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

« The Beginning of the End for Coal | Main | Trina Solar Cancels $1 Billion Polysilicon Plant »

April 09, 2008



Jim, personally I was quite impressed that you had the courage to post the above article. It tells me that you are a rational individual, who is seeking to understand and not promoting an agenda.

Please do not let the Marcus's of the world intimidate you.

Al Fin

I agree, bsneath. The thing that may have concerned Jim enough to post this and previous non-alarmist articles may be that recent satellite and ground temperatures and ocean heat content measurements seem to be diverging somewhat from IPCC model predictions. Jim is open enough to look for explanations from a number of different viewpoints.

Others seem more inclined to interface with the "mother ship" (realclimate.org) for mental calibration.

It would seem that Jim is more open minded than most people of the anthropogenic warming persuasion, and no doubt that is one of the the reasons his blog is so well read, besides the fascinating energy content.

Bob Wallace

Has anyone found a *neutral* discussion of Spencer's work?

I've spent a bit of time Googling and find nothing but a repeat of the same few lines all originating from an interview with a "Dr Jennifer Marohasy".

This woman is apparently a biologist, not a climate scientist.

(There's lots and lots of stuff about how great this finding is but no, what I would call, "reasoned" discussion.)

Jack Miller

As best I recall, it was in about the fourth grade when I was taught about the feedback loops that have kept our planet roughly in balance for quite a few years. It was in the 8th grade that my teacher put ice cubes over the top edge in a glass of water and asked us to to estimate how it would take the ice to melt enough to over flow the glass. Before the "paid experts" took over, elementary school kids knew enough about the water cycle to appreciate that global warming is not a practical concern.

Thank you for going against the silly consensus.

Bob Wallace

Try this little experiment.

Take a full glass of water.

Place a couple of sticks over the top.

Place a few ice cubes on top of the sticks.

Once the ice melts you'll understand why you would have benefited by extending your science education past the 4th grade. ;o)


Oh, perhaps you need some additional information.

The Greenland and the Antarctic Ice Caps are up on land (think sticks) and not in the ocean (think glass).

Melting of the current Greenland ice sheet would result in a sea-level rise of about 6.5 meters.

Melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet would result in a sea-level rise of about 8 meters.

That's 14.5 meters, about 47.5 feet.


How's your geography?

Major cities that would go under:

(Here's a hint. Start with cities located on the ocean.)


Jack, the issue with the sea ice isn't direct sea level rise.

It's that the sea-ice brackets the on-land glaciers, preventing them from falling into the ocean.

Additionally, it's an effective thermometer to show that yes indeed, things are undeniably warming up.

But most importantly, sea ice is highly reflective. Like having gigantic mirrors on a portion of the earth which gets sunlight continuously half of the year.

Take those away, and the open ocean absorbs the heat, rather than having a bulk of it reflected away.


Well Benny, thank you for your honest attempt at putting forward evidence on this subject.

Confusingly, the graphs you put forward aren't wrong.
But! the statements about them aren't right either.


The key to this misconception is a very loose interpretation of the meaning of "now".

Both those graphs you show, end in the 1970s. And there's been a lot of warming since then.

This mis-characterization of course has been thoroughly exploited by pundits.

Hope that clears things up.

Paul F. Dietz

At this point, Gore is worse than close-minded; he has vested interest in suppressing new information, and destroying different viewpoints.

At this point, the denialists descend into frank paranoia. The migration to the utterly lunatic fringe with the Larouchites and UFO conspiracy theorists is well underweigh.


Arg, my webhost seems to be down temporarily.
Here's the youtube link from above.


Al Fin

Paul's comment at 01:28 above is an excellent example of why discussions of climate among ordinary people without scientific, engineering, or mathematical training go nowhere at all, beyond childish namecalling.

Enough of that silliness. Jim may want to read this article that looks at the general attitude toward "debate" shared by most "environmental" media interests. It is worth the time for the open-minded.

The emotions that seem to be tied up in this topic are powerful, and too easily overcome rationality.


Bob, the Milankovitch cycles are roughly 100,000 years, not 19,000 years. Don't get numbers out of your hat. Just look at any icecore data and you'll see that over the past 10,000 years, there have been many period of warming 2, 4, 5x faster than the "unprecedented" warming of the 20th century. Yeah, the theory of AGW is as bad as this.

As to Gore's attention to this blog, you're right. He couldn't care less about anything could intrude in his "settled" science. Because if he did care, he wouldn't keep hiding from any debate for years.


"Jim, personally I was quite impressed that you had the courage to post the above article. It tells me that you are a rational individual, who is seeking to understand and not promoting an agenda."

I concur.

Bob Wallace

"the Milankovitch cycles are roughly 100,000 years, not 19,000 years"

Yep, don't know where I came up with that number. Sorry.

Now can you point me to the 10,000 years of ice core data?

Benny Peak Demand Cole

I don't know if anyone is still reading, but...I just learned this. Natural release of CO2 dwarfs that of man.
The consumption of terrestrial vegetation by animals and by microbes (rotting, in other words) emits about 220 gigatonnes of CO2 every year, while respiration by vegetation emits another 220 Gt. These huge amounts are balanced by the 440 Gt of carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere each year as land plants photosynthesise.

Similarly, parts of the oceans release about 330 Gt of CO2 per year, depending on temperature and rates of photosynthesis by phytoplankton, but other parts usually soak up just as much – and are now soaking up slightly more.

Ocean sinks
Human emissions of CO2 are now estimated to be 26.4 Gt per year, up from 23.5 Gt in the 1990s, according to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in February 2007 (pdf format)

For every one part of CO2 put in the air by man, 17 parts are put in naturally.

I find this confounding!


Hi everyone, quickly scanning the comments I saw no one raise concern for the increasing levels of co2 in our oceans, which is happening now and shall be hastened by the "rain washing" effect detailed in the article. Even without climate chaos, a co2 drenched ocean system is possibly disastrous as co2 acidifies the oceans and shall impede the ability of all crustaceans to accrete calcium compounds for their shells. Warming or no warming, we have to get the co2 out of our oceans.


==For every one part of CO2 put in the air by man, 17 parts are put in naturally.==

Yeah, but Nature absorbs more than it puts out. So on a net basis, it's a net carbon sink.


And yes Ipsofactor, a carbon saturated ocean isn't a good thing.


I'm pretty new here, and I like the blogs presentation of data, but stick to the facts. Don't attack the author, even if he is a quack. Why is the data wrong? Your arguments over non-issues (Al Gore, retracted statements, brainsurgeons) shows that you yourself are hurting the credibility of this blog, not what Jim is posting.

Benny Peak Demand Cole

Jeez, why don't we just plant more plants? We can burn them to power huge steam engines, generate electricity for our PHEVs, and sequester the CO2 (CO2 briquettes can help plants grow).
This sounds a lot better than endless rules and regulations, or stomping on Third World economic growth.
And I still wonder why a relatively small man-made addition of CO2, dwarfed by natural emissions, is all that important.
It is hard enough being a liberal, without having to defend uncertain premises.
Put a flag pin on your lapel, and talk about new power plants burning American shrubbery, decreasing demand for foreign oil. That's how you get the CO2 out!
Not by holier-than-thou proclamations.


So, Benny, you completely ignored GreyFlcn's post why? It only explained why your belief in about natural CO2 emission was wrong.

Tom Arnberg

Energy Blog Post#3
Climate Change Confirmed but Global Warming is Cancelled http://thefraserdomain.typepad.com/energy/2008/04/climate-change.html
Sepp Hasslberger | April 09, 2008 at 04:16 AM : Says:
My personal collection of contrary evidence to the man-made-global-warming scenario is here:
Man-made Global Warming - The Debate is not over!
Congratulations Sepp on such an impressive (and overwhelming) collection.
I think a summary of my thoughts might be helpful to the average person. I have developed an extremely high respect for the scientists and engineers who developed nuclear science, engineering and the nuclear power industry over the past 69 years (1939-2008). In particular the following:
Hans A. Bethe (1906-2005): Head of Manhattan Project’s theoretical division; Los Alamos National Laboratory during WWII. He wrote: “I have also worked with the Union of Concerned Scientists on arms control, but I have never become a member because it also opposes the generation of nuclear power for peaceful purposes – a position with which I do not agree.”
Petr Beckmann (1924-1993): Served with the Czechoslovak squadron in the RAF during WWII. He wrote: “This is the end of the book but not of the nuclear controversy, nor of the energy crisis: the crisis that is not due to the lack of energy, but to the lack of access to it.” He wrote and published the “Access to Energy” news letter for 20 years.

Edward Teller (1908-2003): He advocated development of the hydrogen bomb (approved by President Truman in 1950), and the Strategic Defense Initiative (approved by President Reagan in 1983). On August 2, 1939 Leo Szilard, Edward Teller and Eugene Wigner visited Albert Einstein and got him to sign a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt advising of the awesome potential power of atomic energy and urging federal support.

Dixy Lee Ray (1914-1994): She championed nuclear power plant construction and refused to close nuclear defense facilities at Hanford, WA. She wrote, “During the less than 30 years of its use (1944-72), DDT prevented more human death and disease than any other man-made chemical in all of human history. DDT prevented thousands of Allied soldiers from contracting typhus during World War II and millions of people in the Third World were protected from mosquito-borne malaria in the decades of the 1950s and 1960s.”

When the great “climate change crusade” targeted “carbon emissions” I was hopeful that nuclear power would get a big boost, which it surely deserved, after all the opposition started by Ralph Nader’s Critical Mass conference in November 1974. On March 21, 1974 Ralph Nader addressed the Joint Session of the Massachusetts Legislature: “[A nuclear accident would result in] up to 100,000 deaths …” In 2004 Pete V. Domenici wrote, “…even more difficult to overcome, has been the policy of deliberate misinformation that opponents of nuclear energy employ with shameless disregard of the truth. (The Union of Concerned Scientists’ membership includes about 0.1percent of the scientists in the U.S., and Ralph Nader served as their nuclear expert.)
I was surprised when the leaders in the nuclear power industry did not embrace the greenhouse gas/global warming/climate change hysteria and use it to their advantage. Leading nuclear power advocates insist that nuclear power can and should rely on its performance record of safety, cleanliness, efficiency, cost effectiveness, etc., and not rely on the shaky, unproven theories regarding the effect of human activity on global climate change. This is mainly because the climate change phenomena are considered to be too poorly understood, and too complex for our computer models to track at the present time. (Water vapor causes 98 percent of the greenhouse effect with carbon dioxide and methane causing most of the remainder.)
Be that as it may, nuclear power is an essential aspect of our energy future and should be advanced by all means available. If environmentalists wish to support nuclear power because it does not emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, compared to coal, petroleum and natural gas, their support should be welcomed.
Sepp Hasslberger | April 09, 2008 at 04:16 AM wrote: “I don't agree with Marcus that all scientific discussion should be left to the "experts" in peer-reviewed articles and scientific journals.” Sepp, I agree with your “disagreement”. Just read the ludicrous reports of the “experts” on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), you reference above with the link: Man-made Global Warming – the Debate is not over! “Climate chaos? Don’t believe it” by Christopher Monckton (The Telegraph) makes a fairly comprehensive and compelling argument for his case. In return he is pillaged. He seems to have touched on almost everything.
I thought the most compelling argument against blaming humans for global warming came from the 400,000 year record from Antarctic ice cores. These showed that atmospheric temperature change preceded the changes in the carbon dioxide concentration. The solubility of carbon dioxide is a strong inverse function of sea water temperature, i.e. solubility is greater in cooler water. Therefore, a rising sea water temperature expels carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. “… the amount of carbon in the ocean is about 50 times greater than the amount in the atmosphere, and is exchanged with the atmosphere on a time-scale of several hundred years. … Carbon atoms are constantly being cycled through the earth's ocean by a number of physical and biological processes. … The change in the inventory of carbon dioxide in the oceans may in itself overshadow all the effects from human activity, according to a NASA Oceanography report: “The Ocean and the Carbon Cycle”.

Benjamin Cole

To Bob:
I did not ignore Grey Falcon's advice, which, if not Talmudic was Talonic. My solution of planting lots of biomass, burning it in big steam turbines, and sequestering the CO2, accomodates the (somewhat dubious) global warmsters, and generates electricity to charge up our PHEVs.
We win four ways: More power, less CO2, cleaner air and lower oil imports.
Tell Obama. Or McCain. Whoever wins.


Well, as they say, this is a case of being so open-minded your brain just fell off.


The paper mentioned is by three blokes. All the information below is in the public domain, easily found by half an hour of googling and using your common sense.

Viscount Christopher Monckton - he is a "retired business analyst", degree in Classics and diploma in journalism. He used to work for Thatcher. He was a bit brassed off some years back when they reformed the House of Lords, and all but some 100 I think had to be elected, he didn't get in so he's decided he doesn't like the new system. He once said that everyone with AIDS should be locked up. On climate change he babbles about the fucking hockey stick, claims it's solar forcing that does most global warming (which is funny since solar irradiance has declined over the past few decades) but the world isn't warming anyway, and even if it is it'll be good for us, and also he talks about this blackbody radiation equation which he reckons they didn't apply right. Yes, he is a bit muddled about what he believes.

Monckton's a member of the "Science and Public Policy Institute", run by this loon Robert Ferguson, ExxonMobil gives Ferguson $50,000 a year to run it.

Dr Vincent Gray is this old old kiwi bloke, at least he has a degree in Physical Chemistry. He's one of the founders of the NZ Climate Science Coalition (AGW deniers). They're buddies with that old fraud and friend of tobacco Dr Fred Singer, and the Lavoisier Group. I'm not sure who they're funded by.

Dr David Evans is a member of the Lavoisier Group, which was founded by Ray Evans an exec from Western Mining Corp. Like Fred Singer, Evans is aPhD in electrical engineering, though he did his MSc in maths. Evans used to work for the Australian Greenhouse Office, of all places. He worked on modelling carbon uptake in forests. It was his model which told the Aussie PM that Australia could meet its Kyoto obligations just by stopping Queensland landclearing. He says he quit "for personal reasons unrelated to my views on global warming." I think he's on a couple of mining company boards, but on a casual websearch it's hard to tell as it's not exactly an uncommon name.

So with this paper challenging the level of climate change, we're seeing three different denier groups get together, which is both interesting and scary.


Oh, and Roy Spencer is a guy who works on microwave satellites.

He's a member of the Heartland Institute, which is funded by Phillip Morris to help them in showing the world how safe cigrattes are. They've had the better part of a million bucks from Exxon-Mobil.

He's also a member of the George C. Marshall Institute, which receives funding from Exxon-Mobil and defence contractors.

Kit P

Kiashu, please explain the fugacity of CO2 in seawater. No, I did not think so. Idiots like you are entirely incapable of discussing science. Pond scum like Kiashu is good reason not to debate. The other problem the logic impaired is that they can never figure out that it is okay to insulting idiots. They want to be treated with respect when none is due.


"And yes Ipsofactor, a carbon saturated ocean isn't a good thing."

I guess we should be okay since you can't saturate the ocean anyway.


But you can saturate it to a point where the Ocean no longer supports a large groups of species. Like phytoplankton, and corals.

You can also saturate it to the point where the ocean begins slowing it's uptake of carbon, so far to the extent that it begins becoming a carbon source, rather than a carbon sink.

Al Fin

When corals evolved over 200 million years ago, atmospheric CO2 levels were much higher than at present. Presumably ocean carbonic acid levels were correspondingly higher.

Given all the extreme climate cycles corals and phytoplankton have lived through, there is nothing exceptional about the current cycle to induce such great concern.

Kit P

Mike, GreyFlcn Al Fin, please explain the fugacity of CO2 in seawater. No, I did not think so.


==When corals evolved over 200 million years ago, atmospheric CO2 levels were much higher than at present. Presumably ocean carbonic acid levels were correspondingly higher. Given all the extreme climate cycles corals and phytoplankton have lived through, there is nothing exceptional about the current cycle to induce such great concern.==

Depends what time scale you're talking about.

Over geologic timescales, would the oceans species eventually evolve to come with the change? Sure thing.

But on historical timescales, we're talking about a massive reduction in the productivity of the oceans.


And yes Kit, generally the potential of CO2 shifting from a liquid to a gas in sea water makes it attempt to leave the ocean.

At the same time there's a lot of things in the ocean that fix carbon.

At the moment, there's more fixation, than leaving the ocean. A difference of about 2%.



Anyways, we know that the ocean isn't the source of the carbon because otherwise the ocean would be getting less acidic, not more acidic.

Also we know that the CO2 is from fossil carbon, because it's deficient in C14 isotope.

And there's also been a proportional decrease in O2 atoms. Which correlates to the increase in CO2. This of course implies a combustion process is consuming the O2 and turning it into CO2.



Heck, even that "Global Warming Swindle" guy admits that the increase in CO2 has been caused by industry.


Danny Shahar

Thing is, this is an extension of a hypothesis introduced by Richard Lindzen years ago. A pretty decent introduction to the issue was put out by NASA's Earth Observatory:


Basically, the knock was that Lindzen hadn't come up with the kind of data he needed, and there were very good reasons to doubt his claims. This still seems to be the case in the latest IPCC report, where the consensus seems to be that we don't have a good enough understanding to quantify the kind of effect Lindzen hypothesized (if it exists at all). I agree that the iris hypothesis is a compelling direction for research, and so does the rest of the scientific community. It's nice to see people like Spencer working to improve our understanding. But right now, I don't think it's fair to say that global warming is "disproven."

I haven't read Spencer's study, but I can't imagine that he could possibly have come up with the kind of evidence that would permit us to reliably confirm the existence of the iris effect and to quantify its significance. Further, even if the iris effect has the kind of significance that Spencer and Lindzen postulate, it's important to realize that it doesn't mean that global warming will not happen at all. After all, the iris effect would occur as a result of warming.

So all in all, I agree that the iris hypothesis is interesting, and that it would be really great if it existed. But we shouldn't jump to too many conclusions just yet.

Tom Arnberg

Bless you Robert:
Posted by: robert anselmi | April 09, 2008 at 11:30 PM
"Let's back global warming even if untrue so we can have energy by nuclear."

I had to do a "second take" to see if you had taken it from my writings. The problem here is that the leaders of nuclear power won't use this approach. They don't want their industry to collapse when the "shaky science" underpinning: "Man is causing global warming" is proven false. In order to use the "global warming threat" to promote nuclear power I had to learn about the "tipping point theory", the 400,000 year antarctic ice core record showing that atmospheric temperature change PRECEDES the change in carbon dioxide concentration, the great Atlantic ocean conveyor belt (thermohaline circulation), reversal of the Earth's magnetic poles, the earth axis wobble, effect of cosmic rays from supernova on earth cloud cover, low-frequency oscillation in Arctic climate, the solar cycle, etc. But no one wll read a long blog!


I am not sure why there are arguments about global warming. We all know that there was global warming since the last ice age. Is the earth still warming up? May be. Is it going to cool down? Of course.
Sooner or later a new ice age will down on us.
Is man responsible for the warming and the cooling? I doubt it.


Kit P said, "please explain the fugacity of CO2 in seawater".

Fugacity is the tendency of a substance to prefer one phase (solid, liquid, gas) over another. It varies with pressure, temperature, and sometimes chemical interactions.

When CO2 dissolves in water, it reacts with it - this is indeed what "dissolves" means in chemistry - typically forming CO2(aq), H2CO3, HCO3 and CO3(2-). In seawater, the precise ratio of these species depends especially on temperature but also on alkalinity.

Seawater had an pH of 8.179 in pre-industrial times, that it is was slightly alkaline (basic). It's not 8.109, a small but significant change, largely due to carbon dioxide absorbed to form H2CO3. The significance lies in the formation of coral reefs and the shells of certain sea creatures. Since they form themselves by adsorbing carbon, they require a certain pH to be able to do so; a more acidic (lower pH) seawater will weaken shells and coral.

We don't normally speak of fugacity in relation to CO2 in seawater, but rather speak of the "solubility pump". Consider lemonade: it has CO2 bubbles in it under pressure, you let off the pressure and it fizzes - the CO2 is escaping. If the lemonade is warmed, the CO2 will escape faster; an open bottle on the table will go flat faster than one in the fridge.

Of course, seawater has far less CO2 than lemonade. So the reaction isn't as obvious.

The thing about phase changes (liquid to gas, for example) is that they're not perfectly distinct; you don't find that at 99.9C all the water is liquid, and at 100C it's all a gas (steam). Instead, as you heat it, small amounts turn from liquid to gas, even below 100C you'll find the water gradually evapourates away.

The same's true of any gases dissolved in the water, including CO2. I noted above that warm lemonade goes flat faster than cold lemonade. Just as the water is more likely to turn to gas when warm than when cold, so too is any dissolved gas more likely to come out of the solution when warm than cold. Again, this is what "fugacity" is about, but it's rarely spoken of in that way.

Anyway, all this leads to complex chemical and mathematical equations describing how seawater will let more or less CO2 in or out depending on its acidity and temperature.

Basically what we find is that as the seawater becomes more acidic, it absorbs less gas. So we put CO2 in it, it makes H2CO3 an acid, and can absorb less CO2. This is much like when you add sugar to water, it dissolves at first but after you keep adding it, eventually no more will dissolve and it just settles to the bottom; well, it's the same with CO2, except that because it's a gas instead of settling at the bottom it just stays floating around in the atmosphere. So there's a limit to how much CO2 the oceans can absorb.

Also, when dissolving sugar - a solid - in water, we find that if we heat the water, it can dissolve more solid. But the reverse is true of gases, because they evapourate out. So as the CO2 in the atmosphere contributes to global warming, we find the ability of oceans to absorb CO2 decreases; and indeed, the oceans even release some of the CO2 they already have.

I mentioned acidity and temperature as affecting CO2 and its cycle through the oceans; there remains pressure. Atmospheric pressure doesn't vary enough to make much difference globally, but water pressure does. Water under pressure is also gas under pressure, and more CO2 can be held in high pressure water. This is why we have lids on bottles of lemonade, and why they fizz when we open them - we're releasing pressure.

So one or three kilometres down, the water's under greater pressure than at the surface, and more CO2 can be dissolved in it. However, it has to get there first, and it circulates from surface water. Some of these water circulations take years.

Since the ocean is not all the same depth, but there are mountains and valleys down there, it varies from a metre to 10,000 metres deep. So this is why marine scientists spend quite literally decades studying how it all circulates.

Putting together temperature, acidity and pressure, adding in the greatly varying depth and the complex circulation of ocean currents, thermoclines and so on, and it becomes very complex indeed, and you begin to see why the IPCC's reviewed scenarios and studies mostly relegated declining carbon sinks in the oceans to a footnote.

Is this the sort of thing you wanted? Should I express it more simply for you, or would you prefer some differential equations to go with it?


Correction: "Seawater had an pH of 8.179 in pre-industrial times, that it is was slightly alkaline (basic). It's not 8.109, a small -"

should read,

"now 8.109", rather than "not".


people like to argue. It's quite fun. And CO2 science is as good as subject as any for a debate club.

But it's just a debate club in my view. Nobody really knows what to think about all this.

Congrats to both sides in expressing your points with passion and sometimes even logic.

Paul F. Dietz

Tom Arnberg wrote:

I thought the most compelling argument against blaming humans for global warming came from the 400,000 year record from Antarctic ice cores. These showed that atmospheric temperature change preceded the changes in the carbon dioxide concentration. The solubility of carbon dioxide is a strong inverse function of sea water temperature, i.e. solubility is greater in cooler water.

Tom, you need to continue to think beyond the point a comfortable assertion is made.

First, evidence that warming can occur before CO2 starts to rise is not evidence that rising CO2 cannot also cause warming (or even that CO2 did not cause most of the past warming, since CO2 starts rising well before the warming stops). After all, no one claims that CO2 is the sole factor causing the earth to have its current temperature.

What your inference would require is that the current rise in CO2 is due to warming, not due to fossil fuel consumption. And this is just obviously wrong. Not even the fossil fuel companies say this. We know how much fossil fuel is being burned (in various ways, including measurement of stable carbon isotopes and the decline of O2 in the atmosphere). We know how much CO2 this would add to the environment. And we can look, and we can see that the rate of increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is LESS than the rate of injection of CO2 by fossil fuel consumption.

Let me state that more bluntly: if fossil fuels were not being burned, atmospheric CO2 would be declining right now. This is because the atmosphere is out of equilibrium with the oceans, and there is a net flow of CO2 into the oceans.


Rick said,

"But it's just a debate club in my view. Nobody really knows what to think about all this."

Unless of course people have done some extensive reading, or have a decent science background. Then it's just a bunch of facts, and only the details are in doubt.

It's remarkable that when the issue of global warming was first brought up in the 80s, there were no "climate sceptics". Parliaments happily resolved to follow treaties, and so on. But some time in the 1990s, the fossil fuel and mining companies decided to fight back, and employed many of the same people the tobacco industry had employed to deny that tobacco was bad for you.

And suddenly every dweeb with an internet connection but who's too busy downloading pr0n to do thorough reading has an opinion, and prides himself (it's always "him") on going against whatever is the consensus.

Crazy stuff. Me, I blame Dubya and Her Majesty, who as everyone knows are reptilioids from Xyphoid Beta Six. Climate change denialism is a conspiracy by the reptilioids to make sure the planet warms, so that humans die out and they can colonise us.

Do I have evidence for this conspiracy? Of course not. That's because when you have a conspiracy you hide it! So the absence of evidence is PROOF the conspiracy is real.


That article quite sincerely seems like a load of utter bullshit.


NZ Climate skeptics Coalition:


How about you simply take the scientific position. There's the null-hypothesis "the climate is not changing, tomorrow's weather will be the same as today"* Anything that differs from the null-hypothesis, the scientific attitude is "I doubt it". Meaning you do what this paper is doing ... you try to prove em wrong. If this works (e.g. a prediction they make doesn't pan out), like in this case, then the IPCC gets to cancel all it's theories, apologize, and restart. If the IPCC does not retract it's claims, then they're out, and you never again believe a word they say. As it might as well have been "madame future" who made the prediction. * incidentally weather prediction models use this : tomorrow's weather correlates 80% with today's

Kit P

Earlier I concluded Kiashu was 'Pond scum' and 'logic impaired.'

He further reinforced my opinion with “Me, I blame Dubya ...”

I find science very interesting until it is used for baseless personal attack. I will point out that my personal attack of Kiashu is not baseless. It is based on his writing. While Kiashu has the right to demean the president of the United States, it is not a right that he has earned.

However, since Kiashu did a fair job of explaining the fugacity of CO2 in seawater so I will take the time to explain science to him. Fugacity is a property that is used in for very low concentration in solution.

Kiashu wrote, “Again, this is what "fugacity" is about, but it's rarely spoken of in that way.”

As a environmental engineer, I agree. Atmospheric gas dissolved in water is a very important topic in environmental engineering especially when wastewater treatment. If I was performing a calculation, I would be able to find lots of references. And no, “Should I express it more simply for you, or would you prefer some differential equations to go with it?” No but you can address me a 'sir' until you have a little more experience.

However, fugacity is the correct term when as Kiashu wrote, “So this is why marine scientists spend quite literally decades studying how it all circulates.”

Terms like fugacity are a dividing line between the BS artist and an informed debate. Kiashu wrote, “ ....and you begin to see why the IPCC's reviewed scenarios and studies mostly relegated declining carbon sinks in the oceans to a footnote.”

No actually, the complexity of science is what makes it interesting. As someone who has used differential equations to quantify rates of change, I would kind of like to know what the rate of decline is. When we graph the change, do we scale the x-axis in years or ice ages.

I keep coming to the conclusion that we do know the significance of AGW.

Then we get crap like this, Kiashu wrote, “So the absence of evidence is PROOF the conspiracy is real.”

Actually I have proof. The Bush admin has made AGW a priority from the beginning. It is stated in the NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY, May 2001. Clearly there is a conspiracy claiming Bush is denying AGW and Kiashu is part of it. Maybe Kiashu would like to debate the merits of the failed Kyoto plan compared what Bush is promoting?

Al Fin

Tom, they cannot afford to approach this issue scientifically. In their minds, it has to be about conspiracies by governments and fossil fuels companies--they cannot proceed beyond their smug assertions to the difficult thinking that science requires.

Skeptical, scientific thinking requires creating falsifiable hypotheses, then going about trying the falsify them. That is the opposite of the current quasi-religious orthodoxy of politicized climate science--where you curse the deniers and metaphorically burn them at the stake.

But you are correct that in reality, the debate--the scientific debate--is ongoing. If the newspapers (and the usual suspects) want to pretend otherwise, that is their right in free societies. But when newspapers are so clearly biased, alternative media is certain to grow at their expense.

Tom Arnberg

Posted by: Paul F. Dietz | April 13, 2008 at 12:58 AM :
“Tom, you need to continue to think beyond the point a comfortable assertion is made. …
Let me state that more bluntly: if fossil fuels were not being burned, atmospheric CO2 would be declining right now. This is because the atmosphere is out of equilibrium with the oceans, and there is a net flow of CO2 into the oceans.”
Agreed, and I try to. Which you probably surmised, and why you took the time to comment. Thank you.
As a staunchly pro-nuclear advocate, I need every “sound” argument I can find to support the continued advancement and deployment of nuclear power plants. Too bad there are no “simple” sound arguments.
Historically the “deployment” (debatably) got too far ahead of “advancement” in some cases (e.g. 1967, Fermi 1, a small fast breeder reactor in Michigan-melted down). But we have learned from the mistakes, and are still advancing rapidly along the learning curve.
Clearly, there is a greenhouse heating effect from the co2 in the atmosphere, and logically, adding lots more by burning coal by the train loads must increase the concentration and the heating effect. It is also quite clear now that the atmosphere is heating up, probably more than can be attributed to natural causes. But these are complex matters, and will continue to be debated. If we have already passed the “tipping point”, then we may be in for real trouble. I recommend massive world-wide deployment of generation III+ reactors, now, and recycling used nuclear fuel,now.
I welcome the news that Jay Harris, publisher of Mother Jones (long time hard-hitting investigative environmental magazine) is now promoting the “green benefits of nuclear power”. He joins Dr. Patrick Moore, founding member of Greenpeace. Staunch anti-nuclear types such as “No Nukes activist” Harvey Wasserman, and Mike Moore, retired editor of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, are near hysterics (“…an outrage … criminal …)
It is nice to see the recent comments to be more technically and scientifically oriented, as contrasted with all the “bad words”, “name calling”, and "personal attacks" in the past. (Incidentally, is “old old” supposed to be an insult or a compliment?)


To anyone who thinks they understand the carbon cycle: Please explain why we see a linear increase in atmospheric concentration despite rising emissions. Please explain how nature is able to sock away more and more carbon every year and thus keep the rate of increase constant.


Subject aside, Patrick Moore simply isn't a credible person.

He is a fullblown professional greenwashing consultant, and has been for the last 3 decades.

From factory farming, to clear cutting, to toxic chemicals. He's your man, if you want to make it seem like your operation is green when it's not.

Even if you take the assumption that Nuclear is a good idea, it's rather pathetic if Patrick Moore is the best spokesman you can come up with.


Interesting that issue was taken with my saying "I blame Dubya", but not with my saying that Dubya was a reptilioid from another planet. This really shows the reading comprehension ability of deniers and the depth of their critical thinking.

I was JOKING, mocking your conspiracy theories with my own. Dubya is not responsible for our carbon emissions, we are.

If Kit P is an "environmental engineer", and if by this he means something more than "I tune up airconditioning units", then I'll be interested to see his contributions to scientific journals, or projects he's worked on, or perhaps his CV.

Now me, I don't think you need particular qualifications before you can speak about such issues. But if you're going to make a big deal of your own qualifications, claiming you're an environmental engineer or "leading climate scientist" (like the guys quoted in the article) then you've brought the qualifications issue up. You're saying qualifications are important. So let's have 'em.


Kiashu I think you hit the nail on the head. Not sure how long you have been reading this forum but Kit basically has this need to call everyone names and try and prove just how smart he is. My own theory is his life is pretty pathetic and that is the only way he can feel like a real man.

Now the first couple of posts, which Kit found the need to call me an idiot, dealt with solar power. I am in the industry and work at one of the largest plants in the world. Well at that time Kit said he was once a power plant operator and implied it had not been that long ago. Now it was pretty obvious that he was not but never tried to correct me when I referred to him as one.

Another of his favorite things to do is to refer to all that places he has lived and basically tell you how stupid everyone in California is or really anyone who does not think our idiot leader is a god. If you notice one thing about his posts he is always very careful not to say what state he actually lives in. He will always say the State next to mine or some stupidity like that. That way he can call others names but not have to defend himself. I am guessing it is in one of those areas where cousins tend to breed. This may explain his personality.

Kiashu I am guessing by now you have figured out there is no actually having a discussion with Kit. If you don’t agree with him he will take any small point and twist it until it makes absolutely no since. My favorite of his recent comments is that because California does not use coal, but has pollution, coal must not be a problem. By his logic I could say that if I have asthma but do not smoke, then cigarettes must be ok.

Now I have no idea on what Kit did for a living (he has said several times he is old so I will assume he is retired) but he was always very careful not to say what he actually did. Now I don’t read all of his posts so I may have missed something but the other day was the first time I saw him mention he was an engineer. He did it a couple of times until someone made him look like a fool for one of his global warming statements. Now all the sudden he is an “environmental” engineer which seems more than a little suspect to me.

I don’t really have a problem with Kit and his point of view. Quite often I actually agree with him. I do have to wonder just how insecure he must be with himself to have to call everyone names. There are many who post on here who obviously don’t have a clue, one of the reasons I stay out of the global warming arguments, but I just can’t for the life of me figure out why he needs to make himself feel better by calling them names. I also wonder why he is always so vague when he talks about his own life. It seems to me he likes to give himself plenty of room to be an “expert” on pretty much anything.

Kit P

First off Steve, I am careful not to talk about my present job because my multinational company has a public relations department and it is not my job to promote my company. The reason I am an expert on many things is because I have made a point to become an expert on things I like doing. The reason I know about many different places is that I have lived more than 30 different places.

When I was busing tables at my favorite restaurant in Idaho, I customers was surprised to find out I was an engineer and just another customer. While I could have complained to the manager about the service, I decided to put on an apron and help out. Expert.

When I saw a bus load of French tourist unload for breakfast at a Utah restaurant, I looked up at the BUN machine because I had already noticed the very sweet Mormon college girls did not have a clue about coffee. Why would they? Five minutes later I was serving the French tourist coffee the way they like it. Expert. Who makes better coffee, the French, Spanish, or Italians?

I have lived on and off in California between 1960 and 1993. Between 10 years in the US Navy, GE, SMUD, and Duke; I have more than 25 years experience in and around California as an engineer. I have taken environmental courses through UC Davis and completed all the requirements for Masters in Environmental Engineering at Washington State. I did not publish my masters thesis because it became a business plan for developing renewable energy.

Steve is an economist. It is not the first time I have disagreed with economist on engineering matters. If a been counter would tell me I used their spread sheet incorrectly, I would listen because I like being right and will take all the help I can get. Steve does not like being told he is wrong. This make him an idiot. Get over it fella, I really do not care about your feelings.

Steve has been critical in the past, even calling me a racist. I do go back a look to see if I was wrong or made an error in writing. Each time I conclude Steve is an idiot.

Steve wrote, “California does not use coal ...”

Steve is wrong. California utilities use lots of coal, they just burn it in other states. How do I know? S. David Freeman told me. Then in looked it up in the annual report of LADWP. I can do the same for SCE and SDG&E. We can assume that Steve knows how to read annual reports, he is just too lazy.

Steve does not know much about environmental science. He talks bout pollution, asthma, and AGW in the same breath. Steve wrote, “By his logic I could say that if I have asthma but do not smoke, then cigarettes must be ok.”

Steve again you are wrong. This is not my logic.

Here is my logic. AGW is a global problem. It does not matter where you burn fossil fuel. If your plan is to import LNG to make electricity and LCA shows it has the same ghg emissions as coal, then LNG is not any better than coal. You logic phials should note the carefully crafted 'if-then' statement.

Local air pollution is a different issue. Making electricity with LNG in impacted air basin, will not reduce pollution, just make it worse. Clee recently posted some pie charts showing that generation of electricity is a tiny fraction of emissions.

I think root cause analysis (RCA) and LCA are good tools for solving problems because it works not because I am an expert. For those of you who think root blame analysis and magic wand waving age good ways to solve problems, I will keep calling you idiots. Get used to it or change.

For those of you that think character assignation is a good debating technique, I will keep calling you idiots. Get used to it or change.


Not only is global warming real and present it can cause More illness and death resulting from heat waves, cause more respiratory and cardiovascular disease and Vector-borne disease infections, changing food production and security may cause hunger, more severe and frequent wildfires will threaten more people, flooding linked to rising sea levels will displace millions!


Kit P,

While I appreciate some of your views, I'm unsure why anyone would want to call you 'sir'. You clearly hold little respect for others ('pond scum', 'do not care about your feelings', 'idiots') and I must admit that I occasionally dismiss (i.e. don't read) your posts specifically because of this.

Your last sentence says it all. Maybe you intend it to be facetious, or ironic, but it comes off as neither. I think on this one, I'm wondering the same thing as Steve: why so caustic?

The comments to this entry are closed.

. .

Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles