Out of Focus on Terrorism

Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., got it almost right when with he stated “the best I can say about him is he’s unfocused,” on Fox News, referring to the president’s policy of releasing Guantanamo detainees who are likely to rejoin terrorist groups like ISIS as they head back to the Arabian peninsula. President Obama is not merely unfocused when it comes to terrorism today in the world, he’s out of focus. As in where the heck is he? What belief system could possibly justify releasing hardened terrorists - the worst of the worst in Rumsfeld’s words - back into society? When they head straight back to the Arabian peninsula where they will likely join ISIS or rejoin Al qaeda? Even a majority of Democrats opposed closing the facility in a recent Gallup poll, and with the latest terror scare in Belgium, thwarted for now thank God, the timing of the continued releases is not awkward, it’s obscene.


So where is Obama on the war on terror? He missed the march in Paris, and prefers drones to on the ground intelligence that takes time and effort to build up. But where is he ideologically? Does his upbringing, with islam as part of his father's and stepfather's lives leave unable to stand up and clearly condemn the evil that is trying to strike at the heart of European democracy? As the supposed leader of the Western World, and as a Christian, does he really believe that ISIS can be defeated by anything else than a clear purpose? And that purpose must depart from the premise that our most sacred, in every sense of the word, institutions are under attack? ISIS wants a caliphate and it's theoretical boundaries seem to extend further with each rabid pronouncement by it's fanatical bloodthirsty leaders. This is not a debate about head scarves. This is war against a network of violent and increasingly militarized cells of extremists bent on exacting violent tribute to avenge a medieval sense of honor and it's imagined and real slights. It is long past the time to be tolerant with intolerance. Going in armed and ready, as the police in Belgium logically did, saves lives and wins small battles in an enormously important war. A few words from the President, to show us he understands, a little at least, about how important this war is would help.

Posted by Keeley at January 16, 2015 10:41 AM
Comments
Comment #387445

“When Obama came to power, he ended the Global War on Terror – by renaming it the “Overseas Contingency Operation.” He also turned “terrorism” into “man-caused disasters,” removed the words “Islamic extremism” and “jihad” from national security strategy documents. He even tried to downplay terrorist attacks by refusing to call Benghazi a terrorist act and calling the Fort Hood shooting “workplace violence.”

Read more: http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/7-times-obama-showed-doesnt-get-war-terror/#ixzz3P0fna49C

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 16, 2015 1:19 PM
Comment #387446

What crime were the Guantanamo detainees charged with?

Posted by: phx8 at January 16, 2015 1:45 PM
Comment #387448

As I recall, Over 3,000 Americans were killed when Bush dropped the ball on 9/11, and Neocons like Senator Graham completely blew it on Iraq.

Seems to me the Obama administration is doing just fine, thank you. Please resume clutching your pearls and fighting off that case of the vapors.

Posted by: phx8 at January 16, 2015 1:50 PM
Comment #387450

So you want to know where Obama is on the war on terror? Why don’t you ask Osama Bin Ladin or Anwar al-Awlaki about that, maybe they could enlighten you.

And let’s start listening to Rumsfeld again, what a great idea. It all worked out so well the last time. Maybe Obama just needs to figure out how his known unknowns and his unknown knowns conflict with Graham’s altered reality?

Never mind. This new breed of authors we have here don’t ever seem to respond to any comments or questions. Keeley, AllardK, SPBooker, bigtex don’t really seem to show much of the courage of their convictions after they post.

Thank goodness we still have some of the old authors that will communicate their courage of conviction sometimes.

Hope my comment doesn’t reflect a manifestation of my political persuasion in an insulting manner to anyone. It is not meant to.

Posted by: Speak4all at January 16, 2015 2:38 PM
Comment #387453

“What were the detainees charged with?”

Perhaps they were captured on the battlefield.

As I recall, over 3000 Americans were killed after Clinton allowed Osama Bin Ladin to slip through his fingers multiple times.

Perhaps the killing of Bin Ladin was the result of information gained during the Bush years; since Obama has no ability to gain intelligence.

Hope my comment doesn’t reflect a manifestation of my political persuasion in an insulting manner to anyone. It is not meant to.

Sure it does and yes you do.

Posted by: Sam Jones at January 16, 2015 2:58 PM
Comment #387454

I’m guessing only to you Sam Jones. But tell me how so? Please try to do that without insulting anyone. I don’t think you will be able to do that though, it’s not in your nature.

Sure, sure GWB got Bin Laden. You guys just make stuff up when it suits you. Just like 9/11 was Clinton’s fault.

Posted by: Speak4all at January 16, 2015 3:05 PM
Comment #387455

Can you answer these questions:

Who planned the 911 attacks?

Did Bill Clinton allow Bin Ladin to slip through his fingers?

Did Obama use intel gathered under the Bush administration to get Bin Ladin?

And lastly, doe Obama still have the ability to gather intel on terrorists?

Tell me Speaks4all, have a I insulted you, or were your feelings hurt because of what is said about your messiah in chief?

Posted by: Sam Jones at January 16, 2015 3:21 PM
Comment #387456

I can see where a man would become incensed at another person insulting his girlfriend or wife; but to become incensed about a question concerning the president…kind of strange. Is your love affair with Obama so powerful that you cannot logically reason any longer?

Posted by: Sam Jones at January 16, 2015 3:25 PM
Comment #387457

You know who but it was OBL with the help of KSM.

Not the way Bush allowed him to get out of Tora Bora.

Probably, he uses everything at his disposal efficiently.

Ask Anwar al-Awlaki and Osama Bin Ladin about that.

You guys are the ones who need messiahs. I just need a good man trying to do his job to the best of his capabilities and that is what President Obama is trying to do for me, you and the rest of the citizens of this country.

So tell me how I was insulting in the first post?

Posted by: Speak4all at January 16, 2015 3:28 PM
Comment #387458

I just think he is doing a great job and expect he will do that for the remainder of his term in office. I can’t wait to visit his Presidential library and observe how he will represent this country as a former President at all kinds of functions and ceremonies. I’m sure as a good citizen you are looking forward to that also.

Posted by: Speak4all at January 16, 2015 3:31 PM
Comment #387459

The Killing of OBL would never have happened if intel from the administrations of Clinton and Bush were not used. As far as the ball being dropped by Bush,PHX8, you again are showing your partisian BULLCRAP. The BALL was dropped during the Clinton Administration and America’s false sense of security.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 16, 2015 3:35 PM
Comment #387460

I can’t wait to visit his Presidential library and observe how he will represent this country as a former President at all kinds of functions and ceremonies. I’m sure as a good citizen you are looking forward to that also.
Posted by: Speak4all at January 16, 2015 3:31 PM

I can wait Speak. He has said many disparaging things about MY country as president. Who knows what he may say as an ex. Frankly, in that department I believe he will outdo Jimmy Carter again.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 16, 2015 3:38 PM
Comment #387461

Jimmy Carter has performed as one of the finest former President’s this country has ever known. His work for Habitat for Humanity and overseeing democratic elections in numerous countries is commendable. I know you don’t like him because he flips Bibi off. You know those Israeli and Arabs need to learn that in a country that practices an eye for an eye as a method of dealing with each other you can stand a pretty good chance of everyone becoming blind.

Posted by: Speak4all at January 16, 2015 3:53 PM
Comment #387462

9/11 happened when Bush #43 was president. He received a warning on his desk one month prior that OBL was planning to hijack American planes.

It is a simple statement of fact. Partisanship would involve dodging that fact, or attempting to shift the blame elsewhere. It was a nearly full time job for conservatives during the Bush administration, whether it was 9/11, Katrina, the tsunami in Indian Ocean, and so on.

Hey, anybody remember the terror level color codes for faked terrorist threats? Two days after the 2004 Democratic convention the threat level was raised with no evidence whatsoever. The head of Homeland Security, Ridge, had no idea why it was raised. When pressed, the Bush administration claimed it was because of intelligence collected several years ago- intelligence that had no bearing on anything in 2004. Ah, those were the days.

Obama took a big risk and gave the order that took out OBL. Another simple statement of fact.

Why is the opinion of Senator Graham given any credence whatsoever?

Here he is on Iraq & Saddam Hussein on MTP 3/2/2003:

“He is lying, Tim, when he says he doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction. For 12 years now, we’ve been playing this game, trying to get this man to part with his weapons of mass destruction.”

Does anyone want to see quotes from Graham on Benghazi? Susan Rice? Bombing Iran? The guy has a long record of getting it wrong again and again. Completely, totally, factually wrong.

Posted by: phx8 at January 16, 2015 3:57 PM
Comment #387463

phx8, please sir may I have some more?

Posted by: Speak4all at January 16, 2015 4:02 PM
Comment #387466

Speak,
Attacking Obama on national security is pretty ridiculous. There is literally no substance to the attacks, just vague fretting. These are basically people who decided to oppose Obama, and then searched around for reasons, but never found anything concrete. They will always opposed him because of who he is, and not because of what he does.

Posted by: phx8 at January 16, 2015 4:21 PM
Comment #387467

How many chances did Clinton have to kill OBL PHX8, as long as we are going into past administrations? What does the Tsunami have to do with Bush? Talk about shifting blame, the present administration does plenty of that also. Obama has had his share of screw ups but I guess liberal/progressives can’t find it in themselves to admit to it. Yep, Speaks PHX8 will give you all the kool aid he is drinking that you want.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 16, 2015 4:26 PM
Comment #387469

phx8, please sir may I have some more?
Posted by: Speak4all at January 16, 2015 4:02 PM

More spin from the master…please!

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 16, 2015 4:32 PM
Comment #387470

phx8, you got that right! I am more concerned about how he will handle the domestic problems confronting him in his final two years of office given the recalcitrant Congress that he will have to deal with. I expect he will find a way to overcome that and keep our economy strong and move his ideas forward. His ability to deal with national security comes as a big surprise to his detractors and leaves them grasping at straws with strawman concepts.

KAP, look this is not meant to be insulting but myself and others here would like to know how you can recite Fox news dictum word for word when you never pay any attention to Fox news. There others here that do the same but we know that’s because their heads are buried up the Fox news skirt.

Posted by: Speak4all at January 16, 2015 4:34 PM
Comment #387471

RF, please I’ve asked you before stop with the spin nonsense when you don’t have anything to bring to the discussion. It gets old and a lot of us here think that you are more intelligent than that.

Posted by: Speak4all at January 16, 2015 4:35 PM
Comment #387472

That would be an amazing accomplishment Speaks seeing how I don’t have cable. But I do have the internet and I do know how to google for info. No insult intended, but maybe you should try it yourself.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 16, 2015 4:46 PM
Comment #387473

I do. Perhaps other sources of information would help you understand the truth?

You all have a good weekend. I have oysters, bloody mary’s and beer to get started on.

Posted by: Speak4all at January 16, 2015 4:50 PM
Comment #387475

Speaks, Lets just agree to disagree and leave it at that.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 16, 2015 4:58 PM
Comment #387476

Sounds like a great start to a great weekend, Speak!

KAP, As for Clinton and OBL, I only know of one opportunity he had to get Bin Laden, and that was when OBL attended a wedding. A missile strike would have killed him, but it also would have killed a large number of innocent people. Clinton chose not to do it, and he was right not to do it, because ‘that is not who we are.’ But I’m sure he has thought about it many times since then.

Bush was heavily criticized for the slow response to the provide disaster aid after the tsunami. The tsunami happened on 12/16, while he was on vacation. It was three days before he publicly addressed it. The initial offer of aid was only $15, which was soon doubled. Eventually the US made very large contributions, but this kind of slow initial response and failure to recognize a big problem was a constant issue for Bush.

Posted by: phx8 at January 16, 2015 5:05 PM
Comment #387477

Correction, the tsunami happened on 12/26, the day after Christmas.

Posted by: phx8 at January 16, 2015 5:06 PM
Comment #387480

Was Bush’s slow response to the Tsunami like Obama’s slow response to the BP Oil spill??? Clinton was right to not kill innocent people with a missile strike but it’s OK for Obama to kill innocents with our Drones? PHX8 we can go on and on with the BS of both parties and Presidents, you love Obama, I don’t, you hated Bush, I just disliked him.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 16, 2015 5:23 PM
Comment #387482

KAP,
What are you talking about? First, there is really no comparison between the tsunami and the BP oil spill. The tsunami killed @ 230,000 people and caused widespread devastation. The BP oil spill killed 11 people. Anytime lives are lost it is tragic, but there really is no comparison between the two disasters.

Obama reacted immediately to the spill. He was criticized by Republicans for being too aggressive as the weeks went by, and BP failed to cap the well, and stop the well from polluting the Gulf; in fact, Republican Congressman Barton wrote a statement and read it- I watched this on live television- APOLOGIZING to BP for the way the administration was holding BP financially responsible.

Posted by: phx8 at January 16, 2015 6:02 PM
Comment #387484

PHX8, Like I asked What does the Tsunami have to do with Bush? It takes a while to gather all that was needed for a disaster of that magnitude and more then just the U.S. to give aid. I’m sure Obama would NOT have done any better. He reacted immediately in your dreams to the spill!!! I thought Barton was an IDIOT for Apologizing to BP. That was one thing I agree with Obama about holding BP financially responsible.

Posted by: Rich KAPian at January 16, 2015 6:30 PM
Comment #387485

KAP,
The BP oil spill took weeks to play out. The tsunami was an instantaneous catastrophe that killed @230,000. It took Bush three days to even say anything. The US is better equipped than any other country in the world to provide disaster assistance, and we are also the wealthiest and capable of giving the most. Our initial response to the tsunami was slow, and the funds initially promised were paltry. Eventually the US fulfilled its potential and addressed the catastrophe. But it is a good example of just how poorly Bush reacted when fast action was needed.

Posted by: phx8 at January 16, 2015 7:39 PM
Comment #387486

With a disaster of that magnitude even the U.S. would take time to gather the needed supplies,phx8. Besides this would have to be a multy national task. Food and medical supplies along with volunteers would have to be gathered and shipped. None of which would be an instantaneous chore, it would take days to get it together. I’m sorry a quarter million people died but the U.S. cannot be the only nation to give aid others have to be involved.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 16, 2015 8:05 PM
Comment #387487

Leftist idiots, their goal is to provoke anger by their stupid remarks. So much for discussion and persuasion. Perhaps Warren Porter could also tell us of his love for Obama; since Warren Porter is proclaimed to be the most reasonable democrat on WB.

Posted by: George at January 16, 2015 8:39 PM
Comment #387498

For the benefit of my liberal friends I will sum up my political beliefs succinctly:

Balance the national budget

Follow the Constitution

I feel quite confident that both of these positions will be challenged.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 17, 2015 12:19 PM
Comment #387499

Balancing the budget makes no sense because the economy does not stay balanced. In difficult economic times, it is both necessary and beneficial to run deficits. In good times, it is a good idea to eliminate deficits and build up rainy day funds.

Attempting to balance a budget during an economic downturn is the worst possible thing a government can do. It exacerbates the problem by raising interest rates, which further slows the economy, by cutting spending when people are most in need, and raising taxes when people can least afford it.

Other major industrialized countries responded to the economic downturn (caused by the Bush administration’s deregulation of the financial sector) with austerity measures. The US kept the pedal to the metal with Quantitative Easing and low interest rates. Today, our economy is the envy of the world, while others are reeling from austerity measures.

Posted by: phx8 at January 17, 2015 12:48 PM
Comment #387500

“Balanced-budget provisions have been added to the constitutions of most U.S. states, the Basic Law of Germany, the Hong Kong Basic Law, Spain, Italy and the Swiss Constitution. It is often proposed that a balanced-budget rule be added to the national United States Constitution. Most balanced-budget provisions make an exception for times of war, national emergency, or recession, or allow the legislature to suspend the rule by a supermajority vote.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanced_budget_amendment

I understand the political objections to balancing our budget; politicians are elected primarily to spend taxpayer money if available, and spend by increased indebtedness if taxes are insufficient.

Politicians are noted for their “kick-the-can-down-the-road” mentality. We are approaching $20 Trillion in national debt and that doesn’t not include the multi-trillion dollar shortfalls in our social programs.

Those that love debt the most are those who do not ever expect to have to pay it back. It’s the perfect scenario for them.

ROB THE FUTURE TO PAY FOR TODAY’S EXCESS

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 17, 2015 1:33 PM
Comment #387504

Whether it is personal finances or governmental finances the stupidity of debt is such a weak and futile argument. The cost of being in debt robs the personal treasury as well as the governmental treasury. The concept of debt is un-american, globalist, and all the reasons for not doing it. It makes more sense to have 100% of the treasury being debt free than to pay 10% tax and get an 80% amount to deal with. Or as in today’s world watching the debt skyrocket to heights unknown. Nobody in the country is trying to reduce the spending level anywhere. There are occasional balanced budgets that pop up, the no state in the country is debt free.
phx8 . it is reported that you have an MBA degree. Is teaching you of years gone by that being in debt is a good thing? That is terrible indoctrination. That is not even thinking. That is parroting somebody’s textbook lines that allows the writer/’s to get rich, just like the Gruber idiot. Being in debt robs the normal, average American of his own earing power. Most people do not have 401k’s. They have been robbed of them thru taxes of all kinds. Is it any wonder that minimum wage people cannot save anyting? It is because of the people who want to pillage and steal from the normal american so that he cannot save. When the normal american looses 50% and even more from his earnings, I call that theft by deception which is illegal. So all those who have somehow been able to accumulate wealth, great. But there are thousands of americans who are struggling all because of theives.

Posted by: tom humes at January 17, 2015 6:46 PM
Comment #387505

tom humes,
There is a big difference between public debt, such as the debt created by federal, state, or local government, and private debt.

In the case of private debt, we use it all the time to good advantage; for example, most people would never be able to own their own home if they were required to come up with the full sum up front, but thanks to borrowing, a large portion of Americans are able to live in a house and build up equity while paying down a mortgage.

As for retirement, it used to be that people worked for an organization, and then retired, thanks to a pension. Today, outside of teaching and government workers, pensions are practically unknown. Does anyone think this is a good idea? In the name of corporate profit we have done away with pensions. While productivity and hours worked have increased, and benefits and time-off continually decreased, workers wages have remained flat for decades. During this same time, all that profit has been siphoned away by the top 1% of the country.

As for public debt, it is in our interest to maintain public debt in the form of Treasury bonds, notes, and bills because we need that line of credit. No smart businessman would do without a line of credit, and neither should the government. We will never drop the public debt- the federal debt, the national debt- below about $3 trillion, nor should we. Those markets need to be available just in case…

Posted by: phx8 at January 17, 2015 8:01 PM
Comment #387506

That is backward thinking. It is pure Keynsian. It is globalism. It is not good thinking. And yes there are far too many people who buy into it because it is lazy thinking.

Posted by: tom humes at January 17, 2015 9:53 PM
Comment #387507

Keynesian economics has been decisively proven to work by the response to the Great Recession. That argument is over and done.

The argument about tax cuts paying for themselves has also been decisively debunked on a state-wide level in KS and WI. In KS, Governor Brownback instituted some of the largest tax cuts in American history and blew the budget to pieces. The cuts were supposed to pay for themselves by spurring more growth than they cost; instead, growth did not happen, deficits and the debt exploded, the ratings agencies downgraded the state’s credit rating, and that means the cost of borrowing increased on all of that newly assumed debt. WI is going through a similar experience. The state did not cut taxes to the extent of KS, but it was still enough to create a $2 billion shortfall for the next budget. Governor Walker’s chances of a presidential run are zero.

Posted by: phx8 at January 17, 2015 11:14 PM
Comment #387509

phx8
cherry picking items does not cut it. You can hit and miss, mostly miss, all you want but the facts and truth done ride the same train as you want ride.

Posted by: tom humes at January 18, 2015 9:29 AM
Comment #387510

Mixing private debt, such as a home mortgage, with our national debt to draw parallels is simply insane. Mortgages are expected to be paid off during the debtors lifetime.

When private or corporate debt becomes unmanageable a solution exists which is called bankruptcy. The national government is not allowed to become bankrupt as we can borrow unlimited dollars from others or ourselves.

Politicians are comfortable spending beyond our revenue primarily because interest rates are very low and the cost to service our debt is currently manageable.

Interest rates must go up eventually. When they do, what rainy day fund will the feds draw upon to service our debt? Ooops, we don’t have a national rainy day fund. What then will we do? Increase taxes of course, it would be sinful to reduce services.

Those who believe in unlimited national debt are those who know they will never be asked to pay it back from their resources.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 18, 2015 12:22 PM
Comment #387511

“Mortgages are expected to be paid off during the debtors lifetime.”

So is debt. Federal Treasury bonds, notes, and bills all have maturity dates. Same is true for state and municipal bonds. They can run from as few as 90 days, to as much as 30 years.

“The national government is not allowed to become bankrupt…”

True, but a government that failed to make good on its interest payments would find it more and more difficult to borrow, and it can ultimately cause a currency to become worthless and a government to collapse.

That was the threat the Tea Party leveled against the United States when it tried to prevent raising the debt ceiling. Failure to pay interest would have resulted in an instantaneous depression. As it was, the threat resulted in the first downgrade of American debt in history.

The Federal government does not keep a rainy day fund. At the beginning of the Bush administration, the budget was balanced and an enormous surplus was projected- $10 trillion
in 10 years. The Republican Congress responded by issuing a refund to every taxpayer of the estimated surplus. Remember? Well, we should carry a surplus, but that will never happen.

No one advocates “unlimited national debt.”

Until the Obama administration, 90% of the $10 trillion debt at that time had been accumulated by three presidents: Reagan, Bush #41, and Bush #43. It was the result of tax cuts for the rich. As a result of those cuts, the 1% saw their wealth increase by 272% between 1980 and today. The other 80% of Americans saw their wealth slightly decrease over three decades, despite huge increases in productivity.

That is what conservative Republicans do. They cut taxes for the richest of the rich and the corporations. They incur debt. Their reward is power and jobs as lobbyists. They put together enough votes by allying with social conservatives, and why not? What do corporations and the richest of the rich care if religious fundamentalists enact their agenda, since that agenda will never apply to them?

That is why the first priorities of the GOP Congress are tax cuts for corporations, ‘free trade’ agreements, and changing the CBO method of scoring. They want the CBO to use ‘dynamic scoring’ to pretend tax cuts will result in revenue increases. That way, even though the tax cuts for corporations will obviously incur more debt, the GOP will be able to pretend it is not happening.

Posted by: phx8 at January 18, 2015 1:02 PM
Comment #387512

“The Republican Congress responded by issuing a refund to every taxpayer of the estimated surplus.”

$10 Trillion? Please…stop the nonsense.

I suppose the Republicans get the blame for the huge increase in our debt under obama.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 18, 2015 2:09 PM
Comment #387514

Here is the NYT in 12/29/2000:

“The Clinton administration handed a parting gift to President-elect George W. Bush today, projecting that the federal budget surplus would swell substantially, to nearly $5 trillion, over the next decade.”

Here is the non-partisan CBO a year earlier, in January 1999:

I’d suggest scrolling down to the Summary. It estimates a 10 year surplus of @ $3.8 trillion.

https://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/eb0199.pdf

The surplus projection was a moving target from year to year. At the point of the next link, the surplus was estimated to be $5.6 million.

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/12958?index=2727

“According to the Congressional Budget Office, the United States last had a surplus during fiscal year 2001. From fiscal years 2001 to 2009, spending increased by 6.5% of gross domestic product (from 18.2% to 24.7%) while taxes declined by 4.7% of GDP (from 19.5% to 14.8%). Spending increases (expressed as percentage of GDP) were in the following areas: Medicare and Medicaid (1.7%), defense (1.6%), income security such as unemployment benefits and food stamps (1.4%), Social Security (0.6%) and all other categories (1.2%). Revenue reductions were individual income taxes (−3.3%), payroll taxes (−0.5%), corporate income taxes (−0.5%) and other (−0.4%).

The 2009 spending level was the highest relative to GDP in 40 years, while the tax receipts were the lowest relative to GDP in 40 years. The next highest spending year was 1985 (22.8%), while the next lowest tax year was 2004 (16.1%).[46]

Cause of change between CBO’s 2001 projection of a $5.6 trillion surplus between 2002–2012 and the $6.1 trillion debt increase that actually occurred.
In June 2012, the Congressional Budget Office summarized the cause of change between its January 2001 estimate of a $5.6 trillion cumulative surplus between 2002 and 2011 and the actual $6.1 trillion cumulative deficit that occurred, an unfavorable “turnaround” or debt increase of $11.7 trillion. Tax cuts and slower-than-expected growth reduced revenues by $6.1 trillion and spending was $5.6 trillion higher. Of this total, the CBO attributes 72% to legislated tax cuts and spending increases and 27% to economic and technical factors. Of the latter, 56% occurred from 2009 to 2011.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_public_debt

The $10 trillion number comes from the difference between the ten year projection of $5.6 trillion surplus and the actual result of a $6.1 trillion deficit.

Posted by: phx8 at January 18, 2015 5:19 PM
Comment #387515

Meanwhile, Obama’s latest approval rating hit 50%.

Posted by: phx8 at January 19, 2015 12:06 PM
Comment #387516

Get a grip. $10 Trillion given as refunds to taxpayers by Bush?

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 19, 2015 12:07 PM
Comment #387517
Keynesian economics has been decisively proven to work by the response to the Great Recession. That argument is over and done.

Most of the problem with this discussion is the complete and total lack of anyone on either side of the debate to adequately understand what Keynes wrote, what Keynsian economics is and how it is a double edged sword…

“Keynesian economics advocates a mixed economy – predominantly private sector, but with a role for government intervention during recessions.”

It is true that government intervention, during a recession, can be a stop-gap in helping a flailing economy. However, the wrong action can make things worse.

The fact is that the actions (and inaction) of the Federal government during actually caused, exacerbated and extended the Great Depression

http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/speeches/2004/200403022/default.htm

http://www.federalreserve.gov/BOARDDOCS/SPEECHES/2002/20021108/

“Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again. “

Of course, Bernanke stated that they had learned their lessons and wouldn’t do it again, then followed that up by doing it again just a couple of years later…

As for your inability to understand math and the differences between projections (which the CBO, although non-partisan, get wrong because they are legally not allowed to be accurate) have to ignore a whole lot of information and data to be taken seriously. Only someone with a partisan agenda can do that and think they are being factual…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 19, 2015 12:19 PM
Comment #387519

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RON09jbubM

This is a pretty good (and funny) explanation of how the CBO, while being ‘nonpartisan’ are manipulated by those in control of congress to get the answers they are looking for.

You always have to look at the real data to get the facts, unfortunately.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 19, 2015 12:47 PM
Comment #387520

Another good one by the same person that visually demonstrates how you have to understand political parsing when dealing with these numbers and statistics when made by politicians and partisans.

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

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 19, 2015 12:55 PM
Comment #387521

Must have been only 2 people polled, right phx8. By all that I se e is still in the 30’s.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 19, 2015 1:20 PM
Comment #387522

Thanks Rinehold for the videos. I especially enjoyed the one on jobs. What was that old saying about…”You can fool some of the people some of the time…”

Guess obama can fool the liberals all the time.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 19, 2015 1:23 PM
Comment #387523

Judging from the way the obama administration presents job and payroll numbers it would not stretch my imagination to believe he has some of the old “Pravda” stooges on his staff conjuring up some magic.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 19, 2015 1:28 PM
Comment #387524

BTW, you have to remember that phx8 thinks that we are living in a monarchist/Hamiltonian America where the king is the ultimate power and therefore spending policy is something that is under the purview of the President…

Of course, it isn’t. It is a power given exclusively to Congress, but that doesn’t seem to prevent him from trying to make the case that President’s are responsible for the US budget and spending…

When you look at the budget surpluses and deficits based on who was in Congress, the story is a little bit different.

Also, you get into this grey area where people start mixing up numbers… Assigning total debt in some areas and only intragovernmental debt in others. A lot of people don’t realize just how much the accounting processes in the US are manipulated to make one party or another look better or worse.

Today, because people are starting to actually wake up to the idea that debt is a problem, are starting to use the actual total debt numbers, not just the intragovernmental debt, but when go on to suggest Clinton ever experienced a surplus in his term they only use the intragovernmental debt…

In fact, if you look at the US Treasury Department’s ‘Debt to the penny’ website, you can look at the numbers yourself and see that during Clinton’s entire term, when calculating fiscal year to fiscal year, there was never, once, a surplus in total debt. The total debt rose every year. BUT, if you look at the intragovernmental debt numbers, which ignore money borrowed by the government from itself, which includes borrowing from Social Security, you can see where the surplus, as small as it was, came from. They also ignore the fact that by January 2001, it was clear we were entering a recessionary period… Conveniently forgotten by Clinton apologists.

It’s kind of like the moronic assertion that 97% of climate scientists believe that global warming is caused by human actions… Someone misuses a statistic and people just starting throwing the claim out wanting it to mean something else than what it really means.

Let’s look at that example. Where *DID* that number come from? When I hear or see numbers like this, I always ask myself ‘where did it come from? Did they poll every single scientist and ask their opinion?’ No, they didn’t do that… In fact, there are a variety of sources that this number could have come from, all of them widely debunked (but still used). The most obvious choice of the source of this number comes from John Cook, an Australian blogger, as the President came out with a tweet soon after his paper was published using the 97% number he cited.

Scientific Education came out pretty quickly with a paper on how his methodology was flawed, but let me summarize what happened…

John Cook went through the peer-reviewed articles written by climate change scientists and looked to find if they could determine a consensus because he felt that oil interests were ‘clouding the issue’.

He reviewed 12,00 peer reviewed articles (a very large number and good start). He then looked at their determinations.

Over half of the articles gave no opinion on whether or not Humans were responsible for global warming. So, he threw them out(!). The rest of them, 3% said that humans had no impact at all on global warming. So, that’s where he got the number.

However, when you look further, the large percentage of those left rated human impact at less than 10%. More in the 10-25% range. That number keeps getting smaller and smaller who support that humans are the even the major cause of global warming, not the only cause.

In fact, when you look at the papers that listed humans as being more than 50% responsible for the global warming we have seen in the last several decades, the number winds up being 65.

65 out of 12,000.

That ends up being .7%. Not 97%.

Anyone really interested in doing the research can find it, I’m providing a good article by the WSJ as a starting point for several places where these number could have come from and how they are all heavily flawed, but the reality is that a large number of people aren’t interested in science, fact, skepticism or critically looking at the data and claims made by others. They want to tout their number to convince others who similarly don’t want to look at the data that they are right…

The fact is, most scientists (because they are scientists and do concern themselves with science, which includes being skeptical by definition) have issues with the climate models and thinking that we have enough understanding to know with certainty what is going on with the climate. But once an issue becomes POLITICIZED, all bets are off on any actual facts to come to the fore…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 19, 2015 1:40 PM
Comment #387525

Thanks Rhinehold for the info on MMGW numbers used by the left.

The crowd pushing for huge expenditures of money and crippling regulations regarding the perceived MMGW are the same ones who swallow the faulty and non-dependable computer model predictions.

I sure am thankful that we don’t rely upon such modeling for introducing new pharmaceuticals to the public.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 19, 2015 1:52 PM
Comment #387526

Royal, you should check out the other videos he has done. Unfortunately, a change in jobs, a move and starting a family means he hasn’t had time to make any for a few years, which is unfortunate. He has a great way of visually demonstrating faulty statistics and large numbers. His website is at http://politicalmathblog.com/

That’s how he got started, his first video was using pennies to demonstrate how much our debt really was, not just some unfathomably large number that most humans can’t comprehend when they see it or talk about it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 19, 2015 1:56 PM
Comment #387527

Rhinehold, following is a link to one of my favorites.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jboTeS9Okak

I understand that obama’s State of The Union address will call for punishing the evil rich to pay our debts.

The left will eat this up and WB will be filled with praise for this “novel” idea.

Sure hope my leftie friends comment on this video link. My guess is that most will attack the speaker.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 19, 2015 2:30 PM
Comment #387528

Royal,

If you would like a video to watch, this one is very much relevant to the discussions at hand.

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

Now, that is a reposted version of the movie that I would recommend renting instead, but even though it is now 3.99 to rent, most people wont.

If you want to rent the movie proper and give the creators some value for what the did go to this link instead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WT2gzPevD0

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 19, 2015 2:59 PM
Comment #387530

Thanks Rhinehold, long video but very informative.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 19, 2015 4:30 PM
Comment #387531

“Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again. “

“Of course, Bernanke stated that they had learned their lessons and wouldn’t do it again, then followed that up by doing it again just a couple of years later…”

Rhinehold,

Perhaps I am wrong but what I understand Friedman/Schwartz to have meant was that the Federal Reserve had incorrectly followed a tight money policy after the initial downturn of 1929 resulting in a precipitous drop in the money supply plunging the country into a massive depression. They had allowed banks and other institutions to fail (liquidation theory of Mellon). Friedman thought that the Federal Reserve should have done whatever it could to flood the economy with money. The famous “helicopter drop” of money from the Fed. http://www.wnd.com/2008/03/59405/

Now, you and the cited author appear to think that Bernanke replicated the 1929 “mistakes” of the Federal Reserve, as theorized by Friedman and Schwartz, in the collapse of 2008. I beg to differ. If anything, Bernanke and the Fed did the exact opposite. The Federal Reserve moved immediately in 2008 to save the banking system, took onto its balance sheet massive amounts of assets to increase liquidity and did everything in its power to increase the money supply. Zero interests rates and quantitative easing are not the tight money policy criticized by Milton Friedman in his critique of the Federal Reserve response to the 1929 crash.

If anything, the actions of Bernanke are fully in accordance with Friedman’s prescription for the Fed to flood the economy with money to prevent deflation and depression.

What you may be referring to is some critiques which put blame on the Fed for tightening the money supply by increasing interest rates in 1929 in order to cool the speculative stock market and inflationary economy. This criticism appears again when the Fed increased interest rates and the federal government passed a more balanced budget correlating with the 1937 recession within the Great Depression. But, the criticisms of Friedman were principally addressed to the failure of the Fed increase the money supply after 1929.

What seems clear is that, contrary to your assertions, Neither Bernanke nor Yellen have pursued contractionary monetary policies so criticized by Friedman during this economic collapse and recovery. If anything, they have been strong advocates of an inflationary policy.

Posted by: Rich at January 19, 2015 6:06 PM
Comment #387532

Rhinehold,

Claiming that deniers make up more than 5% of the atmospheric science community is 100% bullshit. Firstly, I know this to be true from my experiences working as an atmospheric scientist in both the private sector as well as in academia. I know how rare it is to find someone who believes anthropogenic GHG emissions are not impacting climate significantly. Secondly, Spencer and Bast’s op-ed has been completely debunked. If Spencer and Bast really wanted to demonstrate widespread support for climate change denialism in the climate community, they should have cited at least a hundred papers that supported that assertion. But they can’t.

There is only one scientific hypothesis that has been presented as a potential explain for how more CO2 may not necessarily lead to higher temperatures. This is Richard Lindzen’s Iris Hypothesis, which relies on negative thermal feedbacks due to radiation being reflected into space by tropical clouds. The problem is the hypothesis is completely bogus, yet Drs. Lindzen and Spencer cling onto it in order to gain fame and publicity from conservative media.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 19, 2015 7:30 PM
Comment #387533

Rich, the cited author that I was quoting was Ben Bernanke. And no, it wasn’t as much about how the Fed reacted to the economic downturns, but how much they were at fault for CREATING the economic downturns in the first place.

The problem has seldom been that the Federal Reserve didn’t act properly after economic situations, though it was clear that they didn’t in 1930. The problem has been the Federal Reserve’s hand in the CAUSE of those downturns. Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve which was at first responsible for one thing was suddenly tasked with more than one thing, those being in diametric odds with each other.

There many things that led up to the Great Depression, but so much of that history is never taught to people today. In fact, there was a major effort to write a single story of that time for so long that that is the reason that Friedman’s work was so important, it was the research into things that had been left out of our knowledge of the day.

In 2008, two things happened. First, the FED took the action that stopped a banking crisis, by flushing the banks with TRILLIONS of dollars. The TARP program was a minor blip that did little, to nothing, to help the issue btw. In fact, had TARP not been passed, there would have been little difference to what happened, most of the funds were never used for their intended purpose, much of it still in the system years later. Second, the US Congress didn’t react quickly enough to alter the accounting rules that had been placed on banks in years previously that prevented them from being able to lend. They waiting until January of 2009, after the election and Congress was reseated, to do that. That made an immediate difference, overnight the banks were able to lend again and pay back their loaned funds.

Now, what CAUSED the crisis, unlike the assertions of phx8 trying to blame Bush or Graham or whatever Republican he can find, was the Federal Reserve’s artificially keeping interest rates low and backing risky lending behaviors in order to make the economy ‘better’ after 9/11 and the Clinton Recession. They were under some political pressure and the likes of Volker were not running the place at the time, instead Greenspan, the guy who wanted to be loved, who after warning of the impending problems and being vilified for it, went along with bad fiscal policy, was at the helm.

Couple that with

* The assurances to financial institutions after the 1998 failure of LTCM that if any institution large enough failed they would be bailed out (The Greenspan Put/implementation of Moral Hazard)

* The changed regulation on banks to require them to mark their assets to the stock market instead of the previous variable ‘over time’ values that aren’t as volatile

* The change in accounting practices that prevented economists from seeing an emerging bubble being created (and let’s be honest, the Democrats were as flummoxed as the Republicans in not seeing it, only a few, mostly Austrian economists were ringing the bell and being told they were alarmists). The accounting changes were put in place during the Clinton years in an agreement with the Clinton White House and Republican Congress in theory to be more accurate, but in reality obfuscating what is really going on in the economy. (details of the changes can be viewed at http://www.shadowstats.com/)

and in hindsight the problems of 2008 were inevitable. Of course, the people who did see it coming are again being marginalized and told they are alarmists, but if we can’t even see the causes accurately now how can we blame people for not learning from them.

So while Bernanke was saying that they caused the Great Depression by pulling back on the NY Bank’s actions that would have prevented much of the problems (there was still a global depression and a tariff war going on that was killing the economy as well) that Americans went through in the 1930s, and we know that they also were the cause of the 70’s malaise and inflations issues, the fact is that they caused this crisis too, not in reacting wrongly, but in trying to manipulate the economy they actually fractured it, causing the whole thing to begin with.

Their reactions did prevent it from being worse than it could have been and it is good that they took those steps, but I’m afraid the lessoned hasn’t been learned because people like phx8 want to make it a political issue, not an economic policy issue. They want to score points instead of accepting the reality of what happened. That is why people to this day still think that the repeal of Glass Stegall had ANYTHING at all to do with the crisis.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 19, 2015 7:43 PM
Comment #387535
Claiming that deniers make up more than 5% of the atmospheric science community is 100% bullshit.

First of all, the fact that you use the term ‘deniers’ is telling. Skepticism is a healthy part of science, the attempt to label people as ‘deniers’ for questioning the science is beyond ignorant, it’s damaging.

Second of all, answer me these questions, since you are an atmospheric scientist.

1) We were told by the computer models that we were going to experience warmer and warmer climates. Yet, we haven’t. In fact, since 1998, the climate’s temperatures have stayed relatively stable. Sure, this year was ‘the warmest on record’, but by a very very very small amount. The models predicted a much warmer climate by this time, yet it isn’t happening. As I see it, there are two possible reasons. First, that computer models were flawed and the predictions that they made are not trustworthy. We need to figure out where and how they are flawed, but the individuals who created and maintain those models have been highly reluctant to entertain the possibility. Second, there is something else going on that no one took into account that is preventing the warming expected. By rejecting anyone questioning the science being labelled a ‘denier’, that isn’t happening. Everyone is sticking to the theories as they were developed and not considering that they could be flawed. To me, THOSE are the ‘deniers’… Remember, for how long did we think Newton was right about his theories too, until we discovered later on that they were flawed… In any regard, in that case too we didn’t have all of the information to make an accurate prediction, how can we trust the models at this point?

2) Originally the predictions were that the earth would warm between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius, but now we are seeing more and more scientists saying that the 2 degree mark is the new high end and ultimately unlikely. In that case, shouldn’t we be revising our estimates of an apocalyptic event? Like when Joe Biden tells us that if the ‘deniers’ are followed, the result will be our destruction? Isn’t that a little over the top alarmism?

3) Wasn’t the tipping point supposed to be 350ppm? The point at which nothing we could do would stop this cycle of events from occurring? What is the density currently… Last time I heard, we were well past that 350ppm. Is there a new tipping point now?

I know how rare it is to find someone who believes anthropogenic GHG emissions are not impacting climate significantly.

You mean you find it rare to find anyone who ADMITS to believing that anthropogenic GHG emissions are not impacting the climate significantly…

BTW, no one is saying that the earth hasn’t warmed in the past 60 years. And very very few people are saying that human activity isn’t partially to blame. But how much? What’s the percentage? 10%? 25%? 50%? 100%? I think that is where you find the discrepancies here.

Secondly, Spencer and Bast’s op-ed has been completely debunked.

No, it hasn’t despite the original author being incensed that they questioned his paper. Because they weren’t trying to “demonstrate widespread support for climate change denialism in the climate community”. What they did point out is that the paper used to come up with the 97% statistic was horrendously flawed (which it was) and that in the scientific community, the level at which scientists believe that humans are a ‘major’ factor or just a partial factor in the warming is not shared, especially not at the 97% level. In fact, they used the same attempted methodology that the original author used (looking at what the papers stating a position) and used better methods to come up to a more clear picture. That those papers who state a view that humans are more than 50% of the cause of the warming were only 0.7% of the total. Other than that, they gave no suggestion to anything else, didn’t state any kind of conclusion as to what that meant, other than the supposed 97% agreement on the level at which humans were contributing to the warming was not in any way proven by the original study.

Again, that’s the real problem here, the supposed idea that 97% of people agree on something like this, a theory that has been shown to have many flaws recently. As a scientist, I would think that you would welcome the scientific method of questioning absolute statements and understand the difference between something being proven and something being still a theory that, while it has much basis in fact, is not proven because it doesn’t match up 100% to the expected outcomes, something required in this case.

There is only one scientific hypothesis that has been presented as a potential explain for how more CO2 may not necessarily lead to higher temperatures.

Actually, there have been more, but beyond that that isn’t the only potential issue here.

It could just very well be that the assumed X increase in CO2 leads to an increase of Y in temperature is not right. The math isn’t accurate because not all of the variables are known yet, or factored in appropriately, etc. There could be other forms of sinks that are not considered appropriately. It could be that the methods that were used to determine what pre-modern temperatures were weren’t accurate, tree rings, ice cores, etc. There are lots of possible explanations, but until we figure it out that doesn’t change the fact that the theory is by definition invalid, as written.

I mean, we know much much more about economics than we do about atmospheric science and look how we got 2008 all wrong? It’s not a knock, but we can’t be expected to know everything about everything, that’s just horrible and very bad science. Atmospheric sciences are relatively new and a climate like the earth is so very complex, as we are seeing, that we need to stop with the nonsense of shouting down anyone who disagrees with the ‘accepted theory’ nonsense, labelling people as deniers, and attacking people who question the science because the science NEEDS to be questioned! ALL science should be questioned.

And one other thing… For a theory to be ‘proven’ (though that doesn’t mean that we won’t find out later that it is wrong, Einstein disproved Newton’s theories, but Newton’s calculations were still correct and we still used them today because they are easier to work with) it has to conform to predicted outcomes. And these theories have not done that yet. In fact, they are failing at their predictions. Now, is this because the theory is WHOLLY wrong? Not necessarily, it could be because there is something in the theory that is wrong, there is something that is missing or miscalculated or misunderstood. Or is it because an underlying assumed fact is not correct? The FACT is that we don’t know yet. And until we do, we have to be skeptical of the theory as being anything other than that, an unproven theory that could very well turn out to be more accurate than not, but until now isn’t by any stretch of the imagination ‘proven’.

And scientists ultimately know this, which is why proponents of action on the theories try to use consensus as ‘good enough’ to act upon.

Now, before you go off the deep end, calling me a denier (which is the expected action) remember, I’ve been working on and pushing for alternative methods of energy for decades. I was a nuclear reactor operator for the Navy and to be honest the fact that we weren’t using nuclear power to get off of fossil fuels decades ago is one of the biggest crimes of the 20th century, especially in the light of the latest technological advances in nuclear. (I partially blame Jane Fonda for that, it’s an old story of media scaring people out of technology without knowing the facts. Jimmy Carter rightfully trying to calm people after 3 Mile Island until Fonda’s wholly inaccurate and scientifically laughable movie was released).

Sure, solar would be nice, but we don’t have the technology to make it work right yet. The same with wind, only worse. Hydro power is great when you have the moving body of water to create the energy, but it’s not enough. Electric cars are actually responsible for more CO2 being put into the atmosphere than oil based ones because of the huge amount of coal we have to burn to create electricity because of the lack of workable solar and wind and the shunning of clean and safe nuclear.

We can ‘wish’ or ‘legislate’ solar or wind or a combination to be our savior now, but it isn’t. We might as well wish for fusion or perpetual motion energy to move us from oil. Maybe some day, but that day isn’t today.

So you tell me, Warren, as an atmospheric scientist, wouldn’t using nuclear be less damaging to our environment than the calamitous nature of putting more CO2 into the atmosphere?

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 19, 2015 8:49 PM
Comment #387537

Rhinehold,

I understand that the quote was from Ben Bernanke. As you admit in your reply to me, Bernanke did not repeat the mistakes that Friedman attributed to the Fed in 1929 in response to the financial collapse. Bernanke aggressively bailed out the banks and stepped on the monetary gas pedal to increase the money supply.

If your point was simply that Bernanke was unjustifiably arrogant in implying that the Federal Reserve would never again make any mistakes contributing to a recession or depression like the Fed in 1929, well, I would agree with you. But, on the specific criticisms of Friedman, he did not.

Posted by: Rich at January 19, 2015 10:16 PM
Comment #387577

Rhinehold,

We were told by the computer models that we were going to experience warmer and warmer climates.

You imply that computer models predict monotonic warming of climate, but that simply isn’t the case. In fact, neither the IPCC nor other prominent climate scientists have said anything that relates anthropocentric warming with inter-annual temperature variations. The warming we are experiencing manifests itself over decades, not years.

In fact, since 1998, the climate’s temperatures have stayed relatively stable.
1998 was the strongest El Nino event on record. Because it was such an anomalous year, it is incredibly dishonest to use it as a baseline for comparison.
The models predicted a much warmer climate by this time, yet it isn’t happening.
Yes. Although the Earth has continued to warm, the rate of warming has decreased recently (even when excluding 1998). This is a much-discussed topic in the climatology community and it is an active area of research. The hypothesis that seems likely to me is that earlier forecasts underestimated the ocean’s ability to sequester heat.
First, that computer models were flawed and the predictions that they made are not trustworthy. We need to figure out where and how they are flawed, but the individuals who created and maintain those models have been highly reluctant to entertain the possibility. Second, there is something else going on that no one took into account that is preventing the warming expected.
Please see the above. Scientists who are merely skeptical and not denialists are figuring out if we can predict inter-annual temperature temperature variations as well as we can predict interdecadal ones.
Remember, for how long did we think Newton was right about his theories too, until we discovered later on that they were flawed… In any regard, in that case too we didn’t have all of the information to make an accurate prediction, how can we trust the models at this point?
Newton is a good analogy here. It is true that Newton’s Laws fail when we look at things traveling close to the speed of light or we look at things at the atomic scale. However, simply because Newton’s laws cannot predict the motion of an electron around an atomic nucleus does not mean we should disregard their power to make predictions about the motion of the planets. Likewise, the inability of climate models to predict the climate of any particular year does not mean that these models cannot predict the climate of an entire decade at a time. No serious climatologist can predict what 2017’s mean annual global temperatures will be or if it will be greater than or less than 2016’s; however, we can be reasonably confident that the decadal mean temperature from 2025 to 2035 is virtually certain to be greater than the 2015 to 2025 mean. It is just a matter of scale. Newtonian physics predicts the motions of planets extremely well even though it has no capacity to predict the motions of any of the subatomic particles that a planet consists of.
Originally the predictions were that the earth would warm between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius, but now we are seeing more and more scientists saying that the 2 degree mark is the new high end and ultimately unlikely. In that case, shouldn’t we be revising our estimates of an apocalyptic event? Like when Joe Biden tells us that if the ‘deniers’ are followed, the result will be our destruction? Isn’t that a little over the top alarmism?
I will always be the first to admit that there has been plenty of alarmism as well. Especially among politicians and activists. The risks posed by climate change are not apocalyptic, but they are deleterious enough to warrant preventative action. I remember reading in the Stern review that no action to mitigate climate change would result in a 20% reduction in global GDP in 2100, whereas the costs of mitigation were in the neighborhood of 15% of GDP. Losing 5% of GDP isn’t a catastrophe, but certainly it is something we’d rather avoid. Not to mention the geopolitical risks as well. We cannot assume that millions of Bengalis can be safely resettled in Siberia without provocation.
Wasn’t the tipping point supposed to be 350ppm? The point at which nothing we could do would stop this cycle of events from occurring? What is the density currently… Last time I heard, we were well past that 350ppm. Is there a new tipping point now?
Excluding seasonal variations, CO2 concentrations are now just shy of 400ppm. I’d take any claim of “tipping points” with a grain of salt. We don’t know enough about climate to be certain about such things. However, it is quite likely such a tipping point exists somewhere. The climate has behaved as a punctuated equilibrium before and it may very well do so again.
the level at which scientists believe that humans are a ‘major’ factor or just a partial factor in the warming is not shared
This focus on whether anthropocentric GHGs are a “major” factor is a red herring that depends on lawyering the definition of words in order to score political points. Humans are responsible for greater GHG concentrations, that is undeniable. Anthropogenic GHGs not only warm the climate directly, but also initiate a cascade of feedback loops. For instance, warmer oceans cause more water vapor to evaporate. Water vapor is itself a GHG so that enhances the greenhouse effect even more. A warmer climate melts ice exposing underlying surfaces with lower albedo. If you classify these feedbacks as ‘natural’ then of course you will find that most of the warming is ‘natural’. But if you are still interested in quantifying the anthropogenic and natural radiative forcings, these figures ought to come in handy. You even get to see how our understanding of climate has changed over the years.
Again, that’s the real problem here, the supposed idea that 97% of people agree on something like this, a theory that has been shown to have many flaws recently. As a scientist, I would think that you would welcome the scientific method of questioning absolute statements and understand the difference between something being proven and something being still a theory that, while it has much basis in fact, is not proven because it doesn’t match up 100% to the expected outcomes, something required in this case.
I definitely do welcome skeptics to try to come up with an alternative hypothesis that explains our observations. Anyone who does surely deserves a Nobel Prize. However, the same can be said of those who build perpetual motion machines because they deny the second law of thermodynamics.

Anthropogenic global warming theory is the only theory we have today that adequately describes all our observations. Rival theories like Lindzen’s Iris Hypothesis are contradicted by observation (we do not see reductions in tropical cirrus clouds predicted by Lindzen), yet the Heartland Institute continues to fund people like Lindzen and Spencer in order to advocate in favor of this debunked hypothesis. Why does the Heartland Institute do this? Could the influence of millions of dollars from the fossil fuel industry possibly be a factor?

It could just very well be that the assumed X increase in CO2 leads to an increase of Y in temperature is not right. The math isn’t accurate because not all of the variables are known yet, or factored in appropriately, etc. There could be other forms of sinks that are not considered appropriately. It could be that the methods that were used to determine what pre-modern temperatures were weren’t accurate, tree rings, ice cores, etc. There are lots of possible explanations, but until we figure it out that doesn’t change the fact that the theory is by definition invalid, as written.
You are right, climatologists could be wrong. But it is extraordinarily unlikely that multiple independent methods reach the same conclusion merely by coincidence. Take paleoclimatology for instance, there are a wealth of proxies for historical climate (tree rings, sediment deposits, agricultural records, ice cores, etc). All these different methods agree with each other quite well. If paleoclimatologists are wrong then it can only be due to conspiracy. Conversely, quantifying the direct warming from a GHG is quite simple to do in a lab and was originally done in the 19th century by William Tyndall and others. Quantifying feedback loops is more tricky and is probably the only possible source of error. However, observations continue to fit predictions made by the theory so our understanding of these feedback loops is probably adequate.
I mean, we know much much more about economics than we do about atmospheric science and look how we got 2008 all wrong? It’s not a knock, but we can’t be expected to know everything about everything, that’s just horrible and very bad science. Atmospheric sciences are relatively new and a climate like the earth is so very complex, as we are seeing, that we need to stop with the nonsense of shouting down anyone who disagrees with the ‘accepted theory’ nonsense, labelling people as deniers, and attacking people who question the science because the science NEEDS to be questioned! ALL science should be questioned.
Atmospheric Scientists are way better at making forecasts than economists. Nate Silver explored this issue in his book, The Signal and the Noise.

Once again, I will reiterate that I welcome skepticism of climatologists’ ideas. However, such skepticism must be done within the context of the scientific method. You cannot start from the premise that global warming theory is wrong and search for evidence that supports that claim. Instead, you collect observations first and then craft a theory that fits the data. So far, global warming is the only theory that fits the data that we have. Skeptics proposed alternative hypotheses (such as the iris effect), but those alternatives were contradicted by observation. The correct response for a skeptical scientist at that point would be to either abandon the debunked hypothesis or to modify it to fit the data. However, Dr. Roy Spencer and his cohort aren’t skeptics. They are denialists who took their debunked ideas to partisan media and obtained funding from politicized sources when they were rightly rejected by the mainstream. This is a breach of the ethics of what it means to be a scientist.

PS. To be a denialist means denying the truth despite knowing it is true. You do not know the truth is true; you are merely a messenger for those that do.

We can ‘wish’ or ‘legislate’ solar or wind or a combination to be our savior now, but it isn’t. We might as well wish for fusion or perpetual motion energy to move us from oil. Maybe some day, but that day isn’t today.

So you tell me, Warren, as an atmospheric scientist, wouldn’t using nuclear be less damaging to our environment than the calamitous nature of putting more CO2 into the atmosphere?

Politically, I only wish for fossil fuels to be taxed so that their external costs are internalized. This will make alternatives cheaper by comparison. Which alternative takes the place of fossil fuels is up to the free market to decide whether it be wind, solar, nuclear or some fantastic technology we have never heard of.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 24, 2015 5:04 PM
Comment #387578

In order to bypass the spam filter, I omitted a link regarding the sequestration of heat by the ocean.

(Learn More Here)

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 24, 2015 5:05 PM
Comment #387584
You imply that computer models predict monotonic warming of climate, but that simply isn’t the case. In fact, neither the IPCC nor other prominent climate scientists have said anything that relates anthropocentric warming with inter-annual temperature variations. The warming we are experiencing manifests itself over decades, not years.

Not sure if you are keeping track, but it has been decades since the computer models were predicting this.

Yes. Although the Earth has continued to warm, the rate of warming has decreased recently (even when excluding 1998). This is a much-discussed topic in the climatology community and it is an active area of research. The hypothesis that seems likely to me is that earlier forecasts underestimated the ocean’s ability to sequester heat.

Yes, increasing at near zero. At an infintesimal rate. And while there are some hypothesis and you might like over others, that doesn’t take away from the fact, yes fact, that the original models were not correct.

In other words, the predicted effect that x amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere equals Y amout of heating is wrong. There are other facts not taken into account so the predicitions made now are equally as questionable.

AND BTW, for your pet theory, how do you square the fact that deep sea temp readings are putting a lot of strain on it?

Scientists who are merely skeptical and not denialists are figuring out if we can predict inter-annual temperature temperature variations as well as we can predict interdecadal ones.

Meaning you can’t predict them either? Look, the track record on predicting interdecadal temperatures is lousy, do you realize that? I have never once brought up year by year predictions, but then I’m not the global warming believers who will point to every event and say ‘yeah, caused by global warming’ because that’s equally as BS.

But the long term predictions of the global temperatures have been off way off. Do you remember Mann’s ridiculous hockey stick?

we can be reasonably confident that the decadal mean temperature from 2025 to 2035 is virtually certain to be greater than the 2015 to 2025 mean

Yes, but if it is going to be .05C, then the hysteria is unwarranted. The apocolyptic cries are beyond ridiculous. And again you are assuming that you can predict any warming from now to 2012 when the climate scientists of 1995 were so far off when predicting the temperatures of 2015.

This focus on whether anthropocentric GHGs are a “major” factor is a red herring that depends on lawyering the definition of words in order to score political points. Humans are responsible for greater GHG concentrations, that is undeniable.

Not really, it gets to the real heart of the matter. Scientifically we can debate the math and determine what effect certain numbers have, what are all of the factors, etc.

But when you are pointing the blame on humans (which because of nature we are certainly part of anything that happens, we are part of the environment) and suggesting that if humans just do ‘x’ or ‘y’ to prevent catastrophic events from occuring, you have to have somn consensus on what those actions are and HOW MUCH they will matter.

If we tomorrow destroyed every car on the planet and never burned another gallon of oil, what would the net effect on the warming be? You have to know how much humans are contributing to now know much humans can stave off what is happening.

You also have to quantify the positive effect that humans have on the environmnet and global warming as well. We keep forest fires from burning out of control which puts carbon into the atmosphere and destroys one good way of getting CO2 from making it to the upper atmosphere as an example.

So while the scientific discussion can avoid this topic since it may not alter the science, it IS an important thing to discuss when politically asking millions of people to alter their behaviors in order to prevent the damage you claim is going to happen, which based on the flawed models are not even agreed upon in any real detail in the scientific community itself.

And that was the point here, the scientists agree that there is warming occuring, but they can’t say how much humans are at the heart of it, how much it is going to warm, what the net effect of that warming is going to be and, most importantly, what real changes can be made today to prevent it.

Anthropogenic global warming theory is the only theory we have today that adequately describes all our observations.

Except, it doesn’t do it adequately. It may do it better than other theories, it certainly isn’t ‘spot on’ in any way. It is in now way ‘proven science’ and scientists who sit back and allow people to claim these things are suspect IMO.

Even worse, and I think you may even agree with me here, are Neil Degrasse Tyson and Bill Nye. Both people I like and have enjoyed watching for years. But in this area of discussion they have thrown away a lot of scientific respect that they had earned by me by wading into the shallow end of the pool on this one. Nye particularly has been recently nasty and plain wrong on the topics having bought into the theory as fact hook line and sinker, rejecting any discussion of problems with the theory as ‘denialism’. This is the worst kind of atmosphere to cultivate, especially if you want to continue to be considered scientific, rational and logical.

Rival theories like Lindzen’s Iris Hypothesis are contradicted by observation (we do not see reductions in tropical cirrus clouds predicted by Lindzen), yet the Heartland Institute continues to fund people like Lindzen and Spencer in order to advocate in favor of this debunked hypothesis. Why does the Heartland Institute do this? Could the influence of millions of dollars from the fossil fuel industry possibly be a factor?

Because there are observational effects of Anthromaphoric Warming that haven’t occurred either, as predicted. So to say that they are ‘more adequate’ in explaining something but needs to take in other factors to get it right, and then denouncing other therories because they have also not explained all observations so they should be completely abandoned isn’t scientificly sound. What harm is it for the Heartland Institute to try to find what is going on? I mean, you could say the same thing for scientists and other universtities receiving the influence of millions of dollars in research grants from governmental agencies who want a political answer as to why they may be continuing to push what others would rightfully be able to claim as debunked science by using those same critera.

Personally, I would like to see even other alternative theories investigated as long as they are done scientifically. If it can be explained and proven to me, I’m in. But none of the theories that I have been privy to so far have done that.

But it is extraordinarily unlikely that multiple independent methods reach the same conclusion merely by coincidence.

But that’s just it, there aren’t multiple independant methods being researched, they are all using the same initial data sets that were created decades ago to determine what the temperatures were before we could adequately measure them. And when I say adequately, I still have problems with several of the methods we use today. But that’s a subject for another time. My point is that these independent studies are not as independant as you might think knowing that the base data and methods are coming from singular sources.

If paleoclimatologists are wrong then it can only be due to conspiracy.

Not necessarily, as I pointed out. That doesn’t have to be the ‘ONLY’ conclusion. Making that claim eliminates the self-evaluation of the processes and research methods that needs to happen in these cases.

The results have not predicted with any accuracy, so you have more than one thing you have to do. One is to try to find out what part of their math or theory isn’t being taken into account the right way and adjust. The other is to look at the way you got TO the theory and consider if something else happened here, was something overlooked, is the initial data and assumptions from that data correct, etc. Does a tree ring accurately tell us what we are asking or is there something missing that we haven’t taken into account. Maybe the earth 300 years ago was actually warmer than it is now and we are just cycling back up to that point. What about the effect of the waning magnetic fields that we’ve seen, why are there abandoned living areas in far north areas that we have alwasys assumed were too cold to live in, etc…

I know that some scientists are doing that. I also know that any scientists wanting to look at those and thousands of other questions, in opposition to the ‘accepted theory’ have to go to external sources for funding because most funding right now is expecting specific outlines of study that won’t do that. That’s the real issue with modern political sciencific endeavors.

And one more thing… Let’s say that the ‘oil company interests’ were to fund a scientists who came up with an alternate theory that scientifically disproved AGW, so what? Isn’t that a good thing? Does it matter where they money came from if the science is sound? You never know, they may actually find out what has been wrong with the AGW theories all along and actually help you prove the theory in the long run…

Nate Silver explored this

I’m really getting tired of the Nate Silver love, btw… Just saying. Though I find it funny that Mann tore into him as being just this side of a denialist…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-e-mann/nate-silver-climate-change_b_1909482.html

Politically, I only wish for fossil fuels to be taxed so that their external costs are internalized.

Which will make any real technological advances disappear or slow to a crawl as it will become too costly to use the only adequate method of fueling those technologies developments too expensive to do the actual research.

Seems smart.

How do you fuel the engine of new technological advances if you block the use of the only cheap method of fueling it? How would we have moved to electricity if we didn’t have wood and coal and oil burning to get us there and develop methods of harnessing it?

Do you think for example that the Amish are adequately equipped to study new solar and wind technologies?

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 24, 2015 6:51 PM
Comment #387586

BTW:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4321

The cold waters of Earth’s deep ocean have not warmed measurably since 2005, according to a new NASA study, leaving unsolved the mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years.

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, analyzed satellite and direct ocean temperature data from 2005 to 2013 and found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably. Study coauthor Josh Willis of JPL said these findings do not throw suspicion on climate change itself.

“The sea level is still rising,” Willis noted. “We’re just trying to understand the nitty-gritty details.”

In the 21st century, greenhouse gases have continued to accumulate in the atmosphere, just as they did in the 20th century, but global average surface air temperatures have stopped rising in tandem with the gases. The temperature of the top half of the world’s ocean — above the 1.24-mile mark — is still climbing, but not fast enough to account for the stalled air temperatures.

Many processes on land, air and sea have been invoked to explain what is happening to the “missing” heat. One of the most prominent ideas is that the bottom half of the ocean is taking up the slack, but supporting evidence is slim. This latest study is the first to test the idea using satellite observations, as well as direct temperature measurements of the upper ocean. Scientists have been taking the temperature of the top half of the ocean directly since 2005, using a network of 3,000 floating temperature probes called the Argo array.

“The deep parts of the ocean are harder to measure,” said JPL’s William Llovel, lead author of the study, published Sunday, Oct. 5 in the journal Nature Climate Change. “The combination of satellite and direct temperature data gives us a glimpse of how much sea level rise is due to deep warming. The answer is — not much.”

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 24, 2015 7:28 PM
Comment #387593
Not sure if you are keeping track, but it has been decades since the computer models were predicting this.

Show me a single example of a climatological model used by the IPCC or other prominent climatologists that forecasts monotonic increases in annual mean global temperatures. You can’t because every model simulates the noise evident in Earth’s natural climate variability. This means that it remains common for some years to be cooler than a preceding year without disrupting the overall warming trend.

In other words, the predicted effect that x amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere equals Y amout of heating is wrong. There are other facts not taken into account so the predicitions made now are equally as questionable.
No, the hypothesis is that the Earth was still heated by amount Y, but more of that heat was sequestered into the deep ocean rather than the atmosphere. The radiative forcing from CO2 is well understood and most climatologists are quite confident.
AND BTW, for your pet theory, how do you square the fact that deep sea temp readings are putting a lot of strain on it?
I’m not sure what you are trying to say here.
Look, the track record on predicting interdecadal temperatures is lousy, do you realize that
Let’s take a look at predictions made by Jim Hansen 26 years ago: https://www.e-education.psu.edu/meteo469/node/141 His scenario B seems to have panned out real well. He missed the 1992 eruption of Mt Pinatubo as well as the extreme El Nino of ‘98, but his model isn’t meant to forecast temperatures on such a short time scale. The overall trend from decade to decade is revealed to be in accordance with observations.
I have never once brought up year by year predictions,
Then why do you insist on comparing today’s temperatures to 1998 in order get a flat trend? An honest assessment would compare mean temperatures from 1990 to 1999 and compare that to the mean temperatures from 2000 to 2009. The 2000s were warmer than the 1990s and the 2010s thus far have been warmer than the 2000s. The atmosphere is continuing to war.
but then I’m not the global warming believers who will point to every event and say ‘yeah, caused by global warming’ because that’s equally as BS.
Absolutely true. 2014 was the warmest year on record, but that doesn’t mean a thing for diagnosing the climate. 2014 being warm was a weather event, not a climatic one.
But the long term predictions of the global temperatures have been off way off. Do you remember Mann’s ridiculous hockey stick?
Dr. Michael Mann is a paleoclimatologist. He doesn’t forecast future with computer models. He uses proxies such as ice, trees, etc to reconstruct the past climate. The Hockey stick graph is Mann’s reconstruction from a paper he published in 1998. Subsequent research has modified the graph slightly, but the major conclusions remain the same. There is a bit of controversy because the tree ring proxy Mann used did not match the instrumental temperature record of the past 50 years even though there is a very good match for the previous 100 years. Nonetheless, Mann’s work is very important to our understanding of paleoclimate.
Yes, but if it is going to be .05C, then the hysteria is unwarranted. The apocolyptic cries are beyond ridiculous. And again you are assuming that you can predict any warming from now to 2012 when the climate scientists of 1995 were so far off when predicting the temperatures of 2015.
In 1988, Hansen predicted the decadal mean climate of the 2000s quite well, I am confident that our ability to predict the decadal mean climate 20 years from now will be at least as successful.
And that was the point here, the scientists agree that there is warming occuring, but they can’t say how much humans are at the heart of it, how much it is going to warm, what the net effect of that warming is going to be and, most importantly, what real changes can be made today to prevent it.
You still cannot phrase the question that way because we cannot talk about warming that general of a manner. Perhaps if you isolate what kind of warming we are talking about then you may have a chance. In the US it is cooler today than it was 6 months ago and humans are responsible for zero percent of that change; it is due to 100% natural factors. The Earth in 1998 was warmer than in 1996. This was mostly due to natural factors (El Nino), but also slightly due to anthropogenic ones. Or maybe not, it could be possible that anthropogenic global warming increases the frequency of extreme El Nino events like 1998. Conversely, the mean temperature from 2000 to 2015 is much greater than the 1985 to 2000 mean temperature. Humans are almost certainly the cause of at least 90% of that change simply because there are no other known processes that can create that much heat that quickly that fit with our astronomical observations.
But that’s just it, there aren’t multiple independant methods being researched, they are all using the same initial data sets that were created decades ago to determine what the temperatures were before we could adequately measure them. And when I say adequately, I still have problems with several of the methods we use today. But that’s a subject for another time. My point is that these independent studies are not as independant as you might think knowing that the base data and methods are coming from singular sources.

Tree rings, coral, lake sediments, ice cores, ocean sediments and other proxies all form separate independent data sets. All of these distinct data sets agree with one another. This has verified our reconstructions of the paleoclimate.

Does a tree ring accurately tell us what we are asking or is there something missing that we haven’t taken into account. Maybe the earth 300 years ago was actually warmer than it is now and we are just cycling back up to that point,
Except it isn’t just tree rings. It’s coral. It’s ice. It’s sediment. All these separate independent measurements all point to the same conclusions. It is unwise to dismiss that as mere coincidence. Surely there is a reason for the agreement?
And one more thing… Let’s say that the ‘oil company interests’ were to fund a scientists who came up with an alternate theory that scientifically disproved AGW, so what? Isn’t that a good thing? Does it matter where they money came from if the science is sound? You never know, they may actually find out what has been wrong with the AGW theories all along and actually help you prove the theory in the long run…
If sound science following the scientific method came from the Heartland Institute then you would be right, but that isn’t the case. Instead, we get bullshit like the iris hypothesis that should’ve been buried a decade ago. Because of politics, Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer get to appear on conservative media pushing their iris hypothesis as if it were genuine alternative explanation when that is far from the case.
I’m really getting tired of the Nate Silver love, btw… Just saying.
Fine. You don’t have to like the guy. However, I have no qualifications to evaluate economic forecasts apart from what read in his book, The Signal and the Noise. He concluded that atmospheric scientists have a much superior understanding of risk and uncertainty than economists and that economists would stand to gain a great deal from our community.
Though I find it funny that Mann tore into him as being just this side of a denialist…
I will tell you from the personal anecdotes that I have encountered that Michael Mann is a genuinely mean person. He’s not the sort of person I’d enjoy having as a friend and that is clearly evidenced by his defensiveness in that opinion piece. Despite his deficiencies in personality though, Mann’s scientific work is top notch and should not be disputed without some real contradictory evidence in hand.
Which will make any real technological advances disappear or slow to a crawl as it will become too costly to use the only adequate method of fueling those technologies developments too expensive to do the actual research.

Seems smart.

How do you fuel the engine of new technological advances if you block the use of the only cheap method of fueling it? How would we have moved to electricity if we didn’t have wood and coal and oil burning to get us there and develop methods of harnessing it?


Did I say prohibit fossil fuel combustion or did I say tax fossil fuel combustion? Posted by: Warren Porter at January 25, 2015 11:53 AM
Comment #387598
Show me a single example of a climatological model used by the IPCC or other prominent climatologists that forecasts monotonic increases in annual mean global temperatures.

Again, I never said any such thing. Argue with me, not what other people have said to you.

Look, I am referencing computer models that decades ago predicted a mean increase of .2c increases. Not that it would increase .2c a year, but over the that long period of time it would be a MEAN increase of .2c a year. Nearly all ‘respected’ models predicted this.

Only as we look back, it didn’t. It increased a mean of only .05c a year.

You said that the models are accurate in predicting decades long temperature increases, but looking back at the facts shows us that they aren’t.

What else did they predict? They predicted an increase in hurricane activity over the past several decades. In fact, hurricane activity has been lower. They predicted a decrease in Antarctic ice, but in fact Antarctic ice is still increasing.

Climatologists are even now admitting, though they once eschewed the thought, that it was as warm during the Medieval Warm Period as it is now, with far less CO2 in the atmosphere.

The only conclusion an observer to all that information can make is that the warming the planet does in relation to how much CO2 is in the atmosphere is not as great of an effect as once thought. Is it not effect? Of course not. But the amount of effect that was believed by the climatologists is incorrect…

No, the hypothesis is that the Earth was still heated by amount Y, but more of that heat was sequestered into the deep ocean rather than the atmosphere. The radiative forcing from CO2 is well understood and most climatologists are quite confident.

Except we now see that the deep ocean is NOT sequestering the heat as they thought. The JPL report has put a large damper on that theory.

Then why do you insist on comparing today’s temperatures to 1998 in order get a flat trend? An honest assessment would compare mean temperatures from 1990 to 1999 and compare that to the mean temperatures from 2000 to 2009. The 2000s were warmer than the 1990s and the 2010s thus far have been warmer than the 2000s. The atmosphere is continuing to war.

First, 1998 to 2014 is more than a decade. To say that by using that date I am using ‘year by year’ estimations was correct perhaps 10 years ago, but not now.

Second, reread all that I say, not cherry pick one thing. Since 1980 the amount of warming which was predicted (.2c per year mean) by nearly all models was entirely wrong, seeing that the mean was really .05c per year mean.

Nonetheless, Mann’s work is very important to our understanding of paleoclimate.

Your respect for Mann’s work doesn’t match mine of course. But seeing as Mann is being proven to be wrong on even his historic temperature conclusions is not going to help his standing IMO.

In 1988, Hansen predicted the decadal mean climate of the 2000s quite well, I am confident that our ability to predict the decadal mean climate 20 years from now will be at least as successful.

If only Hansen’s predictions were the ones that the IPCC used and the other climatologists’ work squared with it. You take the one model that seems to have worked (though not 100%, just not as bad as all of the others) and they say that we can predict the future… It’s almost comical.

Did I say prohibit fossil fuel combustion or did I say tax fossil fuel combustion?

You said to tax fossil fuel combustion to get people away from using fossil fuels.

But that’s the thing. If the fossil fuel combustion is taxed, and someone was thinking of trying to develop alternate technologies, they are going to have to raise money or spend their own money to do so. And in that case, the decision to move forward to do so will be hindered by how much it would cost to do. Increasing that cost is going to put a limit on how much people will be doing that development because you’ve just increased EVERYONE’s cost in doing the research with an additional tax…

And if you are suggesting using that additional tax income to help those specific people pay for that research, you don’t understand the issues related to trying to use governmental research funds. The jumps you have to go through, the ‘people you have to know’ who end up getting the lion’s share of funding, the rules and regulations you have to follow and the conclusions you end up having to make just by accepting funds from the government…

That’s why real technological advances almost never come from government funded research.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 25, 2015 3:25 PM
Comment #387604
Again, I never said any such thing. Argue with me, not what other people have said to you.

Yet you said earlier: “Not sure if you are keeping track, but it has been decades since the computer models were predicting this.” in response to a quote from me where I said: “You imply that computer models predict monotonic warming of climate, but that simply isn’t the case.” The ‘this’ in your comment clearly refers to the monotonic warming in my climate. Having been found out, you are now trying to backtrack on what you said.

Look, I am referencing computer models that decades ago predicted a mean increase of .2c increases. Not that it would increase .2c a year, but over the that long period of time it would be a MEAN increase of .2c a year. Nearly all ‘respected’ models predicted this.

Only as we look back, it didn’t. It increased a mean of only .05c a year.


That’s an incredibly stupid way to evaluate a model because it is very sensitive to how you decide to bin things. And this is precisely what you have done. You have cherry picked your bins in order to exploit the anomalous ENSO of 1998 to hide the amount of warming the earth has experienced.

Here’s an example to illustrate what I mean: Let’s say I moved from Boston to DC last June and I was shocked to find that it was so hot and humid. My nostalgia for New England’s cooler climate causes me to complain about the temperature to my neighbors. One of my neighbors consoles me by telling me that as a consolation, the winters in DC will not be as harsh as those in Boston. Inspired by my neighbor’s optimism, I attempt to forecast the seasonal climate of Washington DC. In order to do this I build a computer model that can predict temperature changes due to variations in mean solar zenith angle.

Let’s say my model predicts that the mean temperature in January should be 36.0F and the mean temperature in June should be 75.2F. This is a change of 38.2F or 1.31F per week (30 weeks from June until January). Now let’s evaluate the forecast. It so happens that I moved to DC on June 18, 2014 when the mean temperature was 86F. 30 weeks later, on January 14, 2015 the daily mean temperature was 30F. Now that is a 56F difference, which is 1.86F per week, a whopping 40% more than the predicted 1.31F per week. Is my model flawed? Did a misunderstanding of Earth’s atmosphere doom me to underestimate the wintertime temperature by 40%?

No! The metric that was used to evaluate my model is what is flawed. I was trying to predict monthly mean temperatures. Mean daily temperatures a affected by noise that is not present in monthly mean datasets.

You said that the models are accurate in predicting decades long temperature increases, but looking back at the facts shows us that they aren’t.
Except they do! Hansen’s 1988 model correctly predicted the change in mean decadal temperatures from the 1980s through the 1990s and into the 21st century.
If only Hansen’s predictions were the ones that the IPCC used and the other climatologists’ work squared with it. You take the one model that seems to have worked (though not 100%, just not as bad as all of the others) and they say that we can predict the future… It’s almost comical.

Hansen’s projections are no different than the IPCC’s. I just picked his model because it is one of the oldest and it was the one that set the ball rolling in the climatology community. Before Hansen, the vast majority of the climatology community thought the CO2 sensitivity of the atmosphere was too low to worry about.
Click Here

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 26, 2015 1:04 AM
Comment #387607
Yet you said earlier: “Not sure if you are keeping track, but it has been decades since the computer models were predicting this.” in response to a quote from me where I said: “You imply that computer models predict monotonic warming of climate, but that simply isn’t the case.” The ‘this’ in your comment clearly refers to the monotonic warming in my climate. Having been found out, you are now trying to backtrack on what you said.

Actually, no the ‘this’ means clearly, from reading, that the overall decadal warming, or why would I say ‘it has been decades since the models were predicting this’ if I wasn’t talking about year over year warming? That makes no sense…

That’s an incredibly stupid way to evaluate a model because it is very sensitive to how you decide to bin things. And this is precisely what you have done. You have cherry picked your bins in order to exploit the anomalous ENSO of 1998 to hide the amount of warming the earth has experienced.

*rolls eyes* I quite clearly use the *MEAN* temperature values. And it doesn’t even make sense. If the mean temperature is .05c instead of a predicted .2c, the 1998 temps would not account for any part of that. In fact, including it would mean that the mean was even LESS than .05c…

The reality is that 1998 is meaningless in this discussion. I used that date because some proponents like to point to 1998 as meaningful. The IPCC, in 2007, predicted the .2c mean increase… To meet that by 2017 (meaning a decade of examination of that estimate) would mean that we would have to see some pretty fast rising world temperatures, wouldn’t we?

And today, nearly all climatologists agree that the planet hasn’t warmed as expected, why you are continuing to say that it hasn’t when you have clearly admitted it hasn’t previously is beyond me. That is why everyone is trying to figure out what is causing the ‘pause’.

Except they do! Hansen’s 1988 model correctly predicted the change in mean decadal temperatures from the 1980s through the 1990s and into the 21st century.

Hansen’s model was *ONE* model out of dozens and dozens of them. All of the rest of them were off by orders of magnitude. You are saying that because after hitting the bullseye of a dartboard once out of 40 times, that means you can hit that bullseye whenever you want…

AND, let’s you forget, Hansen’s model evaluation that you used and linked to STOPPED in 2005. In the remaining 10 years (a decade!) it hasn’t matched.

Now, why is that? You are betting your money on the deep sea theory, but the numbers aren’t adding up to that being the result as I pointed out. Something else is going on…

Hansen’s projections are no different than the IPCC’s.

… Here I don’t know what to say… ‘they are no different than the IPCCs’. I’m seriously at a loss.

The IPCC said observed warming over the 15 years from 1990-2005 had taken place at a rate of 0.2C per decade, and it predicted this would continue for the following 20 years, on the basis of forecasts made by computer climate models. Hansen didn’t predict 0.2c per decade… Not from my reading of the posted results.

And it hasn’t. Over the 15 year period from 2000 to 2015 it has only increased .05c per decade.

From the first IPCC report:

Based on current models, we predict: under [BAU] increase of global mean temperature during the [21st] century of about 0.3 oC per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2 to 0.5 oC per decade

Yet, we are looking at .05c over the past 15 years…

And they were right…?

The 2007 report predicted an increase in hurricane activity, it hasn’t happened.

The 2007 report (and the 2014 report) predict a loss of Antarctic sea ice based on computer models, except that it has grown.

The JCL has thrown cold water (pun intended) on the Deep Sea theory.

In fact, no one knows why we aren’t increasing global temperatures over the past decade and a half, even though CO2 amounts have increased.

As I said, does that mean that global warming isn’t occurring? No, I never said any such thing. But the re-writing of history to say that the computer models have been right! when you can point to one that was right up until 2005… *shrug* I just have to say we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 26, 2015 1:46 AM
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