Why Don’t More People Care About Global Warming?

October 1st, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

PCM-capitalism-is-killing-us Polls of voters consistently show that Americans place global warming (sometimes framed more generally as environmental concerns) at or near the bottom of their list of priorities. Most of the top concerns are almost always directly related to the economy.

Yet, there were approximately 125,000 people who turned out for the Peoples Climate March in New York City. Why arent there even more people marching against the poor economy and unemployment, since those are the biggest concerns?

In a way, that really is what they were marching against. Mostly. Let me explain.

First, people really cant get worked up over weather changes that they havent experienced themselves. With most Americans routinely dealing with temperature changes of 50 deg. F or more, they really dont care much if the average changes by 1 deg. F. With the 18-year hiatus, most teenagers today havent even experienced global warming. We should also remember that people prefer warmth over cold. For example, over their lifetimes Americans preferentially move to where its warmer.

Second, when it comes to the environment, people have been warned by scientists of catastrophe for decades. Many of us were supposed to die long ago from heat, floods, storms, crop failure, etc. It didnt happen. Global warming fatigue has been brewing for years, and is now firmly entrenched. Google Trends reveals that over the last 10 years, Google searches on climate have steadily decreased to about 50% of what they were, whereas interest in weather has increased by about 50%.

Next, those of us old enough to remember driving through Gary, Indiana in the 1960s and early 70s know how much cleaner our air and water are today. Smaller gains in cleanliness come at greater and greater cost now (although the EPA, which wants everything to be infinitely clean, does not seem to care about that). Unlike government bureaucrats, who get routine pay raises and job security no matter how much they hurt the business (our country), the people who actually pay the bills (taxpayers) still live in a cost-vs-benefits world.

Furthermore, most people understand that fossil fuels have been necessary for the prosperity that we all enjoy (at least those under political systems allowing people to benefit from their labors). Energy which currently is dominated by fossil fuels, and will be for decades to come.

Speaking of which, hows this for a hockey stick?:

Modern prosperity, as evidenced by increased lifespans, has depended upon access to abundant, low-cost energy -- fossil fuels.

Modern prosperity, as evidenced by increased lifespans, has depended upon access to abundant, low-cost energy — fossil fuels.


I think getting an extra 40 years of life in exchange for 1 to 2 deg. of warming is a pretty good deal. Might even be a win-win.

So, do we really think that the Peoples Climate March (which led up to the U.N. Climate Summit 2014) really was about climate?

There is considerable evidence that the Peoples Climate March wasnt as much about climate as it was an excuse for those who want a different political system. If you really believe that capitalism is destroying the Earth and hurting people — or even if you don’t really believe it — then environmentalism becomes a really good excuse to dump capitalism.

Especially if you can convince people you have some new and unusual statistical knowledge (photos courtesy of Zombie at PJMedia.com):
PCM-veganism-cuts-emissions-51-percent

Or, maybe you can convince people that most of our infrastructure is right at sea level, and so is about to be flooded:
PCM-our-infrastructure-is-all-at-sea-level

Or, some at the march were there for entirely unrelated reasons, such as this walking contradiction:
PCM-walking-contradiction

The march was an excuse for those who are perpetually angry that the top 50% have so much more than the bottom 50%. Arguably, the environmental movement has been hijacked by anti-capitalists who think everyone can live in peace, harmony, and prosperity without anyone having to work hard.

As the Soviets found out, very few people want to work hardunless they are rewarded. Here comes capitalism! You are rewarded in proportion to how much you provide to others. And the age of abundance requires access to affordable, abundant energy.

I often point out that the one-percenters already give back much more than they get. And we all (including Occupy Wall Street-ers) happily make that happen when we voluntarily exchange our money for iPhones, TVs, cars, microwaves, etc. Even our health insurance. We kick in a few extra percent for those entrepreneurs, risk-takers, and experts-in-their-field as our way of saying, thanks for all the cool stuff, and for our kids actually living to be teenagers!

Of course, in order for the risk-takers to try a new business enterprise (most of which fail), they have to have some hope they will get rewarded if they succeed. That’s why you can’t just keep taxing the rich more and more. For every rich person, there were ten or more who failed at meeting the needs of society on a grand scale.

Increasingly, government policies in general (both federal and state) are anti-business. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Geez. And that discourages those who have the money to spare from investing it into new business, or hiring more people. They then take their business out-of-state, or out of the country. Or, they give up and retire.

Bye-bye, prosperity!

Meanwhile, protesters think all we have to do is spread the wealth around. Sounds enticing, doesnt it? Kind of like your parents raising your allowance…only now you and your friends are old enough to vote on getting your allowance raised. Cool!

So, this explains why the Peoples Climate March was dominated by crazies and political leftists. The mainstream media mostly avoided coverage of the event. Maybe they realized how embarrassing the march would be for the more rational elements of the environmental movement.


98 Responses to “Why Don’t More People Care About Global Warming?”

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  1. Increasingly, government policies in general (both federal and state) are anti-business. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Geez. And that discourages those who have the money to spare from investing it into new business, or hiring more people. They then take their business out-of-state, or out of the country. Or, they give up and retire.

    I disagree. Government these days, maybe always to a certain degree but especially these days, is a division of Big Business. Big Business is owned by the elite as shareholders and the elite, either through their managers in Big Business or directly, dictate Government policy. Sure, they all play up the evil Big Government meme, but that’s just a ruse. Big Government’s the best friend Big Business has ever had, and their relationship is closer than ever.

    Now little business, that’s another story entirely. Big Business and its Big Government division despises little business and go out of its way to squash it at every turn. Free Market Enterprise is what counts, not Capitalism. Capitalism seeks to do the same thing Big Government does, and that’s tyrannically choke out competition and dissent.

    This Climate Change bullshit charade is just a way for Big Business to charge higher prices for essential energy needs using Big Government as the enforcer.

    Those people were out there “marching” because everyone loves a parade. As you aptly pointed out, they’ll be hogging energy the next day like there’s no tomorrow and not even acknowledge their contradiction or rationalize it away with some not-so-witty, trite inanity.

    • Fonzarelli says:

      I would think that the biggest anti-business policy historically is the federal reserve policy of keeping the unemployment rate artificially high (at no lower than 4%) to curb demand inflation. Fewer jobs mean lower wages and fewer people with jobs. Poorer people spend less money thus demand is curbed along with the ensuing inflation. Most people don’t even know that our government does this. And of those who do, most think fed policy is a good idea. Demand inflation by definition can never be a problem. It requires that the growth of personal wealth out pace the inflation that it causes just to sustain itself. The very worst thing that demand inflation can do, then, is cause the economy to stall out at which point the demand inflation goes to zero. We know anecdotally that this does not happen. Historically, the only thing that causes hot economies to stall is the fed raising or keeping interest rates high. (this happened in 2008 as well) An economy with a very low unemployment rate simply means a higher sustained demand in spite of any inflation it causes. More people buying and selling more goods and services is a good thing…

    • Yes, I agree that Big Business increasingly cozies up to Big Government for favors. But generally speaking, mass production which is required for prosperity requires Big Business. The two go hand-in-hand. Lagre capital investments are required for efficient production of goods and services.

      I too often use “capitalism” and “free markets” interchangeably, which isn’t technically correct. I am indeed a free markets person.

      • Dan M says:

        When big business cronies up to big government and they demonize and persecute anyone who disagrees with them, it is called Fascism. We are living under the Obama-Reid-Pelosi fascist regime right now.

        • Hawkward says:

          You can throw Boehner and McConnell in there too. They’re crony-capitalists as well, just in different rhetorical clothing. They claim to be for limited government, but do absolutely nothing to make it happen. Big federal government is the root of the problem, not big business. A big federal government centralizes so much power and money that corruption is guaranteed.

  2. D o ug C o t t on says:


    Why don’t more people care, Roy?

    Because you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

    Already a survey here in Australia has shown about 40% believe climate change is not man made. That percentage is growing when people like Alan Jones and myself get on radio or TV and explain why it’s not carbon dioxide after all, as I have explained with cogent physics and numerous empirical examples.

    Even with your “A” in thermodynamics, Roy, you are still way out of your depth when it comes to understanding the process described in the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    I doubt that you even know the difference between thermodynamic equilibrium and thermal equilibrium. You could learn from someone like me who has specialised study in the field, but you don’t deign to put yourself in the position of a student. It would, in the long run, serve you well and help you to save face if you did in fact secretly read my book and the paper on Radiated Energy cited therein – if you came to realise I’m correct and admit it openly – the sooner the better.

    What I have written is supported by empirical evidence from throughout the Solar System. I can explain temperatures and energy flows everywhere.

    You can’t even explain where the necessary energy comes from to maintain the temperature of the thin transparent surface layer of the oceans. As I have pointed out, even if the whole Earth were covered in asphalt paving, the incident solar radiation of 161W/m^2 could only maintain a mean temperature of -35C. That’s not a typo – minus thirty five degrees C.

    You don’t realise yet Roy that the concept that convective heat transfer is always from hot to cold is just a corollary of the Second Law and there are prerequisites that have to be met for it to be applicable. It does not apply (as a generalisation) if other forms of energy vary, as does gravitational potential energy in a vertical plane.

    The state of thermodynamic equilibrium thus has a density gradient in a vertical plane – as we can deduce from the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Likewise that state has a temperature gradient.

    Thus when new thermal energy is absorbed from insolation at the top of a planet’s troposphere it will disturb the state of thermodynamic equilibrium. Hence some of the new thermal energy has to move downwards to warmer regions in order to restore the thermodynamic equilibrium with its associated temperature gradient. That gradient also has to take into account the temperature levelling effect of inter-molecular radiation, and that’s the real reason why the “wet adiabatic lapse rate” is less steep.

    Is this relevant to the question of global warming? You bet it is. James Hansen did not understand the gravito-thermal effect, and that is why he got his physics in such a mess and had to try to explain the missing energy needed to help the Sun’s radiation to warm the surface. Back radiation can never help the Sun to get the surface up to its observed temperature in the first place. It sure doesn’t help supply the needed energy to raise the temperature of the Venus surface by 5 degrees in 4 months. Indeed, when considering Venus, that is when climatologists really had to let their imaginings run away with them.

    • Scott Scarborough says:

      Is this “gravitational effect” the reason planetary atmospheric temperatures seem to be related to atmospheric pressures when correct for distance from the sun?

      • D o ug C o t t on says:

        The Second Law of Thermodynamics explains that thermodynamic equilibrium is the state to which the troposphere will tend. This state has a density gradient and a temperature gradient. That is what gravity produces. Pressure is merely a corollary, being the product of temperature and density. The solar flux determines the overall level of the thermal profile, so it adjusts up and down by day and night, whilst keeping the same gradient, or at least having a prropensity to do so, though weather conditions may eclipse that sometimes. There is a relationship with the pressure gradient being steeper than both the density and the temperature gradients, but that is not to imply that pressure causes temperatures to increase.

    • Doug, do you really think people will pay more attention to you if you keep sneaking in here and post the same things over and over?

    • Jon says:

      of course! if man made global warming was found on Venus, it has to be coming here next!

  3. George Applegate says:

    That muzzled dog should be the one wearing the “animal liberation now” T-shirt.

    • Fonzarelli says:

      That’s the type of thing you see down here in new orleans on mardi gras…

    • Thomas says:

      My first guess, assuming the guy isn’t just a hypocrite, which is entirely possible, is that he has gotten the dog from a shelter and that it has to be muzzled because it has had a traumatic upbringing making it unreliable. Amstaffs are nice if brought up properly, but they are definitely a breed where it’s better to be safe than sorry. They don’t bite more often than other breeds, but when they bite they bite hard and don’t like to let loose.

  4. D o ug C o t t on says:

    Roy, this previous comment is worth repeating here …

    There is nothing mankind can do to control climate.

    Climate is governed by natural cycles which are based on the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and the planets. The correlation is too good to ignore.

    If the greenhouse conjecture were correct then moist rain forests would be about 40 degrees hotter than dry regions at similar latitudes and altitudes. They arent: theyre cooler.

    If you haven’t studied my long comment above, the reasons why it’s not carbon dioxide are outlined therein, Roy.

  5. justaregularguy says:

    Would be nice if all the trolls would be kept away so we can enjoy the relevant discussions here on Dr Roys site! Been enjoying Dr Roys blog, but had to create a login just to get on here and say this.

    rankexploits.com/musings/2013/doug-cotton-is-banned-admin/

    • D o u g C o t to n says:

      Speak for yourself.

      • Joel Shore says:

        He speaks for ***PLENTY*** of people, in fact, probably nearly everyone on the sites that you haunt with your completely bogus nonsensical interpretations of physics that make those of us who know better cringe.

        • D o ug C o t t on says:

          Prove your point Joel. There’s a $5,000 reward (unclaimed for 6 months so far) for the first in the world to prove the physics in my book “Why It’s Not Carbon Dioxide After All” to be substantially wrong, and to produce a study showing the opposite to mine. Water vapour cools: it does not warm and you cannot prove it does. Hence the greenhouse radiative forcing concept is debunked, and you cannot prove otherwise. In fact you, Joel, cannot even explain, using SBL calculations, why the thin surface layer of our oceans is at the observed temperature, or anywhere near such temperature. You Joel have no idea how the necessary energy gets to the base oif the Uranus troposphere to keep it warmer than Earth’s surface. In short, when it comes to thermodynamics, you are way out of your depth, Joel Shore, so I throw down the gauntlet for all the silent readers, Roy included, to confirm what I am saying. I can explain all planetary temperatures and general terms, including the necessary energy flows. You can’t do so with radiation concepts alone, because radiation is not the primary determinant of planetary surface temperatures, and you cannot prove it is.

        • D o ug C o t t on says:

          I suspect this comment (not mine) applies well to our friend Dr Shore …

          “Because the import of the consequence of the radial temperature gradient created by pressurizing a spherical body of gas by gravity, from the inside only, is that it obviates the need for concern over GHGs. And, because this is based on long established fundamental principles that were apparently forgotten or never learned by many PhDs, it is not something that can be left as an acceptable disagreement.”

        • Joel Shore says:

          Doug,

          It is meaningless to offer such a reward when you set yourself up as the judge of whether your nutty ideas have been disproved.

          If we, instead, a committee of respected physicists judge if your ideas have been disproven, then that would be more reasonable. But, of course, you would never agree to that because I don’t think you can even find one physicist to endorse your ideas.

          • Eric Sincere says:

            “If … a committee of respected physicists…”

            While I agree with everything you said, isn’t this how the IPCC was formed? 8D

  6. D o u g C o t to n says:

    The time has come Roy

    The above long comment has been posted as an “OPEN LETTER to DR ROY SPENCER” on five climate blogs so far. By the end of the weekend it will be appearing on more than 150 Facebook climate groups of which I am a member. You might want to take me on in public debate here, or you might want to study what I have written and realise it is all cogent physics.

  7. D o u g C o t to n says:

    Roy, you write “the environmental movement has been hijacked by anti-capitalists” but that’s just hand waving.

    Firstly, what is the environmental movement? Is it all just about carbon dioxide? Not at all. None of us wants real pollution that is indeed a health hazard. There’s no need to assign a political motive to such a “group” if indeed it could be defined.

    Some of us just simply recognise that the “science” promulgated by the IPCC and yourself is false. So why should we believe what you and they write about back radiation? Because that’s what it all comes down to: what does back radiation from carbon dioxide do? Well, it certainly does not help the Sun to raise the temperature of the thin transparent surface layer of the oceans through which most of the solar radiation is transmitted (without warming that layer) and all of the back radiation is blocked from even entering. Spread black asphalt over the oceans and its mean temperature would be minus thirty five degrees C.

  8. D o u g C o t to n says:

    (continued)

    Well, for a globe paved in asphalt, it would be -35C if and only if the climatologists were right in thinking that a planet’s surface temperature is primarily determined by incident solar radiation. But it isn’t, because it isn’t -35C or colder.

    You mocked me when I first wrote that radiation is not the primary determinant of planetary surface temperatures, Roy, but I am right about that. That’s physics.

    You only have to consider the 350Km high nominal troposphere of Uranus where its 320K (hotter than Earth) at the base thereof. There’s no long term cooling of the 5,000K small solid core thousands of kilometres further down. There’s no convincing evidence of internal energy generation from matter and no significant net energy loss at TOA. And being nearly 30 times further from the Sun than we are, the top of the Uranus atmosphere receives little more than 1/900th of the solar flux that Earth’s TOA receives. None of that penetrates to the base of the Uranus troposphere where there’s no surface to get warmed anyway. So what radiation, Roy, is the primary determinant of the temperature down there, which, by the way, would be very similar to that of a solid surface if such existed there?

    It is the supporting temperature at the base of a planet’s troposphere (as determined by the gravito-thermal effect) which is the primary determinant of the surface temperature, slowing cooling at night and allowing the Sun to warm more in the limited time it has during the day. But not all that solar warming is by actual radiation into the surface.

    Until you realise that the Second Law of Thermodynamics provides an explanation for the “heat creep” process, transferring thermal energy from the top of the troposphere downwards by convection and conduction into the surface, you will never understand what’s going on or from where the missing energy needed to warm the surface comes.

  9. Joel Shore says:

    Where to start?

    “Furthermore, most people understand that fossil fuels have been necessary for the prosperity that we all enjoy (at least those under political systems allowing people to benefit from their labors). Energy which currently is dominated by fossil fuels, and will be for decades to come.

    Speaking of which, hows this for a hockey stick?:

    I think getting an extra 40 years of life in exchange for 1 to 2 deg. of warming is a pretty good deal. Might even be a win-win.”

    So, you seem to simultaneously imply that capitalism / market systems are so powerful that they can do all sorts of wonderful things and yet so fragile that anything we do to internalize the currently externalized costs to using fossil fuels will lead to some sort of economic disaster. Is that a rational point-of-view?

    “Here comes capitalism! You are rewarded in proportion to how much you provide to others.”

    Highly debatable. It is more of a religious belief than a scientific one.

    “I often point out that the one-percenters already give back much more than they get.”

    Extremely debatable. Do you think that Bill Gates would have gotten nearly as much as he’s gotten if we existed in a state of nature without government to provide the necessary security and infrastructure?

    “Thats why you cant just keep taxing the rich more and more.”

    They are not being taxed more and more (unless you look at their share of the total tax burden, without correcting for the fact that it has increased because their share of the income has dramatically increased). They are being taxed less and less, at a time when their incomes (both pre-tax and post-tax) have been increasing obscenely fast while median incomes have been quite anemic (and some at lower incomes have lost ground). See, for example, here: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3629

    Tax rates on the wealthy were much higher back in the middle of the 20th century, when this nation also experienced some of its strongest economic growth. And, differences in incomes were much less extreme then too.

    Nobody is saying that risk-taking should not be rewarded, but there is a happy middle ground between a socialist model of everyone getting the same reward and the extreme and rapidly growing inequalities that we are currently experiencing here in the U.S.

    And, a lot of this supposed “risk-taking” at the top isn’t risk-taking at all. I’d gladly take the risk of being CEO of a major corporation if failure meant that I would have several years of multimillion dollar salaries and then a golden parachute to boot! (As a colleague of mine said in reference to our senior management when we were working in corporate America, “I’d be willing to run this company just as badly for half the price.”)

    • Jim Curtis says:

      You seem to be willing to trade one evil (politicians trading governmental authority) for something worse (even more governmental control for them to sell). The lefts attitude about improving the whole seems exemplified by Andy Sterns comments on taxes.
      Andy Stern, the former head of the Service Employees International Union, the fastest-growing American union, describes the economic philosophy of the left: If raising taxes on “the rich” hurts the economy, that is an acceptable price. “Western Europe,” says Stern, “as much as we used to make fun of it, has made different trade-offs which may have ended with a little more unemployment but a lot more equality.”
      Why? Who will be the arbiter of equality? I suggest Stern and his ilk think its them. And like you, he seems to be willing to play the inequality envy game to get it.

      • dave says:

        “…a little [sic] more unemployment…”

        In August, 2013 youth unemployment hit 56.1 %in Spain.

        No that is not a typo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Joel Shore says:

        Three comments:

        (1) If you define “hurts the economy” as slightly lowers economic growth, then it is POSSIBLE (although in the U.S., I think unlikely) that policies that reduce inequality could hurt the economy. However, in an economy where almost all the gains are going to the top 1%, “hurts the economy” can mean that the AVERAGE income gains are a little less but the MEDIAN income gains are higher. That is, it can mean that nearly everyone will be better off and only a few at the top will see their incomes increase a bit less than they would have otherwise.

        (2) There are very good reasons to believe that the sort of extreme inequality that we have is actually a drag on our economy, so that policies that reduce inequality will also produce higher economic growth. See, for example, here: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=how+inequality+hurts+the+economy

        (3) The youth unemployment rate in Spain is not because inequality is less. Some of the most progressive countries in Europe, i.e., those with the least inequality (e.g., the Scandinavian countries) have fared the best during Europe’s economic crisis. The crisis happened for a lot of reasons, including the fact that countries like Spain do not have monetary control over their own currency (because they use the Euro) and because Europe is in the throes of a belief that “austerity” is the answer to the economic crisis and has proven once again the incorrectness of this belief.

        • dave says:

          “The youth unemployment rate in Spain is not because inequality is less.”

          Take that up with Stern. He is the one who [as quoted, anyway] made the connection for Western Europe.
          Last time I was there, Spain was in Western Europe.

    • Jim Curtis says:

      Id like to add three points:
      – Socialism doesnt innovate anything like free markets. Bureaucracies are worse than dead weight, they are stifling.
      – A player in a true free market is subject to the very real discipline of competition.
      – Given the opportunity, politicians will sell favors to those with cash and influence (e.g. BHOs perpetual fund raising).

      • Fonzarelli says:

        Jim, I feel as though I’m an “economic doug cotton”. (read my book “why it’s not bureaucracies after all”) As long as the fed is stepping on the economy by keeping the unemployment rate at no lower than 4% we don’t have “true free markets”… THAT is what’s holding us back. The economy gets going, the fed shuts it down, we have a recession and then start the whole process over again. The economy bounces back and forth between 4% and 10+% over and over again. Sure, we’d see recessions with lower unemployment; scarcity of labor would presumably shut down growth, too. But wouldn’t it be better to bounce back and forth between 0% and 5% unemployment? The world wide economic boom that we saw nearly a decade ago should be the WORST that the economy ever gets. Al Greenspan has called the last few decades (since the appointment of volker as fed chair in 1979) “the era of moderation”. I call it “the era of crappy economies”…

        By the way, I really like Doug and kudos to Dr. Spencer for welcoming him and embracing the free market of ideas…

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Fonzarelli,

          The government controls many more aspects of the economy than unemployment rates. Price controls and other forms of resource manipulation occur throughout the economy making REAL growth anemic. For any average citizen to navigate the minefield of government regs and act rationally in such an environment proves costly and difficult at best benefiting those already favored with wealth and political connections to drive economic growth. This design proves irrational on a moments reflection the cost in creative enterprise, economic growth and capital development prove over-whelming. The U.S. has been programmed for economic disaster and collapse. The decision has been consciously derived at and the results all to clear and obvious.

          Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Correction, my opening statement should read:

            “The government attempts to manipulate many more aspects of the economy than unemployment rates.”

            and please accept the following correction:

            “This design proves irrational on a moments reflection. The cost in creative enterprise, economic growth and capital development proves over-whelming.’

            Have a great day!

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Fonzarelli,

          Since you also mentioned the Federal Reserve System, fiat currency leaves the average citizen with continuously devalued paper as their medium of exchange, hardly rational.

          Have a great day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Joel Shore,

      Your economic logic proves little better than you claim Doug’s scientific knowledge to be. You claim:

      “So, you seem to simultaneously imply that capitalism / market systems are so powerful that they can do all sorts of wonderful things and yet so fragile that anything we do to internalize the currently externalized costs to using fossil fuels will lead to some sort of economic disaster. Is that a rational point-of-view?”

      This comment lacks force for many reasons. Everyone in this society and likely the entire planet emits or benefits from the emission of hydrocarbon combustion and/or chemical actions. People vary enormously in their biological response to such by products positive and negative. Some by-products like CO2 provide many positive benefits to the planet and humanity including plant food, and warmer temps. Last I checked the only climate change event known to have caused mass extinction proved to be the ICE AGE. Since you have yet to provide any rational framework by which you plan to allocate costs (internalized and/or externalized) and benefits (internalized and/or externalized) among individuals or even a means to accomplish that plan your entire psuedo-economic inanity falls apart upon a moments inquisition. The danger to capitalism from political farce disguised as cost/benefit re-allocation depends on means chosen and the extent of damage likely done. Until you provide a hypothetical means/solution to address the thus far unstated cost imbalances everything you mentioned proves simply SPECULATION!!!

      When you decide to reason scientifically please let us know!

      Have a great day!

    • Tom says:

      Take care that you don’t confuse cash flow taxable income with paper wealth. I don’t know the exact numbers but Bill Gates’ paper wealth is many times over greater than his aggregate total lifetime cash flow taxable income has been. His paper wealth consists of the stock market price of primarily Microsoft stock which doesn’t become cash flow, thus taxable, until he sells shares yet it is the per share market price that determines his paper wealth.

      Furthermore, if Gates should decide to sell large numbers of shares and take the income and pay the taxes (at, or at least near 15%), the fact that he is selling would cause the market price of Microsoft stock to crater, in turn causing his paper wealth to decline precipitously. He can be the wealthiest man on the planet for just as long as he is willing to be the owner of his shares without selling so he can have the cash to use for other purposes, paying taxes included.

    • Hawkward says:

      “Extremely debatable. Do you think that Bill Gates would have gotten nearly as much as hes gotten if we existed in a state of nature without government to provide the necessary security and infrastructure?”

      Government “provides” infrastructure using our tax dollars (including, of course, taxes paid by business owners). That infrastructure is provided for everyone. However, not everyone takes the risk to start or invest in a business. Why should those that do so be penalized by paying higher taxes based on being “provided” infrastructure that is “provided” to and used by everyone else as well?

  10. Pathway says:

    Government doesn’t create anything, they only take personal wealth that was created by hard work and innovation and distribute that wealth to their favorite constituent group in return for future votes. Without personal wealth being forcibly taken from individuals there would be no infrastructure. Or rather private individuals would build and own the infrastructure.

  11. Jeff Williams says:

    I enjoy your blog Roy. I even mostly enjoy reading the comments. But good grief! Isn’t there anything we can do to vote Doug Cotton off of the island? He’s creating much more heat than light (har!).

    It’s like watching a dog chase his tail.

    • D o u g C o t to n says:

      Yes – you can try to prove the physics I outline to be incorrect. If you can I promise I’ll depart.

      Or do you also have an agenda and a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and killing off a few million people in developing countries by continuing to propagate what I have proven to be garbage “science” which is totally incorrect? Water vapour does not warm the surface – it cools it and I have evidence. You have neither valid science nor empirical evidence.

  12. david dohbro says:

    i like your co2-life expectancy plot. another good one is energy consumption-economic development. clearly shows that we’ll de-develop our nation/economy if we retched down our energy usage by 51% as some suggest we should do 😉 they totally forget the world as we know it will have been long gone by then… is that what we really want?!?!

  13. benpal says:

    Excellent article, Roy. Nice revelation of the obvious contradictions, the gap between (wishful) thinking and reality.

  14. D o u g C o t to n says:

    In regard to the issue of the temperature gradient and subsequent convection, this is explained in great detail in the book “Why It’s Not Carbon Dioxide” for which you can read reviews on Amazon. As stated in Wikipedia and physics websites, the Second Law of Thermodynamics “states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium, a state with maximum entropy.” Now in thermodynamic equilibrium “there are no net macroscopic flows of matter or of energy, either within a system or between systems. In a system in its own state of internal thermodynamic equilibrium, no macroscopic change occurs.” Basically, this is because it is the state of maximum entropy within the constraints of the system. Thermodynamic equilibrium embraces all forms of internal energy, but, in the assumed absence of phase change and chemical reactions, we are mostly just interested in considering the mean kinetic energy of molecules in a region (this relating to temperature) and the mean gravitational potential energy. Because there are no net flows of energy we have no unbalanced energy potentials. This means that it is the mean sum (kinetic energy + gravitational potential energy) which must be homogeneous at all altitudes. Hence, because potential energy varies, so too does kinetic energy, this meaning we have a temperature gradient. The kinetic energy difference can be represented by the energy required to raise mass M by a temperature difference dT. We get this using the specific heat Cp. We equate this with the difference in potential energy for a height difference dH.

    M.Cp.dT = M.g.dH

    So temperature gradient

    dT/dH = g/Cp where the direction of the gravitational force is of course the opposite of that of dH

    This is the dry rate. However radiation between two small regions (in contrast to the diffusion and convection process) has a temperature levelling effect, as is well known. But there’s not a high percentage of radiating molecules in the atmosphere and the gravitationally-induced gradient is only reduced by about a third by water vapour (plus a very small amount by carbon dioxide) and that is why the “wet” gardient is less steep and thus leads to a lower supported surface temperature.

    • D o u g C o t to n says:

      In calm conditions air doesnt actually move in parcels at all. Assuming theres no wind complicating things, molecules continue to move in all directions and nothing whatsoever keeps a parcel together.

      Now a point of definition: Diffusion becomes advection when a net movement of molecules can be measured. The term convection in physics includes both diffusion and advection.

      If there is a pre-existing state of thermodynamic equilibrium, but it is then disturbed by the absorption of new incident solar radiation in the troposphere, we get a local region in which the temperature is higher than it was or would be if thermodynamic equilibrium existed with its associated temperature gradient. Hence the new energy will disperse in all accessible directions away from the source of that new energy, even downwards into warmer regions, until a new state of thermodynamic equilibrium is attained.

      Thats how the surfaces of Venus and Earth get warmed. Yes in direct sunlight on a clear day the Sun can warm a region with temporary thermal energy being deposited into the solid surface in the morning, for example. So then convection is observed going upwards, but it also goes downwards from the warmed surface layer of the oceans into the colder thermocline region. Conduction also conveys thermal energy into the solid surface regions.

      But during sunlit hours there is 21% of the incident solar radiation being absorbed mostly by water vapour before it reaches the surface. This disturbs the thermodynamic equilibrium and some thermal energy will move towards the surface as the whole thermal profile in the troposphere rises to a new parallel position. On Venus, for example, the rise by day and the fall by night are each about 5 degrees, and thats how the extra energy gets into the surface by day, and back out by night.

      The same process operates on all planets including Earth. Broadly speaking, the only exception is the extra warming of non-polar land surfaces when a significant amount of direct sunlight strikes any region. Because such a region warms quickly, it also cools quickly until the cooling rate is slowed and almost stopped in the early pre-dawn hours by the supporting temperature at the base of the troposphere. From that point onwards the whole troposphere has to cool, maintaining the same temperature gradient, so its a much slower process, as on Venus where it takes 4 months to cool by 5 degrees.

      There is nothing left for any radiative Greenhouse forcing to accomplish.

      • Joel Shore says:

        (1) You are ignoring the fact that there are rigorous statistical mechanical calculations showing that the equilibrium state of a system in a gravitational field is isothermal. This also has the advantage of not violating the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics which states that heat flow in the atmosphere would have to be from warmer to colder, not colder to warmer.

        (2) You say “There is nothing left for any radiative Greenhouse forcing to accomplish” and yet, even if you were correct in your claims for having discovered a mechanism whereby heat is magically moved down in the atmosphere, you still haven’t even addressed the real issue! This is because you, Stephen Wilde, and the rest of the scientifically-challenged crew don’t understand that the issue is not with the surface energy balance but rather with the top-of-the-atmosphere energy balance. Read that sentence again and again until you understand it. No amount of argumentation about how heat can flow down within the atmosphere is going to solve the fundamental problem that an Earth surface at 288 K is emitting way too much radiation back out into space compared to the energy the ***ENTIRE SYSTEM*** (earth + atmosphere) is absorbing from the sun. The only way to cure this problem is to have some of the emitted radiation absorbed in the atmosphere so the amount emitted to space ends up being much less than the amount emitted by the surface. And, in fact, this is what the empirical measurements from satellites confirm (http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/djj/book/bookchap7-15.gif) is the solution to the conundrum. This is called the “radiative greenhouse effect”.

    • ferdberple says:

      Hence, because potential energy varies, so too does kinetic energy, this meaning we have a temperature gradient.
      ===============
      Doug, I thought that as well. However, when I built a model of bouncing balls with perfect elasticity as per statistical thermodynamics, I found a very surprising result.

      the slightly lower density (of “balls/molecules”) upwards as compared to downwards lets the higher energy balls escape upwards while the lower energy balls fill in the gaps downwards. I’m not the only person to find this result. I have another model, written independently by a second programmer that confirms the result.

      what was surprising is that this effect balanced exactly the conversion for PE/KE, such that the kinetic energy of the balls was constant, independent of their height. We spent many, many days cross-checking the code to verify this most surprising result.

      what it means is that in the absence of an external influence, the atmosphere subject to only KE/PE would be isothermal, which contradicts your assertion above.

      I believe this result is sufficient to disprove your position and I would like to claim the $50k reward. I am more than happy to make the models available for verification.

      • ferdberple says:

        ps: we also had a third model builder, all of us living in different cities around the word, independently check all the physics and formulas to confirm the models. to this day I remain astonished that the PE/KE conversion is so exactly balanced by the difference in vertical density (to about 1 part in 10-9).

        this was not at all the result I had expected when I began the project. I was spurred into action by a post by Willis with support from RGB, asserting an otherwise isothermal atmosphere. and our models proved them correct.

  15. ren says:

    What will be the autumn? Analysis of the distribution of ozone in the stratosphere shows the ozone loss in the regions of the magnetic poles, which shows a second graphics.
    The polar vortex will create two centers of low pressure, one over Canada, the second over central Siberia. Soon winter will attack in the Great Lakes region.
    http://oi60.tinypic.com/2s15d3o.jpg
    http://www.geomag.nrcan.gc.ca/images/field/fnor.gif
    http://earth.nullschool.net/#2014/10/06/0600Z/wind/isobaric/250hPa/orthographic=-103.51,37.25,554

  16. gbaikie says:

    My latest theory is these people are too stupid to like Baseball.
    So they wander around the streets in great need of a sporting event.

  17. Jeff Id says:

    Doc,

    I appreciate your message more than some. As one of those evil capitalists who has spent decades putting in 15 hour days to build something for myself and my family, the realities of the work-reward universe we live in are quite clear. It is also very clear just how overtaxed business is in America and I can tell you first hand that employee pay rates are low in large part due to government load.

    Most small business owners will agree with me but most small business owners are in industries like construction or shop fronts where their own true tax rates, while substantial, are actually much lower than we experience in manufacturing. Overall the cost of government (both compliance and taxes) is quite massive and a huge resistance to success in our particular case. Still, after 20 years of trying to build something good, and living on a low salary, we are getting to the other side. After all of that work and risk, I now find myself in a group of individuals derided for both wealth and productivity. The lack of critical thinking ability of these critics (losers), and they are losers, disgusts me. Where were they at midnight last Tuesday? Sleeping? Relaxing after a long hard day of big-screen TV watching? because I was working. When I get a bit more $$ than they do, they shouldn’t be angry or jealous, they should recognize that nearly every wealthy businessperson took huge risks to get what they have.

    Anyway, I do it because it is something I want to do for my future and my families future.

    So I started this because I wanted to talk about capitalism a bit. To me evolution is a force of nature which cannot be prevented. Like a physical law, the unyielding pressures of the environment of an organism cause it to succeed or fail. More suited organisms will survive and their offspring will be different than the previous population. Capitalism is the same thing. The positive pressure being the wish to have the comforts that only monetary wealth can bring against the negative pressures of the environment we live in. Businesses are just organisms fighting in a very cold and unyielding environment. When they fail, they die just as certainly as bacteria in a petri dish sprayed with lysol. When they survive, they strengthen and the business environment shifts.

    Now in some of the cases above, unthoughtful people have re-imagined a world without money as being better. Or less extreme, a world with even greater government cost and redistribution. These people don’t recognize the inefficiencies they create as barriers to their own wealth. Each load on capitalism reduces the efficiency of productivity and wealth creation. We live in a time of extraordinary wealth redistribution in the US. We have never transferred a higher percentage of our money to the needy in our history. It may be the highest percentage in the history of the world, I don’t know.

    The resulting low wages are one clear sign of the problem, but black markets and large scale criminal networks are another. To me, they also are nothing more than a sign of capitalism working outside of extreme governmental limitations. Poor people, are living for generations in America on free money, generally they have become unsuited for the work environment and unproductive, and are often finding ways to make unreported money for themselves and their families that is outside of the system. Our left-wing generosity has created a whole economy of off-record people who live this way. They are basically enslaved to the condition with little hope of escape. They have big-screen tv’s, cell phones, cars and families and are trapped in their situation. They are often true experts in working the government system to get free money, but make no mistake, they too are capitalists.

    Capitalism is a force of nature, railing against it is equivalent in effect to railing against the laws of physics, not that some won’t do it anyway(slayers). Government regulation of its non-existance is a form of denial that paid off in spades everywhere it has been tried. Unfortunately, there is enough gray area that leftists can equivocate nearly any rule that takes from x and gives to y. History has already ruled against them, it is truly inexplicable that reality is such a hard thing for these people to recognize.

    Humans will always trade or work for a better situation when possible, it would be nice to see a government and population which was capable of recognizing strong business not only as a net positive influence but as a force of general good for the world as a whole. Gary Indiana is a great example.

    • Jeff Id says:

      Gary Indiana was part of another thought left on the end of my comment.

      Gary Indiana is something I have seen change over the years first hand. The air quality improvements have been dramatically noticeable, in large part by government regulation and appear to be a great example of a rule that did help the air. It may also be due to loss of business in the area but the situation was untenable. Some government created costs are necessary, but it should be a continuing goal of EPA to minimize harm to business instead of the tyrannical monster agency it has become.

      • gallopingcamel says:

        Great to see you are still active!

        If you want to defund the EPA I am with you. However it is not the only worthless agency supported by our tax dollars. We need to defund these as well, in priority order:

        Department of Education. Worse than useless: they harm education
        Department of Energy. Against technology that will provide cheap electricity
        Department of Agriculture. Following the lead of the EEC that created butter mountains and wine lakes. They subsidize farmers NOT to grow crops.

  18. ossqss says:

    I would bet 97% of those marchers live off of the government.

    For entertainment purposes, here ya go ☺

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/10/critical-mass-of-cotton/

  19. Groty says:

    The way I see it, our economic system has already been radically transformed. Over 85% of Americans had heath insurance prior to Obamacare and it was illegal to deny emergency care to the 15% who lacked health insurance. There was absolutely no reason to completely overhaul the best health system in the world by enacting an incomprehensible 2000 page law accompanied by tens of thousands of new regulations to insure the uninsured. The same can be said about the “reform” of the financial system. I worked in banking in NYC for a number of years and I appreciate the need to regulate the industry due to the interconnected nature of the entire global financial system. But another 2000 page law and thousands of new regulations to reform the financial system was not required. Note they came within a whisker of doing the exact same thing to the energy sector with “cap and trade”.

    But even though they failed to legislatively get more control over energy, the two sectors they did get control of – health insurance/healthcare and banking – has radically transformed the economy.

    It was done for a couple of reasons, I think. The first is they want to stile growth because they don’t like the boom and bust cycles created by growth. They think economic cyclicality causes more harm than good and that giving bureaucrats more control we can have an economy that neither grows very much nor contracts very much. If they can change the national psyche so that we come to expect an economy that is steady at no or slow growth, then policy does not have to be about stimulating growth. That makes it easier to say the policy argument needs to be about how to redistribute the spoils, not growth. In other words, we’re becoming Europe.

    The second reason is related but a bit more controversial and harder to substantiate. We know that the American and global political left don’t like it that America is so prosperous. All the talk about “income inequality” isn’t only about domestic inequality. The slow or no growth economy they’ve created via legislation and regulation will not only make it easier to redistribute income domestically, but it will give developing economies an opportunity to “catch up”. I do NOT think prospective energy/climate policy is about either energy or climate. It’s more social engineering. I think they want to force Americans to use uneconomical fuel to hurt our standard of living and make industry less competitive so the developing world can have access to low cost, efficient fossil fuels. That will make the developing world’s economies more competitive and improve the standard of living for their people at the expense of the standard of living of Americans and Europeans. It lessens global “income inequality” and achieves more global “social justice”, the magical catchphrase of the political left.

    Now, I know you’ll never hear any Democrat make my second point because they’d never get elected or re-elected if they said it explicitly. But I think its a reasonable theory. There’s just no other reason I can think of why Democrats want government to have so much control over our lives and why they’ve enacted policies that they must know are anti-growth.

  20. Hoi Polloi says:

    That pitbull must be gay looking at its pink leash…

  21. D o u g C o t to n says:


    Roy, Joel and other lukes and warmists:

    The fact that planetary surface temperatures are higher than the radiating temperature of any planet with a significant atmosphere is entirely due to the gravito-thermal effect first explained by the brilliant 19th century physicist, Josef Loschmidt, and never correctly refuted, not even by Robert Brown of WUWT fame.

    There is no further warming needed. In fact, the gravitationally induced temperature gradient over-shoots the mark and mean temperatures are around 300K in dry regions. Fortunately in the more moist regions water vapour and any radiating molecules in any planetary troposphere reduce the gradient because of various radiation processes, and so we have cooler temperatures.

    But the IPCC would have you believe that water vapour does most of “33 degrees of warming” and this is absolute nonsense, not born out by any temperature data. Even the 33 degrees is grossly underestimated because only a mean of 161W/m^2 of solar radiation reaches the surface.

    What would the sensitivity be to each 1% rise in water vapour? Rain forests with 4% would be rather hot, and dry deserts at least 30 degrees colder perhaps.

    It’s all so ludicrous that I’m astonished at the lack of due diligence by those who lapped up the hoax. Of course the conjecture doesn’t work at all on other planets, but even that doesn’t seem to worry you all. To put it frankly, you have been brainwashed and one day you will be very red-faced. Radiation is not the primary determinant of planetary surface temperatures.

    • Joel Shore says:

      Even if Loschmidt’s arguments were correct about there being a temperature gradient in equilibrium (and we now know that they are not), they would still not explain the problem that you seem unable to comprehend regarding the top-of-the-atmosphere energy balance. I think you should stick to tallbloke’s blog and other places where there isn’t a critical mass of people who know physics and silly arguments that violate basic principles of physics never get refuted.

      Doug: You are just a classic demonstration of the Dunning-Kruger Effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect). You think you are smarter than everyone else because you suffer from “a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude”.

      • Massimo PORZIO says:

        Hi Joel Shore,
        you wrote: “Even if Loschmidts arguments were correct about there being a temperature gradient in equilibrium (and we now know that they are not)”

        If this is true, please could you explain why is the Sun hot?
        For what I know the Sun heats up by gravity compression, then it cools by nuclear fusion, because at a certain deep from the surface it reaches the so high temperature at which hydrogen have a nuclear fusion and changes into helium.
        The cooling happens because during that fusion a bunch of photons are emitted in the visible band, which is not thermal until it is absorbed by matter.
        Then if that is true on the Sun, why the Earth atmospheric pressure shouldn’t work as per the Sun?
        I don’t know how much the Earth gravity (which is almost 28 times lower than the Sun’s one) can increase the surface temperature just because of the existing atmosphere, but I believe that gases on the Sun should works as here on Earth.
        IMHO in that case not only a part of those +33K respect to the simply SB could be explained by this, but also the thermal gradient should be present.
        As always said, I’m just an electronic engineer, so maybe I misunderstand something.

        Have a nice day.

        Massimo

        • numberer says:

          Massimo writes:

          “…at which hydrogen have a fusion and turn into helium…”

          Which involves mass being converted into energy! Nuclear fusion is the standard explanation* of why the sun is hot. Gravitational compression is thought to be just the trigger, the source of the original activation energy.

          * There are other – completely heterodox – theories.

          “…gases on the Sun should work as here on earth…”

          No, they are overwhelmingly in the form of plasmas – the “fourth state” of matter.

          • numberer says:

            If the sun were shining solely by virtue of changing gravitational potential energy into heat, at the rate it is, it would need to be less than 8 million years old. (This was calculated by Kelvin and Heaviside a Century ago.) Of course if you think the Sun is 6,000 years old that is all right. But if you think it is older – it is impossible.

        • Joel Shore says:

          In addition to the points made, the Earth and its atmosphere is not undergoing gravitational collapse. Gravity is not a source of energy unless gravitational potential energy is being converted into other forms of energy, in which case the gravitational potential energy has to decrease with time. (And since we are talking about GLOBAL energy balance, it is irrelevant that in some places, I mean conversion of gravitational potential energy to other forms on a global scale, not that in some places air is descending but in other places it is ascending.)

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Joel Shore.
            Maybe I’m wrong of course but:
            “Gravity is not a source of energy unless gravitational potential energy is being converted into other forms of energy, in which case the gravitational potential energy has to decrease with time.”

            The gravity potential energy is given by the whole gases kinetic energy which is acquired by different ways, mainly at ground but by SW absorption too. In each case that “thermal energy” that make possible the atmosphere (at 0K all the gasses collapse to ground), should keep the ground warmer since the gravitational field returns the kinetic (thermal) energy back to ground.
            That is, thanks to gravity all the gases (not only GHGs) work as a blanket. Without gravity all gas molecules would go away in the open space spreading their kinetic energy into the universe, that energy instead is still here. It returns to ground with a delay which depends on the ground temperature, and when the ground temp is rising the gravitational “blanket” keeps a part of energy otherwise radiated to space by the ground for a moment; while when the ground temp is falling the gravitational “blanket” returns a part of its energy back to the ground keeping it a little warmer for a moment too. The overall balance should warm the planet.

            About the Sun age, I don’t know Kelvins & Heaviside work, but AFAIK only 0.7% of the fusion energy is emitted the rest is “trapped” by something that I call gravity.

            I know it could be a childish explanation, but I still cant imagine a gas molecule running the very same kinetic energy at the TOA without escaping to the outer space.

            Have a nice day.

            Massimo

          • Joel Shore says:

            Massimo,

            You are running into the same problem that Doug and Stephen Wilde and the others are: You are getting hung up on the surface energy balance and ignoring the top-of-the-atmosphere energy balance (How much energy comes in at the top-of-the atmosphere? How much energy goes out at the top of the atmosphere?)

            In other words, you are coming up with an explanation of how the energy balance at the surface might change, but that is not what is relevant: If the surface temperature is greater than 255 K, the problem is that the Earth+atmosphere is radiating more energy out into space than it is absorbing from the sun. You can’t cure this by transferring energy from the atmosphere to the surface. The only way that you can cure this is by having some of the energy radiated by the surface get absorbed by the atmosphere…in other words, via the radiative greenhouse effect. [Or you can cure it by proposing some huge form of creation of thermal energy from other forms of energy, e.g., such as gravitational collapse, although we actually know that this is not the solution because satellites can now measure the amount of energy being emitted back out into space and they find it is very close to the amount being absorbed by the Earth + atmosphere from the sun.]

          • Joel Shore says:

            I’ll just add that, sure, gravity is important in preventing gases from escaping to space and maintaining our atmosphere. However, you still have to explain why the Earth is 33 K warmer than it could possibly be if all the radiation that the surface emitted escaped to space.

            I’ll also add that other gases in the atmosphere do play an indirect role in the greenhouse effect, e.g., through pressure-broadening of the absorption lines of the greenhouse gases.

            And, gravity plays a role in setting the adiabatic lapse rate, which basically limits how much convection can reduce the lapse rate (and hence decrease the greenhouse effect).

            However, none of this negates the fact that it is the greenhouse gases that play the important role of absorbing the terrestrial radiation and hence allowing the surface to be warmer than it otherwise would be. And, increasing those greenhouse gases causes a radiative imbalance that nobody of any scientific stature in the field actively disputes (of ~4 W/m^2).

          • Joel Shore says:

            …I meant to write that the 4 W/m^2 is the effect on the radiative balance for doubling CO2 (all else being equal…i.e., before feedbacks).

        • Joel Shore says:

          And, just one other point since it seems to be coming up as a theme here: The fact that there is a certain temperature gradient with altitude (on average), i.e., a lapse rate in the atmosphere does not imply the surface is at a certain warmer temperature than it would be otherwise.

          To state it mathematically, if I give you the slope of a line (i.e., m in the equation of y = m*x + b), I can’t then have you tell me what y is when x=0. I still have to specify something else, like the constant b or the value of y for SOME value of x. And, in the atmosphere, that something else turns out to be the temperature at the effective radiating height, that is, the height where, on average, radiation is more likely than not to escape to space without being absorbed. And, greenhouse elements (gases and clouds) determine that effective radiating height.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Joel Shore,

            You claimed:

            “And, in the atmosphere, that something else turns out to be the temperature at the effective radiating height, that is, the height where, on average, radiation is more likely than not to escape to space without being absorbed. And, greenhouse elements (gases and clouds) determine that effective radiating height.”

            This statement appears to assume that most if not all the emitted surface radiation gets absorbed by the atmosphere. Of course if the atmosphere truly proves opaque to infrared then thermal imaging satellites would be for the most part ineffective. In fact, the atmosphere apparently proves quite transparent to most of it and surface features can be quite clearly observed even via IR radiation.

            https://lta.cr.usgs.gov/HCMM

            Have a great day!

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi JohnKl,
            that link doesn’t prove that the atmosphere is transparent at LWIR (we should say “leaves the radiation unchanged” instead of “it is transparent” because, I repeat, we are talking about regular transmittance not about diffused transmittance), at least for the CO2 absorption band at 666cm-1 which corresponds to about 15um.
            In fact the HCMM thermal IR satellites imagery was performed via one 10.5…12.5um scanning detector.
            In fact, there is no doubt that the “bite” at 666cm-1 is the consequence of the tiny CO2 concentration in our atmosphere. What I continue to challenge is that the satellites don’t see all the GHGs scattered outgoing photons.

            Joel Shore can’t say the he knows the real imbalance at the TOA, until he can proof that he really measured the real outgoing energy there.
            Sorry for re-post one more time it, but here is the link to a paper (not intended to debunk the GHGs theory) which shows how at about 34km of altitude the tangential emission spectra is almost complementary to the the nadir view at 666cm-1.

            http://hal.inria.fr/docs/00/32/84/63/PDF/acp-6-5025-2006.pdf

            (See page 5027 top right graph).

            Since there is almost no back radiation from the top at that altitude (see the graph below in the same page), and the atmosphere is spherical that radiation is outgoing the Earth system indeed.
            So what I’m arguing here is that the “bite” seen at the nadir by the satellites could be in part or fully filled by that radiation which escape the TOA not vertically outside the satellite’s radiometer field of view.
            For comparison on the absolute radiance measured see the two graphs at page 5029, the “bite” is about 0.08W/(m2*sr*cm-1) while the tangential peak is about 0.06W/(m2*sr*cm-1).

            Have a great day.

            Massimo

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Massimo PORZIO and Joel Shore,

            Please note my statement referred to GHG’s in general not merely CO2 and the broad infrared spectrum. My point remains valid. In fact, it remains valid at the 15 um (micron) CO2 range as well. Both of you may wish to investigate the Mars Global Surveyor Themis thermal satellite imagery that includes the 15 micron range. One can find quite detailed SURFACE information from it. The link below should provide you with some imagery.

            https://www.ess.washington.edu/ess-ew/about/sa-ew/gs-phd-dissert/yr.2012/matthew–smith/matthew–smith_phd_2012.pdf

            Keep in mind the martian atmospheric mass of 25 terratons (5148 terratons earth atmospheric mass) appears to be 96% CO2 enormously greater than earth’s with a much smaller planetary surface area.

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Massimo PORZIO and Joel Shore,

            To clarify my previous post comparing Earth and Martian atmosphere. My statement meant to communicate that Martian atmspheric CO2 levels greatly exceeded the Earth’s.

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Joel and Massimo,

            To correct my previous post regarding Themis satellite imagery please review the following information:

            http://themis.asu.edu/files/thmprocdocs/Bandfield.pdf

            Have a great day!

        • Joel Shore says:

          And, just to finish the story since we’ve come this far…Given the effective radiating height, the lapse rate does indeed determine the surface temperature because you extrapolate down from a temperature of 255 K at the effective radiating level to get the temperature at the surface.

          So, then the question arises as to why the lapse rate is what it is. And, the answer is that the lapse rate is large in the troposphere because the atmosphere is strongly heated from below. In fact, if convection were not present, it would be something like twice as large as it is. However, convection is present and it acts to cool the surface and drive the lapse rate down to a lower value. If convection drove the lapse rate down to 0, there would be no radiative greenhouse effect because that effect depends on the lapse rate being present, but it turns out that convection can’t do that because the atmosphere is only unstable to convection when the lapse rate is larger than the adiabatic lapse rate…which, for dry (unsaturated) air, is g/C_p (the one thing Doug correctly notes in his screeds, although he misunderstand how it comes about).

          So, the adiabatic lapse rate is what we call a stability limit on the actual lapse rate: Lapse rates greater than the adiabatic lapse rate are unstable to convection and that convection then tends to drive the lapse rate down to the adiabatic lapse rate but no further.

          And, by the way, the adiabatic lapse rate is determined by the fact that a parcel of air that rises adiabatically through the atmosphere (i.e., does not exchange heat with its surroundings, generally a good approximation because conduction is a pretty slow process) encounters lower pressures as it moves up and hence it expands. And, a gas that expands does work on its surroundings, thus lowering its internal energy and hence its temperature. This is why the temperature can decrease with height (as long as it doesn’t decrease with height too rapidly) and the atmosphere can still be hydrodynamically stable. (If pressure did not decrease with height, a temperature decrease with height would be hydrodynamically unstable because it would mean the density of the air would increase with height.)

    • ferdberple says:

      Hi Doug, please see my post

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/10/why-dont-more-people-care-about-global-warming/#comment-136887

      consider this my application for the 50k reward, thanks

  22. Venezuela recently tried the socialist experiment again. Just because it failed the last 50 times doesn’t mean it won’t work the on 51st try, right?

    When a government official was recently asked how the country had managed to run out of toilet paper, the explanation was that people must be much better fed now than ever before, and hence supply wasn’t keeping up with demand.

  23. Streetcred says:

    I loved that sign, “Capitalism is killing us” … but it is surely doing a poor job at that !?

  24. gallopingcamel says:

    This rant was by far the best ever posted here. It was so good that I am asking “Who is this and what did you do with Roy Spencer?”

  25. Massimo PORZIO says:

    Hi Joel Shore,
    “I meant to write that the 4 W/m^2 is the effect on the radiative balance for doubling CO2 (all else being equali.e., before feedbacks)”
    Are you sure about that?
    I mean that I know that the spectra plotted by the satellites you reported above comply with the Modtran simulations, but those are just regular transmittance plots, not diffused transmittance.
    I know that theoretically the energy emitted by spherical body can be measured by sampling the radiation flux of just a little part of it’s surface, but this is valid only when the radiation path is completely transparent.
    Otherwise to get the effective emitted radiation, a diffuse transmittance must be measured to get the energy scattered by the matter in the radiation path (the GHG molecules in this context), which otherwise are not seen.

    Have a nice day.

    Massimo

    • Joel Shore says:

      I’m not sure what your point is. The original radiation at the surface was emitted in a diffuse manner too, as is the radiation from the GHGs and clouds. It is not like you are taking an originally collimated source and then having it be scattered or absorbed and re-emitted in random directions. All thermal radiation is emitted diffusely.

      • Massimo PORZIO says:

        Hi Joel Shore,
        you are perfectly right in your statement here and I fully agree.
        But IMHO you missed the point that while at ground the diffused radiator without any GHGs around it has a quasi-perfect Planck’s body spectra for any angle the satellite see it, instead when it is seen from the small FOV “eye” of the satellite the radiator surrounded by the GHGs has scattered spectra for any angle which is different from nadir spectrum that are very different from the nadir FOV spectrum itself.
        Just referring to the previous link, the tangent FOV spectrum is almost complementary to the nadir FOV spectrum.

        If its true that simulating with Modtran a doubling in CO2 you get 4 W/m^2 of outgoing LWIR reduction at nadir, it is obvious that instead that tangent radiation will increase according to the the CO2 doubling, because the “emitter” there are doubled too (that “emitter” molecules are the very same absorbing molecules that build up the “bite” at 666cm-1).
        Do you get my point now?

        IMHO any single point of the spectra for the angles between the nadir and the tangent ones should be a point to point interpolation of each wavelength of the twos border conditions. But, of course, this is only an opinion of mine, because I never see a plot of the spectra for those angles.
        For that, it’s my opinion that the satellites should be equipped with a wide angle FOV radiometer (or spectrometer) which gets the whole Earth dish radiation (comprising the atmospheric ring).
        An integrating sphere should be the right optics for the radiometer, but my limited knowledge in this field can’t allow me to state if this is easy to do. I just say that because in gases spectroscopy the integrating sphere is used for that purpose.

        Have a nice day.

        Massimo

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          Hi Joel shore,
          I thought a little bit more about what I formerly wrote on the possibility that the gravity can warm a little the surface by delaying the temperature changes and I finally I concluded that I was completely wrong. I apologize but sometimes I wrote here during the office break time, and with hurry I wrote such kind of silly things.
          Anyways, since any GHG molecule can hold one photon at time, the effect should not be very different from the gravitational effect in warming the ground, with the little difference that sometimes the photons are radiated to the outer space at different altitudes. For that, at ground this should not influence the overall surface temperature except for the tiny delays when the temperature changes happen.

          Have a great day.

          Massimo

  26. James says:

    I really love the tax the rich comment that came up. How does taxing the rich actually help the poor? This money is not going to be directly paid to the poor. The poor will still remain poor. So the idea then is to make everyone poorer? That is some sort of economic solution? Some people are better off than others so csnt have that. No, let us use government to punish those who make more and make everyone equally poor. Yeah that is w real solution.

    Most polluting places on earth were and are socialistic countries. The ruling class has all tbe money and makes all the rules in those nations. The ruling class will never pass laws that hurt their money flow or power. Very false notion to think then government should be the solution to problems. Government can support but private enterprises should be the solution. Fact is capitalism made the poor in America, on average according to fivethirtyeight, 80% wealthier than poor in other nations. capitalism isn’t tbr problem. Government is.

  27. John says:

    I was with you until the end …

    Correlation does not equal causation.

  28. Michael says:

    Because it is a big money grabbing hoax that is why.

  29. Gordon Robertson says:

    “With the 18-year hiatus…”

    Roy….Why do you play into the hands of the alarmists by calling this a hiatus? According to John Christy, there has been little or no warming for 33 years, since you guys started making data sets from NOAA satellite data.

    According to one dictionary, a hiatus is “a period of time when something (such as an activity or program) is stopped”. The inference of a hiatus is that the activity will start again. At least, that’s how the IPCC sees it.

    I like the interpretation of astronomer Syun Akasofu better. He claims the Little Ice Age plunged us into a cooling period and that we have been recovering at about 0.5 C per century. In that case, we should be back to normal since the LIA cooled us by about 1 C.

  30. Mark says:

    When I was 35 (2005), I had an opportunity to start a business, I had an engineering degree, access to capital and 10 years of experience in my industry. When I looked into the taxes, red tape, laws, cost of doing business, and entitlement attitude of potential hires, I “gave up and retired” like you said. The risk/reward just wasn’t there and mostly due to California laws/costs/culture. People are still voting with their feet and taking business out of state like you said. So much for prosperity. I hear they call it “going Galt” now days. Lot of people like me.

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