Are We Headed For Global Warming Collapse?

This is the first of several posts I will do on Global Collapse. I am not saying, right here anyway, that civilization as we know it will collapse, but I am asking the question: “Can collapse be avoided?” This post will deal with global warming and the associated climate change.

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Right now CO2 is higher than it has been in over 20 million years. But it has been higher, a lot higher.

The chart below was published in the Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World 2015 and the source of their data was Goddard Institute for Space Studies

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What this chart clearly shows is that global warming, so far, is primarily a northern hemisphere phenomenon and mostly above 60 degrees latitude.

Arctic still heating up twice as fast as rest of planetAnnual average temperatures have continued to rise for the region as a whole throughout the recent slowdown in the pace of warming globally, according to a new analysis of conditions above 60 degrees north latitude.

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The ocean, especially the arctic ocean, is warming much faster than the atmosphere.

In fact, the loss of reflective sea ice is part of the reason Arctic temperature has risen three times faster than the global average in recent decades. This effect, known as Arctic amplification, has consequences for nearby land ice, too.

But why is the Northern  Well for one reason that’s where most of the people are. That’s where most of the CO2 emissions comes from. But… don’t the air mix from north to south?

How long does it take something in the atmosphere of the northern hemisphere to appear in the atmosphere of the southern hemisphere? The best answer I could come up with was about six months. (I am not at all confident that six months is correct however.) Anyway that is clearly way too short a time for CO2 to have such a different effect on the temperature between the two hemispheres. But what about methane?

Concern Over Catastrophic Methane Release

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(Global distribution of methane averaged over 2011 by NASA/AIRS. Note the very high concentrations in the Arctic region. For this map, the highest concentrations occur in the Yedoma region of Russia, a region of multiplying methane emitting tundra melt and Thermokarst lakes [see below]. Image source: NASA/AIRS.)

Methane mixing ratio here is parts per million and the chart goes from 1.71 to 1.85. That is not a big difference but if it takes an average of 6 months for the atmosphere, north to south, to mix then that means there must be a continuous release of methane from the Arctic area.

Here are the measurements in parts per billion as measured by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, a department of the US Department of Energy.

Methane Concentrations, February 2014

Prehistoric ……………….. 722 PPB ……… Ice Core measurements.
Northern Hemisphere   1893 PPB ……..  Mace Head, Ireland
Southern Hemisphere   1762 PPB ……..  Cape Grim, Tasmania

Pre-industrial concentrations of CH4 are evident in the 2000-year records from Law Dome, Antarctica and longer ice-core records found on CDIAC’s collection of data access links to atmospheric trace gases. A spline function fit to those data gives 697 ppm for year 1750, but this may be lower than the global average if agricultural sources in the Northern Hemisphere were already contributing nontrivially. For graphs of two-thousand-year records of CH4, CO2 and N2O concentrations are found here.  

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The above charts only go to the year 2000. The atmospheric methane has jumped about 400 parts per billion in just the last 15 years. Also notice that the methane concentration as measured from Mace Head, Ireland in February 2014, 1893 ppb, is higher than the highest point on the global chart above, as measured in 2011, 1885 ppb.

But where is all this methane coming from? From the melting methane clathrates, (sometimes called hydrates), in the ocean crust and arctic permafrost.

Mysterious Giant Crater-like Structures Found near New-Zealand

A multinational team of researchers led by marine geophysicist Dr Bryan Davy from GNS Science has found what may be the world’s biggest pockmarks on the seafloor about 310 miles east of Christchurch, New Zealand.

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The above is an artist creation of what the pockmarks look like on the seafloor.
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Scientists believe they are the ancient remnants of vigorous degassing from under the seafloor into the ocean. The structures (the largest being 6.8 miles by 3.7 miles in diameter and 328 feet deep) are at water depths of about 0.6 miles and there is currently no sign of gas being emitted from them.

The team investigated the larger seafloor structures on the German research ship Sonne. Their aim was to determine the geological origin of the structures, which were first noted in 2007.

And the below link is the results of that study.

Gas escape features off New Zealand: Evidence of massive release of methane from hydrates


Multibeam swath bathymetry data from the southwest margin of the Chatham Rise, New Zealand, show gas release features over a region of at least 20,000 km2. Gas escape features, interpreted to be caused by gas hydrate dissociation, include an estimated a) 10 features, 8–11 km in diameter and b) 1,000 features, 1–5 km in diameter, both at 800–1,100 m water depth. An estimated 10,000 features, ∼150 m in diameter, are observed at 500–700 m water depth. In the latter depth range sub-bottom profiles show similar gas escape features (pockmarks) at disconformities interpreted to mark past sea-level low stands. The amount of methane potentially released from hydrates at each of the largest features is ∼7*1012 g. If the methane from a single event at one 8–11 km scale pockmark reached the atmosphere, it would be equivalent to ∼3% of the current annual global methane released from natural souces into the atmosphere.

3% from just one pockmark and there are thousands of them on the seafloor:

Pen Bay pockmarks as big as the Rose Bowl

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The seafloor of Penobscot Bay has been in the news quite a bit lately due to controversy around a proposed dredging project in Searsport. A little-discussed aspect of the dredge proposal is that the Army Corp of Engineers is proposing to deposit the dredge spoils into an expansive cavern on the sea floor in western Penobscot Bay, called a “pockmark.”

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These pockmarks in the Barents Sea are believed to be only 10,000 to 12,000 years old, dating back to the end of the last ice age. The long grooves here in the sea floor was caused by ice pushing across the seafloor. Therefore the pockmarks have to be younger than the melting of the ice.

Sometimes they happen on dry land. This is a small one, below, only 100 feet across.

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But that year, 2014, also saw something else. A potential catastrophic release of methane. For in the frozen region of Yamal, Russia the earth near a remote Siberian village began to destabilize. Soon after, according to eyewitness accounts, the area began to smoke. Then, with a bright flash, the ground erupted.

When the smoke cleared, a massive crater was found where only flat, frozen tundra was there before. A giant plug of frozen earth had been ejected violently. And all that remained was an ominous gray-black crater.

Researchers investigating the crater found 10 percent atmospheric methane concentrations at its base.

I have watched well over a dozen “Methane Bomb” videos on Youtube. Most, but not all, predict a catastrophe in just a few years. Some, especially those by Guy McPherson, predict the total extinction of human beings as well as most other life. They call it “the firing of the clathrate gun”. And when it goes off, all life as we know it will be destroyed. I don’t believe it! For one reason the clathrate gun has been fired many times before. The last time was just ten to twelve thousand years ago. But then there was no real methane spike in the atmosphere.

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But there was massive global warming at this time. But the warming was relative, we went from a deep ice age to the normal weather we have experienced since the melting of the ice. I have no idea why the methane did not show up in the ice core but it could have had something to do with the fact that little ice was laid down during this period. That is it was a time of the great ice melting.

My Conclusions

We are well past the point of no return. Given the delay between greenhouse gas emissions and the actual warming of the atmosphere, there is no way we can possibly stop it. Given the forty year delay between cause and effect, even if we completely stopped the emissions of greenhouse gasses today, it would still be forty years before we saw the first changes from our actions. And we all know we are not going to stop emissions, the best we can hope for is a slowing down of emissions. And it is way, way too late for that to help at all.

If we accept that greenhouse gases are warming the planet, the next concept that needs to be grasped is that it takes time, and we have not yet seen the full rise in temperature that will occur as a result of the CO2 we have already emitted…

The reason the planet takes several decades to respond to increased CO2 is the thermal inertia of the oceans.

The trigger has already been pulled, the methane explosion has already started, the atmosphere is getting warmer but the oceans are getting even warmer. And it will get worse, a lot worse, but it will not lead to total extinction of the human species as Guy McPherson predicts. It will be bad but not that bad.

It has all happened before.

The last methane release, or clathrate gun was fired a mere ten to twelve thousand years ago. But it was muffled by a world with one third of its land covered by ice. The melting of the ice absorbed the heat and all that happened was the ice age disappeared. But it has happened before when the earth had very little ice cover. And the winter temperatures at some parts of the Antarctic averaged 50 degrees F, (10 degrees C).

Tropical climate in the Antarctic: Palm trees once thrived on today’s icy coasts 52 million years ago

In an area where the Antarctic ice sheet borders the Southern Ocean today, frost-sensitive and warmth-loving plants such as palms and the ancestors of today’s baobab trees flourished 52 million years ago. The scientists’ evaluations show that the winter temperatures on the Wilkes Land coast of Antarctica were warmer than 10 degrees Celsius at that time, despite three months of polar night.

Also the Antarctic, 52 million years ago, was in pretty much the same place it is today. So we cannot use the excuse that the Antarctic continent was much further north.

Also there was intense global warming 90 and 150 million years ago as well as many other times in the geological past. There were many extinctions but life survived. And the laws of physics have not changed. There were deep carbon deposits in the past, there were methane clathrates in the past and the clathrate gun has gone off before. So it is extremely likely that, in the past, there were sudden surges, taking only a few decade, for the global temperature to jump several degrees.

No doubt that there will be more extinctions but life will survive. And given humans can adapt to almost any environment, and in their enormous numbers, occupy every habitual niche in the world, there will be human survivors.

And anyway, there are other possible catastrophes that are likely to hit way before global warming starts to have catastrophic effects.

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549 Responses to Are We Headed For Global Warming Collapse?

  1. clifman says:

    Ron – it’s difficult to extract temporal detail from the final methane graph you posted, but it appears that @12,000 yrs ago, methane was already rising from a cyclical low of below 400ppm, and topped out at 700ppm during that event. As you point out, we are already at more than double that level, and the triggered release has only just begun. The methane impact may well be more substantial this time around because we’re starting from a higher base, there isn’t all that ice around to melt with the excess heat, and we’re also adding CO2 along with CFCs and other lesser GHGs. Then there’s the massive land-use changes humans have wrought on the planet over the past 12,000 years, which, of course, have something to do with that higher methane baseline – rice paddies, reservoirs, deforestation etc.

    Thanks for pulling some major ideas together in this post.

      • I normally always agree with George Carlin but he is dead wrong here. It is not nature that is killing off the species, it is Homo sapiens. Species are disappearing at over 100 times the normal background rate that happened in the past.

        • ChiefEngineer says:

          Well Ron, you should stick to data and leave the jokes for George. Homo sapiens are part of nature and your dead wrong(not like our deceased George) to think otherwise. You seem to be coming from a smaller guilty human self interest view than a longer term scientific view. History shows extinction is in the cards when nature is the dealer.

          I would disagree with George that humans are arrogant to try to change our ways. We should use the same matter between our ears that got us into this mess to try to get us out.

          Maybe this morning you weren’t ready for a little humor. Life is to short not stop and enjoy a little.

          Great topic in your latest post ! Looking forward to your follow up.

          • Well Ron, you should stick to data and leave the jokes for George.

            Oh fuck off chief. There was no joke in my post, not the first one. Why would you tell me to leave the jokes to George when I did not even attempt a joke?

            History shows extinction is in the cards when nature is the dealer.

            There have been five major extinctions and they were all caused by something outside biological nature.They were caused by either volcanism or a meteor strike of both. This extinction is caused by humans.

            But we are not having any kind of volcanism right now and no meteor has hit. Yet the extinction rate is over 100 times the normal background rate.

            Homo sapiens are part of nature and your dead wrong(not like our deceased George) to think otherwise.

            Yes Homo sapiens are a part of nature but cancer is also a part of nature. We are a plague species. We are destroying the earth and if you don’t realize that then you are more than wrong, you are fucking blind.

            Maybe this morning you weren’t ready for a little humor. Life is to short not stop and enjoy a little.

            I am always ready for a little humor. And I have always loved George Carlin. But in this one instance he is way off base. Worrying about endangered species is not arrogance! We are not attempting to control nature Chief, we are destroying nature. What we want to do is stop the destruction of nature. That is not arrogance!

            And let me tell you where George really fucks up. He says:

            Species are disappearing at the rate of 25 a day. I mean regardless of our behavior. Irrespective of how we act on this planet, 25 species that are here today will be gone tomorrow.

            Chief, George is clearly saying that we are not the ones killing them. He is implying that the extinction of 25 per day is just background extinction. That is just flat wrong. We are killing them, we have always killed them. Not just killing them for food but just taking over their niche, clearing their forest, poisoning them with our pesticides, we, not nature as normal, are driving them into extinction.

            • ChiefEngineer says:

              “This extinction is caused by humans.”

              And humans will be part of the extinction and nature will move on after it eradicates earths human cancer(you and me).

              “Chief, George is clearly saying that we are not the ones killing them.”

              Wrong, I mean DEAD WRONG. Clearly George understands that it is humans that are killing species currently. He goes into a long explanation on how nature will eradicate the human cancer on earth so life will continue.

              Talk to me when your AC and car are powered by solar panels to save the polar bears. Also, try the other side of the bed in the morning because the current side isn’t working for you.

              It’s just a comedy act

              • Wrong, I mean DEAD WRONG. Clearly George understands that it is humans that are killing species currently. He goes into a long explanation on how nature will eradicate the human cancer on earth so life will continue.

                Chief you don’t have a clue as to what the fuck you are talking about. He said:

                Species are disappearing at the rate of 25 a day. I mean regardless of our behavior. Irrespective of how we act on this planet, 25 species that are here today will be gone tomorrow.

                Do you have any idea what “regardless of our behavior” means? Or how about “Irrespective of how we act on this planet”. Do you have a clue as to what that means.

                Okay… “regardless of our behavior” means it will happen no matter what we do. It means that we have nothing to do with it. And that last phrase means that our action on this planet has nothing to do with species going extinct.

                And I think you know that Chief. I think you are just playing dumb because you know you are wrong.

                And goddammit stop lecturing me about which side of the bed I got up on.

                • ChiefEngineer says:

                  Good Morning Sunshine

                  I believe you have missed interrupted George.

                  “Do you have any idea what “regardless of our behavior” means? Or how about “Irrespective of how we act on this planet”. Do you have a clue as to what that means.”

                  George clearly states that 90% of all species that have ever lived on this plant are gone. He understands that would average 25 species a day over hundreds of millions of years before there were humans. George also understands that extinction is part of nature and it’s going to happen to all species. A lot of time it’s caused by other species. Clearly George views the loss of 25 species a day as a BASELINE number since the beginning of life on earth. There is nothing in George’s statement above that indicates in the last few hundred or thousand years that humans haven’t spiked that average number many fold. He doesn’t say 25 is the current rate. Then George carries on for most of the second half of the video talking about how the plant is a “self correcting system”. George clearly calls human a “pasty troublesome species” which shows he understands humans have spiked extinction. George also understands that in time nature will take it’s course and human behavior will eliminate themselves from earth.

                  Again, I think George has a bigger view of the problem than yourself Ron. He’s not trying to save the polar bears. I also clearly stated in my first comment that I didn’t agree with George about humans trying to undo the damage we have done to other species and our only plant mother earth.

                  “I normally always agree with George Carlin but he is dead wrong here”

                  I thought you were trying to be funny in the statement above calling George Carlin DEAD wrong, considering we are talking about extinction and he is dead. I guess that went over your head.

                  Are you sure your sense of humor isn’t extinct ? Because it’s killing me.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      Concerning the lower temperature rise around minus 60 degrees latitude, could this be the upwelling region from cold ocean depths? The chilled water from the Arctic that sank has to surface somewhere.

  2. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi Ron,

    For a mainstream climate science perspective on methane by David Archer (a professor in the Geophysical Sciences Department at the University of Chicago) see


    Siberia has explosion holes in it that smell like methane, and there are newly found bubbles of methane in the Arctic Ocean. As a result, journalists are contacting me assuming that the Arctic Methane Apocalypse has begun. However, as a climate scientist I remain much more concerned about the fossil fuel industry than I am about Arctic methane. Short answer: It would take about 20,000,000 such eruptions within a few years to generate the standard Arctic Methane Apocalypse that people have been talking about.

    • Dennis, have you forgotten? We are well acquainted with David Archer. He has had a guest post on this blog and sometimes posts here. I love his energy posts but not his climate posts. David is a climate change denier. He is not mainstream!

      • SRSrocco says:


        Excellent article and wrap-up of what is known as “Rapid Climate Change.” I agree with you as it pertains to David Archer. Not just because he states views against methane being the real problem, but due to his lack of FIELD KNOWLEDGE.

        Paul Beckwith, climate scientist at the University of Ottawa is doing his PhD on Rapid Climate Change, stated in several interviews that David Archer is more an in-house climate modeler and for whatever reason isn’t paying attention to the new field data that shows an exponential change in methane releases in local and regional areas.

        If this El Nino really continues to pull record heat out of the massive blob of hot water in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California, we could see really high temperatures this fall. This might, and I say might cause the first BLUE OCEAN event in the Arctic Ocean. Which means we have a totally ice free Arctic Ocean.

        If it doesn’t take place this year, the trend (forecasted by the U.S. Navy climate scientists) that it will occur before 2020. Once this does take place, the Arctic Ocean really heats up and there isn’t anything to keep the methane clathrates from releasing in really large volumes.

        So, I agree… it’s just a matter of time before even the most Stupid diehard Climate deniers wake up and smell the methane.


      • Ron, You are confusing David Archer with David Archibald. (I have done the same)

        David Archer is a physicist who does great work with interactive climate science tools at U Chicago

        In contrast, David Archibald is a talking head with an agenda, or is about as dumb as a box of rocks.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Paul,

          David Archer actually has degrees in Biochemistry (BS) and Oceanography (PhD).

          I thought, based on his work, that he was a geochemist, but I checked the CV on his website.

        • SatansBestFriend says:

          Archer’s book “The Long Thaw” is outstanding.

        • Tom J. says:

          Note that to deal with these models one has to overlook the fact that they were wrong 17 years ago, as they predicted a brisk warming from then until now, when in reality none has occurred during that time span according to the unadulterated satellite temperature data and not the homogenized GISS
          data. University scientists within the US, funded by your and my tax money, have spent millions of dollars coming up with over 100 models at this point, attempting to get one “magic bullet” that will work. The biggest problem is that they usually don’t include some of the natural solar and radiative forces that are the real factors behind the climate.

          • TJ, You are full of it.

            • SatansBestFriend says:

              Game, Set, Match


            • Michael says:

              “TJ, You are full of it.”

              Actually he isn’t.

              A recent Danish study believes global warming is directly related to the magnetic field rather than CO2 emissions.

              Read more:

              • A. Yeats says:

                TJ may or may not be full of it, but the Daily Mail definitely is.

              • islandboy says:

                Daily Mail

                “The Daily Mail (aka, Hate Mail, Daily Fail, Daily Heil, Daily Moan and so on), is a reactionary tabloid rag masquerading as a “traditional values,” middle-class newspaper that is, in many ways, the worst of the British gutter press (only Rupert Murdoch’s Sun is worse). Its weighty Sunday counterpart is the Mail on Sunday.

                The Daily Mail is to the U.K. what the New York Post is to the United States, and what the Drudge Report is to the Internet: to wit, gossipy tabloid “journalism” for those who cannot digest serious news, with a flippantly wingnut editorial stance. The Daily Mail is notable among British tabloids for rejecting the standard red-top banner in order to try to appear more upmarket and respectable, although it does sometimes go in for the full front-page picture or headline characteristic of the populist rags. It is also notorious for its frequent harassment of individuals, campaigns of hate directed at various minorities, and willfully deceiving and lying to its readers. “

              • wharf rat says:

                “A recent Danish study believes global warming is directly related to the magnetic field ”

                That’s cute. Rat’s working on a paper which will show that temperatures aren’t changing at all. Rather, the solar wind is slowing down, so we have less wind chill, and it feels warmer.

                • That’s cute. Rat’s working on a paper which will show that temperatures aren’t changing at all. Rather, the solar wind is slowing down, so we have less wind chill, and it feels warmer.

                  Don’t give them ideas Rat. They will run with just about any preposterous argument.

        • David Archibald says:

          Carbon dioxide is tuckered out as a greenhouse gas. The heating effect is logarithmic. When we have dug up all the rocks we can economically burn and burnt them, the temperature rise will be 0.2 to 0.3 C – lost in the noise of the climate system. One good thing from the global warming hysteria is that it got non-climate scientists involved and we figured out what is going on in a few short years. What is happening is solar-driven global cooling of at least 0.9 C and likely more. The second half of the 20th century had the highest solar activity for 8,000 years and there was a climate response which is now being reversed. Thus no warming for 18 years. No child alive has experienced global warming and will not in the remainder of their lifetimes. The whole global warming party, entertaining as it has been, will be swept aside by Chinese irredentism in the South and East China Seas. I am just as much as a catastrophist as Ron with rising energy prices/shortages, MENA region population collapse due to starvation, cooling causing a shrinkage in mid-latitude grain production and nuclear proliferation starting with the fact that the Packistanis continue to build reactors for making weapons-grade plutonium (currently on their fourth). So I have stocked up on potassium iodide by the kilo as well as all the other stuff. But as for climate, we are waiting for the cooling to hit. Geopolitically, the big thing is the war that China will start to establish an exclusion zone in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese will be the worst affected and will be bottled up to within 80 km of their coastline. To paraphrase Orwell, the future the Chinese are working towards is one in which the Chinese boot is stomping on the Vietnamese face – forever.

          • wharf rat says:

            “Carbon dioxide is tuckered out as a greenhouse gas.”

            CO2 only sleeps on the planet of Denial, located in the Koch Galaxy. In the rest of the universe, the laws of physics still apply.

            A Saturated Gassy Argument

            Climate Myth: CO2 effect is saturated
            “Each unit of CO2 you put into the atmosphere has less and less of a warming impact. Once the atmosphere reaches a saturation point, additional input of CO2 will not really have any major impact. It’s like putting insulation in your attic. They give a recommended amount and after that you can stack the insulation up to the roof and it’s going to have no impact.”


            • MarbleZeppelin says:

              Here is a much better explanation of saturation. Yes CO2 is saturated within it’s normal absorption range of frequencies but band broadening with increased concentration still gives CO2 some effect as it becomes more concentrated. See page 34-36 for better explanation and spectra.


              It’s probably a good thing that CO2 saturates and becomes less effective with increasing concentration, otherwise the earth would overheat very quickly.
              You will notice that CO2 is in the middle of the greatest amplitude of infrared radiation and there is some overlap with H2O absorption wavenumbers.

          • MarbleZeppelin says:

            Great comedy D Arch, thanks for the laugh.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Ron,

        No I think you have confused David Archer with someone else.

        He is also one of the main contributors at Real Climate, not usually considered a climate “denier” website.

      • clueless says:

        Ron, re: “climate change denier” and “He is not mainstream!” [in bold]
        Have you ever heard of the “Age of Enlightenment, ” approx. 1620-1780, as described in Wikipedia? The reform of society with “TOLERATION,” “science” and “SKEPTICISM?”
        I guess that if you had been in charge back then, the Age of Enlightenment would never have happened. Catholic Church Dogma might still rule. You probably would have made a good Bishop.
        [If you are commenting about the wrong guy, it does not matter. My comment is about your attitude towards diverse, good faith opinions that do not agree with yours.]

        • Clueless, I have always been on the side of science. I would have made a terrible Bishop. Dogma is the exact opposite of science and dogma would still rule were it not for science and scientist who had the nerve to oppose dogma.

          Clueless, if you know anything about global warming and climate change then you know over 97% of mainstream scientists say that global warming is real and it is caused by human activity. Let’s use a little common sense. If you are a global warming denier then you are not mainstream!

    • Phil Harris says:

      Yes, Dennis
      Archer is worth reading.
      Methane half-life in the atmosphere is much shorter (perhaps factor of 10) than CO2 because of photochemical oxidation by OH’ . Sustained much larger-than-present outgassing would be needed to persistently overwhelm the OH’ capacity and produce runaway effects.

      My own concern with the very rapid changes in non-condensing trace gases is not so much their present amplifying effect on global or even arctic temperature, but the specific effect of CO2 in particular on the ocean surface layers and the latter’s continuing ability to absorb manmade emissions, perhaps upto now 50%, in the face of acidification. Those surface layers take a long time to mix to depth.

      • MarbleZeppelin says:

        David Archer claims a 70 to 100 X CO2 effect for atmospheric methane. One must also remember that it decomposes into another global warming gas, CO2.

        • Phil Harris says:

          Yes, but methane is in ppb and CO2 is ppm. It is not simply a matter of concentration, I know and, yes, methane is important, even at so much lower levels of concentration.

          This seems a reasonable summary “Methane is only a transient ‘trace’ gas, but we know that in recent decades it supplies about 20% of the extra net radiative forcing that results from ‘our’ extra greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; a significant addition to the total greenhouse effect.”

          • MarbleZeppelin says:

            Methane has much more punch than CO2 as a greenhouse gas not only because of it’s different absorbtion properties but because it is not saturated. It still has a high Q unlike CO2 whose doubling properties are inhibited by saturation and rely on band broadening, methane sensitivity is much greater than CO2. So do not be fooled by the quantity, look at the quality of the greenhouse gas.

            • Phil Harris says:

              I am not sure what you are trying to tell us (me). That climate science has got its physics (and real-world interactions) wrong, or that I am lacking some crucial understanding of the scientific discussion? I would find the latter scenario reasonable. Smile

              As far as I understand it, different GHG emission / sequestering/ ‘fate’ scenarios are indeed speculative or uncertain, but the physics of radiative forcing for the different greenhouse gases at different concentrations in the air column is pretty well worked, for example here
              “…the emission [infra red] from the atmosphere is inversely proportional to the logarithm of the concentration of CO2 in ppm, …”

              I think we can agree with another paper: “CO2 climate forcing is approximately logarithmic, because its absorption bands saturate as CO2 amount increases. An equation for climate forcing as a function of CO2 amount is given in Table 1 of Hansen et al. (2000).” Another way of putting this is that the log relationship indicates a ‘diminishing return’ to additional concentration of CO2.

              In the real world, despite still increasing CO2 and CH4 concentrations, the gases are at the same time being removed from the atmosphere. Removal occurs at different rates from a combination of processes; e.g. CO2 equilibrates with ‘external reservoirs’ e.g. ocean, vegetation, soil etc. Methane is largely photo-oxidised.

              The following quotes are from Neubauer & Megonigal 2015:
              Quote: “… With its short atmospheric perturbation lifetime (12.4 years), the pulse of CH4 decayed rapidly [in the model] such that 90% of the CH4 was removed within the first 30 years of the simulation and only 1% of the CH4 remained after 100 years.” This contrasts markedly with CO2.

              Per kg of course CH4 is a far more potent GHG than CO2 but… in reality in the atmosphere we measure respectively ‘ppb’ rather than ‘ppm’.
              Quote: “Notwithstanding the complexities associated with atmospheric CH4 oxidation, CH4 decays faster than CO2 equilibrates with external reservoirs so the GWP [global warming potential per kg] of CH4 steadily decreases from 120 at time 0 [pulse emission]to 87 at 20 years, 32 at 100 years, and 11 at 500 years (Table 1). Recall that the value of 120 at time 0 is the ratio of the radiative efficiencies of CH4 and CO2 ….”

              • MarbleZeppelin says:

                Phil, what does CH4 decay to? It becomes CO2. Thus extending itself as a greenhouse gas. So it acts as a continuous source of CO2 over the long term with an extra push in the beginning. The CO2 effects reach out in a long tail to about 10,000 years. This in turn forces natural feedbacks which are much longer term. One cannot think of the system as a set of independent variables.
                About methane:

  3. old farmer mac says:

    Excellent work as usual Ron.

    In a hundred years the coming generations of hillbillies in my stomping grounds will probably be raising pecans and oranges rather than apples and peaches. But barring an all out nuclear war or somebody releasing a real Cap’n Trip aka Tubeneck ( references to a REALLY good sci fi fantasy by Stephen King ) that wipes us out , there will be people around in most of the places people live now-excepting places that are already borderline too hot and too dry.

    I believe you intended to have the word ”faster ” in the caption after the word much in the caption/ link under the third chart but inadvertently left it out.

  4. James says:

    We’ve probably only ignited the primer (fossil fuels) that will result in a much larger and longer release of carbon. The Northern Hemisphere will likely be belching massive amounts of methane and metabolizing previously frozen carbon stores for a long time, longer than civilization’s lifespan. We shook the bottle of pop and removed the cap. The carbon’s going to come out fast. Some scientists (Paul Beckwith) have stated that a move in temperatures greater than 16C can happen rather quickly, perhaps in a matter of a couple of decades. We’ll use the fossil fuels to maintain our artificial environments as long as possible, but we can’t put an AC bubble over the entire extent of our monocrops. A storage of grains equal to several years worth of consumption would be nice, but each year we seem to consume most everything we grow as population grows by approximately 70 million people each year. The people in Pakistan, unprotected by technology are feeling one sort of pain that a warming climate can provide, high wet-bulb temperatures.

    Humans probably won’t go extinct but we’ll likely have one hell of a punctuated equilibrium event. Just think, if you’re lucky, you could be the Adam or Eve of all future human population, probably at some Southern Hemisphere outpost like Easter Island. And in a hundred thousand years or so, after enough half-lives have occurred, the Northern Hemisphere should be ready for habitation again.

    • muppet says:

      You are right. With increased intensity in droughts and flooding (happening in the same growing season) and reduced pollination from increased CO2 levels, coupled with a die-off in pollinator populations, beneficial insects, and mycorrhizae, etc… agriculture could experience something of a collapse. Humans won’t become extinct, but those that are still alive might wish that we had.

      • MarbleZeppelin says:

        I use no chemical pesticides or herbicides. I let my lawn grow so the clover and other flowers are present for long periods of time. I have bees, lots of them feeding on my lawn. The idiots in my neighborhood think their lawn should look like a pool table and they use chemicals including round-up (which I highly discourage). My lawn and yard has lots of wild plants and flowers. When an interesting new plant or flower shows up, I let it grow. The goldfinches love the thistle seeds.
        It promotes life.
        Saves on fuel for the mower too.

    • A. Yeats says:

      From what I can tell a fairly poorly understood influence on warming concerns sulfate aerosols. By some analyses (e.g. James Anderson at Harvard University Center for the Environment) the heating of the earth over the last 20 years has been less than one third that expected; and the difference has been attributed to sulfate aerosols put into the atmosphere from (mainly) Chinese coal fired power plants and which act to reflect heat away. The extra Arctic warming can partly be attributed to the air there being much cleaner without this cooling effect. A major economic contraction (e.g. from peak oil) and/or the desire of the developing world to reduce obvious pollution impacts could lead to a rapid reduction in the aerosols and a sudden acceleration in warming (I think sulfates have a residence time of one to two years only).

      • MarbleZeppelin says:

        The effect of sulfate pollution is actually well understood. Global dimming has been studied since the 1940’s and many scientific papers as well as some popular documentaries have been published over the years.
        The geo-engineering promoters have proposed adding SOx compounds to the atmosphere to increase cloud reflectivity. Since we do this on a massive scale already and it is not working very well, I do not see it as a good means of control. Add to that the acid rain effects and the monsoon shift effects of cooling large areas, the downsides can be very bad.
        The other big downside is the short residence time, once we stop or slow down our pollution input to the atmosphere a very fast temperature surge will occur. Estimates of global dimming are around 10 percent now with some regions having 20 percent radiation loss. That is a big surge to take in a few years when the dimming disappears.

    • Mike says:

      So in this equilibrium event, what do you suppose might happen to our nuclear plants around the country and the globe? Do you really think humans will be able to survive a massive culling? Sorry, but no. We’ve made too many stupid mistakes. We will be toast quicker than you seem to think.

  5. BP says:

    First off I am not disputing anything in the post nor arguing against the science, but what if the sun happens to decline in solar activity at the same time we have these effects leading to a minimal effect opposed to a massive one. Of course that would be the best case scenario and hoping for something like that to counter other effects would be hoping for luck.

    But many astrophysicists have been warning about the decline in sunspots. As much as warming is bad, having another Daltons Minimum would be bad as well too. I think complex systems make predictions and expectations hard.

    Is this is a version of Pascals wager? If one believes we are doomed and they are correct their is no benefit but being wrong could lead to the wrong outcomes, but if one believes not much will happen and is correct their is a huge benefit to not over reacting, while if wrong their consequences is the same as society’s.

    Let me reiterate, I am not disputing anything about climate change or the science. Please do not try to take my argument in that direction.–met-office-study/53301/

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Good question. You have to remember that the Dalton Minimum (780-1840) coincided with a period of relatively extreme volcanic activity complicating modeling of the effect. In any case I suspect AGW will overwhelm (in time) any solar minimum effects (which tend to average four solar cycles).

      • Unfortunately, the study showing significant cooling due to observed weakening of the sun in the UV was performed using a climate model with the RCP8.5 pathway. This pathway has an absurd greenhouse gas emissions profile and inconsistent assumptions, which makes the study results highly questionable.

        Intuitively one would think solar weakening will be highly significant in a model with a lower emissions and lower climate sensitivity (most models have positive feed backs from water vapor and clouds).

        • Doug Leighton says:

          “the study showing significant cooling due to observed weakening of the sun in the UV was performed using a climate model with the RCP8.5 pathway.” What study are you referring to? There seem to be literally dozens (if not hundreds) of papers discussing cooling due to weakening of solar radiation and I have no idea which one(s) you are referring to.

          • Doug, the study referenced in BPs comment:

            “Regional climate impacts of a possible future grand solar minimum” by Ineson, Maycock, Gray et al, Nature, June 2015.


            From the abstract:

            “Any reduction in global mean near-surface temperature due to a future decline in solar activity is likely to be a small fraction of projected anthropogenic warming……..Here, we explore possible impacts……for a high-end decline in solar ultraviolet irradiance, the impact on winter northern European surface temperatures over the late twenty-first century could be a significant fraction of the difference in climate change between plausible AR5 scenarios of greenhouse gas concentrations.”

            From the text:

            “There is currently uncertainty regarding the ultraviolet variability that accompanies changes in total solar irradiance (TSI)16. Recent satellite measurements from the Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SIM) on the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment satellite17 show that the variability in ultraviolet over part of the declining phase of solar cycle 23 might be considerably larger than indicated by previous estimates.”

            Unfortunately their climate model runs use RCP8.5. These studies should be performed using a sensible pathway, tied to fossil fuel resources and improved, internally consistent, economic assumptions.

            • Jef says:

              Fern – how do you explain the fact that during this latest solar minimum cycle the planet has continued to set all time heat records?

              • Jef, the sun hit a solar maximum a few months ago (below is a NOAA sunspot count graph):


                The latest peak was weaker that the previous peak, and the experts have predicted a much weaker peak in 11 years. The Ineson et al paper explains the ultra violet range emissions are falling much faster than previously expected, and this (according to their model) is going to introduce a “cooling factor” which they think may be focused in the northern Atlantic.

                The surface temperature has been hitting high spots in 1998, 2010, and 2014/5 in part because those are El Niño years and in part because the world is getting warmer.

                You see, the question isnt really if its getting warmer or not, the debate as far as im concerned is how warm will it get and what’s the appropriate response.

                One issue I highlight is the disconnect between the IPCC “business as usual” case (RCP8.5) and the world’s fossil fuel resources. Rcp8.5 has a terrible fossil fuel forecast, it seems they plugged in numbers and jacked production as high as they were required to achieve a target forcing in 2100.

                In other words, the IPCC gave scientists the answer they wished to have and scientists ran the models to achieve the objective set by the IPCC. This is documented in the IPCC report (AR5), but it’s not discussed by the propaganda machine.

                If one leans towards believing Ron Patterson and Dennis Coyne (which I do), then one has to conclude the IPCC business as usual forecast is nonsense.

                I’d like to add that I consider Ron to be extremely competent in the peak oil concept, but I’m puzzled by some of the data he shows in the global warming post. For example I use ESA (European Space Agency) methane maps in my webpage, he uses something different. And if you check my methane concentration maps with the one he shows above you can see a huge difference. My maps show high methane around the tropics, with a huge concentration spot over rice growing areas. His map shows high methane concentration in the Arctic. Which explains why he went into panic mode. Somewhere in the system we got an error (or somebody is using biased data to make a point). I don’t think Ron is the type to create a goofy map, so I suspect somebody fed him a map with a subtle zigzag.

                • Rowan says:

                  Methane measured at different heights in the atmosphere? One map showing absolute levels and one showing anomalies? Or an automatic conclusion that Ron’s got dodgy data somehow. Hmmmm.

            • sam Taylor says:

              You’ve provided nothing to back up your assertions that solar forcing would be larger under a lower emission pathway. Until you do this it’s just waffle about which emissions pathway you prefer, and nothing more.

              • I’m not stating that solar forcing would be higher. What I’m saying is that a reduction in the uv spectrum will have much more significance in cases where the greenhouse gas effect is reduced versus the exaggerated forecast used in RCP8.5. Since I’m sitting in Spain and you are somewhere else I’m not going to be able to show you using a white board and some crayons. The better solution is to run the model. And I’m hoping a climatologist who isn’t afraid of ruining his career for going against the grain will try to run the weaker sun effect with a more reasonable fossil fuel emissions forecast (they could try RCP4.5 and 6).

        • Sam Taylor says:

          Physics isn’t done by intution.

    • Sam Taylor says:

      Good piece here ( ) on why CO2 forcing will be much higher than any likely change in solar irradiance. In short, it’ll be a rounding error compared to anthropogenic forcings.

      • Most of the commentary is irrelevant because it’s based on the RCP8.5 pathway.

        • Sam Taylor says:

          The relevant part, namely the likely magnitude of the change in forcing due to solar irradiance, is relevant no matter which emissions pathway one assumes.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            I agree. I’ve seen quite a few papers on solar irradiance vs anthropogenic forcings and solar variation seems to have been relegated to the dustbin re comparison (significance) to anthropogenic forcings by most authors; the authors that seem creditable to me in any case.

          • Read the paper. The main conclusion isn’t independent of forcing because feed backs tend to intensify global warming, and the effect is emphasized in northern latitudes.

            I’d rather drop the discussion because this really should be resolved running a properly fed climate model ensemble.

            • BP says:

              My curiousity is based on the that if there is less solar activity there is less input to contribute to the warming. So would that not lower the affect of the greenhouse gases – by providing less energy to amplify?

              I have read a few articles on the topic, but not claim to be any expert or have any great understanding, but have the models been adjusted to provide different estimates of temperature increase with different levels of energy?

              Once again, I am not trying to minimize any anthropogenic affect, but as someone who was told as a kid not to stare at the sun as it could burn my retinas, I have a healthy respect for the glowing orb.

              • wharf rat says:

                A Grand Maunder Minimum will decrease the amount of warming by, wait for it, not much at all.

                Globally, a grand solar minimum would reduce temperatures by just 0.1C between 2050 and 2099. Manmade climate change, by contrast, is expected to bring temperature rises of around 3.75C in the same period if drastic action is not taken to cut carbon emissions.


                Regional climate impacts of a possible future grand solar minimum

                earlier study

                A grand solar minimum would barely make a dent in human-caused global warming


                • BP says:

                  Does that 3.75C estimate include a lower input of energy to be amplified? That is what I am asking.

                  If atmospheric gases trap and then amplify the energy of the sun by the greenhouse effect, if there is less energy entering the system, how does that change the increase in anthropogenic effects? For example if the sun just stopped burning, who cares how much CO2 is in the air, there would be no energy to amplify. I know that is not the case of the article.

                  From what I have read I have not been able to determine if different scenarios with different solar intensities have been run.

                  I have not once mentioned I believe it would be a 1:1 trade off. That is not my question. The question has been what are the different scenarios with lower solar intensity and the greenhouse effect. Nor am I advocating we should all relax and chill and forget about the worst case scenarios. I am just curious how the models would change, and I have not seen anyone specifically this topic and different scenarios presented.

                  • BP, it always comes down to the use of RCP8.5. That’s really the Achylles’ heel in all these arguments. They are also referring to outdated studies which focus on the full solar spectrum, because the exaggerated swing in the ultraviolet has only been noted in recent years (we see it now because we have satellites to make the observations).

            • sam Taylor says:

              I’d rather you drop it too because you’re way out of step with all the research. Mike Lockwood has gobs of papers on this. No matter which emissions scenario one prefers solar forcing is a negligible next to human ones.

              • Those “gobs” of papers are outdated. As they say, the science isn’t settled.

                • BP says:

                  What am I missing? Anthropogenic global warming has been described to me as a feedback loop that builds on itself due to the amplification of the energy in the system.

                  Shouldn’t a lower level of energy create a smaller feedback loop?

                  Don’t greenhouses at higher latitudes work less successfully than ones at equator?

                  I am not disputing man’s effect on the climate. I am not denying the situation. I am asking a question about the physics of the system.

                  • Yes, a smaller forcing causes a smaller feedback loop. But evidently the smaller forcing has a larger impact when the greenhouse forcing and its positive feedbacks are smaller. Hell, I wish I could use a black board to show you how I think it works.

                    But the key is to remember the reduced UV is impacting the stratosphere, which they think alters circulation patterns. So as I wrote we are just having a food fight. The best solution is to run a series of models with the appropriate concentrations.

                    This is really what I´m trying to achieve, goad the ignopedists at the IPCC to drop the RCP8.5 and start using something more reasonable to run these types of studies. And I think I´m going to get results one of these days.

                  • BP says:

                    My original question was an attempt to learn something. I admit that I have a few areas of expertise and many areas that fall short. I do wish I could see the blackboard demonstration.

                    I wish I knew the answer for if humanity is doomed I would cash out and drink beers on the beach all day everyday, but I can’t quit everything on probabilities.

                • sam Taylor says:

                  Other than arguing from arrogance do you actually have any actual science to bring to the discussion?

                  • Tut, tut, you are losing your cool.

                  • Sam Taylor says:

                    Not really, I just find your attitude arrogant and condescending so am responding in kind.

                    All the available evidence suggests that forcings other than solar behavior will be the dominant, first order determinant in what kind of climate we get. The work on UV is certainly interesting, but it doesn’t totally invalidate the older studies which found that solar was far from dominant. further, there is the conclusion in the nature paper that when the Sun returned to normal any changes in surface temperature would swiftly return to those seen in the reference scenario.

                    I actually agree with you that rerunning this experiement with a lower emission pathway would be a worthwhile thing to do, but frankly your tone sometimes makes you a tough man to agree with.

                  • Fernando comes here to argue against global warming because he gets demolished at the blogs dedicated to climate science. I think he feels a need to repair his ego.

                  • Doug Leighton says:

                    ” I think he feels a need to repair his ego.” No, I think that’s wrong because Fernando’s ego appears to be indestructible. .

                  • I’ve never stated solar variability was dominant. I’ve read papers which try to show its a major factor but I didn’t find them convincing.

                    I also agree the effect would be reversed in due course.

                    And I apologize if I got on your nerves. My arrogance comes in part from having gone through the experience of being a rather beaten down refugee from a communist country when I was 14, which seemed to make some folk treat me like garbage.

                    It spurred me to get very good grades in school, work like an obsessed maniac, and then rub it in their faces, and the attitude stuck. When I feel patronized I subconsciously pull out my chain saw.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi WHT and Sam,

                    I agree that any changes in solar forcing over the next 1000 years or so are likely to be negligible relative to AGW.

                    I do however think that Fernando is correct that the RCP8.5 scenario is only sensible to Michael Lynch and others that think that fossil fuels are essentially inexhaustible.

                    Any studies which care to be believable, should focus on RCP6.0, which is a more reality based BAU scenario. The optimists can use RCP4.5, but we only get there with very high fossil fuel prices and/or an economic depression.

                  • I agree with Dennis, but I suggest a slightly different approach: a new set of climate model runs, similar to the ensemble being used at this time, but using a base case and upside/downside boundaries to fossil fuel emissions tied to realistic reserves.

                    I’ve read hundreds of papers which could have contributed to knowledge but turned out to be useless because they built on rcp8.5. When the IPCC invented that case they harmed scientific progress and cost humanity several hundred million dollars.

              • Marcus says:

                Whilst I do not follow the climate debate closely I think Fernando has a fair point in regards to rcp8.5, however following peak oil logic to its conclusion after both oil & natural gas are heavily depleted surely coal use will increase dramatically thereby cancelling out any benefits from reduced oil & gas use.

  6. Ronald Walter says:

    A lake that was dry in the dirty thirties now has water for hundreds of pelicans to feast on the fish in the lake. A relative walked across the dry lake bed when he was a kid.

    In the past five or six years there has been over eleven feet of precipitation in an area of approximately 40 thousand sq mi.

    Every single pothole for two hundred miles is full of water, another lake a hundred miles away is at an all time high water mark forcing many farmers to abandon farmland covered by water. Unprecedented amount of water and it doesn’t evaporate nor flow away fast enough to empty, the areas are waterlogged beyond comprehension. There are thousands of dead trees that were alive a mere five years ago.

    IOW, the climate is not as dry as it once was and cooler temps prevail from what was once a warmer and drier climate. Approximately 20 percent of pasture and hayland is now marsh and water.

    The ducks have it made in the shade.

    • A. Yeats says:

      Overall global warming puts more water vapor into the atmosphere so rainfall is expected to increase on average, but it tends to be more extreme and variable. Not all variations in climate come from increases in green house gases – as the deniers keep repeating, climate change has been going on throughout history and it has a large stochastic element when considered locally and over a relatively short time frame.

      • Jef says:

        “Overall global warming puts more water vapor into the atmosphere…”

        Exactly and now it is understood that some of that moisture is being pumped into the stratosphere and water vapor is the ultimate GHG;

        Very much worth listening to except for Fern who knows so much more than this guy.

        • Show me the exact spot where this guy says stratospheric water vapor is a serious concern? The stratosphere is cooling, as it should. It’s simple physics. Or did they forget to give you the memo?

        • Here

          “From 1979 to 1995, satellite and radiosonde measurements show a cooling trend in lower stratospheric temperatures, although that trend was interrupted by episodes of warming due to the El Chichón and Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruptions. For most of the last two decades, there has been a near-neutral or very slight warming trend, depending on the range of satellite and radiosonde datasets used. Both the cooling trend through 1995, and the neutral-to-warming trend since, are smallest near the equator and largest at the polar latitudes.”

          The slow down in stratospheric cooling and the odd increase in recent years run contrary to classical climatology, evidently something is acting to offset the greenhouse gas effect from CO2 and methane. But the stratospheric temperature did drop as expected for many years.

  7. Ghung says:

    My main concern is that this clathrate gun is being fired concurrently with humans’ release of gigatonnes of CO2 and may have a synergistic effect. The effects of humans unearthing and burning millions of years of carbon storage as massive amounts of methane are being liberated in the same geologic period can’t be good for creatures largely evolved to current conditions. Not sure the planet has been double-teamed to this extent.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      I share your concerns and would suggest adding a couple of billion people to the planet while all this is going on doesn’t bode well for the future of our grandchildren.

    • clueless says:

      Triple teamed. Termites produce more greenhouse gases than all human activity.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Clueless,

        Someone has debunked your termite claim previously.

        • clueless says:

          Yes – they said “Bullshit.” That really debunked a world class study by scientists from multiple countries, peer reviewed, and published in a very respected scientific journal. And “we” are deniers?

          • Fred Magyar says:

            No, I was the one who provided a link to a scientific study that showed methane produced by termites adds a negligible 5% to the total of all sources of atmospheric methane. Human activity adds by far the greatest amount. I’m not bothering to post the link again because obviously it would be a waste of my time!

            And for the record, I did not say “Bullshit!”

    • A. Yeats says:

      The clathrate issue seems to be one of the main ones that divide the modellers from the filed workers. I tend to side with the observers in there being clear indication that the issue is growing exponentially, and the precautionary principle would suggest we should take real notice of those with the knowledge and what is obviously deep emotional concern (e.g. see any of the presentations from Peter Wadhams, Stuart Scott, David Wasdell, John Nissen, John Alexander) – as Natalia Shakova has said about recent methane release observations they “absolutely do not like” what they see. It is not well understood and it is short sighted and worrying for the modelers to dismiss the concerns when they have no real way of simulating the release mechanisms accurately.

      One of the problems I have with most deniers is that they seem to consider a risk as only being about likelihood, but is actually consequence x probability – a release of a even a small proportion of the trapped methane (which overall is at least three time as much carbon as in all other fossil fuels) would destroy civilization, probably wipe out the human rice and possibly kill all complex life – consequences do not get much bigger and hence the probability of this has to be made really low.

      • I worked on Arctic projects for a multinational and we didn’t observe “exponential growth in methane emissions”.

        I think there may be a tendency to confuse methane hydrate emissions during the ice age, caused by sea level drops, versus emissions caused by sea floor temperature increases. It’s also important to have both a fine grained and a broad look at the data. The emissions from land should be considered using a different approach, because the land definitely warms more than the deep ocean.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Meanwhile you get people with straight faces– including hereon– pushing/playing BAU-cum-Russian-Roulette with the planet by advocating so-called renewable high-tech/high-layered/complex buildouts and EV’s without any real discussion of their negative effects; their effects within the unethical/undemocratic/uneconomic context of the crony-capitalist plutarchy (CCP); their effects on BAU/CCP and the future that they may negate by their buildout; or other forms of more natural, maslow’s hierarchy-of-needs-in-the-correct-order, low-tech responses to our predicaments…

        Like dropping everything they are doing that is mostly useless, and worse, uneconomic activity anyway, and planting/nurturing a lot of native forests, gardens, real communities, gift economies, self-empowerment for the basics, etc., very soon and very quickly.

        This is not rocket science, it’s philosophy, like love, ethics and real democracy, and green thumbs.

        Incidentally, is it my imagination or is today a particularly violent day in the mainstream media? I haven’t been keeping track lately, but our library here has a news channel tv on and there seem to be some bombings, shootings and beheadings all at once.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi A Yeats,

        In order to put the observations in context one needs to use a model. The physics is well understood. Did you at least read the piece by David Archer. He is a leading geoscientist and understands these issues quite thoroughly.

        I will try again, those who are well read in climate science, take notice of what is posted at Real Climate, these are mainstream climate scientists.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Hi Dennis,
          I am just heading out but just read the first link of David’s and he seems vaguely cavalier about it, almost as if the ‘fossil fuel industry’ doesn’t produce positive feedback effects vis-a-vis the environment or, with regard to sediment infusion, as if things like that don’t happen ‘faster than scientists thought/predicted’.
          Of course there are more methane craters (coalmine canaries?) and other sources of methane, and it’s the grand total global emissions that count.

        • A. Yeats says:

          Maybe I’m missing something in the Archer pieces but they don’t seem to address the concerns raised by the likes of Peter Wadhams, Jason Box and Natalia Shakova who actually visit the area. They are saying things are changing and accelerating significantly from year to year and are progressing towards a known potentially significant tipping point, and that this deserves much more attention. David Archer’s argument seems to be that nothing much has happened in the past and therefore there is no need for concern. I think that is pretty much in line with the comment above. One of the main comments that Dr. Shakova makes has been that her team can only make a few spot observations, rather than a long term study over a decent sample size. The fact that the 2012 sea ice area was equal to what had previously been predicted for 2100 by some models also must raise a few questions.

  8. cytochrome C says:

    I would not be so anthropocentric narcissistic on survival of homo sapiens.

    We know from mtDNA that homo sapiens went through a bottleneck about 74,000 years ago, and were down to a few thousand individuals, probably from the Toba eruption, but it is not exactly clear.

    We are in massive population overshoot, degraded ecosystems, runaway climate, and numerous other feedback loops.

    Extinction is the norm, not the exception on Earth.

    • Cytochrome C, saying that a few Homo sapiens will survive massive global warming is about the farthest thing from anthropocentric narcissism as I can possibly imagine. Using such silly language hyperbole only makes your argument seem absurd.

      Extinction is the norm, not the exception on Earth.

      That is a gross oversimplification. The average mammalian species lifespan is one million years. Homo sapiens have existed for far less than that. But humans are far from average. Species go extinct when their numbers dwindle to so a few that they cannot properly reproduce and/or their niche is too small and isolated. No species ever went extinct because of overpopulation or from having too large and diversified niche.

      You should get better informed on the causes of extinction and then perhaps you would not be making such very stupid arguments.

      • cytochrome C says:

        There are huge feedback loops, and we just about went extinct before, on a much more intact and robust world.

        The average rate of extinction is actually around 1 million years for land mammals, 5 for marine mammals, and 11 for invertebrates.

        However, the extinction rate is currently 1000 above baseline:

        I would not be so sure of human survival at this time, even if we are only a 200,000 year old species, a rapacious ape consuming resources on a level not experienced before.

        I hope you are correct, and we are an exception among past species, and technology and intelligence will be the factor that saves.
        Unfortunately, if you are paying attention, that does not seem the case currently.

        • Cytochrome C, extinction is caused, it just does not happen willy nilly or because a species “average” time has expired. Of all mammalian species on earth Homo sapiens are, by far, the farthest from extinction, with the possible exception of small vermin like rats and mice.

          But if you think Homo sapiens are likely to go extinct it would behoove you to tell us why.

          • A. Yeats says:

            The mechanism most often proposed for complete extinction without evolution to a new species is for the oceans to go anoxic, due to rising temperatures, acidification and a shut down in the currents that draw oxygen into the deeper water. The water would then be taken over by sulphate reducing bacteria which generate hydrogen sulfide, a small concentration of which is lethal to most life, especially mammals. This has been proposed as the mechanism for all but one of the mass extinctions so far in the book Under a Green Sky by the Peter Douglas Ward (one of the world experts on these things) and also see the last chapter in Climate Wars by Gwynne Dyer which imagines the remaining survivors of homo sapiens on Antarctica facing such an issue. I think the time frame for such an event would be centuries; I don’t now where Guy Macpherson gets his time frames of a few years to extinction from – it might be a psychologic defence mechanism such that if you state your worst fears they are less likely to happen – if this might work in actuality or just to make you feel better I’m all for it.

          • Futilitist says:


            I could explain it to you very clearly, but you banned me.


            Um, at least I thought I was banned.

            Wow, it’s good to be back.

            Anyway, it’s all about wet bulb temperatures.

            If the average temperature goes up by 4-6 degrees C, there will be regularly occurring heat waves with temperatures over 40 degrees C in North American and Europe. Humans cook at wet bulb temperatures of 35 degrees C.

            The last of our species will starve to death around the Arctic Circle.

            • Yeah, I cleared everyone out in one ban program. But not to worry, you are now banned by the second program, my original one.

              • Futilitist says:

                Yeah, I thought there must have been some kind of mistake. But at least I answered your question.


                Oops, once again, your censorship program does not seem to be functioning.

                So, since I am obviously still here, at least for the moment, what do you think about my near term extinction answer?


                Maybe you should reconsider the banning thing. You banned me kind of arbitrarily. I don’t really see how my comments are so far out of line with the rest of the comments here. Was I banned because of the Etp model argument, or because I asked repeatedly for Javier’s CV, or is this because of what I said about you “soft pedaling” collapse?

                “Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind.”
                ~William Westmoreland

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Even in the State model, prisoners are set free after a time.
                What is Futilitist’s term?

      • MarbleZeppelin says:

        The norm for species is radiation, so if one species passes it has produced several others. Humans radiated, but only one type survived. Quite unusual unless you look at the characteristic nature of the particular survivor.

    • old farmer mac says:

      Excepting microbes I doubt there has EVER been another species that has occupied as many different geographically and climatically different environmental niches as humanity. No other multi cellular species has ever been even a hundredth as adaptable given our mastery of fire and tools and so forth.

      Barring the atmosphere flipping anoxic I just don’t see humanity becoming extinct anytime soon.Even an all out nuclear WWIII probably wouldn’t wipe us out. Most likely there would be plenty of pockets of survivors – not necessarily many at any one place of course but a few at lots of different places. It only takes a few to repopulate.Five hundred or a thousand would suffice if they could find each other and that many probably will manage to get together in various places.

      Very few people would any thing about survival after an all out nuclear war outside the bau paradigm but on the other hand there would be simply awesome amount of stuff laying around to make it easier. Any house standing would be a treasure trove of goodies ranging from butcher knives and stainless steel pots and pans to clothing and various hand tools.

      If I get to thinking a nuclear exchange is a real short term possibility I will very quietly go to the two nearest farm supplies with a BIG truck and load up enough non perishable food ( various grains and combinations of grain , mineral supplements etc sold in bags for livestock feed and seed ) to last half a dozen people a VERY long time. Next stop the supermarkets if I can make it before the panic starts. Every thing else is in place already except the last few days of work converting the basement of the big barn to a livable fallout shelter. That would be mostly berming the walls deeper and putting a foot of dirt on the floor upstairs. Gravity water from an under the mountain spring is already piped to within a few feet.

      If anybody knows of a web site that REALLY gets into the details of what the environment is like NOW in the Chernybol exclusion zone I want to read it.

  9. I don’t think we are heading for “global warming collapse”, and I don’t see evidence for extraordinary methane emissions in the Arctic. I do see increasing methane concentrations which are likely attributable to oil and gas production, coal mining, and rice.

    I selected some data, including maps and graphs, to show what I’ve been able to see thus far:

  10. old farmer mac says:

    I am NOT into such bullshit as little green men visiting but there is a non zero chance we may make contact with such creatures someday. Given the size of the universe it seems likely to me that SOMEWHERE bipedal intelligent green guys probably do exist. Both tall and short varieties when you think about it. Lol)

    But strange things do happen and once in a long while rare events do play havoc with naked apes. We have a whole small city’s worth of incinerated people on display for tourists due to a volcano for instance.

    It is a pet day dream/day mare of mine that one day we are going to KNOW that a big chunk of methane hydrate has broken loose from the sea floor and resulted in the sinking of a ship. This might happen so fast that the people on a small boat might not have a chance to get off a radio message but most likely a ship would manage an sos describing the water foaming and the ship sinking and anybody on deck passing out rather quickly.

    I am working on a novel and thinking about putting a scene along these lines in it. Does anybody know of any reason why this should NOT happen eventually? I am not going to have anything in it that is not within the realm of known science or obviously possible fact.

    And how about the politics involved of everybody with money enough to do it migrating from Florida and Arizona to Wisconsin and Vermont?Or Canada?

    We are already seeing the early stages of what is sure to be a badly mismanaged ( on the part of Western European countries ) migration from Africa and soon enough from the rest of the Middle East.

    Somebody wrote a prescient novel based on this emigration a few years back that was of course thoroughly trashed by the political left but beloved by some of the radical right. I intended to read it but never did locate a copy of it.

    As Fernando has remarked, western Europe is sure as hell a big fat juicy target for anybody who succeeds in making it. Even here in the American south the combined welfare (safety net for the more pc or liberal of us ) subsidies available are equivalent to riches for somebody who has barely ever had enough to eat. If I were destitute I might try to move permanently to Western Europe myself.

    Barring a nuclear WWIII my own personal opinion is that the planet will escape the worst case scenarios of runaway climate change and environmental destruction simply because business as usual and the population is apt to collapse well before we TOTALLY muck up the environmental works planet wide.

    I am not trying to minimize what is going to happen but rather simply pointing out that collapse MIGHT wipe out most of us and most of industrial civilization before we wipe out ALL the wild fish and ALL the wild life and burn ALL the forests etc.

    I am sticking by my opinion that there is a good possibility that a few pockets of industrially based civilization will indefinitely survive the coming collapse for the reasons I have given here previously.

    • Danny says:

      Methane releases were theorized for the bermuda triangle mysteries. For airplanes also. I wonder how much methane would have to be released or how low you would have to be flying for that to happen..

      • old farmer mac says:

        I have read a lot of speculation about methane hydrate clouds sinking planes and boats. My own guess is that it has NEVER happened to a plane unless it was skimming the waves. I can’t visualize a methane cloud big enough to stall an engine at altitude unless the release created a monster wave or waves and left clear evidence on the sea bottom.

        But a BOAT or ship , already mostly sunk into the water by its very nature, would sink in a hurry in water full of bubbles.

        But none of this speculation was published by anybody with any sort of professional qualifications. I am trying to avoid any sort of bullshit that will discredit the message of my book – assuming I ever finish it.

        It does seem possible that a very large block of frozen hydrate COULD break loose in the event of an earthquake or underwater landslide. This would of course create a hell of an eruption of bubbles at the surface.A heavily loaded boat , maybe just about any boat, would sink in water with enough bubbles rising up. The eruption might also simply capsize a boat.

        All those craters in the sea floor in one of Ron’s illustrations got me to thinking about this again. I never realized until now how common they are.

    • BC says:

      “I am NOT into such bullshit as little green men visiting but there is a non zero chance we may make contact with such creatures someday. Given the size of the universe it seems likely to me that SOMEWHERE bipedal intelligent green guys probably do exist. Both tall and short varieties when you think about it. Lol)”

      OFM, the scale of energy required to travel the immense distances would be enormous, perhaps the scale of a star. Were such species to exist and be out exploring the galaxies, the size of their craft would likely be so absolutely HUGE that they would pass by our little warm rock, vaporizing us in the process and never know we exited, much like when we humans walk in the grass or on the sidewalk, crushing thousands of tiny organisms with each step.

      Also, Michio Kaku describes the various levels of civilization and the associated technological achievement. We human apes rank as level zero. Level three would be required to traverse galaxies, meaning that the civilization’s technological advancement would render us human apes stuck on this little rock utterly insignificant, of little interest, and probably useless to such a species.

      It is speculated that, were there humanoid-like species having evolved in the past, the overwhelming majority would never reach level one because they would have destroyed the environment for life to continue by developing and them using against one another thermonuclear weapons.

  11. Ronald Walter says:

    I see Sandridge Energy is at .865 today, down from a 52 week high of 7.20 USD.

    Energy price collapse takes its toll.

    There is no way out.

    • Ves says:

      You could have always shorted :); success is just around corner as they propagate on TeeVee 🙂

      Just kidding, individual stocks are just a fool’s game.

  12. Watcher says:

    This is a year old, but buried within is compelling stuff. Real hard to worship data when definitions change:

    Until oil production started to ramp up in U. S. shale formations, the distinction between crude and condensate didn’t matter much, and the small amounts of condensate pumped from the ground were left mixed in the crude. But these days as much as 12% of daily U.S. crude production might qualify as condensate, overwhelming demand for the fuel, according to energy investment bank Simmons & Co. International.

    That would be 1 million bpd, all out of shale, miscounted.

    • Watcher, thanks for posting this link. This is a very informative article and I would advise everyone to read it. Well that is if you are interested in the definition of oil and what part condensate plays in “The New Oil Order”. 😉

      • Watcher says:


        There will be no warning. The narratives will be defended.

        You will just someday see that shelves are not filling up anymore.

        • Watcher says:

          This next text is buried at the end of the article:

          In the Eagle Ford Shale, as much as half of all oil production might fall into the condensate category, according to EIA figures. Some analysts have said that could eventually push down benchmark U.S. oil prices and slow drilling activity, hence the push by some oil companies to export greater volumes of condensate with minimal processing.

          Note that last point about pricing, and the article is 1 yr old. Jeffrey and I have been on this sort of thing for a while, though it was he who has stressed a theory of price determination via excess condensate.

  13. Hickory says:

    Whether or not the climate gets warmer than it is now, we will see in our lifetimes episodes of massive human migration. Its happened before, but now the scale is huge- 7 + billion. The relative trickle coming north from africa to europe is just a small example of the possible migrations. It is not unusual for massive crop failures to occur due to wide fluctuations in the climate, and the populations at risk can now be 200 million rather than the 20 million at risk in generations past. Add in fundamentalist religious movements, narco-states, and the same old tradition of extremely poor leadership (OK, I’ll name just one that came from a highly advanced “civilized” society- Hitler), and we’ve got the recipe for grand catastrophe.
    Will you be watching on TV, or will you be migrating too?
    How many people does it take to sacrifice themselves under the wheels of a food-aid train in order to bring it to a grinding halt, so that their families and tribe may have a chance at a handful of grain?
    But the pope says have more babies! (and the “believers” do as instructed).
    Shovel that coal.

    • I am reminded of the only book of fiction I have read in the last 20 years. And I read it only because of the subject.

      The Camp of the Saints

      It is all about the mass migration we are actually seeing today, except much worse as it will undoubtedly get. There was a lot of discussion about this book on The Oil Drum a few years back. The book is very politically incorrect.

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        Pretty good ABC Nightline program from 2014 on the culture war in London, between the far right EDL and Pro-Islamic radicals:

        Reportedly, the most common name for a male baby in the UK is Muhammad (and it’s various spellings).

        Regarding migration, I’m reminded of the quote attributed to Stalin, something to the effect that a single death is a tragedy, but a million deaths is a statistic. It’s easy to sympathize with a single person seeking refuge, but a million people seeking refuge is a problem, and I think that recent reports indicated that we are seeing the largest mass migrations since the end of the Second World War.

        • Aleksey says:

          A quote written from the book, “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic” (Aber das ist wohl so, weil ein einzelner immer der Tod ist — und zwei Millionen immer nur eine Statistik.) is often instead attributed to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

          • old farmer mac says:

            Stalin came before the book iirc. What he said, or did not say in some instances, is hard to say for sure.The old USSR was a pretty buttoned up sort of place.

            When ever I try to track a quote from recent times down, I can just about always find somebody who said something to the same effect -if not in the same words- earlier.

            Here are some Stalin quotes. I have not tried to find preceding quotes of a similar nature but I have no doubt I could if I were to put some time into it.


            ”The writer is the engineer of the human soul.
            Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don’t allow our enemies to have guns, why should we allow them to have ideas?
            Mankind is divided into rich and poor, into property owners and exploited; and to abstract oneself from this fundamental division, and from the antagonism between poor and rich, means abstracting oneself from fundamental facts.
            Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.
            If any foreign minister begins to defend to the death a “peace conference,” you can be sure his government has already placed its orders for new battleships and airplanes.
            A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.
            The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.
            Death is the solution to all problems. No man – no problem.
            The only real power comes out of a long rifle.
            I believe in one thing only, the power of human will.”

            Stalin, except for the fact that Hitler started WWII, was as bad or worse than Hitler in most respects. I will give him credit for one thing though. Stalin was more of an equal opportunity or egalitarian sort. He wiped people of ANY ethnic class out with equal enthusiasm if they stood in his way.

        • old farmer mac says:

          Don’t put too much emphasis on people’s behavior as individuals and what the pope or any preacher of any sort in the west has to say. Check out the birth rate in Italy, Poland, Ireland, Brazil – some of the countries with the highest percentages of Catholics.

          People these days stick together in WESTERN churches for reasons of social identity, the ” us” versus ” them” thing. They don’t pay very much attention to the details of dogma anymore ( witness those birth rates ) but they do stick together to defend their way of life and values because they feel ( and ARE ) threatened by people who want to change the rules they have traditionally lived by.

          I am not taking sides but trying to point out the facts as I see them.

          Churches in sand country are different. The people there taken all around are even more abysmally ignorant than the average Joe Sixpack on the streets of the USA. But the same basic calculus still applies. It is still the calculus of us versus them, the insiders versus the outsiders.

          Other than be basic urges to eat and screw etc , the urge to BELONG to a group is probably the strongest urge of all. It enables the very smartest of us to blind ourselves to facts that are perfectly obvious to relatively bright but still functionally illiterate farm hands – facts such as that oil comes out of holes in the ground and does not grow back.

          I don’t know a tobacco spitting grade school drop out redneck farmer – not the first one – who does not understand the peak oil question. Some of them believe there is still plenty of oil and that the oil companies are ganging up and ”holding it back” to get the price they want of course. But there are plenty of economists and other well educated people of all political stripes that believe in eternal growth etc.

      • old farmer mac says:

        I believe ”The camp of the Saints” is the book I referred to in a comment I made earlier. If it is still in print I am going to add it to my library.

    • BC says:

      The last time the planet experienced a convergence of the Gleissberg and Suess/de Vries cycles was in the early to mid-19th century at the last quarter or so of the Little Ice Age.

      The human ape population was ~1 billion and we had a low-entropy agrarian economy. Energy consumption was based primarily on renewable wood. Today we use something like 80 times more energy in the form of coal, petroleum, and nat gas than we used in wood in the early 19th century.

  14. Great article up on today. U.S. Oil Glut An EIA Invention?

    • BP says:

      Ron I believe this is similar to the “missing barrels” article I forwarded you from the late 1990s.

  15. Longtime Lurker says:

    I’d really caution against turning this into a climate change blog. The appeal of visiting here is to get hard data on energy production, not read about heavily politicized unproven science.

    • Bullshit! This is a collapse blog as well as an energy blog. And it is my blog and I will post anything I desire to post. The science is proven. If climate change deniers want to leave then let them go. It is all about science and those deny science should really go somewhere else.

      • old farmer mac says:

        A steady menu consisting only of the facts and statistics etc of the oil industry would attract only the people who are fanatically interested in peak oil and maybe a few lurking people researching business and investment possibilities.

        A well varied selection of articles and comments posted by people from different perspectives is far more likely to attract a larger audience.

        This IS Ron’s blog and I cannot speak for him but I think it is safe to assume he is interested in spreading the peak oil news as widely as he can while still running the blog according to his own wishes.

        Personally I learn more here from the audience than I do from the key posts since the only REAL peak oil question is when rather than if and I learned the basics of the peak oil issue before Ron started this blog.

        We educate each other about the likely future impacts of peak oil and environmental destruction and what we might be able to do to soften the hard landing we are headed for.

        • Futilitist says:

          For once, I have to pretty much agree with everything you said there, old farmer mac. There is no reason for Ron to present an overly narrow point of view that doesn’t allow for free and open discussion about everything encompassed by the broad topics of peak oil and collapse. And that includes discussion about climate change.

          And it feels good to be back among my old friends. Thanks, Ron.

  16. The Baker Hughes Rig Count is out. Oil rig count down 3, gas rig count up 5. Horizontal rigs down 8, Vertical rigs up 7.

    • clueless says:

      WPX, a small Oklahoma drilling company, yesterday had some news. It has one rig running in ND, and plans on moving 2 from Colorado to ND – 1 in August, and 1 in November. They have 14 ND wells currently waiting to be completed, which they plan to have done by the end of the year. They say that they can now drill and complete a well in ND for $8 million, down 30% from their previous costs. They say, based upon their current fracking technique, they are upping the average ultimate recoverable estimate for future ND wells from 600,000 bbl. to 750,000 bbl. Based upon current prices, they expect “returns in excess of 30%.” I have no idea what that means – get back $10.4 million from their $8 million, or IRR, or NPV, or whatever.

      • Watcher says:

        You can reduce well cost by reducing frack stage count. These are all BS games played when they pitch lenders to maintain sufficient cash for management salaries.

      • I’m willing to trade my $100,000 beagle for 1 million WPX shares.

      • shallow sand says:

        I assume the EUR is in BOE which contains enough natural gas to really drag on the economics.

        If a well cannot pay out in five years, it likely will be a loser, especially if a large portion of the cost is borrowed.

        Making money on Bakken wells is a pipe dream unless one is drilling Grail or Parshall type wells.

        It is only going to work if oil prices rise, and now they seem stuck.

        June 2009, WTI fell just shy of averaging $70 and we were back off to the races.

        This time too many seem determined to keep a lid on the price. $60 WTI does not stop the bleeding for those with a pile of debt, which is just about every US independent oil and gas producer.

        This crash stays in $60 or less WTI through summer it will be worse than 2009 IMO.

    • AlexS says:

      All major tight oil basins are down or flat, horizontal rigs are down 8 units
      “Other basins” up 10 oil rigs, vertical+directional rigs up 10
      Interesting trend.
      A return of conventional onshore activity?

      • shallow sand says:

        AlexS. I noticed that too. I wonder who would return to vertical well drilling at current WTI prices and Henry Hub prices?

        I looked at debt levels for some of the MLP’s. They produce mostly from conventional (vertical) wells. They are almost all very high per flowing BOE. It looks like the two largest, Linn Energy and Breitburn Energy, are in bad financial shape. Also, the OXY spinoff, California Resources, also has a high level of debt. Denbury Resources, who has a lot of CO2 production, also has high debt level. The later two are not MLP’s, but are not weighted towards horizontal “shale” oil and/or gas wells either.

        It appears almost all US independent producers levered up during the last 5 years, and now have very large long term debt loads. Maybe companies like Chevron, XON, and OXY, who are not as deep in debt, would drill infill wells while rig rates are lower?

        Interesting to note that on a BOE basis, most upstream companies, shale and otherwise, realized high 20’s to low 30’s per BOE in the first quarter. It looks like that will only rise to the high 30’s to low 40’s for the second quarter of 2015. The earnings estimates for the quarter, and remainder of the year, are very low or negative.

        For the above reasons, I would be surprised at a major return of vertical wells being drilled and completed. Maybe some large majors, but I doubt they would be overly aggressive.

  17. canabuck says:

    CO2 is good for plants. Warmer temperatures make plants grow faster, in general.
    So, more CO2 and warmer temperatures are making for a healthier planet.
    The planet may have been slowly dying before we came along. Now there is more plant life that can feed more people.

    • Ian Pettegrew says:

      Yes indeed, at one time our earth’s atmosphere contained a lot more CO2 than at present and much less oxygen. These conditions fostered the growth of blue algae which over many years changed the makeup of the atmosphere. Throughout the eons our planet has sequestered any increases in CO2 as plant materials that eventually turned into coal and oil. This will happen once more. In the meantime, currently the CO2 in our atmosphere is within all-time historic limits, and as the CO2 goes up the plants love the addition, turning that CO2 into carbon compounds in the stems and leaves, which in terms of agriculturally significant plants is of great benefit in order to feed the growing world population. Nature sure is great isn’t it?

      • Fred Magyar says:

        In the meantime, currently the CO2 in our atmosphere is within all-time historic limits, and as the CO2 goes up the plants love the addition, turning that CO2 into carbon compounds in the stems and leaves, which in terms of agriculturally significant plants is of great benefit in order to feed the growing world population. Nature sure is great isn’t it?

        That is just fractally wrong! It is a profound oversimplification. No, actually that is Bullshit! Have provide many links to scientific papers in the past that explain why that isn’t the whole truth.

    • Puffalar (Your Five-Alarm Puff) says:

      High-five! We did it! ^u^

    • Preston says:

      Sorry canabuck, you are kidding yourself. CO2 has not been this high for millions of years which means all of today’s plants have not evolved for high co2 levels. It’s been tested and some plants do okay, but most including food crops have problems with higher co2. Also, once the ocean starts to rot from the heat they will have to deal with high levels of hydrogen sulfide which kills them (and us).

      If you like jellyfish and swamp dwelling reptiles then high c02 may be okay – but not our food plants or us.

  18. Climate change poses catastrophic risk to human health

    According to a report published this week in the British medical journal The Lancet, health impact of climate change can potentially harm last 50 years of gains in development and global health.

    The report estimated that increased risk of disease, much greater food insecurity, air pollution and many other factors collectively pose a catastrophic risk to human health.

    This means that climate change may have a counter-effect research done in technology and investment in public infrastructure and medical treatment over the last half-century.

    A commission led by researchers at University College London (UCL) said the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events will increase dramatically. The number of people exposed to extreme rainfall and droughts will be four and three times higher than it was in the 1990s respectively.

    And just think, a few very foolish people say global warming and climate change will be good for us.

    • canabuck says:

      I’m all for quality research.
      It sure beats wild speculation in the search for truth.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      I was just watching NOVA’a VACCINES – CALLING THE SHOTS documentary and it stated that the level of vaccination had to reach 96% to prevent a spread of the disease among the un-vaccinated population. Apparently France had an 89% vaccination rate for measles and an outbreak occurred. The disease spread across the whole country with over 12,000 cases.
      Admittedly measles is highly contagious and airborne but it does demonstrate the effects of what could happen if society started to fail to vaccinate or reduced vaccination levels due to lack of available vaccines. A number of our supposedly conquered illnesses would resurface and spread.
      Polio is one of the scariest, but there is typhoid, diphtheria, whooping cough, tuberculosis, pneumonia, scarlet fever, chicken pox. I think smallpox only exists in laboratories but no one is vaccinated against it anymore so it had better stay there.

  19. islandboy says:

    This post is probably the best one that could have come up for me to post the following. The EIA’s latest Electric Power Monthly (release date June 25) is out with data for the month of April. In addition to the output from solar, both PV and thermal, I have been tracking the Net Generation by Energy Source: Total (All Sectors), 2005-April 2015 (Table 1.1.). Below I have posted a graph of the generation as a percentage of total by source. A brief examination reveals a historic event. April is the first month that Natural Gas has generated more electricity than coal! Overall generation is down in the region of 9.4% with all sources down except “Petroleum Coke”, Non-hydro renewables and “Other”. As a percentage of total, non-hydro renewables are up to 9.05%, the highest since January 2014 and possibly ever.

    The question arises, Have non-hydro renewables and to a much greater extent, NG started to “move the needle” as it were, on US carbon emissions? If so, is it too late to avert the global warming collapse that Ron writes of? Bear in mind, data provided by Political Economist in a comment to a recent Ronpost that, suggested that something similar may be happening in China. I posted a graph of Wind and Solar output in China over recent years in that thread, aiming to highlight the exponential nature of the growth. Is it possible that the advocates for renewables are finally beginning to see a discernible change in carbon emissions?

    • I think it depends on gas prices. The USA doesn’t have the gas resources to produce in the current low price environment. So we have to wonder if generation may not be encouraged to switch back to coal?

  20. islandboy says:

    Following on from my comment above, electricity production from Solar sources continues to rise well above the level for last year. From the source table (Table 1.1.A.), while “Conventional Hydroelectric”, “Geothermal”, “Other Waste Biomass” and “Wood and Wood-Derived Fuels” are all down, renewables overall are up with wind doing the “heavy lifting”. Below is the graph of solar output since January 2012.

  21. MarbleZeppelin says:

    Humans are capable of so much greatness. The time when we could romp freely in the world, wreaking havoc with little concern for the ramifications our actions is over. This civilization will disappear, it is unviable and destructive on a large scale. Whether a new more responsible and viable civilization emerges or humans and most of the current life on the planet is gone, depends on choices made now and in the next few decades.
    Civilization as we know it will not exist in 2100, no matter what we do. It is headed toward self-destruction without the added problems and stresses of climate change. So climate change will definitely push civilization change, there is no way around that. All the trends are clear, major change is happening and greater change is coming. The choices are flow with it or fight against it.
    I wouldn’t think fighting against it is a way to survive.

  22. Preston says:


    I’ve noticed on a lot of sites that anything with “Climate” in the title brings out the denier trolls in force. I suspect many of them are bots, – none would pass a turning test anyway. Are you doing some filtering and do you see a big spike in trolls when climate is discussed?

    Even with the treat of extinction one large group has decided to fight any kind of change. To have any hope we really need to work together – but it doesn’t seem likely.

  23. Violet J. Tolia Willis says:

    Hello Old Farmer Mac . . . I was able to overwinter artichokes last year in my unheated greenhouse in northern Maine. Its true. Meantime farms in the region had no tomato crop at all due to blights . . . I grew mine in the greenhouse and had good results . . . along with melons, cukes, eggplants, peppers, and okra. Greenhouse growing is necessary here, for it is not warm enough to plant them outside and expect anything to come up, even with that Mid-Atlantic warmth 🙂 So you can imagine how funny I find it when my neighbor warms me that the global warming will soon cause snow failing to fall and the cold coast of Maine to be like Virginia in 5 years here . . . 😀 I can only hope for 5 years time . . . as that would mean I wouldn’t need the greenhouses anymore and could grow more kinds of vegetables!

    • old farmer mac says:

      Hi Violet and welcome to the forum,

      Unless you are what my dear old long departed Momma referred to as a ” spring chicken” you are not likely to live long enough to grow a garden like she did, with our much longer and hotter growing season. But your grandchildren might have a shot. 😉

      But you are probably going to notice the first frost arriving a little later in the year on average and the last one in the spring on the average coming a little earlier if you keep written records for the next few thirty or forty years. I think you have a good shot at gaining at least a couple of weeks growing time before you get personally recycled if you are a youngster.

      I am looking at planting some pecans and some other better cold adapted fruit and nut trees this winter. I am not likely to see them reach full maturity but I have a good shot at seeing them in production. Pecans seldom produce useful harvests here , the trees do ok but the nuts don’t have time to fill out properly and we get too much spring frost. With the weather warming just a little over the next decade or two, and planting a variety better adapted to cold weather they are likely to produce well.

      The problem is that the northern varieties have nuts only about half as big as the southern varieties. I am hoping to find somebody who is getting results bringing the varieties together.

      • MarbleZeppelin says:

        Living in the northeastern hills as I do I can understand the problems with growing temperature sensitive crops here. Until the jet stream shifts or gets elongated again the northeast will experience below average temperatures. Along with this appears to be more rain and cloud cover. Of course that is not dependable since a few years ago warm almost snowless winters were the “norm” and could happen again.
        Still good apple and berry country and the hickory trees have been putting out bumper crops of nuts. Many plants seem to do well with diffuse lighting so the clouds have not been much of a problem except one time a few years ago where it rained 2 to 6 inches at a time repeatedly and produced almost a years worth of rain in seven weeks. Killed my second planting, way too much rain with no sunny days and very dim for weeks. The weeds and local plants did quite well though.
        Not complaining though, far better than living in a desert headed for badland.
        So you just can’t depend on the weather. Averages are warming but local effects can easily dominate the weather.

  24. islandboy says:

    In an attempt to get an idea of any impact renewables are having on fuel consumption and carbon emissions in my neck of the woods, I have been trying to come up with figures for installed capacity of wind generation and solar. The utility has a virtual monopoly on hydro and there is a web page at the relevant ministry (department for all you yanks) that, has the data for hydro and fossil fuels. There is no data for wind, solar, biomass or any other non-hydro renewables. After being tired of the paucity of information on the total installed capacity of solar PV for the island, I called a college batch-mate of mine who has a senior position at the ministry to ask if he was aware of any database of installed capacity. There is not and he said that is something he wants to address since, in all honesty he cannot quantify the effects that PV is having in the absence of the data. He said they would be seeking to commission a survey of existing PV installations. Knowing how long that is likely to take and getting frustrated with seeing Wikipedia articles that fail to acknowledge the existence of PV on the island, I decided to take maters into my own hands. Using data from media articles, press releases and vendor/installer web sites, I started a wikipedia page:

    Solar Power in Jamaica

    It is my first attempt at doing anything like this and fortunately, it seems one or twon veteran Wikipedia editors stepped in and did some tidying up for me. I have currently managed to put together installations totalling 3,777 kW based on data that I could find. There is probably a whole lot more and I have put together my own private spreadsheet that has a total of 3895 kW including installations that made the news but, were sparse on technical details as well as just stuff I just happened to notice while out and about or when using Google Maps Satellite View.

    I plan to attend the local Alternative Energy Expo to be held near me next week and will try to see if I can get other interested parties to contribute data. Maybe one day it’ll get to the point where it’s actually useful! My ultimate aim is to have Jamaica included in the Wikipedia page, Growth of photovoltaics as well as to be able to start figuring out if renewables are starting to “move the needle” here. If everybody all over the world makes an effort, maybe we can, one day, start to roll that carbon emissions boulder back up the hill and before anybody gets on my case, I am fully aware that it is a very big boulder and a very steep hill.

    • You will need a 350 km cable connection to Cuba.

    • wimbi says:

      You seem to be doing a lot of good work! And thanks for that video on the Austrian town going all renewable. Very important message there- wood can be used by way of pyrolysis as a carbon-negative energy source.

      People should be aware of this, especially in a plant-friendly place like Jamaica.

      Another thought for all here- maybe best rule re energy is –

      If you can’t do a thing within your renewable budget- don’t do it!

      If that rule ruled, we would immediately quit a bunch of useless/harmful stuff we do now, and get down to greatly enlarging our renewables, both of which we can easily do, from my personal experience in doing just that.

      A sub-rule to above- If you can afford to not do it, don’t.

      I have never visited Jamaica, but passed by on my little jeep carrier on the way to Gitmo after the war. I remember lots of hills and lots of green– and a bunch of sharks.

      Good luck in your energy fair. Keep in mind that any real change takes at least a generation. The kids I had in my saturday science seminar are now grown up to be decision-makers, and some of them are famous.

  25. MarbleZeppelin says:

    Methane clathrate is at a global maximum right now.
    “Global inventory of methane clathrate: sensitivity to changes
    in the deep ocean”

    And a worst case methane release scenario

  26. I have a question. And anyone with an opinion please chime in.

    Why is “Left or Right” more than just politics? If a person leans it means he/she is a political liberal and a democrat, and if that person leans right that means they are a conservative and a republican.

    But it is so much more than that. People who deny evolution are far more likely to be on right wing than the left. People who are against equal rights for gays and lesbians are far more likely to be right wing than left. People who own guns and are always talking about “the right to keep and bear arms” are far more likely to be right wing than left. People who want prayer in schools are far more likely to be right wing than left. People who are always harping about “the war on Christmas” and other such nonsense are far more likely to be right wing than left.

    And people who deny anthropocentric global warming are far more likely to be right wing than left.


    • Fuser says:

      As far as anthropocentric global warming goes, I believe right leaning people do not find the solutions to global warming acceptable – therefore they have no choice but to deny there is a problem.

      If there is a workable solution to global warming, it would require a global effort with a worldwide increase in government regulations. Their political philosophy runs counter to that.

      • cytochrome C says:

        I agree, the science has been settled for quite a while.
        It is a Free Market ideology, taxes, regulation, etc.

        If you accept Global Warming, your lifelong beliefs are gone, and you are in a fetal position screaming.

      • Boomer II says:

        As far as anthropocentric global warming goes, I believe right leaning people do not find the solutions to global warming acceptable – therefore they have no choice but to deny there is a problem.

        Yes, I think we’d be having entirely different conversation if proposed solutions to global warming didn’t also have lifestyle changes and if powerful industries didn’t have a vested interest in discouraging those changes.

        I’d say people would be very interested in discussions about possible weather events, either now or in the future, because weather is something everyone can relate to.

        Of course, even when people know there are going to be natural disasters, some of them live in denial anyway. You’ve got people building houses in flood areas, on eroding coastal shorelines, in high risk fire areas, etc.

        They build and then when disaster strikes, they want help to pay for their losses. And then they rebuild in the same areas. Let them foot the bill for their own insurance if they keep building in high risk areas.

    • cytochrome C says:

      May I suggest Corey Robin’s book ?
      A superb look at this subject.

      Also this may bring some insight:

      Genetics probably plays a roll, but that is not a PC subject for this blog.

    • shallow sand says:

      Ron, I would note that with the various positions you set forth, the “right” favors keeping the status quo, while the “left” favors change.

      Although not uniformly the case, it seems to me the older one gets, the more conservative one gets. It is common to remember only the good times from the “good old days” and not the bad parts of those days. My grandparents grew up on farms during the 1920s and 1930s, when times were extremely tough. Yet mostly the stories told were not about the hard times, but the good things that happened.

      Maybe that has something to do with it?

    • Ron: Its a religion/culture/history issue. And it cuts both ways. Leftists have a pretty frenetic and repressive tendency to try to silence issues they don’t agree with. Rightists exhibit the same tendencies. I have a very large tent in my mental party because I understand most points of view. But that’s an acquired taste.

      • old farmer mac says:

        I have to come down with Fernando one hundred percent on this one except that I see it as almost one hundred percent culturally oriented.

        Education has little to do with it. Most of the very well technically educated people I have ever met on average were pretty conservative types when it comes to their culture.

        The ones who believe in global warming are not apt to say much about these beliefs in public but they are FAR more numerous than most folks would guess.

        A couple of hundred people attend church services every week where most of my family is buried. All two hundred of them if asked directly will say they believe in a literal interpretation of the KJB.

        But I have had many a long and deep ( but still casually oriented) conversations with at least thirty of these people – a representative sample – over the years. None of them have any problem with believing in dinosaurs.

        They deal with the evolution question by ignoring it. Cognitive dissonance explains so much human behavior that the person who first coined this descriptive phrase ought to be as famous as Plato or Socrates.

        The one and the only truly major question anybody ever needs ask about what a man does or does not believe is easily answered ninety nine percent of the time by asking just one question.

        What does his ” in ” group have to say and where does his in or ”us ” group stand on the question. It matters not a flying you know what at a rolling donut what the FACTS are. An Ivy League professor is just about as immune to facts as a backwoods Bible thumper when it comes to rationalizing his beliefs so as to maintain his cultural identity.

        I have remarked many times previously and at least five or six times in this forum that it is extremely unfortunate that environmental issues are inextricably entangled with cultural issues due to the way our minds work.

        It is true without a shadow of a doubt that the so called leftish or liberal wing in this country basically has its ducks in a row when it comes to the environment – compared to the so called conservative or right wing.

        The right in a nutshell more or less just automatically opposes anything favored by the left wing. This is no harder to understand than a little kid liking ice cream although it is harder to just ACCEPT it. It is so simple it just cannot possibly be true – according to the way most people think. But it IS true.

        Generally speaking you can count on a self identified liberal to come down on the opposite side of the fence in any debate about any closely held beliefs of the conservative camp.

        The left wing also believes in a lot of foolish stuff but I am not up to debating all the fundamentalist liberals concerning the details today.

        I will point out just one example and proclaim my belief that anybody who believes other wise is a severely deluded or ignorant if not an outright fool. This is the debate about the ability of a government to just continuously raise taxes and borrow more money indefinitely. Of course in recent times the right wing politicians are coming around – some of them – to this same asinine belief- but it is far more common on the left than it is on the right.

        It has cooled off below ninety F now and time to get outside and take care of the chores.

        I think we have a just set a new record locally for the most consecutive days above ninety this early in the year.

        I am as usual painting fast with a broad brush. Really explaining ideas such as these would take a LONG time.

        • Mac, thanks for such a great post. I have just one quibble:

          An Ivy League professor is just about as immune to facts as a backwoods Bible thumper when it comes to rationalizing his beliefs so as to maintain his cultural identity.

          I simply cannot accept the idea that everyone is equally immune to facts when those facts contradict their long term beliefs and identity. Most are, but not everyone. Some people will turn on a dime when the facts contradict their beliefs or world view. Others turn only reluctantly. Most deny and do not turn at all. But there is no one characteristic that you can say everyone possesses regardless of the circumstances. Well, not one that I am aware of anyway.

          • old farmer mac says:

            Hi Ron,

            Of course Ivy League professors are generally far more capable of critical thinking and facing up to their own prejudices and blind spots than the average man or woman on the street. Otherwise they would be community college professors or dishwashers.

            You are right as usual, when it comes to the way people think there is no hard and fast rule that takes in everybody.

            My personal guess is that not over one or two percent of us can reorient our beliefs within a short time span when we discover these beliefs are contrary to the facts – meaning beliefs that are closely related to the persons cultural identity of course.

            I have personally come to grips with a lot of facts that do not sit well with my culture. It has taken quite some time for this process to play itself out.

            At one time I believed like most hard core conservative types that ”If you think medical care is expensive NOW , just wait till it is FREE.”

            Having been around government agencies and employees most of my life, and at times being one myself, I found this to be an utterly compelling argument. Not very many government employees HUSTLE in my experience.

            But it gradually became clear to me that medical care is not expensive BECAUSE we have free enterprise but rather because we have NOT had free enterprise in health care since the WWII era. It’s all octopus corporations and lawyers and insurance companies and EVERY body grubbing for the last nickel and doing everything he can to PREVENT any real competition.

            Realizing the magnitude of the problem and how hard it would be to solve it I gradually came to understand that socialized health care European fashion is the better choice for the country if not for the people in the health care industry.

            You mentioned that awesome little book ” The Peter Principle” a couple of days back.

            Have you ever read the sequel, ” The Peter Prescription”?

            ONCE I got my blinders off and really got to thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that the only real hope for fixing the health care system is smash it to bits and start over. That in a nutshell is the Peter Prescription.

            Hence I do support OCare in principle although I remain convinced it is THE worst mismanaged government initiative of my lifetime.

            Does this sound strange coming from a conservative ? I am a TRUE conservative and a first principle is that things that are important HAVE TO WORK.

            A country with half the people in it unable to pay medical bills is not working and at high risk of revolution. Sometimes socialism is the answer. I believe socialized medicine is a lesser risk than cultural collapse. I don’t want to get mugged or burgled some day by some desperate guy trying to rob me to get money enough to take his kid to a doctor..Beyond that I recognize that I myself might be unable to afford medical care at some point. I have been without insurance for extended periods .. and lucky .. so far.

            In my entire life I have met only two doctors for whom I felt any real personal respect. One was a Cuban refugee who was our family doc until he died of old age. (I talked about Cuba with him. Fernando is on the money about Cuba. )

            The other one is my doc now. He gave up the big city to move to the boonies and practices out of his house and charges forty bucks and says he makes more money than he really knows how to spend. He gives away stuff that costs him and actually makes house calls. If you need an hour you get a full hour for the same forty bucks. Plumbers and electricians around here charge that much or more.

            I met one other doc I got to know well – a refugee from the Canadian health care system. He told me with a perfectly straight face that he left Canada because he could make more money as a truck driver in the USA than he could as a doctor in Canada which at that time was true enough-if he could get into the right truck drivers union. . The truth almost always lies between the extremes.

            Changing my mind about the health care system , moving from one end of the spectrum to the other took me over a decade even though the facts were obvious from the first day- once I was able to look at them objectively. Gaining that objectivity took more than half the entire ten years plus.

            I can and have changed my mind many times in five minutes about the best way to fix a busted truck or which is the best way to plant potatoes when shown a better solution. But this sort of problem is not related to my personal identity.

          • JW says:

            I was born to be a young earth creationist, but am now an evolutionist. So I see myself as an authority on this to some degree.

            I see two factors that is important in this matter. The first one is what OFM said above. If fact A contradicts belief B, then A will not be accepted, if B is important. If the link between A and B can be broken, A can be accepted.

            Secondly, it is about the ability to lie to your self. I am as bad at that as I am at lying to others. I am an INTP-personality. (Google it, everything you read will describe me.) INTPs are bad at lying to them self, and quite easily change foot when presented with evidence. Not all are like this.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      Ron, the basis is a perversion of religion. The Christian church for some reason started promoting that humans are not animals, they are above the animals and have dominion over all the earth. That was taken to mean by many that we can do what we want rather than care for the earth. It also implies a very self-centered and self-important attitude. This essentially is the basis of the “right”.
      Knowledge, science and especially independent thought undermine the religious beliefs which mostly can’t stand the light of day and all the social beliefs that spawned from them – which are built on false logic.
      The political right is based on adhering to a set of invented beliefs that self-promote their ideology.
      This leads to a single-minded uncompromising unyielding point of view. Otherwise their beliefs are easily destroyed.
      The political left absorbed a lot of the independent thinkers who are more likely to consider various points of view and make compromises. Thus they can see someone else’s viewpoint and make adjustments to their own since they are less invested in a given belief or idea.
      The fact that the pope has taken a strong environmental stand is an amazing milestone in history. That alone will start to undermine the right-wing attitude toward the world. Just a start though.

      Another human trait to be explored is that some believe strongly enough in something, then it is true. Portions of humanity may be more susceptible to propaganda and self-delusional thinking.
      We may be looking at a mental bifurcation within the species. We are all the same species but that does not mean that the way our brains work is uniform.

    • Rick Herzenberg says:

      In my opinion, liberals strongly believe in “man-caused” global warming because doing so fits in perfectly with the anti-American, anti-capitalist, (and let’s face it– anti-liberty and free will, anti-human) kneejerk oikophobia at the core of their worldview and because it make them feel noble to be seen “bravely standing up for Mother Earth”, in a nostalgic, hippy-dippy kind of way. Most importantly, “climate change” is one of the pillars in liberal dogma, the kind of thing they NEVER stray from, similar to the true believers of the world’s other major faiths.

      Since only a tiny fraction of a fraction of the population is even remotely qualified to have an opinion here, being a believer or a skeptic is almost entirely determined by our own, mostly political, biases. Conservatives see liberals as being political Chicken Littles, and believe that policies like “Cap and Trade” will do nothing but keep an already-stagnant economy stagnant and cause poverty and misery for the poor and middle-class the liberals never the less say they stand up for so much (while the rich will barely notice the energy price increases or the jobs destroyed that they’d never work anyway).

      I realize the truth hurts and so I will not be offended if I get told the story about “97%” of climate scientists, followed by the obligatory garden-variety derision, the smug superiority or the irresistible need to tell me how st… st… st… stooooopid I am, for NOT joining your “Yes We Can” doomsday cult or NOT attending their upcoming hippy lock-in. You may fire at will.

      • Rick, reading your reply gave me the best laugh I have had in weeks.

        liberals strongly believe in “man-caused” global warming because doing so fits in perfectly with the anti-American, anti-capitalist, (and let’s face it– anti-liberty and free will, anti-human) kneejerk oikophobia at the core of their worldview and because it make them feel noble to be seen “bravely standing up for Mother Earth”, in a nostalgic, hippy-dippy kind of way.

        Rolling in the floor laughing my ass off! You restored my faith in the stupidity of the far right.

        • old farmer mac says:

          Hi Ron,

          I am laughing with you of course but let us remember that it IS true that very few people ARE qualified to have an opinion of their own.

          EVERY self defined liberal I can think of among my acquaintances believes in global warming. BUT not over five percent , maybe ten percent at the outside of them know enough science to have an opinion of their own. I would not put the percentage as high as ten except for the fact that I know a bunch of science teachers.

          Teachers in my experience are ninety percent by percentage liberals given that their livelihood pretty much depends on the state monopoly of education. It is that old us versus them divide again.

          Of course the fact that they are not qualified to have an opinion of their own does not mean that opinion is wrong.

          I am fully on board with establishment climate science except for a few obvious problems such as using unrealistic estimates of future fossil fuel consumption.

        • islandboy says:

          Actually, I don’t find this funny. It would be funny if most Republicans didn’t think like him. AFAICT, as a block the Republican voters in the US were a large enough number to give the GOP a majority in Congress, as well as in the Senate in the most recent elections. If the US was not the large powerful country it is then yes, it would all just be hilarious! Since the US is one of, if not the most powerful nation on the planet, I find this quite disturbing!

          • old farmer mac says:

            ”I find this quite disturbing!”

            It scares the hell out of me when I think about it. Since there is not much I can do about it, I think about it as little as possible.

            Now here is something that just might help. Liberals with their hearts in the right place would do well to stop and think once in a while WHY the right wing is opposed to their environmental initiatives and desires.

            Part of it of course is the obvious fact that the right wing OWNS more of the bau establishment and runs a disinformation campaign to protect its own interests.

            But the MORE IMPORTANT reason is that the left wing is constantly ramming a new culture down the throat of the more conservative element. That is about the WORST possible way to get cooperation.

            The net effect is about the same as some tobacco spitting redneck walking up to a young well educated and attractive woman in a bar and brazenly propositioning her by calling her one hot bitch and inviting her to sit on his face.

            Yer got to make yer choices and live with them after they are made sometimes.

            But sometimes you have the opportunity to change your tune and your own attitude.

            I am not interesting in debating a question such as this one and this is the WRONG forum in any case , but anybody who has trouble seeing the truth in the following statement has some ENORMOUS BLIND SPOTS of his own.

            ”I have the right to live and work in a community of people who believe as I do about same sex marriage.” If any body cannot see the point, let us change the parameters a bit.

            I have the right to live and work in a community of people who believe as I do about having sex with young children.

            Or smoking pot.

            OR stoning women for adultery or burning them at their husbands funeral.

            Or owning a gun.

            Or a thousand other things.

            There are damned few absolutes when it comes to behavior.

            Cultural norms determine what is acceptable.Owning another human being was the norm in many cultures and remains the norm in a few places even today.

            People who insist on changing the norms are utter and absolute fools if they fail to understand that those who do not want the norms changed are going to fight back on ALL fronts.

            If the left wants climate science better accepted it would do EXTREMELY WELL to give up on ramming its culture down the throats of the right. Given that climate science and overshoot are inextricably intertwined , MIGHT be a better choice to just wait for the two oldest generations of right wingers to DIE and THEN win the culture argument by default.Such a strategy MIGHT make it possible to control the government and get seriously working on the environmental issues.


            There are enough of them to hold onto the reins of power for a very long time yet.

            I don’t expect the left to change – that would be as foolish as foolish can be. I don’t give a damn personally one way or the other.I live in near isolation in the back woods NOW. I have lived in the heart of a university district and got along just fine there and married a hot (female ) Jewish artist from the BIG APPLE once upon a time. I see both sides. DAMNED few people can see both sides.

            Take the culture issue away and just about any right winger would be open minded about climate science just as he or she is open minded about blood transfusions, cellphones , space travel, computers, and any and all the other things we enjoy as the result of science.

            Not one person under seventy five or eighty years of age in the fundamentalist Baptist church where most of my family is buried has any problem with the sun being in the center and the earth in orbit. Not one of them believes the Earth is flat.

            Conservatives and right wingers ARE NOT anti science in any broad sense of the word. The last conversation I had with the preacher himself was about the miracles of modern medicine that have kept him alive for the last twenty years.

            They are fighting a culture war and in culture wars you fight with every weapon at your disposal. The most important weapon in this current culture war is the ballot.

            • Boomer II says:

              Given that climate science and overshoot are inextricably intertwined , MIGHT be a better choice to just wait for the two oldest generations of right wingers to DIE and THEN win the culture argument by default.

              This will happen.

              I’ve been watching the peak oil discussion unfold since the Carter days. Since then I’ve felt we could either make a smooth, gradual transition to declining oil, or we could wait until it was running out and we’d make a fast, painful transition.

              So I’ve anticipated the peak oil reality. Climate change has never altered my viewpoint other than to perhaps add some urgency. (And it has made me go from anti-nuke, to maybe-nuke). But I also feel GW is too far off in the distance for most people to want to make changes now for that reason alone. Even I don’t feel motivated by it as a reason.

              What motivates me to move toward alternative energy options are concerns about pollution, economics, environmental degradation, wars, etc. There are immediate reasons to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. I don’t need reasons that will have full impact in the future.

              And I have said before, the businesses/industries fighting any response to peak oil and GW are old businesses. They will be losing political power anyway. They haven’t yet, and are fighting especially hard to hang on to it, but I think theirs is a losing race.

      • canabuck says:

        You speak true words!

    • Javier says:

      Regarding right or left, Ron, do you understand that some of the issues that you bring are mainly US or Anglo-Saxon cultural issues? In many European countries almost nobody, left or right, religious or atheist, denies the existence of evolution. And I myself have known lots of scientists, both from the right and from the left.

      Every human being has the capacity to reject reality because he/she doesn’t find it palatable. This is independent of political or religious beliefs. What happens is that the stronger the convictions, the easiest it is to reject reality.

      • Boomer II says:

        In many European countries almost nobody, left or right, religious or atheist, denies the existence of evolution. And I myself have known lots of scientists, both from the right and from the left.

        We’ve got some fundamentalist thinking in the US that isn’t much different than what is being said by Islamic militants.

        • Boomer II says:

          Just saw this. Seems to make my point.

          Fox's Keith Ablow: 'It's Time For An American Jihad' (VIDEO)

          The screed demanded that America pressure countries, including allies such as Germany, Sweden and Italy, to “adopt laws similar to our own.” Ablow even suggested U.S. politicians obtain dual citizenship so they may run for office in other nations.

          “We might even fund our leaders’ campaigns for office in these other nations,” he wrote.

          Ablow admitted that you can’t have a crusade without war: “We would accept the fact that an American jihad could mean boots on the ground in many places in the world where human rights are being denigrated and horrors are unfolding,” he wrote.

          “[W]e have a God-given right to intervene,” he added.

          • The USA will need a draft, and the soldiers air dropped over Teheran should be picked in alphabetical order: Aa…, then Ab…, then Ac…., etc. L’s will be in charge of the war propaganda department in Colorado Springs.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        There may be more to this than meets the eye.

        Jonathan Haidt – “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion”

      • Javier says:

        Cultural cognition theory tries to explain the differences in risk perception based on psychological processes arising from cultural positions.

        Research on cultural cognition usually uses perceived risks coming from environmental concerns, guns/gun control, abortion, etc.

        This is as a good explanation as we have for AGW believers being mainly Egalitarian Communitarianists, and AGW deniers being mainly Hierarchical Individualists, while AGW skeptics are mainly Egalitarian Individualists.

        This is worrisome, because scientists are also affected by cultural cognition bias and thus do not benefit from the increasing politicisation and polarisation of the issue. At this point one can only trust the data and not the conclusions that are often tainted but cultural cognition bias.

        Main reference: Culture and Identity-Protective Cognition: Explaining the White Male Effect in Risk Perception. Kahan et al. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 4, 3, 465–505, 2007.

        Myself, as an Egalitarian individualist, I am very sensitive to environmental risks, compounded by being a scientist in Biological sciences, however my skepticism regarding risks from climate change is enhanced by my natural distrust of governments and establishment. It is useful to know the source of one’s personal bias, since nobody is free from them.

    • James says:

      The “Republicans” likely have enhanced fear circuitry, especially towards different or new stimuli. The locus coeruleus in the brain stem figures prominently in releasing noradrenaline into the brain which can set off other pathways that lead directly to release of cortisol. Anything like “climate change” or “Darwinian evolution” probably sets off a fear response and the offending stimulus, idea, must be rejected as a defensive mechanism. This may be a reason they cling so tightly to religious ideology, because it diminishes the fear of death.

      “Psychiatric research has documented that enhanced noradrenergic postsynaptic responsiveness in the neuronal pathway (brain circuit) that originates in the locus coeruleus and ends in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala is a major factor in the pathophysiology of most stress-induced fear-circuitry disorders and especially in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

    • James says:

      I don’t know why but I do notice it is an ‘American thing’ (and those exposed to American media i.e. Canadians and Australians). In Europe however there is German Chancellor Angela Merkel who is politically right wing and who is also a former research scientist. She is rather serious about AGW and seems to understand it very well. In America it seems right wing is associated with anti-science in general, whether it’s denying peak oil, climate change or the fact that in America since 9/11 more people have been killed by right wing terrorists than by Muslim terrorists. America is collapsing and like many civilizations before that have collapsed there will be great masses of the population drawn to crisis cults, like the Tea Party for example. That’s about as anti-science a crisis cult as you can get. Well, next to ISIS anyway.

      • islandboy says:

        I posted a comment recently about the American sphere of influence and it’s effect on beliefs. There are some very wealthy interests in the US that have a vested interest in the status quo when it comes to fossil fuels. Due to the size of US resources, these interests have not seen limited resources peak and decline in the same way th UK has seen it’s coal mining industry wither away. US coal interest can just move on to the next mountain when they’ve finished exploiting the one they’re on and that is a very powerfully incentive to stick to BAU especially when you become extremely wealthy.

        This wealthy group of interests has very strong ties with the media and the US is the nation that invented mass manipulation via the media so it does not surprise me that this an American thing. The fact is the media is f#@*ing with the minds of the public 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I sense it almost the minute I get of the plane. I wonder how many other “foreigners” do? I’m with Noam Chomsky on this one and I’m sticking with it.

        • Boomer II says:

          This wealthy group of interests has very strong ties with the media and the US is the nation that invented mass manipulation via the media so it does not surprise me that this an American thing.

          I don’t think most reporters are working for the wealthy. I just think the media doesn’t ask hard questions or do sufficient research. Several reasons for this:

          1. Journalism is not a career that the brightest students aspire to. For one thing, it doesn’t pay well.

          2. Journalism as a major tends to isolate its students so they don’t study other subjects (e.g., business, science, history) in depth. Therefore they don’t have the background to spot BS.

          3. Online journalism encourages rapid response. Therefore, many writers are grabbing the latest tidbit and writing 250-500 words about it, even if there is no depth to the reporting.

          4. Because there isn’t much time to do research for an article, writers depend too much on press releases and don’t question what they say. They usually just copy and paste.

          5. There is some level of getting too close to your subjects. If business or politics is your specialty, you may spend a lot of time hanging out with those who you cover and you may find it hard to write negatively about them.

    • SatansBestFriend says:

      A thought….

      INTP personality types are 3% of the population.

      “As an INTP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things rationally and logically”

      I don’t think Myers Briggs categories are 100% accurate, but if you look at what is important to the various personality types it holds up as a decent indicator.

      Einstein and Richard Dawkins are INTPs. How many people (personality wise) have u met like Einstein and Dawkins in your lifetime? About 3%?

      Most of the other personality types aren’t driven by logic, they are driven by emotion, social reward, relationships or control.

      Accurate logic makes many personality types feel bad, so they avoid it.

      Some types are driven by control and domination of others (Hitler?).

      My personality type is dead on accurate,

      My Dad told me his assessment said he liked to carry lists around, and he had one in his pocket at the time!!

      Free will?

      I think people become left or right based on what their cognitive biases are. It is rarely based on who has the best arguments.

      Political talking points have evolved as ways of pushing peoples buttons, based on their cognitive biases.

      Your cognitive biases are based on your genetics and environment and you don’t control them.

    • HouseBent says:

      Yeah, I think that is really an interesting question

      Because you’re right, it isn’t just politics. it isn’t education, it isn’t anything easily accounted for; it is more like a biological differentiation. The thing is, I can see it in myself. I am liberal on just about all issues, and even though, in my opinion, the liberal agenda and policies have mostly resulted in failures, that has only made me into a disappointed and discouraged liberal. It hasn’t and won’t turn me into a Fox news conservative. I can’t help but be liberal. My worldview is what it is, and I have no ability to change it. And from what I see the Fox news conservatives are exactly the same. In a way that makes sense, but the disparity between our world views makes no sense at all. We are talking diametrically opposed, really, inimical world views. Where does that come from? What is the evolutionary explanation for it? And you know what? Its a real problem. I literally cringe when I hear conservatives complain that climate change and peak oil are conspiracies to take away their freedoms and impose some kind of socialist world order on them. Because here I am thinking, these are really serious global problems, and the only small chance we have to deal with them is if we can somehow institute some kind of cooperative global world order that……..

      • Boomer II says:

        I have a problem with stupidity and hypocrisy. So if what someone tells me doesn’t make logical sense to me, he or she has lost me.

        • SatansBestFriend says:

          You would be someone that is driven by logic ( I can relate, as I suspect most people on this site are).

          It makes you feel bad to hear sloppy logic. So it pisses u off.

          Imagine someone who is driven by meaningful relationships ( like a lot of the Myers Briggs personality types ).

          Peak Oil and Climate Change would infuriate you as nonsense!!!!

          As it threatens your meaningful relationships.

          They don’t care if the data makes sense. That isn’t what is important to them!!!

          it is how things evolved.

    • JW says:

      Ron, you are missing one important thing here: Americans.

      The political landscape is different here in Europe. First the total political spectrum in the US relates to the one in Europe as the optical spectrum relates to the total electro-magnetical one.

      Secondly, in Europe, evangelicals are no fan of guns, accept climate change theory and don’t hate guys. What you describe is an isolated US phenomena.

      You need to look into the history of your country to get As to your Qs.

      But what is a global or at least western phenomena is that opinons seems to be bundled. Tell me one of your opinions in one area, and I will tell you another opinion in another area, that you got. I often wonder about this.

      • Yes, I realize that Europe is entirely different. I once heard Richard Dawkins explain why there is so much less religious fundamentalism in Great Britain. He said there it is mostly the Church of England and the British just find it boring. I suppose a lot of people on the Continent find religion boring also.

        My question of “why” was rhetorical. I didn’t really expect an answer.

    • Antipodes says:

      It may help to understand by visualising this as two separate components: economic and social. Visualise a graph with horizontal axis (Left to Right) as economic and vertical axis (Authoritarian at top and Libertarian at bottom), like this:

    • larry says:

      Sometimes people believe obviously crazy things because they are brainwashed. Along with mere repetition, fear – of not being accepted by the group, of being punished – is a large part of the brainwashing methods.

      Consider the example of the two most transformative beliefs of the last 50 years.

      1. Men and women are not significantly different. Sex/gender is a “construct”.
      2. Races do not differ or even exist. Race is a “construct”.

      These two articles of faith have been the principle memes that have been drummed into the citizens of the West for the last 50 years. And obviously this ideological/behavioral program is currently being applied on extreme high rotation in the USA: viz., the Bruce Jenner spectacle and now the Confederate flag spectacle (but it is in fact so ubiquitous now in our freak show media programming that even these ludicrosities scarcely stand out).

      Now, in my view it is not possible for a reasonable, sane, unafraid person to maintain that sex/gender is merely a construction and the same for race. You might as well stand out in the noon day sun, point at the sky and tell me there is no sun.

      Yet, these two principles constitute unquestionable, bedrock ideology for the left and they will tear apart and destroy the career of any person, no matter how highly placed, who expresses even the slightest doubt on these issues. See the fates of James Watson and, more recently, Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt.

      All of this just goes to show that almost anybody, anywhere — and intelligence may provide less protection against susceptibility to indoctrination than other personailty traits — can be manipulated and controlled through skilled propaganda, and even more by the crude Alinskyite methods that make up so much of the the day to day discourse on the internet.

      Part of the Alinskyite method is of course to co-opt all of us, including fine people like yourself, into carrying on their project of cartoonization of differing views and of dissent so as to freeze all debate at the point of mockery and ad hominum.

      Debate can be productive only if we reject these methods.

      • Larry, you are imagining shit. I have never in my life heard that gender or race is a construct. Demanding equal rights for all does not mean that differences is a construct and no one is making that claim.

        I fully understand what you are driving at. Gender is not your game, it’s race. But this is not the forum for that debate. Take it somewhere else. Don’t post on that subject again.

        • old farmer mac says:

          Hi Ron,

          Larry is full of shit and I am totally with you on his arguments – BUT there are people in academia who are promoting the sort of stuff he is talking about. I have run into some of them myself. They are pretty much in the extreme left and pc fringe and not very numerous but they do exist.

          Their arguments surface from time to time in debates such as the one about raising a boy as a girl from birth and expecting him to grow up acting like a girl. (It is total bullshit. Boys raised that way still act like boys when they grow up. They still know what to do with a willing girl and DO IT. ) This was once pretty much accepted by quite a few maybe most social sciences oriented academics who believed environment is everything and genetics next to nothing.

          There are people in academia right now who argue that there are NO differences between men and women except the ones we have introduced by acculturation.

          But when the believers have kids they invariably find that no matter how hard they try to provide a so called gender neutral environment their little girls still act like ”girls ”and their little boy still act like ”boys”.

          There are always a few ding a lings who manage to make mountains out of molehills. They come in all flavors.

          • Yes, I am a car carrying liberal myself. But there is such a thing as liberal bullshit. Bill Maher talks about it a lot. But it really pisses me off when someone latches onto a bit of liberal bullshit and pretends that all liberals believe that bullshit.

          • Boomer II says:

            It’s complicated for both gender and race.

            For gender, you’ve got people born with male or female genes who believe they are the opposite gender to such an extent they have surgery. So biology may say one thing, but their heads say something else. It may be very difficult to convince a boy that he is really a girl or gender-neutral, but it may also be difficult to convince a boy he is a boy when he thinks he is a girl.

            Race differences are particularly tenuous.

            Do Races Differ? Not Really, Genes Show – Scientists have long suspected that the racial categories recognized by society are not reflected on the genetic level. But the more closely that researchers examine the human genome — the complement of genetic material encased in the heart of almost every cell of the body — the more most of them are convinced that the standard labels used to distinguish people by ”race” have little or no biological meaning.

            • old farmer mac says:

              I believe race has virtually NOTHING to do with behavior. ALL humans display the same BASIC behaviors and then secondarily the behaviors they learn from their peers or culture.

              But race IS biologically significant in some respects. Various races on average respond somewhat differently to certain medicines, suffer from somewhat different health problems, display some ( relatively minor ) evidence of adaptation to different environments and so forth.

              Denying that race exists is a bullshit tactic used to deny the perfectly obvious. Nobody denies that various breeds of dogs or cows or horses exist and or that both beagles and coon hounds are dogs. O

              ONLY a pc fool or somebody determined to ignore the evidence could possibly deny the existence of race in humans although the terminology is of course not precise or scientific.Another word would serve much better but we are stuck with the one we are using now ”R A C E ”. There are plenty of this sort around. Some of them still believe or profess to believe there is a fundamental difference between humanity and the rest of the animal kingdom.

              Their hearts are generally in the right place but their heads are up their rectums-ESPECIALLY in the case of people professionally trained in the life sciences.

              There are still people who believe in peaceful noble savages too. LOTS of them. University faculties are the best place to look, you will find them on every campus.

              • Boomer II says:

                Various races on average respond somewhat differently to certain medicines, suffer from somewhat different health problems, display some ( relatively minor ) evidence of adaptation to different environments and so forth.

                There are similarities among people who share the same genes. But people who look similarly are not necessarily of the same “race.” Skin color, hair texture, facial features, etc. (which we often use to socially classify people by race) are not really good indicators of their genetic makeup. They may have more European or Asian or Native American genes than would be superficially evident. Someone who looks like a member of a certain race may not be a member of that “race” genetically.

                So, yes, genetic makeup influences people. But we can’t tell what their genetic makeup is just by looking at them.

                • old farmer mac says:

                  All true.

                  You can’t tell at the individual level but when you see a million or ten million people all together in the same general area you can be reasonably sure they share the same genes that determine skin color and other easily observed characteristics.

                  The greatest illustration I have ever run across in literature of the truth involving the issue of race is in one of Mark Twain’s books titled ” Pudden Head Wilson ” if I remember correctly.

                  Two babies are switched at birth by a nearly white slave mother – deliberately- and the slave’s son raised as the owners son.

                  Both spend most of their lives living their fate out. The son of the slave becomes the heir of the slave owner. The owners son grows up a slave.

                  Each displays the behavior determined by his culture.

                  This is one of the greatest novels ever written, a top one hundred of all times forever.

                  But it is not well known to the non reading public.

    • John B says:

      And people who deny anthropocentric global warming are far more likely to be right wing than left.


      Because left wingers are generally more pessimistic. So they naturally gravitate towards disaster scenarios such as Peak Oil, and Global Warming. Which most right wingers consider to be hoaxes. An illustrative contrast would be Carter’s “malaise” vs. Reagan’s “shining city on the hill”. Clinton and Obama adopted more upbeat themes. These are only generalizations of course. Hirsch and Simmons were ardent Peak Oil fanatics, yet still would be considered Global Warming Deniers.

      Actually, the whole Left – Right argument is a little confused. Today, far right wingers are considered to be Libertarians. Back in the 1960s, that was a province of the Left.

      With regards to Global Warming, it is Science and empirical measurements that have proved the fanatics wrong. E,g, the past 17 years have shown virtually no warming at all, despite the huge CO2 increases in that time period. Also, the ice cores show that CO2 increases in the past, lagged temperature increases. Effect cannot precede cause. There is obviously some other cause for interglacials, which is well explained by Milankovitch cycles. The 3 degree C sensitivity numbers gleaned from the ice cores, is based on the faulty assumption that CO2 levels have been driving temperatures. When the exact opposite is the case. This is why the GCMs with 3 degree C of sensitivity have all been proved wrong over time. The IPCC has had to lower their range of sensitivity to 1.5 degrees C. This is more inline with empirical measurements.

      I personally don’t believe in abiotic oil. So therefore the world is running out of oil. I also believe that CO2 increases are causing very slight global average temperature increases to the tune of 1 degree C for a doubling of CO2 levels. This is the number that has been scientifically established. Anything higher is pure speculation based on feedbacks which may, or may not exist. So therefore, I believe in Global Warming, and Peak Oil.

      However, these are simply non-issues because of new energy, and transport technologies. E.g. solar energy is doubling every 2 years, and EV sales are doubling every year. FF technology will be replaced long before fossil fuels are depleted, or global average temperatures increase to any great degree. Many on the Left and Right also believe this, as well as engineers like Kurzweil, Musk, etc.

      • Synapsid says:

        John B,

        To address one of your points:

        The Milankovitch cycles have been known for many decades to determine the glacial/interglacial cycles–that’s in the textbooks, even. As an interglacial gets under way CO2 and methane begin to increase (as you say) rapidly; they then promote the warming. This is not news, nor controversial as regards the science.

        New topic:

        What IS news is that in the present interglacial, but not in previous ones, CO2 and methane, after their initial rise, began to decline (as in previous interglacials) but then the decline leveled off. That hadn’t happened before. About 9000 years ago CO2 began to climb slowly, and about 5000 years ago methane did the same. The causes are thought to be forest clearance (for CO2) and paddy-rice farming (for methane).

      • wharf rat says:

        “Also, the ice cores show that CO2 increases in the past, lagged temperature increases”

        Global warming preceded by increasing carbon dioxide concentrations during the last deglaciation
        Jeremy D. Shakun, Peter U. Clark ET AL

        Carbon release from ocean helped end the Ice Age
        Martínez-Botí, Gianluca Marino

  27. Javier says:

    I am also all about science, but people tend to forget about a few facts when carried away by their doom fun:

    – We do not know how the climate is going to be 20 years from now. We failed to predict current climate 20 years ago. It was supposed to be much warmer. Scientists are at odds trying to explain it.

    – While the CO2 theory is pretty solid, all the bad scenarios depend on hypothetical positive feedbacks. Should the feedbacks be null or negative we could experience much less warming.

    – Two features of current climate cast doubt about the current accepted warming theory. One is that we are experiencing far less warming in the last 15 years than in the previous 20. The other is that there is a reduction of the water vapor content of the upper atmosphere.

    – While the Little Ice Age was a miserable time for mankind, the past 150 years of warming and increased CO2 had been a great time for mankind. While the benefits are real and measurable, the disadvantages remain as of today mostly hypothetical.

    – We tend to have a very narrow view of climate change. Climate has been warmer during the Holocene Climatic Optimum. Also Abrupt Climate Changes (ACC) are a reality of Earth’s climate. Changes of > 4° C in a few decades or even years are known by paleoclimatologists. We do not understand what causes them nor are we able to predict them.

    – Since we have satellites, we do know where the methane is coming from. It is not coming from the permafrost and it is not coming from clathrate deposits. It’s origin appears to be biological. It is premature to freak out.

    • It is not coming from the permafrost and it is not coming from clathrate deposits.

      Hey, I am going to need a link for that but if information. I can give you dozens of web sites of official sites that says it is coming from the permafrost. Like this one for instance: Methane and Frozen Ground

      It’s origin appears to be biological.

      Of course it is of biological origin. It is all coming from decayed vegetable matter. All permafrost and ocean shelf carbon, including CH4 is of biological origin.

      • Javier says:

        There are three major sources [of methane] ( > 50 Tg/yr), all biogenic, namely rice agriculture, ruminants (particularly cattle), and the natural wetlands. There are many more minor sources that each emit between 10-50 Tg/yr but collectively are a significant fraction of the global budget. These sources include landfills, coal mines, biomass burning, urban areas, sewage disposal, natural gas leakages, lakes, oceans, termites and tundra. Finally there are yet smaller sources including biogas pits, asphalt, several industrial sources, and possibly others that have not yet been identified ( ~ < 5 Tg/yr)

        Sources of Methane: An Overview. M.A.K. Khalil and M.J. Shearer in Athmospheric Methane: Sources, Sinks, and Role in Global Change.

      • Javier says:

        Before cherry picking some data to make it look as if all (or most) are going to die from methane armageddon a few decades from now, it is useful to check what science does know about methane release into the atmosphere.

        1. Scientists do not have a clear knowledge of the origin of methane, but by far the biggest contributors are biogenic sources: rice agriculture, ruminants and wetlands.

        2. Scientists do not know why methane emissions change. They do not know why between 1999 and 2007 methane concentrations in the atmosphere ceased increasing, or why since 2007 they have resumed increasing albeit at a lower rate than in the 80s and early 90s (see graph below).

        3. Biogenic methane is lighter (C12 enriched) than fossil methane. For the past decade atmospheric methane has become richer in light methane indicating a biogenic source for the increase.

        4. There is a huge discrepancy between top-down and bottom-up calculations of methane emissions that remains unresolved. One has to be careful before reaching conclusions from bottom-up analysis.

        5. Observations point to the increase in Arctic methane being due mainly to the expansion of wetlands during the summer and industrial leaks during the winter.

        6. Fracking is potentially an important source of anthropogenic methane as 6-12% of the production might go to the air.

        The following Science article explains those issues:

        Methane on the rise—Again. Nisbet et al. 2014.

        It is pay-walled, but you might be able to read it here:

        The following graph is from Nature
        It shows that methane increase is variable with time and was much higher in the past. This does not conform well to some catastrophic theories.

        • John B says:

          Methane also breaks down quickly in the atmosphere. Global Warming from Methane is virtually non-existent.

          • Javier says:

            It is calculated that methane provides about 20% of the global warming. I don’t think there is much controversy about that forcing. I personally have no problem with that. Greenhouse gas physics is pretty much worked out. It is not that part of climate science that I have doubts with.

    • Javier says:

      This is the graph I was trying to show about methane origin.

      • You should make an effort to always post a link with your graphs. We need the context, that is a larger explanation of what we are looking at.

        • Javier says:

          Sure, no problem

          Average December 2010 methane emissions per day (mg CH4/m2). Source: Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate (MACC-II)

          • Not much help at all Javier. Your map is dated 2010 and your link is dated 20 May, 2015 with no link or even a hint of methane emissions.

            Javier, that map had to come from a web page. And that web page had to have a link. Is that too much to ask for?

            • Javier says:

              Here is the link for the graph posted, Ron. On that page you can check any month that you want from 2009 to 2014.


              • MarbleZeppelin says:

                On the other available maps it looks like the arctic and subarctic regions are putting out plumes of methane.

                The site appears to be a data compilation site rather than a source site. Would be nice to have some actual data and in-depth background on the measurements and methods used.

                • MarbleZeppelin says:

                  Ron, see my post above. If you look at the newer maps on the site more methane is appearing in the north regions, however the maps do appear incomplete and not documented.

              • I don’t understand this at all. They show nothing over the poles but, on most of the maps, China has more methane than anywhere on earth? Exactly what are we looking at here?

                • Javier says:

                  That’s the thing, Ron. We don’t really know, so it is hard to draw conclusions. China has a lot of potential sources of methane: rice agriculture, ruminants, coal and gas industry, landfill, biomass burning, etc. That would be my guess, but I don’t think they can be adequately measured separately, so all we have is their integration from satellites.

                  More research is needed before we adequately understand the sources of methane and their evolution. Too early to make projections.

                  • Javier, my point is that there is something wrong with those charts at your link. I don’t think they are showing methane emissions.

                    Just google “Arctic Methane Emissions” and you will get hundreds of hits. Or better yet google “Images of Arctic Methane Emissions” and you will get many images, many of them from NASA, that shows exactly where the methane is coming from.

                    Arctic Methane Emissions ‘Certain to Trigger Warming’

                  • Javier says:

                    I don’t know about Google, but the fact is that the majority of methane is coming from tropical and subtropical areas, followed by temperate areas. Arctic emissions have been growing faster than the rest up to 2007, but since then they have tracked the increase in the rest of the world.

                    The main source of satellite methane data since 2003 has been the SCIAMACHY module on board the ESA ENVISAT. From 2009 you can have also the japanese GOSAT.

                    I don’t know why you have been led to believe that most of the methane was coming from the Arctic. You should check your sources.

                    This page will show you a lot of data on methane between 2003 and 2011. It is very good.

                    I am sure you will personally enjoy the last picture on that page.

                    From that page is this picture from the Japanese GOSAT averaging sources of methane for 2010-11.

              • Ron, my link here uses the European Space Agency website maps


                I have been reading about the subject for years, the post is a quickie collection of data, material from PhD thesis, my own commentary.

                I noticed the European satellite coverage shows a very different data look than the data we see in your map.

                One reason why European data stops in 2010-2011 is the degradation of the sensor in the Envisat satellite. ESA is using GOSAT data for recent years.

                I concluded rice is indeed a huge contributor, but the ESA site also shows significant emissions from North Dakota.

                I also noticed a source in Colombia I can’t pin down, and quite a few oddities, but the coverage does show the Arctic to be a minor contributor.

        • wharf rat says:

          Peak Methane Spike to 2845 Parts Per Billion on April 25, 2015 is Just Uncanny

          If you look at the annual methane fluctuations in the Arctic — the region where peak global values tend to crop up — highest readings typically occur during the September-through-October time-frame and then again in January.

          Over the past few years, peak values have ranged as high as 2600 parts per billion during the fall of 2014 and then again during January of 2015. Typically, peak values then subside as Northern Hemisphere Winter locks in most of the emitting High Latitude sources and we wait for the Autumn and early Winter overburdens to again emerge. So those of us who keep track of methane kinda just sat tight, expecting at least a somewhat calm spring, and waited for the new peak values that would be most likely to pop up by late this year and early next.

          But then, on Saturday, this popped up in the NOAA METOP measure:

          Major Methane Spike April 25 2015

          (NOAA METOP methane measure finds peak values as high as 2845 parts per billion. An extraordinarily high reading, especially for April. Image source: NOAA OPSO.)

          • Javier says:

            If you keep track of methane, you should know that over the last 30 years the trend of methane increase in the atmosphere has on average reduce, not increased. You can see the graph from an article in Nature that I posted above.

            The available data does not support unfounded alarmism.

          • I love the map with the funky color palette. Did you pick it or is it a U.S. Government agency trying to put out scary graphics?

  28. Rune Likvern says:

    Not on subject in this post by Ron, but may be of interest for some of the readers.

    ”North Dakota’s crude oil output has peaked, according to the latest production data published by the state government, as the slump in prices takes its toll.”

    ”Shale companies drastically cut spending and drilling programs following the collapse in oil prices. For example, Continental Resources, a prominent producer in the Bakken, slashed capital expenditures for 2015 from $5.2 billion to $2.7 billion. Whiting Petroleum, another Bakken producer, gutted its capex by half.”

    • Thanks Rune. These are both very interesting articles. We have all been discussing the same things both these articles are talking about for some time now. Finally the media is catching up with us. 🙂

      And don’t worry about posting something off subject from the post. Everyone here does that all the time. And it is definitely not a problem.

  29. wharf rat says:

    Thanks for this post, Ron. I just cross-posted it on Scribblers, so to keep things fair and balanced, here’s his latest.

    It’s Not Just Sao Paulo — Much of South America and Caribbean Swelters Under Extreme Drought


  30. Jef says:

    Seems to me that even if there was only a 10% chance of collapse/mass die-off due to Climate Change we should come together as a species and address the issue. Science is telling us there is a better than 50% chance and we think that it is simply an issue we get to decide if we believe or not. As if you stopped believing in gravity you would start to float around.

    • James says:

      ‘Come together as a species’. That’ll be a first. I feel that when in times of crisis it is human nature to want to be ‘the last man standing’. Not ‘come together’ as an anything, least not a species.

      • wimbi says:

        Military history is full of counter-examples. When threatened, the band of brothers quit squibbling to get together and fight off the Huns.

        Or the Etruscans-
        “To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late,
        And what better death than fighting fearful odds,
        For the ashes of his fathers,
        And the temples of his Gods.”

        Or the Persians-
        “Stranger. go tell the Spartans that we keep the ground they bid us hold.”

        The real question, of course, is:
        “Who is my brother?”

  31. RJK Richard Kleeman says:

    Ron and others,
    One of the great fallacies about this debate is the use of so called Global Mean or Average Temperatures to prove a point one way or the other. Let me state quite specifically here – THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AVERAGE TEMPERATURE. The temperature is changing all the time at every minute, every location and every altitude. There is no average rainfall because there is no average cloud, no average wind because there is no average weather – it changes all the time. Averages of weather statistics are just abstract mathematical concepts that have no relevance to the things we do everyday.

    As you ascend in altitude the temperature normally decreases 2C per 1000″ but then with an inversion it increases, or you get a wind change in direction and this brings a different temperature change. It is absolute nonsense to say that our planet has an average temperature. Because where you are, what height, time of day, night or day, month of the year, direction of the wind, the surface it has traveled over, how the temperature was measured – these are all different.

    It is the pressure patterns that control our weather and these evolve from the sun’s effect and the earth’s rotation and angle of tilt.. Look at what happens to temperature and rainfall on a hot day when thunderstorms form. It can be humid and stinking hot beforehand and then as the storm line arrives, heavy rain, strong winds and very cold downbursts from high in the storm change everything – there is no average. The recording of temperature is open to all sorts of interference. The most common form of ground measuring is the Stevenson Screen but it can get incorrect data depending on where the airflow is coming from. On a hot summer day in an inland city at an airport you could get air flowing over the runway and into the Stevenson Screen that could be 10C higher than what the air really is in the surrounding area.
    I can tell you that in Australia where I live it is far cooler now than forty years ago both from an anecdotal point of view of noticing cooler summers and at times like Christmas. We are not getting the severe storms and cyclones (hurricanes) we did back then because the heat is not there to get the development. With over fifty years in aviation and having flown as a Captain with an Australian Airline I can say this is hard fact – back then it was common in summer to encounter lines of storms with tops to 70,000′ – now days they are lucky to reach 30,000′ with no where near the intensity. Four of our main cities have not seen their maximum temperature exceeded since 1939 and 1940
    Our Weather Bureau distorts data and forecasts. All four recent cyclones in the past five years off the Queensland Coast were reported as Cat 5 when in fact none were more than CAT 3 as shown by the winds and central pressure off their own weather stations. When called out by people living in the area with the most recent one, they removed all the data from their web site for about five weather stations in it’s path, covering the important three days and it has not been returned since. When questioned about it they deny or won’t give reasons.
    They have been caught out adjusting the temperature in a wide range of weather stations. To be forecasting temperature years ahead is nonsense, these clowns couldn’t even forecast fog one hour ahead. Two years ago two B737’s on approach to Adelaide airport, only 80 miles away were suddenly advised the place was closed with fog and their only alternate, forty minutes away was supposed to be OK according to them. On arrival there it was fogged in too, one landed just in time with 20 minutes fuel left and second aircraft landed with 10 minutes fuel left and hit the ground very firmly never seeing the runway until they stopped. Close to a major crash.
    I agree with many, we should not be burning the coal we do, destroying forests and over fishing and many other polluting activities but from my first hand experience we have no influence over the weather other than in localized areas.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I can tell you that in Australia where I live it is far cooler now than forty years ago both from an anecdotal point of view of noticing cooler summers and at times like Christmas. We are not getting the severe storms and cyclones (hurricanes) we did back then because the heat is not there to get the development. With over fifty years in aviation and having flown as a Captain with an Australian Airline I can say this is hard fact – back then it was common in summer to encounter lines of storms with tops to 70,000′ – now days they are lucky to reach 30,000′ with no where near the intensity. Four of our main cities have not seen their maximum temperature exceeded since 1939 and 1940

      Really? That’s quite interesting!

      In Australia, 2014 was the third hottest year on record (with 2013 being the hottest) and was characterized by frequent periods of abnormally warm weather that contributed to huge bushfires in Victoria and South Australia. According to Dr. Karl Braganza, manager of the Bureau of Meteorology’s climate monitoring section, Australia is seeing “reoccurring heat waves, long durations of heat but very little cold weather.” A report by Australia’s Climate Council finds that the frequency and severity of bushfires is getting worse in the southern state of New South Wales each year due to “record-breaking heat and hotter weather over the long term.”

    • Heinrich Leopold says:

      Richard Kleeman,

      My personal experience for Europe over the last forty years is also that Europe is much cooler today than decades ago. This spring for instance has been one of the coolest ever. Even now it is almost necessary to turn on the heaters. There has been a lot of snow in the Alps last week, which is very unusual during June. Of course nobody speaks about the long cooling trend we have experienced in Europe this spring. If there is one hot day, there is immediately the message out that there was a hot day, hotter than the average temperature. If you are telling a lie often enough it becomes the truth at some point even if the reality does not match.

  32. Boomer II says:

    Most of the climate skeptics fall back on the idea that there is some sort of collusion to give us fraudulent data.

    That is not a persuasive reason to me. In fact, if that’s the explanation for why there is such support within the scientific community for the idea of global warming, that makes me skeptical of the skeptics.

    Based on what I understand about how the world operates:

    1. I don’t believe it would be possible to coordinate a “conspiracy” that big.

    2. I see no motivation for doing so.

    • islandboy says:

      I once read something with a skeptical slant on global warming. Turns out the “research” was funded by the heartland institute. Looking up the Heartland Institute was enough to convince me that global warming skepticism is a well funded misinformation campaign. It is plain and simple to understand why Koch Industries or Exxon would want people to be skeptical about global warming. Mitigation would clearly not be in their interests.

      What I cannot understand is what the climate scientists, who are supposedly fudging the data and models, would loose if they were to all suggest that we are at the dawn of a new ice age and had better prepare to add as much CO2 as possible to the atmosphere? When the idea of personality types was floated over at TOD, I did a test and the result was that my type was INTJ. One of the characteristics of that personality type that definitely applies to me is that, individuals with that personality type want things to be logical, to make sense! To me, the reasoning of global warming skeptics, when it comes to ascribing a motive to scientists, just does not hold water. On the other hand the motives of the skeptics need no explanation. The principle of Cui bono applies. The amazing thing is, the amount of people that have been brainwashed into being skeptical who have nothing to gain from their skepticism.

      Fernando I can understand but, some of the others?

    • Javier says:

      Why should skepticism be based on conspiracy theories? They are absolutely not needed. Old scientific theories are discarded all the time as new data disproves them. This happens despite the old theory having the support of most scientists. Until recently most scientists believed that gastric ulcers were caused by stress and spicy food. New data in 1982 showed that they were caused by Helicobacter pylori. I don’t believe there was any conspiracy, neither from doctors or scientists, nor from the spicy food industry. Just plain old lack of sufficient knowledge about difficult issues.

      • Javier, of course conspiracy theories are not needed but that is beside the point. Most right wingers do believe there is a vast left wing conspiracy to convince them that global warming is real. They all talk about government grants that would be cut off if the scientist don’t tow the line.

        And your example of gastric ulcers shows that you miss the point entirely. It is not about what the scientists think. It is all about what right wing non-scientist believe is motivating science. They think most climate research science is driven by government grants that dictate what the results of their research will be. And if they don’t find that global warming is real their grants will be cut off. That is they believe there is a left wing conspiracy to control what the scientist will will find.

        Of course there is no conspiracy, it is only believed that there is a conspiracy.

        Stupid I know but they actually believe that shit. I know because they have posted that crap here many times.

        • I do see USA government websites using skewed data presentation techniques clearly intended to brainwash the population.

          This is the same syndrome which led to the general belief in the Iraqi WMD. There are lots of examples, but I don’t think this is the place to debate biased information delivery by governments and supportive elites.

          • I do see USA government websites using skewed data presentation techniques clearly intended to brainwash the population.

            Yes, yes Fernando, there is a grand conspiracy by the US government to brainwash the population.

            It’s all a grand conspiracy!

            Yeah Right.

            • Ron, I think its government employees protecting their jobs and career opportunities. It’s the same force which drove so many to go along with government and media lies about Iraq.

              Have you read “In Rumsfeld’s Shop” by Karen Kwiatowski?

              • Lloyd says:

                Yeah Ron…don’t you know that nobody in private industry does anythingto protect their jobs or career opportunities. And none of them ever put in less than 110% on a day to day basis. 🙂

          • Boomer II says:

            I do see USA government websites using skewed data presentation techniques and a biased presentation clearly intended to brainwash the population.

            But why? What reason does the US government have to convince people that there is global warming.

            Obama’s administration has until recently supported ALL energy efforts other than coal: more oil, more natural gas-fired plants, more nukes, renewable energy projects, and so on.

            • Boomer, that’s an excellent question. Why did Bush and Cheney lead a cabal which lied about the Iraq WMD? Why did Colin Powell, Fox News, New York Times and so many others go along with the lie?

              When I think I’ve got a solid answer I’ll let you know.

              • Boomer II says:

                Why did Bush and Cheney lead a cabal which lied about the Iraq WMD? Why did Colin Powell, Fox News, New York Times and so many others go along with the lie?

                I think Bush and Cheney wanted an excuse to go to war. And they thought if they went to war, they would be able to control the Middle East.

                I think the media wimped out on doing any research on the matter.

                I think Colin Powell, being a former military man, didn’t challenge the commander in chief.

                But I don’t see a reason why the US government would want to manipulate climate data. Do I think it’s because they want more government control? No, because there’s a strong libertarian streak in Silicon Valley, so that political money doesn’t feel it needs the US government running energy. Those entrepreneurs are an arrogant bunch and don’t feel they need the government very much. Musk is typical of that thinking.

                • Yes boomer, all of us have theories, but I don’t know for sure. Quite a few Americans are still sure the WMD existed, others prefer to look the other way, what I do know is that it was pretty worthless, that war made heroes, but it was mostly about soldiers trying to keep each other alive.

                  I think this Obama campaign is somewhat similar, but I can’t put my finger on the reasons for so much bs. Maybe they think we are going to hit peak oil?

              • Do you really know that Colin Powell knew it was a lie? Did the New York times or Fox News know it was a lie.

                Hell did even Bush or Cheney really know there was no weapons of mass destruction? The only proof they had was some damn aluminum tubes which they thought were for centrifuges but were actually not centrifuge tubes at all. But they, Bush and Cheney, desperately wanted them to be so they just assumed they were. And their argument was so convincing that they fooled Powell, who then convinced everyone else?

                Godammit Fernando, don’t just assume that everyone is lying. Some of them were only guilty of believing what they were told.

                And you assume everyone who works for the government is lying about the data they gather on climate change. If your theory Fernando, depends on everyone else being a liar then I must conclude that you have a very poor case.

                • Boomer II says:

                  Godammit Fernando, don’t just assume that everyone is lying. Some of them were only guilty of believing what they were told.

                  Fernando keeps telling us there are Communists under every bed. But the US has been fighting Communists (real and imagined) for decades. What exactly does he want the US to do that the US hasn’t already done (often creating more problems in the process)?

                  And if all governments are suspect, then he should join in support Caelan’s ideas or some variation. If all governments are bad, then I suppose you are motivated to find a way to have a government-less world (not doable in my opinion because people always form some form of government, even if it is as small as a family or a tribe).

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Not all governments are bad/suspect, Boomer II and a family/tribal/band government is nothing like a large-scale centralized State government. I suspect you already know that, so, if so, let’s not pretend otherwise.

                    I have also already recently posted, from a previous post of mine at TOD, something about how we don’t really have government and that ‘government as we know it’ is just another form of anarchy (‘anarchy of elites’).

                    I have submitted what I think needs to be done in a broad, formative sense, about this governpimp/BAU pickle, but The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia’s blog seems to have changed editors and/or addresses, so I have resubmitted. But I’m not holding my breath and have already considered alternative approaches/avenues for editing/publication, given just such an eventuality.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    Not all governments are bad/suspect, Boomer II and a family/tribal/band government is nothing like a large-scale centralized State government.

                    I currently live in a relatively small (100,000 people) very left-of-center community. While I don’t have a problem with the idea of big government, I have come to realize that it can be easier to get more people on the same page (and thus get more done) by focusing on localization. Even if the federal government won’t support certain programs, they will be supported in my community.

                    So, yes, you are right that I think some governments are better than others.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    Also, one can see why Bernie Sanders came out of Vermont rather than Texas.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Boomer II, let’s not conflate real government with some people’s understanding of what ‘big government’ currently is– namely internally-anarchic and coercive– and is not– namely, not real government.

                    IOW, you want real government? We don’t yet have it.

                • BP says:

                  I agree that it is less likely was a lie than it was partial evidence that supported pre-arranged thoughts.

                  This can happen to all of us on any topic.

                  I believe the studies on group think show this scenario to be common.

                  When it comes to any topic we must ask ourselves is the data creating the story or did we find data that fits the story we want?

                • Ron, the information is very clear. They all lied. Read “in Rumsfeld’s Shop” by Karen Kwiatowski. She is a retired U.S. Armed forces officer who was at the OSP during the run up to the war.

                  “By August, I was morally and intellectually frustrated by my powerlessness against what increasingly appeared to be a philosophical hijacking of the Pentagon. Indeed, I had sworn an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, but perhaps we were never really expected to take it all that seriously …”


          • John B says:

            Iraqi WMD did exist. It’s not the kind of thing you really want to advertise when found.


            • Anton Koffield says:

              John B…I am not sure where you are going with this, but for those not inclined to read the article I will post some of the most relevant text here. Please pay particular attention to the last paragraph…Executive summary: The munitions found were pre-1991, in no condition to be used against targets (they were rusted bad, sometimes empty/partially filled) and oh by the way a lot of this stuff was provided to Iraq by Western powers in the chess game of playing Iraq and Iran off against each other…see below:

              After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Bush insisted that Mr. Hussein was hiding an active weapons of mass destruction program, in defiance of international will and at the world’s risk. United Nations inspectors said they could not find evidence for these claims.

              Then, during the long occupation, American troops began encountering old chemical munitions in hidden caches and roadside bombs. Typically 155-millimeter artillery shells or 122-millimeter rockets, they were remnants of an arms program Iraq had rushed into production in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war.

              All had been manufactured before 1991, participants said. Filthy, rusty or corroded, a large fraction of them could not be readily identified as chemical weapons at all. Some were empty, though many of them still contained potent mustard agent or residual sarin. Most could not have been used as designed, and when they ruptured dispersed the chemical agents over a limited area, according to those who collected the majority of them.

              In case after case, participants said, analysis of these warheads and shells reaffirmed intelligence failures. First, the American government did not find what it had been looking for at the war’s outset, then it failed to prepare its troops and medical corps for the aged weapons it did find.

              Others pointed to another embarrassment. In five of six incidents in which troops were wounded by chemical agents, the munitions appeared to have been designed in the United States, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies.

              • John B says:

                No that’s just spin. It is the NY Times.

                The relevant text is here:

                In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs…

                Bottom line – Iraq did have WMD.

        • Javier says:

          But that is obviously ridiculous. Anybody believing that has lost touch with reality. Scientists have their own personal bias and are subject to group thinking and fashionable research. Also they are under pressure to conform to consensus to have their research more easily published. But to think that they would conspire to distort the truth is unbelievable. There are too many scientists from too many fields researching these issues.

          But we also have to avoid simplifications like believing that 97% of scientists agree on this or that. That is very much advertising material, but is obviously false. When you read a lot of papers on climate change you can see that while not stated in actual words, a lot of research is showing that the climate picture is a lot more complex than the current theory can account for. Attempts to push the idea that the science is settled are actually a disfavor to science. On a subject so complex we only have our current best understanding.

          • But that is obviously ridiculous. Anybody believing that has lost touch with reality.

            Hey, you are accusing a large majority of the right wing of losing touch with reality, including Fernando. Read his post above.

          • But we also have to avoid simplifications like believing that 97% of scientists agree on this or that.

            Actually it is 97% of those that took a position on Global Warming endorsed it. Of all papers submitted on global warming, 66.4% took no position at all.

            Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature

            • Javier says:

              The methodology of that study is so seriously flawed that such conclusion cannot, by any means, be extracted from the data.

              First, it is not objective research. The authors and contributors are from a website dedicated to promote AGW and therefore there is a clear conflict of interest.

              Second, the counting technique is biased. Any paper accepting that greenhouse gas emissions cause warming is counted as implicit endorsement, and then counted as endorsement. This is a straw man argument. The controversy is on feedbacks and natural variability contribution, not on greenhouse effect.

              Third, even then only one third of the papers can be counted, so the solution is to dismiss the rest.

              Four, they email 8547 authors, but the question that they ask them is not stated (inadmissible) and they fail to disclose how they were selected from the 11,944 papers. Only 1,342 (15%) respond supporting AGW, yet they conclude 97.2% support.

              If this was a political poll you would reject the conclusions immediately. Self identified as strong GOP supporters, we asked 8547 people to express their support for GOP. Of those 15% that responded, 97% expressed support for GOP, therefore there is a 97% consensus on GOP support.

              The conclusion is that 85% are Not sure/No response. You cannot have 97% agreement with 85% No responses.

              Probable biases of the study: Interviewer effect, Nonresponse bias, Sampling error. No effort is done to address these or other biases in the poll.

              The main conclusion is that the study completely fails to disprove the null hypothesis, that less than 97% climate scientists believe on the consensus defined as: “human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW”.

              – Papers that admit the existence of greenhouse effect are counted as supportive, without any effort to determine if they support that AGW is responsible for most of the warming or not.

              – Scientists that do not respond to the poll are counted as 97% supportive in a glaring statistical blunder.

              This article is clearly a flawed propaganda attempt. The truth is that we don’t know how many climate scientists support the “consensus” and even believers in all AGW should reject this type of propaganda. When Obama tweets that 97% scientists agree on AGW he is leading credence to conspiracy theorists. If the “consensus” is right it doesn’t need fallacious propaganda.

              • The authors and contributors are from a website dedicated to promote AGW and therefore there is a clear conflict of interest.

                And why would they be dedicated to promote AGW. Why would they do that? Is it just possible that they are alarmed and want to get the truth out?

                This article is clearly a flawed propaganda attempt.

                For a person who says there are no conspiracy theories out there you sure sound like a person who believes in one.

                • Javier says:

                  I cannot possibly know their motives, but it is clear that they are biased, and so their study is suspect.

                  I do not believe in a conspiracy, but I do believe in people having agendas, whatever their motives are. If somebody with a webpage to defend catastrophic anthropogenic global warming publishes a seriously flawed article defending a foregone conclusion, it is clear to me that it is a propaganda article. I do not know what it is for you.

                  There are also examples of propaganda articles from deniers. Is that a conspiracy to you?

                • Ron, the authors of the Cook et al paper are seeking a combination of cash and power. Please don’t tell us you are so naive.

                  • Nando, please don’t tell us you are so naive that you believe Cuba is a powerful communistic country.

                  • No Fernando, the Cook et al paper authors were all just lying. After all lying would gain them more cash and power.

                  • Javier says:

                    Ron, before defending the Cook et al. paper, after I have already exposed you to some of the serious flaws that it contains, you should perhaps take a look at a more serious critic made by someone who dedicated more time to the task that I am capable.


                    If after reading it you still defend that article I’ll have to conclude that you are a politically motivated believer and you will disregard any evidence that questions your beliefs, like for example that 97% of scientists agree on the consensus. If that is the case then there is as little point in discussing these issues with you as it would be with a denier that doesn’t believe that more CO2 in the atmosphere has to warm the planet.

                    I will quote the following from Duarte’s critique of Cook et al.:

                    “I think some of you who’ve defended this study got on the wrong train. I don’t think you meant to end up here. I think it was an accident. You thought you were getting on the Science Train. You thought these people — Cook, Nuccitelli, Lewandowsky — were the science crowd, and that the opposition was anti-science, “deniers” and so forth. I hope it’s clear at this point that this was not the Science Train. This is a different train. These people care much less about science than they do about politics. They’re willing to do absolutely stunning, unbelievable things to score political points. What they did still stuns me, that they did this on purpose, that it was published, that we live in a world where people can publish these sorts of obvious scams in normally scientific journals. If you got on this train, you’re now at a place where you have to defend political activists rating scientific abstracts regarding the issue on which their activism is focused, able to generate the results they want. You have to defend people counting psychology studies and surveys of the general public as scientific evidence of endorsement of AGW. You have to defend false statements about the methods used in the study. Their falsity won’t be a matter of opinion — they were clear and simple claims, and they were false. You have to defend the use of raters who wanted to count a bad psychology study of white males as evidence of scientific endorsement of AGW. You have to defend vile behavior, dishonesty, and stunning hatred and malice as a standard way to deal with dissent.”

                  • sunnnv says:

                    Fernando – “seeking cash and power”

                    Got any proof?

                    If you understood spectroscopy as well as I do, you wouldn’t/couldn’t be a denier.

                    But you seem so hung up on “liberal plot to destroy the economy” that you’re willing to wave off 97% of actual scientific papers, by your arrogant dismissal of them as “poor quality”. Most of the papers were NOT published in Nature, WERE peer review and HAVE stood the test of time.

                    A good essay by Oreskes on the consensus:

                  • Duarte is another one of those dime-store philosophers that have nothing to add to the discussion.

              • sunnnv says:

                Javier – Did you really READ the article?

                After they looked at the abstracts,
                the asked the scientists to self-rate their papers.
                Only 35.5% of the self-rated papers expressed “no position”.
                Of the self-rated that did express ANY position, it was still 97% endorsing the consensus.

                Cook et. al did nose counting.
                How is that biased?

                You’re also lying about the survey questions not being available – they give the link to the supplemental info in the paper.

                You hate
       because it makes you look like a fool.

                More on consensus:

                • Singaporean Nan says:

                  The Myth of the Climate Change ‘97%’


                  What is the origin of the false belief—constantly repeated—that almost all scientists agree about global warming?

                  By JOSEPH BAST And ROY SPENCER
                  May 26, 2014 7:13 p.m. ET

                  Last week Secretary of State John Kerry warned graduating students at Boston College of the “crippling consequences” of climate change. “Ninety-seven percent of the world’s scientists,” he added, “tell us this is urgent.”

                  Where did Mr. Kerry get the 97% figure? Perhaps from his boss, President Obama, who tweeted on May 16 that “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” Or maybe from NASA, which posted (in more measured language) on its website, “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.”

                  Yet the assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is a man-made, urgent problem is a fiction. The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.


                • Javier says:

                  Of course I read the article from start to end, sunnv. I found it to be utter rubbish and it is hard to believe that someone would think it has any value giving all the fatal flaws that it has.

                  Have you read a critique of that paper that exposes many of them?

                  Of course you might not want to do it because it will give you two choices: either continue believing that there is any truth in the 97% quote when you have been demonstrated that there’s none and thus deny the facts, or accept that the 97% quote is unfounded and propaganda which might shake your beliefs to see that some believers in AGW are using dishonesty to promote it.

            • Ron, please. That 97 % is the Kraft processed cheese food of “scientific” papers. It’s what turned me on to the low quality garbage being published by Nature and its sister publications.

              • Yes I understand your position from all your other posts Fernando. Everyone who works for the government or believes in climate change is just lying. Your whole argument is dependent on everyone else, even the prestigious magazine Nature, just lying and lying and lying.

                • No Ron, don’t build a straw ant to come after me. The Cook et al paper with the 97 % is trash. The USA government lies to the people, and it’s aided in this endeavor by the media to a large extent. You got to take the pill.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Guys, the problem is complexity. Tainter is having a good laugh/cry. We are falling all over ourselves niggling over this or that layer of complexity, this or that lie, this or that *ism, this or that unknown known etc.. While we do it with language/symbols on computers.

                Ron, the State/government (with its ‘spinoffs’) is just another multilayered overcomplex kludge/quagmire.
                That not only has us by the balls, but is shredding them with the cheese-grater.

                We should all be more or less in agreement about how to sharpen our spears, locate fresh animal tracks or recognize something edible. This whole system we’ve built up– government, media, business, economy– is dragging all our time and energy into, to speak charitably, diminishing returns.

            • John B says:

              Yes but 97% don’t claim that Global Warming is unsolvable, or even an imminent threat.

          • Sam Taylor says:

            You can use exactly the same bunkum regarding medical science. The body is incredibly complex and poorly understood, and we’ve only got our best understandng to go on. Yet you still go visit the doctor, don’t you? That’s the funny thing with you lot, you only trot out your hilariously twisted world view when it’s something you don’t like. It’s the inconsistency that I find grating.

            Like the deniers who bang on about how we can’t deny the poor their cheap energy, yet in any other debate the poor are a million miles from their minds. I find it quite disgusting.

      • Boomer II says:

        Why should skepticism be based on conspiracy theories? They are absolutely not needed.

        That’s what I think, too, which is why whenever someone talks about scientists all colluding or being bought out by government research money, I discount the rest of the argument.

        Science does change when new information becomes available. Which explains why in the 1970s we had headlines about coming ice ages and now we have headlines about global warming. The big change was reduction of pollution, which was a good thing. Of course, now we’ve got some geo-engineering folks wanting to put some of that pollution back into atmosphere to deflect sunshine.

  33. RJK Richard Kleeman says:

    Take it from me 2014 and 2013 were not the hottest periods. They can distort anything these people. They have claimed for instance that the temperature at Jackson, an oil field out in far Western Queensland was the hottest on record recently. They neglect to tell people that they have only been recording the temperature there since 1989. This weather Bureau is so bad now that they don’t even know what constitutes a severe thunderstorm. They are forecasting and issuing warnings for cumulo nimbus clouds that are only 20,000′ high and can’t even interpret their own weather radar.
    We sure do get hot weather here in Australia in summer but it has been going on for millions of years. You can get a high pressure system sitting off the east coast that directs a flow of air into the outback and then heads south into South Australia and Victoria and you could get temperatures of 45 C for up to two weeks if the high does not move. And it does cause bushfires. It has been going on for time immemorial – we had a drought here in Australia that lasted for 17 years in the 1890’s and we have never seen a temperature approach 53.2 C recorded in Cloncurry in 1885 in outback Australia
    The last sentence is rubbish. If you have ever seen inland Australia you will know why it gets hot, it doesn’t have the water and vegetation that the US and other places have and there is nothing record about the last couple of years

    • SatansBestFriend says:

      What a lucky guy! You are smarter than all the experts on the topic.

      Do you have satellites and the other equipment to make an accurate assessment at your disposal?

      You should publish a paper on your discoveries … LOL!!! /sarc

  34. Political Economist says:

    Ron, this a great post, very intereting and informative.

    Homo sapiens may survive global warming but civilization may not. I’m looking forward to your other posts on “collapse”

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      Yes and I’ll add that I appreciate Ron’s easy-to-follow and understand writing style too.

  35. Frugal says:

    Chinese Stocks Tumble, Heads for Biggest Loss Since 2007

    Chinese stocks sank the most in five months, leaving the benchmark index on the cusp of a bear market, after leveraged investors cut holdings and Morgan Stanley joined a chorus of analysts warning that valuations have climbed too far.

    Hmm …. I wonder if this is going to affect oil prices?

  36. Boomer II says:

    Did anyone really think wood was going to be an adequate substitute for coal? Wood might be better in that it is renewable, while coal is not, but I’ve never gotten the impression that it was considered a way to reduce CO2 emissions.

    Climate Change Calls for Science, Not Hope – The New York Times: It turns out that burning biomass — wood, mainly — for power produces 50 percent more CO2 than burning coal.

    • wimbi says:

      Are you joking? Wood carbon comes from the atmosphere right here and now, not a hole in the ground full of wood grown a couple of hundred million yrs ago.

      And,-I do it every day- wood can be cooked, not burned, to give a fuel gas that can go in the same power plant that coal/NG does, at the same efficiency, while leaving behind carbon, quite a good fraction of it, to go into the ground.

      That carbon came out of the air, here and now. And went into the ground, for good.

      The statement about twice the carbon from burning wood is bloody WRONG.


      • Doug Leighton says:

        “The statement about twice the carbon from burning wood is bloody WRONG.”

        Every year I (and all my neighbors) cut down perfectly good fir trees for our winter heat. Assuming half of the tree is actually burnt, the remainder (stump, roots, branches, etc.) rots over the years generating carbon dioxide. Naturally, in order to “harvest” these trees you need a truck, chain saws, etc. Of course my wood stove is relatively efficient. And of course, over time, new trees grow but I always wonder about my (our) carbon imprint in this process, especially the rotting wood part. Not good I’d bet.

        • wimbi says:

          Easy. Count all the carbon molecules before, and where they came from, and then count all of them ending up in the air after everything you did.

          Then count the same if you heated with ff’s. No contest!

          And sure, you did use some ff’s in the chain saw and truck. Compare that with the amount you would have used if heating with ff’s. Again, no contest.

          When I first started heating with wood ( l live in a big forest and only use stuff already fallen on the ground), I measured the amount of gas going into the chain saw and compared to the wood I cut. Turned out that the amount of energy in just the wood chips from the chain contained a lot more energy than the gas did.

          So I started thinking of running the saw on the chips. I can now do that.

          Pyrolyze the chips, run the effluent gas thru a generator and charge the battery, use the battery-chain saw to cut the wood. That’s what I do. And I use a solar-charged battery tractor to pull it to the house.

          Anybody can.

          Then, take the carbon left from the cooked wood and bury it.

          Now, count all the carbon in the air before, and after. Less after! And you got a warm house in the bargain.

          Sure,” a lot of ff’s were used to make the hardware”. Ok, so count the carbon of all that added in and compare with BAU. What the hell does “a lot” mean, anyhow?

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Count all the carbon molecules, well, 6.022×10 to the 23rd and that stump was 3ft in diameter, and… no Wimbi I may be retired but I’d rather drink a beer beside the pond and throw sticks for my dog. 🙂

          • old farmer mac says:

            Wimbi I am generally on board with your arguments but as a practical matter burying charcoal- unless you are doing it to IMPROVE THE SOIL- is not a good idea as a practical matter.

            I am not argueing with your basic premises in respect to renewable energy and climate mitigation.

            Other people are digging up carbon- coal to burn it. Burning carbon- charcoal already in hand is far more energy efficient. Give your charcoal to a neighbor who will burn it instead of buying heating oil or coal or simply sawing down more trees to burn.

            And burning dead falls is NOT the best thing for the overall health of a forest. If you are concerned about the broader forest community, the best thing is to selectively cut carefully selected green trees a few months ahead. The heat content of the wood will be higher because dead fall wood is already partially decayed.

            Dead trees are an essential link in the food and shelter chain for several species of small animals and lots of birds as well as countless species of insects and other small creatures.

            If a woodland is under management( – which is often necessary due to the needs of the owner- ) with particular goals in mind then the advice of a forester – or maybe an old ag teacher – comes in handy.

            Wildlife conservation can be compatible with managing woodlands for timber and firewood.

            In a nutshell, the trick is to leave the trees that are the most valuable to the local wildlife and take out the ones that will be worth less eventually as mature timber.

            In a stand of pine which has taken over an old field for instance removing half to two thirds of the trees will vastly increase the growth rate of the ones left. In a mixed hardwood stand , you take out any trees that are simply too crowded selectively cutting the ones first that are crooked , storm damaged etc.

            You want to leave any old trees that are hollow or about dead for wildlife den trees and woodpecker feeding trees etc.

            Since so much forest land is fragmented these days it is good to reseed any important species which may be missing from a typical small tract.

            This comment is as usual composed in a hurry painting with a very broad brush.

            • wimbi says:

              Yep, yep, I know all that. What I said about using fallen stuff meant the things I can most easily just pick up.

              As for the big dead trees, sure, I have a pileated woodpecker living in one, saw it knock a big snake offa it while the younguns cheered from the hole.

              What you say about cutting young trees is also good. It’s just that it’s easier to not cut anything. Way more biomass than I need just lying around to pick up. Sycamore balls by the ton.

              Any bioproduct will do just fine to feed a pyrolyzer. Like me when I am done.

              Anyhow, I am interested in the world my grandkids will live in. I think biomass is a grossly underestimated source of carbon-neutral energy for them. Of course it’s gotta be managed. What doesn’t?

              Putting the carbon in the ground or burning it is part of the management. I admit that when I see all that good charcoal, I am greatly tempted to burn it myself, since it is such a nice fuel for the little camp stove I use to cook my afternoon snack out in the shop.

              But that just takes a handful, or less.

              People in Europe, as usual are way ahead of us on all this.

      • Boomer II says:

        I just skimmed the article, but it caught my attention because it was in the New York Times. I thought the comment about how renewable energy wouldn’t work so well because wood released more CO2 than coal to be very odd.

        • Wood releases CO2 that would be released regardless. The wood, left in the forest, would eventually die and rot. It is part of the carbon cycle that goes on all the time. It is a wash, it only adds what it takes.

          Coal, on the other hand, is sequestered CO2. It would simply remain deep in the ground if we did not dig it out and burn it.

          • Burning wood seems pretty inefficient. I think it’s more sensible to use that effort grinding up volcanic rocks and spreading them on the ground. It removes a huge amount of co2 from the atmosphere. But I suppose you don’t like it because it’s one of the GE technologies?

            • old farmer mac says:

              There is a time lag issue involved in the co2 and burning wood debate which you guys have overlooked.

              It is analogous to the fact that population can keep on increasing even after the average birth rate per woman drops below 2 point o. This is because the older folks don’t die off fast enough for the population to actually start falling for a couple of generations at least, and probably three or four, depending on life expectancies and a lot of other variables especially including the precise birth rate itself.

              Burning a tree NOW releases the CO2 that would not otherwise be released by the decay of that particular tree for an average time that is disputed but which is certainly at least forty years or more and might be as much as twice that or maybe even longer.

              Calculating the approximate time frame is easy for a given area where the nature of the forest is well known- meaning in this case the mix and life span of the trees in that particular forest.

              Coming up with an AVERAGE for all forest or woodland is a tough job. There is simply too much variation from forest to forest as the mix of species, climate etc change.Some types of forest take forty years to regenerate some take centuries. The area occupied by different types varies enormously.

              Cutting a forest on a large enough scale can and does change the local environment to such an extent it can be impossible to predict the consequences- but sometimes they are dire. The destruction of Amazonian rain forests is mucking up rainfall patterns a thousand miles away. ONCE a rainforest is cut , it might not be ABLE to regenerate itself – at least not for a very long time. Ditto a boreal forest.

              So nobody really knows how long it takes for a tree cut for fuel to grow back ON AVERAGE, world wide.

              Seedlings and saplings do not store carbon at a very fast rate compared to larger trees that accumulate wood much faster.

              So – in a nutshell- burning wood as fuel is more or less carbon neutral over the long term but carbon intensive in the short term.

              Incorporating charcoal into the soil after wood gasification can improve fertility – sometimes substantially,sometimes dramatically, even miraculously . Nobody seems to have a really good handle on TERRA PRETA just yet but it is perfectly obvious that incorporated charcoal is THE KEY to the puzzle.

              But burying charcoal left after gasification of wood as Wimbi proposes is not a practical solution to climate troubles in the short term. Such charcoal should be burnt LOCALLY in lieu of coal or natural gas which must be produced and transported to the locality – unless the need is offset by locally produced fuel.

              A ton of carbon is a ton of carbon in any case. Burying some handy just to put yourself to the trouble of digging and drilling for more is not economic. UNLESS you do it for the purpose of amending the soil.

              Wimbi’s argument holds up long term when you follow his entire prescription – cut back like hell on all unnecessary activities. But we cannot collectively do that in the short term as a practical matter.

              • wimbi says:

                Can’t do that in the short term? Sure we can, just pick a small enough, dedicated enough bunch who WANT to do it in the short term.

                Then do it, and make big noises to the laggards to the effect that it’s possible and point to yourselves as the existence proof.

                And not only possible, but absolutely VITAL. To get carbon out of the air, that is. Fast.

                Does the energy process, whatever it is, end up with less carbon in the air, or does it not? All the other detail is irrelevant.

                Otherwise, no solution.

                The more I think about it, the better it looks. How about aquatic plants, algae, and so on. Think of a big glass tube sticking up like a grain silo full of an ideal food and temp and drenched in sunlight, growing stuff in 3 dimensions, which is the fuel/ C sequestering thing.

                Wow, wimbi, I really like your thinking.

                Thats my plan. So far, so good. I am amazed that right here in this little hill hole there are a goodly crowd of notable people jumping on this particular bandwagon.

  37. Andy in SD says:

    We can correct this … however….

    The effort required increases with delay and the willingness of civilization to accept the inconvenience of said effort reduces (I’m sure there is a correlation there). Indifference to the negative effects is a luxury that the wealthier occupants of this planet are willing to spend. As the impact climbs up the ladder of civilization to the first world countries it becomes Darwinian.

    To bastardize a great quote by Churchill, “We will do the right thing after all other options have been exhausted”.

    Except we won’t is my concern.

  38. Hickory says:

    The dust bowl was a small taste of the kind of trouble that just a little more generalized warming can bring.
    Better hope we don’t have two major grain regions hit hard in the same year.

  39. Don Jensen says:

    I hope all the folks who think climate change is a big deal live long enough to realize how foolish they were. We older folks saw the same thing in the 1970’s only the government and media propaganda at the time was global cooling. And, like today, the gullible ones fell for it hook, line and sinker. The funny thing is all the problems we had back then that was causing the earth to cool dramatically, man made pollution from autos and power plants, is the exact same reason we are supposed to be warming dramatically today. It’s too bad more people don’t do any research, check out our history a little more, before they swallow everything some government shill or media mouth piece says to them.

    Here’s some research I can provide to you without you having to lift a finger. A well known list of major news articles from the 1970’s talking about the global cooling that was going to doom us all. What happened?

    1970 – Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age – Scientists See Ice Age In the Future (The Washington Post, January 11, 1970)
    1970 – Is Mankind Manufacturing a New Ice Age for Itself? (L.A. Times, January 15, 1970)
    1970 – New Ice Age May Descend On Man (Sumter Daily Item, January 26, 1970)
    1970 – Pollution Prospect A Chilling One (Owosso Argus-Press, January 26, 1970)
    1970 – Pollution’s 2-way ‘Freeze’ On Society (Middlesboro Daily News, January 28, 1970)
    1970 – Cold Facts About Pollution (The Southeast Missourian, January 29, 1970)
    1970 – Pollution Could Cause Ice Age, Agency Reports (St. Petersburg Times, March 4, 1970)
    1970 – Pollution Called Ice Age Threat (St. Petersburg Times, June 26, 1970)
    1970 – Dirt Will .Bring New Ice Age (The Sydney Morning Herald, October 19, 1970)
    1971 – Ice Age Refugee Dies Underground (The Montreal Gazette, Febuary 17, 1971)
    1971 – U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming (The Washington Post, July 9, 1971)
    1971 – Ice Age Around the Corner (Chicago Tribune, July 10, 1971)
    1971 – New Ice Age Coming – It’s Already Getting Colder (L.A. Times, October 24, 1971)
    1971 – Another Ice Age? Pollution Blocking Sunlight (The Day, November 1, 1971)
    1971 – Air Pollution Could Bring An Ice Age (Harlan Daily Enterprise, November 4, 1971)
    1972 – Air pollution may cause ice age (Free-Lance Star, February 3, 1972)
    1972 – Scientist Says New ice Age Coming (The Ledger, February 13, 1972)
    1972 – Scientist predicts new ice age (Free-Lance Star, September 11, 1972)
    1972 – British expert on Climate Change says Says New Ice Age Creeping Over Northern Hemisphere (Lewiston Evening Journal, September 11, 1972)
    1972 – Climate Seen Cooling For Return Of Ice Age (Portsmouth Times, September 11, 1972)
    1972 – New Ice Age Slipping Over North (Press-Courier, September 11, 1972)
    1972 – Ice Age Begins A New Assault In North (The Age, September 12, 1972)
    1972 – Weather To Get Colder (Montreal Gazette, September 12, 1972)
    1972 – British climate expert predicts new Ice Age (The Christian Science Monitor, September 23, 1972)
    1972 – Scientist Sees Chilling Signs of New Ice Age (L.A. Times, September 24, 1972)
    1972 – Science: Another Ice Age? (Time Magazine, November 13, 1972)
    1973 – The Ice Age Cometh (The Saturday Review, March 24, 1973)
    1973 – Weather-watchers think another ice age may be on the way (The Christian Science Monitor, December 11, 1973)
    1974 – New evidence indicates ice age here (Eugene Register-Guard, May 29, 1974)
    1974 – Another Ice Age? (Time Magazine, June 24, 1974)
    1974 – 2 Scientists Think ‘Little’ Ice Age Near (The Hartford Courant, August 11, 1974)
    1974 – Ice Age, worse food crisis seen (The Chicago Tribune, October 30, 1974)
    1974 – Believes Pollution Could Bring On Ice Age (Ludington Daily News, December 4, 1974)
    1974 – Pollution Could Spur Ice Age, Nasa Says (Beaver Country Times, December 4, 1974)
    1974 – Air Pollution May Trigger Ice Age, Scientists Feel (The Telegraph, December 5, 1974)
    1974 – More Air Pollution Could Trigger Ice Age Disaster (Daily Sentinel – December 5, 1974)
    1974 – Scientists Fear Smog Could Cause Ice Age (Milwaukee Journal, December 5, 1974)
    1975 – Climate Changes Called Ominous (The New York Times, January 19, 1975)
    1975 – Climate Change: Chilling Possibilities (Science News, March 1, 1975)
    1975 – B-r-r-r-r: New Ice Age on way soon? (The Chicago Tribune, March 2, 1975)
    1975 – Cooling Trends Arouse Fear That New Ice Age Coming (Eugene Register-Guard, March 2, 1975)
    1975 – Is Another Ice Age Due? Arctic Ice Expands In Last Decade (Youngstown Vindicator – March 2, 1975)
    1975 – Is Earth Headed For Another Ice Age? (Reading Eagle, March 2, 1975)
    1975 – New Ice Age Dawning? Significant Shift In Climate Seen (Times Daily, March 2, 1975)
    1975 – There’s Troublesome Weather Ahead (Tri City Herald, March 2, 1975)
    1975 – Is Earth Doomed To Live Through Another Ice Age? (The Robesonian, March 3, 1975)
    1975 – The Ice Age cometh: the system that controls our climate (The Chicago Tribune, April 13, 1975)
    1975 – The Cooling World (Newsweek, April 28, 1975)
    1975 – Scientists Ask Why World Climate Is Changing; Major Cooling May Be Ahead (PDF) (The New York Times, May 21, 1975)
    1975 – In the Grip of a New Ice Age? (International Wildlife, July-August, 1975)
    1975 – Oil Spill Could Cause New Ice Age (Milwaukee Journal, December 11, 1975)
    1976 – The Cooling: Has the Next Ice Age Already Begun? [Book] (Lowell Ponte, 1976)
    1977 – Blizzard – What Happens if it Doesn’t Stop? [Book] (George Stone, 1977)
    1977 – The Weather Conspiracy: The Coming of the New Ice Age [Book] (The Impact Team, 1977)
    1976 – Worrisome CIA Report; Even U.S. Farms May be Hit by Cooling Trend (U.S. News & World Report, May 31, 1976)
    1977 – The Big Freeze (Time Magazine, January 31, 1977)
    1977 – We Will Freeze in the Dark (Capital Cities Communications Documentary, Host: Nancy Dickerson, April 12, 1977)
    1978 – The New Ice Age [Book] (Henry Gilfond, 1978)
    1978 – Little Ice Age: Severe winters and cool summers ahead (Calgary Herald, January 10, 1978)
    1978 – Winters Will Get Colder, ‘we’re Entering Little Ice Age’ (Ellensburg Daily Record, January 10, 1978)
    1978 – Geologist Says Winters Getting Colder (Middlesboro Daily News, January 16, 1978)
    1978 – It’s Going To Get Colder (Boca Raton News, January 17, 1978)
    1978 – Believe new ice age is coming (The Bryan Times, March 31, 1978)
    1978 – The Coming Ice Age (In Search Of TV Show, Season 2, Episode 23, Host: Leonard Nimoy, May 1978)
    1978 – An Ice Age Is Coming Weather Expert Fears (Milwaukee Sentinel, November 17, 1978)
    1979 – A Choice of Catastrophes – The Disasters That Threaten Our World [Book] (Isaac Asimov, 1979)
    1979 – Get Ready to Freeze (Spokane Daily Chronicle, October 12, 1979)
    1979 – New ice age almost upon us? (The Christian Science Monitor, November 14, 1979)

    • DJ,
      Don’t embarrass yourself. You probably couldn’t work a math problem to save your life.

      • JW says:

        Keep it civil. Insults don’t help. His problem is not math skills, but unwillingness to learn. The facts that 35 years have passed since the last quoted article and that science tends to move forward is things people posting lists like these never consider. Not because they are stupid, but because they don’t want to learn.

      • John B says:

        My car wouldn’t start this morning. Please provide a mathematical formula to solve this problem.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      That era was quite embarrassing to many scientists since they missed the simple fact that the horrendous pollution plume at the time had caused global dimming and slowed the increase in global warming. A similar thing is happening now but the warming seems to be winning out this time, even massive pollution is not enough to stop it.

      • Josh Karpatkin says:

        Actually, the vast majority of climate papers from the time predicted warming. A few predicted cooling that were grabbed by the media in the usual fashion.

    • wharf rat says:

      Get real. The number of your articles from scientific publications….. zero. As Josh pointed out, only 10% of the actual science papers predicted cooling.
      FWIW, my introduction to AGW was in 8th grade, even before I had physics…

      The famous Bell Telephone Hour clip, with the all knowing Dr Frank Baxter explaining a very modern understanding of climate science in 1958.

    • Javier says:

      Sooner or later the next glacial period will take place, as we live in an ice age, and interglacials are exceptions to the rule.

      Now, some people believe that glacial periods have been abolished by high CO2 levels. The truth is we don’t know. That would be fantastic, of course, and if true we should be really grateful to high CO2 levels.

      Current research has shown that summer sea-surface temperatures at 65°N, the most important parameter to track Milankovitch cycles, have been going down for 8,000 years, following the reduction in insolation. See graph.

      Solar forcing of Holocene summer sea-surface temperatures in the northern North Atlantic. Jiang et al. 2015. Geology.

      This interglacial is most similar astronomically to Marine Isotope State MIS 19c . The comparison shows that without anthropogenic interference this interglacial should end in just 1,500 years.

      Determining the natural length of the current interglacial. Tzedakis et al. 2012. Nature Geoscience.

      Let’s just hope that CO2 levels remain elevated for the next thousands of years and that they really are capable of stopping a return to glacial conditions. Glacial periods are extremely hostile to agriculture.

      • Javier says:

        This interglacial compared to MIS19c

        This figure shows the astronomic signatures (precession and obliquity) of both interglacials (MIS19c dashed), the summer insolation at 65° N and a proxy for temperatures at the Epica Dome C in Antarctica. I have added the arrow that marks the end of MIS19c interglacial 785 Kyr ago corresponding to 1,500 years into the future according to the article. The original figure is here:

        I understand that most people don’t care much about something supposed to happen a millennia and a half into the future, but if correct, the projection is that in the next centuries the climate should continue its Holocene cooling once the present warming ends, and that cooling probably includes the start of an even colder Little Ice Age in about three centuries if the past is prologue.

  40. I don’t know if we are heading for a collapse.

    However, I do know that we have made great strides in understanding the natural variability of ENSO, which is the Pacific ocean oscillation responsible for El Ninos and La Ninas.

    To follow the discussion

  41. Jeju-islander says:

    I will post this especially for Don Jensen. Hopefully you will reply and we can utilize the Turing test.
    I suggest you take the St. Francis Pledge see
    According to Pope Francis,
    “Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the
    problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical
    solutions. We require a new and universal solidarity.”

    I am not Roman Catholic but I agree with him. The problem with the discussion on this page is that the focus of ‘Are We Headed For Global Warming Collapse?’ has not centered on the populations that will be most effected.

  42. canabuck says:

    Does anyone know about this black blob in Russia?,75.1763757,507946m/data=!3m1!1e3

    There seem to be many NG wells in the area.,72.3767283,31927m/data=!3m1!1e3

  43. JW says:

    A bunch of comments:

    I live at 55 degrees north, and already here, we can tell. Summers are like in my childhood, but the cold winters are gone, or show up for only a few weeks. It is noticeably warmer now.

    6 months atmospheric mixing time? Where I got my figure, it was 2 years. This was concluded by the 2 year lag before the south hemisphere catched up with CO2 levels of the north. But two years or a half, doesn’t matter much. Rons figure can be just as right.

    Then about the extinction level events: I don’t believe looking into the past for clues. There is a difference: We were not around at that time. Yes there has been methane bombs going of before, but not at the same time as we send CO2 levels spiking with a stright vertical line in the diagrams, while cutting down the rain forests and fishing out the oceans and taking more than half the rain water globally for our own use while damming all the rivers while covering all fertile land with monocrop farming. The total effect will be worse than the sum of the component. And this mix of factors happening at once have not occured before. How bad will it be? Dunno, but saying “it has happened before” is a to relaxed response. We may not live through this.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      Very well put JW. The ecosystem has been highly disrupted and converted by humans. I have read that 75% of the non-ice covered surface has been disturbed by humans. When an area regrows the plant and animal mix is usually very different so even areas that seem natural are not the natural progression that would have existed there. The disruption of the ocean and estuaries from fishing, dredging, pollution and excess land erosion of great concern.

      Your assessment does ring true, nothing is the same. The overall physical forces may be the same but the environment and life leading up to it has been severely changed coming into this extinction event.

    • cytochrome C says:

      Humans discount the future, think heuristically rather than critically, live by story and myth, rather than by observation.
      This brought genetic fitness in the past, but now seems a liability.

      That homo sapiens are possibly in danger of extinction with a collapsing ecosystem, doesn’t fit with a anthropogenically centered world view.

      We are narcissistic rapacious apes.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        “Humans discount the future…” Nonsense, I just put six beer in the fridge and I think you’re being grossly unfair to apes who don’t go around murdering other species for the fun of it.

        • cytochrome C says:

          Unfortunately, we are very good at murdering wild animals:

          • BP says:

            Why do you have to talk down to the other species by calling them wild? That kind of talk is like calling Aboriginals savages. Is it a superiority complex? Respect your fellow species with out using misnomers to relegate them to a lower class.

            • Synapsid says:


              “Wild” in contrast to “domesticated” perhaps?

              I think of wild animals as those living their lives outside of human control; in many cases they are constrained in what they can do, of course–by us–but they are following their choices in living, as far as they can.

              “Domesticated” is not the same as “tame”, by the way. Domesticated animals have their feeding and reproduction under human control, for human purposes. Cattle are domesticated but deer used to humans, and who live around them, are not.

  44. Pez says:

    Here is an article recently released by the australian bureau of meterology that northern readers of this blog may find interesting

    And Richard Kleeman you would not know if your arse was on fire. You talk total rubbish. The majority of Victoria would be lucky if it experienced one day above 45C in a year let alone a whole fortnight of it!

  45. Watcher says:

    Concerning definitions and crude.

    This is an old link to a discussion in which some people with expertise spoke up:

    Fundamentally, the distinction between “oil” and “condensate” is artificial and arbitrary.

    . . .

    They’re both “crude” in the sense that their compositions are whatever came from the well with no processing other than simple separation — which is what that means in the term “crude oil”. If the hydrocarbons in the reservoir were in the liquid phase, we tend to use the label “oil” for both that reservoir liquid and the liquid that remains after “dissolved gas” is liberated when pressure is reduced by production and separation. If the reservoir hydrocarbons were vapor, we tend to use the label “condensate” for liquids condensed when temperature and/or pressure are reduced (especially the latter). If (as very commonly happens) the reservoir contains both phases, we use whichever label suits us at the moment, usually leaning toward the primary phase that flows into the well (or did when production began).

    “Crude” as in unprocessed. Not as in API degrees. Interesting.

    But of more interest was the original question . . . energy content of condensate vs energy content of “crude” (as defined by API degrees).

    There is another quote in that guy’s comment of 17,000 BTU/lb.

    From the API degrees wiki Barrels/metric tonne = (API + 131.5) / (141.5 * 0.159)

    Given that the energy content is weight dependent (given the 17K BTUs/lb), the variance in barrels/metric tonne also defines variance in energy content. (Note he makes a point of CH2(n) vs CH4 and energy content but didn’t dwell on it)

    Picking API 50 we get 181.5/(22.5) = 8.07 barrels/tonne 273 pounds in the barrel

    For API 30 we get 161.5 /(22.5) = 7.2 barrels/tonne 305.6 pounds in the barrel

    273/305.6 — 11% less energy in API 50 condensate per barrel vs API 30 crude

    And . . . from here:

    Much of the oil industry already employs this approach. “The API gravity of condensate is typically 50 degrees to 120 degrees,” according to Schlumberger’s online Oilfield Glossary.

    API 120 condensate would have 11.2 barrels/tonne and 197 pounds in the barrel.

    197/305.6 —> 36% less energy in API 120 condensate than 30 API crude.

    Feel free to find math errors (2200 lbs/tonne)

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Good job Watcher. How about saving and re-posting from time-to-time? Many of us could benefit from this as a reminder.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Doug,

        Did you check Watcher’s maths? I think he is saying that if we just measure by weight rather than volume that will get us pretty close to equal energy content. That is a tonne of condensate has roughly the same energy content of a tonne of crude. I don’t want to repeat work you have already done.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Hi Dennis, Negative on that. I’m sure Watcher’s comment will be thoroughly vetted (I was thinking of Jeff Brown and you) before it stands securely. But, I like the fact this is being done.

          Don’t forget, I’m not really an oil guy. My background is primarily exploration geophysics with some geology (and some reservoir characterizing work) tossed in. For what it’s worth, I tend to save my rapidly diminishing math skills trying to follow the latest research findings on pulsars.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      From the link:

      Fundamentally, the distinction between “oil” and “condensate” is artificial and arbitrary.

      Good luck trying to sell a barrel of condensate for the same price as 38 API gravity light/sweet crude oil. And as Kurt Cobb noted below, condensate cannot be used for the physical delivery on a light/sweet crude oil contract:

      Kurt Cobb: Did crude oil production actually peak in 2005?

      Let’s see if any of these non-oil things are acceptable as oil at major exchanges. Perhaps the most recognizable oil futures contract is the so-called Light Sweet Crude Oil contract. The exchange sponsoring that contract details in seven pages (of a much longer rulebook) what is acceptable to deliver to those who choose to take delivery on their contracts.

      A search for three of the four items (and their subitems) listed above predictably comes up empty. But, the search for lease condensate produces a hit. Here’s what the exchange says about lease condensate when discussing acceptable delivery of oil: “For the purpose of this contract, condensates are excluded from the definition of crude petroleum.”

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      IMO, the Cornucopian Crowd and a lot of industry guys insist that crude = condensate because it’s an article of faith for them that there is no sign of any kind of peak in sight, but I have repeatedly argued that this (no peak in sight) assertion is manifestly false when it comes to actual global crude oil production (generally defined as 45 and lower API gravity crude).

      My usual comments on the topic:

      Note that Cat Feed + Distillate Yield drops from about 50% at an API gravity of 39 to about 19% at an API gravity of 42:

      And the global refinery system is currently designed to handle the grades of crude oil on the following chart (note the upper API limit):

      And of course, when we ask for the price of oil, we get the price of 40 API or lower gravity crude oil (most commonly WTI and Brent on the above chart).

      Note that the EIA is now estimating that there was almost no increase in quality US crude oil production (40 API and lower crude oil) from 2011 to 2014:

      However, the refinery yields of crude oil versus condensate is something of a red herring. As prices rise, I don’t think anyone was arguing that partial substitution would not be a factor, but the Cornucopians are arguing that there is no sign of any kind of peak in sight.

      I would argue that the only reasonable inference that one can draw from the following data is that global crude oil production (45 and lower API gravity crude oil) probably peaked in 2005, while global natural gas production and associated liquids–condensate and natural gas liquids (NGL)–have so far continued to increase–as annual Brent crude oil prices increased from $55 in 2005 to an average of $110 for 2011 to 2013 inclusive (and to about $99 in 2014).

      BP shows that global gas production increased by 24% from 2005 to 2014.

      The EIA shows that global Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) production increased by 27% from 2005 to 2014.

      The EIA shows that global Crude + Condensate (C+C) production increased by only 5% from 2005 to 2014.

      Condensates and NGL are byproducts of natural gas production.

      Why did we see a very slow rate of increase in global C+C production versus the much more rapid rate of increase in global NGL and gas production?

    • The distinction between oil and condensate is very clear to petroleum reservoir engineers, but it seems to be a highly technical topic most individuals don’t worry much about.

      To put it in a very simple fashion, condensate is in the gas phase upon field discovery. Oil is in the liquid phase upon discovery.

      Condensate is simply a portion of the gas phase multi component reservoir fluid which CONDENSES when the reservoir fluids are produced.

  46. Jeju-islander says:

    — The CO2 benefit of electric vehicles relies heavily on the origin of the electricity. —
    Here’s a great graphic from an article: Towards greener and more sustainable batteries for electrical energy storage at

    The moral of the story is for EV owners to move to Norway if they want to charge their car at any time of day from the grid.
    Alternatively if living in a country where the baseload is entirely nuclear to only charge at night. (France, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Finland, Bulgaria, Armenia and South Korea). Similarly only charge at night in these countries with baseload hydro. (Brazil, Venezuela, Canada and Sweden)

    • Here’s a link to a webpage for a highly recommended modern diesel:

      This vehicle has lower emissions in grams CO2 than an electric vehicle driven in California. See table 1 here:

    • wimbi says:

      Hey! Where’s solar??? I have run my leaf for two yrs on nothing but PV, and never paid anything above the initial cost, which was way less than the equivalent gasoline.

      And I can keep on doing it.

      PV -EV is a mighty good investment. And getting better all the time.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      The whole idea is to also change the grid away from fossil fuels. The logic of moving the fossil fuels away the point of use is improved but still not very good. Why use electric cars and trains if we just fuel them with fossil fuels? Might as well keep BAU then and get it over with. Just stupid.

      So let’s look at the stats. 740,000 plug-in electric vehicles world wide. 20.8% renewable power produced worldwide in 2012. Do you think that is enough to run those cars? They need about 0.3 kwh/mile.

      • Yes, but right now an ev in California puts more co2 in the air than my Altea XL diesel, which has a 700 km range and doesn’t suffer from short battery life because we have a hot garage sitting under the tennis courts.

        I think a near religious tendency to say it’s EV no matter what is contrary to good environmentalism. I don’t try to brag about my credentials, but my Altea is a better choice, even in Spain. When the grid is truly emissions neutral versus a diesel I’ll buy a plug in hybrid and I’ll spend the money to put the charger connection in the garage.

        • wharf rat says:

          “right now an ev in California puts more co2 in the air than my Altea XL diesel,”

          Not even, unless you are using biodiesel, and
          never, if the EV owner also has PV or wind.

          consistent with our initial study findings, no matter where you live in the U.S., an EV has lower global warming emissions than the average new compact car, which gets approximately 28 miles per gallon

        • Nick G says:

          That assumes the average grid mix of fossil fuels. If you charge at night, you’ll be using much more wind power.

          There’s a very nice synergy between wind, solar, nuclear and EVs: EVs can charge when cheap low emissions power is available. That makes EVs even cheaper, it increases demand for low emissions power, and it helps buffer renewable variance and provide demand at night when both renewables and nuclear have excess production.

          EVs are cheaper, cleaner and better, no matter how you slice it.

          • Maybe I can use wind power at night in the Falkland Islands? Around here we don’t get reliable wind at night. According to you that’s when I’m supposed to use my car battery to power my refrigerator and my heaters.

            • Nick H says:

              How do you know?

              The last time you talked about the hourly pattern of electricity consumption in Spain, I checked and your assumptions were wrong.

              So, have you checked? How do you know?

    • Patrick R says:

      Or New Zealand. Electricity is 80% renewably generated and rising.

    • Techsan says:

      We know that Texas is like a whole other country …

      And in west Texas, wind power is best at night, a time when demand is low. Thus, night in Texas is an ideal time to charge your EV.

      We have two EV’s (Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt), powered entirely by PV solar and wind.

  47. Matt Gutscher says:

    So I rarely see discussion of solutions in debates like this about global warming. How can we solve the problem? What can be done? The political left here in the US is the side that believes in global warming/climate change, but they seem to have no solutions with any possibility at all of being accepted by any of us on the right, which you know has majorities in the federal legislature and most state legislatures too. Raise my income taxes? Increase gas tax? Take away my car? Take away my house? Increase my electricity bills? The majority in this country would never approve of any of that. This is what fuels the right’s skepticism, we fear the left trying to radically transform the country by using the prevention of climate change as a justification.

    Are there actually any acceptable solutions?

    • Doug Leighton says:

      “Are there actually any acceptable solutions?” A good start would be to move beyond all the political crap.

    • Boomer II says:

      Are there actually any acceptable solutions?

      Since this is a peak oil forum, most of the people here anticipate that sooner or later oil will become so expensive as to result in lifestyle changes. People won’t be driving petroleum-based vehicles much anymore.

      In terms of generating electricity, coal was falling out of favor anyway because of air pollution. Whether we start building more nukes again depends on economics, too. When they are being considered again because they don’t contribute to CO2, they are expensive to build.

      Silicon Valley sees lots of opportunities in changing the way we get electricity. So the whole concept of utilities will change anyway.

      So whether or not some folks want change, it is coming. I think the main issues are: how fast, and whether legislation can help the transition (or, whether it will intentionally hinder solutions).

      • mr.razler says:

        Coal was falling out of favor because obama wanted it to. He said so in this campaigning message,

        “If we’re going to get serious and cap the emission of green house gasses that are causing global warming then we are going to be having power plants have to figure out how to reduce carbon, because they’ll have to pay penalties, if they exceed the cap–and-trade, that means they’re going to have to change how they operate. And that means in turn that they’ll have to make investments that they’ll try to pass on to consumers and could result in higher electricity prices.”- Pres. obama

        So when you cant cool or heat your home because you can’t afford it…well now you know who to send a thank you note to.

        • Boomer II says:

          Coal was falling out of favor because obama wanted it to.

          Coal was falling out of favor because it is dirtier than natural gas. Communities like clean air to breathe.

          Also, the economics shifted because natural gas was getting cheaper. It may not stay cheaper, but when you can burn cleaner natural gas rather than dirtier coal, and the economics look good, coal is going to lose.

          And, keep in mind, the natural gas industry is happy to promote itself as a clean alternative to coal. If you want to point fingers, point it at that industry.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      This is what fuels the right’s skepticism, we fear the left trying to radically transform the country by using the prevention of climate change as a justification.

      Again, this really is not a left vs right political issue! Framing it thusly, totally misses the point.
      The fact remains that we are living a time in human history when our activities have caused radical transformation of our natural environment. This country and the whole world for that matter are going to be radically transformed regardless of politics. The laws of physics, chemistry and biology demand that it be so.

      Clinging to what was before just isn’t going to be very helpful and the sooner we get past the politics and roll up our sleeves to deal with our current reality the better for all of us. We are going to need all hands on deck!

      Are there actually any acceptable solutions?

      I don’t have an answer to that question, Matt, but I know that what was can no longer be!

      • Boomer II says:

        This country and the whole world for that matter are going to be radically transformed regardless of politics. The laws of physics, chemistry and biology demand that it be so.

        Clinging to what was before just isn’t going to be very helpful and the sooner we get past the politics and roll up our sleeves to deal with our current reality the better for all of us.

        That’s what I feel, too. I don’t blame people for being upset and angry. The life lots of people expected in the US has changed and will continue to change, whether we want it to or not.

        What I have a problem with is how the anger and frustration has been directed. There seems to be too much “shoot the messenger” and not enough talk about problems and possible solutions.

        I think economics, not politics, will ultimately force people to get by with less. It isn’t left wing politics that is taking away a fossil-based economy. It’s resource depletion, pollution, and economics that is doing it.

        • Bruce Turton says:

          People’s comfort levels and expectations for such into the future seem to be what dictates their preferences for acceptance or denial of AGW. The ‘politics’ of our situation do not seem to change much across political lines of “right/left”. The paradigm of economic growth holds sway over the vast majority of people and economists.
          As has been pointed out many times, we live on a finite planet but have visions of eternal growth (and that goes for the crowds who chant “They will discover something!” The so-called ‘left’ of the discussion above have no more idea of how they will live in a resource constrained world than those on the ‘right’ who fear the same thing.
          Can anyone imagine what will happen when the enormous quantities of fertilizer made from natural gas become less available (along with the fossil-fuel derived pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and sides of beer nuts). The soils we now rely on to produce the needed quantities of food for us and our livestock will lack the natural capacity to do so.
          The real question more pertinent to many people is not oil, but water, but that is not something that comes up too often even here.

          • Nick G says:

            Can anyone imagine what will happen when the enormous quantities of fertilizer made from natural gas become less available…?

            Sure. We’ll use crops that need less fertilizer, and we’ll create the remaining needed fertilizer using hydrogen (that we get now from methane) by electrolysis of water, using clean electricity.

      • MarbleZeppelin says:

        Fred M has it right.
        If the political right and business keep fighting trench warfare against those who are at least trying to respond to the dire world threats, it will just make things much worse.

    • So I rarely see discussion of solutions in debates like this about global warming.

      Given that there is an approximately 40 year delay between cause and effect, I really don’t see as there is much you can do about it. Just reducing greenhouse gasses would do diddly squat 40 years from now, and they sure as hell won’t help any today.

      It’s already baked into the cake. There are no solutions.

      • YouCanSayThatAgain says:

        It’s already baked into the cake. There are no solutions.

        • BP says:

          In 1898 a group of wise men got together to debate the manure crisis . There were150,000 horses working in Manhattan at the time and they extrapolated that by 1930 the horse manure would be 10 metres high and cover the entire city.

          The wise men left the meeting stating their were no solutions. Similar things have happens with the plague, the 100 years war.

          There are always solutions. Only the small minded believe that we are doomed. Many have predicted mans end. None have been right. You must have a super high opinion that you are the one in all of mans history to finally be right.

          • BP, do you honestly believe your horseshit story about horseshit piling up in the streets of New York can be compared with greenhouse gasses causing less heat to be radiated into space? I don’t think any rational human being would make such a comparison. But a few irrational people just might do that.

            But let me give you the difference.

            When cars replaced horses the horseshit disappeared immediately. When one horse left the streets that horses shit was no longer deposited in the street. And after just a few years all the horses were gone and… wallah… no more horseshit.

            But no one is even talking about removing the source of greenhouse gasses. They are only talking about slowing them down or reducing them slightly. But even if they removed them all, which surely you know will not happen, it would still make no difference. The ocean heats up first and the heat is already in the oceans. And the CO2 is already in the atmosphere and it will take decades to remove it. So the sea will still get even hotter.

            The heat is already in the ocean and the CO2 is already in the atmosphere. And, unlike horseshit, there is no way to remove either in less than many decades. And the positive feedbacks have already started to exacerbate the problem.

            More global warming, a lot more, is already baked into the cake. And there is no way to remove it.

            So you can go on telling your silly little horseshit stories but they have no relevance to this case whatsoever.

            • Ron, the heat in the ocean isn’t about to pop up other than through an occasional El Niño event. That guess is heading way down into deep water.

              The CO2 and other garbage we have emitted will cause, in the worst case, about 0.85 degrees temperature increase.

              Once we cut out the bs about Karachi heat waves killing Pakistanis and dying polar bears the problem sure seems to be manageable when we consider we are close to hitting peak oil.

            • Javier says:

              The heat is not already in the ocean. The ocean has an average temperature of 3.9° C. It is incredibly cold and it is so big that it has a near unlimited heat sink capacity compared to the biosphere. If the ocean waters were to mix a little bit faster we would freeze to dead.

              Why is the ocean so cold? After all it is located between the biosphere that has an average temperature of 14° C and Earth’s crust that is radiating heat from a much warmer mantle.

              The answer is double. Ocean’s temperature takes so long to equilibrate due to its poor mixing, so the ocean is still very much in glacial mode, so it is perfectly normal that it is still warming due to being in an interglacial. It would warm for thousands of years if the interglacial were to continue, regardless of anthropogenic forcings.

              Also the oceanic currents have an important role in heat dissipation. Most of the heat absorbed by the sea in tropical areas is redistributed by Kelvin waves from the ENSO system to other sea areas and eventually to the atmosphere, so the waters that finally sink near the poles have lost most of the heat and are very cold.

              I do not believe that anything is baked in the cake. I believe that the Earth has an amazing capacity to self-regulate its climate. For 600 million years it has been able to maintain its average temperature ±6° C despite an increasingly hot sun, huge meteorites, massive lava emissions, orbital variations, etc. This clearly demonstrates that there are powerful mean reverting mechanisms. The system is not dominated by positive feedbacks but by negative feedbacks.

              • BP says:

                Ron I assume that if you ever require serious medical intervention, which I hope never occurs as I believe we need all the minds we have on this planet, you will decline so that you can do your part towards your solution of population reduction.

                • BP, why did you bring up the subject of population? I have not mentioned overpopulation anywhere in this post. Yet you saw fit to bring the subject up just so you could get a dig in at me on a subject I have not mentioned.

                  That says something very profound about you BP.

              • Javier, please, the heat is being absorbed by the ocean. This is one reason why sea level is increasing. Seawater swells a teensy bit as it warms, and the effect is more pronounced at high pressure.

                • Javier says:

                  I agree. You misunderstood me. Thermal expansion accounts for the majority of present sea level rise. What I dispute is the concept that the ocean has enough heat already to create problems.

                  The ocean has had not enough time to equilibrate with interglacial temperatures as it has been only 10,000 years. On top of that the temperature keeps changing and so does the ocean levels. About 2000 years after the holocene thermal maximum, around 6,000 BP the sea level reached its High Stand. Since then sea levels have been fluctuating with a negative trend, and many experts agree that sea level was higher during the Medieval Warm Period.

                  We certainly have not surpassed any critical heating point for the ocean. There is absolutely no evidence of that and there is evidence to the contrary.

                  • MarbleZeppelin says:

                    Javier, I am quite interested in this critical heating point. Do you have graphs of this for both surface and deep water temperatures?
                    I am also interested in the definition of this critical temperature for ocean waters and what is supposed to occur at and past this point.

                  • Javier says:

                    Precisely I was defending that there is no critical point of ocean warming where enough heat has been committed to continue warming the atmosphere even in the absence of increased CO2 driver. This is a wrong concept. How could it be if sea levels have been 2 meters higher a few thousand years ago and no critical point was reached?

                    The following graph is a reconstruction of Sea levels in Qatar showing the Holocene High Stand as being 2 meters higher than today’s sea level. This has been know by geologists for a very long time, since the 50’s. The original research was initiated by the father of Holocene sea levels, Rhodes Fairbridge.

                    FAIRBRIDGE, R.W., 1960. The changing level of the sea. Scientific American 202 (5) 70-79.

                    FAIRBRIDGE, R.W., 1961. Eustatic Changes in sea-level, in L.H. Ahrens, K. Rankama, F. Press and S.K. Runcorn (eds), Physics and Chemistry of the Earth vol 4,London: Pergamon Press, pp. 99-185.

            • BP says:

              The narrative is about technology advancing. Only small minds see no solution.

              Do you really want to rid all CO2 from the atmosphere? That would be as catastrophic as piling it on?

              Only irrational people through out history have predicted the end.

              • Only small minds see no solution.

                And I could reply by saying something like… “only blooming idiots see solutions to dilemmas where no solution exist.” But I would not do that because attacking your opponent in a debate by saying he is an idiot, or saying that e has a small mind, is only to admit that you have no rational argument so you must resort to name calling.

                And no one is predicting the end, only the end of civilization as we know it. Civilizations have collapsed in the past and no doubt many predicted those collapses before they happened.

                But now we have a global civilization. The first global civilization ever to exist. And it can collapse.

                And don’t ever tell me I have a small mind again.

            • BP says:

              Horses didn’t get replaced immediately. It wasn’t one day 150,000 horses and day 2 0. Are you kidding me?

              Ron you are nuts.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            There are always solutions. Only the small minded believe that we are doomed. Many have predicted mans end. None have been right. You must have a super high opinion that you are the one in all of mans history to finally be right.

            Perhaps you don’t quite grasp the difference between a dilemma and a problem. Problems have solutions dilemmas, not so much. Humanity is currently faced with multiple intertwined dilemmas.

            Thinking we might be doomed is not the consequence of a small mind, it is a logical outcome of knowing the facts and understanding limits to growth.

            Dennis Meadows – “The Limits to Growth” and the Future of Humanity

            In 1972 there were two possible options provided for going forward — overshoot or sustainable development. Despite myriad conferences and commissions on sustainable development since then, the world opted for overshoot. The two-leggeds hairless apes did what they always have done. They dominated and subdued Earth. Faced with unequivocable evidence of an approaching existential threat, they equivocated and then attempted to muddle through.

            • BP says:

              There are no consequences to warning of the end. If things turn out alright, you may have a little egg on your face but still get to enjoy society. That is why it’s hard for me to get worked up about predictions of doom.

              Since I’m not worried I pledge that those of us not worried get tortured by those who were correct in 2050, but should nothing happen those who were worried family lines live a life of poverty and destitution.

              Is that a wager you want to make? I will sign the contract.

            • BP says:

              The definition of dilemma

              “a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially equally undesirable ones”

              Seems like dilemma’s have solutions.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                The narrative is about technology advancing. Only small minds see no solution.

                The point is, ‘Dilemmas’ have no GOOD solutions….

                A dilemma (Greek: δίλημμα “double proposition”) is a problem offering two possibilities, neither of which is practically acceptable. One in this position has been traditionally described as “being on the horns of a dilemma”, neither horn being comfortable. This is sometimes more colorfully described as “Finding oneself impaled upon the horns of a dilemma”, referring to the sharp points of a bull’s horns, equally uncomfortable (and dangerous).

                So Technology will make us forever comfortable?

        • Boomer II says:

          It’s already baked into the cake. There are no solutions.

          So if we believe that, then we have to decide if we want economics and resource depletion to run its course and leave us with the results.

          OR do we foresee some ideas which will make declining amounts of fossil fuels more manageable?

          And this being a Peak Oil forum, I think its purpose is to present the data on how oil resources will play out. We can speculate about what will happen when they do, and what, if anything, we should do to extend these resources, but climate is either beyond our control now, or still subject to so much political discussions that we’re not close to finding out how to handle it.

          I think more immediate climate issues are going to be handled locally. Where national and international discussions come into play there is to what extent those of us not living in areas with natural disasters are expected to do to help out affected areas.

      • wimbi says:

        There are LOTS of solutions, and every one of them is way, way “politically impossible”

        But NOT physically impossible at all. Anybody here can think up such by the dozen. Would be fun to do.

        For starters, a relatively nice one-

        Take all the grain in the world, divide by the number of people, everyone gets that share- which is plenty.

        Then, give everyone a blind choice from one to ten. All those with numbers less than 10 get sterilized. Now.

        Then, require that we all live within the renewable energy we get every day, forever after. Some of that is biomass, which leaves carbon to go to the ground from the air.

        Yes we can, too. Look at the chinese in 1800. They were NOT using ff’s to any significant degree yet. There were lots of them. Too many, but there.

        We know tons more about how the world works than those peasants did. We can do better.

        Of course, as I said, all outtasight politically impossible. So? Next?

        • Boomer II says:

          There are LOTS of solutions, and every one of them is way, way “politically impossible”

          If collectively no one does anything, we wait until business as usual can’t operate anymore. Some people will do okay after that. Many won’t.

          Unless life as a whole is wiped out on Earth, there will be places where homo sapiens can survive. They won’t have the same life as they have now, but they will survive.

          As we have already been saying here, the older generations of Americans will be dying off and life here will change from that fact alone. In other words, if we can’t fight you, we’ll wait until you’re gone.

        • BP says:

          Forced sterilization as a solution?

          Why not volunteer? Already have kids, let’s put them down like rabbits. Or your kids should be volunteered first for our sterilization program.

          I can’t even imagine the ways that solution would be abused. Dumbest idea ever.

          30% of produce rots before reaching markets.

          High birth rates are in energy poor societies.

          If the money spent by governments on weapons to fight boogeymen was spent on innovation the world could easily sustain the current population.

          Only one thing has shown to slow population growth and that is wealth creation. Lets get out of the way on wealth creation.

    • Matt, I believe we are going to run out of cheap fossil fuels in a hurry, and most of the oil reserves are in unstable countries with dictatorial or unsavory regimes. I also think the world is indeed warming, but there’s a lot of exaggeration, lies, and bs floating around. I also see the global warming issue getting used by the left as a Trojan horse to introduce their leftist baloney into the economic system.

      The best way to solve the problem is to cut out the lies about the 97%, cut the leftist crap about market economics not working, get people to understand that we do have a problem because oil and gas are running out, and evolve a set of policies which use items such as a carbon tax to reduce fossil fuel consumption. The introduction of a carbon tax should be paralleled by the elimination of all subsidies, including favored feed in tariffs for renewables. And to cover for the fact that China, India, Russia, and other nations aren’t likely to cut back we need to research geoengineering.

      If as time goes by we see the world temperature is increasing we increase the tax. But tax increases should be tied to the actual surface temperature measured over the previous 10 years. This will require a neutral agency to prepare a temperature estimate. I suggest we let the Japanese do it, they are pretty professional.

      If temperatures keep increasing and the issue looks like a real emergency we deploy geoengineering technology with a coalition of the willing. If anybody wants to object we nuke them.

      • Anonymous says:

        “I also see the global warming issue getting used by the left as a Trojan horse to introduce their leftist baloney into the economic system.”


        What does this even mean?

        Are carbon taxes, carbon caps, direct regulation of the fossil fuel industry in anyway leftist?

        I think you’ve become too paranoid, Fernando.

        • Annie, read the red Popes encyclical. It mixes a dose of environmentalism with good old Marxist ideas. This is a very common thread in the green movement. Most of them are watermelons.

          Like I wrote, I think it’s fine to have people advocate communism, and it’s also my inclination to put up a fight. I already had the misfortune of being ethnically cleansed by communists when I was a kid, so now it’s never again.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Annie, read the red Popes encyclical. It mixes a dose of environmentalism with good old Marxist ideas. This is a very common thread in the green movement. Most of them are watermelons.

            Yo Nando, you’ve really Jumped the Shark now, Bro! It might be time for a new script or better yet, just cancel your show…

            The Pope is a Marxist?! Holy Smokes Batman! Maybe you need to take a trip to the Vatican…

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:
      • wimbi says:

        Gee, the part about quitting doing useless–etc, sounds like a quote from one of wimbi’s politically impossible, hence useless, remarks.

    • Nick G says:

      they seem to have no solutions with any possibility at all of being accepted by any of us on the right</I

      No. Texas is building a lot of wind and solar. Many, many conservatives like renewable and nuclear.

      Raise my income taxes? Increase gas tax?

      Lower your income taxes, and increase gas and coal taxes. Easy, revenue neutral solution.

      we fear the left trying to radically transform the country by using the prevention of climate change as a justification.

      No. This is misinformation and scare tactics from the Fossil Fuel industry. Moving away from FF doesn’t require radical change, just moving away from FF. EVs drive the same way as ICE cars, but they’re cheaper, cleaner and have better performance. Wind, solar and nuclear are better and cheaper than coal and gas.

      • wimbi says:

        Right. No big change at all. I spent LESS on my leaf, all electric house and requisite PV than lots of my friends in same economic situation spent on their BAU stuff doing the same things but with ff’s instead of solar.

        My stuff does a BETTER job than theirs, and they recognize it. And, after initial investment, it’s costing me NOTHING for the electricity needed for the house and the car “fuel”.

        And so far, I have pumped three times as much clean juice back to the grid than the dirty juice I have drawn from it, averaged over two years so far.

        Last 12 months, there was only one, a very cloudy Dec. when I pulled more from the grid than I pushed back. 140 kW-hr net from the grid for that month.

        I live 40 north in an average for USA insolation.

    • Sam Taylor says:

      This depends on what you deem as “acceptable” and to whom said conditions are acceptable. In their current states I don’t believe that the legislatures of any advanced countries are capable of pushing through things like carbon taxes, which is probably the only lever which would realistically work in the direction required.

    • Futilitist says:

      Are there actually any acceptable solutions?


      Not only are there no politically acceptable solutions, there are no physically possible solutions, either.

      Humanity has totally screwed the pooch. Next is economic collapse, then social collapse and die-off, followed by near term extinction from the effects of runaway global warming. The economic collapse part is about to get underway, so there is just enough time left to point fingers and blame each other.

  48. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    Bloomberg update on Greece, lead headline on Drudge:

    Two senior Greek retail bank executives said as many as 500 of the country’s more than 7,000 ATMs had run out of cash as of Saturday morning, and that some lenders may not be able to open on Monday unless there was an emergency liquidity injection from the Bank of Greece. An official with Greece’s Capital Markets Commission, the markets’ regulator, also warned that the Athens Stock Exchange may be unable to operate on Monday without a cash injection into the banking system. A Greek central bank spokesman said it was making efforts to supply money.

    The European Central Bank’s governing council was expected to hold a conference call on Sunday to review the banks’ liquidity condition, said a Greek official, who asked not to be named in line with policy. The Frankfurt-based central bank said in a twitter post that it’s closely monitoring developments and would review the situation “in due course.”

    • Between Tunisia and Greece we are getting so many tourists here it’s getting ridiculous. Tonight I had to abandon my usual seaside route because we had too many beach goers trying to cross the street.

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        In addition to tourists going somewhere else, instead of Greece, there may be a lot of Greeks moving to other countries in the EU.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      Daily Mail: Shock vote on terms of bailout pushes Greek banks to the brink of meltdown as long queues form at country’s cashpoints

      Finally it seems this storm is about to break, writes City editor SIMON WATKINS

      The moment of truth looms. Greece now teeters on the brink of bankruptcy and the eurozone on the verge of what was once unthinkable – losing one of its member states.

      A week today Greeks will vote in a referendum on whether to accept the latest bailout proposals – but aside from that fact, almost nothing else is knowable for certain.

      Eurozone officials have reportedly claimed that Greeks will have nothing on which to vote. Having rejected the last terms offered by the International Monetary Fund and other creditors, is there even a plan available for the Greek people to reject or accept?

      The next five days will be the most dramatic yet in this long-running drama. Greece is almost certain to default on the €1.6 billion it is due to pay the IMF on Tuesday – the same day its existing bailout expires.

      But in fact, neither of these dates represents the immediate crisis. The weakest link in the shattered Greek economy is its banks, which are already all but insolvent.

      Customers have been withdrawing money in vast quantities ever since Syriza came to power, fearing that if Greece is thrown out of the single currency their euro savings will be converted into drachma – likely to be worth far less.

      In the last week, the sums being taken out have risen to well over one billion euros a day, moved either to foreign banks or stashed in notes under mattresses.

      It has been a slow and steady run on Greece’s banks which is now speeding up – for the finish line may well be in sight. Until now, the country’s banks have been kept afloat by €88 billion in loans from the European Central Bank. The crucial choice now facing the ECB, and which it will meet today to decide, is whether to lend even more.

      Under its own rules, it cannot lend to banks which are insolvent. With Greece looking likely to default on its debts, the case is becoming harder to argue.

      The ECB’s choice is stark. It can keep funding the Greek banking system – which may infuriate some EU officials and voters – or it can pull the plug.

      If it stops extending loans, then Greece’s banks will quite simply run out of cash, and crisis control may have to be imposed. Cash withdrawals may be restricted or even stopped, while customers could also be prevented from moving money electronically out of bank accounts.

      Greek politicians have insisted this will not be the case, but their view seems heroically optimistic.

      The ECB may have to face this decision within hours. The storm may finally be about to break over Greece.


        • Watcher says:

          Money nmbers on a screen will not be permitted to destroy civilization.

          The undiscussed risk has always been credit default swaps. If the amount of those gross, not notional, poses a systemic risk, the ECB can just create money whimsically and hand it over to maintain solvency for whatever systemic entity is in danger, aka, Deutsche Bank.

          There is a more esoteric way to address things, too. The ISDA is the organization given the official/legal standing to make the declaration of default. No matter what happens, if they do not declare a “credit event” aka default has taken place the swap holders cannot claim trigger. There is no trigger without default and thus the swaps cannot pay out. In other words, no counterparties have to pay if the definition of default is . . . managed.

          Money numbers on a screen will never be allowed to wipe out civilization. If Greece is a threat, just print what you must to defuse it, or take other measures to protect the normalcy narrative that do not require you to contort words to obfuscate (like “liquidity provision” instead of whimsical money creation).

          Only oil scarcity is the mechanism for billions of deaths. Soon.

          • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

            But so far the ECB is indicating that they are not going to print what they must to address the Greek banking crisis.

            FT Column:
            Greece must be saved from political, economic and social collapse

            In spite of the recklessness of its radical leftist-led government, in spite of the failures of the political classes that have misruled the nation since the return of democracy in 1974, in spite of the chronic clientelism and corruption of the state, in spite of the selfishness of its business oligarchies and in spite of the unerring capacity of its foreign creditors to miss the big picture, Greece must today be saved from political, economic and social collapse.

            Without such an effort, which must be led by the EU, Greece will be sucked ever more deeply into the political radicalism, economic misery, organised crime, uncontrolled migration and even outright war that characterises an arc of countries from Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Balkans to Syria on the east Mediterranean coast.

            It is irrelevant today to assign blame for what is shaping up as a Greek debt default and exit from the eurozone. The clock will not stop just because Greece’s eurozone partners — if “partners” is even the right word any more — have stated their patience is at an end. Greece is in south-eastern Europe, and the stability of south-eastern Europe is a matter of the highest importance to the EU and the Nato alliance.

            1:27 Eastern Time: WSJ now reporting that Greek banks will not open on Monday

            From the Telegraph:

            The Greek Financial Stability Council meeting, which ended in the last half an hour, has reportedly agreed to impose capital controls and has said there will be a bank holiday next week.

            Athens Stock Exchange is to also stay closed, according to early reports.

            Some report Greek banks may stay closed all week until the referendum.

            • Watcher says:

              This is just ATM withdrawl stuff.

              The big kahuna is credit default swaps. Not deposit withdrawl.

              Won’t see those until formal default, the declaration of which may be prevented.

              • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

                For the people who can’t access their money, I suspect it’s a pretty big deal.

                • Watcher says:

                  Restriction will be a few hundred euros a day. No one will starve from that.

  49. About the “clathrate bomb”. First someone has to explain what the activation energies of the clathrates are. If it is not that much higher than the activation energy of CO2 in water for example, it is not as sensitive to temperature changes as one would think.

    So if you want to argue this, first identify the activation energy of methane clathrate. This is basic chemical thermodynamics.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      You are confusing activation energy with heat of fusion.

      • Heat of fusion is an activation energy. An activation energy is anything that goes into an Arrhenius relation such as exp(-E/kT), where E is an activation energy.

        • MarbleZeppelin says:

          Activation energy only pertains to actual chemical reactions. Melting is a change of state.

            • MarbleZeppelin says:

              Again, you still do not understand the definition of activation energy or chemical reaction.

              • You don’t seem to understand that sublimation rates follow an activation energy. I used to evaporate Arsenic from the solid phase for the semiconductor industry (growing the vital Gallium Arsenide devices) and if I did not understand the activation energy of Arsenic, everyone in my lab would have died 🙁 but they didn’t 🙂

                Really this is about a practical view. Methane Clathrates are buried in the permafrost and will sublime at a rate following the activation energy. Sure Methane Clathrates can also melt on phase transition but that diagram I showed indicates that other factors are occurring as well.

  50. Longtimber says:

    Graph from Zerohedge… Where the greek money go? Centralized things blows up.
    USSR, Power Plants, Banks, etc.

    • Watcher says:

      Chart a bit deceptive.

      The PSI numbers were dealt with 4 or so years ago. That was the private holders of the debt. They were erased, by decree of the EU. This btw is what destroyed the Cyprus banks and caused the overall Cyprus event — not Russian money. More obfuscation BS.

      The proper piechart would show where does any additional loans provided to Greece go NOW. That’s about 95% elsewhere. The money comes in and flows right back out as debt service of various kinds. Only 5% funds internal deficit. But 100% is added to debt.

    • Greenbub says:

      They say they went and checked.

    • Well they have the Bakken soaring to about 1,350,000 bpd in 2015 and to about 1,500,000 bpd in 2016. I really don’t think that’s gonna happen. and notice they have no slowdown at all where the NDIC data shows flat production from September 2014 until the present.

      Don’t these guys have a clue as to what is going on right now?

      • Anonymous says:

        I love charts like these. Not saying that this one is particularly inaccurate, but just the whole idea of “things only start to get bad once the person/group who wrote this chart is retired or dead” kinda cracks me up. You see it time and time again.

    • Boomer II says:

      I’m guessing Goldman wants to sell something.

    • I met a Goldman Sachs senior executive in Moscow many years ago. He wore a very expensive suit, and his Rolex must have weighed a kilogram. His Harvard graphics slides were gorgeous, and he sounded very confident, like he really knew what he was talking about. I never did figure out if he was selling anything other than his services.

    • AlexS says:

      This Goldman’s research is almost two years old
      At that time, nobody could expect oil prices to drop to $50-60 levels.
      But look at this forecast by the EIA, published this May in a supplement to the Annual Eneergy Outlook 2015.

      Oil Production in the Northern Great Plains region (2 Dakotas + Montana), primarily from the Bakken/Three Forks formation.
      2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
      1432 1508 1651 1770 1836 1900

      • coffeeguyzz says:


        Yes, the link posted by Greenbub is from Sept. 2013. A few weeks after that extensively researched paper was published, Credit Suisse released a near identical, much more comprehensive analysis that aligned with The Squid’s prognosis.

        For those who are not following Bakken developments closely, surprises may be in the offing as events such as Oasis’ highly productive well targeting the third bench of the Three Forks, the tightening of the WTI/Bakken spread, improving takeaway capacities from ND are all positioning the operators for sustainable, long term production even at $60 WTI.

        When severely challenged companies, such as Magnum Hunter, can continuously pull financial rabbits out of their collective, strained hats, ongoing viability is greatly enhanced. Heck, even Goodrich is currently frac’ing/completing 2 of 6 wells in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale when boosters such as myself were ready to write them off.

        For anyone with a more macro, longer term view, to recognize the survivability of these E&P boys when their product was recently priced as low as 30 bucks per, indicates that they are in the process of a major, long lasting comeback.

        Cowboyistan indeed.

        • shallow sand says:

          Yes, coffee, appears that all of us oil producers, from OPEC, to Russia, to conventional, to shale, are in for a long period of meager earnings.

          I’m sure Oasis would rather produce 30,000 bopd at $90 WTI than 40,000 bopd at $60 WTI. But they won’t do that, so all oil producers will have to deal with low prices for a few years, absent some major supply disruptions.

          US shale is just too good at making up stuff in order to raise more money to drill more unprofitable, or barely profitable wells.

          Will be interesting to see if 2015 and 2016 pubco shale earnings estimates hold. As of now, they are brutal.

        • Enno says:

          Coffee, as always I appreciate your expert insights. As you know, I am a bit more sceptical about the financial success in the Bakken.

          I just want to ask you, is there any operator you know off, besides EOG, that has significantly improved well performance in 2014/2015 in ND and that you belief was, and will be financially successful, also at current prices. Do you know one, and if so are you willing to share a name? I’d love to see in the data if there is anything I might be missing.

          So I am not asking about future performance, but existing operator performance, with at least a year of data. Many operators have already claimed for years high IRR wells, and great technical improvements, so surely some of that should have shown up by now?

        • Greenbub says:

          Very sorry to post stale news, it came across as a “headline” on marketwatch. Maybe they have an agenda also.

          • coffeeguyzz says:


            I, personally, think it’s great to have earlier views brought to current attention so as to re-evaluate the validity (or not) of people who profess expertise in affairs … thanks for the post.
            The graphic showing increasing peaks as more of the formations are accessed in increasingly downspaced manner is worth the viewing right there, IMHO.

            I sure do not claim any type of expertise in these matters … just a guy with a computer who reads a lot about a topic that is fascinating as well as highly impactful on the world stage.
            Your question about the financial viability of operator(s) claiming improved, technologically enhanced procedures is one I cannot answer as I do not follow the money trail too closely.

            However, there are companies such as QEP, WPX, Halcon, Statoil, ConocoPhilips, Whiting who have been producing outstanding wells in the Bakken these past two years.
            Now, Halcon has been recently described as barely being able to turn on the lights lately as their financials are extremely weak.
            QEP and WPX seem to being doing ok, AFAIK.
            (Did you hear of Hess getting $3 billion CASH two weeks ago for ONE HALF of some mid stream infrastructure? Analysts had pegged the value at one quarter of that. Go figger).
            Much ballyhoo accompanied Shell’s bailing out of a ton of shit acreage that they paid premium bucks for. Little to no fanfare has been paid to the fact that they have been furiously buying up acreage in NE Pennsylvania these past several months and are just weeks away from announcing a $5 billion commitment to build an ethane cracker in Ohio.
            Whiting may prove the most instructive of all these companies, and, indeed, of this ‘shale revolution’ in general as they continue to drill furiously with a firm intention of funding these wells through cash flow.
            Along with many others, I think they are nuts, but, hey, let’s see what they can do.
            Ultimately, Enno, XTO, Hess, Statoil, BHP, ConocoPhilips and others will still be around with money, newly developed infrastructure, ever evolving techniques to effectively extract the tens of billions of barrels, the hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of oil/gas.

            And that’s how it’ll play out.

            • Mike says:

              Coffee, if ever there is an OSOP (Organization of Shale Oil Producers) you should become it’s spokesperson; the Josh Ernest of OSOP. I compliment you, but don’t agree with a word you said.

              So, call me a micro, short-term thinker if you must but the shale oil industry is failing. It’s failing not because of a precipitous decline in product prices, but because it was not prepared for that decline in product prices. It is 300 billion dollars in debt, in deep denial about that, and borrowing more. It is dying from a self inflicted gun shot wound.

              As someone fortunate enough to benefit directly from shale oil development and to witness it’s birth, and maturing into adolescence, I’ve seen all the “technology” advancements. I sit the big stage, slick water frac’s, see the sliding sleeve stuff going downhole, listen to all the Halliburton sales guys yaking about dissolving frac plugs, etc. etc. Little of it is new, innovative stuff; mostly old things expounded on and fine tuned at a time of unprecedented R&D caused by 100 dollar oil prices. It is my observation in the field, and in my data room, however, that all that “technology” stuff simply translates into higher IP’s, and quicker declines. I don’t see anything that would suggest to me that it will result in higher URR or better overall economic gain for the shale industry.

              Your billions and your trillions are only going to happen if the shale oil industry, and shale gas industry, starts earning a profit. It hasn’t yet, not a nickel.


              • coffeeguyzz says:


                Serious question … do you think the White House spokesman’s true name is Josh Ernest?

                Josh Ernest????

                Call me a tin foil hat type, but I think we’re bein’ played on that one.


                • Mike says:

                  Good point, Coffee; I think about that every time I listen to him, which is all of about 30 seconds. So please, don’t take my comparison personally.


            • shallow sand says:

              Coffee. If WTI and natural gas prices do not improve between now and 2020, even Hess and COP will be in the dumper.

              Whiting is desperate. They are in over $6 billion and could not find a buyer. Continental managed to burn over one Billion dollars in 120 days.

              I suspect PV10 for all of US shale will be equal to all of US shale long term debt at year end, if they are lucky.

              I know you are not interested in shale finances, but to me the financial part is more relevant than the “tech” part.

              If someone comes up with tech to make our one barrel stripper wells make 2 barrels, we aren’t going to buy it unless the end result is more $$ in our pockets. Why would I want to double production but lose money?

              Quit believing everything you read. For example, I was lead to believe the SCOOP was a huge new oil find, till I found out less than 1/4 is oil and the “oil” is 50+ API gravity.

              I am sure Continental has broken at least one record in the SCOOP. Has one company ever been able to spend almost $150 million in one 1280 drilling unit prior to CLR recently doing so? How would you like to have leased 1/6 undivided interest in 40 acres in that unit and get JIB’s totaling almost $800 grand?

              Since late last summer, a lot of oil producers have lost a lot of sleep. Not resting whole lot easier yet.

              • shallow sand says:

                ND rigs at 74 with one (Burlington Res) stacking.

              • Mike says:

                Shallow, I don’t think that we are going to change Coffee’s enthusiasm for LTO extraction in the United States, nor a few others here that are completely caught up in the numbers and not the reality of profitability. And debt. You are one of the few that understand in the end it is ONLY about the money or it will fail. Perhaps it takes actually being in the oil business to understand that, I don’t know.

                To be sure, the technology and all that big iron is captivating, even if all one can do is read about it, or watch videos of it. In real life it is awesome. Imagine 16 pump trucks spitting out 2000 HP each pumping oatmeal like stuff 18,000 feet downhole, all wound out so loud it makes your teeth hurt for 50 straight hours. It is enough to make the strongest of skeptics believe that America has it’s energy future all sorted out.

                But it doesn’t. Those wells have to be profitable; all that debt will have to be paid back someday. These ridiculous speculations and guesses about future recovery rates of shale oil, EUR’s, oil prices, the models and the graphs that completely ignore the profitability of LTO, that start with the word “IF,” are a waste of valuable reading time.

                Read Berman’s new piece; pay a lot of attention to what Rune Likvern says about oil prices. We’re going to have to figure out a way to make do with 65 dollar oil for a while and be happy with it. That’s a good price for oil; it beats the snot out of 9. I’ve been there, done that. We are entering a prolonged period of volatile, lower oil prices.

                Keep a bind on it.


                • shallow sand says:

                  We will take $65 WTI. Has not gotten there yet. Average for May and June looking to be around $59 WTI, which for us, at least, is a big difference from $65.

                  But it sure beats the heck out of the low $40s BS we dealt with at the beginning of the year. At least make a little bit. No drilling this year. Probably none next year either. Maybe a little work over money, but not much.

                  Price could very well drop back, due to stuff like this Greek situation.

                  All should pay attention, by the way. What is happening in Greece is what happens when the lenders finally say, “enough”.

                  If lenders say “enough” to shale, it is Greece. All rigs, except for maybe XTO and a few others stop cold.

                  Actually, our whole country should be paying attention. What are we at, $18 trillion?

                  When has there not eventually been a day of reckoning for a person, business or government who borrowed more than they could ever pay back?

                  • old farmer mac says:

                    Sometimes the day of reckoning can be put off for a rather long time- even for generations.

                    But as Margaret Thatcher once said paraphrased and twisted a bit , sooner or later you run out of other peoples money.

            • Enno Peters says:

              Coffee, thanks for giving your view.
              I do think the financial performance now is more important than possible breakthrough technologies in the future, as Mike has so eloquently described above.

              My opinion of the shale industry (in general – there are a few exceptions) has declined with the ever ballooning fix assets on their balance sheet, while not accounting for the severe well declines in the first few years through an appropriate level of depreciation. I do worry that many retail investors could get burned over this.

              Still, I got to admit, if you look at the rate that oil production has gone up during the last few years in the US (at a faster rate than the growth rate of consumption of China and India combined according to BP data), by itself it has been an impressive feat.

  51. I find the below chart puzzling and more than a little alarming. The Fed Funds rate has been at almost nothing for seven years, ever since the great crash of 2008. What segment of the economy has not recovered since that crash that has not allowed the Fed Funds rate to recover to normal levels?

    It is from Art Berman’s latest post which just came out.

    A Year of Lower Oil Prices: Crossing A Boundary

     photo Art 3_zpsndnvjgh2.gif

    • Watcher says:

      What segment of the economy has not recovered since that crash that has not allowed the Fed Funds rate to recover to normal levels?

      1960s levels of new single family homes sold with 50 million more people walking around and interest rates lower.

      I’ll get ya more if you want.

      • SAWDUST says:

        Recovery is nothing but an illusion portrayed by those who want you to believe recovery has happened. Maybe certain cities or parts of the country have recovered somewhat. But as a whole no recovery has happened.

        Look no further than labor participation rate. Same as it was in the 70’s But we have a lot more people not participating as we have a lot more people now. Seniors are also holding on to jobs and evening going back to work in masses and the participation rate is still at 37 year lows.

        I think we are on the other side of peak jobs. When less oil arrives this will only get worse.

        And they are talking about interest rate increases. Funny stuff. Monetary systems days are number. Their just not going to tell you about it.

    • Anonymous says:


      Much of the economy has not recovered. Many counties and cities not directly or indirectly touched by financial services, telecommunications, oil, insurance, the military-industrial complex, and/or high-tech industries have not recovered.

      The sad part of all this is for all the money the Fed has pumped into banks, you could have done much better by simple giving people the money.

      The issue right now in our economy is one of aggregate demand. Wages are too low. Young people (myself included, although I’m luckier than most) are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt. We have too much work to be done in this country and no political will to get things done, mostly due to debt mongers.

      • Boomer II says:

        The sad part of all this is for all the money the Fed has pumped into banks, you could have done much better by simple giving people the money.

        Oh, God, you are so right.

        All that money that was supposed to go into investments to create more jobs has mostly just gone into boosting the stock market, encouraging bad loans (e.g., shale companies), and triggering speculation in what the rich buy (e.g, very expensive houses).

        There hasn’t been any trickle down. It’s been more like a vacuum cleaner sucking up what’s left at the bottom and giving it to the top.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          “There hasn’t been any trickle down. It’s been more like a vacuum cleaner sucking up what’s left at the bottom and giving it to the top.”

          Great metaphor, I like it. Zero interest (and inflation) has certainly been a killer for those of us who saved for our old age, in my opinion. Watcher may not agree of course.

          • SAWDUST says:

            Two ways to look at Zero interest. The value of whatever assets you own would have never recovered from 2008 if not for Zero interest.

          • Watcher says:


            Interest . . . aka yield . . . = coupon / price. That’s of a bond.

            The coupon is defined on day of release. Call it $50. “I promise to pay the bearer $50 per year.” Period. Full stop.

            The price you pay to get that $50 varies day to day with prevailing interest rates. If Rates are 5% for that bond’s duration, then the price is $1000.

            So you buy the bond. It costs you $1000. You expect $50 at the end of the year.

            You’ll get it. You’ll get $50 each year no matter what “interest rates” do.

            If rates go to 2%, then $50 / 0.02 = $2500. Your bond . . . that you paid $1000 for, is worth $2500. You can sell at a gain.

            Now, if you didn’t buy the bond til 2% interest and it goes to 5%, you’re going to lose money. Not a lot of merit in losing money.

      • SAWDUST says:

        I’m just going to point out the fact that if money was just given to people they would spend it creating more demand for energy, mainly oil use. Which would bring the peak of oil forward in time and therefore the date when there will simply be less oil to go around for everyone.

        Only solution to problem is having less people and using less energy. How we will arrive at that only solution is yet to be seen.

        • Boomer II says:

          I’m just going to point out the fact that if money was just given to people they would spend it creating more demand for energy, mainly oil use. Which would bring the peak of oil forward in time and therefore the date when there will simply be less oil to go around for everyone.

          That’s why I keep pointing out that while I think income inequality is unfair, it is better for the environment. The masses have less money to spend on consumption. The very wealthy do consume way more per capita, but there are so few of them that overall consumption goes down. For example, the wealthy may buy lots of expensive cars, but they aren’t driving them all at the same time.

          • SAWDUST says:

            We are at an interesting point in time. Anything they do to try to stimulate the economy or to promote growth is actually working against their intended goal.

            More debt and more government spending only brings the day of reckoning closer. How do you break it to the people that life as they are accustomed to is about to change drastically. They don’t. They just pretend as long as they can up until pretend doesn’t work anymore.

            Honestly in my opinion. Wheels are very close to coming off the wagon. If we make it 5-7 more years without SHTF moment happening i’ll be in shock.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              We are at an interesting point in time. Anything they do to try to stimulate the economy or to promote growth is actually working against their intended goal.

              Places to Intervene in a System, Leverage Points by Donella Meadows.


              The classic example of that backward intuition was Forrester’s first world model. Asked by the Club of Rome to show how major global problems—poverty and hunger, environmental destruction, resource depletion, urban deterioration,unemployment—are related and how they might be solved, Forrester came out with a clear leverage point: Growth. Both population and economic growth.Growth has costs—among which are poverty and hunger, environmental destruction—the whole list of problems we are trying to solve with growth!The world’s leaders are correctly fixated on economic growth as the answer to virtually all problems, but they’re pushing with all their might in the wrong direction.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not true, except for the very poor, energy costs are, around average 20% of after-tax income.

      • mr.razler says:

        If you wanted a PROOF that the progressive liberals want to make us all equally miserable – look no further then the Cadillac Tax. Progressive liberals see a company who is providing an excellent healthcare plan as a benefit to its employees, which is a BEAUTIFUL thing, as something to be demolished. To a progressive liberal it is despicable for a company to provide such a benefit to its employees – their ideology is; if everybody can’t have it, then nobody can. This philosophy/ideology comes right out of the income equality mantra which is right out of the communist manifesto. This country is a TRAIN WRECK happening in front of our eyes and it is being driven by the liberals. All we can do is wait until it is over and hope there is something left and we can clean up the mess and get back on track. This country was a great experiment, founded by brave, intelligent, God revering men. They believed in freedom, liberty, growth and prosperity. The liberals like an infestation are destroying the foundation of this country and will topple it over one day if they aren’t dealt with. This country became the absolute SUPER POWER of the world – it hasn’t been easy and we’ve fought through adversity but there is no doubt that God’s blessings have been on the side of this country. May God further bless this country and keep it strong and righteous and protect those of us who love it.

        • Bob Nickson says:

          Allahu akbar.

        • Dave Ranning says:

          I must be a bit out of goose step——-

        • Fred Magyar says:

          May God further bless this country and keep it strong and righteous and protect those of us who love it

          Sounds like something an Islamist fundamentalist might say…

          So which of the 3800 or so currently worshiped deities ass’ do you bow down to?

          My personal favorite is the Australian Snake Goddess of Rain and Fertility.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            You are a Heathen. Thor is the only true God and He will strike you down. Why can’t you get this through your thick skull Fred?

  52. MarbleZeppelin says:

    Of course the gorilla from global warming is sea level rise. It could be anything from 1 to 10 feet this century. However it is inevitable and will be beyond anything we experienced in the last half million years. Mass destruction of cities and ports along with loss of critical habitat along the coasts will combine with pollution as storm surges overwhelm the coasts. Since many large cities and densely populated areas are along low lying coasts, migration will occur. Fighting the tide will become a major occupation as will moving and accommodating large groups of people. Ports will have to be built further inland or made semi-portable.
    Population flooded.

    • Javier says:

      Not sure I understand that graph. How many millions of people are flooded per year with a sea level rise of zero meters?

      I also would like o point to you two little facts:

      1. Sea level rise has been pretty much constant at 1.6 mm/yr for the last 130 years.

      2. The correlation between temperatures and sea level is not obvious. I don’t think you can extrapolate future sea level from projected temperatures and get a meaningful result. You are probably better off multiplying the number of years by 1.6 mm.

      By 2100 we should have 85 x 1.6 = 136 mm or 0.136 m. I believe we can adapt to that. I mean the Dutch did much better than that in the XV century.

      • MarbleZeppelin says:

        Sorry, the rate of sea level rise is not constant and it has been increasing.
        “There is strong evidence that global sea level is now rising at an increased rate and will continue to rise during this century. ”

        “This rate may be increasing. Since 1992, new methods of satellite altimetry (the measurement of elevation or altitude) indicate a rate of rise of 0.12 inches per year. ”

        Please don’t use graphs of England’s temperature as a reference, it’s highly modified by the Gulf Stream current and is a local measurement not global.
        Sea level rise and height is also highly modified by the gravitational pull of the Greenland Ice Sheet in that region.

        • MarbleZeppelin says:

          Sea level rise by John Englander

          @ Javier
          The above graph shows the current number of people being flooded per year at zero sea level rise. Storm surge and other flooding along shore lines has a positive number of people already being flooded at the current sea level. Sea level rise increases that number.

          • Javier says:

            So we can consider those numbers normal flooding then. Of course it probably has a huge variability from year to year, since some years we don’t get any huge storm and others we get several. So we can probably double those numbers and still consider it normal flooding.

            Looks to me that we should stop worrying about the future and start working in the present. The people that are drowning now will find no solace on us improving the future if that is even possible.

        • Javier says:

          That is the classical mistake (or fallacy if on purpose) of cherry picking the data for a few years (the period from 1992 to 2000s) and extrapolating from that.

          There is a very good agreement between tidal gauges and satellite altimetry, and we have very good data from tidal gauges since 1860.

          Please check “Trends and acceleration in global and regional sea levels since 1807.” by Jevrejeva et al. Global and Planetary Change, 113. 11-22

          A look at their figure 3 will show you why it is a very bad idea to pick one or two decades of data and try to get a rate. Whoever tries to do that will get a statistically invalid result. You probably have heard this argument before.

          The rate from 1970 to 2009 that they get is 1.8 ± 0.5 mm/yr, as I said. It is a pretty solid result and whoever says otherwise will have to demonstrate it with better data than just a few selected years.

          If I have used CET temperature is because there was no global temperature measurements in 1860. If you want old direct measurements, really CET is the only choice. In fact for sea level the best temperature would be SST data. But it really doesn’t matter as all temperature data is quite similar, specially for the purpose of that illustration.

          • Sam Taylor says:


            If a trend is accelerating then that means it will change over time. In order to see if this is happening, one can compare the trend in different periods to see if there is a change. This is not “cherry picking” of whatever other bullshit fallacy you want to pull out of your backside.

            You have not demonstrated that their result is statistically invalid, nor could you I suspect.

            Your motivated reasoning is tiring. Stick to your day job.

            • Javier says:

              Sam, for the same token then you have to accept that global warming has been decelerating. The trend in the 80s and 90s for global temperature anomaly increase is higher than the trend in the 00s and 10s.

              If a trend is decelerating then that means it will change over time. In order to see if this is happening, one can compare the trend in different periods to see if there is a change. This is not “cherry picking” of whatever other bullshit fallacy you want to pull out of your backside.

              So now you have the problem of matching an accelerating sea level raise with a decelerating global temperature average. Bad position.

              On the other hand you could simply accept that if your data shows some sinusoidal variability in order to extract a meaningful trend your period of analysis has to necessarily expand longer than a period and ideally at least two periods.

              That is exactly what happens with both mean global temperature and sea level raise. Both show a 60 year periodicity although not in the same phase. The periodicity in the sea level rise becomes very apparent simply by the derivative of the data with respect to time that extracts the rate. This is shown in figure 3 from Jevrejeva et al. 2008 Recent global sea level acceleration started over 200 years ago?
              See figure 3 below. A continuation of this 200 years trend projects that sea levels are going to raise more slowly over the next couple of decades. This is a clearly testable prediction from this hypothesis.

              Sam, for someone that is so critic with the rest of us you bring very little science (actually none) and a lot of personal opinion to the forum. Why should we think that your opinion is worth even 2 cents?

    • Let me see. Sea level has been increasing 3 mm per year. So I’ll increase that to 6 mm per year. 25 cm is 250 mm, and 250/6= 40+ years.

      This means in 40 years we have to raise 90 million people by 25 cm. Or buy 90 million pair of rubber boots. That’s 2.3 million pair at $20 a pair. $46 million.

      • Javier says:

        That is not right Fernando. 200 years of data show that there is no reason to believe that average sea level rise during the XXI century will be higher than 2.5 ± 0.5 mm/yr.

        Unfounded alarmism from the media and some scientists is one of the reasons climate science is so muddled.

        So in the next 40 years we should get from 80-120 mm of sea level rise unless conditions that have prevailed for the last 200 years change significantly. Projected to 2100 that makes it up to 0.25 meters.

        However there is a big caveat. Scientists know that in the past, during the Holocene, rapid changes in sea level of about 2-3 m have taken place in as little time as 40 years. We do not know the cause of those rapid changes and they go both to the upside or to the downside. Natural variability can be a bitch sometimes. We obviously cannot predict those abrupt changes and the models obviously do not know how to deal with them as models only know what we know.

  53. Doug Leighton says:


    Your comments above on the buffering effect of the ocean, with respect to global climate, are interesting and instructive. If you’re not already aware of it a relatively new paper adds a bit more information to the issue: HYDROTHERMAL SIPHON’ DRIVES WATER CIRCULATION THROUGH SEAFLOOR.

    Also, for anyone interested there is some useful information on arctic methane emissions entitled: SCIENTISTS DISCOVER VAST METHANE PLUMES ESCAPING FROM ARCTIC SEAFLOOR. This work describes a methane mega flare observer from the icebreaker Oden by Swedish scientists in July last year.

    In any case, I appreciate and enjoy your excellent commentary in general.

    • Javier says:

      Thank you, Doug,

      I had no idea of the existence of that particular heating mechanism. Very few people are even aware that the ocean warms both from below and from above. I am not sure we do know how much of the warming comes from each.

      • Jef says:

        Jav – Im sure you don’t know and therefore you get to dismiss the tens of thousands of data points that thousands of scientist and their assistants have accumulated over the last 50 years or so.

        • Javier says:

          Jef, I cannot dismiss what I don’t know.

          Whatever they have published, if I get to read it I’ll ponder. However I get to read a tiny, almost insignificant fraction of what gets published outside my very specific field.

          My personal approach to science is that I tend to trust the data unless in contradiction with other data or methodological problems, but I tend to be skeptic about the conclusions drawn from the data unless I see no other possible interpretation or they are in agreement with conclusions already accepted by me. I remain ready to change my opinion if the evidence demands it. I change my opinion very often as new data challenges my old opinions. One has to go where the data takes us.

          I really don’t care what other scientists believe. I have read too much bad science and I have seen too many papers being debunked or simply ignored because they are clearly flawed (in some cases fraudulent), yet managed to go through the peer review system, to think that something published in a scientific journal has to be the truth.

          I understand that most people cannot evaluate science so they decide to trust and believe what they are told from whatever sources they have decided to trust. My advice would be that they should always be very skeptical of what they are told. In most cases what they get is distorted, skewed or biased. In fact if they are told something that they are predisposed to believe they should be even more skeptical. We are more easily fooled when we are told what we like to hear. Also as a general rule when we are told something that should scare us we should be extra skeptical. Governments and powerful interests discovered long ago that they get away with a lot more if they scare people. Specially the Mass Media loves to scare us and regretfully some scientists play into that to sell their science a little bit better.

          Be a skeptic, my friend. Be a skeptic.

      • Javier: the geothermal heat flux is about 0.1 watts per m2. This flux isn’t included in global climate models, nor is it included in the re analysis of ocean energy content. Ignoring the flux causes errors in the re analysis and the models.

        When I add a heat source at the bottom of a water column the turnover rate increases (simply because warmer water has less density).

        • Javier says:

          Thanks, for the info, Fernando. Well considering that changes in the ocean average temperature are within instrumental error, I don’t think that too much trust can be put in our current understanding of ocean contribution to global warming.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          “… the geothermal heat flux is about 0.1 watts per m2… ” Actually, the respective mean heat flows of continental and oceanic crust are 70.9 and 105.4 mW/m2 respectively. Ref. Davies, J. H., & Davies, D. R. (2010). Earth’s surface heat flux. Solid Earth.

  54. Boomer II says:

    Here’s a visual of the countries most likely to survive climate change.

    Countries that will survive climate change infographic – Business Insider

    Here’s the original source of the info.

    ND-GAIN Index

  55. mtnmikem says:

    Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner
    The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that many authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier (1824), Tyndall (1861), and Arrhenius (1896), and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. Ac-cording to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature it is taken for granted that such mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      Wow, they must be breathing way too much oil and natural gas fumes down there. What ever happened to UFO sightings? Or maybe the aliens have invaded their brains.

  56. mtnmikem says:

    Vegetation much more important than atmosphere models:

    • Boomer II says:

      I haven’t watched the video, but there would be widespread support amongst “greens” if there is a worldwide effort to preserve and expand vegetation. Give more land to forests, open spaces, etc. Slow down development in untouched areas, and restore areas that have been lost to housing developments and industry.

      Let’s see a very active nature preservation effort by both sides of the political spectrum.

      Let’s make land and forest preservation been a bipartisan crusade.

      Let’s “green” up the world.

  57. mtnmikem says:

    The title of the article says it all: We have had a collapse in the scam of global warming and the idea that trace co2 is a pollutant. The physics of co2, its heat retention properties and physical properties make the greenhouse theory bad science.

    • Frugal says:

      The physics of co2, its heat retention properties and physical properties make the greenhouse theory bad science.

      Why not test if for yourself. It shouldn’t be that hard to come up with an experimental apparatus that will easily fit on your kitchen counter top, such as a glass jar with some earth on the bottom. Shine some sunlight on the earth and then measure the temperature of the air in the top part of the jar. Then inject a bunch of CO2 into the top part of the jar, wait for the pressure to equalize, then measure the temperature again. Then tell us the results.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        But Frugal “Observe the Greenhouse Effect in a Jar” is a Grade 5 science experiment. Your dealing with some pretty sophisticated science types here, aren’t you? Well, not counting the morons. It would be interesting to see how the second law of thermodynamics can be used to refute AGW: Other than spouting dumb phrases.

  58. mtnmikem says:

    Exactly my point and the point of physicists who study the effect. Once you create a greenhouse (in this case your glass jar) you get a greenhouse effect. The atmosphere is not a glass greenhouse.

    Describes : a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. Ac-cording to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature it is taken for granted that such mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation.

    • Frugal says:

      … fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump …

      What has entropy (the second law of thermodynamics) got to do with radiation of various frequencies being absorbed by the atmosphere?

    • SW says:

      God damn those are big words!

  59. Boomer II says:

    Since we’ve been talking about methane.

    Pond in Canada Explodes – YouTube

  60. mtnmikem says:

    The earth is growing greener as measure by satellite :

    • mr.razler says:

      WHY do you think Greenland was called “Greenland” and the Norsemen/Viking settled there, were able to FARM and raise cattle? How about “Newfoundland” where Lief Ericson found GRAPES growing (NOT TODAY!!!) Global Warming is a complete and absolute FAIRY TALE designed to give the government even MORE power and control over hardworking men. By the way, IF the SEA LEVEL is rising as far as claimed, WHY did Al Gore buy an estate on the water front in Miami, FL, a former swamp area?

      • Someone please tell me why denier’s arguments are always so goddamn stupid?

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Well I thought he was making an especially dumb joke and forgot the yellow face because nobody could be THAT stupid; could they?

        • Boomer II says:

          Yes, they lose me with ill-logical thinking.

          • MarbleZeppelin says:

            Deniers are just another form of pollution. Call the EPA, the DEP, the health department.

      • Strummer says:

        “WHY do you think Greenland was called “Greenland” and the Norsemen/Viking settled there”

        I know you are just trolling, but I’m going to answer this one anyway… because Erik Thorvaldsson named it that way to lure prospective settlers over there. Nothing to do with the climate, just the usual real estate pimping 🙂

        • Doug Leighton says:

          And of course your troll probably wouldn’t be interested but Greenland glacial melting has become a growing factor in rising sea levels.

      • cytochrome C says:

        Robert A. Heinlein — ‘Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.’

    • Fred Magyar says:

      No you got that all wrong. The green tint is from the reflection of light from the green cheese the moon is made of.

  61. mtnmikem says:

    What has entropy (the second law of thermodynamics) got to do with radiation of various frequencies being absorbed by the atmosphere?

    Absorbed and stored as is heat in a green house?

    a) there are no common physical laws
    between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric green-
    house effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature
    of a planet, (c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33C is a meaningless number
    calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the
    assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction
    must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsifed.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      a) there are no common physical laws
      between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric green-
      house effects, etc… etc… etc…

      Maybe you need a better understanding of the physics and chemistry involved…

      The greenhouse effect will in fact operate even if the absorption of radiation were totally saturated in the lower atmosphere. The planet’s temperature is regulated by the thin upper layers where radiation does escape easily into space. Adding more greenhouse gas there will change the balance. Moreover, even a 1% change in that delicate balance would make a serious difference in the planet’s surface temperature. The logic is rather simple once it is grasped, but it takes a new way of looking at the atmosphere — not as a single slab, like the gas in Koch’s tube (or the glass over a greenhouse), but as a set of interacting layers. (The full explanation is in the essay on Simple Models, use link below)

      It’s quite simple really!

  62. So much ice is disappearing from Greenland that it is causing earthquakes.

    Giant earthquakes are shaking Greenland — and scientists just figured out the disturbing reason why

    Scientists have already documented entire meltwater lakes vanishing in a matter of hours atop the vast Greenland ice sheet, as huge crevasses open beneath them. And now, they’ve cast light on the mechanisms behind another dramatic geophysical effect brought on by the rumbling and melting of this mass of often mile-thick ice: earthquakes.

    In a new paper in the journal Science, a team of researchers from Swansea University in the UK, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, and several other institutions explain how the loss of Greenland’s ice can generate glacial earthquakes. In brief: When vast icebergs break off at the end of tidal glaciers, they tumble in the water and jam the glaciers themselves backwards. The result is a seismic event detectable across the Earth.

  63. B says:

    The film The Overnighters will be airing on many PBS stations in the United States tomorrow evening, June 29, with additional repeats possible after that. Check local listings. The film will also be available online from June 30 – July 15.

    Next on POV: The Overnighters

    Chasing the American dream, thousands of workers flock to a North Dakota town where the oil business is booming. But instead of well-paying jobs, many find slim work prospects and a severe housing shortage. Pastor Jay Reinke converts his church into a makeshift dorm and counseling center, allowing hundreds of men, some with checkered pasts, to stay there despite the congregation’s objections and neighbors’ fears. The men become known as “overnighters,” and community opposition to their presence soon reaches a boiling point.

    Visit the POV companion site for The Overnighters to watch the full film online for free for a limited time following the broadcast (starting June 30, 2015), learn from the filmmakers in an extended video interview, find out what’s happened since the cameras stopped rolling and download a discussion guide and other viewing resources.

    Share your thoughts and ask questions by using the hashtag #TheOvernighters.

    “The church was a raw, emotional place. Desperation forces people to drop their usual defenses,” said filmmaker Jesse Moss in a filmmaker statement. “Men cried as they showed me pictures of their children. They told me about their dreams of lucrative jobs on the oil rigs that checkered the prairie landscape. I decided to stay and film. I was determined to make an observational documentary. I had no idea how the story would turn out, but I found a path to follow and someone to lead me down it.”

    • Thanks for the heads up B. This looks like a good one. It does not come on in Huntsville, Al until July 1st. I had to go to the PBS web site and search on the schedule for my local hometown to find it but I did and now have it set to record. Oh, it it is part of the series POV.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      If this small migration of people actually looking for work is causing problems, imagine what a major migration will do to areas.
      I witnesses a multi- decade long migration into rural areas that completely changed the character and makeup of the area. It was a migration brought on by developers and paid for by more wealthy city and suburban dwellers moving into the region.
      I heard locals complain that their children had to leave the area because now real estate prices and taxes had blossomed and local jobs still were few as well as low paying. One village of 500 (1960 census) blossomed to 25,000. Beautiful woods and pristine glacially gouged lakes were ruined.
      I know one of the “new” residents in the area. He makes a very good wage in a city 80 miles from home. Buys a new car every couple of years, but likes raising his family in the area.
      New schools sprouted up all over, strip malls then shopping malls. Previous to that is was small general stores, and one A&P food store miles away whose size is about 1/4 the size of the typical one today.

      Traffic congestion, crime, drugs all came into this rural area. People all over.
      They paved and built over a natural paradise.
      I don’t think that future migrations are going to be that pretty.

  64. Toolpush says:

    Some people have posted EIA reports where the Marcellus will be peaking around now. Here is an article from RBN expanding on the news of REX pipeline reversal, and sending 1.2 bcfpd east to west, with more expansions to follow.

    If the EIA predictions are correct there are going to a lot of disappointed customers in the coming months?

    Big Deal! REX To Open The Floodgates: 5.2 Bcf/D Of Marcellus/Utica Natural Gas Receipt Capacity

    One of the most significant events to occur in the U.S. natural gas market this year will be the full-scale reversal of flows in Zone 3 of the Rockies Express Pipeline (REX), and it is right around the corner. The Zone 3 East-to-West Project (E2W) will bring on an incremental 1.2 Bcf/d of westbound capacity, opening the floodgates for Marcellus and Utica producers. As REX touches nearly every part of the US gas market, the expansion will reconfigure continental gas flows and price relationships across multiple regions as it comes online.

    • coffeeguyzz says:


      Informative article, thanks for the link.
      To give some perspective on the Marcellus/Utica supply situation, there are currently about 7,500 producing horizontal wells from Ohio and Pennsylvania targeting the M/U.
      There are also about 3,000 wells that have been drilled – an unknown (to me) number of which have also been fractured and flow tested.
      Two years from now, Push, that production chart will need to be a lot higher.

  65. cytochrome C says:

    It’s over—-

    The Greek government issued a decree in the early hours of Monday requiring banks to shut through July 6, citing an “urgent and unforeseen” need to protect the financial system.
    Here’s the list of transactions that can still be processed by banks in Greece, including branches of foreign lenders, according to the decree published on the government gazette’s website:
    * Pensions payments.
    * Cash withdrawals from ATMs for as much as 60 euros ($66) per day, per card, per account. The cap also applies to bank accounts linked to the same cards. No restrictions are imposed on withdrawals using debit or credit cards issued abroad.
    * Payments with pre-paid credit cards, up to the existing limit. The issuance of new pre-paid cards is banned.
    * Payments with credit or debit cards between accounts held in Greece.
    * Payments and transfers via web-banking or phone-banking between accounts held in Greece.
    * Payments from abroad to bank accounts held in Greece.
    * Transactions of the Hellenic Republic.
    * Payments for imports of essential goods, including medicine, after approval by a special state treasury committee.
    * Clearance of payments for which the order was given before June 28.
    * Greeks living or traveling abroad won’t be able to use their debit cards for transactions exceeding the 60 euro limit. No credit card payments abroad will be possible.
    * Parents who need to make payments to children studying abroad will need to apply for permission from the treasury committee.
    * No penalties for overdue and missed payments can be charged for delays caused by the bank holiday. Banks that violate the decree could be liable for fines equal to 10 percent of offending transactions and could be forced to dismiss employees who approved them.
    * The finance minister has the authority to extend or shorten the period of the bank holiday and amend the restrictions, including withdrawal limits.

    • shallow sand says:

      The resulting dollar strength could cause oil to tank again, not that it recovered a great deal to begin with.

      But, of course, US shale will be up to the challenge and by fall will be breaking even at $25 WTI.

    • That’s similar to what the chavistas did in Venezuela. If they leave the euro they’ll impose currency controls, price and wage controls, create government commissions and bureaucracies to issue exemptions and decide who gets to do what. This leads to corruption, a black market, capital flight, increasing poverty and hopelessness, brain drain and the flight of the middle class.

      If the government doesn’t fall they will follow the standard script, leave the EU, change the constitution and implement a dictatorship. Meanwhile they’ll blast away with a propaganda campaign, and the international left will howl alongside, claiming the Greek economic crisis was caused by capitalist imperialist war mongers.

      • cytochrome C says:

        “I can no longer sit back & allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, & the International Communist conspiracy to sap & impurify all of our precious bodily fluids… ”

        — General (F)red E. Ripper

  66. Obama told renewables need a battery:

    If just one country is doing the right thing, but other countries are not, then we’re not going to solve the problem. We’re going to have to have a global solution to this,” he said.

    Attenborough agreed that “the solutions are global”.

    Obama also asked the naturalist if he thought it was possible “to get a handle on these issues”.

    After Attenborough stressed the value of finding ways to generate and store power from renewable resources, Obama said: “I think you’re right about that. There has got to be an economic component to this.”

  67. Jan says:

    Many people who are terrified of global warming are utterly ignorant of CO2 levels in the past.

    Currently Co2 levels are abnormally low in historical terms and even if they rose from 400ppm to 3,000ppm would only be around the median the world has seen.
    When CO2 levels were at 3,000ppm the world supported vast amounts of plant and therefore animal life.
    These CO2 levels did not acidify the seas killing fish, the world’s oceans were full of life.
    In properly controlled experiments plants are shown to grow best at CO2 concentrations of between 1,000 and 2,000pmm. The plants require less water, the get fewer diseases, they produce far more food.
    Co2 levels went up in the past yet temperatures fell, so obviously other things are far more important.

    • wharf rat says:

      “Many people who are terrified of global warming are utterly ignorant of CO2 levels in the past.”

      Many people who rely on the ol’ “CO2 much higher in the past” meme forget that humans were not living in coastal cities in those days, and they weren’t growing wheat in Kansas, either.

      For once, “this time is different” really is true.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Many people who are terrified of global warming are utterly ignorant of CO2 levels in the past.

      Oh fer fuck’s sake what an idiotic comment!! And you are utterly ignorant of what kind of a world it was back then! You are using the climate during the ‘Carboniferous’ as a benchmark?! Hint, there were no humans living on the planet then and most of the planet where there was life was tropical and swamp like with huge insects like giant dragonflies flying around. It was the time when lizard and amphibians were getting onto land. BTW, Jesus Christ didn’t ride around on top of the dinosaurs either, just sayin!

      The name “Carboniferous” reflects the most famous attribute of this geologic period: the massive swamps that cooked, over tens of millions of years, into today’s vast reserves of coal. However, the Carboniferous period was also notable for the appearance of new terrestrial vertebrates, including the very first amphibians and lizards. The Carboniferous was the second-to-last period of the Paleozoic Era (542-250 million years ago), preceded by the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian periods and succeeded by the Permian period.

      • Jan says:

        Do not swear at me, fancy meeting up and I can teach you some manners

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Who swore at you?! I did say your comment was idiotic. As for the exclamation of frustration that you elicited from me, that does not constitute swearing at you.
          You need to not only get a better grasp of what happened during the Carboniferous but you need to work on your reading comprehension as well.
          And you have nothing to teach me!

    • Synapsid says:

      ‘nother Dunning-Kruger alert.

      Those words “global warming” really bring them out.

  68. Jeju-islander says:

    Another troll to do a Turing test on. Jan, please please reply we want to know if you are a human being.
    Jan states “Currently Co2 levels are abnormally low in historical terms…” Clearly trolls are unable to see the graphic at the top of this page.

  69. Watcher says:

    Probably due for another ronpost, and I’ll wrap this over when it appears.

    Re: energy content of varying API degree oil being mass dependent: Quoting The Physics Factbook:

    One of the primary constituents of petroleum is hexane (C6H14). The amount of energy released when burned is 4163.2 kJ/mole. You multiply that value by the mass of 1 mole of petroleum. Afterwards you get the value in kJ/gram. Multiply that value by how much mass per liter of petroleum there is. Multiply the final value by how many liters there are in 1 barrel of petroleum and you receive the approximate value of 6.72 GJ.

    This supports the energy content of crude vs condensate analysis above that relies simply on mass/barrel, which is more specifically a layout of energy content per API degree.

    Regardless of theoretical derivation of energy release per (CHx)n, seems pretty hard to imagine that someone by now didn’t just take some measurements of energy content per barrel of XX API degrees.

  70. Watcher says:

    Oh and heads up. Oil was down over a dollar in Asia last night as Greece lifted the dollar. Sub 59.

    There are 2 days until the 1st of month event. Remember, it is the average of price on 1st of months that determine underground collateral valuation for lending for completions.

    • SAWDUST says:


      Oil futures gaped down to open the week with EUR/USD. Whats interesting is EUR is rallying hard today. But i don’t think it’s rallying for the reasons most people think.

      EUR/USD is a carry trade. EUR has been a lower yielding currency since ECB cut rates below where the FED is. So for over a year money has been leaving Europe and landing into US stocks and bonds.

      DOW and S@P 500 are down pretty big which is lifting EUR against USD as carry trade unwinds.

  71. The Wet One says:

    Just to add something that is hopefully of value to the discussion, there’s also the geo-political risk factors.

    Here’s just such a thing discussed:

    It’s something that always remains possible. It’s possible that an unstable situation could be sparked into a conflagration by who knows what. Climate chaos, or peak oil pressures could be one of those sparks and before you know it, thousands of nuclear weapons are being delivered to targets.

    It sounds far fetched, and yet…

    • old farmer mac says:

      It is not far fetched at all. It is however unlikely to happen in any GIVEN year.

      Declassified documents tell us that the Pentagon estimated the odds of nuclear war at two per cent per year annually thru the cold war era.

      Keep pulling cards and sooner or later you WILL pull the joker.

  72. Longtimber says:

    If you put this in kWh per capita is would be something like .6kWh/day/capita for Hawaii.
    There’s at least an order of magnitude left to go.

  73. David L. Hagen says:

    Thanks for your very informative oil data posts.
    On global warming I encourage you to “kick the tires” and “test everything” by the scientific method. The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
    The “pock marks” are an interesting feature to explore further.
    The arctic seems to be warming the most – because of the fewest hard measurements – and questionable extrapolations. Compare satellite temperature data etc.
    These show NO warming for 18 years 6 mo, while strong increases in CO2 – contrary to models. See John Christy’s testimony May 13, 2015 where he shows the average of current CMIP5 models diverging strongly from actual temperature evidence from balloons and satellite.
    For a reality check on CO2, see Youtube on Murry Salby’s 2015 lectures.
    See NIPCC’s
    See further How to tell a climate skeptic he’s wrong. See NASA era scientists & engineers at: The Right Climate Stuff etc.
    Of far greater threat is not generating enough global warming to avoid the next glaciation.

Comments are closed.