Soaring Debt To GDP Is More Reponsible For Global Warming Than Rising CO2 Levels

Tyler Durden's picture

Because the latest fad amongst the voodoo shamanry known as econ Ph.Ds, especially those who have a blog in uber-liberal daily publications courtesy of a nominal gift from the status quo for valiant efforts in preserving the status quo, is to always and without fail assume that correlation is and always implies causation, we make, with the help of John Lohman, the following argument: since global leverage (via Debt-to-GDP) has a greater correlation to the "Temperature Anomaly" aka Global Warming, at 0.79, than CO2 concentration, at 0.69, it is obvious that global warming is purely a function of ever increasing leverage, and not, as is widely accepted by various ecological consultancies, carbon dioxide concentration. And now you see how easy it is to make idiotic, and totally spurious statements (which however serve as fodder for even more idiotic peer-reviewed white papers and journal submissions this keeping lots of people employed while contributing absolutely nothing to society), which given enough time, will become religion to a new breed of shamans once the old ones are forcibly kicked out of their comfortable corner offices.

h/t John Lohman

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economics1996's picture

One of the things I love about my economics professor job is telling students it’s all a big fucking lie.  I leave out the fuck part.

economics1996's picture

Especially that fucking Y = C+I+G+NX shit.

disabledvet's picture

is it all a BIG lie? or just a "big lie" with lot's of little untruth's to "tidy it all up"? either way it sounds highly disappointing if it's your chosen profession. there was a book i read about totally off the wall economics....Freakonomics I think it was called...loved it! talked about "hookers in Chicago" and "why is it so expensive to buy a house?" etc..., etc...perhaps if you went down that path?

economics1996's picture

Freakonomics was a PC book that glossed over some hard realities.  That being said exposing the public to the usefulness of regression analysis is good.  Overall it was a positive book.

I reject about 50% or more of the macroeconomic text out there.  I was into regression analysis a few years ago but have been getting my intellectual fix with Rothbard, Salerno, von Mises, North, and a little Murphy.

I like the monetary theory, probably because Freidman was my idle in college, and it keeps me out of trouble with the PC police.  If they ever let me loose I would get into massive trouble with the politically correct assholes of the world, best to stick to MV=PQ.

jeff montanye's picture

where the correlation causality probably jumps best is the debt co2 relationship.  the human species is leveraging its metabolism such that its wastes grow exponentially.  however the connection between debt and warming is not as well defined as between co2 and warming:

on a poetic level, why wouldn't something as potent as fossil fuels for making man a little god also doom him?

Urban Redneck's picture

I think it would be more poetic if the idiots running the CO2 profit scam got their payday, and the fools looking to save the human race through reduced CO2 output got their payday of global crop failures, and then humanity gets another war over the struggle for resources, and the over-population of idiots will be reduced progessively.

In the meantime, the human race will continue to produce its basic feedstocks and continue to be able to breathe the atmosphere through an endothermic reaction (i.e. global cooling).  They should really consider taking that "truth" and shoving it up their "models" before they are exposed as the next iteration of  idiocy and fraud that brought the human race such innovations and established science as CDO valuation and HFT market effiency increases.    


Flakmeister's picture

Wow, the CO2 profit scam, now, that is rich as the only profits in C02 are by the fossil fuel guys...

Rather strong words from a faith-based denier it seems, where did you get your deep insight, was it Rush or Glen?

BTW, I do agree that Cap N' Trade is a scam...

Urban Redneck's picture

Take your faith in math nerds' models and shove it where the sun doesn't warm.

You insult ad hominem attacks futher down in thread, and then toss them out yourself, while ignoring the argument .

Since you haven't responded to my explicitly argument on endothermic reactions (or the more nuanced one)- then either your science or your intellect is faulty.

Flakmeister's picture

Your argument is so nuanced as to be completely wrong... please see

Global temperature evolution 1979–2010

And your hypothesis has been directly refuted here:

Anthropogenic and natural warming inferred from changes in the Earths' energy balance


Urban Redneck's picture

First one-

"When the data are adjusted to remove the estimated impact of known factors on short-term temperature variations"

So over a short period of time ,and after we played with the data, the temperature was something other than absolutely unchanged... There is nothing in that article  which comes close to proving my argument wrong, much less addressing it, unless it's so buried that I couldn't uncover it in a three minute read through of nine page article

Second One-

"Based on a massive ensemble of simulations with an intermediate-complexity climate model we demonstrate"

I'm not paying $18 for five page article that couldn't properly footnote the one sentence above. 

Urban Redneck's picture

So Foster and Rahmstorf are arguing that "man" (not co2) has caused the temperature of the earth's atmosphere to rise by 1/2 degree in 30 years.

For purposes of framing a debate, we have to start somewhere, and that's a good a place as any...

The Huber and Knutti research does pique my interest, especially in regards to the conservation of energy.  Following up on my rushed and incomplete thought on the co2 cycle before I had to step out last night.  "Man" does a lot of things which correlate to co2 production and which directly produce global warming (especially relevant in the context of the conservation of energy), among them-

1) The heat energy generated by the billions of gallons of petroleum burned each year for transportation.

2) Coal and Natural Gas fired power plants are also adding Yxxx btu of heat per year into the earth's atmosphere.  In addition, (and getting away from conservation of energy and back to relative spectroscopic properties of h2o and co2) as the number of increased efficiency combined cycle plants and even geothermal increases- the volume of water & water vapor directly trasferred from the surface to the atmosphere increases.

3) Electricity (end use vs production).  "Man made" "Climate Control" produces net a heat gain.  Running the furnace in winter is obvious, but even in summer while air conditioners and heat pumps lower the temperatue inside, they raise it outside. 

4) Industry itself generates huge btus of heat (regardless of whether it's Google data center or a Steel Mill) - all this heat has to go somewhere...

So looking at the paper-

The tansition from "thus suggesting an even higher confidence that human-induced causes dominate the observed warming" to "We find that since the mid-twentieth century, greenhouse gases contributed 0.85 degrees of warming" srikes me as an unsubstantiated leap off the cliff of logic.  Digging deaper-

Since Knutti is here in Zurich, I might write him to see how the issues identified above are incorporated into the data set of the Bern2.5D climate model of intermediate complexity.  Needless to say any- response including "proprietary" or "priveledged" would reaffirm my view that revoking funding and shipping all the climate con artists to the ICC for a proper debate on pre-emptive justice (which I don't personally believe in) would be a far more constructive use of public dollars.

The graph which reflects "positive forcings of stratospheric water vapour and nitrous oxide, play only a minor role in the cumulative forcing budget" seems to show water vapor in the atmosphere decreasing since 1900 in addition to showing another "hockey stick" co2 attribution,

The methodology of "The model results for 19502004 are shown in Fig. 2c,d and compare very well with recent observational estimates2, partly as a result of calibrating the model to the observed total ocean and surface warming" when coupled with "Furthermore, uncertainties in ocean heat uptake are large and differences between various reconstructions are significant18. The near constant ocean temperature over the past five years are not simulated by the model and its causes remain unclear10." needs further clarification.

The relationship between the "estimated" heat acculation on which the paper is based and the "range of uncertainty" bears repeating, and is a useful ruler the above sources depending on whether they are properly accounted for in the Bern2.5D climate model "Between 1850 and 2010, the climate system accumulated a total net forcing energy of 140 x 10^22 J with a 5-95% uncertainty range of 95-197 x 10^22 J, corresponding to an average net radiative forcing of roughly 0.54 (0.36-0.76)Wm-2"

Then there is whole issue of deforestation and the resultant reduction in global cooling and co2 removal from the atmosphere.  So the devil is in the details and the math... and not in the published paper.

Flakmeister's picture

First off, I truly appreciate the effort you made to look that the papers.

In FH2011 there is no such explicit arguement made the warming is anthropogenic. Please, read the conclusion again.

They simply take 3 accepted sources of variation in 5 different temperature records, the ENSO, aka El Nino/El Nina Southern oscilllation, the AOD which incorporates the effect of aerosols from volcanos such as Pinatubo and the TSI, the satellite measured total solar output...

They do not assume the effect of each of the above factors, amplitude and lag are free parameters in the a multiple regression. They also include the possibility of a linear trend in the temperature but no constraint on the slope is imposed.

When you crank through the data (code and data available here  data and code if you want to play with it in Excel)  you get Figure 4. Figure 5 are the monthly averages, Figure 6 shows the trend that falls out of the regression with 2 sigma errors (95% C.L.) Figure 7 shows the effect of the the drivers on the temperature data. You can clearly see the huge El Nino of 1998, the effect of the volcanic eruptions and the 11 year solar cycle.

So you see, no fancy modelling, just inclusion of accepted drivers of temperature variation (i.e. noise in the signal). What comes out is the following:

1) Most of the variation is explained, compare Fig.1 with Fig. 5

2) The trend is stable and significant at the 7-8 sigma level in all data sets... i.e. we are warming at 0.16 K per decade (coincidently, completely consistent with AGW forcing from C02 but the authors do not say that it is explitly AGW)

3) The significance of the trend is also there since 1998, many deniers say warming "stopped" then....

Note that the residuals show that most of the variation in the data is explained by the 3 exogenous effects. If it did not then you would see structure Fig. 5 that woud be significant compared to the trend. This is clearly not the case

This means that whatever else may affect the temperature, the month-month variations produced are small and the net result is a positive trend (linear over these time scales). In other words, what ever you propose must replicate the observed trend.

BTW, in the UAH data there is a statistically significant acceleration term, i.e. the warming is getting faster.

The earth is warming.... Game, Set and Match...


I will disscuss the second paper later, I have an appointment that I have go into the city for and I likely will not be able to get back to this until tomorrow.

Once again, I sincerely appreciate and acknowledge your effort to look at the papers.


Flakmeister's picture

From your discussion of man made heat sources, i.e. so called waste heat; are you trying to imply  that the heat from generated from the burning of fossil fuels is not being included and is important??? See for example

The forcing from waste heat is 0.028 W/m^2 or 1% of the forcing from the C02 in the atmosphere.

BTW, This number is consistent with a back of the envelope calculationt that gives 9.4e12/(4*1.3e14) = An average global forcing of ~0.018 W/m2 (4*1.3e14 m2 is the surface area of the Earth and 9.4 is the global energy use from oil and coal in 2005 in TW). If you include natural gas, that number rises to ~0.025 W/m2.

In other words, it is tiny and can be safely ignored....

You then write:

The graph which reflects "positive forcings of stratospheric water vapour and nitrous oxide, play only a minor role in the cumulative forcing budget" seems to show water vapor in the atmosphere decreasing since 1900 in addition to showing another "hockey stick" co2 attribution,

Not quite sure what your point is... They are talking about water in the Stratosphere and not the Troposphere...different beasts and far as their forcing effects go... Also, are you implying  that you do not believe increased C02 and Greenhouse gases do not affect the global temperature? Or are you saying that the C02 levels have not increased? What is it??

The rest of your post seems to be a cut and paste with the conclusion "I don't believe it, the math is not clear". But I will try to make some sense of what you wrote:

From your post:

The relationship between the "estimated" heat acculation on which the paper is based and the "range of uncertainty" bears repeating, and is a useful ruler the above sources depending on whether they are properly accounted for in the Bern2.5D climate model "Between 1850 and 2010, the climate system accumulated a total net forcing energy of 140 x 10^22 J with a 5-95% uncertainty range of 95-197 x 10^22 J, corresponding to an average net radiative forcing of roughly 0.54 (0.36-0.76)Wm-2"

Not sure what your issue is with this cut and paste from the paper, when they estimate/measure the energy budget there is a uncertainty, however, that uncertainty is propagated forward, those errors bars you see reflect that. Have you ever done an error analysis??

You close with this:

Then there is whole issue of deforestation and the resultant reduction in global cooling and co2 removal from the atmosphere.  So the devil is in the details and the math... and not in the published paper.

The C02 measurements reflect the effects you point out. Again you seem to be implying that the measured C02 concentrations are wrong, is that the case? Finally for your your edification I found this on the Bern model

The cost-efficient, Bern 2.5-D physical-biogeochemical climate model [Marchal et al., 1998] is used, which has previously been applied to study global warming – marine carbon cycle feedbacks [Joos et al., 1999, Plattner et al. 2001]. The model consists of a zonally averaged, dynamic ocean model, coupled to an atmospheric energy balance model with an active hydrological cycle, and includes representations of the marine and terrestrial carbon cycles. Sediment processes are neglected. CO2 fertilization of the terrestrial biosphere is taken into account by a logarithmic dependence of net primary production on elevated atmospheric CO2. Model setup and simulations are as described in detail in Plattner et al. [2001]. Radiative forcing from observed historic and projected future atmospheric CO2, non-CO2 greenhouse gases and aerosols is taken into account [see Joos et al., 2001, for details].


So in conclusion, you have done nothing to show that the paper and its conclusions are incorrect.... Thanks for playing.

Edit: Edited to correct typos...

yt75's picture

Indeed all CO2 markets stuff are a joke (and can lead to stupid technical stuff like CCS, with a loos of 30% efficiency, while consuming so much more ressource).

The only sound policies regarding both peak oil/peak ressources and CO2/global warming is volume based taxes on fossile fuels, and high ones (to push the products cars and housing in particular in the right direction, more than as budget revenus).

And lower trade deficit in the process.

AchtungAffen's picture

Freakonomics is just another display of a lot of bullshit. Not all, but a bunch. That guy who thinks because he's an economist he can apply that academia to rising her child with monetary incentives, just to turn her into a money bitch? Or the failed attempt to bribe children into studying? The part about abortion is interesting. But most of it was about people way too detached with reality.

Coke and Hookers's picture

Freakonomics was a pathetic book. A couple of economists 'discover' what social psychologists have been doing for decades and become really excited. Then they cook up a few examples, draw conclusions about causal factors based on political correctness rather than the obvious, then write a shitty book. Freakonomics was an eye opening experience for me; it showed me how utterly clueless economists are and how far from 'science' the field is. Everything that's happened since then has reinforced that view.

Pinch's picture

Is Tyler Durden a AGW denier? This post seems to imply it.

MiguelitoRaton's picture

Let's hope he's a denier, he does seem to rely on facts and appreciates the scientific method, both of which have no place in the AGW religion.

nmewn's picture

"Is Tyler Durden a AGW denier? This post seems to imply it."

The only thing that can't be denied is the emails from college professor "scientists" coming to light promoting the suppression of any other scientific view in order to keep their federal grant money flowing.

Yet another criminal enterprise.

Want to help stop AGW? Quit breathing.

nmewn's picture

Thats another "Inconvenient Truth" about the Imperial Guards surrounding the states CO2 jewels.

They have zero sense of humor ;-)

midtowng's picture

The "ultra-liberal blog" comment gave it away as much as anything.

It's sad to see normally smart people get stupid because they embrace partisan politics.

Edmon Plume's picture

You admit that the tyler(s) are smart, yet in this instance you presuppose stupidity?  Why is the mocking of scientific dishonesty dishonest, but the scientific dishonesty itself gets a pass?  I've heard leftist groups heap praise on julian assange for leaking all kinds of government deception, and take umbrage at the leaking of the mann deceptions.  Who exactly is embracing partisan politics here?

Regardless of whether or not you believe in agw, you must notice that the culmination of agw is money - but not for you; for TPTB.  If that doesn't chill your hots for anthropogenic global warming, then sell your gold and go to huffpo.  Or, stay here and follow the $$$.

Lower Class Elite's picture

The culmination of agw is money?!  Dude, the Koch brothers spend more money on fucking underwear than Michael Mann's entire department gets in research grants in any given year .  Are there greedy opportunist fucks trying to cash in on the climate change bandwagon?  Most certainly.  But that shit is chump change compared to the segments of the economy (umm, pretty much all of it) trying to cash in on keeping you believing that your high energy high consumption high waste lifestyle and all the dirty underhanded fucked up shit corporations do to serve it up to you is not just perfectly harmless to the great big ol' forgiving Earth, but in fact your God-given right.  Get a motherfucking clue, people.     

jeff montanye's picture

what s/he said.  and a toast to the lady in the red hat while we are at it.

Colombian Gringo's picture

Of course the culimation of AGW is money...the UN spends more money in a year promoting AGW than the Kochs and all others have spent in total opposing this fraud.

NidStyles's picture

What does high waste life style mean? It certainly doesn't mean AGW, so what does it have to do with proving your point that AGW is valid?

Dorky's picture

This should not be a surprise because the more debt there is, the more industrial production and consumption will be in place, which is a cause of global warming.

downrodeo's picture

omg, so it IS bullshit...

BrocilyBeef's picture

Speling erors are more reponsibly for Global Apathy than Rising c03 lvels

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Soaring Debt to GDP is responsible for my hemorrhoids.

And the correlated causation hurts like a mother f**ker.

Don Birnam's picture

A most unfortunate comfort anomaly. Perhaps a new investment thesis is warranted...

lemosbrasil's picture

It doesnt matter what they gonna do with Q3........


Dow Jones is in a down channel pattern......

There are many possibilities, but the firt target 1-3 months is 9.800, after a hard pullback until 10.700-11.700, and finally after a hard and deep crash until 6.400-7.000


See here:

Manthong's picture

Your waxed lips to God's ears.

tallen's picture

The level of bull-shit/methane being given out by politicans is reaching new all time highs. Remember, Methane is 20x more effective in trapping heat than CO2.

Teamtc321's picture

But, but the politicians are trying to figure out how to tax farting cow's. I shit you not..............


Cow's/Cattle that produce methane. The mfer's are completly insane.

The new debt reduction plan, tax rancher's that raise cattle which are farting, whoop's excuse me, methane gas production from livestock.  

Rollerball's picture

Shitting me would cause your asshole to expand into a black hole, which would then engulf all your problems. 

WGAF.  Tax cattle ranchers into oblivion.  I'll eat chicken.  Tastes just like human.

Teamtc321's picture

Hope, Hope and Change!!! Chant it, chant it, yes you can, yes you can.


nmewn's picture

And the decaying trees and any other organic matter that has the gall to die and emit CO2 to feed living green things as well.

An Estate Tree Tax is clearly called for now!

They're getting away with murder here, these young tree heirs! ;-)

TheThirdBifurcation's picture

You show a deep understanding of both carbon cycling and fossil fuels 

Cheesy Bastard's picture

Good, keep selling bonds and soon the New England shore will become a tropical paradise.

thatthingcanfly's picture

Nah, it's all George Bush's fault.

steveo's picture

You could get me to believe that leverage spurs economics activity which creates greehouse gases

But more likely sunspots, the less there are the hotter it is, and vice versa


disabledvet's picture

a message for all you goldbugs apparently. "no matter the debt load i can still pump more oil to compensate...mofo's. and look! look at the the good we do!! when the temperatures warm...prices go down and demand goes even higher! a virtuous circle! (now if you want to see a Polar Bear we still have them at a thing called a "zoo.")"