Republican Takeover of Senate Will Spotlight Climate Denial

Now that the Republicans control Congress for the next two years, what’s in store for U.S. climate politics? Well, Keystone is the first order of business, and then probably a whole lot of bombast and theater, which many will find unappetizing:

Not good for science and sane politics, perhaps, but if you’re a Democrat who cares about climate change and you are already looking ahead to 2016, there’s a silver lining: You have the face of climate denialism in a top leadership spot, quoted often in the media, representing the Republican brand in Congress.

And this is not your garden variety climate skepticism that nitpicks the science. We’re talking all-in global conspiracy belief, infamously expressed, as The Hill recently noted:

Inhofe has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax,” despite near universal agreement from the scientific community.

Indeed, as Phil Plait at Slate writes, Inhofe “denies it [global warming] to levels that would make the frothiest conspiracy theorists shake their heads in wonder.”

If you’re a money man like Tom Steyer hellbent on making climate change a wedge issue for Democrats, then you are happy to have Senator James Inhofe as the Republican face of climate change for the next two years.

UPDATE: After the election, Time published a thorough piece on Inhofe’s climate change views.

166 Responses to “Republican Takeover of Senate Will Spotlight Climate Denial”

  1. Tom Fuller says:

    Would that be one of the nine planetary wedges (I wish they were called wedgies…)?

    Probably more important…what will happen to Morano? Does he become Imperial Climate Kingmaker?

    That could be really fun…

  2. JH says:

    Dems have the beginning of the Tar Sands era that increasing oil production drives down oil prices.

    What if keystone gets approved and it’s approval encourages more exploration – on newly opened Federal lands – generating more discoveries and driving the price of gas down to $2.50? Yikes! Not good for Democrats or climate legislation. It’s looking like Bakken producers can withstand prices down to $50 and possibly $40 – translating to gas prices in the $2.00 range.

    On top of that, I’m hearing Mexico has a substantial oil shale resource.

    I doubt Inhofe’s rise will have an impact on election results. No one is voting on climate issues. It’s at the bottom of the barrel.

  3. David Skurnick says:

    I don’t know how urgent climate change is, but Keystone does nothing to mitigate climate change. See

    Nor does it help prevent pollution. In fact, to the degree that oil will be transported by trucks and trains instead of pipelines, Keystone would reduce the likelihood of an oil spill.
    For the Dems to run on a fake issue is probably bad politics, and it can only lead to bad policy.

  4. Tom Scharf says:

    KK: Feeling a little bitter this morning? Team Blue took a beating.

    It sure is a long way from hope/change and permanent liberal majorities and demographics are destiny, is it not? I guess we could get Appell to explain the moral superiority of liberals to us again this morning.

    As with all elections, the results will be over-interpreted by both sides. One thing that will always be true: It is easy to run against the party in power because governing is very hard. Those who promise miracles rarely conjure them up when given power, and that causes the pendulum to swing. As for the Republicans, this is probably as good as it gets, and the pendulum will start swinging back next election.

    As for climate, once again it was not an election issue, and it will likely continue to not be one. Very few Democrats will stand up and publicly endorse a costly climate action bill.

    As for Steyer, he funded ads here in Florida for Christ, who lost (barely). Ironically the ads never mentioned “climate” at all, only hammered people for taking money from Duke Energy. Duke is very unpopular due to their actions on the local nuke plant (long story).

  5. Norbrook says:

    No,”Dems” don’t deny increasing oil production drives down prices. However the Tar Sands, in order to be economically viable, require a certain pricing point – around $83 a barrel. Which is why no one bothered with it before. Do some math, and it’s pretty obvious that you’re never ever going to see that down to a level where you get $2.00 a gallon from it.

    The other problem that Republicans here never seem to quite acknowledge is that the oil market and the prices are globally set. It doesn’t matter how “little” it costs to produce from the Bakken fields, it’s the world supply that matters. Just because there may be a ban on shipping domestic crude overseas, it doesn’t mean (and there isn’t one) refined products can’t be shipped. So if China, for example, is offering to buy at $3 a gallon, guess where your gas goes … and your price at the pump?

  6. Jeffn says:

    Yes, Democrats were so strong on climate during the elections that they were touting Obama’s efforts to… wait for it… lower gasoline prices.

    All fun and kidding aside, we now have a congress that would welcome new nuclear and faster switch to natural gas- two proven means of reducing CO2 emissions that Democrats oppose. Someone who is actually concerned about global warming would look to take advantage of that.
    Or we could spend the next two years demanding ineffective efforts like UN treaties, Keystone bans, and windmills while making fun of Inhofe for standing in the way.
    The fact that you pick plan B tells me you must deny that global warming is an issue.

  7. Tom Scharf says:

    The main issue isn’t so much price, but energy security. When you have your own domestic energy sources, things such as OPEC and keeping peace in the Middle East become lower priority. Nobody want to be at the whims of Putin for gas supplies. The US/North America being self sufficient in fossil fuels was a wild dream 10 years ago. It’s a good thing.

  8. Jeffn says:

    Well, and 10 years ago the Dems were urging solar panels as a way to achieve energy security and six years ago they were making fun of folks who said “drill baby drill.”
    Today they take credit for drilling while blocking Keystone and promising to ban fracking. And Keith thinks folks wedded to that message will be in a position to make fun of Inhofe.

  9. Norbrook says:

    The problem is that the Bakken supply is not sufficient to fill the country’s needs, and the tar sands supply is not “domestic.” Last time I looked, Canada was a completely separate country.

    The other aspect is that all fossil fuels are limited resources, in time if not for any other reason. I pointed out elsewhere a while back that it wouldn’t matter if we waved aside all regulations on coal mining. West Virginia, for example only has 20-30 years of coal left. Most of the “fracked” fields have limited lifespans, which leads to the “Red Queen” problem. So at best, such supplies are only bridges to longer-term solutions.

  10. Missy Karels says:

    Just for the record, when Obama was elected, gas was near $5.00 a gallon. I’m not paying that now, are you? And the real path to energy independence does not lie in more ways to get oil and natural gas, it lies in building technologies that reliably and profitably rely on renewable sources. Unfortunately, the oil companies and politicians make too much money to let that happen.

  11. Jeffn says:

    The last 10 years have been a constant drumbeat of argument from climate Dems that we need fossil fuels to be more expensive in order to reduce demand and make renewables cost-competitive. It was the point of cap-n-trade and carbon taxes.
    People who argue that oil should be more expensive shouldn’t take credit for reducing the price of oil.
    The path to energy independence can be nuclear, can be gas, there is no reason other than partisanship to insist that it can only be through renewables.
    For the next few years at least you have a congress that will be open to the nuclear path. If you think AGW is urgent, you’ll push the nuclear path. If you don’t think it’s urgent, you’ll make fun of Inhofe and play wedge issue games.
    When you pick option B, don’t call me the climate denier.

  12. Tom Scharf says:

    For the record, the EPA was an election issue in the few weeks I spent in WV recently. The Democrat and Republican were trading barbs on who actually hated them the most, ha ha. It’s a tough sell in coal country, which are already poor and aren’t going to be seeing any windmill and solar installations to replace lost mining jobs.

  13. Tom C says:

    Keith –
    I remember your sneering 2 years back out how Republicans were hopelessly out-of-touch and would never win again without supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants. Your superior tone was a bit hard to take, to put it mildly.
    Do you realize that every Dem senate candidate that lost supported amnesty?
    So, Inhofe is an embarrassment but Steyer is your guy? I suppose he is “pro-science” eh?
    What a charade let-wing politics has become.

  14. Tom Scharf says:

    I suggest that Canada is a more reliable trading partner than the “Death To America” crowd.

    The Dems should be proud of their fossil fuel record as shown below. This doesn’t look like peak oil quite yet.

  15. Tom Scharf says:

    I didn’t think the ad was effective anyway. Taking money from an energy company doesn’t sound particularly evil.

    Crystal River (about 30 miles north of me) was a disaster, and this from a supporter of nuclear power. A crack in a containment dome was repaired incorrectly. The plant was down for years and now Duke is giving up and wants us to pay for all the incompetence. They also passed a charge on our power bill a few years back to pre-pay for another nuclear plant which they have now abandoned, and don’t want to refund these charges. There is a lot to not like about this recent episode. I’m still waiting on any alleged refunds, not holding my breath either.

    Power companies are pseudo government operations. State mandated monopolies that are heavily regulated. It usually works acceptably, however in this case it showed some warts.

  16. Tom Scharf says:

    KK 2012:

    “On twitter this morning, I wrote that U.S. Republicans and anti-GMO campaigners have one thing in common today: They both woke up big losers….”

    “I predict that influential representative voices for Repubs and the anti-GMO camp will lash out in anger and look for scapegoats, rather than reflect on their own flawed philosophies that contributed to their thrashings.”

    “For Republicans, It’ll be interesting to see if they recognize the path they are on. I suspect that it will take another big loss (in 2016) before they really get the message that their party is out of step with the country (and its changing demographics).”

    Do give KK credit here though:

    “I will confidently predict that Obama is not going to shut down the Keystone pipeline or curtail domestic oil and gas drilling. If he does either, I’ll shave my head”

  17. DavidAppell says:

    Blocking Keystone would make that oil more expensive. That, in turn, reduces the demand for it, hence lower emissions.

  18. DavidAppell says:

    As Norbrook said, oil is sold on the global market, and that’s where prices are set.

    Nationalizing an industry is called “socialism.”

  19. DavidAppell says:

    Americans have also put 29% of the extra carbon in today’s atmosphere. Nothing to be proud of.

    The world minus US oil production has been essentially flat since about 2005. That looks like Peak Oil (for them).

  20. DavidAppell says:

    Coal mining jobs in WV peaked in the 1940s and are now at 1/6th that level:

    Technology killed the coal mining jobs, not environmental regulations. And West Virginians are still poor. What they need is a massive jobs program that pairs with any more regulations on coal. Coal should be banned even BEFORE any considerations of climate change — it is a filthy, unhealthful product when burned. It also kills a lot of miners, or gives them black lung disease.

  21. Tom Scharf says:

    There was a time when OPEC had a lot of leverage (if not directly setting) on oil prices. Those were not good days. OPEC declared an oil embargo in 1973 because they didn’t like the way we treated Israel. Things have changed since then for the better.

  22. DavidAppell says:

    “It sure is a long way from hope/change and permanent liberal majorities and demographics are destiny, is it not?”

    No, it’s not. The big winner in recent elections has flipped from one election to another. Obama won big in 2008 and 2012. Democrats won big in 2012, and Republicans in 2014. It doesn’t seem the electorate likes either party very much, and are sick of all of them. And everyone realizes that our political and governing sysrem are more corrupt than ever, and the only things that get done are what the wealthy contributors want.

  23. David Skurnick says:

    David, you’re stretching. The difference in price wouldn’t be much. And, there are offsets. When Canadian oil goes offshore instead of to the US, that could (slightly) reduce gas prices abroad. Also, there’s the extra fuel used to ship the Canadian oil offshore, rather than pump it to the US.
    But, all of these would have negligible impact on the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. They’re not worth discussing.
    (BTW driving up the cost of fuel is equivalent to a regressive tax. It hurts the poor.)

  24. DavidAppell says:

    So instead you want the US government to set prices, via supply? That’s also socialism.

    It wouldn’t happen anyway, because no oil company is going to agree to sell oil for $X per barrel in the US when they can get $(X+20) on the global market. And they’ve bought the political system, so they get what they want.

  25. David Skurnick says:

    A warmist who talks about pride or about which political party did more demonstrates a lack of seriousness. Someone who really believed the world was in imminent danger of being destroyed would be focused entirely on cutting greenhouse gas emissions here and abroad. They’d be too focused to care about blame or partisanship.

  26. DavidAppell says:

    Alberta & North Dakota obviously think the cheapest way to get their oil on the world market is via a Keystone pipeline. So any other route will necessarily be more expensive.

    Stop using the poor as an excuse for not paying for clean energy yourself. Just because they need cheap energy doesn’t mean you or I do — likely everyone on this forum can afford to pay for cleaner energy. The cleaner energy of the poor can (and should) be subsidized.

    It’s odd how some people have such a great concern for the poor’s cost of energy, and forget them when it comes to the cost of their health care, health insurance and housing.

  27. Tom Scharf says:

    Purposefully missing the point again? Read: “The main issue isn’t so much price, but energy security”.

    We are not at the whims of OPEC any longer to set the global price of oil based on their like or dislike of American policy. OPEC’s political leverage was seen as dangerous. We reduced our dependence on any one source of imported energy. The more of this that is domestic or with reliable partners, the better.

  28. DavidAppell says:

    “They’d be too focused to care about blame or partisanship”

    Many people ARE focused on cutting GHG emissions. They’re also focused on who’s demanding we not do that, because THOSE GROUPS ARE THE PROBLEM. You can’t do one without the other.

  29. DavidAppell says:

    Yet again: any oil pumped here is sold on the world market. It isn’t held back in reserve for Americans, and it never will be unless it is nationalized. In the last 12 months, Saudi Arabia has pumped 13% of the world’s oil, the Middle East 30%, and the US 15%. So the US isn’t controlling anything.

  30. CB says:

    Lol! Where is Mr. Skurnick’s advocacy of a single-payer health care system?… since he’s so very concerned about the poor…

    Blocking Keystone is a good first step, but it’s not going to be enough and what we as a global society do will never be enough until it costs more to emit carbon than it does to pull it down.

    It’s important to keep our eyes on the end-goal.

  31. Jeffn says:

    Funny, you’ve been doing “one without the other” since you got involved in this issue. When you advocate for action that would actually cut emissions instead of serving as a political wedge issue, give us a call.
    This issue is really quite straightforward: you can either cry “ban coal!” into the night or you can replace it with something that works. It must drive you nuts that only Democrats reject the idea of replacing it with something that works. Coal is being replaced by natural gas in the US. Is Inhofe fighting against gas? Ironically, coal produced in the US is being exported. To nations the warm have exempted from climate criticism.

  32. Tom Scharf says:

    The House/Senate didn’t change much in 2012. The really large changes occurred in 2008 and 2010.

    What is common is for any two term president to see Congress taken over by the opposing party by the 6th year. Congress’s change from 2008 to 2014 is almost a mirror image.

    The left and right engage in a theatrical tug of war, but the rope really doesn’t ever really move much. Believing in short term fundamental ideological shifts in the electorate is foolhardy, that is generational.

  33. David Skurnick says:

    Nobody at all is focused on making
    real cuts in GHG emissions. All the proposals I’ve seen are for cuts by
    insignificant amounts. E.g., the controversial EPA plan that the President announced would have virtually no impact on global warming. EPA’s climate model
    calculates that the temperature reduction from the proposed rule to be an unmeasurable 0.018 degrees Centigrade by 2100.

  34. Tom Scharf says:

    Surprisingly that platform doesn’t get you elected in WV.

    I would say natural gas is the biggest threat to coal.

  35. DavidAppell says:

    So? Everyone is self-interested. But US coal is going away, and I suspect even West Virginians know that. The jobs certainly have gone away, and climate contrarians never seemed to care untl they could use them as a talking point against global warming.

  36. Keith Kloor says:

    Everything I said (and I don’t think it was sneering) then will be absolutely true for 2016. I wasn’t thinking about mid-terms, especially those in mostly red districts.

    And as I recall, I quoted Republican leaders saying that to make my point. Let’s talk again during the next Republican presidential primary–and the general election.

  37. DavidAppell says:

    I agree the rope doesn’t much. Mut I didn’t say I believe in “short term fundamental ideological shifts in the electorate.”

  38. Tom Scharf says:

    This is exactly what energy security looks like. The inability of anybody to set our price or supply of oil based on non-market influences, such as how we treat Israel.

    The other side of energy security is making sure you have a reliable source of oil when the market stops functioning normally. Germany was crippled at the end of WWII due to their lack of fuel for their war machine.

  39. J-dawg says:

    This is like a passenger of the Titanic being happy that the ship’s fatal design flaw was brought to light by that iceberg.

  40. David Skurnick says:

    CB, you don’t realize the horrors of what you’re proposing. The world needs the energy we now produce to maintain a quality of life. In fact, the world needs more energy than we now produce to improve the lives of impoverished people of Africa and other underdeveloped areas. Cutting the use of carbon-based fuels to a level that would actually reduce the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere would literally mean the end of civilization as we know it. Furthermore, countries aren’t going to make suicidal cuts in energy usage.

  41. CB says:

    “The world needs the energy we now produce to maintain a quality of life”

    Uh huh, and why would you pretend it’s necessary to produce CO₂ to get that energy?

    If it’s so likely that polar ice caps will be able to withstand CO₂ as high as we’ve pushed it, why isn’t there a single example of them doing so in Earth’s history?

    Can a human civilisation exist under 75 meters of melted ice cap?

  42. Tom Scharf says:

    I’ll pass along how much AGW activists care to the citizens of WV. WV is now a red state after being reliably blue for 70 years. Every county in WV voted red yesterday. It is guns and coal that turned them. This from a very strong pro-union state.

    I’m sure Sen. Manchin(D) is a bit worried when he comes up next time. He’s a pretty decent dude. I would not be surprised to see him switch parties by then. He can probably survive as a Dem. in WV though.

    Yesterday: Sen. Joe Manchin: “I Don’t Like What I’ve Been Involved With The Last Four Years”

  43. JH says:

    The production cost matters: it sets the price bottom. Producers stop producing when price falls below production cost which drives prices back up again.

    No one will know the bottom-line cost for tar sands or shale oil until the threshold is crossed. If you expect tar sands to shut down at $80, I think you’ll be disappointed with how quickly they find ways to reduce cost when they’re faced with a shutdown. Talk from the oilfields indicates that the cost of producing shale-oil is still falling.

    WRT long-term prices, yes, I’d be very surprised to see gas at $2, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The worldwide potential of shale-oil isn’t known. It might not be that great, but we don’t know that.

  44. JH says:

    “and they’ve bought the political system so they get what they want”

    And you claim to believe in science and not myth.

  45. JH says:

    Steyer, ha ha ha ha!

    Steyer and Gov Inslee here in WA are having a tear-a-thon right about now. Steyer spent a pile of money here to swing the state senate so Inslee could push through cap and trade. The GOP wound up gaining a seat! ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    So much for all the Democrat crying about Citizens United. Money can spent stupidly but it can’t buy elections. Just one more issue on which the so-called “science” Democrats hold their position against the conclusions of the best research.

  46. JH says:

    Deliver a 60ton load of AK king crab from Seattle to NYC in your electric truck and then tell me about how the world doesn’t need oil.

  47. Tom Scharf says:

    Possibly your views of certainty are a bit overdone for 2016. Maybe you are omnipotent.

    Possibly others hold different values than you that you can’t quite comprehend fully. Perhaps your world in an urban environment and academia and environmental journalism doesn’t allow you to see the world the same as others who do not hold your views.

    Perhaps holding different views is not “out of step with the country”, perhaps they are simply out of step with your views, and nothing more.

    Perhaps you are really not able to speak for the entire country, and instead can speak just for yourself.

  48. JH says:

    2016: all depends on the presidential candidates and the tone they set for their parties.

    From where I sit the only candidate in the crew of Republicans claiming presidential ambitions that is likely to win nationally is Jeb Bush. I’m thinking he can outflank the immigration issue.

    OTOH, the Dems will be in one sorry position in the 2016 presidential race bcz Obama is so unpopular. So whoever runs for them better be a good act. IMO, Hilary can’t do it. She’s got too much Obama stuck on her.

    Demographics aren’t destiny if people don’t come out to vote. If they’re not inspired by the candidate on their side, they’ll stay home.

  49. Tom Scharf says:

    This is what being out of step with the country looks like apparently:

    US Senate: R=52 D=45
    US House: R=243 D=179
    Governors: R=31 D=17
    State Legislatures: R=59 D=39

    Of course the overall electorate is much more evenly split. Heavily populated states such as NY, CA, IL lean heavily left, and populated urban areas have large democratic majorities. Democrats win by huge margins in the inner city compared to Republicans who win by lesser margins in more districts.

  50. Tom C says:

    Ok – the point about demographics and electoral success is something we can disagree politely about. Sorry to gloat. But Steyer? Steyer proves Inhofe’s point.

  51. JH says:

    “Obama was elected, gas was near $5.00 a gallon. I’m not paying that now, are you?”

    Trouble is you weren’t paying that then.

    Real nationwide average gas prices:

    Oct 2008: $3.35
    Nov 2008: $2.15
    Dec 2008: $1.90
    Jan 2009: $2.01

    Oct 2014: $3.41

    So Obama has presided over a 70% rise in national average gasoline prices since the month he took power. That tops Bush.
    Try the new EIA price viewer. Pretty cool:

  52. David Skurnick says:

    CB, we might both be right. Growing CO2 might be a disaster, but steps sufficient so that CO2 reduces rather than grow might also be a disaster. Unfortunately, there is no current source of energy that could replace more than a small fraction of what we get from carbon-based fuels.
    However, don’t run out an commit suicide. the problem is real, but we have quite a bit of time to deal with it. Although the earth has been warming, the rate of warming isn’t that fast. Projections of imminent disaster come from models that are no better than wild assed guesses. Given the actual modest rate of warming, we have quite a bit of time to take appropriate action.

  53. CB says:

    It’s a fair enough point that both Democrats and Republicans are shelling out more money than ever to influence elections…

    …but Republicans own science denial… of all kinds.

    If it’s so likely that polar ice caps will be able to withstand CO₂ as high as we’ve raised it, why isn’t there a single example of them doing so in Earth’s history?

    If Republicans weren’t suicidal, why hasn’t a single one proposed a course of action to fix the problem?

  54. CB says:

    “Deliver a 60ton load of AK king crab from Seattle to NYC in your electric truck”

    Hydrocarbons probably will still be required for certain aspects of our modern life!

    …why would you pretend they would have to come from the ground or cause a net increase in atmospheric CO₂?

  55. CB says:

    “Unfortunately, there is no current source of energy that could replace more than a small fraction of what we get from carbon-based fuels”

    The sun sends 3,850,000 Exajoules of energy to the Earth every year.

    Humans consume 539 Exajoules of energy per year, including the energy we get from fossils:

    Why would you pretend there is no current source of energy that could replace fossil fuels when we consume a tiny fraction of the energy the sun sends our way?

  56. JH says:

    How many times have there been polar ice caps in earth’s history? 🙂 Can a sample of three be statistically significant?

  57. JH says:

    Repubs and Dems both embrace or reject science whenever it suits their purposes.

    GMO, money / election influence, organic crops, peak oil and everything else related to energy and resource economics, population bomb…
    If I spent an hour looking things up I could find plenty more for the democrats.

  58. David Skurnick says:

    Solar is great. I have solar energy on my roof. However, my understanding is that at the current state of technology, solar could only fill a small portion of the world’s energy needs. Hopefully, new technology might allow solar to contribute a great deal more energy.

  59. CB says:

    Again, the foodie and vaccine paranoia is a fair-enough charge against a certain percentage of people who identify as Democrats!

    Republicans harbour precisely the same views to a much larger degree, but they are simply overshadowed by the much more dangerous delusions Republicans suffer from, specifically in terms of climate change.

    The complete collapse of the polar ice caps would raise sea levels 75 meters worldwide:

    “Together, Greenland and Antarctica contain about 75% of the world’s fresh water, enough to raise sea level by over 75 meters, if all the ice were returned to the oceans.”

    How could you possibly escape the effects of a catastrophe so massive?

    I just asked you a question about the likelihood of this catastrophe occurring. Why haven’t you answered it?

  60. CB says:

    “How many times have there been polar ice caps in earth’s history? 🙂 Can a sample of three be statistically significant?”

    It’s not a sample of 3, pumpkin, it’s a sample of thousands and thousands of data points, all pointing toward the same conclusion.

    Here are some now:

    Find me a single crystal of polar ice on Earth recording a level of CO₂ over 290PPM.

    If polar ice caps can withstand CO₂ so high, why don’t polar ice caps record a single instant of CO₂ so high?

  61. CB says:

    “my understanding is that at the current state of technology, solar could only fill a small portion of the world’s energy needs.”

    You’d best update your understanding then.

    Even at a fairly conservative 20% efficiency, we could provide ourselves with 100% of the energy we use just with solar PV on existing structures!

    It’s getting cheaper all the time, too. The levelised cost is now down to $130/MWh vs. $95 for coal:

    Considering the colossal amount of damage it would avoid, I’d say solar PV is a bargain, wouldn’t you?

  62. David Skurnick says:

    I’m all for solar. I certainly hope it can provide a greater and greater portion of the world’s energy needs. I’m less enthusiastic about wind energy. Wind is more limited than solar and has several significant problems.

  63. CB says:

    “Wind… has several significant problems”

    Name one.

    At $80 per levelised MWh, wind is already cheaper than coal.

    It’s also less carbon-intensive than solar PV:

  64. JH says:

    The likelihood that the polar ice caps will collapse by time X is completely unknown.
    Re: co2 and ice caps, three periods, if I recall: late Proterozoic, late Paleozoic, and modern.
    Of course you know that PCO2atm is strongly influenced by a variety of biogenic factors that change with the flora and fauna as well as by the rate of subduction / accumulation of carbonates and the position of the continents. Jay-zuz not to mention the rate of MORB production or eruption of hotspot lavas like Hawaii.
    If I were to guess, I’d say the likelihood of glacial collapse by 2100 is zero. nada. SFA.
    The economy is now and will be for the near future a much more important concern than climate. Even if there were a serious climate problem, the economy would still be more important because it generates the wealth that drives our technology forward, and you’re never going to get people to turn back the clock to the stone age to prevent some mythical climate disaster, so you might as well face up to that right now.

  65. JH says:

    Sorry hunny bunch, but there have been three periods of glaciation: late Proterozoic, late Paleozoic, and late Cenozoic.

    If you think the late Cenozoic glaciation is the only one in history then you better hit the books, deary.

  66. CB says:

    “The likelihood that the polar ice caps will collapse by time X is completely unknown”

    Uh huh, but I didn’t ask you about a timeline, I asked you about how likely it might be…

    If you understand that each and every previous time in Earth’s history CO₂ went so high, complete polar meltdown followed, why would you expect a different outcome today?

    What kind of suicidal psychopath bets against a perfect track record 4.5 billion years long when the entire world is at stake?

  67. CB says:

    “there have been three periods of glaciation: late Proterozoic, late Paleozoic, and late Cenozoic.”

    There have been multiple ice house periods in Earth’s history, correct!

    …was CO₂ over 400PPM at the time?

  68. David Skurnick says:

    1. Initial cost of the windmills
    2. Difficulty and cost of repairs
    3. Killing birds
    4. Energy cannot be scheduled or ramped up as needed.

  69. CB says:

    1. Initial cost of solar PV is higher.
    2. Difficulty and cost of solar PV is higher.
    3. Buildings and cats kill far more birds than wind turbines.
    4. This is a fair point. Energy storage needs to be built for renewable production.

    How might the cost of energy storage possibly be more than the cost of the climate catastrophe that’s on its way?

  70. JH says:

    “Uh huh, but I didn’t ask you about a timeline”
    ??? :))) CB, I got some stitches in my abdomen. Stop cracking me up like that!
    The polar ice caps will melt. The only thing that matters is when.
    CB, better head back to the library to brush up on geo/climate basics.

  71. JH says:

    You tell me, genius

  72. JH says:

    because there is no climate catastrophe on the way.

  73. David Skurnick says:

    I agree JH. Also, if there is a climate catastrophe on the way, wind energy won’t be sufficient to avert it. As CB points out, solar has the theoretical potential to provide huge amounts of energy. Wind does not.

  74. Norbrook says:

    There are certain fixed costs that they can’t get around. The problem with tar sands is that it’s relatively “cheap” to get to the tar sand, the expensive part is that you have to spend a lot of effort (and costs) to get it separated from the sand and process it to the point where they can move it by pipeline or train. That’s why the price point is there, because it’s relatively fixed. They’ve known about the tar – and that’s what it is – for generations, but the cost of production meant that it wasn’t economically viable.

    As with “potential” there’s a big difference from “actual.” The problem with both shale oil and tar sands is that the apparent cost is simply the cost of extraction and shipping. Not calculated into that are environmental costs, or long term costs. For example, as happens rather distressingly often in North Dakota, a spill of fracking fluid means that the ground becomes virtually sterile.

  75. Tom Scharf says:


    75m? If this is what the party of science is offering up, then possibly you have your answer as to why there is so much “denial” going on.

    AR5, Ch 13. Sea Level Rise

    I suggest you read it. Then get back to us with your update on the likelihood of a 75m sea level rise and the type of time frames involved with Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet meltdowns, and how likely scientists think this will happen.

    Anytime you talk about SLR, it is usually a good idea to specify time frames, emission profiles, and probabilities.

  76. Tom Scharf says:

    Inhofe is a bit nuts, but he is from Kansas, what can you expect?

    However lets see what the party of science’s member of the same committee offered up last night.

    Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY) on Sandy: “we have these violent superstorms coming not just once every 100 years, but now once every two years”.

    Hmmmmmm….this seems like a bit of an….uhhhhhh…”exaggeration”.

    50 times more likely. Sigh. Anyone want to place bets on whether the climate fast action committee has jumped up to correct this misstatement of their precious science? In fact nobody cares, because everybody disregards everything politicians say on global warming on both sides of the aisle. And that is wise.

  77. DavidAppell says:

    David Skurnick wrote:
    “CB, you don’t realize the horrors of what you’re proposing. The world needs the energy we now produce to maintain a quality of life.”

    But absolutely nothing says the energy must come from fossil fuels. And until you take their negative externalities into account, the word “cheaper” is meaningless.

  78. David Skurnick says:

    Sure, it would be wonderful if some new source of energy were discovered that could replace all the fossil fuels used throughout the world. Maybe such a thing will be invented some day.

  79. DavidAppell says:

    Modest rate of warming? It’s 5-10 times faster than when the Earth came out of its last glacial period. And this warming can’t just be stopped on a dime if it’s turning out to be worse than (or as bad) we thought.

    And there are more people and species involved than those who buy Alaska king crab. Let’s have those buyers pay for the emitted CO2’s negative externalities, and then see if they still want their fresh Alaskan king crab.

  80. DavidAppell says:

    At its current state solar is already cheaper than fossil fuels, because their negative side effects are much lower. Some environmental economists think that using coal or oil to generate electricity creates more damage than value:

    “Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy,” Nicholas Z. Muller, Robert Mendelsohn, and William Nordhaus, American Economic Review, 101(5): 1649–75 (2011).

  81. David Skurnick says:

    The warming from 1800 to today is at a rate of about 1 degree C per century. The satellite measured rate of warming from 1979 to today is about 1.5 deg C per century. At that rate, we will have a problem at some point, but immediate action is not essential. We will likely understand climate change a lot better in ten years than we do today.
    If the warming turns out to be worse than we think, I doubt that the world will be willing to cut greenhouse gases sufficient to fix the problem. You can see the lack of international cooperation so far, despite all the warnings and international meetings. We may need to try geo-engineering, although that approach isn’t ideal. First of all, techniques to directly cool the planet still need to be invented. Secondly, there might be damaging side effects or unexpected consequences.

  82. DavidAppell says:

    Don’t you love how contrarians suddenly fell in love with birds when wind turbines started going up?

    Buildings and vehicles kill orders of magnitude more birds than do wind turbines. So does coal. Oil and gas kill more than solar and wind.

  83. DavidAppell says:

    And the warming coming out of the last glacial period was about 8 C in 10K years, or 0.08 C/century.

    We’re already committed to 2 C of surface warming. That’s already 1/4th of an inverse ice age.

    And nothing says we’re going to stop at 2 C. Unless there’s immediate action, we won’t, especially as more and more feedbacks kick in.

  84. DavidAppell says:

    Yes, over geologic time sea level has risen or fell 10-20 meters per degree-C, with strong correlation. See Figure 3 in this paper by David Archer:

  85. DavidAppell says:

    “I’d say the likelihood of glacial collapse by 2100 is zero.”

    Climate change doesn’t magically stop on 12/31/2099. In several ways it’s just getting started.

  86. DavidAppell says:

    “If you think the late Cenozoic glaciation is the only one in history then you better hit the books, deary.”

    And until you account for the dimmer Sun in the deep past (solar irradiance increases by 1% every 110 Myrs), and the different albedoes (from tectonic drift), those much earlier glacial periods can’t be compared to today.

  87. DavidAppell says:

    “This issue is really quite straightforward: you can either cry “ban coal!” into the night or you can replace it with something that works.”

    Nothing else costs less as long as fossil fuels get to freely dump their waste into the atmosphere. Without a market that prices-in this damage, there is no incentive to develop and implement any other noncarbon energy source.

    Your utility bill is just the start of what fossil fuels cost you, not the end.

  88. DavidAppell says:

    “EPA’s climate model calculates that the temperature reduction from the proposed rule to be an unmeasurable 0.018 degrees Centigrade by 2100.”

    It’s funny how contrarians use such numbers as a sign it’s futile to do anything, when it fact it’s a sign we need to do everything.

  89. DavidAppell says:

    “The other side of energy security is making sure you have a reliable source of oil when the market stops functioning normally.”

    So if the market stops functioning normally, who’s going to tell the oil companies they must sell only to Americans when they can make much more money by selling globally?

  90. DavidAppell says:

    Turning blue to red doesn’t suddenly make you start. West Virginia is clinging desparately to the the last handhold of a an ancient and dying commodity. If the state’s leaders were at all smart, they’d begin planning now for alternative employment once the coal industry finally flops over, whether it’s due to carbon regulations or more technology.

  91. DavidAppell says:

    And I challenge you do watch the documentary “The Last Mountain” and then tell us how much West Virginians love coal.

  92. DavidAppell says:

    By the end of 2013:

    number of workers in the solar energy industry in the US = 143,000

    number of workers wind power industry = 80,000

    number of miners in the coal industry = 83,000

    “Another 40,000 or so workers toil at coal-fired power plants, but other kinds of power plants also employ workers, so the latter can’t be considered as essentially in the coal industry. Likewise, workers who transport coal would also be needed to transport solar panels and other energy-generating components, and so can’t be considered “coal” workers per se.”

    “More Solar Workers in US than Coal Miners, and Solar doesn’t Poison Drinking Water”
    — Juan Cole, 2/15/14

  93. David Skurnick says:

    We haven’t just committed to 2 C of surface warming. We’ve experienced 2 C of surface warming. Also, a 33% increase in CO2. So far, the consequences have been mostly positive. More forested area and more food, due to larger potential growing area and more CO2 available. No increase in hurricanes or tornadoes or forest fires. Oceans continue to rise slowly, but the rate of rise hasn’t speeded up. No climate refugees, although millions were predicted.
    At some point, global warming may begin do more harm than good, but I see no reason to believe we’re near that point.
    BTW David, I see no proposals for immediate action sufficient to make a real difference. Tw questions for you: What kind of immediate action do you recommend? How big an impact will your recommended action have?

  94. David Skurnick says:

    What do you mean by “everything”? Suppose you want the temperature in 2100 to be 3 degrees cooler than if we do nothing. What steps would you recommend that would achieve this goal?

  95. Tom Scharf says:

    I grew up in WV. They love coal. Almost every politician in WV openly and enthusiastically supports the coal industry.

    26% of WV residents listed “the future of coal” as the #1 or #2 priority in this year’s election.

  96. Tom Scharf says:

    Snort. And you wonder why states are turning red? What an elitist attitude. If only the state’s leaders were as smart as David Appell, then all would be butterflies and rainbows. I suggest you have no idea what you are talking about, but feel free to go tell all the poor idiots in WV how you can save them from their stupidity.

  97. Tom Scharf says:

    So let’s see. The last 100 years was 0.8C. That should be 8-16m of SLR. I’ll check the tide gauges and find out if that has occurred or not.

    I will then check the IPCC estimates for the expected SLR if emissions stopped today with only a 0.8C temperature rise. Let’s find out if they continue on to 8-16m at any time scale modeled or if they expect continuous rise.

    At 2.0C according to Appell science, we should expect 20m to 40m of SLR. I’ll check the IPCC projection for that.

    Seems like there is a flaw in someone’s science here. I’ll notify the IPCC of their egregious error. Seems like their error is on the order of 100x. How embarrassing for them, I have no idea how they will explain this in AR6.

  98. CB says:

    “there is no climate catastrophe on the way”

    …and why would you think that?

    If you understand complete polar meltdown happened each and every previous time in Earth’s history CO₂ went so high, why would you expect a different outcome this time around?

    How could you possibly escape being affected by a catastrophe so massive?

    If you weren’t suicidal, why aren’t you interested in gauging how likely it might be?

  99. CB says:

    “it would be wonderful if some new source of energy were discovered”

    David, I just pointed you to that source of energy…

    Is your old-timer’s kicking in?

    The sun sends 3,850,000 Exajoules of energy to the Earth every year.

    Humans consume 539 Exajoules of energy per year, including the energy we get from fossils:

    …so why are you pretending some new source of energy needs to be discovered?

  100. CB says:

    “according to Appell science, we should expect 20m to 40m of SLR”

    Nope. There are 75 meters of sea level rise locked up in polar ice caps:

    “Together, Greenland and Antarctica contain about 75% of the world’s fresh water, enough to raise sea level by over 75 meters, if all the ice were returned to the oceans.”

    If all that ice isn’t going into the sea, just because of the CO₂ we’ve already emitted, why isn’t there a single example in Earth’s history of polar ice caps withstanding CO₂ so high?

    How could you possibly be having difficulty with a concept so simple?

  101. CB says:

    “You tell me, genius”

    I already have… multiple times.

    Why aren’t you paying attention?

    The polar ice caps have never before in Earth’s history been able to withstand CO₂ over 400PPM.

    …so why would you expect them to today?

    What besides a suicidal mental illness is keeping you from evaluating this threat to your well-being?

  102. Jeffn says:

    my utility bill is low because I get power from a clean, reliable nuclear power plant.

  103. CB says:

    Marc Morano has a long history of lying about climate science for money:

  104. Tom Scharf says:

    Because its not that simple. You can either educate yourself, or not. Your choice. I can’t do the work for you.

    The debate on this subject is purely academic and full of unknowns. The times scales for this type of meltdown is on the order of 10,000’s of years, and is not relevant to energy policy. The estimates over then next 100 to 500 years are in the document I provided. They currently contribute about 1 mm/year to SLR. See table 13.8

    By 2500: Greenland/Antarctic Ice sheets
    Medium Emissions: -0.31M to 0.90M
    High Emissions: 0.84M to 3.45M

    The Antarctic ice sheet is expected to continue to grow for at least 200 more years even with high emissions.

    It’s simply alarmist to trot around numbers like 75m without timescales and not provide accurate predictions that are relevant to policy. This is counterproductive and will only serve to reduce your credibility.

  105. Buddy199 says:

    It won’t make oil more expensive. It will just be burned in countries with less strict emission standards and not contribute to our economy.

  106. Buddy199 says:

    Gas prices dropped because of fracking and new extraction tech, all despite Obama’s best efforts to throttle the petro industry.

  107. Buddy199 says:

    If only we could power automobiles with sour grapes.

  108. CB says:

    “Because its not that simple”

    Except that it really is. We’ve got a perfect track record 4.5 billion years long of complete polar meltdown every previous time CO₂ went as high as it is today.

    …so why in the world would you expect a different outcome this time around?

    If you weren’t operating off an imaginary version of reality, why would you insinuate Antarctic ice is increasing when it’s declining by 100 km³ per year?

    “The continent of Antarctica has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice per year since 2002.”

    Did you think pretending a threat doesn’t exist would keep you safe from it?

  109. CB says:

    “The polar ice caps will melt. The only thing that matters is when”

    Do you think that’s the only thing that will matter to the people who are drowned by them?

    If you understand that we have set the Earth toward complete polar meltdown, why wouldn’t you feel a responsibility to fix that problem?

    Are you morally not liable for your actions as long as you aren’t affected by them?

  110. Tom Fuller says:

    Desmogblog is a bit biased, but Morano–he is an aggregator, not a publisher, on the web. His TV appearances–he talks so quick, how does anyone know what he’s saying, let alone if it’s true or not.

    In another era he would have been selling snake oil.

  111. Michael Stone says:

    Snort you sound…. Pigs snort.

  112. Tom Fuller says:

    I advocate a single payer healthcare system for you in the U.S. But the fuss over Keystone is an energy suck for those concerned about the climate. The controversy is stupid.

  113. Tom Fuller says:

    CB, no scientist thinks that’s going to happen. Not one.

  114. Tom Fuller says:

    The scientific literature does not support this statement.

  115. Tom Fuller says:

    In some locations solar is a cost-effective substitute for other forms of electricity generation and we should take advantage of that.

    In others, it is not an adequate substitute.

    Further, only 36% of energy consumption is for electricity. Solar does not offer much in the way of help for the remaining power needs.

    I love solar. I worked in the industry. But claims that it is a panacea are not credible and do not help either discussion or policy.

  116. Tom Fuller says:

    The scientific literature does not support any of the statements in your post, CB.

  117. Ettore Greco says:

    It must be funny for some to see everyone rushing to the right and to the left, running political campaigns and elections when they already know that everything is fixed right from the start. Why these masquerades when it is clear that Jeb Bush will be at the White House in 2016 and all the promises made by these State politicians will hold no value? Today a widespread turmoil and a growing social discontent should be viewed in a larger context and not simply within the walls of local politics. We are now experiencing one of the stages of a World conspiracy and wherever you are in the World you are also part of it. Don’t let the media fool you. The conspiracy is not a theory. With 2.3 trillion dollars officially declared missing by the Bush administration one day before 9/11 and 2 more trillions stolen between the “Savings and Loan” affair and Enron a few Zionists like the Bush family and Dov Zakheim are now waiting for the total collapse of the world financial system and a World War of Religions. They maneuver from behind the scene to generate terror, chaos and despair in all places setting an idyllic stage for the next big surprise, one New World Order that was invoked for the first time by the father and will be announced by the son and next US president Jeb Bush. From ISIS to Al Qaeda how could anyone still believe the story of Osama bin Laden? The short memory of the people works wonders for the Zionists. Perhaps a few will still remember when George W. Bush told the terrorized US citizens to seal their windows with duct tape to protect from an imminent chemical attack. An irony like this can tell a story. The next day on the shelves of the stores all over the US there was no more duct tape for sale. But a recent revelation should soon come back to mind and clarify any possible inquiry: —Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), in an interview with the Daily Beast, Sept. 16 “Here’s the problem. He [Sen. John McCain] did meet with ISIS, and had his picture taken, and didn’t know it was happening at the time”. This picture is the obvious evidence that the World conspiracy is not a theory. The chief of ISIS is that same Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who spent time in a US prison and in a meeting with Mc Cain before being released in 2009. There is no doubt that the Zionists and their counter terrorist agencies have all the means to enlist and pay well mercenaries of all Countries and Islamic extremists without having to show their face or their wallet.

    Once you recognized the objective of the Conspiracy all the rest will be easy to comprehend and to foresee. Besides, it will make no more sense to continue to play Monopoly when somebody has already stolen all the money

  118. zlop says:

    “14,700 years ago associated with a 10-degree Celsius rise in temperatures over 50 years”

  119. zlop says:

    Senator James Inhofe needs to ask, are
    we declining into an Ice Age. Will we be,
    Willie the Woolly Mammoth, instant frozen?

  120. Buddy199 says:

    Stop taking your cat’s meds.

  121. OWilson says:

    Inhofe or Al Gore, Who cares what they say? They are just politicians with differing views.

    It is a major political setback only for those who insist that long term changes in the weather will be catastrophic for humankind, namely “the greatest threat facing mankind”, and if we don’t transfer $billions to the Third World (via the U.N.) to help them cope, we are all doomed.

  122. Tom Scharf says:

    Yeah, I think one thing people learned quick was never debate Marc Marano on TV, it doesn’t end well. Death Match: Romm vs. Morano! Who doesn’t want to see that?

  123. CB says:

    I don’t want to see Morano at all… or any of the suicidal liars for the fossil fuel industry.

    They don’t deserve the air time…

  124. CB says:

    “The scientific literature does not support this statement”

    Doesn’t it?

    So name a single moment in Earth’s history when polar ice caps were able to withstand CO₂ as high as we have today and cite the scientific literature that backs your contention.

    Why haven’t you done that already?

  125. CB says:

    Solar has its drawbacks, of course!

    …but none of them could possibly outweigh the colossal price of continuing to burn suicidal fossil fuels…

  126. CB says:

    “At some point, global warming may begin do more harm than good, but I see no reason to believe we’re near that point”

    Arctic sea ice has lost 59% of its volume in the last 35 years:

    “Monthly averaged ice volume for September 2014 was 6,970 km3… 59% lower than the maximum in 1979”

    If it won’t be gone in a few more decades at this rate of decline, how long will it take?

    If you understand this sea ice stabilises the climate upon which our entire system of agricultural production depends, why wouldn’t you think disastrous consequences of climate change are right around the corner?

  127. CB says:

    “no scientist thinks that’s going to happen”

    Uh huh, and why don’t you?

    If you understand polar ice caps have never before in Earth’s history been able to withstand CO₂ so high, why in the world would you expect them to today?

  128. CB says:

    “the fuss over Keystone is an energy suck for those concerned about the climate”

    Well… I don’t know if I’d call it an “energy suck”, but I agree there are much larger issues at stake.

    Personally, I’d be in favour of transnational pipelines if they were carrying biofuels instead of fossils!

  129. CB says:

    “The scientific literature does not support any of the statements in your post”

    Nonsense. Here is 800,000 years of CO₂ concentrations taken from ice cores, going back to the oldest significant ice on Earth:

    Find me a single point in the dataset where CO₂ goes as high as it is today.

    If polar ice caps can withstand CO₂ so high, why don’t polar ice caps record a single instant of CO₂ so high?

    If you had read about a point in Earth’s history when polar ice caps and high CO₂ coexisted in the scientific literature, why haven’t you already shared that scientific literature?

  130. David Skurnick says:

    Arctic sea Ice has been growing for the last few years. Antarctic sea ice is at a record high. There is a lot more to sea ice changes than just global warming

  131. David Skurnick says:

    A single payer might be good. Single provider even better, like England. Sadly we are now stuck with the crazy quilt Obamacare

  132. Michael Stone says:

    You say the Arctic sea ice has been growing for the last few years…. You must know you are lying.

  133. Michael Stone says:

    You don’t have to be a scientist to know that is going to happen Tom, but there are thousands of scientists who do know it is happening and it won’t stop.

  134. Bill says:

    Republican’s DO NOT DENY that the world has been getting warmer for the last 45,000 years (that’s when the earth reached it aphelion orbit around the sun [its furthest point from the sun]). The earth has been getting closer to the sun since then and in 15,000 years will reach its perihelion orbit (closest orbit) around the sun. the difference currently between the two orbits is 4.1 million miles. As we get closer to the sun we get warmer. NO REPUBLICAN DENIS THIS IS TRUE!

    What SCIENCE and the REPUBLICAN PARTY denies, is that you can warm the earth with so called, “Greenhouse gases”.

    This kind of warming is impossible as anyone who knows the laws of thermodynamics will tell you. Warmth, or heat, is ENERGY, and obeys the Laws of thermo-dynamics and Mass Energy Equivalence.

    First Law, Energy cannot be created or destroyed.
    Second Law, in all enclosed systems, entropy ALWAYS increases.
    Third Law, heat moves from high density to low density (thermal equilibrium).
    E=mc2, in every bit of matter, there is an exacting, and unchanging amount of energy.

    What do these mean to Global man made warming?

    The heat the Sun sends into our atmosphere, is all the heat energy there is. There is no more nor less.

    Heat comes from burning a fuel and so releasing its heat energy. If you want more heat, you MUST burn more fuel. Adding insulation to the earth’s atmosphere will not cause the sun to burn more fuel, and so, it cannot increase the heat energy in the earth’s atmosphere.

    Moreover, adding insulation into the Earth’s atmosphere will COOL the earth by insulation the earth from the Sun’s heat!

    As the Russian probes that landed on Venus told us. The earth gets much more sun and heat than Venus does. Its 50 Kilometers of 95% CO2 atmosphere insulates Venus from the suns heat, very little heat and light makes it to the surface. The solar heat (sun caused heat),
    at the surface of Venus is a chilling -509.2 degrees below zero F. Just do the math yourself.

    Venus has an atmospheric pressure of 90 atm vs. 1 atm for the earth. The Earth’s temperature is 288 degrees Kelvin (15 degrees C. 76.6 degrees F.) Venus’ temperature is 713 degrees Kelvin (450 degrees C, 842 degrees F.).

    An increase in pressure creates a proportional increase in temperature, so we need to use the Guy-Lusack law (the Pressure-Temperature law; see the Law of Ideal gasses), to remove the pressure temperature of Venus to finds its solar temperature.

    Here is the formula:

    P1 x T2 = P2 xT1

    P is the pressure in atms (atmospheres). T is the temperature in degrees Kelvin.

    P1 and T1 are the starting pressure and temperatures. P2 and T2, are the ending pressure and temperature.

    Since we are solving for T2, the temperature of Venus when we remove all that pressure heat, we rewrite the formula as such:

    T2= (P2 x T1)/P1 which with numbers is this: T2=(1 x 713)/90

    When we move P1 to the right side of the formula we reverse the multiplication into a division.

    (1 x 713 = 713) / 90= 7.92 degrees K. (-265.1 degrees C, -509.2 degrees F.)

    All that insulating CO2 in Venus’ atmosphere works just like the insulation in your home’s walls, it keeps the heat out in summer and the cold out in winter. For Venus, it keeps all the sun’s heat from reaching its surface.

    If we want a cooler earth, then we should do as Venus has, put MORE CO2 into the atmosphere, not less. It won’t make more heat, but it will keep more heat out of our atmosphere.

  135. Tom Fuller says:

    I still support amnesty. Now I do it from a minority position. The U.S.A. needs lots more people. Legal, illegal, young, old, smart, stupid. Fill ‘er up!

  136. Tom Fuller says:

    So what percentage of Americans are represented by Democrat Senators, compared to the percentage represented by Democrats?

  137. OWilson says:

    You overlook the fact that our continents are adrift on a sea of molten magma, heat left over from the formation of the planet.

    Add this source to the sun, and you have the primary source of all our heat. The rest is just noise.

    Man can’t compete, yet, with our molten core and that big nuclear furnace in the sky we call the Sun.

  138. David Skurnick says:

    Google arctic sea ice. Year 2014 is higher than 2010, 2011, and 2012. Year. 2014is about the same as 2013

  139. Michael Stone says:

    You are very dense in the head David, just because the winter ice was more than a prior year does not mean it is growing overall…. Every year the perennial ice is melting off and as CB stated and posted a link for > (“Monthly averaged ice volume for September 2014 was 6,970 km3… 59% lower than the maximum in 1979″”).

  140. Bill says:

    No I haven’t forgotten that the earth is molten at its core, and that there are hot spots where this heat emanates. However, the earths heat has always been here, so it can’t be responsible for any current warming.

  141. JH says:

    “And this warming can’t just be stopped on a dime”
    yes, it will take centuries to stop the warming. So that, and the fact that warming is proceeding toward the bottom end of IPCC predictions tells us:

    Less warming than expected, minimum damage
    High mitigation cost with low impact

    IOW, do nothing.

  142. JH says:

    Ah CB, I see you don’t know either the timing of the glacial periods or the CO2 values associated with them, isn’t that right?
    Nor do you seem to understand the controls on CO2. Am I right?

  143. CB says:

    “Less warming than expected, minimum damage”

    …and what, precisely, do you consider a “minimum” amount of damage?

    The complete collapse of the polar ice sheets would displace billions of people under 75 meters of sea level rise:

    “Together, Greenland and Antarctica contain about 75% of the world’s fresh water, enough to raise sea level by over 75 meters, if all the ice were returned to the oceans.”

    If that’s not where we’re headed, just with the CO₂ already in the air, why isn’t there a single example in Earth’s history of polar ice caps withstanding CO₂ so high.

    If you weren’t suicidal, why would you suggest we do nothing to stop it?

  144. CB says:

    “Sadly we are now stuck with the crazy quilt Obamacare”

    Meh… I think it was as good as what could have been achieved with the suicidal maniacs running the Republican party…

    I don’t see the point in letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  145. CB says:

    It looks like this therapy session has reached an end.

    Please see me on a fresher thread to continue your therapy… and let me know if I can find you professional mental health assistance in your area.

    Remember, there is no reason to struggle with suicidal feelings alone and nothing wrong with asking for help if you need it…

  146. DavidAppell says:

    First of all, the IPCC doesn’t make “predictions.” They make projections, based on assumptions.

    You can’t evaluate a climate model over, say, the last two decades, because models don’t project (or predict) anything over a few decades. Climate models aren’t capable of calculating short-term temperature changes, because they don’t know the immediate future.

    A climate model in 1994 trying to predict today’s climate state would have had to know what ENSOs occur (and when), what volcanic eruptions, changes in emissions (including methane and aerosols), and more in order to project the temperature for 2014.

    That is, they’d have to read the future. They can’t.

    Over the long-term, all variations average to about zero (due to conservation of energy). But not in a decade or two. Over such lesser periods, natural variations can cancel AGW, as lately, or augment it, as they did in the 1980s-90s. Manmade warming now is about 0.2 C/decade, and ENSOs can easily cause that naturally. But over a longer period, natural variability averages to much less of a factor, and manmade warming will be much more obvious.

    This is why climatologists say you need at least 30-years of data to determine changes in the climate (as opposed to detecting large weather events, especially weather in the ocean like ENSOs).

  147. DavidAppell says:

    Actually, it will take over 100,000 years for the warming we’re creating to be countered by natural processes. Check out:

    “Millennial Atmospheric Lifetime of Fossil Fuel CO2, D. Archer and V. Brovkin, Climatic Change 90:283-297, 2008.”

    In essence, the climate change we’re creating now will last forever.

  148. OWilson says:

    So has the sun, but the sun has not been able yet to throw the world into years of winter, and kill off major species, as do volcanoes.

    Continental drift is bringing hot magma to the surface and venting even as we speak. We haven’t scratched the surface yet in researching the variability of this source.

    This was admitted by geoscientists recently and is out there if you take a moment to look it up.

  149. OWilson says:

    Man Made Global Warming and climate change are two entirely different phenomena.

    Any scientific discussion should at least start with that premise.

    How did they become conflated?

  150. Bill says:

    Again, continental drift is NOT NEW. It has been happening for a few billion years.
    And those few places which are giving off heat, don’t make much of a difference overall, there are just not that many around the world, and under the ocean. And again, this has been happening constantly, year in and year out, for billions of years. It has nothing to do with any changing temps now, which are the heart of the current man-made global warming discussions.

  151. OWilson says:

    Climate has been changing for just as long. Year in year out.

    It has nothing to do with humans. 🙂

  152. “world needs more energy” doesn’t mean it should be coal and oil. Coal
    and oil kill more people per amount of energy, than all other major
    power sources combined. CO2 entering oceans makes acid that dissolves
    sea shells including plankton cell walls, the base of the food chain.

    We don’t need to go to “suicidal cuts in
    energy usage”, we can develop other sources of energy, already
    demonstrated, without the costs and pollution of the Keystone pipeline.

    sands oil is difficult to extract, process, just barely a positive
    return on energy invested. And spills are far harder to clean up than
    other types of oil.

    Molten Salt Reactors are one type of nuclear
    power with none of the (water based) risks Light Water Reactors have,
    and could be built and installed for about 1/10 the cost of trying to do
    only solar/wind/wave energy.

    Nuclear energy, used in the right
    type of reactor, can power all countries electricity and vehicle fuel
    needs while also reversing the ocean acidity caused by coal and oil (CO2
    + water makes acid that dissolves microscopic sea shells, e.g.

    We have better solutions than Keystone and “burn baby burn”.

  153. Heat from Molten Salt Reactors is high enough to directly break CO2 and H2O to make CO2-neutral gasoline and diesel.

  154. David Skurnick says:

    I agree that we should devote more resources to perfecting non-carbon based forms of energy. However, they won’t be cheaper. Otherwise they would be farther along in development.

    BTW Keystone will reduce pollution. The alternative, shipping by boat, rail and truck will lead to more oil spills.

  155. JH says:

    “It looks like this therapy session has reached an end”
    Uh oh! CB stumped by lack of basic understanding of driving factors of glaciation! All out of BS! 🙂

  156. JH says:

    Oh, David, you’ll definitely have to head back to the “deep time” (ie geology) course.

    As many lost battles have shown over the centuries, physicists make poor geologists.

  157. JH says:


    What you call “fixed costs” aren’t fixed like you think they are, especially for a new process or technology.

    For example, in the Tar Sands, you might discover a new routing system for trucks that cuts fuel costs by 2%. Then you figure out a way to tune the motors differently and cut another 1%. Then you add an idle-shut-off and save another 2%. You jigger your production slightly and maximize production per employee. Another 1-2%.

    Now your $75 / bbl cost is down to ~$71. That’s what you’ll see happening in the Sands as the price declines.

    Yes, there will be a point when the producers can’t squeeze anything more off the cost – until some new technological breakthrough allows them to knock off another half percent or so.

  158. Norbrook says:

    The “fixed costs” are things like having to use lots of fossil fuels to heat the water to extract the the tar, more to turn it from tar into an oil that can be moved. In other words, no matter how you skip around with “efficiency measures,” you still have a base cost of production. Sure, it might go up and down a dollar or two because the price of natural gas fluctuates or you come up with a more fuel efficient truck, but you’re never going to get below that level. That doesn’t take into account that you’re using a lot of energy to extract it, and it’s one of most environmentally damaging methods known.

    Now, aside from all of that, there’s the lies which the proponents have been using, that it’ll make the US “energy independent.” That ignores that it’s a) Canadian oil, not ours; and b) a big percentage of it is owned by the Chinese.

  159. What if they are not “farther along in development” because the coal & oil companies are blocking them? Have been blocking them since the 1960s? Without water, Molten Salt Reactors are so much simpler and safer than what we’ve been doing, they most probably will be cheaper, especially if you count the health and environmental costs of coal & oil, which the coal & oil companies have been making sure They do Not pay — government does, we do. Hargraves covers costs in depth, THORIUM: energy cheaper than coal

  160. “welcome new nuclear” — Nuclear power doesn’t have to be the LWR we’ve been using. We have less
    expensive, and even safer, types of nuclear reactor. We demonstrated
    Molten Salt Reactors in the 1960s, but fossil fuel lobbyists made sure
    Congress dropped them. No water, so “loss of coolant accidents” are impossible. LWR uses about 2% of the fuel; MSR uses over 99%, no long-term waste storage (83% of the waste store for 10 years, rest for 300 years, we know how to do that!). Generate electricity, and desalinate water, and make vehicle fuels, and provide industrial heat to other industries.

  161. @David SKurnick and @CB solar gives lots of energy during the Daytime. Trans-global power lines are an engineering nightmare and political impossibility; city-scale energy storage systems are also immensely expensive, and none are
    environmentally good. Solar can not do the job alone.
    There is a known source of energy, that meets or exceeds environmentally conscious people’s requirements, that would be cost competitive with coal (and therefore has been blocked by coal/oil for decades). It can provide baseload power for wind/solar or be the primary energy for small to huge cities.

  162. CB says:

    Yes, magical thorium reactors… we know. We’ve heard it before.

    Thorium was discovered in the 19th century.

    If it would be so easy, cheap and clean to get energy from it, why hasn’t a single country on Earth done so in all that time?

  163. S Graves says:

    There is NO citation for this BS claim: “…why isn’t there a single example of them doing so in Earth’s history?”

    Provide any peer reviewed science that supports that nonsense about ice caps and the history of the Earth.

    Don’t bother with the C Dome citation…unless you believe the Earth is only 800ky.

    Don’t bother with the “you can’t prove something that didn’t happen”. Demonstrate what DID happen…i.e. there isn’t a single example of them doing so.

    Or are you just exaggerating in an effort to appear relevant?

  164. Solar + wind + offshore wind + tidal + wave, to completely eliminate coal + oil, will be more expensive. Molten Salt Reactors would be less expensive, when including the pollution cleanup and health costs (which coal companies want to keep external “not their responsibility”). “THORIUM: energy cheaper than coal” by Hargraves covers in depth.

    Pipeline would be less pollution than other shipping. But the tar sands oil is so thick and dirty, the energy used for extraction and purifying and transporting is barely less than the energy we would get out of it, if there are no spills using up more energy. The oil companies will make money, and government will have to clean up the mess they make; if oil companies had to pay full cleanup costs, medical expenses, they wouldn’t extract tar sands oil.

  165. Are you proposing trans-global power lines, so solar powers your house at night and during heavy cloud cover, from the other side of the world? Or massive energy storage systems, capable of powering your city through weeks of bad weather? Don’t leave out the additional solar panels for the other side of the world or for making electricity for storage.

    How much will all that cost?

    Or will you simply wake at dawn and go to bed at sunset, since your solar panels won’t make electricity at night?

    If you don’t engineer a complete solution, you will be getting energy about 2/3 of the time from the local coal plant.

    Modern types of nuclear reactors will cost about 1/10th what solar + wind + wave + tidal, to provide all our electric needs, would cost, with less environmental impact than oil/coal, working well with solar when the sun is shining.

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