Economist watch: Cruz denies climate change

The Economist, about Ted Cruz, in an article about his presidential hopes:

Conversely his appeal to moderates is limited. He has had little to say to or about the poor, beyond his perpetual gratitude that, when his father was washing dishes for 50 cents an hour, no one was sent by the government to help him. His flagship economic policy is a regressive flat-rate income tax of 10%. Black Americans, anyone concerned about climate change (which he denies) and non-Christians should look elsewhere. Ditto homosexuals: “This shall not stand,” Mr Cruz declares of gay marriage. That grandiloquent but fuzzy pledge exemplifies his gambit: making impossible vows to disoriented voters which are all, at bottom, a promise to reverse history and revive a fairy-tale idea of America.

(my bold). In the real world that’s uncontroversial. But I think it is a shift in language at the Economist; not long ago they would have phrased it rather more softly.

Oh, and speaking of presidential races: you USAnians really need to get yourselves some credible candidates. Sanders is a mess, Trump a joke, Cruz a disaster, Clinton I feel not the least enthusiasm for and she’d probably lose to Rubio. Perhaps he wouldn’t be a disaster? Speaking of which the Economist also says Ted Cruz may have won, but Marco Rubio came out on top. On GW, he appears to be a tosser (etc.), but that’s practically the entry requirement for Repubs nowadays (pace BB). In other ways he doesn’t appear to be a total disaster.

Kal cartoon 2016/01/23 balloon headed trump

Update: Economist, 2016 / 02 / 27 “For example, though Mr Rubio doesn’t deny climate change, as Mr Cruz does, he says, in effect, that America shouldn’t do much about it”.


* CIP: Robo-Rubio
* Stoat watch: The tale of a stoat Otago Daily Times. Spoiler: does not end happily.
* Do You Believe in Magic? asks CIP.

75 thoughts on “Economist watch: Cruz denies climate change”

  1. Cruz is an opportunist, not an ideologue. However, since he has the looks, the voice and the mannerisms of a stereotypical NAMBLA child molester (pederast to you), he can’t win. However, half the US will vote for Trump just to say Francis Urquhart to “you people”. Therefore, if Trump win’s it’s the fault of GB and Europe.


  2. The man is an ass; a dangerous ass to boot. Sort of a cross between Joe McCarthy, Pat Robertson, Richard Nixon, and the village idiot.


  3. OP:

    you USAnians really need to get yourselves some credible candidates.

    No argument from me, but I believe it was a a statesman of your country who said “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

    Sometimes I think my fellow citizens are determined to prove Sir Winston wrong. Assuredly, both sin and woe have ensued.


  4. you USAnians really need to get yourselves some credible candidates.

    Presumably you’re suggesting we in the benighted colonies should seek candidates on par with your own great statesmen such as Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage.

    [Ah, be fair. The difference is that whilst both of those have risen to be party leaders, they have very little chance of being Prime Ministers and leading the country. And while the alternatives are very far from perfect, they aren’t disasters -W]


  5. WC quotes The Economist writing of Ted Cruz:” His flagship economic policy is a regressive flat-rate income tax of 10%. Black Americans, anyone concerned about climate change (which he denies) and non-Christians should look elsewhere. Ditto homosexuals: “

    You could write the exact same sentences about Marco Rubio.

    The heart of the criticism

    [That could very well be correct; I haven’t paid too much attention yet; and perhaps it isn’t worth it for a few more weeks at least. Incidentally, I see I forgot to add the Kal cartoon to this post; now remedied; is Rubio the guy with the teapot sitting on top of Cruz? -W]


  6. His father is a nut case preacher, which might be where he learned to be really good at pushing the buttons of obnoxious Iowan evangelicals. His facial expression looks like a crying child, or a Greek tragedy mask, which is probably a real asset when trying to appeal to authoritarian voters who are big on punishment and who believe in lakes of eternal burning torment. Our new, USAnian, money-is-free-speech policy allows anonymous donors to fund Senator Cruz, so we don’t know who owns him. Maybe it is the Koch brothers, maybe is is Exxon Mobil. Based on the recollections of those who went to college with him, he seems to have a win at any cost, truth be damned, arrogant, rude, creepy demeanor, with serious problems interacting with his peers. What I think we may have here is an arrogant,psychopathic Momma’s boy, owned by unknown interests, hugely loathed, but still gathering support in these early stage of the presidential campaign. I look forward to seeing him flame out in the months ahead as his stellar abilities to irritate come to full maturity. Either that or he may end up fatally mauled in a political dog fight with megalomaniac Donald T. Rump. Either way, I predict excellent political theater ahead for all. Enjoy.


  7. The Washington Post on Rubio’s tax plan: “This post focuses on problem No. 2: making the tax code more regressive. In this regard, Sen. Marco Rubio takes the cake. If you were thinking: “what tax change could I implement that would be most helpful to the wealthiest households?” you’d quickly come to the same conclusion as Rubio: zero out taxes on capital gains and dividends. That’s because taxation on these forms of income, currently taxed at a top rate of 23.8 percent, is highly concentrated: according to the Tax Policy Center, 79 percent of the tax take from this asset-based income comes from the top 1 percent, 5 percent from the bottom 90 percent.”

    It’s obvious that the establishment chatter after Iowa is all towards trying to build up Rubio and tear down Sanders, that Brits have bought into this mindset as well is depressing.


  8. But per the SNL opening skit tonight Cruz is your man!

    Actor as Cruz: “Folks, we’ve had presidents who were governors, generals. Isn’t it time we had a president who was just a nasty little weasel?”

    [Oi! -W]

    And Rubio may be toast after tonight, having been caught out repeating canned lines.

    [I think the Economist addressed that and seem to think it unremarkable: it just called him disciplined -W]

    [I misunderstood you to be talking in general. Now I find out that we was badly stuck on repeat in the debate. That will look bad to anyone who listened to it -W]


  9. Looks like the Koch consortium is going to back Cruz. So whatever their agenda is, is his. They would rather him run against Sanders than Clinton. Trump is finished. Charles Koch et al; don’t want him to be the nominee. That settles that. Sorry Trumpsters! Oh well, Koch et al will be able to serenade you while convincing you to vote to get your rights taken away and make yourself poorer and more unable to defend yourselves against monopolistic predator billionaires like them. After you get deathly ill from working around their pollutants all day, which of course they will deny they had anything to do with. While you die. But hey, don’t let that stop you from voting them into power!


  10. …is Rubio the guy with the teapot sitting on top of Cruz?

    Rubio is the one behind Trump. It appears to be Cruz riding Cruz. Not sure what point I’ve missed there. I think the tea pot should be on Rubio – he burst on the scene with their support.


  11. Politico – one of the places conservatives will read – had three negative stories about Rubio on their front page this morning. Rubio Chokes; Insiders: Marco Rubio Crashed and Burned; and Rubio Goes Into Repeat Mode.

    [Interesting, but that reads very much like an insiders view. I’m somewhat doubtful that much of the electorate will think like that. However, we’ll find out soon enough -W]


  12. Don’t worry about Cruz, he’s a creep and everybody knows it. Not a real Christian either. Sanders is not a mess, and Hillary, despite her negatives, is quite a gal, capable of doing well.

    However, we abdicate to heroes and leaders at our peril. USanians need to replace all, not some, of the Republicans in government. Kasich acknowledges climate change but is not an OK person in his record. My governor, Republican Charlie Baker, a pleasant person, has just endorsed Christie, returning favors. They’re all bent on saving money and trouble for their rich friends.

    BTW, your Cameron/Osborne/Rudd do not appear to be nice people (being weak is not and excuse), but bent, as to environment, on supporting their buddies at the expense of anyone else and the future.


  13. Corbyn/Osbourne in the UK for the next election. Oh joy. Bring back Clegg..

    Always amazed how Osbourne gets such a free pass despite being a very poor chancellor indeed.

    Regarding the USA.. All the Republican candidates are pretty terrifying, especially if they somehow got the house and senate at the same time. Clinton seems safe at least, I’d like to see sanders win just to see the reaction on Fox News.


  14. Mr. Erminea, what, exactly, makes you think Rubio wouldn’t be a disaster? Can you please elucidate an issue on which his position differs significantly from Cruz? And no, you don’t get to count things he said before the campaign that he has subsequently repudiated. Or has the rise of Trump so alarmed the UK that even wingnuts like Rubio now seem reasonable in comparison?


  15. Mal Adapted,

    I believe our Winston had a quote for that too:

    “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”


  16. PaulS:

    I believe our Winston had a quote for that too:

    “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

    Again, my countrymen are trying to prove him half-right, by doing the wrong things over and over again.


  17. Interesting, but that reads very much like an insiders view. I’m somewhat doubtful that much of the electorate will think like that. However, we’ll find out soon enough -W

    The low information voter, of which we have far too many in the US, is likely to have his opinions shaped by narratives like this. It’s been this way since at least the 1990s, and possibly longer.

    The difference between Cruz and Rubio is that Rubio is better able to sugarcoat his views. Their actual positions aren’t that different, and when they are, Rubio is as likely as Cruz to be the one who is further to the right. Same with most of the other Republican candidates. Trump is the outlier here: he’s more populist than “conservative” (a word that has been stretched into meaninglessness in US politics; a member of Norway’s Conservative Party tells me that Sanders would be considered a mainstream Conservative there).


  18. Not worse than I think. He’s a fanatic, a truly awful human being, evil. However, even the ugly streak emerging in the US can’t tolerate him. He belongs with Daesh, a fanatical purist with an obscene level of self-regard, whom nobody can abide for long. One wonders about his wife.


  19. “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
    “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”
    Which is why I’m voting for Trump. We deserve him.

    ” He belongs with Daesh, a fanatical purist with an obscene level of self-regard, whom nobody can abide for long.”
    Not Daesh. Y’all Qaeda, Vanilla ISIS, Yokel Haram, or El Shabillybab. Homegrown vicious.


  20. Brian Dodge – thanks for the reminder – I had a H.S. teacher many years ago that forced me (not the class, me) to read Mencken.

    Unfortunately I thought along your lines when Reagan ran against Carter; i.e., told all my friends I was voting for Reagan because we deserved him – and at least if he won we wouldn’t have another Republican President in my lifetime. So much for *that* prediction 😦


  21. Money talks, but you can’t tell whose money is talking.
    Funny how the surveillance state draws a blank at that.

    Could terrorists be funding a candidate?
    Or funding two, at opposite extremes, to empty the center?

    I guess if it succeed, none dare call it terrorism.

    I’m expecting Nehemiah Scudder, a few years later than RAH predicted.


  22. Cruz doesn’t deny anything about climate science, he only disputes the wildly incorrect claims of a high sensitivity required to justify the existence of the IPCC. For a politician, he has a solid grasp of the real science and how the data and the media have been manipulated to support the horribly broken ‘consensus’ climate science.

    The only deniers are people like Clinton and Sanders who deny the realities of science in favor of rhetoric supporting a flawed and easily falsified hypothesis that they need for the political purposes of appeasing the green element of their party.

    [You’re lying. From

    CRUZ: So let me ask you a question, Steve. Is there global warming, yes or no?

    INSKEEP: According to the scientists, absolutely.

    CRUZ: I’m asking you.

    INSKEEP: Sure.

    CRUZ: OK, you are incorrect, actually. The scientific evidence doesn’t support global warming.

    Face reality: if even the Economist says Cruz is denying climate change, you’ve lost -W]


  23. Can we please remember that the winners of this process will be in charge of THOUSANDS OF NUCLEAR FREAKIN’ MISSILES.

    Just thought I’d mention it.

    Carry on.


  24. If Cruz so committed to evidence based science, why did did he launch his presidential candidacy at a “university” that teaches young earth creationism as a core academic subject

    Like the film Capricorn 1, the Flinstones was not a science documentary


  25. W (William?),

    Cruz’s language is confusing because consensus climate science has conflated global warming, man made global warming and catastrophic man made global warming. Bear in mind that CO2 is the base of the planet’s food chain and even if man’;s emissions caused significant warming (sensitivity > 0.4C per W/m^2), civilization has always benefited from previous warming events.

    A more precise statement of his position would have been:

    “The scientific evidence doesn’t support [significant man made] global warming”

    [Cruz’s statement, even re-interpreted to your favour like this, isn’t correct. But more importantly, you’re dancing around from one claim to another. You previously unambiguously stated he only disputes the wildly incorrect claims of a high sensitivity. You’re wrong about that, as you are now implicitly admitting. If you are honest then you need to withdraw your invalid claim explicitly -W]

    He’s absolutely right about this and the primary support for CAGW

    [CAGW is bullshit made up by denialists -W]

    comes from speculative interpretations of sparse, dubiously adjusted and processed surface measurements which have been steadily diverging from temperatures extracted from planet wide weather satellite imagery.

    Meanwhile, the T^4 relationship of the Stefan-Boltzmann LAW requires that the incremental sensitivity of T to an incremental change in power density (forcing) must be less than the average sensitivity to all forcing than preceded. The current average is 1.6 W/m^2 of surface emissions per W/m^2 of total forcing which corresponds to a sensitivity that must be less than about 0.3C per W/m^2. The data clearly supports this:

    BTW, the data (red dots) comes from 3 decades of GISS aggregated satellite imagery.(ISCCP) and shows the relationship between the LTE surface temperature and emissions by the planet into space. Each dot is the monthly average for a constant latitude slice of the planet. The dots from each slice seasonally migrate along the ideal gray body response of a system with an emissivity of 0.62 (plotted in green).

    Note that this plot shows another flaw of homogenization which is that the higher sensitivity around 0C (as water vapor GHG effects and ice related albedo effects kick in) can not be properly extrapolated to the rest of the planet.



  26. Meanwhile, the T^4 relationship of the Stefan-Boltzmann LAW requires that the incremental sensitivity of T to an incremental change in power density (forcing) must be less than the average sensitivity to all forcing than preceded. The current average is 1.6 W/m^2 of surface emissions per W/m^2 of total forcing which corresponds to a sensitivity that must be less than about 0.3C per W/m^2. The data clearly supports this:

    You’re getting this from the greenhouse effect (288^4/255^4). The problem with your analysis is that you’ve incorporated both forcings and feedbacks into this. Under the standard definition, a forcing is an external change that then produces a temperature response that leads to feedbacks. Climate sensitivity is typically defined with respect to the forcings only, not the forcings and feedbacks.

    This paper analyses the greenhouse effect in this way.


    1. and Then There .,..

      What you consider feedback power is not new power added to the system, but is just delayed surface emissions. You are confused because the feedback model developed by Schlesinger, and which has remained broken since the mid 80’s, is based on Bode’s control theory which assumes an active gain element. An active gain element measures the sum of the input and feedback to determine how much output to deliver from an implicit unlimited source, while the climate system consumes the sum of the input and feedback to produce the output power of the amplifier element. This COE constraint is currently not accounted for by the climate science feedback model. This error is why you are able to use feedback as the reason for how 1 W/m^2 of incremental forcing is able to increase the surface emissions by the 4.3 W/m^2 required to sustain a nominal 0.8C temperature increase. Do you really think that Conservation of Energy allows 1 W/m^2 of forcing to result in 3.3 W/m^2 of feedback? If each of the 239 W/m^2 of solar forcing resulted in this much feedback, the surface temperature would be close to the boiling point of water.


    1. Kevin,
      Hansen/Lebedef homogenization requires a normal distribution of sensitivity and a random selection of sites. The former is not true for Earth’s climate (sensitivity has an intrinsic negative temperature coefficient modulated as water effects kick in) and the sparse data used for surface reconstructions is certainly not compliant with the later requirement.

      What the data shows is that the sensitivity near the isotherm of constant average temperature near 0C is transiently larger than in the tropics or at the poles.


  27. co2isnot,
    I don’t think I’m the one who is confused. Firstly your 0.3C/W/m^2 was obtained by bundling forcings and feedbacks together which is not the standard way in which to do this.

    You are confused because the feedback model developed by Schlesinger, and which has remained broken since the mid 80’s, is based on Bode’s control theory which assumes an active gain element.

    This is worryingly Moncktonish.

    Do you really think that Conservation of Energy allows 1 W/m^2 of forcing to result in 3.3 W/m^2 of feedback? If each of the 239 W/m^2 of solar forcing resulted in this much feedback, the surface temperature would be close to the boiling point of water.

    I’m not sure where you’re getting the 3.3W/m^2 from, plus in this context (and you really should learn the terminology) the feedbacks are normally written as W/m^2/K. There are both positive and negative feedbacks. Water vapour is positive, clouds are probably positive, lapse rate is negative, and the Planck response is negative. Often, the Planck response is regarded separately and it acts as a stabilising influence. As long as the non-Planck feedbacks don’t exceed the Planck response, then there’s no runaway. Alternatively, as long as the net feedback response is not positive, we don’t have runaway.


    1. [I find I’m not really interested in reading through your errors. I’ve seen too much of this kind of stuff before. If it’s any consolation, I did’t read ATTP correcting you either. If anyone wants to read this comment, it is at stoat-spam as usual -W]


  28. aTTP, don’t worry about the distractionalist weighing in. He’s not interested in reality, he just knows he’s right, just like Cruz. Denial of reality doesn’t have a long shelf life, since reality is, well, reality …

    I think Rabbett’s correspondent did one of the better technical evaluations of their new favorite record, but Cruz is an unpopular politician who is dangerously ignorant on the subject, a fanatic who argues with everyone, including his supposed leader, Pope Francis. There is no limit to his arrogance, and he is universally unpopular except in his peculiar corner of Christian sharia weird, even in his own party.

    The letter from Dr. Swanson is quite specific and provides explanations as to why these guy’s favorite records are the least reliable, to put it politely. It addresses Rep. Lamar Smith, who is only slightly less fanatical, but appears to be able to do more harm in kneecapping scientists doing science at NOAA, than Sen. Cruz, who mounted his own freak show on the subject.


  29. From where I sit, Sanders is the only credible candidate. All the rest seem to support the increased concentration of wealth to the very wealthy, and thus an inevitable return to the days where everything that doesn’t show an immediate profit (science, art etc) is supported by patronage.


  30. ” All the rest seem to support the increased concentration of wealth to the very wealthy…”

    Interestingly, the latest PEW Research poll shows those under 30 (in the USA) with a higher approval rating of socialism than of capitalism.

    A month ago Clinton led several of the NH polls. Now she’s losing by 20 points in a state in which she beat Obama back in 2008. And the ‘socialist’ albatross on Sanders back may actually use it’s wings to lift him 🙂


  31. W,

    Cruz may not be able to articulate what he believes about climate science to your satisfaction, but I know full well the position of the witnesses he relied on in his Senate hearing and can infer his true position from what his expert witnesses testified.

    [That’s rubbish. You’re now denying – yes, really – the actual words Cruz used in favour of a position you’ve made up for him, purely in order to avoid admitting your error -W]

    For the record, I don’t think Cruz would make the best President among the various contenders and that there are others who could bring the sides of the politics closer together, although there are also others who are even more politically polarizing then he is. Do you really think the DNC would allow a committed socialist like Sanders to be the nominee, even if Clinton is indicted? The super delegates will surely draft someone else instead.

    [CAGW trolling spammed -W]



  32. “… lapse rate is negative… ”
    As Dr Christy has usefully pointed out in Congressional testimony, the satellite measured tropospheric temperature increase is lower than projected by climate models; this inevitably means that the current models underestimate climate sensitivity. If co2isnot wishes to deny this, he should take it up with Christy & Spencer.


    1. Brian,
      You claim that since the models predict a larger increase than is measured by satellites, the models are underestimating the sensitivity? Do you realize that over-estimating the sensitivity means that a smaller increase will be measured?


  33. co2,
    Even though WMC won’t read this, I’ll post it anyway 🙂

    It’s clear that co2isnot does not really understand the basics. Brian is pointing out that there are two competing feedback effects, water vapour (which is positive) and lapse rate (which is negative). If the troposphere is warming slower than expected, then that implies that lapse rate feedback may be less negative than expected and surface warming (which is what climate sensitivity is describing) will be greater. There is, however, a caveat in that there is a relationship between water vapour feedback and lapse rate feedback such that if lapse rate feedback is less negative, we would expect water vapour feedback to be less positive. However, they don’t exactly cancel and so a less negative lapse rate feedback does imply slightly higher climate sensitivity. See Steven Sherwood’s guest post here, in particular the left-hand panel of Figure 1.

    [Just to be unpredictable, I did read it -W]


    1. [Please try reading the comment policy. If you have long comments to make about basic theory, you should write them down somewhere accessible (blogs are free) and link to them. Spammed -W]


  34. So in NH it appears Rubio ended up where he was headed after the debate. Kasich may now be the big threat to Trump, but it appears the field would have to reduce down to just a few candidates very quickly in order for him to actually start beating Trump. Even then, that would probably have to await northern primaries, which are thin on the ground until after Super Tuesday, by which time Trump might hold a huge lead. So the smart money seems to remain on Trump winning the nomination with a minority of actual votes, maybe not too different from the 35% he got in NH. On the plus side, that makes a November defeat a near-certainty.

    Time to feel the Bern. That spread of voter support by age is astounding.

    Dollars to doughnuts co2isnotevil is unaware of the background and qualifications of WMC and ATTP. It sure sounds like it, anyway.

    [Trump vs Sanders would be an oddity, but possible. Bloomberg? -W]


  35. aTTP’s favorite dodge is “I don’t have time for inconsequential nonsense” Yet has always seems to have gobs of time debating the random WUWT nutter over a minor triviality. Doing it on the premiere climate blog of the known universe is particularly upsetting. One can only conclude is that he picks his “battles” carefully. What do you UK’ers call that archetype, nonce?


  36. aTTP’s favorite dodge is “I don’t have time for inconsequential nonsense”

    You’re presumablty implying something, but I think your claim about my supposedly favourite dodge isn’t true. I think my more standard line is “This is going to be a waste of time, but at least it’s my time to waste”.


  37. Have you been hanging around Real Climate, ATTP? Hadn’t noticed, but Howard seems to think so.

    Bloomberg, hmm. NYC native Bernie running against two NYC billionaires, noting also that Bloomberg is the Wall Street variety? Given lingering party loyalties and the history of independent runs for President, I think the only threat Bloomberg might pose is for New York state. In a close election that could certainly throw it to Trump, but I doubt Bloomberg wants to be that kind of spoiler. I also think the election is likely to be a blowout anyway.

    Ooh look, stoatbait for sure.

    [That’s the bad possibility, yes -W]


  38. The blowout comment is based on Trump’s negatives (as polled), which are so astronomical ATTP should probably do a post on them. 😉


  39. Hadn’t noticed, but Howard seems to think so.

    Ahh, maybe that’s it. I was reading some of the posts on RealClimate a few days ago and responded to a couple of comments by Robert Ellison. It was a moment of weakness. I hadn’t realised that it upset people so much when I did so 😉


  40. Cruz certainly is an unlikeable guy, but there is no denying his intelligence. His Harvard professors said as much, and he is probably one of the most accomplished lawyers of his generation. My guess is that he holds a very sophisticated understanding of the science regarding AGW but crafts his comments for maximum political effect. The Economist swipe about blacks fearing Cruz is a cheap shot with no basis in fact.
    The fact that Susan Anderson and other liberals still cling (bitterly!) to Hillary is a sociological phenomenon worthy of study. With all the chatter about the Kochs, and rich Republicans, etc etc. they are apparently willing to vote for woman who, with her husband, has made $ 150 MM giving speeches to foreign governments, large corporations, and banks; whose daughter became a multi-millionaire after working a few months at a hedge fund; whose son-in-law manages a hedge fund; who was a director at Walmart; and who sets fund-raising records with wall-street banks. Cognitive dissonance transmogrified to wide-spread mental illness.


  41. Gosh Steve Bloom, maybe young women don’t appreciate old hags like Madeleine Albright telling them they’ll go to Hell unless they vote for Hillary.

    With all the comments on this thread accusing Cruz of preaching hell-fire and damnation, it is ironic that it is only this Hillary supporter who actually deployed the H word so far.


  42. William,

    Cutting comments that are demonstrably true just because you don’t like the consequence is completely unprofessional.

    [Happily, I’m a professional software engineer, not a professional blogger, so that’s not a problem for me. The rest spammed; complaints about censorship are tedious -W]


  43. William,

    In an unprecedented move, the Supreme Court has effectively ruled that the Obama administration and its EPA has overstepped its bounds by imposing billions in costs to a specific industry based on speculative climate change considerations.

    [No; at least not if you’re referring to -W]

    Time is short for you too choose a path forward [snip… -W] immutable physical laws [snip -W]

    [I’m bored with your tedious “time is short” and “physical laws” stuff and can no longer be bothered to transcribe them to spam. Save that kind of stuff for WUWT -W]


  44. Not that a Bloomberg candidacy is very likely, but let us observe that:
    1) As a 10-year resident of NJ in the 1970s, I’d heard of Trump, who inherited a lot of money, went through bankruptcies, lots of deals, etc, etc.

    2) Bloomberg’s undergrad degree was a BSEE from Johns Hopkins, followed by a Harvard MBA, and he actually built a big, successful information systems business that did well buy providing useful services to customers.
    That’s a different kind of billionaire than Trump.

    I talked to him a few decades ago at opening of his SF office, a very sharp guy.

    Being Mayor of NYC is ~ being Governor of a midsize state.
    and Bloomberg Foundation actually funds helpful things.


  45. Claims of truth seem to their author to validate his (or her) assertions. One of the good things about science is it is actually, you know, verifiable.

    Meanwhile, the fearful who don’t want to face facts are a danger to themselves and to others. Sadly, many of them now run our Congress and are popular amongst those who don’t want to know, or want to be able to “correct” knowledge.

    We’re lucky that Cruz is so unappealing; in a field of people unable to understand that science grew in its effort to be as honest and objective as it can, who regard power as justification, this ignorance is damning us all to an uncomfortable future, at best.


  46. John Mashey, no Trump (or Kasich) voter is going to switch to Bloomberg. But disaffected Democrats will. He should check his ego at the door, he’s not seeing straight this time.


  47. The BBC has the big picture right on yesterdays Supreme Court ruling.

    I will add that the SC jumped in early in the litigation. Usually they wait until the lower courts resolve the issue before they step in. Its an unfortunate case of judicial activism by the conservative judges.

    [Brian also comments. I don’t understand your “early” though: they ruled on an appeal court ruling that was appealed to them -W]


  48. Bloomberg will hurt Democrats and thereby help Republicans. He is very pro regulation, with the exception of financial markets, and socially liberal. He’ll siphon off enough votes to give the right a chance to win the presidency.


  49. I don’t understand your “early” though: they ruled on an appeal court ruling that was appealed to them -W]

    There are two lawsuits in question. There is one challenging the Clean Power Plan and that is still in the lower courts. This is on the legal merits and will ultimately decide if the CPP will pass legal muster.

    There is another related lawsuit that this recent stay deals with. In it 27 states want to wait until the main lawsuit is finished before the states can start planning to comply with the CPP. The courts have never really said yes to this type of request. Involved parties usually have to obey the regulation, and can’t use their potential success in court to ignore it.


  50. Susan: I am not wishing for a Bloomberg candidacy in this election, or exactly the reason you say.

    I am lamenting the fact that candidates who aren’t very partisan, and mostly seem to try to solve problems, have a hard time getting nominated or elected.

    I do think the recent voting rules in CA and a few other states (where open primary, top 2 vote-getters go on to general election) tends to generate more chances for moderates.


  51. John Mashey, thanks. I’ve been thinking a lot about the dangers of “purity”: fundamentalists and Daesh, and my own early seekings, and how it is difficult to come to terms with one’s own frailties and what it is to be human.

    The latest is a struggle I’m having with my friends who are hero-izing Bernie and demonizing Hillary. We had the same thing with Obama: he was the savior, until he wasn’t, and then the hating began.

    I will leave it at that, as it is a mite off topic. But it is deeply troubling that we have come to want somebody else to fix things, and are willing to let dishonesty rule for lack of perfection, rather than rolling up our sleeves.

    Re Supreme Court, WMC, this is the US. It is unusual for them to step in, and their goal is to derail what little Obama has been able to do, with a hostile Congress, to rein in the dirtiest forms of carbon pollution, and I’m not just talking about CO2 but also about direction toxic pollution.

    The 5 in charge are not at all objective, and busy pushing the agenda of power and wealth and blindness to the common good as much as they can.


  52. For those interested in the real power behind the contemporary Republican Party and where Cruz gets his support, I highly recommend: “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right” by Jane Mayer


  53. William,
    You say you are a software engineer, presumably someone whose work is mostly modeling.

    [Why do you make that up? Why do you casually, unthinkingly, make an assumption that’s so wrong? It isn’t even necessary to be wrong – I’ve got a wiki bio, you could read it.

    This seems all too typical of the kind of comments I see from the Dark Side – casual ignorance, easily remedied, and a total disdain for that ignorance; a complete lack of self awareness, or of awareness of what you don’t know -W]

    Here is a simple modeling challenge whose results should convince you that the SB LAW for a gray body is most relevant to the climate system.

    Start with an ideal gray body representation of the Earth, whose average surface temperature is ‘T’ and the ratio between planet emissions and surface emissions is the emissivity, ‘e’. The emissions in W/m^2, ‘E’, as a function of temperature are given exactly by E = e*o*T^4, Since in LTE, the power in is equal to power out, and in this case, sensitivity per the IPCC definition would be given by dT/dE which is exactly given by 1/(4*e*o*T^3).

    If we set ‘T’ to the average surface temperature of the planet (287.5K) and ‘e’ to the ratio between average planet emissions and average emissions of an ideal BB at temperature T (0.62),
    the ideal gray body model is a high confidence predictor of how the Earth will behave as the input power varies keeping ‘e’ constant. The link in to fig1.png in comment 29 demonstrates this using GISS data quite clearly and the theoretical sensitivity of an ideal gray body with this behavior is about 0.3C per W/m^2 as TSI (forcing) varies.


  54. Hmm, IIRC this grey body idea was beaten to death somewhere in the blogosphere about five years back. As William says, you could look that up.

    In the meantime, punkin, why don’t you explain how sensitivity that low works out with deep-time paleoclimate. Start with the mid-Pliocene, why don’t you, where CO2 was approximately the same as at present but global average surface temps were 2 -3C higher. After that you can move on to the out-and-out hothouse climates.


  55. You truncated the test itself, which I will repeat:

    The modeling test is how can you vary ‘e’, or extend the gray body model, to support the claimed sensitivity of 0.8C per W/m^2?

    In case it’s not clear, the challenge of this test is how can you modify the physics in order to arrive at a sensitivity range whose lower bound of 0.4C per W/m^2 exceeds the sensitivity of 0.3C per W/m^2 for the ideal gray body whose power domain behavior is nearly identical to the measured behavior of Earth.

    [The mechanism to get the sensitivity is given in the IPCC reports, and many papers. All you need to do is read them. Acting totally ignorant of the science and saying “feed me” won’t get you anywhere. If you want to disagreee with mainstream science, you have to at least know what it is. You’re acting like all the people who hate relativity, and who have their own wacky theories, but who don’t actually understand relativity. To repeat myself, since you did: the entry ticket to the debate is to at least know what the theory you dislike actually is. And no, reading a distorted version of it on some denialist blog is not knowledge.

    More specifically, if your theory hasn’t included water vapour feedback, its not going to get you the right answer -W]

    [Update: see-also -W]


  56. For those not willing to buy the hardback “Dark Money” you can get the idea by searching
    The New Yorker Jane Mayer Koch

    We in the US are familiar with the material, but if you are elsewhere some of it might be news to you. Starting with profiteering under Stalin and Hitler, bankrolling the tea party, and the worst record on toxic pollution anywhere, with deregulation to the fore.

    (Gina Rinehart is made from the same material, and shoddy it is.)

    Some of the material was printed there first, though she has fleshed it out.


  57. “The modeling test is how can you vary ‘e’, or extend the gray body model, to support the claimed sensitivity of 0.8C per W/m^2?”
    easy peasy – the earth system(water, vegetation, dirt, snow, plus the atmosphere) isn’t a gray body with uniform emissivity –
    and the differences between earth and a gray body change with temperature. If the temperature is below freezing, surfaces become snow covered; snow has a high albedo in the visible, but high emissivity in the infrared. Above freezing, water, e.g.the arctic ocean, has low visible albedo, but high emissivity. As the temperature rises, increasing water vapor in the atmosphere decreases the apparent earth system emissivity in the IR. Decay of permafrost carbon with temperature increase releases CH4 and CO2, which also decreases the apparent earth system emissivity in the IR, without changing visible albedo(much). If you assume a simple gray body model which has little relation to reality, you simply get wrong answers which bear little resemblance to reality.


    1. Brian,

      Yes, the emissivity of the planet is not uniform, but its average can be considered to be so. This is basic best practices for reverse engineering a dynamic system. Start with the average behavior and only then can you start to understand the dynamic behavior. This all works because the system is very linear in the power domain consequential to COE and the property of superposition applies to the system. It’s also important to consider that the average equivalent emissivity of the planet of 0.62 is a multi-decade average and already accounts for seasonal albedo and emissivity variability. It also fully accounts for all feedbacks, positive, negative, known and unknown which includes all possible GHG effects.

      You should do the arithmetic to see how how much emissivity change is required to support the extraordinarily high sensitivity claimed. Do you realize that the claimed sensitivity is more than 3x larger than the equivalent gray body system? This requires violating the T^4 dependence between emissions (accumulated forcing) and temperature. What physical laws do you propose can override the T^4 relationship of SB?

      As another way forward, consider a planet half of which has one emissivity and the other half has a different emissivity (for example, 2 hemispheres), Then calculate the average response and compare this to the average response of an equivalent system whose emissivity is the average of the two halves. You can divide it into as many different emissivities you want and the average emissivity will still characterize the average response. Again, this is a consequence of superposition.

      BTW, the surface itself is very close to an ideal black body with an emissivity near 1. The effective planet emissivity of 0.62 arises because there is a PASSIVE atmosphere between the surface and space. As I said in a prior post, the atmosphere is not an ACTIVE component with an implicit power supply to provide feedback power as the consensus feedback model implies, but a PASSIVE system whose behavior is subject only to Conservation of Energy. Can you otherwise explain how the 0.8C increase in the average surface temperature that is claimed arises from 1 W/m^2 of forcing when emissions increase by 4.3 W/m*2 which must be replenished or else the planet cools. What physics supports 3.3 W/m^2 of feedback from only 1 W/m^2 of incremental input power?

      [See #68, and many others -W]


  58. More on Kochs doing what they can to prevent us all having a future, for the sake of control and more wealth*:

    “The Koch Brothers’ Dirty War on Solar Power
    “All over the country, the Kochs and utilities have been blocking solar initiatives”

    *now above $100 billion:


  59. William,
    You have not pointed out any legitimate errors in my analysis. All you have do is appeal to the authority that my analysis disputes. This kind of circular logic has no place in science.

    [You’re going round in circles. As an inadequate alternative to censoring your comments, I’m delaying them, so at least your circles will be slow ones -W]


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