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U.S. Energy Secretary Chu looks to innovation to solve warming crisis

Dire predictions, innovative technologies top list for new energy strategy outlined Friday at SLAC

Predicting dire consequences if the country conducts "business as usual," U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu outlined a set of new energy-policy goals during a visit in Menlo Park on Friday.

During a two-hour lecture at times punctuated with humor, Chu told SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory scientists that science and innovation will be necessary to solve the world's energy needs and to control global warming.

To help that effort, the Department of Energy (DOE) science budget will double in the next 10 years, with basic research into new energy systems and energy efficiency receiving the lion's share of the funding, he said.

The national strategy must combine new technologies and conservation, with a goal to transform the nation's energy infrastructure, he said.

In addition, the United States must collaborate with developing nations to create new, clean technologies if the world is to reduce carbon emissions as those countries grow economically, Chu said.

The trajectory of global warming is moving at a faster rate than anticipated, he said during a Power Point presentation of charts and graphs.

Heavier precipitation, which has already begun, will cause catastrophic floods and rains in the wrong places or at the wrong times, including when farmers need to plant their crops, Chu said.

"The change would be much bigger than in the 1930's," he said, showing images of the Dust Bowl.

Between 1958 and 2007, rains significant enough to cause flooding increased 67 percent in the Northeast, 31 percent in the Midwest and 9 percent in the West, according to data.

But drought and higher temperatures for significantly longer portions of the year will also occur, he said.

"There is a very high vulnerability in the chance of fertile lands becoming desert. In the whole western edge of the U.S., desert lines will migrate," he said.

In Midwest cities such as St. Louis, Mo., one-third of the year -- 120 days -- will be above 90 degrees.

The real danger with global warming will be the tipping point, he said. As polar ice caps melt, the thaws could expose microbes, which would release carbon dioxide in quantities that would outstrip any reductions humans could make in their carbon-dioxide emissions.

"For the first time in human history, science has shown that we are altering the destiny of our planet. At no other time in the history of science have we been able to say what the future will be 100 years from now.

"It's quite alarming. Every year looks more alarming. … An irony of climate change is that the ones who will be hurt the most are the innocent -- those yet to be born," he said.

But, he said, now is not the time for fatalism but rather hope.

"The message is not one of doom and gloom but of optimism and opportunity," he said.

In the face of monumental challenges, Chu said innovation can create significant positive changes, if the country is willing to stride in new directions. And scientists will be on the forefront of the new industrial age, he said.

"I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it's been," he said, quoting ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky.

Among goals Chu has outlined are:

• Improving energy efficiency in buildings

• Using reflective materials on roofs and pavement

• Rebuilding the country's electrical grid

• Developing energy-research "hubs"

• Improving turbines and energy storage

• Increasing wind-power and battery efficiency

• Technology collaborations with developing nations

Even low-tech approaches can make significant changes, he said. Geo-engineering, such as retrofitting urban roofs with solar-reflective materials and turning blacktop roads to light gray, would be the equivalent of "taking all cars off the road for 11 years," he said.

Buildings consume more than 40 percent of the nation's energy and should be designed "as a total integrated computer system, the way airplanes are designed," with computerized systems and sensors to maximize efficiency and reduce carbon output, he said.

Current LEED energy-efficiency requirements are not based on a building's future energy performance but on design, leaving them inefficient, he said.

In the same way computer systems maximize energy in cars, "smart" systems in homes could also regulate energy use. Such buildings can save 80 percent of energy with a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions, he said.

The federal government could also provide carrot-and-stick incentives for builders and home sellers to upgrade older structures. The Federal Housing Authority should require a record of last year's utility bill of a prospective home before approving a loan, Chu said.

Nearly $4 billion will be used to help modernize the country's electrical grid, he said.

To develop a "smart" grid -- one that can manage the inputs and outputs of energy -- a standardized, sophisticated electronic communication system must be in place. Currently, there are about 80 different standards used, he said.

For the past two years, energy suppliers have done nothing to move integration forward, Chu said, and thus he has given companies an ultimatum of sorts.

"Companies must develop standards soon, or we will do it," he said.

As to sources of power, wind energy could supply 20 percent of the nation's power, he said. Smart grids and large-scale energy storage are needed to deal with various energy sources.

He did not rule out nuclear energy, saying the nuclear-waste issue is solvable. Chu said he would like to see the regulatory approval time for nuclear-power plants reduce.

Energy-innovation hubs, where business partnerships and science and technology divisions are housed in one place, could create a progression of inventions to solve the nation's needs, Chu told the scientists.

Using Bell Labs as an example, Chu said such hubs spawn "transformative innovations." Bell Labs progressed from vacuum tubes to the transistor to digital transmission and switching to the creation of lasers, solar cells and digital-signal processors, which are found in everything from wireless phones to DVD players, he said.

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Comments

2 people like this
Posted by john derrick
a resident of Los Altos
on Jun 28, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Global warming is not the most important issue in the world - sorry..
There are reasons that the earth has been a bit warmer lately, good news considering in the late 1970's we thought we were going to have global cooling and another ice age, and they are predominantly not related to mankind. Rather, they are..
1) The sun does not create a constant amount of output (scientifically proven & tracked)
2) The earth's position (distance) is not constant.
3) The earth's pitch (wobble) is not constant.
4) The solar wind is not constant (critically important in the creation clouds)
5) Human-related carbon dioxide is not the only source..

Global cooling has already killed millions in our recent recorded history (starvation, plagues, and other medieval events). Global warming has not. Human induced global warming hasn't even been proven. When you read this and react, realize that the Mars has warmed far more than earth. Did our pollution has any effect on Mars, no.. It is primarily a "problem" with variation in the sun's output.

I do not believe is pollution and I believe we must conserve, but conserve in a rational manner for rational reasons. We must focus on preservation of human value, opportunity, and reduce globalization and government meddling..


2 people like this
Posted by newyankee
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 28, 2009 at 11:25 pm

As a retired Stanford physicist, I disagree with Dr Chu and totally agree with john derrick, especially point 1) about periodic variations in solar energy output. It is sad that there is so little science ever debated in the public forum about global warming. I doubt that Dr. Chu would ever agree to a public debate and explain why he discounts john’s point. Most physicists are scientists, but some are politicians.


2 people like this
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 28, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Carrot and stick? Suuurre! Want to guess the ratio of carrots to sticks? This man scares me/


2 people like this
Posted by An Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 29, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Will newyankee, john derrick, or both, explain why global temperatures rise while solar irradiation falls? Have we a novel energy source here, or merely a violation of the first law of thermodynamics?


2 people like this
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Generally, An Engineer, what we have is imaginative plotting, driven by grantsucking. My challenge to the Hansen hustlers has been to, using their own magic box program, demonstrate the difference in end conditions each of their nostrums will make. Throwing virgins and the economy into volcanoes without evidence of effect is wasteful and foolish.


2 people like this
Posted by Martin Bensky
a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm

"...did not rule out nuclear.." Gimme a break! If you look at the record you'll discover that Dr. Chu is only a recent convert to skepticism about Yucca Mountain, and he knows d__n well that it and many other geologic sites could protect us in complete safety for eternity. Nuclear power is totally safe, and even if global warming is totally fictitious or has no man-made component at all, nuclear electricity and electric cars will reduce or eliminate our dependence on oil from countries that hate us. This would be a no-brainer if the demogogic politicians and ersatz environmentalists would get out of the way.


2 people like this
Posted by Elton Sherwin, VC
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm

We are lucky to have Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy.

His remarks are spot on.


2 people like this
Posted by An Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm

"Throwing virgins and the economy into volcanoes without evidence of effect is wasteful and foolish."

That's the state of American science literacy in a nutshell. Issue a scientific challenge, and back comes voodoo mumbo jumbo about virgins and volcanoes.


2 people like this
Posted by cyberchem
a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I am certainly glad that we have the technology to measure existing conditions of our environment for a short geologic period. Isn't it interesting the amount of effort that is going into making those measurements all agree with the ground based temperature sensors affected by poor placement and increasingly encroaching heat pads of asphalt, etc.? Too bad we don't have equal data quality in the debunked tree ring proxy used by the IPCC and Mr. Gore.

Energy independence has nothing to do with windmills unless we can divert this variable to nil source into our automobile fuel tanks. Fossil fuels are finite and as such that issue should be the only one of relevance.

Global warming is occurring, has been for 10,000 years. It's had a brief respite the last decade compared to the grand solar maximum of the latter 20th, but all that is a forest and trees issue for which we need centuries of data. Seems the flora and fauna have adapted nicely over the last 10k, including the polar bears.

In some sense, the denial of more than adequate geologic retrievable storage is a blessing. Maybe now we can get on with reprocessing used nuclear fuel to get more than the current once through 5% out of it.


2 people like this
Posted by An Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 29, 2009 at 8:11 pm

"Maybe now we can get on with reprocessing used nuclear fuel to get more than the current once through 5% out of it."

I presume you mean plutonium recovery. All you need is a viable reactor design to burn it. All we got are heavily subsidized turkeys.


2 people like this
Posted by An Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 29, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Correction, I left out the most common plutonium burning mechanism: bombs. In practice, however, they have been only very expensive storage devices.


2 people like this
Posted by newyankee
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2009 at 10:55 pm

To An Engineer

“That's the state of American science literacy in a nutshell. Issue a scientific challenge, and back comes voodoo mumbo jumbo about virgins and volcanoes.”

Sir, your “scientific challenge” is in want of merit. You received an appropriate response.


2 people like this
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Follow the money,
Gore and his partners stand to profit massively from this scam.
Maddoff ran his pyramid scheme for 25 yrs,
Gores is bigger and could be longer unless we stop it now.


2 people like this
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 30, 2009 at 7:05 am

Yup, I have added to my Govt Ponzi list..Cap and Trade.. ( Tax and Kill) ..millions of lost jobs here as they get transferred out of the nation, trillions in decreased GDP, gosh, can't wait to do all that so that greenies can make a few bucks and feel good.

Spain just announced that for every "green" job it "produced" with its Cap and Trade ( put in place by THEIR socialist Pres elected a few years back), they lost 2.2 private sector jobs. They are re-thinking their "strategy".

Now THAT's "trading" prosperity for poverty, isn't it?

So..now
Cap and Trade
Social Security
Medicare

and to some extent, every "wealth transfer" to healthy people capable of working themselves is a Ponzi scheme.

Eventually, the money runs out from the motivated as they lose motivation to support everyone else ...

And after we have killed the geese that lay the eggs, how are we going to make omelettes?

This guy, Chu, is doing what most of us would do if we could, so I can't blame him..maybe he is a true believer, or maybe he is just smart and progressing his career and making a bundle, but unfortunately he is doing it truly on the backs of the American people, by pushing to lose jobs, and increase the prices of everything we buy. All on extremely iffy "science" that this Admin won't even allow to have dissenting science viewpoints.

But, Chu won't care, he will make enough to deal with the increasing prices, and never worry about finding work again for the rest of his life.


2 people like this
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 30, 2009 at 8:11 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Just as slavers had no problem appointing overseers from among their slave holdings, charlatans who would scam the public have no problem finding Hansens, Sagans and Chus to front their schemes.


2 people like this
Posted by An Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 30, 2009 at 9:48 am

"Sir, your “scientific challenge” is in want of merit. You received an appropriate response."

That canned blowoff wouldn't cut it on a university exam, let alone in a professional challenge. However, I don't blame anybody on this forum who declines my challenge; the scientific response is diametrically contrary to the political formula.

(Actually, there is a scientific option that would save your bacon, but I don't expect you'd know it.)


2 people like this
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 30, 2009 at 4:54 pm



The Telegraph describes how a polar bear expert has been banned from attending a conference in his field in Copenhagen because his views are inimical to the orthodoxy on “global warming”.
The news story says:Web Link

"Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee.
More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. …
Taylor agrees that the Arctic has been warming over the last 30 years.
But he ascribes this not to rising levels of CO2 – as is dictated by the computer models of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and believed by his PBSG colleagues –
but to currents bringing warm water into the Arctic from the Pacific and the effect of winds blowing in from the Bering Sea. …

Dr Taylor had obtained funding to attend this week’s meeting of the PBSG, but this was voted down by its members because of his views on global warming. ....

Dr Taylor was told that his views running “counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful”.
His signing of the Manhattan Declaration – a statement by 500 scientists that the causes of climate change are not CO2 but natural, such as changes in the radiation of the sun and ocean currents – was “inconsistent with the position taken by the PBSG”.


2 people like this
Posted by newyankee
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 30, 2009 at 11:47 pm

This is another example of the repression real science:

Web Link

I read Carlin’s report, well done real science, but not politically correct.


2 people like this
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 1, 2009 at 8:06 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Measurement and instrument calibration were a specialty early on in my engineering career. That was why the whistle blew when I read an article about Urban Heat Island Correction Factors. The subjective application of those factors renders the answer speculative.


2 people like this
Posted by An Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2009 at 10:03 am

The subjective application of those factors [Urban Heat Island Correction Factors] renders the answer speculative.

Subjective interpretation of any data renders the result invalid. "Skepticism" about global warming is based entirely on subjective interpretation of the data, guided by politics.

I'm intrigued by the references to urban heat islands on this thread. Surely the "skeptics" are not conceding that climate might have an anthrogenic component, even locally. It's only a short ways down that slippery slope to admitting that an anthrogenic component exists in global climate. Or do they subjectively limit their concession to local anthrogenic climate impacts?


2 people like this
Posted by Surgeon General?
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 1, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Maybe the Energy Secretary, or some of the local Advisors heading to DC, can ask the Pres at their next meeting when we are going to have a Surgeon General? Will it be in time for the next health scare? I am a little more concerned about viruses flaming through our nation than I am about the now non-existent global warming flaming us up.


2 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 1, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Viruses are from that other discredited science hoax called the germ theory of disease that the medical establishment cooked up to make money, and their back at the government trof with it right now to get more money. Disease comes from bad blood not germs. You have to let it out to get well.


2 people like this
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 2, 2009 at 3:27 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

The output of the Urban Heat Island Correction Factors are the input to Hansen's magic box, a box not calibrated against reality. My evaluation of the empirical formulae to size wiers and orifice plates was by measuring various rates of flow into a tank.
Global Climate Change, like its predecessors Global Warming, New Ice Age and The Yellow Peril, are bloody shirts to enrage and thus control the masses.


2 people like this
Posted by An Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 2, 2009 at 10:03 am

"The output of the Urban Heat Island Correction Factors are the input to Hansen's magic box, a box not calibrated against reality."

Urban Heat Islands bias thermometers upwards, right? So it seems to me that an Urban Island Heat Correction Factor would remove degrees from the reported temperature, tending it toward cooling. I think you might want to believe in Urban Island Heat Correction Factors; they move the results toward the conclusion you want.

BTW, I was perusing some more solar-terrestrial data last night, and I'm still wondering how the global temperature could be rising while the the solar energy input is falling. I mean, the sun's our prime major principal heater, right? Either we gotta rethink the first law of thermodynamics (a Nobel prize and vast wealth awaits whoever does), or there's some kind of heat retention blanket operating.

So I'll renew my challenge to explain this phenomenon. Let's see if we can do better than virgins in volcanoes this round.


2 people like this
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 2, 2009 at 10:24 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

A/E, don't know what or if you are arguing with me. I concur with your observation on solar, also known as the SUVs on Mars phenomenon. I just add to the antiGore argument a specific within my particular expertise. Between 1955 and 1958 I took most of the weather readings for Trona, California, where I also was responsible for establishing accuracy of measurement of critical process variables. Hansen treats less than sliderule accuracy as if it is 5 9's when it suits his purpose.


2 people like this
Posted by An Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 2, 2009 at 12:08 pm

"A/E, don't know what or if you are arguing with me."

The word is debating.

Yeah, I've read a few thermometers myself, but that doesn't make me a professional climatologist or a competent critic of one. I can't tell what you mean by your slide rule accuracy comment (although I still have 3 of those), but I do recommend you educate yourself on the variance of the mean concept. Hint: add a random relative error to each data point and watch what happens to it.

Meantime, my challenge stands unanswered. I'm forced to conclude that either the anti-warming crowd lacks the scientific competence to address it, or they got it and consider the answer an inconvenient truth.


2 people like this
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2009 at 12:52 pm

newyankee,

You may be interested to know that Carlin's report was never commissioned and, for that matter, Carlin's not any kind of hard scientist. He's an economist.

Web Link

"But it's hard to blame EPA for not paying much attention to the study. And it's more than a little ironic that DC Republicans have chosen its author as their new standard-bearer in the defense of pure science against politics. Because the author, EPA veteran Al Carlin, is an economist, not a climate scientist. EPA says no one at the agency solicited the report. And Carlin appears to have taken up the global warming topic largely as a hobby on his own time. In fact, a NASA climatologist has called the report -- whose existence was first publicized last week by the industry-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) -- "a ragbag collection of un-peer reviewed web pages, an unhealthy dose of sunstroke, a dash of astrology and more cherries than you can poke a cocktail stick at."


2 people like this
Posted by An Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 2, 2009 at 1:17 pm

OhlonePar

That is a fascinating revelation. I read Carlin's paper from a scientific viewpoint and, although my reaction is less colorful that the one you quoted, I found it one of the most egregious pieces of pseudoscience I've ever seen. Its "facts" are mostly cherry-picked (or possibly invented on the spot) to support his foregone conclusion.

If this is typical economists' practice, then nobody should be surprised at the economic mess we're in. On the bright side, airline passengers should be very glad Carlin is not an aeronautical engineer.


2 people like this
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2009 at 1:51 pm

An Engineer,

Yeah, here are some comments on it from a climatologist blog:

Web Link

The irony of all of this is that last week's New Yorker has a profile of NASA scientist James Hansen whose work on global warming *was* suppressed by the Bush administration--and he's a real climatologist.

Web Link

Unfortunately, reading about his background doesn't make me feel better--his predictions are A) pretty dire and B) have a history of being right.

Politically, what bugs me is that the Republicans don't have to be in thrall to the right-wing deniers. The party had, until Bush and Reagan, a decent record on the environment dating back to Theodore Roosevelt--and that includes the conservative wing (Goldwater) Instead of pretending that there couldn't possibly be anything like man-made global warning, they should be debating how to handle it--so a debate over free-market solutions v. government-mandated solutions would be relevant and quite possibly truly productive.

The "debate" over the science isn't really much of a debate--it's a way for right-wingers to avoid dealing with a big, bad consequence. If you pretend there's a real debate, you can tell yourself it will all go away. Magical thinking at its most destructive.


2 people like this
Posted by An Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 2, 2009 at 2:55 pm

OhlonePar

Thanks for the references. I've pondered the Republican transformation too. Nixon looks so good in retrospect.

I believe the current situation is the logical outcome of the famous Southern Strategy of the 70s and 80s, in which the party tossed its principles in its desperation to survive after the Goldwater and Watergate debacles. To paraphrase an old commercial slogan, it's not our father's GOP. Nor mother's. However, I think this incarnation is near its end. The GOP's race to the bottom has reached its goal and has very few options left. The world has changed.

The scorn for climate science parallels the earlier disinformation crusade by the tobacco industry. In this case the commercial interests that launched the climate backlash are learning how to survive and profit in a low-carbon emissions environment, so they've made the sound business decision to adapt. However, like the sorcerer's apprentice, they cannot easily turn off their creation, which now has its own momentum and which the dying Republican Party cynically nurtures and incites as part of its dwindling base. Fortunately, we have a science-friendly administration.

It's curious that humans are the only species intelligent enough to predict the consequences of their actions, foresee disasters in time to mitigate them, and then misapply their intelligence to deny the fruits of their intelligence.


2 people like this
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm

An Engineer,

Interesting comparison to the tobacco industry. Wonder what it's going to take this time? With cigarettes, it's been one long battle of attrition. And the oil industry is a lot bigger than tobacco ever was.

Also, while quitting smoking has only positive consequences, dealing with global warming doesn't have an easy fix--it can't be business as usual. I think on one level accepting that global warming is real, man-made and serious is more than a little scary. One of the very negative consequences of the degradation of political debate in this country is that we're not dealing with the issue effectively. The Hansen article points out that Hansen thought when he brought the issue to the government's attention that they would deal with it the way other environmental concerns had been dealt with--quickly and efficiently--as with the hole in the ozone layer and acid rain.

As a constituency, we've gotten a bit fat and lazy--and our politicians do anything to avoid tough choices. We're kind of seeing an extreme version of that with the state budget collapse.

And while the current incarnation of the GOP has raced to the bottom, I have concerns about skittish Democrats. They sort of act like a battered ex-spouse--still afraid of getting strong-armed by Republicans and the right-wing propaganda machine.


2 people like this
Posted by Don
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 2, 2009 at 8:20 pm

"I found it one of the most egregious pieces of pseudoscience I've ever seen. Its "facts" are mostly cherry-picked (or possibly invented on the spot) to support his foregone conclusion."

OK, An Engineer, here is your chance to shine. Please point out the "egregious pieces" . Be specific.

To this point, you and OhlonePar are talking politics, not scicence, not even pseudoscience.

The ball is in your court.


2 people like this
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Don,

Take a look at my first link in my previous post--it covers some of the basic problems with the Carlin paper.

Here's an excerpt:

"One can see a number of basic flaws here; the complete lack of appreciation of the importance of natural variability on short time scales, the common but erroneous belief that any attribution of past climate change to solar or other forcing means that CO2 has no radiative effect, and a hopeless lack of familiarity of the basic science of detection and attribution.

"But it gets worse, what solid peer reviewed science do they cite for support? A heavily-criticised blog posting showing that there are bi-decadal periods in climate data and that this proves it was the sun wot done it. The work of an award-winning astrologer (one Theodor Landscheidt, who also thought that the rise of Hitler and Stalin were due to cosmic cycles), a classic Courtillot paper we’ve discussed before, the aforementioned FoS web page, another web page run by Doug Hoyt, a paper by Garth Paltridge reporting on artifacts in the NCEP reanalysis of water vapour that are in contradiction to every other reanalysis, direct observations and satellite data, a complete reprint of another un-peer reviewed paper by William Gray, a nonsense paper by Miskolczi etc. etc. I’m not quite sure how this is supposed to compete with the four rounds of international scientific and governmental review of the IPCC or the rounds of review of the CCSP reports….

"They don’t even notice the contradictions in their own cites. For instance, they show a figure that demonstrates that galactic cosmic ray and solar trends are non-existent from 1957 on, and yet cheerfully quote Scafetta and West who claim that almost all of the recent trend is solar driven! They claim that climate sensitivity is very small while failing to realise that this implies that solar variability can’t have any effect either. They claim that GCM simulations produced trends over the twentieth century of 1.6 to 3.74ºC - which is simply (and bizarrely) wrong (though with all due respect, that one seems to come directly from Mr. Gregory). Even more curious, Carlin appears to be a big fan of geo-engineering, but how this squares with his apparent belief that we know nothing about what drives climate, is puzzling. A sine qua non of geo-engineering is that we need models to be able to predict what is likely to happen, and if you think they are all wrong, how could you have any faith that you could effectively manage a geo-engineering approach?

"Finally, they end up with the oddest claim in the submission: That because human welfare has increased over the twentieth century at a time when CO2 was increasing, this somehow implies that no amount of CO2 increases can ever cause a danger to human society. This is just boneheadly stupid."

I think the third paragraph is the most damning, because it really indicates just how in over-his-head Carlin is. He failed to understand his own evidence.

Here's another example of how global-change deniers cherrypick the data:

Web Link

I like this one because it features some nice graphs and really pulls apart some oft-spouted canards of the global-warming deniers.


2 people like this
Posted by Just Another Right-Wing Hack
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 2, 2009 at 9:26 pm

All you need to know about this guy Carlin is that he was featured on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program - 'nuff said, credibility-wise.


2 people like this
Posted by Don
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 2, 2009 at 9:57 pm

OhlonePar,

I read your link. The take home message, leaving aside the various biased and politicized elements is:

"That because human welfare has increased over the twentieth century at a time when CO2 was increasing, this somehow implies that no amount of CO2 increases can ever cause a danger to human society. This is just boneheadly stupid. "

Yes, indeed, the burning of fossil fuels was and is directly related to a revolutionary improvement in human living conditions, around this planet. This fact probably resulted, at least partially, to increasing levels of CO2; but the consideration of warmer oceans relasing CO2 should not be discounted. The ice core data, historically, shows that global warming preceded CO2 increases. It is important to not confuse cause and effect.

I am convinced that CO2 levels are rising, and I think this should be a concern, because the global warming theory might be true, who knows? The fact that CO2 levels continue to rise, while the earth's temperature is moderating or cooling, suggest that current climate models are very suspect. Climate modeling should be discarded as a serious scientific model, becasue it is, at best, lacking in predictive value. Climate change is too hard to predict with current models.

It is less hard to predict what will happen if we all decide to go off fossil fuels, be it taxation models, or direct prohibitions. Just to argue to the limit, think about banning coal within the next five years. Where would our electcity come from? Of course, this won't happen, however it does focus the mind. If coal and natural gas and other carbon fuels are taxed, then we have a situation of a very regressive tax on the poorest of us. The richest of us will have our own solar panels and wind turbines and superinsulated houses, reversing our own meters.

I cannot see the answer to this issue, unless we accept a blended response, which involves the use of more fossil fuels, before less fossil fuels are required. I am somewhat foggy on the transition, but I can guess that it will require a strong nuclear power component, various alternatives and more fossil fuels, domestic or foreign. The dream is that we can just get it from wind and solar and geothermal, but that is a damaging dream, if we believe it will be the answer in the short or medium term.


2 people like this
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 3, 2009 at 8:01 am

Wow, Don...your cool-headed and logical comment is admirable. You stated so well what so many of us have tried for years to get out..but I have to admit to much frustration with having to repeat the obvious ad nauseum, so I am glad to see someone who hasn't let his frustration leak out in his writing. (Are you new to this debate, or just really good at staying calm?)

Good thing I am not in politics! I don't know how they do it year after year( the ones trying to paddle the boat of istory, logic and facts against the endless tide of emotion, propoganda and group-think).

Thanks.

May I send it to a few people I know?


2 people like this
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 3, 2009 at 9:59 am

Ok, so I went looking up this Carlin guy, and what do you know? A GREAT piece today in the WSJ.online ( open to the public, not subscriber) about the "rest of the story" on the EPA silencing Carlin. This guy has worked for 35 years for the EPA, has his MS in Physics from CalPoly, and is charged with the job of examining policy decisions from all scientific angles.

Web Link

So, in response to the EPA sneaking by a Policy change which declared CO2 a "pollutant" ( what's next, H2O?) so that it could enact directives without going through Congress, Mr. Carlin "presented a 98-page analysis arguing the agency should take another look, as the science behind man-made global warming is inconclusive at best. The analysis noted that global temperatures were on a downward trend. It pointed out problems with climate models. It highlighted new research that contradicts apocalyptic scenarios. "We believe our concerns and reservations are sufficiently important to warrant a serious review of the science by EPA," the report read.

The response from the new, transparent, science-based, no ideology-allowed Obama Admin through the EPA? To try to shut him down, so much so that there are actual e-mails "forbidding" him from telling anyone about his research. Uh...what?????

And the tryanny of the left continues. Bush's fault? Nope. As bad as Bush? Nope. Never even tried to silence anyone at all, from TV to Radio to Science research...make a list of everyone this Admin so far has tried to silence...think about it.



2 people like this
Posted by An Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 4, 2009 at 11:32 am

"OK, An Engineer, here is your chance to shine. Please point out the "egregious pieces" . Be specific. ... The ball is in your court."

The ball remains on the opposite court, because my scientific challenge on this thread remain not only unanswered, but unaddressed.

However, to be a sport, here's a copiously reliable source of pseudoscience: Web Link. Now it's your turn for sure.

I point out that the warming "debate" is driven by politics, not science. Without politics it would be just another scientific issue that laymen never hear of like, say, supersymmetry.


2 people like this
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 4, 2009 at 1:30 pm



Trying to use reason with the global warming greendoggle crowd is just like trying to use reason with creationists.
Global warming is a foundational belief in the greens religion, just like creationism is for some fundamentalists.

It is interesting that while Gore failed both law school and divinity school he now has a pulpit for his green creed.


2 people like this
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 4, 2009 at 4:42 pm

The difference is that those who believe in creationism to the extent that you are referring to have no ability at all to control the rest of us in any way, shape or form, nor destroy the economy with their beliefs.

I will take creationists over the warmies any day.


2 people like this
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 5, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Perspective,

Carlin's worked as an economist for the EPA for 35 years. He's not a scientist and his work was not solicited by the EPA. No scandal, just an old guy with some ideas. Yeah, he studied physics years ago--before any study of chaos theory, which would be relevant.

It's too bad you don't have an open mind.

Don,

I think the global-warming issue is a thorny one. However, you wanted some science and I gave you a couple of relevant links. I suggest you dig a little deeper into both blogs--which, among, other things explain the issues with some of your assumptions.

There is, unfortunately, a lot of science that indicates man-made global warming is very real and less than sanguine in its consequences. How to do deal with this is a huge issue.

But the important thing is to deal with it instead of pretending it's not there.


2 people like this
Posted by Not Evil, Just Wrong
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 18, 2009 at 4:49 pm

www.noteviljustwrong.com/

Above is a documentary about to be played, at 5 pm today, Sunday, through Heritage dot org. If the link doesn't work, go to www dot heritage dot org and click on the link to "Not Evil, Just Wrong" to see it. Obviously I haven't seen it yet, either, but the work of Heritage is good work. The last one they released was quite factually based, and refuted Gore's movie, I think it was called "Convenient Lies" or something like that, but it was delivered by a pretty dry lecturer.

I know about a couple of the main players in this documentary, so it shouldn't be so dry, but still factual.

I look forward to what you think after you see it.


2 people like this
Posted by True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 18, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Sorry, I just saw that the full name of the documentary is "Not evil, Just Wrong, the true cost of Global Warming Hysteria.." so I finished the name in my "name" box


2 people like this
Posted by Megan Watt
a resident of another community
on Oct 19, 2009 at 12:30 am

The "Original Data" is corrupt that is why the whole Global Warming saga is fake a fraud a lie.

Read this and think of how the data is corrupt.

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by True Cost
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 19, 2009 at 11:59 am

Yup. I agree, Megan.


2 people like this
Posted by True Cost
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 22, 2009 at 6:14 am

So, nobody else saw the documentary "Not Evil, Just Wrong: The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria"?

Ok...well..how many of you saw "Inconvenient Truth"? If you saw that, you owe it to humanity to see "True Cost" before you vote again based on inaccurate beliefs about "Global warming". You don't want to vote for hunger on the basis of a false belief, do you? Those nasty unintended consequences ARE the consequences of votes.

www.noteviljustwrong.com


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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