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Discussion > Do you remember "An Inconvenient Truth"

And what is preventing you from providing links?

So you are now alleging that Gore's interest in GIM earned him hundreds of millions from carbon trading activity.


Jul 21, 2016 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke. So your definition of civilization must include Sydney and New York: Sydney only became something other than a penal colony since the mid Nineteenth century, and New York City since the mid 1600s. So the wonders of Zimbabwe, Mali, Greece, Rome, upper and lower Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Indus valley, Inca and Aztec empires were not civilized. Wonderful. No wonder you have no understanding of the Medieval.Warm Period. Did you ever do history? Or does it only go back to the formulation of the hockey stick?

I ignored Bangladesh (formed in 1970?), thinking you were "aving a laff".

Jul 21, 2016 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK


Those were examples, not a definition.


Jul 21, 2016 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke


Thank you for your response, and for your latest link. Leaving aside the moot point as to whether "Metering & Smart Energy International" is as trusted and as independent as its website claims, the story you link to is conditional and heavily caveated that I wonder you can link to it with a straight face. "China is looking to build" (not "has built" or "is going to build"). "...will seek to connect" (not "will connect"). "The country hopes to connect wind farms in the Arctic Circle with solar farms located on the equator " (not "will connect"). "if renewable sources of energy, like solar and wind, are ever going to become a practical alternative to burning dirty fossil fuels” ("if" not "when" or "will"). "if renewable energy generation increases at an annual rate of 12.4% globally every year, renewable energy could account for 80% of the world’s total energy consumption by 2050" ("if" and "could" rather than "when" and "will"). "China is reported to be working on some other daring ideas to generate additional renewable energy" ("China is reported to be", not "China is"). "Subsequently, the country hopes to be providing energy to its islands in the South China Sea via a fleet of floating nuclear power plants" ("hopes to be" rather than "will"). Meaningless optimistic drivel, that shouldn't have been seriously reported, and I'm disappointed that someone as intelligent as you even begins to take it seriously. Dream on!

"The Straw Men: that climate policy will destroy industry and implies a reliance on unreliable energy. Every cost-benefit analysis ever published shows that mitigation and adaptation are less costly than doing nothing, the difference being several percentage points of global GDP, and there are ways, if we engage in a little joined-up thinking, of mitigating the intermittency problem in some renewables."

I assume you live in the UK, so again I am surprised you can say this with a straight face. The reality of the situation is all around us. Links please.

"The fallacy: that AGW is falsified if modern temperatures are not unprecedented." I didn't say that AGW is falsified if modern temperatures are not unprecedented, but if they are not unprecedented in the last 1,400 years (on a planet that is 4.5bn years old) then it implies that the planet is capable of reaching on its own temperatures that the alarmists find alarming; and it also implies that current temperatures are not unusual. So, even if AGW is true, it's not likely to be CAGW, and what's the problem? Why are we wasting all this money and destroying what was a reasonably successful and cheap and reliable energy-generating infrastructure (and at the same time destroying jobs in the UK and exporting them to places like China, whose CO2 emissions can't be measured with a straight face)?

And you still haven't commented on my post at 2,28pm yesterday:

"Also, while it seems to be disarmingly honest, the comment on the website that: " Elevated CO2 concentrations are evident over the region of biomass burning in central Africa, and over land masses in the northern latitudes, where the plant life has become dormant in autumn and has ceased to absorb CO2. The limits on OCO-2 observations at high latitudes to the north and south are imposed by the required Sun angle for data acquisition" suggests serious limitations which, while not making the exercise pointless, do significantly reduce its utility in my view."

If I'm not around on the site much in the next few days, it's not because I'm ignoring you or ducking any issues you raise - it's because I'm a bit busy installing a log burner, so that I can have some reliable energy generation in the house this coming winter (yes, really).

Jul 21, 2016 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

“Climate forcing of this century under BAU would dwarf natural forcings of the past million years…”
You really do live in cloud-cuckoo-land, don’t you, PC? Do the next-to-nothing increase over the past 20 years or the 1 – 1.5°C (depending upon your source) increase over the past 200 years or the approx. 2°C decrease over the past 2,000 years (oops, scratch that one!) exceed any of the end of glaciation rises in pre-history? As the indications are growing that the rise we have been enjoying is soon to become a decline, perhaps if – and another big, big, BIG IF – man-made emissions are causing what is claimed (with nary a shred of evidence, but… hey-ho…), then we should be glad of that as it protects us from another descent into an ice age, mini or otherwise.

Jul 21, 2016 at 2:57 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Pc. So what's your definition of civilization then? I proffered mine and you dismissed Jericho as a pile of mud huts, so exhibiting your ignorance.

I'm sure those living in the High Alps would not have agreed with you about them living during a stable climate when the glaciers advanced over their mountain passes, mines, fields and villages at the beginning of the LIA. But then, perhaps civilization had not begun (depending on your and Hanson's definition) or perhaps the LIA is a myth put about by sceptics determined to oppose the true faith.

You seem to have given up discussing sea level changes in the Maldives and Western Australia. Shall I offer bets on how long it will take for you to give up arguing that civilization developed during a stable climate?

Jul 21, 2016 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

 Do the next-to-nothing increase over the past 20 years or the 1 – 1.5°C (depending upon your source) increase over the past 200 years exceed any of the end of glaciation rises in pre-history?

In magnitude, no but then a glacial/interglacial transition takes thousands, not hundreds of years. In rate, yes, by at least an order of magnitude.

. A different matter is the current rate of warming. Are more rapid global climate changes recorded in proxy data? The largest temperature changes of the past million years are the glacial cycles, during which the global mean temperature changed by 4°C to 7°C between ice ages and warm interglacial periods (local changes were much larger, for example near the continental ice sheets). However, the data indicate that the global warming at the end of an ice age was a gradual process taking about 5,000 years. It is thus clear that the current rate of global climate change is much more rapid and very unusual in the context of past changes. The much-discussed abrupt climate shifts during glacial times are not counter-examples, since they were probably due to changes in ocean heat transport, which would be unlikely to affect the global mean temperature. Further back in time, beyond ice core data, the time resolution of sediment cores and other archives does not resolve changes as rapid as the present warming. Hence, although large climate changes have occurred in the past, there is no evidence that these took place at a faster rate than present warming. If projections of approximately 5°C warming in this century (the upper end of the range) are realised, then the Earth will have experienced about the same amount of global mean warming as it did at the end of the last ice age; there is no evidence that this rate of possible future global change was matched by any comparable global temperature increase of the last 50 million years.

FAQ 6.2

Jul 21, 2016 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

PC. Don't ever repeat your disparaging comments about mud buildings in Mali, or even Santa Fe (NM)!!

Jul 21, 2016 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

The first permanent settlement on the site of Jericho developed near the Ein es-Sultan spring between 10,000 and 9000 BCE.[23][24] As the world warmed up, a new culture based on agriculture and sedentary dwelling emerged, which archaeologists have termed "Pre-Pottery Neolithic A" (abbreviated as PPNA). PPNA villages are characterized by small circular dwellings, burial of the dead under the floor of buildings, reliance on hunting wild game, the cultivation of wild or domestic cereals, and no use of pottery yet. At Jericho, circular dwellings were built of clay and straw bricks left to dry in the sun, which were plastered together with a mud mortar. Each house measured about 5 metres (16 ft) across, and was roofed with mud-smeared brush. Hearths were located within and outside the homes.[25]
By about 9400 BCE the town had grown to more than 70 modest dwellings

But I feel we're drifting from Hansen's point, which is that civilisation evolved and developed and hence is adapted to the Holocene climate, the development and population growth being concentrated in the latter few centuries.

Jul 21, 2016 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke Oh so now you are claiming to understand the mind of Hansen, that civilization evolved and adapted to the Holocene climate but only evolved over the past few centuries. Immediate questions come to mind

1. -What is the Holocene climate? The Optimum? The depths of the LIA?
2. -Are you perhaps confusing civilization with the industrial revolution? If you are then you surely didn't watch Ken Clark's series Civilization or disagree with its basic premise.
3. -Are you arguing that earlier empires were less developed. You will find that the institutions, philosophies and procedures for humans living together were developed by the ancient civilizations.

Hansen's comment that civilizations developed in a STABLE climate is absolute balderdash. Civilizations began and faltered in different climates across the globe, in different climates at different times at the same locale, and have withstood changing climate. The only way Hansen's comment makes any sense is if he was saying civilization did not develop during glacial conditions. So true!

Jul 21, 2016 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK


The Chinese proposal was just an example of the kind of joined-up thinking I was talking about. With High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology it is possible to transmit electricity on a continental scale which enables us to deal with intermittency: the wind is always blowing somewhere. Others have proposed a grid covering Europe and North Africa linking Icelandic geothermal, Scandanavian hydro, UK wind and tidal and African concentrated solar. Yes it is ambitious in scale but no more so than extracting fossilised liquid plant and animal remains from below the ocean. Check out the Desertec project.:

As to cost-benefit the Strern review found that

The Stern Review's main conclusion is that the benefits of strong, early action on climate change far outweigh the costs of not acting.[3] The Review points to the potential impacts of climate change on water resources, food production, health, and the environment[clarification needed]. According to the Review, without action, the overall costs of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global gross domestic product (GDP) each year, now and forever. Including a wider range of risks and impacts could increase this to 20% of GDP or more, also indefinitely.

The Garnaud report for Australasia came to similar conclusions. William Nordhaus is arguably the most experienced climate economist and he argues

"My research shows that there are indeed substantial net benefits from acting now rather than waiting fifty years. A look at Table 5-1 in my study A Question of Balance (2008) shows that the cost of waiting fifty years to begin reducingCO2 emissions is $2.3 trillion in 2005 prices. If we bring that number to today’s economy and prices, the loss from waiting is $4.1 trillion. Wars have been started over smaller sums.

You could also look at the work of Richard Tol and Gary Yohe.

Jul 21, 2016 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Unstable climate and more severe weather are the mark of transitions between interglacial and glacial conditions. Were we really suffering either of those it would be a mark of coming cooling rather than a mark of man's disrupting either.

So dangerous the alarmist mantra; it leads foolishly into hazard.

Jul 21, 2016 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Phil Clarke, re your comment 'the wind is always blowing somewhere'

Have you any idea of the scale of such an undertaking?

Lets say you wanted the UK to be totally wind powered and to use your above proposal, that France was to do the same and we agreed to cross feed power between both countries.

The would mean that the 100% of UK windmills (perhaps 7,500 x 8GW each) would need to be doubled so that we could supply France. France would have to double its installation its 7,500 turbines. Then we need cross channel inter-connectors to route the power from UK to France or back. The current connector is 2GW so we would need 30 of these.

Also the internal grid would need seriously to be beefed up as all of the power would be sent too and received from these inter-connectors, on each side of the channel.

I do not have to hand the costs of state of the art 8MW turbines but I expect they are not cheap.

Whole project cost would be immense.

One giant wind turbine (7,500 of them) located in windy-ish would blight the whole country. (IMHO).

And then you may get both France and the UK becalmed or subjected to a massive storm - what then? no electricity?

Jul 21, 2016 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Golf Charlie Jul 18, 2016 at 9:50 PM:
"The rush not-to sign the Paris climate agreement is on, and the BBC has failed to mention what a cold wet summer it has been so far, hoping that no one has noticed."

"June 2016:
The provisional UK mean temperature was 13.9 °C, which is 0.9 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average. "

Jul 21, 2016 at 8:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterToneb

… the wind is always blowing somewhere.
But electricity is always wanted everywhere! And your solution is? Bigger doses of pixie dust, maybe? Or the mining of unicorn farts in Cloud Cuckoo Land? Perhaps the harvesting of dreams in Never-Never Land.

Jul 21, 2016 at 8:52 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Toneb, why don't Met Office records go back to 1976 when we had a very hot dry summer? It has not been a warm summer in Hampshire. I don't find Met Office records reliable anymore, which is a shame as their 5 day forecasts are so much better than about 20 years ago when they still thought Medium Range Weather Forecasts were worth promoting.

Jul 21, 2016 at 11:49 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phil Clarke:

"In magnitude, no but then a glacial/interglacial transition takes thousands, not hundreds of years. In rate, yes, by at least an order of magnitude."

Comparing trends in today's high resolution data with much lower resolution historic/proxy data is pretty fraught. The long term average slope of a sine curve is 0; short term it can be anything between -1 and 1.

Then there's the question of whether the variously derived values we have for "global mean temperature" can be meaningfully compared.

Jul 22, 2016 at 2:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Swan


Thanks, as always, for responding. I think the others have responded to your post more or less as I would have done had I been online at the time, so I'll dip out now, as I'm off my the log burner installation for the immediate future.


Jul 22, 2016 at 8:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson


Nobody is proposing a wind-only 2-country solution.That would be nuts.


Jul 22, 2016 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke


The 2 wind only country was just an example. The more countries included, the more ridiculous the figures become. Especially the electrical transport costs.

Assume each country has its own set of turbines that can supply its own needs and a few other countries as well. Then to get that surplus electricity in times of need to ANY other country in the group would be horrific.

It does not make, even green economic sense, which as we know is pretty flexible.

Jul 22, 2016 at 3:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Heh, Phil forgets about 'An Inconvenient Truth'. Was the subject inconvenient?

Removing significant amounts of energy from the wind will change the weather and climate downwind, damaging, no doubt, existing societies. We are all downwind.

Jul 27, 2016 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim