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Climate myths at the U.S. House Hearing on climate change

Posted on 5 April 2011 by John Cook

Climate Myths from PoliticiansOn March 31, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science Space and Technology held a hearing on Climate Change: Examining the Processes Used to Create Science and Policy. There was a breathtaking (but not altogether surprising) amount of climate misinformation provided both by the Republican politicians and the skeptic scientists they invited as witnesses. Much credit goes to Dana Nuccitelli who went to the trouble of transcribing all of the misinformation (full video of the event is viewable here). Here is a collection of the climate myths quotes from the politicians and scientists (which have been added to our Climate Myths from Politicians):

Climate Myths from
Sandy Adams
(R-FL)
What the Science Says
"if [CO2 limits] had passed...do you think the economic damage created by that bill would have been worth the carbon emissions decrease it was estimated to have achieved?"

The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

"if we were in the US to bring our carbon emissions down to zero within 20 years, and invest all of this even though countries such as China and India and EU do not, there would not be much of a difference in what is going on today"

If every nation agrees to limit CO2 emissions, we can achieve significant cuts on a global scale.

"Does the so-called danger posed to the economy by not acting to reduce what some may call man-made effects on climate change outweigh the economic costs to the country?"

The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

Climate Myths from
J. Scott Armstrong
(Professor of Marketing)
What the Science Says
"I work with Willie Soon, who does a lot of research on this particular topic, and that's what he tells me [that natural factors are causing global warming]" Multiple sets of independent observations find a human fingerprint on climate change.
"The [IPCC] temperature forecasting procedures are improper...these alarming forecasts..." The IPCC summarizes the recent research by leading scientific experts.
"Forecasting global warming lacks any scientific basis." Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.
"The most appropriate evidence-based forecast is that there will be no long-term warming claim."

There are many lines of evidence indicating global warming is unequivocal.

Climate Myths from
Mo Brooks
(R-AL)
What the Science Says
"we're being asked to undermine America's economy based on this guesswork speculation"

The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

"nobody knows whether we're going to have global cooling or global warming over the next half century or century" Weather is chaotic but climate is driven by Earth's energy imbalance, which is more predictable.
"Would it be fair to say then, that in the scientific community, it literally is asking too much of them for them to be able to tell us whether 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now, Earth's temperatures are going to be warmer or cooler, much like it is pretty unreasonable to ask a meteorologist whether we're going to have rain in Washington just 2 or 3 weeks from now?" Weather and climate are different; climate predictions do not need weather detail.
"I couldn't help but pull up the Time magazine front page article dated April 28th, 1975 where we have a penguin on the cover and it says "How to Survive the Coming Ice Age". How do you compare that global cooling claim versus today's global warming claim?" The vast majority of climate papers in the 1970s predicted warming.
"the last 4 or 5 years, have they been cooler or warmer?"

Global temperature is still rising and 2010 was the hottest recorded.

"would it be fair to say then that there has been a cooling of global temperatures at least over the last 13 years compared to 1998?" The last decade 2000-2009 was the hottest on record.
"The temperatures we're experiencing now, do you consider them to be an aberration, or just a part of the Earth's natural warming and cooling cycle?" No known natural forcing fits the fingerprints of observed warming except anthropogenic greenhouse gases.
"pretty much the one constant about the weather is that it's always changing...Looking at the Earth's past climatological data, have their been cooler periods than we're not experiencing?" Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time; humans are now the dominant forcing.
Climate Myths from
Paul Broun
(R-GA)
What the Science Says
"The desperate emails of a computer programmer offer us a glimpse into the data control issues at CRU"

A number of investigations have cleared scientists of any wrongdoing in the media-hyped email incident.

"would you trust data from individuals trying to "hide the decline"?" "hide the decline" was simply an effort by climate scientists to only use tree ring data which they were confident accurately reflects local temperatures, and was widely & openly discussed in the scientific literature.
Climate Myths from
John Christy
(Climate scientist)
What the Science Says
"[the hockey stick] was the icon of the TAR, the Third Assessment Report, and what the tree ring record did, in showing it did not agree with temperatures, indicated that the icon itself, which was based primarily on tree rings prior to the 16th century, was therefore not very good at explaining what the temperature was." Recent studies agree that recent global temperatures are unprecedented in the last 1000 years.
"I think I might like it warmer actually" Negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health & environment far outweigh any positives.
"the natural unforced variability...the complexity of the system itself can create these variations [like today's warming] on its own" Multiple sets of independent observations find a human fingerprint on climate change.
"When you look at the possibility of natural unforced variability, you see that can cause excursions that we've seen recently" No known natural forcing fits the fingerprints of observed warming except anthropogenic greenhouse gases.
"I think there's been too much jumping to conclusions about seeing something happening in the climate and saying 'well the only way that can happen is human effects'" Multiple sets of independent observations find a human fingerprint on climate change.
"I think the consistency [between now and 1970s cooling predictions]...there's a large amount of ignorance about the climate system." Very few studies predicted global cooling in the 1970s, whereas virtually every study today predicts global warming
"I can say that there certainly hasn't been a warming of temperatures since [1998]." The global warming trend has continued since 1998.
"I think most of all, [current temperatures] are part of the normal ups and downs of climate." Multiple sets of independent observations find a human fingerprint on climate change.
"If you go back through the entire history of the world, most of the periods have not been cooler than today, they've been warmer." Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time; humans are now the dominant forcing.
"Greenland ice borehole temperatures...indicated a clear 500 year period of temperatures warmer than the present centered around 900 AD commonly referred to as the Medieval Warm Period." Globally averaged temperature now is higher than global temperature in medieval times.
"you're looking at most at a tenth of a degree [reduction in global temperature] after 100 years [if USA imposes CO2 limits]"

If every nation agrees to limit CO2 emissions, we can achieve significant cuts on a global scale.

"In this sense yes [1970s cooling predictions were similar to current warming predictions], our ignorance about the climate system is just enormous" The vast majority of climate papers in the 1970s predicted warming.
"climate model output does not match up to the real world" Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.
"this issue has policy implications that may potentially raise the price of energy a lot, and thus essentially the price of everything else."

The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

"the EPA overstated the agreement between models and observations, when in fact there was significant disagreement." Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.
"Evidence was presented by Dr. Ross McKitrick and others indicated the popular surface temperature data sets were affected by warming not likely to be caused by greenhouse gases." Urban and rural regions show the same warming trend.
"The hockey stick's author was the same IPCC lead author who in my opinion worked with a small group of cohorts...allowing amputation of a disagreeable result, and the splicing of unrelated data to 'hide the decline'." The "decline" in tree-ring density was not present in the "hockey stick", and was only "hidden" in other separate work because scientists knew it did not accurately represent recent temperature trends.
"The hockey stick's author was the same IPCC lead author who in my opinion worked with a small group of cohorts and misrepresented the temperature record of the past 1,000 years by promoting his own result" Recent studies agree that recent global temperatures are unprecedented in the last 1000 years.
"IPCC-selected lead authors are given significant control over the text, including the authority to judge their own work against the work of their critics...this process has led to the propagation of incorrect and misleading information in the assessments, and thus should lead you to question the IPCC's general support for a catastrophic view of climate change." The IPCC summarizes the recent research by leading scientific experts.
Climate Myths from
Chip Cravaack
(R-MN)
What the Science Says
"If everybody, if all the United States we go totally green, but other countries throughout this world don't follow suit, can you tell me what kind of tick that's even going to put in the CO2 emissions?"

If every nation agrees to limit CO2 emissions, we can achieve significant cuts on a global scale.

"back when I was graduating from high school I remember the "great global cooling". Is this "great global cooling" similar to the great global warming that is going on today?" The vast majority of climate papers in the 1970s predicted warming.
Climate Myths from
Peter Glaser
(Lawyer)
What the Science Says
"Climategate showed that either EPA's investigation of the IPCC's procedures was wanting, or the IPCC had departed from those procedures."

A number of investigations have cleared scientists of any wrongdoing in the media-hyped email incident.

"Over the last century, as anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased...every relevant indicator of public health and welfare has improved dramatically around the world rather than deteriorated." Negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health & environment far outweigh any positives.
Climate Myths from
Ralph Hall
(R-TX)
What the Science Says
"Dr. Holdren's testimony was that sea level would rise 12 feet" Sea level will rise several meters if sufficient land-based ice melts.
"The leaked emails from the University of East Angeles [sic] Climate Research Unit in the November of 2009 revealed that the scientists most vocal about the effects humans were having on the climate...were not following accepted scientific practices."

A number of investigations have cleared scientists of any wrongdoing in the media-hyped email incident.

Climate Myths from
David Montgomery
(Economics Ph.D.)
What the Science Says
"even if all of the climate science was accepted as good science, we still need to worry about the bad economics and bad policy analysis that had been used to leap from conclusions - to leap to conclusions about what should be done from that basis."

The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

"it's a wholesale change in the entire world's energy system that you commit yourself to when you say we're going to go for preventing global warming" Scientific studies have determined that current technology is sufficient to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to avoid dangerous climate change.
"the costs of [CO2 limits] by itself would have far outweighed any benefit we could have gotten from those changes"

The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

"We would not notice a difference to the US to anything that was happening to us because of climate [if we introduce CO2 limits]"

If every nation agrees to limit CO2 emissions, we can achieve significant cuts on a global scale.

"clearly climate change regulations will diminish [economic productivity]"

The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

"No, [the danger posed to the economy by not acting to reduce climate change] does not [outweigh the economic costs to the country of CO2 limits]"

The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

"the Waxman-Markey [climate] bill with costs in the range of $1,000-2,000 per household, a loss of 1-2% of GDP of what it would be otherwise, and perhaps close to a doubling of electricity prices" Numerous independent economic analyses concluded that Waxman-Markey would have resulted in minimal costs to American families, less than 1% reduction of GDP, and virtually no change to electric bills.
"US emission reductions are likely to have costs far greater than their benefits"

The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

"efforts to reduce our own emissions would make almost no difference to global temperature"

If every nation agrees to limit CO2 emissions, we can achieve significant cuts on a global scale.

Climate Myths from
Richard Muller
(Professor of Physics)
What the Science Says
"Luis Alvarez taught me the fundamental scientific rule, which is you've got to show everybody your dirty laundry...My problem with the way the hockey stick was derived was that there was none of this...if you hide something...the person you are most likely to fool is yourself." Nothing was hidden in Mann's "hockey stick"; "hide the decline" refers to tree ring data which was a very minor component of the "hockey stick", and the "decline" was discussed extensively in the peer-reviewed literature
"claims that global warming has harmed the Earth so far are not scientific" Negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health & environment far outweigh any positives.
Climate Myths from
Dana Rohrabacher
(R-CA)
What the Science Says
"There was a period that we call this 'Medieval Warming Period...and it was warmer then" Globally averaged temperature now is higher than global temperature in medieval times.
"There was a period that we call this 'Medieval Warming Period', is there any suggestion that that was caused by an increased level of CO2, especially by human beings, and if not...and it was warmer then, how can we then say scientifically that today's cycle that seems to be a little bit warming anyway, was caused by CO2?" Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time; humans are now the dominant forcing.
"Do you believe the Sun and natural causes may have more to do with cycles the Earth is going through, including the current one, than mankind's use of fossil fuel?" No known natural forcing fits the fingerprints of observed warming except anthropogenic greenhouse gases.
"Do you believe the Sun and natural causes may have more to do with cycles the Earth is going through, including the current one, than mankind's use of fossil fuel?" In the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been going in opposite directions
"the phrase "case closed"...is nothing more than an attempt to shut off debate and honest discussion" That human CO2 is causing global warming is known with high certainty & confirmed by observations.

However, there was one bright spot at the hearing: the testimony from climate scientist Kerry Emanuel also testified at the event. (available on YouTube and embedded below). His closing words are particularly poignant and worth dwelling on:

"We properly revere our forefathers for making material and mortal sacrifices for our benefit. One only hopes that our descendants will hold us in similar regard."

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Comments

Comments 1 to 27:

  1. Interestingly, Judith Curry just now happened to give a much more nuanced dissection of Richard Muller's position and evidence at these hearings. Dividing the world into "true believers" and "deniers" is fraught with limitations, impedes communication, and ultimately risks generating coherent responses to the challenges of climate change.
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  2. Nicely done!

    Links to the page ought to go everywhere, especially to Reps like Ed Markey (former chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, before the November putsch) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (independent firebrand from Vermont).
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  3. Paul Krugman's 4 April column is also relevant here.
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  4. Richard Muller must be surprised to find that the deniers are treating him ... well, like a climate scientist. I thought Judith Curry had a aggrieved "Et tu, Anthony?" air about her blog.

    One can only wonder how Muller got himself into the position of taking denialism seriously.

    Andy Revkin has another take here:

    Revkin on Congressional Hearings
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  5. chriscanaris, given that Judith Curry is working on the 'BEST' project with Muller, and has a similar history of making provably false statements herself, I'm not sanguine about her 'nuanced' response.

    That said; Curry, Muller, Spencer, and a few others fall into a category of scientists who have staked out an ideologically contrary position and displayed clear bias in defending it. Yes, they are a step above true denialists like Singer in that when faced with overwhelming proof that they are incorrect they still have enough integrity to say so... but the fact remains that they're spreading outright misinformation. The two Muller statements quoted in the article above are clearly / provably false... and that makes him part of the problem. Until he starts checking 'skeptic' talking points, with the same rigor that has gone into the BEST study, before repeating them he is prostituting his scientific credentials in favor of a political agenda.

    Muller and Curry are finding out the truth behind the old adage, 'you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas'.
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  6. Wow, John Christy looks to be the first place contrarian at the hearings, most quotes featured on Skeptical Science. If I were a climate scientist who worked on the IPCC or the hockey stick, I would be steaming mad at all the sweeping accusations of misconduct and bias in a US congressional hearing.

    Why can't these folks directly address the scientists that they disagree with or show evidence of an error via a peer reviewed paper? This type of mudslinging isn't done to identify errors in other scientific disciplines, right?

    In my field of engineering, the peer review process for some IEEE societies gets a bit heated, but I have never heard of anybody being anything but civil.
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  7. Nearly an all-republican list...
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  8. Alexandre:
    "Nearly". Who was not Republican?

    It is interesting that Watts is now criticizing Muller for doing the same thing watts is doing with his site survey. whjat would Watts have said if the conclusion was different? You would think that Muller would learn from his past mistakes and stop his unsupported comments.

    Where will they publish their study: "We have done this study over and found out that Hansen was right all along".
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  9. Great effort John and Dana, very well done. Not to mention less than a week following the testimony-- so great turnaround.

    I hope that this gets a lot of coverage in the media (assuming that they have woken up from their prolonged nap on failing to expose the inaneness and logical fallacies of the "skeptics'), as it should, because it demonstrates the incredibly sad state of affairs in American politics, and that of 'skeptics" and deniers of AGW in general. Either these Republican politicians and their witnesses (likes of Christy) are incredibly ignorant, or they are knowingly deceiving and distorting and even lying at times.

    People speaking at these hearing should be required to testify under oath that they will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    As a scientist, I long ago gave up paying any attention to Curry.

    Here is hoping that this story gets legs....people need to know that the Republicans and their cohorts (e.g., Christy) are deceiving, distorting and being anti-science and obstructionist in their behaviour.
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  10. michael sweet at 01:17 AM on 6 April, 2011

    The SkS list has a lonely Democrat there:

    Collin Peterson
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  11. This list shows clearly that the GOP has become the Ministry of Magic and climate disruption is the Death Eaters circa "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

    At least Emanuel got to be Dumbledore.
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    Response: BTW, Brian, enjoyed your latest Harry Potter post.
  12. It seems to me that many of the 'sceptics' focus on the idea that "you're looking at most at a tenth of a degree [reduction in global temperature] after 100 years [if USA imposes CO2 limits]" (as per the Christy quote above).

    The real question: How much additional warming will be avoided by those CO2 emission reductions? I.e. what will the temperature be if emissions are not reduced?

    Given the long residence time for CO2, it's possible that there may not be much actual cooling in a century if even aggressive action is taken. But there'll certainly be a heck of a lot of avoided warming!

    The 'sceptic' approach to that point is kind of like saying if we stop dumping mercury into a landfill, there's not going to be much of a reduction in mercury concentrations there over the next century, so there's no reason we should stop dumping mercury in the landfill...
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  13. Bern#12: "focus on the idea that "you're looking at most at a tenth of a degree [reduction in global temperature] after 100 years"

    That's in reference to an EPA document pertaining to emissions standards for cars and light trucks (including SUVs).

    Although the alternatives have the potential to decrease GHG emissions substantially compared to the adopted standards, they do not prevent climate change. They do, however, result in reductions in the anticipated increases in CO2 concentrations, temperature, precipitation, and sea level that are otherwise projected to occur. Estimated CO2 concentrations for 2100 range from 778.4 ppm under the most stringent alternative to 783.0 ppm under the No Action Alternative. For 2100, the reduction in temperature increase, in relation to the No Action Alternative, ranges from 0.007 °C to 0.018 °C.

    Those figures were, of course, misinterpreted to smear all EPA standards as ineffective. Of course, there's no value assigned to the purpose of the standards: Increasing mpg for new cars, thereby reducing consumer demand for that increasingly expensive gasoline. Why would we want to do that?
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  14. "if we were in the US to bring our carbon emissions down to zero within 20 years, and invest all of this even though countries such as China and India and EU do not..."

    What "Science Says" matters little as compared to what it needs to do, which is come up with alternatives that attract politicians and their constituents. After that, the rest of the planet will follow suit.
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  15. 1. For me the "scary" is how very poor and not updated in the source, reference is proposed by J.C. (What the Science Says?) ... and science is (sorry - "rush"!) to forward ... (see below).

    2. ... and increasingly aggressive speeches separating researchers on "good" - who think like them - and "bad " - "miscreants" - thinking contrary.

    ad. 1. I am tracking many hours a day - the science of climate - still meet up with the statements:
    "great uncertainty", "substantial understatement".
    For example, the Sun and the MWP. Consider two random (not to be accused of tendentiousness) has recently published (and recently studied by me) publications.

    I. Medieval Climate Anomaly Vol 19 • No 1 • March 2011

    Let's see how much - in principle - there are different simulation and reconstruction for the MWP - we find this (see: Fig. 1. by: Medieval Climate Anomaly to Little Ice Age transition as simulated by current climate models, González-Rouco et al.) figure in Sc.S.?

    II. Solar-forced shifts of the Southern Hemisphere Westerlies during the Holocene, Varma et al., 2011.:

    “The Southern Hemisphere Westerly Winds (SWW) constitute an important zonal circulation that influences large-scale precipitation patterns and ocean circulation. Variations in their intensity and latitudinal position have been suggested to exert a strong influence on the CO2 budget in the Southern Ocean, thus making them a potential factor affecting the global climate.”
    “Our choice of TSI reduction of 2Wm−2 between solar maximum and solar minimum in the model experiments is consistent with recent observation and physics-based estimates (Steinhilber et al., 2009).”
    “Since the reduction in TSI is only 0.15%, the global cooling effect is small and additional feedbacks are required to induce a significant change in the westerlies.”
    “Based on our model evidence, as well as the proxy indication, we propose that the role of the sun in modifying Southern Hemisphere tropospheric circulation patterns has probably been underestimated in model simulations of past climate change. The potential role of solar forcing, along with feedbacks involving ocean and sea-ice dynamics, may further complicate the prediction of future SWW shifts.”

    The “underestimation"- how much?

    What we do not know about solar “teleconnections”, “feedbacks” and “lags”?

    ad. 2. Do you - to this - modestly selected - as above - aggressive proponents of AGW views - insulting democratically elected politicians and those who think differently - the applicants - scientists (often with considerable achievements), presented above - have any sense?
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  16. @ RSVP-Science & Technologists have actually done a *fantastic* job in producing alternatives to our currently wasteful use of carbon-rich fuels. The problem is that very rich & powerful lobby groups have done their level best to prevent *our* elected representatives from acting to put these alternatives in place-the same vested interests who fund the Denial Industry.
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  17. "Do you - to this - modestly selected - as above - aggressive proponents of AGW views - insulting democratically elected politicians and those who think differently - the applicants - scientists (often with considerable achievements), presented above - have any sense?"

    Arkadiusz-if a politician-elected or not-continues to repeat a demonstrably *false* position, then they deserve to be denigrated in the harshest way possible-if only for the benefit of those foolish enough to keep electing such imbeciles. Just because people like yourself would prefer to keep representatives in power who will advance the interests of your beloved fossil fuel industry, doesn't mean the rest of us have to stand by & let it happen without a fight.
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  18. #Marcus
    „... your beloved fossil fuel industry ...”

    I do not even know how - once again - you're wrong. In Europe, absolutely all the great fuel companies "battle" with the AGW. I am their enemy.

    BP Amoco i Royal Dutch Shell. Both companies have joined the International Climate Change Partnership, which unites over 40 companies.
    World Resources Institute in Washington in the action "Safe climate, healthy business" - "works" with BP Amoco, General Motors and Monsanto.

    UNIDO :
    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that carbon capture and storage, trapping the carbon dioxide before it escapes from the smokestack and pumping it underground, will likely be a key technology solution for mitigating climate change, along with a variety of other options. Statoil is an international energy company and is currently involved in three large CCS projects, one of which is the Sleipner platform field in the North Sea. There, CO2 is prevented from seeping into the atmosphere by an 800 meter thick cap rock above a storage location. Yumkella and Special Adviser to the Director-General Ole Lundby were able to visit the Sleipner platform to receive in-depth information on the CCS storage facility. “If we're going to continue to use coal we're going to have to have some way of reducing the carbon dioxide." Lundby says.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that carbon capture and storage, trapping the carbon dioxide before it escapes from the smokestack and pumping it underground, will likely be a key technology solution for mitigating climate change, along with a variety of other options. Statoil's President and CEO, Helge Lund, believes CCS will be a central CO2 mitigation tool. “We need pioneers from industry, governments, researchers, and environmental NGOs to explore this path. Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time and finding sustainable solutions is a matter of urgency.” Lund says.”

    Using CCS "ecologically" pumping oil?

    And such a science - a research project: “Tracing the Greenhouse- Icehouse Transition” (prof Dr. Henk Brinkhuis) is funded by Statoil-Hydro.

    Big companies can afford it, a small rather not ...

    Monopolization of the market - using AGW? - Good idea ...
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  19. "BP Amoco i Royal Dutch Shell. Both companies have joined the International Climate Change Partnership, which unites over 40 companies.
    World Resources Institute in Washington in the action "Safe climate, healthy business" - "works" with BP Amoco, General Motors and Monsanto."

    Arkadiusz-Clearly you're unfamiliar with a little thing called Public Relations. Its in the best interests of the fossil fuel industry to *appear* like it cares about climate change-albeit by funding "strategies" that won't result in reduced use of their products-whilst pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into "Think Tanks", "Studies" & politicians that all seek to cast doubt on the very real danger of climate change & the need to adopt *real* strategies for reducing fossil fuel use. I'm guessing your skepticism is incredibly selective.
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  20. "trapping the carbon dioxide before it escapes from the smokestack and pumping it underground, will likely be a key technology solution for mitigating climate change"

    Am I the only person on the planet who thinks this idea is crazy?

    The burning of fossil fuels puts CO2 in the atmosphere which causes global warming.

    In order to counter global warming we sequester CO2, so we must burn even more fossil fuels to provide the surplus energy needed to sequester CO2.

    When we sequester CO2 we sequester the oxygen that we used to burn the fuel.

    The most efficient way to sequester carbon is to split it from atmospheric CO2 and convert it into a rock-like substance which can lie safely under the ground for millions of years.

    I am applying for a patent on this rock-like substance. I shall be calling it coalTM.
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  21. Logicman. Sequestering of CO2 is-in my opinion-a good way to reduce the CO2 emissions of existing sources of fossil fuel power, but *geo* sequestration is as totally crazy as you claim. The only sensible way to sequester CO2 is *biologically*. There are several species of algae & bacteria which are completely capable of soaking up large quantities of CO2 &-unlike CCS-produce a product that we can actually *use*, rather than a by-product that needs to be disposed of. In particular, algae can be gasified & burned to make electricity (thus effectively producing several MW-h of electricity from the same tonne of CO2) & both algae & bacteria can be used to generate a variety of bio-fuels.
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  22. Arkadiusz Semczyszak wrote : "2. ... and increasingly aggressive speeches separating researchers on "good" - who think like them - and "bad " - "miscreants" - thinking contrary."


    I think you are projecting here, unless you can give examples of these "aggressive speeches".
    You are also well into wishful thinking if you believe that so-called "miscreants" are just "thinking contrary" - unless you mean "thinking contrary" to be denial, disinformation and obfuscation ? In that case, you would be right.
    Although I wouldn't call them "miscreants" (who would ?) - how about deniers or so-called skeptics.

    Finally good researchers are those who put forward scientific fact. In the field of AGW, those just happen to be in agreement with the facts of AGW. Nothing strange about that, is there ?
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  23. Marcus 16
    I have to disagree. Starting with Mr. Watt way back when, science got us into this mess, and is the only hope for getting us out. This is not the fault of politicians or the rich. The rich will surely fund anything that is profitable, and if the alternatives cant compete in this way, it is because science hasnt done enough to make it so.
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  24. I am struck by the multiple references to the "1970s Global Cooling" myth. It really resonates somehow with these people. It's wrong on so many levels! But I'd like to pick on one aspect that I don't think has been thoroughly discussed here before.

    Sure Peterson, Connolley, & Fleck found 42 of 68 papers from "Global Cooling" literature predicted warming vs only 10 predicting cooling. But how did they come to their conclusions? Which were merely extrapolations of short term statistical trends? Which were based on physical models of the climate system? I have a strong suspicion that this comparison would show models predicting warming.

    What models would predict cooling? Given the uncertainties in aerosol forcing more than 30 years later, I can't imagine very strong confidence back then. I suspect the predictions of cooling were based primarily on either natural caused cooling (orbital forcing) or other natural cycling (phases of oceanic state) or continuing of recent trends. In 2011, ocean cycles and recent trends are the two things still faithfully put forward by 'skeptics' for predicting the future.

    Which approach was better 30 years ago? The physical models that they so distrust!
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  25. Steve L - I've got a post to be published tomorrow which examines the '70s cooling myth, including the reasoning behind one specific cooling prediction (probably the most famous one, by Rasool and Schneider). Stay tuned.
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  26. Thanks Dana. I look forward to seeing it. But I couldn't wait and I looked up Rasool and Schneider -- darn it, that's a paper that contradicts my premise! Their projections ARE based on aerosol amounts. Now I'm curious about the others.... But I still look forward to your summary of Rasool and Schneider. Cheers.
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  27. @RSVP. Just shows how little you know. Fossil fuels were *massively* expensive back in the 19th & early 20th century, & were only made affordable by a massive injection of capital from both the public & private sectors. Even so, it still took close to a century for the price of fossil fuel energy to reach the levels we enjoy today. Yet suggest a similar approach to renewable energy, & the politicians & their rich puppeteers tell us that renewable energy should have to compete in an "open market place", all whilst nuclear & fossil fuels *continue* to enjoy substantial subsidies from the tax payer. So *no* I don't accept that science is to blame-its the politicians & the fossil fuel lobby who're doing there level best to prevent renewable energy from being cost-competitive.
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