Sunday, August 01, 2010

What Would Convince Benny Peiser?

So I recently asked Benny Peiser what would convince him of an anthropogenic influence on climate. Peiser, as you may know, is not a climate scientist but a social anthropologist and a dedicated climate skeptic. He is the author of CC-Net, an email list that leans strongly against AGW.

Here's what Peiser told me:
I think that the release of anthropogenic greenhouse gases into theatmosphere has an influence on the climate. However, I don't think this in itself is the big issue in the climate debates. What remains largely uncertain is the extent of the warming effect of increased levels of
atmospheric CO2.

I'm an empiricist at heart. I look for clear observational evidence that would indicate a signal of accelerated warming or extraordinary environmental impacts that have been predicted. What I am looking for is a significant and continuous decadal warming trend as predicted by the IPCC
(0.2-0.7 degree C) or a significant acceleration of sea level rise. The real problem, however, is that even if these signals were to be detected in the near future, we would still don't know what the best policy response would be.
I'm not sure why Peiser needs evidence of accelerated warming, as opposed to just linear warming. I've asked him about a paper that finds an acceleration of sea-level rise, in New Zealand, and will report back what he says.


bob said...

I suspect it will be necessary to see warming out to 2040 to convince some people in order to bypass the arguments that it's all PDO, solar cycles etc.

Then again there "recovery from the little ice age" excuse can go on forever..

Anonymous said...


Why not stop trying to convince skeptics (or warmers) of anything. Why not join many skeptics/warmers in pushing an energy source that is attractive to both skeptics and warmers (e.g. Dr. Hansen) alike.

If warmers start pushing LFTR skeptics will accept it because a competitive industrial economy can be build on LFTR energy (unlike wind/solar in their minds).

Don't forget, LFTR is 10,000 times cleaner, safer and cheaper than uranium/plutonium PWRs. If nuclear is to play a major role in the future, we need to use the best technology available. Not the technology best for making plutonium (for bombs during the cold war). But the nuclear technology that is cleanest, safest, and cheapest so that we can replace coal rapidly .

Add in PHEV and we are well on our way to a much cleaner energy world.

Have you investigated LFTR? If not, why not?


Anonymous said...


Here we have an Obama supporter who has caught the LFTR vision.

"Safer, proliferation resistant, nuclear power without the long term high level waste storage problems is needed to power a growing world economy and to allow all nations to provide for and feed their growing populations in peace. These goals are available by changing the nuclear fuel cycle to a Uranium-233/Thorium fuel cycle."


Dano said...

Nuke industry shills notwithstanding, nothing can convince Benny, as his self-identity would be ruined. Who cares what such people think.



Anonymous said...


I am retired. I have no financial interest in promoting LFTR. I promote it because it offers the best source of clean low cost energy that I have been able to identify. My goal is to lift the poor out of poverty while at the same time improving the environment.

In pushing LFTR I (and many others) are going against entrenched nuclear interests (uranium based PWR) who have no interests is changing to a much "greener" nuclear fuel cycle. It will take a strong push by environmentalist (e.g. Dr. James Hansen) to force a transition from the uranium/plutonium fuel cycle to the much cleaner (10,000 times cleaner) thorium/uranium fuel cycle.

A "shill" for the nuclear industry? Hardly.

On the other hand, it would appear that you make your living promoting "alternative" energy.

Who is the real "shill"?