A few takes on the Paris deal

Here is Brad Plumer.  And Michael Levi at CFR.  And CarbonBrief on the agreement.  And Bjorn Lomborg.

Overall, it seems to set up a framework for future deals, without being so much of a deal itself.  Here is an excerpt from Levi:

Rather than enforcing these through international law (which has proven to be toothless for climate) the Paris Agreement aims to mobilize political pressure. It does that mainly by mandating a set of transparency measures and a process for regularly and publicly reviewing each country’s progress (though much of the detail on each remains to be developed).

It also establishes a process under which each country is supposed to put forward stronger national emissions reduction plans every five years.

Let’s hope for the best…


Political deals do not improve the environment. Only technology can do that.

Technology does not improve the environment. Only a reduction in carbon emissions can do that.

There is no evidence that the millions of tons of carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere has had the slightest bad effect on the environment at all. In fact it seems to be causing more plant growth.

In the meantime, if it is doing something bad, fracking has reduced the price of gas so much people are switching from coal to gas. That is a massive and important improvement as far as CO2 emissions goes. A technological advance. Not a political deal.

"There is no evidence that the millions of tons of carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere has had the slightest bad effect on the environment at all."

Thank god, a voice of insanity in the midst of the stifling reason!

Go on, Lee. Name a single observable ill effect.

At some point in the future, CO2 may have a bad effect. But we have seen no signs of it yet.

This is all based on your propaganda line that the CO2 increase is not the major contributor to global warming?

Or on your propaganda line that there has been no warming since 1998?

Reading comprehension?

SFMS' statement is fully correct and fully compatible with even the worst outlook IPCC scenarios

Is my reading comprehension problem because,

"no evidence that...it has had the slightest",

is logically equivalent to,

"certain evidence that it has had a lot"?

Everything was great when I jumped off the skyscraper. Halfway down someone asked me about the future but I was all live in the moment bro.

The Cretaceous and Jurassic had massive emissions of carbon - about 7000 and 1200 ppm if I remember correctly.

These periods are known for an explosion of species diversity. But for you, it was bad for the environment.

Carbon is a building block of life, and yet bad for life.

You know what's really bad for the environment? Cold. When Chicago sat under a kometer of ice, the environment wasn't much different from that on a lifeless comet. And another ice age is inevitable.

Check the graph since the last cool-off about 10k years ago.:


It was warmer for most of the time. We are in a cool period. It's not "hot", getting hotter or reaching any tipping point that will destroy the planet.

Put down your sandwich board, shave the beard and get some perspective.

You should look closer at your graph. We are now ABOVE the 2004 arrow at the very right side.

Then, please look up when agriculture began. Then, look up the Dansgaard-Oeschger events. Then, calculate whether agriculture could withstand temperatures bouncing 5-8 °C in 30-40 years. Then consider the multitude of factors which might cause the return of such extremes.

According to most geological data, much of the midwest was also *underwater* during that same time period. Antarctica was a tropical jungle as was much of the northern arctic. And humans were not in existence back then.
The Earth may be fine with higher levels of CO2, but a large amount of land will be underwater, many species would die out, and many *people* will have their lives disrupted if not ended completely.
So it's not gonna turn into Venus but not doing anything isn't such a great idea.

Even though I'm an engineer, I don't think technology is the answer. Witness Al Gore's infamous Nashville home, replete with EnergyStar appliances and compact fluorescent light bulbs, yet with a utility bill reported to be 20 times the average American home's. A 10,000 sq ft home will use a lot of energy, no matter how up-to-date your technology is.

No politician will say it, but the only way to meet the ambitious U.S. targets in this new agreement is to change individual behavior and life decisions. Less children. Smaller homes. Shorter commutes. None of those changes can be forced, and even with sweet financial incentives I don't see much voluntary compliance. So we're back to counting on a technology to be named later.

No harm in hoping for the best, but I hope someone is preparing for the worst (i.e., how we can adapt to a warmer planet).

Just because the energy is harvested from the wind and sun does not mean the energy will be delivered for free; the cost of the energy harvest, storage, and distribution capital labor costs must be paid for.

By consuming lots of energy, a green energy home will pay lots of workers to build capital assets.

On the other hand, $4 heating oil pays about 50% of that cost to people to not work because they are the rent seekers with control over the pillage and plunder capital assets that are extracting assets to be burned. Those high monopoly profits do spur third parties to hire workers to grab a share of the monopoly, but for the onopolists, it's in their interests to block labor being invested to restrict the supply to maintain price control to extract the high rents.

To maintain monopoly control, many of them must buy off the masses or redirect their anger into terrorism or start wars, or get others to start proxy wars. Terrorism plus the self interest of Cheney seems to have done a great deal to restrict global supplies through war, plus creating FUD in the US that limited investment in labor to keep supply from increasing, for example by convincing Wall Street that big oil would flood the markets real soon from deep water and Alaskan oil from the flood of government leases.

Then Obama created seeming certainty that big oil would not be flooding the market from government leases, so Wall Street paid lots of labor to drill baby drill, while big oil and the terrorist sponsors raked in their profits. An Obama started working to increase global supply of oil and also cut demand. And we are now a year into job killing oil and gas surpluses. Gas production was subsidized by the $100 oil and NGLs which that drilling going, but now that surplus is killing jobs. Plus the cheap gas is killing jobs in coal. And even nuclear power from government redistribution through bankruptcy judge cheap capital assets has labor costs too high to compete with wind labor costs plus natural gas.

The only energy source that creates jobs is building free energy harvest capital assets, which with storage cost more than fossil fuels today, but when paired with wind provide low cost plus reliability. Solar has higher labor cost in capital but can be deployed closer to the customer to compete with a higher price. And utilities that are built on capital depreciation schedules of two to five decades can find solar a cost effective investment to add to their portfolio.

If electric utilities operated under 1960s PUC regulations, solar and wind and batteries would be great investments, better than nuclear. Solar and wind assets would have high capital costs that get depreciated over three decades to charge customers for the capital, and then would be large capital bases on which 8% ROIC would be calculated, and then with labor costs included in rates charged to customers under monopoly control. The only reason utilities invested in nuclear was the certainty of high returns because of the slowly declining capital base the ROIC was calculated from. The only utilities that have started building nuclear since the Federal government push to deregulate are the utilities in the Southeast where that deregulation did not happen. The Georgia Tea Party leader is a solar advocate in opposition to the work in progress rate hikes to fund building the new nuclear reactors approved by Obama which require billions in labor be paid.

Al Gore's big electric bill is needed to pay those labor costs for building the non-fossil fuel power of nuclear, wind, solar, and hydro.

It is the fossil fuel advocates who want to have cheap energy through higher une,ploy mentioned of other people. The non-fossil fuel capitalists are very happy to pay lots of workers so workers will have money to pay the owners of the energy harvesting capital a reasonable return while getting richer and richer as increasing demand requires building more and more capital. In fossil fuels, the game is mining and selling for burning just enough capital that high rents can be reaped to get money for no labor at all.


It did get a little tired after the 1st few sentences so I stopped reading, but at 1st it was pure gold. Congratulations!

How about, fossil fuels were created over billions of years and are free, but the fossil fuel industry tries very hard to monopolize the pillage and plunder so they can charge 2 to 5 times the labor costs of taking them and selling them to burn.

Why weren't the fossil fuels sold from 2000 to 2014 sold for a few trillion less? Why did the monopolists demand prices so much higher than labor costs? If high prices to extract high profits on fossil fuels are great, why isn't high prices for wind and solar even greater because they pay far more workers?

Only if you want to create higher unemployment and lower wages is fossil fuels a virtue.

Laudato Si', MikeW! (Great comment, by the way, regardless of your interest in the Christian foundations of sustainable living).

Clearly, the answer is to import millions of Third Worlders into Europe and the Americas and raise their consumption levels.

Also, more international air travel, container ships, overseas military deployments.

Consumption can only increase if they are paid for much more production. Being paid to do things to harvest the sun and wind will not significantly increase CO2 emissions.

Conservatives object to harvesting the wind and sun because they can't extract monopoly profits like they try to do with fossil fuels by restriction the amount paid to workers while charging prices far higher to burn capital to replace labor.

Fossil fuels primary virtue is the fewer workers employed when labor is in short supply, but when labor is in excess, fossil fuels only increase the excess supply of labor. And if you don't pay people to work, they can't pay you for anything you produce.

"Let’s hope for the best…"

And that would be?

It just flounders to nothingness not causing any damage.

The main function of such conferences are to provide a nice tax-payer funded holiday somewhere nice. Paris? They outdid themselves. Needless to say they had to extend the conference into the weekend because, you know, the shopping.

Anyway, the point of interest in these things is whether they will agree to something so dumb it will destroy entire companies, industries or even entire economies. Usually there are some grown ups in the room so essentially what they produce is little more than platitudes. That way they do not kill the Goose that that lays the Golden Eggs and enables such conferences to take place. If they got their Khmer Rouge-style Year Zero they claim to want, they would be eating a lot more dirt and going to a lot fewer operas in Paris.

So, yes, let's hope it will flounder into nothingness. Although the Swiss Banking industry is probably very pleased about promises of more money to African politicians.

You're embarrassing yourself, as usual.

For us ignorantatti, please tell us where smfs is wrong.

If you read his comment and did not laugh at the conspiracy theories invoked, them I'm not going to convince you of anything. Everyone is just here to confirm their priors.

Khmer Rougely,

Jan December 12, 2015 at 5:50 pm

If you read his comment and did not laugh at the conspiracy theories invoked, them I’m not going to convince you of anything. Everyone is just here to confirm their priors.

I agree everything more or less confirms our priors. After all, this conference has added nothing to the science. Just more empty words.

But what conspiracy theories? I know you need to demean arguments you cannot refute, but you really think people cannot act in their own best interests except via conspiracy?

Which conspiracy theory? Like, the one that a climate summit in Paris is done just for a holiday. Many of the folks there pulled many all nighters trying to get this deal ironed out.

Hide the decline, Jan.

Don't mess with SMFS he's STEM.

>>“Let’s hope for the best…”
>And that would be?

That the world focuses on real problems instead of imaginary ones.

My impression is that this was guaranteed not to fail (nothing binding on anyone) so that the usual cheerleaders could waive their pom pons and fundraising and grants could continue unabated.

PR and pensionable earnings. With subsidies for the latter. A successful negotiation all around.

Doesn't the TPP makes anything that comes out of this conference meaningless for its signatories?

Ive read -this could be incorrect- that the TPP essentially allows companies to take action against governments that do anything that undercuts their profits. I don't see how any government can take regulatory action to cut carbon emissions without cutting into some company's profits.

I've read something along those lines too. Under "profit impedance", a country can be sued in a foreign court for lost profits because of pre-existing legislation regarding consumer rights, environmental protection etc.


"And, just to make sure corporations extract every pound of flesh, any public law interpreted by corporations as impeding projected profit, even a law designed to protect the environment or consumers, will be subject to challenge in an entity called the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) section. The ISDS, bolstered and expanded under the TPP, will see corporations paid massive sums in compensation from offending governments for impeding their "right" to further swell their bank accounts.
The TPP, because of fast track, bypasses the normal legislative process of public discussion and consideration by congressional committees. The House and the Senate, which have to vote on the TPP bill within 90 days of when it is sent to Congress, are prohibited by the fast-track provision from adding floor amendments or holding more than 20 hours of floor debate. Congress cannot raise concerns about the effects of the TPP on the environment. It can only vote yes or no. It is powerless to modify or change one word."


That's a paranoid's reading of TPP.

And the usual reading, as far as Internet commentators go.


But Sen. McConnell has made it clear that the Senate will not deal with TPP until after the 2016 elections, which means that it is probably dead. After all, we do not want Obama to achieve anything in his presidency that could not have been blocked by Senate Republicans, even if it is something that most Republicans have long supported.

And as for those of you snarking about grants continuing blah blah, it also means that there will be no real pressure on any country that happens to have a crucial part of their lawmaking leadership totally under the thumb of ignorant propandizing "climate skeptics," there being only one such nation on the planet that is, namely the USA. So you all can also sleep well with your fantasies and conspiracy theories of evil scientists stealing your money for supposedly fraudulent research.

"we do not want Obama to achieve anything" I think we're quite safe from that.

Right TMC. In contrast to the very successful George W. Bush he did not take out Osama bin Laden and he did not get the Affordable Care Act passed or get the US military to open its ranks to openly gay people. He has achieved nothing. You are so right.

"ignorant propandizing “climate skeptics,”

Haven't measured it with a folding rule but it seems that the overwhelming amount of propagandizing is coming from the skeptics' opponents.

"he did not take out Osama bin Laden"

Oh, yeah, I remember. BHO beat him over the head with an eight iron and disposed of his body in the pond between the 15 tee and the 18th green.

While we are speaking of ignorant skeptics I think at least they know how to spell propagandizing.

On the contrary, the media is overwhelmingly anti-skeptic. Not a day passes by that we don't have a doom and gloom story about climate change :
polar bears, arctic ice disappearing,

increased hurricanes,

droughts, A warmer world will be a hazier one,

Warmer Weather Reduces Birth Rates,
Climate Change Responsible for Severe Flooding in the Nile Delta,170F (76c),
California in the year 2100 will have more frequent and more severe droughts and floods,
Global Warming will cause ocean food chains to collapse

Heat waves will make Persian Gulf Uninhabitable by 2100 ,
Extreme Pacific sea level events to double in future,
Global warming is shortening the tongues of Bumble Bees etc..etcc


Not so much. Skepticism/contrarianism sells. The tiny share of the experts--and even general populace--who are skeptics get disproportionate coverage on this issue, because CONTROVERSIAL NEWS. The drumbeat continues despite any lack of evidence and, once again, another record setting year in weather.

By all means, keep that drumbeat going. It will get louder and louder as your echo chamber shrinks and you work yourselves into a dizzying orgasm of confirmation bias.

Jan December 12, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Not so much. Skepticism/contrarianism sells.

No it doesn't. Cute bear cubs sell. Leonardo di Caprio sells. The skeptic case is winning *despite* massive media bias against it.

The drumbeat continues despite any lack of evidence and, once again, another record setting year in weather.

That is the point about skepticism - in the absence of evidence, you ought to be skeptical. And yet again they had to doctor the records to produce what they claim is a record warm year. It isn't. We aren't as warm as we were in 1936.

By all means, keep that drumbeat going. It will get louder and louder as your echo chamber shrinks and you work yourselves into a dizzying orgasm of confirmation bias.

Something about pots and kettles springs to mind. This topic has got boring because the skeptical case has won so convincingly. Despite the hatred from warmists, bigotry from the media, threats, out right academic fraud and bullying. No one buys the warming case any more. At best the luke warmers might have a respected hearing but no one else. The Paris talks are zombie talks. The issue is dead.

Look how often it turns up in elections. Not just in the US but all over the world. No one cares any more because they can recognize a snake oil salesman when they see one.

SMFS - OK Mr science guy. Please explain to us what the 5-year moving average in the following graph means: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/

It means NASA's GISS has been busy "adjusting" the data to fit their theories.

Nothing they say is particularly credible unless they can explain their methodology.

SMFS - The methodology etc. is 100% available if you just click a couple links.

And are you seriously doubting NASA on their methods/data for this? I mean, they landed a man on the moon and got him back, they can get space probes within very accurate distances of objects billions of miles away, etc.

Would you like to point us to one of your psuedo-science alternatives, or can we accept that this is a pretty good source?

Literally the same people did. Why don't you trust them??

Skepticism sells? Sure, as we have seen skeptics from all over the world are jetting to Paris, followed by an adulatory press corps, in order to sign very important documents and agreements on being less trusting and foolish when it comes to science. Previously, there have been some hold outs, but this time they will be crushed by mandatory voluntary transparency!

Oh come on, E.H., please note that I did not say Obama was flawless. I said that it was false to claim that he has accomplished nothing of worth, and it is false, despite your list, some items of which I could dispute but will not waste my time doing. Make all the lists of his flaws you like (and I do agree that the Iran nuclear deal is an accomplishment).

>he did not get the Affordable Care Act passed

Now THERE'S something to brag about. With Democrats controlling both chambers, he managed to pass one of the most disastrous bills of all time. How are those exchanges doing, anyway? And now Reid is promising to postpone even more of the ACA, by year end.

Great stuff, really.

Ha. He will go down as one of the most effective presidents in modern times. Not a uniter, obviously your lot despises him, but the accomplishments far outweigh the hate.

I'm surprised by your claim that Obama will be remembered as a great president. I see a host of areas where is administration has made things worse. To name a few:

The debt.
Individual freedom.
Military readiness.
Foreign relations.
Race relation.
The rule of law.
Regulatory burden.
Banking system stability.
Economic growth.
Dependency on government.

Well, Jan wrote "effective", not "great".

lol yeah, he got gay marriage, which he opposed, allowed by the Supreme Court, and created a health care system that maybe won't destroy itself.

Is the bar really that low? It might be

BTW, I am not all that much of a fan of the TPP, which looks more like a protect the monopoly power of the US pharmaceutical industry and some others rather than a free trade deal. About the only nation that will actually have substantially improved trade prospects as a result of it is reportedly Vietnam, which may be what makes the deal worth passing, despite its various flaws.

'protect the monopoly power of the US pharmaceutical industry'

I'm sure that the Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center would consider that 'mission accomplished.'

China will open, on average, one new coal-fired power plant with older, "dirty" technology, every week for the next ten years. India will open at least half as many, followed closely by Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, Pakistan, and others. There is no other way to bring affordable power to the world's poor. Poor nations will not forego growth and prosperity to appease Western elites who sip champagne and eat gourmet meals in luxury hotels while tut-tutting the carbon footprints of others - nor should they.

Environmental stewardship closely follows per capita wealth and income. Nations who can afford it look after their environments, while those who cannot afford it, don't. The only exception are totalitarian and socialist regimes, who tend to ignore it anyway. Growth is the only way to improve the environment; stifling it has the opposite effect.

So Tom Steyer, Leo DiCaprio, Al Gore, and Laurie David fly into JFK on separate private jets, take separate SUV or limo caravans to Central Park to lecture a crowd which already uses mass transit on their carbon footprints, and you want me to take them seriously? Go pound sand.

That in the end there will probably not all that much slowing of global warming resulting from the Paris agreement is why the recent talk by Tom Schelling at Mason was so important.

As there is no global warming going on, this will not be a surprise.

Millions were spent on a problem that may not exist, and even if it does it is not all that important, while actual real problems in the environment go unchecked.

Paris is just an enormous job creation scheme - out door relief for the Upper Middle Classes.

Oh, SMFS, are you one of those dumbkopfs who takes seriously propagandists spouting how there has been no warming since 1998, using that way out of line on the high side of the temperature trend as the base to measure? This year is looking to be the hottest on record, following 2014, which had set the record previously.

Sur, SMFS, go right ahead and believe your fantasies coming out of the insane media bubble that exists for people like you in this country.

My money is on 2015 being the 3rd warmest since satellite records began, after 1998 and 2010.


Nice graph of the satellite record (which starts in 1979):


"This year is looking to be the hottest on record..."

Yes, the price level has also reached the highest level on record this year, which says nothing about the correctness of dire warnings that Fed emissions of base money into the economy would cause inflation to soar to dangerously high levels.

Barkley Rosser December 12, 2015 at 5:27 pm

are you one of those dumbkopfs who takes seriously propagandists spouting how there has been no warming since 1998, using that way out of line on the high side of the temperature trend as the base to measure? This year is looking to be the hottest on record, following 2014, which had set the record previously.

The evidence is what it is. It is what it is whether you like it or not. To show much warming at all the temperature data has to be massaged. There has been no warming since 1998. This year is unlikely to be particularly warm.

Sur, SMFS, go right ahead and believe your fantasies coming out of the insane media bubble that exists for people like you in this country.

I shall. And the world will continue not to warm. We have no reason to think that anything but natural fluctuations are taking place.


This is hilarious. You start with quoting the WMO that 2015 is likely to be the hottest year on record (and 2011-2015 is likely to be the hottest five year period on record also). Yes, this is partly due to El Nino, so if it fizzles, 2016 probably will not set a new record, but expect it to be well above previous averages, maybe even above that high outlier, 1998, that SMFS thinks is such a crucial marker.

And, Roger, in case you did not know, Reason is a highly ideological source, if one much admired by many readers (and writers on) of this blog. I could care less what Spencer has to say about this issue, but, wow, maybe 2015 will end up being only the third hottest year on record. That would sure as heck disprove global warming.

You are just a joke, coming up with silly stuff like this.


You really do not get it, do you. Are you really that stupid or are you just an ideological jerk?

Focusing on 1998 as some sort of base of measurement is cherry picking data. It is a way high outlier, which anybody who is actually taking a scientific approach rather than distorting data to try to prove an ideological point would know not to do. Again, anybody using 1998 as a base has zero credibility whatsoever. They are not scientists. They are third rate propagandists, which you have shown yourself to be repeatedly.

Actually, you might do better if you tried to be a bit more subtle.

Barkley Rosser December 12, 2015 at 7:36 pm

You really do not get it, do you. Are you really that stupid or are you just an ideological jerk?

I get it. You need to explain away the failure of the "science" and the models. So you claim cherry picking. Fine. It doesn't much bother me either way. The evidence is what it is whether you like it, and are willing to accept it, or not.

Focusing on 1998 as some sort of base of measurement is cherry picking data. It is a way high outlier, which anybody who is actually taking a scientific approach rather than distorting data to try to prove an ideological point would know not to do.

It wasn't that much of an outlier actually. We have remained roughly around that point ever since. But so what? The actual year is not that important. You could pick another date if you like. Nothing you can do can save the models. They are garbage. As of course anyone who knows anything about the models always knew.

Again, anybody using 1998 as a base has zero credibility whatsoever. They are not scientists. They are third rate propagandists, which you have shown yourself to be repeatedly.

Keep whistling past the graveyard. It will not save your argument.

Nor do we have to wonder what your side would be saying if the record since 1998 had been different. So 17 years of non-warming. Not a single model came close to predicting it. Not explanation for it within the existing science.

"There has been no warming since 1998" !! --Tyler, your poor blog is once again being overrun by climate denialists from the Blog Comments Management Dept. of the oil lobby.

Let me be more precise about this. If one picks as the base for comparison any five-year average that includes 1998 in it, there is no question that the temperature trend has continued to rise. It is only by cherry picking that year only that one can make these silly claims that anybody who is not out to score a political agenda knows is just total bs.

If a case can be made for a hiatus, it might be for the period of roughly 2004-2010 or so, but temp rose before that and has clearly continued to do so since. If 2015 is not the hottest ever recorded, it will be no lower than the third hottest ever. See above discussion.

Are you really this out of it, So Much For Subtlety? You are really a shrieking embarrassment.

The pause holds is you use 1997 as well.

The assertions of the "hottest" years ever are - as the NOAA admits - only about 38% limy to be true because the margins of error are much bigger than the differences between years.

And of course these non-satellite measurements are heavily adjusted samples from a sparse scattering of stations that leave most of the world unmeasured.

How many temperature stations did we have in Africa and over the Pacific in 1900? The hubris is shocking.

And of course unmentioned is the fact - even using the unreliable land stations - that warming is running well outside the 95% prediction bands provided by the IPCC.

The predictions have failed. Here's the IPCC report itself:

“Models do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10 –15 years.”

They also couldn't explain the lack of acceptation in sea level change and the fact that Antarctic ice expanded rather than shrank.

They also reduced their estimate of temperature sensitivity to CO2.

Crazy skeptics, those IPCC guys.

Are you really that stupid or are you just an ideological jerk?

There is a reason why these right-wing internet guys spend (what seems like a lot, do these people have nothing consequential in their lives to pursue?) their time fighting global warming on politics and econ blogs rather than actual scientific forums.

Barkley Rosser,

Yes, I know Reason is a libertarian organization. They employ Ronald Bailey, who was the source of both my cites. Bailey began as a global warming denier, largely relying on the disparity between surface temperature measurements and satellite measurements. When it turned out that the raw satellite data were being wrongly converted to temperature and that proper conversion resulted in both sets of measurements being similar, he did something almost no one who writes or makes speeches does. He publicly changed his mind. He said that a book he had written was wrong. Bailey is--yes!--a global warming believer.

He has even taken Republican politicians like Ted Cruz to task (and suggested that some libertarians need to be more scientific):

Cruz made the same point, “Whatever happens, suddenly these scientists, who are receiving government grants to keep researching this, and these politicians — and, interestingly enough, the solution they are proposing for climate change — massive government control of the economy in every aspect of our lives - is exactly the same solution they proposed for global warming, it's exactly the same solution they proposed for global cooling.”

Then Inskeep aptly asked, “Aren't — aren't you the mirror image of that, though? You're working backward from the consequence that you don't want: too much government control, and so you question the science?”

For the context:


Barklay Rosser,

I'm not sure why you called me "just a joke, coming up with silly stuff like this" (December 12, 2015 at 7:33 pm). I posted (December 12, 2015 at 5:57 pm) that rather than 2015 being the hottest year on record, "My money is on 2015 being the 3rd warmest since satellite records began, after 1998 and 2010." I also posted a link to a graph showing 1998 as exceptionally hot.

But you yourself wrote (December 12, 2015 at 7:36 pm, 3 minutes after the "just a joke" comment!), "Focusing on 1998 as some sort of base of measurement is cherry picking data. It is a way high outlier." I don't think I've ever had someone call me a joke for agreeing with them.

I apologize to Roger Sweeny for not recognizing that he is being more reasonable than So Much For Subtlety. A lot of posts here and hard to catch all of them. But, Roger, I do not do bets on outcomes, but most sources do have 2015 coming on as the hottest year ever, and the current record-breaking heat wave in the eastern US is certainly not pushing it towards your bet-on outcome.

"Are you really that stupid or are you just an ideological jerk?"

Can't he be both, Barkley? Can't he be both? Use that as a twist when you retell this anecdote to your students.

Yes, one can imagine how Barkley must mistreat his conservative students - if any were willing to out themselves after a retelling of Barkley Rosser - internet superhero - publicly embarrasing himself to vent his hatred of conservatives online.

Why hold a jobs/vacation program somewhere under siege by terrorists, and in the winter?

My dear boy (or girl), let's have your caregiver take you down to the GP tomorrow for a thorough noggin examination.

Because it was decided years before the terrorist attacks - and the French are happy to close down the city for security reasons. The people least likely to be killed by terrorists are these delegates.

In the winter? That is hard to say. Still better Paris in December than Nairobi. Or Sao Paulo. Or Moscow.

These conferences should be rotated through the regions of the world. Actually they tend to go to the people willing to pay for them. They have been held in these places:

COP 1 (Berlin, 1995)
COP 2 (Geneva, 1996)
COP 3 (Kyoto, 1997)
COP 4 (Buenos Aires, 1998)
COP 5 (Bonn, 1999)
COP 6 (The Hague, 2000)
COP 6 (Bonn, 2001)
COP 7 (Marrakech, 2001)
COP 8 (New Delhi, 2002)
COP 9 (Milan, 2003)
COP 10 (Buenos Aires, 2004)
COP 11/ CMP 1 (Montreal, 2005)
COP 12/ CMP 2 (Nairobi, 2006)
COP 13/ CMP 3 (Bali, 2007)
COP 14/ CMP 4 (Poznań, 2008)
COP 15/ CMP 5 (Copenhagen, 2009)
COP 16/ CMP 6 (Cancún, 2010)
COP 17/ CMP 7 (Durban, 2011)
COP 18/ CMP 8 (Doha, 2012)
COP 19/ CMP 9 (Warsaw, 2013)
COP 20/ CMP 10 (Lima, 2014)
COP 21/ CMP 11 (Paris, 2015)

That is, they have to throw a token conference to Africa every now and then (to which I am willing to bet no one went) and I don't know what Lima is doing there. But by and large they hold them in places with nice food, pretty women and good shopping.

You know, like the way the FAO is based in Rome. Not anywhere remotely near any hungry people.

Tons of hotties in Poznan and Doha

Schelling said nothing important.

If you want a guy in his 90s who actually knows what he's talking about, listen to Freeman Dyson. Yes, I realize most economists have never had an undergrad science course (Tyler and Alex...ahem) whereas Dyson is in the pantheon of 20th century greats, but just try to understand his obvious argument: You can't possibly model climate a hundred years out assuming no technological change.


Oh, and were you at Schelling's talk. Did you know what he said?

Yes, Dyson is one of the more impressive skeptics, but most serious people are not forecasting all that far into the future. IPCC goes out to 2100, which is probably too far already, with the range of possible outcomes probably wider than what they say due to fat tails, as Weitzman has pointed out.

Nobody is as stupid as Dyson stupidly claims they are. But then nobody can forecast what technological change will be, certainly not Dyson. You are just embarrassing him by citing such dumb remarks, and, yes, he is a great scientist (I have met him).

When last we checked in, Freeman Dyson wrote that climate mitigation would harm economic growth, a seriously bad opinion from one of the greatest scientists, considering that any undergrad should know that gov't economic policy can accelerate private innovation in the desired direction.

Or else, Dyson puts more faith in economic models than in climate models, which is a serious breach of epistemological judgment.

Well, it is well known that for another degree or so F of global average temperature increase in fact the GDPs of both the US and China are likely to increase overall. The reduction of winter heating bills will continue to more than offset rising costs in other sectors. But after that those gains become too small to make that offset against the rising costs in the other sectors.

The countries most hurt by warming in the nearer future are the mostly poorer ones in tropical or semi-tropical zones such as Bangladesh and various low-level island nations. Thus it is somewhat ironic that the most resistance to a stricter agreement was coming from India.

Hey Barkley,

We all know that Tyler and Alex have never taken a college course in science.

You haven't either. If so, tell us what science course you have taken

Oh, and Todd, I have also been involved off and on in multi-disciplinary research projects with climatologists for over 40 years, since the days when many thought we might be heading for global cooling (which indeed went on from the 1940s into the mid-1970s). I know a fair amount of climatology and even first got into chaos theory before that term had been applied to it in the mid-1970s from reading climatology literature, especially Edward Lorenz. In case you were unaware of the fact, one of the things I am known for is having done a lot of work on chaos theory in economics, but I got it from climatology initially, decades ago.

Rather than asking about courses taken, how about asking about publications. Offhand, Todd, how many papers have you published in physics journals? How many in math journals? Got any in any other disciplines you want to inform us about before you pop off your mouth again about who knows what about science?

Barkley: "Well it is well known that for another degree or so F of global average temperature increase in fact the GDPs of both the US and China are likely to increase overall. The reduction of winter heating bills will continue to more than offset rising costs in other sectors."

Well I in turn wonder, when was this calculation made? Consider that in the last year, there have been confirmations of: climate-increased ENSO extremes disrupting agriculture and fisheries; record-breaking heat-waves increasing electricity usage and medical costs; lower crop yields due to drought/floods; increasing homeowners' insurance costs in US gulf states (some insurers may pull out of that market); increasing wildfires and firefighting costs, and now, discovery that Greenland is melting faster than anticipated, which may necessitate the abandonment of some inhabited low-lying US coastal areas in about 35 years. All of these things were recently confirmed to be happening right now.

In addition, there is the general question of whether such a GDP calculation can price-in the probability of extreme events, such as would occur in the return of the Medieval Warming Period -- i.e., the last time the northern hemisphere was this hot:

Paleo evidence shows that the western half of North America was a sand-dune desert (and the dunes are still there waiting below the soil surface), and the northeast coast was hammered by Category 3 & 4 hurricanes once every 15-20 years (perhaps due to weakening of AMOC?), which will produce storm surges up to 20 feet (6 meters) or more. Q. What has been the total cost of Superstorm Sandy (storm surge averaged about 6 feet)?


You are a joke. Was a physics major for extended period and also took plenty of courses in biology, ecology, genetics. Have published papers in physics journals as well as ecology ones (also math and computer science journals as well and several other disciplines). Wrote the Revised New Palgrave entry on econophysics. Barking up the wrong tree with me you are, boy.

Hi Barkley,

I just asked you a simple question and you politely answered as I assumed you would. So if you have had science courses, then what is your excuse for not thinking clearly about a science topic?

Oh, Todd. And just what have I said anywhere here that does not indicate "clear thinking about a science topic"?

Again, I am now putting it to you. List all the academic disciplinary journals that you have published papers in, please? You shot off your mouth agaIn without doing so. My list is long and includes physics. What is yours? Please, tell us, how is it that you a great scientist who makes empty critiques of others while quoting Freeman Dyson? Have you ever met him or talked with him as I have? Please, fill us in Todd on all your great record and credentials.

I published a couple of articles in a journal in Japan in 2005 and 2007. The one in 2007 argued that the benefits from exponential computing power will mean that a child born in 2025 anywhere on the planet can expect the same standard of living as anywhere else.

Note that blogger economists Tyler Cowen, Alex Tabbarok and Noah Smith don't publlsh anything either (Smith has no publications).

So Barkley, you were a physics major for "an extended period". Before those equations got difficult so went into ecology and economics? I feel your pain

Nice try, Todd. I also have published in math and computer science journals. I got interested in econ over physics because I "wanted to help society" and was unhappy about the use of physics in buidling weapons. It was the era of the War in Vietnam. Most of the ideas I am responsible for in econ have involved math, so, sorry, you are not going to get anywhere with that one, especially since I have continued to do physics and have published in physics journals.

You really do not know with whom you are dealing,do you? What a silly moron you are, truly barking up the wrong tree by a country mile.

Oh, and Todd, most of my ecology pubs have been mathematical in nature as well. Other disciplines whose journals I have published in include philosophy, political science, finance, sociology, management, as well as in multiple sub-areas of economics. Quite a few of those have not been mathematical, but my Wikipedia entry labels me as being a "mathematical economist," which label was not put on me by me. That is not one of the multiple areas of econ I list on my cv, although I do list economic theory, which is usually mathematical.


Since you got so personal, checked you out. Your highest google hits are your comments on this blog and some on other blogs, although if one digs hard enough your Japanese-English translator shows up, congrats, and, oh, yes, you were a physics BS, with MA in public policy, hot stuff. Guess you got me beat on the undergrad physics major, wow, although it looks like you are the one whose biggest claim to fame is your blogging activities, which is not the case with me. Also, I minored in math as an undergrad, although most of my ed in higher math came directly from my late father or was self-taught later. In any case, you are way out of your league with this silliness.

Academics are like rabid dogs about their accomplishments and medals, a bit like the military officers and nobility in the old days.

"I am the General Motors Chang Zuckerberg Kia Motors Professor of Climatological Econophysics at HARVARD, former Zynga Professor of Economic Climatophysics at MIT, former Associate Professor at Boston University, winner of the Kellogs Crispies Medal in Physical Climatologic Economy, winner of the OECD Paris medal in Climate Education, chair of the Larry Sergei XYZ Climate foundation, Doctor HC at more European hick universities than you can shake a stick at. I've published in the leading journals in every field you can think of, and edited all of the same. All of them! Undergraduate at HARVARD, doctoral degree at Cal Tech, post doc at PRINCETON, YALE and STANFORD then PRINCETON again then HARVARD. OK, then I got that position at BU, moving on." (etc)


Oh, I should not waste more time with this further, but I might do some defending of others you went after. I do not know Alex's record, nor exactly what Tyler studied, but while in his many books and articles Tyler generally does not take a mathematical approach, I have seen him link to and apparently understand some fairly advanced mathematical stuff. He is a real polymath, with Mason having several others who at least think they are, with Robin Hanson and John Nye for sure on the list and a couple of others being wannabes, whom I shall not embarrass by naming.

Noah Smith apparently does not have any publs, which may lead to him leaving academia, but he does have a BS in physics and he is certainly doing well with his blogging and now commenteering for Bloomberg.

Oh, and I have also pubbed in "a couple of Japanese journals." Besides that in either journals or books pubbed in Korea, Australia, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Russia, along with a couple of others, and besides English have published in Russian, Italian, and Spanish.

Fortunately, the most effective method for slowing (anticipated) global warming so far has been for the predictions of it to have turned out to be too high to begin with [http://www.stumblingontruth.com/articles/Its%20not%20the%20Heat%20its%20the%20Tepidity%2020150310.pdf]. Curiously, those that claim to be most concerned about global warming often seem least happy that it hasn't materialized as originally feared.

@Barkley . There is no warming since Feb 1997. The trend is zero. 1997 was significantly cooler than the 1998 El Nino year. Since 1997 at least 1/3 of all CO2 since the start of the Industrial revolution has been emitted.
Where is the warming ? All the IPCC models overestimate the warming.
the entire increase in global average temperature from about 1850 to today is about 1.4˚F, it is a small fraction of the typical range from minimum to maximum at any given location on any given day, not to mention the range from midsummer to midwinter—temperature swings that humans, animals, and plants all seem to endure quite well.

A change in the average is different from a change in the extremes.

Following your logic ... I might tolerate -20C quite well for a few hours, but give it a week and I'll be dead.

Differences between averages and extremes matter.

Also, please refer to the 5-year moving averages for something relevant about trends. http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/

you're exaggerating wildly. it's not 20C , it's 1.4F a factor of 25.7 from your extreme.
look at the Giss graph you showed . There is a pause from 1945 to 1975 and again from about 2000. None of which is explained by the models


The figure you linked to is simply fallacious. Where did you get this piece of crap? Grow up and get real and stop spreading worthless propaganda. You are not serious. You are another joke here, contributing to the US being the embarrassment of the world community that we are full of looney bin bozos like you.

All the more reason to congratulate Prime Minister Modi (Leader of the Free World) and the Chinese on their hard fought victory, minimizing adverse impact on the developing world. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/china-india-hail-hard/2342848.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Instead of futilely trying to analyze the deal, ask yourself how much do we trust the people who negotiated it? I believe that Obama's M.O. is to give away the store to get to a deal that he can then put on a shelf and point to as an achievement. In this case, if we got 200 countries to agree, we must have given up quite a bit.

One could apply this reasoning to virtually any international deal. Provide specific criticisms, or your assertion will be summarily dismissed.

But at least you accept the premise that climate change is a real problem that must addressed, unlike most of the brainiacs on this board.

It's a blog, Jan.

I heard that in the voice of Bones McCoy.

The 2 degree target shows climate science denial is widespread among those who decry climate science denial.

Interestingly, Schelling pointed out that there has never been any scientific basis for focusing on the 2 degree limit. It is in effect a focal point that simply emerged from lots of discussion. He wisecracked that why it did so is that "It is the only whole number between 1 and 3."

No no no, 2 degrees C "is the point at which, scientific studies have concluded, the world will be locked into a future of devastating consequences, including rising sea levels, severe droughts and flooding, widespread food and water shortages and more destructive storms."

The NYT said so.

I disbelieved global warming in the early 90's. So did Michael Shermer. Indeed his whole identity was being a skeptic. Skeptic's magazine and all. Until the preponderance of evidence got to him too.

Why Climate Skeptics Are Wrong

I suggest that any remaining "skeptics" here change their pseudonyms and come back as someone who figured it out at least ten years ago.

For your dignity.

The 97% figure he relies on was debunked. When the climate scientists can put together a predictive model, not one that becomes more inaccurate with each passing year, and doesn't require changing the temperature record to goal seek, then I can believe it. For now it is a theory lacking predictive ability.

See, that had no dignity. It isn't a serious argument. It is nothing but cheap misdirection by a painful loser.

But then you can come back in a month as "9" and no one will know.

Psychologists tell us that when someone makes a flawed argument we have to be respectful, to give that person the emotional security to understand our objections, and learn.

But with "skeptics" we are on the horns of a dilemma. The core people spinning these deceptions know what they are doing. They do it serially. They don't care when an argument is proven wrong. They just pull another out of the bag.

"8" pulled out a couple known whoppers an no doubt wants respect for it.

But not because he seeks truth, because he hope to hide it

The climate models are getting better. But the economic ones aren't.

And as the climate models get better the climate sensitivity of CO2 goes down.

The climate sensitivity to CO2 is probably within the 1.5 to 2.0 range, meaning that the cost to humanity will be low for many decades. During this time it is possible that solar power will continue its rapid decline in cost, and storage technology will continue its much slower decline. The combination of these technologies will likely make global warming a non-issue.

I am fully confident that if models proved accurate to the tenth of a degree, people like "8" would just find a web page that "debunked" them.

It is completely transparent at this point, and as I say, the people doing it have given up all dignity.

Just for the record, July 1936 was the hottest month on record within the US, but not globally. Globally for the whole year, 1934 was hotter than 1936. But neither was as hot as 1998, and it has been beaten in ascending order by 2005, 2010, 2014, and it is now all but certain, 2015 as well. Check NOAA data.

"Check NOAA data"

Which version should we check? Every other year or so it seems NOAA releases a new version of what the temperature has been. Who knew one had to wait 5 years to find out what the temperature was yesterday!

Regardless of whether or not you think anthropogenic warming is happening and is a serious issue, these kinds of talks are not the way to address it. There is no clear question to be addresses and no clear offer from rich countries to poor ones to encourage the poor ones to slow down their development of new energy sources. You can't have a negotiation until you know what you want.

So I conclude that this is just one of those media things where a segment of the population wants to see something being done hence something is being done. Now the ruling political classes can move onto other things, confident that the can defend themselves on this issue for a while.

If I were seriously concerned about global warming I would be trying to get some coherence with like minded people around some clear demands and the means to deliver these clear demands. For instance a demand that the rich countries will shut down their coal fired power stations by a given date (like the UK had pledged) and the rich countries will finance LNG supplied power plants in developing countries so that no more coal power stations will be built. Or that rich countries will jointly pay for and build solar power plants in sunny but poor countries, sufficient so that they don't need coal fired power stations. Or that the rich countries will pay to convert all merchant marine to LNG rather than fuel oil by end of this decade. Or that the rich countries will buy up the shares of all the publicly traded coal producers in the West (US and Australia) and shut them down, and provide funding for any job losses. This last one could be done fairly cheaply and would result in very much higher coal prices leading naturally to substitution.

These are specific demands, that have bounded costs and would make tangible and measurable reductions in present day and future carbon emissions. But nothing like this is being presented, its all either hand wringing and guilt tripping, or pleasant motherhood and apple pie platitudes.

I see James Hansen agrees with me;http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/12/james-hansen-climate-change-paris-talks-fraud

James Hansn is an idiot. He should have kept his mouth shut in Paris. He is a climatologist, not an economist, and he has lost cred by shooting off his mouth about that of which he is clearly ignorant.

Barkely Rosser is an example of what you are talking about. You ask for clear plans with clear results, and Barkley attacks you. Barkley doesn't want AGW to end, then how will he justify this mental illness of his - this wretching hatred of conservatives that will eventually turn him in to Mulp?

I hope someone is keeping a list of the idiots who have bought into the global warming BS. Because the ability to evaluate evidence is important and anyone stupid enough to buy the BS needs to be excluded from the group of people whose opinions are regarded as worthy of respect.

No,stan, we shall keep track of all the idiots like yourself. What year do you think has been the hottest on record? Throw a dart at a board and then come on here and declare that you have discovered it. You might have as much cred as So Much For Subtlety.

As a scientist working in the private domain I must say that probably until the next big meeting with a lot of wasted money (it costs a lot to host representatives of 196 countries) this will be a none issue.
I don't see much convincing evidence even in the ipcc reports that would convince me to start changing much in our economy. Likely temperature changes will be in the tenth of a degree if we extrapolate from the last 20 years which is probably the warming from our additional co2.
While we have to continue to monitor the situation the divergence between models and reality is too high at the moment to make any judgement call.

However it is sad that most commentators are not as objective or woefully uninformed about science. We are a long way from any scary situation and the horror scenarios I see mostly are straw men because if they are true than we can't stop them, making them uninformative for Policy discussion.

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