Open Thread

This is a page for your use, to try out html tags and see what they look like, to post new ideas, to pass along interesting information, to suggest future topics for discussion, to reach out and contact me directly, the floor is yours.



638 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Hi Willis,
    I’ve been reluctant to trouble you, or other commentators I admire, to seek the answer to a question I’ve had for some time.
    That question is, “If we define the expression ‘One Industrial revolution’ as the total amount of anthropogenic CO2 released from the start of the Industrial Revolution to today, how many Industrial Revolutions would it take to reach various points of interest?
    One and a half degrees of warming, two degrees of warming, the point where increasing temperature is no longer a benefit, and so on.
    “Today” keeps changing,so for the sake of consistency, let’s use the date 7 Dec 2022, a date that’s inherently irrelevant save it makes the sums below easier.
    I imagine the answer is relatively easy for one with your expertise.
    But I’m rude enough to want more than the answer to my question. I want to know how to answer that question, and similar ones like it, for myself.

    I’m emboldened by your words:
    “… what do I do now that I’ve won?
    Over time, my conclusion was simple—I’d give it away. Not so much the physical stuff, although that too, but mostly my knowledge, my skills. When someone wanted to learn something, I’d give my time to teach them. “

    So I’m emboldened, but it seems decent to give it a go myself first.
    Firstly, I have to acknowledge that I’m after a rough approximation at best, a near-,meaningless one actually.
    Total amount of CO2 released since the start of the Industrial Revolution to the present and total temperature change since then, as a measure is ridiculous because 1) it presumes there was no natural change in that time to either temperature or CO2. .2) It likewise it presumes that our global measurements are accurate enough, then and now. 3) It completely disregards the possibility of emergent climate moderating effects such as those you’ve advocated considering.4) It ignores other greenhouse gasses. 5) It ignores non-transient effects of warming. 6) it deals inadequately with the absorption of emitted CO2. 7) Not all fossil fuel is or was coal. 8) There’s undoubtedly other relevant factors I’m ignorant of.
    I so acknowledge.
    In addition I am going to have to adjust for the fact that the heating effect of additional CO2 is logarithmically less for each given quantity, and the ‘Amount of radiation cooled down

    Next,I google the question. I find “Our world in data” gives CO2 data as fossil fuels plus cement, or fossil fuels plus land use changes, but not the total.
    (They do have one graph that might interest your readers, as at 11 Feb 2022.) gave that figure as 1,374 gigatons of carbon dioxide as at 7 December 2012.
    Our world in data says we’re at 34 gigaton per year.
    So adding 340 gigatons for the decade to 7 December 2022 brings the numeric definition of One industrial Revolution equal to 1,714 gigatons of CO2 released.**
    Asking Google further, it produces the figure of coal burned for CO2 produced at 1,714 gigaton of coal divided by 2.42 is 708.2644 gigatons of coal equivalent. Given the specific uncertainty in the decadal figure I used, (marked **) it seems reasonable to define one industrial revolution as 700 gigatons of coal equivalent.

    So presumably the ipcc calculates how many more tones we can emit to get to various temperature outcomes. They will produce a range, and I should work with the median, despite my reservations about institutional motivated reasoning. I go to
    and find myself at a loss.
    Eliminating qualifiers, we see a budget of 580 gigatons of CO2 to reach 1.5 degrees by 2100.So, a third of an Industrial revolution.
    I can’t find a carbon budget in their documentation for a budget of 2 degrees. Presumably I’m looking in the wrong place.
    Please help me find the right place?

    Relatedly, both Bjorn Lomborg and Michael Schellenberger, reformed Greens, assert that the IPCC figures for a temperature rise of eight degrees C would produce a 4 % reduction in GDP. They link to a fire-walled article. I am at a loss as to where to start looking in the IPCC work itself, and if I do, what would the carbon budget be?

    The pathway to answer my question has turned out somewhat differently to what I anticipated before I started. I thought I’d need a lot of calculation. Now I realise I need merely find the IPCC carbon budget figures. I’ve looked. Can you give me clues as to where I’m likely to find that information? Heck, if you have a link directly to those answers, I’d appreciate it. That’d be cheating if I were trying to repeat their work; but I’m not. I’m trying to find out what their work says, and to then place it in a context that’s meaningful to me and possibly others.
    Thanking you in anticipation



    • Leo, from my perspective I fear the answer to your question is that CO2 is not the secret climate control knob … and as a result, your question has no answer.

      Me, I think that the temperature of the earth is controlled by a variety of emergent phenomena, NOT by CO2. See here for a further discussion.

      Finally, there’s no scientific agreement about the purported relationship between CO2 and temperature. The value for “climate sensitivity”, the amount the temperature is claimed to rise from a doubling of CO2, range from half a degree per doubling to eight degrees per doubling. See here for details.

      And thus, even if we were to take the IPCC claim that CO2 roolz climate at face value … your question still has no answer.



      • Thanks Willis.
        You’ve said concisely what I took a verbose paragraph to express.
        In fact since my whole enquiry was verbose, turgid text; I apologise. I should have waited till morning and re-written it.

        Thanks for the hyperlinks you included in your reply. For some reason, they aren’t working – regardless of the browser I use. If you fix that, I will read what they link to.

        While I was trying to “Show my work” above I answered most of my own question.
        The only part I couldn’t answer is “Where in the IPCC work can I find their figures for the Carbon Budgets to various ‘targets’?”


  2. Hi Willis,
    Have you written any article that investigates the folly of all electric vehicles by some future date… something along the line of your “Bright Green Impossibilities”? I guess this would include some projection as to the electric vehicle numbers and the electric power needed for some projected usage. This would translate into new electric generation capacity. My guess is that the electric generation needs alone would disclose the folly (not even cosidering the infrastructure changes or fire risk, or battery problems or etc, etc) as staggeringly unrealistic. I would like to see a “back of the envelope” analysis that covers the increased electric generation part of 100% electric vehicles. I have looked through you latest index of articles and couldn’t recognize it if it exsist. I love your articles!!
    Don Bunker


  3. Hi Willis,
    Who has extra time on their hands… only someone who never does anything, I guess, so you definitely don’t qualify. I had a boss once that said it wasn’t productive to go to a dry well for water, that explains why people seek your advice.
    I find duck duck sources that say the total miles driven in the US annually is 3.2 trillion. Also that EVs average 3.3 miles per KWH. If the Diablo Canyon nuclear facility produces 18,000 GWH annually (Per Wikipedia), Does the simple math come out to 54 Diablo plants required to drive 3.2 trillion miles?
    Don Bunker


  4. Hi Willis,
    Just read your latest WUWT article “Transportation By 2050” and it more than satisfied my interest in the subject. Your well runneth over!!! 2250 TWH for EVs vs 2020 total electric generation in USA of 4009TWH or 56%…WOW!


  5. Happy Birthday Willis! I’d love to be around and have you around for another 75. I’ve got you by 2 years. Technically I’m a war baby, but I identify (<=such nonsense!) as a Boomer. Cherish all your memories, and please keep writing.


  6. From your “Shades Of Blue”

    “The meter counts turns by the propeller and converts them into “knots”, the usual measure of distance at sea.” Knots? – ‘speed’ maybe? Nautical miles also registered. (No way to add this to the original publication.)

    Sextant? I bought the more expensive Davis plastic sextant in the 1970’s to practice with. Our intent was to sail to Australia after my wife’s parents passed on. They both lived for many more years, the trip never happened. We were looking at the Whitby 42, a center-cockpit ketch for the voyage.

    More sextant. I spent six weeks in Australia in 1995, basically saying ‘Bye’ to friends and relatives. There was a Royal Australian Navy frigate in a graving dock in South Brisbane, turned into a museum. An octant was on display in one of the cases – labeled as a sextant. Got to talking with the chaps at the front desk on my way out, “That’s how the donor had it labeled in his collection.” Not about to change it. Oh well…..

    Digression. Francis Drake circumnavigated and was knighted by Elizabeth I. Francis Chitchester solo circumnavigated and was knighted by Elizabeth II. The same sword was used in both ceremonies.

    Birthdays? Had a friend who celebrated the 50th anniversary of her 21st birthday last year. It’s all in how you look at it. Many more to come mate.


    • Tombstone Gabby March 18, 2022 at 5:03 pm said:

      “The meter counts turns by the propeller and converts them into “knots”, the usual measure of distance at sea.” Knots? – ‘speed’ maybe?

      Nautical miles, AKA knots, are a measure of both distance and speed.

      Interesting about QEI and QEII using the same sword. I remember when Chichester finished his circumnavigation, I was much impressed.

      My best to you,



      • Ouch.

        Chip log – Wikipedia
        Search domain en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Chip_log
        A chip log, also called common log, ship log, or just log, is a navigation tool mariners use to estimate the speed of a vessel through water. The word knot, to mean nautical mile per hour, derives from this measurement method. Contents 1 History 2 Construction 3 Use 4 Origins 5 Accuracy and considerations by the navigator


          • Cookies tomorrow mate.

            Too many times I’ve been reading and run into “knots per hour” – and cringed – a measure of acceleration.(I’m waiting for some ‘scientist’ to come up with “furlongs/fortnight/fortnight” as a measure for acceleration)

            Enjoy the cookies…..


  7. Darn, I knew I’d forget something. I’m still working my way through your older posts at WUWT. Came across a prediction.

    From: Of Coconuts, the Sun, and Small Isolated Islands – Aug. 9, 2012

    “Fortunately, since the Kiwis are putting up the money, none of this really matters. Let me say, however, that my prediction is that in ten years, Tokelau will still be importing fossil fuels for a host of uses, and that much if not all of the solar system will be quietly rusting away … I could be wrong, and I truly hope that I am wrong.”

    Getting close to ten years – right or wrong?


    • Good question, Gabby. I find this:

      Tokelau’s solar energy system is set to be upgraded on each of its three atolls.

      Jointly funded by the governments of Tokelau and New Zealand, the $NZ9 million ($USD5.7m) system will be installed by New Zealand company Vector PowerSmart.

      Tokelau’s existing solar system was eight years old and in need of upgrading because of increasing demand for electricity and wear and tear from the harsh marine environment, it said.

      So it lasted a whole eight years and now it’s getting totally replaced at a cost of $5.7 million … that’s about $4,000 per person, so to duplicate that for the US would cost $1.3 TRILLION … zowie.

      I cannot find any figures on total petroleum fuel imports for Tokelau. I do find this from 2016;

      Since the PV-diesel hybrid systems were installed in 2012,
      demand for electricity has risen. Consequently, the current
      systems use more diesel generation to meet this new demand.

      Big surprise. Also, the main diesel use isn’t counted in Tokelau. This is the diesel to run the government boat which connects the three atolls … but they buy it in Samoa to save money, and don’t count it in their fossil imports.

      Finally, most folks don’t understand just how tiny the country is. The total land area of the three atolls is 4.6 square miles (12 km^2), or about 3,000 acres … a small ranch in Texas.

      Moral of the story? If you’re a country the size of a bedsheet, and you can get other countries to buy your renewable energy hardware, you can pretend that it all works …




  8. Hello Willis, I am interested in running an Amazon Turk survey of about 300 people asking how much they say they agree with the scientific consensus on climate change and then how much they think unabated warming would cost the world economy in 2100. I expect to use the 3.6% figure from the climate economic models like Nordhaus’

    You may discern that this is likely to result in a poll showing a sharp increase in error as a person’s self described agreement with the science goes up. In my opinion this could create a dramatic ‘gut check’ moment if it becomes popularly known – exposing that what people are getting from the headlines is nothing like what can be found at the bottom line of any mainstream science

    I wondered if you think WUWT would be likely to post about such a survey. I checked in with their tips section but didn’t get a further response (they thought I wanted to poll WUWT readers). It should be quite reliable at 300 respondents but I see it as a start to try to crowdfund a gold standard poll that would look slick enough for mainstream media to report on and have more cachet as a social media news bit


  9. Willis, your emergent thunderstorm theory strikes me as believable but I’d love to see the calculations, if you have made them, as to how much more energy tropical thunderstorms dissipate to space versus how much the parameterized climate models suggest they do. I’m not sure how possible or easy such an analysis might be, but it seems to me it would allow an assessment of whether climate models are missing something significant in their parameterizations. I suppose you’d have to model global cloud cover impacts unless the climate models specify a certain amount of energy release within the geographic area that would be subject to your thunderstorm cooling hypothesis, in which case a comparison of those regions’ relative radiation/ heat balance between your theory and model paramterizations might be anough. I hope I’m making sense here, I am not a physicist or scientist. Any thoughts about this kind of comparison? Or maybe you’ve made such of not as how I describe?

    Second, another blogger, Stephen Wilde, has proposed a theory the UV/ ozone interaction impacts global jet stream shapes such that more global cooling/ heating should take place depending on these factors. Are you familiar with his theory? Do you have an opinion about it? Have you written about it? If so, where?


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