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Climate science from climate scientists...

Last Build Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2018 23:43:42 +0000


Comment on Unforced variations: Mar 2018 by nigelj

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 23:43:42 +0000

Victor @361 "If I see something new that bothers me in future I might want to raise my trusty pea shooter again though. So keep your guard up, folks.:'\" Pea shooter about sums up the strength of his arguments and level of logical thought. Definitely not a rocket launcher thats for sure. Take a long luxurious holiday in some tropical paradise away from climate issues Victor. You deserve a good ten years.

Comment on Forced responses: Mar 2018 by nigelj

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 21:08:20 +0000

Killian @194 and also Keven McKinney "It takes very little time to not build something. Setting up water catchment, building soils, building a windmill or some solar panels, these things are easily accomplished within 5 years anywhere on the planet. It is literally only the choice not to that keeps us from simplicity within 5 to 10 years globally. I repeat, most of the planet is already there, but at a poor level of subsistence. They need very little to raise them above that to a comfortable subsistence." Imho this is mainly true only for developing countries with mostly rural based populations and shanty towns and slums. They are already living a relatively simple life to use your terminology, so focusing on them is hardly the point. Other than to say we should help them improve their lot where we can. It is much harder for city dwellers anywhere in the world. Over 90 million people globally live in highrise apartments, and hundreds of millions in semi detached houses especially in western countries. They can't easily attach on enough solar panels, build windmills, grow vegetables and bicycle to work or find rural allotments and so on. It is easier for people living in detached suburban homes, but the challenges remain pretty huge even for them. If people sell their homes, to move to rural areas that can only mean rural people are buying their homes cancelling out any environmental advantage. Do you expect them to just abandon their homes, and all the equity in them? It's not so easy. You are looking at a decades long process or nearer 100 years. Imho it is feasible in principle, but it will take time so hence the need for an immediate push for mass renewable energy. "In terms of restoration, yes. In terms of building new systems, no. That literally everything we are building out (wind generators) to cease using other things (coal) are themselves unsustainable is a huge issue. As I tried to explain to a peanut recently, if you suck up resources building something that cannot continue to be used indefinitely, you aren’t gaining, you are losing, wasting, because there are less-consumptive options." The solar panels and windmills you advocated in another comment are NOT SUSTAINABLE either! Talk about a contradiction. The rest of your comment implies to me that you want to not alter the planet at all, which is not a plausible approach for humanity, if it wants to exist at more than stone age level. I suggest we are stuck altering the planet quite radically, and the only practical approach is to limit things that obviously cause damage or blatantly waste resources and try and restore wetlands, and protect conservation areas and existing forests and green cities better. We are stuck using non renewable resources like minerals, unless you are suggesting we go back to wooden hand tools. All we can do is try to do it efficiently, and use them for things that really matter. "But, to get directly to the comment you made, my actual meaning with that first sentence is the concern over time for implementation of simplicity is overblown by a huge margin on this forum. To stop doing things does not require building things, or building far simpler things. Mostly it means using existing things differently. There was a peanuttle comment about apartment dwellers dying. Why? They can’t build a rocket stove and set the flue out the window and seal it somehow? Of bundle up like an Inuit? Or… or… or…. if you get my drift. Etc. Most of what we need to do is really a matter of not doing and rearranging." So now you are shifting the goalposts. So have your claims about cutting consumption by 90% been abandoned?" Building wood stoves in highrise towers is a serious fire risk, is not practically plausible, and would cause serious smoke problems for dwellers in apartments above, and to be scaled up would require burning vast areas of existing forest. Its nonsensical. These devices also use sophisticated technology and metals so how do you reconcile [...]

Comment on Forced responses: Mar 2018 by Kevin McKinney

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 19:49:12 +0000

nigel, #193--
Kevin McKinney @186, you appear to be saying if we put all or most of our focus on simplification and it fails we have missed our window of opportunity for renewable energy? This I would totally agree with, which is why I said we have to target the climate issue with all weapons available especially renewable energy, and see how this progresses for perhaps the next decade
Almost--I'm saying that we risk missing the 2 C window. I think if we do what you suggest then our chances of making that window probably increase. Killian, #194--
Take global arable (farming) land + areas of reclamation + yards, parks, golf courses, etc. + areas to be greened not currently or in the past used for food production x % C/year added in soils and biota. Subtract that from 80 – 90% fewer emissions than today. Divide into 160 (ppm above pre-industrial) and that tells you your time line.
Mmm. But the 80-90% fewer emissions is pretty much assumed in a vacuum. You can make it a design assumption (indeed that may be what you're doing here--I'm not entirely sure), but then the question will arise as to what that actually implies for people's lives? (I know, if that's what we have to do, then that's what we have to do--but people will still ask, at least until we get to the 'last minute', and they must buy in.) In addition to which, the C sequestration number seems to be seriously underdetermined at this point, which would make the calculation pretty tough. Even more seriously, though, this calculation ignores everything leading up to having a preponderance of 'competents' in regenerative living. That, too, seems pretty seriously underdetermined at this point. And it's that 'not knowing' that unsettles me WRT to the 2 C window. Is it really wise to pin everything on a strategy for which critical parameters are yet unknown? I'd argue that we can lengthen the runway for simplicity by mitigating with everything we've got now. Granted, it's a frustrating process, and can't be claimed to be a brilliant success so far. But there are tangible glimmers of progress, as I see it, and it's a much easier 'ask' in terms of immediate behavioral change. Many times it's wise to take the low-hanging fruit. Switching gears, I think I can clarify matters discussed in the last part of your comment--the bits starting here:
Kevin: I quite agree that it’s apt to be highly nonlinear, but it makes a big difference in climatic terms whether the tipping point kicks in in 2020 or 2040. Killian: But not in terms of risk because we do not know, and that is exactly the problem. Thus, it makes no difference except that if it comes later, we endure far fewer consequences.
Evidently, you took "the tipping point" to refer to climatic tipping points--very understandably, I hasten to add; my reference was not clear as stated. (Sorry about that; I can't tell you how hard my dissertation advisor worked to get me to do better on making sure my internal referents were clear, nor how frequently in the decades since then I've come up short--or more gratifyingly, narrowly avoided coming up short--on that same measure.) Anyway, what I was actually referring to was the public perception 'tipping point' of widespread consensus that climate change poses an existential threat to civilization. Accordingly, my logic was that, should that tipping point arrive in 2040, we'd be deep in the (non-) mitigative soup. It's sort of a 'moral hazard' argument about simplification, and in a way it's the flip-side of your moral hazard argument about undercommitting to simplification.

Comment on Alsup asks for answers by Hank Roberts

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 19:20:27 +0000 Grist links to Nathaniel Johnson's account [@SavorTooth] from the Alsup hearing

Comment on Alsup asks for answers by Hank Roberts

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 19:16:17 +0000
Chevron attorney now up – "from Chevron's perspective there's no debate about climate science" going to be quoting chapter and verse from IPCC reports. It's an "amazing resource" — Nathanael Johnson (@SavorTooth) March 21, 2018
It's convenient that Chevron's attorney relied on that aging five-year-old report. The next IPCC report isn't planned for public release until the fall of 2019. Gathering consensus takes time, and the result is that IPCC reports are out of date before they're published and necessarily conservative. The climate models used in these reports grow old in a hurry. Since the 1970s, they've routinely underestimated the rate of global warming. Some of the most recent comprehensive assessments of climate science, including last year's congressionally-mandated, White House-approved, Climate Science Special Report, include scary new sections on "climate surprises" like simultaneous droughts and hurricanes, that have wide-reaching consequences. The scientists representing the two cities knew this, and didn't limit their talking points to the IPCC. "Positive feedbacks (self-reinforcing cycles) within the climate system have the potential to accelerate human-induced climate change," says a section from that Climate Science Special report, "and even shift the Earth's climate system, in part or in whole, into new states that are very different from those experienced in the recent past." None of this was included in the last IPCC report. Actually, a helluva lot has changed in our understanding of the Earth's climate system since the 2013 IPCC report. Here are some of the highlights ....

Comment on Alsup asks for answers by Hank Roberts

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 19:13:05 +0000

It's a quick handoff in the game of Denialball, as the ball is passed from the oil companies to the auto manufacturers:
Last month, one of the largest lobbying groups argued in a regulatory filing that the basic science behind climate change is not to be trusted. In the same filing, the lobbying group, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, also cast doubt on the negative effects of tailpipe pollution on human health.

Comment on Alsup asks for answers by Kevin McKinney

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 19:06:41 +0000

It seems ever clearer that Judge Alsup is acting 'architecturally'--getting the scientific foundation laid. At the risk of invoking Godwin's precept, it reminds me of another case involving Holocaust denial, years ago:
At issue were a number of assertions in ''Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory,'' a book first published in 1993 in the United States by Deborah E. Lipstadt, a professor of modern Jewish and Holocaust studies at Emory University in Atlanta. In the book, Ms. Lipstadt wrote that Mr. Irving, now 62, was "one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial" and said that "he is at his most facile at taking accurate information and shaping it to conform to his conclusions." ...Mr. Irving, the author of more than 30 books on World War II and the Holocaust, some of which historians have praised, sued Ms. Lipstadt and her publisher, Penguin Books, saying that the book had severely damaged his reputation as a historian. He brought the suit [in Britain] because British libel law puts the burden on the defendants -- in this case, Ms. Lipstadt and Penguin -- to prove the truth of their assertions. The judge, Charles Gray of the British high court, handed a resounding victory to Ms. Lipstadt. In a scathing ruling notable for its stern wording, he declared that Mr. Irving was a racist Holocaust denier who deliberately distorted historical evidence in order to cast Hitler in a favorable light. Mr. Irving's treatment of history, he said, was often "perverse and egregious."
Judge Gray, like Judge Alsup, chose to hear the larger issue explicitly in court. At the time some commentators criticized him for doing so, arguing that he should simply have taken judicial notice of the historical reality of the Holocaust. It's still unclear whether that would have been better or not, but either way Irving's historical revisionism and denialism received a very stinging rebuke.

Comment on Alsup asks for answers by Hank Roberts

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 19:03:34 +0000

And remember, it's not the manufacturing, nor the promoting, nor the selling of opiates cheap that causes people to suffer from addiction. It's ingesting them.

Comment on Alsup asks for answers by Hank Roberts

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 17:35:04 +0000

Thanks to Grist for giving some blow-by-blow details from the hearing (and thanks to Gavin for providing the link earlier, above)

Comment on Unforced variations: Mar 2018 by mike

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 15:17:36 +0000

Carbon release from damaged sea grass beds. How are those emission reports looking? Are they getting flatish fastish enough? warm regards Mike