Welcome to the Energy Blog

  • The Energy Blog is where all topics relating to The Energy Revolution are presented. Increasingly, expensive oil, coal and global warming are causing an energy revolution by requiring fossil fuels to be supplemented by alternative energy sources and by requiring changes in lifestyle. Please contact me with your comments and questions. Further Information about me can be found HERE.



After Gutenberg

Clean Break

The Oil Drum


Blog powered by Typepad

« First Commercial Algae Facility Announced | Main | UPS Goes Green »

November 15, 2007



" Can you point me to one that has been sucessful predicting climate ten years in the future?"

Mike, I would point you here:


However I can summerise the main point. That is that the most accurate early projection was made by Hansen in 1988. In fact it seems to match spot on the observed subsequent trends. However a varient of this simulation using a different emission scenario produces an almost as accurate trend over the observed time frame. Extrapolating out over decades however the two models differ substantially. Thus the conclusion is that even if a model accurately predicts climate trends over 20 years that is not enough time to assess whether a model is correct.

Thus I quote Gavin:

"what is your standard for acceptable? My opinion, judging from the amount of unforced (and hence unpredictable) weather noise is that you would not have been able to say that even a perfect model was clearly better than this. Think of it was the uncertainty principle for climate models. After another 20 years we'll know more, but as of now, the models have done as well at projecting long term trends as you can possibly detect. Thus you cannot have a serious reason to use these results to claim the models are not yet sufficient for your purpose. If you will not make any conclusion unless someone can show accurate projections for 100 years that are within a few percent of reality then you are unconvincible (since that will never occur) and thus your claim to open-mindedness on this issue is a sham. Some uncertainty is irreducible and you deal with that in all other aspects of your life. Why is climate change different? "


One problem with complaining about the Left's proposals for dealing with AGW is the near total absence of proposals for dealing with it from the Right. We are only just beginning to see some acceptance that the science has validity from the conservative Right, which has - as a matter of ideology and policy - denied there is any such thing as AGW, and if there is it won't be that bad and it might be good for people and if it's not good, it's too difficult to do anything about and if it's not too difficult to deal with, the policies needed aren't Rightwing enough to support. There is plenty of room for policy proposals from all "sides" of politics. Time for the Right to treat the best available knowledge on this issue seriously and get to work on policies aimed at dealing with it instead of relying on obfuscation, delay and denial.



Looking at the land-ocean temperature, it falls just below the scenario C curve. From the original paper, scenario C assumed a reduction in CO2 growth rates between 1990 and 2000 and zero growth rate after that, staying fixed at 368 ppm. Knowing that CO2 emissions have continued to increase for the last 17 years, and are now about 380ppm the prediction hardly seems accurate.

Paul F. Dietz

I'm well aware of the difference between climate and weather.

Ah, so your bringing up weather was a deliberate attempt to mislead, not an honest mistake. Thank you for helping us calibrate your character.

Kit P

What is really, really, really stupid about the AGW debate is that it is so yesterday. For those who did not get the memo, it is the policy of the Bush administration to address AGW. It says so in the NATIONAL EMERGY POLICY, May 2001.

It sounds like Ken has not figured out how policy has become legislation leading to action. What policy do you want Ken? Before you answered ken make sure it is not already being done or is a just a incredible stupid idea.


What is so yesterday KitP, or perhaps just a stupid idea, is to believe that Bush policy that consists of PTC, RPS and a few technology transfers to China, is going to lower our emission rates by 70% - which is what is required in the near future to stabilize CO2 levels. Instead it is clear to all that Bush opposes significant reductions in CO2, most opportunities he gets. Whether its the EPA's delaying tactics with California and the Clean Air Act, the EPA vs Massachusetts or whether its trying to muzzle James Hansen or scuttle international agreements. Bush's position on AGW is crystal clear and that's one of the reasons the Republicans won't stand a chance next election. Delaying doing anything about AGW is also one of major reasons why there will be a change of government in Australia this weekend. As they say KitP, wake up and smell the coffee. No amount of propoganda from you on this or other sites is going to change that.

Mike you are cherry picking the data and ignoring the error estimates. Scenario B approximates real emissions the best and the model predictions for this scenario are pretty much spot on as explained in the article. The whole point of the article is that although Scenario C assumes lower emissions, the predictions for C are pretty much indistinguishable from scenario B given the expected error margins in both the models and in the measured trend. Perhaps you should read the article again or just accept you are unconvincible.

Ronald Brak


1. Over a third of the CO2 in the atmosphere is the result of human activity. Mostly from burning fossil fuels.

2. The total greenhouse effect of the atmosphere makes the earth’s average temperature 33 degrees warmer than it would be otherwise and CO2 is responsible for roughly 10% of this. CO2 receives the most attention because it is the gas that has caused the greatest man made increase in the greenhouse effect.


Mike to try and answer your point more simply, the article shows that 17 years is just not long enough to see meaningful differences in model outcomes given the different emission scenarios B and C.


Mike to try and answer your point more simply, the article shows that 17 years is just not long enough to see meaningful differences in model outcomes given the different emission scenarios B and C.

Kit P

What is your plan Marcus if you do not like the Bush plan?

“is going to lower our emission rates by 70%”

Please explain how and when get a 70% reduction from “California and the Clean Air Act” and California's plan to import LNG to make electricity?

Shall we compare the results of Bush plan to reduce ghg emissions (started as Governor Bush) to the that provide a 95% reduction or larger compared to LNG to make electricity in California.

Number of windmill built in Texas in 2007: very large
Number of windmill built in California in 2007: zero

Number of nukes proposed in Texas in 2007: 6
Number of nukes proposed in California in 2007: banned

Anaerobic digester growth in US under Bush: exponential
Anaerobic digester growth in California: zero

Marcus seems to think pointing a finger and calling people names will reduce ghg emissions. So Marcus, wake up and smell the coffee. Going back to when Bush was governor, people have been doing something about big about AGW while you are stuck in yesterday asking who has read the latest nonsense from the IPCC.

Marcus is part of the cry baby society, who must sue somebody to save the world. Try being part of the solution.


So let me get this straight

I believe CO2 makes the world warmer.
I believe there is some risk and we should take agressive action to develop non-fossil energy.
I support PHEVs, in fact I'm going to buy a Volt when they come out.
I pay a couple cents extra for wind power.

But I am still a denier and unconvincible.


So the planet may get warmer, or it may not. And if it does, it is probably connected with greenhouse gas emissions and that some of them are undoubtedly man made and avoidable. But I still don't understand how "millions are going to die" and why getting fresh water to the billion or so people who don't currently have it isn't a higher priority? But I guess that makes me " a denier"

Paul F. Dietz

Mark T: that doesn't make you a denier. However, if one conflates policy quandraries with scientific questions (that is, if one doubts the science behind AGW because of the policy implications) then one is a denier.

It is, IMO, a quite proper position to support the AGW science and yet to question that particular popular plans of action are workable.


(post broken into sections because of buggy connection)

Tony writes:

The only viable governing body is the UN
Then what are all the regional trading blocs (NAFTA, EU, WTO) governed by?  Not the UN.  I propose revamping or replacing the WTO, which can be done by repealing its treaty in Congress and ratifying another.  I'm sure the EU would be happy to do that, and given the mood of anger toward China's subsidized exports on both sides of the Atlantic the impact on China might even be a populist selling point.



atrocities like Darfur
What are the greenhouse emissions due to Darfur?
Cheap green energy is the only viable solution - your not gonna force anybody to anything.
"Cheap" is relative; the only reason fossil fuels are cheap to use is because most of the costs are borne by others or deferred to the future. If we take the Stern Review's figure of $85/ton enviro-social cost of CO2 emissions, coal would cost another $200+ per ton. Compared to that, solar PV is getting competitive and wind and nuclear are downright cheap.


Wind is even getting cheap in absolute terms, as manufacturing experience pushes cost reductions.  PV cost has been on a steadily falling curve for decades.  If we want cheap green energy, we're going to have to buy some costlier stuff for a while.  Cost falls about 20% for each cumulative doubling of production; we don't have all that far to go.


Kit P (aka "The Needler"): I look forward to your posts, but I wish you would have your daughter edit them before posting. Often, fractured sentences make it difficult to understand (and enjoy) your points. Your recent reply to Marcus is an example. In the 4th paragraph: "to the that provide a 95% reduction or larger". Huh?

But, please don't stop posting. Every blog needs The Needler's touch.


IS AL GORE today's Lamont Cranston...with the power to cloud men's minds?

You 'SAY' you want to sep. facts from hysteria; but you never actually do that, instead it's just another skeptic put down.

Let me give you an example.

The latest bit of Envirohysteria is the rising ocean level that will drown us all CCHP, ad nauseum

THE FACTS from the Maine geological service reveal a steady rise in the ocean level of 0.07 mm over the past 100 years; in 100 years that's about 7".

THE FACTS from a personal observation of the Maine coast is that the seas were much much higher several hundred years about---erosion, early cellar holes, and wharf locations now inland.

And don't feed us this " reputable scientist' bunk...KYOTO totally ignored the S. Hemisphere and oceans.

As far as I can see, the whole KYOTO GORGASM was focused on Northern Europe and rationalized to the rest of the world. My own research reveals a rather remarkable congruence with major aviation corridors and the rise in aviation traffic.

Aviation's dirty little secret is that Branson, BA and others are feverishly making a new generation of low emission aircraft(LEA) that will be the world's standard.

Already Boeing is buying these engines.


MOTHER NATURE IS PUTTING ON A LOT OF BIOMASS WEIGHT...3% MORE EVERY YEAR IN THE NORTHERN FOREST...trees and other plants are gobbling that CO2 like it was cocopuffs.

CARBON DIOXIDE IS A GREENHOUSE GAS THAT IS HEAVIER THAN AIR; so how does it get up into the Greenhouse layer >20,000 ft? and does any mind that annoying fact that only 2-3% of the Greenhouse layer is CO2 while the rest is water vapour/crystals?


ANOTHER INCONVENIENT TRUTH...Al Gore flunked out of both law school and divinity school.


Ah, another victim of Gore Derangement Syndrome. You can tell them by their exclusive focus on Al Gore to the complete (or nearly so) exclusion of the scientific data.

They're also ignorant of basic physical principles like diffusion and turbulence. If gravity would keep CO2 out of the stratosphere, it would do an even better job of holding R-12 (CCl2F2, MW=121 IIRC) on the ground... which it doesn't. Water vapor (MW=18) is about as much lighter than air as air is lighter than pure CO2, but we don't find all the water vapor at the top of the atmosphere. Diffusion on the micro-scale and turbulent mixing on larger scales keeps gases from fractionating unless there is something like a phase change involved.

As for the rest, three words: target-rich environment.


KitP, we've been through this before and you agree with me. CO2 emissions will drop if emissions cost. This is my basic policy proposal. And, just to show everyone you agree with me and also because its good to needle the needler, here you are again :-

KitP: "In most parts of the US, coal is still the cheapest new source of base load electricity. This is why generators have been selecting coal project ten to one over nuclear."

Now adding in carrots like PTC is also good. But its not enough. Since you want to bring up California/Texas comparisons, lets have a look at emissions trends - which is what really counts.


It seems that while Texas renewables have been growing, so have Texas emissions - much faster than California's. Comparing per capita emissions California is dropping while Texas remains constant. Now you will undoubtedly want to bring up the fact that California imports some of its energy but if you look at this graph (http://www.climatechange.ca.gov/policies/images/fig46.jpg) it shows that imports will not have effected California's downward per capita emissions trend during the 1990s since imports have remained flat.

Now what ever the reasons for California doing better than Texas on CO2 emissions, what I want to point out is that despite growth in renewables, when there are no caps or costs on emissions, emissions can rise. This is the fundamental flaw of the Bush energy policy and why new government is required to remedy this.

Just to add, future Texas emissions will be a lot lower than otherwise now that plans for those eight coal plants were cancelled. But this was an ad hoc solution that was fairly disruptive to predictable economic processes. Had a known carbon cost been present there from the begining it would have been a much less unexpected decision.


If Al Gore truly believed GW is a real threat and NYC will be underwater in 20 years he would either be a hypocrite or insane to continue the massive polluting that he does daily. Gore has four mansions that each consume over 50 times the energy of the average household and he flies in private jets almost daily and with each trip he pollutes the equivilant of the average person's yearly pollution total! Al Gore is most likely the biggest individual polluter in the history of the world.

Fact is Bill Clinton became the major champion of LEEDS standards in buildings and pushes for government mandates while Al Gore formed an investment vehicle that sells equipment for LEEDS standards construction and makes billions from government mandates and government intervention.

Follow the money and you will see the painful truth is, we are all victims of a major scam formed by hypocrites and fascists who would like to take away our rights for the purpose of enriching themselves and gaining political power!

Kit P

Marcus, you did a excellent job of not defending your position. Please tell me how you are going to reduce ghg by 70%. You are really dense. I do not agree with you. Making energy more expensive only makes it more expensive it does not reduce the amount we use. When electricity bills go up $10/month, beer consumption goes down $10/month.

Here is my plan for reducing ghg by not by 2050 but by Thanksgiving. I will start with the the 12th largest economy in the world. Putin has the right idea. Kick California out of the union and shutoff the flow of fossil fuel energy to California by 70%. Since California has a mild climate, they would be safe. Kansas will then have an alternative to burning western coal. They can burn western coal be methane to reduce ghg.

Marcus is a little too dense to understand that energy is more than just contracts on paper. It is physical commodity that allows people to live somewhere other than mild climates. So dude, put on a clean pair of flip flops, hike down to the library and look up the per capita energy use in some mild climate like Spain (and produces better wine).

Paul F. Dietz

CARBON DIOXIDE IS A GREENHOUSE GAS THAT IS HEAVIER THAN AIR; so how does it get up into the Greenhouse layer >20,000 ft?

Ah, a wonderful demonstration of the scientific illiteracy that populates the denialist camp. You guys are your own worst enemies.

Here's a free science lesson: long lived atmospheric gases are not segregated by molecular weight until one gets very high in the atmosphere, to the so-called 'homopause'. The reason is that separation by molecular weight is a very slow process, acting on the diffusion time scale. This time scale is much longer than the time scale for turbulence to remix the gases at lower altitudes (at high altitudes, the mean free path of the molecules become much longer, making separation much more rapid).

This was actually a reuse of an old pseudoscientific canard of the CFC denialists. Good to see you guys are practicing recycling.

Kit P

Danzig, give me a break. I am an engineer who writes clumsy sentences to other engineers. Sometimes I bring stuff home to be proofed if I need for it to actually be understood by a real person. If there something you want clarified please let me know. I try to save my ire for bergen stock wearing pixie dust advocates who think that the environment is somehow not important to those of us who wear steel toed shows and hard hats while making a living protecting the environment.

Now that I am in this discussion, I suppose to point out how stupid E-P's position is.

“Ah, another victim of Gore Derangement Syndrome. “

E-P must have BDS.

“Bush has utterly failed to promote IGCC”

Let me to direct his vision to the FutureGen link in the right hand column of this blog.

"Today I am pleased to announce that the United States will sponsor a....10-year demonstration project to create the world's first coal-based, zero-emissions electricity and hydrogen power plant..."
President George W. Bush
February 27, 2003


... “The project will employ coal gasification technology integrated with combined cycle electricity generation and the sequestration of carbon dioxide emissions.”


Ah, Kit P shows himself as the paid apologist he is.  Bush did nothing to actually promote (as in, push further construction and commercialization of) IGCC powerplants, and at least one IGCC plant in planning has been cancelled.  What Bush did was set up a demonstration project for a not-yet-existing technology, while utilities made plans to build more powdered-coal combustion to run for another 50 years.

After 2 years in office, Bush set up a 10-year demonstration project which would be complete in 2013.  I guess Kit P thinks this is better than IGCC (amenable to at least partial sequestration) today, just like the 20-year Freedom Car hydrogen project was better than the PNGV (cancelled by Bush in 2001) which would have delivered 80-MPG hybrids right about now.

But I guess you've got to have BDS to do anything but cheerlead for the guy, eh?

Kit P

E-P, after someone makes you look stupid; you may want to due a little research before opening your trap again. Since I do not work in the coal industry, it did take me a little time to find the information. About 30 seconds. It did take me a little longer (bout 300 seconds) over at the AEP web site to find out why the largest coal utility might build different plants in different places. It has something to do with the properties of coal.

The reason I think E-P is a stupid engineer is that he jumps to the conclusion that other engineers are stupid without checking to see if there may not be good reasons for the choices that they make.

E-P is plain wrong over and over. He keeps reporting on pixie dust like it is something real. If E-P was a real engineer he would understand that magic wands only work in fairy tails and California. While I am not an automotive engineer, I am more than skeptical of 80-MPG hybrids mostly because of the lack of data on the Pius. Engineers love to brag about performance. When I bought my 2007 Corolla, I asked for data on the Pius. The salesman told me they market Pius to those who want to have an image of being earth friendly by buying a shinny new car.

In any case, if we were talking about energy security; Bus has promoted numerous options that should make the boys with toys crowd and watermelons giddy with delight.


I really have a hard time believing how anyone has access to all the information required to make a proper judgement on what the president actually deserves credit for. We will only know this many years from now, or perhaps we will never know. All I know is, there is way more stuff happening in energy now than when Clinton was president.


Stick with the poetry and stay away from engineering!

Water vapour deposited in the upper atmosphere persists for days; and when crystalized is much more reflective of heat radiated from the earth.

There are transport mechanisms for moving CO2 into the upper atmosphere; but the FACT is that the higher you go the less CO2 there is; were it not for airplanes that 2-3% would be a lot less.

CO2 and global warming is thought by many 'junk science'.


KIT...it's water vapour...many climate scientists in UK, the Aviation industry, NASA, and RUSSIA using data from ten's of thousands of outer space observations.

Try this 'guy' views...be sure to match his credentials with your's...
A new theory to explain global warming was revealed at a meeting at the University of Leicester (UK) and is being considered for publication in the journal "Science First Hand".

The controversial theory has nothing to do with burning fossil fuels and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

According to Vladimir Shaidurov of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the apparent rise in average global temperature recorded by scientists over the last hundred years or so could be due to atmospheric changes that are not connected to human emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of natural gas and oil.

Shaidurov explained how changes in the amount of ice crystals at high altitude could damage the layer of thin, high altitude clouds found in the mesosphere that reduce the amount of warming solar radiation reaching the earth's surface.

Shaidurov has used a detailed analysis of the mean temperature change by year for the last 140 years and explains that there was a slight decrease in temperature until the early twentieth century.

This flies in the face of current global warming theories that blame a rise in temperature on rising carbon dioxide emissions since the start of the industrial revolution.

Shaidurov, however, suggests that the rise, which began between 1906 and 1909, could have had a very different cause, which he believes was the massive Tunguska Event, which rocked a remote part of Siberia, northwest of Lake Baikal on the 30th June 1908.


You're missing the point....water vapour in the upper atmosphere deposited by jetplanes is the leading cause of the warming of the climate over the N. Hemisphere, esp. air traffic corridors...whereever the contrails are most prominent you'll find the worse examples of warming.

Another lesson:

Upper Atmosphere Basics

Composition of the stratosphere

Most of the compounds released at the Earth's surface DO NOT reach the stratosphere, instead they are:

-decomposed by the main tropospheric oxidants (hydroxyl radicals - OH, nitrate radicals - NO3, ozone - O3)
--broken down by sunlight
--deposited back to the surface of the Earth in rain or as particles trapped in the cold tropopause.

Because the temperature trend between the troposphere and the stratosphere reverses, there is almost NO air exchange between these two layers. Mixing of air in the troposphere takes hours to days whereas mixing in the stratosphere takes months to years.

**depositing water vapour in the stratosphere persists for a long time and has radically affected the radiation of the Earth's heat over the past 50 years..coinciding with the recorded increases in warming over the N. Hemisphere.

Paul Dietz

There are transport mechanisms for moving CO2 into the upper atmosphere; but the FACT is that the higher you go the less CO2 there is; were it not for airplanes that 2-3% would be a lot less.


Of course there is slightly less CO2 in the upper atmospher relative to the lower, since most of the extra CO2 is being introduced down here, so there must be a concentraton gradient to get a net upward flow.

However, this gradient is small (about 7 ppmv, if I understand correctly), since the % increase in atmospheric CO2 over the stratosphere/troposphere mixing timescale (~ 5 years) is not large. This would be true even if all the extra CO2 were being released at the very bottom of the atmosphere.

The concentration gradient has NOTHING to do with CO2 being 'heavier than air'.


"slightly less"...really...got an authorative cite for that.

I found this at a NASA site:

Most abundant in the troposphere, these gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapour and ozone, so-called because they are involved in the Earth natural greenhouse effect which keeps the planet warmer than it would be without an atmosphere. APART FROM WATER VAPOUR, the most abundant greenhouse gas (by volume) is carbon dioxide. Despite being present in only 370 parts per million by volume of air, carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases help to keep the Earth 33°C warmer than it would otherwise be without an atmosphere"

Why do you people have so much trouble to acknowledging the real culprit is water vapour and not CO2...or do you write your ptolemics while looking out of a jetplane window and dreaming up ways to destroy 'evil corporate polluters'?


Perhaps you should this female engineer's view of the matter--I should point out she was an airline executive, prior to entering grad. school.

Katta G. Murty

Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2117, USA
Phone: 734-763-3513; fax: 734-764-3451; e-mail: katta_murty@umich.edu
webpages: http://www-personal.umich.edu/murty/

10 November 2000, revised 26 November 2000.

The puzzle of climate is that atmospheric and oceanic temperatures have increased much more than can be explained by changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases. We suggest that part of the reason for this phenomenon may be the increasing volume of jet airline traffic round the clock and around the globe which is contributing to higher concentrations of greenhouse gases in the stratosphere than in the whole atmosphere. This indicates that the increasing volumes of airplane traffic worldwide have serious environmental consequences, perhaps more serious than the ozone hole phenomenon on which the attention of the scientific community is riveted.

E-P, after someone makes you look stupid; you may want to due a little research before opening your trap again.
I had to quote this for the sheer irony.  I'll avoid references to falling off logs or shooting fish in barrels and get to the meat of the matter, because ol' KP is so good as a comic foil (perhaps we should call him Simplicio).
It did take me a little longer (bout 300 seconds) over at the AEP web site to find out why the largest coal utility might build different plants in different places. It has something to do with the properties of coal.
And the best you could come up with is "something".  I'll give you a hint:  there are factors such as moisture content, ash-fusion temperature and friability which affect the fuel handling systems, and sulfur content which affect environmental compliance.

IGCC eliminates some of that.  For the last ten years, the Wabash River powerplant has been able to operate on Illinois #6 coal or petroleum coke interchangeably.  The gasifier runs well above the fusion temperature of ash, and the fuel is injected as a slurry with water.  Sulfur is removed downstream, so sulfur content is not a large factor.

The reason I think E-P is a stupid engineer is that he jumps to the conclusion that other engineers are stupid without checking to see if there may not be good reasons for the choices that they make.
The reason I know Kit P is a troll is that he takes policy decisions and calls them "engineering decisions" to confuse readers who might not see the difference immediately.

IGCC is an engineering solution to a very different set of policy requirements than powdered-coal combustion steam plants.  Had policy actually been aimed at clean air and reduced carbon emissions, the higher efficiency, partial carbon sequestration and almost total elimination of sulfur and particulate emissions of IGCC would be a clear win.  However, the policy from Washington — Bush's policy — was to ignore air pollution except when making false claims about addressing it.

If E-P was a real engineer he would understand that magic wands only work in fairy tails and California.
If Kit P was a real engineer, he would have read something about the Wabash River Repowering Project after all the references to it.  This DOE project has been doing what Kit P says is impossible for 12 years now.
While I am not an automotive engineer
You can say THAT again.
I am more than skeptical of 80-MPG hybrids
The PNGV vehicles from GM were achieving 80 MPG back in 2000 (Chrysler's ESX-3 and Ford's Prodigy were getting 72).  That's 7 years ago.
mostly because of the lack of data on the Pius.
How many errors of reasoning are wrapped up in those 10 words?
if we were talking about energy security; Bus [sic] has promoted numerous options that should make the boys with toys crowd and watermelons giddy with delight.
I cannot help but note that Bush's immediate actions (tax preferences for gas-guzzlers) had the effect of decreasing energy security, and now that oil is heading for $100/bbl none of his measures to improve it are doing anything worthwhile.

Real engineers have to see through political and sales bulls**t.  Kit P isn't doing that, which indicates that he's a spinmeister.  I still think he's a paid troll for the fossil-fuel lobby (which seems indistinguishable from the administration these days).

fjh is either a dupe or another paid troll:

  • "Junk science" is a term invented by the PR industry; junkscience.com is the work of one Stephen Milloy, who is paid by fossil-fuel interests through various think-tanks financed by Exxon-Mobil and Peabody Energy (formerly Peabody Coal).  These people are not scientists and what they write is in direct contradiction to the science; in Milloy's previous life, he was a denialist for the tobacco industry.

  • Water vapor is indeed a greenhouse gas.  No climate scientist will disagree with that.  However, water has this habit of condensing and falling out of the atmosphere if it gets cold enough; the technical terms for this are "rain" and "snow".  The non-condensible greenhouse gases like CO2 determine the condensation threshold for water.

  • The cooling through mid-century was probably due to aerosol pollution, especially from sulfates (search for "global dimming").  This masked the effect of warming from CO2 until pollution-control measures removed lots of it.  Climate scientists have been trying to incorporate this into the models, but good data for the atmospheric burden of sulfur from 40-80 years ago is understandably hard to come by.
All of these propaganda talking points are addressed (and most refuted in detail) over on Real Climate, which is why the paid trolls are posting their propaganda on sites like this one.

Susan K

While not having the patience to read all the trolls here today, I wonder, what on earth are they doing here?

I read at this site devoted to energy solutions for the greatest problem humanity has ever faced, because I agree that we must solve the climate disaster we are creating, to survive as a species, and sometimes your news is hopeful.

But why would all these naysaying idiots be reading this blog?


They're posting here because they're paid to sow uncertainty.  Thing "agents provocateurs".



Kit P

E-P you are stupid because you make statement about your pet topics saying that Bush policy does not support them. Very clearly, I showed that your statements were false. Bush policy supports IGCC.

“Bush's policy — was to ignore air pollution except when making false claims about addressing it.”

The Bush administration enacted regulations to lower sulfur in transportation fuels and stricter regulations on coal plants. So what air pollution are you talking about? What false claims?

The Bush administration enacted regulations to lower sulfur in transportation fuels and stricter regulations on coal plants.
The 15 ppm ULSD regulations were written during the Clinton administration; here is an article from October 2000 talking about them.

On the other hand, the Bush administration created and pushed the "Clear Skies" program which would have increased future emissions over regulations then in place.  This is an example of the cynicism of Bush/Cheney; their use of language is Orwellian.  As is yours.

(aside:  Kit P's worship of Bush sure fits the fifth element in the meanings:  "The substitution of traditional religion with the adoration of the State and its Leaders and their Party.")

Bush policy supports IGCC.
Quantify the effects of that "support".
  1. How many commercial IGCC plants began construction during this administration?
  2. How many have been planned and (crucial point here) not yet cancelled?

Your support of Bush resembles N. Korean support for Kim Jong Il.  Fortunately, your "Dear Leader" is soon to be out of office (though if his own party had any respect for either the rule of law or itself, it would have impeached him already).

Kit P

Thanks E-P for providing the documentation that you lied about Bush “ignore air pollution except when making false claims about addressing it”.

Again notice that E-P does not want to discuss what he thinks are good solutions to AGW, he only want to point a finger at Bush. There is reason for this. E-P is know that his only talent is disparaging the character of others without basis.

BTW, Duke Energy (disclaimer, I own Duke stock) overcame another hurdle in building an IGCC in Indiana by getting permission from the utility commission. They still need an air permit.


Do you honestly think that calling his proposal for increased future pollution "Clear Skies" isn't ignoring the problem?

And if Bush is so great, why can't you answer two simple questions about the effects of his policies?

I understand that you might actually have to do research to answer them. That's why I know you're unlikely to give a straight answer.  And because you're just a troll, the fact that others refute you with cite after cite while you cannot support a single claim will affect you not at all.

You denialists are sick fucks.

Kit P

E-P gets confused about what we are discussing. The alternative to E-P being stupid is that he is a dishonest weasel.

"Clear Skies" is clearly addressing the issue of how we regulate pollution of from coal power plants. Bush tackled a problem that Clinton avoided. The regulations proposed by "Clear Skies" were very similar to agreements for adding pollution controls to existing coal plants in Washington State, Illinois, and Michigan (disclaimer, I have worked at competing non-coal power plants in those states). Democrat officials in those states called Bush a lier in what appeared to be an organized political campaign. Bush statements were accurate and straight forward. While Bush was providing leadership to protect the environment, dems were playing games.

IGCC without CSS is not a very good AGW solution. I do not why E-P wants to discuss IGCC in this tread. Clearly, E-P is not a student of the power plant development. When FutureGen was announced in 2003, many utilities jumped on the bandwagon. One utility that had zero experience in making electricity with coal and no access to the right kind of coal, announced a project. The Democratic state legislature deep sixed that idea. While I have just demonstrated that I can answer E-P's questions, what E-P should do is list all the IGCC have planned, the current status, and the reason for that status.

When announcements are made about power plant development, I wonder why. E-P want to figure out how he can blame Bush.

If E-P wants to discuss ghg emissions, then he should answer my question by listing good solutions to reducing AGW.Just provide a list of your solutions.


Still can't answer the questions about how many IGCC plants are in construction, or planned and not cancelled?  I found references to 13 plants as of 2000 (8 of which had schedule or cost overruns, and 2 of which had been cancelled) and another article from this year.  Unfortunately neither article named any sources for the data which made it hard to confirm, let alone get specifics.

Any plants in planning before 1/20/2001 would have to be attributed to support from Clinton/Gore, not Bush.  On the other hand, the TECO cancellation can definitely be laid at the feet of Bush.  You said you were the expert here; what gives?

Maybe it's the fact that you are "skeptical" of 80-MPG hybrids a good 7 years after they were running the roads.  Denying that they were there — and that Bush is the main reason they aren't in showrooms now — makes your "lying weasel" accusation a massive case of projection.

And as for why IGCC is relevant to AGW:

  • IGCC is more efficient than the typical coal-steam powerplant, using less fuel at the outset.
  • Oxygen-blown IGCC converts roughly 1/4 of the carbon to CO2 in the gasifier, where it goes past the sulfur scrubber before going to combustion.  The amine scrubbers pick up all acid gases, CO2 as well as H2S.  It requires extra equipment to separate the two, and co-capture and co-sequestration of both of them would cut CO2 emissions by about 25% while saving part of the plant capital cost.

Kit P

E-P toggles back and forth so often, it is hard to keep track. Each time I answer his loaded questions, he switches topics. I have shown that Bush is supporting IGCC as a choice to make electricity. I do not know why automakers are not building 80-MPG hybrids anyplace in the world. Since I have seen that promoting more fuel efficient cars in Bush priority, I suspect there is another cause.

Since E-P is too dishonest to list good ways to reduce ghg, I will go it in order of AGW actual benefit:

1.Methane capture – Bush supports
2.Nuclear power - Bush supports
3.Conservation and efficiency - Bush supports
4.Wind - Bush supports
5.Solar and all those things too small to discuss at this time - Bush supports

E-P want to debate expensive ways to make electricity that may be marginally better at reducing ghg. His claim is very weak:

“the TECO cancellation can definitely be laid at the feet of Bush.”

This topic has been discussed on this blog (10/05/07). With 61 comments. The statement form TECO:

“Primary drivers of the decision announced today include continued uncertainty related to carbon dioxide (CO2) regulations, particularly capture and sequestration issues, and the potential for related project cost increases. Because of the economic risk of these factors to customers and investors, the company believes it should not proceed with an IGCC project at this time.”

It would be interesting if someone could go into TECO's balance sheet and see if they can make more money selling coal in the EU. The price of coal on the world market since China has stopped exporting coal, is the driving factor for new nukes in the US. Florida's two major utilities have announced new nukes.

E-P can blame everything on Bush. The economics of making electricity with high BTU eastern coal has clearly changed. By reopening the nuclear option, Bush may have set the stage for IGCC to not be an economical choice in Florida.

Clearly the better environment choice (including AGW) in Florida is nuclear over coal even with CCS.

Paul Dietz

Why do you people have so much trouble to acknowledging the real culprit is water vapour and not CO2...or do you write your ptolemics while looking out of a jetplane window and dreaming up ways to destroy 'evil corporate polluters'?

Because we are not idiots, and we realize that 'being the most abundant greenhouse gas' and 'being the real culprit' are not the same thing at all.

Climate scientists know full well (typical denialist ignorance-projection notwithstanding) that water vapor is a very important greenhouse gas. They also know that, unlike CO2, its concentration in the atmosphere is a result of the behavior of the climate system, not an independent input. Water vapor is a dependent variable, and as CO2 goes up the water vapor content of the atmosphere goes up too, providing a positive feedback.

Also realize that in the upper atmosphere, water vapor is much less abundant than down near the surface, and there it is not the most important greenhouse gas (CO2 is). Making those layers of blankets 'thicker' will increase the temperature at the surface, even of the IR opacity of the air near the surface increases (relatively) much less.

Susan K

Water vapour evaporates within minutes to months...the extra CO2 we are creating by burning fossilfuels remains from centuries to millennia...

Kit P

Susan, you may want to just rely on a coy smile when science is being discussed. When water evaporates you get water vapor. That is a liquid dissolved in a gas. Water vapor is not the same a s steam which is gaseous form of water.


Paul...wrong again.

Water vapour persists in the upper atmosphere and is many times more reflective of radiated heat than CO2 when transformed into ice crystals.

CO2 stays largely at ground level where it is gobbled up by plants. Remember, the upper atmosphere is only 2-3% CO2.

Paul Dietz

CO2 stays largely at ground level where it is gobbled up by plants. Remember, the
upper atmosphere is only 2-3% CO2.

Plants absorb CO2, but decay/destruction of plants releases it right back again. The net flow of CO2 out of the atmosphere into biomass is not compensating for the continuing injection of fossil carbon. The CO2 in the troposphere gets transported up to higher altitudes on a time scale of months to years (depending on the altitude); in equilibrium the relative concentrations would be the same, or even slightly higher at high altitude, since that air, being colder, would not contain as much water vapor. Most CO2 will be in the troposphere, but that is only because most of the mass of the atmosphere is in the troposphere.

BTW, the 2-3% figure you gave is ridiculous; where do you get this nonsense? The actual figure is more than a factor of 50 lower, in the troposphere or stratosphere.

Paul Dietz

Water vapor is not the same a s steam which is gaseous form of water.

Oh good effing grief. Water vapor is a synonym for steam. They are both water molecules in the gas phase. Water vapor is not 'liquid water dissolved in a gas'; there is no liquid phase there.

The comments to this entry are closed.

. .

Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles