Risk Assessments: Playing the "What If?" Game

I spend a lot of time playing "What if?" It is an important aspect of my line of work, but we all do this to some extent. I do it when I am driving - "What if that car at the next intersection pulls out in front of me?" - when I am working "What if that high pressure line ruptures?" - and at home - "What if I wake up and find the house is on fire?" I also spend a lot of time pondering the question "What if there are energy shortages in the near future?"

When we do this, we are generally trying to understand the potential consequences of various responses to a given situation. This sort of exercise is a form of risk assessment, and it is a very important tool for making decisions about events that could impact the future. Sometimes the consequences are minor. If I choose not to take an umbrella to work and it rains, there is probably a small consequence. If I choose to pass a car on a blind hill, the consequence may be severe, and may extend to other people.

In this essay I will explore the implications of the question: "What if I am wrong on peak oil or global warming?"

What If I'm Wrong About Peak Oil?

I guess it was my training as a scientist that instilled in me the position that conclusions are tentative. (I was two years into a Ph.D. in chemistry before I decided the job prospects were better for a chemical engineer). They are subject to revision as additional data come in, and you have to always be willing to consider that your preconceptions may be wrong. But acknowledging that I could be wrong has to go hand-in-hand with the consequences of being wrong.

I have formulated a lot of “what if” questions around timing and consequences of peak oil. My view on peak oil is that it presents an enormous challenge for humanity, that global oil production will peak within 10 years (if it hasn’t peaked already), and that there is no easy solution. I see spiking oil prices and the subsequent fallout as a prelude to what lies ahead. These views have influenced my profession, where I have chosen to live, what I read, and what I say to others. Fear of peak oil has influenced some people not to attend college, or to quit their jobs and move away to remote locations. It has even caused some people to decide against having children. But what if I am wrong about the timing/consequences of peak oil? How would that impact me?

For me, this one has low consequences. If I am wrong and we have adequate oil supplies for the next 40 years, then perhaps I live a more frugal life than I might have otherwise. I prefer to walk, ride a bike, or take a train instead of hopping into a car to drive some place. When I drive, I probably drive a smaller car than I would have otherwise. I grow some of my own food. Then again, I have always been frugal, so perhaps I would have done all of these things regardless. The one thing that it may have impacted upon in a major way is my interest in energy.

But if I am right, then I have plans in place to manage the impact as well as I can. Those plans start with minimizing my energy consumption. It is my small insurance policy. If the worst case turns out to be right, then there isn't a lot I can do except try to make sure my family and I are in circumstances that minimize the risk. Further, I have done a lot of work that is aimed at improving our energy security in the years ahead. That work includes promoting renewable energy technologies that I think can make a long-term contribution, but also arguing for conservation, and better utilization of our own natural resources. So if I am correct, then I have chosen to work on things that have the potential to mitigate the consequences.

But what if the other side is wrong? Government agencies devoted to monitoring our natural resources often reassure us that there is plenty of oil for decades to come. But what if the government, industry, etc. turn out to have missed the mark on peak oil? In that case I think we will be in for a lot of trouble.

If the peak comes quickly and the decline is steep, I believe we will be wholly unprepared. There is not a cheap, easy substitute for oil. Much higher prices will be inevitable in such a situation. Industries - such as the airline industry - won't be prepared and we will see perhaps entire sectors go bankrupt. While I do believe that over time we can transition to natural gas vehicles (and I don’t think the situation with natural gas is as dire), that will take some time. If the government is wrong and the peak happens much sooner than expected, we will be in for a very difficult transition period.

In other words, their consequences of being wrong are much worse than my consequences of being wrong. If they are wrong, people may starve during a difficult post-peak transition. If I am wrong, we move to a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.

What If I am Wrong on Global Warming?

Another question I think a lot about is "What If I am Wrong on Global Warming?" I come down on the side that human activity is contributing to global warming, yet the scientist in me reminds me that "conclusions are tentative." But each camp has elements that feel – all too often with religious fervor - that the other side’s position will lead to either environmental or economic devastation. So we get a lot of vitriol in this discussion, which I don't like.

If the Al Gore contingent is correct, then we are facing some very major problems. As I have written before, I don't expect us to be able to rein in carbon dioxide emissions, so I see a future with ever higher atmospheric CO2, and potential environmental devastation if Al Gore is correct.

On the other hand are those who believe that human activities play little or no role in global warming. They view the opposition as putting global economies at risk by putting a price on carbon emissions. While I think environmental devastation is a much worse consequence than economic stagnation, the impact of that could be pretty severe as well.

What I would prefer to see – instead of two opposing camps dug into bunkers and tossing verbal grenades at each other – are more open minds on both sides. I would like to see the sides posing the question “What if I am wrong?” Another good question to ask in these sorts of debates is “Is there any evidence that would convince me that I am wrong?” I don't know what scientists will say when they look back at this issue a hundred years from now, but I don't want to see the debate squelched by those who shouted the loudest.

In conclusion, I never discount the possibility that I could be wrong about any number of things. I would say that precious few of my views are embedded in granite. That's why I write; to discuss, debate, learn, and change my mind when reason dictates that. But before you decide to respond to this essay with a strongly worded opinion, ask yourself the question “What if I am wrong?”

It seems to me that with both peak oil and with global warming, and the changes we make to prevent these or as a consequence of these, there are both first order impacts and second order impacts. The problem is that we really don't understand what the second order impacts are.

It seems to me that the small impacts are the direct impacts--what happens as the result of using less oil or less coal. The large impacts are the indirect impacts that we don't fully understand--the crash to the financial system, and the indirect impacts that come as a result of the crash to the financial system.

It may well be that the financial system will crash regardless of what actions we take. I don't know how this will play out, but I could see a scenario in which energy production of all kinds drops to very low levels. The death rate might be quite high. The indirect may be that CO2 levels will fall, regardless of what other actions is taken. Robert says that current actions will not result in a drop in CO2 levels. I would agree that directly, current actions will not result in a drop in CO2 levels. But it may happen that CO2 levels will drop regardless of what actions we take, because the financial impacts are so terrible. For example, see Dmitry Orlov's post, talking about the free fall impact in the Soviet Union. He expects peak oil to affect all energy products, in a way we would identify as demand destruction, so that there is a sharp drop in all energy use.

I wish we had better understanding of the whole situation. It seems to me that we have a very complex interconnected system, when one considers the financial system together with everything else. We assume that making a push on one end will have the result we expect, but it is not clear to me that that is the case.

But it may happen that CO2 levels will drop regardless of what actions we take

Just to clarify, I certainly believe that. My comment has always been that the CO2 levels would start to taper off when we start running short of fossil fuels. I am skeptical that there will be a major tailing off before that time simply because of the global nature of the issue. All of those coal plants that China is building are going to be around for a long time.

Even if we stopped all emissions of CO2 right now, atmospheric levels would continue to rise for some time. CO2 stays in the atmosphere a good long time. The oceans that have absorbed about half of the CO2 we have emitted will become a source of CO2. We have set off feed back loops, particularly the melting of the Arctic tundra, that will continue to put more CO2 (and the much-more-powerful CH4) into the atmosphere...

This is not a reason for complacency. This is why we have to do all that we can to reduce our contribution.

Likely to happen? Probably not. The debate has moved forward from total stonewalling, but we are still a long way away from even seriously discussing the basic, obvious measures we have to undertake--halting the extraction of ff.

As to "what if I'm wrong," climatologists are first and foremost scientists. They have been asking this rigorously all along. It is only because the science of climate change come gone through this rigorous questioning for decades that now nearly every published climatologist has concluded that AGW is real and dangerous.

To say that they now should ask the question "what if we are wrong" is quite an insult to their status as scientists.

But to answer--if every established scientific body that has weighed in on it and concluded that anthropogenic global warming is real and dangerous is wrong, then we will have moved toward a much more sustainable global economy.

If the denialists are wrong and we go with their recommendations, we lose a viable planet.

I'm happy to risk the former over the latter. Even if the odds were low that all the science is wrong here (which they are not by any means), the stakes are so high--one could say absolute--that it makes no sense to ignore the threat.

A "successful economy" can be redefined in any way we wish. Change the goal to merely providing everyone the bare minimum food and water to survive, and to shrink the number and consumption levels of all humans, and we may well be able to pat ourselves on the back that we are moving toward this very rational goal.

A viable planet cannot be so redefined. If it's not viable, we all die.

We are killing the planet to preserve a twisted, completely unrealistic definition of economic success: infinite growth on a limited planet.

If the denialists are wrong and we go with their recommendations, we lose a viable planet.


But it will be the one time where they (and thier offspring) get to pay for their crimes.

Even if we stopped all emissions of CO2 right now, atmospheric levels would continue to rise for some time. CO2 stays in the atmosphere a good long time. The oceans that have absorbed about half of the CO2 we have emitted will become a source of CO2. We have set off feed back loops, particularly the melting of the Arctic tundra, that will continue to put more CO2 (and the much-more-powerful CH4) into the atmosphere...

Maybe CO2 emissions will continue to rise because of the various thermal equilibrium effects and radiative effects of CO2/CH4, etc. However, if you look at the CO2 it does suggest that it is possible to greatly reduce the rate of increase or essentially stop it if (and it's a mighty big if you drop back the rate of CO2 addition to the atmosphere to the levels of the late 1960's or early 1970's.

As I heard recently, and long ago concluded myself from the data, it's the cummulative effect that is difficult to deal with given the long residence time and turnover rates of the ocean and the atmosphere in this dynamic equilibrium we see everyday.

In May at Mauna Loa we hit the highest value for CO2 that has been observed at that site and in more than 800,000 years from EPICA data. Today's values are much higher than any previous interglacial we can find in the ice record. No matter what there is a lot of thermal inertia to contend with and that is something to be concerned with.

The most recent report that I heard (I'll see if I can find it) is that it can be shown that CO2 concentrations are now higher than they have been in at least 2.1 million years--probably much longer, but this is as far as the data reliably go back to.

This is a great response; and it would be nice if it could be broadcast several times a day for a week to everybody on the planet.

But it won't be; and we will continue to burn coal (oil and gas are almost irrelevant in this debate). Here in Australia we dig a lot of coal out of the ground. Trainloads of it pass within 200m of my house every day on its way to the docks to be burnt in China. And that is the real problem. Coal is a huge part of our economy and the government is promoting it and building new facilities to increase exports even as it is trying to pass our very own cap and trade system in parliament. The coal lobby even has offices in government departments and writes energy policy. Huge money changes hands between the government and the industry in taxes that are the paid back as subsidies of one sort or another. Australians, already the fourth worst carbon emitters on a per capita basis (UAE, Kuwait and Saudi are ahead of us) would be the worst by a long way if the CO2 impact of our coal exports were added in. I see no chance that coal will be left in the ground. Sequestration is nonsense; and so I am afraid we are doomed to destroy the viability of human life on this planet.

We could build an economy based on renewables, but it would require a new social order and the dismantling of the coal lobby.

The consequences of a statement like this one above, when the truth of it sinks into everyone —not just us pointyheads— is that blood will flow. The stakes have never been higher in the history of humankind. If ever there were a reason to become a terrorist, to hunt down and kill lobbyists, industrialists and politicians, this is surely it. I am a mild person who would never do such things, but I foresee the day when others, less timid, will regard their bleak future in rage and turn to thoughts of retribution.

Careful, Big Brother is watching don't you know.

"We could build an economy based on renewables, but it would require a new social order and the dismantling of the coal lobby.
That's no excuse for not doing something on a personnel level then again, some prefer to grumble and do nothing. The Liberal's solution; do nothing. The Greens solution; block something being done by the government, because its not perfect or doesn't go far enough in other words ; joint the Liberals and do nothing.

Lot's of positive steps can be taken now without a new social order or dismantling the coal industry although long term this industry is doomed.

Hi Neil1947

I agree with everything you say. One minute I am hopeful and full of energy and commitment to go out and change the world, the next I think about the enormity of it all and get very despondent. Lately I have become more convinced than ever that humans are in deep overshoot and that a significant die back is inevitable. Maybe this will sort out global warming and a CPRS will not be needed.

I am a Green Party member and support their opposition to CPRS as espoused by Labour. My view is that the coal lobby have hijacked Labour's good intentions and the current bill is little more than an expensive smokescreen designed to obscure Labour's obsequious kow-towing to the coal lobby. It is shameful yet I have to admit that I admire Rudd's political ability. He is uncannily like Tony Blair in that regard, he just has more of the apparatchik about him.

Actually I hope that CPRS is not implemented, though I suspect it will in an even weaker form. A carbon tax would be much better.

"The Greens solution; block something being done by the government, because its not perfect or doesn't go far enough in other words ; joint the Liberals and do nothing."

Give it a break. There are volumes of Greens pushing this stuff with all they've got, and no small number of Liberals, too.. along with a handful of fine and stalwart conservatives.

If you want to say something useful, make a pie chart, find out the real numbers of who is lobbying for new visions in Transportation and Energy, and we can get a view of who's getting ignored and ridiculed because their corporate and reactionary opponents have all-too-successfully blocked any change that criticizes 'Homo-Consumpticus'

"We are killing the planet to preserve a twisted, completely unrealistic definition of economic success: infinite growth on a limited planet."

Economists (and most of the people in developed or developing countries) would not define it like that because they would not even consider the finite nature of the planet. Success is growth. The opposites, finite and infinite, don't even come into it.

Robert was a bit less sure on climate change but I think he should turn round the argument of the denialist. Robert said, "They view the opposition as putting global economies at risk by putting a price on carbon emissions. While I think environmental devastation is a much worse consequence than economic stagnation, the impact of that could be pretty severe as well." But, as dohboi implies, growth cannot go on forever on a finite planet.

So, given that economic growth has to end, what is the risk of the AGW proponents being wrong? It is that humans have to figure out how to live sustainably a bit earlier than they would otherwise have to. Put that way, the risk of being wrong is tiny compared with the risk of the denialists being wrong.

The fanatics might argue that a bit more growth can help lift living standards for the poor around the world. However, New Scientist buried that one in their special report, How Our Economy Is Killing The Earth, last year.

So, given that economic growth has to end,

I have pondered often on what wemight reaplcethe economic growth meme with to something lessdestructive but that still holds out hope to allofhumanity of a better future. The only thing Iahve been able to come up with is replacing "growth" with "progress". A progressive economy may deliver more intellectual or spiritual opportunities to people rather than the resource and energy hungry gadgets and lifestyles currently on offer.

Hi Robert. I really enjoy your informed posts. Yes, China is the elephant in the global warming room. I honestly think that the carbon trading scheme is a soother for the western concsience. Even if (and that is a BIG IF) we manage to curb our carbon emissions, the efforts of that endevour will be swamped by China's carbon output from industrialisation amd motor vehicles. This is not withstanding positive climate feedback mechanisms that are in train already.

"Are you ready for the country,
Because it's time to go". Neil Young


You've identified the indirect impact potential of a crash to the financial system. However we've had a healthy dose of that in the past few years to taste the shape of the consequences.

What we haven't seen, at least in the west, is the crash of the political system. What happens when nobody takes any notice of what our so called representatives say? What happens when the laws and the police are ignored? What happens when the tax man it told to take a hike?

The veneer of 'control' there very thin and the feedback huge. Say 'no' once and you might as well say 'no' to everything. In fact you are better off if you do. Policing by consent is very real, and it's accompanied by taxation by consent. Once they go, everything else goes with them. The battle will be a bloody one and I don't think anyone could be certain of who would win - totalitarian state, anarchy (in the true sense of the word), laissez faire accommodation?

Next to that finance is a sideshow.

Finally, the other main indirect effect, connected with determining which road we take, is the crash of hope. When tomorrow is guaranteed to be worse than today, and when today is hell anyway, what do you do? What scores do you settle? Do you go religion in a big way? Who do you blame? What communities do you build?

Most people will realise that 'population' is at the heart of the problem, what will they see as the solution?

Especially when they realize that the "population" that is the real problem, is the population of the highest consumers.

The bigger problem is the low consumers that are aspiring to be high consumers. They will change the equation much more quickly by increasing consumption where the existing high consumers are on a plateau.

I suppose from the standpoint of a high consumer it is the low consumers who aspire to higher standards of living that are the problem.

But lowest 80% of consumers that use up less than 20% of the resources are likely to see the 20% that use up over 80% of the resources as the problem (not to mention the top 10% of consumers that consume over half the resources).

A third party (Martian, or whatever) might see it as bizarre (at least) for anyone from the top quintile to be pointing at the lower end consumers and saying that they are the problem or the potential problem.

Then of course there is the lowest 20% that consumes only about 1% of the total, who are almost all chronically malnourished, lack access to reliably clean water...

These are the most likely to die first from effects of global warming, yet their absence will do essentially nothing to lighten humanity's heavy footprint on the earth (more apt than footprint is boot kick to the face of a dying gramma earth).

Arguably these lowest consumers deserve a better life even if it involves, as it almost surely would, burning more ff.


If there is financial collapse, I expect that political systems will change dramatically. It is quite possible that boundaries of countries will change as well. When the Soviet Union collapsed, it disintegrated into its component parts. While the pattern may be different elsewhere, I could imagine California breaking away from the US because of its financial problems, or a group of states with energy surpluses deciding to go their own way.

You are right that there are a lot of other issues as well. Population is a big one. Who can one blame is another one.

Which came first, the political system or the financial system?

Which is more basic?

Primitive animals would have had a political power system (pecking order) and protocols for sharing of food (a big kill for instance, or patch of pasture). These would have developed in parallel. Currently the political system obviously depends on the financial (as a modern government can't be funded by barter or medieval tithes), and almost certainly vice-versa.


Everybody can call me an unreconctrsucted redneck if they please,or feel better afterwards,but your remarks about secession brought to mind some of bar song about the south rising again and I enjoyed a huge belly laugh-not that I want to see the old south rise again ,but that so many people who once stood for union forever would be spinning in thier graves in regards to thier descendants trying to pull out.

political systems will change

In Drumbeat a couple of days back, I think in NY, some county(ies) refusing to implement the tax policies enacted by legislature. It had to do with funding transportation. I'd have thought the states would be the ones to buck the system, but maybe not. Maybe the counties and towns. Less crap as floated to the top at that point in the political system. Still, this particular form of misrepresentation we have in US works only for the corpos; either the corpos have to go away or some other system has to be evolved. The latter, however, cannot happen in the presence of the corpos.

Gail, political systems will not change as long as the players remain the same. Our so-called-democracy might become more blatantly totalitarian, but it won't actually be a change of system. Not until the class of players change. That won't happen until the table breaks and the entitled generations die.

cfm in Gray, ME

Gail, I am less pessimistic than you about the risks of financial collapse and then total societal collapse. My take: We had a financial collapse starting in 1929. Well, we didn't collapse as a society. Times were extremely hard. But we maintained local, start, and national governments.

In the United States I read that we use 100 quadrillion BTUs per year. Suppose oil production starts declining globally by 6% per year. I do not foresee us using less than 50 quads as a result. We'll still have nukes, coal, natural gas, hydro, and smaller amounts of wind and solar. With that much energy we'll still have a phone system for example. We had a phone system in the 1930s with far less energy per capita and far less technology and less efficient technology.

In a financial collapse we'll probably get inflation when national governments will decide to have their central banks buy up sovereign debt as a way to financial the state. We can avoid deflation (albeit we'll still have deflation for exurb housing).

FutureP--Your comparison with 1929 is way off, even though quite a number of people may have quietly died of starvation who didn't have a farm to go back "home" to. The society is vastly more commercialised now. Has vastly lost its traditional life-support skills of making food and clothing and so on without corporate backup at every turn. And back then there was the context of tons of cheap oil etc being discovered, whereas now the financial crisis is caused by Nature imposing its limits, a very different problem to cope with.

Suppose oil production starts declining globally by 6% per year. I do not foresee us using less than 50 quads as a result.

Great, except that you are there "what if"-ing that there is not some "what if" discontinuity intruding into that nice 6% decline. I highly doubt that "what if" of your own (for reasons set out in my article about whether or not collapse, http://www.energyark.net/collapsex.pdf).

In a financial collapse we'll probably get inflation

Quite what do you mean by "financial collapse?" Collapse of what? If credit collapses then doesn't just about all commerce crash to a halt and everyone dies of starvation and thirst apart from Matt Savinar and his premium customers?

Future: If you are using the USA recovery from the 30s depression as an example, then all the USA needs to do to replicate the experience is to totally destroy the entire productive capacity of Germany, Japan and China, returning all manufacturing power to North American (as in 1950). This would raise USA wages, etc. etc. Problem: the owners of your country will lose money destroying these three countries-lower USA wages and overall standard of living, while not necessarily a goal, is basically collateral damage. IMHO the whole USA culture is strongly rooted in the distant past, thus the constant references to the 20s,30s,60s,etc. They aren't obsessing about the 1920s in China.

Gail wrote;

But it may happen that CO2 levels will drop regardless of what actions we take

To clarify, I believe what you mean is that CO2 emission levels will drop with a falling economy, not the level of CO2 in the atmosphere itself.

And note that other GHG emissions are factors as well, including CH4 from warming hydrates and permafrost.

I am interested to know who on this site is predicting that government schemes will materially affect climate change positively-everyone skirts around the relevant issue. If a problem is not going to be realistically addressed, or cannot be helped, everything dealing with it becomes a political and marketing exercise, i.e. B/S/. Denninger pointed this out eloquently then other day. I would like to know why anyone feels that the USA is likely to control Chinese CO2 emissions.

You are changing the scope of this thread, and such a change would go far off the path of the subject. I certainly believe that governments could institute changes that significantly reduce GHG emissions, and that trade pressure could be brought to bear on slow-to-budge nations. But this is not the thread to delve into the details.

And typically the crux of the situation is avoided-governments "could" cut C02 emissions to practically nil (and you could win the lottery tomorrow)-the question was who actually believes any results will be achieved in the area of climate change-not what "could" thoeretically be done. If there isn't one person on this thread that actually feels that results will be achieved in this area, then the scope of the thread is meaningless.

I don't believe the end result to be 100% sure one way or the other, and neither do I believe anyone else knows differently. I don't see the point in asking, "Are you SURE all nations are going to implement significant GHG emission reduction measures", as there is no supportable answer either way.

IMO there is a major load of BS or Groupthink here on this climate change subject. It appears that not one person actually thinks it is PROBABLE that government actions will materially affect climate change (not even you). Everyone agrees that many national and local governments will constructively work to mitigate oil depletion problems-see the major difference between the two? China can't almost single handedly wreck all your oil depletion mitigation efforts but China can wreck all your climate change mitigation efforts. This isn't an intellectual discussion at all-it is like a political rally with the placards, slogans and cheering/booing.

Will, that's a most unhelpful first graph there, of annual change of change (in effect) rather than actual change. How about better:

Your chart is more helpful in seeing the cumulative change on a global scale (as my first chart was US-only).

The overall concern, though, is that overall GHG emissions are not dropping and radiative forcing continues to climb;

Greenhouse Gases Continue to Climb Despite Economic Slump - NOAA April 21, 2009

Perhaps what I should say is that I think that financial collapse may lead to what we think of as demand destruction which in turn will lead to a much bigger drop in fossil fuel use than any of us would have predicted (or even recommended) based on forecast CO2 levels--say 90% drop in fossil fuel emissions by 2050, even in countries not intending to cut fossil fuel emissions. So we may get as big an impact as anyone would plan for, as an unintended byproduct of peak oil itself. (This is only a possibility--by no means a certainty. It is sort of a Lieblig's Law of the Minimum impact.)

It is not clear whether such a drop in fossil fuel emissions would in fact turn around cumulative CO2 levels, in a reasonable time frame. But if such a drop does not turn around CO2 levels in a reasonable time frame, what can one reasonably be expected to do? Build a CO2 sponge?

Baring major unmodeled feedbacks, CO2 residence is the atmosphere is modeled as a prony series (a sum of time decaying exponential with different time constants). Assuming a linear system, this can be thought of as a greens function for determining future levels based upon an emissions history. In any case the most salient points are that one term decays pretty quickly (year or two IIRC), and mostly represents equilibration with surface waters, while the slowest varying term is also significant and has a time constant of more than a thousand years. With an immediate emissions end, the short term terms would provide quite a bit of reduction for the first few years, then the rate of change would slow down -leaving unmodeled but slow feedbacks a chance to kick in.

To really get them to drop would require some sort of geo-engineering. I believe silicate weathering is on the order of a hundred million tons per year (compared to several billion tons current emissions). It would not be impossible to engineer a reversal, but it would require a very expensive, and environmentally intrusive program.

I guess this depends on what you mean by economic colapse:

Extended 1930s style depression- I don't think the reduction in energy usage (co2 emissions) would be significant. Elimination of first world discretionary usage would be made up for by the continual increases from the third world. Peak oil induced reductions would be compensated for by lower carbon efficiencies of alternatives such as GTL and CTL.

Complete breakdown of society - One would expect that this would result in the elimination of virtually all industrial emissions and a very large effect on private emissions due to the simple fact of lack of access to fossil fuels.

In between the above is such a difficult thing to predict. Lack of financial capacity could just as well prevent the capital expenditure required to build renewable technologies. Companies, people and governments could just continue to limp along using the current infrastructure because they cannot afford to replace it, resulting in virtually no reductions.

Not so sure Phoenix. Either of depression or breakdown might lead to huge burning of trees as last-resort fuel source, faster than they can re-grow. Apart from the catastrophic damage to the bio aspect of the biosphere, perhaps this would increase carbon output (and reduce reabsorbtion by trees) more than the burning of oil/gas would have done. (Anyone got figures?)

Good points. Remember also that we probably have a few years till peak coal. One of the first industrial uses of oil was in coal mines. This will likely also be one of its last uses, unless coal is consciously and rapidly phased out of the energy picture.

What I would prefer to see – instead of two opposing camps dug into bunkers and tossing verbal grenades at each other – are more open minds on both sides. I would like to see the sides posing the question “What if I am wrong?” [......] “Is there any evidence that would convince me that I am wrong?”

That's just the sort of approach I was trying to take in an essay I've sent to Gail this week about whether (or not) there'll be an abrupt collapse. Too many prominent voices seem to be committed to one or other conclusion without any significant debate or case made out. I say we have to take a "precautionary principle" approach about dismissing any particular collapse theory, because as you say the consequences would be personally catastrophic. I think the introduction of the practical campfire series on here was a wise move in that regard. My own beginning effort towards preparing for an early collapse is developing in outline at www.energyark.net.

First of all, I am always aware of my own mortality. I operate on the assumption that I've only got a remaining life expectancy of maybe 20-30 years at the most. I could make it a little bit past that, but the odds against that would be steep even if times remained good.

Thus, when talking about very long term time horizons of a century or so (which we tend to do in these discussions), I have to keep in mind what Keynes said: "In the long term, we are all dead". Many of the implications and consequences of what we discuss here will ultimately fall on future generations. That might be "unfair", but that is the way it is.

Thus, whether or not GCC will happen to a greater or lesser degree over the next century or more is an interesting academic question, but to answer your question, "What if I am wrong?", then at least as far as my life is concerned, the honest answer is: "It won't really make much of a difference for me." Now, if I lived in the desert Southwest, or on the Outer Banks, it would be a different matter; in that case, taking or not taking prompt action now (namely, relocating to a less vulnerable place) could have consequences even within my own lifetime. On the other hand, if I happened to be Pres. Obama, and had do decide whether to impose expensive burdens on the US economy to reduce GHG emissions, or to do nothing and be partially to blame for the eventual abandonment of much of the desert Southwest and low-lying coastal areas, then the question "What if I am wrong?" does have profound implications, at least for how he is judged by historians (something he probably does care about at least a little bit).

As for peak oil, I have seen projections suggesting that 25 years from now we could be seeing anything from a little more than what we are producing globally now all the way down to zero, with a variety of trajectories that get us from here to there. The honest truth is that I don't really know what the actual pathway will be, and nobody else does either. I do know that all of the cheap and easy oil will be gone; I know that because it already IS gone, and this has been so for some time now. Thus, I am pretty confident that either a bigger slice of the GDP pie is going to have to be allocated to oil, or the slice that we can afford to allocate is going to buy less of it. Either way, GDP suffers, and does so within my remaining life span. What if I'm wrong? Well, happy days are here again, I guess - except for the planet, unfortunately.

Thus, whether or not GCC will happen to a greater or lesser degree over the next century or more is an interesting academic question, but to answer your question, "What if I am wrong?",

It is not merely an interesting academic question if you happen to currently live anywhere on planet earth. Which I assume you do.

The Fierce Urgency of Now
Climate risk avoidance, energy security, sustainable land use, population growth and equitable economic development constitute a key set of interacting challenges for humankind in the 21st century. The evidence is increasingly compelling for the range and scale of climate impacts that must be avoided, such as droughts, sea level rise and flooding leading to mass migration and conflict. The robust scientific process, by which this evidence has been gathered, should be used as a clear mandate to accelerate the actions that need to be taken. Political leaders cannot possibly ask for a more robust, evidence-based call for action. In a time of financial and economic crisis, the participants of the St. James‟s Palace Symposium emphasise that without directing current economic recovery resources wisely, and embarking on a path towards a low carbon economy, the world will have lost the opportunity to meet the global sustainability challenge. Decarbonising our economy offers a multitude of benefits, from addressing energy security to stimulating unprecedented technological innovation. A zero carbon economy is an ultimate necessity and must be seriously explored now.

The St James’s Palace Memorandum “Action for a Low Carbon and Equitable Future” London, UK, 26 – 28 May 2009

WNC, it may be that only a few places in the US will be really hard hit by GCC in the next few decades, but I wouldn't bet on it. Already, extreme weather events are becoming much more frequent in all regions. And we've only just begun.

Any year now the Arctic ice cap is going to melt completely (or if there is a bit left, it will be insignificant).

This will make the earth, and the northern hemisphere in particular, a dramatically different planet than what it has been for millions of years.

It is impossible to know exactly what this new planet will be like in almost any particular location, but there is no reason to expect that most places will remain about the same or get more pleasant.

The "What if" questioning approach is also needed for talking to newbies about the subject. The general experience is liable to be that Peak Oiler approaches friend/enemy with a lecture of revelations (silly illustration warning!): "I think I ought to tell you the facts of the future of human life. Fact A....; Fact B.....; Fact C, etc...". "Oh gosh..[but doesn't believe it]..".

The more powerful way to persuade someone is to engage with them respectfully as if they are a person of equal intellectual merit also capable of reasoning and evaluation of evidence (even though they aren't). "Are you envisaging to be alive in five years' time?", "Would you say politicians usually tell the truth?". "Is there any evidence that that is or isn't the case?" "What do you think of this piece of evidence?" Etc.

You can't disprove a question. And at the same time as educating them about facts you are also practically training them about thinking critically (with open mind). And you may even learn from them that you were wrong yourself!

Global warming: Some proposals to do things about global warming are good ideas to do even if global warming is not a real threat. I look at global warming policies and ask which ones are good ideas for other reasons. I'd like to see more of a discussion of which policies have benefits for multiple reasons. The more benefits a policy has the less it depends on any one reason being correct.

For example, better housing insulation makes sense in many cases just because it is cost effective for the individual home owner. It also helps prepare for peak oil, improves our balance of trade, and helps with global warming. Changes that deliver multiple benefits should get more attention.

We do not have infinite resources. Expending resources just to combat global warming is a bad idea. It is dumber to, for example, spend money to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere than it is to do insulation or install ground sink heat pumps since the latter reduce CO2 in the atmosphere while delivering other benefits. What I do not like about the global warming policy debate is the monomaniacal approach of just measuring policies by their effects on atmospheric CO2. We can't afford that.

If the Al Gore contingent is correct ...if Al Gore is correct.

I agree with the gist of the post; however, labeling the scientific consensus as "Al Gore" only helps to present climate science as a partisan issue.

EDIT: Meant to put this under a new thread.

"labeling the scientific consensus as "Al Gore" only helps to present climate science as a partisan issue."

The reason for mentioning Al Gore is that his profile on this issue has been very high, due to An Inconvenient Truth and the Nobel Peace Prize. So he seems to be a very appropriate representative for that side of the argument.

Yeah, but the rightwing nutjobs have worked hard to try and make him into an issue. Gore doesn't do the science - he merely reports it and explains it, and uses his fame to help spread the word. The IPCC is where most of the science has come from.

Point taken, but that was certainly not the angle I was aiming for.

What if I am never wrong, but nobody listens to me?

Cassandra da Rat

The problem with Algore is in the FACT that he tells everyone to use less and change our habits, when he himself does not do the same. Ok, I am partly wrong--he buys carbon offsets of which he partly owns the company. It is like transferring money from one of your bank accounts to another. I am not saying that some of the ideas Algore says don't make sense, some of them are just common sense. But when a person is flying around in a jet (not commercial) and telling everyone to use less fossil fuels and to be more efficient when his electric and gas usage is magnitudes more than mine, I get selective hearing all of a sudden.
Using fame to spread issues is fine, but when they start saying crazy things, their respect from the "rightwing nutjobs" as you say loses all credibility. Just like when Sheryl Crow said to use only one piece of toilet paper when finishing business---OK--Leftwing Nutjob.
So there is tit for tat in the issues. Dont claim the highground when there are the very same people on the opposite side of the spectrum. Both sides have nutjobs, but to not look at what people say within the same ideology is being narrow minded.
I see nutjobs everywhere not just on one side of political issues.

My cousin, a cardiologist used to smoke, he would often tell his patients that they shouldn't smoke.
So what was the problem with his advice?

There is an old saying "Practice what you preach". Like I said before, what is being said might not necessarily be incorrect. But, when they themselves are unwilling to change--the credibility goes away. Just like Bush or Obama--they both said "When I am elected I am going to do ######", and when it doesn't materialize people are stunned. But that person spoke for 4 months about that subject and then when elected dropped the issue. Credibility is lost also. While Algore was jetting around the world about his movie, Bush (Big Oil Lover, Warmonger, Antienvironment-as his haters see him) was staying off and on at his house in Texas which is many fold more "Ecoenvironmental" than Algores house was except before the Tennessee mansion was built. So when Bush says something about cutting back resource uses, I will pay more attention.

The problem with Algore is in the FACT that he tells everyone to use less and change our habits, when he himself does not do the same. Ok, I am partly wrong--he buys carbon offsets of which he partly owns the company. It is like transferring money from one of your bank accounts to another. I am not saying that some of the ideas Algore says don't make sense, some of them are just common sense. But when a person is flying around in a jet (not commercial) and telling everyone to use less fossil fuels and to be more efficient when his electric and gas usage is magnitudes more than mine, I get selective hearing all of a sudden.

Wrong. Gore has completely revamped his home to be carbon neutral. I realize repeating crap is easier than seeking out the truth, but you might have made some effort.


As for his activism, the world has not yet gotten to the point where everything can be done by video phone. It's a ridiculous nitpick. And don't you think the carbon not emitted due to his waking people up to the issue should be considered?

Criminy... You seem to be looking for nits to pick.


Yes, carbon neutral through carbon offsets.

Wrong again. It would be useful for you to educate yourself by actually reading the links provided before responding.
Your statement is corrected for you below:

Yes, carbon neutral partially through carbon offsets.

I question the intellectual dexterity of anyone who confuses the message and the messenger.

Finally, would you care to address any credit due Gore for the changes he has inspired in millions of others? Or the NEED for his travels vs. your talking point bull that it's all for money?

WTH have *you* done to change the world?

I recycle ALL paper within my household, drive an car that gets fairly good gas mileage, have an electric bill that has never been over $20.00/month. The household paper goes into a compost bin with waste vegetables. I have a car that is almost 2 years old and only has just over 10,000 miles on it which I get around 36 mpg. I hand wash all my laundry--NO washing machine or electric dryer. I have a push lawn mower that uses NO gas or electricity (it runs on people power).
This is part of what I DO, AG did not awaken me or inspired me like the "millions" of others.
Message vs. Messenger---do not look behind the curtain, pay no attention to it.
I dont have any carbon offsets or other operations, I just do what is practical and makes sense.
So when someone comes along and says I am not doing enough (sure there is more I can do) and tries to make me feel guilty for having a car or house while at the same time splurges on resources--I discount the messenger. At the same time the message gets muddled also.

Paper bleached with chlorine contains small amounts of PCBs. The amount may be minimal but I still don't want these compounds in my compost. Being American, I assume that white paper has been bleached with chlorine rather than with peroxide. So I save white paper to burn in the winter while composting brown paper towels & coffee filters.

Off Topic:

Furthermore since you don't just love Al Gore, you must be a right wing nut job. Me too.

IMHO: I think he is a phony politician who carbon neutralized his house because he was caught with a carbon footprint the size of Tennessee.

No. A carbon footprint typical of most anyone in his Economic Class. Other people are caught with violations to their stated principles, and do not change.

Sure, he was putting his effort into ringing the bell, and hadn't completely cleaned up his own act yet. That has never invalidated the message.. You can tell the town their homes are on fire, but you might be busy doing that as your own home burns down.. sometimes people actually are trying to work for a greater good and miss the most immediate effects.

I believe the message ... perhaps not as dramatic as he portrayed it in his movie but I believe AGW is real ... I also believe he is a politician and as such I wonder about motivation.

As a politician Al Gore could have pushed an agenda to reduce GHG emissions -- he never had the guts, barely mentioned it on the 2000 campaign trail.

In 2000? Running for Prez against a Bush? After the Go-Go Clinton years?

His candidacy was pretty poor, noone can deny it.. but who really would question that Strategic decision? Getting into the climate story during that campaign would have been pointing a gun at his own head.

I could be convinced that the reason he didn't fight the Florida count that hard was that he had become more fully aware that the Oval Office was not a platform where he could best push at ANY of these issues in a direct way. He would have to be a conduit for the Party, and would have had no room for a 'personal conviction' like this.

Lynford wrote: "I believe the message ... perhaps not as dramatic as he portrayed it in his movie but I believe AGW is real ... I also believe he is a politician and as such I wonder about motivation."

But it is actually much more dramatic than he portrayed in the movie. The direct effects of AGW are nothing compared to the coming effects of the feedbacks AGW has set in motion. There are probably two additional degrees of warming already in the system being temporarily masked by the particulates belching out of dirty Chinese coal factories...

Things are looking much, much worse than they did when he produced that film. Try a little harder to keep up with the fast evolving science if you plan to opine on the subject, though it often makes for rather grim reading.

Ghandi tossed his cotton gin rags in favor of homespun not to make a point, but because he truly believed in his own message and because he had an amazing disposition for personal sacrifice.

Al Gore does not equal Ghandi

I wish we had an environmental Ghandi now, but I'll settle for Al Gore. But then again, isn't Al Gore a bit 'dated'?! How many years ago did he make headlines with "An Inconvenient Truth"? Maybe he could re-emerge on the scene wearing a loin cloth! And this time around he could row a boat across 'the pond' to present his lecture!

My point is that we're all 'sinners' when it comes to the environment, but hope is to be found in the fact that so many of us carry such guilt because we know this to be true.

"My point is that we're all 'sinners' when it comes to the environment, but hope is to be found in the fact that so many of us carry such guilt because we know this to be true."

Nicely put. Essentially we are all (in America at least) forced to be in a kind of moral hell--we have to depend on systems that will make most future life impossible just to live in the US. There are ways of minimizing this, but not really of escaping it, as far as I can see.

All your actions are commendable. But you didn't answer my question: Are you carbon neutral? If you're not willing to do enough to be carbon neutral, you have no business talking down someone who is.

Further, unless you have access to Gore's finances, it's a bit out of line to claim he's profiting from his AGW education efforts when he has testified he does not.

As for investments, sure, they could be construed as a a conflict of interest, but a conflict of interest only worth mentioning when the actions taken are clearly against the best interests of those affected. In this case, there is great debate about carbon trading vs. taxing. Do you have evidence that is unequivocal enough to say one or the other should be clearly superior, and that this should be utterly obvious to all involved?

In case you haven't quite caught on yet, I am not defending Gore. I think he should reduce his use further AND offset. I think tax as proposed by Hansen is the right way to go. However, Gore does not have a history of being a lying ass-wipe to justify your attacks. That is, I am arguing against your, imo, pointless and biased screed, not for Gore.

At the same time the message gets muddled also.

No, it doesn't. That a person might be a complete scumbag does not in any way diminish facts and truths. Those that cannot separate the two are creating their own self-inflicted failure to be rational. (And, yes, I do know why such might happen, but at the end of each day we are responsible for our actions.) Gore never says, "Hey, just listen to me, I know everything." He expects you to get educated.

Just what do you achieve with this pettiness? Again, Gore has done more than, certainly, any other American politician to bring AGW to fore of people's consciousness and has, whether you like it or not, raised the visibility of the issue to a very significant degree. But that's not enough for you. It seems you'd prefer he just lived on 10kw a day and kept his mouth shut.

In short, your rant is bizarre.


Again, hypocrisy undermines a message. Al Gore hurts his own cause by his own behavior.

Carbon neutral: Again, carbon offsets are BS. Buying the planting of trees elsewhere or rights to some other project elsewhere is pretty bogus. Carbon offset schemes are just ways for financial scammers to make money and the buyers of the offsets to pose as helping the environment.

If trees are planted that would not otherwise be planted, it is not a scam.

BTW, the soil in non-tropical forests accumulates carbon below ground as well as the trees above.


Again, hypocrisy undermines a message.

Again, only if your brain doesn't function. Your behavior undermines your statements, too, right?, given you are not carbon neutral. If he must be be carbon neutral in an absolute sense to discuss AGW, then so must you.

Put up or shut up.

And, again, what of the many, many tons of carbon not emitted because of Gore's work?

Get off it. Your issue with Gore is ideologcal and personal and has nothing to do with anything connected to objective realities.


The rich man depletes limited supplies of fossil fuels by spending big on energy and buys bogus carbon offsets.

Look at the trees. Who is going to guarantee trees planted will just stay there hundreds of years? Not going to happen. Unless the trees are getting harvested, sunk to the bottom of the Great Lakes (where their carbon will stay for a long time), and then new trees planted in their place the whole tree planting thing is just a gimmick.

Jeers back at you.

As noted before, much of the carbon captured by a non-tropical forest is in the soil (most in boreal forests). Rotating the trees on top will not release that carbon to any significant degree.

The rule of thumb is that half of the tree carbon in trees harvested for timber ends up in structural wood (furniture, houses, etc.) which adds decades (USA) or centuries (EU and most of the rest of the world) to the time that carbon is captured in place. If the structural timber ends up in a landfill, even longer.

And even delaying carbon release by a mere century will slow the breakneck pace of Climate Change and give both humanity and nature more time to react.

Jeers to Ignorance,


The problem is when people focus on the nutjobs and pundits, and not those who are climatologists or relaying the information of climatologists.

Just for the record,I do accept in a general way the science promoted by Gore,although I personally think that he is more of a priest in a new church than an an unbiased source.

Incidentally he seems to have amassed a pretty good fortune for himself over the last few years,which is something successful priests are prone to do.

And that, RR, is why you don't present Al Gore when talking climate science. People cannot separate personality from fact. Even someone who seems to be as practically-minded as they come falls on his head with this.

ANYONE with any degree of doubt conflates AG's personality with the science itself. It doesn't matter that there are Hansens and Schmidts, et al., out there doing good science once you mention Gore, even though he's correct in what he says despite a few minor exceptions a number of years ago.

OFM, I'm truly surprised you can't separate the message and the messenger. FYI: Gore testified to Congress that all profits from his Climate Change activism go to charity.

Yeah, THAT'S bad. Shame on him.


I agree, it is hard to seperate the message from the messenger.
Bless AG for his charity.

CCpo,since I open my comment with the statement that I accept the science ,I fail to understand how you think am confusing the message with the messenger.I just don't like Gore, but the it would take me a long time to think of a politician I DO like.Imo,Gore is a bigger hypocrite and elitist than most.

But I still agree with the science.

I do accept in a general way the science promoted by Gore

I was responding because of the equivocation. I've yet to meet anyone who engages in equivocations who does not turn out to be a denier in sheeps clothing. What is there to equivocate about, after all?

Perhaps you mis-typed?



Answering that question is a pretty tall order and not something I can undertake here and now.But you are a regular here and so am I.

If you read my comments,which are frequent,you will get your answer over a period of time.

Fair enough, but I'm busy with moving countries, etc., and might not notice.



The "rightwing nutjobs" did not make Gore run up a yearly $30k home utility bill. That hypocrisy is not setting a good example and it breeds cynicism. Do as I say, not as I do. Um, no.

No, but the rightwing nutjobs twisted and misrepresented the whole thing to make it appear as if there was hypocrisy. As an ex-VP, they have requirements for security staff to be on-site 24x7. And they have numerous businesses and charitable undertakings that they run out of their house, with space for offices and staff. So in no way is their home in any way typical.

But the rightwing nutjobs don't care. They just keep repeating the same story over and over again.

YUP, just like the leftwing nutjobs repeating the same story over and over.
In the 70's----the coming Ice Age
In the 2000's--the world is going to burn up-we are all toast while being drowned.
This reminds me of the Bible. You go to a book store and you see so many different versions of the bible. Is there any one leading bible. Well, it depends on who you ask. One person might say the King James version and another might say another. Does that make any one better than another. It is just the way they were interpreted is how they are different. I see so many people on TOD looking at the same set of data and coming to different conclusions. Does that mean any one person is wrong, maybe it is not. It is just their interpretation. So repeating the same story over and over again does not mean that it is wrong, but then it might not be completely right either. Somewhere in the gray matter is the truth or middle ground. However, most of the time people are too busy yelling about this side versus that side-they lose sight of where they are.
So I understand while a person such as AG needs security and others, but making excuses when it fits does not solve the problem. To help slow the coming resource decline rates, we ALL need to reduce our consumption. It does no good to say this person or that person is exempt because of this circumstance or that. That is simple class warfare like (Tax the Rich) to make us average people feel better about ourselves. So when the resource crunch really hits, there will be no rich or left or right. Just a bunch of people trying to survive to the next day.

In the 70's----the coming Ice Age

And this is yet another example of rightwing nutjobs making things up to try and discredit CC. This is fundamentally the problem I have with most deniers - they just make stuff up and use it as justification for their denial. You can shoot down one set of lies, and instead of accepting that they were wrong, they go and hoover the internet and find some more.

The current interpluvial would be reaching its maximum based on the Milankovitch cycles were anthropogenic GHG emissions not completely swamping orbital forcing.

The science doesn't give us that fine a level of discernment to say we *should* already be heading back into an ice age. An article out not long ago compared the current interglacial with the previous ones and found it most closely matches the longest previous, which would be closer to thirty thousand years.

But, yes, it is possible. Unfortunately, we can't prove what isn't happening.


I'm having a hard time determining if this is profoundly accurate or Star Trek technobabble. That's what I love about TOD.

Drying(arid) period is increasing, or the time between them , but the planetary orbits are being altered due to Green House Gases as a result of Anthropogenic Global Warming....or words to that effect...

But then what of the current sunspot activity peak or lack of?

Will the coons leave me even one stalk standing?

All things are inter-related then.
Has to be a reason for this..No?


All things are inter-related then.

I killed a family of skunks last night that had been plucking my chickens. And something later last night took out all my ducks. Goes around comes around - I can't help think it was payback. Except the real payback will come every day as ten thousand slugs and snails grind their way through everything in my gardens.

And I think of it in terms of biodiversity. I removed too many of the big predators and now there will be plagues of little things. Were that a planet, there would be no stability until the slugs evolved into ducks and skunks. But more likely, they would reduce the planet first to hot rocks or ice. What if I was wrong?

cfm in Gray, ME

You can't make this stuff up!!!

The truth is NASA scientists were predicting another ice age in the 1970's, and using guess who's (James Hansen) computer program for the model. I am actually old enough to remember this being reported at the time. Hansen readily admits this, and commended Rasool on his work. Here's a link to a Washington Post article:


Ice age: more bull. We've shown you all too many times here that this is bull for you to repeat it here. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/the-global-cooling...

Refuse to learn as suits your life view, but stop repeating lies. It is not only foolish, but immoral and unethical.

The rest is equivocation that doesn't exist. There is no debate on the science, only on details that will bring more precise understanding of the exact mechanisms involved. Those details are trivial to formulating a response to Climate Change because the risk is so great that the response is simple: not only stabilize, but reduce CO2 and CO2e in the atmosphere.

Carbon neutral is carbon neutral. It doesn't matter how he gets there. You are trying to say reducing your caloric intake from 3,000/day to 1,800/day doesn't count if you still eat cake. Bull.

Your basic sentiment about the wealthy flaunting and taking advantage of their wealth is taken, but it's a different issue than carbon emissions.

You're using Gore as an excuse. It's intellectually dishonest.


Intellectual dishonesty is dishonesty in performing intellectual activities like thought or communication. Examples are:

* the advocacy of a position which the advocate knows or believes to be false or misleading
* the advocacy of a position which the advocate does not know to be true, and has not performed rigorous due diligence to ensure the truthfulness of the position
* the conscious omission of aspects of the truth known or believed to be relevant in the particular context.


So if "realclimate.org" says the Post didn't actually publish the article, I guess there must be a problem with the Post's website?

"The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts. Dr. S. I. Rasool of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Columbia University says"


conservationist, the words you have just cited state that "A leading atmospheric scientist" made that prediction. That in no way constitutes a statement that "many or most atmospheric scientists" were making that prediction.

From 1971. Handily dealth with by Wharfrat just a few hours ago. Is there any current models from this century that show a cooling trend?

I'll remain open but skeptical about a cooling trend, but somehow the massive loss in summer ice in the arctic has to be explained with the cooling trend. AFAIK the only thing that melts ice is heat.

Ice age: more bull.

Naw not bull in the sense there WAS talk in the 1970's of a coming Ice Age.

You should know better than to stretch the truth. There was talk of space colonies and yetis and Carnac the Magnificent, too. So flippin what?

He's not claiming it was mentioned and discussed in what amounts to scientific water cooler talk and then super-sensationalized by the media. He's attempting to discredit AGW research via a straw man argument.

# Person A has position X.
# Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
# Person B attacks position Y.
# Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.

In fact, it's worse than this because Persons A never engaged in any serious debate about a new Ice Age. He's actually attempting a Red Herring...

# Topic A is under discussion.
# Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).
# Topic A is abandoned.

AND an ad hom:

# Person A (NASA/Hansen) makes claim X (AGW).
# Person B (Our little friend here) makes an attack on person A (NASA/Hansen; They said Ice Age!!!).
# Therefore A's claim is false (They said Ice Age (which is a lie), now they're saying AGW!!!!).

You adding further obfuscation is not impressive.


The global cooling myth
14 January 2005
— william @ 5:31 AM - ()

Every now and again, the myth that “we shouldn’t believe global warming predictions now, because in the 1970’s they were predicting an ice age and/or cooling” surfaces. Recently, George Will mentioned it in his column (see Will-full ignorance) and the egregious Crichton manages to say “in the 1970’s all the climate scientists believed an ice age was coming” (see Michael Crichton’s State of Confusion ). You can find it in various other places too [here, mildly here, etc]. But its not an argument used by respectable and knowledgeable skeptics, because it crumbles under analysis. That doesn’t stop it repeatedly cropping up in newsgroups though.

Can George Will Save The "Global Cooling" Myth? Uh, No.

In his Washington Post column today, George Will writes that climatologists were all forecasting "global cooling" back in the 1970s, and, because they were so spectacularly wrong about that, we shouldn't pay much heed to their current predictions about catastrophic global warming, either. My, what a fascinating column idea! Or, rather, it might have been fascinating if this was only the first time Will had tried this stunt. But it's not. He's peddled the "global cooling" canard numerous times before, and it's been debunked again and again. Why George Will would want to use his platform to mislead readers rather than enlighten them is his own business, I guess, but someone has to sweep up the wreckage, so here goes.

The short version of the debunking goes like this: Back in the 1970s, yes, a few popular media outlets like Newsweek were, in fact, making overblown claims about a coming ice age, but if you read what actual scientists were writing—say, in this 1972 National Science Board report or in this 1975 National Academy of Sciences report—it's clear the mainstream consensus held that there simply wasn't enough evidence (yet) to estimate the future trajectory of the Earth's climate.

As an example, one oft-cited paper in Science from 1971, by S. Ichtiaque Rasool and Stephen Schneider, observed, correctly, that greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide had a warming effect on the earth, while aerosols and particulate pollution like smog had a cooling effect. They just weren't sure which effect would predominate, though they noted that sufficiently large amounts of aerosol pollution could theoretically bring about a new ice age. The paper had a few flaws (for one, it underestimated the sensitivity of the earth's climate to carbon dioxide by a factor of about three), but it's basically in line with what we know now: Clean-air laws have helped mop up particulate pollution over the years, but greenhouse-gas emissions are still increasing, and that's why the planet is heating up.

If you're eager for a more thorough skewering of Will's nonsense, see Joe Romm or this lucid review essay in the Bulletin of the American Meterological Society debunking the whole "scientists feared global cooling in the '70s" myth. That latter essay, by the way, isn't difficult to find. Will laced his column with a bunch of scholarly-seeming citations—most of them from the popular press—as if to imply that he did extensive research in assembling this column. He didn't. The first or second result from a simple Google search on "global cooling" is a Wikipedia entry that points anyone who's genuinely curious in the proper direction. Will just chose to ignore all this, and then filled the rest of his column with standard right-wing shibboleths. (His riff on how Obama science adviser John Holdren once advised Paul Ehrlich—who made a bad bet on the price of commodities back in the 1980s—originates with John Tierney, and while it's fun trivia, it's radically unclear to me how this episode somehow undermines the vast body of climate science research out there.)

Meanwhile, in the actual news section of The Washington Post today comes this report: "The pace of global warming is likely to be much faster than recent predictions, because industrial greenhouse gas emissions have increased more quickly than expected and higher temperatures are triggering self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms in global ecosystems, scientists said Saturday." Hey, maybe these so-called "scientists" are all full of it! But it'll take a good deal more than George Will's amateur hackwork to prove it.

--Bradford Plumer

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

Article: pp. 1325–1337 | Abstract | PDF (4.13M)

The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus
Thomas C. Petersona, William M. Connolleyb, and John Fleckc

Climate science as we know it today did not exist in the 1960s and 1970s. The integrated enterprise embodied in the Nobel Prizewinning work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change existed then as separate threads of research pursued by isolated groups of scientists. Atmospheric chemists and modelers grappled with the measurement of changes in carbon dioxide and atmospheric gases, and the changes in climate that might result. Meanwhile, geologists and paleoclimate researchers tried to understand when Earth slipped into and out of ice ages, and why. An enduring popular myth suggests that in the 1970s the climate science community was predicting “global cooling” and an “imminent” ice age, an observation frequently used by those who would undermine what climate scientists say today about the prospect of global warming. A review of the literature suggests that, on the contrary, greenhouse warming even then dominated scientists' thinking as being one of the most important forces shaping Earth's climate on human time scales. More importantly than showing the falsehood of the myth, this review describes how scientists of the time built the foundation on which the cohesive enterprise of modern climate science now rests.


One of the reasons he says his utility bill is higher is that he and his wife work at home. I used to work at home for years. It did increase my electric bill by about $20 per month. I have a computer on 18 hours a day when I work at home.

Another reason he gives is that his mansion is 4 times bigger than the average house in his area. Okay, I guess that makes it okay. He wants to live in a mansion. Can't fault his highness for that now can we?

Then there's the guest house. Hey, gotta have one of those.

You are willing to buy all the rationalizations.

No, I just know the difference between pettiness and real issues.

Are YOU zero carbon, in any way? No? Then should you not close your mouth?

Carbon offsets are BS.

He's basically saying he's rich enough to avoid having to cut down his energy usage.

The right wing lunatic fringe would be involved in character assassinations of Gore no matter what he did. If he was a vegan locavore who walked everywhere he went, they would be howling about what a freak he is and how holier than thou he was acting.

Basically, if you advocate for something like this, either you try rigorously to live well within the limits you are espousing, in which case you are sure to be called the names just mentioned (I know; I have, by close relatives); or you don't quite live up to all those standards and then are branded a hypocrite by people who have never bothered to actually try to live the life they accuse you of not living.

With rightwing spin ditto heads, there really is no winning on any kind of rational basis. They get their marching orders from their managers and they carry them out diligently, no matter how crass, absurd, sordid, or damaging to the general welfare.

Truer words...


"Expending resources just to combat global warming is a bad idea."
I think you'll find that most people are advocating combatting climate catastrophe (GW) not so much by expending resources as by reduced expending of resources. So that whole argument is cobblers.


In the name of fighting AGW the US government subsidies (i.e. expends resources) an assortment of power producing projects. Billions of dollars. Obama is greatly scaling up money for solar and wind projects. He's probably scaling up money for lots of other things that I'm not following close enough to know.

Climate change worriers are big advocates for solar, wind, geothermal. No, my argument is not "cobblers" (and I'm guessing you are from England since the term doesn't ring a bell in California).

Now, I totally agree with Obama's scaling up money for insulation of houses. I've argued in favor of this for years. Hits a few problems at once. Cut CO2 emissions, reduce costly imports, reduces the impact of Peak Oil, and the money usually pays itself back just on the fuel costs avoided. But we can't insulate ourselves into a post-oil world. We need new energy sources too.

FutureP--I think the problem here is a lumping together of all "climate change worriers" and their policies. Of course Obama inc. are enthusing about big money resource-expending projects; that's in the nature of the useless big-biz powers-that-be. And of course there are those with smaller commercial interest in lobbying for solar, wind, nuke, whose voices will sound loudly and who find it convenient to attach the climate catastrophe label to themselves. That doesn't alter the fact that many climate catastrophe activists (esp non-US?) think that a priority is to reduce, by not using cars or fridges for instance.
CC activists' other preoccupations include opposing the exploitation of oil shale and tar sands, and protesting against building of coal-fired power stations. Even solar/wind they envisage as less resource use (even though we might see it less certain here).

"We need new energy sources too. [anyway, regardless of cc]"
And therefore the calls of the cc "worriers" for alt energy sources don't really amount to a call for more resource exploitation than what we've got to do anyway--QED.

Do I correctly take it from your use of the term "climate change worriers" that you would be happy to gamble the liveability of the planet in the next century?

You are trying to overread what I say. I am more worried about Peak Oil than Global Warming for a few reasons:

1) Peak Oil is going to cut CO2 emissions.

2) Peak Oil is going to accelerate the development of alternatives to all fossil fuels.

3) Peak Oil is going to clobber us economically for the next 20 years and we really need to work on this huge short run problem first. It will cause more suffering and at the same time will make CO2 emissions drop.

4) The CO2 emissions growth battleground has shifted to Asia and they are not going to listen to us. Western CO2 emissions will drop while Indian and Chinese emissions will grow (and China has already passed the US in CO2 emissions a few years ago with at least 500 more coal electric plants in the pipeline). I tend not to worry about things so much when I think I can't influence the countries that will be the biggest players in the future.

Oil shale: When oil production is dropping 5+% per year people who protest against oil shale will be pissing in the wind.

1) Peak Oil is going to cut CO2 emissions.

Huh... but you also said...

Oil shale: When oil production is dropping 5+% per year people who protest against oil shale will be pissing in the wind.

Seems to me an awful lot of coal and shale might get burned up if we assume PO is more important than AGW. In fact, I find the stance bizarrely out of touch with any sort of systems analysis.

2) Peak Oil is going to accelerate the development of alternatives to all fossil fuels.

Perhaps. If people understood bifurcation and tipping points, they wouldn't need any further motivation.

3) Peak Oil is going to clobber us economically for the next 20 years and we really need to work on this huge short run problem first.

Clobbered now, clobbered later, what does it matter? If you wait 20 years to deal with AGW, we'll likely get clobbered for millenia.

It will cause more suffering and at the same time will make CO2 emissions drop.

Again, not if AGW isn't jointly considered. How does PO trump an inhospitable planet?

4) The CO2 emissions growth battleground has shifted to Asia and they are not going to listen to us.

Funny... They had mitigation plans starting while our Executive Arses were still denying AGW even exists. At least three years ago.

Western CO2 emissions will drop while Indian and Chinese emissions will grow (and China has already passed the US in CO2 emissions a few years ago with at least 500 more coal electric plants in the pipeline).

As a practical matter, maybe so, but the resistance from China has nothing to do with the science and everything to do with economics, etc. Above ground factors, as it were.

I have cornucopians come to my own web site and tell me that Canada has huge tar sands resources and that we have nothing to worry about with regards to oil supplies. So I google up projections by Canada's oil industry and they think they might hit 3.3. mmbbd by 2025. Canada isn't going to compensate for even 1 year's decline in conventional oil production.

I can see worrying about coal CO2 since there's a lot of coal and China's very willing to rip thru it. But then my next step is to realize that China isn't going to listen to us.


- Oil production will decline.
- Oil shale will be a small response both as a replacement for conventional oil and as a CO2 source as compared to coal.
- I see more immediate things to worry about with a world economic depression on the horizon.

There's a pretty big overlap between handling CO2 emissions and handling Peak Oil. But I'm far more interested in handling Peak Oil as the higher priority because it comes much sooner and will have a hugely disruptive and impoverishing effect.

What we ought to do: Do huge research projects to find ways to make nuclear cheaper than coal. Only cheap nuclear is going to persuade the Chinese to alter course. Plus, cheap nuclear would be a boon for us.

Several problems with your analysis.

Short sighted for one. Eighty years from now we will care little about the Depression of the early 21st Century (how much do you care about the Great Depression ?), but the impacts of the disaster of Climate Change will be picking up steam and the future will be horrifying. Not just declines in consumption but abandonment of massive infrastructure and loss of forests and agriculture near collapse (see famine & collapsing population).

The Chinese do not need us to design better & cheaper nukes. The French, Germans and Japanese will do that, plus their own efforts. They have quite a few new nukes on order. Plus more hydro and they are starting to get serious about wind.

The US has larger coal reserves than China. I am more concerned about continued US burning of coal than of Chinese burning.


Since I never lived in the Great Depression I shouldn't care about the next one coming up?

Abandonment of massive infrastructure: This happens due to Peak Oil. Already in early stages with roads going back to gravel and bridges with weight restrictions.

The Germans are going to design nukes? They are currently on plan to phase them out. We have the biggest electric power market outside of China and so we seem like the logical people to ramp up nuclear power.

Nukes, hydro, and wind in China: All really small stuff compared to their coal plants. China's coal plant build is enormous:

All Things Considered, April 15, 2008 · China is the world's largest producer of coal and its largest consumer. The country relies on coal for 70 percent of its energy use.

And China's appetite for energy is ravenous. The country is expected to build as many as 500 new coal-fired power plants over the next decade./blockquote>

Those living in 2090 will care as much about the Bush Depression as you do about the Great Depression. It has been 80 years since the start of the Great Depression. Add 80.5 years more towards the future.

They will care, desperately, about the increasing impacts of Climate Change. All prior historical experience has been of ancestor worship. They may be the first example of ancestor cursing.

As a short sighted conservative that cares little (if anything) about future generations, you do not value the fate of those living a mere 81 years from now, but I do.

From their perspective, the economic disaster left by GWB & the GOP in 2008/9 will matter little.

I do not count the loss of the majority of our roads as a loss of valuable infrastructure (I have advocated dynamiting I-10 from Canal St. to Elysian Fields). We built far too much.

The remaining well built housing in the USA (almost all before 1950, some till 1970) has enduring value. So do ports, railroads, the 3 water tunnels to NYC (zero energy to ~5th floor), mass transit systems (I took the 1897 subway to ASPO-Boston every day) adn much more of the inner cities on the coast.

The Suburbs, and their infrastructure, are mostly lost causes regardless. Fortunately, most were quite poorly built.

The Germans are going to design nukes?

Yes, Areva (the EPR) is a Franco-German effort. Siemens & Alsthom from memory.

I should have added the Russians (my oversight).

Westinghouse Nuke was first sold to the Brits, then to the Japanese (Shaw does own 10%).

Add the purely Japanese domestic builders.

The USA has, hopefully, started the first on many years of declining electrical consumption. The Obama 30% tax credit for added home insulation, windows, etc. and for much more energy efficient schools can only help there :-)

Some new US nukes and a massive build-out of wind with declining demand will help reduce US coal use.

Nukes, hydro, and wind in China:

...reports in the domestic media and from foreign diplomats suggest between 1.4 trillion (US$200 bn) and 4.5 trillion yuan (US$600bn) will be invested over the next ten years in nuclear power plants, solar and wind farms, hydroelectric dams, "green transport", "clean coal" and super efficient electric grids.


China's plans to have an installed capacity of 40 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2020


They announced TODAY the start of construction of a 20 GW (by 2020, eventual 40 GW) wind farm in NW China.


Plus aggressive plans for more hydro.

I suggest that not all of those coal fired plants will be built, and many older ones may be mothballed.


Peak Coal is not yet here, and both tar sands and oil shale are terrible sources of CO2.

China has already laid the ground work for future reductions of CO2, the USA has not. Of the CO2 floating in the air today, warming the climate, the USA is *BY FAR* the largest source !

We have already burned our carbon quota.

There are two paths to dealing with post-Peak Oil, one carbon intensive (see Hirsch), one not (see my ideas).

Best Hopes for Solving Both at Once,


Are Richard Heinberg, the EWG, and some other observers right to argue that Peak Coal is coming much sooner than the conventional wisdom holds?

If so, we need a crash program to develop nukes.

We need a crash program for building wind turbines, geothermal, pumped storage and HV DC lines and a crash program for conservation (I firmly believe that an average residence w/o any earlier efforts can cut energy consumption in half, we have 10x the retail space/capita of 1950, we can easily do with 80% less i.e. twice 1950 levels, etc.) coupled with a reasonable economic build-out of nukes (6 to 8 new nukes in first ten years (DoE study), perhaps 30 in second decade).

A crash program in nukes will repeat the economic disaster of the last rush for nukes. Several dozen partially built nukes canceled, massive cost over-runs & multiple year delays.

Best Hopes for a Logical Response,


Environmentalists have long made the point that even if the worst projections regarding climate change are wrong, the mitigation measures recommended are still all worth doing, for other environmental reasons as well as socioeconomically, and will make for a better world regardless.

I'd say the same is true for most proposed Peak Oil preparation measures.

Russ, this hits the nail on the head. If we found out that global warming and peak oil were complete fantasies or paranoid conspiracies, we could say 'ok we can continue to trash our home'. But why would we want to trash our home? - it's not some horrible motel, it's gorgeous! Deserts may be beautiful in their way, but we don't need more than we have already. As Heinberg and plenty of others point out, it's peak everything that's the problem. Soils and water in particular perhaps.

This "Peak Everything" is one of those cheap gimmicks to sell a book. Looking just at the piano trade, peak ivory, ebony, mahogany, and premium soundboard pine were all about a century ago. And quality action buckskin has been on the down for years.
And only sod knows the peak date for whales, lapis lazuli, saffron, elm-wood, Dodo hide, ....

This "Peak Everything" is one of those cheap gimmicks to sell a book.

Disagree. Our exploding numbers vs finite, non-renewable resources is leading to a peaking of many key minerals in the next 30 years. That's just a fact. You mention renewables like ivory and mahogany, which makes your argument look asinine. Or maybe you just don't like Heinberg? If so, say it.

Peaking of many is not peaking of everything. Cheap sloppy language. The higher-grade species mahogany trees and dodo and elms (in uk) are certainly not renewable now they are extinct, ditto Rumanian pine forests, and the ivory and whales and bison came very close to the same to the extent that they may as well be in terms of supply peaking. Whether or not I like Heinberg, or anyone else for that matter is of little merit stating here. He's written some far better books than xillions of other authors, and they can't rightly be accused of pseudicness or illegibility. So what?

"And only sod knows the peak date for whales, lapis lazuli, saffron, elm-wood, Dodo hide, ...."

Robin we are trying to pick which of the buffalo's in the herd are going over the cliff. We have been warned and the business knows best gang have been effective in diverting our taking a stand against folly.

What will be very hard to deal with is the understanding that we have apparently now started down the slippery back slope of 'peak pollinators'. An observed irony is that those who have inflicted much of the damage to the pollinators have the gall to call and consider themselves 'farmers'.

Germany, Italy and France apparently have come to their senses and have recognized the true terrorists threatening our lives and have banned 'Bayer's' Imadicloprid and clothianidin. These chemicals are being used by companies like Monsanto and Syngenta are dipping their g.m.o. soyabean seeds in (Monsanto's product called 'Pancho') With less than .2 ppm this chemical has proved terminal for the pollinators that come in contact with the pollan produced by the plant.

Consider: "The beginning of the marketing of Imidacloprid and Clothianidin coincided with the occurrence of large scale bee deaths in many European and American countries. Up to 70 per cent of all hives have been affected. In France alone approximately 90 billion bees died within ten years, reducing honey production by up to 60%."
Japan lost apparently 1/2 their bee's in 2008. We are just at the beginning of the hit. Most people have no idea that the loss of bee's doesn't just mean poor fruit harvests, and honey. Arguably the bee's greater contribution is that they pollinate clover and they can work alfalfa. This means food to feed animals hence meat and dairy. (understand too that these crops fix nitrogen)

"Organic agriculture must be widely adopted to save the honeybee

In conclusion, sub-lethal levels of pesticides, including the Bt biopesticides produced in genetically modified (GM) crops covering some 30 percent of the global area, disorientate the bees, making them behave abnormally, and compromise their immunity to infections. Regulators have allowed the widespread deployment of systemic neonicotinoid pesticides based on assessments of lethal dose in bees of the pesticides alone, ignoring clear evidence that sub-lethal pesticide levels act synergistically with fungal parasites in killing insects. The honeybees may well be succumbing to such synergistic effects. There is every reason to eliminate the use of all pesticides that act synergistically with parasitic fungi, and all Bt crops should be banned for the same reason. Obviously, these problems will disappear with the widespread adoption of organic, non-GM farming.

Presented at launch conference for Food Futures Now *Organic *Sustainable *Fossil Fuel Free , 22 April 2007, UK Parliament, Westminster, London

U.S. Caves Into Lobbyists Over Massive Bee Deaths

* U.S.D.A. caves into lobbyists over massive bee deaths while Germany takes a major step to keep their pollinators pollinating crops
Sierra Club, via CASFS-Blog and Forum, June 11, 2008
Straight to the Source

from The Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), UC Santa Cruz

In light of the mounting evidence that new seed chemical coatings are deadly to bees and the action of Germany to call for an immediate suspension of these seed treatments, the Sierra Club today reaffirmed its call for a U.S. moratorium on specific chemical treatments to protect our bees and crops, until more study can be done.

Recently Germany's federal agricultural research institute noted, "It can unequivocally be concluded that poisoning of the bees is due to the rub-off of the pesticide ingredient clothianidin from corn seeds."

At issue are the neonicotinoids, including clothianidin, being used in a new way - as seed coatings.

For years, farmers have been spraying neonicotinoids onto their crops to stop insect infestation. Now Bayer and Monsanto have acquired patents to coat their proprietary corn seeds with these neonicotinoids.

"Part of the equation in the U.S. is genetically engineered corn, as more and more corn seeds are being gene spliced with a completely different species - a bacteria," said Walter Haefeker, of the German Beekeepers Association Board of Directors. "Bayer and Monsanto recently entered into agreements to manufacture neonicotinic-coated genetically engineered corn. It's likely that this will worsen the bee die-off problem."

David Hackenburg, former president of the American Beekeeping Federation, has been urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to do more study. "Look at what's time based. The massive bee decimation started when regulatory agencies rubber stamped the use of neonicotinoid spraying and coating," he said."
A very useful site for bee related stories from which the above was sourced can be found here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/bees.cfm

"Gene Brandi will always rue the summer of 2007. That's when the California beekeeper rented half his honeybees, or 1,000 hives, to a watermelon farmer in the San Joaquin Valley at pollination time. The following winter, 50 percent of Brandi's bees were dead. "They pretty much disappeared," says Brandi, who's been keeping bees for 35 years.

Since the advent in 2006 of colony collapse disorder, the mysterious ailment that continues to decimate hives across the country, Brandi has grown accustomed to seeing up to 40 percent of his bees vanish each year, simply leave the hive in search of food and never come back. But this was different. Instead of losing bees from all his colonies, Brandi watched the ones that skipped watermelon duty continue to thrive.

Brandi discovered the watermelon farmer had irrigated his plants with imidacloprid, the world's best-selling insecticide created by Bayer CropScience Inc., one of the world's leading producers of pesticides and genetically modified vegetable seeds, with annual sales of $8.6 billion. Blended with water and applied to the soil, imidacloprid creates a moist mixture the bees likely drank from on a hot day."

Eliyahu--I could barely believe what I was reading above. I've previously reckoned the use of dental mercury to be the greatest scandal in history (most of the population are at least moderately injured thereby, some severely such as myself). But this one has to take over that first place, destroying our very food-supply system for profit. Well, the positive is that at least we now know what has been the cause of the bees' catastrophe. (The "Hiv causes Aids" hoax is another strong contender.)
PS- for evidence re amalgam search mats hanson scenihr; for evidence re hiv/aids check out peter deusberg (et al). The spirit of Lysenkoism is still very much alive and stalking all the lands.

Imagine chemical companies are not only allowed to wage chemical warfare on us but are sanctioned and apparently get tax breaks!

I have learned recently that Poland has had the great sense to ban gmo's and is providing financial support for their small farmers.

Another thing to learn is about acrylimides these are carcinogens formed in high heat situations. The black charcoal on the bbq'd meat form's acrylimides as do french fries.
The latest is that the U.S.D.A. has been finding tuberculosis in the milk that has been surviving pasteurization. So the proposed solution is what they call u.h.t.(ultra high temperature) pasteurization which will form acrylimides in the milk. (Remember they want to restrict your access to raw milk because they are concerned about your health.)

Tests on meat from From 1963 to 1992 showed a 100% loss of vitamin a. This is because the cows have been removed from grass. This also means a skewed omega 3, 6 ratio (deficient omega 3's little if any conjugated linoleic acid (c.l.a. very healthful) Commercial potatoes are now showing 0 vitamin a. Vitamins you want in your food as 90% of vitamins are showing chemical contamination as well as your body can't absorb the pills since they lack all the key amino acids. This is a prescription for disease.

Despite the negative exposure to pesticides, probably the best reasons to grow and eat organically raised food is for the increased nutrient profile. When trace minerals are present in quality soils (with the microorganisms in the soil to make bio-available to plants)this translates into vastly superior nutrition. The trace minerals don't get into the plants when commercial fertilizer is used, which is why the pesticides are needed. The insects are trying to save us by eating the defective food and we have launched chemical warfare (and after some 50,000 chemicals we know who's winning) When nutrients enter the plants they increase the 'brix' or sweetness and taste of the food. This is why organic meat, and veggies can taste dramatically better, and why the veggies are better keepers.
In fact if you are planning a root cellar and food storage, then it better be organic or it will rot in a fraction of the time required. This leaves running to the shopping center to stockpile food off of the options table for a serious situation.

I agree with you about dental amalgams being bad for us. I believe there is a strong connection with A.D.D. and prostate cancer and exposure to mercury.
Fluoride is another bad guy (fluoride interferes with thyroid by combining with phosphorous, aside from being goitregenic a double whammy)
As to HIV I have no knowledge of this and, unless I missed something there is no disagreement about the holocaust.
Bayer was originally a subsidiary of I.G.Farben. I.G. Farben was essentially a Nazi run corporation and was given a part of Auschwitz where they used people as lab rats. Surprise, in their new incarnation they are using us as their lab rats!

Fluoride is known to make people more compliant, imagine that!

Fluoride is known to make people more compliant,
I failed to find any substantiation of that theory when I searched hard for it. Any pointers or are you also just repeating an urban myth?

The latest is that the U.S.D.A. has been finding tuberculosis in the milk that has been surviving pasteurization.
That's a seriously important notion. Again what/how much evidence?, how much surviving pasteurisation?, and yes uht is not the way to go.

Hi Robin
I don't remember the source on the t.b. but it was a milk related document from a Canadian source (I read it 3-4 years ago). They were reporting 3-5% (I forget the exact %)of samples showing t.b.

The info on fluoride came from this site:http://www.tuberose.com/Fluoride.html
As well a source for my phosphorous fluoride connection and problems was from an article in AcresUSA magazine.

We don't yet know what is causing the problems with the bees but it is most assuredly not cell phones and it is very unlikely that it's agricultural chemicals,as not all pesticldes are used in all areas and not all bees are hauled from field to field.

And bees are dying in spades in places where there are few or no chemicals used.

It is very possible that pesticides are partly to blame however,as losses seem to be higher in some places than others,and the places with the higher losses seem to be farm areas.But that's not proof,as yet,because bee problems are not as rigorously tracked as say human problems.And if a commercial beekeeper loses half his bees,it's news,but if some homeowner hobbyist one horse beekeeper loses three out of his six hives five miles from the nearest sprayed field nobody hears about it.

We used to keep our own but my Daddy has developed the sting allergy and now we provide a spot for a local bee keeper to put his hives.All work the same nieghborhood orchards,field crops, and wild plants,and are exposed to the same pesticides,and one hive in three has died while the other two are as vigorous as you could wish.

People with plenty of expertise in toxicology,communicable diseases,and insect physiology are scratching thier heads bloody looking for the true cause.

My personal guess is that it will be some time yet before we know the truth.

I had a long post all composed about pesticides and the pros and cons which seems to have disappeared into the non existent ether when I hit the save key.I'll try again later.

Hi Mac

These chemicals specifically: "The German Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) has ordered the immediate suspension of the approval for eight seed treatment products due to the mass death of bees in Germany's Baden-Wuerttemberg state. The suspended products are: Antarc (ingredient: imidacloprid; produced by Bayer), Chinook (imidacloprid; Bayer), Cruiser (thiamethoxam; Syngenta), Elado (clothianidin; Bayer), Faibel (imidacloprid; Bayer), Mesurol (methiocarb; Bayer) and Poncho (clothianidin; Bayer). According to the German Research Centre for Cultivated Plants 29 out of 30 dead bees it had examined had been killed by contact with clothianidin. Also wild bees and other insects are suffering from a significant loss of population."

Possible explanations for your observations about these losses. Persistence -->killing years later. 2) Beekeepers feeding corn syrup (or other contaminated feeds) made from gmo treated corn. Also these chemicals are being used by non farmers to treat for grubs in their lawns, and by golf courses. So being sure that there was none in use is harder to establish.
And the other problem is that we have already doused the world with arsenic, fluorides, uranium, dioxins, pthalates etc. These chemicals have synergistic effects and will be creating bizarre outcomes. So the single smoking gun almost becomes a rhetorical ruse. Words like 'disorder','syndrome','idiopathic' etc are examples of obscurantism (intentional use of obscure language so as to sound impressive or to deceive). Colony collapse disorder sounds like a diagnosis. When in fact it is nothing but a fancy way of saying 'weez blowin smoke' furthermore defining the problem as a 'mystery' means that it can never be solved as that is the fundamental nature of mysteries that they are 'unknowable'.

The Sierra club said this: "In light of the mounting evidence that new seed chemical coatings are deadly to bees and the action of Germany to call for an immediate suspension of these seed treatments, the Sierra Club today reaffirmed its call for a U.S. moratorium on specific chemical treatments to protect our bees and crops, until more study can be done."

The loss of the bee's is serious stuff. So when in doubt especially since these products (are not essential to agriculture)have been shown to be lethal let's take the necessary precautions and remove them. Failing which tell everybody you know that we are under chemical attack and the enemy is us.

We need all the older farmers with knowledge about alternatives to this agricultural production model. We can't count on politicians to understand the importance of pollinators it's beyond their ability or willingness given the amount of apparent graft.

Mac did you know that much of the food is now void of nutrition? Do you know that it's causing disease, when quality food can heal? So just how much of a case for business as usual should we advocate for? Potatoes with 0 vitamin a! That's not farming though the word starts with an 'f'

The piece I lost went into the synergism problem in some detail.You are correct that we have serious(very) problems with lots of other chemical pollutants in addition to ag chemicals,and that no one knows how they may interact,or even IF they are already interacting already and causing all sorts of human health problems and or environmental problems.

Personally I strongly suspect that there actual serious interactions occuring,and that some health problems will soon be definitively proven to be the result of such interactions.

But none of the pesticides you list are used locally,and in this area we just don't spend money on our lawns except to cut the grass.Ten miles away it's different,there are folks there whose lawns are fit for Southern Living magazine.

The pros working on the bee problem are not just a bunch of craftsmen,they are well trained scientists with electron microscopes,etc,and they know how to seperate cause and effect using the same methods medical researchers use.

My personal guess is that the bee collapse is caused by some as yet unidentified virus that normally has no noticeable effect but has now mutated and kills infected bees stressed by some other virus,fungus,bacterium ,etc.Chemical stressors may very well play a part too.The colonies that are not dying may be protected by some lucky gene combination,or the ones dyiny may suffer from some unlucky genes and so forth.

If there is a disease agent responsible,and I personally believe this is the case,it is easy to see why this problem has spread so far and so fast,given the way bees are moved around,and that the vectors could include shipped vegetables and fruit, or even ordinary travelers-tourists for example.As a matter of fact the speed of spread is a very strong argument in favor of this explaination,which is viewed favorably by many researchers.

Remember-some bees are dying far away from any farming operations,and others are dying where the suspect chemicals are not used within many miles.

The fact that some bees have been shown conclusively to have died from exposure to known poisons does not explain collapse in places where these poisons are not used.

Banning chemicals is a possible solution that will hurt some individual farmers more than others but would actually improve farmers bottom line-as a group.But this is a solution that could very quickly increase the cost of food substantially,and we are at a crisis point already in that respect,worldwide.

We are ,so to speak,damned if we do,and damned if we don't.

“Is there any evidence that would convince me that I am wrong?”

I think your response to your own question wrt PO said it just fine, but then you got it wrong when you applied it to Climate Change by falling into false equivalence wrt consequences.

The consequences of uncontrolled CC are far more perilous than those of PO, no matter how you slice it. The endgame for CC is not only a crumbling social structure, but possible extinction. While you are on record above saying this is an extreme position, the fact is that it is not. The problem of CC is not just in magnitude of change, but also speed of change, and that latter is what limits adaptability. PO will not, and cannot threaten the existence of humanity. Period. As long as that false equivalence is treated as valid, the argument runs the risk of chasing its own tail.

Also, it is good to keep in mind that the risk if CC could just as easily be another Younger Dryas and not a 6C higher desert wasteland. Again, the speed is a problem. And mobility. 100 - 20k years ago humans were completely mobile and could simply walk away from the speed of the changes. At 3 mph they could move a thousand miles in 33 days at 10 hours a day. The climate changes they dealt with were far slower than that, for the most part. And food was quite literally waking all around them.

“Is there any evidence that would convince me that I am wrong?”

Not really, but for simple practical reasons.

First, climate trends are minimally 30 years. By the time we could definitively call a change in climate, I'll be dead.

Second, if the world is gonna just keep trucking on in a fairly stable steady state of climate for the next 10k years, well, it's still better to live cleanly and lightly on the planet - as you pointed out.

Third, it should be noted a sudden shift to a very cold climate does not equal Climate Change activists being wrong. Just the opposite. Global Cooling and Global Warming are two sides of the same problem and would both be precipitated by our burning too many fossil fuels too fast. Only the denialists don't get this.

Fourth, another Ice Age is fairly certain to occur. From past patterns in this relatively short geological history of Ice Ages, it is clear we could be headed back into one even as we speak. A great way to keep one at bay might be to burn some fossil fuels. Doesn't it make sense to save them for that purpose?

So, we end up back at risk assessment. What is the worst possible outcome for PO and CC short of a massive nuclear war? Extinction. But only one of the two bear with them the possibility of this, and it is CC. Thus, that's what we need to prepare for.

Oh, and I flatly reject that a green economy is a net economy killer. For chrissakes, what happened to the whalers? The coal mine workers? Etc? New industry is new industry. People will go where the jobs are.

Thanks for the direct ask of the question, but it's one that is moot. Mark up your four boxes folks. Work it out.


There's a good series of videos on Youtube about risk management and climate change:


The problem of CC is not just in magnitude of change, but also speed of change, and that latter is what limits adaptability.

It's all about the rapidity of CC, not the magnitude. Given a period of 10^5 - 10^6 yrs the magnitude would be inconsequential because range shifts & natural selection could keep pace. But given the period of 10^1 - 10^2 change of even small magnitude becomes devastating, especially when anthropogenic habitat fragmentation limits migration & gene flow between isolated populations.

I have seen many graphs over the years showing global CO2 and Methane levels rising and how it relates to global warming. I was wondering how water vapor fits into the equation. As the ice melts and covers more surface, the volume of water evaporating increases. Does water vapor get included into any of the models or is it something that is just too complex to model at this time due to differences between regions. Maybe I am mistaken, I thought I remember hearing someone say one time that water vapor is also an element in global warming. If so, then an attempt should be made to include it into future projections based on present and past levels.

Water vapor is the strongest greenhouse gas, but it's in equilibrium. Adding water vapor by itself to the atmosphere won't do anything because any excess precipitates out as rain and snow. However it does amplify the effect of other greenhouse gases.


Awesome, thanks for the info.

Only problem with the equilibrium argument is that a warmer climate means more water vapour in suspension, since warmer air holds more water.

Actually there is another more substantial problem with it, but it was a bit complex to explain so didn't. Like if there's more evaporating going on (due to hotter seas), then there will be more areas of raining going on, more areas at full saturation, hence a higher average water content. But I don't have the expertise to say how important such an effect would be.

Actually, there will be episodes of heavier downpours that intersperse periods of drought. Don't forget, you need cold front to precipitate the water out of the warmer air.

"Don't forget..." ...that I'm not an atmospheric science expert. So what's the proper conclusion from all these reasonings?

I'm not either, but the logic is straightforward enough, and the farmers that frequent here should have some illuminating stories to tell.

1. Bigger rains = loss of top soil, flooding, late plantings, ruined crops (and other bad effects on food growing), less water soaking into the ground.

2. More frequent, longer droughts = reduced crops, no crops, depletion of aquifers, loss of topsoil to wind, harder land so that when heavy rains come even more water runs off...

3. Changes to the hydrological cycle...


Also keep in mind--the warmer the water vapor the more transparent/less reflective.

If I'm wrong a bunch of people will be sniggering at me in years to come-people who all working together "don't know sxxt from applebutter" about much of anything but day to day life.

They can understand "timber depletion " and soaring lumber prices and are quite ready to believe that thier grandchildren will have to live in houses made out of concrtete steel and plastic(I KNOW JUST HOW RIDICULOUS THIS IS)BECAUSE LUMBER WILL BE UNAFFORDABLE.

They have seen sawmills ,but they've never seen an oil well,and having been cheated and mistreated by the business world forever,they are UNSHAKEABLY convinced that oil shortages are contrived in order to force up prices.

Being laughed at is a price I would gladly pay to avoid dealing with peak oil.

I always slow down approaching sharp curves,because you are sooner or later going to meet some idiot flying down thy middle of the road from the opposite direction.Everybody who drives very much has put his car on the shoulder or in the ditch or in the woods at least a few times for this very reason.

Recently I rounded a sharp curve to the right and some xxxxing idiot was changing a tire in the middle of my lane and his wife and kids were standing around in this quiet country road like cows.

I was able to stop-barely- without hitting anything or any body because I wasn't going very fast.

And you know what that dumb son ofxxxxxxx had to say?Why didn't I just go around rather than almost running over his kids?

The fact that one of them might have shot out from in front of his car never even crossed his (mostly missing) mind and he apparently could not even concieve of the possibility that I might be involved in a head on collision with someone coming from the other direction by being on the wrong side of the road in a blind curve.

So I think of all the things that can go wrong,and try to at least pick the low hanging fruit off precautionary measure tree.I've got enough diesel and fertilizer on hand for the next three years just in case tshtf. That will at least allow me a considerable window in which to really power down our little place.

Forgive me, Robert,for voicing a very strong opinion,but it will always be bunkers and grenades because the vast majority of the human race would rather die than think,and most of the handful willing to think are lacking the requisite knowledge of elementary science necessary to draw accurate conclusions.

We all depend on and trust other people to guide our decision making in any field in which we lack personal expertise.We CHOOSE to trust based on our personal experiences and the experiences of our peers for second order trust-if you don't know a lawyer,you are prone to rely on a trusted friend's lawyer.

There is a piece in the 05/09 issue of Natural History that covers the trust paradigm,which I highly reccomend.It's an article that deals with the rejection of evolution by the American public,and the insights to be had from it are priceless.Sorry I can't remember the authors name,I read it yesterday from a borrowed copy.

One of the editors here might be able to get permission to post some of the best parts.It is prime Oil Drum material without a doubt.

I have travelled out of the US a few times in my life. One thing I noticed was the majority of housing was constructed of concrete and brick. In the US the majority of houses are comprised of wood. I am not sure of the reason for this difference. But, if it becomes as you say "concrete steel and plastic" we will just be becoming more like other countries are today. I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing. I can see a reason for concrete and brick housing--Longevity and no worries about ants eating up the stucture (except for the roof supports).

Brick buildings perform poorly in earthquakes. That's the reason you don't see them on the west coast.


You make valid points,but my real point is that even though the locals can see that trees grow back with thier own eyes,they are willing to believe that in the future NONRENEWABLES such as concrete and steel will be cheaper than wood -and that the oil and coal needed to manufacture these things will always be available-and cheaper than rewewable wood.

It's the TRUST paradigm-who are they going to believe,thier own experiences or some "egghead" who went to college?

Who are you going to trust?Your pastor?Your doctor?Lawyer?Investment banker?Local banker?Employer?

Most people are AS IGNORANT as a fence post,and they look at people like us the same way we look at people who believe in flying saucers-meaning not just a theoritical possibility but as a day to day reality of visiting little green men.

Can we really blame them?

Obviously not in my opinion.We play the cards chance has dealt us with the brains evolution has given us-brains not designed for the sort of work we are faced with today.

All that is necessary for a baboon feeding in a the middle of a troupe on a grassy hillside is that he run like hell for the trees and rocks if the outlying baboons give raise the alarm. The human baboons aren't paying attention because we are (to them) one of the hysterical old lady baboons who have screamed LEAPORD!!!!! every time a beeeze has rustled a bush since time immemorial.Read ever since the first economist made fun of Malthus.

All the nutcases around the fringe of the evvironmental movement have done our credibility immense damage.Furthermore bad news sells and the msm is always desperate for something to boost the sale of advertising time and space and has made so many over blown-before-thier-time claims of environmental catastrophe that people have tuned out-at the same time the msm is making MORE hay out of making fun of the wackos.

But this whole charade unfortunately also sets the stage for powerful and sophisticated disinformation campaigns when the truth( the physical facts of geology, biology,etc can be ignored and covered up only so long) finally begins to force itself into the light of day.

Perhaps the clean coal campaign is the biggest single current example.

When it turns out that it is either impossible or prohibitively expensive to store co2,as I expect will be the case,the coal industry will have enjoyed another ten years or so of bau.I will be happy if I 'm proven wrong.

You are right. I remember a couple of years ago the spotted owl debate. The truth eventually came out, but not after some profound laws were passed. The msm went on and on for what seems like forever and then something else happened to take their attention away. Some other catastrophy occurred that the media vultures jumped on.
I could be wrong, but with the media, I dont see much information out there about PO. I see alot of stuff about global warming and what their predictions are with what is going to happen if we dont stop.
My biggest worry is that as production falls, people will start saying "We need to produce more coal for more power". And then have the government force the automakers to make electric only cars. It is just trading one drug for another and BAU for the media. They will have stories galore.

Hence the major push for clean power and highly efficient transportation now.

A couple of really really good rants Mac.
I'm proud of you.

-yesterday on the harley I tried to (barely)two women standing in the middle of the road talking.....they gave me a dirty look as my handlebars missed them by inches...scant inches and they didn't like the 'suck ass' face I made at them as I screwed down on the throttle even more....more like a "Ma va fa in culo" in Italian,,,,translated means '''Go put you face up your ass'..accompanied with the fingers raking the chin outward like motion....they got the idea anyway...

But it was a good ride anyway...the ribs at the end of the trail were not that good though,,,next stop is Moonlite in Owensboro,Ky...


I live in a aerated autoclaved concrete house, down in Alabama near the Gulf. Aerated concrete was my material of choice because it is insulating, has high thermal mass and will last for centuries with little maintenance.

The cost of the house was high ($150 per sq ft lifing area including garage but not counting garage sq ft). Cost would have been higher had I not desined it myself and acted as general contractor. My heating and cooling bills are minimal as is insurance, which is significant in hurricane areas.

Lack of wood was not the issue. Wood is a poor building material, especially in humid subtropical ciamates with hurricanes.

I'm sort of fond of concrete myself,and wish I could afford more of it.

But cypress lasts a long time and cypress grows back.

As far as the concrete goes I think if I lived down your way I would find a way to pay for it.

And there are considerations of truly long term durability to be considered.A well constructed concrete house might very well last for centuries,as you point out,and could be among the very best of investments for those of us with children.

I suspect your "aerated " concrete is what is known locally as air entrained.I did not know that it is a significantly better insulator than ordinary concrete.

and having been cheated and mistreated by the business world forever,they are UNSHAKEABLY convinced that oil shortages are contrived in order to force up prices

Once businesses and government are shown to be open and honest then the issue can be addressed.

Yes -and when pigs have wings they can fly.But there does seem to be some progress in that direction.Not nearly enough.

It's the difference between type 1 & type 2 error.

If you're wrong not much harm done. But if you're right and no action is taken, it's all over for everyone. Of course, because of + feedbacks having been triggered, as mentioned by others, the likelihood of it all being over for everyone approaches unity, regardless of what action is taken. Demand destruction for FFs won't put a dent in GHG accumulation in any timeframe meaningful to a human lifetime or even several. Nor will it mitigate the ongoing collapse of ecosystems and mass extinction any time soon. The human species, along with much of the biosphere, is well and truly fucked. I could be wrong about this except that I'm not.

What if I am wrong?
A rather strange soliloquy (like Hamlet's).
It's nothing more than procrastination, IMO.

Is Peak Oil inevitable?
Obviously--at some point oil production has to fall.
So it becomes a matter of timing.

Is GW happening?
This is easy. Scientists say it is. Winters are shorter.

Are the effects of rising temperatures dangerous?

Is there anything we can do about GW?

Scientists say that man-made CO2 is the cause of global warming, so we are responsible.

Is it too late to do anything about GW?

The GW procrastinators are of three minds here.

1. One is that GW is too far gone to fix so why bother.
2. Another is that GW is NOT too far gone and can be left to future generations to deal with.
3. A third is that GW fixes are too expensive, although experts have determined a price for carbon dioxide($25 per ton according to Forbes) which is within our means as a society.If the US released 5.5 billion tons of CO2, that's equal to $138 billion dollars($460 per person?) for a $14 trillion dollar economy.


Notice that 1 and 2 are mutually exclusive and all three amount to 'don't do anything'.

As in the famous play, we(like Hamlet) need not simply 'believe' Al Gore but may need to look for additional evidence( the play's the thing..').
The question then becomes how much evidence is required to make us act.

And over the last 10 years the evidence keeps getting stronger.

Another question is can the US afford Peak Oil mitigation.

The Hirsch Plan gives
7 mbpd of CTL + GTL, 8 mbpd of syncrude and heavy oil, 3 mbpd saved by efficient cars and 3 mbpd from EOR over 15 years.

If CTL, GTL cost $40k per daily barrel, syncrude costs $25k per daily barrel, EOR costs an extra $20 per barrel and efficient cars save as much as they cost then that's a total cost of ~<$40 billion dollars each year:
7mpbd/15 years x $40k/db + 8mbpd/15yr x $25k/db + 3mbpd/15 yr x 365x $25/b =33.8 billion$ again, in a $14 trillion dollar economy.

Unfortunately this Peak Oil mitigation will significantly raise CO2 emissions.

The Hirsch report totally dismisses the 10 million barrels per day savings from replacing ICE cars and light trucks with electric.
This should not raise CO2 levels, whats more import is that it's happening.

A light electric truck? (No such animal)
A light electric car? (Fabulous beastie) Tesla builds 300 cars per year.

If you want to talk about electrified mass transit at least that is real.

Golf carts like Maya or GM's PUMA are fine if you ban everyone driving over 35 mph.

A hybrid running 12000 miles gets 40 mpg which is equal to 2.64 tons of CO2. The Hirsch report does include vehicle efficiency, though at a low level--saving only 3mpd.

I disagree with you that it won't raise CO2 levels.

A Tesla EV running 12000 miles on coal fired electricity at 3.57 miles/kwh(28 kwh per 100 miles)
will require 3361 kwh of electricity at the plug which is 4421 kwh at the coal-fired power plant(many parts of the country are almost entirely on coal electricity).

Per Ulf Bossel and friends, conversion is 75% efficient.


Coal plants produce electricity at 2000 kwh per ton of coal and 1 ton of coal produces 2.1 ton of CO2.

~4400 kwh/ 2000 kwh x 2.1 = 4.6 tons of CO2, which is ~75% higher emissions than a Prius or Insight hybrid( which are comparable to the EV market)

Electrified transport in the next 40 years is really a mirage.


A light electric truck? (No such animal)

Here is a recent TOD article "electric commercial vehicles."

I was thinking more along the lines of the definition of light trucks; "SUV's and pick-ups with 4 wheels" such as the Toyota RAv4EV. The only transport that cannot be electric is aircraft. Cars and light truck replacement is the logical place to start since in US they use 60% of oil. A gallon of gasoline uses more electric and NG energy in refining and distribution than an EV uses to travel the average 25 miles/gallon used bu ICE vehicles.
If you want to compare CO2 emissions compare like with like, such as a Prius HEV with a Prius plug-in. The value of EV's is that they can use a range of low carbon sources of electricity during off-peak periods.

Every major car manufacturer is planning to start selling EV or PHEV's in next 3 years, so your statement that electrified transport in next 40 years is really a mirage shows that you would be well qualified to co-author the next Hirsch report.

"Golf carts like Maya or GM's PUMA are fine if you ban everyone driving over 35 mph"

Hey maj, why do you keep asserting this bizarre claim.

I drive an electric vehicle nearly every day, and there is, of course, no such ban. I just don't go on highways. I almost never did anyway.

Maybe you live somewhere that requires highway driving to get anywhere, but in many cities, people do (or could easily do) the vast majority of their driving on streets that are posted for 35 mph or less.

Please stop repeating this absurd claim unless you can back it up or qualify it in some way.

The only thing bizarre are the claims of EV fanatics.

Electrovara's Maya is speed limited to 35 mph.

GM's Puma is also limited to 35 mph top speed.

What are your car's specs?

If you can't back it up, please stop repeating your GREENWASHING of EVs.
I have no problem with people buying these vehicles which under the right circumstances could help the energy situation(so could human powered bicycles or horses), but the limitations shouldn't be glossed over.

Why would driving an EV car on streets that have speed limits of 35mph mean that you couldn't drive other cars on those streets? I just don't know why you would think such a thing.

Your logic eludes me here.

But if you want to brush it off by calling me a fanatic, I guess that means you have no argument.

I have many criticisms of EVs, but saying that letting them on the street will make all other cars illegal just seems strange and contrary to facts on the ground.

Side note: The general speed limit in New Orleans is 25 mph. 35 mph on divided streets (ones with a neutral ground). A handful of exemptions to that (Interstate Highway, Bridge, Earhart & West Bank Expressways).

One can get about quite well at 25 to 35 mph, as long as one does not go to the suburbs (very little reason to do so).


Yeah, I have to assume that maj lives in some such suburb or new city where it would be unimaginable to get around on roads posted at 35mph or below. That's the only way I can see how maj came up with this idea. Being an urban dweller myself, I forget how much of the country is in this hellish condition.

I'm not sure outlawing ICE cars is such a bad idea, but it isn't necessary for the purposes of having EVs on the road in many places.

After my week in Italy I have some new thinking on this matter, but am so tired I will only make this comment for now:

But each camp has elements that feel – all too often with religious fervor - that the other side’s position will lead to.....

On all major social and environmental issues facing humanity, this sentence is likely the main universal....self-deception, belief in authority, availability cascade, relative fitness, recency effect, placebo, etc. all combine to make it very unlikely that facts alone will help us much in the short and intermediate term (which is unfortunate). Fundamentalism runs rampant in our culture (and probably species).

Fundamentalism runs rampant in our culture (and probably species).

Agreed but you'll obviously agree not 100%. Part of the problem is arguably that the more opinionated people tend to be the more energetic and active and successful (not least in impressing others with their confidence), while there are many more competent, open-minded people who are less conspicuous precisely because they spend time questioning, thinking, researching, which activities are inherently invisible and not counted as work or "doing something". But those less conspicuous people exist nonetheless and just have to prepare for the time when there is a new situation with new rules which the less flexible-minded can no longer follow and hence cease their participation.

What would convince me that I am wrong about Peak Oil?
If Titan were to be saturated with hydro-carbons.
Then oil is shown not to be a biological product.
Then it is "Hello Venus."
If oil prices are $4 a barrel and steady.

Titan's composition will not change the details. There is little doubt that the universe is awash in hydrocarbons, but what counts is on this little biologically transformed planet. I doubt there is any hydrocarbon molecule in the reachable part of the earth's crust that has not been metabolized a few times already. I would not be surprised to find some small reservoir left over from the original aggregation, but as far as burning it in my VW it might as well be on Titan. I'll offer my services to organize the drilling for 5% of the budget but I'm not going to fund the search.

If only all of us asked such questions of ourselves! At least in my perception, an imbalance exists amongst the various viewpoints on these issues. The burden of proof has too long been carried by those who warn of energy descent and global warming. As a practical matter, to use Poor Richard's words, "Better to be safe than sorry".

There is a utilitarian value to projecting 'righteousness'. However, it can only be validated through quiet, consistent questioning. This seems to be the point on which the deniers most often fail.

You are not wrong, because yours is an ethical approach.

And talking about 'risk':

NY TIMES: When Our Brains Short-Circuit

Our political system sometimes produces such skewed results that it’s difficult not to blame bloviating politicians. But maybe the deeper problem lies in our brains.

Evidence is accumulating that the human brain systematically misjudges certain kinds of risks. In effect, evolution has programmed us to be alert for snakes and enemies with clubs, but we aren’t well prepared to respond to dangers that require forethought.

On Global Warming -

If you look at the most recent data over the past 5 years, CO2 levels have gone up whilst global average temperatures have gone down. More importantly, CO2 levels are at their highest in several thousand years, yet temperatures still are going down. I would suggest the recent lack of solar activity has more to do with temperatures, than CO2 levels do. Climate modelers that believe in global warming admit that CO2 has little effect on temperatures. It's the feedback mechanisms in the models that make the difference. These climate models (including Hansen's from his 1988 testimony) have been proved wrong with actual measured data. Therefore, the theory itself must be wrong. The recent global warming internal cover up at the EPA is akin to the little boy shouting "the Emperor has no clothes!".

On Peak Oil -

There is no doubt that the world's known oil wells are rapidly depleting, whilst worldwide demand for oil is on the rise.

On the flip side,

1. Higher prices will reduce demand.
2. There could be vast reserves of undiscovered oil beneath the oceans.
3. Biofuel development could possibly replace oil altogether.
4. Electric autos could reduce oil demand considerably.

Peak oil may not be the doomsday that some are predicting. JMHO.


I read your comments and then read the article Nate posted. I don't think it helped me understand where you are coming from, though. It is not like you are ignoring the threat, you are irate at it. You are not alone, plenty of other share your passion for your team.

Woops, I meant to be commenting on Robert's article, not the one Nate posted from the NYT.

I used to believe in global warming back in the 90's when it was actually getting warmer. Now that it's getting cooler, the theory really doesn't make a lot of sense. A lot of other people "on the team" believe this as well.

On Peak Oil, I have studied Matt Simmons and Robert Hirsch. I am worried enough about it to install solar panels (we burn oil where I live for electricity), and start shopping for an electric vehicle. However if you look at the current situation, there is an oversupply of oil. My theory is that as jobs are being transferred from western countries to Asia, less oil is used for commuting, etc. The US also has about 2 billion gallons/yr in idled Ethanol capacity.

So perhaps I am with Robert in admitting that I was wrong about global warming and peak oil being the disasters I once imagined.

So perhaps I am with Robert in admitting that I was wrong about global warming and peak oil being the disasters I once imagined.

Sorry? Where did Robert say he was wrong about gw and po? He was just writing "what if"?

As for your "I used to believe in global warming", you seem to resemble a person who used to believe that gambling was for fools till one day you noticed that Will McCoy's last six horses had all been winners so you therefore switch to thinking it rational to bet all your worldly possessions on his next one being the seventh winner in a row. In defiance of the huge educated scientific consensus as opposed to googlocracy consensus of conspiracy crazies.

Nope, never believed in gambling. And consensus is for politics, not science. At one point in history the "scientific consensus" was that the Earth was flat.

Interesting choice of example.

I believe there has been some small (religious?) part of society that has once thought there was an edge, but most of the ancient philosophers had this figured out in Greece 2500 years ago - the shadow on the moon is circular, the moon is circular, the sun is circular. Only if the heavenly bodies are disk shaped and move like cards in a deck could these observations deny a spherical shape.

Eratosthenes a few hundred years later calculated the diameter of the earth better than I could today.

The Chinese appear to have wandered over the earth enough that it would be stretching credulity to say they believed the earth to be flat.

The Polynesians astro navigated using techniques that required a spherical earth. They may have had some other explanation.

Yes, a small group of people may have had (for political/religious reasons, and probably in the european dark ages), a reason to believe the earth was flat. But anyone who needed to go anywhere had this worked out already.

So I guess I have to ask, which scientific consensus and when?

There is not global cooling and saying there is shows you are either ignorant of the most fundamental principles of climate science (five years is too short a period to determine a trend) or willfully trying to deceive others.

Over the last ten years the overall trend has been warming, but with a lot of variation, static, "noise"...along the way:

Presumably now that the scientific consensus is that the earth is not flat you are deeply suspicious of this claim too?

(five years is too short a period to determine a trend)

So at least you agree that for the past 5 years global temperatures have been cooling not warming. And you must also know that during the past 5 years, CO2 levels have risen to the highest levels in thousands of years. Yet temperatures have gone DOWN not up.

And exactly who makes the determination as to what the length of time to show a trend should be? Why is it the past 100 years of the 20th century is so relevant yet the last 5 years are not? If you did some research you would know that in the 20th century we were coming out of a "little ice age" known as the "Maunder Minimum". And that during the last half of the 20th century solar activity greatly increased. Mars and other planets warmed during this period as well, which was obviously not caused by the Earth's CO2 levels.

Edited to add the recent downward temp anomaly for June 09. Looks like the recent cooling trend has wiped out any "global warming" that had occurred over the last 30 years:


Has Conservationist there clearly demonstrated the truth of the opening point made by Robert, of how some people will doggedly hang on relentlessly to their entrenched positions in defiance of all sound reasoning? Needless to say some further specious rationalisation could be used to continue dismissing every further challenge including this next one below.

And exactly who makes the determination as to what the length of time to show a trend should be?

The determination is made by the basic science of statistical significance. But the probability that you yourself will ever get to the truth by your constantly-veering line of ?reasoning? looks to me rather low.

Perhaps the question should be:

Have global warming proponents clearly demonstrated the truth of the opening point made by Robert, of how some people will doggedly hang on relentlessly to their entrenched positions in defiance of actual data?

"Has Conservationist there clearly demonstrated the truth of the opening point made by Robert, of how some people will doggedly hang on relentlessly to their entrenched positions in defiance of all sound reasoning?"

Yep. I'm done feeding this troll.

On the flip side,

1. Higher prices will reduce demand.
2. There could be vast reserves of undiscovered oil beneath the oceans.
3. Biofuel development could possibly replace oil altogether.
4. Electric autos could reduce oil demand considerably.

Peak oil may not be the doomsday that some are predicting. JMHO.

1. a)higher prices mean greater social inequity
b)credit crash (greater amount of 'fake capital' vs. real) may dominate depletion for a long time
2. There are. The question is cost (in energy terms)
3. Faith based argument. Not enough land, water or fertilizer.
4. They could, but they wouldnt reduce demand on rare metals for batteries and electric cars (under current electric system) need 4 to 18x water (Webber, UT-Austin)

Defends how you define doomsday, and its time scale. What might seem doomish to some over next decade might be better for most a century hence...


Your comments are truly bizarre.

On Global Warming -
If you look at the most recent data over the past 5 years, CO2 levels have gone up whilst global average temperatures have gone down. More importantly, CO2 levels are at their highest in several thousand years, yet temperatures still are going down.

According to NASA global annual temperatures for the past 5 years are
2004 14.5975C, 2005 14.745C(warmest year on record), 2006 14.635C,
2007 14.7375C(second warmest on record) and 2008 14.5475C. The average of these temps is 14.652

The average of 1951-1980 was 14C. So the average of the past 5 years
is 4.6% higher than the average of 1951-1980.


Top 11 Warmest Years On Record Have All Been In Last 13 Years

Climate modelers that believe in global warming admit that CO2 has little effect on temperatures. It's the feedback mechanisms in the models that make the difference.


Read the data.
GHG=2.3+-.25 W/m2
of which CO2 at 1.4 W/m2 is the biggest single factor of all factors
tropospheric ozone= .4+-.15
stratopheric ozone= -.2+-.1W/m2
tropospheric aerosols= -.4+-.3W/m2
Cloud formation= -1
sun= .4+-.2
volcanic aerosols=.2 to -.5( depends of eruptions)
Sum of all positive feedbacks=~3.1
Sum of all negative feedbacks=~-1.8 +-.5 with an Krakatoa eruption =-2.3
Difference is +.8W/m2


I find it distressing (and not at all amusing) that you really don't understand these basic facts.

Certainly you would agree that more man made CO2 has been added to the atmosphere over the past 10 years, than at any other time in history. Yet global average temperatures have gone down since then, not up. Lack of correlation disproves causation.


10 years ago (1999) global temperatures were lower than they are this year (or any other year this century);

I'm afraid you've been listening to pundits rather than climate scientists...

1998 was warmer than any year this century. Wasn't that ANOTHER one of the "climate scientists" mistakes IIRC? The same NASA "climate scientists" that were predicting an ice age back in the early 70's? And what was the cause of their "ice age" predictions back then? You guessed it, the same COAL PLANTS that they're getting arrested at now for their GLOBAL WARMING demonstrations! So which is it, Ice Age or Global Warming? How about we just call it "Climate Change".


You are seriously brain-washed and it has affected your reading comprehension. I wonder what other mental functions have been damaged.

2005 was the warmest global temperature on record.


Not according to RSS satellite data. Look for yourself:


Perhaps it's you that has been brainwashed by Hansen's "adjusted" GISS data.

If you familiarized yourself with the basic science, perhaps you would not make a fool of yourself by fooling yourself with a couple of handpicked data points.


I'm not familiar with the RSS table you linked. Looks like monthly anomalies from 6 orbiting satelites and 1 geosynchronous one over the USA. I see that 2005 has the fewest number of negative anomalies of any year. I have no idea if these are stratospheric, tropospheric, surface readings.

Perhaps you could explain what the data was supposed to show.
Looks like you couldn't figure it out and decided to throw it at me.

Incidently the company RSS was started after the University of Alabama Huntsville(Christy-Spencer) produced too much bad data.

There's no explanations of what the numbers mean, but the last number could be temp above or below a mean or average for the US. One potential problem, its only for the US. If it is in fact a deviation above or below a mean or average, it shows 56 of the last 60 months as being above that mean or average, if so, that doesn't support your claim. Do you have any further information that describes what these numbers mean?

Maj wrote: "Conservationist,You are seriously brain-washed..."

You certainly got that one right. And thanks for the data.

The fact that this guy is quoting WUWT is all anyone needs to know. He doesn't even seem to be aware that '98 was an outlier El Nino year and he didn't bother to look at the chart I presented either apparently.

What an embarrassment.

If you had taken the time to actually read Watts article you would know that he didn't make up the data. It came from Dr. Spencer at UAH.


Of course your next post will be an attempt to smear Dr. Spencer. Because all your side really has is smear campaigns, name calling insults, and ridicule. Just go back and read your own posts.

I must say it is quite interesting to watch the "global warming" theory fall apart as temperatures continue to fall whilst CO2 levels are rising. This is what happens when your theory is based on assumptions not science.

It is also quite interesting to watch the left wing try and run a government. Your adherence to Socialist policies will inevitably lead to increased unemployment, crime, larger deficits, bankrupt companies and local governments. Your solution of having the government print and spend more money will only make matters worse. Causing inflated commodity prices and higher interest rates. Good luck in 2010, you're gonna need it!

You are an example of ideology over all else. Climate Change is real and proven.


No I'm afraid that "Climate Change", formerly known as "Global Warming" is an unproven hypothesis. If it were "real and proven" temperatures would be going up not down. Annual measured CO2 levels and increases have been higher during the 21st Century than in the 1990's or any time during the 20th Century. Yet measured temperatures are falling not rising.

If you recall the proof presented in Al Gore's science fiction movie, the graph which shows CO2 and temperatures rising and falling in lockstep. What Gore "conveniently" left out was that temperature levels lead CO2 levels by several hundred years. A basic understanding of cause/effect relationships tells us cause must precede effect. And also if it were true that CO2 drives temperature, why would the peaks in the graph ever subside? What drove the Earth's climate into regular ice ages? The answer is Milankovitch (orbital) Cycles NOT CO2 levels.

Climate modelers obtain their "climate sensitivity" equations from historic ice core readings and the ASSUMPTION that CO2 drives temperature levels. An incorrect assumption in that it was temperature changes that drove CO2 levels by ocean out gassing and absorption. This false assumption is why climate models have all been proved wrong by actual recorded data. No lab experiment has ever been done to show a 3 degrees C increase with a doubling of CO2. Simply because CO2 doesn't have that much effect.

On ideology, the problem with Liberals is that they believe whatever alarmist nonsense they're fed by the left wing media without actually checking into the facts for themselves.

You have VERY carefully cherry picked data to support your position, derived from ideology and not reality#

Every September it gets cooler in New Orleans, colder still by December. So this "Global Warming" must be a myth !

The sun has an 11 year cycle, just as the earth has a 12 month cycle. Every knowledgeable observer agrees with that. You picked the down 5 years of the cycle (in your cherry picking).

The weather system is chaotic and complex, something all agree to.

Icelanders cannot believe that there are Americans who deny Climate Change (I have been asked "Are such people uneducated religious fanatics who think the earth is a few thousand years old ?") yet the Icelandic fear is that GW will result in their island nation freezing over (by shutting down the warming Gulf Stream with Greenland ice melt). For Iceland GW means freezing to death. Thus my preference for Climate Change (a word chosen by conservatives BTW during GWB term(.

I was a registered Republican from age 19 (only 4% of registered voters in AL were R then) till GWB cured me. I have been following the developments of Climate Science since the 1970s.


#A major problem with "conservatives" who conserve nothing.

Not so fast. If you had studied the debate more closely, you would know that hardcore AGW proponents (Hansen etc.) dismiss solar cycles as having nothing to do with global warming. They point to the small changes in irradiance as having no effect. They also dismiss the cosmic ray theory even though Svensmark has done actual lab experiments to prove the theory. Imagine that, actual lab experiments instead of some made up GCMs?

I wouldn't expect Hansen to EVER admit it, but there are obviously some scientists at NASA who see the correlation.

"Low solar activity has a profound effect on Earth’s atmosphere, allowing it to cool and contract." - Dr. Tony Phillips


The sunspot number graph in the article posted correlates well with warming in the last half of the 20th Century. It also correlates well with the "little ice age" during the Maunder Minimum. Did CO2 levels suddenly drop causing the little ice age? I think not.

It came from Dr. Spencer at UAH.

Spencer has made up data before. This wouldn't be the first time. Spencer is an ideologue, not a scientist. His every effort is framed by trying to prove AGW doesn't exist.

That's not science.

Are you sure it's not your buddy Gavin at realclimate.org that's the ideologue who's making things up?

And getting blasted for it:


Blasted, my arse. The rebuttal to Pielke's ridiculous comments has already been posted.

Many are shocked at Pielke's gross (meaning disgusting) comments wrt the science and RC. He'd previously been seen as wrong, but not a whack job. That has changed, and drastically. He's shot what credibility he had, imo, though it's not surprising he also doesn't understand trends, being a meteorologist. Many have trouble leaving the short-term bias behind it seems, as many of them are denialists.

CO2 and lag time... I guess there really is a creamy nougat of oil at the center of the earth.

Notice Roger has the comments turned off, to prevent debunking of his material on his own website. Not so at RC, which of course debunked his claims at;

Sure realclimate accepts positive comments. However, comments refuting their claims miraculously disappear. Left wingers are very good at propaganda.

I would like to recognize that despite (apparently) disagreeing with (I just have to use this word) the consensus on this discussion site, you are still here reading. I am impressed. Frankly once a website starts talking about "the predicted ice age in the 1970's" and "Sheryl Crow's one sheet of toilet paper" I have to give up.

I accept that my world view is not, shall we say, the 'Republican' one (although not being in any coherent understanding of US politics I still don't quite 'get it').

Nevertheless when the Inuit I know talk about loss of ice in the past 100 years, the bearologists talk about skinny bears and the flower people having books of centuries of blooming dates that are consistent with a warming trend, the Aussie station owners are having the worst time in a century or so, the rainfall being particularly low in the Palliser Triangle, The Goyder line moving down, recent rainfall in the Atacama Desert, the people of Niue moving to New Zealand - well, perhaps that busybody AlGore is onto something, despite his electricity bill.

I'm willing to believe the earth is getting cooler. Living at 13degrees south I would even desire this but every year somebody else says to me 'I finally gave in and installed an air conditioner'.

So I would have to say that the entire earth is cooling except for those few places people are living or observing. That would certainly explain the anomalous data.

Some people do live (not vacation) here:

sales were down 7.4% in the reported compared with the year-ago quarter,impacting utility net income by an estimated $9 million. Sales were down mainly due to cooler, less humid weather "


BTW, I do have an air conditioner installed. Just haven't had to use it much lately. Perhaps if Hansen adjusted the temperature data up a bit more I would.

Same here in Ketucky. Rarely got above the mid eighties last summer. Didn't drop below the mid eighties till October 10 though. Temps were averaging about a degree above normal for early and mid summer, and about 8 degrees above normal for late summer and early fall. Anecdotal evidence about air conditioner use over a 10 week period in a given locality is not a reliable indicator of global temperatures.

Consistent with expectation: greater rises in cooler areas and cooler times of the year.

Huh... imagine that. Yet another piece that fits the puzzle.


Here in Kentucky.

One can listen on a scanner or other rig as I have in my jeep and by my bedside the NOAA weather reports on the VHF bands...about 162.475..or 162.500 etc....to the hour by hour current temps/baro,etc and the forecast as well as monthly data and yearly data and river stages.

What you hear is rather meaningless and not worth much at that.

Say we average about 60inches or rainfall here.
Say we get about half of that in the spring months before and during planting time so the fields are extremely wet and can't be worked.

And finally all the crops are in but then it becomes extremely dry..like right now with zero rain for the last three weeks.

So overall the year ending the data may show..ha..we got our 60 inches BUT WHEN did we get them???? all at the wrong times.

Same with snow and river stages and all the heating and cooling days.

Its a statistic soon and rather vague and meaningless but down on the ground where you grow food and live you see it entirely different.

And it is different. And the long term trend lines can be debated and argued BUT still your starving or freezing or burning up. Or you get a very poor yield or you might have to somehow water you tomatoes when a normal year of the past you would not have had to.

There is a cycle in nature that is very much misunderstood. Only by living with,close to and in touch with nature and Mother Earth can you being to see this and the events.

My point? Science is ok but its not what your living. It can be pushed to mean whatever whoever they wish it to mean.

As wildlife ends for many species,,as I no longer hear the frogs calling from the ponds anymore..never anymore, long gone away...I fear bad events are traisping over this land...death is here...the MSM and NOAA are not telling of these things.

The list of dead and gone and fading wildlife is chronicled nowhere that I know of. Its speaks volumes of what our lifestyle has done to this planet.

City and suburb folks setting out their BBQ grills this weekend will never ever get a clue. Then its back into the AC and some TV sports game again. They do not live in nature. They live in ugly little worthless McMansions or chipboard claptraps that shut nature and reality out...

Airdale-they will die like vermin in a rattrap,like the creatures their lifestlyes killed off

I still have lots of frogs, a couple of changes I have noticed though in the grayson county area is ticks and lightning bugs. Late seventies timothy hay fields would be aglow with lightning bugs at night, quite the spectacle and impressive. Now just a few scattered ones. Ticks in some areas have become horrendous. Not so much where I live now, but where I grew up they have become a noxious pest. Forget about walking thru weedy areas this time of year. Two sisters and one nephew (possibly two nephews) have contracted lime disease.

I miss the lightning bugs, several per sq foot over area that covered 10-12 acres if the timothy was thick. Large scale patterns would emerge in their blinking, it was an awesome sight.

City and suburb folks setting out their BBQ grills this weekend will never ever get a clue. Then its back into the AC and some TV sports game again. They do not live in nature. They live in ugly little worthless McMansions or chipboard claptraps that shut nature and reality out...

Thanks for wanting me dead.

I do *not* wish the same back at you.

Lack of correlation disproves causation.

It certainly doesn't. (It just means other factors are involved too.)
And especially not that one chart you cite from a skeptic site which says nothing about where its numbers come from or quite how.
And not the least reason that there is such a huge educated (as opposed to googlecated) consensus on causation is that there is indeed a huge correlation of temp and co2 on record.

You are linking me to my former local bible thumping TV weatherman (Anthony Watts)...

yikes give me a break

That site and the climateaudit.org site I consider as blogs that "lie about people who lie about statistics". They have no models of their own but they do a lot of cherry-picking of statisticians who they think cherry-pick. As an example, they will single out a weather ground-station that they think gives faulty data and then accuse the scientists that they selectively choose said stations. It is all very self-referential and reminds me of lawyers who argue over a jury pool.

Such utter nonsense. We've been round and round on this, and you are full of crap. Lying helps none of us. If you don't understand trends, natural variability, etc., then you really cannot be helped. As your inability to see is self-induced, well nothing can help those who will not see.

Your foolishness is dangerous so I respond, but it is not worth more than pointing out it is bullshit. The facts have been posted here so many times I could not possibly accurately guess at the number.

One question: If the Younger Dryas, a 1,000+ year reversal in warming, did not indicate a shift back to an ice age, what makes you think the ten hottest years for the last 2 million years does? If the fair number of multi-year/multi-decade dips in the lst 160 years did not end in a new Ice Age, what makes you think three years (by one temp record) or 11 years (by another temp record) past the hottest year on record does?

If you had an ounce of intelligence in your posts indicating even the smallest degree of sincerity or interest in facts, I'd be kinder, but you are peddling utter nonsense.

Excuse me but the warmest year on record for the US was 1934. Shouldn't it be warmer now that we've been adding man made CO2, more than anyone else for the past 75 years???

And I don't buy that it was cooler during the medieval warm period. Mann and the warmist gang conveniently rewrote history with his debunked "hockey stick" graph. Evidence exists of farming on now frozen areas of Greenland, and an ice free north pole during that period.

The main problem with GISS is that you've got the fox (Hansen) guarding the chicken coop (GISS data). Hansen's "adjustments" of raw data are well known, and have diverged with RSS and UAH data. Satellite sea level data are being "adjusted" upward as well.


Do a little research will ya?

The temperature of a single country says nothing of what the global temperature average is doing. Global warming doesn't mean the temperatures are higher everywhere all the time.

Excuse me but the warmest year on record for the US was 1934.

What kind of idiot conflates regional temps with global temps?


The U.S. annual (January-December) mean temperature is slightly warmer in 1934 than in 1998 in the GISS analysis (Plate 6). This contrasts with the USHCN data, which has 1998 as the warmest year in the century. In both cases the difference between 1934 and 1998 mean temperatures is a few hundredths of a degree. The main reason that 1998 is relatively cooler in the GISS analysis is its larger adjustment for urban warming. In comparing temperatures of years separated by 60 or 70 years the uncertainties in various adjustments (urban warming, station history adjustments, etc.) lead to an uncertainty of at least 0.1°C. Thus it is not possible to declare a record U.S. temperature with confidence until a result is obtained that exceeds the temperature of 1934 by more than 0.1°C.

More importantly for climate purposes, the longer term US averages have not changed rank. 2002-2006 (at 0.66 ºC) is still warmer than 1930-1934 (0.63 ºC - the largest value in the early part of the century) (though both are below 1998-2002 at 0.79 ºC). (The previous version - up to 2005 - can be seen here).

In the global mean, 2005 remains the warmest (as in the NCDC analysis). CRU has 1998 as the warmest year but there are differences in methodology, particularly concerning the Arctic (extrapolated in GISTEMP, not included in CRU) which is a big part of recent global warmth. No recent IPCC statements or conclusions are affected in the slightest.

Sum total of this change? A couple of hundredths of degrees in the US rankings and no change in anything that could be considered climatically important (specifically long term trends).

If you look at the most recent data over the past 5 years, CO2 levels have gone up whilst global average temperatures have gone down. More importantly, CO2 levels are at their highest in several thousand years, yet temperatures still are going down.

Gone down compared to what? Hottest year? Previous year? Averages since records have been kept? Last summer was cool enough in my area that I left my AC off for most of the summer, when the averages were compiled at summer's end the local temps were still slightly above the running averages compiled since about 1880. The scale of summer thawing in the arctic suggests skepticism is in order for any claims of a recent global five year cooling trend.

Where is the data that shows the recent cooling trend?

Where is the data? There's a zillion graphs on the net showing the cooling trend. Here's one:


And if you don't believe the graphs, grab the raw data and make your own.


The problem is that anyone telling the truth about "global cooling" gets smeared. Even if they work for the EPA:

"Around this time, Mr. Carlin and a colleague presented a 98-page analysis arguing the agency should take another look, as the science behind man-made global warming is inconclusive at best. THE ANALYSIS NOTED THAT GLOBAL TEMPERATURES WERE ON A DOWNWARD TREND. It pointed out problems with climate models. It highlighted new research that contradicts apocalyptic scenarios."


The graph at webmatters appears to be crutv3 and troposphere data, whatever the numbers are at noaa are, they do not appear to be that. I don't see that any of the columns of data in the graph match up with the graph, which ones do? Same problem with locality, the graph at webmatters claims to be for the world, the numbers at noaa have one field labeled that suggests its for the US only.

Irregardless of the numbers at noaa and the the graph at webmatters, how can there be a massive loss of artic summer ice if there's a global cooling trend,

The problem is that you are not telling truth. Your are telling lies and distortions (cherry picking). There is a thorough discussion of this at realclimate, but you have already expressed your disdain for all scientists, so I guess that won't help you much.

For the record, there has been no overall "global cooling" over the last ten years,

many of the hottest years on record have occurred in the last ten years

1998 was a statistical outlier--strong El Nino year. Using it as a frame of reference is stupid.

Increase aerosols from China's many dirty new coal plants and downward decadal solar cycle more than explain any modification in the rate of increase in global temps in this period....

I could go on, but you are not interested in science, only in your pushing your distorted position, as far as I can see.

The problem is that anyone telling the truth about "global cooling" gets smeared.



Some parts of the blogosphere, headed up by CEI (”CO2: They call it pollution, we call it life!“), are all a-twitter over an apparently “suppressed” document that supposedly undermines the EPA Endangerment finding about human emissions of carbon dioxide and a basket of other greenhouse gases...

So in summary, what we have is a ragbag collection of un-peer reviewed web pages, an unhealthy dose of sunstroke, a dash of astrology and more cherries than you can poke a cocktail stick at. Seriously, if that’s the best they can do, the EPA’s ruling is on pretty safe ground.

If I were the authors, I’d suppress this myself, and then go for a long hike on the Appalachian Trail…

And from the comments:

BTW Grist has a quote from an EPA guy…

““Certain opinions were expressed by an individual [Carlin] who is not a scientist and was not part of the working group dealing with this issue,” said EPA spokesperson Adora Andy.

“Nevertheless, 1. several of the opinions and ideas proposed by this individual were submitted to those responsible for developing the proposed endangerment finding. Additionally, 2. his manager allowed his general views on the subject of climate change to be heard and considered inside and outside the EPA and 3. presented at conferences and 4. at an agency seminar. The individual was also 5. granted a request to join a committee that organizes an ongoing climate seminar series, open to both agency and outside experts, where 6. he has been able to invite speakers with a full range of views on climate science. The claims that his opinions were not considered or studied are entirely false.”

Numbers above added by me, for emphasis of the level of bull in the claim of "suppression" and being "smeared."

If you stopped posting unless you had something truthful, germane and logical to say, I dare say the internet would be rid of you.

We are indeed "lucky that we don't have a cabinet level department of snake extermination."

Keep quiet about it,because it looks like a political winner,and if it crosses the right congressmans radar,we'll not only have it,but it will last as long as the stars and stripes.

Are you concerned that petroleum isn't depletable or that it violates mass conservation or thermodynamics? Are you concerned that the earth's climate and ecology violate cause and effect?

So, are you wrong in general about peak oil and climate change? You're not. Problem solved.

What is at issue is not if the models are illogical or invalid. What is at issue are the predictions made based on the larger, encompassing theories and models of peak oil and climate change.

The predictions are, of course, very likely to be wrong.

Not because the theories or models of peak oil or climate change are wrong, but because the predictions made are impacted and influenced by a wide range of other variables. These variables are not accounted for in either model.

Perhaps the largest unaccounted for variable is the network of 6.8 billion interdependent human nodes, each node with limited and uneven understanding, perception, memory, influence on local resources, and decision-making abilities.

What if we run out of affordable oil?

A gentleman who's opinion I respect suggested that (for Australia anyway) sugar cane to ethanol has real legs.

It can't be that easy... Pros and cons?

Regards, Matt B

at least australia will have some liquid fuels that can be produced each year

to make any scalable amount would need huge amounts of land and water and if majority of crop was removed for bagasse there would need to be nutrients added. Also disruption of ecosystems.
Also risk adjusted return of basing energy procurement on annual weather variations...
Also (and perhaps most important), all measures like this delay the ultimate move towards a more durable socio-political system so the TIME (and associated resources) lost in paradigm change.

I don't comment often but this discussion compels me to. My friends and children have this conversation often. I'm not optimistic about the future for my kids and grandkids. The way we are living, cannot be supported for long by this one finite planet that many people have analysed can only support about a third of us without oil. It makes me sad but its what we have. I was born almost 2 months to the day after Pearl Harbor. When I got old enough to reflect on such things, I commented to my mom "it must have been so scary knowing she was going to have a baby shortly and not knowing how any of that crisis was going to end. She answered, "you know, we don't get to choose our time, we just get to choose how where going to deal with it. Live your life how you think it should be lived. You only get this one run here. If you believe in saving our wee blue planet, dedicate your life to saving it. Just do it. Do it because it needs to be done. Here in Oregon the Salmon is our Icon. After the salmon matures in the ocean it travels back up the rivers, fighting the current, fighting the birds, sea lions, human fisherman, the dams, the falls with all it's worth and more times than not it will die in the struggle before it completes its mission of propegating its species. But it hasn't been in vain. It has nourished the river and much other life along the way. So just do your jobs, live your life to make yourself and your kids proud...and don't be bummed or thwarted because you may not succeed. Thats for nature and the fates to determine.

2 clicks up

What if I am wrong about something important? Can I change my mind about something without looking like a compleate idiot?

Robert Rapier posted this on his excellent blog:

it's a reply to a comment there that I thought was useful, to a person who did not understand hazard analysis, which is basically the point of this article:

It might surprise **** to know that the hazard analysis toolkit is quite varied, and Kit is showing his ignorance here. It might also surprise **** to know that I am trained as a PHA leader - and have in fact run HAZOPs - so **** is the amateur lecturing the pro.

One of the HAZOP tools involves a "What if" analysis. This type is less rigorous than a full blown HAZOP study, and probabilities of occurence are given as "Likely", "Possible", "Remote", etc. Consequences are likewise defined as "Minor", "Serious", etc. Recommendations are made for mitigation. We often do these sorts of quick analyses for minor process changes.

This isn't that much different than what I am doing when I am out driving. I am mentally weighing various what-if scenarios.

First of all, I would like to add my usual boilerplate that proclaims Peak Oil to have taken place in 1998-99. I use EIA prices and look at the relationship of price to (fairly large) demand and unconstrained markets - no wars, embargoes, 'buyers' strikes', hurricanes, etc. $12 is pretty damned cheap in any persons' money - the world was awash in crude.

Prices rebounded shortly thereafter.

The 11 OPEC nations have been remarkably effective of late. Their decision to restrict production beginning in March 1999 sent the price of crude oil from its 12-year low of $10.72 a barrel in December 1998 to a high of $32.72 on June 29.

The increase to date has been steady save for the remarkable spike last year.

I think the entire Peak Oil hazards toolkit will be examined - in the abstract because nobody in charge will see it fit to put it to use! Peak Oil, after all ... is a 'theory' or sometime in the far off future ... say, when Planet Earth warms up in 2467 or 68.

Don't worry, be happy!

The peak oil hazards are effecting already - the effects are taking place all around us right this minute! Unemployment climbs relentlessly. Businesses are failing. Municipalities are in trouble. Banks are listing - loan quality is deteriorating day by day. Nevertheless, this is not a credit crisis any more. That was so last year! World governments are guaranteeing debt or have swapped private debt for more 'secure' public financing. Even still, the crisis unwinds. Time will tell how severe it will be ... but the start so far has been dramatic!

This, then is the point I want to make ... nobody has come up with a 'Plan B' that has taken the hazards described here seriously. People blame officials for not seeing the mortgage crisis coming or not seeing Bernie Madoff's swindle ... but officials not seeing this oil business coming after 1973 and the early 1980's and 1991 and with decades worth of depletion studies on thousands of domestic oil wells it is hard to find language to describe the negligence and level of unpreparedness.

Funny thing is, the despised Wall Street financiers had their eye on input costs to business going back to Ronald Reagan - I suspect that is one reason why he received business support and why he was so politically successful. Wall Street's plan was to create a means to submerge energy costs into asset prices and thereby 'denature' those costs. If a client made anough money speculating, what the various input costs were to the speculation wouldn't matter. Successful clients would be closer to the money source and inflation would work the magic. This is one reason why industrial companies such as GE and GM were quasi- banks. They could lose money on nuts and bolts and still make money on loans.

The outcome was structured finance and securitization. Unfortunately, all that is broken and the King's men - the Kings' men - are trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together for a retry.

Now about a real 'Plan B', people?

Not universally predicting the Wall Street collapse was a spectacular "What if?" failure. The quants purposely avoided considering the Fat-Tail possibilities of disaster, likely knowing they could make a killing before things went south.

I find it all fascinating in how they can pull off such a monumental mathematical rip-off, especially since I can only begin to analyze oil depletion if I consider the fat-tail behavior; and that is precisely the behavior that seems so obvious in retrospect to what happened on Wall St.

Wall Street collapse? Usually collapse is associated with say devaluing currency by 99%, or stock market dropping by 90%, a stock market decline of 40 or 50% really doesn't quality for "collapse"or "crash" unless you are a "drama queen". So the stock market is where it was in 2002, won't look too dramatic in 30 years time, not like the 1929 crash.

It's still early in the game yet, let's sit back and see what happens.

A few months will tell. There are more immersed in the markets than I who predict a retest of the March lows of S&P 500 @ 666. This is a secular bear market - leaving out the fundamental of steadily increasing relative price of the one component that makes the S&P go 'round - the next leg will be lower still.

Since there is no 'big idea' to propel the markets higher - just Fed liquidity and Goldman- Sachs computer trading for velocity - there really is no bottom in stocks or in bonds, either.

The bond slide hasn't begun and is probably a long way off yet. (Sorry, Gail ... ) The current stock drop could be as much as 90%, as it was during the 1930's.

In the world of zero-sum games, corrections are collapses. Money changes hands with many people getting burned.

What if I am wrong about something important? Can I change my mind about something without looking like a compleate idiot?

Yes, one can.

Over on the right hand side of this very blog in the personnel section is one gent who used to claim that there was 'no harm' to exporting organic mass to be charred to make Carbon/Zinc batteries.

A few years of reflection has said person posting a different tune.

The idiot is one who does not accept instruction.

More to the point is can one refuse to change one's mind without looking like an even more complete idiot. I reckon the greatest fault of human intellect is inability to unthink one's assumptions once assumed. Such a person's ideas becomes increasingly derailed over the years, whereas a person of more self-doubting character acquires increasing genuine wisdom from the ongoing correcting process. Well, that's what I thought until it now occurs to me that etc.

This is good because it reflacts and amplifies the strategy of not having a fixed strategy.

Fixed strategies means taking sides. It's better to to be fluid.

Like Michael Jackson's moonwalk ...

Nobody knows what is going to happen but it is safe to say that what is happening right this minute will continue, if only for reasons of enertia. If businesses were failing last year, there will be more that fail this year and even more next year. Unless some 'great event' signals an end to that continuum, there will be a constant stream of business failures until all of them have failed. (Sigh!)

I recall some analyst mentioning fusion in a bottle. I think I can stay up an wait for that ...

I would have to say then, it is best to have a flexible attitude about starting a business. To be ready to change one's mind. To not start a business but to retire to a life of contemplation and gardening. To eat one's own peaches, if you know what I mean.

I think an obstacle to creative mind- changing is the fixed idea - supported by non- stop TV advertising - of material progress. This is often paired with some form of meta- spiritualism to create an analog of 'harmony' between the physical and the spritual; amalgams of pseudo faith, pseudo hope, pseudo charity and love. the meta- spiritualism being some rehash of tent- bible fundamentalist race baiting or 'get rich quick- ism'. Wow, what sort of materialism does that balance?

People in such a context are content to wait for their own flying cars, but not wait too long. In such a context the depressingly banal built environment has been created as an ecosystem for the current energy businesses and their underlings, the auto manufacturers. This is seen as a form of stairway to a future where everyone lives and works in buildings that look like Waring blenders (made in China) and where everyone dresses like a member of the Jetson family.

"Let's all go to the tree museum and see what a tree looks like!" (Kids) "Yeaaaa!"

The idea of material progress is a simplification rather than a civilizing meme; accompanying religiosity gives it fangs. It defines enemies and amplifies the need for more and more stuff, even as it suggests that the same stuff would be useless for the abstract Jehu- like characters that inhabit it.

Who cares about contradictions!? We have real hypocracy we can sink our fangs into.

Nature does simplifications in its own genteel manner; it simply makes things a little warmer (See hand reach toward thermostat on wall ...) That's not so bad! I won't have to shovel so much snow (and it will be easier to drive the car.) Nature is my friend. God is my friend, too. God won't destroy His own creation ... and if He does or allows us to do it ... then it is His divine will. Pass the methamphetamines, please ...

Change mind, maybe not so fast! Nature cuts off water, too, then what? We are comfortable - and fat and diseased and lazy and disinterested in anything that isn't trivial or purile ... the air conditioner hums. Normalcy exists in the mind until it ends on the ground.

That is the essense of this conversation. Will you change my mind? Will I turn around and embrace a Jetsonesque future complete with pedophile priests, gangster bankers, fraudulent politicians and crazy, totally insance mad scientists who give us marvels of selective poisoning?

Why not? You pay me and I will do it. If Dyson can do it and not look like a compleate idiot, I can too. 'Que sera, sera' What will be will be, anyway.

It's better to move away from luxury and away from faith. Faith - hope - charity. How about curiosity, trust and responsibility? I will change my mind toward responsibility and not away from it, how about that? I am making a difference; I threw my TV in the trash fifteen years ago. What did you do in the war?

The war between humans and automobiles. The last war; the final war the war that ends all wars. The autos are winning, the humans will starve and the pitiful, few survivors will be slaves.

People to ask me all the time for proofs of this and that, citations of this and that. I tell people to go outside and look at things for themelves, not through the lying eyes of television. Go to a mall and look at all the boarded up stores. Look at all the for sale signs on houses and developments. Look at all the (still insane amounts of) traffic. Look at how ugly everything is. Count on your fingers how many foreign tourists you see in any suburbia or exurbia and compare to the tourists you see in an old city with life to it, like New York or Washington ... or Paris or Venice or Florence or Budapest or Kyoto ... Or go to an extinct town like Macchu Picchu or Pompeii. See how more appealing and beautiful they are than what we materialistic religionists embrace ... or our Waring blender pseudo- future that we can never get to.

It's always a bit out of reach. Industrialization has been this beguiling;.the blissful future is just one more development away. One more energy breakthrough, one more development site, one more highway, one more river dammed, one more forest cut down, one more country raped and pillaged. 400 years of 'progress' and what do we have to show for it? Landfills. A world full of rusting, poisonous industrial sites and butt- ugly buildings. Seven billion hungry people. One or two more billionaires.

A bargain with the devil, one cleverly disguised as God.

'They' had Giotto, Durer, Bach, Paladino, Carravagio, Titian, Corelli, Albinoni, Mozart. Our pre- industrial ancestors. We have Eminem. 50cent. Ronald McDonald. Jeff Koons. Madonna. Naz. 'American Idol'. Real Housewives of New Jersey. Shoot me!

Downturns come and go but this is different. Change your mind about that?

Ask yourself what you think it's going to cost in the way of energy to double and double again the suburbian- American experience world- wide - that is, just keep it afloat? Then, look at the price on a gas pump. Recall what that price was ten years ago.

No math, just add.


My friends and children have this conversation often. I'm not optimistic about the future for my kids and grandkids.

They've got infinitely better prospects than my mother and brothers, who get no nearer to discussion than:
"Shall we talk about something more pleasant instead?", and "There's no point in storing food because we'll have starving people knocking on the door", and "There's no point in growing food because people will break in to steal it", and "in that case, if society breaks down there's no point in bothering".

Basically I have had to come to terms with writing off my family (and the house they own, which I would sell immediately to fund my mercury removal for a start) as a lost cause.

Your family has a good point, if the ultimate doomer scenario comes to pass, with a total collapse of society, or a nuclear war, no preparation is going to be very effective. More likely, however, are scenario's of liquid fuel shortages, gasoline rationing, higher unemployment, less long distance travel. While food production only uses 2% of US energy and food transport 1.3% it's more likely that food will be available but you may have to walk to the super market and cook when electricity is available. Preparing for rolling blackouts, transportation that doesn't need gasoline or diesel seem more likely to be well spent preparations.Growing a few vegetables also cannot hurt. Just look at any 3rd world economy today. It probably won't be too difficult for most to do without 75% of today's per capita consumption of oil as long as the transition is over a decade. I see no reason why renewable and nuclear energy cannot replace most FF energy over several decades. The one exception will be regular air travel.

Neil--My reasoning is that (a) there could quite possibly occur such an intermediate doom that justifies some such preparations, and (b) even in a "total breakdown of civilisation" scenario, there would still be utility in having made sufficiently well-thought-out preparations along the likes of a metaphorical Noah's Ark -- e.g. www.energyark.net, sufficiently remote from rampaging hordes and pirate bands, but sufficiently substantial in population to have useful levels of skills and resources and self-defence capabilities. And given the disasters those others less-prepared would face in the total collapse, our "Noah's Ark" group could quite likely end up as inheritors of the whole of our nation's territory, if not of the whole continent or world.

As for the nuclearwar=doom notion, I've read that that is grossly overhyped, though I don't have the memory to cite the link.

Robert, what if you are wrong and it turns out much worse than you think it possibly could? Your "being wrong" doesn't include only the possibility that there is far more fossil fuel available than you think; it includes the possibility that there is far less available, that infrastructure collapse might be far more likely, that every supermarket is a disease vector (think tomato blight), etc....

There are weeds that every year put into the soil seed bank some seeds that will not germinate for 50 years. What if they are wrong too? It seems to me that as we rip out every bit of redundancy and every bit of resiliance, as we consume the last resources to try this and that mitigation scheme - yes, I wrote "resources" not "money" because any actual work takes actual resources - we only lock in an ever more desperate future. We're spending the last hours of the last days of ancient sunlight.

It's that monkey trap Nate brings up. We have to let go and back off. Or go nuclear and shatter the trap entirely. That might work for those of us who take the really long view.

cfm in Gray, ME, where we've had less than 5 days of sun in the past 5 weeks.

Dryki, right on, see my question #5 in the comment immediately below. These are the meta-questions that I ponder on all the time.

Your "being wrong" doesn't include only the possibility that there is far more fossil fuel available than you think; it includes the possibility that there is far less available, that infrastructure collapse might be far more likely, that every supermarket is a disease vector (think tomato blight), etc....

Au contraire, my friend. Just because I didn't discuss it in this post doesn't mean that isn't part of my risk analysis scenarios. It is. That's what I mean when I talk about how peak oil has impacted the choices I have made. Some assume worst case, and I do the things that I think will give my family the best odds.

Yes, dyrki's point is quite apt.

Al Gore and the IPCC have been quite wrong, but in the opposite direction than the denialists say. They seem to have been far too conservative in their modeling. The Arctic is melting much faster than predicted by even the most pessimistic range of IPCC analysts. Ocean temps are rising faster than predicted. Albedo and methane feedbacks seem to be kicking it much sooner and more powerfully than expected...

Thom Hartmann: The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight


I assume the "wrongness" discussed concerns the validity of a prediction or projection.

You first have to ask what exactly is wrong.
1. Is it your opinion that is wrong?
2. Is it the underlying model that is wrong?
3. Is it the error estimate that is wrong?
4. Did somebody make a goof in the math?
5. Is the possibility of a Black Swan not accounted for?
6. By definition everything is wrong.

I have the same concerns as RR, but only in the context of these questions.

Regarding question 1, if your opinion is based on someone else's authority and expertise, not much you can do except chalk it up to the school of hard knocks. Climate change falls into this camp because no one can do the models, and barely understand them, except for a select few.

On #2, if there is a model that is based on physical principles, and that turns out wrong, then you can only blame the people in #1 that supported it. The modelers who sold their idea to their followers will get entries in Wikipedia describing how delusional they were. Climate change has real physics-based models, but oil depletion only has heuristics. Analysts that trust heuristics won't take such a hard fall since they can say they were only following trends. It is for that same reason that all financial advisors lack accountability when they screw up. (I hate heuristics and am willing to defend first-principle models)

On #3, you may get close but somebody will say the projection is off in terms of time or relative amount. Become accustomed to that possibility, because half the people in the world only believe in absolute truth. A sizable fraction will believe that since it snowed in Malibu on one day that the theory is ultimately disproven. Those are the people that do not understand probabilities and will blow all their money in Vegas, and not understand what they did wrong.

On #4, everything could be perfectly valid, with comprehensive and fundamental models backing it up, but you make a goof in some part of the math. You can not necessarily blame yourself on this one, since good analysis really requires lots of eyeballs verifying and duplicating the results. This happens all the time with climate change models -- look at a site such as climateaudit.org, and you will notice that they nitpick everything to death (with some impressive statistical tools at their disposal). The only problem with this is that the nitpickers have an agenda, and that agenda is to prove climate change wrong. That is definitely the case because they do not have any models of their own, only considering the null hypothesis. On the depletion side, you have people like Michael Lynch who nitpick but have no fundamental understanding. I find it pretty embarrassing that we oil depletion analysts have no foes of any scientific caliber. We can get by with heuristics, but that is only because we are playing against the Washington Generals.

On #5, whether we are wrong or not won't matter. Hope rules in this case, and the majority of the people in the world will act all "la-di-da" as if they did not just dodge a bullet destined for their forehead. Or it could go the other way, and it was way worse than you expected.

On #6, see #3, as nothing ever comes out exactly correct and precise. Only Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan and the Pope will be hailed as universally correct in this world.

I definitely have an interest in all this because I spend a lot of time doing first-principles modeling, and have developed a sense of when an approach is correct or not. The big problem with doing an oil depletion model is that you really only have one chance to apply it, and it is a big crap shoot. That is why I spend so much time trying to come up with analogies to everyday processes that we can independently verify. As an example, I recently wrote a post that duplicated my entire dispersive analysis on a completely unrelated domain, that of dispersive transport in amorphous semiconductors:

As I said at the conclusion to the post:

... to you I exist only as a blogger. I don't know if this analysis will go anywhere. As you may realize, I have some good ideas on the way we can analyze oil depletion. Yet, I have no credentials in that field. A pseudonymous writer can only way sway an argument based on the logic of his arguments. If you can follow the argument in this post, and believe it applies, and that all experimental evidence backs up the theory, my credibility builds. Someone will then say, "well, he got that part right, maybe this other part makes some sense". As far as I can tell, no one has documented a similar simple approach to what I have formulated via my blog postings. It takes a bit of intuition to determine the situations where disorder and diversity rules and where it does not. I say that where you can appropriately apply these arguments you can start to understand the dynamics. I can certainly understand the dynamics of the Hubbert curve via dispersion just as I can understand the transient of an amorphous semiconductor time-of-flight experiment by applying dispersion. The fact that no one else sees it this way turns my task into one of salesmanship, unfortunate, since no one likes a salesman.

No one likes a salesman, which is probably why many people can't take Al Gore. Or James Hanson. And they have to dodge questions #1 through #6 constantly. It's not an easy slog. Even though she made a calculated decision, I bet that Sheryl Crow isn't busy checking Hanson's math.

have developed a sense of when an approach is correct or not

One of the points in "The Black Swan": it is far, far, far easier to know when something is wrong that when it is right. [Leave aside whether or not there is a "right".]

cfm in Gray, ME

One of the points in "The Black Swan": it is far, far, far easier to know when something is wrong that when it is right.
I disagree. A more accurate conceptualisation is that it is possible to overlook a fault or error, but it is impossible to overlook the absence of a fault or error (though one might hallucinate/imagine/falsely diagnose one). And therefore one is much more likely to make the first type of mistake than the second.

Robin,I believe you are taking Taleb out of context-not necessarily your fault.

In context ,Taleb says that while you may not rasily be able to discern the truth of a theory or scenario, you can often find indisputable evidence that the theory or scenario is wrong if you look for it.This example is not in his book but consider:

If your go to war and leave your young and lonesome lass at home,you can never be absolutely certain she has been faithful to you,but on the other hand if she has a baby more than about ten months after your last leave,you can be sure that your faithful wife scenario is lacking in validity.

See pages 58 to 60

I was pondering the future this morning and trying to get a handle on a post peak scenario that perahps does not involve really high oil prices. My scenario goes something like this. Peak Oil happens one day. The next day there is less production capacity, but that particular day coincides with a massive drop in demand due to the very high prices of the previous day. The gloabl economy contracts but overshoots on the contraction side. When it starts to recover, it starts to draw on the excess capacity of oil production. Some time later as, demand approaches the newly established production capacity, prices once again skyrocket, smacking down demand to well below the production capacity line. Prices fall. This pattern will be repeated a few times before TPTB, business, industry and the general public connects it all up and collectively says : It's the oil supply stupid! At that point we either get a sensible response or panic and war.

Now what if I am wrong! Well i could be wrong about the timing of all this. I could be wrong about the responses. I could be wrong about the price volatility. I could be wrong about peak oil period and I could be wrong about the colour of swans too. So all I can do is to live life with no regrets. If my worst case happens then ce la vie. If not, I still paln to get up each day, eat some good food, share some laughs and occasionally make love to my wife.

Why not the most likely scenario, prices for oil rise, people drive less and buy more fuel efficient cars, production declines, prices rise more, people use less by switching to PHEV's, use mass transit, drive even less, production declines prices rise further, but oil is now a much smaller part of the economy, so prices rise further ... eventually only a few use oil, drive expensive sports cars, or eat caviar and lobster, the rest of use eat chicken and drive rather modest EV's, and only use kerosene for camping trips. This used to be called supply and demand.

Ah yes, but what if you are wrong about PHEV's. Perhaps I'd put that inotone of my coloured swan categories. Personally, I don't think PHEVS are viable as a complete substitute for the way we use ICE vehicles now. There might be a tech breakthrough and then I would be wrong. So what. I'd buy a PHEV or EV. Right now I can't buy one, so planning my life around owning one would be stupid. Last yearwhen petrol was $1.75 people stopped buying cars. They didn't all rush for the showrooms to buy shiny new efficient ones. They did start driving a whole lot less but put up with the cars they had. GM and Chrysler both went broke and Holden and Ford in Australia haven't broke even for quite a few years now. Do I thinkthey are about to roll PHEVs out of Broadmeadows and Elizabeth. Nah.Sorry. Its not gonna be that simple.


In the middle of a world recession it's easy to exaggerate what is really happening. For example I have hear your statement: Last year when petrol was $1.75 people stopped buying cars. many times.

Not really what happened, even when petrol was 1.75/L car sales were 70% as high as the previous year and Prius sales had risen. As the recession in the US deepened car sales in Australia did not improve even when petrol prices returned to below $1.20/L. However they were coming off record high levels( 1million/year in 2007).

In Australia car sales have not declined very much from the record levels in 2007, in fact June 2009 sales, were the 3rd highest on record, but Australia is hardly in a recession. Even in the US people are still buying new cars, even SUV's!, just not as many as in last 8 years, but that's still millions per year.

Since plans of major auto companies are produce in total up to a million EV and PHEV's per year by 2012, you can sensibly plan your life around owning one in the immediate future(3years), and considering that oil is likely to be available for the next few years this is a realistic time to plan for a replacement vehicle. My Mazda 2 gets 6L/100km so I will probably wait a little longer unless we have rebates for PHEV's.

I am mystified about why you think a PHEV is not viable as a complete substitute for an ICE vehicle? What can an ICE do that a PHEV cannot except use more petrol?

If people are only prepared to buy PHEV's they will definitely be manufactured in Australia. For many people a fuel efficient ICE vehicle will be good until petrol is over $10/L. Others will have to switch to EV/PHEV or stop driving.

1) "Al Gore" is always a good way to lead a discussion into the weeds, as has happened a bit here. Much more relevant is to listen to folks like James Hansen, Stephen Schneider, Chris Field.

In person, even over dinner, what Hansen says is terrifying, because:

a) He has a low-key personality, not a hyper one.

b) And he's *obviously* very scared for his grandchildren.

One might also try Burton Richter, who isn't a climate scientist, but is a Nobel physicist, and knows a lot about climate & energy. I heard him talk at local town meeting years ago. Al Gore could have used the first half of the slides.

2) But RR's "what if we're wrong" advice is always well-taken.

However, the serious climate scientists work at calibrating uncertainty *all of the time*. It is well worth reading page 22-23 of IPCC AR4 WG I, TS on terminology for:

a) Expressing likelihood
b) Expressing degree of confidence (or LOSU, level of scientific understanding).

IPCC documents are just covered with recognition of uncertainty, and Schneider gives very good talks about the topic. [He pushed IPCC to do more of this a while ago.]

That's the science side.

The anti-science side, I'm afraid, is absolutely *sure* there is not problem, or at least that nothing should be done.

3) For ice ages and such, I'd recommend (carbon cycle expert) David Archer's recent book "The Long Thaw", nicely written for the general audience. See Amazon reviews.

Chapter 12, Orbits, CO2, and the Next Ica Age is a good description.

"it was touch-and-go whether an ice sheet would begin to from or not. With rising CO2, the trigger moves further out of reach. It becomes less of a near miss....
If mankind ultimately burns 2000 Gton C (this is about the business-as-usual forecast for the coming century), then it looks as though climate will avoid glaciation in 50 millennia as well, waiting until the next period of cool summers 130 millenia from now. If the entire coal reserves were used (that is 50000 Gton C), then glaciation could be delayed for some 500 millennia, half a million years."

In any case, if there's a technical civilization around, they can use
human-manufactured, very-long-lived (1000-50,000 years) GHGs, most likely Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) like sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), PFC-14 (CF4), or PFC-116 (C2F6). All these are (per molecule) much more powerful GHGs than CO2, say ~20,000 stronger over a 500-year timeframe, which means you don’t really need much of it, i.e., far less than the CO2 or SO2 we emit.

So, I'm not too worried about real ice ages.

In any case, the weirdness of all this to me is:

a) Sometime, we *have* to convert the world economy to avoid burning fossil fuels, simply because we will (effectively)run out sometime.

b) The only question is *when*. Dealing with climate change just means we have to do that faster.

c) Of course, if we use up our energy capital without creating assets that produce energy income (and get as efficient as possible), the descendents ~2100AD aren't going to thank us much. Raising seawalls and dikes by hand won't be much fun.

SO, another way to ask the "What if I'm wrong" question is to say:

It's 2050, or 2100, or 2200. Are we happy with the way we spent the fossil fuels, or would we wish we'd built different things, because our landscape is littered with "stranded assets" that only made sense with cheap fossil fuels.

For example, in 2050, will the UK really be happy to have built a third runway at Heathrow (if that happens)?

"Al Gore" is always a good way to lead a discussion into the weeds, as has happened a bit here.

I always feel like it's a good day if I learned something new. I probably should have known that Gore would polarize camps, but that wasn't why I used him. Part of the problem is that I never debate climate change, so I guess I don't appreciate how he tends to be used in the debate.

This thread is a good example of what I was talking about in the essay. There is too much heat and too little light in this discussion. Actually, I guess there is a little light, but it is lost in the heat. I almost left the bit about global warming out, because these discussions always tend to degenerate.

The polarization issue is a real drag, its brought the end of meaningful discourse on a good number of subjects. Politics seems to be the worst, some folks just seem to shut down their cognitive facilities when discussing certain issues. It's like when Auburn and Alabama play football; there was a standing joke on the radio airwaves when I lived in the region that when they played divorce court was busy.

Re: polarization via Al Gore.
yes, and for some even James Hansen is a polarizing figure.

Especially here locally, I often refer instead to the beliefs of Peter Darbee, who is:

a) Politically conservative
b) CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric (big Northern, Central CA utility)
c) Outspoken in his concerns about global warming, but is actually is in a position to work on it, which PG&E does.

The Education of Peter Darbee has a nice account of the methodical way he went about learning, calling experts, weighing evidence, without particular reference to politics.

IF any reader gets a chance to hear him, he's also a good speaker.

What if "We" totally gut the economy, transferring vast sums to the connected through Gore type schemes and scams, while China continues a major expansion of CO2 emissions. This site is becoming a joke-"Now that we have solved oil depletion, we can move on to the climate of the planet". Why stop there-there is a whole universe out there that you guys can fix if we all pull together as a team (including the aliens).

What if "We" totally gut the economy

Too late ! GWB and the connected Republicans have already done it !

Best Hopes that the Bush Depression will bottom out,


Alan: This situation is a lot bigger than just the Rethugs-GS and JPM don't care who wins elections in the USA. Meanwhile, China will do whatever it decides to do.

I tend to agree. Although:

China will follow it's best self interest, but the actions and reactions of the rest of the world (including the USA) affect their calculations.

and who wins elections does matter (some times).

Positive change is possible, but difficult.

Best Hopes,


Get used to it buddy. This is the way that modern-age people transfer information and try to solve problems. For years now we have had the concept of Signal-to-Noise ratio in communication forums. The S/N ratio of TheOilDrum is very high considering the large readership it has. I swear that I have gotten vast amounts of insight from the most non-obvious sources.

Case in point: the commenter Memmel is known to go off on long posts that randomly walk all over the place (he will be the first to admit it). Yet, he does ask the right questions, and is willing to take a risk in being wrong in something he says. He posed an innocuous question to me within the last few weeks and in trying to answer it, I stumbled across a rather amazing formulation that can be used in circuit analysis. Just for that, I don't think TOD is a joke.

You can choose not to believe me, but then why are you reading this at all?

The point is that this site's credibility suffers greatly when an apparently serious and looming problem (oil depletion) is downplayed in favor of other or related politically trendy crusades. It appears that most posters on this site feel that government actions will NOT materially affect global climate change. So the consensus is that global climate change will occur-why is the discussion not about actual preparation for the realistic future, as opposed to political rally nonsense?

Everyone has different approaches to solving problems.I consider this a good place to hone arguments and more of a communication forum where you can get feedback on ideas. I rarely discuss the topic of preparedness. The blog is about oil, and that is a pretty big umbrella of topics.

2) But RR's "what if we're wrong" advice is always well-taken.

Most TODers take it as a matter of faith that there will not be a substitute for the cheap energy oil gives us.

Aliens with the tech to fling ships interstellar distances and are willing to share or viable cold fusion are examples of game changing things that would make most posts/posters on TOD "wrong".

It's 2050, or 2100, or 2200. Are we happy with the way we spent the fossil fuels, or would we wish we'd built different things, because our landscape is littered with "stranded assets" that only made sense with cheap fossil fuels.

No and Yes, assuming not 'game changers' per above.

Interesting game to play.

I believe that fossil fuels are finite. Therefore, one day we'll have to burn less, and some day later than that we'll be able to burn none at all. It is better to choose a course of action than be forced to it, so we should burn less fossil fuels today, and none at all as soon as we can.

What if I'm wrong?

Then we will have stopped digging such large holes in the ground, polluting groundwater, giving money to dictatorial regimes who use it to oppress their people and fund terrorists against us. We will have developed new technologies and employed more people, kept more money in our local regions and countries, and localised people's lives, giving them less time in traffic and more with their communities. Not so bad.

I believe that burning fossil fuels, deforestation and our agricultural practices create greenhouse gases which alter the global climate. So we should burn less fossil fuels today, and none at all as soon as we can; we should plant more trees than we cut down; we should eat less meat.

What if I'm wrong?

Then as above for fossil fuels. Then we will reduce desertification (see Mali and Mauretania and western China), reduce the risk of famine due to storms and landslides (see Haiti). We will improve the health of Westerners, and overall more grain and oilseed will be available for human instead of animal consumption, thus improving the lives of slum-dwellers worldwide.

So even if the Earth has a creamy nougat center of oil and burning coal gives us vitamin C, I'd still want us to do the same things.

So once more a post that started out with a very logical premise sinks under the climate change fight into a hodge podge of name calling and citing reports that are so arcane as to be useless (on both sides of the argument) while others argue outcomes in 2100, 2150, 2200 and on into infinity.

The big questions and consequences of "What if I am wrong?" will be much, much closer at hand. I know, I (and many of my generation have been there and done that:

In 1980, it was considered an absolute joke that anyone would be stupid enough to invest in the stock market of the United States. Based on the economic situation of that time, and on the obvious shortage of oil and other commodities, how could the companies of the U.S. be expected to even survive, much less provide a valuable return on investment. And the "computer" revolution was a hobby, kits from Tandy and Heathkit, and what did you do with a computer in your home...store recipes? Idiotic on the face of it!

The biggest most immediate effect of "what if I am wrong" is financial, and it can be very damaging VERY FAST, and the problem is that in the U.S., once you fall behind financially it is very hard to catch back up. Those who played it safe financially and stayed in CD's and bonds watched the world run off and leave them financially, and missed the greatest opportunity to build an estate for their old age they would see in a whole lifetime. Their belief in playing it safe literally altered the very nature of their life and their hopes for the future, and now they are old, and must live with the fact that they threw away the opportunity to have a financially secure future.

Of course, that was then and this is now, right? Don't talk to me about the 1980's, you may say, and about it what it cost those who were wrong then! Talk to me about now!

O.K., let's talk now: Since the start of the year, if a person believed the collapse is NOW they surely would not have taken the chance of investing in the U.S. stock market, right? They would have know the market was only going lower and lower.

Since the start of the year, the S&P 500 index is up roughly 50%. I ask that people please consider this for a moment: While their "safe" investment such as homes either lost value or remained flat, the "risky" stock market went up 50%...and this did not require that the investor pick stocks, just take the S&P 500 index across the board. Where I come from, a 50% return in 6 months is not to be scoffed at...

But you say, "yes, but that's temporary, the market will crash again!" But of course it will, we just don't know when, and if we have already made 50%, WE DON'T HAVE TO CARE. Pull the winnings out and put them in CD's and bonds, make money with the winnings (on someone elses money essentially) reset your goals and do it again.

But of course, this requires exactly what Robert Rapier was talking about, the willingness to alter our own belief in our certainty that we know the outcome, and that what was true yesterday will be true tomorrow. What if it isn't?

The last area that always goes unmentioned in these discussions is a real consideration of the possible technological issues: There is no credit given to what most serious technicians inside the respective trades of nano tech, solar cells, battery design, genetic engineering, nano speciality materials, and a whole assortment of associated other technologies keep telling us nothing less than a second industrial revolution under way. If even a third of the technologies deliver even half of what they promise, we are in for the most astounding technological leap forward the world has ever known, and it is due to occur VERY, VERY soon. The confluence of technology is going to more shocking than almost anyone here seems to realize.

What if I am wrong in the things I just said in the paragraph above? Well, I will be in about the shape of most of the rest of humanity, who do not even see the wave of technical change that is coming, I will just be a bit more disappointed.

But in the interest of this game I have to ask, "What if YOU are wrong in assuming that none or very little of this technology will ever amount to anything? Consider history: The steam engine, the automobile, the airplane, radio, television, nuclear power and weapons, the microprocessor industry, all were scoffed at, and the bet would have been that they did not have a chance of succeeding in commercial enterprise so quickly... and yet not just one of the above but EVERY ONE of the above succeeding one behind the other...the bet against technology has been a fools bet this last century.

If you are wrong, what will it mean? Simply this: You run the risk of missing out on opportunities that have the possibility of changing your lifestyle and assuring your financial success for the rest of your life. Of course, the world may still be crap in 2150...but what will most of us baby boomers be up to then? The consequences of being wrong NOW about the very near future have very big consequences, consequences that will be experienced very soon. It is the relatively short horizon that is hardest to project, but will have the highest consequences for us as individuals.


So basically ... Greed is Good?

And history ALWAYS repeats itself (progress forever)?

But of course, this requires exactly what Robert Rapier was talking about, the willingness to alter our own belief in our certainty that we know the outcome, and that what was true yesterday will be true tomorrow. What if it isn't?

The responses in this thread highlights that for many people the answer to the question "What if I am wrong" is "But I'm not."

Since the start of the year, the S&P 500 index is up roughly 50%. I ask that people please consider this for a moment: While their "safe" investment such as homes either lost value or remained flat, the "risky" stock market went up 50%...and this did not require that the investor pick stocks, just take the S&P 500 index across the board. Where I come from, a 50% return in 6 months is not to be scoffed at...

But you say, "yes, but that's temporary, the market will crash again!" But of course it will, we just don't know when, and if we have already made 50%, WE DON'T HAVE TO CARE. Pull the winnings out and put them in CD's and bonds, make money with the winnings (on someone elses money essentially) reset your goals and do it again.

You are aware you would have actually dropped to 43% (676/1565) to get back to about 60% (942/1565), right? If you had been in the market from it's top, that's what you are looking at. Timing the market is a surer way to lose your bankroll than anything the casinos can offer.

5% lost since the top was hit June 12th, btw.

so, are you trying to claim you knew the market would crash last Sept and got out, knew the bottom was at 676 and got back in and know for sure we hit the top of this rally June 12and got out again?

I'm a little doubtful.

BTW, did you know I'm worth $5 million based on trades I did in my head over six months back in 2000? You betcha.

Not saying it can't be done, just saying not many actually do.



The "What if I'm Wrong?" question is pervasive. I got attacked elsewhere in this thread for saying that Wall St collapsed last year. Well, for many investors it did. They were unfortunate victims of timing.

"Timing the market is a surer way to lose your bankroll than anything the casinos can offer"

True. But most folks don't have to worry about timing the market. The market will "time" them. For far too many folks, "buy and hold" became "buy and ignore". The market timed them right out of a decade worth of gain.

"so, are you trying to claim you knew the market would crash last Sept and got out, knew the bottom was at 676 and got back in and know for sure we hit the top of this rally June 12and got out again?"

I won't make such a claim since I am not prepared to show you my trades, thus I would be just another message board hack blowing smoke if I said it here. Unofficially, I will go so far as to say I am not at all unhappy with the way things have went for the last two years, and if the market wants to drop back to it's lows of about 4 months ago, I am okay with that...;-) I will say, and I have the history of my posts here on TOD to back me up, that I did try to warn (a better word would be I begged) my friends, both personal and virtual friends concerning the commodities bubble and the potential rebound that was coming in certain areas. So I do not feel guilty, I tried to share. :-)

Last point, is it a risk free world for any of us? No. I learned SO MUCH in the huge run up of the 1990's, and I got the sh#t kicked out of me after 9/11/01, but again, I learned SO MUCH. Losing money in the short run has always turned out to be beneficial to me in the long run IF I actually payed attention and learned (I admit it, I haven't always done so, especially when I was younger)

But back to the key point, Robert's original point...everybody here is arguing about "what if I am a little wrong"...that is not to way to use what he is saying...the way to use it is to ask oneself "what if I am COMPLETELY wrong", and the bigger question, "would I have the nerve to actually DO SOMETHING about it once I realized I was...

Either way, it's not a risk free world, and never has been.


I will say, and I have the history of my posts here on TOD to back me up, that I did try to warn (a better word would be I begged) my friends, both personal and virtual friends concerning the commodities bubble and the potential rebound that was coming in certain areas. So I do not feel guilty, I tried to share. :-)

Actually, I wanted desperately to invest in oil on the way up and had 135 as my sell target had I invested. Then, when it went under 40 I wanted to do the same, but wasn't clear on my sell target.

Both were as sure a thing as one could hope for, but the risk has to be minimized and my bankroll was too small at the time to take any risk at all. Besides, the wife has a veto, this being an egalitarian household and all...

As for the question, well, a straw bale home should be as effective against coming cold as against coming heat, maybe more so, and all that petroleum should come in handy when either the next Ice Age needs to be mitigated or we decide to move planets or some such...

I just can't see a net negative outcome to taking action to mitigate AGW or PO. Unintended consequences are just that, unintended and, by definition almost, can't be anticipated.

Gotta play the odds unless you're pretty certain the odds makers missed the key element.


Those who played it safe financially and stayed in CD's and bonds watched the world run off and leave them financially, and missed the greatest opportunity to build an estate for their old age they would see in a whole lifetime.

The problem with these arguments is that you can actually go back and look at the numbers and check them. People are held hostage to vagaries of timing. Of course you can go back and pick and choose moments to get in and out of the stock market and make a killing. Not everyone has this flexibility.

Since the start of the year, the S&P 500 index is up roughly 50%.

You are wrong. (see the title of Robert Rapier's post and my comment describing the way people can be wrong) The first rule is not to say things that someone can easily check. If I look at the chart below which would track an S&P 500 index fund, I don't see much change since 1/1/2009. If I am missing something, that means I am not smart financially, which would classify me with the majority of people who you think should be investing in this magical world. Please explain this to me.

If you were to rewrite this post and replace every instance of the stock market with investing in the lottery, it would make equal amount of sense. In your world, the gains outweigh all risks apparently. Please fill us in on the recipe for success so that everyone on TOD can beat a zero-sum game.

Webhubble, you are right and I am wrong on the statement I made...I was writing without checking backwards and checking my timing (the months race by me in days lately), so there is only one thing to do when you get a statement wrong in full view of the world, admit it and say, gee ain't my face red, and apologize...I just plain spoke without double checking my timing...using the term "from the start of the year" was an error on my part, when what I meant to refer to was from the bottom, correctly referring to several months ago.

This brings us to the core of what I said concerning those afraid of the stock market because they were convinced it was a losing bet and that the U.S. economy was in complete collapse (and by the way, it still may be, we cannot know it isn't, or is)

My point was not to recommend the stock market per se. In fact, for many people (at certain times, myself being one of them) we should not touch it with a ten foot pole.

My argument was that if you took the position that you should not buy stocks based on what is essentially a philosophical position that at this moment cannot be scientifically proven by the evidence, and refused to consider any possibility that you may be wrong, you would lose a great deal of wealth producing possibility, and miss a huge opportunity.

I used stocks as an example. It could have been anything, stocks, bonds, oil, houses and real estate, or any growth industry, from plastics to microcomputers to radio to television, depending on the growth curve of the industry at that time. They were all scoffed at in their day, and some are being dismissed now. Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds was quoted as saying "you can get it wrong a lot of times, but you only have to get it right once." However, if your married to the idea that only collapse is possible, how can you possibly get anything right? Your whole bet is on contraction, decline. Your betting on it (or more correctly, not betting on anything because to bet means to accept that possibility of winning!)

Again, WHAT IF YOUR WRONG? And remember, even if we are in for a period of contraction (which is absolutely possible) are you certain of contraction in every industry and every nation? Is there no industry or no place in which you could be wrong, and the contraction doesn't occur, at least not on the timetable you have convinced yourself is correct? Because if there is, there will be people who will walk away comparetively wealthier, and wealth is, at that end of the day, a competitive game.

I am NOT trying to play a wise guy here, I am like everyone else, looking for real lessons from the history I have seen. I have blown it so many times, and have missed so much because I was married to the idea of decline just at the times I should have bet against the crowd. I have left my money on the table and seen it go away, simply because I didn't want anyone to think I was a speculator (quick question: When did taking your winnings off the table and putting them in a safe place become the horrific sin of "timing the market"? Imagine if a guy played it this way at a casino: Put his money in the game, and just LEFT IT THERE! And even if he won and won and won, he would NOT leave the game, because that would be "timing the game". We would consider him an IDIOT. And yet the "sophisticated" investor is convinced that it is a fools game to "time the market"!!!

So I spoke (or in this case, wrote) without double checking, I apologize and thank WebHubble for pointing up my error, but it still does not disprove my core idea: Change your mind when you need to and take your WINNINGS. You don't have to "jump in and jump out" of the market (or any market, for that matter) to do that do you?

Again, let me give you an example that taught me SO MUCH: In the small town I grew up in, a man ran a furniture and appliance store. In the late 1970's, the press began talking about video cassette recorders. The furniture store owner wanted one just for his own use to see how it worked, and he was well off enough from his business to afford it, at that time it cost about $2200) He bought a second one to display in his furniture store, to attract business.

The VCR fascinated his customers, but few could afford one at that price. A few wealthy families did buy one, even at that price, because what the hell, they could afford it. And then the prices started to come down. You can figure the rest...most of the video cassette recorders sold in my home county was sold by this furniture store, the guy made a fortune. His family lived like princes and princesses, and the guy lived without a concern for money for the rest of his life. He had done well in the furniture business, but it was the VCR trade that made him wealthy (he always packaged a new modern TV with the deal if he could, more sales...), and late in his life he stopped selling VCR's all together...once telling me that the new disc players were the way to go, and beside, as he told me not long before he retired, "what more do I have to gain, I have made all the money I need to, and the markup on the VCR's isn't what it once was"(by then they were down to about $149 bucks). Did he TIME the market? or did he just take make his money and then take his winnings off the table? Oh, by the way, even in retirement he never left the furniture business. He simply let his sons (one of whom I graduated high school with) run the business...he never completely "jumped out".

I have seen this AGAIN AND AGAIN: One of the wealthiest men I ever knew did it in the propane trade, another in the telephone business, on and on. They stayed, made their winnings and then TOOK THEIR WINNINGS OFF THE TABLE. Nowadays this is defined as "timing the market" !!!

How stupid have we become? Just at the bottom of the recent market crash, I saw an 82 year old man in Louisville on our local news who was virtually in tears..."I have lost over half my retirement!" he almost wailed into the camara. He went on to say that he had been investing in the market since he was in his 20's! He stayed, and stayed, and STAYED!! I felt guilty for what I was thinking, because while I wanted to feel sorry for him, I was thinking, "HOW STUPID ARE YOU?" He was 82 freakin' years old, what did he hope to gain!! But praise be, he didn't commit the horrific sin of trying to "time the market"!

You ask me, am I saying I could time the market? NO. But if your asking if after enjoying a 20 year run up I wouldn't have taken my WINNINGS off the table, I would say that if I was not smart enough to do that I DESERVE TO LOSE WHATEVER I HAVE GOT. That's not market timing, that is BRAINS. I saw it with houses, the idiocy was STAGGERING. People who have enjoyed a tripling of the value of their house in only a 3 or 4 year period and sat there on it because it was "only going to go higher".

What has happened to common sense in this country? I saw it in the recent oil price bubble, and posted warnings right here on TOD. I do not hold against anyone who ignored all the warnings, I have personal friends, some of them with advanced degrees in business and finance who bought oil at $75, then at $100, then at $125...incredible, they just kept BUYING saying "we're running out of oil, it can only go higher and higher"...I have a friend who said he borrowed to stay in the commodities game because he couldn't lose! He had already made a fortune...ALL HE HAD TO DO WAS TAKE THE WINNING! Is this so hard for folks to figure out? Is this "market timing"? Well, if so, he didn't market time, but he did lose everything he gained and more and now is in dire financial shape.

I recounted right here in a post on TOD a friend of mine that I recommended stock in the lithium battery maker Valence (VLNC) when it was at about $1.30, I told her to sell it at anything over $3.00 and she would be nearly tripling her money. In less than 8 months it was over $4.00, then over $5.00. I BEGGED her, at least take your winnings out, and put them in bonds or CD's...if VLNC does keep going higher, which she was convinced it would, you can make money on your original stake and make RISK FREE money on the FREE winnings you now have in bonds or CD's! You have made your bet, taken your chances and WON! Now enjoy it!

She is still in the stock, now back to $1.70, hoping for a second miracle, but she ACTUALLY told me, "well, I don't believe in timing the market and jumping in and out." So I hope you can see why I am so dedicated on this topic! What are people thinking?

The point of my original post still stands: It is NOT market timing to use your brains! I could go on and on, I have seen this SO often, but what would be the point. Robert Rapier is right...people will not even consider the fact that they may be wrong, and when they get it right they refuse to allow themselves to succeed. Preaching common sense is a lot like preaching peak oil...people give you a dumb look and then go back to what they were doing before. I don't know if peak oil is now or later...I have cut my oil consumption by over 85% since last year. That is all I can do for now, as Robert said, without disrupting my whole life even more. I am playing the odds as best as I can understand them. Peak could occur any day, why not today?

But when all the markets have declined to the point that you could buy almost anything at firesale prices, and all bets are that they will go down even further from there...I have to ask myself if it is not prudent to bet against the crowd, the crowd that almost ALWAYS gets it wrong. So far, I have done okay by pulling back when the rest are most comfortable and sure of further gains, and by taking chances and getting in the game when the rest are most frightened...I only wish I had learned it younger. And when I win, I take my winnings. If you call that "timing the market" I will let that be my sin.

I wish for good fortune for all my friends, including those here on TOD. Frankly I should be charging people for the lessons I have learned the hard way at great expense, but I give them away, because I do not want to be held responsible for the uncertainties of investing in the future. IT IS NOT A RISK FREE WORLD. Nothing is sure to go up, or down. Collapse is NOT assured despite the deep desire for certainty that many folks here constantly express, and growth and prosperity is ABSOLUTELY not assured, despite the hopes we have for ourselves and the following generations. Some areas may decline, others may not, some industries may collapse while others grow. For each of us, the eventual individual outcome is assured. All we can do is the best we can do with what we know.

"Each passing year that I sit here, that horizon seems to inch just so much nearer
and everything that's on it appears as clear as spit.

But the one thing in my life that these years have taught it's
you can always see it coming, but you can never stop it."
(Cowboy Junkies,"Bea's Song (River Song Trilogy)

So enjoy the game, but use your damm brain!



I think that you make some very good points. We all need to keep our minds open to changing conditions and new possibilities/inventions. As you are well aware, though, a fundamental question that discussants on this site pose is, "Will we have sufficient energy in the near future to permit us to fabricate products that rely on advanced (or even simple) technologies?" In invoking upcoming technologies as investment opportunities, you seem to be discounting the primacy of energy as a resource that is needed both for the manufacture of products and for their subsequent operation. If the cost of fossil fuels rises sufficiently, these new technologies may very well be rendered moot.

I believe that you have written passionately before about the investment opportunities lost to those who sat on their cash starting in the 1980s and who didn't invest their money in the stock market. We can probably all agree that the stock market is a harsh mistress and a potentially terrible trap for the unwary. Everyone I know (other than myself) at my workplace has been following the "buy and hold" playbook. Over the last two years, they have typically seen their stock holdings first fall by about 50% and then rebound somewhat since early May. Since stocks must rise 100% from the bottom to reverse a 50% fall from a peak, my colleagues are only about halfway back to where they were two years ago. In fact, if we look at the big picture of the last ten years, we see that the "buy and hold" S&P 500 stock index owner is significantly worse off today than s/he was 10 years ago when the S&P 500 was at about 1200 (versus about 900 now). Your example of the profit potential from the recent 50% rise in stocks presupposes that one (a) has cash available to invest, (b) can accurately time a market bottom, and (c) times the sale of the stock in a way that realizes the impact of the 50% rise. This is difficult to do, to put it mildly. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to grab a portion of the effect of this most recent rally. However, I was only able to take advantage of the rally because I had moved to cash in mid-2007. Many factors suggest the risk of another leg down in the coming months. So, I think that your argument about the 50% rally is a bit specious. Depending upon which two-month period one selects from the last ten years, one can make a case either "for" or "against" the value of investing in the stock market as a builder of wealth.

Americans are incessantly encouraged to be optimistic. The news items over the last few weeks have been full of cheery words about "green shoots", "bottoms forming", "the rate of decline is falling". I would argue that too many Americans embrace blind optimism. Optimism is important, but I believe that we must practice cautious optimism. We must remain open to the possibility of negative outcomes and continuously reassess the relative risk of positive versus negative potentialities. For me, this has been a good forum for partaking ideas on both sides of many issues. Many thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences and analysis.


I live close to Dow Chemical office building in Houston. As long as I have lived here, the Dow office building has been open. The parking lot ebbs and flows but the office has always been open. There's an old joke here that people who work for Dow are buried in the Dow cemetery. Dow's business is gas intensive and they have lately shuttered many plants. So much work has been lost that the office building is closed and the parking lot is vacant. Some of it is the economy but Dow has seen slow times before.

I believe natural gas is the problem. Oil is next in line.

I am aware of the uncertainty of predictions about the future and try to propose robust solutions that will serve us well under a wide variety of scenarios (of greater benefit under some scenarios than others, but positive under almost all).

An overarching strategy of diverting consumption into long lived energy producing and energy efficient infrastructure has few downsides except the dislocation associated with any shift of resources (see USA manufacturing) and we have less conspicuous consumption (McMansions, Hummers, etc.).

Specifically, pumped storage has utility as long as electricity pays a major role in our economy and society and our power sources are not 100% FF (even then, it has some use). Pumped storage is ideal for "black starts" after widespread blackouts (as long as a few % of water is left in reserve). And pumped storage installations last for centuries (refurb every 40-50 years).

The French built 4+ GW of pumped storage to complement their nukes (+ 1 GW in Luxembourg & Swiss hydro + PS). The Germans built more to help integrate wind into the grid. They would be ideal for solar as well.

Building an efficient Non-Oil Transportation system in parallel to our existing oil based system has a number of advantages, even absent Post-Peak Oil.

"What if" the Islamic Republic of Arabia replaced the House of Saud (and some smaller Persian Gulf monarchies) and announced that they would only export enough oil to pay for food and other essential imports, and then only to nations that do not support Israel ? And then Hugo Chavez announces that China has agreed to buy all oil previously exported to the USA ?

A Non-Oil alternative would be QUITE useful.

Trading 20 BTUs of diesel for 1 BTU of electricity by shifting freight from trucks to electrified rail has a number of benefits in several areas, from National Security and Balance of Payments (& pollution) to Climate Change and longer lived & lower cost/volume infrastructure.

Urban Rail gives about the same 20 to 1 trade when Transit Orientated Development is included. And much the same benefits.

Bicycling seems a clear winner on every front EXCEPT it will financially stress Social Security (bicyclists live 10 years longer on average +12 cardiovascular, -2 accidents).

Walkable communities have MANY benefits (Urban areas use half the electricity of Suburbs is one of the more obscure benefits). Reduced social isolation is another. It is the only apparent cure to the tidal wave of obesity driven diabetes that is about to swamp our health care system. Add National Security, carbon emissions, Balance of Payments, post-Peak Oil, etc as benefits of walking to the store, to the bank and to work. Increased social contact (knowing your neighbors) seems like one way of mitigating social disorder.

Best Hopes,


Getting cooler? Depends on where you are and all areas up from baseline.

We have a whopping great La Nina going that is bringing down sea temps in a large part of the Souther Hemisphere and various land parts of the World (inc the North Western coast of North America).

But using the GISS data and looking at regions the north is roaring along:

64N-90N: 3rd highest temp on record a whopping +1.48C above base line.
44N-64N: again 3rd highest, +1.01C.
24N-44N: 6th highest, +0.53C
24N-Equ: 19th, +.23C
Equ-24S: 16th, +.28C
44S-24S: 1st, +.39
64S-44S: 34th, +.03

The deep south, 64S-90S is incredibly variable, ranging from +1.32 to -.36 over the last 20 years.

You see the pattern, the sourthern hemisphere shows lower increases because of the huge sea mass and is affected strongly by the El Nino/La Nina cycle (ENSO).

Taking the northern Hemisphere as a whole, 2005, 2006 and 2007 were higher than 1998 (+.82, +.74 & +.77). 2008 is the 7th highest on record (+.6C), down from the record 2005, but well within normal variability and there is some contribution from La Nina.

Global cooling from 1998? Well the global temp peak was in 2005 (+.62) and 2008 is still the 8th highest year at +.44 even with a solar minimum and a strong La Nina.

God knows what it is going to be as we move into a El Nino (or even just neutral) and solar radiance climbs up again.

Using simple logic, historic observation and just a touch of common sense we can ask two revealing questions:

1) What is the likelihood the recent warming, and now cooling, we have been experiencing is caused by small variations of radiant output and magnetic field strength in the nearby star, which provides 99.9999% of our energy budget? In their technical reports, the IPCC admits it doesn't have a clear and complete understanding how our nearby star drives our weather and climate over time. Furthermore, how might our likelihood estimate change should we observe other planets in our solar system warming and cooling coincident with earth?

2) What is the likelihood the recent warming, and now cooling, we have been experiencing is caused by infinititesinally increasing concentrations of an infinitesimal trace gas, which composes less than .04% of our atmosphere and has been shown by the IPCC to have a Global Warming Potential (GWP) several orders of magnitude smaller than most other atmospheric trace gases, especially water vapor, which has an atmospheric concentration ten times greater? Just as important, it has been shown that human activity is only responsible for 3% of this minute trace gas. What then is the likelihood that reducing the human activity which produces this minute trace gas will have any material impact on atmospheric concentrations over time?

Finally, what benefits might all living things on earth reap should this trace gas reach levels approaching 1000 PPM, where studies have shown it optimizes plant growth, with or without the help of humans? Professor Mann's infamous "hockeystick" study and graphic of bristlecone growth proxy data shows conclusively that nothing has done more to "GREEN" the planet over the past few decades than moderate sun-driven warming in conjunction with a CO2 enriched atmosphere.

We have had precise space based observations of solar (and star) radiation since 1961 and we known that the variations since then have been minor and cannot explain the observed warming trend (there has not been a "cooling" trend).

We do know that the increase in CO2 can cause dramatic increases in heating.

You use the false analogy of the small % of CO2, implying that this cannot have much impact (we humans do not see in infrared, so we cannot see the delta with CO2, PFCs, etc.)

Thought experiment. Take a pool of distilled water and add india ink. 0.01% India ink will color the water quite noticably.

Humans are responsible for a third of the CO2 currently in the atmosphere. Just look at the Mauna Loa trends (best estimate is 265 ppm in 1860 and a small part of that 265 ppm was human caused. Deforestation more than coal burning @ 1860)


Where did you get the fantasy of 3% ?

We are responsible for 100% of the PFCs (not natural).

And where did you get the idea that 1000 ppm of CO2 would be beneficial ?

There would be much less earth, and more sea, in that case. And many plants would suffer. The only native tree in Iceland, the Icelandic birch, becomes confused as when to winter harden when in an unheated greenhouse with 450 ppm CO2. The Icelanders expect their only tree to die out as a result of Climate Change.

The Gulf Stream will slow or disappear (melting Greenland ice, low density fresh water added), freezing Western Europe, boiling the Eastern USA and many times more Cat 5 hurricanes along the East Coast of the USA.

Fertile cropland today will loss humus (organic matter/carbon with higher tempo) and existing crops will fail.

Anyway, it is clear that you are a denier, immune to reasoned argument and I should not have wasted so much time on you.

Best Hopes for a Permanent Loss of Power to All Rush Limbaugh listeners (who else listens to a strung out drug addict with a high school education for scientific insight ?)


Yay, finally another poster that has done some research.

As jj points out, CO2 only makes up .003 parts of the atmosphere. The other 99.997 parts are NOT CO2. For the small amount of trace gas CO2 to cause warming of the entire atmosphere would be a serious case of the tail wagging the dog. Study fluid dynamics.

jj is also correct in that upwards of 95% of the Earth's CO2 is produced naturally. You can find these basic facts on Wikipedia.

jj is also correct in that increased CO2 levels promote faster and stronger plant growth. This was demonstrated in the F.A.C.E. experiments around the world. Study it.

And with regards to solar activity, it is true that total irradiance changes very little. The cosmic ray theory advanced by Danish scientists concludes that solar wind (not irradiance) changes the Earth's albedo through cloud formation from cosmic rays. Read the book "The Chilling Stars", or watch the movie "The Great Global Warming Swindle" for an explanation.


As jj points out, CO2 only makes up .003 parts of the atmosphere. The other 99.997 parts are NOT CO2

And if I put 7g of arsenic in your tea, it will only be 0.0001 parts of your body (less if you're a fatty living in his parents' basement, but I don't like to assume). But it will still kill you.

Chemistry and physics don't work in that linear sort of way. There are all sorts of interactions which make the small thing big in importance, and the big things not so important.

For the small amount of trace gas CO2 to cause warming of the entire atmosphere would be a serious case of the tail wagging the dog. Study fluid dynamics.

It's not fluid dynamics you want to study so much as chemistry and physics generally.

Carbon dioxide absorbs electromagnetic radiation in the infrared band. So when other light passes through it and warms the earth and water, and then they release infrared radiation (heat), the CO2 blocks it.

You can deny that if you want, but then atmospheric scientists will be curious as to your explanation of why the Earth isn't an iceball. If the existing CO2 causes global warming, more will cause more; if the existing CO2 does not cause global warming, then what does?

It's like a guy standing there with slurred speech, staggering around acting stupid, and a beer in his hand. He says, "it'sh notsh the drinksh makesh me drunksh. Gimme 'nother." If it ain't the drink made him drunk, then he has to explain what did.

There's nothing wrong with being ignorant of basic physics and chemistry - so long as you know you're ignorant. The problem comes when you don't know a damn thing but you mouth off anyway.

Back to high school for you. You obviously need a refresher on basic chemistry and physics.

Study fluid dynamics.

I have studied fluid dynamics and your comment leads me to believe that you have never studied the field. Turbulence and friction with the sides can generate small amounts of heating, but NOTHING in the field of fluid dynamics has to do with absorption of infrared light.

As above, I like to use the example of India ink in a pool of distilled water to give a valid comparison (in visible wavelengths) to what CO2 does in the atmosphere at infrared wavelengths.

Hint: 0.01% India ink in distilled water is VERY noticeable.

As noted above, there is no sin in being ignorant. The sin is remaining so and using this ignorance to kill much of the earth and humanity.


A Freshman level tutorial to help dispel ignorance.


Rather than adding India ink to distilled water, why don't you just double the atmospheric CO2 concentration in an enclosure and see if temperatures increase by 3 degrees C? They won't and climate modelers know this. Climate models that show temperature increases are based on an assumed atmospheric positive feedback which does not exist.

Climate models and the AGW theory itself have already been disproved by actual recorded data. Data which shows temperature levels lower than predicted by the climate models in spite of rising CO2 levels.

Climate modelers dismiss the actual recorded data as "normal variability", lol. Translation = "Just because the data says we're wrong doesn't mean we're wrong." Global warming is more religion than science.

why don't you just double the atmospheric CO2 concentration in an enclosure and see if temperatures increase by 3 degrees C?


No enclosure can duplicate the miles deep atmosphere (we have only one) and the complex interactions of sea & land with the atmosphere. One small example, since a warming atmosphere will heat the sea and land over time, and the thermal mass of the oceans and land >> the atmosphere, there is a significant time delay in warming.

BTW, doubling the atmospheric CO2 will increase global temps by FAR more than 3 C.

My last civil response to you, your willful ignorance makes it a waste of my time. You want to kill our civilization and nature for your own reasons.



Your group likes to have it both ways don't you? You argue that the physical properties of CO2 creates more heat in the atmosphere by absorbing more of the radiation spectrum. Yet you then claim that this physical property cannot be duplicated in a lab experiment. Of course it can! The only problem is that you will likely need a 50% level of CO2 to get your 3 degree increase (not .06%).

You argue that the historical record of temperature changes leading CO2 level increases doesn't apply to the modern day climate. Then you go back to the historical record to obtain sensitivity numbers. Very confused bunch! lol

It will be very interesting to see the next few years temperature data as solar activity remains so low. Of course Hansen and other alarmists are predicting a new record high temperature in the next 1 to 2 years. This is consistent with their pronouncements that solar activity has a "non-negligible" effect on climate. Whilst alarmist temperature and sea level models go further and further astray during this solar minimum.

As far as killing our civilization goes, ban coal and other fossil fuels as Hansen suggests, and you WILL kill millions.

Killing a civilization: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-parallels-in-our-time-the...

kiashu & AlanFromBigEasy:
noble work, but wrestling with Dunning-Kruger afflictees, especially those with contributing factors is almost always a waste of time and raises the blood pressure.

Given that the same wrong memes get repeated endlessly, the easiest thing is to pick one or two good lists and just cite them.

One of my favorites is Skeptical Science, which numbers common wrong ideas, links to a page on each one that describes it for a general audience, and then gives pointers to peer-reviewed literature.

Usually, for brevity I just list the numbers, but here, I also list the topics:

Hence: John Juaregi's post:

#1 It's the sun
and maybe:
#49 It's solar cycle length
#51 Water levels correlate with sunspots
#52 Solar cycles cause global warming
#53 The Sun is getting hotter

#16 Mars is warming
#22 Other planets are warming
#39 Neptune is warming
#40 Jupiter is warming

#4 It's cooling

#27 Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions
#30 It warmed before 1940 when CO2 was low
#38 There's no correlation between CO2 and temperature
#45 CO2 measurements are suspect

That's pretty good, depending on how you count, up to 15 wrong ideas in a few paragraphs.


#18 It's cosmic rays
Svensmark *believes* his theory, no matter how poorly it gets supported in peer-reviewed research, whenever people bother to check it. Juaregi also recomm (up to 16).

#33 There's no empirical evidence
#34 Climate sensitivity is low

Of course there are many simple lab experiments that show CO2 absorbs heat. Kids put them up on Youtube. Getting accurate measurements is much harder.

Spencer Weart's "The Discovery of Global Warming" is a fine history, either as a book, or at his American Institute of Physics website. Specifically, see The Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Effect, search for "Angstrom" and read about Herr Koch, and an experiment with "fatal flaws", among other things, in using humid sea-level air, rather than high-troposphere dry air.

Thanks John. I realise the effort is futile, nonetheless I cannot help but try.

It's difficult to do on TOD, because we have to play by the rules - one of which is not abusing people - but the denialists don't have to play by the rules - offering references, responding to substantive points, etc.

When one side of a debate can cheat but the other can't, the match is a fix.

The "Skeptical Science" blog only reinforces my belief that the AGW theory is faulty. The core problem with the theory is how the "climate sensitivity" numbers are obtained. Argument #34. Here's a quote from the site:

"Hansen 1993 looks at the last 20,000 years when the last ice age ended and empirically calculates a climate sensitivity of 3 ± 1°C."

What this means in layman's terms is that a doubling of CO2 levels will increase global average temperatures by 3 degrees C. And that this increase is based on historical records of CO2 levels and temperature levels WITH THE ASSUMPTION that CO2 drives temperature. The problem I have is that there is no evidence that CO2 drives the Earth's temperature. Climate modelers readily admit that doubling CO2 in a lab experiment will not increase temperatures by 3 degrees C. (If you have an experiment that proves otherwise please link it.) They point to feedback mechanisms they claim cannot be duplicated. The warming during the 20th century is routinely pointed to as proof of AGW. However, the 20th century also experienced an increase in solar activity which provides an alternate explanation as to the cause of the warming.

What we really need is a period of divergence between CO2 levels and solar activity. Which is exactly what has happened for the past 5 years. Solar activity has gone down while CO2 levels have increased. In fact, the rate of measured CO2 level increases is greater this century than during the 1990's. And what has happened to global average temperatures during the last 5 years? They have gone down in lockstep with the reduced solar activity, in spite of rising CO2 levels. AGW is proved wrong by actual recorded data.

An elementary knowledge of statistics would know that five years is too small for statistical significance.

The sample standard deviation is too large to "prove" that temperatures even declined with 90% confidence (and weather does not follow a normal distribution, which expands the standard deviation even more).

And AFAIK (space based measurements since 1961, a period which has seen significant GW), the solar cycle is very, very close to constant over the 11 year cycle.

Please note that CO2 follows an annual cycle; down in the Northern Hemisphere spring & summer; up in fall and winter. This very natural annual cycle is larger than the secular trend upwards year to year. By your faulty logic, since there is a natural cycle for CO2, that natural cycle is > man made cycle, then burning FF has no effect on CO2 levels.



Just peaked at 390 ppm, I predict that it will fall to 384 ppm within 6 months, therefore lets burn, baby burn and drill, baby, drill !!

A longer term view


Best Hopes for Logic & Science over "religion"


I broke my promise, "Conservatives" (who conserve nothing) have their illogical irrational religion that somehow liberals invented Climate Change to control society for their own nefarious purposes. They know nothing of science and make up stuff and repeat it to each other.

Conservatives are immune to logic and scientific proof.