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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

24 July - Searching for Acceptable Answers

RAS LANUF, LYBIA - MARCH 18:   (L to R) Yuri K...RAS LANUF, LYBIA - MARCH 18: (L to R) Yuri Kosyrev of Time Magazine, Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks of the New York Times and freelancer Nicki Sobecki stand during a pause in the fighting March 11, 2011 in Ras Lanuf, Libya. Four New York Times journalists, the Beirut bureau chief Anthony Shadid, photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario and a reporter and videographer, Stephen Farrell have been missing since March 15, 2011, were reportedly taken by loyalist Libyan forces, and will be released today, March 18. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)July 23rd 2012 29July 23rd 2012 29 (Photo credit: Andy Wilkes)July 23rd 2012 15July 23rd 2012 15 (Photo credit: Andy Wilkes)Image representing New York Times as depicted ...Image via CrunchBasePaul Krugman, Laureate of the Sveriges Riksban...Paul Krugman, Laureate of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2008 at a press conference at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Krugman vs. Research, Who You Gonna Believe?

 Andreadis and Lettenmaier (2006) in GRL (PDF):

[D]roughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, less severe, and cover a smaller portion of the country over the last century.
 Krugman’s corny caper

Tom Nelson observes some interesting and inconvenient data to rebut The Guardian’s Susanne Goldenberg and Paul Krugman of the New York Times: For warmists trying to convince us that carbon dioxide causes lower US corn yields, an *extremely* inconvenient graph

America’s corn farmers high and dry as hope withers with their harvest | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Pielke Jr. writes:
Instead of looking at the musings of a “climate blogger” (as entertaining as that may be) like Krugman does, let’s instead look at scientific research that has examined trends in US droughts. A crazy idea, I know. Fortunately, scientists have examined empirical data on the frequency and severity of drought on climate time scales.
Here is Andreadis and Lettenmaier (2006) in GRL (PDF):
[D]roughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, less severe, and cover a smaller portion of the country over the last century.
Read Pielke Jr.’s full post here, and don’t forget to get a look at his great book, The Climate Fix

I like Krugman’s “one degree F above the historical norm” I do not think that the climate has a historical norm.

Bill says:
As an economist what this fool should be writing about is the horrible “unanticipated” effects from the forced use of ethanol from corn mandated by congress and how this will lead to higher food prices and could lead to deaths from starvation in some parts of the world this year. Not something that might happen in 50-100 years from “climate global changy warmification” or whatever they are calling it now.

Gail Combs says:
Steve says:
July 23, 2012 at 9:44 am
Hybridization (GM) is why corn yields have increased….
Sorry those are two different things Hybridization is where you have two pure bred parents and cross them to produce a hybrid off spring with hybrid vigor. – goes back to the late 1800′s, early 1900′s. Hybrid corn was common by the 1930′s. In 1930 farmers were getting 100 bushels of corn from 2-1/2 acres. By 1945 it only took 2 acres and in 1975 only 1-1/8 acres to produce 100 bushels. There was no more advances. You still got 100 bushels of corn from 1-1/8 acres (1987). link
GM or GMO is where you have genes inserted. The soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens is used to carry out trans-Kingdom horizontal gene transfer. The transgenic plants created by the T-DNA vector system unfortunately have a ready route for horizontal gene escape, via the same Agrobacterium.
…Interesting then that a contributor to the FAO’s Forum, Professor El-Tayeb, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Industrial Biotechnology at Cairo University commented that: “..currently available (GMO’s) mostly contribute negatively to poverty alleviation and food security – and positively to the stock market.” http://www.warmwell.com/gm.html
I am not ideologically against GMOs, I just want them to go through the same type of FDA testing that is required of anything new. The fact that Monsanto’s tame Lawyer in the FDA, Mike Taylor, labled GMO as G.R.A.S. or generally recognized as safe, so no further study is needed and made sure GMOs are not labeled makes me very uncomfortable.
  1. Many years ago; way back in the Plasticine age, when SciAm was a Scientific Magazine, instead of a political science homework assignment; they published a special edition all about world energy and food, and related subjects. One of the principal papers in the issue, was a study of food production in societies from the most primitive to the most developmentally advanced; as a function of the ENERGY INPUT to their food system.
    An example of a primitive society food system, was that of “Eskimos”, aka natives of the icy north, Inuit and their brethren. Traditionally they used dog sleds to operate their land/ice transportation system, and their animal skin canoes that they used to go out and harpoon, seals, walrusses, narwhals, and other whales for food.
    Along with “civilization” came new sources of energy for them . “Gunpowder” for their new hunting rifles, that had longer range than their spears and harpoons, and of course gasoline for their new snowmobiles. All of this energy enhancement, raised their food supplies.
    Well the upshot of this study was to show that no matter the level of technology or lack therof, worldwide, the production of food, was directly proportional to the energy input to the food system. This could be fuel for farm machinery, Chemical processing of fertilizers, and pesticides/herbicides; development of new climate tolerant crop species; you name it, the more energy input in every form to the food system, the more food, and the conversion factor is not largely dependent on the size of the operations.
    In that study, only two countries on earth exhibited a significantly greater food production versus energy efficiency, and fell well of the other waise straight line graph. Those two countries were France and New Zealand. In both cases it generally related to local weather and farmland peculiarites; not to any great special knowledge. Problem was of course, that together they don’t really matter a hill of beans in total world food supply.
    Mostly, the USA, Russia, and Canada, have plently of agricultural arable land, land in the case of Canada, and also parts of Russia (Siberia) the growing seasons may b e short.
    So basically, if the USA doesn’t get energy, the world doesn’t get food.
    All of the “green” revolutions have contributed to the food keeping up with population (so far); but the bottom line is that these are just different forms of energy expenditure.

    Morph says:
    David Appell’s comment there is worth noting :
    “Joe Romm works for an organization, the Center for American Progress, that refuses to reveal who funds it:
    Krugman doesn’t mention that in his paragraph about funding of “climate change deniers.”

    George Turner says:
    Krugman should be ashamed of himself because no less than Adam Smith studied the relation between sunspots and wheat prices, as did William Herschel, the astronomer who discovered Uranus. Warmth causes cheaper wheat prices.
    Here’s a very good paper on the subject: http://arxiv.org/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0312/0312244.pdf
    The paper was written before the recent discovery that sunspot counts are a predictor of temperatures during the following cycle instead of the current one, and I wonder what the data in the above paper would show if that adjustment was made?

    Meh. We could liven the action by postulating chemtrails have sterilized the soil too, but we will not see any lessening in the propaganda flogging tax payable to the UN despite the untenable scientific position of claiming climate prediction as being more reliable than weather forecasting.
    One excellent example would be the fate of Denis Rancourt in Ottawa, Canada – though he triggered two separate instances of violating ‘political correctness’. http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.ca/2012/07/20-july-fraud-and-reputation-climate.html
    So we can have corrective notices until the cows come home – as long as they are not flogged to the public.

    Logging in to WordPress there was no indication that comment hadn't vanished, which is why

    1. It’s simple. Since its origins, the IPCC has been open and explicit about seeking to generate a ‘scientific consensus’ around climate change and especially about the role of humans in climate change http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/18115/ I cannot for the life of me figure out why the bureaucrats at a UN agency should forward a view that they should be paid trillions annually in a tax on the use of fire….globally.
      Which is why the likes of this are ignored
      Academics are targeted. For Example, Denis Rancourt allegedly managed to offend the sensibilities of two ‘Denier’ political correctness memes simultaneously : http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.ca/2012/07/20-july-fraud-and-reputation-climate.html
      As for GM foods – they are a product of the same company responsible for Agent Orange. Kindly Search on the parameters ‘Rumsfeld Monsanto’. At opitslinkfest.blogspot.com you should find references to ‘The Real Winner in Iraq was Monsanto’ at the Panelist on past posts on Corporate Farming ( the blog is Searchable and has a Topical Index both ) and The World According to Monsanto on YouTube ( some wag linked the video URL to Monsanto’s home website at one point )
      GMOs, a 12 year olds urgent warning to other kids

    Streetcred You are likely unaware of hydraulic warfare and its likelihood of being of being neither well covered nor understood. International Rivers first sparked my interest with their PDF of concrete in the Himalayas. I started collecting articles and soon was noting business interests acting in a common fashion in http://my.opera.com/oldephartte/blog/27-feb-end-of-an-era which was included in the more comprehensive http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.ca/2009/07/water-wealth-power.html

 Breakthrough Blog
Mark Lynas takes on the faulty science behind new study
The CO2scorecard.org report contains a fundamental error that will be instantly obvious to anyone familiar with energy data - they confuse energy intensity and energy efficiency. What is the difference you might wonder? Here is how the US Department of Energy describes the difference:
Energy Intensity is measured by the quantity of energy required per unit output or activity, so that using less energy to produce a product reduces the intensity. Energy Efficiency improves when a given level of service is provided with reduced amounts of energy inputs or services are enhanced for a given amount of energy input.
Harry Saunders, author of the paper that CO2scorecard seeks to critique, told me by email that this is only one of many confounding structural factors at play in such data used in the paper:
The critical point here is that it is fundamentally impossible to discern from intensity trends what energy efficiency gains have occurred. On top of this, to then believe it is possible to discern the rebound effects hidden in these trends could kindly be called a fool's errand. There are too many drivers of energy intensity at work, all operating in different ways. For example, changes in energy intensity are driven not just by energy efficiency gains but by movements in energy prices. Worse, they are also driven by price movements in all other factors of production. Worse still, they are driven by technology gains for all other factors. Without knowing these, it is impossible to know how energy efficiency has evolved in any particular sector.
But the thorniest problem is that one cannot measure rebound effects without evaluating two counterfactuals: what energy use would have looked like in the absence of any energy efficiency gains, and what energy use would have looked like had energy efficiency gains "taken" on a one-for one basis. Only with these in hand can one make any definitive statements about rebound magnitudes. One certainly cannot do it by looking at a single trajectory of energy demand, let alone a single trajectory of energy intensity.

Breakthrough posts by Roger Pielke:

February 10, 2012: A Conversation With an Economist on Magical Climate Solutions
January 12, 2012: Collateral Damage From Not Knowing What You Are Talking About
December 21, 2011: Politics vs. Innovation
September 10, 2010: Science: Scale of the Climate Challenge Demands Committment to Technology Innovation
April 9, 2010: Does Paul Krugman Advocate Energy Conservation and Deemphasize Technology? Yes
December 21, 2009: Roger Pielke Jr: Post-Copenhagen, More Questions Than Answers
August 20, 2009: Failing to Overwhelm
May 27, 2009: Why The Industrial Revolution Started in Britain
May 18, 2009: All About Offsets
April 21, 2009: Britain to Invest in New Coal Plants
April 20, 2009: How to Lose a Debate
April 11, 2009: John Holdren's Minor Geoengineering Gaffe
April 10, 2009: How Fast Can a Big Economy Decarbonize?
April 10, 2009: John Holdren's First Interview - Supports Geoengineering, Including Air Capture
April 8, 2009: Spinning Probabilities in GRL
April 2, 2009: Senate Republicans Outflank Dems on Climate
April 2, 2009: Did the Senate Just Preemptively Kill Cap and Trade?
March 11, 2009: US Mitigation Math
March 5, 2009: Obama Administration Breaks with IPCC, Focuses on Art of the Possible
February 26, 2009: Fiscal Policy and Cap and Trade
November 13, 2008: IEA World Energy Outlook: Focus on Climate Stabilization
November 13, 2008: Japan's Record Emissions
November 11, 2008: Cap and Trade, Not in the First 100 Days
November 7, 2008: Adaptation is Now Cool Says IPCC Authors
November 5, 2008: Keeping the Lights On in Germany
November 4, 2008: Air Capture of CO2 via Peridotite Carbonation
November 3, 2008: Buying Time
October 22, 2008: The Future of Climate Policy Depends Upon A Single Country . . .
October 16, 2008: Climate Policy Lessons from Around the World
October 8, 2008: Coal Secures a Future in the EU
October 6, 2008: Science as Politics at Real Climate
April 7, 2008: Misinformation from Grist
April 4, 2008: Joe Romm's Challenge
March 3, 2008: Al Gore Misrepresents the Emissions Challenge
February 19, 2008: So Much for Peak Oil, Plug-In Hybrids, and Reliance on Foreign Dictators
October 24, 2007: Prins and Rayner in Nature
September 14, 2007: John Marburger on the BBC
From Wikipedia
Pielke has a somewhat nuanced position on climate change, which is sometimes taken for skepticism, a label that he explicitly renounces.[3][4] He has said:
the evidence of a human fingerprint on the global and regional climate is incontrovertible as clearly illustrated in the National Research Council report and in our research papers (e.g. see [http://blue.atmos.colostate.edu/publications/pdf/R-258.pdf]). [1]
However, Pielke has criticized the IPCC for its conclusions regarding CO2 and global warming and accused it of selectively choosing data to support a selective view of the science.[5]
In 2010 Pielke revisited a question provided by Andrew Revkin[5] "Is most of the observed warming over the last 50 years likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations", Pielke stated that the answer "remains No"

BTW His father Roger A. Pielke also has problems with 'coverage' of the topic

Any conceivable emissions reductions policies, even if successful, cannot have a perceptible impact on the climate for many decades. In coming decades the only policies that can effectively be used to manage the immediate effects of climate variability and change will be adaptive.  
On the issues of hurricanes and climate change he has argued that the trend in increasing damage from hurricanes is primarily due to societal factors rather than change in the frequency and intensity

When looking at energy inputs as being necessary for growth...heat is energy. And sunlight stimulates photosynthesis and growth. Plus water distribution around the globe is now being related to climate change....which is also noted as happening as a result of dissipation of the Mid Atlantic Conveyor more or less simultaneously with corexit/oil and the Deepwater Horizon blowout. I don't know what the linkages might be - but I don't like the lack of trying to discuss them.

Does Paul Krugman Advocate Energy Conservation and Deemphasize Technology? Yes

A few economists write in the comments that my reading is "absurd." This matters of course because anyone who thinks that we can stabilize carbon dioxide concentrations at a low level via conservation while de-emphasizing technology just doesn't have a good grasp of the problem.

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