Science Under President Trump: End the Bias in Government-Funded Research

December 21st, 2016 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

You might expect that my background in climate research would mean my suggestions to a Trump Administration would be all climate-related. And there’s no question that climate would be a primary focus, especially neutering the Endangerment Finding by the EPA which, if left unchecked, will weaken our economy and destroy jobs, with no measurable benefit to the climate system.

But there’s a bigger problem in U.S. government funded research of which the climate issue is just one example. It involves bias in the way that government agencies fund science.

Government funds science to support pre-determined policy outcomes

So, you thought government-funded science is objective?

Oh, that’s adorable.

Since politicians are ultimately in charge of deciding how much money agencies receive to dole out to the research community, it is inevitable that politics and desired outcomes influence the science the public pays for.

Using climate as an example, around thirty years ago various agencies started issuing requests for proposals (RFPs) for scientists to research the ways in which humans are affecting climate. Climate research up until that time was mostly looking into natural climate fluctuations, since the ocean-atmosphere is a coupled nonlinear dynamical system, capable of producing climate change without any external forcing whatsoever.

Giddy from the regulatory success to limit the production of ozone-destroying chemicals in the atmosphere with the 1973 Montreal Protocol, the government turned its sights on carbon dioxide and global warming.

While ozone was a relatively minor issue with minor regulatory impact, CO2 is the Big Kahuna. Everything humans do requires energy, and for decades to come that energy will mostly come from fossil fuels, the burning of which produces CO2.

The National Academies, which are supposed to provide independent advice to the nation on new directions in science, were asked by the government to tell the government to study human causes of climate change. (See how that works?)

Research RFPs were worded in such a way that researchers could blame virtually any change they saw on humans, not Mother Nature. And as I like to say, if you offer scientists billions of dollars to find something… they will do their best to find it. As a result, every change researchers saw in nature was suddenly mankind’s fault.

The problem with attribution in global warming research is that any source of warming will look about the same, whether human-caused or nature-caused. The land will warm faster than the ocean. The high northern latitudes will warm the most. Winters will warm somewhat more than summers. The warming will be somewhat greater at 10 km altitude than at the surface. It doesn’t matter what caused the warming. So, it’s easy for the experts to say the warming is “consistent with” human causation, without mentioning it could also be “consistent with” natural causation.

The result of this pernicious, incestuous relationship between government and the research community is biased findings by researchers tasked to find that which they were paid to find. The problem has been studied at the Cato Institute by Pat Michaels, among others; Judith Curry has provided a good summary of some of the related issues.

The problem is bigger than climate research

The overarching goal of every regulatory agency is to write regulations. That’s their reason for existence.

It’s not to strengthen the economy. Or protect jobs. It’s to regulate.

As a result, the EPA continues the push to make the environment cleaner and cleaner, no matter the cost to society.

How does the EPA justify, on scientific grounds, the effort to push our pollution levels to near-zero?

It comes from the widespread assumption that, if we know huge amounts of some substance is a danger, then even tiny amounts must be be a danger as well.

This is how the government can use, say, extreme radiation exposure which is lethal, and extrapolate that to the claim that thousands of people die every year from even low levels of radiation exposure.

The only problem is that it is probably not true; it is the result of bad statistical analysis. The assumption that any amount of a potentially dangerous substance is also dangerous is the so-called linear no-threshold issue, which undergirds much of our over-regulated society.

In fact, decades of research by people like Ed Calabrese has suggested that exposure to low levels of things which are considered toxic in large amounts actually strength the human body and make it more resilient — even exposure to radiation. You let your children get sick because it will strengthen their immune systems later in life. If you protected them from all illnesses, it could prove fatal later in life. Read about the Russian family Lost in the Taiga for 40 years, and how their eventual exposure to others led to their deaths due to disease.

The situation in climate change is somewhat similar. It is assumed that any climate change is bad, as if climate never changed before, or as if there is some preferred climate state that keeps all forms of life in perpetual peace and harmony.

But, if anything, some small amount of warming is probably beneficial to most forms of life on Earth, including humans. The belief that all human influence on the environment is bad is not scientific, but religious, and is held by most researchers in the Earth sciences.

In my experience, it is unavoidable that scientists’ culture, wordview, and even religion, impact the way they interpret data. But let that bias be balanced by other points of view. Since CO2 is necessary for life on Earth, an unbiased scientist would be taking that into account before pontificating on the supposed dangers of CO2 emissions. That level of balance is seldom seen in today’s research community. If you don’t toe the line, getting research results that support desired government policy outcomes, you won’t get funded.

Over-regulation kills people

You might ask, what’s wrong with making our environment ever-cleaner? Making our food ever-safer? Making our radiation exposure ever-lower?

The answer is that it is expensive. And as any economist will tell you (except maybe Paul Krugman), the money we spend on such efforts is not available to address more pressing problems.

Since poverty is arguably the most lethal of killers, I believe we have a moral obligation to critically examine any regulations which have the potential of making poverty worse.

And that’s what is wrong with the Precautionary Principle, a popular concept in environmental circles, which states that we should avoid technologies which carry potential risk for harm.

The trouble is that you also add risk when you prevent society from technological benefits, based upon your risk-adverse worldview of its potential side effects. Costs always have to be weighed against benefits. Thats the way everyone lives their lives, every day.

Are you going to stop feeding your children because they might choke on food and die? Are you going to stop driving your car because there are 40,000 automobile deaths per year?

Oh, you dont drive? Well, are you going to stop crossing the street? That’s also a dangerous activity.

Every decision humans make involve cost-vs-benefit tradeoffs. We do it consciously and subconsciously.

Conclusions & Recommendations

In my opinion, we are an over-regulated society. Over-regulation not only destroys prosperity and jobs, it ends up killing people. And political pressures in government to perform scientific research that favors biased policy outcomes is part of the problem.

Science is being misused, prostituted if you wish.

Yes, we need regulations to help keep our air, water, and food reasonably clean. But government agencies must be required to take into account the costs and risks their regulations impose upon society.

Just as too much pollution can kill people, so too can too much regulation of pollution.

I don’t believe that cutting off funding for research into human causes of climate change is the answer. Instead, require that a portion of existing climate funding be put into investigating natural causes of climate change, too. Maybe call it a Red Team approach. This then removes the bias in the existing way such research programs are worded and funded.

I’ve found that the public is very supportive of the idea that climate changes naturally, and until we determine how much of the change weve seen is natural, we cannot say how much is human-caused.

While any efforts to reduce the regulatory burden will be met with claims that the new administration is out to kill your children, I would counter these objections with, “No, expensive regulations will kill our children, due to the increased poverty and societal decay they will cause. 22,000 children die each day in the world due to poverty; in contrast, we aren’t even sure if anyone has ever died due to human-caused global warming.”

Using a simple analogy, you can make your house 90% clean and safe relatively easily, but if you have to pay to make it 100% clean and safe (an impossible goal), you will no longer be able to afford food or health care. Is that what we want for our children?

The same is true of our government’s misguided efforts to reduce human pollution to near-zero.


311 Responses to “Science Under President Trump: End the Bias in Government-Funded Research”

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  1. Roy, I totally agree with your assessment and recommendations. It’s very important to recognize the poison is in the dose. Many vitamins and minerals are critical to healthy life, but in excess are poisonous. We can’t regulate them to zero because they might be poisonous in excess.

  2. Dr Tim Ball says:

    My latest book, ‘Human Caused Global Warming, the Biggest Deception in History’.
    Available on Amazon and Indigo/Chapters.
    My SLAPP lawsuit to silence me comes to trial on Feb 20, 2017,
    Dr Michael Mann vs Dr Tim Ball.
    http://www.drtimball.com

    • Steven Fraser says:

      All the best to you in this, Dr. Ball.

    • Pete Russell says:

      Good luck Dr. Ball

    • Dale says:

      Tim:
      It is very unprofessional to spam a web site to promote your own books. Although I have a great deal of respect for your scientific reasoning and enjoy your articles, each time I see this spam, my respect for you drops a notch.

    • David Appell says:

      Tim Ball is not a climate science expert, and this has been admitted in a court of law.

      After the Calgary Herald published an op-ed by Ball on April 19, 2006, whom the newspaper identified as the first climatology PhD in Canada and a climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg for 28 years, they published a letter on April 23, 2006 from Dr. Dan Johnson, a professor at the University of Lethbridge, who pointed out that neither of those descriptions is true; that Dr. Ball’s credentials were being seriously overstated. Ball later threatened Johnson and the Herald and ultimately sued for defamation.

      In their Statement of Defense filed in Court, the Calgary Herald submitted the following:

      1. “…that the Plaintiff (Ball) never held a reputation in the scientific community as a noted climatologist and authority on global warming.

      2. “The Plaintiff has never published any research in any peer-reviewed scientific journal which addressed the topic of human contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming

      3. “The Plaintiff has published no papers on climatology in academically recognized peer-reviewed scientific journals since his retirement as a Professor in 1996;

      4. “The Plaintiff’s credentials and credibility as an expert on the issue of global warming have been repeatedly disparaged in the media; and

      5. “The Plaintiff is viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist.”

      Ball dropped his lawsuit.

      Source: The Calgary Herald, Statement of Defense paragraph 50, Dr Tim Ball v The Calgary Herald, In the Court of the Queens Bench of Alberta Judicial District of Calgary, Dec 7, 2006 (http://is.gd/brO4uO).

  3. Nate says:

    Roy,

    I understand you are trying to be provacative, but I don’t see much in the way of cited evidence in your article that the epa regs are aimed at zero levels of pollution.

    In fact they are not. In fact there are a number of ways that industries prevent arbitrarily expensive regs from being implimented. For example the courts, lobbying, etc

    Likewise id like to see the climate research RFPs that you are talking about, that specifically state what findings are expected.

    • I have personally heard an EPA executive tell hundreds of people at an air pollution conference (as I recall), “We cannot stop pushing for a cleaner and cleaner environement”.

      Regarding the RFPs, for climate-related ones it’s been hard to find ones that DON’T state anthropogenic climate change as the primary if not only forcing mechanism. It dates back to before there was even an Internet. I won’t waste my time trying to prove this to you, just like I won’t try to prove that 2+2=4, which actually can be pretty involved: http://www.cs.yale.edu/homes/as2446/224.pdf

      • Nate says:

        ‘ hard to find ones that DONT state anthropogenic climate change as the primary if not the only forcing mechanism’

        These are the first two that popped up under my Google search ‘request for proposals NSF climate’.

        1. Climate and Large-Scale Dynamics (CLD)

        ‘The goals of the Program are to: (i) advance knowledge about the processes that force and regulate the atmospheres synoptic and planetary circulation, weather and climate, and (ii) sustain the pool of human resources required for excellence in synoptic and global atmospheric dynamics and climate research.

        Research topics include theoretical, observational and modeling studies of the general circulation of the stratosphere and troposphere; synoptic scale weather phenomena; processes that govern climate; the causes of climate variability and change; methods to predict climate variations; extended weather and climate predictability; development and testing of parameterization of physical processes; numerical methods for use in large-scale weather and climate models; the assembly and analysis of instrumental and/or modeled weather and climate data; data assimilation studies; development and use of climate models to diagnose and simulate climate and its variations and change.’

        2. Paleoclimate

        ‘Supports research on the natural evolution of Earth’s climate with the goal of providing a baseline for present variability and future trends through improved understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological processes that influence climate over the long-term.

        Competitive proposals will address specific aspects of scientific uncertainty for their proposed research.’

        These RFPs seem awfully benign and certainly don’t support your comments above

        • Laura says:

          Cost? You pay, btw.

        • good job. You found 2. Now look at the hundreds of others over the last 30 years, do a statistical analysis, and let me know the results. Because that history is what has brought us to where we are, Nate.

          • Nate says:

            Sorry no can do. But in my experience with other fundamental science programs (NSF,etc) going back 20-something years, the style of the RFPs has been similar to those I posted above. Specifically they did not specify the results expected-they only outlined the areas of study.

          • Aaron S says:

            Nate, even if funding has a natural component, it is still under the umbrella of man-made climate change. Take my PhD. I received Plenty of funding to study naturally warmer conditions ~5ma as “an analogy for warming from man-made CO2”. Most of the money is still spun to the anthropogenic perspective in Geology. When i found hard evidence for a stronger sun than in any of the 100 plus IPCC models- the subject was taboo. I remember blindly presenting evidence for solar climate relationship at an AGU. It was not well received like my previous research. There is a clear bias- if you fund it it will grow. There has to be balance and the EPA classifocation of CO2 as a pollutant is a perfect example. Basically they shifted their focus to maintain relevance. I dont think you can make the case there is balance with a straight face.

          • Lewis says:

            Nate,

            You’re amusing. You found 2 and make a generalization. Dr. Spencer leans the other way. My reading has led me to support Dr. Spencer’s conclusions before he offers them here. Why, because of the way government, more exactly, bureaucracies work.

            Then there is his statement about the government asking the academies to tell the government to ask for certain type studies. Do you dispute that? No? Why not? If true, it lends a great deal of credence to his other statements.

            Your 2 examples do not make his argument less. What would be interesting is to see the awards made on those 2 examples and what the winning RFP’s stated as their goal so far as concerns AGW. It would also be interesting to see the ones that didn’t win.

            My guess is the process is so far along the government agents can pretend objectivity in their requests while the scientific community already is aware of the type language and studies required to get the money.

            What will be sad is that this has been going on more that 30 years which means many lower level government employees have been raised in these beliefs and processes. In fact they were probably hired on their belief in same. They will not be easily weeded out. The only available answer is to put them on the street.

            Merry Christmas
            Lewis Guignard

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Roy,

            I have to agree with Nate here. Roy, you made the claim and doubled down with “its been hard to find ones that DONT state anthropogenic climate change as the primary if not only forcing mechanism”. It seem only reasonable that you should back up such claims. It should be trivial if it is as widespread as you say. In fact, the only evidence so far is Nate showing that the OPPOSITE is easy to find.

            On that same line, you state: “The National Academies, which are supposed to provide independent advice to the nation on new directions in science, were asked by the government to tell the government to study human causes of climate change. (See how that works?)”
            I really WOULD like to see how that works. Can you cite evidence for this?

            Without evidence, these claims feel like strawmen set up to make your point.

          • Did anyone even bother to read Judith Curry’s article on this issue? Or Pat Michaels’ work? Are you questioning what many of us have seen with our own eyes, and personally experienced, over the last quarter century?

            Do you dispute that without the threat of human-caused climate change, the U.S. climate research buget would almost certainly be less than 10% of what it is today? HUMAN causation of climate change is what keeps the money flowing out of Congress.

            This is kind of like our complaints of bias from scientists who do paper and proposal peer review from other side before Climategate. It sounded like sour grapes to most people, so few listened to us…until the Climategate e-mails were released. Those emails were no surprise to us.

            I was on an NAS/NRC panel reviewing an issue…the NRC manager organizing the panel said that “NASA wanted” a certain outcome. This is not widely advertised…the government agencies use the National Academies to build support for what those agencies want to do anyway. If you are willing to play along as a scientist, you too can also be part of the process.

            Bias.

            If you choose to disbelieve it, fine. Nothing to see here, just move along.

          • Nate says:

            Roy,

            ” The problem has been studied at the Cato Institute by Pat Michaels, among others; Judith Curry has provided a good summary of some of the related issues.”

            I read the J Curry article. There is no specific evidence given there of bias either. Cato study is nothing but a guideline for how one could look for bias in govt funding to see if there is any. Then, as you have done, she gave her personal impressions that bias exists. No real data or evidence

            You made a specific claim. That ‘Research RFPs were worded in such a way that researchers could blame virtually any change they saw on humans, not Mother Nature”. But give no examples.

            You have often made similar claims before. Here you go further and boldly state:

            “The result of this pernicious, incestuous relationship between government and the research community is biased findings by researchers tasked to find that which they were paid to find.”

            I agree with Tim, and would just like to see some hard evidence for these claims, which for me, based on my experience as I stated above, seem implausible.

          • Nate says:

            Aaron S.

            Id like to see your work on solar. Have a reference? Or conference proceeding?

          • Aaron S says:

            Fortunately google keeps this stuff. The strong cyclicity is very difficult to explain without a strong solar component for climate forcing. The apparent Hale cycle is magnetics and common in geologic records but not in IPCC climate models. This is similar to other modern proxy where the magnetics dominate TSI. I have a new paper can share if u want also.

            Shunk.
            http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUSMPP53A..01S

            http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10933-008-9244-0

            Not me, but a must read about magnetics forcing climate.
            Nature Dongge Cave climate connection to cosmic rays.

            http://www.nature.com/articles/srep05159

          • Aaron S says:

            http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUSMPP53A..01S

            May have to copy full link into your browzer bc the double period.

          • Nate says:

            Aaron S.,

            That funding is higher because of concern about possible AGW is not at all surprising nor should it be controversial.

            Funding for Alzheimers is higher because of concern about it. I would not be at all surprised if people switched into that field or tried to spin their research toward that area. Nothing untoward about that.

          • Aaron S says:

            I dont disagree that it is important to fund paleoclimate, or that Earth is very close to a transgression of sea level and man made warming from ghg might push us over that threshhold. However, the research is biased in application to predictions. Svensmark’s research from 1997 has every reason to be in some of the models as a low sensotivity case and there is probably more hard data supporting magnetic climate forcing now than there is evidence for the cloud albedio cooling from aerosol pollution. One made it in every model and magnets from the sun is in zero. The bar for acceptance was and remains biased. I dont even see how anyone can dispute this. Both proxies have high uncertainty- but there is abundant evidence that solar magnetics contribute to climate. Then NASA accepts modified changes the record of SSN in 2015-Come on! Its not even science anymore its data manipulation to support the agw perspective.

          • Nate says:

            Furthermore,

            Since there is now much more funding for Alzheimers disease, Roy would argue that we will suddenly discover that everything causes Alzheimers disease.

          • Nate says:

            Found congress’s request Roy described as ‘The National Academies, which are supposed to provide independent advice to the nation on new directions in science, were asked by the government to tell the government to study human causes of climate change. (See how that works)’

            Department of Commerce Appropriations Act of 2008
            (Public Law 110-161)

            SEC. 114. (a) Of the amounts provided for the National Oceanic
            and Atmospheric Administration, Operations, Research and Facilities,
            $5,856,600 shall be for necessary expenses in support of
            an agreement between the Administrator of the National Oceanic
            and Atmospheric Administration and the National Academy of
            Sciences under which the National Academy of Sciences shall establish
            the Climate Change Study Committee to investigate and study
            the serious and sweeping issues relating to global climate change
            and make recommendations regarding what steps must be taken
            and what strategies must be adopted in response to global climate
            change, including the science and technology challenges thereof.
            (b) The agreement shall provide for: establishment of and
            appointment of members to the Climate Change Study Committee
            by the National Academy of Sciences; organization by the National
            Academy of Sciences of a Summit on Global Climate Change to
            help define the parameters of the study, not to exceed 3 days
            in length and to be attended by preeminent experts on global
            climate change selected by the National Academy of Sciences; and
            issuance of a report by the Climate Change Study Committee not
            later than 2 years after the date the Climate Change Study Committee
            is first convened, containing its findings, conclusions, and
            recommendations. Of such amount, $856,600 shall be for the
            Summit on Global Climate Change and $5,000,000 shall be for
            the other activities of the Climate Change Study Committee.

          • Nate says:

            As you can see it is simply asking the Academy to look into climate change and make recommendations. As it does for many other issues.

            Given the concern over climate change at the time, this seems quite reasonable.

        • Dale says:

          Nate: Perhaps this will illustrate Roy’s point of bias in research grants. This is the charter for the IPCC:

          The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 1988 to assess scientific, technical, and socioeconomic information that is relevant in understanding human-induced climate change, its potential impacts, and options for mitigation and adaptation.

          • Nate says:

            So no-one should be allowed to use the words ‘human induced” or ‘anthropogenic’, because that would bias people??

            When you cant say certain words or phrases – then isnt this getting into the realm of political correctness?

            I believe the IPCC was created as a result of research showing that AGW was possible, and possibly could have consequences for the world.

            Just like if there was a possible asteroid impact coming, I think the UN might create a similar organization to determine if this were happening and what are the consequences?

          • fonzarelli says:

            Nate, i have this disdain for GMOs and have oft thought that it would be a wonderful idea if they created a similar organization just for that. Just because the ipcc is controversial doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t exist. And i think it’s an encouraging sign that the ipcc does exist for the purpose of studying climate change. If it didn’t exist, one would think that would be a deriliction of the duty of governments. i’ve even thought up a catchy name for the organization that i would like to see study the impact of GMOs on the evironment. i’d call it the “ipbb” (the “intergovernmental panel on bumble bees”… ☺)

      • David Appell says:

        Roy: Seriously, are you opposed to a “cleaner and cleaner environement?

        Hard to believe.

        How many US pollution deaths/yr are you OK with? 20K? 40K?

        • Hivemind says:

          Given that I live in Australia, I have no problem with a lot of American deaths by pollution.

          But seriously, the same problem exists in Australia. We are bound in tighter and tighter layers of swaddling until it is impossible to live.

          “Carbon pollution” is a good case in point. It is an essential plant fertilizer; without it, our plants die and us soon after. And yet state and federal Politians demand we “put a price on” it, to prevent people from living their lives doing ordinary things like heating and cooling their homes. And all because of completely imaginary (fraudulent even) disasters that could occur.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      Nate…”the epa regs are aimed at zero levels of pollution”.

      Allow me to put it in a way Roy can’t. The EPA are a load of IDIOTS!!!

      The EPA is loaded with hand picked alarmists and it has just come to light that the Obama admin has been actively blocking climate information through the EPA so it won’t reach Congress. I am hoping they will impeach Obama while there is still time.

      The EPA had a lead scientist fired for leaking their blocked info to Congress. That’s why Congress knows about it.

      I don’t know the connection between NOAA and the EPA but prior to the election NOAA was under investigation by a US Senate committee for falsifying data. When asked for certain documents, NOAA refused to hand them over. We’ll see what happens with Obama out of the way to protect them.

      I have a feeling that a major scandal is in the works based on the Obama admins policies regarding global warming/climate change.

      • fonzarelli says:

        Impeach him for what? (so that we can through him out of office?) Any “major scandal” that’s in the works will quickly be forgotten come noon of january 20th…

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          fonzarelli…”Impeach him for what? (so that we can through him out of office?”

          To make it clear that his goody-two-shoes image is an act. He’s currently running around in sour-grapes mode trying to throw up roadblocks to Trump.

      • Thomas says:

        Albert Einstein had a phrase with which he described the kind of “scientist” who tend to be a part of the EPA: “Intelligent fools.” (As an aside, that could be applied to many of the occupants of The White House, also.)

    • Kurt says:

      Nate,
      not arguing the issue you raise for’zero levels’ of pollution, however, a key point not to overlook is that I am unaware that any govt organism has concrete targets.

      What is the ‘level’ at which the EPA stands down and goes to maintenance mode? Perhaps with all of our govt programs…one of the key metrics we always leave out is ‘what does success look like’ in terms of measured, achievable END POINTS.

      • Nate says:

        Kurt,

        I dont know. Maybe it is an issue.

        We live in an ever more complex world.

        Technology changes maybe require oversight? Fracking is a potentially new way to pollute.

        Pipelines and rail transport of fuel and toxics? Flint, mi. Toxic waste sites still exist. Nuclear waste??

        We didnt use to have cheap ways to clean car exhaust to current levels. There still seems to be smog in LA, Houston. Maybe further reduction is needed? I have no idea.

        Recently EPA dealt with pollution crossing state lines. Supremes upheld their reg 6-2.

        See Joel Shore below-he seems to have a better idea of how EPA operates

      • TonyM says:

        Kurt,

        In Safety, it has become clear that the end point is Zero Harm… which directly translates to Zero Incidents. And what is extraordinary is that when pursuing such goals, some operations have actually achieved this end point – year in, year out.

        With the Environment, the end point could/should be the same Zero Harm…. but may well translate into some threshold levels of pollution, below which no harm occurs and the culprit is no longer considered a pollutant – it may even have benefits. It’s like: a bottle of red wine a day is almost certainly bad, but a glass a day almost certainly good. Or more relevant: atmospheric CO2 is essential in the cycle of life, but above some threshold may well become, on balance, net harmful to the human race.

        I think one of the key roles of the EPA is to determine what such thresholds might be.

    • Mike Restin says:

      “… I dont see much in the way of cited evidence in your article that the epa regs are aimed at zero levels of pollution.”

      How about the EPA 2.5m particulate requirement plus the human testing they wanted to disappear?
      For what purpose? Read some of Steve Milloy’s work for more.

      “…In fact there are a number of ways that industries prevent arbitrarily expensive regs from being implimented. For example the courts, lobbying, etc”

      How about NGOs sue the EPA and the EPA settles and pays the NGOs attorneys and then pays them to write the new regs anyway they want?
      No problem there, eh?

      It’s senior EPA employees like the elusive Richard Windsor better known as Lisa Jackson and super-spy John Beale (and who knows how many other thieves?) within the EPA that lie and steal and effectively get away with it that pisses me off.

      Both are retired and out of jail and should repay every dime they were ever given or no retirement check until they do.
      They weren’t working for us, but rather for themselves and their friends.
      They stole with total disregard though I’m sure both had good intentions.

      Then the EPA refuses the new admin’s request for information…
      Stand-by. Not a good idea, imo.

      • Nate says:

        Mike,

        Not sure all what you referring to. Links would be helpful.

        I think you mean pm 2.5–Fine particles that can go deep into your lungs. You dont think these are potentially hazardous to health? Lot of evidence that they can be.

        As far as NGOs weighing in on regs or filing suit. Why shouldnt they be able to? Would u want only industries to determine their own regulations? Frankly if an NGO wants to protect my health and public health in general, great, let them make the case.

    • Barbara says:

      Nate – while the EPA never expressly uses “zero” as a limit, they often define what is acceptable at levels that are completely unattainable, or for which the expense far exceeds the theoretical health benefit. One example of this is the EPA’s preliminary remediation goals for radionuclides (https://epa-prgs.ornl.gov/radionuclides/), many of which are not technically feasible to detect, and none of which provide a measurable health benefit; i.e., any theoretical benefit is too small to detect against the natural occurrence of cancer in the U.S., which is about 39% over a lifetime (https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2013/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk.pdf), while the preliminary remediation goals are based on an increased risk over a lifetime of 0.0001%. There are many other examples of this sort – I’m familiar with this one, because I work in the field of health (radiation) physics.

      Sincerely,
      Barbara

  4. John Hultquist says:

    Thanks, Roy.

    I have seen many comments, and answered a few, indicating a lack of knowledge about Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Thus, your explanation is helpful. It is something to point people to.

    Sometimes a Request is a good idea, for example, Transportation may want to have researchers investigate how to smooth traffic flow. Ideas such as coordinated timing of red-lights or of traffic circles may have come from such research. I’ve no actual info of this, just saying could have.
    I’ve seen requests from NSF, HUD, and Education that were written to “support desired government policy outcomes,” such that many researchers with good ideas will NOT respond because of lack of interest or disagree with the policy behind the RFP. Thus does policy crowd-out science.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Hope you have
    a Merry and white Christmas

    • Curious George says:

      Off topic: I am trying to imagine how a Request For Proposal to develop a Relativity Theory or Quantum Mechanics would be worded.

      • Have to admit, I have no clue. Although I’m told that String Theory has enjoyed favored status in funding, maybe that has changed in recent years.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          Roy…”Have to admit, I have no clue. Although Im told that String Theory has enjoyed favored status in funding, maybe that has changed in recent years”.

          Astronomer Wal Thornhill has claimed that string theory works in every universe but our own. I hope Lubos Motl is not reading this.

          As far as a quantum theory proposal we would have to go back to Planck. something along this line. “Vell (German) lets see now, I vos playing vis zee intensity of electromagnetic radiation versus vavelength trying to vind out vie zee intensity dropped off as zee vavelengths got shorter. I could not vind zee reason but ven I fudged zee math I found a vay to related the intensity to zee vavelength as quantas of energy. If you could give me a few million I might be able vind out vie”

          Sure Max, here ya go. No idea what you’re talking about but it sounds good.

          Since then, quantum theory has been developed on fudged math. Schrodinger made good sense of it applying Planck’s constant to wave theory and started getting results with the hydrogen atom. Then Bohr got into the act and got really stupid, so stupid that Schrodinger retired in frustration seeing where it was going, and Einstein gave up on Bohr’s theories that claimed action at a distance, like entanglement theory.

          The theory has gotten so far out in modern times that the people issuing the money for research have no idea what they are funding. Feynman put it succinctly. He said, quantum theory works but no knows why.

          Sounds a lot like anthropogenic global warming theory funding.

          • Lubos Motl says:

            Gordon, I am reading everything just like string theory is a theory of everything, including our Universe. 😉 Merry Christmas.

          • John Hultquist says:

            Lumo’s comment brought a smile — on Christmas.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            Lubos…Merry Christmas to you and your family. I drop by your site every so often and find your ideas both informative and amusing.

            Here’s a Christmas present for you. We discovered how to make a smiley on Roy’s site. Enter the following code WITHOUT the hyphens but INCLUDING the ending semi-colon

            &-#-9-7-8-6-;

          • Nate says:

            Oh boy, Gordon.

            Please explain how all of modern electronics, transistors, chips, integrated circuits, LEDs, FETs, quantum dots, solar panels, solid-state lasers, etc would have gotten developed without quantum theory as a guide?

          • David Appell says:

            Unfortunately for Lubos, he has such a rotten personality that he was forced from the string theory world, and all of academia, years ago.

        • David Appell says:

          Gordon wrote:
          “Since then, quantum theory has been developed on fudged math.”

          You’re an idiot.

          QED predicts the g-2 factor of the electron to one part in a billion.

          Let’s see you do better.

  5. MarkB says:

    “Instead, require that a portion of existing climate funding be put into investigating natural causes of climate change, too.”

    I’ve never understood what one might want implemented differently per this argument. All of paleoclimate research falls under the category of natural climate change and considering known natural mechanisms is done in current attribution studies.

    It seems like little more than an appeal to “unknown unknowns” which doesn’t logically help your stated belief that climate sensitivity is on the low end of the IPCC. That is, if we can’t rule out a multi-decadal natural mechanism that’s contributed to recent warming then how do we know there hasn’t been the opposite?

    • For many years, I and a minority of others have claimed that natural climate variability is significant. We were poo-pooed.

      Now, with models over-projecting past warming by a factor of 2, the modelers are being forced to invoke natural climate fluctuations as a reason.

      We’ve published research to demonstrate how stronger and more frequent El Ninos have caused some of the recent warming…but nobody wants to hear it because it does not support the party line. There is very little research into these issues.

      So, does natural variability mask global warming, and so the human component will be worse than thought?

      Or, does it contribute to warming, so the human influence is smaller?

      Well, WE WON’T KNOW IF WE DON’T STUDY IT!

      • John R Smith says:

        Roy Spencer
        I certainly accept the study of human and natural influence on climate is honorable and legit.
        At least my betters tell me so.
        Something bugs me about it though.
        How can science slice out human from natural?
        ‘Natural’ is a marketing term.
        Humans are not exo-natural.
        I always thought that the grand thing about the scientific revolution and the liberation from religion was that humans weren’t some special creation of sky spirits.
        The natural verses human thing is just the wrong framing and has sent this field down a rabbit hole from which it might never escape.

        • William McLean says:

          Natural is simply a convenient way of saying ‘things other than human caused CO2 emissions.’ It reminds me of the term carbon tax. It is wrong wording but everyone knows what it actually means. The rabbit hole is when people try to correct others by informing them of the obvious. Just saying.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        Roy…”For many years, I and a minority of others have claimed that natural climate variability is significant. We were poo-pooed. ”

        You’re in good company, and remember, what goes around, comes around.

        You may have been poo-pooed but one of the leading experts in virology, Dr. Peter Duesberg, had his career ruined for claiming over 20 years ago that HIV is a harmless virus that could not possibly cause the disaster that is AIDS. Very recently, the scientist who discovered HIV, Dr. Luc Montagnier, went on the record in an hour long interview to claim that HIV will not harm a healthy immune system.

        Duesberg was right and the status quo ruined him. They could not get rid of him at his university due to tenure but they busted him from a full professor to teaching lab classes. I think the people involved in treating Duesberg like that should all go to jail.

        A couple of decades ago Linus Pauling claimed that megadoses of vitamin C were useful in the treatment of cancer. He was treated like a quack. Today, the National Institute of Cancer has finally paid attention to him and they are implementing his findings by treating cancer patients with really large doses of vitamin C.

        Hopefully the Trump admin will exonerate you and John. You both deserve it for your stellar work and for remaining cool while others lost their heads.

        • Lewis says:

          As an aside, I find that drinking large amounts of citrus helps when ill.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            Lewis…”As an aside, I find that drinking large amounts of citrus helps when ill”.

            You’ve got to drown it, Lewis. There’s not enough vitamin C in citrus to drown it.

            The trick is bowel-tolerance level. If a normal person takes 6 to 8 GRAMs (8000 mg) of C, after an hour or so he/she will have to go to the bathroom to evacuate the bowels. Real quick like.

            Keep that up every 4 hours and the flu will let up noticeably. One expert labels them as 30 gram flus, 60 gram flus, etc. It takes a lot of C to be effective.

            With the amount I take, 8 grams daily in two divided doses, morning and night, I no longer get full blown flus. I get the symptoms and I may feel a bit off, but I never get the raging kind where I have to go to bed.

            Word of caution. If you follow such a megadose scheme don’t stop abruptly. Pauling discovered that an 8 gram dose will be absorbed/peed out 50 – 50. Half will go into your system with the rest evacuated through the bowels and the urinary tract. He claimed the 50% evacuated through the bowels and urinary tract will help prevents cancer along those routes.

            If you stop a megadose suddenly, the body keeps evacuating it at a high level and you may run short. Taper of off if you want to quit but it’s better to keep taking several grams a day.

            He recommended at least 1 gram of C a day but he took 17 grams a day. In his heart formula, (the Pauling Formula) he recommended 3 grams of C with 3 grams of Lysine. The Lysine works to dissolve plaques which contain lysil deposits.

        • David Appell says:

          Peter Duesberg was wrong, and stubbornly so. He deserved to have his career destroyed, if you call having to be at UC Berkeley a destruction. (Few would.)

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Duesberg#Consequences_of_AIDS_denialism

      • David Appell says:

        What natural factor would you even begin to look at???

  6. Rhee says:

    The only thing I can say is:
    Thank you Dr. Roy

  7. Steve Case says:

    Thanks for putting that one together.

    Yes we are over regulated, the new wash machines don’t clean clothes, the new dish detergent etches the glassware, modern toilets don’t flush what’s supposed to be flushed, the latest lawnmowers do a crappy job, ethanol doctored gasoline gives poorer gas mileage and runs up world food prices, wind farms are ugly inefficient boondoggles and kill birds, and the new subsidized light bulbs actually cost $50.

  8. Pete Gibbons says:

    Amen, brother.

  9. Mark Pawelek says:

    Excellent article. Also:

    1. If politicians want to know what’s causing “secular stagnation” they should look into over-regulation, the precautionary approach, and fear of the future. A fear due to potential changes blamed on humanity gone wrong. Which science finds the case when told to blame everything on people.

    2. “the money we spend on such efforts is not available to address more pressing problems”
    <- That will never convince Keynesians because they think endless money can be printed. Better to say: "the resources we spend on such efforts are not available to address more pressing problems"

    3. The Precautionary Principle, or PP.
    <- In the strict sense says we must avoid all technologies that "may have the potential to cause widespread environmental changes" until we can prove the technology safe. This definition is very restrictive because "may have the potential to cause widespread environmental changes" can be very creatively modeled, and imaginatively interpreted to invent harm (e.g. GMOs). Following the PP, one has to prove every imagined harm is, in fact, safe. All the while without being allowed to do physical experiments. That was the "strong PP". The problem with the weak PP, described by Roy, is it short-circuits cost-benefit. It may even have been intended as a replacement for cost-benefit. With the PP, the regulator never need consider benefits.

  10. Curious George says:

    Our schools and universities became instruments of brainwashing. The draining of the swamp should happen there. An academic tenure makes it difficult to get rid of entrenched parasites. Maybe founding of new schools could be the answer.

  11. Tim S says:

    Although not directly related to funding, I think public perception is a huge problem. I have encountered educated people who claim that water vapor is not a real greenhouse gas, it simply “reacts” to and “enhances” CO2, and besides, “water vapor is temporary and CO2 last for thousands of years”. Amazing!
    I recently did a presentation to a group of engineers with the intent of presenting basic facts about greenhouse gases, warming, and climate. It was very simple things such as the 6 ppm swing in CO2 due to the northern hemisphere having more land mass than the south. At one point, the manager I report to asked in disbelief, “where is this coming from”? When I presented your graph showing the model predictions exaggerating the real warming based on satellite and balloon data, there literally were gasps of disbelief in the room. I explained that the model projects are based on sensitivity to CO2 which obviously has been overstated.
    About a year ago, I saw a program on CNN with Bill Weir, who probably has no science education, making statements that defy basic science. This it problem with the media that is dominated by advocates who just love using the “denier” label.

    • Joel Shore says:

      Tim: In regards to water vapor, their statements might be imprecise, but they are not really incorrect. The fact is that the concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere is determined mainly by the temperature and is not determined to any large degree on a global scale by our emissions of water vapor. Water vapor is a condensable greenhouse gas, whose behavior is indeed very different from the non-condensable greenhouse gases like CO2.

      This is sometimes summarized by saying that water vapor is a feedback, not a forcing.

      • Curious George says:

        The percentage water vapor in surface air varies from 0.01% at -42 C (-44 F) to 4.24% [Wikipedia]. Climate scientists like averages, so the average would be 2.12%, or 21,200 ppm. CO2 is 400 ppm. A feedback?

  12. Dan Pangburn says:

    As though it was not bad enough that political bias drives research funding, a fundamental assertion by EPA results from a mistake in logic.

    The EPA erroneously asserts Global Warming Potential (GWP) is a measure of effects on the Earth’s warming with Two key ways in which these [ghg] gases differ from each other are their ability to absorb energy (their “radiative efficiency”), and how long they stay in the atmosphere (also known as their “lifetime”). https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gwps.html

    The EPA calculation of the GWP of a ghg erroneously overlooks the fact that any effect the ghg might have on temperature is also integrated over the lifetime of the gas in the atmosphere so the duration in the atmosphere cancels out. Therefore GWP, as calculated by the EPA, is not a measure of the relative influence on average global temperature of a ghg. The influence (forcing) of a ghg cannot be more than determined by its concentration.

    The influence on average global temperature of a ghg molecule depends on how many different wavelengths of EMR the molecule can absorb. Water vapor molecules can each absorb hundreds in the wavelength range of terrestrial radiation compared to only one for CO2 and there are about 30 times more WV molecules in the sea level atmosphere.

    Thermalization of all absorbed radiation and the complete dominance of water vapor in reverse-thermalization explain why CO2 has no significant effect on climate. Terrestrial EMR absorbed by CO2 is effectively rerouted to space via water vapor with the result that CO2 has no significant effect on climate.

    • Tim S says:

      It has been my experience that EPA has some reasonably competent people, so that shows how politics can overrule science. The interesting fact is that water vapor will condense and can be removed from the atmosphere making CO2 more prominent in the process, but if that happens to any extent, there will also be cooling to the same extent, so it is a moot point.

      • Joel Shore says:

        To the extent that I can generously interpret your statement about water vapor condensing to make any scientific sense, what you are talking about is already accounted for by the lapse rate feedback, a negative feedback included in all of the climate models. And, you are correct that it involves similar physics to the water vapor feedback, which is why models that have a larger (positive) water vapor feedback have a larger (negative) lapse rate feedback. As a result, the net effect of the two feedbacks is better constrained than each of the individual feedbacks. But, that net effect is not zero.

        I’ll also add that the radiative effects of CO2 and water vapor are well-understood and, while it is true that water vapor has a greater effect, CO2’s effect is not negligible, especially because the concentration of CO2 and other non-condensable greenhouse gases is what helps to control the concentration of water vapor (i.e., increases in the non-condensable greenhouse gases cause increases in temperature, which lead to increases in water vapor, which lead to further increase in temperature).

        • Tim S says:

          There is no need to “generously interpret” my statement. Residence time is essentially a nonissue and serves mostly in the public debate to fool gullible people. Steady state concentration is the controlling effect and not residence or turnover rate. Since the climate models are now shown to overstate the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere, and to the extent that residence time is a factor in their performance, the notion that residence time is useful, is further in doubt.

        • Tim S says:

          Upon reflection, it occurs to me that water turnover rate is actually a cooling effect, as I am sure you are aware. Evaporation is a very significant cooling effect, and although cloud and rain formation is essentially an adiabatic process, the conversion of latent to sensible heat in the upper atmosphere is a net cooling effect to the overall atmosphere by increasing heat transfer to outer-space. Agree?

          • Joel Shore says:

            See my comment above…Like I said, what you are describing (a little more clearly here) is the largest part of cooling of the Earth’s surface via convection. And, to the extent that this effect increases as the Earth warms, this is what is called the lapse rate feedback, a negative feedback included in all of the climate models. And, as I noted, the net effect of the lapse rate feedback and the water vapor feedback is reasonably well-constrained because the two feedbacks work in opposite directions (i.e., partially cancel each other out) and involve much of the same physics.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          Joel Shore…”you are correct that it involves similar physics to the water vapor feedback, which is why models that have a larger (positive) water vapor feedback have a larger (negative) lapse rate feedback”.

          Talk about making scientific sense. There are no positive feedbacks in the real atmosphere and that is partly why models are nothing more than expensive toys. Positive feedback requires gain (an amplifier) and does not produce gain as the uninformed think.

          Climate model theory that incorporates a positive feedback is just plain wrong.

          • Joel Shore says:

            The water vapor feedback is in fact quite well-documented. You can’t explain the variations in concentration of water vapor in the upper atmosphere (e.g., as temperature varies with ENSO) without it. See, for example, http://science.sciencemag.org/content/310/5749/841 )

            Your claims about no positive feedbacks and gain are just vague, nonsensical claims. In fact, the definition of the net feedback is somewhat arbitrary…and this often confuses control engineers who are used to defining it differently. I.e., when climate scientists talk of a net positive feedback, they do not mean that there is a runaway but merely that the temperature change is larger than that due to CO2 alone (once factoring in the Planck equation that the radiation emitted increases with temperature). If you consider the Planck equation itself to be part of the feedback, then the net feedback is indeed negative.

            Different definitions of the base state that you compute the feedback from result in different results concerning whether the net feedback is positive or negative. However, the quantitative answer you get (e.g., for the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2) is of course the same in either case.

        • Dan Pangburn says:

          Failure to understand the process of reverse-thermalization has caused the influence of CO2 on climate to be misunderstood. CO2 has no significant effect on climate.

    • Dan Pangburn says:
      December 21, 2016 at 4:02 PM

      “The EPA calculation of the GWP of a ghg erroneously overlooks the fact that any effect the ghg might have on temperature is also integrated over the lifetime of the gas in the atmosphere so the duration in the atmosphere cancels out. Therefore GWP, as calculated by the EPA, is not a measure of the relative influence on average global temperature of a ghg. The influence (forcing) of a ghg cannot be more than determined by its concentration.”

      I just try to understand. If we cancel out lifetime, then e.g. Methane has a GWP of 2836, according to EPA.

      1. Is this true? Or can this be claimed in a scientific manner?
      2. Why is this so high? A molecule hit by a photon is just one molecule. Why should it have an effect about 30 times than CO2?
      3. As water vapor can absorb IR at nearly any wave length, why should it have a lower GWP than CO2?

      How does EPA support the claim for their numbers?

    • David Appell says:

      “The EPA calculation of the GWP of a ghg erroneously overlooks the fact that any effect the ghg might have on temperature is also integrated over the lifetime of the gas in the atmosphere so the duration in the atmosphere cancels out.”

      Balderdash, and nonsense.

  13. Joel Shore says:

    Roy,

    You’ve created quite a strawman here. Nobody is saying that we have to reduce pollution to “near-zero”. The cost-benefit analyses are already being done…usually based on over-inflated costs, since not only industries but the EPA itself tends to overestimate the cost of regulations…in large part because they don’t usually account well enough for the market’s ability to find cheaper solutions for reducing pollutants. (See, for example, this article on the subject, admittedly from a while ago: http://prospect.org/article/behind-numbers-polluted-data )

    If you believe these are skewed in favor of causing us to over-regulate, then why not present us with evidence of that?

  14. Eric Simp says:

    Another issue is the leftist takeover of the unversities.

    Question to Dr. RIchard Lindzen: Is it possible for a young person today… to get tenure in one of these institutions [universities] if they disagree with global warming alarmism?

    Dr. Richard Lindzen: … NOT OPENLY. [see 45 minute mark of: Richard Lindzen “Global Warming Alarmism: Science in the Public Square” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so3ELA7NpVw%5D%5D

    Lindzen continued: …and in your grant applications you can’t say ‘I want to check whether global warming is real or not’ [laughs].

    The whole “most scientists agree with AGW” argument is bs as those scientists have been pre-selected in advance for that agreement.

    • David Appell says:

      “Lindzen continued: and in your grant applications you cant say I want to check whether global warming is real or not”

      Correct. You also can’t check

      1) Gauss’s law
      2) Newton’s laws of motion
      3) The existence of electrons

      The great think about science is that, when it knows something, it knows it well based on the evidence.

      When that happens, scientists move ahead to the next set of questions.

      Because you personally don’t like an answer doesn’t mean scientists should investigate it more. They have their reasons for knowing it an moving ahead. But you can stay stuck in the past and deny all you want.

      Go ahead, disprove their science. You’ll be WORLD FAMOUS.

      • Hivemind says:

        Actually it is quite common for scientists to check the theories & past experiments of their predecessors. For instance, measuring the electric charge of electrons is quite a common undergraduate experiment.

  15. actually strength the human body

    should be

    actually strengthen the human body

    Love your work.

  16. fonzarelli says:

    THE greatest creater of poverty is the federal reserve. (it’s essentially all that they do) Poor people spend less which holds prices down, so they are in the business of creating poverty. If excess regulation does the job of creating poverty, then the fed will counter that by not doing theirs, letting the economy grow more than it otherwise would (creating wealth). So regulation as economics stands today isn’t a problem. If we really want to get rid of poverty it can easily be done by letting the economy grow. We can have our cake and eat it, too, just by ending stifling federal reserve policy which will allow for all the necessary regulation that need be. Fat chance that will happen—- unless trump yanks yellen from the fed chair for someone whose more in line with his pro growth policies, then we will see the same old tepid economies that have gotten us into our current messes. “Regulations” are quite inexpensive when compared to the great expense of federal reserve inflation policy…

    • Lewis says:

      Fonz: Merry Christmas.

      Further: The purpose of the fed is to protect the lenders, the banks and financial institutions and the political elite.

      One of the tools they use is interest rates, although at this juncture that tool has been relatively useless. They also use 2% inflation rate as a goal – why, because it is easy for them. (from a speech by a Fed Reserve member)

      Labor rates are their object. They consider that if labor rates become too high, they will start putting upward pressure on labor costs (salaries and wages) which will cause inflation, and so they raise interest rates to put people out of work, driving labor rates down.

      So, while your point about a rising tide lifting all boats may be true, the Fed has no interest in that tide as it would be in opposition to their goal of protecting the banks etc, from loss of value due to inflation.

      The effect of regulation works, as Dr. Spencer said, to reduce productivity and thus decrease the GDP and in the end, wages and salaries. The Fed has had to work against that.

      If the Trump administration is successful in excising a number of regulations from the books, whoever comes after Trump will see interest rates rise as the Fed has to fight the growth due to that.

      Interesting times – As a businessman I, for the first time in 8 years, feel good about the future of our country and my children and grand-children’s prospects.

      Again, Merry Christmas

    • David Appell says:

      Some inflation is a good thing — it encourages people to spend today, not tomorrow.

      The big terror is deflation.

  17. John Moore says:

    I don’t think the problem is the Precautionary Principle, but rather it’s the one sided application. After all, the PP applied to carbon reduction requires those urging the action (carbon reduction) to have the burden of proving that it is harmless.

    So, use their own PP against the climatistas.

  18. Chris Hanley says:

    Building an immunity to an otherwise lethal poison like arsenic by administering small doses (mithridatism) has been a trope in literature, particularly crime fiction, for example: Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter”,Dorothy Sayers’s Strong Poison, Agatha Christie’s Curtain (Wiki) not that Im suggesting CO2 is in any way analogous.

  19. Phillip says:

    An excellent article. Send it to Donald.

  20. ren says:

    In the context of low solar activity NASA research priority should be the impact of space weather on phenomena in the Earth’s atmosphere.

  21. ren says:

    No need for mascara! Russians enjoy an Arctic blast with temperatures plunging to a bone-crushing minus 62C leaving their eyelashes frozen over.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4057686/No-need-mascara-Russians-enjoy-Arctic-blast-temperatures-plunging-bone-crushing-minus-62C-leaving-eyelashes-frozen-over.html

  22. sod says:

    A significant amount of science today is funded and directly influenced by corporate money.

    The idea, that state funded science should have the same view point as exxon funded science is absurd.

    Even if there was a “bias” (and i doubt that there is), it would not be a problem.

    What Trump is threatening to do (basically abolish real climate science) is something completely different and a serious danger.

    I am really sure that science will improve, when Exxon is giving all the calls!

    • fonzarelli says:

      How do you define “real science”? (would it be the same science that gave us the incredible edible “if you eat more than 2 a week, then YOU WILL DIE” egg?)

    • Aaron S says:

      BS!!! As a climate scientist in an oil company (not exxon) i can assure u that there is not funding or effort for counter arguments. Actually opposite we avoid any controversial data. Our research lab did some amazing work on cyclicity of sediments- they avoided the high freq stuff that related to the sun-to-climate lin. Branding is worth more to a major oil co than fighting an ideal of reducing FF that really is no threat to the industry without nuclear. There is no Yin to the AGW Yang. Even when big name skeptic paper like 75 scientists from CERN and other labs point out the pollution negative feedback that dominates climate sensitivity in models onward is total crap… it is ignored by the establishment. Models are not updated. NASA might be ruining their reputation with GISS and other bs science that is fighting hard to reduce the obvious: the data is showing low sensitivity to CO2.

      • Aaron S says:

        To be more clear what i mean the wording from CERNs paper can be paraphrased as:
        The negative feedback from industrial pollution and associated increase in albedo may be overestimated. Correcting this
        “… could raise the baseline aerosol state of the pristine pre-industrial atmosphere and so could reduce the estimated anthropogenic radiative forcing from increased aerosol-cloud albedo over the industrial period.”

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v533/n7604/full/nature17953.html

        So the certainty in climate sensitivity presented by IPCC is “total crap” or misrepresented. The range for models could include high sensitivity scenarios but should also include a more realistic base case and lower low cases.

        Sorry was blogging not writing.

      • sod says:

        “BS!!! As a climate scientist in an oil company (not exxon) i can assure u that there is not funding or effort for counter arguments. Actually opposite we avoid any controversial data. Our research lab did some amazing work on cyclicity of sediments- they avoided the high freq stuff that related to the sun-to-climate lin. Branding is worth more to a major oil co than fighting an ideal of reducing FF that really is no threat to the industry without nuclear. There is no Yin to the AGW Yang.”

        sorry, but the Exxon case is perfectly documented. We simply know exactly when oil companies knew about the problem and how they acted. It is a fact.

        It is also nothing special: climate science does direct damage to the oil/coal companies.

        Avoiding controversial data is done for a single reason: These companies want to influence public opinion. Getting caught with utterly fake stuff is problematic.

        • Lewis says:

          Sod,
          You’re rather excitable. Merry Christmas.

          Oil companies, like any company, tend to work for their own benefit. You seem to believe they should be altruistic. What?
          Are you serious?

          So what if they knew something they didn’t tell the world? Neither would I.

          That sir, is the reason we have government, to promote the general welfare. Yet, as Dr. Spencer has pointed out, government agents have not been in the business of taking care of the public, they have been catering to special interests and damaging the general welfare through regulation.

          Compare that to the limited ability of Exxon-Mobil or some other entity to influence the public.

          So your attack on Exxon is misplaced. Whether they believe AGW is real or not is immaterial. Their responsibility is to produce a profit for their shareholders. It is not some altruistic end assigned by others, such as yourself.

          • sod says:

            “Youre rather excitable. Merry Christmas.

            Oil companies, like any company, tend to work for their own benefit. You seem to believe they should be altruistic. What?
            Are you serious? ”

            i am not excited. Merry christmas!

            i know that oil companies only are interested in their business. That is, why they need some opposition in the field of science.

            Roy Spencer demands the opposite. And Trump has chosen a crony of the oil industry, to run EPA.

            Keeping the big industry in check is difficult at best times. It surely will not help to give up any control over them.

            As you said: If the oil company does discover that climate change is real, they will hide it. In short, they will lie instead of pursuing science.

          • Nate says:

            Consider the effect that the tobacco companies efforts to promote the idea that the science showing the link between cancer, heart disease, and smoking, was uncertain. This was effective for many years.

          • David Appell says:

            “So your attack on Exxon is misplaced. Whether they believe AGW is real or not is immaterial. Their responsibility is to produce a profit for their shareholders. It is not some altruistic end assigned by others, such as yourself.”

            Gee, some of us think they have a MORAL obligation to tell the truth.

            But clearly you disagree. You think EM should tell whatever lies and mistruths are necessary to maximize their profits for shareholders. The rest of the world be damned.

            So here we directly see some of the very large problems with unrestrained capitalism….

        • Hivemind says:

          “We simply know exactly when oil companies knew about the problem and how they acted.”

          What we actually know is that they tried computer models and discovered that they are a load of crap. Too complex to provide real information; really just modelling noise.

      • David Appell says:

        “There is no Yin to the AGW Yang.”

        Exactly. This is no serious competitor to AGW.

  23. George Applegate says:

    “asked by the government to tell the government to study human causes of climate change.” Do you have more detail on that? Maybe a link? I was unaware.

  24. Steven Fraser says:

    I read the NSF RFP, and the study summaries of many of the proposals funded. A key objective in the RFP is funding the research community. Who is the research community, and where do the Big Bucks go?

    Turns out that the big cahunas are the research organizations with ongoing programs. Here are the top 10 awards:

    1. National Center for Atmospheric Research, 2008-2018 for Management and Operations. $884 million.
    2. U of TN Computational Center $84.5million
    3. Colorado State University MMAP center, 2007-2016 $37.5 million
    4. COSMIC operations 2012-2015 $23.5million.
    5. COCONet observatory $6million
    6. George Mason University Predictability and prediction of climates from days to decades. $5 million.
    7. U of WA Mechanisms of climate variability and change, 2 awards: $1 and $1.7 million
    8. Georgia Tech. 2013-2017 Dynamics of low frequency phenomena $1.9million
    9. US CLIVAR project office $1.6 million
    10. TLALOCNet 1.5 Million.

  25. Norman says:

    This Forbes article seems to support Roy Spencer’s point. It actually goes into a cost analysis and job loss from EPA regulations.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2011/08/23/the-alarming-cost-of-climate-change-hysteria/#128033a06f70

    • fonzarelli says:

      Norman, the biggest “loser of jobs” is the federal reserve. If epa regulation wasn’t killing jobs the federal reserve would be. They started raising interest rate one year ago. (don’t think they’ve done that since then… yet) Should be interesting to see how trump deals with the fed. i’m not so sure that he’s as bright an “economist” as he is a business man. Unless he yanks yellen from the fed chair for some one significantly more liberal, he’s never going to be able to deliver the economic goods for the american people. And with his proposed tax cuts, along with inevitable budget cuts, we’re probably going to see the same old, same old when it comes to economics/politics. A restless public, and changing demographics are sure to hand the presidency back to the dems in 2020. (and if he doesn’t “lock her up”, we may see a president HRC come 2021)…

      • Mike Restin says:

        Thanks, I needed the laugh.
        HRC ho ho ho ha ha ha

      • David Appell says:

        fonzarelli says:
        “If epa regulation wasnt killing jobs the federal reserve would be.”

        How many jobs has the EPA “killed?”

        Have you noticed that the US is now near full employment? Blame the Fed, right?

    • Nate says:

      Norman,

      This Forbes article stretches ones imagination. It is full of holes. Among others it says regarding climate change regs:

      “The Small Business Administration estimates that compliance with such regulations costs the U.S. economy more than $1.75 trillion per year — about 12%-14% of GDP” No link is given so I cant check it

      Hyperbole much. A little critical thinking would tell you that is unlikely.

    • David Appell says:

      “How the Clean Air Act Has Saved $22 Trillion in Health-Care Costs,” Alan H. Lockwood, The Atlantic 9/7/12.
      http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/09/how-the-clean-air-act-has-saved-22-trillion-in-health-care-costs/262071/

  26. Norman says:

    For Nate and others…

    If the first forbes article did not convince, perhaps the second one will.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2014/01/02/dark-money-funds-to-promote-global-warming-alarmism-dwarf-warming-denier-research/#68957d7448e9

    I think there is strong evidence that Roy Spencer is speaking truth with his current post on the way funding has been done under the Obama administration.

    Now the media is hyping the North Pole temp (which will probably be warm a couple days before sinking back to its normal subzero temps for the winter).

    North Pole article:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Pole

    From article: “Winter temperatures at the North Pole can range from about −50 to −13 C (−58 to 9 F), averaging around −31 C (−24 F).”

    The media is “freaked” that the north pole is 50 F above normal. It looks like its normal winter range of temperatures is 67 F. The North Pole is a highly variable temperature location so a 50 F temperature range is certainly not that abnormal. How long have we been monitoring the North Pole temperatures? Maybe it has gotten this warm several times in the past but no one had a thermometer up there to measure it.

    If the Government is not biased with “climate change” the media most certainly is.

  27. Groty says:

    Here’s a good video visualizing the growth in regulations since 1950.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5-5a6Q54BM

  28. George says:

    Roy! How could you overlook me saying the same thing as Pat and Judy?

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2202/1948-4682.1132/abstract

  29. ren says:

    You can already see the temperature drop in the Arctic. Polar vortex accelerates.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_TEMP_MEAN_OND_NH_2016.png

  30. argus says:

    I only wish people would be upfront. Global warming is about God vs Science. Things are so bad, even a reasonable person like Dr Spencer is essentially outcast from the mainstream. It’s obvious man could have caused some or all of the recent warming. It’s obvious God exists. Figuring out how much warming, why, and where climate is going is a reasonable endeavor. It is even more reasonable to figure out who God is, why we exist, and what he intends for humanity and the universe.

  31. JasG says:

    The bias was not necessarily deliberate. As Nate points out if something is perceived as a problem then there is funding directed towards it. No problem = no funding.

    Earth scientists initial bias (with some cause) is to view any man-made emissions as suspect until proven otherwise and the message is pushed by greens for whom CO2 warming is just a symptom of the larger perceived issue of the pursuit of growth and capitalism.

    The bias is clear to optimists/skeptics because we pick through papers to search out the unfounded assumptions/assertions and we point to the data that shows nothing much of any note is happening. But this bias just appears to pessimists/believers as consensus opinion of alarm despite the unalarming data.

    Humans are not disturbing a fragile Earth, we are trying to survive on a hostile Earth. Warming throughout history is associated with good times for all life; it is cooling that kills. Thanks to fossil fuels much of our society are paid to worry about a piddling 0.6K rise/century of temperature rather than spending every waking moment just trying to stay alive. In a more enlightened time scientists would remark at how stable planet Earth now is and that a little bit of human-induced warming might be needed to stave off the overdue next ice age. The originators of the notion of man-made warming, Arrhennius and Callendar, indeed did think this way.

    Some redress is required in the funding such that natural warming is studied with equal fervour.

    • fonzarelli says:

      Very good comment here, jas… one would think that climate system should be well understood BEFORE the question of attribution can be answered…

      • Lewis says:

        Fonz, BEFORE? Not really. The purpose of the AGW religion is to show that man is an evil actor. Thus their religion seeks control of man’s actions, under their direction, of course. AGW is only a tool used to gain this control.

        As with similar religions of the past, they don’t mind, enjoy in fact, destroying those to oppose their religion. In that they are different from ISIS in degree, not kind. You will find them gathered with many other marginal groups under the tent called the Democratic Party.

        Hence the loss of so many elections as the people decry these type politics and seek a return to the sanity of middle-right leaders.

        • David Appell says:

          Lewis says:
          “The purpose of the AGW religion is to show that man is an evil actor.”

          This kind of statement makes you look like a Class One idiot.

          If you can’t evaluate the science without including your phobias and fears, step aside and leave it to the better prepared.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        fonzarelli..”one would think that climate system should be well understood BEFORE the question of attribution can be answered”

        That has already been pointed out in a paper by Tsonis et al. They studied the major ocean oscillations like AMO, PDO, AO, and ENSO and found a correlation over a century between the phases of the oscillations and warming/cooling. Tsonis later suggested that we should be studying these oscillations and their relationships rather than jumping to conclusions about anthropogenic gases.

        The loss of Arctic ice has already been explained as the driving of ice from the Arctic Ocean by winds and currents into the warmer North Atlantic.

        • David Appell says:

          “The loss of Arctic ice has already been explained as the driving of ice from the Arctic Ocean by winds and currents into the warmer North Atlantic.”

          Cute.

          And where is all this extra energy coming from? — especially the large increases in ocean heat content…..

      • David Appell says:

        fonzarelli says:
        “…one would think that climate system should be well understood BEFORE the question of attribution can be answered”

        It is.

        The influence of CO2 has been known for 120 years….

        Would you prefer 240 yrs? 480? Give a number….

    • sod says:

      “Earth scientists initial bias (with some cause) is to view any man-made emissions as suspect until proven otherwise and the message is pushed by greens for whom CO2 warming is just a symptom of the larger perceived issue of the pursuit of growth and capitalism.”

      sorry, but i will have to rate this phase as the most obviously wrong that i have read in some time.

      Earth science was fighting against AGW from the very beginning. Their initial bias came from their direct link to the applied form of their science, being mining of all forms.

      Their initial bias was simple: man can not change the planet. The planet only changes on geological time scales.

      The majority of the very few real scientific resistance to AGW is based on geologists, who fight hard against having to change their (false) perspective. They were wrong, and many of them simply prefer to deny that to admitti8ng their errors.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        SOD…”The majority of the very few real scientific resistance to AGW is based on geologists…”

        Michael Mann, an uber-alarmist, is a geologist.

        If oceanography is included as an Earth science, one of it’s 20th century notables, Roger Revelle, was studying the effects on anthropogenic gases back in the 1950s. When he co-authored a paper in the early 90s with Fred Singer, shortly before Revelle’s death, he cautioned people not to reach catastrophic conclusions about CO2.

        That statement enraged Al Gore, a former student of Revelle. Gore insinuated that Singer had put him up to it and suggested Revelle must have been senile to say such a thing.

        It went to court and Singer won.

    • Hivemind says:

      It’s really quite simple if you remember the golden rule. He who provides the gold, makes the rules.

      When these NGOs exist to prove global warming, and many of them do, then there is no incentive in their mission statements for fund a search for counter-evidence.

  32. BruceC says:

    Dr Roy Spencer, what are your views on this slightly OT, but related congressional investigation?

    “Congress: Obama Admin Fired Top Scientist to Advance Climate Change Plans.

    Investigation claims Obama admin retaliated against scientists, politicized DoE”

    http://freebeacon.com/politics/congress-obama-admin-fired-top-scientist-advance-climate-change-plans/

    Link to full PDF report;
    http://freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/2016-12-19-Final-Staff-Report-LDRR.pdf

  33. sod says:

    “Science Under President Trump”

    do people not see the contradiction in that headline?

    And looking at the picture: Trump has called for torture of real people, even if it does not work!

    Trump is anti-science. Everybody knows that!

    • Lewis says:

      sod: If you pretend blindness to the abuses the Obama administration has visited upon the people, then I must consider you support those abuses and are complicit in the damage they do to the average person.

      • sod says:

        When did Obama say false stuff like “climate change is a hoax invented by the chinese”?

        When did he support torture, even knowing that it does not work?

        Again: trump knows absolutely nothing about science. The idea, that he could improve science is idiotic.

        • Lewis says:

          Sod: Typical
          I addressed the abuses. You wandered off to something else.

          From:
          http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/media-open-a-skeptical-eye-after-8-year-sleep/article/2610331

          …. where has this fire been for the last eight years? The corollary of the creation of the Times’ new investigative unit is that it didn’t exist during the presidency of Barack Obama. It’s not as if President Obama and his administration has been the most transparent in history, to coin a phrase, somehow obviating the need for press scrutiny.
          In fact, it has been the opposite, according to the Society of Professional Journalists, which sent a letter to White House press secretary Josh Earnest in September listing specific ways in which transparency has gotten worse under Obama.
          Officials have blocked reporters’ requests “to talk to specific staff people,” the group said, imposed “excessive delays in answering interview requests that stretch past reporters’ deadlines,” and “officials convey information ‘on background,’ refusing to give reporters what should be public information unless they agree not to say who is speaking,” Addtional grivances include, “federal agencies blackballing reporters who write critically of them” and a “continued lack of meaningful visual access to the president by an independent press pool.”
          The letter doesn’t even get to the details of the 2013 scandal in which the Justice Department was found to have secretly obtained at least two months worth of office and personal telephone records belonging to Associated Press journalists.
          The letter doesn’t discuss the DOJ using the Espionage Act of 1917 to name Fox News’ James Rosen as a “criminal co-conspirator” in an investigation involving leaked classified information.
          It doesn’t even get into the fact that the Obama White House set a record in 2014 for denying the most Freedom of Information Act requests of any administration.
          The SPJ isn’t alone in highlighting the Obama administration’s treatment of news media. Many in the press, including those at the Post and the Times, agree that it has been less-than-stellar!
          But it is only now, now that Republicans are to retake the White House, that newsrooms are recommitting themselves to their mission of holding the powerful to account?

          • sod says:

            “The SPJ isnt alone in highlighting the Obama administrations treatment of news media. Many in the press, including those at the Post and the Times, agree that it has been less-than-stellar!”

            Less than stellar?

            Sorry, but Trump will is already showing you, how he will handle the press. Basically we can be happy if he does not outlaw writing a bad word about him.

          • David Appell says:

            Lewis: When did Obama encourage torture?

          • David Appell says:

            Lewis says:
            “http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/media-open-a-skeptical-eye-after-8-year-sleep/article/2610331”

            My god, that’s about the impact of radiation on people, not climate change.

            Please learn enough science so at at least not to look foolish.

        • Tim S says:

          Expressing bigotry toward Trump does not support your argument about science. The key issue is how to use science to understand why the climate models, which assume strong CO2 sensitivity, are so very wrong as they exaggerate warming. Continuing to push the narrative that future warming will be extreme, in light of the failure of the climate models to predict the current pause in warming, is a huge (pronounced “yuge”) issue that deserves to be evaluated by valid science.

          It does not require a PhD in physics to understand that the models, that are currently being used to make government policies, overstate warming. I think Trump and most intelligent people who are being honest are capable of understand that point.

          • sod says:

            “It does not require a PhD in physics to understand that the models, that are currently being used to make government policies, overstate warming.”

            You are simply wrong. welcome to the hottest year, even in UAH data. What did 2sceptics2 predict ll those years along?

          • Lewis says:

            Sod:
            The hottest year? That’s amusing and again proves the point. Hottest year since WHEN? Hottest year by how much? It still doesn’t keep up with the models which are used to predict death and destruction. But the people, being the practical animals they are, have decided the excesses and misdirection of the Democrats, which most alarmists are, is not the direction they wish to go. They realize that the alarmism is the incessant cry of wolf, in order to gain control and, in the process, ruin their lives and the lives of others.

            You want another example of Obama – see the UN vote where he strands one of the best friends the US has had: Israel.

            But keep your head in the sand if you choose. No one can stop you from your religious beliefs but yourself.

            Merry Christmas: may you enjoy all the pleasures the use of hydrocarbons have brought you.

          • sod says:

            “Hottest year since WHEN? Hottest year by how much? It still doesnt keep up with the models”

            Attempt to confuse? My question was simple: Where did “sceptics” predict, that we would see a new hottest year in the modern global datasets?

            your predictions were all “down down down”.

          • Lewis says:

            Sod,
            you will find that I have not predicted anything. I HOPE it gets warmer or, at least, stays as warm as it has been the past 5 decades. WHY, you might ask. Because the necessary replacement for warm is cold. Now who, name one, who wants more snow and ice? Yet that is what the AGW religion offers. But people move south when they can, not north. Farmers raise crops and animals where, not the frozen north.

            In all, the efforts to keep glaciers, ice caps and ice burgs is typical of a religion of those who see mankind as a bad actor.

            Are you one more? I say the answer is yes. That being said, please stop using the government to ram your religion down my throat.

            See the first amendment – Congress shall make NO law respecting the establishment of religion…. This would include yours.

          • David Appell says:

            Tim S says:
            “The key issue is how to use science to understand why the climate models, which assume strong CO2 sensitivity, are so very wrong as they exaggerate warming.”

            Climate models don’t assume anything — they CALCULATE climate’s sensitivity to CO2.

            I’ll bite my tongue, for now.

        • BruceC says:

          Can I just add my 2cents worth sod, Obama is a lawyer, does that mean he knows more about science than Trump?

          • sod says:

            “Can I just add my 2cents worth sod, Obama is a lawyer, does that mean he knows more about science than Trump?”

            Obama is listening to experts. Not skipping security briefings.

            You can safely assume that He knows 10000 times as much about climate than Trump.

          • Lewis says:

            Bruce:

            99% of lawyers give the other 1% a bad name.

            Which is Obama?

          • BruceC says:

            Please show us where Pres-Elect Trump is skipping security briefings?

            Surprisingly – or not – you have not made a comment about my previous comment;

            “Dr Roy Spencer, what are your views on this slightly OT, but related congressional investigation?

            Congress: Obama Admin Fired Top Scientist to Advance Climate Change Plans.

            Investigation claims Obama admin retaliated against scientists, politicized DoE

          • BruceC says:

            10,000 more times! He is a lawyer.

          • An Inquirer says:

            Sod,
            I am not a fan of Trump, and I am not eager to defend him, but I do think it is too early to say whether he will listen to experts. Certainly a much larger percentage of his businesses would have failed if he did not listen to experts. (BTW, the businesses that did fail were risky projects and were appropriately labeled as such to investors and vendors.) Trump did NOT listen to many political experts in identify politics, and that decision apparently paid dividends to him, but again I do not know if he will listen to experts on subject policies.
            Nevertheless, I will strenuously object to your characterization of Obama as listening to scientific experts. He does listen to politically-motivated analysts posing as scientists, but that is not the same thing. Early in his presidency, he blamed the Red River flooding on global warming, and that was extremely scientifically ignorant; the flooding came from heavy snow and a cold spring. Obama’s National Climate Assessment shows either woeful ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation — neither are scientific. His tweet that 97% of scientists agree that GW is “real, man-made and dangerous” is indicative of how unscientific and shallow he really is.

          • BruceC says:

            “Obama is listening to experts” Is that so?

            How do you know that Trump’s advisers aren’t experts?

          • BruceC says:

            sod … what is the speed velocity of a sparrow?

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            Bruce C…”what is the speed velocity of a sparrow?”

            Do you mean the European sparrow or the African sparrow?

          • BruceC says:

            Try another comment – probably gone over sod’s head.

          • sod says:

            “How do you know that Trumps advisers arent experts?”

            We know their names!

            Scott Pruitt knows nothing about protecting the environment. How could anyone pick such an ignorant fool after the Flint water disaster? We need a massive expansion of protection, not a fight against it. That is, what the facts tell you.

          • sod says:

            “Please show us where Pres-Elect Trump is skipping security briefings?”

            Did Breitbart not tell you about it? Why not stop depending only on fake news?

            Trump did skip the majority of security briefings and is still not getting it daily.

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/12/12/skipping-daily-briefings-trump-shows-ambivalence-toward-intel-agencies/95103092/

            And that is, even though he accused Obama of missing a few:

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-obama-intelligence-briefings_us_584dd82fe4b04c8e2bb053b3

            This is the real bias: Obama gets attacked (for missing a few briefings, or for slightly favouring the majority position on on climate science) while Trump is supported while skipping basically all briefings and fully accepting a fringe position (“invented by the chinese”) on the climate (this is not even science!).

          • Lewis says:

            Sod,

            You’re becoming shrill. Give it a break. You’re not changing anyone’s mind. Why, because you have no evidence, only emotion.

            Happy New Year

            Lewis

          • sod says:

            “I am not a fan of Trump, and I am not eager to defend him, but I do think it is too early to say whether he will listen to experts. ”

            Sorry, but Trump so far has shown utter disgust for listening to experts on anything (just look at what he wrote on twitter!)

            “Certainly a much larger percentage of his businesses would have failed if he did not listen to experts.”

            I actually think that all of his businesses would have failed, if he was not filthy rich from the beginning and backed up by a rich father if things went wrong.

            I will not comment any further on Trump and business, as i ll try to stick to the topic (Trump, climate change…)

            “Nevertheless, I will strenuously object to your characterization of Obama as listening to scientific experts. He does listen to politically-motivated analysts posing as scientists, but that is not the same thing.”

            He is listening to the scientific mainstream. i am sorry, if you do not like what the scientific mainstream says, but you can not mischaracterize that are purely political.

            “! Early in his presidency, he blamed the Red River flooding on global warming, and that was extremely scientifically ignorant; the flooding came from heavy snow and a cold spring.”

            I am not too familiar with this specific event, but what Obama said was: “‘If you see an increase of two degrees, what does that do, in terms of the situation there?'”, which sounds perefectly fine to me.

          • BruceC says:

            Sounds like sod needs to go to Walmart and buy a new box of crayons and a colouring book.

          • David Appell says:

            BruceC says:
            “Can I just add my 2cents worth sod, Obama is a lawyer, does that mean he knows more about science than Trump?”

            Yes. Obama is much smarter than Dump.

    • FTOP says:

      Any administration that would declare CO2 a pollutant is anti-science. What next? Declare distilled water a poisin. Oxygen a noxious gas.

      Any rational analysis makes it clear our CO2 atmospheric levels are barely above sustainability for the planet.

      Middle school children learn the formula for photosynthesis, to villify a critical component for all life on earth is anti-science. Period.

      What is the exact ppm of acceptable CO2 levels in the atmosphere?

      0 ppm, 100 ppm, 500 ppm, 2500 ppm?

      With cooling oceans, we are more likely to die from low CO2 levels and the resulting debilitating impact of vegetation than a .022% change in annual GAT.

      This charade is coming to an end.
      http://climatechangedispatch.com/trumps-epa-pick-will-make-obama-regret-his-environmental-overreach/

      • Lewis says:

        The point in declaring CO2 a pollutant was to enable the EPA to continue the pogrom against industry, enhancing control of the people and the economy by the totalitarians.

        • michael hart says:

          Obama stated precisely that. He publicly vowed to make electricity prices skyrocket and to destroy the coal industry. The way to do this, and avoid the difficulty of passing unpopular laws through congress, is by EPA regulation. It was no secret.

          …And the ‘rust-belt’ States would be at the receiving end of many of the most unpleasant consequences. Maybe the voters in those States noticed that Hilary Clinton promised more of the same.

      • David Appell says:

        FTOP says:
        “Any administration that would declare CO2 a pollutant is anti-science.”

        THey didn’t, Einstein, the Supreme Court did (Mass v EPA 2007).

      • David Appell says:

        FTOP says:
        “Any administration that would declare CO2 a pollutant is anti-science.”

        Lie much?

        The Obama administration never made such a declaration — the Supreme Court did, in Mass v EPA (2007).

        Learn some history for a change, and quit lying.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      sod…”Trump is anti-science. Everybody knows that!”

      You’d have to say the same about Obama, who initiated a witch hunt against climate deniers. He also staffed the EPA with science-deniers.

      • sod says:

        “Youd have to say the same about Obama, who initiated a witch hunt against climate deniers. He also staffed the EPA with science-deniers.”

        No. Please stop reading only fake news at Breitbart.

      • David Appell says:

        Since climate deniers are just that — deniers of reality — Obama was right to ignore them.

        But he did not, of course, initiate a “witch hunt.”

        And you can’t prove that he did.

  34. Tim S says:

    I have a humorous comment. California Governor Jerry Brown is threatening to put up his own satellites if Trump tries to shut them down. The obvious irony is that the satellite data is what proves the surface data and model projections show too much warming. The satellite data is the skeptics best tool to prove the alarmists are exaggerating.

    Merry Christmas!

    • Toneb says:

      “The satellite data is the skeptics best tool to prove the alarmists are exaggerating.”

      It’s your only tool but a very poor one.
      Now which version of this trop temp sat data do you talk of may I ask?

      Would it be UAH or RSS.
      And which version of either.
      (spect it’s UAH, as it’s the coldest).
      That you dismiss the surface based data for being “adjusted”, yet call the Sat data the “Gold standard” (Judith Curry), is high level hypocrisy (speaking of *sceptics* in general).

      Also there is a problem…
      They do not agree with radiosonde data.
      This became apparent from 1998 when NOAA15 replaced the MSU with the AMSU sensor.
      RSS made adjustments from v3.3 to become v4 to account for it and thereby split the error to make the pre ’98 period and that after to both be wrong, but less wrong now.
      UAH has presumed the new sensor to be best and stayed with it.

      BUT:
      http://postmyimage.com/img2/792_UAHRatpacvalidation2.png
      https://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/diff.jpeg

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        Toneb…”Its your only tool but a very poor one.”

        Your satellite propaganda is straight out of skepticalscience.

        Judith Curry is right, the sat temp data is the golden standard.

        • sod says:

          “Your satellite propaganda is straight out of skepticalscience.

          Judith Curry is right, the sat temp data is the golden standard.”

          no, it is not. Look, we are discussing this under the topic “Trump will end the bias in climate science”.

          Looking at your post, you will just replace the current bias with your bias.

          But that is not ending the “bias”.

          As i wrote above, the real current bias is massively industry friendly. and public funded science is a minor attempt, to somehow give a little balance against that bias.

          You want to INCREASE the pro-industry bias and completely ignore the other side.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            sod…”As i wrote above, the real current bias is massively industry friendly. and public funded science is a minor attempt, to somehow give a little balance against that bias”.

            Ask Pat Michaels about that. When he was trying to counter the propaganda of James Hansen, who had lucrative backers in high places (Al Gore, etc.) Michaels was forced to accept an offer from Western Fuels to keep up.

            Immediately, Michaels was charged with working for Big Oil. I saw nothing in the work of Michaels that reflected such a charge, he was reporting good science that countered Hansen and his uber-alarmist message.

            I would venture to guess that most of the propaganda about catastrophic climate change is coming from publically-funded sources.

          • sod says:

            “Ask Pat Michaels about that. When he was trying to counter the propaganda of James Hansen, who had lucrative backers in high places (Al Gore, etc.) Michaels was forced to accept an offer from Western Fuels to keep up. ”

            Sorry, but this narrative is utterly false. Pat Michaels was part of the tobacco liers. He is a prime example of scientists who sell themselves to extreme industrial interests.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-l3QGBwRKQ

          • Kneel says:

            “You want to INCREASE the pro-industry bias and completely ignore the other side.”

            It used to be that by alternating between left and right, the people could navigate somewhere close to the centre. Alas, when the right attempted to shift towards the centre to gain an advantage, the left moved further left, distorting where the “centre” was – at least, distorting it in terms of public policy of political parties vs desires of the majority of voters. Trump saw it as plainly as most of us plebs did, while the majority of the political class did not. The result, as they say, is history.

            As to EPA over-reach, perhaps you might consider that any car <10 years old or so, will have lower tail-pipe concentrations of HC, NOx and other smog precursors than are present at the air filter when being driven in places like LA. Clearly then, auto emissions are unlikely to be the source of said precursers, given the age profile of vehicles. Why, then, are standards for these vehicles tightened? Shouldn't we be asking "where is it coming from?" and fixing that first?

            Oh – sod is a D through and through. Sorry for the waste of time bringing common sense and logic into it guys. My bad.

          • aaron says:

            Everyone knows you only use surface station data to predict the weather. Weathermen aren’t stupid enough to use satellite data.

          • David Appell says:

            Gordon Robertson says:
            “Immediately, Michaels was charged with working for Big Oil. I saw nothing in the work of Michaels that reflected such a charge”

            When was the last time PMichaels actually published a real scientific paper?

            Cite journal, volume, number, and pages.

            Link too.

        • David Appell says:

          Gordon Robertson says:
          “Judith Curry is right, the sat temp data is the golden standard.”

          Why?

          ———————————————

          Carl Mears, Senior Research Scientist, Remote Sensing Systems (RSS)

          “A similar, but stronger case can be made using surface temperature datasets, which I consider to be more reliable than satellite datasets.”

          http://www.remss.com/blog/recent-slowing-rise-global-temperatures

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      Tim S….” California Governor Jerry Brown is threatening to put up his own satellites if Trump tries to shut them down”.

      I did not hear anything about Trump shutting down satellites, he talked about shutting down NASA GISS, the climate division of NASA.

      • Let us hope that a bunch of those four letter agencies get shut down while the three letter agencies get non-political managers.

      • Tim S says:

        That is my point. He was speaking at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Fransisco. He is so dumb and his audience of “scientists” is so out of touch on the real issues that he gets applause for that kind of statement. This whole issue of Climate Change is nothing more than political grandstanding with no regard for actual science, actual data, or the scientific method of evaluation, but it is the knowledgeable people who are called deniers.

    • David Appell says:

      The satellite data has large uncertainties — so large, Roy won’t even attack a 95% confidence limit to his monthly anomalies, or even tell us what it it. Let alone provide a good calculation of the error bars on the annual anomalies.

      In science, this is not acceptable.

  35. What a perceptive analysis. You sound like me but with better writing skills! The outgoing administration saw “Climate Change” as a problem and “Open Borders” as a solution.

    Enough “Stupid Government” already. Our system is supposed to be a democracy controlled by the “Will of the People”. How did it become a bureaucratic tyranny where the state decides every detail of how our schools will be run!
    https://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/countering-consensus-calculations/

  36. ren says:

    When the polar vortex is strong range of cold air is limited and the warm air from the south can reach the high latitude. Are the research that the strength of the polar vortex changes in the cycle of 60 years. Let’s look at the graphic. You can see that the wind in the stratosphere was strongly inhibited. Now, he accelerated and cold air withdraw to the north.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_UGRD_ANOM_OND_NH_2016.png

  37. Nabil Swedan says:

    Well said. An expensive solution is a wrong solution.

    Earth related research funding must be limited to providing observations only because they are facts. The mathematical model that explain these observations, or the science, must be the responsibility of individuals and must not be funded.

    Earth science is not the same as ballistic missile or pump related sciences. These are intended to serve a government or a company whose ultimate goal is making a profit one way or another. The earth science on the other hand belongs to the world, there can be no special interest in the earth science.

    • David Appell says:

      Nabil Swedan says:
      “Earth related research funding must be limited to providing observations only because they are facts. The mathematical model that explain these observations, or the science, must be the responsibility of individuals and must not be funded.”

      Really?? Why the hell not?

      • Lewis says:

        David,

        Are you so obtuse you won’t allow other’s their opinions, even as you offer your own?

        You know, there was a pleasant exchange going on until you showed up with your infantile projections.

        Happy New Year

      • Nabil Swedan says:

        David,

        Look at the greatest scientific achievements in the history of mankind, they were not funded. The reason is that money does not make scientists. Scientists are born to be as such and they will come along on their own and solve the climate problem as long as there are observations. When you fund a science then you have what we see now: business, jobs, positions, hierarchy, activist, special interest, lawyers, politicians, and the list goes on-Anything but science.

        • Nate says:

          Nabil, Perhaps you mean you are philosophically opposed to funding science. But your statement that ‘the greatest scientific achievements in the history of mankind, they were not funded’ is just not at all true.

          Just this year: the discovery of Gravitational Waves, IMO one of the great discoveries, was certainly funded.

          Many, many more…

          • Nabil Swedan says:

            Nate,

            You are confusing discovery achievement with science. Discovery of Gravitational Waves is an observation and these have to be funded. If we are to get data about midocean ridges, then we need to pay for the costs. However, the scientific achievement to describe these observations is pure theoretical, it is analytical. Why does analytical work that can be done from the comfort of a house or office be paid for?

            This is what we are doing here in the US. We pay for people to do analytical work, or the science, and make fictional and biased conclusions based on which regulations are enacted. Wrong! You do not fund the science, you fund only research to get observations because they are facts. If you pay people to get the science for you, most will do what you tell them to do for money.

          • Nate says:

            Nabil do u think Einstein was not funded? He certainly was during the time he developed gen relativity theory which led to search ffor grav waves. Look it up.

            I think you are devaluing the role of theory in science. Without theory science is alchemy.

          • Nabil Swedan says:

            Nate,

            The theory is of course important. If the mathematical model describes observations or experiments then it is science and not alchemy. How much time and resources are required to develop a mathematical model? Most of the time virtually nothing. A pad of paper, pencil, and small calculator, and that is all what is needed. The expensive part of the climate and earth science is to gather data and observations, not the analytical work.

            Those who says we need supercomputers to address the climate have not tried hard enough. Anything related to the interaction between humans and nature can be calculated with the simplest calculator. To prove it, click on my name and read some of the papers that I have recently published. They are to be considered difficult areas of the earth science, yet all what is needed a pad of paper, a pencil, and 1981 scientific pocket calculator with one memory key.

          • David Appell says:

            Nabil Swedan says:
            “Those who says we need supercomputers to address the climate have not tried hard enough.”

            Really?

            Let’s see your climate model, Nabil.

          • David Appell says:

            Nate says:
            “Just this year: the discovery of Gravitational Waves, IMO one of the great discoveries, was certainly funded.”

            Actually not. Everyone knew grav waves existed, since the work of Hulse and Taylor (1993 Nobel Prize).

            It was just a matter of building a sensitive enough detector. But the GWs weren’t a surprise to anyone.

            by me:

            “Catching Gravity, Rolling By,” Physics World, September 2015, pp. 25-28.
            http://www.davidappell.com/articles/PWSep15Appell-aLIGO.pdf

        • David Appell says:

          Nabil: I have no idea what you are trying to say, or how business is going to take advantage of the discovery of gravitational waves in order to sell more Twinkies.

          What am I missing?

        • David Appell says:

          Nabil Swedan says:
          “Look at the greatest scientific achievements in the history of mankind, they were not funded.”

          Really?

          Care to prove that?

          Where did James Clerk Maxwell get his income while discovering his famous laws?

          Bohr’s model of the atom?

          Einstein’s discovery of general relativity? Was he on food stamps?

          Feynman at Cornell, and Dyson. Did they beg for food on the streets?

          Weinbert’s discovery of electroweak theory? Let me guess, he grew pot for a living….

          • Nate says:

            Nabil,

            If it is your personal taste to only work with pencil and paper, fine. But I see no reason to impose your personal tastes onto others who see great value in extending science to equations that can be solved by using computers.

            ‘Anything related to the interaction between humans and nature can be calculated with the simplest calculator.’

            This is obviously false. Roy’s next post on the weather in the US in first week of January, for example. It would not even be possible to have that discussion without computers to solve the large number of nonlinear equations needed to predict next weeks weather, much less climate years from now.

            Computers are used to solve problems in molecular biology, materials science, drug discovery, engineering, heat transfer..on and on.

          • Nabil Swedan says:

            Nate,

            Do not confuse long-term interaction between humans and nature and the weather. They are not the same. Long-term interaction needs no more than a pencil and a small calculator. I proved it to you, read the published papers.

          • Nate says:

            Nabil,

            First you say ‘Anything related to the interaction between humans and nature can be calculated with the simplest calculator.’

            Now you have changed it to:

            ‘Long-term interaction needs no more than a pencil and a small calculator.’

            Whichever the case, I have tried to point out to you several areas where use of computers has helped a great deal in science. You seem to favor limiting what tools we are allowed to use.

            Why do you assume that a complex non-linear dynamical system, the earth, must be only analyzed through single, linear equations.

            It makes little sense to me.

            Must your calculator only have arithmetic functions? Or is it ok if calculates trig and exponential functions? Isn’t a computer just a better calculator?

            ‘I proved it to you, read the published papers.’

            I read one of your papers that you posted. In it you discounted some standard, well-established theory without real justification. When you do that it requires extraordinary evidence that was not apparent in your paper.

          • Nabil Swedan says:

            You sound like a “main-stream” climate science reviewer-hand waving. Point what is wrong in the paper and let me reply. More than one publisher expressed in the paper in the paper; it is a summary of my book that has had had over 10 000 reviews. I am open for critics, show me what is wrong!

          • Nabil Swedan says:

            By the way Nate, any process that occurs slowly with time such as climate change can be assumed to be linear in the proximity of an initial point. This is well known in physics, engineering, and mathematics-Taylor series development of a function yields to linearity when dx is too small. Does not climate change occur at levels? Sea level change occurs at campaign, each is about linear. Take a look at sea level trend as measured by the University of Colorado. Is not the temperature of the stratosphere decreases at levels? Take a look at Thompson D. W. J., D. j. Sidel, W. j. Randel, C. Zou, A. H. Butler, C. Mears, A. Osso, C. Long, and R. Lin, 2012. The mystery of recent stratospheric temperature trends. Nature 49, 29: 692-697.The same for surface temperature, we have a pause now but this is likely to end after this El-Nino perturbation. We will see a rising trend in temperature then a pause. This is how the climate works. Linearity of course is a simple and accurate way to calculate the climate. Make it simple, it is better.

      • “Climate Science” is a scam that directs huge sums of money to a non-problem.

        My hope is that the new administration will transform government by applying private sector ideas about budgeting.

        In the private sector there is no Continuation Budget. Each year, every department has to build a budget from the bottom up justifying every expenditure in terms of the benefits that will result. This is called Zero Based Budgeting.

        The effect on government will be truly transformational. Organizations such as GISS, the EPA, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture will shrink dramatically or disappear altogether.

        • Nabil Swedan says:

          “My hope is that the new administration will transform government by applying private sector ideas about budgeting.’

          Agree.

          However, the problem is that there are no clients in the “earth business” and the private sector in not interested-there is no money. The private sector is 7 billion people strong and can solve any problem. In the absence of this sector, the interaction between humans and nature is thus left to small segment of academics. These are not here to solve problems; they are here to teach, recycle science produced by the private sector, and protect it. It is of course important and noble profession, but they are not here to solve problems. It is not a crime to be wrong in scientific matters. Conversely, it can be devastating for professionals: they can be held accountable, disciplined, stripped off licenses, fined, or serve jail time. We need professionals and the private sector to take over the interaction between humans and nature, it is the only way.

          • David Appell says:

            Nabil wrote:
            “We need professionals and the private sector to take over the interaction between humans and nature, it is the only way.”

            Why would they?

            It violates their legal fiduciary responsibility to their stock holders.

            And we all know that’s far more important than the the survival of species or humans.

            The American legal system requires destruction of the environment.

            Isn’t capitalism great?

        • David Appell says:

          GC: Who are you selling to?

          • Nabil Swedan says:

            In order to sell, there will have to be a product that others think might be of a value. As of now, the world does not buy the “main-stream” climate science; it is worthless. So there are no buyers at this time. This will change when the right science is figured out. Buyers will be insurance companies to set their premium geographically and into the future, corporations to project investment plans; governments agencies for defense, agriculture, engineering companies to align their product lines with a climate change impacted economy, and others. The list is unlimited. But there have to be a climate science that worth paying for. We do not have it yet. The main-stream scientists insist that they got it right when in fact they have not, and the proof there are no buyers to their product. Look at those retired “distinguished” climate scientists, no one hires them in the private sector as advisors or contractors, they are looking for donations to continue their climate activism. Do you call what they have produced a science of any value? Certainly not.

  38. bill jackson says:

    I appreciate your views. Your reference to religion in Global Warming is appropriate. The current educated intellectuals remind me of the educated clergy of the Church, who provided legitimacy to the monarch’s right to rule by divine providence. In this fashion, the Church was able to share in the plunder of the the peasants that was forfeited voluntarily rather than stolen at the point of a sword. The educated intelligentsia of today similarly provides justification for the theft by the Secular Socialists, not only in climates issues, but many other fields.

    • David Appell says:

      Bill, you are in no way qualified to judge any scientist on either side of the debate. Best to just keep quiet.

      • Lewis says:

        David,

        Bill was referring to the intelligentsia which includes scientists, but is not limited to them. You should include yourself in that group, especially the sycophants whose position is held due to their making up reasons their betters are correct.

        Lewis

      • “Climate Scientists” created the scam of selling worthless “Carbon Credits” for real money.

        This scam has an ancient pedigree. The Medieval church sold worthless “Indulgences” for real money.

        The “Scientists” who promote this scam are whores.

        • David Appell says:

          gallopingcamel says:
          “Climate Scientists created the scam of selling worthless Carbon Credits for real money.”

          When I see someone write that scientists sell their opinions for money — a claim always made without any evidence whatsoever — my first thought is always that THEY — GC here — are quite willing to sell their opinion for money, so they naturally assume everyone else does, too.

          I know, GC — you’re the only honest man in the world. The last one.

      • David,
        You are a sanctimonious hypocrite lacking any moral authority to make judgements about anyone or anything.

        • David Appell says:

          Galloping. Camel. Reminds me of those atheist blowhards down by the river, under the interstate bridge, sreaming out their madness about no gods, no kidding, no better excuses for the hardboiled suffering we all drown in, under both the Sun and Moon.

          And don’t forget Jupiter. Massive.

          GC sputters, giving up on science, picking at the soles on his shoes, just like those dingos up on the Mount Ossa who howl every night at the moon, who howl at the northern lights they can’t possibly ever see.

          Frankly, GC, I worry about those dogs? Don’t you? Lost, or Lord? Feast or famine, feast or famine…. I mean, I kinda get that, but wow, it’s a whole another way of looking at life. Ya know?

  39. Nate says:

    Not sure all what you re refering to. Give me links. As far as NGOs weighing in or filing suit. Why shouldnt they be able to? Would u want only industries to influence their regulation? Hey if an ngo is representing me and public interest..great.

  40. ren says:

    Missing snow? Like this? Kitimat, British Columbia, Canada.
    https://twitter.com/severeweatherEU/status/812631343582613505

    • David Appell says:

      Amazing, ren, I was just in Kitimat, just last night, I swear, playing pool and riding high on more than a couple of beers, before I banged the door and caught a trucker down to sEATTle skid ROW, the real dingo ren. It was a hard road all the way down, ren, just like that time we peeled out of Klagenfurt on *very* short notice, our sneakers with the holes in them, your pants falling down …. You remember, ren, dont you, those girls screaming and the geese getting in our way……..?

      That was close, buddy. Reeeeeeeally really cloze.

  41. ren says:

    The last jump speed of the solar wind accelerated the polar vortex.
    http://pics.tinypic.pl/i/00853/elr7rhc3525f.gif
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/70mb9065.png
    Any increase in temperature in the stratosphere means a slowdown polar vortex.

    • David Appell says:

      Ren, since Monday, I’ve noticed more fog over on the northeast side of me, just above the Sokolov’s tool shed.

      Do you consider this a valuable clue in your endless quest for meaningless data? I can send you more details if you’d like.

  42. Mike says:

    Climate change is the biggest TAX hoax there is. It is nothing more tham a tax. It will cause utter desturction among the working class, while the government elites and other get rich. You cannot change the planets course, no matter how much money you try to steal from the people.

    • There you have it.

      Carbon mitigation makes energy expensive for the poor while transferring billions to the rich. Robin Hood must be rolling in his grave.

      • David Appell says:

        That hasn’t been the case in British Columbia.

        Hansen advocates that all carbon taxes collected by distributed back to all Americans on an equal per capita basis.

        60% of Americans would make money on this deal.

        It would help alleviate poverty, while also cutting CO2 emissions.

  43. David Appell says:

    Roy wrote:
    “Overregulation kills people.”

    “How the Clean Air Act Has Saved $22 Trillion in Health-Care Costs,” Alan H. Lockwood, The Atlantic 9/7/12.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/09/how-the-clean-air-act-has-saved-22-trillion-in-health-care-costs/262071/

    Seems Roy would rather Americans just die without complaining….

  44. If you trust a study funded by the EPA to justify its existence I am sorry for you. One of the important principles of management is the idea that executives must not be allowed to control the auditors.

    One of the few governments around the world that has addressed this issue is the Republic of China. Their government is based on the US model with an Executive, a Legislature and a Judiciary. Then to keep these three branches honest there is an additional arm known as the Control Yuan:
    http://www.cy.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=3158&mp=21&CtNode=1734&returnctNode=1734&returnxItem=3139

    Sadly the Control Yuan has not worked well since 1992 when its members were no longer elected by the people. At least they tried.

  45. Steve Richards says:

    I was going to write that funding for climate research should be greatly reduced since many governments are spending so much when we do not understand so little of the fundamentals.

    I was going to suggest that just one modeling team be set up, with a couple programmers, a statistician, physicist, chemist etc with a large computer.

    But, how valid is a single global temperature figure?

    Looking at the globe, Australia – about the same area as the USA (below the Canadian border and above the mexican border).
    If annual average temperature of Australia rose by 1 degree, causing loss of crops etc, and the annual average temperature of the described USA fell be 1 degree causing loss of crops, the global value would remain unchanged, completely ignoring the problems arising in each country.

    How helpful is one global value to us, when the local/national/regional temperature has such a great influence?

    • TonyM says:

      As I see it, one global figure, if measured consistently and accurately, allows us to monitor a trend. Over time, that trend tells us which way we are collectively headed. It clearly doesn’t measure or predict local weather patterns. But there are some things that ARE linked to global temperatures… such as overall land ice (glacial) volumes and the link to sea level (thermal expansion and additions from land ice melts). Now sea levels, and where they are (or maybe) headed, is critically important to many hundreds of millions of people, who live just a few feet above current sea levels.

      I like the fact that Roy contributes to this knowledge base, using his own methods of measurement. Whilst the various data sets may vary in the rate of global temperature increase – they all show an increase. IF this increase continues, then sea levels WILL rise further, will potentially HUGE consequences. I also like the fact that Roy discusses risk. In any other walk of life, when the risk of something happening becomes significant, we spend money to mitigate the possible consequence. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on car insurance over my life, but have never made (and intend to never make) a claim. An accident is not a certainty for me. Whilst AGW is not an absolute certainty, the risk IT IS happening is (in my mind) pretty high. Hence I have no problem on the current levels of spend to try understand it better. However, I do agree that alternative explanations also need funding, until such time as the risk of such alternatives being true becomes too small to be relevant.

  46. TonyM says:

    Roy,

    I like the fact that you contribute to the global temperature knowledge base, using your alternative methods of measurement. Your data show an increasing trend, albeit at a lower level from other surface based methods. I presume you believe the increase trend will halt at some time, as the cause is likely some natural phenomena (which has to run out of energy at some point?). Whatever, IF this increase continues, then sea levels WILL rise further, will potentially HUGE consequences, at a likely unprecedented pace.

    I also like the fact that you discuss risk. In any other walk of life, when the risk of something happening becomes significant, we spend money to mitigate the possible consequence, even though there is no certainty it will happen. Whilst AGW is not an absolute certainty, the risk IT IS happening is (in my mind) pretty high.

    I mean I am guided by this very simple, undeniable logic:
    1. The greenhouse effect (GHE) is real;
    2. The greenhouse gases (GHGs) are trace gases (<1% average composition);
    3. Two of the GHGs – CO2 and CH4 have rising levels and this IS due to man's activities (counting livestock's flatulence😄);
    4. Hence the GHE should be increasing as a result of this, by some amount.
    5. We ARE measuring consequences consistent with an increasing GHE: rising temperatures, rising sea levels, increasing ocean heat content, ocean acidification, land ice reductions, retreating arctic ice……
    Just seems logical there is a link.
    But the main uncertainties are: how much will the GHE change, and with what consequences, and how does that overlay with natural changes (which also need to be quantified)?

    Because of these uncertainties, and the potential HUGE consequences, I have no problem on the current levels of spend to try understand it all better. However, I do agree that alternative explanations also need funding, until such time as if or when the likelihood of such alternatives being true becomes too small to be relevant.

  47. Steve Richards says:

    TonyM:

    1. The greenhouse effect (GHE) is real;

    Theory tells and demonstrates this to be true in the lab, no way of knowing in the real world, can you suggest an experiment to demonstrate the GHE in the wild?

    2. The greenhouse gases (GHGs) are trace gases (<1% average composition);

    Yes, some gases are active as far as radiation is concerned.

    3. Two of the GHGs CO2 and CH4 have rising levels and this IS due to man's activities (counting livestock's flatulence😄);

    Water vapour is much more common than CO2 and CH4, but yes, when we use hydrocarbons we release CO2.

    4. Hence the GHE should be increasing as a result of this, by some amount.

    I like that fact that you used the word *should* in your 4th point.

    What about the pause? CO2 up, temperatures stable?
    What about earlier increases in temperature – same rate, same length with hardly any CO2 from mankind?

    Both of the above blow your acceptance of the GHE theory apart.

    5. We ARE measuring consequences consistent with an increasing GHE: rising temperatures, rising sea levels, increasing ocean heat content, ocean acidification, land ice reductions, retreating arctic ice

    Temperatures have steadily rising since the last ice age.

    Sea levels have always risen since they have been measured by mankind.

    Ocean temperature measurement is so sparse to be currently useful.

    Ocean acidification? What is this? do you know the concept of acid, base and buffering – read up on it.

    Arctic sea is comes and goes each year, is there a problem with this? Is the North west passage open yet?

    "and how does that overlay with natural changes "

    Ahh! natural changes, how do we determine what is natural change from a change triggered by mankind?

    No one won the recent competition to find a 1 degree embedded linear trend in a random series of temperature readings.

    How do you think climate researchers can find 'mans finger prints' in the global temperature record? You know they are fibbing.

    If you can suggest a method of finding an unknown trend in a random temperature data set, you will become very famous indeed.

    Regarding your uncertainty principle! There is an acknowledged risk our house may catch fire, our cars they be damaged or stolen. It is reasonable to insure against these risks.

    CAGW is an idea, not a theory, because it has been refuted over its many parts, time and time again. If major parts of the idea had not been refuted then your concerns may have some validity, but currently they do not.

    • I wrote something similar but it vanished so let me say “Amen” to your comment and then add to it.

      Q5. No, it is not logical. Remember that “correlation does not imply causation” Even if temperature is rising in step with the atmospheric CO2 concentration you need more information to decide which variable is doing the driving or is there another variable that is driving both.

      There is plenty of hard scientific evidence in support of the hypothesis “Temperature drives CO2” and there is a physical process based on Henry’s law that provides a simple explanation:
      https://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/the-dog-that-did-not-bark/

      • TonyM says:

        Peter,

        Agree with your comment re my point #5. There are few absolutes in Science, and things are difficult to prove. However, if one has a theory (points 1-4) and the data support that theory, one can at least start to assume the theory may be correct.

        As for Temperature drives CO2. Yes totally agree that the data supports that likelihood – in the past. This time its different. The theory suggest CO2 can drive temperature. Just because it hasn’t happened like that before, doesn’t mean it can’t happen now.

        • The idea that in the last 150 years CO2 has influenced temperature is certainly plausible. You can find thousands of papers cited by the IPCC supporting the hypothesis.

          Even skeptics such as Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer discuss the “Sensitivity Constant” in terms of degrees Centigrade per doubling of [CO2], thereby implying that there is some validity in Arrhenius’ (1896) paper.

          The problem with the Arrhenius hypothesis is that the models based on it don’t work. Instead of denying reality the promoters of the failed models (e.g. CMIP) need to apologize for sending energy policy in the wrong direction at immense cost to taxpayers around the world.

          Then they could spend their declining years figuring out why their models failed. More likely they will find other work when the funding dries up.

          • TonyM says:

            Peter,

            Arrhenius did little practical research in this area, but was a visionary in my mind…. recognizing very important potential cause and effects. The fact that he got the models wrong in quantifying the relationships between CO2 levels and global temperatures is not surprising.. it was at such early stages in our understanding. We have a lot more accurate data to work on now.

            Our energy policies are not in the wrong direction, just nowhere near tough enough in my mind. Fortunately, the cost of large scale renewable energy sources is now on par with non-renewable sources with the promise of becoming more competitive. It seems short term economics is still a massive motivator for change. People and politicians find it far too hard to get the head around less that certain science that may have huge consequences decades from now.

          • TonyM says:

            I didn’t mean to imply that politicians aren’t people – although sometimes I do wonder.

    • TonyM says:

      Steve,

      Thanks for your comments. This is my 3rd attempt to reply – somehow lost the previous entries. So will keep this shorter. Please take anything I write as meaning: possibly, likely and not an absolute certainty:

      If you don’t think the GHE is real, it will be really hard to accept AGW is real – for sure. It is a fundamental prerequisite for me. I haven’t yet come across a climate scientist who doesn’t think the GHE is real. I have come across others who question it for sure.

      “can you suggest an experiment to demonstrate the GHE in the wild?”. Yes. A dry air clear night is colder than high humidity night. Recognizing that the cloud blanket effect is somewhat different.

      Recognize water vapor is main GHG, but it’s concentration varies so much, unlike CO2 and CH4 which equilibrate globally. Carbon isotope and mass balance studies show increased CO2 and CH4 levels come largely from fossil fuels.

      “What about the pause? CO2 up, temperatures stable?”
      Presume you mean ’45 -’75 period? Likely caused by the cooling effect of the rapid rise in aerosols during that time, stemmed by the Clean Air Act and other such legislation implemented in the developed world starting in 1970’s.

      “What about earlier increases in temperature same rate, same length with hardly any CO2 from mankind?”
      Yes lots of such events in geologic timeframe, some with huge temp swings and sea level changes – without mans influence. Clearly other mechanisms at play. My understanding is they happened mostly at much lower rates of change – notwithstanding rapid temperature changes as a result of an asteroid impact!

      “Both of the above blow your acceptance of the GHE theory apart.”
      Not with you at all.

      • Nabil Swedan says:

        TonyM,

        What you have explained in words is the best climate scientist of the “main-stream” science can provide-Words. Corporations, governments, and people want to see numbers based on facts and experiments, just like any other project. We do not have any of these, we have only words and hand waving at this time, just like you have expalined. I believe that the public has had enough of climate scientists, and the science is in now the hands of the public. The public is too many and cannot be wrong.

      • Nabil Swedan says:

        The IPCC reports, which are a summary of the main-stream science, do not give hard numbers but a range, huge range and words including likely, most likely, extremely likely, may be, potentially, etc. Do you think corporations do not have smart scientists or the public is ignorant to appropriate trillions of dollars based on reports?

        • TonyM says:

          Nabil,

          Welcome to the world of science – it’s rarely exact. But I take issue with you on the lack of numbers or data. There’s loads of it, getting better and better as we learn how to measure what’s going on more accurately. Roy’s satellite data set in just one example, but there many others all contributing to the global knowledge base on climate change. Of course corporations have smart scientists… that’s why the likes of Exxonmobil have (now publicly) changed their tune of AGW and support developments that will limit its impact. The public at large have varying degrees on knowledge on the matter, many of which have to rely on what the politicians say, since they may not have the desire or capacity to follow the science. Hence in this country Republican supporters are far less likely to ‘believe’ in AGW that those on the left – as many surveys have found. They simply follow their political leaders. It’s just a sad reality, for something that is fundamentally a-political – science based. What we do about it is clearly a political issue.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        Tony M…”What about the pause? CO2 up, temperatures stable?
        Presume you mean 45 -75 period?”

        No…we mean 1998 – 2015. The IPCC has agreed with 15 years of that pause calling it a hiatus.

        • TonyM says:

          Ahh, yes, it did seem to pause for a while… starting just after and relative to the big El Nino in 1998. But 2014-2016 have come back with vengeance. When looking at things on a longer timeframe, the apparent pause may be lost in the noise. I am sure the climate is a complex system with many compounding and competing factors. Hence why I support all efforts to try to fully understand it, just in case we inadvertantly screw up big time.

  48. Gordon Robertson says:

    Tony M “Roys satellite data set in just one example, but there many others all contributing to the global knowledge base on climate change.”

    Typical alarmist reply. You include data from UAH that disproves climate change and try to pass it off as if it does. The UAH data shows 18 years with no global warming trend and that translates to no catastrophic climate change.

    • TonyM says:

      Gordon, pigeon holing people is not helpful and certainly not accurate.

      UAH data does not disprove climate change. You can attempt to prove almost anything with cherry-picking data. Climate change needs long term meticulous data acquisition from a variety of sources. Roy’s is one, albeit only available since ’79. It shows roughly 0.4C rise in 38 years. NASA and the JMA measure higher increases in that period, but of course they are measuring different aspects of the ‘surface’, using different techniques. To me all useful and relevant. To reiterate my main point… whilst we can and need to make measurements to enable us to understand what is really happening, there is a risk that AGW is for real, with huge potential consequences. Now if that can be categorically disproved with good data over time – then great. I am absolutely open to that. But at the moment it’s a big risk – in my opinion.

  49. @TonyM,
    Arrhenius published his amazing paper in 1896. It made bold claims based on a mathematical equation. I have the greatest respect for Arrhenius yet there were people in the 19th century who pointed to holes in his hypothesis. For example Angstrom made criticisms that prompted Arrhenius to adjust his sensitivity constant.

    Arrhenius expected that his theory could explain glacial cycles but modern research (e.g. Vostok & EPICA) makes this implausible. Close examination of the Arrhenius hypothesis shows it is false yet “Climate Scientists” cling to it because they have nothing else:
    https://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/arrhenius-revisited/

    • TonyM says:

      Peter,

      I enjoy your articles, thanks. I particularly like your final comment in this one: “My conclusion is that it does not matter what the science says when politics and money dominate.” Yes ,they certainly do dominate… at least in the short term. But in science’s defense, it had been the core enabler for so much of what we have today…. clean water, cleaner air, airplanes, man-on-the-moon, computers, the internet…… Money and politics has been there simply to course adjust science’s ever forward march of enlightenment.

      On observed temperature increase since 1880, its about 1C now, and could well have been 1.5C if the cooling effect of sulphur emissions wasn’t present. That’s just a supposition. It’s clearly complex stuff, hence why I support such efforts to understand it all, including yours.

      • Your heart is in the right place. You want to leave the planet better than you found it and I am with you. In the 1950s I lived with appalling pollution on a daily basis and am happy to have played a small part in rolling it back by growing rainbow trout using Thames river water:
        http://morcombe.net/Senate/Spruyt1.doc

        Although that was written 14 years ago there is not much I would change today although I now see MSR (Molten Salt Reactors) as a superior technology to ADRs (Accelerator Driven Reactors) for “Burning” the 70,000 tonnes of “Nuclear Waste” that has been accumulated in the USA.

  50. John Robert says:

    Over-regulation may kill people, but so does under-regulation. The knee-jerk position of the GOP of “REGULATION BAD” is idiocy.

    Let’s set global warming aside and acknowledge that environmental regulation has had a huge net positive effect on this country. I remember visiting Los Angeles as a kid, standing on the deck of the Queen Mary with my mom getting pissed at me an my brothers because we could not keep our eyes open for a picture — but the fog was so bad we couldn’t keep our eyes open. We had serious acid rain issues in the northeast, and Lake Erie was a toxic dump.

    Dr. Spencer is correct that science should not be funded to support predetermined outcomes. But in a similar way, we shouldn’t just toss out the regulatory function of government. We should look at things from an informed cost-benefit perspective and make rational decisions instead of just tossing things out on a whim.

    • Yes, some regulation is necessary to limit pollution. I remember the 1960s pollution, too (although the final conclusion of the 10-yr NAPAP study was that NE lakes were naturally acidic…and rain is naturally acidic…and that coal plants had little to nothing to do with it).
      But, as I have said before, OVER-regulation is now a serious problem.

      • John Robert says:

        “the final conclusion of the 10-yr NAPAP study was that NE lakes were naturally acidic …”

        At least according to the 2011 NAPAP program report and the studies it cites, this is not true as a general statement — natural acidity varied by region. Due to geological factors, watersheds in the northeast showed improvement and recovery with reduced emissions from coal while watersheds in the southeast did not.

        • I’ve talked with researchers who were part of the NAPAP study. The whole thing was whitewashed so that regulations could continue, which had been in the works for years. The whole thing was overblown. Of course we can expect that human emissions would have some non-zero effect, but to establish causation in the face of natural effects is difficult to do with the observational data. It ends up coming down to what you want to believe, based upon research which was paid to get a certain result.

          But CO2 is a totally different matter, as far as our ability to use technology to reduce emissions (compared to stack SO2 emissions). So, let’s not get diverted from that central issue which is dominating the environmental debate today.

  51. John Robert says:

    Now your the one changing the subject. Your blog post was on the general topic of regulatory burden, not CO2 specifically. And let’s not kid ourselves — there are GOP lawmakers whose dream is the get rid of the EPA, Clean Water Act, etc. The Issue of CO2 has been the central environmental issue for years, but after the last election, literally everything is on the table.

    • John Robert says:

      Also I know how to spell — the “your” instead of “you’re” was my IPhone auto text not me.