I’m a tree — why not feed me?

old oak tree

Open letter to environmentalists from A. Tree

Dear Greenies,

You love trees – you’re even called tree-huggers. Yet I’m a tree, and you don’t love me. You won’t even feed me!

One of my indispensable foods is carbon dioxide. But you’ve demonised it by fabricating the story that it’s the most important “greenhouse” gas. You pretend that one of the world’s rarest gases, a mere 0.00039 of the atmosphere, will overheat the climate. You never mention that water vapour, up to 4% of the atmosphere (10,000 times more plentiful than CO2), is also the most powerful greenhouse gas of all, with each molecule having about 26 times more warming effect than carbon dioxide.

To support your corrupt fib about CO2, you’ve started referring to this tasteless, odourless, invisible, non-toxic, life-giving plant food as a pollutant. So you try to restrict my diet.


Whatever CO2 I consume can’t affect the climate! The more CO2 in the air, the more growing I and my family can do, and the better off you are. Use your brain!

An important reason for your increased agricultural productivity since 1950 is the increasing amount of CO2 in the air.

I’ve been around for over a thousand years, since the Middle Ages. The sturdy bodies of many brethren from that time still survive in the cathedrals, great houses and other constructions of Europe, but I have survived unfelled, in living form, with green leaves and flowing sap, and I tell you that I like carbon dioxide. I’ll take all you can give me, and, in a magical reciprocity, I’ll give you in return the other gas of life – oxygen.

I can’t live without carbon dioxide; you can’t live without oxygen. We’re made for each other, my friend! Please dispense for us all the beneficial carbon dioxide you possibly can.

Yours in hope,

A. Tree.

P.S.: When you burn something, thanks a lot for the carbon dioxide — but keep trying to remove the pollutants. AT.

What CO2 achieves

Numerous studies reported at CO2 Science show benefits of greater growth in the biosphere from increasing levels of CO2. Some show that higher temperatures also improve productivity. The more productive plant life becomes, the more benefits accrue to the animals feeding on it.

One study shows annual growth increases in wild forests from 1920 to the 1980s of up to 43% – probably from rising levels of CO2.

This commentary on Regional trends in terrestrial carbon exchange and their seasonal signatures (Gurney & Eckels, 2011) describes something you’ll never hear on New Zealand television:

As ever more anthropogenic CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere and the air’s CO2 concentration rises ever higher, so too does the photosynthetic prowess of earth’s terrestrial vegetation grow ever stronger, as the great global greening of the earth gains ever more momentum and sucks ever more CO2 out of the air and incorporates it into living biomass and soil organic matter, thereby muting the rate of global warming that would otherwise prevail in the absence of this important negative feedback phenomenon.

Some hope of more CO2

Germany is scrambling to make up for the loss of nuclear generation, hurriedly banned by Chancellor Angela Merkel in a reaction to aging Japanese reactors being irretrievably damaged by the tsunami. Everyone overlooks the fact that, old as the reactors’ safety systems were, they still protected the environment from radiation, apart from a little cooling water which escaped to the ocean and harmed nothing — despite the media’s alarums. Merkel banned nuclear generators simply because it fitted a long-held philosophy and here was a convenient excuse to do so.

To replace Germany’s nuclear generation, planned and just-completed coal-fired generators total about 25 stations in the next three years. Eight per year. One every six weeks.

The environmental group BUND estimated that one project would emit 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Most proposed coal-fired stations are opposed by citizen groups because of their CO2 emissions — so Germany gives hope for the trees if the projects get through the planning process.

In a scarcely credible post-script to the Japan earthquake, this story just hit the newswires:

Eight US sailors who served on a humanitarian mission to Japan in the wake of the tsunami-triggered Fukushima nuclear reactor crisis are suing the utility that operates the power plant. They say they were exposed to harmful levels of radiation that could result in cancer and a shorter life.

Curious that Americans might sue before any harm is suffered. It would be tragic should a judge take them seriously. (But I’ll probably be given a legal opinion that demolishes my reasoning on that.)

Global demand for coal is expected to grow to 8.9 billion tons by 2016 from 7.9 billion tons this year. China is expected to add about 160 new coal-fired plants to the 620 operating now, within four years. During that period, India will add more than 46 plants.

Views: 498

45 Thoughts on “I’m a tree — why not feed me?

  1. Robin Pittwood on 29/12/2012 at 10:04 pm said:

    Great letter. Loved it.
    Came across some recent coal data that might be useful.

    • Thanks, glad you liked it.

      The IEA analysis contains some thought-provoking comments. Thanks for the link.

    • Robin Pittwood on 30/12/2012 at 2:05 pm said:

      I confess to not having read the whole of IEA’s mid term report. Their basic data seems right to me, and it is a very useful resource, but they are still holding on to the global warming meme.

      Some of their statements indicate their hope to reduce coal consumption. in this though I think they underestimate the power of the inelasticity of price and demand of such an essential commodity as energy. It is this inelasticity which makes the provision of essential services so financially lucrative, which then makes it possible to move into grossly inefficient areas, like trying to sequester CO2, or to make wind turbines in Antarctica, or cross subsidisation between consumers without solar panels to those that do via artificial pricing, etc.

  2. Alexander K on 30/12/2012 at 12:10 pm said:

    Richard, you should know by now that yer Greenies don’t know about ACTUAL trees – their concept of a tree is a fluffy green thing with a stick up the middle ‘out there’ growing in their idealised temple to Gaia, and there their corpus of knowledge stops.
    How to grow healthy trees with desired timber qualities then do something useful with them, such as building beautiful wooden houses that blokes and blokesses on an average wage can afford to buy is utterly beyond them, but they are quite happy to impose their mean-spirited ignorance on the rest of the world.

  3. Trees are not for hugging. They are for chopping down, converting into pellets and fed into biomass power stations (like Drax, in the UK, which will require 3 millions acres of land in North America)

  4. Simon on 31/12/2012 at 12:42 pm said:

    Apart from the usual misconceptions about heat exchange in the carbon and hydrological cycles, it is worth pointing out that a significant proportion of the increase in atmospheric CO2 is due to deafforestation. The increased uptake of CO2 by flora due to higher concentrations is minor in comparison to the loss in total biomass.

    • Mike Jowsey on 31/12/2012 at 1:26 pm said:

      Simon, you miss the point entirely. The point is, why not feed the trees? Your comment is irrelevant to this point.

      However, if you want to raise a new topic regarding loss of total biomass, perhaps some statistics would be a good starting point for discussion.

    • Simon,

      I don’t believe I referred to heat exchanges, but what misconceptions?

      You mention the increase in atmospheric CO2 due to deafforestation (sic). In 2010, NZ reported total greenhouse gas emissions of 71.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e). In 2010, net removals from afforestation, reforestation and deforestation were 17.5 Mt CO2-e (24%). But you mentioned the rise in CO2 due to deforestation. In 2010 deforestation accounted for 1.0 Mt CO2-e. When you consider that represents only about 1.4% of NZ’s total emissions in 2010, and that the global rise in atmospheric concentration that year was 2.42 ppmv, to which our deforestation contributed 0.034 ppmv, which is about 0.009 of the atmospheric concentration in 2010 of 390 ppmv, you should reevaluate your characterisation of the proportion of the increase brought about by deforestation as “significant”.

      I don’t understand your remark about the loss in biomass. Are you talking about natural or cultivated biomass? Please provide details of your thinking.

  5. Richard C (NZ) on 02/01/2013 at 10:26 am said:

    Carl Brehmer responds with a well presented (IMO) essay-length comment in the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis thread at JN (‘A discussion of the Slaying the Sky Dragon science: Is the Greenhouse Effect a Sky Dragon Myth?’) pointing out the missing factors and explaining the perpetual net cooling effect of “greenhouse gases”:-


    Thread is periodically frequented by Carl (PSI), Bryan Leyland (PSI), Joe Postma (PSI) and others vs Wes Allen (fellow luke-warmer with Joanne Nova), Pete Ridley and others.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 02/01/2013 at 10:56 am said:

      Also now the most commented post at JN, 899 to date.

    • Also, some interesting historical observations from commenter Marty at Tom Fuller’s new blog


      I hope Marty sticks around. This could be very interesting.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 02/01/2013 at 7:15 pm said:

      Marty’s early experience (along with similar experiences of others) seems to corroborate John O’Sullivan’s 4 part series saying that the GHE theory was widely accepted as being refuted before 1951 and the current version and nomenclature is a repackaged affair to which Hansen and Lindzen disagree and Hansen flip flopped on initially that is at most less than 33 years old and not a 150 year continuity that we keep hearing about:-


      Quoting from Part 4:-

      “From all this ‘confusion’ it is no wonder why any thinking scientist could believe that any gas could ‘store’ energy even though the absorption/emission cycle of carbon dioxide is one billionth of a second – less than the blink of an eye. At Principia Scientific International (PSI) hundreds of experts are aghast that such a small bit of radiation briefly bouncing around the atmosphere before it escapes to outer space should be accorded anything other than a very negligible impact within the overall system.

      For PSI researchers the real emphasis should be on the very powerful energy storage potential of water and the relentless dynamo of the hydrological cycle. Speak to anyone who glibly spouts to you that the greenhouse gas effect is real and the chances are they have no clue that there is no less than 130 years’ worth of solar energy stored in latent heat in the liquid of our oceans. They are likely also oblivious to the fact there is around 7 days’ worth of solar energy stored in water vapor latent heat of our atmosphere.”

      Also from comments:-

      John O’Sullivan
      December 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      I am advised that Mann and Weaver are discontinuing their actions pending the court’s formal dismissal of their claims. However, I understand that in Canada, unlike the US legal system, such cases cannot merely be ‘dropped.’ As such we await the court’s imminent decisions in finding in favor of Tim in both matters and Tim’s libel attorney is now filing hefty counterclaims.

      + + +

      And yes, 2013 could be interesting going by some of the push-back developing.

  6. Richard C (NZ) on 02/01/2013 at 8:29 pm said:

    Certified Emission Reductions are at 39 cents AU on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange according to the SMH:-


    $23 in OZ, $12,50 in NZ. CO2 sure is an odd commodity.

  7. Richard C (NZ) on 03/01/2013 at 3:09 pm said:

    HortResearch Publication – The A to Z guide for using CO2.

    Table of Contents:

    1. CO2 enrichment in greenhouses
    2. CO2 for growth
    3. How crops respond to CO2 enrichment
    4. CO2 enrichment in tomatoes
    5. CO2 enrichment from burning fuel
    6. CO2 from the central burner
    7. Enrichment with pure CO2


    From Part 2 – CO2 for growth:-

    Therefore, it is generally most profitable to optimise the main conditions first (temperature, irrigation, nutrition, humidity). When these main prerequisites are fulfilled, it is worthwhile to consider CO2 enrichment. Increasing the concentration of CO2 in the greenhouse air to a level twice to thrice the normal level (so from 340 ppm to 700 or 1000 ppm) will increase growth by 20 to 30%. This will be shown in following articles.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/01/2013 at 3:18 pm said:

      Slow Release Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Fertilizer

      * Start price: $6.00

      carbon dioxide (CO2) fertilizer is a non-toxic, non-hormone, and harmless green product. It is specially designed to be applied inside the greenhouse to simulate and assist the growth of greenhouse vegetables, fruits, flowers and other plants.


      Each bag of fertilizer covers an effective area of 33 square meters, normally with a functional period of 25 to 30 days.
      It is best to use upper vents for greenhouse ventilation when applying CO2 the fertilizer. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, it will settle down inside the green house.
      Product storage life: 3 years
      Product Specifications
      Product name: Gas Fertilizer
      Product form: Powder solids
      Product weight: Carbon Dioxide slow release catalyst: 5g/bag
      Carbon Dioxide generating agent: 110g/Bag
      Main technical index: NH4HCO3 = 96% (modified ammonium bicarbonate), others =3.0%
      (100bags/ctn $550)


    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/01/2013 at 4:16 pm said:

      Tired of BOC gases deal on Co2? Check this –

      This one’s for calcium reactor users who, like I used to, have to “rent” a Co2 bottle from BOC gases.

      Now I found these guys – Gas Cylinder Testing, 17 Westmoreland Street Grey Lynn, phone 378 9243, who will sell you a 2nd hand cylinder.
      The cylinder holds 5 – 7kg of gas, comes with a brand new pressure test, is fully loaded with gas, and costs 200 bucks. When it runs out they will refill it for 10 bucks.

      Compares very favourably with BOC who continue to extort 12 bucks a month rental you never own the bottle, plus 30 odd bucks to refill.
      When I set up with BOC I paid 150 odd bucks for a 1 year rental, plus 30 odd for the gas. Total around 180 bucks and I don’t even own the bottle I have to keep paying rent.

      I hate telecom style market stranglehold extortion rackets – go Gas Cylinder Testing!


      # # #

      Works out to $1667/tonne @ 6 kg/cylinder. US$500 – 4000/tonne FOB at Tianjin/Xingang China (min order 100 cylinders):-


    • Simon on 09/01/2013 at 1:56 pm said:

      It was the collapse in the housing and Japanese wood-chip markets that caused Gunns and Forestry Tasmania to go broke, plus some poor management decisions. The Greens played some part in locking up native forest, but in that situation it should be the state government’s responsibility to manage for fire appropriately. Highest ever recorded temperatures (which couldn’t possibly be due to climate change :-)) plus strong winds obviously did not help.

    • So the policy of banning fire breaks has nothing to do with the fatalities in the Victorian fires a while back?

      I thought that was a clear case of government policy being directly implicated in deaths of citizens

      Then again, the policies around flood prevention in the local dams had quite a bit to do with the Brisbane flooding.

      This is what Greens do best: kill people

    • Simon on 09/01/2013 at 2:35 pm said:

      These are examples of poor local body planning policy rather than some nebulous green entity. While there is a strong Green political movement in Tasmania, the same cannot be said of Victoria or Queensland.

    • Whilst we are at it, let’s not forget the Tasmanian Wedge Tailed Eagle, likely to become extinct because of the obsession with wind energy in the area

    • Simon on 09/01/2013 at 2:42 pm said:

      I thought there was only one significant windfarm on mainland Tasmania?

    • How many birdchoppers does it take to kill off a species?

      Hint: Click on my name

    • At the state’s largest wind farm at Woolnorth in the island’s north-west, 19 wedge-tailed eagles are known to have been killed since it began operations in 2003. Another three sea eagles also have hit the rotors.

      This is allowed. Federal and state environmental permits recognise Woolnorth’s rotors may kill a small number of eagles each year.

      Operator Roaring 40s is keenly conscious of the image problem killing eagles poses. It refused access to pictures of the Woolnorth fatalities.

      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/where-climate-and-conservation-collide-20101213-18uxn.html#ixzz2HRLcZ800

      Funny, then, how you NEVER hear about this from the NZ ecotards who scuttle around the Denniston plateau rescuing snails.

    • Simon on 09/01/2013 at 4:10 pm said:

      As alluded to in the article, what clobbered the wedgie was the fact that farmers used to be allowed to shoot them. Maybe the green movement helped to put a stop to this practise?

    • Yes, and the useless windmills are still killing them. But that is OK because the Green’s have money invested in wind energy, even though the windmills produce expensive power and have no environmental value whatsoever.

    • Bob D on 09/01/2013 at 4:20 pm said:


      “…what clobbered the wedgie was the fact that farmers used to be allowed to shoot them.”

      Oh well that’s OK then. Last century they were hunted, so now we can feed them into bird-shredders.

      As Andy points out, the Greens are great at trying to stop other people from killing animals to make money, but when it’s their own money then it’s all fine.

  8. patrick healy on 15/01/2013 at 10:07 am said:

    Loved the peon from the tree.

    As an active CAGW agnostic – especially in light of the recent British Met Office’s slight touch of realism – I would like to offer the following. It was penned some time ago to ‘celebrate’ one of the annual jamborees of the warmists.


    I am a vivid flowering rose
    Delighting eye and balm to nose,
    I thrive on heat of morning dew
    But most of all on CO2.
    So please don’t limit it the nigh
    Or else I will just wilt and die.
    I grow in rain and sun from skies
    And gas to photosynthesize.

    I’m not a scientist like you,
    With mega grants and Pal review,
    Please explain to a plant like me
    The workings of I PCC.
    Can it be wise to stop the clock
    Then turn it back to an epoch
    When I was cold and half this size –
    True scientists helped me hybridize.

    All those air miles and pulp from trees
    To promulgate your treatise,
    Designed to spread alarm and fear
    Of a trace gas which I hold dear.
    Your past deliberations show
    If you were honest – ‘you don’t know’
    What future temperatures will be;
    I hope it’s warmer – just for me.

    Patric Healy (in sub-zero Scotland)

  9. Hi Richard,

    First let me thank you for helping to sort out why my comments were being lost – how odd that my blog Global Political Shenanigans blog URL was upsetting things. I know that there are some people who get upset by the articles that I post but why has your blog taken umbrage. I haven’t said anything contentious about it! I have now removed from this comment all of the links to my blog and hope that does the trick. [Here’s the link for Pete’s blog: http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.co.uk/ I regret that I was unintentionally spamming Mr Ridley; all is now repaired — RT]

    5 months ago I tried to comment on your blog (https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2012/08/with-friends-like-these-we-need-no-enemies) during the interesting exchanges about “Slayer” and Principia Scientific International “CEO & Legal Consultant” John O’Sullivan. I reluctantly gave up after numerous tries but with your permission I’d like to post it here because it has relevance to a comment that you made on this thread – let me know if that’s OK.

    I came across this thread (https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2012/12/im-a-tree-why-not-feed-me/#comment-167467 NOT TO BE SENT) as a result of “Googling” for exchanges in which an anonymous “Bryan” and I are mentioned. As you mentioned in your 2nd Jan. comment here (https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2012/12/im-a-tree-why-not-feed-me/#comment-164430) “Bryan” and I have been having some interesting exchanges on Joanne Nova’s “A discussion of the Slaying the Sky Dragon science” thread about . and he made unsubstantiated allegations that I had threatened Dr. Joel Shore e.g. see http://joannenova.com.au/2012/10/a-discussion-of-the-slaying-the-sky-dragon-science-is-the-greenhouse-effect-a-sky-dragon-myth/#comment-1215278”. Not knowing who is this “Bryan” who cowardly hurls insults from the cover of anonymity (he steadfastly refused to let on who he is) I was keen to know because I want him to substantiate those allegations or retract and apologise. Understandably Joanne does not want to be involved in this so has SNIPPED most of the allegations, a comment from Joe Postma and my response to “Bryan”’s allegations.

    I want to contact “Bryan” direct about it and had come to the conclusion that he has a very close affiliation with PSI. On 3rd Jan. I speculated that he was Bryan Leyland (http://joannenova.com.au/2012/10/a-discussion-of-the-slaying-the-sky-dragon-science-is-the-greenhouse-effect-a-sky-dragon-myth/#comment-1217338) which he has not contradicted. You say in your comment here on 2nd Jan. that the “ .. Thread is periodically frequented by .. Bryan Leyland (PSI), Joe Postma (PSI) and others vs Wes Allen (fellow luke-warmer with Joanne Nova), Pete Ridley and others .. ” so it looks as though my speculation may have been correct.

    Can you confirm that the “Bryan” commenting on Joanne’s blog is indeed Bryan Leyland?

    I was most surprised when in December I heard the sad news from fruit-growing CACC-supporter Gareth Renowden that Bryan “Leyland Joins the Über Cranks: Signs Up With Serial Liar O’Sullivan’s Vanity “Science” Group” (http://hot-topic.co.nz/leyland-joins-the-uber-cranks-signs-up-with-serial-liar-osullivans-vanity-science-group/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+co%2FRbRF+%28Hot+Topic%29). As I said to Vincent Gray during subsequent exchanges on the subject of “Claims about membership of PSI” concerning implications that Vincent too had joined PSI QUOTE: ..

    .. In cases like this I’m usually prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to the other party but not on this occasion. My experience with John O’ warns me not to believe a word that he says unless he can prove he is not lying.
    I am very disappointed that Bryan Leyland has jumped into bed with John O’ and his slayers because in my opinion it destroys any credibility that he ever had. Is there anything that you can do to persuade him to change his mind and publicly dissociate from the group? .. I have to say that I am so relieved that you haven’t been taken in by them. You were one of the first to lead me down the enlighening path to CACC scepticism .. ”.

    More about PSI and its members can be found at “SpotlightOn – Principia Scientific International” and in other posts on the Global Political Shenanigans blog.

    BTW, be careful what you say about those trees. If Polly Higgins has her way the UN will adopt her proposed law of Ecocide as the 5th Crime Against Peace (http:///thelazyenvironmentalist.blogspot.co.uk/) which will protect them – because “Trees have rights too”.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    • Yes, glad you’re online again, Pete.

      why has your blog taken umbrage?

      No idea, ha, ha. It seems to be the WordPress software; I’ll make inquiries. [UPDATE: As explained at the top of your comment above, my anti-spam plugin was removing your comments, sorry about that. – RT]

      As you mentioned in your 2nd Jan. comment

      You mention “my” comments a couple of times, but I should point out that you’re referring not to me but to Richard Cumming, the CCG’s most prolific and tenacious commenter.

      I don’t understand the substance of your dispute with the blogger “Bryan” and am little motivated to investigate. Whether or not Bryan Leyland was the one commenting at Jo’s blog, he’s a friend of mine, so I’m not going to need much persuasion to terminate intemperate criticism of him. As you know, this blog centres around discussion of global warming.

      If readers show interest in your topic I’ll start a new thread, although I hope you stick more to global warming, as you’re often cited here in that regard!

      Nice to see you here again.

  10. Pete Ridley on 20/01/2013 at 11:33 am said:

    Hi Richard,

    Sorry about the mix-up over the “Richard”s. I wonder if Richard Cumming will clarify why he referred to Bryan Leyland when talking about the “Bryan” commenting on Joanne’s “A discussion of the Slaying the Sky Dragon science: .. ” thread. The “Bryan” with whom I have had exchanges there has chosen to remain incognito despite my prompting him to reveal who he is. As far as I know he is simply a layman like me with no recognised expertise in the topic of that thread, i.e. “slayer science” (as the moderator keeps encouraging me to concentrate on).

    You talk about the dispute that “Bryan” and I have but there really are only two. One is our positions regarding the claim by the “Slayers” to have caused the death of the greenhouse theory and the other is the unsubstantiated allegations that he made against me, which I wish to get sorted out. The latter is best be resolved over at Joanne’s blog where the allegations were made.

    If that “Bryan” is Bryan Leyland then, as I said in my previous comment, I am very disappointed (and surprised) that he has jumped into bed with the “Slayers”.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/01/2013 at 1:58 pm said:

      Pete, I could have sworn that at some stage “Bryan” signed himself off as Bryan Leyland similar to the way you sign off or was referred to by a moderator but I’ve scanned the comments and can’t find what i thought I saw.

      I must have dreamed it. I apologize for the erroneous association resulting from my mistaken Identity. Given the hoards engaged in various aspects of the climate change debate, many of which are of peripheral interest to me but not necessarily what I decide to engage in with full knowledge of all participants, it is inevitable this happens from time to time in my case. I made the same mistake with BobC way back, mistaking him for Bob Carter – that was equally embarrassing.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/01/2013 at 2:39 pm said:

      I did see however at Hot Topic (and as you link) that Bryan Leyland is being held out as a “member” of PSI because his bio occurs in this selection of PSI menber bio’s:-



      Bryan Leyland would have to confirm that himself of course but I think we can assume from that that he is in fact a member. I think that would have added mentally to my association of the Bryan at JoNova with the Bryan Leyland at PSI and they may yet turn out to be one-and-the-same.

      BTW, if that’s just a “selection”, PSI is gaining a formidable membership of those not associating themselves with what is widely regarded as the “sceptic” position but is in reality the “luke-warm” position. The characterization of luke-warmers as the only “sceptics” to be referred as those upholding one side of a two-sided debate is a gross miss-characterization in my view (it’s actually a three-sided debate) and will have to change if this global warming “standstill” continues for another 5 years because no continued observed warming eliminates both warmist and luke-warm positions doesn’t it?

    • I’m not convinced a 20 year standstill completely eliminates the luke-warm position. The usual weasel words are “but warming will resume….”. It is not unreasonable to assume, however, that sensitivity to CO2 should be somewhat revised downwards.

      I haven’t paid much attention to the Dragon’s argument. Do they claim that the GHE is non-existent? If so, what of this energy imbalance that we keep hearing about?

      I don’t want to start a long thread on this but a brief summary from someone would be useful

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/01/2013 at 5:38 pm said:

      >”I’m not convinced a 20 year standstill completely eliminates the luke-warm position.”

      Yes debatable, but I don’t know how even the luke-warm position can be upheld if there is no continued warming evident to take future ENSO-neutral levels above the ENSO-neutral level of the current regime being typified by the 2012 average. The GHG forcing from rising GHG levels must – if AGW is valid – be identifiable as even a minor trend over and above what can be attributed to natural variability even though a one or two decade standstill is said by AGW proponents to be somehow consistent with AGW.

      The next 5 years have yet to play out of course but I note that even for the last decade Hansen ,Sato and Ruedy have gone for La Nina minimums as evidence of what I’m describing as required for the next 5 years if AGW is even a valid but luke-warm phenomenon. Their conclusion doesn’t hold up well though just looking at GISTEMP let alone looking at other series.

      Compare the 4 La Nina minimum events since 1998:-

      RSS (no warming in the minimums there, cooling in fact)


      GISTEMP (only the 2011/12 event was warmer, the other 3 were at the same level)


      >”I haven’t paid much attention to the Dragon’s argument. Do they claim that the GHE is non-existent?”

      Slayers, not Dragons Andy. CO2 is the Sky Dragon in their book ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon’.

      There’s no such claim overtly stated in PSI “About” or “Mission Statement” etc but PSI is a venue in which arguments refuting GHE can be documented and published because there’s nowhere else that makes that undertaking. No journal would risk the controversy of publishing such papers and peer-review would take forever or not at all anyway once The Team got involved.

      So you have to go to the PSI publications to get to refutation of GHE e.g. Alberto Miatello’s review:-


      Or Dr Pierre Latour’s articles in ‘Latest News’:-


      >”If so, what of this energy imbalance that we keep hearing about?”

      You’ve got me there, can’t answer for them. You would have to communicate directly with someone appropriate at PSI for an answer from their perspective. Could be a worthwhile exercise. I do however get these 3 results by searching PSI for “imbalance”, 2 of which are about Joe Postma papers so he’s probably the one to direct the question to:-


      That’s about as far as I can take this PSI-related part Andy.

      >”It is not unreasonable to assume, however, that sensitivity to CO2 should be somewhat revised downwards.”

      One would think so.

    • It is not unreasonable to assume, however, that sensitivity to CO2 should be somewhat revised downwards.”

      One would think so.

      One has a Sir Humphrey feel about this.

      By the way, this cryptic NIWA page doesn’t give a lot away. One wonders what is afoot?


    • On the topic of “disproving” AGW, I have some problems with this concept

      AGW is basically a theory that proposes that increased CO2 levels will cause the earth to warm above pre-industrial levels.

      For this to be not true, one or some of the following would have to be true
      – the energy balance measurements are wrong.
      – there is no energy imbalance
      – the incoming energy does not warm the Earth, at least to a noticeable degree. i.e the radiation-centric theory is overwhelmed by other factors such as convection etc

      ..and maybe others

      I don’t accept that AGW violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I think that has been well and truly put to bed.
      Given that AGW is normally expressed in terms of climate sensitivity (S) to a doubling of CO2, we typically express the AGW theory as a probability distribution function (pdf) that shows a probability that a certain value of S is true, between zero and an arbitrary large number

      Years or decades of no warming would (or should) push down the pdfs for S so that the average values are lower. Given the statistical (Bayesian) nature of climate predictions, the concept of AGW being true or false doesn’t really exist.

      Of course, if S is centred around a value of 1 or somewhere less than 2 (as has been suggested by Nic Lewis and other studies too) then AGW becomes an academic curiosity and little else

    • More on the models and what will they do next

      What will the simulations do next?
      Posted on January 18, 2013 by Ed Hawkins

      Recent conversations on the recent slowdown in warming has inspired an animation on how models simulate this phenomenon, and what it means for the evolution of global temperatures over the next few decades.


      Rog Tallbloke gets in early in comments

      Hi Ed,
      Model runs with different ‘weather’ conditions demonstrating that “a slowdown in warming is not inconsistent with future projections.” doesn’t tell us anything about the future evolution of surface temperature on our planet. This is because the model doesn’t represent the physical reality of the way the Earth’s climate operates.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/01/2013 at 6:43 pm said:

      Ha! I had just been thinking that Kieth Hunter and Mike Palin have been very quiet lately and Kieth’s very low profile on that page just exemplifies the quietness.

      It will make for strange bedfellows (a variation on Pete’s euphemism here) if the dangerously warm faction of the NZ Royal Society personified by Kieth Hunter is forced to “jump into bed with” (Pete again) long established luke-warmers (Watts, Nova, Lindzen) and those pragmatists pointing to much lower CS (you Andy?) by temperature levels of a non-alarming nature.

      That would reduce the debate to a two-sided affair again pitting luke-warmers newly joined of necessity by ex-warmists and the pragmatic against the previously unrecognized coolists (for want of a better identifier). Can’t wait. Or is all over then because that could never happen given the identities involved?

      What was the on-topic topic in this post again? Oh yes, CO2 is a good thing.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/01/2013 at 7:28 pm said:

      I saw Ed Hawkins’ post when there was only one comment but it wasn’t Rog. I don’t see Rog’s comment now either, has it been deleted?

      The CSIRO Mk3.6 RCP6.0 #1 and #2 2000 – 2012 performance is nowhere near UKMO HadGEM3 hindcast performance. And take a look at the mugs analyzing the projections in comments!

      Looking at the simulation runs vs observations:-


      First, the trend of HadCRUT4 is rising since 1998 as shown in Ed’s smoothed graph (must be less than 7 yr smoothing) but the 7 yr smoothed inflexion is at 2002. From 2002, the trend of HadCRUT4 is falling:-


      Secondly, neither of the simulations – #1 or #2 – mimic 1990 – 2012 observations any where near reality. #2 red is ridiculous. #1 blue is the better of the two up to 2012 but there’s no climate drivers to justify the level from 2012 onwards (as Rog alludes) – it’s just Foster and Rahmstorf over again.

      These people are queuing up to hang themselves now.

    • Andy on 20/01/2013 at 10:12 pm said:

      On the disproving topic, David Stockwell did an instructive Bayesian analysis of David Evans conversion to the sceptic position.


    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/01/2013 at 1:09 am said:

      >”Years or decades of no warming would (or should) push down the pdfs for S so that the average values are lower”

      By “push down” do you mean push the peak to the left in distribution curves? I saw the curves by Nic Lewis somewhere at BH that I’m thinking of but I can’t find them again to provide a link for reference. This from AR5 will do though:-


      >”AGW is basically a theory that proposes that increased CO2 levels will cause the earth to warm above pre-industrial levels.

      But AGW is not the ONLY theory offering an explanation for post-industrial warming. I’d agree with your problem with AGW disproof IF there were no other theories to consider and we were only considering AGW therefore ECS becomes a valid concept and performance measure. And IF we accept the IPCC’s radiative forcing curve without question. But for example, accumulation theory as documented by David Stockwell adequately explains post industrial warming without recourse to GHGs. Stockwell:-

      “…the 20th century temperature rise can be explained by the accumulation of an above average solar forcing of 0.1 W/m2 in the ocean over the period”


      That one alternative theory alone effectively provides a counter-theory to AGW for the 20th century at least. It remains to be seen I suppose if it also provides a null for AGW in the 21st century but the very existence of a credible counter-theory is a major dilution of AGW if not outright disproof.

      >’I don’t accept that AGW violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I think that has been well and truly put to bed.”

      By whom? Within climate science only? By physicists world-wide (are physicists even interested in AGW outside climate science)?

      For my part, I’m inclined to defer to physics applications that are entropy specific, outside climate science, and for more critical applications than climate science e.g. this paper from the Entropy journal:-

      ‘Infrared Cloaking, Stealth, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics’


      Quoting page 1918:-

      2.2. Second Law of Thermodynamics
      Perhaps the most natural and experiential version is due to Clausius: No process is possible for which the sole effect is that heat flows from a reservoir at a given temperature to a reservoir at a higher temperature. In the vernacular: heat flows from hot to cold, not vice versa. Other statements of the second law invoke thermodynamic efficiency, the most popular of which states there are no perfectly efficient heat engines or refrigerators. In other words, all spontaneous natural, technological, or industrial processes generate waste heat. Though simply put, these statements are profound because they assert that work (organized energy) degrades inexorably into a disorganized, less useful form: thermal energy (heat). In other words, there is a “thermal tax” to be paid on every macroscopic transaction in nature.

      End quote.

      This snippet “……(organized energy) degrades inexorably into a disorganized, less useful form: thermal energy (heat).” encapsulates for me the process of initial solar radiation input => terrestrial output of solar input => atmospheric output of terrestrial input in turn from solar input => terrestrial output of atmospheric input in turn from ……….and so on. The initial solar radiative energy input intensity is progressively degraded down the EM spectrum and conversion of radiation to other forms of energy occurs as the process goes on so that atmospheric DLR is an ineffective surface heating agent at the end of it all especially when radiation-material “tuning comes into play. In this instance, AGW does not violate the 2nd law but the 2nd law effectively counts against AGW.

      It’s the Clausius version where the contention arises when people only look at the system in question as two reservoirs, one warmer (the surface) than the other (the atmosphere). I’m adverse to that simplification for a number of reasons that I wont go into, preferring instead the overall system of sun-earth-space and the thermodynamic efficiency application above.

      Also from that paper:-

      2.2. Second Law of Thermodynamics (page 1918)

      The second law has been called “the supreme law of nature” [38]. It has been verified in countless experiments, and arguably no law has been better tested. Nonetheless, over the last 15 years, the second law has come under unprecedented scrutiny. More than 60 mainstream journal articles, monographs and conference proceedings have raised dozens of theoretical and experimentally-testable challenges to its universal status—more than the combined total during its previous 160 years history [5–11,39–96].


      Conclusions (page 1932)

      For now, the road to SL-IRSM is uncertain. First, although the second law appears vulnerable from a theoretical standpoint, the ultimate proof of its violability can only (and is still yet to) be provided by experiment alone. Even then, the technical feasibility of SL-IRSM is an entirely separate issue. Still, as this study attempts to demonstrate, the high stakes of second law subversion seem to warrant a thoughtful look over the horizon. Given the many theoretical challenges and the good outlook for experiments, this author predicts that the first experimental violation of the second law will be recognized within the next five years, in which case the heat will most certainly be turned up on IRSM.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/01/2013 at 1:43 am said:

      >”David Stockwell did an instructive Bayesian analysis…..”

      Very instructive and very clear for the uninitiated too (me). I think I remember seeing that post but didn’t think much about it at the time, not having been exposed to Bayesian analysis anywhere else then.

      I addressed disproving AGW in my comment above before I saw your link. I think I was getting to the same place as David’s summation but not in those Bayesian terms obviously. My reasoning didn’t necessarily reject AGW though “…the very existence of a credible counter-theory is a major dilution of AGW if not outright disproof”

      My recourse to David’s accumulation theory was purely coincidence.

    • This is mildly amusing. I did a “View Source” on that Keith Hunter NIWA page and found this little HarryReadMe moment

      !– expertise field is broken on staff.niwa so commenting out this expertise section for now

      Commenting out expertise section: priceless!

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