Guest Contribution: “Will the Coronavirus Spur Action on Climate Change?”

Today, we present a guest post written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and formerly a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.  A shorter version appeared in Project Syndicate and The Guardian.

From early on in this pandemic, a common reaction has been “at least, maybe now we will get serious about addressing climate change.”  One can see the logic.  The terrible toll taken by Covid-19 should remind us of the importance of three things: the need for science, the role for public policy, and the usefulness of international cooperation.  With these three revelations firmly in mind, we can see that we also need them to respond to the problem of climate change.  We should listen to the scientists who have been warning for decades that greenhouse gas emissions, if left unchecked would also have terrible consequences.  That some of these consequences have dramatically appeared in this same coronavirus year  – the wildfires, cyclones, and even a plague of locusts in Africa – would seem to reinforce the message.

The parallels between the coronavirus and climate change are logically sound. I fear, however, that the inferred political connection may be a non sequitur.  If some leaders and their followers — in such countries as the United States, Brazil, Mexico and even the once-sensible United Kingdom — can downplay the significance of the pandemic and override the recommendations of the relevant scientific experts, they can do the same for climate change.

The three revelations are worth underscoring.   In the first place, the coronavirus should remind everybody that the facts of nature cannot be wished away, and that progress follows the road of science.  Conspiracy theories are no more valid when they take the form of “climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China” than when it is “Covid-19 is a plot perpetrated by China”.  We should listen to the experts, not to mention common sense.

Second, contagious disease and environmental damage are both classic examples of what economists call externalities: problems that markets cannot handle on their own because individuals do not fully bear the costs of their own actions.  The recognition that there is a critical role for public policy in the area of public health might lead the political pendulum to swing away from small-government ideology.  But government intervention should be designed intelligently, targeted to achieve its goals efficiently.

Thirdly, while some diseases and some kinds of pollution are primarily domestic in their effects and so can be handled by individual national governments, global pandemic and global climate change are both global externalities, and so call for some amount of global cooperation, whether through the World Health Organization and Paris climate agreement or in other ways.

There are many other, more direct connections between global health and global environment. Some of them indeed offer a bit of hope that progress on one of the two goals could imply progress on the other.

Destruction of forests simultaneously adds to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and forces bats and other animals who may be carrying disease into contact with humans, which was likely the origins of this coronavirus in China.

The wildfires in the Western US (and parts of Australia, Siberia, and Europe) are in large part a consequence of global warming: hot weather and drought created the conditions. But they are also a contributor to it: the wildfires have sent many tons of carbon into the atmosphere.  But even before that happens, the Particulate Matter from the smoke can do immediate damage to the lungs of the same people already endangered by Covid-19.

The recession has decreased the demand for oil, sending its 2020 price down to where it was five years ago, around $40/barrel.  For developing countries that use subsidies to keep the domestic price of energy artificially low (particularly oil-exporting countries), the present would be a good time to reform the policy and to let the energy price be determined by the market.  These subsidies are harmful to the environment, to economic efficiency, and to the budget. A lose-lose-lose policy. Eliminating them is a win-win-win reform, though very fraught politically.

When oil prices fell sharply in 2014-15, a number of countries wisely took advantage of the opportunity to eliminate consumer subsidies at a time when it would not result in rising retail prices.  There was relatively little political protest at the time.  Unfortunately, most of these governments did not take full advantage of the opportunity to institutionalize a system that would let retail prices fluctuate day-to-day with free market prices.  Citizens had not lost the habit of holding the government responsible for determining the retail price, by the time the global price of oil edged back up (2016-2018).  As a result, politically, subsidies had to be reinstated in some countries.

Besides the positive correlations between the pandemic and climate change, some direct connections go the other way, aspects of the pandemic that work to slow climate change.

As the recession of 2007-09 already demonstrated, a reduction in economic activity carries with it a reduction in carbon emissions.  This is particularly true of air travel, which has been uniquely impacted by the risk of contagion.

The recession is presumably temporary.  But the moderation of air travel might be partly permanent.  Tourism will bounce back.   But for many of us, flying somewhere to watch PowerPoint presentations has lost some of its charm, relative to staying home to watch the same presentations.  Rather than bailing out the entire airline industry so generously as to prevent any bankruptcies, consolidation, or long-term shrinkage, governments should require the use of airplanes to reduce emissions to a comparable extent as the use of automobiles.

It’s hard to predict whether the pandemic will politically galvanize support for more aggressive action on climate change.  There are some who say, “with high unemployment and sky-rocketing debt, we can’t afford to spend money on the climate change issue.”

Perhaps the most immediate silver lining to the tragedy of hundreds of thousands of lost lives is the effect that Donald Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus has had on his re-election prospects in the US.  If the Democrats take back the White House and the Senate in November, we are likely to see a return in respect for scientific expertise, well thought-out public policy, and international cooperation.  This should have wide-ranging payoffs, from environmental protection to rejoining the Iran nuclear treaty, to addressing inequality, aside from better leadership in fighting the pandemic.

What does well thought-out public policy on climate change look like in current economic circumstances?  “Spend green today, tax green in the future,”  I wrote in the 2009 depth of the Great Recession.  With unemployment back up to 7.9%, the prescription applies again today.  In the short run, we need a renewal of fiscal stimulus.  So take advantage of the opportunity — to “Build back better,” as US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says — to help the environment while also helping the economy.

But looking past the recession to the more distant future, there must be some element of fiscal limits. This recognition distinguishes what a Biden Administration would do from the “Green New Deal,” at least if that proposed legislation is taken literally.  A phased-in carbon tax would be a win-win-win solution, as economists of both parties agree.

The choice is up to American voters, whether to bring back respect for science, sensible public policy, and awareness that we live in an inter-connected world.

 


This post written by Jeffrey Frankel.

169 thoughts on “Guest Contribution: “Will the Coronavirus Spur Action on Climate Change?”

  1. macroduck

    Mark Meadows has a old reporters off the record that Trump’s condition is “very concerning”.

    The Senate could run short of GOP votes to confirm Barrett because of Covid cases.

    People with spiritual inclinations say “Karma” to mean what the rest of us call “irony”.

  2. macroduck

    Meadows would not have told reporters that Trump’s condition is concerning without having a good political reason. My guess, he is preparing the ground for Pence to take up the powers of the presidency.

    1. 2slugbaits

      macroduck Mark Meadows isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in anything he says. He’s a “by the gut” player, so my guess is that he’s laying the groundwork for an heroic recovery that proves Trump is God’s divine instrument. I’m reminded of the way Hitler turned the failed assassination bombing into a demonstration of the Fuhrer’s invincibility. The more grave Meadows makes things sound today, the greater will be the force of Trump’s Resurrection.

      As to Prof. Frankel’s guest piece, I believe he’s right on the issues but overestimates the intelligence of American voters. Voters are myopic, and old voters in their 70s and 80s (like some of our wingnut friends here) are especially myopic. It’s hard to care about what will happen in 2040 if you’re in your 80s today. I’m pretty sure that most voters flunked the marshmallow test when they were kids and I doubt that they’ve gotten any better at delayed gratification as they’ve gotten older. And while the notion of externalities is blazingly obvious to anyone who has ever taken a microeconomics course, you have to remember that 68.5% of the 25 and over population does not have a four year degree, so Micro 101 is unfamiliar territory.

      1. SecondLook

        A footnote to the marshmallow test. Follow up studies now strongly indicate that economic background influences the young subjects, i.e. the wealthier the family, the more likely the child was willing to delay gratifaction, and vice versa.

      2. dilbert dogbert

        Yes, myopic since the 4th grade but now at 85 20-20 after cataract surgery. WhoRaw for modern medicine!!

  3. sammy

    Every natural disaster, I mean EVERY one, whether it be hurricane, tornado, drought, freeze, disease, flood, is attributed to Climate Change. Isn’t this a little strange and unscientific? I mean it almost seems like someone has an agenda, no?

    I think there are elements of an agenda, but mostly it is just a manifestation of mankind’s need to explain natural phenomena in terms of man’s actions, in particular man’s wickedness. Throughout recorded history, men have attributed every natural disaster as the fault of some other man’s wickedness or sin no matter what the religion or culture (ie. Black Death, famine, military defeat etc. because someone offended the gods). in this case the religion is environmentalism and the sin is overconsumption. Seems little different from ancient times.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      sammy: I thought AIDS was attributed to encroachment of humans into areas previously largely uninhabited, and resulting cross-species transmission. To my knowledge, there’s very few attributions of Covid-19 to global climate change.

      I would say your religion is sheer obliviousness to science, enhanced by an inability to read and comprehend journal articles.

    2. 2slugbaits

      sammy mostly it is just a manifestation of mankind’s need to explain natural phenomena in terms of man’s actions,

      I think you’ve got it backwards. There is no doubt that the climate is changing. Even CoRev has (on occasion) admitted as much. The question is whether or not it’s manmade climate change or some naturally occurring phenomenon. The reason scientists believe it is manmade is because it cannot be explained any other way. It’s science’s inability to explain climate change as a natural phenomenon that makes the case for it being manmade.

      1. Jeffrey Frankel

        To 2slugbaits:
        That’s not right. Before it was a discernible reality that needed explaining, global warming was a prediction that the scientists made, based on the known “greenhouse effect” and the rate of manmade emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. The warming we have seen over the last several decades is a confirmation of the prediction, not a phenomenon in search of an explanation. — JF

        1. 2slugbaits

          Jeffrey Frankel I probably wasn’t clear. I agree that science predicted the greenhouse effect 100 years ago; however, that alone would not clinch the case for manmade global warming because it would not necessarily preclude the case for climate change occurring naturally. In other words, there is nothing that logically prevents both statements from being true; viz., that greenhouse cases will raise global temperatures and rising temperatures are a naturally occurring phenomenon. So the fact that a key scientific prediction came to pass does not in-and-of-itself prove the scientific theory if other explanations are available. I could predict that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow because the god Helios will ride his chariot across the sky. My prediction might come true, but my reasons are specious. Of course, the science has been pretty definitive that the rise in global temperatures cannot be explained by natural cycles, so we can confidently write that one off just as we can confidently write off my theory about Helios’s chariot. There are no other plausible explanations. The only plausible theory left standing is that climate change is due to the manmade emissions of greenhouse gases. Contrary to sammy, manmade climate change is not a manifestation of man’s need to explain natural phenomenon in terms of man’s actions; manmade climate change is the correct theory because all other plausible explanations have been disproven.

      2. CoRev

        2slugs, “There is no doubt that the climate is changing. Even CoRev has (on occasion) admitted as much.” show me where I denied that climate did not change. Now then if you want to show where I said the “average temperature” wasn’t rising that was true for ~15 years. i still have the graphs showing it, and if you want the IPCC links referencing it can still be found.

        You do know the difference in climate versus temperature change don’t you?

    3. pgl

      I predicted the Usual Suspects would go off the rail and Sammy comes through!

      “Every natural disaster, I mean EVERY one, whether it be hurricane, tornado, drought, freeze, disease, flood, is attributed to Climate Change. Isn’t this a little strange and unscientific? I mean it almost seems like someone has an agenda, no?”

      Seriously Sammy? This dishonest rant is the best you got?

    4. pgl

      Check out the 5 links under “one can see the logic”. Interesting discussions including the one entitled

      “Climate Change and COVID-19: UN urges nations to ‘recover better’”

      Oh wait – Biden has been saying build back better. Gee Sammy – it seems Biden is paying attention whereas Trump has his head in the sand. Now we see why you threw your little rant.

    5. dilbert dogbert

      Sammy! Cut the cord! No more FUX news. No more TV.
      I don’t know if you do those things you will recover but it is worth a try.

    6. Baffling

      I dont think anybody attributed earthquakes, a major natural disaster, to global warming. Idiot.

  4. pgl

    An excellent essay on both the economics and the sad state of politics. Alas – we should expect the usual tirade of nonsense from the Usual Suspects who at their core are climate change deniers turned pandemic quacks.

  5. ltr

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-10-01/The-COVID-climate-nexus-Ue8KMopZ4s/index.html

    October 1, 2020

    The COVID-climate nexus
    By Jeffrey Frankel

    [ The essay was also published by the Chinese press service and followed on the speech on climate and COVID made to the United Nations by Xi Jinping:

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-09-23/Full-text-Xi-Jinping-s-speech-at-General-Debate-of-UNGA-U07X2dn8Ag/index.html

    September 23, 2020

    Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the General Debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly ]

  6. Bruce Hall

    We’ve seen the future of Democratic Party “management” of climate change in California… and it should frighten everyone because it is certainly frightening a lot of Californians out of the state and making life miserable for those who stay.

    • outrageous cost of electricity, feeble electric grid, brownouts, blackouts, and fires from poorly maintained transformers… now let’s just add millions of new EVs
    • cost of gasoline among the highest in the nation
    • water shortages to ensure common smelt species gets enough water flow in rivers
    • mismanaged forests to keep them “natural” thus exacerbating forest fires

    Then we can add
    • drugs and homelessness rampant in “enlightened” cities
    • high poverty rate
    • extreme income inequality

    Yup, the model for the rest of the U.S. That road has always been paved with good intentions.

    1. pgl

      God – you have a serious problem here Bruce. Blame NY for our COVID deaths. Blame Cali for their fires. But never once get right what is causing these disasters. Look I know you love to parrot the intellectual garbage from Kelly Anne Conway but I hope you know your advice of how to survive this virus just ended up with her getting it.

      1. Bruce Hall

        pgl, The New York Times already blamed New Yorkers for spreading C-19 and you might be capable enough to look that up.

        California is a mess and not from climate change but from gross mismanagement and “woke” policies that allow dangerous behavior to be treated as the consequences of “victimization” rather than really awful personal choices. You can’t yell “fire” in a theater, but you can shit on the sidewalk and toss your infected needles into school sandboxes (California stopped the needle exchange program because it was too onerous for drug users).

        1. pgl

          The NYTimes? Funny you provided no link. But do troll on with your stupid garbage. BTW – have you met with Trump’s new Supreme Court justice? If so, you might just have COVID 19 too.

        2. pgl

          Jeff Frankel us with some useful links including:

          https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/09/climate-change-increases-risk-fires-western-us/

          “The science connecting wildfires to climate change – A heating-up planet has driven huge increases in wildfire area burned over the past few decades.

          CLIMATE CHANGE HAS inexorably stacked the deck in favor of bigger and more intense fires across the American West over the past few decades, science has incontrovertibly shown. Increasing heat, changing rain and snow patterns, shifts in plant communities, and other climate-related changes have vastly increased the likelihood that fires will start more often and burn more intensely and widely than they have in the past.”

          The discussion continues and check out this passage from the picture:

          “The Creek Fire, in the Sierra National Forest in California, has burned hundreds of thousands of acres. Its spread was fueled by the preesnce of many dead, super dry trees; climate change contributed to both their death and their dryness.”

          Leave it to the village idiot known as Bruce Hall to write:

          “California is a mess and not from climate change”.

          Excuse me Bruce but I guess you did not read the original post or the links Jeff provided. And why would you as you do not even read the links you provide in your incredibly worthless comments.

    2. noneconomist

      Too much Bruce ranting, but some clarification on water may helpful (i.e., helpful to those whose minds are not closed).
      The Public Policy Institute of California ( ppic.org) has some revealing data on California water use
      Ag water use is down, but the “economic value of farm production is growing. Nine million acres of farmland in California are irrigated, representing roughly 80% of all water used for business and homes. Higher revenue perennial crops–nuts, grapes, and other fruit–have increased as a share of irrigated acreage…This shift , plus rising crop yields, has INCREASED the economic return on water used for agriculture.Farm production generates 38% more gross state product in 2015 than in 1980…But even as the agricultural economy is GROWING, the rest of the economy is growing faster.”
      “Half of California’s environmental water use occurs in rivers along the state’s north coast. These waters are largely isolated from major agricultural and urban areas, and their wild and scenic status protects them from significant development.”
      “The San Francisco Bay and South Coast regions account for most urban water use in California. Both rely heavily on water imported form other parts of the state.Total urban water use has been falling even as the population grows….Much of the recent savings came from reducing landscape watering, which makes up HALF of all urban use.”
      There’s a lot more, including “Drought will pose major water challenges” as if those who live here didn’t know
      . See https:// http://www.ppic.org/ publication/water-use-in-california
      ( Mention is also made of substantial efforts to reduce water use through pricing incentives and more widespread use of water-saving technologies).

      1. Bruce Hall

        Look how much water runs out of Los Angeles’ concrete rivers.

        If you’ve been to some of those agricultural sections of California, you’d have seen some pretty impressive water conservation techniques. If you’ve been to California cities, you’ve only seen reactionary policies when things get dry (as they do in semi-arid regions). California could learn something from Israel about water.
        https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Israels-groundbreaking-water-technology-exported-worldwide-517848

        1. noneconomist

          Bruce, since I’ve lived in California 62 years (and since you live in Michigan). I’m pretty sure i know what I’ve seen in the valleys where agriculture flourishes, especially the two closest to me: the San Joaquin and the Sacramento. I’ve traveled up and down both dozens of times.
          As water has become more expensive, growers have made great strides in water conservation, including widespread use of drip irrigation. It’s very noticeable in the north where lots of walnut and almond groves dot the landscape.And also in vineyards planted in many more valley and foothill locations.
          Speaking of “dripping”, I’ve been practicing that method for over 40 years as have many neighbors. Though I have access to irrigation water, many neighbors rely solely on wells to irrigate their gardens and shrubs, ornamental flowers and trees. Drip systems are a common sight here and up and down the state.
          You did notice that climate change is affecting Israel, right? Less rainfall combined with a growing population will present significant challenges. Much like here where state and local water districts are planning for less snow (the mountains remain our largest reservoirs) and increasingly erratic rain years when too much then too little will be the norm.
          The state and local districts have also made strides in recycling (especially in agricultural use and recharging groundwater basins). Recycling is even very common is car washes where signs note that the wash recycles and reuses its own water.
          State data indicates there are plenty of reuse projects including larger ones such as Orange County Groundwater Replenishment System. multiple LA County Sanitation Districts (where they note recycled water has been used to recharge groundwater since the 1960’s) Irvine Ranch, Contra Costa Sanitary District, Dublin San Ramon and plenty of others.
          From 1998-2015 data from California Dept. of Water Resources shows that Agriculture used an average of 31 million acre feet/year while Urban use (residential, commercial, industrial) averaged about 7.9 million acre feet per year. Water use, naturally, varies greatly by region as well as between wet and dry years.
          As also noted, “even as the agricultural economy is GROWING, the rest of the economy is growing FASTER. Today, farm production and food processing generate about 2% of California’s gross state product, down from about 5% in the early 1960’s.”
          Heavy winter rains will cause substantial amounts of water to flow out of Los Angeles’ “concrete rivers” since Los Angeles is surrounded by mountains, meaning excess rainwater will exit to the Pacific.
          BTW, there’s also a new 1.5 million acre feet reservoir planned in the north (Sites Reservoir) to be used as “off stream storage for drier periods” Projected start is 2023.

        2. pgl

          It seems your brain has been flooded. Odd how someone how has not been out of his Michigan basement for over 6 months is now some sort of expert on water in California. Come on Bruce – your own dog has grown tired of your pointless rants.

        3. Baffling

          The valley irresponsibly sucked out most of the groundwater. They learned a lesson, which is why the practice a little more water conservation now. Just a little.

      2. pgl

        How dare anyone talk about California water without mentioning one of the great movies of all time – Chinatown (1974)?

        https://screenrant.com/chinatown-real-story-california-water-wars/

        The film’s convoluted mystery plot owes a lot to classic noirs like The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon, which should come as no surprise to film fans as the director of the latter, John Huston, plays Chinatown’s reprehensible antagonist Noah Cross. The film’s conspiracy follows some unscrupulous businessman bribing politicians to steal a smaller town’s water supply in order to give the city of LA cheaper access to more resources. And unlike so many movies which claim to be, the story of this critically acclaimed film noir is almost entirely true. The real-life plot was a story of intrigue and chicanery worthy of the film it inspired, although fortunately there’s less incest in the reality of California’s one-sided “water wars.” If anything, Chinatown played down the extent of the corruption involved in the water wars, with the real-life conspiracy implicating everyone from local philanthropists right up to the president himself. The unforgettably vile mastermind of the film’s conspiracy Noah Cross is based on a combination (to avoid any possible litigation) of real-life figures Frederick Eaton and civil engineer William Mullholland. Yes, that Mulholland. As in, the LA figure so famous that the iconic Mulholland Drive is named in his honor (not to mention David Lynch’s mind-melting mystery Mulholland Drive). Between them, Eaton and Mulholland devised a plan to construct an aqueduct to divert the water supply of neighboring Owens Valley into LA. So surely the valley was an uninhabited stretch of disused land, right? Actually, Owens Valley was filled with furious local farmers who needed that water for their crops (as well as, well, basic survival). But Eaton and Mulholland pulled numerous not-quite-legal maneuvers to ensure they accessed rights to the water, including exaggerating LA’s lack of water to gain public support, buying the land required for an aqueduct as private citizens and selling it back to the city for a profit, and even meeting then-President Theodore Roosevelt in-person to ensure he’d support their (at best immoral, likely illegal) endeavor. So maybe it’s no surprise that later noir films like Blade Runner imagined 2019 LA as a rain-soaked wasteland, after all the havoc that city officials wrought on the area’s ecosystem for personal profit.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjSshSvQWQA

        Forget it Jake. It’s Chinatown.

        1. noneconomist

          Also worth reading and viewing (PBS did a four part series) is the late Marc Reisner’s “Cadillac Desert, The American West and Its DIsappearing Water.” it was first published in the late 80’s and updated over a quarter century ago. It’s still relevant today and very informative.

    3. macroduck

      Man, I love it when political hacks step in their own mess. Thanks, Brucey, for making my day! He’s are just a few ways in which what you’ve written here is dishonest and dumb:

      You’ve repeated Trump’ canard about bad forest management being the cause of California’s fires. The federal government owns about 57% of California’s forest lands. The state owns 3%. About 2/3 of the area burned in western state this year has been on federal land, like most years. Trump is in charge of the majority of the problem. Oh, and the rules governing forest management in California grow out of an effort to avoid another “supervise” like the one in 1910, not an effort to keep forests natural. A little history goes a long way, Brucey.

      Income inequality and poverty are pretty much the same problem, so you are padding your list for effect, but that’s OK. It’s a serious problem, one which can be addressed through an aggressive program of tax-funded income transfers. We should get right on that.

      California’s power grid is held by six privately owned companies. You don’t like private enterprise? ‘Cause your beef is with them, not Democrats. Nice deflection, though. That’s very Covid Kelly Anne of you.

      You’re moaning about high energy prices in a comment about climate change? Seriously? Higher energy prices would be the central element of any market based approach to dealing with climate change. You could not have done a worse job if you had tried…wait… Are you secretly arguing for a carbon tax? ‘Cause you know carbon taxes are an idea that originally came from conservative thinkers, but was abandoned by the Republican Party.

      Anyhow, thanks for the giggle.

      1. pgl

        Remember that Brucie boy told us that hydroxychloroquine had received FDA approval for treating COVID-19 while Remdesivir had not on the same day that the latter did receive FDA approval. Now if Dr. Bruce was so sure of himself, ask this quack why Trump has not taken hydroxychloroquine but he has taken Remdesivir.

    4. pgl

      Bruce Hall must have replaced Peak Trader as copy boy for Kelly Anne Conway with that rant as to how California is doing economically. After all Peaky kept telling us people were fleeing Cali even as its population continues to grow. One thing these copy boys for Kelly Anne never tell us is how states compare in terms of gross state product per capita:

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/248063/per-capita-us-real-gross-domestic-product-gdp-by-state/

      California must be in poverty with income per capita in excess of $70K per year whereas Bruce Hall’s state is less than $48K per year. Which explains why when his mom goes shopping so Brucie can hide in her basement, all she buys for this scared little boy is oatmeal.

    5. dilbert dogbert

      Bruce I have lived in California all my life and have never seen the climate isolating wall that was built by rethuglicans to protect us. I never read of when the democrats knocked it down. Please send links.

      1. pgl

        He will send links as soon as he gets the email from Kelly Anne Conway. Oh wait – she has been sidelined by the virus. Be patient as Bruce is totally dependent on Ms. Conway for his spin.

  7. sammy

    2slugbaits,

    “It’s science’s inability to explain climate change as a natural phenomenon that makes the case for it being manmade.”

    This is an extremely weak argument.

    We don’t understand why the climate is warming (slightly) so it must be man? We should spend trillions of $ based on this analysis?

    1. pgl

      “We don’t understand why the climate is warming (slightly) so it must be man?”

      Sammy just admitted we have global warming. Ah Sammy – you are about to be fired from Team Trump. Naw – it is not caused my man’s actions as Sammy have evidence it is caused by little Green Martians!

      1. macroduck

        No, no, no. Not martians!

        You see, when a carbon atom and two oxygen atoms love each other very much….no judgement, now…well they just can’t help themselves. And there’s nothing we can do to stop them. So (slight) climate change is happening, and causing sea levels to rise, weather patterns to become more erratic, damaging sea life, putting human populations at risk and all that, but it’s not our fault. It’s those atoms, doing what comes naturally. And if those atoms can find love in a world ravaged by disease, climate change and Donald Trump, I say we should be happy for them.

      2. dilbert dogbert

        Yes, myopic since the 4th grade but now at 85 20-20 after cataract surgery. WhoRaw for modern medicine!!

    2. 2slugbaits

      sammy Can you provide a coherent theory that would not predict global warming with the introduction of greenhouse gases? You might not understand why the climate is warming, but that’s your problem.

      BTW, do you know what an externality is? Did you ever take Micro 101? Ever hear of a Pigouvian tax?

      1. sammy

        “Can you provide a coherent theory that would not predict global warming with the introduction of greenhouse gases? ”

        Sure. That theory would consider the sun’s varying intensity, sun spots, changes in the earth’s orbiting distance from the sun, cloud cover, volcanic activity, ocean currents, the tilt of the earth’s axis, solar winds, snow cover, changes in other greenhouse gases, and a very small, almost microscopic, weighting to manmade CO2 levels.

        1. CoRev

          To add to Sammy’s list, add thunder storms, Urban Heat islands, and blind belief in models and not the ORIGINAL data.

          I usually ask this question: List the correct predictions from AGW science. I’ll wait.

          1. pgl

            Pray tell who is blaming thunder storms on global warming? Do link to this fictitious story of yours. Moron.

          2. Barkley Rosser

            Climatologists have been aware of the urban heat island effect for a long time and have corrected for it. Sorry, CoRev, that one does not work for you. And thunder storms are clearly endogenous to the system. Gag.

        2. CoRev

          The Iris theory explains the bulk of that list. This theory explains how the climate changes naturally. It uses ALL the known causes of change.

          So let’s compare that with the AGW theory. This theory ignores all these known causes to focus on the least understood portion, Green House Gases (GHGs), to explain climate change. Compounding that weakness AGW theorists focus on the least reactive of the gases, while ignoring the most reactive, H2O. They also focus on radiation heat transfer while ignoring the other two forms, conduction and convection.

          Everyone agrees that almost all energy for climate change originates from the Sun. Most agree that climate is the average of the weather conditions over a period of time. Major components of weather are energy shift through convection and conduction. How can a theory which ignores these key factors be acceptable science?

          “Follow the science” is a chant from one side for many things, but that implies the other side doesn’t. There is always a yin and yang in scientific process. Scientific skepticism is a core value of science. It shows that the scientist is a good scientist and is open-minded. AGW theorists and their believers can not accept any skepticism. Thus confirming the weakness of the science

          1. CoRev

            PGL, sources? Do you need a source for Lindzen’s hypothesis? That level of ignorance shouldn’t be commenting on a subject.

          2. pgl

            Cato’s Richard Lindzen got paid some big bucks by the Koch Brothers to push this controversial hypothesis. Ah yes – Larry King in 2007 let this hack declare:

            We’re talking of a few tenths of a degree change in temperature. None of it in the last eight years, by the way. And if we had warming, it should be accomplished by less storminess. But because the temperature itself is so unspectacular, we have developed all sorts of fear of prospect scenarios – of flooding, of plague, of increased storminess when the physics says we should see less. I think it’s mainly just like little kids locking themselves in dark closets to see how much they can scare each other and themselves.

            But 5 years later in the NYTimes noted:

            “Dr. Lindzen accepts the elementary tenets of climate science. He agrees that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, calling people who dispute that point “nutty.” He agrees that the level of it is rising because of human activity and that this should warm the climate.”

            But you must be referring to his 2001 manifesto. I trust you do realize other research have suggested he got his Iris effect backwards. But of course a dishonest slime like you would never admit it.

          3. pgl

            “The Iris theory explains the bulk of that list. This theory explains how the climate changes naturally. It uses ALL the known causes of change.”

            This is extreme overhyping what the Iris Hypothesis says. BTW – it was promoted by a Cato cranks and has not been received well by subsequent research. But it seems you found a concept from the Google machine which you have no damn clue what it really even means.

        3. Baffling

          Sammy, each of those items are known and have been considered. Investigation revealed they were not the cause of the recent global warming trend. Try again.

          1. pgl

            I was wondering why CoRev (not Sammy this time) provided no references. How much you want to bet that any sources would prove you right. CoRev does try to impress us that he understands these things even when he constantly misrepresents what his sources say.

        4. Barkley Rosser

          Thanks for providing a useful, if incomplete list (cosmic rays!), and we know that most of these are not changing, such as the earth’s orbiting distance from the sun and the tilt of the earth’s axis. Of the few that are changing, some have been changing in a way that would tend to cool things off, notably changes in sunspot activity.

          Oh, they did not tell you that? Too bad, but the problem is that the few non-human-induced changes going on would make the earth cooler, which is why it looks so strongly that indeed it is the anthropegenic things that are respoinsible (or mostly) for the warming going on.

          1. CoRev

            Barkley claims: “…most of these are not changing, such as the earth’s orbiting distance from the sun and the tilt of the earth’s axis.” Let’s discuss: 1) ” not changing, such as the earth’s orbiting distance from the sun” Earth’s orbit is an ellipse at its closest it is ~91.4M miles at its furthest it is ~94.5M miles. So it is changing distance all the time, every day, every year. 2) “are not changing, such as the earth’s … the tilt of the earth’s axis” Earth’s axis constantly changes, albeit less than its orbital distance. On a monthly basis it changes ~0.00001°, or 0.04″.

            Since climate is usually calculated as an average of 30 years (the minimum recommended period) of the weather conditions. You can do your own calculations to estimate change on a a spot on the surface. Here’s an explanation of its effect: https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2948/milankovitch-orbital-cycles-and-their-role-in-earths-climate/
            “The Milankovitch cycles include:

            The shape of Earth’s orbit, known as eccentricity;
            The angle Earth’s axis is tilted with respect to Earth’s orbital plane, known as obliquity; and
            The direction Earth’s axis of rotation is pointed, known as precession.”

          2. pgl

            CoRev found an interesting discussion of Milankovitch cycles which it seems he did not read thoroughly. Go over to the right column which clearly states:

            ‘Small variations in how Earth moves around our Sun influence our climate over very long timespans, but they can’t account for Earth’s current period of rapid warming.’

            Maybe CoRev did read this but this slime bucket hope you did not. CoRev – village idiot and a serial liar.

          3. Barkley Rosser

            Oh my heavens, CoRev, and you continue to claim to have had something to do with the US space program? This has got to be the absolutely stupidest and most ignorant comment I have ever seen you put up here, and that is saying a lot.

            Of course over the course of a year the distance between the earth and the sun changes as it moves along its orbit. It is also the case that how the tilt of the earth with respect to the sun changes as the earth orbits, with this change in tilt responsible for our seasonal changes in weather.

            However, there is no change in the earth’s orbit aside from barely above infinitesimal gradual change that could not remotely tied to any recent changes in global climate. Likewise, the tilt of the earth relative to the solar plane is not changing more than infinitesimallyi and not in any systematic pattern. So this also is not remotely tied to any recent global climate change.

            I know you like to move goalposts, but in this case you moved them into an insane asylum. Are you now hanging out with the POTUS at Walter Reed and also taking that drug that makes one psychotic? I am asking seriously, this comment by you is so utterly deranged.

          4. CoRev

            The world’s worst analyst (TWWA) still understands nothing. TWWA claims: “Maybe CoRev did read this but this slime bucket hope you did not. CoRev – village idiot and a serial liar.” Again the only one mentioning “Earth’s current period of rapid warming” is you.

            Claiming some unrelated comment haws any importance to the discussion is just another example of ignorance and idiocy shown by out in-house TWWA.

          5. CoRev

            Barkley, past experience has shown how difficult it is for you to admit your errors, but this one takes the cake. “Most of these are not changing” except for “infinitesimal gradual change”.

            I will not continue this discussion, as I have no need to lie to protect my ego as do you.

          6. Barkley Rosser

            CoRev,

            Yes, there are cyclical changes in orbit and tilt. But the periodicity of the orbit cycle is about 100,000 years while that of the tilt is about 41,000 years. Neither of these is remotely relevant to a discussion of why global average temperature has been rising over the last half century.

            So, sorry, when you get back out of bed, your ego will still be as lost as it was when you went to bed. The changes right now are essentially infinitesimal, as your ego should be.

          7. CoRev

            Barkley, your comment is both arrogant and ignorant. “Yes, there are cyclical changes in orbit and tilt. But the periodicity of the orbit cycle is about 100,000 years while that of the tilt is about 41,000 years. Neither of these is remotely relevant to a discussion of why global average temperature has been rising over the last half century.”

            Milankovitch! Where are we in those cycles?

          8. baffling

            corev, as menzie noted. frequency and amplitude. not sure you are smart enough to understand that comment, however.

          9. Barkley Rosser

            Wow, CoRev, I am glad you have been almost certainly lying about having had anything serious to do with the apace program. Is the fact that you had something to do with it at all why you are so obsessed with the completely irrelevant and uncertain Milenkovitch cycles?

            So, you ask where are we in them? What an incredibly stupid and irrelevant question. It does not matter where we are in them, if they even exist, which is not certain. The fact that if they exist they probably take 100,000 years to go through means that their current movements are essentially infinitesimal, as I stated. Movement along whatever one we might be on is essentially not happening over a 50 year time horizon. They might have relevance for ice age cycles, but those are thousands of years long.

            It does not matter where we are, it matters how rapidly we are moving from wherever we are, and that movement is effectively infinitesimally slow, infinitesimal apparently being what your brainpower is.

    3. noneconomist

      It must be man. There’s a doubt, Sammy?
      In 2000, the official Census count in California was 1.485 million.
      In 1950, 10.586 million.
      In 2000 33.871 million.
      In 2020 likely just short of 40 million.
      If you believe there’s no difference in a population increase of 38 million inhabiting the same space(s) while using the same resources, contact me for information on a great cash investmen opportunity : beach front property in Death Valley. What do you have to lose?

    4. pgl

      “We don’t understand why the climate is warming”.

      BS Sammy. Try reading Jeff Frankel’s comment about. The science has been clear even before the global warming started showing up. And the warming will just keep getting worse over time if we do not adopt sensible policies on a global basis.

      Everyone with a brain knows this. Now as far as the scare crow in the Wizard of Oz which you play so well, could you just shut up for moment and start READING?!

      BTW I thought I saw you at the gym trying to get in even though your temperature check flashed 100 degrees. The manager of the gym was not impressed when you kept yelling that your temp was only “slightly” above normal. I hope he did not hurt you when he tossed you out on the street.

  8. 2slugbaits

    There are a couple of ways in which the pandemic will make it more difficult to enact sensible climate policies. For one thing, mass transit will look a lot riskier, which is likely to encourage more people to drive personal cars in lieu of mass transit. That’s bad. Another consequence of the pandemic will be a move away from densely packed cities and towards suburban and ex-urban sprawl. More strip malls…just what the world needs!

    But my biggest concern is the 900 pound gorilla that no one wants to talk about. Given that democracies are characterized by dimwitted and myopic voters, is there a democratic path towards managing global climate change? I have my doubts. Not now, but 100 years from now things might get so bad that our descendants have to choose between democracy and the survival of the planet.

    1. sammy

      “Given that democracies are characterized by dimwitted and myopic voters, is there a democratic path towards managing global climate change? I have my doubts.”

      This attitude is why I am skeptical of motive. Just put you in charge of everyone’s carbon output because you are the smartest and know the bestest, in your own mind? Trust that you will wield this power with an omniscient benevolence never before witnessed in history?

      Sounds like a power play in search of a theory.

      1. 2slugbaits

        sammy I’m not volunteering for the job. But if you don’t like the undemocratic solution, then try getting smarter on the issues.

      2. pgl

        “Sounds like a power play in search of a theory.”

        You must be thinking of Trump’s quest for power and all the bizarro claims he has made about immigrants raping your kids and Antifa – whatever that is.

      1. pgl

        Someday I will have to take this subway again so thanks so much for this goods news. Build back better!

    2. pgl

      More Zoom conferences and online shopping may be an offsetting effect. And hopefully with Build Back Better (Biden needs to pay Cuomo for this term) maybe NYC’s subway system will prove more reliable than ever. But full disclosure – I have not been on it since March 16 since I stay in my hood anyway.

    3. CoRev

      2slugs opines: “But my biggest concern is the 900 pound gorilla that no one wants to talk about.” I disagree, again. The 900lb gorilla is the claim that CC/AGW/Climate Catastrophe/etc is an existential threat and then having a REAL EXISTENTIAL threat occur in Covid-19. False claims got whacked in the face by reality.

      1. pgl

        Did the monkeys who took over your typewriter get COVID 19? Look – we are used to incoherent babble coming from you but this is getting absurd.

        1. CoRev

          World’s worst analyst, I have a question re: successful predictions. This prediction can go in the bin with the failed others. You don’t know the fundamentals of the science and blindly believe any paper?

          1. Menzie Chinn Post author

            CoRev: I would say that in any given tabulation on a per comment basis, you have cited far more non-peer-reviewed articles and blogposts than PGL.

          2. pgl

            “I would say that in any given tabulation on a per comment basis, you have cited far more non-peer-reviewed articles”

            Let me add to Menzie’s point – check out the link and note that this paper has been peer reviewed. Or did you not bother to READ before you went off again?

          3. CoRev

            Menzie, another totally irrelevant comment. Maybe you can answer my question, because many of those predictions are also peer reviewed.

          4. CoRev

            Menzie, incidentally, even wiki, not often supportive says this:
            “The iris hypothesis is a hypothesis proposed by Richard Lindzen et al. in 2001 that suggested increased sea surface temperature in the tropics would result in reduced cirrus clouds and thus more infrared radiation leakage from Earth’s atmosphere. His study of observed changes in cloud coverage and modeled effects on infrared radiation released to space as a result supported the hypothesis.[1] This suggested infrared radiation leakage was hypothesized to be a negative feedback in which an initial warming would result in an overall cooling of the surface. The consensus view is that increased sea surface temperature would result in increased cirrus clouds and reduced infrared radiation leakage and therefore a positive feedback.

            Other scientists subsequently tested the hypothesis. Some concluded that there was no evidence supporting the hypothesis.[2] Others found evidence suggesting that increased sea surface temperature in the tropics did indeed reduce cirrus clouds but found that the effect was nonetheless a positive feedback rather than the negative feedback that Lindzen had hypothesized.[3][4]

            A later 2007 study conducted by Roy Spencer et al. using updated satellite data potentially supported the iris hypothesis.[5] In 2011, Lindzen published a rebuttal to the main criticisms.[6] In 2015 a paper was published which again suggested the possibility of an “Iris Effect”.[7] It also proposed what it called a “plausible physical mechanism for an iris effect.” In 2017 a paper was published which found that “tropical anvil cirrus clouds exert a negative climate feedback in strong association with precipitation efficiency”[8]. If confirmed then that finding would be highly supportive of the existence of an “Iris Effect”. ”

            And yes, just like in all GOOD science there are contradictory and supportive papers.

            Understanding clouds and their interactions have been ongoing problems with Climate Science and the GCMs. The Iris theory is an attempt to resolve these weaknesses as well as others related to GHGs and radiation.

          5. Menzie Chinn Post author

            CoRev: Not sure why the comment is directed at me. Just my observation at approving hundreds of your comments on this blog, that you cite a lot of non-peer-reviewed articles. Now, that can be good or bad, but all I was doing was making an observation of fact.

          6. pgl

            CoRev relies on Wikipedia for scientific research these days? OK!

            “Other scientists subsequently tested the hypothesis. Some concluded that there was no evidence supporting the hypothesis.[2] Others found evidence suggesting that increased sea surface temperature in the tropics did indeed reduce cirrus clouds but found that the effect was nonetheless a positive feedback rather than the negative feedback that Lindzen had hypothesized.[3][4]”

            Try reading the referenced work as your vaunted Lindzen hypothesis is not exactly being supported by the careful research of scientists not bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers. Then again I suspect you have no clue what this paragraph is saying.

          7. pgl

            “CoRev
            October 4, 2020 at 4:12 pm
            The world’s worst analyst asks: ” Was your contribution today peer reviewed?” Yes.”

            I was referring to something written in Wikipedia. CoRev really thinks this stuff is peer reviewed? Lord – what a complete moron.

        2. pgl

          Let’s help CoRev out by noting both the credentials of the authors of this paper and the people who endorsed their findings. “11,258 scientist signatories from 153 countries”. Now CoRev has found some Cato crackpot well paid by the Koch Brothers as his guru even if CoRev has little clue what the subsequent research says about the Iris effect.

          William J. Ripple ([email protected]) and Christopher Wolf ([email protected]) are affiliated with the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University, in Corvallis and contributed equally to the work. Thomas M. Newsome is affiliated with the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at The University of Sydney, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Phoebe Barnard is affiliated with the Conservation Biology Institute, in Corvallis, Oregon, and with the African Climate and Development Initiative, at the University of Cape Town, in Cape Town, South Africa. William R. Moomaw is affiliated with The Fletcher School and the Global Development and Environment Institute, at Tufts University, in Medford, Massachusetts

          11,258 scientist signatories from 153 countries (list in supplemental file S1)

      2. 2slugbaits

        CoRev You’re a fool. You voted for and continue to support the clown that pooh-poohed the COVID threat. You voted not once, but twice for Richard Nixon. You supported the Iraq War. You insisted that Saddam had nukes. You still believe in HCQ even though Trump himself has discounted that treatment now that the chips are down and he has to get serious. You were wrong about the drop in soybean prices being a mere “blip.” You’ve been wrong about the path of COVID infections and deaths. You’ve been wrong on just about every significant issue. And when you’re wrong you resort to fake and thoroughly discredited websites. You’re running out of blogs to haunt because of your behavior. In short, you’re a menace to society. You’re also ignorant. You can’t do math. You don’t understand time series or econometrics. You ignore actual temperature gauge readings but you are quite sure a badly written Principal Components Analysis study can accurately estimate temperatures going back a thousand years. Do you even know what a PCA is and when you would use it? You go round and round about climate change. One day you deny the earth is getting warmer and the next day you agree it’s getting warmer but it’s due to natural phenomena; and on the third day you’re back to denying global warming at all and predicting things will start cooling any day now. You can’t remember what you wrote from one post to the next.

        It was because of posters like you that I couched my reply to Prof. Frankel the way I did. It’s not enough that science has more than proven the reality of manmade climate change; it also has to disprove the claptrap pseudo-science that you skim from some of your Russian funded websites.

          1. pgl

            11258 peer reviewers is not your cup of tea? Oh yea – some Cato crackpot paid by the Koch Brothers is your guru. Calling you a fool is not quite right. Total imbecile is more like it.

          2. pgl

            I just noticed you are citing Wikipedia on this Iris Effect. Come on CoRev – everyone knows any hack can write whatever they want on Wikipedia. Was your contribution today peer reviewed?

      3. Baffling

        So now that trump is in the hospital, the virus is no longer a hoax? See idiot, you can learn. Now quiz time. What medications is the chief virus spreader taking? Note there are 3 currently on the list. And none are hcq. Why not, since it is a wonder drug? Corev you were just another mark for the con man.

        1. pgl

          Team Trump is now saying Biden wears a mask as a political stunt. But guess who is having the last laugh?

          1. Baffling

            Hey idiot, the column is also related to the coronavirus. Read the title. Now go back and take your daily dose of hcq, idiot.

        2. pgl

          CoRev says this is only about climate change. Wait – JF did mention COVID 19 which of course to CoRev is nothing but a hoax.

  9. ltr

    Noticing a complaint about California, about 20 years ago much of the electric energy supply of the state was made private and shortly after electricity suppliers turned private there were a series of severe power shortages. Paul Krugman was beginning to write for the New York Times about then, and wrote a series of articles on the California power shortages, drawing especially on work being done by Frank Wolak at Stanford. I have the references, and will set them down later. The point was that the energy shortages in California around 2000, were driven by the turn to private suppliers and identifying the problem then did not mean resolving the problems of turning public utilities to private utilities.

    [ Also, the attempt to turn public utilities to private would later become of central importance in Bolivian development and involve California contractors and a California economist who may have missed the earlier problems with the private California gird. ]

  10. ltr

    On the beginnings of the California electricity supply or grid problems, or turning private what needed to be public utilities:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/10/opinion/reckonings-california-screaming.html

    December 10, 2000

    California Screaming
    By Paul Krugman

    https://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/29/opinion/reckonings-the-real-wolf.html

    April 29, 2001

    The Real Wolf
    By Paul Krugman

    ttp://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/26/opinion/the-power-perplex.html

    February 26, 2002

    The Power Perplex
    By Paul Kriugman

    http://www.pkarchive.org/economy/Wolak.html

    May 27, 2002

    Frank (Wolak) Thoughts On the California Crisis
    By Paul Krugman

  11. Moses Herzog

    I know some people will laugh at this, I am aware this is one of my comments that has a slight Cliff Clavin flavoring to it. But one way I think that Covid-19 has shown the impact of environmental damage is that while some of these factories have been shut down (yes also effecting employment in a bad way) the air in some major cities has gotten much cleaner. Now I’m sure those weirdos who have read my comments over time here can make a good guess the city I live in. Now, it’s no Chicago, Elkhart Indiana, of Sheboygan Wisconsin, but I do know the air in my city, whether it’s imagined or not on my part, has seemed much cleaner lately (outside of California fires smog drift). I’ve been paying attention to stars lately, like Capella, and the planet Mars very clearly can be seen with naked eye lately, and although I can’t make out the Milky Way, the stars are quite clear and easier to identify. I think it is related to the decrease in manufacturing. Yeah, that is one of the more short-term effects, but it’s still identifiable and related to quality of life.

  12. ltr

    There needs to be a Green New Deal, of course, for the sake of the environment as well as to revive a seriously structurally-weakened economy.  There will however be no such environmental program under a Republican administration or with a Republican Senate.  The Trump administration has spent what is nearly 4 years undermining or weakening environmental protections that we already had.  After President Xi Jinping spoke of the environmental commitment of China before the United Nations, President Trump followed with a savage speech attacking China. *  The Trump speech gained little comment, but makes clear that should there be another Republican administration not only will there be no domestic environmental push but there will be no American support for the environmental plans and programs of China.

    * https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-75th-session-united-nations-general-assembly/

  13. sammy

    There is a saying that “I’d rather be governed by 1,000 people picked at random from the phone book than 1,000 members of the Harvard faculty.” I think a majority of citizens would agree with that statement. While the Harvard faculty might have a higher average IQ, they also have an excess of intellectual hubris, and a dearth of real world pragmatism. No one wants to be led by that.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      sammy: Well, as someone who’s probably met a lot more of the Harvard faculty than you have, I think that’s a profoundly silly quotation. Rather, that quotation is from someone who agrees more with the values of those randomly selected than in terms of ability to plan and implement.

      Question for you, though: What’s a “phone book”?

      1. noneconomist

        The last time Sammy used that quote, he attributed it to its author, the elitist’s elitist, William F.Buckley, Jr. Buckley’s favorite foil—and his longtime friend and frequent debate opponent—was Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith. See a connection, Sammy?
        The quote has since resurfaced in other forms, including “graduates of Ivy League schools”. Funny because I did read (somewhere) that there are more Yale grads working in the Trump administration than in any other previous administration.
        Oh, and then there’s Trump himself who reminds us he is a proud graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, which last I looked, was, yes, still part of the Ivy League.

      2. Moses Herzog

        Is Menzie joshing on us??
        https://images.app.goo.gl/1fiewbmTTAQsfsWx7

        I know within the last 3 years we still get them at our home. Although I know and can find businesses online pretty well, I have to confess to having some affection and finding some kind of strange false comfort in getting phone books at our front door. Similar to holding a good quality newspaper in my hand. Yes, I even listen to radio still even though I could get the streams on the computer. Tomorrow there will be a high school football game on that was delayed from Friday because Covid 19 fears. I will be probably one of about 5 people in the entire city listening to most of it on an old Sony radio. I am told radios are difficult to find in Wal Mart now. I also like using mopheads when I wash the kitchen floor and bathroom floor, I put in a small amount of bleach into water. I twist it on to a wooden broom handle thing-ie
        https://images.app.goo.gl/EjZkEu9rFfAAL1iK8

        Most people use these now??
        https://images.app.goo.gl/aHEZbPCgkJBPX5QK9 <—I don't trust it, and really don't like it. Why?? I don't know.

        Maybe this is some strange facet with your father already being age 46 on the day you were born and passing on a strange sentimentality about bygone eras. I'll have to see a psychologist about this probably. This concludes today's episode of "Moses Has Lost It and Gone Cuckoo" sponsored by HCQ.

    2. Baffling

      Sammy, a majority would not agree with that statement. Just like the majority did NOT choose donald for president.

    3. pgl

      You are referring to William F. Buckley Jr. and it was 2000 not 1000. Now Buckley was a racist, a defender of McCarthyism, and the founder of the incredibly stupid National Review. So it figures you would quote him.

      1. noneconomist

        He also has no clue as to who Buckley was or that he was a prominent Yale grad as were numerous other Buckley family members.
        He likely has no clue either of the Yale-Harvard rivalry in all things. Nor of the numerous Ivy Leaguers (graduate, post grad) in the Trump administration, including Trump himself. Mnuchin, Ross, Barr, Chao (i.e., Mrs. McConnell), Carson and others
        . You can bet though that he’s all in on Ron DeSantis, a graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School.

        1. pgl

          Buckley’s God and Man at Yale complained that the economics department considered Keynes to be a good economist (he was) rather than teaching economics using the Bible. And one wonders why the economics at his National Review was consistently the dumbest garbage ever.

  14. Baffling

    Trump is fighting the virus by accessing two experimental drugs that are out of reach for most americans. What about all the americans suffering from the trump virus without access to these life saving options? This is why it is immoral to continue to operate the nation in a way that exposes the vulnerable to the virus, but only gives life saving access to the privileged. Look at the number of senators, aids and donors now sick because of donalds irresponsible behavior.
    And now the supreme court nomination is in jeopardy. For all the evangelicals out there, this is god saying you are behaving badly. Stop.

  15. John Smith

    “That some of these consequences have dramatically appeared in this same coronavirus year – the wildfires, cyclones, and even a plague of locusts in Africa – would seem to reinforce the message.”

    Only if you have no ability to think. But if you do have a brain, then you would realize that:
    California’s wildfires are caused by some mix of a drying climate and extremely poor forest management. Only one of these we actually have any control over. California’s climate has become drier many, many times in recent millennia, due to natural processes that we do not even understand let alone have the ability to control.

    It’s a similar story for cyclones. They vary considerably from year-to-year, decade-to-decade, century-to-century. There was a dearth of them at the beginning of this century. They’re nothing new and there is certainly no evidence that they are “getting worse” in any way other than normal variability. Cyclones are certainly far more destructive today than in the past, but you only have to visit any coastline to see why – countless expensive homes build right along the beach. If the hurricanes of 1780 (which killed 30,000 people) were to happen today, they would be more devastating than anything we have seen in recent times – and all the Lefties and their media would instantly be blaming them on “climate change”!

    Again, similar story for plagues of locusts. A rare but devastating natural phenomenon that has been known about for thousands of years.

    “Climate change” and Donald Trump are now universal scapegoats. It seems you can blame pretty much anything on one or both of them!

    1. pgl

      The President is a scapegoat? Like he has no responsibility for the utter lack of a policy response? Just wow! I guess Herbert Hoover should be held blameless for the Great Depression!

    2. Barkley Rosser

      “John Smith,”

      Where is there anybody who has made a big fuss about cyclones? This is not a part of most lists of things happening due to climate change.

      As for “Leftirs,” almost all the nations on the planet have signed the Paris Climate Accord, including many led by “Rightie” leaders. It is mostly in the US where there is a political aspect to it, but it is the Righties who are out of synch with the global consensus, with them raising doubts, with your silly bit about cyclones, not to mention your simply false claim that that the increased dryness of California is due to climate changes that “we do not even understand, let alone have the ability to control.”

      You are the one spouting obvious political propaganda.

      1. CoRev

        Barkley again is just wrong: “…that the increased dryness of California is due to climate changes that… “we do not even understand, let alone have the ability to control.” ” So now you believe we can control the climate?
        Climate: “the composite or generally prevailing weather conditions of a region, as temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloudiness, and winds, throughout the year, averaged over a series of years.”
        https://www.dictionary.com/browse/climate

        Which prevailing weather condition is controllable?

        Please, please provide that list of successful examples of climate controls, and while at it provide a list of successful climate change predictions.

        1. pgl

          Loved your Milankovitch cycles which it seems you did not read thoroughly. Go over to the right column which clearly states:

          ‘Small variations in how Earth moves around our Sun influence our climate over very long timespans, but they can’t account for Earth’s current period of rapid warming.’

          CoRev thinks he is a clever liar but at the end of the day he is nothing more than a court jester.

    3. 2slugbaits

      John Smith You’re thinking too parochially. A cyclone isn’t just a tornado in Oklahoma. A cyclone is a generic term that refers to any large air mass that circulates around an area of very low atmospheric pressure. And they happen all over the globe, not just Kansas and Oklahoma. There’s no serious doubt that the oceans are warming. Warmer water temperatures feed tropical depressions. We’re seeing a lot more tropical depressions than we used to see. That does not necessarily mean we’ll see more hurricanes because a hurricane requires both warm water and the absence of wind shear. But we are definitely seeing more instances of extreme rainfall events. In the upper Midwest the chances of a 4 inch rainfall event within 24 hours was about once a decade. By the early 2000s it had increased to about 9 years out of 10. Currently it is greater than once per year. If you don’t believe scientific claims that the climate is warming, then go compare seed catalogs from the early 1970s with seed catalogs today. Seed catalog zones have shifted about 30 miles north per decade. Or look at ice sheets. Or look at wildlife hibernation. Just look around.

        1. 2slugbaits

          CoRev You just cited one that is debunked.

          What are you talking about? Nowhere in that comment did I cite any prediction about anything.

  16. pgl

    CoRev claims Richard Lindzen’s Iris effect is sound science. CoRev has no clue but this blogger does:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/04/the-return-of-the-iris-effect/
    In 2001, Prof. Richard Lindzen and colleagues published his “iris hypothesis” (Lindzen et al., 2001). The hypothesis has two parts: First, in a warmer climate, enhanced precipitation efficiency will lead to less cloud being detrained into the troposphere from convection. Second, with less cloud cover, more infrared radiation can escape to space, thereby creating a strong climate-stabilizing negative cloud feedback that prevents significant warming from increasing greenhouse gases.
    Within a few years, a number of analyses made clear that the evidence provided by Lindzen et al. had problems [e.g., Hartmann and Michelsen, 2002; Lin et al., 2002; Lin et al., 2004; Su et al., 2008]. Lindzen and colleagues responded to these critiques, but few were convinced by their arguments. By 2006, when I submitted an analysis of tropospheric water vapor that investigated whether there was an iris in that, one of the reviewers pointedly questioned why anyone was still working on this issue. I subsequently withdrew the paper.

      1. CoRev

        Please stop proving yourself the world’s worst analyst. HAd you even read the Wiki article, note 1 was its reference. Printed in BAMS.

        1. pgl

          I did read that Wikipedia discussion. Yes footnote 1 was his 2001 paper. I guess you did not notice footnote 2:

          Hartman, D.L.; M.L. Michelsen (2002). “No evidence for iris”. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 83 (2): 249–254. Bibcode:2002BAMS…83..249H. doi:10.1175/1520-0477(2002)0832.3.CO;2.

          Same journal dumbass. A paper published the next year. Do we need the 3 year old kiddies to translate what the title means? Oh yea – follow up research is so “biased”!

          1. CoRev

            TWWA, if you read the Wiki article why did you fail to note the BAMS reference, and then ask if my Lindzen Iris Hypothesis reference was peer reviewed?

            Another question is we have several “PEER REVIEWED” papers referenced in the Wiki article and your bias ignored all but those that confirmed it.

            You seem totally unaware of how SCIENCE works. Please stop embarrassing yourself and your fellow Climate Catastrophe believers.

        2. pgl

          CoRev’s referencing only the first footnote in the Wikipedia discussion of the Iris effect is so CoRev. At the end of the Wikipedia discussion is a link to a very through discussion of how Lindzen came up with his thesis as well as the other research that shows very significant shortcomings and contrary evidence:

          https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/Iris/iris2.php

          https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/Iris/iris2.php

          Never trust CoRev for telling us the truth on any issue including this one. Read for yourselves as I suspect CoRev has not as his mind was made up decades ago.

          1. CoRev

            TWWA, has there been an answer to the Lin et al paper? Had you comprehended that science moves in small steps you might have read this in that ole Wiki link: “A later 2007 study conducted by Roy Spencer et al. using updated satellite data potentially supported the iris hypothesis.[5] In 2011, Lindzen published a rebuttal to the main criticisms.[6] In 2015 a paper was published which again suggested the possibility of an “Iris Effect”.[7] It also proposed what it called a “plausible physical mechanism for an iris effect.” In 2017 a paper was published which found that “tropical anvil cirrus clouds exert a negative climate feedback in strong association with precipitation efficiency”[8]. If confirmed then that finding would be highly supportive of the existence of an “Iris Effect”. ”
            Spencer, R.W., Braswell, W.D., Christy, J.R., Hnilo, J. (2007). “Cloud and radiation budget changes associated with tropical intraseasonal oscillations”. Geophys. Res. Lett. 34 (15): L15707. Bibcode:2007GeoRL..3415707S. doi:10.1029/2007GL029698.
            Lindzen R.S.; Y.-S. Choi (2011). “On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implications” (PDF). Asia-Pacific J. Atmos. Sci. 47 (4): 377–390. Bibcode:2011APJAS..47..377L. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.167.11. doi:10.1007/s13143-011-0023-x.
            Mauritsen T.; Stevens B. (2015). “Missing iris effect as a possible cause of muted hydrological change and high climate sensitivity in models”. Nature Geoscience. 8 (5): 346–351. Bibcode:2015NatGe…8..346M. doi:10.1038/ngeo2414.

            TWWA, isn’t science great if you understand its back and forth movement?

    1. CoRev

      PGL refers to a post from one of the most biased blogs? And Menzie was touting your references to peer reviewed sources.

      1. pgl

        Biased? Because a scientists carefully explains a subject but undermines your batshit insane nonsense? Calling Webster as we have new definition of biased.

  17. Barkley Rosser

    For both Sammy and CoRev a simple question: if global warming is some internal US political plot/hoax, why is it that nearly every nation on earth signed the Paris Climate Accord? Why is it that scientists and political leaders from al over the world, with only a few from the US disagreeing with the strong evidence that human activities are causing global warming?

    1. 2slugbaits

      CoRev likes to play whack-a-mole. He denies that the climate is warming. He’ll advance some crackpot explanations about nasty emails referring to “math tricks” or urban heat islands or solar cycles or whatever. Then he eventually concedes that it’s warming, but it’s not manmade. He’ll retreat into some arguments about water being a greenhouse gas, which is true but irrelevant as anyone with a first semester calculus course could tell you. Then it’s back to natural cycles and “Little Ice Age” and sunspots and hockey sticks and ocean currents and blah-blah-blah. Eventually he pulls out some silly nonsense about satellite readings showing no cooling, except that’s no longer true so he looks for yet another reason. Eventually he circles back to denying global warming. And the whole cycle starts over again. Round and round we go. One argument gets knocked down and he pops up with another argument that looks familiar because it was just knocked down three or four arguments previously. He’s an old man with a failing memory and poor analytical skills. He’ll never admit that he’s wrong about climate change just as he’ll never admit he is wrong about HCQ, or that he was wrong about Nixon, or the Iraq War, or Saddam’s nukes, or soybean prices or a hundred other things.

      1. CoRev

        2slugs, is the only one I have seen claim that annual average temps need to be adjusted for seasonality. When called on that lied until he was quoted. thereafter he conveniently claims that it never happened. He also repeatedly claims that warming will cause food shortages, referencing what is now an old article. All the while crop harvest keep rising due to increased CO2 because there is more arable land due to warming.

        I’ve asked a simple question of you and any others here. Provide that ole list of successful predictions.

        1. 2slugbaits

          CoRev It would be nice if you could actually remember stuff, but you’re an old geezer with a failing memory, so there’s probably not much you can do about it. Except that you might want to make a note for future reference…assuming you don’t loose the note or put it in the refrigerator along with your car keys. As I’ve told you many times before, it wasn’t annual data; it was monthly data, as was the C02 ppm data. Got it?

          warming will cause food shortages,

          No, excessive heat will first slow down crop growth and eventually cause crops to stop growing. Warming increases yields up to a critical threshold, beyond which growth rates slow down and eventually stop. And those are not current concerns because we don’t hit enough critical temperature threshold days to affect crop yields. The concern is with today’s crop yields, it’s with crop yields when global temperatures rise 2 to 4 degrees Celsius. And it’s not even changes in the mean yields that are of primary concern; it’s the associated increase in crop variability, especially if that variability becomes highly correlated across crop growing regions.

          Provide that ole list of successful predictions.

          Prediction: Global temperatures will rise:
          https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature

          Your prediction from 15 years ago: Temperature hiatus and global temperatures will soon start to fall.

          1. CoRev

            2slugs, that’s twice this week I’ve laughed so hard I sprayed my computer with my drink. “When called on that lied until he was quoted. thereafter he conveniently claims that it never happened.” AGAIN!

            Relying on a study trying to determine OPTIMUM growing temperatures for crops, you just recently made the same claim: “warming will cause food shortages,” Now its: “No, excessive heat will first slow down crop growth and eventually cause crops to stop growing.” WOW! Some day, someplace it might be true, but it’s probably not climate change. Unless the change is persistent for a significant period, normally 30 years, it’s just weather. A growing portion of the planet is greening.

            “Your prediction from 15 years ago: Temperature hiatus and global temperatures will soon start to fall.” That is and has always been based upon the KNOWN HISTORY THAT CLIMATE IS CYCLICAL. Conveniently forgetting that little caveat shows the level of desperation. I usually follow that claim with a short indisputable list: day night daily, seasons annually, ENSO cycles multi-year, sea temperature oscillations multi-decades, a series of statistically shown epochal cycles within the past glacial warm period, and finally the ~100k year glaciations. To which of these do you disagree?

            As to your prediction: “Prediction: Global temperatures will rise” for what period and which cycle?

            Considering many of the record temperature occurrences coincide with el nino years , and last year we were under a weak el nino, predict this year will be at or just below last years temperature. 2021 should be below this year as it looks like a major la nina has developed. WE shall see.

          2. 2slugbaits

            CoRev I sprayed my computer with my drink.

            Ah…well, that explains things. You were drunk. Too much day drinking can’t be good for you.

            WOW! Some day, someplace it might be true,

            What part of global temperatures rise 2 to 4 degrees Celsius did you not understand?

            Do you know anything about agronomy? What is the optimal temperature for corn? Or for soybeans? Here’s a paper you might like, except that it doesn’t confirm your priors so maybe you won’t like it:

            https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/115/26/6644.full.pdf

            And since you’re all confused about the relative roles of heat and precipitation, maybe you’d prefer this one:

            https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/3/3/034007/pdf

            Or the effect of temperature on US crops, perhaps this:

            https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/106/37/15594.full.pdf

            many of the record temperature occurrences coincide with el nino years , and last year we were under a weak el nino, predict this year will be at or just below last years temperature.

            Nice try and thanks for playing, but your reply doesn’t cut it. Check out NOAA data on this. The presence of an el nino or la nina or neither only affects the intercept, not the slope of the trend. Not that you have any idea what any of that means.

            The rest of your post is the usual weaseling distractions we’ve come to expect from you. You have no math skills. You simply parrot stuff with big words that you don’t understand. I realize that you’ve made skepticism of climate change your life’s mission, but you picked the wrong side of the argument. Sorry that your life’s work has been all for naught and meaningless.

          3. CoRev

            2slugs, drunk??? How desperate are you?

            i see you went back to your tried and true searching finding sources of may, might could effects, without referencing actual crop production data. Here’s a look at the cereal grains: http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/worldfood/images/home-graph_4_sep.jpg or available calories https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/food-supply-kcal?tab=chart&time=1961..2013&country=Africa~Asia~Eastern%20Europe~Europe%2C%20Western~Northern%20America~South%20America~OWID_WRL

            What has average temperature done since 1961? https://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1961 looks to be >1C. BTW, I think this is monthly data so you can consider and remove seasonality.

            BTW, we agree that WEATHER affects crop production.

            Where’s that ole list of successful predictions?

        2. pgl

          seasonality when looking at annual data? Lord you found another term which you clearly do not understand.

          1. CoRev

            The world’s worst analyst said something erudite, but failed to notice who made the claim. Maybe not so learned: “Lord you found another term which you clearly do not understand.”

            Are you really so dense and desperate to miss such obvious points?

        3. pgl

          You suggested that a paper I linked to was not peer reviewed. Never mind the over 11 thousand scientists who did. This paper was recently published in Bioscience:

          https://academic.oup.com/bioscience

          BTW your Iris effect fellow did have his 2001 paper published in a decent journal. Of course a 2002 paper in the same journal noted there was no evidence for the Iris effect. But of course you think follow up science is biased while papers bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers is gospel.

          And of course there is your comment that Wikipedia discussions are peer reviewed!!!

      2. Barkley Rosser

        Yes, 2slug, but we also have Sammy with his list of theories that do not explain it, and now we also have “John Smith” somehow claiming it is all due to “Lefties” after making silly remarks. You are right about CoRev though, and have seen him play games involving moving goalposts in giant circles on many occasions about many things.

        1. CoRev

          Barkley when one doesn’t understand an issue or fails to understand the nuances of it, the Appearance of goal post changes prevails. Even though they have not changed, ignorance makes it so. In this thread alone I have twice pointed out your ignorance of fundamentals climate concepts.

          Here’s a third: “Where is there anybody who has made a big fuss about cyclones? This is not a part of most lists of things happening due to climate change. ” the answer is mostly alarmist climate scientists. Do a search using this argument: “climate scientists and typhoons”

          And a 4th which shows how completely you missed the point of the Iris hypothesis: “thunder storms are clearly endogenous to the system. Gag.” Which of the weather conditions are not endogenous to the system? GAG!

          “The Intertropical Convergence Zone, or ITCZ, is the region that circles the Earth, near the equator, where the trade winds of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres come together. The intense sun and warm water of the equator heats the air in the ITCZ, raising its humidity and making it buoyant. Aided by the convergence of the trade winds, the buoyant air rises. As the air rises it expands and cools, releasing the accumulated moisture in an almost perpetual series of thunderstorms. ” Why point this out? The corollary of the Iris hypothesis is that thunder storms act as a temperature governor.

          You need to accept some knowledge to control that gag reflex. So sure and so wrong.

          1. Barkley Rosser

            CoRev,

            Sorry, but you are falling flat on your face again. There is only so much of your ignorant drivel I shall bother responding to, given your history of stupidly moving goal posts. This will also clarify my comments on “John Smith,” whom you are trying to defend.

            First, having taken a look at the scientific lit on cyclones, it is a mixed bag, with most paper showing increases in some locations and decreases in others, but no consensus on where these locations are.

            On locusts, which I did not comment on, there are no scientific studies so far, mostly journalism given this year’s large outbreak.

            On thunderstorms, the issue that has been debated is what are the drivi9ng factors of global climate and how are they changing. Above you astoundingly and idiotically suggested that changes in the earth’s prbit and tilt might be factors, ignoring that we know the changes in sunspot actvity that have gone on would tend to cool the earth off, which has not been happening.

            In any case, changes in thunderstorms are endogenous to the system, inlike sunspots or cosmic rays or the earth’s orbit. There certainliy are feedback effects, but as a matter of fact the current scientific lit on this is like that on cyclones: it is a mixed bag, with some locations seeing them tending to raise local temperature while in other locations them tending to do the opposit. This is simply not a factor, more moving goslposts noise from you.

            However, while there remains ongoing discussion, there appears to be an emerging consensus in the scientific lit that global warming is likely to increase the number and intensity of wildfires in a variety of locations, including Australia besides California. There are now over 100 papers on this making this point.

            Regarding California itself a now heavily cited paper that seems to have accurately forecast what has happened in the last few years there is “Identification of two distinct fire regimes in Southern California: implications for economic impact and future change,” by Yugang Lin, Micharl L. Goulden, Nicolas Faiver,Sander Veraverbeke, Fengpeng Sun, Alex Hall, Michael S. Hand, Simon Hook, and James T. Randerson, Environmental Research Letters, Sept. 8, 2015. There are other factors, of course, but warming tends to make one of these in particular a lot worse, which has happened since 2015. And, yes, there is human input to global warming, so we can do something about this, even if it is not easy.

          2. baffling

            the data on temperatures and sea levels indicates if the iris hypothesis were true, it does not appear to have much of an impact overall on temperatures or sea levels. they continue to rise. the hypothesis appears to be irrelevent.

          3. 2slugbaits

            CoRev The scientific question isn’t whether some of the effects claimed by the iris hypothesis might be true. They may well be. That’s never been the issue. The issue has always been whether the effect of the hypothesis is strong enough to refute manmade global warming. There are a lot of forces that work in opposing ways. The scientific consensus is that the effects from the iris hypothesis are plausible but relatively weak. Lindzen has simply taken his pet finding and exaggerated its effects. If Lindzen’s hypothesis were true and had a large effect, then it should predict constant or falling temperatures. That’s not what we see in the data. Lindzen’s own temperature forecasts have been wildly off the mark.

            At this point his thesis is one of those things that might make for an interesting footnote somewhere, but has little practical value except to provide people like you and monied interests like Big Oil with the veneer of scientific respectability needed to cast doubt on settled science. It’s the same game plan we saw with Big Tobacco back in the 1960s.

          1. pgl

            Or Milankovitch cycles:

            ‘Small variations in how Earth moves around our Sun influence our climate over very long timespans, but they can’t account for Earth’s current period of rapid warming.’

  18. 2slugbaits

    Here’s what we should think about Dr. Lindzen’s understanding of global warming. In 2008 he was still denying global warming was a thing. And notice the dishonest way he presents his data. He might be a meteorologist, but he doesn’t know squat about time series.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/11/a-note-from-richard-lindzen-on-statistically-significant-warming/

    And even as late as Feb 2012 he was absolutely certain that global temperatures would not rise:
    “…one can see no warming since 1997.”
    https://skepticalscience.com/skeptic_Richard_Lindzen.htm

    Well, let’s look at the data. According to NASA/GISS data, regressing annual data from 1997 through 2011 against a constant and a deterministic time trend gives us a positive trend with a p-value of 0.0003. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that the evidence for a warming trend was quite evident by Feb 2012.

    And since CoRev wants to compare predictions, let’s compare Lindzen’s predictions (made in 1989) against Hansen’s( made in 1988):

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/lindzen-cites-debunked-science_b_6812356

    Not even close. Hansen’s predictions proved to be remarkable accurate. Any high school student could have outperformed Lindzen’s predictions.

    1. pgl

      Lindzen is a Cato dude sponsored by the Koch Brothers. But of course CoRev would never accuse him of being “biased”!

    2. CoRev

      2slugs cites the period of temperature pause as shown in the actual temperature data sets.. You do understand what and why it disappeared in the data?

      Where’s that list of successful precdictions?

  19. ltr

    Surely there is a profound, tragic problem in infrastructure development in the UK:

    October 5, 2020

    Coronavirus

    UK

    Cases ( 515,571)
    Deaths ( 42,369)

    Deaths per million ( 623)

    Germany

    Cases ( 302,542)
    Deaths ( 9,606)

    Deaths per million ( 115)

  20. ltr

    October 5, 2020

    Coronavirus

    UK

    Cases ( 515,571)
    Deaths ( 42,369)

    Deaths per million ( 623)

    [ Evidently, just how difficult the situation is in the UK, which I have repeatedly sought to call attention to since the ratio of deaths to cases pointed to an undercount, is now understood. Awful, awful.

    There are times when looking at data simply leads to understanding what complexity masks. ]

  21. ltr

    https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1313120078293012487

    Paul Krugman @paulkrugman

    Words fail me. Numbers too.

    Max Roser @MaxCRoser

    In the UK the number of cases rose rapidly. But the public – and authorities – are only learning this now because these cases were only published now as a backlog. The reason was apparently that the database is managed in Excel and the number of columns had reached the maximum.
    10:13 AM · Oct 5, 2020

    1. baffling

      the state of texas had a similar bug. their computer program was hard coded to not process beyond a certain number of cases per day. this summer, the virus spread like wildfire and the state insisted there was no problem. the state had thousands upon thousands of unprocessed positive cases that simply were not reported. and governor abbott acted based upon this faulty data, reopening areas that were actually climbing in case load. but according to trump, if they are not measured they do not exist. this is why the public is demanding more transparency. trump and his followers are willing to blindly use inaccurate data to accomplish their goals. and people died as a result.

  22. sammy

    Barkley,

    So, over billions of years Earth has had wild climate swings, from glaciers that reached Arizona to dinosaurs living in Antarctica, ALL WITHOUT MANMADE CO2. Right? And now , in the last 50 years, mankind has increased the CO2 levels in the atmosphere from 400 ppm to 440 ppm (ppm stands for Parts per million) when the average historical ppm is about 2000 ppm https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=0zcDV4Ot&id=1EFB22B5D1437AE017AE6B284145E95A947451BF&thid=OIP.0zcDV4OtSgExSxwaSLqXQgHaEH&mediaurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.greenenergyjubilation.com%2fwp-content%2fuploads%2fsites%2f818%2f2017%2f10%2fHistorical-CO2-and-Temerature-Levels.png&exph=362&expw=650&q=historical+co2+levels+graph&simid=608018479964555194&ck=6AD9AD74462C1949AE48960CA9EB7ABC&selectedIndex=12&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0
    This has now become the determinant factor in Global climate? Pray tell. Please use your considerable IQ to explain this without “Everybody says so”

          1. CoRev

            Menzie, your doubts are of no value to science discussions and doesn’t answer the questions. When talking time frames it is appropriate to define them, otherwise it just appears as lazy thinking. Since you didn’t define periods I did: https://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/plot/gistemp/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1930/to:1940/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2011/to:2017/trend/plot/none

            Group think and confirmation bias? You explain. If you take a longer look outside the MEASURED TEMPERATURE RECORDS be aware of the granularity of averaged data. If you don’t understand that warning, failure can result with some obviously false hockey stick looking graphs.

    1. pgl

      CoRev provided a nice link to something called Milankovitch cycles. Try reading it thoroughly. CoRev clearly did not finish reading it.

    2. 2slugbaits

      sammy Yes, we all know that CO2 has been much higher in the far distant past. Do you believe humans were around then? Do you believe Adam & Eve rode around on the backs of dinosaurs? And in every one of those previous episodes it was temperature that preceded the rise in CO2, with increases in CO2 acting as a feedback. Currently it’s CO2 that’s leading to higher temperatures.

      1. CoRev

        2slugs, unabashedly and unsupportedly claims: ” Currently it’s CO2 that’s leading to higher temperatures.” If true, then we would have a definitive number Climate Sensitivity. For the ignorant (especially TWWA) here: “Explained: Climate sensitivity
        If we double the Earth’s greenhouse gases, how much will the temperature change? That’s what this number tells you. “https://news.mit.edu/2010/explained-climate-sensitivity

        BTW, I noticed the shift in your comment from Climate Change to temperature (change). Is Climate now only made up of temperature? Or do you have some other concept you’re misinforming us about?

        3 to 4 decades of thrashing the GHE theory and that simple CSE number has still not resolved. In some recent papers it hasn’t even lessened. It’s the simplest concepts that GHE supporting science fails to explain, and BTW if a science-based model can not predict (or project if you wish) then it is NOT VALID. A funny example of the tribalism associated with Climate Science, a Curry & Lewis 2018 paper estimated a lower CSE using CO2 and natural influences, and the alarmist tribe couldn’t accept it. Sounds familiar, eh?

        That’s, now, 2 simple questions to answer. List the successful predictions and what is the Climate Sensitivity Estimate?

    3. Barkley Rosser

      Yes, Sammy, the earth was once almost entirely an ice ball and has also been far hotter, as in the when rain forests covered North America leaving all that coal under PA and WV. So what? There were no humans around during either of those periods.

      So indeed there are two questions. One is do you think current global warming is a good thing? if so, then sit back and enjoy the wildfires! If not, then how much of the current warming is due to humans and can we do anything about it? We know that CO2 in the atmosphere and methane tend to heat the atmosphere up, and both of those are increasing in the atmosphere. So is there any other reason it might be warming.

      CoRev has cmpletely disgraced himself by throwing changes in earth orbit (Milankovith cycles) and changes in tilt. Aside from there being serious questions about the first, the best guess is the periodicity is about 100,000 years, so this has infinitesimal effect. The tilt cycle has a period of about 41,000 years, also too long, and a change in tilt will not change averaged earth temperature, just the differences between seasons, so this one is really not it.

      Such things as thunderstorms and Iris effects are endogenous to the system. They may affect how it operates, but they are not fundamenatlal exogenous drivers. Certainly if the earth gets closet to the sun substantially things will warm up, but that is not happening in any remotely short period of time.

      There are basically three other exogenous factors: 1) solar intensity with sunspots indicating changes in that, 2) volcanic activity, 3) cosmic rays. Regarding the recent warming neither of the latter can be responsible as there have been basically no changes in either of them in the last half century, although in the past we have seen dramatic changes in world temperature due to volcanic activity, although those outbreaks have involved cooling due to major volcanic eruptions.

      The one natural factor that could alter average global temperature in this recent period is sunspot activity, and it has been changing some, but unfortunatelyfor all of you who want to deny global warming for political reasons, it has been changing in a way that tends to cool the earth, not warm it. These changes were most noticeable during the first decade of this century, and indeed there was a slowdown in the rate of increase in global temperature during that decade, with many of your pals getting all excited about that and going on and on about how outlier hot 1998 was the hottest year ever and now we are cooling. Except we were not cooling, and that sunspot trend stopped, and in the last decade we returned to much more clearly and dramatically warming.

      So, sorry, Sammy and CoRev, average global temperature is rising and it is all but certain that it is due to human activity.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        Let me add a comment on the endogenous Iris effect that nobody here seems to have made, although it is the focus of most of the most recent papers not by Lindzen et al on the topic (can provide sources if people really want). But the main point is just super obvious and just plain weird Lindzen ignored it, who is actually a pretty smart guy.

        So the effect is supposed to operate through fewer clouds in tropical zones leading to more heat radiation from earth. But, oooops! fewer clouds also means more radiation coming in from the sun to the earth’s surface, heating things up. After all, when there are fewer clouds and more sunshine, does it get hotter or colder. This is just so obvious it is astounding Lindzen ignored it.

        As it is, in fact, in the tropics it turns out that these effects about counterblalance, at least according to some recent published papers, although it might work once we get a whole lot hotter than we are now. But at the present time, there may be an Iris Effect, but it is offset by its own accompanying part, that the fewer clouds increase the radiation reaching the earth’s surface.

        So it is not surprising that we have not seen this effect slowing down global warming at all. It is real, but it is nothing in terms of net temperature changes.

        1. CoRev

          Barkley gets it wrong again. “So the effect is supposed to operate through fewer clouds in tropical zones leading to more heat radiation from earth….So it is not surprising that we have not seen this effect slowing down global warming at all. It is real, but it is nothing in terms of net temperature changes.”

          Except the fewer clouds occur during the cooler part of the day when the Sun is lower or down and radiative cooling is increased. More clouds occur during the warmer periods when the Sun is highest and radiative warming is increasing, radiative cooling is decreasing, and where increasing cloud cover has the greatest effect. It is further impacted by the transformation of the atmospheric H2O vapor into droplets, into ice, back into droplets and then those cooled droplets falling as cooling rain onto that tropically warmed surface. These effects also emphasize the importance of gravity, convection and conduction in the atmosphere instead of just radiative heating and cooling due to GHGs. They also emphasize the importance of H2O over CO2 in the atmosphere.

          There are even more important impacts re: run away warming, climate limits and why, and the importance of liquid water on the surface, but that is for another day.

          Barkley, super obviously simply wrong!

        2. CoRev

          Barkley, just WOW! A desperate, egotistical liar says this: “Yes, there are cyclical changes in orbit and tilt….It does not matter where we are in them (talking about Milancovitch cycles), if they even exist, which is not certain. “. You actually doubt the existence of “variations in eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession” Your words” orbit” = eccentricity, and “tilt” = obliquity as referenced in the Milancovitch Cycles hypothesis. THERE ARE EVEN MORE WELL KNOWN ORBITAL MECHANICS FUNDAMENTALS USED IN SPACE TRAVEL AND TRACKING. I know these very hard concepts are not used in economics, but they have been used for centuries in navigation here on ole mother earth.

          I really am finished with you now. I’m tired of Debating a trolling, arrogant, completely wrong, ignorant idiot. You may have even gone beyond the TWWA in trolling ignorance.

          1. Barkley Rosser

            On the Iris Effect see “Revisiting the iris effect of tropical clouds with TRMM and A-Train satellite date,” Choi, Kim, Yeh, Masanuga, Kwon, Jo, and Wang, JGR Atmospheres, June 17, 2017, 112(11), 5917-5931, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, with funding from JPL and other sources. It conffirms what I said above. I note the only place on the globe where this seems to be going on at all is in the western Pacific, and again, there are competing effects. Bottom line is that basically this is having very little impact on global average temperature in either direction. It also notes large uncertainties about crucial portions of the data in this, so nobody should be going around making strong statements about this as you have been doing, CoRev.

            On the cycles, the ones that there is pretty much universal acceptance both that they exist and what are their periodicities are the obliquity one (tilt, 41,000 years) and the precession one (wobble, 23,000 years). But neither of these can explain any change whatsoever in average global temperature, none, zip, nada.

            On the eccentricity one involving orbit shape, while a majority accept it exists and its period is about 100,000 years, there remain debates, with this being a very complicated matter. One problem is that the main evidence for it is the data coming from over 800,000 years ago of glacial cycles seeming to be of that periodicity, but then they seem to have shifted to a periodicity of about 41,000 years, same as the obliquity cycle, which has a problem because that would be based on the Northern Hemisphere being made colder while it appears the recent ice ages have been in the Southern as well, which requires a global average cooling, which the obliquity cycle does not provide.

            In any case, even the eccentricity cycle, if it exists and has a period of 100,000 years, cannot explain what is going on now for reasons that have now been repeatedly stated by many here. The period is just too long; the changes are essentially infinitesimal. If there is a natural source for the recent warming it would have to come from sunspots or volcanoes or cosmic rays, but none of them are moving in a way to bring about global warming. It remains almost certainly anthropogenic overwhelmingly.

            And this is now becoming a massive waste of time, having gone through this sort of nonsense with you before. I am not going to respond any further on this, no matter what you say (and if you try to bring up Milenkovitch cycles again as somehow responsible for current global warming, you will only confirm that you should not have been let out of kindergarten).

  23. 2slugbaits

    CoRev What was supposed to be your point in those graphs showing cereal grain production? Who cares about past production? The issue is about future production when temperatures regularly rise above the optimal growing temperatures. And what was you point with that silly woodfortrees link?

    1. CoRev

      2slugs, how dense. Past production while the temp went up >1C contradicts claims about lower production. HAVE YOU NEVER HEARD OF PLANTING DIFFERENT CROPS OR PLANTING AT DIFFERENT TIMES AND WARMING ADDING NEW ARABLE LAND?

      It’s your side who keeps calling CC an existential issue after a 1.5C increase. We’re almost there and … where’s that list of successful predictions?

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