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Study: Stronger Short-Term Goals Are Needed in Climate Change Policy Because of the Likely Pace of Policy Change

Long-term climate change policy in the US and abroad is likely to change very slowly, according to a study published by an MIT researcher in Decision Analysis, a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). With that conclusion, author Dr. Mort Webster calls for stronger short-term goals to reduce carbon emissions.

Webster writes that climate change policy decisions are normally made sequentially over time and under uncertainty, due to the magnitude of uncertainty in both economic and scientific processes, the decades-to-centuries time scale of the phenomenon, and the ability to reduce uncertainty and revise decisions along the way.

...the central question for near-term climate policy, both in the United States and abroad, is whether or not regulations of greenhouse gas emissions can be delayed for another decade or whether some level of mitigation effort is required now. When irreversibilities exist in the presence of uncertainty, delay is not necessarily optimal.

...there is a critical element that is missing from both the policy debate and from the formal models of climate policy: path dependency. Political scientists have long noted the tendency of political systems to exhibit path dependency, and have used this feature to explain a number of political outcomes, such as European party systems...and the comparative development of healthcare systems...The idea of path dependency is that once a particular course of action has been chosen, it becomes increasingly difficult over time to reverse that course...Policies tend to exhibit lock-in, and although a legislature might from time to time create a new bureaucratic agency, it is exceedingly difficult to eliminate one.

A large-scale international policy issue such as climate change is especially vulnerable to path dependencies.

...Does accounting for the path dependency in political systems change the first-period (today) optimal choice from a sequential decision model of climate policy? If it does, then this would argue for a more aggressive hedging strategy with greater emissions reductions for near-term climate policy. This action would allow for greater flexibility if significant reductions are required later in the century.

Although staging climate change policy decisions over time would seem to make sense, he points out that the tendency of US and international policy to change extremely slowly requires front-loading the difficult decisions.

A central question for near-term climate policy, both in the United States and abroad, is whether or not regulations of greenhouse gas emissions can be delayed, and whether some level of mitigating effort is required at once. Countering those who say the dust should settle before committing to big decisions, he points out that when a decision will be irreversible—as is likely the case in climate policy—delaying the decision is probably not the best option, according to research in decision analysis.

Climate policy optimization models typically assume that some fraction of baseline emissions can be reduced in each period, ranging from none to nearly 100%, he notes. But, he points out, the range of reductions considered in any period is independent of any choices made in previous periods.

The conclusion of this study for the climate policy modeling community is that applications of sequential decision models over very long time horizons should consider path dependencies in the political systems modeled. Otherwise, if policies at each time point can be reconsidered without regard to past decisions, we may place an unrealistic expectation on future generations and eliminate future options by not laying the groundwork with minimal policies today. Ignoring path dependencies risks giving qualitatively biased advice to policymakers as to whether it is yet time to begin mandatory emissions regulations.


  • Mort Webster (2008) “Incorporating Path Dependency into Decision-Analytic Methods: An Application to Global Climate-Change Policy”, Decision Analysis, doi: 10.1287/deca.1080.0114



I agree with this. Aside from path dependence the psychology of 'do it now' is better. Example those who quit smoking seem to say cold turkey is better than a gradual cutback. On climate some have seized on 60% emissions cuts by 2050 to mean we can probably increase for a while. Another example is those who say rich countries must cut emissions while poor countries are allowed to catch up. No way ... everybody has to cut now.

Over to you GW deniers.

Al Fin

Yes, indeed, in fact the same principle should be applied to overpopulation. Let's set aggressive depopulation goals for Asia, Africa, South America, and other densely populated regions where rainforest is being destroyed at record rates, and species are lost due to habitat destruction.

No halfway measures here, since we are so certain we know everything there is to be known!

Hybrid Fan

When all is said and done, FAR more is said than done. And with fuel prices soaring and the climate cooling, any chance for high add-on carbon taxes are g-o-n-e. In western countries because people vote their pocketbooks, and in the third world command economy countries because the powers to be only care about THEIR bottom line. In both cases practicality trumps rhetoric.


Oh, yes the climate is cooling, the earth is flat, the Iraq war is about bringing democracy to the middle east, (not securing oil), and we need tax cuts and increases in government spending to bail out the economy.


"Another example is those who say rich countries must cut emissions while poor countries are allowed to catch up. No way ... everybody has to cut now."

Ideally yes, but its more likely they will use 'the need for everybody to cut emissions' as an excuse to do nothing. The rich countries are delaying their cuts until they can get the poor countries to agree to cut their emissions. Someone has to "lead by example"


We need 100% energy independence for America's national security....we can do it cleanly and in a way that allows us to NOT have to accept Al Gore's kook left global warming theory. We can do this without more drilling or more nuclear power - but if we do allow drilling & nuclear, there should be huge royalty payments attached for environmental restoration & land preservation programs. My two cents.


"The rich countries are delaying their cuts until they can get the poor countries to agree to cut their emissions."

A respectable way to get everyone on board the same program. What is so difficult about developing nations doing their fair share of cleaning up?


Love this justified delaying talk of doing things in an article of needing goals to be created even in the cases of path developement of policy. Even in the case where it's becoming more obvious that policies must be created same old stuff keeps getting brought up.

The absurdity is palpable. Where's Heller's Catch-22? I feel like Capt Yossarian.

stas peterson

Someone has to lead, says a poster.

Why? (If there is no real reason to do it, in the first place?)

Someone is leading. And as always it is the USA. Just like it leads the world in genuine toxic air and water pollution reductions. American air, except for California, is now, by and large, virtually clean.

Despite Bush Derangement Syndrome, the big country with the VERY BEST record in reducing (ridiculous!) things like GHGs, is non other than the USA.

America has increased 1990 CO2 emissions by only 6%. As it meanwhile more than doubled the size of its economy. Thereby reducing the GHG contribution per capita; and carbon intensity per dollar of GDP. The US with <10% of the population, uses >20% of the energy. And the leftists ALWAYS forget to add, and still produces >25% of the world's goods.

And that is despite measurements that purposely under-count GHG sequestrations in North America.

Mean while the statist greenie fools in the EU, talking loud and carrying a toothpick, have increased GHGs, some 21% over 1990 levels in the Western portion of the EU. Only the additions of numbers of former East bloc countries whose economies had shriveled, make the overall figures more respectable, at +14%.

But are up more than double over the US. That shouldn't be surprising; big government socialist programs never work; even if they wanted them to do so.

The attractive graft made possible is evident as well. Graft from the EU automakers is clearly evident, and but one example of the evils of big, even gigantic, government.

Foisting off dirty diesels, that pollute more than the worst pre-catalytic converter, gasoline car, and having the chutzpah to call them "clean diesels", is but one example of the Phony EU green policy of: talk loud; accept bribes; do nothing.

The EU5 and EU6 proposed emissions standards are an offense to a thinking, caring environmentalist. Purposely poisoning your own citizens, when your auto makers both know how to, and are making better cars for export. Exporting such cars, that are better, and cleaner, overseas to America, is an environmental abomination. Thank your local corrupt EU eco-greenie.

Private business cleaned the air. Private business is removing GHGs. Detroit auto companies created, developed and perfected, the catalytic converter; despite constant condemnation and hectoring from Leftist evironMENTALists, who never built a single damn thing, and probably retarded clean up, with unrealistic demands for too early accomplishments.

Just like private Americans are adopting and using processes and methods that produce less GHGs, in every business and home, in order to save a dollar economically or for altruistic reasons.

As an example, the US steel industry has transformed itself into the most clean, and most energy efficient makers of steel in the world. It has converted from using coal to electricity; and from 3% iron ore, to 95% steel ore. And in gross tonnage produced, still makes more then the industry ever did.

Demand for oil is less in American industry than well before 1990, about equal to 1975, actually. (see governmental EIA web pages). The only growth in oil consumption, has been in Transport; a suitable substitute just has not been available. But the electric auto is almost here, as any GCC poster full well knows. Sometimes it just takes a little longer to find an adequate substitute.

When the electric autos arrive in numbers, in a few years, US air will go from virtually the best, to the best. Period.

California might finally get its act together, and get genuine good air too, like the rest of the US has even now, with but occasional exceptions.

No one else has made the land use set-aside, or the natural re-forestation actions that the US has done for so long. And they go uncountedand un acredited. The US has more wilderness and parkland set aside, for non-development and wildife than the entire area of the original 13 colonies. More park and wilderness than the States of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virgina, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, combined.

Every tree that grows naturally that is not claimed for a carbon credit, by a GHG gasbag like Algore, doesn't count in removing CO2 in the official tally. The N. American continent, is widely recognized to be the biggest Carbon sink in the entire world;, removing more than all the others continents combined. amd yes that includes the fabled Amazon rainforest.

N America removes more worldwide CO2 than it produces despite all the industry of the US, Canada and Mexico. Air generally travels West to East at the mid latitudes. The air into CA, fromthe Pacific, is higher in CO2 than the air exiting into the Atlantic, despite the additions of our industry, (and less the the sequestrations of our land use decisions for wilderness and parkland.) Those private and government forests sequester lots of CO2.

So if GHGs are really a problem, why isn't it a problem for everyone else to solve? We have already successfully controlled our CO2,and then some. We have done our part.

But don't tell anyone; apparently there is a fear, to remove the urgency just to... DO Something!

David Ahlport

Well Fareed Zakaria made one interesting point.

Rather than making some large bureaucratic system between most nations of the world.

Why not just focus on specific policy plans in the biggest past and future offenders, i.e. the United States, China, and India. (And I would add a focus on Brazil and Indonesia etc to avoid tropical deforestation)

After all the heavy lifting is done by that, it'd be a no-brainer for much smaller emitting nations to piggy back off of the new technologies and business models we come up with. Since undoubtedly renewable electricity, and electric transportation is much cheaper than the status quo, once you factor in the built-in subsidies for fossil fuels.

One estimate I've heard pegged renewables at $16Bn per year, but Fossil Fuels at $200Bn per year.


The paper is behind a $$ barrier. A summary is not.

And there seem to be differences between what Prof. Webster says and what reporter would have us believe he says. It is hard to be sure w/o access to the paper itself.

IMO the reporter has his thumb on the AGW scale.

The paper about the decision process rather than the merit of the science, ie. AGW.

Webster says that we will have more choice in the future if we buy take some steps now. We should 'hedge'. And that would be a departure from our present path.

Or in his words: "this would argue for a more aggressive hedging strategy with greater emissions reductions for near-term climate policy. This action would allow for greater flexibility if significant reductions are required later in the century."

Hedging has a cost. It is a form of insurance. I'm with Webster so far.

Websters words in the last quote baffles me:

"Otherwise, if policies at each time point can be reconsidered without regard to past decisions, we may place an unrealistic expectation on future generations and eliminate future options by not laying the groundwork with minimal policies today."

Is he really saying policies shouldn't be reconsidered in the future?


"Another example is those who say rich countries must cut emissions while poor countries are allowed to catch up. No way ... everybody has to cut now."

hah, I remember watching Canada's PM Stephen Harper say this last year. What a two faced opportunist. How can Canada, one of the leading emitters of GHG's, which is what allowed for its prosperous economic development, say to a poor Indian street worker that he can't improve his standard of living because he'd admit more GHG's. What an arrogant crock of BS. The first world created the problem, we are responsible for the lion's share of CO2 out there, we have the scientific infrastructure in place to come up with solutions, and it is our responsibility to do so.

Harper merely used this as an excuse to go on polluting CO2 status quo and get fat rich along with his Alberta oil cronies.

"The N. American continent, is widely recognized to be the biggest Carbon sink in the entire world;, removing more than all the others continents combined. amd yes that includes the fabled Amazon rainforest."

Yet again Stas displays his ignorance towards anything outside of internal combustion engines, and his inability to provide links to support his inaccurate statements, for if he did he would realize that most of what he says is pure nonsense.

FORESTS DO NOT ABSORB CO2, unless they are young forests gaining biomass. But young forests by definition are growing where an old forest once stood, and in the original harvest of the old forest that CO2 was released. North America is not a carbon sink, nor is the Amazon.


Stan usual 30 line idealism based rant against the environmentalists and for his own biased pro american view and scientific views. As if anyone who reads anything will not see it for what it is. A whitewash emotional appeal to technocratic right wing mentalities with little or no scientific basis. Totally insulting to everyone who doesn't share it's view. Totally denigrating just by the tone. Grow up Stan. Reading your posts makes me want to check my pockets because it feels like a big sell/scam job. Caveate empor for those think stan may be "right".

What I can't believe is the same stuff is kept being pulled out. Last time stan tried pullying this off and I responded was


Where the quoted study that you said was the basis for your belief was an over 10 year study.


To which after being read, showed no backing up of your continuous mind numbing assertions. So to those who believe that science is taking a position and insanely defending it and looking for so-called "evidence" to prove or disprove the positions, you can bow down to stan, which I think is what he basically wants and needs. It isn't based on scientific principles at all.

For others looking to learn something. Do your own independent research. Read the papers. Don't go to biased sources. Don'interpret what you read. At best, Stan is a 4th or 5th source of infrormation and at every stage, bias and interpretation creeps in. Information is filtered. From my own reading of secondary and tertiary info, my view of Stan's position is clearly antagonistic.

When I quoted earlier reading the posts is like feeling like Heller's Catch-22, Stan's post makes my point. True idealism trying to pose as reason.


In response to stas peterson's excellent post - I say THANKS! We need other brave people to step up and fight these idiots! Viva Stas Peterson, John Stossel, Patrick Moore - and many others!




John Taylor

Goals to reduce carbon emissions are just so much vapor. They have no real meaning and no power to change anything much.

Sure people want to help and put in greener light balls, but this minimal effort fails to change the "business as usual" pollution.

A target for change needs to also include the "path for change" if it is to work. That is, we need to place a destination goal, then show a path to that goal.

The destination goal for a cleaner future is ~> "Elimination of dependence on fossil fuels by providing alternate power sources that are better."

This is a goal for the entire world, not just one country. The countries that develop new and better technology will be able to sell this to all the other countries, and make money doing it.

Two technology directions that need encouraged by forward thinking governments are ~>
Greening the electric grid with renewable energy.
Converting our transportation to Zero Emissions.

This means investing in Wind power and Electric cars, and setting tax incentives to encourage these technologies.

The desire to 'reduce emissions' does nothing while there are no alternatives on the market.


"The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Al Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh — more than 20 times the national average."

Another short term goal would be for Al, profligate profiteer of carbon trade schemes - to return the Nobel.


@ anon/aym: "FORESTS DO NOT ABSORB CO2, unless they are young forests gaining biomass."

Please read some science before pontificating.

"Old forests are important carbon pools, but are thought to be insignificant as current atmospheric carbon sinks. This perception is based on the assumption that changes in productivity with age in complex, multiaged, multispecies natural forests can be modeled simply as scaled-up versions of individual trees or even-aged stands. This assumption was tested by measuring the net primary productivity (NPP) of natural subalpine forests in the Northern Rocky Mountains, where NPP is from 50% to 100% higher than predicted by a model of an even-age forest composed of a single species. If process-based terrestrial carbon models underestimate NPP by 50% in just one quarter of the temperate coniferous forests throughout the world, then global NPP is being underestimated by 145 Tg of carbon annually. This is equivalent to 4.3-7.6% of the missing atmospheric carbon sink. These results emphasize the need to account for multiple-aged, species-diverse, mature forests in models of terrestrial carbon dynamics to approximate the global carbon budget."

Global Change Biology, Volume 7, Number 4, April 2001 , pp. 339-344(6)



Frankly who cares how much Gore consumes. It has zero to do with GW or it's scientific validity and more to do with a smear compaign designed to emotionally appeal to prejudice.

I'm sure that the anti-GW side would love Gore to use the same or less than the average american. Problem is, he's not. To be effective he needs to use more so too bad, because he is effective. He is effective enough to more than compensate for his consumption which I'm sure the majority of people are glad to see him use.

Maybe because you believe GW to be some zeolotry and it requires those who believe in it to wear hair shirts. Well guess what, he isn't a monk and he didn't take a vow of poverty and GW is a mainstream scientific belief.

As for stating that I'm the one pontificating, no that wasn't me who tried to state that only young forests absorb carbon.

I suggest you read some science before pontificating yourself. For one it's obvious that you are taking an anti-GW stance and then looking for any and all information to try to support it. The way science ideally operates is that the hypothesis is formed by the observations, which is not how the anti-GW usually operates, which is try to find anything that can remotely support its anti-hypothesis. Take your long winded rip of the paper in question. A word for word rip of the abstract without actually reading the paper or anything from it or truly understanding it. A paper by the way which is 7 years old with no supporting recent papers. On something that doesn't have mainstream traction and is contradicted in other observations from year to year, from different climate to different climate. Pointing it out, when the authors themselves only say that it "may" be underestimated to your "is", is unscientific.

The number that is being discussed should also be put in perspective which you aren't doing. 145Tg is 145x10^12g, which is 145x10^9kg, which is 145x10^6tonnes, which is 145Mt or 0.145Gt. To put that is perspective as of 2004, fossil fuels released about 7.4 gigatonnes of carbon; in 2006 8.4 gigatonnes carbon were emitted. That doesn't take into account what warming does to the forests. The percentage is where the unknown, unaccounted for C goes. It doesn't mean its innoculous.

According to the EPA, forests sequestered 10.6% (637 teragrams of the carbon dioxide released in the United States by the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas; 5657 teragrams). That's it. So looking for bull to abrogate what the US is doing is a patriotic exercise of stupidity. When the flag starts to get waved, it's not science.


From EPA also,
Carbon accumulation in forests and soils eventually reaches a saturation point, beyond which additional sequestration is no longer possible. This happens, for example, when trees reach maturity, or when the organic matter in soils builds back up to original levels before losses occurred. Even after saturation, the trees or agricultural practices would need to be sustained to maintain the accumulated carbon and prevent subsequent losses of carbon back to the atmosphere.


The point is "when the organic matter in soils builds back up to original levels before losses occurred.", which aptly describes the NE conditions part of your paper. Eventually, enough dead biomass will accumulate so that the natural processes output will equal the processes inputs. What people are doing isn't part of that.

Now I didn't write that post about young forests. I don't fully agree with it either. All things being equal, CO2 fertilization should create an equalibrium point where more carbon could potentially be stored in forests but all things aren't equal, the effects on climate should push other factors in the other direction (as drought and as more decomposition goes on), as well as releasing massive amounts of unwanted gases. In other papers, the tropical forests are described as sinks and reduce GW effect while temperate forests are described as positively influencing GW by albedo and minimal sinks. So no, i don't fully agree, though I think it is far more correct than Stas' or your proposition.


Every fiefdom has its guard dogs; it appears that Aym is the last one standing for Al Gore, IPCC, Hanson and cronies.

First of all, how well do you think Al's message is going over when he behaves like the CO2 spewing, G5-jetting, power-guzzling oink that he apparently is?? How does a profligate energy pig have an inch of ground to critique others on?? Ever heard the expression "laughing stock?" And those who defend his two faces sit right in the middle of it.

As to the science - your form is getting tired. Offered empirical, peer-reviewed data and your first response is "you don't understand it." Read the abstract guy - it's isn't hard to understand. That's why it is QUOTED in full (like you do.) Next, you refuse to acknowledge the data because the study was completed seven years ago. Until you refute with specific peer reviewed data to the contrary - it IS the scientific method to accept a valid paper as part of the debate.

As to your references, they both arrive under the research banner of IPCC - a forum that has lost so much credibility that "climate change" no longer registers in mainstream Democratic polling. The unfortunate result of bluff and bluster from exaggeration. The outdated over-selling of AGW has set back the movement for real energy reform at least a decade.

The paper makes no "patriotic" claim - only that the underestimate in the US models extrapolates to global estimates.

Aym, your refusal to accept criticism of your precious AGW theory puts you squarely in the fringe fanatic category. I hope you get paid well for your ideas - because they, like the failed AGW campaign are *hurting* the energy reform movement.

A definition that applies to your refusal to accept honest criticism of hypocrites like Gore:

"An unconscious defense mechanism characterized by refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelings." Denial.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000 (still valid)



grow up. Do I like that Gore uses as much as he does? No. But then the only people who truly think that he is trying to be like a "saint" is the anti-GW side, which I don't think he is or was or is trying to be. Nor does GW advocate poverty. Reality check, jack. The elite use more power than the norm. You don't like, too bad. To be effective he uses more power than the norm. It's not hypocrisy, it's reality. To try to hold public figures to some sort of unrealistic level is naive.

Taking your view to it's penultimate conclusion, would mean that all endevours to do better are promulgated by hypocrites. Advocation, the ability to help effectively has usually not come from the bottom up (who have little power) but from the middleclass and up. This can be seen from the sufferage movement. It can be seen in all the revolutions. And there are always comprises to be made to do what needs to be done.

Gore uses what necessity requires him to use. To extend the suffrage movement, Susan b Anthony had to deny the rights of black women and blacks to appease the racist elements. She didn't like it but that is what was necessary. Is Gore going to be some historically great American? Maybe, maybe not. But that has no bearing on GW.

Your Gore comments have no value in the arguement of global warming. They are nothing but a red herring to emotionally pull the argument in another direction.

"Offered empirical, peer-reviewed data..." Yes, out of context from a peer submitted paper. The context of which is that the majority of old growth forest in the US has been cut down. The carbon has been basically released. The forests has yet to "build back up to the original levels before losses occured". It is only valid to use a paper for debate in it's proper context. As a whole, not just your interpretation of it, which I have full right to question.

The age of the paper is germaine because it presents a hypothesis which needs to be subsequently tested by observed data and explained. Looking for data on subsequent data relating to forest carbon sequesturing shows little if any support. Mostly mixed. A peer reviewed paper is not just accepted because it is presented to be reviewed, it undergoes testing.

As for reading the abstract, did you actually read the paper. It's only 6 pages long. Or did you just look for anything that would support your contentions. I've not only looked at the abstract, I read the actual paper. And no, I'm not going to link it. So far I've seen an intellectual laziness, which frankly I'm not willing to support. Even in the abstract, look at some of his conditions. 100% underestimation of NPP. Really? There is also no mention in the paper that there isn't a point of homeostasis in which the processes that produce CO2 match the uptake.

I accept the paper for what it is. What I don't accept is your interpretation of the abstract or your extrapolation of it to suit your own biased views. You didn't develop the anti-GW position due to the presense of countering evidence. You developed the anti-GW stance and then looked for evidence. It's no wonder the stance stands out like a conspiracy theory.

As for not being able to take a critique. That is a bogus arguement. I can very well critique your own so called critique of GW, which is full of predisposed leanings. That isn't fanatism, that's discussion. The fact that you don't actually attack the numbers or the sources of those numbers in your critique but instead try to go for the emotional/personal angle, I take as a testiment of your ability to just argue and only argue.

As for GW becoming a back burning issue. It's more from the unmitigated disaster that came from trying to "grow" the economy almost uncontrollably that is now taking centre stage, which is understandable. Your views are very obviously biased by your own fanatical stand.

As for it hurting energy reforms. What reforms may that be? Nuclear power? I've hardly seen rational/realistic support of it. Mostly pie in the sky fanatical support that it's believers require that it is the "only" solution. My only problem is the "only" part or the failure to see the totality of the impacts of what nuclear power represents. It's true costs and benefits, which are consistantly misrepresented and which I can tell by my own extensive readings. I've easily defended positions of alternative power. In a congressional report, the economics of nuclear only become favourable under conditions of a carbon tax. There are other articles and studies that show how really economical nuclear is. It is obvious that the push for cleaner energy reform is coming from not only need but from environmental concerns. The fact that you believe that "your view" is the paramount, "correct" one, would seem to point to your own fanatism.


As for accusing me of saying the paper is making a patriotic claim. No. For one the paper isn't about the US. Your interpretation of the paper is trying to abrogate US inaction. That is a form of nationalism. Two, read stas' US is this or that rant. I'm not saying the paper is nationalistic, but your interpretation is. His rant certainly was.

As for branding me a fanatic, that's a joke. Yes I do believe in GW but my defense of it stems more from the desire to defend the scientific principles that developed it and not the biased presentations that get shot around when trying to present the anti-GW side.

Use inuendo, insults and other arguementative techniques. So keep inferring that GW is a medieval structure, that I'm a guard dog. That is real fanatism. They don't hide the weaknesses of the anti-GW side and its arguements, nor their need to misrepresent information.

stas peterson

For those who want to lead even if it is circles, or to nowhere, consider this.

If the precautionary principle was applied in 1978, we would have launched on a massive attempt to build the dirtiest coal plants possible, gushing CO2 and soot.

There would have been proposals to set off lots of hydrogen bombs to warm the planet. All in an attempt to pump as much CO2 and heat into the air as possible. All done to have the supposed GHGs counter the growing threat from the New Ice Age.

Would that have proven to be a valid course of action for the "Precautionary principle"? Certainly. In hindsight, would it have been wise? Certainly not.

There has not been any global warming in a decade. Nor is any in the offing for at least another decade and probably two, so say scientists on both sides of the debate.

New theoretical models of the atmosphere by Miskolczi and others, even provide theoretical questions to the ability of GHG gas additions to alter the temperature profile of the Earth, by any real measure. The Earth's atmosphere is supposedly saturated with GHG gases,can't accept anymore, and merely flushes them out or their equivalents.

There simply is no urgency; to do anything other than what we have been doing. Create alternatives. Improve efficency. Develop new methods. Seek confirmation.



among the scientific community, there was no serious belief in global cooling in the 70's. It may have made the cover of newsweek but so what. Even in this period, there were papers on CO2 induced climate change.

As for the ludricrous idea that it would've led to consistant nuclear bombardment, I point to a long history of papers that clearly point to the use of nuclear weapons causing the opposite effect and environmental devastation.


Ferenc Miskolczi, when I read the so called paper was presented at the International Conference on Climate Change, New York, organized by The Heartland Institute, I immediately smelled a rat and a big one. The conference was held with the backing of the big oil. It paid for "scientists" to come. Many of them like Singer are glorified paid advocated. It got zero coverage because it was nothing but a lame attempt to generate buzz and the press realized it. It was not a recognized scientific conference but you have to love what they called it.

Miskolczi's paper was rejected by every leading edge peer reviewed publication. He had to get out it through dailytech, non peer reviewed channels and the Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service. Sorry but that's a large grain of salt to take. Not only that but though it puts an upper level on the amount of warming (which according to people who are pushing it, isn't happening anyway), it doesn't exactly quantify what that upper level is. Looking at the historical data to what the temperatures on earth could be shows environments that are not conducive to human civilization, irrespective of the upper limits.

his paper





Frankly Miskolczi’s paper is marginal at best and will most likely be slowly torn to shreds though I sure that it made the denialists happy and they will cry suppression all the way as it gets torn to shreds. Frankly, i remeber his quitting and this paper when it happened. I say again what I said then, a paper didn't met the criteria of the publisher. Where's the scandel?

Lastly, it hasn't gotten hotter in the last 10 years? Compared to the large termperature spike in 98 maybe but looking at a running average which would filter low frequency noise then it has gotten hotter.


Sir Aym you claim:

"Gore uses what necessity requires him to use."

Gore's mansion, 20-room, eight-bathroom located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the
Nashville Electric Service.

Al's kids are all grown - he jets about the country making $100k per AGW speech. He is a veritable eco-buffoon caught in the headlights. But years before Al's VP post, wife Tipper tried to censor the lyrics in popular music. It took a Congressional hearing to remind her that the First Amendment is essentially non-negotiable. It may simply be a bible-belt trait.

The intent of those demanding an equitable hearing of AGW skeptics is to avoid financial boondoggles like Cap and Trade schemes which redirect hundreds of billions of dollars to clever commodity traders (Al invests in one such outfit.) AND to move the adoption of alternative energy forward as intelligent social, political and technological progress. Getting caught hyping AGW lets status quo oil cartel toadies dismiss sustainability with the same derision you hold for AGW skeptics. Nothing to do with nuclear.

Growing up involves more than posing in an adult's clothes - it requires admitting one's wrongs and taking steps to correct them.


"I've not only looked at the abstract, I read the actual paper. And no, I'm not going to link it. So far I've seen an intellectual laziness, which frankly I'm not willing to support."

So, aym, self-righteous Pride accuses me of Sloth. How do you KNOW if I have read the paper? Do you have some kind of magical mind-reading ability? Do you know my process for argumentation? Do you understand how debate works? It works by holding a position and then supporting that position with evidence. Works the same with the law, police investigations, and yes, even science.

Having read your diatribes it appears that your claims of prescience, overriding intellect and dismissal of glaring moral contradictions - keeps you in the fringe fanatical fiefdom of gloom and doomers. Only, your latest claims beg the notion that you are at a loss of a few marbles.



As for necessity, yes. I'm sure that a person who expends the average american CO2 budget talks and influences heads of state and CEO's and influences people on the scale that he does. When he took up GW, I'm sure that you videotaped his vow of chastity and poverty? No? Then guess what, he made money on something you don't believe. Too freakin bad. He's not a saint but he's certainly not the devil. I certainly don't see you applying a fraction of your indignation towards Singer or all the anti-GW scientists who moved from fighting for tobacco to the now lucrative GW fight. All that is beside the point anyway.

I wrote and I continue to write that your Gore comments have no value in the arguement of the validity of global warming. They are nothing but a red herring to emotionally pull the argument in another direction. An immature tirade. I reemphasize that especially the comment about his wife.

No one has talked about cap and trade, a version of which is already used to control sulfer emissions by the way, or of anything else.

By segueing into it's social/societal costs you are revealing more or less your true reasons. Ideological ones. You don't like what it may entail, so the causal reasons must be false. You accused me of preventing some progress but you don't specify how. You just want things your way. As for it being argued that environmentalism is in the way of progress, I've given an example that shows that the present awareness has economically enhanced the viability of non-polluting technologies. I've never said that other solutions were the "only" solutions.

Again, you have gone with the emotional arguements and attacks. None of which have anything to do the science of global warming. None of which backs up your previous quantitative data which I refuted with sources and quotes of my own. I have admitted I was wrong in the past with misinformation. It's no big deal. In this case though, I have presented far better arguements and a higher level of cognizance than you have.

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