Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Shell to quit US Arctic due to “unpredictable federal regulatory environment”

September 29, 2015

Guest post by David Middleton

Disappointing results from an initial rank wildcat can’t kill a play.

The cyclical ups and downs of product prices can’t kill a play.

High operating costs can’t kill a play.

Only massively incompetent government can kill a play.

“This is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome,” Marvin Odum, director of Shell’s Upstream Americas unit, said in a statement. While indications of oil and gas were present in the Burger J well in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, they weren’t sufficient to warrant further exploration, the company said. Shell will now plug and abandon the well.

Shell had planned a two-year drilling program starting this July. The company was seeking to resume work halted in 2012 when its main drilling rig ran aground and was lost. It was also fined for air pollution breaches. The Anglo-Dutch company first discovered oil and gas in the region in the late 1980s.

The company continues to see potential in the region and the decision not to explore further in Alaskan waters “reflects both the Burger J well result, the high costs associated with the project, and the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska,” according to the statement.…ulations-costs

The potential of the Alaska OCS is nearly as large as the Central Gulf of Mexico…

Product prices and exploration results are by their nature, unpredictable. Operating costs are tied to product prices and regulatory requirements. Regulatory requirements must be predictable in order for any business to function.

Anatomy of a Collapsing Paradigm

March 18, 2015


A framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology that are commonly accepted by members of a scientific community.

Paradigm Shift:

These examples point to the third and most fundamental aspect of the incommensurability of competing paradigms. In a sense that I am unable to explicate further, the proponents of competing paradigms practice their trades in different worlds. One contains constrained bodies that fall slowly, the other pendulums that repeat their motions again and again. In one, solutions are compounds, in the other mixtures. One is embedded in a flat, the other in a curved, matrix of space. Practicing in different worlds, the two groups of scientists see different things when they look from the same point in the same direction. Again, that is not to say that they can see anything they please. Both are looking at the world, and what they look at has not changed. But in some areas they see different things, and they see them in different relations one to the other. That is why a law that cannot even be demonstrated to one group of scientists may occasionally seem intuitively obvious to another. Equally, it is why, before they can hope to communicate fully, one group or the other must experience the conversion that we have been calling a paradigm shift. Just because it is a transition between incommensurables, the transition between competing paradigms cannot be made a step at a time, forced by logic and neutral experience. Like the gestalt switch, it must occur all at once (though not necessarily in an instant) or not at all.

–Thomas Kuhn, 1962. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Vol. II, No. 2 p. 150

What is the current paradigm?

  • Human activities, primarily carbon dioxide emissions, have been the primary cause of the observed global warming over the past 50 to 150 years.
  • The atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration had stabilized between 270 and 280 ppmv early in the Holocene and had remained in that range prior to the mid-19th century when fossil fuels became the primary energy source of the Industrial Revolution.
  • Anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are causing the atmospheric concentration to rise at a dangerously rapid pace to levels not seen in 100’s of thousands to millions of years.
  • The climate sensitivity to a doubling of pre-industrial carbon dioxide concentration “is likely to be in the range of 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C,” possibly even much higher than 4.5°C.
  • Immediate, deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are necessary in order to stave off catastrophic climate change.
  • The scientific consensus regarding this paradigm is overwhelming (~97%).

Why is the paradigm collapsing?

  • There has been no increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature since the late 20th century.
  • Every measure of pre-industrial carbon dioxide, not derived from Antarctic ice cores, indicates a higher and more variable atmospheric concentration.
  • The total lack of predictive skill in AGW climate models.
  • An ever-growing body of observation-based studies indicating that the climate sensitivity is in the range of 0.5 to 2.5°C with a best estimate of 1.5 to 2°C, and is very unlikely to be more than 2°C.
  • Clear evidence that the dogmatic insistence of scientific unanimity is at best highly contrived and at worst fraudulent.

The paradigm is collapsing primarily due to the fact that the climate appears to be far less sensitive to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations than the so-called scientific consensus had assumed.

One group of scientists has steadfastly resisted the carbon dioxide-driven paradigm: Geologists, particularly petroleum geologists. As Kuhn wrote,

“Practicing in different worlds, the two groups of scientists see different things when they look from the same point in the same direction. Again, that is not to say that they can see anything they please. Both are looking at the world, and what they look at has not changed. But in some areas they see different things, and they see them in different relations one to the other. That is why a law that cannot even be demonstrated to one group of scientists may occasionally seem intuitively obvious to another.”

Petroleum geologists tend to be sedimentary geologists and sedimentary geology is essentially a combination of paleogeography and paleoclimatology. Depositional environments are defined by physical geography and climate. We literally do practice in a different world, the past. Geologists intuitively see Earth processes as cyclical and also tend to look at things from the perspective of “deep time.” For those of us working the Gulf of Mexico, we “go to work” in a world defined by glacioeustatic and halokinetic processes and, quite frankly, most of us don’t see anything anomalous in recent climate changes.

So, it should come as little surprise that geoscientists have consistently been far more likely to think that modern climate changes have been driven by overwhelmingly natural processes…

APEGA is the organization responsible for certifying and licensing professional geoscientists and engineers in Alberta, Canada.

This study is very interesting because it analyzes the frames of reference (Kuhn’s “different worlds”) in which opinions are formed. Skeptical geologists are most likely to view climate change as overwhelmingly natural. Skeptical engineers are more likely to view it as a matter of economics or fatalism. The cost of decarbonization would far outweigh any benefits and/or would have no measurable effect on climate change.

The Obsession With Consensus

In nearly 40 years as an Earth Scientist (counting college), I have never seen such an obsession with consensus. In geology, there are many areas in which there are competing hypotheses; yet there is no obsession with conformance to a consensus.

The acceptance of plate tectonics was a relatively new thing when I was a student. This paradigm had only recently shifted from the geosynclinal theory to plate tectonics. We still learned the geosynclinal theory in Historical Geology and it still has value today. However, I don’t ever recall papers being published claiming a consensus regarding either theory.

Most geologists think that granite is an igneous rock and that petroleum is of organic origin. Yet, the theories of granitization and abiogenic hydrocarbon formation are not ridiculed; nor are the adherents subjected to “witch hunts.”

One of the most frequent methods of attempting to quantify and justify the so-called consensus on climate change has been the abstract search (second hand opinions). I will only bother to review one of these exercises in logical fallacy, Cook et al., 2013.

Second Hand Opinions.

These sorts of papers consist of abstract reviews. The authors’ then tabulate their opnions regarding whether or not the abstracts support the AGW paradgm. As Legates et al., 2013 pointed out, Cook defined the consensus as “most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic.” Cook then relied on three different levels of “endorsement” of that consensus and excluded 67% of the abstracts reviewed because they neither endorsed nor rejected the consensus.

The largest endorsement group was categorized as “implicitly endorses AGW without minimizing it.” They provided this example of an implied endorsement:

‘…carbon sequestration in soil is important for mitigating global climate change’

Carbon sequestration in soil, lime muds, trees, seawater, marine calcifers and a whole lot of other things have always been important for mitigating a wide range of natural processes. I have no doubt that I have implicitly endorsed the so-called consensus based on this example.

The second largest endorsement group was categorized as “implicitly endorses but does not quantify or minimize.” Pardon my obtuseness, but how in the heck can one explicitly endorse the notion that “most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic” without quantification? This is the exmple Cook provided:

‘Emissions of a broad range of greenhouse gases of varying lifetimes contribute to global climate change’

Wow! I contributed to Romney for President… Yet most of his campaign warchest didn’t come from me. By this subjective standard, I have probably explicitly endorsed AGW a few times.

No Schist, Sherlock.

One of the most frequent refrains is the assertion that “climate scientists” endorse the so-called consensus more than other disciplines and that the level of endorsement is proportional to the volume of publications by those climate scientists. Well… No schist, Sherlock! I would bet a good bottle of wine that the most voluminous publishers on UFO’s are disproportionately more likely to endorse Close Encounters of the Third Kind as a documentary. A cursory search for “abiogenic hydrocarbons” in AAPG’s Datapages could lead me to conclude that there is a higher level of endorsement of abiogenic oil among those who publish on the subject than among non-publishing petroleum geologists.

These exercises in expertise cherry-picking are quite common. A classic example was Doran and Kendall Zimmerman, 2009. This survey sample was limited to academic and government Earth Scientists. It excluded all Earth Scientists working in private sector businesses. The two key questions were:

1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

I would answer yes to #1 and my answer to #2 would depend on the meaning of “human activity is a significant contributing factor.” If I realized it was a “push poll,” I would answer “no.”

Interestingly, economic geologists and meteorologists were the most likely to answer “no” to question #2…

The two areas of expertise in the survey with the smallest percentage of participants answering yes to question 2 were economic geology with 47% (48 of 103) and meteorology with 64% (23 of 36).

The authors derisively dismissed the opinions of geologists and meteorologists…

It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.

No discipline has a better understanding the “nuances” than meteorologists and no discipline has a better understanding of the “scientific basis of long-term climate processes” than geologists.

The authors close with a “no schist, Sherlock” bar chart:

The most recent example of expertise cherry-picking was Stenhouse et al., 2014.

The 52% consensus among the membership of the American Meteorological Society was explained away as being due to “perceived scientific consensus,” “political ideology,” and a lack of “expertise” among non-publishing meteorologists and atmospheric scientists…

While we found that higher expertise was associated with a greater likelihood of viewing global warming as real and harmful, this relationship was less strong than for political ideology and perceived consensus. At least for the measure of expertise that we used, climate science expertise may be a less important influence on global warming views than political ideology or social consensus norms. More than any other result of the study, this would be strong evidence against the idea that expert scientists’ views on politically controversial topics can be completely objective.

Finally, we found that perceiving conflict at AMS was associated with lower certainty of global warming views, lower likelihood of viewing global warming as human caused, and lower ratings of predicted harm caused by global warming.

So… Clearly, 97% of AMS membership would endorse the so-called consensus if they were more liberal, more accepting of unanimity and published more papers defending failed climate models.  No schist, Sherlock!

What, exactly, is a “climate scientist”?

35 years ago climatology was a branch of physical geography. Today’s climate scientists can be anything from atmospheric physicists & chemists, mathematicians, computer scientists, astronomers, astrophysicists, oceanographers, biologists, environmental scientists, ecologists, meteorologists, geologists, geophysicists, geochemistry to economists, agronomists, sociologists and/or public policy-ologists.

NASA’s top climate scientist for most of the past 35 years, James Hansen, is an astronomer. The current one, Gavin Schmidt, is a mathematician.

It seems to me that climate science is currently dominated by computer modelers, with little comprehension of the natural climate cycles which have driven climate change throughout the Holocene.

Climate scientist seems to be as nebulous as Cook’s definition of consensus.

What is the actual consensus?

The preliminary results of the AMS survey tell us all we need to know about the former…

89% × 59% = 52%… A far cry from the oft claimed 97% consensus.

Based on BAMS definition, global warming is happening. So, I would be among the 89% who answered “yes” to question #1 and among the 5% who said the cause was mostly natural.

When self-described “climate scientists” and meteorologists/atmospheric scientists are segregated the results become even more interesting…

Only 45% of meteorologists and atmospheric scientists endorse the so-called consensus. When compared to the 2009, American Geophysical Union survey, the collapsing paradigm sticks out like a polar vortex…

In reality, about half of relevant scientists would probably agree that humans have been responsible for >50% of recent climate changes.  And there might even be a 97% consensus that human activities have contributed to recent climate changes.

However, there really isn’t any scientific consensus if it is defined this way:

So… Why is there such an obsession with a 97% consensus?  My guess is that it enables such demagoguery.

Science Lessons for Secretary of State John F. Kerry

March 16, 2015

Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s recent remarks on climate change at the Atlantic Council were so scientifically illiterate that I find it difficult to believe that he managed to barely get a D in geology at Yale University.  As a US citizen and geoscientist, I feel it is my patriotic and professional duty to provide Secretary Kerry with a few complimentary science lessons.

Let’s start with some basics

So stop for a minute and just think about the basics. When an apple falls from a tree, it will drop toward the ground. We know that because of the basic laws of physics. Science tells us that gravity exists, and no one disputes that. Science also tells us that when the water temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it turns to ice. No one disputes that.

So when science tells us that our climate is changing and humans beings are largely causing that change, by what right do people stand up and just say, “Well, I dispute that” or “I deny that elementary truth?” And yet, there are those who do so.

Well Mr. Secretary… The Theory of Gravity can be empirically tested with such repeatability that it has become a Law and can be expressed with a simple equation… It can even be tested and  confirmed on the Moon…

The freezing point of water (phase transition) can also be empirically tested and demonstrated with ample repeatability. However, the freezing point of water is not always 32°F. The freezing point is dependent on both temperature and pressure….

We do not accept gravity and phase transition because science tells us to. We accept these things because they can be empirically tested, repeatedly confirmed and form the bases of solid scientific theories.

Science tells us that climate has always changed and always will be changing. While the radiative forcing effect of CO2 is kind of in the same ballpark as the freezing point of water, the notion that humans are the primary cause of recent climate changes is nothing but a hypothesis which has failed almost every empirical test. This is why many scientists do not accept that this is “settled science.”

From Remote Sensing Systems [with my commentary]:

Over the past decade, we have been collaborating with Ben Santer at LLNL (along with numerous other investigators) to compare our tropospheric results with the predictions of climate models. Our results can be summarized as follows:

  • Over the past 35 years, the troposphere has warmed significantly. The global average temperature has risen at an average rate of about 0.13 degrees Kelvin per decade (0.23 degrees F per decade).[All of the warming occurred in one step-shift in the late 1990’s.]
  • Climate models cannot explain this warming if human-caused increases in greenhouse gases are not included as input to the model simulation.[Only because climate models are programmed to do so. The models are programmed with very high sensitivities to CO2. Then they are paramaterized (fudged) with assumptions about albedo effects of past anthropogenic aerosol emissions in order to retrocast past temperature changes. The climate models almost totally fail to incorporate cloud albedo effects and natural climate oscillations.This is why they lack predictive skill.
  • The spatial pattern of warming is consistent with human-induced warming. See Santer et al 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012 for more about the detection and attribution of human induced changes in atmospheric temperature using MSU/AMSU data.[Yep. Most of the warming is occurring at night and in the coldest air masses in the Northern Hemisphere.]


  • The climate has not warmed as fast as almost all climate models predict.

[Because the models lack predictive skill.]

To illustrate this last problem, we show several plots below. Each of these plots has a time series of TLT temperature anomalies using a reference period of 1979-2008. In each plot, the thick black line is the measured data from RSS V3.3 MSU/AMSU Temperatures. The yellow band shows the 5% to 95% envelope for the results of 33 CMIP-5 model simulations (19 different models, many with multiple realizations) that are intended to simulate Earth’s Climate over the 20th Century.



RSS shows no warming since 1997…

In fairness, the models have demonstrated precision. They precisely miss the mark to the high side…

The first modern AGW model from 1988 has essentially proven that the climate is relatively insensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2. Subsequent models have confirmed that the hypothesis is wrong…

James Hansen, formerly of NASA-GISS, first proved that AGW was wrong 27 years ago. 

Back in 1988, he published a climate model that, when compared to his own temperature data, substantially disproves AGW…

GISTEMP has tracked the Hansen scenario in which a green utopia was achieved more than a decade ago.

Hansen’s model used an equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of 4.2°C per doubling of pre-industrial CO2. The IPCC “consensus” is 3.0°C. Numerous recent papers have demonstrated that the ECS is less than 2.0°C. T

“Scenario B” might be the most relevant prediction because CH4 and CFC’s have followed closest to the “C” trajectory, while CO2 has tracked “A”.

Since CO2 tracked “A”, CH4 and CFC’s tracked “C” and temperature tracked below “C”… The atmosphere is far less sensitive to CO2 than Hansen modeled… The atmosphere was essentially insensitive to the ~50ppmv rise in CO2 over the last 24 years.

The following CMIP5 model was parameterized (fudged) to accurately retrocast HadCRUT4 from 1950-2004.

Within eight years, the observed temperature is on the verge of dropping out of the lower error band.

This model from Kaufmann et al., 2011 simulated natural and anthropogenic (primarily CO2) forcing mechanisms from 1999-2008. Natural forcing won by a score of 3-1.

A plot of the Wood for Trees Temperature Index on 12 years worth of IPCC model suites demonstrates that the AGW hypothesis has demonstrated no predictive skill in nearly 30 years of testing…

On to basic math and reading skills

Now folks, we literally do not have the time to waste debating whether we can say “climate change.” We have to talk about how we solve climate change. Because no matter how much people want to bury their heads in the sand, it will not alter the fact that 97 percent of peer-reviewed climate studies confirm that climate change is happening and that human activity is largely responsible.

Well Mr. Secretary… The SkepSci bloggers who claimed the bogus 97% consensus don’t even assert that “97 percent of peer-reviewed climate studies confirm that climate change is happening and that human activity is largely responsible.”

 The that less than 1% “of peer-reviewed climate studies confirm that climate change is happening and that human activity is largely responsible.”

Now for a bit of history

Just look around you. Fourteen of the fifteen warmest years on record in all of history have occurred since 2000, in all of recorded history. Last year was the warmest of all. And I think if you stop and think about it, it seems that almost every next year becomes one of the hottest on record.

Wrong again, Mr. Secretary. While it is possible that “fourteen of the fifteen warmest years on record (since about 1850) have occurred since 2000″… “all of recorded history” goes back a bit farther than that.  Recorded history goes back a time long before this 2,000 year climate reconstruction…

And now back to basic science

It’s not particularly complicated. I don’t mean to sound haughty, but think about it for a minute. Life on Earth would not exist without a greenhouse effect. That is what has kept the average temperature up, until recently, at 57 degrees Fahrenheit, because there is this greenhouse effect. And it was called the greenhouse effect because it does exactly what a greenhouse does. When the sun pours in and bounces off at a different angle, it goes back up at a different angle. That can’t escape, and that warms things – a very simple proposition.

Don’t worry Mr. Secretary… You don’t sound haughty. You sound like a guy who got a D in geology and would have gotten an F in physics.

Neither a greenhouse nor the greenhouse effect rely on the Law of Reflection or Snell’s Law… Nor does the greenhouse effect even behave like a greenhouse…

The greenhouse effect refers to circumstances where the short wavelengths of visible light from the sun pass through a transparent medium and are absorbed, but the longer wavelengths of the infrared re-radiation from the heated objects are unable to pass through that medium. The trapping of the long wavelength radiation leads to more heating and a higher resultant temperature.


A major part of the efficiency of the heating of an actual greenhouse is the trapping of the air so that the energy is not lost by convection. Keeping the hot air from escaping out the top is part of the practical “greenhouse effect”, but it is common usage to refer to the infrared trapping as the “greenhouse effect” in atmospheric applications where the air trapping is not applicable.…mo/grnhse.html


The laws and theories of gravity and phase transition are not even remotely analogous to the fatally flawed AGW hypothesis.

97% of peer-reviewed climate studies do not conclude that humans are largely to blame for recent climate changes.

There is no evidence that 14 of the last 15 years are the warmest in all of recorded history.

A greenhouse works by retarding convective cooling.  The greenhouse effect works by retarding radiative cooling.  Secretary Kerry’s lack of scientific literacy will work by retarding our economy.

Dave’s Top Ten Reasons Why the Oil Industry Doesn’t Spend its Billions on Disproving the Junk Science of AGW

December 14, 2013

Guest post by David Middleton

In my Internet “debates” with warmists, I occasionally encounter challenges like this…

We don’t yet not know the real global impact man has on the environment. It may be negligible. What we do know is that if the oil companies with their billions could disprove this manmade warming they could in an instance. They have not.

My response to this challenge is in the style of David Letterman…

Dave’s Top Ten Reasons Why the Oil Industry Doesn’t Spend its Billions on Disproving the Junk Science of AGW


10) It’s impossible to prove a negative.


9) The burden of proof is on those who wish to bankrupt these United States of America in order to reverse this…


8) The climate is always changing, always has, always will. There is absolutely no evidence that modern climate changes are exceeding the pre-human range of variability. There are anthropogenic influences which modify the climate’s natural oscillations. Very few scientists in the oil industry doubt that anthropogenic activities affect the climate. We just know for a fact that those effects are not causing the climate to change in ways that exceed the normal variability of the Holocene and that such effects are likely to be so small that they can’t be differentiated. Otherwise, the Warmists would have long ago clearly differentiated the anthropogenic from the natural. Furthermore, none of the proposed solutions are economically feasible, nor would they mitigate climate change in any measurable way.


7) The “oil industry” is composed of corporations engaged in the various aspects of oil & gas exploration, drilling and production. These corporations are owned by people, usually shareholders, who invested their own money for the purpose of making a profit on the exploration, drilling and production for and of oil and natural gas. They didn’t invest their money in science projects, particularly not junk science projects.


6) We already have full time jobs. I do this as a hobby because it combines my professional skills as a geoscientist and 25 years of experience (out of nearly 33) working in a Quaternart-Upper Tertiary sedimentary basin, with my longtime interest in palaeoclimatology.


5) The Warmists have already proven that AGW is wrong. The lack of global warming since the late 1990’s forced them to morph “global warming” into “climate change,” “global weirding,” “global climate disruption,” and other temperature-neutral descriptions.


4) The Warmists have already proven that AGW is wrong – Part Deux. Every conceivable weather, health, agricultural, botanical, zoological and even geophysical incident is “consistent” with the Gorebotic AGW “theory.” Thus rendering their “theory” un-falsifiable and rendering it unscientific. Kevin Trenberth of NCAR even declared the no longer scientific theory to be un-falsifiable when he stated that the “null hypothesis” principle should be reversed for AGW.


3) The Warmists have already proven that AGW is wrong – Part Trois: That pesky climate sensitivity thing.  Gorebot Prime, James Hansen, formerly of NASA-GISS and now a full-time political activist, first proved that AGW was wrong 25 years ago and then delivered an endless stream of idiotic alarmism. Back in 1988, he published a climate model that, when compared to his own temperature data, substantially disproves AGW…


GISTEMP has tracked the Hansen scenario in which a greent@rd utopia was achieved more than a decade ago. Hansen’s model used an equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of 4.2°C per doubling of pre-industrial CO2. The IPCC “consensus” is 3.0°C. The maximum physically possible ECS is 2.0°C. The maximum physically possible ECS, consistent with the observations, is 1.0°C. Recent papers have concluded that solar forcing has been underestimated by a factor of six and CO2 forcing is much lower than the so-called consensus estimate. “Scenario B” might be the most relevant prediction because CH4 and CFC’s have followed closest to the “C” trajectory, while CO2 has tracked “A”. If you look at the model results, there is little difference between “A” and “B” in 2010…

Hansen describes “A” as “business as usual” and “B” as a more realistic or “Lite” version of “business as usual.” “C” represents a world in which mankind essentially undiscovered fire in the year 2000. The actual satellite-measured temperature change since 1988 tracks below “C,”  with the monster ENSO of 1998 being the only notable exception…

Since CO2 tracked “A”, CH4 and CFC’s tracked “C” and temperature tracked below “C,” the atmosphere is far less sensitive to CO2 than Hansen modeled.  The atmosphere was essentially insensitive to the ~50ppmv rise in CO2 over the last 24 years. Hansen may have inadvertantly provided solid support for this “inconvenient truth.”


2) The Warmists have already proven that AGW is wrong – Part Quatre: A model of failure. Let’s give Gorebot Prime, Jimbo Hansen, a pass. His 1988 model reflected old science and old computers and surely the models have gotten better over the last quarter-century… Or not.

STILL Epic Fail: 73 Climate Models vs. Measurements, Running 5-Year Means June 6th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. […] In this case, the models and observations have been plotted so that their respective 1979-2012 trend lines all intersect in 1979, which we believe is the most meaningful way to simultaneously plot the models’ results for comparison to the observations. In my opinion, the day of reckoning has arrived. The modellers and the IPCC have willingly ignored the evidence for low climate sensitivity for many years, despite the fact that some of us have shown that simply confusing cause and effect when examining cloud and temperature variations can totally mislead you on cloud feedbacks (e.g. Spencer & Braswell, 2010). The discrepancy between models and observations is not a new issue…just one that is becoming more glaring over time. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out in the coming years. I frankly don’t see how the IPCC can keep claiming that the models are “not inconsistent with” the observations. Any sane person can see otherwise. If the observations in the above graph were on the UPPER (warm) side of the models, do you really believe the modelers would not be falling all over themselves to see how much additional surface warming they could get their models to produce? Hundreds of millions of dollars that have gone into the expensive climate modelling enterprise has all but destroyed governmental funding of research into natural sources of climate change. […] Dr. Roy Spencer

[Assuming whiny Gorebot voice]… Oh… That tricky Roy Spencer. That’s just the tropics and it goes way back to 1979… That’s unfair! The science is verified! The models are right! Or not… The following CMIP5 model was parameterized (fudged) to accurately retrocast HadCRUT4 from 1950-2004. Eight years and out! Within eight years, the observed temperature is on the verge of dropping out of the lower error band. This model from Kaufmann et al., 2011 simulated natural and anthropogenic (primarily CO2) forcing mechanisms from 1999-2008. Natural forcing won by a score of 3-1.   Although, the authors seem to have concluded that anthropogenic forcing related to global cooling were masking theanthropogenic forcing” related to global warming. This is to be expected because, obviously, the Earth’s climate was static prior to the incorporation of Standard Oil Company… Models are great heuristic tools; but they cannot and should never be used as substitutes for observation and correlation. I can build a valid computer model that tells me that a geopressured Cibicides opima sandstone at depth of 15,000′ should exhibit a Class 3 AVO response. If I drill a Class 3 AVO anomaly in that neighborhood, I will drill a dry hole. A little bit of observation and correlation would quickly tell me that productive geopressured Cibicides opima sandstones at depth of 15,000′ don’t exhibit Class 3 AVO anomalies. 99% of petroleum geologists and exploration geophysicists would laugh you out of the room if you seriously thought a model was superior to actual observations. 2) The Warmists have already proven that AGW is wrong – Part Cinq: That pesky climate sensitivity thing – Subpart Deux. In our last episode of climate sensitivity, we reviewed Jimbo Hansen’s spectacularly wrong Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity of 4.2 °C. Now we will move on the current alleged consensusECS of 3.3 (±1.1) °C (Nothing like a 33% error bar to instill confidence!)…

The equilibrium climate sensitivity values for the AR4 AOGCMs coupled to non-dynamic slab ocean models are given for comparison (Box 10.2, Figure 1e,f; see also Table 8.2). These estimates come from models that represent the current best efforts from the international global climate modelling community at simulating climate. A normal fit yields a 5 to 95% range of about 2.1°C to 4.4°C with a mean value of equilibrium climate sensitivity of about 3.3°C (2.2°C to 4.6°C for a lognormal distribution, median 3.2°C) (Räisänen, 2005b). 

For good measure, the consensus-teers of the IPCC toss in this bit of gratuitous alarmism…

Studies comparing the observed transient response of surface temperature after large volcanic eruptions with results obtained from models with different climate sensitivities (see Section. 9.6) do not provide PDFs, but find best agreement with sensitivities around 3°C, and reasonable agreement within the 1.5°C to 4.5°C range (Wigley et al., 2005). They are not able to exclude sensitivities above 4.5°C. 

This explains the Gorebotic caterwauling from Climategate University

“Our research predicts that climate change will greatly reduce the diversity of even very common species found in most parts of the world. This loss of global-scale biodiversity would significantly impoverish the biosphere and the ecosystem services it provides…

[…] The good news is that our research provides crucial new evidence of how swift action to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases can prevent the biodiversity loss by reducing the amount of global warming to 2 degrees Celsius rather than 4 degrees.”

The Washington Post’s energy and environment inexpert

“The current level of action puts us on a pathway towards a 3.5–4°C warmer world by the end of this century.”

And Third World poverty pimps

The World Bank predicts that we are on track to a rise of 4 degrees Celsius in temperatures by the end of this century. This would mean a rise in sea levels of three to seven feet

There is not one single scrap of evidence that the current rate of emissions will lead to more than 2 °C warming (relative to 280 ppmv CO2) by 2100 (we’ll get to sea level in subsequent posts). Every recent observation-based estimate of the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) to a doubling of the assumed pre-industrial CO2 level is in the range of 2 °C and roughly 1 °C of this has already occurred. Asten, 2012 found ECS to be 1.1 ± 0.4 °C based on δ18O and δ11B records from fossil forams and the Eocene-Oligocene transition in marine sediment cores from DSDP site 744. Earlier this year, researchers at CICERO and the Norwegian Computing Center announced that when they incorporated the temperature and CO2 data from 2000-2010 into their instrumental record-based ECS estimate, they obtain a most likely value of 1.9 °C. This work has yet to be published. Lewis, 2013 found a most likely ECS of 1.6 °K (same as C for these purposes) using a Bayesian analysis and incorporating recent data. Masters, 2013 found a most likely ECS of 1.98 °K from ocean heat content and sea surface temperature data… Aldrin et al, 2012 and Forster & Gregory, 2006 also found the ECS to most likely be less than 2 °C. Yet the IPCC, Climategate CRU and other alarmist ideologues continue to prattle on as if the ECS in the range of 4-5 °C or higher…


1) The joke is just too damn funny for us to spoil…

Obama’s global-warming folly By Charles Krauthammer, Published: July 4 The economy stagnates. Syria burns . Scandals lap at his feet. China and Russia mock him , even as a “29-year-old hacker” revealed his nation’s spy secrets to the world. How does President Obama respond? With a grandiloquent speech on climate change . Climate change? It lies at the very bottom of a list of Americans’ concerns (last of 21 — Pew poll). Which means that Obama’s declaration of unilateral American war on global warming, whatever the cost — and it will be heavy — is either highly visionary or hopelessly solipsistic. You decide: Global temperatures have been flat for 16 years — a curious time to unveil a grand, hugely costly, socially disruptive anti-warming program. Now, this inconvenient finding is not dispositive. It doesn’t mean there is no global warming. But it is something that the very complex global warming models that Obama naively claims represent settled science have trouble explaining. […] For the sake of argument, nonetheless, let’s concede that global warming is precisely what Obama thinks it is. Then answer this: What in God’s name is his massive new regulatory and spending program — which begins with a war on coal and ends with billions in more subsidies for new Solyndras — going to do about it? The United States has already radically cut carbon dioxide emissions — more than any country on earth since 2006, according to the International Energy Agency. Emissions today are back down to 1992 levels. And yet, at the same time, global emissions have gone up. That’s because — surprise! — we don’t control the energy use of the other 96 percent of humankind. […] Net effect: tens of thousands of jobs killed, entire states impoverished. This at a time of chronically and crushingly high unemployment, slow growth, jittery markets and deep economic uncertainty. But that’s not the worst of it. This massive self-sacrifice might be worthwhile if it did actually stop global warming and save the planet. What makes the whole idea nuts is that it won’t. This massive self-inflicted economic wound will have […] For a president to propose this with such aggressive certainty is incomprehensible. It is the starkest of examples of belief that is impervious to evidence. And the word for that is faith, not science. WaPo

SOTU: Energy Fabrications, Falsehoods and Fantasies

February 13, 2013

During his State of the Union Address, President Obama had a few things to say about energy snd I have a few replies.

Pres. Obama: We buy… less foreign oil than we have in 20 [years].

Wrong!!! We buy more “foreign oil” now than we did 20 years ago.

Monthly crude oil imports (thousands of barrels per day) are about 33% higher now than they were 20 years ago (Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration).

Pres. Obama: We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years.

What do you mean by “we”?  You don’t produce any oil.

See that decline in Federal Gulf of Mexico production from ~1.7 MMbbl/d to ~1.4 MMbbl/d since early 2010?

You actually did build that.

All of the increase in domestic US crude oil production has come from State and privately owned mineral leases. Production from Federal leases has declined by about 300,000 barrels per day since 2009 (Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration).

Pres. Obama: That’s why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits.

Drilling permits that once took 30 days to be approved now take more than 180 days. Even relatively simple things like the approval of development plan (DOCD) revisions are sometimes drawn out to nearly 300 days. As of a year ago, the average delays for independent oil companies are currently 1.4 years on the shelf and almost 2 years in deepwater:

While the permiting process has recovered a bit over the past year, it is still very slow (Source: Quest Offshore Resources).

Between the “permitorium” and high product prices, many of the best, most capable drilling rigs have been moved overseas. Once we manage to get permits approved, the delays in obtaining a rig can be almost as long as the permit delays were. In this “dynamic regulatory environment,” wells can’t be drilled quickly enough to compensate for decline rates, much less to increase production. This is why the production rate in the Gulf of Mexico is still 300,000 bbl/d lower than it was prior to Macondo. The only red tape you have cut, is red tape that your maladministration created.


Pres. Obama: So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.

What do you mean by “our oil and gas revenues”? You don’t generate any oil and gas revenue. The Federal gov’t does generate some revenue from the private sector development of Federal mineral leases.

Federal mineral revenues for FY 2012 were HALF of what they were in FY 2008!

Federal mineral lease revenues for FY 2008 were $24 billion, with $18 coming from Federal offshore leases (Source: Office of Natural Resource Revenue).

Federal mineral lease revenue for FY 2012 was only $12 billion, with less than $7 billion coming from Federal offshore leases (Source: Office of Natural Resource Revenue).

The decline in Federal mineral revenues is really ironic considering the fact that the US Navy can’t afford to deploy a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf due to a lack of revenue.  The reason for maintaining a strong naval presence in the region is the free flow of oil at market prices (the Carter Doctrine).  The Navy only expects to “save several hundred million dollars” by not delaying the deployment of CVN 75 USS Harry S Truman.  The royalty payments from the missing 300,000 bbl/d of production could have been as much as $1.8 billion and have more than covered the cost of the deployment. 

What’s even more ironic? We’re importing 50% more from the Persian Gulf than just three years ago!

U.S. crude oil imports from the Persian Gulf have risen over the last three years.

The actions of this administration have both increased our need to maintain freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf and reduced our means to do so.


U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Imports by Country of Origin

U.S. Energy Information Administration, Crude Oil Production

Quest Offshore Resources, Inc.  The State of the Offshore U.S. Oil and Gas Industry, December 2011

Office of Natural Resource Revenue, Statistical Information

Hahvad says “States With Higher Levels of Gun Ownership Have Higher Homicide Rates”

February 4, 2013

States With Higher Levels of Gun Ownership Have Higher Homicide Rates

January 11, 2007

Boston, MA — Firearms are used to kill two out of every three homicide victims in America. In the first nationally representative study to examine the relationship between survey measures of household firearm ownership and state level rates of homicide, researchers at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center found that homicide rates among children, and among women and men of all ages, are higher in states where more households have guns. The study appears in the February 2007 issue of Social Science and Medicine.


Analyses that controlled for several measures of resource deprivation, urbanization, aggravated assault, robbery, unemployment, and alcohol consumption found that states with higher rates of household firearm ownership had significantly higher homicide victimization rates for children, and for women and men.


Harvard School of Public Health Press Release

Miller et al., 2007 is locked up behind a pay wall ($35.95), so I don’t know how they controlled the data to assert “that states with higher rates of household firearm ownership had significantly higher homicide victimization rates;” however the un-bastardized data show the opposite relationship.

This is Figure 1 from Miller et al., 2007…

It appears that they obtained the positive correlation between guns and murder rate by omitting Washington DC and segregating the States by robbery rates.

That’s kind of like calling this, “global cooling”…

I used the same firearms survey as Miller et al., 2007 and the crime rate data from the US Census Bureau:

While the gun ownership data pre-date the crime data by 8 years, it is unlikely that the percentages of households with firearms have changed much since 2001.

Murder, robbery and aggravated assault are all negatively correlated with the percentage of households with firearms…

The correlations are even stronger with logarithmic trend lines…


Abortion to Firearm Homicide Ratio = 71:1… And we have a gun problem?

January 31, 2013

A recent CDC report indicated that 784,507 abortions were performed in the US in 2001, a rate of 15.1 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 and 227 per 1,000 live births.

These deaths are not included in the CDC’s annual death rate tally. If they were, abortion would account for nearly one-quarter (23.8%) of the annual US death rate.

For every firearm homicide, there are about 71 physician-assisted infanticides… Abortion doctors are approximately 71 times more likely to take a life than gun-wielding criminals are. Planned Parenthood accounted for about 43% of those infanticides. “[R]oughly 45 percent of Planned Parenthood’s budget now comes from taxpayer dollars“… Despite the fact that the Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of Federal funds for abortion, the Federal gov’t currently pays (directly or indirectly) for about 20% (~152,000 infanticides) of all abortions in the US.

What a country! Infanticide and lawlessness all rolled into one package.

Firearms-assisted homicides per year: ~11,000
Physician-assisted infanticides per year: ~790,000
The libtards’ inability to comprehend numbers: Priceless.

Why Gun Control Laws = Epic Fail

January 31, 2013

The Constitutional Basis

Law abiding citizens, in the United States, have the constitutionally guaranteed right to own and use firearms to defend themselves, their families, their property and their communities against anything or anyone seeking to deprive them of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” However, the primary purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that the People could protect their States from the Federal gov’t…

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.”

–James Madison, Federalist #46