms involved. To be fair, most politicians, economists and laypeople don’t understand them either, and tend to dismiss them, but that doesn’t exempt our species from dependence on systems which permit us to exist and persist.

    I know full well the purely anthropocentric benefits you are referring to. The same jibberish that most of the sceptics spew out – warmer winters mean less cold-related deaths, a longer growing season etc. But these so-called benefits are endlessly promoted while ignoring the more complex ecological and environmental parameters on which human civilization hinges. Just because laypeople do not understand the myriad of ways in which complex systems function in no way means that they are not vital to the material economy.

  55. #55 Lance
    December 17, 2007

    Robin Levett (I’m pretty sure this time.)

    I’d be happy to answer the question you have “asked twice”.

    Uh, what was the question, and are you asking me or Kevin?

  56. #56 Robin Levett
    December 17, 2007

    @Lance (#155):

    I was asking you; it was in #83:

    @Lance (#77)

    One more comment before I go to bed; you said:

    Do I doubt that we could convert from a carbon based fuel economy in a few decades without major negative economic consequences? Absolutely. If you think otherwise you don’t understand the challenge that would be.

    When do you believe that fossil fuels – specifically oil, upon which most of the global transportation rests – will be priced out of the global economy through scarcity?

    Your original reply (#90) referred to power stations being coal-fired, and the reserves of coal available – but said nothing about transportation. I then followed up (in #108) by pointing out that coal-fired electricity generation accounts for only 20% of US energy end-usage, that transportation, virtually all of it dependent upon oil, accounted for 40% and oil and gas-fired electricity generation accounted for a further 10%; so more than 50% (since much industrial and residential energy end-usage is met by oil or gas) of the US’s energy needs are met by oil or gas. So, once again, when do you think that oil/gas will be priced out of the global economy through scarcity; and for extra credit why is this process going to be less disruptive than phasing out use of those fuels to mitigate the additional costs of AGW?

  57. #57 John Mashey
    December 17, 2007

    re: #156 Robin

    If you haven’t already seen it, the Hirsch Report is very useful:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirsch_report has a summary, and pointer to the actual report.

    The bottom line is:

    - start 20 years before the peak, or it will be messy
    [Of course, if T. Boone Pickens is right, the peak was in 2006, which means that we must have started a serious effort to de-oil in 1986. Oops.]

    “Oil peaking will likely accelerate replacement rates, but the transition will still require decades and cost trillions of dollars.”

    I have reservations about coal-to-liquids, of course, but by and large the report has much good data. What they say about peaking matches what I used to hear [I used to help sell supercomputers to oil companies, so I talked to petroleum geologists.]

  58. #58 Lance
    December 17, 2007

    Robin Levett,

    When do I think oil/gas will be “priced out” of the global economy through scarcity? Well since people are lining up to pay $100/barrel I would say not for many decades. So called “peak oil” keeps being pushed into the future. With current prices there is plenty of incentive to find more and recover the harder to pump known reserves. While I am quite aware that petroleum is a finite resource and will eventually be exhausted I have confidence that people will find it and extract it, if the market is there, for years to come.

    Peak oil is a sticky question. It has been predicted for various times both past and present. As oil gets more expensive no doubt other energy sources will become economically viable. I’d be happy to run my car on ethanol made from plant cellulose or maple syrup if the price was right. I have no love for petroleum or the totalitarian regimes that sell most of it.

    (Brings to mind a quote from Steven Colbert. Something about Dick Cheney’s fondest pipe dream being to drive a bulldozer through the New York Times building while drinking crude oil from Keith Olbermann’s skull.)

    I think free market economics (Oh boy, no doubt that phrase has enflamed leftist passions) should decide when the world makes the switch from petroleum, not effete bureaucrats sipping Mai Tais in Bali.

    I assume you have other opinions on the subject so please, inform me as to your prescription for a “sustainable and controlled” end to the age of petroleum.

  59. #59 dhogaza
    December 17, 2007

    I think free market economics (Oh boy, no doubt that phrase has enflamed leftist passions) should decide when the world makes the switch from petroleum, not effete bureaucrats sipping Mai Tais in Bali.

    No caveat regarding whatever harm may result from unfettered consumption, of course.

    Free market extremism and science denialism always go hand-in-hand, it seems.

    Your position is no surprise, of course.

  60. #60 luminous beauty
    December 17, 2007

    There are at least two ways to look at Hubbert’s prediction of peak oil.

    (1) Absolute maximum of production. (peak oil for dummies)

    (2) The point at which increasing production and demand sufficient for GDP growth begin to diverge.

    Barring some near miraculous discovery of huge new petroleum resources, (1) most likely occurred in 2006.

    Judging from crude prices, (2) happened around the year 2000, very much in line with Hubbert’s prediction.

  61. #61 luminous beauty
    December 17, 2007

    Lance brings to mind the story of the two free market true believers stranded on a desert island, who made themselves rich by trading each other rocks. (Just before they starved to death)

  62. #62 Barton Paul Levenson
    December 17, 2007

    Lance writes:

    [[I think free market economics (Oh boy, no doubt that phrase has enflamed leftist passions) should decide when the world makes the switch from petroleum, not effete bureaucrats sipping Mai Tais in Bali. ]]

    I would be willing to have free-market economics decide the question — if the market in question has some mechanism to compensate for externalities. If we priced oil on the basis of all it cost human civilization in general, I think we would already be past the peak.

    When rightists nowadays endorse “free market economics,” they tend to mean anarcho-capitalism in the Ayn Rand style — no legal method to address whatever the big corporations do and whatever the big corporations dump into the air, water, or land. Antipollution laws may not be compatible with a “free market” in that sense, yet somehow I think they’re a good idea anyway. Ditto a cap-and-trade system for CO2.

  63. #63 Robin Levett
    December 17, 2007

    @Lance (#158):

    I think free market economics (Oh boy, no doubt that phrase has enflamed leftist passions) should decide when the world makes the switch from petroleum, not effete bureaucrats sipping Mai Tais in Bali.

    Are you serious? You do realise that free markets will track supply/demand in the short term; whereas replacement of petroleum with alternative energy sources requires medium to long-term decisions, don’t you? The effect is that leaving it to the free market (pbuh) at peak oil will cause dislocation to global economy that you won’t believe, with inelastic (rising – in the medium term) demand meeting even more inelastic (falling – in the long term) supply. What happens to the oil price in that situation; and what happens to transportation costs, and therefore transportation, and therefore the global economy?

    That’s before taking into account that making the switch at peak oil – even if that were possible without effectively instantaneous massive expansion of manufacturing capacity – will mean you hit a huge demand for replacement products just when costs of getting the raw materials to the factories and then the manufactured gods to the market are going through the roof. Hell in a handbasket (probably the only affordable method of transport at the time) has nothing on that scenario I don’t need to read the Hirsch report to work that out.

  64. #64 Lance
    December 17, 2007

    dhogaza,

    I don’t believe I espoused any “free market extremism”. Nor do I think that petroleum is a completely free market.

    lum beau,

    (1) Since oil preduction is determined by cartels it would be a very dubious postion to ascribe one year’s controlled output as an absolute maximum.

    (2)Hubberts prediction wouldn’t even be true for the US if drilling wasn’t restricted by political concerns.

    I like your “island” story by the way.

    Have you heard the two cows joke?

    Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to someone else.

    Communism: You have two cows. The government takes both of them and evenly distributes the milk.

    Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

    BPL,

    Now I’m an “anarcho-capitalist”? Show me where I advocated for “no legal method” to enforce democratically decided laws? You sir are a most prolific builder of straw men.

    Also your hand waving water vapour calculations are reason enough to doubt your knowledge of atmospheric dynamics. If the hydrological cycle were as simple as the ideas you present, the earth’s climate could be accurately modeled on a laptop. Oh and the earth would long ago have experienced a run-a-way, H2O driven, greenhouse catastrophe.

    More heat -> More water vapour -> More heat -> More water vapour -> (You get the idea.)

  65. #65 Eli Rabett
    December 17, 2007

    Jc, why pay attention to you when a good nap is a lot more instructive and fun although, I assume that Tim keeps you around for laughs. Sometimes I suspect he does your posts to just to keep up interest.

  66. #66 Lance
    December 17, 2007

    “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together- mass hysteria!”

    Robin Levett,

    Do you suppose that the oil will run out in one last gush followed by a dripping sound? Take a look at even the most pessimistic peak oil charts. They are all Gaussian, you know the old bell curve? That means a gradual diminishing supply. This will make all those alternatives that folks have been espousing more economically attractive. This will spur investment and development that will lead to an eventual free market transition to other energy sources.

    You might have noticed that accept for Japanese uh, “scientific” expeditions you don’t see many ships plying the world’s oceans in search of whale oil. Did I miss the great “peak whale oil” economic melt-down in my history classes or did some proto-UN commission save the Victorian day?

    Also before the over-heated “anarcho-Randism” remarks get unfurled, I’m not saying that governments and other public institutions can’t play an important role in establishing guidelines for these transitional markets, which is quite a different matter than artificially imposing a whole new global energy regime.

    Setting absolute energy caps, distributed by fiat with mandatory deadlines and then punitively enforcing them across international boundaries and across all world economies is naively ambitious, and perniciously foolhardy.

  67. #67 John Mashey
    December 17, 2007

    Robin:
    Yes, it’s easy to imagine, but I still recommend reading Hirsch, because:

    a) It was written for the US DOE, it’s not just some random white paper or web posting.

    b) It has a lot of backup data that would support your argument.

    =====
    LB: on Peak Oil definitions
    I’m curious about your second definition, as I’ve generally seen the first one used, and it’s certainly the way Hubbert used it. Can you point me at those who interpret it the second way? I’d like to understand that.

    Peak Oil in general
    For anyone who doesn’t believe this, please talk to your friendly local petroleum geologist (off the record) and see what they say.

    The Peak predictions *assume* there will be a few more big strikes, and technology improvements, etc, etc. We(computer folks) helped out the oil guys for seismic & reservoir modeling in the 1990s, via big boosts in compute power and memory and I/O. While that lets them select potential oil fields in better order, and better model the amount of oil they’ll get, it doesn’t MAKE more oil.

    Really, the oil folks aren’t dumb: they look for and find the biggest, easiest ones first, and they certainly know well all the places oil *isn’t*.
    http://www.lastoilshock.com/map.html has a nice map; if you mouse-over it will show you when each country peaked or when it is expected to. Of course, there are a few anomalies, like Iraq, where output might actually rise substantially. [Perhaps the whole Iraq war was a brilliant, farsighted effort to get the oil to stay in the ground longer,a Good Thing.... Oh, maybe not.]

  68. #68 z
    December 17, 2007

    “So, z, I guess it would take more than a puny 0.6 degree increase over the last century and scaremongering claims of doom predicated on unproven climate models for me to get behind a plan to radically change the entire world’s economy.”

    Well, at least you gave a response, for which I thank you, and give you points for engaging in a discussion. I note, however, that nowhere do you actually answer in a positive fashion:
    “what manner of evidence would convince you? And/or what would possibly constitute ‘scientific proof’ of anthropogenic climate change, that mankind has not provided”

    From your answer quoted above, you seem to imply that if the rate of warming were greater you would believe in anthropogenic climate change; but I suspect that it is not something you mean to say.

    Can you indicate some set of evidence that you would find convincing beyond a reasonable doubt?

  69. #69 jc
    December 17, 2007

    Jc, why pay attention to you when a good nap is a lot more instructive and fun although,

    Lol. So you’re awake then..

    I assume that Tim keeps you around for laughs.

    Dunno, rabbet. Ask him.

    Sometimes I suspect he does your posts to just to keep up interest.

    So that threat that you were going to get a kill file was just that… an empty threat. Lol.

  70. #70 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    “You hate Christians now Gouldiechops? Or do you just hate Christians from Missouri. Lol.”

    I don’t hate anyone. I do pity sad, bitter, delusional little men who scream “he’s lying” when the facts contradict their prejudices.

    “Careful with a racist accusations here, Gould , or you’ll be asked to call me racist to my face. Want to try that on? Name the place and I’ll show up. I’m friggen serious. You’re always trying this racist shit on with people you disagree with.”

    No I only “try” it with the one guy who disagrees with me who has publicly and repeatedly said he believes Africans are less intelligent than Europeans.

    You know I’m starting to wonder if you’re genuine or a clever hoax concocted by someone like Eli to make denialists look even worse than they really are.

    Why don’t you come back when you have something to offer besides accusations of lying, personal abuse and threats of physical violence.

  71. #71 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    “You want to accuse me of being a racist to my face, just name the place and time.”

    Anyone reminded of an episode of The Simpons here?

    “All combining into one rate. So what was the rate he used, Gould? Can you at least tell us?”

    As Chris Hope explained, the average rate employed over the hundreds of modeling runs was a real discount rate of 1.5%.

    Tell me do you know what the word “real” means in this context?

    Hint: contrast with the word “nominal”.

  72. #72 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    A quick exercise for Lance re. those “hundreds of years of coal reserves”.

    Let reserves equal 800, let 2007 consumption equal one. Assume growth in demand of 3% per year compounding, how long to depletion?

    Of course, that assumes coal demand simply grows in line with the economy. If we want to assume coal substitution for oil and natural gas, the growth is demand is porbably closer to 10%.

  73. #73 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    “When do I think oil/gas will be “priced out” of the global economy through scarcity? Well since people are lining up to pay $100/barrel I would say not for many decades. So called “peak oil” keeps being pushed into the future.”

    Actually production seems to have peaked in 2006 – despite those record nominal prices.

    Meanwhile the oil majors have been reducing their exploration budgets and cap-ex for the past decade. This is not a rational response to higher prices – unless you suspect there’s little capacity to increase output.

  74. #74 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    “I guess googling is too hard for you.

    http://www.env-econ.net/2006/11/tolscommenton.html

    I guess clicking on links in google results is too hard for you since this link produces “Page not found” error.

    Now that might be because of the odd “comments.html” bit you’ve got after the link but in my google search I did indeed find the Environmental Economics link – and it wasn’t on-line.

  75. #75 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    “Do you suppose that the oil will run out in one last gush followed by a dripping sound? Take a look at even the most pessimistic peak oil charts. They are all Gaussian, you know the old bell curve? That means a gradual diminishing supply. This will make all those alternatives that folks have been espousing more economically attractive.”

    What do you think will happen to the oil price when output declines even marginally and demand continues to grow?

  76. #76 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    Even more hilariously, when I search the index at env-ecom it turns out to link back to the same paper by Tol I’d already read and linked to.

    Tell me Tim C; Lance and Kevin doesn’t it make your hearts swell with pride to see yourselves associated with a first-rate mind like JC’s?

    Agree with me you stinking liars or I’ll coem roudn to your houses and punch your faces in.

  77. #77 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    Here’s a prediction based on JC’s past behavior, assuming Tim doesn;t shut the discussion down, he’ll proceed for several hundred more messages full of abuse and absurd accusations.

    Eventually I’ll walk away in disgust at which point JC will announce he’s won the debate.

  78. #78 Eli Rabett
    December 17, 2007

    What happens with natural resources is that the cost of goes up as the most easily extracted sources are exploited. When substitution is possible, substitution happens when the cost of extracting and using the original resource exceeds that of the substitute. This was Julian Simon’s insight.

    The world will not run out of oil but rather that the cost of extracting it will at some point exceed the benefit. Since greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution (mercury) are not encompassed in the cost of coal and shale oil, absent intelligent action, coal and shale oil will be substituted.

  79. #79 JC
    December 17, 2007

    Gouldiechops says:
    “You want to accuse me of being a racist to my face, just name the place and time.”
    Anyone reminded of an episode of The Simpons here?

    Yea, it does, you always play the part of Homer simpson.

    Look, Gouldster you make an accusation that i am a racist for no other reason than that i think Sen’s work is below scratch. You should have the balls to say that to my face, you creep. As I said, anytime.

    As Chris Hope explained, the average rate employed over the hundreds of modeling runs was a real discount rate of 1.5%.
    Tell me do you know what the word “real” means in this context?
    Hint: contrast with the word “nominal”.

    This is your answer, Gould.

    I’ll ask you again… and don’t even try to skulk out of this one. What was the discount rate used by Stern in his report. I don’t give a shit what Chrios Hope thinks he used. I want you to cite tha page or chapter of Sterns report explaining exactly what he used. If you can’t answer don’t even post a comment.

  80. #80 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    Stern doesn’t cite “a” discount rate because there is no single discount rate.

    Show me where Stern says he used a 0.1% discount rate.

    If you can’t, I promise not to call you a liar or threaten you with violence.

  81. #81 jc
    December 17, 2007

    Rabbet says:

    The world will not run out of oil but rather that the cost of extracting it will at some point exceed the benefit. Since greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution (mercury) are not encompassed in the cost of coal and shale oil, absent intelligent action, coal and shale oil will be substituted.

    Rabbet is now a resources analyst writing a regular piece for Goldman Sachs commodity letter. LOl

    Rabbet, the biggest problem we have at the moment in terms of subsitution is that OPEC oil… Mid East oil ….is so relatively plentiful in terms of extraction costs. Saudi oil costs about 5 bucks to get out of the ground. Therefore it becomes real problematic to go spend $3-5 billion on shale extraction plants producing oil at 40 bucks a barrel when you have the Saudi hammer getting waved at your private parts. It was only in the mid 90′s when North Sea oil production was moth balled for several months due to the Saudis punishing marginal producers by sending oil to 10 bucks and sending them broke.

    There’s plenty of oil around, Rabbet. Brazil just found an offshore gusher that puts them on Oil ave. The US recently found a guge field in the gulf.

    I hope you’re not a peak oil, gasman , are you? Say it ain’t so.

    Gouldiechops
    Now that might be because of the odd “comments.html” bit you’ve got after the link but in my google search I did indeed find the Environmental Economics link – and it wasn’t on-line.

    Ummm noticed that problem. 3/4s of the way up the page you’ll find PDF link, Gouldmeister. Click on the link and off you go.

    While you’re there I have the discount rate from the stern report too, please. And no dissembling.

  82. #82 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    You know seeing as JC has repeatedly called me a liar, a Stalinist, a supporter of genocide and now a religious bigot I think he should have the courage to give me his home address and phone number so I can face him down like a man.

  83. #83 Kevin
    December 17, 2007

    Trrll:

    >>This is correct, because these are climate models, not political models. So the best that they can do is predict what will happen to the climate under different emissions scenarios. Physics is not a great deal of help in predicting what people will do.

    That’s currently true and cogent, but not what he said. As is clear from the first two paragraphs of his essay, he is denying the prediction of future climate completely. He doesn’t restrict it to emissions scenarios, he is careful to point out the modeling also fails to capture a number of relevant empiria, e.g.:

    “None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate.”

    He then adds a qualified statement, about the models working to the extent that they do, the meat of which is a tautology. Everything works to the extent that it does.

    >>I find it odd that you quote this, but choose to omit the concluding sentence of the paragraph, “I postulate that regional climate change is impossible to deal with properly unless the models are initialized,” which makes it clear that he is referring to the limitations of current models in predicting regional, as opposed to global, climate change.

    It certainly seems to present a tension with the first few sentences he wrote, as you interpret it. Your thought seems to flatly contradict this claim he makes:

    “However, the science is not done because we do not have reliable or regional predictions of climate.”

    That “or” means we do not have reliable predictions of climate AND we don’t have regional predictions of climate. If his point was what you asserted, that we can’t predict how humans will behave, that sentence would be pointless. He could have said emissions predictions can’t be done due to volition, he just didn’t.

    In fact, he explicitly states the science is not done, it is just beginning to face up to the challenge of making reliable predictions. Do you think he means to say science is about to figure out how humans will choose to emit GHGs? I don’t.

    I think he is making an observation not related to his unequivocal claim that:

    “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been,”

    which coupled with the first paragraph of the essay

    “I have often seen references to predictions of future climate by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), presumably through the IPCC assessments (the various chapters in the recently completedWorking Group I Fourth Assessment report ican be accessed through this listing). In fact, since the last report it is also often stated that the science is settled or done and now is the time for action.”

    is about as complete a denial of prediction of any fashion, global, reliable or regional, by the IPCC GCMs as I can imagine. I can at least read and comprehend English and what he wrote is not what you are interpreting.

    >>Similarly, you choose not to mention his statement that “It works for global forced variations”

    The referent of that “it” is the assumption of linearity “working to the extent that it does”, correct? Could you explicate that? Layman that I am, seeing a tautology as an impact for a claim doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

    >>or “Hence mitigation of the problem: stopping or slowing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere is essential. The science is clear in this respect.”

    Again I found it odd that the referent sourcing of his claim was the IPCC report and not, for instance, his own understanding of the case, and the inclusion of this conditional rhetorical question, “So if the science is settled, then what are we planning for and adapting to?”

    I don’t like speculating about authorial intent. I don’t know Trenberth. I want to deal with what he wrote, not what I think he meant, so I try to avoid apparent tensions in the text.

    >>Perhaps you genuinely do not understand what he is talking about, do not appreciate the meaning of what you omitted, and actually think that he is saying that current models of global climate change do not work.

    OTC, I am positive that they work to the extent that they do. In fact, that is true of all logically possible worlds in which GCMs exist. It just doesn’t mean that the extent to which they work is useful. Since it is simple to write that GCMs work well, I presume he has a reason for choosing to assert a tautology.

    He asserts main model biases and systematic errors are omitted thanks to the assumption of linearity. If you could explicate that, I would appreciate it.

    What he does not assert is that whatever biases remain are unimportant. In fact, the whole point of this essay seems to be that they are important and that GCMs are not reliably predictive nor are they regionally predictive.

    Thanks for the left handed compliment almost assuming I was arguing in good faith. I’ll return the favor and say that your apparent ignorance of the logical relevance of a tautology, apparent spin doctoring and silence on the very conditional nature of his support in this essay and silence on his complete and unqualified denial of any predictions at all of any form or manner in the IPCC GCMS, is potentially good natured even though it looks *precisely* like a bad faith argument. That or we could just leave out the character attacks altogether and deal with the material at hand rather than impugning one another’s motives. Up to you.

  84. #84 jc
    December 17, 2007

    Stern doesn’t cite “a” discount rate because there is no single discount rate.

    Of course he can’t use ONE discount rate as there are different duration points on the time series, Gouldster. As a friggen basic econocmist you ought to know that shit. The yield is not always flat, is it genius?

    However he doesn’t say other than being very cagey about it.

    Show me where Stern says he used a 0.1% discount rate.

    My lord you’re slow. i have already posted Tol’s citation indicating that’s what Stern used as a time preference rate after someone analysed his crap.

    If you can’t, I promise not to call you a liar or threaten you with violence.

    You would be quite within your rights if I called you a racist for no good reason like you did to me. I didn’t threaten you with violenece. I asked if you would be man enough to call me that to me face.

    And I don’t lie Gouldster. I get things wrong at times and when I do I admite error. But don’t call me a racist like you do when you disagree with other people.

  85. #85 jc
    December 17, 2007

    You know seeing as JC has repeatedly called me a liar, a Stalinist, a supporter of genocide and now a religious bigot I think he should have the courage to give me his home address and phone number so I can face him down like a man.

    I have never called you a liar.

    I have said at times that you’re a stalinist, only in terms of the economics you support…. not his murdering ways. Even I don’t think you would be a mass murderer, Gouldster.

    Well you did exhibit religious bigorty over that comment about Missouri, didn’t you? You don’t seem to like Christians. In fact you often indicate you hate them. But hey, I’m not being judgemental.

    No Gouldster I don’t want your address or phone number. In fact I’ll give you mine when I’m up in Qld this summer.You can call me a racist at the hotel I’m staying.

  86. #86 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    Is anyone else amused by soemone who won;t even give his full name accusing others of cowardice for not publishing their address and phone number?

  87. #87 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    You know seeing as JC can make up the discount rate he WANTS Stern to have used, I think I’ll just asset that her used a discount rate of 5,000%. If anybody disagrees I’ll demand they show me where the Stern Review says different.

    Then IU’ll demand their name, address, phone number; bank account numbers and credit card details and call them a coward if they don’t comply.

  88. #88 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    Finally JC.

    Seeing as you’re almost definitely a snivelling coward as well as a fool and a bigot. my address is 414 Bennetts Road, Norman Park. My home phone number is 07 3899 0537.

    Abusive phone calls will be reported to the authorities, any trespass on my property will be met with appropriate force.

  89. #89 jc
    December 17, 2007

    Is anyone else amused by soemone who won;t even give his full name accusing others of cowardice for not publishing their address and phone number?

    Actually I amusd by your lying, Gouldie. I said you could always call me that to my face anywhere anytime and the I would make myself available. I didn’t ask for your details, so stop dissembling again.

    You can of course show where exactly I asked for your address details. But then this would be like asking you to show us what Stern used as the discount RATES.

  90. #90 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    I look forward to showing up at JC’s hotel and asking for Mr. C’s room number.

  91. #91 z
    December 17, 2007

    “I have seen it asserted that warming is not proceeding apace with GCM model predictions, the GCM models are adjusted to fit the data retroactively, and also that the models are not empirically founded and that current climatology is not sufficiently accurate enough to allow for modelling with any predictive value at all. The last two I read asserted by Kevin Trenberth. How would you characterize those claims?”

    Er.. you mean:
    weather forecasts [as distinct from climate forecasts] are based on numerical weather prediction models and rigorous procedures, not empirical methods“? and “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios … There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.” < http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2007/06/predictions_of_climate.html>
    Trenberth explains the differences between weather prediction and climate modeling:
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/presentations/ClimForecastsTrenberth.ppt Weather prediction starts with current weather data (estimates), feeds that through models of the atmosphere to provide predictions of future observations. Small uncertainties and errors compound rapidly over time, preventing precise deterministic predictions beyond about 2 weeks. Climate prediction, however, is one step removed, predicting the behavior of the system as a function of the influences which enter into the system; but without making deterministic predictions of precise measurements, which are too highly dependent on unpredictable factors in the system. “It is inherently probabilistic”

    Even a cursory inspection of the descriptions of the modeling process (http://www.cccma.ec.gc.ca/models/cgcm1.shtml and following pages) explains that the models are not adjusted to fit the climate retroactively; that in fact, they are made up of atmospheric models containing the best current parameter estimates, coupled to oceanic models made up of the best current parameter estimates, and validated by starting them with climate data of 1900 and various perturbations of the parameters, and letting them iterate to the present day, comparing the predictions with the actual data; and in fact, the various perturbations all converge pretty well and reproduce not just current global average temperature, but a large number of climate features over the intervening period.

    As for the warming not proceeding apace with predictions, there is of course Hansen’s famous 1988 model, as updated by one Tim Lambert: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/upload/2006/11/hansen.png.
    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/11/monbiot_and_monckton.php>

  92. #92 jc
    December 17, 2007

    Good one Gouldie. You’re deliberately putting yourself up as the victim here and posting your personal details on the web. You may actually think about what you have done and discuss it with the people you live with first…. lol.

    That’s a really silly thing to do to somehow prove some silly point you’ve already lost. Lol.

  93. #93 z
    December 17, 2007

    “A comprehensive list of the costs of eliminating all carbon fuels would run well into the trillions of dollars. Not to mention that there exists no readily available alternative.”

    This is a familiar argument; but to me it suggests that we start the process as soon as possible in order that it can be as gradual as we need it to be, rather than running into the brick wall to stop the car, rather than using the brakes.

  94. #94 Ian Gould
    December 17, 2007

    “Well you did exhibit religious bigorty over that comment about Missouri, didn’t you?”

    Suggesting that you think you’re “smarter than Jesus” is anti-Christian?

  95. #95 jc
    December 17, 2007

    I look forward to showing up at JC’s hotel and asking for Mr. C’s room number.

    But before that, could you please give me Stern’s discount rates. I’ll swap.

  96. #96 z
    December 17, 2007

    “Lance brings to mind the story of the two free market true believers stranded on a desert island, who made themselves rich by trading each other rocks.”

    Also see the recent US economy, where we all got rich selling each other houses.

  97. #97 jc
    December 17, 2007

    Gouldster:

    In JC’s case it’s more like “I’m from Missouri therefore I’m smarter than Jesus” state.

    It’s a putdown of Missouri for being christian, Gouldie. Don’t try to skulk out of this one like mangy dog stealing the dinner. there is no reason to bring Jesus into it. No reason at all unless you were trying to make a bigoted slight of hand.

    Just apologise to me and move on. and I’ll forget it all as I very forgiving.

  98. #98 Ian Gould
    December 18, 2007

    Now I now your grasp of English (and reality) is pretty poor JC but notice the words “In JC’s case”.

    I’m not referring to all Missourians or all Christians, I’m referring to one spectacularly stupid, arrogant Missourian with delusions of grandeur.

    “Just apologise to me and move on.”

    And so the snivelling and obfuscation begins.

    Tell me, since you support Hayek’s view that women and the poor should be excluded from voting because they can’t be relied upon to vote the right way and seeing as you also believe that Africans are less intelligent than Europeans do you think people of African descent should also be excluded from voting?

  99. #99 jc
    December 18, 2007

    Now I now (SIC) your grasp of English (and reality) is pretty poor JC but notice the words “In JC’s case”.
    lol

    I’m not referring to all Missourians or all Christians, I’m referring to one spectacularly stupid, arrogant Missourian with delusions of grandeur.

    What? Gouldie, what the hell are you talking about? I’m not from Missouri you fool. I’m from Missouri is an expression Americans use to denote skepticism. Missouri is known as the Show Me State. It means I won’t take your word for it…… and you have to prove something to me.
    Now I now your grasp of English (and reality) is pretty poor gouldie.

    And so the snivelling and obfuscation begins.

    Your behavior has been reprehensible of late, Gouldie. You ought to be embarrassed about yourself. And yes, you most certainly ought to apologize to me.

    Tell me, since you support Hayek’s view that women and the poor should be excluded from voting because they can’t be relied upon to vote the right way and seeing as you also believe that Africans are less intelligent than Europeans do you think people of African descent should also be excluded from voting?

    I tell you what I do think. I think you ought to be excluded from voting until you apologize for this bad behavior of yours. And stop derailing the thread, Gouldmesiter. I want that Stern report information asap on my desk this evening.

  100. #100 Tim Lambert
    December 18, 2007

    JC and Ian Gould, please be polite to each other. No more accusations of dsihonesty or name calling, please. The discussion about Stern is off topic here, so no more. If anyone cares, I believe that JC is completely wrong on this point.