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I Lose a Bet, Start an Argument

Bruce Krasting's picture





 

 

 

Back on November 17, 2011 I penned a piece in response to Fed Governor Bullard's assertions regarding the collapse of MF Global. Bullard thought there was no lasting consequences to that blow-out: .

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At the time, I thought that Bullard was full of crap, and that there would be significant consequences to the collapse of MFG. My words:

Okay, Mr. Bullard I'll make you a wager. A six pack of your favorite beer. Give the MFG story another month and it will be a problem. It will undermine markets. It will impact confidence in our financial system. It will impact liquidity. As those things will occur it will force both the Treasury and the Fed to take actions.

I was wrong, Mr. B was right. There were no consequences to the MFG disaster. No heads rolled. No one went to jail. There were no lasting economic consequences. There were were no regulatory changes. The MFG affair was buried. Bullard never accepted my bet, but I still feel I owe him.  If he reads this and sends me a note I will forward his beer. He deserves it. He won. Unfortunately, we all "lost" as a result. Today we have yet another MFG in our laps. Perigrine Financial has followed the exact same path as MFG. The PFG bankers looted customer accounts.

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I lost a bet for $12 worth of beer. Customers at Peregrine have lost $220m (so far). I can’t help wondering what would have happened had won the bet. If there had been hell to pay regarding the MFG affair, things might have turned out differently for Peregrine’s customer. But there was no market reaction, the CFTC ignored the signs, the SEC never lifted a finger. Nothing changed, so history has  repeated itself.

Perigrine customers, looking at a loss today, might be warming up lawsuits against Bart Chilton and the CFTC. He clearly fell down on the job. I think he should be fired on the spot. Fed Governor Bullard is not responsible for the failure of Peregrine (or MFG), but his dismissing attitude is:

This is no big deal, it will blow over”

To that extent, he shares in the blame.

 

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The markets are boring, so let's talk about global warming
 

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I have absolutely no credentials or expertise to discuss matters related to climate change. I’ll do it anyway. I follow this topic and read what I can. In my opinion:

I) -  Climate change is happening on a global scale. The evidence that this occurring is conclusive.

II) -  I don’t know if humans are contributing to the rapid change, but I suspect they are.

III) -  Even if there were conclusive evidence that human activity was contributing to global warming, I’m not at all sure that there is anything that can be done about it.

Consider these before and after pictures from NASA. These are images of the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska.

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May 13, 2012

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One month later

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Okay, so some ice melted. Is that a big deal? The folks at NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) think it is:

Sea ice retreat in June is typical, but the first half of June 2012 brought unusually rapid ice loss.

How unusual?

On June 19, 2012, NSIDC reported: “Recent ice loss rates have been 100,000 to 150,000 square kilometers per day, which is more than double the climatological rate.”

Double the rate? How much ice is melting every day in the Beauford Sea? About the size of the state of Illinois – big!

As of June 18, temperatures were above freezing over much of the sea ice in the Arctic, and snow had melted earlier than normal, leading to warming on land.

June 18? It has been hot as hell over the globe since then. This year’s arctic ice melt will set a record.

The rapid melt north of Alaska was part of a larger phenomenon. Sea ice across the entire Arctic reached record-low levels for this time of year. It was also lower than the extent in June 2007; Arctic sea ice reached its lowest extent ever recorded by satellite in September 2007.

This is not a record that we want to set. Now consider this number:

 
20,900,000,000,000
 

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20.9 Trillion is the number of pounds of CO2 that humans sent into the atmosphere in the last 12 months. It’s hard to relate to a number as big as that. Think seven billion Hondas. But even that is a number that is hard to fathom, as there are only a billion cars in the world today. How could we be producing 7Xs the weight of all the cars, every year?

Is there a connection to the incredible output of CO2 and the rapid ice melt that is happening all over the world? I wish I knew the answer to this question. I do know that CO2 emissions are directly tied to population growth/economic activity. The question is how rapidly CO2 output will rise:

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Any thoughts?

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Thu, 07/12/2012 - 23:12 | Link to Comment deerhunter
deerhunter's picture

For The Tower and his question of why doesn't he, the god who created the earth, take care of it as told in your bible.  Tower you got to go back to Adam and Eve for the answer to that one as he sold out to Satan who is called the god of this world.  He is also called the prince of the power of the air,  father of lies ,  Beelezebub and Lord of the Flies.  Wonder where hurricanes,  famines,  droughts, tornadoes,  locusts and various others means of earthly destruction come from?  Before you slam the book you ought to spend some time reading it enough to understand the basics. 

Fri, 07/13/2012 - 01:20 | Link to Comment the tower
the tower's picture

I see. So Satan rules the air, and global warming is caused by Satan. OK.

At least we established that global warming exists.

What I don't get: shouldn't all Christians be fighting global warming then, since this is obviously Satan's masterplan to kill the human race?

Or will you come with another passage from the bible to sit on your ass and do NOTHING.

Fri, 07/13/2012 - 00:11 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Even the Hebrews knew that you did not shit in your crib....

Isaiah Chapter 5 among other places....

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 18:42 | Link to Comment Bubba Schwartz
Bubba Schwartz's picture

Sunspots.  Watch "The Great Gobal Warming Swindle," a rare, honest piece of TV journalism, where the original purpose was to prove CO2 global warming, but found it to be untrue.

A large CME (coronal mass ejection) is set to hit earth Friday/Saturday, with some radio frequencies to be affected for a couple of hours.....at least, that's NASA's best guess....

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 20:54 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Why don;t you correlate sunspot numbers  with global temps, get back to me when you see the divergence that occurs in 1970 or so...

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 07:39 | Link to Comment Bruce Krasting
Bruce Krasting's picture

I want to thank the over 400 folks who contributed comments to this discussion. Clearly, this is a very emotive topic.

I said in the piece that I don't have any real expertise in this area, I just wanted to stir up a storm. I think I succeeded. It's clear that many readers do have real knowledge on this topic. It's also clear that there is no agreement on whether humans are responsible for what is happening.

Thanks again.

bk

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 09:08 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Bruce....

   you are playing your cards very close to your chest.... There was not one arguement against AGW put forth in this thread that has not been debunked or shown to be wrong time and time again.... If you are really interested, spend a few hours at

http://www.skepticalscience.com/

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 02:35 | Link to Comment TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

When I was a boy, the adults exclaimed,

"the only thing 'they' donT tax is air!"

We assumed back then that 'they' would one day figure out a way to place a tax on "air". 

'They' did (CO2 credits).

I always assumed that 'they' would tax me

when I breath in;

but alas, 'they' found a way to tax me

when I breath [CO2] out.

 

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 02:18 | Link to Comment the tower
the tower's picture

The global warming doubters' biggest argument is that there is no proof, that all science behind it is fake.

Funny coincidence that most of these doubters are very willing to believe in some sentient being ruling everything. No proof, no science.

20.9 trillion pounds of CO2. No science, just a number. I huge number. But who cares. 

My thoughts: If you are willing to believe in a being that created everything then how about taking care of what he created, as INSTRUCTED in your bible?

 

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 00:51 | Link to Comment DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

CO2 is actually not that powerful of a greenhouse gas, water vapor is 8X stronger. So your total yearly greenhouse effect from all that CO2 is roughly equal to the warming caused by irrigation in California's Central Valley. Both the CO2 and the water vapor are being continually recycled. How much and how fast are big questions but as a scientist when I read the data presented on the subject I see a huge mix of truth and outright lies mixed together, this is on the data that for which I'm qualified to distinguish truth from fiction. It's impossible to say where reality is because the subject has been so distorted by all sides. Still I know much of what is out there is falsehood on the order of the edited 911 tapes from the recent racial shooting. The people putting this stuff know the are lying and do it anyway. So my rule #2 comes in to play on the global warming question- When you're being lied to and you know that they know they are lying, grab your wallet because they are trying to steal from you.

It's an important question and none of us will live long enough to see the truth of it.

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 21:00 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

"When you're being lied to and you know that they know they are lying, grab your wallet because they are trying to steal from you."

That's a worthless comment if ever I saw one, and coming from a "scientist?"

EVERYONE WANTS _SOMETHING_!

Did it ever dawn on folks that perhaps we've been WAY UNDER-PAYING for shit and that now the REAL costs are going to come about?  2/3 of the world's population lives on $3/day or less, EVERYTHING is expensive for them, and has been.

People will argue that all that's needed, then, is to reflect truer pricing on things.  I agree: that's why I hang out here because I believe that this is the CORRECT direction.  HOWEVER, there's WAY too much to unwind to get there, too much power is centered on keeping things as they are (subsidies- which, the oil industry seems to be getting an awful lot of [which would tend to suggest that they would combat any attempts at pulling this rug out from under them]).

So... there's no way to make the "people" happy, and there's no way to make "business" happy.  Because we want to protect "property rights" we have to have a government, and governments cannot make everyone happy, so... always half-assed solutions (because they have to address a lot of half-assed people/businesses).

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 03:48 | Link to Comment Essential Nexus
Essential Nexus's picture

Please share your other rules!  Rule #2 is excellent.

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 02:23 | Link to Comment the tower
the tower's picture

It turns out that CO2 is the ultimate mind-control chemical. The more there is in the atmosphere the dumber our children get, the more entitlements people want, the more people eat and the fatter they get. So keep breathing that lovely CO2 and help the elite by hitting the drive-through again and stuff your lardass with more lard.

Yeah, sarcasm. But seriously. Go educate yourself.

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 05:21 | Link to Comment PoorByChoice
PoorByChoice's picture

 

OHH MYYY GOD!

Please tell me you don't actually believe what you said and are just trolling for fun......

My IQ drops each time I go into the greenhouse to water tomatoes?...   Really?!

So all SCUBA Divers are thick as pig shit after a few years because of the partial pressure of CO2 at depth?....  Really?!

Some of our planets brightest minds are being rotted when we send them up to the ISS?....  Really?!

 

I suspect your children would be dumb more because of genetics than CO2 tower LOL!

Fri, 07/13/2012 - 01:16 | Link to Comment the tower
the tower's picture

I wrote "Yeah, sarcasm"... It was a sarcastic remark on how some people abuse science and pull it into the conspiracy theory realm and putting 1000's of hours into reading up on nonsense without spending 1 hour on the actual research that has been done.

I guess that one was lost on you.

Maybe that CO2 in your greenhouse makes you dumb after all.

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 01:58 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Dead Fred....

Tell me how C02 is recycled..., if that was completely true, why is it increasing in concentration and has never been higher in the past 800,000 years.. Now, could you explain how much WV has changed in the past 100 years?

You should figure out how much Koch and the other fossil fuel cronies are stealing from you.... hint, it is at least 7 billion p.a....

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 00:06 | Link to Comment Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture

 

 

Squirrel!!!

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 23:22 | Link to Comment sunglass
sunglass's picture

Similarly, Snapback hats are worn by high society ladies who have their amazing creations custom made for the Kentucky Derby with the main idea of outdoing each other in flamboyance, beauty or outrageousness of a particular creation. cheap Snapback Hats worn for such occasions are priced beyond the range of mere mortals and can go up to thousands of dollars depending on the designer and the material used for its creation. Another very familiar hat is the Stetson which became immensely popular through the western movies that were making its rounds in the cinema circuits some time back.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 22:44 | Link to Comment Pike Bishop
Pike Bishop's picture

You want to know when "Global Warming" is going to become an issue..... when the beachfront houses in the Hamptons and down the East Coast have waves breaking under their pilings at high tide.

With the likely collective pull of those folks, we'll spend $100,000,000,000,000 backfilling their beaches. Food stamps/Disability/Medicare/Soc Sec/Infrastructure/Public Ed/Any Pension/etc/etc/etc will be cancelled to pay for it. Then we'll cut the top tax bracket by 50% to create more jobs.

Why prolong the inevitable process.

Then they can sit on the beach and rejoice in doing their part in solving the Global Warming problem.

How would that be any fucking different than what we have done, and are still doing, for the Banks, and this dying seagull Economy in solving The Financial Crisis problem.

We're just using printed money and debt, instead of sand.

 

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 22:58 | Link to Comment Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

The City of Santa Barbara passed a resolution to draw a line in the road where the ocean would come to when "Global Warming caused the oceans to rise". Immediately,

1) Owners of beachfront properties applied to have their property taxes reduced, based on the fact that they would lose value due to the "fact?" that they would be under water (not just the mortgage!)

2) Realtors started advertising the properties adjacent to the line in the road as "Future Ocean Front Properties".

Eventually, the city backed down.

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 21:06 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

Another example of why govts can't do anything (not like I like them that is).

It's like REAL hate crimes.  If they are reported they'll give the community a bad name (probably also "lost" revenue).

The closer we look at ourselves the scarier it becomes...

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 22:42 | Link to Comment Dark Trader
Dark Trader's picture

I dont know how much humans create CO2 and I doubt that is measurable anyway. Maybe this is too zen, but since I can only control the waste that I produce then managing that is valuable and virtuous on its own merit. 

As a libertarian, pollution is a blight of my property rights, so again quit wasting things and be a good steward of your possesions and quit fouling my stuff. Carbon credits are just a way to account for waste and pollution and do not solve the problem!

So everyone can hypothesize the macro implications of CO2, methane, etc...if everyone was accountable for their own micro waste I think that the global warming concerns would take care of themselves.

 

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 21:14 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

"if everyone was accountable for their own micro waste I think that the global warming concerns would take care of themselves."

What's the line in Dirty Harry? "Do you feel lucky, punk?"

"Accountable" means that one KNOWS what one's affects are.  You already said that you doubt that it's measurable (and then go on to talk about measuring?).

Anyway, the problem with "personal" accounting is that this often discounts the costs BEFORE they become a "personal" accounting item.  It's like the Prius drivers claiming that they're polluting less; well, less if you don't count the coal production used to generate the electricity (and then there's the initial manufacturing costs/impacts - I'm driving an 22 year-old econo-car that gets upward of 38mpg; I've gotten a LOT of mileage out of the initial embedded energy, likely way more than the Prius snobs are likely going to achieve).

I'm not advocating FOR anything, just stating that there's a lot of detail to consider, and given the power of those holding the big propaganda cannons it's highly unlikely that the CORRECT "solution" will ever be met (other than nature imposing it on us, which it will).

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 00:10 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

On the subject of Carbon emissions, here is a very good explanation:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/salby_correlation_conundrum.html

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 22:22 | Link to Comment bigkahuna
bigkahuna's picture

Either you accept global warming is valid, then you turn it over to a bunch of sociopath politicians to come up with a solution - or you don't accept it and take your chances.

I will take my fucking chances, fuck you please.

The bankers will steal and do otherwise whatever the fuck they want to until the killin' starts. It is good to chronicle it all, but no killin' no change. Do you get it yet? 

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 21:18 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

"Either you accept global warming is valid, then you turn it over to a bunch of sociopath politicians to come up with a solution - or you don't accept it and take your chances."

Either you accept global warming is valid, then you turn it over to a bunch of sociopath politicians to come up with a solution - or you don't, and you turn it over to a bunch of sociopathic business types to "sell" you a "solution."

FIXED!

Think Fukishima.  Think Jamie Diamon.  I could go on and on...

POWER CORRUPTS.  Why can't people start with this PROVEN premise? (by NOT also lumping in big business with the corrupt you're only opening up the chicken coop to a different predator)

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 01:37 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

I agree, it is a chance for the knurds to get in on the action.  'course, they were enabling the "Carbon Exchange" for the bigger frauds.

I wonder why the "Carbon Exchange" collapsed?  Al Gore's second chakra didn't get serviced?

- Ned

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 21:37 | Link to Comment wang (not verified)
Wed, 07/11/2012 - 22:01 | Link to Comment Dark Trader
Dark Trader's picture

why? he has no accountability and is not voted into office. of course he stays there as long as he ikes...

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 21:22 | Link to Comment Evil Bugeyes
Evil Bugeyes's picture

Young boys sometimes amuse themselves by kicking ant hills and then standing back and watching the confusion as the helpless ants run around trying to figure out what happened and repair the damage.

Bruce gets his jollies by posting pro-global warming comments on ZH and probably laughing hysterically as the pro- and anti- global warmers exchange fire.

You are truly evil, Bruce! Hope you are enjoying yourself...

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 07:01 | Link to Comment Bruce Krasting
Bruce Krasting's picture

I thought about this before posting the article. Like I said, it's boring in the market, so I thought I would mix it up with this.

i normally get 10 comments per 1000 readers. This got twice that many. I'm delighted at this result. I wanted to get folks riled up and willing to comment.

Yes, I'm evil. So what?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 21:44 | Link to Comment Mr. Fix
Mr. Fix's picture

This sun is the Earth's only source of warming.

 End of story.

 

 Next question.

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 21:22 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

So, latent heat buildup, release of, isn't an issue?

If you dig WAY down into the earth and you burn up it's because the sun is shining TODAY?

Fucking morons EVERYWHERE!

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 21:16 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

Bruce,

"There were no lasting economic consequences."

That you know of, or that have occurred up to this point.

I often note that we don't know who "won" the Cold War yet as the books from the Cold War haven't been closed yet: the US was shelling out billions to safeguard old nuke for ex-Soviet countries.

One can make better bets being sure to cover all the important elements, time-frame being one of the key ones.

If you specified one year, then, yes, you lost.  But, on a longer times-scale, well... risk doesn't go away.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 20:57 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Bruce, you asked "Any thoughts?"

I'd say, a) what percentage of the greenhouse gas effect (acknowledged that it exists, since it can be demonstrated) is attributable to CO2.  Let's say it is 4-6%. b) what is the biggest contributor of the greenhouse gasses?  Yep. Water vapor, aka clouds.  We can go down the rat hole, but with clouds accounting for 40-60% of the effect, they dominate CO2.

Secondary check: What are the mechanisms that contribute to the energy that melts the north polar icecap in the summer?  Why it is the Sun, with its 11 year sunspot cycle

Philosophical check: when "scientific consensus" or "settled science" enters the discussion, then you know you are in a political vs. scientific arena.  "One man's experimental error is another's Nobel Prize."  Ref. Feynman, Popper, Kuhn (the paradigm guy.)  Even Stevie Chew (on purpose) met this standard.

Otherwise, human caused global warming is a fraud on par with the other financial manipulation going on.  Just a way for the knurds to get in on the action.

- Ned

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 00:15 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You mean to tell me that you can explain something that trained scientists missed? Wow, are you ever a fucking narcissist....

So WV is indeed the largest green house gas... is the amount of WV increasing? Or is it basically the same?

Why don't you read the following, it should clarify things

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/

What would happen if somehow one could remove all the WV from the atmosphere? Think about that question and get back to us...

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 01:33 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Dude, "trained scientists" like the frauds at East Anglia, Penn State, etc.

Take a drive up the thruway, get out into the finger lakes.  Get your sorry ass up north of Ithaca to the "Museum of the Earth".

http://www.museumoftheearth.org/

Check out the description of how the Finger Lakes were formed, a description discovered by "trained scientists".  You know, the several miles of ice that were above the surface, then melted, then formed again.  (Hint, that was before SUVs).

Seriously, take a drive around Cayuga Lake, do the vinyard tours, check out the cider.  Figure out why those hills down to the lake are so steep.  C'mon, u can do it!  You can see for yourself the erosion at Taughannock Falls, and have a wonderful time.

And really not that far for you,  Even a Prius can make it out there on under a tank of gas.

- Ned

{then go back in time to where Carl Sagan (another Nobel Prize winner) who advocated these same measures because of "Global Man-Made Cooling".  Your lazy ass could also look that up, but you don't have enough math or reasoning to be able to understand it.}

{{Remove a lot of the water vapor in the atmosphere at night in the mountains and in the winter time and you get something that they used to call "radiational cooling" on the weather reports.  Those nights when the temps got down into the minus-double-digits.  Happens in the summer, but there is more water because it is warmer.}}

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 01:55 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You didn't answer the question...

On average, how has the amount of water vapor changed Globally over the past 100 years?  Is VW a radiative forcing or feedback?

You know enough to think you know a lot more than you do, whereas I know enough to realize I have a lot to learn....

As for Mr. Sagan, I believe he was talking about Nuclear Winter... you might want to google it up and learn the difference....

PS I  have no fucking idea what your point is about the Lakes...Is that we got a detail about the formation of some local geography wrong once?

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 02:25 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

I know you have no idea.  I was offering you an opportunity to see with your very own eyes something in New York that is a pleasant trip, great wineries, good restaurants that the Cornell foodies have set up.  Great pairing of wineries and little restaurants.  You might enjoy that.

Then you could look at one or several of the finger lakes and ask yourself the question of how they came to be?  In a world without SUVs.

And, evidently, you have no fucking clue.

But you might like the trip upstate anyway.  So enjoy.

- Ned

{and the museum would put you in the way of additional information that you could actually compare with the reality you observe in the  pleasant drive/walk/hike you might do.}

{{and, if you were to wish to experience "radiational cooling" you could get north to the ADKs in December or Feb and camp out around Saranac Lake, wouldn't wish you to get too far out, and experience a night under the stars.  If you don't wish to do this, you can watch the temperature at Watertown; it is really more effective an experiment, though to do it yourself.  Then you would join another winter consensus: it is fucking cold at night in the ADKs in the winter}}

{{{Bruce is a New York lad, too, right?  He's down by Indian Point, maybe you two could join forces and experience the difference between "scientific consensus" and reality}}}

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 09:01 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I go to FairHaven with the kids every summer and I am quite familiar with the I-81 corriedor though I have not spent much time by the lakes....

I have invited Bruce to join me at the Log Cabin or watering hole of his choice in Westchester on occasion...

PS I presume that you now accept that the amount of humidity in the air on average globally is basically constant? The effect you describe is much greater in the desert....

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 07:10 | Link to Comment Bruce Krasting
Bruce Krasting's picture

I spent 6 years in Ithaca. I still go back every year. I love this part of the country.

The lakes were created by glaciers. They are 500 feet deep!

A weird thing has happened to the lakes. Zebra mussels have taken over. They eat everything that is green. This makes the water look perfectly clear as there is no green stuff in the water.

But water that has no green, is starved for oxygen, so the lakes are not healthy at all.

I once lived in Ludlowville, about 15 miles up the east coast of Cayuga (just south of the salt mines). One of the best years of my life.

Just curious, where are you located??

bk

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 09:58 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Bruce, most days, located in a conference room that I reached by the same aluminum tube to talk to the same people about the same subject, then stay in the same hotel room.  You know how that goes.  Eastern MA is the starting/ending point at some time.  I've spent quite a bit of time Upstate, NY, however, and love it. 

- Ned

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 20:50 | Link to Comment tom
tom's picture

For what it's worth I'm totally with you on this one, Bruce.

I would say it's certain that humans are contributing to global warming.

What is uncertain is how much we humans are contributing and how much is due to other natural cycles, and how those cycles will develop in the future.

There's no doubt in my mind that we baked the coral reefs in 1997. That was us, not some natural cycle. Or rather it was us on top of the natural cycles, mainly El Nino. Without us spewing greenhouse gases it wouldn't have happened.

Since then global warming has stalled, although the arctic ice continues to melt. Will this year finally top 1997 for warmest year on record? Are we beginning a new heating-up phase in which human and natural factors both push warmer? Or are the natural cycles going to move more powerfully in the cooler direction? I don't believe anybody knows.

Is there anything we can do to stop global warming? Again, I don't know. Just refraining from burning fossil fuels is close to pointless, in my opinion. Only makes them a hair cheaper so some poorer folks can afford to buy and burn them. Which might be a nice thing to do on those grounds.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 21:33 | Link to Comment FleaMarketPete
FleaMarketPete's picture

 

 

 

Climatologists or environmental economists are just like all economists, their proven predictive abilities are as accurate as interpreting end trails.

The environment is an organic system and needs stressors to remain robust. I'm not saying we need to dramatically increase CO2, but to think we can stop the climate from changing by eliminating CO2 or humans is equivalent to Bernanke thinking he can prevent price discovery through QEn.

Is the climate changing? Yes. Are humans adding to the change? Probably. Do humans have the power to control the climate change? That's foolish.

As a side note, BK you publish your own blog, contribute to several media outlets, do you have access to any of Bernanke's Q&As?  I would love to hear you give him the business.

 

 

 

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 21:57 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

"but to think we can stop the climate from changing by eliminating CO2 or humans is equivalent to Bernanke thinking he can prevent price discovery through QEn."

OK, it's like this, the sun is going to burn out, and a fair amount of time before THAT happens the earth isn't likely going to be supporting humans.  We are NOT going to make it FOREVER.  The more immediate question is whether humans will survive the next ice age (which is, and ice core sample give us lots of data to back it up, preceded by a global warming phase).

My belief is that we cannot alter the outcome, BUT... we CAN alter the time-frame.  As tends to be the case, however, everyone wants to blame others and or expect others to do something (which could be to stop doing something, no matter if actually correct or not).  Any alteration will, therefore, not come from any consensus (most likely nature will prescribe it).

Energy consumption tends to give off heat.  Pulling out energy from the ground, where it's in relative stasis, and then consuming it HAS to generate heat.  This is simple physics.  If we were to reduce the consumption of same said energy then we WOULD be generating less heat (other things being equal, though this would mean less/no growth).

So, NO, it's NOT foolish to think that humans could alter climate change (the time-frame, not the outcome).

 

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 08:56 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Sorry...

Economics is the continuation of ideology by other means...

Science is the understanding of the nature arrived at through repeatable experiments and testable hypotheses....

BTW, given that humans are changing the climate through C02 emissions, they must have the power to stop... Now if you mean political will to stop, you may have a point...

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 07:16 | Link to Comment Bruce Krasting
Bruce Krasting's picture

I think I write more articles about the CBO than anyone in the Biz. Millions have read my efforts on this topic.

But a month ago the CBO had a "breakfast with the press" and I was not invited. I was pissed at let them know about it. I don't think they care, and I won't be invited to the next press priefing either.

Of interest on this topic, the head of the CBO called me recently, among other things he told me:

"You have to learn to be be more polite"

I actually know how to be polite, I just don't do it very often.........

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 20:31 | Link to Comment John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

Hey Bruce,

Here's some facts to understand/think about radiative/heating cooling that unfortunately are rarely discussed in the popular literature:

1)Water, H2O, is the major greenhouse gas, both in adundance and infrared llight absorbing effect.  It has roughly 100x the IR absorbance/molecule of CO2 and thus absorbs the vast majority of the re-radiated light from the earths surace (greenhouse effect).

a)Actually, you probably already have an intuiative notion of (1) since you've surely noticed that the surface temperature during the day depends primarily on the amount of cloud cover (clouds are condensed H2O vapor).  And you've surely noticed that the surface coolness at night depends also on the amount of cloud cover-the more clouds the warmer the nights and the cooler the days (light is scattered back into space by clouds during the day). 

2)No extant models of global radiative absorbance (i.e. heating/cooling) take the effect of H2O and cloud formation as a function of latitude into account-its simply too difficult to model such a non-linear system like this-so scientists do what they can do and what will result in future grants-model CO2 a minor ~380 ppm green house gas.  This simplifing assumption (failure to model H2O) unfortunately misses the most important aspect of the problem-making the prediction of T impossible.  You'll note this problem with even short time T predictions (ie weather reports) and it gets worse when predictions over decades or hundreds of years are foolishly attempted.

3)The oceans are the largest respositories of all excess gasses, including CO2, on the planet.  Hey, they're 75% of the earth's surface but you knew that.

3a)When you raise the temperature, T, on a body of water with dissolved gas, like CO2, what happens?  More gas goes into the atmosphere.  (Ever boiled a pot of water?)

3b)So, if you co-plot global T and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere vs time what do you observe?  Analysis of ice core isotope ratios shows that  higher surface T results in higher CO2 concentration-and T always leads [CO2] in time over dozens of historical heating/cooling cycles in the history of the earth.  So, high CO2 is the effect of higher T, not the other way around-and the presence of humans is obviously quite irrelevant as they were absent for most of these heating cooling cycles.  This is the Roult's gas law of gas solubility in a liquid.  As even scientists need to be reminded-correlation isn't causation.  The latter is very difficult to establish and it can usually only be falsified.

4)The effect of intensity of incident solar radiation  depends on changes in the earth's orbit, angle of tilt of its axis, and solar activity is likely the most important factor in changes in the earth's average T.

5)There is no argument with the observation of increasingly less sea ice, glacial retreat etc.  However, the earth has gone through many cycles when there was essentially no ice on Greenland (the medivel warming period most recently) and also nearly complete glaciation of the North American Continent.  Unfortuantely, there's nothing humans can either do to prevent or ameliorate this cyclic phenomena, though the best proposal is to inject SO2 into the atmosphere at high latitudes.  This artificial vulcanization effect is well known (from the effect of real volcanoes like Kratatoa) to lower global T rapidly (~10 years) due to increased scattering of incident radiation by SO2 aerosols before it reaches the surface of the earth.  This would most certainly reverse the trend of higher T in the northern latitudes and thus increase sea ice.  However, other effects might also occur which are somewhat unpredictable.  However, it is very low economic cost compared to any attempt to reduce CO2 emission whose effect would not alter global average T.  And thus, not of much interest to those who seek to profit from carbon trading or other statist "solutions". 

 

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 20:49 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

i believe there's a massive billion dollar "carbon sequestration project" in...of course...Illinois.http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/green-tech/clean-coal/milliontonne-c... and of course the carbon gas is very valuable in helping get oil out of the ground. indeed...North Dakota has one as well. The idea that "carbon trading" is therefore some "statist solution" is ridiculous. It's done all the time...just not "in an open market" like say the CME. I would be more interested however in what you view as the implications of a clear warming trend that we have been on for decades now. This is "news that we can use" in...for example...the corn crop!

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 20:32 | Link to Comment Mercury
Mercury's picture

Bruce,

I, II & III are perfectly plausible positions to take but here's the thing:

There is not and never has been any such thing as climate stasis, therefore climate change, in and of itself, isn't an outlier event or abnormal...even if it spells bad news for us.

Post-industrial human activity generates a lot of heat and pumps a lot of stuff into the air.  Of course it's possible all that activity could alter the climate we think is normal and the ecosystems we care about and are used to. But even if you assume that all this change is a net negative in the near term it could still be a net positive in the longer term.

There have been a lot of ice ages over the last several hundred thousand years.  Human civilization began after the last one ~11k years ago. We may be overdue for the next one. Whatever forces cause then to come and go (and it certainly isn't human activity) probably haven't withered away just because we invented the Iphone and care about diversity.

If global warming delays the next ice age, I'm totally cool with that.  What bothers me the most about this issue is that the people who are most worked up about "global warming" also happen to be the same people who want to restrict personal liberties and increase state powers for all kind of other reasons too.  The only certainty here is once they've taken your liberty away, they won't be giving it back.

Can you imagine a future set of circumstances where "climate change" is officially declared "fixed" by unelected, unaccountable world government officials and individual liberties are restored?  I can't.

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