Climate change is real

Six Australian business leader reckon that the debate is over and climate change is real:

Six business leaders yesterday stepped into the greenhouse debate, and blew the whistle. Game over, they said: climate change is real, it's going to hurt, and unless we act now, it's going to hurt us a lot.

These guys know how to play the game. Westpac's CEO David Morgan is a former Treasury official, married to former Labor minister Ros Kelly. They weren't going to criticise John Howard over his handling of climate change; he doesn't like criticism. They just urged him to shift ground, and fast.

Their message is that Australia, and the world, needs to deeply cut greenhouse emissions, not just slow their growth. We cannot get there on the soft path the Government has taken. We need to switch paths, get tough, introduce a carbon charge, set targets and meet them.

The hard path is not expensive. Modelling from the Allen Consulting Group estimates that, by acting now, we could cut greenhouse gases by 60 per cent by 2050, and still grow the economy almost as much as under business as usual.

Tim Blair seems to believe that it doesn't mean anything

Sixty scientists have called on Canada's Prime Minister to cool it on global warming:

"Climate change is real" is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified.

Is it meaningless? Let's see what Google thinks. Search for "Climate change is real" and click on the "I'm feeling lucky" button, and you get this joint statement from the national science academies of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the USA:

Climate change is real

There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system
as complex as the world's climate. However there is now
strong evidence that significant global warming is
occurring. The evidence comes from direct measurements
of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean
temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in
average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes
to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that
most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed
to human activities (IPCC 2001). This warming has already
led to changes in the Earth's climate.

Dear "Sixty scientists", Google can often help you find out what stuff means.

But wait, there's more from them:

Observational evidence does not support today's computer climate models, so there is little reason to trust model predictions of the future. ... Nevertheless, significant advances have been made since the protocol was created, many of which are taking us away from a concern about increasing greenhouse gases. If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.

Because in the mid-1990s those computer climate models predicted that it would get warmer and now we know that those predictions were correct. So we shouldn't trust them and Kyoto is unnecessary. Are these guys even trying to be credible?

So who are the sixty scientist? Most of them aren't climate scientists, and seventeen of them have got mentioned on this blog, typically for making serious errors of fact and interpretation:
Ross McKitrick, Christopher Essex, Benny Peiser, Richard Lindzen, David E. Wojick, Chris de Freitas, Ian Plimer, Bob Carter, William Kininmonth, Pat Michaels, Nils-Axel Mörner, Tim Ball, Roy Spencer, Zbigniew Jaworowski, Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, S Fred Singer and Sally Baliunas.

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To what extent would Kyoto reduce co2 by 2050? Assuming a best case scenario, what is the projected impact of Kyoto.

Glenn,

Kyoto by itself would not reduce CO2 enough by 2050 to avert the worst of global warming (I think the usual projection is that it would, in effect, delay global warming effects by only about four years). Dealing with global warming more comprehensively will ultimately depend on enlisting China, India and the rest of the developing world far more than Kyoto specifies. But Kyoto has never been represented as a complete solution. It's a first step in a political process. It helps to establish a framework in which negotiations for further cuts in CO2 emissions would be possible. Basically, the industrialized world needs to make a good faith effort to cut CO2 first to convince the developing world to make sacrifices, too.

Thanks John. Four years delay seems de minimis in the scope of global climate change. I imagine there could have a reasonable and intense debate on what to DO about global warming among people who otherwise agree completely with the generally accepted models. For example, I strongly favor carbon taxes, nuclear power and assistance to the developing world aimed at reducing pollution generally. And yet I remain uncertain if Kyoto, politically, is a "first step" or a mis-step. Still, I have to acknowledge that Kyoto is the only path seriously proposed at the moment.

OK, so what is everyone going to do in the event that greenhouse emmessions are not cut? Ought not there to be a contingency plan? Or is everyone just waiting to point fingers and blather "I told you so" when the armageddon comes?

Giant space umbrellas, anyone?

By Dave Empey (not verified) on 08 Apr 2006 #permalink

hi all,

first of all we need to determine that increasing ghg is actually bad. we presume it is and we presume that increasing temperature is bad but there seems to be very little research into any positive benefit of increasing temperature. before anyone goes off sideways at the statement and pulls out the old 'consensus' view they should search for research on any positives of global warming.

i see that the canadians reckon it'd be good to have more than 10% of their year warm enough not to wear skivvies. the sahara desert is decreasing in size as increased co2 in the atmosphere drives up soil capacity to host agriculture etc. it's also interesting to read recent research that shows plants actually are more resilient in high-co2, hotter climates than otherwise.

a camel is a horse designed by a committee, as the old saying goes. and thus it is with kyoto. designed predominately by the europeans with the clear intention of holding other economies back it is not even a 'first step'. politics got in the way of any genuine effort to create a positive policy. that's why 1990 - europe's most polluted year on record - is used as the benchmark.

from australia's point of view, kyoto would kill thousands of jobs and hamstring our industry simply because we are a large exporter of resources. the demand from other nations for those resources means that we are wearing the 'cost' of ghgs created on behalf of other countries. kyoto expressly dismisses a lifecycle view of emmissions - again because it would significantly disadvantage europe - which is completely unfair on us. if we were to only dig up the resources we needed for our own use then nobody would notice us.

there's lots of water to flow under this bridge. unfortunately, the left takes the 'moral high ground' in the argument, which has always led to less rigorous requirement for proof than on other issues (aka the ridiculous precautionary principle). the right uses its old tool of business lobbying that simply means there'll be nothing but argument for ever.

i lived in too many socialist countries (including the USSR) when i was growing up to hold anything but contempt for non free market, deregulated models that promote individual capital so i'll happily declare myself as slightly blue in political persuasion. however, if i was of the left i'd be remarkably cynical about having energy companies joining the bandwagon. especially bp who seem to have a really good scam going in that regard.

cheers
jack

By Jack Lacton (not verified) on 08 Apr 2006 #permalink

tim,

you've posted the 'joint statement' without also posting the positions of the usa and russia post-statement or pointed out that russia only signed kyoto because it was a condition of entry to the world trade organisation. nice work.

you're also stating that climate models predicted global warming in the mid-90s and here we are without also pointing out that NONE of the cimate models accurately predict past temperature, which is why, especially, statisticians have a problem and any sensible thinking person would, too.

it's also disingenuos to state that only climate scientists have a legitimate voice in this debate. steve mcintyre's ongoing demolition of the hockey stick and, more recently, proof that cherry picking of data has been taking place by dendroclimatologists to support their models shows that, in fact, these 'scientists' (what actual science do they actually do?) are living in what must be scientific utopia. huge access to public funds, no peer review process to pin them down and minor celebrity status to boot.

cheers
jack

By Jack Lacton (not verified) on 08 Apr 2006 #permalink

Jack,

While I'm a free-market radical, there are some things the free-market can't address. In this case, CO2 is an externality that polluters will only bear if they are forced to do so by the state. Governments could establish pollution contracts to buy and sell, but it would still be a highly contrived market.

"the canadians reckon it'd be good to have more than 10% of their year warm enough not to wear skivvies"
Especially if everything else stayed pretty much the same huh Jack?
So all it did was get a little warmer - ahhh. Nice.
There will be a moment up ahead when that attitude, and that kind of attitude will be seen for the evil it is, and was all along.

Hey, those Canadians didn't need all those salmon, anyway.

Jack, you're demonstrating a really naive (at best) view of global warming. It's not just "everything gets a little warmer" and nothing else changes. And this is info that's widely available, and has been talked about a great deal, so your ignorance is inexcusable.

Global warming sceptics must be buggers to be married to. "How was I to know? There was no conclusive proof that the soup wouldn't be _improved_ by adding the whole packet of salt!" or ""What do you mean I didn't fix the television? I opened up the back and threw in a monkey wrench - if that doesn't work it's not _my_ fault."

QrazyQat (nice nick)

i reckon i know more about this debate than you give me credit! in the few responses nobody has bothered to do any research to see whether a bit of co2 and a temperature rise is good for us. typical of the lazy left, along with the ad homs.

we have had a couple of decades now of the rise of science as the new religion. in that time there has been many a rant about doom and whatnot but the fact is that we're here and doing very nicely thank you very much. at what point do the doomsayers run out of credibility?

cheers
jack

By Jack Lacton (not verified) on 08 Apr 2006 #permalink

"Six Australian business leader reckon that the debate is over"

hey, that settles it for me.....not

Please tell me, how can I reduce my CO2 emissions, my house is insulated, I walk to work.

What are the alternatives for heating with fossil fuels?
Here is the present dutch energy stream (SANKEY diagram)
http://www.energie.nl/stat/images/fig123.jpg
(blue = gas, yellow = crude oil, orange = oil products, black = coal, pink = nuclear, green = renewables, grey electricity, red= heat, ligh blue =waste)
(translation: winning = exploitation, diensten = services, landbouw = agriculture

I assume the future lies in increasing the renewables. This means heating houses electical. In the seventies the incentive for moving from coal to gas was that gas was easier to use than coal, it was cheaper and the gas infrastructure was already in place. Also insulating house reduced the direct energy bill.
The low hanging fruits have been harvested alredy. Not many people do want to make this big investment voluntary.

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 09 Apr 2006 #permalink

What about Mann et al, should they not be added to the 'Most of them aren't climate scientists, and seventeen of them have got mentioned on this blog, typically for making serious errors of fact and interpretation:'
BTW, I hope the Chinese make good use of the Australian uranium, no worrying about ghg emissions there.
How is over taxing going to help with climate change, not much.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 09 Apr 2006 #permalink

Jack:

I have not gone and researched the benefits of global warming as a topic on its own. However after a couple of years of discussing the issue i have been directed to more than 1 article that discusses the supposed benefit of global warming. To date I have not been convinced.

For example you mentioned the Sahara desert as an example of CO2 causing a benefit yet you neglect to mention an equally important factor - improved agricultural practices.

I have looked at benefits such as:
Increased plant growth - Only true if you have sufficient nutrients available and then you can suffer from nutritional density problems.

Increased land available for agriculture in Canada - Well, if you can wait for 30 years to allow the soil to build up something in the way of nutrients then maybe.

Reduction in heating costs - perhaps, but the problem is that they are generally offset by increased cooling costs.

More rainfall - and less rain fall.

Others???

The problem is that human civilization has evolved to take advantage of particular areas of the earth. In each area we take advantage of certain circumstances and act to defend ourselves against hostile forces (where I live in Canada we have an abundance of fresh water and take it for granted but are well prepared for snow storms). As we change the climate we change the forces that act on any given area. The positive benefits that changes will bring will result in minimal gains but negative changes will result in the requirement for new infrastructure. In my Canadian example a decrease in snow storms will cause a small savings in snow clearing operations each year - only a small one since we are already pretty good at dealing with snow. However a reduction in precipitation would require the existing city infrastructure be rebuilt (our water distribution system leaks like a sieve right now) at the cost of billions. I believe that it is generally the case that the detriments will turn out to be far more costly than the benefits. And this assumes that there will be equal benefits and detriments.

There is one area where there will be a benefit from high CO2 and that in plants where moisture is the limiting factor. In these cases if the plants is a C3 type as opposed to a C4, and it can reduce its stomatal density, then they can retain more moisture. However this does not generally describe agricultural uses.

Regards,
John

By John Cross (not verified) on 09 Apr 2006 #permalink

As a Canadian, the politics surrounding Kyoto are somewhat interesting. For the first time in over a decade we have a Conservative government and one that does not seem that committed to Kyoto. But they are a minority government which means that they need support from other parties in order to implement any parts of their agenda. The other parties are quite strongly in favour of Kyoto so it will be interesting to see how much political capital the conservatives are willing to spend in order to implement this portion of their platform. My guess is not much - while they have come out generally against Kyoto it was not part of what they call their BIG FIVE (the five main parts of their agenda).

By John Cross (not verified) on 09 Apr 2006 #permalink

'Global warming sceptics must be buggers to be married to. "How was I to know? There was no conclusive proof that the soup wouldn't be _improved_ by adding the whole packet of salt"'

It has its advantages.

"Mr. Smith, I surveilled your wife, as you requested. Here is a photo of her, in a revealing nightie, greeting a handsome young man at the front door with passionate kisses, just after you leave for work, as I observed every day. Here is a photo through the bedroom window of them embracing and kissing passionately, again as I observed every day. They then pulled down the shades, but here is a photo of her, still in her nightie but now somewhat dishevelled, saying goodbye to him at the front door with more passionate kisses, just before you return home, every day."

"Damn! Well, keep it up until you get some evidence".

I would imagine that the impact on Canada would be likely to be less negative than on most of the world, and perhaps positive in the end. Changes in lifestyle of the Arctic peoples are politically and economically easily dismissable, unfortunately. Current farmlands that warm up could switch from grain to vegetables, while grain farms move to the now warmer north; flooding of ports would be more than offset by the opening up of a huge new coastline in the Northwest Passage through the Arctic, a much shorter route from Europe to the Pacific than the Panama Canal, as well as the Hudson's Bay. The center of mass of the population, now clinging to the southern border, could move further north into the vast territories now sparsely uninhabited. The big possible problem might be, in my lay opinion, the changes in water availability if the winter snowmass in the Rockies is eliminated. Water availability is already a limiting factor in the prairie farms. (This is not to be construed as an endorsement of anthropogenic climate change on behalf of Canada by myself, BTW)

Well, several problems happen in Canada -- among them the loss of important fisheries, which are extremely valuable. The loss of the northern ice, which is already worrying them (the bellwether species is the polar bear in this case) is also a problem. Do you have any idea what happens to northern roads, for instance, when there's a major thaw? (answer: you sink) And that's just one of many problems. True, Canada will miss out on most of the increased hurricane action (although Atlantic Canada gets hit with major storms as a result of those hurricanes) but will also pick up on that tornado action.

The bottom line is that when you hear someone say it's no big deal cause everything just gets a little warmer and that's it, then you are listening to someone who knows incredibly little (despite their protestations) about the subject.

It is amazing how "science" is the new religion. More than that though is the adaptation (or hijacking) of science to stifle all argument. This tactic in general is a common to both sides to be sure, but I have to say it's far more common on the left in my experience.

Examples:

Right side: My way is correct and if you dont think so you're against national security or unpatriotic!

Left side however: My way is correct and if you dont agree you are: 1. A racist! 2. A sexist! 3. A homophobe! 4. a religious radical right fundamentalist so and so! 5...6...7...8

Adapted now to Global Warming... by the way folks it's Global CLIMATE CHANGE dont you know? This way you're covered if it gets warmer or colder in your area.

Science says: We see warming trends.
Some scientists say: We think we have evidence that it's because of human activity in part.

Somehow that translates to: Corporations are evil, this one is greedy, that one is ignorant and we all need to do as I say or we're all gonna die!!11!one!

It staggers the mind.

I am decidedly to the right generally, and moderate socially. I accept there is a warming trend going on, I've seen plenty of evidence of that. What I'm not sold on is the role humans have played in it, but I am willing to listen to reasonable arguments.

What's totally absurd though is things like Kyoto. Total waste of time and energy. You want to push hybrid cars though? great! You want to push moving to cleaner burning fuels? Fantastic. Better emissions at the same performance? Market that and offer it to people. But forcing idiotic requirements that cant be met and even if they were would stifle growth AND do exactly squat even if you did hit the benchmarks has got to be the definition of futility.

On top of which you add the Envirogelicals preaching doom and hawking their books or scaring people into voting for them and it's no wonder people mock the hard left on this topic. It's utterly deserved.

-Dash

And BTW, in terms of the far north in Canada, this is a bigger problem than the numbers of people would indicate -- there's an enormous amount of minign wealth up there (largely gold and diamonds) and it's pumping money into the country like crazy. You make that harder and more expensive to get at and you've got problems. And unlike the naive (ie. uninformed and/or foolish) climate change pack's beliefs, warming the tundra makes things more difficult to deal with, not less.

"On top of which you add the Envirogelicals preaching doom and hawking their books or scaring people into voting for them and it's no wonder people mock the hard left on this topic. It's utterly deserved."

shhhhhhhh, dash. You're ruining the fun.

Personally, as an American, I am FOR Canadian adherence to all Kyoto protocols. You signed up for em, now you should deliver. You guys don't want to be France, do you?

"envirogelicals"

LOL, I missed that the first read through. Thanks, this is quite accurate. For the best example see John Quiggen's blog, where you can be excommunicated for merely questioning whether the subject of human caused global warming IS in fact, closed. You'll find that all that is closed are the minds on that blog. Very unscientific, also very envirogelical.

It is amazing how "science" is the new religion. More than that though is the adaptation (or hijacking) of science to stifle all argument. This tactic in general is a common to both sides to be sure, but I have to say it's far more common on the left in my experience.

It is amazing that, suddenly, commenters of a certain stripe all start using the same argument within a few days of each other.

Best,

D

Jerry:

When you question "whether the subject of human caused global warming IS in fact, closed" do you do so based on science or based on a gut feeling? Science should be questioned but the questions themselves must be based in science as well.

John

By John Cross (not verified) on 09 Apr 2006 #permalink

The subject of human caused global warming IS in fact, closed

however, the magnitude of climate sensitivity to CO2 is still heavily debated.

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 09 Apr 2006 #permalink

"When you question "whether the subject of human caused global warming IS in fact, closed" do you do so based on science or based on a gut feeling?"

gut feeling?

I find very few scientific qustions are every really closed. Perhaps that's why science continually corrects itself. How many times have we had "new" science completely change the way we thought about things. People who want to call just about anything "closed" are just being closed-minded IMHO.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 09 Apr 2006 #permalink

Sorry, the above post was mine.

Jerry

By Anonymous (not verified) on 09 Apr 2006 #permalink

John Rennie writes, "Basically, the industrialized world needs to make a good faith effort to cut CO2 first to convince the developing world to make sacrifices, too."

Why? Why should the "developing world make sacrifices, too?"

For whose benefit? And what are the nature and magnitude of those benefits?

As usual, climate change sceptics like Jack parade out nonsense about the supposed anthropocentric benefits of AGW; their thesis completely ignores the effects of warming on our ecological life-support systems and the species that make them up. Its the same old 'humans are exempt from the laws of nature' balderdash.

First of all, the current rate of change is not 'marginal' - in many regions of higher latitudes its probably unprecedented, at least in many hundreds of thousands of years. Humans have already nickeled and dimed many of the planet's natural ecosystems half to death, and AGW is just another stress on these complex adaptive systems. The crux of the matter is this: natural ecosystems generate a range of conditions ('ecosystem services') over variable spatial and temporal scales that PERMIT human existence; they do not function solely to support human beings, but we exist becase these conditions permit it. There is a less than subtle distinction here. In fact, based on the fact that humans co-opt more than 40% of net primary production and 50% of freshwater flows, its easily argued that no species is more dependent on nature than we are. However, in the face of the current human assault, we know that these systems are somewhat resilient, although limits in our current knowledge of the relatonship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning hinders our understanding of how far these systems can be simplified before they are unable to support themselves, and, ultimately, us. Most of these services - including pollination, nutrient cycling, partial control of climate, detoxificiation and decomposition of terrestrial wastes, generation and maintenance of soils and renewal of their fertilty, seed dispersal, pest control etc., which work inlittle understood and/or explored ways, have no technological subsitutes and thus their loss will have serious repercussions for society as a whole.

We already know from many published studies that food webs are unraveling because of rapid regional changes in warming, and that there are likely to be consequential effects on the fucntioning of ecological communities and systems as a result, but humans insist on continuing this non-replicatale experiment irrespective of the mid to longer term costs. Jack is speaking utter nonsense when he talks of a warmer world decreasing the extent of deserts (this is so ridiculous I don't know where to begin criticizing it). Soil fertility depends on many biotic and abiotic factors, often in synergy, and to suggest that the current warming episode is reducing the extent of deserts shows a coplete lack of understanding of even the most basic ecological principles. In fact, the opposite is true: because most of the world's prime agricultural lands occur in drier regions of the biosphere, and humans are exhausting soil fertilty in decades (fertilty that can take thousand of years to be produced), its clear that deserts are expanding rapidly in just about every continent. By 2050, up to one-third of the world's land surface could be desertified, mostly as a result of overuse and abuse of dryland systems.

To reiterate: to understand the effecs of climate change, as well as other aspects of human-induced global change, on human welfare, we need to take a multi-disciplinary approach that examines the consequences on food webs in communties and natural ecosystems because these constitute our life-support systems. To argue that heating bills will be reduced in countries like Canada by AGW while ignoring the decay of ecological systems is the sprint of folly. Moreover, sigificant warming is likely to devastate less species-rich systems, such as those in the Arctic. If the Nature paper by Chris Thomas and colleagues (2004), which predicts that up to one million species will become extinct by the middle of the century as a result of global warming, is correct, then we can already say with some certainty that the future is going to be very bleak indeed for humanity.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 09 Apr 2006 #permalink

Sorry I missed your talk yesterday in amsterdam jeff.
It was announced in "vroege vogels".
A fundamental issue: IMHO it is not possible to stop invasive species, because that is the main engine of darwinism. EG When the landbridge of Panama established this resulted in a big die off of the insulated species in south america. We have to live with survival of the fittest, the impossible alternative is to turn the world into a zoo.

BTW banana's are going extinct due to fungus increase, another darwinian challenge.

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 09 Apr 2006 #permalink

Hans,

Argh!!!!!!! You frustrate me! Invasive species are "The main engine of Darwinism"? NONSENSE! Humans are biologically homogenising the biosphere - often intentionally - bringing together normally allopatric species and populations at a rate that is unprecedented in geological history. The consequences of biological invasions are in many cases enormous, and not just for wild nature but for us. The land bridge connecting South and North America allowed for the gradual filtering of organisms into the domain of each other from the two continents, but the process was gradual and emerged over hundreds of thousands if not millions of years. There was certainly time for many species under this kind of diminished selection to adapt to a gradual increase in competition from organisms from the south or north. There was rarely, if ever, the sudden arrival of an invader into an ecosystem with no prior history of it. We are at NIOO researching the effects of warming on the arrival and colonisation ability of invasive thermophilic plants from central and southern Europe into northern Europe, and on extant plant communities. But as I have said, we should bear in mind that range expansions and contractions are the norm; what is not the norm is the introduction of exotic organisms from distant realms or continents into non-native (novel) ecosystems in another continent or realm. Next to habitat loss, invasive species pose the greatest threat to ecosystem health and vitality. Climate change is now thrown into the mix, with potentially very serious repercussions.

You also totally misinterpret the definition of fitness.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

How about the thermophylic species invasion during the eemian, there were mediterranian sea shells in the north sea, how devastating was this?

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Hans,

Two points.

First, you ignore the historical context which is critical in understanding how ecological systems evolve, assemble, and ultimately function. There's no doubt that the planet was once a heck of a lot warmer than it is now. However, species assemblages that occupied various niches then as now were not just dumped there in the blink of a geological eye. Many of these processes took millions of years to emerge. There are assembly rules and these can be whittled down from micro-evolutionary processes to a range of other abiotic and biotic selection pressures. Although change is the norm, as any ecologist will tell you, we aren't talking about ecosystems generating themselves in the context of human life-spans. This is hard for people to grasp - to us, 80 years is a heck of a long time, whereas in nature its a millisecond. Your example is fatally flawed because it tells us nothing about other components of the north sea community, how long they had co-existed there, and how gradual the system had evolved. Case closed.

Second point. You keep forgetting Homo sapiens. Its as if we had never existed. Humans are the primary driving force in global change now. We dominate every terrestrial ecosystem, have altered chemical cycles generated over stupendous spatial scales, and have fragmented vast tracts of landscape. Homo sapiens has therefore profoundly altered the physical and chemical environment. On top of that, we are biologically homogenizing the biosphere (i) faster, and (ii) more extensively than at any time in the planet's biological history. There are not only evolutionary consequences but functional consequences as well - we know that biological invasions impact ecosystem services and can generate extinction cascades. These are services that we depend upon, such as pollination, flood control, coastline stabilization etc. The economic costs of losing these services are likely to be enormous.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Glenn: "For example, I strongly favor carbon taxes, nuclear power and assistance to the developing world aimed at reducing pollution generally. And yet I remain uncertain if Kyoto, politically, is a "first step" or a mis-step."

Glenn, it's unfortunate that there has been a great deal of misinformation regarding Kyoto and that this misinformation has consistently and falsely protrayed Kyoto as an infleixble government-driven system focussed on mandated reductions in emissions.

Take the time to read the actual Kyoto Accord and you will find it provides for all the things you want to see.

Kyoto isn't prefect but neither is it anywhere near as bad as its usually portrayed.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Ben: Or is everyone just waiting to point fingers and blather "I told you so" when the armageddon comes?

when I worked on climate change plannign for the Queensland government several years back the main emphasis was on "adaptation" - i.e. accepting that even in the best case credible scenarios significant global warming would occur.

That meant, for example, looking at what additional areas would become prone to floooding in the future and developing measures to discourage residential development there.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Jack Lacton: "from australia's point of view, kyoto would kill thousands of jobs and hamstring our industry simply because we are a large exporter of resources."

This is simply not true.

The Australian government's own modelling shows that total employment and employment in the resource industries would continue to grow even if Kyoto was implemented.

You might want ot note Jack that australia is currently on track to actually reduce its emissions in line with Kyoto and yet, oddly, total employment continues to riseand the unemployment rate is at 30 year lows.

Funny how that would, apparently, change at the stroke of a pen even if nothing else changed.

Claims of massive job losses associated with Kyoto are manufactured by constructing unrealistic and widely optimistic "base case" scenarios.

Then instead of saying: "without Kyoto employment will rise by 1,000,000 jobs over 10 years and with Kyoto it will rise by 950,000" you say "Kyoto will destroy 50,000 jobs! Why does these boong-loving pro-terrorist eco-nazis hate us so?"

By Anonymous (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Jeff,

Do you think that Holland is better or worse than 30 years ago?
Is Holland a good or a bad example for the rest of the world?

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Han:

If you contextualize your example with the amount of energy and maintenance required to reclaim a scrap of land, the cost-benefit analysis might be a little wanting.

Why didn't you folks just adapt to the changing conditions and move somewhere, like so many denialists insist others do?

Best,

D

To reiterate: to understand the effecs of climate change, as well as other aspects of human-induced global change, on human welfare, we need to take a multi-disciplinary approach that examines the consequences on food webs in communties and natural ecosystems because these constitute our life-support systems. To argue that heating bills will be reduced in countries like Canada by AGW while ignoring the decay of ecological systems is the sprint of folly. Moreover, sigificant warming is likely to devastate less species-rich systems, such as those in the Arctic. If the Nature paper by Chris Thomas and colleagues (2004), which predicts that up to one million species will become extinct by the middle of the century as a result of global warming, is correct, then we can already say with some certainty that the future is going to be very bleak indeed for humanity.

- Jeff Harvey"

You've got to be kidding with this stuff.

From TallDave's link above....

"These efforts are supported by a letter from 60 leading international climate change experts who once more reiterated the near impossibility to seperate the various causes that are contributing to climate change:

"'Climate change is real' is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified.

"Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural 'noise'."

60 leading international climate change experts? Does this mean the subject is NOT closed or is this just more heresy?

"Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural 'noise'."

Such a statement is meaningless, unless accompanied by an explanation of how the human impact could be distinguished from the noise, to the satisfaction of the skeptic involved. If he/she/it states that nothing other than a randomly assigned controlled trial will be satisfactory (which seems to be the case with a lot of these folks) then we can safely move on.

"Such a statement is meaningless, unless accompanied by an explanation of how the human impact could be distinguished from the noise"

I believe the scientists are saying that "the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural 'noise'"

60 leading international climate change experts? Does this mean the subject is NOT closed or is this just more heresy?

The '60 leading international CC experts', BTW, have a total of, oh, maybe ten empirical, peer-reviewed people among them.

The roster is that of 'the usual suspects' - contrarians, denialists, shills.

HTH,

D

as opposed to the shills on the other side of the fence?

Let's look at what a great job science does in closing subjects.....

If you had a baby in the 1970's in the US, you'd have been warned with serious frowns never to let that baby go to sleep on its back, only on the stomach. SIDS, you know.

But if you'd had that same baby in the 1980's, well, then the dire warning was to allow the baby to sleep ONLY on its back, never the stomach. SIDS, you know.

Now, have that SAME baby, or one decades younger, in the 1990's and the dire warning was to put it on its side, propped up with a line of blankets. No side sleeping or back sleeping. SIDS, you know.

Now, of course, in the 2000's, we're back to mandatory back sleeping. SIDS, you know.

So, when scientists can determine which, if any, sleeping position is definitively the best position, and the one least likely to result in a SIDS death, then maybe they can get to work on human-caused global warming. When they can "close" a relatively easy one, maybe they can work their way up from there.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Sorry, the above post was mine

Jerry

By Anonymous (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

It just seems to me that you do your side no good at all with this extremist nonsense about 1 million species being extinct and how horrible Homo Sapiens are for the planet etc. I have to admit it is amusing watching arguments seemingly over who can offer the more alarmist position...

Anyway, yes Canada has come to realize what the US and others knew: Kyoto is futile. So have the Brits I believe. At least I know Blair has indicated it's time to rethink Kyoto. The policy was an utter failure, mostly because it's true objective seemed to be self gratification for all these folks who want to tell you how horrible you are for polluting and how wonderful they are for being part of the soulution to YOUR problem (you ignorant dolts!)

The rest of us point and laugh (or snicker under our breath if we feel bad), and listen instead to reasonable people who understand that while we are in a warming trend, no we dont know the cause. If humans are indeed partly responsible we have no idea to what degree, .01% or 20%... who knows. And yes we should all want cleaner air so lets promote cleaner burning fuel solutions, or market hybrid cars with good performance for those who want them, offer incentives for businesses to reduce emmissions. That sort of thing.

To be clear:

Kyoto in Canada is not futile.

Canada will not be pulling out, but the current concervative government (advised by people from Australia's liberal party, BTW) is publically saying that they will fail to meet the targets because the previous Liberal government was slow and ineffective in dealing with Kyoto implementation (true).

The plot seems to be to instead come up with a less ambitious world agreement (as if Kyoto really was).

Of course, today it was announced that there is a way for Canada to meet its target:

http://tinyurl.com/p4xr4

which the Tories here in Canada will likely ignore. Their powerbase is in oil-rich Alberta.

As for other comments above re: making Canada warmer:

-- our seals are losing their breeding grounds (ice flows)
-- we already produce so much food that we have to give it away
-- My home town of Toronto already has sweltering summers, with some days breaking 40C with the humidex
-- the ice storm that frooze Quebec nearly ten years ago, and the tornados that we now get are extreme weather events we can do without, please
-- Less snow staying in the Rockies is starting to affect water supplies in Alberta, which needs to use several barrels of water per barrel of oil extracted; oh, and people farm with it too!

That's just a tiny list, to be sure.

I'm amused that anyone can think that a rapidly changing environment can be good for anything on this world.

"So, when scientists can determine which, if any, sleeping position is definitively the best position, and the one least likely to result in a SIDS death, then maybe they can get to work on human-caused global warming. When they can "close" a relatively easy one, maybe they can work their way up from there."

Yes just think of the billions we've wasted over the years on "vaccinations" just because these "scientists" claim diseases are caused by itty-bitty little invisible critters and not evil spirits.

Clearly the microbe-alarmists are in the pay of the global drug companies.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

"Yes just think of the billions we've wasted over the years on "vaccinations" just because these "scientists" claim diseases are caused by itty-bitty little invisible critters"

and some of them, but not all of them, are. We find new information on diseases every day. Nothing in science is ever closed.

Umm, Jerry: I think you need to research a little more about Canada. Your post was from March, 2005!!! We have had a change in government since then and now the Tories are in charge, except they could fall if they don't adhere to Kyoto or convince others that their plan is good enough to support.

Dash: you seem convinved that the idea of 1 million species going extinct is not correct. If so can you please point out specifically what is wrong with the paper?

John

By John Cross (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

"Umm, Jerry: I think you need to research a little more about Canada. Your post was from March, 2005!!! We have had a change in government since then"

The article mentions Harper, who is still in office.

"except they could fall if they don't adhere to Kyoto or convince others that their plan is good enough to support."

yes, I can just see canadians kicking Harper out if he doesn't ruin the Canadian economy enough to meet Kyoto targets.

Dash,

Kidding in what way? Just because you don't understand the dynamics of natural systems and the fact that human survival depends on ecological services emerging from them are you dismissing them? Or is this just another typical response from someone (throw in Tim Curtin and TallDave as well into this category) who thinks that human beings are above and beyond nature? Please specify. Or else tell me what you've read about the impacts of climate change on natural systems - an entire volume has just been published (revised from the 1992 first edition) spelling out the ways in which AGW will simply nature and the potential consequences for humanity.

Speaking as a scientist I have seen the same kinds of strategies embraced to counter those with whose views (out of ignorance) the sceptics don't understand. One of the most tried and trusted is ridicule - claim that the opponents must be deluded or 'out of touch' and this is enough to disarm them, to 'marginalize' their views. Dash, TallDave etc., if you want to debate environmental science with me (or if you are able to, but I don't see any signs that you understand even the basics), then go ahead. But if you can't come up with anything more than the crap you wrote in response to my posts, then please don't waste my time. Try reading some scientific literature first.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Jerry: Now you are not even trying to understand the points. When he made the comments you quoted he was in opposition. As of January 24 he is not PM. The problem Harper faces is that to make changes he needs to get 31 votes from the opposition who are all in favour of Kyoto.

I have gone back and read through your posts and I am somewhat curious. You have posted no real issues with global warming, just "gut" feelings and a feeling that if science says something now then it is sure to be wrong in the future. Are there any real issues that you are concerned with?

By John Cross (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

Hans,

Holland maintains the world's largest ecological deficit (along with the US). Both countries have ecological footprints - based on per capita consumption and waste production - that are some 4-5 hectares 'short' per person. This shortfall needs to be made up and is by importing carrying capacity. If you think The Netherlands is anywhere close to being sustainable, think again. But, to be fair, all of the world's developed countries finance massive ecological deficits. Why on Earth do you think that the 'quad' (Japan, Australia, Europe, North America) are pushing so heavily for 'free trade'? Something like 80% of the world's resources are consumed by 15% of the world's population in the developed world. All things being equal, if everyone on the planet enjoyed the same lifestyle as the average American, we'd need 5 or more Earth-like planets, and such planets are hard to find these days. In reality, the only way we can maintain such a disparity in consumption is to promote economic policies that push to maintain the status quo.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

As heating my house with sootless natural gas is part of my ecological footprint, I see how Holland gets a bad mark with it's big gas reserve. We don't grow enough forest to absorb the horrible pollutant CO2 that we dutch export.

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

"I believe the scientists are saying that "the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural 'noise'""

Yes, but they could say that forever, unless they commit themselves to exactly what, in their opinion, would distinguish the two, that is not yet being seen. If they admit that their implicit assumption is that they are waiting for it to be written in the sky in words of fire, then their opinion can be dismissed. If they have rational criteria by which to judge signal vs. noise, it can be addressed. Otherwise they are just naysayers.

"So, when scientists can determine which, if any, sleeping position is definitively the best position, and the one least likely to result in a SIDS death, then maybe they can get to work on human-caused global warming. When they can "close" a relatively easy one, maybe they can work their way up from there."

Indeed. Scientist used to tell us that atoms were indivisible, then that protons and electrons and neutrons were indivisible now they have quarks. They used to believe that F=MA but now we know that's not true either. As a result, I am throwing away my cell phone, as it is based on scientific principles, and as we can see that's notoriously unreliable, and therefore the thing can't possibly work.

If we talk about the consequences of global warming, I think the skeptics overlook just how serious a problem climate change is for things they care about (assuming that eating is one of them).

Increases in intensity of hurricanes and other such natural disasters, along with lost of land to sea-level increases are the milder effects. As horrible as they are the means of adapting to these are fairly well known.

But I don't think a lot people appreciate how sensitive agriculure is to warming and how much our civilization depends upon agriculture. One point here is that while the world will never run out of water, it can easily run out of clean water; the water cycle makes only so much clean water accessible at any one time. In point of fact humanity has been mining and polluting the water table in any case; even without global warming clean water for agriculture is a serious problem in some areas, and will be more so in time. But global warming tends to produce more intense rain in areas with plenty of water already - producing flooding. It tends result in less rain in dry areas producing drought. And it tends to reduce snow pack, upon which snowmelt depends - reducing major sources for irrigation water. Agriculture is intensely sensitive to flood and drought conditions; excess or shortage of water can reduce production by as much as half in a single year.

Another problem is the pests tend to migrate in the face of climate
change - meaning farmers have to deal with pests they are unused to. In addition, insects thrive in warming climates; you will have more
insects in terms of absolute biomass - which is really bad news for
farmers. Then there is the fact that two of the worlds primary croops
produce less in warmer weather - corn and rice. Right now we produce
~2,800 calories for every human being on earth *after* crops are fed to animals; hunger is not based on any shortage of food. But if you get an absolute food shortage that is a real danger.

And the thing is there are ways of growing much more food on an acre of land. The problem is those means are generally extremely labor intensive. One key component of our technical civilization is that we
don't have to spend a lot of time growing food, which leaves us plenty for other things. Changing that either kills a whole lot of people, or has serious consequences for our entire technical base - or both.

By Gar Lipow (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

Why is climate change beneficial for bad animals and detrimental for good animals?

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

Hans Erren: "Why is climate change beneficial for bad animals and detrimental for good animals?"

I don't know, you're the only one who's said that, why don't you tell us?

By brokenlibrarian (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

"Yes, but they could say that forever"

and they probably will

"unless they commit themselves to exactly what, in their opinion, would distinguish the two, that is not yet being seen."

and all them won't ever do that

"If they have rational criteria by which to judge signal vs. noise, it can be addressed."

addressing it isn't closing the subject.

"They used to believe that F=MA but now we know that's not true either. As a result, I am throwing away my cell phone, as it is based on scientific principles, and as we can see that's notoriously unreliable, and therefore the thing can't possibly work."

I'm glad to have your word that science won't continue to change its mind every decade about the best sleeping position for babies to avoid SIDS. They should have just asked you to begin with.

"When he made the comments you quoted he was in opposition."

Harper has never changed his mind on Kyoto.

"The problem Harper faces is that to make changes he needs to get 31 votes from the opposition who are all in favour of Kyoto."

He doesn't need to make changes to miss the targets.

"I have gone back and read through your posts and I am somewhat curious. You have posted no real issues with global warming, just "gut" feelings and a feeling that if science says something now then it is sure to be wrong in the future."

I never post gut feelings.

Jerry:

There's a difference between Canada 'missing Kyoto targets' and Canada 'pulling out/dropping out' of Kyoto. I was saying specifically that neither the current government nor the previous were on target, however we remain signaturies to Kyoto and will remain so, as per recent comments by both Harper and Environment Minister Rona Ambrose.

I posted on the matter here: http://tinyurl.com/fqc34

Canada has no more 'pulled out' of Kyoto than America has 'pulled out' of, say, the Geneva convention.

Oops, that was an unfortunate comparison.

Canada can meet its targets, maybe: http://tinyurl.com/mtjf7

brokenlib said:

I don't know, you're the only one who's said that, why don't you tell us?

Prediction: Han will try to dissemble and make this about MBH98.

Best,

D

Jeff Harvey writes, "Something like 80% of the world's resources are consumed by 15% of the world's population in the developed world. All things being equal, if everyone on the planet enjoyed the same lifestyle as the average American, we'd need 5 or more Earth-like planets,..."

I'm curious about this claim. The world per-capita GDP is presently approximately $9,300 per year. The U.S. per-capita GDP is approximately $42,000 per year.

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2004rank.html

Does your statement mean that you predict:

1) That the world economy will soon collapse?

2) That the world per capita GDP will never get to $42,000 per year?

In fact, does your statement and the theory of "ecological footprints" have any predictive capacity at all? If so, what are your predictions, based on the theory of "ecological footprints"?

P.S. I'm curious, because I've got a prediction on "Long Bets" that the world per capita GDP, adjusted to year 2000 dollars, will exceed the current U.S. GDP in the early 2040s, and will exceed $10,000,000 by 2100:

http://www.longbets.org/194

:-)

P.S. If I'm correct (or even within a factor of 100 of being correct in 2100, which I think is virtually certain), it's pretty foolish for the people on earth presently to be sacrificing for those who will be on earth in 2100. That's why I again would like John Rennie to describe any scientific (rather than religious) reason he has for advocating sacrifice on the altar of CO2 reductions, on the part of developing countries (or even developed countries).

How about it, Mr. Rennie?

GDP size is not a definite measure of resource use. Actually, it's a rather poor measure overall.

The point raised by Jeff Harvey is a common claim that if everyone in the world consumed resources at the same rate that North Americans do, we'd need five 'earths' or so to meet demand. This is another (dramatic) way of saying that resource extraction and production, agriculture and energy generation would need to be boosted by five times the present level to meet demand.

I don't know of the veracity of the claim, just that I once took a test that found that even my small ecological footprint if equalled and not exceeded by everyone in the world would require three earths to match.

Whatever the actual figures, it's not rocket science to know that if everyone were to consume like the average North American, we'd have to produce a lot more than we do. And with so much being non-renewables, that's a bad thing.

"Why is climate change beneficial for bad animals and detrimental for good animals?"

what's a good animal and what's a bad animal?

The European rabbit is a "good" animal (presumably) in Europe. In Australia its caused damage worth, literally, tens of billions of dollars.

Or are enquiring about the state of their souls?

By Anonymous (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

Re: '"Why is climate change beneficial for bad animals and detrimental for good animals?"

what's a good animal and what's a bad animal?

The European rabbit is a "good" animal (presumably) in Europe. In Australia its caused damage worth, literally, tens of billions of dollars.

Or are enquiring about the state of their souls?'

There is no such thing as a bad or a good animal. They are simply animals, and all species will be hurt by AGW.

By Stephen Berg (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

[Sorry for double-posting, but...]

Re: "I'm curious about this claim. The world per-capita GDP is presently approximately $9,300 per year. The U.S. per-capita GDP is approximately $42,000 per year."

Taking this all into account, the GNP of the US is 21.5% of the world's total GNP, despite having less than 5% of the world's population.

As resource extraction plays the most important role in GNP, I'd say Jeff Harvey's point is completely valid.

By Stephen Berg (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

A simpler calculation can be made using the numbers for national GDP. No fiddling with "per capita".

The world GDP is listed as $59 trilion,590 billion dollars (est). The GDP of the United States is listed as $12 trillion, 410 billion dollars (est). Therefore, by these numbers, the United States generates about 21% of the world GDP. Same result, more straightforward method.

But, as Mark said, "GDP size is not a definite measure of resource use. Actually, it's a rather poor measure overall." Better results might be found using the numbers for oil consuption (the US uses a full quarter of all the oil used in world ever day), natural gas consumption (almost the same), and electricity production (also almost the same).

So we're looking at about the same results: a fifth to a quarter of the world's enegery usage, a fifth to a quarter of the world's GDP, and less than five percent of the world's population. I think that an additional and very important data point would be to find out how much of the world's food production ends up in the United States. I expect it is significant, once one accounts for crops fed to cattle for the production of meat, eggs, cheese, etc, which Americans eat in greater quantities than anywhere else in the world. I would also expect it to be lower than the actual energy usage numbers.

One needs to define "resource usage" to make an argument like this. What other "resources" do Americans consume at higher-than-average numbers, other than energy and food?

By brokenlibrarian (not verified) on 12 Apr 2006 #permalink

Could any of the AGW sceptics say whether they think humans are having a major adverse impact on the global environment?

Could you also tell me why the G8's premier scientific institutions -basically the worlds best- the one's their governments turn to for official scientific advice, have all come out supporting AGW and that is a matter of great concern for their governments?

"The point raised by Jeff Harvey is a common claim that if everyone in the world consumed resources at the same rate that North Americans do, we'd need five 'earths' or so to meet demand. This is another (dramatic) way of saying that resource extraction and production, agriculture and energy generation would need to be boosted by five times the present level to meet demand.

I don't know of the veracity of the claim, just that I once took a test that found that even my small ecological footprint if equalled and not exceeded by everyone in the world would require three earths to match."

So you took a test and were shocked by the result. Take another test...a true/false test:

1) Your first name start with an "M." (True or False?)

2) Your first name ends with a "k." (True or False?)

3) You run a blog that ends with the number "15." (True or False?)

If your answers to all three questions are "True," you will die on April 15.

Shocking, isn't it? But the question is, does it have any *predictive* capability? That's what science is all about.

If "ecological footprint" theory can't be used by someone to make falsifiable (capable of being proved false) predictions of future events, then it isn't science.

For example, take my theory about per-capita economic growth rates accelerating throughout the 21st century:

1) It's based on the fact that economic growth is caused by human minds (e.g., you don't see any wealthy chimpanzees),

2) and the number of "human brain equivalents" will increase to essentially infinity as the 21st century progresses,

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/11/why_economic_gr.h…

ergo...

3) per-capita (at least per "hydrocarbon-based-capita") economic growth rates will continue to increase throughout the 21st century, reaching mind-boggling levels (of greater than 10% per year) by the end of the century.

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2004/10/3rd_thoughts_on.h…

http://www.longbets.org/194

Note how that theory of economic growth produces a *falsifiable* prediction about the future. That is the key difference between real science and pseudoscience. I'm asking Jeff Harvey if "ecological footprint" theory enables him to make any *falsifiable* predictions of the future.

Ok then, beautiful vs harmful.

Under threat by global warming:
Tropical frogs

Thriving by global warming:
Mosquitos

More examples anybody?
Beautiful species that are thriving by global warming?
Harmful species that are threatened by global warming?

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 12 Apr 2006 #permalink

Of course humans are having an adverse effect on the local environment. It's called pollution and deforestation.

Richer countries have the means to clean up their mess.
Poor countries are target of corruption.
I've seen some cases of badland erosion in Ethiopia where due to woodcutting for fuel, desertification occurs leading to local temperature increase. A reforestation programme is now under way.

As world population grew dramatically over the last decades it is a synchronous global problem. The best solution is to educate girls, because educated girls have less children, thus reducing the pressure.

The influence of sychronous land use change on global average climate is an ongoing topic of research.
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/310/5754/1625

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 12 Apr 2006 #permalink

bl wrote:

I think that an additional and very important data point would be to find out how much of the world's food production ends up in the United States.

Ecologists (e.g. Jeff Harvey 'n' me) use Net Primary Productivity (NPP) as the ultimate measure of resource use. Wackernagel et al. estimate humans appropriate 40% of the planet's NPP.

If you wonder why people ululate about fishery issues, or surface water withdrawals, etc. it's that number.

Best,

D

Re: "Richer countries have the means to clean up their mess."

Yes, but do they? Hardly.

The budget for United States Superfund cleanup sites has dropped dramatically in recent years, leaving the environment in shambles.

Here in Canada, hundreds of patches of clear-cut forests are visible from the air. These sites aren't being replenished.

The technology exists for hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid automobiles. However, what percentage of those in the developed world actually own one? 1%? 0.5%? Even less?

We have the ways and means to clean up our mess. However, we don't, and it's a bloody shame, since our grandchildren will have to deal with it decades down the road.

By Stephen Berg (not verified) on 12 Apr 2006 #permalink

Dano:

Ecologists (e.g. Jeff Harvey 'n' me) use Net Primary Productivity (NPP) as the ultimate measure of resource use. Wackernagel et al. estimate humans appropriate 40% of the planet's NPP.

If you wonder why people ululate about fishery issues, or surface water withdrawals, etc. it's that number.

So what's the NPP numbers for the United States versus the rest of the humans, then? Or is Not That Simple?

By brokenlibrarian (not verified) on 12 Apr 2006 #permalink

Hans Erren:
>"Why is climate change beneficial for bad animals and detrimental for good animals?"

I suspect this was in response to my post. The answer is that in agriculture, generally any animal that is "good" i.e. contributes to our food supply is already there and cultivated (along with some animals we don't want). Thus random importation of additional animals is likely to either have no effect or to threaten food production. The odds of a randomly imported species having a postive effect are vanishingly small, where a high percentage are likely to cause us problems. This is even more true for insects. The odds that a randomly imported inspect species, new to an area, will prove beneficial are infinitesmal. The odds that a randomly imported insect species new to an area will prove harmful is significant. Thus as global warming causes species migration it is close to inevitable that pests will increase, and absurdly small that new beneficial species will be imported. All this is enormously anthropocentric of course. If you are broad-minded enough to hold cockroaches of equal value with yourself then you should not worry about global warming; global warming is beneficial to that species and has little or no down-side for them.

By Gar Lipow (not verified) on 12 Apr 2006 #permalink

bl:

I'd have to go back and read the paper, but IIRC they didn't calculate NPP for US. In my distant memory, I recall a paper about embodied energy and the US consumed ~27% of all kcal - energy, food, transport, etc.

Best,

D

If you are broad-minded enough to hold cockroaches of equal value with yourself ...

The mind reels with possible comments but I shall remain silent and wish everyone a good night!.

John

P.S. Dano, have you calculated the r2 values of your WMI index yet?

By John Cross (not verified) on 12 Apr 2006 #permalink

Dano:

I'd have to go back and read the paper, but IIRC they didn't calculate NPP for US. In my distant memory, I recall a paper about embodied energy and the US consumed ~27% of all kcal - energy, food, transport, etc.

That would certainly be in line with the fuel consumption numbers. I would be interested to see what percentage of the world's crops are used to feed cattle (I expect it's a lot), and what percentage of cattle products are consumed by what countries. Any idea where I might find such information? I've had little luck so far.

By brokenlibrarian (not verified) on 12 Apr 2006 #permalink

Re: "P.S. Dano, have you calculated the r2 values of your WMI index yet?"

Hmmm. Sounds like either a 1.4 or an 8.3. What do you think, Dano?

By Stephen Berg (not verified) on 12 Apr 2006 #permalink

>>If you are broad-minded enough to hold cockroaches of equal value with yourself ...

>The mind reels with possible comments but I shall remain silent and wish everyone a good night!.

Hi, John. You did spot that in context with the rest of the paragraph that quote was *intentional* rather than *unintentional* satire of the skeptic position.

By Gar Lipow (not verified) on 13 Apr 2006 #permalink

1. bl: IIRC, ~70-80% of graminaceous crops in US are for fodder (most corn, not as much wheat).
1a: FAO should have the crop %s you are looking for. You may want to look at Les Brown's Plan B or some other of his books on EPI website (downloadable in .pdf), which is a good place to start.

2. Mr Berg: the r^2 of my WMI is higher than .02 (BTW, rubes, was known in 1998) :o) , but I suspect hovers around .4-.5 with a SD of about one whole unit. I think the index is a good predictor of ideological stripe, but I don't think the metric is a good predictor of, say, lack of intelligence when quoting SEPP web/CO2Sci/John Daly/etc or using earth examples from 250 MYA to draw conclusions/tout about the rosy future.

Best,

D

Hi Gar:

I thought it might be but I know that humor sometimes doesn't come across well over the internet. In any case I thought it worth highlighting - sorry about the sledgehammer approach.

By John Cross (not verified) on 13 Apr 2006 #permalink

Actually, thanks. The fact that you had doubts meant I was not as clear as I thought, so I appreciate it.

By Gar Lipow (not verified) on 13 Apr 2006 #permalink

I just realized that in my previous comment, I taunted the rubes about something that I chided them on earlier. I have notified my Editor and she has assured me of more assiduous reading of my comments.

Apologies.

Mr Cross:

have you audited my WMI numbers yet? Never mind that I won't provide the raw data for non-WMI Team amateurs to stain with Cheeto crumbs, because it may cut my taxpayer funding and thus Noam Chomsky won't return my phone calls.

Best,

D

By Anonymous (not verified) on 13 Apr 2006 #permalink

I'm really hoping John Rennie will come back to explain why developing countries should sacrifice to reduce CO2 emissions (see my post of April 9, 11:08 PM).

And Jeff Harvey can give some examples of predictions that result from "ecological footprint" theory (see my post of April 11, 8:47 PM).

I'm really hoping John Rennie will come back to explain why developing countries should sacrifice to reduce CO2 emissions (see my post of April 9, 11:08 PM).

And Jeff Harvey can give some examples of predictions that result from "ecological footprint" theory (see my post of April 11, 8:47 PM).

Posted by: Mark Bahner | April 13, 2006 09:28 PM

Mark: re John Rennie, you could wait for a thousand years!
and re Jeff Harvey, try 100,000 years.

Neither is aware that the demand for industrial CO2 is growing faster than the production by AGW.

Statement by Nobel Laureates on World Peace

This statement was signed by 110 Nobel Laureates and released on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the prizes, celebrated December 2001. (Science, December 13, 2001)

THE STATEMENT

"The most profound danger to world peace in the coming years will stem not from the irrational acts of states or individuals but from the legitimate demands of the world's dispossessed. Of these poor and disenfranchised, the majority live a marginal existence in equatorial climates. Global warming, not of their making but originating with the wealthy few, will affect their fragile ecologies most. Their situation will be desperate and manifestly unjust.
It cannot be expected, therefore, that in all cases they will be content to await the beneficence of the rich. If then we permit the devastating power of modern weaponry to spread through this combustible human landscape, we invite a conflagration that can engulf both rich and poor. The only hope for the future lies in co-operative international action, legitimized by democracy.
It is time to turn our backs on the unilateral search for security, in which we seek to shelter behind walls. Instead, we must persist in the quest for united action to counter both global warming and a weaponized world. These twin goals will constitute vital components of stability as we move toward the wider degree of social justice that alone gives hope of peace.
Some of the needed legal instruments are already at hand, such as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Convention on Climate Change, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. As concerned citizens, we urge all governments to commit to these goals that constitute steps on the way to replacement of war by law.
To survive in the world we have transformed, we must learn to think in a new way. As never before, the future of each depends on the good of all."

THE SIGNATORIES

Zhohres I. Alferov Physics, 2000; Sidney Altman Chemistry, 1989; Philip W. Anderson Physics, 1977; Oscar Arias Sanchez Peace, 1987; J. Georg Bednorz Physics, 1987; Bishop Carlos F.X. Belo Peace, 1996; Baruj Benacerraf Physiology/Medicine, 1980; Hans A. Bethe Physics, 1967; James W. Black Physiology/Medicine, 1988; Guenter Blobel Physiology/Medicine, 1999; Nicolaas Bloembergen Physics, 1981; Norman E. Boriaug Peace, 1970; Paul D. Boyer Chemistry, 1997; Bertram N. Brockhouse Physic, 1994; Herbert C. Brown Chemistry, 1979; Georges Charpak Physics, 1992; Claude Cohen-Tannoudji Physics, 1997; John W. Cornforth Chemistry, 1975; Francis H. Crick Physiology/Medicine, 1962; James W. Cronin Physics, 1980; Paul J. Crutzen Chemistry, 1995; Robert F. Curl Chemistry, 1996; His Holiness The Dalai Lama Peace, 1989; Johann Deisenhofer Chemistry, 1988; Peter C. Doherty Physiology/Medicine, 1996; Manfred Eigen Chemistry, 1967; Richard R. Ernst Chemistry, 1991; Leo Esaki Physics, 1973; Edmond H. Fischer Physiology/Medicine, 1992; Val L. Fitch Physics, 1980; Dario Fo Literature, 1997; Robert F. Furchgott Physiology/Medicine, 1998; Walter Gilbert Chemistry, 1980; Sheldon L. Glashow Physics, 1979; Mikhail S. Gorbachev Peace, 1990; Nadine Gordimer Literature, 1991; Paul Greengard Physiology/Medicine, 2000; Roger Guillemin Physiology/Medicine, 1977; Herbert A. Hauptman Chemistry, 1985; Dudley R. Herschbach Chemistry, 1986; Antony Hewish Physics, 1974; Roald Hoffman Chemistry, 1981; Gerardus 't Hooft Physics, 1999; David H. Hubel Physiology/Medicine, 1981; Robert Huber Chemistry, 1988; Francois Jacob Physiology/Medicine, 1975; Brian D. Josephson Physics, 1973; Jerome Karle Chemistry, 1985; Wolfgang Ketterle Physics, 2001; H. Gobind Khorana Physiology/Medicine, 1968; Lawrence R. Klein Economics, 1980; Klaus von Klitzing Physics, 1985; Aaron Klug Chemistry, 1982; Walter Kohn Chemistry, 1998; Herbert Kroemer Physics, 2000; Harold Kroto Chemistry, 1996; Willis E. Lamb Physics, 1955; Leon M. Lederman Physics, 1988; Yuan T. Lee Chemistry, 1986; Jean-Marie Lehn Chemistry, 1987; Rita Levi-Montalcini Physiology/Medicine, 1986; William N. Lipscomb Chemistry, 1976; Alan G. MacDiarmid Chemistry, 2000; Daniel L. McFadden Economics, 2000; César Milstein Physiology/Medicine, 1984; Franco Modigliani Economics, 1985; Rudolf L. Moessbauer Physics, 1961; Mario J. Molina Chemistry, 1995; Ben R. Mottelson Physics, 1975; Ferid Murad Physiology/Medicine, 1998; Erwin Neher Physiology/Medicine, 1991; Marshall W. Nirenberg Physiology/Medicine, 1968; Joseph E. Murray Physiology/Medicine, 1990; Paul M. Nurse Physiology/Medicine, 2001; Max F. Perutz Chemistry, 1962; William D. Phillips Physics, 1997; John C. Polanyi Chemistry, 1986; Ilya Prigogine Chemistry, 1977; Burton Richter Physics, 1976; Heinrich Rohrer Physics, 1987; Joseph Rotblat Peace, 1995; Carlo Rubbia Physics, 1984; Bert Sakmann Physiology/Medicine, 1991; Frederick Sanger Chemistry, 1958;; 1980; José Saramago Literature, 1998; J. Robert Schrieffer Physics, 1972; Melvin Schwartz Physics, 1988; K. Barry Sharpless Chemistry, 2001; Richard E. Smalley Chemistry, 1996; Jack Steinberger Physics, 1988; Joseph E. Stiglitz Economics, 2001; Horst L. Stormer Physics, 1998; Henry Taube Chemistry, 1983; Joseph H. Taylor Jr. Physics, 1993; Susumu Tonegawa Physiology/Medicine, 1997; Charles H. Townes Physics, 1964; Daniel T. Tsui Physics, 1998; Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu Peace, 1984; John Vane Physiology/Medicine, 1982; John E. Walker Chemistry, 1997; Eric F. Wieschaus Physiology/Medicine, 1982; Jody Williams Peace, 1997; Robert W. Wilson Physics, 1978; Ahmed H. Zewail Chemistry, 1999.

Re: "A nobel laureate doesn't make a greenhouse expert"

Not necessarily, but it is certainly a sign of a very bright person, who is much more likely to be able to understand the climate system than a layman.

You also notice that the IPCC is made up of a far greater percentage of Nobel Laureates than the signatories of the horrendous "Oregon Petition" and that few skeptics are Nobel Laureates.

By Stephen Berg (not verified) on 14 Apr 2006 #permalink

I don't think the fact that someone is a Nobel prize receiver has much bearing upon their credentials in other fields, as Linus Pauling is a good example off. However, people who receive Nobel prizes for work related to climate change are certainly worth listening to.

By Kristjan Wager (not verified) on 14 Apr 2006 #permalink

OK I see Paul Crutzen is on the list.

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 14 Apr 2006 #permalink

Tim Curtin: "Jeff Harvey can give some examples of predictions that result from "ecological footprint" theory"

Except that there's no such thing as ecological footprint theory.

"Ecologicl footprint" is not a scientific term in ecology or any other discipline, it's a heuristic tool for understandign human impact on the natural world.

As such it has about as much predictive valeu as the mnemic you probably learned in primary school to help you remember the order of the planets.

Assuming you weren't beign facetious, your failrue to understand this suggests you have a very limited understanding of both ecology and what constitutes a scientific theory.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 14 Apr 2006 #permalink

Ian Gould: and you are incapable of reading a thread. I was not the author of the request for predictions from Harvey's footprint theory. Please address your critique of that theory to its exponents. I agree that it is garbage.

Hans you pass the first test most AGW sceptics also think we aren't having an adverse impact going against heaps of evidence from mainstream science, so don't have any credibility at all.

But you didn't answer though why do the world's leading scientific bodies -the ones the G8 gov's seek for expert opinion- also come out supporting AGW claims and that gov's should be concerned?

So not only are you going against the best qualified in the climate scientists themselves you are going against the bodies the G8 gov's seek for expert advice.

Instead you must go to fringe scientists often outside the field or the lobby funded to back your case.

Doesn't this say something too you that maybe just maybe you are barking up the wrong tree?

Eli

You are too hasty, and don't check your facts.

Industrial production of CO2 at 100 million tonnes in 2005 growing at 10% pa (your figure) will overtake fossil fuel emissions of 25 billion tonnes of CO2 growing at net 0.005% pa (the actual rate of growth of CO2 at Mt Louai in Hawaii) by 2067. I don't have time or space to spell out how you could learn to do compound growth rates or explain how you make industrial CO2 and what it is used for, but what I have shown here makes more sense than anything else on this so-called science blog (with some exceptions like Hans, Spence and Cross) in terms of sensible policy and understanding of that oxymoron "climate science".

Re Eli again, a correction, I mistyped the CO2 growth rate at the Hawaii station, it is 0.5% p.a. ( which is what I used in my extrapolation). Apologies.

simonjim,

G8 relies on IPCC. IPCC does not attribute likelihood to the different scenarios. Therefore the worst-case scenario has the same weight as the average scenario.
There is an unlimited growth scenario, but there is not an unlimited decline scenario. Therefore the IPCC is biased.

http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/co2sres.gif

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 15 Apr 2006 #permalink

Hans:

G8 relies on IPCC. IPCC does not attribute likelihood to the different scenarios. Therefore the worst-case scenario has the same weight as the average scenario.
There is an unlimited growth scenario, but there is not an unlimited decline scenario.

How do you propose that the IPCC determine the likelihoods of their proposed CO2 emission scenarios?

From the Synthesis Report:

The SRES scenarios, developed to update the IS92 series, consist of six scenario groups, based on narrative storylines, which span a wide range of these driving forces (see Figure 3-1). They are all plausible and internally consistent, and no probabilities of occurrence are assigned. They encompass four combinations of demographic change, social and economic development, and broad technological developments (A1B, A2, B1, B2). Two further scenario groups, A1FI and A1T, explicitly explore alternative energy technology developments to A1B (see Figure 3-1a).

I repeat, how would you have the IPCC attempt to determine the probabilities of these theoretical "demographic change, social and economic development, and broad technological developments"?

By brokenlibrarian (not verified) on 15 Apr 2006 #permalink

bl et al.:

IPCC did not assign probablilities for a reason. Adaptive management techniques assess each scenario trajectory. So, say, your CO2 and SES indicators put you in the A1B scenario, you take that trajectory forward in time to see what you end up with.

Alternatively, if you like a particular trajectory, you manage your outputs (indicators) to ensure you stay on that trajectory.

Best,

D

Re: "Eli

You are too hasty, and don't check your facts.

Industrial production of CO2 at 100 million tonnes in 2005 growing at 10% pa (your figure) will overtake fossil fuel emissions of 25 billion tonnes of CO2 growing at net 0.005% pa (the actual rate of growth of CO2 at Mt Louai in Hawaii) by 2067. I don't have time or space to spell out how you could learn to do compound growth rates or explain how you make industrial CO2 and what it is used for, but what I have shown here makes more sense than anything else on this so-called science blog (with some exceptions like Hans, Spence and Cross) in terms of sensible policy and understanding of that oxymoron "climate science".

...

Re Eli again, a correction, I mistyped the CO2 growth rate at the Hawaii station, it is 0.5% p.a. ( which is what I used in my extrapolation). Apologies."

If this is, in fact, true, then by 2067 the planet Earth will be like a sauna. Imagine the rate of temperature rise over the next century. It'll be 10 times that of the 20th century.

Why are we squabbling over such a minor detail when there is a lot of work to be done to save our planet from ecological catastrophe? Whatever the rate of growth at Mt. Louai, it should be slowed and eventually stopped.

By Stephen Berg (not verified) on 15 Apr 2006 #permalink

Heck, I may be still alive by 2067, as I would be 87 then!

By Stephen Berg (not verified) on 15 Apr 2006 #permalink

"Industrial (demand for) CO2 at 100 million tonnes in 2005 growing at 10% pa will overtake fossil fuel emissions of 25 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2067."

No one can doubt that this growth rate will continue for the next 61 years.

BTW, the atmospheric CO2 is growing at 2% of the atmosphere's anthropogenic CO2 per year. If you want to model atmospheric CO2 with an exponential growth curve, try to remember that it didn't start at zero as an exponential growth curve does. A model far closer to the truth is a constant plus an exponential, the constant in this case being the pre-industrial level of CO2.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 15 Apr 2006 #permalink

Stephen Berg said: Why are we squabbling over such a minor detail when there is a lot of work to be done to save our planet from ecological catastrophe? Whatever the rate of growth at Mt. Louai, it should be slowed and eventually stopped.
Perhaps Zimbabwe is the role model you feel we should all adopt Stephen? It has succesfully reduced its CO2 emissions by 26% since 1999, and also made a useful contribution to direct reduction of anthropogenic CO2 by reducing its life expectancy by nearly half. Why don't you relocate to that CO2-free paradise?

Re: "Perhaps Zimbabwe is the role model you feel we should all adopt Stephen? It has succesfully reduced its CO2 emissions by 26% since 1999, and also made a useful contribution to direct reduction of anthropogenic CO2 by reducing its life expectancy by nearly half. Why don't you relocate to that CO2-free paradise?"

You're sick, you know? I try to have a civil discussion and there you go ruining it by saying such an awful thing. What's polluted your mind? A little too much CO2 you're inhaling?

By Stephen Berg (not verified) on 15 Apr 2006 #permalink

So tim - where is industrial CO2 production coming from and where does a significant proportion of it ultimately end up?

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 15 Apr 2006 #permalink

"How do you propose that the IPCC determine the likelihoods of their proposed CO2 emission scenarios?"

Well, let's see...world per capita CO2 emissions have been almost completely flat for the last 30 years. (At about 3.95 billion metric tons of CO2 per capita per year.)

http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/tableh1cco2.xls

It seems like that ought to give the IPCC a clue about where to start.

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2006/02/fabulous_free_m.h…

"IPCC did not assign probablilities for a reason."

Yes, for the exact same reason the authors of the "Limits to Growth" series never assigned probabilities: if they had, either:

1) The public would see their probabilities were nonsense, or

2) If they assigned probabilities that were actually reasonable, the public wouldn't be scared.

Hi Hans,

Your April 15, 8:42 AM graph of CO2 emissions, actual versus IPCC projections, is extremely interesting. I've never seen anything like that.

It's very impressive. Did you come up with it completely on your own, or is it based on somebody else's analysis?

I've got my "50% probability" of industrial CO2 emissions beginning their decline circa 2030 (at approximately 50% greater than the 1990 value):

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2006/04/complete_set_of.h…

But from the linear regression line on your graph, worldwide CO2 emissions will should actually begin their decline circa...well, 2006!

Again, that's very interesting. Good stuff.

Actually Tim, I'd like to see where you got that 100 million ton figure from, and in what sense it is using production. For example, a lot of CO2 is produced in various industrial processes (brewing beer being my favorite) but very little of it is captured.

For a more complete fisking see http://tinyurl.com/fobjn

I'm still waiting for an explanation how the likelihood of the various IPCC scenarios could be determined.

From the SRES:

Scenarios are images of the future, or alternative futures. They are neither predictions nor forecasts.

and

Although no scenarios are value free, it is often useful to distinguish between normative and descriptive scenarios. Normative (or prescriptive) scenarios are explicitly values-based and teleologic, exploring the routes to desired or undesired endpoints (utopias or dystopias). Descriptive scenarios are evolutionary and open-ended, exploring paths into the future. The SRES scenarios are descriptive and should not be construed as desirable or undesirable in their own right. They are built as descriptions of possible, rather than preferred, developments. They represent pertinent, plausible, alternative futures. Their pertinence is derived from the need for policy makers and climate-change modelers to have a basis for assessing the implications of future possible paths for GHG and SO2 emissions, and the possible response strategies.

By brokenlibrarian (not verified) on 15 Apr 2006 #permalink

l Rbtt: sng Ggl fnd sls vlms f C f S$. bn p.. (jst n th S!!!) nd prc f rnd S$ pr tnn (t n cnmst ths s nt srprsng s t crrlts wth th crrnt prc f C n mssns trdng f rnd r .. sng Ggl y cld ls fnd t wh C prdctn s gd bsnss, bt nt frm th tmsphr, whch nl hs ls ppm vl. Hwvr s b-prdct frm cmnt nd lmnm prdctn, y r n bsnss! Bt d nt xpct nybd n ths blg t ndrstnd ths, lst f ll Stphn Brg wh wld prfr tht w wr ll klld t mt hs nl C trgts.

On April 15, 11:40 PM, "I'm still waiting for an explanation how the likelihood of the various IPCC scenarios could be determined."

I gave you an explanation on April 15, at 9:47 PM:

"...world per capita CO2 emissions have been almost completely flat for the last 30 years. (At about 3.95 billion metric tons of CO2 per capita per year.)

http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/tableh1cco2.xls

It seems like that ought to give the IPCC a clue about where to start."

Since the world per-capita emissions have been almost EXACTLY 3.95 tons of CO2 per year for the last 30 years, the IPCC could easily start with that assumption going forward as their "50% probability" case.

In other words, take the "50% probability value" with the worldwide emissions of CO2 in the next 20-30 years increasing at about the same rate as the world population increases (currently about 1.2% per year...but expected to drop below 0.7% per year by 2030).

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2006/04/complete_set_of.h…

Alternatively, one could use the linear regression line from Hans Erren's graph of April 15, 8:42 AM as the "50% probability value":

http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/co2sres.gif

That would produce even lower emissions.

Note regarding how the IPCC could scientifically come up with the likelihood of the various IPCC scenarios:

See my own blog for details. (Click on my name.)

As I noted on my own blog, either way of establishing a "50% probability" value leads to the (correct) conclusion that the "projections" in the IPCC TAR are pseudoscientific nonsense.

"However as a by-product from cement and aluminium production, you are in (the CO2 supply) business!"

And a very reliable business it will be too considering that demand will grow at 10% per annum for the next 61 years.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 16 Apr 2006 #permalink

from the SRES again:

These tools are less suitable for analysis of near-term developments and this report does not intend to provide reliable projections for the near term.

And from Mark:

the "projections" in the IPCC TAR

Mark, even assuming that you are merely attempting to confirm the IPCC's statement that these scenarios cannot be used as reliable projections, where did you get this "50%" starting number from?

By brokenlibrarian (not verified) on 16 Apr 2006 #permalink

Tim Curtin might look at this http://www.census.gov/industry/1/mq325c045.pdf US CO2 production in 2004 was 8.6 (gas) 5.9 (liquid) and 0.4 (solid ) short tons. Multiplying by ~.9 for metric tons gets you about 10.7 tons. Figuring the US as about 25% of the market that makes a total of about 40 million tons. What's a factor of 2.5 among friends?

Tim Curtin also does not appear to understand the difference between wholesale (tankers) and retail (chunk of dry ice for cooling the beer). Hint: the $35 per ton is at the tanker end of the business, and that makes a difference for gross receipts.

It would be amusing if TC would actually provide the URL for what he googled. OTOH, he apparently does not realize that except for oil well injection most of the CO2 used for industrial purposes goes up into the atmosphere in short order. I wonder if he realizes where the CO2 emissions associated with aluminum production come from?

Google and GIGO both start with G.

Re: "But I do not expect anybody on this blog to understand this, least of all Stephen Berg who would prefer that we were all killed to meet his nil CO2 targets."

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, TIM? ALL I WAS SAYING IS THAT WE SHOULD ALL DO OUR PART TO REDUCE AS MUCH CO2 EMISSIONS AS WE CAN SO OUR PLANET WOULD BE HOSPITABLE FOR GENERATIONS TO COME, NOT THAT WE ALL BE KILLED OFF!

(YES, AND I AM SHOUTING AT YOU, TIM, FOR YOU BEING SUCH A JACKASS ON THIS THREAD! GROW UP AND GET A LIFE!)

By Stephen Berg (not verified) on 16 Apr 2006 #permalink

OK, calm down everybody. Curtin's comment was blatant trolling and I've disemvowelled it. I didn't do this earlier because I don't pay much attention to his comments.

To Tim Curtin: troll somewhere else, please.

Mark,

http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/co2sres.gif
The most typical part of observed CO2 emissions is the boom-bust cyclicity.
Take note of the current hype about India and China growth, be prepared for the bursting bubble.

Data sources for the graph:
Updated emission data with acknowledgement from Tom Boden of CDIAC
http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/sink.htm
SRES Tables from IPCC TAR using linear interpolated values.
http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/521.htm

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 16 Apr 2006 #permalink

Hans,

Thanks for the info.

The thing that struck me is how far out of whack the IPCC TAR scenarios are, according to that analysis.

One thing I'd be interested for you to do...start the graph circa 1975 or 1980, instead of circa 1960. I think that will make the IPCC TAR scenarios look a little more reasonable.

I think if you start circa 1975 or 1980, a linear regression will cross the 1.0 value circa 2030, instead of circa 2006.

Dr l Rbtt: G t www.bccrsrch.cm/nrg/.html y wll fnd (n th BCC Rprt "- Glbl crbn dxd tlztn nd rcvr", vlbl fr S$, b m gst!) tht glbl mrchnt dmnd fr C s n ndstrl gs ws wrth S$. blln n , nd s xpctd t grw t .% p. sng yr src's prc f S$ pr shrt tn ylds cls t th mlln tnns f glbl prdctn tht sd, fctr f . mr thn yr mlln, bt t qt y, "wht's . btwn frnds"? BCC's grwth rt s lss thn th % sd, bt rmmbr gt tht frm yr wn trllng! BCC's rt s stll sgnfcntl hghr thn th glbl .% p grwth rt f C mssns frm fssl fls btwn nd (s ntrntnl nrg nnl), nd mch hghr thn S's .%; th glbl ttl s nfltd b Chn's .%, bt f Tm Lmbrt &c hv thr w, Chn's grwth wll nt b slwd b dptn f nclr nrg. h dr, hr g trllng gn!

So Hans you are telling me the world's leading sceintific institutes + India & China -some of the finest minds on this planet- when looking at a matter of global and national importance haven't picked up this bias which you and maybe some other fringe AGW sceptics have?

Step back for a minute and again think about what that means because for me I see the baby going out with the bath water.

In your world we cannot trust the best qualified nor the worlds leading institutes to give our governments policy advice on matters concerning science. There has to be a Nobel prize and eternal fame for anyone to prove so many wrong; why don't you publish??

Gez I wish I had the balls to think I could blow away expert opinion away like that, but then again extreme confirmation bias will do that.

"Therefore the worst-case scenario has the same weight as the average scenario."

Classic.

"1) The public would see their probabilities were nonsense, or
2) If they assigned probabilities that were actually reasonable, the public wouldn't be scared."

Well, there are two scenarios regarding Iraq and George Bush.
In the case that monkeys fly out of George Bush's butt, I predict he will withdraw from Iraq.
In the case that they do not, I predict that he will not.
Since the liberal media never discuss the first case, they are biased.

Simonjim:

Anything to discredit scientists, scientific results, or positions at odds with their ideology. Nothing more.

Best,

D

Simonjm asks, "So Hans you are telling me the world's leading sceintific institutes + India & China -some of the finest minds on this planet- when looking at a matter of global and national importance haven't picked up this bias which you and maybe some other fringe AGW sceptics have?"

Simonjm, this is not some deeply hidden secret. Everyone with a decent technical background can look at the "projections" in the IPCC TAR and see that they are pseudoscientific nonsense.

1) Look at this graph of world per-capita CO2 emissions from 1950 to 2002:

http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/trends/emis/glo.htm

Notice how the per-capita emissions have been almost perfectly flat for the last 30+ years (at 1.1 metric tons of carbon per person per year)?

Based on that graph, what would you expect the per-capita emissions to be in 2010, 2020, and 2030?

2) Here is a graph of methane atmospheric concentrations for the last 20 years:

http://www.cmdl.noaa.gov/gallery/ccgg_figures/ch4trend_global

Based on that graph, what would you expect the methane atmospheric concentration to be in 2010, 2020, and 2030?

Mark:

Notice how the per-capita emissions have been almost perfectly flat for the last 30+ years (at 1.1 metric tons of carbon per person per year)?

What was the world population in 1970? What is it now?

By brokenlibrarian (not verified) on 17 Apr 2006 #permalink

"Notice how the per-capita emissions have been almost perfectly flat for the last 30+ years (at 1.1 metric tons of carbon per person per year)?

Based on that graph, what would you expect the per-capita emissions to be in 2010, 2020, and 2030?"

Given that world population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050 and to still be increasing by more than 40 million per annum at that time, doesn't that mean we have something to worry about?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 17 Apr 2006 #permalink

Bahner is a virmintul injuneer.

He knows more than you people. Just ask him.

Better to simply ignore his bandwidth-eating ululations, folks. He has far, far more energy than you do.

Best,

D

adhom Dano

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 17 Apr 2006 #permalink

I asked,

"Notice how the per-capita emissions have been almost perfectly flat for the last 30+ years (at 1.1 metric tons of carbon per person per year)?"

"Based on that graph, what would you expect the per-capita emissions to be in 2010, 2020, and 2030?"

No answers so far. Instead, some questions:

brokenlibrarian asks, "What was the world population in 1970? What is it now?"

Answers: The population in 1970 was approximately 3.8 billion, and is approximately 6.5 billion now.

Chris O'Neill askes, "Given that world population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050 and to still be increasing by more than 40 million per annum at that time, doesn't that mean we have something to worry about?"

Well, I could give you my answer, as regards global warming. It would be "No." But why don't you attempt to answer the question yourself?

First, let's review the current emissions:

1) From the graph I referenced, the emissions are about 1.1 metric tons of carbon per capita per year.

2) Since the current population is approximately 6.5 billion people, that means approximately 7.2 billion metric tons of carbon (in carbon dioxide) per year.

Now, we need to figure out whether we need to worry about 2050:

1) You've already stated the population will be approximately 9 billion, so

2) We need to know what the per-capita emissions will be. Do you think they will be lower, the same, or higher than they've been for the last ~30 years?

If they are the same, emissions in 2050 would be 9 billion x 1.1 metric tons per person = 9.9 billion tons as carbon.

Again, do you think the per-capita emissions will be the same, or lower? Or higher?

After you've answered that, you can go to these handy tables that compare my emissions predictions (and temperature increases) versus those in the IPCC TAR.

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2006/04/complete_set_of.h…

Based on your answers above, and the handy tables, would you say we need to worry about 2050? Or not?

Hans:

Puh-lease. Don't take stuff out of context (plop).

Best,

D

From Mark's blog:

However, my basically eyeballing, rather than actually calculating log-mean values as was done for temperature by Wigley and Raper.

We all know you're just pulling these "probabilities" out of your ass, Mark. You don't have to actually come out and say it.

If anyone is interested in comparing the actual work done by Wigley and Raper, here's the paper that Mark is trying (and failing rather miserably) to emulate: Interpretation of High Projections for Global-Mean Warming.

You should also go look at the actual SRES scenarios to see why Mark's descriptions of them are almost entirely misrepresentative.

By brokenlibrarian (not verified) on 18 Apr 2006 #permalink

brokenlibrarian writes, "We all know you're just pulling these "probabilities" out of your ass, Mark."

I'd be very surprised if you know squat, brokenlibrarian. If you really knew science, it wouldn't take you very long to see that the IPCC TAR "projections" are pseudoscientific rubbish. In fact, it should take you only a couple minutes to determine that about the IPCC TAR's atmospheric methane concentration projections. See slide 43 of James Hansen's Keeling Lecture:

http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/521.htm

I tell you what, I'll give you $20 to give me YOUR "5% probability," "50% probability," and "95% probability" values for industrial CO2 emissions (i.e., not including emissions from land changes), and methane atmospheric concentrations, based on the IPCC TAR projections, using the same analysis technique as Wigley and Raper.

To give you a little help, I'll refer you to the nice table Hans Erren has already linked to:

http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/521.htm

(If I'd had that table when I did my analysis, I would have done the analysis mathematically, rather than by eyeballing.)

I feel no need to continue this. Mark will not be satisfied, which sould be obvious to anyone. I have provided links to the material I found appropriate, and I am perfectly content to let people read the SRES documents themselves, and come to their own conclusions about whether Mark is fighting a strawman or not.

Good day, Mark.

By brokenlibrarian (not verified) on 18 Apr 2006 #permalink

brokenlibrarian writes, "I feel no need to continue this."

Heh, heh, heh! What's the matter, brokenlibrarian? Just a post ago, you were insulting me, you clueless amateur twit!

Why don't you show me what you've got? Is it because--as I expected--you don't know squat?

Why don't you put your mouth where my money is?

"Good day, Mark."

Yeah...feel free to come back when you actually learn something. (If ever.)

P.S. You could get Tim Lambert to help you on this. He can probably actually handle this problem. (As opposed to knowing the relationship between heat and temperature of the atmosphere.)

"Based on your answers above, and the handy tables, would you say we need to worry about 2050?"

Based on the "handy tables", I'd say they were wrong. An average increase of 1.6ppm/year CO2 from 2000 to 2010 is way too optimistic, even if that's what IPCC put in the TAR several years ago. Also an increase in smoothed average temperature of 0.1 degrees C from 2000 to 2010 is way too optimistic. With mistakes like these, there's no point wasting any more time on these "handy tables".

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 21 Apr 2006 #permalink

Whee, ad hominem at #151. I don't blame brokenlibrarian for giving up on this argument. Mike Bahner, if you know as much as you claim about why these calculations are wrong, you should probably write up a paper about it and publish it so that we can see your whole chain of reasoning at once, because it sure isn't coming through here.

Hans Erren:
>"Why is climate change beneficial for bad animals and detrimental for good animals?"

I suspect this was in response to my post. The answer is that in agriculture, generally any animal that is "good" i.e. contributes to our food supply is already there and cultivated (along with some animals we don't want). Thus random importation of additional animals is likely to either have no effect or to threaten food production. The odds of a randomly imported species having a postive effect are vanishingly small, where a high percentage are likely to cause us problems. This is even more true for insects. The odds that a randomly imported inspect species, new to an area, will prove beneficial are infinitesmal. The odds that a randomly imported insect species new to an area will prove harmful is significant. Thus as global warming causes species migration it is close to inevitable that pests will increase, and absurdly small that new beneficial species will be imported. All this is enormously anthropocentric of course. If you are broad-minded enough to hold cockroaches of equal value with yourself then you should not worry about global warming; global warming is beneficial to that species and has little or no down-side for them.

By Gar Lipow (not verified) on 12 Apr 2006 #permalink

Hans Erren:
>"Why is climate change beneficial for bad animals and detrimental for good animals?"

I suspect this was in response to my post. The answer is that in agriculture, generally any animal that is "good" i.e. contributes to our food supply is already there and cultivated (along with some animals we don't want). Thus random importation of additional animals is likely to either have no effect or to threaten food production. The odds of a randomly imported species having a postive effect are vanishingly small, where a high percentage are likely to cause us problems. This is even more true for insects. The odds that a randomly imported inspect species, new to an area, will prove beneficial are infinitesmal. The odds that a randomly imported insect species new to an area will prove harmful is significant. Thus as global warming causes species migration it is close to inevitable that pests will increase, and absurdly small that new beneficial species will be imported. All this is enormously anthropocentric of course. If you are broad-minded enough to hold cockroaches of equal value with yourself then you should not worry about global warming; global warming is beneficial to that species and has little or no down-side for them.

By Gar Lipow (not verified) on 12 Apr 2006 #permalink

Hans Erren:
>"Why is climate change beneficial for bad animals and detrimental for good animals?"

I suspect this was in response to my post. The answer is that in agriculture, generally any animal that is "good" i.e. contributes to our food supply is already there and cultivated (along with some animals we don't want). Thus random importation of additional animals is likely to either have no effect or to threaten food production. The odds of a randomly imported species having a postive effect are vanishingly small, where a high percentage are likely to cause us problems. This is even more true for insects. The odds that a randomly imported inspect species, new to an area, will prove beneficial are infinitesmal. The odds that a randomly imported insect species new to an area will prove harmful is significant. Thus as global warming causes species migration it is close to inevitable that pests will increase, and absurdly small that new beneficial species will be imported. All this is enormously anthropocentric of course. If you are broad-minded enough to hold cockroaches of equal value with yourself then you should not worry about global warming; global warming is beneficial to that species and has little or no down-side for them.

By Gar Lipow (not verified) on 12 Apr 2006 #permalink