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(can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years
76

(can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
Worth a read. One significance of the article to me is the 'skeptic' isn't a loon, she's the head of the EAS department at Georgia Tech.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released--chart-prove-it.html

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I love the quote

Quote:

Others disagreed. Professor Judith Curry, who is the head of the climate science department at America’s prestigious Georgia Tech university, told The Mail on Sunday that it was clear that the computer models used to predict future warming were ‘deeply flawed’.

I heard a "scientist" on TV this weekend defending the use of computer models as "evidence" of AGW, his arguments were so lame that even a sympathetic interviewer smelled blood in the water and cut him off to change the subject. "Carbon taxes" are showing up progressively more vividly as "wealth redistribution". Biggest problem right now is social momentum--too many people accepted the old info and won't consider emerging data.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I saw one funny picture in the referenced article (I guess the Daily Mail just can't completely abandon their roots). The picture I've attached has a number of plumes, but the caption

Quote:

Damage: Global warming has been caused in part by the CO2 emitted by fossil fuels. This image shows smoke billowing out of a power station
Is just too funny. The plumes are condensation of water vapor off of cooling towers. If the temperature and relative humidity support that much condensation, then I would be that a large amount of the "smoke" from the two actual smoke stacks is also condensation.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
Quote makes my skin crawl. "Georgia Institute of Technology," thank you very much.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

David - water is a greenhouse gas too :D

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

It is indeed. I think the number is something like 98% (by mass) of so called "Greenhouse Gases" are water vapor (the picture I attached above, must be a good thing since the "smoke" is water vapor that has condensed to liquid water droplets). I keep waiting for a greenie to recommend tarping the oceans to reduce that "Greenhouse Gas".

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I'd suggest reading the article below from the Met Office in response to this. It cleans up some errors made by the Daily Mail and provides more context.

http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/met-...

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
Sounds like he's taking the "too early to tell" route in his response. Which was what a lot of other people on the other side of the fence had been saying in prior years.

People in this issue like to play the "us vs them" argument game, but in truth there are a wide range of positions most people fall on.

1) The globe isn't warming
2) The globe is warming, but man's contribution to the warming is insignificant.
3) Man is significantly warming the globe, but through a variety of means, and there's no good way to stop it.
4) Man is significantly warming the globe, entirely through CO2 emissions, but halting it would be too expensive / impossible.
5) Man is significantly warming the globe, entirely through CO2 emissions, and carbon trading / Kyoto would solve the problem.

I personally think 1) and 5) are both ridiculous positions to take, and find myself settling around 3).

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I'd go with 6), Man is significantly warming the globe, at least somewhat through CO2 emissions, and there are some good ways to limit CO2 emissions, although it's unlikely because politics is involved. I suppose that's the same thing as 3), but I'd be happy if our cynicism was misplaced. Not likely, though.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

7
I'll go with "0) The climate is changing. The climate has always changed. The climate will always change. It is the height of arrogance to assume that we can either measure, predict, or impact that change with real time running. We are having great difficulty 'predicting' what the climate did 50 years ago and whether particular gases in the record are leading indicators or lagging indicators."

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I will go with 3.5

The globe is probably warming and Man is probably playing some part in that warming. Some actions by man might help to slow the rate.

A great deal of study is required by people with no vested interests.

An investigator reporting an alarming situation is a way to ensure tenure and therefore is a vested interest.

An investigator working in an entirely public funded situation with guaranteed tenure no matter what (well short of criminal activities) is a no vested interest situation (well minimised vested interest when potential for promotion is considered). While in the past such situations where often quite inefficient, they where also less corrupted. I think user pays mentality has all but eliminated independent research.

Regards
Pat
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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2
3.6 the globe may be experiencing climate change and man may be contributing but spewing garbage into the atmosphere is stupid for other reasons too.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

MintJulep,
You just have to define "garbage". Is water vapor "garbage"? Carbon dioxide? Methane? I would say that all of these things are a part of life (every oxygen breather on the planet exhausts considerable quantities of water vapor, CO2, and CH$ every minute of every day) that have been demonized by the practicers of the religion of AGW.

As to dumping industrial waste, that activity is seriously stupid and the people who have sought short term gains by doing it have behaved counter to the best interests of both society and themselves. I have been working industry responses to EPA regulations and have had occasion to review the EPA database of violations to Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. As best I could tell from the database the number of enforcement actions labeled as "significant" has dwindled to a very small number in recent years (even as the EPA has lowered the threshold for "significant" several times). The days of burning rivers and melting statues is decades behind us according to the EPA.

As to "waste", I have a hard time with that one. When I think of the billions of ergs of energy expended every weekend to transport sports fans to a meaningless sporting events called NFL Football (or Rugby, or Soccer, or NASCAR) I have to wonder how long before the waste police shut down professional sports. One man's "waste" is another man's "recreation". I have a really hard time with people who claim the moral high ground about "waste" because they drive an electric vehicle (that just happens to require the burning of more fossil fuel than my Land Rover). But like the Mayor of the City of London said on Top Gear "the electricity to charge the batteries comes from the plug".

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

4
Option 0) Our society lives in an infinite growth paradigm on a planet with a very finite amount of resources. We feel that we've evolved past the "predator-prey" problem and can have our consumption grow exponential without consequence. However, the reality is that we've just delayed and amplified the effect of a "prey" shortage. It will come, whether it's a shortage of clean water, cultivatable land, energy supply, or environmental issues caused by our consumption, we will at some point feel the squeeze. We already are and it only gets more serious.

This is sometimes the point that is lost in the GW/AGW/CAGW debate; both sides do (or should) agree that conservation and more careful consumption is required. However, where people differ is on how much of a life-style shift they are willing to accept. The problem is, the need for and magnitude of these shifts is forever growing regardless if you are willing to accept them or not (and I'm not just talking about CAGW, you can pick any of the above resource issues as your primary concern).

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Option 42 there is a group of school children from an ultraadvanced alien race in a faraway solar system that amuse themselves by projecting a hyperconcentrated micrwoave beam onto our planet like a magnifying glass over an ant hill.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

rconnor,

While humanities exponential growth following the industrial revolution has made the limitations of our resources apparent, this growth trend has fallen off. Most of the industrialized worlds fertility rates are below rate of replacement and data released last year from the UN suggest we have reached "peak child" that is the number of children in the world will not grow if we continue our current trend and human population will top out around 10 Billion. So look on the bright side we only need 66% more resources by ways of efficiency, expansion, new technology, conservation by 2050. Should be easy right?

A good talk from a founder of gapminder.org on this topic for those interested.
http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_religions_an...

Comprehension is not understanding. Understanding is not wisdom. And it is wisdom that gives us the ability to apply what we know, to our real world situations

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2

Quote (zdas04)

But like the Mayor of the City of London said on Top Gear "the electricity to charge the batteries comes from the plug".

He's an asshole. And a Tory. He probably reads the Daily Mail to learn about smoke coming out of cooling towers. These pricks are in charge of my country. sad

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

CastMetal,

That was something that I was going to say. I remember seeing a program on time this discussed that most of the industrialized world was actually starting to see negative population growth. I believe this is a problem in countries in Europe and Japan. They said that the US wasn't necessarily having the problems because of all the immigration.

ScottyUK,

I will trade out leaders for yours. I thought two of them were going to duke it out last night.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
We solved the exponential growth problem with the birth control pill. Lots of heavily industrialized nations, such as Russia, now have the opposite problem - population decline which deadens economic growth. As other third and second world areas catch up to the first world West, the population issue will plateau. The fundamental issue is standard of living is still climbing, so the amount of resources used per individual is still climbing. It's hard to say what sort of changes will happen with that in the 21st century, and it's rather silly to bet on such predictions.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

4
...and that is where it suddenly gets very nasty. I certainly don't have any obvious right to tell an Indian person or a Chinese person or an African person that they cannot have a car, a fridge, or an air conditioning unit, or another child, even though I have had access to those for the whole of my adult life. The most sensible approach is for the first world nations to develop low impact efficient versions of current or better technology, for deployment worldwide. The great news is that we are sort of doing that, the bad news is that 7 billion *50% (say) resource usage is still an awful lot more than 1 billion*100%+5 billion*10%. So things will probably get worse before they get better.


There are far higher priorities than variations in global temperatures, and they are better dealt with case by case than by random moral panics.


Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

ScottyUK,
Not nice to make me spit my evening beverage all over my keyboard.

Greg,
Good points. I wish to hell we had successfully made them 40 years ago when fabricated "science" killed DDT (the safest insecticide ever developed) and R-12 (the most cost-effective refrigerant ever developed) on the alter of made up crap. You can wash peregrine falcons in DDT without harming them or their eggs, but some enviro crusader fabricated a study that blamed DDT for causing falcon eggs to thin. Subsequent studies refuting the initial study didn't get the media traction and never made a difference. Millions of people have died from malaria (or from cancers caused by the really nasty chemicals that replaced DDT) as a direct result.

R-12 was on the brink of making refrigeration accessible to a significant portion of the poor of the world. Then someone in a media outlet discovered a study that said R-12 was destroying the ozone layer and that we were all going to die of skin cancer. The "study" was a [very early] computer model that had failed to predict a single thing that it was looking at. All of the alternatives to R-12 require significantly more power input and significantly higher purchase cost.

The west's track record for providing ways for the developing world to leapfrog stages of development has so far sucked.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2
David

20 years ago I saw data about HCFs and ozone depletion and predicted decline and recovery if all CFC release was stopped. The predicted a continuation in degradation for a further 10 years then a turn around.

20 years later the large hole in the ozone layer in the southern hemisphere has repaired itself.

At the time I was close to this as I worked in reasonably senior management for the only company in OZ producing CFCs. We had to close our plant and retrench about 150 people as a result.

The information from our internal experts was

1) CFCs definitely seriously damage the ozone layer.
2) Different natural occurrence both damage and replenish it to differing extents at different times.
3) It is at least partly self healing as the extra UV light entering the upper atmosphere helps to form ozone.
4) Replacements had some serious shortcomings including lack of lubricity, toxicity, flammability and potential to explode and environmental and financial costs of manufacture.
5) That DuPont, who invented CFCs for refrigeration, chose to blow the whistle when they had a head start developing substitutes AND CFCs had become a commodity as all patents where expired.

I believe (ie think without hard data) that CFCs did the damage but it healed ahead of time as the self healing aspect was not considered by those with agendas.

Regards
Pat
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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Pat,
You were a lot closer to the problem than I was. I was in graduate school when R-12 was banned and wrote a paper on the lack of rigger in the "science" presented. The reports I reviewed went something like:
  1. In small scale tests (less than 50 L) CFC reacted with 100% ozone in a closed system {amazing since ozone is one of the most reactive substances on earth}
  2. There are places in the atmosphere where the ozone layer was thinner than in other places
  3. ergo, CFC is damaging the ozone layer and we're all going to die with our flesh rotting off of our bodies
I have never seen any data that definitively proves that the "ozone layer" actually filters UV (as opposed to being a reaction product of high energy UV waves and atmospheric oxygen), that is, I was never able to find out with any confidence if the ozone layer is a cause or an effect. Everything I studied made dire predictions based on micro-scale experiments and early-days computer models (the output of the models was boxes of green and white paper, the input was Hollerith cards). That really was the start of my skepticism about the way people were going to (mis) use computer models.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

pat's point 5 suggests du pont's self-interest, no?

dave, do you have a report to support your DDT version. I agree that it is an extremely effective insecticide, capable of saving millions to peopel in the developing world from insect-borne disease, but understood that it had serious side-effects (ok, we can live without falcons, but what else ?)

agree with greg. raising the living standards in the developing world will be the significant economic growth for this century. it'd be nice to think that people could learn and maybe copying our current energy model isn't the best way forward. maybe an electric economy is "better". but copying is cheaper, and besides it provides the developed world with a dumping ground for the old technology. yes, i am a cynic.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Yes my point 5 was a cynical reference to self interest.

Also I think it is extremely hypocritical on both international and individual levels for the wealthy to live a life of wasteful opulence while asking the dirt poor to give up any hope of a basic secure living and go without things like safe water.

Regards
Pat
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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Here is where I might make a statement about how Third World countries lacking clean water, usable roads, affordable enery and so forth is mostly due to actions of their own governments (such as they are) rather than actions by developed countries, but not today.

Regards,

Mike

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Pat,

"I believe (ie think without hard data) that CFCs did the damage but it healed ahead of time as the self healing aspect was not considered by those with agendas. "

This isn't quite correct. The estimates that I've seen are that if the Montreal Protocol is followed, then the ozone will be healed around 2050. And the self healing was considered when the Montreal Protocol was adopted.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

brad, you would be assuming that your data is hard...

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

nah, i just think Brad's harder than pat ... well his data is, so to speak ...

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I've actually seen a few different estimates ranging from 2050 to the end of the century. So I picked the soonest date of the estimates I've seen. My main point, of course, is that it isn't back a pre-CFC levels yet and it is still repairing itself. I'm more than willing to put a large tolerance on that 2050 year.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The internet has significantly shut people up thereby reducing CO2 emissions.

I'll agree that 15 years isn't enough. Neither is 142 years all things considered.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The methods of measuring temperature have changed over the years. Capturing the daily maximum and minimum temperatures was not so easy as it is now. The highest temperature on record from 1922 was recently refuted (http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2012/09/...). Until we have similar temperature sensing equipment collecting data for several years, the data will be questionable. Based on measuring errors, I would like to know if the modern low temperatures are also getting lower than the historical data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I only have data as told to me by our own well recognised experts from conversations around 1990. My memory is far from fallible and I never bothered to read the reams of data they provided as it was not my business unit involved.

I do believe the hole in the ozone layer is currently repaired which I believe is ahead of scheduel. Maybe I am confusing the scheduel for ozone hole repair with back to pre CFC levels. I think actual holes potentially over our land mass where more threatening to us in Aus than a general thinning to less than pre CFC levels. They where quite convinced that DuPont was behind the discovery.

Regards
Pat
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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"My memory is far from fallible" ... that's just boasting pat! but i think you forgot a prefix ? in- maybe ??

i'd comment on the typing but that'd be like people in glass houses throwing stones ...

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

rb1957,
I'm on the road this week and my internet connection is spotty, but a quick look at Google found: Science Shame (see the second story on that page). USA Today. The Wikipedia article on DDT reads like an EDF publication and I'm not going to link to it.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

thx david, i found eco-imperial.com ... stunning, surprising that if this is reasonably true then why hasn't the original ban been overturned ? too much vested interest ? (and not enough vested in the truth ?). next time my mother-in-law (who's a "birder") has a little too much "sauce" i'll bring it up !

and yeah, i know ... "you can't handle the truth" ...

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2
DDT is a useful insecticide, especially when used strategically, i.e. on bed mosquito nets. However, DDT wasn't used strategically in the 1950s: it was broadcast sprayed on cotton fields etc. The result was that most of the target pests developed DDT resistance. DDT itself is very low in toxicity, but DDT manufacture (inevitably) makes dioxins and chlorofurans which have known environmental effects at very low concentrations- known, not suspected, as the mechanisms by which they do their damage are understood. The same goes for pentachlorophenol, PCBs, and numerous other very useful 1950s chemicals- the problem wasn't so much with the pure compound as with the co-contaminants, and with what you get when you improperly dispose of them.

Total bans of materials such as DDT are actually dangerous: they put people's lives needlessly at risk. But it's very hard to put in place regulations with effect worldwide that allow proper, strategic applications of these compounds. It's also VERY hard to regulate the manufacture, use and disposal of these materials such that the truly harmful contaminants are either never produced, or removed and disposed of properly.

As to CFCs: the trouble wasn't in the use as refrigerants, where they were very useful and safe- it was the use as aerosol propellants, and in the venting of refrigerants into the atmosphere when the devices leak or are scrapped- something that can be reduced but not eliminated unless you stop using them at all. Chlorine atoms in the upper atmosphere catalytically destroy ozone, with turnover numbers in the 100,000 range- that too has been demonstrated by good, solid testing and is not in dispute. The reason CFCs were a problem was that these molecules were photostable enough that they needed hard near-vacuum UV- of the same wavelength range necessary to make ozone from oxygen- to photolyze, so they had the ability to survive the conditions in the lower atmosphere long enough to get up high enough to do their damage. The "self healing" of the ozone layer has little to do with the regeneration of ozone itself, which is of course happening all the time in the upper atmosphere- it has to do with the (low) rate of processes which remove chlorine atoms from the upper atmosphere once they're generated there.

As to CO2, we need to stop wasting fossil carbon as a fuel to the extent that we're doing now. We have nearly doubled the atmospheric CO2 concentration as a result of burning fossil carbon- that is a fact based on measurements. CO2 is a greenhouse gas- yes, that too is a fact- only the extent of its effect is in dispute. Its mass emission acidifies the upper layers of the oceans- again, fact, not in dispute except for the extent of harm that can be expected from it. These risks of harm are only two of many reasons to price fossil carbon for fuels use in such a way that we treat it as what it is: a precious, finite resource that is VERY difficult to substitute for in just about every other use we put it to OTHER than its use as a fuel. Most of the non-fuels uses for fossil carbon can be considered just as a "parking place" for the material: at the end of their useful life, they can be either recycled OR used as a fuel.


RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Like Pandora found, it truly is impossible to close the box once opened. The most egregious of these self-serving, scare-mongering topics was Ralph Nader's "Unsafe at any Speed" condemnation of the Corvair. He had zero data and has since admitted that he even invented the anecdotes, but the Corvair is still the poster child for bad things coming out of Detroit. People remember sound bytes (which is why both parties rely exclusively on them in the current US elections) and few things are more damning than "I read that ...", the more outrageous the better.

An example that hit me in the face last week--I've always "known" that Congressmen and Senators received their full salary for life after serving one term. I know this. Everyone I know knows this. It is a cornerstone of our disgust at Congress. And it isn't true. A Congressman who gets elected to a 10th term and completes it (i.e., he has 20 years in the job) gets a 50% pension like any government worker. If he stays for more than 30 years he gets a 75% pension. No pension for 2 years. It is just an urban legend that everyone knows. With that kind of power of misinformation how do you ever get the DDT ban, the CFC ban, or the Carbon taxes to ever go away?

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

My understanding is that the estimate for the "hole" to return to normal levels is even later than the estimate of the rest of the ozone to return, which is what I was referring to above. I got this info from this 2010 report (pdf) "Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2010." It says that the ozone should be back to 1980 levels around the middle of this century and the Antarctic ozone hole should return to pre-1980 values in the late 21st century (p. 6).

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

How do you have a discussion when one person says

Quote (moltenmetal)

CO2 is a greenhouse gas- yes, that too is a fact

when I absolutely dispute the "science" that claims that there even is a "greenhouse effect", let alone a rational delineation of specific components.

The Greenhouse Effect is a hypotheses "supported" by a computer model designed expressly to show the [cataclysmic] outcome of the hypotheses. I look at the temperature gradient in a physical "greenhouse" and find a maximum temperature near the glass wall, with decreasing temperature a function of distance from the glass. I watched the guy in the balloon on Sunday and the temperatures that were displayed on the screen looked very different from the greenhouse model. All of the elevation vs. temperature measurements that I've ever seen have matched what I saw from the guy in the balloon. None of them look anything like a greenhouse.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The guy in the balloon was over 120,000 feet high -- well above the tropopause where temperatures stop falling and begin to start rising as you continue to get higher into the atmosphere. That effect is in no way inconsistent with the greenhouse effect.

There is plenty of experimental proof showing that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. You can even do it yourself if you get your hands on an infrared camera. The greenhouse effect is not a hypothesis. It is very soundly proven science accepted by everyone, even skeptics and so-called "skeptics".

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

And I don't see how your observations about a physical glass greenhouse have anything to do with a greenhouse gas...unless you're just confused by the fact that they happen to share a name.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote:

There is plenty of experimental proof showing that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. You can even do it yourself if you get your hands on an infrared camera. The greenhouse effect is not a hypothesis. It is very soundly proven science accepted by everyone, even skeptics and so-called "skeptics".

I don't like labels very much, but if anyone is skeptical it is me. I've looked at many of the "experiments" that claim to "prove" the greenhouse effect and I found them to be cartoons that relied upon a huge amount of acceptance from the observer. This discussion has devolved to a "my imaginary friend can beat up your imaginary friend" pissing contest like religious discussions always do.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

How can you deny the greenhouse effect? How then do you explain the discrepancy between the actual temperature of the earth and the temperature calculated based on global radiative equilibrium?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

4
David: it is a fact that CO2 is a "greenhouse gas", as that term is commonly understood. The IR spectra of CO2 and methane are rather easy to measure- you can't dispute them. And unlike water, these molecules have long half-lives in the atmosphere: their equilibrium concentrations are determined by slow chemical and biological processes, not by fast physical/thermodynamic ones. Once dumped, even if you could stop, they stay there for a long time before these processes knock them back down, even i.e. similar to what happened with CFCs.

Whether or not the amount of CO2 we've added to the atmosphere, or are likely to add, will have a significant and detrimental climactic effect (i.e. above and beyond the natural climate variation that we have no hand in one way or the other), IS definitely an item of dispute. The magnitude of the effect is based on models with so many unknowns that their predictions, one way or the other, are anything BUT conclusive. However, those who actuallly study the subject for a living are in wide agreement that the RISK of harm is significant enough to merit changing the way we consume fossil fuels.

You can dispute the significance of the effect based on your own understanding of the data, but frankly you're not qualified to offer an opinion on the subject, nor am I.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote:

How can you deny the greenhouse effect? How then do you explain the discrepancy between the actual temperature of the earth and the temperature calculated based on global radiative equilibrium?

Not to mention the actual temperature of Venus...

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote:

The magnitude of the effect is based on models with so many unknowns that their predictions, one way or the other, are anything BUT conclusive. However, those who actuallly study the subject for a living are in wide agreement that the RISK of harm is significant enough to merit changing the way we consume fossil fuels.

therein lies the rub

there is general agreement that the data and the models are crap, but everybody agrees to ignore that and assign it a high risk. Actually, risk is a combination of probability and consequence. I believe everybody is in agreement that the consequences could be very bad. But the probability part is what hangs us up. Without the data and the models, we can have no confidence that risk is low or high.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

KNEAT
Actually I was tired from driving all day and only read down the the start of the nuclear study. I just read it and can't say I agree with much of it.

Moltenmetal,
You can say "the greenhouse effect is a fact" until we all die, and without data that is far less ambiguous than I've seen to date (and I've looked very hard) I won't accept that "fact". I've actually seen a lot of data that supports the hypotheses that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is a lagging indicator (i.e., a consequence of warming, not a cause) and always has been. Taking the tactic from the Intelligent Design guys and saying that the hypothesis that you "believe" is a "fact" over and over does not make it true any more than the data available data makes it true. What we have on this subject is manipulated data, outrageous computer models, a series of unsupported hypotheses, and way too much rhetoric.

As to whether I have a right to an opinion on the climate, it seems to me that every air-breathing organism has that right. Certainly every tax payer that will be raped by Cap & Trade and Carbon Taxes has that right. I have every right to evaluate the data in the public record and form my own opinions on its quality, level of internal consistency, and whether it leads to the conclusions that the authors have drawn from it. In fact, the API paid me a considerable amount of money last year to write a series of papers on an EPA regulation of the upstream Oil & Gas industry that included an attempt by the EPA to slip in limitations on "greenhouse gases" to a VOC regulation. The API thought I was qualified and paid me to do it, that seems to make me a professional. Universally I find that the conclusions of the members of the religion of AGW do not hold water.

It is like I were to look in a mirror and conclude that I am fat. On closer examination I find that I have much more hair in my ears than I did when I was 40 years old. I could then form an hypotheses that increasing hair in your ears makes you fat. I didn't take careful measurements of my ear hair between age 40 and age 59, but I have some photographs that might be helpful. Careful examination of those photographs shows that at 2 or 3 intermediate points in my life I have had more ear hair than the photographs show for younger ages and have gotten progressively heavier in each photograph. Ergo, ear hair causes obesity and eating fats and sweets is not a factor. I think this dataset is complete and comprehensive proof that my hypotheses is a fact.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
You're going to lose that one zdas. There is absolutely a greenhouse effect. How much anthropogenic carbon contributes heavily to it is certainly questionable. You should adopt that as a fallback position.

And honestly I'm not convinced warming is bad. The headlong resource bonanza the human race is heading towards is going to come to a head not over energy, but over water resources. Heat charges the hydrologic cycle, which gets water moving, and mankind is going to need more water moving in the next fifty years. Global warming could in fact save us from some pretty bad consequences.

The thing about the modelers and their models is none of those models shows the USA unilaterally adopting carbon cap and trade will fix the problem. But certain financial entities have already invested in the idea, so it's in their best interests to push it.

The other thing that bugs the crap out of me about the disaster models is they presume water vapor will have a snowball heating effect, as more evaporates and traps more heat. They under represent the cooling effect of clouds.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Saying it don't make it so.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

David,

If there were no greenhouse effect, the average temp of the earth would be ~0 deg F, not ~59 deg F. It's a simple application of Stefan–Boltzmann's law to show this. The greenhouse effect merely says that the "greenhouse" gases absorb some of the radiation from earth and re-emits it back towards the earth. There's nothing controversial about that and nobody I know of (except you, apparently) denies it.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

David: you, not I, are the one disputing the consensus of people actually qualified to offer an opinion on the subject that could possible be considered informed, i.e. one that should matter to others. You have the higher burden of proof for your supposition because it runs contrary the prevailing science.

I don't hold my own opinion out to be any more informed than yours is. But since my opinion doesn't differ from the scientific consensus on the subject, it would appear that I'm in pretty good company.

As to what you believe- what do I care? Believe personally whatever you want. Be careful to call it that when telling it to others, though.

A suggestion for participation in further debate on this or any subject: don't deny fact. You can argue about the effect or magnitude of these facts. You can also point it out when you feel that participants are confusing risk with certainty or correlation with causality, but don't deny the underlying facts- doing so, as you have REPEATEDLY done in debate on this topic over years now, shows you to have a point of view which is inflexible to new information, i.e. you are biased. I'd go further and call yours an ideological position, i.e. very much like that of the enviro-religionists that you (and I too) despise for its lack of rigour and scientific basis.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I don't dispute "facts". It is just that they are thin on the ground. I've done enough expert witness stuff that I don't have the reverence for that word that you seem to have. Every "fact" that I've ever thought I knew has been subject to reinterpretation if I stood 3 ft to the left.

As to the "people qualified to have an opinion" with the the data-manipulation and report fraud that is rife on this subject I don't know of a single climate scientist proclaiming the end of the world that I tend to accept at face value.

Brad,
Why in the world would the earth be 0F without the greenhouse effect????????? There is nothing at all physical about 0F, it is a very arbitrary point on temperature continuum that represents about 460R. If you are saying that there would be no temperature it would be a bit colder than 0F. The thermodynamics of gases is something that I do know a bit about and the existence of an atmosphere does not depend on a greenhouse effect. A temperature variation across that atmosphere does not rely on a greenhouse effect. So I'm not sure what you're talking about. The atmosphere "reflecting heat back" is a very simplistic model of an amazingly complex system.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

As I said already, it isn't an arbitrary temperature, its a very straightforward application of the Stefan–Boltzmann law. The radiated energy from the sun heats the earth up and the earth in turn radiates energy from it. When you do the calculation, you get the temperature of the earth to be ~255 K (~0 F). The greenhouse effect explains why the actual temp of the earth is ~288 K (~59 F). As I asked above, and you haven't answered yet, if you dispute the claim that there is a greenhouse effect, how do YOU explain the discrepancy? What causes the ~33 K temp increase over the temp that the Stefan-Boltzmann law predicts?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

whilst we can be reasonably sure of how much energy the earth is getting from the sun, are we just as certain about the amount of energy being radiated ? maybe we are, and maybe there is a difference between the theory and the real world.

maybe the greenhouse effect is a "fudge factor" to obtain the desired (ie real world) results ??

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Yes, we can be sure of it. Energy in = energy out.

"maybe the greenhouse effect is a "fudge factor" to obtain the desired (ie real world) results ?? "

No it isn't a fudge factor. It's a real effect.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Actually, Energy Garbage in = energy garbage out

Energy in + Energy generated - Energy out = Energy stored. There probably is some amount of energy generation and energy storage in this non-steady system that we live within.

Also, assuming that the earth could be modeled and solved with Stefan-Boltzmann the spectral properties of the surface and atmosphere are not absolute, nor is the sun surface temperature, nor is the day sky temperature, nor is the night sky temperature.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I don't really disagree with that, dvd. Any energy generation is negligible compared to the sun, though, when approximating like this. I don't think I ever said they were absolute, though. The temp I gave was an average. The distance from the earth to the sun changes, too, for example and the energy the equator sees is higher than the poles.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Brad1979, I don't have a bone to pick with you but reading your posts gave me the impression you meant absolutes.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Whether or not there is or is not a "Greenhouse Effect", after reading all these posts, I think too many people missed the point of the OP's article. The doomsday scenarios (the C - catastrophic - in CAGW) predicted warming at rates of 0.1°C-0.3°C (±0.1°C)/decade. What we are really observing is a rate of 0.0°C±0.1°C (there are still some significant error bars in the measurements and the linearization of such non-linear trends) over more than 1.5 decades - the 1997-to-present-day temperature rise was predicted to be 0.15°C-0.45°C (±0.1°C). The question is - how much real data is required to falsify the hypothesis? CO2 concentrations have increased along the worst-case scenario lines (from the latest IPCC reports), meaning that the temperature rise is expected to be at the top of that range. However, the temperature-CO2 concentration relationship, which was assumed to mostly linear (or even exponential, if the hypothesis of net-positive feedbacks is assumed to be true), is not turning out as predicted.

In science (and engineering), the process is:
1) Hypothesize (may include models to predict outcomes)
2) Observe
3) Does observations fit with hypothesis?

Right now we are in Step 3). What divergence between observation and prediction is required before the hypothesis is considered invalid? To me, it doesn't matter whether there is or isn't a greenhouse effect or if CO2 is or is not a greenhouse gas; do the observations match the hypothesis?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

You're right, I did get a little off track. I was just a bit flabbergasted that somebody would deny that there is a greenhouse effect. That's a totally different issue than whether the earth is warming due to humans adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Regarding the article, I would point to this.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

personally i think the OP's article is as sensational as "doom and gloom" press. as the Met Office replied, periods of little change are not unusual. expecting a monotonic increase in temp. would be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

That is the same met office that 6 months ago found a one-year trend to be significant?

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

the same sensationalising ... should be met with the same cynicism

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Brad - nice charts. Where's the one that shows the relationship between CO2 and temperature? All I see is that from 1973 (the first chart on your link), temperatures have been generally increasing. No causal link to CO2, though.

rb1957 - agreed that periods of little change are expected. However, for the hypothesis (man-made CO2 causes catastrophic warming) to be falsifiable (i.e. if it isn't falsifiable it isn't science), what is the maximum increase in CO2 concentrations (or possibly length of time) for such a "pause"?

Here's some interesting data (I know, data, not models...) (references follow after the data):
Year CO2 Concentration......... HadCRUT3 Global Temperature Anomaly (°C)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1973 329.68 PPM (±0.12 PPM) 0.060 (+0.084, -0.084)
1997 363.71 PPM (±0.12 PPM) 0.356 (+0.084, -0.102)
2012 391.57 PPM (±0.12 PPM) 0.346 (+0.094, -0.095)

(CO2 concentrations from ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_annmean...)
(HadCRUT3 Global Temperature Anomaly data from http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut3/diagno...)

Go ahead, complain about my cherry-picking. However, the overall trends are generally the same.

To ask my question again - for the hypothesis (man-made CO2 causes catastrophic warming) to be falsifiable (i.e. if it isn't falsifiable it isn't science), what is the maximum increase in CO2 concentrations (or possibly length of time) for such a "pause"?

The problem from the believers in CAGW is that back in 1997, they stated that 15 years (or the equivalent in CO2 concentrations assuming a second derivative w.r.t. time of zero) was that length of time. Now, that such a time has passed, the goal-posts are changing. So, what is that time? Simple question.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

TGS ... aren't you making the same assumption as the "doom and gloom" folks ? that climate change is proportional (in some manner) to CO2 level ?

I think the better (though pointless) question would be what climate change would we expect without increased levels in CO2 ? anyone who says "none" clearly isn't living in the real world (the climate is always changing, and will always be changing).

I remember reading that the increased CO2 levels are delaying a naturally expected cooling phase.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Given the large impact on global temperatures from El Nino/La Nina cycles, you should probably pick years which are all the same cycle point: ie all "ENSO-neutral" or all "El Nino"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

the only concensus I have seen so far on this thread / topic is that the data is crap and the models are flawed. So I am amazed that there is even discussion of an acceptable theory at this point. Everything is postulated, hypothesized and conjecture. However, with all this debate the amount of hot air is certainly increasing, maybe that should be taxed to prevent rising sea levels...

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

From the MET office (and the link I posted earlier...which is worth a read):

"The linear trend from August 1997 (in the middle of an exceptionally strong El Nino) to August 2012 (coming at the tail end of a double-dip La Nina) is about 0.03°C/decade, amounting to a temperature increase of 0.05°C over that period, but equally we could calculate the linear trend from 1999, during the subsequent La Nina, and show a more substantial warming."

Not to mention we were in a period of low solar activity. So even with these natural effects working towards cooling the planet during this period, it still warmed slightly.

So your 3 point trend takes the middle point to be at a point where naturally effects are at the high point of causing a warming effect, to your end point where natural effects are at the high point of causing a cooling effect.

Your trend also ignores any ocean heating by assuming (incorrectly) that the only effect of Global Warming lies in the surface temperature.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

While El Nino/La Nina cycles obviously have a significant impact on specific areas of the Pacific, don't they simply move the earths heat around without any generation as such.

Regards
Pat
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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

rb1957 - I'm trying to point out the hypocrisy of the CO2=temp hypothesis. My understanding is that this planet's climate is a function of so many different input and feedback variables that we are fooling ourselves if we think that we can predict it. What would the climate be without the additional anthropogenic-CO2? Somewhere between no different to somewhat different, I guess... But if additional CO2 prevents cold, then I'm all for it... Cold kills. Cold starves. Cold sucks.

TomDOT and rconnor - at least I admit to the cherry-pick. But, we still don't know what drives ENSO, or if it even an input or a feedback. It just is there, one of the multitude of variables effecting our temperature. That said, I go back to my original question - how do you falsify the CAGW hypothesis?

Quote (rb1957)

the climate is always changing, and will always be changing
Right on. So, without there being a) a causal link of CO2=temperature and b) this leading to a catastrophe, there is no CAGW. The hypothesis is falsified and another hypothesis is needed. If we want to apply moltenmetal's approach of wanting to restrict fossil fuels to save them for future use, I'd entertain a discussion about that - but only in the context of actually discussing that premise. But not in the context of some hypothesis that has been (or is rather close to being) falsified.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I have found myself wondering if the oceans could warm and cool by some subsurface mechanism, such as volcanism, or the lack thereof. It would certainly be a form of converting stored energy into surface warming of the oceans by convective plumes. The Ring of Fire and El Nino/La Nina activity happens to lie in the Pacific as well as (possible) hotspot volcanic sources deep below the ocean surface. It would be interesting to see if dissolved gases indicative of underwater volcanic activity in the Pacific correlate with the El Nino/La Nina activity.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
And here's the rub.

Even if there was a solid link between anthropogenic carbon and global warming, which there really isn't, that's still a far cry from the position that United States carbon trading would have an effect on it. Under the carbon trading idea, carbon is still being released into the atmosphere, just under an artificial marketplace that Goldman Sachs can manipulate for artificial profit.

If you believe that global warming is bad, and that its entirely caused by the burning of fossil fuels, the only way to stop it is to cease burning fossil fuels entirely, on a global scale. That can't happen. Impossible.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Lies, dam lies and data. Here's the rub with me. Supose there is warming (I'm not making a comment either way at this point), and there are ways we can reduce the global tempeture. What methods are acceptable? And which are not?

The most suggested way is reduce carbon consumption, by ways of goverment, and/or taxes. Why is that method better than other methods (I and several other people have suggested other methods in other posts)?

I can't tell what direction the earth tempeture is going from the data presented, but I can judge the sillyness of an idea by the lack of innovative solutions.

Personally I am sick of the back and forth of the topic that keeps coming up. If it's that important, then shows some ideas that don't ruin the economy and actually work.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

cranky - some easy ways are already happening to reduce carbon emissions in the USA.

1) Replace coal-fired power plants with combined-cycle natural gas. Cheap, easy, reduces a host of environmental issues, from mercury and acids to mountaintop removal. Roughly* cuts CO2 emissions in half for equivalent power produced. Already happening for economic reasons - natural gas is just so darn cheap, and will stay that way for a long time.

2) Increase fuel efficiency of transportation vehicles. Already happening.

*More efficient power plants, more hydrogen in the molecules being burned instead of nearly straight carbon. Very rough on the "half". Depends on the exact plants.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Oh, but it's such a waste of natural gas to use it for stationary power generation given the alternatives.

Assuming all the fossil fuels are essentially finite resources and that eventually we'll use up whats already deposited/feasibly accessible and will be using it faster than 'nature' is creating it then some effort to conserve all the fossil fuels & use them most efficiently/effectively may be appropriate. (Though predictions of 'peak oil' have always been dodgy since as price goes up reserves thought economically unfeasible start to get interesting etc.)

While it would take some effort, fundamentally it seems that NG could be used for much transportation/mobile fuel without any really big scientific break thorough (unlike say, electricity).

This would then allow liquid fossil fuels to be prioritized for use as chemical feed stock and specific transportation uses where NG isn't such a good fit (like aviation).

Leaving dirty old coal for stationary power generation but doing what we can to clean it up a bit, and making sure the electricity is distributed and used effectively and off setting with other stationary power sources where possible.

Can't the US learn from the UK's 'dash for gas'. Just because it's cheap now and for the next few forseable years doesn't mean it will be in even 10 years time.

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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

cranky,

You want inexpensive carbon emission reductions? The answer is with you and me. Take public transit, turn down/up your thermostat in the winter/summer (respectively), shut off lights/appliances/equipment when they aren't needed, don't print if an electronic copy will do, buy local where possible, etc. These things are not just inexpensive, they SAVE you money. The problem is getting wide spread adoption of these ideals because we either don't care enough or feel they are too taxing on us to do. (I'm not saying that the people here do or do not do these things but in Western Society, as a whole, our consumption per captia is far beyond what it needs to be)

I work for an industrial energy efficiency program for a utility and we constantly see studies come back saying that the "stick beats the carrot" when it comes to getting people to reduce their consumption. In other words, people will change much more readily when there is a penalty (ex. tax/rate increase) for not doing so than when there is a reward (ex. financial incentive) for doing so. Now I'm not advocating for or against the "stick" approach (in fact my job involves purely working with the carrot) but that is how humans respond to demand side management initiatives.

However, if we could voluntarily make changes in our day-to-day life to reduce our consumption, then we wouldn't need the stick to motivate us. But we don't and then complain about why our energy bill is so high...

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

KENAT - some big transportation companies are buying new CNG trucks as a priority. More local than long-haul due to limited refueling locations, but long-haul is starting to shift that way too.

You're right that NG is currently unsustainably cheap, it's likely to float around $4-$5 for a long time in the USA. There is a LOT of cheap gas available with current techniques, and profitable to drill at $4-$5.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote (patprimmer)

While El Nino/La Nina cycles obviously have a significant impact on specific areas of the Pacific, don't they simply move the earths heat around without any generation as such.

If it only moved heat around laterally across the surface then you wouldn't expect a change in global average tempreature. But since ENSO also affects vertical ocean currents, which can temporarily alter total heat content within that sliver of area called the 'surface' (where global average temperature measurements are taken), you can get temperature fluctuations on a global scale even if total system heat content remains constant.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

TomDOT.
My daddy always said "the definition of 'easy' is 'someone else has to do it'" To call combined cycle "cheep and easy" is to fly in the face of the 30 projects that I know of that rejected it as not economic even with tax incentives. The one project where the economics "worked" was a demonstration project that the CEO said "alternatives be damned, we are going to find the real benefits of combined cycle by building one". He lost his job, but the plant was built and it was a model of thermodynamic efficiency and 30 years later the ROI is about where a conventional plant would have been at 13 years.

As to natural gas as a motor fuel, I've been on three trials of that as well and they have all failed miserably. The refueling options are very high risk of both personal injury and significant loss of product, the vehicle range per "tank" is inadequate, and all the versions I've seen have paid an unacceptable power penalty.

Coal is the most abundant energy supply on the planet. Using coal for stationary power just makes sense from any viewpoint with a rational basis. Environmentalists hate the use of coal more than they would hate stoking a fire with baby seals. This hatred is not based on reality, just on prejudice. There are many other threads on eng-tips.com where this unreasoned bias has been discussed, so I'm not going into it again here.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

David,

How long ago were you looking at combined cycle NG plants? I'm thinking the "teething problems" are mostly worked out, as there are a fair number in operation here in Texas, and more are being built.

A couple of current projects:

http://www.lcra.org/energy/power/facilities/fergus...

http://www.elp.com/index/display/article-display.a...

I don't know about the Temple project, but LCRA has already been running a combined-cycle NG plant since 2001, so they're not going into this build blind.

http://www.lcra.org/energy/power/facilities/lostpi...

I admit that I haven't driven a CNG vehicle. I do have perhaps 5,000 miles in propane vehicles. Even with propane, the fueling was less convenient than traditional liquid fuels. Still NBD, but different. Making sure I had refueling locations was more of a hassle than the refueling itself.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
Public transit doesn't actually reduce carbon emissions that much, if you actually do the energy budget. You still burn the coal, and then there's power transmission losses, and inefficiency of the trains, and the fact that the trains aren't always full, and getting to/from the trains, etc, etc. But it sure would reduce smog.

As a resident of Atlanta, I think we need to reduce emissions so I can breathe better and so my 1 year old son doesn't develop asthma from the crappy air quality. There's plenty of reasons to reduce emissions that have nothing to do with Global Warming. My fear with the environmentalist movement, is they've hitched their entire wagon to a GW crisis that doesn't exist, and when the science finally falls flat on it, the whole movement will suffer.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The last one I saw rejected in the design stage was May, 2012, (it was another Engineer's project that I saw after the decision was made) it started out as a gas turbine to generate power for the grid and then all the pumps and compressors within the plant would be steam. The final design had all the pumps and compressors running on individual natural gas engines or grid power. As I recall this conventional design had a ROI that was nearly three times the combined cycle ROI.

We keep trying to do one-size-fits-all projects and a Swiss Army Knife is rarely the best economics, it is just a series of good-enough compromises. I have never been involved in building a facility whose primary purpose is power generation. Maybe there is a part of that kind of project that combined cycle fits perfectly and results in stellar economics. For providing power to an energy-intensive process facility the square peg just doesn't fit in the round hole (the killer is usually the cost of the genset and boiler compared to the price you get for the electricity).

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"the whole movement will suffer" I must say "GOOD". I had occasion to read a number of e-NGO responses to a proposed EPA regulation and I became convinced that the e-NGO's involved (28 of the biggest) could not care less about the environment--their primary agenda is punishing industry. One of the EPA proposals that we were able to get removed from the regulation would have resulted in significantly more air pollution than current practices, made the e-NGO's so mad that they threatened suit to have the high-polluting technique added back into the regulation. These guy do not speak for any community that cares about preventing harm to the environment. If the e-NGO's are the voice of the "movement" then the movement needs to suffer badly.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
Many NGOs certainly have a seriously warped agenda. Can't argue with that.

There needs to be a sensible middle ground somewhere. That's becoming harder and harder to find in today's political climate of choice-between-false-extremes.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

beej87, I'd like to see any energy budget that shows that it's even CLOSE to as energy efficient to move people one to a car than on a train. The carbon efficiency of trains is definitely far higher, regardless of fuel choice for either vehicle. Electric rail offers vastly less rolling resistance and frontal area by far, as well as easy regenerative braking so the mass of the vehicle matters much less- it's a hands-down winner as a means to move people for the least energy. And on a smog generation basis, public transit wins by a huge margin. Buses? They're more than a little dodgier from an energy efficiency perspective- they don't win unless they're nearly full most of the time, or unless they're electric trolley busses.

Cars are faster, destination to destination, as long as the public purse keeps building and maintaining roads. They're also more convenient, again provided you're not stranded in gridlock that a train could help you to avoid.

Nobody- not individuals or businesses- is going to substantially change the way they consume energy until they have a significant economic driving force to do so. You can't run an energy system on subsidy, so it has to be at least as much stick as carrot to work. I favour carbon taxes rather than cap and trade because they're simpler and less likely to be defrauded or to make the parasitic "financial services class" any richer than they already are. I also favour carbon taxes because the environmental impact of a fossil fuel tends to increase with increasing ratio of carbon to hydrogen. Taxes need to go into dedicated funds rather than general revenue, so that the tax revenue helps fund the switchover to more energy-efficient alternatives. I don't like carbon sequestration- it's too energy consumptive- so I wouldn't give credit for it.

Massive change is needed. Cities built around the car need to densify rather than sprawl further over farmland. Huge investments in buildings, transit, power generation etc. need to be made. But there will be plenty of benefits which come along with kicking the fossil monkey off our backs. We won't eliminate fossil fuels use ever- but we will deter the purely wasteful portion of it if we ever get the political will to give it a serious try.

Is gas part of the transition? Definitely. It's finite but it's also hard to use for transport, so stationary uses make far more sense than wasting most of it in an attempt to convert it to liquid fuels or even crazier, hydrogen as a vehicle fuel. The same goes for woody biomass- dumb to make liquid fuels out of it, when it's a perfectly good solid fuel we've been using for millenia.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Anybody watch last nights' Frontline (PBS) program on the change in public opinion on GW? I expected it to be pretty slanted, and wasn't disappointed:)

Regards,

Mike

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Zdas, I wasn't suggesting the typical 'stick an NG tank in the trunk' conversion of an ordinary vehicle.

My understanding is there are already millions of NG vehicles vehicles worldwide.

Interesting what you said about the safety etc. concerns of refueling, I will admit I was under the impression these had mostly been addressed.

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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
Moltenmetal, you're not considering losses at the power plant and losses in the grid, nor how much energy it takes to run empty trains around all day. In terms of CO2 released, they're actually quite similar, for a power grid that's mostly coal. I still prefer trains because there's less surface pollution.

The same sort of thing crops up when you look at electric cars on a true carbon budget. They're not zero carbon even if they burn no gas. Electricity has to come from somewhere, and in the US that's largely coal.

Again, I'm not a huge fan of the presumption that all or even most global warming is due to anthropogenic carbon. I think the hydrologic cycle and the changes in land cover over the past two hundred years play a huge part, and aren't being studied hardly at all. I sure would like less smog though.

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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I've seen studies, and gas power generation isen't as cheep as coal.

I've looked into turning down my thermostat, and my family had more colds and such, and the offset to higher doctor bills is turn the thermostst back up.

I looked into public transportation and the issue with colds and such as above poped up, because of waiting at bus stops, as well as walking to and from. And those buses are not electric, and we don't want those over head wires in our view of the sourounding area.
Don't get me wrong, I want to get out of my car, it just dosen't make economic since for me to do so.

I still think the whole AWG thing is a tax reason the goverment is trying to sell the public. Becasue if it waswen't a tax thing we would find alternitives to applying taxes.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Guys, you need to look at recent data when talking about this stuff. US electric production is not "mostly coal." It hasn't been "mostly coal" for approaching a decade. The shift was slow at first, but has accelerated rapidly the past couple of years due at least in part to cheap NG.

For 2010, coal was 45% of electricity production.
For 2011, coal was 42% of electricity production.
For the first 6 months of 2012, coal was only 35% of electricity production.

http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/se...

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

http://automobiles.honda.com/civic-natural-gas/spe...

~ 250 miles on a tank of CNG. You can buy one today- $26k MSRP.

Perfect technology? Certainly not- but if the differential between oil and gas prices stays as high as it is, you'll be seeing a lot more of these on the road, and a lot more stations to fuel them.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2
TomDOT,
I look at that data and see that the 2012 coal generating capacity is basically the same number as the 1999 coal generating capacity and read it as "it has become nearly impossible for a new coal generating plant to be built in this country so we will build natural gas plants regardless of the projected cost of natural gas, or we won't build at all". Mostly we don't build at all, and I expect that we are less than a decade away from a major electric-capacity crises. The statistics in this case clearly say that the percentage of power generated from coal-fired plants is a declining percentage of total U.S. power generation.

What is subject to interpretation is why? Natural gas fired plants take about 7-12 years from start of Engineering to on-line. 7 years ago natural gas was $12/MMBTU with every single projection (including a couple that I wrote) expecting over $20 by 2012. At the same time coal was about $1.60/MMBTU projected to go to about $3.90/MMBTU by 2012 (low SO2 coal was $2.55/MMBTU start of August, 2012). Why in the world would anyone start a new power plant in 2005 for first production in 2012 assuming a fuel price of $20/MMBTU? Two reasons: (1) there was simply no way to get a permit for a new coal-fired plant in 2005; and (2) fuel price is a passthru on your electric bill so the utilities don't care. On a level playing field there is no way the projects coming on line today would have been funded.

The current very low natural gas price has nearly nothing to do with the shift away from coal for power generation--no one thinks it is permanent. The acceleration you mention is just timing of projects coming on line from the time the EPA got extra stupid during the Clinton years.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

  • i can see that coal is more than all other fossil fuels combined, plus nuclear
  • petroleum has dropped off significantly and largely replaced by NG (environmental permitting issues plus cost)
  • no new nukes recently due to the same permitting issues as stated previously
  • hydroelectric has not been expanded, even though it is "renewable" again this is a permitting issue
  • wind has increased dramatically, mostly because of tax breaks - but to be fair it is less than 5% of coal
  • solar PV is remarkably insignificant, not sure why so much fuss about it being able to reduce global warming. I think it's only being pushed for for political reasons...

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Cranky.

I think it is pretty well proven that within reason cold temperatures do not cause colds. It's people huddling together in confined spaces when looking for warmth or whatever other reason that aids in the spread of airborne virus that causes the spread of colds.

Riding in a modern commercial aircraft results in high incidence of colds and they are warm.

I would suggest that riding in the actual bus is a much greater risk of catching cold rather than the walk in the fresh air going to the bus stop.

As to turning down the A/C in winter, wearing a light weight comfortable sweater would fix that so long as the thermostat was set not to low.

Regards
Pat
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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

One aspect to this issue that makes it hard to discuss is that the whole thing is a statistical study.
All the variables that are inputs are subject to random fluctuations and the outputs are subject to random
fluctuations. This makes the item brought up by the OP a complicated question. Is this 15 year segment proof
of anything??
But more importantly how can we have 'proof' when the experiment can only be done once. We have to settle down
to dealing with probabilities of occurrences weighted by their impact.
Any global temperature charts show what appears to us as chaotic up/down movements that we cannot as yet deterministically
model so we have to fall back on statistical models of these patterns. So is the 15 year lack of significant heating
significant??
We assume i think that the greenhouse gas warming model would be something like this.
T=T_nominal + T_greenhouse*K*CO2_concentration + V

V is a random chaotic component that is assumed unchanged by greenhouse gasses, if not then roll its effect into
the model itself.

The V random component has then always been there causing chaotic behavior in times prior to GHG injection.
So if one was to capture the essence of this random behavior and superimpose it onto the projected trend line
of warming would there be likely periods of 15-20 year flatness or even downturn. Without actually digging in
very deeply one could just slice a period of the temp chart from pre GHG era and try sticking onto the warming
trend to see what happens. From a casual inspection of the chart prior to GHG era it looks like there may well
be 15-20 year flat periods. Of course that creates the question of how long a flat period is necessary to start
indicating a flaw in the warming hypothesis. Statistical analysis of the pre GHG charts would be a good place to start.

Also I would like to hear ZDAS04 reply to BRAD1979 concerning the Earths temp as inferred by Stephan Boltzman law.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2dye4,
This is the 8th or 9th iteration of this discussion. I've read through all of them a couple of times and have yet to find a single instance of a single person changing their hard-felt beliefs. Not one. Ever.

I read the Wikipedia article on the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. While Wiki is not my favorite source for technical information, it is often in the ballpark. I was OK with the article until I got to the part about the temperature of the earth that uses the "greenhouse effect" as a plug value to explain why the average temperature is 30C or so higher than the "Law" predicts. It really did read like a "multiply times zero and add the answer you want" kind of exercise. A more technical analysis would probably avoid that silliness, but I don't care enough to go find one. I don't know why it has to be a "greenhouse effect" and not a "shielding effect" (i.e. without the atmosphere a greater portion of the sun's energy would reach the earth and boil us all) which would say that more mass in the atmosphere would be cooling instead of heating. The data supports that foolishness as easily as it supports the greenhouse stuff.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

For the record, the Wikipedia article you mention does talk about albedo (that roughly 30% of solar radiation isn't absorbed by the earth). I assume this is what you meant by "shielding effect." Also, the article mentions the average temperature the earth would be with neither albedo nor the greenhouse effect - 279 K (42 F). This is a long ways from "boiling us all." It's actually a bit chilly. And instead of guessing what more technical analyses say, you could read them (here and here, for example) or I can briefly tell you what they say. They go into more detail about how they use satellites to observe different wavelength radiation coming from the sun and coming from the earth. They go into more detail about how this data is combined with data from radiation measured from the earth's surface. They look at the difference between the radiation emitted from the sun and absorbed at the earth's surface. And they look at the difference between the radiation emitted from the earth and that is emitted into space at the top of the earth's atmosphere. They break it down by each greenhouse gas and determine the effect each has on radiation absorption. And on and on in more detail than I'm sure you care about.

I will repeat what I said above, though ... this is well-accepted science that is only denied by random people on message boards who don't know any better.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

from your 1st ref ... "With a straightforward scheme for allocating overlaps, we find that water vapour is the dominant contributor (~50% of the effect), followed by clouds (~25%) and then CO2 with ~20%. ... In a doubled CO2 scenario, this allocation is essentially unchanged, even though the magnitude of the total greenhouse effect is significantly larger than the initial radiative forcing, ..."

from your 2nd ref "Ample physical evidence shows that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the single most important climate-relevant greenhouse gas in Earth's atmosphere." ...

game on !

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I believe that the reason some people say that "CO2 is the single most important ..." is because they haven't figured out how to tax water vapor or clouds.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

rb1957,

Both those papers together make it clear that while CO2 accounts for only about ~20% of greenhouse gasses, it is still the most important greenhouse gas when it comes to climate.

zdas04,

You also believe the earth would be boiling us all if it absorbed all the energy the sun radiated at it but that is patently false.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Maybe, but the moon is on average the same distance from the sun as the earth and the temperature on the sun-side surface of the moon has been measured at 107C. Seems kind of boiling to me. And what I actually said was:

Quote (zdas04 25 Oct 12 12:39)

I don't know why it has to be a "greenhouse effect" and not a "shielding effect" (i.e. without the atmosphere a greater portion of the sun's energy would reach the earth and boil us all) which would say that more mass in the atmosphere would be cooling instead of heating. The data supports that foolishness as easily as it supports the greenhouse stuff.

What part of "The data supports that foolishness as easily as it supports the greenhouse stuff" leads you to claim that I believe that hypothesis?

"Patently false" is kind of a strong statement about a hypotheses that can actually be demonstrated on a nearby planetary body. I guess "true" can only be applied to unprovable hypotheses. Reducing complex physical phenomena to sound bytes is a good way to look like a fool.

I don't actually have a dog in this race. There is an AGW hypotheses on the table that has reached the status of a religion in the world. An hypotheses is a very good thing. But it needs to stand up to independent scrutiny. This particular hypotheses has the characteristic of being very very easy for people to relate to. It has the further characteristic of encouraging hysteria. A one-two punch that is devastating to the practice of science. Neither characteristic necessarily makes it "wrong". But neither characteristic necessarily makes it "right" either. The big problem is that it is so easy to demonize anyone who doesn't accept it as whole cloth and genuflect before the altar. This results in manipulated data, "tweaked" computer models, modifications of honest work (after submittal, without the author's knowledge) by powerful people with an agenda, and actual career harm to people who want to do honest work. The religion of AGW has reached a status where it must be resisted by everyone who has not been inducted into the religion if the economies of the world are to survive (yes, that is pretty dramatic, it is also based on solid data, I can't tell you with confidence how the climate works, but I can tell you how Cap & Trade works by looking at the graft and theft in the existing programs).

A couple of years ago I was contracted to do a "carbon emissions inventory" for a major producer for an EPA trial project (that eventually became the U.S. inventory for Oil & Gas). There were 12 companies in the study and my data was 1/8 of the total. There are a number of unknowable values. One number was truly impossible to quantify with installed equipment (because the duration of the event was much shorter than the latency of the measurement device). I made a note that this number could not be quantitatively determined and estimated 500,000 tonnes/year based on average frequency and average duration. I got a call from the lady at the EPA who said the the number "looks like I made it up". I said "I did make it up, see note 34". She said "I understand that, but it shouldn't look like you made it up". I replied "should I have made it 497,531.2 tonnes instead, it is just a made up number around a half million tonnes". She said that that would be much better and asked me to resubmit. That is the quality of the carbon inventory that countries are building tax schemes upon. Pardon me if I am terrified.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"We assume i think that the greenhouse gas warming model would be something like this.
T=T_nominal + T_greenhouse*K*CO2_concentration + V
"
I think you mean T=T_nominal + K*CO2_concentration + V


but a better fit is T=T_nominal + K2*log(CO2_concentration) + V

The reason being that so far as greenhouse is concerned the atmosphere already has more than enough CO2 to do its wavelength blocking/absorbing job, and the extra CO2 only affects things higher in the atmosphere, where it has less effect. That's why they talk about the temperature rise per doubling of CO2 concentration.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
Tom,

If you're crafting an argument specifically about carbon balance, I don't know that a shift from coal to natural gas really makes any difference. It's still carbon.

As I say above, I suspect that carbon release is a much smaller part of global warming than people are letting on, but even if you presume it's primarily responsible, a fully electric car is not carbon free, nor is the train. And the efficiency losses in the power plant, the transmission system, and the car (or empty train) all need to be accounted for if you're going to do an honest comparison. That's all I was saying. I like electric cars because I dislike smog, and I also dislike having my country's economy tied at the hip to a global commodity produced in the Middle East.

I'm still waiting for a link to a computer model showing that the United States unilaterally adopting Goldman Sachs Carbon Trading would end global warming. If anybody finds one, please post it.

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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Coal has a somewhat higher carbon to hydrogen ratio than does natural gas.

Both carbon and hydrogen release energy when burned in oxygen so energy to carbon ratio is better for natural gas.

Regards
Pat
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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

David: again with the @#*)() water vapour again! You're willfully blind to the fact that you can't create a sustained increase the water concentration in the atmosphere merely by putting more water vapour into it! Its concentration is controlled by fast physical equilibria.

You CAN create a sustained increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration. It's proven by measurements- we've done it. The earth will re-absorb it on the geological timescale if we stop pumping the carbon it previously sequestered BACK into the atmosphere, but on the geological timescale, humans are only a blip.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

David,

The data actually supports both - some radiation from the sun is reflected back into space (what you call "shielding") and some radiation from the earth is absorbed by atmospheric gases (greenhouse effect).

Pat,

I believe that what Tom was saying above had to do with the CO2 to energy released ratio. If you look at this chart which lists kilograms of CO2 released per MJ of energy for different resources, coal is approximately 40% higher than natural gas.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Hello, beej!

As Pat mentioned - while both natural gas and coal power plants put carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, burning natural gas puts less of it in the atmosphere per unit of electricity produced.

Burning natural gas also puts out a lot less SO2, mercury, NOx, particulates, et cetera when compared to coal.

On the flip side, the concrete guys are really perturbed at the concept of having less fly ash available (Specifically Class F fly ash.) It's become a critical component in really durable concrete, at least around here.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Why does AGW seem more like creeping socialism? And the fact that China, a communest country, dosen't intend to do anything about it, just lends more belivability to it being a socialist vehical.

Not at all does this make me believe we should ignore the issue increassing energy wasting. But it does make me believe we need industry based solutions, not goverment based solutions.

So I ask, where are the solutions? Goverment has no new ideas, just new taxes, or givaways to favored people. Where are the inovative people who are willing to take risks on new ideas? The problem here is in our faces, it is goverment stiffeling by lawsuites.

To the comment above, NOx production is a result of flame tempeature, not fuel used. So to say coal produces more NOx, is only true because of the burner design. Sad commentary is that many utilities are not willing to upgrade there burners, because of the EPA rules on other things found in the coal that is burned, like Sulfer and mercury.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Moltenmetal,
I do know a bit about the way that water in its various states react with gases. It is a subject that I regularly teach. In the lexicon of AGW, water vapor is the primary component of greenhouse gases. Why the $%^$^$ shouldn't we talk about it? I say that we don't talk about it because we can't regulate/tax it. Any gas in contact with a coherent liquid surface will be at 100% relative humidity at that interface. The mass of water vapor that constitutes that RH point is based on local temperature and pressure. If the globe is warming, then the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere increases dramatically. The tonnes of water vapor increase per day for a 0.5C temperature increase is at least one order of magnitude higher than the tonnes of human-sourced CO2 added per day (and could be several orders of magnitude higher, researchers disagree).

That "fast physical equilibra" you mention is simply not ever at equilibrium in the atmosphere. I've designed a half dozen evaporation ponds (that all have worked to design oddly enough) that rely totally on the fact that the bulk of the atmosphere is never at equilibrium (i.e. 100% RH well away from a coherent gas/liquid interface). Even in a rainstorm the raindrops loose mass to evaporation in the air.

I say the CO2 discussion is trying to tame a flea on an elephant's butt. But we can vilify the flea while admiring the elephant even though the amount of harm that the elephant can do is significantly greater than the flea's potential to do harm.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Cranky,
The solution to waste lies with you and me. We have to design innovative stuff, and we have to try to educate the regulators. I just spent a year working on the second one and had some huge successes (9 stupid regulations were discarded and 6 others with significantly modified to actually reduce waste instead of giving lip service to failed ideas) through participation with the API Clean Air Issues Group and the EPA.

A device I'm patenting removes natural gas from liquid streams at a pressure high enough to allow it to enter the sales stream without additional compression--20 of these units have been installed to date and they recover an average of 25 MSCF/day (4000 tonne/year of methane not vented, and $0.5 million/year of additional sales at today's gas prices).

As Engineers it is our job to look at every task every day and ask if there is a cost effective way to waste less energy, less fuel, and/or less money. If we don't do it it won't get done.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The motivation to waste less depends on the price of the commodity we're trying to conserve being sufficiently high to make it "worth" conserving. Fight the market and you will lose. While it may be high enough at present for some innovations to be economical, it will be even moreso if we put a tipping charge on atmospheric emissions from fuels production and use by taxing the fuels themselves. Regulations would be needed to deal with in-producton waste such as venting and flaring. Methane venting is a biggie: vented methane is far worse than vented CO2, so congratulations David on your innovation.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)

Quote:

David: again with the @#*)() water vapour again! You're willfully blind to the fact that you can't create a sustained increase the water concentration in the atmosphere merely by putting more water vapour into it! Its concentration is controlled by fast physical equilibria.

Sure. But then it makes clouds, and clouds make weather, and weather dissipates heat through other physical processes such as Hurricane Sandy. Clouds also block the sun, which change the albedo. I am highly skeptical that these factors, particularly the affects cloud cover variation have on albedo, have been appropriately accounted for in the GW models all the atmo chemists are using to predict Doom. While I'll disagree with zdas on a lot of stuff, he's dead on that the atmosphere is absolutely not ever in equilibrium in terms of water vapor absorbed. The fact that the troposphere is unstable moves water, and moving water makes rain via pseudo-adiabatic lifting. And that process dissipates energy. Any global warming computer model that makes the assumption of water vapor being governed completely by 'fast physical equilibria' has serious flaws, because it's modeling the climate while intentionally disregarding the weather.

Regardless, we have pretty clear evidence according to some pretty smart people that the Doom models are "seriously flawed" in some way or another. And I still haven't seen a model, even a Doom model, that shows that a "Carbon Cap And Trade" policy by the US Government will stop global warming. Still patiently waiting for that link.

Quote:

As Pat mentioned - while both natural gas and coal power plants put carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, burning natural gas puts less of it in the atmosphere per unit of electricity produced.

Burning natural gas also puts out a lot less SO2, mercury, NOx, particulates, et cetera when compared to coal.

I don't object to natural gas, and I'm not going to argue with stoichiometry. But it still releases carbon. If you believe that carbon release warms the planet, then natural gas warms the planet. And if you do a carbon budget of electricity generated by natural gas, less plant efficiency, less grid efficiency, less train/Prius efficiency, the carbon impact isn't hugely different between a gasoline car and an electric car charged by burning natural gas a hundred miles away. If carbon is the boogy man, we not only need Chevy Volts, but we also need a complete conversion of baseline power generation to nuclear. But as I say, I don't think carbon is the boogy man everyone's making it out to be.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

beej67,

Out of curiosity, what is the "pretty clear evidence" that the models are flawed?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I just went back and read an earlier post of mine and saw that I said

Quote (ZDAS04)

If the globe is warming, then the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere increases dramatically. The tonnes of water vapor increase per day for a 0.5C temperature increase is at least one order of magnitude higher than the tonnes of human-sourced CO2 added per day (and could be several orders of magnitude higher, researchers disagree).

This made me think about feedback loops. Higher temperature means more water vapor (physical fact, verifiable on any scale chosen). According to the AGW hypotheses, more greenhouse gases means accelerated warming. Which means more water vapor. Doesn't that read like a positive feedback loop? Aren't positive feedback loops inherently unstable? Doesn't that imply that the AGW hypotheses is patently wrong? Is it really that simple?

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

@brad, maybe the 2nd post on this thread is a clue ... "Professor Judith Curry, who is the head of the climate science department at America’s prestigious Georgia Tech university, told The Mail on Sunday that it was clear that the computer models used to predict future warming were ‘deeply flawed’."

unrelated ... i wonder if this is the first time that GT has been referred to as "prestigious" ?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

==> i wonder if this is the first time that GT has been referred to as "prestigious" ?.
According to US News and World Report annual ranking of national universities (http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best...), overall GT comes in at #36. As for the graduate school, the Engineering Graduate School is ranked as #4 in the country, and the Earth Science comes in at #45.
Georgia Tech is a very good school.

Good Luck
--------------
As a circle of light increases so does the circumference of darkness around it. - Albert Einstein

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

not saying GT is not a good school, but unfortunately, the US News ranking does very little to rank the schools on the basis of research or technical competency, it does however include analysis of

Undergraduate academic reputation (22.5 percent for National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges; 25 percent for Regional Universities and Regional Colleges):

Retention (20 percent for the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges and 25 percent for Regional Universities and Regional Colleges):

Faculty resources (20 percent):
Faculty salary (35 percent) is the average faculty pay, plus benefits, during the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years, adjusted for regional differences in the cost of living using indexes from the consulting firm Runzheimer International. We also weigh the proportion of professors with the highest degree in their fields (15 percent), the student-faculty ratio (5 percent), and the proportion of faculty who are full time (5 percent).

Student selectivity (15 percent):
Financial resources (10 percent):
Graduation rate performance (7.5 percent;
Alumni giving rate (5 percent):

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

David: no, your statement about positive feedback does not disprove the greenhouse effect (obviously the GAIN matters a great deal David!) Rather, it makes it clear that others should take your pronouncements on the subject with an appropriate measure of salt, as this statement (and others you've made) betrays significant ignorance with respect to the topic. No offence is intended to you by saying this: there is quite a bit of subject matter unrelated to this topic in which your opinion is very well informed and hence very valuable to me.

As to the accuracy of the climactic models used to predict the effect of CO2 emissions: all that matters to me is that the people who are the most in the know in relation to the planet's energy balance are seriously concerned about the risk posed by doubling the CO2 concentration, much less increasing it at the rate that we continue to do. But even if you, like I, are suspicious that such a system is too complex to model in anything but the coarsest terms, that is no argument to merely ACCEPT the risk that our CO2 emissions represent as inevitable or to dismiss the effects as insignificant. It is similarly not a reasonable argument to say that because any measures we take to reduce CO2 emissions will be partial, they are necessarily automatic failures and hence not worth attempting. You can argue that the cost is not proportional to the potential harm, but then again you need to estimate the harm, and the real cost of the mitigating measures, to make that argument. My retort to that is simple: if we later discover that CO2 has no negative effects worth worrying about, we can start burning fossil carbon again with gusto. Not so easy to put the CO2 back into the ground after the fact, though- there's a minor matter of entropy to contend with.

You can similarly argue that developing the international concensus to act in a meaningful way to mitigate CO2 emissions is too difficult, and I'd agree with you. The willingness of so many engineers on this forum to throw out the informed scientific consensus on this subject based on rather amateur theorizing and the odd Google search or article from a dodgy UK news outlet is ample evidence to me that we're screwed. I sincerely wish it were not so.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The comment from above "Clouds also block the sun, which change the albedo", which leads me to ask, Are there other ways to change the albedo?

Several ways possible, add dust to the air, increase or decrease the amount of vegestation, or as simple as paint to increase reflectivity.

Why is this given less importance than increases taxes?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
On Georgia Tech...

Tech gets slayed in the "overall" US News rankings because USNWR gives bonus points to schools like Stanford that are impossible to fail out of as long as you have enough money. GT leads the nation in diploma %ROI: (sort by column 6)
http://www.payscale.com/college-education-value

#3 Civil Engineering program in the country:
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/...

#1 IE:
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/...#

#4 Aerospace:
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/...

#5 EE:
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/...

#6 Comp E:
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/...

#6 ME:
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/...

#2 Biomed:
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/...

#10 Chem EL
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/...

#6 EnvE:
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/...

etc. etc.

So I guess it depends on how you define "prestigious." In your field, rb1957, it is more prestigious than everywhere except Stanford, Cal Tech, and MIT. In my field, we beat all three of them. While the ranking of the EAS program isn't as high as the engineering programs, it should be clear that the head of the program isn't a quack. You don't have to go out on a limb to say the models are "flawed" when models make very specific predictions and those predictions fail to come true, given that the point of a model is to predict things.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Moltenmetal,
You and I will never agree on this subject. You seem to revere people that I find to be self-serving manipulators of data.

Your basic statement that:

Quote (moltenmetal)

if we later discover that CO2 has no negative effects worth worrying about, we can start burning fossil carbon again with gusto. Not so easy to put the CO2 back into the ground after the fact, though- there's a minor matter of entropy to contend with

Sounds to me much like the hypothetical argument that "testicular cancer occurs in a significant portion of the population, so castration must be mandatory for all men past 40 years old". If someone where to propose that STUPID idea, we would not run blindly off of that cliff to implement it; we would stone them. Kyoto and subsequent "carbon taxes" and "cap and trade" scheme are on track to decapitate economies as "preventive medicine".

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
Cranky - the biggest way to change the albedo of the earth is to spread a few billion humans across it and tell them to chop down forests, proliferate agriculture, and build cities. And that effect correlates with human expansion as good or better than CO2 emissions does. Something to think about, anyway. And albedo effects, combined with the effects of direct heat, can actually be seen, instead of merely theorized upon. Google "urban heat island" for more information.

Quote:

The willingness of so many engineers on this forum to throw out the informed scientific consensus on this subject based on rather amateur theorizing and the odd Google search or article from a dodgy UK news outlet is ample evidence to me that we're screwed.

I'm willing to question it based on the authority of the respected academics quoted in the article, and on the data the article presents. The funny thing about your "informed scientific consensus" is they all get paid for saying the same thing, and the more they say it, the more they get paid. And the ultimate benefactor of their work is a very rich bank (Goldman Sachs) that has positioned itself to make billions of dollars in a faked up "carbon credit" market as soon as they can donate enough money to senators to pass cap/trade as a policy, despite no model ever showing that cap/trade will have any effect on the environment, and the models we do have being unable to predict warming trends.

Something very important we learn in water policy, is you never propose a policy without some agreed upon understanding (model) of what result that policy is going to have. There is no such thing, AFAIK, for carbon cap/trade. Nobody knows if it'll do squat, yet that link is conveniently ignored in the public discussion.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I'm amused by the fact that so far in this thread global warming has been accused of being both creeping socialism and also a plot to increase corporate profit by Goldman Sachs.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

If increases in `greenhouse gas` concentrations ALWAYS results in positive feedback (more heat means more water vapor means more heat trapped...), then the FIRST (and every one thereafter) natural bump in such gases should have created a runaway temperature effect, which does not seem to be the case.

Conversely, albedo-affecting events, like Krakatoa, that reflect away heat should have created a runaway ice age, which does not seem to be the case.

The answer is the obvious: It is a very complex set of complex relationships that are subject to a bewildering array of unknown.

We are basing REAL WORLD reactions on a sets of data that are defended like a religion. You just gotta have faith. Whenever someone challenges the data, or conclusions, or provide alternative data or conclusions, they are labeled HERETIC or `oil company stooge` and thrown under an eco-friendly bus.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I`m going to have to go with the equally valid conclusions of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM):
{It is an actual (tongue-in-cheek) theory, google for it...}

Global warming has been caused by a worldwide shortage of Pirates.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Brad179,
I don't see the disconnect. I look to the old USSR where there was socialism for the masses and a hell of a good lifestyle for the commissars. In this case the masses get significantly poorer while a very small minority harvest trillions (not billions) of dollars for taking a "small" percentage off of every cap and trade transaction (and there will be a LOT of transactions, many of which will have VERY large bottom lines.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Well the lack of cooling over the last few years may correlate with activity off Somalia.

Given the developments in that country over the last year one might think that piracy will decrease a bit over the next few years.

Keep watching your thermometers.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

You don't see the disconnect between global warming being creeping socialism and global warming being part of a plot by a huge corporation to increase profits?


I'm still amused.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

No, because I see practical socialism as a plot by a small number to enslave the masses for their own good. If that small group is the commissars then you have the "USSR" protecting the peasants from capitalism. If it is Goldman Sacs it is "Cap and Trade" protecting the world from AGW. No diff.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
I think anyone who sees the trends in Washington as "socialism" is forgetting the definition of the term. Socialism is the government owning the means of production. What we are moving rapidly towards, is the means of production (or rather of money itself) owning the government. Different beast with similar effects, once they start using government influence to sell to the government (defense industry) or worse, passing laws to force us to buy their flawed products (light bulbs, Robamacare). It's not government obfuscation of the free market as in socialism, it's corporate obfuscation of the free market. A socialist would not, for instance, appoint the ex VP of Montsanto to head the FDA.

But that's really got very little to do with the topic.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

if you ask me, GW is being caused by too many pirates ... only pirates wearing Really good suits, travelling to Really exotic places, and preaching "give us your money and we'll save you (from yourselves)" ... dogbert couldn't've come up with a better scam.

i've posed the question before, how much personal insurance do you have ? how much medical insurance ? how much are you willing to pay (and not to pay) for risks that will directly impact you ? now someone comes along selling insurance against becoming a UFO hostage/abductee, how much would they get ? or non-traditional medical operatives (could be witch doctors) ? i guess we'd feel a little more comfortable if we could see carbon taxes contributing to something meanful about the problem, but i don't see that feedback.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

That's sort of funny, because some people see the goverment as an insurance company for all of those things (My guess would be a non-profit insurance company). The problem I have is the sales tactics of there sales force.

Simular to GW stuff. I don't mind being greener, but ask me to pay more because you have closed down all the alternitives is not a great sales moto. Yes I have some of those free light bulbs, but they don't fit several on the fixtures in my home.

Just like the suggestion that I should keep my tires aired up. I don't check them between oil changes, because it costs money to add a few pounds of air to my tires. Someone do the economic analysis as the the proper interval to air up my tires consitering the cost to air up my tires is $1.25, and I can air them up for free every oil change.

In the end many people will be greener, but the cost to become green today is beyond many peoples means.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Cranky,

A simple google search leads you to your answers, see the article from the DOE http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/maintain.shtml

Above you said that turning the thermostat down a couple of degrees caused an outbreak of colds in your home (which someone else pointed out has been shown to not be related), now you say that $1.25 is a deal breaker...

Also, let me (try to) get this straight, some of you feel that political action to attempt to lessen or prevent CAGW is a socialist/plutocracy/<insert some extreme political/economic ideology> conspiracy that will strip you of your freedom and bankrupt the masses, based on what exactly? Yet you dismiss papers which support the theory of CAGW (based on imperical and model demonstrated data) as "dooms day" alarmists? I'm with Brad, the irony is amusing.

Now, I like the discussion on the science itself (from both sides) but when we start saying that a carbon tax or cap-and-trade will lead to some dystopic society, I get a little short. Yes, there are costs associated with trying to lessen our CO2 emmissions but be reasonable people.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

place tongue in cheek...

Villagers: (enter yelling) A witch! A witch! We've found a witch! Burn her! Burn her!

(After Sir Bedimere gets the crowd to admit that they dressed her up as a witch, their only basis for accusing her is that one of them claims that she turned him into a newt. But because he "got better", they need some way of determining her guilt).

Bedimere: there are ways of telling if she's a witch. What do you do with witches?

Villagers: Burn them!

Bedimere: And what do you burn, apart from witches?

Villagers: Wood?

Bedimere: Right! So why do witches burn?

Villagers: Because they're made of wood?

Bedimere: Right! . Now, what else do you do with wood?

Villagers: Build bridges with it!

Bedimere: But do we not also build bridges from stone; does wood float in water?

Villagers: Yes.

Bedimere: And what else floats in water?

King Arthur: (after more confused suggestions from the villagers) A duck!

Bedimere: Right! So, if she weighs the same as a duck, she'd float in water, and she must be made of wood, so.

Villagers: A witch! Burn her!

(They weigh the woman on a large scale with a duck in the other balancing basket, but inexplicably the scales do not tilt one way or the other. As the villagers drag the woman away, the witch looks at the camera and says with resignation "it was a fair court".)

Bedimere: (to King Arthur) Who are you who are so wise in the ways of science?




This scene from the Monty Python film describes, in a general way, some of the confusions and irrationalities which can arise when scientific logic interacts with the law. The faultiness of the logic employed is obvious, but the scientifically educated judge/lawyer sways the crowd with a logical (sounding) theory. Further convinced by the appearance and opinions of a scientific expert (King Arthur) they proceed to reach the same conclusion that they were previously inclined to make. The defendant is guilty.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

If people are all worried about socialism/capitalist plots to take our money, perhaps a first step would be to stop subsidizing all fossil fuels immediately? And maybe the folks here would prefer the carbon fee and dividend idea that puts money directly back into your pockets rather than going to the government?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I was going to step back and let this thread go where it would go, but that "subsidizing all fossil fuels" garbage just can't stand. All of these "subsidies" are specific language in the tax code to take the place of an energy policy. For example, congress passed something called the Section 179 tax credit to provide incentive for oil companies to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to develop unconventional gas resources. Without the Section 179 tax credits we would not have developed the technology required to produce CBM and Shale gas. Without CBM in 1995, natural gas prices would have been $8/MCF instead of $1/MCF. Without Shale Gas, you would certainly be paying over $30/MCF/day with 80% of it coming from LNG. But the tax code was effective for once and the industry risked the money to develop these very difficult plays.

Call it a subsidy if you want, but since your government has proven absolutely unable to craft a coherent energy policy, the only way they have to affect a change in direction is the tax code. That is where these incredibly complex "loopholes" come from. The industry did not ask for them. Without Section 179 we would have spent those hundreds of billions overseas and developed higher return prospects. The system of tax credits, exemptions, and abatements that are currently being vilified by the President have been the reason that we have moved toward energy independence (not far enough, but farther than I thought possible). Eliminate them all and some (non trivial) amount of industry investment will head for higher return projects in China, India, and Brazil. Shale gas in Europe looks pretty attractive.

Don't vilify the people who are following the letter and intent of the law. If you don't like the way that Congress has chosen to back door an energy policy, throw them out and get a Congress that can implement a non-tax infrastructure for and Energy Policy that leads to Energy Independence. If a company is "not paying taxes", then they are following the law and filing the deductions and credits that Congress intended them to file. No crimes. No games. Just following the rules that were in place when the decisions were made.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2
I get it. When the government taxes me and gives my money to fossil fuel companies, its for "development" and "independence" but if the government were to tax companies for carbon use, its "wealth redistribution" and "rape" against the citizens of our country. Makes perfect sense.

And I think it is pretty well understood that a subsidy is any assistance paid to a business or producer and can include both direct handouts but also tax breaks, rebates, etc. There's nothing wrong with my word choice there. And lets be honest here, fossil fuel companies don't just get tax breaks/deductions they get grants, low interest loans, favorable trade restrictions, etc.

And of course I'm well aware that fossil fuel prices would be way higher without the subsidies. My point of course wasn't that I necessarily want to get rid of all incentives but rather to point out that if you are going to insist that the government taxing carbon to the benefit of Goldman Sachs is socialism, then you should also insist that the government taxing me to the benefit of oil companies is also socialism. The reality, of course, is that neither of them are socialism.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I don't condone or like the US tax system, I was simply explaining that our beloved Congress passed laws to provide incentives for companies to do certain actions. It is irresponsible for that same government to turn those companies into villains because they followed the law. If there really are any grants and/or low interest loans to oil companies I sure never included that data in any economics I ever ran in over 30 years in the industry, but maybe I missed them. My experience has been that payments to local, state, and federal governments was over 30% and sometimes as much as 50% of total gross revenue. That is after all this "corporate welfare". The last year I worked for someone else, BP's total tax bill was well over $2 billion AFTER taking advantage of every tax incentive they were due. Yeah you pay all kinds of taxes so the oil companies can skate.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

David, I'm not sure where your numbers are coming from.

BP's gross revenue was $234 billion last year.

You're saying both that they paid "well over" $2 billion and 30-50%.

I guess that $70-$177 billion is still "well over" - but my impression from your post is that it was under $3 billion.

Did you mean gross income? ($34 Billion)

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I'm talking about 2002, the last full year I worked for them. I have the 2002 annual report open in front of me and the gross operating margin was $10.2 billion. Taxes were $4.2 billion (I remembered that they were over $ 2 billion, just not how much over and I didn't want to overstate them). My calculator says that that is over 40%. Return on capital employed (ROCE) was just over 20% like most years (if Apple ever fell from its current 47% to 20% ROCE it would be a crises and they'd fire everyone in management, but that is a mid-pack number for a major oil company, it takes a lot of capital to produce oil and gas).

The $234 billion number you quoted must have been what the Brits call "turnover" or all cash in the door regardless of source. No one calls that "revenue", it is a pretty meaningless number by itself (i.e., if I have $234 come in and my bills are $240, then I might as well have had nothing come in because the business is not sustainable).

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Sort of ironic that disruptive tax breaks to oil companies are bad, but disruptive tax breaks to wind and solar companies are not.

While disruptive fossel fuel production is a problem for the GW people, disruptive energy production by solar and wind is a problem for utilities who are required to buy this unstable stuff.

I think the political term that is avoided here is Fasisuam (sp?), where the goverment dosen't own things, but attempts to control them none the less.

The clue to this is the goverments attempt to restrict coal sales to over seas (control and no GW motive).

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Revenue and turnover can be used interchangeably IIRC.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2
Most of the "tax subsidies" for oil and gas businesses are tax credits that each and every business can use - depreciation accounted as an expense against income, regular expenses against income, etc. Most western countries' tax code is so convoluted that to single out one industry as receiving a "subsidy" is a little off-the-mark. In that context, all industries receive subsidies. Furthermore, most oil and gas companies pay royalties. In Canada, these royalties may be as much as 25% of the GROSS revenue (not net, but gross). This is the payment from the oil company to the owner of the resource (the people in trust to the government) for the extraction of the resource. In some cases that expense does NOT receive preferential tax treatment (as it might in other industries)...

As zdas04 said - the calculus years ago was to offer additional tax incentives for specific development. It is likely fair to say that without these incentives, certain resources would not have been developed, and the overall tax revenue would be less than it is right now. So, no, there are no tax revenues going to oil companies - there is more overall tax revenue coming in because of some of these incentives. These were decisions that previous governments made based on overall revenue (the number that actually matters for governments) and not marginal tax rates.

Also, as zdas04 pointed out, these companies aren't dealing with chump change - even junior to mid-sized oil companies have billions of dollars to invest. That aggregate hundreds of billions of dollars (every year) is spent on equipment - bought around the world, and labour - split between engineering and field labour. Much of that field labour is union. Ever wonder why, despite the so-called "left" blathering on about AGW, you never hear from the unions? I'll tell you why - they know who pays the bills - and mostly they don't want to shoot themselves in the pocket-book. (BTW, I'm talking about the unions such as the Boilermakers, Pipefitters, Ironworkers, Electricians, Energy and Communications Workers, among others. Heck, even the Autoworkers know which side their bread is buttered on...).

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

zdas04, I sure hope you're behind the effort to repeal the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Why would you want to repeal the 17th?

Good Luck
--------------
As a circle of light increases so does the circumference of darkness around it. - Albert Einstein

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I kind of understand the Tea Party's reasons for wanting to repeal the 17th amendment (increase the power of the state legislatures and begin to shift governance back to states, counties, and municipalities where the Framers of the Constutiution expected it to be), but that movement is so easy to discredit (the issues are far too subtle for a sound byte which is the total attention span of the U.S. electorate) that there is no way it gets traction. I'm not a founder or even a member of that movement.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I'm not involved but I like the idea and think it's a good one. The US Senate should be responsible to the states and the higher chamber of Congress.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Repeal the "gift of greed that only big goverment could love".

We have all seen what has happened to the price of cars due to the mandates for better fuel mileage, safety, and less smog. I predict the same for every thing else that we add such mandates for.
The eventual outcome will be more homeless people, or more people on goverment assistince, because prices for basic things will be beyond there means.

Taxes don't help, because they just increase the price of the goods being purchased. Which will accelerate the above process.

Now maybe it's just me, but I don't like that outcome. On the other hand, a total repeal of many of these laws is not a good solution either.
However, if the states decide there own course, some will work out better than others. And then we will see better ideas to better correct the problems.

Make the states compete, and may the best set of laws win.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
Any changes to how federal representatives are selected should make lobbying more difficult, not easier. With direct elections, we at least have the ability to 'throw the bums out,' which wouldn't be the case with a repeal of the 17th amendment. One of the funniest things about the movement to repeal the 17th, is that it would make it more difficult for the Tea Party or other fringe groups to be represented. It's a political entrenchment scheme, not the other way around. Just one of several ways the existing powers have infiltrated the Tea Party and bent it towards their own goals.

But again, totally off topic.

Anyone found a model that shows global warming stopping by the U.S. unilaterally implementing carbon trading yet? Figured I'd check.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

There is a very simple solution to the complexity of the tax code--most of the complexity is in corporate taxes, so repeal corporate taxes. Altogether. Don't take them to zero because then they would still need corporate tax departments. The outcome would be:
  • Companies would have 20-30% more cash
  • Since companies really don't have much use for mistresses, nose candy, or other expensive vices that people are subject to, their uses of this "windfall" are:
    • Pay dividends (which are fully taxable to individuals, dividends paid to companies restart this loop)
    • Increase capital spending (which employs all kinds of folks)
    • Increase staff (or salaries of existing staff)
    • Reduce prices
    • Invest it in places like the stock market or buying stuff
I have a hard time seeing how any of that would be bad. When you look at the multiplier effect of money spent in the economy, the net result to government income is an increase if you leave that money in the private sector, and everyone can stop whining about "corporate welfare" or "tax loopholes". Without something that radical you are never going to get an improvement in government financial performance.

When I was an under graduate I took an Econometrics class that had a class project of tracing a chunk of money into and out of a business with and without corporate income taxes. We had to trace the money through many hypothetical hands until the impacts were under $1/transaction. End result was government revenue almost doubled by eliminating the taxes. It also removed a huge lever that the government uses to influence corporate behavior (how many people would be developing corn-to-ethanol facilities without tax incentives? The government seems to think that ethanol is a good thing so they would lose a significant motivator)

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

david,

as sensible as that sounds it'll never fly ...
government is giving a hand-out to the businesses by giving them a tax holiday ! ...
personal taxes will have to increase to cover the difference will be the rest of the story (wrongly as your analysis predicts).

possbily they could roll out something for samll cap businesses (like mine), then maybe i'd buy a starbucks every so often ?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

As long as we are on the topic of taxes, someone once told me; if we increase taxes on something, we will have less of it. However, if we subsitise something we have more of it. So in that vain, we should tax what we want less of, and subsitise what we want more of.

We should tax unemployment, and joblessness. People will find ways around this tax by creating useless jobs.
We should tax non-voters. I doubt the non-voters will vote agenst it.
We should tax cars that are not well maintained (burned out headlights etc.).
We should tax voter poling, and political ads.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

hence we're subsidising windmills and eco-conferences (in exotic locations) and taxing nukes (in someone else's backyard)

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote (cranky108)

We should tax voter poling, and political ads.

I think I have seen the promised land through cranky's inspired vision.

If we stuck our two US presidential candidates with a 35 percent tax on their campaign war chests, we could provide free medical care to a mid-size city for eternity.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

nah .. political ads would become info-mercials ... wait ! let's tax infomercials ... they're Way more annoying !!

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Compilation of energy facts

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

under "fossil fuel facts" ...

The United States has 261 billion tons of coal in its proved coal reserves.

and

The United States has 486 billion tons of coal in its demonstrated reserve base,

uh ? jargon ? "proven reserves" sounds like "demonstrated reserves"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"demonstrated" means "proven+probable". These are very specific terminology used due to financial system (stock market) requirements.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

quite typical of any mined resource, boards of directors are not quite so willing to fund mine expansions for probable or inferred resources as they are for proven and mineable ore and for good reason. and speculators like to know what kind of mining stock they are buying as wild claims have been based on "un-proven" or "inferred" resources in the past.

•Probable reserves - Valuable mineralization not sampled enough to accurately estimate the terms of tonnage and grade. Also called “indicated reserves.”

•Proven reserves - Reserves that have been sampled extensively by closely spaced diamond drill holes and developed by underground workings in sufficient detail to render an accurate estimation of grade and tonnage. Also called “measured reserves”.

•Resource -The calculated amount of material in a mineral deposit, classified as measured, indicated, or inferred, based on the density of drill hole information used.

without a workable mine plan, none of the resources are considered "mineable"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Just to round out the discussion. In Oil & Gas we mostly have three categories:
  • Proved developed: resources that can be economically extracted at current costs and prices with current technology and infrastructure for sales currently exists
  • Proved undeveloped: resources that can be economically extracted at current costs and prices with current technology and infrastructure for sales currently does not exist
  • Indicated additional: resources that could reasonably be extracted in a different cost/price scenario with reasonably expected technology
For our stuff, the price/cost thing is a big deal with the SEC.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

In the oil and gas area is there a measure of reserves attanable in a short duration?
If there were an estimated 30% unavailable (PFA number), how much is available gas or oil can be pulled from the ground?

My question is because what I heard from a gas guy down the hall claming the oil and gas people are a bunch of liers, because despite all the reserves, there isen't enough holes in the ground to extract the oil and gas fast enough to support a larger fleet of gas/ electric plants.
(Not my clame, but I ask because I want to know if anyone can verify).

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Most of the world thinks that Oil & Gas people are a bunch of liers. Nothing new there. I worked on preparing the SEC 10K reports for Amoco for 10 years, and I'll tell you that the SEC reserves definitions are set in concrete and companies play games with them at the company's peril (we were audited by some pretty sharp guys 8 years out of 10).

Reserves numbers do not have a time horizon. If a well is producing 25 MCF/day economically, is not declining, and has 275 MMCF of Proved Developed Reserves then it can be reasonably expected that it will take 30 years to recover the reserves. That 275 MMCF number might only be 10% of the actual gas in the ground, but the company feels that the other 90% is not economically recoverable (e.g., they might feel that the integrity of the production casing might only be 30 years and they haven't figured out an economic way to increase rate, and the well doesn't make enough gas to justify the capital to drill a replacement). If economic conditions change then all of those assumptions are revisited. Originally oil companies felt that at $5/bbl they would recover about 20% of the original oil in place in the Permian Basin of West Texas and East New Mexico. At $20/bbl companies decided that setting pumps might be cost effective and raised the number to 35%. At $30/bbl water floods became economic and the recovery increased towards 40%. As oil prices were approaching $100/bbl in the mid-1980's the companies decided that a CO2 flood made sense and upped the reserves to nearly 50% of original oil in place. Same resource, different economic climates.

In terms of gas to supply an increasing electric demand, your friend is both right and wrong. At today's (depressed) natural gas prices, no one is drilling development gas wells so a new plant coming on line will not spur an increase in supply. If the price doubles (to around $6/MCF) there are absolutely an adequate number of identified, leased drilling sites and existing gas-delivery infrastructure to satisfy any generator-construction schedule envisioned.

The price is low today because of a glut of gas from the new shale gas plays. Those fields are running at a small fraction of their potential and swamping the U.S. gas market (and international markets are closed due to EPA taking decades to approve export facilities). At a decent price to the producers there is plenty of gas, but what does a "decent price" do to the economics of gas-fired electric generation? Mostly the tipping point is around $5/MCF where the economics favor coal. At around $10/MCF the economics favor both coal and fuel oil over gas for electric generation. At less than $6/MCF the drilling economics favor oil drilling.

So I guess if someone turns on a multi-megawatt gas-fired station and finds that gas price has gone up, we are big fat liers yet again. The mainstream news outlets will be all over what liers we are and Congress will start hearings. Emotion will trump economics yet again and Congress will have to "do something" probably something stupid like price controls or "windfall profits taxes" both of which have historically shut down drilling regardless of pricing (silly emotions control both sides of the coin).

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Thank you zdas. Here's our delima, if we decide to build a new power plant, and shut down an existing plant, it takes anywhere from 2 to 15 years to do that, depending on the type of plant. So fuel mix is one of the starting consiterations (I'm not in this decision process, but I am in as much as educating the public). What is the future price of each fuel type?
Solar is only available during the day, wind just isen't here, or exists mostly at nights, so neather are dependable. Hydro electric is expencive, and you must have a place for the water to come from and go to. So these can be a part of the mix of fuel, but we can't hang our hats on them.
Coal is the big question, and in existing plants is cheep, even with scrubber technology. It is doubtful in this climate if we can build any more of these.
Gas plants are inexpencive, in relation to other plant types, but are locked in to the fuel.

Mixed fuel plants, like coal or gas, or even oil, are possible but are essentually a coal plant with modifacations.
Gas or oil plants are like gas plants, but with modifacations.

Then there are small IC plants which burn oil or gas, but are inefficent.

Then there is the perceptions of plant type, cost of energy, and locations.

Personally the better plant decision is to keep older coal plants and add the technology to clean up the nonvisable exaust. And using long term contracts to better stablize the cost of fuel. Some people will argue the economics, but they can put comparable numbers on the table.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I can't tell you with any confidence what the price was on Monday of this week, let alone in 15 years. If it is still $3/MCF then all the big gas players (who are currently operating gas fields at a net income that barely covers direct costs with no contribution to overhead or capital recovery) will not still be in the gas business. So throw that number out. If prices increase at the historical inflation rate then status quo would be about $5.50/MCF in 15 years, still a project to run away from. Guessing what the price really will do requires assumptions about lease activity (and lease jeopardy), government activity (new regulations, permits for export facilities, permits for gas-to-liquids plants, etc), and assumptions about inflation. If you nailed any one of those three guesses you'd be a hero in some fields, but for Oil & Gas missing any of them is catastrophic.

Historically, natural gas has sold (on an energy basis) for about 1/10th of the price of oil. Today it is 1/20th. All of the fuel-switchable facilities in the U.S. have been switched to gas since the price cratered in 2008. When the price was hovering around 1/10, many fuel-switchable facilities would switch on a weekly basis. Made for some interesting gas-control issues.

If you look at coal as a percentage of energy use it has been declining dramatically for the last 10 years. If you look at total electrical output from coal plants it has been flat over the same period. This says to me that nobody can get a permit for a new coal plant and all new facilities have been gas or gas/oil fuel switchable. If a couple of big export facilities open and add a couple of dollars to the cost of gas (one has permits in hand and expects to be exporting next year, 8 others are in the permit process) then the "fuel charge" on electric bills for both residential and commercial electric bills will exceed the basic electric bill again (like in 2007). Utilities don't care what fuel price is because it is a passthru for them, it matters to the consumers and therefore to the regulators. The absolute nonsense that came out of state and federal regulators and law makers in 2007 to stop the "gouging" really put a damper on drilling. That will happen again. It is hard to tell if it will be bad enough to impact drilling this time, probably not if two additional export facilities get permits, probably if no new permits are issued by this anti-business EPA.

Bottom line is that your company has long-term decisions to make in a very turbulent economic climate with several game changers on the horizon. There really never has been a time that that wasn't true. If it was my money I would bet on the thing that I can actually get a permit to build--gas fired, combined cycle. The combined cycle part is pretty important as a hedge against fuel price swings (it is rare for typical economics to favor combined cycle, but I'm thinking that I can permit a combined cycle plant with 20-30% more confidence that I'll get a permit, which probably tweaks the economics towards positive).

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Well, I had thought that I partake in too much irrational , cynical thinking, but after reading the above posts, it seems to be a common pastime with many people.

One would think that a group of persons educated in the scientific method would find a calm, rational , reasoned, deliberate method of solving a technical question, but I guess not.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

What's needed is a rational, reasoned, deliberate regulatory and economic climate within which to solve the technical problems. That's what we don't have.

Regards,

Mike

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

A little more information you don't have is that not ALL switchable gas/coal has been switched to gas. In fact far from it. Coal is just that much cheeper than gas.

I have seen some attempts to switch some coal to wood waste, but the processing of wood for the burner just isen't the same (and clogs up the works). But most of this isen't for cost reasons, unless you consiter the cost of landfill. The reason is we don't know what to do with it.

With the low cost of combined cycle plants, and the cost of coal, I don't understand why coal gassification hasen't cought on (because no one wants plant #1).

I also don't understand why there isen't more pre-treatment of coal to reduce sulfer (I also don't understand the chemistry).

But I have seen more interest in natural gas vehicle fuel. I have also heard of devices for home refueling of natural gas vehicles (described as plug in).

Suprising we haven't heard of Natural gas hybreds.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I didn't say that. I said that all oil/gas switchable has been switched to gas. The coal/gas switchable plants have very different economics than oil/gas--I think because the price/BTU is closer to historical ratios (which strongly favor coal) than oil/gas is right now.

Natural gas is a really difficult motor fuel. The weight of pressure vessels is a big economy hit. Home fueling stations have a lot of hair on them (going from 10 inH2O to 3600 psig is a 5 stage recip, expect a fire or explosion per 10,000 fueling hours). Commercial fueling stations typically run at over 6,000 psig to be able to fill a tank in a reasonable time, you really don't want your stoner nephew maintaining something like that. At the end of the day CNG or LNG vehicles only make economic sense at about a 1/15 ratio (on a cost/BTU basis) between gas and gasoline/diesel. Currently it is 1/20 and natural gas vehicles are attractive. Historically it is 1/10 and gas as a motor fuel has terrible economics. Gas-to-liquids has a bit different economics and you can make gasoline or diesel from $10/MCF gas and make a profit in a $60/bbl crude market. Without Shale Oil, GTL is the best choice by far. Shale oil has the potential to drive U.S. crude prices under $60/bbl and big GTL plant economics gets a bit iffy. The wild card is LNG export. As I keep saying, that is a difficult permit to obtain.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Cranky: Seems to me that it's a lot easier to get sulfur out of a gas mixture, than out of a solid. Probably that simple.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

It is at least an order of magnitude easier to get sulfur out of gas than it is to get it out of coal on a cost per cleaned BTU basis. And most natural gas in the ground doesn't have even a trace of sulfur in it.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

No sulfur, no mercury, no ash left after combustion, much smaller extraction footprint and half the carbon per BTU.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Has anyone calculated how many trees that would be, and given the growth time, how big of an area it would take? Then calculcated the average transportation cost?
This is why waste wood burning is an idea that may work. It has a negitive cost of land fill, and it only suplements existing fuels. It's not a solution, except to landfill, but reduces other fuels.
Which is why I don't understand why it was never pushed as a home heating idea.

Something strange about natural gas, and yet required with coal is the NOx requirements. Does a low NOx burner for coal put out more NOx than a low NOx burner for natural gas? If not, why are NOx requirements different for the two fuels?

Several years ago coal pre-treatment was going to save the world. Now it is not used.

Dry wall is not necessarly made from coal ash. It is made from Gysium, which is a mined gunk from the earth. It was supose to be lower cost than plaster and lath, and even plywood. Dosen't seem like that now. It is a breathing hazzard if it is airborn, and fills our land fills. However it does leave a hole where it is mined.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I have seen the pyrolysis products from burning wood under various conditions. It varies quite a bit by species and amount of drying and available oxygen when burning and temperatures at the source, but anyway you look at it, it makes coal look real clean. After reading, you no longer fear being actually burned to death in a wood house fire as except in very unusual circumstance you will be poisoned well before your burned.

Regards
Pat
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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Pat - it certainly can be a nice-smelling cocktail of volatile poisons when burned at the correct ratios. :D

The major losers I see in an "end of coal" scenario are the concrete folks. Modern durable concrete is quite dependent on Class F fly ash: a waste product from burning coal for power, particularly dirtier coal. The need is quite acute in areas with ASR-susceptible aggregate sources.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Are you telling me you haven't seen those stoves that burn compressed wood pellets? At times they can be cheeper than Propane.

The theory of using natural gas works well if you live in a town, but for many rural people it is not available. I guess we could ask them to burn coal, and they would if the price was right, but the current usage of coal in power production keeps the price to high.

The issue is not just fixing problems, but also managing unintended reactions.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

and bunnies of course ...

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I assume this is simular to the rats introduced to many pacific islands. Not that they were intended to be introduced, but they jumped ships.

Or like the dodo birds.

Damage is done. Move on and try to improve things.
Not that I wish to be cold and ignore the past, learn from it and move on (unless you are wanting to take some legal action). Yes I get it that GMO foods may be harmful.

Sad to say that it takes many a men to clean up the mess a few of us make. But making wild clames with wild solutions only tends to desentizise people to the real problems. This is the problem with headline media.
Make solutions affordable, scalable, and workable.


RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

My point was that history should have taught us to be very very careful before we introduce something new or foreign into the environment as it's very hard indeed to put the Gene back in the bottle.

Regards
Pat
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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

? when did we talk about "introduce something new or foreign into the environment" ?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Like my example above about rats on pacific islands. We did not introduce the rats to the islands, they sort of hitched a ride. It is very difficult to prevent those hitch a ride conditions.

Once those conditions happen, all you can do is control. These frogs I assume they have a natural control in there orginal enviroment. Has any one given any thought to that?

We as humans exceeded the earths natural ability to provide for us some time back, so we have to make changes to survive at the levels we do. But there seems to be cutoff point, and that is afflunce. It seems as we gain to a level, of political, money, or something, we are tending to not reproduce as quickly. The birth rates in several afflunte countries are droping. I'm sure exactly what it is, something in the water, or political pundits that bore us to headakes.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I think dropping fertility rates has to do with birth control, social security as we age (we don't need a tribe of kids to support us) and education and the fewer kids we have the more we can invest in each. In the modern developed world that investment is at a much higher per head cost.

Regards
Pat
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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

An interesting, if dubious, claim I read today was that "If we want to restrict the global temperature rise to 2 degrees C then 80% of the carbon and hydrocarbon reserves currently identified will have to remain in the ground".

There are three fairly enormous assumptions in that sentence, but the general idea is quite interesting, IF CO2 is actually responsible for the temperature rise. Because, quite simply it ain't gonna happen. 5 billion people want our standard of living and the only way they get even a quarter of the way there is on the back of coal, oil and gas.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Just a thought, but binding carbon dosen't mean we can't use it. Maybe a bad example, but if we shiped coal to the middle east, where they combine it with the natural gas they are flaring now, and they make plastic pellets that become used in plastic everything. If that plastic stuff is used in our homes, or is land filled, we have used it, but not released it.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Another "useful" binding method is to compost - sure, you lose some of the carbon, but you store quite a bit of it in the soil where it encourages additional plant growth, which captures more carbon. A more long-term method is to charcoal waste wood, then use that as a soil enrichment. Worked for centuries in the Amazon. Charcoaling dramatically improves the in-soil durability of the wood.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Using the logic of the Global Warming advocates, who most believe we had an ice age. If so, how did the ice melt before green house gases were introduced?
Never got a good answer on that one.

Global Warming, climate change, whatever you want to call it is a farse to make a few rich by selling carbon emission tickets to the highest bidder. Wake up folks! The guy (can't recall his name) that pushed this from the 1970's works for China now!

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The answer to the question that I think you are asking is Milankovitch cycles. I'm not sure what the purpose of your question is, however, since this is widely known (even by climate scientists).

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Let us at least be honest and think there might be something that comes out of releasing all this carbon into the air. So what if we make a little effort, not as large as the enviromentalst want, but a little effore in that direction. Whats the cost, and do we gain anything?

I also would like to know what I gain with the extra 500 lbs of smog stuff under the hood of my car. It looks like so much stuff I don't really need. What does it do?

If the enviromentlests really are interested in carbon in the air, one would wonder why they are not for nucular power.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The 500 lb of smog stuff (more like 90 lb I suspect) stops the emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and particulate carbon (soot)(if diesel) into the atmosphere. On balance it increases the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.

Here's what the chairman of the IPCC said about AGW:" In a 5000-word interview with Nature he said it was not the global warming threat but something more important. “I am not going to rest easy until I have articulated in every possible forum the need to bring about major structural changes in economic growth and development. That’s the real issue. Climate change is just a part of it”. The “major structural changes” he wants involve transferring wealth from the West to developing countries—such as India—leading to a convergence of living standards. The West thereby pays for its past sins of emission."

So technical solutions such as nuclear are not acceptable to the true believers as they won't bring our lifestyle standards down.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I worked on the Oil & Gas industry response (via the API) to a major revision to the Clean Air Act a couple of years ago. The first draft was utter garbage and we were able to eradicate a number of requirements that would have actually increased the amount of crap in the air if they had been implemented. In doing that work I had to review thousands of pages of comments from the e-NGO's and came away from that horrible experience with a conviction that the e-NGO's could not care less about the environment--their only goal is punishing industry. That is it. When they are confronted with raw (unadulterated) test data on the results of some of the stupider components of the legislation they disregarded it and filed suit against the EPA to have it added back in. These people are truly septic.

As to CO2 in the air, I've read 5-6 studies in the last couple of years that hypothesize that CO2 is a lagging indicator of climate change, not a leading indicator. In other words, something causes the earth to warm, the permafrost retreats, the organic material that was frozen in the last ice age thaws and begins biological decomposition which releases the CO2 to the atmosphere. The resolution of the time scale of the ice cores is coarse enough to support either leading or lagging. All the other data sources are course enough to support either leading or lagging. One thing is for certain, there is a staggeringly large mass of frozen organic material in the permafrost. No one disputes that. No one disputes that as the earth goes into a warming cycle, the permafrost is going to retreat.

One article that I read (I couldn't find the link a few minutes ago so I'm going from memory here) said that if CO2 was a cause of warming (instead of an effect of warming), then the mass of organic material in the permafrost would create a positive feedback loop that would fry the planet within a few decades. That loop goes something like: (1) Human generated CO2 creates a slight increase in temperature; (2) the permafrost retreats a small amount, releasing a large quantity of CO2; (3) the temperature increases further; (4) permafrost retreats more; (5) in a few cycles the permafrost is gone and the poles are tropical. The poles are not tropical, ergo CO2 didn't start a positive feedback loop.

I don't know if this hypotheses is any better than the "Greenhouse Gas" hypotheses, but I've seen positive feedback loops and they go out of control in a few hundred cycles--the earth has had millions of cycles.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote (zdas04)

As to CO2 in the air, I've read 5-6 studies in the last couple of years that hypothesize that CO2 is a lagging indicator of climate change...
Current scientific thought is that CO2 both leads and lags. Historically, in the Southern hemisphere, temperature rise led CO2 while in the northern hemisphere CO2 led temperature rise. Here is a paper that discusses it and here is a good summary of that paper.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I read the links Brad, and the "proof" provided by "thousands of Monte Carlo simulations", "Climate Models prove", and hanging the label of "myth" on an alternate hypotheses are simply not compelling. I've been a modeler for 25 years and I know that every model ever written includes the biases of the author. Even when honest people (and there are many honest people on both sides of this discussion) make a concerted effort to remove the biases the biases remain. Models and simulations can point to areas of fruitful investigation, but they simply do not prove anything. The links were interesting reading, but quite dismissive and more than a little condescending.

I followed a link within the second link to the "denier's myths" and got quite offended at the bald statements that were patently untrue, but presented as "facts". If you say "97% of ____ believe ____" 40 or 50 times then the repetition must make it true, right? What a sleazy trick. I stand by the statement in my signature that "Belief is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data". I don't care what anyone "believes". Computer models and adulterated data cannot prove anything.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I don't disagree with you about biases, but what biases do you see in that paper? It's one thing to say "I know that every model ever written includes the biases of the author" and quite another thing to show what those biases are and how it affects their conclusion. You can't just say "everybody's biased" and then ignore the science without giving a reason.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Yes everyone comes to the table with bagage, that's a given. However I don't call that a biases, that is intended. Intended biases seems to always be followed by wildly expencive solutions. Or maybe that is just the lack of any other thinking.

I really am not so concerned about CO2 as I don't see the proof. But reducing energy consumption also isen't a bad thing. There is room for solar and wind, but not to the claimed extents. And why are we giving tax breaks to wind and solar. They are economicly viable in nich markets, but maybe not in the general market at this time.

The biggest waste is that we don't use the low grade heat from power plants for anything. No distrect heating, highway deicing, nothing. The only application I have seen where the low grade heat was used was an ethonol plant, where they used it to dry the fermentated grain at the end of the process.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

cranky, at least some of the new natural gas power plants are combined cycle - sure, there is still some low grade heat wasted. It is lessened over the older plants.

Do you envision installing more of the localized steam heat systems as a use for the low-grade waste heat? Most power plants are now pretty far out from city centers, so buildout costs and line losses are sure to be a big concern.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2

Quote (cranky108)


And why are we giving tax breaks to wind and solar.

Why are we still giving tax breaks to oil companies?

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

If this "debate" is going to be resurrected, it should be in a new thread.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Cranky, there is a lot of evidence that CO2 is harmful, both as a green house gas affecting the energy imbalance and as a contributor to ocean acidification.

Satellite data (NASA’s IRIS satellite and others) show less long wave radiation leaving Earth’s atmosphere, specifically along wavelength bands associated with CO2. This is not theorized through models, it’s empirically demonstrated. Further to this, a nice list of papers demonstrating, through experiments, that CO2’s absorption properties cause it to trap longwave radiation can be found here .

CO2 has also been shown to increase ocean acidification. A study (Hoegh-Guldberg et al, 2007) concluded that the increases in CO2 levels since the pre-industrial period lead to a decrease in coral growth by 40% as carbonate-ion concentrations decrease. This has major effects on marine ecosystems.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

there's been So much published on this that you can find "a report" that supports (or refutes) any statement.

IMHO there's too much politics involved with the science, opinions (on both sides of the debate) are too strongly held to allow debate (hence believers and deniers).

again, IMHO, we should be investing more in fusion research as the only viable long term energy solution. for me terrestrial solutions (solar panels, wind mills, etc) aren't a long term solution, given that climates change over time (and so what is a good location now, might not be so good in 100 years). i might give you geothermal, but this is very much a fringe contributor for the global total energy requirements.

but if we can't agree on something as "simple" as gun control, what hope is there ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Why would we ever agree on gun control, or even agree to discuss it in this forum. Leave it out of this.

I'm still confused on the oil and gas tax credits. Some of these look like depletion tax credits that are involved in all mining activitity. So why is a tax credit for depletion of a salt well any different than an oil well?

Agreed that some of the waste heat from a combined cycle plant is reused, but the combined cycle plants are some what short lived. So any more heat extraction may not be feasable. And the plant I was talking about above was a combined cycle, except the steam wasen't used for production of electricty.

As I said I can go along with reduction of energy usage, as long as you are reasonable with the alternitives.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years


Quote:

As I said I can go along with reduction of energy usage, as long as you are reasonable with the alternitives.


so who gets to define what is reasonable and based on what logic? consumers will conserve without any government intervention.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"consumers will conserve without any government intervention" ... nah they won't ... they'll bitch as the price goes up, they might buy into the manufacturers claims about improved efficiency but there are still a lot of "clapped out" cars on the road "'cause that's all i can afford". and there's the delusion of buying a more efficient car and driving at 140km (and expecting to get 40+ mpg) and sprinting to the next red light ...

my opinion is that global warming was created as a "bogie man" to get people to be more "green" 'cause they weren't doing it on their own. and a secondary motive might have been a small group trying to control a large group, to get them to do things their way.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

i turn off the lights when i leave the room. carpool when i can. recycle. since i have defined what is reasonable to me, than it follows that I am doing my share. i don't need anybody else telling me how to do it better

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Hum... 212 responses... Subject has hit the boiling point?
Well, cvg... Big Fat Al Gore would disagree. You need to be taxed and pay your fair share toward helping the earth cool down.
I believe he's talked to the younger generation telling them they know more than their parents. I'm one of these older parents
that have forgotten more than all these youngsters know.

IMHO, I have no HO. The scientists can spend their days proving this and that, like if a string has one end how do I prove
it has another. But, not to worry the POTUS has NASA working on this subject and Charlie Bolden has been told that NASA has
to prove the case for Global Warming. --- G-pa Dave pipe

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

John Baker
How often do you have to drop that particular turd in the punchbowl? Tax credits are used by our government to provide incentives for companies to act in (what Congress feels) is the best interest of society. Congress passed what came be be known as the Section 29 Tax Rebate in 1988. This provided tax relief for companies that drilled new unconventional gas wells (that no one knew how to produce). In 1988, unconventional gas made up less than 1% of total U.S. gas production. Today it is approaching 80%. We never would have learned how to produce CBM without the tax incentives to mitigate (very high) risk. Without what we learned in CBM, Shale Gas isn't economic. Without that tax credit we would currently be importing over 80% (instead of under 40%) of our energy and the deficit would be even larger. Was that evil? Was that a bad result? Oil & Gas companies made significant money because they had a way to mitigate the early-days risk.

There have been other tax incentives for the industry that have not worked out as well for the nation as a whole. Mostly those get repealed after it is clear they failed. As a publicly traded company, any Oil & Gas company that does not take full advantage of every tax incentive available is failing in their duty to their shareholders. Congress passed the incentives. To say that they passed them due to unfair pressure from the lobbyists is to say that we have elected a population of greedy, grasping slime to Congress. I have a hard time disagreeing with that, but that is the bucket of slime we have and the rare laws they pass actually are the law of the land. The Democrat party and the President vilifying people who follow the law of the land is unconscionable.

Speaking of tax breaks, did you deduct your mortgage interest from your taxes this year or did you refuse to because tax incentives are evil?

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Boy, you sure read an awful lot into my one sentence comment. Must be a touchy subject with you, eh?

BTW, the argument that you made, "Tax credits are used by our government to provide incentives for companies to act in (what Congress feels) is the best interest of society.", why wouldn't this also apply to tax incentives for investments in wind and solar?

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

There was a lot in that one sentence and I get really tired of industries like (say) semi-conductors, software, or movie production that take advantage of thousands of loopholes and incentives in the tax code while vilifying the Energy industries for doing the same thing.

The tax credits for wind and solar tend to fall into the category of

Quote (zdas04)

There have been other tax incentives for the industry that have not worked out as well for the nation as a whole. Mostly those get repealed after it is clear they failed.
Wind and solar are great retail technologies. I use them on remote wellsites and am happy to access to that technology because the cost of running grid power to these sites is prohibitive and my electrical load is too small to warrant a genset. The problem is that they will never compete with coal, natural gas, or nuclear for supplying grid power on any playing field imaginable. They are just very poor Engineering choices for supplying the grid.

Congress has chosen to forgo a comprehensive energy policy in favor of piecemeal tax incentives/disincentives. It is a choice that our legislators have made and we keep reelecting them, so either the American people don't care or they support this nonsense.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Thank-you Greg! I think "wealth transfer" rather hits the nail on the head. Globalist agenda and all that rot. But then that's another thread sunshine

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Tax credits for wind and solar should have been a declining credit that has an end. I don't doubt there is a nitch that these can fill, but beyond some percentage one the grid these become disruptive to the grid.

Here's a concern, there is no tax incentive to keep these working, so we might end up with a derth of unusable junk. These will either clog the land fills, or will remain as eyesours.
The effect is the tax credit has become a jobs credit, with a pile of junk at the end.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Yet the tax credits for the fossil fuel industry should continue in perpetuity, eh?

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Can't let it rest? The Section 29 Tax Credits I mentioned above went into effect in 1989 and expired in 1999. Just like every tax credit and incentive I've ever known anything about.

Why does a statement like "Tax credits for wind and solar should have been a declining credit that has an end" prompt "Yet the tax credits for the fossil fuel industry should continue in perpetuity, eh?" That is like responding to "the sky is blue" with "Bush was a great President". Unrelated factoids. Congress passes tax loopholes to try to get industry to accomplish tasks that Congress feels are in the public interest. It is the obligation of publicly traded companies to maintain knowledge of these incentives and to take advantage of the ones that make economic sense. How the hell did that become evil?

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I never said it was evil, I was simply questioning why arguments made in favor of tax exemptions in one area of energy production are not equally valid for other complementary areas as well. I must confess though that your comments appear to be totally disingenuous. How else does one explain your total disdain for one set of tax loopholes while in the same breath defending others whose purposes were basically identical, that is providing an incentive to industry for making investments in the development of energy resources here in America.

BTW, I can't think of a single situation where I would ever respond with something like "Bush was a great President" winky smile

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"Tax credits for an industry" is kind of a meaningless concept. Each individual tax incentive had its own reason for creation. Each individual law should be evaluated on its own merit. For example, the Section 179 tax credit allows all industries to accelerate depreciation on certain assets into year one instead of depreciating it over a number of years. The purpose of this loophole is to get companies spending money on replacing capital equipment. This tax credit has worked OK, not wonderful or revolutionary, but it has increased capital spending on certain assets (especially vehicles over 6,000 lbs curb weight). "Renewable Power" has the same access to that loophole as "Oil & Gas" or "Software" or my one-man Engineering firm, but the current administration is working to repeal that tax credit for Oil & Gas while leaving it in place for other industries. That is politics, not policy.

Currently, intangible drilling/mining costs can be expensed instead of capitalized. The administration wants to require Oil & Gas to capitalize these expenses while allowing mining to expense them. In the 33 years I've been paying attention to this stuff, these costs have been capital about 1/3 of the time and expense about 2/3 of the time. It makes a difference for the first 2-3 years after a change, but then cumulative depreciation catches up and the annual write off is the same in either case. This is an example of a "loophole" (actually a technical definition) that is a lot more smoke than heat and if they'd just leave it alone we would all be better off.

On the other hand the tax credit for ethanol have stopped research into alternative oxidents that are not hydrophillic and don't create shortages in the corn and corn byproduct market. I don't think that this renewable tax credit is in the public interest.

Do you see the difference? A broad statement like "Why are we still giving tax breaks to oil companies?" is a really evocative sound byte, but when you dig into the details, the answer is "because that is the closest thing that this country has ever had to an energy policy".

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

My beef is that the tax policy is driving a disruptive technology, that will drive instability in the electric grid. This is wind that is doing this, and less so solar. And besides the tax credits, as if that was not enough, there are now unfunded mandates on utilities to buy wind and solar energy at a higher cost than other forms of energy.

Now one positive thing wind power has done is make a few farmers richer, as well as some fast talking sales people. But the same wind power has increased the cost of other forms of energy because of the instability in power output.

So wy whole point is not just tax credits, but the driving of instability in something almost everyone expects to be stable.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

unintended consequences ? but possibly not unforeseeable ??

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Dave,
I disagree with you about the tax credits, but your last post was really well put. I'd never thought about it the way you put it in the last line.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The bottom line on all tax breaks is that they are a piecemeal way to implement government policy, and tend to be less effective than actually having a long-term policy. The tax breaks for Oil & Gas that are being vilified today can all go away tomorrow. The result will be (we saw this in the Carter administration where Oil & Gas was also the evil villain) will be for capital investment to go overseas. Pretty simple. I can drill for Shale gas in Pennsylvania with a $2/MCF gas market and unfavorable tax rules or I can drill in Indonesia into a $12/MCF LNG market with very favorable tax rules. In the 1970's tens of thousands of companies decided that the later was more effective and most haven't come back to the U.S. Some have, but they're skittish and it doesn't take much Presidential breast beating to drive them to Poland, Indonesia, Viet Nam, etc. I'm already seeing international growth in drilling and production numbers that is disproportionate to what should be U.S. opportunities. Part of that is the foot dragging by the administration on Export licenses, the rest is the rhetoric about taxes.

So, disagree all you want, if the President gets what he wants on the tax credits then energy independence will be pushed back another decade. Oh yeah, there is a nearly 100% probability that the U.S. deficit will be gone and the budget will be balanced within 5 years of becoming a net exporter of energy so let's just keep beating that horse till he lays down and won't pull the cart any longer.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

So what happened to the biomass people? Why haven't we heard from them in the energy market?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I don't know. Biogenic natural gas plus extracting heat directly from compost is the only "renewable" that makes sense for the past, present, and future. The stuff is going to decompose anyway, I love the idea of using the low-grade heat and the gases. Many dairy farms in cold country have cut their barn heating bill to zero and are generating a fair bit of their electricity from biomass. That is a place where accelerated depreciation would be in the public interest.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

cranky, which biomass folks are you talking about?

Those that want directly to burn bio matter such as switch grass, straw etc. to generate power? Or ar you including the ones that process the biomass be it regular ethanol, cellulose ethanol, or allowing it to compost etc.?

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Well I wasen't thinking of burning anything directly. Wood has been around for a long time, so what's the difference if we burn wood or grass?

There were projects with converting switch grass, and maybe wood to ethonol. What happened?

I know of a few power plants that have adapted some of there burners to accept wood, and the limit seems to be the crushers ability to cursh the wood to a small enough size without cloging.

The idea to convert maneure to methane looks like it has the best hope because it is very compatable with natural gas, but the issue it looks like is the volume of matter, and compression.

I just havaen't seen anything lately.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

This month's ASME magazine has an article on energy from trash and they seem to favor (and I agree) that putting gas turbines on top of the source and using the biogenic methane on-site and exporting electricity is way better than burning organic solids. Compression is pretty low grade (less than 3 compression ratios and the compressor end of the turbine can be staged to provide that on the same shaft as the air compressor). Turbine waste heat can be used to accelerate decomposition. It can be a really effective nearly closed system. For retail versions, dairy farms all over the country are installing digesters to quickly turn cow wastes into methane and sterilized fertilizer. These systems seem to make sense with a fairly small number of cows (I don't know the number but is seemed like it was in the dozens not hundreds).

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"ZeaChem says it makes ethanol from wood". Huh. I wonder if they meant to say methanol.

Another government subsidy boondoggle like corn ethanol, IMHO. I don't believe that alcohol can be produced efficiently and economically from low sugar bio material, no matter the spin put on it by the "adherant faithful". We have corn ethanol plants all over Minnesota and the upper midwest being idled and going into bankruptcy. The true cost of ethanol, after buying the LP gas to heat the mashing tanks and distill it is nearly $5 USD per gallon, for an inferior fuel. And now we'll likely have a round of construction of new plants instead of converting the corn facilities. If it is not economically feasible to stand on its own, it should never happen. We are swimming in oil, with well-played market control and the mythical tale of peak oil keeping the price propped up. I see this as merely another feelgood "let's do something".

Now, perhaps if they would use biogas to provide the heat source, that may be a different story altogether.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I came across the following article on TWC (The Weather Channel) about a month ago. Did anyone else here see the article?
If you have already discussed this article please... I beg your pardon.
http://www.weather.com/news/science/environment/gl...

The following paragraph (See below) stated, like a fact, that a 1/3 of the US population thought global warming was a hoax.
It was further stated, like a fact, that 97% of published climate scientists blame humans for global warming. Now it is known
that TWC is owned by the NBC Corporation so there is no bias… Right? pipe

"So, who is more likely to be correct -- the 97% of all publishing climate scientists, who view the evidence as showing that humans
are primarily responsible for global warming? Or the 37% of the public who view global warming as a hoax, who have been subject to a massive
PR campaign by the richest industry in human history, to make them believe just that? I'll go with the 97% of climate scientists."


G-pa Dave --- an old retired, and tired Missile Stressman in Florida

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

At high noon in Houston, you will not get 97% of any population in the western hemisphere to agree that it is daytime. 30% won't understand the question. I've never found much consensus among even a very small group of scientists. People keep throwing that 97% number around like it means something. It doesn't. I would expect if you surveyed just the climate scientists who's salary is directly attributable to proving that AGW is real (which is an offensive concept to begin with, but that is "science" in today's world) you would find less than 50% who would state AGW as an unequivocal fact. The rest would equivocate and say that it is "the most likely hypotheses", or "model results show clearly ...", or "the data seems to show ...", etc. If the number that people were tossing around was 64.8% then it might be accepted as "the overwhelming majority", but 97% is clearly invented.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

David, excellent points. You also need to consider the descriptor "publishing." Given the current climate research community, if you don't agree the current anthropogenic global warming theory, you are much less likely to be allowed to publish. Self-selecting population there.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I actually don't agree with the ethonol tax write off's, but I do agree with the biggest gift of the ethonol industry, and that is geting the ATF off the band wagon of no ethonol production without excise taxes. It's not like there's a line to drink it (or maybe I haven't seen it).

I also don't understand why the industry is biases for corn, when other fruit might work better than corn (apples come to mind). I believe these maybe a lower cost than corn because the waste fruit can be used.
I also wonder why sugar beets never made a comeback.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

cranky108, suggest you ask the Senators from Archer Daniels Midland and Gargill:)

Regards,

Mikie

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

All ethanol is denatured at the facility. Definitely not a good idea to drink it!

Also, 39.7% of statistics are made up on the spot, without any scientific data to validate them. (I just made that up) worm

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Or for that matter, why not grow hemp for ethanol:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/09/09/1014706/-...

And speaking of hemp and sugar beets for use in biofuel production:

http://ethanolproducer.com/articles/9383/company-e...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Cranky,
SnTMan makes a good point. What those purchased individuals will tell you is that there is no industry in a better position for mass production than corn. Those guys go from the field to actual kernels of corn in the silo without being touched by human hands. I've watched Sugar Beet harvests in Colorado and it looks to be as far from mass production as it is possible to be. Tree fruits are the same way. Capital for diverting corn from animal feed is much less than the alternatives (cane sugar has reached a similar level of automation. Since the incentives are WAY out of line with the benefits to society, no one expects them to last very long so diverting capital by industry was not going to happen.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The 97% stat comes from a survey. Here is the paper that gives the results of that survey. The following questions were asked:

Quote (Doran)

"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?"

Of the people who "listed climate science as their area of expertise and who
also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change," 96% answered "risen" to the first question and "yes" to the second question. Another paper came up with similar figures.

So, it isn't invented but it is a survey so it shouldn't be taken too strictly. But there have been numerous papers and studies that have attempted to get a handle on how many scientists accept AGW and the results are always similar.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Yeah, a long time ago I picked apples. Once.

Regards,

Mike

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Sugar beets are highly automated and are never touched by human hands, as well, at least in the upper midwest. But, they deplete the soil terribly so that's a huge problem. Corn and sugar cane are near-perfect materials, from a production standpoint.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Yes... The "97% of published climate scientists blame humans for global warming"
appears to be made up by the author of the TWC article. Until I see proof and understand the proof from
scientific research, I'll remain a skeptic.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
So here's a nonsequitor, but I ask everyone this and nobody can tell me why it's a bad idea, so I figured I'd ask some smart engineers the question and see if I can dig out an answer. It's not engineering related, so I don't want to start a new thread on the subject, but this one has turned into a tax argument anyway, and it's my thread, so I feel justified in further pushing the derailment.

Right now we borrow or print 40 cents of every dollar we spend, in terms of US federal spending. We tax 60% of spending, and we borrow/print the other 40%.

The Reds and the Blues argue whether this number should be 39% or 42%, but none of them except for maybe Ron Paul think we should actually balance the budget, and all of them seem to think that a debt to GDP ratio of around 80%, which is what we've got, is no big deal. They always go back to this debt/GDP ratio to justify never ending deficits.

Well if that's the case, why don't we just cut federal spending by 60% and do away with taxes entirely? Just borrow and print the whole shebang? Wouldn't need any "tax incentives" at all at that point, and corporations all around the globe would flock here. Couldn't hurt the economy. Debt wouldn't be growing any faster than it is now. All the laid off federal workers could get jobs in the economic boom it'd cause. Social Security would take a hit, but SS earnings wouldn't be taxed anymore, so that'd mitigate it some.

What am I missing?

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

beej67... "What am I missing?" You are using common sense. That does not apply in Washington, DC unless you are Ron Paul
(or maybe Rand Paul?) and a few others like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. It's all about the "here-and-now" Don't worry about the
future. Tax, borrow and spend. [Repeat], [Repeat], etc., etc.,(Oops, Also keep the money pressing printing too)... pipe

Oh... Open up the attached file to see the POTUS hard at work?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

beej67, politicians NEED a complicated, ever-changing tax code and regulatory environment. This is how they exercise power. This is how they reward and punish.

Regards,

Mike

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Has any one seen baby carrots. What they are is the little carrots that they at one time would throw away. Now they sell them to a new market.

I had an apple tree once, and a quarter to a third of the apples fell on the ground. No one wanted to eat them, but could they not have been collected to make ethonol? Granted one tree is not enough, but the fallings from a orchard could fill several drums, of which could be sredded and water added, so the fermintation could start before the fruit left the field.
The fallings could be transported to the local brew house and converted to an enriched product there, to be transported for final processing.

Have I over simplified the new revenue stream for farmers, or any parts of the process?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"Baby Carrots" aren't really baby carrots. They are full-size carrots which have been machined down to smaller size. If you look at them closely, they do not have a skin.

Downed apples traditionally were used to make apple juice/cider for consumption. The pulp left after pressing was used as animal feed (and for all I know, still is.)

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

TomDOT... "machined down"... OK, where does one go to buy a carrot machine which spits out little baby carrots
at the other end... John Deere, Allis Chalmers, International Harvester, Toyota? Sounds like a cool project for an AgEng. ponder
Any AgEngs on these forums?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

cranky108 - that's called scrumpy/cider making. Given the effects of scrumpy on ones digestive tract I'm hesitant to suggest using it as fuel in any machine you care about.

(Plus if you use it all for fuel what are English homeless folk meant to drink?)

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

CONFUSING... The original topic of this tread has faded away. Sorry about adding to the dribble? pipe

As the old General wants said, "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” I'm fading fast...

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
Grandpa Dave, look into the actual numbers and you'll discover that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney advocate borrowing or printing 38% of government spending, compared to Obama's 42%. The differences between the "establishment" republican spending plans and the democrat plans are really fairly minor in terms of how big a deficits they run. Look closely, and don't listen to pundits, run the numbers yourself.

Quote:

"why don't we just cut federal spending by 60%" which 60% do you propose cutting?

I propose cutting 60% of everything. That might suck for some people but the jolt the economy would get would more than compensate. 60% less social security seems bad until you realize you're suddenly paying 0% tax on the SS you do get, and the economy is booming around you. We'd still be spending as much on defense as we were in 2000, and if we quit playing Team America World Police that's more than enough to guard the western hemisphere.

Plus, did I mention no taxes?

If people truly believe that our current deficits are near sustainable, I don't see why we don't just do my idea instead.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I think the atmosphere just went up another degree.

Good Luck
--------------
As a circle of light increases so does the circumference of darkness around it. - Albert Einstein

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote (beej67)


What am I missing?

If you're serious about finding that out, may I suggest that you Google Noble Prize (Economics) winner "Paul Krugman"...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Beej67... "actual numbers"... ? What? Isn't that a, or is it an, Oxymoron?
Who or what is the gate keeper on the "actual numbers"? There is too much fuzzy
math out there in government-land. Do YOU have a published document
with all the real, actual numbers? I think not! It's whatever bottom
line one wants. Like the ends justifies the means... Smoke and Mirrors to
create mass confusion?... ponder

I guess I'm too old to understand your wisdom... But I don't trust a soul in the Federal,
State and Local governments. If they open lips and talks beware. Fool me once shame
on then, fool me twice... and you know the rest.

OK, I'm off my soapbox, let me know where the "actual numbers" are kept. Thanks

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Cajun... You need to head to the UP of Michigan.
Global Warming has not arrived there yet.

Those folks have to wait until August. Then it gets cold in September pipe

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

One Yooper says to the other, "Hey Toivo, vaat you gunna do dis summer?"

He answers, "If'n it comes on da weekend, I'm gunna go fishin."

[DISCLAIMER] I spent six years in the UP attending engineering school and my brother still lives there.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

John R... Yes, Michigan Tech. can get colder than a witche's @#%&.
My niece started out in Chem Engr up there in the UP but decided to
transfer to Biology since she thought there were too many nerds in
engineering. But like most young ladies she got her MRS degree. pipe

I left Michigan in the early 60s and have not looked back!

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

We could balance the budget in two years if we did EITHER of:
  1. Abolish corporate tax. Corporate tax is revenue negative. That is right, the government gets LESS total revenue because of corporate tax. What do corporations do with their money? They can pay dividends (which are taxable to individuals). They can increase spending (which has a X6 multiplier in the economy while taxes have a X4 multiplier). They can make capital improvements (which also has a X6 multiplier). An absence of taxes (not zero tax, but not even any forms to complete) would attract businesses from all over the world and rapidly grow the economy. Why is this impossible? Because the Congress uses tax incentives and disincentives to stand in for policy and they won't relinquish that control
  2. Reduce the federal government back to the roles that it is ALLOWED to by the Constitution. For example, education happens when an individual teacher ignites a spark in the mind of an individual student. This is very much a retail operation. The Federal Government has zero role in it. State governments should have a very minor role. County/city governments should have a major role. Abolish the Department of Education. Same with heath care. Abolish Health and Human Services. Same with Department of Energy. When you ask every department in the Federal Government to justify their existence based on explicit grants of power in the Constitution then the lion's share of them simply go away as Unconstitutional. Let states an d municipalities figure out how (and if) they are going to provide "necessary" services. If your community decides to use your (local) tax dollars for something you abhor, you can either get active in local politics and eliminate it or move. That seems to me to be the American way. Today state and local politics are a stupid side show most of the time.
Either one of these would balance the Federal Budget in the second year. Neither is going to happen.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote (zdas04)


Neither is going to happen.

Thank God!!!!

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

That was a lot of exclamation points. I've seen that kind of passion for keeping the Unconstitutional bits of the Federal Government, I don't understand it, but at lest I've seen it before. But I've never seen that kind of passion for retaining the useless corporate income tax. Do you want to explain where that much feeling comes from on a purely economic issue?

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

D. Simpson, PE... You have a broken record.
Do you want to repeat that several more times?
That might help you get your message across.
It must seem like you are talking to a wall... pipe

A journalist assigned to the Jerusalem bureau has an apartment overlooking the Western Wall.
Every day when she looks out, she sees an old bearded Jewish man praying vigorously. She
was certain he would be a good interview subject.

The journalist goes down to the Wall, and introduces herself to the old man. She asks,
"You come every day to the Wall. Sir, how long have you done that and what are you praying for?"

The old man replies, "I have come here to pray every day for 25 years. In the morning, I pray
for world peace and for the brotherhood of man.

“I go home have a cup of tea, and I come back and pray for the eradication of illness
and disease from the earth.

“And very, very important, I pray for peace and understanding between the Israelis
and Palestinians."

The journalist is impressed. "How does it make you feel to come here every day for 25
years and pray for these wonderful things?" she asks.

The old man replies, calmly, "Like I'm talking to a F***ing wall."

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

OK, I'm willing to give up corporate income taxes if we go back to the original definition of what corporations were intended to be and how they were to conduct their affairs as understood by our Founding Fathers. The fact is that American coporations are what they are today as the result of fraud perpetrated on the American people by the Supreme Court reporter who knowingly mistated the opinions in one of the first court cases to rule on corporate "personhood", 'Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad'. This fraudulently misdocumented case has been sited in courts dealing with corporate rights and behavior for over 100 years, including the infamous 'Citizens United' case:

http://www.feasta.org/documents/review2/unequal_pr...

http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2012/01/did-just...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

A point we can totally agree on. That case represents a low point in the history of the Supreme Court. A corporation is simply a contract. A contract cannot have morals, goals, wants, or needs, it is just a piece of paper. To try to assign "personhood" to a piece of paper is truly obscene.

As to the other, when the South lost the War of Northern Aggression the country irrevocably turned against the idea of limiting the scope of the Federal Government, probably for all time. I'd be happy with just eliminating the redundancy (e.g., why did the Treasury Department have the ability and authority to authorize two rappers to go to Cuba without approval of the State Department? Probably because Treasury has it's own version of many State Department Functions. Getting rid of those redundancies would save serious money over the short term).

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
Sweet.

Finally got our first War of Northern Aggression reference. You know the thread's juicy then.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Based on what we see happening, any reduction in corporate income taxes would generally be directly paid to the CEO as bonus money, and not used for anything else.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

3
Where to begin...

Corporate Taxes:
The single largest fallacy regarding removing corporate taxes is that the money would be effectively and ethically redistributed into the local economy. TenPenny brings up a good point that a large some of this would go directly to CEO salaries. In fact, this is already happening. The salary difference between shop floor workers and the average CEO raised from 39 to 1 in the 1960’s to over 1000 to 1. Another area where an influx of spare change would go is to buying up market share. Local industries would be crushed by larger corporations and the competitive market would dwindle. You also mention that it would attract companies to open businesses in the US; where do you think the money is going then? Back to the home country of the company.

The ethics and actions of an organization are predicated on who they are responsible to. Corporations are responsible to the board and investors; at the end of the day, they are charged to increase profits, pure and simple. In fact they are LEGALLY obligated to maximize profits, as per Ford v Dodge (where Ford wanted to increase wages of line workers but Dodge, a primary share holder, sued the company saying it would decrease his dividends). Corporations must hold the well being of their shareholders above the well being of the community as a whole or its employees. So to argue that giving corporations more power and flexibility will lead to the betterment of the country is flawed.

Education:
I’m a huge advocate for education reform; I believe that there are intrinsic issues with our current education system. However, I do not agree that the solution is less/no/more localized oversight. I already argue that the nationalistic approach to education is an issue, as it is divisive in nature and prone to enforcing and exacerbating an “us vs them” prejudice. Further reducing this to state or county levels would heighten the issue of local bias. How long do you think it would take for Texas to start teaching creationism?

I agree that good teachers are handcuffed to an overly stringent and very lacking curriculum. However, I feel that some oversight over what is being taught is important. The solution lies with revolutionizing the curriculum, not abolishing it.

Social Safety Nets:
My biggest issue is the utter dismissal of social safety net programs. There’s an appalling mentality that those whom are in need of these programs are lazy free loaders, that if they worked harder they could pull themselves out of their situation. This mentality is predominately shared by educated, well-off, white males; a group that really knows, first hand, about social injustice, prejudice and discrimination (/sarcasm). I hope this isn’t the mentality shared by posters here but the “get rid of taxes and solve our problem” mentality seems to suggest this.

These programs are essential to support the less privileged in our society. Ignoring the basic human empathy necessary to understand why, on a humanitarian level, these programs are important, there are economic benefits to them as well. The poverty cycle leads to increased crime and violence (= increased jail costs), lack of employment opportunity/employability (= less “value” returned to the society) and health issues (= more health care costs). These programs help pull people out of the poverty cycle so they can become productive, educated, healthy and happy members of society. To not understand the importance of these programs is depressing, yet not entirely surprising.

It’s also no surprise that the people that are against the theory of CAGW are also usually those against social safety net programs. Both are cases where people are unwilling to prescribe to a cause that will take from them and not, directly or immediately, benefit them. They will respond by saying that neither effort is justified or effective, despite countless research showing the opposite, but this is just cognitive dissonance kicking in.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

rconner,

Well put and worthy of 5 stars.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

First, why is the goverment stealing my divendend?
Taxes on corporations are nothing but a way for goverment to hide the real tax on people (because corporations are not people they don't pay taxes).

Why do I choose a privite school for my child?
Because the goverment schools are so full of fraud, and mandates from crack pots.

If the goverment schools are so good, why can't these people find jobs instead of welfare?
Because no amount of goverment rules will make them work right, and teach what the students need. Bad schools make unemployable people.

Schools should compeat for the students, and the bad schools should disappear. The free loaders all came from goverment schools, which don't teach life skills, but darwin they claim is important.

There are trade schools, and loans available, so you can't tell me that at least some of these people aren't free loaders (Maybe they are so involved in the underground economy, that they can't report there income).

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

3
TenPenny,
A star for a sound byte, just think what you would have gotten for an entire thought? Exxon/Mobil paid upwards of $6 billion in federal taxes in 2012. I don't think that a board of directors (made up of stakeholders in the company) could raise the CEO salary more than 4 orders of magnitude and keep their jobs. More likely the company would pay most of the windfall into dividends since they probably don't have projects in the queue to use it. I know that this is unimportant to you since you obviously live in a 500 sq ft loft without TV, telephone, or internet (why pay for internet when the Library is free) and drive a bicycle so that you can maximize your level of giving to the deserving poor.

RConnor,
[Money] "would go back to the home country of the company" Really I don't know of any entity in the world that would rather pay 50% corporate taxes that many European countries demand instead of zero. If the U.S. eliminated corporate taxes you would see a flood of international companies moving their basic registration to the U.S. As to mergers and takeovers and ending up with one big company, I think that is why the anti-trust statutes exist. If the FTC does its job, that doesn't happen. Their willingness to do their job seems a bit limited right now, but that is because we are getting what Congress expects of them.

No economic model that includes people can be other than flawed. To me it is a very simple choice between "will corporations do a better job of using capital efficiently" or "will government do a better job of using capital efficiently"? To me the answer to that question is clear.

Both of my sons went through the public school system. Neither one of them was required to take Civics and only know about the make up of government because my wife is an adamant Constitutionalist and she made sure that they were grounded in an understanding of the law of the land. None of their friends have a clue as to the assigned powers of the branches of government. That is an example of the results of the Federal Government trying to homogenize curricula across the country. Bureaucrats do not add value to this discussion and an "overhaul of the education system" will not improve education. In my Granddaughter's last school (in Texas by the way) there were 2 Principals and 6 Vice-Principals. Each had an assigned role to supervise a different facet of the Federal mandates. That looks to be out of control to me.

Why does every statement have to end with an ad hominin attack? "People who oppose AGW are against a social safety net", what an outrageous simplification. I very much want the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT out of the business of providing any kind of safety net. Wholesale programs have proven to be ineffective and full of fraud and corruption. These functions need to reside at the lowest level that can provide them. Services provided by an individual church have been very effective. Some city wide programs have worked well. A few state programs have been beneficial. No Federal program has done more good than harm. The problem today is that so much money goes into the Federal system to be doled out based on murky formulas that have more to do with punishing the people who don't suck up to the administrator than with helping the poor that there is not enough money left over for small entities to be able to keep their doors open.

Saying that the Federal Government needs to go back to the limits and constraints clearly described in the Constitution is not the same as saying that "survival of the fittest" should be the only law of the land. The reason for the organization of our government is to allow space for regional and individual differences. The current implementation of that system is trying to force homogenization. It is not legal. It is not in the interests of the country. It is not right.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

From a song "You don't know the difference, as you put on the yoke".

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"Schools should compeat for the students, and the bad schools should disappear. The free loaders all came from goverment schools, which don't teach life skills, but darwin they claim is important."

Hmm, plenty of grammatical errors in a rant about public schools. Interesting. I wonder whether cranky108 went to one of the better private schools?

BTW: "compete", "government", "freeloaders", "Darwin".

- Steve

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

My dearest shoe of the mule:

"TenPenny,
A star for a sound byte, just think what you would have gotten for an entire thought? Exxon/Mobil paid upwards of $6 billion in federal taxes in 2012. I don't think that a board of directors (made up of stakeholders in the company) could raise the CEO salary more than 4 orders of magnitude and keep their jobs. More likely the company would pay most of the windfall into dividends since they probably don't have projects in the queue to use it. I know that this is unimportant to you since you obviously live in a 500 sq ft loft without TV, telephone, or internet (why pay for internet when the Library is free) and drive a bicycle so that you can maximize your level of giving to the deserving poor."

and


"Why does every statement have to end with an ad hominin attack?"

Indeed, indeed. I wonder about that myself.

Might I suggest you invest in a mirror?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

TenPenny, the raw amount of taxes paid is half the story. "Exxon/Mobil paid upwards of $6 billion in federal taxes in 2012 on upwards of $45 billion in reported profits"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Acutally, Exxon/Mobil (or any business for that matter) doesn't pay ANY taxes. Their customers do. This seems obvious, however it is rarely acknowledged.

Regards,

Mike

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2
Mike, you're giving a surface-plausible argument which is a basically false premise. Money in the economy is a continuous flow, and you count the taxes as "paid" at the point it is taken out of the private economy by the government.

You can get as recursive/ridiculous as you like with the pseudologic you presented. Exxon's customers (fueling stations) don't pay ANY taxes, THEIR customers pay the taxes, since they pay the fueling stations. No, it's the next level of payers, the widget factory who employs the fuel customers, because they pay the paychecks for the fueling station customers. No, it's the widget buyers who pay the taxes for Exxon, because they buy the widgets which pay for the salaries which pay for the employees who buy the fuel from the fueling stations who buy the fuel from Exxon. Continue ad nauseum.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"Acutally, Exxon/Mobil (or any business for that matter) doesn't pay ANY taxes. Their customers do. This seems obvious, however it is rarely acknowledged.

Regards,

Mike "

Indeed, and by this same logic, the customers are the ones responsible for the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

I hear that line touted frequently, by people who don't seem to grasp the actual concepts of business, and those who are under the delusion that all of Exxon's customers pay income tax in the USA.

It's a funny world when people accept half baked and poorly thought out arguments, touted by self interested robber barons.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2

Quote:

The single largest fallacy regarding removing corporate taxes is that the money would be effectively and ethically redistributed into the local economy.
I find your argument self-contradictory.

==> a large some of this would go directly to CEO salaries.
And what would that CEO actually do with that extra money? Hide it under a mattress? Or would (s)he put that money back into the economy through the purchase of goods and services or through further investments? Even if the money is simply deposited in a bank, that money then becomes available for other people to borrow. That extra money, rather than be filtered and skimmed through over-bloated government bureaucracy and disbursed to bridges to nowhere, would find a far more direct path into the economy through people who are already vested in the local community.

==> Corporations are responsible to the board and investors; at the end of the day, they are charged to increase profits, pure and simple
And exactly how does increasing executive pay increase profits?

==> In fact they are LEGALLY obligated to maximize profits,
==> Corporations must hold the well being of their shareholders above the well being of the community as a whole or its employees.
Yes, which is why the board is far more likely to direct that money back to investors rather than increasing executive pay. In other words, reducing corporate profits will increase return on investments, thus putting more working capital into the economy.

==> I’m a huge advocate for education reform
As am I. However, over the last several decades education reform has been consistent with the consolidation of power and control into federal hands with increased programs, regulations, and oversight. Yet, the education system has gotten worse, and as we continue to consolidate, centralize control, and standardize, the education system continues to degrade. It bring everyone down to the least common denominator. Why would any sane person suggest that continuing such an approach be a good thing. It we really want to change the results, we need to change our approach. We need to return flexibility to the system, and allow education to touch individuals. The federal government does not, in fact, cannot deal with things at an individual level. That's where local control really benefits the kids.

However, I get your point about some locality wishing to impose some sort of creationist thinking, or something really off-the-wall, into the curriculum, and I like you, would find that horrible. But what if some local community through their own democratic processes did so? Well, do we live in a democracy or not? Or is it only a democracy when it's convenient and consistent to our own personal convictions? That aside, from a more practical standpoint, what if a community did just that? Would you move your family there? Would you locate a business in that community? Do you think that area would experience job growth? Would you want to be part of that local community? I think not; I certainly wouldn't, and I would suspect, neither would most people. The bottom line is that such a community would not be able to sustain an economic base; it would die off on its own.

I have no objections with a social safety net. I have a problem with it being run and managed by the federal government. Given that you said, "Ignoring the basic human empathy necessary to understand why, on a humanitarian level, these programs are important, there are economic benefits to them as well.", who better to handle these than the local communities who stand to gain the most of the economic benefit.

Good Luck
--------------
As a circle of light increases so does the circumference of darkness around it. - Albert Einstein

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The point of TenPenny’s comment was that the bulk of any corporate savings through removing corporate income tax would not go to the local general public (of course he wasn’t saying it would ALL go to the CEO’s). Some would go to increased salaries, of which a disproportionate percentage would go to upper level management (as is shown through salary disparity), some would be invested in capital projects and some would be paid out in dividends. Investment in capital projects could be local or international. Even with no corporate income tax, cheap (exploitable) labour in developing nations would still be very attractive and a portion of that money won’t be going to either the government or the local public. For local investment in capital projects, there will be jobs created, this is a positive. Dividends are paid out to shareholders, foreign and domestic, so there’s another portion of the pot that doesn’t help the local population. I’d also argue that a large portion of local shareholders belong to the middle-upper class and up, which offers little support to the lower class.

Furthermore, you and I have almost no say in where or how a corporation is spending its money (unless you own 15% of its shares). As I stated before, a corporation owes the general public nothing and they exercise that right. Government, for all its faults (and there are MANY), is responsible to the public. The political system is a mess; it’s more about doing what is required for re-election than what is required for the greater, long-term good. But we can vote, petition, and challenge the government in a way we can’t with corporations. Let me be clear that I’m not arguing for more power to be handed to the government, I’m arguing against power being shifted from the government to corporations (which is what removing corporate tax would do). Better the devil you have some control over than the devil you don’t.

This also speaks to your question of whether corporations or the government will use capital more “efficiently”. This is a really interesting question because the answer depends on what you consider to be “efficiently”. In terms of pure dollars and cents, I’d be hard pressed to argue with you. However, that’s not what I consider to be the most important “efficiency” metric. My “efficiency” metric would be in terms of greater societal good. Yes, there is an economic element to well-fair but the emphasis is more evenly distributed amongst the socio-economic classes. For me, the government is better suited at providing greater societal good.

As to the ad hominine attack, I apologize if it was offensive. However, I think it raises an interesting point about how we perceive information and come to conclusions based on our world view. It could be argued that my view on public policy issues and CAGW was shaped by some sort of “white saviour complex” (of course, I’d argue against that). The point is we have biases that affect us in ways we aren’t always aware of. There is an interesting study that I read that stated that two people, with differing views, when given the same set of (rather inconclusive) information/data actually become more polarized instead of less. We use our previous biases to warp our conclusions such that we reinforce our viewpoint.

It may be an oversimplification but I think anyone would be hard pressed to argue that a large percentage (not all) people, who are not experts in the field, would remain on the same side of the fence when debating CAGW, social services, healthcare, political parties, etc. The latter three are all political but the first should not be. It has become that way, which is my point; the general public has allowed our political/world view bias to infiltrate its conclusions to the CAGW information/data we read (both sides).

If there is one institution that is best at removing its biases from the conclusions it draws, it’s the scientific community. It is ruthlessly skeptical and there is as much praise given over disproving a theory than proving one. Furthermore, having your theory/calculations/research shown to be bogus is a pretty career limiting event, so there is pressure to be as honest and thorough as possible. If independent lines of research all point to the same conclusion, the theory gains credibility. Arguments from authority don’t count. The fact that the IPCC agrees with the CAGW theory doesn’t matter, the fact that the vast majority of climate scientists say, based on their independent research, they agree with the CAGW does give it credibility. The scientific community and the peer review process aren’t infallible or immune to bias but I believe it is a heck of a lot less prone to political or world view bias than bloggers at WUWT.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The old 'corporations shouldn't pay taxes' line brings up this suggestion: corporations should not have to pay employees' salaries, because in the end, the customers pay them. So all employees of 'corporations' should have to collect salaries from whoever the customers are, unless those entities are corporations, in which case they'd have to follow the trail.

And what about rent on offices? What about office supplies?

It's exactly the same logic and reasoning used to suggest corporate taxes should be removed.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"Corporations must hold the well being of their shareholders above the well being of the community as a whole or its employees.
Yes, which is why the board is far more likely to direct that money back to investors rather than increasing executive pay. In other words, reducing corporate profits will increase return on investments, thus putting more working capital into the economy."

Indeed, just as the Wall St firms didn't pay out bonuses while going bankrupt and needing government support, yes, we all know that dividends are the highest priority.

Sure, you guys can believe that if you wish, but I can read annual reports, and I do that frequently.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

A (fairly long, but very interesting nevertheless) article about social psychology, peer review and "science" in general. Oh ya, and a heaping pile of fraud... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/magazine/diederi...

Quote (rconnor)

If there is one institution that is best at removing its biases from the conclusions it draws, it’s the scientific community. It is ruthlessly skeptical and there is as much praise given over disproving a theory than proving one.
Sorry rconnor, science is practiced by humans. Nice try, though. Read the article.

Quote (rconnor)

Furthermore, having your theory/calculations/research shown to be bogus is a pretty career limiting event, so there is pressure to be as honest and thorough as possible. If independent lines of research all point to the same conclusion, the theory gains credibility.
Unless your theory is for catastrophe 25-100 years in the future. The smart CAWG "scientists" prognosticate catastrophe far enough in the future that they will be retired comfortably. Then, there is pressure to conform to the hypothesis that will result in the greatest grant monies in the near-term.

Quote (rconnor)

... the fact that the vast majority of climate scientists say, based on their independent research, they agree with the CAGW does give it credibility.
Seriously, how many of them have been tasked with disproving the hypothesis of CAWG? Do you think that all of these paleoclimastrologists would be getting multi-million dollar grants is they didn't show "hockey-sticks"? Maybe the non-"hockey-stick" work isn't being published. The latest paper by Marcott et al wasn't a "hockey-stick" in Marcott's Ph.D. thesis - but after peer-review became a statistical nightmare that produced a - surprise - "hockey-stick".

So, to bring this thread back to the OP's title - what is the divergence between hypothesis and reality that would invalidate the hypothesis?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

i'll assume that CAGW means Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming and not Citizens Against Government Waste ...

though one could be mistaken given how this thread has been hi-jacked by a tax issues.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"Hijacked on to tax issues" is an interesting concept. There are many of us "Deniers" (sound bytes are so much easier with labels) that have contended for many years that the whole "Global Warming", "Catastrophic Climate Change", "AGW", "CAGW" religion is more about wealth redistribution than about the environment or the poor Pacific Islanders whose ancestral homeland is going to be underwater by 2001 (oh sorry, that prediction passed unfulfilled so now they'll lose their homeland in 2010, whoops, in 2020). My point is that it is impossible to separate the AGW discussion from economic discussions.

This thread has explored more facets of the discussion than we usually do, but it is all the same discussion--proponents of the AGW religion want developed nations to stop putting "greenhouse" gases into the atmosphere, but don't care that the vast majority of those gases come from evaporation of water, natural biological events (such as exhaling air), and emerging economies that are exempt from the Draconian controls that have been recommended. There is no way to tax the ocean to get it to evaporate less so that is not a problem. There is no way to tax termites to stop them from passing gas so that is OK. We can tax industry in Australia and Western Europe to force them to reduce their minuscule exhaust stream so governments do impose those taxes.

Finally, the "science". For the last 20 years or so the only way to get "climate science" funded is to bow to the alter of AGW. If your research direction leads to question the AGW hypotheses then you don't get funded or published and you have difficulty making your house payments. If you change your tune and "discover" that your data that indicated that atmospheric CO2 was a result of warming instead of a cause of warming was wrong (by ignoring 30% of the data points) then you suddenly are back in the fold and vacations are back in your schedule.

Tenpenny,
When I was writing that snarky comment about you living simply in a studio so you could give more to the indigent poor I realized that I was doing exactly what I abhor, but was not able to stop myself from including what seemed to me to be an interesting phrase. I shouldn't have done it and I am sorry. Striving for repeatable sound bytes and quotable phrases is just too human a failing and is not limited to any particular side in this discussion.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The science so far points to a consensus about warming.
But some say the scientists are biased. If so where are the credible
scientific studies that show MMGW to be much less serious??
Not funded by the gov you say ??
Well private money spends just as well, why don't the big players
spend money and get credible work completed that exposes the weakness that
every armchair scientist just knows to be true??

If corporations don't pay taxes why do they object to the tax rates so much
and move off shore?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Much of this discussion seems to be centered around what to me are two different questions: (1) Is global warming happening? and (2) If so, what should be done about it? Specifically, those who deny the first seem to be so moved by the proposed answers to the latter.

But I have a different question to all you smart and thoughtful people. If global warming is happening, and for whatever reason nothing effectivly stops it, how would one profit from it?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

My only point is that while taxes are just another business expense, many people don't seem to realize it. It often seems to me the discussion, especially for the Exxon/Mobils of the world, is that taxes are form of punishment incurred for making a profit. Ths opinion assumes that, somehow, the affected company pays these taxes sort of unexpectedly, thereby reducing those profits to something more "just". No, its an expense, they pass it along. Nobody spends any meaningful amount of time discussing what a company "ought" to pay for materials, energy, labor or paparclips. Just taxes. I may be kind of warped on this, my wife is an accountant:)

Regards,

Mike

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

And I certaiinly did not mean to imply that I know what tax policy ought to be. Other than, maybe, simple.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote (2dye4)

The science so far points to a consensus about warming
That there has been some warming from the end of the Little Ice Age until today, with increases and decreases along the way - yup, the unaltered instrumental record is pretty clear on that. The increase may be close to 0.7°C.

You didn't ask the right question - why. See, that's the money question. That's what everyone is getting riled up about. Is it due solely to man's release of CO2? Is due solely to natural causes? Is it a bit of both?

Why is this question important? Because of what may happen in the future. If it's 100% natural, then whatever happens, we're along for the ride and can't do a damn thing about it. If it's 100% man-made, and we can agree that warming is "bad" and that the magnitude of the future warming is "bad", then something could conceivably be done.

So, where do we stand on the money question? Other than having some computer simulations whose output indicate that the warming post 1970 is man-made, we haven't made any progress in the last 10 years. Are there any experiments that can be done? None full-scale wink. So, we are left with prior predictions and comparing of those predictions to reality. Even the most optimistic (highest reduction in CO2 output) scenario indicated that warming would continue post-2000 as it did from 1970 to 2000. The most pessimistic (continued increase in CO2 output) scenario indicated accelerating warming. The reality: depending on the metric, no warming at all in 13-17 years. So, obviously the simulations missed something. Was that something big, little, or something in between? Dunno, but it's a pretty good swing-and-a-miss.

So, can we say that the warming post-Little Ice Age was 100% man-made? No.

Can we say that the warming post-Little Ice was 100% natural? Again, no. We don't know the drivers of climate change - only that it changes, sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly, but rarely predictably.

Where does that leave us? Somewhere in the middle. What many people are objecting to is the foregone conclusion that: A) all of the recent warming is 100% man-made, B) this warming is "bad" and that future warming will be "bad", and C) something can be done. If you don't have A), perhaps even completely disagree with B), you will get quite up in arms about C).

zdas04 - thanks for manning-up and apologizing. You were wrong, admitted it and apologized.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I have avoided this topic intentionally on this forum for quite some time now. Apparently, I am in a very select minority of people. I do not know if AGW is happening. I read articles both supporting it and denying it. What I do know, is that neither side has made a convincing argument to me.

I started hearing about the greenhouse effect when I was about 15 years old. I am now 37. The predictions of global doom that I heard as a 15 year old have not panned out.

I find it disheartening that scientist (on both sides) can make their case, with computer models being the only form of experimentation performed. I think that I read something at one point in time, that for something to be accepted as a scientific certainty, you had to have predictable, repeatable results.

Can anyone give me an example of a predicted outcome from the last 22 years that has actually happened? Can anyone explain the term "unprecedented warming" (it seems that the temperatures had to increase rapidly and significantly to melt the glacier that used to be near my current location).

This issue has taken on such a life, that science is being forsaken.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

SnTMan,
The only reason I talk about corporate taxes so often is that they are SO stupid. First, tax rate is a factor in a corporation deciding where to site facilities that employ people. Second, money that the government collects from corporate taxes is about 1/3 less than they would collect if the taxes were eliminated (and the income people derive from the re-purposed funds were taxed as today), but by eliminating them Congress would lose a tool to influence market behaviors so Congress feels that the reduction in revenue is justified by the increase in influence.

Corporations are far from perfect. Just not quite as far from perfect as Government. Eliminating the corporate income tax would certainly lead to actions by specific corporations that are not in the public interest. But then money in the hands of the Federal Government also leads to actions that are not in the public interest. Which is better? Well, we have mechanisms in place to effectively prosecute corporate officers who break the law in the name of their corporation. Those mechanisms are much less effective when directed at government employees.

Capitalism is messy. A Republic is a messy way to run a country. Both of these things are far less messy than the alternatives.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I work in Oil & Gas. I live at 5,300 ft elevation. Over geologic time, my home site has been under the ocean 5 times. No one "caused" those dramatic climate changes. The climate is changing. The climate has always changed. The climate will always change. Sometimes it will change quickly. Sometimes it will change slowly. Organisms that can adapt to the change will. Organisms that cannot adapt to the change will die out. The absolute best that mankind can do is to try to minimize the amount we crap in our own nest (i.e., don't pollute rivers, keep toxic chemicals out of aquifers, minimize the BTEX, VOC, and ash we put into the air). Beyond that is simply hubris.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Some where we went off on several different tangents, but from a quote from Milton Fredman (I know I won't get this exact), "we always talk about economic inequity, but we never talk about intenlectual inequity. Why is that? It is because we don't know how to make it equatible".

This being said, and we can verify that not all humans have the same intenlect, that some humans will do better than others. Would it not be better to bring all humans up in level than bring the smarter ones down?

If humans are falable, and can be corrupted, why do we trust any of them? Maybe be because we have to. So if goverment and corporations are made up by humans, can we expect them to be better than the humans in general?

So why do we trust either, and not put more trust in non-profits that serive the public? After all the non-profits are much better at feeding people than the goverment is. Do we hear of much cheeting in the soup lines?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Cranky, you have an unrealistically rosy view of non profits I'm afraid. My wife has been associated with the non profit field off and on throughout her career and has seen plenty of dubious behaviour including corruption, coercian etc.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

OHIOMatt,

You would have been 15 right around 1990-1991 which would have been right around when the first IPCC report came out. Here is a graph of the actual temperature vs the 1990 IPCC prediction. The actual warming since 1990 has been 0.15 ± 0.08°C per decade and the 1990 IPCC prediction after correction for the actual amount of greenhouse gases was 0.2 °C per decade. Fast forward to the 1995 IPCC and their prediction was 0.14 °C per decade. So they have been within measurement uncertainty. Here is a good introduction to all the IPCC predictions.

Contrast this to the climate change deniers predictions and you will see how poorly they have done. Here is a graph showing all the IPCC predictions and a number of climate deniers predictions. Lindzen, Easterbrook, Akasofu, and McLean are all climate deniers. You can read an explanation here.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society."

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Brad1979 - please cease and desist the terminology "denier", "climate change denier" or "climate denier". They are not helpful, extremely derogatory, and unbecoming a engineering professional.

But, if you choose to use such terms, please be so kind as to inform me (as I find myself having the same perspective as gentlemen such as Dr. Lindzen), what exactly it is that I am "denying".

And, seriously, you are going to use skepticalscience.com as a reference? While I am sure that many here read wattsupwiththat.com, we're not using it as a reference - we use the actual sources - not someone's "interpretation" of them. The cartoonist that runs skepticalscience.com has a long history of post-facto revisionism that should make any civilized, ethical professional run for the hills. Do you have any better references? Perhaps, since you reference Lindzen, etc, you could link to their actual predictions. Maybe even a direct link to the IPCC predictions would be useful.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

By denier I just mean somebody who disagree the scientific consensus on global warming. I will use a different term if you would like. Any preference?

So you mean you people who disagree the scientific consensus on global warming use actual sources? Like the Daily Mail. And a web page called "Science Shame." And USA Today. Why don't you go back through and look who linked to those sources. Why don't you ask them to link to the actual sources?

Do you have any specific problems with the graphs or links I linked to, other than the url they came from? Seriously if you see something wrong with what I linked to we can discuss it. But you having an issue with the person or people who wrote it is nothing more than ad hominem. The main reason I linked to it is that they've compiled all the info in one place and make it easy to compare. (And I am serious ... if you think something is wrong with those links please let me know.)

I will also point out that if you actually read the links I provided, you'll see they either link directly too each of the sources or they link to another page on their website that in turn links directly to the sources. In either case, though, if anybody eants to look at the sources and can't find them, let me know and I'll try to help.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I am a denier in that I categorically deny that adulterated data and manipulated computer models prove anything at all. Even pristine data and "honest" computer models do not prove anything since every computer model has all of the bias and pre-conceived ideas of its authors, nothing anyone can do will eliminate that.

Is the climate changing? I certainly hope so, it always has and as soon as it stops changing I would think that some super entity had put us in stasis. I deny that we know the cause of any apparent change and I deny that it matters what the cause of the change is. If it is people and so-called greenhouse gases (an hypotheses that I have difficulty accepting) then it is going to rise without bound because the folks in China and India are going to move toward the standard of living that we enjoy in the west and nothing on this earth will stop them.

Next piece of this discussion is "is it bad that temperatures are going up?" Last warming period was responsible for ending the dark ages and starting the Renaissance. Not a bad result. "But we'll lose New Orleans" (or Amsterdam or Venice). So? All of that flooding would happen over a long enough period to allow the people to evacuate and take their stuff. Loosing the architecture would be tragic, but not nearly a tragedy even if it really happened (as my history books say both Venice and Amsterdam were centers of culture during the last warming period).

So to recap: () if 100% of everyone who has ever taken a dime for work done on climate change all agreed that their computer models "prove" that mankind and greenhouse gases are the cause of catastrophic climate change, my response would be "BS, models prove nothing". As a computer modeler myself I can say categorically and without reservation that you need to look elsewhere for proof; (2) I can't see the source of "harm" coming from climate change, if the earth is warming, then it is good for crops, if it is cooling then existing organisms will adapt or die; and (3) It is the height of arrogance to assume that human activities are causing the climate to change.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

""no warming at all in 13-17 years. So, obviously the simulations missed something. ""

I don't agree.

Obviously the models cannot predict every component of the climate, they are not meant to.
Observe the historical temperature records ( from any source ) and note the roller coaster ride
without man made CO2. There is no reason to suspect that whatever the source of this uncertainty
that it is gone today.

Next question is how to categorize and differentiate the two phenomena.
We have some unknown random forces driving climate temps and a hypothetical driving force.

If you observe the rise of the last 100 years ( shape and magnitude ) it appears to be unprecedented
in any of the temperature reconstructions or records.

So if you accept this unprecedented rise and coincidentally a similar rise in CO2 and then consider
that a theory predicting exactly this phenomena has been around since the 1800's then to me
this strongly indicates proof.

Since the experiment is a one off an cannot ever be reproduced we have to accept a statistical
probability of cause and effect.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(3) It is the height of arrogance to assume that human activities are causing the climate to change.


That statement sums up the problem very nicely.

Allow me to ask a question: does air pollution affect the local environment?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

TenPenny: Absolutely, air pollution does affect the local environment. Witness coal-burning London's (literal) killer smog, and the current air quality issues in places like Beijing and Mexico City.

These are acute, local, temporary effects. London no longer has the killer smog, as they pretty much stopped burning coal for residential heat.

Hopefully a Wikipedia reference won't be frowned upon ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Smog

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote (zdas04)

The absolute best that mankind can do is to try to minimize the amount we crap in our own nest (i.e., don't pollute rivers, keep toxic chemicals out of aquifers, minimize the BTEX, VOC, and ash we put into the air).

This touches on something I find hard to comprehend. Billions of dollars have already been spent on studies, and it is now being proposed to spend trillions of dollars more to try and control CO2 release into the environment in the hope it might control climate change. Yet, there are many known toxics being released into the environment every day and controlling these gets little "in your face" time in comparison. Shouldn't we be worried about releasing substances that are known to kill us ahead of being concerned about releasing a substance that might cause some negative effects on the planet?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Particulates are probably the most under-reported concern for air quality.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"concensus" is a new (and IMHO not particularly relevent term) for describing how the scientific community agrees on a set of findings. Certainly there is concensus that newton's laws are correct, but no-one ever (in several centuries, to the best of my knowledge) used the term in that context. But Newton's laws make testable predictions (like all "good" science) and so "concensus" is irrelevent ... 'cause no-one disputes it, within the limits described by later scientists (Einstein et al).

environmental science does make predictions, but the testability of these is (very) questionable.

i have little problem with science making predictions that show that increased carbon emissions are irrefutably bad for the human inhabited (infested ?) biosphere. the big problems i have with this position is how we react to it ...

1) we continue to sell petrol products ... if carbon is as bad as people say then the price should be $100 per gallon (US or Imp). we've made small steps (IMHO) towards improving efficiency;

2) we are not discouraging the developing economies from following our carbon based economy. if it is as bad as people say, then the new economies should be encouraged to develop towards a clearer electrical based economy;

3) if it's as bad as people say, then we should be looking towards the future ... Fusion reactor research is a pittance. if we had unlimited power, then we'd be able to accomplish some real good.

4) instead we try to sequester the carbon (like putting the genie back in the bottle). so we spend more (valuable) energy and resources to power these methods to reduce the amount of carbon released.

5) and then there's carbon trading ... please don't get me started on that scam ! sure there's something to be said for carbon emittors paying the full market price of their production, but ...
a) where's the money going ? and
b) why the heck do developing countries have carbon "budgets" that they'll never meet (and so can trade with other carbon producers) ?

6) where's the accounting for water vapour ? (a much more significant GH gas than CO2)

7) what are the predictions if we stop carbon emissions today ? as i understand it, the models predict that the climate will continue to warm for several decades ... which is a double edged sword ... either "then why do anything, it's already too late" or "OMG"

8) what's with all the temperature monitoring stations ? many incorrect, many biased, many "corrected".

i'd've thought that our science should be used to predict the effects of orbital changes and solar influences and try to get ahead of the game. I think it is irrelevent wheter the global has warmed or not over the last 20 years; 20 years is irrelevent to detect climate trends.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

rb1957 COOL
Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati...
When in danger, When in doubt, Run in circles, Scream and shout!
Obama's foreign Policy? pipe

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I prefer to use the word "release" rather than "emit". Life on Earth has sucked all the carbon out of the early atmosphere and caused it to be buried underground in huge fossil fuel deposits. Hardly a natural place for it to be. We are simply restoring the natural balance by releasing it back to the atmosphere.

I wonder if the word "emissions" will ever get its old meaning back (i.e. gases and other by-products that are harmful to life).

- Steve

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"We have some unknown random forces driving climate temps and a hypothetical driving force."

Gee, maybe we need to define that unknown force before we attempt to try to control the climate results. But my guess is that so called unknown force might be our sun.

It's no doubt there are problems to be solved, and talking about them is a good step. But the seemly rush to a solution, and all the name calling is more of an impedment.

I disagree with your assement, and solutions, and the more you twist my arm, the more I will disagree with you. What do they say in schools today, No Bullying.

So can we find something that we can solve togather? My arm is hurting so.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"TenPenny: Absolutely, air pollution does affect the local environment. Witness coal-burning London's (literal) killer smog, and the current air quality issues in places like Beijing and Mexico City.

These are acute, local, temporary effects. London no longer has the killer smog, as they pretty much stopped burning coal for residential heat."
------------------------------------------------------------------------
So, we agree that local pollution affects the local environment.

Why don't people understand that global pollution affects the global environment?

How can it not?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

This discussion is like three turtles sitting in a pot of water which is slowly being brought to a boil; if you need unanimity before any action can be taken, even if two of them are convinced that someone needs to at least try turning down the heat, we’re soon going to have ‘turtle soup’ for lunch.

John R. Baker, P.E.
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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote (Brad1979)

By denier I just mean somebody who disagree the scientific consensus on global warming. I will use a different term if you would like. Any preference?
How about scientist, fellow engineer, whatever else term you would use when there is genuine disagreement about a scientific/engineering topic?

Quote (Brad1979)

So you mean you people who disagree the scientific consensus on global warming use actual sources? Like the Daily Mail.
The OP was posting a news article from the Daily Mail. It was a news piece - hence the link to the news article.

Quote (Brad1979)

Do you have any specific problems with the graphs or links I linked to, other than the url they came from?
That site is run by a fellow that is the epitome of unethical behavior in the blogosphere. And that is most definitely NOT an ad hominem, but a statement of fact. I do not trust anything from there. I'd even consider realclimate.com over that.

Quote (Brad1979)

But you having an issue with the person or people who wrote it is nothing more than ad hominem.
No, it is not an ad hominem. Calling someone that disagrees with you a "denier" in the exact same context as "holocaust denier" is an ad hominem. Stating that someone has acted unethically in the past an therefore is unworthy of my trust is a judgement call, not argumentum ad hominem.

You seem to have all the answers. So, coming back to my question that I keep asking, yet no one will answer - what divergence between the actual temperature record and the predictions will falsify the hypothesis behind the predictions? In other words, how different do the actual measured temperatures have to be from the predictions that are consistent with the concurrent CO2 levels in order for the hypothesis that anthropogenic releases of CO2 are the sole cause of warming in the earth's atmosphere? A number - temperature, years of divergence, slope of temperature vs time curve, something that defines falsifiability. I'm not saying that such a point has been reached - I just need something that describes when the hypothesis has been falsified.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

John, if the hypothesis that humans' release of CO2 were the sole cause of the warming since some arbitrary point were indeed true, then I could see your point. But it is not true (in the Popperian scientific method sense), warming has yet to be concluded as "bad", the projected magnitude of such warming has not been agreed to as "bad", and we still haven't even touched the economic consideration that adapting may be cheaper than "preventing".

Oh - perhaps you are referring to James Hansen's quote about run-away warming and the seas boiling. Um - sure... Because that's happened before when CO2 levels were much higher than today... Do you really want to associate yourself with this?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I think the problem is the noise of all the debates. After all if a TV personality can get people to sign a petion to ban DihydroOxide, then we have a bunch of voices that don't need to be in the discussion.
Not that tose people are not important, they just don't seem to add a lot of valuable solutions, just more noise and name calling.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

TenPenny,
You ask

Quote (tenpenny)

Why don't people understand that global pollution affects the global environment?

How can it not?

I truly don't understand that "fact". I've spent a fair bit of my life crossing oceans at 10-15 knots and am truly in awe of how big the planet really is. I was on a nuclear powered ship with two reactors that generated a LOT (on human scale) of waste heat. I was a mechanical operator and one of the things we did was monitor the temperature of the cooling water (sea water) that passed through our condensers. One day we stopped in the deep ocean for 6 hours using our main engines to hold the ship in the same point on the globe during that period (they didn't tell us why). The intakes for the condensers were very close to the outlets. In that 6 hours the awesome heat we generated did not change the cooling water inlet by a single degree. The ocean was simply too big a heat sink for our puny "big" heat load to affect it. That may be a trivial example, but to me it means that while weather reacts on near-human time to climate forces, climate will react on geologic time to imposed forces--we are talking about pushing a super tanker with a chopstick.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

TenPenny,

Two items:

1) You seem to have misplaced the word "temporary" in my comment.

2) Sure, global pollution affects the environment. The argument is over what the effects are, their magnitude and then on into what precisely the secondary, tertiary, etc effects are.

Burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The levels released are not directly dangerous to human health, unless you stick your head pretty darn close into the exhaust stream. That's the primary effect. No directly dangerous consequence.

The AGW argument is over secondary and tertiary effects. What ELSE does carbon dioxide do in the atmosphere? Most of these arguments are based on correlations between atmospheric CO2 levels and temperature, plus a bunch of models. Correlation does not equal causation. We are pretty sure (since it's easy to set up a small experiment) that the extra CO2 is increasing plant growth rates.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

zdas, I'm not sure how you can suggest that a ship creates pollution on a global scale, but maybe you've been on some bizarre ship that the rest of the world has never heard of.

That being the case, carry on as you were.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

TG4s,

You are reading way to much into things if you think I was thinking of Holocaust deniers when I said deniers. I definitely wasn't. I was thinking more along the lines of evolution denier or general relativity denier.

Anyway, OHIOMatt asked for some predictions and I gave them to him. He is free to check out those links himself and also further explore the data they link to. I'll gladly admit that some people such as yourself think that website is horribly biased even if I think it is usually right on the money. I encourage you to point OHIOMatt to alternate explanations of that data if you think what I pointed him to is in error.

As far as falsification goes, I think falsification is a poor way to judge scientific theories (and here I'm talking about science in general, not just climate science). I don't know how much philosophy of science you've read but I generally agree with Lakatos's theory of competing research programs. He makes much more sense of how science actually works than Popper, in my opinion. A research program isn't falsified by a single piece of data or by a failed prediction or anything like that. What happens is a better, more robust research program comes along and takes it place. It is actually very rare that scientists say ahead of time what will falsify a theory. Why is this? Because if evidence appears that seems to conflict with a theory, there are a number of things that could be wrong ... perhaps the evidence is misinterpreted, perhaps there was something wrong with the test set-up, perhaps there was an error in calculation, perhaps some part of the model is not quite right, perhaps the theory really is wrong, etc. It is almost impossible to say ahead of time which of those things it will be.

So, instead of asking what will falsify climate science as it is currently accepted, a better question in my opinion is whether there is another research program out there that fits the existing data better than the current research program, that makes better predictions than the current one, that is better adaptable to new discoveries, that is more parsimonious, etc., etc. Those are the things that make a research program better than another research program.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Okay, if you believe in Lakatos, please enumerate what you cosnider the "hard core" of assumptions which cannot be altered before the AGW hypothesis must be given up? Lakatos isn't just "hey, we keep modifying everything."

Continued rising temperature within a certain rate range certainly seems to be part of the "hard core" of the AGW theory.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Brad1979 - the origin of the use of the derogatory term "denier" was about 6 years ago and it was exactly in that term. I appreciate that you may be caught up in the fervour, but the intention of that term is exactly that. No one uses "denier" to describe people who disagree with evolution or relativity.

Unfortunately, falsifiability IS what science is about. Einstein's quote about it doesn't matter how many people agree with him, it only takes one experiment to prove him wrong is what science is all about. If your hypothesis cannot be falsified (proven incorrect), then it's not science. And the goal of each researcher is to figure out what it takes to falsify their hypothesis and try everything they can falsify it.

Case-in-point - general (and special) relativity. There was a whole bunch of excitement last year when it appeared that some subatomic particles exceeded the speed of light limit. They were actively trying to falsify relativity (and no one called them deniers, BTW). There were miscalculations involved so that it turns out that these particles didn't travel faster than light. Nevertheless, the discovery was treated with delight tempered with skepticism - any discovery in science should be a good thing. That each and every attempt to falsify relativity (on many scales from sub-atomic to galactic) has failed indicates that the hypothesis is suitable to be elevated to the status of theory. There is still ongoing research to try to falsify it, because there are definitive terms which would falsify the theory. This is actively encouraged by the science community because this is how science acts. Even though there is a current "consensus" that relativity is correct, that is not hindering research to disprove it.

Contrast that work to what's happening in climate science. Here is one hypothesis, that (to the best of my knowledge) hasn't even defined falsifiable limits. However, when any shred of evidence, regardless of how slim, is presented that contradicts the hypothesis, that researcher is crucified (figuratively) and labelled a "denier". Tell me, is that really how science works? And remember, models are not data/evidence (and this goes both ways, too - I have equally derisive things to say to modelers in both camps).

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"Unfortunately, falsifiability IS what science is about. "

Quite frankly, you are wrong. The history and philosophy of science has shown time and again that this isn't true. Popperian philosophy of science is outdated. Take this claim of yours: "If your hypothesis cannot be falsified (proven incorrect), then it's not science." Here is an interesting paper from Nobel Laureate in physics Frank Wilczek. He basically describes how he came about an important theory. Here is the conclusion to his story:

Quote (Frank Wilczek)

"This little episode, it seems to me, is 179 degrees or so out of phase from Popper’s idea that we make progress by falsifying theories. Rather in many cases, including some of the most important, we suddenly decide our theories might be true, by realizing that we should strategically ignore glaring problems.

I'm not saying falsification is unimportant, BTW, just that it isn't necessary for something to be science. Very often sticking with a theory to iron out all its problems is more important than dropping a theory at the first sight of an anomaly.

I will also point out that you still haven't given anybody any good reason why my links on prediction are wrong (other than that you don't trust the source).

I have 2 questions for you. 1) What exactly do you think is wrong with the current state of climate science? 2) Which scientists do you think are being ignored that shouldn't be (and how would climate science change if they were listened to)?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

There's a difference between falsifiability and falsifying theories. My perspective is that if whatever you are proposing cannot be falsified, it isn't science. For example, global warming has been "blamed" for:
- extreme high temperatures and extreme low temperatures
- increased precipitation and decreased precipitation
- increased cyclonic activity and decreased cyclonic activity
- increased ENSO activity and decreased ENSO activity

Do you really want to call that science?

If I come up with what appears to be a rational explanation for some phenomenon, but there is absolutely no way that I could be proven wrong, is that any different from, say, astrology? Phrenology?

As far as your links on prediction - you have my answer. I will not provide them one additional visit to look at what you have linked to. Provide the sources. And I don't care what others' failed predictions are, what is the "consensus" prediction and what is reality. The entire rationale for this port what the two have diverged substantially - as stated by the UK Met Office.

Since you won't answer my questions, I'll answer yours:
1) The reliance on models, the lack of searching for natural causes (argumentum ad ignorantiam), the extremely short timeframes we're dealing with (the bulk of late 20-th century warming took place in the 1975-2000 range - and none since), the "adjusting" of the temperature data post-facto, the appalling treatment of statistics by the paleoclimatologists, the reliance on models, and the reliance on models to start with.
2) Spencer, Christy, Curry, Maue, Lindzen, Svensmark to name a few. We could be looking at natural causes of climate change vs solely anthropogenic.

Note, I am not and have not ruled out any anthropogenic contribution. Undoubtedly, through our land use changes, CO2 emissions, soot/ash/fine particulate emissions, etc, we are making changes to our environment. It's the magnitude that I argue that we don't know.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

In my humble opinion, the biggest 'problem' with all of this so-called 'Global Warming' rhetoric is the term 'Global Warming'. The proper scientific, albeit less dramatic term, is 'Climate Change'.

And to make my point, take the litneny of apparent 'absurdities' that TGS4 just posted. If we replaced the term 'global warming' with 'climate change'...

For example, climate change has been "blamed" for:
- extreme high temperatures and extreme low temperatures
- increased precipitation and decreased precipitation
- increased cyclonic activity and decreased cyclonic activity
- increased ENSO activity and decreased ENSO activity


...well you get the point, it sort of blows the whole idea that somehow these claims are absurd on their face. After all, if we were to accept that Climate Change was the real issue, then TGS4's statement would be seen as SUPPORTING the scientific claims being made and NOT as an attempt to descredit them.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
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Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

John, John, John... Of course the climate changes. That been about the only constant since the accretion of the earth. All of it natural, but somehow the change in the last 30 years is humans' fault.

No, the hypothesis is that human emissions of CO2 cause warming. It was always AGW. That is, until is stopped warming. Then the meme change to climate change. Change the goal posts much?

Sorry - try again.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I stand by what I wrote...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

""There's a difference between falsifiability and falsifying theories. My perspective is that if whatever you are proposing cannot be falsified, it isn't science.""

The CO2 warming hypothesis is a one off experiment. If a century later the climate remains stable and no other factors have intervened then the hypothesis could be said to be proven wrong.

I assume you accept experiments that can only be done once??

Say equipment aboard the mars lander. The question 'does it work on mars' is unknown at launch, but yet a lot of effort and money goes into this venture based on likely outcomes derived from known science.
Greenhouse gas theory is 150 years old.

""John, if the hypothesis that humans' release of CO2 were the sole cause of the warming since some arbitrary point were indeed true""

No credible scientist ever made that claim.

""the lack of searching for natural causes ""
What makes you think natural causes are not factored into the scientific thinking ??

I could add a dozen more, but these poorly thought out talking points puts you into a denier camp and not a scientific observer.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Brad,

Not only have you failed to defend your claim you follow Lakatos, you have blatantly misinterpreted Wilczek's statement by conflating two entirely separate items:

Scientific theories must be falsifiable

with

Scientific progress is primarily made by falsifying existing theories.

Wilczek is a "leap into the unknown" kind of scientist, rather than basing his progress on falsifying existing theories. He's right - that's where a lot of the really groundbreaking stuff happens, like Einstein with Relativity.

An example of Wilczek's interesting hypothesizing with "time crystals" http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/?p=156334

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

IMHO there are two problems with climate "science" ...

1) it is all extrapolation. sure we know some influences are predictable (solar orbits) but most aren't (solar black spots).

2) there's only one experiment (which we are all really invested in); so the argument goes "we can't afford to be wrong".

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

rb1957

Really everything in science is extrapolation, something happened before and many times since so it is reasonable to conclude it will always happen.

Prove that an apple will ALWAYS fall to the ground. You can't we just correctly assume that since we have never witnessed a levitating apple that it must fall to the ground.

There is only one experiment with climate, true but this is not avoidable.

There is only one possible incident of a massive earthquake in San Francisco that would topple an average building. There is no 100% proof that such an Earthquake will strike the building in its lifetime, yet we go to great expense to build them extra strong just in case.



RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

apples falling ... i think that since we understand the causality then we can predict that in the presence of that causality the apple will respond in the same way. observational "scientists" drew conclusions from what they saw, and made incorrect extrapolations 'cause they didn't understand the causality.

yes, we do go to great expense to design earthquake (and hurricane) resistant structures 'cause we see them as reasonably frequent events that cause significant loss of life. once tested (by reality) we can see if the expense was worth it. if we spend a ton (or tonne) of money reducing CO2 emitted/released, will that have any appreciable impact on the climate ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Isen't it a bigger issue that our current energy usage is so high, and with China, and India striving to reach our economic levels will also be expected to strive to reach our energy usage levels? Unless we can develop techonolgy that is cleaner and more fuel efficent, then energy prices will rise, and our living standard will drop at the same time.

I get this, and I agree we should reduce our consumption, or add new fuel sources. I also get that automation has replaced so many basic jobs that educating our work force is very important.

However, there are limits on how much cyclical energy sources we can use (like wind and solar, even tidal). We do need all of these in the mix, but we need to quit giving tax breaks as we reach that limit. Agreed there are debates on what that limit is, and I believe we are already seeing problems in some area with the current saturation of cyclical energy sources.

I also don't understand the current forced reduction in our current standard of living. Not that conserving is bad, but when they bring about possible health problems long term, is it really worth it? Or the question of is conserving worth paying 10 times more for the device?

The problem is in the long term these devices are worth it, but if you are of the lower economic area, the first cost is just too high.

Global change is not the issue to me, but the increased consumption of energy globaly is.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

""I also don't understand the current forced reduction in our current standard of living. ""

What do you envision are the worst facets of reducing our energy usage with respect to standard of living?

What possible health concerns are necessarily caused by reducing energy consumption at the least important sinks?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

John, then I have absolutely no idea what you mean. Would you please tell me then, what your understanding of the "consensus" science is, as it related to man-made emissions of CO2.

2dye4 - so you subscribe to the view that in the absence of human interference, the climate is unfailingly stable, too. In the face of overwhelming evidence of historical natural climate change, you appear to be the one who is the denier, and not me. I may disagree with the output of computer models, yet it is you who deny actual historical data.

I agree that greenhouse gas theory has been around a long time. I don't disagree with it. Accordingly, if we were to double the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, all else being equal the temperature would rise about 1 degree C. That makes perfect sense to me and I have no bones with it - I certainly don't deny it. However, the two things that I disagree with are the all else being equal part and the fact that such a small degree of warming does not equate to a catastrophe. There are feedbacks in the system that prevent run-away warming/cooling as evidenced by the lack if such over 4.5+ billion years.

Experiments done once are anecdotes. Your example of the Mars lander is incorrect for two reasons: one it is an engineering problem, not basic science, and two the basic science was verified by experiments hundreds of times on the ground on earth.

Quote (2dye4)

No credible scientist ever made that statement
Agreed. And yet, that is what the "consensus" as described by the IPCC says.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

If you look at the goverments procedures for cleaning up broken florsent bulbs, it tend to lead one to believe they are a health risk. And these are the bulbs that are being pushed as energy efficent.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Regarding the falsifability of the CAGW theory, the major tenet of the theory is the energy imbalance that is empirically demonstrated through satellite observations. We also know the outgoing long wave radiation is lower at wavelengths associated with CO2 absorption (Harries 2001) and radiative surface forcing has increased at wavelengths associated with CO2 (Evans 2006). We also know the global temperature has risen since the industrial revolution (yes, with a slow down over the last 16 years, I’ll get to that). Neither of these are points of contention for scientists in the field, on BOTH sides of the fence (it’s the magnitude of the effect that CO2 has on the temperature, or climate sensitivity, that is point of contention).

If the greenhouse gas theory was overturned, then the CAGW theory would be falsified. However, it is important to note the difference between the greenhouse gas theory and how it affects the complex global climate, climate sensitivity. The former can, and has, been tested, and verified, in laboratory (physical, not model) simulations as well as through satellite spectroscopy.

The CAGW theory can also be falsified if the premise that the greenhouse gas effect, caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions, is not a significant driver in the global climate change. Now, many here will jump on this and say “ah ha, it has been “proven” to not be a significant driver; therefore you’ve admitted the CAGW theory is falsified”. This is not true. When discussing a subject that cannot be easily proven or disproven by a simple lab experiment, a consensus is formed through a body of evidence resulting from years of research and hundreds (or thousands) of papers and the theory is not falsified by an equally robust body of evidence. If, for example, the argument that “it’s the sun” gains a body of evidence explaining the recent warming more accurately than the CAGW theory, then it could become the leading theory. However, as it currently stands, that is not the case.

If you argue that “the consensus shouldn’t matter, it’s what nature shows that is important (and insert the Feynman quote)”. As I stated above, the scale and complexity of the problem means that you can’t create an experiment to test the theory. Our only test is what is actually happening around us. Again, many will jump on this and say “ah ha, it hasn’t warmed in X years; therefore, by your very definition, nature has proven the CAGW theory wrong”. Again, this is not true. Surface temperatures have not raised that much in the past 16 years, true. However, we (1) still have an energy imbalance and (2) we are starting to do more research into ocean temperature changes which show that deep oceans appear to be heating up. We’ve also continued to see Arctic ice extent, ocean acidification as well as a slew of other environmental affects predicted by CAGW.

I would also argue, as Brad1979 has, that although there has been a recent slowdown in the rate of warming as of late, it still falls within the IPCC predicted range. Just because you refuse to click the link, doesn’t make it go away. If you’re so fussy about Skeptical Science, here’s from another site or a link to the paper Foster and Rahmstorf 2012. And no one is arguing that these models are perfect, as more research comes in and our understanding grows, the models improve. However, no body of evidence has completely reversed the temperature trend, they just push the slope of the line up or down a bit.

On a closing note, TGS4, I agree that “denier” is a rather “charged” term, I think it just further polarizes the debate. However, I’m also fed up with terms like “believer”, “alarmist”, “AGW religion” and “bow to the altar of AGW”.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

tgs4

Where did i say climate is stable in the absence of human interference??

Climate is changing without any known reason other than the well understood CO2 forcing problem.

Are you sure there were no positive feedback warming events in the time span you listed??
Note that just because there is positive feedback this does not imply the effect is boundless.
Actually I think I have read a scientific paper outlining a period of time when just such a feedback appears to
have happened, I'll look it up.

Where does the IPCC "consensus" say that humans releasing CO2 is the sole cause of warming???
I don't believe it says that unless taken out of context by someone with an agenda or comprehension problem.

WRT the mars lander issue. It still was not proven that it would work on the surface of mars. Several people
have drawn an artificial distinction on my examples ( mars rover, earthquake reinforcement of buildings ) but
both are examples of effort expended based on only probable events. There is precedent for spending resources to
mitigate the impact of unlikely but still possible events.

rb1957
""i think that since we understand the causality""
You mean like when we observed things falling toward masses and then made up a name for this phenomena "gravity" and
now claim that this naming implies that we understand the 'causality'??
Sorry it is another artificial distinction. All that we humans really do is learn from correlated observations.
You cannot prove that an apple will fall to the ground, case closed..

Cranky
C'mon florescent bulbs, I would have thought you had something a little more meaningful. BTW LED tech may soon
replace them, and what about the mercury not emitted by power plants with widespread CFL usage.
And florescents have been around with the same risk for what 60 yrs ??



RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

rconnor - thank you very much for the well thought out and well written reply. Until you said "ocean acidification", I was pretty much right with you (you do appreciate that the ocean is rather basic and any additional partial pressure of CO2, converted to carbonic acid must first neutralize the basic condition of the ocean water...)

The first figure from Tamino's (the pseudonym that Dr. Grant Foster likes to go by in the blogosphere) blog is the heart and soul of this discussion. I agree that the current temperature trend is within the full range of possible temperature outcomes from the model simulations. However, if you focus on the model simulations that use, as inputs, the current CO2 rate of increase, then the current temperature trend falls below the possible temperature scenarios. Although the fluctuations are what would be expected in a chaotic system.

I also think that whatever baseline is chosen - 10, 12, 15, 16, 17 years to "demonstrate" that the slope of the T/t curve is whatever value we want is cherry picking. Both sides are guilty of it.

As far as natural changes go, until a few years ago, we didn't even know about or understand phenomenon such as AMO (Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation), PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation), AO (Arctic Oscillation), and we still don't have an understand of how ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a cause or effect or whatever of anything. That doesn't get into any sort of water-cycle thermostatic effect, GCR-cloud seeding (Galactic Cosmic Ray). While there are a bunch of things that we know - and you have hit the nail on the head of some of them, saying that CAGW, or AGW is the only viable hypothesis because we don't what else it could be is only argumentum ad ignoratiam - a logical fallacy.

Perhaps, over the next 5-8 decades, we will learn more, make more experiments, and take more data. Then, we can refine our models, including some of the natural effects. Perhaps, just perhaps after all that time, with suitable tweaking of the hypothesis, and demonstrated lack of falsifiable evidence, it is possible that AGW is demonstrated to be the only likely scenario. I don't discount that possibility. However, today, we aren't there - we're not even close. I mean, some of these natural cyclic systems haven't even gone through 1/4 a period.

I also think that over the next solar cycle, we will have the opportunity to test some of the basic science portions of the consensus theory vis a vis the sun's effects. It will be 16-20 years but it has the hallmarks of being very interesting.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

If the globe is indeed warming, it is only because the rest of the planet is sucking all of the heat out of Alberta.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

the more we learn about climate (or pretty much anything) the less we really know ('cause what we learned raises more questions)

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

florescent bulbs have been around for some time, however Hg at one time was not consitered a health risk. Until recently, a relitive term, very few florescent bulbs were in peoples homes.

And while it is true that minor minerals, like Sulfer and Hg are released into the air during the burning of coal, the same can also be said about natural gas. The issue is the amount in the orignal fuel, and how much is removed in the exaust. There was a time when Hg in coal plants were not monitored, but it has only been a concern when the amount of sulfer dropped. Like a moving target, when one problem is solved, another one is pointed at. This will continue until coal is run out of town.

The fact is while you may not like coal as a fuel, there is no other fuel with a cost as low as coal, in the quanties that can replace it right now. Gas may come close, but it still is not in the quanties needed. And if gas was in the quantities needed here, then coal would become an export, because few other countries have that much gas either.
It here, and it's a fact until we find something better. Goverment regulation can't make it go away, just more expencive.

All the same to me, it appears the goverment is trying to use the climate change thing to consolidate power, through more regulations.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

This could have been an interesting academic discussion. There was an hypotheses. It has evolved into a theory. Some data and observations seem to support the theory. Some interpretations of the data and observations lead to other conclusions. Science at its best.

Then enter a sensationalist media, corrupt governments, and petty environmentalists and we get the Inquisition. Any climate scientist who does not bow before the alter of this theory is a heretic and is not considered for tenure, can't get grants, doesn't attract grad students, and either changes his position or is drummed out of the field and sometimes out of science altogether.

I object to the suppression of alternate ideas. I object to the way that people with alternate ideas are marginalized. I object to adulterated data. I object to sanctioned optimism in the analysis of data. I object. During the last Inquisition this paragraph would have gotten me scourged at the least and probably executed. During this version I'm a "denier", a "wacko" and I'm flooded with "statistics" like "96% of people who call themselves climate scientists agree ..." which is like saying that "96% of Christians agree that ... (I won't fill in the rest because that would turn into a discussion of the proof of the tenets of Christianity and I've dragged the discussion into too many weeds already)".

Believers adamantly contend that there is "over whelming" "irrefutable" "proof" of the things that they take on "faith". I have no problem with beliefs, or faith, or commitment to a religion--those are all very personal things that are actually no one's business except the beliver's. My problem is being told that your beliefs have value (e.g., 200 million Christians can't be wrong) while mine don't. That kind of thinking starts wars, and this thread (along with the dozen other AGW threads that have gone viral) is a perfect illustration of the dangers of trying to convert others to your belief system--they are often unwilling to abandon their own belief system. I have read through this and a couple of other AGW threads this morning (I'm on the left hand side of the International Date Line this week) and I can't see a single time that anyone has converted anyone from one side of the discussion to the other side. We are all just talking at each other, and the recipient is cherry picking the word or phrase that he can attack.

rconnor, I'm sorry that you object to the term AGW Religion, in my world, if it quacks like a duck, etc. then I'm going to call it a duck.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2dye4 - since you asked...

Quote (2dye4)

If a century later the climate remains stable and no other factors have intervened then the hypothesis could be said to be proven wrong.

Quote (2dye4)

Climate is changing without any known reason other than the well understood CO2 forcing problem.
Seriously? We haven't even begun to quantify the factors that effect climate. And yet what I see is people sticking their fingers in their ears and closing their eyes saying "it can't be anything else".

Quote (IPCC)

Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations
- found here.

I never said that all feedbacks are negative - I can think of one that is positive right now - black soot on snow. One of the biggest issues that I have in all of this - and perhaps it's because these scientists are trying to discuss the topic with lay people, the way that everything is described as linear functions. What about periodicity (sine/cosine), or non-linear functions (a feedback may be positive at a particular temperature and then turn negative at a slightly higher temperature. Even the "climate sensitivity" may be a function of instantaneous temperature - which may explain the difference in rate of change of T/t in polar regions vs the tropics. As engineers we deal with highly non-linear systems all the time and while it may be handy to deal in chunks of linearity, we (hopefully) acknowledge the non-linearity of the system.

Actually, that brings me to my final beef about how this entire discussion is being had - as rconnor rightly pointed out, the issue is energy/power and not temperature. Why are we dealing with temperature and not energy? A 10 degree difference in Tuktoyaktuk in January is much different than a 10 degree difference in Miami in July (heat capacity of the air, plus the heat capacity of the water vapour in the air). We simply don't have enough data right now to make 30 years' worth of trends based on temperature-plus -relative humidity.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote (zdas04)

Why does every statement have to end with an ad hominin attack?

Quote (zdas04)

I'm sorry that you object to the term AGW Religion, in my world, if it quacks like a duck, etc. then I'm going to call it a duck

Quote (zdas04)

During the last Inquisition this paragraph would have gotten me scourged at the least and probably executed.

Relating CAGW to the Inquisition? One of the darkest times in human history? Really? Relating CAGW to a religion is bad enough but this is absurd. I agreed that "denier" is charged term but asked that the connection between CAGW and religion be dropped. You responded by continuing the connection to the Inquisition...

I don't know too many religions that produce peer reviewed papers supporting their physical theories. I don't know to many religions that use satellite data to empirically test theories (such as the CO2 as a greenhouse gas, which you (somehow) won't/can't accept...despite most the people on your side of the debate stating it is not a controversial topic).

Sure some non-experts will blindly cling to data or a "conclusion" as proof for their side, this is true for both sides of the debate. Sure there are many points of the CAGW theory that can be questioned (re-read my comment on the falsibility of the CAGW theory). However, to think that the scientific community has been corrupted by evil governments trying to form a one-world government, is conspiracy theory lacking in proof. Before you bring up climategate, I'd like to remind you that 9 different, independent review of climategate all showed there was no scientific wrong-doing. They concluded that they were merely "sound bytes" taken out of context in order to try to make something from nothing. Don't you just hate when people do that!



RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

EVERY religion uses peer reviewed papers to support their theories. The Vatican has upwards of a million of such documents. The Mormon Tabernacle is floating on them. The modern versions of these documents include extensive satellite data.

I have personally looked at several dozen of the documents from "climategate" (I hate that phrase) and the evidence I saw was absolutely damning. Data manipulated. Arguments about how much manipulation someone could "get away with". Conclusions in papers manipulated. Damning. If 900 people say it ain't so, but data that I have actually read says it is so, then I will go with the data I've read.

Some of the reports of Professors who can't get a job today because of their stance on this subject seem very much like the "One of the darkest times in human history".

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

3
Not backing away from the religion/Inquisition thing...ok.

Your definitions of "belief", "prejudice" and "knowledge", for reference.

Quote (zdas)

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.

Quote (zdas)

"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.

Quote (zdas)

"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

Quote (zdas)

If 900 people say it ain't so, but data that I have actually read says it is so, then I will go with the data I've read.
- Those people aren't random engineers, they are experts assigned to investigate the research. Again, all 9 found no wrong doing. You are welcome to believe (and believe is used in accordance with your own definition) what you want to believe.
- Perhaps your data is more compelling than the conclusions reached by the experts, you're welcome to provide it. Not doing so would be prejudice (and prejudice is used in accordance with your own definition).
- Here are links and excerpts from the various reviews
1) Penn State Review "there exists no credible evidence that Dr. Mann had or has ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with an intent to suppress or to falsify data". On "Mike's Nature trick", they concluded "The so-called “trick”1 was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field."
2) UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee
3) U of East Anglia
4) EPA
5) Department of Commerce
6) National Science Foundation
- Is that what you mean by "knowledge"?

Quote (zdas)

I absolutely dispute the "science" that claims that there even is a "greenhouse effect"

Quote (beej67)

You're going to lose that one zdas. There is absolutely a greenhouse effect. How much anthropogenic carbon contributes heavily to it is certainly questionable. You should adopt that as a fallback position.

Quote (zdas)

Saying it don't make it so.
(you got a star for this comment, btw)
- Harries 2001 Evans 2006 and a link to a whole bunch more
- Ahh...but all those papers are because the peer review wall blocking the REAL research!....well let's see what prominent skeptics have to say on the matter:
- Monckton: "Is there a greenhouse effect? Concedo. Does it warm the Earth? Concedo. Is carbon dioxide a greenhouse gas? Concedo. If carbon dioxide be added to the atmosphere, will warming result? Concedo."
- Spencer: "infrared-absorbing gases warm the surface and lower atmosphere"
- Singer: "One of [their] favorite arguments is that the greenhouse effect does not exist at all because it violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics...One can show them data of downwelling infrared radiation from CO2, water vapor, and clouds, which clearly impinge on the surface. But their minds are closed to any such evidence"
- Skeptics dispute the magnitude of warming caused by further increases to the CO2 concentration but they do not dispute the greenhouse effect.

You constantly attack those in agreement with the CAGW theory as being blinded by their preconceptions, unwilling or unable to see the true conclusion from the data. They cling to the dogma of AGW. You claim they "bow to the altar of AGW". Perhaps you bow to a different altar?

Now, for the rest of this post, I don't mean to discredit any of your individual view points nor am I trying to support the opposite; my point is to illustrate the common thread and how that would come into play when you assess data regarding CAGW.

Quote (zdas)

No, because I see practical socialism as a plot by a small number to enslave the masses for their own good.

Quote (zdas)

"Carbon taxes" are showing up progressively more vividly as "wealth redistribution"

Quote (zdas)

The religion of AGW has reached a status where it must be resisted by everyone who has not been inducted into the religion if the economies of the world are to survive (yes, that is pretty dramatic, it is also based on solid data, I can't tell you with confidence how the climate works, but I can tell you how Cap & Trade works by looking at the graft and theft in the existing programs).

Quote (zdas)

Abolish the Department of Education. Same with heath care. Abolish Health and Human Services. Same with Department of Energy.


There is a common thread of being against socialism, taxes, big government and regulation; perhaps it's the altar of capitalism that you bow to? Certainly the dogma there would be against any theory that would lead to more regulation and a restriction on consumption. To accept the theory would go against your beliefs. Cognitive dissonance. Again, I repeat, I'm not trying to discredit a capitalist viewpoint or promote a socialist viewpoint (or whatever you consider the opposite to be), I'm just highlighting a clear bias. Like it or not, if you say we (or I) have our altar than I am well within reason to say that the other side has theirs.

Both sides have biases, both sides are guilty of seeing the data they want to see and ignoring what they don't. Recognizing those biases is important to a rational discussion.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

There is no way to eliminate bias. Mostly people (myself probably more than most) don't even try.

Your list of irrefutable sources whos expertise cannot be questioned includes all of the employers of the people damned by so called climategate. One could claim that they had a vested interest in clearing the researchers of wrong doing. If we were talking about a problem in the Oil & Gas industry, a clean slate from a group of Oil Companies or even those schools tied to the industry (e.g., Texas A&M, University of Tulsa, Univ of Texas, Colorado School of Mines, etc) would be seen by the media as a whitewash, but in Climate "Science" who do you ask beyond the very institutions that have a significant portion of their funding provided by the pro-AGW lobby (e.g., law firms like Earth First, Wild Earth Guardians, or Sierra Club) and corrupt governments? These institutions all had a significant portion of their staff indicted by the e-mails. I call "foul" and put no faith in the report.

I am a computer modeler. Been writing models for over 20 years. I know the value of models. I know the shortcomings of models. If I can develop a model that does an acceptable job of representing past reality, then I have some confidence that the model can be extrapolated forward a very short distance. Hours are usually OK. Days are sometimes reasonable, weeks are rarely reasonable, months and years are unlikely to be valid, decades are outrageous. If anyone can show evidence of AGW that does not include projections from computer models I'll listen. Any statement that starts with "the model shows ..." is white noise to me, I won't even try to make sense from it.

As a modeler and an Engineer, Data is King. Nothing I ever do changes source data between creation and first storage. Period. A data set that cannot be traced back to a calibrated instrument without interference is simply noise. That traceable data set simply doesn't exist in the climate discussion. Everyone puts "heat island effects" (which have different magnitudes from different researchers), "open ocean effects", etc. onto the data prior to first storage. Adulterated data is just noise and I'm not going to try to draw conclusions from it. I look at the atmospheric CO2 data from the high observatories and see that CO2 magnitude has changed. Unequivocally changed with time on an increasing trend. That is an observation based on high-quality data that has not been manipulated. That observation does not prove that CO2 is a cause or an effect of climate change, it just says the atmospheric CO2 has increased. Do you see the difference?

I'm in Australia right now watching the machinations revolving around their new Carbon Tax. People are starting to ask why middlemen are starting to get very wealthy from this program. The EU is making noise about eliminating their version because of the corruption. Observations in human space say that this discussion is about wealth transfer, not environmental protection.

In this discussion my "religion" is the Constitution of the United States. The goal of that document was to constrain the federal government to those (very limited) activities that cannot be done better by someone else. I am a capitalist in that I think that the fruits of my labor can be better consumed by me and mine than by non-tax-paying citizens. I've seen the generational results of the dole (I grew up in a very poor county in the Ozarks) and there really are people who should be allowed to find their own way without government "help" that is really "enabling" anti-social and destructive behavior. Adults need to live with the consequences of their actions.

On reflection, I like the information in my signature more than ever.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
I find it rather silly that you guys are arguing about this, when in point of fact, the global warming doomsday models have been shown demonstratively to be wrong, because the globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years and every single one of the doomsday GW models said it would absolutely warm over the last 16 years given anthropogenic carbon output. Proof is in the pudding and the pudding is out of the oven.

That anthropogenic carbon plays some part in global climate seems sensible, but the degree to which it plays was vastly overstated by all the modeling efforts of the 90s that led us to the fear and doom predictions of late 90s climate scientists. That's fact, it's inked, it's in the books, there's no use arguing over it. As they say in sports, "Scoreboard."

The fact that these models failed speaks mostly to how dumb it is to calibrate a model to one variable (carbon) without establishing a causal relationship first via experimental science. Anthro carbon increases with warming historically, but so does every other thing that the human race does to change our environment, and all those other things are downplayed or ignored in the models. Pretty important things. Like manipulating the global hydrologic cycle, mechanized agriculture, production of direct heat (which can be seen from space, btw) etc. A lot of very sloppy science has been thrown at trying to downplay the effect of urbanization on macroclimate, despite it's very significant, measurable, obvious effects on microclimate.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

""There is no way to eliminate bias. Mostly people (myself probably more than most) don't even try.""

That statement eliminates you from any credible scientific discussion.

You have made your mind up, have numerous ill conceived scientific ideas, and a touch of paranoia.

""It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.""

Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Maybe it does eliminate me from any credible scientific discussion. I think it also eliminates every scientist I've ever known, but we were talking about me, not human nature. Can you point me to a credible scientific discussion so I can see if I'm able to unload my bias? AGW ain't it.

My "numerous ill conceived ideas and touch of paranoia" have led me to be right on whole bunch of things that the "common wisdom" said I was totally wrong on. Someone once asked me "If I told you that 100 Engineers out of the 100 Engineers that I know all hold the exact opposite opinion to the one you just said, what would you reply?" I said I would reply "I am amazed that you know 100 Engineers". On that particular topic the company decided to abandon the conventional wisdom and do the project my way. My way is out performing the production from the offset wells by 40% with costs reduced by 70%, so I guess the consensus was wrong in that case. Doesn't extrapolate that the consensus is always wrong, but accepting that the consensus is always right is a good way to absolutely stop progress since no consensus ever came up with anything new. New stuff comes from a single mind. Not a committee.

So pardon me if I'm happy with my ill conceived ideas and touch of paranoia. I recently got a patent (Patent No. 8,429,999 issue date May 14, 2013) on a separator in spite of my patent attorney and the patent office rep both saying "the Patent Office never issues patents on entire separators, there is just no way to differentiate an entire separator design enough to make it unique". I went against the grain and now have a patent and have signed a manufacturing license with a local fab shop. All the major players in Australia CSG are considering it. Consensus is a lousy way to do either science or Engineering. I guess that is just another example of my ill conceived ideas and touch of paranoia.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

how about them 'Leafs ? ... i mean we've brought every other aspect of human endeavour and society into this thread, so let's have sports too !

"climategate" has exposed some of the inner (hidden) workings behind the "science" and, sorry, i don't put much weight behind "not guilty" decisions given by the folks who do their "peer review".

McIntyre has shown that statistical methods accepted by environmental sciencists (Mann's papers were peer reviewed) are invalid, so comments like "The so-called “trick” was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field." are receieved with some skepticism.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Zdas

What eliminates you and separates you from most scientists is your statement about mostly not trying to correct your bias.

Is this what George W Bush meant when he said he wasn't going to 'argue with himself'?

Introspection is necessary to maintain rationality even among non scientists.

Now my take on your points.

The primary data type collected in temperature reconstructions is the time series. Time series of temperature readings, tree rings, CO2 entrapment in ice and many many others are all brought together to reduce the uncertainty of climate reconstruction estimates. Each series when time aligned will show some small trace of a common 'shape' that indicates overall global temperature change. The scientists do their best to distill this trend out of all known factors ( corrections to the records for known biases ) and arrive at reconstructions with relatively small 95% confidence intervals. Sure it is statistics but then how many instances of walking and talking like a duck does one need.
The calibration of sources is only necessary if changes occurred during the records time period because in the end the average value of each record is removed to show only the trend.

When data is corrected for known biases the original data is kept not thrown away and the corrected data is used.

Some models can be extrapolated more than others. How about this one i take from the top of my head.
T=55 + 30*cos(2*pi*day/365-pi)
I say with this model i can give you an expected temperature F ( average ) for Columbus Oh for any day in the year 2030.

It is of course only a model of the seasons, but it only diverges (if ever ) if the climate changes.
Some models have infinite timelines unless conditions change.
This is why climate modeling is not weather prediction.

The mathematics behind this modeling is actually quite sophisticated and one would be wrong to conclude he can fully comment without the specific training.

The hockey stick is alive and well no matter what conspiracy theories are out there.
www.woodfortrees.org

BTW here is a climate model given as a partial diff equation dating from 1980 that turned out to be
surprisingly accurate.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012...



RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

1) your model for the temp in Columbus is horrible, assuming day 1 is jan 1st (but that is an asusmption !)

2) i went your your link supporting the hockey stick ("The hockey stick is alive and well"), but i didn't see anything refuting McIntyre's work.

3) calling McIntyre's work "conspiracy theories" is just plain rude. As a statistian he analyzes Mann's model and found fundamental flawes with the data and the data reduction. he showed you got the "hockey stick" result using white noise.

but then i guess you're a "believer".

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2dye4,
Condescension thing working for you this morning? Been trying to convince teenagers to clean their rooms and abstain from sex? Not many teenagers here and your silly assertions ain't flying very far.

The problem I have with the tree ring data and the ice core data is that every single one of the readings has a +/- time band around the dating. Some of it is +/- 100 years. So if I have a warming record that is 500-700 years old and a CO2 reading that is 500-700 years old it is just as likely that the temperature changed 600 years ago and the CO2 changed 595 years ago as the alternative. Both dates are in the dead band. Someone looking for causality assumes that CO2 changed 605 years ago and Temperature followed an appropriate time later. This data simply does not have the resolution to support the conclusions. CO2 as a result of warming instead of a cause of warming is just as plausible as the alternative.

Yes, yes the data is thrown away. The "heat island" correction (for example) is applied to the field data before first storage. Different owners of data sets apply different corrections so there is no way to assess the actual magnitude of this effect except through computer models.

I'm not going to comment on your "climate model" beyond saying that inside every climate model there are equations that are nearly that silly. But when you put thousands of them together and run them through millions of iterations you get numbers that Katie Couric and Al Gore accept as factual.

Quote:

The mathematics behind this modeling is actually quite sophisticated and one would be wrong to conclude he can fully comment without the specific training.
You are kidding right? The climate is a fluid-mechanics system. My MS is in fluid mechanics. It is a subject that I have some small knowledge of and an intense interest in. The basis for all fluid dynamics is called the Navier-Stokes equation. The last major solution to that equation was done by Daniel Bernoulli in 1783. Not a lot of closed form solutions have been accomplished since then. A few special cases with limited applicability. All of the "sophisticated" mathematics in climate "science" are increasingly complex and increasingly narrow empirical equations that are basically statistical coincidences. I'd never knock empirical models, but to claim they constitute sophisticated science is a stretch. Mostly they represent the absence of science, I know the ones I developed for my Master's Thesis were more about fitting an equation to a fairly small data set (a few million records) than it was about honoring first principles. My advisory committee were very excited by the equations and wouldn't listen when I followed up after graduation with the information that in extended field application they turned out to be very wrong. The professors had ruled the work "great" and didn't want that assessment challenged. Maybe I'm not the only one with biases.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I await your revelation of which of my assertions are silly.

If the time series suffered from misalignment then the trend would be suppressed, see the triangle inequality WRT vector spaces.

The resolution comes not from analyzing isolated segments of individual time series but taking the whole together.

One argument about cause and effect of this issue stirs up debate about which came first CO2 or warming, but as any climate scientist will explain the two are linked in feedback so this question is moot by itself. Either will elicit the other.

I am surprised that the original data is not saved anywhere prior to corrections, I agree this is bad science but not a deal breaker. After all the corrections are documented for each data set.

My climate model for Columbus OH is meant to illustrate that some aspects of climate relatively stable and do not run off into chaotic error which seems to be your implication about climate models. Certainly fluid dynamics does this but then climate is mostly much large than the fluid dynamics of the atmosphere, you may be thinking of weather and not climate.

Congratulations on your very successful fluid flow modeling via the Navier-Stokes equations as this one of the most difficult applied mathematics problems and with time the solutions eventually devolve into chaos as you have indicated.

However the temperature of the fluid after a heating input and mixing is a much simpler problem as you know from freshman physics and the specific heat quantity.

One question, are you familiar with 'principle component analysis' ??
This is atmosphere modeling introduction topic and required for any reasonable discussion of combining time series for the purpose of estimating causal factors.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Would that the "corrections are documented for each dataset". Each researcher has his own understanding of the adjustments so whoever processed the raw data applies his corrections and goes away. The datasets do not indicate which of hundreds of algorithms are applied to the data. Some of the changes seem almost like an institutional bias, but we know that doesn't happen.

"The time series" do not "suffer from misalignment" they suffer from optimistic interpretations of the dead band. If a dataset has an uncertainty of +/-10 years then any value from 20 years to 40 years is exactly the same number. Treating the values in any other way will range from wishful thinking to criminal intent.

Quote:


One argument about cause and effect of this issue stirs up debate about which came first CO2 or warming, but as any climate scientist will explain the two are linked in feedback so this question is moot by itself. Either will elicit the other.
If you reject the Greenhouse Gas hypotheses out of hand, then the feedback loop doesn't happen. The earth warms. The permafrost retracts (measurable physical phenomena that was measured during the warming period in the 1990s). The frozen organic material becomes available for biological activity. Atmospheric CO2 increases within a year. This is a complete hypotheses that doesn't require computer models. It could be as wrong as the GHG hypotheses looks to me. It does plausibly fit the uncertainty in the data sets better than the GHG hypotheses. And don't say that GHG is a FACT as though shouting will make it so. I've heard the shouting and am not impressed.

As to "Principle Component Analysis" I did my Masters in Fluid Mechanics. In doing research for my Theses I reviewed several hundred PhD Theses documents and many other learned writings. Many of which went to great lengths to describe their "orthogonal vectors", "Eigenvalues" and "Eigenvectors". One sticks in my mind. After this verbose choom went on for over 300 pages about his Analysis he said that the results of it ended up with a system of empirical equations that would "match actual flows within +/-35% almost 22% of the time". In other words he felt that 1/5 of the time he could predict a 100 ft/sec flow stream as having a velocity between 65 and 135 ft/sec, the other 4/5 of the time he was less accurate. He and his PhD committee saw this as a huge win. Now he's teaching our children.

I've never heard the fluid and thermodynamic forces in the environment described as "freshman physics" before. Maybe I should have paid more attention. I got good marks so I thought I was paying attention, but maybe I missed that day. It really is not simple. It is kind of complicated actually. Much more complicated than any fluid system that has ever been successfully analyzed. The climate models with grid blocks the size of Colorado make me think of doing Engineering drawings with a paint roller. The model that was developed for my new separator has 1/10 the number of grid blocks than are used for the entire earth and the separator has a volume of 0.17 m^3 not 4.2 billion cubic kilometers. In any given one cubic meter control volume of the earth's atmosphere there are flow forces, rotational forces, gravitational forces, electrical forces, magnetic forces, nuclear forces, forces due to heat transfer, and other forces too numerous to mention. These all interact in amazingly complex and beautiful ways that absolutely defy closed form solutions. That is in a cubic meter. There are 4.2x1018 cubic meters in the atmosphere. Every one has a potential to effect every other one. My pissant model takes 28 hours to run to completion on the fastest computer array at Los Alamos National Laboratory (it is a long story). That model does a great job of explaining observed measured parameters. We let it extrapolate 20-25 time cycles into the future, and each time step is 20 seconds. I think that the results are useful. I don't think I'd let it go 200 time steps (just over an hour) into the future. Climate models are trying to tell us about the year 2500. Utter and complete tripe.

I've taken the time to write this because the meeting I'm in the office for today got canceled and I'm bored. Not sure when I'll be able to get back to a response if one is needed.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I don't think that level of modeling is required to understand greenhouse gas climate change.

In the reference that i linked was a simple model using a partial diff equation that produced expected rise in temps vs CO2.
And lets not forget it did quite well.


The net heat flux through the atmospheric due to CO2 and the specific heat capacity of the planets materials are the main concepts to be conquered.

To simplify enormously, you don't need to know how the air is flowing around in your oven to know that the turkey will cook.

BTW do you agree that methods such as principle component analysis are important to the science of temp reconstructions??

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

one part of the problem is "is the earth warming ?" ... whatever that means ('cause clearly some parts are warming as others are cooling). i don't think the data (terrestial or satellite) is conclusive. i guess someone will respond with solar energy in and energy reflected out ... if you're doing that you should add in the waste heat generated by human activity.

take it for a given that we're increasing the CO2 in the atmosphere (from 0.03% to 0.04% or so) from burning fossil fuels. and there are a whole bunch of interactions (absorption into the oceans, conversion into bio-mass, ...).

the next key question is how related are these two ? i think most of the debate is saying that all of the temperature change is due to human activity; i know there are some papers out there that show an amount is due to solar effects, but not many. i think the "non-believers" (that's neutral enough for me) think that most is solar driven (and so out of our control).

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Wow, this really needs to be a new thread...it needed to be one about 200 posts ago.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)

Quote:

In the reference that i linked was a simple model using a partial diff equation that produced expected rise in temps vs CO2.
And lets not forget it did quite well.

1) Didn't do quite well over the last 16 years, because the temp record is flat over the last 16 years,

2) Correlation /= Causality. It did quite well showing that human population and global temperature are correlated. That's all. Humans do lots of things to our environment other than release CO2. Ye Olde CO2 Hockey Stick happens exactly the same as Ye Olde Human Population Hockey Stick does, which also coincides directly with the advent of mechanized agriculture, and vast anthropomorphic changes to the earth itself. All of which are ignored or brushed away by the atmospheric chemists, because, well, they're atmospheric chemists.

If the modelers were serious about discovering the problem, instead of hanging the cause on a predetermined bogey man, then they would be looking for factors of human interaction with our environment that have leveled off the last 16 years, and they'd try their correlation gambit with those factors instead of carbon. They might get better correlation than they got from carbon.

So why isn't anyone doing that? I'd postulate because there's no money in it.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I don't think that most "non-believers" would argue with the fundamental physics of infrared absorption by gases. Those fundamentals indicate that for a doubling of CO2, it is expected that the planet would heat up 1°C. That increase is logarithmic, so a doubling from 300ppm to 600ppm would have the same effect as going from 400ppm to 800ppm (to a first order approximation). I suppose that we could all agree that such a change is well within the historic/geological record and is not much cause for concern or claim of catastrophe.

Where the catastrophic claims come from are the feedbacks - especially those due to the water cycle: humidity and clouds. 2dye4 - I would agree with you that for the fundamentals, you do not need a finely-resolved simulation. However, that's not the argument. The argument is over these feedbacks, and because those as so poorly understood, you might need incredibly-fine resolution in the GCMs. For example, tropical thunderstorms are incredibly efficient heat engines, yet our understand of their genesis, development, and death are not sufficiently understood so as to properly simulate them. And yet a 1% change in albedo caused by additional cloudiness during the day could completely offset any additional radiative forcings from further additions to greenhouse gases. Likewise, additional cloudiness at night could enhance the effect. The error bars on our understanding of these weather/climate features are HUGE. The same thing can be said for our understand of the other cycles: AMO, PDO, ENSO, AO, etc.

So, 2dye4 - you may be correct in your statement that the fundamentals don't need ridiculously-fine grids. However, the feedbacks (which are the source of the claims of catastrophe) do need them.

Unless you think that 1°C rise in temperature (we've experienced about 0.7C) since ~1850 is catastrophic. Either way, we need to define catastrophe first.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

As an aside, May has been seeing quite a few all-time record low temperatures at the Austin airport, including a new record low for the month as a whole at 37°F. Outside of Austin proper, the Hill Country has had some sub-freezing temperatures, and AFAIK (according to the weather guy on the news this morning) - nobody has been able to find previously recorded sub-freezing temperatures in the area during May. One of the LCRA gauges was at 29°F.

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/view/validProds.php?prod=R...

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Does any of this discussion address the fact that oue energy rich diet is going to lead to energy price hikes as millions of people in other countries strive to reach our level of affulence? Warming or not, we do need to look at if we need, and maybe how we can cutback our level of energy consumption.

The problem areas appear to be space conditioning, and transportaion as the biggest consumers of energy.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Cranky, there is a lot of cheap low-hanging fruit for energy efficiency.

...but caulking gaps around the windows and blowing more insulation into your attic isn't "sexy" like all these LEED projects.

After two rounds of going through the proper channels to have the facilities guys recaulk the windows of my office and still missing some significant drafty gaps, I gave up and did it myself last week.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

geeze, i Hate "low hanging fruit" ... i guess it's just me but i immediately think to the joke about tarzan and the elephant

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

2dye4

Quote (TGS4)

Unless you think that 1°C rise in temperature (we've experienced about 0.7C) since ~1850 is catastrophic. Either way, we need to define catastrophe first.

Well, the latest satellite global-wide temperature anomaly (difference from the "average or baseline worldwide temperature based on the early 1970's) is ..... 1/10 of one degree C.

That's it. 0.10 degrees in what is now 42+ years.

By the way, temperatures rose, were steady, and fell while CO2 was steady. On the millennium, century, decade, and yearly levels.
Temperatures rose (25 years), fell (20 years), and have been steady (15 years) while CO2 has risen constantly.

So, what is the relationship between CO2 and temperature? (Other than the federal and state grant money to the 97% of government-paid "scientists" who are paid government money to research CO2 and temperature so taxes can be raised to pay more government "workers"?)

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Yes, the low-end of the IPCC estimated range of the global mean temperature increase by 2100 has been reduced from 2.0°C to 1.5°C, but the high-end of the range is left unchanged at 4.5°C.

Exactly why does the CATO Institute think that this spells "Real Trouble" for the IPCC? After all, isn't it the position of the CATO Institute that there's NO 'global warning' whatsoever? So if the MINIMUM predicted increase is only 75% of what the last estimate was, that this is supposed to be a reason for gloating and finger waving...

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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

for much the same reason as the article that started this thread ... short term trends (heating or cooling) have no bearing on the long term, but both are met with cheers (and boos) from the respective camps.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

When I read a statement such as this:

Quote:

The mathematics behind this modeling is actually quite sophisticated and one would be wrong to conclude he can fully comment without the specific training.

I am reminded of the article I read in 'Wired' magazine, about the math wiz who developed the equation to determine risk in mortgage bundles, which then allowed all the banks and Wall St firms to take large collections of garbage mortgages, bundle them together, and call them investments. Everyone went along with it, the bankers all made huge bonuses, the economy was destroyed, and the bankers got more huge bonuses.

Sophisticated models don't necessarily make garbage into gold, unless you're at the top of the pyramid of thieves.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Do you really trust sooth sayers who clame to predict the future? Then why not crystal balls, or terot cards?

I was once told that figures don't lie, but that liers can figure.

Not that I want to call anyone a lier, but we all get some bad information from time to time.

It's not a bad practice to allow someone to admit they are wrong. And on the other hand, a 'see I told you so' is also rude.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I am not crazy enough to believe all the predictions of doom, and I'm also not crazy enough to believe that all of man's industrial activity has no effect on the planet.

You can all hate me, and call me a fool, because I don't fall into your little club.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

10p ... no one's calling any one names ... well, not much !? in fact your opinion resonants with many of us.

most of us appreciate conservation, and using our resources prudently. IMHO it'd be great to see the developing economies side-step the fossil fuel economy.

many of us question the value of making CO2 the "arch villian" of the play, and so question the benefits in spending our treasure to reduce it.

many question the science behind the pronouncements.

many will, no doubt, take exception to the above ...

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I'm just saying to be a sceptic on news from common news sources, and anyone who proports to pridect the future. All statics should have a confadence factor, and if they don't, then I don't have confadence in the numbers.

Also consiter that well over 80% of people are able to make decisions with no facts at all. So many times propaganda is made up to sway the no fact crowd.

I do agree there maybe some human caused global warming, but not to the extent of sending my money to Al Gore, and his like.

The facts just don't prove it, and the pain is just too great. So part of it to me is just made up.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"well over 80% of people" ... is that a statistic ? ... without a CF ?? ... smile !

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

37% of all statistics are made up.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I thought the number was 37.11236789% (in my experience whole numbers indicate confidence, outrageous irrational numbers indicate an intent to deceive).

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." - Abraham Lincoln.

Anyway, today I learned that the Economist and CATO don't understand the difference between transient and steady state.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Something has just triped my BS meter.

1. Anything with Abraham Lincoln and the internet needs to be explaned, as this is not in the range of common belief.

2. You are implying transient and steady state terms to the climate, which implies some cyclical function. I would believe dozens of cycles, or more than most science guys can deal with, or more of a sudo random, or random function.

But I agree many news and commentary groups don't know much about science, or math.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

cranky, I suspect Brad was giving a tongue-in-cheek example with the Lincoln "quote"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I'm just saying Al Gore is not that old.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I suspect that you made that comment based on the belief that Al Gore once claimed that "He invented the Internet", eh?

Well, I'm sorry to tell you that he NEVER made that claim, despite what you may have heard on Faux News:

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp

http://www.salon.com/2000/10/05/gore_internet/

But in the end, Al got the last laugh on the political pundits when in 2005 we was awarded a 'Webby' (the Internet industry's equivalent of an Oscar or Emmy) for "Lifetime Achievement, in recognition of (his) pivotal role in the Internet over the last three decades" and which was presented to him by one of the ACTUAL 'inventors' of the Internet, Vint Cerf.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/al-gore-wins-a-we...

John R. Baker, P.E.
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To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I'm not a lover of Snopes.com, but they had a direct quote from Al Gore with references to where he said it and what the context was. Exceptionally thorough for Snopes.com. In that quote, Al Gore said:

Quote (Al Gore)

I took the initiative in creating the Internet

I took the initiative in creating a couple of things that the USPO says I "invented". I don't think that Al Gore is poorly served by someone taking that quote and saying that he claims to have invented the Internet. It is only the liberal fan club called Snopes.com that would take the quote and say that the claim was "FALSE".

I don't know anything about Salon.com, but reading the article, they didn't say much in a lot of words. I'm going to step out on a limb and suggest that that site is also part of the liberal cheer leading squad.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote (zdas04)


...is also part of the liberal cheer leading squad.

And that's a problem how...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
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To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

For an organization explicitly in favor of an ideology, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. For an organization purportedly reporting the news I have a big problem. My TV has Fox News (along with CNN and MSNBC) blocked. I can't stand any of them claiming to be "fair and balanced" and then cheer leading for one side of the discussion. I'd block the networks too, but I watch some of the non-"news" crap on them.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Why did the name Al Gore and the internet spark so much conversation, and the rest of what said did not? Why are we wasting more than a swipe at the fat, energy wasting millionare?
Yea I know he wastes energy it has been documented, but he buys carbon credits from poor people in other countries, who he trusts to keep the trees alive (I seem to have a problem with other countries, and trust, but only on long term things).

Has anyone noticed the return in CNG vehicles?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I heard a brief comment on the radio about a new factory option for a CNG Ford F150.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

one glance at the webbys website is enough to see that the webby is nearly as distinguished as the Nobel Peace Prize thumbsdown


http://www.webbyawards.com/about/

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

If you recall, I didn't equate it to the Nobel, but rather the Oscar's and Emmy's, so I guess there was a basis for your opinion of the 'Webbies' after all winky smile

John R. Baker, P.E.
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To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Hay Goverment Motors is lowering the price of the Volt.

Which reminds me that a few months ago I heard of making refilling CNG vehicles at home possible, which is a new type of plug in your car.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"Which reminds me that a few months ago I heard of making refilling CNG vehicles at home possible"

Honda worked on that a while back and I think spun it off to http://greencardc.com/phill-home-refueling-applian... so it's not exactly new news and I'm pretty sure it's been discussed here before. I recall Zdas having concerns over CNG fueled vehicles the various times I've brought it up.

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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Interesting, the dedicated home appliance uses 3.2 kWh of electricity (on a 240V circuit) to put 50 miles worth of CNG in the car, taking 4 hours to do so.

Fuels even slower than electric vehicles!

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

There are reasons achieving 3000+ psig gas pressures has been primarily an industrial, rather than a residential, process:)

Regards,

Mike

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I suspect that home liquefaction of natural gas is even more unreasonable ;)

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

GM's REAL long-term vision is fuel-cell technology. And they've been at it since 1966:

http://history.gmheritagecenter.com/wiki/index.php...

John R. Baker, P.E.
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To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Taking 7 inch Water Column of pressure to 3600 psig is a 5 stage recip. I get really nervous about a home do-it-yourselfer being able to keep a 5 stage compressor running leak free. DIY guys get what they deserve, but their family's don't really deserve to die because of a small mistake.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Here's a more recent item about the state of fuel-cell technology as it pertains to some of today's leading auto manufacturers:

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/516711/why-to...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
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Siemens PLM:
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To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

More concerning than what pollution may (or may not) be doing to temperature averages is what it is doing to our general health.
Nice article, good read.

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Interesting "the dedicated home appliance uses 3.2 kWh of electricity (on a 240V circuit) to put 50 miles worth of CNG in the car, taking 4 hours to do so." Sounds almost like the electric car would be easer and faster with the same amount of electricity.

Woulden't it just be more efficent if we timed the traffic lights so we don't have to stop at each one?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Lots of traffic signal coordination work has been happening in Texas over the last 10 years with quite a bit of success. It does take some expertise and money to make it happen, there are distance limits, the timing on each signal needs to change several times over the course of a day to match traffic loads (weekends are different too) - and the signals often need to be networked to keep the timing synchronized.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The only real problem with hydrogen-fueled vehicles is....the fuel.

For example: http://www.tbp.org/pubs/Features/Sp04Uhrig.pdf (A little dated, perhaps, but still relevant)

Regards,

Mike

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"Woulden't it just be more efficent if we timed the traffic lights so we don't have to stop at each one? "

Just do what my hometown of Basingstoke did, avoid use of traffic lights or Stop signs for that matter, and put roundabouts (traffic circles) everywhere.

Only works up to certain traffic flows though then you get to combine them with traffic lights and get the worst of both worlds.

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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Actually I think traffic circles (AKA roundabouts) are very effective and we're seeing more of them popping up here in the 'colonies' all the time.

John R. Baker, P.E.
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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

There's a section on Basingstokes beloved roundabouts here http://www.basingstoke.me.uk/#HHGG including it's nick name of 'doughnut city'.

The other theory was that there were some very messy town planners back in the day, they kept putting their tea/coffee cups down on the maps, and anywhere they left a ring a roundabout got built.

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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Terminology is important, here's what it means in the USA:

"Roundabout" is the simple, efficient version: Yield signs for entering traffic, no other traffic control other than possible striping. Volumes need to be fairly low, but it is a great improvement on the 4-way stop or a low-volume signal*, if you have the space available. Traffic never stops, unless entering traffic needs to yield to traffic already in the roundabout.

"Traffic Circle" is the monstrosity you see in DC which destroys the efficiency - you have signals and all sorts of crap to stop/slow traffic. Blockages and stops all the time.

I'm very much in favor of the Roundabout, but not the Traffic Circle.

*Signal/traffic light

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

TomDOT, roundabouts have kind of come back in vogue lately where I live. I mostly agree with your statements about them, except to add, for them to work also depends on moderately skilled and courteous drivers. Which we abundently don't have. Me First!

We had a small one built downtown which had a fountain in the center. Guess what, the fountain was repeatedly struck by cars and damaged (mostly in the late evening hours if you know what I mean). I think they finally took it out.

Regards,

Mike

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Around here the roundabout centers tend to have large decorative rocks and some landscaping in the center. :D

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"if you have the space available."

Pah, there is almost no intersection so small or tight you can't paint a nice round circle in the middle and call it a roundabout. At least so the Basingstoke planners seem to believe. Next step up is a slightly domed round about with no kurb.

Both of the above give the option for large vehicles that don't have the necessary turning radius to simply go over the roundabout.

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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

I‘ve got an impression that the whole purpose of roundabouts is to drive truckers away from certain areas.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

In an older part of town there is a kind of a small, D shaped "roundabout" connecting three streets. I always thought the designer should have to spend all day, every day driving around it in a vehicle with a manual transmission and no power steering. Like I drove around it in.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Yes, I've seen some of those 'White Dots' in the middle of an intersection 'roundabouts' in Cambridge. But I have to say that England has some of the best behaved drivers I've ever seen, although it may not look like it at first, the drivers in India are also very well behaved or else no one would ever get anywhere in that country.

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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

The whole problem with round abouts here is no one seems to know what to do at a yield sign. And it seems worse around military bases. I would think that would be required for driving on bases, but apperently not.

What happens is between people who believe yield means you should not stop (Or to those from the West cost who believe drivers are required to let you in), and those who see no problem with tailgating, several people a day get run off the road. Not just at roundabouts either.

I also think it goes back to the Me First.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

cranky, you may as well complain about the folks who run red lights, tailgate on the freeway and don't stop at stop signs - I actually see fewer violations at my nearby roundabout than the stop sign a few blocks over.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote:


Why did the name Al Gore and the internet spark so much conversation, and the rest of what said did not? Why are we wasting more than a swipe at the fat, energy wasting millionare?

Oddly enough, on my vacation I happened to read a biography of Armand Hammer, interesting fellow, he liked to make sure he had politicians of every stripe in his pocket, one of the pictures shows Al Sr with his wife and Al Jr, firmly in the pocket of Armand Hammer and Occidental.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"no one seems to know what to do at a yield sign", cranky108, I am all the time hollering "Yield means give way, not give up":)

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Roundabouts are brilliant. The UK's road network is based on them. Most motorway (highway) junctions are based on roundabouts. Some may have a circumference of quarter mile because they raise up over the top of the 4-6 lanes below and feed in the entry and exits.

Once you realise how they work, which is not very hard, it is easy to follow. Approach the junction, if there is a car on the roundabout before you or is about to enter at high speed, then yield. Simple.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"then yield. Simple." ... 'cept of many male egos ...

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

KENAT, no we can't. We even have a "move over" law in my state. It is almost universally ignored and never enforced.

Regards,

Mike

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Some how I think many of these bad habits people have is because they are trying to get ahead, or a I don't care, and this may have developed in reaction to traffic control, and the process of controlling peoples driving habits. That maybe traffic calming is having the oposite effect.

While on this topic, will smart grid, and controlling peoples appliances, AC, and thermostats have a simular effect? Will it make people develop some nasty energy usage habits?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

people have bad driving behaviours 'cause they are inconsiderate of others. "me first"; for me Ontario drivers are notorious "lane hogs" ... cruising in the inside lane as a right.

people will have bad energy behaviours 'cause they don't feel any pain.

the last thing i want to see is some government agency setting my thermostat, but i will accept a pricing model that "encourages" me to be more energy efficient.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Quote:


Do we really expect people who can't get the general idea of "keep to the inside lane unless overtaking or allowing to merge" to comprehend yield?

Well, I'm not sure what you mean by that, and yet I understand 'yield' and 'merge'. To me, 'inside' means 'near the middle', so the 'inside lane' would logically mean the one near the middle of the road, which is what I was taught was the passing lane.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

TenPenny, you are correct, although in practice the right-hand lane (asuming left-hand-drive vehicles) is often the "passing lane" out of necessity:)

Regards,

Mike

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

It is my opinion that, as cars have become better & better, drivers have become worse & worse. Why? Nobody has to actually operate the car anymore, just point it and regulate the speed to some degree. Power everything, automatic everything, cruise control, traction control, stability control, great tires, great ride and handling, nobody has the faintest idea what's going on out there. It's like going down the road in your living room:)

Regards,

Mike

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

We're a bit spoiled here in California as it's legal, with a few restrictions on large truck when there are 3 or more lanes, to cruise and/or overtake in any lane. But this of course can cause problems when driving in other states where there are lane and passing restrictions and you fall-back on your 'at-home' driving habits.

However, the one traffic rule which really drove us crazy when we first moved here 33 years ago was that which allows motorcycles to pass BETWEEN lanes of traffic as long as they stay off the shoulders and/or the median. This includes allowing them to move to the front of multiple lanes of traffic when stopped at a traffic signal, again, as long as they don't use the shoulders/median (driving on a shoulder or in the median is reserved for emergency vehicles only).

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Roundabouts can liven up many a boring journey. Getting the power down on exiting a roundabout is so much more fun than doing a standing-start from stop-lights. Many roundabouts even have super-grippy surfaces so you can really sling-shot off them.

When I did my motorcycle lessons, one of the things the instructor made clear to us was that roundabouts do not have a "racing line". Certainly not when doing the actual test. But we know they do. The national speed limit here (60 mph) can seem like quite a lot when you are doing it around a roundabout.

- Steve

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

We've got a larger one here that the car guys used to routinely use as a skid pad:) (traffic permitting, I'm sure)

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

JohnRBaker - actually I don't think the being able to cruise/overtake in any Lane here in CA is beneficial overall - that was part of the inspiration for my comment. I'm inclined to think the traffic flow in the UK was generally a little better (though lot's of variables of course).

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RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Here's a link to a rotary that I used to pass through on a daily basis when I lived in Springfield, Massachusetts:

http://imagemuseum.smugmug.com/History/East-Longme...

As far as I know, it is the only traffic circle to ever be featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not! It could be painful to drive through if you were dealing with motorists who didn't know how to navigate their way through it. One of my buddies who lived near Springfield refused to go through it for years. He would go out of his way to avoid it, and referred to it as the "circle of death". Apparently there were accidents in it quite often, although I never personally saw one happen.

Maui

www.EngineeringMetallurgy.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

When the French introduced roundabouts, "priorité a droite" applied (or was assumed by French drivers), meaning that cars traveling counter-clockwise on the roundabout had to give way to cars entering (i.e. from the right). So they just filled up with cars and ground to a halt.

- Steve

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

ah, easy-peasy ... google "swindon roundabout" ... we'd been driving in the UK for some months so we were used to the roundabout signs, then we say that one ... a central roundabout with satellite roundabouts, aptly nicknamed "magic roundabout" ... "what do we do now ? i don't know, but i'm going that way" ... made it out alive.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Hit up Google maps for East Longmeadow, MA and it centers pretty much on the rotary. Streetview is pretty neat. I'm surprised at how low and small the yield signs are.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Tom, it's pretty intimidating driving through it for the first time, and especially during rush hour. But after a few weeks, it just becomes routine.

Maui

www.EngineeringMetallurgy.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

That so called ‘traffic circle’ in Massachusetts, if the hand-drawn sketch was to scale, is not at all what you see most of the time in the UK.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

rb1957: "keep right except to pass" is just fine and makes sense on roads without speed limits, and on roads with very little traffic. I too have no patience for people driving in the left lane on an empty road.

When I'm on a German autobahn, I don't pull out until there's nobody in the rear view mirror, then I pound it until I've passed and pull back in as fast as possible. No cops, no problem. Failure to do that will result in a Mercedes in your back seat! Similarly, I pound it whenever overtaking on a 2-lane highway. I've lost family members to head-on collisions so I want the hell out of the lane carrying the opposing traffic as fast as my car will get me there.

The guys riding your bumper in the left lane every time you try to pass someone here in Ontario on multi-lane divided highway are usually expecting you to drive at a speed which is certain to get you (as lead car), not them, a speeding ticket if there's a cop over the next hill. I don't like tickets and I certainly don't like demerit points, thanks.

On a multi-lane highway I have a maximum overtaking speed, and I drive at that speed until I pass the lead car by a safe distance and can pull over and drive again at my cruising speed. I'm going back into the right hand lane as soon as I can, but if there's a long string of cars or trucks to the right of me, all driving slower than my cruising speed and too close together to allow me to pull in between them, you're going to have to wait a bit.

Honest, I'm not a road hog. But I have no less right to drive at my cruising speed than anyone else does, either.

Some people have a sense of entitlement which says they and they alone are permitted to drive as fast, or as slow, as they like, in any lane they choose, regardless whether someone is in front of them, or beside them, or not. Those people are the real "road hogs". Riding someone's bumper is dangerous aggressive driving. Take a pill- we're all going to get there!

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

moltenmetal - amen. I completely agree.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

molten, I certainly wasn't implying that the implication of the speed limit should be ignored, and diving into every gap between cars on a multi lane highway has it's own risks if 'keep over' is too strictly implemented.

I've driven on busy freeways/motorways plenty in both US (CA) & UK at rush hour and I'm inclined to think that even when very busy, the road system where keeping over except to overtake or allow to merge was the rule flowed better.

As to when you have a convoy of speeding vehicles; I always thought it would make more sense for the police to stop the rear guy in the convoy - on the assumption that he'd managed to catch up with the rest of the convoy so must have been going fastest at some point and if it wasn't for the cars in his way would still be going faster.smile (I know not necessarily the case.)

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

This maybe a dumb question, but why is it that the speed limit dosen't change on an up hill streach or a down hill strech? For efficienciy reasons the speed limit should increase on a down hill segment, and decrease on up hill segments. I'm not just talking about the small hills either, but like the 4, 5 , & 6% grades.

The speeds do change for sharp corners, and I still see marks in the concret up to 10 or 12 Ft high, meaning the speed signs are ignored, by people with dented cars, and trucks.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Cranky, generally speed limits are (at least nominally) about safety not efficiency aren't they? (Though there have been exceptions such as the old US national 55 limit which Sammy had such trouble with.)

I've seen reduced down hill speed limits for trucks etc. on some roads.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

i thought speed limits were just for non-tax revenue ... but i guess they are needed today, to stop people doing 120kph in a school zone

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

60 mph on a twisty B road in the middle of nowhere in the UK is still legal. And fun.

- Steve

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

and with stone hedges and wandering sheep to avoid.

story where i used to work was when we were "supporting" a UK partner, sending no end of engineers to "help" them. apparently one of them developed a reputation for returning rental sans RH side mirror ...

can we say that this thread has been successfully hi-jacked ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

oops, meant LH (pax) mirror ...

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

There was a story on the news about the US removing 600 weather stations because they were problematic. How does this fit with global warming?
This might be within the margen of error of the whole population of weather stations, but how many or few actual weather station data were used for any reports?

This just backs up my assesment that reports without a margen of error, or confedence factor are only intended to influence people.

To tie this in with what was discussed above, human caused warming is not because we drive cars, but because stupid excessive goverment regulations and interference.
This is not to say some regulation isen't needed, but to say some is not and is wastful.

Can we get a refund on bad goverment?

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)

Quote:

There was a story on the news about the US removing 600 weather stations because they were problematic.

How did they define "problematic?"

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

they were giving "bad" results ... ie results that didn't agree with the opinion ...

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Some of the problematic stations were identified as being to close to heat trapping structures, which tended to keep the night time tempetures higher that the souranding area. It did not however say how many were like this or if there was another issue or reasons.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

There is a guy named Anthony Watts with NOAA who has been going from station to station and cataloging their deficiencies. A bunch of the stations are located in the exhaust plume of high rise HVAC units. Some were located in heat concentration zones (i.e., flat roof of a building with a 3 ft wall and 6-inches of gravel over the roof, the gravel absorbs heat and gives it up very slowly through the night). Some were in such bad repair that they didn't capture any new data, but kept reporting "latest" readings from sometime in the past. Some weren't reporting at all and the data collection software just made up numbers for those stations. The 600 that will be dropped from FUTURE data collection (but the last few decades will be kept in the system) were the ones that were beyond repair. There is an interesting article at CFACT.com, but I'm not going to link to it because cfact.com is a denier site and the zealots discount everything there out of hand, I don't need the grief.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

Bottom line is if you want to prove something, using bad data is not the way to impress an engineer. Be careful of your data sources.

Having 600 bad weather stations could be twisted either way to say either side is right. It's just bad form for NOAA to have them.

Problem is with the removals is will there be any additions?

We saw the same thing here with the removal of weather stations, that we can no longer prove our wind speed with tempeture coorlation.

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

"and the data collection software just made up numbers" ... IMHO, says it all !?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years

(OP)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/clima...

Quote:

Despite the original forecasts, major climate research centres now accept that there has been a “pause” in global warming since 1997.

The original predictions led to billions being invested in green measures to combat the effects of climate change. The changing predictions have led to the UN's climate change's body holding a crisis meeting, and the the IPCC is due to report on the situation in October. A pre-summit meeting will be held later this month.

But the leaked documents are said to show that the governments who fund the IPCC are demanding 1,500 changes to the Fifth Assessment Report - a three-volume study issued every six or seven years – as they claim its current draft does not properly explain the pause.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

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