Report Finds Near Certainty of Human Driven Climate Change

A report released in a scientific journal, Climate Risk Management, analyzed the chances that factors other than human influence are driving global mean temperature change.

“December 2013 was the 346th consecutive month where global land and ocean average surface temperature exceeded the 20th century monthly average, with February 1985 the last time mean temperature fell below this value,” researchers noted in their abstract. “Even given these and other extraordinary statistics, public acceptance of human induced climate change and confidence in the supporting science has declined since 2007.”

They write, “The degree of uncertainty as to whether observed climate changes are due to human activity or are part of natural systems fluctuations remains a major stumbling block to effective adaptation action and risk management.”

The writers develop an approach “which provides a rigorous probabilistic statistical assessment of the link between observed climate changes and human activities in a way that can inform formal climate risk assessment.”

To do so, they construct a time series model of the temperatures to June 2010 and use the rate of GHG emissions as well as other causal factors such as solar radiation, volcanic emissions and El Niño.

They write, “When the effect of GHGs is removed, bootstrap simulation of the model reveals that there is less than a one in one hundred thousand chance of observing an unbroken sequence of 304 months (our analysis extends to June 2010) with mean surface temperature exceeding the 20th century average.”

They also show that one “would expect a far greater number of short periods of falling global temperatures (as observed since 1998) if climate change was not occurring.” They add, “This approach to assessing probabilities of human influence on global temperature could be transferred to other climate variables and extremes allowing enhanced formal risk assessment of climate change.”

One of the more interesting aspects of this report is that the researchers actually adopt a relatively straightforward time series regression model that is quite prevalent in social science, account for as many variables as they can that would explain climate change outside of human activity (represented by greenhouse gas concentration) and adapt it to determine the chance that the temperature increase would exist without the greenhouse gas concentration increase.

As they explain, “The approach used here allows us to make probabilistic statements about the likelihood of this anomalous warming occurring in the presence or absence of anthropogenic GHG emissions.”

It is worth noting that, according to their data, no one born after February 1985 has lived in a single month where global temperatures fell below the long-term average for that month. According to their analysis, the probability of getting the same run of “warmer-than-average months without the human influence was less than 1 chance in 100,000.”
“We identified periods of declining temperature by using a moving 10-year window (1950 to 1959, 1951 to 1960, 1952 to 1961, etc.) through the entire 60-year record. We identified 11 such short time periods where global temperatures declined,” they write. “Our analysis showed that in the absence of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, there would have been more than twice as many periods of short-term cooling than are found in the observed data.”

The findings simply tack on more evidence to go with the basic mainstream scientific consensus that global warming is in fact caused by human activity.

In June, the EPA announced that it will mandate power plants in the US to cut carbon emissions by 30% by 2030.

“Earlier this month, hundreds of scientists declared that climate change is no longer a distant threat, it has moved firmly into the present,” the President announced in June. “Last year I put forward America’s first climate action plan, this plan cuts carbon pollution by building a clean energy economy.”

The President argued that, while this is a good start, “for the sake of our children we have to do more. This week, we will.”

“Today about 40% of America’s carbon pollution comes from power plants,” he said. “But right now there are no natural limits to the amount of carbon pollution that existing plants can pump into the air we breathe. None.”

A year ago the President called on the EPA to address this gap in policy by coming up with common sense guidelines, along the lines of efforts already taken by many states, cities and companies.

He said, “These new commonsense guidelines to reduce carbon pollution from power plants were created with feedback from businesses, and state and local governments, and they would build a clean energy economy while reducing carbon pollution.”

Scientists believe that the planet has reach a critical turning point. Right now, nations have set a goal of limiting the warming of the planet to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial temperatures. In order for that to happen, global emissions would need to peak by 2020 and then decline.

That does not appear likely.

The Times reports, “Today, emissions are not falling nearly fast enough in the West, and those reductions are being swamped by a rapid rise in the East. Experts say that a global peak in 2020 is exceedingly unlikely, if not impossible — and that will be true even if the United States and other nations manage to keep the pledges they made in 2009.”

They add, “Well into the 2020s, it will still be technically possible to meet the global warming target, but the longer nations put off taking bold action, the more expensive and disruptive it will be to do so once they finally get serious.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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136 Comments

  1. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > Right now, nations have set a goal of limiting the warming of the planet to 3.6
    > degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial temperatures. In order for that to
    > happen, global emissions would need to peak by 2020 and then decline.
    > That does not appear likely.

    Since the US is just about 4.5% of the world population and Davis is about 0.01% of the worlds population we need to admit that while the climate may be “changing” there is nothing we can do about it.

    If 100 people are pouring hot water in to a pool it is going to get warmer even if we kill 5 of them it is still going to get warmer.

    Spending billions so 5% of the people pour “little less” hot water (aka buying a Tesla or LED light bulb) in the pool is not going to do anything to slow the rate of warming.

    We need to get away from having the red team and blue team debating “IF” the earth is warming or cooling and do the math so we realize that replacing a (now Banned) $0.50 incandescent 60W light bulb with a $13 11W LED light bulb (or $30K Honda with a $90K Tesla) makes a lot of people rich but is has the same effect on the “climate” as dropping an ice cube in Lake Tahoe will have on the water temp.

    1. Barack Palin

      “the same effect on the “climate” as dropping an ice cube in Lake Tahoe will have on the water temp.”

      Yes that’s true, but it makes the person dropping the ice cube feel good.

      1. South of Davis

        BP wrote:

        > Yes that’s true, but it makes the person dropping the ice cube feel good.

        And it will make the people selling the “special” “stop global warming ice cubes” for $10 each very rich…

  2. Barack Palin

    “In June, the EPA announced that it will mandate power plants in the US to cut carbon emissions by 30% by 2030.”

    This will be great for the economies of China, India and many other foreign countries who will love having our businesses move there as our energy prices skyrocket. Worldwide net effect on carbon emissions=almost 0

    1. DavisBurns

      Re light bulbs and Teslas. The cost to produce the bulb or the car has less impact than the life cycle cost of using the products. As far as light bulbs go, and cars for that matter, use less, turn off the lights, drive the car less. As far as those products making people rich, that is the name of the game for EVERY product you purchase, especially all those things you buy that you never knew you wanted you needed until advertising, much of it in the form of news stories about a hot new product and not a traditional advertisement, made you want to said new thing.

      I am waiting for someone to mention our global population problem. We cannot sustain 7 billion, we can’t feed them now and crop yields are falling. At least climate change gets some press and scientific attention. No one will talk about the real elephant in the room– we are PLANNING for 10 billion while we cannot sustain. 7 billion. Before anyone does the economy will collapse dance, if you look you will learn the current winners in the constant growth model may suffer. (May peace be with them as it is certainly their turn) but sustainable heathy economies are possible without the cancer of constant growth.

      1. Tia Will

        DavisBurns

        Wait no further. I am now done with work for today and could not agree with you more. The core issue here is too many people to feed. We can all argue over the best place to put the World Food Center, but until we admit that more is not only not always better, but is not sustainable we will be fighting a losing battle.

        Addressing the root problem would mean providing highly reliable reversible contraception to all women who want it for free, not charging $ 500.00 per IUD. We know what works in population management.
        Improve women’s economic status, improve infant and child health to the point where the woman can count on one or two children surviving to adulthood and provide her with voluntary free long acting contraception.
        What we lack is the will and the focus to achieve this. Those of us who are writing here are not going to live to see the consequences of our stubborn refusal to face reality. Too bad for our children.

          1. tribeUSA

            TBD–you are living in a fantasy world if you think that world population can continue to grow at 80 million/year (births minus deaths) indefinitely. If we don’t take steps as responsible salient beings of planet earth to limit our numbers, mother nature will do so for us in far more ruthless ways–for example the current Ebola outbreak in Africa is likely to be small potatoes compared the growth of such an outbreak and resulting devastation if such an outbreak occurs during the next worldwide economic downturn, when immune systems among the poor will be more compromised due to worse malnutrition, and social conditions will be more chaotic and resources less abundant to manage and contain such an outbreak.

            It is not a matter of one group of people telling another group of people what to do, but to encourage people to act responsibly, and that they play a role in the future conditions and prospects for civilization.

          2. tribeUSA

            –oops, we may not be ‘salient’ beings; but we are certainly sentient beings (word I meant to use).

          3. Tia Will

            TBD

            “Why are progressives (liberals) so keen on telling other people how to live, and so gung ho about halting life”

            This was a laugh out loud moment for me.
            First I am making the assumption that you were responding to my post.
            If so, I would like you to consider the following.

            In my career, I have delivered hundreds, if not thousands of babies. In my early practice prior to sub specialization, I helped many infertile couples conceive.
            I have also helped many women who did not want to have any more children achieve that goal in the manner which they desired. In each case, I was helping the individual woman attain her desired goal.

            Nothing in my post was about telling anyone else how to live their lives.
            Nothing in my post was about halting life.

            So what do I advocate ? I advocate providing highly statistical contraceptive means to those women who want them for free as a comprehensive strategy to improve the quality of human life by : 1) limiting the number of unintended and in many cases undesired pregnancies while further reducing the number of abortions which are very dangerous for women when they cannot be obtained in a medically appropriate setting 2) providing adequate food, shelter, clothing and medical care for the population that we already have.

            I see this as a collaboration between the individual woman, the government / health care system of her country/ health care personnel/ reproductive device manufacturers/ scientists in the ag/food sector/ providers of safe, cost effective housing and business people and philanthropists interested in helping families live healthy sustainable lives rather than facing death from famine, disease, or exposure.
            What could be more pro life than that ?

          4. TrueBlueDevil

            Tia, “improving the quality of life” is a subjective statement, right?

            I’ve known so-called poor families with children, grandchildren, cousins, nephews, who had worked and shared life together in a wonderful messy way.

            On this board we have numerous people who don’t want Davis to grow (or don’t want it to grow much), but they are perfectly happy, with their proposals and extension of logic, to add more immigrants, more illegal immigrants, more poor people to Fresno, Sacramento, Los Angeles or elsewhere.

            I guess if what you’re really saying is you want to limit the birth rate in India and Africa, knock yourself out. But America is blessed with large land holdings and vast resources, so we have plenty of room for the right kind of growth, if we had the right policies.

            I guess history might show us that California has had the wrong kinds of policies, going from number 1 in education to number 47 or 48 in a short period of time. Prices sky high, quality of life down in some (many?) regards, and our Governor hell bent on building a high-speed $100 Billion train to nowhere.

        1. DavisBurns

          Tia, I think we will be alive to suffer the consequences. The Ebola outbreak, if not contained may be the first disease to kill massive number of people. The current drought is, in part, the result of global warming and in part because of how much water we use for agriculture. The primary way we export water is in the form of grain. When a foreign country doesn’t have enough water to grow grain to feed their people, they import grain we grow here adding to the depletion of our aquifers. We consider it a humanitarian effort to feed the starving but its like a finger in the dike. We deplete our aquifers, the ground subsides and the total storage capacity is permanently reduced. It is a losing game.

          As far as our children suffering, my misfortune is my salvation. I had four children (oh no!) but my children have not/will not/ cannot reproduce. No grandchildren in my case is a blessing.

          We just visited the Indian ruins in Arizona. The park service keeps asking “where did the people go and why did they leave?” to which the Hopi reply, “hey, here we are, we didn’t disappear, we just changed our way of life.” They went from a more complex culture to a less complex culture. That is an adaptive response to increasing environmental stressors, drought, overpopulation, breakdown in trade routes and maybe disease and famine. Folks who think we will be living in cities as the population increases because it is more efficient and leaves surrounding farmland in tact are not looking at the big picture or history.

          I agree about how we stabilize population. What we need is more press, acknowledgement overpopulation is a problem and a concerted effort to ENCOURAGE people to have zero, one or two children. In my readings about population last year I learned that MANY of the population control/reduction groups are fronts for anti-immigration groups, many of them racist with very ugly hidden agendas. The Sierra Club is a prime example–they do not have a population platform because there were people elected to the board some years ago who also served on the boards of racist anti-immigration organizations as well as population organizations.

          Just as I think Davis (and all cities) should put a cap on lumens per acre for street lighting because if we don’t we will obliterate the night sky, I think we need to openly discuss how many people the earth can support and have a goal to reach that number. There will be people who have too many children but most people want to ensure that their children and grandchildren will live in a stable world. Very few people suggest a one child policy because we know it doesn’t work.

          The primary obstacle to stabilizing our population is the vested financial interests in the current economic model of constant, never ending growth. Economic stability and prosperity is possible without growth. Obscene profits and wealth are not.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            But the US is at a basic no-growth TFR (total fertility rate), except for legal and illegal immigration. So if you’re contradicting yourself.

            Beyond that, you’re the first I’ve read to now tie the ebola outbreak to global warming. Why don’t we get back to the basics, and when Americans abroad come down with ebola, keep them there as common sense and SOP would dictate. Isolate the outbreak.

  3. Frankly

    A more factual and interesting title would read:

    REPORT FINDS NEAR CERTAINTY THAT THE THEORIES OF CLIMATE CHANGE ARE LARGELY POLITICALLY MOTIVATED AND HENCE, FROM RELATED POLICY ENACTMENT, WILL MORE POTENTIALLY DAMAGING TO INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE HUMAN WELL-BEING THAN WOULD BE ACTUAL ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING IF IT EVEN EXISTS

    1. David Greenwald

      That’s not what the analysis shows. It’s a simple yet elegant way to analyze the data. It’s way to measure the variance of each variable and show the impact of that variable on the dependent variable.

      1. Frankly

        One thing I know about certain people heavily invested in the theories of man-made global warming… they are more likely wired to fear being made to admit they are wrong more than death itself. They are frantic with motivation to look at the data in anyway they can to help prevent their, what I think, inevitable day of reckoning for having to do just that… admit that they were wrong.

        There are other ways of looking at the data to draw a conclusion that the predictive climate models are significantly flawed. With every year that the models are incorrect, the climate scientists that are so invested in maintaining that they are near perfect, make adjustments to correct for the imperfections but in a way that also protects their previous estimates. Where we are headed with this is that they will eventually run out of creative ways to tweak the models in a way that protect their previous estimates (alarms?). And then they will either have to lie or they will have to finally admit they were wrong.

        We might already be there. There are more and more scientists jumping off the global warming alarm train every day.

          1. Frankly

            Yes. There is a lot of “magic” behind protecting the climate models.

            The climate scientists protection of their climate models remind me of a stage mom unwilling to accept that her little darling cannot dance, cannot sing and is 20 lbs overweight.

          2. David Greenwald

            But in this case they used a very specific but simple variable – average temperature by month over the last thirty years and then they correlate the variables that can account for that. You’re making a very general argument that doesn’t address the specific research.

          3. South of Davis

            Frankly (representing the red team view says):

            > Yes. There is a lot of “magic” behind protecting the climate models.

            Then David (representing the blue team view says):

            > You’re making a very general argument that doesn’t address the
            > specific research

            Rather than debating the “climate models” we should be debating weather cutting in to the profits of (mostly read team donors) utilities by making them buy “green” products sold by (mostly blue team donors) suppliers will actually do anything to change the global climate.

            If everyone in America “goes green” (making red team donors poorer, blue team donors richer and 99.9% of Americans that don’t give to either the blue team or the red team poorer) the overall GLOBAL effect on the climate will be about the same as the temp of a room with 100 people in it if we remove the 5 people who have a high fever and replace them with people who don’t have a fever.

        1. David Greenwald

          But none of that addresses this specific analysis – which looks very sound to me in terms of methodology and application, so you’re basically spinning here unless you can explain the variance without GHG as the key explanatory variable driving the model.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            David, can you please provide a link to the report?

            Also, did they explain the global warming hiatus?

        2. wdf1

          Frankly: One thing I know about certain people heavily invested in the theories of man-made global warming… they are more likely wired to fear being made to admit they are wrong more than death itself. They are frantic with motivation to look at the data in anyway they can to help prevent their, what I think, inevitable day of reckoning for having to do just that… admit that they were wrong.

          It’s interesting how much psychological analysis you put on display.

          I have personally met some researchers on this, and I think they would find it professionally interesting to be definitively proven wrong. In science, the best experimental designs involve trying to prove your hypothesis wrong and they know this.

          I don’t think they would be tossed out onto the streets, because most have tenure at universities.

          What scientific evidence do you note that leads you to conclude that theories of man-made global warming are wrong? Does it only come from your own psychological and political analysis of professional scientists?

          1. Frankly

            Never trust an absolutist on topics afflicted with more variables and criteria than they can effectively know, analyze and synthesize.

            Theories are fine, but we don’t make sweeping and profound policy based on theory… especially when are are significant negative consequences.

          2. Frankly

            It’s interesting how much psychological analysis you put on display.

            LOL! Apparently… pot, meet kettle.

            Frankly (because I am) I don’t know enough about psychological analysis to know that I am putting it on display. Since you seem to recognize it, maybe you can explain it to me.

          3. Frankly

            It is well known that the climate models are failing to accurately predict climate change. From a peer reviewed research paper on http://www.academia.edu “Can climate models explain the recent stagnation in global warming?”

            Estimates of the observed global warming for the recent 15-year period 1998-2012 vary between0.0037 0C/year (NCDC)(1) , 0.00410C/year (HadCRUT4) (2) and 0.0080C/year (GISS) (3) . These values are significantly lower than the average warming of 0.020C/year observed in the previous thirty years 1970-2000. Can models explain the global warming stagnation?

            The inconsistency increases rapidly with increasing trend length. A continuation of the current observed global warming rate for a period of twenty years or longer would lie outside the ensemble of all model-simulated trends. What do these inconsistencies imply for the utility of climate projections of anthropogenic climate change?

            Three possible explanations of the inconsistencies can be suggested: 1) the models underestimate the internal natural climate variability; 2) the climate models fail to include important external forcing processes in addition to anthropogenic forcing, or 3) the climate model sensitivities to external anthropogenic forcing is too high.

          4. TrueBlueDevil

            I read where 40 of the most recent global warming models were proven wrong; maybe that’s why they’re having to come up with the magical sea phenomena holding heat under the ocean waters.

          5. Don Shor

            Maybe I can reply in as simplistic a manner as you seem to choose to post on this topic. How about this? If, as some evidence indicates, there is more heat being stored in the ocean than was previously thought, that’s great news! We have longer to plan for the inevitable increase in global temperatures and their adverse impacts.
            Unless, of course, you believe the earth is going to get colder or something? If so, please let us know how you came to that conclusion.

        3. DavisBurns

          Frankly, who are the scientists who are jumping off the global warming bandwagon? Are they climate scientists or just folks with a degree in science who have no experience in the field from which they are claiming expertise?

  4. TrueBlueDevil

    But this report apparently doesn’t address the global warming hiatus, which has now stretched on for over 17 years.

    Los Angeles Times: Global warming ‘hiatus’ puts climate change scientists on the spot

    “Theories as to why Earth’s average surface temperature hasn’t risen in recent years include an idea that the Pacific Ocean goes through decades-long cycles of absorbing heat.”

    September 22, 2013|By Monte Morin

    “It’s a climate puzzle that has vexed scientists for more than a decade and added fuel to the arguments of those who insist man-made global warming is a myth.

    “Since just before the start of the 21st century, the Earth’s average global surface temperature has failed to rise despite soaring levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases and years of dire warnings from environmental advocates.

    “Now, as scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gather in Sweden this week to approve portions of the IPCC’s fifth assessment report, they are finding themselves pressured to explain this glaring discrepancy….”

    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/sep/22/science/la-sci-climate-change-uncertainty-20130923

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      The politicians and ‘scientists’ on the Left also fail to address how this impacts the middle and lower classes, which – if their policies are enacted – will dramatically hurt their economic well being. When gas goes up $1.00 a gallon, and electricity rates increase 50%, it has little affect on the labor lawyer or well-paid community organizer, but it is devastating to the carpenter, painter, or single mother. It is this disconnect that causes some to refer to them as Limousine Liberals.

      Besides, the electorate isn’t behind this push.

      Gallup: In U.S., Most Do Not See Global Warming as Serious Threat

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/167879/not-global-warming-serious-threat.aspx

  5. DurantFan

    Only in Davis

    In our fair City we are encouraged to minimize our carbon output (strive for a “Mickey Mouse” sized carbon footprint), and yet are urged (through the installation of the City-wide Crown Castle cell-phone residential antenna system) to maximize our electronic input (strive for a “Goofy” sized electronic footprint). Out of towners will know of our Global Warming hypocrisy by our “limping!”

    “But that’s not fair! We LOVE our cell phones! Waaaa!!”

    1. Matt Williams

      DurantFan, is it accurate to label the installation of the Crown Castle system as representative of a “local urging” of the Davis citizens to maximize our electronic input? I certainly don’t see it that way. If Davis had had local control of the Crown Castle decision, Crown Castle would never have been approved. The City Attorney was very clear in her advice to Council that state laws trumped anything that davis might want to do at a local level.

  6. jrberg

    Many comments on this site and others on this topic remind me of the old adage, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

    My question for all commenters is, “Are you proficient in, or at least do you understand the principles of chemistry and physics?” If not, why do you think you can negate evidence which contradicts your beliefs?

    Can you elaborate on the different absorption spectra of carbon dioxide and methane? Do you understand the difference in heat capacity of air and the ocean? There’s 3 orders of magnitude difference, approximately.

    Do you understand the difference between empirical evidence and explanations for those observations?

    All of those few questions have a direct bearing on understanding the overall heat increase on our planet, and they are all grounded in facts, not “magic” nor politics. Most scientists I know are very apolitical, which I think is unfortunate from the point of view of communicating some fascinating stories about what we do. It’s clear to me that the poor critical thinking on this topic reflects the huge decline in scientific literacy in this country. I just read a story that pointed out that over 50% of Harvard graduates these days aim for a career on Wall Street. That’s really sad.

    1. David Greenwald

      One reason I liked this article is that while I’m not able to elaborate on chemistry and physics, I understand regression and time series analyses. The simplicity of this study actually masks its elegance and I understand fully why the climate change deniers would want to discuss anything but this specific study.

      1. South of Davis

        David wrote:

        > I understand fully why the climate change deniers would want to
        > discussion anything but this specific study.

        I’m not a “climate change denier” (everyone knows that climate changes all the time), I just want to change the debate to and ask “will spending all this money on say a carbon tax or LED bulbs do anything about the “climate” and not just make some people rich”. I would love to have a solar powered AC unit, but I’m not sure that if everyone in Davis paid Elon Musk $10K for a new solar powered AC unit (powered by batteries from the taxpayer funded non union Nevada “gigafactory”) if they would do anything to make Davis (or the “Globe”) any cooler in August (I do know that it would make Elon richer and even richer still if he got his friends that gave him all the tax breaks to “require” everyone in Nevada bought one)…

        1. DavisBurns

          Generally, you can count on air conditioning to add to the summer heat and pollution. So, the simple answer is ‘No, running an air conditioner, even solar powered, will not make it cooler in August. It will make it warmer.”

      2. jrberg

        Excellent point. Such analyses are used by scientists all the time to validate masses of data. You can’t be a good chemist or physicist, either, without understanding statistical concepts.

    2. South of Davis

      jrberg:

      > I just read a story that pointed out that over 50% of Harvard graduates these
      > days aim for a career on Wall Street. That’s really sad.

      Since most (but not all) people will say what the people paying them want them to say you might as well get paid well by Wall Street while doing it… Can anyone think of even a SINGLE “expert witness” (a high percentage who are “Harvard Grads”) who got on the stand and said something the person paying them didn’t want them to say? Can anyone find a link to a SINGLE report from an oil or gas company that says they are causing global warming (or that fracking is bad)?

      You can’t hire a kid for $10/hour to “elaborate on the different absorption spectra of carbon dioxide and methane” so EVERY report costs a lot to prepare and is funded by someone (and EVERY report I read from the red team says no problem keep buying gas, keep the lights on and keep fracking while EVERY report I read from the blue team says we are just about at the point of no return unless we start taxing the red team and/or buying the stuff from blue team donors like LED lightbulbs, Teslas and round solar panels).

      1. DavisBurns

        I hate to harp but here i go. The “blue” team has many players. Many on that team aren’t in favor of LED lights even though they save money and reduce greenhouse emissions. (so does reducing lighting and turning lights off when not needed). Meanwhile, there are lighting designers, plain vanilla republicans and decorators who really hate LED lights for personal preferences and aesthetics.

        Here’s a plug for Mark Jacobson of Stanford university. He has a plan to meet all our energy needs in California with renewable energy. Including transportation.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          At what cost?

          Solar panels don’t even create enough energy to power the plant that makes the panels! Note, I am not against solar power, but it is no panacea, and is expensive.

          At least push all public utilities to have to pay homeowners if they produce “excess” energy that is contributed back to the grid; and simplify the approval process like Germany, which now puts everything needed on one regular page.

    3. Frankly

      It isn’t what scientists know jberg, it is what they don’t know, that prevents them from qualifying as absolutists in many things. And global climate change is an area that covers many, many scientific disciplines including astrophysics and geology to name a few. Correlation is not causation. Evidence is circumstantial at best. And evidence is consistently proven flawed and tampered with.

      The climate models used to predict global warming have failed in their accuracy over the last 20 years, so each year they are re calibrated to say they are reliable. How would that work for any other model? Economists have a better handle on all the criteria for modeling economic heating or cooling, yet if you ask 100 of them you will still get 100 different opinions for estimates and causes. And here we have something, global climate, with almost infinite possible cause criteria, and you say that, what… 90% of scientists agree 100% with the estimates and causes?

      This is not science, it is politics.

      Control the narrative of the media, control the curriculum of the education system, and control the platform of science… well then, don’t you pretty much control everything except common sense?

      1. Don Shor

        so each year they are re calibrated to say they are reliable.

        Please provide your evidence for this statement.
        There are thousands of geophysicists working on the many feedbacks in the climate system, identifying and studying the uncertainties that lead to variable outcomes. Have you ever actually spoken to an atmospheric scientist or to a geophysicist who works on climate studies? We have several here at UC Davis. You are imputing a level of groupthink (to borrow your term) that doesn’t exist. It is true that the overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that climate change is occurring (directly provable) and that human activities are a factor of some percentage of that change (provable by deduction). There are sharp and ongoing disagreements and discussions about the feedbacks and the degrees of confidence and the uncertainties. But that doesn’t mean that “the climate models have failed in their accuracy.” These researchers speak in terms of high or low confidence. You can’t simply say the models “have failed.” As with so many of your other discussions, you are applying a dichotomous view: they must be right or wrong, succeed or fail. And you are ascribing politics where it simply doesn’t exist. Research scientists in general are among the least political people I know. A very small number interact with the media (usually rather poorly). A very small number focus on big-picture theories. The vast majority work on small areas of research in great detail, adding to the complex array of published information in a manner that allows others to piece together a complicated picture.
        Your last paragraph indicates that your conclusions result from your ideology. In all the years you’ve been discussing this issue on the Vanguard, that aspect has never changed.

        1. Frankly

          Just Google climate model calibration and tuning and you will find many scholarly articles on the topic.

          Again, I am not proposing sweeping environmental policy over these theories that are backed by these flawed models. It is you and your political ilk.

          I think I need to go back to my psychology that wdf1 called out and point out how hard you are working to avoid a simple agreement that the climate models are flawed and constantly re-calibrated/tuned so they can retain their Co2 causation criteria. Then every year for the last couple of decades, they have failed to predict global temperatures within a very large deviation.

          You could agree with this fact and then move on. But you don’t. And that is standard behavior for all your years posting on the VG.

          1. Don Shor

            I am not proposing sweeping environmental policy…It is you and your political ilk.

            What sweeping environmental policy am I proposing?
            I agree that there are many variables involved in climate models. That doesn’t mean they are flawed.
            I agree that ongoing research will affect the models (ocean heat sink, for example). That’s part of the process. It isn’t intended to “retain their CO2 causation criteria.” It is intended to cause the models to more accurately forecast based on new research.
            When I took a class in greenhouse management, the first lecture was comprised of a model for greenhouse conditions that showed the variables that would affect the conditions and management. Each subsequent lecture focused on one of the aspects of that model. The model wasn’t the science, it was simply a tool for presenting the science in a coherent manner that showed the interactions and complexities. General circulation models are not the theory. They are tools.

          2. David Greenwald

            There’s a big difference between a model that attempts to predict the future temperatures and one that seeks to analyze variables to explain the variance in past temperatures.

          3. Don Shor

            You could agree with this fact and then move on. But you don’t. And that is standard behavior for all your years posting on the VG.

            I wrote this in 2009 and posted some of it on the Vanguard somewhere (I only know this because I saved it as a document):

            The rate of warming over the last half of [the] period [1906-2005] was almost double that for the period as a whole (0.13°C ±0.03°C per decade, versus 0.07°C ± 0.02°C per decade). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming

            The IPCC models:
            This figure shows the results for the period 2000 to 2007 and for 1995 to 2014 (inclusive) …. The mean trend (and mode) in both cases is around 0.2ºC/decade
            Over the longer period [1995-2014], the distribution becomes tighter, and the range is reduced to -0.04 to 0.42ºC/dec.
            (From realclimate http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/)

            The actual results 1998 – 2008
            Based on the global surface record compiled by the Hadley Centre and the global UAH satellite record there has been warming over the past decade.
            Plotting the two temperature records for the last 10 years shows that:
            · The surface record showed a linear increase of 0.062 degrees C per decade
            · The satellite record showed a linear increase of 0.059 degrees C per decade
            (from a comment at http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm)

            Summary:
            Total global warming has dropped to the very low end of the range predicted by the models cited by the IPCC.
            Total global warming has dropped to nearly the level of the first half of the 20th century. Carbon output was dramatically higher in the second half of the 20th century and it is widely stated that it is the carbon output that is responsible for the rate of increase of global temperatures. The carbon-linked global warming is the anthropogenic component.
            Thus….
            It is not unreasonable to say that anthropogenic global warming has essentially stopped since 2000.

            That trend has not changed since 2009. But it is important to note that there have been 17-year flat periods and downward trends in the overall temperature record over the last 100 years — yet the overall trend is inexorable. From Roy Spencer, a noted skeptic:
            Here is Dr. Roy Spencer’s data of the actual temperatures through April 2014.


            Note that it doesn’t show NO global warming over the last 17 years.
            The rate of increase is lower than what the IPCC report models predicted.

          4. Don Shor

            And I’m still waiting for you to tell me what “sweeping environmental policy” I’m “proposing.” I think I’ve made it clear in the past that I believe we should focus on adaptation rather than mitigation.

        2. jrberg

          Thanks, Don. You beat me to it, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. But I’ll add that Frankly keeps hammering on the models, which is not the point. The point is that models try to explain WHY the global warming occurs. The fact that warming is occurring is an empirical observation. CO2 level increase is an empirical observation. Is Frankly arguing that the facts are made up?

          I would strongly encourage Frank and his fellow travelers to actually talk to a few scientists about how they pursue their studies and observations, and how they draw conclusions. Scientists are anything but absolutists. We are always looking for any evidence that will affect our conclusions. I personally would be happy to facilitate such communication.

          1. David Greenwald

            Exactly the problem that Frankly is having here – he’s attempting to attack the models when this study isn’t about the models.

          2. Frankly

            jrberg, I am a very simple-minded person. It is both my liability and my strength at times. If the climate models cannot accurately predict the climate change within some reasonable standard deviation (and they cannot), then how do we know that we won’t start experiencing global cooling? Or how do we know that the global rise in temperature is material enough to accept government policy that destroys the coal industry for example, and prevents energy exploration and production on Federal lands… and demands a percentage of job-killing expensive alternative green energy in new business and business expansion? How do we know that the increase in Co2 is as much of the cause in the recorded rise in global temperature, and not just a circumstantial data point… and that we are missing other causes of increased water vapor, etc?

            The models are the basis for the argument that the planet will warm to the point of great material harm, and that premise is what is driving hyper environmental policy that destroys economic growth and activity.

            No, Solyndra will not save the economy… that has been proven.

            But the models have been proven significantly wrong over and over again.

            My basic problem is that we are being fed this alarmist story to back government policy that benefits one ideological view over another, and threatens to cause even more shrinking of economic growth.

            It is warming even though warming has significantly slowed and the earth has warmed before there were all these cars and factories and cows? Certainly it is warming. Will it continue warming? How much will it warm and how fast? Will green energy evolve fast enough without policy that damages economic growth? Will some catastrophic environmental event like a Yellowstone supervolcano make us all look like chumps while we fret away our final few days left alive on the planet? Or how about that rogue, previously un-tracked, comment that crashes into the Pacific and vaporizes us all?

            Like I wrote, there is much more that we don’t know… and any scientist that pushes the anthropogenic global warming theory as anything more than just a theory gets a big lack of confidence from me.

          3. Don Shor

            Or how about that rogue, previously un-tracked, comment that crashes into the Pacific and vaporizes us all?

            That’s why we have a Vanguard Comment Policy. To keep the planet from getting vaporized.

          4. David Greenwald

            ” If the climate models cannot accurately predict the climate change within some reasonable standard deviation (and they cannot), then how do we know that we won’t start experiencing global cooling? ”

            The answer is fairly easy – if GHG gasses can be shown in the past to have accounted for the vast majority of the recent heating and we project gas levels to continue to rise, then it stands to reason that the climate will continue to heat even if we cannot model exactly how much and when.

          5. Frankly

            Damn… we need an edit feature.

            That comet!

            You know what I meant funny guy.

            But your comet was funny.

      2. DavisBurns

        “Control the narrative of the media, control the curriculum of the education system, and control the platform of science… well then, don’t you pretty much control everything except common sense?”

        Well, that’s just what they have done with Economics and that’s why all that is taught is capitalism, capitalism and capitalism. Any what is practiced is socialism for the capitalist and capitalism for the rest of us.

          1. Barack Palin

            All climatephobics are ignoring the Climategate email scandal which proved that data had been manipulated to produce a predetermined outcome in favor of climate change.

          2. Don Shor

            I’m not sure what a “climatephobic” is, but I think you are (1) overstating the actual malfeasance of that email scandal, and (2) understating how upset many climate scientists and policymakers were about that whole situation.

          3. Barack Palin

            “Three themes are emerging from the newly released emails: (1) prominent scientists central to the global warming debate are taking measures to conceal rather than disseminate underlying data and discussions; (2) these scientists view global warming as a political “cause” rather than a balanced scientific inquiry and (3) many of these scientists frankly admit to each other that much of the science is weak and dependent on deliberate manipulation of facts and data.”

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2011/11/23/climategate-2-0-new-e-mails-rock-the-global-warming-debate/

          4. Don Shor

            “These scientists” referring to a small handful of climate scientists. The thing that really bothered other climate scientists was the refusal to share data. People like Judith Curry and Hans Van Storch, among others, were very critical. Also see blogs by the Pielkes: Roger Pielke Sr. and Jr. There were several investigations and the whole thing was exhaustively discussed in the media and on climate blogs. Plenty of criticism to go around about their behavior.

          5. TrueBlueDevil

            Barack Palin: another wave of lies so that they can peddle the religion of Global Warming on us?

            One of our Founding Fathers had a famous quote about the smarts of the common man, and I beleive the common citizen now doesn’t even see the so-called Global Warming as even a top-10 issue.

            But that won’t stop Obama and Holder and President Valerie Jarrett from acting like Monarchs.

          6. Barack Palin

            Yes TBD, the climate change pushers got busted on those emails and they really had to try and scramble to explain and deny what the emails clearly stated.

    4. TrueBlueDevil

      Well, I know that the IPCC is a political organization, and I know that there is a great deal of money being moved around in the great Global Warming debate… opps, I mean Climate Change.

      I know that with this as a gigantic bully pulpit, people like Barack Obama and the UN want to direct hundreds of billions of dollars around thew world.

      I know that many learned people see this as a way for the UN and other Progressive / International / do gooder organizations to slow down first world economies, like the US; while transferring monies to poor, impoverished, helpless economies.

      I know lots of people will be making a boatload off of these money transfers; it reminds me of when doctors in Africa couldn’t get a hotel room paid for to talk about malaria or starvation, but they were treated like nobility when they spoke about AIDS.

      I know that some scientists falsified data – i.e. lied – because the data they had didn’t meet their stated goals.

      1. Don Shor

        Real simple: do you believe that, over the long run, the world is getting warmer? Do you believe that human activities are responsible for some of that temperature increase?

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Define long run.

          1. Given everything I have read, I think there is a possibility that we are contributing in a small way to a small temperature increase that is clearly manageable; but even this is in doubt due to our 17-year Global Warming hiatus which none of the Warmists here have addressed. However, climate is so complex, measuring these ever-so-small changes over hundreds or thousands of years is really asking for a lot. Further, some speculate that all of these Warmists have yet to even account for the influence of solar activity from the sun, or the fact that populations have exploded around some weather stations over the past 50 or 100 years, thereby dramatically changing the temperature readings we would observe, which would thusly affect the gross numbers.

          2. What we can truly accomplish is so minor, yet so amazingly costly, many wonder as to the true intentions of many Warmists. It is almost as if you think a little boy can pee in the Mississippi River, and change it’s direction.

          3. However, when real substantive large-scale solutions to the supposed problem are then suggested – like the IPCC suggesting that the world build 1,000 nuclear power plants, which produce zero CO2 – all we hear are “crickets”.

          4. Even lesser solutions – the use of Natural Gas (and fracking) are fought; and common sense solutions like insulation are rarely discussed.

          5. Most all of the doomsday predictions have been proven false. The polar bears thrive. Ice has appeared in record thickness. Zero communities have been moved and re-established due to rising sea levels. There has been no dramatic spike in the number of hurricanes, which I believe are actually down. And we’re having a colder-than-normal summer. Go figure.

          1. Don Shor

            Given everything I have read, I think there is a possibility that we are contributing in a small way to a small temperature increase that is clearly manageable

            You vs. 97% of climate scientists as to the increase? I guess I need to know your credentials. Many people think it is manageable.

            I largely agree with you on nuclear and natural gas, as I have stated before.

            One of the problems is that conservatives seem only to be arguing with the most extreme alarmists, and ignoring the broad middle ground on carbon emissions. Ignore the doomsday predictions, and focus instead on the actual and observable impacts — such as what is likely to happen to California’s water supply.

  7. Anon

    IMO, scientists have not been collecting data long enough to be able to conclude anything about our climate and whether it is “warming” or “cooling”. Even if we were to take data from the last 1000 years, which we know is not possible because no such reliable data exists that far back, 1000 years is a minuscule time period relative to the age of the earth and its climate. That said, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that air pollution is not a good thing – look at what is going on in the major cities in China. People are having to wear face masks to go outside. I’m all for keeping our air as clean as possible, for health reasons if nothing else. And aesthetically, who wants smoggy air? I’m also all for gaining freedom from relying on foreign oil, altho that problem has lessened with fracking – which presents a whole other host of problems. For me, it makes perfect sense to develop as many different types of energies as we can. And my hope is that at some point we develop some that are immensely cheap and efficient and clean, so that other countries follow suit by buying it from us 😉

    1. jrberg

      Your first two sentences are wrong. Knowledge of climate thousands of years ago is possible by numerous techniques. Core samples, chemistry, and physics makes this possible, among other things. Geologists, biologists, archeologists, chemists and physicists have lots of tools to know what happened a long time ago.

      1. Anon

        I don’t agree. They think those tools are accurate for reading what happened 1000 years ago, but they don’t know for sure, and to what degree of accuracy? Does it measure a 1 degree temperature change over a 20 year period, for instance? All guesswork and speculation at best.

        1. jrberg

          All that comment tells me is that you have read no literature on the subject. If you can back up *your* speculation with actual references, I’d be happy to review them and comment on their veracity. Not to accuse you of any such thing, but creationists don’t accept carbon dating or any other physical method of assigning age to objects. We’re talking about similar techniques here.

          1. South of Davis

            Anon wrote:

            > Does it measure a 1 degree temperature change over a
            > 20 year period, for instance? All guesswork and speculation
            > at best.

            Then jr berg wrote:

            > All that comment tells me is that you have read no literature
            > on the subject.

            The graph Don posted above shows less than a half degree (C) of movement per year. Most data gathering 75+ years ago has a guy looking at a mercury thermometer (not always in the same place and not always at the same time) and even with some amazing “Core samples, chemistry, and physics” we can’t tell if September 4th 1014 was half a degree cooler or warmer than September 4th 1015.

          2. Frankly

            So is government spending on social welfare including Obamacare. But for some reason you don’t seem to care as much about that upward trend… even though it is clearly unsustainable. We don’t know what is sustainable for climate change. The alarm predictions of doom and gloom are mostly guesses.

          3. Don Shor

            The alarm predictions of doom and gloom are mostly guesses.

            To the contrary, many of the expected outcomes are quite readily predictable. Impacts on agriculture, flood control, water storage, water encroachment on coastal areas — predicting what will happen isn’t rocket science. Locally we can expect fewer chilling hours and chilling units, different patterns of water availability for farms and cities, and greater incidents and magnitude of flooding. Those are all things we can prepare for under the definition of ‘adaptation’. For too long, much of the debate IMO focused on mitigation, and avoided adaptive strategies. The question really isn’t what will happen. It’s not guesswork. The question is how quickly those things will happen, and whether we will do what needs to be done to reduce the adverse impacts. Your comment about ‘negative consequences to the economy, jobs, prosperity, and all the social ills that come from them’ applies in equal measure to the adverse impacts of gradually warming temperatures and rising sea levels.

          4. TrueBlueDevil

            Don, you are 100 percent right, we have to look at the consequences of the so-called Climate Change to see how it will affect us. But we’ve been at this for years, so let’s look at the track record, shall we?

            1. Polar bears were going to dramatically reduce their numbers, or go extinct. Fact: Last I read, there is a population boom with polar bears!

            2. The sea will substantially rise, causing numerous problems. Fact: Hasn’t happened, but Al Gore, the father of global warming, bought beach-front property.

            3. Rising sea levels will cause 50,000 people to relocate by 2013. Fact: No such relocation has happened.

            4. Sea ice will reduce substantially. Fact: a global warming expedition was locked in the ice last fall, and recent reports again reveal a recent increase in ice, and the existing ice is thicker.

            5. Summer temperatures will rise dramatically. Fact: we had a cool summer.

            See Don, these “expected outcomes” aren’t quite so predictable.

            You also wrote: “It’s not guesswork. The question is how quickly those things will happen…” Fact: They’re not happening. We have a 17 year, 8 month “hiatus” in warming, so in fact it does look like wild-eyed guesswork. Use google.

      2. Frankly

        This is exactly an example of the problem.

        Stephen Hawking was quoted recently as saying he is sure God does not exist but he he hopes to peer into a parallel universe before he dies.

        Besides his obvious hypocrisy, there is breathtaking absolutism of the most abstract and complicated of topics.

        Scientists have all these tools to calculate temperatures before they were measured and recorded. Yes, scientist invented that time machine so they could be sure they got it right.

        But then they plugged what they were sure was right into their predictive models, and the models failed.

        Here is the general problem. Scientists used to be a much more conflicted bunch. Their natural ego pursuit caused them to want to rip apart theories not their own… and the process led to a very high bar of proof and the peer-review process. It led to final findings we could trust.

        It is much less so today. There is much more group-think.

        But we used to have many more scientists working in private industry not funded by government… and so there was always a healthy amount of bread-buttering motivation that served as a check and balance to a drift toward a political orientation in the work and conclusions.

        Today the bread is buttered more from the hand of government and I think this is causing a general tilt toward pursuit of funding. And global warming has turned into a boondoggle of government funding.

        It saddens me to a great deal to see the noble profession of science corrupted by politics and money pursuit.

        1. Tia Will

          Frankly

          “It is much less so today. There is much more group-think.

          But we used to have many more scientists working in private industry not funded by government… and so there was always a healthy amount of bread-buttering motivation that served as a check and balance to a drift toward a political orientation in the work and conclusions.”

          Your evidence please that there is more “group-think” today. We still have scientists constantly challenging both their own research and that of others.
          And the thought that industry sponsored research is somehow more pure or reliable than government sponsored is indeed comical to someone who has seen many, many studies done by pharmaceutical companies conveniently exaggerating the benefits and downplaying the potential side effects of their own drug. To say nothing of the tactic or changing the strength of a particular medication by a negligible amount just as their proprietary rights to a previously developed drug are about to expire, claim it is more effective so that they can jack up the price on their “new discovery”.
          If you cannot see the lack of integrity of much industry sponsored research, then you are simply choosing not to look. And this is not the first time that I have pointed out the specific example of the manufactures of birth control pills doing this to you.

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      Great points, Anon. We have an abundance of clean Natural Gas (NG), which has helped us to cut our CO2 emissions by 20 percent! Why don’t I ever read or hear a person on the Left celebrate this amazing news??!!

      We also have nuclear power which produces zero (0) CO2. We do need improvements here, like standardizing on one or two NP designs, like the French. The French have the cleanest air in Europe, the cheapest energy, and sell excess electricity to Germany (and others)… who went whole hog for (expensive and spotty) solar power.

      These two could serve as bridge until we develop other cleaner energy sources.

      1. Don Shor

        http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/196790-natural-gas-big-winner-in-speech-to-green-groups-dismay

        America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades,” Obama said during his fifth State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

        “One of the reasons why is natural gas, if extracted safely, it’s the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change,” Obama said.

        In a fact sheet accompanying the speech, the White House called on Congress to establish “sustainable shale gas growth zones.”

        “My administration will keep working with the industry to sustain production and job growth while strengthening protection of our air, our water, and our communities,” Obama said.

        Obama added he would work with Congress to create jobs by building fueling stations, as the administration plans to propose new incentives for medium and heavy-duty trucks to run on natural gas, or other alternative fuels.

    3. DavisBurns

      Don’t delude yourself that all the oil and gas being produced by fracking is being used in the united states. MOST of it is shipped to refineries and shipped overseas. All that Bakken crude is shipped to a coast where it is refined and shipped overseas. Thats why they want the KXL pipeline, why they are using the rails to ship it to the northeast coast, the northwest coast, through davis to the west coast and to the gulf coast. It is not staying here. It is being shipped overseas. Mostly china.

      1. jrberg

        Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.

        Benjamin Franklin

        “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.”

        ― Benjamin Franklin

  8. Tia Will

    A point that I have not heard anyone here address.
    Let’s suppose that human activity is having only a small influence on global temperature change. Rather than arguing over how much impact is due to our activity, why not accept that it is the only aspect of temperature change that we have any possibility of influencing. Thus even if we only make a relatively small change, it would still be a change for the better. Anon points out that while there is controversy over climate change and human contribution, there is no controversy what so ever about the impact of our excess consumption with its deleterious environmental effects such as smog, massive amount of waste, pollution of our oceans, all of which are of course directly related to human activities. Could we not agree that regardless of our stand on global warming, we could all agree that polluting our own environment is not a good idea and that we all have the ability to affect this ?

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        This assumes that the way that we currently are doing business and that the businesses that we have today are the best that we could have. An odd assumption for someone who is always accusing me of being anti change. Since we should be in agreement that change is an inevitable given, why are businesses so slow to innovate in ways that move us towards a greener healthy future ?
        You often state that businessmen are risk takers. So why not take some risk on the side of providing people with safer, cleaner, renewable energy instead of clinging so devotedly to past unhealthy models ?

        1. Frankly

          Who says that business is too slow to innovate? Destroying the coal industry does nothing to incentivize investment in clean coal technology. Restricting gas and oil exploration and transportation does nothing to motivate business development in green energy technology.

          It was private pursuit of profit that led to frack technology that has led to billions of tons of reductions in carbon emissions because of plentiful and cheap natural gas replacing much dirtier oil and coal burning industrial machinery… all government is doing is to provide more environmental policy impediments to frack technology production.

          It is private pursuit of profit that has led to the breathtaking success of Tesla Motors… a company that is investing billions in new battery technology that will lead to more affordable and useful battery-powered automobiles. All government is doing is making it more difficult for that company to invest in the business expansion.

          If you want to advance technology to reduce carbon, then advocate that government get the hell out of the way.

          1. wdf1

            The tobacco industry spent years rejecting very strong evidence that said that its products were a health hazard. Were it not for government intervention…

          2. DavisBurns

            clean coal technology is an oxymoron. It does not exist as an actual process. It is a clever phrase created by advertiser for the coal industry. Natural gas is not clean, if you look at all pollution created in production and burning, it can be, and is often as dirty as coal.

            The Union of Concerned Scientists:
            Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) when combusted in a new, efficient natural gas power plant compared with emissions from a typical new coal plant [1]. Considering only tailpipe emissions, natural gas also emits 15 to 20 percent less heat-trapping gases than gasoline when burned in today’s typical vehicle [2].

            Emissions from smokestacks and tailpipes, however, do not tell the full story.

            The drilling and extraction of natural gas from wells and its transportation in pipelines, results in the leakage of methane, a far more potent global warming gas than CO2. Preliminary studies and field measurements show that these so-called “fugitive” methane emissions range from 1 to 9 percent of total life cycle emissions [3].

            Whether natural gas has lower life cycle greenhouse gas emissions than coal and oil depends on the assumed leakage rate, the global warming potential of methane over different time frames, the energy conversion efficiency, and other factors [4]. One recent study found that methane losses must be kept below 3.2 percent for natural gas power plants to have lower life cycle emissions than new coal plants over short time frames of 20 years or fewer [5]. And if burning natural gas in vehicles is to deliver even marginal benefits, methane losses must be kept below 1 percent and 1.6 percent compared with diesel fuel and gasoline, respectively. Technologies are available to reduce much of the leaking methane, but deploying such technology would require new policies and investments.

          3. Don Shor

            Destroying the coal industry does nothing to incentivize investment in clean coal technology.

            The EPA is giving the coal industry 16 years to develop cleaner practices. Unless there is a cost that results from polluting, polluters have no incentive to reduce pollution. The way you reduce pollution is by enacting regulations, which means the federal government has to do it (states won’t). The major successes in cleaning our air and water all derived from federal regulation.
            The way to do it with the least adverse economic impact is to set the targets for reduction and let the industry figure out how to achieve them. That is exactly what the EPA has proposed.

            Under the draft rule, the EPA would let states and utilities meet the new standard with different approaches mixing four options including energy efficiency, shifting from coal to natural gas, investing in renewable energy and making power plant upgrades. Other compliance methods could include offering discounts to encourage consumers to shift electricity use to off-peak hours.

            If you just “advocate that government get the hell out of the way” you will never get reduction in carbon emissions from coal. So if you oppose them, you basically oppose reducing carbon emissions. The philosophical premise for opposing reduction of carbon emissions would have to be that you don’t think carbon emissions are a problem. That might explain why industries have contributed so heavily to misinformation campaigns regarding climate change.

          4. TrueBlueDevil

            DavisBurns, then how did we reduce our CO2 emissions by 20 percent recently? We don’t have that much solar and wind, and environmental extremists keep fighting nuclear power.

            How exactly do you want us to power our hospitals and places of work, leisure, and worship?

          5. TrueBlueDevil

            Don Shor wrote: “The way you reduce pollution is by enacting regulations, which means the federal government has to do it (states won’t). The major successes in cleaning our air and water all derived from federal regulation.”

            Didn’t the Free Market reduce CO2 emissions with the introduction of fracking, which is cleaner than many other sources; more abundant; and proven? The Free Market produced the technology, flipped some plants from coal to NG, but still the extremists on the left believe we can power a nation of 3330 million with Fairy Dust and clove cigarettes.

          6. Frankly

            The tax code is a mess.

            The federal register of regulations is a mess.

            Government spending is a mess.

            Fracking is regulated heavily.

            Fracking technology is evolving but it not a mess. And it is helping the environment, society, families (especially low income) and the economy. It also helps our national security.

            But thanks for proving my point.

          7. Don Shor

            Fracking is regulated heavily.

            Really? Maybe it will be in California. Maybe in some states. The effectiveness of the regulations is highly questionable in some states.

            Fracking technology is evolving but it not a mess. And it is helping the environment, society, families (especially low income) and the economy. It also helps our national security.

            All true. It can do all those things. It can also cause serious local pollution if not regulated effectively.
            So what “point” did I supposedly “prove” this time? If it’s this one:

            all government is doing is to provide more environmental policy impediments to frack technology production.

            — yes: one role of government is to regulate the adverse consequences of technology by making the businesses pollute less.

          8. Frankly

            Don: So what “point” did I supposedly “prove” this time?

            Somewhere in all my rambling I mentioned that certain people and certain groups are trying to eliminate fracking or “tightly regulate” it to the point that we lose most of the energy cost advantages so that it serves to boost. the advance of green alternative energy… even if doing so harms many people and the country.

            My follow up point was that this would not boost the advance of alternative energy, it would only harm people and the country.

          9. Don Shor

            I am somewhat skeptical about the advance of alternative energy being hastened by much outside of market forces. I’m happy to have agencies like the NSF funding research, and tax credits going to various industries if that’s effective. But I don’t see solar, wind, or other ‘green’ sources becoming a majority of our energy production in the next decade or two at least. Hence natural gas, and nuclear. Most moderate politicians of both parties support that, as does the public.

            Some groups definitely want to eliminate fracking and don’t care about increased natural gas production. These are generally ardent environmentalists whose policy outcomes, if you added them all together (no nuclear, no fracking, no pipelines, carbon taxes) would make energy much more expensive and would hamper the economy. I don’t support those positions. Neither, for the record, do the governor of California, the President of the United States or his department heads, or most Democratic party leaders.
            “Tightly regulate” is a relative thing. The Brown administration regulations are making the industry unhappy as being too tight, and making some environmental groups unhappy as being not tight enough. So I’d say they must be about right. That’s called ‘moderate’.

          10. Frankly

            A reasonable post that ignores federal and state regulatory policy and instead focuses on words of politicians.

            For example, the no-pipeline is a direct Obama position.

            You apparently have more confidence in government causing/forcing/motivating… whatever… a move to more alternative green energy without damaging the economy. I think that is a foolish position… the innovative power of the free market… that invisible hand… offers us much greater “balanced” opportunity to have our cake and eat it too. Economic growth from the technological advances that make fossil fuels less expensive AND advances in reducing the costs of alternative green energy sources. But for this to work, we need government to get the hell out of the way and stop kowtowing to the most extreme environmentalists in the state and national government… many that actually work for the government and are the chief decision makers.

          11. Don Shor

            For example, the no-pipeline is a direct Obama position.

            No it isn’t.

            You apparently have more confidence in government causing/forcing/motivating… whatever… a move to more alternative green energy without damaging the economy.

            How? Tax credits, maybe more funding for research? Public/private partnerships, that sort of thing. I also favor policies that could make alternative energies more available to mid- and lower-income Americans. Right now green energy is kind of a luxury.

            we need government to get the hell out of the way

            No, we need the government to prevent harm to the environment and to public health, and the way they do that is by regulating the industry. The fossil fuel industry is a major polluter. Pollution is unhealthy. They won’t stop polluting unless government makes them do so.

        2. Frankly

          The tobacco industry spent years rejecting very strong evidence that said that its products were a health hazard. Were it not for government intervention…

          Sure, but I don’t see how you can compare a completely discretionary luxury product with a primary needed commodity.

          You are saying that traditional energy is bad for people’s health and should be banned?

          By the way, in addition to cheaper heating fuel, fertilizer to grow the crops to feed the world is made more plentiful and cheaper from less expensive natural gas from fracking.

          Helping low income people stay warm and fed… isn’t that something you support?

          1. Tia Will

            Frankly

            “Sure, but I don’t see how you can compare a completely discretionary luxury product with a primary needed commodity.”

            I certainly support helping all people stay warm and fed. However,i in this country,our energy “needs” are largely “luxury”. No one “needs” the huge gas guzzlers that are still prominent on our highways. No one needs the mansions who’s heating and cooling are a tremendous waste of energy. No one “needs” most of the energy consuming “toys” used by the affluent. You say that those are major drivers of the economy and that is currently true.
            But that is a matter of choice. We could, as a society choose to divert the economic effort away from these “luxury toys” and towards efforts to develop greener technologies, ways to provide better reversible contraceptives, ways to feed and house the truly needy, better responses to disasters such as the Ebola outbreak…. It is our choice, not an economic necessity to focus on our “luxuries” and distort the issue by renaming them as “necessities.”

          2. Frankly

            No one needs the mansions who’s heating and cooling are a tremendous waste of energy.

            Please tell that to Al Gore and every politician working to extend their political career on the back of the global warming scare-fest.

            BTW, GW Bush had his ranch converted to energy neutral and low water usage long before Al Gore was working to make his millions off the global warming scare and the belonging longing of a certain political group. He and Mikey Moore are both sitting on piles of cash in their big energy-wasting mansions and private jets by exploiting these very things.

  9. South of Davis

    Tia wrote:

    > A point that I have not heard anyone here address.
    > Let’s suppose that human activity is having only a small
    > influence on global temperature change. Rather than arguing
    > over how much impact is due to our activity, why not accept
    > that it is the only aspect of temperature change that we have
    > any possibility of influencing. Thus even if we only make a relatively
    > small change, it would still be a change for the better.

    This is the main point I have been trying to make, we all know that there has always been “climate change” (the “ice age” ended after years of “global warming”). I’m not a “climate change denier” and I’m pretty sure that the activity of the billions of people on the globe influence the global climate, but the big question is “how much dothe people influence the climate” and “what will it cost to make a measurable change”.

    When Katrina flooded parts of New Orleans the water devastated entire neighborhoods. If everyone in Davis flew to New Orleans and took 3 ounces of flood water (the maximum allowed on a plane after 9/11) back to Davis with them working together all 60,000 of us would remove 1,400 gallons of flood water (“a relatively small change, but a change for the better”) but it would cost over $30 MILLION (60,000 round trip plane tickets are about $30,000) and we have to ask “is the small change worth the cost”

    > Anon points out that while there is controversy over climate change and human
    > contribution, there is no controversy what so ever about the impact of our excess
    > consumption with its deleterious environmental effects such as smog, massive
    > amount of waste, pollution of our oceans, all of which are of course directly related
    > to human activities. Could we not agree that regardless of our stand on global warming,
    > we could all agree that polluting our own environment is not a good idea and that
    > we all have the ability to affect this ?

    The big problem is exponential population growth. We have about twice as many people on the planet than we did 50 years ago so even if everyone in the WORLD cut their pollution and waste in half we would still have MORE pollution and waste. If everyone in Davis cut their pollution and waste in half we would notice it on a Global scale even less than the people of the lower ninth ward noticed a drop in the water level after everyone in Davis flew home with three ounces of water.

    Not that we can’t do a lot to make Davis a better place by driving less, not smoking recycling planting trees growing our own food and lots of other stuff, but despite what many smug Hybrid drivers may think when they trade in their car for an even greener PEV (so they can be even more smug) it will have no measurable effect on the GLOBAL climate…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXZeq9eXAys

    1. Tia Will

      South of Davis

      “it will have no measurable effect on the GLOBAL climate…”

      I would agree with your statement with the following exceptions:
      1. There is the factor of leading by example. Much of the rest of the world would not currently be living in consumption drive
      societies had the US not lead the way through our example of “more is better” lifestyles. Perhaps our country could
      eventually “lead the way” in promoting sustainable lifestyles rather than acquisition driven ones.
      2. Even if we cannot effect “GLOBAL” climate, the small changes that we make will make the quality of our own environment
      better not only for us but for our children and grandchildren. That in and of itself is a worthwhile goal.
      3. If we were to combine leadership in sustainable lifestyles, visible improvements in quality of life, and voluntary reproductive responsibility, perhaps we might be able to have an impact on global health and well being and perhaps in the very long term, on global climate.

      As a doctor, I think of it this way. In this country, we have an epidemic of obesity based largely on our recent adoption of a sedentary lifestyle in which food is ubiquitous in our environment. If I am successful in getting one patient to lower her health risks through a combination of better dietary choices, portion control, increased exercise and even medications if needed, will I have ended the epidemic or even made a dent in it ? Of course not. But if thousands of other doctors are doing the same and if these patients talk to their children, family, friends and neighbors others are inspired to a healthier living style and ultimately this trend has the potential to spread and impact the entire society. We have seen this work in the case of reduction of cancer deaths from smoking in the United States.

      Your example of the water from Katrina was entertaining, however, not applicable since it says nothing about the spread of a positive behavior from one individual to another which is the basis of desirable behavioral change.

      Finally, I obviously agree with your post about population growth and have spent a large amount of my career advocating for responsible reproduction on the individual and societal levels.

  10. tribeUSA

    Though not in the climate modeling arena, I’m a research hydrologist and have done some work in examining long-term hydrologic trends throughout the Sierra Nevada watersheds, and have some knowledge of some aspects of climate change research.

    Don Shor in his comments above does an excellent job in summarizing some of the salient points in regard to climate change investigations; but at the same time Frankly does bring up some very good points with respect to discrepancies between mainline consensus predictive models and the current 17-year plateau in observed mean global tropospheric T. Global climate models continue to be in a continuous state of intensive development to incorporate research investigations that lead to a better understanding of energy exchange and related processes that impact global climate, and processes newly identified to be of importance in hindcast and forecast models. Some of the feed-forward and feedback mechanisms that affect tropospheric temperature have been modeled as simplified temporal-mean rates on decadal and longer timescales; even though it is well known that important processes such as decadal-scale changes in ocean currents (e.g the Pacific Decadal Oscillation PDO) likely have an important effect on heat transfer rates between the oceans and atmosphere; mainly because there is considerable uncertainty in predicting the exact timing of these oscillations–that is; these oscillations do not occur in precisely uniform periods like clockwork, but instead the period lengths vary substantially from cycle to cycle (PDO cycle lengths have varied within the range from 50-70 years; if I remember correctly). So this presents a challenge in model forecasts, since there is no way of knowing precisely when such cycles will start and end–so the modelers just incorporate the temporal-mean effect of such cycles on energy exchange rates into the climate forecast models; while they are well aware there will actually be decadal oscillations in these mechanisms. This is one example of the type of temporal-averaging that goes on in climate models, and why such temporal-averaging is used, and thus why their ‘prediction’ numbers do not account for the current hiatus (i.e. the modelers are well aware that such hiatus can occur, but do not have enough information to forecast exactly when they occur; so they just include mean effects of these decadal oscillations in their models).

    Another aspect of climate-change research that is undergoing intensive research is the possibility of metastable states in tropospheric temperature–currently there is not enough knowledge to develop reliable climate models that can produce such metastable states, and their sensitivity to perturbations–could we be in a fairly robust metastable climate state now; and how much higher do atmospheric levels of CO2, methane, etc. need to rise in order to break the troposphere out of this metastable state and into a period of rapid warming?

    Also, perhaps it is prudent to invoke the precautionary principle. Human activity is, in fact, changing the composition of the earth’s atmosphere; and we do not fully understand what the effects of this might be on global climate–we are basically running an experiment on the global climate system, and keeping our fingers crossed that it won’t turn out to badly for us critters here on planet earth.

    1. South of Davis

      Tribe USA, thanks for the great post. I think that it is important to remember that while smart people have developed the climate models the climate is very complex (even more complex than the global bond market). Less than 20 years ago Long Term Capital Management hired some smart people (including a Nobel prize winner) to “model” the bond market and everything worked great, until it didn’t (Google LTCM if you want to read more). I don’t know if “God” wrote the “Bible” the “Quran” or “Book of Mormon, but I know that most Christians, Muslims and Mormons seem more open minded to admitting this fact than if I tell a “Global Warming Alarmist” that “the models might be wrong and most of SF will NOT be under water before we die”…

      1. David Greenwald

        I find it amazing that what was presented here was not a model but rather a look back at what accounted for the variance in temperatures. And yet, no one has addressed this report, they’ve exclusively relied on the polemics attacking climate models. It’s hard to produce a predictive model in a complex system, but the look back here is instructive as it looks at the variance and what accounts for that variance.

        1. South of Davis

          David wrote:

          > I find it amazing that what was presented here was not a model but rather
          > a look back at what accounted for the variance in temperatures.

          It was not just a “look back” but a report that “modeled” “why” there was a variance in temperature…

    2. Frankly

      Great post TribeUSA. Thanks for the explanation and education.

      If more experts in the various scientific disciplines connected to climate change studies would write as you have, I would develop a much greater level of participatory trust. If were smart enough and educated enough to be some leader in the scientific community (I am not by a long-shot), I would be preaching to run like hell from any connection to any politician or any political movement. That connection is completely toxic to any professional reputation. Al Gore started this… and soon scientists will sit at the same exalted level as do lawyers.

      Just admit that the science is fraught with extreme complexity and unknown factors, and we don’t know exactly what the future holds. Then make the case that we all benefit from less pollution as long as we don’t push extreme environmental policy at the expense of having enough economic activity and growth so that there are enough jobs and enough personal income generation to take care of the population.

      Climate change is a political movement. Scientists seem to stomp their feet in denial of this, but they do so at the peril of their credibility. Because it is a political movement, for scientists to increase the ear and attention of more people, they need to partner with economists to develop and deliver more comprehensive “human-impact” predictions for both un-checked climate change (based on the troubled climate models) and from proposed environmental policy (based on troubled economic models).

      There is a natural system and there is an economic system. And there is symbiosis at work because humans are part of the natural system and require an economic system.

      And from my perspective, there is extreme and measurable cooling of our economic system that portends much greater human misery and suffering than does the warming of the planet.

      One last point… we know that the planet is warming. We don’t know exactly why, and we don’t know if it will stop warming. But more importantly, we don’t know what the human impact will be to a warming planet. There are parts of the planet that used to be wet that are now dry, and that were dry but are now wet. Adaption has always been a challenge for the animals that live on the planet… including humans. We should be focusing on adaption. And what I understand is that everyone knowledgeable about climate change agrees that the planet will continue to warm no matter what we do to try and stop it… so adaption is the ONLY rational focus.

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        “Climate change is a political movement. Scientists seem to stomp their feet in denial of this, but they do so at the peril of their credibility.”

        I think that you are confusing the actions of individuals by combining them into one group.
        The concept of climate change has both scientific and political meaning. I do not believe that your statement that “scientists seem to stomp their feet in denial…..” is true. There are many scientists that deny that their own particular contribution to the science or their own particular belief in the information provided are not politically motivated. I think that you tend to believe this statement when their position is in agreement with yours and to disbelieve them when their opinion differs from yours. I think it is important not to confuse the science of global warming with its political usages by either the right or the left of the political spectrum to forward their own agendas.

        “so adaption is the ONLY rational focus.”

        As usual, I do not see only one approach as being rational. Adaptation is certainly a major point of focus. However, I think that the “only” emphasis psychologically tempts us to do nothing to improve our environment, even those steps which are demonstrably better such as more fuel efficient and cleaner cars, or choosing to walk, bike, or use cleaner public transportation instead of driving. There are very straightforward ways to improve our environmental situation which we may over look or write off if we are focused solely on adaptation which I see as a very limited, defeatist approach.

  11. Tia Will

    I think that both the terms “look back” and “model” are inaccurate in terms of what this study actually represents.
    Everyone here probably understands statistics better than I do, but from David’s presentation of the study it was not actually a
    retrospective model or any model of climate change at all. My understanding is that it was an analysis of probability and nothing more. If I am correct, it would have nothing at all to do with pushing any particular agenda. Someone please step up and correct me if I am wrong about the study.

  12. Adam Smith

    First, David I think it would be really helpful if you posted links to the article when you rely on it for your conclusions. It is very possible for others to read the same article or report, but have different conclusions or takeaways.

    David: “I find it amazing that what was presented here was not a model but rather a look back at what accounted for the variance in temperatures. And yet, no one has addressed this report, they’ve exclusively relied on the polemics attacking climate models. It’s hard to produce a predictive model in a complex system, but the look back here is instructive as it looks at the variance and what accounts for that variance.”

    For me, and perhaps others, the problem with the look back is that it used a simulation to estimate the impact of GHG on temperature. So even though the model is a look back, it relies on a simulation, and many of those simulations have been show to have problems with predictions (I don’t know enough about climate science to make any conclusion about this model).

  13. Anon

    Very interesting discussion. Especially liked the post by tribeUSA.

    1. To jrberg, who claimed I “have read no literature on the subject” [of global warming], please google the following: tree ring divergence, sources of uncertainty in ice core data, hockey stick controversy. Also read Michael Crichton’s well researched novel, State of Fear. Also listen to Crichton (and others in a symposium) speak on uTube (just Google his name).

    2. Gov’t regulation is absolutely necessary, but is not always perfect or the answer. Take the BP oil spill. The gov’t was supposed to regulate, but failed miserably from what I understand, because gov’t regulators were bought off by BP with prostitutes and were also busy watching porn on the job, among other things. Fracking most certainly needs gov’t regulation – as the folks in PA could tell you, who can set the water coming out of their taps on fire, that has been contaminated with chemicals used in fracking. Can gov’t regulation go too far? Of course it can. If regulations become extremely stringent for an infinitesimal increment in improvement while at the same time seriously harming the economy, then it is counterproductive. The right balance has to be sought.

    3. Monied interests, scientific professions and political careers have been staked on the “global warming theory”, so that any data that disagrees with the models meant to prove global warming are explained away with tortured logic in the form of ancillary global warming theories, e.g. polar vortex, “its weather, not climate change”, “global warming causes extremes in weather”, etc. Data is literally changed/omitted to fit the theory, when it should be the theory that is changed to fit the data.

    4. I like Tia’s idea of setting an example. I am a huge believer in researching better ways to do things. Energy is such a critical need, that it just makes common sense to me to diversify our energy portfolio as much as possible, so that we as a nation are most likely to hit on the best way to go about producing clean, cheap and efficient energy. And by setting an example to the world of how it should be done, we should be able to market clean, cheap and efficient energy methodologies to the world for a nice fat profit. We have often led the way in the area of technology – let’s keep it up!

    5. I don’t want our country to become like China, where the air is so foul, people have to wear masks to be able to breathe. We’re more intelligent than that. I may not buy into the “global warming theory”, but I sure buy into the idea of clean water, clean air, an unlittered land. At one time our highways used to be littered with all sorts of detritus, and then we learned a better way to do things, by insisting people clean up after themselves. Why not insist polluting companies reasonably clean up after themselves? I’m not asking them to pick up every speck of paper they have left behind, but I am expecting them to pick up their major litter they have left behind, be it in our air and water or on the land. Pollution is not a good thing, and should be discouraged by everyone.

    1. wdf1

      Anon: 3. Monied interests, scientific professions and political careers have been staked on the “global warming theory”, so that any data that disagrees with the models meant to prove global warming are explained away with tortured logic

      There is really relatively little money invested in taking advantage of marketing opportunities connected to global warming compared to the money that is connected with the “status quo” order. For instance, 6 of the top largest 20 companies in the world are petroleum companies. source The source lists the top 2000 companies in the world. I don’t see any companies in the top 100 that would appear to gain specifically from “green” marketing. And we’re not even considering privately held companies.

        1. wdf1

          If you’re attempting to present a counter example, it’s a really weak one. Al Gore is well-known, but his wealth pales in comparison to the money tied up with the oil industry.

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      1. To jrberg, who claimed I “have read no literature on the subject” [of global warming], please google “17-year global warming hiatus”.

      4. I like Tia’s idea of setting an example. However, we have to make sure that we don’t do harm, and don’t hammer our lower and middle classes with unproven theories. I’m all for cleaning up pollution, but at what cost?

      If we’re really serious about CO2, let’s help China put out their massive underground coal fires which spew massive amounts of CO2 into the air.

      But expensive and unreliable solar power is a tough pill to swallow. It can’t provide baseline energy needs.

      5. “I don’t want our country to become like China, where the air is so foul, people have to wear masks to be able to breathe.”

      Are we at risk of that? No, we’re not. This is a logical fallacy.

  14. wdf1

    As the seas rise, a slow-motion disaster gnaws at America’s shores

    The U.S. military takes this stuff seriously.

    Climate Change Report Outlines Perils for U.S. Military

    The group, the National Research Council, says in a study commissioned by the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies that clusters of apparently unrelated events exacerbated by a warming climate will create more frequent but unpredictable crises in water supplies, food markets, energy supply chains and public health systems.
    ….
    The Defense Department has already taken major steps to plan for and adapt to climate change and has spent billions of dollars to make ships, aircraft and vehicles more fuel-efficient. Nonetheless, the 206-page study warns in sometimes bureaucratic language, the United States is ill prepared to assess and prepare for the catastrophes that a heated planet will produce.

    1. wdf1

      BFD. And at one time it was convention to reject any notion Earth orbited the sun. Do you think if we wait long enough will return to accepting a geocentric universe? (Maybe some already do accept this)

  15. TrueBlueDevil

    Right now, President Obama has John Kerry (or his staff, with his rubber stamp) negotiating a treaty on climate change that will never go before Congress. Talk about lack of representation, this is worse than a monarchy.

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