A Few Things Ill Considered

Via MT, I came across a most excellent and interesting essay by Herman Daly on the Oil Drum (one of those great and meaty blogs that I only wich I had the time to read everything on!)

The subject is how to establish a steady state economy versus the current paradigm based on the fantasy of eternal growth. The reason you should read it is because it is not your usual Utopian hand wave about what a perfect world would be like, it is a specific set of policy prescriptions.

Worth your time!

Comments

  1. #1 rditmars
    June 19, 2009

    Nonsense, I’m afraid.

    A Global War on Prosperity will certainly doom us. Environmentalism depends on prosperity. Think Maslow: on a hierarchy of needs, environmentalism is near the top. People who are still striving to prosper don’t give a rodent’s derriere about their own environment, let alone the global environment.

    Compare and contrast your link with the one below.

    Thanks for an always interesting blog.

    http://www.thebreakthrough.org/blog/TNR.Green%20Bubble.FINAL.pdf

  2. #2 coby
    June 19, 2009

    Hi rditmars,

    Do you have some slightly more specific criticsm, aside from “nonsense”?

    I went to your link but it did not strike me as on topic and it is long and dense so perhaps you could summarize or pull some representative quotes or something…? I’ll need a bit more encouragement than that to read it.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. #3 Adam
    June 19, 2009

    rditmars –

    This entire topic is worthy of a more comprehensive response, but I just want to say one brief thing. I think the point of Herman Daly’s essay is that we just assume that economic growth is the de facto ideal situation to be in. So Nordhaus and Schellenberger’s argument doesn’t necessarily refute this, because their argument stems from the fact that people prioritize economic growth simply because that’s what we’re used to. That being said, there’s no doubt that a lot of what they say is true, especially regarding the difficulty of doing anything that will increase costs in times of economic trouble.

    I also take serious issue when they say things like this:
    “Nonetheless, it has become an article of faith among many greens that the global poor are happier with less and must be shielded from the horrors of overconsumption and economic development”

    I stop taking their argument as anything even remotely serious. There’s absolutely no doubt that (in terms of fuel) cheap, readily available fossil fuels have resulted in an enormous expansion of quality of life for a significant minority of the planet. There’s also no doubt that if the entire planet consumed (fossil fuels and other resources) as much as those lucky few, we would need 4 earths (no reference for this, I’m only going on what I’ve heard in a few places). So not only would we destroy our current climate, we just wouldn’t have the resources.

    Personally, I’m undecided on the whole thing. It’s apparent to anyone that our current consumption levels (partiuclarly Americans but all people in Industrialized nations to a certain extent) are completely unsustainable, and we will eventually consume fewer resources (one way or another), but whether a steady-state economy is the answer, I don’t know.

    Also, I don’t mean to take an aggressive tone with you, so I apologize if it seems that way. I appreciate the reference to another way of looking at things.

  4. #4 rditmars
    June 19, 2009

    Cody and all,

    Perhaps “nonsense” was a bit glib, but when I read things like “darkness of growth” and praise for stagnation (not to mention an absurdly out-of-context reference to thermodynamics) I stop taking an argument seriously.

    I provided that link because when I read the article in The New Republic it lead me to the Break Through site and I recently started to read their book (so far, highly recommended). We face now, and will undoubtedly face in the future many complex problems that we will be unable to resolve with a society based on economic (or any other form of) stagnation.

    Here is another, more brief bit from Break Through:


    Can we tell a story about global warming (or terrorism or health care or China or the economy) that begins by acknowledging how safe, secure, healthy, and rich we are, before we describe the threat?

    Global warming is the issue I know best. Our research and personal experience teaches me that it’s vitally important to sandwich fear inside two other powerful feelings: gratitude and power:

    A. Gratitude: we are better prepared than ever before to deal with the massive technological changes we need to make to deal with global warming.
    B. Fear: Climate change is really damn scary.
    C. Power: we humans have overcome starvation, disease, and war — we can overcome global warming

    This approach may not work with everything. But a view to overcoming fear, rather than wallowing in it, or simply proposing technical fixes to the threat, could create a more expansive and generous politics.

    http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2008/04/against_a_fearbased_politics.shtml

    We need an Apollo program for alternative energy. We will need many similar programs in the future for unknown crises to come. “No growth” economics will not be able to prepare us to deal with these.

  5. #5 Richard
    June 19, 2009

    Came back for a look to see Adam spouting the same old unthinking nonsense. “There’s absolutely no doubt that (in terms of fuel) cheap, readily available fossil fuels have resulted in an enormous expansion of quality of life for a significant minority of the planet.”

    How about the whole planet instead of a significant minority? And are you even aware that aside from fuel it is used in the petro-chemical industry?

    Of course we shouldnt because we will soon run out of it – how dreadful. Also it is “destroying our current climate”. We have a fixed immutable climate being destroyed by evil man and his consumption of fossil fuels. The AGW hypothesis – “Earth’s stable pre-industrial climate is only now disturbed by humans burning fossil fuels. The Mediaeval Warm Period, and subsequent series of Little Ice Age cold periods, didn’t exist; and we can regain the climatic stability of a pre-industrial Arcadia by ‘doing the right thing’ about fossil-fuel use. All it will cost is money”.

    You delusional warm-monger we never had a fixed immutable climate. Do some studies on our past climate. Our Earth has been cooling for millions of years. The defining climatic feature of the past 2 million years have been the ice-ages. In the past 800,000 years we have had 8 ice-ages with brief warm periods of about 10,000 years in between. Rising CO2 has invariably failed to stop the recurring ice-ages of the past, even when the CO2 levels were 5 and 10 times the levels they are today. And falling CO2 levels werent a factor in pulling us out of the ice-ages either. CO2 is not a driver of our climate.

    “It is cold in wagga-wagga” – you “deniers” do not understand. We are all going to fry to death, our oceans will flood our cities and then boil. You do not understand the significance of a global 0.3C rise over a century.

    Yes it is cold in wagga-wagga. Wagga-wagga happens to be an area larger than the US in North America. Yes we are going to fry even as ON VARIOUS DAYS in June 2009 in the US there were record low temperatures in 18 states; record low temperatures in 15 states; record low temperatures in 24 states; record low temperatures in 11 states; record low max temperatures in 20 states; record low temperatures in seven states; and record low temperatures in 10 states, there is snow in Brittan in June, temperatures drop to minus 7 in Brazil and my country is blanketed in snow in May and now. But dont believe all these lies – just dont believe your eyes.

    Excerpts from the Book of Moron – By Klaus Rohrich Wednesday, June 17, 2009 – “And lo it came to pass that in the last month of the last year of the second millennium, God sent Algor into the wilderness to receive The Word and bade Algor to write God’s Words in a tome of Truth. God gave to Algor a terrible vision of melting glaciers, of oceans rising to inundate great cities, of storms raging across the land in the expression of God’s True Wrath.”

  6. #6 Adam
    June 19, 2009

    Richard –

    How about the whole planet instead of a significant minority? And are you even aware that aside from fuel it is used in the petro-chemical industry?

    I’m not sure what you’re objection to my claim is. Is it that cheap, abundant energy sources do not contribute to quality of life? Or is it that everyone has benefited equally from fossil fuels? I have answers to both of those, but I want to focus my response. Also, let me know what your specific objection is if it isn’t one of those two.

    However, just for reference in the meantime, here’s a graph which shows CO2 emissions (proxy for fossil fuel consumption) vs. per capita income (proxy, however imperfect, for quality of life).

    http://graphs.gapminder.org/world/#$majorMode=chart$is;shi=t;ly=2003;lb=f;il=t;fs=11;al=30;stl=t;st=t;nsl=t;se=t$wst;tts=C$ts;sp=6;ti=2005$zpv;v=0$inc_x;mmid=XCOORDS;iid=phAwcNAVuyj1gkNuUEXOGag;by=ind$inc_y;mmid=YCOORDS;iid=phAwcNAVuyj1jiMAkmq1iMg;by=ind$inc_s;uniValue=8.21;iid=phAwcNAVuyj0XOoBL_n5tAQ;by=universal$inc_c;uniValue=255;gid=CATID0;by=grp$map_x;scale=log;dataMin=-2.7251;dataMax=136$map_y;scale=log;dataMin=240;dataMax=119849$cd;bd=0$inds=

    apologies for the long url.

    Additionally, I am well aware of the myriad uses of petroleum, especially for plastics and lubricants. As one of my professors once said “The biggest waste of oil is to burn it.”

    You delusional warm-monger we never had a fixed immutable climate.

    Firstly, though somewhat irrelevantly, if I was a warm-monger, that would imply I desire the globe to heat up. I most assuredly do not. Your insults are poorly constructed. Stick with ‘alarmist’.

    Secondly, I’m under no illusion as to Earth’s climate history. Hence the usage of the qualifier “current”. That being said, I’m also somewhat biased towards the climate that has allowed human civilization to flourish over the last 8,000 years or so.
    http://climateprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/sweet-spot-big.jpg
    *note: I’m not in love with this graph, but it gets the general idea.

    So, no, we don’t have a fixed immutable climate, but that isn’t necessary for wanting to preserve a climate that has been very amenable to civilization.

    rditmars –

    The more I read of this Breakthrough Institute, the less impressed I am. Here’s an example from your post:

    C. Power: we humans have overcome starvation, disease, and war — we can overcome global warming

    That seems awfully optimistic and/or naive to me. A brief look around the world certainly puts this claim to bed. Perhaps he meant to say “mitigated” or “reduced”, but overcome is certainly incorrect.

  7. #7 rditmars
    June 19, 2009

    Cody,

    By “overcome” they mean “we’re still here.”

    Look at the video below for Michael Shellenberger’s comments on clean energy technology:

    http://www.planetforward.org/videos/making-clean-energy-cheap

    Do you agree with that approach or not? How can a zero-growth economy provide such solutions? Providing alternative energy sources will be form of economic growth.

    We can’t fight human nature, we can only try to focus it the “right” direction. A global war on prosperity will be about as successful as the war on drugs. And don’t forget that the only proven approach to population control is increasing prosperity. If humanity solves the problems of today and continues to prosper, we will certainly face other equally-daunting problems in the future. Reality sucks that way. Solutions to those problems will result in economic growth. I don’t see a way to alter that reality.

    “I have a dream” is a much more effective motivator than “I have a nightmare.”

  8. #8 Richard
    June 20, 2009

    Adam –

    “Is it..” – its neither. No one has benefitted “equally” from fossil fuels. You have not benefitted as much as Al Gore with him jetting around the globe asking others to change their lifestyle, but you have benefitted more than the subsistence farmer gathering firewood in Malawi or bum on the street in your hometown. On the other hand even people in Malawi have benefitted when they use plastic or metal buckets to gather water, or pumps to pump water which have been manufactured by the fruits of fossil fuels and use them directly or indirectly to run the motor. Something that would not have happened before the advent of fossil fuels. Virtually everyone on the planet has benefitted greatly by fossil fuels though to greater or lesser degrees.

    The link that you have sent is as messy as your reasoning. Here is a better one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita
    Note that the IPCC and greenies Ideal Countries, (with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions per capita), Somalia, Chad, Afghanistan, Burundi are the ideal countries to live in whereas, by that criteria, the US, Canada, Norway and Australia come towards the bottom of the list.

    I like Delusional Doomsayer Warm-Monger. Warm-Monger because you stupidly believe that the Earth will dangerously warm because of Anthropogenic CO2 emissions, much more stupidly believe that it can be fixed, even theoretically, by controlling this one thing and most stupidly by believing that a slightly warmer climate will be harmful to us rather than beneficial.

    “I’m not in love with this graph, but it gets the general idea”. I’m glad you’re not in love with this graph and NO – IT DOES NOT get the general idea.

    The graph is a take off of Mann’s infamous “hockey stick” the main difference is the position of the 0 average line, which is based on, at best, erroneous statistical manipulation, but I believe, by fraud.

    Here is what is wrong with this graph:

    1. The Holocene Optimum is shown as about just a degree warmer than the 1940 average. Actually it was 1°C to 6 °C higher than today (late 90’s temperature even warmer than today), depending on the geographical location. The general temperature relative to now was, from roughly 8,500 to 5,000 yr BP,+2 °C to +4 °C, +3 to +5 °C Zhang et al.(1997), +4 °C to +6 °C higher in some areas of Tibet, +3 °C to +4 °C in northern China, +2 °C to +4 °C in eastern China (Xu,1989), 1 to 2 °C in southern China (Walker,1986), at 7,000 –6,000 yr BP +3.1, +1.8, +2.2 and 3.6 C higher than today in the Northeast, the North, the Centre and the South of China respectively (Yu and Qin,1997), 10,000 BP to 6,500 BP +4 C in Morocco, (Cheddadi, R. et al), 8,000 to 6,000 BP +1 to +1.5 C in Northern Europe (Brewer et al 2002).
    Other studies that show it was warmer than today – northern North America 10–6,000 BP (Fourtanier E and Barron J.A, 2000), also (Pielou, 1991), +2° to +4°C 9 and 7 BP, (Hebda and Whitlock, 1997), the Sahara (Claussen M, et al., 1999), New Zealand (A. P. Kershaw, K M. Strickland 1988), California (G. James West, 2003), Arctic Russia 10,300–9200 BP + 2 to +3 C (Andreev A, et al 2004), South America (J. Kaiser 2005) also Massaferro and Brooks, 2002; Moreno and Leo´n, 2003; Abarzu´a et al., 2004, Argentina (MH. Iriondo and NO. Garcia 1993).

    Typical borehole profile of a Greenland ice core shows Holocene temperatures way warmer than today, Greenland Central Ice Core isotope reconstruction, (Alley et al, 2000).

    My own data taken from NOAA of the central Greenland Ice Core Temperatures 10,252 BP to 4,836 BP temperatures up to 2.8 C warmer than today (2000). Other ice cores make it even warmer in southern Greenland. The same ice core data shows the Medieval Warm period warmer from 1,121 BP to 707 BP (879 AD to 1293 AD) up to 1.04 C warmer than today (in Central Greenland probably much more in southern Greenland). By 1293 AD things were definitely getting colder and the Vikings would be having a tough time. Eric the Red came to Greenland in 982 AD with a century of warmer than today temperatures before him. They died out after a few centuries, the basic cause being the cold.

    2. It doesn’t show the Roman Warm Period where temperatures were probably equal to or more than those today, (Martinez-Cortizas et al. 1999), (Desprat et al. 2003), (Pla and Catalan 2005), (Kvavadze and Connor 2005), (Garcia et al. 2007)

    3. It incorrectly shows the Medieval warm period as being lower than today. The evidence that it was in fact warmer is simply overwhelming. I will just point you to one site that records the data of 712 scientists, from 415 institutions from 41 countries on this subject. http://www.co2science.org/index.php

    From all the above you can gather that during the Holocene Optimum, when temperatures were much warmer than today, agriculture started, villages and towns sprang up and the civilisations of Mesoptamia, Egypt, India and China were born and flourished. The Roman Empire sprang up and flourished during the Roman Warm Period and declined and fell with the temperatures in the later centuries. The Medieval Warm Period saw the Viking settlements of Greenland and of Iceland take hold and the start of the Renascence. The warming since the end of the Little Ice Age saw the beginning and flourishing of the Industrial Revolution.

    The hypothesis that warming temperatures have contributed to the Industrial Revolution is more plausible than the Industrial Revolution causing rising temperatures.

  9. #9 Adam
    June 21, 2009

    Richard –

    No one has benefitted “equally” from fossil fuels. ….

    Our positions on this issue aren’t that far off, so I’m willing to concede the point to you for expediency’s sake.

    I like Delusional Doomsayer Warm-Monger.

    Warm-monger is still incorrect, and delusional is just ironic coming from you, but Doomsayer is probably closer to the truth (though only regarding global warming, I’m pretty optimistic about most things).

    Here is what is wrong with this graph: Holocene Optimum blah blah blah

    All the instances you reference are true, but it’s important to note that all these instances of higher temperatures occurred at different times. Overall, not that much different than today, denialist protestations notwithstanding.
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/b/bb/Holocene_Temperature_Variations_Rev.png
    This graph is a little different, but the general trends and ideas are similar:
    http://www.atmo.arizona.edu/students/courselinks/fall04/atmo336/lectures/sec5/fig1.gif

    From all the above you can gather that during the Holocene Optimum, when temperatures were much warmer than today, agriculture started, villages and towns sprang up and the civilisations of Mesoptamia, Egypt, India and China were born and flourished…..

    Yes, that’s the point I was making by linking that image. In our relatively recent history, we’ve had a global climate that is very amenable to human civilization. Anything out of this narrow band would be bad news for us (see Mayan collapse theories regarding extreme drought for some evidence of this, though, of course, this is a regional example).

    The hypothesis that warming temperatures have contributed to the Industrial Revolution is more plausible than the Industrial Revolution causing rising temperatures.

    These are not mutually exclusive.

  10. #10 crakar14
    June 22, 2009

    Adam,

    Richard has gone to a lot of trouble explaining how it was warmer in the past. This was done (i beleive) in an effort to show you that the slight warming we have experienced recently (last 100 years) is nothing out of the ordinary. Any efforts to reduce CO2 will accomplish nothing as AGW does not exist. Therefore any economic restrictions placed on our economies via a cap ‘n’ trade scheme or variants of will accomplish nothing. Except of course a failed economy.

    Here in Australia we are currently debating two pieces of legislation, one being a universally accepted alternative energy scheme to allow subsidies etc to emerging companies (this bill will replace the current scheme), the second being the much disliked Gov Cap ‘n’ trade scheme.

    The current alt energy subsidy bill has allowed a large cottage industry to grow around it and many small companies have begun to grow and with it employment.

    The Gov knowing the Cap ‘n’ Trade bill (2) will not be passed decided to merge the two bills (1 & 2) together in a vain hope of both passing. This meant of course the current scheme was stopped with a 24 hour warning.

    Now with both bills languishing in parliament the cottage industry of solar and wind power companies are going broke and thousands of people are now being made redundant.

    In the meantime the Gov continues to give our highest CO2 emitters over 5 Billion thats 5,000,000,000 dollars per year in fuel subsidies and continues to give them large amounts of cash by way of subsidy to research new oil and gas fields.

    Another example is the Environment minister Peter Garrett (better known as the bald headed lead singer of Midnight Oil fame) constantly stands on his soap box declaring CO2 to be a pollutant and all that crap and yet allows a wood chip and pulp mill to chop down old growth forests in Tasmania.

    You see the Gov dont give a fat rats arse about the environment all they see is the extra revenue and dont worry about the economy because from where they stand the economy will thrive (carbon credits, the new casino). Of course when viewed from your position things may look a whole lot worse.

  11. #11 Richard
    June 22, 2009

    Adam
    “Warm-monger is still incorrect.. Doomsayer is.. the truth” – incorrect but catchy. In the spirit of compromise – Warmophobic Doomsayer then.

    “..that’s the point I was making ..In our relatively recent history, we’ve had a global climate that is very amenable to human civilization. Anything out of this narrow band would be bad news for us”

    I bring you good tidings of great joy then doomsayer. IF that AGW hypothesis you believe in is true, we are unlikely to move out of that “narrow band” of temperatures that is very amenable to civilisation. Because thus sayeth IPCC: if CO2 levels are doubled from pre-industrial levels ie increase from 280 ppm to 560 ppm our temperatures will rise by (most likely) 3 C which is well within the “narrow band” of temperatures we have had in our “relatively recent history” (the last 10,000 years). During the Holocene Optimum it stayed about that or more for centuries and even thousands of years.

    [coby here:
    This is false (do you have any reference to support it?). Please see this article.]

    But is there ANY evidence of AGW?

    CO2 has already risen to 386 ppm and since the greenhouse effect of CO2 is logarithmic we should already have seen a rise of 1.5 C. However the rise has been only 0.63 C (from NOAA), less than half this. How does that fit in with the hypothesis?

    [coby: There is a several decades delay between the imposition of a forcing and the final temperature response, due primarily to the very large thermal inertia of the earth's oceans. Please see this article.]

    OK let us assume AGW has taken a break till now for some reason and now it will rise by 3 C. CO2 is currently rising at the rate of about 2.1 ppm/yr. It will take about (560-386)2.1 = 83 years to reach that figure and get a temperature rise of 3 C. This means a rate of temperature rise of 0.362/ decade. From 1880 the rate has been 0.05 per decade so that’s a 724% increase.

    [coby: Why in the world would you start with 1880? Never mind, it is a transparent ruse to skew your numbers, averaging in the effects of almost 0 CO2 forcing with the total forcing you are pretending to calculate. You could have at least used the .2oC per decade warming we have seen in the last 30 years. I'm afraid it is all just a little more complicated than you would pretend. The rise is predicted to accelerate, and observed to be accelerating. Please recall that the calculations pertain to multi-decadal trends, so annual peaks and troughs are not relevant.]

    Leaving minor details aside – the basic prediction of the AGW hypothesis is that the rate of temperature rise should increase. In fact since 1998 there is no rising trend in the temperatures. For the UAH MSU temperatures plotted by me from Nov 1997 to May 2009, the trendline of the graph slopes slightly downwards indicating a slight cooling. How does that reconcile with accelerated warming predicted by the AGW hypothesis?

    [coby: you are analyzing weather, not climate. You are cherry picking start date (why not use all available data?). You can not know the trend for today until some period of time after today. For example, Hadley uses a 21 point binomial filter and thus we need ten years of data on each side of any given year for which you wish to know the trend.]

    Just looking at the Greenland ice-core temperature / time graph over the last 10,000 years, the natural rate of rise of temperatures have equaled and surpassed the current rate of rise many, many times. If temperatures have risen (and fallen) naturally, at just the same rate or even more than those observed since 1880, how can it be stated that the temperature rise is due to Anthropogenic CO2 and is not natural?

    [coby again: the GIS ice core shows only the GIS temperatures, so alone does not reveal global temperature trends. The very large and rapid temperature changes you are referring to do not show up in the antarctic ice cores. They were not global changes.]

    Do you agree with the following statement? “The fact that the global mean temperature has increased since the late 19th century and that other trends have been observed does not necessarily mean that an anthropogenic effect on the climate system has been identified. Climate has always varied on all time-scales, so the observed change may be natural. A more detailed analysis is required to provide evidence of a human impact.”

    Its from the IPCC report 2001 page 61

  12. #12 coby
    June 22, 2009

    Richard, I have put some responses inline.

    As for:

    “Do you agree with the following statement? “The fact that the global mean temperature has increased since the late 19th century and that other trends have been observed does not necessarily mean that an anthropogenic effect on the climate system has been identified. Climate has always varied on all time-scales, so the observed change may be natural. A more detailed analysis is required to provide evidence of a human impact.””

    Yes, of course.

    “Its from the IPCC report 2001 page 61″

    What comes after? I’ll give you a hint, it is the detailed analysis required to provide evidence of a human impact.

  13. #13 Richard
    June 22, 2009

    This I like. Thanks Coby I’ll get back to you.

    Cracker I’ll handle this one :). Thanks for your help though.

  14. #14 Adam
    June 22, 2009

    Richard –

    Because thus sayeth IPCC: if CO2 levels are doubled from pre-industrial levels ie increase from 280 ppm to 560 ppm our temperatures will rise by (most likely) 3 C….

    First, that’s a mighty big “if”.
    Second, it’s remarkable how you so casually brush off a 3 degree rise. Do you really, truly, understand what we’re talking about? What could you possibly be basing this kind of statement off of?
    http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/3-degrees.html
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0601/S00001.htm

    Third, staying below 560ppm is optimistic unless we take measures to curb emissions.
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/e/e9/Carbon_Dioxide_Emissions_Scenarios.png

    *note – All discussions center around a target date of 2100

    But is there ANY evidence of AGW?

    Coby already responded to this part of your post, which I am glad of, because I wasn’t going to take the time to go over this again. You and other denialists make the same arguments over and over again, regardless of how many times you are corrected. It’s like arguing with a DVD player stuck on loop. You’re not making an earnest effort to learn.

    Regards, Warmophobic Doomsayer

  15. #15 Adam
    June 22, 2009

    Coby –

    Comment lost in moderation. Thanks in advance.
    Have to remember to put fewer than three links into each post.

    [coby here: comment is now immediately above. I wish white listing worked....]

  16. #16 crakar14
    June 22, 2009

    #13 By all means Richard after you, i look forward to reading your post

    Crakar

  17. #17 Richard
    June 23, 2009

    Adam,
    “You’re not making an earnest effort to learn.” – Now that was the most the unkindest cut of all. I am trying. I hope you will bear with my limited abilities. The trouble is the hypothesis is so devilishly clever and intricate. If only it were something simple like E=mc^2

    Just to say I’m around still. Was busy yesterday but will post my questions this evening. Hope to learn at the feet of the great masters.

  18. #18 Richard
    June 23, 2009

    Coby there are two issues here which follow from two contentions of mine.

    1. That temperatures of around 3 C warmer than today have been experienced by the Earth in the last 10,000 years and they were benign, so that even if the, highly questionable and totally unsubstantiated, hypothesis propounded by the IPCC working committee be true, there is nothing to worry about.

    2. There is no evidence of AGW warming.

    That although a very rapid rise of CO2 has been experienced in recent years, and perhaps it might have been reasonable to assume and hypothesise that this would lead to higher temperatures, in actual fact from present data no discernible effect of this anthropogenic CO2 can be seen. If this be the case then natural climate change will determine whether we will have a warmer or cooler climate and anthropogenic CO2 has and will have little or no say in the matter.

    I will argue this second point. Since, you will agree, IF we are having little or no effect on the Climate with our anthropogenic CO2, and the Earth’s climatic system is going along its merry way quite naturally with scarcely a measurable temperature or climatic effect of this CO2, then all the billions of dollars we are spending on research, conferences, raising taxes and actually trying to stop economic growth, is futile and harmful.

  19. #19 Richard
    June 23, 2009

    When measuring temperature trends you say “Why in the world would you start with 1880?”

    Because that is the start of actual measurement of global temperatures and also when we started loading CO2 into the atmosphere, and you, quite rightly, do object to short time periods like the last 10 years been taken. So I thought you might be happy if the trend of the longest recorded global temperatures be taken into account.

    However I don’t want to offend you. You want the trend taken when CO2 radiative forcing is claimed to have taken hold.

    The IPCC says “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is VERY LIKELY due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.”

    So I took the HADCRUT Annual Global temperatures data and I plotted the trend from 1950 to 2008. It came to 0.115 C per decade.

    But to be fair, looking at the graph the temperature really seems to take off in 1976. There are two big sustained rises from 1911 to 1944 (for 33 years) and 1976 to 2008 (for32 years), in between (1880 to 1911 and 1944 to 1976) the temperature falls but not very uniformly.

    The rising trend from 1976 to 2008 comes to 0.169 C per decade and that between 1911 to 1944 comes to 0.161 C per decade.

    There doesn’t seem to be much of a trend difference between the time the IPCC says temperature changes were mostly natural and the time when they say they were mostly Anthropogenic. If about the same temperature rising trend can be caused naturally earlier why must we assume this same rise is not caused naturally later?

    Satellite temperature records are only available since 1979 and the trend from 1979 to 2008 shows a warming of 0.128 per decade.

    The article you referred me to says the oceans dampens the temperature change on land and lowers the global average trend. This maybe so but it doesn’t explain how an exactly similar warming trend to one that IPCC says is natural, can be distinguished from it and claimed to be Anthropogenic? How can the IPCC, on the face of this evidence, say that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is VERY LIKELY due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations?

    Also the article you refer me to says that CO2 is not the only factor effecting the global temperature Global Dimming is counteracting greenhouse gas warming. This again begs the same question as above.

    Also if Global Dimming or WHATEVER is counteracting CO2 then doesn’t it look like that there is a negative feedback for the CO2, cancelling out its effect, and not a positive one enhancing it as modelled by the IPCC?

    And how does this reconcile with your statement “The rise is predicted to accelerate, and observed to be accelerating.”?

    Adam says I am not making an earnest effort to learn. I am believe you me, but I am a simple person and need you to explain some simple things to me.

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