In A Rare Public Debate, Dr. Willie Soon Uses Real Science To Take On The Climate ‘Apocalypse’

Comedy clubs aren’t usually thought of as venues for serious debate about controversial topics like climate change.

And yet in a rare debate opportunity, Harvard-Smithsonian Center astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon took full advantage of the short time he had available to him.  He critiqued “consensus” science, the ocean acidification narrative, the poverty-inducing reliance on wind and solar energies, and climate change alarmism in general.

Dr. Jon Christensen, his opponent, an adjunct assistant professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, emphasized the “consensus” and the “existential threat” of climate change, extolled the expansion of renewable energy sources like wind and solar in California, and insisted that politicians in the Golden State are focused on not burdening poor people with their “green” policies.

A summary highlighting some of the more interesting exchanges and their corresponding timelines follows.

(1) Dr. Soon: CO2 a benefit, minimal sea level rise awaits

Dr. Christensen: CO2 rise an existential, apocalyptic threat

2:25 Dr. Willie Soon “They try to demonize carbon dioxide as if this is something that’s going to kill everybody.  Which is really not true. …  CO2 has a lot of potential benefit[s].  There are some potential negatives.  If it’s [CO2] going to cause sea levels to rise,  we’re going to have 4 inches or 8 inches or 12 inches…per century.”

3:30 Dr. Jon Christensen “The way I like to think about all this is…sunny with a chance of apocalypse. … (3:59) There is an existential threat out there. (5:40)  Everybody…who is under 40 is going to experience the effects of climate change, global warming, increase in sea level rise, flooding…in their lifetime.”

What the science says…

1. During 1958 to 2014, global sea levels rose at a rate of 1.3 mm per year to 1.5 mm per year, which is a rate of just over 3 inches per century; the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets have combined to add just 0.59 of an inch of melt water to sea level rise since 1958 (Frederiske et al.,2018).   There has been “a recent lack of any detectable acceleration in the rate of sea level rise” (Parker and Ollier, 2017).  

2. Since the 1980s, coastal land area across the globe has been expanding, meaning that more land are is above sea level today (2015) than in 1985 (Donchyts et al., 2016).

“Coastal areas were also analysed, and to the scientists’ surprise, coastlines had gained more land – 33,700 sq km (13,000 sq miles) – than they had been lost to water (20,100 sq km or 7,800 sq miles). ‘We expected that the coast would start to retreat due to sea level rise, but the most surprising thing is that the coasts are growing all over the world,’ said Dr Baart.  ‘We were able to create more land than sea level rise was taking (press release).'”

3. Hurricane frequencies and intensities have been declining (Truchelut and Staeling, 2018Zhao et al., 2018Klotzbach et al., 2018).

4. Extreme weather events (floods, droughts) have decreased in frequency and intensity (or showed no detectable change) (Zhang et al., 2017, McCabe et al., 2017Cheng et al., 2016, Hodgkiins et al., 2017, McAneney et al., 2017).

5. In recent decades 92% of Canadian polar bear subpopulations have remained stable or increased, leading scientists to conclude that “it seems unlikely that polar bears (as a species) are at risk from anthropogenic global warming” (York et al., 2016).  Local Inuit populations even report that there are “too many polar bears now” (Wong et al., 2017).   There has also been a “marked and steady increase in penguin populations between 1982 and 2015 (Che-Castaldo et al. 2017). 

(2) Dr. Soon: Ocean acidification is a myth.

Dr. Christensen: Ocean acidification is science.

11:21 Dr. Willie Soon “Can I say something about ocean acidification?  It’s a myth. … The ocean has something you can measure.  Basically, it’s called ion of the hydrogen.  It’s called [the] pH scale. You have 0 to 14.  Seven is neutral.  Seven to 0 is acidic.  Seven to 14 is called basic.   The ocean is right about 8.03, 8.04 [non-acidic].  But deep inside the ocean, about 2,000 meters down, it’s actually very acidic.  If you wanna talk about ocean acidification – it’s one of the most dangerous myths that there is.  A very radical one.  It’s not sensible.  Who created this myth, actually…?”

12:23 Dr. Jon ChristensenThey call it [ocean acidification] science.”

12:25 Dr. Willie Soon “No, it’s not even science, excuse me, because… Do you know what the pH of rainwater is?  It’s 5.5. (“Ordinary rainwater is naturally acidic with a pH between 5.0 and 5.5.”) …  [T]hat means you have to outlaw all the [naturally acidic] rain that’s falling down?  You want to outlaw all the slightly acidic water that is sitting on the bottom of the ocean?”

13:05  Dr. Jon Christensen “No….It’s not that hard to actually read the science.  It can seem a little bit daunting but anybody who can read can work their way through many of these papers and you can see that there’s a wide variety of findings and results and conclusions…  There is in science a fair degree of certainty on a lot of things. …  What we know is that there’s a wide spectrum of results here and we need to look at the data and the whole big picture of the science and not just write it off one way or the other.”

15:08 Dr. Willie Soon “Jon, my whole point is that ocean acidification is an extreme.  It is one of the most extreme things they could come up with because they are not able to find the fingerprint of the carbon dioxide warming of the atmosphere so then they started to come up with this new scheme [ocean acidification].  Next thing…they’re going [to claim] carbon dioxide is killing all of the polar bears.  It’s going to melt all the ice sheets.  It’s completely not even true.”

What the science says…

McElhany, 2017

“Documenting an effect of OA [ocean acidification] involves showing a change in a species (e.g. population abundance or distribution) as a consequence of anthropogenic changes in marine carbonate chemistry. To date, there have been no unambiguous demonstrations of a population level effect of anthropogenic OA [ocean acidification], as that term is defined by the IPCC. … [I]t is important to acknowledge that there are no studies that directly demonstrate modern day effects of OA [ocean acidification] on marine species.”

Duarte et al., 2014

“[T]here have been a few claims for already realized impacts of ocean acidification on calcifiers, such as a decline in the number of oysters on the West Coast of North America (Barton et al. 2012) and in Chesapeake Bay (Waldbusser et  al. 2011). However, the link between these declines and ocean acidification through anthropogenic CO2 is unclear.    Corrosive waters affecting oysters in hatcheries along the Oregon coast were associated with upwelling (Barton et  al. 2012), not anthropogenic CO2. The decline in pH affecting oysters in Chesapeake Bay (Waldbusser et al. 2011) was not attributable to anthropogenic CO2 but was likely attributable to excess respiration associated with eutrophication. Therefore, there is, as yet, no robust evidence for realized severe disruptions of marine socioecological links from ocean acidification to anthropogenic CO2, and there are significant uncertainties regarding the level of pH change that would prompt such impacts.  [D]espite the strong mechanistic or physiological basis for a role of warming in coral bleaching and coral growth, a robust demonstration of a direct causal link between global warming and global coral bleaching over decadal time scales has not yet been produced.”

Wei et al., 2015

“It is worth noting that the errors of these estimates are fairly large with RSD of 65% for that these two time-series do not show significant decreasing trend for pH. Despite of such large errors, estimated from these rates, the seawater pH has decreased by about 0.07–0.08 U over the past 200 years in these regions. … The average calculated seawater pH over the past 159 years was 8.04 [with a] a seawater pH variation range of 7.66–8.40.”

(3) Dr. Soon: Thank God for fossil fuels.

Dr. Christensen: We may fly planes with bio-gas.

8:27 Dr. Willie Soon “You gotta stick to the facts.  Wind and solar – oh boy, so useful.  Every time I look at this sad situation of all these landfalling hurricanes (Irma, Harvey)…the only thing I have to say about that is ‘Thank God for fossil fuels’.  … Fossil fuels offer the most energy density.  There is no viable energy replacement.  Wind and solar could never do anything…”

9:25 Bryan Dey “You’re never gonna get a plane off the ground with wind and solar.”

9:30 Dr. Jon ChristensenYou may [get a plane off the ground] with bio-gas, though.”

What the science says…

DeCicco et al., 2016

Biofuels increase, rather than decrease, heat-trapping carbon dioxide … The researchers conclude that rising biofuel use has been associated with a net increase—rather than a net decrease, as many have claimed—in the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.”

(4) Dr. Christensen: In CA, we believe, we’re

doing something, and we’re helping the poor

17:03 Dr. Jon Christensen “The majority of people in every congressional district in the United States believes that climate change is real, it’s caused by people, it will harm people in the future, and we should do something about it.  […] Great vast majorities of people in California [are believers], where we have decided we’re going to do something about it…we’re on that path which I call the California way or the Paris way where we continue to make commitments, continue to raise our commitments, continue to ratchet down…”

17: 49 Bryan Dey “But all the [green] solutions that come from the Left are really going to be punishing poor people the most…”

17:54  Dr. Jon Christensen “No, they’re not, actually…”

17: 56 Bryan Dey (adamant) “Yes, they will!  It’s poor people that are going to suffer the most!

Californians in the audience clap and cheer

18:00 Panelist “We’ve got people [in the audience] who love poor people.”

18:03 Dr. Willie Soon “Oh, poor people are clapping.  Can I say something?”

18:12 Dr. Jon Christensen “Look at the laws in California.  Every single law that is being passed about climate change, cap-and-trade, environmental… has explicit language that is to make those benefits go to poor, disadvantaged communities…”

Californians in the audience shout “No, not true!”

18:30 Bryan Dey “If your electric bill goes up by 20 percent…”

18:34 Dr. Jon Christensen (to audience) “I don’t know who’s saying that [green policies don’t help poor people] but I can show it to you — this is what I do my research on.”

28:20 Question from audience “Do you think it’s appropriate for the government to use force and tax penalties which really affect middle income and lower income people based on climate science that is obviously hotly contested?”

28:50 Dr. Jon ChristensenIn California, anyway, … [politicians] make sure that those burdens do not fall on lower income people.”

What the science says…

Environmental Progress (February, 2018)

The burden of higher cost electricity and benefits of renewable energy subsidies fall unevenly on Californians. Between 2007 and 2014, the highest-income 40 percent of California households received three times more in solar subsidies — valued between $10,000 and $20,000 per household — as the lowest-income 40 percent. California households with over $100,000 in annual income benefited from energy efficiency subsidies at twice the rate of households whose income was under $50,000.”

Poorest households hit hardest by UK climate change levy despite using least energy (March, 2018)

“We found that, in a year, the richest households each consumed on average the same amount of energy that would be produced by 12.7 tonnes of oil, compared to 3.3 tonnes for the poorest households. But the poorest spent a much greater proportion of their income (10%) on energy than the richest (3%). And the energy used for heating and powering their homes – the part that their climate change levy bill is measured on – represented a much greater proportion of their overall energy use.”

“This means that adding the climate change levy to household energy bills hits the poorest households hardest. Energy bills account for a much greater share of their household income and more of their energy use is charged. In fact, the levy only affects a quarter of the total energy consumption of the richest households, compared to 53% for the poorest households. As a result, the richest homes use nearly four times more total energy than the poorest but only pay 1.8 times more towards energy policy costs.”

(5) Dr. Christensen: CA economy is growing

25:55 Dr. Jon Christensen “California’s economy has been growing while emissions have been decreasing.”

What the science says…

Los Angeles Times (January, 2018)

Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor.”

(6) Dr. Soon: Science does not work by consensus

19:13 Dr. Willie Soon “I’m very, very sorry.  Science does not work by consensus.  …  This nonsense about consensus…”

19:50 Dr. Willie Soon “This 97 percent consensus… We have published a peer-reviewed paper (Legates et al., 2013) that shows that it’s only 41 papers out of 12,000.  So it’s only 0.3 percent.”

What the science says…

Legates et al., 2013

“Cook et al. (2013), after a subjective review of only the abstracts of 11,944 papers on climate change which ‘‘matched the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’’’ (p. 1), conclude that 97.1 % of those that expressed an opinion endorsed the hypothesis as defined in their introduction (i.e., the standard definition). However, 66.4 % percent of the abstracts had expressed no position. Thus, 32.6 % of the entire sample, or 97.1 % of the 33.6 % who had expressed an opinion, were said to be in agreement with the standard definition. However, inspection of the authors’ own data file showed that they had themselves categorized only 64 abstracts, just 0.5 % of the sample, as endorsing the standard definition [a majority of the warming since 1950 was human-caused]. Inspection shows only 41 of the 64 papers, or 0.3 % of the sample of 11,944 papers, actually endorsed that definition.”

(7) Dr. Soon: CO2 increase is greening the planet

21:20  Dr. Willie Soon “One of the most powerful effects of carbon dioxide is not on temperature because if you talk about greenhouse gases it’s water vapor that’s more important [than] CO2. […]  The only proof we have so far is that it [CO2] is greening the planet.  Twenty to fifty percent of the [Earth’s] vegetated area has been greening, only 4% has been showing a little browning.  That tell[s] you that the overwhelming effect of this [increase in CO2] is fertilization of the atmosphere. […] We’re [currently] in a CO2 starvation state.  Today our air has only 400 parts per million.  If you don’t know what that means, it’s 4 cents for every hundred dollars.”

What the science says…

Zhu et al., 2016

“Global environmental change is rapidly altering the dynamics of terrestrial vegetation, with consequences for the functioning of the Earth system and provision of ecosystem services.  Yet how global vegetation is responding to the changing environment is not well established. Here we use three long-term satellite leaf area index (LAI) records and ten global ecosystem models to investigate four key drivers of LAI trends during 1982–2009. We show a persistent and widespread increase of growing season integrated LAI (greening) over 25% to 50% of the global vegetated area, whereas less than 4% of the globe shows decreasing LAI (browning). Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models suggest that CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend, followed by nitrogen deposition (9%), climate change (8%) and land cover change (LCC) (4%). CO2 fertilization effects explain most of the greening trends in the tropics, whereas climate change resulted in greening of the high latitudes and the Tibetan Plateau.”

(8) Dr. Christensen: The goal is to increase the cost of carbon

29:30 Dr. Jon ChristensenA lot of what’s happening is figuring out ways to use the market to increase the cost of carbon…  (Audience: No! No!) …to take into account the cost that we’re paying in health and environmental effects…which are externalities that have not been factored in. … Those revenues [from increasing the cost of carbon] are used to benefit the whole state of California with particular attention to people who are lower income.”

What the science says…

Environmental Progress (February, 2018)

“Between 2011 and 2017, California’s electricity prices rose five times faster than they did nationally. Today, Californians pay 60 percent more, on average, than the rest of the nation, for residential, commercial and industrial electricity.”

California’s high penetration of intermittent renewables such as solar and wind are likely a key factor in higher prices.”

Economists agree that “the dominant policy driver in the electricity sector [in California] has unquestionably been a focus on developing renewable sources of electricity generation.”

High levels of renewable energy penetration make electricity expensive around the world, not just in California. As Germany deployed high levels of renewables over the last 10 years it saw its electricity prices rise 34 percent. Today, German electricity costs twice as much as that in neighboring France.”

“As wind and solar capacity climbs, the returns of usable power diminish because of increasing curtailment during surges that the grid cannot absorb. More and more intermittent capacity has to be pushed onto the grid to get less and less additional renewable electricity. The dynamic of soaring overcapacity and falling prices is the inevitable result of the fundamental inability of intermittent wind and solar generators to efficiently match supply to demand.”

102 responses to “In A Rare Public Debate, Dr. Willie Soon Uses Real Science To Take On The Climate ‘Apocalypse’”

  1. A C Osborn

    One person (and most of the audience) living in the real world and one living in an Ivory Tower.

    1. SebastianH

      The real world isn’t the deniosphere though …

      it’s kind of funny that Kenneth thinks citing single papers with cherry picked quotes is “what science says”. That’s even more illusional than if it were true that only 41 papers support the consensus 😉

      Anyway, I will watch the video later and tell you if enduring listening to someone like Willie Soon is as hard for normal thinking people as listening to Prof. Sinn for an extended time.

      1. sunsettommy

        Does that mean you think Christensen science empty remarks were better than Soon’s scientific assertions?

        Kenneth showed WHY using actual science papers, that Soon was much more into the science than the obvious environmentalist babblist Christensen was.

        1. SebastianH

          Soon makes “scientific assertions”? Haha, good one sunsettommy.

          And hearing Soon talk is even more annoying than Prof. Sinn or that real climate science guy. How can anyone be persuaded by “arguments” like that?

          1. AndyG55

            Of course it would annoy you to hear TRUTHS and FACTS, seb

            Contrary to your whole slimy anti-life, anti-society AGW Agenda.

            Soon’s arguments have substance…

            …. something your mindless yappings will NEVER HAVE.

          2. sunsettommy

            Kenneth, showed examples of Dr. Soon’s assertions as being correct.

            Meanwhile no support for Christensen is revealing.

            Carry on with your trolling.

          3. SebastianH

            Kenneth, showed

            Be a bit more skeptic! Or do you believe anything someone from your bubble “shows” you without doubt? Why?

          4. AndyG55

            ZERO EVIDENCE seb.

            yaps mindlessly .. AS ALWAYS.

        2. Michael Jones

          Your comment beat me to it. It’s the first thing I noticed, Soon’s use of rational argument – arguments which are at least amenable to dispute or falsifiability – against Christenson’s hand-waving, airy-fairy, ‘trust me, I’m right, you don’t know anything’ method.

          Facts versus feels.

      2. sunsettommy

        Christensen, employs the doom and gloom hyperbole argument that was refuted years ago. It is not good science to speak the way he does since it is vague and unsupportable.

        Soon, tries to base his remarks on actual science research, refreshingly free of rhetorical, hyperbolic crap that Eco nuts like Christensen used in the one sided debate.

        Christensen behaved quite well, but he doesn’t offer anything credible to the debate, just the usual old doom and gloom drivel.

      3. AndyG55

        “The real world isn’t the deniosphere though …”

        You wouldn’t have the slightest clue what the REAL WORLD is, seb.

        You live in a fantasy la-la land where real physics, real science are ignored in favour of ASS-umptions and myths.

        You can’t even support the very basis of the your “imaginary” little world, one is which the carbon dioxide that EVERY LIVING THING DEPENDS ON is somehow going to fry the world.

        You actual bother listening to wackos that use the word “apocalypse”, with absolutely NOTHING to back up their idiotic claims.

        You then REFUSE to listen to the VERIFIED FACTS from real scientists just because they destroy your baseless brain-hosed religion.

        No wonder you are DESTINED to remain NOTHING but an EMPTY VASSAL.

      4. AndyG55

        “Anyway, I will watch the video later and tell you if enduring listening to someone like Willie Soon is as hard for normal thinking people “

        Seb, you are NOT a “normal thinking person”

        Not by any shape of imagination.

        You are in rampant DENIAL of facts, living in an anti-science hallucination, based on wild speculation and zero science.

        You wouldn’t have the VAGUEST CLUE how a normal person thinks, because you ARE NOT CAPABLE of it.

  2. sunsettommy

    DR, Christensen used the language of an environmentalist, who is a long time JOURNALIST, finally getting a PHD in….. no science at all.

    From his link:

    “Jon was executive director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, an interdisciplinary center for research, teaching, new media, and journalism at Stanford University before coming to UCLA. He has been an environmental journalist and science writer for more than 30 years. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Nature, High Country News, and many other newspapers, magazines, journals, and radio and television shows.
    He was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford in 2002-2003 and a Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University in 2003-2004, before returning to Stanford to work on a Ph.D. in environmental history and the history of science.”

    No wonder he was so bad in the debate….

    1. SebastianH

      No wonder he was so bad in the debate….

      Interesting, how different perceptions can be…

      For me, Mr. Soon was the much too excited “everything is a myth and fake anyway” guy who needs to get loud to bring attention to his point. He wasn’t bad per se, just parroting the “skeptic” viewpoints and ending the debate with “fossil fuels are the only way”. He (and you guys if you are not too old) will probably notice that this is not true at all. Coal is already peaking, oil is expected to peak in the next decades, only gas will be increasing further according to the current BP energy outlook. A publication that needed to correct its renewables outlook every year and will likely have to correct their estimates in future releases too.

      Well, anyway. “What the science says” in this blog post, is not what the science says. That’s at most what some papers say that Kenneth hand-picked. Or as Mr. Soon put it: “look at the data, look at the quality of the data” 😉

      Have fun in fantasy land, sunsettommy.

      1. AndyG55

        “Have fun in fantasy land,”

        A place you know very well, seb.

        That is where you live, seb, in a mind-numbed la-la fantasy land DEVOID OF ANY EVIDENCE for your baseless religious AGW beliefs.

        And I’d be pretty sure that NO-ONE would bother visiting you there.

      2. sunsettommy

        Sebastian Trollman ,again doesn’t support anything Christensen said in the Video.


        Meanwhile Kenneth showed that published science research supports Soon’s statements in the video, which you never countered.

        You have nothing to sell here Sebastian.

        1. SebastianH

          This thinking of the skeptic community that as long as you don’t counter what they say, what they say is correct … it’s weird.

          Bounty ……

          Almost nothing Soon said is supported by science. “Acidification is a myth”, “fossil fuels are the only way”, “CO2 is mainly a good thing”, etc … this guy is one of you skeptics, that’s why you aren’t skeptic about what he writes/says. True or not?

          1. AndyG55

            And ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you produce supports any of your baseless contentions.

            Because YOU PRODUCE NOTHING

            You have NEVER produced a viable counter to ANYTHING.

            Soon is TOTALLY CORRECT

            Acidification IS a myth, an unproven load of bollocks, actually. The oceans are NOT and never will be “ACIDIC”

            Fossil fuels (and nuclear) ARE the only way of providing RELIABLE electricity and power ON DEMAND

            CO2 is not “mainly” a good thing, IT IS ABSOLUTELY VITAL TO ALL LIFE ON EARTH. At any remotely reachable atmospheric concentration, it is TOTALLY BENEFICIAL.

            These the FACTS that you can NEVER provide the slightest real evidence against.

            You are EMPTY of all science, logic and common human decency, seb, and you are doing everything in your mindless ignorance to REMAIN that way.

      3. AndyG55

        “is not what the science says. “

        Well, little seb-troll.

        What DOES the science say?

        And PRODUCE the science that says what you say it says.

        So far,

        NADA, ZILTCH..

        A totally EMPTY sack of NOTHING.

        I’ve seen your idea of science, little brain-numbed trollette…

        .. and I’m 110% sure that your don’t have the VAGUEST CLUE what real science says.

      4. dennisambler

        Past predictions of an end to oil production date as far back as 1880. Hubbert’s Peak was in the 1970’s.
        “ONE of the earliest writers who conceived it was possible to exhaust our coal mines was John Williams, a mineral surveyor. In his “Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom,” first published in 1789, he gave a chapter to the consideration of “The Limited Quantity of Coal of Britain.”

        1. SebastianH

          Do you believe there is an endless supply of fossil fuels? Never running out or becoming too expensive to be usuable? If you think shale oil is the answer … well, the skeptics here believe an EROI smaller than a certain value means it’s not a viable energy source. Shale oil has an EROI of 1.5 to 2 last time I checked. Viable?

          Here is the link to the BP energy outlook 2018:

          1. SebastianH

            What case Kenneth? The case made in this thread is that coal is already peaking and oil will reach peak in the next decades.

            I have no problem with statistics that tell us that fossil fuel consumption might grow 20% until 2040. That is to be expected, we won’t stop consuming any time soon. What is also expected is a massive growth in renewables …

            And it is you who has a problem with realizing that wind+solar are growing exponentially at a higher percentage than fossil fuel is (also growing exponentially). It is you who seems to have a problem with accepting that wind+solar will not be at 1% of primary poweer consumption in the 2040s.

            So this helps my “other case”, showing that “your science” is wrong.

          2. SebastianH

            So what good will come from the expansion of wind and solar

            What good will it be? 14% renewables in 2040 instead of 4% renewables in 2016 mean that much less CO2 will be emitted instead of when renewables would stay at 4%. Over half of the growth towards 2040 levels will come from growth in renewables. Yes, it doesn’t cover all of the growth (according to BP), but so what? They had to correct their predictions upwards every year in the past. Same as the EIA had do increase their forecast for solar/wind every year. So I am optimistic that 14% in 2040 is still too low a share and underestimating renewable growth.

            Also, Germany is already at around 14% and will be at a much larger percentage in 2040. Same in other countries with an already higher share of renewables. So it stand to reason that if some countries make it to the “all renewables” scenario way before 2040 and make it work, that this will have an effect on other countries (setting an example). Falling prices will also likely accelerate the transition.

            What’s the benefit of more wind and solar…especially since they can’t offset CO2 emissions nearly as effectively as, say, switching from coal to natural gas or nuclear?

            And there it is again, your flawed math. Nuclear, ok. 1 TWh of nuclear power replacing 1 TWh of coal power reduces the CO2 output (at least from fuel consumption) by nearly 100%. Switching from coal to gas however only reduced the output by around 50%. 1 TWh of renewables replacing 1 TWh of coal power also reduces the output by nearly 100%.

            So why do you think switching from coal to gas is more effective than switching to renewables?

            P.S.: That doesn’t mean that I don’t support switching to natural gas. Ultimately we (in Germany) will need an almost 100% backup from power plants that can generate electricity and heat from stored gas that has been produced in power2gas plants. So having enough gas power plants is a good thing. And if it reduces the CO2 output from coal in the short term, all the better …

          3. SebastianH

            It’s 14% renewables now (wood-burning, hydropower predominantly)

            Please don’t conflate numbers from different sources and think they are directly comparable. The BP report doesn’t count hydro in the renewable category and has the total at 13276 Mtoe while your link has it at a different value.

            with 0.8% of consumption share from wind and solar combined (2016).

            Wind+solar added 0.27 percentage points from 2015 to 2016 to their share. According to BP it should be close to 2% by now.

            So what are you even talking about?

            Don’t trust IEA outlooks:

            And you didn’t answer the question.

            Have you answered mine? Why do you think switching from coal to gas is more effective than switching to renewables? Especially since replacing 1 TWh of coal power with 1 TWh of natural gas power reduces the output by only 50% and replacing it with wind/solar reduces the CO2 output by close to 100%.

            What ultimate good is it if CO2 emissions are curtailed somewhat? What’s the real-world advantage for humans?

            In your fantasy world? None. I guess you would even thrive in a closed room with no CO2 scrubbers, since CO2 is the best! Hurray CO2 😉

            What do we get out of that…considering elevated CO2 greens the planet, enhances crop yields, and warmth is better for the world’s biosphere than cold?

            Do you suddenly agree that CO2 causes warming of the climate? Why the change of mind? I thought the GHE theory has many holes according to you? Doesn’t work on Venus or Saturn … or something like that. Didn’t you claim that? Well, whatever. These “more CO2 is good claims” get files under trolling … another part of your fantasy world 😉

          4. AndyG55

            Still the ZERO evidence that CO2 causes any warming

            Just the MANIC distractions and intentional misinterpretation of other people’s comments

            You DESPERATION is showing, little brain-hosed trollette.

            The GHE is one MASSIVE big anti-science hole.

            It has ZERO substance, just like your posts.

          5. AndyG55

            “The BP report doesn’t count hydro in the renewable category “

            Hydro is the only way the “renewable ” scammers can get decent numbers. Biomass next.

            These two are actually RELIABLE and ON DEMAND

            UNRELIABLE wind and solar running pretty much dead last.

            Unreliable electricity or electricity that takes a holiday when most needed…

            ….is USELESS. !!

          6. AndyG55

            ” I guess you would even thrive in a closed room with no CO2 scrubbers, since CO2 is the best!”

            You really are pulling out the IGNORANCE this time, seb

            I know you are probably used to small padded rooms for several days in a row….probably pushing the CO2 level up to 2000+ ppm. (totally harmless)

            …but we are talking about atmospheric CO2.

            No amount of fossil fuel burning will EVER push the atmospheric CO2 level up to any level that is dangerous to anything

            Enhanced atmospheric CO2 levels are TOTALLY BENEFICIAL to all life on Earth. !

            So stop your childish anti-science, anti-LIFE, CO2 DENIAL, seb.

          7. Kenneth Richard

            Please don’t conflate numbers from different sources

            I see. So we’re not allowed to use numbers that show today’s consumption share for wind and solar is 0.8% for 2016 – which happens to be about the same percentage as it was for 2014, and not much different than it was in 2010…


            In other words, in 7 years of exponential wind and solar growth explosion, the consumption share for wind and solar combined has barely moved. That’s because fossil fuel consumption share continues to rise, stubbornly refusing to be offset.

            Don’t trust IEA outlooks

            Why should I take suggestions of whom to trust from someone who vehemently defends “hide the decline” data manipulation and “completely artificial” adjustments? I will continue to cite IEA. These are projections, anyway. It’s not like real science or anything.

            Why do you think switching from coal to gas is more effective than switching to renewables?

            “In fact, combined-cycle natural gas turbines cut 2.6 times more CO2 emissions than wind and four times more than solar. That’s because even though renewables avoid emissions when they produce electricity, they only do so when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. By comparison, natural gas reduces CO2 emissions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

            Electric utilities have taken advantage of clean and affordable natural gas, allowing U.S. GHG emissions to fall more than any other country since 2006.

            The positive impacts of the natural gas revolution haven’t gone unnoticed. According to The Breakthrough Institute: “…since 1950, natural gas and nuclear prevented 36 times more carbon emissions than wind, solar, and geothermal.”

            Do you suddenly agree that CO2 causes warming of the climate?

            So warmth-is-better-than-cold = CO2 is the cause of the ocean heat content increase (0.09 C) since 1955? Can warming be better than cooling regardless of the atmospheric CO2 concentration?

            I’ve taken note that you are either incapable or unwilling to identify the positive consequence of reducing CO2 emissions and/or a cooling planet. More CO2 is not good…why? Can you identify the specific reasons more CO2 emissions are bad? And why is asking this question “trolling”?

          8. SebastianH

            I see. So we’re not allowed to use numbers

            You are not allowed to compare these numbers thinking that they are based on the same source material. The graphic from Wikipedia is based on yet another statistic (REN21).

            Take the data of one statistic and graph the values over time. If they didn’t change their methods during that time, then the values are comparable.

            It should be common sense that “In other words, in 7 years of exponential wind and solar growth explosion, the consumption share for wind and solar combined has barely moved.” can’t be true if wind+solar the consumption share increased by 0.27 percentage point just from 2015 to 2016.

            That’s because fossil fuel consumption share continues to rise, stubbornly refusing to be offset.

            You still don’t understand growth math, do you? If two variables A and B increase and the percentage of growth for one is bigger than the other, then the share of that variable increases. The other variable can still grow by a larger amount in absolute terms, but it can not possibly keep its share.

            “In fact, combined-cycle natural gas turbines cut 2.6 times more CO2 emissions than wind and four times more than solar. That’s because even though renewables avoid emissions when they produce electricity, they only do so when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. By comparison, natural gas reduces CO2 emissions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” […] “…since 1950, natural gas and nuclear prevented 36 times more carbon emissions than wind, solar, and geothermal.”

            You are really serious with this … yes of course natural gas is reducing CO2 emissions more if you replace 1000 TWh of coal power with 900 TWh of natural gas power and only 100 TWh of wind+solar. But we are talking about the effectiveness, aren’t we? So why do you think replacing with gas is more effective? Replacing those 1000 TWh of coal with 1000 TWh of wind+solar would have saved more CO2 … obviously.

            Can warming be better than cooling regardless of the atmospheric CO2 concentration?

            When you list positive effects of more CO2 and include “warmth-is-better-than-cold”, I assume you acknowledge now that more CO2 causes a warmer climate. If you didn’t want to express that, then leave it out of what you think what more CO2 is causing.

            I’ve taken note that you are either incapable or unwilling to identify the positive consequence of reducing CO2 emissions and/or a cooling planet.

            There will be now cooling of the planet. Why would there be a cooling of the planet?

            Can you identify the specific reasons more CO2 emissions are bad?

            They are rather obvious and you probably know them. But since you are a skeptic you conveniently ignore them by repeating “more CO2 is good” as long as neccessary to actually believe it.

            This playing dumb and letting other invest time to explain things to you is an interesting strategy though … I’ll try that next time in a conversation with you 😉

          9. AndyG55

            “This playing dumb and letting other invest time to explain things to you is an interesting strategy though”

            Ask yourself that, seb.

            Its the only one you ever seem to adopt…

            apart from rabid yapping of the AGW mantra.

            “They are rather obvious and you probably know them. “

            SO.. EMPTY, MINDLESS EVASION, as usual…

            You are UNABLE to produce one PROVABLE way in which atmospheric CO2 at any possible future level is anything but ENTIRELY BENEFICIAL.

          10. SebastianH

            Or, for that matter, CO2 concentrations have risen by 1/100th of a percentage point since 1900. What’s the bad thing about that?

            You still seem to be under the impression that the effects of that CO2 concentration change have already happened, are you? That would at least be consistent with your other claims (for example: humans don’t cause the CO2 concentration to go up, since it went up while CO2 emissions were flat in the last few years).

            Please, finally learn how the mechanisms work. Then try to argue against them … otherwise you are just fighting straw mans or rather “no mans”, since what you argue against is not what is happening.

            More CO2 is bad, since it accelerates global warming.

          11. SebastianH

            Apparently, the maximum height of the effect of our CO2 emissions through 2008 have already been realized. That’s what your side claims, anyway.

            If we had stopped all emissions at the end of 2008, yes.

            Thank you for displaying your tendency to cherry pick quotes again. Full quote: “Our analysis implies warming from an individual carbon dioxide emission can be expected to reach its peak value within about a decade and, for the most part, persist for longer than a century.

            If you don’t know what that means and what continued emissions result in, I’ll gladly explain it to you. Or in the words of the authors: “As such, even if maximum warming occurs within a decade, maximum impact may not be reached until much later. From this perspective, Steven Chu’s statement that today’s damage ‘will not be seen for at least 50 years’ may well be accurate.”

            I haven’t written that.

            Of course you did. Or didn’t you claim that the CO2 concentration increase of the past few years is all natural since human emissions didn’t increase for some years? I remember lengthy discussions going in circles about your lack of understanding of the difference between a value and its derivative.

            And why is warming bad?

            The ok-ish temperature band for this planet is very small. 288K seems to be good, 5K or 1.7% colder and the northern hemisphere is covered with ice, 5K or 1.7% warmer and the coastal cities northern hemisphere are under water. Crops are equally sensitive to temperature and resulting season lengths.

            Stable is good, too big of a change in either direction is bad.

        2. tom0mason

          Thankfully it is known that there is at least minimum of 400 years of coal left in the USA at the 2016 rate of consumption.
          How much longer will fossil fuels last — pick a figure between 400 years to a 1000 year hence.

          Of course cAGW advocates will act like it will run out tomorrow. They do that because they are irrational — no sense of perspective.
          Then they’ll hyperventilate BS about future generations. IMO if people really had any worry about ‘future generation’ they would not elect governments that rack-up stupid levels of debt for those same ‘future generations’ to pay-off when today’s debts come due.

          1. AndyG55

            Australia has PLENTY of coal, Indonesia is really just starting to get into the export business, and is up there with Australia as a coal export country.

            African And South American countries have barely touched the surface of what coal and gas they may have reserves of.

          2. SebastianH

            Of course cAGW advocates will act like it will run out tomorrow.

            It will never run out. That is not the problem. The problem is increasing demand and no way to satisfy the demand, because we can’t increase the supply side. We all know where this leads to …

            It will only become incredible expensive to get it out in usable form. Any idea how bad the EROI for shale oil is? Shale gas? Has any shale company broken even yet with the prices falling?

            How much longer will fossil fuels last — pick a figure between 400 years to a 1000 year hence.

            Billion of years, because we will never be able to get to all that fuel economically.

          3. AndyG55

            “because we can’t increase the supply side. “

            Of course we can increase the supply side.

            Why are you MAKING CRAP UP again, seb.

            Many places have barely touched the surface of their fossil fuel reserves.

            Once this IDIOTIC anti-CO2 farce is over, people will realise that the atmosphere NEEDS MORE CO2, and that littering the whole countryside with bird munching crucifixes is pretty much tantamount to a criminal act.

          4. tom0mason

            I agree seb, but with a small amendment

            “It will never run out. That is not the problem,” and at the 2016 rate of consumption 1000 years worth is more than enough time to find alternative sourcesof energy. Given that there is up to and probably more that 1000 years available at that rate, the small uplift in projected demand by 2040 only shorten this to about 500-600 years… And that only covers current known reserves, when any or all possible new find are added in there is not a credible problem for the better part of 1000 years.
            So why the push to change so fast? The stupidity of left-wing politics, and their inherent cony capitalism methods, that is the ONLY reason.

          5. SebastianH

            is more than enough time to find alternative sourcesof energy.

            No, it’s not. You don’t seem to realize what “peak anything” means. Let’s try an analogy here. Say you have a massive battery with 1000 TWh of stored electricity, but it can only output 1000 kW. It’s the only source of energy around, but hey it will last 114155 years … right? No it won’t. Your demand is ever increasing and soon you will hit that 1000 kW limit reaching “peak battery”. What happens to the next one who wants to consume energy, but can’t? Prices will increase? Expensive ways to get more power out of the battery will be found, but eventually nobody will be able to afford power from that source anymore.

            That is the problem of “peak anything”, it’s not about how long the resource will be available at current usage levels.

          6. SebastianH

            Many places have barely touched the surface of their fossil fuel reserves.

            Is that so? Why haven’t they? I thought fossil fuels are a cheap, easy and reliable way to lift yourself out of poverty?

            Most industrialized countries have their “peak fossil fuels” behind them. This is how it will probably play out:

          7. P Gosselin

            It is so. We’ve been seeing “peak fossil fuels” for over 50 years.

          8. tom0mason

            “You don’t seem to realize what “peak anything” means. “ And your assertions are no more credible than Ehrlich “Population Bomb” science.

            “I thought fossil fuels are a cheap…” Why have to dig up more, making prices drop more when it is very cheap to buy, say Australian coal right now. You know it’s economics that determines what resource gets exploited, a subject that is terminally lost on the left-wing idiots.

          9. AndyG55

            “Say you have a massive battery with 1000 TWh of stored electricity, but it can only output 1000 kW. blah, blahhhh

            Yet another anti-science fantasy analogy from the la-la-land brain-numbed CO2 hater.

  3. Bitter&twisted

    Great fact-checking, Pierre.
    And let’s no-one FTT.

    1. yonason (from my cell phone)

      Can’t blame you for trying, Sisyphus.

  4. yonason (from my cell phone)

    “…the genius of governor Jerry Brown.”


    No bad idea that brilliant idiot doesn’t endorse, and CA is paying the price.

  5. In A Rare Public Debate – at a comedy club – Dr. Willie Soon Uses Real Science To Take On The Climate ‘Apocalypse’
  6. yonason (from my cell phone)

    Funny how the coldest hot spell in the last 350,000 years is the fault of man.

    Warmism isn’t science, it is an abuse of science!

  7. tom0mason

    Unfortunately Dr. Willie Soon never got around to talking about the UN-IPCC’s methodology in depth. For if he had he may well have buried them in too many inconvenient realities.
    UN-IPCC have failed to show that the climate is influenced in any way by changes in emissions of trace gases. This notion is grossly defective, as the only ‘evidence’ put foreward is that of computerize model simulations.
    These models are never subjected to the necessary discipline of validation which normally would be required for a model to be deemed worthy of it’s task. The mere (specially tuned parameterisations) simulation of past climate does not constitute evidence that the models work as predictors of the future climate. The fact that arrays of different models all generating ensembles of results which are mulled over by model specialist to find the resulting predictions that are ‘required’, is testament to the defective nature of this method.

    As real Evaluation, Detection and Attribution is such an excessively complex task when describing the climate as a system, the UN-IPCC reports are nothing more than complex of organised guessestimations where numerous series of likelihoods and confidence levels are made by very people who are paid to produce them. And that is surely a direct conflict of interest.

    What ever happens the UN-IPCC, and it’s advocates, know that the models MUST be defended at all costs, as it is the only ‘evidence’ they have. The rest of us have to pay for this travesty of science!

  8. tom0mason

    Yet another comment straight to the spam-bin?

  9. Toby Muresianu


    I hosted and moderated the show in question. Glad that people liked it.

    I’d just like to clarify a few things:

    1. It wasn’t a public debate. Unsafe Space is a discussion show, and is referred to as such in our online materials and in the invitations we send to participants. There are also six people onstage (4 guests and two hosts); it isn’t intended to be a debate between two of them, though we do seek to have a diverse array of viewpoints and people at times argue or have different points of view. We strive to help bridge differences, further the discussion, and break information bubbles – not to simply create arguments.

    2. It may be a little misleading to say “Californians in the audience shout ‘No, not true'” as if they are representing all of the Californians in the crowd, let alone all Californians overall, who in polling tend to be concerned about climate change (e.g. A number of fans of Dr. Soon turned out, as well as other people opposed to liberal climate policy; of course, everyone is totally welcome (though we discourage yelling, since we’d prefer people raise their hands so we can bring them a microphone). One way or another, though, their reaction is probably not what scientists would call a “representative sample.” :).

    If you would like to listen to the podcast of the full show, it’s available at .

    All the best,


    1. AndyG55

      Congrats for at least allowing a small amount of discussion.

      Maybe it could be the start of a wider proper debate…

      ….so long as the AGW charlatans don’t run away from it as soon as actual empirical science and scientific evidence is required.

    2. yonason (from my cell phone)

      Yes, I picked on your points that it wasn’t a debate (they have a set format) and that reactions of the audience are no more than expressions of the points of view of those individuals. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in that here.

      Interesting concept for a show. I hope the loonies who can’t tolerate opinions other than their own don’t cause you any trouble. Of course, if they didn’t exist, your show might not have the same ‘edge’.

      Thanks for the link to the complete podcast.

  10. dennisambler

    Dr Soon on OA: Who created this myth, actually…?

    The background to the “30% increase in acidification” claim, the basis of the myth, is here:

    “Acid Seas – Back To Basic”

    The NW oyster beds were affected by Vibrio bacteria from sewage run off:

    Acidified Shell Fish – A Distorted View (originally, Lies, Damned Lies and Dying Shellfish)

    1. SebastianH

      The science behind acidification is pretty clear. A higher atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 than in the oceans causes absorption. Absorption of CO2 causes acidification.

      But if you are all here agreeing with Dr. Soon, are you also agreeing to his assertion that human emissions cause the CO2 concentration to increase? An often disputed fact in skeptic circles, especially on this blog.

      1. tom0mason

        “But if you are all here agreeing with Dr. Soon, are you also agreeing to his assertion that human emissions cause the CO2 concentration to increase? An often disputed fact in skeptic circles, especially on this blog.”

        As usual seb you misinterpret AGAIN (and again I suspect quite deliberately). At no point does Willie Soon say human generated CO2 is a significant cause the atmospheric CO2 concentrations rising. He does say that he has concerns that CO2 is rising, he does acknowledge that human generated CO2 has risen, he DOES NOT voice an “assertion that human emissions cause the CO2 concentration to increase”. Also he points out that to date CO2 does not have a detrimental effect on the environment, in fact it has been good for the environment.
        From all the videos and writings from Dr. Soon I’ve watched and read he does not see human generated CO2 as a major contributor to atmospheric CO2.
        Watch his video called “Beethoven’s Ice Cream, Tolstoy’s Fire, Happer’s Picosecond Pedestal—and Climate Willie Soon, PhD”
        and get educated about what this excellent academic, Dr. Willie Soon really thinks. Specifically look at what he says from 13minutes 35 seconds onward! He correctly identifies your version of cAGW as a religion.

    2. yonason (from my cell phone)


      Calyptogena magnifica is a giant clam that thrives in close proximity to hydrothermal vents, where the pH can be as low as 3. It’s shell doesn’t dissolve. Perhaps it, and the other species of shellfish that also thrive there, didn’t get the memo.

      1. SebastianH

        By the same logic, lifeforms on this planet should have no problem with being exposed to a vacuum, since a few organisms can actually survive vacuum. Can you survive a vacuum? Can a surface water coral survive living at those vents? Can a salt water fish survive in a freshwater lake and vice versa?

        Evolution makes life in very different conditions possible. But evolution is a slow process with lots of casualties when the environment changes fast enough:

  11. yonason (from my cell phone)
  12. Bitter&twisted


    1. yonason (from my cell phone)
  13. M E

    Acidifying the oceans
    Can you please tell me about pH?

    If I add an acid to an alkaline solution will it not just make it less alkaline?
    Is pure water a stage in changing from alkaline to acid ?
    If it is, will the ocean become plain drinkable water before it becomes acidified and not salt at all if enough CO2 is added under pressure ?
    Or does Mr Sebastian mean it leaps from alkaline to weakly acid without going through that stage.
    Perhaps acidification really means less alkalinity in all this argument.
    Perhaps Mr Sebastian can kindly tell us? I’m not joking..

    I hope this comment is in the right place. It seems to jump around replies a bit. Anyway, cheer up everyone

  14. ClimateOtter

    I note that seb’s arguments are like a FAILed drive-by shooting:

    He pulls up, fires a few shots that hit Nothing, then floors the accelerator hoping to escape the barrage that peppers his @$$ on the way out.

  15. URL

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More Informations here: […]

  16. Mike Herzog

    HA HA…this Sebastian character is about as sharp as thawed pound of liver.

  17. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #307

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