Well Bam, There it Is: Exxon Mobil Investigated by NY Attorney General

November 6th, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

exxon-tigerI suppose this was inevitable, and Exxon Mobil probably expected it as well.

According to the Justin Gillis NYT story, the New York attorney general’s “investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research.”

The thing that astounds me about this is, as far as I know, Exxon Mobil “scientific research” would not have uncovered anything that was not already widely hypothesized (not “known”) by the scientific community, Al Gore, Greenpeace, school teachers, Hollywood actors, your 8 yr old son, et al.

How one compares a tobacco company cover-up of evidence that smoking kills millions of people, to human-caused climate change, which cannot be demonstrated to have occurred let alone cause even one death (or even inconvience) is beyond me.

But then, we live in a brave new world, don’t we?

whocanisue

That this was coming can be seen from the popular meme that conflates “climate change” with “human caused climate change”. For example, a few months ago The Guardian had a headline which crowed, “Exxon knew of climate change in 1981“.

What a stupid headline. Of course “climate change” exists. Medieval farmers enjoyed the fruits of it. Vikings in Greenland cursed it.

We knew about climate change long before Al Gore earned his “D” in Natural Science and decided to become an expert on the subject.

Natural climate change has caused (or at least contributed to) millions of deaths over the centuries. But our use of fossil fuels has enabled a level of prosperity which has made us much more resilient to climate change and weather disasters, maybe akin to the prosperity enjoyed in Medieval times when warmer conditions prevailed.

Where are the studies to investigate the possibility that modest warming has actually prevented severe weather? Major tornadoes and hurricanes in the U.S. have certainly seen a downturn in recent years. Maybe Exxon Mobil should be charging extra for this ‘positive externality’?

What about all the prevented cold weather, which still kills many more people than hot weather?

Instead, every bad thing that happens in weather is now blamed on carbon dioxide emissions. Too hot. Too cold. Not enough snow. Too much snow. It’s all our fault.

Medieval witchcraft. Time to burn some CEOs at the stake.

Even though sea level was slowly rising long before CO2 could be blamed, we now blame it on your SUV. In order to even begin to blame it even partially on CO2, the rise should be accelerating, which it (arguably) hasn’t.

Investigating Exxon Mobil for some sort of undisclosed knowledge of “climate change” is like investigating the agricultural industry for undisclosed knowledge that too much food can make people fat…except that there isn’t even any human fingerprint of global warming, like there is a stomach-print of overeating.

Or, maybe a better analogy is an investigation into the Mexican or Italian food industry for their secret knowledge that their spicy food causes peptic ulcers…except that theory was finally debunked, despite a 99% consensus in the medical community.

It’s easy to go after corporate giants, since they have so much money. Too bad people don’t realize the reason these corporations are so rich is they provide us with a standard of living we want more than other things we could have spent that money on. Econ 101.

And natural climate change is Climatology 101.

Or, at least it used to be.

DISCLOSURE: I’ve been known to give Exxon Mobil money in exchange for gasoline. But I usually use Chevron gas, which contans Techron which keeps my intake manifold and valves clean.


96 Responses to “Well Bam, There it Is: Exxon Mobil Investigated by NY Attorney General”

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  1. mcraig says:

    June, 2012 from the Climate Accountability Institute Workshop:

    “A key breakthrough in the public and legal case for tobacco control came when internal documents came to light showing the tobacco industry had knowingly misled the public. Similar documents may well exist in the vaults of the fossil fuel industry and their trade associations and front groups…”

    This is very interesting reading: https://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/rico-teering/

    • dam1953 says:

      The key issue in the tobacco litigation was that the opponents of the tobacco industry had science (good science) on their side. Much of the “science” behind global warming is weak at best and totally fabricated at worst.

      NY State may just have opened up the proverbial can of worms. This is not Mass v Steyn. Exxon has a bit more money to defend itself against frivolous litigation. Exxon could easily drag every researcher in for depositions and demand that they explain they research and conclusions, under oath.

      I think NY may have just screwed…big time.

      • John Silver says:

        LOL, that was my immediate thought too.
        It’s BBS, Boomerang Bull S**t.

      • Ben of Houston says:

        They aren’t going to risk it. I’ve been in the industry too many years. They think it’s bad publicity, and even if they win, they will lose. They will almost certainly settle this behind closed doors. If they do chose to fight, it will be on grounds that all of this is public knowledge or some other grounds of non-effect.

        The best case scenario would be if they took a stance that they were being persecuted for disagreeing with a scientific opinion, aka government censorship of science. However, I doubt it.

        As for actually debating the basis of global warming? That will cost a lot of money on their part and being that it’s not a terribly popular opinion with the layfolk, it would be less likely to go their way anyway. That would be a fall-back position at best, and one that I do not see coming to fruition.

    • Kat says:

      I feel like we are about to enter “1984”.

  2. Ron C, says:

    Alarmists have not succeeded to convince the public to support their agenda, witness the US legislature in the hands of skeptics. So the alternative is to convince the judges, who are far fewer in number, but with the power to make it happen. We are left to hope that the legal system is able to apply rationality based upon legal precedents.

    Climate activists are increasingly looking to law courts to advance the cause, including a clause in the COP treaty. This plan to catch Exxon in a tobacco-style litigation was hatched long ago, but timed now ahead of Paris COP. It could backfire. Background is here:
    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/objection-asserting-facts-not-in-evidence/

  3. Sean says:

    The climate alarmists desperately need villians. They have been pushing a story that the public has not been buying for a decade. So they demonize the Koch brothers and Exxon Mobile because they won’t cow-tow to the storyline. The have to have a really big, rich and powerful villains otherwise, the public would have been swayed by their argument already. In fact, I think Exxon has been remarkable silent on the issue of climate change and spent much more money supporting green projects than they have defending the status quo. For Exxon, this only makes sense. The green movement have been successful at strangling the coal industry which has increased the use of natural gas that Exxon supplies. Perhaps the climate movement finally realized they were the worlds biggest patsies for big oi.

  4. mpainter says:

    The position of the alarmists is as false as it can possibly be: 1) the old assertion that the “science is settled” which is easily shown as false; 2) the alarmist hype collapses when closely examined, as in court. A more cogent case can be made that CO2 is beneficial rather than harmful.

  5. Ben Palmer says:

    Assuming that Exxon will be found “guilty” of having known for a long time that burning fuel leaves us with CO2 and that CO2 causes climate change (is it even possible they knew that before it became common knowledge thru the IPCC reports and the Inconvenient Truth? Wow!)
    What should Exxon have done? Print warnings on every fuel pump accompanied by pictures of injuries caused by climate change? Ban fuel for people under age 21? Sell fuel only to customers with prescriptions?

    • Joel Shore says:

      They could have refrained for funding organizations that were spreading nonsense that they knew to be false.

      The tobacco companies were not fined because they did not voluntarily put warnings on cigarettes. They were fined because they knew the dangers of tobacco but claimed otherwise. (There was a particularly famous appearance in front of Congress https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6B1q22R438 where they all claimed that nicotine was not addictive at the same time that they were manipulating nicotine levels in cigarettes to keep customers addicted.)

      • mpainter says:

        Throw XOM in the water. If it floats, fish it out and hang it. If it sinks, fish it out and try again.

        You can’t take a failed hypothesis to court as a cause for action, Joel. Judges are not like the peer review gatekeepers.

      • mpainter says:

        Joel Shore:
        “They could have refrained for funding organizations that were spreading nonsense that they knew to be false.”
        ###
        I will wager that you cannot provide a specific example for this claim.

    • FTOP says:

      Since during the time frame of this inquest, the lexicon morphed between global cooling, global warming, and climate change, will the AGs case rest on Exxon being unable to predict the future? Did they not embrace the fad of the time on a schedule adherent to government’s wishes?

      How could they “deny” climate change when it didn’t enter the lexicon until 2003?

      I expect the AG to next sue Kodak for not providing technology to better capture images of Bigfoot.

      This is economic terrorism driven by political correctness ideology. Less violent than Muslim extremism, but cut from the same cloth.

      • Jim Dean says:

        FTOP says: I expect the AG to next sue Kodak for not providing technology to better capture images of Bigfoot.

        What a great analogy.

  6. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    Natural climate change has caused (or at least contributed to) millions of deaths over the centuries.

    You could also say, that it has prevented millions of deaths when it was good weather.
    The average must be between extra losses in bad weather and less losses in good weather.
    To open a case of what exxon might have known, at a time when no officials sounded any alarm is alarming.
    What about opening a case toward NY regarding what they knew before Sandy, and why they did not do anything. At that time anybody was talking of raising sea.

  7. Ben Palmer says:

    I sure get the impression I’m the inmate of a madhouse. Get me out of here!

  8. Bob Tisdale says:

    Roy, thanks for the final sentence of the disclosure. Made me laugh. Unfortunately, I was sipping coffee when I read it.

    • Gunga Din says:

      I liked it too.
      It seems that “Big Oil” money isn’t flowing in the direction some would have us believe.
      PS What ever happened to Shell’s “Platformate”?

  9. Ben Palmer says:

    Well, Roy, it would be scared, very scared! They might find the bank records showing you as the beneficiary of large sums of grants or at least a sandwich and a coke payed by Exxon. You better pack up …

  10. Ben Palmer says:

    This investigation seems to be instigated by a conspiracies, this time not by the Koch Brothers but rather by Naomi Oreskes and some well known tobacco control advocates:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/11/06/document-shows-that-a-climate-activist-shadow-organization-was-behind-the-rico20-allegations/

  11. boris says:

    It would be an interesting read if someone put together all of the regulation of the US economy that has been managed via lawsuits brought by the green activists under the Clean Air; Clean Water; and Endangered Species Acts. Those “settlements” become law without the direct intervention of Congress to rescind the rule. Pretty nifty set up for lawsuit collusion between greenies and their co thinkers in the regulatory agencies. That way the legal fees get paid from somewhere else than the fundraising stream. Talk about RICO!

  12. JohnKl says:

    Hi Roy,

    Great post. You state:

    “That this was coming can be seen from the popular meme that conflates “climate change” with “human caused climate change”. For example, a few months ago The Guardian had a headline which crowed, “Exxon knew of climate change in 1981“.

    What a stupid headline. Of course “climate change” exists. Medieval farmers enjoyed the fruits of it. Vikings in Greenland cursed it.”

    Yes, it really is a stupid headline! Which only goes to show how little respect the Guardian has for it’s so called “READERS!” Funny how by the same zombie logic one doesn’t read headlines like: “Kolbe Beef new about climate change and Cow farts since 1985!”

    We do live in a mad-house. You also stated:

    “DISCLOSURE: I’ve been known to give Exxon Mobil money in exchange for gasoline. But I usually use Chevron gas, which contans Techron which keeps my intake manifold and valves clean.”

    Hydro-carbon virgins don’t exist. I have almost exclusively purchased Cheveron for years because of the Techron as well. Although lately I’ve bought Costco. May have to switch back, fuel-injectors and all.

    Have a great day!

  13. Paul says:

    Stories like this have the effect of making it real for believers of AGW and lay people ( for want of a better word) who have active interest in the topic.

  14. Ken Gregory says:

    The Minnesota state utility regulators asked an administrative law judge to rule on the social cost of carbon (SCC). Dr. Richard Lindzen testified “new evidence (Stevens, 2015) reduces the uncertainty of aerosols so climate sensitivity is now “extremely unlikely to exceed 2 ºC”. He estimates climate sensitivity is from 0.85 ºC to 1.5 ºC. https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/testimony.pdf
    Dr. Richard Tol built the FUND integrated assessment model, which is the world’s most detailed. Table 3 of Tol’s testimony Exhibit 2 shows that the social cost of carbon (SCC) using a climate sensitivity of 1 ºC is negative 18.0 $/tC, ie, quite beneficial. Table 3 also shows at the SCC using a CS of 2 ºC is negative 4.05 $/tC, still beneficial. A review by Dr. Pat Michaels http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/michaels_testimony_SCC_July_22,2015.pdf shows that the CO2 fertilization effect in the FUND model is “some 4 times smaller than the magnitude of the fertilization impact identified by Idso (2013).” Idso (2013) expects CO2 fertilization to increase the value of agricultural output by $11.9 trillion (in 2014 constant dollars) during the 2012-2050 period. The other two IAMs, Page and DICE, do not include any significant CO2 fertilization effect. Maybe Exxon Mobil’s products should be subsidized with a negative SCC for the ‘positive externality’ due to CO2 fertilization, reduced winter deaths and reduced storminess.

  15. richard verney says:

    The stakes are high in this game, and it could back fire in one of two ways.

    First, the Oil Majors have gone along with all this green madness and Climate alarmism since they can make more money out of trading carbon bonds and developing alternative energy than they can make from trading oil. In fact oil trade itself (as opposed to exploration and development) forms only a small part of the profits. But if the Oil Majors are going to be sued over Climate Change, it may be in their interests to prove that the current science is unsound and that presently there appears no firm evidence that CO2 (at current levels) does anything other than greening the planet. The Green blob might find that, instead of dealing with spineless Governments, it has taken on an opponent that can bite back and has deep pockets with which to mount a counter attack.

    Second, the destruction and emancipation of the Oil Majors would be a catastrophic blow for society since unlike many companies such as Google, Starbucks, Amazon, eBay and their like where there are significant issues regarding the amount of tax that they pay, Oil Majors pay vast sums to the exchequers. If the Government was to lose that money, the health service and welfare would severely suffer since there would be a huge hole in the Government finances which no other business could fill. There is no way that windfarm operators or solar farm operators will be paying in tax the sums that Exxon and other Oil Majors do. So should serious harm be dealt to Exxon (and other Oil Majors) this will hurt the lefties far more than they realise since their beloved welfare state will likely fall with it.

    One should be very wary as to how this game may unfold.

    • Robert Dennis says:

      Political optics aside, I wonder if this isn’t really about shaking down a “settlement” from XOM along the lines of the tobacco settlement. The resulting “fund” would be used to fight “climate change”. The irony of course is the same as with the tobacco settlement. To keep paying the settlement, tobacco companies need to keep selling…tobacco. Likewise, XOM, if found “guilty”, needs to keep selling fossil fuel products.

      It’s not about climate change. It’s about finding new and creative ways to extract money from private enterprise.

    • richard verney says:

      That’s what taxation is, ie., the extraction of monies from the creators of wealth, and private enterprises.

      The taxation of oil & gas, in many jurisdictions is taxed higher than that of other business products/services, but if the government needs more money then rather than suing the Oil Majors, it would be better to add an extra 1 or 2% on their tax bill (provided always that they do not over tax the goose that is laying the golden egg on which our economies and way of life depends, thereby forcing them out of business).

  16. Ossqss says:

    They are just testing the water. Part of the agreement being oushed in Paris will contain the formation of an “international trubunal of climate justice”.

    http://www.cfact.org/2015/10/23/un-climate-text-adds-an-international-tribunal-of-climate-justice/

    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/11/un-wants-an-international-tribunal-of-climate-justice-power-to-tell-democracies-what-to-do/

    I can just imagine what the judge will look like 😉

    http://www.occidentaldissent.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/JudgeQ.jpg

  17. mpainter says:

    See Torquemada Grand Inquisitor, also Supreme and General Council of Inquisition.
    What clowns these global
    warmers are..

    EXCEPT, see also Bolshevists, show trials, ethnic cleansing. These types are capable of splattering blood on the moon.

  18. David says:

    Let’s compare this prosecution to the relatively lax treatment of the banks. When did NY based companies Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup knew that the mortgages that they were selling as CDOs were going to fail? They had to have known that it was a mathematical certainly that the instruments would fail long before it was disclosed to the public. And what did the New York AG do?

    The lawsuit against Exxon is completely bogus. Someone at Exxon suggested this theory of global warming. Someone looked into it. There are probably hundreds of different scenarios that people might have looked into. There was no certainty among the people at Exxon that anything would happen. And, in truth, nothing has happened.

  19. Groty says:

    Being that elected officials in New York are concerned that Exxon’s product is too risky for them, then why doesn’t Exxon and all of its competitors just stop selling its products in New York?

    They love the environment so much, then let them enjoy a New York winter without fossil fuels.

    • Robert says:

      Now imagine we would all have a horse instead of a car.

      “Nineteenth-century cities depended on thousands of horses for their daily functioning. All transport, whether of goods or people, was drawn by horses. London in 1900 had 11,000 cabs, all horse-powered. There were also several thousand buses, each of which required 12 horses per day, a total of more than 50,000 horses. In addition, there were countless carts, drays, and wains, all working constantly to deliver the goods needed by the rapidly growing population of what was then the largest city in the world. Similar figures could be produced for any great city of the time.*

      The problem of course was that all these horses produced huge amounts of manure. A horse will on average produce between 15 and 35 pounds of manure per day. Consequently, the streets of nineteenth-century cities were covered by horse manure. This in turn attracted huge numbers of flies, and the dried and ground-up manure was blown everywhere. In New York in 1900, the population of 100,000 horses produced 2.5 million pounds of horse manure per day, which all had to be swept up and disposed of. (See Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 [New York: Oxford University Press, 1999]).”

      http://fee.org/freeman/the-great-horse-manure-crisis-of-1894/

      • Robert says:

        Climate is only one of the many tools used to enslave you and me. The alarmist like a part of the scientific community, Al Gore, Greenpeace, school teachers, Hollywood actors, your 8 yr old son are the brown shirts and Hitler Jugend in this game. They are just the cannon fodder to win the war and when no longer needed to be eliminated from the payroll.

        Milton Friedman: The Future of Freedom

        https://youtu.be/Ub_3x4XDbiE

    • Frank K. says:

      “…why doesn’t Exxon and all of its competitors just stop selling its products in New York?”

      BINGO! They should start right now. It will be fun to see those electric snow plows when the lake-effect snows start to kick in.

      (BTW – warmist hypocrites – please stop using ALL PRODUCTS MADE BY FOSSIL FUELS. NOW. TODAY.)

  20. 4TimesAYear says:

    I still say we need to call the men in white coats for alarmists. I haven’t seen one single proof of true catastrophic climate change, i.e. one biome turning into another with catastrophic consequences. All they ever use are catastrophic weather events and erosion. Nothing new there. I don’t see people fleeing the coasts and moving inland due to sea level rise in Florida, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, LA, etc. I hope Exxon wins the law suit – but it’s the people that will be the big losers whichever way it goes because it’s so needless.

  21. David Vanegas says:

    The Climate Model has spoken

    Humble yourself and make offerings to the Climate Model.

    Poverty, disease and short life is a consequence of serving human progress rather than the Model.

    Those who do not voluntarily make offerings to the Model, will be forced to make them.

    The Model has spoken.

  22. Aaron S says:

    As i understand the situation, the emails are related to the Natuna field in the south china sea. The field is a mega giant that has 220 TCF of gas in place(that is a giant gas field on any standard). It has not been develeloped since being discovered in the 70s (not 100% when the discovery well was drilled) because is is more than 70% CO2 and not sweet methane. The problem is the economocs of making money are destroyed by the difficulty dealing with all the CO2. So the emails were mailed around discussing ways to deal with the economics of the gas. So they are being taken out of context.

    Exxon does have a line of famous research on the global composite sea level through time that in essence represents natural climate change and tectonic patterns. Haq et al is the most cited geology paper in geologic history (according to the lead author) with over 20,000 citations. It has stood the test of time. I dont see this case going very far based on their research. It actually could be a great opportunity to explain to the public how dynamic natural climate is and add a very data driven argument to the climate change debate. So i say bring it bc the truth is nothing to fear.

    • aaron says:

      Except it will make more sense for them to “settle”, providing funding for propaganda and support for regulations that prevent outside innovators from entering their market and driving prices down.

  23. Vincent says:

    The fundamental problem which contributes to this AGW controversy, is a general ignorance in the population at large, regarding the basic processes of the scientific method.
    President Obama seems an intelligent bloke, but I suspect he has little understanding of scientific processes, as most politicians don’t, and as most members of the population at large don’t.

    Unfortunately, books on the history of science and the philosophy of science, are not best-sellers. Those who are ignorant of these fundamental processes, of the need for all scientific theories to be repeatedly tested under a variety of circumstances before any certainty can be claimed, will tend to be influenced merely by claims of a ‘consensus of opinion’ amongst the experts.

    Without an understanding of the basics of the methodology of science, people are not able to think for themselves in an objective manner, and appreciate that the enormous complexity of climatic processes, and the long time-frames involved for certain processes to take effect, do not lend themselves to the rigorous scientific methodology of repeated attempts at falsification, that are required for any significant degree of certainty to be achieved.

    • Joel Shore says:

      Vincent:

      Let’s subject your hypothesis to the rigors of falsification: You suppose that it is the ignorance of the population at large regarding science that makes them inclined to accept AGW.

      So, a prediction of such a hypothesis would be that the public at large accepts AGW to a great degree than scientists themselves do (since presumably scientists understand the scientific method better than the public at large). And, yet, surveys show the opposite to be true…and, in fact, it is the major scientific societies throughout the world that have been warning their respective governments about AGW (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change).

      I would say your hypothesis is not standing up very well.

    • Joel Shore says:

      “Those who are ignorant of these fundamental processes, of the need for all scientific theories to be repeatedly tested under a variety of circumstances before any certainty can be claimed, will tend to be influenced merely by claims of a ‘consensus of opinion’ amongst the experts.”

      You say this like it is a bad thing. I actually consider it a virtue if people are self-aware enough to realize their own lack of expertise on something and to hence look to the opinion of experts. Do you actually want a President who fancies himself such an expert about science, despite his lack of training in it, that he thinks he has no need for organizations like the National Academy of Sciences (that President Lincoln founded in order to provide the government with the expert opinions of scientists)?

      Or, do you want the President to short-circuit that by finding “pet scientists” who support the particular point-of-view that favors his ideological worldview (something that a politician can always do because there are few things that scientists agree upon to the extent that you can find no dissenters whatsoever)?

      It really puzzles me how people like you think that science should influence public policy. I have never heard a constructive suggestion from an “AGW skeptic” in regards to how we should better use science to influence public policy, where by a constructive suggestion I mean one that isn’t just constructed to get the desired result for the particular subject of AGW.

      • mpainter says:

        mpainter says
        November 6, 2015 at 4:23 PM
        Joel Shore:
        “They could have refrained for funding organizations that were spreading nonsense that they knew to be false.”
        ###
        I will wager that you cannot provide a specific example for this claim.

        <<<<<<>>>>>
        Well, Joel, how about it. Are you going to respond?

      • mpainter says:

        Joel, O’bama does not have a science advisor to present the other side of the issue. He relies solely on the notorious John Holdren who in fact is a political operator.
        Hence, your pretense that O’bama is interested in a balanced view of the issue does not stand. See my response to Vincent.

        • Joel Shore says:

          Obama also does not have a science advisor to present the side of the issue for creationism vs evolution and for the idea that HIV has nothing to do with AIDS, and all sorts of things.

          And, Holdren is not telling Obama anything fundamentally different than what the IPCC is saying, or what the National Academy of Sciences is saying, or the analogous organizations in all 13 of the G8+5 nations, or the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or the AGU or AMS or APS through their methods of arriving at statements about important scientific issues.

          • mpainter says:

            Interesting that you know what John Holdren tells O’bama. What about the NOAA? Can you tell us what Holdren tells the NOAA, and people like Karl? Because if you can, you are a very interesting fellow.

            Can you tell us whether or not Holdren has articulated the points of view of Roy Spencer, or Lintzen, those of other climate scientists?

            Or has Holdren told O-bama that the “science is settled”?

          • Joel Shore says:

            “Interesting that you know what John Holdren tells O’bama.”

            Okay…Let me phrase it differently: What Obama has said or done on climate change does not seem to be fundamentally different than what a President would do if he listened to what the National Academy of Sciences is saying, or the analogous organizations in all 13 of the G8+5 nations, or the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or the AGU or AMS or APS through their methods of arriving at statements about important scientific issues.

          • mpainter says:

            So Holdren told the prez that “the science is settled”.
            Except that its not, is it Joel?

          • Joel Shore says:

            Phrases like “the science is settled” are ambiguous. What is true is that the remaining uncertainties are such that we know that AGW is a serious threat and that action should be taken if we don’t want to be faced with a significantly different climate, rising sea levels, etc.

            However, if you are the type of person who believes that you should not buy fire insurance unless you know for sure that your house is going to burn down, not have a car with an air bag or seat belts unless you know you are going to crash, not deal with dangers like ISIS unless you know exactly how many U.S. citizens they are going to kill, then you might not feel that the science is compelling enough to act. But, most people, particularly scientists who understand the dangers, make that call differently.

          • mpainter says:

            Joel Shore, I see the dubious science, the scientists who believe that lying is justified, the alarmism that is laughable, and the AGW hypothesis that has fallen flat. Then comes a bunch of dubious types who claim that the world is burning, wanting to sell me “fire insurance”.

          • Joel Shore says:

            Well, what you see differs completely from what most of the scientific community sees. Given the basic misunderstandings that I have seen you have about even the basic science of the greenhouse effect that even Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, and other skeptics agree is settled science, I have little confidence in what you see accurately reflecting reality.

          • mpainter says:

            I think you should let others speak for themselves, Joel, rather than presuming to speak for them.

            But my firm impression is that all skeptics share my views, as stated above. Strange that you would try to make it seem otherwise.

            How much do you want for your fire insurance?
            Forty trillion? Sixty trillion?

      • Vincent says:

        Joel,
        You’re falling into the same trap as the ignorant masses. You’re believing claims that there is a wide consensus of opinion amongst climate scientists that the current warming phase is caused by our CO2 emissions, despite the obvious fact that the complexity of the situation does not lend itself to a true consensus.

        To determine the real consensus percentage figure, would require some very difficult scientific research, and I think it is very clear that such research would not be allowed.

        One would not only have to privately interview all scientists working in the various research centres, and ask them how certain they were about the effects of CO2, but one would have to know if they were lying or not. One could try convincing them before the interview that their answers would be kept secret from their employers, supervisors and the government, and that there would be no repercussions for expressing their true thoughts on the matter, but I suspect that many would not believe that or take the risk. There have been so many incidents of people losing their jobs when speaking their true thoughts on this matter.
        Subjecting such scientists to a lie-detector process would not be acceptable.

        You’ll notice in the Wikipedia article you linked to, that in many of the surveys reported, only a relatively small percentage of the scientists responded, in one report as few as 18.2%.

        (Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch conducted a survey in August 2008 of 2058 climate scientists from 34 different countries. A web link with a unique identifier was given to each respondent to eliminate multiple responses. A total of 373 responses were received giving an overall response rate of 18.2%.)

        It’s perfectly reasonable to presume that there are many scientists working in the many disciplines of climate change research, who actually enjoy their work and see no purpose served in getting themselves sacked, or in compromising their prospects for promotion.

        I remember a very revealing interview of the famous climatologist, Professor Stephen Schneider, before he died. He was asked about the scientific validity of the very high certainty often expressed, such as a 90% or 95% certainty that CO2 was causing the current warming.

        Stephen Schneider admitted that the figure was not a mathematically and scientifically derived one, but was a percentage that was decided upon because it would be politically effective. He used the analogy of warning people of the risk of getting cancer if they behave in a certain way, eat certain foods or take certain drugs or stimulants.

        If one tells them they have a 25% increased risk of getting cancer, which might be close to the truth, they might decide to take the risk and continue imbibing whatever tasty stimulant they are hooked on. However, if one exaggerates the risk, and tells them they have a 75% increased risk of getting cancer, that might do the trick and save their life.

        Uncertainty is something that people are generally not good at handling. Politicians strive to deliver certainty during their brief term of office, and the populations they are governing desire as much certainty as possible on all sorts of issues.

        Lying is often justified if the results are predicted to be beneficial. That’s how societies and politics work.

        • Joel Shore says:

          Vincent,

          You seem to get distracted into questions of how to do polls of scientists and conspiratorial thinking whereby scientists are pressured into saying things they don’t believe and all sorts of nonsense like this.

          This is all basically a smokescreen for the fact that you have nothing constructive to suggest in terms of how science should inform public policy.

          Abraham Lincoln wisely created the National Academy of Sciences. The process by which the Academy weighs in on scientific subjects has evolved over time and, while there may be some quibbles about the details of how it should be done, I think there is widespread bipartisan agreement that it has served us well and is much better than the alternative of not having science inform public policy or having each politician determine the correct science for themselves or with their own “pet scientist” who has reached a conclusion in line with their ideological worldview.

          I could take the paragraphs of prose that you have written and, with a few substitutions, it would become a perfect defense for not being able to decide if there is a scientific consensus on evolution, or on HIV causing AIDS, or on gravity, or on … It is basically a prescription to go back to the Dark Ages, where because science can never prove anything (being that it is inductive), we are never sure of anything and are hence paralyzed by uncertainty, or just adopt whatever scientific point-of-view is politically-expedient.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Joel Shore,

            You state:

            “The process by which the Academy weighs in on scientific subjects has evolved over time and, while there may be some quibbles about the details of how it should be done, I think there is widespread bipartisan agreement that it has served us well and is much better than the alternative of not having science inform public policy or having each politician determine the correct science for themselves or with their own “pet scientist” who has reached a conclusion in line with their ideological worldview.”

            Your statement appears to be vague mish-mash within a few moments perusal. The National Academy of Sciences by your own words has “evolved” over time, hence by definition doesn’t perform the same tasks for which it was originally created. If Abraham Lincoln was wise then was is it unwise to change direction? As to bi-partisan agreement your words “I think” undercuts the entire message. Whether or not the Academy exists why do you assume science would not inform the public? As to politicians choosing their own “pet scientist” who reaches conclusions in-line with their world-view, that phenomenon still exists within the Academy itself. Or do you believe human nature and bureaucracy has changed that much over time?

            You further state:

            “I could take the paragraphs of prose that you have written and, with a few substitutions, it would become a perfect defense for not being able to decide if there is a scientific consensus on evolution, or on HIV causing AIDS, or on gravity, or on … ”

            Why is DECIDING whether a consensus exists or not so important to you? Would you stifle dissent with conformity to what you call a consensus? For the record, your statement proves confused since evolution ( assuming you mean the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis ) is SPECULATION or theoretical, the Law of Gravity is an empirical law of nature NOT SPECULATION! You go on:

            “It is basically a prescription to go back to the Dark Ages, where because science can never prove anything (being that it is inductive), we are never sure of anything and are hence paralyzed by uncertainty, or just adopt whatever scientific point-of-view is politically-expedient.”

            If this supposed prescription applied only to the dark ages how do you view Quantum Mechanics and the Heisenberg UNCERTAINTY Principal?

            Have a great day!

          • Joel Shore says:

            JohnKl,

            I think you have made too much of my statement that it has evolved. I’m not saying that everything has to remain static and there can be no improvements. But, I am saying the basic notion of having the National Academy advise the government on scientific issues has served us well.

            “As to politicians choosing their own ‘pet scientist’ who reaches conclusions in-line with their world-view, that phenomenon still exists within the Academy itself.”

            No system invented by man is perfect, but I think the way it is set up insulates the science from political considerations much better than the alternatives. I am curious what you think: Do you think we should stop listening to what the Academy says on all scientific subjects or only on those where their conclusions don’t align with your ideological viewpoints?

            “Why is DECIDING whether a consensus exists or not so important to you? Would you stifle dissent with conformity to what you call a consensus?”

            Well, the point is that in order to give scientific advice, you have to determine what the current scientific knowledge says. And, consensus does not mean that you say there is no uncertainty. A consensus statement could be that we have no clue what is going on if that accurately reflects the state of the science. In fact, when the National Academy was asked to weigh in on this subject of climate change in the mid-1970s, it rightly concluded at that time that the consensus was that there were very factors that could cause the climate to get warmer or colder in the future and they could not yet confidently predict which of these factors would win out and hence further study was needed.

            Fast-forward 40 years later and their conclusion is that considerably more is known and that, while there are still uncertainties, it is time to take significant action to mitigate the effects of rising greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.

            “If this supposed prescription applied only to the dark ages how do you view Quantum Mechanics and the Heisenberg UNCERTAINTY Principal? ”

            I now realize that the phrasing of what I said was unclear and you did not understand it the way I meant it. I was not saying that “science can never prove anything (being that it is inductive), we are never sure of anything …” was a view from the Dark Ages. It is in fact a correct view…Science is inductive, and all we have is various degrees of certainty, never complete certainty about anything.

            Given that, however, we can either be paralyzed and do nothing and hence essentially not allow science to influence public policy in any way or we can use what we do know in an inherently uncertain world to let our scientific knowledge inform our decisions.

      • Curious George says:

        To evaluate the opinion of Obama’s experts, see
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon%E2%80%93Ehrlich_wager

    • mpainter says:

      Vincent, you say:”President Obama seems an intelligent bloke, but I suspect he has little understanding of scientific processes,..”
      ###
      But he understands politics, and he well understood that his support of alarmist hype would work to the aggrandizement of his party. The Democrats are now positioned at the crest of the alarmist wave and this is largely due to the work of O’bamba.

      Hence, the issue is now very much a matter of politics and those scientists at the NOAA who have worked with the administration in furthering the political aims of the O’bama administration have broken the law, and the law is explicit.
      This is why Lamar Smith wants those emails and this is why the NOAA refuses to give them.

  24. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    I sometimes wonder if it could make a point, if Exxon immidiately cancelled all deliveries to NY.
    If they don’t like the fossils, why then use them.
    I know it is not possible because of contracts and other deals, but it could be an eye opener just in case.
    In the same sweep they could stop deliveries to Washington DC, as they dislike all that “carbon pollution”.
    The greens would celebrate it for some days (real divestment), untill they find out they need it.

  25. Manfred says:

    Exxon, just another looters self-righteous side show, a side stall of curios designed to pique the interest, reinforce the meme in the passers by on their way to the big Parisian circus COP21. As the UN eco-marxists engage in their grand redistribution scheme aka. the climate fund, or carbon taxation, just ask UNFCCC Christiana Figueres whether any of this was about ‘the climate’, ever. Exxon may be invited to contribute to show their solidarity.

    Is there anywhere one can go to escape this institutionalised madness?

    • jimc says:

      I get the impression they’re in the panic/now-or-never/the-climate-isn’t-cooperating mode. Hence the big blatant lies (noaa data, etc.) and massive hype machine.

      • mpainter says:

        I agree. The “pause” has had its effect on the collective psyche of the true believers such that they are striking out wildly as frustration and anger build. One wonders what is next: bombings? Arson? Assassinations? I believe these hysterical witch hunters are capable of any act.

  26. Curious George says:

    The New York attorney general casts himself as a savior of the planet. We need more politicians so modest.

  27. ehak says:

    “What a stupid headline. Of course “climate change” exists. Medieval farmers enjoyed the fruits of it.”

    There goes the low climate sensitivity Spencer has been arguing for. High climate variability = high climate sensitivity.

    • Aaron S says:

      Are u being sarcastic? Obviously you are not saying that just bc climate has low sensitivity to CO2 (like medieval warm phase) that it does not have high sensitivity to other variables or have even random walks.

  28. mpainter says:

    He probably believes that CO2 is the “control knob” to climate. All the sks types hold this view.

    Right, ehak? CO2 = “control knob”, right?

  29. Vincent says:

    “Joel Shore says:
    November 8, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    It really puzzles me how people like you think that science should influence public policy. I have never heard a constructive suggestion from an “AGW skeptic” in regards to how we should better use science to influence public policy, where by a constructive suggestion I mean one that isn’t just constructed to get the desired result for the particular subject of AGW.”

    —————————————————

    I should point out, in response to Joel Shore’s above comment, that I do have constructive suggestions on how to tackle the uncertain problem of the possible consequences of rising CO2 levels on climate.

    Science should try to be truthful about the degree of uncertainty so that the most efficient policies can be put in place to tackle the problem with the minimum risk of burdening future generations, in the event that we got it wrong.

    In order to do this, and take sensible action, we need to view the situation in an objective and unbiased manner. We need to be more aware of the benefits of increased CO2 levels and try to capitalise on those benefits.

    For example, major concerns about the effects of a changing climate, whatever the actual causes of such changes may be, are the negative effects of extreme weather events, possible rising sea levels, and changing weather patterns that might affect food production.

    Spending vast sums of money (resources) with the sole aim of reducing CO2 emissions; that is, treating CO2 levels as some sort of control knob which allows us to fix any harmful changes in climate, is plain foolish.

    What is far more sensible is to put in place policies, plans and projects which will not only fix the problem of harmful climate change in the event that CO2 really is contributing to an undesirable change (which is very doubtful), but which will also benefit mankind if or when it becomes clear, say in 30 years’ time, that the previous generation of climatologists got it wrong.

    In order to do this, we have to tackle the more certain problems, about which there is little doubt, in a way that also reduces CO2 levels indirectly, and/or addresses the actual, real problems resulting from climate change, regardless of the causes of those changes.

    For example, we know historically that extreme weather events have frequently caused great destruction and loss of life, well before the modern industrial revolution resulted in increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    With modern technology and building practices, we know how to construct buildingss and dwellings that are resistant to such extreme weather events. We can even construct buildings that are resistant to damage from earthquakes.

    So I ask you, which is of greater priority, to spend our resources protecting ourselves from the regular occurrence of natural, extreme weather events, which we have no reason to presume will cease into the future, or to spend our resources on the uncertain prospect that reducing atmospheric CO2 levels might prevent such extreme weather events getting worse and/or more frequent, but will not reduce the regular damage and loss of life that has been occuring for centuries as a natural result of normal climate processes?

    Another major concern is world food shortage. This is where increased levels of CO2 could be greatly helpful, combined with flood-mitigation dams which will also reduce any damage that might be attributed to an increase in flooding events caused by AGW.

    Carbon, atmopheric CO2, and water are essential for plant growth. This we know with certainty, so let’s act upon it in a way that also reduces, or at least stabilizes the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Sequestering carbon in the soil, through no-till agricultural practices, and treatment and recycling of sewerage back to the soil, increases agricultural production. If there are health concerns about improperly treated sewerage, then we can apply such sewerage to re-forested areas only. New forests will suck CO2 from the atmosphere, sequester carbon, encourage rainfall and improve the environment. This would be a ‘win’ for everyone.

    One of the major benefits for plants, from elevated levels of CO2, is their ability to grow with less water. This is an ideal opportunity for us to green our deserts and arid regions, whilst at the same time making good use of the CO2 we spill into the atmosphere.

    • Joel Shore says:

      Vincent,

      You have some suggestions there that I agree with (what is called “adaptation” to climate change), but I think you missed my question. I.e., you are assuming something about the science and giving constructive ideas for how society should deal with these, given what you assume to be true about the science.

      My question was rather, how do we arrive at an understanding of what the current scientific understanding is in regards to this. That is, in order to have science inform public policy, we have to have a way of evaluating what the science says. Since science is inductive, all scientific knowledge is technically provisional, but we need to know what the expected outcome is given the current state of the science and what the uncertainties are.

      But, since you did take my question and go in a different direction with it, I will just make one comment: Your ideas for sequestering CO2 sound reasonable but how are you going to implement these…and, furthermore, what makes you so sure you have chosen the correct technological winners? If you believe in a market economy, which I assume you do, would not a better solution be to allow the market to solve the problem of how best to reduce the emissions or increase the sequestration of the CO2 by putting a price on (net) CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, so that the market can find the least costly way to reduce these?

      • Vincent says:

        “Joel Shore says:
        November 11, 2015 at 9:53 AM
        Vincent,
        My question was rather, how do we arrive at an understanding of what the current scientific understanding is in regards to this. That is, in order to have science inform public policy, we have to have a way of evaluating what the science says. Since science is inductive, all scientific knowledge is technically provisional, but we need to know what the expected outcome is given the current state of the science and what the uncertainties are.”
        ————————————————————

        Joel,
        I would have to write a book to explain that. However, as briefly as possible, I’ll make the point that I was not always skeptical about the negative consequences of rising levels of CO2.

        Several years ago, when the issue began to be reported seriously, I had no reason to doubt the certainty that was expressed, that our CO2 emissions would cause a major climatic disaster for us in the future unless we took action to reduce them.

        I became skeptical as a result of doing my own research and discovering lots of relevant issues that were never mentioned by climatologists during their interviews on the media.

        It soon became clear to me that these interviews and newspaper reports were deliberately skewed to create maximum alarm for political purposes, and as a result such reports began to lose scientific credibility for me.

        Good scientific practice takes special note of any evidence that tends to undermine or weaken the theory one is developing. One shouldn’t sweep it under the carpet or ignore it, because such inconsistencies, or contradictory evidence, might be the key to a truer understanding of the situation.

        I’ll mention just a few of the relevant issues I learned something about through my own internet research, which were rarely discussed or even mentioned in the open media during this period about 15-20 years ago, and which were issues that never seemed to be raised by climatologists during their interviews.

        1. Most plants grow better with enriched CO2 in the atmosphere, a fact which is often exploited by farmers who grow vegetables in greenhouses. They inject CO2 gas into their greenhouses to increase crop production.

        2. Relatively recent warming and cooling periods, prior to the industrial revolution, are know to have existed, such as the Roman Warm Period, the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. One would think that any serious and objective discussion about the warming effects of CO2 would at least try to explain why it is thought we should still be in The Little Ice Age and why that would be a better state of affairs.

        3. Ocean acidification seemed to me, at the time, to be a more certain concern because the chemistry of CO2 dissolving in water to form Carbonic Acid is not in doubt, and it’s understandable that calcifying organisms such as corals, mollusks and crustaceans etc. might have difficulty surviving in an acidified ocean.

        But what surprised me about such reports in the public news media at the time, is that there was never any mention of the actual pH values of the oceans, and the changes in pH values that were thought to have taken place since the industrial revolution. Why was this? Most home gardeners understand that changes in the pH of their soil affect plant growth, and affect different species of plants differently. Some thrive in a more acidic soil, and others thrive in a slightly alkaline soil.

        When I checked the internet to find what the estimated, average pH of the oceans is, I was surprised, and immediately understood why the pH was never mentioned during these media interviews. The estimated, average ocean surface pH has fallen from an estimated pre-industrial level of 8.179 to the present average level of 8.069, according to Wikipedia. A fall of 0.11 in pH during the past 250 years or so, doesn’t seem alarming, therefore, why mention it? A pH of 7 is neutral. Below 7 is acidic.

        However, further research revealed that the pH of the oceans varies considerably according to the depth at which the measurements are taken, and according to the parts of the ocean surface which are measured, and according to the specific ocean and its location on the planet, and according to the changes of season for all oceans. These variations of pH that exist in the present time, and which are continuously changing back and forth to some degree at each location in the ocean, are apparently greater than the modelled predictions of future, average falls in pH levels.

        The implication here is that existing sea creatures are well-used to fluctuating levels of pH and have already adapted to them.

        I’ll leave it here for the time being. Have a peaceful, alarm-free sleep!

        • mpainter says:

          Now do you understand why there are skeptics, Joel?

        • mpainter says:

          Vincent, the Wikipedia figures on changes in ocean pH are hard to swallow. We had no measurements of that until the middle of the last century, and these are considered to be none too reliable. From discussions on the web, it is apparent that measuring pH in the lab is quite tricky and as for obtaining the pH of the ocean from samples, very tricky.

          • Vincent says:

            Mpainter,

            I agree. There are lots of approximations and guesswork involved with such measurements, and any measurements taken in the modern era are likely to be far more accurate than any deductions and surmises of what the measurements would have been in the past, so realistic comparisons are very difficult to make.

            However, I do believe it is the case that modern measurements of the pH of the oceans show a wide range of variability according to depth, location and the season of the year, which makes it very difficult to predict the effects of any concocted average increase in pH values that might occur as a result of increased CO2 in the atmosphere.

  30. Doug ~ Cotton says:

    Well, Roy, at last you’ve written an article with which I agree. Not even a hint of Luke garbage therein!

    I see Joel Shore’s at it again, despite his own lack of understanding of entropy and the very relevant thermodynamics which functions in all planetary tropospheres.

    I have yet to receive any submission for the AU $10,000 reward on offer for proving my hypothesis to be substantially wrong, any such submission also being accompanied by a simple (one-day) study of climate records similar to mine in methodology but, rather than showing moist regions are a just a few degrees cooler than drier regions, showing something more in line with IPCC junk science that blames over 25 degrees of warming on average water vapor levels, and thus implies moist regions should be over 50 degrees hotter than much drier regions at similar latitude and longitude.

    So, Joel Shore, the email address for your $10,000 submission is here and I suggest you copy that submission in reply here so I can expose your lack of understanding of entropy maximization and the mechanism which causes planetary surface temperatures to be somewhat hotter than the Sun’s radiation could ever make them.

    • Joel Shore says:

      Doug,

      You have already shown yourself to be completely impervious to criticism of your work. Hence, your $10000 reward is a compete and utter hoax as long as you are the judge who decides if it gets awarded.

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Joel Shore,

        You state:

        “Hence, your $10000 reward is a compete and utter hoax as long as you are the judge who decides if it gets awarded.”

        He’s had this bet up for some time. This really isn’t the first time you’ve discovered Doug’s the final judge on this are you?

        Have a great day!

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Joel Shore,

          You state:

          “Hence, your $10000 reward is a compete and utter hoax as long as you are the judge who decides if it gets awarded.”

          He’s had this bet up for some time. This really isn’t the first time you’ve discovered Doug’s the final judge on this is it?

          Have a great day!

        • Doug ~ Cotton says:

          Let readers judge what either of you can write here actually addressing the physics I have put forward, the supporting evidence I have produced and the study showing water vapor cools.

          I’ll come back next week and trash your attempts. There are hundreds of silent readers here who will “judge” what any hoaxer in the world cares to write here “explaining” planetary tropospheric temperature gradients and surface temperatures, and the necessary energy transfer mechanisms. Not one of you seems game to engage in discussion of real physics – you’re all just talk.

        • Doug ~ Cotton says:

          JohnKl: There’s been nothing put forward by ANYONE who has read my hypothesis and then found fault with it. You can’t link or quote ANY comment on any climate blog that actually addresses the issues of entropy maximization and the evidence that I discuss at http://climate-change-theory.com and nor can you point to anything written anywhere that I could not fault with valid physics, if I have not already done so. Nearly everyone with a correct understanding of thermodynamics who reads my book, or the linked (free) papers never even attempts to challenge it. Over 12,500 have visited the website so far this year and not one has written to the email address at the top with any attempt to refute the physics. There’s been nothing to “judge” John.

          Maybe you should read what physicists wrote, and I quote:

          “The fallacies in the greenhouse conjecture are exposed rigorously and backed up by a comprehensive study (in the Appendix) which compares rainfall and temperature data for locations on three continents. The study concludes convincingly that the wetter regions do indeed have lower daily maximum and minimum temperatures than dry regions at similar latitudes and altitudes. This supports the hypothesis in the book which shows that so-called “greenhouse gases” (mostly water vapor and a little carbon dioxide) do in fact reduce the lapse rate and thus lower the “supported” temperature at the surface. In other words, water vapor cools and so does carbon dioxide, the latter by only a minuscule amount.

          “The book discusses how and why surface cooling slows down almost to a halt in the early pre-dawn hours as the supported temperature is approached. This slowing down process is well known, but the concept of the supporting temperature (due to a temperature gradient autonomously induced by gravity) was not understood, even though this “gravito-thermal” effect was originally proposed in the nineteenth century. Modern day physics can now be used to prove the Loschmidt effect is indeed a reality, as this book shows.

          “As a physicist, I can honestly say that the physics is indeed mainstream and valid in all respects. It discusses the maximum entropy conditions that evolve as the state of thermodynamic equilibrium is approached, and then goes on to develop a real break-through hypothesis of “heat creep” which, when we consider what happens on Earth and other planets with atmospheres, we see must be the process which explains how the necessary energy gets into the surface of Venus to raise its temperature during its sunlit period. Indeed all planetary temperature data, even that below any surface, can be explained by the hypothesis in this book, which is indeed a totally new paradigm that completely demolishes the old greenhouse conjecture that was based on mistaken understanding of the laws of physics.

          “I would expect “warmists” and “lukes” alike to attack the reviews of this book, but the astute reader will realise that is just their normal mode of approach to all such matters. To them science matters not – just their vocation or other pecuniary interests in maintaining the status quo. They would do well to consider the final comment in Chapter 1: “One wonders how many lives may have been saved had such funds been devoted instead to humanitarian aid.”

          “DC shows how simple thermodynamic physics implies that the gravitational field of a planet will establish a thermal gradient in its atmosphere. The thermal gradient, a basic property of a planet, can be used to determine the temperatures of its atmosphere, surface and sub-surface regions. The interesting concept of “heat creep” applied to diagrams of the thermal gradient is used to explain the effect of solar radiation on the temperature of a planet. The thermal gradient shows that the observed temperatures of the Earth are determined by natural processes and not by back radiation warming from greenhouse gases. Evidence is presented to show that greenhouse gases cool the Earth and do not warm it.”

          John Turner B.Sc.;Dip.Ed.;M.Ed.(Hons);Grad.Dip.Ed.Studies (retired physics educator)

  31. Doug ~ Cotton says:

    Joel Shore:

    Vague statements such as you make about my “work” mean nothing and prove nothing. Put in your own words why you believe a force field does not create a temperature gradient (that being the foundation stone of the carbon dioxide hoax “science”) and then explain why such a force field does indeed create a temperature gradient (even temperatures down to 1K) in experiments with centrifugal force which do, of course, prove I am correct in what I say and the carbon dioxide fictitious fiddled physics is wrong.

    You have no understanding of entropy maximization Joel Shore, and so you cannot personally put forward any valid physics refuting the correct physics which I have derived directly from the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Yes, Joel Shore (and Roy and others) I put forward the real physics that works for all planets.

    Here on Earth, Joel Shore, simple application of the well known Stefan Boltzmann calculations proves that the direct Solar radiation reaching Earth’s surface cannot possibly account for the observed mean temperatures, and such is even more obvious for Venus. So you and other hoaxers can ramble all you like about the fact that radiation from colder atmospheric molecules can indeed slow the radiative component of the cooling of a warmer source, but cooling from what temperature Joes Shore? You have no answers. You have nothing but arrogant, narcissistic and assertive statements preempted by your monotonous “we know” phrases.

    And where’s your personal study of real world temperature data showing rain forests that are 50 degrees hotter than drier regions at similar latitude and altitude, Joel Shore? I’ve published my study showing higher levels of precipitation correlate with lower temperatures. Nobody gets the $10,000 without both proving my physics wrong and producing a contrary study.

  32. Vincent says:

    I’m not a climatologist, but the reason I’m so fascinated with this issue is because it seems very clear to me, from a philosophical perspective, that the subject is yet another example of the many psychological and economical problems which all societies continually struggle to solve.

    The fundamental problem is related to the control of societies in the face of uncertainty. What’s the best way of dealing with any uncertainty that arises, which could undermine the control of the ruling class, or the government.

    People desire certainty. It represents security.

    Doug, as a trained Physicist, is convinced, according to his understanding of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, that CO2 cannot possibly cause any warming. I’m not a Physicist and am unable to refute his argument.

    However, Physics is only one of the many scientific disciplines involved in climate change research, so one has to wonder if the 2nd law of thermodynamics is up to the task of clearly defining, or addressing, all of the complex and chaotic processes of climate change.

    I tend to think that Doug is solving his own emotional difficulty with dealing with uncertainty, by latching on to a highly regarded theory called ‘the 2nd law of thermodynamics’.

    • Doug ~ Cotton says:

      Vincent – what the Second Law enables us to deduce is that there will be a natural propensity for temperatures in a vertical plane in a planet’s troposphere to exhibit a temperature gradient due to the force of gravity acting on molecules whilst in motion between collisions. The temperature gradient that is approached would be the state of maximum entropy that the Second Law says will be approached, and the state is called “thermodynamic equilibrium” in physics.

      So it is totally wrong to assume (as the IPCC et al do assume) there would be isothermal conditions in the absence of IR-active gases (aka GHG) and that single fact shows us why the whole GH conjecture (requiring back radiation to help the Sun make the surface warmer) is total garbage.

      As predicted, no-one can link, copy or write their own refutation of the thermodynamics I have explained and also produce a study supposedly supporting the IPCC requirement that increasing water vapor concentrations should cause warmer surface temperatures. So the AU $10,000 reward has not been claimed. Empirical evidence in my study shows that the opposite is the case (ie water vapor cools) and the physics I present explains why. See http://climate-change-theory.com

    • Joel Shore says:

      Vincent,

      Doug’s training in physics is quite minimal compared to others (like myself) who actually have advanced degrees in physics and have taken courses in statistical physics, which provides the underlying theoretical basis for thermodynamics. And, there is nothing wrong with the 2nd Law; the problem is that Doug is misapplying it to say the opposite of what it actually says…and there are rigorous statistical mechanical calculations showing his notion of a significant temperature gradient in equilibrium in a gravitational field is wrong.

      Another irony of Doug’s argument is that even if it were correct, it would not solve the problem of explaining the Earth’s surface temperature because Doug’s argument deals with energy transfers from the atmosphere down to the surface, but the problem with the average surface temperature of ~288 K is that its violates energy balance at the top of the atmosphere (i.e., at the boundary between the Earth + atmosphere and space) unless one notes that some of the radiative emissions from the Earth’s surface are absorbed by the atmosphere, which is what we call the radiative greenhouse effect. Making arguments about how one can transfer energy down in the atmosphere don’t make a lick of difference in that issue and hence Doug is not even addressing the actual issue, just a strawman of his own devising.

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Joel Shore,

        You state:

        “And, there is nothing wrong with the 2nd Law; the problem is that Doug is misapplying it to say the opposite of what it actually says…and there are rigorous statistical mechanical calculations showing his notion of a significant temperature gradient in equilibrium in a gravitational field is wrong.”

        Given that that we agree there exists no problem with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, and I would add Kirkoff’s Law, Planck’s Radiation Law etc., then how can the relatively cooler atmosphere warm the surface and not merely reduce the rate of cooling?

        Have a great day!

        • Joel Shore says:

          It’s very simple, JohnKl. If the sun stopped shining then you are correct that the relatively cooler atmosphere could not warm the surface but would merely reduce the rate at which it cooled down.

          However, the sun is still shining and so what happens is that the sun warms the Earth and then the Earth cools by emitting radiation to space. The steady-state temperature of the Earth is determined by the temperature necessary to have the rate at which the Earth emits radiation to space match the rate at which energy is received from the sun.

          And, by “slowing the rate of cooling” (at a given fixed Earth temperature), an IR-absorbing atmosphere causes the Earth to equilibrate to a higher steady-state temperature than it would be in the absence of an IR-absorbing atmosphere.

          This is basic physics that most people seem capable of understanding and is why the atmospheric greenhouse effect is talked about in physics textbooks, such as this one which serves as a textbook for upper level physics undergraduates: http://www.amazon.com/Thermal-Physics-2nd-Charles-Kittel/dp/0716710889/

  33. Gary says:

    Thanks for the afternoon chuckle! Yes, it’s hard to believe Exxon did secret research on the climate (rather than search for new sources of oil)so it could, at a later time, bite them in the butt.