September 09, 2011
We Can All Be Like Texas!
From Fort Worth Star Telegram:
As the Texas Forest Service battles what may be the state's most destructive wildfire outbreak ever, state lawmakers are facing criticism that they have has taken a penny-wise-pound-foolish approach to funding the agency.
Texas is one of the few states that rely primarily on volunteer fire departments to protect rural areas from wildfires. About 330 firefighters with the forest service traditionally serve as a second tier of defense when such fires get larger than the local department can handle.
The Legislature cut the agency's funding this year to $83 million from $117 million, according to Robby DeWitt, the forest service's associate finance director.
Chris Barron, executive director of the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas, said: "It's very frustrating that they don't have the proper tools and resources to fight these fires. If fire departments had enough funding, if the forest service had enough funding, we wouldn't be in this predicament over each and every year."
The issue is drawing more attention in part because of the sheer scope of the Central Texas wildfire, which has destroyed more than 1,500 homes and killed at least two people. There's also a new political component as critics charge that the budget cuts are proof that the fiscal restraint Gov. Rick Perry is touting on the presidential campaign trail comes at a price.
Perry's office did not respond to a request for comment Thursday. Perry has previously said that his push this year to preserve billions in the rainy day fund was partly in case of a natural disaster. FEMA has begun approving requests for aid.
I'd say since some policymakers believe anthropogenic global warming is apparently unsettled science (not the scientists though ), and adjustment to changed weather  better than dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, cuts in NOAA and the weather service  would be a good place to find additional budgetary savings at the Federal level. [That's sarcasm, for those who have difficulty detecting it.]
Posted by Menzie Chinn at September 9, 2011 04:25 PMdigg this | reddit
Don't mess with Texas!
Posted by: river at September 9, 2011 06:15 PM
Hey, be careful. Your comments may well be almost treasonous.
Posted by: Charles N. Steele at September 9, 2011 06:30 PM
Prof. Chinn is angling for a spot on MSNBC.
Posted by: colonelmoore at September 9, 2011 06:49 PM
The Texas Forest Service is a Ponzi scheme!
Posted by: joe at September 9, 2011 11:45 PM
40% of Texas state revenues come from the oil and natural gas industries. Eliminate that and the Texas "miracle" becomes the Texas "disaster." Democrats should all pray that Perry becomes the Republican nominee.
Posted by: Anonymous at September 10, 2011 05:02 AM
Sigh, staying current in the settled/unsettled ?science? is critical to understanding how inaccurate is his AGW contention. In the past several weeks the world of climatology has exploded with two recent reports.
1) CERN’s CLOUD experiment provides unprecedented insight into cloud formation Here: http://press.web.cern.ch/press/pressreleases/Releases2011/PR15.11E.html
2) Potential Biases in Feedback Diagnosis from Observational Data: A Simple
Model Demonstration Here: http://www.drroyspencer.com/Spencer-and-Braswell-08.pdf
3) On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance (SP11) Here: http://www.mdpi.com/search/?q=on+the+misdiagnosis+of+surface+temperature&s_journal=remotesensing&s_volume=&s_authors=&s_section=0&s_issue=&s_article_type=0&s_special_issue=0&s_page=&s_search=Search
A war was generated by the latest SP11 paper which resulted in the the editor of the journal publishing SP11 resigned (or was forced out) and in near record time, ~ six weeks, a reply was written by Dessler and accepted in
Geophysical Research Letters.
The latest on the Dessler/
spencer kerfuffle, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: My Initial Comments on the New Dessler 2011 Study, can be found here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/07/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-my-initial-comments-on-the-new-dessler-2011-study/
Using specific short term weather event to support AGW is a slippery slope for the catastrophic prediction community. As one claim is released a counter claim showing that the previous claim was not outside the extreme.
Using short term examples opens up that as a way to counter the AGW catastrophism. For instance, since the 1998 super el Nino, temperatures have been essentially flat, ocean heat content has fallen, ocean rise has slowed or even retreated (depending on studies used), and temperatures have digressed from CO2 levels.
Finally, the arguments actually do not revolve around the impact of man on climate, but on the catastrophic assertions of those impacts. The above cited issues, actually show there is a very active movement trying to add knowledge, and some of that knowledge supports an increase in natural versus man-made climate impacts. But, citing X% believe there is AGW is meaningless. Most believe that! Just not the catastrophism so associated.
Posted by: CoRev at September 10, 2011 05:42 AM
Based on historical voting patterns--sitting presidents running for reelection during periods of high unemployment--it seems quite likely that the GOP nominee will "win" in 2012, followed I suspect by the Democratic nominee "winning" in 2016, as the voters turn against sitting presidents on a four year cycle.
Regarding "winning," as Tom Brokaw said of the 2008 election, "The winner should have demanded an immediate recount."
The fundamental problem that I see is something that virtually no one is focusing on--an ongoing decline in the supply of Global Net Oil Exports (GNE) and especially an ongoing decline in the supply of Available Net Exports (ANE, which I define as GNE less Chindia's combined net imports).
While politicians debate the best way to maintain BAU, the reality is that we are in all likelihood facing an accelerating rate of decline in the supply of liquid fuels that allow us to maintain BAU.
Egypt, a classic case of rapid net-export decline and a look at global net exports
“Consider the first 15 minutes after the Titanic hit the iceberg versus the last 15 minutes before the ship sank. In the first 15 minutes, only a handful of people knew that ship would sink, but that did not mean that the ship was not sinking. In the last 15 minutes, it was readily apparent to everyone that the ship was sinking, but by then it was far too late to try to get to a lifeboat.”
Posted by: Jeffrey J. Brown at September 10, 2011 05:52 AM
Perry is Bush on steroids.
Posted by: spencer at September 10, 2011 06:33 AM
Sarcasm, or not, the combination of these references shows Menzie to be a "believer." But in what?
AGW, Climate Change, Global Warming are extraordinarily wide ranging subjects. So does he believe in urban Heat Islands? Or Agriculture's impacts on forestation and local wide life? Or that Green House Gases (GHGs), including CO2 is rising and that some of that rise is due to man's burning of fossil fuels? Or does he believe that the earth's average temperature is rising?
I would think he and his 98% of scientists also believe. As do the preponderance of adults. Now what?
His second reference is to "weather" and not climate. So????
He then links CO2 levels to NOAA budgets. A rather strange relationship to say the least, and a huge leap of faith. Faith that CO2 is the sole, or at the very least primary drivers to rising global temperatures.
Really?!? The Sun has no bearing? Or as I showed in the prior comment, clouds (and other forms) of the paramount GHG, H2O? And currents, air and sea?
We already know that weather is substantially impacted by currents. Without the Sun there is little or no heat, let alone heating changes. Don't forget nights. And clouds are clearly a factor in the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth's surface.
The issues revolve around the accuracy of the climate models, and they are the central issue in the current SB11 versus Dessler (and Trenberth) discussions.
So, from Menzie's references I must assume he believes in the catastrophism associated with AGW. If so, show us the geological evidence, as we have seen many times higher levels of CO2 on the planet, and it still survived well. Indeed some of those high CO2 periods were the most productive.
Please define your AGW argument. Without sarcasm define how Perry's beliefs that CO2 is not the sole, or at the very least primary drivers to rising global temperatures are not supported?
Posted by: CoRev at September 10, 2011 06:57 AM
Why can't we all be like Canada?
I once lived in Texas for a year....if you could call that living. The good news is that there's no income tax. The bad news is that it shows. Corrupt law enforcement; foul air that burns your nostrils; chronic problems with unsafe food even in the higher end grocery stores; wild drivers navigating an insanely designed highway system (note: if you're rich sometimes there are alternative highways you can use for a stiff toll...that way you don't have to deal with the common rabble); and local political ads that ought to come with an "adult content/graphic violence" warning.
My politically embarrassed friends in Alabama have a saying: "Thank God for Mississippi." I wonder if the folks in Mississippi have a similar saying about Texas.
Is it too late to reconsider Gov. Perry's talk about secession?
Posted by: 2slugbaits at September 10, 2011 07:05 AM
CoRev I read Menzie's piece a couple of times and nowhere did he say that CO2 was the sole (your emphasis) cause of global warming. And the reason Menzie referred to "weather" rather than "climate" is because the article he linked to was specifically talking about the unusually high number of severe "weather" events this year.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at September 10, 2011 10:08 AM
2slugbaits The good news is that there's no income tax. The bad news is that it shows.
Moved to Houston from the Bay Area about 10 years ago and realized that after about 2 days. People who send their kids to public schools who can afford to send them to private are literally suspected of child abuse.
Posted by: joe at September 10, 2011 11:21 AM
Global warming is a quite diverse topic, as CoRev states.
For example, James Hansen of NASA argues that CO2 is the prime driver of temperature, dominating all others. If true, then temperature should have risen in the last ten years, when CO2 emissions soared. But it hasn't.
Others argue that CO2 is important, but that other factors (aerosols, various decadal oscillations, solar factors) can suppress the CO2 signal for some time. Thus, some AGW proponents have argued for a pause in the warming, to be recovered in the next decade.
Even within the AGW camp, there are material disagreements about quite fundamental issues.
And, of course, as Spencer and Braswell show, satellite data regarding climate sensitivity diverge materially from those predicted by the various climate models.
Climate is a complex topic, about which our ignorance is greater than our knowledge. Consensus may reflect the balance of opinion; it does not reflect the state of the science itself.
Posted by: Steven Kopits at September 10, 2011 12:57 PM
As for Texas. Perry can argue, "You on the coasts can spend lots of money educating your youth poorly, and when they're unemployed, we'll give 'em jobs!"
But if we want a comparison, let's take lefty California. California has everything over Texas. It truly is the Golden State. Now how you lift the California unemployment rate to be 4 percentage points higher than Texas--well, that takes some special skill.
And of course, California is highly dependent on electricity imports. So one technician working on a substation (with a little help) can take down power to five million people.
Nor are wildfires exclusive to Texas. Fires have roasted plenty of California, too. Just not this year.
So Texas is not a pretty place. But it provides jobs, including for some of us living on the leafy streets of Princeton.
Posted by: Steven Kopits at September 10, 2011 01:21 PM
On infrastructure spending.
I was flying to Houston the other day, and I happened to be sitting next to an outside electrical technician based on Arizona, but working to restore power in Vermont and Massachusetts.
Naturally, I couldn't resist asking about the economics of it all.
This guy, is his mid-30's, belongs to a union in Arizona, where he makes $30 / hour, working 10 hours per day ("his butt off") for the local utility. But he also works out of state, sometimes for power emergencies, as we saw in the Northeast recently.
In Massachusetts, he received $84 per day, 16 hour days, of which some was work, and some was idle. He made $12,000 in two weeks.
He has also worked in California (non-emergency work), where he made $75 per hour, and stated, "We showed up at 7:30, but then went to a cafe and didn't really start work until 9:30, and then we worked until 2:30, because we were allowed to go home early to avoid the traffic, but we went instead to the beach and hung out drinking beers."
If you do the math, on a per-hour of actual work basis, this guy's time costs $30/hour in Arizona and $135/hour in California, the difference being that Arizona is a right-to-work state. These kind of differentials influence the economics of projects that can be reasonably undertaken.
Posted by: Steven Kopits at September 10, 2011 01:35 PM
Y'all need to fill up all them ten-gallon stetsons with all that extra awl and douse them fars.
Y'all could then pump more awl at a higher price, put a heap more carbon in the air, and prove to them red-state, God-hatin', tofu-eatin' commies with their high unemployment and high-bred vehicles that y'all in Tejas don't give a armadilla's BE-hind about no global warmin' and no recession.
If'n I was Rick Perry, I'd drive my Humvee plumb up to Obummer's White House pullin' behind a couple awl tankers jes to prove the point, if y'all know whatta mean.
Drill, y'all, drill! And dontcha let no commie politicians tell ya ya cain't.
Posted by: Bruce at September 10, 2011 03:02 PM
Mr. commie slugbait, them's fightin' words, son. I don't wanna ever catch ya sniffin' 'round my neck of the Tejas wasteland, 'cuz I got me two mean huntin' dogs and two barrels of fun waitin' fer yer backside.
And if that ain't fun enuf fer ya, I gotta a passel a yung'uns and cuzins who'll cover my aim if'n I miss.
Posted by: Rick Perry's Brother at September 10, 2011 03:11 PM
"Perry is Bush on steroids."
Buffett has already bought railroad stocks, stocks doing always good in times of war.
Posted by: Johannes at September 11, 2011 02:57 AM
We are dealing with greenhouse gas emissions by investing in innovative companies like Solyndra.
[Now that's sarcasm...]
Posted by: Babinich at September 11, 2011 03:37 AM
I am forever amazed at fields which heavy in mathematics use, that fail to do math. To assign an alarming/catastrophic value and impact to warming, and associating that warming to CO2 is a math failure. The worst example is the impacts of the supposed ameliorating legislation proposed.
Australia, the latest country to appear ready to pass an Cap & Trade CO2 limiting law, will have zero (actually 3-4 zeroes after the decimal) impact on global climate. At what cost?
The US impact if one was implemented would have a slightly higher (one less zero) impact on Global temperatures. But, it's so much easier and emotionally fulfilling to emote than actually do some simple analysis and arithmetic.
Now, if Menzie wanted to do us all a service he could calculate the amount of warming CO2, cooling aerosols, and impact still TBD soot are being placed in the atmosphere from those Texas fires. He then could make a recommendation how best to mitigate.
Somehow his linkage of GHGs and weather (and adjustment to changed weather  better than dealing with greenhouse gas emissions) would be interesting to behold. Short term climate mitigation is weather mitigation. How well have we performed there?
Posted by: CoRev at September 11, 2011 06:58 AM
Steven, the numbers don't make sense.
$30 per hour in AZ for 10 hours a day would come out to $78k a year. That's higher than the average lineman's pay for Verizon or the other big telephone companies. Top end lineman pay is about that, but those aren't as much workers as supers.
If you cut the hours to 8, that's actually about the average for line pay. The CA numbers don't make any sense. The NE numbers I know are wrong.
But, there is a lesson in there, though not the one you try to make. It isn't that you can't trust crap told to you in passing but that a lineman may - repeat, may - be able to afford more at that salary level in a lower cost housing state like AZ. Other costs of living are also somewhat lower, but the big one is housing. This applies mostly to guys moving in, not to guys who have places. A guy who has a place would be better off in NE because the real estate would be worth more.
Posted by: jonathan at September 11, 2011 07:28 AM
Unfortunately, I suspect that Texas may be something of a best case scenario for most states, as the country is forced to confront the simple mathematical fact that we cannot afford our current level of government spending.
My "Thelma & Louise" metaphor:
The OECD “Thelma & Louise” Race to the Edge of the Cliff
“Thelma and Louise” is an American movie that ends with the two main characters committing suicide by driving off the edge of a cliff. I’ve often thought that this cinematic moment is an appropriate symbol for the actions of many developed OECD countries that are in effect borrowing money to maintain or increase current consumption. The central problem with this approach is that as my frequent co-author, Samuel Foucher, and I have repeatedly discussed, the supply of global net oil exports has been flat to declining since 2005, with “Chindia” so far consuming an ever greater share of what is (net) exported globally. Chindia’s combined net oil imports, as a percentage of global net exports, rose from 11.2% in 2005 to 17.6% in 2010.
At precisely the point in time that developed countries should be taking steps to discourage consumption, many OECD countries, especially the US, are doing the exact opposite, by effectively encouraging consumption. Therefore, the actions by many OECD countries aimed at encouraging consumption in the face of declining available global net oil exports can be seen as the OECD “Thelma & Louise” Race to the Edge of the Cliff. I suppose that the “winner” could be viewed as the first country that can no longer borrow enough money, at affordable rates, to maintain their current lifestyle. So, based on this metric, Greece would appear to be currently in the lead, with many other countries not far behind them.
Posted by: Jeffrey J. Brown at September 11, 2011 07:49 AM
Professor Chinn is declares himself a proponent of science but his comments stray far from science. First, he makes reference to subjects in which he is no expert at all and is no more qualified to opine on than Rick Perry. A PhD and tenured professorship in Economics has nothing to do with climate science. Second, his conclusions are scientifically unsound, claiming that a particular wildfire and drought is the result of AGW. It is like saying that the descent of Ted Kaczynski into violent environmentalist anarchy was the result of his parents' Ivy League educations. One would need a much larger statistical sample to even prove correlation, much less causation.
I suspect that Prof. Chinn knows this (as anyone getting an advanced degree in an emperical field would) but believes that defeating Rick Perry is the work of the angels, so that the ends justify the means. But it does reduce his credibility among all but camp followers. And his snide, superior attitude does little for the cause that he has committed to.
Posted by: colonelmoore at September 11, 2011 09:08 AM
Jeffrey: ... as the country is forced to confront the simple mathematical fact that we cannot afford our current level of government spending.
Please explain your "simple mathematical fact." It seems neither simple nor mathematical nor factual. It appears to be just a brainless political slogan.
Posted by: Joseph at September 11, 2011 09:15 AM
Some amount of the human suffering can also be attributed to Texas' philosophy of being a "low regulation" state. Fire fighter stories coming out of Bastrop County describe houses with overhanging trees, uncut brush, thick layers of pine needles close to buildings, lack of fire-resistant materials, etc. In many other parts of the West, such practices would be illegal. In others where it is legal, it may get your house put on the "will not defend" list of the local fire department.
Posted by: Michael Cain at September 11, 2011 09:49 AM
He's not working for the phone company. He's works for the utility.
I can't judge the veracity of the guy, other than to say he was speaking freely. It was airplane conservation, not more or less.
Posted by: Steven Kopits at September 11, 2011 10:11 AM
Regarding Texas - Let's compare it to a state run by liberals for decades. California? Michigan? Illinois? The liberal model of 'tax a lot' and 'spend a lot more' is unsustainable.
Regarding CAGW - It's one of the only branches of 'science' where model predictions and evidence can diverge, but the models trump the data. NeoKeynesianism comes to mind as another.
Each month that passes there are more peer reviewed refutations the CO2 based CAGW hypothesis and more evidence showing the models are wrong. CoRev provides some nice links to recent debates. If you want some balanced views on climate change, google Roger Pielke Sr. or Judith Curry.
Posted by: tj at September 11, 2011 11:21 AM
I see a lot of libertarian trolls on the web site. "A man believes what he wants to believe and disregards the rest..." (The Box, Simon and Garfunkel, 1966)
Posted by: sherparick at September 11, 2011 01:00 PM
I'm afraid most of you guys are analogous to the men in the smoking room on the Titanic, who were wondering when the ship would get underway again, immediately after hitting the iceberg. In the first 15 minutes after the Titanic hit the iceberg, only a handful of people knew the ship would sink, but that did mean that the ship was not sinking.
It's crazy to talk about trying to stimulate the economy or about Republicans versus Democratic plans to encourage economic growth, when global net oil exports are declining--with developing countries taking an ever greater share of what is net exported.
Government revenues are highly dependent on taxes generated by the discretionary side of the economy, but the discretionary side of the economy is just going to continue get crushed.
Anyone who doesn't realize that we are headed for massive reductions in government spending is living in a fantasy world, but I'm afraid that's true of most Americans. If you prefer to believe in unicorns, elves, fairies and an infinite rate of increase in our consumption of a finite fossil fuel resource base, you are certainly not alone.
Once Greece was as we are now. Soon we will be as Greece is now.
Posted by: Jeffrey J. Brown at September 11, 2011 01:32 PM
colonelmoore: "emperical field"?
Posted by: Menzie Chinn at September 11, 2011 01:50 PM
@2slugbaits: I would love it if we were more like Canada. I would trade Barry for Stephen Harper any day!
Posted by: T-Dub at September 11, 2011 02:10 PM
CoRev But, it's so much easier and emotionally fulfilling to emote than actually do some simple analysis and arithmetic.
The problem is that what you're doing is a simple analysis using simple arithmetic. You don't have the math skills to actually understand the arguments, which is why you keep getting suckered by sham arguments. For example, in a discussion about mosquito abatement and DDT, it was clear that your simple math was not informed by something called the Volterra Principle, which is kind of central to understanding predator/prey models in general and mosquito abatement in particular. If you don't understand the Volterra Principle, then you don't have a clue about systems of nonlinear differential equations with interaction terms. And if you don't know about that branch of mathematics (definitely not "simple analysis or arithmetic"), then you don't have a chance of understanding the arguments of real climatologists. So you get suckered into stuff that sounds intuitively pleasing, but is without foundation. You take the claims of cranks seriously. There is no disagreement among scientists that increasing CO2 levels will increase global temperatures. The physics on this is well established. There is plenty of disagreement over the response parameters. Settling that disagreement sounds to me like an argument for increasing NOAA's budget, but folks like Perry would rather defund agencies that might uncover an inconvenient truth, whether that truth is about climate or executions under his name. A second issue has to do with the expected economic costs of global warming. Economists, not being experts in the field, tend to take as a "given" what real experts predict as the likely ranges of global warming. But all of the parameters are highly uncertain...both the climate parameters and the economic parameters. In your world uncertainty is license to do what you want unless and until someone absolutely proves things otherwise. That's an irresponsible view and one that very few economists actually share.
But Menzie's larger point is that Perry represents an especially egregious kind of irresponsible Republican. The kind that is penny wise and pound foolish. Fires and droughts are becoming a way of life in Texas, so why would any responsible politician cut budgets for firefighers? Probably for the same reason that Tea Party types in the upper midwest want to drain natural wetlands despite increased rainfall.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at September 11, 2011 03:03 PM
In the world, at the limits to growth
by David Korowicz
Even were our economy in the rudest of health, it could still face ruin. That is because we are dependent upon, and interwoven with, the globalised economy. And the globalised economy cannot stand the convergence in real time of constraints in its primary enabling energy resource-oil; its primary human constraint-food, and loss of trust in the credit that makes economic life possible. This convergence marks the end of economic growth, and initiates powerful destabilising shocks and stresses to the globalised economy.
Because of this, across the political spectrum, people are claiming solutions for a predicament that cannot be solved. They are claiming a level of insight and dominion over systems they can barely intuit and over which they have little and declining control. The electorate assumes there must be a solution to get us out of recession, a way to reverse what we have come to call ‘austerity’. More than that, we demand the right to the realisation of their expectations- our pensions and purchasing power, jobs and savings, health and education services . . .
What everybody wants and needs is a sudden and explosive increase in the production of real goods and services (GDP) to make their continual debt requirements serviceable. But that, even were it remotely possible, would require a big increase in oil flows through the global economy, just as global oil production has peaked and begins its decline. It cannot happen. This means that the global financial system is essentially insolvent now.
The only choice is default or inflation on a global scale.
Posted by: Jeffrey J. Brown at September 11, 2011 08:02 PM
We can all be like Menzie Chinn when it comes to science, but we shouldn't.
Expertise in one arena does not translate into expertise in another. If you want some economist cum climate science approach to the world, read the New York Times. Otherwise, there are more than enough rigorous scientific minds who are challenging the rather crude, simplistic notion that AGW is a serious threat to either our existence or economies.
The biggest threat is the political scamming that is going on in the name of science. It is that very real anthropogenic activity that is turning an energy rich nation into an energy [and economically] poor nation.
Posted by: Bruce Hall at September 11, 2011 08:42 PM
Bruce Hall: And yet on January 12, 2007, you cite Don Boudreaux from GMU as authority on global warming. Hmm. I always thought he had a Ph.D. in Economics. Am I mistaken, or do you have a selective approach of determining authority?
I further note that you cite approvingly Anthony Watts, who has no degree at all. Hmm.
Posted by: Menzie Chinn at September 11, 2011 09:56 PM
So, we have decades of science, and we have CoRev's three citations. The citations lead reports of new studies. Ah, yes. Any new information must necessarily mean that old information has to be set aside. It's a familiar trick.
I believe it was Richard Feynman who instructed us that the conventional scientific view is conventional because it's probably right. In this case, the conventional scientific view is that human activity has led to atmospheric and oceanic warming, with profound effects on climate.
Posted by: kharris at September 12, 2011 05:19 AM
With what appears to be a great deal of arrogance and appeal to educational authority, Menzie asks Bruce hall this: "...Am I mistaken, or do you have a selective approach of determining authority?
I further note that you cite approvingly Anthony Watts, who has no degree at all. Hmm."
Strangely, Menzie denigrates Anthony Watts, who apparently never finished his degree, but has spent a life time in meteorology, a closely related field to climatology, is a published, peer reviewed author in the field, and created and runs the most popular (and awarded) global warming/climate science site.
After reading the 2007 reference for Bruce Hall, Menzie's claim: "you cite Don Boudreaux from GMU as authority on global warming." Actually, Bruce did not make such a claim.
Most of Bruce's 2007 points have been proven as far more true than not. Climategate and my earlier references show a potentially serious problem with peer review in the climate journals. So Menzie, what was your point?
Posted by: CoRev at September 12, 2011 05:29 AM
Indeed! Why can't we be like Canada?
They are positively Tea Party Nation compared to the über-Keynesian idiocy going on in the U.S.
Posted by: W.C. Varones at September 12, 2011 06:55 AM
KH states: "I believe it was Richard Feynman who instructed us that the conventional scientific view is conventional because it's probably right. In this case, the conventional scientific view is that human activity has led to atmospheric and oceanic warming, with profound effects on climate."
KH, who has said otherwise? Who here and in the articles referenced has said otherwise? Who is it you are arguing with or against? But, while we are discussing science factoids, define profound effects scientifically.
Man clearly has an effect on local conditions, as do elephants, ants and even termites (perhaps the largest natural producer of CO2 and methane.) "According to the journal Science (Nov. 5, 1982), termites alone emit ten times more carbon dioxide than all the factories and automobiles in the world. Natural wetlands emit more greenhouse gases than all human activities combined. (If greenhouse warming is such a problem, why are we trying to save all the wetlands?)" From here: http://ilovecarbondioxide.com/2009/04/termites-emit-ten-times-more-co2-than.html
You see the argument is not about whether it is warming or not, but what are the impacts. The facts are clear about the impacts of cold temperatures, but most life thrives in warm climes.
Did you have a point?
Posted by: CoRev at September 12, 2011 07:13 AM
Perhaps, since as already noted our ignorance of climate is greater than our knowledge, it would be more productive to discuss JJ Brown's point on declining oil output. Though we're already almost to the edge of the cliff, it's folly not to immediately pursue serious steps to mitigate its impact on global markets. This longer term strategy needs to run concurrent with shorter term tactics to address current contractions.
Back to whether we can all be like Texas. No, not without severe assault on our federal debt. Perry is indeed a particularly egregious kind of Republican politician. His cunning substitution of federal tax dollars for what should be Texans' tax dollars is abhorrent, but one which many governors will choose to emulate knowing that FEMA or stimulus will provide the services they intentionally omit from their state budgets, notwithstanding the impact on our nation's health.Had Prof Chin continued the rest of the article, you may have directed your attention to Perry's version of the Texas Ponzi scheme instead of bickering over the causes of this new phase of climatic shift we're entering. "Perry has previously said that his push this year to preserve billions in the rainy day fund was partly in case of a natural disaster. FEMA has begun approving requests for aid.
...Most of the extra money has paid for out-of-state help that can cost up to four times more than comparable in-state resources. ... This year, the back-door funding need has exceeded the forest service's entire budget."
Posted by: ab at September 12, 2011 09:19 AM
Budget cuts for the CDC is another example of short-sighted policy. Another is failure to put a a stop to outrageous financial sector behavior, from sector compensation to leverage. Another is Bernanke's QE, which had no material effect other than to push the euro to over $1.40. But failure to stop CB currency purchases is the worst of the short-sighted polcies.
Posted by: don at September 12, 2011 11:22 AM
Texas is playing it absolutely perfectly. If you cut funding, the worst that can happen is that some fires can't be controlled. But then it's a disaster area and the Feds pick up the bill. It's a win/win. You may even kill off a few endangered species, opening up more land for yer cattle...
They just have to make sure that these fires get big enough. No one will notice the racket - everything is bigger in Texas.
Posted by: endorendil at September 13, 2011 03:50 PM
By George, I think you've got it!
That is precisely the incentive problem with big government: that which states, cities, companies, and individuals can expect the Federal government to do, they no longer see necessary to do for themselves.
You've just demolished decades of New Deal, Great Society, and Yes We Can nonsense.
Posted by: W.C. Varones at September 13, 2011 11:31 PM
I like to read entertaining stuff on global warming as much as the next guy, but why, on a site such as this, don't we instead see topics such as whether official Chinese purchases of European debt are doing Europeans any favors?
Posted by: don at September 14, 2011 11:35 AM
Don, I could see JDH getting a Nobel someday. He is wise enough to keep his focus on his area of expertise.
Here is what a Nobel prize winner in physics has to say about global warming. This is his resignation letter from the APS. I added the bold text in the body of the email. IMHO, that says it all.
From: Ivar Giaever [mailto:giaever@XXXX.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:42 PM
Cc: Robert H. Austin; 'William Happer'; 'Larry Gould'; 'S. Fred Singer'; Roger Cohen
Subject: I resign from APS
Dear Ms. Kirby
Thank you for your letter inquiring about my membership. I did not renew it because I can not live with the statement below:
Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.
If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.
In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period.
Nobel Laureate 1973
Posted by: tj at September 14, 2011 04:46 PM
Here's an excellent discussion from a Texas climatologist about Rick Perry's drought. (Drought of rain, that is. I can't speak for his drought of sensible statements.) Is it a result of climate change? More like a perfect storm of normal climate oscillations, with maybe a little anthropogenic boost.
Residents of the deep southwest may have noticed all the ruins of Anasazi dwellings that were originally built there 1000 or so years ago. Tree ring evidence indicates that the builders got caught in a drought that lasted more than 100 years. Anyone who cheerleads "yeah, let's make things worse by putting more CO2 into the air" is clearly not going to lead us anywhere worth going to.
Posted by: Jefff at September 14, 2011 08:48 PM
@Jefff, do you have a problem with what I said earlier? "Finally, the arguments actually do not revolve around the impact of man on climate, but on the catastrophic assertions of those impacts. The above cited issues, actually show there is a very active movement trying to add knowledge, and some of that knowledge supports an increase in natural versus man-made climate impacts. But, citing X% believe there is AGW is meaningless. Most believe that! Just not the catastrophism so associated.
Posted by: CoRev at September 10, 2011 05:42 AM"
From your hidden assertion, you are a believer in the alarmism/catastrophism. Even you admit in your comment that: "Residents of the deep southwest may have noticed all the ruins of Anasazi dwellings that were originally built there 1000 or so years ago."... "Anyone who cheerleads "yeah, let's make things worse by putting more CO2 into the air" is clearly not going to lead us anywhere worth going to."
To make the AGW case, exceptionalism (not previously seen events) must be shown. You just showed the opposite.
Posted by: CoRev at September 15, 2011 05:35 AM
W.C. Varones, since only 8 states are solvent, perhaps you want to rethink your distain for the federal government.
Posted by: ab at September 15, 2011 02:31 PM