Kochs to Spend Almost $900 Million on 2016 Elections

Politico reports that at the most recent gathering of rich conservatives sponsored by the Koch brothers, they announced that they planned to spend nearly $900 million to influence the 2016 elections. For comparison purposes, that’s more than twice what the RNC spent in 2012. It’s an absolutely mind-blowing number.

The Koch brothers’ operation intends to spend $889 million in the run-up to the 2016 elections — a historic sum that in many ways would mark Charles and David Koch and their fellow conservative megadonors as more powerful than the official Republican Party.

The figure, which more than doubles the amount spent by the Republican National Committee during the last presidential election cycle, prompted cheers from some in the GOP who are looking for all the help they can get headed into a potentially tough 2016 election landscape.

But while the leaked details seemed in part a show of defiance to Democrats, who had targeted the brothers as bogeymen, the spending goal also appeared to be a show of dominance to rival factions on the right, including the RNC.

A spokesman for the RNC did not respond to a request for comment Monday. Some Republicans, however, quietly grumbled about the continued migration of power and money from the political parties and their candidates to super-rich donors emboldened by recent court decisions loosening campaign finance restrictions…

In the run-up to 2012, the RNC spent $404 million, while it dropped $188 million during last year’s midterms. To be sure, the RNC’s spending was supplemented by congressional campaign arms, but one reason the Koch operation has an edge over the traditional party apparatus like the RNC is that the Kochs and their operatives don’t have to spread cash across the entire GOP political landscape.

Yes, of course Democrats have billionaire supporters too, but they don’t spend nearly this much money. The political landscape has changed with the rise of super PACs, 527s and 501(c)(4)s. In the old days (meaning only a few years ago), buying influence was done mostly through bribes. I’ve had very powerful lobbyists tell me flat out that they bribe people, but it was all done legally in a variety of ways — giving money to non-profit foundations tied to the legislator or their family, giving money to other legislators that can be used as chips to gain their support on a bill or a vote for a leadership position, promises of jobs and board positions after they leave office, etc.

But now, buying influence is often done through threats rather than bribery — the stick instead of the carrot. They can simply walk in to a senator’s office and say you’re going to do what we want — insert this language into a bill, lead a filibuster, vote down this amendment, etc. — or we’re going to spend $10 million in your next election to kill your career. And this threat is very real. The list of elected legislators who have lost their seats because a powerful interest targeted them in an election, often under the guise of a group with a name like Americans for Cute Kittens and Kindly Grandmothers, and spent as much money as it took to destroy them. The politician knows this threat is real, so they do what they’re told.

That’s what this kind of money buys. It buys access. It buys compliance. The Koch brothers aren’t stupid, they know a good investment when they see it. They aren’t spending that money without expecting a huge return on that investment, and they’re going to get it.

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  • Michael Heath

    Ed asserts:

    . . . buying influence is often done through threats rather than bribery — the stick instead of the carrot. They can simply walk in to a senator’s office and say you’re going to do what we want — insert this language into a bill, lead a filibuster, vote down this amendment, etc. — or we’re going to spend $10 million in your next election to kill your career. And this threat is very real.

    If the politicians being threatened and bought had any integrity, they’d be recording such events and expose the threat.

  • colnago80

    David Koch admitted in an interview that he did not favor much of the religious right’s agenda. He admitted that both he and his brother are non-believers, that he supported same sex marriage, and legalized abortion. He just considers these issues to be far less important then spreading lies about issues like global warming where his wallet might be affected.

  • Kevin Kehres

    Well, here’s hoping they spend it all on Mitt.

  • colnago80

    Re Michael Heath @ #1

    Oh come Heath, the representatives of the Koch brothers are a lot more subtle then indicated by Brayton. Their threats are cloaked in ambiguous language which is easily understood by political insiders but which is not at all obvious to the general public. Of course, the he said she said paradigm which the lamestream media operates on contributes to the confusion.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    The Koch brothers are Exhibit A for increasing taxes on the wealthy.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    $900 Million? Must be nice to have that much free speech.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    @4

    “Nice little office you’ve got here, Senator. It’d be a real shame if anything happened to it, huh? I know you’re a smart man and will do the smart thing, capiche? By the way, how’s the wife and kids?”

  • raven

    Sigh.

    One of my minor complaints about the christofascists is that they are costing me money.

    Whenever I get more than usually horrified, I donate money to my causes. I’ve given money to the Democratic Party for years. And I don’t even much like them and am a registered Independent!!!

    Unfortunately, I’m not the Koches. While they donate a billion USD, I donate what is lunch money to them. In fact, it is my lunch money. (Not really, but it is close.)

    At least if the USA collapses into a rule by economic oligarchies, a real possibility, I can say I tried. Economic inequality has been increasing every year since the 1970’s and shows zero chance of stopping.

    Eventually they may well run into a French or Russian revolution cul-de-sac. Greece, just elected a former commie, as close to half their population is either poverty stricken or looking at it.

  • dugglebogey

    As if the clown car wasn’t silly enough already, a chance at some of this money will get every single GOP hopeful and hopeless politician to run. They want a shot at that cashola.

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    I see a lot of Koch sucking happening by the GOP in the next election cycle!

  • gopiballava

    @colnago:

    “He just considers these issues to be far less important then spreading lies about issues like global warming where his wallet might be affected.”

    Is it that simple? Is it just to make more money, or do they have some underlying ideology that is also part of it?

    That $900m, spent directly, could let them live however they wanted. I can’t imagine that they will get a decent ROI on it. They’d get a much better ROI on normal investments I’d suspect.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Some Republicans, however, quietly grumbled about the continued migration of power and money…

    Yeah, some Republicans still have principles — they just don’t have the guts to speak up too loudly about them.

    What a fucking joke. “Some Republicans” are making Jimmy Carter look like a bold unflinching revolutionary war-leader.

  • llewelly

    colnago80 says

    David Koch admitted in an interview that he did not favor much of the religious right’s agenda. He admitted that both he and his brother are non-believers, that he supported same sex marriage, and legalized abortion.

    Sure, that’s he said .

    But he spent tons of money on anti-choice and anti-lgbt groups: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/11/05/anatomy-of-the-war-on-women-how-the-koch-brothers-are-funding-the-anti-choice-agenda/

    Based on where he spends his money, it is safe to conclude he lied again.

  • Chiroptera

    How much preventative health care for poor people could $900 million buy?

  • lorn

    The groups doing the dirty work of character assassination and political sabotage don’t often reveal their affiliations or sources of funding. Over the last few decades the laws have been modified and reinterpreted to mean that there are precious few requirements for disclosure. There is simply no quick or easy way of narrowing things down beyond ‘the usual suspects’. The responsible parties, do, of course, as is consistent with bullying and control, make it clear who you must placate to keep these terrible things from happening.

    Given time, and someone willing to expend the effort necessary, most of the groups can be tracked back to some source or group or person, but not in time to make any difference in the election cycle. And, of course, the organizations are very fluid and quick to disband and reform under another name.

    What gets me is that this sort of thing is formative in the thinking and orientations of the parties and political organization. Obsequiousness to wealth while the less well off are strung along with little more than lip service or ignored, a reflexive tendency to throw money at problems involving entrenched interests while stripping money from groups too poor to play the game, the conflation of the loudness of the voice with the correctness of the argument; all of these trends are more typical of an oligarchy than a constitutional representative democracy.

  • Al Dente

    Corporate feudalism is happening. The Princes Koch are setting it up right now.

  • lancifer

    “How much preventative health care for poor people could $900 million buy? – Chiropter”

    Not that much (as a percentage) as it turns out.

    Total Medicaid Spending 2013 $415,154,234,831 (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.)

  • lancifer

    David Koch admitted in an interview that he did not favor much of the religious right’s agenda. He admitted that both he and his brother are non-believers, that he supported same sex marriage, and legalized abortion. He just considers these issues to be far less important then spreading lies about issues like global warming where his wallet might be affected. Colnago 80

    Did it ever occur to you that, just perhaps, he honestly doesn’t think that climate change is threat worth spending vast sums of money on?

    As a matter of fact, polls of the public repeatedly show that the vast majority of Americans place “threats form climate change” consistently at the very bottom of polls on what they find important?

  • StevoR

    @ ^ lancifer : Whether he thinks it dishonestly because of his vested interests or honestly because he’s fooled himself by choice and ideological confirmation basis it won’t change the scientific reality that says otherwise. Christopher Columbus honestly thought he’d reached the East Indies rather than the West Indies too – didn’t make that so either.

    As for the polls, most Americans believe in (their) god existing and creating our cosmos too – does that necessarily make them right?

    Also, what polls exactly? There are a fair number of polls that contradict your assertion there :

    http://climatecrocks.com/2014/08/26/tide-turning-on-climate-politics/

    Again not that it matters – especially given that the really key poll is of the climatologists where 98% think its a real serious problem.

    Also note that the reasons why so relatively many of the public deny the scientific reality on this issue is because of the Denialist campaign to sow FUD over a few decades now has proven sadly effective in shifting uninformed or misinformed opinion – by PR disinfo even frequently repeating outright lies rather than any use of sound science or logic.

  • StevoR

    PS. For those who love cricket especially but really everyone there’s an article here :

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-21/jericho-global-temperatures-are-batting-above-their-average/6029926

    By Greg Jericho via ABC online which may be helpful in talking to some folks on the issue. Good way of framing it and comparing it I reckon.

  • StevoR

    Hah! Co-incidence here just found :

    http://gregladen.com/blog/2015/01/denial-of-climate-change-fossil/

    Via Greg Laden’s X-blog just after I posted the above earlier today.

    Even Rick Perry is now back-pedalling on being a Global Overheating Denier it seems .. Wonder who the last major Republican to hold the anti-climatologists view will be?

  • lancifer

    StevoR,

    Your 98% figure is total BS.

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/26/the-97-consensus/

    You, like most progressives, hold catastrophic AGW as a quasi-religious belief.

    Also stop portraying the issue as a binary science/anti-science narrative. It is completely rational to accept that the climate has warmed (less than one degree in the last 100 years) and that humans have contributed to some of that one degree and still be of the informed scientific opinion that that there is no “crisis” that requires restructuring the entire world’s energy economy.

    The “pause” in global temperature, and the fact that IPCC models are failing, is the topic of a great deal of scientific inquiry at the moment.

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/10/30/implications-for-climate-models-of-their-disagreement-with-observations/

    As a ‘”free thinker” you may want to demonstrate a bit of skepticism and spend some time investigating the issue, rather than accepting what morons like Greg Laden have to say on the topic.

  • colnago80

    Re Sir Lancelot @ #22

    Judith Curry has about as much credibility in the climate science research community as Peter Duesberg has in the HIV/AIDS research community. See attached link citing her big lies.

    http://goo.gl/cRHoL6

  • colnago80

    Re Sir Lancelot @ #22

    Sir Lancelot’s claim of a “pause” in global warming has been discredited numerous times on this blog but he either can’t get the message or he is a liar. As has been pointed out to you, the “pause” is illusionary because of the outlier temperatures of 1998 which was due to an especially strong El Nino that year.

    Re Sir Lancelot @ #18

    Did it ever occur to you that, just perhaps, he honestly doesn’t think that climate change is threat worth spending vast sums of money on?

    If you believe that, then I have a nice bridge over the Potomac I’d like to sell you. It’s only a few years old and really quite nice. Unfortunately, I don’t believe it for a minute because it’s in the Koch brothers’ economic interest to deny it, due to their heavy investment in fossil fuels.

  • colnago80

    Re Sir Lancelot @ #18

    As a matter of fact, polls of the public repeatedly show that the vast majority of Americans place “threats form climate change” consistently at the very bottom of polls on what they find important?

    I have a flash for Sir Lancelot. Science is not a democracy where the members of the hoi polloi get a vote. Most of the public is no more qualified to pontificate on climate science then they are on the strings hypothesis.

  • caseloweraz

    StevoR: Even Rick Perry is now back-pedalling on being a Global Overheating Denier it seems .. Wonder who the last major Republican to hold the anti-climatologists view will be?

    No question — it will be one James Mountain Inhofe.

  • caseloweraz

    Lancifer: It is completely rational to accept that the climate has warmed (less than one degree in the last 100 years) and that humans have contributed to some of that one degree and still be of the informed scientific opinion that that there is no “crisis” that requires restructuring the entire world’s energy economy.

    No. First, informed scientific opinion is well-nigh unanimous that climate is changing primarily because of human activities and that this portends a major crisis for human civilizations in the future. Second, no one who is well-informed claims that this major crisis has already hit us.

  • lancifer

    No. First, informed scientific opinion is well-nigh unanimous that climate is changing primarily because of human activities and that this portends a major crisis for human civilizations in the future.

    First of all check the link above to see that your alleged “unanimous” opinion is nothing of the sort. And as Colnago80 (nee SLC) states, “Science is not a democracy.”

    Second, no one who is well-informed claims that this major crisis has already hit us.

    Well, I’m glad to hear you say that. Now, I would like to know, on what basis you claim there is compelling evidence for a “major crisis for human civilizations” that we should restructure the world’s energy infrastructure, that is mainly based on fossil fuels.

    Fossil fuels that have lifted half of the world’s population out of an agrarian, human and animal labor powered, semi-feudal economy, while extending life expectancy by nearly double and opening the way to the information age.

    What moral right to you claim to deny the other half of humanity the ability to use fossil fuel energy to lift their life expectancy and standard of living to match ours?

    This is not an abstract issue to me. Half of my family and friends live in Ethiopia, and they are just now beginning to realize the benefits that we have taken for granted for decades. Ethiopia is in the midst of electrifying the nation using hydro-power, which is of course being opposed by environmental NGO’s, and fossil fueled power stations.

    They are willing to use solar and wind if they make sense in certain areas and applications, but the fast and cheap way for them is fossil fuels and hydro and they aren’t particularly worried about placating the “Whole Foods” crowd in the US or Europe in lieu of meeting the needs of their impoverished nation.

    If your goal is merely political, to make the US and Europe some, feel good “green” utopia, you might succeed. Buy if your goal is to reduce “carbon emissions” to “pre-industrial levels”, I’m afraid that cat is long out of the bag.

    We are most certainly on our way to 500ppm CO2 by centuries end thanks to China, India and the rest of the developing world, and there’s not one hybrid car, solar powered latte machine, thing you can do about it.

    Luckily we face no impending CO2 doom, and this topic will be dust binned into “early 21st century political history” as the world moves on with out so much as a care.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Second, no one who is well-informed claims that this major crisis has already hit us.

    Actually, the claim I’ve heard is that the crisis is currently only beginning to hit us,, and has already hit lower-lying communities harder.

    What moral right to you claim to deny the other half of humanity the ability to use fossil fuel energy to lift their life expectancy and standard of living to match ours?

    What moral right do YOU have to support a policy that impoverishes one community to benefit another? What moral right do you have to poison everyone’s air with smog, and water with fracking chemicals, so that some people can continue to have cheap energy?

    And what moral right do you have to demand that backward tyrants in Russia and Saudi Arabia be enriched, at the expense of nearly everyone else, so others can have cheap energy? Consumers of fossil fuels are not the only humans with rights and needs; and your refusal to recognize this makes you unfit to moralize to the rest of us.

    They are willing to use solar and wind if they make sense in certain areas and applications, but the fast and cheap way for them is fossil fuels and hydro…

    And why is this so? Partly because the people who profit from the status quo are refusing to do anything to make cleaner alternative sources of energy more available to them. And that includes people like you, who pompously pretend to be sticking up for their interests, while refusing to consider alternative policies that might serve those interests better.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    We are most certainly on our way to 500ppm CO2 by centuries end thanks to China, India and the rest of the developing world, and there’s not one hybrid car, solar powered latte machine, thing you can do about it.

    Ah yes, the blustering idiot who has no decent ideas of his own, and has nothing to offer but ignorant mockery of everyone else’s actions, without even bothering to understand what those actions really are. If you really cared as much as you so pompously claim, you’d understand that China, for one, is starting to invest rather heavily in wind-turbines, and is even exporting them. Why? Because they admit they have a problem, and realized they could do something about it — and that solving a problem does NOT take everyone back to feudal times.

  • colnago80

    Re Sir Lancelot @ #28

    The two links you posted are to articles by Judith Curry. I posted a link to a site that totally discredits her. You’ll have to do better then that. By the way, what happened to some of the other “experts” you used to cite, like YEC Roy Spencer?

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    It is completely rational to accept that the climate has warmed (less than one degree in the last 100 years) and that humans have contributed to some of that one degree and still be of the informed scientific opinion that that there is no “crisis” that requires restructuring the entire world’s energy economy.

    If that belief is “completely rational,” then why do the people who hold it behave so irrationally? Why are none of them doing any real science to prove their claims? Why are they resorting instead to stealing and lying about emails, demonizing real scientists, defunding real scientific research, and even making laws forbidding climate scientists from even talking about their work? Those are not the actions of people who sincerely advocate a rational conclusion derived from rational enquiry.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    coilnago: Lancey-poo cited a YECer? That’s fucking hilarious, and not all that surprising.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    As a matter of fact, polls of the public repeatedly show that the vast majority of Americans place “threats form climate change” consistently at the very bottom of polls on what they find important?

    First Lance cites a poll, then he says “science is not a democracy.” Can’t this idiot even keep his own BS from contradicting itself?

  • lancifer

    The two links you posted are to articles by Judith Curry. I posted a link to a site that totally discredits her.

    Yeah… right.

    Your link is to an advocacy site, SkepticalScience, run by a guy that states in his qualifications. “He is not a climate scientist.” This failed cartoonist’s opinion of an esteemed and accomplished working climate scientist is nothing but a politically motivated smear.

    Here are just some of Dr. Judith Curry’s qualifications.

    Curry is a Professor and former Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology; she held the latter position from 2002 to 2013.[6] Curry serves on NASA Advisory Council Earth Science Subcommittee whose mission is to provide advice and recommendations to NASA on issues of program priorities and policy. She is a recent member of the NOAA Climate Working Group[6][7] and a former member of the National Academies Space Studies Board and Climate Research Group.[6][8]

    Curry is a former professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has held faculty positions at Penn State University, Purdue, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.[6][8]

    But you go ahead and keep smearing her based on the word of a political activist/cartoonist.

  • dingojack

    “Science is not a democracy”.

    This means, Lancy, that only those who are experts actually get to decide what is science and what is (if you’ll pardon the expression) hot air, not any random nut-job on the net who can type.

    ‘One swallow doesn’t make a summer’ (as the saying goes) nor one YEC make a scientific consensus. When the consensus of scientists, backed up by conclusive evidence, follows your well and truly discredited line of thinking, come show me the actual evidence and I’ll change my thinking, until then go away and educate yourself.

    @@ Dingo

  • caseloweraz

    Lancifer: Now, I would like to know, on what basis you claim there is compelling evidence for a “major crisis for human civilizations” that we should restructure the world’s energy infrastructure, that is mainly based on fossil fuels.

    You keep omitting the essential phrase “in the future.” We are being affected with some effects of climate change now. Sporadic heat waves and heavier-than-normal snowfalls are some of them. We can deal with these fairly easily. But responsible observers expect that far worse impacts will not hit us until late in this century, when higher average temperatures inhibit the germination of rice, when changing rainfall patterns dry out presently arable lands, and when melting of polar ice caps floods low-lying agricultural lands (e.g. Bangladesh), resulting in food shortages and subsequent mass immigration.

    The bottom line, as always, is “If you have actual evidence that these things will not come to pass, please present it. We’d all love to take this weight off our shoulders.”

  • caseloweraz

    Lancifer: What moral right to you claim to deny the other half of humanity the ability to use fossil fuel energy to lift their life expectancy and standard of living to match ours?

    I have neither the moral right nor the practical ability to deny “the other half of humanity” anything. I do have some insight, based on experience, that informs my advocacy of renewable energy. You should know that many villages in “the other half of humanity” are powered by solar energy because that does not require expensive transmission lines on which large fossil-fuel plants depend.

    Again, you miss the bottom line: If renewable energy can be deployed cost-effectively, immediate needs for power can be met while problems such as particulates and CO2 emissions can be reduced.

  • caseloweraz

    Lancifer: We are most certainly on our way to 500ppm CO2 by centuries (sic) end thanks to China, India and the rest of the developing world, and there’s not one hybrid car, solar powered latte machine, thing you can do about it.

    Your approval of business as usual is noted. It is clear that CO2 emissions can be reduced, given only the political will. Of course, that will require that some nation (following the nursery tale) bell the cat, meaning that it be the first to unilaterally reduce emissions in an absolute sense. It’s called leading by example. Of a certainty, this will be difficult. But it obviously is not impossible. The fact that you continue to insist it is impossible merely highlights your lack of imagination.

  • dingojack

    Australia tried it, and it was working — then the current bunch of juvenile, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breeders scrapped it. The current plan is to pay companies not to pollute. Yep you heard right. Paying companies to comply with what is the law for everyone else.

    I’m just waiting for the legislation that mandates the government to pay me not to dump and/or litter!

    @@

    Dingo

  • lancifer

    caseloweraz ,

    It’s called leading by example. Of a certainty, this will be difficult. But it obviously is not impossible. The fact that you continue to insist it is impossible merely highlights your lack of imagination.

    Where did I say it’s “impossible”? It just isn’t in the self interest of any rational nation. The leaders of the “developing world” know that the whole “climate change” narrative is just so much progressive political posturing.

    Sure, these developing nations, like my beloved Ethiopia, will pay lip service to

    “the cause” all the while lining up for the promise of billions in “climate reparations”. But take careful note that not one of these “developing countries” is promising to cut its own “carbon emissions”. And with India, China and Brazil among these looming carbon giants that pretty much spells “game over” for your little “zero emissions” fantasy world.

    Why should they cut their own energy throats, in light of the fact, admitted by guilt ridden progressives everywhere, that first world nations (read the US and Europe) have already spent the “carbon capital” that is due these poor victims of the west’s carbon gluttony. It’s only fair that we let them “level the carbon playing field” since they will be “hardest hit” by the ravages of climate change.

    Money talks and climate bull shit walks. Get used to increasing CO2 emissions because that’s where the money is.

    I’m not worried. Plants like CO2, there has been no increase in the number or intensity of hurricanes or any other “scary” weather phenomenon, global sea ice is at a near record extent (yes Virginia there is ALSO a south pole) and even the IPCC is coming around to the fact that climate sensitivity is likely below 2 degrees Celsius. So relax.

    Just exactly what makes you think that the average temperature of the late 1800’s was some sacred value that must be maintained at the peril of all human civilization anyway?

  • dingojack

    You sure Lancy? Really sure?

    Dingo

  • dingojack

    No rising trend in hurricanes, eh?

    Dingo

  • dingojack

    Ice in the Arctic

    and in the Antarctic.

    Dingo

  • colnago80

    Re dingojack

    What Sir Lancelot is referring to relative to the Antartic is that the sea ice is as record thickness. As your link @ #44 points out, the land ice on the Antartic is thinning fast. So the question is, what the fuck is going on here? I have a hypothesis which is that the extra layers of ice on the surrounding seas are due to melting ice/snow on the continent draining into the surrounding sea ice and refreezing. This is a testable hypothesis as follows. If my explanation is true, our expectation is that the top layers will consist of freshwater ice while the lower layers will consist of sea water ice. The salt content should increase from close to zero on top to the salt content of sea ice at the bottom.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I can’t help noticing that Lance chooses to pop back in here, after a rather long absence, right after the Koch brothers announce they’re spending nearly a billion dollars on propaganda. Does anyone here think that’s a coincidence? Or is Lance dusting off his old bullshit-points in the hope of getting some of that money?

  • colnago80

    Re Sir Lancelot @ #35

    Gee, Skeptical Science is an advocacy site. Well, Prof. Curry also writes articles which are published at advocacy sites and denialist venues. She has published articles on Anthony Watts’s website, in the Wall Street Journal, and Steve McIntyre’s web site just to name a few. She has also defended the Heartland Institute and the Wegman Report (which she later admitted that she had not read).

    I find her getting in bed with Anthony Watts particularly reprehensible. A few years ago, the Koch brothers, in part, funded a study at UC Berkeley under the direction of physics professor Richard Muller, who was noted at the time as a climate change skeptic. Just as an aside, one of researchers on his team was Prof. Arthur Rosenfeld from whom I took my first course in physics at Berkeley. Watts wrote on his blog at the time that he would accept any conclusion that Muller and company came up with. Well, the resulting Muller report said that the climate scientists were mostly right after all. So of course Watts then admitted that climate change was real. Ha, ha, not a bit of it. Watts then proceeded to trash Muller with the claim that he wasn’t really a skeptic before the study was done and was actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing. In addition, Sir Lancelot’s asshole buddies, the Koch brothers, just ignored the report that they had, in part, paid for as they didn’t like its conclusions.

    An understanding of how a once productive scientist like Prof. Curry turned into a whackjob can be gained by looking at the career of Peter Duesberg, once a candidate for a Nobel Prize in physiology for his work on retroviruses in the 1960s. Duesberg turned from a productive scientist into a whackjob starting in the 1980s with his HIV/AIDS denialism.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Yes, Dingo, he’s really sure. And he stays that way using the time-honored tactic of completely ignoring every fact from any source that contradicts his dogma. That includes both of your cites, and most surely the special report I’m currently reading in the Economist about energy and technology (01/18-23), which also mentions that China is now halfway toward meeting its self-imposed goals regarding expanded use of wind and solar power. It’s amazing how someone can keep himself this ignorant while still thinking he’s the smartest guy in the room. Did someone say “arrogance of ignorance?”

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Why should they cut their own energy throats…?

    This statement neatly sums up Lance’s disgraceful simplemindedness. How fucking babyish do you have to be to think that any form of investment or sacrifice for a long-term improvement is “cutting your own throat?” Does the idea of short-term sacrifice for long-term betterment really frighten him that much?

    So much for lancy-poo’s pretense of superior maturity and rationality.

  • caseloweraz

    Lancifer:

    Do you realize that in your last comment (#41) you say that climate change both is and isn’t a crisis?

    Just exactly what makes you think that the average temperature of the late 1800’s was some sacred value that must be maintained at the peril of all human civilization anyway?

    Evidence. You should look at some. But you won’t.

  • dingojack

    SLC – indeed, my understanding is that the land ice is transported to the sea faster (in glacial surges) lowering the height (and reducing the volume) of the land ice whilst increasing the sea ice volume.

    However mere ice extent may not be telling the whole story. Consider a 50ml blob of jam, as compared to a 5ml spill of surgical spirit. The latter might be more widely spread, but it has ten times less volume. This is why I stuck to ice volume, as opposed to ice extent. Without more information, ice extent may not be a truly meaningful measure for the Antarctic ice volumes (because, in part, of the land/sea ice interaction). In the Arctic the ice volumes are largely sea ice so ice extent is a better indicator of the overall ice volumes*.

    Dingo

    ——–

    * (Plus by what mechanism could one pole be losing ice while the other pole gains it, without an easily observable cause?)

  • colnago80

    Re dingojack @ #51

    I was actually referring to the thickness of the ice surrounding the Antarctic Continent, i.e. the volume. However, the extent would also increase per my explanation as any freshwater that made it to the edge would freeze because the freezing point of freshwater is higher then that of salt water (that’s why salt is used to clear the roads during a snowstorm )

  • dingojack

    Lancy-poo wrote (#41) “… global sea ice is at a near record extent …”. [Emphasis mine].

    As I said, losses from the continent itself could be contributing to both thickness and extent.

    Dingo

  • dingojack

    SLC – Yes, your experiment might work. But remember, salt water is about 52Kg per cubic meter heavier than fresh water, so fresh water could form a thick layer floating on top of the salt water with little mixing. Thus the surface might still freeze near zero degrees Celsius while remaining only marginally salty. (Also differing salts are soluble to different extents in solutions of differing temperatures and ion saturations. And fresh water freezes faster, squeezing the still liquid saline solutions into higher and higher molarity saline solutions in narrow tubes within the ice).

    Water is complicated stuff.

    Dingo

  • dingojack

    Of course the other things Lancy forgot to mention are: catastrophic fires and ‘desertification’ (and it’s associated problems, even a thousand kilometres away). Not like these could have an iota of an effect on humans, right?

    Dingo

  • lancifer

    caseloweraz,

    “Evidence. You should look at some. But you won’t.”

    How, disappointing, but hardly surprising. I happen to have spent the better part of the last ten years looking at every piece of evidence I can get my hands on. I just happen to have reached a different conclusion than you.

    But rather than just accepting that fact, and perhaps having an exchange of ideas, you prefer to malign me personally, Sadly, it’s what I have come to expect at this site, and most of “Free from Thought Blogs”.

    This is why, as noted by a certain poster above, I have not bothered to comment here in some time. It isn’t because the evil Koch brothers have had me poisoning minds at other sites, as delusionally suggested by that same poster.

    I just have found other places where people actually assume that people with different views aren’t evil idiots and will engage in an actual exchange of information and ideas towards the cause of improved understanding.

    Nice chatting with you.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    It isn’t because the evil Koch brothers have had me poisoning minds at other sites, as delusionally suggested by that same poster.

    Read for comprehension, dimwit. I never said anything about “other sites.”

    I just have found other places where people actually assume that people with different views aren’t evil idiots…

    Just like you when you accuse us of wanting other people to “cut their own energy throats?”

    Nice chatting with you.

    Don’t let the “Back” button hit your ass on the way out.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I happen to have spent the better part of the last ten years looking at every piece of evidence I can get my hands on.

    …and ignoring every piece of evidence that other people have handed to you, I see.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I happen to have spent the better part of the last ten years looking at every piece of evidence I can get my hands on.

    Because that’s what real men do: they go out and grab evidence with their bare hands. And if someone else tries to hand them evidence, the real man never accepts a handout, because that’s an easy out for wimps, and you never know where those other hands have been.

  • colnago80

    Re Sir Lancelot @ #56

    I happen to have spent the better part of the last ten years looking at every piece of evidence I can get my hands on

    Like all the other deniers, you continue to make the claim that there has been a “pause” in increasing temperatures, despite it being pointed out to you over and over again that this is illusionary because of the outlier 1998 results which were due to an especially strong El Nino condition. If the 1998 results were eliminated from the graphs as an outlier, there is no pause. We have pointed this out to you on numerous occasions but you continue to repeat the same lie every time you show your face here. This type of behavior is the reason why other commentors here give you a hard time.

    By the way, people here give me a hard time about my hawkish views on the Middle East. You don’t see me running away and getting all bent out of shape over it. The Internet is a brutal place where no quarter is asked or given. If you can’t take the heat, exit the kitchen.

  • lancifer

    Colnago80,

    Like all the other deniers, you continue to make the claim that there has been a “pause” in increasing temperatures…

    Is the journal Nature a bunch of “denialists”?

    http://www.nature.com/news/climate-change-the-case-of-the-missing-heat-1.14525

    For several years, scientists wrote off the stall as noise in the climate system: the natural variations in the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere that drive warm or cool spells around the globe. But the pause has persisted, sparking a minor crisis of confidence in the field.

    (Bold mine.)

    Perhaps you should write to them to complain that there is no pause.

    Your useless, vituperative reply is typical of this site. I am fine with a spirited or even combative blog environment, but this type of dishonest poo flinging is just boring and a waste of time.

  • colnago80

    Re Sir Lancelot @ #61

    If that author and the “scientists” he cites claim that there has been a “pause” in the increase in global temperatures, then he is full of shit. Several of the hottest years on record have occurred during the period subsequent to 1998. This can be seen by removing the year 1998 from the graph as an outlier and, guess what, the “pause” disappears. And by the way, the article you cited is not a peer reviewed article. It is an opinion piece by a reporter. I am afraid you will have to do better then that.

    By the way, how does Sir Lancelot feel about his hero, Judith Curry writing articles for Anthony Watts’ blog and claiming that the Heartland Foundation ain’t so bad? When you get in the pen with the pigs, you can expect to emerge with a coating of mud.

  • colnago80

    Re Sir Lancelot @ #61

    Just to double down on my claim made in comment #62, below is a link to the yearly temperature plot. Anybody with half a brain can see that if 1998, which was an outlier, is removed, there ain’t no pause. I will repeat for the edification of Sir Lancelot, 1998 had a severe El Nino condition which was responsible for the high temperatures that year. In fact, back at the beginning of last year, climate scientists speculated that there might well be an extreme El Nino during 2014, which would have made it really hot. As one can see from the graph, it was hot enough without an El Nino.

    http://goo.gl/DvY0q6

  • lancifer

    Colnago80,

    Your link is of course to the failed cartoonist’s site and is a conflagration of atmospheric and sea surface temperatures cobbled together by the “Japanese Meteorological Agency” whatever the fuck that is.

    So instead of actually reading the Nature article you run to a shit advocacy site and grasp at the first graph you can find, even though it isn’t about the rise in atmospheric temperatures and is supposedly produced by some little know “meteorological agency”.

    This is why I don’t waste time arguing with people on this site anymore.

  • colnago80

    Re Sir Lancelot @ #64

    This is why I don’t waste time arguing with people on this site anymore.

    Don’t let the door strike you on your fat ass on the way out.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Your link is of course to the failed cartoonist’s site…

    Excuse me? There’s no link to any cartoons there. Once again,you’re full of shit.

    This is why I don’t waste time arguing with people on this site anymore.

    How much time have you wasted on this site telling us how you don’t waste time with us? You can’t even stick an honest flounce.

  • dingojack

    Warning OT… Warning OT… Warning OT…

    Hey SLC – have seen this? What do think, as a professional?

    Dingo

  • colnago80

    Re dingojack @ #67

    Here’s another article on the subject.

    http://phys.org/news/2015-01-planck-gravitational-elusive.html

    However, if the apparent discovery of gravitational waves is a false alarm, it is not the first one. Some 40 years ago, physicists at the Un. of Maryland claimed to have detected gravitational waves, which turned out to be a false alarm.

  • dingojack

    SLC — isn’t it amazing what we can know, despite being fallible?

    [Bearing in mind the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the prisoners at Auschwitz]

    :( Dingo

  • colnago80

    Re dingojack @ #69

    Here’s another link with a discussion on this topic. Incidentally, this is a textbook example of science being a self-correcting enterprise, unlike religion. C.G faster then light neutrinos.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2015/01/31/cosmic_inflation_evidence_still_not_in.html

    Re Raging Bee @ #66

    This figure has been posted on a number of web sites. As a matter of fact, I think I posted another like to it a year or two ago.

  • colnago80

    Re 70

    Link, not like. We need an edit function here!