Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A near-perfect example of a CO2 denierism at WUWT

Sou | 1:23 AM Go to the first of 28 comments. Add a comment
You know how deniers are likely to write along the lines of: Global warming isn't happening or if it is it's not us or if it is us it's good. Well, here's a near-perfect example taken from WUWT today. Allan MacRae and Kim are replying to wickedwenchfan:

wickedwenchfan  April 20, 2015 at 12:18 am
Who cares what is causing the CO2 amount to rise? It doesn’t do squat to alter temperature so it’s irrelevant

Allan MacRae  April 20, 2015 at 12:43 am

kim  April 20, 2015 at 12:53 am
Well, if it does, it alters it to the beneficial side, so it’s all good. Relax, and roll with the punches, er, uh, adapt.

Here's what's happened with CO2 over the past several hundred millenia - 800,000 years or so:

Adapted from data from data at NOAA. Original reference: Luthi, D., M. Le Floch, B. Bereiter, T. Blunier, J.-M. Barnola, U. Siegenthaler, D. Raynaud, J. Jouzel, H. Fischer, K. Kawamura, and T.F. Stocker. 2008. High-resolution carbon dioxide concentration record 650,000-800,000 years before present. Nature, Vol. 453, pp. 379-382, 15 May 2008. doi:10.1038/nature06949

This is what's been happening to the surface temperature as we keep adding CO2 to the air.

Data source: GISS NASA


  1. I would suggest that the readership at that site are impervious to facts, or science, even logic. But I do think they can be swayed to support fixing AGW.

    And that is to make them realize that all they are doing is helping Exxon Mobil, etc make them continue to pay through the nose for fossil fuels as long as possible. And that a new 100% renewable energy utility system could save them thousands of dollars every year.

    It costs a buck to fill your EV's tank, not $50-$100.00 a pop. Renewables have zero fuel cost - fossil fuels will only keep going up.

    According to the best available evidence ( Jacobson and Delucchi), California (1/6th of U.S. energy use) could be converted to 100% renewables for $1.0 trillion. For $10 trillion, our whole country could be converted, with enough left over to build a smart grid, and put a free Nissan Leaf in every driveway. $10 T is seven years worth of U.S. fossil fuel purchases.

    We could all be enjoying virtually free, unlimited energy after that capital cost is payed off. Compare that to to the `$3500.00 expenditure for every man, woman, and child in this country every single year for fossil fuels. THAT is what these jokers are defending, whether AGW is real or not.

    1. I'm not sure I can see the government spending $10T on something that will reduce their annual revenues by billions of dollars which they receive from the oil companies.

      And how would they come up with that money in the first place? Increasing taxes to the extent needed to cover that amount would be a hard pill for tax payers to swallow, given the ultimate payoff would probably be decades away.

    2. Taxpayers will foot the bill no matter what happens. If business as usual happens, M.I.T. says worldwide adaptation costs will be $1204 trillion, with a substantial portion accruing to the U.S.. and that is only up to year 2100.

      Or home and business owners can continue to pay tens of thousands out of their own pockets for systems on their own property which are multiples higher per KHour, and only meet a portion of their needs.

      The question is what is the most economical expenditure, and perhaps more importantly, what sort of effort can accomplish what we need quickly enough. And the clear answer is Federally-funded and Federally-planned projects.

      $10 Trillion is the least expensive way to go, and the Federal government is the only entity which can take on that sort of commitment and debt. (It is also the only entity that can print its own money). And paying it off with taxes and bonds is the most egalitarian way to finance this - certainly much more ethical than waiting for individuals to bear the expense, or for profiteers to turn our quasi-public energy infrastructure into an eternal profit-generation scheme.

      Plus, this is the way the U.S. has achieved all its large-scale projects in the past - with Federal spending. Imagine if the Interstate highway system was left to townships and paving companies to design and implement. That is exactly what is happening with our energy future right now - the government is failing to uphold its responsibilities.

      If a homeowner can enjoy free electricity after capitalization costs are recovered, so can a nation. It would be the highest ROI the world has ever seen. It would also be pretty socialistic, but frankly, after a few more years of the things are going, private and public energy utilities are going to be lining up at the door to have the industry nationalized anyway - there is no way that they can survive with their current business plan paradigm.

    3. Could something like this even be done in a time frame that would make a difference?Trying to implement something of this scale over a short time frame could be economically disastrous.

      How would the country be able to absorb a $10T hit? The only options are raising taxes on people by thousands of dollars a year, or adding to the national debt, which already stands at over $17T.

    4. "How would the country be able to absorb a $10T hit?" -- easily. After all, the alternative is to take that hit over 7 years just on fossil fuel prices, never mind any other issues. And then to take that hit again in the subsequent 7 years. And again, and again, and again...

    5. There won't be any "world adaption". No matter what the figures say, they do not account for human stupidity.

    6. The irresistible force paradox asks "What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?"

      In modern times climate change has become the unstoppable force because human obstinance has proven to be an immovable object. However, unlike the irresistible force paradox the immovable object at least does not hold to the assumption of immutibility, and the inevitable consequence is that humanity will break.

      Put another way, climate change deniers are the Magrathean sperm whale plummenting through the air and having an internal conversation wherein they discover their own brilliance and display their optimism about their trajectory. Those who actually understand what is happening are about as significant in relative size as that bowl of petunias, and about as effective in averting the inevitable conclusion...

    7. "Could something like this even be done in a time frame that would make a difference?"

      I believe it is the only approach which can actually get the job done in the time frame we do have left to us.

  2. Deniers have no use for real science. They prefer bias, opinion, conjecture, straw arguments, ad hominen, and plain old 'dumb' over data, research, graphs, charts, evidence and proof. Don't get me started on education...

    They've done incredible amounts of damage to the American side of things. Being a major player on the world scene, and a global leader in terms of pollution and greenhouse gasses, plus the practice of 'intervention' in the military arena (another major contributor to greenhouse gasses), the denial meme in American culture is far from harmless. In fact, it's now a crime against humanity when you fully consider what has been done, where we are headed and what this means for human survival all over the globe.

    But they'll go on denying as the water laps their feet, the taps run dry or the storms blow the houses off the foundation. In time, they'll still be whining about escalating food prices and the absence of choice as crops wither and die.

    Dumb is dumb and WUWT pretty much signifies "dumb" to the nth degree. Catering to the non-science, no proof "is our proof" meme, WUWT has become the laughing stock of the scientific community and informed public.

    There will always be a 'home' for the connedspiracy fools, especially online, and especially in America.

  3. Sue,

    Your readers might be interested by this piece at the fandabulous 'Icecap' website from Allan MacRae, which dates back to September 2008: http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/is_this_the_beginning_of_global_cooling/

    It's alleged to be the inspiration for Roy Spencer's brief flirtation with polynomial trends ('for entertainment purposes only'; anyone remember that?).

    It shows the UAH data fitted with a high order polynomial trend line. Allan captured it just in the depths of its (then) downward peak. Global cooling seemed assured.

    Anyone with a spreadsheet programme can upload the latest UAH data, make a chart and add a high order polynomial trend to it.

    They will see for themselves why it is ill-advised to draw strong conclusions from high order polynomial trends; also why Roy quietly dropped his from the UAH updates.

  4. [SEPP Comment: A collection of articles showing support for the bank which will help finance coal fired power plants.]

    JC Collins has covered what actually happened at his blog. The U.S. in fact defaulted back in October of 2013. Maybe teabaggers will have your coal, but you probably won't have your weapons.


  5. +0.15° C or so on 2014 for El Niño 2015 (compare with the 1998 jump - I'm conservative even, because the recent Niño development is busting the records).

  6. I love the way that 'kim' openly professes a willingness to accept any belief system just so long as it doesn't threaten the slob lifestyle or fossil fuel industry profits.

  7. OT, but

    "University of Queensland offering free online course to demolish climate denial"

    "Starting April 28th, 2015, the University of Queensland is offering a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) aimed at 'Making Sense of Climate Science Denial.' The course coordinator is John Cook, University of Queensland Global Change Institute Climate Communication Fellow, and founder of the climate science myth debunking website Skeptical Science."

    We can now expect the GWPF to sponsor a "Making No Sense Of Climate Science" MOOC coordinated by Fred Singer (I bet he's not too retired for that gig).

  8. So yesterday the media releases reporting on the Hunter Vally storm repeatedly said that it was a "once-in-a-decade event". I was rather surprised to hear this, as I am well familiar with the Hunter and it's been more than a decade since 300 mm of rain fell in a single day (let alone a single storm), or since houses floated away down rivers. One of my relative's workshop was struck by lightning 5 times in the space of a hour or two, and she doesn't even live on a hill...

    I can't help but wonder if the "once-in-a-decade event" meme was inserted in order to temper the perception that this was an extreme weather event... No one with any real familiarity of the weather in the this part of NSW would be so sanguine about the nature of the storms in the last 24 hours.

    Ironically, with the continuing absence of any effective action on carbon emissions, climate change will ensure that this and worse does become a once-in-a-decade (or even more frequent) event. And just to twist the knife, a couple of hours to the west of the damage the land is suffering under an extreme lack of water, with farmers saying that it's as bad as they can remember...

    1. We poo flinging monkeys invented the scientific method to overcome our emotional response to the Universe. Sou showed above where we should have started but it did not really happen until about three hundred years ago. Most of humanity does not have a clue how modern technology works!
      A portent as simple as a bright comet would scare the populace to insane acts such as suicide and even worse giving up all for some sort of sky god.

      It is a fact that rising global temperature will cause more extreme weather events.
      Unless the deniers stop using the El Nino of 1998 as a starting point for the new era of hiatus we can point to ANY extreme weather event as proof of global warming. Cherry picking is free for all if the dolts do it. Bert

    2. I was also immediately struck by the 'once a decade' thing! I really, really, doubt that that's true, at least if we're reckoning from the 20th Century averages...

      Erring on the side of least drama?

    3. I've seen some spectacular storms in the Hunter, but I've never seen houses float down river at Dungog. It's been many years since I've stopped to have lunch on the river there but from memory the houses on Dowling St are a fair height above the river - around 6-8 metres I'd estimate. The Williams isn't exactly a raging torrent that high up the valley and the area around Dungog is relatively open and flat, so to have flash flooding that reached the houses and then so high up their walls must have been extraordinary.

      Oh, I know that people will say that plenty of rivers easily top that height in floods, and of course they do, but I'd respond by asking when the last time was that Dungog's houses were flooded to the ceilings, and that four or five of them were carried away...?

      More important is how frequent such events are in this area (is it really once per decade) and how frequent they will become in the future, not just in the Hunter but everywhere.

      From an ecological perspective I know the effect that that such floods have on the littoral species in the forests around there above Dungog - this sort of flooding would have catastophic impacts on some species if it occurred once per decade, and some would simply not exist there as they have to date.

    4. What I read didn't sound like a once in a decade event. I'm with you, Bernard. It didn't even sound like a once in a lifetime event.

    5. On the 7:00 pm ABC news of 22 April a policewoman repeated the "once in ten years" phrase, and puzzlingly unnecessarily too, I thought. I'm really wondering if there was a spin doctor involved in scripting this into media statements - it's just so at odds with both the magnitude of the storms and the necessity for continual repetition.

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  10. Some people say the Coal Sack near the Southern Cross is dark. Here is my image 16 MB. It has a field of view of 3.5x3.5 degrees.


    I am still busy in my retirement. I aim to flame out rather than burn out! Bert

  11. Sou,

    just wondering, what charting software package do you use?

    I use MS Excel 2010 which is OK up to a point. It's filtering, grouping and summarization functions are not very good.

    1. Harry it's just Excel - the Office 2013 version via the Office365 subs.

    2. If someone can figure out how to get Excel to group by 10 years at a time for decadal analysis. Grouping by year is easy. I did work out a fudge for 10 year grouping but it is not stable, and crashed Excel more often than not.

      Maybe I should just be lazy and present monthly data with a cherry-picked trendline like the deniers do.


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