(1) I’ll start this one with a reference to a new paper and a flashback to one of my own essays. The IPCC developed a concept for its last report called ‘Representative Concentration Pathways’ (RCP), which are scenarios  about what might happen given certain assumptions about the control of carbon dioxide. The scariest of these is RCP 8.5, which is, not coincidentally, the most favoured pathway if you are an alarmist writer. I wrote about it here. RCP 8.5 is not, as often claimed, a ‘business as usual’ scenario, but a highly unlikely scenario requiring people like businessmen to behave irrationally.

Larry Kummer, whose website I subscribe to, has written a most interesting essay of his own based on a recent paper by William Nordhaus, in which Larry gets to the heart of the RCP 8.5 mess by showing how unlikely Nordhaus’s projections are. Most people don’t known what RCP 8.5 means, and the media never tell us how unlikely its story is. All we hear is that ‘the Greenland Ice Sheet is going to melt!’

However, you just have to chip away, as I am doing here.

(2) Judith Curry is asking those interested in the debate about climate change to help her with the slide that follows. It’s a bit cryptic for me, too.

(3) I started this website six years in mid June. In the last June-to-May year it received 113,658 hits. There have been 873 posts and 20,627 comments in the six-year period, and somewhat fewer than 4,000 comments in the last year. If we take out a hit for every comment, then last year the website received about 110,000 hits. That’s 110,000 ‘readers’, about 10,000 a month, given that December and January are only part months for the website. About three quarters of the readers are in Australia, the rest across the globe.

I thank them all, and of course the commenters too. I must be close to a million words published on the website, which is about the same number that I published in newspapers over my working life. Doing the weekly essay is not a chore, but something I look forward to. I am never sure what the next one will be about, because there are always things happening that I feel the urge to comment about. Long may that urge continue!

(4) I have been attacked by wogs, bugs and fractures,  and I am unable to write an essay this week. It may be some time before I can return to this pleasant task properly, but  IU feel confident that the time will come. With every good wish,


Join the discussion 57 Comments

  • Neville says:

    And Chinese co2 emissions have risen by 4% in the first quarter of 2018. Indeed Dr Hansen was correct when he said that Kyoto and Paris were just BS and fra-d.
    Decades of wasted time and money since Kyoto and the same until 2100. Unbelievable but true.


    • BB says:

      Seems to me many here just don’t get itIt really doesn’t matter what China does they are Marxist as are our universities in the main so the fact that they burn 48% of the world’s coal really doesn’t matter. They are not capitalist conservative white men. I should have added misogynist. It gets down to the oppressed and the oppressor. A message to be learnt is that totalitarian governments are strong on environmentalism. See Hitler, Stalin, any Marxist government or Communist Party. Many argue that the world is under threat but at the same time this is being used too control us

  • Neville says:

    Here again are the facts about the Paris COP 21 BS and fra-d.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    … and Tuvalu has still not sunk beneath the waves.

  • dlb says:

    Global May average for UAH steady at +0.18c.
    Australia -0.4c. Not surprised, it was b. cold for my annual camping trip.

  • Roger Macrury says:

    I would be interested to read your comments on the ANU’s rejection of the Ramsey program.

  • Chris Warren says:


    Are you suggesting that scenario 8.5 is unlikely? Every scenario has a likelihood of some sort.

    You need a lot more evidence before claiming RCP8.5 is “a highly unlikely scenario “.

    Such wanton vague comments are not useful.

    And yes, businesses will act economically rationally but ecologically irrationally.

    Curry printed a standard chart indicating, too 2014, that current data had a close relationship with RCP8.5 see:


    So even if the global economy doesn’t track RCP8.5, it looks more likely that we will track closer to RCP8.5 than RCP6 or RCP4.5.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      ‘Are you suggesting that scenario 8.5 is unlikely?’ Indeed so.

      ‘You need a lot more evidence before claiming RCP8.5 is “a highly unlikely scenario “.’ No, I don’t. If you read my previous essay, and go to the links and look for yourself, you’ll see that RCP 8.5 is quite unlikely. Read Kummer’s piece. Read Nordhaus. Then come back, if you are still of the same mind, and explain why. I do my own work. I’m not here to do yours.

  • Tezza says:

    The RCP approach buries its implicit economic foundations more opaquely than the previous Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) approach used by the IPCC back in the late 90s. RCPs allow ’socioeconomic scenarios’ to be varied at will after the event. See, for example, https://skepticalscience.com/rcp.php?t=2

    Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) for CO2 are, in effect, heavily disguised economic forecasts of:
    #the future CO2 intensities of GDP growth in each of the world’s countries and
    #the rates at which real per capita national GDPs are assumed to converge among the world’s countries over the next 100 years.

    The late, great Australian Statistician Ian Castles and the English economist David Henderson highlighted this in their critique of the IPCC’s original approach when it was still using the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) back in the late 90s. While the particular Castles/Henderson critique of the SRES approach turned out not to make a significant difference to the scenarios then in use, their input was very nastily received by the IPCC – the first sign to me that there was a lot more than science in play.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Yes, I agree. I discussed the SRES with both Ian and David (at different times) some ten years ago.

      • David says:

        ,… and since Castles and Henderson wrote their Pollyanna arguments some ten years ago global temperature has continued to break record after record; 2014, 2015 & 2016. If Castles were around he could tell us the probability of pulling a record average temperature three years running. That feels like an 8.5 to me.

        “…but a highly unlikely scenario requiring people like businessmen to behave irrationally”

        Don you must be be living in a cave! Like Trump for example. Need I say more?

  • Ian MacCulloch says:

    This is the earlier NAFTA definition 2001 of a scientist:

    Scientific Technician/ Technologist Possession of (a) theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology or physics; and (b) the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles of any of those disciplines to basic or applied research.

  • Neville says:

    Ken Stewart checks out the Co2 temp driver theory and finds that like the ice cores SST actually responds before the rise in co2.
    IOW co2 is a follower not a driver of temperature change.


  • spangled drongo says:

    When bureaucracies like the UK Met Office is right into telling lies like this, how can they be believed on anything?

    “Britain has enjoyed its sunniest and warmest May since records began in 1929″

    Guess when their warmest May really was?

    1833!!!. They ignore the oldest temp record in the world.

    Particularly when it doesn’t tell them what they want:


    What does it remind you of?

  • Neville says:

    Chinese funding and support for Solar farms has plunged and it seems that Wind farms may suffer the same treatment.
    What a pity that OZ couldn’t follow their lead and stop funding clueless S&W energy and start building reliable coal fired plants again.


  • Bryan Roberts says:

    Let’s leave aside the ‘computer projections’ and look at reality. The leaders of the Pacific Island nations have for tens of years now howled about their disappearing islands, and threatened legal action for compensation. How many of these nations have disappeared? None. How many of their populations have been displaced as ‘climate refugees’? One guy tried to get into New Zealand, and was rejected. Otherwise, none. Can we say the urgency seems a little forced?

    • BB says:

      It is a useful reality for them. The trick is convincing those that might allocate resources.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Western true believers are desperate for these island nations to be able to establish that they are sinking due to SLR/CAGW and would happily force compensation to be paid if they thought their lies could be substantiated.

      Their worst enemy is Charles Darwin, real world observation and science.

    • David says:


      Record temp 2014

      Record temp 2015

      Record temp 2016

      They were not generated by a computer model

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Waal, as the sheriff says, these ‘records’ are the averages of averages of averages, and pretty-well meaningless, save to believers.

        • David says:

          An average of an average is fine. Talk to your brother he will explain it to you

          • Don Aitkin says:

            David, time to read again about the use of statistics. What question are you asking for which an average of an average of an average is fine? Every time you average you lose information.

            See again (perhaps every week): http://donaitkin.com/on-the-use-of-statistics-in-considering-climate-change/

          • JimboR says:

            “What question are you asking for which an average of an average of an average is fine?”

            Is the planet getting warmer?

            “Every time you average you lose information.”

            Of course! That’s one of the most common reasons for doing it. Averaging can be used to filter out the high frequency signals (thereby “losing information”) so you can focus on the long term trends.

            Don, you repeatedly tell us you think the planet is in a long term warming trend. How did you come to that conclusion without using averages of averages?

          • spangled drongo says:

            It’s just that when you look at specifics, davie, what you’re telling us is just not so. 2014 and 2015 were never records at all:


      • Boambee John says:

        Keep the faith, David, it’s all you have left!

      • BB says:

        Well that is your reality but how useful is it? There are around 7 billion people and more than 150 nations. Do you find it useful thinking they can be changed and they will cooperate for what you think is the common good? I see nothing but failure in trying to do that. China for instance burns 48% of the world’s coal and it is rising.

        Totalitarian regimes in the past have been quite keen on environmentalism. Stalin’s Soviet Union and Hitler’s Germany for instance. Was the environment truly of concern or was it a useful way to control their populations?

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        David, you might recall that these ‘records’ were ‘records’ by mere tenths of a degree.

  • spangled drongo says:

    I did like Mörner’s letters to the President of the Maldives:

    “October 20, 2009
    To: President Mohammed Nasheed of the Maldives
    From: Nils-Axel Mörner, Stockholm, Sweden

    Mr. President,
    You have recently held an undersea Cabinet meeting to raise awareness of the idea that global sea level is rising and hence threatens to drown the Maldives. This proposition is not founded in observational facts and true scientific judgements.

    Therefore, I am most surprised at your action and must protest its intended message.

    In 2001, our research group found overwhelming evidence that sea level was by no means in a rising mode in the Maldives, but had remained quite stable for the last 30 years ..”


    “ ..I have written to you twice without reply. Your people ought not to have to suffer a constant claim that there is no future for them on their own islands. This terrible message is deeply inappropriate, since it is founded not upon reality but upon an imported concept, which lacks scientific justification and is thus untenable. There is simply no rational basis for it.”

  • spangled drongo says:

    Getting more involved by the minute:

    “The Australian National University’s reluctance to host a ­pro­posed Western civilisation course is “the greatest act of gutlessness since Trevor Chappell bowled under­arm to New Zealand”, says Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor Greg Craven.”


    • David says:

      SD, so why doesn’t the Ramsay Centre take their offer of a course in Western Civilization to the Catholic University? Problem solved. All those young Tony Abbott wanabes could goose step around in their Union Jack underwear writing essays about the importance of the Magna Carta and the Crusades to civil society.

  • spangled drongo says:

    I’ve been telling people for years to put their heads out the window and check for themselves on the SLR scam.

    The gatekeepers are now becoming tidekeepers.

    “Tide gauges showing negative absolute sea level rise removed from data base”:


  • Bazza says:

    Conservatism, it’s not what former PM Tony Abbott is about.


    • spangled drongo says:

      Do you really think Abbott could have possibly installed a truly conservative govt immediately, baz?

      In this sort of climate?:

      “The culture wars are so out of hand that in retaliation for supporting the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation a university professor will ascribe views to me and The Australian’s foreign editor Greg Sheridan that we have never espoused and liken us to Anders Breivik — the Norwegian far-right terrorist who slaughtered 77 people — and the ABC will publish it.

      This is what passes for rational debate in our universities and the public broadcaster as they rail against any advocacy of traditional values and institutions, and any political opinion they perceive as being out of synch with green-left ideals. It is dire. This underscores perfectly why the goals of the Ramsay centre — to refocus our education and debate on to the inherent strengths of our liberal democratic heritage — must be embraced. If ever Paul Ramsay doubted the value and importance of his endowment, they would have been erased this week.

      The culture wars are mocked by so-called progressives as futile railing against modernity. The reality is these same people are fully engaged through political parties, academe and public broadcasters in a war aimed at undermining our cultural inheritance and pursuing some vague notion of green-left Utopia. The “culture wars” is any attempt by conservative, right-of-centre or dissenting leftist adversaries to halt their march.”


    • Bazza says:

      PVO – Can Real Conservatives Stand Up – in the Weekend Australian.

      “This is why ­reactionary and nostalgic activists misunderstand Jordan Peterson’s opposition to quotas. They should read his book rather than simply listen to the odd interview he has given with polemic commentators on the left and right.”

      Don will be pleased

      • spangled drongo says:

        You and PVO make a likely pair, baz.

        At least bread-and-butter conservatives understand that you modern wishy-washies don’t know of what you speak.

      • spangled drongo says:

        PVO’s POV is a joke for VOP with VPOs.

  • Bazza says:

    February 2015 Gray Connolly.

    “However, the budget reflects the Liberal Party’s secondary but enduring problem: its capture by libertarian and, frankly, Darwinian ideologies that are both anything but conservative and politically lethal.”

    Neoliberalism is the enemy. Add Barnaby Joyce.

    • Bazza says:

      More Gray Connolly from 2014.
      If you watch The Drum, his latest appearance on a panel was most interesting.


      • spangled drongo says:

        Yes baz, Abbotts greatest mistake was putting Malcolm in charge of Auntie.

        “The ABC has been caught out wrongly denying one of its producers had cancelled a Chinese human rights activist’s interview at short notice on the basis of her “affiliations”.

        She was scheduled to appear on Wednesday night’s edition of The World, but the ABC abruptly pulled the plug on the live interview after a week of preparations.

        Ms Lin’s representative was told that the decision had come from above and that there had been concerns about her “affiliations”.

        It is understood that the concerns related to Ms Lin’s involvement with Falun Gong, the Chinese spiritual tradition banned by the Communist Party and whose practitioners allege that their fellow members have been targeted for organ harvesting.”

        Similar solutions, hey baz?

  • spangled drongo says:

    Solar and wind just don’t cut it yet our reliables are shutting down:

    “Generators at five of the six NSW coal-fired power stations were hit by outages heading into the long weekend, stripping about a third of the state’s capacity and spiking spot prices to a forecast high of $14,000 in the early evening.

    Tomago chief executive Matt Howell said Australia was at a crisis point with its energy system because it was losing baseload generation needed for heavy industry.

    Mr Howell said that at $14,000 per MWh — the maximum allowed in the National Electricity Market — it would cost $200,000 to make a tonne of aluminium and the plant would lose $5 million an hour.”

  • spangled drongo says:

    Delingpole puts us straight:

    “The entire renewables industry is an act of faith. The ONLY reason it can survive is through subsidies. And those subsidies can ONLY continue if renewables true believers can persuade enough gullible people to accept being fleeced by their gullible governments to pay over the odds for wind and solar in the name of the environment.

    Once people start to lose that faith all bets are off.

    That’s what’s so great about the collapse of the global solar markets and the ridicule heaped this week on the UK wind industry.

    It really couldn’t happen to more deserving people.”


  • Don Aitkin says:

    I’ve published an update on the website at the head of this thread. It was six years old this week.

  • […] You can express all this in a simple diagram, which she does (an earlier version is here): […]

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