Climate Change and American Leadership

By David Robinson of Aloha, Oregon. Robinson is the facilities and fleet director for the City of Hillsboro. He's also a Reserve Commander in the U.S. Navy and a former instructor at the U. S. Naval Academy.

Recently, in a Facebook Wall exchange with my uncle, the issue of global warming and climate change came up. My uncle is on the opposite side of the issue from me and I thought this would be a good time and place to address some of my uncle’s comments and the common misconceptions of the anti-environmental coalition. First and foremost, man-made climate change is a reality. Even if the common consensus of both the left and right had not coalesced to this position, I know this fact is truly a fact. I am a graduate engineer with extensive education in ocean and climate science. I have seen the data and the climate models – From a scientific point of view, the data and conclusions are irrefutable. Most of the arguments against climate change are not science based; the arguments are based on politics and religion.

My uncle conceded that the earth has been through many periods of cooling and warming long before the industrial revolution. This statement is true; the earth has been through many cycles of cooling and warming. The statement contains an implicit acknowledgement that the time scale of the earth is many tens of thousands of years. Except for catastrophic events, the natural climate changes of the earth are on time scales measured in thousands of years. The issue of man-made climate change is the pace of the change. Natural climate change has the earth in a warming cycle during the 20th and 21st century. Since the inception of the industrial revolution, the rate of increase in the earth’s temperature greatly exceeds the expected natural change – this accelerating rate of change is directly attributable to the man-made transformation of terrestrial carbon into atmospheric carbon, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels. The question of whether or not accelerating climate change is man-made (bipartisan consensus is ‘yes’) has changed to whether or not we have passed an inflection point and if the change is reversible (no consensus yet). We must believe we have the ability to control and change our circumstance. We must act as if we are the stewards of this earth, not just the masters of this earth. We are not just along for the ride. The idea that we can control and reverse global warming is not absurd.

It is completely reasonable for the political process and Governments to develop rules and regulations that govern the types of vehicles we use, the chemicals that are used in their manufacture and operation, and even how we generate the electricity we use to power our lifestyles. Government has given us regulations that dictate how much gas is used in our cars (which is now clearly recognized as a national security issue), how much pollution is generated by those cars (clearly recognized as a national health issue), and politicians have formulated the policies that built the roads we drive with those cars (roads originally built for national security reasons). The American automakers have fought regulations to increase fuel efficiency standards and have ignored the economic realities of the marketplace. These same automakers now stand on the brink of destruction because they ignored and actively fought these policies – I am sure they now wish they had a more strategic mindset during the past several decades.


Yes it is a tragedy for a logger who lost a job because of an endangered bird. It is not a tragedy for that bird, and it is not a tragedy for our children to enjoy the natural beauty of the world God gave us. It is also not a tragedy for the two workers who found jobs that were created because of the new technologies that were developed to manufacture products that replaced the wood the logger no longer provides. American manufacturing jobs have not been lost because of environmental policies – they have been lost primarily because of increased automation and robotics. Some jobs have been lost because of international economic forces and America must address this issue; this issue is not primarily environmental, it is economic. Any jobs lost due to environmental policies have been replaced at a greater than 2-to-1 ratio in the engineering, technology and business arena. America is still the economic engine of the world and will remain so for many decades to come. To remain the world’s economic engine indefinitely and to continue to create the jobs that provide for our standard of living, we must continue to invest, and even increase our investment, in the technologies of tomorrow. Green technologies and innovations are the products of tomorrow and America and the American worker is the best suited to provide these products to the world.

America has provided leadership to the world ever since the Great White Fleet circled this world. Our parents and grandparents provided this leadership in times of war and peace, in times of prosperity and scarcity, and at great cost to themselves. The American Leaders of yesterday provide the example of what we as Americans should strive for today – creating a better world for our children and their children, and creating a better world for the children in all areas of the world. That this endeavor may cost us a dollar today is the price we pay for the leadership that is our heritage and our responsibility. We must not abdicate our leadership on the world stage and we must not abdicate our leadership here at home. America and Americans have produced the greatest technologies of the world, and we can and we must meet the challenges of today and tomorrow to ensure our children have food to eat, air to breath, and water to drink. We can do this and we will do this.

Comments

  • Richard (unverified)
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    What a perfect demonstration of government out of control which the economy collapses.

    The sweeping policies to address global warming could not be more contrived, undeeded, unjustified and destrutive.

    And since there is no Human Global Warming AT ALL, this is the mother of all political blunders. The fact that it's a Democrat blunder cannnot be over stated.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/ThereWasNoGlobalWarmingBefore1997(February15th2009).pdf

    Feb 20, 2009 Satellite Data Show No Warming Before 1997. Changes Since Not Related to CO2

    By Arno Arrak A full analysis of satellite-measured lower tropospheric temperatures indicates that none of the global temperature variations from 1978 to 2008 can be attributed to the effect of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. The record shows global climate oscillations with a period of three to five years and a peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.4 to 0.5 degrees Celsius about a common, fixed mean temperature that lasted from 1978 to 1997. Since this mean temperature did not change for twenty years the late twentieth century warming touted by IPCC and others simply did not happen. Fatal computer errors in IPCC climate models derive from the fact that none of the abrupt warmings and coolings on the record, especially since 1998, can be attributed to the greenhouse effect. Hence, all IPCC models purporting to predict (project??) climate a hundred years into the future are invalid and their predictions/projections must be discarded. To summarize: existing theory used by the IPCC can neither explain the observed climate nor predict the future. Carbon dioxide warming has been shown to be non-existent in the eighties and nineties, and the warming since 1998 is not carbonaceous in origin. It follows that Quijotic carbon dioxide policies like the Kyoto Protocol and the cap-and-trade laws should be abandoned 9. Finally, a word about Al Gore and the IPCC Nobelists. I am sorry to say that the emperor has no clothes on. A trace amount of carbon dioxide in the air does not cause global warming as required by their religion. There was no warming in the eighties and nineties and the warming that does exist started only in 1997, is entirely different in kind, and is not understood. Time for them to close down that Kyoto shrine of theirs and start doing some real climate science.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    while the economy collapses.

  • WunderBlunder (unverified)
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    Another wonderful article by a member of the cadre that would make even our Great Leader proud!

    There is global warming and we must do shut down the capitalist system now!

    Keep the revolutionary spirit alive comerades! We are with you all the way!

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Wow, the wingnuts are already out in force and Jim "billy" Kaarlock hasn't even gotten around to his cherry-picked pseudo-scientific analysis yet.

  • billy (unverified)
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    joel dan walls: Wow, the wingnuts are already out in force B: Yup. You are here.

    joel dan walls: and Jim "billy" Kaarlock hasn't even gotten around to his cherry-picked pseudo-scientific analysis yet. B: Please prove your liable or shut up.

    If you want to see real cherry picking, have a look behind the "snow pack is disappearing" claim: sustainableoregon.com/mote.html

    If you want to read about admitted liars see this: sustainableoregon.com/oktolie.html

    If you want to read about who is raking in millions, read this: sustainableoregon.com/bigmoneyscaring.html

    You might want to look at some things they try to hide here sustainableoregon.com/noproof.html

    Let me know if you learn anything.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    Wow Richard, thanks for quoting a random blogger from Dix Hills, NY as the basis for all of your intensive scientific research.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    @Mr. Robinson "...the common misconceptions of the anti-environmental coalition."

    I for one am a skeptic of the "Church of Global Warming" that so many on the left belong to, yet I will put my environmental cred on the line against any of you. I don't just talk it, I live it. I have on my home the following: solar panels to generate electricity, geothermal heat pump for heating/cooling, tankless water heater and CFL lighting throughout. I drive a hybrid and will buy a plug-in electric when available. My business uses eco-friendly consumables, at great harm to my bottom line, because it is the right thing to do.

    Just because I refuse to become an "eco-dittohead" does not mean I am anti-enviroment. I have no idea if you had anything good to say in your article b/c I didn't get past the second sentence.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    "When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the precautionary principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action." (Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle, Jan. 1998)

    The climate change arguments of the Reich are casino gambling arguments, similar to their economic arguments.

    We heard the same thing when tobacco companies were pulling "health experts" out of their asses like rabbits from a hat to argue that the data on smoking-related cancer was "debatable". It all comes down to whether you're willing to gamble with the lives of future generations on the suspect theories of a suspect minority of "scientists".

    As for "American leadership", this is hubris squared. This sounds to the rest of the world like the British "white man's burden". We are in no position to "lead" on anything. We should join with others in an attempt to solve our problems democratically, taking care to exhibit the proper humility.

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    Natural climate change has the earth in a warming cycle during the 20th and 21st century. Since the inception of the industrial revolution, the rate of increase in the earth’s temperature greatly exceeds the expected natural change

    It seems to me that this is the crux of the issue, not whether or not there are natural global warming and cooling trends.

    So, we are left with the question of cause.

    this accelerating rate of change is directly attributable to the man-made transformation of terrestrial carbon into atmospheric carbon, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels.

    I'm not a scientist nor do I play one on blogs. But the suggestion or inference that humanity could pump billions and trillions of tons of petro byproducts into the atmosphere - above and beyond what would have been injected via natural processes - is lunacy.

    The task, as I see it, is for global warming deniers to explain how or why those trillions of tons of byproducts had no measurable effect, without which their denials are vacuous.

  • billy (unverified)
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    It all comes down to whether you're willing to gamble with the lives of future generations on the suspect theories of a suspect minority of "scientists". B: NO! It comes down to what is a reasonable price to pay to avoid a speculated problem.

    The price of the proposals, such as cap and trade, is horrific. How high will the price of energy go to deny energy to 40% of the uses? That is the goal of cap & trade. Raise the price until people are FORCED to use 40% less.

    There is NO VIABLE GREEN energy except nuclear, which the green idiots (as opposed to rational, well informed greens) have taken off the table.

    The only proposed "solutions" will lower everyone’s standard of living, put millions in poverty and kill a few because they will not be able to afford both food and heat.

    Does anyone here truly believe, after looking at the facts, that green energy exists in the quantity used today? If not, then you are proposing hurting people.

  • Ten Bears (unverified)
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    billy - before you again belabor others' "ignorance", suggesting they "learn something" from the links (to the same damned website, talk about shameless blog-whoring) you provide, I suggest you learn how to, you know, actually insert the links.

    Global warming deniers are the same bunch that when pressed for some kind of "proof" of their alminghty's existence, don't have any... it's "unknowable", aloof, beyond our comprehension. Can't be proven, therefore it is. The good news in that, of course, they'll be to convinced it isn't happening as the sea levels rise that they'll stick around and drown.

  • billy (unverified)
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    Natural climate change has the earth in a warming cycle during the 20th and 21st century. Since the inception of the industrial revolution, the rate of increase in the earth’s temperature greatly exceeds the expected natural change

    this accelerating rate of change is directly attributable to the man-made transformation of terrestrial carbon into atmospheric carbon, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels.

    Please cite a credible source for these claims. I have seen data otherwise. The Bob Carter video has a graph from peer reviewed sources. (blip.tv/file/791876/) Choose a higher resolution option in the drop down

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Kevin, there is a very broad scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate change. Of course there are some professionals who dispute this. Fine. That's the nature of scientific research: unanimity is not only exceptionally rare, but is looked upon with distrust by actual practicing scientists, including yours truly.

    A situation comparable to that which exists in climate studies--a very small minority of dissenters--also exists with respect to AIDS and HIV. There is a handful of scientists--people who've otherwise done good work--who maintain to this day that HIV does not cause AIDS. Yet in exceptionally few places is the view of the tiny minority of "AIDS dissenters" taken seriously; where it has been taken seriously, as in South Africa, the results have been tragic.

    I actually agree with Kaarlock about the present unavailability of a "green" fuel with the tremendous advantages of hydrocarbon fuels. But that has nothing to do with the scientific basis of climate change studies. Kaarlock, in addition to his dogmatic quasi-libertarianism, sees some sort of nefarious cabal of radical Greens behind climate studies. It's a pretty peculiar combination--the supposedly rational, hard-headed economic calculus of the libertarian true believer mixed together with fringy conspiratorial musings--but Kaarlock pulls it off.

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    Ah... I didn't complete the thought in my earlier comment.

    This:

    I'm not a scientist nor do I play one on blogs. But the suggestion or inference that humanity could pump billions and trillions of tons of petro byproducts into the atmosphere - above and beyond what would have been injected via natural processes - is lunacy.

    Should be: I'm not a scientist nor do I play one on blogs. But the suggestion or inference that humanity could pump billions and trillions of tons of petro byproducts into the atmosphere - above and beyond what would have been injected via natural processes - AND IT NOT IMPACT GLOBAL TEMPERATURES is lunacy.

  • Nigel Nicholson (unverified)
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    The question is whether the leadership is there. Britain demonstrated leadership on slavery; America had to kill millions because she couldn't make hard choices. American Democrats have always found reasons to dither and indulge rather than lead, when it is difficult. AIDs dissenters are a good example. That was a crime, not an opinion. Ostracized in the west, they've taken bible in hand and are destroying South Africa. When you dither, people die. Can American leaders address this? Only if both parties are thrown out and people get real about change and hope for tomorrow. Why is it a crime to deny the holocaust, but not science that affects lives, not just climate change science, which continues to evolve? The French have a much better system. You don't legislate all the things you think are good for society (the veil law is very anti-french and an aberration), you determine when harm occurs how it happened and assess responsibility. That would require a justice system that tries to make finding of facts, instead of a puerile contest of sides, winner take all. The American electoral process reflects that immaturity. There are 250 million Americans. You cannot regard what 50 million Americans think as politically insignificant and have a cohesive society. Anywhere in the free world, 50 million is a very important block of votes. In America it only matters if it can be added to make someone's 50%, for which they will say anything.

    This debate is a good example. If this were an European blog, people would be arguing facts. Here, people are trying to win points. Why do we care to read it? Because you are the biggest polluters, the biggest foot-draggers, the biggest deniers, and the biggest crooks. We can't get on with our lives until we deal with you. At least that billy kid is honest. If someone posted that on a European blog they would be ostracized. The fact he just moans on with impunity shows that he is only articulating what most Americans feel. It makes one want to cry watching the few that can think a bit calling themselves bigtime progressives, the neanderthals calling themselves middle-of-the-road, and evangelical murders calling themselves conservative. I've read one thinking progressive on here, and I don't see him/her on this thread.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    No Ten Bears this isn't like any canard you repeat.

    There is more science every day, from experts around the planet, which solidifies the case that AGW is worse than complete nonsense. Anyone who hasn't grasped this by now is either wholefully unifromed uniformed or just about hopelessly closed minded.

    Here's some local noise.

    Professor James Coakley Jr. February 20, 2009 Department of Atmospheric Sciences 313 Strand Ag Hall Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 97332

    Dear Professor Coakley:

    Before responding to your e-mail this morning, I e-mailed Professor John Christy at UAH and told him that you had told me yesterday at this presentation that his microwave temperature sensing measurements for the lower troposphere were invalid and in error. He responded to me that you are continuing to spread myths. He also sent me three published research papers that addressed all of the issues brought up by Frank Wentz's concerns published in his work and that today, all the past discrepancies have been cleared up with UAH MSU data and they track well with all of NOAA's RSS data. To carry that a bit further, the NOAA RSS data is COLDER than the data I confronted you with yesterday.

    So what I have now proves that you were wrong, and you tried to mislead me and my colleagues that you spoke with yesterday about this. The facts are, that the lower tropospheric temperatures ( which resonate the surface ) are no warmer than the year 1979, and that the earth has in effect, lost all of the warming accumulated since that year. This completely contradicts everything you and others in this group keep reporting to the public. The earth is no longer warming, it has been cooling since 2004 and rapidly in the last two years. This also invalidates every single global climate model simulation to date which has projected temperatures to track and continue to rise with increasing carbon dioxide concentration.

    As a former student and graduate in atmospheric science at Oregon State University, I told you also yesterday that it was never taught anywhere in the founding work when I was there in the 70's that carbon dioxide was capable of causing climate change. I have yet to see any physics that refute the founding work that was derived by William Elsasser from Harvard University.

    You should know full well that in order for carbon dioxide to affect the earths radiative balance and cause a "greenhouse effect", the IR radiation flux across the tropopause must be altered. The only capable band in the wing lines of doing this is the R-branch of the 799/cm peak, and the increased absorption of IR energy here is exceedingly small, using MODTRAN radiation codes, a doubling of CO2 absorbs approximately .13 W/m^2. On reemission, half of this energy would affect the surface and raise the temperature .01 Deg C or .02 deg F. The numbers are sufficiently small to ignore them as for all practical purposes you could not even measure them.

    The 4 W/m^2 figure of increased IR absorption from doubling CO2 around the wing lines may be correct, but it is an absolutely meaningless figure to the surface energy as all of the absorbing wavelengths except the R-Branch of the 799/cm length peak have effective emission altitudes in the stratosphere. That leads you back to Elsasser's conclusions. Only water vapor can affect the emission height of the troposphere. The absorption by CO2 at all other wavelengths acts only to protect the earth from precipitous temperature falls in the arctic or in arctic type airmasses. This does not cause global warming because water vapor and clouds are far more restricting to temperature loss.

    Somehow, we've gone from this to supplanting the founding work with climate models which are operating far beyond the acceptable range of mathematical and physical limitations and that are simulating absurd results that are far removed from reality and have now been proven wrong with imperical data. From incessant propaganda and hype by those that are running them and wanting to protect what is now federally funded to the tune of 4 billion dollars per year, to government agencies licking their chops at the prospect of raising taxation on the public by mandates and bypassing political measures using this faulty data and concepts, and finally to those in private business that have invested in unproven green technology and will suffer financial loss if the truth be known.

    You asked yesterday, what else do we do with the modeling we have? I submit to you and all that you start by coming clean and be honest. The modeling is crap and it doesn't work. We are a long way from ever having a working model of the atmosphere that can predict any one parameter accurately through a large time interval. It is misleading the public as are all of those who keep holding these meetings and reporting faulty, inaccurate facts, and are attempting to create public policy and taxation that nobody on the paying end will get any benefit from.

    I keep hearing from these groups that "the science is settled". This is another lie. There are 31,000 qualified scientists and technicians, 9000 of whom are of PhD status that have signed the Oregon anti-global warming petition and do not agree with you or those in this group.

    Sincerely,

    Chuck F. Wiese Meteorologist Weatherwise, Inc. Portland, OR

  • jonnie (unverified)
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    What's the equation between CO2 concentration and temperature? Any educated scientist (not Al Gore, nor climatologists stating so on blogs) would understand this question.

    Trillions of tons of CO2? Nature has spewed more CO2 in a handful of volcanic eruptions than the human race has it our entire existence on this planet.

    Are these climate models any better than the financial models that missed the financial crisis?

    http://machinedesign.com/article/leland-teschlers-editorial-when-you-can-t-believe-the-model-0217

    “Climate change is similar to financial markets in that you can’t run experiments with it as you might when you are formulating theories in physics. That means your skepticism should go up,” he says."

    When you can't run experiments with it, you promote it into policy, politics and make a political religion out of it.

    Arctic sea-ice underestimated for months from sensor errors? http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    Add in NASA silently fixing their error when it was debunked that 1998 was hottest year in last century.

    The earth warms, the earth cools, perhaps a small percentage of the warming is due to humans. Perhaps we are staving off the next ice age for a few years. What would be worse for humans? NYC under 40 ft of water or NYC under 200 ft of ice?

    Remember we know for a fact that NYC has been under 200 ft of ice, recently in geologic terms. We are only speculating NYC under water with our infallible financial, er, climate models.

    As Rahm-Bo states, never let a crisis go to waste. Hence the eminent regulating CO2 as pollution.

    There was a time in our planets history when life couldn't handle a pollutant called O2. What happened? Species of plants that survive in an O2 environment evolved.

    The Wiese ltr is right on regarding IR flux. IR flux is the critical parameter that will cause the house of cards to collapse, as it did with the settled science that the earth was flat, the earth is the center of the universe, and that the financial models are robust.

  • (Show?)

    Framing the issue solely in terms of CO2 is an oversimplification. There are a variety of other "greenhouse" gases. Chief among them is water vapor, but there are others such as methane, CFCs, HFCs, ammonia, etc.

    Industrial particulate pollutants causing water vapor to precipitate (i.e., form clouds) is also part of the larger equation. As are the vapor trails caused by commercial jets.

    As a lay person I have no problem with the notion that the science is far from settled with respect to global warming. But it does not logically follow that therefore there is no evidence of human-caused global warming. It may (or may not) turn out to be less serious or less direct than current models indicate. But that still does not logically lead to the denial of global warming being therefore legit.

  • Douglas K. (unverified)
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    I keep hearing from these groups that "the science is settled". This is another lie. There are 31,000 qualified scientists and technicians, 9000 of whom are of PhD status that have signed the Oregon anti-global warming petition and do not agree with you or those in this group.

    Anyone who cites to the Global Warming Petition Project in support of his argument automatically demolishes any slight credibility he might have had. They signatures of guys with bachelors degrees in aeronautical engineering, masters degrees in geology, Ph.Ds in psychology. All you need to do to get on the list is show you have some kind or degree in some scientific field. You DON'T need to show ANY familiarity with the research, let alone any personal expertise in climate science.

    And when someone cites to the petition to prove the science isn't settled ... well, they show how utterly pathetic their argument is. Want to show there's a debate? Cite people with relevant credentials and expertise.

  • The Libertarian Guy (unverified)
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    I am sorry Mr. Robinson I don't get what point you are trying to get across. Are you expecting the government to provide some sort of leadership? It ain't gonna happen.

    But here are a few points on how to reduce global warming just in case it is real

    Cut back on the U.S. military. The U.S. military is one of the most wasteful users of fossil fuels on the planet.

    Paint the roofs on government buildings white and use a lighter color for road surfaces. This will reflect the sun's rays and result in the reduction of greenhouise gases. See Technology Review magazine about 1998 on the issue of Urban Heat Islands. I think the latest figure used by some on this issue suggest that doing this would reduce CO2 by some 44 gigatons annually.

    Open the transit market and let private individuals operate buses, jitneys and ride sharing cabs. Some suggest that this would reduce fossil fuel usage by as much as 75% and the greenhouse gases as well.

    Hell if the politicians were serious about Global warming, peak oil, sprawl, road congestion and especially solving poverty, or at least putting a dent in it and related social problems they would have opened the transit market years ago. The studies are out there on this issue.

    Just goes to show you can lead a politician to an idea, but you can't make 'em think. That would be expecting way too much!

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Now, I know, everyone listed below is "paid for by the oil industry," a denier, an idiot or whatever else you are calling those who have the audacity to question your beliefs. And I thought it was just Conservatives who demonized everyone who disagreed with them.

    Believe global warming is not occurring or has ceased

    Timothy F. Ball, former Professor of Geography, University of Winnipeg: "[The world's climate] warmed from 1680 up to 1940, but since 1940 it's been cooling down. The evidence for warming is because of distorted records. The satellite data, for example, shows cooling." (November 2004)[5] "There's been warming, no question. I've never debated that; never disputed that. The dispute is, what is the cause. And of course the argument that human CO2 being added to the atmosphere is the cause just simply doesn't hold up..." (May 18, 2006; at 15:30 into recording of interview)[6] "The temperature hasn't gone up. ... But the mood of the world has changed: It has heated up to this belief in global warming." (August 2006)[7] "Temperatures declined from 1940 to 1980 and in the early 1970's global cooling became the consensus. ... By the 1990's temperatures appeared to have reversed and Global Warming became the consensus. It appears I'll witness another cycle before retiring, as the major mechanisms and the global temperature trends now indicate a cooling." (Feb. 5, 2007)[8]

    Robert M. Carter, geologist, researcher at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia: "the accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998 ... there is every doubt whether any global warming at all is occurring at the moment, let alone human-caused warming."[9]

    Vincent R. Gray, coal chemist, founder of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition: "The two main 'scientific' claims of the IPCC are the claim that 'the globe is warming' and 'Increases in carbon dioxide emissions are responsible'. Evidence for both of these claims is fatally flawed."[10]

    Believe accuracy of IPCC climate projections is inadequate

    Individuals in this section conclude that it is not possible to project global climate accurately enough to justify the ranges projected for temperature and sea-level rise over the next century. They do not conclude specifically that the current IPCC projections are either too high or too low, but that the projections are likely to be inaccurate due to inadequacies of current global climate modeling.

    Hendrik Tennekes, retired Director of Research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute: "The blind adherence to the harebrained idea that climate models can generate 'realistic' simulations of climate is the principal reason why I remain a climate skeptic. From my background in turbulence I look forward with grim anticipation to the day that climate models will run with a horizontal resolution of less than a kilometer. The horrible predictability problems of turbulent flows then will descend on climate science with a vengeance."[11]

    Antonino Zichichi, emeritus professor of nuclear physics at the University of Bologna and president of the World Federation of Scientists : "models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are incoherent and invalid from a scientific point of view".[12]

    Believe global warming is primarily caused by natural processes

    Individuals in this section conclude that the observed warming is more likely attributable to natural causes than to human activities.

    Khabibullo Abdusamatov, mathematician and astronomer at Pulkovskaya Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences: "Global warming results not from the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but from an unusually high level of solar radiation and a lengthy - almost throughout the last century - growth in its intensity...Ascribing 'greenhouse' effect properties to the Earth's atmosphere is not scientifically substantiated...Heated greenhouse gases, which become lighter as a result of expansion, ascend to the atmosphere only to give the absorbed heat away."[13][14][15]

    Sallie Baliunas, astronomer, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: "[T]he recent warming trend in the surface temperature record cannot be caused by the increase of human-made greenhouse gases in the air."[16]

    Reid Bryson, deceased, former emeritus professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison: "It’s absurd. Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air."[17]

    George V. Chilingar, Professor of Civil and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Southern California: "The authors identify and describe the following global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate: (1) solar radiation ..., (2) outgassing as a major supplier of gases to the World Ocean and the atmosphere, and, possibly, (3) microbial activities ... . The writers provide quantitative estimates of the scope and extent of their corresponding effects on the Earth’s climate [and] show that the human-induced climatic changes are negligible."[18]

    Ian Clark, hydrogeologist, professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa: "That portion of the scientific community that attributes climate warming to CO2 relies on the hypothesis that increasing CO2, which is in fact a minor greenhouse gas, triggers a much larger water vapour response to warm the atmosphere. This mechanism has never been tested scientifically beyond the mathematical models that predict extensive warming, and are confounded by the complexity of cloud formation - which has a cooling effect. ... We know that [the sun] was responsible for climate change in the past, and so is clearly going to play the lead role in present and future climate change. And interestingly... solar activity has recently begun a downward cycle."[19]

    David Douglass, solid-state physicist, professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester: "The observed pattern of warming, comparing surface and atmospheric temperature trends, does not show the characteristic fingerprint associated with greenhouse warming. The inescapable conclusion is that the human contribution is not significant and that observed increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases make only a negligible contribution to climate warming."[20]

    Don Easterbrook, emeritus professor of geology, Western Washington University: "global warming since 1900 could well have happened without any effect of CO2. If the cycles continue as in the past, the current warm cycle should end soon and global temperatures should cool slightly until about 2035"[21]

    William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus and head of The Tropical Meteorology Project, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University: "This small warming is likely a result of the natural alterations in global ocean currents which are driven by ocean salinity variations. Ocean circulation variations are as yet little understood. Human kind has little or nothing to do with the recent temperature changes. We are not that influential."[22] "I am of the opinion that [global warming] is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people."[23] "So many people have a vested interest in this global-warming thing—all these big labs and research and stuff. The idea is to frighten the public, to get money to study it more."[24]

    William Kininmonth, meteorologist, former Australian delegate to World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology: "There has been a real climate change over the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries that can be attributed to natural phenomena. Natural variability of the climate system has been underestimated by IPCC and has, to now, dominated human influences."[25]

    George Kukla, retired Professor of Climatology at Columbia University and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said in an interview: "What I think is this: Man is responsible for a PART of global warming. MOST of it is still natural."[26]

    David Legates, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware: "About half of the warming during the 20th century occurred prior to the 1940s, and natural variability accounts for all or nearly all of the warming."[27]

    Marcel Leroux, former Professor of Climatology, Université Jean Moulin: "The possible causes, then, of climate change are: well-established orbital parameters on the palaeoclimatic scale, ... solar activity, ...; volcanism ...; and far at the rear, the greenhouse effect, and in particular that caused by water vapor, the extent of its influence being unknown. These factors are working together all the time, and it seems difficult to unravel the relative importance of their respective influences upon climatic evolution. Equally, it is tendentious to highlight the anthropic factor, which is, clearly, the least credible among all those previously mentioned."[28]

    Tad Murty, oceanographer; adjunct professor, Departments of Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa: global warming "is the biggest scientific hoax being perpetrated on humanity. There is no global warming due to human anthropogenic activities. The atmosphere hasn’t changed much in 280 million years, and there have always been cycles of warming and cooling. The Cretaceous period was the warmest on earth. You could have grown tomatoes at the North Pole"[29]

    Tim Patterson[30], paleoclimatologist and Professor of Geology at Carleton University in Canada: "There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth's temperature over this [geologic] time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years. On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century's modest warming?"[31][32]

    Ian Plimer, Professor emeritus of Mining Geology, The University of Adelaide: "We only have to have one volcano burping and we have changed the whole planetary climate... It looks as if carbon dioxide actually follows climate change rather than drives it".[33]

    Nir Shaviv, astrophysicist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: "[T]he truth is probably somewhere in between [the common view and that of skeptics], with natural causes probably being more important over the past century, whereas anthropogenic causes will probably be more dominant over the next century. ... [A]bout 2/3's (give or take a third or so) of the warming [over the past century] should be attributed to increased solar activity and the remaining to anthropogenic causes." His opinion is based on some proxies of solar activity over the past few centuries.[34]

    Fred Singer, Professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia: "The greenhouse effect is real. However, the effect is minute, insignificant, and very difficult to detect."[35][36] “It’s not automatically true that warming is bad, I happen to believe that warming is good, and so do many economists.”[37]

    Willie Soon, astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: "[T]here's increasingly strong evidence that previous research conclusions, including those of the United Nations and the United States government concerning 20th century warming, may have been biased by underestimation of natural climate variations. The bottom line is that if these variations are indeed proven true, then, yes, natural climate fluctuations could be a dominant factor in the recent warming. In other words, natural factors could be more important than previously assumed."[38]

    Roy Spencer, principal research scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville: "I predict that in the coming years, there will be a growing realization among the global warming research community that most of the climate change we have observed is natural, and that mankind’s role is relatively minor"[39]

    Philip Stott, professor emeritus of biogeography at the University of London: "...the myth is starting to implode. ... Serious new research at The Max Planck Society has indicated that the sun is a far more significant factor..."[40]

    Henrik Svensmark, Danish National Space Center: "Our team ... has discovered that the relatively few cosmic rays that reach sea-level play a big part in the everyday weather. They help to make low-level clouds, which largely regulate the Earth’s surface temperature. During the 20th Century the influx of cosmic rays decreased and the resulting reduction of cloudiness allowed the world to warm up. ... most of the warming during the 20th Century can be explained by a reduction in low cloud cover."[41]

    Jan Veizer, environmental geochemist, Professor Emeritus from University of Ottawa: "At this stage, two scenarios of potential human impact on climate appear feasible: (1) the standard IPCC model ..., and (2) the alternative model that argues for celestial phenomena as the principal climate driver. ... Models and empirical observations are both indispensable tools of science, yet when discrepancies arise, observations should carry greater weight than theory. If so, the multitude of empirical observations favours celestial phenomena as the most important driver of terrestrial climate on most time scales, but time will be the final judge."[42]

    Believe cause of global warming is unknown

    Scientists in this section conclude it is too early to ascribe any principal cause to the observed rising temperatures, man-made or natural.

    Syun-Ichi Akasofu, retired professor of geophysics and Founding Director of the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks: "[T]he method of study adopted by the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) is fundamentally flawed, resulting in a baseless conclusion: Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. Contrary to this statement ..., there is so far no definitive evidence that 'most' of the present warming is due to the greenhouse effect. ... [The IPCC] should have recognized that the range of observed natural changes should not be ignored, and thus their conclusion should be very tentative. The term 'most' in their conclusion is baseless."[43]

    Claude Allègre, geochemist, Institute of Geophysics (Paris): "The increase in the CO2 content of the atmosphere is an observed fact and mankind is most certainly responsible. In the long term, this increase will without doubt become harmful, but its exact role in the climate is less clear. Various parameters appear more important than CO2. Consider the water cycle and formation of various types of clouds, and the complex effects of industrial or agricultural dust. Or fluctuations of the intensity of the solar radiation on annual and century scale, which seem better correlated with heating effects than the variations of CO2 content."[44]

    Robert C. Balling, Jr., a professor of geography at Arizona State University: "[I]t is very likely that the recent upward trend [in global surface temperature] is very real and that the upward signal is greater than any noise introduced from uncertainties in the record. However, the general error is most likely to be in the warming direction, with a maximum possible (though unlikely) value of 0.3 °C. ... At this moment in time we know only that: (1) Global surface temperatures have risen in recent decades. (2) Mid-tropospheric temperatures have warmed little over the same period. (3) This difference is not consistent with predictions from numerical climate models."[45]

    John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, contributor to several IPCC reports: "I'm sure the majority (but not all) of my IPCC colleagues cringe when I say this, but I see neither the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for most of the warming we see. Rather, I see a reliance on climate models (useful but never "proof") and the coincidence that changes in carbon dioxide and global temperatures have loose similarity over time."[46]

    Petr Chylek, Space and Remote Sensing Sciences researcher, Los Alamos National Laboratory: "carbon dioxide should not be considered as a dominant force behind the current warming...how much of the [temperature] increase can be ascribed to CO2, to changes in solar activity, or to the natural variability of climate is uncertain"[47]

    William R. Cotton, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University said in a presentation, "It is an open question if human produced changes in climate are large enough to be detected from the noise of the natural variability of the climate system."[48]

    Chris de Freitas, Associate Professor, School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, University of Auckland: "There is evidence of global warming. ... But warming does not confirm that carbon dioxide is causing it. Climate is always warming or cooling. There are natural variability theories of warming. To support the argument that carbon dioxide is causing it, the evidence would have to distinguish between human-caused and natural warming. This has not been done."[49]

    David Deming, geology professor at the University of Oklahoma: "The amount of climatic warming that has taken place in the past 150 years is poorly constrained, and its cause – human or natural – is unknown. There is no sound scientific basis for predicting future climate change with any degree of certainty. If the climate does warm, it is likely to be beneficial to humanity rather than harmful. In my opinion, it would be foolish to establish national energy policy on the basis of misinformation and irrational hysteria."[50]

    Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the National Academy of Sciences: "We are quite confident (1) that global mean temperature is about 0.5 °C higher than it was a century ago; (2) that atmospheric levels of CO2 have risen over the past two centuries; and (3) that CO2 is a greenhouse gas whose increase is likely to warm the earth (one of many, the most important being water vapor and clouds). But – and I cannot stress this enough – we are not in a position to confidently attribute past climate change to CO2 or to forecast what the climate will be in the future."[51] "[T]here has been no question whatsoever that CO2 is an infrared absorber (i.e., a greenhouse gas – albeit a minor one), and its increase should theoretically contribute to warming. Indeed, if all else were kept equal, the increase in CO2 should have led to somewhat more warming than has been observed."[52]

    Believe global warming will benefit human society

    Scientists in this section conclude that projected rising temperatures and/or increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide will be of little impact or a net positive for human society.

    Craig D. Idso, faculty researcher, Office of Climatology, Arizona State University; founder of The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change: "the rising CO2 content of the air should boost global plant productivity dramatically, enabling humanity to increase food, fiber and timber production and thereby continue to feed, clothe, and provide shelter for their still-increasing numbers ... this atmospheric CO2-derived blessing is as sure as death and taxes."[53]

    Sherwood Idso, former research physicist, USDA Water Conservation Laboratory, and adjunct professor, Arizona State University: "[W]arming has been shown to positively impact human health, while atmospheric CO2 enrichment has been shown to enhance the health-promoting properties of the food we eat, as well as stimulate the production of more of it. ... [W]e have nothing to fear from increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and global warming."[54]

    Patrick Michaels, part-time research professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia: "scientists know quite precisely how much the planet will warm in the foreseeable future, a modest three-quarters of a degree (Celsius), plus or minus a mere quarter-degree ... a modest warming is a likely benefit."[55]

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    Ian Clark, hydrogeologist, professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa: "That portion of the scientific community that attributes climate warming to CO2 relies on the hypothesis that increasing CO2, which is in fact a minor greenhouse gas, triggers a much larger water vapour response to warm the atmosphere. This mechanism has never been tested scientifically beyond the mathematical models that predict extensive warming, and are confounded by the complexity of cloud formation - which has a cooling effect. ...

    Yes, clouds do have a cooling effect. Which begs the question: To what degree have man-made cloud formations - industrial particulate pollution & jet contrails - masked global warming? How much higher might global temperatures be if we'd only pumped trillions of tons of CO2, Methane, CFCs, etc into the atmosphere without also adding the particulate pollution and jet contrails which create clouds that wouldn't have been there otherwise?

  • Lance Comfort (unverified)
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    Mr. Robinson should maybe stick to a subject he knows something about. If you look at some the extremely qualified replies you will see supporting data rather than presumptions, and quotations rather than supositions. I'm so sick and tired of loud mouthed know-it-alls going on about global climate change and they can't even explain absorption bandwith of CO2 or explain it's prevalent banding within the atmosphere. Yet they seem to be experts on the subject. Why don't you sit down and try reading a book on the subject before you open trap? I'd be happy to have an intelligent conversation on the subject, but you need to catch up first.

  • jim (unverified)
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    Thank you Mr. Robinson for your column. You have been heard; you display the kind of leadership that we need. And the kind of leadership on this issue that we now have from President Obama.

    The path to reducing emissions is long and challenging, but we are making our first steps - for instance, we will probably never see a new coal plant without sequestration ever permitted again.

    We have started developing the path to our lower carbon future and the biggest challenge will be the pace at which we can get China, etc to join us.

    As for the noise on this blog, I urge you not to be distracted.

  • David Robinson (unverified)
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    The policy discussion is an interesting conversation.

    As for the science discussion, I have read the same Wikipedia page the contrarians use to justify their position – yes, the seemingly authoritative list of academics with the 54 references is a direct cut-and-paste of a Wikipedia page – and I have read most of the 54 references on that page. For the most part they are NOT scholarly scientific research published in peer reviewed journals, they are policy statements the global warming skeptics try to color as science references.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    Douglas K.

    I keep hearing from AGWers that all of the qualified scientists and technicians who reject AGW don't matter.

    That could not be more foolish.

    I their dizzied adherence to the IPCC/AGW folly warmers somehow accept all of the IPCC scientists as credible but reject equally qualified experts who are skeptics.

    Douglas,

    You obviously haven't the slightest idea of what the makeup of expertise is on either side.

    Apparently you've read the rhetoric and joined the fantasizing that the IPCC is made up entirely of climate experts and on the skeptics side there are none.

    Is that pretty much as you see it?

    You would be very wrong and your argument automatically demolishes any slight credibility you thought you had.

    The IPCC background work involved many people in various fields of science no different than the aeronautical engineering, geology, etc on the petition list.

    The petition list of 31,0000 includes many who have collaborated and studied climate for many years. As much as James Hansen who leads the AGW alarm drum beat. His education is in astronomy. He has no climate training.

    Yet you conveniently declare the skeptics, all 31,000, "DON'T need to show ANY familiarity with the research, let alone any personal expertise in climate science"????

    Throughout the AGW debate skeptics with relevant credentials and expertise have been cited over and over and over again. Now that the skeptics camp has grown and produces the global scrutiny and dismantling of the AGW theory Douglas et al have nothing but declarations that they don't exist.

    What kind of debate method is that?

    The abundant work around the globe is irrefutable. It involves many people exploring many interesting aspects of the Global Warming theories.

    On full display at sites such as this.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/

    Recent Posts

    The Impact of the North Atlantic and Volcanic Aerosols on Short-Term Global SST Trends

    Now well over 30 days without a cycle 24 sunspot

    Ike’s second warning, hint: it is not the “military-industrial complex”

    CO2 Does Not Drive Glacial Cycles

    Sea Ice Sensor Degradation Hits Cryosphere Today

    How not to measure temperature, part 83: No smoking please

    Basic Geology Part 2 - CO2 in the Atmosphere and Ocean

    Short term trends from GISS Model E: “The model would be off by about 0.15C in the first five years”

    When You Can’t Believe the Model

    NSIDC: satellite sea ice sensor has “catastrophic failure” - data faulty for the last 45 or more days

    The Trade Winds Drive The ENSO William Schlesinger on IPCC: “something on the order of 20 percent have had some dealing with climate.”

    Britain’s Lessons From The Winter of 2008-2009

  • Richard (unverified)
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    Jim and David Robinson, You're misperceiving the science of AGW.

    That tired and intellectually lazy default excuse that dismisses skeptics as "NOT scholarly scientific research published in peer reviewed journals" is one of the all time weakest and dishonest ploys ever made in a debate.

    It allows to avoid the faulty AGW science as detailed with great expertise by the very skeptics you dismiss.

    The fact that your favored experts who adhere to the CO2 alarms often peer review each other without adequate scrutiny marginalizes the peer review process and the journals you trust.
    But that wrestling match over expertise is subordinate to the growing data that is inconsistent with AGW. Your failure, like nearly every active Democrat, to track and grasp the long emerging folly of the IPCC/AGW leaves you incapable of assessing the issue accurately. Disregarding the vast scientific community that rejects the Human Global Warming in order to recklessly advance your many liberal causes is an over reach of mammoth proportions without any care for the detriments of your advocated policies.

    Most people are recognizing that, with insignificant exception "global warming" is a Democrat crusade.

    Wear it proud.

    http://www.westernroundtable.com/Portals/1/Docs/WCI_Analysis_FINAL.pdf

    Major Findings This analysis finds that:

    The WCI plan could impose significant new costs on consumers and retard job creation in the Western U.S. over the coming decade while delivering no scientifically measurable benefit in terms of reduced global climate temperatures as far out as the year 2100.

    This “benefit” calculation is based entirely on the scientific findings, assumptions and formulas of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    The WCI plan is based on an economic model which uses assumptions that, if implemented as policy, would largely preclude the installation of virtually all new electric generation capacity in the region except for highly intermittent wind and solar resources.

    The WCI plan’s economic model does not take into account the fact that additional hydropower, nuclear and advanced fossil baseload power plants could be deployed, almost immediately and prior to 2020, that can meet expected growth in electricity demand while dramatically reducing GHG emissions.

    If the WCI economic model’s assumptions reflect actual policy recommendations by Western governors, it sends a signal to industry and the investment community that will almost certainly chill the very investment in low-carbon generation and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies that nearly all Western governors desire.

    If the WCI economic model’s assumptions are implemented as policy, the plan could further weaken the West’s already over-burdened highvoltage transmission grid. Reserve capacity margins in the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) are already expected to drop below the minimum recommended levels as early as the winter of 2009. Rapid introduction of massive amounts of highly intermittent generation from large wind farms, as envisioned by the WCI plan, could easily destabilize the West’s grid if appropriate technology upgrades are not made quickly enough.

    The WCI plan could increase energy costs to consumers and, thus, disproportionately harm lowincome and minority families. In essence, it may unintentionally have the effect of a discriminatory tax based on economic status and race.

    The WCI’s plan to establish and monitor emissions caps would require the establishment of a large and powerful new government bureaucracy. This could trigger the type of influence-peddling and system “gaming” that has plagued European GHG mitigation regimes.

    The laws, regulations, mandates and bureaucracy the WCI is proposing go so far as to give WCI climate officials authority over even private companies’ organization and reorganization functions.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    There are some truly talented users of cut and paste posting in this thread.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    I wonder why it is that the appearance of the word "climate" in the title of a blog thread seems to elicit such a torrent of cut-and-paste jobs. Are the folks doing this just hovering around waiting for the magic word to appear? Is there an army of climate-change skeptics just waiting for notice from Denial Central, with instructions to race off to such-and-such blog and start posting already prepared cut and paste jobs? Or people Googling around with "climate" as a search term, perhaps? Inquiring minds want to know. Meanwile, probably best for nobody to even post to BlueOregon on the topic.

  • jonnie (unverified)
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    JDW: "Is there an army of climate-change skeptics just waiting for notice from Denial Central, with instructions to race off to such-and-such blog and start posting already prepared cut and paste jobs? Or people Googling around with "climate" as a search term, perhaps? Inquiring minds want to know."

    No. Not at all. At least there are those using arguements other than saying 'Shut Up, back off we're the real scientist' (Mann, Al Gore, etc.)or as they say publicly, holocaust deniers...

    But we are inquiring minds.

  • jim (unverified)
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    Richard, isn't that precious for you to dig out the widely the discredited Business Roundtable Report. (SEE THE ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT DAILY WIRE STORY BELOW) We know now where Richard gets his "information": Peabody Coal and Xcel Energy. And the Charles River Associates report whose economic analysis underlies the assumptions in the Roundtable Report? Of course, primarily funded by ExxonMobil. Ah yes, I think we are getting closer to the source our differences here.

    MARKETS: Trade group blasting regional climate controls includes Peabody, Xcel as members (02/19/2009) Debra Kahn, E&E reporter

    Peabody Energy, Xcel Energy and other regional coal companies and utilities are behind a report released yesterday blasting the Western Climate Initiative, according to federal tax records.

    The Western Business Roundtable, a trade group that has about 55 members but refuses to reveal their identities, released the report yesterday. It attacked the seven-state, four-province WCI for perceived economic dangers stemming from its plan to cap regionwide emissions starting in 2012.

    The roundtable commissioned the report from Management Information Services, a D.C.-based economic research firm that last month performed a study for the American Solar Energy Society on green jobs in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.

    "WBR was very disappointed with the findings of this analysis," said group president Jim Sims in a call with stakeholders and reporters yesterday. "Our members hold the consensus view that federal solutions to climate change action are needed, and we were hoping that WCI would present workable approaches to federal legislation. The problem that we find is that it's difficult to conclude from this analysis that the WCI, if implemented, would not prolong the current recession, would not weaken our already overburdened Western power grids, and would deliver a temperature benefit that's even measurable." An opaque roundtable surrounded by producers and users of fossil fuels

    According to WBR's 2007 IRS Form 990, the group's officers and directors include employees of Peabody Energy, Xcel Energy, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Devon Energy, TransCanada Corp., Kerr-McGee Corp., MDU Resources, Evergreen Resources, Questar Energy Trading Co., and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. It reported revenues of $868,500 in 2007, all from membership dues, compared to $720,675 in 2006.

    In addition to presiding over WBR, Sims is a senior adviser to Partnership for America, a group founded by former House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) to repeal the Endangered Species Act, open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and fight expansion of the Clean Water Act, among other legislative priorities. Other staff members of WBR also work for Partnership for America, as well as for Americans for American Energy, a group trying to open Colorado's Roan Plateau to more oil and gas drilling.

    The group also said that the WCI's economic analysis did not predict any new baseload generation -- coal, natural gas, or nuclear power -- coming online by 2020, an assumption that would "likely have a chilling effect on investment in new carbon capture and sequestration technologies in the West," according to report author Roger Bezdek. "The WCI could result in further weakening of the West's already overburdened transmission grid, limiting options for future generation."

    The report comes with a disclaimer: "Individual members of the Western Business Roundtable do not necessarily endorse the findings of this analysis." But Sims would not say who the members were or what proportion of members agreed with the report.

    Sims said in an interview that the common link between members is their opposition to a regional cap-and-trade system. "Members of the roundtable hold a variety of views on what Congress should do, but all of them believe that action needs to be taken at the federal level to address this issue," he said. "The differences of opinion revolve around what specific form that action should take. Some members want cap and trade. Some members believe carbon taxes are an appropriate vehicle. Some members believe in neither of those, and that [the solution] should be a combination of renewables and energy efficiency incentives."

    "All of our members are supportive of action by the Congress to begin to lift the regulatory fog that everyone now operates in because of the lack of certainty on greenhouse gas regulation," he continued. State and regional officials don't square with the roundtable

    State and regional officials dismissed the report as inaccurate and based on erroneous assumptions about the market's design.

    "This is a market-based approach, not a heavy-handed regulatory approach that would exclude any one option," said WCI manager Pat Cummins. "The WCI does not have a policy against clean coal technology, it does not have a policy against nuclear."

    Michael Gibbs, California EPA's assistant secretary for climate change, said WCI based its economic analysis on the assumption that carbon capture and storage would not be available commercially by 2020. "We do not include new coal capacity beyond the currently planned plants because we assumed that no new coal plants would be built without CCS, and we assumed that CCS would not be available until after 2020," he said in a statement. "The recent cancelation of coal plants without CCS in the U.S. supports this assumption for modeling purposes."

    Similarly, market planners expect any new nuclear plants to take more than 10 years to get through the permitting process. "It's not a policy against either [technology]," Cummins said. "It's simply an expectation that those resources won't be in place in the next 10 years due to the time for permitting, research, deployment, etc."

    Peabody Energy, according to some sources the most dominant member of WBR, did not respond to requests for comment.

  • David Robinson (unverified)
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    Jonnie,

    This discussion is about Climate Change and American Leadership. The Holocost was an atrocity and it has no place in this discussion thread; that you brought it into this discussion is not just insensitive, it shocks the conscience.

    Please stay on point.

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    Look, I have no problem with being a skeptic of the reigning scientific paradigm. My astronomer great-grandfather was scoffed at by most of his peers when he insisted that he'd observed craters on Mars because the reigning theory at the time flatly denied the possibility of planetary catastrophism. Ironically, a crater on Mars was eventually named in his honor...

    However... Copy & Pasting long tracts is not an act of inquiry. It is an act of dittoheadism. A trained monkey could do it.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    However... Copy & Pasting long tracts is not an act of inquiry. It is an act of dittoheadism. A trained monkey could do it.

    Then give me a damn banana!

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Mr. Robinson, I can see why your uncle is still unconvinced by your argument. I hope you've offered him something more concrete than you offer here.

    You're an engineer and a climate scientist, yet you speak of "atmospheric carbon" like a lay person. I think you mean carbon dioxide, as in CO2. As an engineer you should take better care than to use the two terms interchangeably.

    Given that you believe, "Most of the arguments against climate change are not science based...," I expected your argument and conclusion supporting AGW to be based in science. I found it odd that an engineer made an emotional/inspirational appeal instead.

    It's not too late to redeem yourself, Mr. Robinson. As an engineer, please do explain - as Lance Comfort suggests above - how the absorption bandwith characteristics of atmospheric CO2 affect its ability to contribute to warming, and how the climate models you've studied account for these characteristics.

    Readers, stay tuned to see whether Mr. Robinson responds scientifically, fails to respond entirely, or offers a non-science based response unworthy of an audience of fellow engineers and scientists. Judge for yourself accordingly his authority to speak on this subject at all.

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    Readers, stay tuned to see whether Mr. Robinson responds scientifically, fails to respond entirely, or offers a non-science based response unworthy of an audience of fellow engineers and scientists.

    Um... reality to DJ.

    The audience here is NOT made up of "fellow engineers and scientists." Nor, for that matter, was Robinson's post intended to be a scientific treatise.

    You appear to be deliberately attempting to yank his chain.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    "You appear to be deliberately attempting to yank his chain."

    Now that's funny.

    The biggest chain yanking in human history is AGW and the readily available science by scientists makes it clear.

    Jim, What stunt you pulled. One that avoids addressing AGW and the problem that the "WCI, if implemented, would prolong the current recession, weaken our already overburdened Western power grids, and not deliver a temperature benefit that's even measurable."

    You're more interested in the usual excuses.

    Of course State and regional officials dismissed the report. But they too avoid the content and science.

    Where you really go nuts with hypocricy,,

    "The report comes with a disclaimer: "Individual members of the Western Business Roundtable do not necessarily endorse the findings of this analysis." But Sims would not say who the members were or what proportion of members agreed with the report."

    The IPCC reports don't have support of all of it's "Individual members". Many of which DO NOT endorse the findings of the IPCC.

    Your inference that the report is somehow a manipuliated work by energy producers is more of the obscuring of the insanity behind AGW and the policies which will be very harmful. Yes, it's insanity unfolding insane policies and you're deep in it. Recklessly accepting all of it without any need to validate anything.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/23/glover-carbon-market-pollution

    "A collapsing carbon market makes mega-pollution cheapEurope's system to edge up the cost of emissions and boost green energy has backfired. There isn't much time to rescue it Comments (35)
    Julian Glover The Guardian, Monday 23 February 2009 Article history'Roll up for the great pollution fire sale, the ultimate chance to wreck the climate on the cheap. You sir, over there, from the power company - look at this lovely tonne of freshly made, sulphur-rich carbon dioxide. Last summer it cost an eyewatering €31 to throw up your smokestack, but in our give-away global recession sale, that's been slashed to a crazy €8.20. Dump plans for the wind turbine! Compare our offer with costly solar energy! At this low, low price you can't afford not to burn coal!"

    Set up to price pollution out of existence, carbon trading is pricing it back in. Europe's carbon markets are in collapse.

    Yet the hiss of escaping gas is almost inaudible. There's no big news headline, nothing sensational for TV viewers to watch; no queues outside banks or missing Texan showmen. You can't see or hear a market for a pollutant tumble. But at stake is what was supposed to be a central lever in the world's effort to turn back climate change. Intended to price fossil fuels out of the market, the system is instead turning them into the rational economic choice."

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Posted by: mp97303 | Feb 22, 2009 6:54:28 PM

    However... Copy & Pasting long tracts is not an act of inquiry. It is an act of dittoheadism. A trained monkey could do it.

    I took it as preachy, not dittoheadism. I believe the idea was "I know how to post a link, but you probably won't click on it, so I'll stick the text here, so you have to read it."

    As I just said on another thread, that would be responding to the message, not the poster, and that doesn't happen here. They aren't skipping it because they're ignoring the facts, they're skipping it because they don't want to hear what you have to say. 90% of the people on this blog look at who posted it to decide what they will read/respond to, and the tone. It is literally impossible for certain persons to make statements which contradict (or appear to in the feeble minds of those that think this way) previous statements, because the identity is more important than the message. Many summed up this "the world is high school" mentality on the "blogger pain" thread.

    The message is clear. If you want the message to be heard, instead of a bunch of petty "everything I know about life I learned in high school" types judging your character, you had better use a different moniker every post. Use the same email for Kari, but don't give the superficial, in-group/out-group judges fodder for their tiny minds.

    Of course being as you are the worst offender that way, I can't have too much sympathy. Just for the record, no American is fit to judge anyone's character!

  • (Show?)

    Of course being as you are the worst offender that way, I can't have too much sympathy. Just for the record, no American is fit to judge anyone's character!

    Ironic...

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Kevin: The audience here is NOT made up of "fellow engineers and scientists."

    Speak for yourself, Kevin.

    Kevin: Nor, for that matter, was Robinson's post intended to be a scientific treatise.

    Does that make him a hypocrite, Kevin?

    Robinson: Most of the arguments...are not science based; the arguments are based on politics and religion.

    As is yours, Mr. Robinson. Which explains why your post receives accolades from the BlueOregon faithful.

  • (Show?)

    Speak for yourself, Kevin.

    What benefit do you presume to gain from being obtusely arrogant?

    Is this a science-oriented blog? No. So, why would anyone expect it's readership to be made up of scientists and engineers?

    Does that make him a hypocrite, Kevin?

    Gee, I dunno. Does your comment to me make you a hypocrite? It sure doesn't look like a scientific treatise to me...

    Is Popular Science predicated upon hypocrisy for daring to speak to the masses in language easily understood by the non-ivory tower types? Ditto for Scientific American and numerous other periodicals?

    Is any attempt to communicate about science, which isn't specifically framed as a scientific treatise intended to be read by scientists and engineers, an act of hypocrisy? Apparently you think so.

    I've debated science with scientists. You sir would have been marginalized as the troll which you self-evidently are.

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Kevin, admitted non-scientist, says: "I've debated science with scientists." On what basis? Do you first solidify your view on a topic through scientific rigor, or do you launch full-on into a debate convinced you are correct because your position aligns with your politics?

    Kevin, last time I checked, Popular Science and Scientific American were in the business of educating the lay reader on science. They don't start out in their first paragraph with the tone of Robinson: 'XYZ is a reality....I know this fact is truly a fact...I have the credentials and the background to know...you do not...so don't question me.'

    You and others like you, Kevin, actually help make my point precisely. You extend no effort to challenge the ideas of the Robinsons and the Gores. In many cases you simply lack the basic scientific understanding to do so. Undeterred, you ignorantly embrace on FAITH (your religion?) the word of a charismatic writer who props himself up as an expert. Robinson and Gore have nothing without masses of useful idiots like yourself.

    Kevin: You sir would have been marginalized as the troll which you self-evidently are. The signature last gasp of someone unarmed with a basis for true debate...childish name calling. He's one of yours, Mr. Robinson.

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    Undeterred, you ignorantly embrace on FAITH (your religion?) the word of a charismatic writer who props himself up as an expert.

    Right... like upthread where I explicitly stated that I have no problem with the notion that the science is far from settled with respect to global warming. And then in the next paragraph allowed that it could turn out that humans have had less impact than is presently thought.

    That's right out of Gore's book, right? Surely you can cite chapter and verse where Gore says that the science is still not settled and the other chapter and verse where he says that humanity may turn out to be less central a contributing factor. Right? Surely you wouldn't be spouting off about Gore while being I-G-N-O-R-A-N-T of what he has to say about global warming.

    Face facts. You are every bit the jack-booted, knee-jerk FAITH-based adherant that you claim I am.

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    Kevin, admitted non-scientist, says: "I've debated science with scientists." On what basis?

    Same basis as with you. It's amazing how many self-proclaimed scientists are too stupid to think their way out of a wet paper bag. Drunk on the wine of your own presumptive arrogance you make monumentally hypocritical assertions and I just hold up a mirror so you can see your own jack-assed self in the reflection.

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Same basis as with you.

    Kevin, the basis for your attempt at debate with me is not even in the same universe. I challenged Mr. Robinson on the scientific basis for his conclusions. (Still waiting, Mr. Robinson). Did you bother to use your browser to investigate the absorption bandwith characteristics of atmospheric CO2? No, you instead felt compelled to reply, "Um... reality to DJ...You appear to be deliberately attempting to yank his chain."

    Be sure to take a physics class when you get to high school, Kevvy. I'm outta here,,, you have fun getting in a few last delusional words.

  • Lance Comfort (unverified)
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    Kevin, DJ, . . . guys? I think we're getting away from the point. You seem to be debating the manner in which we are arguing the question. Shouldn't we be concentrating on debating where the global climate debate stands and just where it should go from here? Even if we can't agree as to the global climate, certainly we can all agree on cleaner air and cleaner water. Even if there is is no CO2 warming effect, we would be far better off with using fewer fossil fuels. It just seems like were getting lost in a forest of arguments.

  • jonnie (unverified)
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    Al Gore pulls a slide?

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/23/gore-pulls-slide-of-disaster-trends/

    Nice start, but until he pulls all his slides there still will be fabrication and speculation in his presentation.

    Lance - agreed regarding fossil fuels. However, any transition has to be through free market principles. Both in the advancement of alternative sources and in not subsidizing the current system.

    I'd prefer not to transition our food into energy. There is something morally reprehensible in using food to power transportation in developed countries, besides, it's non-sustainable in every sense of the term.

    Kevin - there are a lot of scientist and engineers who read/post here.

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    Even if there is is no CO2 warming effect, we would be far better off with using fewer fossil fuels.

    Therein lays the crux, Lance. If we accept the argument that there is no CO2 warming effect then how do we explain why the earth isn't cooling. Remember, it's already been established that clouds have a cooling effect. And that man-made/caused clouds tracable to industrial and aviation particulate pollution have become so ubiquetous that we cease to even notice it any more.

    If human-tracable CO2 isn't affecting anything then why aren't we worried about an impending ice age?

    If human-tracable CO2 is countering human-tracable clouds then how certain are we of our ability to maintain balance in what would effectively be an artificial climate system balanced by human pollution.

  • jonnie (unverified)
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    Speaking of cutting an pasting...

    Since the science is settled why do we need a GW satellite?

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/nation/1446436,w-nasa-satellite-launch-022409.article

    Which begs to ask the question if we are smart enough to indisputably forecast temperatures and sea levels why can't we get a measly little satellite into space?

    and since the science is settled, why to Japanese scientist call climate science similar to "ancient astrology"?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/25/jstor_climate_report_translation/print.html

    Kevin - There are scientist who are worried about an impending ice age. First we are overdue and second there are some scientist who say prior ice ages were preceded by sharp rises in temperature.

    The earth is cooling and has been since 1998 NASA's data even shows it so. Again, what's the equation between CO2 and temperature? We know the equation between energy and the speed of light.

    Also, climate system balance? Climate by definition isn't balanced and changes all the time. If it was then we'd be able to make predictive models. But alas, climate is more imbalanced and complex than financial markets and we can't even make predictive financial models. But don't worry Climate Science is "settled". The only two other times I recall settled consensus being used as an argument against naysayers was in saying the Earth was the center of the universe and that the Earth is flat. Hey, maybe the Japanese scientist are onto something.

  • jonnie (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Speaking of cutting an pasting...

    Since the science is settled why do we need a GW satellite?

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/nation/1446436,w-nasa-satellite-launch-022409.article

    Which begs to ask the question if we are smart enough to indisputably forecast temperatures and sea levels why can't we get a measly little satellite into space?

    and since the science is settled, why to Japanese scientist call climate science similar to "ancient astrology"?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/25/jstor_climate_report_translation/print.html

    Kevin - There are scientist who are worried about an impending ice age. First we are overdue and second there are some scientist who say prior ice ages were preceded by sharp rises in temperature.

    The earth is cooling and has been since 1998 NASA's data even shows it so. Again, what's the equation between CO2 and temperature? We know the equation between energy and the speed of light.

    Also, climate system balance? Climate by definition isn't balanced and changes all the time. If it was then we'd be able to make predictive models. But alas, climate is more imbalanced and complex than financial markets and we can't even make predictive financial models. But don't worry Climate Science is "settled". The only two other times I recall settled consensus being used as an argument against naysayers was in saying the Earth was the center of the universe and that the Earth is flat. Hey, maybe the Japanese scientist are onto something.

  • Jet (unverified)
    (Show?)

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