Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 16, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE FIVE STAGES OF BUBBLE-OSITY....Here in paradise, the housing boom is over:

Southern California home sales fell to their lowest level in nine years last month as price appreciation continued to decelerate, data released Tuesday showed.

....The figures could rev up the debate over whether the Southland's housing market will be able to navigate a "soft landing" that produces only moderate price declines, or face a brutal correction.

....At the very least, "current trends suggest that the market is heading into a lull," DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage said.

This "soft landing" stuff is all the rage lately, and it reminds of nothing so much as Elisabeth Kbler-Ross's five stages of grief. It goes something like this:

  1. We're not in a bubble. Prices are just recovering from years of underappreciation.

  2. It's a bubble, but it's a sustainable bubble because the fundamentals of the market have changed in the past decade. People need to recognize this. (Note: this stage is usually recognizable by an explosion in the popularity of increasingly desperate and bizarre financing options.)

  3. Yes, growth is slowing, but we think we'll navigate a soft landing. It's absurd to think that housing in [fill in area where you live] will actually lose value.

  4. This is a disaster! Somebody better step in and do something! People are losing their life savings!

  5. Buyers have learned a permanent lesson this time. Homeowners need to accept the reality that the bubble of the past five years was a one-time fluke and we'll never see it happen again.

The same psychology that keeps prices rising during a bubble also mercilessly drives them down when the bubble is over. After all, who wants to buy a house if it's not going to appreciate? We should expect bumpy weather ahead.

UPDATE: I know that making predictions is stupid, but here's mine anyway: home prices in Southern California will drop 10-20% and bottom out in 2008, after which they'll start to rise again.

Kevin Drum 12:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (197)

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Comments

Fools and their money are soon parted. Hopefully this will keep the Californians out of Colorado.

Posted by: 1SG on August 16, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

I shed few tears for those who have priced a middle-class native Californian out of the American dream through speculative mania and interest-only roulette. And a big up to the Bush administration for encouraging this bubble that directly took dollars out of my pocket in the form of this mania. I'm pissed off.

Posted by: DiscoStu on August 16, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

This is the Kevin we know and love! Good analysis, sorta bold prediction!

Funny of course that we started talking about this more than 2 years ago, as a possible factor in the 2004 race. And now, it looms out there as a huge possible factor in 2006. If there is a housing crash now, the US will go into a recession this fall. And we will have a repeat of the 1974 elections.

Econonomic predictions - Prices will probably drop a bit more than 20%, but the big effect will be a freeze in activity as buyers and sellers feel uncomfortable with the uncertainty. And the added question is how a big a hit will the construction sector get.

My guess is that we are starting a recession right now that probably won't become evident until the winter.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on August 16, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

10 is not that big a deal- unless you got into the market in the last year of the bubble, you won't be that far underwater. I'd consider a 10% drop a soft landing. It's the 40% corrections that kill people.

Posted by: SP on August 16, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Samuel Knight:

nah, there won't be a 20% drop across the country. If there's a bubble, it's a very localized one.

housing was undervalued across much of the country...which means that it's close to its "real" value now.

I can't speak for Southern California but for the 2 localized markets that I'm most familiar with: South Florida may see a bit of a drop but the beachfront properties that saw the largest gains probably won't drop at all...there's only so much beachfront...the limited supply will keep those stable.

As for NY, barring a major terrorist attack, we don't have real drops here. The sheer number of people worldwide who want to live in Manhattan will keep our prices stable. (Indeed, although the seller's market is very slow in the city right now (due to the prices), it has had the perverse effect of making it the worst renter's market in many years (there is simply no rental inventory because people are simply staying in their rental apartments while waiting to buy).

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Scary.

I'm thinking of moving to CA for career purposes, and while I've typically owned my home I'm thinking of renting for a year or two before diving into the L.A. market.

Posted by: Fides on August 16, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

SP:

exactly. and we won't see corrections of that size (except in maybe a few very localized areas).

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

The difference for the bubble cities will be whether those with ARMs will be able to carry their new 6.5% - 7.5% interest rates. If the general economy stays fairly strong, there might be a soft landing with a huge drop in number of existing homes being sold as people with little or negative equity stay put and sweat out the higher payments. If they cannot, we could see some cities drop back to 2000 prices and most buyers in the past five years owing more than they can get for their house.

Posted by: freelunch on August 16, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Bold prediction: no matter what happens to housing prices, bankers will still be able to afford their McMansions.

Posted by: mmy on August 16, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Time to start buying tulip bulbs!

Posted by: Disputo on August 16, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan: housing was undervalued across much of the country

How do you figure that? While buildings can be judged based on replacement cost, land is another story. Production costs are a bit hard to estimate.

South Florida may see a bit of a drop but the beachfront properties that saw the largest gains probably won't drop at all...there's only so much beachfront...the limited supply will keep those stable.

That's not just localized, it's specialized. Most people don't own beachfront (and in Oregon and Hawaii it's impossible). So it means nothing to most people.

As for NY, barring a major terrorist attack, we don't have real drops here. The sheer number of people worldwide who want to live in Manhattan will keep our prices stable.

Don't say NY when you mean Manhattan. Manhattan residential is also specialized. If you can't afford it you just move to the "outer" boroughs.

Posted by: alex on August 16, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

On the wider issue, what becomes of all those illegal aliens that liberals and others have invited in to take U.S. construction jobs? Spend a few minutes thinking about it as hard as you can.

-- Intro to illegal immigration

Posted by: TLB on August 16, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with you Kevin. I've been waiting for the housing bubble to collapse. I'm fixing to move in about 2008, because I expect/hope that's when home prices crash, and I can get something really nice for a bargain. I suggest everybody reading this do the same...

Posted by: American Hawk on August 16, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Folks, this isn't the FIRST housing bubble... nor will it be the last.

Has everyone forgotten the early 80's and the great S&L bust? If the housing market follows the pattern set by the last bubble, expect a 25% to 40% drop in home prices (depending on area bigger runup = bigger drop).

There will be about 10 to 15 years in a slow price recovery before starting the next boom cycle.

Human greed drives inflation and you can watch the 'greed pressure' move in a sequence from one area of the economy to another.

Stocks... Bonds/Interest... Commodities... Real Estate... Stocks... Bonds/Interest... Commodities... Real Estate

Not always in order though. The trick is figuring out where the NEXT bubble is going to be ahead of the masses.

There should be some nice charts of the last bubble floating around out on the interwebs.

Posted by: Buford on August 16, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

I think Mr. Drum's opinion is based on the historical recovery of the housing markets in S. California and other areas that have population growth. I hope he is correct. Areas without much growth, I think, are going to see property values decline more than 20% and may not recover their present value until the next generational property boom.

Posted by: Hostile on August 16, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

1) Global warming? Nahhh, it's flakey idea promoted by doomsayers and enviro-whackos. There's not scientific consensus on it and won't be because climate is too complex to know.

2) Okay okay, global warming is happening, but there's no consensus that humankind has anything to do with it. The long-term trend can be caused by any number of factors, and is just as likely to reverse itself as it has done through history.

3) Alright already. Anthropogenic global warming is real, but there's nothing we can really do about it. It also opens as many vistas (winter vacations in Minnesota; deserts that yield crops) as it closes, so humans should stop fretting about it and find innovative ways to adapt to the coming changes.

4) Global warming will be an unmitigated distaster not merely for the human race, but for much biota on the planet besides. But since political bodies have shown such resistance to tackling it, preferring to to enjoying themselves fossil fuels now -- might as well resign ourselves to a miserable future of fighting over ever-diminishing resources. Stock your cellars with non-perishables and make sure you've got plenty of ammo.

5) Pass the sunscreen.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on August 16, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

A 10-20% fall in prices, then they start rising again? That's not just a soft landing, that is a super silky-soft landing.

In 1991 I paid $183K for a condo in CT that was valued at $295K a acouple of years earlier. That is close to a 40% drop. I would not be at all surprised to see this kind of decline this time around. In fact I would welcome it as there are too many people who cannot afford to buy anything right now.

Sure enough some of the items from your 5-step list are here in this comment thread. Manhattan apartments cannot fall in price because so many people want to live in Manhattan? That's like saying that Microsoft stock will never drop in value because so many people need software.

Posted by: paul on August 16, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Hostile: Areas without much growth, I think, are going to see property values decline more than 20% and may not recover their present value until the next generational property boom.

Areas without much growth haven't seen a big increase in prices. Much of the Modwest, for example.

Posted by: alex on August 16, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

paul: In 1991 I paid $183K for a condo in CT that was valued at $295K a acouple of years earlier.

IIRC condos and coops showed a lot more volatility last time around than houses.

Posted by: alex on August 16, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

6. Global warming is real, but its causes, magnitude and timescale are subject to a huge amount of uncertainty. The evidence indicates that it is caused partly by human activities and partly by natural mechanisms that we have little or no control over. There is no consensus about the timescale or magnitude of future warming. There is no consensus about the proper policy responses to global warming.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Historically, 'bottoming out' of an overpriced real estate market takes five to ten years. So, 'bottom out in 2010' is more like it.

Posted by: MattF on August 16, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

alex: Much of the Modwest

Ok, Midwest. Maybe I've got retro-60's on the brain. Anyone heard the latest Beatles album?

Posted by: alex on August 16, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

This of good for the rental market, no? People gotta live somewhere and while they wait for the market to come back to earth, they rent a house for a while. I hope so, I got a few rental houses and while I'm gonna lose value in them, maybe I can raise the rents.

Posted by: the fake Fake Al on August 16, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

...as price appreciation continued to decelerate...

So the second derivative of price with respect to time is negative, and that means that the bubble has burst? Shouldn't you at least wait until prices actualy decline first?

dave

Posted by: dave on August 16, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Whether or not prices drop a lot might depend on how many are forced to sell, and for what reasons. Right now where I live (CT), prices asked are not dropping much, if at all, but the volume of actual transactions has significantly declined. Right now, buyers and sellers are playing a game of chicken to see who blinks first.

Where a lot of people have gotten screwed royally in the housing bubble is not having bought near the top (a very small percentage of the population), but having owned a home that the local government now believes should carry twice the tax as it did 6 years ago. This situation is not far from blowing up in the government's face.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on August 16, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

It's not a big deal if you're not selling your house.

Posted by: tomeck on August 16, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Buyers have learned a permanent lesson this time. Homeowners need to accept the reality that the bubble of the past five years was a one-time fluke and we'll never see it happen again.

Sure. MacKay wrote Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds in 1841 reporting on bubbles that were old when he was writing. If we learn this time, it will be a first.

Posted by: freelunch on August 16, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

I live in San Diego around Del Mar. Similar to the comment above, I remember housing prices dropping off the peak by a solid 30% in the early 90s. In the last few years, housing prices around have probably jumped 50%.

I would not be surprised to see prices easily drop by 30% around here.

Posted by: T.R. Elliott on August 16, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Paul: You clearly don't live in NY. Manhattan is an island. There's only so much housing available. The vacancy rate is under 1%. A vacancy rate of 4% or lower is considered a housing crisis.

Alex: Housing prices in the city inevitably affect prices in the other boroughs, as well as Jersey City, Hoboken and Westchester. (Nor are the prices that different. The current minimum rent for a one-bedroom in downtown Manhattan is close to $2400 (in a walk-up, non-doorman building), the UES and UWS are, of course, a bit lower. That's about a 20% jump in rent in the last year (while the prices to purchase have remained stable). An equivalent one-bedroom in Williamsburg is about $1800, roughly equivalent to the UES.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

I have a related question: where the heck do all the people who live in the 8,223,557 houses, townhouses, and condos built in the Ontario-Riverside area over the last 5 years _work_? Unless they all just sell roofing material and fast food to one another.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on August 16, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

"...there's only so much beachfront..."

Heh, "they aren't making any more land!" The eternal cry of the real estate bubble denier.

Actually I beleive that south florida is supposed to be one of the more overpriced markets relative to rents is it not?

Is New York magically special compared to London? London experienced a significant housing bubble burst in the early 90's. Tokyo had an even more dramatic fall. Really the only thing that is likely to help New York is if it's bubble isn't as big. That could be true, I would think that the greater number of renters would help.

The midwest I think may not have a housing bubble, a few parts of it are even slightly undervalued as compared with rents and most of it isn't very overvalued.

I would think that if southern california prices only drop 10-20% they won't start rising again for quite a few years. Many areas down there appear to be overvalued by around 100%.

Here in seattle I can't imagine there not being a bubble. I am renting an apartment for just under $1000 a month (ten percent more than when I moved in 4 years ago). Across the street a virtually identical building was converted to condo's last year and the same apartment would have been $3000 a month with a 30 year loan. Those can't keep diverging forever.

Posted by: jefff on August 16, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK
After all, who wants to buy a house if it's not going to appreciate?

People who want to live in houses, and value the freedom of use that comes with owning rather than renting.

Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

This bubble is, for many, many, many reasons unlike any of the previous housing bubbles and if you think that prices will drop only 20% you haven't been following the dynamics and, more importantly, the structure of this bubble very closely.

What has been going on behind the scenes is absolutely unprecedented in its size, scope and sheer lunacy. An unemployed twenty-something who bought nineteen (19!!) "investment" properties in Phoenix in 2004! This is going to be really ugly before it ends. You'll know the right time to buy when Time magazine has a cover story with a title like "Will real prices ever rebound?" That's when it'll be safe to start buying real estate again.

Posted by: mrjauk on August 16, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Anybody out there in the Cleveland, OH, area tell me what the housing market is like? We live in Seattle, but just inherited a 9000 sq. foot house sitting on 35 acres outside Cleveland. The Seattle market is still pretty hot, but I have no idea about Cleveland. Anybody? Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Jill on August 16, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky Observer: they all just sell roofing material and fast food to one another

Finally, someone who understands the modern American economy. Currently this vicious cycle is being financed by our Chinese overlords. Wonder when they'll get tired of it?

Posted by: alex on August 16, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Some communities will be rocked by this.

Where I have a home, at the Jersey Shore, home prices skyrocketed along the lines of California. But there have been very few sales this year, and inventory piled up because sellers wouldn't drop their prices. Six months without sales has finally had an effect. This week housing prices were not just dropping, but are being slashed. Most listings have been reduced by 25%.

I think houses at the beach (the barrier island, not just the actual oceanfront houses) will fall 40%, but that will only put them back to the prices of 2003 or 2004, when people were already predicting a bubble.

The "only so much ocean" theory doesn't fly. There was a 40% price correction at the Jersey shore in the early 90s, and there was only so much ocean then too.

Sucks for me because I bought in 2005, but that's the way its turning out.

It's interest rates driving this -- on the way up and on the way down. Without cheap money, a $2 million house is truly a $2 million house.

Posted by: pj on August 16, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK
If there's a bubble, it's a very localized one.

Its more a series of different localized bubbles, some of which have already popped and experienced fairly rapid depreciation, some of which are showing signs of popping as appreciation decelerates rapidly, and some of which are, for now, chugging along, but maybe not for long...

Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: People who want to live in houses

How quaint. Using an investment for housing.

Posted by: alex on August 16, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

well, the Jersey shore isn't South Beach.

but, yeah, NY is different than London. London's not an island.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan....South florida is already showing price depriciation.

Note todays latest entry over Ben's Housing blog...

http://thehousingbubbleblog.com/?p=1263

Not only that, it's not just beachfront property that people are talking about...the simplified point is that it's the thousands of homes that have been built in exurbia (in florida and elsewhere) with only strip malls and a housing economy to support them.

Freelunch...I would hope for a soft landing too, but in my lay perspective, I don't see where the economy is strong...Real wages are flat or declining for many people. Americans have used up most of their equity so the great consumer binge is coming to an end. Higher interest rates, ARM Resets, higher energy prices, and the psychological effect of loss of paper wealth are a lot for the average american to absorb. One argument says that Corporate spending will pick up the slack, but if consumer spending dries up, what are corporations investing for? If their customers clamp down on consumption, what incentive do they have to bulk up production, or increase efficiency? Besides, the cheap money environment of the past few years has already allowed them to make significant efficiency gains through investment. And that, combined with stagnant wages, has lead to great corporate profits recently.


TLB....liberals invited the illegals to work in construction? How many liberals even own construction companies? Business owners tend to vote republican, and construction owners have every incentive to hire illegal immigrants. Don't see how blaming Liberals works on that one.

Samuel...

It's only one data point, but I believe we are already in a recession...

http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/2006/08/nahb-builder-confidence-slides-in.html

Also note Brad DeLong's entry on recessions from a week or two ago...sorry no link for that one. He doesn't say we're in one, but discusses the phenomenon of talking about/predicting recessions.

Posted by: joe_reader on August 16, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan: but, yeah, NY is different than London. London's not an island

Nor is NY. London is also surrounded by a greenbelt that limits sprawl.

Posted by: alex on August 16, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Is there some way to play the housing market short?

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on August 16, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

The midwest I think may not have a housing bubble

Clearly you have not been to Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, or Columbus in the last 10 yrs.

In the rural areas of the Midwest, the bubble has already popped, with actual prices decreasing (as opposed to simply a decrease in the rate of increase).

Posted by: Disputo on August 16, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

mrjuak...

Re: Time magazine....well said. I think that may be my measure of when to enter RE again.

Posted by: joe_reader on August 16, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan, you do realize that your statement about NY is Kevin's #3, don't you?

And since you're talking about Manhattan, inventory is rising, builders keep building and sales are falling. How is that different?

As for renters on the sidelines, I doubt there are nearly as many as you think. NYC has always been a rental city - why would that change all of a sudden?

Posted by: Mel on August 16, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Cleveland housing is largely outside the national cycle. I'd say in long term decline.

There are a lot of really nice properties there, many dating from the time when Cleveland was the third wealthiest metropolitan area in the United States. This means you can get some fantastic houses - mansions of the non-McMansion variety - for less than $1,000,000.

Posted by: Fides on August 16, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

You won't need a home much longer, because I'll be returning as soon as my buddy George starts a war with Iran!

Posted by: Jesus H. Christ on August 16, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

joe: I noted that there would be some depreciation in South Florida, I questioned whether beach front property would see much of a decline.

Mel: ask some brokers about what has happened to rental inventory in the last year.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Michael,

DISCLAIMER...I am just an ignant commenter...all opinions I post are simply opinions and in no way constitute investment advice.

the easiest short play was builder and mortgage companies, but the market has already priced that in pretty well over the past three months.

The other easy short play would be anyone holding Mortgage Backed Securities. If you can find people who are heavy on west coast, southwest, or florida MBS's, and you can short them, that would make sense, because I haven't seen as much talk about shorting them yet.

Other potential shorts are Home Depot, Lowes, Possibly even big retailers like Walmart.

Posted by: joe_reader on August 16, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

I think SoCal real estate will go down more than 20%. San Diego is already starting to get rocked. LA will take longer, but it will go bad, too. I say 30% when all is said and done.

Posted by: dj moonbat on August 16, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: Clearly you have not been to Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, or Columbus in the last 10 yrs.

No, I haven't (I have to sleep in my native saltwater every night).

What I said was based only on recollections of what I've read about how much the housing bubble varies from place to place.

How much have prices gone up there? On Long Island I'd estimate that they've about doubled in the last seven years.

Posted by: alex on August 16, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Don P, the pathologically dishonest bullshit artist who slavishly regurgitates scripted right-wing propaganda posting as "GOP", wrote:

6. Global warming is real, but its causes, magnitude and timescale are subject to a huge amount of uncertainty. The evidence indicates that it is caused partly by human activities and partly by natural mechanisms that we have little or no control over. There is no consensus about the timescale or magnitude of future warming. There is no consensus about the proper policy responses to global warming.

Every single one of those statements is a lie.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 16, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Every single one of those statements is a lie.

No, every single one of those statements is true.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist: regurgitates scripted right-wing propaganda posting as "GOP"

GOP = Grossly Obscene Propaganda?

Forget about Don P., there's got to lots of good explanations for the acronym "GOP".

Please submit suggestions.

Posted by: alex on August 16, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

No, every single one of those statements is true.

In a specific context, but taken together the entire claim is intentionally misleading.

Posted by: freelunch on August 16, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan writes:

As for NY, barring a major terrorist attack, we don't have real drops here. The sheer number of people worldwide who want to live in Manhattan will keep our prices stable

We don't? Prices fell around 30% from the peak in the late 80s to the '91 recession. Yes, we had the glut of coop conversions then, but today we have the glut of new construction. I read recently that the new stock is equivalent to a year's sales. Plus, the fundamentals are ridiculous... a median salary in Manhattan is $70K but you'd need at least twice that to buy even a modest studio in Manhattan. I'm expecting a 30-40% drop, but I'm not sure you can call it a crash... it might take 3 to 5 years to get there.

Posted by: Wagster on August 16, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

IIRC, the last time the housing bubble burst in the late 80's, people who owed more on their homes than they could sell them for ended up defaulting on them. S&Ls started failing as a result of this.

I can see this happening again. Back then, you could only borrow 80% of a home's value and people weren't so strapped with home equity loans and credit card debt. Now we have creative financing and Ditech is advertising that they'll loan you 125% of the value.

Stagnant wages and slow job growth will only complicate matters. We can expect to lose construction and real estate related jobs, and many banks will surely fail.

It's going to be a rough landing.

Posted by: cynicalgirl on August 16, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Manhattan and I meet "Nathans" all the time that assure everyone that Manhattan is immune to market corrections or, "As for NY, barring a major terrorist attack, we don't have real drops here."

But that's incorrect, unless Nathan has a particularized definition of "real drops."

First, here's a link to a mind-numbing number of charts regarding real estate prices and other statistics in NYC:
http://www.millersamuel.com/charts/index.php
(those are the categories; click the link to find the actual charts).

As these two charts show, real estate in Manhattan does, in fact, have "real drops."
http://www.millersamuel.com/charts/gallery-view.php?ViewNode=1067010191GuHyl&Record=2
Manhattan Inflation Adjusted Quarterly Average Sales Price (Current Dollars)
http://www.millersamuel.com/charts/gallery-view.php?ViewNode=1136992267ggIva&Record=6
CPI - Adjusted Manhattan Average Sales Price vs. 1-Year Adjustable Rate Mortgage

In particular, note the volatility of the last few years.

Indeed, after a minor run-up in the late 80's in the early 90's, there was a correction that took until the late 90's to even out.

Compare that to what's going on now and prepare for a hard-landing.

Posted by: Nathan (but not Nathan) on August 16, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK
It's not a big deal if you're not selling your house.

This might almost be true, if one considered only direct, immediate consequences, if one defines "selling" broadly to include milking money out of it by taking out loans against equity, and even taking loans based on general creditworthiness that include current debt:asset considerations.

But that's only for direct and immediate effects; enough people rely on "selling" their houses (as broadly defined in the previous paragraphs) that even if you don't, the potential economic aftershocks of a widespread housing price collapse are likely to negatively impact most people indirectly, even those that don't rely on "selling" their own homes.

Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

In a specific context, but taken together the entire claim is intentionally misleading.

No, it isn't. It's an accurate representation of expert opinion on global warming. If you dispute this, you are free to provide evidence in support of that dispute. You won't be able to do that, though, because there is no such evidence.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

As for NY, barring a major terrorist attack, we don't have real drops here.

And with George W. Bush at the helm there's no chance of such an attack!

Posted by: Stefan on August 16, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

The five stages of bubble grief thing is one of the best posts you've ever written.

Posted by: Libby Sosume on August 16, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

> Clearly you have not been to Chicago,
> St. Louis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, or
> Columbus in the last 10 yrs.

Chicago is not part of the midwest housing market as such - it is more like New York. Now that Milwaukee is within commuting distance of Chicago, it reflects a bit of Chicago's pricing.

As for the rest of the midwest, I would say no. Prices in Memphis, Kansas City, St. Louis, etc. are down a bit from their recent peak, and sales are taking a bit longer, but I don't get the sense there is any SoCal-style bubble popping in the flyover-country-between-the-rivers.

Now, that is for existing housing, primarily intended as relatively long-term family living spaces. Spec McMansions _are_ popping in the midwest, but anyone who thought that was a real market is getting what they deserved IMHO.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on August 16, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

It's an accurate representation of expert opinion on global warming. blah-blah

It is reasonably true that we don't know the best method for dealing with the effect of human actions on the climate, but we do know how certain methods work. The Whores of Big Business use this 'uncertainty' to do nothing rather than do something that will be somewhat effective as we learn more about it.

We know that doing nothing about the effect that humans have on the climate is a very bad idea. Apparently that is why the Bush Administration has chosen it. They are wedded to bad ideas.

Posted by: freelunch on August 16, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Wagster:

NY was a less desireable place to live in 1991 then it is now...it's much more of a draw...I live in NoLIta, the sheer number of wealthy Europeans and Australians moving to the neighborhood (or establishing a second home in NY) is breathtaking...I don't think you had that in 1991.

I wish I thought there would be a 30% to 40% drop...I sure as heck would be buying when that happened. I don't see more than a 10% correction though, if that.

"Plus, the fundamentals are ridiculous... a median salary in Manhattan is $70K but you'd need at least twice that to buy even a modest studio in Manhattan."

True. (It's higher than 70K now but not by too much.) Which is one reason for the rental market being so poor. However, the older lower income Manhattanites (and, of course, don't forget the effect that areas above 96th street have on Manhattan stats) are living in rent-stabilized apartments anyway, so we can exclude them. Then you've got all the 23-year-olds who either have parent-subsidized housing or are sharing apartments on the UES or in Murray Hill. We can exclude them.

What we have left are people who are usually making six figures and when they combine incomes can afford 1-2 bedrooms even at current prices. (Or, they buy in Park Slope but are replaced by new renters in the city.)

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

I suggest you visit the following. A 20 percent drop in house prices would be fairly tame for a local real estate cycle. A 20 percent drop in prices nationwide has never occurred, at least as far back as the data go. Indeed, nominal declines are rare.

http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/current_issues/ci5-2.pdf

Posted by: Matt on August 16, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Buying a house for a long term investment is a better deal than buying stocks, specially in areas like Southern California. Despite multiple ups and downs during the interveing period, the houses that went for ~35K in the mid-seventies are now selling for around $500K in the San Diego area.

Conversely, it does not make much sense to try to time the housing market.

Posted by: nut on August 16, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan - you right that there a lot of localized markets. But I thought that was somewhat clear from Kevin's post.

And there are tons of metropolitain areas with shaky housing markets right now: DC, California, Florida, etc. And that's where a lot of the hot investment money went to. And when the speculators lose money, that does have a rapid ripple effect.

And let's not forget that this ripple effect is a lot bigger now, due to all the easy mortgage options that people have used. A sizeable number of people will be under water on their mortgages real fast.

The big question to me is whether we'll have a nice autumn financial panic like '87 again. Everything's ready: lack of confidence in the President, declining dollar, huge trade deficit, real estate ponzi schemes. All waiting to go boom.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on August 16, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Buying a house for a long term investment is a better deal than buying stocks, specially in areas like Southern California.

No it isn't, at least based on historical experience. The long-term return from stocks has been significantly higher than that from real estate, even from real estate in expensive areas like New York and California.

The best real estate investment is your own home, and its primary value comes from the fact that you live in it.


Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

I have a solution to the Lebannon problem!

Since Iraq was such a stunning success, and they have so many troops trained and ready to fight, and obviously have way more troops than they need to provide adequate security, and since they're a democracy now, and are no longer a Radical Muslim Threat. . . .

We should have Iraq station 20,000 peacekeepers in Southern Lebanon. I think Israel would welcome such a well-equipped, well-trained, force of enlightened, modern, democratic, non-radical folks from the bastion of Democracy in the middle-east! The Iraqis should also be eager to take a leading role in preserving peace and order in their region.

Posted by: American Fuck on August 16, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK
Global warming is real,

True.

but its causes, magnitude and timescale are subject to a huge amount of uncertainty.

Each of those is clearly subject to a some amount of uncertainty, though one can pretty precisely peg the beginning of the current sustained upswing, so the timescale is certainly not subject to anything like a huge amount of uncertainty.

The evidence indicates that it is caused partly by human activities and partly by natural mechanisms that we have little or no control over.

Most of the "natural mechanisms" involved are not root causes but positive feedback mechanisms; the unusual, unprecedented, and accelerating warming since about the dawn the industrial era is unmistakably and unquestionably principally the result of human activity.

Of course, the contribution of various positive feedback mechanisms does indicate that the worse it gets, the less impact curtailing the human activity that contributes to warming will have on the problem.

There is no consensus about the timescale or magnitude of future warming.

Its true that there is no precise scientific consensus here as there is a range of possibilities both because not all the processes are known and different assumptions are made about contributing factors even within the same models, and because the processes that are understood nevertheless are often chaotic, and small changes in inputs may result in catastrophic changes in outputs. (And, of course, the fact that the warming trend is unprecedented in the past evidence limits understanding of the dynamics that apply to the possible future warming.)

Nevertheless, even the low estimates can reasonably be expected to lead to potentially catastrophic results in the next century.


There is no consensus about the proper policy responses to global warming.

So?

Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

I'm an idiot. Everything I say is true because I say it's true.

Did I mention that I'm an idiot?

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

The statement that I live in NoLIta, the sheer number of wealthy Europeans and Australians moving to the neighborhood (or establishing a second home in NY) is breathtaking...I don't think you had that in 1991.

doesn't quite square with

NY was a less desireable place to live in 1991 then it is now ;-)

"Desirable" is all in the eyes of the beholder. 1991 New York had much more crime, murders, filth and decay -- on the other hand, it was more of a real city, still affordable for the middle class, with a thriving downtown arts and music community, as compared to the New York of today which is becoming a Disneyland New York for wealthy tourists.

The pros and cons are a bit of a toss-up. Yes, 2006 New York is a far safer and cleaner city than 1991 New York -- but if you can't afford to live here anymore, what's the advantage to you?

Posted by: Stefan on August 16, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan,

Implicitly, you are admitting your original statement was incorrect, and that there are in fact "real drops". However, per your comment, things are all different now, and, apparently, they won't be so bad as a result. That's convenient!

And the basis for your claims are empirical observations about Europeans buying homes in your neighborhood and the relative desirability of New York City as a place to live.

From that, you extrapolate that New York City won't experience 30-40% corrections. Maybe, in the long run, you will be correct, but a broken clock is right twice a day. Do you understand how flimsy your arguments sound? Moreover, do you understand why you sound deep into #3? Talk to some brokers? Are you kidding?

Moreover, Wagster's citation to median salary versus cost of a home in New York City is fundamentally more trustworthy than your almost completely arbitrary exclusion of consituents that don't fit your rationalization.

For example, do you know how many are "23-year-olds who either have parent-subsidized housing or are sharing apartments"? Older residents? You appear to be simply assuming that they make up a significant portion of the population and therefore, the $70k+ median can be discounted.

Instead, you make up another statistic: "What we have left are people who are usually making six figures". What? Really?

Maybe you're sitting on a vast storehouse of information and refuse to give it out, but as it stands, your arguments are entirely unconvincing in light of verifiable information about the real estate market in New York.

Posted by: Nathan (but not Nathan) on August 16, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Buying a house for a long term investment is a better deal than buying stocks, specially in areas like Southern California.

This is almost certainly not the case.

I remember the NY Times did a piece a year or two ago and examined this very question. The house they used as an example was a nice, large home in an upscale NJ suburb. On the face of it the appreciation looked dramatic: a house bought in (say) 1970 for (say) $42,000 was, at the time of the article, worth (say) $800,000; even adjusting for inflation that's a pretty big increase.

Such numbers certainly seem to represent real estate's superiority as an investment over any other. But what the article pointed out, and what most people fail to notice, is that the buyer didn't pay only $42,000 for the house. With interest figured into the mix they paid a lot more than that. Moreover, unlike with stocks, real estate requires the annual payment of a property tax, plus hefty maintenance and upkeep costs, insurance, etc. Historically stocks indeed provide a higher rate of return than houses.

The main advantage of houses as an investment flows from the fact that you gotta live somewhere. You might as well minimize your housing expense by gettting some of it back in the form of property appreciation. But the extra cash you have after paying your mortgage certainly shouldn't be plowed into neverending home improvements or vacation properties. Far better to put it into an index fund.

Posted by: qwerty on August 16, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

I'm also an idiot, and a lawyer--did I ever tell any of you that I'm a lawyer? Because I am.

I can tell you what's going to happen to the real estate market nationwide based on what's happening in Manhatten and coastal Florida.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Please, folks, don't let GOP derail yet another thread with his off-topic rantings. That is his purpose here, you know.

Posted by: Disputo on August 16, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe you're sitting on a vast storehouse of information and refuse to give it out, but as it stands, your arguments are entirely unconvincing in light of verifiable information about the real estate market in New York.

Verifiable information is notoriously unreliable, especially when compared to my own selective and anecdotal bullshit.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Chicago is not part of the midwest housing market as such - it is more like New York.

Of course it is. Are you really asserting that people in Chicago are competing with New Yorkers for housing rather than, eg, people in Springfield?

Posted by: Disputo on August 16, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

30-35% bottom in 08' 5 years of no appreciation

Posted by: mickslam23 on August 16, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan, I understand well that vacancies in terms of rentals are low in NYC right now. But that doesn't mean that NYC prices won't drop. What may happen is what is happening in other bubble areas - investors in all those new condos, or people who want to sell and find they can't, will try to rent their places out instead of losing money (which will happen anyway, as rents are nowhere near the costs of buying), easing the tightness of the rental market.

Posted by: Mel on August 16, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Don P, driven by his diseased, bloated ego to impress himself with his ability to waste people's time with the bullshit he posts as "GOP", wrote: "No, every single one of those statements is true."

No, they are the standard, ExxonMobil-scripted lies that you regurgitate every time the subject of global warming comes up.

Don P, posting more bullshit as "GOP", wrote: "It's an accurate representation of expert opinion on global warming."

No, it is not. It is a series of deliberate lies about expert opinion on global warming.

Don P: "If you dispute this, you are free to provide evidence in support of that dispute. You won't be able to do that, though, because there is no such evidence."

There is plenty of evidence that every single statement in your comment is a lie. Not "inaccurate", not "incorrect", not "misleading", but a deliberate lie.

That evidence has been repeatedly posted on this site by myself and others, and you have been repeatedly shown to be an incorrigible, shameless liar on this subject.

Your fake, phony pretense that such evidence has not already been posted here multiple times, as you are well aware it has, is just another lie in a series of lies from a pathological liar.

This is why every regular reader of these comment pages who is familiar with your commentaries over the past couple of years -- whether as "Don P" or "Atheist" or "GOP" -- knows that you are a malicious, belligerent fraud who does nothing but regurgitate scripted, programmed right-wing extremist Republican propaganda and deliberately waste people's time with transparently bogus rhetorical bullshit.

This is why no one takes you seriously any more: because all you have to contribute is worthless garbage.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 16, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

30-35% bottom in 08' 5 years of no appreciation

This is closer to my view. I think it's naive (or hopeful!) to expect prices to turn back around just like that. The pain will have to be absorbed into the system. Also, with no wage growth, what will drive prices back up? Only lower interest rates, and there's no reason to expect that to happen right away either.

Posted by: craigie on August 16, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Seattle, which for the last few years has been undergoing some of the rapid price appreciation that California underwent between 1998-2004. We bought a single-family detached home with a view of Lake Washington fifteen minutes north of downtown Seattle in the summer of 2000 and have seen its value (according to Zillow) appreciate about 9% a year over the six years since we bought it. That's a good strong rate of appreciation, but nothing "bubblicious".

The key factor is to realize that everything in real estate is local and related to supply and demand. In places where there is high demand and limited supply, prices should hold up reasonably well. I would put places like San Francisco and Seattle, where buildable land is constrained by natural features such as lakes, bays, mountains, etc. in this category, since job growth in both of these areas remains strong. Places like San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, where the economy is more vulnerable and buildable land is more available are much more likely to see significant drops in home values because demand is less likely to keep up with supply.

If you are trying to figure our what housing prices are going to do in your area, ask yourself three questions:

1) Are there any constraints to the creation of more housing supply?

2) Is the local economy strong enough to provide steady housing demand?

3) Is there something special about your city that makes people want to come live there?

The answers to those questions should give you a pretty good idea of what will happen to housing prices in your area.

Posted by: mfw13 on August 16, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

alex:

G-inormously O-bnoxious P-udsucker :)

Notice how the arguemnts of the real-estate boosters wishing to sustain an unsustainable boom are uncannily similar to those of the global warming deniers ...

Which is why I made that parallel.

Republican mendacity has as much respect for the "logic" of the marketplace as it has for established scientific theories.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on August 16, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

> Of course it is. Are you really asserting
> that people in Chicago are competing with New
> Yorkers for housing rather than, eg, people in
> Springfield?

Um, yes, actually. Having lived in both of those markets more or less (Chicago and central downstate IL, that is), I am fairly sure of that ;-)

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on August 16, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1: G-inormously O-bnoxious P-udsucker

That's the spirit!

Come on, folks, more ideas.

Notice how the arguemnts of the real-estate boosters wishing to sustain an unsustainable boom are uncannily similar to those of the global warming deniers

The "don't worry, be happy" school of thought.

Posted by: alex on August 16, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

Each of those is clearly subject to a some amount of uncertainty,

Each of them is subject to a huge amount of uncertainty.

though one can pretty precisely peg the beginning of the current sustained upswing, so the timescale is certainly not subject to anything like a huge amount of uncertainty.

The timescale of future warming is subject to a huge amount of uncertainty.

Most of the "natural mechanisms" involved are not root causes but positive feedback mechanisms;

I'm not sure what you think the difference between a human cause and a natural mechanism that is a "positive feedback mechanism" is supposed to be. Obviously, all human causes work through natural mechanisms, but scientists distinguish between anthropogenic causes and natural variability. Major natural causes of warming, such as solar forcing, have nothing to do with human activity.

the unusual, unprecedented, and accelerating warming since about the dawn the industrial era is unmistakably and unquestionably principally the result of human activity.

Nonsense. The IPCC TAR concluded only that "most" of the observed warming is "likely" to have been caused by human activities. There's nothing "unquestionable" about it.

Its true that there is no precise scientific consensus here

I'm not sure what a "precise" scientific consensus, as opposed to a scientific consensus, is supposed to mean. As I said, there is no scientific consensus on the issues I listed.

Nevertheless, even the low estimates can reasonably be expected to lead to potentially catastrophic results in the next century.

No, the low estimates cannot "be expected to lead to potentially catastrophic results in the next century."

So?

So, there is still a huge amount of uncertainty and dispute amoung experts regarding what the proper policy responses to global warming should be.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK
So, there is still a huge amount of uncertainty and dispute amoung experts regarding what the proper policy responses to global warming should be.

"Proper policy" isn't a question of fact anyway.

Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

qwerty,

I remember the NY Times did a piece a year or two ago and examined this very question.

Yes indeed. In the Long Run, Sleep at Home and Invest in the Stock Market

Quote:

"In fact, by a wide margin over time, stock prices have risen more quickly than home values, even on the East and West Coasts, where home values have appreciated most."

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Whew! For a minute there I thought you guys were going to get back on topic despite my best efforts. Another close one! ;)

Posted by: GOOP on August 16, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

"Proper policy" isn't a question of fact anyway.

No kidding. I didn't say it is.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK
The timescale of future warming is subject to a huge amount of uncertainty.

Um, no.

The timescale of future warming is not subject to any uncertainty except in a sense in which that is completely redundant with the uncertainty in whatever uncertainty there is in the magnitude of future warming.

The magnitude of future warming is subject to some uncertainty; "huge", of course, is subjective, but if you want us to accept your subjective characterization, you would be well-advised to present evidence supporting a quantification that would support the interpretation "huge".

Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Um, yes, actually. Having lived in both of those markets more or less (Chicago and central downstate IL, that is), I am fairly sure of that ;-)

Well, I've been living in both areas for more than 40 yrs total, and I have to say that you are incorrect.

Did you know that people in south suburban Chicago are moving to places like Danville, where housing has dropped 25% in the last couple years? They aren't moving to NY, nor are people in NY moving to Chicago.

Posted by: Disputo on August 16, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK
Republican mendacity has as much respect for the "logic" of the marketplace as it has for established scientific theories.

Republican mendacity exists to spread the memes most useful to the masters of the Republican party.

Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1,

G-inormously O-bnoxious P-udsucker

R-abidly M-oronic C-ocksucking K-ook 1.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

On the subject of global warming, as always, Don P, posting as "GOP", continues to regurgitate the standard ExxonMobil-scripted lies about nonexistent "huge uncertainties" in the science; he continues to regurgiate the standard ExxonMobil-scripted lies about nonexistent "lack of consensus" about the appropriate policy response; he continues to refer to outdated five-year-old reports that do not reflect any of the climate change science that has been done since 2001; and he continues to pretend that his blatant lies have not already been conclusively refuted multiple times on these comment pages.

As always, Don P is a deliberate liar.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 16, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Come one, folks. Stop taking GOP's bait.

He gets paid double when he successfully derails a thread.

Posted by: Disputo on August 16, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Also, and somewhat surprisingly for someone who is a mean-spirited, hateful, belligerently nasty asshole seething with hostility in everything he writes, Don P is very, very bad at the fine art of the insult. His insults are even lamer than his lies.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 16, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

GOP offered: So, there is still a huge amount of uncertainty and dispute amoung experts regarding what the proper policy responses to global warming should be.

I responded: "Proper policy" isn't a question of fact anyway.

GOP returned: No kidding. I didn't say it is.

"Expert consensus" is irrelevant to any question except as a shortcut to resolving a question of fact where analysis of the relevant material would be too difficult for non-experts. But since you've just admitted that the issue to which you've pointed to the absence of an expert consensus is not in the class of issues to which an expert consensus would be relevant, why should we care?

Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

GOP:

R-efreshingly M-ature C-hivalric K-night

Pbbbbbbt !

:)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on August 16, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

Because EXPERTS AGREE: GOP is a G-inormously O-bnoxious P-udscker :)

Okay okay, I'll stop now ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on August 16, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

Agreed, but that's my point. the fact that 2006 NY is far more of a desireable place to live for wealthy outsiders than 1991 is precisely why housing prices won't drop 30%.

the other Nathan:

You don't live here do you? 20% of Manhattan makes more than 300K a year. The comment about elderly in rent-stabilized apartments, young 20 somethings sharing apartments, etc. isn't controversial to anyone who lives here.

to my troll:

at least I can spell "Manhattan"

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

> Did you know that people in south suburban
> Chicago are moving to places like Danville,
> where housing has dropped 25% in the last couple
> years? They aren't moving to NY, nor are people
> in NY moving to Chicago.

I am not familiar with the neighborhoods and suburbs of NYC so I can't give you an exact comparision, but I imagine that the people who live in NYC's equivalent of Posen aren't moving to either Chicago or London. But then again Posen isn't the part of Chicago that has experienced a housing price explosion either. The people who _do_ live in those parts of Chicago are the ones who move back and forth among Chicago, NYC, San Fran, London, etc. They would no more move to Flossmoor than they would to Arkansas.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on August 16, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo wrote: Come one, folks. Stop taking GOP's bait. He gets paid double when he successfully derails a thread.

I think it's a worthwhile contribution to this thread to point out that Don P, who is posting in this thread as "GOP" and posts in other threads as "Atheist" (when he wants to bash liberal Christians), has a long history of posting deliberate, blatant lies not only about global warming but about other subjects as well, and an equally long history of deliberately, maliciously wasting people's time with rhetorical bullshit and long, drawn-out, totally vapid arguments for the sake of argument.

If he wants to "derail" threads, whether for payment or to satisfy the demands of his diseased, bloated ego, then I'll do my part to see that each such thread is "derailed" into a discussion of what a lying sack of shit he is.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 16, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry to double-post, but I really have to doubt very many people are moving even from Chicago Heights to Danville. South of Kankakee, maybe. But there ain't no jobs in Danville, and having made the Bloomington/Champaign/Danville-to-Chicago u-turn 487 times I can report there aren't going to be many regular commuters along there.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on August 16, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

"the fact that 2006 NY is far more of a desireable place to live for wealthy outsiders than 1991 is precisely why housing prices won't drop 30%."

Nathan, I really think you need more than this to show that prices won't drop - that's the point of Kevin's point 3 - EVERYONE says this about their area. But a lot more goes into it than "my city is nice."

The fact is that NYC has always been more expensive than other areas in the US, and it always will be, because, even when it was "bad" people wanted to live here. It's THE major US city, and that hasn't changed in the past 3 years. The bottom line is that even in a town of $60 million dollar townhouses and numerous helipads to take people to the Hamptons, the economic fundamentals do not justify to extreme price run up of the past few years.

You really should take a look at Jonathan Miller's website. He's not a bs'er at all and his numbers are troubling for the outlook of NY real estate.

Posted by: Mel on August 16, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Pretty hilarious post, Kevin. Thanks.

Posted by: mk on August 16, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

If the last housing bubble is any indication, real prices will be down over 40% and they won't hit bottom until 2010. Obviously the majority of the population 1) can't read graphs, 2) can't remember 14 years ago.

Posted by: Bad Shift on August 16, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan, about your contention about beachfront property in South Florida, I sure hope it's true. My uncle has been trying to sell his Galt Ocean Mile condo on A1A since January and hasn't had any luck. I'd much rather visit him in New Mexico, where he wants to live.

I personally don't think your contention is true. a lot of beachfront property owners, like my uncle, are trying to get outta dodge before another hurricane strikes.

Posted by: lou on August 16, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

20% of Manhattan makes more than 300K a year.

What?!?!? I'm going to have to see a cite for that figure. Even on the Upper East Side, probably the wealthiest single neighborhood, the median income is probably only around $90-100,000, and the median income for a household in Manhattan proper is, if memory serves, somewhere around $46-48,000, while for a family it's about $50,000.

Posted by: Stefan on August 16, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

MFW13: we agree. my point is precisely that housing is a localized phenomenon dependent upon local factors (combine with national factors such as interest rates).

Mel: there aren't a lot of speculators in the NY housing market. people live in those condos.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

the median income on the UES is 84K.

that's the median, not the average. the top 20% in the city make a stupendous amount of money. It was NY Times article a couple years ago...I'll see if I can find it.

remember this: the average Manhattan apartment is now over 1MM. fact. that happened last year and was well documented.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Mel: You do realize that most of your post explains exactly why NY won't drop more than 10% (if that, but I think a 10% correction would still qualify as remaining stable, as that correction would be more than made up for in a couple years anyway (see 2001-2002).

Cranky: you're right.

The problem is that NY housing market (and ditto for the most desireable yuppie areas of Chicago) is absolutely unique. As my troll was inable of comprehending, my NY and South Florida examples serve only to demonstrate that RE is a localized phenomenon.

I'm going to rephrase my SF point. Beachfront property from Jupiter south to North Miami beach maybe slightly overpriced...I don't know (I think they were undervalued a few years ago). What I do know is that there are a grand total of 1500 housing units on South Beach directly on the Atlantic side on the water. I'd be surprised if they lost any value.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

"there aren't a lot of speculators in the NY housing market. people live in those condos."

How do you know that?

And the point had nothing to with speculators - if those indeed are normal people and they one day try to sell their places but find that they can't, what happens to them? Sure, some may stay, but there are always people who can't, and those are the ones who set the market. If they try to rent, the rental market loosens up and even though they may try to cover their mortgage costs, b/c rent is out of whack with pricing right now, rents will NOT cover mortgage costs, and they'll lose money.

Posted by: Mel on August 16, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Mel: if you're not familiar with NY there's no point in having this discussion.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

There is every reason to think that the markets which have witnessed the greatest appreciation over the last 5 years will take the biggest hit over the next 3. The Washington area, NYC, Boston, SoCal, Phoenix, Miami: a 30% sell off wouldn't surprise me in the least, as that would leave prices still appreciably higher than they were just 5 years ago.

Against this, we have to realize that with the Fed at the end of its tightening cycle, the next question becomes when will they move to slash rates? My bet is sometime in the 1st quarter of 2007.

In aniticipation of this, it makes sense to scoop up some homebuilding stocks which have been mercilessly trashed, but which should begin to rebound based on the prospects of the Fed lowering rates 6 months out.

In other words, sell Manhattan condos, and go long Centex!

Just my two cents.

Posted by: smedleybutler on August 16, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

I saw the peak arrive here in Eugene in the latter half of 2005. As I work for a broker, I've seen the dawning of the light on realtors, though most of the veterans are quick to point out, the market's still much hotter than it was a decade ago.

As I've studied historic housing bubbles some, I expect to see valuations idle or drop, for 3 to 4 years. Folks who bought should just take a longer view as their real estate will be worth much more in ten years. The bottom period should run from 2008-2011, so0 that's the period of time that a smart investor will be buying.

Coincidentally, 1946 plus 62 or 65 equals 2008-2011, as well, the period when the biggest wave of boomers will retire. The Fed, trying to keep the economy afloat in the post-techbubble era, made interest rates low and capitalized on boomers buying their retirement homes.

What I'm trying to say, and have said for several years, is we look to be headed into recession for the 2008 campaign. I look for the stock market to peak next Spring, then as the leading indicator, it should tank into the winter/spring of 2008.

It points to high incumbent turnovers in successive elections through the 2010 midterms, at least. Iraq's driving this one, but the economy will drive the next two or three.

People used to investing in real estate and stocks would be wise to learn how to short when NASDAQ gets to 2700, or look for safer investments during that bottom period.

Futures in Afghani opium might be good.

Posted by: Kevin Hayden on August 16, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Although the median income in Manhattan is about 48K (a figure which includes Chinatown, Harlem and Washington Heights),

http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGki2QfuNEFWEAOtxXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE4Y3FoMW0xBGNvbG8DdwRsA1dTMQRwb3MDMTgEc2VjA3NyBHZ0aWQDRjgwNF8yMDM-/SIG=13p9rfpo7/EXP=1155846160/**http%3a//www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/Profiles/Single/2003/ACS/Narrative/060/NP06000US3606144919.htm

the average income is 186K (a figure which includes Chinatown, Harlem and Washington Heights).

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/02/realestate/02cov.html?ei=5088&en=af7e9939cc4df53a&ex=1285905600&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=print

That should give you some idea how much the top 20-30% make in NY.


Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Back in the early 80s, as people defaulted on homes, the S&Ls ended up with a lot. As the S&Ls struggled, many ended up going bust, dumping large amounts of REO on the market. Some of the neighborhoods here in Denver had home prices drop 80% from 1980 to 1985.

I for one am saving my money to wait until there is blood in the streets. After having lost more than $10k on each and every home I previously owned, this time is going to be different. And the line from the movie Wargames comes to mind: "sometimes the only way to win is to not play at all."

Posted by: Tangurena on August 16, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

I underestimated how much the top 20% in Manhattan make.

It's actually $365,826.

http://www.citiesforprogress.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=121

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

I live, a single guy, in a house now valued at a cool $1M. North San Diego coastal area, no view but close. That's expensive enough to resent your kids, since each bedroom costs a $1K/month! This is not right. America will be a better place after a 40% fall.
The best thing that could happen to Mother Earth re: Global warming would be $150/barrel oil, but a huge crash of our foolish money pile will also help. So maybe the world will benefit from a RE crash in America.
As for Global Warming - even if everything on both sides is correct - twisted context ior not - when it's raining hard, you turn off the automated sprinklers. If there is a natural cycle of CO2, or GW, whatever, we need to take steps. You can't pile on, cause of some notion of helplessness.

Posted by: senor_crews on August 16, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

Um, no.

Um, yes. The timescale of future warming is subject to a huge amount of uncertainty.

The timescale of future warming is not subject to any uncertainty except in a sense in which that is completely redundant with the uncertainty in whatever uncertainty there is in the magnitude of future warming.

Gibberish.

The magnitude of future warming is subject to some uncertainty;

Not just "some" uncertainity, but huge uncertainty.

"huge", of course, is subjective,

I am using the word in its conventional sense.

but if you want us to accept your subjective characterization, you would be well-advised to present evidence supporting a quantification that would support the interpretation "huge".

The high and low ends of the IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity vary by a factor of three. That alone represents huge uncertainty. And there is additional huge uncertainty over the magnitude and timescale of increases in CO2 concentration, which further compounds the huge uncertainty regarding climate sensitivity.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

these stats illustrate why NY is absolutely unique: (see the graphics)

http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=776&postcount=1

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

"Expert consensus" is irrelevant to any question except as a shortcut to resolving a question of fact

Nonsense. Expert consensus is relevant to questions of public policy as well as questions of fact.

But since you've just admitted that the issue to which you've pointed to the absence of an expert consensus is not in the class of issues to which an expert consensus would be relevant,

I have "admitted" no such thing. You claimed that expert consensus is irrelevant to policy questions, and I pointed out that your claim is false.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

The graphic here of income density in the city tells everything:

http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/421

put it this way: the areas which aren't public housing (over 10% of the borough) and where housing is being constructed have very high incomes. (I'm poor by my neighborhood's standards.)

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

I say that there won't be a 20% drop across the country, that housing is undervalued across much of the country, and then I admit that I only know about NYC and admit that it's unique.

In conclusion, I'm a fucking idiot.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Put me in the same category as Charlie. A moronic troll, who, when his idiocy is repeatedly exposed(see my endless pro-torture/"ticking time bomb arguments), changes his screen name and refuses to admit it even though everyone knows who I am.

Oh, and I start an argument about global warming in a thread about the housing market--almost as good as when Charlie drags abortion into an unrelated thread.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

The major factor is interest rates. If the Fed dropped interest rates back to 2-3% I would personally guarantee that the housing bubble would reinflate.

--Dan

Posted by: Dan on August 16, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

I know nothing. I am nothing. I just steal other people's handles because I'm such a loser.

Posted by: Stefan on August 16, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Gibberish.

I just had to repeat this comment of mine, because it's so damn brilliant. I mean really, who can argue with that?

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

I have nothing to contribute. I'm just a name-stealing moron.

Posted by: Stefan on August 16, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

The evidence indicates that it is caused partly by human activities and partly by natural mechanisms that we have little or no control over.

True, but the human caused portion is substantial, and we can do something about that. The fact that a bad event has two influences doesn't mean we shouldn't address the one we can affect.

There is no consensus about the timescale or magnitude of future warming.

True, but the lower estimates of its magnitude indicate a large effect, and the longer estimates of its timescale are only a few decades to a century hence, and the shorter estimates are a few years to decades. Remember the 1% doctrine: For rare but huge events, if there is a 1% chance it is true, we have to treat it as certain.

There is no consensus about the proper policy responses to global warming.

If you include US Republican politicians, that's true. If you mean scientists, it's also true but in a different sense. Scientists differ in the amount of alarm they exhibit (from a lot to a shitload). They agree that we need to reduce carbon use etc, but they differ in which ways to reduce carbon should be emphasized first. They don't differ about whether we need to do something soon.

Posted by: anandine on August 16, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if Nathan posts on any of the gay message boards.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

GOP didn't bring up global warming in this thread. I did.

Posted by: rmck1 on August 16, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't "admit" that NY was unique, I stated that from the beginning. In my very first post I said that housing was localized and that it was probably in a bubble in some locales. I never said that housing was currently undervalued across the country.

oh, and troll, you're a fucking pubescent asshole.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and I'm too fucking stupid to know who's stealing my fake name. I can't get anything right.

Ticking time bomb!

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

housing was undervalued across much of the country

Me, at 12:33 ET.

I'm just saving everyone time by debunking myself.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

anadine,

True, but the human caused portion is substantial, and we can do something about that.

There's no consensus amoung experts on what we should do about it.

True, but the lower estimates of its magnitude indicate a large effect, and the longer estimates of its timescale are only a few decades to a century hence,

There is no consensus on what the effects of global warming will be at either the high or low ends of the estimated range of temperature increase. And the longer estimates of timescale are not "only a few decades to a century hence," they range up to indefinitely long periods of time.

Remember the 1% doctrine: For rare but huge events, if there is a 1% chance it is true, we have to treat it as certain.

Where did you get that stupid "doctrine" from?

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

AFter this is all over, housing will drop a minimum of 25% across California (including inflation)

Posted by: Jack B. Nimble on August 16, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Fake fake GOP doesn't even realize that I am fake GOP. What a moron.

Posted by: Stefan on August 16, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

troll: um, "was" is past tense. what is past is not current. idiot.

GOP: I think it's a reference to the one percent doctrine; Suskind purports that it is a heuristic that Cheney follows.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

I bought my house in Providence in 1994 for $165,000. The seller had been chasing the market down for the previous 5 years (listed at $289 in 1989). I've watched in amazement at the prices some people have been paying in my neighborhood in the past three years, but all sales have stopped in the last eight months. A lot of the activity has been converting multi family houses to condos. The For Sale signs are starting to include "Repriced".

A friend who has been a landlord for twenty years is looking forward to the next years: he figures to pick up some great deals in about three years.

Posted by: PetervE on August 16, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan, I agree that NY is "unique" in that it's real estate market is different from, say, Boise. However, again, I think you're way to entrenched in #3 and are refusing to see that all "unique" factors aside, even a "unique" market can be at risk.

Posted by: Mel on August 16, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

housing was undervalued across much of the country...which means that it's close to its "real" value now.

Which means I'm trying to argue that there isn't a housing bubble across most of the country now, even though I admit that I don't know squat beyond the New York housing market.

For a lawyer, I'm pretty bad at spinning my own bullshit.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry Nathan, didn't realize that one of my pro-torture heroes, Dick Cheney, came up with that stupid doctrine.

But keep in mind, I'm an even bigger idiot than you are.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and PS Nathan? I live in NY, work in NY and grew up in NY. You probably come from out of state, am I right? Believe me, I understand NY well, and even with high rents, if many of these people try to rent out their apts., they will not be able to cover their mortgage payments with their rents.

Maybe your troll is right about you.

Posted by: Mel on August 16, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Keep in mind that I am a name-stealing moron.

Posted by: Stefan on August 16, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

"if many of these people try to rent out their apts., they will not be able to cover their mortgage payments with their rents."

I don't dispute that. That's why they're living in them.

as for my troll (probably Stefan who doesn't like it when I pull out real stats on him):

you're correct that I don't think there is a nationwide bubble. That's why I said there might be some localized ones. I have never, at any point in this thread, attempted to extrapolate from NY to the rest of the country. Far from it.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

anandine,

If you include US Republican politicians, that's true.

It's true whether you include U.S. Republican politicians or not. For example, even the Clinton Administration refused to present the Kyoto treaty to congress for ratification.

If you mean scientists,

I mean scientists, politicians, and the general public, amoung others.

They agree that we need to reduce carbon use etc, but they differ in which ways to reduce carbon should be emphasized first. They don't differ about whether we need to do something soon.

There is a general consensus that it is desirable to reduce CO2 emissions. There is no consensus about how much to reduce emissions by, or over what period of time to reduce emissions, or about what means to use to reduce emissions, or about how much to focus on policies that attempt to mitigate climate change rather than policies that attempt to adapt to climate change.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

heck, the NY job market was hit hard in 2001-2002 (I was trying to find employment here then).
Rents barely dropped -- and most of that was in Battery Park for obvious reasons.

A nasty job market in NY is the only thing that I could see as really forcing people to drop prices and sell...but like I said, that didn't even happen in 01-02.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan, you do understand the difference between "average income for the top 20%" and "80th percentile income", don't you? You said that "20% of Manhattan residents make more than $300K per year", while your linked source said that

The top fifth of earners in Manhattan now make 52 times what the lowest fifth make - $365,826 compared with $7,047 - which is roughly comparable to the income disparity in Namibia, according to the Times analysis of 2000 census data. Put another way, for every dollar made by households in the top fifth of Manhattan earners, households in the bottom fifth made about 2 cents.
which is a little ambiguous, but seems to be giving the *average* income of the top 20%, not at all the same thing...

By the way, I lived in Manhattan in the early 1990s, and I thought it was a great place to live then, despite the low housing prices compared to today. :) What makes you think that a recession that leads to a loss of Wall Street jobs -- yes, they happen -- wouldn't hit the Manhattan real estate market hard?

Posted by: Alex R on August 16, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK
Nonsense. Expert consensus is relevant to questions of public policy as well as questions of fact.

Nonsense. Expert consensus is relevant to public policy only insofar as that expert consensus concerns matters of fact that are themselves relevant to the public policy question. Every policy question involves two aspects: a question of fact as to the impacts of policy alternative, and a question of value as to how outcomes ought to be measured against each other. Appeals to expert authority are only useful as a shortcut to resolving the former subquestion where the material is inaccessible to average participant in the debate due to complexity, but cannot address the latter subquestion.

You claimed that expert consensus is irrelevant to policy questions

False.

Its very relevant to policy questions, e.g., of the form: "What different results can be expected if Policy A is adopted vs. Policy B?"

On the question of "What is the proper policy?", expert consensus on that question is irrelevant, as "proper" is a value judgement, and there is no such thing as value "expertise" (one might subscribe to, e.g., religious authority in the field of values which would operate similarly to expertise, but the statements of such authority would only be useful as an argument where the participants adhere to a common authority.) Expert consensus on the factual impacts of policy is relevant, of course, to answering the question of proper policy within a given value framework, but that's a different consensus than the one you pointed to not existing.

Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

Why does the fact / value distinction hate America?

:)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on August 16, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Nathan, you do understand the difference between "average income for the top 20%" and "80th percentile income","

I do. I've been doing some googling and I can't find any news accounts that clearly delineate what they're working with.

Let's just leave it at this: a heck of a lot of people in NY make a heck of a lot of money. This is anecdotal so someone's going to jump all over it: but almost everyone I know in my age range who lives in Manhattan makes in the six figures...but I know a lot of people. Sure, my brother who's a special ed teacher in the Bronx makes much less than that...but he also lives in the Pelham Bay area. With brokers demanding incomes of 50 times the monthly rent and the average rent for a studio or one-bedroom being 2300 and up, people have no choice but to make more than 100K to live here. And my contemporaries are definitely not in the top 20%.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Don P, the right-wing mental slave driven by his diseased, bloated ego to robotically regurgitate ExxonMobil-scripted propaganda about the scientific consensus regarding global warming as "GOP," continues to spew his same old long-discredited lies.

Facts:

  • The overwhelming scientific consensus is that the unprecedented global warming observed over the past century is the result of dramatically increased atmospheric concentrations of "greenhouse gases" caused by human activities, primarily CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, and secondarily methane emissions from various sources.
  • There are NO "natural causes" that have been scientifically demonstrated to contribute to the observed warming, nor is there any need to invoke such entirely speculative "natural causes" to account for it, since the already proven anthropogenic causes are entirely sufficient to account for it.
  • There is overwhelming scientific consensus that the effects of anthropogenic global warming that we are already experiencing are severe, resulting in thousands of human deaths and enormous financial costs, and that the temperature increases that are already inevitable as a result of the CO2 we have already pumped into the atmosphere, even if we stopped burning all fossil fuels today -- a minimum of 2 degrees centigrade by 2100 -- will have severe and destructive consequences.
  • There is overwhelming scientific consensus that if we continue to burn fossil fuels at "business as usual" rates, with corresponding increases in annual CO2 emissions (the IEA forecasts a 52% increase in annual GHG emissions in 25 years) that temperature increases by 2100 will be substantially greater, 3 degrees centigrade and more, which will have truly catastrophic effects not only on human civilization but on the capacity of the Earth to support anything resembling the rich, diverse biosphere that has flourished on this planet throughout all of human existence.
  • There is overwhelming scientific consensus that humanity urgently needs to reduce the GHG emissions from burning fossil fuels substantially and rapidly to avoid catastrophic, irreversible runaway global warming.

Don P is full of shit and is doing nothing but robotically repeating ExxonMobil's lies. He deliberately insults every single reader of these threads when he repeats false claims that have already, repeatedly, been shown to be lies.

If you prefer to know the truth about the scientific consensus regarding anthropogenic global warming and its effects, I commend to your attention this article which discusses a new study by a team of researchers led by Dr. Marko Scholze of Bristol University, which was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Forecast Puts Earth's Future Under a Cloud
By Alok Jha
The Guardian UK
15 August 2006

More than half of the world's major forests will be lost if global temperatures rise by an average of 3C or more by the end of the century, it was claimed yesterday. The prediction comes from the most comprehensive analysis yet of the potential effects of human-made global warming.

Extreme floods, forest fires and droughts will also become more common over the next 200 years as global temperatures rise owing to climate change, according to Marko Scholze of Bristol University. Dr Scholze took 52 simulations of the world's climate over the next century, based on 16 different climate models, grouping the results according to varying amounts of global warming they predicted by 2100: less than 2C on average, 2C-3C and more than 3C. He then used the simulations to work out how the world's plants would be affected over the next few hundred years. The results were published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Alan O'Neill, science director for the National Centre for Earth Observation, said: "Some work in this area has been done before looking at the meteorological forecasts for climate change and feeding those into vegetation models ... this is a much more comprehensive study."

He added that Dr Scholze's results would give climate scientists the most accurate scientific projection yet of the future effects of global warming.

Dr Scholze said the effects of a 2C category were inevitable. This is the temperature rise that will happen, on average, even if the world immediately stopped emitting greenhouse gases. This scenario predicts that Europe, Asia, Canada, central America and Amazonia could lose up to 30% of its forests.

A rise of 2C-3C will mean less fresh water available in parts of west Africa, central America, southern Europe and the eastern US, raising the probability of drought in these areas. In contrast, the tropical parts of Africa and South America will be at greater risk of flooding as trees are lost. Dr Scholze says a global temperature rise of more than 3C will mean even less fresh water. Loss of forest in Amazonia and Europe, Asia, Canada and central America could reach 60%.

A 3C warming could also present a yet more dangerous scenario where the temperatures induce plants to become net producers of carbon dioxide. "As temperatures go up, plants like it better and they start to grow more vigorously and start to take up more carbon dioxide from the air," Dr O'Neill said. "But there comes a point where the take-up is saturated for a given vegetation cover, then the ecosystem starts to respire more than it's taking up."

Dr Scholze's work shows that this so-called "tipping point" could arrive by the middle of this century. His scenarios echo research from the UK's Hadley Centre, a world leader in climate change modelling. In a report published last year called Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change, scientists at the centre predicted that a 3C rise in average temperatures would cause a worldwide drop in cereal crops of between 20m and 400m tonnes, put 400 million more people at risk of hunger, and put up to 3 billion people at risk of flooding and without access to fresh water supplies.

In May, David King, the government's chief scientific adviser, warned that the world's temperature would rise by 3C, causing catastrophic damage around the world, unless governments took urgent action to reduce carbon emissions.

Dr Scholze said his work could help to define the concept of dangerous climate change for policymakers. "Dangerous is very objective. We tried to define a dangerous level and see what the risks are," he said. In his definition, climate change becomes dangerous when an event - such as extreme flooding or heatwaves - that only happened once every 100 years becomes one that happens every 10 years.

He added that a rise of 3C was not inevitable. "We can't just do what we do at the moment, what we call business as usual. We have a few decades - we have to do something before 2040."

At the rate we are burning fossil fuels, global temperatures could easily increase by more than the 3C rise that Marko Scholze's research warns could increase flooding, forest fires and droughts. A 2001 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said an increase of between 1.4 and 5.8C by 2100 would be caused if current carbon emissions continue.

Global sea levels would rise by between 0.09 and 0.88 metres as a result. Scientists at the UK Climate Impacts Programme predict that a 3C rise or above would reduce rain on the south coast to half of current levels, by more than 40% across the rest of England and 30% in Scotland.

Sea levels could be 70cm higher in the south and there would be a 17-fold increase in flooding on the east coast. London could face a 25bn clean-up bill after a storm surge that would overwhelm the Thames barrier.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 16, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

Expert consensus is relevant to public policy only insofar as that expert consensus concerns matters of fact that are themselves relevant to the public policy question.

Since matters of fact obviously are relevant to public policy, including public policy regarding global warming, you're now agreeing with me that expert consensus is in fact relevant to public policy on global warming. Congratulations. It took you a while to get there, but you found your way in the end.

On the question of "What is the proper policy?", expert consensus on that question is irrelevant,

Oh dear. Now you're contradicting yourself. Since proper policy depends on matters of fact, and you just agreed that expert consensus is relevant to matters of fact, you agreed that expert consensus is relevant to questions of proper policy. Only now you're saying it isn't. For goodness' sake, make up your mind.


Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Prices in southern California will drop until they relate to wages once again. A 20% drop means a two bedroom, 1200 square foot starter condo in a lousy, crime infested neighborhood, with a one hour rush hour drive to downtown or WLA sell for $360k. That's a bubble price, not a real price.

Sad to say, but LA has seen 50% drops before and we may well see them again. In fact, this time it may even be worse. Starter homes need to have starter prices that don't require mom and dad to take out a second on their home.

In 2001, the condo next door sold for $160k. Wages haven't risen since then. How do you justify $450k for the same place ive years later?

Posted by: lillyfellini on August 16, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

The overwhelming scientific consensus is that the unprecedented global warming observed over the past century is the result of dramatically increased atmospheric concentrations of "greenhouse gases" caused by human activities, primarily CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, and secondarily methane emissions from various sources.

This claim of fact is nonsense. The IPCC TAR and the National Academy of Sciences have concluded only that it is "likely" that "most" of the observed global warming of the past century or so has been caused by human activities. Note the important qualifiers "likely" and "most."

There are NO "natural causes" that have been scientifically demonstrated to contribute to the observed warming,

There is strong scientific evidence that at least some of observed global warming has been caused by natural mechanisms such as solar forcing.

There is overwhelming scientific consensus that ... the temperature increases that are already inevitable as a result of the CO2 we have already pumped into the atmosphere, even if we stopped burning all fossil fuels today -- a minimum of 2 degrees centigrade by 2100 -- will have severe and destructive consequences.

This claim of fact is also utter nonsense. There is no scientific consensus at all, let alone an "overwhelming" one, that existing atmospheric CO2 will produce a "a minimum of 2 degrees centigrade by 2100" increase in global mean surface temperature. This claim is yet another "fact" that you made made up out of thin air.

There is overwhelming scientific consensus that if we continue to burn fossil fuels at "business as usual" rates, with corresponding increases in annual CO2 emissions (the IEA forecasts a 52% increase in annual GHG emissions in 25 years) that temperature increases by 2100 will be substantially greater, 3 degrees centigrade and more,

Yet another false claim of fact. There's no scientific consensus on this claim, either. You're making up "facts" out of thin air.

There is overwhelming scientific consensus that humanity urgently needs to reduce the GHG emissions from burning fossil fuels substantially and rapidly to avoid catastrophic, irreversible runaway global warming.

More utter nonsense. There is no scientific consensus on this claim, either. In fact, this last claim of yours isn't simply wrong, it's preposterous.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

20% of Manhattan makes more than 300K a year.

I underestimated how much the top 20% in Manhattan make. It's actually $365,826. http://www.citiesforprogress.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=121

That doesn't quite match up. While the top fifth of income earners might make an average of $365,826 in income, that's not at all the same as saying that 20% of Manhattanites each individually make more than $300,000 a year.

The top fifth may average $365K, but that may include some who make $100,000 while others make $100,000,000 -- as always, the extremely high incomes of a few individuals at the top of the scale can have an extremely distorting effect on the average.

Merely as a matter of common sense, I can't imagine that every fifth person on the streets of Manhattan makes a third of a million dollars a year or more. It's just not plausible.

This is anecdotal so someone's going to jump all over it: but almost everyone I know in my age range who lives in Manhattan makes in the six figures...but I know a lot of people.

Eh, I know lots of people who live in Manhattan who make less than six figures. They don't live well, of course, and are often doubled up with roommates or living in absurdly small studios, but they manage.

Posted by: Stefan on August 16, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Here's an example of how SecularAnimist's own sources contradict his ridiculous claims. And in a single post, no less:

Animist's deranged personal claim: "There is overwhelming scientific consensus that if we continue to burn fossil fuels at "business as usual" rates, with corresponding increases in annual CO2 emissions (the IEA forecasts a 52% increase in annual GHG emissions in 25 years) that temperature increases by 2100 will be substantially greater, 3 degrees centigrade and more"

Animist's source: "A 2001 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said an increase of between 1.4 and 5.8C by 2100 would be caused if current carbon emissions continue."

So, even Animist's own source cites a projected temperature increase value under "business as usual" conditions (1.4 degrees) that is less than half of the increase for which Animist absurdly claims there is an "overwhelming scientific consensus" (3 degrees "and more").

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

if it's the average of the top 20%, you could be right. I'm trying to find an account that breaks it down.

"Merely as a matter of common sense, I can't imagine that every fifth person on the streets of Manhattan makes a third of a million dollars a year or more. It's just not plausible."

well, it's more like every 1 out of 5 people you see on the street actually lives here (if that).

and as I noted above: a substantial portion of the borough lives in rent-stabilized housing (heck, my apartment is stabilized and a good $500 a month below market rate), subsidized housing, shared with roommates, etc. I think it was Mel who questioned that.

apparently, 30% of Manhattan is below the poverty line. which makes sense when you consider Washington Heights, Harlem, Chinatown, the remaining LES and West Side projects. then you got the kids fresh out of school who are living in shares. then you've got the elderly who own their place or live rent-controlled, don't really have an income but live comfortably enough.

then we've got the other 30-40% (at a guess)...who are easily making a 100K plus.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK
There is strong scientific evidence that at least some of observed global warming has been caused by natural mechanisms such as solar forcing.

"At least some" falsely suggests that there is at least some scientific evidence that more than "some" (i.e., "all") observed warming is due to this. Indeed, the contrary is true, natural changes seem, in total, not to be particularly significant net effects in the long-term warming trend. The natural factor most often suggested to contribute to warming (considered in isolation), solar forcing (your prime example here) is a small effect over the whole of the 20th Century. IPCC Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis notes in this regard, "All reconstructions indicate that the direct effect of variations in solar forcing over the 20th century was about 20 to 25% of the change in forcing due to increases in the well-mixed greenhouse gases."

Overall, for natural effects, the same report noted (emphasis added): "Reconstructions of climate forcing in the 20th century indicate that the net natural climate forcing probably increased during the first half of the 20th century, due to a period of low volcanism coinciding with a small increase in solar forcing. Recent decades show negative natural forcing due to increasing volcanism, which overwhelms the direct effect, if real, of a small increase in solar radiation."

So, yeah, natural factors exist and effect some of the temperature variations, but there is not strong evidence that they are major contributors to the long-term warming trend.

Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK
Since matters of fact obviously are relevant to public policy, including public policy regarding global warming, you're now agreeing with me that expert consensus is in fact relevant to public policy on global warming.

I never disagreed with you on that point.

I disagreed with you when you suggested that an "expert" consensus on proper policy was relevant. An expert consensus on the facts is would be relevant to public policy debate on global warming; an expert consensus on what proper policy is, which you've agreed is not a question of fact, remains, as it has been since you suggested the absence of such a consensus as meaningful, entirely irrelevant (and indeed utterly meaningless since one can not meaningfully be an expert on subjective matters.)


Now you're contradicting yourself.

No, I'm only contradicting your misrepresentation of my position.

Since proper policy depends on matters of fact, and you just agreed that expert consensus is relevant to matters of fact, you agreed that expert consensus is relevant to questions of proper policy.

In fact, I explicitly said expert consensus on the related matters of fact is relevant to questions of public polivy. So there was no need for you to pretend to set up a chain of logic to "prove" that I believed that. This does not in any way contradict my position that an "expert" consensus on what proper policy is (which is what you pointed to the absence of, and what I challenged as meaningless), is both irrelevant and meaningless.


Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

ok, I pulled the Manhattan data from the 2000 census here:

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/QTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=06000US3606144919&-qr_name=DEC_2000_SF3_U_QTP32&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF3_U&-redoLog=false

in 2000, 24% of Manhattan made 100K plus (with 9.4% making 200K plus).

that should put the 2006 figure somewhere close to 30%.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

"At least some" falsely suggests that there is at least some scientific evidence that more than "some" (i.e., "all") observed warming is due to this.

No it doesn't. I think it's very unlikely that "all" observed warming is due to natural causes.

Indeed, the contrary is true, natural changes seem, in total, not to be particularly significant net effects in the long-term warming trend.

As I said, there is strong scientific evidence that at least some of observed global warming has been caused by natural mechanisms such as solar forcing. A recent study estimated the contribution of solar forcing alone--which is just one of many natural mechanisms that may be contributing to global warming--at 16% or 36% of greenhouse warming.

The natural factor most often suggested to contribute to warming (considered in isolation), solar forcing (your prime example here) is a small effect over the whole of the 20th Century. IPCC Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis notes in this regard, "All reconstructions indicate that the direct effect of variations in solar forcing over the 20th century was about 20 to 25% of the change in forcing due to increases in the well-mixed greenhouse gases."

Huh? In other words, just one natural mechanism--solar forcing--is estimated to have caused up to a quarter of the warming caused by greenhouse gases. Perhaps you consider 25% to be "insignificant." I don't.

So, yeah, natural factors exist and effect some of the temperature variations, but there is not strong evidence that they are major contributors to the long-term warming trend.

Yes, there is. Even the IPCC TAR estimated the contribution from just one natural mechanism to be as much as 25% of the contribution from greenhouse warming. More recent research has estimated solar forcing to contribute 36%--over a third. And solar forcing is just one natural mechanism.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

Don P continues to deliberately lie:

Lie #1: The IPCC TAR and the National Academy of Sciences have concluded only that it is "likely" that "most" of the observed global warming of the past century or so has been caused by human activities.

Don P cites outdated, five-year-old reports that have long ago been superceded by new science, and of course deliberately exaggerates the degree of uncertainty that was expressed even in those reports from 2001, by selectively quoting them out of context -- indeed, now he's down to quoting only two words from one of the reports, and ludicrously claiming that those two words, taken out of context, constitute the entire thrust of the report!

Lie #2: There is strong scientific evidence that at least some of observed global warming has been caused by natural mechanisms such as solar forcing.

No, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that any of the observed warming has been caused by "natural mechanisms", and indeed there is overwhelming evidence that solar forcing in particular has played NO role in the observed warming.

Lie #3: There is no scientific consensus at all, let alone an "overwhelming" one, that existing atmospheric CO2 will produce a "a minimum of 2 degrees centigrade by 2100" increase in global mean surface temperature. This claim is yet another "fact" that you made made up out of thin air.

As usual, Don P not only lies about global warming, he lies about what has been posted in this very thread, deliberately and arrogantly insulting the intelligence of every reader. Here, he pretends that I didn't post the article discussing the study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

As the article reports, the lead author of the study, Dr. Marko Scholze of Bristol University, "said the effects of a 2C category were inevitable. This is the temperature rise that will happen, on average, even if the world immediately stopped emitting greenhouse gases."

If Don P wants to accuse someone of "making this up out of thin air," he needs to accuse Dr. Scholze, not me.

Lie #4: I wrote that "There is overwhelming scientific consensus that if we continue to burn fossil fuels at 'business as usual' rates, with corresponding increases in annual CO2 emissions [...] temperature increases by 2100 will be substantially greater, 3 degrees centigrade and more."

Don P replied, of course, with another lie: There's no scientific consensus on this claim, either. You're making up "facts" out of thin air.

As the article I posted reports, "In May, David King, the [UK] government's chief scientific adviser, warned that the world's temperature would rise by 3C, causing catastrophic damage around the world, unless governments took urgent action to reduce carbon emissions."

If Don P wants to accuse someone of "making up" this fact "out of thin air", he needs to accuse David King, not me.

Lie #5: I wrote that "There is overwhelming scientific consensus that humanity urgently needs to reduce the GHG emissions from burning fossil fuels substantially and rapidly to avoid catastrophic, irreversible runaway global warming."

And of course, Don P replied with a lie: There is no scientific consensus on this claim, either. In fact, this last claim of yours isn't simply wrong, it's preposterous.

In June 2005, the national science academies of the G8 nations plus Brazil, China and India, issued a joint statement which declared that "the scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action" and urged world leaders, including those of the G8 countries, to "acknowledge that the threat of climate change is clear and increasing," and to identify "steps that can be taken now to contribute to substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions."

The Royal Society of the UK (the UK's national science academy) issued an accompanying press release which called for "the leaders of G8 to commit to take prompt action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases".

Lord May of Oxford, President of the Royal Society, said that "world leaders [...] can no longer use uncertainty about aspects of climate change as an excuse for not taking urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions [...] Make no mistake, we have to act now. And the longer we procrastinate, the more difficult the task of tackling climate change becomes [...] Our leaders face a stark choice: act now to tackle climate change or let future generations face the price of their inaction. Never before have we faced such a global threat. And if we do not begin effective action now it will be much harder to stop the runaway train as it continues to gather momentum."

If Don P wishes to argue that my assertion that humanity needs to reduce GHG emissions from burning fossil fuels "substantially and rapidly" to avoid catastrophic warming "isn't simply wrong, it's preposterous", then he needs to argue with Lord May, the British Royal Society, and the national scientific academies of the other G8 countries and Brazil, China and India about what the scientific consensus is. Somehow I doubt that they'll have much interest in listening to his bullshit.

Don P is a liar and a fraud. He has been shown repeatedly to be a willfully ignorant, deliberate liar and fraud on this subject. Yet he continues to come back to these comment pages again and again to arrogantly insult the intelligence of all readers with his tiresome, repetitive, long-discredited lies.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 16, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Why Don P wants to repeatedly humiliate himself by being exposed as a lying fraud over and over and over again on the subject of global warming, I cannot imagine.

Unless it is that right-wing extremists like Don P take pride in being liars.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 16, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

I disagreed with you when you suggested that an "expert" consensus on proper policy was relevant.

So your hilarious claim now is that expert consensus is relevant to matters of fact, and therefore relevant to matters of public policy, but not relevant to matters of proper public policy.

This absurd combination of claims can be true only if facts are not relevant to proper public policy.

Do you believe that facts are not relevant to proper public policy, cmdicely?

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

before I run to a b-day party, one other piece of data that I should note:

even though the census data for Manhattan was for 24% of 1999 Manhattan households making 100K plus...the data for Manhattan singles (i.e. not living with an SO, not just unmarried) in 1999 was 19.3% making 100K plus. I daresay that's pretty unique in the U.S.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

in 2000, 24% of Manhattan made 100K plus (with 9.4% making 200K plus).

It's good to see you walk back from your claim that "20% of Manhattan makes more than 300K a year", but even so the census data you quote reflects *households*, not individuals.

Posted by: Disputo on August 16, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

Don P cites outdated, five-year-old reports

You have provided no evidence that the IPCC TAR is "outdated."

And you cited this "outdated" report in your last post. Are you now saying you're relying on "outdated" reports?

and of course deliberately exaggerates the degree of uncertainty that was expressed even in those reports from 2001,

I didn't "exaggerate" anything. The IPCC clearly states the qualifications "likely" and "most" in its report.

No, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that any of the observed warming has been caused by "natural mechanisms", and indeed there is overwhelming evidence that solar forcing in particular has played NO role in the observed warming.

Utter nonsense. As always, you don't know what you're talking about. As cmdicely just noted, IPCC Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis notes that evidence indicates that solar forcing has contributed 20 to 25% of forcing attributable to greenhouse gas increases. More recently, papers such as Do Models Underestimate the Solar Contribution to Recent Climate Change? have produced even higher estimates. 36%, in the case of that study.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

in 2000, 24% of Manhattan made 100K plus (with 9.4% making 200K plus).

That's households, not individuals.

Posted by: Stefan on August 16, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding the role of solar forcing in observed global warming, RealClimate.org has a page entitled "Sun-Earth Connections" which gathers together their articles on this subject.

"There is not much evidence pointing to the sun being responsible for the warming since the 1950s."
-- Rasmus E. Benestad, physicist, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, 3/31/2006

"The warming over recent decades, [...] despite all of this discussion about solar activity, is almost all related to anthropogenic greenhouse gases."
-- Gavin Schmidt, climate modeller at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 7/15/2005

Additionally, a 2004 report from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany had this to say:

Researchers at the MPS have shown that the Sun can be responsible for, at most, only a small part of the warming over the last 20-30 years. They took the measured and calculated variations in the solar brightness over the last 150 years and compared them to the temperature of the Earth. Although the changes in the two values tend to follow each other for roughly the first 120 years, the Earths temperature has risen dramatically in the last 30 years while the solar brightness has not appreciably increased in this time.

[...] "According to our latest knowledge on the variations of the solar magnetic field, the significant increase in the Earths temperature since 1980 is indeed to be ascribed to the greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide," says Prof. Sami K. Solanki, solar physicist and director at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research.

Of course, what need does Don P have for the views of the climate scientists at RealClimate.org or the researchers at the Max Planck institute, when he can get all his "facts" about global warming from Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 16, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the Radial Counter-Blogging Project seems to have recovered from its malaise of the last 3 weeks: they now know that they can derail any thread by connecting it somenow - anyhow - to global warming.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on August 16, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

Here, he pretends that I didn't post the article discussing the study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

I didn't "pretend" anything. You claimed that there is an "overwhelming scientific consensus" that a 2 degree increase by 2100 is inevitable. You haven't produced a shred of evidence to support this absurd claim. All you've presented is a news report claiming (not even quoting) that a single scientist has made this claim. Even if Dr Scholze did make the claim, a claim by a single scientist is not a "scientific consensus," let alone an "overwhelming scientific consensus." Do you even understand what the word "consensus" means?

Do you have any evidence to substantiate your claim of an "overwhelming scientific consensus" on this matter, or don't you?

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK
So your hilarious claim now is that expert consensus is relevant to matters of fact, and therefore relevant to matters of public policy, but not relevant to matters of proper public policy.

No. My point hasn't changed, and that has never been it: its that the expert consensus that may be relevant to questions of public policy (presuming that complexity is a bar to the other participants in the discussion reaching a useful independent judgement; where that is not the case, expert opinion, whether a consensus or not, is universally irrelevant) is not expert consensus on the question of what is proper public policy, but expert consensus on the concrete impacts of public policy alternatives. The judgement of relative propriety among those alternatives is a value judgement to which expertise is irrelevant.

Do you believe that facts are not relevant to proper public policy, cmdicely?

No, I believe that value judgements, like the ones necessarily involved in any answer to the question "what is proper public policy?" are not facts, and therefore your suggestion that it is somehow meaningful that there is no expert consensus on proper public policy responses to global warming is, has been, and shall forever remain, utterly and completely wrong.

Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

As the article I posted reports, "In May, David King, the [UK] government's chief scientific adviser, warned that the world's temperature would rise by 3C, causing catastrophic damage around the world, unless governments took urgent action to reduce carbon emissions."

Once again, your claim is that that there is an "overwhelming scientific consensus" that "if we continue to burn fossil fuels at 'business as usual' rates, with corresponding increases in annual CO2 emissions [...] temperature increases by 2100 will be substantially greater, 3 degrees centigrade and more"

A news reporter's claim about what a single scientist said obviously is not evidence of a "scientific consensus" at all, let alone an "overwhelming" one.

Do you have evidence to support your claim that there is an "overwhelming scientific consensus" on this question, or don't you?

The IPCC TAR projected temperature increases by 2100 under "business as usual" scenarios ranging from a low of 1.4 degrees. That's less than half of your 3 degree figure.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Don P, posting as "GOP", wrote: More recently, papers such as Do Models Underestimate the Solar Contribution to Recent Climate Change? have produced even higher estimates. 36%, in the case of that study.

As always, you misrepresent that 2003 study. You say it estimates that warming from solar forcing at 36% of that from greenhouse gases, when in fact it says "The best estimate of the warming from solar forcing is estimated to be 16% or 36%."

And the Abstract to that report states very clearly, "The results confirm previous analyses showing that greenhouse gas increases explain most of the global warming observed in the second half of the twentieth century."

The rapid, extreme and unprecedented observed warming of the Earth is caused by human emissions of CO2. It is not caused by solar forcing.

You continue to spew ExxonMobil-scripted lies about nonexistent "huge uncertainties" in the scientific consensus regarding climate change, and you continue to grossly mispresent the science in order to support your lies.

You are a fake, a phony, a liar and a fraud, and you have been repeatedly exposed as such. Continue to humiliate yourself by continuing to expose yourself as a liar, if that's what you want.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 16, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

And of course, Don P replied with a lie:

More nonsense. Your claim, again, was:

"There is overwhelming scientific consensus that humanity urgently needs to reduce the GHG emissions from burning fossil fuels substantially and rapidly to avoid catastrophic, irreversible runaway global warming."

Yet again, you have provided absolutely nothing to substantiate this claim. Instead, you cited some national science academies calling for world leaders merely to "identify steps that can be taken now to contribute to substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions," and Britain's Royal Society urging "the leaders of G8 to commit to take prompt action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases".

Nothing there about an "overwhelming scientific consensus." Nothing there about an "urgent need." Nothing about "catastrophic, irreversible runaway global warming."

You have invented those ridiculous claims out of thin air. They exist only in your imagination. None of the scientific groups you cited said anything like what you claim.

I ask again, do you have evidence that there is an "overwhelming scientific consensus that humanity urgently needs to reduce the GHG emissions from burning fossil fuels substantially and rapidly to avoid catastrophic, irreversible runaway global warming" or don't you?

If you have such evidence, present it.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK
A recent study estimated the contribution of solar forcing alone--which is just one of many natural mechanisms that may be contributing to global warming--at 16% or 36% of greenhouse warming.

Solar forcing is not "just one of many natural mechanisms that may be contributing to global warming", its the only natural factor that, even considered in isolation, appears to have any significant positive net contribution to warming over the past century, a contribution counteracted in the latter half of the century by the negative natural contributions from vulcanism.

The overall net natural contribution to warming appears to be slightly positive in the first half of the century, with no clear overall net natural contribution to the continuation of warming in the second half of the century.

As cmdicely just noted, IPCC Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis notes that evidence indicates that solar forcing has contributed 20 to 25% of forcing attributable to greenhouse gas increases. More recently, papers such as Do Models Underestimate the Solar Contribution to Recent Climate Change? have produced even higher estimates. 36%, in the case of that study.

Actually, the study you cite produced two different estimates based on two different reconstructions, one at 16% (below the range of the reconstructions described in IPCC TAR), and one at 36% (above that range). As, interestingly, you pointed out previously.

And, indeed, that same paper says this: "Even with such an enhanced climate response to solar
forcing, most warming over the last 50 yr is likely to have been caused by increases in greenhouse gases. Indeed we estimate that increases in greenhouse gases were likely to have caused more warming than observed, with a significant cooling trend from the direct and indirect effects of sulfate aerosols counterbalancing the combined warming effects from greenhouse gases and changes in solar irradiance."

That is, increases in greenhouse gases alone account for more warming than is observed; the net effect of all other factors taken together is cooling, not warming.

Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Don P, you are a bullshit artist and you are only interested in wasting my time with your bullshit.

I have posted my comments for the benefit of any readers who are interested in the truth about climate change.

I don't care what you have to say, since you have nothing to offer but inane, pointless, rhetorical bullshit.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 16, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

Regarding the role of solar forcing in observed global warming, RealClimate.org has a page entitled "Sun-Earth Connections" which gathers together their articles on this subject.

As that post shows, there is clear scientific evidence that solar forcing has contributed significantly to observed global warming over the past century or so. In fact, the post cites a paper in Geophysical Research Letters estimating "that as much as 25-35% of the global warming in the 1980-2000 period can be attributed changes in the solar output."

Other groups of scientists have come up with similar estimates. I already linked to another paper that estimates the contribution to global warming over the past 50 years from solar forcing to be 36% of the contribution from greenhouse gases.


Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

Solar forcing is not "just one of many natural mechanisms that may be contributing to global warming", ...

Yes it is. If you dispute this, produce your evidence that there are no other natural mechanisms that may be contributing to global warming.

The overall net natural contribution to warming appears to be slightly positive in the first half of the century, with no clear overall net natural contribution to the continuation of warming in the second half of the century.

Nonsense. The evidence suggests that the contribution from solar forcing over the past century is large, not "slight."

You yourself just quoted the IPCC as stating "All reconstructions indicate that the direct effect of variations in solar forcing over the 20th century was about 20 to 25% of the change in forcing due to increases in the well-mixed greenhouse gases."

I just cited a paper that estimates that the contribution from solar forcing to global warming over the past 50 years is about 36% of the contribution from greenhouse warming.

SecularAnimist just linked to a post on realclimate.org discussing yet another study that estimates "that as much as 25-35% of the global warming in the 1980-2000 period can be attributed changes in the solar output."


Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

If you dispute this, produce your evidence that there are no other natural mechanisms that may be contributing to global warming.

Tactic #457 from the Paid Wingnut Troll Manual:

Demand your opponent prove a negative.

Posted by: Disputo on August 16, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

Actually, the study you cite produced two different estimates based on two different reconstructions, one at 16% (below the range of the reconstructions described in IPCC TAR), and one at 36% (above that range).

Right. One of the estimates was 36%. That's more than a third of the estimated contribution from greenhouse warming. And solar forcing is just one natural mechanism that may be conributing to global warming.

That is, increases in greenhouse gases alone account for more warming than is observed; the net effect of all other factors taken together is cooling, not warming.

So what? That doesn't alter the fact that there is strong scientific evidence that solar forcing--a purely natural mechanism, with no human involvement--has contributed substantially to observed global warming. Furthermore, the cooling effect of aerosols is, in part at least, the result of human activities. Some human activities cause warming, and others cause cooling.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK
The overall net natural contribution to warming appears to be slightly positive in the first half of the century, with no clear overall net natural contribution to the continuation of warming in the second half of the century.

Nonsense.

The reports you've cited on this thread indicate that greenhouse gas emissions alone account for more than all of the recent warming, and that the combined effect of all other factors taken together is to reduce the amount of experienced warming from that which would be experienced from the increased greenhouse gas levels alone.

If you've got any credible evidence to support a positive net natural contribution to recent warming, you are, of course, more than welcome to present it.

Posted by: cmdicely on August 16, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Demand your opponent prove a negative.

If cmdicely is foolish enough to claim a negative ("Solar forcing is not just one of many natural mechanisms that may be contributing to global warming"), then cmdicely assumes the burden of demonstrating that negative. If he can't prove such claims, he shouldn't be making them.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

If cmdicely is foolish enough to claim a negative ("Solar forcing is not just one of many natural mechanisms that may be contributing to global warming"), then cmdicely assumes the burden of demonstrating that negative.

And GOP, with his very own words, demonstrates the utter lack of rationality that is the wingnut brain.

Posted by: Disputo on August 16, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

The reports you've cited on this thread indicate that greenhouse gas emissions alone account for more than all of the recent warming,

This claim is just nonsensical. Greenhouse gas emissions cannot account for "more than all of the recent warming." They cannot "account for" something that doesn't exist.

and that the combined effect of all other factors taken together is to reduce the amount of experienced warming from that which would be experienced from the increased greenhouse gas levels alone.

Your division of the "factors" influencing climate change into "greenhouse gas levels" and "all other factors" is irrelevant. Some factors cause warming. Others cause cooling. Human activities cause warming via greenhouse gas emissions, and cause cooling via aerosol emissions. Solar forcing causes warming. There is strong scientific evidence that solar forcing--a purely natural mechanism--has contributed a substantial fraction of observed warming. Other natural mechanisms may also be contributing to warming.

If you've got any credible evidence to support a positive net natural contribution to recent warming,

I just listed three scientific sources indicating a substantial positive contribution to recent warming from solar forcing, a purely natural mechanism.

If you think you've got credible evidence to support a negative net contribution to recent warming from natural mechanisms, produce it.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Me: "Do you believe that facts are not relevant to proper public policy, cmdicely?"

cmdicely: "No"

So you do believe that facts are relevant to proper public policy. And you aready said you believe that expert consensus is relevant to matters of fact. Therefore, you must also believe that expert consensus is relevant to proper public policy. But you just denied that you believe that expert consensus is relevant to proper public policy. You're contradicting yourself again.

Posted by: GOP on August 16, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo, Stefan:

apparently you missed the part where I said:

"the data for Manhattan singles (i.e. not living with an SO, not just unmarried) in 1999 was 19.3% making 100K plus."

I'd say it's a reasonable extrapolation that close to 25% of Manhattan singles are making 100K plus in 2006.

Posted by: Nathan on August 16, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

People, people...
Everybody must take a step back and think for a moment. Certain places in this country--say SF Bay Area, Manhattan, coastal CA (not inland)--have historically cost more than others. However, every market that has achieved gains in far excess of inflation is surely to see a substantial drop in prices. Yes, SF, Manhattan, and coastal CA will still remain pricier than other parts of the country, but not to the extents we presently see. Places that are desirable, have high incomes (very important), and limited expandability will always remain pricier than places like Kansas or the Midwest. SF, Manhattan, and parts of coastal CA have high incomes which can sustain the higher prices--not to mention top-notch universities and a strong international presence.

From living through the past two housing crashes and watching Japan like a hawk through the 90s, my prediction is a 35-50% drop in prices in the most heated markets (through either nominal price decreases or a sustained flattening over a 5-8 year period---we'll see how the Panic of 2007 unfolds).

My money is where my mouth is. We sold four months ago (Calabasas, CA) and are renting for a song compared to owning, not to mention making $650k on our 1970s ranch we bought 18 years ago. When prices bottom out, we will happily be able to buy wherever we want, plus give each of our college kids an incredible down payment for homes of their own.

Posted by: Mr Sensibility on August 17, 2006 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

The trouble here is that while housing prices may be collapsing they're unlikely to collapse far enough to make owning a home in a number of blue state metro areas a realistic possibility for a majority of the people who live there.

This is the worst of all worlds: lots of people go under with ad rate mortgages and homes they can't afford while a wide swath of the population still can't afford to buy.

Posted by: Linus on August 17, 2006 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

H o l b r o o k e i s a g u y w i t h a t o n o f c r e d i b i l i t y . W h e n h e s a y s t h a t d i p l o m a c y h a s t o b e b a c k e d u p b y a c r e d i b l e t h r e a t o f f o r c e , h e o b v i o u s l y m e a n s i t : h e r e c o m m e n d e d m i l i t a r y a c t i o n t w i c e i n t h e B a l k a n s d u r i n g t h e 9 0 s . A t t h e s a m e t i m e , w h e n h e s a y s i t s h o u l d b e a l a s t r e s o r t , h e o b v i o u s l y m e a n s t h a t o o : h e d e v o t e d u n c o u n t e d t h o u s a n d s o f h o u r s t o s e r i o u s , t o u g h m i n d e d d i p l oc y d u r i n g t h e s a m e p e r i o d . S o m e o f i t w o r k e d a n d s o m e o f i t d i d n ' t , b u t h i s e d i c a t i o n t o t h e c a u s e i s h a r d l y q u e s t i o n a b l e . A n d d e s p i t e h i s c o n t i n u e d u n w i l l i n g n e s s t o f l a t l y f a c e t h e r e a l i t y t h a t w e c a n ' t a f f o r d t o s t a y i n I r a q a n y l o n g e r , h e h a d b y f a r t h e b e t t e r o f t h e a r g u m e n t w h e n t h e s u b j e c t t u r n e d t o I r a n . D i p l o m a c y i s n o t , h e r e m i n d e d K r i s t o l , i na n d o f i t s e l f a s i g n o f w e a k n e s s . O f c o u r s e w e s h o u l d b e w i l l i n g t o t a l k d i r e c t l y t o S y r i a a n d I r a n , r a t h e r t h a n l e a v i n g t h e j o b t o t h i r d p a r t i e s t h a t w e d o n ' t r e a l l y t r u s t t o r e p r e s e n t o u r i n t e r e s t s i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e . K r i s t o l c o u l d d o l i t t l e m o r e t h a n s p l u t t e r t h a t t h au66ge-1

Posted by: dd on August 17, 2006 at 5:58 AM | PERMALINK

We sold our house in May 2006 in Los Angeles for $550,000 making about 200,000 profit for living in it for 3 years. We paid for it in cash for $325,000 and did very minor improvements. Now, we have parked it all of the cash in a CD earning 5.7% APY. which generates more than the rent we pay.

I predict that the very same house will sell for 40% less in about 1 or 2 years. I hope the buyer got a fixed mortgage rate and hangs on to it for at least 5 years. I wish him good luck.

Posted by: Ray on August 18, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Your files are now being encrypted and thrown into the bit bucket.
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Posted by: order cialis online on August 19, 2006 at 3:46 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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