Greig thread

OK, Greig, you have your own thread. Please post all of your comments here. And everyone else, please post any responses to Greig here. The blog software does not allow me to move comments to another thread, so I will delete comments that don't obey these rules and it will be up to you to repost them.

More like this

By popular request Flying Binghi has his/her own thread. This is the only thread that FB can post to, and all replies to any comment to FB should go here. I can't move comments, so I will delete comments that do not follow these rules.
This thread is for people who wish to engage Ray in discussion. Ray, please do not post comments to any other thread. Everyone else, please do not respond to Ray in any other thread.
So I've been offline a lot the last few weeks - as you know we had 10 kids in our house for a couple of days the week before Thanksgiving, and I was out of town until yesterday. While a few posts have gone up, I've spent absolutely no time on anything other than absolute necessities online. So…
By the time this appears, I should be on my way home from the AACR. For some reason, the meeting this year didn't get me all fired up the way it usually does. Perhaps I'll post in more detail about why that may have been after I get home. In the meantime, here's something I've been meaning to try…

Tim,
Do you mean Greig?

Loved the piano concerto in A minor, thanks for that.

There is a certain irony, that after all the threads criticising Plimer on mistakes in his book, Lambert can't even spell my name correctly.

Greig:

There is a certain irony, that after all the threads criticising Plimer on mistakes in his book, Lambert can't even spell my name correctly.

Maybe he has the same contempt for you that Plimer has for everyone else.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 24 May 2009 #permalink

Gynt has no peer.

Greig, my apologies. I have corrected the misspelling.

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 24 May 2009 #permalink

The first comma in no. 3 is in the wrong place. It should have been "There is a certain irony that, after all the threads criticising Plimer on mistakes in his book, Lambert can't even spell my name correctly."

Iâm going to be a bit of git and present a brief critique of the Greig interaction thingy. Please critique me as you see fit.

A brief reflection of strategy and process.

It seems as though Greig got under some of our skin. I can share the frustration felt by many poster here who were trying to address the science. I understand the urge to vent with words like F*** etc. But as a tactic, I'd caution against it.

Amid the morass of Greigâs errors, erroneous assumptions and distorted logic were a few good points. Combine these few good points with some use of crude words towards him, resulted in Greig sometimes looking more competent than his arguments.

Greig seemed most caught out when posters presented the literature to show his error, showed that they had themselves read the literature and exposed Greigâs errors, or simply asked him for the science to backup his position. This often had him changing tack. It also showed the limited range of Griegâs sources (Roy Spencer disproportionately).

A brief critique of the Observa's psychobabble:

Repeat my posts, highlighting comments apparently at random.
Ask questions that have nothing to do with science, in a transparent attempt to deviate the discussion into political ideology.
Make unsupported claims about errors, erroneous assumptions and distorted logic, limited range of sources etc
Thereby unashamedly engage in argument by assertion, and contribute nothing of value.

And BTW, I have no problem with people swearing in frustration, go right ahead. This thread is intended for flaming me, isn't it? Go ahead, knock yourselves out!

"This thread is intended for flaming me, isn't it? Go ahead, knock yourselves out!"

I think you're misunderstood Tim's intent Greig.

It's quite the opposite - you can post here to your heart's content all the rubbish you like, without polluting other threads, and we can completely ignore you if we wish.

Have fun.

And you just proved Observa's point by the way.

Greig:

> Ask questions that have nothing to do with science, in a transparent attempt to deviate the discussion into political ideology. Make unsupported claims about errors, erroneous assumptions and distorted logic, limited range of sources etc Thereby unashamedly engage in argument by assertion, and contribute nothing of value.

That's an extremely astute and honest summary of your behaviour, yes. I'm a little surprised, but I applaud your integrity in coming right out and saying it.

Gutted... I was hoping we could crack 500 comments in the other thread.

Greig:

> So you are saying that the petition can only challenge the science if it comprises entirely of climatologists? Really?

No, I'm saying that: your position was that climate scientists should defer to the knowledge of economists in their area of expertise, so therefore the reverse must be true.

> And yet you know the petition covers many issues of science, policy, economics and technology.

The bali letter makes many assertions about the validity of the science - the opening sentence disputes that AGW is at issue, asserting that the current situation is natural, and the themes that there is no warming, or that the current warming is unlikely to continue, or that we are in a natural cycle, are repeated throughout.

It takes a position that is pretty much 180 degrees the reverse of the IPCC summary of the science, and also of the opinion of > 99% of the world's climate scientists. Remember that the IPCC report represents pretty much the *least controversial* position on global warming among climate scientists.

Any economist making an assessment based on ignoring this work and accepting a completely contradictory position is de facto disputing the science. By your logic they have no right to do so - they should accept the findings of the utterly overwhelming number of experts in this field, rather than attaching themselves to the tiny minority of (generally contradictory) fringe theories and using that as justification for a petition. They are in no position (according to your own logic) to make a qualitative judgement of the science - that is what the IPCC report *is* and so by ignoring it, they've wandered a very very long way off piste.

The dispute with the IPCC report provides the whole basis of the letter. Take away a dispute with the science, and the economists have no position from which to argue the case that the letter puts forth.

"Crichton is the first refuge of scoundrels." - me.

Just to keep things in perspective for anyone reading this thread only, here is Greig's first post on the "Ian Plimer lies about source of his figure 3" (shorter: IPfig3) thread
[Greig #41 IPfig3](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/ian_plimer_lies_about_source_o…)
>Tim, rather than call Plimer a liar over the sourcing of the graph, please advise: what is you point? Is the conclusion that Plimer reaches regarding the graph correct, or not. If not, what does the graph really look like, and why is Plimer's conclusion therefore wrong.

>To be honest, accusing Plimer of lying sounds hysterical and very unprofessional. Even worse, considering it looks likely that Durkin and Plimer appear to have used the same source, Klimafakten (originally from Euskara Klimazientzia), exactly as Plimer says, ie he wasn't lying but simply mistaken about the year of publication (2000 rather than 2001).

At that point it had [already been established in comment #21 IPfig3](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/ian_plimer_lies_about_source_o…), that Plimer's figure 3 showed smoothed data of the period 1885 to 1988 (the last data point being the 11-year average of 1883 to 1993) and pretended to cover 1880 to 2000 instead. In short, the plot was seriously doctored. The effect of this fraud is to [enhance the visual impact of the 1940 to 1970 cooling period](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/ian_plimer_lies_about_source_o…). Durkin's first edition of "The Great Global Warming Swindle" is the only known prior source of this fraudulent graph and he had to correct it for the second airing a week later.

>Klimafakten (originally from Euskara Klimazientzia)

It was verified, that _Klimafakten_ is not the source of figure 3. _Euskara Klimazientzia_ came from an [obvious parody in comment #28 IPfig3](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/ian_plimer_lies_about_source_o…). As of this moment, that "journal" title is still a [google whack](http://www.google.com/search?&q=Euskara+Klimazientzia), which is bound to change after citing it on this page. A minimum of research would have revealed the joke. Greig chose instead [to search for a Basque Center of climate research](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/ian_plimer_lies_about_source_o…) and pass that find off as evidence that the existence of the fictitious journal was plausible.

Only two posts after I had reported on having located a copy of _Klimafakten_ and having disproved Plimer's claim, [Greig came up with the next rationalization](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/ian_plimer_lies_about_source_o…):
>So its pretty obvious what has happened. Plimer had intended the Friis-Christensen and Lassen (1991), temperature and solar cycle length graph to be at fig 3. In Durkin's words "There was a fluff there".

This rationalization must be called into question, as Plimer knows both plots and has used both plots on occasion. Plimer was all too happy to use ___both___ - the Durkin diagram and the Friis-Christensen (1991) diagram - [in a talk](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRwTbMj6Hx8), one diagram following immediately after the other (time-mark 1:59 to 3:14). The talk was given in Sydney, November 2008.

There are two things worth noting:
1. Comparing Durkins fig 3 and Friis-Christensen 1991 immediately shows, that one of the time scales is doctored.
2. Friis-Christensens 1991 findings showed the strong correlation in the last up-tick due to using a flawed smoothing technique, and was [later corrected by Friis-Christensen and other scientists](http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-cycle-length.htm). The cyle length vs. temperature correlation fails after about 1990. I find it cuirious, that Plimer should have failed to follow the scientific literature in a field he was writing a book about.

Finally when I pressed him on his own take of figure 3, [Greig retreated as follows](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/ian_plimer_lies_about_source_o…).
>"2. Do you agree, that figure 3 in itself, as printed in Plimer's book, is doctored and that the deliberate inclusion of such a plot would constitute scientific misconduct? And don't give me your bizarre rationalization, that Plimer actually wanted to use Friis-Christensen/Lassen as figure 3. "

>I have sent an email to Ian, and I am not going to respond to this until I get his response. Last email from him, he was in Adelaide airport, and curious as to how the science in his book was being questioned in this blog.

So, Greig, have you received a response? Are you going to answer my question?

[Lambert]*Greig, my apologies. I have corrected the misspelling*

No, you haven't. But I am not expecting you to be as accurate in your blog site as you expect Plimer to be.

[Michael]*you can post here to your heart's content all the rubbish you like, without polluting other threads*

Well, we wouldn't want any dissent, would we? It would spoil the group hug.

[Dave]*The bali letter makes many assertions about the validity of the science*

Dave, stick to science, because comprehension is not your strong suit. The Bali open letter does not dispute "the science" at all, it goes out of its way to acknowledge the evidence of AGW. Its purpose is to point out to the politicians that the current state of findings:

1. Does not mean that we face catastrophe, or climate change that is outside of natural variation, and
2. could mean that actions we take on remediation may result in more harm than good.

And the people involved in drafting the letter are, as a group, capable and have the expertise to draw that conclusion.

The Bali letter DOES NOT take a position that is 180 degrees the reverse of the IPCC summary of the science. And the assertion, that it is contrary to the opinion of > 99% of the world's climate scientists, is absurd.

So Dave, lets see your proof. Can you please show your evidence that >99% of scientists believe that climate catastrophe is a certainty, that global warming will occur faster than has occurred naturally in the past, and that there are no negatives in taking remedial action. Looking forward to it.

*No, you haven't. But I am not expecting you to be as accurate in your blog site as you expect Plimer to be.*

Tim, my apologies to you, you made the correction to the title whilst I was posting.

I would also like to say that as each day passes without getting an explanatory email back from Plimer, that my opinion has changed, and you have nailed him on Figure 3 being improperly sourced. And it seems therefore that he was mistaken in his public claims about its source.

I still think you went overboard be saying he lied, he may well have just been mistaken. He may not have fully understood what Barry Brooks was saying to him about the graph's source. Claiming a fellow is wrong is one thing, claiming he is deliberately dishonest is (in my view) taking it too far. Just my opinion.

Mere random posts
Greig#360

I find it remarkable how so many people are wedded to the peer review process, and yet hang their hats off predictions of climate catastrophe in the IPCC Assessments that have not passed peer reviewâ¦

Greig#418

[Bernard J] "the IPCC is convened to review and summarise the peer-reviewed (id est expert-reviwed) literature of the global body of climatological output, and thus its starting material is very much peer-scrutinised."

[Greig:] Correct.

Greig:

> The Bali open letter does not dispute "the science" at all,

Well, lets take some quotes shall we?

> It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages.

Disputes the science behind the IPCC report - implies that the current warming trend is a natural phenomenon, when the IPCC report states otherwise.

> Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change

Disputes the science behind the IPCC report - essentially states that all the papers that find that these occurences are significant evidence, are in fact wrong.

> there has been no net global warming since 1998.

Disputes the science behind the IPCC report - cherry picked start point, and disregarding the standard 30-year period for a menaingful trend.

> That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.

Disputes the science behind the IPCC report - implies natural causation, when the report states that anothropogenic sources are by far the most likely cause.

> significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming

It may as well just use the phrase "we dispute the science behind the IPCC report".

@ Greig:
"There are literally thousands of scientists in relevant fields (climatology, geology, paleoclimatology, etc) who strongly disagree with the IPCC4A, and they ARE qualified to have an opinion. Kinninmonth, Spencer, Lindzen ... just a few names that spring to mind."

Greig, you have already implicitly agreed that the Oregon petition is not evidence for this statement - you stated you weren't referring to it when you made this statement.

You refer to the Bali letter - with 100 signatories. Of those, the first is a retired social scientist, the second a civil engineering professor, the third and fourth are physicists, the fifth is Tim Ball (guffaw), the sixth is Beck, a biologist and source of the idiotic Beck CO2 graph, the seventh, eighth and ninth are (finally) climate scientists (giving Boehmer- Christiansen the benefit of doubt), the tenth is a biologist...

So, where are your "literally thousands" at? Why does the the Bali letter need to pad their signatory list with retired social scientists and engineers? And where is their SCIENCE supporting their view?

Greig @16

...you have nailed him on Figure 3 being improperly sourced. And it seems therefore that he was mistaken in his public claims about its source.
I still think you went overboard be saying he lied, he may well have just been mistaken. He may not have fully understood what Barry Brooks was saying to him about the graph's source. Claiming a fellow is wrong is one thing, claiming he is deliberately dishonest is (in my view) taking it too far.

Greig,"Klimafakten" is an obscure name/source. Do you think anyone believes he was mistaken? Have another listen to the debate where he was very specific.

You do realise he would have had to copy the Durkin chart with no data (as Durkin's was a fraud/fluff) He'd have needed his publisher to use special software (vectorization) for that. Quite a length to go to, yes? Wouldn't you need to be quite purposeful to go to those lengths. And quite purposeful to cite such an obscure false source?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 25 May 2009 #permalink

I think I have nailed down the likely, ___undoctored___ source of the doctored Durkin/Plimer temperature diagram.

[_Inference of Solar Irradiance Variability from Terrestrial Temperature Changes, 1880--1993: an Astrophysical Application of the Sun-Climate Connection_](http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1996ApJ...472..891S)
Soon, W. H.; Posmentier, E. S.; Baliunas, S. L.
Astrophysical Journal v.472, p.891 (1996)

Figure 7 shows GISTEMP data from Hansen & Lebedeff (1987, 1988), updated through 1993 and smoothed using an 11 year running mean, i.e. the last data point covers the period 1983 to 1993. The diagram by Soon/Posmentier/Baliunas is - as expected - a faithful reproduction of the data.

Now, here is [Plimer's figure 3](http://i44.tinypic.com/52jup4.png), a stretched version of [Soon's figure 7c](http://i40.tinypic.com/34zh7c0.png) and an [overlay of both](http://i40.tinypic.com/2mz04g.png). Near perfect match of the curve form, the temperature axis agree with each other, but observe how the time axis of the Plimer/Durkin diagram is doctored.

Tim, feel free to take the images and append a mouse-over comparison to this or the original post, the images are designed for that kind of blinker comparison.

*It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages*

A statement of fact. Humans are not capable now of being able to change the natural phenomenon of climate change. It may be possible to reduce anthropogenic global warming, but that is NOT WHAT THE ABOVE STATEMENT SAYS. It certainly does not dispute the science behind the IPCC report.

*Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change*

A statement of fact. The above phenomenon are evidence of global warming. They are not evidence that humans are causing the warming. And there is no evidence that the warming is "abnormal" compared to natural climate variation. It certainly does not dispute the science behind the IPCC report

*there has been no net global warming since 1998.*

... and also, no real net cooling. Temperatures have been approximately level depending on the analysis and what is included in the data set. This certainly does not dispute the science behind the IPCC report, which at the time of the Bali Open Letter was based on 8 year old data, and did not include any analysis of recent global temperatures.

*That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.*

Seeks to exlain why temperatures have plateau'd, whilst CO2 continues to rise. Certainly does not dispute the science behind the IPCC report which at the time of the Bali Letter did not explain the temperature trends for recent years.

*significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming*

Demonstrably correct, and clearly referring to the firming of climate sensitivity figures as further data becomes available. Cannot possibly be disputing the science behind the IPCC report, but rather attempting to enhance understanding of latest data.

The important message of the Bali Open Letter is that the underlying science of climate change does not predict the certainty of climate change catastrophe (it is based on incomplete computer modelling), and that this uncertainty is relevant to the decision to take remedial action which may cause more harm than good to the environment.

Greig has perfected Agrippa's paradox.

Nothing is known for certain, so, certainly, nothing can be known.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 25 May 2009 #permalink
significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming

Demonstrably correct, and clearly referring to the firming of climate sensitivity figures as further data becomes available.

Please demonstrate.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 25 May 2009 #permalink

>I would also like to say that as each day passes without getting an explanatory email back from Plimer, that my opinion has changed, and you have nailed him on Figure 3 being improperly sourced. And it seems therefore that he was mistaken in his public claims about its source.

Signs of progress? ;-)

>I still think you went overboard be saying he lied, he may well have just been mistaken. He may not have fully understood what Barry Brooks was saying to him about the graph's source. Claiming a fellow is wrong is one thing, claiming he is deliberately dishonest is (in my view) taking it too far. Just my opinion.

As you can see from my previous post, the Plimer/Durkin plot is doctored. Durkin confessed, that it was his team doing the doctoring a.k.a. the "fluff". So Durkin did not have a source. Plimer has figure 3, that has the following features with Durkin's plot in common:
1. The exact same fraudulent stretching of the time axis.
2. The gray area supposedly highlighting the 1940 to 1975 area, which does not correspond to the time axis.
Durkin and Plimer are the only known users of this doctored graph. Coincidence?

If I read a book by a scientist on a scientific subject, I expect him to use up-to-date data. In the case of figure 3, that would be current data from either GISTEMP or HadCrut. "Current" as in using data up to at least including 2007. Both are readily available and _easier_ to come by than reworking a graphic from someone else. If you like someones design of a graph, you can still go for "after XYZ, data updated". In Plimer's case, global temperature is one of the most iconic measures to show it. By any code of conduct for scientists, Plimer needs to be intimately familiar with the ___current___ data of the subject he is writing about or giving talks about. It is inconceivable, that he did not get the this-does-not-look-right reaction to his figure 3, just as Sherwood got it. But I guess, "inconceivable" is not enough for you, Greig.

Plimer at first claimed not to remember the source. Then he came up with a very detailed account, claiming taking fig 3 from _Klimafakten_ and even citing the page number. It turns out, this was "at variance with the truth".

I'm happy to go with "beyond reasonable doubt".

Greig wrote:

The important message of the Bali Open Letter is that the underlying science of climate change does not predict the certainty of climate change catastrophe (it is based on incomplete computer modelling), and that this uncertainty is relevant to the decision to take remedial action which may cause more harm than good to the environment.

Science doesn't claim certainty. Any document that tries to show that scientific results are not "certain" is anti-scientific, pretty much by definition: it either doesn't understand how science works, or it does know and is purposefully trying to distort science.

Note that I haven't read the Bali Open Letter, I am simply going by how you describe its conclusion here.

Besides, do you have absolute certainty that doing nothing will cause no (or minimal) harm to the economy, the environment or to people? If so, I'd love to know where you got that certainty. If not, what course of action would you suggest, and why?

Greig,

To spare you the spectacle of crying alligator tears over the plight of poor people deprived of the utopia of modern suburban life by the evil greenies, please assess the graphic embedded in this LINK.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 25 May 2009 #permalink

luminous beauty,

Can you repost your link? It don't yet work, and I'm always interesting in a Utopia.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 25 May 2009 #permalink

LB Please demonstrate.

I'm assuming he means Munchkin's opus

The Bali Open Letter is written to deceive. Take just one point, emphasis added:
>In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is "settled," significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of ___dangerous___ human-caused global warming.

Now, the IPCC 2007 WG1 report mentions dangerous in 9 places only. What are they?

1. The Annex:
> United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
The Convention was adopted on 9 May 1992 in New York and signed at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro by more than 150 countries and the European Community. Its ultimate objective is the _âstabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent __dangerous__ anthropogenic interference with the climate systemâ_. ...

2. Chapter 2.10.1, page 211
> However, as long as it has not been determined, neither scientifi cally, economically nor politically, what the proper time horizon for evaluating _â__dangerous__ anthropogenic interference in the climate systemâ_ should be, the lack of temporal equivalence does not invalidate the GWP concept or provide guidance as to how to replace it.

3. FAQ 10.2 (2 hits)
>This has led to the notion of an unstable past climate that underwent phases of abrupt change. Therefore, an important concern is that the continued growth of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may constitute a perturbation sufficiently strong to trigger abrupt changes in the climate system. Such interference with the climate system could be considered ___dangerous___, because it would have major global consequences.

Furthermore there are 5 hits, where referenced paper contain "dangerous" in their title. So it comes down to two citations from the UNFCCC charter and an FAQ where they posit that abrupt climate change events might fall into the category that the politicians either failed to define or deliberately left ambiguous.

In essence, the science section of the IPPC AR4, to which the Bali Open Letter ostensibly refers, simply does not define "dangerous", so it is up to the writers - and more importantly the readers other than Ban Ki-Moon - to project anything they want into "dangerous".

The other points raised in the letter employ similar levels of deception.

Greig:

It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages
A statement of fact. Humans are not capable now of being able to change the natural phenomenon of climate change.

Playing with words and a strawman at best. Humans are capable of and are changing the climate. That is the issue.

It may be possible to reduce anthropogenic global warming, but that is NOT WHAT THE ABOVE STATEMENT SAYS.

In that case it's an utter strawman.

It certainly does not dispute the science behind the IPCC report.

Strawman arguments usually don't.

Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change
A statement of fact.

No, a conditional statement that depends on what's normal.

The above phenomenon are evidence of global warming. They are not evidence that humans are causing the warming. And there is no evidence that the warming is "abnormal" compared to natural climate variation. It certainly does not dispute the science behind the IPCC report

Just another strawman.

there has been no net global warming since 1998.
... and also, no real net cooling.

We don't know what has happened to the climate since 1998 because we don't have enough data to measure the climate since 1998.

Temperatures have been approximately level depending on the analysis and what is included in the data set. This certainly does not dispute the science behind the IPCC report, which at the time of the Bali Open Letter was based on 8 year old data, and did not include any analysis of recent global temperatures.

It is the Intergovernmental Panel on CLIMATE Change after all. Not the Intergovernmental Panel on Weather Change.

That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.
Seeks to exlain why temperatures have plateau'd, whilst CO2 continues to rise. Certainly does not dispute the science behind the IPCC report which at the time of the Bali Letter did not explain the temperature trends for recent years.

Believe it or not, the Intergovernmental Panel on CLIMATE Change is not there to explain the latest weather.

significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming
Demonstrably correct, and clearly referring to the firming of climate sensitivity figures as further data becomes available.

In that case it's absolute garbage. The estimate of the climate sensitivity distribution hasn't changed much since Annan's paper was produced. "Significant new peer-reviewed research"? Crap.

Cannot possibly be disputing the science behind the IPCC report, but rather attempting to enhance understanding of latest data.

So "significant new peer-reviewed research" that has something to do with climate sensitivity figures and that "has cast even more doubt" on something unspecified "cannot possibly be disputing the science". If it's so significant, how can it possibly not dispute the science?

The important message of the Bali Open Letter is that the underlying science of climate change does not predict the certainty of climate change catastrophe (it is based on incomplete computer modelling),

No it is not "based" on computer modelling. Computer modelling is only part of a wide range of infomation that supports estimates of global climate sensitivity. Anyone who keeps saying it is based on computer modelling without mentioning that there are other sources of information is dishonest.

and that this uncertainty is relevant to the decision to take remedial action which may cause more harm than good to the environment.

I can't help but note the implication that having a lower CO2 level than it would otherwise rise to may "harm" the environment. What a bizarre thing to imply.

Greig has just given us some more of his long line of defective arguments. What an amazing capacity for generating misinformation, often superficially plausible but wrong and confused.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 25 May 2009 #permalink

Greig,

> I still think you went overboard be saying he lied, he may well have just been mistaken.

But isn't it curious that every 'honest mistake' made by Plimer works to undermine the prevailing climate science? The dozens (hundreds) of 'mistakes' all go in one direction - towards a conclusion that is contrary to the one drawn by the world's climate scientists.

A wise man once said:

> There's an old saying in Tennessee â I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee â that says, fool me once, shame on â shame on you. Fool me â you can't get fooled again.

And you're being fooled - by Plimer, Lomborg, Monckton and every other denier of scientific reality. You should question why that's happening to you.

Great debate - there are some great minds running around here.

@15.
Very simply:

"So Dave, lets see your proof. Can you please show your evidence that >99% of scientists believe that climate catastrophe is a certainty, that global warming will occur faster than has occurred naturally in the past, and that there are no negatives in taking remedial action. Looking forward to it."

Where's your proof it won't? (I'm ignoring the 99% thingy. Coz really, it's irrelvant).

Show me another habitable planet that can sustain life, and then we can move there and leave the sceptics to keep wrecking the planet (and by overbreeding).

Humanity: some sort of viral plague on the Earth.

Re #17:

The problem, in simple terms, is that someone as well-versed in the sceptical position as Ian Plimer is, and who is also a professional scientist, and who has been paid by public funds, owes the public the duty of care and due diligence of all the material used in his book, "Heaven and Earth".

Getting the reference wrong can happen. Referring to something that you haven't read, but which you take to support your argument/position anyway, is a more significant event. Using a picture, loosely called a graph, the provenance of which is unknown to the user of it, and therefore the veracity of its construction is unknown to the user as well, is at the absolute minimum an example of intellectual laziness - something, incidently, that Plimer charges others with (although not necessarily with those exact words).

What Tim Lambert and many others have now proven, is that the graph in question has:
a) come from Durkin's TGGWS, and was the original graph in the UK airing of TGGWS;
b) in Australia the viewers of TGGWS saw the second version of the graph, not the original graph which had been much criticised for inaccuracies and errors;
c) Plimer has used both the original graph and the second version of the graph in other talks and communications to the public, prior to publication of HE;
d) The graph as depicted in Plimer's HE has data only to 1988, even though Plimer has had the same access to the complete time series as any member of the public has;
e) The graph has been "stretched" (aside: along with the truth) with the consequence of making the 1940--1970 below trend data looks significantly more extreme than it is in the original time series; and,
f) Plimer is tardy in responding to requests for clarification of this issue.

After all of these points, which may be verified by following the links in the relevant thread, only a bonehead (sorry, that's ad hom...) would say "...oh, but Plimer got the right conclusion though, so the oversights are irrelevant..." (sorry, I'm putting words in someone's mouth...).

I am in the process of reading Plimer's book; just as I have read other books by Lomborg, Daly, Svenmark, etc. If I am going to criticise them, it is the least I can do. Unfortunately, as demonstrated on this blog, at least one of these authors fails to reciprocate appropriately.

My feeling is that if Plimer had chucked out all of the empty banalities and crap about greenies and ideological spiels, and the rants, and if he had concentrated upon the science, upon the natural drama of our planet over geological time, then he may have written an interesting book worthy of dissemination among the public...

My challenge question to would-be-sceptics is this: Put yourself in the shoes of a professional scientist, one who is justifiably considered to be high-up in their area of expertise. Having put yourself in their shoes, consider now that your reputation exists because of the quality of your work, of your analysis and synthesis of the data and other scientists' work. As a professional scientist, you apply the same exacting standards to your work that you would expect of your colleagues.
Now, as that scientist, why would you plop a graph with unknown data, and of dubious provenance, into your book for the public? Why would you chance that when you can easily get the data and build the graph yourself?

Draw your own conclusions.

By Donald Oats (not verified) on 25 May 2009 #permalink

*Humans are capable of and are changing the climate. That is the issue.*

Humans have an impact on the environment, no question. It is important that we try to reduce our impact, to minimise harm to our fellow creatures, and to protect the future of the planet for our children.

Wasting resources on trying to reduce CO2 emissions may **increase** our long-term impact on the environment.

**That is the issue.**

*In that case it's an utter strawman.*

You need to look up the definition of *strawman*

*[Greig]Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change A statement of fact.

[Chris] No, a conditional statement that depends on what's normal.*

Exactly. Glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species **are normal events.**

*We don't know what has happened to the climate since 1998 because we don't have enough data to measure the climate since 1998.*

You are in denial.

*So "significant new peer-reviewed research" that has something to do with climate sensitivity figures and that "has cast even more doubt" on something unspecified "cannot possibly be disputing the science". If it's so significant, how can it possibly not dispute the science?*

The emergence of new peer-reviewed research cannot dispute the science. It **is** the science.

*No it is not "based" on computer modelling. Computer modelling is only part of a wide range of infomation that supports estimates of global climate sensitivity.*

Prediction of future climate change **ARE** based on computer modelling. Which is subject to GIGO.

*[Greig] and that this uncertainty is relevant to the decision to take remedial action which may cause more harm than good to the environment.

[Chris] **I can't help but note the implication that having a lower CO2 level than it would otherwise rise to may "harm" the environment. What a bizarre thing to imply**.*

It is only bizarre, because you don't understand it. The resources required to rapidly replace fossil fuels will be huge. These are resources that might otherwise go toward reducing poverty and addressing overpopulation, and so extends the use of inefficient energy technologies, deforestation, uncontrolled exploitation of wild food stocks, archaic agricultural practices, etc. These all HARM the environment.

Response to climate change requires a balanced multilateral international approach, and change must occur in line with the development and availability of affordable technology. Climate change policy requires far more than the rhetoric of a politican, it requires the combined effort of many disciplines: science, engineering, economics, and others.

*Greig has just given us some more of his long line of defective arguments. What an amazing capacity for generating misinformation, often superficially plausible but wrong and confused.*

It seems the argument is too esoteric for the feeble minded.

Exactly. Glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are normal events.

no. this is simply false. the current temperature change is not natural. it is very fast. and mankind is doing other damage to those species as well, for example blocking their mobility.

Response to climate change requires a balanced multilateral international approach, and change must occur in line with the development and availability of affordable technology. Climate change policy requires far more than the rhetoric of a politican, it requires the combined effort of many disciplines: science, engineering, economics, and others.

Greig, why don t you simply take a look at that IPCC report? once?

have you figured out what "line by line approval" means?

*the current temperature change is not natural. it is very fast.*

Proof?

*and mankind is doing other damage to those species as well, for example blocking their mobility.*

That is true, and it is a problem. And the answer lies in putting resources into re-establishing mobility. What if there is a large natural climate change event (eg global cooling caused by a massive volcanic eruption)? All our efforts at CO2 reduction will be for naught (and may contribute to a greater tragedy). And as we watch the extinction of migratory species, we will know it is our fault because we have failed to prepare for adaptation.

Adapting to climate change (both anthropogenic and natural) has many features that offer greater value to future environmental protection than CO2 emission control. It needs to be at least part of the response, as well as a "no regrets" policy on energy efficiency and technological development.

*My feeling is that if Plimer had chucked out all of the empty banalities and crap about greenies and ideological spiels, and the rants, and if he had concentrated upon the science, upon the natural drama of our planet over geological time, then he may have written an interesting book worthy of dissemination among the public...*

I agree Donald.

Plimer persistently snipes at the IPCC and other AGW advocates throughout the book. In my opinion it spoils what is otherwise a fascinating work from a geological perspective. It shows a bitterness and frustration toward those he disagrees with, not disimilar to the attitudes here in this blog.

Climate change is a diversive issues, and emotions run hot on both sides, to the detriment of those who succomb - myself included.

*leave the sceptics to keep wrecking the planet (and by overbreeding).*

So, get rid of sceptics, and overpopulation will be solved?

*Humanity: some sort of viral plague on the Earth.*

Perhaps so, but we are here, and the issue is how to minimise the damage. Artifically increasing the cost of energy production in rich countries will not resolve the world's environmental problems. In fact it will exacerbate them.

[natural forcings](http://www.windows.ucar.edu/earth/climate/images/IPCC_temp_change.jpg) alone simply can not explain what is happening at the moment.

That is true, and it is a problem. And the answer lies in putting resources into re-establishing mobility.

What if there is a large natural climate change event (eg global cooling caused by a massive volcanic eruption)? All our efforts at CO2 reduction will be for naught (and may contribute to a greater tragedy). And as we watch the extinction of migratory species, we will know it is our fault because we have failed to prepare for adaptation.

a totally absurd approach. while you deny the scientific evidence of a human influence on the latest climate changes, but the mere possibility of a massive cooling event seems important enough for you, to mention it.

Adapting to climate change (both anthropogenic and natural) has many features that offer greater value to future environmental protection than CO2 emission control.

Proof?

Greig @ 37

Wasting resources on trying to reduce CO2 emissions may increase our long-term impact on the environment.

Except there is strong evidence to suggest CO2 is the dominant driver of currrent (0.15K/decade) warming trend, and strong evidence for the harm that will result with continued warming (including feedbacks).

Glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are normal events.

It is the rate, frequency of these events, and the age of the melting ice that provide evidence of warming not seen since eons.

Various psudo-skeptics cite "significant new peer-reviewed research" that "has cast even more doubt" on something about climate change. They just never seem to present it. Or when they do present its gets found to be not what is claimed.

The resources required to rapidly replace fossil fuels will be huge.

How huge Greig? About 1%? 5% of GDP? Compared to the probable costs of climate change which is many times more.

These are resources that might otherwise go toward reducing poverty and addressing overpopulation, and so extends the use of inefficient energy technologies, deforestation, uncontrolled exploitation of wild food stocks, archaic agricultural practices, etc. These all HARM the environment.

That would be all those resources we have now and which we do not share appropriately to address poverty, population, exploitation and environmental harm. You know how it is, youâve got to exploit them first so you can save them in the future, except the futures always in the future.

Response to climate change requires a balanced multilateral international approach, and change must occur in line with the development and availability of affordable technology. Climate change policy requires far more than the rhetoric of a politican, it requires the combined effort of many disciplines: science, engineering, economics, and others.

Did someone say we need more than rhetoric?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 25 May 2009 #permalink
Humans are capable of and are changing the climate. That is the issue.

Humans have an impact on the environment, no question. It is important that we try to reduce our impact, to minimise harm to our fellow creatures, and to protect the future of the planet for our children.
Wasting resources on trying to reduce CO2 emissions may increase our long-term impact on the environment.

Yet another strawman. Try to leave out the presumptuous use of the word "wasting". What an amazing hypothesis that minimizing our long-term impact on the environment might allow no reduction in business as usual CO2 emissions.

[Greig]Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change A statement of fact.
[Chris] No, a conditional statement that depends on what's normal.*
Exactly. Glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are normal events.

They're not normal when nothing is forcing the climate to change.

We don't know what has happened to the climate since 1998 because we don't have enough data to measure the climate since 1998.

You are in denial.

You are an ignoramus and an arrogant one at that. Eleven years is not long enough to measure climate.

So "significant new peer-reviewed research" that has something to do with climate sensitivity figures and that "has cast even more doubt" on something unspecified "cannot possibly be disputing the science". If it's so significant, how can it possibly not dispute the science?

The emergence of new peer-reviewed research cannot dispute the science. It is the science.

Ha ha very funny. For those suffering cognitive failure I'll try to be more accurate. If it's so significant, how can it possibly not dispute the pre-existing science?

By the way, where is this demonstration of "the firming of climate sensitivity figures"?

No it is not "based" on computer modelling. Computer modelling is only part of a wide range of infomation that supports estimates of global climate sensitivity.

Prediction of future climate change ARE based on computer modelling.

I thought your "it" referred to the previous subject ("the underlying science of climate change"). In any case you don't need any computer modelling to determine the ultimate consequence of a particular rise in CO2 without changing independent variables. That's what "climate sensitivity" means.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 25 May 2009 #permalink

*a totally absurd approach. while you deny the scientific evidence of a human influence on the latest climate changes,*

I am not denying AGW at all, that is all in your fevered imagination,

*but the mere possibility of a massive cooling event seems important enough for you, to mention it.*

Why shouldn't it be a part of our thinking? Are you saying it can't happen?

*Adapting to climate change (both anthropogenic and natural) has many features that offer greater value to future environmental protection than CO2 emission control.*

*Proof?*

Duh! I just gave you an example.

*Except there is strong evidence to suggest CO2 is the dominant driver of currrent (0.15K/decade) warming trend,and strong evidence for the harm that will result with continued warming (including feedbacks).*

The IPCC has concluded that a warming of 2degC over the next century will result in no net negative impact.

*Glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are normal events.
It is the rate, frequency of these events, and the age of the melting ice that provide evidence of warming not seen since eons.*

Nonsense. There is no evidence that these phenomenon are unprecedented.

*Various psudo-skeptics cite "significant new peer-reviewed research" that "has cast even more doubt" on something about climate change. They just never seem to present it.*

They don't need to to, it is included in the peer-reviewed literature, you can look it up yourself.

*[Greig]The resources required to rapidly replace fossil fuels will be huge.*

*How huge Greig? About 1%? 5% of GDP? Compared to the probable costs of climate change which is many times more.*

Selective economic forecasts based on the absurd assumption that (A) All nations including the developing world will engage equally in emissions reductions and carbon trading, and (B) a renewable energy nirvana is magically called into existence which will engage a massive workforce in "green" jobs.

The job losses in Australia of the ETS is expected to be at least 30,000. Can you assure them of alternative employment?

*That would be all those resources we have now and which we do not share appropriately to address poverty, population, exploitation and environmental harm.*

Share? The resources are for establisshing trade, technological transfer and education.

*You know how it is, youâve got to exploit them first so you can save them in the future, except the futures always in the future.*

Leftist nonsense.

Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to sell fish and he eats steak.

*What an amazing hypothesis that minimizing our long-term impact on the environment might allow no reduction in business as usual CO2 emissions.*

It is only an amazing hypothesis to people who are more focussed on destroying the EEEEVIL oil and coal industry, than they are focussed on protecting the environment. They are the same people who declare that we must urgently reduce CO2 emsissions, but nuclear can't be part of the mix (ie its not THAT urgent).

*[Greig]You are in denial.*

*You are an ignoramus and an arrogant one at that. Eleven years is not long enough to measure climate.*

You are still in denial. Science starts with observation and an open mind. Yet you have predetermined the next century on the basis of computer modelling based on incomplete data, and are unwilling to even acknowledge that there are alternative outcomes possible.

Or are you saying the input to the compuetr models is complete, we KNOW what is going to happen, and there is no room for any doubt whatsoever?

I notice Greig is back to his âtransparent attempt to deviate the discussion into political ideologyâ. So I'll re post my unanswered questions.

Greig and his ideological impasse:

Greig #207

I am an optimist. I think such technology can be found. And I also believe we do not need to panic, we have the time to implement it properly and cost effectively. The key is not to pick winners on the basis of ideology, nor to act as a nation unilaterally or prematurely.

Greig #373

What I do believe is that it is better for the global environment to bring as many people up to Western living standards as fast as possible, and that low-cost energy is critical in achieving that. I therefore believe gas, hydro, and nuclear are the most important energy technologies for the next century.

Greig #179

Trying to reduce CO2 emissions is an inherently risky policy because it increases the cost of energy, which undermines the global economy, and impacts the fundamental basis for human standard of living. Some people think this is irrelevant, but they are usually rich, spoiled individuals who are unaware that 5 billion humans currently live in poverty.

Greig #219

But the army of environmentalist ideologues trying to enforce expensive renewable energy is a road block.

Greig #361

[Steve Chamberlain] IMO we cannot afford to continue as we are on the basis that itâs all too hard to change, and it will all cost too much. This myopic, money-is-all outlook is what helped get us where we are now, and will do nothing but create significant costs (economic, social and environmental) for future generations.

So, forget the cost to consumers, forget the impact on industry, jobs, etc.
Your view is we should select energy technology for ideological reasons.
I rest my case.

Posted by: Greig | May 22, 2009 11:09 PM

Greig #367

[Steve Chamberlain] So, forget the cost to future generations, forget the impact on future industry, jobs, food production and society, forget fires, storms, rising sea levels, droughts and biodiversity loss.

Steve, you are leaping to the false conclusion that renewable energy will be a good solution to resolve those issues. I beg to differ.

Greig #373

And your evidence that an untrammelled reliance on fossil fuels will sort these issues out is... where?

Strawman. I never made such a claim. What I do believe is that it is better for the global environment to bring as many people up to Western living standards as fast as possible, and that low-cost energy is critical in achieving that. I therefore believe gas, hydro, and nuclear are the most important energy technologies for the next century.

The Goal

For Grieg: The goal is âto bring as many people up to Western living standards as fast as possibleâ

Belief 1, â that low-cost energy is critical in achieving that [bring poor up]â;

Belief 2, the global economy, is âthe fundamental basis for human standard of livingâ;

Belief 3, The key is not to pick winners on the basis of beliefs/ideology;

Questions for Greig:
1) We have had a strong global economy and abundant cheap energy, yet extreme poverty persists. Should we reconsider our approach?
2) What mechanisms or metrics are appropriate to determine if our current economic structures and distribution of abundant energy is the best way to life the bottom billon out of extreme poverty?
3) Would Grieg support strong action to reduce CO2 if nuclear power, hydro and gas were widely used?

[bluegrue]*Only two posts after I had reported on having located a copy of Klimafakten and having disproved Plimer's claim...*

I was flipping through Plimers book last night, and noticed something that I don't believe has been previously mentioned.

Figure 15 on p131 of H+E is a faithful reproduction of Berners graph (from Klimafakten by Ulrich Berner. page 21 Fig 2.9 depicting Friis-Christensen and Lassen (1991))

So, if you go back to the radio interview, it is quite possible that Plimer misunderstood Steven Sherwood, and thought he was referring to figure 15 and not figure 3.

This doesn't forgive Plimer for sourcing Fig 3 from the Swindle, but is a reasonable explanation regarding his alleged dishonesty.

I am not denying AGW at all, that is all in your fevered imagination,

you asked me for PROOF. sorry, but in this context, this means that you are in denial.

Why shouldn't it be a part of our thinking? Are you saying it can't happen?

a catastrophic decrease in temperature is as likely as a catastrophic INCREASE in temperature from natural cause. have you factored that into your calculations?

Proof? Duh! I just gave you an example.

i ask for proof, you give an example? that is great!
(and your example was the volcano, causing catastrophic global cooling)

why should i lock my car? someone stealing it, could prevent me from having an accident!

*Greig #207 The key is not to pick winners on the basis of ideology, nor to act as a nation unilaterally or prematurely.*

*Greig #373 I therefore believe gas, hydro, and nuclear are the most important energy technologies for the next century.*

I'll give you the big hint, Observa, these questions have NOTHING to do with expressing a view tainted by *ideology*.

*1) We have had a strong global economy and abundant cheap energy, yet extreme poverty persists. Should we reconsider our approach?*
*2) What mechanisms or metrics are appropriate to determine if our current economic structures and distribution of abundant energy is the best way to life the bottom billon out of extreme poverty?*
*3) Would Grieg support strong action to reduce CO2 if nuclear power, hydro and gas were widely used?*

Let me be clear. Reducing CO2 is a worthwhile action provided it is affordable. **Making energy more expensive will not help reduce poverty, and will probably make matters worse.** Its pretty obvious really.

*you asked me for PROOF. sorry, but in this context, this means that you are in denial.*

I asked you for proof of your claim that **>99% of scientists** believe that climate **catastrophe is a certainty**, that global warming **will occur faster than has occurred naturally in the past**, and that there are **no negatives in taking remedial action.**

That is very different from denying AGW. But perhaps in your small world, there is no distinction.

Greig, whose grasp of climate science is almost as good as his grasp of formal logic, writes:

The Bali open letter does not dispute "the science" at all, it goes out of its way to acknowledge the evidence of AGW. Its purpose is to point out to the politicians that the current state of findings:

1. Does not mean that we face catastrophe, or climate change that is outside of natural variation,

Saying that we don't face climate change that is outside of natural variation is disputing the science, Greig. We're warming faster than we've ever known it to happen and CO2 is higher now than in the last 800,000 years. Nobody cares if it was higher during the Mesozoic.

Greig writes:

Glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are normal events.

Not when they're this fast.

"We don't know what has happened to the climate since 1998 because we don't have enough data to measure the climate since 1998."

You are in denial.

Read my lips:

According to the World Meteorological Organization, climate is defined as mean regional or global weather conditions over a period of THIRTY (30) YEARS OR MORE.

Subtract 1998 from 2009, Greig. Is the answer greater than or less than 30? Extra points if you show your work.

Greig @46

The IPCC has concluded that a warming of 2degC over the next century will result in no net negative impact.

That is not correct Greig the IPCC AR4 make no claim about there being no net impact. The IPCC actually says:

âThis Assessment makes it clear that the impacts of future climate change will be mixed across regions. For increases in global mean temperature of less than 1-3°C above 1990 levels, some impacts are projected to produce benefits in some places and some sectors, and produce costs in other places and other sectors. It is, however, projected that some low-latitude and polar regions will experience net costs even for small increases in temperature. â

âThe resilience of many ecosystems is likely to be exceeded this century by an unprecedented combination of climate change, associated disturbances (e.g., flooding, drought, wildfire, insects, ocean acidification), and other global change drivers (e.g., landuse change, pollution, over-exploitation of resources).â (WG2SPM, p11). â

Climate change is expected to have some mixed effects, such as a decrease or increase in the range and transmission potential of malaria in Africa. ** D [8.4] Studies in temperate areas12 have shown that climate change is projected to bring some benefits, such as fewer deaths from cold exposure. Overall it is expected that these benefits will be outweighed by the negative health effects of rising temperatures worldwide, especially in developing countries. (WG2SPM, p12). â

Agricultural production, including access to food, in many African countries and regions is projected to be severely compromised by climate variability and change. The area suitable for agriculture, the length of growing seasons and yield potential, particularly along the margins of semi-arid and arid areas, are expected to decrease. This would further adversely affect food security and exacerbate malnutrition in the continent. (WG2SPM, p13). â

Freshwater availability in Central, South, East and South-EastAsia, particularly in large river basins, is projected to decrease due to climate changewhich, alongwith population growth and increasing demand arising from higher standards of living, could adversely affect more than a billion people by the 2050s. ** N [10.4] â

Coastal areas, especially heavily-populated megadelta regions in South, East and South-East Asia, will be at greatest risk due to increased flooding from the sea and, in some megadeltas, flooding from the rivers. ** D [10.4] â

Climate change is projected to impinge on the sustainable development of most developing countries of Asia, as it compounds the pressures on natural resources and the environment associated with rapid urbanisation, industrialisation, and economic development. ** D [10.5] â

It is projected that crop yields could increase up to 20% in East and South-East Asia while they could decrease up to 30% in Central and SouthAsia by the mid-21st century. Taken together, and considering the influence of rapid population growth and urbanisation, the risk of hunger is projected to remain very high in several developing countries. * N [10.4] â

Endemic morbidity and mortality due to diarrhoeal disease primarily associated with floods and droughts are expected to rise in East, South and South-EastAsia due to projected changes in the hydrological cycle associated with global warming. Increases in coastal water temperature would exacerbate the abundance and/or toxicity of cholera in South Asia.

It takes time to correct your disinformation Greig. Unfortunately you can make it up as fast as you type. Iâll be back to correct more.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

Greig writes:

What if there is a large natural climate change event (eg global cooling caused by a massive volcanic eruption)? All our efforts at CO2 reduction will be for naught (and may contribute to a greater tragedy).

Greig, the aerosol-induced cooling from a volcanic eruption lasts three years at most and results in about 0.2 K of cooling at the peak--that's what happened with Mount Pinatubo in 1991. A pulse of new CO2 into the atmosphere lasts 200 years.

Grieg

>So, if you go back to the radio interview, it is quite possible that Plimer misunderstood Steven Sherwood, and thought he was referring to figure 15 and not figure 3.

What Plimer said in the interview:

>Figure 3 you obviously didn't get past page 21. Figure 3 comes from the German government 2001 book called Klimafacten and that diagram derives from page 21 of an internationally published book put out by the German government in 2001.

And the interviewer added:

>I should say for Figure 3 you've got 1975 this is the end of the post-war economic boom and we've got a colder temperature that we had at the beginning. That's his Figure 3.

And then Plimer repeated the claim:

>It's from Klimafacten put out by the German government in Hannover Germany 2001.

But Grieg listened to that and decided that maybe Plimer was referring to figure 15 (which is not a faithful reproduction of figure 2.9 of Klimafakten in any event).

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

I asked you for proof of your claim that >99% of scientists believe that climate catastrophe is a certainty, that global warming will occur faster than has occurred naturally in the past, and that there are no negatives in taking remedial action.

the biggest strawman ever built?

That is very different from denying AGW. But perhaps in your small world, there is no distinction.

my small world is reality, and not the strawmen you build.

so you believe in everything else, but simply not in the combination of the things that you summed up above?

welcome on the AGW side of the argument!

Greig reading about the impacts of global warming #55 raises some questions about your assumption that:

Making energy more expensive will not help reduce poverty, and will probably make matters worse. Its pretty obvious really.

It looks as though things are likely to get worse for the most vulnerable if we continue business as usual.

[Levinson]*We're warming faster than we've ever known it to happen.*

You are joking, right?

[Mark Byrne] *It takes time to correct your disinformation Greig.*

I was, of course, paraphrasing the IPCC conclusion for brevity. That is hardly "disinformation". And in case you hadn't noticed, your post supports what I have been saying, that the IPCC acknowledges that there are negatives and positives to climate change. So thanks.

[Tim Lambert] *But Grieg listened to that and decided that maybe Plimer was referring to figure 15*

So when was the last time you were on a whirlwind tour of interviews over a contraversial book? Never made an error in public before Tim? Really?

And what is wrong with spelling my name correctly. Error, after, error.

*which is not a faithful reproduction of figure 2.9 of Klimafakten in any event.*

Nonsense. Except for the exclusion of the CO2 concentration plot in fig 15, it is spot on. So what you have stated above is demonstrably incorrect, and **YOU KNOW IT**.

Now you've called Plimer a liar in public, Tim. Big call.

What you have done is no different from Plimer. Doesn't that make you a liar?

[Levinson] *It looks as though things are likely to get worse for the most vulnerable if we continue business as usual.*

So who is pushing for business as usual?

[Greig] *I asked you for proof of your claim that >99% of scientists believe that climate catastrophe is a certainty, that global warming will occur faster than has occurred naturally in the past, and that there are no negatives in taking remedial action.*

[Sod] *the biggest strawman ever built?*

I take it then that proof backing your statements will not be forthcoming.

Greig #64

[Levinson][sic] It looks as though things are likely to get worse for the most vulnerable if we continue business as usual.

So who is pushing for business as usual?

Greig #46

The IPCC has concluded that a warming of 2degC over the next century will result in no net negative impact.

Greig #207

I also believe we do not need to panic, we have the time to implement it properly and cost effectively.

Greig #179

Trying to reduce CO2 emissions is an inherently risky policy because it increases the cost of energy, which undermines the global economy, and impacts the fundamental basis for human standard of living.

Greig #361

[Steve Chamberlain] IMO we cannot afford to continue as we are on the basis that itâs all too hard to change, and it will all cost too much. This myopic, money-is-all outlook is what helped get us where we are now, and will do nothing but create significant costs (economic, social and environmental) for future generations.

So, forget the cost to consumers, forget the impact on industry, jobs, etc.

So Greig reading about the impacts of global warming #55 raises some questions about your assumption that:

Making energy more expensive will not help reduce poverty, and will probably make matters worse. Its pretty obvious really.

It looks as though things are likely to get worse for the most vulnerable if we continue business as usual.

Greig,

Adaptation implies responding to an existing problem as it arises.

Mitigation means dealing with a problem before it emerges.

Which is the better policy course?

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

rrrrggghhhhh....sorry, Tim, forgot once again to fix the underscores. I think I need a 'blink' tag for that reminder line above the comment box (sigh).

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

Greig,

Do you know what inductive reasoning is? Do you know that there is no finite formal PROOF in the inductive process? Did you know that science is an inductive process in which the uncertainty in any conclusion can only be diminished, never eliminated, by the inclusion of additional orthogonal evidence.

Do you realize that demanding PROOF of scientific conclusions marks you as someone who doesn't understand the fundamental principles of science?

Do you realize you are being an idiot?

No you don't.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

Greig,

Did you know that the economic lifetime of a coal-fired electrical plant is ~35yrs? In 40yrs, every existing power plant will have to be replaced.

Did you know that the lifetime cost of wind power is commercially competitive to coal or natural gas, now?

That individuals investing in home PV solar in many parts of the world can defray the investment cost in under 15yrs, after which the homeowner keeps 100% of savings?

That deep rock geothermal energy has the potential to provide hundreds of times total current energy usage for an initial investment of a few billion $$?

With existing technologies? Which can improve best through applied development?

No you don't.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

So Greig, you knew that figure 15 was different but claimed that it was a "faithful reproduction". Plimer did not copy figure 15 from Klimafakten.

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink
What an amazing hypothesis that minimizing our long-term impact on the environment might allow no reduction in business as usual CO2 emissions.

Greig:

It is only an amazing hypothesis to people who are more focussed on destroying the EEEEVIL oil and coal industry, than they are focussed on protecting the environment. They are the same people who declare that we must urgently reduce CO2 emsissions, but nuclear can't be part of the mix (ie its not THAT urgent).

Just incredible. Greig is implying that it might be (with presumably some reasonable likelihood) that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is totally insignificant.

We don't know what has happened to the climate since 1998 because we don't have enough data to measure the climate since 1998.

[Greig]You are in denial.

You are an ignoramus and an arrogant one at that. Eleven years is not long enough to measure climate.

You are still in denial.

As Barton pointed out: According to the World Meteorological Organization, climate is defined as mean regional or global weather conditions over a period of THIRTY (30) YEARS OR MORE.

It's just incredible that we are being lectured about climate by an arrogant ignoramus who has no idea what climate is. No wonder he is such an abundant source of misinformation.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

Adaptation implies responding to an existing problem as it arises.

Mitigation means dealing with a problem before it emerges.

Which is the better policy course?

I have no interest in getting dragged into this particular climate argument, but the above conclusion is only valid under certain circumstances.

1) Certainty of the item being mitigated against (worrying excessively about a large asteroid impact, for example)

2) Viability of the mitigation process (if we don't clearly understand the behavior thing being mitigated against, or the chances of success of the intervention, it may not be an advisable action)

3) Cost of the mitigation, vs cost of adaptation (this is not a slam dunk. Implementing a massive expensive medical pre treatment that could prevent a rare form of cancer still might not qualify as a wise mitigation. And if the pre-treatment carried additional risk, even if small, it would be a very poor choice)

Sometimes adaptation (dealing with problems as they arise) is wiser because it avoids wasting efforts on the vast array of possible problems that don't wind up arising.

I take it then that proof backing your statements will not be forthcoming.

apart from what LB wrote above, I have noted very different standards on Greigs "proofs".

when asked to give a proof himself, an example is enough for him.

when provided with proof, that Plimers graph is wrong and that he made false claims about it, it took an eternity to raise minor doubts in him.

but on AGW, he will not admit that it is a problem, unless 100% of the scientists agree, that a climate catastrophe is a certainty, that global warming is faster than at any time in the past, and that not a single person will suffer a negative effect from any action.

Greig:

> [Greig] I asked you for proof of your claim that >99% of scientists believe that climate catastrophe is a certainty, that global warming will occur faster than has occurred naturally in the past, and that there are no negatives in taking remedial action.

> [Sod] the biggest strawman ever built?

> I take it then that proof backing your statements will not be forthcoming.

You're getting confused (understandably so). You're also misrepresenting my position. What I said was:

> The bali letter makes many assertions about the validity of the science - the opening sentence disputes that AGW is at issue, asserting that the current situation is natural, and the themes that there is no warming, or that the current warming is unlikely to continue, or that we are in a natural cycle, are repeated throughout.

> It takes a position that is pretty much 180 degrees the reverse of the IPCC summary of the science, and also of the opinion of > 99% of the world's climate scientists. Remember that the IPCC report represents pretty much the least controversial position on global warming among climate scientists.

You've disagreed with my assessment (which I stand by) that by describing climate change as "a natural process" in the opening of the letter, and later insisting that our current warming trend is entirely within what we'd expect with natural variability, and that temperature has "plateaue'd" that the bali letter is denying both that there is a continuing warming trend and that there are clear anthropogenic causes. I maintain that the wording is disingenuous, and in contrast to the language in the IPCC report which describes a clear warming trend with unequivocal anthropogenic causes. Everything else you've added in your characterisation of my position is indeed a strawman (and a fairly extreme one) - what I'm saying is that by insisting that natural causes explain away the problem (and that there is no problem anyway), the bali letter disagrees with pretty much every climate scientist out there. We know the Oreskes paper found that consensus in the published literature was widespread, with no published material explicitly denying climate change (and 75% endorsing it), and we can also see how many climate scientists made substantive comments on the IPCC report to the effect that natural variability explained the current warming trend (I couldn't find any, but then it's difficult wading through non-climate scientist Vincent Gray's 572 skeptical comments).

"So Greig, you knew that figure 15 was different but claimed that it was a "faithful reproduction"."

Does Grieg's spouse know what its interpretation of faithful is?

By t_p_hamilton (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

I have never committed to the position that Greig is for sure not a performance artist, like the Masters.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

Also, assuming Greig is on the square, who cares about him? It's Plimer he's taking a bullet for. I wouldn't killfile Plimer, but I will most certainly killfile his troll minions and hangers-on.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

rgb,

'A stitch in time, saves nine.'

Adaptation requires the absorption of the costs of the economic disruption being adapted to, plus the cost of the adaptation, the result is likely to be a net loss of productive capacity. The very fact that the emergence of such localized disruptions can't be predicted, gives credence that mitigation efforts to reduce the eventual impact of such emergencies is critical.

The cost of mitigation is the investment cost of re-designing and replacing the world's energy infrastructure. A cost that will be born regardless of policy, whether mitigation or business as usual.

The long term benefits of having a renewable and sustainable energy infrastructure are the difference in the progress and continuance of modern human civilization or its inevitable decline and collapse.

I just cannot, for the life of me, put a dollar & cents value on that.

Can you?

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

LB, it can be priced, but not in dollars and cents which are sensitive to context, but in utils. In particular, proper CBA's that account for left hand tail uncertainty along with stylized facts about human preferences indicate that the price is grave and that the very significant costs of IPCC prescribed mitigation pale in comparison.

Adaptation is key, and predictability is key to successful adaptation. We need to adapt to a world where carbon emissions are rationed, which is a world of certainty, rather than an unpredictable chaotic world where forces well beyond our control are unleashed.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

I'm not convinced the investment costs of mitigation are going to have significantly higher infrastructure costs than will of necessity be incurred in any case; nor, when those costs are recovered that net consumer savings won't accrue due to lower maintenance and zero fuel costs. Scaling up industries with a viable market is usually a net gain in economic activity, I thought. Even with a big fat negative tail like war, for example.

It will be tough on coal and petroleum futures, though.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

There are steady-state costs and there are transition costs. Steady state costs are not zero, since coal plants are still being built and oil drilled for, etc. but they are not large in the scheme of things, granted.

Transition costs on the other hand depend on what type of transition is called for, i.e. how deep the cuts and how long a period firms and households (investment and consumption) have to adapt to the implications. They could be small or even conceivably zero in a parallel universe where credible emissions cuts were enacted decades before they came into effect, but that is not the case here. The emissions scenarios recommended by the IPCC (or even that vicinity) require shorter periods and some very short term emissions reductions.

Ultimately, the entire orientation of the global economy will be affected by the change in energy mix called for, from which industries are profitable and where, to how people get around, what they eat, teach their kids, build, where, etc. etc. Much of this is difficult to quantify ex ante, but there is literature here, e.g. as cited in the Stern Review, and it does not support a costless cakewalk view of mitigation.

In any case, the fact that transition costs are material doesn't make mitigation a bad value. Far from it (and this is without taking account of the significant positive externalities of the policy, e.g. its effect on global economic imbalances, the policies of petrostates, etc.). Those who advocate the policy would do better to cite projects whose benefits were well worth the cost and effort like space programs, CERN, the Panama Canal, the US Transcontinental Railroad, etc. than to claim a free lunch.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

[luminous beauty] *Do you know what inductive reasoning is? Do you know that there is no finite formal PROOF in the inductive process? Did you know that science is an inductive process in which the uncertainty in any conclusion can only be diminished, never eliminated, by the inclusion of additional orthogonal evidence. **Do you realize that demanding PROOF of scientific conclusions** marks you as someone who doesn't understand the fundamental principles of science? Do you realize you are being an idiot? No you don't.*

From the sublime to the ridiculous. **I am NOT demanding PROOF of scientific conclusions.**

[luminous beauty] *Did you know that the economic lifetime of a coal-fired electrical plant is ~35yrs? In 40yrs, every existing power plant will have to be replaced.*

Actually, coal plants typically run for around 70 years. And if CO2 emissions reduction policy mandated only the replacement of end-of-life plants, you would have no argument from me. But current policy is looking at 2020 targets.

[luminous beauty] *Did you know that the lifetime cost of wind power is commercially competitive to coal or natural gas, now?*

That depends on many factors, the suitability of the wind plant site, and the cost of coal and gas in the given location. On average, wind power is around 30% more expensive than coal, but that can be regarded as âcommercially viableâ if people are willing to pay more for their power if it is marketed as âgreenâ. That might work in the domestic electricity market, but not necessarily in the commercial space. Also, and importantly, wind power is supplemental only (intermittent), and so can only be built out to around 20% capacity. The other 80% of power must come from somewhere, and currently that is mostly provided by fossil fuels.

[luminous beauty] *That individuals investing in home PV solar in many parts of the world can defray the investment cost in under 15yrs, after which the homeowner keeps 100% of savings?*

Home solar PV costs nearly 10 times the price of grid electricity. It doesn't matter how you slice and dice, solar PV is absurdly expensive.

[luminous beauty] *That deep rock geothermal energy has the potential to provide hundreds of times total current energy usage for an initial investment of a few billion $$?*

Geothermal âhot rockâ energy is abundant (although finite, so is technically not renewable), and its ability to be exploited cost effectively remains a matter of R&D. Making claims about its technical and economic viability and scalability are premature.

[luminous beauty] *I'm not convinced the investment costs of mitigation are going to have significantly higher infrastructure costs than will of necessity be incurred in any case;*

How do you arrive at that conclusion? We are talking about $billions in new infrastructure. In order to REDUCE emissions, we will need to shut down coal plants that are nowhere near the end of their useful life, and have not yet recouped the investment in their construction.

[luminous beauty] *nor, when those costs are recovered that net consumer savings won't accrue due to lower maintenance and zero fuel costs.*

A common misconception. Most of the cost of energy is in the plant construction. In the case of renewables plant costs (/MWh produced) are many times higher than for the equivalent large-scale plant. The issue of fuel costs is irrelevant next to these costs. Also, O&M costs for renewables can be very high compared to conventional technology, which again overwhelms the fuel cost issue.

[luminous beauty] *Scaling up industries with a viable market is usually a net gain in economic activity, I thought.*

Your assumption that there is a significant viable market for renewable energy is mistaken. Its share in the market is tiny. This is because renewables cannot operate without massive subsidies (many time the subsidies offered to coal per MWh), and so large-scale deployment is not economically viable.

This is the crux of the problem. There are many people in the community who are unaware of the negative technical and economic implications of moving to renewable energy. They have been fooled into believing that the technology is ready. It isnât.

LB, your comments above expose you as a person with rose-coloured glasses for a technological solution that you clearly do not understand.

[Tim Lambert] *So Greig, you knew that figure 15 was different but claimed that it was a "faithful reproduction". Plimer did not copy figure 15 from Klimafakten.*

Tim, the graph is identical except for the CO2 plot. Therefore it is almost certainly a âreproductionâ, I cannot spot any significant differences in the temperature plot.

In what way it the graph not âfaithfulâ in reproduction, and how do you know Plimer did not copy it from Klimafakten? Surely that is argument by assertion.

[Greig] *It is only an amazing hypothesis to people who are more focussed on destroying the EEEEVIL oil and coal industry, than they are focussed on protecting the environment. They are the same people who declare that we must urgently reduce CO2 emsissions, but nuclear can't be part of the mix (ie its not THAT urgent).*

[Chris Oâneill] *Just incredible. Greig is implying that it might be (with presumably some reasonable likelihood) that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is totally insignificant.*

Fascinating, how do you deduce such an implication? In fact, I make no such claim at all. You are fabricating.

[Chris Oâneill] *It's just incredible that we are being lectured about climate by an arrogant ignoramus who has no idea what climate is. No wonder he is such an abundant source of misinformation.*

OK then, check out a plot of temperature vs time from 1989 to 2009. It is 30 years in length, so it represents âclimateâ What is the warming trend, and how does it change over that 30 year period? An open mind to the current observations is a starting point for science, and I am arguing that to IGNORE the last 10 years of data is folly.

[sod] *but on AGW, he will not admit that it is a problem, unless 100% of the scientists agree, that a climate catastrophe is a certainty, that global warming is faster than at any time in the past, and that not a single person will suffer a negative effect from any action.*

Sod, you are now resorting to fabricating. At no point have I said that there is no problem. What I am trying to illustrate is the difference between:

1. **Climate change** , which I am sure >99% of scientists acknowledge is occurring, including Plimer, Carter etc.

2.**Anthopogenic climate change** which also is accepted by most scientists, although the degree of human influence on climate change remains debatable.

3.**âDangerousâ climate change** which is highly contentious

The above three very different concepts are disingenuously used interchangeably in arguments in this thread.
Now Dave has claimed that the Bali Open Letter is â180 degrees the reverse of the IPCC summary of the scienceâ which â>99% of scientistsâ agree with. And the Bali Open Letter accepts 1 and 2 above, and questions 3. Therefore Dave is claiming that >99% of scientists agree with âdangerous climate change. I think some evidence is required before making such claims.

>[Greig]check out a plot of temperature vs time from 1989 to 2009. It is 30 years in length, so it represents âclimateâ

Errmm, last time I checked, that's 20 years. If I wanted to quibble, I'd point out 2009 is less then half done.

>[Greig]and I am arguing that to IGNORE the last 10 years of data is folly.

Aaaaand back to the weather with Greig.

> The above three very different concepts are disingenuously used interchangeably in arguments in this thread.

And in most of the cases it's deniers who blur these lines. I have shown you above, that the IPCC scientific basis does not speak of "dangerous climate change". The Bali open letter brings up the "argument" climate has always changed, without mentioning that these changes were brought about by forcings and furthermore implying, that none of these known forcings like TSI are considered. Calling this disingenuous puts it very mildly.

__Here's a challenge, Greig__, you said:
> and I am arguing that to IGNORE the last 10 years of data is folly.

It's very easy to write out this qualitative statement. It would take others quite some time to refute your vague statement. Let's turn this around, convince me:

What do the last 10 years teach us. Put numbers to it and give uncertainties for your findings, along the lines _"using dataset XYZ temperature has changed by YYY °C/decade with an sigma of XXX °C/decade. The following tests show, that the results are statistically significant at the ZZZ-level"_

Surprise me.

check out a plot of temperature vs time from 1989 to 2009. It is 30 years in length, so it represents âclimateâ

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1989/mean:12/plot/wti/from:19…

very strong trend of +0.18°C per decade. if you want to accept 20 years..

and I am arguing that to IGNORE the last 10 years of data is folly.

please learn how to calculate a trendline. a long term trend does NOT ignore the last 10 years. the data of those years is still there and is factored into a 20 a 30 and a 128 years trend line.

and yet another time: the last 10 years show a UPWARD TREND!

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1999/mean:1/plot/wti/from:199…

all your claims about the Bali letter are false. apart from being complete rubbish (nothing that contains the "no net warming since 1998" claim can be taken seriously), the Bali letter does not admit a significant effect of humans:

That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.

why don t you concentrate your misrepresentations on the works by Plimer?

Grieg, the cost of petroleum and natural ags are not a significant component of the cost of electricity generated that way? Tell us some more stories. Also btw, raw kWh costs are not a remotely fair way to evaluate PV which produces energy at the source of consumption and during peak hours (although solar thermal, whose technology is very much proven, is a more interesting avenue for changing the power mix).

Meanwhile the unpriced pollution externalities of coal are greater than simply its carbon emissions and the negative externatities of fossil fuel consumption more broadly far greater than those pertaining to environmental damage and human health. I'll see you funding for international terrorism and raise you an intransigent trade deficit and its destabalizing effects, e.g. one very large financial crisis you may have read about.

Truly the problem is far more managable than the obstructionists would have you believe, which is unsurprising coming as it does out of the same bought and paid for pie holes that feature slow-coach talking points like 'the world is cooling' and 'climate changes' and 'its the sun'. As with all crises, the warming planet does present us with opportunities. Were that our civilization was fraction as intrepid as it once was.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

Greig,

The design lifetime of a conventional coal-fired power plant is about 25 years. Any plant's lifetime can theoretically be extended indefinitely. However, the exponentially increasing maintenance costs mean that the economic lifetime of a plant is about 35years. After that the costs of postponing replacement quickly begin to undermine the lure of short term profitability. Sometimes plants are stretched to operate for 50 years plus, usually with squalid economic results.

Deep hot rock geothermal is highly renewable. The earth's core and mantle are a giant nuclear furnace that should, in theory, keep heating the earth's deep crustal zone long after the sun has expanded into a red giant in a billion years or so. Recovery time is a nominal reduction in nameplate utilization rate, it isn't the end of the show. POC was done in the seventies and has been replicated multiple times. Scalability is a matter of investment capital and planning, not technology.

You are correct that renewables currently have a tiny share of a huge market, and you are right that in order to bring production to scale in the timely fashion at which we are aiming, that the large and longish term initial investment in research and development are beyond the capacities of private investment institutions to grapple with. That does suggest that public institutions will have to underwrite this initial investment through what you quaintly label subsidies. Suck it up.

But you are wrong in thinking that renewables aren't ready. A notion falsified by the fact that renewable market share, though small, has grown exponentially; bugs, bottlenecks, quirks and all.

Progress has never meant smooth sailing over untroubled seas, it is only rising to the challenge obstacles present that brings it about.

It would seem you would rather slink away from the challenges.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

[bluegrue]*And in most of the cases it's deniers who blur these lines.*

Do you have some evidence for that claim? I know that as a sceptic, it is my whole focus to identify the differene between climate change and "dangerous" climate change.

*I have shown you above, that **the IPCC scientific basis does not speak of "dangerous climate change"**.*

Exactly. The IPCC does not conclude on the issue of "dangerous" climate change, and yet policy in response to the IPCC conclusions ASSUMES that anthropogenic global warming will result in catastrophe. And that is why it is assumed (politcally) that CO2 emissions should be curbed at all costs.

The Bali open letter is trying to draw attention to the difference between the IPCC conclusions, and the political response (which is driven by media hype). It is also identifying that remediation is very, very costly, and should not be undertaken lightly.

[Majorajam] *Grieg[sic], the cost of petroleum and natural ags[sic] are not a significant component of the cost of electricity generated that way?*

Actually, fuel costs represent about 15-20% of the cost of electricity. The remainder is comprised of partly transmission, overheads but mainly ROI on the capital cost of the plant (approx 70%).

*âraw kWh costs are not a remotely fair way to evaluate PV which produces energy at the source of consumption and during peak hoursâ*

Completely wrong, and ironically drawing attention to a fundamental problem with solar PV. In fact, Solar PV systems only produce power during the day when the sun shines. In most circumstances this does not even remotely correlate to âpeak hoursâ, particularly for domestic use.

[luminous beauty] *Deep hot rock geothermal is highly renewable. The earth's core and mantle are a giant nuclear furnace.*

Complete nonsense. Geothermal hot rock has nothing to do with "the earth's core etc". It arises from the decay of natural radioactive elements in the crust. And the heat takes a very long time to develop. It is a finite resource, that once exploited, cannot be effectively re-used. Geothermal hot rock is, in terms of human timescales, a finite resource.

[luminous beauty] *Scalability is a matter of investment capital and planning, not technology."

Ridiculous. This is a technology that has not even proven to be economically feasible, let alone scalable.

[luminous beauty] *But you are wrong in thinking that renewables aren't ready.*

How the hell would you know! You don't even understand the technical basics of the technology you are discussing. Go back to school.

Renewables are on another planet in terms of economic viability. Public funding won't fix that, although I am sure it is more pallatable in your simple mind having taxpayers * pay for it

(* ie **you**, assuming you have a job).

*check out a plot of temperature vs time from 1989 to 2009. It is 30 years in length, so it represents âclimateâ
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1989/mean:12/plot/wti/from:19…
very strong trend of +0.18°C per decade. if you want to accept 20 years.*

Cool. But I wonder where the [underlying temperature data](http://hallofrecord.blogspot.com/2007/08/steve-mcintyre-explains-giss.h…) comes from.

*the Bali letter does not admit a significant effect of humans: That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.*

That does not exclude human influence. It refers to some of the theory emerging that identify natural forces that may contribute to observed temperature trends.

>Cool. But I wonder where the underlying temperature data comes from.

Can't defend your claim using the data you talked about? Just attack the data instead. Hello conspiracy. Next exit: slander.

Cool. But I wonder where the underlying temperature data comes from.

i use the Wood for Trees index for temperature, because it is the combination of the 4 available datasets.

but the situation doesn t change when you use Hadcrut3 alone:

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1989/mean:12/plot/had…

or the UAH satellite data alone:

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1989/mean:12/plot/uah/from:19…

or the RSS satellite data alone:

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1989/mean:12/plot/rss/from:19…

you were wrong again about the 10 years claim. you were wrong attacking the dataset. why not finally handle the facts? the 10 year trend in temperature is UP, not down.

Greig @46

Glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are normal events. It is the rate, frequency of these events, and the age of the melting ice that provide evidence of warming not seen since eons.

Nonsense. There is no evidence that these phenomenon are unprecedented.

Rapid changes, are not unprecedented, but when they occur in many systems at once it is evidence of similarity to the shifts in a climate that have not occurred in tens of thousands of years.
Rapid changes in a climate system occur at the boundaries of glaciation and interglaciatios. The difference now is that we are at the top an interglaciation and seeing changes (biological, ice loss) that are consistent with shifts into a warmer state.

[Greig] The resources required to rapidly replace fossil fuels will be huge.

[Mark] How huge Greig? About 1%? 5% of GDP? Compared to the probable costs of climate change which is many times more.

[Grieg]Selective economic forecasts based on the absurd assumption that (A) All nations including the developing world will engage equally in emissions reductions and carbon trading, and (B) a renewable energy nirvana is magically called into existence which will engage a massive workforce in "green" jobs.

Greig can you backup the claims you make in A & B? What is you evidence o f lack o jobs in âgreenâ energy?

The job losses in Australia of the ETS is expected to be at least 30,000. Can you assure them of alternative employment?

Let me guess you will you call any source[ that contradicts]( http://www.climateinstitute.org.au/images/MMAreport.pdf) your assumptions to be âSelective economic forecasts based on the absurd assumptionsâ. Now where does your 30,000 jobs figure come from?

[Greig 37] The resources required to rapidly replace fossil fuels will be huge. These are resources that might otherwise go toward reducing poverty and addressing overpopulation, and so extends the use of inefficient energy technologies, deforestation, uncontrolled exploitation of wild food stocks, archaic agricultural practices, etc. These all HARM the environment.

[Byrne43]That would be all those resources we have now and which we do not share appropriately to address poverty, population, exploitation and environmental harm.

[Greig 46]Share? The resources are for establisshing trade, technological transfer and education.

Greig, we have an excess of resources already, the impoverished and exploited nations are not receiving our technological transfer and education in a manner that overcomes the structural disadvantage.

You know how it is, youâve got to exploit them first so you can save them in the future, except the futures always in the future.

Leftist nonsense.
Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to sell fish and he eats steak.

Kill a mans fish; and youâve [got desperation](http://www.democracynow.org/2009/4/14/analysis_somalia_piracy_began_in_…)

Subsidies rich agribusiness and deny the [poor a livelihood]( http://www.globalpolicy.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&i…)

Oppress the most vulnerable and [create a place]( http://www1.american.edu/TED/oauwaste.htm ) to dump [your waste]( http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0921-09.htm)

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 27 May 2009 #permalink

How can you say such things, sod? Greig has linked to Steve McIntyre! He has called on the authority! GISTEMP is not reliable, the other indices show the same as GISTEMP so they are unreliable by proxy! Instant WIN!!1!

Greig, if you think GISTEMP is contaminated to the extent that the warming trend detected is unreliable, read up on JohnV.

> The Bali open letter is trying to draw attention to the difference between the IPCC conclusions, and the political response

No, the Bali letter attacks the WG1 science.

>[bluegrue]And in most of the cases it's deniers who blur these lines.
Do you have some evidence for that claim?

The Bali letter as a case in point and personal experience.

Greig writes:

"[Levinson]We're warming faster than we've ever known it to happen."

You are joking, right?

"Levenson." No, I'm not joking. There's no period in the historical record, or what we have of the prehistoric record for the last million years or so, when the world warmed this quickly.

Greig,

HRG thermal recovery times are ~1.5 - 3x the extraction time. At least 50% is recovered in a period equal to extraction when heat extraction is performed at maximal rates. You haven't a clue.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 27 May 2009 #permalink

Greig,

PV is currently economically viable for many consumers who can sell their unused energy to the grid. Costs are dropping dramatically.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 27 May 2009 #permalink

The money quote;

We are no longer talking about a payback period of years for a residential solar energy system. In cases such as this there is an immediate positive cash flow from the day the system is turned on. In simple terms, they were paying LESS on their loan than they would have been paying to their utility.

That is money in the pocket starting in the first month. And when those loan payments eventually end the savings are even greater.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 27 May 2009 #permalink

Greig:

> That does not exclude human influence. It refers to some of the theory emerging that identify natural forces that may contribute to observed temperature trends.

To repeat myself once more - the IPCC report states with > 90% confidence that the warming is human induced. Saying otherwise is contrary to the science in that report.

Well, I did ask for stories. Next time I'll know to be more careful.

Completely wrong, and ironically drawing attention to a fundamental problem with solar PV. In fact, Solar PV systems only produce power during the day when the sun shines. In most circumstances this does not even remotely correlate to âpeak hoursâ, particularly for domestic use.

Brilliant! Peak demand is actually during the dead of night when air conditioners are gunning full blast, businesses are busily sucking up wattage, etc. Meanwhile, electrons care whether their kinetic energy is consumed for 'domestic use' or otherwise. Wow- I was WAY off!

Greig, are you in the practice of just spouting blatant falsehood/ignorance as a way of substantiating that someone who actually knows what they're talking about is 'completely wrong'? For someone so sensitive to the spelling of his name, you'd think he'd take better care of what types of behaviors he associates with it.

Actually, fuel costs represent about 15-20% of the cost of electricity. The remainder is comprised of partly transmission, overheads but mainly ROI on the capital cost of the plant (approx 70%).

Thanks for the center of the distribution analysis. However, there are some caveats to that calculus. I've seen, for example, estimates that the price rise of natural gas in 2006-2008 increased fully depreciated power production costs by 20% some odd. That may be insignificant to you, but I can assure you it's not to utilities or rate payers. More importantly, that risk which has manifested itself twice now in 30 years is a large economic cost and must be factored, (e.g. these shocks can be the difference between profitability and bankruptcy for power intensive companies). In any case, getting back to the original statement, 15 to 20% does not qualify as insignificant.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 27 May 2009 #permalink

Greig writes:

On average, wind power is around 30% more expensive than coal, but that can be regarded as âcommercially viableâ if people are willing to pay more for their power if it is marketed as âgreenâ. That might work in the domestic electricity market, but not necessarily in the commercial space.

In California, wind power currently costs 9 cents per kilowatt, coal costs 10, and nuclear costs 15.

Also, and importantly, wind power is supplemental only (intermittent), and so can only be built out to around 20% capacity. The other 80% of power must come from somewhere, and currently that is mostly provided by fossil fuels.

Solar during the day--solar thermal plants store excess heat in molten salts to run the turbines at night, and some of them achieve nearly 24/7 operation that way. Wind at night. They compliment one another. And we need new "smart" grids covering wide areas, which averages out the power variations. If we build assiduously, and also add in biofuels, geothermal, wave, tidal, and ocean thermal power, we can probably run everthing (eventually) on renewables alone. But for sure we can achieve better than 60%.

Greig writes:

OK then, check out a plot of temperature vs time from 1989 to 2009. It is 30 years in length, so it represents âclimateâ What is the warming trend, and how does it change over that 30 year period?

That's a 20-year period, Greig.

An open mind to the current observations is a starting point for science, and I am arguing that to IGNORE the last 10 years of data is folly.

No one's ignoring it. It just doesn't tell you anything meaningful about the trend.

What an amazing hypothesis that minimizing our long-term impact on the environment might allow no reduction in business as usual CO2 emissions.

Greig:

It is only an amazing hypothesis to people who..
Just incredible. Greig is implying that it might be (with presumably some reasonable likelihood) that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is totally insignificant.

Fascinating, how do you deduce such an implication?

You're the one who said:

It is only an amazing hypothesis to people who..

So you seem to think the hypothesis above:

that minimizing our long-term impact on the environment might allow no reduction in business as usual CO2 emissions

is not amazing. This hypothesis means that it might be (with presumably some reasonable likelihood) that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is totally insignificant.

In fact, I make no such claim at all. You are fabricating.

No, you're just a bit slow.

What is the warming trend, and how does it change over that 30 year period?

30 years is long enough to accurately measure a stationary climate and I believe it's long enough to accurately measure the trend or average rate of change of climate over 30 years. However, I believe 30 years is not long enough to accurately measure the change in the trend but you'll have to check with a statistical expert. In this case you won't get any more information about the change in climate over 30 years than you will get from the output of a linear regression.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 27 May 2009 #permalink

bluegrue,

Can't say I've noticed you participating in the discussions at Climate Audit. There is a lot of serious, in depth and scientific debate there, as opposed to the froth and ad homs that dominate a site like this.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 27 May 2009 #permalink

[BPL] *Solar during the day--solar thermal plants store excess heat in molten salts to run the turbines at night, and some of them achieve nearly 24/7 operation that way. Wind at night. They compliment one another. And we need new "smart" grids covering wide areas, which averages out the power variations. If we build assiduously, and also add in biofuels, geothermal, wave, tidal, and ocean thermal power, we can probably run everthing (eventually) on renewables alone. But for sure we can achieve better than 60%.*

In order to make that work, the studies I have seen say you require also a huge redundant HVDC transmission grid, and 30% capacity of pumped hydro and/or idle stand-by gas/biomass turbines.

It is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. And so it won't happen. Instead we will build CCGT (gas) and nuclear plants at a fraction of the cost.

[BPL] *In California, wind power currently costs 9 cents per kilowatt, coal costs 10, and nuclear costs 15.*

You are confusing cost and price. Public money subsidies can make wind (and other renewables that are getting political/ideological favouritism) look cheaper than what it really is.

That's right, Dave Andrews, Climate Audit is a totally serious website dedicated to careful scientific evaluations which has never come close to the froth and ad homs you allude to in your poisoning the well logical fallacy.

So does bluegrue have to be a participant in the debate over at Climate Audit and WUWT to make a judgment about the quality of the arguments made against GISTEMP?

Dave Andrews:

Can't say I've noticed you participating in the discussions at Climate Audit. There is a lot of serious, in depth and scientific debate there,

Must be all the professional climate scientists. You know, the ones who never get an ad hom attack at Climate Fraudit.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 27 May 2009 #permalink

It is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. And so it won't happen.

So it has been said about every public works project ever proposed. Still, they get built and many are still providing services essential to civilized life.

Don't forget those subsidies come in the form of tax credits, especially for regional and local utilities, entrepreneurs and consumers instead of MegaCorp, Inc. and her MegaBank, LLC investor/owners.

Lower taxes, Greig, lower taxes!

Please, tell me you're not against lower taxes?

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 27 May 2009 #permalink

>[Dave Andrews] Can't say I've noticed you participating in the discussions at Climate Audit. There is a lot of serious, in depth and scientific debate there, as opposed to the froth and ad homs that dominate a site like this.

I've had a look a long time ago and noted a very low signal to noise ratio in the discussions, I've seen way worse ad homs over there, and I think McIntyre is playing to this audience. At times it can be useful to search for information on CA, but usually that information is shared in a very diluted form by McIntyre and needs to be considered with due care, IMHO. Some examples.

He lets John Goetz publish [Rewriting History, Time and Time Again](http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2964) on his blog, where Goetz goes on and on how many changes have been done to old values of GISTEMP and that one change in 2006 was by 0.27°. However, he does not even attempt to see how large the impact on GISTEMP is, instead he concludes by mocking _"In the meantime, will the real historical record please stand up?"_ Steve seems to be content with giving publicity to _"Look, all the changes!!!"_ style reporting, the comments are accordingly.

When JohnV posted results of his opentemp program in the comments section, showing that these tentatively (due to sparseness) vindicated Hansen's GISTEMP for the lower USA 48 using rural CRN-1 and CRN-2 stations, interest was low and quickly died away. I'm not aware of any dedicated article on CA.

Finally, the bit I was pointed to on this board in connection with the Plimer figure 3. [McIntyre defended Durkin's "120-years" temperature plot against the complaint by Risk Management Solutions Ltd.](http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1519), because the ___revised "110-years"___ plot (actually 104 years), the one that had been changed because of the complaints, did not show the alleged data manipulation. He ignores the original version of the plot, which the complaint was all about. I've lost the link, but in another post McIntyre waves off the data stretching as a simple error by a technician, so it's not like he's unaware of the original.

There's more, but that's reason enough for me to usually give CA a wide berth. At times I may have a look, but will always be very wary about anything I read there.

I used to read and post at CA quite a lot. I left for two basic reasons - well, three.

1. McIntyre has a nasty habit of re-writing his posts after responses have been made, but not documenting the changes - so that the responses make the responder look like an idiot in the context of the altered post. It is a fundamentally dishonest way of discrediting his opponents. He did this to me on my first several posts there, and several times more over the next year, and I saw him do it to several others as well.

2. McIntyre edited a post I made by truncating it in a way that fundamentally reversed my point, and when I responded and pointed that out, declared the issue off topic and refused to allow more posts. Again, fundamentally dishonest.

and 3 - the SNR over there has gotten so irretrievably low that it became impossible to learn anything. McIntyre refuses to gather his arguments into any kind of form that allows one to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of them, much less put that into a paper that one can respond to.

I'll add 4: his standards have gotten abysmally low. He gives Anthony Watts top-post privileges, for gods sake.

Dave Andrews.

Teh funny.

I for one value bluegrue's contributions here - they help to provied serious signal against the noise of those who too frequently flock over from CA, the Marohassy bog, and other sundry sites where science and any understanding thereof are conspicuous by their absences.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 27 May 2009 #permalink

Lee @116,

Your experience provides valuable information. Have you considered adding it to a source watch wiki. I'd never have know this practice.

I think Bluegure linked to a similar/but different episode at JoNova.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 27 May 2009 #permalink

*So it has been said about every public works project ever proposed. Still, they get built and many are still providing services essential to civilized life.*

However in this case, CCTG and nuclear plants will be built, because they provide the same product at a fraction of the price.

*Brilliant! Peak demand is actually during the dead of night when air conditioners are gunning full blast, businesses are busily sucking up wattage, etc. Meanwhile, electrons care whether their kinetic energy is consumed for 'domestic use' or otherwise. Wow- I was WAY off!*

Of course, solar power is **ALWAYS** available to satisfy peak load. Not.

So where do those uncaring electrons come from when the sun is not shining? How much does this alternative standby source cost?

*In any case, getting back to the original statement, 15 to 20% does not qualify as insignificant.*

The point I was making is that fuel cost is insignificant compared to the capital cost of **renewable** plants. And therefore the claim (that zero fuel costs in renewable plants necessarily means that renewables are cheaper) is false.

And as you say, the average householders care about an increase in the price of electricity. That's my point. Why will they pay even more for renewables? Answer: they won't.

[Dave] *To repeat myself once more - the IPCC report states with > 90% confidence that the warming is human induced. Saying otherwise is contrary to the science in that report.*

No, Dave the IPCC **SAY** they are 90% confident that >50% of warming is due to humans.

The Bali Open Letter refers to the natural component of the warming, and makes the argument that it comprises a significant part of the warming.

And how do the IPCC arrive at that 90% confidence factor?

Greig writes:

Why will they pay even more for renewables? Answer: they won't.

Dead wrong. Everywhere "Green power" has been offered as an alternative to electricity consumers, the latter have overwhelmingly chosen it, even knowing beforehand that it would cost more. You underestimate the altruism of the American people.

Greig, you are still wrong on everything. why didn t you at least admit your "last ten years" blunder? (see #97)

And as you say, the average householders care about an increase in the price of electricity. That's my point. Why will they pay even more for renewables? Answer: they won't.

actually a lot of people are willing to pay more.

You are confusing cost and price. Public money subsidies can make wind (and other renewables that are getting political/ideological favouritism) look cheaper than what it really is.

in contrast to fossil energy, that never got any subsidies at all. or nuclear..

apart from that: external costs can make things look cheaper, than what they really are!!!

The Bali Open Letter refers to the natural component of the warming, and makes the argument that it comprises a significant part of the warming.

all your claims about the Bali letter are FALSE. i wonder, whether you even read it.

could you please in the future CITE the parts of the letter, that you think support the claims that you make about it?

And as you say, the average householders care about an increase in the price of electricity. That's my point. Why will they pay even more for renewables? Answer: they won't

Again,

We are no longer talking about a payback period of years for a residential solar energy system. In cases such as this there is an immediate positive cash flow from the day the system is turned on. In simple terms, they were paying LESS on their loan than they would have been paying to their utility. That is money in the pocket starting in the first month. And when those loan payments eventually end the savings are even greater.

Why do the savings become greater? Answer: initial investment paid off, no fuel costs, very little maintenance, long operating life.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 28 May 2009 #permalink

Of course, solar power is ALWAYS available to satisfy peak load. Not.

So where do those uncaring electrons come from when the sun is not shining? How much does this alternative standby source cost?

Superbly executed segue there Greig. But... but... but, the sun isn't always shining! I think you'll find it's pretty hard not to notice that your manure spreader jackknifed upthread. Daytime hours are 'not remotely correlated' with peak energy demand. Wow. I'm putting that on my board in a place of honor alongside a JPMorgan research note circa late 2007 alerting me to the 'value' to be found in collateralized loans and mortgages.

Getting to your unsuccessful squid ink, you should know as well that solar is not a proposed solution where sunshine isn't largely predictable. You should know further that the cost of intermittency is significantly mitigated by any number of factors, including source diversity, smart grids, pump storage, etc. The cost of such things as the latter is rapidly coming down but should certainly be factored, as should the hidden costs of fossil fuel plants that I have highlighted, e.g. volatility in the price of inputs, the significantly lesser average value of power produced versus solar, (and peak electricity can be orders of magnitude more expensive than off peak), the myriad and massive negative externalities of fossil fuel consumption of which carbon is only the most dire, etc. That you aren't even aware of these issues underscores just how little you know of what you don't know about the economic viability of renewables. Little wonder then that you're so fond of telling us the score on that issue. Word to the wise Greig- tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open your pie hole and remove all doubt.

The point I was making is that fuel cost is insignificant compared to the capital cost of renewable plants. And therefore the claim (that zero fuel costs in renewable plants necessarily means that renewables are cheaper) is false

No one made any such claim. You were making the point that fuel costs were not a significant factor in the equation and you were quite wrong. A position it seems you are rather accustomed to.

And as you say, the average householders care about an increase in the price of electricity. That's my point. Why will they pay even more for renewables? Answer: they won't.

What a load of garbage. If the average household had not been fed a diet of deceitful misinformation by you lot for so long, (see for example Tim's new thread), they'd be absolutely thrilled to hear that the a marginally higher electricity bill was all they have to worry about. More to the point, the extent to which that bill will be higher relates largely to the transition costs that have been badly exacerbated by your side's obstructionism. So spare us your terrible concern for the pocket books of the unwashed masses- like so much else that goes above your byline, it doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 28 May 2009 #permalink

*[Greig] Why will they pay even more for renewables? Answer: they won't.*

*[Barton Paul Levenson] Dead wrong. Everywhere "Green power" has been offered as an alternative to electricity consumers, **the latter have overwhelmingly chosen it**, even knowing beforehand that it would cost more. You underestimate the altruism of the American people.*

Rubbish.

Greenpower [in Australia] has an extremely low uptake.

Surveys have shown that a large number of people **say** they are willing to pay 10% more, but very few say they are willing to pay 30% more (the actual cost of wind power). And the percentage of consumers that ACTUALLY pay more is approx one in ten households.

Green power, when it is offered, is not offered for the actual price that renewable power really costs. The price is set to maximise the uptake and revenue return, it is not set in line with actual cost. The cost of adding renewable energy to supply via the MRET is borne by taxpayers and by consumers who do not tick the box for green energy, which is why everyone is now seeing a big hike in electricity prices.

[Majorjam] *Daytime hours are 'not remotely correlated' with peak energy demand. Wow. I'm putting that on my board in a place of honor alongside a JPMorgan research note circa late 2007 alerting me to the 'value' to be found in collateralized loans and mortgages.*

Top marks for being a smartarse, but you are completely and embarrassingly wrong, and I stand by what I have said. Typically peak load from commerce and industry occurs early in the day, before the sun is high, and before solar systems are delivering maximum load (assuming the sun is shining). There is also a second smaller peak in winter in the early evening around sunset from domestic consumption.

*Getting to your unsuccessful squid ink, you should know as well that solar is not a proposed solution where sunshine isn't largely predictable.*

Really, I thought solar PV was usually installed on people's urban rooftops. We are talking about solar PV, remember. If you want to change the subject to large-scale solar thermal, then we could mention the high cost of building new transmission systems, etc.

*You should know further that the cost of intermittency is significantly mitigated by any number of factors, including source diversity, smart grids, pump storage, etc*

Straight form the idiots guide to renewable energy rhetoric. *Source diversity* only half works over very large areas, with massive expenditure on transmission systems. It doesn't work in Australia because of our population spread. Pumped storage is expensive and inefficient, and is rarely implemented anywhere. And it doesn't work in Australia because we have only a small hydro resource. And do you even know what "smart grid" means?

*No one made any such claim*

What is your problem, you can't read?

[luminous beauty] #81 *I'm not convinced the investment costs of mitigation are going to have significantly higher infrastructure costs than will of necessity be incurred in any case; nor, when those costs are recovered that net consumer savings won't accrue due to **lower maintenance and zero fuel costs**.*

*they'd be absolutely thrilled to hear that the a marginally higher electricity bill was all they have to worry about.*

And your evidence for this is...? In my opinion a very large part of the community is particularly worried about the recent hikes in electricicity costs, and that is only a start.

*More to the point, the extent to which that bill will be higher relates largely to the transition costs that have been badly exacerbated by your side's obstructionism*

Care to provide some evidence to back up this ridiculous assertion? Next you'll be telling us its all John Howard's fault.

115 bluegrue, 116 Lee,

I thought that McIntyre was a genuine sceptic until the [McIntyre Defends Durkin](http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1519) thread. His attack on Ward et al was such an obvious strawman and yet he wouldn't admit it. He changed the subject instead.

Of course, anyone who defends TGGWS has already outed himself anyway.

As for "ad homs", just look for the mindless insults thrown by McIntyre's peanut gallery at anyone who dares find fault in St Stephen.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 28 May 2009 #permalink

I the American west (I live in California) peak loads are summer afternoons. When Californai was enduring our financial raping at the hands of the power companies, abetted by the Bush administration - every major alert and brownout was in the summer afternoon. During more normal period, when there isn't such a major price incentive for the generating companies to turn off chunks of thier production at peak loads - alerts and brownouts are still in the summer afternoon.

In the summer afternoon in the California and the American west, the sun shines. That is not hyperbole - it does not rain here between may and october. I don't mean it only rains a little - I mean it does not rain.

The sun CAUSES the peak loads, by requiring air conditioning.

If we had the capital for installation, we would have a system on our roof now. It own our highest priority improvement to our house, as soon as we can afford or get a loan for installation - because the number are really clear that even where we are, in a marine-influenced and relatively cool part of California, with relatively little air conditioning load ourselves - that it will save us money from the start. AND it will contribute to peaking power generation in the summer afternoon, right when California most needs it.

If the numbers work for us - and they do - then they worlk for a lot of houses, and it is borderline criminal that there is not wholesale installation (with incentives if necessary) of these systems throughout the very, very large area of the arid air conditioning belt.

I think so, but for some reason my memory is pretty hazy about that. If I'm wrong, sorry to the other Paul H out there.

Reading back over that post I can see some things which appear to have changed i.e. the bracketed section. Can anyone with a better memory remember if there were any other changes made? I only ask in light of Lee's observations above. I was unaware that McIntyre has a habit of stealth editing. I notice now thanks to commenters that McIntyre conveniently chose to defend the amended graphic even though the Ward criticism was directed at the original fraudulent version.

I got interested in the Swindle after it was broadcast and wrote a letter to Ofcom detailing the errors with the help of a few other authors. Someone at the university posted the letter on the chemistry department's website for outreach purposes and then it got posted in a blog discussion and eventually found it's way onto CA here (link now broken) where Steve McIntyre criticises some of my comments regarding the fraudulent swindle graphic and explains what he would have done if he'd directed the Swindle. And as Truesceptic just pointed out this then evolved a step further into this where the divergence problem and its treatment in IPCC graphics is likened to the snipping, stretching and dubious sourcing in the swindle graph. True, the Briffa plot is cut off in the IPCC graph, but the IPCC report discusses the divergence problem very plainly. Divergence is also discussed in the primary literature in clear fashion as far back as 1999 so it's hardly a secret or a mystery, so I'm not sure why these two issues are equivalent.

I see that Truesceptic also commented there too. Is that the same Truesceptic from the C4 science forum on which I used to comment too?

132 Paul H,

Yes, it was me. I think that I was the only one to actually use the word "strawman", although you (if it *was* you) and 'ks' (post 76 on) did most of the hard work.

Yes, I joined the C4 Science Forum as a direct result of watching the original TGGWS. After a while I got fed up with trying to keep to the moderators' unintelligible rules, and I also realised the futility of trying to reason with some of the delusional posters there. I was impressed by the tireless patience and good nature of 'Steve M' (he posts elsewhere as 'Steve Milesworthy') though. I'm sorry that I don't remember you :-(

It seems that that forum has been closed down.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 28 May 2009 #permalink

132 Paul H,

I should've said: use your browser's find function to quickly find all of Paul H's (or anyone's) posts. There is some discussion between McIntyre, Paul H and ks about changes McIntyre made to the OP.

I've heard from numerous sources that McIntyre is not as open and honest as he likes to claim. Sadly, the only way to see what he does is to frequently archive the web pages.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 28 May 2009 #permalink

Truesceptic,

Apologies, I used to post under 'podbod' over at C4. Agreed, Steve M (of C4 foums fame) was a very clear and very patient poster.

Greig,

I can see that you favour energy production from nuclear, gas and hydro (correct me if I'm wrong here), so if you had total control what proportion would you assign to each energy source in the future, say in 2030, in Australia (assuming your Australian) split between those 3?

And, same question for the UK and the US.

Solar PV- you know the stuff they install on 'people's urban roofs'. Wow Greig, you're really knowledgeable about this stuff. Did you see a news segment in 1975 or something? Would you believe that nowadays they actually have multi-MW installations, both on and off of roofs, the preponderance of which support commercial operations or are owned by utilities? I know, I know, the world went and got itself into a big hurry!

Burrowing further into that hole he found himself in holding a shovel, Greig asserts without substantiation (or even a good story) that peak demand is typically morning and, throwing some complexity into his less than wily ruse, winter evenings. ZZZZttt! Really, it's quaint that you should be inclined to double down on your brazen ignorance, but peak demand is most typically mid to late afternoon hours, (certainly in the US this is the case), although clearly circumstances can vary. In any case, this period I said before you decided to confirm our suspicions about you, corresponds very well with peak PV output. I'll make some more room on the board.

Also genius, solar systems do not necessarily 'deliver maximum load' when the sun is high. The output of a PV cell depends on a whole host of factors, e.g. a given locations albedo and diffuse radiation, but most importantly their general orientation and angle of installation (for fixed systems). For example, a west oriented system will deliver fewer raw kWh per annum than a south facing system, (in the northern hemisphere), all else equal, its output during peak demand hours, i.e. late afternoon, will be significantly greater, which depending on circumstances can be more than enough to justify making it west facing. Really though, keep pushing this point. The entire solar industry is trying to go to a levelized cost of energy metric, but what do they know? They've only got skin in the game. Moreover if you stacked them all one on top of the other, they probably still wouldn't hold a candle to your abundant capacity to make shit up.

Source diversity only half works over very large areas, with massive expenditure on transmission systems.

I will concede that the economics may not favor renewables in the singular case of a town out in the middle of nowhere big enough to require a hundred some odd megawatts of peak energy capacity but not more, if you will pry your mind open with a crowbar for long enough to recognize that this scenario is highly unrepresentative of the global landscape. If I told you coal fired plants don't work well on Machu Picchu due to the logistical issues of getting box cars up there, would you find that point compelling in the context of this discussion?

Pumped storage is expensive and inefficient, and is rarely implemented anywhere.

How many unsubstantiated assertions can one person make? Pump storage makes sense in some circumstances, in others no. It is getting dramatically cheaper as are all kinds of battery storage, which may ultimately expand their use.

Of course none of the foregoing, however superlative, is quite as choice as the fact that Greig not only thinks that this:

[luminous beauty] #81 I'm not convinced the investment costs of mitigation are going to have significantly higher infrastructure costs than will of necessity be incurred in any case; nor, when those costs are recovered that net consumer savings won't accrue due to lower maintenance and zero fuel costs.

means the same thing as this:

[Grieg] "zero fuel costs in renewable plants necessarily means that renewables are cheaper".

he also thinks that people that don't agree can't read. Greig suffers from dumb in the head.

And your evidence for this is...?

You want proof that people would care about the monetary costs of center of the distribution warming or material risks to the sustainability of human civilization? Is it your position that people are only sensitive to the cost of electricity? If so, I believe I am the one owed evidence.

In my opinion a very large part of the community is particularly worried about the recent hikes in electricity costs, and that is only a start.

Right, the recent hikes that precipitated from the spike in fossil fuel costs. The same ones you claimed are insignificant. Way to reap the whirlwind.

Care to provide some evidence to back up this ridiculous assertion?

The existence and overwhelming import of transition costs are a ridiculous assertion? Is that why you wrote, "And if CO2 emissions reduction policy mandated only the replacement of end-of-life plants, you would have no argument from me. But current policy is looking at 2020 targets." on this very thread? Really Greig, if you're going to be an ignorant blowhard, you might as well be a consistent one.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 28 May 2009 #permalink

Operating commercial solar storage.

Reality (1): Greig (-1)

Research makes strides.

Greig trips over his own feet. Forfeits race.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 28 May 2009 #permalink

Majorajam,

David Mackay, Professor of Physics, Cambridge University, has done an in depth economic study of renewables for the UK. His conclusions are not that good for your arguments.

http://www.withouthotair.com/

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 28 May 2009 #permalink

Dave Andrews:

"David Mackay, Professor of Physics, Cambridge University, has done an in depth economic study of renewables.."

Why do I have a bad feeling about this?

Is this some sort of exchange program. Is there a matching study by an economist of some key aspect of phsyics?

Here's a quote from that website Dave: "This isnât a book about economics, but here are a few figures." (in the endnotes of the section on solar). How exactly does that get advertised as an "in depth economic study"? In fact, true to the author's words, I could find nothing of economics in it, though granted that is only based on cursory examination.

There are cost estimates in various energy scenarios there, but they are based on individual cherry picked projects taken out of context and projected into the future. Assuming that individual projects can be replicated across vastly differing circumstances whilst not allowing for technological development does not a compelling case make. Perhaps this is how he got to a figure of £80bn to make the UK 20% renewable by 2020 when the leaked government's report was £22?

I found an examination of the theoretical potential of PV that assumes 10% efficiency which he bases on pretty much flimsy hand-waving, (something like the lower efficiency panels will get cheaper sooner by assertion, the theoretical upper limits on efficiency are low, etc. which itself is based on old technologies and papers, etc.). There's sweet nothing about conservation or demand management more broadly at all. In an 'energy plan' no less. Unless I'm wrong about that, that's a red flag and no small confirmation of the fact that this is no exercise in economic analysis.

In addition to all that, just fyi, it would be difficult to make solar look any worse than evaluating its appeal in the UK. Here it might be worth pointing out that the great majority of the world's population and economic activity resides/takes place at lower latitudes with substantially lesser radiological insolation than the UK. I suggest you follow luminous beauty's first link in 137 for more detail on the importance of that distinction.

One last thing, if you'll permit a minor detail: which argument of mine does MacKay's book contradict and how?

By Majorajam (not verified) on 28 May 2009 #permalink

Greig, I commend your current focus on the available solutions to address the strong risks of climate change.

What mechanism would you support to shift from our current CO2 energy to low CO2 energy?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 28 May 2009 #permalink

In the summer afternoon in the California and the American west, the sun shines. That is not hyperbole - it does not rain here between may and october. I don't mean it only rains a little - I mean it does not rain.

Hmmm ... I live in Portland, Oregon ... did I sleep through the revolution where we seceded from the United States, or sumthin'? :)

(you're right about *much* of the American west ... but not all of it!)

136 Paul H,

When I mentioned Steve M, I intended to mention 2 other excellent contributors in particular. One was 'CobblyWorlds' (I always wondered where that name came from) but I couldn't remember the other.

You've reminded me: the 2nd one was **podbod**!

BTW do you know when the C4 forum closed down and why?

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 29 May 2009 #permalink

*Also genius, solar systems do not necessarily 'deliver maximum load' when the sun is high. The output of a PV cell depends on a whole host of factors, e.g. a given locations albedo and diffuse radiation, but most importantly their general orientation and angle of installation (for fixed systems).*

The factors you describe are minor. When the panel is oriented correctly, the maximum delivery is when the sun is high. Obviously. (Sheesh) And if you orient toward the west, you may get optimum power for a peak for summer, but will reduce the kWh delivered for other times.
So, when solar power cannot provide the electricity, where does it come from? How much does it cost to build idle standby systems?

*Source diversity only half works over very large areas, with massive expenditure on transmission systems. I will concede that the economics may not favor renewables in the singular case of a town out in the middle of nowhere big enough to require a hundred some odd megawatts of peak energy capacity but not more, if you will pry your mind open with a crowbar for long enough to recognize that this scenario is highly unrepresentative of the global landscape.*

The situation you describe is actually the best scenario for solar power when used in conjunction with idle standby diesel generators (or similar conventional system fuelled by a restricted resource). The vast bulk of solar installations in India and China are installed based on this profile.

*If I told you coal fired plants don't work well on Machu Picchu due to the logistical issues of getting box cars up there, would you find that point compelling in the context of this discussion?*

Of course! There are many niche applications for solar energy, I never suggested otherwise.

*Pump storage makes sense in some circumstances, in others no. It is getting dramatically cheaper*

No, it isnât. Pumped storage is actually increasing in price.

*as are all kinds of battery storage, which may ultimately expand their use.*

Batteries continue to be very expensive, and are not reducing in price fast. They are also questionable from an environmental viewpoint.

[Greig]*In my opinion a very large part of the community is particularly worried about the recent hikes in electricity costs, and that is only a start.*
[Majorajam]*Right, the recent hikes that precipitated from the spike in fossil fuel costs.*

No, the recent hikes caused by an increase in use of renewable energy, and its requirement for additional transmission systems.

*The existence and overwhelming import of transition costs are a ridiculous assertion?*

No, the ridiculous assertion that the transition costs are caused by *.**my sideâs obstructionism**.* The transition costs are caused by a panic, knee-jerk response, a failure to properly analyse and implement the best available technology, and idealism in the general community which arises from gross misinformation being promoted by *.**your side**,* and which is evident in this thread.

[Mark Byrne] *Greig, I commend your current focus on the available solutions to address the strong risks of climate change. What mechanism would you support to shift from our current CO2 energy to low CO2 energy?*

[Paul H] *I can see that you favour energy production from nuclear, gas and hydro (correct me if I'm wrong here), so if you had total control what proportion would you assign to each energy source in the future, say in 2030, in Australia (assuming your Australian) split between those 3?*

Paul, based on current technological development and economic factors, gas (primarily) and nuclear will be the main technologies taking over from coal and oil. Hydro will still provide a lot of power. Other sources, eg geothermal and wind will make a smaller contribution.

In the longer term, gas will become scarce and more costly, and nuclear will transition from conventional fission to IFR (fast breeders). I believe that IFRs will grow to 50-60% of global energy contribution by 2100.

David Mackay's study agrees with this. Contrary to previous discussion, McKay's is not an economic study, it is a technical study,. And it concludes that nuclear will play a very large role in future energy generation in the UK.

The contribution from reneweables will grow, but I do not envisage renewables to ever contribute more than 20% of the energy mix, even in the long term.

[Mark Byrne] *Greig, I commend your current focus on the available solutions to address the strong risks of climate change. What mechanism would you support to shift from our current CO2 energy to low CO2 energy?*

[Paul H] *I can see that you favour energy production from nuclear, gas and hydro (correct me if I'm wrong here), so if you had total control what proportion would you assign to each energy source in the future, say in 2030, in Australia (assuming your Australian) split between those 3?*

Paul, based on current technological development and economic factors, gas (primarily) and nuclear will be the main technologies taking over from coal and oil. Hydro will still provide a lot of power. Other sources, eg geothermal and wind will make a smaller contribution.

In the longer term, gas will become scarce and more costly, and nuclear will transition from conventional fission to IFR (fast breeders). I believe that IFRs will grow to 50-60% of global energy contribution by 2100.

David Mackay's study agrees with this. Contrary to previous discussion, McKay's is not an economic study, it is a technical study,. And it concludes that nuclear will play a very large role in future energy generation in the UK.

The contribution from reneweables will grow, but I do not envisage renewables to ever contribute more than 20% of the energy mix, even in the long term.

[Majorajam] *you believe that nowadays they actually have multi-MW installations*

Golly, really. Whole Megawatts? Gee, that sounds like lots and lots of power. But of course, it isnât.

*Greig asserts without substantiation (or even a good story) that peak demand is typically morning and, throwing some complexity into his less than wily ruse, winter evenings. ZZZZttt! Really, it's quaint that you should be inclined to double down on your brazen ignorance, but peak demand is most typically mid to late afternoon hours*

ZZZt! See [here](http://staging.powersmartpricing.org/media/update200709.pdf) . The peak load in the afternoon occurs in the summer. The situation I described occurs in winter. Ie *In the winter, there are two times of the day when prices can increase. Typically, there will be a small price spike in the morning and another in the evening.* The reason I raised the winter profile is that is when solar power is least able to satisfy peak load, because the sun is lower in the sky.

If you are installing solar panels purely to provide power for summer peak loads, then you are implementing solar for payback only for a few months of the year. The rest of the year they are not required, and provide low value power. How does that work economically? It is far cheaper (1/5th the price) to use hydro and gas turbines than using solar power for peak summer loads.

Greig writes:

So, when solar power cannot provide the electricity, where does it come from?

Solar thermal plants store excess heat in molten salts to run the turbines at night or in bad weather, providing nearly 24/7 service in many cases. In others, let's use wind power, geothermal, and biomass, with new smart grids.

How much does it cost to build idle standby systems?

At the new AndaSol solar thermal plant in Spain, pumped water storage apparently cost 5% of the total.

Pumped storage is actually increasing in price.

It could triple in price and still be economic to use.

Greig writes:

I do not envisage renewables to ever contribute more than 20% of the energy mix, even in the long term.

Yes, but it's been pretty well established for a while now that you have no idea what you're talking about, on pretty much any subject.

[luminous beauty] *Operating commercial solar storage.*

The Andersol plant generates electricity at over 3 times the price of French nuclear power. **3 times**. It is only available on the European market because of massive subsidies from the Spanish government. Andersol is small commercial sized plant, but **NOT** a commercial plant in the economic sense.

*Research makes strides.*

Platinum and cobalt electrodes. Cheap? Relative to what?. Rather than storing the energy, it is still much cheaper to just use base-load grid nuclear electricity when the sun isn't shining.

And the PV panels are expensive too. Cost effective supplementary systems are a very VERY long way off, and competitive solar+storage is a foolish dream.

*Greig trips over his own feet. Forfeits race.*

It astounds me that number of people who are so blinded by their willingness to believe in solar energy, that they refuse to look at its obvious limitations.

Golly, really. Whole Megawatts? Gee, that sounds like lots and lots of power. But of course, it isnât.

Well, it's more than gets installed on 'people's urban roofs', you know, that PV stuff. You have no shame Greig.

ZZZt! See here . The peak load in the afternoon occurs in the summer. The situation I described occurs in winter. Ie In the winter, there are two times of the day when prices can increase. Typically, there will be a small price spike in the morning and another in the evening. The reason I raised the winter profile is that is when solar power is least able to satisfy peak load, because the sun is lower in the sky.

First off, what you've italicized is not what you said, so you're changing your story to fit some google and don't think I didn't notice. You claimed that 'peak load from commerce and industry occurs early in the day', and then claimed a 'second smaller peak' during winter evenings from 'domestic use'. Now you are trying to rewrite a thread in spite of the fact that my browser features a scroll bar. I don't know what gives there, but that's pretty brazen.

Secondly, peak demand periods can differ across circumstances, (locales, seasons, degree to which electricity is used for heat and hot water, etc.), as I have pointed out above. If you had to generalize though, you would probably go with mid and late afternoon, for reasons I will explain. More importantly, under no circumstances in any conceivable scenario does peak demand 'correlate' with the dead of night, which is when fossil fuel plants are busily amortizing away their fixed capital costs, which you have taken great pains to tell us are the only ones that matter. So when you made the original laughable comment that solar output is 'not remotely correlated' with peak demand in sad riposte to my comment, it was quote worthy. Fyi, none of the squid ink you have squirted since has nor will obfuscate that, so you might consider ending the effort.

If you are installing solar panels purely to provide power for summer peak loads, then you are implementing solar for payback only for a few months of the year. The rest of the year they are not required, and provide low value power. How does that work economically? It is far cheaper (1/5th the price) to use hydro and gas turbines than using solar power for peak summer loads.

Really? Take a look at the PDF you linked genius. Which peak is higher, the one in summer or in winter? Is it close? Now, say you built all the CCGT plants you need to meet summer peaks. Then you have them all year long- yay! Except you don't need them in the winter because summer peaks are substantially higher. So... they idle, or dump power on the grid at rock bottom prices. What is you asked me, in your other response... "How much does it cost to build idle standby systems?" Your answer?

This is why summer peak loads are more important than those in winter, and why when forced to generalize, you would probably go there. It is not the case for all regions however, with the UK a distinct outlier, (where much electricity is used for heat and hot water, air conditioning is not needed for summer, winters are cold, etc.), but as I said in another context, solar makes the most sense where sunshine is predictable, both by its performance and by happy marriage with the problems it is thus able to address (i.e. high peak loads during warm whether in warm climates). On that basis, solar pv but especially solar thermal will be a highly important component of future global energy needs irrespective of its viability in cloudy locales at high latitudes. See luminous beauty's link to a recent Spanish project for more details.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

The merits of preview, graphically illustrated.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

The factors you describe are minor. When the panel is oriented correctly, the maximum delivery is when the sun is high. Obviously. (Sheesh) And if you orient toward the west, you may get optimum power for a peak for summer, but will reduce the kWh delivered for other times. So, when solar power cannot provide the electricity, where does it come from? How much does it cost to build idle standby systems?

It's really that obvious, huh? How could I miss it then? I know what it is, I've actually been involved in solar deals before and spoken to the physicists at the consultancy responsible for designing the project, (who all came from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory so qualify as some of the best in the world). Then again I can also read and comprehend. Actually, orienting a system west can move peak production by a few hours, which can be critical. In California, this can result in as little gross loss as 2% per annum.

The situation you describe is actually the best scenario for solar power when used in conjunction with idle standby diesel generators (or similar conventional system fuelled by a restricted resource). The vast bulk of solar installations in India and China are installed based on this profile.

No, the situation I describe is the one you alluded to in a prior post that I said is not representative of the global challenge. That situation has very little to do with India and China, both of which are (lest it need to be pointed out) rather densely populous. Generally speaking, attacking this problem using complimentary renewable, alternative and traditional power sources is a viable solution for a great number of circumstances, and more so when population centers are very large or otherwise not greatly isolated from other population centers. This will be even more true as technology and modernization, (e.g. smart grid technology), proceed apace.

No, it isnât. Pumped storage is actually increasing in price.

All I can tell you is that in the small experience I have of it, i.e. Hawaii, that is not the case. You haven't done anything in this area other than make unsubstantiated assertions, and I'm going to assume you haven't a clue here as elsewhere until you show otherwise. Btw, by battery storage, I was referring to the general case of power storage, inclusive of chemical batteries, pump storage, etc. etc. Relatedly, this:

Batteries continue to be very expensive, and are not reducing in price fast. They are also questionable from an environmental viewpoint.

just sounds like you are trying to caricature yourself.

No, the recent hikes caused by an increase in use of renewable energy, and its requirement for additional transmission systems.

Well, you may be referring to some localized tax or something, but what I was referring to was the fact that utility prices spiked around the globe recently due to the spike in fossil fuel input costs. In my recollection, people were pretty upset about that too.

No, the ridiculous assertion that the transition costs are caused by .my sideâs obstructionism. The transition costs are caused by a panic, knee-jerk response, a failure to properly analyse and implement the best available technology, and idealism in the general community which arises from gross misinformation being promoted by .your side, and which is evident in this thread.

Greig, I'm pretty confident you've just decided to change the part of what I said that according to you was a 'ridiculous assertion' for the same rhetorical reasons that have you making stuff up at every turn this entire thread. Because there is nothing remotely controversial about the assertion that if a transition should be made, your side is the one on the wrong side of things- it being the one responsible for making it shorter and hence far more costly. Pretty sure most would concede that because the dead enders on your side of this debate still think 'global warming is a hoax conspiracy perpetrated... blah blah'.

But let's break it down for the hell of it. The policy levers at issue here are cap and trade or a carbon tax. These could be implemented gradually, or rapidly depending on when they are implemented. Your side has seen to it that the public has been lied to for years- again, see Tim's most recent thread for more details on how that's been organized and bankrolled. Our side has argued for getting the caps and the reductions in place from over 10 years ago- a full 30 years in advance of the 2020 targets- something that hasn't happened thanks to your efforts. So really, again, far from being ridiculous, it's entirely unclear that this is even controversial to those with a modicum of intelligence. You can draw your own conclusions from that.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

Reposted, for clarity:

Golly, really. Whole Megawatts? Gee, that sounds like lots and lots of power. But of course, it isnât.

Well, it's more than gets installed on 'people's urban roofs', you know, that PV stuff. You have no shame Greig.

ZZZt! See here . The peak load in the afternoon occurs in the summer. The situation I described occurs in winter. Ie In the winter, there are two times of the day when prices can increase. Typically, there will be a small price spike in the morning and another in the evening. The reason I raised the winter profile is that is when solar power is least able to satisfy peak load, because the sun is lower in the sky.

First off, what you've italicized is not what you said, so you're changing your story to fit some google and don't think I didn't notice. You claimed that 'peak load from commerce and industry occurs early in the day', and then claimed a 'second smaller peak' during winter evenings from 'domestic use'. Now you are trying to rewrite a thread in spite of the fact that my browser features a scroll bar. I don't know what gives there, but that's pretty brazen.

Secondly, peak demand periods can differ across circumstances, (locales, seasons, degree to which electricity is used for heat and hot water, etc.), as I have pointed out above. If you had to generalize though, you would probably go with mid and late afternoon, for reasons I will explain. More importantly, under no circumstances in any conceivable scenario does peak demand 'correlate' with the dead of night, which is when fossil fuel plants are busily amortizing away their fixed capital costs, which you have taken great pains to tell us are the only ones that matter. So when you made the original laughable comment that solar output is 'not remotely correlated' with peak demand in sad riposte to my comment, it was quote worthy. Fyi, none of the squid ink you have squirted since has nor will obfuscate that, so you might consider ending the effort.

If you are installing solar panels purely to provide power for summer peak loads, then you are implementing solar for payback only for a few months of the year. The rest of the year they are not required, and provide low value power. How does that work economically? It is far cheaper (1/5th the price) to use hydro and gas turbines than using solar power for peak summer loads.

Really? Take a look at the PDF you linked genius. Which peak is higher, the one in summer or in winter? Is it close? Now, say you built all the CCGT plants you need to meet summer peaks. Then you have them all year long- yay! Except you don't need them in the winter because summer peaks are substantially higher. So... they idle, or dump power on the grid at rock bottom prices. What is you asked me, in your other response... "How much does it cost to build idle standby systems?" Your answer?

This is why summer peak loads are more important than those in winter, and why when forced to generalize, you would probably go there. It is not the case for all regions however, with the UK a distinct outlier, (where much electricity is used for heat and hot water, air conditioning is not needed for summer, winters are cold, etc.), but as I said in another context, solar makes the most sense where sunshine is predictable, both by its performance and by happy marriage with the problems it is thus able to address (i.e. high peak loads during warm whether in warm climates). On that basis, solar pv but especially solar thermal will be a highly important component of future global energy needs irrespective of its viability in cloudy locales at high latitudes. See luminous beauty's link to a recent Spanish project for more details.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

Greig,

Generous Spanish feed-in tariffs do make Andosol economical. Bottom line. They also ensure that developmental research is enhanced. They may offend your tender political sensibilities, but they do what they intend to do, which is to accelerate research and development.

What you call limitations are not show-stoppers. There are challenging problems, no one would deny. One thing that is certain, however, is that no solutions will ever be found if no effort is made to find them.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

dhogaza:
"Hmmm ... I live in Portland, Oregon ... did I sleep through the revolution where we seceded from the United States, or sumthin'? :)

(you're right about much of the American west ... but not all of it!)"

But you're in the northwest, not the west. Grin.

I like Wallace Stegner's definition of boundary of the American west: It begins where it becomes dry enough that you can smell water.

Greig,

You do realize the reason French nuclear power is so cheap is because they've had decades to amortize initial investment costs, massively subsidized by the French government along with all research and development, never mind as yet undefined future decommissioning costs, don't you?

Nuclear will never realistically be as cheap as solar will inevitably be when those comparable costs for solar are amortized.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

Greig #148,

"Contrary to previous discussion, McKay's is not an economic study, it is a technical study"

You are right, of course. I was wrong to characterise it as an economic study :-(

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

Lee #160,

Very nice photo. Good job the rods were under water otherwise the photographer would have been in trouble. Amazingly, because the waste was being stored safely the photographer was ok. OMG, no problem here then!

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

luminous beauty,

"Generous Spanish feed-in tariffs do make Andosol economical."

But I bet those tariffs are recovered from all electricity users leaving them with higher bills and, as ever, meaning the poorest in society end up being hit the hardest.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

Dave Andrews:

Right, no problem. Because Hanford certainly has no issues or problems with containing contaminated water or other wastes...

Did you bother to read the caption? The part about Hanford being badly contaminated? (There are contaminated groundwater plumes extending tens of miles now, and leaching into the Columbia River). And I can't imagine any possible technical problems with relying on liquid water for shielding of 1,936 300F objects...?

luminous beauty,

Surely the flaw in your argument is that because all those costs of nuclear have been amortized in the past nuclear is now a lot cheaper than solar and therefore it would make more logical sense, here and now, to go down the nuclear route than to start amortizing solar power for some possible benefit in the future?

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

Dave, what is the present discounted cost of incurring a 200,000 - 400,000 year plutonium waste storage project as part of running a nuke plant? Be sure to include the current value of the risk and potential impact of a failure.

Lee,

I don't disagree that Hanford has lots of problems. Same is true here in the UK, where Sellafield ( formerly Windscale) and Dounreay, in particular, have considerable problems, for example, identifiying the wastes that were accumulated in the early rush for nuclear weapons and fast breeders respectively.

But to cross relate to the taxonomy of delusions thread, these issues really arose because the political/organisational imperative at the time was to develop the said nuclear weapons and fast-breeders. And basically it was thought that dealing with waste was less important.

There is no doubt, that in that climate, wrong decisions were made which we now have to live with.

The worry is that in our current time of climate change hysteria, history will repeat itself.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

Indeed, French nuclear is the model of free market, subsidy free decision making. Not. Insurance companies refuse to underwrite nuclear risks. The size of that subsidy alone then, (before favorable contractual arrangements with state guarantees, favorable nuclear waste arrangements, decommissioning and other back end risk taking arrangements, each of which are typically mandatory to get these projects off the ground), probably dwarfs the subsidies on hand for renewables, perhaps by an order of magnitude, we don't know.

Unless that is you believe that free markets are inherently flawed. Any takers there, Greig or Dave? Then again, ignoring those costs would also mean that Americans could ignore the costs they underwrote when the took on Fannie and Freddie's liabilities. I mean, as long as we're in la la land, why not.

The irony here is that nuclear would require greater state sponsorship and subsidy to make a significant part of a reduced carbon future than would renewables, and by his logic be most damaging to all those working class masses that are so close to Dave's heart, yet supposed critics of such policy steps most typically advocate it. That is the paradoxical nature of all this that Plumer picks up on in his blog post. Well, whatever. No one ever claimed they were the masters of cogent thought.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

luminous beauty,

Surely the flaw in your argument is that because all those costs of nuclear have been amortized in the past nuclear is now a lot cheaper than solar...

Amortized for existing power plants, my slow-witted friend. New plants require new financing. The French nuclear system is getting old, decommissioning costs have yet to hit the fan. Plus what Majorajam said.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

But I bet those tariffs are recovered from all electricity users leaving them with higher bills and, as ever, meaning the poorest in society end up being hit the hardest.

You're soooooo wrong. How much money are you willing to lose on this bet?

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink

[Lee] *Dave, what is the present discounted cost of incurring a 200,000 - 400,000 year plutonium waste storage project as part of running a nuke plant? Be sure to include the current value of the risk and potential impact of a failure.*

[Groan] There will never be a need to store plutonium for *200,000 - 400,000 years* because it is a valuable fuel and will be consumed and converted into energy in [IFRs](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_Fast_Reactor)

**Myth Busted!**

[luminous beauty ] *You do realize the reason French nuclear power is so cheap is because they've had decades to amortize initial investment costs, massively subsidized by the French government along with all research and development,*

Certainly, economy of scale is important. Keep in mind that Sweden, Germany Canada and Japan operate large commercially viable nuclear programs without ANY military-based subsidies.

*What you call limitations are not show-stoppers. There are challenging problems, no one would deny. One thing that is certain, however, is that no solutions will ever be found if no effort is made to find them.*

I am all for research and development. I am against people insisting that solar power be implemented at a large scale before it is commercially viable. There are other more viable low emissions solutions, we need to implement them now, and solar can (maybe) have its day later if/when it has been commercially proven.

*never mind as yet undefined future decommissioning costs, don't you?*

[Groan] [Nuclear decommissioning]( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_decommissioning) is not âundefinedâ, there have been many test cases of nuclear site to greenfields, and they are fully costed and technologically viable. Typically, decomm is paid for by a 5% (approx) levy on electricity.

**Myth Busted.**

*Nuclear will never realistically be as cheap as solar will inevitably be when those comparable costs for solar are amortized.*

**WRONG!** Nuclear is 1/3 of the price of solar thermal when fully amortized over a 50-80 year plant life, **including waste management and decommissioning**

**Myth Busted!**

[Majorajam] *under no circumstances in any conceivable scenario does peak demand 'correlate' with the dead of night, which is when fossil fuel plants are busily amortizing away their fixed capital costs*

Correct. And that is why your claim that correlation with peak load are completely WRONG. The correlation is **not** important because baseload plants can operate 24x7x365, producing power at all times, and do so MUCH MUCH CHEAPER than solar can. The challenge is to reduse waste by using power are night by promoting off peak usage ... split shifting in commerce and manufacturing, charging electric cars, heating hot water, or cooling it, for use in thermal inertia aircon systems.

*That situation has very little to do with India and China, both of which are (lest it need to be pointed out) rather densely populous.*

You are wrong. China in particular has a very big uptake on solar (around 2% of their kWh delivered, which is huge by world standards), and ALL of this is for remote and regional areas to offset diesel generation. You clearly know nothing about solar engineering developments in Asia and Eurasia.

*the dead enders on your side of this debate still think 'global warming is a hoax conspiracy perpetrated... blah blah'.*

As usual your side needs to characterise your opponent disingenuously.

*The policy levers at issue here are cap and trade or a carbon tax. These could be implemented gradually, or rapidly depending on when they are implemented. Your side has seen to it that the public has been lied to for years- again, see Tim's most recent thread for more details on how that's been organized and bankrolled. Our side has argued for getting the caps and the reductions in place from over 10 years ago- a full 30 years in advance of the 2020 targets- something that hasn't happened thanks to your efforts. So really, again, far from being ridiculous, it's entirely unclear that this is even controversial to those with a modicum of intelligence. You can draw your own conclusions from that.*

You are arguing the the ETS will be a good thing for reducing CO2 emissions and changing technology. But according to Nicholas Stern, Ross Garnaut, and any other economist who has written on the subject there is unanimous agreement that is only possibly true if there is a global agreement on carbon emissions . So your claim that achieving an ETS early is good and makes things cheaper is **WRONG**. And the obstructionists to a global agreement are not on *my side*, they are in China and India.

*Generous Spanish feed-in tariffs do make Andosol economical.*

No, they donât.

*The irony here is that nuclear would require greater state sponsorship and subsidy to make a significant part of a reduced carbon future than would renewables.*

That is not quite correct. Insurance must be underwritten by national economies, because the scale is beyond the capability of commercial operators. But this does not necessarily entail subsidies or cost burdens to tax-payers. The underwriting of the cost of energy infrastructure today is still primarily effected with public money. Call me a lefty, but I canât see any reason why that would be necessarily bad.

[Greig writes] *So, when solar power cannot provide the electricity, where does it come from?*

[Barton Paul Levenson] *Solar thermal plants store excess heat in molten salts to run the turbines at night or in bad weather, providing nearly 24/7 service in many cases.*

Solar thermal plants CANNOT supply electricity 24x7. The storage smooths the output (at an enormous cost), but even then it only takes one rainy day to shut the plant down completely.

[Barton Paul Levenson] *At the new AndaSol solar thermal plant in Spain, pumped water storage apparently cost 5% of the total.*

Pumped water storage is only a very small part of energy storage, it is not used because it is expensive and very inefficient. The frictional losses in the pumps mean most of the energy is wasted.

[Barton Paul Levenson] *It could triple in price and still be economic to use.*

Evidence?

In fact you are completely wrong, as you are about about nearly everything you write about this subject. Pumped water storage is absurdly expensive which is why it hardly ever used anywhere.

[Majorajam] Now, say you built all the CCGT plants you need to meet summer peaks. Then you have them all year long- yay! Except you don't need them in the winter because summer peaks are substantially higher. So... they idle, or dump power on the grid at rock bottom prices. What is you asked me, in your other response... "How much does it cost to build idle standby systems?" Your answer?

My answer: I did not say we should build CCTG for peak loads, that is a more expensive baseload technology. What I ACTUALLY said was that for peak loads we should use hydro when available, and build idle stand-by gas turbines, which are cheap (1/5th the price of solar PV). The fact that you donât even know the difference between idle stand-by gas turbines and combined cycle systems is scary.

Remember you are arguing that solar PV is justified because it provides power during peak load. I say that is wrong because:

1.Solar cannot **reliably** provide power during summer peak loads
2.Solar doesnât provide power during winter peak loads
3.Solar is 5 times the price of technology (hydro, gas turbine) that can provide reliable peak load power for summer and winter peaks.

Go back to school.

So Greig, the fact that the state assumes the burden and risk of insurance for nukes, is not a subsidy? How do you get that?

Greig:
"[Groan] There will never be a need to store plutonium for 200,000 - 400,000 years because it is a valuable fuel and will be consumed and converted into energy in IFRs"
---
Right. IFrs are liquid sodium reactors, and substantially more expensive to build - they require a secondary sodium-sodium to sodium-water heat exchanger loop, so that a sodium/water exchanger leak doesn't blow the core all to hell and back.

Yes, they store and consume plutonium on site - but they still require disposal of long-lived nasties like Tc99 (half-life of 211,000 years) and I129 (half life of 15.7 million years), along with several others with similar very long lives - the storage problem time there is millioss of years, effectively forever. They are substantially less problematic than Plutonium, but far from benign, and have similar very long storage requirements.

Hell, even the 200 year storage project for short-lived waste is a huge, huge capital expenditure (and unfunded risk) to go with that plant.

Greig:
" 1. Solar cannot reliably provide power during summer peak loads
2. Solar doesnât provide power during winter peak loads
3. Solar is 5 times the price of technology (hydro, gas turbine) that can provide reliable peak load power for summer and winter peaks.

Go back to school."

re. 1 - It sure as hell can in the arid American west, and other similar climates. In fact, orient a bit west of south, and its peak production tracks exquisitely well with peak loads.

re. 2 - so what? It can provides carbon-free peaking production for the difference between winter peak loads, and the higher summer peak loads. And, solar is often no useless in winter - it can replace carbon-producing generation on man, many days, even if it can't meet all requirements.

3. I can put solar on my house right now, grid tied, contribute to summer peaking production and year round carbon-free contribution to the grid- every kW from my roof is a kW that didn't require carbon to produce. AND I can save money from day one - the debt service is less than the money I'll save on PGE. This is our next big house project, s soon as we have either the capital or can get the loan.

[Lee] *Yes, they (IFRs) store and consume plutonium on site - but they still require disposal of long-lived nasties like Tc99 (half-life of 211,000 years) and I129 (half life of 15.7 million years)*

Yes, but even still the waste is no more radioactive than the original ore after only 200 years. A very small quantity of elements like Tc-99 and I129 require special treatment, perhaps transmutation? Technically it is possible.

*Hell, even the 200 year storage project for short-lived waste is a huge, huge capital expenditure (and **unfunded** risk) to go with that plant.*

It is neither expensive (compared to the benefit), nor is it âunfundedâ.

*Greig: " 1. Solar cannot reliably provide power during summer peak loads" - It sure as hell can in the arid American west, and other similar climates. In fact, orient a bit west of south, and its peak production tracks exquisitely well with peak loads.*

Yes but it is not RELIABLE. It only takes a hot day with a lot of thick high cirrus cloud or smoke haze, and you have shortfalls. You must have reliable idle standby power. Solar doesnât make economic sense.

*2. Solar doesnât provide power during winter peak loads - so what? It can provides carbon-free peaking production for the difference between winter peak loads, and the higher summer peak loads. And, solar is often no useless in winter - it can replace carbon-producing generation on man, many days, even if it can't meet all requirements.*

Yes but it is not RELIABLE. It only takes a rainy cold day when everyone turns on electric heaters, and you have shortfalls. You must have reliable idle standby power. Solar doesnât make economic sense.

Solar is 5 times the price of technology (hydro, gas turbine) that can provide reliable peak load power for summer and winter peaks.

*I can put solar on my house right now, grid tied, contribute to summer peaking production and year round carbon-free contribution to the grid- every kW from my roof is a kW that didn't require carbon to produce. AND I can save money from day one - the debt service is less than the money I'll save on PGE. This is our next big house project, s soon as we have either the capital or can get the loan.*

It is a bad investment, because the economic payback period may exceed the life of the PV panels, in which case you will not only miss the opportunity of your investment, but lose money too. But far be it from me to tell you how to spend your own money. What I object to is people loudly declaring solar power to be the future, whilst demanding that taxpayers cover the huge costs of implementation.

Also, I think you should be aware that solar PV DOES emit CO2 during manufacture. In fct, across the full cycle it emits significantly more per kWh than nuclear and wind power. If you are installing solar PV for reasons of addressing climate change, you may wish to consider that.

Greig writes:

Yes but it is not RELIABLE. It only takes a hot day with a lot of thick high cirrus cloud or smoke haze, and you have shortfalls. You must have reliable idle standby power. Solar doesnât make economic sense.

If it doesn't make economic sense, why is the industry growing so fast?

And solar is RELIABLE. Once again, you need a smart grid covering a wide area, and different sources, not solar alone. Solar, wind, geothermal, biomass. Together, they can provide perfectly reliably 24/7 power. And, BTW, your assertion that fossil and nuke plants operate 24/7 is dead wrong. They have downtime all the time. Nukes, in particular, are constantly subject to "unplanned outages," which you'd know if you lived near one. AS A GROUP distributed over a wide area fossil and nukes provide reliable power, just like renewables can.

[Barton Paul Levenson] *If it doesn't make economic sense, why is the industry growing so fast?*

Because, the reason why the industry is growing has very little to do with it making economic sense. Certainly there are some areas where solar power DOES make economic sense, but the requirement represents a small part of the energy mix. What concerns me is that people think it is a technology capable of large-scale replacement of fossil fuels. It isn't.

*And solar is RELIABLE. Once again, you need a smart grid covering a wide area, and different sources, not solar alone. Solar, wind, geothermal, biomass. Together, they can provide perfectly reliably 24/7 power.*

...theoretically, based on some big assumptions.

In reality, such wide-spread renewable deployment isn't even on the drawing board, let alone being considered seriously by investors. It is just too expensive, and there are too many potential pitfalls.

Renewables are currently restricted to supplemental supply and sometimes with small scale prototype storage systems. And as such, they are UNRELIABLE.

*BTW, your assertion that fossil and nuke plants operate 24/7 is dead wrong. They have downtime all the time. Nukes, in particular, are constantly subject to "unplanned outages," which you'd know if you lived near one. AS A GROUP distributed over a wide area fossil and nukes provide reliable power, just like renewables can.*

Of course conventional power has downtime. But typically the [capacity factor](http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/corpinfo/overview/pdf-4/72-e.pdf) is 70-80%, and the majority of that is SCHEDULED downtime This compares to a capacity factor for solar and wind of 20-30%, and most of that is essentially unplanned downtime.

Greig, What mechanism would you support to shift from our current CO2 energy to low CO2 energy?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 31 May 2009 #permalink

[Mark Byrne] *Greig, What mechanism would you support to shift from our current CO2 energy to low CO2 energy?*

My entire point is that we should not try to pick the winners on the basis of ideology, but look for diversity. Open all doors. Exclude nothing.

Build a national piped gas network from the NW Shelf. Exploit local coal seam gas deposits. Establish infrastructure to support CNG-based and electric transport technologies. Encourage energy conservation through building legislation. Develop telecommuting and split-shifting work cultures in commerce and industry. Engage in nuclear fuel enrichment, leasing, disposal and a power generation. Develop geothermal, solar and wind power wherever it is economicallty justified relative to gas and nuclear. Implement CCS on legacy coal plants if it proves viable.

What I object to is this single minded "renewables is the answer" thinking. It is wrong. It won't happen. And we will never be able to get clarity on policy whilst people delude themselves this way.

Very importantly, we must be mindful not to act unilaterally, but to be wary that or standard of living relies on competing successfully with our trade partners. Our wealth and prosperity is not a given. We must be wary not to impoverish the next generation with poor economic decisions.

Greig,

The French have no long term nuclear waste disposal plan in place. The ultimate costs of decommissioning are unknown and will be additive for centuries if not millenia. There are still traces of uranium 235, 233, and plutonium left in used fuel rods after processing.

If Spanish Power can operate Andosol at a profit it is economically viable.

Go back to school.

If Lee can save money from the moment he installs PV, then it is economically viable. The lifetime of many PV panels made in the 70's has yet to be determined because they are still functioning at over 90% of nameplate. Manufacturers have improved durability considerably. Most manufacturers offer 20 year warranties. Energy payback is 8 - 11 years, loan is amortized in 5.

Go back to school.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 31 May 2009 #permalink

Greig rather gives away the source and level of his scientific knowledge with his repeated use of the term "myth busted".

By GWB's nemesis (not verified) on 31 May 2009 #permalink

Greig.

How does the internet work? How do mobile 'phone networks work?

And why is it that both technologies are present in so many homes now, where they weren't a decade and a half ago?

Why is it that in the early 80s most of the men I knew drove V8s? Why is it that I only know one fellow now who does so, and that even he is attempting to sell the vehicle?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 31 May 2009 #permalink

Clearly when it comes to bullshit artistry Greigâs cup runneth over. Ok, a few more rounds with this ninny and I'm done.

Correct. And that is why your claim that correlation with peak load are completely WRONG. The correlation is not important because baseload plants can operate 24x7x365, producing power at all times

Which is it Greig, is my claim wrong, no sorry WRONG, or doesn't it matter? Well actually that doesn't matter because, whichever you choose, you're wrong. As you say, I'm correct that under no circumstances are peak loads the dead of night, so therefore roughly a third of fossil fuel plant output is off peak- not peak, not mid peak, but when the lights are off and people are sleeping. This is not what I would call correlation with the peak.

If on the other hand your claim is that it doesn't matter what the average price you obtain for your power is, well let's just say I'd like to be your salesman (granted, I can't imagine you've been entrusted with anything with a higher budget than a lemonade stand in the real world).

The challenge is to reduse waste by using power are night by promoting off peak usage ... split shifting in commerce and manufacturing, charging electric cars, heating hot water, or cooling it, for use in thermal inertia aircon systems.

At least this is a relatively coherent point, if still wrong. It's wrong because you're saying that we can rearrange demand to accommodate the inadequacies of fossil fuel generated power. Well, of course that's true, but it's also true of renewables. Smart grids, demand shedding by pre-agreement with consumers that can abide it, etc. all can contribute to appropriate management of renewable supplied grids. Again we see here as everywhere, the special rules you attach to renewables that support your argument that they be excluded.

You are wrong. China in particular has a very big uptake on solar (around 2% of their kWh delivered, which is huge by world standards), and ALL of this is for remote and regional areas to offset diesel generation.

Ok, well, you're dead wrong about China and soon to be wrong about India if not wrong yet, but that's not exactly going to make the six o'clock news. In any case, it's not the point, and certainly was never mine. The point regarded the generalized circumstances in which renewables are the most viable (hence how this began with a hypothetical). And they are the most viable in places like China and India and in the many places around the globe where, like I said in my prior post, population centers are sufficiently large and connected to plan a highly diversified power source solution. Fyi Greig, this is me trying to get you to notice that I've just put your nose in the water hole. All you gotta do now is take a sip.

As usual your side needs to characterise your opponent disingenuously.

Have some kettle with your pot black. Is it really disingenuous to say that those against the imposition of a cap and trade regime or carbon tax by and large don't put much stock in the science of global warming? That some famous ones have called it a hoax and more famous ones have implied a conspiracy at GISS, the IPCC, etc.? Who's being disingenuous here? Don't worry, I'll survive the shock.

You are arguing the the ETS will be a good thing for reducing CO2 emissions and changing technology. But according to Nicholas Stern, Ross Garnaut, and any other economist who has written on the subject there is unanimous agreement that is only possibly true if there is a global agreement on carbon emissions . So your claim that achieving an ETS early is good and makes things cheaper is WRONG. And the obstructionists to a global agreement are not on my side, they are in China and India.

The master of misdirection strikes again. I'm arguing that if there were the political will behind working out an emissions regime 10/15 years ago from the G10, that this would be a huge step toward working out a global emissions regime for reasons I will explain. However, that wasn't forthcoming due to disingenuous mendacious simpletons like yourself, and now we're looking at more transition costs when we finally do get it done over the cold dead fingers of the likes of Inhofe, etc.

That's obvious, as I said, to those who can read and that possess a modicum of intelligence. At this point, I can't say for sure which one of those abilities escapes you, but I wouldn't be shocked if it were both.

As regards China and India, they don't operate in a vacuum, do they? And they don't get a veto. They need access to Western export markets to keep their economy growing, and people working instead of holding pitchforks and torches and stringing them up from trees. This is no small point of leverage. Furthermore, there probably will have to be side payments from those countries most exposed to global warming damages, to those least. Russia is very likely to be a beneficiary there.

So nice try to shunt off your moral responsibility on the nameless faceless Indians and Chinese, but history will note that it was the clowns like you that truly screwed the pooch.

That is not quite correct. Insurance must be underwritten by national economies, because the scale is beyond the capability of commercial operators. But this does not necessarily entail subsidies or cost burdens to tax-payers. The underwriting of the cost of energy infrastructure today is still primarily effected with public money. Call me a lefty, but I canât see any reason why that would be necessarily bad.

Why is the scale 'beyond the capability of commercial operators' genius? It's not beyond the capability of commercial operators to insure solar. Or wind. Or natural gas. Etc. Etc. And unlike nuclear, these guys actually have to pay good money for the privilege. Pity they didn't realize Das Kapital style that they should defer costs to the public for the Greater Good.

True to the conservative capacity for cognitive dissonance, when the evil subsidy falls on things they like, like moving around power consumption to facilitate fossil fuel power generators or lavishing subsidies on nuclear or oil companies they get all squishy about it. Public involvement in their sacrosanct free market is verboten right up until they're all for it. There's really no way to describe this kind of thought, other than retrograde. Put these guys in charge, and we'll be swinging from trees again in no time.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 31 May 2009 #permalink

My answer: I did not say we should build CCTG for peak loads, that is a more expensive baseload technology. What I ACTUALLY said was that for peak loads we should use hydro when available, and build idle stand-by gas turbines, which are cheap

What you ACTUALLLY said has sweet FA to do with the point I ACTUALLY made, (although it's rather precious to learn that hydro has supplementary-only written all over it but not CCGT. I'm sure there's some CBA you've worked out in your colon that you could share justifying your outrage). You're responding to my point that renewables don't create surplus power any more so than do fossil fuels- which was your riposte to solar, that it creates such a problem- by claiming that I'm overstating the cost of that surplus power. I mean, is it conceivable you could be more obtuse?

Or perhaps you think this type of misdirection fools people into thinking your ignorance hasn't been exposed? If so, I hate to burst your bubble on that score pal, but that couldn't be more obvious if you tagged your post 'the ignoramus'.

Remember you are arguing that solar PV is justified because it provides power during peak load. I say that is wrong because:

No. I'm arguing that this is one of the facets of solar that requires a more thoughtful analysis than the baloney raw kWh stuff you initially tried to run up the flag pole. Since that time, I have come to realize you don't even know that much. The case for solar is there in certain circumstances- in others no. The case for renewables more broadly is very good already and getting better all the time, and wind and solar thermal are going to be the two leading technologies there.

1. Solar cannot reliably provide power during summer peak loads

Wrong. You really don't remotely know what you're talking about here, a phrase that is increasingly losing the value of the digital characters required to state it. Unlike wind, annual solar output is a freaking battleship- it doesn't vary. Further, in particular locales like the central valley of California certain parts of Australia, etc. for example, it is day over day as reliable as any other power system you like. In the UK of course, it is far less reliable, but that is why the case for solar is very sensitive to circumstances.
2. Solar doesnât provide power during winter peak loads

Solar provides power when the sun is shining. Solar does not have to be producing at peak output to be contributing to the grid. This is a silly point of yours that I haven't corrected until now. Moreover, the degree to which the mismatch between peak solar output and peak demand is a problem depends on the context of the power available to the grid. I have never suggested that solar should not be a part of a mix of power sources. Quite the contrary.

3. Solar is 5 times the price of technology (hydro, gas turbine) that can provide reliable peak load power for summer and winter peaks.

I've not got any figures for that just like I haven't seen anything substantiating any of what you're claiming. Moreover, you've now claimed relative costs that are demonstrably false and laughably so as I will present in my next post on the nuclear manure you've been spreading on this thread. Given point one and two, I see no reason to invest one cent of credibility in this claim.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 31 May 2009 #permalink

Running out of time for nuclear. Let me just say that this:

Nuclear is 1/3 of the price of solar thermal when fully amortized over a 50-80 year plant life, including waste management and decommissioning

is just another in a litany of Greigers, if perhaps the most egregious, (and really, this is like judging the height of a mountain with the naked eye). More where that came from when I return. Suffice it to say that Greig's relative cost claims are bogus. I think pretty much all of them. Unsettling, I know.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 31 May 2009 #permalink

Luminous beauty,

Andasol I & II provide almost 50MW of power each. Add to this the 64MW from Nevada Solar One and we are surely on the cusp of a REVOLUTION in power provision!

Now if only my calculator was powerful enough to work out how long this development will take to make ANY meaningful impact.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 31 May 2009 #permalink

Dave,

Solar One is a developmental prototype. Andasol is the first commercial plant ever built.

Think Kitty Hawk 1903. think Glenn Curtiss selling the US Navy a handful of motorized kites.

Now, think of WWII air power and the Space Age.

You never know what you might find out when you bend your mind to a problem.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 31 May 2009 #permalink

[Majorajam] *Clearly when it comes to bullshit artistry Greigâs cup runneth over*

Somewhere amongst the personal abuse and backpeddling there are a few points worth responding to.

*saying that we can rearrange demand to accommodate the inadequacies of fossil fuel generated power. Well, of course that's true, but it's also true of renewables. Smart grids, demand shedding by pre-agreement with consumers that can abide it, etc. all can contribute to appropriate management of renewable supplied grids.*

Not correct, unless you have established an extremely large grid, and you have plenty of idle backup systems. Which, as I have already pointed out, donât exist, and are not likely to exist anytime soon because they are so costly.

*Ok, well, you're [dead wrong] about China and soon to be [wrong about India]*

Do you actually read your links? Neither of them are contrary to my statement about the bulk of solar PV development in China and India being around supplementing smaller communities currently running on expensive/limited resource electricity. In China, solar heating and energy conservation have relevance because they base so much of their power supply on hydro, but the story posted had almost no regard to solar PV (except street lighting which is fart in the breeze). And the India story is about a 5MW plant, which is trivial. Get back to me when they are building 500MW plants.

*As regards China and India, they don't operate in a vacuum, do they? And they don't get a veto. They need access to Western export markets to keep their economy growing, and people working instead of holding pitchforks and torches and stringing them up from trees. This is no small point of leverage.*

China and India are massive markets that can pick and choose their suppliers. There is zero chance that there will be collusion to enforce trade sanctions against China and India on CO2 emissions. You clearly do not understand the scale of the problem with regard to multilateral negotiations on climate change.

*Why is the scale 'beyond the capability of commercial operators' genius? It's not beyond the capability of commercial operators to insure solar. Or wind. Or natural gas. Etc. Etc.&*

Because nuclear utilities are typically huge compared to solar, wind and gas plants, and represent a disproportionately large payout against a miniscule risk of failure. If you donât understand this, you do not understand how insurance works.

*The case for renewables more broadly is very good already and getting better all the time, and wind and solar thermal are going to be the two leading technologies there.*

Argument by assertion.

*wind, annual solar output is a freaking battleship- it doesn't vary.*

Ridiculous. Wind actually typically has a higher capacity factor than solar. And both are a fraction of the reliability of nuclear and gas.
As David Schlageter pointed out in the forum [EnergyPulse](http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=1703) (2008), âRenewable energy sources only supplement the electric grid with intermittent power that rarely matches the daily electrical demand.â He continues by saying that âIn order for an electric system to remain stable, it needs large generators running 24/7 to create voltage stability. Wind and solar generation are not on-line when needed to meet energy demand, and therefore to help decrease system losses.â In the promised land of wind energy, Denmark, voltage stability is attained by drawing on the energy resources of Sweden and Germany (and perhaps Norway). The Danes pay for the imported electricity, but not for the stability â which they would do in the great world of economic theory.

Greig 184

a national piped gas network from the NW Shelf⦠infrastructure to support CNG-based and electric transport technologies. ⦠building legislationâ¦. Develop telecommuting and split-shifting work cultures in commerce and industryâ¦. Engage in nuclear fuel enrichment, leasing, disposal and a power generationâ¦. Develop geothermal, solar and wind power ⦠Implement CCS

Obviously the above choices requires government to âpick winnersâ. Would you also support a carbon pricing mechanism to provide market incentives?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 31 May 2009 #permalink

*Obviously the above choices requires government to âpick winnersâ.*

No. They require that we do everything that makes sense technically and economically now, without artificially skewing toward a specific technology.

*Would you also support a carbon pricing mechanism to provide market incentives?*

I would support an ETS only if it has multilateral international support from all nations (including the developing world). Otherwise it won't work, so why bother.

Also. the ETS is a mechanism for generating huge revenues and placing it in the governments hands. That is why it has bipartisan support. It is a tax.

Public money is better spent on research into technology, not on creating massive a bureaucracy that will only end up becoming corrupt.

Some may argue that by failing to create market incentives, that all solutions will arrive at coal, but I don't think so. The current political climate will not allow a coal-fired or even a biomass plant to be built, so I would argue it is sufficient disincentive for coal. It would be a no-brainer to legislate that energy plants may only be built if the emit less than a specified amount of CO2 per kWh delivered, there are many such legislative restrictions around industrial emissions. This would limit solution to low emissions only, create certainty to encourage investment, and result in the lowest cost solutions being built.

Simple really.

a national piped gas network from the NW Shelf⦠infrastructure to support CNG-based and electric transport technologies. ⦠building legislationâ¦. Develop telecommuting and split-shifting work cultures in commerce and industryâ¦. Engage in nuclear fuel enrichment, leasing, disposal and a power generationâ¦. Develop geothermal, solar and wind power ⦠Implement CCS

Are you saying that the above donât require government backing/intervention or that such backing/intervention is not picking winners?

Secondly, are you saying that, The current political climate will not allow a coal-fired or even a biomass plant to be built, so I would argue it is sufficient disincentive for coal. And thus no price signal is necessary to reduce CO2e emissions?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 31 May 2009 #permalink

*Are you saying that the above donât require government backing/intervention or that such backing/intervention is not picking winners?*

Mark, you are struggling with this because you think my list of ideas is complete. It isn't. It is just a subset of 100s of actions that can and should be taken.

*Secondly, are you saying that, The current political climate will not allow a coal-fired or even a biomass plant to be built, so I would argue it is sufficient disincentive for coal. And thus no price signal is necessary to reduce CO2e emissions?*

Correct. A price signal is not required. Clear and concise long-term legislation on emissions regulation is what is required, and set in proportion to the availability of affordable technological solutions.

Greig #196: "A price signal is not required. Clear and concise long-term legislation on emissions regulation is what is required, and set in proportion to the availability of affordable technological solutions."

Please explain. If you want to use direct regulation to constrain the amount of greenhouse gases emitted, then regulating emmissions per kilowatt/hour is not enough. You also need to limit the amount of kilowatt/hours produced, because total emissions = emissions per unit of output times total output.

So you have to have some mechanism for deciding not just how efficient power plants must be, but also how many are built or, if unlimited numbers of plants can be built, which others must be shut down to keep total emissions below your target.

So how do you manage that process?

Also, given your conviction that funds raised by selling emissions permits would end up "creating massive a bureaucracy that will only end up becoming corrupt", what makes you so sure that direct regulation of who can emit and how much they can emit would not be subject to the same pressures?

Bear in mind the massive concessions the coal industry has already extracted from the Australian government so far - not corruption in the sense of bribes or the like, but pandering to vested interests with political influence.

Greig 197

Are you saying that the above donât require government backing/intervention or that such backing/intervention is not picking winners?

Mark, you are struggling with this because you think my list of ideas is complete. It isn't. It is just a subset of 100s of actions that can and should be taken.

Secondly, are you saying that, The current political climate will not allow a coal-fired or even a biomass plant to be built, so I would argue it is sufficient disincentive for coal. And thus no price signal is necessary to reduce CO2e emissions?

Correct. A price signal is not required. Clear and concise long-term legislation on emissions regulation is what is required, and set in proportion to the availability of affordable technological solutions.

Greig, are you saying the government should centrally plan and legislate for a micro managed solution? Or are you suggesting some other broad mechanism?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 01 Jun 2009 #permalink

Gaz,

Trying to limit total kWh produced is a waste of time, it is already controlled by the price of the product. Consumers/businesses are naturally inclined to avoid wastage, because it saves them money. Presenting energy conservation products to consumers so that they see the benefits of investing and engaging in conservation practices is the key.

*Bear in mind the massive concessions the coal industry has already extracted from the Australian government so far - not corruption in the sense of bribes or the like, but pandering to vested interests with political influence.*

Lobbying is normal practice in democratic politics, and all sides of the debate have veested interests and engage in lobbying. Its not corruption at all. To argue against the right to lobby is to attack the very heart of democratic politics, the right to free speech etc.

The coal industry has a right to lobby, and the coal industry unions have a right to fight for the jobs of their members.

*Greig, are you saying the government should centrally plan and legislate for a micro managed solution? Or are you suggesting some other broad mechanism?*

Mark, this isn't difficult. If we can legislate to remove unleaded petrol, control effluent emissions into rivers, add scrubbers to coal-fired plant stacks, etc etc, then we can legislate to limit CO2 emissions on a per kWh basis.

Gaz,

Trying to limit total kWh produced is a waste of time, it is already controlled by the price of the product. Consumers/businesses are naturally inclined to avoid wastage, because it saves them money. Presenting energy conservation products to consumers so that they see the benefits of investing and engaging in conservation practices is the key.

*Bear in mind the massive concessions the coal industry has already extracted from the Australian government so far - not corruption in the sense of bribes or the like, but pandering to vested interests with political influence.*

Lobbying is normal practice in democratic politics, and all sides of the debate have veested interests and engage in lobbying. Its not corruption at all. To argue against the right to lobby is to attack the very heart of democratic politics, the right to free speech etc.

The coal industry has a right to lobby, and the coal industry unions have a right to fight for the jobs of their members.

Greig inadvertently undermines his own argument:

In the promised land of wind energy, Denmark, voltage stability is attained by drawing on the energy resources of Sweden and Germany (and perhaps Norway). The Danes pay for the imported electricity, but not for the stability â which they would do in the great world of economic theory.

Yes, Greig, wind power is successful in Denmark because it is part of a wide-area grid with other power sources hooked in. Think about that for a minute. Hell, take more than a minute, if you need it.

Mark, this isn't difficult. If we can legislate to remove unleaded petrol, control effluent emissions into rivers, add scrubbers to coal-fired plant stacks, etc etc, then we can legislate to limit CO2 emissions on a per kWh basis.

Thinking about operationalizing this scheme, would you legislate your CO2/KWh ratio to keep under some atmospheric concentration (CO2e ppm)? If so what level?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 01 Jun 2009 #permalink

Lobbying is normal practice in democratic politics, and all sides of the debate have veested interests and engage in lobbying. Its not corruption at all. To argue against the right to lobby is to attack the very heart of democratic politics, the right to free speech etc.

Lobbying favours certain groups above others, can you guess which groups are favoured? And do you understand the world Plutocracy?

By Anonymous (not verified) on 01 Jun 2009 #permalink

Just to clear up any confusion, Greig accidentally used my name at post #200, repeated correctly using in his own name at #202.

Now Greig: "Trying to limit total kWh produced is a waste of time, it is already controlled by the price of the product."

And what controls the price of the product?

As David Schlageter pointed out in the forum EnergyPulse (2008), âRenewable energy sources only supplement the electric grid with intermittent power that rarely matches the daily electrical demand.â He continues by saying that âIn order for an electric system to remain stable, it needs large generators running 24/7 to create voltage stability.

He doesn't seem to be well-up with electric power engineering. The issue is not voltage stability, it's generator synchronization stability. And he's wrong about needing "large generators running 24/7" to create generating system stability, assuming that's what he means. System stability depends on its ability to remain stable in response to shocks such as generator or other types of plant failure and depends substantially on the impedances of the transmission lines between generators and loads. There is nothing particularly troublesome about wind generators or other generators as long as the normal transmission network strategies for maintaining stability are implemented.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 01 Jun 2009 #permalink

Chris O'Neill,

I think you might be wrong. Humans do not have teh technological skill to deal with electrical system complexity.

There is a misapprehension that distributed power generation can work. That is false, the properties of electricity mean that we need old technology and centralised power.

TBI,

You'll have to tell that to the people at Lawrence Livermore. I'm sure they'll be interested in knowing they can't do what they've been doing for the last 60 years.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 01 Jun 2009 #permalink

I think you might be wrong.

It wasn't my specialty but I studied power system stability a long time ago.

Humans do not have teh technological skill to deal with electrical system complexity. There is a misapprehension that distributed power generation can work. That is false, the properties of electricity mean that we need old technology and centralised power.

Some weird statements there. It would be news to the operators of the power system in eastern Australia that there is a misapprehension that distributed power generation can work. They often transfer large amounts of power between New South Wales and Victoria. From the equations governing power system stability, we can see that for stable operation, the amount of power that can be transmitted is proportional to the square of the transmission voltage divided by the transmission line impedance which is proportional to the length of the transmission line. Another way to put this is that the allowable product of line length and maximum load is proportional to the square of the system voltage. Also, high-voltage direct current lines are restricted only by thermal and voltage drop limits and do not have stability concerns

This means that system stability has nothing directly to do with the type of generation producing the power. A power system can be set up to transmit whatever power over whatever distances we wish by engineering the necessary transmission voltage or number of transmission lines in parallel or electrical technology (DC or AC).

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 01 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig wrote:

Well, we wouldn't want any dissent, would we?

No. Good thing this thread doesn't exist!

In your response you accuse me of argument by assertion and backpedaling, yet you haven't substantiated a single of your assertions this entire thread, and your claims change from one post to the next, when they aren't dropped altogether. I think that's what they call taking the piss. Speaking of which, this:

Not correct, unless you have established an extremely large grid, and you have plenty of idle backup systems. Which, as I have already pointed out, donât exist, and are not likely to exist anytime soon because they are so costly.

is just wanton trolling. You need backup systems in order to create demand shedding arrangements? Well, I'll alert the utilities they've been doing it rong then.

And a large grid is indeed what is called for, with diversified power sources appropriate to circumstances, as I have been saying from the beginning. As regards idle backup system, um, didn't you just advocate for these in the last response? All you're claiming here is that the idle backup systems should be hydro and natural gas based on the enlightened universal energy plan of your mind's eye. Is it too much to ask that you retain a modicum of coherence from post to post?

Do you actually read your links? Neither of them are contrary to my statement about the bulk of solar PV development in China and India being around supplementing smaller communities currently running on expensive/limited resource electricity.

Do you actually read your posts? Because in what has become a ritual of yours, what you claim you stated is not what you actually stated. And I quote, "China in particular has a very big uptake on solar... and ALL of this is for remote and regional areas to offset diesel generation". Words mean things. "solar" != "pv" and "all" != "bulk of". In fact 'all' is proven wrong by existence of ANY exclusion. And based on what you actually wrote, rather than what you changed it to, my cite demonstrates it is wrong.

Just in case anyone should think you are wrong by missing a small exception, I actually know of a number of existing and planned solar projects in mainland China, in addition to the solar thermal and PV use in Rizhao. I just can't be asked to cast around for the press releases, certainly in light of the respect for factual information of the intended audience.

In any case, if you didn't mean all, you could have used another term, (or even eased off the cap lock), and it would've made my reference search harder. Alas, that's not your style. When it comes to lying, you prefer to go large.

On a related note Greig, your response here is a good example of backpedaling. Make a note of it for future reference.

In China, solar heating and energy conservation have relevance because they base so much of their power supply on hydro

again, random bollocks even when it's uncalled for. Is this a psychological thing? Please explain why conclusion follows from premise. It doesn't.

China and India are massive markets that can pick and choose their suppliers.

Suppliers.... Hmmmm. I could've sworn I used the term 'export markets'. Ah, what do you know, there it is, and in your very reply to boot. You are quite stupidly confusing the viability of a sanctions regime with the viability of tariffs and quotas. The only fitting response to that is, go back to school.

Because nuclear utilities are typically huge compared to solar, wind and gas plants, and represent a disproportionately large payout against a miniscule risk of failure. If you donât understand this, you do not understand how insurance works.

More material for the board. Let me get this straight, a 'disproportionately large payout against a miniscule risk of failure' is the reason why nuclear cannot afford to provision for its own insurance and still be economically viable, (even with the mountain of subsidies that are typically made available for it). And I don't understand insurance, since I don't follow this rationale. Well, if that's what understanding insurance means to you, then you're right, I don't get it.

I mean, in my experience and according to the courses I've studied, private economic actors tend to like profits and look favorably upon deals with large payouts and miniscule risk. Alas, apparently I was rong by The Greig's Law of Commerce- 'when the deal is that good, and that big, it can only be undertaken by the state'. It is quite something to witness that steel trap mind of yours at work Greig.

Ridiculous. Wind actually typically has a higher capacity factor than solar.

Ridiculous no less. And here I thought the former lbl physicists or that relation of mine that has been doing wind deals probably since you uttered your first lie knew a thing or two about this stuff. I was way off. Listen, you're welcome to post some evidence for your claims if you ever work up the gumption to do so. Hell, if even half-decent, I'll take it back to these folks and see if they have any interest in blowing it up for you. Deal?

And both are a fraction of the reliability of nuclear and gas. As David Schlageter pointed out in the forum EnergyPulse (2008)...

This has already been addressed by others. Get back to us when you have more than argument by assertion.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 01 Jun 2009 #permalink

I promised some more on nuclear. The fact that a number of utilities have scrapped plans after studying the issue is symptom, and here is the disease:

Months after the 2005 [US energy] bill passed, the rating agency Standard & Poorâs issued a report saying that the generous new subsidies "may not be enough to mitigate the risks associated with operating issues and high capital costs" of new nuclear plants, and that companies that built or financed them would see their credit ratings slide...

...the managing directors of six major financial firmsâamong them Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanleyâwrote a letter to the DOE, saying, "We believe many new nuclear construction projects will have difficulty accessing the capital markets" because lenders feared getting mired in "another Shoreham." They concluded that raising the loan guarantee ceiling to cover 100 percent of project debt was one of the "minimum conditions necessary to secure project financing." In other words, the only way to unlock capital was for taxpayers to take on all of the risk...

...But as staggering as their estimates were at the time, those who did the calculations for Keystone and Moodyâs have concluded, based on newer data, that they were not high enough. "The numbers have simply gone flying past our highest 2007 estimates," says Jim Hempstead, a senior vice president at Moodyâs, which now predicts new nuclear power plants will cost $7,500 per kilowatt to build. Thatâs more than double the capital costs for solar power and three and a half times the cost for wind.

The last bit as typified by this:

As the Times reported Tuesday, the price tag for the nuke plant could start showing up in Progress' monthly bills starting next year, with residential customers facing an average increase of about $9 a month.

Nuclear. So expensive you have to start paying for it for years before it's metered. Also:

Progress Energy offered its revised estimate Tuesday: $14-billion for two new nuclear reactors in Levy County, a few miles north of its Crystal River power station. The utility said its 200-mile, 10-county transmission project will cost $3-billion more. The total cost triples estimates the utility offered little more than a year ago.

All of which resulted in these proposals getting scrapped time and again. The new figures?...

Jim Harding, who was on the Keystone Center panel, was responsible for its economic analysis, and previously served as director of power planning and forecasting for Seattle City Light, emailed us in early May that his own âreasonable estimate for levelized cost range ... is 12â17 cents per kWh lifetime, and 1.7x times that number [20 to 29 cents per kWh] in first year of commercial operation.â

So much for nuclear. Greig has also been spewing about solar thermal. Suffice it to say, that has been no less a figment of his imagination.

CSP plants installed in 2015 are projected to exhibit a delivered LCOE of $115/MWh,2 compared with $168/MWh for the simple cycle combustion turbine and $104/MWh for combined cycle plants. At a natural gas price of about $8 per MMBtu, the LCOE of CSP and the combined cycle plants at 40 percent capacity factor are equal... assuming that improvements to combustion turbine power generation efficiency and cost are likely to be modest, the LCOE of CSP in 2015 is likely to be competitive with combustion turbine power generation technologies.

Note that those estimates are completely clean of subsidy effects or a cap and trade regime or carbon tax. This is why these plants are being built, unlike nuke plants which are busily pleading for more subsidies and/or being scrapped. The entire report is worth a read, not least the section entitled "The Time of Delivery Value of CSP Energy" for intransigent hopeless cases like Greig.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 01 Jun 2009 #permalink

BPL,

Denmark is a country of 4-5 million people located in an area of northern Europe that is surrounded by advanced countries able to develop a wide-area grid.

As such it is, of course, an example of what can be done if the circumstances are right, but not necessarily an example that can be widely followed elsewhere

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 01 Jun 2009 #permalink

I forgot to include the link to the referenced solar thermal study in my last post. Here it is.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 01 Jun 2009 #permalink

luminous beauty,

Obviously, things have to start somewhere and progress in solar power will develop - nobody disagrees with that. But in the meantime it is going to be BAU with fossil fuels - look at India and China.

As Prof Dieter Helm, of Oxford University, has noted "coal is the growing fuel at the global level".

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 01 Jun 2009 #permalink

[Barton Paul Levenson] *Yes, Greig, wind power is successful in Denmark because it is part of a wide-area grid with other power sources hooked in. Think about that for a minute. Hell, take more than a minute, if you need it.*

I think YOU need to think about it. How much supplemental (intermittent) wind can a grid stand before it becomes unstable?

And that is why supplemental renewables can only supply about 20% of the load.

The other 80% must come from reliable 24x7 baseload sources, eg nuclear and CCGT.

Greig

Mark, this isn't difficult. If we can legislate to remove unleaded petrol, control effluent emissions into rivers, add scrubbers to coal-fired plant stacks, etc etc, then we can legislate to limit CO2 emissions on a per kWh basis.

Greig, thinking about operationalizing your scheme, would you legislate your CO2/KWh ratio to keep under some atmospheric concentration (CO2e ppm)? If so what level?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 01 Jun 2009 #permalink

special thanks to Majorajam for pointing out multiple of the "greig errors". he will handle these with his usual method: ignore some, move some goalposts and bring up completely different points or unrelated links.

the truth is, that in a pretty short term, alternative energy can supply all the energy that we need. see [baseloadfallacy](http://politicsinthepub.org.au/downloads/BP16_BaseLoadFallacy.pdf)

*Greig, thinking about operationalizing your scheme, would you legislate your CO2/KWh ratio to keep under some atmospheric concentration (CO2e ppm)? If so what level?*

Australia contributes 1.5% of global CO2 emissions. It isn't possible to attach Australian emissions to a global atmospheric target. It would be fruitless to do so, whilst the rest of the world continues to build coal-fired power stations.

Also, there are far too many unknowns to determine an "optimum" CO2 level to target.

Also, there are far too many unknowns to determine an "optimum" CO2 level to target.

There go the goal posts.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 02 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig,

In the dim hope that it will clarify the concept for you, Ray, the "optimum" CO2 level is the lowest level at which we can stabilize CO2 concentrations. There is nothing unknown about it.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 02 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig @ 221

Greig, thinking about operationalizing your scheme, would you legislate your CO2/KWh ratio to keep under some atmospheric concentration (CO2e ppm)? If so what level?

Australia contributes 1.5% of global CO2 emissions. It isn't possible to attach Australian emissions to a global atmospheric target. It would be fruitless to do so, whilst the rest of the world continues to build coal-fired power stations.

Also, there are far too many unknowns to determine an "optimum" CO2 level to target.

Suspending criticism of of the implicit assumptions above; Greig, So what level of CO2/kWh would you set and why?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 02 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig repeats:

I think YOU need to think about it. How much supplemental (intermittent) wind can a grid stand before it becomes unstable?

And that is why supplemental renewables can only supply about 20% of the load.

The other 80% must come from reliable 24x7 baseload sources, eg nuclear and CCGT.

No matter how many times you repeat this, it still won't be true.

You know geothermal is essentially 24/7, don't you? And it's renewable by any sensible definition.

Plus, although the generation times and levels for one wind turbine or solar plant may not be very predictable, the generation times and levels for a bunch of them scattered over a wide area is much more predictable. That's how casinos stay in business. One hand of blackjack can't be predicted. Nonetheless, the house somehow manages to stay in business. Why is that?

*So what level of CO2/kWh would you set and why?*

The level should be set to include gas CCGT initially, but exclude coal and oil unless implemented with CCS. All new plants would be grandfathered to ensure investment faith. The level would then be gradually lowered as new technology becomes commercially available.

Note, if you were to set the target too low then only nuclear could be implemented, since [nuclear is the lowest emitter of CO2 per kWh delivered across the whole cycle](http://www.world-nuclear.org/education/comparativeco2.html).

*No matter how many times you repeat this, it still won't be true.*

Tell that to the Danes, who have 20% capacity and have stalled on further deployment. And the UK, with very good wind resources, is struggling to reach 10% capapcity. The reason is explained by [the limits of renewables](http://wilfriedheck.tripod.com/grid.htm)

*"System stability problems will arise when intermittent generators, especially at light load, supply a significant proportion of system demand. Informed Electricity Supply Industry opinion asserts that when the power presented to the grid by randomly intermittent sources rises above 15-20% of total system demand, then grid stability becomes an increasing risk."*

Now do I have to explain it again?

*You know geothermal is essentially 24/7, don't you?*

I am a big fan of geothermal HDR development, but we don't even have a commercial facility here in Australia yet. And the issues of location, transmission etc. have not been resolved. It is way too early to be calling this as a means for producing a big % of our energy.

Greig @ 226

The level should be set to include gas CCGT initially, but exclude coal and oil unless implemented with CCS.

Given that efficiency promises the greatest cuts, how would you incentivise efficiency in the post-generation phases? And how would you incentivise land-use changes/preservation?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 02 Jun 2009 #permalink

[luminous beauty ] *the "optimum" CO2 level is the lowest level at which we can stabilize CO2 concentrations. There is nothing unknown about it.*

[laughing]. Said as if there are no negative implications to humans of pursuing CO2 reductions.

[pause]

You do realise there are costs and negative implications to CO2 reductions, don't you? ...

[pause]

Hmm, perhaps you don't.

Oh dear. Sad.

*Given that efficiency promises the greatest cuts, how would you incentivise efficiency in the post-generation phases? And how would you incentivise land-use changes/preservation?*

Building legislation
Corporate programs (eg Greenhouse Challenge)
5 star ratings on appliances
etc.

Land use changes (re clearing) are already enshrined in legislation courtesy of Howard and co.

Greig,

I do realize there may be negative implications for pursuing CO2 reductions too aggressively, but they are nothing compared to the negative implications of not pursuing CO2 reductions aggressively enough.

You do realize there are no intrinsic negative implications in reducing CO2 emissions, don't you?

[pause]

Hmm, perhaps you don't.

Oh dear. So Sad.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 02 Jun 2009 #permalink

Note, if you were to set the target too low then only nuclear could be implemented, since nuclear is the lowest emitter of CO2 per kWh delivered across the whole cycle.

Note, as an increasing and increasingly varied collection of renewable sources replace fossil sources of energy, indirect CO2 emissions decrease, approaching zero. Increasing nuclear production alone increases most indirect emissions linearly.

So, no.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 02 Jun 2009 #permalink

This more or less explodes what remains of the defiled detritus of unsubstantiated assertion also known as Greig's case. Regarding Barton's point

The data from western Denmark in Figure 2.5 shows that, for 78 per cent of the time, the power changes within one hour by less than +/-3 per cent of its initial value. At the other end of the scale, the output from a single wind farm may very occasionally, change by 100 per cent within an hour. In western Denmark on the other hand, there were never any changes greater than 18 per cent. A very similar pattern of fluctuations has been observed in Germany (ISET, 2005).

This illustrates how aggregation of variable power sources across diverse geography can balance its grid-wide variability. When you add in additional uncorrelated sources of power like solar, geothermal, biomass, etc. variability is further decreased. When you further add new techniques for demand and transmission management, better forecasting skill for variable renewables, improved storage technology, (e.g. recent breakthroughs in artificial photosynthesis), the so called limitations of renewables quickly become not so limiting.

As that goes, the chapter contains this as well:

"National Grid Transco (NGT) has summarized the key issues relating to 'smoothing' as follows (National Grid Transco, 2004):
However, based on recent analysis of the incidence and variation of wind speed, we have found that the expected intermittency of wind does not pose such a major problem for stability and we are confident that this can be adequately managed... It is a property of the interconnected transmission system that individual and local independent fluctuations in output are diversified and averaged out across the system.
Moreover, we do, and will continue to, carry frequency response such that frequency is contained within statutory limits for specified load and generation events... The interconnected transmission system enables this to be carried out more economically than would otherwise be the case.
We believe that current levels of frequency response are sufficient even if the government's 2010 goal of 10 per cent of electricity supplies sourced from renewable fuels were all to be met by, say, wind technologies. In any event, should more response and reserve services be required, then our ancillary service market arrangements should encourage their cost-effective provision. We do not, therefore, foresee any significant technical problems arising from accommodating the government's targets for renewables and CHP [combined heat and power] by 2010.

This of course is for levels of wind penetration beneath what Greig assures us is their upper limit. As with all things Greig however, those claims too are demonstrably bogus:

There is still a feeling that high wind energy penetrations will cause severe technical problems; but this is simply not the case. Extra costs are incurred; but these can be quantified. A recent Danish study (Pedersen et al, 2006) has suggested that these extra costs reach a maximum value of around 15 Euros/MWh of wind. If markets can be found for the surplus wind (when wind output exceeds consumer demands), then that figure comes down.
...The results from the two studies show a good measure of agreement.. Even with 60 per cent wind, the 'variability premium' may be completely offset by cheaper wind energy generation costs (Milborrow, 2006).

Little tip here Greig- uninformed categorical statements of your wild imagination are very likely to expose you for the ignoramus you are. You may consider hedging slighty more when making things up in the future.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 02 Jun 2009 #permalink

Majorajam,

I think there is an element that you are totally missing here and it is the special situation of Denmark that I referred to in my response to BPL

Basically most of Denmark's fluctuating windpower energy has to be exported and it needs to find other solutions to meet supply and demand at home. It is fortunate in that it was able to link in to the pre-existing interconnections between Norway, Sweden and Germany. Those connections benefit from the fact that Norway and Sweden use considerable amounts of hydro power which is relatively easy to switch on and off to accommodate the fluctuations in Denmarks's windpower. If it had not been able to do this
it is highly unlikely that Denmark would have been able to develop wind to the extent it has. Norway's, Sweden's and Germany's power systems are also much larger than Denmarks and are able to act as power sinks to stabilise the latter's power grid.

Denmark is thus a special case and cannot be used as a general model for elsewhere.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 02 Jun 2009 #permalink

Majorajam,

I think there is an element that you are totally missing here and it is the special situation of Denmark that I referred to in my response to BPL

Basically most of Denmark's fluctuating windpower energy has to be exported and it needs to find other solutions to meet supply and demand at home. It is fortunate in that it was able to link in to the pre-existing interconnections between Norway, Sweden and Germany. Those connections benefit from the fact that Norway and Sweden use considerable amounts of hydro power which is relatively easy to switch on and off to accommodate the fluctuations in Denmarks's windpower. If it had not been able to do this
it is highly unlikely that Denmark would have been able to develop wind to the extent it has. Norway's, Sweden's and Germany's power systems are also much larger than Denmarks and are able to act as power sinks to stabilise the latter's power grid.

Denmark is thus a special case and cannot be used as a general model for elsewhere.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 02 Jun 2009 #permalink

Grieg @ 230

Given that efficiency promises the greatest cuts, how would you incentivise efficiency in the post-generation phases? And how would you incentivise land-use changes/preservation?

Building legislation Corporate programs (eg Greenhouse Challenge) 5 star ratings on appliances etc.
Land use changes (re clearing) are already enshrined in legislation courtesy of Howard and co.

Greig, what about efficiency in built homes? And efficiency is transmission, and distribution?

Also, Are you saying that there are no further land-use changes that could cost effectively used to support CO2e reductions?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 02 Jun 2009 #permalink

Dave Andrews,

Denmark makes use of what it has at hand (and next door). You mentioned use of neighbouring hydro for rapid response to voltage fluctuations. There are a great number of opportunities increase hydro for this application, as this only requires small volume storage (pumping up and flowing down) rather than mega reservoirs. Alternative options include high-speed flywheels and biogas peaking plans t name a few.
There is no technological barrier to using more wind, it is a question of management. Whatâs more the scale of storage and backup reduces as transmission area increases.

I think there is an element that you are totally missing here and it is the special situation of Denmark that I referred to in my response to BPL

you should read that link. people assume that there are huge fluctuations in the power produced by wind. (perhaps because they occasionally saw a mill that wasn t turning..)

let me requote the important part:

In western Denmark on the other hand, there were never any changes greater than 18 per cent.

so with a 30% surplus, we could handle ALL our energy needs from wind alone. and nobody is proposing that, methinks..

Dave, the link provided is a technical study of the generalized problem albeit from a UK perspective (hence the exclusion of solar). There is nothing special case about it.

The first quotation I cited makes a general point regarding the effect on variability of geographical aggregation. It just happens to use Danish data, but could've used Texan or Victorian data or even been model driven, and it wouldn't have changed the conclusions, (with one caveat: prevailing winds like in certain places in California make for lesser variability at the single farm level and hence less reduction in variability from aggregation). In fact, Western Denmark is not a particularly large geographical area, so if anything, it likely understates general case benefits.

The second quotation comes from the institution charged with managing the UK's electricity grid. Nothing to do with Denmark full stop.

The last quote cites two seperate studies, one that happens to be Danish. These two agree and what's more generalize from case dependent circumstance in at least one sense, (i.e. relative ability to sell surplus power profitably). Again, the case being built is a general one. Unless the author is dim, a poor communicator or lacks integrity, I think it's safe to assume the conclusions cited are broadly relevant.

Point being, this analysis does not amount to, "when the wind's not blowing, you can import it from Swedish hydro". That wouldn't exactly be very interesting, would it? It is an analysis pertaining to the viability of grids where a high percentage of installed capacity is wind, and that means the system capacity should have to be fixed otherwise the wind fraction of capacity is effectively lower.

Their conclusion is that in such circumstances, the costs of achieving the same level of dependability as conventional powered grids top out at 15 euros per MWh- less if they can export surplus power profitably, (plus that these costs will come down dramatically with foreseen improvements in transmission and demand management, storage/reverse photosynthesis, etc. technologies). And don't read too much into the currency units. Pounds and dollars also appear in various sections of the chapter/book.

So, I don't see your criticism as valid given the aims of the linked study.

PS Sod, the variability data is hourly. To bring wind up to 100% would require addressing longer time step variability, and that would require storage solutions, or something along those lines (the author lists a few of the options). It would also and relatedly make sense only when there were pretty friendly circumstances for dealing with surplus power. To paraphrase, the economics of very high wind penetrations, (presumably on the order of 80, 90%, etc.), deminish rapidly.

This sounds reasonable to me, and would account for the fact that most of these suggest other renewables and CCGT will be a part of any eventual post-carbon tax/cap mix.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 02 Jun 2009 #permalink

Nuclear energy produces 17% of the worlds electricity (compared to how much from solar?), there are 100 reactors on the drawing board, China and India propose to build 4 times more delivery from nuclear than from all renewables combined. Nuclear is not cheap, but nuclear is [cost effective](http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html) as a baseload supplier in a CO2 constrained world.

[Baseload fallacy](http://www.cana.net.au/documents/Diesendorf_TheBaseLoadFallacy_FS16.pdf) advertises the fact that solar is not up to scratch, ie *"Because it is still very expensive to store electricity on a large scale, grid-connected solar electricity from photovoltaic (PV) modules is not stored. If and when advanced batteries become less expensive, PV electricity would become base-load."*

So **when** batteries are cheap (any sign of that soon?), then solar power can produce reliable power. Spot the problem?

The author of The Baseload Myth is not exposing a "fallacy", he is merely confirming what engineers already know, that if you build the grid large enough, and back it up with enough storage and idle stand-by generators, then it is possible to produce reliable power with wind and solar power. What he doesn't tell you is that such a system **is absurdly expensive**. Who is going to pay for this system?

Study after study of future [energy mix](http://www.iea.org/textbase/speech/2007/vanhulst/lesechos.pdf) show renewables comprising a small percentage and fossil fuels continuing to grow, and this realisation has spurred [a radical change in the EU plans](http://www.euractiv.com/en/energy/commission-backs-nuclear-energy-revol…). Hence [the UK's decision to build more reactors](http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11913-uk-backs-new-generation-of-…).

It is amusing to come to a blog to discuss climate change, and discover people who are in a panic to reduce CO2, but cannot accept nuclear power might be part of the answer. Get over yourselves, the rest of the world has different plans.

[MAB]*There is no technological barrier to using more wind,*

Correct

*it is a question of management.*

It is a question of **cost**.

*Whatâs more the scale of storage and backup reduces as transmission area increases.*

Correct but this must be weighed against [transmission systems costing $million per km](http://www02.abb.com/global/gad/gad02077.nsf/lupLongContent/C78435BCD31…)

*Greig, what about efficiency in built homes?*

Rebates on insulation. Yesterday I received a letter in the post regarding the Australain Governments Homeowners Insulation programme start July 1, offering $1600 in assistance.

*And efficiency is transmission, and distribution?*

Where there is cost justification, you should see efficiency improvements implemented. Legislation is not required, only a program to identify opportunities.

*Also, Are you saying that there are no further land-use changes that could cost effectively used to support CO2e reductions?*

No, I am not saying that.

[luminous beauty] *Note, as an increasing and increasingly varied collection of renewable sources replace fossil sources of energy, indirect CO2 emissions decrease, approaching zero.*

Correct, and the same is true of nuclear power.

However with costly reneweables, as the price of energy increases, so doe sthe cost to manufacture the renewable plant, thereby increasing the price of energy, which increases the cost of manufacture, etc. And so the price spirals upword.

*Increasing nuclear production alone increases most indirect emissions linearly.*

Rubbish.

[Majoram] *To bring wind up to 100% would require addressing longer time step variability, and that would require storage solutions, or something along those lines (the author lists a few of the options). It would also and relatedly make sense only when there were pretty friendly circumstances for dealing with surplus power. To paraphrase, the economics of very high wind penetrations, (presumably on the order of 80, 90%, etc.), deminish rapidly.*

Correct! The point at which the economics begin to diminish is at 20% penetration, and this is the limit that is discussed in the UK paper and which the Danes have already hit.

*This sounds reasonable to me, and would account for the fact that most of these suggest other renewables and CCGT will be a part of any eventual post-carbon tax/cap mix.*

... and [nuclear](http://www.euractiv.com/en/energy/commission-backs-nuclear-energy-revol…).

Nuclear energy produces 17% of the worlds electricity (compared to how much from solar?), there are 100 reactors on the drawing board, China and India propose to build 4 times more delivery from nuclear than from all renewables combined. Nuclear is not cheap, but nuclear is [cost effective](http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html) as a baseload supplier in a CO2 constrained world.

The Baseload Myth article posted advertises the fact that solar is not up to scratch, ie *"Because it is still very expensive to store electricity on a large scale, grid-connected solar electricity from photovoltaic (PV) modules is not stored. If and when advanced batteries become less expensive, PV electricity would become base-load."*

So **when** batteries are cheap (any sign of that soon?), then solar power can produce reliable power. Spot the problem?

The author of The Baseload Myth is not exposing a "fallacy", he is merely confirming what engineers already know, that if you build the grid large enough, and back it up with enough storage and idle stand-by generators, then it is possible to produce reliable power with wind and solar power. What he doesn't tell you is that such a system **is absurdly expensive**. Who is going to pay for this system?

Study after study of future energy mix show renewables comprising a small percentage and fossil fuels continuing to grow, and this realisation has spurred a radical change in the EU plans. Hence [the UK's decision to build more reactors](http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11913-uk-backs-new-generation-of-…).

I have dozens of links showing where nuclear is being implemented all over the world successfully, but this blog does not allow me to post the links. Look them up yourselves.

It is amusing to come to a blog to discuss climate change, and discover people who are in a panic to reduce CO2, but cannot accept nuclear power might be part of the answer. Surely it is obvious that the rest of the world has different plans.

*I do realize there may be negative implications for pursuing CO2 reductions too aggressively, but they are nothing compared to the negative implications of not pursuing CO2 reductions aggressively enough.*

Clearly you have made up your mind about that. However, I believe that this is the issue with climate change science that remains uncertain.

*You do realize there are no intrinsic negative implications in reducing CO2 emissions, don't you?*

Wasting resources on CO2 mitigation that might otherwise go toward protecting forests, reducing poverty/overpopulation, etc etc is an "intrinsic negative implication".

Greig how would you promote the uptake of the beneficial changes to land management that are currently not practiced? (Bio-char, carbon in soil, preservation of unprotected rich carbon ecosystems, feed changes and incentives to reduce cattle methane)?
And when would you propose commencing your CO2e/kWh mandate?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 02 Jun 2009 #permalink

*Greig how would you promote the uptake of the beneficial changes to land management that are currently not practiced? (Bio-char, carbon in soil, preservation of unprotected rich carbon ecosystems, feed changes and incentives to reduce cattle methane)?*

The implementation of organic sequestration technologies like biochar would be a part of an international agreement to trade carbon.

*And when would you propose commencing your CO2e/kWh mandate?*

When there is international agreement. Attempting to implement anything before an international agreement is reached is futile.

PS Sod, the variability data is hourly.

sorry, my error, and a pretty bad one..

Study after study of future energy mix show renewables comprising a small percentage and fossil fuels continuing to grow, and this realisation has spurred a radical change in the EU plans.

yes, and those are the business as usual scenarios, that need to be prevented!

the current energy mix directly translates into LOBBYING POWER.

Coal is using the massive money they earn, to lobby for big business in the future.

nuclear is not a sensible choice. it is just changing one problem (CO2) for other ones (nuclear waste, accidents).
anyway, it is really obvious that support for nuclear (and opposition to carbon trading) is exposing the "free market" right wingers as the hypocrites they really are...

you are ignoring all the resources given to you. and you even fail to see the obvious: bringing renewables to 20% globally would already be a big success, and technology will change, until the moment, when we achieved this.

the amount of powerful batteries is massively increasing. mobile phone technology, laptops and a switch in garden and home improvement tools to cordless electricity are already happening at this moment.

don t worry, green technology is going to succeed, despite denialists like you...

It is amusing to come to a blog to discuss climate change, and discover people who are in a panic to reduce CO2, but cannot accept nuclear power might be part of the answer.

Not all blogs are like this.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 03 Jun 2009 #permalink

*bringing renewables to 20% globally would already be a big success*

Even conservative estimates suggest that 20% renewables will take at least 100 years to achieve.

*don t worry, green technology is going to succeed*

Just keep saying it, over and over. Never lose the faith.

Greig @247

The implementation of organic sequestration technologies like biochar would be a part of an international agreement to trade carbon.
And when would you propose commencing your CO2e/kWh mandate?
When there is international agreement. Attempting to implement anything before an international agreement is reached is futile.

Greig, would you propose a mechanism for pricing carbon along side your CO2/kWh mandate?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 03 Jun 2009 #permalink

Even conservative estimates suggest that 20% renewables will take at least 100 years to achieve.

you are at odds with reality. denmark is doing 19% wind alone. why should it be a problem for other countries to get 20% renewables?

and let us look at some [reality](http://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/sa_budget_2009_renew…):

SOUTH AUSTRALIA COMMITS TO 33 PER CENT RENEWABLE TARGET BY 2020

Just keep saying it, over and over. Never lose the faith.

again, you are ignoring reality. you ignore the links and sources we give to you. "ignorant and proud of it", seems to be your motto...

Greig writes:

So when batteries are cheap (any sign of that soon?), then solar power can produce reliable power. Spot the problem?

Yes. The problem is that you keep using "solar" to mean "photovoltaic," ignoring the much more common and much more reliable solar thermal power plants.

The author of The Baseload Myth is not exposing a "fallacy", he is merely confirming what engineers already know, that if you build the grid large enough, and back it up with enough storage and idle stand-by generators, then it is possible to produce reliable power with wind and solar power. What he doesn't tell you is that such a system is absurdly expensive.

Who says? You?

Greig #251

Even conservative estimates suggest that 20% renewables will take at least 100 years to achieve.

Greig can you direct me to this group of estimates which show at best it will take at least 100 years to reach 20% renewables?

*Greig, would you propose a mechanism for pricing carbon along side your CO2/kWh mandate?*

No. It is unnecessary.

*Sigh* So Greig, you found a cherry pick that you liked, but you didn't like all of it, so you had to tack on some unsubstantiated assertion at the end to fix it. Didn't like the whole 60% bit so went with 20%. Brilliant illustration of satire/wanton denial, but I'm still waiting for an answer to this and this and this. Do I get one or are these to be just the latest in a litany of cherries passed over?

If so, I'd say this marks a logical end to my participation here. I would only say from a philosophical standpoint, I am not remotely opposed to nuclear, and certainly not on the basis of 3 Mile Island or Chernobyl. I wouldn't even call myself an environmentalist per se, except in that I recognize that environmental damages are real damages to people's welfare and the security of civilization. In light of that, I was totally prepared to argue in favor of nuclear on blogs like this.

But all of that was before it became clear to those in possession of working eyeballs (sans willful eyelids) just what a white elephant nuclear is. I just don't see why on earth we should pay so much for any power source, even a perfectly clean one which nuclear certainly is not. It is outrageously expensive as my links to non-partisan sources (credit rating agencies, underwriters, utilities and think tanks), substantiate ($7,500 per kilowatt to build, 12 to 17¢ per kWh lifetime). And all of that before you even consider the huge unresolved issue of nuclear risks, (inclusive but not limited to terrorism and proliferation), and nuclear waste. I mean, if nuclear were being tried by jury, the defense would be pleading for life in prison without parole.

PS Sod, the author points out that hourly variation is the most expensive form of variation, so the aggregation there is highly meaningful. Of course, aggregation works over all time steps, and the larger the grid, the more geographically dispersed the wind farms, the more that is true. The upshot is that 60% wind is reasonable with today's technologies, but will become reasonable and cost competitive with dirty power even without a carbon price as new techniques for demand and transmission management, better forecasting skill for variable renewables, improved storage technology, (e.g. recent breakthroughs in artificial photosynthesis), etc. come on board.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 03 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig, would you propose a mechanism for pricing carbon along side your CO2/kWh mandate?

No. It is unnecessary.

How would you trade carbon (for âorganic sequestration technologiesâ) without a carbon pricing mechanism?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 03 Jun 2009 #permalink

*and let us look at some reality: SOUTH AUSTRALIA COMMITS TO 33 PER CENT RENEWABLE TARGET BY 2020*

Duh! That's not reality, it is a target set by politicians. Sheesh!

We have one small western country, Denmark, that is pushing 20% renewable energy. (and they have an abundant resource others do not have). Most other countries are only 1-2%, and growing very slowly. And [China's proposed energy mix](http://www.ieej.or.jp/aperc/pdf/CHINA_COMBINED_DRAFT.pdf) has total non-hydro renewable capacity set at only 6.4% of the mix by 2030 (from 4.8% in 2002). Nuclear is set to be 10% of the mix.

Wake up and smell the roses. Regardless of how much you want to believe it, renewables are not THE answer.

*How would you trade carbon (for âorganic sequestration technologiesâ) without a carbon pricing mechanism?*

You asked if **I** (or presumedly Australian policy) would propose a mechanism for pricing carbon. I said no, because the mechanism would be set by international agreement.

Greig,

Would you support Australia's adopting a carbon pricing mechanism, under a global agreement to reduce emissions?

(Where CO2e caps and/or price are established by multilateral agreement)

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 03 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig,

"Increasing nuclear production alone increases most indirect emissions linearly."

Rubbish.

'Rubbish' is not an argument.

The only component of indirect emissions that nuclear alone reduces is grid electricity. Electricity consumption is a very tiny component of nuclear's indirect emissions.

It is amusing to come to a blog to discuss climate change, and discover people who are in a panic to reduce CO2, but cannot accept nuclear power might be part of the answer.

It is always amusing whenever a fresh voice from the denial-o-sphere has the huevos to pop in with his fresh and shiny blog-science, set to prove all the scientists and engineers are wrong and that the world in reality comports itself perfectly to his personal political world-view.

Your little straw stuffed tu toque falls down because, in the first place it is a rhetorical gambit best described as bucket full of warm fail, but also, I don't believe anyone here is arguing that nuclear shouldn't be part of the mix, nor is anyone in a panic. Except you, apparently.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 03 Jun 2009 #permalink

Duh! That's not reality, it is a target set by politicians. Sheesh!

let me put this nicely: your ignorance is borderline stupidity. i gave another link, in a post, in which i accused you of not reading our links. you proved that you did NOT read it again, by your reply

here from the [press release](http://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/sa_budget_2009_renew…)

âWe had a much more ambitious target in South Australia to reach that 20 per cent by 2014. âWe are going to reach our target ahead of our 2014 deadline, and years ahead of the national deadline.

your claim, that we are 100 years away from a 20% renewable situation is simply not supported by facts. (you were off by a factor of 20, for this region..)

places have already reached it, and are moving beyond. others are close to reaching it, and planning ahead.

let me requote what Majorajam source said:

60% wind is reasonable with today's technologies

Whoa, this is a strange thread.

There are some unsupportable things being said by Greig in regards to climate change and climate science.

Yet there are also some completely unrealistic things being said about renewable energy by others, and some pure misinformation about nuclear power.

60% wind is simply NOT reasonable with today's technologies. A decarbonised economy is going to require an alliance of sustainable energy techs, which includes a very large contribution from nuclear power and a strong supporting role from technosolar (PV, CSP, Wind, Hydro, Wave) and geothermal.

For the next 10 years, technosolar is going to be the big player in Australia, but by 2050, I suspect nuclear power will assume the dominant position. If you wish to have a rational discussion on the merits and limitations of each of these technologies as part of a complete carbon mitigation package, I'd encourage you to join (or at least read) the active discussion on my blog on nuclear and renewables.

60% wind is simply NOT reasonable with today's technologies.

the [source](http://books.google.com/books?id=q3IAkdbntiwC&pg=PA31&lpg=PA31&dq=David…) for this statement is having a pretty close look at this on page 47.

Greig (as always) is running a pretty inconsistent argument somewhere between "it is technically not possible" and "the cost is much too high".

both claims are false.

Sod,

Thanks for the reference. Some good work looking at these issues.

Barry, there have been a number of sources shared for the nuclear claims, and none of the blog post variety. I would be keen to hear what of it- between the Keystone Center analyst's estimate, the rating agency analysts, the major money center bankers, etc.- is misinforming and why.

I'd be even more interested to hear why, given its current eye-watering costs and risks and the projected advances in renewable technology, storage, transmission & demand management, renewable forecasting, etc., you suspect nuclear will be the dominant power source of the future. Certainly these 207 reasons are not supportive.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 04 Jun 2009 #permalink

Sod: *60% wind is reasonable with today's technologies*

You reference does not say this, it only makes an economic case. It says that even at 60% penetration the "variability premium" **may** be offset by cheaper generation costs.

1. This is only true if wind is producing power at a lower cost than the alternative baseload. This may be true for premium sites in Denmark, California and the UK, but for most other countries (eg Germany, France) it is not true. In Australia, baseload coal and hydro is 30% cheaper than wind.

2. This discussion apparently makes the ridiculous assumption that the cost of variability only arises from the waste of excess wind power being unsellable. It does not take into account the cost of building the extra capacity to cover for the variability, which would be the case for isolated countries like Australia since we cannot purchase standby power from a neighbouring country.

3. The article shows that there is a cutover point where wind penetration becomes too expensive compared to alternatives. At the moment for wind, that is about 10% (UK) and 23% (Denmark). For other countries it would be lower.

4. Finally, this is an economic argument only, and does not discuss the technical requirements for how the grid copes with variations in the energy output.

Greig:

"It does not take into account the cost of building
the extra capacity to cover for the variability,
which would be the case for isolated countries like
Australia since we cannot purchase standby power from
a neighbouring country."

...as we would need to do when the wind stops blowing all over the country at the same time?

Greig,

Would you support Australia's adopting a carbon pricing mechanism, under a global agreement to reduce emissions?

(Where CO2e caps and/or price are established by multilateral agreement)

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 04 Jun 2009 #permalink

Sod, Thanks for the reference. Some good work looking at these issues.

Majorajam provided it in post #233. a lot of good links were provided in this topic. unfortunetly Greig is denying to take a look at them and instead continues to make up his own reality.

You reference does not say this, it only makes an economic case. It says that even at 60% penetration the "variability premium" may be offset by cheaper generation costs.

the rest of the paper is talking about the technology "problems" and how to solve them.

"may be completely offset by cheaper wind energy generation cost" means, that the price might be zero. this is in stark contradiction to the claims you keep making.

neither me, nor Majorajam nor the paper are advertising 60% wind. but that people with knowledge on the subject think that it is possible, is completely falsifying your claims about 20% ALL RENEWABLES being impossible to achieve.

1. This is only true if wind is producing power at a lower cost than the alternative baseload. This may be true for premium sites in Denmark, California and the UK, but for most other countries (eg Germany, France) it is not true. In Australia, baseload coal and hydro is 30% cheaper than wind.

oh, some places are better for wind than others? thanks for educating us! 60% wind (alone!!!) in some places will help other places to get a 20% renewables average. (next thing you will tell us, that Swiss wont get 10% tidal power?)

coal is cheaper, because it was massively supported in the past and still is today. and its external costs aren t factored into the price.

you really think "baseload hydro" is cheaper in each country????

2. This discussion apparently makes the ridiculous assumption that the cost of variability only arises from the waste of excess wind power being unsellable. It does not take into account the cost of building the extra capacity to cover for the variability, which would be the case for isolated countries like Australia since we cannot purchase standby power from a neighbouring country.

this is plainly false. the definition of "extra cost" can be found at the bottom of [page 45.](http://books.google.com/books?id=q3IAkdbntiwC&pg=PA31&lpg=PA31&dq=David…)

is this an attempt to show, that you didn t take a look at the link? again?

3. The article shows that there is a cutover point where wind penetration becomes too expensive compared to alternatives. At the moment for wind, that is about 10% (UK) and 23% (Denmark). For other countries it would be lower.

this is also simply false. page 48. Denmark already is at 23% wind. and at this point "occasionally" (!!!) the reserve power will generate a SURPLUS of energy. (and a tiny one: 0.5% at 30% WIND penetration!)

again: please read the book, before commenting on it!

4. Finally, this is an economic argument only, and does not discuss the technical requirements for how the grid copes with variations in the energy output.

complete rubbish. even the title of the book "Renewable electricity and the grid" should have told you, that you were talking rubbish there.

to save you some reading, i will just direct you to the conclusions on page 51:

"wind variability can be managed, technically and at a modest cost"

the book gives some valuable insight. i would urge everyone to take a look at it. (and if only to make corrections to false interpretations by me. wind power definitely isn t a subject that i know a lot about..).

Greig writes:

In Australia, baseload coal and hydro is 30% cheaper than wind.

Coal is only "cheap" because the cost of the vast environmental damage it does is not charged to the mining companies, utilities, or utility customers. With any reasonable scheme to internalize those costs (e.g. cap-and-trade or a carbon tax), it will no longer be "cheap."

Barton,

But Greig can justify the market failure in pricing coal using-

"some unsupportable things...in regards to climate change and climate science."

Sod: *"may be completely offset by cheaper wind energy generation cost" means, that the price might be zero.*

Where does it say the cost is zero? You are making this up as you go along, aren't you?

*neither me, nor Majorajam nor the paper are advertising 60% wind. but that people with knowledge on the subject think that it is possible, is completely falsifying your claims about 20% ALL RENEWABLES being impossible to achieve.*

I never said it was impossible. I said that I do not believe that renewables would not supply more than 20% of the global mix by 2100. The reason is economic, not technical.

*this is plainly false. the definition of "extra cost" can be found at the bottom of page 45.*

No, is is 100% correct, and your reference does not provide any evidence to the contrary. What is more the reference does not refer to Australia at all. You are making things up.

*this is also simply false. page 48. Denmark already is at 23% wind.*

Yes, and growth has stalled due to economic factors clearly addressed in the reference. Did you read it?

*complete rubbish. even the title of the book "Renewable electricity and the grid" should have told you, that you were talking rubbish there.*

You are a fool, the conclusion of the book demonstrates that the issues of high penetration of intermittent sources IS AN ECONOMIC ONE. As I said.

*"wind variability can be managed, technically and at a modest cost"*

A qualitative comment only. Read the fine print. This book actually confirms what I am telling you. You have interpreted it incorrectly because you do not have the engineering background to assess it.

BPL: *Coal is only "cheap" because the cost of the vast environmental damage it does is not charged to the mining companies, utilities, or utility customers. With any reasonable scheme to internalize those costs (e.g. cap-and-trade or a carbon tax), it will no longer be "cheap."*

True, and I never said otherwise. But in Australia building nuclear plants will be cheaper than building more than 20% wind. And that is why Barry Brook argues that nuclear will be the dominant player in the Australian energy market by 2050.

MAB: *But Greig can justify the market failure in pricing coal using-"some unsupportable things...in regards to climate change and climate science."*

Read back up the thread, I have made no such claims. You are now attributing arguments to me that I have not made. Are you that desperate to defeat my argument you need to invent strawmen? Obviously challenging your absurd nirvana vision of a nuclear-free, renewable energy future is threatening to your world view.

Barry: *"some unsupportable things...in regards to climate change and climate science."*

Ok, I read up the thread and I cannot see that I have made any statements about climate change and climate science that I cannot fully support. I can't defend myself against your accusation if you don't specifically point to the issues you are referring to.

Third try Greig,
Would you support Australia's adopting a carbon pricing mechanism, under a global agreement to reduce emissions?
(Where CO2e caps and/or price are established by multilateral agreement)

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 07 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig, you are simply changing what you said all the times:

I never said it was impossible. I said that I do not believe that renewables would not supply more than 20% of the global mix by 2100. The reason is economic, not technical.

what you said is this:

Even conservative estimates suggest that 20% renewables will take at least 100 years to achieve.

and

I do not envisage renewables to ever contribute more than 20% of the energy mix, even in the long term.

"not ever" is the same like "never" for me. i assume you are using the term in a different meaning?

and you made a lot of claims about technical problems:

There are many people in the community who are unaware of the negative technical and economic implications of moving to renewable energy. They have been fooled into believing that the technology is ready. It isnât.

you are changing your argument all the time.

No, is is 100% correct, and your reference does not provide any evidence to the contrary. What is more the reference does not refer to Australia at all. You are making things up.

again, the definition of "extra cost" is on [page 45](http://books.google.com/books?id=q3IAkdbntiwC&pg=PA31&lpg=PA31&dq=David…)

your claim about that extra cost being only about selling surplus wind power is simply false. it is there in black and white. the definition of extra costs applies to wind energy every where in the world. why would australia have a different definition?

Yes, and growth has stalled due to economic factors clearly addressed in the reference. Did you read it?

your claim is still false. here some [news for denmark](http://www.denmark.dk/en/servicemenu/News/Environment-Energy-Climate-Ne…), where according to you wind has "stalled":

A plan presented by wind industry players outlines how 50% of Denmark's electricity consumption can be covered by wind power by 2020 with approx. 2,000 fewer turbines than today

april 2009. by chance, your definition of "stalled" includes a massive expansion? like doubling?

Greig, this is another one of those moments. why not simply admit that you were wrong on all accounts?

A qualitative comment only. Read the fine print. This book actually confirms what I am telling you. You have interpreted it incorrectly because you do not have the engineering background to assess it.

i don t need to interpret anything. my background is irrelevant. a paper talking about the viability of an expansion to 60% wind comes to the conclusion that "wind variability can be managed, technically and at a modest cost"

whatever your background is, this leaves ZERO room for interpretation.

Greig #276

MAB: But Greig can justify the market failure in pricing coal using-"some unsupportable things...in regards to climate change and climate science."
Read back up the thread, I have made no such claims. You are now attributing arguments to me that I have not made. Are you that desperate to defeat my argument you need to invent strawmen? Obviously challenging your absurd nirvana vision of a nuclear-free, renewable energy future is threatening to your world view.

Greig #111 (plimer lied about his source of figure 3)

[BPL] In California, wind power currently costs 9 cents per kilowatt, coal costs 10, and nuclear costs 15.

You are confusing cost and price. Public money subsidies can make wind (and other renewables that are getting political/ideological favouritism) look cheaper than what it really is.

Greig #295

[Barton Paul Levenson] "And the "cost" of coal and oil doesn't factor in the damage they do to the environment, nor the threat they pose to collapse human agriculture through global warming."

Wow, collapse of agriculture? And they call me a troll?

Greig #322

Solar and wind get 6 TIMES the subsidies offered to coal.

Greig #111

You are confusing cost and price. .. [market failure] can make[sub in coal here Greig] look cheaper than what it really is.

Greig #253

Steve Chamberlain #223
Subsidizing wind and solar power does not make it low cost.
Also, both solar and wind receive far greater subsidies than coal (on the basis of MWh of electricity generated).
"We shouldn't do anything till They** do"

Correct. Multilateral response requires agreement. That's what Copenhagen is about.

Greig #111

You are confusing cost and price. .. subsidies [extrnalities] can make[sub in coal here Greig] look cheaper than what it really is.

Greig #277

Barry: "some unsupportable things...in regards to climate change and climate science."

Ok, I read up the thread and I cannot see that I have made any statements about climate change and climate science that I cannot fully support. I can't defend myself against your accusation if you don't specifically point to the issues you are referring to.

Greig, do you want to retract now or do you want the list?

Sod: *"not ever" is the same like "never" for me. i assume you are using the term in a different meaning? and you made a lot of claims about technical problems:*

The reference you cite also talks about the technical problems that I am referring too. eg the issues of variability and the mechanisms for the grid to handle variability. These are technical problems. However they can be overcome by spending money, which is an economic issue. Are you following, Sod, or do I need to explain this to you again?

Greig: *No, is is 100% correct, and your reference does not provide any evidence to the contrary. What is more the reference does not refer to Australia at all. You are making things up.*

*again, the definition of "extra cost" is on page 45*

Again, my statement is still 100% correct. Your reference does not provide any evidence to the contrary. What is more the reference does not refer to Australia at all. You are making things up.

*A **plan** presented by wind industry players outlines how 50% of Denmark's electricity consumption can be covered by wind power by 2020 with approx. 2,000 fewer turbines than today*

Sod: *april 2009. by chance, your definition of "stalled" includes a massive expansion? like doubling?*

Sod, two years ago, Ziggy Switkowski presented a **plan** to the Howard government involving building nuclear reactors in Australia. Now, do I really need to explain to you that a **plan** presented by vested interest grousps in Denmark does not equate to reality? Really? Are you that naive?

*Greig, this is another one of those moments. why not simply admit that you were wrong on all accounts?*

[Sigh]

*"wind variability can be managed, technically and at a modest cost". whatever your background is, this leaves ZERO room for interpretation.*

[Sigh, again]. Sod, do you know what a qualitative statement is? How much *wind variability* does this statement refer to? What does *modest cost* mean? *Modest* relative to what?

You citation abounds with information on why wind power is limited to a portion of the energy mix. It speaks optimistically about being able to overcome technical limitations, but **at a price**. It seems you are unable to quantify the impact of what that means. In the real world, it means that cheaper technologies will beat wind power. That's what happens in the real world.

Observa: *Greig, do you want to retract now or do you want the list?*

List please. I am happy to support any statements about climate change and climate science.

*You are confusing cost and price. .. subsidies [extrnalities] can make[sub in coal here Greig] look cheaper than what it really is*

Of course. Coal is cheap to consumers, and subsidies assist in making it so. I never said otherwise. Yet wind power receives many times the subsidies that coal receives (on a per MWh basis) and coal is still 30% cheaper than wind (on a per MWh basis).

Yes, there are externalities not accounted for. But until it is proven the degree that climate change will result in a net negative impact on humans, we do not know how to quantify and thereby price those externalities.

At the moment the assumption is that carbon should be priced until coal is more expensive than renewables. My point is that CCGT and nuclear both work out cheaper than renewables for the bulk of the energy mix, so pricing carbon will not necessarily result in a renewable energy nirvana. I think Barry Brooks is making the same point.

[Mark Byrne] *Third try Greig, Would you support Australia's adopting a carbon pricing mechanism, under a global agreement to reduce emissions? (Where CO2e caps and/or price are established by multilateral agreement)*

I have already answered this. Can't you read?

#195: [Greig] *I would support an ETS only if it has multilateral international support from all nations (including the developing world). Otherwise it won't work, so why bother.*

The reference you cite also talks about the technical problems that I am referring too. eg the issues of variability and the mechanisms for the grid to handle variability. These are technical problems. However they can be overcome by spending money, which is an economic issue. Are you following, Sod, or do I need to explain this to you again?

well, for a start, please explain to me the difference between "not ever" and "never". somehow you missed that one in your reply.

and the rest is utter nonsense. so technical problems aren t really technical problems, as they can be overcome by money? and economic problems aren t actually economic problems, because they could be overcome by some cheap technical solution? and all the time when you brought up either technical or economical problems, you were always talking actually about the other thing?!?

Again, my statement is still 100% correct. Your reference does not provide any evidence to the contrary. What is more the reference does not refer to Australia at all. You are making things up.

you definitely want to me to put your claims next to each otehr all the time, don t you? here you go. you said:

2. This discussion apparently makes the ridiculous assumption that the cost of variability only arises from the waste of excess wind power being unsellable. It does not take into account the cost of building the extra capacity to cover for the variability, which would be the case for isolated countries like Australia since we cannot purchase standby power from a neighbouring country.

[page 45](http://books.google.com/books?id=q3IAkdbntiwC&pg=PA31&lpg=PA31&dq=David…) says:

"extra cost associated with variability ... extra generation costs (if any) extra cost of transmission and distribution.

on page 39, there is a paragraph titled "extra reserve and costs"

the definition in the paper is NOT as limited as you claim. fact.

Now, do I really need to explain to you that a plan presented by vested interest grousps in Denmark does not equate to reality? Really? Are you that naive?

it is a pretty serious plan, to double the wind power to 50%. and up till 2020. why would people make such pans, if wind had "stalled"? you were caught with your pants down.

It speaks optimistically about being able to overcome technical limitations, but at a price. It seems you are unable to quantify the impact of what that means.

you seem to be unable to read. page 47. the extra cost for wind over 20% is 15 $/MWh maximum, lower if overproduction can be sold. there are more numbers in the text. i told you before, do some reading!!!
you were caught with your pants down. again.

In the real world, it means that cheaper technologies will beat wind power. That's what happens in the real world.

tell that to Denmark, please.

Greig #327

...I believe a figure of 1 degC per doubling is more realistic.
I also believe that a warming of 1-2 deg per century will have almost no net negative impact on the environment (previous IPCC asseessment have reached this conclusion)...

Greig, please start by supporting the above claims with the published evidence.
1)...I believe a figure of 1 degC per doubling is more realistic.
2) ...I also believe that a warming of 1-2 deg per century will have almost no net negative impact on the environment 3)... (previous IPCC asseessment have reached this conclusion)...

Greig # 156 (Plimer lies about source of figure 3)

Your assertion that changes in precipitation and the rate of warming will result in a net negative impact on humans is not only unsupported by you (ie it is an assumption on your part), it is also not supported by the IPCC.

These claims are similar to #327, but here Greig is even more broad brushed with his assertions.

Greig #177

We know so little, that we assume there is something to fix, and have fooled ourselves into thinking we can fix itâ¦.[laughing] So arrogant, and yet so ignorant. Clearly a feedback loop.

Here Greig, knows better than most climate scientists and the IPCC, chosing to base his position on the better informed Roy Spender and Ian Plimer.

Greig #193

â¦the source of and accuracy of the graph is irrelevant to Plimer's argument.

Greig's tactic here is to define for all readers what Plimer's point is when he uses the misleading figure 3. Any sensible person would not be convinced by this tactic, not even Greig, who later went on to say that

Now if Plimer had drawn a conclusion about the start and end date of periods of cooling, or that the cooling was large compared to the warming, then I would be baying for blood along with the rest of you. But he didn't make any such claim.

And Plimer does make claims about the size of the warming (saying 1940 were warmer than present) and the timing of cooling periods (eg. current period). Show us the blood Grieg.

#255

Fig 4 (and 48) show that temp and CO2 do not correlate AT ALL for the period 2002-2008. This does not prove that CO2 does not cause warming, but it proves that CO2 is clearly not the SOLE cause of warming. Hence there are OTHER FACTORS THAT IMPACT CLIMATE CHANGE.

Here Greig misrepresenting the science in a similar way to Plimer, using implication to construct the view that AGW says CO2 is the only factor and implying that the science ignores all other factors. Plimer uses the same deception, rather than making a serious scientific point in publicity grabs.

Greig #206

I don't believe that we have found any such thing [CO2 to be the dominant factor of current warming].

Contradicting the >90% assessment of IPCC AR4 Wg1.

Greig 162

If GHGs dominated the process, then there would be a runaway feedback effect.

Unsupported statement, please support this with peer reviewed literature.

Greig,
let us know if you what more examples, and I'll start looking again.

After much backpeddling, finally Sod admits:

*the extra cost for wind over 20% is 15 $/MWh*

Exactly, and and as I have told you over and over,

*In the real world, it means that cheaper technologies will beat wind power. That's what happens in the real world.*

Alternative supplies are cheaper than wind capacity over 20%, which is part of the reason why [the Danes have stopped building wind capacity](http://www.folkecenter.dk/en/presse/disaster_for_danish_RE.htm).

Sod, you need to read the citations you submit. It must be embarrassing for you to discover that your own cites dissemble your argument.

Greig @ 293

After much backpeddling, finally Sod admits:
the extra cost for wind over 20% is 15 $/MWh
Exactly, and and as I have told you over and over

Greig @283

Of course. Coal is cheap to consumers, and subsidies assist in making it so. I never said otherwise.

Yes, there are externalities not accounted for.

Greig @ 293

It must be embarrassing for you to discover that your own cites dissemble your argument.

Greig: *Ok, I read up the thread and I cannot see that I have made any statements about climate change and climate science that I cannot fully support.*

Observa,

I am still waiting for you to post something from this thread. They all appear to be comments made in another thread, and I have already responded to them. I am not going to repeat myself.

I will say, however, that most of the comments that you have posted are my opinions, that are based on my reading of Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer's work. And my view that climate sensitivity may result in a warming of 2 degC per doubling of CO2 is within the IPCC's predictions error band, so not exactly earth shattering.

I also stand by my claim that the IPCC has yet to show that a warming of <2 deg C will cause a global net negative impact. From [here](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_global_warming)

*According to the IPCC report: '[t]here is medium confidence [around 5/10 chance of being correct] that a warming of less than 2°C above 1990 levels would have net negative impacts on market sectors in many developing countries and net positive impacts on market sectors in many developed countries*

Which I take to mean that outcome would overall be approximately balanced, and so I would argue that adaptation (rather than CO2 mitigation) may be a more suitable solution to any inequity arising.

[Laughing]

Oh Greig, that is brilliant. Your number one defence, you didn't quote my errors from this post, you quoted my errors from another post.

When that's your best shot, you gotta know you've gone wrong big time.

Greig, Enjoy the public exposure.

*Oh Greig, that is brilliant. Your number one defence, you didn't quote my errors from this post, you quoted my errors from another post.*

The claim was that I had made some unsupported claims regarding climate change in this thread. Since this thread has my name on it, I asked for some clarity, and it appears that I have not made any such unsupported claims.

Thanks for confirming.

Brilliant Greig!

LOL

After much backpeddling, finally Sod admits: "the extra cost for wind over 20% is 15 $/MWh"

a pretty weird way, of admitting your false claim that the authors of the paper are unable to give a number for the price.

the number is pretty small anyway. with somewhat less than 10ct/KWh a MAXIMUM extra cost of 15 $/MWh is just 15%.

and this is for wind alone.

and this is for wind OVER 20%.

both of these conditions don t affect reaching 20% TOTAL RENEWABLE. the thing that you think can NEVER be achieved... (or should i always only quote your last position on a point? the opposite one?)

Alternative supplies are cheaper than wind capacity over 20%, which is part of the reason why the Danes have stopped building wind capacity.

again, you might tell this to the [danes:](http://isiria.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/denmark-builds-worlds-largest-of…)

COPENHAGEN: DONG Energy, Siemens and A2SEA have installed the first turbine at the offshore wind farm Horns Rev 2 in the North Sea. When inaugurated later this year, Horns Rev 2 will be the worldâs biggest offshore wind farm.

will be finished this year...

the danes slowed wind development, because a stupid conservative government took over, and removed basically the majority of support for wind energy. according to your theory, this should have lead to a massive reduction in wind energy. instead it just stalled progress over a couple of years..

Sod, you need to read the citations you submit. It must be embarrassing for you to discover that your own cites dissemble your argument.

Greig, i don t want to hurt your feelings, but we were able to show contradictions in the stuff you post. and multiple times.

the only person that should be embarrassed here is you...

Greig,

Thanx for the chuckles.

I will say, however, that most of the comments that you have posted are my opinions, that are based on my reading of Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer's work.

You mean the wonderful magical hypothesis where the magical ocean nymphs ally with the magical cloud faeries to frighten away the evil and alarming CO2eq radiative forcing?

Standing on the shoulders of giants, are we?

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig writes:

coal is still 30% cheaper than wind (on a per MWh basis).

Current cost per kilowatt-hour of wind-generated electricity in California: 9 cents.

Coal: 10 cents.

According to the IPCC report: '[t]here is medium confidence [around 5/10 chance of being correct] that a warming of less than 2°C above 1990 levels would have net negative impacts on market sectors in many developing countries and net positive impacts on market sectors in many developed countries

Which I take to mean that outcome would overall be approximately balanced

Such blessed equanimity. Those poor Bangladeshis will just have to suck it up, I guess. As long as Greig can still consume more and more crap, that makes everything OK.

Nevermind that you were supposed to be defending the position that the environment wouldn't be negatively effected, not markets.

Nevermind the crocodile tears you've shed for the poor because sustainable energy will somehow mysteriously rob them of their chance at suburban paradise.

Nevermind.

Just keep changing the goal posts, mate. You're making the Black Knight look like a piker.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

Did anyone notice that Greig's citation of Denmark stopping wind power development is from 2002, and ignores the fact that they've reversed that decision since then?

"Energy conservatism in Denmark stopped in 2002." My new mantra.

It never ends. Greig comes up with, 'the extra cost for wind over 20% is 15 $/MWh', from where no one can say. The actual reference estimates that costs *top out* at 15 Euros/MWh. Tops out, funnily enough, means the top- wind penetrations of 100%. Note, this is a rather significant difference between the costs one would expect for a 20% wind penetration of Greig's imagination. How significant? Well, if you look up the thread, you'll see I made a note of it:

"National Grid Transco (NGT) has summarized the key issues relating to 'smoothing' as follows (National Grid Transco, 2004):

However, based on recent analysis of the incidence and variation of wind speed, we have found that the expected intermittency of wind does not pose such a major problem for stability and we are confident that this can be adequately managed... It is a property of the interconnected transmission system that individual and local independent fluctuations in output are diversified and averaged out across the system. Moreover, we do, and will continue to, carry frequency response such that frequency is contained within statutory limits for specified load and generation events... The interconnected transmission system enables this to be carried out more economically than would otherwise be the case. We believe that current levels of frequency response are sufficient even if the government's 2010 goal of 10 per cent of electricity supplies sourced from renewable fuels were all to be met by, say, wind technologies. In any event, should more response and reserve services be required, then our ancillary service market arrangements should encourage their cost-effective provision. We do not, therefore, foresee any significant technical problems arising from accommodating the government's targets for renewables and CHP [combined heat and power] by 2010.

NGT is responsible for managing Britain's power grid, and this basically says that a 10% wind penetration is manageable without need for backup systems, etc. I.e. without additional cost above and beyond the highly competative price of generating it (slighly more than dirty coal, cheap as chips by comparison with nuclear). But don't worry about this latest sling nor arrow- the human delusion machine will just prattle on.

Folks, I think it's pretty clear by now that Greig is either a troll or, if not, that this is a distinction without a difference. You don't just make stuff up as often as he does, without a care about having that humiliatingly pointed out to you over and over unless you're looking to waste people's time- yours and others. Not if you're even moderately intelligent which Greig appears to be.

At the very least, you would expect someone to hold onto a line of argument, or to acknowledge if it's been blown up in your face. But, as I said, the opposite is the case here, and over and over and over again on this very thread. Well, no more for me. I just wanted to reiterate for you lot how hopeless this is, in the hope that Deltoid's fine commenters will move on to greener pastures and let this wasteland die an ignominious death.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

At the very least, you would expect someone to hold onto a line of argument, or to acknowledge if it's been blown up in your face. But, as I said, the opposite is the case here, and over and over and over again on this very thread.

all too true.

by the way, if i would order an extra 10 of my electricity from that terribly expensive Denmark at the maximum rate of 15 $/MWh, the price of my electricity bill would go up by 1.5%.

i can t see any sensible person not taking such an offer.

but there is always Greig left, who will stick to coal and nuclear...

[luminous beauty] *You mean the wonderful magical hypothesis where the magical ocean nymphs ally with the magical cloud faeries to frighten away the evil and alarming CO2eq radiative forcing?*

You would have been part of the mob that railed against Copernicus for presenting his heliocentric theory. How do you know that Lindzen and Spencer are wrong? Fervent belief? Sheer arrogance?

*Did anyone notice that Greig's citation of Denmark stopping wind power development is from 2002, and ignores the fact that they've reversed that decision since then?*

I didn't say **stopped** and I said **stalled**, and by any measure and regardless of any *reveresed* decisions that certain people imagine, it is obvious that [wind power growth in Denmark has stalled](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Denmark). at around 3125 MW capacity. Even with the addition of Horns Rev 2, Danish wind power is growing at a snails pace.

*Such blessed equanimity.*

Thanks for acknowledging that global net negative impact for <2degC would would likely be zero.

Of course the issue of imbalance between developed and developing countries **IS** an issue about which I care deeply. But impoverishing the Western world by unilaterlaly reducing CO2 emissions obviously isn't the answer.

*Nevermind that you were supposed to be defending the position that the environment wouldn't be negatively effected, not markets.*

Err, what are you talking about? And you accuse me of shifting goalposts?

*Just keep changing the goal posts, mate. You're making the Black Knight look like a piker.*

Nearly half the words printed here are personal abuse declaring me to be stupid, wrong, defeated, etc. Why do you waste so much time and bandwidth declaring the debate over?

*NGT is responsible for managing Britain's power grid, and this basically says that a 10% wind penetration is manageable without need for backup systems*

Whoopy doo. So what about the topic of discussion, which is wind penetration greater than 20%?

*Folks, I think it's pretty clear by now that Greig is either a troll...*

How much time do you spend trying to convince your audience that I am unworthy. You should spend more time on your argument.

Err, what are you talking about? And you accuse me of shifting goalposts?

I don't accuse. I demonstrate. Idiot.

Greig #327

...I believe a figure of 1 degC per doubling is more realistic. I also believe that a warming of 1-2 deg per century will have almost no net negative impact on the environment (previous IPCC asseessment have reached this conclusion)...

QED, jerk.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

How do you know that Lindzen and Spencer are wrong? Fervent belief? Sheer arrogance?

I cannot say they are wrong. What they are proposing is similar to; "if one were to postulate that the Moon has a core of creamy green cheese, would it be Camembert or Brie?"

How can that be wrong?

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig:
"How do you know that Lindzen and Spencer are wrong?"

The overwhelming weight of the evidence is against them? Perhaps?

Most of Greig's reading, logic and comprehension difficulties here at Deltoid may be down to the fact that Greig is a Scandinavian troll, not a native English speaking one.

In 10 minutes I just spent reading responses to him in this thread, with perhaps a minute or less (all I would inflict on myself) of reading the troll himself, here is what has stuck in my mind.

Greig believes it is "arrogance" to complain about lies told and sins against science committed by Ian Plimer, "arrogance" to observe that Lindzen and Spencer have little support for most of their creationist and even more fantastical notions, and certainly "arrogance" to suggest that Lindzen has been sadly unable to give good reasons as to why the rest of the world, including all its academies of science, should consider his magickal-clouds-to-the-rescue hypothesis even plausible let alone likely.

That's "arrogance" from the Scandinavian troll point of view, which is probably not what you would understand by the word.

Then there's "dissemble" which, in similar vein to Greig's misspelling of "Plimer" where he managed Freudianly to get the word "liar" into it, the troll clangs into his
"... you need to read the citations you submit. It must be embarrassing for you to discover that your own cites dissemble your argument". This one seems plainly to be simple Scandinavian troll projection. That's "projection" in the psychoanalytical kind of sense Greig if you're rushing for your pocket oxford.

Between not understanding the language and what with being a dread troll and all, poor Greig has problems enough and probably deserves much more sympathy than I'm offering.

Greig, I notice you have returned to your ploy of trying to argue that there is no "net negative impact for <2degC". That is unsupported by science. It is your value judgement.
What's more, a proper risk assessment would weight higher the impact of more probable temperatures(>2deg)and would also weigh the impact of highly destructive outcomes with lower or unknown probababiltiy.

This return your subject judgements simply revels your preferences.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

Nearly half the words printed here are personal abuse declaring me to be stupid, wrong, defeated, etc. Why do you waste so much time and bandwidth declaring the debate over?

Because you've been roundly defeated by being demonstratively proven wrong over and over and over again, without much glimmer of realization; suspecting you might be stupid is not an unreasonable hypothesis.

It's funny.

And it's sad.

Clowns are entertaining, and, you must admit, you volunteered for the part.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

*Greig, I notice you have returned to your ploy of trying to argue that there is no "net negative impact for <2degC". That is unsupported by science. It is your value judgement.*

Although I do not believe the IPCC to be the final word on the matter, here is what the IPCC say in AR4 (thanks to Mark Byrne):

This Assessment makes it clear that the impacts of future climate change will be mixed across regions. For increases in global mean temperature of less than 1-3°C above 1990 levels, **some impacts are projected to produce benefits in some places and some sectors, and produce costs in other places and other sectors.**
Climate change is expected to have some mixed effects, such as a decrease or increase in the range and transmission potential of malaria in Africa. ** D [8.4] Studies in temperate areas12 have shown that climate change is projected to bring some benefits, such as fewer deaths from cold exposure. Overall it is expected that these benefits will be outweighed by the negative health effects of rising temperatures worldwide, especially in developing countries. (WG2SPM, p12). â
It is projected that crop yields could increase up to 20% in East and South-East Asia while they could decrease up to 30% in Central and SouthAsia by the mid-21st century.

Now the IPCC has concluded that there MAY be a net negative impact (presumedly for 2-3degC warming), however this should be weighed against the fact that there is very little research funding given to studying the positive impact of climate change.

That some warming (<2degC per century) will not result in a disaster is a reasonable conclusion based on the scientific evidence available. If you wish to call it a "value judgement", I am not uncomfortable with that.

[luminous beauty] *Because you've been roundly defeated by being demonstratively proven wrong over and over and over again*

You only think that is true, because you (like others here) have started with the premise that everything that appears in the IPCC Assessement reports, and whatever is decided on RealClimate, are correct and true, and there is no room for doubt. You do not acknowledge my reading and history in studying this subject, and judge all by my ability (or lack thereof) in my ability (or lack thereof) in regurgitating information gleaned from google searches.

Historically, there are 100s of examples of medical practices that were agreed by consensus to be beneficial, which were later proven to be not at all beneficial. You (and several other posters here, eg Sod, and Majorajam) are the type of people who would have argued that bleeding people with leaches is good practice, because there is a wealth of evidence to suggest that it is good, and there is no evidence to show that it is harmful. And when you encounter someone willing to suggest that maybe the consensus opinion is not right, you demonise and dismiss them as incompetent.

The irony is, that to dismiss a sceptical view actually identifies your incompetence at critical thinking. And the persistent ridicule you feel you need to cast upon your opponent (me) indicates immaturity and insecurity.

Indeed, its funny and sad.

The funniest post here is Jemima's, which theorises that I am a Scandinavian troll, and should be pitied for my lack of knowledge of the English language. The post presents observations and arguments, and eventually confidently arrives at the completely wrong conclusion. This combined with an accusation of my "arrogance" and a crude attempt at Freudian analysis, makes for one of the funniest posts I have read for a long time.

Grieg, first point is that you have chosen to ignore the probability of higher than 2 deg temperature rises. Not a good start.

Secondly, for the limited range of temperature you chose to consider, you are only looking at part of the impact, eg. you ignore the ecological assessments of impacts.

Thirdly, even for the limited part of the impact you focus on, you ignore the key assessment that:

It is very likely that globally aggregated figures underestimate the damage costs because they cannot include many non-quantifiable impacts. Taken as a whole, the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time. (AR4 SPM WG2, p.21).

You are not representing the science when you claim a net balance, or no net negative impact.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

PS. Grieg, You cite favorable impacts lasting to mid century. Fourth problem with your assessment, you ignore that the impacts are assessed to continue to grow and worsen after mid century.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

Mark,

1. I am not ignoring the probability of higher temperatures, I am saying I think the probability may be low, and so should we spend exhorbitant sums on the chance of something bad happening? I would suggest that in the absence of information, action is warranted, but a no regrets policy is best (as we have discussed).

2. I am not ignoring the ecological impacts of change. We need to balance anthropogenic change against the fact that NATURAL change occurs too, and that what we perceive as damage that we are causing, is actually something that happens all the time, naturally.

3. *It is very likely that globally aggregated figures underestimate the damage costs because they cannot include many non-quantifiable impacts*, this applies to both positive and negative impacts. The fact that the author ASSUMES that unquantifiable assessments are necessarily bad shows a prejudice.

4. I read the same IPCC documentation that goes toward the assessment reports, and I believe that I am representing "the science" in suggesting that there is a net balance in impacts arising from warming. The harm that change may cause is determined not by the chaneg, but how we react to it.

Remember, there is nothing more certain than change. Many humans ASSUME that the world is not changing, and then of course, change harms them. Those who acknowledge and plan for change (as humans are so adept at doing) find opportunity and advantage in change.

In other words, global warming can be a good thing, if we plan for it, and adapt, and help our fellow creatures to adapt too. Think about it.

*you ignore that the impacts are assessed to continue to grow and worsen after mid century*

I find it remarkable that anyone would place any weight on a prediction of what the climate and economy and technology and global cicumstances will be like 50 years from now.

Greig writes, "I find it remarkable that anyone would place any weight on a prediction of what the climate and economy and technology and global cicumstances will be like 50 years from now".

We have more than enough empirical evidence to suggest that things in 50 years are going to be a hell of a lot worse than they are now. Given the fact that humans are consuming natural capital - which constitutes the working parts of our global ecological life-support systems - at rates far exceeding their ability to regnerate, it takes remarkable hubris (not to mention ignorance) to make such a statement. Basically, like other contrarians apparently lacking basic scientific pedigree, Greig's argument is either (a) to cross his fingers and hope that somehow technology can compensate for the massive damage humans are currently inflicting on the ecological infrastrucure across much of the biosphere, or (b) to believe that the current ecological deficits (e.g. excessive withdrawls) can be maintained because, heck, humans are exempt from the laws of nature anyway.

I have quietly sat back and watched this kind of b@%*$# argument be paraded around here by Greig without the proper rebuttal. As a senior scientist, I (sadly) have to deal with these kinds of high-school level arguments all of the time. The fact is that humans and nature are on a collision course. We are consuming natural capital - deep rich agrictultural soils, fossil age groundwater supplies, and biodiversity - as if there is no tomorrow. If we do not somehow develop the will to change course, and continue to gobble up natural capital at even the rates we are now, primarily at the behest of the privileged few, then the consequences might not just be bad, they will be potentially disastrous (and already are). And it won't be in 50 years, as the evidence is showing that regionally at least, there are major problems occurring already, and they will only get worse.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

Jeff Harvey: *Greig's argument is either (a) to cross his fingers and hope that somehow technology can compensate for the massive damage humans are currently inflicting on the ecological infrastructure across much of the biosphere, or (b) to believe that the current ecological deficits (e.g. excessive withdrawls) can be maintained because, heck, humans are exempt from the laws of nature anyway. I have quietly sat back and watched this kind of b@%*$# argument be paraded around here by Greig without the proper rebuttal.*

Harvey, do you know what a strawman argument is. If not, see above, or [educate yourself](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man). In fact, nowhere in this thread have I suggested that everything is OK in the world, quite the opposite. Actually my view is that we have enormous challenges to face. In fact, I believe that the challenges are so vast, that they make global warming and CO2 emission control relatively unimportant.

*(a) to cross his fingers and hope that somehow technology can compensate*

No, Jeff, I do not believe in crossing my fingers and hoping. I believe in knuckling down and embracing every technology available, and to implement them on the basis of cost effectiveness so as not to waste valuable resources that will be needed to face the challenges of overpopulation and resource scarcity. Can the planet survive? Yes. But only if people stop looking at certain technologies with rose coloured glasses, and others as being evil, but rather get on with using all technology effectively, and within the bounds of appropriateness.

Now if you are a senior scientist, how embarrassed you must be to realise that you have leapt to the wrong conclusion about my views. And it seems everyone in this thread is doing the same thing. Attributing arguments and ideas to me that I simply do not hold.

You should all have a hard look at yourselves. Stop congratulating yourselves on being such brilliant scientists, show some humility. Recognise that the more you learn, the more you realize you know nothing. The world is a big place, and you should all grow up and learn to be tolerant of other people's views and the vast complexity of the universe.

Greig @322

I am not ignoring the ecological impacts of change.

Please demonstrate where you consider the impact of ecology in you claim of no net harm?

IPCC:

It is very likely that globally aggregated figures underestimate the damage costs because they cannot include many non-quantifiable impacts
Greig:
this applies to both positive and negative impacts.

That is not what underestimate the damage costs means Greig. It means the assessment has found the error bars are not symmetrical ( risks are on the downside, not the upside). You are revealing your prejudice.

Greig:

I read the same IPCC documentation that goes toward the assessment reports, and I believe that I am representing "the science" in suggesting that there is a net balance in impacts arising from warming.

Greig has read the documents that the IPCC working group read, and Greig assures us he is representing "the science" in suggesting that there is a net balance in impacts arising from warming.
No disrespect Greig, I think Iâll stick the IPCCâs own assessment of the inputs and science. You did after-all start out defending Plimerâs figure 3 fabrication.

Greig:

I am not ignoring the probability of higher temperaturesâ¦

Please demonstrate where you have considered the probability of >2 deg temp increase in you claim of no net harm? Saying you donât think it will happen is not only contrary to the balance of evidence, but it doesnât cut it for a risk assessment.

Mark:

you ignore that the impacts are assessed to continue to grow and worsen after mid century
Greig:
I find it remarkable that anyone would place any weight on a prediction of what the climate and economy and technology and global cicumstances will be like 50 years from now.

Greig is happy to claim not net harm, forever apparently, but evidence the balance of science showing overwhelming harm must be dismissed. Greig you are employing a classic cherry pick.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 09 Jun 2009 #permalink

Jeff,

Leave him alone, everyone's picking on him, and he just wants respect and credibility. Let him at least have peace.

Don't feed the Troll.

Greig, nice try, but you still do not get it. Thanks for all of the usual crap (scientists should stop congratulating ourselves, et al ad nauseum) aimed at giving the impression that your analysis is sound and rational, whereas others who disagree with you are the irrational ones. You've done exactly what many of the other contrarian neophytes do (Lomborg is an expert at this kind of thing). That is to attempt to show the audience that your views are well thought out whereas those of others are idealogically blinkered. Nice try, but I am used to those who lack a basic grounding in science in resorting to this tactic.

The bottom line is this: Humans are altering the planet's surface in a vast number of ways. There will be (and already are) ecological consequences. Against the background of many anthropogenic stresses, humans are driving changes in climate that exceed normal rates of change of such a highly deterministic system. Given that much of the planet's biota is already being challenged by habitat destruction, invasive species, various forms of pollution, and other processes, biodiversity now has to respond to climatic shifts that are regionally significant. This would not be so important had humans not already slashed and burned much of the biosphere, but now species and genetically distinct populations must respond by crossing huge barriers that previously did not exist: agricultural and urban expanses, as well as fragmented landscapes.

The crux is this: species, populations and individuals must respond to changing climate 'envelopes'. Under normal circumstances, many would be able to adjust their ranges. However, the surface of the planet has now been greatly simplified by man. Therefore, climate change will exacerbate the extinction crisis.

Therefore, Greig, your arguments are misplaced. Climate change will affect biodiversity in unpredictable, but in many examples, nagative ways. There will be a knock-on effect on a range of vital ecosystem services that sustain us. This si what many scientists are trying to determine - how far can we push systems before they are unable to sustain life in a manner that we know?

If you knew me personally, you would not make such a remark about scientific egotism. Its pithy and lacks substance anyway; we construct hypotheses and test them, accepting or rejecting them through experimentation. Humans are currently conducting a single experiment on complex adaptive systems whose functioning we barely understand but which permit us to exist and persist. On what empirical grounds can yopu argue that climate change is unimportant for the health and viabnility of natural systems? You've provided none here on your own personal thread, but have instead adopted an approach based more on your own personal wishes and desires than anything else.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 09 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig writes:

You would have been part of the mob that railed against Copernicus for presenting his heliocentric theory.

What mob? Copernicus was an obscure monk who published on his deathbed. A great scientist in hindsight. But there wasn't any mob involved.

How do you know that Lindzen and Spencer are wrong? Fervent belief? Sheer arrogance?

Acquaintance with the science?

How do you know Spencer is wrong in his creationism (you knew he was a creationist, right)? Fervent belief? Sheer arrogance?

*Nice try, but I am used to those who lack a basic grounding in science in resorting to this tactic.*

Claims authority. Implies ignorance in the opponent (eg myself and Lomborg).

Maybe you are a humble guy in person, but in print you come across as an arrogant twerp. I wonder if you are the same guy who tried to take Lomborg apart in Nature. If so, let me tell you I think you deserved the thrashing you got in the media for that.

Having said that, I happen to agree with everything you are saying about environmental damage that humans are causing. Except...

*On what empirical grounds can you argue that climate change is unimportant*

I never said it was unimportant. I said I think, on the information currently available, it is less important than other issues.

*Acquaintance with the science?*

Lindzen's and Spencer's ideas have not been disproven. Open your mind.

Greig:

Lindzen's and Spencer's ideas have not been disproven.

Sure, if you say so.

Open your mind.

Yet another person who likes to give advice that he should take himself.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 09 Jun 2009 #permalink

[luminous beauty] Because you've been roundly defeated by being demonstratively proven wrong over and over and over again

You only think that is true, because you (like others here) have started with the premise that everything that appears in the IPCC Assessement reports, and whatever is decided on RealClimate, are correct and true, and there is no room for doubt. You do not acknowledge my reading and history in studying this subject, and judge all by my ability (or lack thereof) in my ability (or lack thereof) in regurgitating information gleaned from google searches.

I demonstrated that you were shifting goalposts by responding to your unsupported assertion that net environmental effects would be benign with a citation that the net economic effects would be relatively benign for a third of the world's population. You were wrong. Twice in one blow. Significantly, you didn't acknowledge your mistake, but responded with a straw man assertion accusing me and others, without evidence, of bad faith and poor critical reasoning. That is a repeated demonstration of your incompetence.

Pardon the armchair psychoanalysis, but it is also textbook projection.

The irony is, that to dismiss a sceptical view actually identifies your incompetence at critical thinking. And the persistent ridicule you feel you need to cast upon your opponent (me) indicates immaturity and insecurity..

Sorry Greig,

You aren't being skeptical. You are just being persistently contrarian, without recourse or response to reasoned argument. You are asserting your personal opinion as an authority superior to professional expertise.

One can not get much more Dunning-Kruger than that.

Your persistent obliviousness leaves you completely deserving of all ridicule being cast.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 09 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig, when you say, "I said I think, on the information currently available, it [climate change] is less important than other issues".

So, how many peer-reviewed articles in rigid journals have you read where the effects of climate change on the phenology on interacting species (mutualists and antagonists) has been examined? they are out there, you know. Just because you haven't read them is no excuse to dispense with what they are showing.

This is the problem that scientists actually face. Although there are dozens of articles in scientific journals showinng effects of local climatic changes on food webs as well as on reproductive and foraging success in a number of vertebrates, including migratory birds and ungulates, for example, most of this information does not make it to the public domain, so the general public have no idea that there are seriouis ecological consequences.

Most of the time, the "I don't think it is a serious problem" response is based on a lack of information or a lack of understanding of athe potential consequences of climate change on natural communities. In many other cases there are those who don't give a damn because they think that humans are exempt from natural laws, or else they are pursuing a short-term political agenda because they profit from the business-as-usual ethic. Greig, what I am saying here is that you ought to be more open-minded when scientists - especially those working in population ecology - publish articles showing short-term deleterious consequences of climate change on the population demographics of model species (e.g. the Pied Flycatcher is one that colleagues work on in our Institute). Given that there are not enough of us to make a comprehensive study of most even well-known species, it is likely that the current examples represent something liek the "tip of an iceberg".

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 09 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig:

I never said it was unimportant. I said I think, on the information currently available, it is less important than other issues.

Greig, are you spending your spare time posting on this blog so that you can focus on something more important. Or are your more interested stopping action that competent people (assessing the balance of evidence) have found to be extremely important?
I'm a big supporter of people following their passion (and learning lessons along the way). I expect are more than an arm-chair supporter of these âotherâ issues you consider more important? [You have shown your self to be thoughtful on several points, hence I would not assume that your priority for these âotherâ issues , is simply to rationalise to your argument.] So let us know when we can help you with your real passion.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 09 Jun 2009 #permalink

Chris O'Neill: *Sure, if you say so.*

Yes, I say so. Just because someone has posted a rebuttal on RealClimate does not mean the theories are disproven. I find the rebuttals weak and unconvincing. You are welcome to an alternative opinion, but as you know full well, you cannot claim any authority in the rebuttals. Unlike Lindzen and Spencer, the authors do not boast a wealth of peer-reviewed scientific literature.

[luminous beauty] *I demonstrated that you were shifting goalposts by responding to your unsupported assertion that **net environmental effects would be benign** with a citation that the net economic effects would be relatively benign for a third of the world's population. You were wrong. Twice in one blow.*

I never claimed that the *net environmental effects would be benign*, so all your comments about shifting goalposts etc are wrong. You are the one shifting the goalposts.

*That is a repeated demonstration of your incompetence. Pardon the armchair psychoanalysis, but it is also textbook projection.*

Pointless psychobabble. Just keep asserting that you are right and I am wrong, and eventually you will believe it.

*You aren't being skeptical. You are just being persistently contrarian, without recourse or response to reasoned argument. You are asserting your personal opinion as an authority superior to professional expertise.*

I present information from respected scientists (with the authority of professional expertise) and then criticised, not because their ideas have been scientififcally discredited, but apparently because they do not follow the AGW advocates line as dictated on RealClimate. LB, you show absolutely no ability to be critical or skeptical of the information you are being fed. You accept the IPCC lead authors as the only authority, and appear unable to look critically at what they present. You wouldn't know or understand scepticism if it bit you.

Jeff: *So, how many peer-reviewed articles in rigid journals have you read where the effects of climate change on the phenology on interacting species (mutualists and antagonists) has been examined?*

Thanks for your comments on what YOU think is important. What you have failed to acknowledge is that there may be other things more important than your area of expertise. But far be it from me to expect you to descend from your ivory tower to consider the larger world.

Mark: *I'm a big supporter of people following their passion (and learning lessons along the way). I expect are more than an arm-chair supporter of these âotherâ issues you consider more important?*

You are hinting that I might have some vested interest. Interesting since it is obvious that many posters here who have some sort of stake in AGW being a massive threat, and yet do not fall under your scrutiny.

Anyway, sorry to disappoint you, but I have no vested interest as such, I am not incented in any way to hold a view. Although I have a long-term (30 years) interest in energy generation technology, which is why Majorajam's persistent and childish declarations of my ignorance are so amusing. (I wonder what industry Majorajam works in?).

If I have a passion, it is my family. I worry for the future that my children will face. I have a keen observer of issues associated with resource scarcity, poverty and human overpopulation. I remind my children daily of how fortunate they are, and not to take for granted the properity we Australians have. I don't believe that global warming will threaten them nearly as much as other issues. Not the least is the very dangerous prospect of having our energy infrastructure (which few people understand) determined via democratic politics and well-meaning but misguided ideologues.

Greig:

Chris O'Neill: Sure, if you say so.
Yes, I say so.

Yes, because you're like God, aren't you Greig?

Just because someone has posted a rebuttal on RealClimate does not mean the theories are disproven.

Ad hom, Greig. Why can't you deal with the arguments?

I find the rebuttals weak and unconvincing.

You would, wouldn't you. Pity you never come up with a good argument why.

you cannot claim any authority in the rebuttals.

The point was about authority of Lindzen and Spencer on any relevant issue which has yet to be demonstrated, not mine.

Unlike Lindzen and Spencer, the authors do not boast a wealth of peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Spencer a wealth of relevant peer-reviewed reviewed scientific literature? Ha, ha,ha,ha,ha,ha. Good one Greig. And Lindzen's Iris hypothesis didn't do too well in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, did it Greig?

BTW, that was a good one about Ray Pierrehumbert not boasting a wealth of relevant peer-reviewed scientific literature compared with Spencer. You should tell it more often.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 09 Jun 2009 #permalink

*Spencer a wealth of relevant peer-reviewed reviewed scientific literature? Ha, ha,ha,ha,ha,ha. Good one Greig.*

I'm not sure what you think is so funny. [Spencer has published 25 research articles in peer-reviewed journals](http://www.drroyspencer.com/)

*Yes, because you're like God, aren't you Greig?*

No, I am a person with a right to have an opinion. You have a right to yours, but your attitude toward someone who simply disagrees with you, characterises you as arrogant and immature.

And who is this "God" person anyway? :)

Greig @338

You are hinting that I might have some vested interest. Interesting since it is obvious that many posters here who have some sort of stake in AGW being a massive threat, and yet do not fall under your scrutiny.

Youâve read an inference that I did not intend to make. I was asking about your passion for things you thought more important than AGW. BTW, seeing AGW as a massive threat is quite a conservative and well supported position.

Anyway, sorry to disappoint you, but I have no vested interest as such, I am not incented in any way to hold a view. Although I have a long-term (30 years) interest in energy generation technology, which is why Majorajam's persistent and childish declarations of my ignorance are so amusing. (I wonder what industry Majorajam works in?).

Not a disappointment to me, I wouldânt have picked you as a coal lacky, just someone has taken to defending Plimerâs errors, and someone who makes some unsupportable claims about climate science.
Now that youâve raised it, what is your connection to energy generation technology?

If I have a passion, it is my family. I worry for the future that my children will face. I have a keen observer of issues associated with resource scarcity, poverty and human overpopulation. I remind my children daily of how fortunate they are, and not to take for granted the properity [prosperity?]we Australians have. I don't believe that global warming will threaten them nearly as much as other issues. Not the least is the very dangerous prospect of having our energy infrastructure (which few people understand) determined via democratic politics and well-meaning but misguided ideologues.

Your passion seems very well placed in terms of your family; I hope my son learns to care for some of the issues you tell your children to consider.

Resource scarcity, poverty and human overpopulation are massive problems. None of which are being adequately addressed with business-as-usual geo-economics nor BAU geo-politics. Could you see yourself taking up more than an observer role on these issues of sustainability and global and economic justice?

I would suggest that you can feel more assured about democracies role in determining energy infrastructure. That is, if your concern is a focus on the potential for having too little energy infrastructure [Signs indicate that we will overshoot targets rather than undershoot]. True Democracies (different to managed democracies) have a well functioning feedback corrective mechanisms. Itâs when power becomes too concentrated (rather than dispersed) that we suffer amplifying feedbacks (or lose feedback signals, and operate like an organism with leprosy).
There is massive potential for gaining our current energy benefit with far less waste. The main ingredient that is lacking is incentive. Innovation to reduce energy waste (and preserve carbon sinks, and produce low carbon energy) should be rewarded more than it currently is.
In short, I see little hope on the horizon for developing even a no-regrets response to emissions abatement, there is practically no chance of keeping below 450 ppm CO2e.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 09 Jun 2009 #permalink

*You would, wouldn't you. Pity you never come up with a good argument why.*

There is a blog on [RealClimate](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/how-to-cook-a-gra…) where the Spencer paper is âdebunkedâ, but in my opinion it is a very poor attempt.

The so-called debunking has presented absolutely no comment on the thrust of Spencerâs hypothesis concerning internal radiative forcing, and has only commented on the manner in which Spencer created a single graph. You call that debunking?

If you read the comments by Bryan S, it is clear that Ray Pierrehumbertâs main gripe with Spencer is BS, and Spencerâs assumptions regarding ocean layer heat transfer are actually justified, and supported in the peer-reviewed literature. I can see nothing wrong with Spencerâs assumptions in creating the graph, it definitely shows a remarkable correlation, even if you were to relax some of the assumptions. His hypothesis on IRF is interesting, though in itâs infancy in terms of proof. It correlates very well with the work of Lindzen and Lin. And adds weight to the growing realisation (observed in the paleoclimate record) that there are powerful negative feedback(s) which stabilise the atmospheric temperature against greenhouse forcing.

*I would suggest that you can feel more assured about democracies role in determining energy infrastructure.*

Your words do not assure me at all. They worry me.

*That is, if your concern is a focus on the potential for having too little energy infrastructure [Signs indicate that we will overshoot targets rather than undershoot].*

My concern is that that we will be forced by politics (rather than pragmatism) to build white elephant infrastructure that will result in uncompetitively priced energy. Such a disaster will have a follow on effect of robbing Australia of industry, jobs, and prosperity.

And I also see that we are definitely undershooting on energy requirements if you consider the likelihood of electric vehicles becoming viable in the near future. The problem is not so severe if we can quickly build the gas pipelines needed to switch transport to CNG.

*True Democracies (different to managed democracies) have a well functioning feedback corrective mechanisms. Itâs when power becomes too concentrated (rather than dispersed) that we suffer amplifying feedbacks (or lose feedback signals, and operate like an organism with leprosy).*

Populist nonsense, spread by ideologues and vested interests in the renewable energy industry intent on promoting solar PV. Distributed power structures, whilst flexible, are slow to deploy, add complexity to grid management, and are horrendously expensive /MWh delivered. Whist there is a small place for this in the mix, large scale power structures have economy of scale that are critical to maintaining competitively priced energy.

So it looks like a show down between the empire of Greig and the olligarchs vs alliance of democracy and the balance of science.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 09 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig, speaking of ideologues with vested interests here who are promoting your prefered authors:
The Heartland Institute is a Public Relations agency promoting policy that suits their preferred ideology. (Public Relations is new-speak for propaganda).

Such groups have risen with the a growth of corporate power as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy. Certain interest are safer under a âmanaged democracyâ.
He is some background on The Heartland Instituteâs practices:
[source watch](http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute)
[desmog](http://www.desmogblog.com/search/node/heartland%20institute)
[Exxon](http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=41)

http://memes.org/public-relations-newspeak-propaganda

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 09 Jun 2009 #permalink

For other readers, Greig doesn't think a price on carbon is necesary, so in Greig's world neither the market nor democracy should decide the energy mix.

Which leaves Greig with the olligarchs who can purchase influence, and manipulate the populus via their monopoly.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 09 Jun 2009 #permalink

*So it looks like a show down between the empire of Greig and the olligarchs vs alliance of democracy and the balance of science.*

Ridiculous.

All over the world, in countries both democratic and otherwise, large-scale centralised energy production is the norm, and supplies nearly all of our electricity. Decentralised systems are rare, mainly because of people choose not to pay the exhorbitant price for them. And yet somehow, according to Mark Byrne, centralised systems are opposed to democracy and science.

What a load of horse manure.

Greig,

Its you who mentioned centralised power, not I.

I support democracy and science, I'm happy to opt for pragmatic solutions (where they fit). You are aguging with a strawman and not me on these two points. By the way what are your "pragmatic" solutions?

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 09 Jun 2009 #permalink

*For other readers, Greig doesn't think a price on carbon is necesary, so in Greig's world neither the market nor democracy should decide the energy mix.*

Who is setting the price of carbon in Rudd's proposed ETS? Did we vote on it? Or is the power in the hands of the few?

And for he record, as I have explained repreatedly, I am not opposed to placing a price on carbon if it is a part of a global carbon trading solution.

Spencer a wealth of relevant peer-reviewed reviewed scientific literature? Ha, ha,ha,ha,ha,ha. Good one Greig.

I'm not sure what you think is so funny. Spencer has published 25 research articles in peer-reviewed journals

So where is the list of 25 articles on that blog page? You'll have to do better than assertion by spurious blog page.

Lindzen's and Spencer's ideas have not been disproven.

Sure, if you say so.

Yes, I say so.

Yes, because you're like God, aren't you Greig?

No, I am a person with a right to have an opinion.

The only thing that makes something true by saying it, is God.

You have a right to yours, but your attitude toward someone who simply disagrees with you, characterises you as arrogant and immature.

What a hypocrite.

And who is this "God" person anyway? :)

It's what you think you are when you say something has not been disproven because "I say so".

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 09 Jun 2009 #permalink

*The only thing that makes something true by saying it, is God.*

Please provide a reference to peer reviewed literature which supports this claim. :)

Greig says, "I don't believe that global warming will threaten them nearly as much as other issues".

As I have said, its not how much climate change threatens humans directly but indirectly via effects on natural systems that generate a wealth of services that permit us to exist and to persist. Most of the critical ecosystem services - climate control, water purification, pollination, nutrient cycling, pest control, soil fertility, etc. have few if any cost-effective technological substitutes and won't have at any time in the near future. The effects of climate change, as I said yesterday, will be to further simplify nature and to drive down populations of species making them more prone to local extinction with a concomitant loss of vital services.

Listen, Greig, I wouldn't mind you arguing if you were at least a little informed on the science underpinning the relationship between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and human well-being, but you clearly are not, are thus are arguing from a perspective of ignorance. Its like someone who has a serious disease (but does not yet know it) claiming that this disease is less of a threat to their well-being than some other factor, which, although perhaps important, does not in any way preclude the fact that the person harbours a serious illness that they do not yet know they have.

Lastly, its not a case of what I feel is important, but what I weigh up as vital to the security of humanity on the basis of being more knowledgable than you are. Sorry to be so blunt, but because you apparently don't know much about the effects of climate change on natural systems, nor of the importance of natural systems in sustaining humanity, you dismiss it with pithy comments in which you state that I am arguing about what I *personally* think is important. Let me make it plain for you: FACT 1. Humans are simplifying natural systems at such a rate that we are pushing them closer to a point beyond they will be unaable to sustain thelselves and us. FACT 2. Climate change, driven in large measure by the human combustion of fossil fuels, is going to be a major contributor to the breakdown of food webs and ecosystems accross various parts of the biosphere. FACT 3. If we continue on the present course, there is little doubt that the conditions in which we are living - especially the privileged few in the developed world who monopolize something like 80% of the planet's resource base - are going to get a lot worse, as rates of species extinction continue to rise, ecological systems break down and with them the aforementioned services that (once again to reiterate) permit us to exist and persist.

The vast majority of the scientific community are in full agreement with what I am saying here. You can cite a few outliers (by the way, I have 91 peer-reviewed articles in the scientific literature if you want to compare me with Spencer's 25) but my opinions here are strictly not my own but I can guarantee are shared by most of my peers. For every Spencer, Lindzen etc., there are hundreds of scientists who have very different views on the issue of climate change, its causes and its potentially consequences for mankind.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 10 Jun 2009 #permalink

For the record Greig is inconsistent and holds multiple and confused positions on the issue of pricing carbon

Would you also support a carbon pricing mechanism to provide market incentives?

Greig 195

I would support an ETS only if it has multilateral international support from all nations (including the developing world). Otherwise it won't work, so why bother.

[We might speculate that Greig would not be pitching for a per-capita global target here. Go on Greig tell us your up for a global per capita target]

Greig goes on:

Also. the ETS is a mechanism for generating huge revenues and placing it in the governments hands. That is why it has bipartisan support. It is a tax.

Public money is better spent on research into technology, not on creating massive a bureaucracy that will only end up becoming corrupt.

Some may argue that by failing to create market incentives, that all solutions will arrive at coal, but I don't think soâ¦

Greig 197: âA price signal is not required.â
Greig 221: â ⦠there are far too many unknowns to determine an "optimum" CO2 level to target.â

So what level of CO2/kWh would you set and why?

Greig 226: âThe level should be set to include gas CCGT initially, but exclude coal and oil unless implemented with CCS. All new plants would be grandfathered to ensure investment faith. The level would then be gradually lowered as new technology becomes commercially available.â

Given that efficiency promises the greatest cuts, how would you incentivise efficiency in the post-generation phases? And how would you incentivise land-use changes/preservation?

Grieg 230: âBuilding legislation Corporate programs (eg Greenhouse Challenge) 5 star ratings on appliances etc.Land use changes (re clearing) are already enshrined in legislation courtesy of Howard and co.â

Greig, what about efficiency in built homes? And efficiency is transmission, and distribution?

Greig 242: âRebates on insulationâ¦.Where there is cost justification, you should see efficiency improvements implemented. Legislation is not required, only a program to identify opportunities.â

Greig how would you promote the uptake of the beneficial changes to land management that are currently not practiced? (Bio-char, carbon in soil, preservation of unprotected rich carbon ecosystems, feed changes and incentives to reduce cattle methane)?

Grieg 248: âThe implementation of organic sequestration technologies like biochar would be a part of an international agreement to trade carbon.â

Greig, would you propose a mechanism for pricing carbon along side your CO2/kWh mandate?

Greig 257: âNo. It is unnecessary.â

How would you trade carbon (for âorganic sequestration technologiesâ) without a carbon pricing mechanism?

Greig 262: âYou asked if I (or presumedly Australian policy) would propose a mechanism for pricing carbon. I said no, because the mechanism would be set by international agreement.â

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 10 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig 348

Who is setting the price of carbon in Rudd's proposed ETS? Did we vote on it? Or is the power in the hands of the few?

Definitely the few. The populus voted for action on climate change, but the concentrated power held by coal interests perverted the outcome.

Consolidated media ownership, increasing concentration of wealth, increasing expenditure on lobbying decision makers, increasing expenditure on political campaigns, increasing expenditure on political donations, and sophisticated strategic targeting (attack or support) of political candidates, is affecting the balance of power between democracy and plutocracy.

For example, insiders to the machinations of the ALPâs development of the CPRS are aware of a pressure that is not discussed in public sound-bites. One of the forces driving the ALPâs position on the CPRS is the pressure from coal interest (power generation and mining) with particularly . Large investors with concentrated power, threaten to take their grievances to the BIS and attack Australiaâs credit rating. This risks increasing the cost of investment/capital in Australia.
Hence , similar to the TARP and TARP2 bailouts, the greed (and power) of the small but most powerful minority dominates over the interest of the whole.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 10 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig writes:

In other words, global warming can be a good thing, if we plan for it, and adapt, and help our fellow creatures to adapt too. Think about it.

I have thought about it, and more importantly, so have climatologists, geographers, economists, and political scientists.

Global warming will result in more droughts in continental interiors, more violent weather along coastlines, the removal of fresh water sources for a billion people in Asia and Latin America who depend on glacier melt to feed their rivers, and in the long run, the loss of trillions of dollars worth of infrastructure due to sea-level rise.

The most recent UN estimate is that climate change is already killing 300,000 people every year.

I estimate that if we do nothing about climate change, human agriculture will completely collapse in about fifty years, leading to the destruction of the civilization we're used to. I consider that a bad thing.

Greig writes:

you should all grow up and learn to be tolerant of other people's views and the vast complexity of the universe.

We should be tolerant of other PEOPLE. We do not have to be even the least bit tolerant of other people's VIEWS. That's a crucial distinction, and one you ought to grow up and learn.

Greig writes:

Acquaintance with the science?

Lindzen's and Spencer's ideas have not been disproven. Open your mind.

They damn well HAVE been disproven. Lindzen proposed a "tropical iris" cloud mechanism that would constrain CO2 temperature sensitivity to a very low level. It was solid, peer-reviewed science, but satellite observations shot it down. He was WRONG.

Spencer is not only wrong, but dishonest. He makes the argument that because CO2 is a very small part of the atmosphere, its effect is negligible. He worked with satellite radiative sensors, so he must know Beer's Law. He knows what he's saying is wrong, but he said it anyway, knowing that most of the people reading his blog would not be scientists and would not have the obscure bit of knowledge that there is no volume fraction term in Beer's Law.

Open your little, closed, intolerant, ignorant mind, Greig.

Chris O'Neill posts:

BTW, that was a good one about Ray Pierrehumbert not boasting a wealth of relevant peer-reviewed scientific literature compared with Spencer. You should tell it more often.

To which Greig replies:

I'm not sure what you think is so funny. Spencer has published 25 research articles in peer-reviewed journals

A quick glance at the bibliography page of Ray Pierrehumbert's web site at the University of Chicago lists 92 articles or books in which he is the author or co-author. Four to one. Game.

I didn't say stopped and I said stalled, and by any measure and regardless of any reveresed decisions that certain people imagine, it is obvious that wind power growth in Denmark has stalled. at around 3125 MW capacity. Even with the addition of Horns Rev 2, Danish wind power is growing at a snails pace.

let us see. Horns Rev 2 wil add 209 MW. that is an addition of about 7% alone.

this is funny: for some weird reason, Greig thinks a price increase of a MAXIMUM 15% to energy is a disaster. an increase of wind capacity by 7% on the other hand is "snails pace".

even numbers have a completely different meaning to Greig...

ps: all of this is only relevant, when you ignore the fact, that the country that "stalled" wind energy is finishing the BIGGEST offshore wiondfarm in the world....
and making plans to double its share of wind energy...

And I also see that we are definitely undershooting on energy requirements if you consider the likelihood of electric vehicles becoming viable in the near future.

Greig, this is getting absurd. electric cars actually will SUPPORT alternative energy sources. the need for batteries that give a range of several 100 km coupled with the average day travel being only a fraction of this, gives eletric cras a huge storage capacity.
you are not seriously proposing to load those cars by a coal plants 100s of km away?

i really shouldn t have to explain such stuff to you. it is common knowledge...

electric cars actually will SUPPORT alternative energy sources. the need for batteries that give a range of several 100 km coupled with the average day travel being only a fraction of this, gives eletric cras a huge storage capacity. you are not seriously proposing to load those cars by a coal plants 100s of km away?

Organising a power grid with battery powered cars as the storage mechanism is one of the best options we have. Storage is the key to successful non-carbon energy system, not generating capacity.

Populist nonsense, spread by ideologues and vested interests in the renewable energy industry intent on promoting solar PV. Distributed power structures, whilst flexible, are slow to deploy, add complexity to grid management, and are horrendously expensive /MWh delivered. Whist there is a small place for this in the mix, large scale power structures have economy of scale that are critical to maintaining competitively priced energy.

this is complete nonsense. this has been shown to you by multiple REAL sources.

all that we have to support your point, is your own opinion, without any literature support what so ever.

a extra maximum of 15$/MWh is NOT expensive. using the numbers provided by Barton, this maximum addition will basically only bring wind into the same range as nuclear already is. basically it isn t a price increase at all.

why do you keep to make claims about the "complexity of the grid", even though you have been shown that this is total bogus?

In yet another attempt at claiming authority by being a "senior scientist" (albeit in a specific, restricted field), Jeff Harvey writes:

*Listen, Greig, I wouldn't mind you arguing if you were at least a little informed on the science underpinning the relationship between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and human well-being, but you clearly are not, are thus are arguing from a perspective of ignorance.*

Listen Jeff, I wouldn't mind you arguing if you were at least a little informed on the engineering underpinning the means to reduce carbon emissions and still provide for humanities needs, but you clearly are not, are thus are arguing from a perspective of ignorance.

*FACT 1. Humans are simplifying natural systems at such a rate that we are pushing them closer to a point beyond they will be unable to sustain themselves and us.*

For your information, Jeff, I completely agree with your view that loss of biodiversity is of prime importance. What I disagree with you on is as follows:

*FACT 2. Climate change, driven in large measure by the human combustion of fossil fuels, is going to be a major contributor to the breakdown of food webs and ecosystems across various parts of the biosphere.*

Climate change is but one issue which causes loss of biodiversity. And the degree to which humans drive climate change is critical, and yet remains a matter of contention and uncertainty. Until it is known with more certainty, the correct balance of policy to reduce human impact on biodiversity is debatable.

*FACT 3. If we continue on the present course, there is little doubt that the conditions in which we are living - especially the privileged few in the developed world who monopolize something like 80% of the planet's resource base - are going to get a lot worse*

Again agreed. A change of course is required. And we must use all available technology to steer that course in the most efficient manner possible, and to address ALL impacts that humans have on the environment, including population control, agricultural practices, etc.

{Mark Byrne] *For the record Greig is inconsistent and holds multiple and confused positions on the issue of pricing carbon*

Argument by assertion, and quite wrong.

As previously stated, I would support an ETS only if it has multilateral international support from all nations (including the developing world). Otherwise it won't work, so why bother. There are far too many unknowns to determine an "optimum" CO2 level to target. An international agreement would attempt to take all factors into account.

But I do not favour an ETS implemented unilaterally. The ETS is a mechanism for generating huge revenues and placing it in the governments hands. That is why it has bipartisan support. It is a tax. Public money is better spent on research into technology, not on creating massive a bureaucracy that will only end up becoming corrupt. A price signal(via an ETS) is not required, and instead legislation will suffice in creating a suitable direction in the absence of an international agreement on carbon pricing.

Such legislation should be set to include gas CCGT initially, but exclude coal and oil unless implemented with CCS. All new plants would be grandfathered to ensure investment faith. The level would then be gradually lowered as new technology becomes commercially available. Efficiency would also be encouraged through suitable programs such as: building legislation, corporate programs (eg Greenhouse Challenge), 5 star ratings on appliances etc. Land use changes (re clearing) are already enshrined in legislation courtesy of Howard and co. Rebates on insulation, and improved transmission infrastructure, are already policy in the process of implementation.

Legislation cannot cover all mechanisms for CO2 reduction. For example, the implementation of organic sequestration technologies like biochar would need to wait, and be a part of an international agreement to trade carbon.

[Greig]: *Who is setting the price of carbon in Rudd's proposed ETS? Did we vote on it? Or is the power in the hands of the few?*

*Definitely the few⦠the small but most powerful minority dominates over the interest of the whole*

As usual, you promote one side of the debate as if it holds and undeniable ethical high ground. On the other side, the coal industry and associated unions provide the jobs of many thousands of working class Australians, and $billions in revenues that contribute very substantially to the economic prosperity of this country. They have a right to lobby under our democracy, yet you would deny them that. By denying the rights of a very large and worthy part of the community, in favour of the ideological position of well-to-do chardonnay sipping urbanites, it is you who is arguing for plutocracy.

And before you inevitably start calling me a coal lackey, I do not argue that the coal industry deserves open slather. Balance and compromise are the orders of the day.

* And the degree to which humans drive climate change is critical, and yet remains a matter of contention and uncertainty. Until it is known with more certainty, the correct balance of policy to reduce human impact on biodiversity is debatable.*

What a lot of waffle.

How much more certainty do you need? Do you realise the uncertainty cuts both ways - that things could turn out a lot worse than seems most likely? The suggestion that uncertainty necessarily implies inaction is the best policy is illogical.

WotWot: *Organising a power grid with battery powered cars as the storage mechanism is one of the best options we have. Storage is the key to successful non-carbon energy system, not generating capacity.*

How do you manufacture and charge the batteries in the cars if you don't have generating capacity? (Sheesh).

Electric vehicles are a good idea because they will reduce overall CO2 emissions even if they were charged with coal-fired power. Electric commuter vehicles are only a decade or two from being mainstream, and will reach that status when oil maintains $200/barrel.

Daytime charging of cars from renewable sources (solar and wind) will dramatically increasing peak loads, particularly the summer peak load. And overnight charging from conventional generators (gas and biomass) would be expensive. Charging the cars overnight with off-peak CCGT and nuclear electricity is far and away the most economical option.

*How much more certainty do you need?*

A lot.

*Do you realise the uncertainty cuts both ways - that things could turn out a lot worse than seems most likely?*

Yes.

*The suggestion that uncertainty necessarily implies inaction is the best policy is illogical.*

Who is arguing for inaction?

Sod: *this is funny: for some weird reason, Greig thinks a price increase of a MAXIMUM 15% to energy is a disaster.*

Where did you get the 15% figure from? Fabricated?

And in fact, any increase in energy prices is potentially a disaster for someone in the expert industry competing with a overseas supplier who does not see this increase.

*an increase of wind capacity by 7% on the other hand is "snails pace".*

An increase in 7% OVER WHAT PERIOD? Did you read the link I posted? Clearly the rate of increase in Danish wind capacity is only barely keeping up with the decline in capacity due to maintenance issues and projected plant EOL.

You do realise the maintenance problems and plant life issues associated with offshore wind farms, don't you? Or do you imagine they run by themselves forever?

*this is complete nonsense. this has been shown to you by multiple REAL sources.*

Crap, Sod. You don't have a clue.

Greig:

There is a blog on RealClimate where the Spencer paper is âdebunkedâ, but in my opinion

, for what it's worth, i.e. nothing,

it is a very poor attempt.

The so-called debunking has presented absolutely no comment on the thrust of Spencerâs hypothesis concerning internal radiative forcing,

Bullshit Greig. Raypierre says:

"Spencer tries to introduce the rather peculiar notion of "internal radiative forcing" as distinct from cloud or water vapor feedback. He goes so far as to say that the IPCC is biased against "internal radiative forcing," in favor of treating cloud effects as feedback. Just what does he mean by this notion? And what, if any, difference does it make to the way IPCC models are formulated? The answer to the latter question is easy: none, since the concept of feedbacks is just something used to try to make sense of what a model does, and does not actually enter into the formulation of the model itself.

Clouds respond on a time scale of hours to weather conditions like the appearance of fronts, to oceanic conditions, and to external radiative forcing (such as the rising and setting of the Sun). Does Spencer really think that a subsystem with such a quick intrinsic time scale can just up and decide to lock into some new configuration and stay there for decades, forcing the ocean to be dragged along into some compatible state? Or does he perhaps mean that slow components,like the ocean, modulate the clouds, and the resulting cloud radiative forcing amplifies or damps the resulting interannual or decadal variability? That latter sounds a lot like a cloud feedback to me â acting on natural variability whose root cause is in the ponderous motions of the ocean."

etc.

and has only commented on the manner in which Spencer created a single graph.

If you read the comments by Bryan S, it is clear that Ray Pierrehumbertâs main gripe with Spencer is BS, and Spencerâs assumptions regarding ocean layer heat transfer are actually justified,

not to mention the equally serious concoctions about initial thermal state of the oceans and the magnitude of radiative forcing.

and supported in the peer-reviewed literature.

Yeah sure it is.

I can see nothing wrong with Spencerâs assumptions in creating the graph,

Well you wouldn't, would you.

it definitely shows a remarkable correlation,

It's remarkable alright. Remarkable the lengths that Spencer will go to to cook up a fraud.

even if you were to relax some of the assumptions.

OK, which ONE of his assumptions can you change to something realistic to get anything like his presented result?

His hypothesis on IRF is interesting,

I don't find meaningless catchphrases interesting.

It correlates very well with the work of Lindzen and Lin.

And they have so much credibility.

And adds weight to the growing realisation (observed in the paleoclimate record) that there are powerful negative feedback(s) which stabilise the atmospheric temperature against greenhouse forcing.

Yes those mythical powerful negative feedbacks that have never been quantified in any properly reviewed paper. Just like those mythical solar forcing mechanisms that have never been quantified in any properly reviewed paper either. BTW, here are some more Spencer fairy tales cited on another thread:

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/spencers-folly/

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/spencers-folly-2/

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/spencers-folly-3/

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 11 Jun 2009 #permalink

*It's remarkable alright. Remarkable the lengths that Spencer will go to to cook up a fraud.*

So, Chris, you can add your name (along with Ray P) to the list of those who admit to not understanding Spencer's theory, and can only argue in response by expressing incredulity.

Greig 365

Argument by assertion, and quite wrong.

No Grieg, demonstration [by illustration.]( http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/grieg_thread.php#comment-1692376)
BTW you didnât response to the question of whether you would support an equal per-capita carbon target? Such a scheme would help address part of the structural inequality experience by those with greatest disadvantaged (i.e we pay them for destroying our common property- the climate). My guess is that you would dislike it.
You also seem unaware of the more effective forms of carbon tax. Iâm sure some others reading here are aware of the revenue neutral âtax and redistributeâ model proposed by James Hansen. Thereby maximizing incentive to for innovation and research. But hey, Iâd also support direct grants for research, directed towards developing industry (facing barriers to entry), the big establish industry can redirect their own profits to R&D. (I bet Greig hates this idea, public funds not going to the oligarchs).

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 11 Jun 2009 #permalink

[The coal interests] have a right to lobby under our democracy, yet you would deny them that. By denying the rights of a very large and worthy part of the community

Oh the poor oligarchs. What rights I am denying the poor plutocrats? You mean right to buy the political process? That is the difference between a democracy and plutocracy.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 11 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig @ 365

As usual, you promote one side of the debate as if it holds and undeniable ethical high ground. On the other side, the coal industry and associated unions provide the jobs of many thousands of working class Australians, and $billions in revenues that contribute very substantially to the economic prosperity of this country.

Yeah, yeah... same old stuff from Grieg. Ignore the externalities of coal, Ignore the new jobs. Pay lip service to one sector of the working class, ignore the rest (and the most vulnerable of the world). I expect it from you now. Greig you donât even know what prosperity is. Your kids will see it more clearly in time.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 11 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig @ 365

[The coal interests] have a right to lobby under our democracy, yet you would deny them that. By denying the rights of a very large and worthy part of the community, in favour of the ideological position of well-to-do chardonnay sipping urbanites, it is you who is arguing for plutocracy.

Now Iâm getting new insight into where Greigâs skepticism is seated. Are you a bit of an ideological warrior Greig?

Nice rhetorical trick by the way, have you been studying the playbook from the gold plated, Porsche driving, diamond studded elites favored in Murduchâs empire?

Do you want to compare asset portfoliosâ Greig? Youâre supposed to wait âtil you see how I dress before you try and make people think Iâm rich. You could get really embarrassed if I donât fit the bill of âwell-to-doâ.

By the way Greig, what are you drinking tonight? A Shiraz? Had your latte today? You wouldnât live is an urban setting would you? Seems to me you like a bit of Chatter. Are you of that class?

Go on, now tell us how poor you are and how rich we are. What a jolly fun diversion that would be.

And you wanted to pretend that I was arguing by assertion. Pity that the climate doesnât care how silly your rhetoric is.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 11 Jun 2009 #permalink

Where did you get the 15% figure from? Fabricated?

i calculated it from the extra MAXIMUM 15$/MWh given in the text i cited multiple times. you obviously didn t make any calculations, to judge this value, that according to you is prohibiting further development?

at a price of 10ct, it will be a 15% MAXIMUM price increase...

And in fact, any increase in energy prices is potentially a disaster for someone in the expert industry competing with a overseas supplier who does not see this increase.

again, this is just bringing wind up to the price of nuclear. nuclear is a technology that you support. i fail to see your point.

An increase in 7% OVER WHAT PERIOD?

funny, but when you endorsed the 15$/MWh MAXIMUM price increase, by chance, you did NOT ask, over what time that increase would happen.

Did you read the link I posted? Clearly the rate of increase in Danish wind capacity is only barely keeping up with the decline in capacity due to maintenance issues and projected plant EOL.

actually, Denmark will finish 2 big offshore farms in the next year. together, they will generate [409MW](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_offshore_wind_farms)
they are adding 13% to their wind power, using the numbers YOU provided! again: they are finishing the biggest offshore wind farm in the world!

calling it "stalled" is just a false use of the term!
yes, the conservative government made them miss a couple of years, that could have been used for further progress. but your claim that there is a 20% hard cap is simply FALSE.

You do realise the maintenance problems and plant life issues associated with offshore wind farms, don't you? Or do you imagine they run by themselves forever?

actually wind runs for less than 1ct per kWh. offshore wind is a rather young technology. but it actually has advantages over land based wind. (transport...) have you factored those into your equations?

Daytime charging of cars from renewable sources (solar and wind) will dramatically increasing peak loads, particularly the summer peak load. And overnight charging from conventional generators (gas and biomass) would be expensive. Charging the cars overnight with off-peak CCGT and nuclear electricity is far and away the most economical option.

no. cheap night power is a PROBLEM of coal and nuclear. you try to pretend that it is an advantage. it just is a problem that we got used to, over a long time.

you are contradicting your self again. i remember we your claims about winter morning peaks...

summer afternoon peak sounds like a perfect time for solar energy. but hey, what do i know?

What is curious about Spencer's hypothesis fantasy is that it implies the additional forcing from enhanced greenhouse gases won't warm tropical regions significantly, but instead create more frequent and more intense tropical storms.

Rather like jumping from the pan into the fire.

Greig says:

But I do not favour an ETS implemented unilaterally. The ETS is a mechanism for generating huge revenues and placing it in the governments hands. That is why it has bipartisan support. It is a tax.

Emissions trading (or emission trading) is an administrative approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants. It is sometimes called cap and trade.
A coal power plant in Germany. Due to emissions trading, coal may become less competitive as a fuel.

A central authority (usually a government or international body) sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted. Companies or other groups are issued emission permits and are required to hold an equivalent number of allowances (or credits) which represent the right to emit a specific amount. The total amount of allowances and credits cannot exceed the cap, limiting total emissions to that level. Companies that need to increase their emission allowance must buy credits from those who pollute less. The transfer of allowances is referred to as a trade. In effect, the buyer is paying a charge for polluting, while the seller is being rewarded for having reduced emissions by more than was needed. Thus, in theory, those that can easily reduce emissions most cheaply will do so, achieving the pollution reduction at the lowest possible cost to society.

Where are all these revenues of which you speak? If permits are auctioned that is a one time revenue windfall. However, as the global cap is gradually reduced, the government will have to buy back credits at market prices.

Pretty much revenue neutral.

Oh! And Greig, you are a proven liar, besides suspect of being an irredeemable idiot. Of that we can be certain.

Before you make the argument by assertion that is an argument by assertion, I must ask, do you need the citations again?

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 12 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig:

it definitely shows a remarkable correlation,

It's remarkable alright. Remarkable the lengths that Spencer will go to to cook up a fraud.

So, Chris, you can add your name (along with Ray P) to the list of those who admit to not understanding Spencer's theory, and can only argue in response by expressing incredulity.

What an incredibly short attention span. Just 3 sentences before my above statement, I wrote:

not to mention the equally serious concoctions about initial thermal state of the oceans and the magnitude of radiative forcing.

i.e. I had already pointed out the lengths that Spencer will go to to cook up a fraud.

BTW, it takes an amazing lack of skepticism to be sucked in by Spencer's graph. Anyone who is and who calls themselves a skeptic displays plenty of hypocrisy.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 12 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig opines at #364:

Climate change is but one issue which causes loss of biodiversity. And the degree to which humans drive climate change is critical, and yet remains a matter of contention and uncertainty. Until it is known with more certainty, the correct balance of policy to reduce human impact on biodiversity is debatable.

You make the 'right' noises about protecting biodiversity, but you patently have not a skerrick of a clue about how the ecology of biodiversity operates.

If you had bothered to check, by UTFSE, what Jeff Harvey has said previously on Deltoid, you might have discovered a conversation he [and I](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/06/the_denial_industrial_complex.p…) had with Lance about the threats to global ecology.

The "degree to which humans drive climate change", whilst of 'debate' amongst denialists, contrarians, and inactivists, is not significantly questioned by the vast majority of ecologists and population biologists, as we see the signatures every day in phenological and other biological responses of a great (and increasing) number of species.

The 'correct answer' to protecting biodiversity is not to wait and see, but to do our level best to protect what we have in the best ways that we can, because we are spending our biodiversity capital at a rate that is unsustainable. A good analogy is that so beloved of a certain 'economist' who sometimes infests the threads here... the way humans utilise biodiversity and natural resources is akin to a Ponzi scheme, where we rob the Peters of the world to pay the expectation of a small coterie of Pauls for dividend, to the point where there will one day be no more Peters left to exploit. If we wait "until it is known with more certainty", we will have bankrupted our biodiversity reserves to the point where our western lifestyles, quite probably our civilisation, and possibly even most of the numbers of our own species fall irretrievably over.

Your ignorance recalls janama's rib-tickling remark on the Bog with respect to the fact that some of the regions burned out by the February fires in Victoria have recently experienced snowfall:

The wildlife thatâs us btw, and the countryside (planet), survived a 39C variation in temperature and extreme changes in weather, albeit not a change in climate.

Why does a .04C variation, or 1C really matter?

It is clear that neither you nor janama are familiar with the facts that:

  1. some species are generalists, whilst many others are not
  2. that many species hibernate/æstivate/deciduate in order to avoid inclement climatic conditions
  3. many species are able to cope with short-term (and often acute) changes in their bioclimatic envelopes, whilst nevertheless struggling with long term but subtle alterations in temperature
  4. small changes to temperature regimes might not affect species directly, but do have profound phenological impacts upon prey/host species, or upon other species with which they interact or on which they depend
  5. alterations to temperature can exacerbate, synergise with, or otherwise potentiate the impacts that I listed in the link above.

Like it or not, rates of change of temperature, and of other climatic conditions that are affected by AGW-induced temperature changes, are different to the 'normal' evolutionary-scale changes that occur over 'geological' time. In the past, where abrupt changes have occurred, significant extinctions have followed, and it should be kept in mind that for all our technology we, as a species, are nevertheless irrevocably sensitive to the integrity of the biosphere in which we live.

It's remarkable alright. Remarkable the lengths that Spencer will go to to cook up a fraud.

So, Chris, you can add your name (along with Ray P) to the list of those who admit [sic] to not understanding Spencer's theory, and can only argue in response by expressing incredulity.

Oh, so you are able to 'understand' Spencer's theory, where the world's best climate scientists do not.

Perhaps you would care to detail where Spencer has it right, and the world's climatologists are falling down.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 12 Jun 2009 #permalink

*you patently have not a skerrick of a clue about how the ecology of biodiversity operates.*

In that case, why is it that I completely agree with everything that you and Jeff Harvey are saying about the importance of protecting biodiversity?

*we [ecologists and population biologists] see the signatures every day in phenological and other biological responses of a great (and increasing) number of species.*

Yes, but you do not *see* the degree to which humans contribute to climate change, as opposed to natural climate change. And you are no more qualified than I am to reach a conclusion on that subject. Despite your claims, the issue remains in debate, and the science is not settled.

*Like it or not, rates of change of temperature, and of other climatic conditions that are affected by AGW-induced temperature changes, are different to the 'normal' evolutionary-scale changes that occur over 'geological' time.*

Not correct. And it will only be true in the future [if current warming continues unabated](http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/FAQ/wg1_faq-6.2.html).

*Oh, so you are able to 'understand' Spencer's theory, where the world's best climate scientists do not.*

Yes, and who says the *worlds best best climate scientists do not*?

*it takes an amazing lack of skepticism to be sucked in by Spencer's graph. Anyone who is and who calls themselves a skeptic displays plenty of hypocrisy.*

Actually, I am equally sceptical towards Spencer, Lindzen, Hanson, etc.

But anyone who calls a valid and supported theory a "concoction" and dismisses it out of hand as a "fraud", is showing a lack of open mindedness which is the antithesis of appropriate scientific demeanor.

[Mark Byrne] *you didnât response to the question of whether you would support an equal per-capita carbon target?*

Per capita targets would

a)maintain BAU in the developed world, and thereby fail to reduce CO2 emissions significantly, or
b)result in massive trade imbalance in the western world, reducing it quickly to third world living standards, or
c)both (a) and (b).

So, Iâm not sure why anyone would propose such a ludicrous goal for an international agreement, unless they were intent on (b) becoming a reality. I am sure there are plenty of ideologues who wish for the end of western prosperity, and I am guessing Mark Byrne is one of them.

*Iâd also support direct grants for research, directed towards developing industry (facing barriers to entry), the big establish industry can redirect their own profits to R&D. (I bet Greig hates this idea, public funds not going to the oligarchs).*

Funding of renewables is already is running at 6 times the funding received in the coal industry, and I would not be opposed to seeing more investment in research (toward promising projects). However using subsidies to implement technology that is not economically viable will ultimately be disastrous.

*Ignore the externalities of coal, Ignore the new jobs. Pay lip service to one sector of the working class, ignore the rest (and the most vulnerable of the world).*

I am ignoring none of the above, merely arguing for a balanced response that takes into account the democratic rights of the coal industry and its workers.

*Greig, in your rush to standup for the coal workers, did you forget that your planned cap for CO2/kWh was selected by you to end the use of coal?*

No, I did not suggest the âend of coalâ I suggestd legislation that banned new coal-fired plants from being built unless they are implemented with CCS. That is different from a âno compensationâ ETS, which would see relatively new coal-fired plants shutdown, and would be economically ruinous policy resulting in massive unemployment, energy shortfalls, and price inflation.

*Funding of renewables is already is running at 6 times the funding received in the coal industry*

... on a per MWh delivered basis.

Greig @ 384

Per capita targets would
(a) maintain BAU in the developed world, and thereby fail to reduce CO2 emissions significantly, or b) result in massive trade imbalance in the western world, reducing it quickly to third world living standards⦠I am sure there are plenty of ideologues who wish for the end of western prosperity, and I am guessing Mark Byrne is one of them.

Greig you again reveal a blind-side. The wasteful ways of the most profligate are already producing a huge trade imbalance. Weâre just not writing it into the [balance sheet](http://www.millenniumassessment.org/documents/document.429.aspx.pdf).

The same business-as-usual has put us on track that will gravely impact [living standards](http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg2.htm).

Continually ignoring these points demonstrates you do not appreciate what prosperity is. It also makes you look like you are stuck in an ideological bubble.

Given Greig rejects a per capita based CO2e target, we might assume Greig is a supporter of [entrench inequality](http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/national_carbon_dioxide_co2_emissions_p…) And in favour dynastic opportunity as a birth right.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 12 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig:

Actually, I am equally sceptical towards Spencer, Lindzen, Hanson, etc.

This from a person who says:

I can see NOTHING WRONG WITH SPENCER'S ASSUMPTIONS in creating the graph,

It just gets better and better.

But anyone who calls a valid and supported theory a "concoction"

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. There is just so, so much evidence that the world was 0.4 deg C out of equilibrium in 1900 isn't there. Must have been that sudden reduction in the StefanâBoltzmann constant that occurred in 1900. Yeah that was it.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 12 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig @ 384

⦠using subsidies to implement technology that is not economically viable will ultimately be disastrous.

Greig, you mean like the massive subsidy coal gets as free waste dumping in the atmosphere? If that were your point youâd be correct, but its not, so you are not.

I am ignoring none of the above [externalities of coal, the new jobs, the rest of working class the most vulnerable of the world], merely arguing for a balanced response that takes into account the democratic rights of the coal industry and its workers.

Sure Greig, you support the democratic right of the coal oligarchs, but donât want the rest of the populus to decide on the solutions in case they support energy infrastructure that [you disagree with](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/grieg_thread.php#comment-1691954):

I don't believe that global warming will threaten [children] nearly as much as other issues. Not the least is the very dangerous prospect of having our energy infrastructure (which few people understand) determined via democratic politics...

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 12 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig, [said that]( http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/grieg_thread.php#comment-1674397
)â The level [CO2/kWh] should be set to include gas CCGT initially, but exclude coal and oil unless implemented with CCS. â
Which means no new coal until (when or if) CCS is found to be practical and deployed. But if others support a price on carbon (thus treating effective CCS favourably) it means that they are â denying the rights of a very large and worthy part of the community, in favour of the ideological position of well-to-do chardonnay sipping urbanitesâ¦â.
So for Greig a carbon price that makes coal uneconomic (without CCS) is to be attacked with predictable tactics, but a CO2/kWh cap that excludes coal (without CCS) is good.
Greig your capacity for hypocrisy is now predictable.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 12 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig quotes me:

we [ecologists and population biologists] see the signatures every day in phenological and other biological responses of a great (and increasing) number of species.

and responds with:

Yes, but you do not see the degree to which humans contribute to climate change, as opposed to natural climate change. And you are no more qualified than I am to reach a conclusion on that subject. Despite your claims, the issue remains in debate, and the science is not settled.

My colleagues and I do see "the degree to which humans contribute to climate change", in the manner of species' phenological responses to alterations in temperature regimes, and to associated climatic factors.

You see, we have more than an inkling of the evolutionary lifespan of the species we study, of the rate at which these species are able to adapt naturally to climatic shifts, of of the current rate of alteration of bioclimatic envelopes, and how all of these parameters indicate changes afoot that are occurring above the background rate.

This, together with the fact that the world's climate scientists [show](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Climate_Change_Attribution.png) how the current change in global temperature is largely [anthropogenic](http://knowledge.allianz.com/nopi_downloads/images/IPCC_Graphic_SPM-4_W…) in origin, indicates to my colleagues and I that human impact on climate is reflected in the changes we see in the phenological and other bioclimatic life-histories of the species we study.

Without knowing your bona fides I will not comment on your "qualification" to "reach a conclusion". However, both Jeff and I have previously provided our own bona fides on Deltoid, and I would say that we are both "qualified" to reach such a conclusion with the best of the evidence available to us.

Of course, if you can't stomach our "conclusions", you are welcome to study the relevant ecological bodies of knowledge, and the relevant evidence, and come back to us with your own contradictions.

Be aware though that amongst the significant majority of "qualified" scientists practising in these areas of biology there is no "debate" of note, and the relationship between modern ecosystem shifts and AGW is indeed accepted.

I also said previously:

Like it or not, rates of change of temperature, and of other climatic conditions that are affected by AGW-induced temperature changes, are different to the 'normal' evolutionary-scale changes that occur over 'geological' time.

to which Greig responded:

Not correct. And it will only be true in the future if current warming continues unabated.

"Not correct"? Really?

I would be very interested in your references that indicate that the last century's rate of temperature change is similar to the 'normal' evolutionary-scale changes that occur over 'geological' time. Note that any 'normal' rate of temperature change which species encounter will not cause extinctions over a baseline level - the best understanding today is that there is an extinction debt accruing from the current rate of temperature change that is over the background level.

Of course, my point is moot, because the end of your paragraph "And it will only be true in the future if current warming continues unabated" is inherently internally inconsistent with the beginning of the paragraph...

By saying "Not correct", you have said that the current rate of temperature change is not different to the 'normal' evolutionary-scale changes that occur over 'geological' time. You then immediately say that "if current warming continues unabated" it will be "true in the future", which is logically the same as saying that the current rate is different to 'normal' evolutionary-scale changes that occur over 'geological' time.

If it's true in the future, based on the current rate, it is true now.

I'm not quite sure exactly what troll game you're playing Greig, but it's not one founded on fact or logic.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 13 Jun 2009 #permalink

Funding of renewables is already is running at 6 times the funding received in the coal industry

... on a per MWh delivered basis.

Posted by: Greig | June 12, 2009 11:27 PM

Greig, you are making up lies again.

Subsidies

The Australian Government provides financial support for the production and implementation of all forms of energy development. These include direct payment and tax reductions. In 2001, Australia's subsidies for the fossil fuel related market alone exceeded $6.5 billion. Between 2005 and 2006, Australia's subsidies for the Energy Market ranged from $9.3 to $10.1 billion. The subsidies for fossil fuels account for 96%. 4% of the available funds for renewable and transport technologies.

The main source of Australia's electricity generation is coal. In 2003, coal-fired power plants generated 77.2% of the countryâs total electricity production, followed by natural gas (13.8%), hydropower (7.0%), oil (1.0%), biomass (0.6%) and solar and wind combined (0.3%)

Total subsidies that support production and consumption of different fuels

* Oil 76% at AU$7.4 billion
* Coal 17% at AU$1.7 billion
* Gas 4% at AU$377 million
* Renewables 3% at $326 million

a) 77.2% / 7.9% â 9.8x installed production for coal/renewables

b) 1.7B / 326M â 5.2x gross subsidy for coal/renewables

a/b â 1.9x subsidy per unit production of renewables/coal

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 13 Jun 2009 #permalink

I think Greig is talking about subsidies for technosolar renewables (wind turbines, solar thermal, solar PV, wave etc), i.e. excluding low-tech/well-established renewables like hydro and biomass.

How much of that $326M goes to technosolar? I don't know, but I'd be willing to guess it's more than half, which would make the subsidy much higher than even the one Greig cites.

I should note that wind contribution has increased a lot since 2003, and would now be about 1.5% of electricity generated.

Barry,

How much of that $326M goes to technosolar? I don't know, but I'd be willing to guess it's more than half...

I was being generous. â$115M of it goes specifically for support of electricity production and efficiency, the rest to other stationary energy and transport use. I'd guess more like one eighth.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 13 Jun 2009 #permalink

Of course this is all based on a snapshot from 2006. I haven't read the news where Rudd has moved any mountains.

More recent data would be welcome.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 13 Jun 2009 #permalink

I think Greig is talking about subsidies for technosolar renewables (wind turbines, solar thermal, solar PV, wave etc), i.e. excluding low-tech/well-established renewables like hydro and biomass.

Greig is wrong on everything and constantly moving the goalposts. he made a claim about renewables vs coal (already leaving out out oil..) and we shouldn t let him cherrypick any more. he was wrong. fact.

Mark Byrne: *Sure Greig, you support the democratic right of the coal oligarchs, but donât want the rest of the populus to decide on the solutions in case they support energy infrastructure that you disagree with*

There is a difference between "democratic process" and mob rules. If we allow the latter, we are doomed.

*So for Greig a carbon price that makes coal uneconomic (without CCS) is to be attacked with predictable tactics, but a CO2/kWh cap that excludes coal (without CCS) is good. Greig your capacity for hypocrisy is now predictable.*

Earth to Mark. Your lack of understanding of the economics of carbon trading is *becoming predictable*. You now apparently have no idea of what I am proposing, and inventing strawman arguments to validate your own preconceived ideological bias.

Once again for the dummies:

A flat price on carbon which discourages CO2 emissions may see the closing of viable generation capacity, with disastrous economic consequences. The coal industry has successfully lobbied the government for special consideration on the basis that the ETS will destroy jobs and harm the economy. The government proposes to resolve this by providing compensaton (free carbon credits). In my opinion, this makes the ETS unworkably complicated.

I propose that rather than implement a unilateral ETS (with compensation), instead the government simply legislate to ban the building of new coal plants, unless they meet emissions limits (eg by using CCS). It is the simplest way of achieving emissions reductions over time, maintain investment security, and avoid a complex regulatory system.

This is not hypocritical, Mark, it is simply a better way to achieve the desired outcome.

[Barry] *I should note that wind contribution has increased a lot since 2003, and would now be about 1.5% of electricity generated*

[Wind capacity in Australia is approx 1.125 GW as at end April 2008](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Australia) which is about 1% of the total capacity. Adjust this for an approximate capacity factor of 35%, add the contribution from solar and others, and the MWh delivered is about 0.36% of total MWh delivered.

[LB]*I'd guess more like one eighth.*

I don't agree, but OK, lets assume 1/8th of the $326M for the subsidies goes to technosolar, then:

((326/8)/.0036)/($1700/.96) = **6.4 times** the subsidies are going to technosolar compared to coal on a per MWh delivered basis.

[Sod] *Greig is wrong on everything and constantly moving the goalposts. he made a claim about renewables vs coal (already leaving out out oil..) and we shouldn t let him cherrypick any more. he was wrong. fact.*

Yes, Sod, you just keep saying that over and over until it is true. (Sheesh)

[Bernard J] *My colleagues and I do see "the degree to which humans contribute to climate change"*

This is an [argument from authority](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority), none of your citations actually demonstrate your claim that the current rate and degree of warming is faster than previous natural changes.

On the other hand, the IPCC states: *climate change within this century would be extremely unusual in geological terms*[*"**if warming continues unabated**"*](http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/FAQ/wg1_faq-6.2.html) . i.e. if warming does not continue unabated, that warming within this century will not be unusual on a geological timescale.

And so, we must yet wait to conclude on whether climate change represents a greater danger to biodiversity than habitat loss. In my opinion, the latter is demonstrably more important, and so must be addressed with greater urgency.

Jeff and Bernard, I just can't help but think that you guys are taking your eye off the ball.

((326/8)/.0036)/($1700/.96) = 6.4 times the subsidies are going to technosolar compared to coal on a per MWh delivered basis.

now if you had said "technosolar", when you had made the original claim you might have been wrong one single time...

Funding of renewables is already is running at 6 times the funding received in the coal industry ... on a per MWh delivered basis. Posted by: Greig | June 12, 2009 11:27 PM

post #384 does NOT mention that term. you have been contradicted. again.

This is an argument from authority, none of your citations actually demonstrate your claim that the current rate and degree of warming is faster than previous natural changes. ... On the other hand, the IPCC states: climate change within this century would be extremely unusual in geological terms"if warming continues unabated" . i.e. if warming does not continue unabated, that warming within this century will not be unusual on a geological timescale.

the source you continue to [cite](http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/FAQ/wg1_faq-6.2.html) does NOT contradict the point about the RATE OF CHANGE being faster. instead it supports it:

It is thus clear that the current rate of global climate change is much more rapid and very unusual in the context of past changes.

Greig said:
[Barry] I should note that wind contribution has increased a lot since 2003, and would now be about 1.5% of electricity generated

Wind capacity in Australia is approx 1.125 GW as at end April 2008 which is about 1% of the total capacity. Adjust this for an approximate capacity factor of 35%, add the contribution from solar and others, and the MWh delivered is about 0.36% of total MWh delivered.

I have no axe to grind for wind, but I am careful about my numbers. At 1.1 GW peak and 33% capacity factor, that's 370 MW average generation, which over a year is 3,200 GWh. Australia's electricity generation is ~220,000 GWh. So wind in 2008 is about 100*(3200/220000) = 1.5%

*now if you had said "technosolar", when you had made the original claim you might have been wrong one single time...*

Bullshit I was not wrong **AT ALL**.

Assuming total renewables (incl hydro and biomass) contribute 3% (MWh delivered), then the calculation is:

(($326)/.03)/($1700/.96) = **6.1 times**

How many times do you need to be proven wrong on this point?

*the current rate of global climate change is much more rapid and very unusual in the context of past changes.*

That depends on how you define "unusual". And this observation does not neccessarily have relevance to AGW.

The rate of change from 1910-1940 and from 1800-1850 were both comparable to the rate of change from 1970-present. And those earlier temperature rises were not associated with CO2 rise. And so if the *current rate of global climate change is much more rapid and very unusual in the context of past changes.* then what was happening in the early 1800s and 1900s? And why did those rapid changes not result in massive species extinction?

Get some perspective. There are some very important issues regarding the future of the planet. Anthropogenic climate change is not top of the list.

Greig @ 397

Mark Byrne: Sure Greig, you support the democratic right of the coal oligarchs, but donât want the rest of the populus to decide on the solutions in case they support energy infrastructure that you disagree with

Greig: There is a difference between "democratic process" and mob rules. If we allow the latter, we are doomed.

Grieg's implicit assertion: The coal oligarchs choice = "democracy". The choice of the demos = "mob rule".

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 13 Jun 2009 #permalink

*Australia's electricity generation is ~220,000 GWh. So wind in 2008 is about 100*(3200/220000) = 1.5%*

Barry, you are absolutely correct. I also believe you are correct in saying at least half of the $328M in subsidies would go to technosolar rather than hydro and biomass. Therefore, adding .1% for solar I believe the calculation should be:

(($326M/2)/.016)/($1700M/.96) = **5.75 times** the subsidies are going to technosolar compared to coal on a per MWh delivered basis.

*Grieg's implicit assertion: The coal oligarchs choice = "democracy". The choice of the demos = "mob rule".*

Democracy = the choice of coal industry, coal unions and workers **balanced** against the choice of ideologues who would destroy the coal industry.

"Mob rule" = the majority decision of an ill-informed (misled?) population who are mostly unaware of the implications to the community of destroying the coal industry.

Greig, exhibiting the attention span of a rhesus monkey, writes:

[BPL] No, but you can calculate it. Here's a simple example: http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Correlation.html

Correlation does not imply causation. Go back to high school.

Greig, I was responding to your post where you said we couldn't quantify how much of the problem was human-caused. I gave you an example of how to quantify it.

No, correlation doesn't imply causation. But AGW theory doesn't rest on climate correlations, it rests on radiation physics. It predicted the correlation before the correlation was observed, so observing it counts as confirmation, doesn't it?

Quit shifting the goalposts every time you respond to a post.

Barton Paul Levenson wrote:

*I gave you an example of how to quantify it.*

No, Barton, you didn't. And I think you know it.

Greig 407

Democracy = the choice of coal industry, coal unions and workers balanced against the choice of ideologues who would destroy the coal industry.

Greig you mean balanced as in the ALPâs current CPRS?

Or balanced as in coal Oligarchs (and their employees) get [no more influence ]( http://www.clivehamilton.net.au/cms/media/documents/articles/The_Dirty_…)than all other Australians and workers?

Greig:

I don't believe that global warming will threaten [children] nearly as much as other issues. Not the least is the very dangerous prospect of having our energy infrastructure (which few people understand) determined via [democratic politics... ](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/grieg_thread.php#comment-1691954)
By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 14 Jun 2009 #permalink

(($326M/2)/.016)/($1700M/.96) = 5.75 times the subsidies are going to technosolar compared to coal on a per MWh delivered basis.

your post #384 did not mention "technosolar".

Funding of renewables is already is running at 6 times the funding received in the coal industry

now as you showed that even technosolar doesn t get a full factor of 6, will you admit that you were wrong with your claim about "renewables"?? for once admit an error?

That depends on how you define "unusual". And this observation does not neccessarily have relevance to AGW.

you are running your very own dictionary, aren t you? "stalled windpower" includes opening the biggest offshore wind on the planet. "line by line agreement" didn t make people agree on lines. and now "unusual" isn t unusual either?

The rate of change from 1910-1940 and from 1800-1850 were both comparable to the rate of change from 1970-present. And those earlier temperature rises were not associated with CO2 rise. And so if the current rate of global climate change is much more rapid and very unusual in the context of past changes. then what was happening in the early 1800s and 1900s? And why did those rapid changes not result in massive species extinction?

nice cherrypick of periods. funny enough, the [trend from 1970 is still steeper than that from 1910-1940](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1900/plot/hadcrut3vgl…)

but i will not allow you to move the goalpost again. the simple facts remain: the part of the link you quoted, did NOT contradict the claim about the change being faster. instead, your own source supports this claim.
i am not surprised, that you are casting doubt upon it now.

Greig,

I support [your call]( http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/grieg_thread.php#comment-1705118) to ban all new coal plants (without CCS). A plan that could compliment a carbon price.

The reason you are a hypocrite is for attacking the outcome (loss of coal workers jobs) resulting from a carbon price.

It would not have been hypocritical to argue a ban has different efficiency to a carbon price. It is hypocritical to argue that the carbon price would mean:

â¦denying the rights of a very large and worthy part of the community, in favour of the ideological position of well-to-do chardonnay sipping urbanites...

Hypocrisy, because your policy (like a carbon price) would also shift jobs from coal to greener energy. Or as you prefer to say it, your policy would â¦denying the rights of a very large and worthy part of the community, in favour of the ideological position of well-to-do chardonnay sipping urbanites.. (Also you probably fit, more than many, the description you provide in the sentence).

Where your outcome differs is in the âgrandfatheringâ protection for existing coal plant. Thereby protecting some of the worst polluting plant available. Your concern for the investments of the [coal oligarchs ](http://www.guypearse.com/docs/guypearse.com/QE%20Extract%20for%20GP%20W…) is in stark contrast to lack of concern for the [most vulnerable ](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/grieg_thread.php#comment-1703583) and least responsible for the damage.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 14 Jun 2009 #permalink

This is an argument from authority, none of your citations actually demonstrate your claim that the current rate and degree of warming is faster than previous natural changes.

Greig, your "argument from authority" argument is spurious, because I am not saying that just because we have appropriate qualifications you should heed us. I am saying that we have the appropriate expertise understanding to know that Jeff, I and others are able to recognise that, for all of your apparent enthusiasm for sustaining ecological integrity, you seem unaware of a number of ecological facts/phenomena related to an observable response to climate variation, that indicate change over a baseline natural rate.

Which is fine if you're not an ecologist â just don't expect ecologists to take you seriously if you contradict fundamental ecological understanding.

On the other hand, the IPCC states: climate change within this century would be extremely unusual in geological terms"if warming continues unabated" . i.e. if warming does not continue unabated, that warming within this century will not be unusual on a geological timescale.

Who's appealing to authority now? And inappropriately too, I might add, because it's the IPCC's job to review the science, rather than to categorically promote it (except perhaps where there is no political interference from the member governments' bureaucratic representatives).

The IPCC's 'statements' are arrived at by a consensus review of the work of scientists, and represent the most conservative of opinions held by the global body scientific. Whilst they may not yet be prepared to categorically 'state' that the current warming is occurring at a faster rate than is 'natural', many individual scientists and groups do, and as I have said repeatedly, biologists recognise such an elevated rate in the nature of the phenological and other ecological shifts that are being observed.

If you are after more links that indicate such an unusually elevated rate of temperature change, you could always easily chase them yourself. However, as it appears that you are inexplicably unable to do so, you might consider [this](http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html#q8), or [this](http://www.snh.org.uk/trends/trends_notes/pdf/Climate%20change%20impact…), or [this](http://www.pnas.org/content/105/5/1425.abstract), or [this](http://tiny.cc/FpqAe), which is derived from [Overpeck et al](http://tiny.cc/17ZaY), a worthy read indeed.

If you consider the figures indicated by these sources, it is apparent that the current warming is at least as fast as occurred at the end of the last ice age (when many species did become extinct), and probably two or three times faster, [if not more](http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10139&page=8). As [this](http://tiny.cc/FpqAe) indicates, the rate is not likely to be greater than an order of magnitude over natural baseline; but then, a careful perusal of figure 7.4 will show that the picture is complicated by higher local rates and magnitudes of change, which together have significant implications indeed for the local ecosystems and their component species.

Consider too that most of the abrupt 'natural' changes involve the shift from an ice age to the current 'temperate' interglacial state, and that most extant species that might be affected by such shifts will, by the very fact that they are alive today, have a degree of adaptation to exposure to these shifts. On the other hand, the current anthropogenic warming involves the shift of climate from a temperate state to a warmer one, which is far less common in the recent evolutionary record (red line [here](http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-…), and thus represents a transition to which species are much less likely to have capacities for adaptation.

If you doubt this, I challenge you yet again to learn some ecology, and thus to understand the validity of this observation.

All up, and together with a huge body of knowledge that I can't even begin to touch upon here, the security of species and ecosystems around the world is wobbly indeed if we do not take AGW seriously.

And so, we must yet wait to conclude on whether climate change represents a greater danger to biodiversity than habitat loss. In my opinion, the latter is demonstrably more important, and so must be addressed with greater urgency.

And so, we must not "wait to conclude on whether climate change represents a greater danger to biodiversity than habitat loss". It is not a matter of one or the other, because AGW will operate in concert with other anthropogenic damages to the biosphere, and lead to synergies of impact that have grim consequences for humans as well as the rest of the biosphere.

Everything we require for the sustenance of life - clean water, fertile top soil, productive forestry for fuel and for structural timber, adequate fisheries and other faunal resources, healthy biodiversity in agricultural crops, and a generally robust global biodiversity that assists to buffer us from all manner of environmental hiccups and collapses â all these are threatened in one way or another by our lacksadaisical behaviour with respect to the pollution of the atmosphere with excessive carbon dioxide.

In my opinion your opinion is confused, and fails to understand that threats to biodiversity do not politely queue in an orderly line in order to wait their turn to whack the biosphere.

To follow your suggestion would be to leave any hope of effective mitigation of human impacts too late (there is much extinction debt and ecosystem-damage debt already owing, let alone the further debts our current and any future inaction will incur), and it would only leave our children and their descendants (and possibly even the younger of us adults) with both an incalculably expensive bill when the response does occur, and with profoundly more painful and inescapable consequences to bear.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 14 Jun 2009 #permalink

G,

(($326M/2)/.016)/($1700M/.96) = 5.75 times the subsidies are going to technosolar compared to coal on a per MWh delivered basis.

Good of you to concede Barry's numbers, but where is the .96 coming from?

1.) Coal is less than 80% of total electricity production (77.2% in 2003).

2.) Subsidies for all renewable electricity production, including efficiency, hydro, biofuels, wind, solar, geothermal and wave is $115M. If spread equally between all seven categories, that would make the wind/solar component â $32.9M

(32.9/.016)/(1700/.772) = 0.93

If half is dedicated to wind/solar, then renewables/coal is still only 1.5x

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 14 Jun 2009 #permalink

G,

To point out how utterly stupid this kind of comparison is, consider deep rock geothermal. Under your scalar, subsidies are infinity times those for coal.

Wow!

What might be of interest, if the subsidy amounts are held constant and wind/solar increases to 20% and coal goes down to 60%, then coal subsidies will be 17x per unit of wind/solar.

Wow!

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 14 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig:

The rate of change from 1910-1940 and from 1800-1850 were both comparable to the rate of change from 1970-present.

And where, pray tell, do you get the information about 1800-1850? The only hemispheric temperature records of that time are reconstructions. And as far as I know, none of them show a rate of change anything like 1974-2003.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 14 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig writes:

I gave you an example of how to quantify it.
No, Barton, you didn't. And I think you know it.

1. 76% of the variance of temperature 1880-2007 is due to carbon dioxide.

2. Changes in carbon dioxide 1880-2007 were almost entirely anthropogenic.

Therefore

3. At least three quarters of climate change 1880-2007 were anthropogenic.

Got it now?

sod, luminous beauty,

Why compare coal subsidies with renewable subsidies at all? Why should coal get any subsidies? Subsidies are required to overcome barriers to entering markets (redressing monopolization).

*76% of the variance of temperature 1880-2007 is due to carbon dioxide.*

ROTFL

Greig writes:

76% of the variance of temperature 1880-2007 is due to carbon dioxide.

ROTFL

Ooh, good argument there, Greig. I'm sure it convinced a lot of people reading this thread. I especially like the way you use mathematical analysis to uncover my errors. Keep up the good work.

Please.

What, you can't see the humour in it?

Anyway, you certainly are not going to get me to take such ridiculous assertions seriously.

*If spread equally between all seven categories, that would make the wind/solar component â $32.9M*

**If**

*your policy (like a carbon price) would also shift jobs from coal to greener energy.*

It will shift jobs to the industries that evolve to replace coal, which would be primarily gas and nuclear.

*Where your outcome differs is in the âgrandfatheringâ protection for existing coal plant. Thereby protecting some of the worst polluting plant available.*

You mean: protecting the interests of private investors. Your characterising of the "coal oligarths" as a cabal of rich "fat cats" is naive and smacks of Dickensian anti-capitalist propaganda.

Greig,

The reason you are a hypocrite is for attacking the outcome (loss of coal workers jobs) resulting from a carbon price.

It is hypocritical to argue that the carbon price would mean:

â¦denying the rights of a very large and worthy part of the community, in favour of the ideological position of well-to-do chardonnay sipping urbanites...

Hypocrisy, because your policy (like a carbon price) would also shift jobs from coal to greener energy. Or as you prefer to say it, your policy would â¦denying the rights of a very large and worthy part of the community, in favour of the ideological position of well-to-do chardonnay sipping urbanites.. (Also you probably fit, more than many, the description you provide in the sentence).

Where your outcome differs is in the âgrandfatheringâ protection for existing coal plant. Thereby protecting some of the worst polluting plant available. Your concern for the investments of the [coal oligarchs ](http://www.guypearse.com/docs/guypearse.com/QE%20Extract%20for%20GP%20W…) is in stark contrast to lack of concern for the [most vulnerable ](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/grieg_thread.php#comment-1703583) and least responsible for the damage.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 15 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig 407

Democracy = the choice of coal industry, coal unions and workers balanced against the choice of ideologues who would destroy the coal industry.

Greig you mean balanced as in the ALPâs CPRS?

Or balanced as in coal Oligarchs (and their employees) get [no more influence ]( http://www.clivehamilton.net.au/cms/media/documents/articles/The_Dirty_…)than other Australians and other workers?

Greig:

I don't believe that global warming will threaten [children] nearly as much as other issues. Not the least is the very dangerous prospect of having our energy infrastructure (which few people understand) determined via [democratic politics... ](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/grieg_thread.php#comment-1691954)
By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 15 Jun 2009 #permalink

*nice cherrypick of periods.*

You are missing the point. The period 1910 to 1940 shows **comparable** rate of warming, demonstrating that there are natural forces that can produce a similar rate of warming to the current.

*funny enough, the trend from 1970 is still steeper than that from 1910-1940*

Marginally.

Mark, you are ranting leftist slogans. And repeating them unnecessarily.

Not marginally. Very significantly. Since the 1980s, temperatures have generally warmed quite dramtically, especially as one moves away from the poles.

The effects of these dramatic shifts that are occurring in the blink of an evolutionary eye on complex adaptive systems are likely to be profound. What is more worrying is that the entire exercise can be considered to be a single experiment on systems whose functioning we barely understand but which sustain us. Greig's optimism - or, shall I say, doubts - are not well placed. He bases them on what he knows, which, unfortunately in the context of the nature of things, is not a whole lot.

My advice to most posters on this thread is that people like Greig simply cannot grasp the effects of what they perceive as a minor change, but which in the context of normal events in largely deterministic natural systems is unprecedented in many hundreds of thousands of years (at the very least). Moreover, the effects of climate change are syngergized with the myriad of other stresses inflicted on nature by man. The problem with Homo sapiens is that we have evolved to respond to what we perceive as instantaneous threats and calamities - a volcanic eruption or earthquake, a tsunami, a large bipedal predator that crosses the path in front of us, et al. We simply have not evolved as a species to respond to what we perceive as slow, incipient changes, like climatic warming, that occur over the course one to a few human generations, and therefore many of us, especially those lacking the basic expertise, dismiss it. This is in spite of the fact that, in the context of evolutionay trajectories, the current rate of warming is exceedingly rapid. Greig's problem, like that of so many contrarians, is that they do not understand the process of evolutionary time scales so they ignore them. They also do not appear to understand the inextricable link between environmental quality and human well-being, or of the fact that nature generates conditions which permit us to exist in the first place. Given the effects of rapid warming are certain to lead to the unraveling of food webs, and with this a rapid rise in local extinction rates, then those advocating a 'business-as-usual' ethic are in fact arguing that it is fine to continue experimenting with our complex ecological life-support systems. These are mostly people who do not study these systems and are therefore arguing on the basis of very little information.

All I can say with quite some confidence is that they are wrong.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 15 Jun 2009 #permalink

Just thought I'd highlight the most recent issues that you had made no adequate response to. I thought your reply @423 was a dodge, and telling in what you failed to address. [Obviously chose to ignore links I provided in posts which show the practices of the coal oligarchs and their lackies.]

So I thought I'd give you another chance, to see if you had anything more than meaningless assertions.

You didn't want to talk about your hypocrisy? Or your support for entrenched inequality and dynastic wealth? Oh well.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 15 Jun 2009 #permalink

"And so, we must yet wait to conclude on whether climate change represents a greater danger to biodiversity than habitat loss".

The fact is that climate change will help to *drive* habitat loss because of its unequal effects on the biology of the species that exist within them. Species do not exist in isolation: they interact, and it is these interactions drive the dynamics of food webs and communities.

The fact is that the current warming is leading to non-linear effects amongst individuals within ecological communities that will invaribaly simplify nature, thus exacerbating the effects of other anthropogenic stresses. You ought to read a paper I co-authored in Nature last year (Engelkes et al., 2008) which shows how climate warming is desynchroinizing above and below-ground food webs. Moreover, work in the group of a colleague here (M. Visser) is showing how warming is desynchronizing important trophic relationships involving migratory passerines and their primary caterpillar food, leading to rapid local population declines. Eric Post is reporting similar results with Greenland caribou and their main foodplants. The bottom line is that these studies provide a mere snippet of the responses of ecological communities to rapid warming regimes. If we were to study many more ecological interactions, we would probably find that these effects are very widespread and might explain why many better-known species are experiencing rapid population declines. Habitat loss is certainly the main driver of extinction, but climate change undermines food webs and exacerbates the effects of habitat loss.

The conclusion from all of this is that climate change represents a profound threat to biodiversity. Its no use studying the effects of habitat loss if its effects are tightly linked to rapidly warming local climate regimes. Species can and do respond to warming, but the magnitude of warming coupled with the fact that many of the planet's biomes have been greatly fragmeneted in the past century means that climate warming will certainly drive an increase in rates of extinction.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 15 Jun 2009 #permalink

ROTFL

i understand why you switched to these useless one word replies. you have serious problems keeping your story straight. if you write two full sentences (as has been shown multiple times), they are basically guaranteed to contradict each other.

so i must admit those (senseless) one word replies are an improvement to your argument...

Anyway, you certainly are not going to get me to take such ridiculous assertions seriously.

it is not called "assertions" but "science" and "statistics". but what would you know about it..

(more on the influence of CO" on the 20th century climate, see below)

If

see what i wrote about short replies above. apart from that, you again failed to admit that your ORIGINAL claim about ALL renewables receiving 6 times the subsidies that coal gets, was simply FALSE!

and that is allowing you a massive cherrypick already. (coal and not fossils, per MWh, ...)

It will shift jobs to the industries that evolve to replace coal, which would be primarily gas and nuclear.

this is plainly stupid. replacing coal with either of those two is a moronic idea.

gas, even ignoring CO2 will keep our dependence on fossil fuel from terrorist and autocratic countries. Europe will get the majority of that gas from Russia. simply a stupid idea!

nuclear is not an option either. apart from the known problems of accidents and nuclear waste, it isn t a solution to subsidies either. (nuclear gets an awful lot of those) looking at the terrorist threat today, building nuclear power plants is a massive security risk. not a single one of them could withstand a coordinated terrorist like 9/11. had 3 of those 4 planes hit nuclear power plants, the USA would look pretty different today.

the policy you propose is not only no solution to CO2. it is also irresponsible.

You mean: protecting the interests of private investors. Your characterising of the "coal oligarths" as a cabal of rich "fat cats" is naive and smacks of Dickensian anti-capitalist propaganda.

you are wrong. it is obvious, that coal is using the money they earn from their dominant position, to lobby to keep that position. (in the same way as the financial sector and banks bought their bailout by money stolen from the rest of us)

as you mention false propaganda, the real one obvious are false claims made about AGW being a conspiracy to pocket money for scientists, greenpeace, al Gore and the UN.

You are missing the point. The period 1910 to 1940 shows comparable rate of warming, demonstrating that there are natural forces that can produce a similar rate of warming to the current. ... Marginally.

see Greig, the very moment you write more than a word, you are wrong again. the only reason why the rise looks even remotely similar, is because i chose NOT to show the GISS numbers. the period between 1910 and 1940 of course is already influenced by [CO2 and mankind](http://www.greenfacts.org/en/climate-change-ar4/images/figure-spm-4-p11…) (check the pink bars..)

so let us look at the [GISS data](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1900/plot/gistemp/from:19…), and my pick of the modern period to compare to yours. the warming in the early 20th century is hardly comparable to the modern one!

Greig:

The period 1910 to 1940 shows comparable rate of warming, demonstrating that there are natural forces that can produce a similar rate of warming to the current.

1910 to 1940 had a trend rate of warming of 0.15 deg C/decade (Hadcrut3) and 1974 to 2004 had a trend rate of warming of 0.19 deg C/decade. The growth in CO2 forcing over 1910 to 1940 was 0.26 of the growth in CO2 forcing over 1974 to 2004, so the natural part of warming over 1910 to 1940 was quite a lot less than the warming over 1974 to 2004.

And why did those rapid changes not result in massive species extinction?

The effects of global warming are very non-linear. 1.0 deg C of warming has more than twice the effect of 0.5 deg C of warming.

Anthropogenic climate change is not top of the list.

I agree that the existing anthropogenic climate change (based on 0.75 deg C of warming), were it not to increase further, might not be at the top of the list. However, that is not the point at issue. The point at issue is whether we can keep on increasing it indefinitely (on top of the additional 0.4-0.5 deg C that would happen anyway with existing GHG levels after the oceans warm up).

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 15 Jun 2009 #permalink

*1910 to 1940 had a trend rate of warming of 0.15 deg C/decade (Hadcrut3) and 1974 to 2004 had a trend rate of warming of 0.19 deg C/decade.*

I would call that comparable.

*The growth in CO2 forcing over 1910 to 1940 was 0.26 of the growth in CO2 forcing over 1974 to 2004, so the natural part of warming over 1910 to 1940 was quite a lot less than the warming over 1974 to 2004.*

1. You have that back to front.

2. You cannot determine the degree of natural warming, since the impact of CO2 forcing on global temperatures is not known.

*The effects of global warming are very non-linear. 1.0 deg C of warming has more than twice the effect of 0.5 deg C of warming.*

And since [the observed warming](http://s5.tinypic.com/296kpdz.jpg) in 1910-1940 was approx 0.6 degC, and the the warming from 1970 to present is approx 0.6 degC, why such a difference in observed species extinction from recent warming that Jeff and Bernard are referring to? Answer: Habitat loss.

Sod: *76% of the variance of temperature 1880-2007 is due to carbon dioxide.*

Greig: ROTFL

*it is not called "assertions" but "science" and "statistics".*

Bullshit. The issue is far more compicated than that, and you know it.

*you again failed to admit that your ORIGINAL claim about ALL renewables receiving 6 times the subsidies that coal gets, was simply FALSE!*

Actually, it is correct as I have already demonstrated.

*It will shift jobs to the industries that evolve to replace coal, which would be primarily gas and nuclear. ... this is plainly stupid. replacing coal with either of those two is a moronic idea.*

And yet, that is precisely what is going to happen. You think it is "moronic" because you do not understand the economic and technical limitations that will favour gas CCGT and nuclear over renewables.

*gas, even ignoring CO2 will keep our dependence on fossil fuel from terrorist and autocratic countries.*

We have centuries of gas resource in Australia.

*nuclear is not an option either.*

Not only is it an option, nuclear will be a major supplier in Australia by mid century.

*apart from the known problems of accidents and nuclear waste, it isn t a solution to subsidies either. (nuclear gets an awful lot of those) looking at the terrorist threat today, building nuclear power plants is a massive security risk. not a single one of them could withstand a coordinated terrorist like 9/11. had 3 of those 4 planes hit nuclear power plants, the USA would look pretty different today.*

Nonsense. All anti-nuclear propaganda that has been proven wrong over an over.

*you are wrong. it is obvious, that coal is using the money they earn from their dominant position, to lobby to keep that position.*

Prove it. Who is receiving this money?

You can't prove it, because it isn't true. The coal industry is lobbying legitimately just like renewable energy advocates lobby. The problem is people like you think the coal industry does not have a right to lobby, because you are convinced they are EVIL.

*so let us look at the GISS data*

Yes, lets, and [as we can clearly see](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1900/plot/gistemp/from:19…) the rate and magnitude of warming is comparable. As I said.

Jeff: *Not marginally. Very significantly.*

Assertion with no justification ...

*Since the 1980s, temperatures have generally warmed quite dramtically, especially as one moves away from the poles.*

So you say, and yet [the data](http://s5.tinypic.com/296kpdz.jpg) suggests otherwise. Gee, Jeff, that would make you WRONG. How does it feel?

*He bases them on what he knows, which, unfortunately in the context of the nature of things, is not a whole lot.*

How the hell would you know?

*people like Greig simply cannot grasp*

Again, "people like Greig" is an assertion about an individual you do not know or understand, and yet you can easily reach a conclusion on that person and what he is "like". Do you you show the same lack of perception and rigour in your scientific approach?

*the effects of what they perceive as a minor change, but which in the context of normal events in largely deterministic natural systems is unprecedented in many hundreds of thousands of years (at the very least)*

Jeff, your area of expertise cannot possibly allow you to reach that conclusion regarding paleoclimatology. Particularly when, as I have already shown, the rate and magnitude of warming in the early 20th century was comparable to the present warming, and clearly NOT driven significantly by human activity.

*Greig's problem, like that of so many contrarians, is that they do not understand the process of evolutionary time scales so they ignore them.*

Oh, yes, and you are just so smart and knowledgable. Of course I understand "evolutionary time scales".

And yet **you** cannot hide from the fact that you are engaging in a disingenuous argument from authority.

*All I can say with quite some confidence is that they are wrong.*

Jeff, you are an arrogant fool, and the most egocentric individual I have yet encountered in cyberspace. As a scientist you show a complete lack of humility and scepticism, and an obvious determination to believe anybody who even slightly disagrees with your view is an ignoramous, so add disrespectful to your list of personality failings.

Greig, many thanks for the compliments. I guess I stuick a nerve and you just like it. Most importantly, you have responded as I would expect someone lacking important basic knowledge (but who thinks they are fully informed to respond): by lashing out with ad homs. Well done, Greig. I think you've laid your cards on the table for all to see. Hence why most on this thread have long dispensed with your nonsense.

Like it or not, most scientists I know (a helluva lot more than you) would think most of your arguments are utterly baseless. In fact, my colleagues wonder here why I waste my time with people like you who think they are informed but clearly lack knowledge in vital areas, and resort to bitter personal attacks when this is exposed. The fact is, I think scientists have a responsibility to inform the public as to the state of the art with respect to current knowledge in environmental science. Whether you like it or not, the fact is that there are wealth of empirical studies showintg that the current rate of warming is anything but natural, and that, when synergized with othert anthropogenic processes, it is likely to have enormous impacts on nature at various levels of organization. If you don't like to hear that, then tough. I do not really care what you think Greig, because your knowledge base is limited. But I do care what those who might be suckered into thinking like you make of your fairly vacuous arguments. That is why I entered this thread. Whether you like it or not, I do comment on areas dealing with ecology with a lot more authority than you do. I do attend workshops and conferences where the effects of climate change on natural systems is discussed. You apparently don not. You must rely on a few academics on the fringe to back up your views; I have a lot more of science (and scientists) on my side.

So, who is the arrogant fool, lacking any humility here? I think most of us reading this thread know the truth.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 15 Jun 2009 #permalink

Jeff, the stupid thing is, I have not disagreed with any of the substantive points that you have made. I have only expressed the view that climate change is not as fast and as unprecedented as you convey, and whilst climate change is real and a challenge, we should not ignore the many other issues that challenge biodiversity.

You have not once presented an argument that directly challenges my point ++, instead the argument is: "I am right because I am so smart and knowledgeable. And you are wrong because you lack basic knowledge".

++ eg no response whatsoever on the point about the warming 1910-1940. No need to discuss the topic? Just advise everyone that I am wrong because I have no knowledge, yes, that should do it, eh Jeff? What a pompous arse you are!

*someone lacking important basic knowledge*
*your knowledge base is limited.*
*He bases them on what he knows, which, unfortunately in the context of the nature of things, is not a whole lot.*
*Greig simply cannot grasp the effects of what they perceive as a minor change*
*Greig's problem, like that of so many contrarians, is that they do not understand the process of evolutionary time scales*

Read up through the thread, and see who exactly is "lashing out with ad homs".

Get over yourself.

OK Greig, let me try another angle.

Why don't you get in touch with any number of climate scientists at universities or research institutes? I have met quite a few and they are all pretty much in agreement that the current warming has the human fingerprint all over it, and well exceeds normal rates that would occur regionally. One senior climate scientist I spoke with at a conference in Copenhagen in 2002 told me that the current rate well exceeds that between 1880 and 1940 and presented a graph in his figure which supported this. He went on to say that he thought that natural forcings probably accounted for the 1880-1940 warming episode, but that the current warming was, in his humble opinion, due overwhelmingly to the human combustion of fossil fuels. As a population ecologist I defer to the opinions of those actually doing the research. The contrarians, in my view, have been clever in taking the uncertainty over the outcomes of climate change, of which I agree with you that there are many - to the actual process of climate change itself, of which there is little disagreement in the scientific community. The only reason there is doubt is that contrarians are given veritable megaphones to preach their gospels of doubt by the corporate media and by well-funded think tanks and lobbying groups.

Also note that the regional variations are much higher than the global mean. Some areas are seeing temperature rises at quite significant rates. There have already been a wealth of studies showing effects of warming on natural systems and on the biology and ecology of vertebrate and invertebrate populations. I think we ought to take these effects very seriously. I agree that there are doubts, but there always will be in science. My profession does not operate by consensus (and never will) but public policy must be based on it. I think there is enough evidence in to take action to mitigate the worst potential environmental consequences of climate change. Again, it will enhance the negative consequences of other anthropogenic stresses on the environment, in my opinion. And I believe that my opinion is shared by the vast majority of the scientific community, especially those working in population and evolutionary ecology.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 16 Jun 2009 #permalink

Greig writes:

you certainly are not going to get me to take such ridiculous assertions seriously.

It's not an assertion, you hopeless twit, it's a calculation. If you want I'll give you the raw data and you can calculate it yourself. 76% of the variance of temperature anomaly 1880-2007 is accounted for by changes in ln CO2. That's a fact. Deal with it. Denying it is the act of either a scientific and mathematical illiterate or a moral coward. Maybe both.

1910 to 1940 had a trend rate of warming of 0.15 deg C/decade (Hadcrut3) and 1974 to 2004 had a trend rate of warming of 0.19 deg C/decade.

I would call that comparable.

Is it still comparable if the CO2-forced component is removed from the 1910 to 1940 warming? In this case we're comparing 0.11 deg C/decade with 0.19 deg C/decade.

The growth in CO2 forcing over 1910 to 1940 was 0.26 of the growth in CO2 forcing over 1974 to 2004, so the natural part of warming over 1910 to 1940 was quite a lot less than the warming over 1974 to 2004.

You have that back to front.

No I don't.

You cannot determine the degree of natural warming, since the impact of CO2 forcing on global temperatures is not known.

It is known approximately.

The effects of global warming are very non-linear. 1.0 deg C of warming has more than twice the effect of 0.5 deg C of warming.

And since the observed warming in 1910-1940 was approx 0.6 degC,

This would be yet another one of your pieces of misinformation (proof by inaccurate citation). I'll stick to 0.45 deg C, consistent with the trend, if you don't mind.

and the the warming from 1970 to present is approx 0.6 degC,

or more precisely, 0.64 deg C according to Hadcrut3

why such a difference in observed species extinction from recent warming that Jeff and Bernard are referring to? Answer: Habitat loss.

Thanks for your non-sequitur (worthless) opinion but you're deliberately ignoring the important issue which is whether we can keep on increasing atmospheric CO2 indefinitely.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 16 Jun 2009 #permalink

*One senior climate scientist I spoke with at a conference in Copenhagen in 2002 told me that the current rate well exceeds that between 1880 and 1940*

Surely when you decide on an issue you seek more information than something that someone said to you at a conference.

And besides, that is a qualitative statement. What does "well exceeds" mean? From [this graph](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1900/plot/gistemp/from:19…) I see the rates are very similar, as is the magnitude of warming.

I agree that the warming in 1910-1940 was mostly natural, and acknowledge that at least some of the recent warming is caused by humans. But that does not mean that trying to immediately cease CO2 emissions is going to help. I would argue that if we get the policy wrong, it will make matters much worse for the critters that you seek to protect. And as you say, that will make matters bad for use homo sapiens too.

The response must be balanced, careful, equitable. We must apply all available technologies, rather than cherrypick for ideological re