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Monday, December 07, 2009


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Steven Chu is one smart cookie!

A Nobel Prize winner for his research in cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light, he's been the Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, as well as professor of molecular and cellular biology, not too mention physics.


Michael, yes Chu is very smart. I used to work with his brother, Morgan, another very smart guy and a great lawyer. But he is also prone to whacko ideas, like painting roofs white to stave off GW. Hmm, I wonder what the carbon impact is of making the paint, transporting it, paining it, etc? And GW is supposed to be the accumulation of heat by greenhouse gases in the troposphere from reflected light, say from white rooftops instead of black which absorbs.

I am sure we could waste our hard-earned money better elsewhere than on such schemes, if that is what his goal is.


Good call on the top two years ago--wow what timeing! Did anyone notice that for the most part Climate Change wasn't talked about when the market was in the downfall last year? Now, after 8 months of rallying, it is again surfacing as a hot topic. That seems so strange to me. Also, I'm not getting political here, so this has nothing to do with Dem or Rep, but could you imagine a huge push for making things more green like solar panels on every roof, etc.? At least we could've spent the money on that instead of into the black hole called TARP.


McLaren on the S&P and dollar. Kind of fits the Fall 2010 scenario discussed on the board:



The Fed in their own words:

From calculated risk:

Monday, December 07, 2009
NY Fed President Dudley: Still More Lessons from the Crisis
by CalculatedRisk on 12/07/2009 06:35:00 PM
From NY Fed President William Dudley: Still More Lessons from the Crisis

The entire speech is worth reading. Dudley discusses a number of topics including his economic outlook, how the Fed should respond to bubbles, and why he believes the Fed should retain supervisory authority.

Dudley offers a mea culpa for the Fed:

With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that the Fed and other regulators, both here and abroad, did not sufficiently understand some of the critical vulnerabilities in the financial system, including the consequences of inappropriate incentives, and the opacity and the large number of self-amplifying mechanisms that were embedded within the system. Likewise, we did not appreciate all the ramifications of the growth of the shadow banking system and its linkage back to regulated financial institutions until after the crisis began.
It didn't take "hindsight" to see that the Fed was failing to properly regulate the financial system - many people were pointing out the problems in real time, and the Fed simply chose to ignore the warnings.



Yelnick -

I don't think that the Administration is going to be changing its "tune" at all in regards to Global Warming and Greenhouse gases. The Administration will simply give the EPA the power to put in Federal limits on Greenhouse gases via the "Clean Air Act".


Really? You strike me as a pretty smart guy. Are you saying "ClimateGate" has convinced you that human-influenced climate change isn't real? Or are you just saying it negates the economic influence of climate change concerns? I can't tell for sure. Forgive me, I'm new to this blog and a novice with regard to economics (like, very ignorant and recently self-educated).

Lets not forget scientists are human, and it's human nature to be influenced by desperation and pride. In this case the simplest explanation for "ClimateGate" and all it's implications is that most people don't want to believe we have created a catastrophic future that demands wrenching lifestyle changes and economic hardship if we are to mitigate it, and hard-working normally honest scientists are desperate to wake people up. Last night I watched "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Not a great remake, but entertaining and sadly still a very relevent story. As a scientist/regulator with a PhD in ecology and a strong background in climate change science, I am daily reminded of the words of Aldo Leopold:

"One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise."

Therefore, although I do not condone what those scientists did, nor would I ever bias my science or analysis of it, I do empathise with their motivation. I'm as sceptical as anyone can be, and I'm still very concerned about climate change and where we are heading.

Check out:

I would be very careful about throwing teh baby out with the dirty bathwater, eh?


Michael, I agree, it seems they will go ahead despite the questionable science with the EPA regs. One down, a series more economically foolish interventions to go. Just as in the '30s.


Hatoyama just got his simulus thru (on Bloomberg now) -

By Keiko Ujikane

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The Japanese government approved a 7.2 trillion yen economic stimulus package, according to a statement released by the Cabinet today in Tokyo.

Yen was just below 89 - lets see where it goes now.



Alison, you seem like you want to learn. I must ask you what evidence you have to believe that "we have created a catastrophic future that demands wrenching lifestyle changes and economic hardship"? The evidence we had was ALL from the ClimateGate folks, and is now shown to be fraudulent. Gore's alarmism was found to be so over the top his documentary cannot be shown in English schools without a caveat pointing out 11 exaggerations that have no basis in science or fact. The other story here besides the politicization of science is the complicity of the media, because you probably have never heard from sources you read all the time the two assertions I just made; yet they both are factual. Consequently, you will be inclined to dismiss those assertions. 

What I believe is what is non controversial by both sides in the scientific debate. We have been warming up for 250 years, since the Little Ice Age. The rate of warming was faster in the first 50 years years than now. It has averaged about 0.8C degrees/century. We are not yet as warm as we were during the Medieval Warm Period or the Roman Warm Period. Earlier in the 20th Century we warmed up about as fast as in 20 years as we just did from 1979 to 1998. and we got to about the same level. We then fell for 30 years so much that the climate scientists were worried over Global Cooling in the '70s. The warmest decade in the past 100 years was the 1930s not the last ten years, although they are close. Since 2001 we have plateaued and since 2007 have begun cooling off. 

So far there is no basis for alarmism. All the anecdotes about polar bears or hurricanes or ice levels can be explained by the general warming for 250 years. Most of the melt of Alpine glaciers happened 150 years ago. Most of the snows on Kilimanjaro melted 100 years ago. Although we didn't measure as well then as today, we had ships in the Arctic in the 1920s and 1940s claiming the Northwest Passage was reopening due to ice melt. Then it froze up again in the '60s and 70s.

Within the 250 year warming there are shorter term cycles up and down, the most prominent is a 30 year oscillation. It has been in an up swing since 1979, and now is on a downswing. During the upswing it increased warming faster than the 250 trendline. The climate models use the up period to extrapolate their alarmism. In effect they made their models fit the 1980-89 period where we had faster warming than trendline, and expected it to continue like that for 100 years. Instead it has plateaued and begun falling. As a consequence EVERY climate model extrapolation since 1989 has overstated actual warming. They modify them all the time, and they always end up predicting predicting more than happened. This is a flaw of the methodology to take a short-term upswing and extrapolate. 

A slight warming of 0.8 degrees is nothing to worry about. Indeed, the world was more prosperous during the two prior warm periods. We might be better off warmer. A warmer climate can support more biomass.

What about Co2 you will ask? The complicit media has not told the full story on Co2. Again the following is not controversial among climate scientists. Co2 is a trace gas and a modest greenhouse gas (GHG). By itself it doesn't make much warming. It has only increased by about 30% during the last 200 years (from 280 ppm to 388 ppm). if it were to double from 388 ppm to 777 ppm it would increase global temperatures by around 2F degrees or 1.2C degrees. Given it has only gone up 30% in a long time, it would take well more than 100 years to double if nothing were done. An increase of that small an amount is nothing to be feared; indeed it would likely make the world a better place.

All the climate models require amplification of Co2 to create more warming. The primary two amplifiers are water vapor (which includes clouds) & methane. Water vapor is 25 times more prevalent in the atmosphere than Co2, and is 3x stronger as a GHG. Methane is measure in ppb (parts per billion) not ppm, and is a very trace gas. It has a stronger GHG effect than Co2, but is barely there at all. 

The amplification can be estimated through measurements, and what we have found so far is it does not occur. As Co2 increases in the troposphere, humidity (water vapor) has been decreasing. Methane is supposed to be increasing due to melting tundra, but has been plateauing instead. So we cannot measure amplification. The recent studies actually show the opposite, that the climate system instead of amplifying Co2 de-amplifies it through negative feedback. This is a good thing as otherwise we would have become a hothouse like Venus hundreds of millions of years ago when Co2 levels were 10x higher than now.

I don't know if you have read to the end, but let me finish with this: a lot of the emails in ClimateGate show the climate cabal behind it KNEW that the warming had plateaued and KNEW that their models were not working. Yet instead of coming clean and acting like objective scientists, they got down and dirty and committed fraud - a fraud on the whole world. 



For what its worth, I began several years ago as an avid believer in the cause of global warming after seeing Al Gore's film. So I began looking into it, with the aim of working on the side of a demonstrably good cause that fit with my conscience. However, along the way, I gradually became more and more skeptical that the science was as certain as the media was presenting it. Because I had researched BOTH sides of the debate, I was highly sensitive to the heavy spin put on the issue by the media. Example--the media would start a story by saying that the overwhelming majority of scientists agree, really beyond any doubt, that global warming is man made. Then they would tell the story about the destruction of a forest in the mid-west due to a beetle infestation. Hardly on point--the beetles could be caused by several hundred other things! Almost never did I hear any balanced discussion about the issue. Those who disagreed were, with a very heavy hand, branded "deniers" who were in the pocket of big oil. Time after time I was shocked when I heard stories in the media--prepared by supposedly knowledgeable journalists, that repeated claims that about temperature that had been publicly, although quietly, disclosed to have been in error (such as NASA's admitted Y2K error that wrongly made 1998 the hotest year on record).

I applaud that the world is trying to act with conscience. I do think that is the motivation of most who are involved. But I have come to the conclusion that the science has not proven itself. The danger in this is that the next time round, let's say dangerous cooling that could result in billions starving to death, will be the boy who cried wolf. The world will no longer be able to respond appropriately because skeptics, now on the "other" side, will counsel inaction based on the railroading experience taking place now. Perhaps all this will be wrong, in which case I will regret my tentative conclusions. But they are surely mine.


"Therefore, although I do not condone what those scientists did, nor would I ever bias my science or analysis of it, I do empathise with their motivation."

How can you say that? A reasonable conclusion is that everything they have done since graduation is bullchit. These pseudo scientists should be banned from ever setting foot in a North American university and above all they should be banned from ever sucking on the hind tuber again (anything funded in any way by tax payers).

I think Yelnick's position is a good one. If they had even a remotely credible case, they would have explained the incongruous data. Falsifying data is the end game for someone that knows they are wrong.



I for one would love to give Alison a chance to go over the comments made here and give her insights to the arguments and particulars raised here. For all of us, we would appreciate your "filling us in" with respective to the issues raised by Yelnik and others - on CC.
(PS Yelnik on thing in your post -you have the little ice age ending 250 years ago - it is more like 150 years ago -in North America.)

Come on Alison -most of us are open minded on the subject itself and woud welcome your personal and professional take- especially with your background- and counter these arguments raised here and give your thought as to the overall validialty or lack of validity of the warmin planet scenario and its causes.

It would be great to hear from you.


vipul garg

one has to be atleast mildly bullish till ES breaks day befores low and trades below 1100 constantly.

John Smith

I think we live in the Twilight Zone where we have a job summit one day and a job killer summit (Copenhagen) the next. Although I think most of this foolishness will be eliminated after the 2010 election. It will be impossible for the EPA to regulate anything in the short term anyway. I truly believe this is just a chest beating episode for Obama.

philippine fred

yes the numbers are fudged, the bbc received the emails direct from the university and were still saying it was a hoax!!! weve been cooling for years. A volcano does more damage than humans do in a year so I would suggest we try to find a lid for volcanoes.

If you like an extra 20% tax then please carry on supporting gwarming and keep your government employed and filling in those expense sheets every week and making up stupid rules.

The one part about the size of governments in the west now is that they are running out of stupid rules to create without sounding completely nuts lolz.

2600 people on their way to denmark has done quite a bit of damage to earth in its self yet amazingly they dont seem too concerned.

Denmark can look forward to full pubs/bars for 2 weeks all on expenses, alison please get your 20% ready of your hard earned.

And before you ask yes i was involved on a local level in the uk but it sickened me to see it was all about expenses and scams, free trips and the like.


Joe, the Little Ice Age bottomed about 250 years ago. It was still shockingly cold into the early 1800s, hence it wouldn't have felt like it ended at the bottom. The recent attempts by the ClimateGate Cabal to remove the Medieval Warm Period (and in the emails you can see them confirm that goal) has also muddied the temperature history of the Little Ice Age. In general the bottom is around 1750 with a secondary bottom at a higher level in 1850. The Thames used to freeze over, but I recall reading that the last time this happened was around 1814. I have a chart in one of my other blogs that shows the glaciers in the Alps retreating. Permalink You can see the peak was around 1750 and then they started retreating. Around 1850 the retreat accelerated. 

Yes, Alison should comment. We will find out a little something about her: is she a real reader or a plant. I think she is a real reader but have become sensitized to the alternative. Let me explain: 

In my Politick blog I have a lot of posts on GW. The shock troops of the Left scan blogs, and they pop in polite comments quickly to undermine assertions in anti-GW blogs. My Politick blog made their watch list. I have not seen them pop into this blog, but maybe they are now watching it too. Like clever cross-examination, they find slight undermining and a polite tone works best to keep the faithful in alignment, as many blog posts are strident in their anger at things like the EPA regs or the ClimateGate fraud. They are not trying to convince the skeptics but keep the believers in their camp. It works pretty well, although we have seen a general slip slidin' away of belief in AGW. 


OK, OK, nice to see everyone is so excited about the topic anyway. I will take some time to respond to Micheals book-length response in the next few days. ;-) Frankly, I'm BURIED in "real work" with a tight deadline right now. Sorry.

Micheal, one bit of advice, it helps if you cite literature when you give figures and make statements, then I can check your sources. Now that I understand your position I will respond appropriatly. I certainly do hope to learn something. Not sure how you can call the polar bear/arctic data "anecdotal," gotta scratch my head over that. And BTW, even though I understand how those scientists might have felt, I agree they should be discredited and lose their positions. What they did was unforgivable, goes against everything they should stand for. I notice some commenters made the mistake that is my pet peeve, confusing explanation with justification. In no way was I justifying what they did.

Perhaps what scares me the most is regardless of what is causing it, people have no idea how much climate change, combined with all the other global changes going on (natural and social) will affect our world and our lives in the near future. Frankly it's scarier to me to think we may NOT be the cause, but just in case we are, it seems prudent to reign in our CO2 production, instead of allowing the rate of increase to continually rise and adding to the problem in any way (as you admitted we are at some level). Many ecosystem-altering changes linked to processes that produce CO2 (besides climate change) are caused by us and we have much more local control over those changes than we do well-mixed greenhouse gases and climate change. Ha! But I digress, gotta go.


Hm, don't want what I said about citing sources to sound too critical, because you typically do cite lots of good sources, just found myself wondering more than once as I read your response where some piece of info came from. But per your LAST post, I don't want to sound too polite now, oh my! Tcha- No worries, I will get back.


Allison - I have no firm belief one way or the other about the causes of - even if we are continuing to warm. As Yelnik has made a fair argument against GW - perhaps you could address the points directly. Also, you indicated that you had a strong background in environmental science - could you elaborate on that.

You state that "...people have no idea how much climate change, combined with all the other global changes going on (natural and social) will affect our world..." I wouldn't make such a bold statement if I were you - not as it applies to people on this site. Yelnik, at least, is clearly very aware of the impact of the last significant "weather event" - and its role in the revolutionary period that followed it.

I would appreciate your thoughts on this - maybe you can "lead by example" and cite some sources.


Captain Obvious

For those who think Global Warming is both real and caused by human activity, as the saying goes "Save The Planet. Kill Yourself." Barring your willingness to do that (and don't make the excuse that you have to "educate people", so you need to stick around. Write your ideas down on a piece of paper before you kill yourself.), I'll take it you are full of crap and will personally benefit in some way by whatever schemes you're recommending.


Alison, delighted you are willing to engage in the debate! My most recent source of what is is not controversial was the piece in the WSJ by Prof Lindzen of MIT:

Another good compendium of recent data is in this post, which shows how the simplest predictions of the AGW theory have not been confirmed:

CO2 in the Atmosphere is Decreasing - How Will the Global Warming Crowd Explain THAT? UPDATED

Here is one of several posts on Polar Bears. It notes that the Arctic ice momentarily got back to normal levels. Right now the Arctic has come back from a low 2007 level but is still below normal. The second link has more discussion of this:

Polar Bear Alert! Polar Ice Really is Back to Normal Levels
Polar Bear Alert! Sea Ice Back to 1979 Levels! UPDATED

Where I started with AGW was here, where I saw Al Gore's presentation and was convinced! Then I began to do my own research and became an apostate.

View From Palo Alto of Global Warming



"And BTW, even though I understand how those scientists might have felt, I agree they should be discredited and lose their positions. What they did was unforgivable, goes against everything they should stand for. I notice some commenters made the mistake that is my pet peeve, confusing explanation with justification. In no way was I justifying what they did."

Fair enough. But shouldn't the main thrust of Warmers be to publish both the correct and fudged data and explain in simple terms why the real data points to global warming?

Given the fraud, a failure to do that can lead to only one conclusion: It doesn't.

I have no problem with CO2 abatement and am willing to pay for its implementation. But it has to be for a valid reason. The hand waving must end.


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