Global Warming

Global Climate Change Logjam

Three reasons why global climate change negotiations will go nowhere

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Delegates from 190 nations are gathering in Poznan, Poland to launch the latest round of global warming negotiations. Formally called the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP-14) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the climate negotiators face three huge challenges to completing a new international treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire in 2012. First, the Kyoto Protocol itself is failing to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases. Second, a world entangled in a global economic meltdown will not readily accept the higher energy prices that will follow from cutting greenhouse gases. And third, new scientific evidence has raised questions about future climatic trends and the predictive accuracy of climate models.

Kyoto Protocol Problems

Nations that signed the Kyoto Protocol agreed to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases—chiefly carbon dioxide—by an average of 5 percent below the level they emitted in 1990. In one sense, the collapse of the former Soviet Bloc economies has already helped achieve this goal. On the other hand, most economically developed nations—including many countries in Western Europe, as well as Japan, Canada, and Australia—are not meeting their Kyoto Protocol goals. In November, the United Nations issued Greenhouse Gas Data, 2006, which reported that for the 41 signatories to the UNFCCC, greenhouse gas emissions in 2004 were 3.3 percent below the 1990 level. However, as the report notes, the overall decrease is composed of a 36.8 percent decrease among former Soviet Bloc countries and an 11 percent increase among the remaining industrialized countries.

When one looks at the results for the signatories to the Kyoto Protocol, they look somewhat better, with 2004's greenhouse gas emissions 15.3 percent below 1990's level. That sounds like a lot of progress has been made. But is that correct? Not exactly. Again, this level of cuts was achieved because of the economic collapse of the Soviet Bloc. Between 1990 and 2004, emissions from former Soviet Bloc signatories fell 37 percent while rising by 3.7 percent among other industrialized signatories to the Kyoto Protocol.

While emissions between 1990 and 2004 fell in Germany (17 percent, largely because of the close of East Germany's moribund industries) and the U.K. (14 percent, largely due to the country's substituting natural gas for coal in electricity generation), they rose in most of the other large industrialized economies. For example, between 1990 and 2004, Canada's emissions increased 27 percent, Australia's 25 percent, Japan's 6.5 percent, Italy's 12 percent, Turkey's 72 percent, Spain's 49 percent, and the United States' 16 percent. As the U.N. report drily notes, "In general, the message from the 2006 data is that industrialized countries will need to intensify their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." Indeed.

Financial Meltdown Meets Climate Meltdown

Rationing carbon dioxide emissions means higher energy prices for producers and consumers. For example, the European Trading Scheme (ETS) was set up to issue and trade permits to emit carbon dioxide. The scheme covers about 11,000 factories and plants that are responsible for 45 percent of the European Union's greenhouse gas emissions. Under the scheme countries cap annual greenhouse gas emissions and issue permits to cover those emissions. If a company exceeds its allowance, it must buy permits from other companies that have extra permits. Since 2005, when the ETS was established, permit prices have been very volatile, rising as high as $40 per metric ton earlier this year. This past month, permit prices fell to $19 per ton. The global economic contraction means that there will be less demand for energy intensive goods such as cars and steel which, in turn, means that there will be less demand for offsetting emissions permits.

Many environmental activists now worry that falling carbon permit prices means that companies will not invest in low-carbon energy technologies such as windmills or solar panels. In fact, the global credit crunch has already led to the cancellation of some projects.

At the Poznan Climate Change Conference, negotiators are aiming for a new post-2012 climate change treaty that will ensure that concentrations of greenhouse gases do not rise above 450 part per million (ppm) in the atmosphere. That's the threshold at which many climate models suggest temperatures will increase to about 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. However, researchers such as NASA's James Hansen believe 350 ppm is too high (we're already at 385 ppm). A new study by researchers associated with Britain's Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research concludes that, "it is increasingly unlikely any global agreement will deliver the radical reversal in emission trends required for stabilization at 450 ppm carbon dioxide equivalent." That holds true for 550 ppm or even 650 ppm. The study soberingly adds, "Unless economic growth can be reconciled with unprecedented rates of decarbonization (in excess of 6% per year), it is difficult to envisage anything other than a planned economic recession being compatible with stabilization at or below 650 ppm carbon dioxide equivalent." That's not a message that politicians will be able to sell their citizens.

Climate Conundrums

Given that climate is by definition a long-term phenomenon, one should be cautious about interpreting ten years of data. Still, it is the case that global average temperatures have remained essentially flat since 2001 while the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by about 5 percent. It is also true that this decade is on average warmer than the previous decade, though so far there is no clear upward trend. And what about the future? Earlier this year, a German climate modeling group published a study in Nature suggesting that global average temperatures may not increase in the coming decade because of offsetting natural climate variations. Policymakers will likely find it difficult to persuade the public to endure the economic pain of higher energy bills if temperatures are not actually increasing.

Clearly, most climate modelers believe that adding more carbon dioxide will eventually lead to unacceptably high global temperatures. However, other researchers question aspects of those models. For example, are the models' estimates of the amount of carbon dioxide that's likely to be emitted from soils too high? Are cloud feedback estimates biased in a positive direction, leading researchers to predict greater warming than is likely to occur? And is soot responsible for most of the recent warming in the arctic?

All that stands in the way of a grand new climate treaty, in other words, is a failing climate treaty, a massive global financial crisis, and a number of remaining climatic uncertainties. Those may be enough.

Ronald Bailey is reason's science correspondent. His book Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution is now available from Prometheus Books.

NEXT: Beth Hoffman, R.I.P.

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  1. If Eilan Gonzalez would finally join a union of fellow war criminals, global warming would be solved once and for all.

  2. Don’t forget reinforced doors.

  3. sage,

    If you reinforced doors, then you can’t argue for unionization after someone is killed.

  4. The biggest obstacle is that all the supposedly “overwhelming” public support for “doing something” about global warming is about one inch deep and will quickly evaporate when it starts seriously hitting THEM in the wallet to pay for it.

  5. Global warming stopped ten years ago. Get over it.

  6. Many environmental activists now worry that falling carbon permit prices means that companies will not invest in low-carbon energy technologies such as windmills or solar panels. In fact, the global credit crunch has already led to the cancellation of some projects.

    Wow, where to begin?

    I would think that part of the reason that co2 credit prices are falling is because there isn’t as much co2 being emitted. You know, reduced economic activity and all that.

    Plus, cancelling those ‘alternative’ energy projects? I re-retroactively call “bullshit”. I warned years ago that people who purchase ‘carbon offsets’ weren’t purchasing offsets at all, but were purchasing “potential” offsets. Ie, when the windmill comes on line; when the hydro power comes on line; when the solar power comes on line, their actual credit would be realized. If these projects are never coming to fruition, then Al Gore purchased 800,000 tons of carbon credits so he could be all carbon neutral and fly his jet all over the country doing press junkets– he wasn’t carbon neutral at all.

  7. If the boneheads don’t even know that black carbon in soil releases way slower than decaying vegitation, how can anyone trust the models? The soil is accountable for ten times the atmospheric CO2 than man, but the “scientists” are confused about the rate of absorbsion from soil, but maintain fervantly that man’s contribution is all that matters? WTF.

  8. Policymakers will likely find it difficult to persuade the public to endure the economic pain of higher energy bills if temperatures are not actually increasing.

    Bah, they’ll just go full retard. We’ve seen it before.

  9. Anybody do a cost benefit analysis to see if global warming is actually a good thing? I tend to think that it would be–Opening up frozen land, longer growing seasons, more rain, more CO2 to encourage plant growth, etc.

  10. three significant obstacles to completing a new international treaty

    Lemme guess, without RTFA:

    (1) Economic reality (any treaty that actually affected CO2 output in any significant way would be economic suicide for the signatories, if they actually complied with it).

    (2) Political reality (any treaty that actually affected CO2 output in any significant way would be political suicide for the signatories to actually comply with, because of economic reality).

    (3) Plain ol’ reality (no one really knows what drives long-term climate trends, and all the models we have are crap, because none of them predicted or can really explain the current cool spell).

  11. A warmer earth increses biodiversity. The envirowhackjobs that whine about threatened species should welcome a warmer, more life sustaining world.

  12. Global warming would be a good thing for, say, most people living Canada and Russia. It would be a bad thing for people living in the Sahara. It would be a bad thing for people operating ski resorts. It would be a good thing for people growing crops on land that is currently marginal for that because of it being cold.

    And so on.

    No matter what happens, people will adjust.

  13. Given that climate is by definition a long-term phenomenon, one should be cautious about interpreting ten years of data.

    Ten years of data out of billions of years of earth history is insignificant.

    100 to 130 years of data out of billions of years, of course, is more than enough on which to draw all kinds of solid scientific conclusions.

  14. Well, although warmer climates sustain more intense ecosystems and thus more niches and species, dramatic climate adjustments (which I don’t believe are necessarily happening) would in the short term lead to more extinctions and the proliferation of the pioneer/invasive species that are suited for the adjustment. Eventually their descendants would differentiate into greater range of species. But that’s going to happen with any kind of environmental flux.

  15. The only thing that bothers me more than these expensive climate conferences was today’s gala celebrating the new $621 million Capitol Visitors Center. I mean do these thieves have no idea how disgusting they looked glorifying their hallowed halls of corruption.

  16. Having gotten tired of financial crisis denialism, “Reason” turns its attention back to denying man-made global climate change.

  17. “Ten years of data out of billions of years of earth history is insignificant.”

    And those billions of years prove that 100 years of warming (such as in 20th century) is a normal phenomenon.

    In other words, “Climate Change” has always happened, from having ice ages to periods where we’ve had no ice caps.

  18. “Economic reality (any treaty that actually affected CO2 output in any significant way would be economic suicide for the signatories, if they actually complied with it).”
    The shift would reduce the need for fossil fuels and would help ease our rising unemployment problem. Not taking these into account is a favorite tactic of the climate do-nothings.

  19. “And those billions of years prove that 100 years of warming (such as in 20th century) is a normal phenomenon.”
    Is it normal for temperatures to be flat for centuries and then for temperatures to suddenly spike, as they have in the late 20th century? Is the current level of greehouse gases normal? Is increasing desertification and melting of the ice caps normal?

  20. According to Department of Commerce data archived here, the US GDP is up 60% since July 1990, while the article tells us carbon emissions are up 16%. The US economy is not only expanding but increasing its efficiency. This is something to consider, in the midst of all this.

  21. “Is it normal for temperatures to be flat for centuries and then for temperatures to suddenly spike, as they have in the late 20th century?”

    Since we can’t go back in time and put thermometers everywhere to get exact temperatures over short periods of time, there is no way to answer that question. However, given BILLIONS of years of existence, the planet has probably had many temperature spikes as a matter of chance.

    “Is the current level of greehouse gases normal?”

    Yes. There have been times in planet’s history where it has been much higher and life thrived.

    “Is increasing desertification and melting of the ice caps normal?”

    Desertification is caused by human activity other than CO2 emissions (Deforestation, lack of water conservation, erosion).

    Also, ice caps have been thickening over the past few years.

  22. “Also, ice caps have been thickening over the past few years.”
    That hasn’t been confirmed. You’re talking out of your ass.

  23. CO:
    “That hasn’t been confirmed. You’re talking out of your ass.”

    No, you’re a towel.

  24. do these thieves have no idea how disgusting they looked
    glorifying their hallowed halls of corruption?

    They know, and they care not a whit. C-Span ran a nice expose the other day. Did you know that the criminal spenders threw away $250,000 worth of already-printed signage so they could rename the great hall “Emancipation Hall”? A truly sickening irony.

  25. The shift would reduce the need for fossil fuels and would help ease our rising unemployment problem. Not taking these into account is a favorite tactic of the climate do-nothings.

    Easing unemployment with the broken window theory– or government ‘make work’ projects to not an improvement make. Sure, we can hire 10,000 people to carve a head of a dead president in the side of a mountain, but are we moving the ball forward, so to speak.

  26. Also, CO, glaciers have been in retreat over the past 10,000 years. Funny how glacier retreat studies dates start at invention of the photograph (1850). Coincidence? I think not.

  27. Having gotten tired of financial crisis denialism, “Reason” turns its attention back to denying man-made global climate change.

    If you were less an idiot, you’d know that disagreeing with a proposed solution is not identical to denying a problem.

    But you aren’t and you don’t.

  28. In any short time span, there will be spikes and dips. In geological time, 150 years is “short”. Also, the biggest spike was the Dust Bowl during the Depression, not the *late* 1900s (meaning 1998, yes?).

    But by all means, continue your hunt for manbearpig.

  29. “But by all means, continue your hunt for manbearpig.”
    BUT TEH MANBEARPIG IS REAL!!!!!!!!

  30. Also, CO, glaciers have been in retreat over the past 10,000 years.

    I for one am quite thankful to have my lifespan well ensconced within the Holocene interglacial period. Growing stuff and eking out a survival in a year-round frozen tundra is hard!

  31. You guys do know that you’re fighting against a consensus that includes pretty much all credible climate experts, right?

  32. Interestingly, the first-ever commercial passage of the Northwest Passage was just accomplished. They didn’t “see a cube of ice” anywhere, in the captain’s words. This is great news for the shipping industry, but it sure suggests that something is going on out there.

    Egosummabas, your ceaseless repetition of Big Oil happytalk about CO2 grows wearisome.

  33. I don’t think climate scientists that don’t understand soil CO2 yet, but focus solely on man’s fractional contribution are credible experts.

  34. Oh yay, the false beliefs of the Global warming cooling Climate Change church of the Present Day Saints marches on. I am really not sure what else to call it to be quite frank. Just do me a favor and remember me in 20 years when your theories are proved to be complete bullshit, I’ll be the little voice in the back of your head going “I told you so!”

  35. Kaiser,
    The left has a way of covering up its mistakes. Ever hear about all the leftists who idolized Mussolini and covered for Stalin? No? I rest my case.

  36. DannyK, your ceaseless repetition of Al Gore gloomtalk about CO2 grows wearisome.

    From Wikipedia:

    “In June 1977, sailor Willy de Roos left Belgium to attempt crossing the Northwest Passage in his 13.8 m (45 ft) steel yacht Williwaw. He reached the Bering Strait in September and after a stopover in Victoria, British Columbia, went on to round Cape Horn and sail back to Belgium, thus being the first sailor to circumnavigate the Americas entirely by ship.[25]”

    People have repeatedly passed through the Northwest Passage. Nothing to see here, move along.

  37. Just checking in to read all the crackpot posts by you climate-change deniers. There is no point in discussing the matter with you few hold-outs. Your heads are stuck so far up your rears in an effort to keep yourselves blind to the truth that it is impossible to have a rational discussion. You just keep reciting the repeatedly refuted crackpot crap over and over, and are too stupid to even know what it means for someone to prove you wrong.

    http://www.sciencemag.org
    http://www.nature.com

    Have fun reading…

    And Ron, for the love of God, quit data cherry picking. A hundred groups say one thing, one says contrarian, and guess which one is the ONLY one you mention? Such manipulation of data is the exact opposite of science. You should be ashamed and ask yourself why you have gotten so much worse about this lately.

  38. More evidence to confirm my hypothesis that there are government indoctrination centers somewhere in this country where drones are taught that correlation proves causation and post hoc ergo propter hoc is a legitimate logical argument.

  39. Just checking in to read all the crackpot posts by you climate-change deniers. There is no point in discussing the matter with you few hold-outs. Your heads are stuck so far up your rears in an effort to keep yourselves blind to the truth that it is impossible to have a rational discussion. You just keep reciting the repeatedly refuted crackpot crap over and over, and are too stupid to even know what it means for someone to prove you wrong.

    http://www.sciencemag.org
    http://www.nature.com

    Have fun reading…

    And Ron, for the love of God, quit data cherry picking. A hundred groups say one thing, one says contrarian, and guess which one is the ONLY one you mention? Such manipulation of data is the exact opposite of science. You should be ashamed and ask yourself why you have gotten so much worse about this lately.

    I don’t deny that the climate changes, I deny that we as humans caused it to change so drastically that if we don’t do a complete 180 the earth will implode with in 20 years. I mean scientifically speaking (most people laugh at me for this but I’m sorry I don’t see how anyone who calls them self a scientist and doesn’t at least consider this is the moron) the planet has been here for roughly 6 billion years. It has gone through many changes including multiple heating and cooling periods. (ice ages anyone?)

    Life, all of it, everything from our advanced species down to single cell organisms have only inhabited this rock for a fraction of 1% of it’s entire life span. That combined with the fact that something like 95-97% of the total CO2 in the atmosphere is caused by the planet itself. (volcanoes being the #1 contributor followed by decaying plants and animals) It takes a certain amount of audacity and self aggrandizement to think that we could honestly affect the planet in such a drastic manner.

    Again I say just keep me in mind, 20 years, 30 years how ever long it takes but remember this post when your beliefs come crashing down around you. When you find out all of your fear mongering and doom and gloom sky is falling hysteria was all for naught.

  40. Check out climateaudit.org. Serious doubts cast by real climatologists. Chad, insulting people isn’t going to carry the day. There are a lot of dubious assumptions, questionable math, and pure BS being promulgated as facts by AGW advocates such as Hansen, Mann et al.

  41. kaiser – small bone to pick, i think the earliest single-cell organisms appeared something like a billion years ago. Unless the estimates have totally changed recently and I hadn’t noticed, the earth is supposed to be 4.6ish billion, so that’s considerably more than a fraction of a percent.

  42. Hogan

    I believe you are correct about that, which I realized after I typed it. Advanced life forms still fit into that fraction of a percent category though so I think my point still stands. I just didn’t feel like re-posting.

  43. You guys do know that you’re fighting against a consensus that includes pretty much all credible climate experts, right?

    No, actually, show me.
    What denotes a credible,yet consistently debunked, climate “expert”
    over one that shows demonstrable evidence
    to the contrary?
    Are consistent liars subject to financial penalties , or “inciting panic” in this arena?
    How about RICO laws against extortion?

    Have the descendants of Chicken Little learned
    nothing from their ancestors family traditions?

    Apparently The Emperors fashion industry also rans risk no consequences, other than greater expense of other peoples money to appear smugly fashionable.

  44. Why do Al Gore’s speeches seem to regularly get
    canceled due to snow storms?
    Why did the T. Boone Pickens political look alike ads suddenly stop?

    How many displaced AFL-CIO labor union administration jobs could be absorbed by expanded US oil recovery/refinery jobs?

    How many “Doctors of Humanities” are ready to fill the labor gap with the sudden demand for FREE “Health” industries, with union labor
    about to collapse on THAT tax on the GNP?

  45. People have repeatedly passed through the Northwest Passage. Nothing to see here, move along.

    There is a big difference between a 14m yacht and a 133m cargo ship.

  46. How many displaced AFL-CIO labor union administration jobs could be absorbed by expanded US oil recovery/refinery jobs?

    Umm, none? The oil industry isn’t unionized.

  47. If your baby has a fever and you think that it may be getting worse, would you wait until you had proof that she has a deadly fever or would you take some precaution and give her medicine just in case? Sure we might lower GDP growth by .5% a year but …wouldn’t that be worth it to decrease the chances of destroying the planet?

  48. You guys do know that you’re fighting against a consensus that includes pretty much all credible climate experts, right?

    By definition any one who disagrees is not credible.

    How convenient.

  49. Who else is a climate change denier?

    The IPCC.

    Their latest “prediction” is a cooling trend until 2015. It seems they left out the PDO in their previous model. Rather an embarrassment.

    Also they leave out known solar cycles.

    They admit they have no clue about water vapor – they don’t even know the sign – let alone the magnitude.

    Freeman Dyson says we can clear out the CO2 by planting trees for 1/10th the proposed costs. Of destroying our economy. A method not allowed by the “we know what is good for you” crowd.

  50. They’ll switch to studying water vapor as soon as we start making cars that run on hydrogen.

  51. deathByChiChi | December 2, 2008, 9:16pm | #

    Check out climateaudit.org. Serious doubts cast by real climatologists. Chad, insulting people isn’t going to carry the day

    Mathematician =/ climatologist. Sorry, try again. Peer reviewed data would be preferable.

    I insult those who deserve to be insulted, particularly when they refuse to use reason. CO2 caused climate change is not some left-wing conspiracy. It was first predicted in the 1800s, for Christ’s sake.

  52. Carbon trading will lead to ENRON style and ENRON scale rent seeking to the disadvantage of the rest of us.
    AGW is just latter day lysenkoism, state approved pseud-science.

  53. “carbon trading will lead to ENRON style and ENRON scale rent seeking to the disadvantage of the rest of us.”

    This sort of over-cynical thought process is the type of mentality Obama talks about when he describes what is hurting this country. Of course we need to set up rules to prevent Enron style corruption, but now that we aren’t dealing with chrisian fundamentalsit who run oil companies we MIGHT be able tos e up some reasonable policies to prevent us from destroying the earth. Is that so bad?

  54. The Earth is about 4.5 billion years old.

    Simple single-celled organisms have been dated to about 4.4-4.3 billion years ago.

    Complex single-celled organisms date to a little over a billion years along with multi-celled plants and sponge-like animals.

    Complex animals appeared somewhere between 500-700 million years ago.

  55. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas and is more potent than carbon dioxide. However, it tends to cycle through the atmosphere at a far greater rate than CO2.

    Water vapor also forms clouds which can reflect energy back to the surface or back into space.

  56. Climatologist =/ Mathematician

    If the climatologists are using bad math?

    Well I guess relying on their predictions is rather overconfidence.

    I still like trees vs shutting down the electrical grid if something must be done to placate the ignorant.

  57. Of course we need to set up rules to prevent Enron style corruption,

    If Al Gore goes broke I’ll be satisfied with the rules.

    Why not tree planting instead of carbon trading?

  58. “Mathematician =/ climatologist. Sorry, try again. Peer reviewed data would be preferable.”

    Climatologists are not the only people capable of having a credible opinion. Chemists, engineers, mathematicians, and geologists for example are all part of this.

    Apparently some PHD asshole who “studies” climate change as a hobby can as well as long as they agree with the brotherhood of peer-reviewed expert consensus.

  59. Re: we do not know what is happing to the climate.. I would like to remind Rob that this is bad and not good. Climate change is merely one of many symptoms of unsustainable living and pollution.

    In his 1968 book “The Population Bomb”, Paul R. Ehrlich wrote “The greenhouse effect is being enhanced now by the greatly increased level of carbon dioxide… [this] is being countered by low-level clouds generated by contrails, dust, and other contaminants… At the moment we cannot predict what the overall climatic results will be of our using the atmosphere as a garbage dump.”

    He did not dare to speculate if the world would cool or warm up, he merely mentiond both options… but he rightly interpreted either outcome as bad. Just as he correctly predicted, what sounded provocative at the time, that we might be close to 7 billion by the end of the century if trends continue like they have… He was spot on on these “easy” predictions that were also harmless compared to the ecology risk. We can cope with 10 billion or more people living sustinably – but not when we waste and pollute.

    A better quantification of unsustainable living in my book comes for E O Wilson – who claims that climate change is urgent but that species loss is even more important. There – the worst case predictions are becoming reality every day. Measurably… not flat, not flat at all.

    Anyway – say that climate change was all a hoax – like acid rain and the ozone layer hole etc

    There is this guy at Google called Eric Schmidt who claims that it would be better, economically and not environmentally, to switch to RE asap. Again – completely independent of climate change and species loss etc – it would be economically better to adopt solar, wind and geothermal than to not do so.

    How so you might ask. How should this crappy and over-expensive “PC” ever replace our IBM mainframe. I am glad that Ron is not a GM manager – or is he? I am telling you – the H3 is the future. I also have a VHS vcr and CD-ROM business in mind that will certainly interest you… contact me and I will send you the investment opportunities! Then we will be singing songs together.

    Count me in the E O Wilson and Eric Schmidt camp and not the GM, Lomborg, Ron Bailey camp…

    of course politicians are useless – those who seem to understand the environmental situation often do not propose the best policies and those who tend to come up with good policies are apparently mentally and culturally challenged (dominion thinking and the ecology comes after the economy) to understand the fundamental framework that their “smart” (aka market centric) policies depend on utterly…

  60. M. Simon | December 3, 2008, 1:37pm | #

    If the climatologists are using bad math?

    Unlikely, due to peer-review. When mistakes are made concerning anything important, they are usually caught. It is a nice boost to your career to prove someone else wrong. This mathematician’s claim to fame is finding a small error in some NASA climate data, the revision of which switched 1998 from the warmest year on record to the second warmest, with respect to continental US only. 1998 is still tops world-wide, though we are close to that level ever year now.

    The math behind climate change is actually not that complicated and fits nicely onto a sheet of paper. It was discovered in the late 1800s. It has withstood an enormous span of time and is taught, in other contexts, in every third-year chemistry course. It is not disputed in any way.

    Btw, I am a PhD chemist who has dabbled with this topic for over 15 years. So I guess my opinion counts for a lot, right?

  61. “Btw, I am a PhD chemist who has dabbled with this topic for over 15 years. So I guess my opinion counts for a lot, right?”

    Not really, since all your arguments actually just consist of appeals to authority and links to the journal Nature’s main web site telling people there is a consensus, and not actual scientific or logical arguments. Even the expert peers you supposedly agree with would laugh at you.

  62. Ron,

    Can you give me some decent links related to the research on loss of biodiversity? Not to-hell-with-biodiversity approach, but policies ensuring the survival of species.

    Thanks,
    oleg

  63. Here is some science:

    It is the sun.

    And a quote:

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 3, 2008) – The sun’s magnetic field may have a significant impact on weather and climatic parameters in Australia and other countries in the northern and southern hemispheres. According to a study in Geographical Research, the droughts are related to the solar magnetic phases and not the greenhouse effect.

  64. Can you give me some decent links related to the research on loss of biodiversity? Not to-hell-with-biodiversity approach, but policies ensuring the survival of species.

    Prevent large meteor hits.

  65. Chad,

    You obviously have not studied the matter. If climatologists are using bad math and they are not reviewed by mathematicians how can the problems be fixed?

    climateaudit.com is reviewing the math. They have found numerous errors. The most famous being the bad math Mann used to develop the Hockey Stick.

    If you don’t know your Butterworth filter from your Bessel filter or anything about the end point problem. Or why a FFT may not be suitable for irregular functions perhaps you might want to brush up before commenting.

  66. BTW Chad, Steve McIntyre of climateaudit.com has so embarrassed the Global Warming Community that he is now – from time to time and grudgingly – included on some peer review committees.

    You really need to keep up. Before you further embarrass yourself.

    I was under the impression that a Real Scientist? studied a controversy before making pronouncements. Trust is for politics – in science we verify.

  67. M Simon

    …policies ensuring the survival of species: Prevent large meteor hits.

    E O Wilson points out that we are experiencing the same biodiversity loss today as we have only 65 million years ago before.. after a meteor had hit.

    Because we know that sun can cause cancer – we could tell that something else was at play in Australia when rates started raising. The ozon layer might have killed us unless discovered by an astronaut by chance. well – not taking comprehensive measures might have killed us as well. i hope you understand that public concern in this area and also advocacy is not about youonlyneedadaamncauseinordertomakeotherfeelbadaboutthemselvesandyouarenottrulypersonallyattachedbutiamnowcauseihavetodefendmyselftotheendalalal….

    and with all due respect, M Simon, but climataudit.org? what’s that – a new, peer-reviewed Ivy League publication? no – it’s a freakin blog.. by another math guy named lomborg.. eh.. steve. chad rightly pointed out the NASA data which is well known to the scientific community. As chad said – real peer-reviews – not blogs with comments from M Simon. The data correction has not changed the overall scientific consensus that we are now dealing with more than the “old” causes of climate changes like the sun. we knows this because the same scientific, peer-reviewed journals and universities, not blogs, have first shown that the sun influences the climate. and your pal the Colonel is complaining about other using higher authority links.. sweet group here.

    anyway – i would like to repeat that Eric @ Google claims that going green and clean is economically better for us than staying dirty. thank the lord that, at least Californians, are still ameri-can. it is alien for them to think: i only believe in this “PC” revolution when i see it. let the chinese build a good PC first then maybe i will move my ass too…

  68. Not really, since all your arguments actually just consist of appeals to authority

    The world’s leading scientific journals are the exact opposite of “appeals to authority”

    “M. Simon | December 3, 2008, 7:48pm | #

    BTW Chad, Steve McIntyre of climateaudit.com has so embarrassed the Global Warming…”

    Oh really? How? By repeatedly getting his manuscripts rejected and repeatedly having them refuted in peer-reviewed publications…

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=8

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