Climate Change

Is Climate Change Already Solved?

"The market is clearly headed towards clean energy, and that trend will only become more pronounced."

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 BaileyCOP22
Ronald Bailey

Marrakech—The global clean energy transition has already taken off. That is the mantra repeated in countless speeches, presentations, panel discussions, activist manifestoes, open letters and official pronouncements here at the COP22 U.N. climate change conference. If true, then the problem of man-made global warming is well on the way to being solved.

For example, in his swan song on Wednesday at COP22, Secretary of State John Kerry declared, "The market is clearly headed towards clean energy, and that trend will only become more pronounced." He continued, "The United States is right now, today, on our way to meeting all of the international targets that we've set, and because of the market decisions that are being made, I do not believe that that can or will be reversed." At the High-Level Meeting on Climate Change involving CEOs and government officials on Wednesday in Marrakech, Lise Kingo, Executive Director of the U.N. Global Compact asserted: "The climate movement is unstoppable. More and more companies are taking action, and seeing new opportunities for growth and innovation."

On Wednesday, the leaders of some 300 businesses signed an open letter urging President-elect Trump to support the Paris Agreement. In conjunction with the letter Matt Patsky, CEO of the socially responsible Trillium Asset Management firm stated, "The enormous momentum generated by the business and investment community to address climate change cannot be reversed and cannot be ignored by the Trump administration. That train has left the station and to stand in its way is folly."

These business leaders evidently agree with Kerry's assertion that "ultimately, clean energy is expected to be a multitrillion dollar market – the largest market the world has ever known. And no nation will do well if it sits on the sidelines, handicapping its new businesses from reaping the benefits of the clean-tech explosion." In a press briefing on Thursday Grenada-based climate negotiator Leon Charles concurred, "The U.S. will have to decide if it wants to be stuck with old technologies or new more efficient clean energy technologies. The best way to respond to the Trump phenomenon is to continue and accelerate the momentum toward a clean energy economy."

Of course, if renewable energy turns out to be cheaper, American companies will not let themselves be stuck with old fossil fuel technologies, but will race to invest in, create and install those sources of power. If markets are already generating the clean energy transition, then the Paris Agreement is largely irrelevant, right?

Not so fast. The government officials, businesspeople, and activists gathered at COP22 don't actually appear to quite believe what they are saying about the profitability and inevitability of the clean energy transition they are championing. Instead, they insist that governments have got to send "signals" to the energy markets in order to assure shareholders and corporations that their investments are sound. "The private sector welcomed the signals that we sent in Paris, but they are demanding even stronger signals now – the private sector – so that they can invest clean energy solutions with even greater confidence," explained Kerry. What sort of signals are they supposedly demanding? Subsidies, tax breaks, mandates and regulations that favor renewable energy technologies, of course. Let's just say that such interventions in commerce do not "signal" a lot of trust in the operation of markets to produce the clean energy results that the folks at COP22 insist are already on the way.

The Marrakech Action Proclamation

On Thursday evening, the Marrakech Action Proclamation for Our Climate and Sustainable Development was agreed to by all 197 countries at COP22. "Our climate is warming at an alarming and unprecedented rate and we have the urgent duty to respond," asserts the Proclamation. It cites the "extraordinary momentum on climate change worldwide" made during this past year and declares that "this momentum is irreversible." And it calls for "the highest political commitment to combat climate change, as a matter of urgent priority." The Proclamation seems to be aimed directly at President-elect Trump. According to Christian Aid's international climate lead Mohamed Adow, the Proclamation "underlines the determination of world leaders that they will not let the election of Donald Trump hijack the important work being done to secure the safe future of our planet."

A Trump Green Infrastructure Fantasy

Donald Trump wants to be the "infrastructure president," observed U.N. advisor and Columbia University development economist Jeffrey Sachs during a Thursday session at the COP22 U.N. climate change conference. Sachs spun out a scenario in which the day after he takes office Trump reads the Obama administration's Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization which was just released as part of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change commitment process. In Sachs' fantasy Trump immediately realizes that the Mid-Century Strategy is essentially a massive decades-long series of infrastructure projects. His competitive spirit aroused, Trump purportedly vows that the United States will build the "cleanest and greenest infrastructure in the world." The folks over at the Niskanen Center have floated the idea that Trump might even consider a carbon tax as a way to pay for his trillion dollar infrastructure plan.

A Short Kind Word for the Paris Agreement?

Unlike the misbegotten Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement is not structured as a top-down centralized plan for the climate. I correctly predicted back in 2004 that "there will be no further global treaties that set binding limits on the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) after Kyoto runs out in 2012." Instead, the Paris Agreement's design is more like a bottom-up decentralized federal system for governing the atmospheric global commons. Similar to the U.S. Constitution, the Paris Agreement is largely a procedural document. It sets no binding limits on what a country must do with regard to man-made climate change. Each country decides on its own climate change commitments based on its own domestic concerns and priorities. Since each country picks its policies for its own reasons, there is possibly a greater likelihood that they will be fulfilled than when they were imposed from outside as they were under the Kyoto Protocol. In addition, the bottom-up structure means that the incentives of countries to reset their climate policies are less affected when a country, say, the United States, withdraws from the Agreement.

The Surprisingly Happy Conclusion of COP22

Unlike most of the previous COPs on which I have reported there was very little drama here in Marrakech. The participants maintained a sense of calm even despite the fact that the Trump election was somewhat disconcerting to many of them.

So, according to participants, what are the main achievements of COP22? "First and foremost it is a celebration of the entering into force of the Paris Agreement and the start of the CMA1," declared Elina Bardram, the head of the European Union's delegation. The CMA1 is the first official meeting of the parties of the Paris Agreement. Bardram added, "I think we have the makings of a beautiful process." Bardram is not alone in thinking that the negotiations at COP22 have gone splendidly. U.S. special climate envoy Jonathan Pershing certainly concurred, "We have had quite a successful week here at COP22." Grenada-based negotiator Leon Charles declared, "We believe that the most important achievement of this COP is the operationalizing of the Paris Agreement."

Why all of the comity and good feelings? First, because Paris Agreement on Climate Change has come into force in record time – in less than year—for a multilateral international pact. So far 111 countries responsible for more than 75 percent of the global emissions of greenhouse gases have ratified or accepted it. Second, the delegates convened the first Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1) in Marrakech. This is significant because the parties could agree on and launch various processes for creating the "Paris rulebook" by 2020.

Among other things, the Paris rulebook will set out standards for reporting, monitoring, and verifying the nationally determined contributions to addressing man-made global warming promised by signatories. In addition, the CMA1 inaugurated negotiations concerning assorted financial issues, including how much and from what sources rich countries are supposed to be obligated to pay to poor countries to help them cope with a warmer world and make the transition to low carbon energy. Thus each country's negotiators can depart Marrakech happily imagining that the future decisions at the next COPs will go their way. For climate bureaucrats, a beautiful process indeed!

Note: This is my last daily dispatch from the COP22 U.N. climate change conference in Marrakech.

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  1. Secretary of State John Kerry declared, “The market is clearly headed towards clean energy, and that trend will only become more pronounced.” He continued, “The United States is right now, today, on our way to meeting all of the international targets that we’ve set, and because of the market decisions that are being made, I do not believe that that can or will be reversed.”

    John Kerry said something i agree with? Man, i hate days like today.

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    2. Read further. Kerry is referring to a centrally planned and controlled market that requires stronger “signals” from the state.

      1. Unlike oil and coal which never interact with the state.

        1. How’s New Zealand? Is it better for you, now that you’re amoungst your own Troll kind now?

        2. Which they shouldn’t, and to the extent that they do, fuck ’em. How do you still not know what libertarianism is? You’re like a fish that refuses to acknowledge water.

          1. It’s Tony, he’s incapable of any argument that doesn’t amount to a soviet-style whataboutism.

            1. Tony is Sinead O’Connor on the Sinatra group from SNL.

        3. You are seriously fucking stupid. What libertarian likes an subsidy?

      2. Ok. So i agree with Kerry’s statement, but only insofar as it’s taken at the actual meaning of “market,” not whatever bullshit fuckery Kerry thinks it means. I feel better now.

        1. If you want to know what Kerry means, gaze into the abyss of Tony.

          1. No way. Tony’s abyss is nobody’s business but his and his gynecologist’s.

  2. “Humble”, Mr. Bailey? Come now. : P

  3. Climate change will never be solved as long as white people have access to electricity.

    If you fucking loved science, you would know this.

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    1. See. Ronal’d? Victoria here gets it; she doesn’t seem the least bit concerned about this nonsense.

  5. What disgusts me the most, Ronal’d Bejlij, is besides all this hubbub of your peers (and you, more often than not) running about with +2 Hammers of Obstinance forever in search of climate nails, is the fact that you *TOTALLY* have ignored the humour potential with, “Marrakech,” as it was central to the smuggling of antiquities trade in the Indiana Jones movies, particularly, The Last Crusade. The jokes, they write themselves. You must have your head in the clouds.

    This is worse than you dropping the Rio brick joke when you were wasting Reason Foundation money reporting on exactly the same thing in Brazil. In fact, I’ll bet your reports on this are just Mad Libs and you fill in the local details, since the stories always end the same.

    1. I wouldn’t say it’s a waste of time, personally I appreciate that he goes to these to report on what happens there even if it’s always the same old tired shtick; that isn’t Ron’s fault. The only real disappointment is that it’s a real missed opportunity for Gonzo Journalism but I don’t think Ron does enough drugs for that.

  6. Unlike the misbegotten Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement is not structured as a top-down centralized plan for the climate. I correctly predicted back in 2004 that “there will be no further global treaties that set binding limits on the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) after Kyoto runs out in 2012.” Instead, the Paris Agreement’s design is more like a bottom-up decentralized federal system for governing the atmospheric global commons. Similar to the U.S. Constitution, the Paris Agreement is largely a procedural document. It sets no binding limits on what a country must do with regard to man-made climate change.

    I guess the idea is that they don’t want another Kyoto-situation, where some non-participant like the US ‘shames’ them all by beating them at their own game w/o ever even signing the stupid agreement. Now they can all just self-assess and give themselves a gold-star for effort.

    1. Even better, Gilmore, is a non-participant that they blame for ruining the Earth beats them all out in emission reductions.

  7. Looks like a white flag of surrender to the market solutions. But of course they will claim the markets only responded because they pushed them into it rather than having the greedy quest to increase profits being responsible.

    1. I love this “market has solved it” stuff.
      How is spending untold amounts of money and diverting otherwise profitable resources to a boogeyman scenario some 100 years out a market solution?
      I say we create a “the ocean is getting diluted with too much fresh water from rivers and if we do not stop it, in 150 years, the lessened salinity will upset the global balance of life in the oceans, thus causing tremendous human suffering and threatening future food supplies and weather patterns” catastrophe that is entirely non-provable albeit entirely believable and can be blamed on industry ultimately. Of course the end goal would simply be a Marxists utopia. Is that possible?

      Renewal energies are still 100% subsidized so there is no reason corporations are investing in any sort of alt fuel other than free money or for favorable marketing and PR.
      CNG was the only viable alternative fuel that had an economic component to it until the petroleum price collapsed.

      If 300 corporations are getting behind sustainability, is there any chance that they see this as an opportunity for subsidy or even, wait for it, to pass mandates that their competition cannot afford?

      1. ” pass mandates that their competition cannot afford”

        That’s just crazy talk. Why, the government colluding with business could never result in such a thing.

        Unless it’s icky fucking coal or oil, then it’s obvious that the businesses own the government. /Tony

      2. CNG was the only viable alternative fuel that had an economic component to it until the petroleum price collapsed.

        I think there needs to be a ‘think about that’ moment. *Generations* of conspiracy theories about energy conglomerates suppressing all manner of disruptive free energy schemes.

        Just imagine successful green energy for a moment. Power becomes so widely available, cheap, and (somewhat paradoxically) readily profitable that people can’t build generators fast enough. Oil prices plummet and their markets topple. Entire communities built not just around fuel, but the actual production plants, collapse. It sounds catastrophic, but nobody’s worried because powering your home for years costs pennies on the dollar. Nobody starves because it’s too damn simple for your neighbors who have jobs just to order twice the amount of groceries to be delivered via drone from Amazon. It would be like a second green industrial revolution.

        Now, we come back to reality, where the ‘modestly disruptive technology’ is CNG and oil shale and we know nobody got assassinated for it because it’s been talked about for decades. Where the entire world is, at best, slow-walking it’s way to green energy because it feels like it has to and the COP22 declares, “Yay! We’re winning!”

      3. It’s actually really sad from a scientific standpoint and retarded from a moral one that they’re declaring victory like this.

  8. Sweet. Hang the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner.

  9. Hey guy who makes all of his money off of the well being of “green” companies, if it’s all inevitable, why do you need Trump to support it? If these totally viable companies are definitely going to be profitable because everyone is going to buy what they’re selling, then you don’t need government to prop them up, right?

    These people must think we’re idiots.

    1. Because Republicans are so fucking stupid, and Trump is 10 times as stupid, that out of an apelike sense of tribalism alone they’d use government to quash a booming market in green energy just to stick it to the damn hippies.

      They are not smart people.

      1. Hey, asshole, tell us about “democracy” again! I love lefty tears.

      2. Oil and coal are cheaper sources of energy by leaps and bounds. Unless hobbled by dumbfuck progs out of an apelike sense of tribalism alone to use government to quash the already booming market in fossil fuels, how do you expect green energy to compete even with tremendous public malinvestment?

      3. Hey buddy. How are your skinny jeans?

        Question for you Copernicus:
        Aren’t increased emissions a good thing for humanity? if more energy is being produced and more fuel is being spent around the world, is that not a sign of a healthy economy and growing emerging economies? After all, we want poor people around the world to have an increased standard of living and improved living conditions right? What better way for the starving masses to end their suffering than healthy capital markets right?
        That way, more people around the world have access to opportunity though improved employment opportunities, wealth accumulation, capital investment, and freer markets.
        So in that sense, burning fossil fuels, which are still the only viable, economical, and profitable production of energy is a net boon for the world right? Otherwise, you would not want these peoples’ lives to improve would you?
        That would make you a god damn savage.

        1. Tony loves poor, indigent people so much, he just wants the US to become more like Zimbabwe.

      4. Say more stuff about how kettles are tribal, pot.

      5. Because Democrats are so fucking stupid, and *Generic Dem* is 10 times as stupid, that out of an apelike sense of tribalism alone they’d use government to quash a booming market in fracking just to stick it to the damn working class.

        They are not smart people.

        Fixed that for you.

      6. So, I take this to mean that you support removing subsidy from all forms of energy production to see who would actually win out in the free market then Tony?

        Or are you saying that the artificially propped up Green energy movement can’t survive without subsidy when put up against other forms of energy?

        That must be it.

        1. Don’t do this stuff to tony. provoking thought causes a swarm of bees and loud whistles to buzz in his head.

          The inevitable consequence is a tirade consisting of about 9 tag words that he got from bill maher

          1. You’re under the misapprehension that I don’t want Tony’s head to be full of bee’s and whistles.

      7. It’s funny to hear you refer to “tribalism” as a bad thing.

      8. Relax, Tony these guys are, in practice, on your side. The libertarians are whooping for open borders, which will, in the long run, import a new electorate which will vote the way you want.

        Utopia is only a generation or so away.

      9. A booming market in green energy.

        Yep.

    2. Worse, they know we’re not but they just don’t care.

  10. Your humble correspondent

    Rick Steves, you spelled your name wrong.

  11. Note: This is my last daily dispatch from the COP22 U.N. climate change conference in Marrakech.

    This is the best news of the article.

    Can we get some other topic soon?

  12. If markets are already generating the clean energy transition, then the Paris Agreement is largely irrelevant, right?

    Neither markets nor carbon…not even climate has nothing to do with political impetus for Paris Agreement. What its about is handing out checks – to the tune of $100 billion by 2020 – from ‘rich’ countries to ‘poor’ ones for ‘climate adaptation.’ It is a huge slush fund operation they’re trying to get off the ground, and little else. There wouldn’t be an agreement what so ever without the slush fund; carbo-targets were a sideshow from negotiation perspective when scribbling this turd up, it was and still is all about the slush fund.

    Don’t follow the carbon Ron, follow the money.

    1. I thought bureaucrats were benevolent.

      Are you saying they are just moronic, corrupt, thieving, crony scum?

      1. Obviously they were corrupted by businesses.

        1. Ohhhh. I had it the other way around.

  13. “The enormous momentum generated by the business and investment community to address climate change cannot be reversed and cannot be ignored by the Trump administration. That train has left the station and to stand in its way is folly.”

    The only remaining thing to do is force the free markets to continue this market based transition.

    1. Indeed sir. Nothing resonates in the minds of Marxists sheep more than the words “free markets.”

      in fact, I would wager a ruble or two that Tony thinks free markets are houses of commerce where merchants eagerly exchange their capital and labor for nothing in return.

  14. On Thursday evening, the Marrakech Action Proclamation for Our Climate and Sustainable Development was agreed to by all 197 countries at COP22.

    You can’t get 197 countries to all agree about anything unless you’re throwing out checks to the tune of a few billion dollars to the 3rd world and developing economies. Go ahead and ask all those 197 countries any political question you care to think up and see if they have the same unanimous opinion on it. If there isn’t a giant wealth transfer involved, I guarantee you the international community wouldn’t give a single shit about it.

    The proof of this is simple: in Ron’s other reports on the same subject from the same conference many of these economies are still constructing coal fired power generators and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. What does this tell you about their ‘commitment’ to crippling their own power economies?

    It’s obvious that the only reason there’s any kind of international consensus on the topic is because of the checks. If it wasn’t for those, these same conferences would be filled with laughter as the 1st World tells them to fuck themselves over. This absolutely isn’t about the environment, it’s about keeping the developed world under the control of the 1st World.

  15. “Is Climate Change Already Solved?”

    In so much as we’ve reduced our emissions to well below what they were before Kyoto (if I remember your article correctly), why should we be bothered with whether or not it is solved? I say we’ve done our part, now it’s up to everyone else.

  16. If true, then the problem of man-made global warming is well on the way to being solved.

    Ron, it’s sad to see you desperately clinging to your fantasy that somehow humanity can be saved from the wrath of Gaia and just punishment for its sins but I’m afraid the science is settled – it’s already too late to do anything about global warming and we’ll all be dead soon so just accept our coming extinction and move on. Twenty years ago we were warned we only had ten years or so to take drastic action and eight years ago we were warned we had only four years before runaway global warming would become baked into the cake. We failed to take drastic action to reverse CO2 emissions – not just to stop pumping CO2 into the atmosphere but actually start actively removing CO2 – and now it’s game over for our species. So let’s all just stop talking about global warming now because what difference, at this point, does it make? You can’t put the spilled milk back in the toothpaste tube when you’ve already driven over the cliff.

    1. Don’t worry Jerry. We have 20 years and then another 120 years until the next busted dooms day prediction does not come true so we have time to enjoy ourselves. Clearly this is a call for reckless abandon as we spiral downward into the burning toaster oven that one day will be earth for our great, great, great, great grandchildren.
      At that point, all they need to do is extend the deadline a few more generations.

      I am going to party my ass off and spend all of my money until I am 90.

      1. Do you ever wonder if in 1,000 years some archeologist will come across one of these crazy future predictions and it will spark all kinds of specials and articles like the Mayan calendar did?

        1. Comedy Special, tonight! Dipshit Ancient Doomsaying

    2. You can’t put the spilled milk back in the toothpaste tube when you’ve already driven over the cliff.

      This made me chuckle.

  17. RE: Is Climate Change Already Solved?
    “The market is clearly headed towards clean energy, and that trend will only become more pronounced.”

    Oh no!
    Only raping the US taxpayers out of a few trillion dollars can global cooling, I mean, global warming, no, I mean climate change be solved.
    Taking trillions of taxpayer’s money for another weather-related hoax is the only way to solve this problem.
    Don’t believe me?
    Just ask any of the corrupt officials at the UN.

    1. But will it patch the holes in the ozone layer?!

      1. UnCivilServant,

        Of course he will… for the small price of, say, $150 trillion.
        But isn’t that a small price to pay for knowing the holes in the ozone are now patched up?
        Then we can all sleep at night knowing our money was well spent.

      2. Three things here:

        A) The hole is actually shrinking after the ban of certain chemical compounds in refrigerants and aerosols, which does lend some credence to the idea that they were at least partially responsible although it isn’t necessarily proof.

        B) The hole in the Ozone layer won’t ever fully go away, since it’s also a natural phenomenon as far as we can figure out.

        C) There doesn’t seem to be any noticeable difference in anything one way or the other with the hole being bigger, or smaller. Possibly because it’s over the artic. (or Antarctic, whatever. I can’t be bothered to look up which pole it’s over.) It’s also possible O3 is a byproduct and has absolutely nothing to do with anything other than indicating how much UV is hitting the atmosphere in that area.

        1. And I realize this is almost entirely tangential, I’m just bored.

          1. Yeah, and I’m not in the least bit concerned about it. I brought it up in the theme of “Eco-scares from the past used to bludgeon the productive”.

            1. Tony thinks there is a round hole somewhere in the sky that we are going to patch up with a giant piece of cellophane.

  18. Not sure if they know it, but chatter like this is a very bad sign for those who wish to continue to use climate as a political lever. Because, how many outcomes are possible and likely, given the opposition, and the public’s short attention span? At some future time, the narrative will be “thank goodness the state was able to do as much as it did to get the ball rolling, while the political will existed to do it, or we might not be having this conversation,” and statements like this one are laying the groundwork for that.

  19. Surely it will seem like “we” are more moving toward clean energy, at least to the hordes of peasants who slowly lose access to fuel and technology. What could be cleaner than nothing?

    But the pools and mansions of the world’s “educated elite” aren’t going to heat themselves.

  20. the problem of man-made global warming

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

  21. Almost all of the customers for my company are energy companies — either generation & transmission companies or distribution energy companies — and the majority of the new products we’ve developed are to assist in deployment of community solar farms. These have very recently become economically viable – and by “recently” I mean in the last 12 months or so. Our customer’s customers are constantly requesting ways that they can reduce their carbon footprint. The demand is bubbling up fast, and the market is shifting every day to meet it.

    I tell this to my proggie friends and they are absolutely blown out of the water. They can hardly believe that the market cares what its customers want. I keep telling them all they have to do is vote with their wallet to enact change…

    1. Will this make a difference? Everything I read indicates that we have passed the point of no return and the climate is going to heat beyond the point at which agriculture in the temperate zones will be viable by the end of the century. I would like to believe that’s not true but everything I read in Scientific American and the National Geographic says otherwise.

  22. Do you consider this unprecedented event to be a problem or not?

    1. Given that such anomalies are perfectly to be expected, no. Remember how they say, weather is not the same thing as climate? This is what they mean. In reading the linked article, you should stop after the first paragraph, because after that point, it is nothing but editorializing, embarrassing to any serious researcher. If you look into the source data, you can conclude a few things:

      a) You could have written an article a couple of weeks ago, saying that the arctic temperature was rapidly descending from a too-high-by 15?C peak.

      b) This article could have said that the arctic temperature is rapidly descending, currently, from a peak of nearly 20?C too high.

      c) No fewer than three times earlier this year, you could have written articles saying that the arctic temperature was too high by about 15?C.

      d) About a year ago, you could have written an article alerting that the arctic temperature was inexplicably and rapidly rising, having gained nearly 15?C in just over a week.

      e) If you go back through the years, you will find various times when you could have written an article warning that something was ominously wrong due to the temperature being too cold .

      And so on, and so forth. Point being, there is much variability on small time scales, and people should not write alarmist articles like the one you linked. Not saying it isn’t a curiosity, and fascinating, in terms of hypothesizing about which factors might be coming together to produce such effects.

      1. Are there any disturbing factors that produce this effect? I recall last winter, in December or January, that there was the first recorded day in the arctic winter above freezing since the middle of the 1800’s?

        What concerns me is that temperatures this warm during the arctic winter were never recorded before the 21st century.

        1. Are there any disturbing factors that produce this effect?

          It’s a complex system, with many interdependent factors. Air and sea temp affect ice cover, which affects absorption of solar energy, which can affect the jet stream, etc. Are you aware that parts of central Russia are currently seeing -40?C?

          I recall last winter, in December or January, that there was the first recorded day in the arctic winter above freezing since the middle of the 1800’s?

          I guess you would be referring to this. As stated, it did not actually get above freezing, and if it had, it would have been the fourth time since 1948. And either way, this is not climate — it is a rise literally attributed to a storm, where temps went from -37?C up to -8? in a one-day period; this doesn’t even show up in the data referenced in the tweet, referenced in the article you linked.

          What concerns me is that temperatures this warm during the arctic winter were never recorded before the 21st century.

          Again, anomalous spikes say nothing about global climate change. Look at the data; you have high-temp spikes in 1996, and low-temp spikes in 1997; look at the spring of 1972; with short-term weather, you can find pretty much whatever you like.

          1. Is there any evidence that these spikes are more common recently?

            1. Not that I know of. Someone could try to show that, but the data is noisy and difficult to characterize in this way. However, I don’t see what would be the point, since the observation itself would be meaningless, outside the context of some specific rationale by which it would be claimed that any observed trend, in either direction, should correlate with changes in climate, in either direction.

              Meaning: let’s stipulate the data shows that short-term fluctuations (leaving aside that we are not even specifying whether we mean hourly, daily, or monthly, which could all go in different directions, and imply different things) have significantly increased or decreased in frequency and/or intensity; depending on the magnitudes observed, by what rationale can we then say that this is either expected or unexpected, for a climate that has either warmed or cooled by 1?C?

              Given that you ask such things, I am left with the idea that you are neither looking at the data, nor really even grasping the separation between short- and long-term trends, and what it is possible for them to mean.

              1. I haven’t had much luck in finding discussions of the data that aren’t ideological. I’m not an expert; I’m a talented amateur whose job requires me to read a lot of complicated studies in an unrelated field, so I have some idea of how to interpret complex data if I can find something that translates the technical vocabulary.

                1. Well, as long as you can define what it is you’re looking to study, it is just an exercise in building curves, and then comparing series to try and find patterns. Just go to the page with the nice yearly graphs and imagine trying to build curves to fit all of the fluctuations. You have to choose the resolution you are after, whether hourly, daily, monthly, because as you can see just by looking, you should expect to find different trends depending on which you choose (remember, the whole question of climate change itself can be characterized as a difference over time in fluctuation, the “spikes” here simply being the nice, regular yearly temperature cycle).

                  After doing that, you would then need to come up with logic that compares one year to another to find whether fluctuations are increasing, decreasing, circular, or are perhaps just random. You can see where this would not exactly be trivial, since you won’t have a nice year-to-year matchup of anomalies like you do with the yearly cycle; you would need to use a set of tolerances whereby you calculate that the likelihood of having a spike of N degrees on day X is Y, and year Z is differing from that by some factor. And from there, you could proceed to build year-over-year trends.

                  But as I say, I don’t see the point, since this sort of analysis would be of more interest to a meteorologist, than a climatologist.

  23. There is nothing to solve. It’s not a problem.

    Slow drivers in the left-hand lane. That’s a problem.

    Left hand turn traffic lights that won’t let you make up your own mind about when to turn left. That’s a problem.

    Traffic lights that don’t sense traffic and adjust signalling accordingly are a problem.

    American beer. That’s a problem.

    Climate change? Not a problem. Nature.

  24. As long as consumers are free to buy the energy sources they care to in a market free of government intervention, then all will be well…

  25. Related articles:

    Keep It In The Ground: A Global Carbon Budget
    John Kerry’s Climate Change Swan Song at Marrakech
    Is the ‘Momentum’ for Action on Climate Change Unstoppable?

    Seriously, why does Reason continue to employ this foaming greenhadi?

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