Science

We Broke the Climate and We Can Fix It

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It's way past time for humans to start devising an emergency back-up planetary cooling system.

Should man-made global warming turn out to be faster and more intense than currently projected, we need a plan for how to respond. Geoengineering offers one possible answer.

Broadly speaking, climate geoengineering proposals fall into two categories: carbon dioxide removal and solar reflection. The first involves diverting carbon dioxide from power plant emissions or soaking it up directly from the atmosphere and then burying it underground. The second category—the chief focus of some surprisingly informative congressional hearings in November—entails marine cloud brightening or stratospheric aerosol dispersal.

Marine cloud brightening would involve spraying saltwater into the air as a way to make low-level clouds over the ocean, thus reflecting back more incoming sunlight. As Kelly Wanser, the principal director of the Marine Cloud Brightening Project at the University of Washington, testified during those November hearings, experiments using natural materials, and with localized effects lasting only a couple of days, could "be highly controlled and performed under existing regulatory and jurisdictional frameworks."

The other method involves injecting tiny bright particles 7 to 31 miles up into the stratosphere. The 1991 eruption of the Mount Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines, which hurled 22 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the air, created a natural solar reflection experiment. The resulting global haze reflected enough sunlight to lower the average temperature of the planet by nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit for two years.

To offset man-made warming, a group organized by former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold has proposed constructing a set of five 18-mile hoses held up with helium balloons to pump liquefied sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. The group estimated 10 years ago that the project would cost a mere $150 million to build and $100 million a year to operate, highlighting the fact that climate interventions don't necessarily have to come from the U.S. government.

Sunlight reflection methods could provide humanity with more time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But deploying them is a long-term commitment, since a halt would lead to an immediate steep increase in global temperatures. Given these considerations, the time to explore the risks and benefits is now.

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  1. There is no scientific consensus on “man-made” global warming (or, should we say, climate change).
    I hope Reason and M. Bailey, who we saw much more inspired in the past, will soon come back to their senses.
    .
    .
    “Geoengineering Side Effects Could Be Potentially Disastrous, Research Shows”: goo.gl/UdBvS7

    1. There is no scientific consensus on “man-made” global warming

      Incorrect. There is very widespread agreement that human activity is a significant contributor to a rise in average global temperatures. There is less agreement on the magnitude and future consequences, but even then the variation tends to go from “minor and manageable, maybe even beneficial” to “major and catastrophic”. That latter extreme is not as strongly held among the scientific community as popular reporting would suggest, though there does seem to be more people who come down on the “significant negative consequences” side.

      None of this necessarily implies that the plans above are a good idea.

      1. So, there is no consensus on whether this is a dangerous issue.

        1. I would say the degree of danger is debated, which should not really be at all surprising to anyone who looks beyond the headlines.

        2. The consensus consists of three distinct and potentially diametrically opposed camps, as LP1477 states. Some heads are able to hold ‘distinct and diametrically opposed’ and ‘consensus’ together. There is a consensus as to whether those people should generally be regarded as sane.

          1. I don’t see how the so-called “luke warmers” and, I guess, “scalding hotters” (I made that one up just now) are diametrically opposed on the question of whether human activity is significantly contributing to warming, which is the question on which there is a strong consensus. And I still contend that honest climate scientists that aren’t preening for the camera will readily admit that there is still a lot of uncertainty in how this will all play out. I think many would also say that risks posed by the upper end of what they consider the plausible range of warming are large enough to warrant action now. Honest people can and do disagree with that latter assessment, as well as on what constitutes appropriate action in the short term. These are the types of subtleties that the extremes on both end paper over, which I find rather annoying.

            1. I think many would also say that risks posed by the upper end of what they consider the plausible range of warming are large enough to warrant action now.

              I would say since the “plausible range” hasn’t really changed since 1979 that the science has been on the wrong tract for a very long time.

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            2. If technology really has advanced so rapidly that we could impose various “green schemes” by government design without adversely impacting our development much, doesn’t it seem plausible that “green” practices will soon enough advance to become completely painless, with e.g. green energy becoming cost effective on the open market and schemes like artificial trees doing an enormous amount of work? Isn’t the scale of the problem, if the estimation is indeed on the high end, such that it would be rather masochistic (and classist) on the part of humanity to be sweating this penny-ante shit? Like the (again classist) “every little bit counts,” “make a gesture,” “change the way we think; change our lifestyle” shit that makes excuses for useless “green theater” personal sacrifices?

              1. …In any case, I blame the climate scientist community if we really do fuck the planet, because the entire field has crossed the line from scientist, with its ethical constrictions to simply tell the objective truth, to scientifically-informed activist, who are tasked with promoting a particular public policy and even permitted to outright lie in their pursuit of “doing real good in the world.” See “secondhand smoke”–acute aggravation of asthma, effect from very very heavy long term exposure on the very small baseline nonsmoker rate of lung cancer somewhere between nothing and a comparatively small 40% elevation, no other effect ever demonstrated; but secondhand smoke was the “externality” weapon to destroy the commonly held libertarian mentality to smoking, so this and other (spectacularly successful) lies were in order in the no-holds-barred jihad against the evil lying tobacco companies. (Now they have begun to believe their own fanatical religion, and this fanaticism–see vaping is not safe–is destroying their own supposed objective.) Fuck these motherfuckers, is what I’m saying.

                1. …They want to say, “We are the climate scientists; we all are in complete agreement; trust our ‘theory’ or you are essentially not a believer in the conclusions of science, a flat-earther or creationist.” They do this as advocates, because they are dissatisfied with being bookish paper publishers and want to feel they are stepping up and saving the world, making a difference and battling the bad guys who are anti-science (and probably creationists themselves, you know those kinds of people). And then laypeople who like thinking of themselves as the sorts of people who “respect science” (you know, not like those people) but don’t actually have any familiarity with it regard “climate science” as though it is a thing like physics or whatever, when actually to make these models about where we’ll be in 2100 by its very nature draws on projections of an enormous variety, some quite speculative and removed from any one person’s area of expertise.

                  1. Isn’t questioning theories sort of a scientist’s job? And the way a scientist tests theories is science.

                2. Great comment.

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        1. My neighbor’s wife makes $73 on my laptop, and even more on the sofa top.

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      3. though there does seem to be more people who come down on the “significant negative consequences” side.

        Yes, though if you look at their “significant negative consequences”, they don’t make much sense because they talk about things that happen on the timescale of centuries as if they occurred overnight.

        Sea level rise at a few feet per century are not a “significant negative consequence”, they are irrelevant to humanity. Ditto for shifts in the location of arable land. How do we know? Because we experienced more significant changes over the last century and we became enormously richer while they were happening.

        1. Except, there could be catastrophic events caused by global warming, such as submarine slides caused by the warming that release large amounts of methane, or methane being released from melting permafrost. The chances of that happening anytime soon are small, but we should be aware of the possibilities.

            1. Submarine landslides and tsunamis happen are a constant risk, climate change or not. Living near the coast is dangerous, which is why traditionally, people tended to live somewhat more inland if they could.

              Destroying the global economy in order to reduce the risk of tsunamis by a meaningless amount is a very, very bad tradeoff.

          1. AND ALL THE CLATHRATES ARE GOING TO OUTGAS IN THE METHAGEDDON.

            We could also have a new trapp event start tomorrow and erupt for a million years. Or an asteroid strike. Or we could tip into a glaciation. The fact is that we aren’t even as hot the the HCO was 8kyr ago, and each successive warming peak has been lower than the last.

            1. Yes, we can’t worry about potential catastrophic events, such as another large igneous province starting to form, or an asteroid strike. And yes, the earth was hotter in the past. But it is the rate of change that is worrying. CO2 has never increased as fast in the past as it is increasing now, as far as we know.

              1. Bullshit. 80 years of instrument data is nothing.

                Actually we can (and should) worry about an asteroid strike. That actually is something we can do something about.

                1. Call of bullshit seconded

              2. CO2 has never increased as fast in the past as it is increasing now, as far as we know.

                Which we can’t know since the time resolution of the past is insufficient.

              3. CO2 has never increased as fast in the past as it is increasing now, as far as we know.

                Earth is roughly 4.5B years old. We have records for, what, 100 years for CO2? Shall we do the math on the percentage of Earth’s history we have information on?

            2. Given a choice between ice house and hot house earths, anyone wanting the majority of humankind to survive needs to pick the hot house. Of course, I am more in favor of ice house, since (1) people are over-rated and (2) I like to ski.

              1. I personally like to x-country ski. This year, on the Bighorn Trail in NW Yellowstone National Park, we had a huge amount of snow. Thus, I’m pretty happy with the way things are going. Within limits, global warming will put more moisture into the atmosphere, and that could bring lots of snow in the Fawn Pass area where I ski. THINK SNOW!

          2. Except, there could be catastrophic events caused by global warming, such as submarine slides caused by the warming that release large amounts of methane, or methane being released from melting permafrost.

            If these things were significant risks, they would have occurred many times during the last 10-20 million years, but they never have.

            The chances of that happening anytime soon are small, but we should be aware of the possibilities.

            The chances of that happening, given the climate history of the planet, are smaller than other known threats to humanity: such as asteroid impact, global pandemic, supervolcano eruption, or supernova explosion. In different words, it’s simply not relevant.

        2. Perhaps it depends on your definition of “significant”. I’ll grant that sea level rise will probably be slow, but let’s say that in 100 years coastal cities experience expensive floods much more frequently as a result. When damages are measured in billions of dollars, I don’t think you can just write that off as insignificant.

          If agriculturally productive regions shift significantly because of desertification in low and middle latitudes, there will still be enough food, but it will be disruptive and, again, possibly expensive.

          I’m not saying either of those things are guaranteed to happen. I’m not saying humanity can’t adapt. I’m not evening saying that on net, all the effects of climate change will end up being negative. All I’m saying is that you can’t just dismiss the risks with a waive of the hand.

          Personally, I think the type of action required to significantly lower CO2 and other GHGs is both politically intractable (e.g. nuclear) and/or probably more costly than finding ways to adapt, but I can’t just discount the alternative, and I understand why some people aren’t persuaded by my way of thinking.

          1. I’ll grant that sea level rise will probably be slow, but let’s say that in 100 years coastal cities experience expensive floods much more frequently as a result.

            What if what if what if. This type of argument is called fear mongering. Do you have any idea how long and how much sea level has risen since the Little Ice Age?

            If agriculturally productive regions shift significantly because of desertification …

            More scary scenarios. Particularly delicious since deserts are doing the opposite.

            All I’m saying is that you can’t just dismiss the risks with a waive of the hand.

            But hand waving fear mongering is just fine.

          2. Sea level has been rising since thr last glaciation. It has been rising at the current rate since at least the LIA. Since you are the one advocating for spending resources the burden of proof is on you. The planet is greener now than it was 30 years ago. Arid regions are greening due to CO2 fertilization, so it’s equally likely (actually mpre likely) that agricultural productivity will be higher amd not lower.

            Your way isn’t persuasive because it all boils down to the precautionary principle.

            1. Can you explain how you read this

              Personally, I think the type of action required to significantly lower CO2 and other GHGs is both politically intractable (e.g. nuclear) and/or probably more costly than finding ways to adapt, but I can’t just discount the alternative

              And ended up with this

              Since you are the one advocating for spending resources the burden of proof is on you…Your way isn’t persuasive because it all boils down to the precautionary principle.

              ?

              1. With this– ” but I can’t just discount the alternative” of course.

                That was a ‘but’ so big it didn’t fit in three letters.

      4. Show me where in the set of real numbers lies “significantly.” And if you want to quote IPCC, then you have to reconcile the fact that their modeling basis has failed to replicate actual global temperature trends, regional distributions of both temp and precipitation, or periodic features such as ENSO, AND you have to accept their conclusion that humanity is “responsible for over 50% of the warming since 1950” while at the same time accepting that they refuse to even quote a “likely” ECS.

        Or you could call it what it is: religion.

      5. “There is very widespread agreement that human activity is a significant contributor to a rise in average global temperatures.”

        A lot of that is groupthink and one sided media propagation of CAGW memes.

        Among actual scientists in atmospheric sciences, the debate wages on.
        What is the actual evidence?
        What does “significant” mean?
        Can anyone state with any certainty the amplitude of the supposed feedback that are hypothesized to induce a warming cascade?

        No, they cannot.

        1. Among actual scientists in atmospheric sciences, the debate wages on.

          That is not the case with respect to the statement you quoted according to the climate scientists I have personally talked to and read/listened to interviews with.

          What is the actual evidence?

          The strong correlation between CO2 production from burning fossil fuels, as well as other GHGs released by human activity, and the rise in average temperatures.

          What does “significant” mean?

          Significance is always somewhat arbitrary, and I admit that I don’t know the formal significance on the aforementioned correlation. It passes my chi-by-eye test and has convinced the vast majority of people that study this.

          Can anyone state with any certainty the amplitude of the supposed feedback that are hypothesized to induce a warming cascade?

          Now you are veering off into areas where there *are* disagreement.

          1. The strong correlation between CO2 production from burning fossil fuels, as well as other GHGs released by human activity, and the rise in average temperatures.

            If only it was true.

      6. There is no consensus that human activity is a significant contributor nor is there a consensus on the magnitude of the change, let alone what the consequences will be.

        There is a consensus that the average temperature is rising. Not on its causes. And that’s about it.

    2. I see that Ronny Baby is off of his meds, again…

    3. Bailey is completely wrong, but if he were correct (but isn’t, and this is probably just virtue signaling to future potential leftist employers) wouldn’t the smartest thing for our survival to crush the emission production of China, and other primary producers?

    4. There is plenty consensus. Consensus has never proven anything though. There was a consensus that there was ether in space, but one or two scientists proved we didn’t need that bullshit theory and so it faded. This may or may not happen with global warming. No one really knows.

    5. One hopes Affranchi will quit playing the Oklahoma mafioso, and join them in shedding cant in favor of scientific commonsense.

      It is if anything scandalous that Ron drank so deep and so long of the Coolist Koolaid before recovering his senses

  2. Geoengineering flavor #1: Remove carbon dioxide from the air. Plants do this all the time. Geological processes regularly also “deep six” (sequester long-term) the resulting carbon in the plants. Think about how oil and coal and peat bogs are formed. So this is now EVIL and DANGEROUS?!?! Momma nature has been forming coal etc. for a LONG time! Momma nature is EVIL, ’cause WHY? Momma Nature = Gaia, who is to be WORSHIPPED, per the proggies, I had thought!

    Ditto with sulfur dioxide spewed into the air… Momma Nature been doin’ the same, via volcanoes… This is flavor #2, of course…

    In both cases, there can be too much of a good thing, yes. WHO is smarter at hewing close to the proper limits, Momma Nature or intelligent humans? THAT is the central question! Momma Nature cooked us up, perhaps inadvertently, yes… But, “she” cooked us up to be the intelligent guardians of the planet! Time for us to grow up, set the nukes aside, and do our job! Geoengineer away, and also fend off the next asteroid impact!

    1. The rate of burial is too slow compared to what humans are releasing into the atmosphere. That is the whole point. Also, Momma Nature has extinguished large numbers of species several times in the Earth’s history. Many extinctions were due to warming caused by an increase in carbon dioxide from large volcanic events. Granted, they all took place over thousands of years, but the current rate of CO2 release appears to be faster than what happened during these past volcanic events.

      1. “extinctions were due to warming caused by an increase in carbon dioxide from large volcanic events.”

        Yes, that’s the only thing that comes out of massive volcanic eruptions. Remind me how many doublings we need to get to the CO2 levels of the Permian BEFORE the eruptions, is it 2 or 3?

        1. CO2 has the most impact over long term. The sulphurous gases are processed rather quickly as are the other gases that are released. They can have devastating local effects, but do not remain for long. CO2 stays in the atmosphere until it is removed by weathering over geological time.

        2. CO2 has the most impact over long term. The sulphurous gases are processed rather quickly as are the other gases that are released. They can have devastating local effects, but do not remain for long. CO2 stays in the atmosphere until it is removed by weathering over geological time.

          1. Do I care if I die quickly or slowly? And you didn’t answer my question about how many doublings are required to get back to the Permian CO2 levels before the siberian traps opened up. Or do you believe that warming is a first order ODE linked to the rate of CO2 change?

            And there are multiple CO2 sinks and buffering mechanisms. Long term there is geologic sequestration, and that is a very, very bad thing. It’s funny that you’re worried about a repeat of the Permian and not at all concerned that during the last glaciation we dipped as low as 180ppm and have been on a downward trend for eons. Good luck sustaining life if we ever hit 150ppm. If you want a real disaster scenario, worry about the fact that the Earth is slowing starving its life of CO2. Humanity has given the world a reprieve.

            1. ^This.

              Being buried under a mile of ice and not being able to grow crops elsewhere is worse than sea level rises and a few hurricanes (if that is even a real outcome of global warming, I’m not convinced).

            2. I am not worried about a repeat of the Permian. And geologically speaking, the downward trend is a blip. And again, it is the current rate of change that is unique.

              1. The downward trend is a blip??? Do you even have a clue what you’re talking about? CO2 levels below 1000ppm are not normal. Geologically speaking it is the current increase that is a blip.

                1. Geologically speaking it is the current increase that is a blip.

                  Only because humans are a geological blip. Geologically speaking, any mass extinctions during the current Cenozoic Era (basically post-dinosaur) aren’t much more than a blip.

                  Nevertheless atmospheric CO2 is now unquestionably human caused. During the Cenozoic Era mass extinctions have happened and changes in atmospheric CO2 are either the trigger or the outcome for most of them. Our impact is clearly on the trigger side not the outcome side.

                  eg – the Oligocene extinction (probably marine impact caused) is marked afterwards by a cooling that creates Antarctica ice sheet (which occurs at roughly 780 ppm CO2). That is roughly 140 years of human CO2 emissions from now. The Miocene is marked by grasslands growth at expense of forest – where humans afterwards diverge from chimps and 90% of our food species become ‘advantaged’ and grow – prob 450-500 ppm – or 30 more years.

                  Not sure I fully accept greenhouse rigidity that ties CO2 to temperature – but if it does exist, then it is stupid to ignore it because of geological time. If that CO2/temp caused extinctions on the ‘cooling’ side of the trend, then it will cause them on the ‘warming’ side too.

                  1. During the Cenozoic Era mass extinctions have happened and changes in atmospheric CO2 are either the trigger or the outcome for most of them.

                    No. See my previous comments.

                  2. So changes in CO2 are either the cause or the outcome of mass extinctions. Such a definitive scientific statement: cause or effect, therefore important.

                    And both you and chipper seem to think you’re arguing with someone who thinks humans aren’t putting out CO2. Tell me, what color hat is that strawman wearing?

                    1. So changes in CO2 are either the cause or the outcome of mass extinctions. Such a definitive scientific statement: cause or effect, therefore important.

                      Well that should be self-evident. Any life-created CO2 effect (and obviously there are other sources of CO2 change) will depend on whether it is plants or animals that comprise a)the bulk of the extinction and b)the evolutionary opportunity that is created on the other side of that extinction. And for most of life’s history, any net change there has been driven by plants not animals. The Eocene Age has a good example of life-created CO2 change. Azolla fern blooms/sequester in Arctic over 800k years probably drove tropical life in Arctic to extinction.

                      My point remains – human production of CO2 is on the trigger side not the effect side.

                      both you and chipper seem to think you’re arguing with someone who thinks humans aren’t putting out CO2.

                      That is the assumption YOU are making if you address anything EXCEPT the scientific validity of the atmospheric greenhouse effect itself. And no that doesn’t depend on crappy computer models for its validity. I already said IDK about that.

                      But at least I don’t make the problematic error of induction (There are no known instances in pre-human geological history where human-created CO2 caused problems, therefore human-created CO2 can’t cause problems).

                    2. Geologically speaking, any mass extinctions during the current Cenozoic Era (basically post-dinosaur) aren’t much more than a blip. During the Cenozoic Era mass extinctions have happened and changes in atmospheric CO2 are either the trigger or the outcome for most of them.

                      There haven’t been any mass extinctions during the Cenozoic. And climate change has never been shown to be the cause or mechanism of mass extinctions. To the contrary, there have been many rapid changes in climate without mass extinctions.

                    3. But at least I don’t make the problematic error of induction (There are no known instances in pre-human geological history where human-created CO2 caused problems, therefore human-created CO2 can’t cause problems).

                      We know roughly how much carbon is sequestered in various stores. Even if humans were to release all the recoverable fossil fuel, it would lead to maybe 1000 ppm atmospheric CO2. Paleoclimatology shows that that level of CO2 is perfectly fine, and that it is likely preferable to the current deepening ice age and glaciation cycles.

                      All the rest is just fear mongering and handwaving.

                    4. RE: Everyone in this thread. It was very interesting, thanks for having a (mostly) civilized discussion about a contentious topic.

                  3. Only because humans are a geological blip.

                    Mammals and primates have been thriving since the PETM, mostly during much warmer temperatures.

                    Not sure I fully accept greenhouse rigidity that ties CO2 to temperature – but if it does exist, then it is stupid to ignore it because of geological time. If that CO2/temp caused extinctions on the ‘cooling’ side of the trend, then it will cause them on the ‘warming’ side too.

                    (1) We’ve been on a temperature rollercoaster for the last 7 million years, with temperatures oscillating by as much as 6C within a hundred thousand years. Temperatures during the PETM, when primates arose, were 14C higher than today.

                    (2) Warming causes more food and more habitats to become available, cooling causes food and habitats to disappear. That’s why cooling causes species to die, while warming does not.

                    (3) Why should we care about “extinctions” in the first place? Extinctions are a natural part of evolution. Humans are the dominant mammal on the planet now because of extinctions; it is our ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, and the extinction of species that couldn’t, that allowed us to become what we are.

                    1. Why should we care about “extinctions” in the first place?…it is our ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, and the extinction of species that couldn’t, that allowed us to become what we are

                      When the entirety of humans as a species has occurred in a SINGLE epoch characterized by an climactic advantage of flowering grasslands over forests. The entirety of human history (outside Africa) could easily be characterized as us moving to an area, turning it from forest into grassland (taking advantage of it STAYING grassland after we deforest it), and then increasing population density in those grasslands.

                      That indicates a skill in creating an environment that favors us if the underlying climactic conditions also favor that particular environment. NOT an ability to actually adapt to different environments outside our efficiency range to control.

                      One important gene family – the CYP450 – which oxidizes toxins present in chemicals we ingest (usually for food) – supports my interpretation. Ours is very narrow compared to other species. Other species can adapt genetically even when we deliberately try to kill them – eg superresistant bacteria/pests/etc. They are hardy – we are not.

                      IOW – kill/hinder our existing food sources and humans will disappear quickly. OUR extinction is what should be of concern.

                    2. When the entirety of humans as a species has occurred in a SINGLE epoch characterized by an climactic advantage of flowering grasslands over forests.

                      The subgenus “Homo” has been around for millions of years, and H. sapiens has been around for hundreds of thousands of years. During that time, we have experienced many glaciation cycles and wild global swings in climate.

                      That indicates a skill in creating an environment that favors us if the underlying climactic conditions also favor that particular environment. NOT an ability to actually adapt to different environments outside our efficiency range to control.

                      Even hunter gatherer societies exist in a huge range of climates, from the arctic to rain forests, grass lands, small tropical islands, and the most arid deserts. The idea that H. sapiens needs to alter the environment, rather than being able to adapt to it, is therefore completely out of touch with reality.

                      IOW – kill/hinder our existing food sources and humans will disappear quickly. OUR extinction is what should be of concern.

                      Climate change will increase, not decrease, arable land. On top of that, progress in agriculture has massively increased productivity in even marginal environments. The idea that climate change will lead food shortages, let alone food shortages severe enough to lead to extinction of H. sapiens is ludicrous.

                    3. progress in agriculture has massively increased productivity in even marginal environments.

                      That is defined as productivity in the 50 or species that we humans rely on for 90-95% of our food intake – 5 of which (rice, wheat, soy, corn, sugarcane) directly/indirectly dominate that. If those few crop species fail for any reason humans are dead within a year. Might we survive on dandelions, pine needles, or cactus if we have to for an extended period of time? Possibly but I doubt it.

                      We have a very hardy ego. That does not mean we have hardy genetics. Most large species don’t. They survive and thrive in ONE age when everything is favorable to them and then whoosh they disappear. And our genetic bottleneck (about 65k years ago – Toba eruption?) indicates that we’re gonna follow that script not our hero-worship of ourselves.

                    4. If those few crop species fail for any reason humans are dead within a year.

                      Even if that were true (it’s not), what event do you believe would remove “rice, wheat, soy, corn, sugarcane” from the face of the earth? Certainly not climate change.

                      We have a very hardy ego. That does not mean we have hardy genetics. Most large species don’t.

                      And those platitudes are why we should institute global central economic planning or let some UN agency muck with global climate? Give me a break.

                      I have no idea whether humanity will last 100 years or a million years. What I do know is that we might as well kill ourselves if we hand economic power to a single global entity.

                    5. what event do you believe would remove “rice, wheat, soy, corn, sugarcane” from the face of the earth? Certainly not climate change.

                      Those who actually know what they’re talking about disagree with you

                      http://www.pnas.org/content/114/35/9326 – Temperature Increase Reduces Global Yields of Major Crops
                      That article specifically talks only about rice/wheat/soy/corn (which directly/indirectly account for 61% of human caloric intake)

                    6. Oh – and while that study talks about average changes in yields, the same stresses that cause an ‘average’ drop in yield (6% drop in wheat yield for a 1C temp change) which seems small – also increase the probabilities of a catastrophic failure of the entire crop since they all depend on tiny time windows to actually set their grain (we can’t eat the entire plant).

                    7. Warming causes more food and more habitats to become available,

                      I tend to agree. But see my comment above. That can only benefit us if our bodies can actually use those as food – extracting the useful and oxidizing/eliminating the toxic. Genetically – not merely by habit, we are more like a spoiled child who can only eat chicken nuggets than we are like a true adaptive omnivore.

                    8. That can only benefit us if our bodies can actually use those as food.

                      Well, yes: when it gets warmer and more land becomes arable, humans can plant the crops that humans eat. What’s the problem?

                    9. The problem is you are getting in the way of his religion. How can you be so insensitive?

                    10. IMO People can worry about other species going extinct, because we can’t really save them if we destroy their environment… But anybody who worries about humans going extinct is just being silly.

                      I highly doubt we’d even have massive levels of starvation given modern technology, and the fact that many lands will become better for growing crops. Think Canada and Russia. But even if billions of people starved, we would not go extinct. We would just retrench until we reached a new equilibrium.

                      But realistically, global warming is going to be far less severe than the alarmist people suggest, and basically nothing that important will happen. Some coastal cities will have to build higher sea walls! ZOMG! Canada will have better weather!!! OH NOES!

                      It’s going to be fine.

      2. Sure, OK…

        My main point is, many proggies… Even one conservative I met… Will look at Momma Nature, who UNINTELLIGENTLY balances light absorbed v/s reflected, and C-O-2 let loose v/s sequestered, and butchers species from time to time when it gets out of balance… And say, “Nature Good”!

        Then they are all aghast at the idea that HUMANS could control those balances instead, intelligently, to perhaps correct what we MIGHT have put out of balance! Using the exact same techniques that Momma Nature has used and mis-used!

      3. Many extinctions were due to warming caused by an increase in carbon dioxide from large volcanic events.

        Funny how a hypothesis becomes a fact when the person spouting it doesn’t have the underlying facts.

        The eruptions started 300,000 years before the mass extinction. The eruptions included methane that is 86 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas and sulfur dioxide (acid rain). There was also a spike in the amount nickel found in the geological record around the world. The Jurassic Period had CO2 levels 5X higher than today and life thrived.

        1. Continued:
          Another hypothesis involved the nickle and a microbe feeding frenzy.

          The end-Permian extinction is associated with a mysterious disruption to Earth’s carbon cycle. Here we identify causal mechanisms via three observations. First, we show that geochemical signals indicate superexponential growth of the marine inorganic carbon reservoir, coincident with the extinction and consistent with the expansion of a new microbial metabolic pathway. Second, we show that the efficient acetoclastic pathway in Methanosarcina emerged at a time statistically indistinguishable from the extinction. Finally, we show that nickel concentrations in South China sediments increased sharply at the extinction, probably as a consequence of massive Siberian volcanism, enabling a methanogenic expansion by removal of nickel limitation. Collectively, these results are consistent with the instigation of Earth’s greatest mass extinction by a specific microbial innovation.

          1. Greg F, why do you think there was such an increase in methanogens after the Siberian traps started to happen? Because they are anaerobes and started to thrive after widespread oceanic anoxia. And whence the anoxia? This was caused by a combination of factors that included the lower solubility of oxygen in warmer water caused by the atmospheric warming caused directly by the CO2 and methane from the volcanism, a breakdown of the oceanic circulation due to the warming, indirectly by the release of methane sediments caused by the warming, oxidization of carbon sediments in the shelf sediments from the warming leadin to further increases in CO2, etc.

            To summarize, the anoxia was an effect and not the cause. The methanogen blooms followed the anoxia.

            1. Good info on Permian extinction here.

            2. why do you think there was such an increase in methanogens after the Siberian traps started to happen?

              The paper I linked to explained that.

              Because they are anaerobes and started to thrive after widespread oceanic anoxia.

              No … they caused it. They also explain why your explanation is incorrect.

              The carbon deposits show that something caused a significant uptick in the amount of carbon-containing gases?carbon dioxide or methane?produced at the time of the mass extinction. Some researchers have suggested that these gases might have been spewed out by the volcanic eruptions that produced the Siberian traps, a vast formation of volcanic rock produced by the most extensive eruptions in Earth’s geological record. But calculations by the MIT team showed that these eruptions were not nearly sufficient to account for the carbon seen in the sediments. Even more significantly, the observed changes in the amount of carbon over time don’t fit the volcanic model.

        2. The Jurassic Period had CO2 levels 5X higher than today and life thrived.

          Not human life

          1. Not human life

            One of the biggest evolutionary advantages of humans over other animals is our ability to adapt to rapidly changing climates and environments.

    2. Technology is not the solution – because the main source of the problem is that we humans don’t pay for our own negative externalities. And in particular, those related to land/resources – which are intergenerational externalities.

      As long as that is the context within which we do things, then ‘technology’ is just a way of pretending that we are doing something while passing the costs of doing that on to future generations – with no way of knowing whether what we are doing will work either.

      Until we can figure out how to PAY future generations for the natural/resources options of theirs (their natural rights) that we destroy everyday with our own activities; then nothing we claim to do can work. If we ever can figure that out, then nothing else may be necessary. But right now, we don’t even have the interest in doing that because, by definition, including anything else with a negative externality in our current pricing system will jack up prices for us and we have no interest in even being inconvenienced (much less in actually carrying our own generational/resource weight).

      1. Can you explain how what you propose is not batshit crazy?

        1. It means putting land back into economics as its own factor of production. Restoring legal ideas like usufruct. Which is how Ricardo/Smith/George/Jefferson/Bastiat/etc saw it but without the benefit of being able to value options – until we took it out of marginalist economics during the late 19th century. Not batshit crazy but not easy either. Think of it as – industrialization was not just about technology. We distorted existing ideas in order to subsidize that growth by ignoring its impact on things we chose NOT to value. That is what we need to reverse because that system merely forces ‘bads’ into an ignored future rather than restraining us from producing ‘bads’.

          With recyclable resources, there is already some good thinking re lifecycle analysis/etc. Needs better ways of pricing it and some way of institutionalizing it to future generations. eg thinking of our landfills – not the entire yet-unclaimed Earth – as the first capital constraint (the first level of pricing competition that creates a baseline cost of capital) on new resource acquisition. With nonrecyclables, there is much less thought at present so it appears much tougher.

          Ultimately, the best solution IMO is for the young to stop looking to anyone older to ‘teach them’ and for them to figure it out and get their Nobels. And then kill us older folks because we’ve proven we won’t change and what we’re teaching them and ‘gifting’ them (like $21 trillion debt) is crap. If that’s batshit crazy – fine.

          1. Ultimately, the best solution IMO is for the young to stop looking to anyone older to ‘teach them’ and for them to figure it out and get their Nobels. And then kill us older folks because we’ve proven we won’t change and what we’re teaching them and ‘gifting’ them (like $21 trillion debt) is crap.

            So then your answer would be “No, I cannot explain how what I propose is not batshit crazy, because I am in fact batshit crazy.”

            1. That paragraph has a lot of value in identifying who is hopelessly part of the problem and who isn’t. Thank you for confirming that. You are worth more to your children/grandchildren dead than alive. That you don’t want to think about that just makes you a precious snowflake too.

              1. JFree, ignore the troll. This is the same guy that comes here under a bunch of different user names, attack everyone, and then gets banned. I just tune him out.

                As for usufruct, that is an interesting idea. However, there are certainly problems with it, because it smacks of feudalism. I think Mexico uses a version of usufruct and it prevents the users of the land from raising capital against their land, which limits their opportunities. However, as land is becoming more and more scarce, there might be something to the argument that you can’t make land unusable for future potential owners.

                1. Yes – usufruct will always mean that debt-based money cannot be leveraged as much – but that can be more-than-offset with monetized commodities as money. eg a gold mine can easily be financed at VERY low risk with gold-based money – because the payment of the debt can occur in-kind. The debt is IN fructus – so fructus can pay it off too.

                  The problem with usufruct as a limit to legal title is mainly dealing with abusus (the part of property that is part of legal title but not of usufruct). In civil law, those abusus decisions (destruction of a resource) are always going to be made by the same sort of entity that makes all other laws – eg a council of wise respected elders. Which is, generationally, exactly the wrong group. Closer to dead. Looking to tradition/known/existing rather future/innovation/change as the only way to determine what ‘destruction’ is. Common law in the hands of judges has much the same problem. But putting that solely into the hands of the individual title-owner is also a problem. No one cares if one buys tools and then overuses them to breakage. Not quite the same if one buys land for a factory and then dumps toxins into the land.

              2. You are worth more to your children/grandchildren dead than alive. That you don’t want to think about that just makes you a precious snowflake too.

                This is the most mind-bogglingly stupid thing I think I have ever read.

                The sheer ignorance of so many subjects for you to come to this conclusion is simply astounding.

          2. We distorted existing ideas in order to subsidize that growth by ignoring its impact on things we chose NOT to value. That is what we need to reverse because that system merely forces ‘bads’ into an ignored future rather than restraining us from producing ‘bads’.

            Every “bad” I produce on my property I pay for. Every resource I extract out of the ground, I pay for.

            What you call “externalities” are the result of public ownership and socialization of costs. The answer to that is to end public ownership and socialization of costs, not to supplement an already broken system with even more government intervention to account for “externalities”.

            1. Every “bad” I produce on my property I pay for. Every resource I extract out of the ground, I pay for.

              No you don’t. Fact is modern economics/markets are based on Bastiat’s conclusions about land as a separate factor. all useful production is the work of Nature, which acts gratis, and of labor, which is remunerated…Progress consists in constantly increasing Nature’s contribution, thereby proportionately decreasing the contribution of human labor. In other words, for a given quantity of utility, the gratuitous co-operation of Nature tends to replace more and more the onerous co-operation of labor. The common share increases at the expense of the remunerable, appropriated share.

              Bastiat himself was classical – so at least he came to that conclusion by studying it as a separate factor. But his first conclusion – that Nature imposes no cost and requires no remuneration – not normatively or descriptively or in any sense at all – is the only way that one can then IGNORE it as a separate factor. To pretend it doesn’t even really exist. And his second conclusion which follows directly from the first is what creates the ACTUAL tragedy of the commons – which Bastiat ignored but which Lloyd (same timeframe as Bastiat) and Hardin (modern non-economist and creator of the phrase).

              1. Fact is modern economics/markets are based on Bastiat’s conclusions about land as a separate factor.

                In all modern democracies, people pay significant taxes on land; that means that after about half a century, they have paid for the entire value of the land at least twice, once to the seller and once to the government. What more do you want?

                To pretend it doesn’t even really exist. And his second conclusion which follows directly from the first is what creates the ACTUAL tragedy of the commons – which Bastiat ignored but which Lloyd (same timeframe as Bastiat) and Hardin (modern non-economist and creator of the phrase).

                Sorry, but none of that follows either from Bastiat or from your reasoning.

                1. In all modern democracies, people pay significant taxes on land

                  No. People may pay PROPERTY taxes but not generally LAND taxes. Your inability to understand the difference is one direct consequence of ignoring land in economics.

                  1. No. People may pay PROPERTY taxes but not generally LAND taxes. Your inability to understand the difference is one direct consequence of ignoring land in economics.

                    Well, as I understand the usage of the term, property taxes are the sum of land taxes plus taxes on the improvements on the land.

                    If you have a different definition, feel welcome to state it and then explain how it relates to your statements about externalities. Otherwise, you’re all hot air and ad hominems.

                    1. property taxes are the sum of land taxes plus taxes on the improvements on the land.

                      Sure. Before everyone argues with the assessor about what the split is – so they can maximize the portion allocated to those improvements which can then be depreciated vs the land which can’t.

                      Further – in economic terms – the tax on the improvement is a tax on capital – not a tax on land. And those two factors actually behave very differently re taxes.

                      But hey other than that, they are almost kind of nearly the same thing

          3. So basically, Logan’s Run………

            Carousel! Carousel!

            1. I was thinking more Ender’s Game – where Ender eliminates the adults instead of the buggers.

              1. Maybe he could just get rid of the progtards………..

                They emit more noxious gas than anything else.

      2. Until we can figure out how to PAY future generations for the natural/resources options of theirs (their natural rights)

        Future generations have no “natural rights” to natural resources, any more than you have “natural rights” to natural resources, land, women, or gold. Future generations obtain their property the same way current generations do: they inherit it or they work for it. Postulating a “natural right” to natural resources for future generations is pretty much the same as communism.

        But right now, we don’t even have the interest in doing that because, by definition, including anything else with a negative externality in our current pricing system will jack up prices for us and we have no interest in even being inconvenienced

        Externalities are a consequence of collective ownership or government ownership; privatize the resources and there are no externalities anymore.

        1. Postulating a “natural right” to natural resources for future generations is pretty much the same as communism.

          Of course it is. The noted American communist Thomas Jefferson said:

          I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self evident, “that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living”: that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it. The portion occupied by an individual ceases to be his when himself ceases to be, and reverts to the society…the child, the legatee, or creditor takes it, not by any natural right, but by a law of the society…Then no man can, by natural right, oblige the lands he occupied or the persons who succeed him in that occupation to the payment of debts contracted by him. For if he could, he might during his own life, eat up the usufruct of the lands for several generations to come, and the lands would belong to the dead, and not to the living, which would be the reverse of our principle.

          Re fossil fuels. Our extraction/destruction eliminates the OPTION that future generations had, equal to ours, to that resource BEFORE we came along. What is the value of that option? How to compensate for its destruction? We have found 21 trillion ways to force future generations to pay for things that only benefit us. And it’s crazy and communist to pay the future as well as to force payment FROM the future? MARKETS require bidirectional change.

          1. Of course it is. The noted American communist Thomas Jefferson said:

            This may shock you, but Jefferson is a couple of centuries behind on economic theory and philosophy. Instead of appeal to authority, why don’t you try to make a coherent argument yourself?

            Logically, if you think that future humans have automatic property rights in existing land regardless of property ownership simply because they will be born, then why wouldn’t the same thing apply to current humans? And if people are entitled to a share in property simply by being born, presumably they are all entitled to the same share; so if China then decides to grow to 8 billion humans, do they get to take away land from everybody else in order to acquire their fair share? How is that implemented?

            Our extraction/destruction eliminates the OPTION that future generations had, equal to ours, to that resource BEFORE we came along.

            So what? How is that different from any other economic decision? If you care about your great-great-grandchildren and availability of oil to them, you can buy yourself an oilfield and leave it to them. Personally, I think that’s economically foolish because oil will be largely worthless a century from now.

            1. This may shock you, but Jefferson is a couple of centuries behind on economic theory and philosophy. Instead of appeal to authority, why don’t you try to make a coherent argument yourself?

              This may shock you – but my entire original point was that everything modern in economics is based on flimsy self-justifying bullshit re land/resources. It is precisely those hopelessly behind the times classical era writers who were the last ones to even deal with the issue. And yes – they disagreed. There was no classical consensus about land.

              In Jefferson’s case, he understood land LAW. Which is precisely what that passage is about. And bluntly, if YOU don’t understand that land/resource issue back then, YOU can’t possibly hope to understand squat about anything now.

              Founders and Pursuit of Land
              Jefferson and Practice of Law

              1. Hmm – first link looks like bad html

                Founders and Pursuit of Land

                1. I get your general idea, but you are way too extreme.

                  I’m not married yet, and do not have kids… But I plan to. I think about the future, and don’t want it to be completely borked. I don’t want to have a nuclear war that makes the whole planet garbage to live on, etc.

                  But it is insane to try to plan or price bureaucratically the theoretical future value of things we need today.

                  If some genius nation had been doing this on oil 100 years ago, millions more people could have starved to death, and billions would have lived far poorer lives for it… So that somebody, not even alive yet now, and who may never exist because their ancestor in this scenario now died from lack of access to cheap oil, can have access to it in the future… When it will probably be a useless resource by the time they theoretically would be born anyway!

                  Think about how silly that is. Sure, we need to think about future impacts. But we do that already. Maybe imperfectly sometimes, but well enough. I see no resource we will run out of in any foreseeable future, which can’t easily be replace by something else or new technology. Your whole argument is silly, other than perhaps nuclear pollution or extreme chemical pollution… But even chemical pollution is usually localized, so probably not an issue.

  3. The fact that climate change is being blamed as the cause of every potential negative outcome suggests the hypothesis is bs. I don’t like that the term has continued to shift when AGW or anthropogenic global warming actually describes the phenomenon they are talking about. “Climate change” is just a buzz word to excuse any outcome as being caused by the identified culprit, CO2. So I’m to believe that the oceans will rise dramatically; hurricanes will be worse; more flooding; more drought; more blizzards; no ice in the north; more ice in the south; massive extinction; our extinction; and nearly everything else you could come up with will result if we don’t eliminate CO2 as a byproduct of our energy generation. I’m also to not believe that there are no benefits to humans or any other species of plant or animal. If I accept the theory, I can’t ponder whether desert regions might become lush over time and icy tundra may become warmer allowing for greater biodiversity.

    1. While I do appreciate that Bailey is suggesting solutions that aren’t necessarily driven by the government; his advocacy for new technology to reach his own ends continues to lack the skepticism of effectiveness and negative consequences. If we are able to create a machine to drastically change weather and local (or in his optimism, global) climate then how can we trust people to not misuse it or for there to be some disastrous unintended effects?
      I can agree with the principles of the greenhouse effect, but that doesn’t mean that the conclusions of AGW advocates are correct, well researched, or reflect reality. The fact that the climate change debate or discussion has almost exclusively been one sided on public platforms should make people skeptical about whether all variables were considered and how reliable the conclusions might be. Calling someone who respects the scientific process a “denier” because there are too many elements of the theory and advocacy that are questionable breaks the trust one might have for institutions. It also highlights the religious aspects of “Climate Change Believers” when everything is twisted to arrive at their predetermined conclusion.
      As per usual, I’m going to go ahead and assume that any advocate is full of shit until definitively proven otherwise.

      1. ^This guy gets it.

        Reason, per usual, advocates: “Submit to progressivism. It can be dressed up to look like liberty.”

        1. ^ This guy gets it.

          1. ^This guy gets guys who get it.

            1. ^these guys: if progressives say it, it must automatically be wrong.

              Or, we could look at the facts independently of their ramblings. I started to accept climate change as something to take seriously after I started studying the past extinctions, especially the end-Permian extinction.

              Now, that doesn’t mean I believe on catastrophic climate change in the near future. I think we are fine for a couple hundred years, and we will have moved on from fossil fuels by then. And I most certainly don’t support government intervention into fossil fuel use. But to deny the facts of climate change is silly and misplaced the energies of the arguments we should be having.

              1. ^this guy: if experts say it, it must be right.

                You mean like denying the fact that the CMIP5 models have been falsified? Denying the fact that sea level rise isn’t accelerating? Denying the fact that modern temps are lower than the HCO?

                That sort of denying?

                1. Again, I am not talking about prediction models. All you need is this graph. That is pure data. Fact: CO2 is increasing at a higher rate than any other time in the planet’s history, as far as I know. Fact: Higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase temperatures and acidity the oceans.

                  That is all. I am not making any claims about how much the temperature will increase, how fast, or whether there will be any catastrophic results in the near future.

                  1. And yet those prediction models are based on radiative physics and all that CO2 data (and aerosols, and TSI), so what exactly is your point? All I need is a graph of CO2 emissions over the last 80 years? Link is borked but the title seems to indicate Mauna Loa. Please explain Younger Dryas then.

                    Here’s another graph for you: True Fact: The Lack of Pirates Is Causing Global Warming

                    “Fact: CO2 is increasing at a higher rate than any other time in the planet’s history, as far as I know. ”

                    Well, clearly you don’t know a whole lot then. Basing your conclusion on 80 years of data out of 4.5BB is, well you can guess.

                    Fact: Higher CO2 absorbs and scatters LWR radiation. Beyond that a whole bunch of other factors come into play: ADLR, the even more important wet lapse rate, variations in cloud formation are “poorly captured” according to IPCC. Gosh, think albedo is important?

                    OCEAN ACIDIFICATION!!!!!!! Aragonite corrals evolved when CO2 concentrations were multiples of what they are now. Now it’s true that the biome will probably change a bit, but it’s laughable for ppl to wring their hands over ocean acidification when Earth has lived most of its life-bearing time with CO2 concentrations much higher than they are now, and the oceans are significantly basic right now and have massive buffering capacity.

                    1. Show me a graph with a higher rate of change in CO2, then. The graph from ice core is over thousands of years. And the graph of pirates proves warming, so you are shooting yourself in the foot. The Mauna Loa graph shows increase in CO2 over time. It does not claim any correlation to a causing factor.

                      The role of clouds is not settled. Clouds have both a heating effect and a cooling effect, and it is not known which is more important.

                      If you are trying to show that CO2 also has a cooling effect, that is plain silly. CO2 is a warming gas. It is known.

                      Again, you are arguing the wrong things. You are arguing against settled facts, when you should be focusing on whether climate change is catastrophic and whether the government should get involved. You are self-sabotaging your credibility.

                    2. Show me the Mauna Loa record for the last 250MM years. What’s that? You don’t have one? The historical proxies have a built-in low pass filter? Yup.

                      “And the graph of pirates proves warming, so you are shooting yourself in the foot. ”

                      No, I’m demonstrating your credulity by showing you a spurious correlation. Your simplistic logic says CO2 increasing -> planet cooking. Yet if you look at the paleo record from the ice cores, the CO2 data typically lagged temperature increases.

                      “The role of clouds is not settled. Clouds have both a heating effect and a cooling effect, and it is not known which is more important.”

                      The clouds themselves are not settled, and yet you are sure that we’ve got a warming problem.

                      No, you are arguing against strawmen. I have never claimed that CO2 isn’t rising. I have never claimed that CO2 does not absorb LWIR. I am arguing that the science is MUCH more complicated that CO2 up = planet warming bad. So about that whole credibility thing, you should take a look in the mirror.

                    3. You sound like progs when they argue that the minimum wage does not cause unemployment, because look, here is an instance when that didn’t happen. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. You know admit that it is rising. That means the earth will warm over time. That is a logical conclusion of the fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

                      The facts are not with you, my friend. Continue to tilt at windmills while the progs plan your carbon taxes.

                    4. Clouds do not have a heating effect, they have an insulation effect, which can obviously work both ways.

                      They do have a reflective effect, which, no matter how you slice it, contributes to cooler temperatures.

                      The only reason this isn’t “settled” is because the “experts” do not like the conclusion.

                  2. That is pure data. Fact: CO2 is increasing at a higher rate than any other time in the planet’s history, as far as I know.

                    Fact: You have no evidence to support your alleged fact.

                    1. Looky here.

                      Look at that graph over 45 million years. Do you see how slowly the CO2 concentrations change? They change on the order of millions of years. Today, we are seeing changes over tens of years. That is what should be the cause for concern, my friend.

                    2. Look at that graph over 45 million years. Do you see how slowly the CO2 concentrations change?

                      You mean the one where he splices the high time resolution Mauna Loa with the low time resolution ice core data. The only thing this proves is the author is not familiar with Shannon’s sampling theorem and is therefore unaware of the fundamental mistake he has made.

                      Shannon’s sampling theorem proved mathematically that the highest frequency that can be captured is 1/2 the sampling rate. Since the rate of rise is the derivative of the frequency the rate of rise is limited by the sampling frequency. IOW, if you used the same sample rate on the Mauna Loa data the rate of rise would completely disappear. Go back 45 million years and the sample rate gets even slower limiting the rise time you could derive from the data further.

                      To put it simply. If the CO2 rate of change 45 million years ago had risen 10 times faster than the present it still wouldn’t show up in the data. It is mathematically impossible.

                    3. I love when common sense is proven by mathematics.

                  3. That is pure data. Fact: CO2 is increasing at a higher rate than any other time in the planet’s history, as far as I know.

                    That’s a meaningless statement because we don’t know and can’t know how fast CO2 increased in the past.

                    Fact: Higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase temperatures and acidity the oceans.

                    Fact: the planet has experienced much higher temperatures, acidity, and CO2 levels and life has thrived; primates originated when temperatures were much higher than now.

                    Fact: we are currently in a deepening ice age overlaid by glaciation cycles; if AGW disrupts that and returns us to pre ice-age conditions, that’s probably a good thing.

                    1. It all comes down to solar activity. Not CO2. Case closed.

                      Now can we all focus on what to do about our progtard problem?

      2. FWIW, the zealots that get a lot of media attention seem to reflect the majority opinion of climate scientists. I talked rather extensively with a respected climate scientist from University of Maryland and bemoaned the extremist stance on both sides. He definitely believes that human activity is a driving factor behind rising temperatures and that if left unchecked the long-term consequences will likely be negative (he also rightly pointed out that there is too much focus on an arbitrary date of 2100 – even if we slow CO2 emissions, it doesn’t stop things from happening, it just slows them down, though perhaps to a degree that is less problematic).

        He also firmly believed the best way to mitigate any negative consequences was to incentive private entrepreneurs to come up with better methods of energy production and consumption. He was very bullish on that and said so in his public talk.

        So don’t confuse the activism with the science, or the activists with all climate scientists.

        1. Oh, I’ve done some research.
          I’m all for alternative energy production (not necessarily with taxpayer subsidies), but that’s rarely what we’re talking about.
          Private investors will invest in these things if/when they appear profitable. But it seems they’re less often investing in alternative energy companies/development, and more often investing in marketing campaigns to raise “awareness.”
          Hmm…
          The subject is regulation and funding, neither of which are always aided by sound science.
          Climate scientists, to a greater and lesser degree, are not impartial observers. It’s often noted when studies are funded by fossil fuel companies to discredit those studies as having a financial/lobbying motive. Fair enough. But we must also realize that all studies, even/especially publicly or philanthropically financed ones, have a financial/lobbying motive behind them.
          Climate scientists themselves have a personal interest in the existence of AGW/ACC, as its existence provides their purpose, employment, and funding. Aware of this or not, it’s inherent to their profession.
          Skepticism is not only warranted, but necessary.
          We need to include historians and anthropologists in the discussion as well.

        2. he also rightly pointed out that there is too much focus on an arbitrary date of 2100 – even if we slow CO2 emissions, it doesn’t stop things from happening, it just slows them down, though perhaps to a degree that is less problematic

          Did this professor have any insights as to the narrow scope of his profession and the complete and utter failure of humans to see relatively mundane cataclysms even 20-30 years into the future? AGW and climate scientists in 1900 were suggesting that we burn fossil fuels purely for the benefits of a warmer globe. Their upper estimates indicated we might be able to stave future ice ages. They wholly failed to anticipate the internal combustion engine, indoor heating and refrigeration, and the rest of the industrial revolution. Not to even mention manned flight, World Wars, the Nuclear Age, the Information Age, etc.

          The consensus of climate experts on such a global issue is, rather evidently, like consulting only gambling experts or only coaches about the outcome of the Final 4 in August or September. Whether the tournament happens on the 3rd weekend or the 4th is a bit of distraction from the lack of necessarily broad expertise and computing/prognosticating power.

        3. Do you not understand that you CO2 obsession means very little, and climate change correlates more significantly to fluctuations in solar activity? Probably not.

      3. Haven’t we seen that movie where the weather machine is used as a weapon?

      4. “While I do appreciate that Bailey is suggesting solutions that aren’t necessarily driven by the government;”

        Do you appreciate the fact that Bailey has never proposed market-driven solutions? I’d think Libertarians would be very appreciative. Why on earth would anyone sink 100s of millions into untried solutions with no prospect of making any money out of the deal?

        “Calling someone who respects the scientific process a “denier” because there are too many elements of the theory and advocacy that are questionable breaks the trust one might have for institutions. ”

        You gotta do more than ‘respect the scientific process’ if you want to be taken seriously. How about coming up with an alternative to the greenhouse effect? And you’ll have to do better than palming it all off on ‘natural causes.’ Respect the scientific process and stick to what can be observed and measured.

        1. Respect the scientific process and stick to what can be observed and measured.

          Aren’t you the fruitcake who thinks the September 11 attacks were staged because jet fuel can’t melt steel?

          1. I’ll amend that for you:

            Respect the scientific process and stick to what can be observed and measured. And what CNN tells you.

          2. Aren’t you the fruitcake who thinks the September 11 attacks were staged because jet fuel can’t melt steel?

            He could be. He constantly refers to the “scientific process” without knowing what it is. When I linked to Richard Feynman on Scientific Method he couldn’t be bothered. What he calls “science” is really a religion that has nothing to do with real science.

            1. “When I linked to Richard Feynman on Scientific Method he couldn’t be bothered. ”

              I beg you not to take this personally. I never bother with any of the links offered here in the comments. Still I apologize if I hurt your feelings.

              1. I beg you not to take this personally. I never bother with any of the links offered here in the comments. Still I apologize if I hurt your feelings.

                The only thing hurt is your credibility (if you have any left). The fact that you are uninterested in correcting your misconceptions of what science is sadly your problem.

                1. I’m saying events that take place in the future cannot be observed or measured today. That’s not a misconception of what science is. Anyone telling you they know the future is the one misconceiving science. And really, I didn’t know my viewing this video link of yours was so important to you. If you post it again, I will try to get around to viewing it. There are many links posted here, time is short, and I’ve found watching them hasn’t been worthwhile.

    2. Since 1995, the US has cut CO2 output per capita by 20% and output per gdp by 40%.

      1. There’s a reason why they call it global warming and not US warming.

        1. It’s odd then that the solutions all involve restrictions on the quality of life of Americans and Europeans to the exclusion of the rest of the world.

          1. Tough titty. Adapt or die, the cruelest law of the universe.

        2. Yep, if Bailey is right, then we better strategically bomb China and India’s industrial capacity back to the stone age.

          1. Just to be clear, Bailey is completely WRONG. But you get the point.

      2. Since the 1950’s, the US per capita crude oil consumption has dropped by half. But then we more than doubled the population in the same time. Fuck it.

    3. The fact that climate change is being blamed as the cause of every potential negative outcome suggests the hypothesis is bs.

      My biggest issue is that it cannot be falsified. If it gets colder…well, that’s because of warming. Hotter? Also, warming. Stormier? Warming. Less stormy? Warming.

      The non-falsifiability is a big reason I view it as a religion and not science.

      1. “The non-falsifiability is a big reason I view it as a religion and not science.”

        I don’t see you proposing an alternative to the greenhouse theory, which is easy to falsify by the way. Blathering on about religion and Chinese hoaxes doesn’t hide your denialism.

        1. I don’t see you proposing an alternative to the greenhouse theory …

          Incapable of reading are we mtrueman? He didn’t say greenhouse, he said climate change. They are not the same thing.

          1. “They are not the same thing.”

            He don’t care. The moron peddles Chinese hoaxes.

    4. The fact that climate change is being blamed as the cause of every potential negative outcome suggests the hypothesis is bs.

      My biggest issue is that it cannot be falsified. If it gets colder…well, that’s because of warming. Hotter? Also, warming. Stormier? Warming. Less stormy? Warming.

      The non-falsifiability is a big reason I view it as a religion and not science.

      1. Religion more than science, yes.
        But mostly just the most massive ponzi scheme the world’s ever seen.
        Reading the Paris Agreement really hammered that home for me. The manner of fraud became very clear.

        So, the tack I often take now is to skip the dispute over whether AGW/CC is or isn’t. Instead, I’d rather talk about:
        1. What solutions do you propose? How will they work? When will we know we’ve done enough?
        2. Do we trust gov, or ourselves, to not F things up worse – since it’s our fault in the first place?
        3. Is AGW even a bad thing? We’re coming out of an ice age, and humans thrive in warmer climates.
        4. How much of our lives should revolve around accommodation? And wouldn’t the safest thing to do be to wipe out like 25-33% of himanity? Who gets culled?

        1. One thing I do know: throwing fistfuls of cash at the sky isn’t gonna do much…
          Though I encourage this as an extremely woke solution, provided I’m made aware of where this ritual will take place.

      2. This is all just another reason that these marxists are an existential threat to America, and humanity in general. So the real question is not what to do about the environment, but how do we deal with our ‘progressive’ problem?

  4. Sorry, Ron.
    The earth ain’t broke.
    Plants need CO2.
    Man is not capable of destroying the earth.
    Man is for damn sure not capable of ‘fixing’ the earth.
    Other than that, good article.

    1. “Man is not capable of destroying the earth.”

      Not capable of destroying the planet, true dat. We can, however, send LIFE on the planet (including ourselves) to oblivion! Set off all our nukes, that one is obvious (wipe out maybe half of advanced lifeforms?). Less well known, and worse, is grind up our total supply of plutonium into a finely ground-up dust or powder, and spread it across the whole planet. That would probably set life back to the bacteria stage, planet-wide.

      1. Yet life, as you say, would continue.
        Have you seen video of Chernobyl recently? It’s become something of a wildlife refuge due to the lack of human habitation.
        Cataclysm is not desirable, but it’s hubris to think we can control the world.

        1. You’re correct about Chernobyl, and ionizing radiation is not NEARLY the boogey-man that it is made out to be.

          LOW DOSE ionizing radiation is actually GOOD for you!

          On radioactive wastes, Google “radiation hormesis”, and see USA government study of the Taiwan thing (accidental experiment on humans) at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm…..MC2477708/ ? Low-dose radioactivity is actually GOOD for you! Seriously!!!
          On “helminthic therapy”, AKA gut parasite worms are GOOD for you, too, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20054982 (USA government again) or others ?
          Well anyway, WHAT is a summary of what I am saying? I thought I heard you asking about that, through my tri-cornered aluminum-foil hat, as I am sitting here?

          HERE is your summary: Holyweird is WAY off base, with their horror movies! A Giant Gut-Parasitical Radioactive Teenage Mutant Ninja Tapeworm would be GOOD for us!!! Bring it ON, ah says!!!

          1. Yep.
            My mom worked for an organization called CIRMS – council on ionizing radiation measurements and standards
            They do good work

          2. And if we get enough fame rays, then we can all be incredible hulks. Or at least credible hulks.

            1. ‘Gamma rays’

  5. Next week it’s spring and the climate is changing !

    Alert Al Gore and Leo DiCaprio for a climate change conference at Leo’s villa in Italy !

  6. Hmm, I’ve heard something like before….

  7. Spray salt water into the atmosphere? I had heard water vapor was a far more effective greenhouse gas than CO2.

    1. I think it’s the salt bit that reflects solar radiation or something.

  8. I have now noticed something about the proggie brain, which I hadn’t noticed before. It works the same on totally different topics! See if you can spot the similarities below:

    Proggie brain, concerning free market v/s Government Almighty: Under the free market, people’s (buyers and sellers) use their free will or volition, un-coerced, to move goods, services, and money around, intelligently, in order to help themselves, and that is EVIL! But when Government Almighty (as assemblage of voters and politicians that are endlessly fighting each other and erecting near-brainless bureaucracies run amok) moves the same goods, services, and money around, using coercion, then that is GOOD!

    Proggie brain, concerning Geoengineering v/s Gaia (Momma Nature): Geoengineering proposes carbon sequestration or reflecting more sunlight, via human action, to help ourselves intelligently. EVIL!!!
    But when Gaia does the exact same thing, and over-does them from time to time, and wallops us with ginormous volcanoes or asteroids, in a totally un-intelligent way, then that is GOOD!

    Gaia-lovers think that humans catastrophes from Gaia are GOOD, ’cause they wipe out humans, who are nasty parasites to Gaia; I kid you not!

    1. To prove my last point about the humans-haters, I give you this:
      Bill McKibben is an un-reformed, 200-proof, human-hating asshole!
      “At its extreme, green ideology expresses itself in utter contempt for humanity. Reviewing Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature in the Los Angeles Times, National Park Service research biologist David M. Graber concluded with this stunning passage: ‘Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of nature, but it isn’t true. Somewhere along the line?at about a billion years ago, maybe half that?we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth. It is cosmically unlikely that the developed world will choose to end its orgy of fossil-energy consumption, and the Third World its suicidal consumption of landscape. Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.’

      1. “It is hard to take such notions seriously without sounding like a bit of a kook yourself. But there they are?calmly expressed in the pages of a major, mainstream, Establishment newspaper by an employee of the federal government. When it is acceptable to say such things in polite intellectual company, when feel-good environmentalists tolerate the totalitarians in their midst, when sophisticates greet the likes of Graber with indulgent nods and smiles rather than arguments and outrage, we are one step further down another bloody road to someone’s imagined Eden. All the greens need is an opportunity and a Lenin.”
        From “Free Minds & Free Markets”, Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 1993, which is a compilation of 25 years of articles from Reason magazine, this one being “The Green Road to Serfdom”, April 1990, by Virginia I. Postrel.

        1. +1

          The end of humanity with deafening applause. A massive stroke of red across a canvas of intellectual violence that would make Jim Jones proud and Stalin blush.

    2. So, shall we assume that proggie brain is as retarded as contard brain?

      1. Proggie brain is generally addicted to self-righteous and smug coercion of others. It is also self-destructive of humans generally, as noted above. Then it’s also hypocritical, in that, if they REALLY believed that human life is a blight upon the planet, they’d just go off and commit suicide. But no, THEY personally aren’t part of the blight; those people over THERE are the blight! So proggie brain is pretty stupid AND evil…

        Contard brain, in SOME flavors (hyper-nationalism, militarism, self-righteous religion, exono-phobia, gayophobia, etc.) can be just as bad, I will admit that. Contards don’t have as much “traction” (especially in media and academia) right now, THAT is the big difference!

        1. Well said.
          Suicide is what the progressive soul desire (the nihilism of utopia/afterlife), but resentment will not allow the misanthrope to just fulfill their own deep desire.
          No, the progressive must drag down those around it and others.
          Suicide bombing as policy, and on a totalitarian scale.

          1. I’ve been an advocate for Tony, PB, and AmSoc ALL committing suicide for sometime now. So I am way ahead of the curve.

  9. Didn’t we just see a reason story on how elevated CO2 was enabling a new revolution in agriculture that was going to save the world?

    1. What if I told you that Reason is actually multiple people with different opinions and foci of interest?

      1. What if I told you it was the same author?

        1. What if I told you Chipper Morning Baculum is only slightly dumber than his moniker would imply?

  10. Trusting humans to artificially reduce the CO2 content is an alarming proposition.

    Consider the minimum amount of CO2 required for plant life.

    Search google (or equivalent) for “minimum co2 level for plant life”
    Keep in mind that we can’t even build a pedestrian footbridge
    without a disaster, no doubt aided by political and bureaucratic fingers in the pie

    1. Ye can be a “human carbon sink” like MEEE, to help out!

      STOP yer un-clean and Gaia-destroying emissions, ye horrible Reasonoids!!! Be morally superior like MEEE!!!

      I obviously LOVE the Gaia Mama-Earth, as can be clearly seen by my Own Sacred Efforts to Serve as a Human Carbon Sink? Did y’all know that Yers Truly is doing his / her VERY best, and serving as a “human carbon sink”? Whenever anyone brings free food to work, or there is a pot-luck of ANY sort, I make DARN sure to follow “fair is fair”? Half for me, half for everyone else! And so I have put MANY carbon atoms WAY into the deep freeze, OUT of them that thar atmosphere, and stored into Mine Own Beloved Body, AKA, the Human Carbon Sink? I do it ALL fer U, and The Earth Goddess Gaia, and The Children! And, Yer Welcome!!!

      1. PS, the other thing I do to show my Love of Gaia? As a cat-loving, Gaia / Mother Earth Loving, Baby-Seals-loving kind of Morally Superior Personoid that I am, I have to conclude washing cloth diapers, or using disposal diapers, or flushing one’s urine stains or poop stains down the drain, wastefully, is all abhorrent to Gaia. So I fartilize the earth in the back yard with my poop and pee. Poop and pee STAINS remaining on me, you ask? Well, the Earth Mother has kindly, graciously provided us ungrateful sub-humanoids with PERFECT puddy-tats to show us the way! They use neither cloth nor un-natural fibers to clad their babies’ butts, or even to wipe their own? They LICK them clean, in a Gaia-loving way. Most of us can’t lick our own butts, sad to say, so the VERY least we could, and should, be doing, is to use recycled cloth butt-wipes and lick them clean, wasting neither precious water (Gaia-Mother’s precious BLOOD, you know!) nor fiber, nor polluting the Mother Earth with artificial fibers or pollutants. If y’all aren’t doing it like I say, here, y’all are just making the baby seals cry, that’s all I gonna say now? Do as I say, REPENT NOW! Before it is too late!

      2. STOP yer un-clean and Gaia-destroying emissions, ye horrible Reasonoids!!! Be morally superior like MEEE!!!

        Few of the people proposing carbon emission reductions actually reduce their own emissions. Just look at that fat slob Al Gore, whose carbon footprint is even fatter than his waistline.

  11. Wait, DID we cause climate change?
    I was taught the climate has been continuously changing over billions of years. Except for the occasional giant meteor strike, however, it is usually too long-term to be readily noticed.

    To quote Billy Joel:
    “We didn’t start the fire
    It was always burning
    Since the world’s been turning”

    1. No. The climate USED to change, but it was decided in the Treaty of Muctanutictictauhuaca in 12,010 BCE to keep the climate as it was that day, for the rest of time.

      This worked well for many millenia, until “capitalism” was discovered, which, when combined with another new invention called “individual liberty”, started a new and dangerous era of climate change.

      1. So,

        We’re going to have to start sacrificing virgins again?

        1. Poor Lena Dunham…

        2. Old story.
          Guy comes to the chief of a south pacific island nation and says “we have to cancel the parade of the virgins this year”. The chief asks why. “Because one of them has a cold, and the other won’t parade alone”.

    2. Of course, the term Climate Change as used in popular parlance refers to something specific – changes driven by increased warming due to the release of greenhouse gases from human activity. That the term means something more specific than a literal reading implies is a weak criticism.

      1. No, using the term ‘climate change’ implies a weak theory – otherwise it wouldn’t have been changed to such a general, and by that fact, obviously indisputable term.

        AGW actually specifies a theory, and therein lies its weakness for political/marketing/propaganda use. Data started to conflict with AGW postulates, thus a generic term was appropriated to continue pursuing the agenda.

        Here’s a better term than ‘climate change’ – global socialism.
        Let’s call it what it is

        1. That is spot on.

  12. First, you fight them.
    Next, you laugh at them.
    Then you ignore them.
    Then, they fade into oblivion.

    I’m in between “laugh at” and “ignore” these days. The article was definitely a good laugh.

  13. I find this essay amusing. Why do techies and other who believe in the illusion of “human progress” ALWAYS think they can engineer a new solution to fix the last engineering failure and this time it will work!

    1. A ton of our techy fixes are clear fixes made to the problems presented to us by Momma Nature (NOT all that often, fixes to what we have broken, in comparison to our just making life better for ourselves, compared to “Nature, red in tooth and claw”).

      To steal a line from P. J. O’rourke, if we REALLY believed otherwise (nature good, tech bad), we’d leave our nice comfy beds in the house with the AC and heating, and we’d sleep in the grass instead, and let the bugs bite our butts!

    2. Human progress is not an illusion.

      Though, it cannot be engineered, as the massive brainpower of the sum of every individual in the market will always far exceed that of bureaucrats or any other group that thinks they can outsmart billions of people looking out for their own interests.

  14. So, to “fix”it, we must REALLY radically alter it.

  15. Any response to global warming besides “allow humanity to flourish so that we can create the technology for cleaner energy or have the capital to deal with a warming world” is idiotic.

    Something about Mao and sparrows?

    Humans will deal with it unless we’re all dirt poor because our best and brightest got raped and the rest can’t afford energy.

  16. It’s way past time for humans to start devising an emergency back-up planetary cooling system. Should man-made global warming turn out to be faster and more intense than currently projected, we need a plan for how to respond. Geoengineering offers one possible answer.

    Ron Bailey is proving again that he is a progressive: “here is a planet wide emergency, let’s come up with a big government, planet wide solution”.

    No, we don’t need to “plan for how to respond”. Even if the world climate changed back to the radical temperatures we had during the Eocene maximum, about 14C higher than present, we don’t need global geoengineering to fix it. How do we know? Because we know what the climate was like during those periods and it was perfectly compatible with human life. There would be changes in where and how people live, but they are within the range of what free markets can easily adapt to on the time scales we are talking about.

    What humanity couldn’t survive is the creation of a global political and economic entity either capable of massive reductions in carbon emissions or geoengineering of the kind Bailey talks about: such a world would make the Soviet Union look like a libertarian paradise in comparison.

    1. “What humanity couldn’t survive is the creation of a global political and economic entity either capable of massive reductions in carbon emissions or geoengineering of the kind Bailey talks about: such a world would make the Soviet Union look like a libertarian paradise in comparison.”

      The aurochs did, although we may not call ourselves humanity anymore (too much patriarchy in that name anyway). And Ron would love that scientifically planned world.

    2. “There would be changes in where and how people live, but they are within the range of what free markets can easily adapt to on the time scales we are talking about.”

      I need a new fortune teller.

      1. I need a new fortune teller.

        No, all you need is science and some critical thinking. Look at the (already unrealistic) worst case predictions of the IPCC and then compare it to the historical changes we observed over the past century and you find that no action is needed.

        1. “No, all you need is science and some critical thinking. Look at the (already unrealistic) worst case predictions of the IPCC”

          No, science isn’t about looking at the predictions of the IPCC, it’s about observing and measuring things. If you want to observe and measure things that exist only in the future, you need a good fortune teller. You seem to have found one who tells you exactly what you want to hear.

          1. Aren’t you the fruitcake who thinks the September 11 attacks were staged because jet fuel can’t melt steel?

            1. What does your fortune teller tell you?

          2. You seem to have found one who tells you exactly what you want to hear.

            I’m saying that even if the unrealistic projections of the IPCC were true, there would be no action needed on climate change. There is no “fortune teller” involved in that statement.

            Are you saying that we need to act on climate change because your fortune teller tells you that things are even worse than even the worst fear mongers predict? Or what exactly are you saying?

            1. IPCC are by no means the worst fear mongers. And there ranking on the scale of worst to best fear mongers is irrelevant anyway.

              “but they are within the range of what free markets can easily adapt to on the time scales ”

              This is total bullshit, you have no idea what the range will be. That’s the future for you. History will only tell you so much and from there on you’re in the dark. Try the Chinese Hoax shtick. It goes down well here.

              1. This is total bullshit, you have no idea what the range will be.

                Of course we do. We know how much carbon emissions can possibly increase global temperatures, we know how much sea levels can rise and how fast in a worst case scenario. And we know that even badly run markets can easily adapt to the movement of billions of people in response to environmental change because they have already done so.

                IPCC are by no means the worst fear mongers. And there ranking on the scale of worst to best fear mongers is irrelevant anyway.

                It’s quite relevant. Science and law operates in part by an adversarial process. IPCC represents advocates of the “AGW is massively harmful” theory, they put down the best and most credible arguments for that position. and even taking their arguments at face value, it’s not a threat. Alternatively, we can also argue directly from data and reach the same conclusion.

                1. And the Chinese hoax? Why are you ignoring this? We don’t know the future with any certainty. You can’t even tell me what the weather or the stock market will do tomorrow, let alone 50 years hence.

                  1. We don’t know the future with any certainty. You can’t even tell me what the weather or the stock market will do tomorrow, let alone 50 years hence.

                    Just because some things are hard to predict doesn’t mean that we can’t predict anything.

                    I can tell you that we won’t have snowstorms in Bora Bora and that we won’t have sunny beach weather at McMurdo station. I can tell you that the stock market won’t triple tomorrow, and I can also tell you that unless there is a major external event, it also won’t fall by 90%.

                    Likewise, I can tell you that, no matter how much carbon humans try to emit, sea levels won’t rise by more than a few feet this century and global temperatures will increase by at most a few degrees C. That’s basic physics.

                    I can also tell you that government is incapable of curbing CO2 emissions (beyond reductions achieved by the free market) without massively reducing global per capita GDP and plunging billions into poverty. That’s basic economics.

                    1. “Likewise, I can tell you that, no matter how much carbon humans try to emit, sea levels won’t rise by more than a few feet this century and global temperatures will increase by at most a few degrees C.”

                      You may think this is true but the future may prove you wrong. “We’re never going to get an earthquake bigger than 8.1,” the engineers who designed the reactors at Fukushima told each other. The future had something else in store for them.

                      This is anything but basic physics. The earth’s atmosphere is hellishly complex and we’re only beginning to understand it.

                      “I can also tell you that government is incapable of curbing CO2 emissions (beyond reductions achieved by the free market) without massively reducing global per capita GDP and plunging billions into poverty. ”

                      Unless you can come up with a better way, that may be what we’re in for. If you’re planning on living a long life, you might want to prepare for it. Being poor is better than being dead.

                    2. This is anything but basic physics. The earth’s atmosphere is hellishly complex and we’re only beginning to understand it.

                      Hellishly complex or not, there are basic physical limits based on energy balance.

                      Unless you can come up with a better way, that may be what we’re in for. If you’re planning on living a long life, you might want to prepare for it. Being poor is better than being dead.

                      The idea that climate change is going to kill humanity is ludicrous, and the idea that humanity should transform itself into an impoverished, centrally planned, global totalitarian state because of fear mongering from people like you is equally ludicrous. Fortunately, US and European voters aren’t going to go for that kind of nonsense because they do have enough common sense and instinct for self preservation to tell people like you to fuck off.

                    3. Again with the fortune telling. This time it’s the future behaviour of US and European voters you can see in your crystal ball. Is there no limit to your phenomenal powers?

  17. Geoengineering is already happening. The aerosol program is already underway.

    Just look up .

  18. More bullshit from Bailey, but what can we expect from the idiot…

    1. “but what can we expect…”

      An unflattering reference to Paul Ehrlich? Somehow it’s missing from this piece.

  19. So let’s get this straight: Ron reads a couple of controversial studies on sodium intake and he is SURE that it was all just some dumb conspiracy, but then he looks at the global warming cry, notes the failures of all of the disastrous predictions, and still decides that it’s a problem that needs to be fixed. Even better, he cites the king of the patent trolls, Myhrvold.

    SCIENZ!

    Gosh, it’s a total mystery why there’s so much skepticism about Reason’s commitment to rational though.

    1. It’s sort of like the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect, only the amnesia is deliberate.

  20. Hubris.

    The tracts on hubris will be, ahem, cold comfort to the few remaining humans huddled in their equatorial igloos after implementation of The Bailey Plan plunged the world into an early and historically deep ice age. Unintended consequences, unknown unknowns. They’re a bitch, man.

  21. “Should man-made global warming turn out to be faster and more intense than currently projected…” There’s a premise that makes the article moot. “Should man-made global warming ” turn out to be more than the figment of rent seeking government paid scientists?

    I’m more concerned with solar caused global warming and planet caused global warming. However, I’d rather squander money on addressing ‘man made global warming’ than squander money on war and/or mal-educating our children at government indoctrination centers.

  22. We broke the climate?

    Hyperbole much?

  23. Y’all could just… you know… accept the scientific consensus on this subject. Then like try to figure out responses to the problem that fit within your political worldview (much like Bailey does). Are you embarrassed for having peddled bullshit conspiracy theories for so long and are hanging on to the last threads of denial? Are the bullshit rightwing blogs you read just feeding you thoughts that you accept uncritically?

    Can we spare us this long, slow march, goalpost in hand, toward the inevitable? Are you in competition with creationism to see how long you can cling to contrarianism?

    1. Creationism has about as much scientific rigor behind it as environmentalism.

      It’s about as valid a science, as well.

      1. Ah, so you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about and have no interest in improving that situation.

        1. Our knowledge of CO2 in our history covers a smaller percentage of time than it took me to write this post.

          1. You know best I’m sure.

      2. Phrenology too.

    2. Y’all could just… you know… accept the church consensus. Then like live your life so your soul won’t burn for all eternity.

      Lysenkoism came from your side of the debate. I’d rather not live through another repeat, thanks.

      1. The implication of your bullshit is that no facts can ever be known. You don’t believe that, you’re just peddling more bullshit in order to cling to an untenable position.

        1. No, the implication is that you can’t think for yourself and actually believe that democrazy means anything in science.

        2. The implication of your bullshit is that no facts can ever be known.

          No, the implication is that we object to government by consensus and government by scientific elites, and for good historical reasons.

          To the degree that climate change is a problem, it is best addressed by markets, by individual evaluation of the facts, and by individual choice.

        3. The implication of your bullshit is that no facts can ever be known.

          The implication is that the amount of knowledge we actually have is so pathetically tiny as to be utterly useless.

          You don’t believe that, you’re just peddling more bullshit in order to cling to an untenable position.

          What other massive changes to society should we make based on changes over a period that constitutes, what, .00000002 of history? I’d almost hesitate to insult Lysenkoism by comparing it to this.

        4. Tony, I know more about science than your tiny little mind could ever imagine comprehending. Climate temperature is largely driven by solar activity. Period. The math is really fucking obvious when you’re massively more intelligent than you are. Like me.

          You and your friends just use this CO2 crap to drive global Marxism. You get your concensus through funding bribery and political bullying. If anyone dares show dissenting data, they lose funding and/or employment. So they won’t.

          But then, you probably know that, and don’t care. Which is just one of so many reasons you should commit suicide immediately. You malignant piece of shit. CO2 isn’t a threat to humanity, but everyone like you certainly is. And also to prepubescent boy’s rectums, you kiddie raping chickenhawk.

    3. Y’all could just… you know… accept the scientific consensus on this subject.

      We do. What we don’t accept is the political and economic solutions proposed by climate scientists, for the simple reason that climate scientists are not qualified to suggest political and economic solutions.

    4. Are you embarrassed for having peddled bullshit conspiracy theories for so long and are hanging on to the last threads of denial?

      Asks the faggot who still thinks Trump will be impeached for colluding with Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 election away from Hillary Clinton.

    5. Or look at the online temperature data and see the temperature has been falling this past century… REALclimatescience is where Trump goes for data. Should the communist intelligentzia not at least peek–to better refute the lies?

      1. Hank, we actually agree on something. Congratulations.

  24. I think there s some truth to agw but not nearly as bad as what progs want you to believe. If it’s as bad as they say it will be, then geoengineering is something that needs to be considered, but the progs aren’t interests in solutions, they want us all to pay for the original carbon sin

    1. See? Nobody’s even trying anymore. Just give it up and save the world the embarrassment on your behalf.

    2. Nick is the perfect example of a citizen who cannot read a thermometer, but watches a lot of teevee and “learns” from its documendacities.

  25. Place into orbit satellites with chemical sulfur dioxide absorbents to leech the chemical from the atmosphere and release it into space.

  26. No we didn’t, and no we shouldn’t

  27. Fucking morons… Global warming is a hoax.

    1. A brief but accurate summation. An engineer in Boulder, Tony Heller, tracks temperatures and gives away warez so you can graph government thermometer records. See realclimatescience.com

  28. HIDE THE DECLINE WITH MIKEY’S NATURE TRICK! Bailey drank the ‘cool’aid.

  29. “We Can Fix It”

    Is that so?

    Seeing as how “we” equates to “the government” (I don’t think anybody needs convincing that a private party trying any of this stuff would get shut down so fast it would make their heads spin), I’m wondering what government can be trusted to even attempt this without massive crony spending and the obligatory screwups that are sure to occur.

    Go ahead, make your argument for what you want the State to do, and what you want the State to be in charge of.

    Then, go back and look at your statement. Everywhere you said “the State,” delete that phrase and replace it with “politicians I actually know, running in electoral systems with voters and interest groups that actually exist.”

    If you still believe your statement, then we have something to talk about.

    https://fee.org/articles/unicorn-governance/

    1. As the US government (Department of Defense, specifically) is the largest polluter on the planet and is a corrupt, fetid cesspool of failure in every single thing it does, one would have to be, literally, a drooling, window-licking waterhead to think that the US government is the solution to any problem, real or imagined.

  30. I also love this constant belief that we know what the climate SHOULD be.

    After all, if it’s “broken” and we need to “fix” it, then we must know what it SHOULD be, right?

    1. An office full of people arguing over the thermostat elevated to international politics with nuclear weapons in play. What could possibly go wrong?

  31. I recognize that climate is changing but how much human kind is adding to that change I don’t know. But if humanity is a major factor I do know that each time that a human being is added to the populations of this planet the very fact of living will add to the climate changing pollution that is entering the environment. Sooner or later even if there is no hydrocarbons used as fuel or for any of the other uses we make of it today the CO2 emissions of the ever increasing population will continue to grow.
    With that said I have yet to hear anything about the control of the cause of pollution, humanity. Until there is a plan to control the growth of humans the reversal of global warming is not likely to make any headway. However this was said to happen in Revelations 16: 8)The fourth angel poured out his bowl (of wrath of God) on the sun and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. 9)Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues and they did not repent so as to given Him glory. This was written nearly 2000 years ago and is coming to past now.

    1. Some do admit to this. The weird part is that these same environmentalists say nothing about the high birth rates of third world countries and the insane amount of pollution they produce. The answer always seems to be that western nations need to reduce their populations (while accepting ever more third world immigrants) and restrict our energy production to certain government approved methods.

    2. “Until there is a plan to control the growth of humans…”

      Politicians controlling who will be allowed (or not) to reproduce? What could possibly go wrong?

      Think of the politician you like least. Now, imagine he/she’s in charge. Does that make you more or less likely to be in favor of a plan?

    3. 8)The fourth angel poured out his bowl (of wrath of God) on the sun and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. 9)Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues and they did not repent so as to given Him glory. This was written nearly 2000 years ago and is coming to past now.

      So if it is “coming to past now” what happened to the first 3 angels? Oh … I know … they don’t fit your narrative.

      1. Coming to pass, OK? Jesus Christ, guys.

        1. The solution to, too many humans, is ALSO spelled out in The Holy Word!

          God wants us ALL dead!

          And I can quote chapter and verse to prove it, all ye infidels!!!

          Our that them thar VALUES of society outta come from that them thar HOLY BIBLE, and if ya read it right, it actually says that God wants us to KILL EVERYBODY!!! Follow me through now: No one is righteous, NONE (Romans 3:10). Therefore, ALL must have done at least one thing bad, since they’d be righteous, had they never done anything bad. Well, maybe they haven’t actually DONE evil, maybe they THOUGHT something bad (Matt. 5:28, thoughts can be sins). In any case, they must’ve broken SOME commandment, in thinking or acting, or else they’d be righteous. James 2:10 tells us that if we’ve broken ANY commandment, we broke them ALL. Now we can’t weasel out of this by saying that the New Testament has replaced the Old Testament, because Christ said that he’s come to fulfill the old law, not to destroy it (Matt. 5:17). So we MUST conclude that all are guilty of everything. And the Old Testament lists many capital offenses! There’s working on Sunday.

          1. There’s also making sacrifices to, or worshipping, the wrong God (Exodus 22:20, Deut. 17:2-5), or even showing contempt for the Lord’s priests or judges (Deut. 17:12). All are guilty of everything, including the capital offenses. OK, so now we’re finally there… God’s Word COMMANDS us such that we’ve got to kill EVERYBODY!!!

            (I am still looking for that special exception clause for me & my friends & family? I am sure I will find it soon!)

  32. It is impressive the way the most ignorant of non-scientists can convince the Reason staff that “we” raised temperatures when thermometers–when not tampered with or “homogenized”–say the opposite. http://tinyurl.com/ybnnc558 (from my blog, honest)

  33. This is absolutely terrifying. Cold is a much worse problem for humans than warmth.

    Hey, let’s potentially destroy civilization by kickstarting an ice age because we’re afraid of a 2 degree increase that will benefit most of the world

    1. “Cold is a much worse problem for humans than warmth.”

      We deal with heat by sweating, or panting if we are dogs. Sweating only works up to a certain point. After that, you die. Cold can be dealt with by clothing.

  34. Looking at how successful most government programs have been (the war on obesity, the war on drugs, and more recently, keeping violent students in school) This one ought to be a LULU!
    I would suggest moving to the warmest climate possible and preparing for a man made Ice Age.

  35. How about “I don’t give a rat’s balls”?

    As a non-scientist, the only thing I believe is that it isn’t “science” unless you have a control. Where do we get a static Earth?

    How about we just deal with root cause without hyperbole? I’d get behind solutions for sustainable energy for the more simplistic reason that at some point fossil fuels will run out (prolly not in my lifetime tho). And, not because it’s going to make oceans rise a few inches because of CO2 emissions. I’m more worried about boring-ole’ pollution and it’s affects on my health.

    What I’m saying is fuck the temperature. I want my car to run and I want to breathe.

  36. Even if these methods work to cancel out global heating, they won’t
    protect the oceans from mass extinction. CO2 doesn’t just heat up the
    ecosphere; it also dissolves in the water making it more acidic. In a
    few decades, all coral will simply dissolve in the acid, and the
    thousands of species that depend on coral reefs will have nowhere to
    go.

    Some fish have been observes to engage in dangerous behaviors, likely
    to get them eaten, in elevated levels of CO2. And it appears that rising
    CO2 levels are causing grain yields to fall, globally.

    So even with a way to get rid of the heat, we still urgently need to
    stop burning so much fossil fuel.

    1. “we still urgently need to stop burning so much fossil fuel.”

      Sacrifice our precious life style for corals? For grains? You obviously have no appreciation of the scientific method.

    2. CO2 doesn’t just heat up the ecosphere; it also dissolves in the water making it more acidic.

      Two things.
      1. The ocean is salty. Look up what salt is. Learn what ph is.
      2. Two cans of soda. One warm, one cold. What do you observe that is different when you both cans?
      3. Quit spewing activist nonsense. It’s hand waving fear mongering.

      1. 4. It’s all a Chinese hoax. Our ‘scientific skepticism’ is just a pretense adopted by poseurs like our Greg F.

    3. Coral reefs have lived in worlds with far more CO2 and heat than we are projected to have anytime soon. Their habitat might zones where they will thrive might change, but they won’t die out.

      CO2 actually increases plant growth. Do you seriously not know this? The doom sayers who are predicting crop yields going down on basing it off of some areas being hotter, and tipping into too hot to grow grains… But they also completely ignore that a huge portion of the landmass of the earth will become BETTER for growing crops… Namely Russia and Canada!

      So try again buddy boy.

  37. Let me guess- Let’s have the largest polluter and biggest producer of CO2 on Earth, the US government, who currently consumes nearly half of the entire economic output of the country, take more money from taxpayers, under the guise of combating a questionable hypothesis, and use less than 1% of that money for it’s stated purpose, as it has done every single time it raised taxes for a specific cause. Yeah, sounds like a good plan.

    1. The real goal is to crush industry.

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  39. In all seriousness, how is it climate scientist can predict weather years in advance, when the nightly meteorologist can’t predict beyond a few days reliably.

    Every time climatologists make a prediction, they are wrong. And does anyone think that this hoax has something to do with that fact that a billion dollars a day is spent globally on preventing man made global change?

    1. It’s quite often that we can predict long term trends but not all short terms fluctuations.

      In engineering, we call the short term stuff we can’t predict “noise” and keep on keeping on with the predicting.

  40. Broadly speaking, earth’s temperature ranges are a function of solar output and atmospheric water vapor [not exactly what the IPCC “report” centers on, but it’s been a decade since I read it]. Arguments outside of that seem cultist to me, and are not worthy of steering public policy. But more to the point, it sounds like the author is one of the afflicted who will kill us all: pinheads who will act the moment the tech exists to dope the sun for the purposes of tweaking reactivity/output. Don’t let them do it – the oven stuffers of the third reich were less to fear.
    Systems tend to lose energy, which would suggest earths temperature ranges should drift downwards looking at things on a 10,000 year basis. The recent ice shelf breaking off of antarctica is just one instance of growing ice buildup, but cultists don’t let anything get in front of narrative. Gauging temperature ranges on anything smaller than 100 year units is about as insane as day trading without having any inside information in hand at present: we have ice core samples and computer “projections” with all their built in assumptions. Which should we believe? Our climate is not broken, but our common sense is: stasis is the most unnatural thing under the sun.

  41. People are giving Ron way too much crap here.

    There has been a rising temperature trend. If it rises too much, bad things will happen. It’s just prudent to look into methods to cool the planet.

    Ron buys that CO2 increases temperature. That’s perfectly reasonable. We continue to increase CO2 levels. So, we’d expect continued warming. How much warming has always been the issue, and Ron has let the data tell the story, and supplied the data monthly to us.

    So many people, getting their undies in wad.

  42. Wow the author of this piece is a special kind of stupid, not one of us here can control the earths climate. You have no clue as to how you will effect other peoples lives with your dumb experiment. What if you start a cycle that results in the death of millions because you screwed around with the earth’s climate. We just got here and we don’t know shit, but we are going to stick our hands in the machinery and fiddle around. Good luck with that.

  43. Broke it? How?

    Backup plans are great, but when you haven’t done anything, don’t accept blame.

  44. Warm planet, life thrives

    Cool planet, life dies.

  45. Global warming is over hyped. But we have been heating up. We are probably only contributing a very small part of this heating.

    That said, if/when we get a better handle on things, I’m not entirely opposed to doing some stuff to cool the planet IF, and ONLY IF, somebody can explain some legit reasons why we would actually not want to be a little warmer. Everything always over hypes the theoretical bad bits, and ignores gaining good crop land in the northern hemisphere, and other gains.

    But if we really figure it out, or on the off chance we really are driving it and it gets bad, I’m not 100% against controlling the climate. I mean, controlling nature is what we humans do best. Even if it’s not so much better or worse, but just maintaining the status quo because it’s what we’re used to, I’m not opposed to that if a warmer earth isn’t clearly better.

    The biggest problem here is different nations are winners and losers with a warmer earth. Russia, Canada, the USA, a northern Europe will likely all improve… But equatorial areas may not. So it would be quite a hot button issue however things play out.

  46. Looks like the globalists have taken over at Reason. Should’ve known.

  47. Looks like the globalists have taken over at Reason. Should’ve known.

  48. Ron,
    You mention, “some surprisingly informative congressional hearings in November,” but don’t provide any links. Did you see them in person or online? If online, could you please provide the links? I couldn’t find anything on the C-SPAN website. Thanks.

    On a side note, it seems that, due to resistance to research, our knowledge of geoengineering hasn’t advanced much past this 1997 Reason article: “Climate Controls” (reason.com/archives/1997/11/01/climate-controls).

    Another argument for geoengineering research that is rarely mentioned is that: it would significantly improve our understanding of natural climate processes. After all, what’s a better way to understand the effects of aerosols or of clouds, or of iron-rich dust fertilizing the oceans, than to modify those variables under experimental conditions? One reason there are still so many unknowns and uncertainties in climate science is that scientists only passively observe what happens, rather than trying to isolate individual variables through experimentation.

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